Monday, January 30, 2012

loving my conservatory...


One of the main reasons we chose our new rental home here in Melbourne was for the fabulous outside space, particularly the slightly run-down but still very usable, tennis court. The kids have been loving hitting balls over the net, playing games of cricket and chase-y, riding their bikes and scooters around and generally getting lots of exercise. The area works particularly well because of the conservatory that was built as a later addition to the house to link the inside living areas with the outside. Conservatories are not particularly common in Australia - especially not where we were in Queensland where all that glass would be like living in a sauna! It has been too hot for comfort some days this month, but I think it will be particularly lovely in the colder months of the year. I can see myself (maybe in my dreams!) enjoying a cup of tea and a flick through some magazines on the day bed.


I'm not quite sure how I am meant to clean all the glass!..

The view from inside the living room...

I can't wait to take a trip to a big garden centre and plant up lots of pots of sun-loving plants which I'm sure will thrive in the conservatory. Know any good ones in Melbourne's east?...

An old dresser/hutch which my husband's grandparents brought over from Canada with them when they emigrated has found a place on an end wall...

The blue colour scheme started when I spotted this gorgeous rug in Les Salles before I left Brisbane. It is made from recycled plastic and so is very sturdy and can even be hosed down if (or more likely when) needed...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

yum...


Loving an easy weekend meal of homemade pizzas on Lebanese bread, washed down with a glass of red wine.Mmmm! Hope you are having a wonderfully relaxing weekend too.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

diy silhouette with a twist...


It is lovely to have photos of family around the house, but if you are looking for something a little more arty, then these diy silhouette pictures might just fill the gap. They are quick, easy and very satisfying to make. The traditional silhouette is of course black on white, but we were after something a little more colourful to suit a child's bedroom.


The first step is to take a profile photo of the subject. Print it out and carefully cut around with scissors.

Trace around the cut-out with a very sharp pencil (so as not to lose the detail) onto patterned paper - we used vintage botanical illustrations - and cut out again. The next step is to adhere to a plain coloured backing card and frame.

We experimented with different papers, card and even fabric to get the look we wanted...

Liberty fabric looked pretty but the facial features got lost in the business of the pattern...

This one was cut from illustrations from a vintage children's book. We really liked the way the silhouette popped out, but the black background just didn't fit into the room...

Ahhh! How we love to spend a day with a pair of scissors and a pile of papers!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

typo...

I found myself at a Typo shop the other day - a wonderful, well priced place to browse for a stationery lover like me. Here is my little haul for the outing, I particularly love the cotton reel pen holder and patterned cotton tape.




If you don't have a Typo store near you they sell online too!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

tropical...


This stunning, vibrant hibiscus design reminds us of hot, tropical days growing up in Papua New Guniea. The combination of citrus-y greens and hot, fushia pinks are not for the faint hearted! While we are not sure that we could live with a pattern this bold dominating a room, with a neutral/white base, pops of colour like this really add a really summery feel - certainly a reflection of the hot summer weather here in Melbourne.





Monday, January 16, 2012

a little zhushing...


I just spent a couple of days away, leaving my wonderful husband to look after our six kids. They were well fed, adequately dressed, and all had a wonderful time. But the house was apparently looking a little worse for wear when Joy dropped in on the afternoon of the second day to give my hubby an hour off. So, she did what only the best sisters do, and whizzed round the house making it look respectable. Joy even managed to zhush up the table in the entrance hall by adding a whole lot of colour. She unearthed this pretty vase that I had bought at an op shop years ago, and found some of our butterfly tags to complement the cheery colour scheme. Thanks for brightening up my arrival home, Joy!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

a mess making morning...


This morning we made heaps of mess experimenting with paint and preparing decorations and costumes for the Sienna's birthday party which is coming up very soon. Although our children often choose painting as an activity, it is not something that we do very often. But we thoroughly enjoyed having paintbrushes in hand today, although aprons or smocks would have been a good idea - strong winds and wet painted fabric are not a good combination! You will be able to see the completed painted projects, and all the other party details, in the February issue of the Mathilda's Magazine (be sure to pop over and read last year's awesome editions) - we will, of course, keep you posted when it comes out. In the meantime, any guesses on the party theme?!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

the birthday hat...



It is my daughter, Sienna's 4th birthday today and while she has been excited for days about her presents, her cake and the special dinner with all the family here in Melbourne, she told me last night that the thing she was most looking forward to was wearing the "Birthday Hat". A few years ago now, I purchased this silly hat from IKEA, which is the shape of a cake with strawberries and candles on top, for my son to wear on his birthday. Since then, it has become part of our family tradition to wear the hat for as much of the day as possible, and it is not just my two kids that wear it - somehow my husband and I have ended up being part of this ritual too! There are even a few dodgy photos to prove it...


What traditions that have become part of birthday celebrations in your family?

Monday, January 9, 2012

soft and muted...

Often we work with bright, saturated colours, so it was lovely to enjoy playing around with softer muted shades today. The vintage paper butterflies, taken from a damaged 1966 botanical book, look ever so pretty and delicate - just like the beautiful roses picked from Clare's new garden. Wish you could smell how delicious they are!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

the good, the bad and the ugly...

The last month has just whizzed by. There has been the excitement of Christmas, the busy-ness of the last few weeks of school, the challenge of moving interstate, the chaos of packing and then unpacking, and the challenge of shuffling furniture and stuff around the new house trying to make it all fit! Things are settling down a bit now - we have found all the essentials (except the camera charger which has disappeared into thin air, or more possibly into a box, yet to be unpacked, marked something like keepsake clothes or laundry storage!) and the house is beginning to feel like home.

We are renting down here in Melbourne and my husband did a great job of choosing a house for us. It has plenty of space, a beautiful garden and a lot of history. It also has some bits which I don't love as much and I am trying to get back into the rental mindset of not being able to change those thing... frustrating!!! Here are a few photos to show you some of the features that I love about the house, and some that I love just a little less...

The house has a lot of leadlight windows and doors. I love the way the light changes as it shines through...

Bits of the garden are very pretty and there are lots of roses and other beautiful cutting flowers - hooray!...

Lots of architectural details - cornices, ceiling roses, etc - that are very pretty. A few sparkly chandeliers too...

We have already been feasting on the apricots that ripened just as we arrived. These peaches are coming along beautifully...

I wouldn't have choosen these heart cut-outs on the stairs if it were my house, but they have made me smile...

Hmmmm. Not so sure about this light feature! There are two...

Now we are getting to the ugly... The bathrooms are colourful (this one has a peach suite, there is also a mauve and a green!) and the tiling is eclectic. The wallpaper in this one is so old it is almost trendy again and is actually quite cute, but...

...it should never have been teamed with these tiles!!