Friday, June 12, 2009

Bedroom Decor

We've been considering a Moroccan theme for the bedroom, although I'm finding that widening that to North Africa/Middle East seems to be more productive. This is some of my current thinking.

The room is up under the roof, with a central section of flat roof, which slopes to about five feet on one side (in which there are some fitted wardrobes and access to the attic), and about three on the other, where the bed is, headboard against the wall. Furniture I'd really like to hang onto includes the antique wardrobe and chest of drawers/dressing table we got from freecycle. They're both dark mahogany.

I want colours to be either earth tones or jewel tones. No pastels, no primaries - I found myself looking at this one and going "what about blue and red?", but I reckon that pure blue and red aren't much used in this style.

Most things should have a texture of some kind - either patterning, or an actual physical texture.

Lighting should be from things that cast some of their own shadows - lantern style with patterned cuts, for instance. These Eygptian lanterns are utterly gorgeous, and I want them all. The central pendant light that's there at the moment really has to go.

And I'd like to do something with storage - books and clothes - that echoes the orderly market scenes. I'm not sure how to approach that one, though. I don't want open storage, and obviously, our clothes can't be made to fit the colour schemes. But I'd like it if drawers and wardrobes, when opened, looked like part of the room, and not the backstage area of the set, as it were.

Thinking continues.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pictures of Very Small Crops

The lettuces planted in the small pots are coming up as seedlings, and they could be seen coming for some time. However, the pumpkins took me by surprise. For one thing, all of them sprouted. And for a second thing, they exploded out of the soil, pushing chunks up in places, as you can see:

That was three days ago. They're even bigger now (and you can see the lettuces in the smaller pots):

In the meantime, the pepper plant which - more or less - survived the winter seems to trying to fruit again. In this picture, alongside various shades of leaf, you can see the beginning of the buds. I'll admit, you kind of have to know what you're looking for, but they're there. Peppers are supposed to be annuals, so quite what this one is at, I'm not sure. It's also not in a greenhouse, although it was in the house for the winter.

And finally, here's the very start of one of the Siberian tomatoes. You can just barely see it as a little green fruit, with light green stripes on darker green.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bathroom Planning: Colours

We're planning to completely replace the downstairs bathroom in the house in the near future. A lot of the fittings in there have reached the end of their lifespan, and it only takes a few calls to the plumber before it becomes worthwhile to replace the whole lot. So we went in to B&Q yesterday evening to have a look around, and make an appointment to talk to someone about their planning and fitting service.

I'm boggled by the sheer range of shapes and sizes of bathroom fittings. Sinks go from things I reckon you could only get one hand into at a time to vats you could conceivably bath in. Baths come in straight, curved, L-shaped, deep, not-so-deep, really-quite-shallow, and swimming pool sizes. And yet, there was one thing that really stood out. If you wanted anything other than white, or colours close to it, you were pretty much out of luck.

As it happens, that's fine for us; the downstairs bathroom is quite a small room, and its only natural light is through a long shaft coming down from a skylight. It needs light colours. But if you wanted marble effects, green, slate, blue - all colours I've seen bathroom fittings in - nothing. Even the B&Q website has only five bathroom items in black, and they're all panels and levers. I'm a bit mystified by this - I suppose the other colours must be out of style at the moment.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How the Garden Grows

The last few days - from Friday onward, really - have been a combination of clear skies, low winds, and high temperatures. It got up to 25C around our place yesterday - I don't have a reliable thermometer at the moment, but that's from a weather station a few miles away.

The garden is responding to this by growing visibly. The above-ground portions of the potatoes are easily half as big again in five days, the peas are starting to climb the cones, and the beans are putting on something over an inch a day. The onions aren't showing much change, but I assume they're swelling away under the surface there, and the strawberries are starting to fruit. I need to get some willow hoops or something under the netting there; they're coming up against it. The basil - recently moved to a bigger pot - is also booming along, which is vaguely surprisingly; my experience of basil before has mostly involved withered plants. And we were given a very fine mint plant by a friend, so I'll be interested to see how that comes on. I gather mint will take over any space it can, so it's staying in its nice terracotta pot for now.

In the meantime, the lettuce seeds sown ten days ago are now all coming up, and as soon as they're past the seedling stage, they'll be transplanted - some to the east end of the long bed, and some to the shady bed that's been lying fallow, so that I can see which works better. There's no sign of the pumpkins yet, but I live in hope. Once the lettuces go into the ground, I'll follow up with more sowings in the pots.