A Cosy Mountain Cabin Scheme…

We spent a few days up in Big Bear earlier this month and it left me daydreaming of A-frame wooden cabins, cosy fires, beaten up old leather couches and plaid blankets. Driving up the winding canyon roads to our Airbnb I loved how no two cabins were alike – some were shaped like little gingerbread cottages with icicles lining the pitched front porch while others had these high, wooden boarded fronts with (every so slightly creepy) wooden stairs winding up to the front door…

Anyway it only took me one evening spent browsing Zillow to get me dreaming of decorating my own slice of mountain life and so I made this moodboard as a creative outlet. My choice of rug will provide a clue that this is something of a fantasy interior – one where snow boots and muddy paws fear to tread. I have a soft spot for mural wallpapers and thought this one by Pierre Frey would be perfect for a holiday home where you don’t have to live with it day in, day out. It would be such a surprising touch for guests in a rental too!

1. ‘Les Rocheuses’ wallpaper by Pierre Frey. The Rockies represent nature in all its untamed glory. Although dramatic there is also something about this design that I find peaceful – the style reminds me of the kind of black and white etchings you find in old books.

2. Giant Ram Head Taxidermy Kit by Sincerely Louise. I have only recently got onboard with faux animal heads (having avoided them until now as they made me feel sad and sorry for the animal). After reading a little more about Louise Walker’s inspiration behind her designs on Instagram I changed my mind – the real animal is replaced with a knitted one as Louise explains ‘to me, faux taxidermy was always a representation of the animal’s freedom rather than replicating the cruelty of hunting and trophy heads.’ With that in mind I’m going to be casting on my own knitted lion head later this month – keep an eye on Instagram for updates!

3. Global Printed Poof – Pottery Barn. Old Persian rugs make me think of cosy country cottages with flagstone floors, Aga ranges and labradors. I would want to sprinkle some of that on any home but particularly one up a mountain.

4. Rivoli Velvet Decorative Pillows – Designer’s Guild. Velvet fabric brings depth and texture to any room. I love these two shades together for Autum/Winter – I would maybe swap them out for a moss green during the Spring/Summer months.

5. Bear Side Table – Kare. This side table lives rent free in my mind at all times. I may not be a cabin owner but if I had this table in my living room at home it would at least remind me of log cabin cafes with neon signs, cold beers and pool tables – and all the wilderness beyond.

6. Plaid Amanda Throw in Paprika – Nobilis A beautiful throw is a must – I would hide this one away when the cabin was being rented out and save it for myself.

7. Prete-Moi Ta Plume! Round Rug by Christian Lacroix Okay so this rug is maybe slightly too beautiful for the main living-space in a fully functional cabin, but just imagine it for a moment, wouldn’t it be beautiful?

8. Small Meteor Lamp by Porta Romana – There is something so otherworldly about this lamp. Handmade from blown glass which is then hand-painted, each lamp is unique. I find Porta Romana designs are like catchy songs – the shapes stick in my mind and I keep circling back to them.

9. Double Old Fashioned Rock Glasses by Michael Aram – I really like how masculine these glasses are, I think they would look great on top of a bar cart. Definitely too good to be hidden away in a cupboard!

I hope you liked my cosy cabin ideas! These photos are a mixture of Big Bear in the Winter and Sweden in the Summer (I meant to take some photos of the interior of our Big Bear rental but as usual, life got in the way). Thank you for reading – let me know what you think in the comments on on Insta!

5 Creative Goals For 2021

We don’t know what 2021 has in store for us yet and it can be hard to find joy and a sense of optimism amid the uncertainty. The answer for me is to spend this part of the year planning the creative projects I want to pour my time into over the next twelve months. Perhaps for you it’s a list of books to read or maybe you’re planning home renovations, planting a garden or organizing your sock drawer. Creativity and growth takes many forms. One thing I have learnt over the years is that if I don’t make time for making then the days turn into weeks, weeks into months and before I know it years are slipping past and I still have the same pair of socks on my knitting needles.

Today I’m going to share a personal list of projects that I want to delve deeper into in 2021 – perhaps it will give you some ideas or inspire you to make your own, completely different list?

1. Getting back into knitting. Since moving to SoCal knitted jumpers are no longer pride of place in my wardrobe. Even on the coldest day it is too hot for wool so this most therapeutic of pastimes has slipped from my life. As all knitters know, the act of knitting is about so much more than the end product – getting lost in color and texture as we plan projects, the mind-clearing meditation of counting stitches as we work and the slow burning joy of bringing something into existence row by row. I need this kind of joy back in my life – perhaps I’ll knit cup holders, perhaps I’ll knit stuffed toys – I am just happy to be part of the knitting community again.

2. Lino cutting and print making – I have been dabbling in lino cutting and block printing fabric on and off for a couple of years but this year I want to re-wind a little and take some time to master the basics. I love the work of Emily Louise Howard (thediggingestgirl on insta) and am starting the year by working through her book Block Print Magic.

3. Sketching and pen and ink drawing – if you didn’t go to art school and therefore feel like you’re not allowed to pick up a pencil and start drawing (I’m sure I’m not alone in this?) then consider this your permission slip. Drawing is the gateway to so many art forms – to get yourself off to a good start I recommend investing in a set of drawing pencils, proper artists eraser and a sketchbook. Try sketching things around you by really looking at them – don’t fall into the trap of drawing how you think they should look. Keep your marks quite loose at first and hone the final shape gradually. Unhook from the idea of getting your drawings to look perfect (or even good) – the goal is to show up and try and fill up that sketchbook.

4. Watercolor painting – another technique that has been on my to-do list for ever. I’ve bought myself The Joy of Watercolor by Emma Block and am planning on working through it in the Spring once my mind is filled with sunshine and color again.

5. Last but not least, let’s not forget that to move forward we must discard the old baggage that is weighing us down. Releasing ourselves from old goals can be surprisingly hard to do – I’m going to take a moment this week to identify the things that are no longer serving me and then bid them adieu. Hanging in my utility room are a dozen or so bags containing half finished projects of mine from the last 10 years – I am going to go through them one by one and return most of them to their respective supply boxes or just straight up throw them out!

2021 may have plans for us but we can still have plans of our own – it’s never to late to start, or start again. Time spent creating is never a waste of time no matter what else the year brings. I’ll be rooting for you this year!