Pretty, pretty peonies

May 24, 2010

It’s Monday, it’s HOT, and my sexy new sandals have already given me a blister the size of a golf ball. How very GLAM. It’s too hot here to do anything really except sit back and drink in a load of lovely pictures – here are some to quench your thirst for loveliness…

This is a shot from Debbie Bliss‘s gorgeous new craft book, The Knitter’s Year (£18.99, Quadrille) – well worth a peep.

And here are some gorgeous pictures from Ideal Home‘s sister site, House to Home. Oh, to be gathering fresh peonies in the sunshine, today! Perhaps though, what with my blister and sunburnt nose and all, it’s just as well I’m not…sigh.

On a scale of one to ten, (one being not-at-all-excited, and ten being about-to-lit-er-ally-pop-with-excitement), how excited do you think I was when I spotted this stunning vintage Chinese Peony tea tin in an otherwise bleak junk shop at the weekend for less than a fiver? Erm, yes. Ten. Of course, then I had to treat myself to an actual peony at the florist’s – for important work-related styling purposes:

Our stunning new July issue has just appeared in the office and, appropriately, the cover is a lovely rich raspberry/peony pink – beautiful! Now, where’s that Elastoplast…– Ellie

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Putting a single bloom in a vintage milk bottle is the easiest and cheapest way to create a gorgeous floral display. I’ve always yearned for a few nice glass milk bottles, but since our milk now comes in plastic cartons from Waitrose, I thought I’d have to resort to eBay

Pedlars £9.95

Luckily, my in-laws still get milk delivered, so I asked them to bring me some ‘retro’ Dairy Crest milk bottles when they came to stay at the weekend. They think I’m completely mad. But I’ve put peonies in them already and they look stunning! For simple, stylish milk bottles, check out American shop Three Potato Four:

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Here are some more gorgeous milk bottles for you to feast your eyes on…this is turning in to a milk bottle appreciation post!

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Clockwise from top right: Three Potato Four; bottles available on Ebay; The Traditional Flower Company; Real Simple.

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I love the vintage milk bottles from Baileys too (above left) – and check out this cute milk bottle shot from a past Ideal Home issue (above right). Decanting milk is always a hassle, but it looks so lovely, it’s well worth the effort! Milk bottle tops are collectors’ items these days, too – I like the retro designs and lettering on them. How cute would these ones look in an IKEA Ribba frame for some bargain artwork?

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If you’d like to buy your own vintage-style milk bottle, Dotcomgiftshop has a lovely one with a glass stopper for £16.95. Check out the huge collection on Kenneth Keith‘s website, too. There are hundreds to browse through, but I don’t think his collection is for sale sadly…

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If you don’t have milk delivered, but want to display flowers in bottles, Belvoir fruit cordial bottles are perfect, too, and iced tea bottles from Holland and Barrett also look lovely. Here’s a snap I took recently in my dining room, with a peony in an old Belvoir bottle. It’s a ‘recessionista’ display! – Ellie

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