Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I'm (almost) back!

Some of the plaster that is STILL lodged in my nose.

Oh, it's been a fun week. Full recap tomorrow cause I know you've been dying to hear all about it! Good news: ceiling did not collapse when wall removed. Just thought I'd let you know in case you were wondering if it did and that's why I've been gone so long. Nope. But bad news: job still not finished and had dodgy internet connection. Nice phone man is coming tomorrow morning to hook me up properly as the phoneline got chopped during wall removal. Oops. Will show you how it looks now tomorrow (much better but not perfect), but here is what it DID look like for a few days. Isn't it lovely? x

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Gwyneth's a goop. Possibly, because I'm not sure what goop means, but it sounds like it'd be an adjective

Gwyneth Paltrow's new website - Goop

Before I do pull the laptop plug... what do we think of Gwyneth Paltrow branching out and joining us on the world wide web? She's set up a lifestyle website featuring yet-to-be-filled categories such as "Make" "Do" "Get" "Be"... Apparently she'll be sharing snippets of all aspects of her life including lessons learnt, recipes, places to see and stay while travelling. Poor thing has been bagged online already with many wondering why we care what celebrities make, do, get and be, but to be fair, it's no different to her setting up a blog, is it? I'm a nobody and yet a lot of people read me, so why not read a somebody? I will - love Gwynnie and if she parts with any of her interior design wisdom she gained while decorating her Hampton's home, then I'll be happy. Not sure how "Martha" she'll be in terms of DIYing around the home outside the kitchen, but I'm curious to see where this will go! You can see for yourself what's she up to and sign up for a newsletter here

loving... attia

My two fave Attia products: statement worthy in their simplistic style. Picture courtesy Attia

A flip through a recent issue of Real Living I noticed that everything I put in my if-I-had-spare-money-lying-around-I'd-so-buy-this cart was from a label called Attia. Never heard of it before, but boy, did they have some beautiful things: wool and linen cushions, skin cushions, beaded storage baskets, matte-black ceramic tea cup with wooden saucers... lovely!

Hand-beaded storage basket, $US99.95, Attia

Then a few more pages in, I found out it's owned by Rachel Brown - one of our freelance interior stylists, which explained it all. Attia is her baby - a collection of homewares that fits into Rachel's "stylist pre-requisites", namely through its main focus of form, texture and colour. The website is coming soon, but if you can't wait, Rachel also has an Etsy store selling a sample of the range, some of which is pictured here. See what I mean about beautiful?

Black ceramic cup with handmade wooden saucer, $US44, Attia

In case you're wondering, I have a half-naked hallway (the walls have been ripped off halfway up) but my office wall is still standing, hence the post. It goes tomorrow so I have to unplug the laptop now. Oh gosh, separation anxiety already!

Monday, 22 September 2008

bye bye wall

Ta-ta office; ta-ta wall

I might be offline for a few days because the wall my office is on is to be no more! Unless I can manage to keep the modem plugged in and attempt to get wireless working. But considering the electricity and phone line is being ripped out of the wall as well at some stage, not sure how successful I'll be with that! I'm very much looking forward to this job as it means we can soon start the kitchen. But I am NOT looking forward to the yucky dust, mess and noise that will plague my house for the next few days. We're also getting the hallway reskinned because the previous owners of the house appeared to have used the walls to practice boxing or something and getting recessed shelves in another wall where the front door used to be.

A very, very old view of the room. The room will open up in line with the bathroom wall. This is the old bathroom. I miss it sooooooo much. Ok, I lie.

The not-so-great thing about this job is the fact I'll have to put my desk in my bedroom. I think eventually it'll fit ok once Layla is out, but until then, grr. So fingers crossed we'll all be able to breathe ok and that the noise will stop for nap times, cause life will be lots of fun with two overtired children! Back soon. x

PS: Yay for me! 10 followers. It's rather addictive logging on to see if anyone else joined! Oh the exciting life I lead.

PPS: I attended the Reed Gift Fair in Darling Harbour today. I was going to take some pics of the stalls for you to check out some pretty things but wasn't allowed. Sorry! It was a good day. Until Layla screamed all the way home and I nearly ran out of petrol. Good times.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Baaah, I'm a sheep

Cutest sheep illustration ever by Paul Dallgas Frey. I found him doing a Google image search for a sheep but you must check out his website: he's funny and talented and full of life and postivity.
It's a great read!

Despite being a web editor, I have no clue about a lot of internet stuff, so completely ignored the two little "followers" that I noticed recently on my dashboard. But then I kept noticing it on other blogs I frequent so actually looked into it and being the sheep I am, added it too! Sooo, in the words of Facebook, will you be my friend? If you check here regularly, click the "follow this blog" link in the top right-hand corner. Apparently, it's more than a popularity contest, but I have yet to understand the benefits! x

letterpressed calling cards

Business cards for the kiddies! Picture from Bespoke Press

I've always loved the look of letterpressed stationery - there's an old-world feel about receiving an invitation or card with etched patterns. And since my dealings with the lovely Alischa from Bespoke Press, I know why. It's a long, archaic process involving an antique printing press machine from 1893 to make something so beautiful and makes me appreciate the workmanship that goes into it even more. A few weeks ago Alisha graciously offered to make me some mummy calling cards after I blogged about the trend at Mini Meez. She sent me a few designs and I picked my fave, changed a few colours around and the result is above: beautiful and bright calling cards to exchange with potential playmates (for the kids) and their parents (for me). I received them on Wednesday and already used one on Thursday with a new mum we asked to join our mother's group (such the exclusive club it is!!!) Makes a simple and stylish way to give someone your phone number without having to dig through a car-sized bag filled with all sorts of, well, crap, with one arm with a baby on your hip and a toddler hanging off your leg to try and find a pen. Let alone something to write on.

How they arrived. I felt bad ripping the paper! Image from Bespoke Press

I just wanted to thank Alisha so much for my beautiful cards - and want to send you all over to her blog where you can not only see for yourself the step-by-step process of making my cards, but witness her own home renovation, and website to drool over gorgeous wedding packages (invites, menus, table cards) and invitations she's created for clients. The full website will launch soon, but if you're getting married, having a baby or just want to celebrate something in style, Alisha is your girl for gorgeously unique stationery. And too-pretty-to-unwrap packaging!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

new book: madison living

Out now: Madison Living, $29.95

I saw an ad for this yesterday in the latest Madison issue: Madison Living. See how far out of the loop I am while on maternity leave? My own company releases an interiors book and I have no idea! I'm assuming it's a collection of all the homes they've featured over the past few years in their lifestyle section, but am hoping there will be some new stuff too. According to the plug: "madison living covers beachside houses, winter country retreats and modern apartments. We profile women from all walks of life who take inspiration for their homes from a plethora of styles, including Moroccan, French, shabby chic, beach cool and many more. madison living has something for everyone and promises to deliver fresh, inspirational ideas for your home or apartment. Whether it's luxe or less you're after, our must-have book offers loads of ideas and tips to help you create your dream home. "
I'll let you know what it's like if I ever get a chance to flick through a copy, but until then, here is a little taste from their website.

Cute cupboard!

I'm not loving this collection of pics, but here they are anyway

If you want your own copy, you can get it online at Magshop or from bookstores for $29.95. I also checked out the home section of their website. Here are a few pics...

Fashion as art. I want that flapper dress!

Bold black and white stripes vamp up an old chair

Yet another use for wallpaper. But at a gazillion dollars a roll, maybe the Florence Broadhurst is not the best option as a table runner! All images from Madison magazine

and if you're tired of outdoors spaces already...

How fun! I'd make this painted wall a coloured chalkboard paint for extra fun! From VT Wonen

I popped up a few cool kids rooms on Mini Meez today. Check them out!

Monday, 15 September 2008

outdoor spaces part 2: shabby chic

You can't go wrong with a daybed. I love the base on this one. From Klikk via The House that A-M Built

Once upon a time, I fell deep in love with shabby chic. I wanted everything white with pale pinks and green accent furniture, vintage linens and floral plates. I bought Rachel Ashwell's best book: The Shabby Chic Home of her own home's before and afters and dreamed of replicating her look one day. Then suddenly the love affair eased off and I moved on to other styles.

Mismatched chairs, paper lanterns, floor cushions and candleabras make for a pretty girlie afternoon tea party. From Klikk

I've wanted a little summer house ever since friends in Wales had us over for dinner in theirs. It was so adorable and sparkly at night. From Flickr

The worn timber is the perfect backdrop for shabby chic's prettiness. From Flickr

Occasionally I flick back through my book (when I actually have it - my mother in law steals it often as she's completely in love with shabby chic now and wants to decorate her new place in that style.) and I still drool over some pictures. But they're all the outdoorsy ones - that's why I did this shabby chic post. Because I think this look works best outdoors. There's no carpet or feature-wall colour to clash with, it's not something you live with day in, day out, and where else is a flower more at home than in the garden? Let me apologise in advance for the crappiness of the photographed images from Rachel's books. I really need to get myself a scanner, but they're too pretty to not share.

Am not sure what I like most: the decorating or the fact this deck is so bloody close to the water! From another of Rachel Ashwell's books - Shabby Chic: Sumptuous Settings and Other Lovely Things (I think it's this one) that I bought for my mother-in-law

A huge daybed on a deck: so nice I'd sleep out here on those hot summer nights. From The Shabby Chic Home

The entrance to her home. From The Shabby Chic Home

Sunbeds and umbrellas for poolside glam. From The Shabby Chic Home

Tiny turquoise tiles make this pool so inviting. From The Shabby Chic Home

Perfect reading spot. From The Shabby Chic Home

PS: I just noticed the photographed pics can't be enlarged so they look worse than they actually are. Will try and redo later but babies just woke up so my blogging time is over for now!

PPS: Pics fixed and should actually enlarge now.

outdoor spaces part 1: moroccan style

I'm completely in love with this Riad courtyard. The tiles, the lantern, the pool, the furniture, the mirrored wall - perfect! Can't fault it. Pic from The Good Life in Morocco

Ooooh it's been so lovely these past few days. And actually hot on occasions! So I've been dreaming of a gorgeous outdoor space to chill in. Am obsessed with Morocco at the moment, so thought I'd start with a few beautiful images - there's nothing quite like authentic Moroccan style, but I've also found a few spaces inspired by this region.

The other side of the courtyard (above). How incredible are those doors? Pic from The Good Life in Morocco

A very cool rusticy pergola is modernised with classic black and white. From My Marrakesh

We loved this deck so much we've shot it several times for Real Living. To get a Moroccan feel, lanterns and poufs are essential! Pic from December 2005 issue of Real Living magazine

Anyone can re-create this: curtains, cushions and a few glass lanterns. From Flickr

Not sure how Moroccan this is, but hey, it has a lantern. And it's pretty! From Domino

Go for grand designs in small spaces to make an impact. Pic from Domino

Tomorrow: shabby chic spaces. If I get the time! x

Friday, 12 September 2008

summer's coming!

I'm meant to watch my brother-in-law's rugby final tomorrow, but I just might be found here instead. From Living Etc

I can feel it! It was so beautiful today, I was going to blog about outdoor spaces, but instead, I sat outside and enjoyed being in my own (although that involved putting on blinkers so I didn't have to look at the weeds neglected plants and patchy grass) watching Zak kick, hit and throw his ball. ALL day. And the weekend is set to be even warmer - yay! So tune in Monday for some pics that will make you want to live outside. Happy weekend.

Did you know...?

Amy's signature style, only smaller

Amy Butler has a new book out - for the bubbies. Little Stitches for Little Ones helps you style up your baby's nursery, wardrobe and life. Love the nappy bag and playmat. More pics here

Some of the projects: toys, quilts, clothes. Pic from Amazon

Thursday, 11 September 2008

new towels + new project

My new towels from Le Souk

For all my sob story about never being able to buy from great shops overseas, there is one you need to know about if you don't already: Le Souk. This beautiful collection of homewares is owned by Danielle from the Style Files and... drumroll please... ships worldwide! Which is good news if you fall in love with these towels like I did. Aren't they beautiful? Turkish, tasseled and terrific - I love the woven pattern and the softness. All up the two cost a little over $AUS100 to get here (good old international shipping!), but that's no different really to buying two good bath towels at David Jones is it? And plus, I'll do anything for love...

Last night I left my laptop closed and had a bath. Ok, I send off some emails and then closed it (it's really, really hard to not log on once the babies have gone to bed and have a little browse around). It was rather heavenly. I was so relaxed I decided to start a little project: a completely embellished cushion. By hand.

Time consuming, tedious and yet oddly relaxing: the start of something fabulous. Potentially fabulous.

Several years ago I did this to the top of a white singlet and loved it so much I only just parted with it recently to bin because it was no longer white and, in parts, no longer beaded. It took me a whole long weekend. Considering I had no children then and absolutely nothing else to do over those three days, I estimate it will take me until sometime in 2010 to finish this one! But, oddly enough, I find the tediousness of stitching on teeny tiny beads and sequins quite relaxing (except for when I jab my finger. Which is quite often.) My plan is for a rectangle-sized cushion with a smaller rectangle on the front completely embellished. Although seeing as it took me just under half an hour to do this much last night, it just might soon become a square (shorter amount of time!) We'll see...

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

inspiration from stores over the seas

Idea to steal: a chandelier in the bathroom. It doesn't even have to be in the middle of the room - I love how it's over the bath here. I don't even like champagne, but I'd so drink it in here - the only drink fitting I think for such a rusticly glam room. Pic from Froke Nolsen

As I mentioned before, there are some brilliant stores out there. And most of them are overseas. Of course we have some here, but at the moment, my decor taste is running towards a mix of Scandinavian, moroccan and asian. And I realised as I uploaded these pics, that there is a similar vibe in all of them that reflects this. Here are a few pretty pics from overseas stores and a few ideas to steal from them.

Idea to steal: rustic old doors, gates or trellises can look beautiful resting against a wall or behind a bed as a bedhead. Pic from Tine K Home

Idea to steal: forget the closed-door buffet: show off your pretties with a glass-door cabinet. You could even age distress a new one with paint (Ikea have some similar to this) to give it an aged look. Pic from Tine K Home

Idea to steal: strips of leather as door handles. The ones in this picture are sold by the label Tine K Home, but I think you could easily do yourself with straps and some kind of screw. Ask a hardware expert for the appropriate ones.

Idea to steal: oooh this mirror... be still my beating heart. You might not be able to re-create the angles, but sticking a whole heap of different-sized mirror tiles into a large rectangle on the wall would create a similar effect. Pic from Graham and Green

Idea to steal: hanging lanterns or little birdcages from a four-posted bed. Securely, though, don't want any nasty accidents! Pic from Graham and Green

Idea to steal: ok, so letters on a wall aren't new. But using a heap of random letters and symbols in a cool pattern like this is. How effective! Pic from Graham and Green

Idea to steal: banana-leaf and French market baskets are hip and a staple in a lot of homes, but give it a paint job for a pop of colour and little individuality. Pic from Chenille Home

Idea to steal: old gates or screens make gorgeous bedheads. Pic from Chenille Home

Idea to steal: take your indoor decor outside like this deer head. Obviously best to be in the covered outdoor areas but don't feel the need to leave the walls bare: it's called an outdoor "room" now, not just outdoors! Pic from Graham and Green

Monday, 8 September 2008

cute and easy idea

Draw your way to priceless heirlooms. Pics from Lille Lykke

And you thought plain, white modern wardrobes were boring! I've heard of wallpapering them, decal-ing them, covering them in photos and of course painting to jazz them up, but this takes the cake: a whimsical antique princessey armoir drawn on the doors. As odd as this sounds, to look at it, you really only notice the outline. Simple, clever, stylish!

La la lovely

Great idea for a girlie bedroom without the antique price tag, but perfect for little princesses!