Monday, May 31, 2010

important soap winners

The first pop song I ever recall hearing was Joe Jackson's lugubrious Be My Number Two. I spent serious hours on a tyre swing in Mayo listening to it, along with Self-Control and Camouflage, on my new Walkman. It may have been the summer of 1984. I blame the formative influence of this sort of thing for my susceptibility to pathos and my misplaced sympathy for giveaway losers.

So after drawing a random commentator, Amanda, I kept going and drew two more names, Lilly and Ruah. Ruah, I've no idea where you are so please drop me a line (there's an email address to your right there). A gift box of three handmade soaps will soon be on the way to you all.

Thanks to Hajni for these lovely soaps, and you can buy them from Bumblebee Soaps on etsy. Hajni makes the seaweed soaps used by Kilcullen's Bathhouse in Enniscrone, so look out for them if you're there.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

what I'll wear to your dinner party

Women such as me wander around the Avoca shop imagining themselves on a rustic wooden swing in a flowery bower, the sun shining on their hair, with clean chickens ambling about their feet. I'm sure I've met you there. It would have been a while back: I'm wary of shopping there lately lest my basketful of lifestyle should turn, as usual, into mere coat-hooks on the way home.

But today I came across their new website, and the ancient call of polka dots, enamelware, ditsy florals and layered lacy skirts sounded again.


When next I'm at a dinner party at your place, I'll be wearing this pink dress with a green corsage. If you don't mind the informality, I'll have my picnic rug and slippers with me and I'll sit out in your candlelit Victorian walled garden after the meal, talking about me, or, if I must, you.

There's still an important soap giveaway on the go here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

an important soap giveaway

"Most of the stuff that people churn out on the internet is rubbish", says John Banville. "People should learn a little bit of reticence and not imagine that they have things to say." There speaks a man who has never reupholstered a thrifted armchair, added ric-rac, and sat back to wait for a torrent of admiring comments on his blog post.

And yet he has a point. Today we're going to forgo the usual me me me stuff about my toile sun-hat and famous people with whom I've played croquet, and go straight to an important soap giveaway.

Hajni of Bumblebee Soaps is kindly offering a reader a gift box of three of her lovely handmade fragrant soaps. My favourite scent so far is the Honeysuckle, but I'm still happily working my way through the rest: Sweet Lavender, Carrot & Buttermilk, Frangipani, Avocado & Goat's Milk, Peppermint and Mediterrano. Oh clean and chirpy me.

Just leave a comment on this post if you'd like to enter. There is no need to become a follower and international entrants are very welcome. The winner will be announced at the end of the week. Reticent comments will be reread.

Monday, May 17, 2010

bewitching small florals

When, one day, I look back, these will surely be the years of the small florals. I'm aiming for 'hip festival chick with an interest in the pretty-pretty' rather than 'retired school-teacher with bullying brooch, busy sofa and cat.' Will you be the first to tell me when I go too far?

[latest lovely purchases from Garrendenny Lane Interiors]

Things have been getting a bit cushion-centric around here, so I took a few more photos for the 6 male readers. There were only about 3 of you last time I noted that I am amongst women, but we've come a long way since then.

[peony in tool-box; electric guitar]

Yes, that guitar could do with a bit of dusting with a damp cloth but it's a long way to the tap if you want to rock and roll. Faucet, America, faucet.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

only just enough strength of character for stripes

Duvet covers are best stored inside their matching pillowcases. This revelation came to me via a commentator on Count It All Joy, and it's the most important piece of advice I've ever received. It went PING! inside my head, and later, over a glass of champagne to mark a new era of neatness, it transformed my linen cupboard. What a rich and fulfilled life I lead.

There's now room in the linen cupboard for more duvet covers, and the top candidate emerged today: Olimpia from Zara Home.

[Images from Zara Home]

Crisp and orderly, jolly and bright: just the thing for a summery bedroom. I don't have the strength of character for those gaudy cushions depicted with it, but perhaps you do?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

living the dream

How gauche and parochial I used to be, displaying my fairy cakes on a tiered cake stand.

[pre pink oilcloth days]

That was in the early days of blogging, before I reached the cutting edge of Lifestyle and discovered individual fairy cake stands with glass domes. Now that I've finally purchased a few of these (available in Ireland from eboutique), I guess I must be living the dream. Yes, indeed.

[the old reliable pink oilcloth]

Wherever will it all end?

[To my friends who went on and on about how I mentioned in the previous post that they tend to go on and on, I didn't mean You. You're special.]

Thursday, May 6, 2010

the same cushions as Anna Spiro

There was I, idly leafing through Canadian House and Home in my global way (thanks, Chania, for sending it to me!) when I spotted two of my cushions. On Anna Spiro's sofas!

[same cushion! same cushion!]

I hastened to ring everyone I know to tell them I have two of the same cushions as Anna Spiro. "My blue Sanderson one," I told them excitedly, "you surely remember it, and the large flower cushion on my favourite pink armchair." They ignored me and went on and on about themselves instead. I'd like to blame Facebook for that sort of behaviour but my friends have always been like that.

So I'm here to tell you instead. You'll understand, won't you?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pretty Far Out: a guest post from Jaboopee

I spent a wonderful imaginary weekend out at Pretty Far West recently. Mise asked me if I'd like to do a little guest blog post; I am so happy to oblige and to share with you my photos of the happy couple in their very luxurious and welcoming home.

mise : bathroom 1

Pre-dinner ablutions. Scottish Husband serenades Mise whilst Beatrice runs the bath.

mise : guest bathroom

BATHROOM # 2: Oh my! Doesn't Mise scrub up well?
Mise says, "it's not the guest bathroom, it's MY bathroom."

mise: drawing room

Oh my! again, doesn't Scottish Husband scrub up well too? Here they pose in the drawing room for the official photo for the lifestyle Sunday supplement cover photoshoot I'm editing.

mise :dining room

After a beautiful dinner, the knees-up really begins. Mise says "There's never enough gin in these pre-mixed cans," so Scottish Husband is always close at hand with a top-up.

mise:  master bedroom

After a long and wonderful night, it's almost time to retire. I sneak one last photo of the Happy Couple as they dance romantically [and a little bit naughtily] around their sumptuous bedroom to this. It's their special song.

I need say nor show no more.

Thank you Mise and Scottish Husband, for allowing me to experience this little bit of your very beautiful lives.

[And thank you to Jaboopee, the accomplished and impudent artist, for guest posting here today.]

Monday, May 3, 2010

TRAILER for my first ever guest blogger

To mark a whole year of the existence of Pretty Far West, I asked a well known blogger about town whether she'd contribute a guest post. My suggestion was that a suitable topic would be something dignified such as A Photo of David Bowie Having a Beer in my Front Room.

What she came up with instead will appear tomorrow. It would make me shun her forever were it not that she's a creative genius and owes me 2.50 euros.
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