Monday, 29 October 2012

And The Lucky Winners Are...!

Yes - it's time to announce the winners of my lovely Catesby's giveaway! With the help of my trusty 9 year old twin assistants - congratulations to the following readers;
SADIE @ Cotton Rose
SUSAN T @ The View From Here
HELEN @ Crafty Helen
LOU @ Lou, Bou and Shoes
PHYLLIS @ Henhurst Interiors
All of you listed above, are the luck winners of a pack of Catesby's retro 'Letterpress Correspondence Cards' featuring either a vintage typewriter or an old candlestick-type phone. Please e-mail me with your full contact names and addresses and these cute little writing sets will be winging their way over to you asap.
Thank you to everyone who entered, and also, to all of my lovely readers both near and far who pop in when they can. As I often say, it's an absolute pleasure to read your comments and to get to know you, so thank you for taking the time to drop me a line and make me giggle - it makes my day every time!
I also just want to wish my Stateside friends and readers on the East Coast the best of luck over the next few days. Stay safe, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Best wishes,

Friday, 19 October 2012

A Shop, Two Lamps & A Giveaway...

One of the simultaneously most wonderful and yet most frustrating things about reading beautiful blogs from around the world, is getting to discover and read about the most marvellous shops in far flung places.
Wonderful, because new discoveries are always a pleasure - especially when they come in the form of vases, lamps and homewares, but the downside of this, of course, is that when a place is far flung, it usually means that it is far too distant for me to eagerly exercise my rights as a jolly consumer and clear it's shelves in one swipe of a credit card...Much to my husbands delight I expect - which is perhaps why he so enjoys seeing me caught up in International blogland - "Dream on..." he smirks smugly from behind his vintage car magazines!"
Perhaps one day I'll be quick enough to stare pointedly at said magazine, and retort "Likewise Darling..."
Imagine my delight, therefore, to be able to highlight a wonderful shop that is just a few mile from my front door. Now a Norfolk mile ladies and gentlemen, is at least five times the distance of a regular mile, but, as I discovered when I moved from London three years ago, when one lives in the countryside, anything within an hour's driving distance is considered close, and somewhat misleadingly (to the uninitiated) "Just up the road!"
Well, the delightful homewares emporium CATESBY's (images above) is not only "Just up the road" from my house (okay - 45minutes away) but it also sells on-line, and it is from here, that I came across my beautiful, new lamps. Now, they are not strictly balustrade - see below - rather more 'urn' shaped, but they fulfill the same theatrical romanticism that I was aiming for, and I LOVE them!(More 'souped up in situ' images to follow at a later date - busy, busy, busy!)
What's more, the lovely owners of Catesby's - Neil and Jonathon - have very generously agreed to take part in a lovely giveaway, to celebrate The Hill House Diaries, having reached almost 300 followers. They are offering no less than FIVE lucky readers, the chance to each win a pack of their lovely Letterpress Correspondence Cards (six in a pack, with envelopes) featuring either a vintage typewriter or an old candlestick-type phone!
Charming aren't they?
So perfect for writing those little thank you notes or just a quick "hello" in that old fashioned, oft forgotten way - i'e. WITH A PEN!!! (the caps are for my children's benefit by the way...)
Now, the rules are very simple. You just have to be a follower of this blog, and to pop over to the Catesby's website and then leave me a message telling me your favourite thing in their shop. If you'd also like to receive their newsletter, please leave me your e-mail address.
The winners will be announced on Monday 29th October, only one entry per follower.
In addition to this, the Oh SO generous Catesby's boys,are offering all UK 'Hill House Diary' readers, free delivery on all orders until 2nd November 2012 (limited to one order per reader, UK delivery only). All you need to do is enter the following code at check out - FREEHILL - remember, UK readers only for this one, but my international readers are free to enter the giveaway as that is open worldwide!
In the mean time, let me leave you with some more wonderful images from Catesby's, plus a few from their beautiful Georgian home, which is equally as scrummy, and if you're ever in Norfolk, or just close by (i.e. in Norfolk terms - in England), do try to pop in to see them - not only are they wonderfully welcoming, but they also have a glorious tea shop in their courtyard which is worth a visit alone! WWW.CATESBYS.CO.UK
Enjoy and Good Luck!
images courtesy of; and The Hill House Diaries.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Sorry For Being So Slack...!

But my camera was broken, the computer has been playing up has just been SO darned busy! I'm sure that I am not the only one who has been caught up with Autumn madness? It started with the return to school for my twins, and a change to senior school for my son. All of which has added up to a change of pace to warp speed (and a ridiculous amount of homework!). Also, some exciting news - I've bitten the bullet and committed to taking on a (VERY small) unit at a local vintage and decorative antiques emporium, that just happens to be opening up 5 minutes from my house!
You know when it feels like the planets have merged and are trying to tell you something - I think that it's called serendipity? Well, for many years now, and particularly since starting my blog, I have admired and been inspired by the creativity and industrious nature of my fellow bloggers and those who have had the courage (and talent) to take their dream from wistful kitchen table imaginings, to the next level (Yes, that's you, the amazing Sharon at La Vie En Rose, wonderful Louise at Love & Lilac, and also, the gorgeous Sharon at My French Country Home and on a far grander scale, the fabulous Loi at Tone on Tone - although, the latter was probably not so much 'kitchen table musings' as simply being born to design, create and sell the ultimate in beautiful spaces and things!)
I've been visiting flea markets, shabby chic vintage and antique shops for years now, and have always looked wistfully and longingly at the owners who seem to be combining their love of decorative antiques with an actual 'job'. For far too long, it has seemed like a frivolous fantasy that would never be within my reach - after all, surely people need to be 'trained' to sell' pretty things - and am I not simply one of those people who is just 'trained' to buy' them?
Well, with a growing hoard of painted fripperies, cut glass glories and faded florals taking over every available nook and cranny, and a shrinking number of rooms to place them in, it was with slight reluctance and resignation that my husband pointed out the sign for a 'soon-to-be-opening' barn that promised the delights of "shabby chic to antique", not five minutes from my front door!
I felt that familiar pang of excitement at the thought of discovering new treasures (and SO close to home) coupled with the also familiar pang of "lucky him or her, to be opening such a lovely sounding shop!". So you can imagine the frisson of excitement, when on closer inspection of the sign, I read that in addition to a shabby chic shopping experience of swoon inducing proportions, it said that there would also be 'Spaces To Let"!
Well - how could I not take advantage of that? Call me impulsive (or just plain crazy) but before I knew it, I was standing there discussing the ins and outs with the owner and committing to a small unit under the name of "HILL HOUSE VINTAGE" - a name that had been playing around in my subconscious for a while, and is in fact already my twitter name. It took me all of 5 minutes to decide to go for it, and so - as with everything in my life at the moment, it's 0-90mph in less time than it takes to say "What on EARTH have I done!?".
Perhaps this is the beginning of a great adventure and a new chapter of my life? I've certainly been searching for a new niche since leaving London and my career in the fashion industry - one which will compliment being at home with the children whilst 'doing-up' Hill House. Ah well...only time will tell, but hopefully, you'll all come along with me for the ride - wish me luck!
Have a great day!
p.s. I'll be back with news of my gorgeous lamps soon, and also a giveaway to celebrate my blog approaching nearly 300 followers - watch this space!
All images from Hill House Diaries Blog.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

I Want...A Matching Pair...

...of Balustrade Lamps of course!
I absolutely adore the classical style of these lamps, and am searching for the perfect pair to take pride of place on a set of painted tables in my family room.
There's something alluring about lamplight - especially when the nights begin to draw in...
...Lamps provide an elegance and subtle, soothing atmosphere that my harsh overhead spotlights simply cannot muster...
...and the shape of a balustrade lamp adds an extra hint of romanticism to the scene, without being as treacherous (particularly with children) as candlelight...
I like the fact that they could have fallen from an ancient ruin on Mount Olympus...
...or 'liberated' from the terrace of the Goddess Aphrodite...
...Perhaps she threw them at Zeus one night after a particularly bad argument, and they ended up intact and in all their glory on the ground - just waiting for Mr Lampfitter to wander by and discover a new and novel use for them...
What do you think of balustrade lamps - is it a like, love or loathe? Perhaps you feel that they only belong in a theme pub or on the set of a stage play featuring Romeo, Juliet and a balcony!
Well, theatrical or not - (who Moi?)- I have my beady eye on a pair that I hope soon, to give a loving and most welcoming home to...
...Now where was I - ah yes..."What Light from Yonder Window Breaks...!"

Images courtesy of; 1&2)Puck Haberd Decorative Living; 3&4) Anton and K Decorative Living; 5) Appley Hoare Antiques; 6) Ebury Trading;7)House Beautiful; 8) Decorative Country Living; 9)Barker & Stonhouse; 10)Brownrigg Interiors; 11)Phoenix Antiques; 12)Bella Patina.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Autumn Nights...

I must admit, that Autumn is my favourite time of the year. I adore the colours on the leaves, the last of the golden hay bales still in the fields,the faint outline of spiders webs in the bushes twinkling with morning dew and I particularly adore the crisp fresh mornings that develop into bright days filled with glorious Autumnal sunshine.

I delight in watching my children marvelling at the jewell coloured leaves, and who in turn, delight in watching the conkers grow larger and shinier! I love to see the squirrels bustling along in the garden with their Winter hoards, busily searching for the best places to bury their nuts (much to the annoyance of Byron, my Jack Russell).

However, best of all, I love the slight chill that is beginning to spread slowly into these early September evenings. Why - you may ask? Well, because, to me, one of the greatest pleasures in life is sitting down in front of a roaring log fire in a comfortable drawing room. I love the smell, the warmth, the cosiness, and ultimately, the feeling of battening up the hatches and preparing for the season of "Cubbying on down!" as one of my best friends, Emily, perfectly describes it. Don't get me wrong - I do love the Summer, and I really don't mean to wish it away, but there's something about images like the ones below - not too dark and not too Wintery as yet, that just make me want to hug the nearest person and snuggle up - postman beware...!

Have a great day!

Images courtesy of the following; 1,3&4) 2) Waldreddon Estate 5) Veranda Magazine 6) 7)Benjamin Dhon Interior Design.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A Beautiful Mess...

Don't you just love it when a spot of rearranging...

...and throwing a load of things together by accident...

...and not by design...

...leads ultimately to...

...a beautiful mess!

Have a great day!

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