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Everything’s going to be all bright… a mini new home tour… + tales from the old flat

24 May

Pink London brick – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

So in April we said goodbye to our first London flat (and goodbye to having wifi at home until mid May!).

I was blasé about this move. After all, last time we’d moved home, we’d packed up our entire lives, driven 10 hours, and moved country. This time, we weren’t even leaving South East London.

And unlike last time, we were so ready to move. Our petite place had become to feel even more so, like it had shrunk in the wash somehow over the last year. Perhaps it was the kitchen sink that was always blocked, the mould that refused to die in the bathroom (and then destroyed my Scandi shower curtain in revenge) or ‘the day ALL the blue bottles came’™.*

Which is not to say that the flat was all bad, not at all. Just as time went on, the things that were funny at first – like the step that always caught your sock and put a hole in it – became less so. But we did get much better at darning socks. And darn it – socks, blockages, mould and yucky flies aside – we had fun this last year. 2013 will always be the year we moved to London and that flat will always be part of that.

So we approached moving with the excitement of two kids waiting for Christmas. Impatient, a little grouchy, a little too over excited. We packed in a hurry as if that could make the move happen faster. And then all of a sudden, as with all things you wait for, it had happened.

We moved.

Living room 2 – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

Which, of course, is an understatement. There was lugging, there was lifting and shifting, and cursing ourselves for having so many books (a hallmark of any move we have ever done).

Not surprisingly, packing up all your belongings into boxes (and a multitude of tote bags when you run out of boxes) was more tiring than I’d have liked to admit. And oh being without internet for such a long time, well, oft.

But it was totally worth it.

Living room 4 – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

Records – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

I think we’re in the loved up phase with this flat… where every eccentric angle, every ray of dappled sunlight spilling through the windows, every drop of rain tapping at the skylight (possibly my favourite thing ever).

Kitchen window 2 – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

And ok, so it’s a rented flat, but it feels like it’s somehow very much ours and just to have somewhere to call home again is really rather wonderful.

Japanese sponges – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

Of course, we’re still sorting things, working out what fits where, discovering a need for furniture we don’t have yet… and even with more kitchen cupboard space we still don’t have room for all the vintage china I’ve collected over the years. But that’s the fun of moving right?

Velveteencat + kitchen Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

And the furry felines we live with… well, they seem to have settled in just fine. There’s carpet to roll about on, stairs to scamper up and perhaps most importantly a bit more space from each other. (Theirs is a relationship built on being always at least a couple feet apart, unless there’s a spider in the room.)

Tiger fireplace 3 – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

60s Daybed – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

Maybe its you 2 – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

Foxowlcat on bed – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

Veleveteencat – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

Fucking fantastic print – Conversation Pieces blog Everythings going to be all bright... a mini new home tour... + tales from the old flat

And the humans… we’ve settled in not too badly too. With more kitchen space, we’ve started cooking properly again (now we have an oven that doesn’t take 90 mins just to cook a veggie burger), I’ve started doing more crafty stuff (see the bright neon chairs in the second picture!), and generally just doing more happy chilling out when we’re at home (instead of frustratedly trying to tidy a flat that was impossibly impossible to tidy).

Yes, everything is going to be all bright now… or at least, a little more neon than before!

*******

 

*the day ALL the blue bottles came™…

A day that will live on in my memory forever.

If you’re eating, planning on eating, really dislike blue bottle flies, don’t read this bit!

[...]

Flat rules… a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

27 Nov

IMG 4209 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

Really we should have more practical rules for living in a small flat.

Like having less stuff, tidying more,
not leaving our shoes right at the door.

Food would be good, as opposed to empty
cupboards and only cheese in the fridge.

(Even if it is really good cheese.
Also: chocolate is not food.
The same goes for that jar of jalapenos.)

Oh we should.

But we don’t.

photo 4 11 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

Instead we have things like a Menu-festo.

Designed to remind us how we want to live ours lives… as opposed to how we should.

And to entirely justify spending whole days (and nights) out exploring London…

So, yeah, if you’re ‘daring to freestyle’ then the dishes can wait.

If you’re ‘dreaming bigger’ then socks can ball themselves.

Or that’s what I told myself when I was putting all the letters on the board!

photo 1 1 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

Other flat rules include…

No whining, no complaining, and no frowning
(if at least to avoid creating lots of forehead wrinkles).

Most of these rules apply at 6.30am/7am.
That’s my most likely time to whine, complain, frown
and be like a bear that’s just been woken up during hibernation.
(I do so love my sleep!)

IMG 3765 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

Elsewhere in our little abode… we have Mr Tiger (and some polka dots too), this amazing I Pretend To Work print (not true but we love it anyway) and a framed tea towel from one of my best friends.

All three things sum up one rule completely: try not to take things too seriously.

(While the #velveteencat is demonstrating the rule that all interior shots should have a cat or dog in them. Fact. Really just look at a copy of Elle Decoration or Living Etc and you’ll see what I mean.)

IMG 3775 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

This rule… taped to the inside of our front door.

Mainly because a certain not really a morning person needs to be reminded of such stuff.

Yes, life is good.

(Even if going back to bed seems like a better option.)

photo 3 1 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

Rule 6: No TV. Yes, really. We have no TV in London.

We left our old one in Edinburgh and then didn’t get another one.

But like all rules, this is made to be broken.

Instead we have a projector. So we can roll up this map,
and just project whatever we want to watch.

Which means the rule is really…

Rule 6: No bad TV. Only good TV and movies worth the effort of projecting!

IMG 3772 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

Coloured chalk in our letterpress tray…
because sometimes you just need a bit of colour. Or a piece of chalk.

A definite rule that one.

IMG 3776 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

Um, so this rule…

why be grey when you can be neon?

Maybe?

IMG 3774 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

This. Always this. I don’t think I laugh nearly enough.

Children apparently laugh 300 times a day.

Adults laugh around 20.

I’m aiming for somewhere inbetween…
without being that crazy, laughing by themselves person
everyone moves away from on the Tube!

photo 2 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

Second demonstration of the cat rule…

IMG 3770 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

Not a rule… but a reminder. Crafting is good for the soul. Even if most of it is too bad to share on here.

I recently started a daily sketchbook – like an illustrated diary – and it’s so nice to sit and scribble just for the fun of it. They don’t have to be good, they don’t have to be bad, they’re just for me to see which is pretty nice.

photo 3 Flat rules... a teeny tour of our tiny home and its mottos

And one last rule… ‘Home is wherever I’m with you’. (As blocked by the #foxowlcat!)

So many people ask us if we miss our old home.

And while I miss the floorboards, the sunsets, the fireplace…
where we are now feels like home because it is.

I’m here, he’s here and the two little furry fiends are here.
That’s everything we need. Everything that home is.
(Plus a few sideboards, prints and chairs of course!)

London is the place for us… the blog post with its own theme tune

3 Jun

photo 2 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

Last Sunday, we were listening to 6 Music and having a discussion about living in London…

Mainly we were talking about that only one of us was living here full-time (me) and one of us was having to spend half the week in Edinburgh still (him).

It’s not exactly been ideal but we knew it wouldn’t be forever. It’s one of those topics that swings from excited to stressy and back again.

Then this song came on the radio – London is the place for me.

photo 1 2 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

And we both agreed it should be our theme tune for the next while.

(Does anyone else ascribe themselves theme tunes?!)

It’s such a cheerful little ditty, that we’ve been playing it non-stop all week.

So here’s the lyrics plus some random snaps that almost, sort of fit with them in a not really kind of way!

photo 1 1 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

London Is The Place For Me

London this lovely city
You can go to France or America, India, Asia or Australia
But you must come back to London City

photo 2 11 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

Well, believe me, I am speaking broad-mindedly
I am glad to know my mother country
I’ve been to traveling to countries years ago
But this the place I wanted to know

photo 2 4 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

London That’s The Place For Me

To live in London you really comfortable
Because the English people are very much sociable
They take you here and they take you there
And they make you feel like a millionaire
So London that’s the place for me

photo 41 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

At night when you have nothing to do
You can take a walk down Chapri Avenue
There you will love and talk and enjoy the bridge
And admire the beautiful sceneries
Of London, that’s the place for me

photo 2 2 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

London That’s The Place For Me

Yes, I can not complain of the time I have spend
I mean, my life in London is really magnificent
I have every comfort and every sport
And my residence is that Hampton Court
So London, that’s the place for me

photo 2 5 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

And the happy ending to this post… yes, the other half got offered a new job (in London) so London really is the place for us!

 

1. Snapped in Drink, Shop & Do 2. Skyline from the National Theatre’s pop-up bar 3. Pocket Pops London guide and gold dinosaur 4. Foxes and cherries in Brixton 5. Tiny London skyline street art spotted in Shoreditch 6. Dapper gable end in Deptford 7. Pocket Pops London guide 8. Possibly my favourite street art ever, snapped in Shoreditch (but gone now!) 

Happy New Cheer… or how I’m almost sort of maybe possibly accepting it’s January

15 Jan

image23 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

I am usually a chipper sort of soul. In fact, fellow blogger a safe mooring once described me as ‘sunshine on toast’… but oh January, well, let’s say it’s not my favourite month.

It’s just so January.

So at the start of this year, I was dreading taking down the Christmas tree, sparkly lights, huge paper snow globes and waited until the last day/hour/minute/second to do it.

But once the decorations were down, I decided it was time for a bit of Happy New Cheer.

image25 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

Which meant hanging up my ‘new’ vintage map from the lovely Lauren McGlynn (she’s a peach that one!) next to my car boot sale version… and finally saying something with my ‘make your own’ banner kit…

(‘Home is wherever I’m with you‘ seemed map-appropriate and we signed our wedding register to that song too. I might have been singing this daily since I put the banner up!)

image18 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

But being me, I just had to customise the banner kit a bit… with gold spray paint, natch.

Above is my ‘spray station’ – a large Zara box that stops me turning the floor gold!

image17 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

My favourite craft thing in the world right now. Yes, it’s even better than washi tape!

image27 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

Of course, when I said I’d taken down the Christmas decorations I may have somewhat slightly exaggerated…

I took some things down. The tree went, the snowflakes too, but the deer with fairy lights wrapped round his antlers? Yes, very much still here…

image20 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

And the big paper honeycomb balls? Yup, still there. They’re winter themed rather Christmas themed right?

image12 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

And eh… yes, I may have kept the teeny terrariums too. They may be staying until it’s Spring!

image26 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

Which might be on the way pretty soon considering daffodils are back in season. Love daffies but does anyone else think it’s a bit early for them to be out? A bit like all the Creme Eggs!

image14 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

So with Spring perhaps on its way, I did make some concessions to it being a new year… by breaking out my ‘embossing label maker’ the other half got me as a random Tuesday present last year.

(I thought ‘Happy All Year’ was a better sentiment than ‘Happy New Year’).

image13 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

This little baby is totally clicktastic… though, I’m not going to make a hand model any time soon. That pinky patch on my thumb? A hand meets curling tong incident.

image16 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

And it comes in neon colours (the tape that is, not my burned thumb!). A total essential in gloomy January. It also came with black tape but, you know, trying to be cheery here.

image15 Happy New Cheer... or how Im almost sort of maybe possibly accepting its January

So 2013… everything is going to be AWESOME. February to December, I’m looking at you here.

And by then I might have properly taken down my Christmas decorations. Maybe.

Happy All Year everyone. May all your months be more cheery than January! xxx

Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage… a look book & magazine photo shoot

20 Sep

Main Shot zoë house 15 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

Some Sundays, you have pancakes for breakfast. Maybe go car booting. Maybe go on a day trip. You know the usual…

Then some Sundays, you find yourself being snapped by the lovely Lauren McGlynn for a lookbook and a magazine.

And what a wonderful Sunday it was too.

If you’ve not come across Lauren before, she’s an American wedding photographer in Scotland, soon to be based in Edinburgh. She’s also all kinds of wonderful. Super talented. And damn good fun to boot.

zoë house 65 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

Now, anyone who’s known me/this blog for a while will know that I’ve said I’m not a huge fan of getting my picture taken. Heck, I think I’d even told Lauren that on several occasions. (So I think she was somewhat surprised when I first mentioned the shoot!)

But I’ve learned to let go a bit lately. I just decided to stop being so hard on myself. It’s strange but that’s all it took. Who knew?!

Anyhoo… so Lauren came round to shoot a lookbook for Hannah Zakari. (Possibly one of the sweetest shops in the entire world). I had a stegosaurus print from Hannah Zakari – by the super Robbie Porter – so I’d spray-painted some toy dinosaurs gold to go with it…

zoë house 6 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

… and then Rachael from Hannah Zakari also gave me this ace brainbow camera necklace to model.

(You can actually look through it which is pretty cute!!)

zoë house 19 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

And at the same time, it so happened that I was writing an article about car boot sales for the ever so pretty 91 Magazine – so I needed a pic or two for that as well. You can read my car booting tales/tips in Issue 4, page 70 onwards – inbetween Anna Weinreich‘s beautiful home and The Seventy Tree‘s Kerry’s super illustrations.

zoë house 47 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

So Lauren took shots for both… including in my never seen before on the blog (I think?) spare room. Yes that room that you normally pile all your random stuff in and just close the door when guests come round… yip, that room. That’s my recovered 60s daybed I’m sitting on… one of my prized (furniture) possessions!

zoë house 34 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

We even took off a cupboard door in the kitchen… just so you can see what’s inside my kitchen cupboards.

Surprise, surprise, it’s more vintage china!

2012 09 17 002 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

And Lauren was polite enough to tolerate me doing lots of silly things like juggling the dinosaurs… and pretending to do the congo with them. (The things you do when you’re nervous!)

 zoë house 56 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot
Oh yes and we took some shots of me with my cameras… It has to be said, I’m giggling in a lot of these. This was my only straight faced one. And why was I giggling so much? Well, because I was taking pictures of Lauren.

Lauren Polaroids Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

Um yeah… there’s a reason Lauren’s the photographer and not me!

Spring… and other fun things

12 Apr

chicky 700x359 Spring... and other fun things
It might have be sleeting, raining and a bit brrrr outside
but it was most definitely Springtime at my flat this weekend.

With daffies, my bunny vase, a ‘Hello Flower’
postcard from Lou and of course an Easter chick (or two)…

yellow2 700x365 Spring... and other fun things My postcard from Lizzy Stewart seemed very appropriate
considering I had melted a chocolate egg already.
(By leaving it too near to a window!)

napkins 700x360 Spring... and other fun things And feeling Springy… I dug out these vintage napkins
I got in Norway. Hooray indeed!

table 700x365 Spring... and other fun things And got out our charity shop find table cloth…
even if it does make the kitchen super super girlie!

IMG 52391 Spring... and other fun things Most importantly, I found our box of Easter chicks…
though I wasn’t the only one who found them!

Then we were all set for some Easter fun…

nanapapa Spring... and other fun things
First up, some Easter giggles with my Papa.
See that super happy, super dapper groom?
That’s my Papa. One of the coolest people I know.
We chatted about flat caps, the latest movies
and where to get the best chips in town.

evie 700x700 Spring... and other fun things
Then… some Easter fun with my gorgeous little sis
who was back in Scotland for a wee break
before she starts rehearsals for her new play.

pancake 700x364 Spring... and other fun things This meant mini eggs and heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast…

bubbles2 700x691 Spring... and other fun things

Blowing Easter bubbles… and discovering that cats
(well the grey one) really like attacking said bubbles!

chickwar3 700x700 Spring... and other fun things All culminating in some Easter silliness…
involving a chick, the army men who live in our plants
and a rescue mission called Operation Letter Box!

************

There was also lots of gin and rose lemonade,
the best veggie hot dogs ever, homemade pizza,
old movies, a spot of DIY, an epic hangover…
yip Easter is the new Christmas!

************

So, what about you all… are you feeling Springy?
Think I feel more like Spring being inside than outside!

Friday I'm in love… with this space

5 Aug

I discovered love made me do it…
while I was on my wedding-planning-athon
(which I’ll start blogging about soonish).

As welovepictures, Travis and Maike, who like in Cape Town,
take some gorgeous, happy, sunshiney, pretty wedding pics.

But what made me really fall in love with them
is their apartment… For the first time in ages,
I have total and utter flat envy!

08 1 Friday I'm in love... with this space

Um… that blue lamp, that chair… that boat-shaped mirror!

03 2 Friday I'm in love... with this space

Oh… yeah… that globe, those signs, that chest of drawers…

07 1 Friday I'm in love... with this space

Love… that prints and books mini shelves combo!

02 2 Friday I'm in love... with this space

Home… this sign is what made my heart flip over.

Home is wherever I am with you
by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
was the song we signed our marriage certificate too.
(Like I said more on that later!)

I wonder if I can do a flat swap for a bit!

Check out the rest of their gorgeous place
and lovely blog here …

******

Have a lovely weekend everyone.
I’m off to two weddings.
So it’s a weekend of love!

A mini confession… and a small surprise

28 Jul

Here’s a confession…

Over the years, we have killed a lot of plants.

Despite our best attempts to look after then they always die.

ALWAYS.

(Yes, we did our own wedding flowers
but they didn’t have to live for that long.)

So recently we decided that we were giving up.

And we went out and bought some fake plants instead.

plants zconvopieces A mini confession... and a small surprise

I can’t under water them. I can’t over water them.
Heck, I can’t water them at all.

They won’t die of a horrible disease, like Planty Number 2 did.

(Does anyone else give their plants stupid names?)

But we thought they were a bit plain…

Should we decorate the pots?

Or make some fabric flowers to brighten them up?

Maybe. Eventually.

But then we hit upon a better plan…

plants2 zconvopieces A mini confession... and a small surprise

Yes, we now have our own sentry… watching out for us.

It cannot be underestimated how
much this makes me laugh.

*****

This might be one of the reasons
my little cousins call me
a ‘pretend grown-up’.

pixel A mini confession... and a small surprise
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