My vintage buy of the week

Welcome to another of my new semi regular blogs! As you may know I run a business on Etsy selling vintage items and often end up keeping things I fall in love with.

In these blogs I will share what I’ve bought and why (hopefully) it was a good buy! 

Currently I am adding the finishing touches to our bedroom re-vamp and am on the look-out for unusual and quirky pieces to add an ‘Anthropologie’ (the shop) vibe to the room but at a more realistic price. So far La Redoute and TK Maxx has been my friend but those good old charity shops are providing some unique touches too.

So say hello to this little fella! I love owls and this 1950’s/60’s French porcelain trinket pot is a great collectable.  Nice quality pieces like this are always a good investment and sell very quickly when I have them in my Etsy shop, plus – well look at him, he’s adorable!

And here he is, in position in the bedroom. I do love mixing different types of vintage storage together for a eclectic look and best of all my huge jewellery collection is almost getting organised!



Owl trinket pot via Cancer Research charity shop

What bargains have you found recently in the world of charity and vintage shops? I would love to know…

To shop my Etsy Shop click here
To shop my eBay shop (where vintage clothing ends up) shop here
To follow my Instagram (where most of my buys get shared first) follow me here 

Look out more more vintage buys in coming weeks…

The thing I fell in love with this week

Initial cushions £5 each via George Home

They are smaller style cushions – on the website they are described as 30cm x 30cm but are smaller in reality. I’d say more like 20cm x 20cm but very plump. I have to say though, I liked them even more smaller as they dont look too over the top style-wise.

The quality of these cushions are great – I was expecting a printed design but the fronts are a type of needlepoint with plain backs and removable inners so they can be washed.

And here they are! One for Sarah and one for Russ – as you can see I sleep on the left side of the bed 😉Find the whole range here – as well as A- Z there are numbers, a heart, hashtags, ampersands and a question mark!  

I’ve not seen these in store (I would imagine thats because theres so many different versions to display) but you can order them in to any local Asda store with a click and collect service for free to save on delivery charges.

Do you love these too? Look out for more things I’ve fallen in love with coming soon…

My vintage buy of the week

Welcome to another of my new semi regular blogs! As you may know I run a business on Etsy selling vintage items and often end up keeping things I fall in love with

In these blogs I will share what I’ve bought and why (hopefully) it was a good buy! 

Todays buy may be small but it holds its own! A minature 1960’s blown glass vase it was the perfect colour to add to a grouping of glass I’ve been adding to in our lounge. Isn’t it cute?


Highly collectable and growing in value its a great little buy. Plus I ADORE retro glass!

And here it is in its new home…


1960’s mini vase via RSPCA charity shop

What bargains have you found recently in the world of charity and vintage shops? I would love to know…

To shop my Etsy Shop click here

To shop my eBay shop (where vintage clothing ends up) shop here

To follow my Instagram (where most of my buys get shared first) follow me here

Look out more more vintage buys in coming weeks…

Easter Bank Holiday Weekend Inspiration

Happy Easter! What ever your personal beliefs, this weekend in the UK is a double bank holiday weekend for most of us that we can spend with our families, hopefully seeing some sunshine, having fun and treating ourselves to lots of naughty food.  I’m a great believer in seizing any free time I have and making the most of it while creating some great memories at the same time. However that is easier said than done – in todays blog I share some things I do to acheive just that. 

Start the day right

Make a healthy breakfast exciting using boiled eggs (well it is Easter!) and some carefully chosen egg cups – I love this stylish cutie by Buddy and Bear or try Etsy or NotOntheHighStreet.com for similar contemporary designs. For a more eclectic look, seek out vintage ones and create a mismatched set.

 photo Buddy and Bear via EtsyUK 

Or maybe choose not so healthy… Creme egg stacked pancakes, you say? Easy to make (one egg per stack was enough sweetness for us) and very, very indulgent.  Yes it’s laden with calories but for one day over Easter it makes an amazing treat! 

Dress for it     

Spring means we can start dressing in pastels and cute prints again so lets embrace it. Spend Easter digging out some of your summer clothing and styling them up to feel and look great.  I love being able to get out of dark jumpers and boots and embrace something more joyful! Fingers crossed the sun shines too…        

Get crafty

More free time means more time for activities! I do like a project with the kids – for Roald Dahl day Reuben and I made this Mr Twit beard as seen below and this Easter I want to make some of these amazing giant origami rabbits that I saw on the wonderful Oh Happy Day blog. Find the tutorial here  Photo via Oh Happy Day

Have an egg and spoon race

Want to get the kids off their games consoles/TV’s and out into the fresh air? An egg and spoon race is easy to do and you dont need to buy anything. We use plastic toy eggs (find race sets in most Easter seasonal aisles) but you can easily use chocolate or hard boiled versions instead.  On your marks, get set, GO!!!

 

Make and bake

If the weathers not so good, another great activity is to bake cakes or make some other special treats to share. We recently made homemade Lemonade as a family (à la Diary of a Wimpy kid) which the boys loved doing and often make cakes over Easter (see our 4yr olds nursery-made offering from this week below). This year we’ve made Spring themed fairy cakes together and I’m sure they will all get gobbled up soon. 

   

  
 

Go for a special day out 

Ok, it can be expensive to go on big days out but across the two weeks of the school Easter holiday we always try and fit one day trip in. Look for 2 for 1 offers, discount codes or free events – whether its to a theme park, zoo or just the beach or play area its perfect for making those special memories. And lets be honest – who doesn’t want to act like a kid again for the day?!?

     Do an Easter Egg Hunt

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without chocolate eggs but I do like my kids to work for them! Last year we hid them throughout the house and garden and our three boys had to follow clues to track them down…they loved it! We will do the same this Sunday, as well as give them a couple of their favourite chocolate bar eggs too.

 
Do some exercise

After all that indulgence some hard work is required to balance all those calories out…I know it’s boring but if you eat lots of chocolate and treats you have to exercise. As someone whos lost a lot of weight and now exercises regularly I will make sure, holiday or not, I’ll run my usual 5k run. As well as meaning you dont put on weight its great to de-stress, have some ‘me-time’ and clear your head and for me, Spring is THE best season to run in.

  
 

So make the most of those extra days of fun with the people you care for the most and make this Easter one to remember!

All photos via my Instagram unless otherwise stated. Follow me on Instagram for lots more here.

The thing I have fallen in love with this week: Hello Spring!

Over the last few days it feels like we’ve finally left winter and slowly moved into Spring. Ok, its not totally here, but the suns been shining, there’s flowers blooming everywhere and Easter and all its sweet treats is on the way.  

I need some inspiration – I need bright. I need cheerful. I need cute!!!

In todays ‘The thing I’ve fallen in love with this week’ blog I share the things that are making me smile so far this March. I couldn’t pick one thing so I’ve gone for a few (I do love doing a flat lay!). Bright, fun and sweet is the name of the game…

 

Clouds zipped purse – Cath Kidston
Vintage coral necklace – Etsy
Purse and brooch – New Look
Nail polish – Superdrug
Hello Fashion Monthly – subscribe here
Pineapple dish – Debenhams
Vintage Mother of Pearl necklace – Etsy
Pineapple vase – Store TwentyOne
Scarf – Echo
Love Sick book by Jessie Cave – Amazon
Vintage glass dish – Etsy
Mike and Ike American candy – B&M stores
Mason Jar cup – Poundworld
Face pot stand and beaker – Tiger Stores
Twizzlers American candy – B&M stores
Clouds Gola trainers – Cath Kidston
Hand Food hand cream & Butter Me Up body butter – Soap & Glory 

 

Bright colours and cute designs lift my spirits. I love the Cath Kidston cloud design (well I am the blue sky girl!) and my new Echo scarf is perfect for Spring styling. The yellow Pineapple vase from Store TwentyOne was a bargain must have and ‘Love Sick’ by Jessie Cave is a book of her doodles on love and relationships and it is very funny and VERY relatable…

 

Regular followers of my blog know I love Hello Fashion Monthly (a bargain at £1.50 each month) and I couldn’t live without Soap & Glory products – I can’t shower, scrub or cleanse with anything else! If you like a jelly bean (as I do), it doesn’t get better than American brand Mike and Ike and when I saw that Pineapple dish in Debenhams I just had to have it…

I feel more cheerful already! So, what are you loving for Spring?  

For more flat lay product inspiration follow me on Instagram – here.

Creating my own Stairway to Heaven

As I have mentioned previously, we are currently revamping our house which will see us pretty much redo every room in our house bar the kitchen.

One of the first areas I have looked at is the hall, landing and stairs. When we moved in it was a pale green with no carpet and felt cold, was noisy and very dusty. All the doors were untreated wood and there were areas of architrave missing.    I had wanted a striped stair carpet for some time but had only lived in homes where the carpets didnt need replacing so it was not to be. But now? Well, I had the perfect opportunity!

Over a couple of weeks I painted out the cold tone pale green walls into a warmer tone (a basic matt magnolia), re-glossed all the woodwork and primed and glossed all the doors. After quite a search, we found the carpet via SCS as I wanted a quirky, slightly uneven stripe rather than something too repetitive and formal. The brown tonal colours make the stripes stand out but not be too overpowering in this high footfall area.

      

With the bold carpet taking centre stage I then added some accessories to the window sills and some artwork to the walls –

A grouping of some of my collection of 1950s/1960s glass is presented on the hall window sill. Due to being overlooked I had to have a net curtain up (not one of my favourite things) so I went for a simple white voile…

 And a huge vintage ‘Le Chat Noir’ print is one of the first things you see as you walk in…Upstairs, two large artworks dominate the top of the stairs, one being one of my favourite items I own – an original 1970 Geoffrey Leeson artwork of a Peacock. Two of my favourite ornaments, a pair of collectable Villeroy & Boch ‘Animal Park’ cats are placed on the smaller upstairs window sill as well.

 

I’m really happy with how its turned out! The first project of our new home is complete and I’m now working on the master bedroom…look out for my blog on it soon.

What home improvement have you been up to recently?

Studio Collection by Next

Do you shop at Next? I have to be honest I don’t that much for clothing, but I have always liked their home and kids departments and often pop in for a quick browse. A few days ago a couple of images of their new home range came my way and I was bowled over.  I love a bit of retro style and love the colour orange and their new Studio range seems to mix these two things with a great modern vibe (another thing I love – my home has to still feel contemporary).

Described as “well designed contemporary furniture, textiles and accessories in a contemporary colour scheme to create clear zones in modern open plan living” it looks great and today I share some of my favourite pieces.  The full range is available online at Next here.

This has to be my favourite look of the collection – It feels modern yet at the same time a homage to the much coveted Mad Men style. The pops of bright orange and green work beautifully with the simple Logan sideboard (£325). The pair of prints by illustrator Budi Kwan (£40) are definitely a statement piece and I just love the orange leather chairs (£135 a pair) and that cast iron candleholder (£22) is a design that could be in your home forever.
Ooh, there’s those chairs again!  The Logan round table (£175) is a great design  – I love the look of dark walnut veneer against the black metal legs and again orange looks fabulous against it – that orange fruit bowl (£8) is almost too cool to use for fruit.

For modular choices the design of this Logan coffee table (£150) and stool set and the extending shelves (£275) are a brilliant way to define your different living zones as well as maximise your space.  The upholstered cube stools that store underneath the table are £50 each and available in 3 colours so can be mix and matched and once extended the shelves can be used as a fantastic room divider.

I do love great lighting – when I was training as a window stylist at Harrods, one of the first lessons I was taught is light is the best prop you ever have.  I can’t lie – that orange Orbit shade (£30) has made me swoon as well as the Good Vibes light box (£30) – groovy man… 

If you love Orla Kiely but can’t justify the price tag, some parts of the collection are definitely reminiscent of some of her prints (but lets remember she is only referencing retro 1960’s patterns and designs anyway). This Retro Geo wallpaper (£15 a roll) for example would work great on a feature wall.

img_3205A stylish desk can be hard to find and this one (£250) could also be used as a dressing table in a bedroom…oh and there’s one of those cute stools again…in my favourite colour no less!

img_3471And talking of dressing tables, the retro style can continue in the bedroom too! This ‘Me & You’ reversible cushion (£8) is super cute, don’t you think? Especially against the geometric duvet cover. Best of all you’d never have to fight for your side of the bed again!I’d love to know if you love this range as much as I do!  Its all available online and instore now – I think I feel a shopping trip coming on…  

all photos – Next.co.uk

Christmas the Always a Blue Sky Girl way

As many of you know, my background is in window dressing and visual styling and I’ve spent much of my career creating amazing Christmas concepts for the likes of Harrods, Selfridges, House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer. This means whether I like it or not, I have to ‘do’ Christmas in a certain way, with a certain style and over the years have collected some beautiful decorations to do it with.

In todays blog let me show you a few of my decorations and share some styling tips to hopefully help you create your most stylish Christmas ever!

Lets start with the first thing you see, the door wreath: Where we have a white modern door I have a very modern wreath. Its stylised with silver baubles inside, not to everyones taste but it suits our homes style. I like the simplicity of it and hopefully it sets the tone of the modern version of Christmas I personally love!

The Tree:

Having a modern designed home with retro/1960s highlights, I do love a white tree.  It is an acquired taste though. We actually have two trees each year, a traditional green one in the lounge and a more retro white one in our kitchen/diner. The mix of styles really works and keeps everyone happy.

On both trees I have a few rules – only a star on top, never an angel (sorry I find them super tacky, and a bit spooky); lots of large, stylised baubles made from glass if possible in a mix of no more than 4 colours and LED lights set deep within the branches.

Our two looks this year – Modern and cool : Traditional and festive:

Decoration groupings:

I don’t like a fussy home so mainly group similar decorations together in key areas.Ceramic soldier/fabric Robin: TK Maxx, Christmas Rules sign: Demelza House, slim Santa figure: Liberty, cut out stag: WilkinsonsGlass trees/Polar bear: TK Maxx, felt runner: John Lewis, wooden toadstools: Tiger Stores, baubles: HomebaseQuote cushion: Dunelm Mill, retro deer cushion: Asda, tapesty cushion: bought in New York (sorry!)  Merry Christmas sign: PaperchaseTin tray: The 99p Store

And with all this styling, I try to not take things too seriously, this is supposed to be a fun time after all… Giant bauble earrings for one of my favourite pieces of wall decor  A reindeer chopping board nestled amongst the usual ones in the kitchen And you’ve just got to have a few sprigs of Mistletoe hanging around, just in case!

And a final festive touch for our youngest child…well, if you don’t have a chimney, Santas got to get in somehow to deliver the presents! Santas key: Card Factory 

Have a wonderful Holiday season!  

For more Christmas inspo why not have a look at my blogs on advent calendars here and creating Christmassy kids rooms here.

Creating Christmas in a childs bedroom

They say Christmas is for kids, and I always like to make sure my childrens bedrooms feel festive too. In todays blog see my top 5 tricks to do Christmas in a fun and child friendly way, easily and cheaply…and best of all your kids will love it!

‘Days till Christmas’ countdown –

This is a great way to stop those ‘how many days…” questions you get pretty much every day of December. I like using a very cute, child friendly one and then have it displayed in their bedroom. Cute decoration groupings –

In the rest of my home my decorations have to be ultra stylish, but in the kids rooms? Anything goes! I let them pick ones they like then display in groups amongst their usual toys.  These were all bought in our local pound shop! Christmas duvet covers – 

This is a simple way to add Christmas cheer to their beds and there’s some lovely designs out there starting at around £9.99. We bought ours from Dunelm Mill and bought a new one this year for our 8 year old for £12.00 – find it here.Bunting – 

A great way to add decoration to the ceiling or on higher pieces of furniture. If bunting isn’t your style, making paper chains is a cheap and extremely effective solution too.
Festive soft toys – 

For smaller children a soft toy or two can really add a cute Christmas touch to their bedroom or nursery. Remember normal Christmas decorations could be dangerous for any child under 3 years, so keep safe by adding cute plush toys like the one below.I hope this gives you some inspiration to add some decorations upstairs in your home as well this year!

See my blog on advent calendars here.