Monday, 20 August 2007

Smiles


It's funny how, after a while, you look at things and no longer see them. Really see them, notice the things that make you like them, the things that make you smile. This chair stands at the end of the bed, in a corner of the bedroom. It was given to us years ago by a friend who had inherited lots of her aunt's furniture. She kindly gave us keys to her aunt's flat and told us to have a good root around and take whatever we wanted! This took place when we just moved into our first home, had very little furniture or money and our friend realised that we needed a bit of help. There was a beautiful, really beautiful, sofa and armchair with loose covers in rose pink linen that we coveted. For hours and days after we planned how we could squeeze this big old furniture which had spent years in an enormous tall ceilinged Regency flat overlooking the sea into our tiny, doll's house of a Victorian terrace. We had to admit defeat but it's one of those "if only ...." things we talk about. The other day i was looking (just looking!) at the new Cath Kidston catalogue and spotted the pink sofa the model was lounging on, a quick knowing look at M and it was another of those "if only" moments.


So we took this chair, along with kitchen utensils a box full of Cornishware (yes a box!) and considered ourselves to be very spoilt indeed. Over the years I think the chair stood in the shadow of the much wanted pink sofa and eventually ended up in the attic. When we moved here one of the first things I did was to give the much neglected chair some TLC. I painted it Eau de nil and covered it in a beautiful pink linen Laura Ashley fabric (you see I've never really got over not having that sofa)! I loved the fabric so much that I covered a huge canvas with it and hung it on a wall behind the chair. Hanging proudly from the chair is one of my mother's bags that I loved when I was a little girl. It was the colour of the beads that I loved and I think the colour combination has to be one of my favourites. It's the colours I tend to use when ragging and the colours I'm fondest of wearing. A friend pointed this out to me the other day, that I tend to have clothes in this colour palette - I wonder where that came from?
Anyway, the chair and bag stand together. Rescued and looked after, their colours make me smile.


Another thing that has brought a lot of smiles to this house these past few days is this wonderful book. One of my favourite children's stories illustrated by my favourite illustrator - Pippi Longstocking (yes, Pippi Longstocking!) illustrated by Lauren Child (yes, Lauren Child). Gorgeous - pick it up if you need a smile!

35 comments:

hannah said...

your house must be so beautiful, I love the little corners and glimpses you show us. I too have had to pass up pieces of furniture people have been giving away, just because my house is too small, I am still grieving a lovely sideboard my neighbours threw out when they moved, the council came and picked it up, I was so sad. And wow, pippi longstocking by lauren child - how fantastic, must go search Amazon now!!!

Heidi said...

I love your bedroom and this pretty chair. I always tell the ladies at my quilting lessons to be sure to change their quilts around regularly. What you see each day becomes invisible to your eye. It really works to simply put it away a while and use something else or move it to a new spot. But it also is a great exercise for us to see our items with fresh eyes through our blogs. We all should have a day of looking in our homes and seeing what really does make us smile.

By the way, we are going to move our bedroom furniture around tonight as I have to fit a chest of drawers in better as DH does not want to sell it on for next to nothing (we had an offer). I will think of your words as I work on the bedroom after dinner. Thanks!

Nancy said...

What a beautiful chair that holds so many memories for you!

I have never read this book, and some day I just might have to.

Enjoy your day,
Nancy

Tracy said...

Just looking at all your photos and hearing your stories makes me smile! The chair is lovely. How lucky to come by such a find. Your home is beautiful. ((HUGS))

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Your pictures are always so sunny and fresh! The chair looks so sweet. That was a nice thing for that person to do for a young couple.

mollycupcakes said...

Beautiful chair and fabric, what a shame that the sofa wouldn't fit. I bet it got given a good home though and is still being used and loved.
I have the Cath Kidston cat and saw the one you mean, loved it straight away, it just says "come and sit on me" lol
Another book to get, I'm still trying to get the other one, watching it on Ebay haha!
Have a good week sweeite.
Catherine x

Kristy said...

Oh gosh I have to get that book! I have thing for old Pippi!Lovely photos of your home too!

carolyn said...

The chair is gorgeous and it is so nice that it has history.

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

How funny-I was just looking at the Cath Kidston sofa in the new catalogue today!! What a shame about the one that got away (sofa!!)But I love the chair, your bedroom is so pretty!!

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Your house looks so pretty from the glimpses you give us! The chair is gorgeous, even better when it has a bit of history. I like the renovation job you did on it, clever you!

sarah said...

Love your bedroom. I remember my oldest girl enjoying Pipi Longstocking. x

Brenda said...

that was very sweet to read and I love the chair.
Brenda

Isabelle said...

Lovely pictures as usual and very pretty chair. I didn't read Pippi as a girl, but did read it to my daughters, so happy memories there.

Wild Rose said...

What a lovely story Kim. I think that the chair looks great.

Marie x

Heidijayhawk said...

the chair the book. way too much goodness for just one post!! whew.

Heather ~ Pretty Petals said...

Oh what a cute little makeover you did!! I love the color choices..so pretty!

And I LOVE Pippi Longstocking!!

She'sSewPretty said...

Oh! That is the kind of fabric that makes my heart skip a beat. I fell in love with a sofa at a local thrift store and have kicked myself every day since for not buying it. It was pink with roses also. Strange coincidence.

Annie said...

I LOVE Lauren Child books - I'll have to look out for this one. Your chair is beautiful as is the canvas. You have a gift of seeing beautiful things, and appreciating what you've got.

Ali said...

We got this book last week and the boys are loving it.

Victoria May Plum said...

Oh Kim, I am so behind and you have written so many lovely posts since I last looked. I love the chair and the bowl of shells and the railway station photos (I wish they would repeat Narnia at Christmas, I did love that adaptation when I was a child).

And I'm so glad that you liked the candle, I love the way you have coordinated it with such a pretty shell, well you do have an eye for design!

We love Lauren Child in our house, so I shall be buying the Pippi longstocking book for Pebble I think.

Victoria x

Reflections from the Stone Nest said...

The chair turned out just gorgeous! Love the fabric. I'm going home tonight and move things around. Like you say, it becomes invisible! Thx for the tip!

Kitty

cd&m said...

Oh dear I think we all of have one of those "sofa tales" to tell. Oh well at least you got the chair and that is a beauty.

andsewtosleep said...

Hi Kim
I am just sitting waiting for a pair of curtains so similar to this fabric to come to an end on e-bay. I do believe in fate hope reading this post is an omen (a lucky one)and I win the bidding. Love the pretty bag and I remember Pippi Longstocking very well.
Mary

Lallee said...

Your chair has such charm. I love the detail of the back, and I can see why you would love that fabric. Having your mother's bag is the icing in the whole picture.

Curlew Country said...

Now where is my Cath Kidston catalogue! Why isn't it here? Love the beatfiul chair and your bedroom is delicious. I'm aiming for a similar look in our new house - a tall order for a 70s chalet style detached but keep your fingers crossed for me (3 beds and a lovely garden won over period style). At least I've finally got an eiderdown - yippee! How wonderful to have lots.
Thanks for sharing the pics of your home. I'm so nosey and just love looking.
Stephx

andsewtosleep said...

Hi Kim
sadly I didn't - but maybe next time
Mary x

kat-out-of-the-bag said...

Hi,
If you look on my blog today you will see Pippy Longstocking the doll with her bright orange plaits in the toy basket under my daughters high chair.I loved the book as a child and have a vintage copy.
I would like this for Mary-Kate,thanks for the excellent tip,
Kat x

Counting Your Blessings said...

What a great idea - the large fabric covered canvas! I'm thinking of doing a collage of sorts for a huge picture frame I've got, but I might like your idea better =) Blessings... Polly

weirdbunny said...

I adore the chair, is that fabric currently at Laura Ashley. I do confess I love that shop, but mostly buy from there in the sale only !

dottycookie said...

All so gorgeous. The beaded bag is scrumptious - I can quite understand wanting to wear clothes in those colours!

Must get Pippi Longstocking ... did you see her version of the Princess and the Pea?

Pearl Maple - Mandy Collins said...

Lovely chair but all the more lovely for the story behind it.

Thank you for all the wonderful creative inspiration you share on your blog.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

I love your chair and your lovely, sparkly handbag! How nice of your friend to invite you into that home to furniture hunt.

I LOVED Pippi Longstocking when I was little!!! Is that the same artist who does the Charlie & Lola illustrations? My son absolutely LOVES Charlie & Lola and we've started collecting the dvds.

Tea Time and Roses said...

What a beautiful chair; I love the roses... You indeed have a lovely bedroom. I am in the mid of a break, but I had to take a moment to say hello. See you soon...

Smiles..

Beverly

Thimbleanna said...

Your chair and canvas are beautiful -- along with the bag. Such pretty, pretty colors. And Pippi! What's not to love there? Our school does a Pippi dress-up day every year for the 3rd graders. When my boys were little, I made a pippi wig (cap with red yarn sewn to it and then braided over a coat hanger to make those braids stand out as only Pippi's could) and they went as Pippi, even though they were boys. It was a big hit, although they had to be careful of poking someone with their braids! Thanks for the memories! ;-)

maramcp said...

Isn't the Lauren Child illustrated Pippi Longstocking just fantastic! I love it! So does my neice Lauren...