Thursday, 14 February 2013

Climbing The Stairway To Heaven



There's a cursory nod to St Valentine's Day in our house but that's all. 
In my experience its the couples at each other's throats all year round who bankrupt themselves on overblown gestures and padded cards the size of a house. I'm not anti-romance but I'd rather buy my bloke a present when I feel like it, not when Mr Hallmark tells me I should.


For the entire 20 years of our relationship we've made our own Valentine's cards, locking ourselves away from each other with all manner of salvaged bits and pieces. I made Jon's from a couple of recycled envelopes, a map of India torn from a 1981 copy of National Geographic and a Bakelite button. 


Jon's cooking tea later and I've kept from getting under his feet by sweeping the stairs (a rare event he's captured on camera).


 As the snow's been replaced by torrential rain, I thought I'd take advantage of a tidy space to pose for photos.


 The Wall of Misery in all its glory. I keep getting emails from people trying to sell me more, I only started collecting these creepy kids because I felt sad that they were forever left at jumble sales and car boots, unwanted and unloved. I'd never spend more than a couple of quid on the evil creatures. 


Jon made this lamp fitting from a charity shopped bird cage and some car booted chain. The black painted mirror was one of a pair from a jumble sale.


This brass candelabra came from a car boot sale.


 Not entirely dust-free. I can't get to these cobwebs, I'm such a slattern.

1970s Richard Shops maxi (Birthday present from the fabulous Liz), more £5 fake Litas and a heap of junk jewellery.

We covered the risers with retro-inspired wallpaper from a B&Q clearance bin and varnished it to stop tearing.


The treads & floorboards are stained Jacobean oak, The walls are painted concrete grey. We like our walls and floors austere, it's a pleasing contrast with the madness of our patchwork curtains, kitsch art and eclectic collections.


So annoyingly rock and roll. We've got more in the bathroom.


Whether or not you're celebrating have a happy Thursday. 
See you soon! 

78 comments:

Miss Rayne said...

The extent of our Valentine's day excess was a conversation last night as to whether the chocolates will be reduced at Tescos this afternoon.
Just about to go and find out....

silkpathdiary said...

Love the V cards! I've been so busy with the kids I actually forgot the day! But I agree, much prefer appreciation and even romance the other 364 days of the year. Not a good week so will think about a cinema treat some other time.
Love your dress and that photo of you sweeping is brilliant. I have one of me mowing the lawn for the same reason.
I love floorboards! Hoping to get some soon and to redecorate.

thorne garnet said...

Love the dress, looks like you could use it for crosswords.

Cobwebs? I got a few, too. If you leave them alone, they look arty.

Style Sud-Est said...

We are going out for supper tonight! a new place in the hood - It will be a treat for sure - I 'm the Walmark girl type, will go after my appointment at the Y for volunteering -

You got to love those old houses, i live in 100 year old house, and i have details like yours all over, i should do post too -

Lovely dress and you have again the fashionista shoes!

You are a rock star

Happy Valentine to you and Jon

Ariane xxxx

Tasha said...

Mel sent me truffles in the mail but that's the extent we usually go to. lol

I love your hallway, is it possible for it to be cheerful covered in sad-eyed children? Well I think it is! And I love how you've papered the risers of your chairs, really fun touch!

Helen Le Caplain said...

Blimey you even look goddess-like when cleaning the house.

If you saw a photo of me I'd either be in very old (and holey) tracksuit bottoms or pjyamas :/

Love the way you've decorated the staircase, and those light-fittings! :O

Have a good un (I hope he cooks a crackin tea) xxx

www.mancunianvintage.com

The Style Crone said...

The two of you are so creative and it's refreshing to see your Valentine's cards, which are so much more meaningful because of the time and care involved in each work of art. It looks like every corner of your well loved home is covered with your eye for the divine. The photo of you in your maxi on the wallpaper steps is one of my favorites for all time. And that's saying something, as you dazzle with every post.

Carina Rosenholm said...

I love the Picture of you sitting down on the stair! So gorgeus, and i wish that i had a stair that pretty, and the chandelet is Amazing!

Lucy in the Clouds said...

Ooh I love your stairs with the pink wallpaper, what a good idea! Also love your card for Jon, so lovely to include India somehow :) xx

Kelly said...

Me and Andy do cards, and it was my last this year as a Miss. :) But it's really the little things he does all year round that make me love him.
I love your stairs, and I blame a high ceiling for my cobwebs - can't reach them!
x

Lucy Nation said...

I love seeing your cowebbed ceiling and I love even more that you don't give a stuff about it, ha ha! It makes me feel so much better about my domestic slatternery. My ceilings are always covered in cobwebs and my ceilings aren't as high as yours! I love your handmade cards. I actually hate to buy cards these days for anything. I'd much rather give the personal touch. I really don't understand why anyone would leave those fabulous kitschy paintings behind, they are so cute and creepy (a great combination). Love seeing your house as always xxxx

Melanie said...

I adore your birdcage lampshade! Far better to house a bulb in, than a bird xxx

Love from Poppy said...

I think its wonderful that you make each other cards! I`ve made hubby a heart shaped coffee and walnut cake, but I do make cakes all the time anyway not just one day of the year and the tin was a Sainsbugs bargain.
Your outfit today is gorgeous!
Dx

tanaya said...

Gosh, I would love to explore your house Vix, Love all the fixtures plus the stairs. Your Maxi dress is all kinds of wonderful and I can't believe you have fake litas in two different colours for literally 1/100th the price, so fun!

Gaah don't you hate how nonsensical Valentine's day has become? LOVE your handmade cards, I always try to make my own cards and refuse to buy over-priced cheesy crap from greeting card makers. Hope you had a wonderful day. I LOVE you xxx

PinkCheetahVintage said...

I adore your homemade cards-- that is super romantic to me, special, meaningful, or whatever you want to call it. I actually LOVE the wall of kids. I have a weird obsession with big eyed vintage kid art-- maybe I'm creepy!!! (I'm sure I've been called worse!) lolzzzz I love the stained staircases and gray walls. We had gray walls in our old house and stained concrete floors-- we though it made for a nice contrast to all our mad art & furniture.

Liz said...

We don't celebrate either and I'm a bit fed up with the sugary sweet lovey dovey stuff! Adore your skirt - its a bit like a giant crossword puzzle!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Silhouette de Femme said...

Oh Vix you made lol as you sound like my husband! He hates man made fake holidays but chooses to give gifts when he feels like it! I just find todays maxi so colourful beautiful & thanks for sharing a little peak inside your home.

freckleface said...

I forgot it was V-day until I found his homemade card slipped inside the laptop this morning.

I think that might be one of my favourite photos of you brushing the stairs. I know we always see you looking so beautiful and glamorous, but in my head I never imagined that you would still look like that when doing menial tasks. Just wonderful.

Love the views of your house. xxxxx

TravellingNinjas said...

Love the cards - now why didn't I think of getting creative?I didn't buy my OH anything after he moaned last year though the dog did send him a card and buy him a Pot Noodle!

Kestrel said...

I agree about Valentine's Day - a gift another time feels much more appreciated and heart felt. I've bought my husband a huge bottle of Tabasco sauce but was too cheap to pay extra for delivery by today - but luckily he appreciates thriftiness :)

Ivy Black said...

We never do Valentine's Day and I don't think I've ever sent a Valentine card in my life! It's not that I'm anti...it just does't occur to me. I like your homemade ones though.
I love seeing inside your gorgeous home. The Wall of Misery is a triumph.
Loves ya.
Em
xxxxxxxx

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

We hid some love notes in our six year olds lunch box and that went down well, even though she couldn't read Daddys.
Your stairs look fabulous! I love to see inside your home. xx

Paula lalaboo said...

How I love your house posts being nosy and a bit interior obbsessed I love your cool and imaginative home. Yours stairs are a truimph and you decorating them as well as sweeping them looks good too. I am with you these days with the more calmer pallet on the walls I feel so much freer to decorate with other stuff than when you are dictated to by a wall colour.

That bird cage light is just a genius stroke! I love.

I love your cards to but its a bit
Valentine Shmalentine here, We don't bother it always seems a bit put on if we have celebrated in the past and now that's where its firmly left! Though it does crack me up when t'other is talking to someone about it and goes yeah we don't celebrate valentines - do we? (nervous look at me in case i have changed my mind! lol) No we don't though am hoping some of the overpriced flowers that they had in the supermarket are reduced tomorrow!

You both are so rock and roll. But never annoyling so!

Your post has cheered me up no end. Its been a long few weeks!


P x

Sacramento Amate said...

To me it is just another day, but I had some chocolate, though, hehehehehe.
Good excuse.
We also make our own presents for birthdays, mainly
I love to see your house.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Young at Heart said...

oooh you have the map to my heart.....love the cards....you do make a very glamourous cleaning lady....chocolate shaped cake has sorted me out!!x

Connie said...

I am so impressed that you actually clean house in a long dress and purple platforms! Once again you are an endless source of inspiration!
Connie*

Krista Gassib said...

Now I am missing you more than ever! I feel like I'm right back in that beautiful house of yours! The handmade cards you guys made each are really precious and to me what this holiday is really about, nothing wrong with celebrating LOVE! This dress is beautiful on you and I love the shot of you sitting on your stairs, I wanna find some killer wall paper to do this to our staircase, the hunt continues.

That gold record of Jon's still impresses me to no end...friggin rock star! I heart you everyday Vix, every friggin day!
XXOO

menopauselsupermodel said...

You are the most fabulously frocked "slattern" around!!!
love your and Jon's cards-so sweet!!
I love the birdcage light--how cool is that?? And the "wall of Misery" pictures are awesome.I've never seen artwork like that here in the states (mostly I see ugly Home Interiors deers and such)

What band was Jon in???

menopauselsupermodel said...

You are the most fabulously frocked "slattern" around!!!
love your and Jon's cards-so sweet!!
I love the birdcage light--how cool is that?? And the "wall of Misery" pictures are awesome.I've never seen artwork like that here in the states (mostly I see ugly Home Interiors deers and such)

What band was Jon in???

Ronnie (RR) said...

Your house looks lovely, great outfit and excellent cards. Happy Thursday x

rosyragpatch said...

I loved that you do the housework in such a fab frock. Your birdcage light is wonderful - what a clever idea.
I didn't notice the spiders' webs: they are part of normal life here. Soon after I was married, a helpful relative removed all the spiders' webs whilst I was at work. I cried when I got home because all the lovely spiders were gone.

edie pop said...

Happy Valentine's day!!!
The cards you and Jon made are beautiful and it's the best tradition ever!! I'm with a grumpy man who doesn't enjoy this day, so I'd love to get such a great treasure!
I almost died when I see your Wall of Misery, I love it!!!I started to buy sad eyed kids pictures and I hope to have a great collection like yours one day! The caged lamp is great too,I always said that, but I have to repeat it: your house is awesome!!And you too, you rock that maxi and the fake litas are a must have now!
Lots of Love xxxxxxx

Jet Kuhn said...

I love making cards too, much more personal. I did a cute one for Gwensday of Wednesday Addams which she loved! You look too glamourous to be doing housework... but have reminded me I need to sweep my steps too! XXX

Cute-Kitty-Caz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cute-Kitty-Caz said...

Oops, just deleted my comment by mistake!

For me, it's always a pure delight to sneak around your beautiful home and I feel much better now I've had my 'Wall of Misery' fix too - thank you Vix! You look gorg in your Maxi, I adore the flowers on it, yep, that's now on my list of 'wants' too! The Valentines cards you've made for each other are fab - you and Jon are so creative and arty! Home-made is so much better and far more personal than shop-bought (for which I'm guilty). C xx

Nikki @ Penelope Cat Vintage said...

Wow that dress is amazing - like a flower power crossword puzzle! The wall of misery is looking wonderful and we have the same pic of the girl in the nightie with the lantern.

Valentine's is completely ignored in our house, but I love your cards, much nicer than store-bought.

x

makinggooduse said...

Our 21st Valentine's Day together consisted of me sending a very small card via Air Mail (the cost of postage to Hong Kong is shocking, I've discovered) and P forgetting all about it until last weekend when it was too late to send a card from HK. We did have a lovely chat on the phone this morning though to make up for it. Love the cards you made - especially the heart one - much nicer than shop bought and totally personal.

Helga! said...

Darling, I did in fact get ridiculously pissed last night......gah...feeling a bit sorry for it this morning!
Ugh, yeah, we ignore V Day, it's love when you feel it in our house, which is pretty much every bloody day! Bugger Hallmark!
That frock is frigging GRAND! Totally awesome print and fit. You make a very glam cleaning lady, but I think you better sit down and have a drinkie, as it just seems far too energetic!
The stairs are the most beautiful I've ever seen!
Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

Ofelia said...

The story of Saint Valentines is one of love. It was about being able to get marry to the man you love even when the Roman Emperor Claudius did not wanted you too.
And as you so well put it, is not about the expensive gifts or dinners its about what you do for each other when there is no celebration to have.
I love your quote about "buying your bloke a present when you feel like it, not when Mr Hallmark tells me I should" is one that must be put into a non Hallmark card!!!!.

Reva said...

Your house rocks!
i used to always make my own valentines,too-but this year Mr. Hallmark won out.....
hugs
reva

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

I loved every bit of this post. Your card and Jon's are fabulous and I love your stairs. I may have to copy, our stair carpet is way past its best. Cobwebs on the ceiling you say? What you need is my feather duster with detachable retracting handle! It doesn't see much action at J and P Towers that's for sure. Slatterns for ever! xx

Valerie Beattie said...

Happy Thursday Vix, loving the wall of misery as ever, I have put my crying girl on the stairs and its just occurred to me its probably under your influence haha. Enjoy your dinner.
V
xxx

Linda Wolf said...

Right. ON. I agree with you totally, Vix.

Wonderful stairway. The wallpapered stairs are genius. The high ceilings are a curse when it comes to cleaning; got them myself. Searched forever to find a doo dah that would reach that high to clean them which still probably wouldn't make it if I weren't tall.

But with such beautiful and imaginative light fixtures and a unique artwork collection, who's looking at the dust, right? And with you standing there looking glorious, well... let's get our priorities straight, shall we? ;) Beauty transcends dust.

Happy Valentine's Day to you both.

Love
xxx

Hippy at Heart said...

really love your costum made lamp!

Trudie said...

I do love your odd photo shoot inside, I always find your home as interesting and exciting as your outfits. I just adore the wall of misery.

You are rocking that dress, and goodness women those platforms are hot.

Lucys Lounge said...

you look beautiful as usual . I seen a dress today and I said to myself that's vix's style. those clothes weren't for house work. lucyx

alison said...

Love the dress!!! Car broke down. Got some flowers made a card and bought DH's gifts from a bargain shop and a charity shop.
It was well an ordinary day for us. Vix were did u get those shoes they are so cool.

Janice Tutone said...

Vix, How I enjoyed the tour of your staircase! Your creativeness in not only clothing but house decor makes me envious. I love the idea of wallpaper on the risers and the photo of you sitting on the stairway.....you look like a young girl! You are beautiful. The gold record is very cool! XXX

simplyvintage said...

As Dave said to my youngest daughter yesterday when she asked if we were all ready for Valentines day - we show our love for each other every day, Like yourself and Jon we don't need a special day to do that.

I love the stairs I'd never have thought of using wallpaper so creatively - fabulous!

Alice said...

Valentines is quite a strange affair – love shouldn’t just be celebrated on one day, but all year round. Your wall of misery is such a delightful sight and your stairs totally rock! Your card to Jon is so apt xxx

Alex M said...

Your stairs are lovely and I have a suggestion about the chandelier you can't reach. I have a small cheap vac that I never use to pick things up. I use it only to blow on things (and to periodically terrorize my dog by blowing excess water off her after a bath). I use it to shoot air at dusty things I can't reach. Alas, my new home has terribly low ceilings, so there is no clearance for hanging light fixtures with my tall husband.

But my "reverse" shop vac allows me to blow out dust from under the couch, corners, above drapery rods, from ceiling corners, etc. Just be prepared to sneeze a bit...

the gardener's cottage said...

yes, i/we agree with the valentines stuff. i don't know how it goes over there but here...it's madness. i just love your staircase. those papered treads are gorgeous as are you. xo j

Patti said...

Oh I love your vintage home! I am nostalgic now for the cottage we recently left (about 88 years old, not as vintage as yours). I love all the details and the wonderful chandelier etc. And your dress too! So fab. xoxoxo

señora Allnut said...

we usually ignore valentine's day, although it's becoming massive!, and it was not even a traditional event here!
and love that you're sharing your home genuine details!, you look gorgeous in your dress and so high heeels!
besos

Vintage Coconut said...

Your stairway is amazing swept or not. I love the shiny wallpaper. I have been wondering for AGES what band Jon was in. I swear I have been itching to know for a couple years now. Pretty much whenever I see a gold record in your posts. *hahaha*
I love both of your light fixtures and your fantastic dress. You look great Vix. Happy Valentines day to you and your man.

Veshoevius said...

I find it funny that Jon's gold records are in the bathroom! Another fabulous maxi! Love the contrast of the cubes and flowers. And I like the bird cage lamp idea!

Vintage Coconut said...

p.s. I have cobwebs in my stairway too. I have no clue how to get at them. Obviously a extension duster would work but I don't own such a thing. =D

Miss Simmonds Says said...

I love you're house! There's just so much to look at... Everything has a story. Love the wallpaper on the stairs, great idea. Your handmade cards are brilliant. Handmade is great, though as long as I get a card on the day from Mike I don't mind. Love the fake Litas. You couldn't just get one pair! Fantastic dress too. Love love! Xxx

Louise Mc said...

We made our cards this year too, I've just been to lazy to blog them tonight. I will tomorrow though. I've started getting emails from people asking me if I want to buy their compacts, hmmmm! Love the wallpapered stairs. Xx

pastcaring said...

You domestic goddess you, sweeping the stairs!
Love having a nosy at your Wall of Misery, your fab wall-papered stairs and your birdcage light shade. And Jon's gold record, of course - can't forget you have full-on Rock Star fella!
Love the maxi from Liz, it's a beautiful print.
You know how I feel about enforced holidays/celebrations... Don't like to be told what to do! But your handmade cards are personal and heartfelt and lovely.
You're lovely too! xxxxxx

Rebecca said...

I love it when people paper their actual stairs instead of carpet, I am planning on doing it when we swap our stair case round. And we don't even go as far as cards, as like you we don't let someone else dictate when we show our feelings for each-other xx

Panty Buns said...

I love the colour of your lipstick and of the floral design stair risers. The flowers on your skirt and your home's decor are lovely. I hope you have a wonderfully Happy Valentine's Day irregardless of whether you feel like celebrating it. I enjoyed all the photos and the tour. :)

Kezzie said...

I am soooooooooo stealing that map idea! I've still got 100 atlas pages left to use up!!! Beautifully done! The wall of misery looks positively cheerful now! I do like the way your stairs have those pink florals- is that paint or wallpaper?!?!
You look very pretty by the way!

Val Sparkle said...

The stairs are wonderful! And your valentine cards are so inventive. We pretty much skip Valentine's Day and wait for our wedding anniversary in 10 days.

Your Wall of Misery could be called the Wall of Eyedolatry. (groan)

Ulla-Marie Nilsson said...

You really have a personal home. I do not know what is the norm in the UK, but in Sweden there are two styles. Shabby chic and of course IKEA style. Most home have the same style at the same time which is bad for the environment and it provides no diversity. I'm lousy when it comes to interior design, but I like to admire other people's creativity as long as it is not about buying new new new.

FASHION TALES said...

Ha, you're so funny Vix! Love these personal touches in your place. Well, that birdcage is also great, and I love the creepy lil' kids on the wall, everyone needs love! xx Have a fab w/e lovely!

Fiona said...

After recently reading how a fellow blogger goes through her house like a whirling dervish every weekend with buckets of hot soapy water I'm relieved to see I'm not the only one who doesn't! Hoorah for cobwebs and to the sisterhood of slatterns.
Love the frock of course and seeing around your gaff. Great St Val's cards btw.

Forest City Fashionista said...

No Valentine's Day celebrating over here, other than posting a rather risque-looking vintage card on my blog. I love the pink and white wallpaper on the stairs. You should have your own home design show - I would definitely watch!

Little Blue Mouse said...

We don't celebrate either, leave it to school kids and secret admirers!

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

We always semi celebrate Valentines, but just with a card and little gift, but we got together just before so it's around an anniversary too. It's sad if romance is saved for one day a year, but I like to think we always make an effort and this is just an excuse for extra fun. I always make gingerbread hearts for the kids each year - same as we always celebrate Chinese new year, St Davids day and Channukah, it's a nice break from the norm.

More house porn, love it - especially your stairs and the coloured glass in the window.
xx

Loulou said...

I love the cards you guys made for one another. I also love your staircase. That wallpaper on the risers is such a great idea. Funny that Jon thought you sweeping the stairs was a picture-taking worthy occasion!

Please may I? said...

Loving the cards vix, we like you guys make ours too. So much nicer than a shop brought one.

X x

CityScape Skybaby said...

I like romantic gestures but I don't like the pressure of Valentine's Day that you're supposed to be romantic, even if you're not feeling it. Pat and me are much more likely to give each other prezzies when we come across something special that we know the other would like rather than for any particular day. Loved having another nosy round your house Vix, and the cards you and Jon made for each other are lovely, much nicer than just buying one. xx

delia hornbook said...

Well i for one love your wall of misery and have some of the same ones as you do i think they look fabulous all together. Love your stall makeover to. And you look gorgeous as always. Loving the cards to i said to John not to bother i dont believe in giving just for one day it should be the same every day of the year its just a waste of money. But making cards is a great and much more loving thing to do. Enjoy, dee xxx

The Pugnacious Vegetarian said...

I love the Wall of Misery! I can't wait until I am finished with redoing our attic so I can dig my sad eyed kids out of storage. Until then, I will enjoy looking at your wall!

Misfits Vintage said...

The wall is always a joy to behold - THE WALLPAPERED STAIRS BLOW MY MIND!!! You are divine in that fun maxi and the action shot of you sweeping is fab.

Love you more than miserable children!

Sarah xxx

Miss Rascal said...

OMG! All the pictures in the stairs! So cool! My friend Izzy in NY would be so jealous.

The Charlatans, bloody h***, you got me nostalgic for sure! :D

MakiMaki Vintage said...


Beautiful! You have the best taste!!

xo Noelle
MakiMaki Vintage