This winter has been all about the wood burning stove. We have lit it most evenings over these last months, sometimes in the afternoon at the weekends if it's very cold. I love lighting the stove during the day, it feels both decadent and homely at the same time, and we are all more likely to gather as a family in one room when the fire is lit and it grows dark outside. We have enjoyed the feeling of cosiness it brings on mild, damp nights, and been downright thankful for it's warmth when the temperatures have really dropped, and we have certainly saved a lot of money on our central heating bill.
But practicalities aside, I just like to look at it, to watch the flames dance white then yellow then orange through the little glass window. I also love to listen to it, to the pop and hiss of the wood burning, and to the gentle ticking sound it makes when it really heats up. Undressed, it's bland and monolithic, all black metal, black hearth, pale grey walls, and with a great slab of wood above it.
But (and you know how I love a good mantel) for me the warmth is not just in the fire in the stove, it's about the hearth and mantel too. That wonderful, stable, ever-present display to show off the colour and variety of the seasons, the things we treasure and value and enjoy looking at.
Yellow kerria japonica, green tete-a-tetes and blue-purple bluebells in the spring; peachy-coral gladioli, purest white lillies and golden sunflowers in the summer; hot pink hydrangeas, palest carnations and fairy lights to warm the wood tones in the autumn; red poinsettia and the sparkle and glitter of Christmas decorations in the winter. Most of the flowers you see above came from our garden, my sister's garden or my parents', and the local market and shops supplied the rest. The prints and pictures change as do the vases and ornaments, and postcards and birthday cards come and go, marking the adventures and special days that fill our family calendar.
One year ago today we picked up the keys to this house. We didn't move in until March, using that time to work on the house and make it habitable while we stayed with my parents, but I feel an anniversary of sorts has been reached. These photos track almost a year in this house, a year of mantel faffing and gardening and pottering, a year of creating a warm - in every sense of the word - home.
What is The Colour Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.