Home Etc #82

Happy hump-day all!  And welcome to this week’s Home Etc.

Jess and I were so delighted by everyone’s lovely reactions last week. It’s always hard getting back into the swing of working life after the Christmas break but the Home Etc community made last week a real joy.

Home Etc is often likened to an online interiors magazine and I really missed reading everyone’s posts. It was lovely to settle down for a good read and catch up with what everyone’s been up to.

Home Etc is a weekly link up for bloggers who have written posts that include interiors (wish lists, room tours or DIY), garden or allotment ideas, plus crafting or up-cycling.

HomeEtc Favourites

Last week’s favourites came from Lizzie at Marmalade Pie and Karen who blogs over at Well I Guess This Is Growing Up.

Lizzie posted a lovely piece on spring bulbs and how you can use them to brighten up the home.

home etc
So simple but looks a million dollars | Image courtesy of Marmalade Pie

So gorgeous and a lovely reminder that spring  is definitely on the way.

Secondly, Karen showed us how she transformed her little daughter’s bedroom using a wall mural.

Literally the best thing ever!!! Such a cool pattern and made such a difference from common or garden wallpaper.

home etc
Karen getting her daughter into DIY from a young age | Image courtesy of Well I Guess This Is Growing Up

Pop and have a look at Karen’s post if you missed it. The final wall looks AMAZING!

Congratulations to both of you — you’re both now in the running to win this month’s voucher from our fabulous sponsor.

Thanks so much everyone, for linking in, we love seeing what you’ve been up to!

HOME ETC HOUSE-RULES

1) Please include our lovely #HomeEtc badge at the bottom of your post.

The Twinkle Diaries

 

2) You may link up to two posts — new or old (sometimes the old posts are forgotten about, so please dust them down and show them off; we’d love to read them!)  — but no more than two posts each week please.

3) Please be kind enough to comment on your HOSTS’ POSTS which will always be the first two entries in the link up — plus a couple of others. Blog hops only work if you’re as generous with your comments as you are at sharing your posts.

Be sure to tweet —@twinklediaries or @JessSoothill — with the url to your post, using the hashtag #HomeEtc and Jess or I will always retweet (sometimes both of us if you’re lucky)! ;)

Finally, Jess and I will pick one favourite post each week then at the end of the month we’ll choose an overall winner. This lucky blogger will receive a £20 voucher from our fabulous sponsor!

laura_ashley

Thanks so much for linking up all your fabulous posts. Jess and I look forward to reading more of the same this week!

#HomeEtc the hashtag

Jess and I love catching up with our fab little community on Instagram. Tag your home and garden pics with the #HomeEtc hashtag and we can see what you’ve been up to and give them some love!

Lots of love,

Caro & Jess x


Styling The Seasons — May

Forget-Me-Not-book

At the beginning of this month I felt so ridiculously bogged down by everything.

Too much to do and not enough time. And the inability to get a grip on the situation — and manage my time effectively — was addling my brain and making me feel a bit miserable.

Amazingly my lovely friend Leigh — who writes the award winning blog Headspace Perspective — is also a qualified life coach and had just set up a new business called Bright Mind Spirit. She’d offered a handful of bloggers an hour long session each and I was lucky enough to be picked.

She told me that coaching can often show us that we have the answers to our own problems.

‘Stepping out of our everyday maelstrom will help us to see what’s what.’

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

We discussed so many things and at the end of the session my head felt much clearer.

It was like mentally trying to unravel a knotted and tangled ball of string. Initially, I had no idea where to even start.

But throughout the session, everything started to become a little clearer and I could see that making small changes would make the world of difference to my work/life balance.

I made promises to be a little kinder to myself — cut myself some slack — and take time-out of my working week to occasionally s.t.o.p.

Take a walk.

Practice my calligraphy.

Read a book.

Paint a picture.

So, as May has tumbled on, I have done exactly that.

My workload hasn’t lessened but I’ve certainly felt as though I have a better handle on everything. Putting work aside for half an hour, a couple of times a week, has given me a little more clarity.

Given me time to breathe and take stock.

And my styling the seasons post this month is sort of a bi-product of that.

Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May

I picked some Forget-Me-Nots a few days ago — put them in a little bottle of water and popped them on a shelf.

They’re so pretty. Papery thin; sky blue and lilac petals. Some of them tinged with blush pink or mauve. A golden eye in the centre of each flower, almost like a little star.

I decided to paint them.

I’ll never be a good painter but I love the process. So nice to focus your mind and concentrate on the brush strokes. Lovely to watch how the paint merges with the water and settles into the paper.

Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May

It’s a great way of pushing out unwanted thoughts and giving your mind a little breather.

And as I sat there, concentrating on the little flowers and their spindly stems, I thought about the last few weeks.

I remembered that this month marks the first anniversary of my nana’s death. And in just four day’s time, it will be the fifth anniversary of my lovely grandad’s passing.

And that same date marks a full twenty years — to the day — that my beautiful boy and I got together.

Twenty years!!!!

And it struck me that it’s the month of May — which was my Nana’s middle name — and I’m painting Forget-Me-Nots and thinking about them.

Such lovely symmetry.

Styling The Seasons | May
Styling The Seasons | May

Many thanks to lovely Leigh for giving up an hour of her time and, in doing so, giving me back my perspective. If you feel as though you could do with a little bit of help finding your focus, pop along to Bright Mind Spirit and have a chat with her. I highly recommend it.

Linking up with Katy (Apartment Apothecary) and Charlotte (Lotts and Lots) for #StylingTheSeasons

 

Flower Magic | Faux florals by Jane Packer

jane_packer_shop

Faux florals by Jane Packer are not words that naturally sit together but last Tuesday I visited the London shop of the world renowned florist, to have a look at the new range of faux florals that she’s created exclusively for Sainsbury’s Home.

Now I’ve spoken about my love for faux florals before but these were something else entirely. The studio was FULL of the most extraordinarily beautiful blooms but it was so hard to tell what was real and what wasn’t.

Waxy leaves and velvety petals, tight buds and blowsy flowers; if I hadn’t been told which had been created by Mother Nature and which were manmade variety, I’d have had a real job to tell them apart.

The range features peonies, garden roses, hydrangea heads and orchids in delicious pastel hues.

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose.

 

By any other name would smell as sweet.’

 

William Shakespeare

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer
Faux florals by Jane Packer from £16 to £32

Gorgeous aren’t they?

Styled in simple glass or ceramic pots and vases these lovely everlasting plants and flowers will bring a real sense of the luxury of the Jane Packer brand to our homes without the hefty price-tag that you associate with fresh florals.

Prices for the faux flowers and plants range from just £16 to £32

As well as the faux botanicals, the team have been busily creating a range of home fragrances too; reed diffusers, candles and room sprays. And these were amazing!!

I WISH that I was able to convey, with words, just how exquisite these smell. I literally couldn’t put them down. Scent is so evocative isn’t it? And these lovely fragrances had me transported back to hazy summers in beautiful English gardens.

There are to be three aromas in the collection — Tuberose and Amber, Paperwhite and Jasmine, and finally, Violet and Peony — and they are all absolutely gorgeous. 

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

jane_packer_faux_florals_10
Jane Packer home fragrances prices from just £6

Whilst I was there I was also treated to a floral masterclass with the amazing Charlotte Slade, who taught me — and a handful of other lucky journalists — to create the perfect hand-tied spring bouquet.

We mixed white tulips, jasmine and eucalyptus with Japanese aralia, paperwhites and hyacinths — to name a few — to make the sweetest smelling bouquet I’ve ever come across.

Faux florals by Jane Packer
The Jane Packer flower studio

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer
Our fab teacher — Charlotte Slade

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer
Me — pretending to look like I know what I’m doing!

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

I wish I could say that mine was as amazing as Charlotte’s but I’d be lying!

But whilst my bouquet was a little bit rough around the edges — and lacked the finesse of the perfect example made by our teacher — it was SO lovely to be guided by a professional florist.

I learnt tips and tricks that I will use at home and will definitely feel more confident buying and arranging flowers now.

Having said that, there may not be much call for fresh flowers, once I’ve invested in a couple of faux florals by Jane Packer ;)

Faux florals by Jane Packer

The Jane Packer Collection by Sainsbury’s will be available in stores from 20th May 2016

 

108 weeks and 6 days | Rose & Grey’s Styling Challenge

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by the lovely folk at Rose and Grey to take part in a styling challenge.

Now, you know me, I love a challenge. And, particularly, when the challenge involves something ‘interiors’ — or homes — related, I’m there like a shot!

The task sounded simple on the face of it; three little ‘Wild Flower Jam Jar’ vases, styled in any way you choose.

Rose & Grey loved what their stylist had done with the press shots of the vases but were asking bloggers to come up with alternative ideas.

Rose & Grey’s original ‘Wild Flower Jar Jar’ shot — professionally styled

Sometimes the more you think about things the more complicated they can become, so my plan of attack was not to ponder on it for too long and just go with my gut.

I love the original shot of the jam jars but wanted to create something totally different. And as the press image was styled very simply — with white flowers and fresh green foliage — I decided that I wanted to go totally the opposite way and use lots of colour.

But which colour?

Another challenging aspect of this task was to choose wild-flowers and, as the garden isn’t in bloom quite yet, I was slightly nervous as to whether there would be enough in our garden to create a shot with colour.

But I needn’t have worried.

Our lovely garden supplied me with plenty of options. So many, actually, that I couldn’t decide what colour to go with. So, in the end, I went with all of them.

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

The styling challenge answered, by Nature’s finest

A beautiful collection of imperfectly perfect blooms; blossom, berries, foliage and flowers, all generously provided by the garden. Flowering currant and rose-hips, Hyacinths,  vivid violet Lobelia and some purple tinged foliage from a Hebe. Silver green Rosemary and zesty colour provided by Berberis, Tulips, Daffodils and Forsythia.

I think each of the jars look beautiful when sat alone. They’re such a lovely size and perfect for little handpicked posies. But when grouped together, they suddenly take on a totally different dimension.

Nature’s answer to the grey, dull winter. A rainbow of spring colour — from my very own garden.

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge

Styling Challenge
A rainbow of colour, in three little vases

I was asked to join in with Rose & Grey’s styling challenge and was kindly sent three Wild Flower Jam Jars, to complete my task. You can buy the vases — plus lots of other lovely products — from their website. Pop along and have a look www.roseandgrey.co.uk

All photos, thoughts and words are my own, with exception of the original shot, as stated.

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