Wednesday, September 26, 2012

British Country Living

I have a confession to make.

I am addicted to all things British.

How it happened, I can't say; I think it had something to do with the accent. No matter. Slap the word "British" on something and I'll more than likely take it home with me.

Such is the case with the British edition of Country Living magazine.

My mom always read Country Living. Copies could be found in just about every room of the house. The house itself was a testament to my parents' love of the simple life, of making a house a home, and of doing what you could with what you had and making it beautiful. Country Living was, back then, a bit too country for my liking. A bit too rustic. Not my cup of tea.

It was probably back in 2000 when I first stumbled across a copy of the British edition of this familiar magazine title. In fact, I still have a copy from 2000. It's from October (my favorite month) and it's stacked up with all the rest of my vast and every growing collection. I can remember not really paying attention to where it came from, just that I loved it, devoured it, every page filled with a new discovery of gorgeous.

Why was THIS country living different from the American version? Off and on, until 2005, I would get glimpses of the British Country Living (or as I affectionately began calling it, BCL). In 2005 I finally found a newstand that carried it and my collection began. It towers, yet I cannot get rid of a single copy. I put out stacks of them, each month, a stack of the past leading up to the present. I never tire of looking through them, never fail to get inspired from their pages.

So, what IS it about the British edition? I honestly don't know. Maybe it's the gorgeous photographs, the sprawling cottage gardens, the recipes that have to be converted, the small holders and entrepreneurs. Perhaps it's the fact that I can indulge in a trip to the Cotswolds in one issue, Provence in another. Europe has always held a particular fascination for me; Great Britain was the home of my ancestors on BOTH sides of my family tree. This, of course, may have something to do with my leaning towards the British way of life.

I suspect it's a bit of all of the above. That and the peace I get from the pages. There's nothing rushed about this magazine. While I read the American version of Country Living (and enjoy it!), there's still something about the British edition that speaks to me. Volumes. It's more of an experience, less of an Ad parade, and deeply touching in that most inner part of my soul that craves "home".

If you've never picked up a copy of this magazine, go out on a treasure hunt. I know here in metro Atlanta, Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million both carry it. It's pricier than it's American cousin ($7.99) but worth every penny!

Current Issue Cover:

Do keep in mind, because this is a foreign magazine, you won't get the next month's copy in advance as we do here in the states. The September issue wasn't available until about the second week of the month. The October issue will more than likely be the same in getting here. Trust me; it's worth the wait!


Have you ever read the British edition of Country Living? What are some of your favorite magazines? In love with all things British?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

books glorious books!

Do you ever find yourself surrounded by too much of a good thing? Yeah, me either. Take my books for example. I have a ton of them. Not as many as I'd like, mind you, but enough to make people do a double take when they first visit.

When we moved, we took the two old bookshelves that I've had since before I moved out of my parents house (read: OOOOOOOLD bookshelves) and retired them to the laundry room for storage. Huzzah! No more old, metal shelves for my precious paper and ink babies. Problem: no shelves for said babies! My books are now piled in the bonus room waiting for shelving to find their way to us:

Did I mention that I have a *few* books in my collection?

It does make for some brilliant fun when I have a hankering to read something specific or I need to look something up. Into the pile I go, head first, with instructions to the husband and the cat on what to do if I don't return in half an hour. "Just stick flowers on the tallest pile," I tell them. It's a fitting memorial to a book lover such as myself.

One of our local bookstores is closing after ten years. Thankfully, the owners are merely retiring and NOT going out of business due to lack of interest in physical books. We've visited more than we should have in the past week but have brought home quite a collection of new lovelies for the collection:

PS: this is the SECOND box-full we brought home! Yikes!

The goal is to turn some of these into something other than just another tome to sit upon a non-existent shelf. Stay tuned for those projects! I've already got one in progress and I'm excited to share with you the end result!

Happy Thursday to you all! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

findings: just a little thought for a rainy tuesday morning

I honestly couldn't tell you where we found it. A yard sale, perhaps, or a thrift store. But it followed us home and sat patiently in a box for a couple of years before I thought of a use for it. The initial thought was to re-purpose it and sell it. Yesterday, however, I was feeling the need to make our house feel more like a home and this little piece of whimsy came to the rescue:

The photo doesn't do it justice, but it's the best I could do. The chandelier itself is about a foot and a half in diameter. It's made to hold candles and I had considered hanging it over the breakfast table. Instead, it now sits upon the breakfast table, complete with mismatched candles and a little cement bird. I sat up late last night with the candles lit, sipping tea at the table, and enjoying the warmth four little candles can give.

It just goes to show that what you need to feel at home may not be out there waiting for you to find or buy or grab; it may be in a box, in a storage room, covered in dust and waiting to be uncovered and given new life!

Go on, comb through those attics and basements and closets. See what YOU can find to breathe new life into an old breakfast table!

Happy Tuesday!