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English-Muse-Fabrics5Love the mix of stripe, floral and toile, from the March issue of World of Interiors.

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Yes, it’s true. AbeBooks has revealed that it sold an Italian ornithology on birds from 1765 for an astonishing $191,000 in 2015. Published in Florence, the set — commissioned by the Grand Duchess of Tuscany — contained more than 600 hand-colored engraved plates of birds. The book seller noted that the set’s “fine condition enhanced its value along with the fact that it is a scarce book – only 10 complete copies have been offered at auction in the past 40 years.”

Another book fetching a large sum in 2015:  A first edition of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Inscribed by Dahl with the words “For Jane and Alex with much love Roald Dahl October 1964,” the set sold for $25,000.) Apparently Knopf only published 10,000 copies of the book in 1964. Go figure! AbeBooks notes: “This copy is by far the most expensive Roald Dahl book to sell via AbeBooks and probably the most expensive Dahl book to ever be sold.”  A golden ticket indeed.


Meanwhile a Russian book, from 1856, on the development of geometry sold for $34,245 and a first-edition set of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, signed by  J.R.R. Tolkien was purchased for nearly $20,000.

Forget about finding the Rembrandt in the basement, lovies. Look for the Dahl in grandma’s garage!

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Here you can simply enjoy the nature and your life

The movie “Wild” made poet & writer Adrienne Rich famous among new generation of women.
Her book “The Dream of a Common Language” includes a chapter of 21 love poems.
I’ve read and re-read XVI tonight:

Moony, inlet-warm, seabathed, I watch you sleep
the scrubbed, sheenless wood of the dressing-table
cluttered with our brushes, books, vials in the moonlight–
or a salt-mist orchard, lying at your side
watching red sunset through the screen door of the cabin,
G minor Mozart of the tape-recorder,
falling asleep to the music of the sea…

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here on English Muse.

It’s so nice to be  back….

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6ixteen_03What would it be like to live in a world without stuff? I have so many collections, I’ve never contemplated living in a house with neutral tones and few knickknacks. But I really love the decor of this UK estate featured recently on 1st Option… 6ixteen_016ixteen_10 6ixteen_09 6ixteen_17
Liberating or Blah?!?

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Rings…Old Keys…Angels
Tiny Retablos by Lynn Garlick

Old and New Tea Tins

Bits of ribbon…Stars…Coins

Sometimes it’s all about the little things…


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Every summer we head to our cabin on a remote lake in the High Sierras.
This year I decided to decorate a bit…


I made a pine wreath with wild flowers…


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Vogue Living East Side Story
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East Side Story 4
Such a great color blue in this little Sydney cottage. I painted our library this color in one of our old houses. It looked amazing with white book shelves.
Photos from Vogue Living Australia.

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I love these natural tones, so very calming. I love the creamware with the natural wood. I admire people who can master this look. It takes discipline. I would have a hard time resisting a few splashes of color. Pink velvet and leopard print get me every time. …
Photos by Richard Boll

Happy Tuesday Everyone.

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London AbodeProduct_LIA10132_Image_1





Love this latest “Inspired by…” on One Kings Lane.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 10.49.59 PM
LOVE the kilims on the porch at this rural abode in South Africa, via the May issue of Home magazine.

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And the Victorian furniture…

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The cat on the kitchen table…

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This is my first time reading Home magazine from South Africa.  I really love it (reminds me a little of the old Dominos. )  Searching now for back issues….

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Bruno Mars put on such a great show tonight at the Entertainment Industry’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. And afterward they handed out Sprinkles red velvet cupcakes at the door. Bliss.

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There’s a lovely feature on the home of Sydney woman Wendy Paterson in this month’s Vogue Living Australia, showcasing her taste for simplicity…

Paterson spends her weekends “fossicking” for treasures at flea markets and antique stores.
She tells Vogue Living: “I always want my home to be better on Monday than it is on Friday because of something new I’ve found.”

“I always want to pare things back so that each object has its own space
— to decorate with the lightest touch.”

Paterson says: “I love the ghosts of past owners.”

When she renovated her house, she kept a saying on a wall:
“White is not the mere absence of colour.”

…LOVE her cameo collection…

The magazine is available on Zinio.

Categories: Decor | 4 Comments »

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This is how our house looks at the moment….

(The woman with moon print is by Rose Walton. I bought it from her a million years ago when she was selling her art on Ebay. I lost track of her for awhile but recently found her on Etsy.)

(Previous places where we’ve lived. Also with cats.)

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I love the stylish use of space in this one room Paris apartment…

I stack my books too — not always a good idea when you need a book at the bottom of the pile.
In this space, they seem like sculptural art.

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“Don’t look back, you’re not going there anyway.” “Forgiveness starts with realizing the other person is barking mad.” “Eat. Read. Sleep.”
I have a file full of Tumblr quotes…Words to live by, my friends….








Keep on keeping on…

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Lately I’ve been bookmarking Pinterest files in my toolbar. Here are some of the photos from one that I’m obsessed with: Sara Jane’s “Down the Lane.

The file belongs to “stylist, creative consultant, visual storyteller” Sarah Prall. She bookmarks interiors…and the requisite deer photos…

Peeling fences and tattered quilts….

Old-fashioned dilapidates…

Still Lifes…

Colorful knits from faraway lands…

Bloomsbury-esque spaces…

Perfectly named, Down the Lane, if  you’re on a country road….Where I’d really like to be…

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Where Do You Read?

Apr 01, 2014

Oddfellows Orphange | Secrets of a Belle

Hello,  English Musers!

It’s Hannah B. again from  Secrets of a Belle. This past weekend, while the rain pitter-pattered on the window, I spent some time curled up on the couch lost in a new favorite book. This got me to thinking. Where do you other people read? Do you curl up on the couch too? Do you read in bed before you drift off to sleep? Personally, my dream is to eventually have a room devoted just to reading… you know, like the Duke!

The Duke of Devonshire Taking a Nap in the Library at Chatsworth, Shot by Christopher Sykes

The Duke of Devonshire Taking a Nap in the Library at Chatsworth, Shot by Christopher Sykes

But it doesn’t have to be that fancy! After all, in the words of Billy Baldwin…


Here are some other reading spaces I really dig.






More excellent reading nooks can be found on Pinterest.

What about you? Where do you do your best reading?

Hannah B. lives in East Tennessee where she writes Secrets of a Belle, a blog about the art of living a more beautiful life. You can follow Hannah B. on twitter at @HB_Belle and on Facebook.


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Hello English Muse readers! Karen from A Simple Cup of Tea once again. I don’t know how the weather is doing around your part of the world but here in Cardiff it’s pretty rainy. My hometown in Belgium isn’t much better: snow.

Now I nearly talked about how depressing the rain is. Nearly. And then I stopped myself.

It’s so easy to be bogged down by life’s little annoyances, little things that become massive in our eyes. To let someone else’s negativity overwhelm our own positivity.

So I decided that I’m going to enjoy the weather, put on some wellies and jump in a few puddles. Then next week when I’m home in Belgium for a couple of days I will grab my mittens and – if the weather permits it – have a huge snowball fight with my brother. Just because.

Silver linings. Lemonade. Whatever you want to call it. It’s always there.

Have a lovely week!


Photo credit: 1

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Hello English Muse readers! Karen from A Simple Cup of Tea once again. This week I want to talk about mindset and how it can influence anything and everything.

I have a preliminary audition for a competition tomorrow. I’m nervous and not really sure whether it is a good idea. I feel like my voice is in this in-between stage and it’s made me a bit self-conscious.

Today however I had a skype chat with my best friend and she told me that I needed to remind myself that yes, I can do this. I can sing a song in front of a jury and convince them with my interpretation. ‘It’s all in your head, darling,’ she said.

And the thing is, I know she’s right. I just need to remind myself regularly that I can do the things I want to do. It is so easy to get caught up in the little things that you ‘can’t’. We search for things sometimes that indicate that we’re not ready. Sometimes the point is to just start, not to wait for perfect circumstances. Circumstances have very little to do you with your own ability. I really needed that reminder.

What about you? What do you need to remind yourself you are able to do?


PS: The lovely digital print in the picture is by Echoes of Mercy. You can buy it here (or by clicking on the image) and Mandie will email you the image in high quality. Instant result!


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Hello English Muse readers! Karen from A Simple Cup of Tea once again. Where did those two first months of 2013 fly away to? I can barely believe it’s nearly March already.

I’ve been studying at Royal Welsh College for nearly two months now and even though it keeps me ridiculously busy I’m mostly just grateful to be here and be taught by some of the world’s best tutors.

I have found that even though I’m swamped with work and can barely think what task to tackle first just taking a moment to be grateful helps. It helps my mind still itself and helps me focus. (And just because we’re real here, yes I do go back into panic mode after that…)

What are you grateful for these days?

Picture: Pinterest

Categories: Decor | 1 Comment »

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