Friday, 22 May 2015

Five On Friday

Hey, look at me, three posts in three days!  What is happening.  Spooky huh!!  I feel as though it should be Three on Wednesday or something, but that wouldn't work and in any case, it is Five On Friday!!!

Today my Five things are Five great "home/style" books that I have.  I love love love books.  They are one of my favourite things, and I really like books that I can just look at and enjoy the pictures or get ideas from if that is what I am looking for.

Although I have never straight out copied anything from any of these books - although I don't imagine that anyone does that - they have given inspiration in different ways.  Colours that go together - or don't - how to group collections of objects and different ways to display things.  The books themselves are also lovely to use to decorate with.  What looks nicer than a pile of inviting books sitting on a coffee table just waiting to be browsed.

I have to confess that I have more than Five such books, but these are Five that I chose to share with you today.  You can see just a small selection of our "home" books below.

1.  First up is Country Style by Judith and Martin Miller.  I thought that this book would be all country cottages and perhaps a bit twee.  It isn't like that at all though.

Each chapter is about a different sort of "country style" from different countries.  One of my favourites is the Scandinavian chapter.  The details that are shown are so enchanting.  I mean, can you imagine just latching your home up when you go out with a stick!

There is wonderful furniture as well.  The piece above is from the Scandinavian chapter and the room below is from the American chapter.  It is the quilt in this picture that really appeals to me.

2.  The next book is another by Judith Miller, Wooden Houses.

This really enchants me more than I can say.  I mean, look at this wonderful Scandinavian building!!  This is what every girl reading Heidi dreams of - different country I realise!!!

Can you imagine living somewhere where the interior was painted like this!  How wonderful would that be.  Of course I am not sure that I would want to do the painting!!!

There are many different sorts of homes in this book, some that are far more pared down such as this one below.  This is the sort of house that really appeals to me as somewhere to live.  The chair, white walls, eye level windows...  All of it is beautiful to my eyes.

If you like any sort of wooden home, from log cabins to beach huts, this book would appeal to you.

3.  I think that How to Decorate by Martha Stewart is probably my oldest home decorating book.

Although I have never decorated anything in the style of this book it has been an inspiration in terms of how to arrange collections of objects, colours that might go together and so on.

This mid century look (below) is one of the looks that really appeals to me.  Although I am not sure that I would want a whole wall of mirrors!!

There are chapters on many different things including one on work spaces.  You can see that the computer screen in the picture below really dates this book, but this desk would still work really well now wouldn't it.  Good job that Martha cannot see my desk right now, it never looks like this.

4.  Living in Cuba by Simon McBride and Alexandra Black is actually more of a holiday souvenir than anything else.  We went to Cuba some years ago and one of the very few things that we bought was this book.  In fact I think this is the only thing that we bought ourselves.

The homes pictured in the book are quite often as you would expect, painted in bright colours, looking very shabby with peeling paint and old American cars outside.  However, many of them are very different.  As you can see in the photo below.

This scene looking outside is also not necessarily what would expect to see in Cuba.

It really does go to show that you should not judge a book by its cover, or a country by its stereotypes!!

5.  I have saved the best for last in this selection.  My favourite of these five books is Modern by Alan Powers.  We bought this when visiting a National Trust property a few years ago, again as a souvenir.  It contains plans and details of many "modern" homes and buildings.

These are not necessarily to everyone's taste I realise, but they are to mine and these sort of homes really set my mind racing with ideas.

Many of the buildings in this book are much older than you might think, dating from early in the last century, but they still look so modern and fresh.  The uncluttered lines and pared down ornamentation really appeal to me as somewhere to live.

So that is my Five for today!  It was lovely to spend some time looking through my books to choose five to share with you and it reminded me that we really should take time to enjoy and browse through the beautiful books that we have.  Time for a new pile on the coffee table I think!

I hope that everyone in the UK has a great Bank Holiday Weekend!  Enjoy the extra day off on Monday and I hope you get to do something fun!!



Thank you - as always! - for joining in last week, especially as I didn't post.  I look forward to reading your posts again this week! 

If you want to grab a Five On Friday Button or get more information about how to join in the All About Five On Friday page will tell you all that you need to know.

A little reminder in case you haven't stopped by Five On Friday recently.  The Five On Friday "opening hours" have changed and are now from 6 am on Friday until 7 pm on Saturday.  Also I will be asking everyone to either include a link or the button to my Five On Friday post within their own post, or to make reference within their post to the button if it is in their sidebar.  This is to be fair to everyone.

If you want to check out anything else about Five On Friday see the All About Five On Friday page - top right of my sidebar.

To visit other bloggers taking part, just click on the links at the end of the post.  Please do go and visit their lovely posts!


Thursday, 21 May 2015

A Good Read of the A to Z of ME!

The lovely Lisa from Into the Glade recently nominated me to write about the A to Z of myself.  You can read Lisa's great post here to learn more about her.

This seemed like a good way to  return to blogging again (if I can think of 26 things to say of course!), so here we go, with 26 archive flower photos included to add some joy...

A is for Amy - me!  As I get older I find out more about myself and often surprise myself.  I think that is a good thing...

B is for Baking - something I wish that I did more of.  I must get better at baking for hubby instead of buying cakes.  I did make some delicious cornbread muffins recently with the addition of Dolcelatte Picante cheese and sage as well as some lemon pepper.  They were scrummy!!

C is for Colour - I am developing a greater love for colour and enjoying it a lot.  We have done beige - probably overdone in fact.  I do like neutrals as a background though, because then I can add any colour I like as an accent.  Of course green is the best backdrop in the garden.  Of course C is also for Crochet!  Just in case you were worrying that I had forgotten it!

D is for Dreaming - dreaming of how the garden might someday look.  Hubby has been doing more work.  One day it will be perfect.  Then we will probably move house!

E is for Embroidery - this was the first craft that I really did in an "adult" way.  I have been making tapestries for decades now and I still enjoy it.  Just as well as I have six different embroideries of different sorts in waiting!  Plus the one that I am working on right now.  This could be the year of embroidery.

F is for Fun, Family, Flowers and Friends - need I say more!

G is for Growing and Gratitude - growing the garden and myself, just growing and being so grateful and growing in gratitude every day as well.

H is for Home - my very best place of all.  But you knew that already didn't you.  The name of the blog told you that!!

I is for individual - I am learning that I am myself and I am an individual.  I can do and think as I wish, I don't have to be told what to do and I don't have to do things - or not do them - just because someone else tells me that I do - or don't!

J is for Journey - life is a journey that we are all on and it is good to take stock and look back.  Can you tell that as I write this I am in a reflective mood...

K is for Kitchen - my dream kitchen with a great big island in the middle, a table to sit and eat at and a sofa to curl up on.  With an AGA keeping everything warm and a cup of tea and a slice of cake!  One day perhaps.  In my dreams!!

L is for Love - the greatest thing of all.  There is nothing else you can say is there.

M is for Mantel - I am behind with my mantel decorating, post to come soon!  There are cherries hanging up.  I love having a mantel to decorate, never having had one in a previous house.  It was one of the things that I most wanted and the item that I first chose for this house when we renovated.  As soon as I saw it I knew it was the one I wanted.  I must tell you more in a proper post someday!

N is for notes and notebooks - I think that my planning posts mean that you know already that I love a notebook with a list or a plan.  Of course I love notebooks because they are so pretty too.  I never could resist nice stationery.

O is for Opal - an unusual choice perhaps for the A to Z of me, but one of my most favourite gemstones.  Not my birthstone which I am not that keen on.  Opals though are so beautiful, especially the wonderful blue ones that you sometimes see from amazing mines such as Coober Pedy in Australia.

P is for Politics - not something that I mention here really, and I don't intend to start now.  It is however a huge fascination for me and is a big part of my life.

Q is for Questions - I always say that the only stupid question you can ask is the one that you don't ask.  I truly believe that and live by it myself.  Always questions, learning, finding things out, questioning others, questioning myself.  Without questions you lose a big opportunity to learn.

R is for Reading - my massive pile of books.  It currently stands at a vast number and I am getting behind on my first six choices for this year.  Must read more!!  I love to read though and learned to read as a very young child and was always found with my nose in a book.  To the disgust of some.  To the delight of me!

S is for Strength - the strength to keep on keeping on.  I am not a quitter.  Sometimes to my detriment.  I don't always recognise when to give up.  However, I see that as a strength and as my strength.  My greatest.  Keep on.

T is for Tour - we have started working on some new tours for the winter at Basildon Park, I have a lot to learn about art and paintings and architecture!  So far I am pretty much terrified.  I seem to know the least of anyone, they all "claim" to know an awful lot.  I suspect that they really do know a lot, a lot more than me at any rate.  I have trouble remembering the names of the different artists.  Definitely a big learning and questioning opportunity!

U is for Upside - always trying to find the upside of any situation.  There have been negatives, but I still keep looking for and finding the positives.  Stronger family ties, finding care of others in unexpected places.  I keep looking for the upside and just keep on finding it.

V is for Vacation - I still have tales and pictures to share from our last one and plans to enjoy making for the next.  I love travel!

W is for WIP - my Work In Progress list just gets longer all the time.  I love it though!!

X is for Xclamation - cheating I know on the spelling, but you know that I am a great exclaimer in my writing!!!!!  The case of the runaway punctuation.  Or the excitement and exuberance of positivity and joy.  Depending on your point of view...

Y is for Yay!! - One of my favourite celebratory words.  It goes so well with an exclamation too!!

Z is for Zips - a fear that I am determined to overcome one day.  I am not scared of using zips, just the sewing of them into things!  I must learn to conquer this!!!

There you have it, from Amy to Zips, that is me!!!  Who knew!!

Now, I am supposed to nominate others, but you know that I don't do that because I am so rubbish at it and it sets me all on edge.  So instead, I invite you to share your own A to Z of yourself!  You might surprise yourself when you start writing and I would love to know what you come up with for X and Z!!

I was also very kindly nominated by the lovely Sara of Sara's Crafts as one of her "good read" blogs.  Thank you so much Sara.  Then, catching up on my blog reading I discovered that the equally lovely Irene from Life By The Sea had also nominated me for the same "good read"  It is good to know that you both enjoy reading my blog!  Thank you both for nominating me.  Very much appreciated! 

Although I don't normally nominate people, I have two suggestions of "reading" blogs for you to visit, Mike from A Bit About Britain and Linda from Senior Adventures.  Both are good reads and are places that you might not have visited before!  I also have two suggestions for "watching" blogs for you to visit - I was nominated twice, so I am forwarding this twice!  The first is Sandra's Cherry Heart Podcast, you can find the latest edition here.  I love watching and listening to these.  The second is Jane's Plain Jane Allotment Vlog's, you can find the latest edition here.  I love seeing what is happening in Jane's allotment.

Thank you Lisa and Sara and Irene for the nominations and for giving me something to talk about again in blogland!  Greatly appreciated, all three of you lovely ladies!!