Go West … Life Is Colourful There …

Boden Ledbury Green Coat

We’ve just had the most lovely week in the West Country. We have been looking forward to it for ages. Funny how you spend ages feeling excited about a holiday for weeks and then suddenly you’re looking back at it.

It did rain. A lot. But it didn’t stop us getting out and about locally but mainly from swimming as much as possible.

One of the places that I was most wanting to visit was Bristol. I’ve never been but had heard that it is my kind of place. It really is. Next time I go, will be for a collaboration and I will get more time to take some images to post here. More on that soon.

Glastonbury Tor Boden-1

Luckily, because it was a tad cool in the week and definitely warmer clothing weather on several of the days, I had my new coat with me. I was standing looking at the lush pastures around The Tor in Glastonbury when a couple walked by. The man said ” Ooh I love your jacket ” … which felt nice as it was my first outing with it on.

It’s the classic Ledbury style from Boden and is a pastel shade of green. It fits like a glove and it’s nice to try a colour that I don’t normally wear. This season it is also comes in Charcoal Melange and Navy.  It’s a dress up or casual coat – and ideal for days like this one for skinny jeans and pumps.

I love the shape and the style – what do you think ?

Boden Ledbury Coat

If you follow me on Instagram you will know my total love for gorgeous front doors and Bristol didn’t disappoint. I loved this yellow one. Might have to change ours again ! You will also see lots more photos from the last week of us out and about.

I would love to hear of any recommendations for Bristol for my next upcoming visit. Shops, restaurants and anywhere interesting for a colour lover to check out. Please leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Have a good one.

Lucy x

This post is in collaboration with Boden. All opinions my own.

Photography by Andrew Henderson.

Bikes, Flower Cakes And A Cheeky Vote

BIKE 4

How has your weekend been so far ? There are two reasons for this post. Actually, three ? Bear with me …

One is to show you my new bike. I am beyond excited about it as I’ve wanted one for ages. Everyone else in the family has one so I have felt a bit left out when they’ve all cycled off for a little road trip. Not anymore !

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I haven’t stopped since I got it  – cycling is the new running. One of my the stipulations was a basket on the front so that I can pop to the shops or visit my family with cake…. more on that in a minute…

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On this trip I was on the way back from the local garden centre ( far more appealing than night clubs these days ) and stopped off to take a few photos. The bike is designed by Victoria Pendleton and I chose the mint green as this colour would always be my first choice as its subtle and inspired by times gone by.

It has seven gears by the handle at are really easy to change too. Whoop ! You might have guessed that I’m a bit in love with it ? You’d be right.

The second reason for the post is that the flowers in the front were to dress a lemon drizzle cake that I made and wanted to blog.

CAKE

I left half for my Mum with the edible flowers and we took half for a long journey. It’s something that I had wanted to try out for ages and it was fun decorating with the pansies, violas and marigold petals. The lavender was just for extra aroma, although lavender and lemon works well together as a cake too. If you’d like the recipe then leave me a comment and I will get it over to you in two shakes of a lambs tail ! I hope you like it ?

Lastly … you may have noticed a ” Vote Now – Amara Interior Blog Awards ” badge on the right hand side of my blog ? Well, I was nominated recently in the Colour Inspiration section of the Amara IBAs and would LOVE to make the shortlist. If you have a few secs to vote for me, I would be so grateful. You can vote for me here or click on the badge and it takes seconds. Anyone who votes is automatically entered for a trip for two the the Amalfi Coast – so there might be something in it for you too. :) I hope you win !

Have a good one …

Lucy x

Our Secret Room … Sshhh !

Kids Secret Room 2

I want to share a colourful little corner of our home today …

My girls are lucky because there is a little door behind a wardrobe that leads to the girls ‘ Secret Room ‘ as all their friends call it – and they always head in there.

When we moved in it was a just an empty cold space with no real floor but it needed a purpose as every room does. The ceiling is too low for a dressing room but it is perfect for a cosy little creative space and of course somewhere for them to have a bit of a gossip….

We painted the side walls with a Farrow & Ball paint called Strong White, which adds light to the room and then at the end, we painted the wall with a blackboard paint so they can have some fun drawing. The odd midnight snack has been consumed in here too – I have found the empty crisp packets … :)

Treats in the Secret room-1 copy Treats in the Secret room-1-3

This ‘ Atilla ‘ Gnome Stool is by Kartell who are famous for their collaborations when it comes to interiors. I love their creativity and focus on well made products. Phillipe Starck who is also well known for his focus on practicality, designed this stool which also doubles up as a table. It is incredibly sturdy and a good weight, so it feels very safe to sit on !  It’s from online home store Kontenta  – they also stock the other two in the collection called Napoloeon and Saint Esprit, if you’re looking for a set.

Kids Secret Room 1-1

Kontenta also stock lots of designer home products such as beds, lighting and wall art  – I really like their store because it’s full of colourful items. Right up my street. :)

I hope you like our ‘ Secret Room ‘ ? Which is your favourite room in your house ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Have a good day.

Lucy x

I was sent the Kartell stool by Kontenta but have received no other payment for this post. All opinions my own.

A Beach Hut Inspired Garden Room

Beach-Hut-Shed

One of our favourite things in the world is visiting the coast and we try to as much as we can, but sometimes there’s too much to do here and a trip seems a bit tricky. We’ve been meaning to do up our garden room for a while  – it’s right in my eye line when I look out the kitchen window, so at last we have combined our love of the seaside with some DIY and created our own little beach hut hideaway.

Beach Hut Shed

The exterior blue paint is ‘ Pure Duck Egg ‘ by the Homebase range of  ‘ Home of Colour Garden Colour ‘ which I think is refreshing. What do you think ?

I covered some old deck chairs with some new canvas in bright stripes. It was really easy, especially as the material only had to be sewn to loop around little poles and not tacked in to them.

Cupcakes

I painted the wooden interior and then we covered the floor to make it easy to clean with an oak effect vinyl . It came in plank style and feels very strong. It’ll be handy for wet feet after water fights and labrador paws.

The  Drew Lacquer Table is by Habitat as is the bowl, I love the print and think I might invest in the collection more, it’s really reasonable .The cakes are a treat to ourselves for finishing the project finally !

Cupcakes!

The flowers are all from the garden – I found these retro style wall vases recently – they’re great for displaying a few at a time.

Flowers From The Garden

The decking came in tile form. My brother built it for us, we just used 6 which enough for us to be able to put the deck chairs on and even maybe have a little barbecue. I’ve put some lavender and other flowers on there too to add a little extra colour and nice aromas.

Covered DeckChairs

I hope you like our new rustic beach hut garden room ?  Please do leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. :) Would love to hear from you.

I feel quite proud that I did a lot of it myself. Especially as it is the summer hols ! It has given me confidence to try some more house projects.

You can find the paint, decking, Habitat items and some of the plant pots on the Homebase website.

Lucy x

This post is in collaboration with Homebase. All opinions my own.

4 Great Books To Get Creative And Crafty

Handmade Interiors

I thought it a good time to share some reviews of books from publishers DK on the blog. You might be looking for a new hobby or in need of some ideas for things to keep the kids busy at the moment – I know I am !

Four books here that are all different types of craft books so hopefully will suit you or someone you know.

HANDMADE INTERIORS

This is packed full of projects for new sewing enthusiasts and the more experienced. There are well laid out, step by step tutorials with easy to follow images. It teaches you how to measure up, make and install your creations. It’s hard backed with a huge selection of soft furnishings to try out. My favourite section is ‘ Using Colour and Pattern ‘.

Here’s the cushion I made with some Liberty fabric. Lovely print, eh ?

Liberty Cushion-1 Embroidery Stitches

EMBROIDERY STITCHES

This book is so detailed ! I have never attempted embroidery before, I think because I’ve always thought it will take ages to finish a project  – but it has made us girls here really keen to make something. There is every possible stitch you can imagine with lots of tutorials. Written by Lucinda Ganderton, it starts with the history of embroidery with the following chapters talking about equipment needed, techniques and a gallery of close up stitches. For novices like us, the information is easy to understand. See… we’re having a go at some of the more basic stitches here …

 

Embroidery Stitches One Ball Of Wall Book

ONE BALL OF WOOL

A great idea for a book. The cool, contemporary images are brilliant, showing what you can achieve with just  ‘ One Ball of Wool ‘. My favourite knitting and crochet projects are the texting gloves and the Dapper Dog Bow Tie .. as you can see. As I don’t knit ( yet ) a lovely lady called Pam made it for Sandy and she enjoyed it. Other things you can make are slippers, toys, scarves … 25 in total. Not only is the crafting confined to wool – there are also some rubber tubing and wire ideas. It’s a definite eye opener ! It’s only £9.99 which makes it a really good price too.

Sandy in a bow tie My Sewing Machine

MY SEWING MACHINE

What a fabulous book for kids, written by Jane Bull. It is brimming with colour and with loads of easy things to get them started. The layout of ‘ My Sewing Machine ‘ on each page is really engaging – it is clearly designed to inspire. There’s nothing too tricky and the wording is simplistic and fun. It’s good that the start of the book is all about getting to know your sewing machine which is sometimes more daunting than the sewing itself. It also points out the safety aspect of using the machinery.

What I like the most about this book is the ‘ How to make paper templates ‘ section. It’s a good way of getting kids used to the idea of starting from scratch and who knows – might encourage pattern cutting later on.

Here is our ‘ Flutterby ‘ party streamer that we tried out. They both found this very straight forward to cut and sew. We will definitely will be making more for the next birthday party.

Ribbon Bunting-1

Hope you have found my thoughts on these books useful. If you want any more details or just want to leave a lovely comment under this post … please do. I will reply as soon as I can. :)

Lucy x

A Sense Of Summer Splendour

Home Sense Summer 2015

We’re in to the summer holidays now which means nice, long days outdoors and eating al fresco. I like my garden to feel and look like an extension of my home and that means lots of colour and eclectic eye candy.

I’ve found and put together my top 10 favourite unique finds from homeware store HomeSense that I hope you like too – they’re perfect for barbecues with friends and family.

These items are by well known top brands, but offering savings of up to 60 % which makes them all the more enticing. Prices start super low.

I found it quite hard to limit myself to just 10 so below are some more things to wet the appetite …

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Particularly like this bistro style, patterned table and chair as it would add some character to a smaller urban garden.

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Happiness on a plate. An informal dinner party out in the garden – I love evenings like this – reminds me of childhood. Fun and relaxed days.

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The drink dispenser is such a good idea. Sit it in the middle of  the table and help yourself. Quite a good idea for kids too  – maybe fill it with a fruit juice punch ?

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Absolutely love these chairs. They work indoors and outdoors. They are timeless. HomeSense have a great selection of seating.

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Lots of pretty colourful lanterns. They look effective scattered over an outdoor table and give the feeling of being on holiday. Yes please to that !

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If you’re looking for an indoor garden, this wood and glass house is perfect for displaying your potted plants, like a mini Kew Gardens. :)

HomeSense stores are part of the TK Maxx Home family and are dotted around the UK. They are constantly updating their stock with new products from around the globe so well worth checking them out. You can find out more on their website here.

Have a nice day …

Lucy x

( Pic 1 copyright Lucy Loves Ya and 2 – 7  copyright HomeSense 2015 )

This post is a collaboration with HomeSense.

Fancy a Tatty Devine Jewellery Making Party ?

Tatty Devine Workshop Brick Lane
You may remember a while back I interviewed the lovely Rosie and Harriet, the founders of jewellery brand Tatty Devine ? I am a very big fan of their colourful jewellery and wear it as much as I possibly can.

Well, this week I was lucky enough to be invited to their new jewellery party workshop space which is located at the back of their Brick Lane store.

Tatty Devine Workshop Space

Oh … it is colour galore with a fun atmosphere and the kind of environment that instantly makes you want to get creative.

It’s perfect for celebratory get togethers or hen do’s as you can sit around the table adorned with everything you could possibly need. You can chat and catch up while you all make your own unique pieces to take home at the end. There is a Tatty Devine expert on hand to guide you through the making process.

 

Tatty Devine BuntingJump Rings Tatty Devine

Apparently there are two different types of parties that you can book ….

The first is the Original Party which is £40 each for between 8 – 12 guests, where you all have a choice of creating the Original Bunting Necklace, Heart Bunting Neclace, Star Bunting Necklace or a Charm Bracelet. It also includes a Fentimans soft drink ( love those .. ), popcorn and sweet treats and you can decide on your own playlist and a cheeky 15% off any other jewellery on the day.

The second is very aptly called The Devine Party which is £50 each, again for between 8 – 12 guests and you have the same choices of jewellery to make as the first one. The host gets to take home a complimentary name necklace. There is also a glass of prosecco on arrival and a tote bag to take home for everyone. You get all those lovely treats I mentioned earlier too plus the playlist and the 15% off too.

They happen on Wednesdays and Saturdays and you can find out all you need to know on their parties page.

Tatty Acrylic Tatty Devine Workshop

I am thinking of booking a party for my next Birthday  – it’s nice to go and do something a bit different plus you can go for a yummy curry on Brick Lane afterwards.

Bunting NecklacesHope you like the images ?  I had fun taking them and chatting to the girls. In fact I didn’t want to leave – so much inspiration all around. I got some great Tatty instagram pics and some cool street art too  – so do keep a look out.

Acrylic Necklace Tatty Devine

What do you think of Tatty Devine’s new parties ? Tempted ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Have a wonderful day.

Lucy x

Vegetarian Curry Recipes

Vegetarian Curry

I’m not sure if I have ever mentioned my Dad here on my blog ?

As well as being a screen and stage writer – and my inspiration in so many ways, he is also an incredible curry cook. He worked very hard when I was little at honing his talent, by spending time with authentic chefs and trying out every type of curry you can imagine. As a result, we sure know our onions when it comes to a good Ruby Murray – and I’m really excited to share a few of his recipes with you.

Aloo Tarka Dhal & Saag Chana Chat

 

Because I’m a vegetarian, he has come up with some nice, quite simple ones that are meat free and bursting with colour.

You can add as little or as much chilli powder ( or fresh chillies ) as you like – and don’t forget your coriander,  lemons and of course natural yoghurt mixed with some mint to cool things down too. Goes without saying that you will probably want to do some rice with the dishes.

Onion Bhaji Recipe

Onion Bhaji

Ingredients

2 large Onions

1 mug Gram Flour ( Chickpea Flour )

Salt to taste

1 egg

Handful coriander leaves

Pinch Chilli Powder

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon paprika

Method

Mix the ingredients together until a smooth consistency is formed. Don’t feel tempted to add water as the onions will provide a natural liquid if allowed to stand for an hour before frying.

To cook – ladle individual bhajis into a frying pan of hot oil. When they are golden brown, remove and serve. A squeeze of lemon all over is always nice and maybe a dash of natural yoghurt.

All ready to serve.

Tarka Dhal Recipe

Aloo Tarka Dhal ( Potato and Garlic Dhal )

Ingredients

1 mug of rinsed red lentils ( Masoori dhal )

12 small potatoes

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 large bay leaf

4 cloves

4 green cardomans

1″ cinnamon stick

8 garlic cloves

8 onions

Vegetable ghee

Pinch of salt

Method

Pre boil the potatoes then put to one side. Simmer the lentils with the turmeric powder, large bay leaf, cloves, green cardamons, cinnamon stick and sea salt. Remove any residue from the lentils and once soft but ( but not dry ) remove the excess water and put to one side.

Slice the garlic cloves and finely dice an equal amount of onions. Fry them together in vegetable ghee until golden brown and then add the lentils mixture and potatoes.

Ready to serve.

Saag Chana Chat

Saag Chana Chat ( Spinach and chickpea curry )

Ingredients

1 tin of rinsed spinach

1 tin of rinsed chickpeas

1 tablespoon of mint sauce ( optional )

1 handful coriander

1 piece of root ginger- diced

Salt to taste

Tablespoon curry powder

1 large finely diced onion

2 cloves garlic – chopped

1 handful chopped coriander leaves

4 medium tomatoes – diced

1 handful Methi leaves ( fenugreek leaves ) if available.

1 teaspoon of garam masala

A squeeze of lemon juice

Drop of water

Ground pepper to taste

Method

Fry the diced onion and both garlic cloves with the diced root ginger in oil until onions are soft and then add the curry powder and further fry for 5 minutes. Add a drop of water if necessary to prevent sticking.

Introduce the chickpeas, spinach, mint, coriander leaves, diced tomatoes, ground pepper and methi leaves.

Cook for 20 minutes on a medium heat and then add the garam masala and the lemon juice.

Mix and serve.

Veg Curry Recipe

You could do just one of the dishes or all for a fabulous feast. I can vouch that this is really tasty. I hope you try it and love it too. Let me know if you do or if you would like any extra cooking advice by leaving me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog … will get right back to you.

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Sharing The InstaLove

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Did I mention that I’m a total Instagram nut ? Ah yes, I did. It really is my favourite social media platform at the moment, I think mainly as it’s so creative and supportive.. and colourful.

These last few weeks it’s been exciting as I have been featured several times by brands that I love. Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess, one of my most favourite blogs has shared two of my images – which is a real treat as I follow them avidly. I particularly like their tutorials. Recently,  I took a picture in Aldeburgh by the coast of a cute diner there which caught their attention and then a few weeks later, I visited the The Royal Academy to see their Summer Exhibition and had to take a pic of me on the striped stairs by artist Jim Lambie – they chose to regram this one too.

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Now, you know that I am a colour geek, right ? So much so that I own a Pantone colour wheel just for fun … well, a while back we had these beautiful tulips that matched some of the purples perfectly so I shared it with my insta friends. Pantone liked it so much they shared it with their 269,000 followers. Wow, I was chuffed.

To add a cherry to the top of the cake – HIBS100 have chosen me as Instagrammer of the month so any day now, I will be on their website. Keep a look out. Their site is well worth a read to find some lovely interior and craft blogs who are currently in the top 100 in the UK.

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Feeling very grateful.

In other news ….

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These wonderful green scarves were a display at The Design Centre Chelsea when I attended a Colour and Pattern MasterClass at the KLC School of Design. I was one of several bloggers who were invited by Amara ( kicking off their 2016 Interior Blog Awards ) to a really interesting talk. It was really helpful and inspiring, personally – I would love to do a part time course with KLC.

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A little while back, artist Horace Panter had a preview on with his latest work. Being a music lover I fell in love with this cassettes print. It now lives with us here. You may remember my Inspire Me interview on the blog with Horace about his career both in art and The Specials. I’m a fan of their music so it makes having one of his pieces extra special.

It’s been a busy time and I have an online shop opening in the near future so looking forward to telling you more about that soon.

What is your favourite social media ? Do you love Instagram too or do you prefer pinning and tweeting the most ? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and looking at your favourite images … :)

Lucy x

 

Summery Colour Palettes

pink flower

What with this very sunny weather, I thought it would be a good time to share some colour palettes that I have made up from some of my photographs. Maybe, like me you’ve got some DIY lined up or just enjoy all of the hues of Summer.

This first one would be ideal for a living room or an outdoor area. It’s quite girly too – the darker tones could work as accessories ?

I love pink and green together, feminine and earthy. A winning combination.

blue house

This cottage door surrounded by a wonderful fresh aqua, by the sea,  caught my eye recently. I could see it in a nursery or play room – where would you use it ? It’s so happy and blue is one of the most popular colours globally. I guess with the sky and the sea – it’s a colour that we trust and it’s nice and cool. The lavender will add a pretty purple too once it flowers.

macaroon

Being a bit of a macaron fan – I had to take an instagram picture of these. The palette is playful and ideal for a kitchen against a white canvas or a Summer party even. How could you ever feel anything but cheerful sitting amongst bursts of these colours ?

I’m about to do our garden room and think I will use some of these for inspiration. I look forward to showing you it. :)

What colours do you like to use together ? Leave me a comment or tweet me lucylovesyablog.

Have a good day.

Lucy x