How to style a jam jar vase 3 ways featuring Rose and Grey

There is nothing more beautiful and simple to me than picking flowers from the garden and decorating the window ledges and mantlepiece with little vases. So when one of my favourite interiors companies Rose and Grey asked me to take part in their styling challenge I couldn't resist!

The jam jar vase concept has taken the wedding world by storm but these wild flower jars come complete with a wired frame lid to hold your flowers in place. Genius! No need for a cello tape frame with these babies, just pick and go.

The boys helped me with the first idea and collected old snail shells from around the garden, Slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails, that is indeed what my boys are made of! I found a travel shampoo plastic bottle in the bathroom and used it to create an inner vase.

Take your jar and place your water filled bottle inside. It's much tricker to fill with water afterwards. Place your snail shells around the bottle and add your flowers. The boys decided to pick these wild flowers (or weeds!) and add them to the vase. 

I loved the idea of filling the vase with something other than water and have been waiting for an excuse to use this dried petal confetti. This time I used an old florist's tube which was the perfect height for the jar. 

I'd recommend placing the rubber top on the tube as you fill the jar with confetti and then removing it before you add your flowers. 

But the easiest idea of all is to decorate with wallpaper samples. Just cut slim strips of paper from your favourite print and attach with stickers. I used ribbon to hang a jar full of apple blossom in the apple tree at the bottom of the garden. So simple but would be lovely for a Summer garden party!

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I love them all but I think the confetti filled vase steals my heart! Even if I have left a trail of tiny petals behind me!

There are so many lovely entries for this styling challenge, Rose and Grey are sharing them on their Twitter feed so make sure you follow them for the most amazing interiors inspiration.

Bohemian Modern by Emily Henson • Review

A little while ago I spotted an event at the Anthropologie store in Bath that I just couldn't not go to! One of my favourite authors Emily Henson was promoting her new book Bohemian Modern and the store was hosting a macramé workshop to celebrate.

Emily is a critically acclaimed stylist and interiors author whose first book, Modern Rustic, completely encapsulated my dream interior style. I love that Emily's own personal style appears to come across in the book in amongst all the beautiful photography. 

Understated, elegant and rustic. Every room looks actually lived in. Real homes, from real people all with a common bohemian theme tying them together. The book shows how different people take elements of the 1970's trends and use them in contemporary and creative settings. I've never thought of myself as a fan of 70's interiors but when I run my fingers over the glossy pages I am drawn to the principle of displaying collections, mixing patterns and textures and bringing nature into the home. 

It was a pleasure to spend time with the other enthusiastic people who had booked a place on the workshop. To connect with some new faces and meet a fellow Instagram fan who joins in with the same galleries. We chatted with Emily about the process behind the book, how she finds the houses she features and it makes your eyes pop open when you start to understand the mountain of work that goes into writing a book.

I was intrigued as to whether anyone she approached ever said no and how you cope with coordinating international locations. We spent the next hour discussing the lovely people she visited and how the rooms are photographed. I always wondered how staged homes that are featured are, whether they are "styled" and then get put back to normal after a photo shoot. But it was refreshing to know that the odd chair here and there may get moved and placed but generally, it's the authenticity you want to capture and share. 

Bohemian Modern is a perfect compliment to Emily's first book. It felt more full of colour and I loved how it included rooms from family houses as well as aspirational grown up interiors! There's a feeling of whimsy to this book, a playfulness amongst the pops of colour and pattern. 

You see how collections grow over time. I have a vision for each room in our house but it can't be rushed. You can't produce that curated interior style overnight. Each piece has a story and finds a place. There's a line in the book where Emily says "Your home is not a showroom and styling should be fun, simply another way to display your favourite things artfully." I love this sentiment, that a home is an opportunity to create vignettes, showcasing your precious things, that can be moved and changed over time. It gives you the opportunity to use all the spaces in your home, to look for those less obvious places that, in Emily's words, "are crying out for a little collection of small treasures, curated and styled by you". 

Bohemian Modern is a real escape into the homes of those whose creativity reaches every corner. How their individual personalities hit you from the second you walk through the door. It's tempting with busy lives to buy the perfect room, to pick your style out of a catalogue, but this books shows the complete joy in taking time to build up your collections, to make your interior style as individual as you are. The homes feel so happy, each of the rooms have their own stories to tell, back gardens which have hosted parties and quiet Sundays, kitchen tables for feasting on and sofas to collapse on. 

The book also shows you Emily's home. She shares the story of her beloved armchair where she nursed her children, her street finds and how they have curated their "home for now" in the most frugal fashion. Her honesty in the way she describes how she feels about how house is heartwarming. As a sentimental hoarder I was amazed to read she sold or gave away almost all their belongings when they moved back from Los Angeles three years ago. That sense of freedom then the journey of starting again. 

I was so pleased to be able to buy Emily's book and meet her in person. We all follow our favourites for inspiration and her blog Life Unstyled is just that. Inspiration by the dreamy blog post load! You can buy a copy of both Emily's book through her website here.

You can find out about upcoming events at Anthropologie by signing up to their lovely email updates. 

#LauraAshleyCrafts • Laura Ashley Craft Workshop in Bristol

The marvellous thing about blogging is how an internet based activity becomes a real life collection of meetings, greetings and friendships. 

When you are a blogger you have the ability to connect with so many people, from all walks of the web and it was a pleasure to be amongst bloggers from every corner of the community last Sunday. Fashion bloggers in fashionable floppy hats, incredibly creative and talented seamstresses, friendly faces from the family blogger world, new bloggers and veteran lifestyle bloggers all came together to take part in a Laura Ashley craft workshop.

I have loved Laura Ashley and their distinctive and iconic pastel prints for decades. Their country casual style fits the perfect rustic charm interior look I adore and I flick through their latest catalogue, like it's a limited edition magazine.

We started the workshop after lots of school girl screams (Mostly from me!) and warm hugs. I was thrilled to spot an empty seat next to Keri-Anne who writes the stunning floral filled blog Gingerlillytea I admire so much. Just along from us was the pink haired maiden Emily I had the pleasure of meeting last year at another event and at the opposite end of the group was a firm blogging friend of mine Gemma

The Crafty Hen company were on hand to guide us through the craft activities (You can't actually believe how Keri and I managed to take 4 times as long as everyone else to cover a notebook in fabric. Perhaps a wee bit too much chatting...) and at the end of the workshop we had two beautiful handmade gifts to take home. 

I've been searching for fabric for our sitting room window seats. There are two that need covering and my hunt for a print that will tie in with the grey, blue and brass colour palette lead me straight to the navy lace ribbon and gold buttons!

All you need is double sided tape and the ability to fold in the right places and you can recover all those "they were cool when I bought them but now they look a bit naff" notebooks we all have hidden away in a drawer somewhere with mostly empty pages. 

The afternoon whizzed by and it was great to have some time over lunch to chat with the team from Joe's Bloggers and the Laura Ashley fabric experts! I came straight home and poured over the catalogue searching for my perfect blue floral pattern! I rather like this abstract print, or maybe the stripes, or the birds... decisions, decisions! 

Thank you for inviting me Laura Ashley to spend a lovely afternoon with lovely people and have a peek at your lovely products!


Free Floral Wallpaper and #capturingcolour • Spring Blooms

Ok so you know I am a sucker for a floral photo or five, make that five hundred. So with all the streets and gardens filled with blossom trees, Spring Blooms seemed a perfect choice for last week's #capturingcolour theme!

I picked up the most beautiful orchid stems for £2.50 a stem in a little greengrocers on Southbourne High Street that's been there since I was a baby! They have the most amazing selection of flowers and offer a 3 bunches for £5 offer too!

2 weeks later they are still looking lovely, floating in a shallow bowl of water on the coffee table.

I decided that they were far too beautiful not to share them in some way, so if you fancy downloading a new orchid phone wallpaper just click on any of the photos below for the link. 

They were the perfect props this week and I loved snapping corners of the garden that are bursting into colour.

The gallery was insanely beautiful this week and it was almost impossible to choose a favourite!

I loved these perfect pinks which together just make a stunning grid. For the accounts to follow check out my Instagram post here and tap for details.

capturing colour

But the one that just caught my eye the second I saw it was this one from Alexis. I have serious calligraphy envy! I wish wish wish I could write like this! I was given a course for Christmas 2 years ago and still the quill and inks are in a box on my desk. But I am totally inspired by Alexis and am determined to start my course.

alexis allan on instagram

Come and join in a brand new week of CUPS! Yes that's right I am working all the way through the insta loves this April! Feet, flowers and mugs!

#capturingcolour is a weekly theme on Instagram. Tag your CUP photos this week. Coffee, tea, hot water and lemon, whatever you are drinking I want to see it! In fact, cups and saucers and some of my favourite props too. Favourites will be featured next Monday :)

Create and Grow with Squire's Garden Centre

Memories of my school holidays are filled with happy times with my cousins. Special occasions and celebrations with us noisy 5, making dens, performing made up shows and carefree, barefoot days in the garden together. I love that the boys and Yasmin are growing up with that same very close bond. Yasmin is desperate to be part of the gang, she calls to them “Oh boyshsss!” and wants to join in with their more grown up games, helping with their elaborate Lego creations!  Sammy adopts a high squeaky voice when he starts talking to her, in that silly, slightly slower googly way we all can’t help ourselves but do to newborns!

They are like the three amigos, tearing around Granny’s house, every now and again all vying for her attention, and poor mum ends up with her legs being squashed with all three of them on her lap! 

I promised the boys a trip to Granny’s house during the holidays and mum lives very near to a Squire's Garden Centre. So we were delighted to be invited to try out their Easter create and grow craft activity and watch the children enjoy the mini soft play area and outdoor climbing frame. 

Squires Garden Centre
Squires Garden Centre

Mum and Yasmin are regulars to the centre and whilst the children all played with their slightly muddy hands, mum enjoyed a coffee and I whizzed round their gift section, oohing and aahing at all the lovely home ware, browsing in their farm shop feel food department, spotting the perfect mint cushion for our family room and trying to resist all the Easter decorations on sale!

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Squires Garden Centres
squires garden centres
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squires create and grow
squires garden centres
create and grow
squires events for kids
squires garden centre events for kids
squires events for kids

They all chose their bunny planter and which colour plant they wanted and the very nice member of staff talked them through why it’s important to water your plants and how you need to be careful and gently put them into the planters. Sammy blasted her with a few other horticultural questions and then charged off to the soft play! Yasmin on the other hand was fascinated with the dirt on her hands (A Princess in the making, why would those boyshss want to be dirty!) and really took her time, after all it is quite the big decision to choose which bunny out of the identical “wabbits” to call your own, studying her flower, scooping in tiny bits of soil at a time! 

Yasmin and I had a little stroll around the plant section, stopping to sniff all the flowers and stroking every single ceramic animal ornament. I love having these little snippets of time on my own with her, to listen to her sweet tiny voice, each time I see her there are a string of new words and we always talk about coming to stay at Auntie’s house and playing with all our toys!

I’ve watched my sister’s relationship with the boys develop over the last 6 years, and how when we are all together, how interchangeable she is with me. They trust her implicitly, want to impress her and flop all over her after a busy day. And having that relationship happen with Yasmin all on it’s own is just wonderful. She becomes my little best friend for the day, sharing stories, holding hands and smooches on lips. Oh the kissing on lips phase, just melts me. 

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squires garden centre

A lovely morning together before we headed back to Granny’s for lunch and games in the garden. The sunshine has spoilt us over Easter, I hope these glorious days are here to stay!

squires garden centre
squires garden centre
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squires shepperton
hellebores

If you are near a Squire's Garden Centre do check out their in store events, and make sure you leave some extra time for shopping, I didn’t even get near the enormous craft department! Next time! Through the May half term they will be running Create and Grow sessions from Tuesday 26th - Friday 29th May. The sessions are open from 9am - 12pm and this time the theme is all about vegetables! Your children can:

  • Children can create a tasty vegetable box with pepper, lettuce and tomato plants to take home, the cost is £5
  • There will also be a FREE Veggie Hunt (follow the trail of questions around the centre), and a FREE Word Search (find the names of the vegetable for your chance to win a prize)

Thank you to Squire's for inviting the children to make their Easter bunny planters.