travel, food, photography, home, crafts, personal style

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Chalk it up !

I awoke this morning to the dulcet tones of my other half shouting as he went out the door "can we keep the house tidy now .... pleeeease".    Hmmm, well I will have to think about that. 

The reason for the big tidy up was to be ready for a visit from Annie Sloan and her team to take some pics of how I have used her colours in my house.  So before I go and get the house all messy again I thought perhaps I should run around and snap before I start 'living' here again.  Honestly, its never really THAT messy, just that when you work from home and make and create it does look like a workshop more than a house. Also my house is my photography studio, so new looks, backdrops and props, all end up being incorporated into everyday living. 

I 'borrowed' some stock from the vintage importers "Brocant" for the purpose of photographing it for their website, they are  selling at fairs all over the south-east and also have a unit at the Brackley Antiques Cellar.  Gary and Ramon travel to Europe every month bringing back great religious statues, retro lava ceramics and taxidermy.

Brocant also now know that anything a bit folk and painted has my name on it, so the things I have 'borrowed' will now move into the 'bought' category.

 You may have seen the lampshade in the background before, I made the shade using a Russian scarf bought from Folkski.  Heres two of the lava ceramics from Brocant, the colours vibrate so perfectly with the Annie Sloan chalk paints in colours Florence and Antibes.

To balance the areas of intense colour I do have some calm corners, but a plain wall is just too much of a temptation and so I had to get my stencils out. 

 I also stencilled the screen above, I cut the stencil myself and this screen is a portable backdrop for me to use in photos. As it lives in the house I teamed it up with a chair I recently repaired.  The colours on the screen are Provence, with Emperors Silk, Graphite, White and Antibes chalk paints.

 Trusty Lorraine at Wild Orchid florists in Leighton Buzzard sorted me out with flowers.

 Oh the 1930's satin nightdress, well I just had to get it to decorate my bedroom with didn't I?  The other half said "but you wear mens pj's" well, perhaps when the weather warms up I will waft around in this little number.

As chalk paint sticks to practically everything I decided to paint my bath and the wall behind it. These colours certainly wake you up and give you some zing in the morning. Bathrooms and hallways can take the more intense colours so why not go for it yourself. I found the scarf tucked away, I had bought it in India years ago and together with some little birds from Holy Cow Home, and some slightly bonkers 1930's objects created this ummmm ... gypsy boho indian 30's theme. As Mr. Hopwood from the Great Interior Design Challenge would say "it's fusion".

More German lava ceramics from Brocant, these sit so well with the other retro pieces like Ercol, G-plan etc. Throw in some textiles picked up on your travels through India and Morocco and this is what you get. Please don't look to closely at our record collection, there is some well dodgy guilty pleasures hidden in that pile.

Sorry chaps but these three vases are staying with me, look how amazing they look with these lilies and anemones on the Aubusson coloured background.  I think that Lorraine at Wild Orchid will have to make a permanent order for me for orange Cala Lilies.

Sorry Annie for the obligatory photo but it just had to be done. 
To find where to get some of the items seen above here are the links :

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint : mine came from Making The Best retro and religious wears : on facebook
Wild Orchid Flowers : High Street Leighton Buzzard 
Holy Cow Home : Online
Brackley Antiques Cellar :
Bohemian Beach Company  on facebook

Please find me on facebook for updates of when books and articles are being published. You can find me HERE



  1. Oh my gosh,I have totally fallen in love with your home! Do you offer any design help? Please mail me at

    1. Thank you very much Christina for such a lovely comment, yes indeed I do offer design advice and help. I will mail you directly xx

  2. Ooooh my goodness I love all these photos SO SO much! You know I love the folk art motifs. I love your use of colors and florals, old and new. You have such an amazing home!

  3. Janice, I think you have a beautiful soul. How could it be otherwise when you create so much beauty...

  4. Your home is fantastic. I love your folksy style and colours. My home, an old cottage, has small rooms, so I'm a bit limited :(


Blogger Template Created by pipdig