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Showing posts with label nature in the home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nature in the home. Show all posts

Styling the seasons - September...

A few months back Katy emailed me about her exciting new project she is launching with Charlotte of Lotts & Lots.  It's called Styling the Seasons, and as I have a huge love of all things natural and seasonal they thought I'd love to play too.  Well yes!  I would.

Starting with September, Katy & Charlotte have challenged us to reflect the change of seasons and in our own homes. We can choose any surface in our home (shelf, dining table, mantelpieces etc.) and style that surface to reflect the new month and what it means to us (relaxation, celebrations, family, nature). Then share our images by using the hashtag #StylingtheSeasons.

So of course, I chose my mantel and found & gathered items from nature.  To me September really straddles the seasons.  One foot still firmly planted in Summer while the other is just dipping it's toe into Autumn.  I have tried to reflect this by using a mix of items.  Dried flower heads from blooms now faded, shells from beach holidays, pressed flowers from June meadows.  Feathers and a fox skull from recent walks, and the orange berries to signify the change to Autumn.

Yes, September, you still feel like summer to me... with a hint of Autumn.

Why not join in with #stylingtheseasons, you can do so at any point during September.  I shall be back for October.

p.s. - I have been NOMINATED!  In the Amara Interior blog awards.  OMG!  Thank you.  Voting is now open, if you feel like voting for me, please hop over here.  Thank you xx

You can read all my interiors posts by clicking on the decor tab in the header or by going over here.

 Amara Interior Blog Awards

Nature in the Home update...

Nature in the Home took a little break for Summer here on the blog. Although it has been quiet on here, it has been wonderful over on Instagram.  It's week 15 for 2014, and this weeks collection is particularly beautiful.  I love how the end of Summer is bringing more muted shades into our photography, and the use of feathers, butterflies and fruit is making an appearance too.

Nature in the Home will be back on the blog in Autumn, but you can still join in with the weekly submissions on Instagram using the hashtag #natureinthehome.  Please join us, it will be lovely to see what you find.

04: Inspiration - Nature in the Home - Collections by Caroline South...

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.  

#natureinthehome - collection 10...

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!


03: Inspiration - Nature in the (my) Home - Hannah (Seeds & Stitches) house tour...

Hannah and I have a mutual love of nature, crafting and interiors.  Her blog was one of the very first I followed when I started out four years ago, blogging.  During this time I have seen Hannah's then London flat, grow and transform, the birth of Frankie and then their move to the country.  Her style is natural, colouful, crafted and uniquely Hannah - which I adore!

I am delighted Hannah has given me a little house tour... over to Hannah!

We moved from our little London flat into a 3 story Kentish cottage a little less than a year ago. Our new home coincided perfectly with my newfound plant obsession. All surfaces were viewed through the lens of potential plant worthiness, and instead of unpacking boxes I was furtively buying new plants on the ebay app. “Just checking my emails!” I’d say, as my husband unloaded crates of crockery. And so our home slowly filled with ferns, palms and succulents, placed carefully around the mounds of boxes.

Our move also took us much closer to the beaches and the forests of Kent, so before long, the plants found themselves jostling for space with piles of dried seaweed, stones and shells from the beach and acorns and branches both big and small from the forest.

I am literally always on the hunt for natural treasures. Every time I leave the house I return with a little (or a big) something stashed away in my pockets or basket. Having a toddler gives me more of an excuse to stop and admire the stones or pick wildflowers or weeds. But I’ve always done it.

Soon, and rather unexpectedly, we are leaving our ramshackle Kentish monolith. (Ok, monolith may be a slight exaggeration. It just felt like that when we moved from our little 2 bed flat) so I was prompted recently to take some photos of the beast, in memoriam. And, in exchange for Lou’s lovely words on Seeds and Stitches, here are some words, and a little tour of the nature in my home, for Little Green Shed.

The kitchen has 3 windowsills and 3 big windows, so most of the plants reside there, in varying states of protest over the too high/too low light levels. I am learning more everyday about such things.

Frankie's Room
I am a little obsessed with sticks. We have a huge one above our kitchen table (devilishly hard to photograph) and other branches all over the house. We often paint or wrap wool around them too, like the stick mobile I made for Frankie-Rose’s room.

Beach treasures in the hall
Living by the sea is wonderful for many reasons, not least the treasures she posits on the beach for eager eyed beach combers like Frankie Rose and I. I love the almost architectural form of this dried seaweed, collected from Whitstable beach. We have beautiful gnarled or pockmarked shells with glistening iridescent interiors and sea-smoothed beach stones in little stacks all over the house.

We spend most of our time in the kitchen downstairs, so most of the plants live there too, where we can watch and fret over them, and bicker about who’s over or under watering them. So the lounge harbours our sturdiest plants. An enormous Mother-in-Laws tongue stands sentinel next to the telly, a sturdy 8 pronged cactus guards the sideboard (along with more beach treasures) and a virulent spider plant that I am eagerly awaiting to self-propagate hangs by the sofa in a home made hanging plant holder.

We have a cactus in the bedroom too, again chosen because it requires almost no attention, yet provides its sleeping neighbours with air purification at night.

We change the natural decorations in the house according to the seasons, give or take some time for procrastination and busyness. It’s Summer and I look around me and the house is covered with beach treasures. In Autumn we paint dried leaves and hang them on the wall, and gather acorns in bowls. In Winter we keep evergreen branches in vases on the table and paint sticks to display around the house. In Spring, we dry little wild flowers and make them into a garland, etc etc. 

It’s good, we’ve found, to be grounded in the seasons, to be more aware of what’s happening outdoors, and to be in the fresh air as much as to-do lists allow. Its good for sleep and room to think. Good to leave the laptop and housework behind. Good for tiring hyper toddlers. Good for the soul.

Thank you Hannah!  I wholeheartedly agree, it is good for the Soul.  Having tactile reminders of the seasons passing.  I adore your home, it's sad you are moving, but I look forward to reading your next adventure and how you make the next house a home.

I write a monthly column for Seeds & Stitches on Nature in the Home, you can read my last post here.

#natureinthehome - collection 9...








Wow!  Colour!  Such vibrancy, beauty and contrast. I am in love with this weeks submissions.  In particular Jen's teapot - oh yeah!  That teapot full of garden blooms just rocks.  AND I adore Lucy's feed.  She can take photos that one! ;)

Thank you everyone who has taken part in #natureinthehome - our little community is growing every day.  Next week shall be week 10, and I've decided to stop the weekly collections for the school holidays.  I shall dip in and do a massive round up at the end of July, and again at the end of August.  The school holidays will be so busy, that I don't think I shall have much time to do it on here. BUT I shall do a weekly collage of submissions on IG still.  So please do carry on, tagging your beautiful images with #natureinthehome.

Do pop back later with a stunning house tour, and why nature in the home is important to them!

#natureinthehome - collection 8...






So we are here again - Wednesday - and another weekly look at the #natureinthehome submissions.  Did you know that there are now over 750 images on Instagram under that hashtag!  750! And this is only week 8!  Two months.  I am overwhelmed, amazed and full of gratitude.  It is incredible no?

This week I chose images that were, bright, beautiful, colourful and natural. This could be the arrangement, the materials used or the quality of the image.  (some of the submissions on IG are stunning, but sadly the quality of the photo is poor (grainy) which makes it difficult to enlarge and have up there on the blog.  I would love to feature everyone at some point, so please try to shoot your images in a good light source, to prevent grainyness. (made that word up, I know!).

OK - lecture over!  It's JULY!  Time for deep rich reds, oranges, grasses, seed heads, shells from beach holidays, pebbles decorated... over to you!  Have a lovely week.

02: Inspiration - Nature in the Home - Kirsten Rickert

A while ago I came across Kirsten Rickert's incredible instagram feed, and fell in love. Her beautiful, dreamy, evocative images of her daughters, nature and art are so incredible I just had to share them with you.  I am delighted that Kirsten agreed to a little interview, I know you will love her work just as much as I do...

Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?

You will find me in the garden, woods, or in a field of wildflowers. I always have busy hands, making, creating and foraging for collected natural treasures. I grew up in an alternate area of subtropical Australia, when I left home I travelled around the world solo for many years. I started university in my mid twenties, studying fine art. I finished my degree at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Then I had babies! We now live just outside of Manhattan where I spend my time homeschooling our two daughters. My role of mother comes first, woven into this role I am a freelance artist, writer and photographer, contributing to magazines internationally. I am also trying to write a book! 

You have a love of nature, that is evident in your photography, can you tell us where this love began?
I was very fortunate to grow up in a part of the world that is like paradise. My mother's family have farms and many hours of my childhood were spent roaming paddocks, playing in the dam and creek, jumping off waterfalls and beach combing. As a child I did not know how lucky I was, I did not know any different. Years of traveling as an adult brought home to me just how fortunate I was to grow up in this area. There are many beautiful places in the world, but I realised that a place where you can grow a massive variety of fruit and vegetables all year round and I place with untreated clean/fresh water, and incredible diversity of plants and animals is really a special place. Over time it sinks in that these are the things that really matter, not just for me, but everyone. The area I grew up in also has a lot of alternate thinkers and environmentalist, so you could say my love of nature was in the air I breathed. My family worked very hard to have the land that they have and I am so very grateful for my childhood spent on it. It was very simple, and basic and humble, and my family were not rich in money, but I look back now and think wow, I was blessed I was to have a connection to this land, the plants and the animals. 

You have traveled the world, where do you consider home?
Home is Australia, this area I talk about above, on far north coast of NSW. One day we will return. My family are waiting for us to hurry up and move back! In my dreams we build a home and settle for good on my Aunt and Uncle's property in the rain forest. In the meanwhile I have easily have made myself at home in other places along the way. 

I love how creative you are, where does your inspiration come from? 
Looking out my window, the environment and my daughters. I really try and be inspired by what is happening right before my eyes. I am also inspired by things I see happening in the environment that I wish were not happening. Like the decline of the honey bees, chemicals being sprayed on crops, monoculture, genetic modified food, poor treatment of animals, excessive consumerism, plastic, and basically the earth's resources being misused...all of these things fuel my passion to create for change. I am conscious to use my creativity in a positive way that adds something to life, but does not cost the earth greatly. We all want beauty in our life, but to me something is only beautiful if it is good from the roots, if it comes from a good place, with good conscious intention/decisions. I was thinking earlier today as I was sorting some shells how much I dislike those white store bought starfish you see in homes. To me, when I see them sitting in windows and on coffee tables, I don't think "What a lovely seaside trinket" I think of those poor starfish being mass harvested from the ocean, killed and then bleached! Three things that are really actually terrible. It makes my wonder why people would want that "energy" in their space. A souvenir like that, to me does not convey a good experience. I am always surprised that people do not use their imaginations to consider how things end up in a store for sale. Anyway...with that said, my goal is to source things and create in a gentle way, as much as possible. 

What is your favorite time of year? 
Well each season appeals to me for one reason or another, I find something to look forward to with each change the weather brings. I love the change of season, I get excited like a child. I grew up with only two seasons, summer and what might be considered Autumn and so this experience of living in the north east of America has been a treat as there are really distinct seasonal changes. It has been a novelty and a great source of inspiration. I suppose if I have to choose, it would be spring, for the flowers and that wonderful feeling of awakening and new life after a long winter, it is such a celebration..ooohhh but I love Christmas time too! 

You involve you daughters in most of your creative projects, do they help you in the making? 
Yes, the girls are always involved one way or another, and I see this deepening as they get older because they seem to be getting more and more involved. Beyond helping me forage and collect and be my models, I ask them to share their creative opinions too. They give me feedback and together we discuss what we think works. I love that we work together. It is one of the great experiences of homeschooling, they are learning and creating right along with me. 

You use a lot of plants & flowers in your art, where do source your supplies? 
Generally I use whatever I can find abundant and free in the environment. Things growing in my garden, or things I see while out walking. I work with found seasonal flora, sticks, rocks, feathers, or any other natural items that I stumble across or that stands out to me. Like for instance the other day our neighbour trimmed his trees and the girls and I collected all of the cuttings and then the next moment I was laying the leaves all over our attic floor...I needed to work with the leaves, they were just sitting there and I was compelled to make them a creative medium so that they were not wasted! If you go for a drive with me in the country side I will pull the car over and stop a zillion times to look at things growing along the side of the roads. My children are very patient! If I am not working with things from nature, I look for recycled materials that are also free and abundant, like cardboard! 

Do you have any tips for my readers on how to display nature in the home? 
Hmmm... I do not know that displaying nature in my home is my strong point. We certainly have a large collection of found things from nature, but I do not think we display things in the best possible way. We have moved a lot the past few years and we often talk about moving back to Australia so I have not invested in household furniture or put much thought into decorating, because our situation is temporary. We have lots of collections in baskets and bottles and things sitting along the fireplace mantle. I think if I knew we were settled then I would apply my creativity to displaying/decorating within our home with more enthusiasm. 

Finally, what is your favorite flower? 
Oh I do not have one favorite! Certain flowers definitely evoke emotion and memories for me, I grew up with subtropical flowers and now live in a very different climate. I would say I have favorite flowers depending on the geography, climate and season. I could not possibly choose just one. All flowers are beautiful in there own way, but it is the combination of scent and the beauty and the nostalgia that pulls the heart strings... from my childhood it would be gardenias, jasmine, frangipani...more recently with the change of geography and climate I have fallen in love with cherry blossoms, roses and iris. Oh I love flowers, there are so many more I want to add to the list! 

Thank you Kirsten!  You are such an inspiration, you have certainly inspired me to get out there, a create works of natural art... I might start with a mandala this weekend.  

I wholeheartedly agree with the starfish thing. I must admit I have one, it was a gift from my grandmother, so although it's a horrible thought what happened to the starfish and the process, I can't bear to part with it because it came from her!  Taking items from nature, should be a free flowing process, never taking much, nor anything living (shellfish etc).  I think that you, Kirsten, do it with such grace, and mindfulness, we should all follow your lead.