Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a felt crown for my little princess...

My three year old absolutely loves dressing up and is especially fond of crowns and other head-pieces. So, when I had my stash of felt out the other day, I cut out a simple crown shape, added a bit of sparkle with beads and sequins (well quite a lot actually... can you ever have too much bling?), and made a matching cuff for my little princess. I thought about attaching the back with Velcro, but remembered how that hurts when hair catches in it, so I just sewed up the back to fit. The crown has been a huge hit and is even worn to bed - bet the real princesses can't do that!

Friday, June 24, 2011

macarons by donna hay...

I have always been a fan of Donna Hay's cookbooks - the recipes I have tried are uncomplicated, don't use too many ingredients, and turn out as they should. It helps that they are beautifully styled too! So when I saw that my local grocery store had a few new packet mixes by Donna Hay, I popped one in my trolley to try. This morning, with the help of my two youngest (will I ever cook alone again?!), we made these almond macarons with chocolate filling, and they were delicious. I loved the way there was a little recipe card tucked in the box with photos of every step, although I still managed to fail the 'dropping and turning' stage - my macarons were not the perfect smooth rounds that they should be. Any tips for next time?

Joy tried one of the other mixes, the chocolate cupcakes, and they got rave reviews from her guests. Yum!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

through the door - welcome home...

I love coming home from kindy pick-up on a cold, wintery afternoon, and opening the front door of our house. As it is a rental home, I often get frustrated about the things I would love to change but cannot. But I would leave the hallway just as it is. With lovely high ceilings, pretty chandelier, wooden floors and beautiful stained-glass doors, it is just about perfect. With the addition of some flowers on the hall table, and some of my favourite scarves and bags hanging on the hooks, it always makes me glad to be home.

Monday, June 20, 2011

liberty print buttons...

mixed liberty print button artwork large

We have always loved Liberty of London's beautiful fabrics, but can never pick a favourite. These button artworks are like samplers of different Liberty prints and they are very popular for little (and big!) girl's rooms.
blue liberty print button artwork large

mauve liberty print button artwork large

We never seem to get these onto our website, but we promise they, and a gorgeous red version, will appear there soon. In the meantime you can email us if you are interested in these artworks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

coloured vases...

Just lately I've found a couple of pretty coloured vases at my local op shops, which together with a little green vase from IKEA and another couple I already had, are the start of my new collection. I have this vision of a pretty centrepiece made up of lots of different colours and shapes of vases all the way down my dining table, with the emphasis on the containers rather than the flowers or stems that are in them. While I wait for my collection to grow (and part of the fun is in the finding!) they are brightening up my hall table beautifully.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

through the door - petals

This 'through the door' photo is of the entrance room to my old Queenslander home. This morning I thought my little Tilly was playing nicely, but instead she had been systematically picking the petals off the geranium that grows so beautifully in this sunny spot. Cheeky little thing!

The whole family loves this room. My bigger girls spend hours sitting at the old school desk on the right drawing and writing stories. My big boys are often to be found curled up reading in the chair that is off to the left, next to an overflowing bookcase. The long pew (which actually belongs to Joy -I'm hoping she never wants it back!) hold lots of favourite items and gets constantly rearranged, sometimes by me and sometimes by the girls moving everything off to play shops or hospitals or libraries. But my favourite use of the room is when the little ones line up on the pew in the evening, half hanging out the window, waiting for Daddy to come home. I think the whole street hears their shrieks and cries of joy when they see him walking home from the bus stop!

The evidence...

The culprit...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

a ruffle decoration..

It was a very chilly, rainy day here in Melbourne, perfect for settling down with a cup of tea and browsing my latest time-waster, Pinterest. If you haven't discovered this website of virtual pin-boards, with everything from interiors to hairstyles, crafts to recipes, then hop right over there after reading this post! Today I stumbled across a decoration made from cupcake wrappers and had to experiment with it straight away. Do I need one right now? No! But it was an enjoyable way to spend an hour and it would be a great way to pretty up a table for a cocktail party, wedding or other special occasion.

It was very simple to make. You just need a styrofoam ball, lots of cupcake wrappers and pins - luckily all of which were hiding in my cupboards.

Stick a pin through the centre of a cupcake wrapper and scrunch it up a bit. Then simply push the pin into the ball. Add another, and another, until they are all beautifully squashed together and you can no longer see the styrofoam.

You can visit our Pinterest Boards (most definitely a work in progress) here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday flowers and a vase with holes...

There was no chance of Monday-itis today with these beautiful flowers brightening up my dining room. I used one of my ceramic candle holders for a vase (with a drinking glass inside) and threaded some ribbon through the holes for a bit more colour. It was quite therapeutic. I reckon you could get quite creative with this...cross stitches, different coloured or textured ribbon, even threading an initial or message. Let me know if you try it!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

whites and brights - 3d paper artworks...

Here is a couple of new colours in our 3d paper blossom range...bright multi-coloured and white-on-white. Created from hand cut paper hearts, which have been folded and positioned to create blossoms within a larger heart, they are a labour of love. We would love to know which one you prefer!

Both artworks (along with other colours in this design) are available to purchase on our website - just click here and here to buy.

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

a beautiful tutu...

My 10 year old daughter, Hannah, just loves ballet. She has been having lessons since she was three and never whinges about going (like I remember doing!), loves it when she her teachers are strict, and is constantly badgering me to do more classes. She no longer walks around the house - instead she chassés through the rooms, pirouettes around the furniture and does an arabesque when getting anything out of the fridge. This year we have agreed to let her participate in eisteddfods, which I have always been a bit wary of as I don't like seeing little girls too made up or being too competitive. However, Hannah convinced us that she would love to get extra feedback so that she can refine her techniques (she did not get that from me!) and since her ballet school encourages the girls participating to be very supportive of each other, we thought we would give it a go. So, we took ourselves off to an amazing dressmaker, Julia Fenton from Classically Costumed, and I was in fabric heaven. I see and use lots of beautiful fabrics, but usually just cotton and linen, and so to be surrounded by all these amazing silks, satins and laces in the most gorgeous colours was bliss. We thought it was going to be hard to choose, until this beautiful sea-green colour was pulled out and both Hannah and I fell in love with it. I'm so glad I left the tutu making to an expert as sewing with temperamental fabrics is not my favourite thing to do and I wouldn't have been clever enough to leave extra panels so it can all be let out as she grows.

Maybe I have secret tutu envy, but last night I finally took myself back to Adult ballet class after running out of excuses. I had previously attended for a year in between children #5 and #6 and it brought back lots of memories from my years of dancing. I had such a great time last night although my body didn't quite live up to expectations.... After 5 minutes I felt muscles that hadn't been used for quite a while. After 15 minutes the steps started coming back to me, although they were much more difficult than I remembered, and the extra padding on my derrière meant that lifting my leg up behind me without leaning forward was impossible. After 30 minutes we started centre work and I realised that I had been gripping onto the barre for dear life for the first half of the class. After 45 minutes I attempted a pirouette, only to find that my core strength was sadly lacking and I almost ended up on the floor. After 60 minutes I could no longer walk....

But, I will be back next week!