Wednesday 27 March 2013

Dresses From the Sea

There's been much discussion about clothes on some of my favourite blogs lately (Little Green Shed, Little Birdie) well more about how hard it is to find what you'd really like to wear when you're a mum, who perhaps works, is busy, who has a life, and still wants to look okish...

We were going to a party recently - first one in ages - and I got in a complete tizz about what to wear on a Friday night out in a city. I can't tell you how stressed I was. Traumatised.

I spent a joyless and fruitless couple of hours in the city centre trailing in and out of shops getting so totally dispirited. I couldn't even find earrings I liked!

So now I have totally forsaken the high street. These three dresses are my favourite buys from the past few months and, apart from some £6 jeans in a sale in town and some lovely birthday and Christmas gifts, I've bought nothing else since the autumn.
They're all from Seasalt in Cornwall who for me hit just the right mix of style, quality and value (no more expensive than M&S). The dress below I've worn endlessly and had such lovely comments. Their Artists and Potters range is extremely beautiful and I have a huge wish list of Breton tops, wide legged trousers and striped socks filed away!

Last year I bought my summer sandals from them and they were the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. My Sesalt winter mac has kept me warm and snug throughout this viscious winter of ours.

I love the cut and drape of Seasalt clothes and, at the risk of sounding like an advert which this post absolutely is not, finding somewhere you know the clothes will suit you is complete nirvana.
So I've learnt my lesson and along with a couple of other favourites I live too far away from (Fat Face and occasionally White Stuff), I shall carry on shopping by the

Saturday 23 March 2013

Scenes from a Snowbound Home

Over the past few months we've become very well practised in snowy Saturdays here at No. 25.
Firstly there is usually a slow start, especially when the horizontal blizzard is still giving everything it's got outside.
Books, colouring, hot toast, long baths and the inevitable computer games fill most of the morning.
And then when the wind drops a little its a mad rush to pull on waterproofs and get out into it.
Time then to cosy in again, fill the radiators with wet socks and snuggle up with hot chocolate.
The kitchen table is working overtime at the moment. Half office/half craft table.
I'm not sure this winter is ever going to end. Perma-winter; stuck forever in the land of the Snow Queen. In the village up the hill from us the snow drifts are seven foot deep!
Looking forward to a long, snug afternoon of gardening books to lift my soul. Stay cosy!

Monday 18 March 2013

Time for Flowers

They say winter this year will last until well past Easter. I'm holding onto the fact that compared to recent years at least the weather is doing what its supposed to by the seasons - for now.

Spring doesn't properly start until next week anyway so I'm gritting my teeth against the frost and cold.
And flowers are really helping. Woody saw these hyacinths wrapped up in brown paper at a little village florist last week and thought I'd like them.
They're perfect, not too blowsy or heady and such a pretty mix. Spring in a jug.
Outside too, things are beginning to bloom
Every year I turn to primulas for a shot of colour for the pots and planters on my patio. This year they're mainly crimsons. orangey-reds and  ruby shades. I've popped some bellis daises into old terracota pots to keep them company.
Love this rich shade to perk up dreary, chilly mornings.


Waiting for spring is at least a little more colourful now. xx

Saturday 16 March 2013

Parish Notice

Hello everyone, do hope you're having a smashing weekend.

I've decided to change things a little here as you can tell. Last time I tried this some people couldn't find things and I also had some complaints too.

Hope this spring clean doesn't cause problems for followers but I decided to go ahead and change my style because, well frankly I need it.  I'm feeling tired and in need of inspiration while this cold, dreary winter continues to drag on.

Curlew Country is six years old this summer and I and what I blog about has evolved over time. An update and a refresh is long overdue I think.

I'm not a designer so it's just a template change really but it feels more me, for the me I am now. You can also choose for yourself which format you'd like to read my blog in by choosing from the drop down menus on the left of the header bar. I've published in Magazine style but really, the choice is yours.

I'll make some other changes like removing the word verification irritant on comments which I know is a pain. Please let me know if you have any troubles but most of all, thanks for keeping visiting. It means a huge amount and I'm very grateful xxx

Friday 8 March 2013

An Executive Decision

As much as I love interiors, faffing about with paint charts, re-arranging furniture and bits and pieces, I am an absolutely, humongous procrastinator when it comes to making actual decorating decisions.

Ideas on colour, pattern and form consume me for ages. Like months - years even.
We've lived in this house for five years and 90% of our walls are the same colour they were when we moved in, perhaps re-coated, but essentially the same.

The practical side of decorating is down to me in this house - unless the boys bedrooms are the project of the moment, then Woody swings into action and progress is remarkably rapid. When it comes to communal areas of our home however, I must do it myself and it has always been thus.
In our dozen years together I have repainted 3 sets of kitchen units and tiles (some twice), 3 bathrooms (+ tiles again) and redecorated at least 8 bedrooms. I finally put my foot down a few months ago and insisted on a brand new, not make-do-and mend, bathroom project. I say project, we just had a new suite fitted for £500 and spent £300 on our first ever set of new tiles.

I was enormously impressed.Woody is still reeling - he thinks everything decor-wise costs less than £100.

Now I'm working full time though and we're back on a more even financial keel (for the time being), the possibility to tackle some decorating is back on the agenda. The awful, awful kitchen I make do with is on the horizon for a bargain Ikea refit later in the year, thank heavens.
In the meantime I want to spruce up the sitting room and a feature wall (the chimney breast) has been on my mind. It struck me as relatively thrifty to focus on a single wall and I can use up our stock of play safe, neutral paint for the others.
 (A flea market painting to add to my little collection of watercolours and it might hang on the chimney breast)

But what paper to choose?

Most "feature" wallpapers make my teeth ache if I'm honest. Screamingly loud florals, Gothic prints or graphic designs that I know will not let my eyes relax in the evening.
And then at my hairdresser's last month I noticed the salon door covered in "the paper". Following a little investigation I learnt it was a William Morris design - Marigold in Artichoke. I am saved.

This sample has been tacked to the wall for a few nights and is perfect. I think its just beautiful and is just the right balance of texture, colour and print for this room.

Thanks to the rather lovely Avenue Interiors in town, two pricey but pretty rolls are on their way to bring a focus to our front room. I even think our existing curtains can probably stay too, so all in all quite a find.

I'm *almost* looking forward to the decorating bit now!