Drawing in


The Painter’s family (detail)


Another detail of The Painter’s family

Some time before I or any of us had even heard of hyyge, I had a short summer visit to Norway where I went to the National Gallery and strongly enjoyed the National bend for painting lots of pictures of people having breakfast. It’s very easy art to live with, and I found it immensely comforting. I particularly like this one for early winter with the lamplight on the faces, and the mix of snow, books and porridge.


Jane of Lantern Hill


Everybody except the baby had brought a present for Jane. Mrs Jimmy John gave her a lambskin dyed red for a bedside rug. Miranda brought her a little fat white jug with pink roses on its sides, Punch brought her some early radishes, Polly brought her a rooted geranium slip and the twins brought her a toad apiece for the garden.

“You have to have toads in your garden for luck,” explained Punch.

LM Montgomery does peak hygge. This one has lots of sowing flowers, swimming in the sea and frying potatoes, as well as a fairytale ending – perfect holiday reading.



Inexplicable wish to buy this jumper and run around in it all holiday with a pair of short forest green shorts. Totally impractical as if it’s hot enough for me to wear shorts there’s no way I’ll be in a jumper, so can only guess that childhood self-indoctrination along the Swallows and Amazons / Enid Blyton lines is emerging again in this city girl. #timeforaholiday

Gudrun Sjoden

Love these ceramics, both the splodgy insides and the flower pattern. I can imagine this recycled glass plate with its subtle flower design looking stunning for dinners in the garden on summer evenings too.

Never has washing up looked so good. Photos from Pinterest, and The Women’s Room blog.

Heavens to Betsy



Reminded by Beth Bonini’s cheerful Instagram feed of these delightful books (I’ve posted about their companion volumes here and here before), I think I’m getting ready for a re-read.


Lots of commentators compare these books to Meet Me in St Louis, and as well as the period details (the hairstyles! the dresses! the slang! the excitement over a telephone!), what I love most is the inherent optimism – progress is always good, and friends and family remain stable whilst welcoming new developments – but also the complete acceptance that a job, writing, singing, making your own mind up, are all important to a girl and in no way conflicted with the rest of her being.


I find it depressing that a modern book wouldn’t show this, or would have to make a big point about it. Written in the 50s about the 1900-1910s, Betsy, Emily and Carney are in fact far more progressive than any characters today.

Snuggle up


There’s something about the fact this blanket is called Cherry Drops makes it even cosier. It’s out of stock but you can re-order it here.

PS I know there have been problems with images on the blog recently – sorry about this. I don’t know what’s been causing it, but I’ve refreshed a load of my posts and hopefully it’s ok now. Either scroll back through the last week to see the posts in their glory, or click on the links for posts on food, embroidery, street art and mindfulness.




A complete bargain at £4 each, these Stillhet tealight holder said from IKEA could be 10 times pricier in another shop and would fit in anyone’s room, whatever their taste. I love the petal design.

House tours


As I head out to NYC today, here’s some American sights for the post today. Some of the pieces I love most on Cup of Jo are the house tours. I’ve never actually wanted to leave my own place (I love it and the area too much), but whoever does the photos for these really knows how to convey a sense of home, and I do often come away with a few new ideas.

The first two images are from a thin but long, narrow house that I could see would fill my need to live on a longboat some time.

The one below is a bit like the gallery walls of postcards I make in my own house & have done ever since my first uni desk.


while here is a look at the gallery wall in the apartment Joanna’s own family have been renting for two years. Gallery walls are basically all the justification a maximalist needs, and also a great way to discover that you don’t need expensive art to make an impact: postcards, photos and posters all join the mix:


This is great for that block of red frames (such a simple idea but so effective), and the gorgeous wild photo, which reminds me of this. In fact, by the time you add in the family photos in the hallway & colourful kitchen it might  be my favourite home featured.


Though who could resist the light in this, especially as we’re slipping into the weak, cool light of autumn.