There is something magical about the Christmas season in homes across the world. Twinkling lights, a crackling fire, there is something extra special about this time of year.
This year I tackled designing the cutest yet most classic wrapping paper and I am making it available to our Boscobel Farm customers. There are things I love and things I hate about wrapping paper.
I love when paper and ribbon come together to make the most beautiful statement. I hate when wrapping paper tears when you try to cut it, or when it is so much lighter weight than it looks before you remove the plastic sleeve.
No one wants to see the gift under the paper because the paper is too thin.
Just saying. It's awkward.
I had so much fun designing these in October. The anticipation has been all I can take to finally get them in a couple of weeks ago. I am so happy with the results, and so happy to be able to offer them here.
All three wrapping paper designs are constructed of premium, heavy-weight, glossy paper. In each set there are four 20"x29" sheets collectively rolled inside a Kraft Tube for safe shipping and easy storage.
Instagram is my favorite place to be these days. In fact, right now while I am trying to put together this post I am falling down a rabbit hole of @Corgistagrams and #petduck hashtags. I find Instagram to be full of talented people with great aesthetic. But I mean really...#petduck is my new favorite hashtag to follow.
This post from @ducksmakegreatpets though! Sweet Jesus get me a duck to hug STAT!
All ducks aside...I have a list of 5 Instagram accounts to get you excited about Spring gardening. @BraebourneFarm is at the top of my list. This Australian based Instagram account gives me life all winter long. The Allee's of pleached trees and agapanthus are the most spectacular I have ever seen.
The Art Of Gardening
This one I recently started following on Instagram and this account does not disappoint! It is one of many that doesn't post original content but gathers inspiration from other Instagrammers and the internet at large.
She has one of the most beautifully neat gardens I've seen. The hardscape is to die for and the overall formal design is so happy and bright. Her use of whites is especially gorgeous. She also has a website/blog which gets me through the awful Virginia winter. Since she is in Australia there is a seasonal juxtaposition that works so very well for me.
Positioned in the Northwestern U.S. Floret one of my biggest inspirations for our cut flower business that will be launching this Spring (you know in the next 90 days!) All of our cut flower seed will come from Floret this Spring and Summer. We have a lot of space here for flower farming but we are starting with about 3000 sq. ft. near the vegetable garden.
I just love him! He has been dubbed Scandinavias Martha Stewart and his feed is inspiring. He not only has a glorious instagram feed but his own line of bulbs in Denmark. P.S. isn't that Allium magnificient.
Make sure you follow these 5 Instagram accounts to get you excited about Spring gardening! They are all sure to inspire you in your own garden. Oh...and don't forget those sweet little ducks. Follow them too.
Every two weeks in the winter I splurge on fresh flowers. It is a totally frivolous yet totally necessary expense for me. As someone who loves to grow flowers all Spring, Summer, and Fall, I can attest to the fact that winter is especially hateful for fresh flower lovers.
This Friday's fresh flowers are Stock, Waxflower, and Tulips. Three gorgeous flowers in light, pastel shades. These three are a beautiful mixture of light pink, deep pink and white.
For tall heavy flowers like stock and tulips I always use a flower frog. I have a few favorite antique flower frogs like the one pictured above. I cant remember where I found it but the metal is heavy and holds the stems nicely.
The Waxflower is beautiful and breathy with tiny juniper-like leaves. It is an evergreen that belongs to the myrtle family.
Stock is one of my favorites and a variety that I will be growing this summer in our cut flower garden. I tend to gravitate toward soft, pale, flower colors so I was really excited to find this gorgeous soft pink Stock.
Sadly, the grocery store managed to mangle it. They must have stacked it or otherwise jammed it up against other bouquets because it looks a little sad. Not to worry, Since I buy it almost every time I know that it will bounce back, fill out, and stand up straight with a fresh water and a little flower food.
The first thing I do is open up all of the stems and lay them out on the counter. I pull the vessel I am using to the edge of the counter for measuring stems. A good rule of thumb is that the arrangement should be one and a half times the height of the vessel you are using.
I start with the largest flowers with the most presence and hold it up to the container (at the level I would like it). The stock was the fullest flower so I started there. Next I layered in the WaxFlower and then popped in the tulips. This time, I was really going for a loose, just-picked, wildflower look. Nothing too formal or pretentious.
This arrangement needs a day or so to settle. The stock will stand up and the tulips will begin to open in about two to three days. After a week, I will take the stems out, change the water, and freshly cut the ends, and put them back. I am able to make arrangements last two weeks this way and end up only spending about $40.00/month on fresh flowers for the kitchen or breakfast area.
Do you love fresh flowers? Do you splurge on fresh flowers in the Winter like I do? Let me know in the comments below!
In the last house we renovated, I didn't replace the cabinets. I replaced the countertops and appliances, tweaked a microwave cabinet, painted them, and called it a day. For the rest of our time in that house, I regretted not replacing the kitchen cabinets. This time around, the kitchen was not functional and I knew I needed to replace the entire kitchen. This kitchen was gut job from the ground up. If you need a change in the most important room in the house, I have a few tips on how to get started on a kitchen renovation.
Our kitchen story kicks off more than a year ago. I found this property on the internet and fell in love. We were living overseas and had no way to see it. We hired a real estate agent and hoped he would be our eyes and ears. The next few pictures are first and only pictures we saw. We never saw this property in person before we bought it.
At first glance, the kitchen looks okay, right? Pictures have a way of skimming over the nitty gritty (literally). Nitty. Gritty.
THE NITTY GRITTY:
Busted counter tops
I knew it all had to go, in favor of a better, more efficient floor plan that included more storage space. The current kitchen was using less than half of it's space in cabinets.
The laundry was located in the kitchen, which was both an inefficient design and an eyesore. Can I say again that these are not our pictures. This space doesn't even exist anymore and I just want to whip it into shape.
What you don't see behind the washer/dryer is that plumbing is protruding from the wall and floor by several inches. Nowadays, washer/dryer plumbing is hidden between the studs and comes up into a nice neat little box. Not this mess. As you passed by the side of the appliances you could see the pipes sticking up out of the floor. It was really awful. Awfulness aside, it was nothing that could not be fixed.
When I look at a house to purchase, I pay no attention to the decor or aesthetics. I only look for the space and how it can be manipulated into what I want. Everything can be changed if the space is available, and you are willing to put in the hard work.
Hi! I'm Amy. I am a former commercial photographer who has travelled all over the world and finally landed in my happy place - Historic Boscobel Farm.