Friday, 11 November 2011


......let us never forget.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The look I'm dreaming of

I've been looking back over old photos today. I wanted to remember exactly what my olding sitting room in Kew looked like as I really like the look I had there. Our new living room is a good basic shell but it needs some finishing touches. We have plain cream walls, a nice pale blue carpet and cream sofas. We've put in a book case running half the length of one wall and we have a lovely old dark wood dining table and chairs that used to belong to my Grandparents. What we need now is all the touches that are going to bring it together. We currently have the curtains that the old owners had and frankly they are horrible. They are blue, presumably to match the carpet, but the blue is a horribly cold shade and not the same as the carpet at all. I'm thinking of a lovely fresh blue ticking stripe instead. The windows, one at each end of the room, are large as it is a 60s house so I don't want anything too overpowering and I want the overall feeling to be quite fresh. I then want to bring in accents of red as I did in Kew. As the pictures today show this is particularly lovely leading up to Christmas.

I've been scanning the internet today looking for some more inspiration for my perfect living room::

Some cute fabrics::

More lovely blue and red inspiration::

If I can manage to clear the large amounts of one year olds bright plastic from the living room floor I will take some pictures to show you where we are so far. Until then I will just imagine the room looking something like this::

Have a lovely Sunday. See you during the week.

Fiona x

Monday, 31 October 2011

My latest obsession

It's very likely that Mr S and little F will not be fed tomorrow. I'm a little late discovering Pinterest I think but I am now totally addicted to it. Check out what I'm pinning via the logo to the left.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

It's been a while..

....but I'm still here.

The new kitchen is in place, although we need to decorate still. The garden is partly cleared and we are starting to make the house feel like home. There is SOOOOO much that I want to do. I have lists of lists and can visualise just what I want to do. As well as the house, I have a lot of projects in my head for re-stocking my little shop and I also have other creative business plans. I'm really really hoping that I can manage to stock the shop with just a few Christmas decorations as I have loved making these in the past.

I absolutely promise that there will be regular updates around here from now on and they will be more interesting than of late so please do keep calling by.

Today's pictures are of the cute little shed at the bottom of our garden. It needs a little work as the roof has a small hole and it is missing a board on one side above the door. I'd love to know what you think about the paint work though. Should we paint it or should be leave it as it is looking slightly faded? I can't quite decide myself. Come the summer it will have pots of geraniums either side of the door and I am planning a small vegetable patch just in front.

A small boy have just woken from his nap and is calling for me so that's all for now. Back again soon.

Fiona x

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The very ugly kitchen

Before I start, I should warn you that there are no pretty pictures in this post. I've been trying to decide whether to show you images of the ugly kitchen. Part of me wants to because I want to do the big 'Ta da' when the new one is installed, but part of me doesn't want to because I really only like to show nice pretty pictures on this site.

So in the end I have decided to just give you a sneaky peak so you get the idea. This is actually just about the best vew I could show you. If I panned round to the left you would be looking at some very yucky cupboards, some hideous panelling popular in fish and chip shops in the 1970s, and our oven covered in a very unattractive blanket supplied by the removal company as we're not able to install it until the kitchen people have provided a gas supply into the kitchen.

If I was to pan round to the right you would see yet more yucky cupboards, the frankly revolting sink and horrid yellow roller blind!

We are counting the days until they start on the work as it is currently the most unappealing place to cook a meal. Here's a close up of the lovely tiles. Can't wait to see the back of these on Monday. I might even volunteer to help Mr Kitchen in smashing them from the wall!

The kitchen we've chosen is cream panelled with a beech work top. Very simple and hopefully a good backdrop for my Cornishware and other pretty bits. I will be making a roman blind for the window in red gingham and I think the walls are going to be pale blue but I will decide on that once the kitchen is in.

I am so excited to be getting my first ever chosen by me brand new kitchen. I had a new kitchen before when I rented in Kew as I was the first tennant after the flat had been renovated, and it was lovely, but it wasn't what I would have chosen. This, however, is my choice. Simon has been the bestest Hubbie and let me have the design I wanted. He prefered a white one but it looked a little dated to me as it had too much in the way of twiddly moulding. The one little choice he did make though is a fancy tap. I think it's a little OTT for our needs and the size of the kitchen but he really wanted it and as I had my way on everything else I had to let him have his one little toy! You'll see what I mean when I show you in a week or two.

So that's the end of the sneaky peak. Hopefully I'll be showing you the finished article by the end of next week. Next time I'll be back here spreading some hydrangea love. See you soon.

Fiona x

Monday, 8 August 2011

Settling in and going out.

We're finally here in our lovely new home. Gosh, it's been a busy few weeks and I can't believe it's been so long since I was last here with you. Unfortunately we've been without internet access which has meant I've had to stay away longer than I'd hoped.

We've been busy trying to make things feel a little homely but my goodness, there is so much to do. I hope to take some photos over the next few days to show you 'the before', so I can then show the changes we make. Probably the worst room is the kitchen and I'm extremely relieved that we are having a new one installed in a couple of weeks. We are counting the days. Not only does it look horrific, but it also smells odd and is totally impractical. But more on that one once I have photos to show you.

Simon has been busy attacking the back garden and we now have double what we thought we had! Shrubs, trees and undergrowth were so overgrown that we had just a narrow strip of grass down the middle. Unfortunately due to a misbehaving camera I didn't take any before photos but I will take some of how it looks now as although it has been cleared of all the jungle it still looks pretty awful as we are now left with a pretty barren space that is ready to be reworked and made beautiful.

Luckily, in terms of decoration, it is neutral throughout and the paintwork is in fairly good condition so there isn't the a desperate need for absolute imediate decorating. We have time to think about any decorative changes we will make. We will of course be painting the kitchen though once the new units are installed.

Little F's room is perhaps the most organised and homely. I need to put up pictures and make some bits and bobs to decorate the walls, but luckily his curtains from our old house fitted perfectly and we have all his furniture in place. I want to paint a couple of bits in there, a bookcase and little chair, but there is no hurry. I'll take some pictures of how it is looking so far.

As well as the work we are doing on our home, we are trying to have some holiday fun as well. We spent the first week of Simon's hols down in Dorset which was absolutely lovely. We had the most perfect weather and it was just what we needed after the madness of the news. Today we had a holiday in a day. Do you ever do that? Sometimes it's possible to go out for a lovely day and feel like you've had a mini holiday. We're very lucky where we are living now in that within a few minutes drive we can be in beautiful countryside. Our drive today took us through beautiful woodlands and country lanes and we ended up in one of our favourite villages that is only a short drive away.

The picture at the top of the post is a view from the lovely village where we enjoyed a delicious pub lunch today. The sweetest windmill sitting on top of a steep hill above a lovely valley. The village and Mill are both well known to anyone who is a fan of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' or a regular viewer of 'The Vicar of Dibley'. It was so lovely to be there today. The sun was shining and we sat in a pretty garden enjoying the view, then explored the sweet little church. I'll leave you for today with more images from today. I'll be back again soon with house pictures.

Fiona x

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A little bit of Belgium

Well we're still here in our current house and the clearing and sorting is carrying on at a good pace. We're keeping absolutely everything crossed that we will be moving to our new home next week. Such a stressful business this house buying thing.

We have had some sanity though in the last few weeks in the shape of a weekend trip to our beloved Belgium. Those of you who have read my blog(and previous one) for some years will know that we visit this lovely underated Country fairly regularly. This time though it wasn't just the three of us. We took both sets of our parents and Hubbies Sister and her family. A convoy of three cars! We went to celebrate Simon's Birthday which was actually last November! Unfortunately the plans we had back then were changed unexpectedly when our darling boy decided to show up two months early.

So with lots to do today I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking and leave you with some images of our weekend. I hope to squeeze in another post before moving day but if not then I will be back again in a few weeks with delightful(not!) images of the current state of our new house to start on the story of the transformation.

See you soon. F x

Friday, 10 June 2011


Today I have been finishing off making some order out of my fabric drawer. It's a very large drawer and it was very over-stuffed and not at all neat. With the move just a few weeks away(fingers crossed) I am trying to work my way around the house clearing, sorting and tidying all cupboards and drawers. This is not an easy task with an eight month old! I feel the need to do this though as I can't bear the thought of moving a whole load of rubbish with us to our lovely new home. Also, we're having the removal company pack for us and I want to make their task as easy as possible. Last year, with my pregnancy, then the problems we experienced with F's arrival into the World, then dealing with a newborn, household jobs have definitely been left and to put it mildly, things have got into a bit of a pickle. I am determined that we should start life in our new family home with things in order.

Earlier in the week I managed to go through the drawers in our large dining room cabinet. They had reached bursting point and apart from the top drawer which holds some of my table linen, I wasn't entirely sure what I would find within them. Luckily I was able to lay out a large blanket next to me, pop little F down with some toys and empty out each drawer and start the task of sorting through. Luckily he is not completely mobile yet so I was able to complete this task without him 'helping' me. He was more than happy to play next to Mummy while I discovered all sorts of long lost items.I'm now glad to say that the recycling bin is fuller, I have a number of very tidy drawers, of which I know the contents, and believe it or not, one totally empty drawer! Which just shows how much rubbish we were hoarding. I won't allow that one to be filled again until the cabinet is residing in our new dining area.

So todays job has been to finish off the worst part of the fabric drawer. Yesterday, Mum helped me by ironing and folding all the lovely big pieces of fabric and we discussed which could be used in the new house. But today I had to deal with all the little bits. I just can't bear to throw away fabric, even the small bits but keeping those little scraps tidy is not easy. Mine had turned into a total jumble and they seemed to be taking up so much space. What has amazed me more than anything, is that now all this scraps have been sorted through and ironed they are the tiniest of piles that can easily be packed neatly away ready to go to their new home. I feel very satisfied with myself. Next job - my bedside cabinet!

Have a lovely weekend everyone. I will be back again next week to share with you some pictures of our recent trip to Belgium last weekend. See you soon.

Fiona x

Friday, 27 May 2011

Moving On

So yet again it has been an age since I was last year. I'll be amazed if anyone is still calling by here but if you are, thanks for sticking with me. Really, I never realised how difficult it could be to find any 'me' time now I am a Mummy. I've had the odd fleeting moment when I've thought maybe I should just stop trying to keep this blog going, but the truth is I just can't let it go. I miss being a real part of blog land and am determined to get back to it if little one will allow me. The great thing is that I now have a real incentive to blog and something hopefully interesting to write about again. The 'moving on' in the title refers to the fact that we are, 'fingers crossed', finally moving house. Our house has been sold for a while but it has taken us a little while to find something new. The place we had our heart set on since last year prior to little F arriving hasn't worked out so we had to go back to the drawing board. It's been tough as everything we liked was beyond our budget now I'm not going back to work, and there was very little in our budget in the area we really wanted. But in the end we found something. It's just about in the area we want, just a little to the edge, and has the space we want to make into a lovely family home. The outside of the house is not exactly beautiful as it was built in the 60s(enough said) but it has potential. The inside and the garden are a total blank canvas and my mind is already racing thinking of what I(er we) can do to it. It needs completely re-decorating(hooray!), a new kitchen(even bigger hooray!) and probably a new bathroom as well. The front and back garden are just lawn with a few overgrown shrubs to the edges of the back garden so both crying out for some landscaping and lots of new flowers. I have to admit that S is just a little frightened by the prospect of so much decorating as he doesn't claim to be Mr DIY but with me leading him through it and just a little technical help from Father and Father-in-law I know it will be fine. He can always take F out while I get busy with the paint brushes!

So you see, I will have lots to share here. Lots of before and after shots hopefully. I just can't wait. So please keep your fingers crossed for us that everything goes smoothly with the purchase and before long I will be able to share it all with you here at Linen and Roses.

I hope to be back again soon sharing a few of my design ideas that are already going through my head. In the mean time have a fab weekend and thanks for sticking with me here while I have been such a boring blogger.

Fiona x

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Chick chick chicken

Lay a little egg for me......

Yes, I'm getting into singing nursery rhymes already. Loving that and amazing myself that I can remember the words to songs I'd forgotten even existed! How does the brain do that?

I can't believe it's been nearly two months since my last post. Well, actually I can. Life is just soooo busy with a five month old cheeky boy. I definitely have my hands full. I have however managed a little bit of sewing during nap times which has been nice and I've managed to update my etsy shop.

I had planned on making a few Valentines items but didn't get my act together in time for that so decided to start early on a few Easter decorations. These little felt eggs are hand sewn and filled with a littel dry rice to give them some weight so they hang nicely off the lovely spring branches that I gathered from the garden this morning. There are four colour combinations available and all are in my etsy shop now.

I'm loving the fact that the sun is finally starting to shine a little more frequently and actually has some warmth in it. We've been doing a lot of pram pushing and it's so nice to get out and about and see the lovely Spring flowers bursting through the earth. So uplifting.

I really have to try to make some time to get out into our garden and do some clearing as our Spring flowers are having to battle their way through last years dead folliage and leaves as well as the cold earth. Due to the arrival of little one last Autumn and all the worry he put us through there was no end of year clearing done at all. We currently have our house on the market and although we have the inside looking tidy and attractive the garden is not exactly the best of selling points just now.

Well it's time to go check on my little munchkin who has been having a lovely long nap. Then lunch and a walk to the market. Hopefully my next post will be a little sooner.
Fiona x

Thursday, 27 January 2011

2011 - The year of the camera

Throughout the month I've been seeing lots of lovely 'year in photos' posts. It made me realise just how few photos I took last year.

There was a time when I always had my camera ready for taking photos, mainly with my blog in mind. But last year I seemed to lose that creative urge, I guess due to being pregnant and feeling pretty horrid most of the time. So I looked back through my photo files to see just what I had in the way of photos to share with you all that were a record of my year and it was a very pathetic collection.

Infact, it was really just a few trips that provide the photos in these collages. At New Year 2009/10 we went to Vienna for a truely wonderful trip. In June we were in Sicily for a Wedding. Then in the Summer we visited our favourite Belgium followed by camping in Dorset. Finally, I took a few shots at a wonderful agricultural show in the Cotswolds.

I've managed to create these four collages from a selection of photos taken on these trips along with just a handful taken at home, the hot air balloons that are a regular sight over our house in the summer, and some lovely roses bought by lovely hubbie. But really the photos don't add up to much. Not nearly as many as I have taken in previous years. Of course I have dozens taken from October until now of my beautiful boy but I don't want to share them on the internet. Infact taking photos of him is my favourite subject right now, but I vow that I will take more photos of everything else this year. I want to be able to look back next January and prepare a collage like the ones above for every month of this year. I want to capture every aspect of life this year so I will be taking my camera with me at all times this year. Now we've just got to hope for some sunshine to light things up a bit.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

New Book Love

It's been a while since I allowed myself the purchase of any new books. Now I'm not working I have to think about the pennies, but as I had some Christmas money left to spend I decided to treat myself.

So I was very excited when I heard the Postman knock on the door this morning bringing my little parcel from Amazon. Little F has just gone down for a nap so I finally had chance to have a look at the contents and I'm not disappointed with my choices. I thought I would share a few images with you.

My favourite of the two is 'The Comforts of Home' by Caroline Clifton-Mogg. It's a beautiful book and filled with lots of lovely images. I have to admit that there are a handful that I already have in other books, but not many. Most are new to me and are totally inspirational. I'm loving this armchair above. We're hoping to move house this year and my mind is already working over time on how I will decorate a new home. A little kitchen corner like the one below would be perfect.

I'm really excited about looking for somewhere new as our current home is not really to my taste. I may have mentioned before that it is the house that lovely S has lived in for some time before we met and married and so I moved in and sort of had to fit my things in where I could. This house was quite a comfort to him when he was on his own and therefore he is quite set in his ways about it and has been very reluctant to let me make any changes. I've made the odd tweak but haven't done any re-decorating so the thought of us having somewhere new together, a blank canvas for me to work on is very exciting. How I would love a bath like the one below. Might be a dream too far!

The following two images are from my other book, 'Kirstie's Homemade Home' by the lovely Kirstie Allsopp. I really enjoyed watching the TV series that the book accompanies and the book is very nice although I'm not sure I would have paid full price for it. It was less than half price on Amazon. It does contain some lovely images though and there is a lot to read which I do like in a design book as well as the pretty pictures. There is a really fab resource section at the back too which I will be reading in detail.

I loved this dresser below. Love the way that it is so crammed with stuff and looks really used.

Well I must be off. Time to go check on the sleeping munchkin and think about making some dinner.

Bye for now. F x


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