This weekend, Dan and I stole ourselves away for 3 nights in Wales. Child free. We couldn't have been more excited! A chance for the two of us to just be, relax, talk - talk! to each other, gosh remember that?
We were looking forward to enjoying the Welsh air, cooking outside, sleeping under the stars, and making the time to indulge in things we like to do, without the boys.
Wild Meadow is stunning. All we could hope for and more. Owners Andrea and Jonathan, bought the field a couple of years ago, with the desire to have a patch of land of their own. Planting initially a small orchard, soon after a veg patch and fruit bushes.... then came the shepherds hut.
Dan and I fell in love. The hut is beautifully furnished, with indian throws, warm blankets and a log burner. The bed is the comfiest we've ever slept on, and found sleeping in there a dream. The outside kitchen is fab, well equipped with a gas stove, fridge and brightly coloured spotty enamel-ware. To the side is an outside shower room and basin and a little way off a composting loo.
We spent our days, watching the buzzards and red kites soar above us, cooking on the open fire using a Kolitch (which we'd not used before and soon got the hang of). Eating our way through the raspberries and cherries from the fruit orchard and swinging on the best swing ever!
That swing! Now parents - sometimes we feel like having a swing, but there is always a child or two saying 'my turn' or 'push me'. Not this time - oh no. A double swing, the two of us, with a G&T in hand, sat and watched the sun cast shadows across the hills below us. It was bliss.
We took day trips to nearby Leominster for the antique / junk shops which there are many. And to Ledbury for it's cobbled lanes and black and white buildings.
If you are looking for a family break (there is room for two small airbeds inside the shepherds hut) OR if you are looking for a romantic getaway in the great outdoors then Wild Meadow is your place. We are still dreaming we are there.
|Image source - Pinterest|
Call me bonkers, but when it get's to mid July, I start to think about how my home will feel in deep Winter. Sheepskins, throws, thick curtains and rugs are on my mind. Purely because it takes me ages to decide on what to buy and where to find them. Especially if I am sourcing things that are hand made or vintage.
As I am getting older, I am looking to furnish my home with things that have soul. A history behind them. Yes it would be all too easy to step into a well know high street shop, grab a rug from the shelves and come home, but that instant fix is not what I am after. I know I'll feel no connection with it, and probably get bored of it in a couple of years.
I am after the chase. The hunt for just the right item. Something that has been used and pre-loved. Something that has been made by hand by someone who has loved doing it. Something to cherish for many years to come.
And so.... I am on the look out during the hottest July in years, for the perfect rug. Persian, a kilim. Something that will feel worn and warm under foot in deep January.
Wish me luck!
I am delighted to have Caroline South as my final 'inspiration' of the Spring/Summer series of #Natureinthehome. I have followed Caroline's blog (Scraps of Us) for many years now, and have always found her images and in particular her collections incredibly inspiring. I hope you do too...
Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?
I'm Caroline and I'm mum to Archie 3 and Elizabeth 6. From a young age I have always loved being creative, taking photos, drawing and making.
Since having children my main passion has been for recording and documenting them growing up and our adventures, which I share on my blog and Instagram. In addition, I love making making memory books and am constantly taking notes of the things they say.
As a family we love to get out and about as much as possible. We live just a few minutes from the beach so spend many hours there exploring and searching for treasures.
I love your garden mood board series, how did this idea come about?
I came across the garden mood boards on Karin A photography blog and just loved the idea. It's a monthly link up where you record the flowers and foliage found in your garden. The idea of recording a visual diary of what is growing throughout the seasons in this way really appealed to me.
As you will probably notice my preferred way to display objects is to show them organised neatly, often using linear and symmetrical layouts. With this in mind I chose to show my garden mood boards in this way.
You have just started a new series called 'collections' could you tell us a little about that?
We always end up with little collections of bits and bobs, things we have picked up at the beach, park or just in the garden. Things brought home in buckets, bicycle baskets or stuffed in pockets.Treasures like sea glass, stones with holes, feathers, seed pods, leaves and fur cones..... or if it's Archie a piece of moon rock or a dinosaur fossil!
I thought I would start photographing all of our finds that we accumulate as a way of remembering and documenting them mostly through Instagram. Following this I decided to start a monthly blog series with the hope that others may join in and share their own collections.
You have a love of nature, that is evident in your photography, can you tell us where this love began?
I grew up on the Isle of Wight, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, fields, beaches and forests. I spent lots of time with my family walking along the beaches looking for shells and sea glass or through the woods with my drawing pad and pencils in hand!
I now explore the West Sussex coastline with my own children and have passed on my love of exploring for treasures to them.
I love how creative you are, where does your inspiration come from?
I guess my inspiration comes from all around me, from nature itself and the shapes of objects to the colours and how these compliment each other. The changing seasons and variety of flowers, fruits and wildlife that can be found in my garden give me inspiration that is constantly evolving.
I keep my photos simple to focus on the colours, shapes and forms of objects or landscapes. I often use a lot of white space or contrasting colours so the objects are not lost in the background detail. I like capturing everyday moments of the kids growing up and take inspiration from this too.
What is your favourite time of year?
I would have to say summer! I love the long days, being able to wander along the beach with the kids in the evenings, paddling in the water or watching the sun setting over the sea. I love the bright colours of the flowers and that they are so abundant at this time of the year. I love the school free days of the holidays, spending more time with the kids, having adventures or just lazy days spent at home in the garden.
That said I do try and appreciate the changes that come with each season, the crisp days and beautiful colours of autumn or the first blooms and new growth appearing in spring.
How do you like to display nature in your home?
We have an ongoing display on our kitchen windowsill of all the current bits and pieces we find on our adventures. The kids are always adding to it. Taking pictures of these things is a good way to keep a record so I can clear if off occasionally and make way for new finds!
Sometimes special things get placed on the mantelpiece or in bowls - like the sea glass, I'm also partial to taping objects to the wall too!
We are currently making a section of our garden into a beach area. I like the idea of having a space to keep our finds that make their way home, especially the larger pieces like lengths of rope, driftwood or washed up floats.
Finally, what is your favourite flower?
It is hard to pick just one but I love the bright colours of poppies growing wild and hydrangea, the different colour variations in the flowers, through to the dried skeletons left behind in the autumn.
Thank you Caroline! Everything here resonates with me so much. I have a collection of sea glass on the mantel, bowls of shells everywhere... I must start to make collection photographs too.
So here we are, Week 10, the final week before taking a Summer break. What an amazing 10 weeks it has been! Such variety, beauty and colour!!
To date there has been 860 submissions on Instagram via the #natureinthehome tag. 860! I am blown away. We have celebrated roses, sweet peas, shells, seed heads, peonies, oh remember the peonies! You guys have taken the idea and gone with it, creating mandalas, arrangements and shot them in such fabulous images, all taken on a phone! Isn't Instagram wonderful!
Please keep adding to the hashtag #natureinthehome over the Summer, I will continue to make a collage on IG and have a weekly round up of my favourites. Let's go wild, make some incredible things with shells, flowers, seeds and vegetables.... whatever you fancy!
I shall be popping back later with another #natureinthehome Inspiration interview... this should really inspire you for the next 6 weeks!
Have a wonderful break, #natureinthehome will be back in September for late Summer / Autumn goodness!