Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Colour Collaborative: January: Warm

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. 

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Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above The River
Sarah at Mitenska

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.

36 comments:

sandra gilbert said...

I know what you mean about the log burner it really does become the heart of the home. My only disappointment is having keep the the glass door clean, I still haven't found a method I am completely happy with, have you got any tips?

Gillian Roe said...

Yes, use newspaper, water and ash. Dampen the newspaper with a little water then dip that in the ash, then rub it all over the window, buffing with a clean piece of newspaper. All the smoke just lifts off so easily. I have no idea how this works but it does!

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
We are getting a wood burner this year. SQUEAK! Your post has just confirmed the reasons why I desire one so. And I covet your mange, and its' faffing/displaying opportunities.
Leanne xx

Anonymous said...

We had one but had to let it go due to my middle ones breathing problems. Plus the wood here is very expensive and we seemed to go through a lot of it. And then the added issue of cleaning the thing out! No one else but me would do it. In the end just too much faff after the novalty wore off. Glad that you are enjoying yours though.
Jen x

Christina said...

I find gazing into the flames comforting and heartwarming, I love it how they change colour from the base to the top. I think we might be getting a woodburner this year, hurray. x

Jennifer said...

I wish I could light my fireplace every day but it's a fairly complicated process and I don't feel confident that I'm doing it right when I'm home alone. If I had my way, I'd have a gas fire that comes on with the flick of a switch but then I'd also have an astronomical gas bill because I'd want to use it every day. I love having a fire, even just knowing that it's burning is so comforting to me. Your mantle always looks beautiful and interesting. I think you're a fiery inspiration. :)

Jan Doling said...

I would so love a woodburner but it is not going to happen as we don't even have a chimney! How cozy your room looks with the fire lit. Love your mantel too. xx

Julie said...

I so envy you your woodburner. There is nothing like the warmth of a dancing flame. Maybe one day...xx

Annie Cholewa said...

It really is the nicest spot to get warm I've seen in the land of blog. We long for a woodburner but have a structural issue with the house that prevents it.

Sharon - creativity and family said...

It all looks so incredibly cosy. I dream of having a house with a fireplace one day!

VeggieMummy said...

We love our woodburner too but, sadly, have no mantel to decorate. Your photos are really warm and homely. We used to clean the glass with ash too, but found that over the long term it can be quite abrasive and the glass soots up even quicker. Fairy Power Spray and an old toothbrush works quite well. xx

CJ said...

What a gorgeous wood fire. I dream of a woodburner, it's such a nice focal point and I love watching flames as well. How quickly a year has flown by. You've created such a beautiful warm and welcoming home, it really is lovely. CJ xx

Jo said...

That is one warm home and you have done so much in just one year. Jo x

Kizzy Bass said...

We have an open fire but I'd love a log burner. Maybe if we ever move it'll be on my must haves before we move in.

Librarian said...

Congratulations on your first year (nearly) completed in the new house! Not many people I know have a wood-burning stove, but I do love the fire for the same reasons you mention.
And to change the mantel decoration with the seasons and other things such as birthdays etc. is the best way to use it, I think.

Gracie Saylor said...

It is so interesting to consider what the colors of warm may be. Each of you CC writers have challenged my thinking. I love how you described the colors in the flames of fire, and how the area around your woodburner evokes feelings of warmth throughout the year as you decorate it through the changing seasons whether or not you have a fire burning. You have captured so many of the feelings I have about hearth and home and warm. Thanks for posting, Gillian!

Emm.A said...

Oh how I'd love to have a stove like that...hopefully we'll find a new place to live this year and then we'll buy a stove as well! My sister in law has one and whenever we visit her in winter we love sitting in front of the fire...it's so cosy and comfortable and warm!

Sarah said...

It always looks so cosy and warm round your place whatever the season. You really have the most amazing eye for colour and arranging things Gillian. Our new wood burner has solid cast iron doors so you can either have them open with the look of a real fire or closed for more efficient wood burning. Hope to get it burning this weekend - exciting!

Jane said...

There's nothing like a stove when you want to shut out the cold damp dark days, we've enjoyed ours for more than 20 years now and we love it. What a difference you've made to your house since you picked up the keys nearly a year ago, you've made it a warm, welcoming family home and it's lovely. Have a great weekend xx

Wainwright and Wright.Co said...

We have EXACTLY the same feelings towards our mulitfuel stove, and we feel a bit decadent too if we light it early at the weekend but it brings us so much warmth and cosiness, it's just lovely. We don't have a mantelpiece so we have to make the most of our hearth.
Caz xx

Gillian Roe said...

That's good to know,thank you. I'll bear that in mind. :-)

❤Coco Rose❤ said...

I love having a focal point, and I am a mantel faffer too! I do love to change with the seasons and have a lot of fun balancing colours out. Having a fire burning under a mantel is the icing on the cake really! xxx

Country Rabbit said...

ive recently moved over christmas and the fireplace is always a great comfort ~living in a very old cottage with a huge fire place is a real joy. i didnt have one in my old home...im loving having the fire and candles around it on these cold, dark evenings of winter. always enjoy your posts ;) xx

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful montage of photos - so colourful and WARM. I, too, love our wood burning stoves (we have 2) and everything involved, from wheelbarrowing a log delivery from the road, to stacking the wood, to laying a fire, lighting it, sitting watching it. It's wonderfully cosy. Sadly, though, we don't have a mantle above either. I would love one. One day... Have a great weekend. Sam x

Amy at love made my home said...

A real fire really is a wonderful warming thing to have in a home isn't it. So is a mantel to decorate! xx

Susan Smith said...

Lovely Gillian. I'd love a woodburner and mantel, but alas we don't have one and not sure where I'd try and put one. Thanks for the collage. Take care.

Jacqueline said...

We love our wood burner too, it makes the lounge so cosy, I don't want to leave it!

Mimi from Brocante Home said...

Your home looks so cozy with that fire, and I love how you vary your mantel decorations. It reminded me of a series on this blog, have you seen it?

http://lovemademyhome.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Mantel

Coastal Ripples said...

Your stove is the heart of your home. It is so true that as soon as the stove is lit the family gather round. It works for us in summer too in the garden. We are lucky to have a chiminea and the family love feeding that with drift wood and scraps of wood from the garden. Such a warm cosy feeling. Thank you for your post. Barbara X

Ali Whale said...

We also have had a multifuel stove fitted this year and I am trying to get to grips with the whole lighting and keeping it burning business. It is not an easy process. I left the room once and it completely died, it was almost like it had a huff because I was no longer staring into the flames!
Having said that when I do manage to get it going it provides such warmth that we end up with all the internal doors open so that it warms the whole house. I love it x

driftwood said...

I just love your hearth and fire x we went away for the weekend and had a log fire in our room, I could have sat next to it all day, but we felt we should go exploring, I was oh so happy to get back and light it x
Love your year of mantels, hope the next year in your new house is a great one x

Penny said...

Your hearth and fire are so beautiful. I have severe stove envy....... X

Sarah said...

I long for a stove! I think it'll be for our Forever House...
And beautiful collage too. I particularly like the spring-y pictures with the yellow flowers - I'm ready for it! And is it a year already? Time goes by so quickly. You're making your house really lovely.
Keep warm x

Anne Schueler said...

Your oven looks so cozy! I hope we will have a fireplace too one day!

Take care
Anne
Crochet Between Worlds

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

You are so right, you can't beat a fire for creating a wonderful cozy feel. I do love your mantle work too, you are so good at it. I need to take some tips from you I think, mine is so very stagnant, with not even any decorative bunting or anything these days. How dull!

S x

Emma Perry said...

We have a fireplace at home and nothing compares to it - no air conditioner, no nothing. The house gets warm, cosy, comfy everywhere. All you want to do is lay down and enjoy the fire :)