Saturday snap shots


Oh I nearly missed posting my Saturday snap shots.... We went up to our little caravan in Suffolk last Wednesday and I've now completely lost touch with what day we're on (kinda the whole point)! So this will probably ping up on Bloglovin on Sunday. Going to pop to Southwold tomorrow for coffee at my favourite bakery The Two Magpies. Have a fab bank hol everyone.

                                                         Emma x


Styling The Seasons.

Styling The Seasons, August.

Hello lovelies,

Welcome to my August Styling The Seasons post!
I'm so chuffed as I grew this, this year from a tuber.
I love this time of year when we're between seasons, i'm calling it 'summtumn', it's when summer hasn't finished but autumn is sneaking up and you can feel it!

Now I usually prefer pastel shades but I think this time of year calls for hot colours!

I've styled my bedside table quite simply by just laying the mirror down to reflect some light upwards, and just keeping out my favourite bangle and lippy!

I think the shade of this dahlia (called Avignon, in case you were wondering) looks absolutely stunning against my walls painted in 'Arsenic' by +Farrow & Ball 

I love joining in every month with lots of fellow bloggers and IGers to celebrate the seasons.
#stylingtheseasons is hosted by the talented duo Carlotte from Lotts and Lots blog, and 
Katy from Apartment Apothecary blog, and anyone can join in. Hop over to their blogs to see how.

Enjoy the rest of August everyone.

Emma x


Whimsical Wednesday.

Welcome to my 'Whimsical Wednesday'.
I've still an abundance of sweet peas blooming in my garden!
I'm picking them every other day to encourage them to keep going, they smell gorgeous!

I grow them from seed every year, this year I think I grew thirty plants so it's no wonder I've still got loads.

I love having them all around the house, brightening up the rooms and filling everywhere with beautiful scent.

Have a lovely week!

Emma x



Watercolour labels

I've done it! I've finally mastered a snippet of code and designed my own labels for my blog! Guess what? They work too! lol


I'm thrilled to bits! Ok I went a bit nerdy for a while and had my head stuck in a book, and lost nights  upon nights of sleep, but it was so worth it!

As an artist/designer I thought it was crazy that I hadn't actually designed my blog, alright I had all the input, but I had to get a lovely lady to do it all.

I find it so frustrating when I can't do things and will not rest until I've achieved what ever it is (call me crazy).

I'm now going to work on getting some of my original watercolour paintings adapted for web use.
Wish me luck on that one.

Emma x



Saturday Snap Shots

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!
Here are my favourite snaps from this week!

Emma x



Choosing a name for your blog

Choosing the right name for your blog

Sorry, no pictures in this post.
I want to talk about choosing the right name and when to let go.

For quite a while now I've been thinking of changing my blogs name. People tell me I'm crazy as I have built up a good reputation with 'The vintage good life' and why change something that works...

Whilst the above is true, and my name has been part of my soul for the few years I've been blogging, I now feel it no longer reflects my actual blog, and the direction I want to take my blog in.

I've been considering my posts, my hobbies, what I'm really passionate about and what makes me tick.

A really helpful resource has been the bookazine that +Mollie Makes  produced on Blogging. I've read it that many times it's starting to fall apart. It's insightful and inspiring.

When I chose 'The vintage good life' way back, it did reflect my personality, it still does, but I didn't consider its longevity... Giving the blog/my brand room to grow.

I have some tips for getting it right (now i've learnt the long way round), I hope you find them helpful.

*Think of what you are really passionate about (this is probably what you will blog about).
*Break that down into fragments- (examp Photography: styling, whimsical, light, modern, bright)
*Try writing down some words that reflect these things on pieces of paper and play around with them.
*Think of branding, will your name evolve with you? will it always describe what your blog (you) are about.
*Sleep on it for a while, does it still sound as good a week later, maybe you can elaborate on it more.
*finally check your name is available. Don't worry if it isn't, this just means you go back to the drawing board and have a play on names a bit longer.

I have chosen a name, it's sitting there waiting to see if I'll use it or not.

I'd love to know your thoughts and opinions on this subject. Has anyone changed theirs, or thinking of doing so? Is anyone sitting there agonising over choosing the right one? Let me know.

 Emma x


Watercolour Blogger Header

Hello everyone,

I just love learning new things to improve the look of my blog (I'm trying to learn code at the minute.... Uber hard).

Anyway, i've recently set up an Etsy store where you can purchase some of my stock photos, and I'm also producing some designs that are easily adaptable for blogger.

Shown above is my 'Mint Watercolour Blogger Header' image which you can buy and download from my Etsy store Vignette & Violet.

It downloads as a jpeg without the watermark, and you can add text over the top.
It looks really good on Bloggers 'Simple' template.

I'm also going to be producing some dainty watercolour pictures for web/blog design too.

Emma x




So i'm a day late with this post as it's meant to be 'Whimsical Wednesday' lol not Thursday, (school holidays always leave me dazed and confused!)

Anyway, here are some little shots I photographed for my 'Whimsical Wednesday'.
I don't know if anyone else does this on their blog? But I thought it would be a nice feature to break up the week, (and give me more excuses to play with flowers).

I hope you are all having a lovely week!

Emma x

Photos taken on my Nikon/Fuji Fine Pix Pro S3 DSLR (Nikon lens).



Non alcoholic pimms recipe


Non alcoholic pimms? I Know right, why would you do that?... But trust me, this recipe will come in so handy! I've used it that many times, think pregnant friends and teen parties...

My little girl has just had a mocktail making party and my non alcoholic pimms went down a storm! Anyhoo less rambling, here we go.

You will need all the usual fruit- Strawberries, oranges etc. Mint is optional, cucumber is crucial! Lemonade, and the secret ingredient.... Balsamic vinegar!

Now the cucumber and the balsamic are key! They are what brings this recipe together!

Chop everything as normal and top up the jug with lemonade, now add about a tablespoon of balsamic and give it a muddle.

Adjust balsamic amount to taste.

Try it, let me know what you think.

Emma x


Lilly's Birthday Tea Party.

Time for tea!

There are few things more pleasurable than sitting down with loved ones and enjoying an afternoon tea!

My youngest daughter absolutely loves it to, (now where does she get that from I wonder).
So for my little Lilly-Mae, only the best china was selected for her eleventh Birthday.

I think I have a little stylist in the making here, as she chose everything, (or maybe she's just inherited her mothers control freak problem as well). 
From picking the garden flowers to dressing the table she did it all!

I just wanted to share a few snaps with you of her day, she says I'm allowed until she becomes a better photographer than her mum! 'Hmphh Cheek'...

We've got the kids party tonight. Pizza & Mocktail making!
Wish me luck!

Emma X



Easy plum jelly recipe


Hello everyone,

It's foraging time again at The Haven, yay! And I have a secret.... I'm addicted to making jam! 
I started making jam's and other preserves a few years ago when Mr C brought home a glut of plums from one of his clients. We were never going to eat them all, so this turned out to be my first ever go at making jelly.

It's so easy! And as a basic rule of thumb, the quantities are 1kg of jam sugar, 1kg fruit and one litre of water. We picked up these lovely mirabelle plums on our walk today, they are my absolute favourite!
Here is the recipe I use to make plum jelly.

1kg fruit
1kg jam sugar
1litre water

You will need- heavy bottom pan, jam sieve/muslin, large bowl, sterilised jars, saucer kept in fridge or jam thermometer.

I take two days to make this jelly.

Firstly wash and stone the fruit and put in the pan, then add the water, bring to a rolling boil then simmer for ten minutes, mush the fruit with a potato masher then turn off the heat and leave to infuse and cool. When cold, pour through the muslin over a large bowl, don't squeeze the fruit through as you will end up with cloudy jelly, just let it drip ( I leave it overnight).

Secondly have your jars sterilised. Pop them in the dishwasher on hot, or use boiling water or a sterilising tablet.

Put the clear plum water back into a heavy pan and add the sugar, heat slowly whilst stirring till all the sugar has dissolved then turn up the heat to a rolling boil. If you have a jam thermometer, pop it in, it will show you the setting point when it comes up to temperature. If you don't have a thermometer (although I recommend you do), you can use the cold saucer method. Spoon some jelly mix onto the saucer and pop back in the fridge for a minute, if the jelly is ready it will wrinkle when pushed, if not, keep boiling till you get there.

In the beginning (when I didn't have a thermometer) I got used to the look of the jelly, I'd boil it then reduce the temperature, then boil again until I noticed it had turned into a syrup like consistency.

Just remember to never leave it! And it is uber melting hot so do not dunk your finger in it. And if at first you don't succeed, try again!

Good luck, let me know how it goes!

 Emma x




Oh my, I just had to share my latest +Laura Ashley Picture with you all.
It's just sooo pretty!!


I've been a massive LA fan for years, and fell in love with this picture of peonies from their AW15 range.

What do you think?

I love how it sits against the pale blue of my walls!

Emma x




  Hello lovelies,

Just wanted to share this pic with you. I'd never planted dahlia's before and this year I went crazy for them! I bought about 9 tubers in the spring and started them in tubs before planting them out at the beginning of June. I'm thrilled to bits with them! I snipped these three off as there are lots more buds coming and want the plant's to concentrate their energies into creating even more.

Anyhoo I'd planned to spend the day in the garden with the children so let's hope it brightens up.

                  Emma x

Photo from iPhone.


Stock Photography

Hello lovelies.

I am completely addicted to Instagram!
I love snapping away with my iPhone & posting daily pics, it's a great little community!

I've been on IG for a little while now, and have had quite a bit of photography work from it.
Many of you have also very politely asked to use my pictures for blogs and web pages which is great!

To make this now an easier option i've opened an Etsy store Vignette & Violet where you can purchase some of my stock photography that I have shot on my DSLR

I will be updating the store for quite some time as I have a lot of photo's!

All images on my store are available for instant download.

Emma x


Alpine planter.


             Hello lovelies,

    I spent last Sunday revamping my little area under the wisteria (which is having a second flush! So chuffed). My garden furniture was looking a little bit dull and boring so I took some cans of white spray paint to it, (4 to be precise. Mr C thought it would of probably been cheaper to buy a new patio set.... So missing the point!).


 Anyhoo, to complete the setting, off I went to the garden centre to look for inspiration. I knew the colour scheme I wanted and already had the shallow pot. I fell in love with these little alpine plants, who  wouldn't? There is something so cute about miniature flowers!


I planted them in a 60-40 grit to compost mix, then topped up a further 2" with more grit. I love the white and purple together. It all looks so pretty under the wisteria now, a top spot for taking tea... 
or gin! 

                           Emma x

Pics snapped on my iPhone and edited on IG.




Hello everyone.

So my little family and I have just come home from a lovely holiday on the broads.
Oh we did see some amazing pads!
I want to move! But, I'm forever looking at dream homes, and really, I love ours to bits! So don't really want to go anywhere else just yet...

Anyhoo rambling over.

Grab a cuppa!

I have news!

Most of you may know that Mr C and I are keen bakers, and in our spare time I make cakes and he bakes yummy breads.

Now I've also run 'Chintz 'n' China', vintage china rental and country event styling since 2012, and have thrown many a pop-up tea party!

And..... I'm just in talks about having a permanent venue in which to host our pop-up teas.
It will be in a little village in Bedfordshire if I can get the go ahead.
We will still continue to host tea and cake garden days at The Haven, but wouldn't it be wonderful to have somewhere to go to in the wet weather!

Please cross your fingers for me, and if you would like to know more, and sign up for secret pop up tea parties, then you can visit 'The Secret Tea Room's' blog here. 

Emma x




July went by in a pretty pastel flash! Always such a busy month for me as I try and get as much designing near to completion (always easier said than done) before the children break up from school.
And I also celebrate my Birthday right in the middle of July so I'm busy trying to catch up with family and friends, and sneaking in some yummy lunches in one of my favourite Ampthill restaurants 'The Hide', gotta love a restaurant that serves cake and wine together in the middle of the day lol.

Plus my eldest daughter had her first mini prom. She looked to beautiful and made me so proud! It was worth all the drama in the end.

So I've tried to compress July into little squares, here are some of my favourite shots.....


                   Emma X 

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