Styling the Seasons | June

MBM_STYLING THE SEASON_JUNE16_MAINEhhhh…yes, it’s been a while! A year, to be precise, since my last ‘Styling the Seasons‘ post, which is just insane when I come to think of it but then, I guess it’s just one of those things right? Life and work ends up taking over and suddenly you’re sitting here in 2016….six months in! Is it just me or does time suddenly propel on a lot quicker as you get older? Or is it just London doing that to you?!

Anyway, while there’s no guarantee that this is the start of a regular thing, I suppose it’s good to partake in these collaborative projects as and when you can, and summer is probably a good enough reason to do so!  Getting any personal time these days is a challenge and if I do, I desperately try to make up for lost times, on things like reading, cooking, socialising, or just hanging out with the hubby which, believe you me, can be rare when you’re both self-employed! Basically, any excuse to get away from computer screen as much as I can. A shame really, because I do enjoy blogging so much and is in fact one of my favourite past times, but the thought of returning back to the screen or sitting at a desk after hours spent working away at one, is annoyingly off-putting and why the blogging days has kind gone off the radar. Go figure eh!

Well, with that in mind, I thought I’d base this month’s styling on my new little reading corner Ive introduced in our bedroom. I’ve been trying to get back into reading this year, in the hope of encouraging a slower pace of life, and simply finding some downtime to unwind. While, I haven’t been doing as well as I hoped, it’s definitely made some difference taking the time to sit back and read (if and when I get those!) and I always end up surprising myself at how much I’ve miss it! Something about summertime too, that makes me want to sit back and enjoy those longer evenings at home, right?

MBM_STYLING THE SEASON_JUNE16_08Usually, most of the ‘unwinding’ takes place in the living room – Wether we’re reading or watching tele, the couch and the dining chairs become our main go-to ‘chill out’ areas, so, I wanted to create an alternative ‘reading’ zone in our bedroom….especially when it gets all the best light in there!

I’m not a huge fan of sitting or lying in bed reading in the day (it’s a night-time thing for me) so knew it needed a chair of some kind to create a little snug. Sadly, the bedroom isn’t that big to accommodate nice comfy armchairs so I decided to bring in our Eames-style chair from the living room and place it in the corner, by the window. It gives me just enough space to manoeuvre between the chair and the bed, and I have to admit, I do love how the bed lends itself as a footstool because of its proximity! ;) To make things more comfortable and calming, I added my favourite Donna Wilson cushion on the chair and some scented Muji candles on the window sill. It’s amazing how much little changes can make. Complete serenity, I tell you! :) so great to have that additional place you can retreat to.

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By the way, if you haven’t already come across this book, I can’t recommend it enough to you!! It’s called the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo, and if you’re anything like me, constantly seeking for clean and uncluttered spaces (be it at work or at home) then this is a game-changer!

I’ve always considered myself to be super organised and tidy, with a firm belief that an uncluttered space is not only calming but actually inspires and motivates you. I used to find it so baffling seeing people live/work in overly crowded and cluttered spaces…how was it not suffocating and claustrophobic!? But hey, each to their own I guess, and ironically, I still have many days of constant tidying up, decluttering and reorganising! So yea, reading this book has totally helped me reassess things more (even for the likes of neat freaks!); for instance, Marie explains how it isn’t always about finding storage solutions, but getting rid of the crap we tend to hoard so we’re not constantly figuring out/adding storage solutions for it! The art of tidying is in fact all about letting go and knowing how to keep only the things actually important to you. She talks about how your space is a reflection of your inner self or the underlying issues within you, so by transforming it into an uncluttered space can in fact help you unclutter your life, unraveling and identifying issues you probably didn’t even know were there!

So yea, if you like the sound of that….go get yourself a copy! It :)

Well then, there you have it folks…..not the most summery of posts but it’s our most recent new styled area in our flat, created in the hope for a better healthy work-life balance. Hope you like it!

If you’d like to partake on the styling fun (maybe you can be more regular than me!) all you have to do is style a surface area in your home or workplace and post a photo or two on any social media or blogging platform you’re on. Simply add the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons (preferably even tag Katy and Charlotte) with your entries so that it’s easily found. It’s just a great way to get you motivated, inspired and embrace each month!

Happy styling folks  xx

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[All Images: ©MadebyMolu]

 

Styling the Seasons | June

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Gosh, it feels like ages since I last participated in the Styling the Seasons monthly challenge even if i did technically only missed last month’s….and nearly this month too due to work commitments. So here’s my very last-minute June entry.

So, June normally means the start of summer to me, which includes picnics, peonies, strawberries, summer frocks, sandals, Wimbledon, Pimms n’ lemonade, ice cream, ice lollies, iced tea…well, you get the gist! Sadly, I didn’t really get much time to style all those summer elements into this month’s post but instead, having added a new little surfaces to the lounge area recently, I thought it would have to do as I didn’t want to miss another month. Sorry! But hey, I guess it means I’ll do all the summery prettiness for next month! :DMbM_STYLING-THE-SEASONS_Jun1502

Between the two of us, there’s an abundance of architectural and design books and magazines, so much so we’re struggling to find places to store them nicely (our shelves, window sills and bedside cabinets are their limits now) so I decided to bring the Frosta Ikea stool from the bedroom and out beside the couch to house some of the overflowing magazines. I’d much rather have the Alvar Alto Artec stool I’ve always dreamed of but for now, this little stool does the job perfectly.

I stacked magazines both under the stool and on top, placing a couple of my favourite succulents that I repotted in some DIY concrete planters. The planters were made for a recent shoot I directed but I’ll share more about that later…. in the form of a DIY tutorial!! (stay tuned for that!!) Don’t they look the part though? Perfectly architectural/industrial in all its concrete glory which I thought was apt pairing it with all the architectural/design magazines. And it does go nicely with all the greens and yellow hues we have in our rather neutral lounge.
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Well, that’s it really. Not the most summery but it’s definitely a new styled surface!

So if you’d like to join in on the fun every month, all you have to do is style a surface area in your home (or workspace) and post a photo or two on any social media or blogging platform you’re on. Simply add the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons (preferably even tag Katy and Charlotte) with your entries so that it’s easily found. You honestly don’t have to be a pro at styling or photography (as you can clearly see here) to join in. It’s just a great way to get you motivated, inspired and embrace each month. In fact, there’s some great tips from Charlotte here if you need a bit of a nudge.

Happy styling folks and I hope all you Londoners are enjoying this cracking sunny weather we’re having this week!!! Enjoy! xxMbM_STYLING-THE-SEASONS_Jun1510

[Styling the Seasons] April, with {at}Mine

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I was pretty gutted I never got round to contributing for last month’s Styling the Seasons due to work commitments but with this month’s being a rather special one, I made sure I got organised early enough to go through the things I had planned. Plus I had quite a bit of left over flowers from my Easter post so it made sense to bring the blooms into this too.

Why is this month a special one, you ask? Well, as the title suggest, Katy of Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte of Lotts and Lots have another exciting collaboration and this time with {at}Mine (an online community for home and design lovers) who have come up with an exciting competition for us. There’s 13 Judges who will pick a winner EACH to attend an amazing spring floral workshop in London. All we need to do is style our surfaces at home, as we normally do, and show what this month means to us. And, fingers crossed, we might be lucky to win a place! Details on how to enter, are at the end of this post.MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-05bSo what does April mean to me?

With Easter and the turning of seasons, this month for me is all about rebirth, new beginnings and hope. Everywhere around you, there are physical signs of change, fresh new start so to speak; flowers are blooming, trees are getting fuller, landscapes are getting greener, the days are getting longer, the sun shines a little brighter (when it does shine!), the air feels fresh and a lot milder, and everyone seems a lot friendly with that bit of spring in their step! ;) No matter how lousy a day you’re having, when you step out into the sunshine or simply admire the beauty that surrounds you, you automatically feel better and hopeful. It really is a beautiful time of the year!

I’ve also been doing a little bit of spring cleaning about the flat too, in particularly our bedroom, trying to declutter and reorganise things so it’s both aesthetically pleasing and functional. With spring in the air, I wanted to bring that freshness into the room, by introducing plants and blooms of flowers….something I don’t normally do because no matter how much I try, I can never seem to either keep them alive (they wither way too quickly for my liking!) or even arrange them nicely. But this year I’m determined to bring more life in the flat, and hopefully through plenty of practice, manage to prune and style them successfully….wishful thinking perhaps, so lets see!MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-14MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-15Anyway, for this month I kept it simple and took my bedside table area to style. To be honest, it’s not much of a table as they’re two 35L storage boxes stacked on top of each other. I absolutely hate having them as our bedside ‘tables’ but with storage space at a premium we’re kinda stuck with those. They’re not that bad but obviously would much rather have some mid-century pieces there instead. I’m constantly crushing over photos I see of other bloggers with the perfect side tables and decor but until I figure out a solution (which I am currently doing) I’m going to have to make do with them.

I must admit, since the crafternoon session at Liberty’s back last year, I’ve continued to bring an additional DIY element to the styling series, with this month’s being a little wall hanging for the bedroom. As I said, it’s not my favourite of areas in the flat so I wanted to pretty-fy it someway where I could wake up to something inspiring. And with my growing obsession for typography and lettering, I knew from the outset that I wanted to bring that to this corner of the room. And so, I decided to create a 3D cut out of the word ‘HOPE’ which I hand-lettered and hand-cut out of white foam board (thankfully, all those years  of model making comes in handy!). I’ve been toying with this idea for a while as part of a few ideas I have for a wedding styled shoot coming up in May, so it made sense to try it out for this project…and I must say I’m happy with how it’s turned out even if it’s not all super perfect.

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What do you think? I did think about spray painting it a light pastel pink but then with the pink flowers I had, I didn’t want a pink overload….which I doubt the Hubby would be too impressed with either! So this was a perfect balance of minimal elegance and springtime romance ;) It also meant that, I could combine all kinds of coloured flowers at a later date, being a blank canvas. Not spray painting it meant that it showed up some of the pencil ketch marks but I guess that adds the whole handmade appeal. I just used a bit of twine to hang it on the wall above the bedside ‘table’ using a bit of washi tape. The great thing about foam board is that it’s light and versatile so the fixtures don’t have to be permanent! Adding the little bunches of flowers to either ends was my least favourite part to this process, because flower arranging isn’t quite my forte no matter how I try, hence the reason for keeping it simple. Now you can see why I badly need to win a place on the workshop just so I can create LOTS of beautiful pretty floral arrangements for the blog!! :D

Anyway, I hope you like the overall result. I’m relatively pleased with it, for the simple fact that it has definitely spruced up, what has always been a crappy, dull corner of the room for quite some time. It’s also a refreshing piece of inspiration to be reminded of every morning I get up and every evening I go to bed. With HOPE, you know you can look forward to each day knowing better things will come your way. There is strength in hope.

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-09MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-19Now then, if you’d like join in on the Styling the Seasons fun, and particularly want to enter this little competition, then please follow these instructions:

1) Style any surface in your home to represent what April means to you

2) Post a shot of your styled surface on any social media or blog about it by April 15th

3) Use the hashtag #StylingSpringAtMine so we can see your entry

4) You need to be free to attend the workshop on the morning of April 29th in central London.

The competition entries will close of April 15th, but for those of you not entering you can of course continue to post your entries throughout the month – simply upload your images on any social networking platform and include the hashtag #stylingtheseasons. MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-12

 [Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

HAPPY EASTER

MbM_HAPPY-EASTER-15_01Whether you’re celebrating the significance of Christ’s resurrection, embracing Springtime, or just tucking into your delightful collection of confectionery around the table with your family and friends, let’s all take some time out to reflect on the true meaning of hope and rebirth that comes at this time of the year. Everywhere around you there are signs of new life so let’s definitely embrace the goodness that our lives and this world brings us.

I took this opportunity to do it a bit of styling with some eggs and wild flowers – hope you like it! Anyway, I wish you all a joyous and restful Easter. xxx

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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

[Styling the Seasons] February, with Laura Ashley

MbM_STYLING-THE-SEASONS_feb1501So, I’m totally excited to share with you this month’s ‘Styling the Seasons’ (which has come round ever so fast…..but that may be down to leaving January’s post right up to the very last-minute!) where 14 bloggers, who regularly take part in this monthly series, were offered a fabulous opportunity to collaborate with Laura Ashley to style a few pieces from their SS15 collection.

Yep…dream come true! :)

Aaaaaand, to make things a little more fun, Laura Ashley are inviting you lovely readers to choose your favourite styled entry (hint hint), that will automatically enter you into a draw for a  chance to win a £50 gift voucher! Read on to find out more….

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The inspiration behind this month’s styling stemmed from the concept of ‘new beginnings’ and ‘creating adventures’. So with that in mind, I chose the lovely Blue Bird Seaspray Wallpaper and the Brooke Vase which I felt complimented the wallpaper beautifully.

Having recently switched careers, the swallows (symbolic of hope, strength and journey) on the wallpaper were a perfect representation of my new creative beginnings and the journey that lies ahead this year for me. It does also tie in nicely with this time of the year; with the change in seasons and the coming of spring.

As many of you know, I’m rather big into journals and sketchbooks, where I’m constantly jotting or sketching down ideas, inspiration, dreams and goals I have…even those endless list of things to do! ;) So, I decided I would style the little desk space we have in the bedroom with the chosen SS15 items to create a calm and inspiring place to sit and write at home. I also, knew I wanted to create something special out of the wallpaper, which would be both inspirational and helpful to me.

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I used the swallow-motived wallpaper to make two key pieces; a hardcover for a new journal, which I created from binding together three notebooks I had (I will be sharing a tutorial on this later!), and a cute little garland for the desk space out of the swallows I cut out. Being a small desk space, I kept the worktop quite minimal, using the Brooke Vase to hold some of my vintage rulers, along with a few other favourite items for the desk such as my twine holder from Papermash and the cute owl dish from Tiger.

The overall look is simple, clean and calming, which was exactly what I was after so I think it’s safe to say that I’m pretty pleased with how it’s all turned out despite the unconventional approach….hopefully these photos do it some justice. And I can’t wait to use my new journal already! :)

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So folks, if you’d like to see more amazing entries and obviously try your chance at winning the £50 voucher then please go hop over to Laura Ashley blog now and place your vote! You’ll find that they are spilt between two posts; part 1 and part 2, the second one is where I’m featured in……..so go go go, place your vote! :)

Also, for those of you who wish to join in on this fab monthly styling challenge, simply style a surface area in your home or studio and post a photo or two on any social media or blogging platform you’re on. Simply add the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons (preferably tag Katy and Charlotte) with your entries so that it’s easily found.

Happy styling!!! (oh and VOTING!!) :D xxxx

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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

**Terms and Conditions: All entries for the Laura Ashley Styling the Seasons giveaway will be drawn at random. There will be two Laura Ashley £50 gift cards to be won, one for the giveaway on Tuesday (Part 1) the 10th of February and the other on Wednesday 11th of February (Part 2). Entries for Part One must be received by the 15th February 2015. Entries for Part Two must be received by the 16th February 2015. A winner will then be contacted via email. No prize cash alternatives will be given. The competition is only open to UK residents and you must be 18 or over to enter. There will be one entry per household.

This post was sponsored by Laura Ashley, however all words and opinions are my own, dictated completely by my love for  DIY and styling**

[Sneak peek]: Styling the Seasons

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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

So, a few of us bloggers have been working on a fun and special collaboration with Laura Ashley for this month’s ‘Styling the Seasons. Unfortunately, I can’t share much right now but all will be revealed on Wednesday! Please do remember to pop back over here on the blog to find out all about it……AND there’s a chance for you lovely readers to win a £50 voucher too! Sounds good right? See you on Wednesday! xx

[Styling the Seasons] January

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_JAN-main I can’t believe I’ve left this to the very last-minute with literally a day and a half left of this month but not much I could do with a busy start to the year… so I guess it’s better late than never! :) Well, January, is kind of like September for me;  you get another chance to start fresh with new goals, perspectives and projects, not to mention a newfound desire to get super organised, spruce up and de-clutter everything around you….I’m sure many of you will relate to this too!  However, this year is particularly new and huge one for me with all the recent changes that’s taken place in the last few months. If you remember this post of mine from back in November, you’ll know I wasn’t exactly in a good place with all the distress that came with ‘change’, ‘uncertainty’ and the inability to see clearly. The much-needed recuperation over Christmas holidays was just the thing I needed to pull myself together and….excuse my french…actually make s**t happen. MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_JAN-12One of the main things we decided to do (I say we, because, while this was predominantly for my benefit, this decision was for both myself and my husband, with his support of course!) was invest in a studio/work space. We had talked about this a few times before but with most studio spaces in East London being outrageously expensive I continued working from home. So little did we expect to find something actually affordable, just a few blocks from the flat! Granted, it’s not as fancy as the ones you find in Shoreditch or Hackney, nor do we have the entire place exclusively to ourselves but it does the job perfectly and the best bit is that I don’t have to worry about travel fares being so close to home! I honestly can’t tell you how much a difference it’s already made just having that designated place to go to and work. While it may not be as warm and cosy as our flat, or is a far cry from the all-white, industrial, Scandi-style studio I’ve dreamt of (more Wes Anderson-esque!), I’m just SO incredibly grateful to find somewhere I can call my own. It’s my little space I go to every morning where there isn’t a bed, couch or any housework in sight to distract me! It keeps work separate from home which has already proven to be beneficial to us both, and there’s other people to talk to as oppose to speaking to myself or the wall at home. ;) I’ve had a great productive start to the year in my new space, working flat-out on a couple of projects…..so all in all, it’s been the best move and I cannot thank my husband enough for that. Just need to get the work (and the money) rolling in now! :D
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So anyway, for this month’s Styling the Seasons it felt right to share my new workspace seeing as it symbolises a brand new start for me this year. I’ve still a bit to do, injecting my style and personality to the space but that’s something that will happen over time. Aside from our table tops (that were made by friends) the rest of the furniture were all Gumtree and eBay hauls to keep costs down. I then accessorised the space with bits and pieces I’ve bought, made and collected over the last year or two. The quote “she’s a dreamer, a doer, a thinker. She sees possibilities everywhere” was something I knew from the start, I wanted to add to the space as it could not be a better description of me and my outlook in life. As you can see from the main image, I hand-painted the text onto some scrap MDF board I found at a local DIY store and whitewashed….and yep, it did take a lot of patience doing that but I loved every minute of it!! With my growing love for typography and hand-lettering, this is something I plan to do more of as part of my creative services and obviously wanted this piece to represent that.

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I love that the table is big enough to accommodate both digital and traditional work without having to pack up one or the other to make room….unless of course it a big piece which I’ll no doubt have to take over hubby’s desk or perhaps even use a bit of floor space. But the main things is all the work is happening in the one place and not in various corners of the room like I used to! And I don’t have to worry about making a mess, spilling ink or paint, etc which is soooooo liberating and helps get the creative juices flowing! I’m hoping over time, the wall space becomes a big mood board of various pieces of inspiration…..partly because I’m desperately trying to cover up the horrid green walls! Maybe if I’m there long enough I could suggest painting the walls white or a neutral colour of some sort…..it would make taking photographs a lot easier!! hmm, lets see! ;) MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_JAN-11 MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_JAN-15 So there you have it! I’m finally excited for the future and I there’s no denying how much this space has helped me feel like I can move forward. Let the adventures begin! ;) If you’d like to partake on the styling fun, all you have to do is style a surface area in your home or studio and post a photo or two on any social media or blogging platform you’re on. Simply add the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons (preferably even tag Katy and Charlotte) with your entries so that it’s easily found. You honestly don’t have to be a pro at styling or photography (as you can clearly see here) to join in. It’s just a great way to get you motivated, inspired and embrace each month. In fact, there’s some great tips from Charlotte here if you need a bit of a nudge. Happy styling folks and I hope you all have a fab weekend ahead! xxx

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_JAN-16 The two prints above pretty much sum up me and my new beginnings. The modern calligraphy card is by the lovely Imogen Owen who I took calligraphy classes with last year courtesy of Quill London and the ‘craft is in my blood‘ illustration is by my good friend and creative genius Viktorija of And Smile Studio.

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

[Styling the Seasons] December

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-00eeeeeek DECEMBER is finally here!!!! It’s taken me a while to get my head around the fact that we’re now officially in the last month of 2014….how did that happen? It’s exciting though – with Christmas drawing near, there’s plenty to be done and checked off the list but we can definitely dust off our festive glad rags, sing a long to Christmas songs and carols, adorn our homes with sparkly decorations, bake to our hearts content (or try to!) and just get creative in every department possible……and for me, of course, tuck into spiced mulled wine and minced pies!! :) Oh yea….’tis the season indeed!!

Well, on that note, I’m really excited about this month’s ‘Styling the Seasons‘ post because I finally get to share with you the wreath I made back in November at Liberty’s for Katy and Charlotte‘s ‘Crafting the Season’ event (you’ll find all the behind-the-scenes antics in this post and a glimpse of me making the wreath). I picked out this sumptuous paisley-pattered Tana Lawn fabric that afternoon, not knowing what I wanted to make with it until I spotted the styrofoam wreath courtesy of The Homemakery. I’ve been wanting to make one for a while so that’s exactly what I did! :) The fabric was cut into strips, which FYI was quite the task at first, because I’m normally so precious over any Liberty fabric but eventually it got less painful! ;) It did take most of that afternoon to cover the entire wreath with my strips of fabric (mind you, there was a lot of nattering too!) so I decided I’d add the finishing touches back home.

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I was lucky to have found some red burlap ribbon and fake, albeit tasteful, red berry stems from Wilkos (for a pound each!) which tied in perfectly with the reds in the liberty fabric. I wanted to initially bring some gold and sparkle to the wreath but kept it super simple so that it would’t take away all the focus from the lush paisley patterns. What do you think?

It took me a while to decide on a prominent place to hang it – stewing from the typical place that would be the front door (obviously the internal side as I wasn’t going to risk having it exposed to the outside world! hah!) to the wall spaces in the hallway and lounge. Well, in the end, the dull winter light dictated its location and I hung it in the by our dining area to take these photos but I have since this post, moved it to the front door in our hallway.

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-04I cannot tell you how much I LOVE mulled wine – if I could have it my way, I’d happily have anytime throughout the year but reserving it for this time of the year does make it all the more worthwhile and special. The first time I was introduced to mulled wine was at the German markets in Edinburgh yeeaaaars ago (or Glühwein as they call it) and I have ever since been hooked – not in an alcoholic kind of way (!!) but because the spiced scent and warmth of the drink always brings back memories of all the happy moments and gatherings I’ve had over the years with friends and family over this heart-warming drink. For me, it’s like officially ringing in Christmas season so it was a no-brainer to include it in here! Minced pies are another guilty pleasure of mine along with the Christmas pudding (the latter I forgot to get) so this was my excuse to…well tuck into my favourite things, with an even better excuse! :)

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MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-13 [Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

Well, I guess that’s the last Styling the Seasons post for the year! I’m already looking forward to plotting next year’s styled surfaces as it’s such a delightful way to get you to embrace each month – you’ve got to hand it to the girls for concocting such a fab idea! So, if you’d like to jump on the styling band wagon, I hope I’ve swayed you enough. All you have to do is style a surface area in your home or studio and post a photo or two on any social media or blogging platform you’re on. Simply add the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons (preferably even tag Katy and Charlotte) with your entries so that it’s easily found. If for any reason you’re hesitant or doubting your skills….please don’t….I can assure you that even the most ‘skilled’ person has their fair share of creative blocks and obstacles! Plus, there’s some great tips from Charlotte here, which will help! Just remember that the whole point is to have fun and explore things you probably never had the chance to do so, not to compete or compare! ;)

So, happy styling folks and I hope you all have a fab week and weekend ahead! xxx

 

**Quick Update**

Okay, so I had to add a bow to the wreath as it was clearly missing something! I can safely say, after days of staring at it, that I’m definitely happier with this addition and now looks the part, right? Well, I’m happy! :) MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-new

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[Styling the Seasons] November

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_NOV_MAINBy golly, it’s been so darn tricky to find good lighting this month with the shorter days and the unfortunate wet, overcast weather we’ve had on top all that recently. While November still has it’s autumnal delights, it’s the getting dark by 430pm that I still find hard to adjust too (I just love my sunshine far too much!)….and the last week has been a prime example of that, particularly when I had planned on doing quite a bit photography for the blog, in whatever spare time I had. The lack sunlight meant having to scramble to the most oddest corners of the flat, normally up beside windows, setting up mini makeshift photography sets to make the most of the dull natural light (it really is quite funny to watch!) And in most cases, this does also mean, a few change in plans and ideas in order to work best in these darker, grey-hued scenarios………ah the joys of being a blogger, eh! ;)

So anyway, for this month’s ‘Styling the Seasons‘ post, I decided quite early on that my styled surface would be all about tucking into warm meals, winding down and being grateful – ‘cuz that to me is what November is all about! With that in mind, I wanted our dining table to be the surface of choice where I thought I would combine some lovely homemade recipes with autumn-inspired table settings (DIY where possible). However, having been unlucky with the sunlight, I had no choice but to ‘relocate’ to a more well-lit part of the flat because despite the slow shutter speeds the photos were coming out way to dark and grainy for what I was after (I don’t have the most fancy camera either to be fair! And I didn’t want to end up editing photos later) so it turned out that the best little spot was in fact our bedroom, in the corner by the window! Of course, replicating the ‘tablescape’ idea in this tighter spot meant a much scaled down version of the whole thing……but hey, I hope this still gives you the overall idea I had in mind :)

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The hand-lettered wall art was a last-minute afterthought having moved to this snug corner of our bedroom and I really didn’t want a completely blank white backdrop to work against. At the same time, I was keen on the idea of inspirational quotes so started looking up several ones that summed up ‘being grateful’ and when I came across this one by American poet, philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, I knew it encapsulated everything I was after. So I decided, I’d do something with that. I felt it needed to be a focal piece for the house that I’d integrate into this styling series – a daily reminder of all the things I should be grateful for especially with the year coming to a close. And I guess it also felt more apt for me, in this present time, after spending the last few months with my head buried in the ground, freaking out over where my future was heading that I didn’t stop to appreciate the more important things around me. But that’s life – it can get incredibly crazy, busy, challenging, and overwhelming that you have periods where you’re gripped with anxiety, fear and/or uncertainty……but sometimes, it’s by going through all that unfortunate ‘mayhem’, that you’re forced to stop, reassess, slow down, recover and recuperate. And eventually, when you do slow down enough, you begin to realise, that things get better and everything does fall into place.

Anyhoo, after a couple of attempts with hand-lettering, I settled on this simple one, only because I didn’t really have much time to explore various techniques to be honest, but I’m happy with it :) I may try something different another time as it’s a quote that could look really amazing as a print on the wall if done right. Let’s see eh? ;)

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MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_NOV_5I knew I wanted to play with warm colours, bring in earthy tones and natural elements to the table but keeping it all fresh and cosy too. The white tablecloth wasn’t initially part of the plan but I needed more white to brighten up the surface on dull grey day….which it thankfully did – phew!! And i thought the teal from the glass bottle, the burnt orange of the pumpkin soup, the yellow ochre of the butternut squash and the deep red of the berries brought just the right amount of colour to the table, in a soft, subtle and harmonised way. The napkin I used are from the set I made for the DIY ‘stamped napkin’ tutorial post early this summer.

Oh and that pumpkin soup….was simply DIVINE which you can imagine I tucked right into after the shoot! :D Now, I must confess, I did plan on following this ‘roasted pumpkin soup’ recipe by Jamie Oliver, but having run out of time, I opted for New Coventry Garden’s ‘soup of the month’: Pumpkin Goulash soup, which I had as a reserve should anything went wrong. And OMG it was perfect with just the right kick from the paprika and chilli! I do love my squash especially at this time of the year, so I’m definitely going to be exploring a few recipes over the next couple of weekends to make up for my lack of ‘homemade-ness’ in this series….watch this space!

So yeah, despite having to revise my initial plans, I’m quite pleased at how it’s turned out – it just goes to show that good things do (eventually!) come out of unforeseen circumstances and tight little spaces! :) Well, that’s my entry for this month which I hope you like. I cannot wait for next month’s festive post!!! :D If you’d like to play along each month, all you got to do is upload photos on any social media platform of yours and include the hashtag #StylingtheSeasons with your entries/posts! Have fun guys…..oh and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my American family and friends near and far!!!! xxx

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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

Crafting the Seasons at Liberty

Crafting The Seasons photographed by Katharine Peachey (2 of 197)Aahhhhhhh this post has taken me twice as long to put together because I keep drifting away in all the festive warmth and loveliness these photos exude! *sigh*  Well, thanks to the super talented Katharine Peachey, I’m excited to share with you some beautiful photographs from the fabulous shindig I attended last Sunday afternoon (remembrance Sunday) – you know, just so you can revel in all the festive magic yourself! ;)

I’m not sure if you recall me mentioning it in last month’s Styling the Seasons post, but I had been kindly invited by Katy and Charlotte to their first ‘Crafting the Seasons‘ event at Liberty, London. I was so stoked about this for many reasons but mainly because I had been looking forward to the much-needed creative distraction and catching up with fellow bloggers (old and new faces)……and this is was my first…yes, first….trip to Liberty!!! (shocking, I know…Just don’t ask…!)

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Crafting The Seasons photographed by Katharine Peachey (24 of 197)So, the delightful ‘crafternoon’ session was held in the beautiful wood-panelled Heritage Suite at Liberty, and my goodness it really is something else! I hadn’t been thinking of Christmas at all until I stepped into this room (what felt like Narnia!) and for the next three hours we crafted and chatted away to our hearts content, leaving the real world to carry on outside of these magical walls. The girls sure know how to put on a marvellous show; we had piles (and I mean generous piles) of gorgeous, to-die-for Liberty Tana Lawn fabric to play with, fab selection of craft supplies courtesy of Kate at The Homemakery, a freaking amazing liberty goody bag (I’ll reveal the contents in a separate blogpost), and plenty of scrummy nibbles including macaroons and mince pies! Oh, it really was a dream! :)

Our task that afternoon was to create a decorative Christmas piece – whatever took our fancy, really. I opted to make a wreath with some divine paisley-patterened Liberty fabric (the Indian in me clearly took charge!) while the others made some of the most beautiful bunting, garlands, decorative embroidery hoops, stuffed animals and birds, baubles, etc I’ve ever seen! The creativity in that room was simply remarkable. I was reminded of how much I’ve missed crafting (with my recent hiatus) and that being in the company of such fun and inspiring women, was exactly what I needed to feel charged up again. Honestly, I could have easily stayed on the entire evening (and the next few days) with all the fun and banter that day. I cannot thank all the lovely ladies enough for such an amazing afternoon….particularly Katy, Charlotte, Kate, Anna and Hannah for organising, hosting and making it all happen! So great to get my creative mojo back, yay! :D

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Edited Selection Katharine Peachey34Crafting The Seasons photographed by Katharine Peachey (138 of 197)Swooning yet? ;) Well, a massive thank you to Katharine for beautifully capturing that day. If this doesn’t get you into the festive crafting spirit then stay tuned for next month’s ‘Styling the Seasons‘ post where I’ll be sharing more on my Liberty print wreath! And here are the links to all the bloggers who got crafty with me that day if you’d like to have a nosey at all their lovely creations too.

Jeska at Lobster and SwanLisa Levis at Betty and Walter / Emily Quinton at Makelight / Lou at Littlegreenshed / Sarah-Lou at Lapin Blu  / Heather at Growing Spaces / Teri at The Lovely Drawer / Hannah at Hannah in the House / Tamsyn at The Villa on Mount Pleasant / Ruth at The Planned Adventure / Emma at A Quiet Style / Amy at Daisy Fay / Lori at Wild and Grizzly / Melanie at  Geoffrey and Grace / Tina at Colourliving / Jo at The Only Place / Laura at Circle of Pine Trees / Alexis at Something I Made

Happy crafting!! xx

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[All photographs by Katharine Peachey]