Thursday, April 28, 2011

my flower-less table setting...



Easter lunch for the extended family still in Brisbane is traditionally held at our house and I usually have ideas buzzing around in my head for weeks before as to how I would like to decorate for it. This year I had been ill in the week or so before and so, frustratingly, hadn't had the energy to act on any of my ideas. My perfectionist self couldn't let the occasion go by without making some sort of effort so, as I didn't have any flowers in the house or garden, my bigger girls and I decided on a green theme. They had a great time collecting green vases, bottles, and bits and bobs from around the house which we arranged on an old grain sack in the centre of the table (actually three tables pushed together in order to seat 16). They then cut stems from different plants/weeds from around the garden and "arranged" them in glass jugs and vases. You can probably see the lavender beautifully stuffed into the tiny vase by my three year old! All that green looked a little boring so we added some aqua and turquoise to brighten the setting up. I managed to avert a major war as to who should sit where by writing names on eggs - let me tell you the aunties, uncles, Grandma and Grandad were far more popular than boring old Mum and Dad!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter french toast...


If you have any left over hot cross buns then we recommend you give this recipe a try - hot cross bun french toast. It would make a great dessert, although Joy and Clare both served it for breakfast - Joy cooked it as per the recipe using fruit-filled hot cross buns, while Clare used choc-chip hot cross buns and served it with sliced banana on the side. Yum!

Ingredients:
6 eggs
250ml milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 day-old hot cross buns
50 g butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup raspberries (fresh or thawed frozen)

Method:
1. Whisk eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla together with a fork. Cut hot cross buns horizontally in 3 slices and soak in the egg mixture for 2 minutes. Turn buns over and soak for a further 2 minutes.
2. Melt half the butter in a large frying pan and cook bun slices over medium-low heat until they are golden brown and the egg is cooked.
3. Serve drizzled with maple syrup and raspberries.

Wishing you all a very happy and safe Easter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

carrots for the Easter bunny...


This year the lead up to Easter seems to have been even busier than usual and so I am only just starting to think about doing a bit of Easter decorating. These felt carrots I sewed today are actually for the Kinder home corner (a bit healthier than the usual doughnuts and cakes that I make) but for now they look very sweet pegged up on a string along my mantlepiece and on the coffee table where they are keeping a hungry little Easter rabbit satisfied! I just hope the real Easter bunny doesn't eat too many when he comes to deliver the eggs...



Monday, April 18, 2011

nail polish painted eggs...


My older girls had such fun painting these eggs with old nail polish that I found hidden away at the back of the bathroom cabinet. The colours are beautifully jewel-like and the brushes were perfect for little fingers to hold. We cut out cups from the egg carton to rest the eggs in and painted half at a time. And yes, you do see green and orange nail polish in the photo below, and no, I am not that daring! I think I purchased them from a bargain bin years ago to wear to a dress up party and they obviously escaped a few culls.





Thursday, April 14, 2011

autumn leaves...


I am loving autumn in Melbourne. This afternoon the kids and I went for a walk in the streets around our house, buckets in hand, collecting beautiful fallen leaves in their amazing array of colours. We then had fun sorting and playing shop with them - quite the cheapest fun you can have in school holidays!



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hamptons Home Living...


There is a gorgeous new store on Latrobe Terrace, Paddington that is a lovely mix of homewares and cafe. I visited Hamptons Home Living this morning, with my children in tow and we enjoyed our coffee and hot chocolates at a beautiful rustic table long enough to fit us all (a rare occurrence in a cafe - we usually need at least two tables!). I then managed a quick browse through the retail part of the shop which is delightfully arranged into a living room, dining room and bedroom so casually elegant that you just want to move straight in! Owners Tania and Luke couldn't have been more welcoming and with lots of other gorgeous linens, furniture and accessories (including some of my very favourite brands such as Bungalow and Murchinson Hume) I will be visiting often. Tania has just started a blog here where she is going to post photos of the shop's before and after, so pop over and say Hi. Here are some photos of Hamptons Home Living from my visit today...

I have my eye on this day bed for the new extension we are planning...


Fancy a cup of tea in bed? You would wake up happy to see such gorgeous aquas...


I have always wanted one of these bookcases with a ladder, although possibly I would spend all my time telling children off for sliding along it! Love the linen curtains and the lamp too...


Just beautiful...


Any armoire this beautiful should have its doors wide open...


If you haven't visited Paddington before make sure you put aside at least a morning to fully explore this shopping strip. My advice is to park at one end and walk between all the shops -that way you can justify at least two coffee stops in between all the beautiful homeware, clothing and vintage shops!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

a wall of petals...


We have been very busy making different colour ways in our vintage petals design and I have been keen to see a selection hung as a group. This spot above the sofa is where I normally hang my six different coloured butterflies, and is the first thing you see when you walk in the room. I love having a mix of colours up as it allows me to be very fickle with accessories, cushions and flowers as everything matches!


Because we use original illustrations, each one of our artworks is completely unique. We back our vintage artworks with sewn squares of text from the same damaged books that we find our coloured pieces from and we find this 'grounds' the designs and provides a link with the neutrals and wood in a room. This petal design is a labour of love as it is very time consuming, but we love the finished product and get a lot of satisfaction from seeing each piece come to life.



Thursday, April 7, 2011

dear elves...


Dear Elves,

This morning I was reading the story of how you helped the shoemaker complete his orders and was wondering, if you are not too busy, if you would pop by my house tonight? The last week of term is always chaotic - assignments to supervise, costumes to make and teacher interviews to attend - and I seem to have a lot of work on the go which is not getting completed as fast as it should. I have laid out some artworks which are ready to frame and there are lots more ready to sew if you would like to try out my machine. I believe the technology may have changed since you last used one so feel free to experiment but please don't get too carried away with all the fancy stitches.

I'm not sure my fingers are nimble enough to make you some miniature clothing in return (as the shoemaker's wife did) but my daughter has made a great cardboard box house if you would like a place to live! If you could also let the tooth fairy know that there is a tooth awaiting her collection I would be grateful as my daughter is very keen to read the answers to her questions in her lengthy note.

Many thanks.


xx


P.S. We are off to the Boutique Markets this coming Sunday if you would like to come and see where all these artworks are going...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

liberty print flowers for the hair...


I recently picked up some gorgeous liberty fabric remnants from our local fabric store and today their pretty designs inspired one of my quick-fix creative projects. All three of these floral hair clips were made in less than half an hour and were very simple to create. As usual, I made up my own pattern - a basic petal-shaped cardboard template , which I traced around 5 times for each flower with the fabric doubled over, right sides together. I machine stitched around the outside of each petal leaving the bottom part open and turned them the right way round. A rough running stitch gathered the petals and I finished off with a button to hide all the stitches. Once complete, I stitched the flowers securely onto hair clips, but they would also look cute on safety pins or broaches to embellish a plain cardigan or jacket.


One of these days I will have to dig out my patterns and find the time to actually sew a pretty dress for my daughter (girl's clothes are always more fun to make) or maybe even something for me!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

what should I do with these?...


With the big kids at school and the little ones enjoying themselves at Grandma's, I had a wonderful day browsing through op shops with my great friend, Chris (the one with this gorgeous laundry!) We drove ourselves across the city into an unfamiliar part of town and had great fun discovering at 6 huge charity shops (I was having so much fun I lost count). Part of the fun is always getting something you want at a bargain, but my favourite thing about visiting second hand shops is never knowing what you might stumble across. While the department stores and high street shops all follow the current trends and generally have the 'look' of the season, I love the way that there are no trends at an op shop and you can discover items from a huge range of eras.

There were a lot of things we could have purchased, but in an effort not to clutter up our homes or get on the wrong side of our husbands, we passed on most of it! I just couldn't walk past these old cake tins though and am now deciding what I should do with them. So far I have thought of removing the inner funnel, attaching a light fixture and hanging them upside down as pendant lamps, or drilling some drainage holes and planting some herbs in them. Any other ideas? What would you do with them?



Apart from the cake tins, my only purchases were a pretty doily and this little blue vase which is not in the best condition but I just fell in love with the colour. All in all, a very cheap and satisfying outing!