Price Points: Pink flamingos

pink flamingos | H is for home

Like cacti, pink flamingos are all the rage in homewares at the moment. They first had their heyday back in the 1950s with Miami and California mid-century modern – but they’ve flown back into favour!

Kitsch and playful, quirky and vintage or practical and colourful there’s a flamingo-themed item out there that will suit your taste, interior and pocket.

  1. Colours charcoal & pink flamingo mica wallpaper: £14, B&Q
  2. SUNNYLIFE flamingo watering can: £14, Selfridges
  3. Meiko pink flamingo – pink metal: £71, La Redoute

Gimme Five! British bird handbooks

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Selection of 5 British bird handbooks | H is for Home

Have you seen any of this year’s fledglings yet? All along the Rochdale Canal which passes through Todmorden, there are lots of broods of ducks and Canada geese. In our garden this week we’ve had a baby robin as a frequent visitor.

Justin’s a long-time twitcher, but I’m a lot less knowledgeable ornithologically! We have a stack of British bird handbooks on our bedroom bookshelf; the latest addition being a couple of Matt Sewell’s beautifully illustrated guides.

We actually own copies of all the above – with the exception of Bewick’s – perhaps it will be in my stocking this Christmas!

  1. The Observer’s Book of British Birds: from £4, Amazon
  2. Our Garden Birds, Matt Sewell: £7.28, Wordery
  3. A Sketchbook of Birds, C. F. Tunnicliffe: £2.81, eBay
  4. Bewicks British Birds: £2.99, The Works
  5. RSPB Handbook of British Birds: £8.37, Hive

Pick of the Pads: The Egg Man

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'I am the Egg Man' article title page from the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

We’ve got a slight twist for this month’s Pick of the Pads. It’s more a work space than a living space, but with Easter round the corner, the egg theme swayed it.

Homes & Antiques April 2014 magazine cover

It’s the studio workspace of Tony Ladd – the ‘Egg Man’ that was in the April 2014 issue of the Homes & Antiques Magazine magazine.

Tony Ladd's studio workspace featured in the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

He’s a wildlife artist specialising in British birds. He creates stunningly realistic, hand-cast, hand-painted egg specimens.

Tony Ladd's hand painted egg collection featured in the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

His workspace is a self-built, oak-framed wooden studio situated in his garden on the Sussex coast.

corner of Tony Ladd's studio workspace featured in the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

We love all the wooden banks of drawers & shelving…

corner of Tony Ladd's studio workspace featured in the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

…filled with jars, brushes, books, artefacts and references to nature.

four details from Tony Ladd's studio workspace featured in the April 2014 Homes & Antiques magazine

It’s both homely & fascinating – such an inspiring space!

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Gimme Five! Bird feeders

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selection of five different bird feeders

Snow currently feels like a permanent fixture around the whole of the UK. I’ve really been feeling sorry for our wildlife – especially the birds. One of last week’s Winter Watch programmes told of the decimation that happens when birds can’t get through the inches of snow to feed on seeds, worms, slugs and insects.

Why don’t you help them out? Here are five of our favourite bird feeders that we’ve found online – from low-tech to the bird equivalent of a swanky, Michelin-starred restaurant!

  1. Flock Follies bird feeder – Feeds the birds AND adds a burst of colour to your garden!
  2. Roundabout fly-through feeder – Made of polished copper , this one will mellow into a beautiful verdigris.
  3. Bottle bird feeder – Just add an empty wine or beer bottle!
  4. Umbra contemporary outdoor bird house – An avian take on a modernist des res!
  5. Unplugged Barcelona bird feeder – Inspired by the famous, Mies van der Rohe-designed Barcelona Pavilion.

Being Cagey!

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collection of vintage canary cages

We bought these vintage bird cages this week – they have a certain charm and upcycling potential. Does a group of bird cages have a collective noun? Not sure. They were originally intended for showing canaries – a collection of canaries is known as an “opera” –  how lovely!

black painted vintage canary cage

So how about those ideas for recycling/upcyling/repurposing from you crafty lot out there?

We quite like the original shabby look, but they could also be spray painted in gold, bronze or sugar-coated almond colours; the wires could be wrapped in floral fabric or ribbon; perhaps convert them into pendant lampshades; put tea lights in; display felted or other crafted birds inside; bird feeder maybe; grow a small plant in it.

close up showing finial detail on a black painted vintage canary cage close up showing seed drawer detail on a black painted vintage canary cage

They’re quite nicely made from wood & metal – with turned detailing and little drawers for food. They can be used indoors or hung from a tree in the garden or patio. Endless possibilities!

Towneley Park birdsong

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Justin was off to an auction view this morning so I decided to go along for the drive and take Fudge somewhere different for his walk – Towneley Park.

It’s a beautiful, well maintained park in Burnley – the former grounds of Towneley Hall, where the BBC film Antiques Master with Sandi Toksvig.

Anyway, it made a lovely change – lots of different sights & sounds to our normal stomping ground. So much so that I stopped and recorded a 30-second clip of the beautiful birdsong. The volume’s a bit low, but get your twitcher hats on, click the red button and tell me how many different calls can you recognise?