2014 Rustic Trends – Tactile Textures

I was doing a bit of searching around recently on t’internet for trends this year because we’ve been doing some work on our home.

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Rustic is a top trend for 2014 so I have put together some images of what I would use for a bathroom with tactile textures.

I really like this Cambridge Free Standing Bath from C. P. Hart Bathrooms. I would ideally have some exposed brickwork which really breaks up a room, adds extra character and accentuates the shape. I do have some in my sewing room but would’ve loved to been able to do this in the bathroom too. I do like a splash of colour so would go for a wooden floor – and would some boldness in the accessories – like this Liberty London floral fabric for the blinds and some chunky towels.

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The board is on my Pinterest ( I strongly recommend doing an inspiration board if you are thinking of designing a new room ) of how I would accessorise with this bath – and have added some of the pics to this post too.

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A lovely earthy candle scent would add to the overall feel of the room – and a few pops of colour dotted around against the white walls to finish it off and a heavy duty wire rack. I don’t think you can go wrong with an old style radiator – again, this one is by C. P Hart Bathrooms – who incidentally have a broad range of bathroom showrooms, ideal to gain some inspiration and get a true appreciation of the look and feel of their products. Also, for professional and interior designers, they have a trade section on their website that is well worth exploring. if you need some when you come to do your own bathroom.

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This post is in collaboration with C P hart – all opinions are my own.

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Festival finds

Glastonbury is here -  and I’m happy to say that I will be watching it from my the comfort of my sofa. I love the whole idea of it but there’s only so much you can do with wet wipes and I do love a good bath so it’s for the best ! That doesn’t mean to say though, that I’m not getting into the spirit of things and have found some really cute items for the whole season whether it be actually at a festival or partying in your own garden.

sun-shelter_kartingorange_610c Deckchair stripes have a massive amount of accessories, fabrics and home, garden and seaside products with all the colours that you can imagine. Their sun shelters are brilliant for sunny days and fold up really easily – much more practical than fighting with a tent on the beach. :)

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 13.49.15 Kigoule Duck Front On GreyIf you’re a big kid then you might like these parrot wellies by Kigu or their duck Kigoule. How cool are they ? ! Kigu is short for Kigurumi which means costumed animal character in Japanese. This company have been gong since 2009 and have a plethora of different animals to choose from.

original_cactus-candles-set-of-threeI couldn’t tell at first glance whether these cactus were real or not. They are in fact candles – perfect for sitting out in the evening. I found them on Not on the Highstreet by Bonnie and Bell. You can buy all 3 or individually.

original_tissue-pineapple-decoration A few decs around the place, hanging in trees maybe ? Peach Blossom sell various styles – my fave is the pineapple. Amara have some Anorak Kissing Rabbits picnic blankets ( currently in the sale ) that would brighten up any garden space. They have matching cool bags, plates and cups. I like ! 1kissing-rabbits-picnic-blanket

Last but not least – in fact one of the most important things you will need is a barbecue. This bucket shaped one, although it looks small is big enough for 6 people. It’s from Not on the Highstreet. original_large-portable-barbecue-for-six-persons

Have a great weekend, whatever you’re doing ! :)

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Tatty Devine Bunting Necklace

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Whoop ! It’s here. For once, it’s not bunting that I’ve made – but an acrylic necklace by Tatty Devine. No secret that I’m a huge fan of theirs ! Bunting makes everyone happy doesn’t it ? It always reminds me of fresh lemonade, strawberries and tombola’s.

If you want to grab one of these necklaces before they all go then hurry because it’s half price !  So are lots of other goodies on their site.

If you cast your mind back – I did a  little interview, a while back with Harriet and Rosie, the founders of Tatty Devine. You can read it here if you wanna !

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Hey, I’m going to Ibiza…

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Birkenstocks. Maybe the most comfortable sandals ever – but I have an up and down relationship with them. One year I like them lots and then the next I feel a bit fuddy in them.

I’m quite taken with these Madrid style ones though because they have a Liberty London floral print. It’s real pretty !  I’ve talked before about how tricky it is to find non leather shoes and up until recently have been wearing my Converse but the Summer has got the upper hand and I needed something cooler.

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I bought these denim joggers from Warehouse too. I haven’t bought anything from their store for years but have been looking for ages for a pair and almost made some but saw these for £45. I got them to go with the Birkenstocks. Splendid do a really nice pair too in a darker shade.

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Lowie have some cute little numbers at the mo – am thinking of treating myself to their jersey coral t-shirt to round the outfit off. I am going to Ibiza soon and will be wearing this on the way.

Do you have a favourite brand ? Do you have your eye on anything in particular this summer ?

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Trugging along

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We have literally talked about growing our own vegetables for years. I don’t know why it has taken us so long to get on with it, but finally, we have.

It’s a small step but I’m glad to say that after 7 days we actually have some shoots appearing through the soil. Of course, I didn’t think to label where I planted the seeds but pretty sure the ones with dark red stems are beetroot and the grassy ones are carrots. We’ve also put in some spring onions, spinach and butternut squash ( which, it turns out, no-one apart from me likes ! ) so hoping for a good little crop.

We are using a VegTrug that we bought from Suffolk Food Hall because it means I don’t have to keep bending down all of the time ( sore knees from running ) and hopefully the produce won’t get eaten by slugs. Because I don’t do slug chewed spinach. :)

The plan next is to get a greenhouse and get some tomatoes, cucumbers peppers on the go. Apparently you can grown these things inside the Trug but I am pretty sure that I would get myself into sixes and sevens.

It’s quite exciting for all of us. nice to be giving my daughters home grown food  - and for us, the sense of achievement will be great. I’m always checking the packets of salad in supermarkets and there is rarely much that has been grown in the UK. Let alone organic. I want to know what we’re eating !

Let’s hope that our first attempt is a success. My 5 year old helper is out there every day watering the shoots and is keeping a close eye on it all.

Any tips from you – greatly appreciated because I haven’t a clue what I am doing :)

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Cheers, George !

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Hope you are having a good week ?

I’ve been a lucky girl this week as George at Home have sent me some of their products to add to my ” favourite hub ” which is currently my kitchen.

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As you may know, I am no stranger to colour and prints so as I looked through all of the ranges, I was very excited to find leopard print mugs, bright mixing bowls – and flamingo and pineapple glasses amongst lots of other tempting products.

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I will be serving up popcorn in this star print bowl tomorrow for a kids sleepover and pouring smoothies with glass pink jug.

We are really getting into baking so the digital jug scale will be really useful, as will the “dry measure” cup – it’s got a retro look to it which is fab and a very good price at £3. Cooking is much more fun when you have the right tools. So now we do !

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Really like these cake and biscuit tins. They’re simple but vintage in style.

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As our pepper and salt grinders have seen better days, these battery operated Russell Hobbs ones are most welcome ! They even light up… if we are eating in the dark. :)

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The thing that I am most looking forward to using is this CoolGear collapsible Bento Box. If you remember – we attempted some sushi recently. This box has a base with a plate for your teriyaki salmon or and a top layer to put your rolls, dips, rice etc. Or just good for a packed lunch.

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Music Machines fabric by Candy Joyce

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One of my favourite things about blogging, is the opportunities that I get to work with different designers.

Candy Joyce contacted me recently to ask if I would like to use her fabric in one of my projects. She has a Spoonflower shop with lots of cool designs, all created by Candy.

It took a while to choose one to work with because she has a really nice, diverse selection, but in the end I opted for the Music Madness one in pink. What do you think of the retro print fabric ? I love it because it’s non – directional too, making it much easier to work with – and very little was left over.

We’re going for a picnic on Monday so I made a bag big enough for everything we need – I partly used an Amy Butler bag pattern but then just did my own thing for the handles and lining – and added some charcoal coloured piping.

Here’s just a few of Candy’s other prints …

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If you want to have a look at the full selection, you can find her shop here: http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/candyjoyce :) You can choose from so many different types of fabric too with Spoonflower – I quite fancy working with a jersey one next.

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Blinds – Before and After

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We’ve lived here for 4 years and I’ve been so busy making things for other people and being generally indecisive that it’s taken this long to make our kitchen blinds. I recommend making your own, because it’s not too difficult and will save you quite a lot of dosh. Amazing what a splash of colour and some flowers can do to a window !

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Our house is a medley of colours against white walls, with old and new furniture – adding the blinds has made it feel extra homely.

This ” Preservation Fixation ” print below by Sunny Buick is one of my favourites and it’s up in the kitchen, works well with the gingham. :)

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.. and having waited what feels like a lifetime for one, Andy gave me a Kitchen Aid Mixer as a belated Birthday present so all in all, I feel like a contented girl at the moment.

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Now all I have to do is paint and re – cover the chairs and the kitchen will be finished. What kind of fabric print would work with the gingham ? Any suggestions welcome ! :)

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My Perfect Home interview.

Having had to postpone my first ever 10 K a few weeks back because of a lingering virus, I  made it around a different course on Sunday in 67 minutes ( and let’s not forget the 15 seconds… ) so feel really proud because it was really hilly and I had a hot sun beaten head. :)

I raised some good funds for a school library and felt pretty euphoric to be honest. The first of many longer runs, I hope.

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Anyway, I wanted to tell you about a little ” Perfect Home ” interview that I was asked to do with Amara in collaboration with Heart Home Magazine. They are currently running a series of interviews with some of their favourite interiors bloggers, so it was an honour indeed.

I’ve always wanted my home to be in an interiors magazine ! If you’d like to read my interview and also the others who have taken part – here is the link.

We are doing up our house at the moment, cosmetically. Having finally just finished some red gingham blinds for the kitchen – I will be putting them up in the morn. Amazing what a simple change can make to a room. Blog post to come ….

Have a great Friday. :)

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INSPIRE ME with Laura Babb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a lot to thank Laura Babb for. She was our wedding photographer and quite frankly, couldn’t have captured our day better.

Laura is based in London but also travels far and wide, photographing many a happy couple. Her work has been featured recently in Hello Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Wedding Ideas Magazine, The Huffington Post, Rock my Wedding … to name just a very few.

As a story teller of other peoples loves – I thought it would be interesting to find out more about Laura Babb herself, and how she manages to evoke memories so effortlessly with her camera …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell me about your background. Have you always been creative ?

I was into drama and performing arts when I was growing up and studied performing arts at college but I didn’t ever really have a visual arts medium that I used to express myself creatively. I am dreadful at drawing.

I think my interest in photography was sparked in 2007 when I travelled around Cambodia and Thailand.  This picture of a boat, on a beach on Koh Chang, is one of the first pictures that I ever took that I remember feeling proud of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you get into wedding photography ? What inspired you ?

When I got back from my travels, I met Pete, my now husband, who is a graphic designer and was always taking pictures on his compact digital camera.  I guess that inspired me, as I bought my first SLR not long after that.

Pete had studied photography at A Level and taught me to use it.   We’d go out on walks to take pictures nearly every weekend and my love of photography developed that way.

I loved photographing urban landscapes and architecture and I still use a lot of those elements in my work as backdrops when photographing people.  I am constantly inspired by the world around me, shapes, lines and form and I love to explore these elements with my camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is there a technique to relaxing people so that you can get the perfect photo ?

When I photograph couples it’s really about getting them to interact with each other naturally.  When I photograph individuals I’ll get them to engage with me.  For me a lot of this is trying to get people to forget that the camera is there.

Once they have spent a little bit of time being photographed in a really low key way, you can move in a little close or try to get more creative shots.  I think it’s all about reading people really and, for me, the first 10 minutes of any session is the most important as that’s when I get a feel of what the person will be like on camera.

On the wedding day it’s often easier, as you’ve been photographing the couple in a documentary style for a few hours before it comes to the portrait session, so they’re used to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has been your most unique location to date ?

I’ve had a few warehouse weddings which I’ve really loved.  One of my favourites was Camp and Furnace in Liverpool.  They have a big, warehouse with vintage caravans inside.  It’s very cool.  I love heading off to different cities and countries too, to shoot.  I was in California recently for a photography workshop and being able to explore a new area with my camera totally reinvigorates my love for shooting. I’ve been lucky enough to do some destination weddings too, which I really enjoy for the same reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you feel nervous or excited before a shoot ? Or both ? 

Both. I think a bit of nervous energy is normal.  It starts to build up the day before, when I am getting my kit ready and packing my bag, and I often feel a little nervous when I’m on route. The nerves dissipate when I start photographing though and the adrenalin kicks in.

What camera do you work with ? What would you recommend to a budding photographer ?

I shoot with Nikon cameras.  They’re all much of a muchness though really.  Any entry level SLR is a great move if you want more control over your photography.  There are some great mirror less options now days too.  It’s funny, people often ask me for camera advice but I really don’t know much about them.  I know my camera but don’t know much about what else is out there ( unlike my husband who seems to know everything about every camera ! ).

I’d always say a camera is only as good as the person who’s using it so the biggest thing to invest in is practice time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As well as wedding photography – you also offer fashion, beauty and portrait photography – are they all very different ways of working ?

I only really do the odd shoot that’s not wedding related.  A lot of my editorial work is wedding related and I do enjoy it. I have thought about trying to grow these areas of my business but, really, my passion is story telling.

I love doing lifestyle shoots that involve hanging out with someone/a family for the afternoon, and just telling their story.  I love this picture from a family lifestyle shoot that I did recently, where Laura and Rob are just hanging out with Max, their baby.  It makes me really happy to be able to put together a set of images that provide a window into what life is like on a day to day basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being self employed and running your own business  - what are the pros and cons ?

Pros – it’s such a lovely feeling to see your business grow.  This is the start of my fourth year in business and I have just set up a Limited Company and taken on an assistant.  Having flexibility is nice and being autonomous is great.  I also love being able to do something creative.  I also never, ever get that Sunday night feeling of doom that I used to get when I worked for someone else.  I love my job now.

Cons – About five percent of my time is spent on photography and the rest is running my business.  As a company of only two people, everything falls to me ( although I do now outsource various bits and pieces ).  You really do feel compelled to be working all of the time and it’s common for me to work six days a week or even seven in the middle of wedding season.   I even had to check my email while I was on my honeymoon !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where do you see your career heading in the next few years ? What else would you like to achieve ?

I want to expand the business to have a number of associate photographers who shoot for me.  I have started this process with my new assistant, who will be shooting with me this year then shooting her own weddings as part of Babb Photo next year. On a personal level I’d love to do more travel / documentary photography and me and my husband are saving to travel more at the moment.

 

Thanks Laura. Looking forward to seeing this summers shoots. :)

If you’d like to see more of Laura’s work, you can go to www.babbphoto.com, where you can also check out her current portfolio. Of course, there’s also her Facebook and Twitter pages too, if you fancy saying hi !

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All images copyright of Laura Babb 2014.

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