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Spotlight on... Naomi Vona, vintage photo artist

Aren't these beautiful? They were a Christmas present to Declan and me from his sister, and I absolutely love them.

They are collages created on original old black and white photos, and are the work of Dublin-based Italian artist Naomi Vona.

Vona uses different materials to create her doctored photos; these use stickers and washi tape. But she also uses pens, acrylics, highlighters, paper and found materials to alter the vintage snaps she collects.

Here are some more of her pieces, which you can find for sale on Etsy, as well as other art sites including Rise Art and Art Finder. She's prolific, it was hard to choose just a few favourites. I love this one.

Before & after: garden makeover

It's been a very long time since my last post, for which apologies. In the interim, I've got married and done up a house, as well as generally working full-time. 

I'll dig out some suitable wedding pix and post those soon, but meanwhile – there was also the garden makeover, which came about thanks to the wedding generosity of our friends and family. I'm going to start with the (almost) finished version.

It started life as a to-scale drawing done by clever Declan, my now husband.

I'm dreaming of a zen bedroom

This has to be the most drawn out room pimp ever – and the changes weren't even that dramatic. But it's done, and our sleep space now feels calmer, zenner and softer underfoot.

Here's how it looked before:

Kind of busy, right? It was always a temporary arrangement; the bridge between the long period when the room – the biggest in the house, and an ensuite – was rented out, and the period when it would be transformed into something new when my boyfriend moved in, the lodgers moved out and everything got switched around.

Christmas lights – should they stay or should they go?

Every year we seem to accumulate more fairy lights – this year we acquired some gloriously garish multi-coloured ones from an ancient box of Christmas decorations that belonged to my gran.

And, every year, as the decorations come down, I find it hard to part with the joyful sparkle of a string of festive bulbs. Well... should these ones stay or go back in the box until December 2016?