Friday, 22 October 2010

A DIY project for autumn?

Getting on for 3 years ago when I bought and renovated my apartment, I started off with big ideas for the decor but eventually ran out of cash, meaning certain things never got finished - like installing a glass shower partition and replacing my Ikea paper globe lamps with something more exotic. Nothing wrong with Ikea paper globe lamps, it's just that my ceilings are 3.30 metres high and I feel they could carry of something a little more dramatic. The trouble is I'm loathe to spend a fortune on a fancy lamp when I have far more important things to spend my money on these days - so I thought about this fantastic DIY project from Nichole at Parlour.  Can you believe it's made from over 1000 coffee filters glue-gunned to a paper lamp?! I think the effect is quite stunning and I certainly wouln't mind investing a couple of lazy Sundays in creating this lamp for my living room (I already have the paper lamp hanging, so all I need is a squillion coffee filters).

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Explained absences

Those of you who know me personally will probably know why I haven't been the most faithful of bloggers recently :-) Something most unusual has happened, I've been completely swept off my feet and have apparently fallen in love. I honestly had no idea it could be so easy. A couple of months ago I ranted on about how my own eat-pray-love journey this year had kinded of ended with the praying bit, but that I was happy nevertheless. Well I was wrong, apparently love was there waiting in the wings. Although I'm posting less regularly recently I promise to make more of an effort - I've had my blog for over 2 years and am not about to give it up so easily :-)

The graffiti above is by Banksy.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Foodie blogbuddies and more

When I started this blog 2.5 years ago I had no idea that it would lead me to meet such nice people.

After months of reading their amusing musings, last weekend I finally got to meet fellow Madrid bloggers, Aaron of A year in the mierda, and Deb of ComoSolo. We had arranged to meet at the Bristol Bar - think English gentleman’s club (not that I’ve ever been in one); G&Ts, red velvet, bangers and mash and photos of none other than Queen Victoria – but alas, Madrid being Madrid and having wayward and unexplained opening times, it was closed. So we went for a drink elsewhere, then Deb had the fantastic idea of taking us to try what is probably the best pizza I’ve tried outside Italy. Pizza al Taglio (C/Barco 45) sells pizza by the slice, you can even choose what size slice you want. The dough is to die for – fine and crispy yet just a little chewy. The simple yet tasty toppings included parma ham and mozzarella, gorgonzola and pear, courgette and ricotta, wild mushrooms and tomato and cherry tomato and chilli. You can’t actually sit down to eat, but they have a deal going with a nearby bar where you can do so. Unfortunately this was closed, so Deb kindly invited us up to her lovely apartment for wine, music and a good laugh over certain compromising facebook photos. The staff are also charming and not entirely uneasy on the eye :p

And this weekend I had a wonderful sushi lesson with Vanessa, who I also met through the blog a few months back, and her friend Sally. We went shopping for salmon and tuna in the marvellous mercado de las maravillas (metro Alvarado) then back to Sally's for a fun day of rolling makis followed by eating them, washed down with champagne. Makes me think, writing a blog has been worth it, if only for the lovely people I've met :-)
Fish market - I couldn't help but put my finger in the shark's mouth

 Prep time
 Slicing the tuna and salmon
 Rolling the makis
Et voila!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Gold and silver interiors

Mixing gold and silver is meant to be an ultimate style faux pas, but lately I seem to be changing my mind. In my little apartment most of my walls are cream, with rich burgundy accent walls... contrary to popular belief a dark wall in a small space can sometimes actually make it look bigger by making the painted wall recede into the distance. For the past few months I have been toying with the idea of replacing the red with something a little more calming. If I had a flat with lots of natural light, I'd quite like to go for an all white out minimalist look, but bearing in mind I'm so attached to my furniture and that pure white needs natural light to make it look bright rather than dingy I'm thinking of going more down the lines of pewters, creams, golds and off whites. I already have a lot of cream and neutral basics, so making the transformation won't be that hard. My main dilemma is what to do with the big colourful wool rug which I have in the middle of the room - I love it, but don't have anywhere to put it...and it was too pricey to just get rid of. Winter is of course a terrible time to decorate, and it's fast approaching, but perhaps I can spend the next few months curating(?!) clippings and inspiration and get into DIY mode in spring. Below are some photos of my apartment now and some of the pictures that have been inspiring me.


Living room view from sofa 'nook'

This one's a bit older - I now have curtains and the sofa is against the cream wall opposite.

The tie-backs I picked up in Marrakech

Inspiration - the two below are from a Morrocan Riad, it's a shame I lost the source link.

More to follow :-)

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