Posts in Craft
Free Winter Botanical Phone Wallpapers • Ranunculus and Anemone collection

Let's start the week with something pretty!

I adore putting together these downloadable wallpapers, firstly because I feel it totally justifies my visits to my favourite local florist and secondly because it's one way I can say thank you for finding and following my blog!

I'm going to spend a little time over the next 2 weeks updating a couple of posts that are getting all the love at the moment, with a new set of glitter wallpapers and a long overdue #BacktoBasics photography post. 

I feel like I need a spring clean. Polish up a few posts, get up to date on blog admin and update my sidebar with new exciting things. Ooh if you use Bloglovin' you can follow me over there, finally claimed my own blog! 

These bad boys are right up there on my list of favourite florals, the Anemone's demand to be laid flat once they have opened fully and the blowsy Ranunculus heads make you want to fan them like you are racing through a picture flick book. (I must show Sammy how to make one of those - I remember making them at school, making a person dance across the pages!)

So download one or them all, just click on an image and it will take you to the original for you to save in your camera roll.

Happy downloading, let me know which one is your favourite. Are you for the bold and bright or are you a more muted colour palette lover?

Top of my floral favourites list are Peonies but we are going to have to wait a little for that wallpaper collection. Hurry up summer! 

If you share a photo of your screen I'd love to see!

You can find all my FREE wallpapers here. 

Better Thinking • Parker Pens

I am a sentimental soul. My sister might refer to me as a hoarder but I see myself as a collector of memories. Over Christmas we watched the film Inside Out, which if you haven’t seen it, is a beautiful Pixar film about the importance of the core memories in your childhood and all the influences that make you the person you grow up to become. 

I consciously collect and squash into shoe boxes and dog eared gift boxes, plane tickets, champagne corks with the date and occasion of why we popped them scrawled around the rim and the glittery creations the boys have made and handed me with such pride in their eyes as they race out of their classrooms.

I keep little things that provoke big memories. My girl guide sash complete with hand sewn badges, my nursery school workbooks from when we lived in Bahrain when I was 3, to University halls of residence t-shirts and pieces I was allowed to keep when we lost my grandparents. I have my granny’s suitcase filled with packs of cards from their bridge playing days, a little embellished match box that sat on their mantlepiece and her handwritten recipe book, amongst lots of other little things dotted around our home. 

My cousin has my grandpa’s traditional writing desk in her home office, he always kept it immaculately organised, letter opener to the right, magnifying glass to the right, or at least that’s how I remember it. He sat at his desk in their study and opened each letter carefully and precisely, then took his pen and noted down any tasks or responses required. I remember both of their gentle penmanship, ink eloquently drawn on paper, with flow and such class. My granny had an enviable and natural italic style and my grandpa wrote holding his fountain pen between his second and third fingers after he was shot serving in the army.

I only remember them writing in ink, and it always felt so special receiving a letter from them, knowing the ritual and routine they would have gone through, sat at the desk, collecting their thoughts and then putting pen to paper. One of our family treasures is my grandpa’s Parker fountain pen, which must be over 50 years old! 

So when Parker sent me one of their new Sonnet range fountain pens as part of their Better Thinking campaign, I couldn’t wait to compare them and see how their distinctive and timeless design has evolved. The iconic arrow clip just invites you to run your fingers over the three subtle grooves and the sound when you release the cap leaves a satisfying pop in the air. I have never held such a beautiful pen in my fingers, an 18k gold nib so shiny, you can see your own reflection, masked only by the precision etchings crossing the centre. 

They are masters of their meticulous craft. And it makes you feel like you could rewrite the prettiest calligraphy or prose. It makes me want to write like I am a conductor in a grand orchestra, waving the Ciselé pattern design wildly over the page in long fluid stokes. From the moment you lift the grey cloth lid of the cushioned box to snapping the cartridge into place, there is a glorious ritual that makes me smile. I don’t know whether it’s the silky smooth grip, gold plated trim, the weight of the jet black cylindrical barrel, or the ebony ink that gently flows from the nib but it makes the words on the paper feel worthy of greater consideration.

It makes me want to rush less. I scribble notes all the time, on scrap bits of paper, on the bottom of diary pages and on the backs of letters stuffed in their book bags from school. But when you write with a fountain pen you want to take more time. Consider what you really want to say, what deserves to be detailed forever in black and white. 

I wanted to start my own book, but being a terrible cook I knew a recipe book like my beloved granny’s wasn’t something I would start and stick to. But then my sister gave me a copy of The Flower Recipe book and I had a light bulb moment. All through the year I arrange and rearrange my own floral arrangements and displays on our painted blue Edwardian sideboard in the sitting room. I tilt my head, stand back and tease vases into position, sometimes with ridiculously precise symmetry, only to find the wobbly floors and wonky ceilings means the centre is never the absolute mid point! I share photos on my Instagram feed and I thought it would be a lovely sentiment to document and record all my own flower recipes.

I want to create a scrap book of ideas, with photos from my feed, write down what species and stems I used and what vessels and vases I placed them in. All these posies and home made bouquets have brought me so much joy over the year. I love looking back at the seasonal blooms I bought from local florists and the incredible flowers and foliage my neighbour delivered, in bursting black buckets from her garden each week, from my birthday right through to the middle of October. 

And a special book, one I am going to add to over the coming years, deserves thought and special care. And I couldn’t think of a more beautiful way to record it than with my new Parker pen.

A collaboration with Parker.

Free Winter Floral Phone Wallpapers • A Winter Treat

Is it just me, or as the weather has changed from autumn sunshiny days and pathways strewn with golden leaves that demanded to be kicked and tossed in the air like you were 5 again to wet puddles and miserable endlessly grey skies, the need for a winter treat to cheer you up has got greater?!

I find myself slipping a (uh hmm) family pack of Minstrels or Malteasers into the weekly shopping trolley, because it just feels so comforting to swirl your fingers into a bowl of chocolates. I like to empty mine into a bowl so I can hear the chinking sound of the chocolates against the china as I dive in for a handful searching for the misshapen one at the bottom.

It's a time for complete indulgence. And I love it.

More kisses at the school gates wishing each other a lovely Christmas, rum cocktails on a Tuesday, extras with a roast dinner on a Sunday, suddenly I feel the need for all the trimmings and it's not even Christmas dinner day yet! Yes I need cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire puddings, red cabbage (I mean how good are the microwave ranges in the supermarket this year - I am totally cheating on the 25th December!?) and fires on a Friday morning.

My usually positive nature feels like it gets chipped away in the dark days of winter. I long for flip flops and spring and summer colours around me. I'm snapping at the boys more, my patience seems shorter and I am feeling the pressure of working in more limited daylight hours. So I do what I know best. Accessorise and indulge!

I've covered the sofas in cosy blankets which get equally used for den making and snuggling under for a film on a Sunday afternoon. My favourite sheepskin from the local farm shop hangs over the back of the sofa in the living room, for tired school boys who need to rest their weary heads after pick up.

This time of year is about cosiness and comfort. We sink into bed each night under our Winter Warm Slumberdown duvet and I feel like I can't get up in the mornings! It's too dark and I am way too warm, cocooned like a sausage roll in a pastry made from cotton wool. The westies are in complete agreement ;)

Winter time comes at the end of the year, a perfect time to say thank you and treat the ones who have loved you, supported you, encouraged and embraced you through the year.

So I have 2 treats today for you lovely readers.

Firstly a new set of floral wallpapers - it's been such a long while since the last! I picked out some of my favourite props and got silly with the glitter! You can download one or all of them! 

Choose your favourite and let me know!

Just click on an image to download.

I also have the perfect winter comforts bundle to win from Slumberdown. Because for all the racing around around, present buying, gift wrapping and good deeds we will do before the big day, you deserve to feel spoilt!

You will win:

A copy of the GBBO book, a vintage bath time pampering set, a fabulous hot chocolate set from Not on The High Street and a pair of Slumberdown's luxury silky pillows!

To enter leave a comment on this blog post or any of the wallpaper images I share over on my Instagram account. 

The competition is open to UK residents and will close at midnight on Christmas Eve GMT. 

Good luck!