31 Aug 2011

Shades of pale

 If you'd like to totally screw with yourself walk into any DIY store and stand in front of the rows and rows of tins of wall paint containing tiny variations of off-white and try and choose the one you like best. A Whisper of Stone, no, Parchment White, no, Lace Undergarment, ah what? Which one? WTF are we here for anyway? 

 Truth is, I like off-white, I painted my bedroom bright yellow when I was about 10 and then had to spend most of my teenage years in a dayglo hell. When I was a student I painted my bedroom a rasberry colour and lived in a perpetual half light for a year. Now I crave soft, delicate off-white walls on which to hang my prints and which make my home light, bright and beautiful. But the question is which off white do I go for? Hell, I'll even stray a shade darker than off-white if the colour is that perfect.

 However, that's not to say I don't like a sprinkling of colour here and there, in fact I love colour, I adore colour, it's just that I now know that, for me, colour looks so much better framed by an off-white background. OK, so I think you got it, I like my walls off-white.

All photos found via my Pinterest!
 By the way, the bloody walls are not even ready to paint yet, I just get a little ahead of myself sometimes.

29 Aug 2011

Poems to make you happy and sleepy

 I read poems from AA Milne's When We Were Very Young to Edie a couple of times a week when I put her to bed. Do you remember these poems from when you were a kid? I have so many favorites but one we always turn to is Spring Morning. I think it's beautiful; wistful and soft, a little sweetly sad and yet it has such a positivity to it. Here's a little bit:

Where am I going? The high rooks call:
"It's awful fun to be born at all."
Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
"We do have beautiful things to do."

 Edie loves this poem probably as much for the fact that there's a picture of a little boy with a kite as for the beautiful rhythm of the words but this book of poems is a gem for getting her little eyelids to lower sleepily. It reminds me of what a safe, cosy and yet exciting place childhood can be. 

 There are so many books I can't wait to read with Edie as she grows, and of course, new ones to discover alongside her. Teddy Robinson, My Naughty Little Sister, Pippi Longstocking, Milly Molly Mandy- I adored all these books when I was little. I have such strong memories of them. Funny how a memory of a story can be clearer than a memory of real life isn't it? What are your favorite childhood books? Share them with me.

24 Aug 2011

Lists- August 24 2011

10 little things that made me happy when I was small

1-  looking at the rainbows that appeared on my eyelashes on a sunny day

2-  pushing my hand down deep into the chicken feed barrel

3-  emptying out Nan's button basket and sorting the buttons out into piles

4-  lying too close to the fire, curled up like a cat

5-  the smell of horse poo

6-  singing in the car on the way home

7-  painting PVA glue onto my palms and then peeling it off

8-  taking off my socks and throwing them at my dad

9-  sitting in my wardrobe with a torch and a book

10- trying on my mum's slips

22 Aug 2011

I got me a house to do up and a credit card burning a hole in my pocket

 Fighting the temptation to buy bits and bobs for a new house we still haven't moved into is hard. We've got plasterers and plumbers to pay before we can spend pennies on 'nice things'. And I have been good, mostly, but yesterday I found myself tapping my card details into the Urban Outfitters' payment page because, to hell with it, they were offering me a whole 12% off. Wow. But to be honest, I'd had my eye on these decorative items for months and the 12% just tipped me over the edge. I mean, £13.56 is £13.56, right? 
Deep down I'm a little worried that this rug will bugger up my eyes
Thanks to this map Edie will not be a clueless idiot like her mum when it comes to where places are. Who knew Denmark was there?

I spend a fortune on frames. But it's worth it for gems like this butterfly print!
 Now I just need some floors and walls to adorn. Tradesmen get your asses in gear or I'll have spent all your money on pretty things.

21 Aug 2011

A fine weekend

 I had a family wedding to attend on the weekend. It was a lovely happy day. The sun shone down on us and we ate and drank and talked and danced. We complained a little about how these events aren't quite the same once you have kids and you have to cut most of your conversations short to leg it after some wayward child but we still had a ball.

 Today we went to the park and splashed about in the pool and ate ice-cream. We visited our new house too and made plans to get a plasterer in next week to really get the work started. Finally! It's been a lovely couple of days. Hope you all had a good weekend too.

13 Aug 2011

Stretching my wings

 It's been nearly 6 weeks since I had surgery and I'm really feeling the need to get back to normality. It hasn't been a bad time, not at all, in fact lots of lovely things have happened, but now I'm itching to stretch my wings and get some freedom back. It's hard having to rely on others so much when you're used to doing your own thing but you just gotta roll with it and be present in the moment (that's the hard bit, not yearning to move on too quickly and aching for things to be different all the time). But right now I am yearning to move on, and that's ok because it's time to take a few cautious steps back to normality. 

 Back in January I made a list of things I'd like to achieve this year. Unfortunately, I flunked many of them within a matter of days when I hurt my back (learning to surf? Forget it! Marathon running? Ha ha!) and the other less physical goals were also casualties of my mishap (I couldn't even sit up to draw for quite some time so getting work together for an exhibition was impossible). 

  But my situation made one thing on my list easily achievable and this one thing really did enrich my life and became quite precious; I meditated each and every day throughout the months I was in pain and stuck indoors and I swear it helped me remain positive and sane. That period of my life gave me the time and the space to practice sitting still and clearing away the chatter inside my head. Good things coming out of bad, it's a cliche, but a true one. Now, life, normal happy, funny, sad, exciting, tiring life, is getting in the way once more and I'm afraid that in these last days and weeks I've found it hard to commit to that 20 minutes sat quietly with myself. I need to continue down that path, I need to find a way to keep that good thing in my life. 

 Do any of you meditate? Before this last couple of years I wouldn't have been remotely interested but people and circumstances change and hand on heart I can now say it honestly has huge benefits. I'd love to hear if any of you have found it makes your life lovelier. And how do you fit it into your lives?

10 Aug 2011

Making a house a home

from spreadthelove at etsy.com

Our new house was officially ours last Wednesday! We took a bottle of wine down with us after we'd put Edie to bed at my mum's and sat on the living room floor and talked exciting talk about the future. I kept saying 'I can't believe it's ours!' and it's true, I can't. It's slowly starting to feel real but until we move in I don't think I'll get my head around the fact that those four walls belong to me and my little family

 When does a new house feel like a home really and truly? 

 I need to get our pictures up on the walls, our books on the shelves, our shoes under the stairs. I need to fill that house with us-ness. But before that we have boilers to fit, walls to knock down and floorboards to sand. So first things first. We'll get there soon and our new house will become our new home. Excited!

 I've been making notes on how I'd like our new home to be. It's thrilling to have a completely blank canvas to work with, each and every room (and the garden) needs our loving attention. There are so many things to take into consideration. I've decided to start a Pinterest for inspiration. 

  I hope it'll help me get my thoughts and plans into some kind of order, isn't Pinterest great for that? It gives visual clarity to your vague ideas and helps you establish what your 'taste' or 'style' is. There is clearly a leaning towards a certain style with the images that I've chosen. 

 But again, first we have wallpaper to strip and boilers to fit. There's a long way to go yet. I so want to put my heart and soul into this little place.  

4 Aug 2011

I have some very talented friends you know...

My friend Emma who's an all round talented and super nice person has won Cardiff's Photomarathon with these beautiful pics. The colours are gorgeous aren't they?

1 Aug 2011

Time to dust off my purse, shopping is back on the agenda

 I've got a wedding and a Christening coming up and yesterday I hit the high street in search of something to wear. I used to love wandering around the shops, trying things on and putting outfits together but since I squeezed out our little lady, no, actually since as early as about 6 weeks pregnant, the joy of clothes shopping has seriously diminished. Shopping with a two year is hard- money is tighter than it was before and also, I'm physically different to what I was pre-baby. Even after 2 whole years plus 3 months my new body throws me. 

 In my head I'm still the Anna who could wear a strapless, sequined white floaty number, in reality I have strawberry juice on everything I own, my boobs need significant strappage in order to keep them tethered and for some reason 'comfy' has moved from number 5 on my requirement list to number-1-first-place. 

 But I still want to look hot, of course I do! Doesn't everyone? 

 So the search was on for the elusive outfit that would tick all the boxes and make me fall in love with the changing rooms all over again. I had my concerns that the trip would be frustratingly fruitless but I, get this, found something I loved in the first shop I looked in! 

 Now the picture above does not do it justice. It looks so much better on and it's really flattering (my plan is to really dress it up with huge gold jewelery and big hair and as it's a pretty casual wedding I think I can get away with it easily). I thought in the shop that the mirrors and lighting had been doctored to give a more pleasing (read false) impression and that when I got home my heart would sink as I caught sight of myself in the all too harsh reflection of the bathroom mirror but happily I looked almost as good! And it's comfy so that's the main thing. Sorted.

Now the downside of this little shopping success is that I'm raring to go spend again. And after browsing through the what's-coming-soon at Topshop.com I'm planning my next trip into town with lots of kick-ass outfits in mind. Check these out-
I always love A/W clothes more than S/S and these outfits make me drool. I've got my shopping mojo back! Hooray!