Monday, 24 November 2014


How time flies...On Sunday coming, it is the first Sunday of advent!

 In many countries, including Norway, it is traditional that each of the 4 Sunday's leading up till Christmas is marked by lighting a candle..

In every home in Norway you will find a four armed "Advent stake" (candelabra) for this purpose, and the lighting of each candle is accompanied by verses of the advent song , and is a wonderful ritual to get that glow of anticipation into children's eyes...

So today I am sharing a very easy DIY Advent candelabra/wreath that will only take you half an hour to make:

You can purchase a long piece of wooden dowel and the copper equal tee's from any good hardware shop.
Cut the dowel to length with a hack saw.

Assemble the wooden dowels and the copper equal tee's as shown above...

Use the glue gun to attach the dowels into the equal tee's.

Keep gluing and assembling your candelabra together...

Then  pop in some candles, and join in the Scandinavian tradition of lighting one every Sunday leading up till Christmas...

I have to admit: Getting thin enough candles to fit in the copper tee's was more of a struggle than I imagined it to be (I know they exist, but....) So I ended up tapering mine down at the bottom using a lighter...

I also bought some Eucalyptus twigs from our local florist, as I think they not only look lovely just plonked in a vase, but also as they have that wonderful scent that sets you in mind of Christmas,,,

I will be back before the end of the week with this years DIY advent calendar,
so stay tuned!!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Christmas inspiration 2014

I'm starting to get my Christmas least mentally!
I've been trawling the web for inspirational images and I've made up a little X-mas pinterest board, pinning my picks...check it out!

Here's a few of my favorites:

Image by Petra Bindel for Elle Decoration via my Scandinavian home

Image found on

Image found on Ellens album
Image from HRUSKAA

Image from pikkuvarpunen

Image from the house doctor catalogue
Image from natalia-w-bruklinie

As you can see, I am very inspired by minimalist, Scandinavian style this year!
Bright and White, geometric shapes, blond wood, paper and a touch of evergreen...with a few candles and cookies thrown in for good festive measure!
Simplistic and stylish....that's the look I will be going for this year, and I have some great little DIY's planned for the coming weeks!

Do you plan and refresh your holiday decor every year, or do you always bring out the same decorations? I am a bit of both...some nostalgic pieces come out every just wouldn't be Christmas without them!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

house doctor...

Autumn/Winter 2014

This week I have been crushing on almost everything in the Danish family run interior design company House Doctor's Autumn/winter "moments" catalogue...

So today I am sharing these beautiful images from their current collection: Muted pastels and grey's, metallics , smokey glass and wood.....styled with touches of evergreens , adds just a gentle nod to Christmas to ease us into the festive season!

All images: House doctor

Friday, 14 November 2014

In detail...

"inspiring ideas for creative interiors"

In my search for inspiration, I ventured into our local Waterstones the other day, and after spending far too long perusing their section of interior books, I found Hans Blomquist's "in detail"....
It is not the sort of book that I was actually looking for (I was hoping to find one about minimalist Scandinavian interiors....something that reflects my own design sensibility)...but never the less it was love at first sight!
And I am so pleased that I decided to get it, maybe just because it doesn't reflect my own style....
It is a truly inspiring book, filled with stunning photography (by Debi Treloar and Hans Blomquist himself )of  Blomquist's beautiful and artfully displayed styling...

Blomquist's distinctive look is rough and raw, and focuses on the details that personalizes a home....far from minimalist, he shows us the world through his own eyes in this book...he reveals to us the beauty of the imperfect, the old and the useless...

The first chapter of the book talks about finding inspiration for interiors in nature....which is a very apt starting point, as his styling almost always contains an element of nature.
From texture to colour , this inspiration is evident throughout his book and from what I know of his work.

"No matter what time of year it is, nature always provides something that will create a beautiful focal point in any room, and bring a little piece of the natural world to your home."

Hans Blomquist

The chapters about texture and textiles again reflects his ability to see beauty in the imperfect, with lots of ingenious and creative ideas that would inspire anyone to personalize the way they present their homes... 

Blomquist's personality doesn't just shine through his styling, but you also get a real sense of him as a person through the descriptive writing: From his memories of childhood to his nostalgic affection for anything old and worn. His chapters about collections and displays was particularly appealing to me, both in a stunningly visual way and in his way of communicating his passion and revealing a little of himself through his words...

"I collect things that I fall in love with - and that might be an old paintbrush, a piece of vintage typography , a glass vase or anything else that catches my eye."

I can thoroughly recommend Blomquist's "in detail" to anyone that loves beautiful styling and stunning photography...It has lots of inspirational ideas for your interiors as well as some great tips on how to create a personal touch in your home using colours, textures and the obscure, from one of the current masters of interior styling!

Recently Hans Blomquist participated in an experiment for the Swedish estate agent X3, where he alongside two other stylists from The creative Swedish agency Agent BauerMikael Beckman and Tina Hellberg all put their spin on the same two bedroom flat, showing how powerful the use of color, decor and styling can be when it comes to transforming the mood in any room...
See the side by sides here

Last note: Lesson learnt: Sometimes getting inspired means not seeking out what you think is your style, but rather looking at how other people see the world, and embracing the differences in our sensibilities!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


...with Nostalgiecat??
OK! So I'm taking a break!
A pause to catch my breath, if you like!
I have not been feeling right for some time now, feeling low and uninspired! And on a personal level, this has been a very tough year for me!
I hope it hasn't shown here on the blog!
Sometimes it's important to stop, and just re-group your thoughts...
So, I've decided to give myself a 2 week break from my DIY projects...and just spend the next couple of weeks finding my mojo again!
I will be doing some essential updates to the site , but more importantly I will be concentrating on feeding my soul with inspiration...especially as Christmas (There..I said it....the November!!) is lurking around the corner!! 
But don't worry: I will be sharing any inspiration along the way...posts may be a bit sporadic over the next couple of weeks, but if you'd like to keep up with my inspirational journey, why not follow along on instagram , where I post little snapshots of my personal and creative life...
Or you can check out my pinterest profile to see what inspires me on the web!
Another place I post and re-post inspirations and useful links for the interior/design obsessed is facebook!
And if you'd like to get involved, and "chat" with me about anything, why not connect with me on  twitter!
Here's a little update on what's been happening in the last week:

When I was in Norway, I was working on a collaboration with Nordic Design, an award winning nordic inspired interior design/lifestyle online magazine based in Canada, for their annual Christmas magazine!
The lovely Catherine Lazure-Guinard, founder of this design-savvy resource of Scandinavian inspired interiors asked me to compile some must do Christmassy projects from the www....
....and I was more than happy to oblige!!
See the full inspirational Christmas magazine here my interview and see my top Christmas DIY projects from page 55.

Another thing that happened this week , is that I was featured on none-other that the interior genius Abigail Ahern's blog for her new weekly column #MYBIZSTORY....I adore Abigail, not just because she stands out from the crowd in the interior design world with her unique approach to using colour in her designs and her artful arrangements, but also because she is pro-actively using her "heavy-weight" status in the industry to promote up and coming talents....So I was soooo proud to kick off her new column telling her about Nostalgiecat and my new range of Concrete home accessories for An Artful Life...You can read my full interview here
Last but not least:
I really didn't think I would go for yet another award this year, but it seems someone (Thank you whoever you are!!) has put Nostalgiecat up for the national blog here we go again!! I know you are all probably sick and tired of me toting for your votes, but if you do have a spare minute, I sure would appreciate it!!

Although I've not been victorious in any of the other blog awards so far this has given me so much to know that I have your support..... and getting to go to these events has gotten me out of my lonely little blogging bubble and given me a chance to meet some amazingly inspiring people....and I've made some great new blogging buddies!!

You can give me your vote here

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The no-occasion Autumn Party....

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...just because!

There is no denying it: Autumn is here!!
The weather has turned cold and blustery...we even had our first frost here in the UK the other day!
The leaves on the trees has turned to display a glorious array of golden colours, and as the cold autumn wind howls around us, they are collecting in inviting piles on the ground...

There are so many things I love about this time of year: The crisp, low winter sun the days grow shorter and darker, frosty morning sunrises and inviting puddles covered with the slimmest layer of ice...Red cheeks and Little Miss Moo's cold little hand in mine,....the smell of wood burning on a fireplace in the air...
Coming inside, teeth shattering, kicking off our boots and coats, then slipping into a warm bath!
Slippers and pajamas, lighting a candle and snuggling up inside...
Hot chocolate, comfort food and board games in candle light....whilst the rain is beating on our windows!

So yesterday I set up a little autumn Party at the kitchen table before I went to pick up Little Miss Moo from school:
Homemade vaffles with "stirred" blueberry and redcurrant jam...
Hot chocolate for LMM with cream on top and lashings of marshmallows....
Chai Latte for me...(and a few praline chocolates...naughty!!)
And a memory game for a bit of quality fun Mia&mamma time!



This is what the Danish call "hygge" Norway we call it "kos"....
basically creating a beautiful and enjoyable atmosphere...
...making the everyday special !...especially important in the dark winter months!

And with this I enter the NIB November challenge "bare tilsett anledning" ("just add occasion")
You can find more atmospheric Scandinavian entries here

I hope you will all find the time to create some "kos" this autumn!