Monday, 30 December 2013

A New Year

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We have had lots of colds, coughs and sore throats here which hasn't been much fun but it was nice to spend Christmas at home with some amazing food thanks to my husband.
I have been reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the next. This year has been mostly about settling as a family of 4, moving to our new home by the sea and working the work/life balance. We have made a lot of changes, all of which have felt extremely beneficial. Our move to a new home by the sea was by far the biggest and has changed our lives. Having the sea at the end of the road has been pretty amazing not to mention the brilliant summer we have had. Our first family holiday and experience driving to France was a great success and we are now planning our next trip. Exercise has also been on our list this summer and I took up running while the Mr continued his passion and rides his bike several times a week. I always like to think about the year coming up and write out some goals and aims.
So 2014, goals and aims:

1. Crochet projects: Bed throw and 3 baby blankets on the list so far.
2. Improve on sewing skills - made easier with a dressmaking course I start in February - a Christmas present from my husband. I can't wait. I haven't made clothes since I was at school.
3. Painting projects - I have many but would love to at least get started. Bedside tables and TV cabinet up first.
4. Keep on running!
5. Write more blog posts and work with others - stylists, magazines and local companies.
6. I have also signed up to do The Big Blogging Bootcamp e-course in January.
7. Driving - I am not a confident driver so I would like to keep practising and doing some longer journeys.
8. Planning lots of family days out
9. Photography - improve skills, research, practise and use different formats including 35mm and polaroid.

What are your aims and goals?

Happy New Year to you all. I hope 2014 is a great year for you.

Love Lemon x

Monday, 2 December 2013

Have yourself a very Vintage Christmas

I don't know about you but I can't think about a home bar without thinking retro and chintz. I have come across some fantastic vintage drinks cabinets over the years. I love just checking out the way it works – some have lights, mirrors and all kinds of quirky goodness. It got me thinking about the Christmas season and hosting a party of your very own. Now I'm not saying you need to go and buy something like this but there are lots of ways to feel like a member of the Mad Men cast drinking sophisticated cocktails with your friends.
How amazing is this TV-turned-cocktail cabinet? I'm not sure you could get any more retro and it's a great way to upcycle.

So what are we missing?
Cocktail anyone? I had my first ever vodka martini in New York on my 21st birthday. Amazing – I will never forget it, although mostly for the experience as the drink itself was too strong for me!
Dry Martini
1 part french vermouth
5 parts gin
Mix in a tall glass with ice and strain into a cocktail glass with an olive for garnish

2oz Whiskey
1oz Sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Pour all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Something more Christmassy?
Brandy Alexander
1 1/2 oz Brandy
1 oz Dark creme de cacao
1 oz Half-and-Half
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Shake brandy, creme de cacao, and half-and-half with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Ice cubes
1 part Advocaat
3 parts lemonade
Lime juice
Fill a highball glass with ice, add Advocaat, lemonade and lime juice to taste.

Check out this site for a bit of history on the cocktail and some more recipes.

Of course, a cocktail tastes better in the right glass. My favourite are the vintage Babysham glasses, available from an Etsy seller but often found at vintage markets.
Canapes started out in the 1950s and 60's, so for our vintage party they are the perfect accompaniment to those glamorous cocktails. However, if we are to follow the theme the glamour may stop there – prawns with a cocktail dip, small cooked sausages, meat paste & pates on crackers, deviled eggs, ham rolls and cream cheese, and not forgetting a bit of cheese and pineapple. 
How stunning is this bar? The added vintage items complete the look. I have lusted after a pineapple ice bucket for some time now. How fabulous would this brass beauty look?
This was found on Ebay
There are some great plastic fruit ice buckets and vintage soda syphon bottles are easy to get hold of – I found one of mine at a vintage market and the other in a charity shop. Have a look on Ebay too; these honeycomb cocktail sticks would look great:
Find these on the Pipii website
Why not serve on a vintage party platter or serving dish like this very cool Orange one from Etsy:
Other ways to add a vintage feel to your party; tell your guests to dress up, add vintage fabric to tables, play records (not MP3s!), and use a drinks trolley or specified table with decanted alcoholic drinks or even a punch bowl.

Love Lemon x

Monday, 11 November 2013

Pop of Colour

On these gloomy cold days I am often inspired by bright colours. I was recently inspired by this image from Rigby and Mac of their giant yellow angelpoise light.
I started to think of other ways to add that statement of colour. I found this amazing freestanding fireplace that was sold by an Etsy seller:
Stand out in the street with a colourfully painted front door like this one.
A bright sunny yellow fireplace
I am desperate to paint the chairs in my kitchen to add some colour, these look great:
How about adding a neon border to add some colour.
A colourful armchair can warm up a neutral lounge:
Something as simple as colouful cushions or a statement lamp or rug can give you that pop of colour.

Love Lemon x

Monday, 4 November 2013

Little Yellow Birds

I enjoy shopping but with two boys it's not something I get to do a lot these days. Thank goodness for internet shopping and some great online stores – especially when it comes to products with a little something individual and one-off. I found Little Yellow Birds where I find most of these stores – through social media. Little Yellow Birds has so many wonderful products to choose from and something I always like to see – a lot of colour!

So when I was asked to do a review for them I jumped at the chance and chose some gorgeous Cable and Cotton lights in a Morocco colour combination.

Well, not only was the product itself just what I imagined – a quality product with a reasonable price tag – but the delivery was speedy and the packaging was a delight. I was expecting wrapping like most shops offer, online stores included, but I must say I do love packaging and I adored the bright yellow fabric bag that came with my goodies. It felt just like getting a present.
I chose lights to add some colour to the rather dark and gloomy fireplace in our living room that is blocked and therefore not used. It needed something and I wanted it to be fun; candles would look lovely but with young children aren't an option. I bought a wicker planter a while ago and had the idea to cover it in some form of lighting and place in the fireplace. The Cable and Cotton lights are just perfect and add so much to the once bare space. I have lots of yellow, orange, turquoise and green in my living room, so these colours really complement it.

Tip: I used very thin plastic coated wire that I picked up at my local DIY store to hold the lights in place.

Love Lemon x

Disclosure: I was asked to review a product from Little Yellow Birds, please note that all opinions are my own and the product was selected to suit my blog and readers.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Style at Home - December 2013

A few weeks back I was invited to London by Style at Home magazine to style my very own Christmas tree. What a fantastic trip I had – I thoroughly enjoyed every minute, from meeting up for dinner with everyone involved in the shoot, to staying in a boutique hotel, to then spending a day styling in a beautiful location house. I even enjoyed chatting over lunch with the Style at Home team and other stylists about our homes and style. It was such a lot of fun.

I was paired with a lovely lady from Marks and Spencer to style their tree and when she told me it would be black and gold I just knew it was going to be a pleasure to style. There were so many gorgeous decorations, lights, cushions, candles, vases and more brought in for the shoot. It was great picking and choosing and putting it all together.

Here are some of my absolute favourite decorations from Marks and Spencer:
Here are some behind the scenes shots I took too
Then it was time for the final shots, so I put on my dress and heels. 

Check out this months Style at Home magazine for more including a few behind the scenes shots of me working my magic and my comments on articles throughout the magazine!

Love Lemon x

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Vintage Market - Snape

Snape Maltings is a beautiful place to visit and a great setting for a vintage market. It's one of my favourite local markets. However the weather has spoilt it a little this time. The market was cancelled and re scheduled due to the horrendous rain we had so it wasn't as busy and bustling as it normally is and it was a shame but I enjoyed wandering around the stalls. I spotted some very sweet children's chairs and check out the bicycle planter below.

Love Lemon x

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Love Lemon Update

Lots of changes are happening here at Love Lemon. You may have noticed a few already, including a Craft Suffolk section where you can find a variety of craft courses and workshops in Suffolk. I am also working on a Vintage Suffolk section, where you can find all those much-loved vintage shops in the area.

I have added a section about my features on blogs, websites and magazines if you want to know a bit more about what I do.

I am currently working on a new logo so I hope to reveal a new look before the new year.

Love Lemon will also be looking to collaborate with other companies and getting some sponsors on board.

Exciting times!

I wanted to say a huge thanks to all those people who follow Love Lemon. Also to those who have gone out of your way to let me know what you have enjoyed reading and others who found inspiration. It means such a lot to me and keeps me posting.

If you are not following me already, then I have a new and easy way you can receive updates using Bloglovin, that I am really happy to share.
If you look here you should be able to see the Bloglovin button to click on          
If you want to work with Love Lemon, either commercially or creatively, then drop me an email:

Love Lemon x

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Vintage Finds

I love to browse markets, car boot sales and charity shops for vintage treasures. Items that really stand out. Some months I really don't find much at all. Some months I find things I have been searching for for some time or just fall in love with.

This month was a good one.

I found this beautiful J&G Meakin coffee pot in one of my absolute favourite designs 'Topic'.

This brought back many memories. 

Very cute Pyrex

AND the best yet. This gorgeous fake fur coat. I have been gradually building a new winter wardrobe after having a big clear out. As soon as I saw this I knew this coat would be a great addition. I have often admired these fur coats but never considered buying one until recently. I have seen these worn in a more casual way with skinny jeans and some heels and I thought it looked great. So I hope to wear this not just for best but to add a bit of glamour this Christmas.

Have you found any real gems recently?

Love Lemon x

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Art on the Prom 2013

I was looking forward to browsing the promenade for Art on the Prom this year and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of stalls and variety of arts and crafts on offer. Art on the Prom has been running for 10 years on the promenade in Felixstowe, Suffolk. A contemporary art fair where professionals and hobby artists display and sell their original work.
Local artist Jim Nind created an art installation on the beach, Bottles in the Sand. 
All the bottles contained a message.
Lots of people turned up to browse the stalls.

I particularly liked Louise Marie Crafts stall, a Decorative Arts student who makes and designs her own jewellery & accessories.
From little teapots & ice creams to red bull cans.
This little mirror was my favourite
I love the simple yet quirky designs.

Love Lemon x

Monday, 16 September 2013

happy place

It's not always easy to explain why I love the beach. 
It is my happy place.
It makes all my worries seem small.
Rain or shine it's where I like to be.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

WIP Shawl

A few weeks ago I picked up my crochet hook again. It's been a while and I was keen to get back into it. So with some super chunky yarn and a 20mm (yes 20!) hook I made a snood. It worked up quickly and the yarn was so soft not to mention a gorgeous bright turquoise colour. Then thanks to IG I spotted the perfect project to work on next. A granny shawl. So here we are so far on this WIP.
The pattern I used can be found here.

I love deciding on colours and combinations for a pattern. I decided to make this shawl for myself and I went to have a look in a local yarn shop for some inspiration. I nearly chose a coral coloured cotton that had a silky look to it but went with trusty Rico Creative cotton. I like the matt colours. They only had a few colours to choose from in the shop but 1 caught my eye. It's called clay. I decided not to do a striped shawl but a thick black stripe along the bottom of the shawl and for the edging.

What are your WIP's?

I'm also joining in with #WIPsLinky that Tales from Mount Pleasant has set up.

Love Lemon x