Sunday, February 28, 2010

i wasn't really that serious.....



I wasn't really that serious this morning when I half-arsedly suggested to Jem that we paint the kitchen today. Annebelle was croaky and wanted to stay in bed all day, and Alex wanted to put in some serious Farmville/Petville/Yoville.. whateverville hours, so the day was pretty free. Amazingly, Jem fired up in seconds and was off to Bunnings to gather paint, brushes and rollers. He took care of the walls and ceiling and I did the doors, cupboards and skirting boards. I even painted over the dodgy textured glass in the cupboard doors, so now they look much plainer and more up to date. Tackling this job forced me to take down all of my kitchenalia collections for a wash, but now they are back up and sparkling. Seven hours later, and a job that has been hanging over my head for a year is done. Next weekend, I am going to attempt to paint over the hideous white floorboards before the health department shuts down my kitchen. Let this be a warning to all - never paint your floors white!

Friday, February 26, 2010

sugar treats




whenever I try to lay off the sweets (like now, when I have a certain dress to squeeze into for Jacque's wedding in 3 weeks) I get obsessed with cooking sweet treats. Today it is white chocolate meringues (recipe courtesy of my sister Maggie). Luckily Alex was here to lick the bowl, and she and Annebelle have friends over to eat the bulk of them when they come out of the oven. Also luckily, I have Dress Plan B - just in case my willpower fails.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

they're flat. And that's that....




At the risk of being outed as a complete nutter, it is time to fess up about my lasting obsession with Flatsy dolls. Made by Mattel in the late 60's and early 70's, these crazy haired, flat rubber dolls were the ultimate groovers - complete with funky neon outfits featuring hats, shoes and accessories. The standard ones were 4 inches tall (how old do I sound, inches?) and they came in bright frames. I remember getting my first one at a toy shop - my friend Susan's mum bought us each one. We were both instantly hooked, and started collecting them and making clothes and furniture for them. There was even the great Flatsy disaster - it must have been Easter in 1974 when Susan's boy Flatsy was washed away with the tide into the Barwon River at Ocean Grove. I still have my originals, but now I collect them on ebay, and have even scored a few highly desirable, ultra glam 'Spinderella' Flatsy's, who look like Vegas showgirls and spin on a stand when you pull a string. I have popped a few others into an IKEA frame and they now hold pride of place in the kitchen. I kind of remember a bit of the the jingle from their ad... "Flatsy's. They're flat and that's that!". I wonder if Susan still has hers....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

the never-ending quilt story



I have been working on this quilt for about two million years. At least it seems like that. It was all meant to be very easy and low stress: I could only use fabrics that I already owned, therefore having the dual effect of being inexpensive and also alleviating some of my accumulated fabric guilt; the pattern would be sparse and pretty, ergo, not too labour intensive. I love the idea that it contains snippets of fabric from so many other projects, old clothes, furnishings, etc. I planned to hand quilt some delicate swirls in the white bits, and pop it onto our bed. Easy. But still, it sits there in a basket in the corner making me feel guilty, EVERY day. I have all the bindings and cottons ready to go, but still, I have become a total quilt avoider. So I am imposing a deadline: the quilt will be warming us by June. That's it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the kooky room...






we have this kooky little room/hall/vestibule at the end of our hallway, into which four rooms merge; the kitchen, the bathroom, the lounge and the entry hall. It doesn't really serve any purpose apart from linking these rooms, and I'm sure it would be the first thing to go if an architect looked at our home! And whilst it is only 1.15cmwide x 3m long, it does make for a fun little space for experimenting with colour, styling collections, and putting things that won't or don't fit anywhere else.

It has had quite a few colour schemes over the years, but its current incarnation it is what my girls call "inside a Tiffany box". The walls are painted in Porters 'Relax in Aqua', and I have re-hung all of the photos and certificates from my serious gold frame phase (must have been about 10 years ago). It is now a glittering little gallery of blue and gold.

I have taken these shots to remember it as it is now, because I am itching to hang some more wallpaper and think this may be the perfect place.......

Thursday, February 18, 2010

any colour, as long as it is pink...


the graffiti that appears regularly on my white front fence usually drives me nuts - it is rarely artistic or attractive. But I didn't mind this tag. Why? Because it is pink!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

interview with Teresa Liano for Voi TUTTI magazine




A little while back I was asked to interview fashion designer Teresa Liano for the Italian style magazine, voi TUTTI. Her fashion label TL Wood is going from strength to strength, and is about to enter a big, exciting phase of expansion. Teresa's excitement is palpable - she could be a motivational speaker. I walked out of our interview wanting to conquer the world! It is in the current issue of voi TUTTI which comes attached to the March/April Vogue Living. Photos are by Eamon Gallagher and copyright is owned by The Italian Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

extensive office renovations (I wish, if only!)




I had been hunting for a new pin board for my 'office' (read small corner of our family living room) for ages when I stumbled upon this one at an op shop in Ocean Grove. It cost a princely $4, so I quickly paid, did a bit of illegal double seat-belting of my girls in the front seat (it was just a short drive around the corner, Officer), and stuffed it into my back seat. We finally lugged it back to Melbourne, and yesterday I painted the frame in Porter's 'Petal' and stapled on some vintage wallpaper from Fat Helen's in Chapel Street. Renovation complete!

photo wall


I quite blatantly stole the idea for this photo wall in my kitchen from the home of the gorgeous and talented Art Director for Sunday Life magazine, Aleksandra Beare. One Friday night Jeremy and I were bemoaning the fact that we never really get to see any of our photos because they are stored on a disc in a box somewhere... so we decided to blow a few colour ink cartridges and print out our favourites. Now we get to look at family, friends, travels, parties, our history really, every day.

Monday, February 15, 2010

the perfect spot for a glass of rose and a nana nap

or, maybe I shouldn't mention the glass of rose because so many of my friends are still maintaining their Feb-Fast. I made it to day 4 this year (and am quite chuffed - it's a PB). Anyway... I constructed this bed from the heads of Annebelle and Alex's old single sleigh beds. A quick coat of left over decking paint, and it is now the perfect place to lie down in the afternoon and dream up excuses to get take-away for dinner.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

my first story for Real Living magazine


Late last year I wrote and styled a story for Real Living magazine - and it is in the March issue which goes on sale today. The home belongs to the gorgeous Haylee, Chris and Leo Paul. Here is a peak......

All photographs are taken by James Geer, and owned by ACP.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ah, Albertine


I love the second flush of my Albertine rose in late summer. Just when I think I'll have to wait until next spring to see it again, out pop a few lovely fragrant blooms.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some more of my work....











This is the best job for a sticky-beak! When styling and writing the Melbourne 'my space' pages for Sunday Life magazine (it comes with The Sunday Age in Victoria and The Sun Herald in NSW), not only do I get to poke around in the homes of Melbourne's most stylish and creative people, I get to sit down and grill them about where they get their inspiration, and (importantly) where they get their wonderful stuff. The stories behind some of their treasures and possessions are often hilarious, sometimes sad, and always interesting. Here is a peak into the homes of interior stylist Janita McMahon, designer Emma Clay, artist Therese Gilligan, artist/designer Neryl Walker and homewares designer Emma Goody. Again, all photos are taken by Mike Baker, and owned by Fairfax.

Some of my work...

Equine style homewares for the Melbourne Cup


Glamping


Christmas wrap ideas


Man Style


Melbourne Style



Shooting the Savvy Shopper pages for The Sunday Age M Magazine is such great fun - if a little exhausting! All that pounding the pavement looking for gorgeous homewares can take it's toll. Here are some of my pages. All photography is by the lovely and talented Mike Baker, and copyright is owned by Fairfax Ltd.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

this shoot, I am trying not to buy......


this divine vintage Tolix style metal chair, imported from France by Vicki, who owns the beautiful Metisse store in the Dandenongs. I featured it in another Savvy Shopper page for the Sunday Age M Magazine, which will run in March.

Melbourne / London / Melbourne


I am in love with this gorgeous Melbourne bag from Douglas and Hope, bought for me by my lovely friend Laura R just before she returned to live in the UK. I have promised to be her personal Melbourne shopper, if she reciprocates by doing the odd Cath Kidston run for me. Dream deal! Am quite fond of the puppy, also.

Monday, February 8, 2010

this shoot, I am trying not to buy......


No matter how hard I try, I seem to buy something from every shoot I style. Today I am working on a Sunday Age M Magazine shoot and trying hard not to buy this exquisite ceramic bulb vase by Mirka Mora. It is a limited edition: only 250 were made exclusively for the Heide Museum of Modern Art. I think it's a keeper....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

my girls in action



Here are my junior stylists in action setting the table for the Nette King extended family Christmas lunch.

OK, first post.....


Every single day I see beautiful things. At work, at home, walking my dog in the park. This blog is my way of remembering and sharing them. Here is a photo of my favourite print and chair, in my hallway.