Thursday, 31 March 2011

Seeing Red

Of fallen camellias, red lampshades, lopsided crocheted cushions and charity shop bargains!

As I selected the photos for this post, it occured to me that it has a bit of a red and pink theme going on.

As the first camellia flowers fall, I am reluctant to just leave them lying there on the lawn (although for some reason Logan loves playing with them flipping them and picking them up!).

So yesterday evening I floated them on water where they looked a little shabby but still beautiful. Tried to find the floating candles but without success - that would have been perfect.

By the way, the true colours of the floating flowers are more like that in the first picture - the colour didnt come out well by night.

Continuing with the red theme, my daughter made a cheesecake in the red and white polka dot dish I got from TK Maxx for £5.

She made it without a recipe - I love the fact that she felt the freedom and confidence to just go for it - I think it tasted great but she wasn't so sure.

She just combined cream cheese, cream, icing sugar, honey and vanilla essence, then put it on a biscuit base made the usual way, and decorated it with sliced kiwi fruit.


Am having a thing about red lampshades at the moment - they seem to bring such a lovely brightness and zing into a room setting.

It started with the hall, and then a few weeks ago I came across a pair of red silk lampshades in a sale and so thought they might come in handy somewhere.

So yesterday, whilst trying to inject a bit of character and colour into the family room I remembered the red lampshades and thought they might do the trick.

 The lampshade sits on one of a pair of mahogany lampbases that I got for a few pounds at a boot fair last summer, and stands on an old oak barleytwist table bought for a couple of pounds at a charity shop, currently waiting to be stripped and then either waxed or painted.

The other lampshade I put on the other lampbase

I added my bright patchwork cushions to the large sofa after having thrown over a creamy white bedspread picked up for £1 at the local weekly antique and flea market ( that reminds me, I haven't been for months - is on tomorrow so I might pop along )

I put up a few pictures, added the lamps and moved the furniture around a bit.

Then I remembered an unfinished crochet cushion cover in shades of pink and red, so I found it, sewed in the tail ends and then cheated by stitching it onto the front of an old pale pink cushion.

But my "ta da!" moment was spoiled when I remembered that it had never looked quite right.


It's wonky!!!


Why I don't know - I made it last year, can't remember which pattern. It starts as a circle then changes to a square, and somewhere I must have either gone wrong or changed my tension - any suggestions from you many talented and experienced crocheters out there???

But what the heck!

It's colourful, adds a shot of colour, is handmade and Has Character!!

Still sticking with pink, whilst going thru photos for this post I spotted this pink blouse which I got for £3 at the charity shop the other day

And this gorgeous embroidered panelled just- above- the- knee flippy skirt - just like a Boden one but not! And not the price either!

I also spotted these photos in my Picasa files - this lovely bright pink crocheted mohair scarf that I bought from Green Rabbit Designs Etsy shop - I meant to post about this when it arrived a week or so ago - its gorgeous!!

It came beautifully wrapped and presented - thank you Vivienne!!!

Ok, I must get on - these posts take me forever when I get sidetracked with other photos I see!
I now have a footstool cover to make and a patchwork piano stool cover I want to try out - it's too wet for gardening.

Have a great day!!!!


  1. Lovely blog, as usual. Your home looks very comfy and I for one love the wonky crochet cover - as you said - it gives it character. I would love to learn to crochet but probably not enough time in the day and many other excuses I could put forward. I might try one day ...

  2. What a lovely home you have! Your cushion is lovely, I can't see any obvious reason why its wonky.

  3. A lot of prettiness! Your house is beautiful! Cx

  4. What a lovely home you have! Love the cushions and the scarf you bought from Green rabbit.

  5. Lovely Gill, your home looks cosy and welcoming. I wouldn't have noticed the wonky cushion if you hadn't pointed it out. I was thinking how the colours in it really gave the whole arrangement some va va voom! Surely you could just give it a bit of a tug and it would be square? Love all your finds, you really are a bit of an expert bargain hunter. Loving the pinks and reds too. I could just eat a bit of that cheesecake now too! Have a lovely day, love Linda x.

  6. Love your post today, your home looks lovely and I adore your pink and red theme :)

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  7. Hi Gill, thanks for the mention, you're very kind, so glad you are happy with your scarf!
    I love your TK Maxx dish, it's gorgeous and your daughter's cheesecake looks yummy.
    I can't see any reason for your cushion being wonky, have you tried blocking it, it may just need stretched into shape, the colours are wonderful! :)
    Vivienne x

  8. Wow your polka dot dish is amazing...along with your shades it was so fun seeing your beautiful home and that lovely glass cabinet!!!
    George went to the groomers yesterday he's so little now with all of his hair gone!

  9. Thanks for all your comments so far - there doesnt seem to be an obvious error in the crochet i dont think - it wont 'pull' into shape, I should have blocked it as Vivienne suggested - too late now I've stitched it to the cushion, I was just too impatient to get it finished and as it was just for me I didnt bother - I know what a difference blocking makes when I've blocked in the past - like making patchwork without pressing - makes so much difference to the end result if you press carefully as you go.
    Re: the house comments - thankyou for your too kind words! I do try to make it cosy, comfy and welcoming above anything else, and try not to follow interior design trends but just see them as inspirational! On a budget it makes it so much more fun......
    And of course you only see the tidy bits and not the mess eveywhere else as I naughtily spend time sowing and sewing instead of cleaning and vacuuming!

  10. There's lots of lovely bright red and pink in this post to brighten up my dull and windy day, where to start. The camellia flowers look lovely floating in water, such a shame to just throw them away. The cheesecake looks delicious, what a talented daughter you've got and the pretty dish just sets it off. Your crochet cushion is gorgeous, homemade is so much more appealing than perfection. I keep seeing lots of crochet on blogs, I'm going to have to learn as it looks wonderful. My grandma tried to teach me when I was a child but I can't remember a thing of it now.

  11. Always so much colour and so many pretty things to see here at your blog, love my visits here. I saw that cookware in TK Maxx today but I indulged in somwthign else.May have to go back for the cookware though!
    Lisa x

  12. Yes George has quite a strut when he comes home and he loves to go to the groomers...I love when we take him the groomer has a black standard poodle...he is so beautiful it makes me want one everytime!

  13. I love the camelia outside your French doors, looks lovely with all the jolly colours you have added to your sitting room. I like it when outside inspires inside if you know what I mean!
    Thanks so much for your encouragement,

    Sarah x

  14. I have a wonky middle in the crochet blanket I'm making too and I was wondering the same thing! We have a white camelia and I always think it's a shame the flowers don't last very long and when they fade,mine turn a horrible rusty colour.Your blooms are a beautiful! :0)

  15. What a lovely, cosy home. Your sofa looks great with it's cosy cushions. I wouldn't worry about the wonky crochet, it looks charming :)

  16. Hi Gill, I love your home, it is so lovely and cosy - gorgeous garden too. I adore Camellia plants. I tried to plant a small one last year but it didn't survive for some reason.. will have to get another one! I agree about the red lampshades they do give a nice feel to a room.. and the crochet and patchwork cushions are just beautiful...the wonkiness is barely noticable! Sarah x

  17. So many scrumptious things in one post!!!! Love your buys. I also love red lampshades....they give such a warm glow (your home looks beautiful BTW). And what is the matter with you?The cushion is fabulous!!! xx

  18. Thanks guys, you all say the nicest things!

  19. Gorgeous post Gill! I love your granny square cushion! Your wonky problem is exactly like I had in my recent cushion project. I couldn't work out what was going on as there were no errors. I still don't really know about blocking because I'm new to the crochet game, but I just kept tugging at it in opposite directions and it straightened out eventually. I was a bit rough - so lucky it survived! I always remind myself of something my dear Nana used to say ... "a blind man would be pleased to see it". It always makes me feel better when I've made a mistake. Have a lovely week!

  20. Hi Gilly, I just came across this blog post that suggests a way to stop the large granny squares from skewing. I'm going to give it a go.

    Your latest posts are beautiful by the way.

    Have a fab weekend!

  21. I've always been led to believe that the reason granny squares go wonky is because they're not turned at the end of a round.

  22. Everything is lovely! Red is one of my favorite colors. I like what you said about the cushion. I need to remember that. Sometimes when something I make isn't perfect I feel I need to change it. I have something I'm working on now that I wasn't happy with but I'm going to finish it and appreciate the character of it like you said. Have a wonderful day!


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x