Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Spring has Sprung

Hello,are you well and looking forward to Spring?

We are and we have  had a busy few weekends here at Shingle Cottage,There are still jobs and decorating to be done inside but with the sun shining down we couldn't help but be out in the fresh air.

Outside our kitchen window is our cottage garden filled with perennials,hydrangea,roses and lavender,there is even a pear and apple tree tucked in amongst the flower borders,we tackled this all gravel patch a few years ago and have had a lot of enjoyment from it ever since.

Outside the kitchen door is not so great and a lot of work was to be done so i thought you might like to see the before and then  we can show you how it is coming along as the year goes by.

Steve is building a new door step in the next few weeks and the old path below is to be covered in pea gravel,what you can see as a doorstep is the remains of an old,well i'm not really sure what it was? but we kept a few paving flags so we can get in and out.

I started digging up old bricks and Steve was ready to build a table base with his pile of new bricks for a stone table top and Beatrix? hmmm well you can see her in the top left hand corner mooching about..

There's Steve digging away and we tried the stone table top on his trestles to see if we liked it or not,We get the sun shining here up until very late in the evening in Summer and with it being outside the kitchen door we thought it would make a lovely little spot amongst the flowers to have dinner and lounge with a drink or two..

After the bricks were removed i planted a  pyracantha against the wall which will get covered in juicy berries for the birds come Winter and Steve laid a concrete base for the table to sit on..

Later in the back garden Steve started to build his obelisks for the roses and sweet peas to climb around,The back garden is all gravel too and needs a lot of work,the fence at the back was put up last year and we planted laurels against it so we will have an evergreen wall in time to come,everything takes time and we are ok with that,we enjoy watching things grow and taking shape,we don't want to be in such a rush to get to the end that we miss the journey we are on.

This is a grim picture but it is real life :) four fruit trees in a row,Stella cherry,Braeburn apple,Victoria plum and conference pear were planted,I will be weeding this border this weekend,it is full of daffodils,bluebells and i am going to add snowdrops too which i think will look pretty in Spring under the orchard.

The fountain waits to find a home but that won't be until the scaffolding has been taken down,lots of building work and new windows to be put in by me and Steve come the  Summer,no builders,joiners or workmen here just a couple and a little dog :) .

I think dad planted this cherry tree the right way up but i best just check ;) ...I can not begin to tell you how much we love Beatrix she is always there with us what ever we are up to and is so much fun.

Concrete was mixed and lashings of white paint was brushed on to new wood,the sun shone and here and there a few clouds  passed by.

 The table base was built and left to dry.

A  large obelisk was built and painted outside the kitchen door,it is hard to see but planted below is a David Austin climbing rose called 'Falsaff' with rich deep burgundy velvet flowers that smell like heaven,it will in time ramble up and fill the obelisk,Sweetpeas have been ordered from Sarah Raven and are to be planted in the trough once it is filled with new soil and farmyard manure...things are starting to take shape.

The cottage garden is starting to grow and it has been weeded and mulched to give it a good start..There she is little Beatrix ;)

A smaller obelisk in the corner getting a lick of paint,it has a rose planted below that is starting to grow that will climb up and hang blousy blooms through come Summer.

We even had music while we worked from a lovely little robin red breast.

Green things are starting to grow and blooms are opening...ahhh although we are not fully there it sure feels like Spring.

Tea breaks and cake were enjoyed in between all the work outside in the garden..

We watched the traffic pass by the end of the Avenue....

While little planes hummed high above....

As the days wore on plumes of smoke could be seen coming from the chimney while inside the fire roared and hand cream was rubbed in to tired and scraped hands.

The  ducks were on the cliff top at dusk gazing at the sea,such a romantic pair,i wonder if they will nest in our garden again?...

As night fell and the curtains were drawn i dreamt of roses and  sweet peas smiling at me through the kitchen door...

Stars were twinkling and the moon shone on Shingle Cottage as we snuggled up by the fire chatting about what we were going to be getting up to next weekend.

Thank you for stopping by and will you join us next time? for more tales and goings on from our place and yours Shingle Cottage..


Monday, 10 February 2014

Little Cottage Hallway

hello again :)

Are you well? Did you have a lovely weekend?

I had a wonderful weekend with Steve and we have been plotting what we are going to be getting up to next here at Shingle Cottage ...... We have ordered four fruit tree's,A braeburn Apple,Victoria Plum, A Stella Cherry and a conference pear,We already have two apple trees and a pear so i guess we are going to have mini fruit orchard.

I am dreaming  in a few years time that i will be baking apple pie,cherry pie,making chutney and apple sauce..Well this is one dream i know will come true,the thing i find with dreams is you just have give them a push and start them,We shall plant the trees and then get on with finishing  Shingle Cottage and in a few years when everything is where it is supposed to be the trees will be fruiting and the dream will be here.

It has been very cold lately although we have had some wonderful sunny days and yesterday we sat in the kitchen with boiled eggs and soldiers as we chatted away looking out of the window at the garden.

We have wanted to get out and potter in the garden but everything is sleeping..that is apart from the delphiniums and lupins,there are tiny leaves begin to push through the earth,I can't wait for our cottage garden to feel the sunshine and warmer days ahead and then they will arise from the earth as if on command straight as arrows and burst into colour.

Oh yes i remember the colour and the bees and butterflies....Ahhh Spring is on it's way! snowdrops and daffodils are peeping through in the cottage garden,It won't be long now.

On a few really cold mornings last week i hurried out of bed carrying Beatrix straight into the front room and piled up the kindle and lit the open fire,i then wrapped her in a feather duvet on the sofa and popped the kettle on.

I made a cup of tea and a hot water bottle,the hot water bottle i placed under the duvet so Beatrix had under duvet heating.

You can see below how this looked ;)

After half an hour had passed she would slide out but still keep her tummy close to the heat,it seems i have started a new tradition as she sits here every morning now waiting for her hot water bottle,not that i mind at all but it is funny none the less. 

Talking of the kitchen,Do you remember a few posts ago i said i would show you the hallway and the little space between the front room and kitchen door where a bunch of flowers you can just see at the bottom of this picture below on the right sits?

Well just above the flowers you can see a blue green line which is the edge of a mirror....

This blue green mirror!

So this is my tiny end of the hall of of three foot steps from front room to kitchen :) 

The brass ships oil lamp is Steve's and it tilts and turns so its always straight while on the sea,i haven't seen it tilt since he hung it which i think is a good thing ;)

I wanted something under the mirror as it looked so bare to me but not much would fit,i went up to the attic and hunted around and found an old dark wood Victorian plant stand that fit perfectly and gave it a coat of white paint,i added a tin bird house that i painted white and pale pink and up in the top cupboard i found a dark grey pot rabbit and i painted her pale pink too!

The bunny sits on the floor underneath the legs and the bird house just fit on the rungs in the middle,things were looking much better.

A green enamel jug and some faux flowers for colour and 'bringing the outside in' sits on top!

I love greens and pinks and it ties in with the colours i used at the other end of the hall which you can see in the reflection above and here below..

In between the two mirrors i squeezed a settle bench and dressed it in green and pink floral cushions...Steve hung a sign we had painted a few years ago above the front room door.

   'Friends And Family Gather Here'.....Perfect i think.....Makes me smile when i come through from the kitchen with a tray of hot tea and biscuits...

The view through the door you haven't seen yet have you? i shall have to share this with you soon i think ;)

I love how Steve's oil lamp reflects twice with it being so close to the mirror and seeing floral wallpaper twice is always a good thing too!

So that's our little hall and all the little bits and bobs that we brought with us when we moved to our Shingle Cottage that have now found somewhere to live just like us.

I did like our hallway before and there is a lot to be said for space....

But i love cottage cozy :)

I intend to fill Shingle Cottage with pretty bits and pieces all my days long!

Will you join me next time for more tales and goings on from Shingle Cottage?


Monday, 6 January 2014

Florals And Fabrics

Hello,Are you well?......Enjoying all the promise of a New Year?
I know i am looking forward to so much this Year and after all life is what we make it isn't it?
Before i start this post i would like to wish you A Very Happy New Year!

I had a wonderful time with Steve wrapped up in our bubble of roaring fires,chocolates and movies and sleeps if we felt like it too over Christmas,so relaxing and so nice to spend lots of time together.
We had old friends come to stay with us too just after Christmas but before New Year ;) which was lovely and so much fun!

Well today the Christmas tree and all its bits and pieces are packed safely away and  Shingle Cottage  has had a Spring clean and plans are being made for the coming year....Oh and thank you for all your super nice comments on my last post,you girl's are the sweetest x

I thought you might like to see the room now the trimmings are down and before i start a few projects i have been planning for a while.

I love the little stone statue on our mantle piece and i love how you can see her reflection in the mirror too,She wears lovely old rhinestone necklaces to catch the sunlight as it peeps through the windows,Faux roses and hydrangea freshly washed i think make a romantic scene to see us through the colder months until the garden begins to grow...

The top one was my Grandma's and my lovely Mum bought the bottom one a few Christmases ago,i do like a bit of sparkle.... 

Above her on the top of the mirror are these two sea weathered cherubs watching all the goings on at Shingle Cottage ;) they lived outside in  a garden here at the beach and the salt has wonderfully                                                                  weathered them...

I think statuary and flowers are a lovely way to bring the garden inside don't you?

Last nights ashes are resting in the hearth,you can see the andirons which go with the firescreen in this picture and the large gold chippy candlesticks which were one of the first things i painted when we first moved in together all those years ago...

I wrapped a rose and berry garland around the  old Frenchy ceiling light and added chandelier crystal droplets to it's branches....

They catch the sunlight and look a little like raindrops....

Bringing a little more garden and light into the room and it looks so feminine and pretty...

That's where is snuggle up right there on that sofa with my candles from Cabbages & roses flickering on an evening...

I love my big white work feather filled pillow but i think for the colder months ahead i'm going to bring some more colour into the room...

I'm going to make some pillows and cover a couple of bolster cushions for the sofa's,its not a permanent change but it is a great way to change the look of  a room and i can soon change it back to all white when i desire...

I have these fabrics which work well with the pinky red of the clock and with the colours in the wallpaper.

The floral and French check are Laura Ashley and the stripe is by Cabbages & Roses Three Inch Stripe In Raspberry..

I love linen slubby cottons where you can see the weave and they have that lovely aged English linen look about them...

Yes i think that should warm the room up until Spring arrives.....

Yes with the fire roaring and a Brandy we may just get through the Winter ;)

Well it's time for me to get measuring and cutting after a nice cup of tea,so i shall see you soon girl's thank you so much for stopping by....

Join me next time for more tales and goings on from Shingle Cottage.....


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve

 It's Christmas Eve!

Steve is home for Christmas and it is wonderful to be together and even more special at this time of year.....Shingle Cottage is trimmed in her finest,The glass has been sparkled and everywhere is shiny and bright and ready for our first Christmas Day in our new home...

As i am typing to you it's twenty five to twelve and soon it will be Christmas Day,The fire is glowing with orange embers and we are listening to carols and a church service on tv...

A half empty chocolate box and half empty bottle of brandy are resting on the table and the candles are all but burnt down...  

Presents and candy are piled under the tree waiting for morning...

Beatrix is curled up asleep next to Steve,It's too much for a sweet little pup to stay awake and it won't be long before we are all asleep...

I know i will be up first in the morning,i can not help it i get so excited! I will light the fire and pop on our yule log and light the candles all ready for when Steve and Beatrix open their eyes and the day can begin...

The first noel is being sung on tv and i stopped typing for a moment to listen as it sings the story of Jesus,Carols are so beautiful,so beautiful that they can bring a tear to your eye but in a lovely way..

There is only one more thing to do before we stroll down the hallway and climb into bed and that is to wish you all a peaceful  and very Merry Christmas....

We have a special treat for you,It's our little Christmas present to all our dear readers who have followed our journey and cheered us on we appreciate you all so much!.

We present to you 'Christmas At Shingle Cottage' With love  XxX

Press play below and be sure to have your volume turned up...

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house everything was twinkling yes even the mouse!........