Sunday, 15 April 2018

Home & Garden

I bet you're all dying to know what we bought at the castle so, without further ado, let's have a peek at the things which came home with us.

And the winner is ... Sheila! You were spot on, dahling! Well done! We bought the green deer, which is actually a  lamp. A 1930s Art-Deco lamp to be more exactly.
I mean, it's green, it's a deer and it's Art-Deco: if ever an object ticked all the right boxes, then this is it.

The wiring was a bit dodgy, so Jos, who's a skilled electrician, changed it and added another lamp fitting and hey presto: less than a day later it was already taking pride of place on our sitting room's mantelpiece.

Dove Cottage actually dates from the 1930s, so it couldn't have come to a better place, even if it does have to share the limelight with several other favourites.

Centre stage is taken by this pretty wooden pendulum clock, which Jos found at a local junk shop.

On its left, behind the deer, is a vintage floor and furniture wax canister. This, as well as the tiny sample pot next to it, was gifted to us by my parents around the time we moved into Dove Cottage, and have been in the same spot on the mantelpiece for coming up to twenty years now. They both came from a shop in our village, which used to be owned by a great aunt, one of my maternal grandfather's sisters. The shop, of course, is long gone, but I walk past the house it was in every weekday morning on my way to the bus stop.

Moving to the right now, where there's a motley crew of objects vying for attention. The amber glass candlestick is 1930s as well, and so is the Art-Deco bonbonnière on the bottom right. The ceramic couple, wearing traditional Dutch costume, is identical to the pair I used to play with when staying at my paternal grandparents, resulting in quite a few breakages and the ensuing gluing on of heads!

In front is a souvenir ashtray from Expo 58, the famous Brussels World Fair, containing a souvenir book of matches with an image of the Atomium.

Lurking in the recess is a plaster statue of Our Lady of Boom, which we picked up in a charity shop. Boom (the "oo" is pronounced like the "o" in bone) is the town where Jos grew up.

Above the mantelpiece is a mirror in a gorgeous wooden Art-Deco frame, which was going for a song in a charity shop as its glass is riddled with black spots. Reflected in the mirror is our 1950s light fitting, also charity shopped.

This cosy corner in our sitting room is a meeting of styles from different decades. The chairs are 1950s which we had to Phoebe-proof with plaids. The metal shelving, produced by Dutch company Tomado, and currently highly collectible, is 1950s as well, and so, of course, is the framed Expo 58 poster.

Back to the 1930s with the inlaid wooden side table. On top, a late 1950s Bakelite radio. The framed photographs are of my grandparents in old-fashioned bathing suits at the seaside (left) and Jos's mother carrying one of her plants on the right.

Opposite this corner and above the modern flat screen television (we do have some mod cons!) are two display cases carrying the poshest of my Barbies, with some of Jos's Davy Crockett collection on the right.

Is it a boy or a girl? I've never been absolutely sure, but he or she is carrying a jug of ostrich feathers, very fashionable in the 1920's.

I couldn't resist the kitsch wooden wall plaque with a tableau of plastic deer, going for € 0,50 in a charity shop. The display of vases and birds on the bottom right is sitting on top of a cabinet.

I'm the first to plead guilty when it comes to clutter, but all these objects have a soul and a story to tell. They have found a place, not only inside Dove Cottage, but in my heart as well.

After this little detour, it's back to the rest of our finds. 

As you'd probably expected, I bought several brooches. I selected four from the Brooch Lady's folders, and found another three at one of the stalls upstairs.

How cute is that cuckoo clock? The celluloid deer and the carved mother-of-pearl bird brooch were just € 5 and € 7, which is quite cheap. They both needed cleaning, but just soaking them in soapy water already lifted most of the dirt.

Have you noticed the stylish little hat in the group picture? The minute I laid eyes on it, I was in love. The stall's owner urged me to try on a rather spectacular 1920s cloche hat, but I had my heart set on this one, even though it didn't come cheap.

I thought it would rather suit the snooty Idina, so here she is modelling it for you!

The weather continued to be fine on Sunday (I'm still rambling on about last week here) so we spent a bit of time in the garden. I'd already done some serious pruning on Friday afternoon, getting rid of some of the exuberant ivy which is threatening to take over our little plot. A huge heap of twigs and cuttings is now ready to be collected by the town council in a week or two.

We also planted out our poor rhubarb plant which had been waiting patiently in its pot. No need to plant any more Aquilegia, as they self-seed like mad: look at those little seedlings huddling together in this terracotta planter, abandoned after the demise of its original inhabitant. 

More signs of Spring in other parts of the garden. Our Clematis armandii is slowly reaching its zenith, the warmth of the sun releasing its heavenly almond scent. The little stone dove will soon be surrounded by the small pink flowers of our ground-covering Geranium, while Alchemilla mollis, commonly known as Lady's Mantle, is one by one unfurling its downy leaves. Quite unexpected, as I'm sure I didn't plant it there. Yet another of our self seeders!

As much as I love green, our garden was sorely in need of a bit more colour, so we made a trip to the garden centre to pick up some flowering Spring plants.

You've got to love a bit of flower power ...

I'm not very visible in this post, so I will take Idina and her fabulous new hat to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style this week!


  1. It looks like full on spring has arrived chez toi! I'm terribly jealous. We are in the middle of an ice/snow storm. I'm not one bit impressed.

    The hat is lovely and the little deer lamp is adorable.

    You two are quite the avid collectors. Truly you could charge an entrance fee to your little cottage.

    I'm very taken with the spider brooch. I'm always looking for insects or bird brooches and don't see them very often here.


  2. Talk about hitting the jackpot, Ann! An art-deco green deer lamp sure does tick all the boxes! I love it too! I love the display cases with your Barbies. I've always wanted to display my Barbies too, but have never got around to it! Those flowering spring plants are so pretty. Hope you had a nice weekend, Ann. XXX

  3. Wow Ann you home is like a very pretty museum :). This art deco green lamp and the hat are adorable.
    We need and bought flowers too, this week. And next week we sow grass in Sarahs garden.
    Have a nice week, huge hug Tina

  4. I love this little peep into your home. I'm delighted that the fabulous Barbies have their own shelf and the deer lamp is wonderful., Jon would have snapped that up, he's got a real thing about that shade of green!
    How crazy that the charity shop had reduced the mirror because of the foxing. That's what makes old mirrors more desirable. More fool them and brilliant for you.
    Dove Cottage's garden is looking wonderfully Spring-like. Look at all those green shoots! I'm debating whether it's safe to put my geraniums back outside but I'm scared of a late frost! xxx

  5. Your home is fantastic - when things have so many stories attached to them, they're not clutter, they're visible memories. Your deer lamp is a perfect addition to your home, and the mirror is AMAZING.

    Are you due for a heatwave this week? We should be getting one, so I need to plant my seeds tonight. My garden is waaaay behind yours.

  6. swooning about the art deco details!!
    lately i see a lot of this art deco ceramics at our fleas - sadly my cupboards are to full already.
    seeing your cozy home is always a pleasure!!
    and your garden comes to bloom again finally - again i´m faszinated by your early clematis - ours just has started to green again....
    hugest hugs! xxxxx

  7. What a lovely hat, it's so cool and jazzy!, and I also love the decó lamp and the brooches!
    I've enjoyed this little peep in your living room, with all those little details (that mirror and the fab ceiling lamp!) and your Barbies in their own display case! glamour!
    And your garden is looking pretty springy, I have to follow your example and take care of my (few) flower planters!

  8. I love your cosy corner, I painted my porch the same shade of orange, it's very inviting.
    The green Deco lamp is perfect, I guessed wrong! I have a clock very similar to your mantle clock, mine was my Grandma's and is one of my favourite things.
    I love the spider brooch, it's beautiful.
    Spring is coming along well in your garden, it's looking colourful, we're a bit behind here but the blossom is beginning to emerge.
    I've enjoyed all the photos of your lovely home. xxx

  9. I LOVE the fact you have a snooty-looking hat mannequin!!! She looks very resplendent in her beautiful new hat! Hers, not yours of course!!!
    The brooches are dreamy but the carved Mother of pearl is the piece de resistance in my eyes!
    Isn't that lamp marvellous! You seem to find the perfect items for your house! I really like all the items on your mantlepiece! I didn't know you have Barbies- how many do you own? One of my Instagram friends has hundreds of them!x

  10. What wonderful things you have in your home. I think it is so interesting to have things with a history and a place in your heart. You found a real treasure with the Art Deco lamp - it is fabulous!

    Loved Idina - and her hat. She is very snooty looking; like those immaculate women on some of the make up and perfume counters in department stores.

    You've been very naughty buying more brooches but they are lovely. My favourite was the mother of pearl carved one - so pretty!

    Your garden is looking very Springlike and so colourful! Thank goodness the weather has improved and we have a mini heat wave to look forward to.


  11. Your home is so beautiful and filled with history, just as a precious little museum! I love the green deer lamp, and my Dad is also an electrician - see, we are almost family! :) The hat you chose is gorgeous, I wonder will you style it for us soon? I also bought flowers this year, same as yours! Warmest Spring hugses!!! <3

  12. An Art Deco deer lamp-be still my heart! And that hat, oh my you have found some lovely items of late.

  13. Oh my gosh, it's a good job you live so far away, otherwise I would be raiding your house of all those lovely 1930s pieces! That lamp is utterly gorgeous. How did I miss it in your pictures last time? I adore that mirror too, the carving is stunning. You have some truly wonderful pieces of history there! xx

  14. I love the deer lamp and the deer plaque is amazing! I would have been all over that too if I had seen it.
    I just love a few spring plants can make so much difference and really cheer you up.