Thursday, 26 November 2009

Give to me the life I love

Here in Cornwall, it's been stormy, blustery and rainy for weeks now. The opportunities for little walks in the countryside have been few and far between

Last Friday, though, we had a dry bright day and I walked three miles to my "local" garden centre, stopping to pick berries and leaves along the way. I picked bittersweet and pyrocanthus berries as I was interested to see if they would give any dye at all. I will share the results with you soon

By the time I got home, it was nice to get the kettle on, the stove burning and a little bit of knitting on my needles. I love life's simple pleasures ...

Oak leaves and oak apples from my walk on Friday

... Or let autumn fall on me
Where afield I linger
Silencing the bird on tree
Biting the blue finger
White as meal the frosty field
Warm the fireside haven
Not to autumn will I yield
Not to winter even!

The Vagabond
Robert Louis Stevenson

Since Friday it's back to stormy, rainy and gloomy again so I decided to cheer myself up by sprinkling a little bit of Christmas around the house. I started with our bathroom which is decorated with white, cream and natural colours

... adding just a few little touches of Christmas ...

Cinnamon candle

Cosy corners

I like collections of seaside things - fish, fishing, boats, starfish and shells

I got the fishing card because my hubby likes to fish for mackeral and pollack in the summer. There is a little place he goes to just 15 minutes walk from our cottage

A fish fossil

Another fish - this is an original charcoal drawing that I bought in Padstow years ago

On another wall I have this "tasteful" print which I like

On the windowsill ... a polished agate inside a candle. I found the brown pebble on the beach, it had interesting textures and patterns

The crystal is Citrine which is thought to attract good fortune and abundance. Citrine is also believed to be a healing crystal encouraging self confidence, self belief, self esteem. It's emotional qualities are optimism, hope and warmth so it's a very nice crystal to have

Remember my story of removing the old cast iron bath ... well this is our new bath with the old taps and my other little display area. Hubby did all the work including the tiling

I put a St. Ives seagull feather in a frame

Pretty star

The bathroom is a very neutral, calming, peaceful place so long as I shut my eyes to one or two areas of unfinished refurbishment! We are getting there ... but renovations are shelved now until new year ... I just can't stand the mess at the moment so we are taking a break

Recently hubby made the door because we couldn't get one to fit. It needs to be painted yet, but the side of the door frame needs attention first because we had a touch of woodworm in just a small area but the whole frame had to come out bringing with it loads of rubble from inside the wall. Our cottage has cob walls (not much further on than "wattle and daub" but without the dung!)

I'm pretty easy going! I just let it all float over my head and concentrate on making the nice bits look pretty!

I'm on a tight budget this year and sticking to it! So I haven't bought any new decorations and I'm making most of my gifts and cards and, do you know what, I feel so much better for it! I'm enjoying a much simpler Christmas experience, taking more pleasure from picking holly, spraying twigs from the garden and making my own decorations. On that note, I thought these oak apples I found on my walk would look great painted gold, silver or white ...

So give to me the life I love ... a warm fireside haven

Thanks for reading my rambles. Oh, and in case you were wondering ... there is some RED coming soon! Have a happy day!

Carolyn ♥


A bird in the hand said...

I agree that simple pleasures are the best, comforting and tender.

Wipso said...

I just love reading your blogs. Your colour schemes are beautiful and so peaceful. Keep up the good work. A x

Kayla coo said...

I think natural and handmade decorations always look the best.
lovely collections.xx

Gina said...

Looking forward to the red but thoroughly enjoying the calm neutrals you've shared with us today.

Elizabeth said...

Simple is so much better and more intimate for all of us!! Creating gifts is one of my favorite passtimes and the rewards for all are amazing!! Love the bath tour!! What a lovely spot!! Well done both of you!!!!!

Pom Pom said...

I love the tree background!
Your cottage is charming in every way!
I can't wait to catch glimpses of your makings for Christmas.
I hope you can get outside and have a walk very soon. Brrrrrrr!

Julie said...

I really enjoyed this post Carolyn :o) Your bathroom looks very attractive and I love your diaplay areas. I love to burn cinnamon candles at Christmas too. xx I have a friend who has always brought forsythia sticks into the house at Christmas instead of a tree and she is able to enjoy the flowers as they open too.

meplusmolly said...

I am loving the oak apples, haven't seen any for a while. simple is good! ;0 x

Fenland Textile Studio said...

Thank you for sharing again. I have several Cornish, beach, fish pictures that I bought on our last trip to Lamorna Cove. Lots of precious memories. I also share the love of cinnamon candles. Angela

Hens Teeth said...

Hello C,
You have made your bathroom so pretty and naturally lovely.
It's worth all the hard work when it's done but boy, it can be hard going at times.

Penny said...

Your bathroom looks so warm and snuggly. I like all your little special things. We have little collections of "treasure" brought back from our rambles too. I think thats what makes the difference between a house and a home.

Jacky said...

How lovely to be able to get out in the crisp air and go for one of your nature walks your treasures you have picked up along the way.
I really enjoyed seeing your cottage and the renovations you and your husband are doing. Your bathroom does have a lovely, calm look to it.
I am making my own Christmas cards and tags this year too (have soooo many supplies...must use them!!!). I'm thinking of doing a linocut this weekend and beginning the process. I cant believe Christmas is so close...I LOVE this time of year. Sharing and surrounded by family and friends.

Sending Christmas Cheer,

Jacky xox

Tracy said...

As usual Carolyn, your post has bought back so many memories :) I love your bathroom, even the unfinished bits. After 11 years I'm still living with a frog green bath, it's the next room to be done of course - but when???. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your beautiful cottage transformed for christmas.

Dot said...

Ahhh....happy sigh Carolyn. I do love visiting your blog and always leave happy and refreshed.

Your cottage is decorated beautifully and I love how you have incorporated natural treasures from your travels.

I have a piece of citrine and love the qualities it has too (and it is so pretty!).

Your bathroom is gorgeous too.

Dot xx

bad penny said...

I just love your bathroom !

Aren't oak apples simply beautiful ? Like mini calabash !

I love all the natural bits & bobs you have dotted around - beautiful.

Thank you for popping over to my blogs I really appreciate it.

Fed up with the weather and I NEVER complain about the weather !!!

Have a good week end - we will be chicken wiring the gate as the hens were right down the road yesterday & a group of school boys helped me to round them up !
( it's not funny anymore ! )

jeanamarie said...

I do love your photos of plants, seeds, nature over words - such a lovely combination.

thanks for your feedback on my artist statement too, and as always for your lovely words :) I tried to imagine our house completely covered in all that pink, as you described your former cottage - oh my goodness! Just having our bathroom, laundry and the girls bedroom completely covered in it is reverberating (tiles and ceilings too)! The rest of our house is in a shade of blueish green (ceilings and carpet too)!

Ok - I must have a lot to say about the paint in our house - just waiting to come out one day!

Thank you for such a lovely post. I feel inspired to do a little christmas decorating myself :)

Twiglet said...

I agree with Wipso - those pictures have a wonderful calming effect on me! said...

I like your tree background! Your cottage looks beautiful and I love the bathroom too. Ahhh, we all have those unfinshed bits, I know I do - lots! suzie. xxx

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Carolyn, I've really enjoyed reading this post and like the fish theme too, especially the lovely charcoal drawing.

I have a citrine pendant and earrings, so was very interested to read about the crystal's 'properties'.

Making your own gifts and cards? They'll be wonderful! x

Chrissie said...

bathroom looks so sybaritic and relaxing! and what a clever hubby to make the door - we stayed in a cottage last weekend with a ledge-and-brace door and there was a big gap in it, so you could wave to people on the landing while you bathed ...!


Thanks for all your thoughtful comments

Thank you Chris for the new word "sybaritic". I had to look up it's meaning!

Our bathroom is a calm place but I wouldn't say it was excessively luxurious - more neat and tidy with "touches" that have been collected over the years, and nothing new recently said...

Try the pattern again now, I think it will be ok now, if not give me your email and I will send it to you! suzie. xxx

Cathy said...

Love the peek at your lovely home and gorgeous objects Carolyn. You have decorated it beautifully.

Oak apples fascinate me. It is amazing to think there is a tiny gall wasp inside.


Yes, Cathy, fortunately the insects had left each of the oak apples and a "useful" hole was left

I didn't realise what they were until I had a hatching inside one of my "keeper boxes" one time. Yuk! I'm really not keen on insects!

Aileen Clarke Crafts said...

Sigh..........your bathroom is so beautiful Carolyn, and all your little bits and pieces make it wonderfully interesting. I despair over ours. It should be gorgeous because it's big and unusual with it's attic like ceiling but it's dark and foostie and in desperate need of redecorating. Oh well, one can only do so much at a time. At least our new studio is finished. Thanks for your good wishes : )

Jackie said...

I love the idea of painting th eoakapples. I haven't seen many this year. Last year I went a bit mad and bought too many baubles so I have to keep my hands in my pockets this year.

Sheila Roussel said...

Really like the way you have Christmasised your bathroom, you have lovely ideas!


Guzzisue said...

wet and windy up here today so taking a leaf from your book and wandering up to the local garden centre for present ideas. I hope Monster is behaving and not teaching Custard too many bad habits!!

Pomona said...

You have some lovely things there - I love red, but I also think all those natural colours look beautiful.

Pomona x

libbyquilter said...

Carolyn, i think your cottage is just as romantic as i imagined it would be~!!~ love the framed feather and all of your other touches of nature within your decorating~!!~
i like to do this in my home too but i think you are better at it than i am~!~


Jasmine said...

I've been making all my own presents too. People often don't want or use the gifts they are bought so why spend the money when we should be watching the pennies. In reality I am spending a lot on arts/crafts materials but every penny is worth it as I am loving the process of creativity.