Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sienna's room and a house inspection...

Three months ago we farewelled Brisbane and moved to Melbourne for my husband's work. We left the kids for a day with their grandparents and flew down for a whirlwind 7 hours of looking at rental properties. I must admit that I wasn't overly excited about the prospect of renting again, but we ended up stumbling on a cute little house with freshly painted white walls, and most days, surrounded by all our 'stuff', I forget that we don't own this house. That is, until I received a call the other day saying that would be having our first house inspection this week. Yikes!

I have spent most of the morning cleaning and putting away a few things in Sienna's room, so I thought I would take some photos while it is spotlessly tidy. The only carpet in the house is found in the childrens' bedrooms. It is a dark greyish brown and is not something I would have chosen myself, so I have tried to ignore it. Clare and I were discussing the other day what a mistake it can be to be guided by the existing colours of a rental property (a mistake we have both made in the past!) As this will not be long term accommodation for our family, I do not want to be left with lots of soft furnishings, bedding and accessories in a colour scheme that I don't adore.

For Sienna's room I have been inspired by the beautiful Liberty bedspread I bought a while ago. I really love the soft muted colours with the dashes of red to liven things up.

You might remember this little antique wardrobe that used to live in my son's old room in our Brisbane house. It is now the perfect place to hang Sienna's little dresses and display all the bits and pieces she collects.

This dressing table is a recent purchase from the fabulous Camberwell markets and is just what every little girl needs.

Now... back to wiping fingerprints off the wall!

Monday, July 26, 2010

postcards from the Pyrenees..

Whew... now that the Tour de France has finished I can start getting some proper sleep again! For someone who can only last for about two minutes on a bike before collapsing in a wobbly heap, my fascination with "Le Tour" may seem strange to some. The intricacies involved with the types of bicycle used, gear changes, heart rate zones and the like totally pass over my head, but I love learning about the team tactics and watching these super-human men race over impossible courses. Does it help that they race through some of the most beautiful countryside around... absolutely! As the camera zooms in on another gorgeous chateau, I am mentally moving my furniture in. And the amazing gardens have me green with envy. As they pedal over the high mountains of the Alps and the Pyrenees, I picture myself having a nice picnic on the slopes in summer, or skiing down them in winter. How soon can I get on the plane?!

Mum recently visited the Pyrenees on the Spanish side and sent back these gorgeous photos.

Apparently the wild flowers were just incredible.

The guest house Mum and Dad stayed in had a fabulous view.

Can't you just imagine spending an hour or so here?

Even the cows are pretty!

When are you booking your trip?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

rainbow party invitations...

I bought a layered skirt in rainbow colours for my daughter, Chloe, a few years ago and I was hardly able to get her to wear anything else until it faded into pastel shades a few months ago. I have lost count of the number of rainbow pictures she has drawn me and she is drawn to all things multicoloured, so this year we are having a rainbow party to celebrate her 6th birthday.

Here are the invitations - small strips of ribbon threaded through some card-stock in rainbow order which I then cut and stitched into a tag shape. The party details were printed on the back with a line in red, orange, yellow etc. The games, food and decorations are still in the planning stages although, with only 9 days to go, I had better get busy! It won't be a chore though as I love planning parties for my children, although I think I would be more productive if I could get the "I Can Sing A Rainbow" song out of my head!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

pure and simple...

Here is a 3-d blossom artwork that we have made-to-order, in a extra large 72cm x 72cm frame, for a lovely lady who visited us at the Boutique Markets. Created from hundreds of white hearts, each hand-cut, we love the simplicity of the white on white has. This design is one of our most popular and whenever we make one like this we adore the way each one of these blossom artworks takes on a life of it's own, and no two are ever exactly the same.

If you are interested in purchasing a blossom artwork (available in different colours and frames up to 100cm squared) contact us for more details.

Monday, July 19, 2010

a woollen table runner...

I'm a sucker for a freebie! I bought the August edition of Madison magazine the other day as it came with a free scarf in a nice warm camel colour. I opened the packaging on my dining table, and once I spread it out to have a proper look, I changed my mind about wearing it and decided (for now at least) to use it as a table runner! I love the way the texture really 'warmed up' my dining room and it even has a little pocket at either end which you could tuck something into. I probably should have paired my new runner with some winter-y branches to complete the look, but I couldn't resist these cheery Narcissus which make me smile whenever I walk past them.

P.S. Why do photos show up all the creases that you never even noticed before you whipped the camera out?!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

fattening felt food...

Over the last few weeks I have been spending a few quiet evenings making some felt food for the daughters of some friends. If you read our blog regularly, you might remember a couple of posts about my love of sewing with felt. I adore hand-sewing and it is always nice to do something creative that has nothing to do with mondocherry. Making little felt food treats is totally addictive and unfortunately I seem to enjoy making the sweet variety far more than the healthier option of fruits and vegetables!

My daughter, Sienna, loves playing in her own little felt food 'bakery' and often tucks a few jam tarts or a biscuit or two in a bag for later - it is not unusual for us to come across felt food in the (real) kitchen freezer or cutlery drawer. At least they are truly a guilt-free snack!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

cows, bats and sparkly hats...

Today is the last day of the school holidays and I am not looking forward to getting back into the routine of lunch boxes, homework and pick-ups and drop-offs. The two weeks the kids had off whizzed by very fast, and while we did a few activities that cost a bit of money like seeing the new Toy Story movie (I cried!) and taking a ride of the Wheel of Brisbane, most of our fun came very cheaply indeed.

Down at Joy's place in Melbourne, a new pack of felt tipped pens meant her budding artists produced lots and lots of drawings, including these gorgeous cows by Harvey, aged 4.

At my house, sparkly party hats from the supermarket gave my girls hours of fun choreographing dances to everything from Taylor Swift to Abba.

But probably the bargain of the holidays was the purchase of these two very worn table tennis bats that my boys bought for themselves at the at one of the op-shops I dragged them in to. With a couple of the trestle tables we use for markets, and a roll of masking tape, the deck became the venue for long games of table tennis. The boys only came back in the house for food and drink... not a bad 50c worth!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

my grey bedroom...

When we first moved into this house just over a year ago, the whole top floor was painted a fairly bright shade of blue. It wasn't an ugly colour, but there was just too much of it, the paintwork was in terrible condition, and it made the rooms (living, dining, main bedroom) seem smaller than they were.

Before.. with paint samples, laundry and all!

Ever so slowly, we have been repainting and the very last bit of blue has finally been banished from our main bedroom. I really wanted the room to feel very tranquil, but with it receiving a lot of morning and early afternoon light, white would have been just too bright. So we chose a soft grey which I am really happy with as it allows me to accessorise with almost any colour and also highlights our beautiful Laura Ashley bed and white furniture.

At the moment the only real colour in the room comes from my necklaces which are hung from tiny nails on the wall. I find that when they are out I actually remember to wear them! Similarly, I have my favourite perfumes on the dresser, otherwise they get forgotten in the morning rush.

I have decorated this wall with some op-shop doilies which I stiffened by soaking them in a mixture of pva glue and water and then drying flat. I plan to add especially pretty ones as I find them and they (as well as my husband) are a lovely thing to wake up to!

I've had these lamp bases from Freedom for a while now, but planned to cover some shades with a beautiful fabric. I changed my mind when I found these grey shades in K-Mart for a few dollars each as they compliment the darker grey of the zinc letters (from Ici Et La) perfectly.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

lamp before and after...


I love these photos Joy sent me of the makeover she gave to an old lamp that she bought from the Camberwell Markets. Some of you may love the original look (pictured below) but it just wouldn't have suited the classic/beachy style of her dining room. Isn't it amazing what a bit of paint and a new shade can do for a lamp?


Sunday, July 4, 2010

green fingered kids...

Perfect sunny winter weather here in Brisbane made it a great weekend for pottering about in the garden. On Friday afternoon, I braved a plant nursery with all six kids and bought each of the five bigger ones their own plant-pot and gave them free run in the seedling section. Two hours later, we left with herbs and chillies for the boys and pretty flowers for the girls. They had a fantastic time potting them up and have been giving them plenty of love and attention since. If plants grow better having been sung to, stroked, watered every five minutes, and moved around the deck, I will be able to tell you! We will have to work out a plan to keep the possums away - obviously our local resident has a love of spicy foods as the chilli was just about chewed through overnight!

These pretty "double Calibrachoa" were my purchase for a new garden bed next to our deck. The tiny flowers are just exquisite.

Hope you have had a great weekend too.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

pretty push pins...

Every now and then I find the urge to embark on a little hand sewing project - something that will take just a few minutes and provide me with instant gratification for having completed something. After rummaging through my craft box last night I stumbled on some cotton tape. A bit of thread and a simple running stitch along one edge was all that was required to make these simple rosettes which I completed with a few sequins and beads. A dab of hot glue on the back and some push pins made them just the thing to pretty up my pin board!