Mr Snuggles x 2

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Bless ! My two feisty boys all snuggled up and squeezing into one of the Eames chairs. The most coveted chair in the whole house - in armsreach of the blogging Fat Cat. Whoever's in there gets the most cuddles...

Note to cat owning design fans - do not despair finding a cool cat bed. Just invest in some Eames chairs, cats truly love Eames. AND you will never find a more low maintenance product, just WIPE off the cat hair. How wonderful is that ?

Getting ready for summer

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

While the hall painting is at a total stand still, I did at least get busy on my balconies. The beautiful weather does help.

Playing around with different levels to try and make things more interesting. The front balcony is very long and narrow and instead of just lining up the pots, I thought I would try a different approach this year.

Beautiful clematis "Snow Queen" - replacing this filthy ivy...

A reminder from the end of last season...

This years summer colours - white geraniums, yellow bidens and I sowed some orange nasturtiums.

Clematis at the other end - full of flower heads. Promises, promises.

A bit of a wider view. For the moment I added the table from my rear balcony. Makes gardening easier, but it's only a temporary set-up as it's too large and I have to really make an effort to squeeze by.

No effort on June's part however.

The small terrace at the rear of the apartment. I decided to ditch the table and chairs that were cluttering up the place (again very hard to squeeze by) and go wild on plants instead.

Unfortunately there still isn't enough room for a deck chair, but I am thinking about investing in a couple of Ikea stools (the classic
Frosta probably) and maybe some sort of fold-down table, just to be able to enjoy the sun out here.

From left to right : rhubarb, honeysuckle, agapanthus & another clematis (called "Princess Diana").

Crocosmia and rudbeckia.

Herb windowsill garden - rosemary, purple basil, strawberry, lemon thyme, chives and oregano.

Some left-over geraniums from the front planters. I am really trying to get the most out of my tiny outdoor space.

Not much to see here, but I did sow some dwarf runner beans, ideal for container gardening. First time I am trying these and I am very curious to see how they will do.

And still inside, my tomato seedlings - waiting to be planted out. Yet another project where I am running behind. Crap !

More West German pottery finds

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Let me introduce you to my long weekend thrift finds, brought to you exclusively from my mum's beautiful garden.

Pots also deserve a bit of sunshine and fresh air after living in this dark and musty thrift shop for so long.

As usual, I got mostly planters (5 white ones, 2 brown ones and one gorgeous blue one), but also an amazing floor vase and a super cute 70's peanuts dispenser. You can find details of all the pottery marks here. The price tags added up to over 30 EUR, but the super nice thrift shop lady let me leave with the whole lot for 25 EUR...

Close-up of the floor vase for your viewing delight.

This vase is actually an order for a very good friend of mine. I had spotted this vase months ago, told my friend about it and had promised to bring it back for her .Now I finally delivered ! Plus I am turning into a personal (thrift) shopper. YEAH !

Paper sticker, marks and signatures. Can anybody help me identify the manufacturer ?

Now this yummy petrol blue Übelacker planter I am keeping for myself :-) Again if anybody knows the name of the pattern, please do share.

And finally, the WMF peanuts dispenser. I had bid on some a couple of times on ebay, but was outdone each time. They usually go for much more than I am willing to pay. 5 EUR however... call it mine. Ha !

Latest Carlton Ware find

Friday, 21 May 2010

Welcome to your new home, little horsy !

I got you at an ebay charity auction to help the Watford Peace Hospice (who is trying to raise £ 3 million this year - check it out
here and here) and I am feeling (almost) good for spending £ 32 on you...

And here you are surrounded by your new family. How cute is that ?

Hall stand still

Monday, 17 May 2010

Pfffff, trying to find motivation to get going with the hall paint... I wonder how some manage to find the energy to paint a whole house ?

I confess, I have been a very lazy fat cat this weekend. Bad fat cat ! BAD ! No progress to report.

But cruising the Ikea website for some inspiration, I stumbled upon these.

Alex drawer unit (with 9 drawers) - 99 EUR.

I am thinking that this would be a perfect fit for the messy walk in closet in the hall. If I get two, they would hold all my shoes perfectly, plus some other nick nacks (like scarfs, mittens, umbrellas, etc.)

This fella is definitely getting a closer look during my next big blue & yellow visit. Although I am also thinking that 200 EUR (for two) might be a bit pricy...

Maybe this version would be enough ? It's still 100 EUR though, but I kinda dig the casters - very practical for cleaning up all the cat fur bunnies hiding in that closet...

Look you can even get it in black ! Hhhmmm.

One thing is certain though. I am definitely getting one of these "Hang it all" thingys. But no way am I spending 200 EUR for the Vitra version - those guys are fucking insane when it comes to pricing !

Instead I spotted a nice English bloke selling knock-offs on ebay for 35 GBP + 10 GBP shipping. Now that I can live with.

Plus you have to admire this guys balls - ranting on about how his hangers are
indeed knock-offs, but really GOOD quality ones as opposed to the cheapos from China. Now that's the spirit !

A bank holiday well spent...

Friday, 14 May 2010

No rest for the weary. Yesterday I got started on the hall renovation.

Here are a few before shots. And yes, it's the same dreaded yellow that used to adorn the living room...

View from the bedroom door towards the entrance.

The "windowed" door (quite sure this isn't the correct technical term - please feel free to enlighten me) leads to the bathroom. And the one at the end (actually only the frame remains) towards the kitchen.

View from the entrance towards the living room (left) and the bedroom (right). And that bit of a dark hole on the far left of the picture, that's a tiny walk-in closet where I stack my recycling boxes and coat rack (and all sorts of other nonsense).

First hint that I did some changes to the living room. My antique English bookcase now lives in this corner of the hall (it used to be here).

Same corner way before...

Ebay success was achieved and this cupboard was sold and picked up by the new owners a few weeks ago. Yeah !

My little 50's shelf (from my Mom's old bedroom) holding some of my collections. Yes, amongst numerous other things I am totally obsessed with Danish wooden vikings. Also up there : pessimist and optimist figurines by Hans Bolling (get a clearer view of them over at Kitka) and the "Come on in" print by AshleyG.

Playing around with paint samples. I thought about going green at one point, but with the lack of natural light in the hall, I am not too convinced by this option. So white it is, for the time being.

Btw, this also gives you a slightly better view of the closet. The first thing I did when I moved in 5 years ago was remove the door to that space (it opened out into the hall and wasn't practical at all) and also the door to the kitchen. Three dooors (including the entrance one) filling up my tiny entrance space was way too much, so two of them went the way of the dodo...

But what did I actually get done yesterday ? Besides some serious cleaning and moving out of all the furniture and objects (cluttering up the living room yet again - grrrrrrr), I primed the ceiling ! And then I had to lie down because I was feeling dizzy... Seriously, all that straining to my neck must have been a total shock to the system...

But after a bit of rest, I started on the walls ! And then I ran out of masking tape...

I admit this wasn't my most productive day.

Planned for tonight, a visit to the Brico to stock up on painting supplies and an early night to hopefully avoid further fainting spells - no more excuses for the weekend !

Unrelated side note : the new dishwasher got its first try-out yesterday and I absolutely LOVE it !!!

Kitchen improvement

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

I don't think I have shown you anything from my kitchen yet, have I ? Let me correct this.

Like most of my place, the kitchen is in a bit of a state for the moment. Admittedly that's probably the understatement of the year, but I really wanted to take some photos before daylight was gone completely. So no time to do any cleaning, editing, tidying - only the inconvenient truth.

I have big plans for this room - which mostly involve repainting it in green - in
The Little Greene "Eau de Nil" to be precise. No hesitation there, for once ! That blob of light colour on the wall next to the Tomado hanging shelf, that's me testing...

But the main reason for all this turmoil is that I had a dishwasher installed this morning !!! Wanna guess where it's hiding ?

Yep, it's one of those fully built-in affairs... It took the kitchen guys two full hours of hard work breaking up the cupboards to actually fit it in. Plus some light plumbing work to create an outlet for the used waters...

Anyway here we are. No more doing the dishes, no more piles of dirty crockery and pots... I am going to have the tidiest kitchen ever !

To celebrate I started to invest in some new dinnerware. Bye bye mismatched thrift finds. Hello brand new and dishwasher safe dishes. I mean I can't possibly risk destroying any of my 50's or 60's plates in the dishwasher, right ? Right !

In Good Company Oiva dishes were the runner-up for the longest time, but in the end I decided to settle for the more classic (and less likely to get bored of) Iittala Bottna.

Purchased so far - 3 soup plates & 1 bowl - for a total of - ehhhem - almost 120 EUR.

Holly cow, who knew that new dishes could be soooo expensive ? Lucky I had the 30 EUR gift voucher from work to sweeten the deal. But for the future, I plan on buying online. The
FinnishDesignShop carries the whole collection and is way cheaper (even with a 15 EUR shipping fee).

Holiday thrift

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Looking at my finds one would never guess that I just spent a week in beautiful Devon, UK. Yep, the West German pottery obsession continues.

So what did I bring back ? Besides the mandatory bottles of fancy gin that is :-)

Handled vase, 16 cm - marked W. Germany 414 - 16. Bought for 9.50 GBP.

Planter - marked W. Germany 806 - 19. Paid 5 GBP. Unfortunately it comes with some thrift issues. Some idiot drilled three holes in the bottom and the whole thing is starting to crack...

Now this on the other hand... PURRR-FECT ! Massive floor vase, 45 cm tall, with three differently textured glazings, marked W. Germany 517 - 45. Purchased for 30 GBP.

Now if you are ever in the Exeter area, I recommend you check out the Quayside antiques centres - in particular this one and the one at Topsham.

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