Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The woes of shopping!

When I am plagued with interior design ideas and yet none of them seem the right fit, I throw it in and go outside to play. I then look around and realise there's just about as much stuff to do outside as there is inside. This is usually when I am at my most dangerous. 

Whilst I will labour over a decision to buy a $1 Op shop treasure, it appears I have no reservation in spending my life savings on plants and pretty flowers to adorn my front yard. 

I blame it on Anne of Green Gables. Those high-falutin' English cottages with their dainty but incredibly expensive perennials with names like Lily of the Valley and Lady's Mantle conjure up such whimsy and romance that you're convinced Colin Firth is going to pop by for a spot of tea.

How on earth do you remain a discerning shopper when your local nursery cunningly displays their most prettiest and alluring scented flowers just as you breeze through their front door's? Whilst I'd like to think I have the bank balance equal to those that sit at the very top of our social hierarchy, shelling out $250 on 12 plants just about crippled me! They might look great in the dirt now, but I'll be eating bread and water until the next pay day.

My gorgeous little one captured ripping the heads off flowers from their young stems. That's ok - we can buy more!!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Beautiful Collections

If you've ever felt guilty for hoarding, collecting, gathering, accumulating, stockpiling or just have a passion for, or obessed with an assortment of treasures, I've found a site that will justify, validate, and rationalise every piece you've ever bought or found.

To view these collections and more, visit A Collection a Day, 2010.

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pick up of the week!

My op shop purchase this week is a humble little thing, probably owned by a little Nana many years ago. It reminds me of my grandma who had a very similar one and loved nothing better than to dust off the good china (that I have since inherited and is shown above) and polish up the silver wear for a spot of tea with her guests. "One lump or two dear?" Grandma would ask as she poured you a tea to warm the cockles and ease you in to conversation about the weather and local updates on her neighbours Mavis and George. 

Whilst Grandma may have questioned the alternative use to honour this op shop piece, I think she would have loved knowing that it bought back a memory that made me smile and reminded me just how special she was. 

For more Op Shop finds, visit Sophie at Her Library Adventures.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sharing a treasured space with the ones you love

Its inspiring when you see the fruits of someone's labour in re-designing a house to make it a home.

There is tremendous satisfaction and joy in "making do with what you have", valuing the important things in life and sharing a treasured space with the ones you love.

The couple who own this 1917 apartment have invested countless hours over the years putting together a home overflowing with personality, yet curated within the constraints of a very limited budget (much of their home is furnished with hand-me-downs and garage sale finds). 

For more photos of this wonderful apartment, go to Apartment Therapy.

And as for my little humble abode, I continue to add touches of our family's personality with a simple reminder of what makes us happy:

Love & Freckles (of the chocolate kind)!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rustic Italian Guesthouse anyone?

As I nurse Mr Lycra back to health after his first hip operation (yes, unfortunately there is another one on its way), I dream of one day visiting a little Italian village like this. Ok, so its not that little, but a girl can dream.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Flea Market Find - $1 Bonanza

I feel guilty enough paying so little when I find a priceless heirloom at my local Op Shop, but when they have a $1 sale on everything in the store, what's a woman to do?

I pondered how on earth they make a profit,
debated long and hard whether I should take advantage of this day light robbery
and decided "who am I to veto such a worthy cause?"
so I rolled up my sleeves,
put my fastest runners on,
and my best shopping grin
and headed down there.

Was not disappointed...

I bought this wonderful picture frame (for the gorgeous picture) for $1.00
I painted the frame gucci green to add that air of sophistication only gucci can
and placed it on my cabinet with no handles.
Since painting my cabinet, I am troubled by the many variations and colours of available handles. Suggestions are welcomed! 
The frame will move to the wall at some stage once I string it up at the back.

Not to be outdone by the gorgeous picture frame, I found this cracker of a kitchen table cloth (AKA single bed sheet to those with no imagination).


I then spent what seemed like half a day (and no doubt it was) strategically placing sea shells and coastal trinkets to create a centrepiece in order to draw ones attention to the magnificence that was my $1.00 Op Shop find.

On his arrival home from an early morning cycle, embodied in Lycra and looking sweaty, wonderful husband looked at table cloth and then me, and without raising an eyebrow asked what was for lunch.

I know in that look that he was humouring me.

You see, Mr Lycra isn't too happy. He has been kicked off the computer indefinitely. When summoned, he reluctantly shuffles his feet to the monitor grumbling something under his breath about missing the best part of Top Gear. Unperturbed I show him my favourite blogspots and bang on about these creative geniuses and how if I am ever worthy, I too might be able to craft a masterpiece one day. Until that time, I will do my bit and scrounge around Op shops, picking out priceless possessions and with all the energy that I can muster (for a woman constantly complaining that she is tired) will lovingly restore them to their former glory.

These are baby steps in the creative juggernaut that is blogging. I hope one day, I'll have earned my crafty stripes (by sewing some amazing channel gown from a hessian sack or a pin cushion that makes front page of vogue) and will be able to say with pride I too, am a crafty Jedi Warrior.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ahh the serenity!

Another glorious day in my neck of the woods (or should I say beach).

After making pancakes for breakfast and sipping a perfect takeaway coffee, we packed up the kids and walked to the beach. We recently celebrated our first year in our new home and not a day goes by that I don't think how lucky we are to be living here.

As the kids darted in and out of the waves and my husband stood on patrol, I tried my hand at taking some artsy pics.

Wishing you all a lovely, relaxing weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A wonderful worthy cause

For a wonderful worthy cause and a terrific way to do some virtual flea market shopping, stop by designing dna on March 20 and 21...The crafty world will be doing their bit to raise funds for the Samaritan's Purse Disaster Relief Re-build Program. There will be an auction, door prizes, a flea market and even a cupcake walk. Everyone is welcome. You can also donate your own wares.

Thank you to Lona de Anna for alerting me to this cause and rallying up support. I thought I'd do my bit and pass it on. I intend to check out the wares on offer. I've had a sneek preview on designing dna and oh my lordy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Inspirational Home

I love this home. It comes courtesy of Anisa Makhoul and Graeme Nelson from Makool Loves You that published a photo tour of their home at Apartment Therapy

Thanks to Sophie from  Her Library Adventures for the wonderful link to the beautiful clothing from Makool Loves You.

Flirty Aprons GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

I acquired an apron at my local op shop recently but I'm sure you will agree that it doesn't hold a candle to the gorgeous aprons found at Flirty Aprons. Plus they are having a giveaway and nothing quite says sexy like a free flirty apron whilst baking a round of date scones!

Flirty Aprons GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

My Op Shop rescue! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Birds make me happy!

I love birds - the stuffed kind. Actually, I love all birds - the natural kind are wonderful however I have taken a particular liking to those gorgeous birds that adorn the shop window of my local florist. After finding an old and unwanted bird cage from the Op shop last week, I decided to buy a couple of birds and give them a new home. I would have been adventurous and considered the real, chirping in the dawn kind of bird, but we have failed miserably lately with our extended family of guinea pigs...each week it seems we've had one run for freedom (into the hands of an opportunist cat) or give up the ghost (only to be found cold and lifeless) and me left explaining to my little girls why they decided to go to the big zoo in the sky! So, the birds of a crafty kind are about all I feel responsible enough to handle. I've strategically placed the bird cage in my favourite chill out spot in the backyard (top right hand corner). The local birds that socialise and chat in neighbouring trees around us make up for my introverted ones!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Flea Market Find Sunday

My husband thinks I'm a blog addict. I may have to agree with him. My sole purpose for living today was to ensure I made it to the Ops shops in between dropping kids off at birthday parties, just so I could score a great Op Shop bargain and enter Her Library Adventures Sunday Flea Market challenge. Is that such a bad thing? Had I not gone I would never have met my lovely lace-work cushion and turquoise table cloth.

I have a new fondness for tea pots. I have decided however that rather than be conventional and use this one for all things twinning, I'm going to wait for a hot balmy night and fill it with gin, tonic, lime juice and some slithers of cucumber. 

The bird cage was an impulse buy with my six year old who had just bought some yellow fluffy chics. We just had to have a home for them!

Of all my lovely Op Shop finds today, the one I just adore is a Bennington Potters handmade Batter Bowl. It is beautifully crafted and has a stamp dating back to 1879. I jumped on their website and found that it's a bit of an institution attracting people from all over the world who come to buy their pottery in New England, USA. For a 50c purchase, I'm feeling pretty smug!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hoo's up for tea?

It was a comedy of errors today. My intentions were good - drop off eldest to school, do housework, finish grocery shopping, steal a few minutes in the day to stop off at Vintage Market, cook dinner.

I took my youngest with me, got to the market, youngest wee'd her pants on vintage toy rocker, quickest spill recovery you've ever seen and out the door with haste. Of course, didn't have a spare change of clothes so poor little one had to sit in soggy pants.

On the way home, the clouds parted and a heavenly ray of light shone down on a little Op Shop on the side of the road I'd never seen before. Quick dash in and I managed to find an old pair of pants to replace soggy ones and came across this hoot of a tea cosy! Quite chuffed with my purchase, I came home and made myself a cup of tea.

My Welcome Wall

This is my 'welcome wall' - the hallway entrance to my front door. The wall is so large I decided to incorporate some permanent art. I think it needs some birds perching on the tree branches - haven't quite convinced my husband on that one! Maybe a little seat at the bottom of the tree that I can strategically place some blankets and cushions and hide my shoes underneath. It would hopefully give the illusion of a park bench next to a real tree. I think I've just thought of my next Op Shop Challenge for this weekend - park bench, here I come!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Crafty long weekend

I love long weekends. That extra day makes your whole weekend just that little bit slower. I managed to get so much done. Amongst entertaining and cooking a mean lasagne, I was inspired by an article in the herald sun on the weekend and with a few discarded cans of crushed tomatoes, the kids and I made these. Given we lost power yesterday due to the storms, I'm thinking these will come in handy! Must admit, a very inexpensive way to create a bit of ambience!