Vivez Bien * Live Well

Monday, January 31, 2011

Glimpses of my kitchen (II)

Here are a few more details from my kitchen to follow on from  Glimpes of my kitchen (I) .

The hanging pot rack above the range was a gift from my husband (clever man!)

All the tea and coffee things

My beloved Wonkiware pasta bowls in the corner

Some of my collection of bone handled cutlery

WonkiWare cappuccino cups

Everyday things on the shelves

The heart-shaped bread board says "La Couer de la Maison". My kitchen really is the heart of my home!

Wire baskets hold tea towels, aprons and oven gloves

Wooden trays hold glasses and other bits and pieces

I have a thing for bread boards!

Vintage cutlery caddy holding everday kitchen knives and utensils

A silver bowl holds cooking staples

I also have a thing for baskets!

You are always welcome in my kitchen!

What a surprise ............

I received this award from the lovely Tami at High Street Cottage . If you haven't yet seen her blog you should do so immediately. You can't help but love it. ( I think I'm supposed to do some things following this award. Tami - please let me know what exactly - this blog world is all still new to me.)

 Till next time

Sharon x

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A wonderful Sunday

Having fun with Picnik. Have you tried it?

Till next time

Sharon x

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Repetition of Red

My home is decorated mostly in neutrals and naturals but I am definitely drawn to red as an accent colour. I think it is inspired by the ubiquitous red stripe in French linen. I did a stroll around my home yesterday and was amazed by how much red I found.

chair in the guest room

oven gloves at the stove

plate in the kitchen

French linen
geraniums on my patio


tea towels in the scullery

roaster and tagine

quilts in the cupboard

on the playroom shelves

napkins in the dining room
a chair in the living room

swimming towels hanging out to dry

Wishing you all a red-letter day!

Till next time

Sharon x

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Silver Jugs and Iced Tea

A while ago I was lucky enough to win a competition and the prize was a 3 night stay at Bushmanskloof. It was voted best hotel in the world in 2009 by USA Travel and Leisure and it is truly a magical place. The prize was for 4 adults and 4 children so my husband and I took our 4 sons and my mom and dad.

We stayed at a private lodge called Koro Lodge  and on arrival we were met by 3 staff members (a chef, a game ranger and a maitre'd) who were at our beck and call for the 3 days. Simply amazing!

It was so hard going back to our normal lives after that. But, I digress. The point of this post is that they served high tea every afternoon and amongst the spread of tempting eats was always a beautiful glass and silver jug filled with the most delicious iced tea. My children couldn't get enough of the chilled iced tea (it was very hot while we were there) and I couldn't get enough of the beautiful jug. I got home and was on a mission to find one.


I searched through my own collection and found the ones below. The one in front is very sweet, but way too small, the one on the left is a bit too modern (the check pattern etched on the glass is not quite right) and the the one on the right has too much silver and no glass. (Yes, I know ... I'm far too fussy)

Then, joy of joys, I stumbled on this one (below) in a shop and it was on a sale! So naturally it came home with me.

Then, tragedy struck! The second time I used it, the silver top bit parted company with the glass bottom bit! Luckily the glass didn't break. I took it back to the shop where I bought it, hoping they could replace it, but it wasn't to be. They didn't have any more and weren't able to repair it so gave me a refund instead. So the end of the sad tale is that I have my money - but no beautiful jug!!

So I am still on a mission.

However, I did manage to get the recipe for the delicious iced tea and have been making it every week. (Let me know if you would like the recipe and I will happily share it).

I make a big pot full and decant it into recycled tomato sauce bottles. (My kids eat a lot of tomato sauce! I wonder if it counts as a vegetable?). But it would be so much nicer if I could put it in a big beautiful glass and silver jug!

Till next time

Sharon x

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Glimpes of my Kitchen (I)

My kitchen is my favourite part of my home and is full of details so instead of showing you all at once, I thought I would do a series of posts on different aspects of my kitchen. Today's post will take you inside the big glass-fronted cupboard that holds all my crockery.

I have spent years building up my collection and it is a mixture of some vintage pieces, some "WonkiWare", some "Mud" ceramics, some from Mr Price Home or other budget shops and some special hand made pieces.

Till next time

Sharon x

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Budget Bookcase

My budget bookcase in place

We have a gallery area above our dining room that was a big empty space just crying out for a big bookcase to fill it. I was also crying :) because I couldn't afford to go out and buy a big bookcase. After I pulled myself together,  I improvised...

Some inspiration

More inspiration

Inspiration from my scrapbook

Sorry about the bad photo quality - but to give you an idea of the space

I found this ugly duckling below on Gumtree (South African equivalent to Craigslist).

bottom half of bookcase before

top half of bookcase before
I stained the inside of the shelves and the top and top of the cupboards with a darkish stain called teak and painted the cupboards and frame of the bookshelves a colour called Matisse by Plascon. I added (with lots of help from my husband thank-you!) a moulding along the top and wider wooden strips down the front of the shelves to make it look more finished. I also added new door pulls. It holds a fantastic amount of books and the cupboards are great for storage. All I now need is to find is a ladder to lean against it and some sconces to go on either side. (Also budget friendly of course!)

Just waiting for a ladder

Shhhh - don't tell anyone but the urns are actually cheap plastic that I did a paint effect on (one day I will replace it with the real thing - or maybe not)

Till next time

Sharon x