Making a house a home (with Canvas Design)

“Home is not a place, it’s a feeling”

Back last year, Knutts Towers had some major building works done.

We live a 3 bedroom house but, with the arrival in 2014 of our 3rd mini monster Ben, we needed more space. Because of where we live being in the London commuter belt, it’s super expensive and making that transition to the next step up in houses was just completely bonkers. We would gain another bedroom for the princely sum of about £750,000, and not a lot else. So, we bit the bullet and went through the hell of building work. I won’t lie, it was utter pantaloons. We lived in whilst it was done and despite the builders trying their best to make it as livable as possible, it sucked. Thick dust everywhere, cold, no privacy, chaos, mess and many tears (mine mostly) on an almost daily basis for 15 weeks. Still, as the old cliche goes, “it was worth it in the end”.

Our house still isn’t massive, quite the opposite to be honest, but each of the boys has their own bedroom, our kitchen is much  larger and we have an extra toilet and room for a large american fridge freezer…


Very important when you have a house full of boys…

We are still in the process of decorating the inside. We have so much to do it’s depressing actually, but it’ll get done in time. The main bits are done, it’s just some painting, new carpets upstairs and finishing touches really. That said, downstairs is nearing completion so I am beginning to put my more homely bits in down there like photos, ornaments and anything else that catches my eye!

The other week, I was contacted by Canvas Design to see if I would like a special, metallic looking, black and white canvas made (it’s called Silverada) using one of my photos. As many of you may know, I love to take a photo (or 80!) especially when we are away on holiday, so I have accrued quite a collection of images now. As soon as I read  the email, I knew which photo I would choose. It was one from our holiday to Northumberland at Easter this year. It was taken over on Holy Island where they have boat storage houses which look like upturned boats. It’s such an unusual thing to see and they are dotted all along the coastline of the island. I managed to capture a photo with a crow sat on top of one of them and it looked super as a black and white image. Here is the original…


 The ordering process was really easy and their website is very simple to use.

Just choose how you want your image printed (canvas, Silverada, montage, phone case etc) upload your image and order!


Their products make wonderful Christmas gifts and I know I would be over the moon to receive something from them as a pressie.

You can visit their website and browse their products, here.

Once my canvas arrived, in superb packaging may I add to avoid any damage in transit, I was thrilled with what I saw. My original black and white image had really been bought to life on a canvas thanks to the Silverada effect and I chose a spot on our living room wall for it to live. It came with all the relevant fixtures and fittings in order to be able to hang it and it is just the right size to fit in the space I had selected for it. I love being able to look at it and have all the memories of that holiday come flooding back (even if most of the memories of that holiday are of my 8 year old and my mum being VERY sick with the worst flu bug ever for almost the entire time…)

The surface is textured and gives off a dull shine which really illuminates the white colours and brings out the black and grey.

What do you think? Does it look good?





I love it…

#capturingtheday – Week 8 Roundup

It’s the end of the 8th week for our Instagram community linkup called,#capturingtheday which means it’s time for our 8th roundup!

I can’t quite believe it!

8 weeks of fabulous photos and we’ve enjoying looking at each and every one of them. I know I say it every week, but you really are a talented bunch out there.

We got home at 10pm last night after an epic (almost) 16 hour drive home from our holiday in the Isle of Skye. Sorry for all my holiday spam but I couldn’t help myself. The beauty of this little island was too fantastic not to share with you all. I shall do a  post about it all to bore you a bit more very soon.

I’m going to start adding in my own personal favourite photo of the week from here on, just because I also like to look back on my week. Here is my fave photo from our week away. It’s of the coral beach at Claigan. Most of the beaches on Skye are cobbles or rocks, but this one has a small outcrop that is made of coral (well, technically it is crushed coraline algae/seaweed) which is stunning to look at and walk along. It crunches under your feet and the water is as clear as you’d find on any tropical beach.

Coral Beach at claigan, skye

 We, once again, had so many wonderful photos this week capturing everything from pumpkin patch frolics, half term chill out days, Halloween festivities to family holidays away. It’s been fabulous seeing what you’ve all been getting up to and all the photos tagged certainly captured the normal ‘every day’ moments beautifully.

So, without further ado, here are my 4 featured images for this week’s #capturingtheday

An epic hazy Autumn landscape, kids enjoying a spot of apple picking, a dog walk through an intriguing place and a fab (and maybe slightly drunken) night with friends…

#capturingtheday week 8 roundup

Top left: Hot Pink Wellingtons

(Visit their blog: Hot Pink Wellingtons)

Top right: Pink Pear Bear

(Visit their blog: Pink Pear Bear)

Bottom left: Mum Muddling through

(Visit their blog: Mum muddling through)

Bottom right: The don’t want to be working mum

(Vist their blog: The don’t want to be working mum)

Yvonne over at Double the Monkey Business has chosen 4 stunners as well…


Top left: Run, jump, scrap

Top right: Babies, biscuits, booze

Bottom left: Max and Kai the blog

Bottom right: The Frenchie Mummy

You can see Yvonne’s full roundup post here.

Congratulations to all of you and thanks again to everyone who linked up.

Do spread the word and join in again this week!

All photos are welcome. Baking, crafts, days out, sunsets, tantrums,  poonamis, glasses brimming with gin or wine, well earned nights out for the parents, whatever it is you’ve captured during the week.

 To finish, here is my favourite photo by my partner in crime for #capturingtheday, Yvonne over at Double the Monkey Business


Yvonne and her family had a lovely trip to the circus this week. She couldn’t take photos of it but she did get a sneaky one of her boys with their daddy enjoying the show. I love their faces and who doesn’t love a glow stick?!

You can find Yvonne on Instagram, here.

You can read her blog, here.

See you all next week for our week 9 roundup!


Life is Knutts on Instagram ~ Double the Monkey Business on Instagram

#capturingtheday – a new Instagram # community with Double the Monkey Business

#capturingtheday – the community # for everyone!

Myself and the wonderful Yvonne over at Double the Monkey Business are very excited to tell you all that we are teaming up to bring you all a new Instagram # community called #capturingtheday
If you’re over on Instagram, do join in by using the hashtag #capturingtheday on your photos and then, every Sunday, myself and Yvonne will choose 4 photos each to feature in our #capturingtheday roundup!
All photos are welcome, food, drink, happy kids, angry kids, happy parents, angry parents, places you’ve been, crafts, anything goes!
Just share with us your day.
You can read more about it by reading Double the Monkey Business‘s very comprehensive post below!
We hope to see you all there!

Hear all about #capturingtheday here!

 Gem and Yvonne
#capturetheday (2)


“Today, let’s be adventurers…”

I love family time.

Ok, let me elaborate, not the kind of family time I spend cooking, cleaning, washing, wiping toilets and pooey bottoms, I mean quality family time, like going for days out and spending time exploring and discovering together.

Life is so hectic for us all, it is all to easy to let time and weekends pass us by. So this weekend, I made a conscious effort to not let it slip past us and I had organised a few things to do, as a family.

We went for dinner (courtesy of the wonderful Thaikhun, Guildford), we went for an evening walk to Guildford Castle, we spent a day exploring London and finished it off with a roast dinner with my parents and family. Pretty darn perfect.

The photo for this week’s #PointShoot that I have chosen is one I took of the gardens at Guildford Castle. They are just spectacular at the moment and, if you’re passing near there, I can thoroughly recommend a trip there for a walk around. The borders are looking glorious and there are lots of things for the kids to discover and explore there. It felt like we were in Alice in Wonderland walking down the winding path through the gardens which were full of precisely manicured red blooms.

Just magical…

 Enlight1 (49)

(As a side note to this I just wanted to mention, one of my best friends, friends, asked for my help at the weekend to start a blog. Of course, I said yes and I went to give her a hand. We had a lovely morning there chatting, drinking tea and giggling. Her name is Lea and she has started writing a blog called, 8 months dead and still living. As the title suggests, Lea is sadly living on borrowed time, mind you, we all are if truth be told… She has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, at the age of 39, and she has started her blog as a way of helping process what is happening in her life and to help clear her mind a little. Many of us will understand how cathartic writing can be, so I truly hope this little space on the internet will help Lea share her experiences with others and allow us to share in her life journey. If you’re able to visit her Facebook page and give it a like, you can stay up to date with her posts when she is feeling up to writing them. She is a wonderful, strong, caring and fun-filled woman with a lot to say. Here’s to you Lea. Stay focused. Stay positive. We will be here reading and supporting you).


You Baby Me Mummy

My entry for this weeks #pointshoot

My entry for this weeks #pointshoot is this little gem of a photo of my toddler, Ben.

Sadly the weather has taken a nosedive the last couple of days, but before then, it had been pretty glorious.

This photo captures my toddler during an afternoon in the garden with the sprinkler on, such fun. And it meant the house stayed tidy as the Tasmanian Toddler was outside almost all day. Win, win! 😉


You Baby Me Mummy