February 4th, 2016

DIY painted plant pot ideas

DIY painted plant pots | Growing Spaces

After my post about ways to give terracotta plant pots an update, I decided it was time to get out the paintbrushes and have a go myself. A lot of of my houseplants needed replanting into larger pots, but I needed to find a cheaper DIY alternative to buying a load of smart, new plant pots. So I had a rifle through the shed to find some old pots of paint and gave some old pots a new look.

This week’s Heather’s Space video (have you subscribed yet and if the answer’s no, why not do it right now?!) is all about the ways I updated these pots – there are even a couple of extra ideas that aren’t pictured here. I used old matt emulsion from various DIY projects around the house to paint a few of the pots, opting for simpler designs in the end because more detail felt a little too fussy. Letting the paint drip down the side of one of the large terracotta pots was particuarly satisfying!

DIY paint drip plant pot | Growing Spaces

DIY painted stripe plant pot | Growing Spaces

Sharpie Ikea hack pot

I used a black Sharpie to draw some decorative details onto Kardemumma pots from Ikea – Ferm Living-inspired scallops on one, and mini zig-zags on the other. I did try using a coloured Sharpie too, but you could see the lines really clearly so I need to finesse that idea.

Plant pot hacks | Growing Spaces

Plant pot hacks | Growing Spaces

I found a use for an odd woolly sock that hadn’t quite made it to the bin in case I found its mate and popped it over a cheap zinc pot – super-easy and I love the texture it adds to the mix.

DIY painted plant pot ideas | Growing Spaces

As I’m going to be using the Sharpie idea to decorate a pot as a gift for a much-loved friend later, I’m linking this post up with this month’s LOVE-themed Create Make Share linky hosted by myself, Zing Zing Tree and Kids’ Craft Room – you’ve got until Feb 14th to share what you’ve been creating this month (either add a blog post link or the URL link to your IG pic).

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February 2nd, 2016

Paddling in January: Winter at West Wittering

West Wittering - our favourite beach in winter | Growing Spaces

I wanted to do something different on Saturday – I had the urge to explore, to go further afield. We had an amazing day at West Wittering around this time last year, and as the forecast was for sunshine, we decided to head back to the beach. It was grey and very cold when we got there, but it wasn’t long before the sun came out and we were treated to the same intense blue skies we enjoyed on our last visit. The wind was bitter, but actually I think I needed that blast of fresh air to clear my head. It’s been ages since I’ve taken my proper camera out with us and I got very carried away. Editing them down was a challenge, so I’m sorry – this is one pic-heavy post..

West Wittering beach huts | Growing Spaces

Our favourite beach in winter | Growing Spaces

The beach in winter | Growing Spaces

After a tentative first paddle (they’re mad, I’m telling you), we layered ourselves in blankets to have our picnic lunch. Then we did have to admit defeat and head to the beach cafe to warm up a little, although the rest of my bonkers family chose ice-creams rather than hot drinks (while I cradled a steaming hot cup of sweet, black coffee).

Beach hut blues | Growing Spaces

Joules kindly sent the twins a couple of raincoats from their Right as Rain collection. Although we didn’t actually have to weather any rain on Saturday, the jackets did a great job at keeping out the wind, and had a good dowsing in sea spray. The Jnrskipper showerproof coat is made from robust rubber fabric and the coats definitely offered more protection than the twins’ regular waterproof jackets. My only slight criticism would be the slightly limited colour choice – it would be lovely to see these jackets in some of the prints and colours from the women’s collection. Ez isn’t a fan of pink, but I know she’d adore the jacket in yellow.

Our favourite beach in winter | Growing Spaces

Our favourite beach in winter | Growing Spaces

Paddling in winter | Growing Spaces

Our favourite beach in winter | Growing Spaces

Our favourite beach in winter | Growing Spaces

Our favourite beach in winter | Growing Spaces

Our favourite beach in winter | Growing Spaces

After our warm-up at the cafe we ventured back out for a short wander along the beach before the twins inevitably ended up in the sea once again. It was absolutely freezing, but my kids are apparently unable to go anywhere near water without wanting to get their feet wet, so in they went! We all got chased by the waves (luckily I didn’t get caught as there was no way I was taking my shoes off), shrieking and cackling with laughter. Fonz ended up getting soaked right up to his waist so it was back to the car to change into fleecy onesies (at least we came prepared) before heading home.

I think West Wittering might just have earned its place as our top winter day trip destination. Where’s your favourite?



Disclosure: Joules gave us the raincoats for the purposes of this post

January 29th, 2016

Hello again crochet

Rediscovering crochet | Growing SpacesThere’s something wonderful about picking up a long-neglected project again. I slightly ashamed to admit that it’s been two years since I started hooking this granny square blanket for my husband. In fact, I bought the wool as an anniversary present to him for our 7th wedding anniversary. I’d crocheted myself a blanket and blankets for each of the twins, but he didn’t have one of his own so it seemed only fair. I mapped out a design, and started with great enthusiasm. The blanket has even travelled with me to New Zealand (where I picked up some yarn to use for its edging), and came with us on our road-trip around Europe, so it’s done some miles! And then, inexplicably, it got put aside and was forgotten.

crochet blanket in progress | Growing Spaces

crochet in bed | Growing spacesMaybe it was celebrating our 9th anniversary recently that reminded me, but I’ve retrieved the un-finished blanket from its basket, and started on it again. I was worried I would have forgotten how to crochet, but it came back to me straight away. And I’m loving it. Really, properly loving it. And wondering why on earth I stopped working on it in the first place. The feel of the wool. The rhythm of crochet. Slotting each square into its allotted space. Seeing how little more there is to do until the main body of the blanket is complete. The sense of satisfaction at creating something.

crochet in bed | Growing spacesUltimately I’ve enjoyed how the blanket forces me to sit and be still in the evening. We still watch telly (although we’ve had to put aside anything with sub-titles for a while because I can’t read them and hook at the same time), but I like that I’ve doing something while I’m watching. I like that feeling of being creative, even if there are other things going on around me. So I hope I don’t put crochet aside again because I really do think it’s good for my soul.

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I am adding this post to this month’s Create Make Share linky (the theme is: LOVE). What have you been creating this month? From crochet to embroidery, DIY to gardening, papercraft to painting – if you’ve created or made it, then Anthea, Emma and I would love you to share it!

January 27th, 2016

Styling the Seasons: January

January styling the seasons | Growing Spaces: Styling the Seasons, by Apartment Apothecary and Lotts and Lots :
“Reflect the change of seasons and show those changes in your own home, by styling any surface (shelf, dining table, mantelpiece) with something you like to reflect the new month and what it means to you”

I’ve had mixed feelings about January this year – part of me loves the fresh start a new year offers, and part of me wants to hide under the duvet with a good book rather than having to entertain any thoughts of aims, resolutions or bucket lists. Christmas is such a busy period, that we’ve relished a slower, quieter January. We’ve spent lots of time at home – the kids enjoying time to play with each other, and me lighting candles, alternating between curling up under a blanket on the sofa with a book or my crochet, and jumping up, full of urgency to get on with decluttering and organising.

January styling the seasons | Growing Spaces

January styling the seasons | Growing Spaces

January styling the seasons | Growing Spaces

January styling the seasons | Growing SpacesI’m taking better care of myself – I’ve got back into the habit of reading in bed before going to sleep, of slowing down when I need to, and I’ve returned to my long-neglected yoga class. Even picking up my crochet again is a change for the better – we may still be making our way through box sets in the evenings (screen-free evenings haven’t made their way into our 2016 life yet), but at least I’m doing something creative while we watch!

Meanwhile, this last week I’ve noticed the evenings staying lighter just that tiny bit later, and there are shoots pushing up through the earth in pots and flowerbeds (I’m ignoring the daffodils that have bloomed way too early). I may have started January with a sense of ambivalence, but it is starting to win me over with its promise of new life and growth. I’m pleased that it’s not time to give up the warm blanket and the candles quite yet, though.

January 25th, 2016

Snagging and the never-ending decorating cycle

Snagging | Growing Spaces

My husband and I are not natural completer-finishers when it comes to DIY. We love the excitement of a new project – the planning, the sourcing all the elements, the thrill of a big transformation – and then, just before we completely finish all the details, we inevitably run out of energy and enthusiasm and our thoughts quickly turn to the next thing.

hammer | growing spaces

This means that, after nearly five years in our current home, although we’ve pretty much tackled all the major renovations that the house needed, we’re still left without a single room that’s been properly finished off. The hallway’s missing a length of skirting board, the kitchen worktop needs resealing, we haven’t painted the high ceiling above the stairs, the en suite needs spotlights fitting.

DIY projects | Growing Spaces

Getting the house to a more finished state is something we’re trying to focus on this year. Ben’s got some time off at the end of this month, and we’re compiling a long, long, long snagging list for him to work his way through. He’s already started slowly ticking off a few jobs, and although we have to be realistic and accept that the list won’t be conquered in the window of time he has immediately available, we’re deteremined to try to keep up the momentum. Because the worst thing is that while we toil to finish off the niggling jobs, we realise that jobs we did right back at the beginning of this house renovation are starting to need attention all over again – walls need a new coat of paint, chipped woodwork is calling out for repair, carpets need cleaning or replacing.

DIY jobs | Growing Spaces

Plus, there’s always the constant danger of me getting seduced by the idea of a bigger renovation project. I look at stunning pictures of new kitchens and bathrooms for work almost every single day. My inbox is full of emails that contain inspiring room ideas and images from aspirational interiors brands, and don’t even get me started on Pinterest. Like I said, I’m a total sucker for prospect of a new project, so it’s all to easy to succomb to the temptation that I see all around me and forget all about the finishing details in favour of the next big DIY adrenaline hit.

So it’s taking a lot of will-power to keep me on the straight and narrow. To not allow my focus to stray from the spot in the wall that needs filling just outside my office (I’m looking at it right now), or the bathroom door that never got its topcoat.

Snagging. The boring, but oh-so-necessary bit of renovating.



Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Betta Living, but all thoughts and opinons are very much my own.

January 24th, 2016

Decorating with air plants

Collett & Holder dot vase | Growing SpacesI’ve been trying to decide where to hang my ceramic wall dot vase from Collett & Holder for so long, and then I realised that our en suite bathroom was well overdue a bit of love and attention, so I thought that I’d make the vase part of a bigger spruce up.

All the main elements were there, but the room just needed some life adding to it, so I hung a couple of picture frames (you can find similar at Decorator’s Notebook) in which I popped some dried honesty from my parents’ garden and a few of the peacock feathers we collected on our trip to Brownsea Island back in the summer. And then the vase went up on the adjacent wall to finish off the little trio display.

Rather than use the unusual wall-mounted vase to hold flowers, I thought I’d take the chance to try out air plants – something I’ve been wanting to do for ages (expecially since seeing Ruth’s DIY hanging air plants). Each time I’ve visited our local garden centre, I’ve paused near the selection of air plants, but haven’t purchased any until now. I chose two Butzii (tillandsia) and they fit perfectly into the vase’s opening. The plants don’t need pots or soil, just natural light (not direct sun) a light misting of water occasionally. Sounds too good to be true, right?! I’m intrigued to see how they get on.

air plant in vase | Growing Spaces

Collett & Holder dot vase | Growing Spaces

Decorating with air plants | Growing SpacesI love the feel of the contemporary vase next to the vintage-style shelves and picture frames. I wish I could tell you that the wire bathroom shelf unit was vintage, but it isn’t! I picked it up at Next a few years ago (together with the matching mirror), but I’ve added some genuine vintage items such as the stoneware pot, tin from a French flea market and old cigar box. The white box (from Ikea) contains my everyday makeup bits so I just lift it down when I’m getting ready in the morning.

bathroom shelves | Growing SpacesIt’s amazing how just a few small touches can make such a big difference to how a room feels, but they’re really pulled the room together and now it sits well with the rest of the house, rather than being a neglected and unloved space.


Disclosure: Collett & Holder sent me the dot vase for use in this post



January 21st, 2016

Kitchen plants | Urban Jungle Bloggers

kitchen plants for Urban Jungle Bloggers | Growing SpacesThis month, Igor and Judith asked all the Urban Jungle Bloggers out there to show off the plants that live in our kitchens. My kitchen window sill is like my little plant nursery – it’s where my babies or poorly plants live – it’s a spot that gets plenty of light, and it’s right behind the sink so when I’m washing up everyday it means I cast my eye over these little friends to check how they’re doing.

Unfortunately my window sill isn’t that photogenic, so I moved a selection of these babies onto my kitchen table to take some shots. As well as a few that I’ve propogated myself, there are two new additions that I was excited to receive as Christmas gifts – my beloved string of hearts and string of pearls plants. The string of hearts seems very content, but my string of pearls is definitely not a happy camper. I think it got too much of a drenching initially, and quickly looked in a bad way. I’m left with one single trailing stem that I’m desperately trying to keep alive. As the string of pearls is supposed to be a plant that’s easy to care for, I’m feeling like a bit of a failure! If anyone’s got any emergency care tips – please do let me know.

kitchen plants for Urban Jungle Bloggers | Growing Spaces

kitchen plants for Urban Jungle Bloggers | Growing Spaces

kitchen plants for Urban Jungle Bloggers | Growing Spaces
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series by Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX), sharing styling ideas and lots of green tips to help you create an urban jungle. You can find more inspiration on their Urban Jungle Bloggers Pinterest board, website and Facebook page, or search using the #urbanjunglebloggers hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.


January 18th, 2016

Eddie Meer & Barter In the Bush

kids on sofa Eddie Meer & Barter in the Bush, written by Tom Campion and illustrated by Olivia Watkins, is an illustrated novel for children that’s just been published by Barker & Barker. The book is the inspiration behind an accompanying range of cushions and posters to create Barker & Barker’s first children’s collection, which features some of Olivia Watkin’s stunning illustrations – from Eddie Meer himself (an entrepreneurial/wheeler-dealer meercat in the Botswana Bush) and his sidekicks Ollie and Denzil, to bush animals such as giraffes and hippos, and the most beautiful lion.

Eddie Meer & Barter in the BushIt was  the pictures that really caught the attention of the twins. The story itself was a little wordy for them at their age (six) – but they curled up on the sofa to look at the illustrations, giggling away with each other at the funnier ones. They were happy to use their own imaginations to create tales around the vivid pictures, and we’ll try reading the story again in a few months to see if it holds their attention better.

Eddie Meer & Barter in the Bush


Disclosure: We were sent this book by Barker & Barker for review

January 17th, 2016

Create Make Share #3

Create Make Share favourites | Growing SpacesIt’s been a busy month, so that makes us even more grateful to those that have taken the time to share their creations for our Create Make Share linky hosted by myself, Emma at Kids Craft Room and Anthea at Zing Zing Tree. I love the brightness and optimism that I can feel in these four shots, shared via the #CreateMakeShare tag on Instagram, together with that sense of spending time in the kitchen, or cosying up at home, during the colder winter days. Biscuits, marmalade, snuggling up with new cushions, creating indoors – all these things are infinitely appealing when it’s cold and grey outside.

1. How cute are these biscuits by tending.to.vanish? They were made using Craftpod’s winter craft box. I’m feeling inspired – this would make a great weekend or after-school activity for the twins and I.
2. Emily has been hard at work making marmalade. Even though I’m not personally a fan (I love oranges, but don’t like orange-flavoured things strangely), the idea of spending a day creating in the kitchen is something I can relate to.
3. Another Emily, this time from Allen + Bear – her handmade cushions are just beautiful, and that metallic gleam adds the perfect touch of warmth and glamour for the winter.
4. Jenny.bee13‘s sycamore lino prints caught my eye because I’ve been considering adding a sycamore seed tattoo to my collection in 2016. The twins love finding these when we’re out and about, and sending them tumbling through the air.

the gingerbread houseAnd finally, how cool is this upcycled sign with lights by Jenny at The Gingerbread House. I love the rustic finish of that old scaffolding plank next to the clean lines of the painted words. This is an upcycling project I’d totally like to try out for the kids’ rooms.

The next month’s Create Make Share is all about love – whether you make a little token to give to someone special, cook up a recipe to share with those you care about the most, or show a neglected corner of your home a bit of love – share with us the things you make that are all about that warm fuzzy feeling.

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How to join in
To share your posts each month, all you have to do is visit Growing Spaces, ZingZingTree or Kids Craft Room and add your link to the form below.  You can link to your blog post if you have one or an Instagram URL if you don’t have a blog. If you’re sharing on Instagram, just add the hashtag #CreateMakeShare.

Whether you’ve blogged about a great sewing project, shared a delicious recipe, got crafty one afternoon or finished a fantastic DIY or makeover in your home, #CreateMakeShare is all about providing a platform for you to share anything creative you’ve been working on, and give you the chance to see what other creative folk have been up to. Add more than one link if you fancy – it just means more great stuff for us to explore. Do click and explore the links other people have shared – getting idea and inspiration from others is what it’s all about, and if you see something you love, leave them a comment. Let’s encourage and support each other.

If you fancy you can link back to us by either using the badge or a text back link (if linking a blog post) and use the hashtag #CreateMakeShare on Instagram so we can all see your lovely shots. You can connect with us here on IG: Anthea, Emma, Heather

Get featured
There will be a theme each month. You don’t have to follow it, but Anthea, Emma and I will pick our favourite posts that have used the theme, so it’s worth checking what that month’s theme is. We’ll share our favourites on our blogs, across our social media, and also add them to our Create Make Share Pinterest board.

This month’s theme is LOVE and the linky will be open until the 14th February 2016.

Here’s the #CreateMakeShare linky
Please link directly to the blog post/instagram pic
Only link to posts and images that you have Created
Do go and comment on some of the other linked up makes
Use the hashtag #CreateMakeShare as you share your post

January 14th, 2016

DIY moodboard and exciting video news

DIY moodboard from old iron gate | Growing SpacesToday I’m celebrating the fact that I’ve been brave enough to do something that scares me and I’ve been putting off for ages – I’ve launched my very own brand new YouTube channel! So if you were a fan of the videos I created for the Heather At Home channel in collaboration with housetohome.co.uk, head right on over to subscribe to Heather’s Space, where in my first video I turn an old rusty iron gate into this moodboard for the previously blank wall in my office. Each Thursday I’ll share a new video, from my DIY projects at home, to craft tutorials, styling ideas, and any other adventures I’ve been having.

I spotted this old rusty iron gate in my friend Nellie’s garden. I immediately pictured it up on the wall in my office so I swiftly persuaded Nellie to let me buy it off her. It’s super-heavy so I was a bit concerned about how I’d get it mounted on the wall, but Ben came up with the idea of using heavy duty garage hooks, and they were the perfect solution (don’t use these if your wall is made from plasterboard or from old, crumbling plaster). The top rail of the gate simply slots into the hooks, and then I used magnets to display my favourite bits and bobs. I could also use the magnets to put up my giant safety pin (which I use to store my washi tape) and my florist’s scissors.

DIY moodboard from old iron gate | Growing Spaces

DIY moodboard from old iron gate | Growing Spaces

Old button box | Growing Spaces

DIY moodboard made from an old iron gate | Growing Spaces

Magnetic moodboard | Growing SpacesFor a more in-depth look at this DIY moodboard, do have a gander at the video below and don’t forget to subscribe to catch all the exciting videos I plan to share.

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