Friday, March 30, 2012

red, yellow and white

I have just repainted the red bench in red
the yellow chairs in yellow
and the white table,
as you will have noticed,
a slightly more aqua shade of white
than it was.

Next spring, I may have the time and energy 
to sand and prime everything
and paint the table cobalt blue
and the chairs rose pink:
a transformation.

Won't that be lovely?
Perhaps you will visit us then, 
wearing a toning frock?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

House & Home Pickit Giveaway

House and Home magazine has been in touch to mention Pickit, their hybrid shop listings and social bookmarking service. Here’s what they have to say:
"Browse Pickit, the new way to search and buy Irish while gathering inspiration for your home:
  • Pick your top shops and products and add them to your MyPicks board 
  • Add inspirational images from our thousands of articles, news items and galleries to your MyPicks board 
What’s new about Pickit is that it’s Irish and it readily allows you to blend the stuff you’re inspired by with the products you can easily buy. 
It's free to join, but if you want to get your interiors business on there, it costs €487 for a year’s Pickit shop profile.

Here's the good news: we’d like to give a one year Pickit shop profile away to a Pretty Far West reader! It’s an ideal way to get your interiors business on the web if you don’t already have a website or to supplement your site if you’re looking to expand your online presence."

So there: a bit of a whirlwind, no?  If you have an interiors/furniture business in Ireland, enter now by leaving a comment here to win one year’s shop profile. If you don’t have a business, do tell your local interiors shop about it while buying something attractively stripey. The winner will be drawn in a week or so.

What a beautiful day. Two Margaritas please.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Flowers in the House

[hyacinths, daffodils, African thing]

These are the flowers I would have posted for Jane's Flowers in the House series had I not been, as usual, so dreadfully late.

Coming up soon: a House and Home Giveaway.  I'll remark that the flowers are pretty and get that done with so that you can save your commenting energy for the giveaway, ok?  It would be a shame for you to be stuck indoors typing pleasantries on this day of sunshine and birdsong.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

a niche post for Toast bedlinen owners

I mentioned that the Toast duvet cover cover makes a fine bag for my Macbook, but that I had yet to find a use for the matching pillowcase case. Lucille, after some painstaking research, kindly confirms that the pillowcase case is just the size for an iPad, and I've also used it to store the power cord that accompanies my laptop, bringing some ticking stripe chic to the whole tedious motherboard and chip arena.

[cherrystone cushion] 

Since then, things have moved on: I've turned another pillowcase case into a rather lovely cherrystone cushion. You fill the bag with the cherry stones, sew the flap down sturdily, and voilà.

If you haven't met a cherrystone cushion, they serve the same purpose as hot water bottles, but more elegantly. Three minutes in a microwave or fifteen minutes in an oven leaves the cushion beautifully cosy for a few hours.  It's washable, throwable, looks well on the lower shelf of one's obligatory French-style bedside table, and doesn't drench inquisitive children.

Three lifestyle points to me. Trí phointe, trois points.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Deep inside the forest is a door into another land

 I devote myself, as you know, 
to a major sociological study of Blogtopia 
and its manners and customs, 
with pink footnotes.

[late afternoon sunshine in the kitchen]

A giant leap of understanding has occurred just now
in this important field 
with my revelation 
that Blogtopia ressembles nothing more than
a modern, indoor version of 

Now that the beast has been identified 
and the old familiar tune stuck in your head for the day, 
my work here may be done.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

doll cake: technical details

While I was in Africa and unable to respond, seven readers emailed me asking how to make the doll cake. That's rather a lot of queries: more, surprisingly, than I have ever received about where I got my lovely cushions.  Here's what to do:

Make a 12 oz flour/sugar/butter quantity of Victoria Sponge Cake and distribute it among three 6 inch round tins and one 6 inch square tin. Bake and allow to cool.

Follow the diagram below to cut the cakes. The stripey bits are those you may eat while you ice the cake.

[redrawn from a thirty year old magazine cutting]

Then assemble the pieces thus

and ice and decorate the cake as suits yourself. Dolly mix, mini smarties, and pretty sugar flowers are useful embellishments. Chocolate icing makes good hair.

I hope that my response isn't too late for any birthdays and that seven beautiful doll cakes will be created in a flurry of hope and toil and iced redemption.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

the doll cake

It isn't easy to get the facial expression right 
on a cake. 

One would wish her to look sweetly amused 
rather than naive and slightly defiant

[Pink Daughter turns 7]

but Pink Daughter was uncritical, 
and named her cake after herself.

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