Friday, April 30, 2010

it's time for a bathroom update...

our bathroom

Perhaps strangely for someone who works in interiors, I am not a huge fan of renovations. Unless they are really, really needed. Like when your roof is going to fall on your head. Or you have too may children sleeping in one bedroom, or your bedroom. I see so many people spend exorbitant amounts of time, money and stress demolishing perfectly good interiors, when maybe all they needed was a bit of an update. And I get (probably irrationally) upset when I see beautiful old homes being stripped of all their charms in an attempt to modernise the interior. Build a new home, I say! I am sure that Jeremy loves this, as it makes me a cheap shout in terms of real estate. Having said all that, I am starting to think that our family bathroom could use an update. Nothing major - no knocking down of walls or buying plush new fittings. Our bathroom, with its clawfoot bath and pedestal basin, suits this old place. But the grout is getting really manky, the floor near the shower is getting a bit too bouncy, and the toilet uses about 700 litres per flush. So I am thinking that a small, understated renovation may be in order. Just new tiles for the walls and the floor, and a more environmentally friendly loo. But then again, I really want to go to Italy next year. I bet I know what the family would choose...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The day my fillings hurt...

I just stumbled on these photos and they made me smile, so I thought I would post about them. They were taken in Sydney in 2008 as I prepared for the girls school Spring Fair. I did the chocolate and strawberries stall, after which I could not look at a strawberry or chocolate for a very long time. Well, a while, anyway...

Monday, April 26, 2010

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

this shoot, I am trying very hard not to buy this little tin globe from The Junk Company. It seems like everybody we know is heading overseas this year, so it could help me track their travels and hopefully inspire me to save up for a trip OS in winter '11.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

internet free long weekend...

taking Dougal to the dog beach

Ocean Grove stuff still life

side gate

That's right. No facebook for Annebelle, no Petville for Alex, no footy dream-team updates for Jem and no blog reading or writing for me. Instead there was a lot of food, in particular a passionfruit sponge and cream kisses from Freshwater Creek; fish and chips; and the obligatory (yet always strangely unsatisfying) meal at the Mexican. Being Anzac Day, all the op shops and even KYO were closed, so that left lots of time for reading books and walking Dougal along the beach.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

golden moment...

I have a real thing for pale, goldy yellows at the moment, as you can see from this little corner of my lounge/dining/office room. And I thought I wasn't mad about bright canary yellows until I saw this image of an amazing Smeg fridge in a press release this morning. Yum.

The painting is called "She Went That Way" by Hannah Murray, from the Gilligan Grant Gallery in Collingwood and the lamp was made by Vince Turner. The chair is obviously ancient and in dire need of recovering. Or maybe not...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

found frame for the hallway...

Last Monday we went for a late evening stomp with the doggy and my (very well trained) family spotted this old frame in a junk pile on a nature strip. Before I did. And it is not even Council Waste Collection time! Jem lugged it home, and I puzzled over what to do with it for a few days then remembered a great fabric remnant I bought so long ago that I can't remember where from. It has a gorgeous silky feel, and a really wide spaced flower pattern, almost like tie-dye. This afternoon I stapled it onto the inner frame, popped into the outer one, and here it is in my hallway.

The roses are Souvenier de la Malmaison, and good old iceberg

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

vintage beauty...

When I read about the Melbourne based online vintage store on one of the wonderful daily updates, I popped over to check it out and was thrilled to find these gorgeous vintage brooches, particularly as they had both a rose and a daisy. You see these are my girls' middle names, and I could not buy one without the other, for fear of being accused of playing favourites - any sibling or parent will understand! But as I have had a few dodgy online transactions lately, I was a bit ginger about committing. I went ahead anyway, and was SO chuffed with the outcome. I was kept constantly up to date about the payment and shipping, and then two days later the most divine package arrived, with candy striped wrapping paper, little pink pouches and - wait for it - bonus toffee lollies! Then all I had to do was convince my girls that the brooches were actually for ME. Here they are on my $2 Vinnies overcoat.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

this week, I WILL paint...

the aqua patch is quite lovely, but still it has to go

a black mantelpiece remains long after the Melbourne Cup has been run

This is my tricky way of forcing myself to get started on a major home job. You see, if I put it out there that I am going to paint the lounge room, then maybe I actually will, even if it is only in the interest of not sounding like a lame-ass procrastinator. Our lounge room slash dining room slash my office is currently a ridiculous patchwork of paint colours as it is quite often used as a cheap (read free) location for my shoots. And every time I start slapping on another colour I swear I will paint it back to normal "that weekend". Needless to say I still have a black mantelpiece from a 2009 Melbourne Cup 'equine homewares' shoot and a large patch of aqua on another wall from a 'bookends' shoot in November. And then there is the Christmas garland that it still hanging between the chandeliers. I have the big paint tin sitting at the front door, the drop sheets and paintbrushes at the ready. Now, I just need to start.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Melbourne's forecast: put the boots away, drag out the Havaianas, again.

Just when we thought it was all over, Melbourne's weather has surprised us with an Indian Summer. What a cracking morning to sit and read the papers in the sunshine. I was very happy to have this little vintage saucer table to pop my tea on - it was a lucky find at the Salvos in Chapel Street yesterday. We used to have the Saucer chairs at Ocean Grove, but they have long since been trashed and taken to the tip, dammit. Annebelle is quite smitten with table, so I think it is headed for use as a bedside table in her room.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

colour that's good enough to eat...

(sample pots put to good use on some old frames in Annebelle's room)

You may have guessed that I am sick for a bit of colour. I've tried cool, white minimalism and failed. Badly. I know I really love a colour when I want to eat it, or in the case of a paint colour, drink it. Sometimes I pop into Porter's Paints just to drool at the lovely sample pots, and usually come home with one or two. Hence the growing collection of little glass jars on my desk. Today I knocked them flying one too many times, so I am on the lookout for a sample pot storage solution, and I kinda like them on this cake platter.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

wonderful Melbourne artist - Marie Christodulaki

Today I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely and extremely talented Melbourne artist Marie Christodulaki. She is one clever cookie - in addition to studying for her Masters in media, she also produces beautiful artworks across many media. The girl has some serious hand-eye skills - one of her hand cut and pinned paper mobiles can be seen in this month's Inside Out magazine in a gorgeous spread styled by Glen Proebstel and shot by Sharyn Cairns. She also crochets, and takes beautiful photographs - my friend Jenny E recently framed four of Marie's photographs and they look absolutely sublime.

Marie's mobiles can be purchased at Scarlet Jones in Hawthorn or she will work to commission. You can check out her work on her Flickr site, marie-ici-la's photos and her blog at

Photo of Inside Out magazine by me.
other photos are copyright Marie Christodulaki

Monday, April 12, 2010

fab frock from the oppy today

there is nothing like a $6.50 vintage frock to perk me up on a grey day. I'm not even sure if it will fit either of my girls, but it looks damn cute hanging up in Belle's room anyway.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

peace at last...

after two weeks of madness, I have finally caught my breath. Six photo shoots, easter, school holidays and very little sleep had left me kind of manic, so today it was fantastic just to potter, wash the floors, do only a little bit of work, and finally lose the furrow in my brow and the bags under my eyes. I even had time to look at my garden and see that the Iceberg rose outside my bedroom window was blooming, again. I know that the Iceberg rose has become a bit of a cliche - try to find a garden in Melbourne without at least one - but it is for good reason. The blooms just keep coming and coming and coming.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

brrrr... it's Autumn alright

the hero shot

constructing and painting the panels

mocking up the shot in my bedroom - man I need an office!

in the mag today

the product shots and copy on the page

It's our first really chilly morning here in Melbourne, so it is very timely that my Savvy Shopper page about Autumn hued homewares is published in the Sunday Age M Magazine today.

This page involved me constructing some wooden panels, so I headed off to Bunnings for wooden boards and beading. And who knew that my (very basic) quilting skills could be applied to woodworking? To match up the corners on the beading, I applied corner mitre-ing (not sure if that is a word, but anyway) techniques, and they worked!

I then enlisted my very sweet styling assistant slash daughter Annebelle to cut out and paint some paper leaves, whilst I painted the panels in the colours of the season. And although I have never been one to use Autumnal tones to decorate my own home, I found that they really grew on me, particularly the fiery reds and oranges. Don't think I'll be giving up the pink anytime soon, though.

The great photos are by Mike Baker, and copyright is owned by Fairfax, and the dodgy ones are by me.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

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

this shoot, I am trying not to buy this beautiful Place des Lices lidded soup bowl from Scarlet Jones in Auburn Road. I would love to serve up lunch of a hearty winter broth in one of these. Just add a crusty baguette, a glass of wine, an open fire, and that's me done for the afternoon. Only problem is, I'd need eight of them...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

the hallway, today.

the hallway is the part of this home that changes the most. I guess because there are no big bits of furniture that are hard to lug around. It is a work in progress and I am never really satisfied with how it looks, but today, with the addition of the O (see previous post) I am loving it.

O, yes please

when I go to the Camberwell Sunday Market, I usually do a lot of humming and hah-ing and will I or won't I-ing. Not this morning though. As soon as I saw this O from an old neon sign, I knew instantly that it was coming home with me. The fact that it is an old crimsony pink colour (and I have never met a pink I didn't love), just sealed the deal.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Grouse Friday..

I love enforced home days. No shops to visit, no work to do, no running around like a madwoman. So it wasn't just a good Friday here, it was totally grouse, especially with the lovely Margie and DW coming over for lunch. Marinara, pavlova and a nana nap. Bliss.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

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

this shoot, I am trying not to buy these adorable coffee mugs from Turner and Lane in Malvern Road, Malvern. The green and red apple ones are by Lotta Kiihlhorn, and the flowers and apple/pear combo are of course by Orla Kiely.

I have been madly sourcing for three shoots next week, so I have been faced with constant occupational-financial hazards. Am taking lots of deep breaths and Trying. Very. Hard. To. Stay. Strong.....