Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mirrors and Bunting

Traditional (and even semi-traditional) French houses are very dark, with a roof over most windows to keep out the blazing summer sun - you can just see our patio roof in this picture. It works brilliantly, but everyone has to find ways to bring more light into their homes. Electric lighting is bound to provide some of it, but Ben and I have tride hard to maximise the available natural light with pale walls and lots of mirrors.
j
I'm always on the look out for mirrors!
The French mirror above came home with me from Scotland this time - it used to belong to my grandmother. The terrible old one below cost me a few euros at a Vide Grenier and I fell strangely in love with it, despite its damaged mirror glass and strange, wood-effect metal frame. I honestly like it, folks!
On Sunday Ben finally stopped his outdoor work (rain and darkness stopped play) and came in brandishing tools, offering to put the mirrors up. Once he'd replaced the dreadful old fixing, they went up quite quickly, and looked like this. Clutter visible, realists - I hope you're proud of me!These lovely hooks I got (and altered) for my birthday got put up in the kitchen at the same time. They now house my two Garden Party tea cosies and the vintage apron which Kate sent me, leaving the other hooks for more prosaic kitchen stuff.
So on Monday evening, as homework took place all around me (maths and physics - thank goodness Ben was home), I fiddled and tweaked the area around the mirrors (and dusted, too!)
I got my megaplant, which was but a baby when the boys bought it for me a few years ago, to drape itself elegantly over the French/Scottish mirror. Happy mummy.The other side was looking decidedly bare, so I thought and thought (even giving Ben a second to make suggestions, but coming to a conclusion before he said anything, poor man). What I thought of was some bunting/garland that I'd just made following Tif's wonderfully vague instructions over at dottie angel. Here is Tif's seasonal festive garland.
I'd wanted to make this ever since I saw her tutorial, but I wanted it to be more than just a poor copy of a dottie angel garland. After all, Tif is an English woman who flits around a mossy shed in Seattle, wearing a customised slip and studiously avoiding her shift key. On the other hand I am an English woman who stomps around a barn-type house in France, wearing loads of woolies and lazily over-using ellipsis...
...so I wanted to make mine different, somehow.
j
The moment of epiphany came when I remembered the 'useless' little bits of Victorian quilt that I'd saved after making all the 'useful' pieces into cushions or whatever. I quickly hauled them out of the cupboard and got to work:
I added bits of French embroidery from whatever I was prepared to cut up:
And to give it the wintery theme I wanted I cut up a sweetly embroidered blouse with Inuit people and snowflakes on it:
I draped it from the bookshelf, sort of echoing the draping pattern of my plant on the other side:
And took it down to the pitcher of bullrushes in the corner.
I am quite happy with the result, although I might just 'tweak' a bit more!
So thanks, Ben, for the hard work, and thanks, Tif, for the great idea!

23 comments:

bekimarie said...

Love your bunting, I also fell in love with Tifs when I saw it. Just wish I had time to make some at the moment.
Very proud of you showing your clutter although I don't see it as clutter, it's HOME!
((hugs))
Beki xxx

Michela said...

Your makes are always different and so charming!
...A French mirror from Scotland..to France sounds very funny!

Lululiz said...

Your home looks cosy, warm and welcoming and exactly that, a HOME, not a show house. Love your mirrors. Oh, and that chandelier, thats quite something!

Floss said...

Half price at Bricomarché, Liz!

Mrs. Cozy Home said...

Love your cozy, happy home!! I also struggle with light in a townhouse with only windows to the front and back -- mirrors are a GREAT idea!!

Serenata said...

Looks lovely Floss, your home looks so inviting.

bad penny said...

Floss what a lovely time you have had ...both the plant & the bunting look super draped around

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Your home looks welcoming and warm - very pretty. Clutter is part of my decor these days - to many unfinished projects. :( I need to just put everything away and start fresh.

marigold jam said...

I know exactly what you mean about French houses being on the dark side which was what attracted us to the one we had in France since it had an extension to the dining room at the back which had double and a triple patio doors making up the corner of the room and 2 huge Velux windows in the roof so it was incredibly light and bright whereas our sitting room with the fireplace had french windows opening onto a covered terrace so it was cool but shady in summer and snug in winter. Many of the houses we looked at were indeed dark and often with brown flocked wallpaper and a 25 watt bulb!!! Yours looks great.

Jane

Elizabethd said...

What a busy creative person you are! And what a huge plant you have!

TheMadHouse said...

I love all your books. Me and madDad have a clutter thing going on I try, he removes lots. He grew up in a very over cluttered house and refuses for ours to be the same. He is more relaxed about the kitchen as that is my domain. I love the bunting and all the embrodiery. Really lovley with the lace. I am feeling a christmas bunting thing needing to happen

Shabby Chick said...

Really like that bunting! The mirrors look great too.

Mel xxx

Pomona said...

The bunting is wonderful - and I love that blue pinny, too. My problem is dashes - am I really that breathless when I speak? Maybe I will go for the dots like you ... they are rather effective. And to be honest the shift key is rather a pain, but I think I have marked too many essays to abandon it!

Pomona x

Olga said...

Hi Floss! Great job on the garland - I see you created it in 'your' colours :)thanks for the link with tutorial - I bet many people will like it!

Lola Nova said...

Oh dear, now you have me thinking about my ellipses, parenthesis, dashes, quotations, and good old fashioned made up words :)
You left a comment on my blog which left me to think you hadn't been so terribly creative and here I see quite the opposite. What lovely creative things you have managed! Your garland is just wonderful and I love your mirrors. Your post has made me most smiley!

Dragonfly said...

Looks lovely - very nice :-)

Itch2stitch.com said...

I just love bunting, but I love yours it is so unusual and very pretty too! Tis beautiful Floss! suzie. xxx

Sarah said...

Very nice garland Floss! You did a great job of it and doesn't it pretty the place up so much. That plant is so cool. I had a plant that used to reach the floor when I was a child, I loved it.

You know I don't have mirrors in the family areas at all - I've just realised. I'd love one for the entrance way as it's lacking in a big way. Love your photos today honey!

Luisa @ Dance in my garden said...

Hi Floss, thanks so much for visiting my blog, and telling me about tiny little vintage caravan...I think I am now in vintage caravan and garland gagaland...love them!
Your garland is gorgeous, and I love the Inuit people on it!
Your blog is beautiful!
x

dottie angel said...

oh, floss of the ellipsis...
i think you have done a splendid job indeed with your latest 'home decor' doings... the garland is peachy perfect, especially more so by you actually understanding my tutorial and the mirrors are wonderful indeedy...
Tif x
the avoider of the shift key :)

sharie said...

The mirrors look good insitu and so does your new banner with the winter motifs.

Good for you showing your home as it really is ( a nice cosy lived in place which looks very relaxing). You get really sick of looking at staged room on some blogs (oops maybe I shouldn't have said that) .

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Lovely new garland, loving the lace and the little Innuit people, well worth the sacrifice. If you could ask Him down the Lane to come in from the shed now and put up a few pictures for me that would be brilliant, tee hee!

Sarah x

Thecraftytrundler said...

A lovely take on bunting!!
I love mirrors too!! For me they give the illusion the rooms are bigger. My next door neighbours had a lovely framed mirror with stained glass around the edges. It was made for them by a friend!!!
You have a lovely home, with a character of it's own!!

Sharon xx