A little light and colour crazy

Last week I shared some of the HomeSense summer ranges, and you weren't surprised I was drawn by the more colourful ones were you? Me neither. Today I'm sharing some more of their items and ones that I plan to enjoy all summer long, so let's hope this current warm spell hangs around as I've a serious amount of lights I want to enjoy both in our conservatory and in the garden.

Because nothing says summer garden more than jewel coloured ice lolly lights, now does it?

ice lolly battery operated lights from HomeSense in my garden parasol
They are just one of the fun battery operated lights (#) in my local HomeSense store, which is a little bit further away than I'd ideally like. Although, to be fair, that's probably a good thing - but I hear there's likely to be a new store much closer to home in Greenwich by the end of the year. I already know that MOH will be rolling his eyes with dismay when I share that little gem with him, so sshh, let's not tell him yet!

I also picked up these white textured heart lights and while I'm showing them draped around my laburnum tree here, I plan to use them to decorate the gazebo we've bought for our 110th party next month. They're the kind of light that can be used almost anywhere around the house and I've a feeling our conservatory may turn into a bit of a fairy grotto at some point.

Heart shaped battery operated lights by HomeSense in my laburnum
I'm loving the contrast of the white hearts against the bark and background of the ivy

And they'll be easy to move outside for the days we have people over, or when we spend the evenings relaxing in the garden, they'll add a lovely glow and help me find my glass of rose more easily!

I'm hoping too that our local bird population are pleased with what I have planned for them. I think if I were a bird I'd be queueing up to move into one of these, we'll see how they go. I loved the colours of these, and three is perhaps excessive, but I'm hoping to hang them on a particularly stark bit of fence to add some colour and interest where it'll be harder to get plants to grow.

A colourful "estate" of bird houses from HomeSense ready to be deployed in the garden

They're metal and there's a drawer at the bottom so, if any of the bird life do move in for a season it'll be easy to get them ready for the next residents.  And yes, you're right, it must be time for some more battery lights. 

A string of paper lights by HomeSense adorning the fence

These have a paper origami detail and complement the textured hearts lights earlier.  I'm keen to see the shadows that these throw around the patio, and you'll begin to see why over the summer I don't watch so much TV, as it's all about being outside - and trying to avoid being bitten, which so far, I'm struggling with. Usually I'm left alone and they feast on MOH, but this year, not so much and I much prefer how it used to be...

Another find from HomeSense are these four plastic bowls, ideal for use outside and light enough to take on picnics too. I'm all about having a civilised picnic if you can, as long as there's not too far to carry everything!

Colourful melamine serving bowls from HomeSense

And the photo above just sums how colour and I get on.

My mission on my latest visit to HomeSense was all about the garden lights, and so I've another set to show you. If I'm honest I was less sure about these 'willow' lights, but MOH was keen on these, so in the spirit of harmony I acquiesced, sometimes it's the only way isn't it?  

Green LED willow lights from HomeSense in our conifer
The more robust battery case on the Green LED willow lights from HomeSense

But you know what I was pleasantly surprised. These have a more robust battery casing and can be left outside (although I still wouldn't leave them out over winter) and while I can't see the willow leaves - I see green chillies instead - I'm ok with that. I draped them around a prickly conifer bush next to the barbecue, but I've got plans to add these at the end of the garden where the pizza oven will bebut we've some work to do before that happens.

Green LED garden lights from HomeSense in the dark

They looked great in the dark, and well I couldn't resist some arty shots.

And a final arty shot of those green LED willow lights from HomeSense because I couldn't help myself

And yes, I've gone a little light crazy, but they're fun and are an easy way to add some lighting outside if like us you don't have - or plan to have - electricity outside. I've a whole series of solar lights too, on one side of the patio, so it's fair to say I'm a bit of a fairy light queen!


(#) Of course, battery operated lights should be used sensibly outside and I'd recommend you only leave those that are designated for use outside, outside over the summer.


* This is a collaborative post, but all views and opinions are my own

Post Comment Love and Blogger Showcase 19-21 May 2017

Hello and welcome to another Friday and this week's Post Comment Love. If you were here last week, thank you, it was good to see you, and I'll be over soon, I'm not sure where the time has gone this week. If you're new here this week, welcome, it's great to have you along and you'll find us a friendly community and Morgan and I can guarantee you a whole host of interesting posts to read.

As I've mentioned already it's felt like a week where time has disappeared, although I'm not sure where. We spent most of the weekend outside completing more of our landscaping project and then trying to reclaim our allotment from the poppies, not weeds, for a change. There's been an evening of sowing seeds and a couple of nights out as well. And then there's been the rain, hasn't there?

My photo this week is a nod to the weather, but only a small nod, because let's face it a picture of the amount of rain we've had in the past couple of days wouldn't be pretty at all.

Raindrops, not on roses though

The BritMums Brilliance in Blogging awards opened this week in the blogging world, and if you'd consider my blog then I'd be very pleased and flattered. I don't expect to win, but a nomination is always welcome. Here's the categories, if you're stuck for which category I'd suggest Photo or perhaps Readers' Choice, but who knows you might have different thoughts, and that's entirely fine.

Blogger Showcase: Samantha from A Thousand Yellow Daisies

1. Who are you? 

I am a freelance creative blogger and designer. I write articles for my own blog and guest pieces across a range of topics in the creative industry from fashion & creative space to creative start up and product/service pricing. I am also currently writing a series of small creative business features and a piece about art therapy.

As a designer I run the company A Thousand Yellow Daisies, we offer some corporate graphic design services but our main focus is pattern design, illustration and hand lettering which are produced onto a range of homewares, stationery and fabric etc. with a new range of wedding stationary due to be launched soon. 

2. How did you discover blogs/blogging?

I have been blogging for myself for years, I always enjoyed blogging and found that a more interesting way of showcasing my design work than a standard online portfolio. 

3. Why did you start blogging?

I took a break from blogging as I reached the final stages of my degree as it was too much to manage at once. I lost touch with blogging for a while at this point and picked it back up a little as a way of promoting my new company. I remembered how much I love blogging and creative writing so started hunting for opportunities to blog more. I found a position as guest blogger with a fabric print company, I had such a positive experience and great feedback with the owner suggesting I should start taking up more paid blogging roles. 

4. What do you find most challenging?

Currently my biggest challenge is finding enough paid roles. Most of the roles in my area of expertise are unpaid guest roles. I love writing and rarely turn any of these opportunities down, but it does make it difficult to find enough work as I am aiming to be able to become a full-time freelance blogger and designer. 

5. What is your favourite topic to write about?

I love writing about anything within the creative industry. I have such a passion for creativity and find that even topics that are outside my personal experience and expertise such as fashion are fascinating to research and so interesting to write about.

6. Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?

I would love to be able to blog as part of my career. I plan to always keep designing, but the two fit so well together while being different enough to give a lovely variety of work. I aim to get to the point where I can be designing and blogging full time.

7. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

I love the writing, having to consider your thoughts and find a way of getting your thoughts, opinions and knowledge onto paper (or screen!) in a way that is relatable while informative and understandable to an audience. I have also always loved to learn, for my entire life I have loved academia.

Blogging gives me the opportunity to do that again. I research my topic for pretty much every article, no matter how well I think I know the subject, you can always know more. With every article I write I get to learn something new, and I realise how much I knew about the topic without having even realised, which is always very fun!

8. Have you ever attended a blogging conference and if so, what did you think?

No I haven't. I do think that would be an amazing experience though.

9. What are your 3 best posts?

I am immensely proud of my first guest blog as I got amazing feedback, reached a much larger audience than they usually do and felt I covered the topic well despite knowing nothing about fashion when I took the project on! It's also the piece that made me take blogging seriously and want to get into it as a career. 

The second and third pieces I am most proud of are a three part article for Print and Press about how to price for product, service and freelance. I am also writing a series of feature pieces on my own blog.  I've used their stories to find a theme to each feature and am very excited to start releasing these. 

10. Describe yourself in three words!

Creative, passionate, motivated.

11. Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person?

Coffee and cake everytime!

12. What's your idea of a perfect night out?

A couple of my closest friends in a bustling (but not loud and cramped) cocktail bar, chatting and people watching over a couple of drinks...with maybe a little dancing! 

13. Your perfect night in?

A home cooked dinner over music and candle light then snuggled up warm with a good book or tv show for the night.

14. What would your best friend/OH/mum or kids say is your best quality?

I asked my boyfriend and the response I got was my willingness to make others happy!


Thanks Samantha - what a great blog name, thanks for sharing more about yourself, please do grab your "I was featured" badge. If you're reading and wondering about taking part, then please do, we'd love to feature you in a future edition.

Connect with Samantha here:

Facebook  -  Instagram  -  Etsy

Showing my yucca some love

Remember back in February when Storm Doris arrived and blew her way across the country? Well, my yucca had been feeling the ill effects of her visit every since. I'd looked in various garden centres for the right kind of stake, or the stake I had in mind, but couldn't find what I was after. I'm sure it exists, but maybe not.

I'd persuaded MOH he could make something that would hold up the yucca, but while he agreed he seemed less sure. And then when we got to put slate down in front of the yucca it made sense to sort it out before that.

Looking around the garden I found a stake that was long enough, which used to be part of our leaf bin, before our neighbour's bonfire got a bit out of control a few years back. So out of control that the Fire Brigade came and put it out, quite a scary time and we were lucky just to have a singed leaf bin and fence.

Banging in a stake for the yucca

While MOH was banging this in my job was to hold the sharp, pointy and quite vicious leaves out of the way. Then to climb into the bed to strap one of the limbs to the stake. I get all the best jobs...

It was clear that this alone wouldn't work and the front branch would need further support.  I was back to looking around the garden and spied some logs from the lilac tree, which we'd cut last summer and were saving for the planned firepit. A couple though were put to use straightaway supporting the yucca.

Using old lilac tree stumps to support my yucca.

So with some ingenuity and a couple of things I already had, we managed to prop the yucca up. And straight away it looked better.



And just a week later it was clear how much difference it had made. I joked on Facebook that some flowers would be appreciated. It last flowered in 2013, and I was hopeful it would be time for more flowers again soon.  I wasn't sure though, as Doris had given it a bit of a bashing and we'd taken a while to resolve that.

So imagine how shocked - and pleased - I was when I saw this as I wandered up the garden to water the greenhouse.

A flower on our yucca, and I think there's at least another one on the way

Yes! A flower!  And I've feeling that there's at least another one on the way from the front branch that's propped up by that lilac log. I can't believe how quickly it's appeared, but I'm really glad it has.  And then this weekend there was further evidence that it's happy with it's new lot. The second log that was propping up the main stem, and was wedged against the brick edging was now defunct, it was no longer holding anything up, the yucca it seems has remembered about growing upwards towards the light, which is great.

Now it's just a matter of waiting for the flower to do its thing... 

But I'm so glad it's happy again, this was one of the few plants that I brought with me when we moved here back in 2002, and it's got quite some history.