Driving me crackers…

Sorry. Festive pun. But I’m not sorry…

If I didn’t laugh right now I would cry, things are so unfinished in the house. I think a few people who have heard me say this have wrongly assumed it was a need for perfection that was stressing me out pre-Christmas, but in fact it’s a need for safety – we have children visiting and wires, boxes and heavy/breakable items (granite hearth propped up against a wall anyone?) everywhere wasn’t my idea of a relaxing Christmas for me, or I imagine their parents! We are so close to having the lounge finished but there will then be a gargantuan effort to tidy/clean in time for relatives arriving on Christmas eve. Then I might just curl up in a corner with Bea and let everyone get on with it!

Photography: Jemma Watts // Styling: Laura Sawyer // Styling assistant: Rosanna Johnson

Getting back to that pun… This year I decided it might be nice to DIY some crackers (because I have so much free time…) and I’m persisting with the idea dispute the chaos as it’s turning out to be keeping me sane whilst I’m stuck in with tradesmen, trawling the internet for little gifts and ideas. I was fully braced to completely DIY them after seeing a DIY featured in 91 magazine (the latest issue is out now!) and so I asked Caroline to share the stylists tips here…

Cracker Snap pulls were sourced from Ebay at £5.99, and you’ll need some toilet paper tubes. The stylist stuck a snap pull to the inside of a tube, filled the tube with presents, then wrapped the whole thing up in beautiful wrapping paper from Paperchase, and tied it off at the ends with ribbon from John Lewis.

How easy does that sound? Unfortunately in my disorganised state I hadn’t pre-collected the necessary loo-rolls and didn’t have time for snaps to arrive so I ended up with a DIY kit from M&S but I’m still happy filling them. I love that if you make your own you can label them for each individual person and gift accordingly, as well as tying them in with your table decor scheme. I’m planning on activities to keep the kids busy at the table, chocolate and treats for the ladies, with possibly a lottery ticket or something for the men. Crackers are always full of rubbish anyway, so why not fill them with stuff your family and friends will love and even tweak the jokes or motto’s into dinner games for between the courses?

Makes sure you check out the new issue of 91 magazine (there are some really great interiors and printables for Christmas in this issue,) and thanks to Caroline for sharing the crackers!


Real Rooms: A Pigeon bedroom

Today I’ve got a fab real room for you from Caroline, who blogs at Patchwork Harmony but is also the founder/editor of 91 Magazine. I was blown away by her serene and calm bedroom, that still has a dose of pattern and some beautiful decor features. Without further ado…

When we moved into this house in 2009 there was quite the rainbow of colours on the walls. Yellow in the hallway, baby blue in the kitchen, purple in the sitting room and deep red in the bedroom…. the paler colours I could deal with, but the yellow hallway and the dark red bedroom were the first to go! I based the scheme in the bedroom around the Thornback and Peel pigeon wallpaper which I just had to have! Its ironic as I actually hate pigeons and flinch when one comes to close to me, but they are in fact the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning! The original plan was to go for a pale grey on the walls to compliment the darker grey of the pigeons, but it turned out the Fired Earth paint we went for, Pale Cirrus, was more of a pale pale blue in the end. Going so pale meant the walls required numerous coats to cover the dark red, and although it was a long old slog, we were really happy with the results and loved how much brighter it made the room.

We were on such a tight budget when we moved in, as we’d ploughed all our savings into buying the house, but being a thrifty pair I think we managed to decorate the bedroom with some fab but really affordable finds. The bed was the biggest expense, but I figure its something you use every day so worth spending a bit more on. Even so, we managed to get a really good deal on it, as we bought it in the Heals half price sale. The wardrobe and drawers were bought at the Princess Alice Hospice charity shop in Kingston. We got both pieces of furniture plus a huge vintage trunk (not the one on top of the wardrobe though, we use it as a coffee table in the living room) for £150.

As the room is relatively small, I didn’t want to fill it up with much more furniture, so the only other pieces in the room are the bedside tables – one which I picked up at a local car boot sale for £5, and just added a new handle to the little cupboard door, and the other is a vintage wooden crate bought from a local florist for about £18.

I’d been collecting vintage mirrors for a while, via eBay, car boots and markets so we decided to hang these as a group on one wall, again to try and create the illusion of the room being bigger, but in a quirky way. I’m also always picking up floral paintings and vintage botanical prints at markets, so this is the focus on the walls in the bedroom, either in frames or hung by bull dog clips. In fact the most recent addition to the room is the giant bull dog clip used to hang the bird print. I bought this recently from fab stationery shop Present and Correct.

I made the checked cushion covers on the bed from a vintage tablecloth, I like to have a bit of a handmade touch around the house, without over doing it, so these are my little nod to being crafty in the bedroom!

I like to let a room evolve over time, so there have been little tweaks here and there over the last few years, things have been added, removed or replaced as we find new things, or get sick of others. But overall I’m happy with how this room turned out, especially as we were on a tight budget. At the same time, I think its worth not scrimping on certain things – so for example paint and wallpaper I think are worth that little bit extra, as hopefully they will last for a good amount of time, and it more time consuming to change these, whereas you can try and save on furniture by buying at charity shops & markets. And of course, getting crafty will also help budget-wise and will give your room that extra personal touch.

I just love this room. The wallpaper is quirky get still very feminine and the soft bluye walls might just have converted me back to coloured paint! The botanical prints are beautiful too – That’ll be my search for this afternoon then!

Don’t forget readers, if you have a room you would like to share then please do send it in to hello@florencefinds.com


PS Sale alert!

Found: Online love…

Before we get going I wanted to announce the winners of The Surf Cafe Cookbook! We had 2 books to give away and using Random.org the entries that won were numbers 6 and 52. Congratulations to…

Jenny @ Bake

I’ll be sending emails out to you this morning to confirm and request your addresses for the publishers to send out the book directly. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase the book here.

Nope, this is not a post about online dating, or worse! Today I thought I would give a shout out to some of my favourite online magazines as I haven’t mentioned them in a while. And my excuse for the brevity of this mornings post is that I am giving you not one, but five magazines to read, all British and basically enough online reading material to keep your eyes away from anything that resembles real work for the entire day. Not that I would ever condone such behaviour.

Should you however need a little distraction… here’s the links 🙂

Have you found any new reads here today?


Spotted: From Paris, With Love – 91 Magazine

This morning I wanted to share a little treat and show you where you can see more beautiful pictures like the one below. I’ve talked about 91 Magazine before, a crafty vintage style online magazine, choc full of inspiration for DIY projects, food, interiors and crafts. Although I’m not the world’s biggest DIY fan (where does the time go?) I do love unique style. DIY, crafting and up-cycling are the only way to truly get one of a kind touches. 91 Magazine‘s editor Caroline has been kind enough to share an excerpt from the current issue, Issue 3, in this case, the home tour of a ceramicist living in Paris. Expect to feel inspired!

“If you’ve ever dreamed of living the life of an artist in Paris, then step inside the apartment of ceramicist and textile designer Lise Meunier, and get a little taste of this envious lifestyle. Lise’s passion for crafts and found objects is evident in every corner of her spacious, light-filled apartment, which she shares with her partner and two children.”

“Lise’s creative passion began as a young girl in her childhood bedroom, making all sorts of things with found objects. She studied Art History and worked as an illustrators agent after graduating and enjoyed taking pottery classes. But deep down, she knew she wanted to devote more of her time to her own creations. So she quit her job to pursue her creative passions full-time. She currently divides her time between her studio where she can fire her ceramic work and designing and creating from her home.”

Words and Photos by Leigh Metcalf

There’s so much more to see inside this issue of 91 Magazine – head on over and while away your coffee or lunch break flicking through the pages – I’d love to hear which bit you enjoyed the most!


Extract from Issue 3 of 91 Magazine – read more of this article & see more images at www.91magazine.co.uk

Saturday Survey

Happy Weekend readers!

This weekend I’m getting away for some R&R with Pete for the start of his 30th birthday celebrations next week. While I’m away, I hope you guys will get a moment to comment on the Survey series I started last week. This week we’re focusing on fashion and don’t forget this is your chance to have your say and tell me what you would like to see here on Florence Finds. Thank you so much for stopping to fill it in and I hope you enjoy my five things this week 🙂

Five things:

Firstly, a new addition to the site… the subscribe button in the right hand side bar. Here’s where you can sign up to receive a weekly round up email into your inbox once a week (we won’t bombard you with email junk I promise!) and keep up to date with all of Florence’s posts. Gemma’s going to be taking care of this and let me tell you, the draft round up she prepared was brilliant – don’t miss out on exclusive Florence news and firsts, sign up today 🙂

My two latest lipstick purchases – Mac’s ‘Lady Danger’ (matte orange-red) and ‘Impassioned’ (intense neon coral pink)

I found a new online magazine to fall in love with… 91 Magazine. There seem to be more and more online mags popping up but what I loved about this one was its heavy lean towards interior style and the crafting theme throughout. This is no glossy full of aspirational style, but affordable, DIY and achievable inspiration. Go take a look!

Started a bit of new season wardrobe reassessment and was pleased to find how much nude and faded neon I had ready to wear!

Did you enter the Mr & Mrs Smith Giveaway yet? Entries close at Midnight on Sunday – look out for the winner on Monday!

Five Questions:

  1. Within the Fashion category (in the menu above) which is your favourite type of post? (i.e. New collections from individual designers or shops; The Fash Flash – round ups of pieces for a specific trend or Outfits?)
  2. How much would you normally spend on clothes in a month?
  3. Quality or quantity? (Do you prefer trend led disposable fashion at lower prices or classic well made pieces and fewer of them? Do you ever splurge on designer/higher end goods?)
  4. Have you bought anything featured on Florence Finds?
  5. Would you want to hear about discounts and offers (and if so how – on the blog/twitter/facebook/emails?)

Just copy and paste these five questions into the comments box and add your responses. Thanks so much in advance!

Have a great weekend everyone!


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