Janice Issitt                    Life and Style

travel, interiors, photography, home, crafts, personal style

11 Jan 2016

Urban Jungles and Resolutions

Feeling slightly deflated as the start of this week leaves us with the loss of a very important part of our lives.  Goodbye to Mr. Bowie, the world feels strange without you.

And if the loss of someone, although not close but an important part of musical history, were to teach us nothing else, than to leave a mark on the world and not to fade into the background. David Bowie was a man who created the soundtrack to the youth who grew up, like me, during the 1970's.  So it is poignant that at the time of year when we are making our resolutions, that his leaving should be a reminder to do it now and pontificate no longer about how your life should be.

There's no easy segue from that to my post about plants in the kitchen, so I won't even try. 

I have had a rush of energy during these first few weeks of January to get the house, clean, tidy and refreshed. Although I constantly change the way it looks and paint walls often, I did feel a little de-clutter and re-organisation was a good idea. So I set about to find a new colour paint for the kitchen and lounge.

The poster calendar has been fixed to the kitchen door as a reminder to not waste time.  

 I don't have great light in my kitchen and the size also makes it tricky to photograph so these photos don't really do justice to the subtlety of the colour I chose from Benjamin Moore's range of high gloss paint. Influenced by the Pantone colours of the year, pale pink and blue I decided to try these, plumping for the blue in the kitchen and mixing my own shade of pink using Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan, for the lounge. 

I feel you have to be quite careful with pink, usually considered 'girly' and quite a bedroom sort of colour, it does act as a great balance to masculine items such as the leather chairs. 

While sorting and re-assessing what I had and what I didn't need any more I realised that some of my father's finds from the Souk of Cairo were deserving of more space and prominence. I took a collection of Zar Amulets (above) and framed them for the chimney breast wall.  

Many of you will not have heard about the Zar Cult religion before, it is practised along the Nile delta but more prominently in Ethiopia. Mostly by women, the Zar Cult deals with spirit possession and a ceremony which involves dancing and drumming, the high priest will make an amulet for the inflicted person to wear at all times to protect them from the spirit.  As this is in conflict with the Islam religion the reverse side of the amulet has a verse from the Koran and this faces outwards. You can't see it in this photo but the engraving on the discs is of figures, animals and plants.  I plan to do a blog specifically about these and some other jewellery I have from that area of the world.

Our topic this month for Urban Jangle Bloggers is to show the plants we have in our kitchens.  The great kitchen window sill has long been considered the place to raise cuttings and grow herbs.  Mine is no exception, the Swiss Cheese plant grew after I cut leaves from one that was straggly, I put them in a vase as it seemed a shame to throw it away and a few of the leaves grew roots.  I popped them in a planter and it is continuing to shoot and thrive.  

January is also the time for bulbs, in our hurry to rush towards Spring, which mother nature has taken upon herself to do for us this year, I love indoor hyacinths and there are pots of them everywhere. Their smell in intoxicating and a great way to make the house smell fresh while it wears it's new coats of paint. 

More of my home improvements will feature soon on Abigail Ahern's Blog, I will keep you up to date with when that will run.  Until then, strap on your apron and get a move on, time waits for no man.
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