Monday, 14 October 2013

Changing tastes......

If someone ever asks me to describe my taste, just thinking about how to answer gives me a headache.

I've often looked through home magazines and come across houses that are decorated in one flat colour. The same colour on the walls and floors. The same colour in furniture, textiles and accessories.....and the same in EVERY room in the house. The owners using words such as 'calming' and 'fluidity'. 

I do envy them. 

 If only I had one colour that I loved. One palette that I could be happy to have my whole house in. Flippin' 'eck, that would save me so much mental fuzziness.

Having said that if only I had just one STYLE that I loved, i'd even be quite happy with that.

But, i've realised i'm a total mish mash girl.

I wake up each day loving a different style. It's not a good thing for an ordered head. Good job my noggin isn't an ordered one.

I love bright pops of colour.....I love soft pastels.....I love new and contemporary.....I love old and battered...I love light and airy....I love closed in and cluttered......arrrrgggghhhhhhh

I use a fair amount of bright colour in my creative makes, but generally in my house and day to day living, I tend to stick to pastels. I find it more calming in a hectic day.

Looking through my blog it's probably quite easy to see what shades I like to put together.

I've posted before about my loathing of lilac. Actually, it's a particular shade of lilac. That almost luminescent shade of lilac. I've said before, how it actually can make me feel 'ill'. No joke! The closest I can get are purple, heathery shades teamed with a dark green.

I also had a HUGE issue with orange......pumpkin orange to be precise. 

I have always had a problem with Halloween, because it is associated with pumpkin overkill and the sight of them gave me headaches. It was never such an issue with me years ago. Here in the UK, Halloween was something that you recognised, maybe someone you knew was having a dress up party, but generally, that was it. It was all a bit, half hearted. We seemed to put more emphasis on Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night a week later. Well, certainly, in my neck of the woods. It's really only in the last few years that Halloween has become a huge thing with trick or treating being pushed hard in the supermarkets and pumkins overflowing at the ends of the shopping aisles.

I realised that because of this, I never really introduced any yellow into my home. Simply because it was close to orange on the spectrum. I decided to make the change a couple of years ago and yellow started to come into my home. Warm, buttery yellows. I actually really liked it. It seemed to lift the rooms.

Then, something happened. I made a scarf with some golden, yellow, ochre yarn. 

I adored it.

I bought this yarn last October too. I fell in love with it on sight. I didn't manage to get anything made to take advantage of it in the cold weather, but it's on the list this year.

And then, can you believe it.....I made the Serendipity blanket and added pumpkin orange in the mix! I still wasn't hung up on the colour on its own, but the blanket simply didn't work without it. The depth of the pumpking orangy colour seemed to balance the paler shades of the yellows and pinks. I think this was a slight turning point for me. 

I also decided, that what with all my shawl making, I needed a tan coloured one. I walked past my local store and saw a bulk of dark ochre yarn for sale which I knew would be the perfect shade for my shawl.

Remember this pic?........

I don't think I ever posted a pic of my finished shawl. It was using the same japanese pattern that I had made a few of previously.

I made it big, and I love it.

I seem to have become a bit obsessed with the shade since.

The next few crochet projects seem to have been heavily influenced by this colour obsession.

I had a few balls of the lovely tan/ochre yarn left over from the shawl and wanted to use it in a blanket somehow. I had been itching to make some sunburst granny squares for a while so it seemed a good match. On doing a little search for sunburst granny motif tutorials, I came across the very lovely and talented Dottie Angel blanket that used the same shade of yarn and a sunburst motif. I had the other two shades staring at me in my stash so it was a no brainer to be (ahem) heavily influenced, as the colours worked so well.

I just tweaked my blanket a bit to make it a little different.

Very simple.......sunburst motifs and granny cluster edging. As much as I love all the new spangled techniques and patterns that are out there at the moment, I think a simple granny blanket is by far my all time favourite.

This new season seems to be influencing me a lot this year. I've definitely made a shift into earthier colour combinations instead of bright and 'in your face' pairings.

The leaves are turning. The golden hues are calling out to me.

However much I had longed for, and have loved the warm summer days we have had this year.....I am ready for cosy. I am ready for layers. I am ready for scarves, wrist warmers and hot drinks outside wrapped up warm. I am ready for it all.

Not bright.....not pastel......but warm ochre. Leaning towards the orange, I am surprising myself!

I've also got it in my head to make another blanket in some delicious new shades.....well....shades that I have always loved, but realised i've not yet made a blanket in to date. It's a project I CANNOT wait to start.

So, I have surprised myself with my 'shift' in taste.

Not sure it will 'fit in' anywhere in my home. I'm realising my house, my life, my head will just always be a mish mash, a chaotic mess. I don't do 'calm' and 'fluidity'. I often wish that I did, but I'm not built that I embrace erratic colour, 5 style combinations in one room......chaos.

It's who I am, and who i'll always be.



  1. Oh, you're me!
    I always blamed it on being Gemini ;-)

  2. Wow, my English vocabulary is way too small for all the superlatives I need right now... Where to start?
    I absolutely adore this blanket. The colours are crisp (not sure if that's the right word here, but anyhow), yet warm & retro... all in one! Love the sunburst motif... Love the Japanese shawl too. Every picture in this post is so inspirational - thanks!
    Have a wonderful day,

  3. I love your taste and color choices. I feel so inspired when I visit your blog. You have a great knack for putting colors together. I am a lot like you in that regards with color, I tend to go a lot for pastels. but here and there will opt for brighter colors. Although I think you definitely out win me with colors! I love orange in clothes but funny, not so much in my home. So glad you are back to blogging quite often.

  4. LOL!! I have way too many style-loves as well. It's funny 'cause I love autumn colours (like ocher, burned orange etc). But I LOATH pink. Absolutely, truely, really... but I just have to confess that sometimes... it works. Damn it ;-)

    Can't wait to see your yellow project, I love that Rowan yarn. Very yummie looking!

  5. Hi Vanessa, so good to see you pooping in every now and then with your beautiful pictures and well put stories. Reading your blog always feels to me like we are sitting together, sipping latte's, crocheting and chatting. I envy your ability to put your perspectives into words so well. In this post you've actually literally written down my issue with styles and colours, as well as my issue with purples and the previous issue with yellow/oranges and recent love of certain yellows. Amazing, but true. I sometimes think it bothers me more than anyone else. I too envy people who are able to stick to one palette. I totally recognize making things in more vibrant colours than I want in my own home. Just to keep calm and peace around me.

    Absolutely love that shawl you made with the white edging! Well and the shorter yellow one too haha. Have a lovely day my dear, xo

  6. Beautiful post, Beautiful colours and Beautiful photos a joy to see. Thanks

  7. I like mish mash. Eco Ethel xx

  8. Oh,I have a feeling you are describing me! Don't like orange and Halloween is no special day for me too. I am from Germany and there were no Halloweenparties when I was a child. Last year I was surprised by myself, because I bought a yellow shirt and some matching accessoires. I 've never had any yellow thing in my home before. My home is influenced by so many different styles: shabby chic, folklore, strong colours and a lot of white and pastell. I think it is because my zodiac is "twins". There are two (or many more) souls in my body...;-)
    I'm sorry for my bad english.
    Have a nice day

  9. to me...the 'mish-mash' reflects personality...and I LOVE a home with personality and interest. Too many of my acquaintances have their home 'done' by an interior designer.....and you walk in and you immediately know... 'so and so' decorated this....hmmmm. wonder who actually LIVES here??? Give me mish-mash any day over that sterile look!!!!

  10. Oh I enjoyed this posting so much, you really made me smile! Your style is eclectic of course. I like your light ochre obsession - it is both an earthy as well as a clean colour depending on the combination and you manage to give it a clean modern as well as romantic feel. I like it!!

  11. And amen to that! I always find those one colour scheme spreads in mags although lovely a bit boring. Like you I just love colour different styles and I think sometimes we just have to accept that is how we are. I will never be minimalist or like just one thing.

    Its funny I have just finished making some changes in my living room and dinning room I am really love a Victorian gothic vibe at the moment with hints of the shabby chic. I think you just have to make it all work for yourself. I tend to now know that its ok to put a few trinkets away and get them out again for different seasons.

    And we are a bit of Halloween mad here. Mainly because I have always loved the more spooky side of things. Though we don't go out trick or treating.

    Your blankets are gorgeous and they would be colours I would never think to combine yet they work so beautifully together. Look forward to seeing what other creations you come up with! I guess the only colour I would say I can't abide is beige and sludge colours. But beige mainly it makes my skin crawl... a bit weird I guess.....

    P x

  12. Hi there, haven't commented before but I just had to this time. I love, love, love all those fab ochre yarn goodies. I have been looking for that exact shade everywhere, I don't suppose you could give a little detail as to which type of yarn they are, it would make my crochet group's day as we're always bemoaning the fact that we can't find a perfect mustard yellow!
    By the way, beautiful blog, it's an inspiration
    Julia x

  13. I'm definitely a mish-mash sort of girl - who wishes she could find a clean a simple style - but then I guess my house is a home, and not a show house! Probably better that way (despite thinking otherwise as I tidy away yet more "stuff").
    I quite like lilac and mauve - but any shade of orange has to be avoided at all costs!
    Have fun with your next project. x

  14. This is very interesting, Vanessa. Earlier TODAY I have thinking about "calm, white" interiors, and
    then I visit your blog and read this...I don't like all the white... Here in Scandinavia it has been very
    popular. But I need colours, pastels, whatever, I like to mix old and new, east and west, and the
    best, I like being me...
    Unn :)

  15. Your sunburst flower blanket is beautiful. I´m also doing it but I don´t know how to join the squares. I had to learn to crochet to make this one. Please help!!! I know you don´t like to make tutorials but if you could give me some clues to finish it or a site you watched to learn to finish it. Hope you can help me.
    I always read your blog and I´m glad you´re back.
    Paty Z from Mexico

  16. I LOVE the way you are Vanessa so don't go changing, mish mash is wonderful :o)
    Ooooh your ochre scarf is G O R G E O U S as is your granny blanket, I am in awe.
    I must admit every autumn that arrives i love more than the last.
    Happy hooking!
    love jooles xxx

  17. Your projects are, as ever, too, too beautiful! Gorgeous colours, all of them.

    I understand what you mean, with your favourite things and colours changing every day, and it being represented in your home. Used to bother me too... Until I looked up "eclectic interiors" on the internet.... Turns out we're not alone, and our weird taste has a name :o) Point is: you're unique and lovely, so don't change a thing!

  18. I love reading your thoughts on colour. I see things and know that I like them (or not), but I find it hard to define exactly what "my" colours are. So many to choose from. Such lovely combinations. New combinations I've never thought of. I wouldn't want to rule anything out. So I have really enjoyed this post, and the serendipity blanket post. Thank you!

  19. His words, while beautiful, I started smiling too!
    I think my boss sometimes can function as your head!
    a mixture of tastes and we like everything (or almost everything ...).
    I am very happy to see you still here! thanks for sharing!
    I think its the shawls are the most beautiful in the world! yes really!
    Thanks and kisses from Catalonia!

  20. Was für wundervolle Bilder und herrliche Handarbeiten!
    Liebe Rosaliegrüße ♥

  21. Dreamy photographs! I have a great aversion to lilac... not sure who choose that colour to be our yucky school uniform. But I have a love too of mustard - though finding it difficult to find the just right shade, slightly too close to gold seems to be the colour available in Suffolk!

  22. Oooo... and thinking about the cup thoughts of a few days ago, the cup in the first photograph is oh so lovely!

  23. So now I know why I connect with you so well!!! I'm _exactly_ the same with styles and colors and things!! One moment I'm loving some nautical decor and the next I am swooning over a cottage decked out in florals!!! Oh, and then there are the industrial and contemporary designs, too.....ack!! It used to make me nuts but I've learned, like you, to just go with it. Eclectic is our style and when things from all over the place can find a home within our homes, well, it's beautiful!!! And, on the color-liking changes....I used to stay far away from purple...I am, at this moment, wearing a purple scarf!! lol!! Some may call me fickle, I just think I'm open to change!! :) Lastly, I am in LOVE with your sunburst blanket, love I tell you!! :) Thank you for the inspiration and beauty!!

  24. It's called eclectic taste and it in very trendy :)

  25. I think for we peeps who like it all, the term is "eclectic" - definitely what my taste and style is! And I do so agree - its a bit hard on the ol' head to be liking (and wanting!) EveRyThing!!

  26. Everything is so gorgeous and sweet!! Love the shawl and color!! Have a lovely week! xo Heather

  27. Hi Vanessa, it's nice to know I am not the only one with this 'affliction' - I am exactly the same, giving myself a headache too over what colours and styles to choose (paticularly in my home) as I love so many of them. My favourite colour for the moment though is mustardy yellow, so I LOVE the scarf pictured in your post. Gorgeous eye candy as always x

  28. I love the colours you chose. I'm an advocate of as many bright colours as possible sort of a girl x

  29. I love this color!!! So warm and cosy....

  30. Beautiful post Vanessa.... and delicious colours and combos. Did you see the Dahlia ring I pinned on Pinterest? I tagged your name on it but I'm not sure how that all works (tech loser that I am!). Anyway, I thought of you as soon as I saw it. And it's yellow too! L xx

  31. Gorgeous post as always! Can I ask where to find the scarf pattern?

    1. The scarf pattern is from Nicki Trench's Cute and Easy Crochet. Really simple to do and whip up!

    2. Oh thank you so much for replying so kind of you :-). I own that book so going to start it today! Thanks again xxx

  32. Everything is just so gorgeous!!! Love the blanket and your pretty shawl!! And beautiful colors you picked!! :) Have a great week! xo Holly

  33. i am thrilled to find your blog! Love that shade as well and just want to fall into the colour in your home x

  34. I love this entry. I so get what you are saying. I too love the sleek, one colour interiors whenever I see them in magazines and books, but I never seem to manage it at home. There are always so many lovely colours to tempt me, especially when I'm creating (so much more fun with colours). So my home ends up as a mix of this and that. And at the end of the day, that is how I like it.

    As for changing tastes in colours, they seem to be seasonal for me. I used to hate orange, but now I rather like it (in small dozes though). I am always impressed by your colour choices and love all of them ;-)

  35. I love everything about your blog, especially this post!! This is me!!!! Thanks for sharing your world with us, you are such a prolific outputter of beauty!!! Your photos are gorgeous and I'm in love with EVERYTHING you make!!!

  36. It makes me so, so happy to see you blogging again. It takes me back to my beginning days of blogging before it became what it often is now. I love your style. Maybe Mishmash is actually the proper name for it?

    I'm ready for all of the cozy things you mentioned too. I'm ready to hunker down with books, my family and creative pursuits. It's the quiet I crave every year.

  37. Vanessa- I can not tell you how happy I am that you are blogging again. I am so in love with your work. Love the blankets you have made recently- love the colours you use. I am die-hard pastel fan too, I find that pastels brighten up anything. Can I ask what yarn you usually use? I love the pumpkin yellow orange you use new to the whole yarn world, as I shop online it is hard for me to determine colours. xxx

  38. That sounds like me...I love LOTS of different things, styles, colors, patterns, time periods. I finally have given up on "being one way" or my house looking one's just not me. It's probably why I also visit so many different blogs...they all appeal to me.

  39. I just found your blog via a crochet group on Facebook. I love it. Your projects are stunning and your photography is beautiful. I'm adding this to my blog reader so I can stay up to date. :)

  40. Hello - love the colours and photographs on your blog. I was wondering, is the shawl pattern on Ravelry? Thanks, Judy. (

  41. I don't know how I missed this post when it was new, but I'm so glad I found it--your ochre-toned blanket is so beautiful! I love all your styles, the whole happy mish-mash. Your work is endlessly inspiring. :)

  42. Just found your blog via pinterest - love the post! After our last move, my aesthetics are completely shifting. Glad you've made peace with yellow - it's my favorite way to round out a room. And the scarf? Divine.

  43. Hello, do you have the pattern for the lovely shawl?

    1. Hi Sharon,

      If you follow this link it will take you to the pdf pattern for it.

    2. Hi hi! I'm trying to decipher the pattern for the shawl through ravelry right now and I'm having a terrible time understanding the chart. Any tips for this pattern?

    3. Hi Abby, did you get my reply through Ravelry?

  44. Hi. Love your page. Do you know where I can get the lovely flowered ceramic spoons?

    1. Hi, the ceramic spoons in this post are from Greengate. These particular ones were purchased several years ago now and they don't stock them, but they do other styles. Greengate is a Danish company and you can find suppliers online. I hope this helps! Vanessa

  45. Hello there, your blog is beautiful.
    Where can I find the sea urchin tea light holders that you have in you mantel picture?

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Thank you for your kind comment. I'm afraid the sea urchin tea light holders are so old that I cannot remember where they were purchased from. do something similar on their website if that's any help?

      Vanessa x

  46. thank you for the inspiration!


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