Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X

Tiny House Love.

I have recently become fixated on the idea of building a tiny house.  Maybe it has something to do with my love of Polly Pocket as a child?  I just love the thought of a teeny tiny little house with everything in it’s place.  It also seems like a very cool/accessible way to have a vacation home or caravan that isn’t a gross trailer, but isn’t a full blown house either.  The key for me is really nice finishes.  Finishing both interior and exterior to as high a spec as possible make up for the lack of extra space.    There’s a lot of different ways to go about it, from renovating an old caravan, to actually building a fixed house on a foundation.  I think it would be cool to use lots of recycled and vintage elements as well.

I love the idea of having one that can be moved for glamping in different parts of Ireland (and even the rest of Europe!)   I’m not much of a camper, but I think I’d love it if I got to bring my own tiny house along!  You can follow my pinterest board for more tiny house inspiration as I go along.  Here’s a selection:

 

 

Mantel Art

We’ve been living with a largely empty mantel for the past few months, and while we save up for some other art we have in mind for the space, I decided to go ahead and do something to fill the space (and the frame!) for now.   Inspired by Agnes Martin, I decided to make a simple stripe painting, using one of my favorite colors, coral.  It just so happened that I had a large piece of 400lb watercolor paper that was the exact size of the frame that I wanted to fill, so I didn’t even have to make a trip to the art store.  I contemplated a few different layouts for the painting, but decided to allow 10 inches of white space on the top and bottom, and then split the difference evenly between six 2″ coral stripes, and one 2 1/2″ stripe in the middle.  I used tape for the white stripes in between.

To keep it real, here’s what the backyard was looking like at that very moment.  Cloth diapers drying, and dried up ranunculus pots.  You can also see the tops of the new bentwood chairs I got for the kitchen table!  (I’ll do a post on those soon.  I bought six and they all need a little bit of revitalization.)

Back to the painting!  I mixed a large quantity of my gouache first, then completely wet the first stripe with plain water.  I sort of decided what to do as I went with this one, as I wasn’t sure if I wanted it to look very even, or have a little bit of texture.  Ultimately, I went for texture, and used a lot more water for the top and bottom, allowing the paint to stay much thicker for the middle stripes.

I took the tape off right away (the paper I was using is pretty sensitive to tape, and will rip easily so it’s better to just take it off as soon as possible).  I’m really happy with the result.  It reminds me of my art hero, Agnes Martin every time I look at it.

Taking pictures of the front room makes me realise where we still need to put in some work. Something needs to be done about our TV stand ( so many wires!) and I think I’d like to add shelves above in that empty space to even out the shelves on the right.  

South African Holiday!

As we are preparing for our trip to South Africa next month, I’m getting more and more excited.  We’re booking accommodation and safari, and it’s starting to get real.

Daniel and I love to use Airbnb when we travel. We started doing it on our first trip together to France, and haven’t looked back! It’s a really great way to stay in nice places, usually for much less than a hotel rate.  Some cities have been better than others for Airbnb, but so far, South Africa as a whole has had some really amazing options! Here’s where we’ve booked so far:

This house fits 10 and we have a full house for our time in Johannesburg.  I can’t wait to be sitting by that pool!  It looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside as well.

 

We’re staying at this loft apartment in Cape Town for the first few days, which looks pretty nice as well. (except for maybe those dog pillows?)   I think that the serviced apartment is often the way to go if you’re going to do Airbnb, especially if you get a bit freaked out about being in someone stranger’s actual living space. Which is understandable.  (Although sometimes that means you get to play wii until all hours of the morning like we did in Norway!!  nerds.)  This place has a pretty nice looking pool area as well.

 

We’re going to stay someplace a bit nicer for the last two days of our trip, although we haven’t decided where yet.  This would be an amazing option!! (Although they’ve since booked up for the time we’ll be there, and we may go hotel for this bit)

 

Finally, we’ve booked our safari!  We’re going to Madikwe Game Reserve, just on the border with Botswana.  We’ll be staying in the River Lodge, which looks like a tree house!  I can’t wait to eat in a circle around the campfire.  And once again, that pool will be nice for me or Daniel to lounge by with Gemma when the other’s are out on a game drive.

 

There’s so much more to think about and plan, but I’m really starting to get into the swing of things here!

 

 

Bash Wedding Prep

I had the pleasure of attending the latest Bash Wedding Prep Event at Annesbrook House in County Meath earlier this week.  Along with a lovely group of ladies, I learned how to make a flower crown, create my own wedding decor, and basked in the glow of the Irish sun for the whole miraculous day.  The event was filmed for RTE’s At Your Service, which will be coming out in January.  The house itself is located out in the country down a long driveway.  It is gorgeous, and is in the process of renovations to become a fab wedding venue.  Inside, it was decorated for the day with lots of pretty little vases of flowers and candles, and with the wood burning stove going, it was a very cozy atmosphere.

 

 

What an amazing ceiling!! And I can definitely picture having an intimate get together in this rather shabby chic dining room. Here we are below, all learning to make flower crowns, and me with my finished product! 

My favorite part of the day was being fed from this adorable little food truck by Vantastic Vintage.  They are available for hire for event catering and weddings.  We were served lovely light fare, and I would definitely recommend them! This wedding prep event was great for getting the creative juices flowing, and the ladies at Bash are so lovely and full of great ideas!  Thanks to Kate, Jennifer, Roisin, and Elizabeth for a great day.   If you’re getting married, definitely check out Bash Magazine as a great resource for all things wedding, especially in Ireland!

 

(Lead image courtesy of Bash Magazine)

Gift Wrap DIY

 

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the garden the last few weeks. (if you follow me on instagram, you’ve seen lots of action shots!)   It has been so fun getting the plot ready, reading up on all the different vegetables, planting, and even weeding!  It doesn’t hurt that we’ve got a nice little seating area out there for lounging after the hard work is over.  This is a little DIY inspired by the fun of gardening that would be perfect for the gardener in your life.  (We all have one, right?! If not, it should be you!)

Wrapping gifts is, for me, one of the small joys in life, and I am a firm believe that a good wrapping job can bring any gift to the next level. For this project,  I went to the garden store and got a few of the necessities for gardening (beautiful potted flower, trowel, and gloves) and just used items I already had to pretty things up a little.

Starting with a potato and the fruit and vegetable carving kit that has been gifted to me by Daniel’s granny, I came up with a pattern inspired by the dahlia that I included in the gift bag. Since I had another half of potato to deal with, I decided to make two patterns, the second being a simple diamond-y design.  If you don’t happen to have a ton of little fruit carving knives on hand, you could always use a paring knife.

 

I then took  a paint sample I had from painting the kitchen, and used it for my potato stamp design.  I let it dry on that side, and repeated on the other side.  From that point, the hard part is over! All that needs to be done then is to wrap the base of the flower pot with some brown wrapping paper and wrap it up with twine.  Finally, I wrapped the gloves in a little white parcel with twine so there was at least one thing to unwrap.  Voila!

And the final product all tied together with one last piece of twine:

 

Super simple and fun to do.  Go forth and wrap something!

 

 

Beach Times.

 

 

As always, J.Crew has  a lot of great swimwear out for the summer.  One thing that I’m particularly into is the idea of a sun shirt/rashguard to have for on top of a bikini.  I am a total wimp and even when we were on honeymoon in Italy would wrap myself up like a burrito in my towel whenever the wind got above a whisper.  It also seems great for slightly colder water (like in Ireland) or if you are enjoying the sun but want to protect your shoulders a bit more.  I am not a surfer by any stretch of the imagination, so definitely don’t need it as a rash guard!  I wouldn’t be a tankini person at all, but I like the idea of having a bathing suit shirt to keep on hand. Right now, J.Crew is giving an extra 25% off for memorial day so it’s  a good time to have a look!

Where I’ve Been

I decided it might be fun to do a little post for Gemma!  She’s my little angel baby, and I spend all my time with her, so of course she deserves her own post.  She’s also the reason why I post less than I used to, but all in the name of motherhood, right?!  (I think I can only blame it on her for so long, so I’m just taking advantage while I still can :)

They grow up so fast! *tear*

Here’s my first effort at a portrait in quite a long time!  Probably not the best likeness of Gemma, but hey, at least it looks like a human baby!