Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Finding new purposes

The start to the year has seen me very quiet - but honestly who wants post after post of 'I have decluttered this that and the other'? Suffice to say the house is already feeling lighter - and with every thing I sell, donate or give away I feel more peaceful. There really is something quite liberating about opening the door to an entirely clean and bare cupboard!

Part of this process has also involved the re-purposing of items; finding different ways in which to use them. A good example of this was today. In the cleanup I found a pair of Vera Wang crystal tea light holders which I've honestly never used. And while I love my marble cheese paddle, there's a limit to how often I use that, too. So today when I realised my mint was in desperate need of being cut back, I decided I'd re-purpose that, also, and put together a bit of a display for the end of the kitchen bench.

Nothing fancy, but it does make the house smell amazing and I like knowing I am using things which would otherwise sit in a cupboard or be destined for my compost bin.

A good way to use up mint off-cuts

Other than decluttering, the start to the year has seen us cooking. LOTS of cooking. Sean recently attended a Paella cooking course and has since been treating us with various Paella and Spanish creations.

His first Paella (Chorizo and Chicken) was so flavoursome and a hit with the adults of the family. Subsequent seafood versions were also well received!

Start of the Chorizo and Chicken Paella

Was delicious!

Calamari, Prawn, Scallop and Fish Paella

Also amazing!

So now Easter is upon us and I am about to start making Hot Cross Buns. Other than that, the Easter long weekend will see us cleaning up outside the house (pressure washing under the eaves, the paths etc.) and lots of get togethers with friends.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Why I can't be trusted at a Market!

We went to the Mornington Craft Markets  yesterday as something to do with the kids. As well as attempting to eat our own body-weights in berries (there is an awesome berry stall there) we also came across these darling prints from Winter Avenue Press. I was chatting to Sally, the artist, while Adelaide was swooning over her many gorgeous animal drawings - and in particular the bunnies.

So I placed an order for two in A3 size. They will be just the thing for Adelaide's 'big school-girl' room mini-update. They'll be arriving sometime early February, so I need to get the rest of the room upgrade sorted by then. I plan to mount them in over-sized white frames with a large matte over her bookcase.

Two limited edition bunny prints for my little bunny

Of course, that wasn't my only find. Some time ago we bought a firepit/box for the back paved area. It wasn't really what either of us was 100% after, but we like to have a fire there when we entertain and we figured it was cheap enough to use until we found something we really liked. Which happened yesterday.

A metal worker had the most amazing sculptural firepit on display. It is HUGE but rather than an uninspiring open tray, it looks like a sculpture. I can really see it working on our back paved area.

It is not inexpensive, so some saving will be required, but I can see it looking awesome out there and providing a huge amount of heat in winter. I think it will also add visual interest when inside the house looking out to the paved area.

Firepit on display at the market

A custom order firepit by the same artist

A VERY old photo of the area where I see the
sculpture/firepit going.The garden is established now!

Am currently talking price, timelines etc. with the designer. I am not sure whether to commission a new piece or whether to purchase the display piece (assuming he is willing to sell that one).  He is going to take measurements to see if it will fit through the front door so that might influence my decision!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

New Year, New Linen

Been wanting something more summery linen wise for the Master bedroom for a while. Dropped by Chadstone briefly today to check out the post-Christmas sales at Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn and while I was tempted by some stemless wine glasses and a bunt tin left empty handed. Then spun past  Bed, Bath and Table where I picked up new linen. I was in two minds about it, and as soon as I got it home I realised it just wasn't summery enough.

So a quick trip to the local store and exchanged it for this. I am really liking the brighter colours. Usually I'd go for a teal or aqua, but green and blue is a change (and I change linens that frequently that I doubt I'll have a chance to get too bored by it).

New bed linen from Bed Bath and Table
Now the only challenge is to sneak some matching European pillows, cushions and decorative throw onto the bed ;)  Happy New Years - wishing everyone a happy 2016!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Designer's Guild

Went to a warehouse sale for Designers Guild the other day, which was lots of fun. Heaps of delicious textiles on offer. Didn't buy any as I'm still trying to resolve the rear room/couch issue. However there were some nice homewares there, including this delicious little milkjug which came home with me.

Other than that, the focus has been on putting up (and extending) our Christmas lights collection. Sadly we have been out the last two evenings, so have not yet had a chance to see the street in its lit splendor. Will have to take a tour tonight :) We were disappointed in the brightness of our lights last year, so bought brighter strands this year and it's certainly made a difference.

Saturday, 21 November 2015


My front garden beds are partially shaded by the oak, and it also takes a lot of water from the beds, so it's hard to know what to put there. My New Zealand Rock Lillies thrive there, so I thought I might try a white Saxifraga for a little infill.

My hydrangea, which I had worried might not make it, is now doing wonderfully well beside the path near the side gate and is starting to bloom. Obviously it's in a good spot for it - so I have bought another to put in beside it. I am so excited that it's doing well - it's a plant I just adore and I know that once they're established they're very hardy. It's also something I had no chance of growing when I was in QLD.
We're off to the National Rhododendron gardens today. Apparently they are magnificent at this time of year. I must admit I am a little excited at getting a glimpse at some of the 15000+ Azaleas there - they're another favourite of mine!

Friday, 13 November 2015

It's been a while

The last month has been fiendishly busy. With my baby getting ready to start school next year, I've been slowly de-cluttering toys and clothes from her room and replacing them with school uniforms and school supplies. I suppose sometime soon I'll need to think about a desk.

Of course - the real de-cluttering will happen next year when I have the house to myself. I want to do a really thorough room-by-room clean out. I will still be working, of course, but I'm making a list of house things I want to achieve once I have some uninterrupted time to get them done. And a good spring clean is at the top of that list!

My garden needs weeding again - but it's looking glorious. Always does this time of year. In fact we have a morning of gardening planned today. Gypsum, fertilizing, weeding etc. Also have some new plants to put in.

Friday, 9 October 2015

To make me smile

Doing the groceries yesterday and I saw this Azalea for sale. Now when I lived in QLD I never had much luck with my azaleas - but this just looked so bright and pretty I decided it needed to come home with me.

I'm not quite sure where he'll go? Maybe between the driveway and front path where my lilac is now doing so nicely.

How gorgeous is this Azalea?

Hopefully I have better luck in this climate!