Monday, 29 March 2010

Home Sweet Home

I'm back home in Bonny Scotland on my parents farm for the Easter holidays. I've got a busy week ahead with a huge list of wedding plans to sort out and helping my dad on the farm. The lambing season is about to start so there is so much to do in preparation for the arrival of lots of little lambs. The weather forecast is for more snow this week so it doesn't feel very Spring like here at the moment. This picture of the farm house was taken last Spring. My favourite flowers, daffodils, have yet to make an appearance this year, their lateness due to the unusually cold winter we've had. Hopefully a few will be brave enough to push through in time for Easter.

I have two thank yous to mention before I disappear for the rest of the week. The first is to Amanda of Homely One for awarding me the Sunshine Award. Thank you so much Amanda for supporting my blog and leaving lovely comments.

My second thank you is to Sonia of Cozy Homemaking. I was lucky enough to be the winner of a prize in the generous giveaway she ran last week. I now have this lovely little package of goodies to look forward to recieving in the post.

I'll be back next week with pics of all I've been up to during the holidays.

Happy Easter everyone xx

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A Sunday in Tuscany

Sunday was a lovely warm Spring day here in Italy, the perfect day for a lazy afternoon reading in the garden or going for a leisurely walk in the countryside. We didn't do any of these things however, instead we spent the day underground in a damp gloomy cave in Tuscany. This might not be everyone's cup of tea but for people like me who love being covered in mud and getting up close and personal to nature then it's an ideal day out. The excursion, organised by CAI (Club Alpino Italiano), involved a 4 hour tour of caves on the West coast of Tuscany. Here we are all bright eyed and bushy tailed at the start of the tour.

The going was tough as we had to scramble and climb our way through the tight passages and round the underground lakes.

The caves were breathtakingly beautiful and so peaceful and quiet. It felt like we were in another world. We lost our concept of time and space as we followed the tunnels deeper and deeper inside the mountain.

When we came out again I had no idea how long we'd been inside or how far we'd travelled. Here we are at the finish, muddy, exhausted and happy.

The final part of the excursion was a visit to the hot water springs of Saturnia. What better way to relax those tired muscles?

Image from here

On the way home we came across the beautiful town of Pitigliano completely by accident. We didn't know this place existed before but we'll definately be back to explore it better another day.

Image from here

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Abandoned Houses

It has always been a dream of mine to renovate an old derelict property and I still can't believe that this particular dream is turning into a reality. I love our house and I relish the task of turning it into a beautiful home. Our house is not the only one around which needs a bit of TLC. Every day I spot another beautiful property which has been left to rack and ruin. I wish I could buy them all and restore them to their former glory. The house in the picture is just along the road from us and every time I pass it I have to stop and have a look and imagine what I'd do with it if it was mine. Maybe one day.............

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Spring has sprung!

After a cold, snowy week here in Perugia finally today the temperatures rose and it felt like Spring had finally arrived. Matteo and I went for a walk and I had my first photography 'lesson'. Since starting my blog I've been so inspired by all of the amazing photography I've seen and I was ashamed of my own poor photography skills. So, I decided that it's about time I learned how to take half decent photographs myself. Matteo is really good at understanding the technical side of photography so today he showed me the basics, just enough to get me started. I was quite pleased with the results although I definately need a lot more practise. Here's a few of the pictures from today.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Spending Hiatus Update

I'm 4 weeks into my 7 week spending hiatus and I'm so glad I decided to take up this challenge. In the past month the only 'non-essential' things I've bought are some writing paper and envelopes costing €4 and a new body brush costing €5. I am amazed that I've been managing so well. I suppose it helps that I've been really busy at work and so haven't had much time for shopping. Instead of buying new things I've been trying to make better use of the things that I already own: I sorted out my wardrobe and have started taking better care of my clothes, I've been rearranging and reorganising little corners of my home trying to improve my surroundings without having to buy anything new. I was in need of some sort of storage for various sewing bits & pieces but instead of going out to buy new containers, I 'prettified' some old jam jars by tying them with scraps of lace I had in my sewing basket. I reorganised the whole space where I keep my craft things and I felt like I had something new even though I hadn't spent a penny. I hope that I can keep up the good work for the remaining three weeks of the hiatus.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Happy Women's Day!

Today is La Festa Della Donna (Women's Day), a day where we remember the social, political and economical achievments of women. Here in Italy it is custom for men to give the important women in their lives a sprig of yellow mimosa on this day, to symbolise their love and appreciation. I'm sharing this mimosa with all of you to wish you a very happy day and to thank the wonderful women whose blogs are a constant source of inspiration for me.

Picture from here

Happy Women's Day everyone!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Bedroom Inspiration

I thought I'd share some of the ideas I have for the master bedroom which I posted about last week. I want to keep it really simple, white walls, wooden ceiling, tiled floor and rustic furniture. I love the romantic look of mosquito nets and they are also a necessity here in the summer months.

This is from Marie Claire maison I love the simplicity of this room.

I particularly like the baskets under the bed in this picture from Atlanta Bartlett

I really love that wooden chest of drawers and hope I can find unusual pieces like this to furnish my home. I'm sorry but I can't remember where I found this picture.

Have a good weekend x

Monday, 1 March 2010

A Sunday in Panicale

Yesterday we spent the day in the pretty village of Panicale which overlooks Lake Trasimeno.

We were shown around by a friend who works as a tour guide there. He took us to see the Church of Saint Sebastian which has a beautiful fresco by 'Perugino' (Pietro Vannucci), the most important renaissance painter of the Umbrian region.

My favourite part though was visiting the Museo del Tulle located in the 16th century church of Sant' Agostino.

Panicale specialised in the production of refined embroidery on tulle, a technique practiced by the nuns of the Collegio delle Vergini di Panicale in the 19th century. The designs, all embroidered by hand are so elaborate and beautiful, I can't imagine how long they would have taken to create.

I'm definately inspired and would like to learn more about the tradition of emboidery in Umbria and possibly enrol in a course.

Hope you all had an inspiring weekend x