4 July 2013

Pots full of colour are a joy at the moment in my garden.  The ranuculus have turned out well, more pale pink ones are coming soon and the margarite were an orange sticker job from a while ago, they’ve got massive now.  The peonies are the best £4 I have spent for a long time, this is only half of the bunch, a bargain indeed.

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pretty  peonies

4 july 003

Gumtree vs Ikea

There is a constant dichotomy for me when  I am looking for furniture.  I love the clean lines and great prices at Ikea, the furniture is good looking, easy to get home and the whole experience is pretty good on a quiet day.  I also love the thrill of the chase and the individuality that you get by looking for furniture from Gumtree and second hand shops.  The two shopping methods can go hand in hand and result in a really interesting looking home.  I am betting most of you have at least the odd thing from Ikea, it is so hard to go there and come out with nothing!

Somehow I feel like I’ve failed a bit when I get something from Ikea.  Take the Malm chest of drawers, plain, simple, white and functional – the only thing is I swore I would not buy them again because they fell to bits last time after 9 years of hard labour.  The design has been improved since the last ones I had, they now have a bar under the base of each drawer to stop it dropping and I have to say that they really suit my bedroom.  I have that little bit of me that feels like I’ve sold out, given up the hunt for unique, and have joined the thousands of regular folk who have these drawers.

ikea malm chest of drawers. simple and unassuming
ikea malm chest of drawers. simple and unassuming

Gumtree is hard work. You might not be first to see the item if it is highly desirable, you need to carry it down lots of flights of tenement steps if you buy from a flat (not unusual here) and you don’t really know where the item has been – you have to use your gut to decide whether you can cope with that or not.  This chest of drawers is a great piece of furniture.  After agreeing to buy it, I realised it was actually falling apart a wee bit once it was moved, what do you do?  Say no thanks before you battle it down the stairs?  Well, I didn’t this time and C has repaired it a bit.  L has it in his new room now and he loves it.  So does his pal who saw the 3D despicable Me at the weekend hence the glasses.  It was a challenge to get it home but I feel like we are extending the life of an interesting item that comes with an unknown history.  The little shelf in H’s cupboard is from the same house and it fits perfectly.  Another triumph.

gumtree find, well made, character full and unique
gumtree find, well made (once upon a time) character full and unique

So, there you have it, my thoughts for today on furniture buying.  Where do you go for furniture? Have you got a favourite place to look?  Edinburgh is great for furniture shopping , from specialist mid-century modern items to your traditional antique shoppe.  Modern furniture and charity furniture warehouses are here too.

P.S.  Great programme on as I write about supermarkets, have a look on bbc  i-player, ‘Summer’s Supermarket Secrets’  – fascinating.  Boys are loving it.

Have a great weekend, nearly there x

5 June 2013 Headphones

Turtle Beach
Turtle Beach

This polystyrene head appeared one day at our house, it was meant for my niece’s A/S Art coursework but it ended up here by a mistake.  It was meant to go in the bin but teenboy took a shine to it and he has had it in his room ever since, just waiting for a use.   Today he got new x-box headphones ,they are brilliant, so he says.  Anyway, the polystyrene head is now a headphone holder, I think they are a perfect match.

The regeneration has just about come to a grinding halt, the blog has been sorely neglected and I am on a mission to put that right.  Tomorrow is painting day again, I must get the back bedroom finished.  The carpets are still not here, not a good conversation point for me at the moment.

We had a brilliantly sunny and sociable weekend, long may the sun shine here.  Here’s the dining table on Friday morning, this is where I sit when I write my blog most of the time.  It is not usually so clear and tidy!

31 May
31 May

Another dining table, this time it’s the one outside that actually got used for tea last night, a very rare occurance here in Edinburgh.  I love eating al fresco, it was fantastic last night apart from me bodging the mash by using the hand blender, I should know better, don’t ever make that mistake, it does something really weird to the starch in the potatoes.  Yuck.

drinks and cutlery ready for tea
drinks and cutlery ready for tea

I’ve not managed nature in the home yet today, it will be coming your way soon x

Day Forty – Windows

Well, the day finally came when we were to have windows upstairs.

It’s not getting any warmer here so I’m hoping that they will keep a bit more heat in the house.  We have removed the magic curtain and it’s good to see the light coming down from the skylights above the stairs. Have a look and see what you make of my lovely windows.

in they come
in they come
front first thing this morning
front first thing this morning
front with windows
front with windows
looking out the back window
looking out the back window

So that’s upstairs fully sealed and ready for the plasterers tomorrow, the bathroom will be getting some much needed attention too.

Other Stuff

We had quite a quiet weekend, teenboy was not well and the weather was pretty cold. Surprisingly, apart from a few flutters, we missed out on snow.  The best part of the weekend was Sunday morning when we headed out to see what happened, despite the freezing wind. We rediscovered an old favourite of ours, the Botanic Gardens here in Edinburgh.  It was just too cold to stay long at Inverleith swing park so we decided to trot over to the Botanics.  What a great move, it was full of life and the children had a brilliant time in the classroom part of the entrance area planting marigolds and sunflowers, with the help of really enthusiastic volunteers.  I liked the ‘shelf life’ display too, just shows you that you don’t need much to grow a plant.

shelf life - as seen at the botanics
shelf life – as seen at the botanics
treasures from the botanics
treasures from the botanics

There was a fantastic stand in the plant shop with, yes, you guessed, Ranuculus plants for sale, the children chose one each, they’re planted up and looking good out there, hope they won’t perish in the cold though.

Ranuculus (again)
Ranuculus (again)

After the Botanics, everyone was keen to head on to Stockbridge Market and we had great fun trying every tablet and sweetie on offer there. We came home with a lovely lunch, comte cheese and a baguette, how continental.  Tasted good too, we have pledged to go more often and support the little guys out there.

delights from Stockbridge Market
delights from Stockbridge Market

Being inspired by the Botanics, H and I headed out to our local DIY store for some potting compost and came out with another armful of bargains from the plant dept – pansies, daisies and margarites this time. The focus on the garden continued when we got back, the greenhouse has had a pane of glass missing since last summer, we fixed that, at last.  Good job, C.  Every bargain is now planted and cheering up the garden – all we need is spring to return and help them grow.  Fingers crossed x