Friday, April 29, 2011

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue!

Well the big day is here - only a few hours to wait!  What will Kate wear?  Will the weather be beautiful? All will be revealed 8pm tonight Australian time.
Liberty Display London for the Royal Nuptuals

In typical Wedding tradition I thought I'd explore something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue!

Vintage China
The old represents the past or your family history.  A gorgeous old tea set or favourite chair/piece of furniture handed down from a relative - there can be nothing more precious. I use my nana's hall table as a desk, and a cherry wood plant stand to display some framed photos and nic nacs.  I have also restored my grandmother's rocking chair.  These are all well loved pieces in our home.

Vintage hall table with modern lamps by Tammy Mitchell
Something New represents the future & goodluck and is often the bride's wedding dress.

Something new for the home might be as simple as a fresh display of flowers - nothing like it to freshen a room and give it some life.
This is the dining room at my old house with a fresh bunch of Lillies and Irises on the table ready for an "open house" Inspection.

Something Borrowed for a wedding was an item borrowed from a friend who has a successful marriage it is also supposed to be returned.

It might have been a piece of jewellery or in the case of your home it might be a treasured gift or homeware accessory (that you love and won't be returning in this case!)  I have babysit precious items or plants for loved ones or friends while they are O.S. or moving house etc and while not permanent these make a great addition if you have the room.  But a new gift of candles, a plant or accessory can be a welcome addition to a room.

A Beautiful mirror is a focus as well as the crystal collection and ornate frame on the side table. A lovely space.

A new bowl or a collection can become a decorating feature

Something Blue is a symbol of faithfulness, purity and loyalty!

I saw this gorgeous blue and white tablecloth yesterday when I was at the beautiful new Brisbane store/cafe Hamptons Home Living

Fit for a Royal residence this is a very Elegantly styled "dream" pale blue scheme. The blue and white is a beautiful contrast to the polished timber floorboards.

This is another gorgeous interior accented with the blue stripe on the chairs, and pale aqua blue striped wallpaper.
This bold blue really makes a statement! I really love the artwork and the floral wallpaper and rug teamed with the timber chairs
So good luck to the new couple may they live a long and happy life together!

I'm looking forward to watching it with my children tonight and I've pulled out a few of the souvenirs I was given at the time of Charles and Di's Wedding back in 1981, to show them. (nearly 30 years ago!)

My Charles & Diana souvenir pop-up book and china cup.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

All Things British

I'm celebrating the very exciting lead up to the Royal Wedding with all of the quintessential British Style Icons.

The Union Jack is as English as they get and it is currently quite popular in cushions, artwork, rugs and antique items.

Union Jack trunk available from Village Gallery

This is a beautiful mix of such a strong image (the Union Jack) with the soft and traditional pieces featured in this styling by Pixel Squared click on their link for stockists in your area (Love this bus scroll art with a rock edge)

This is the picturesque Country Cottage featured in the movie The Holiday.  Unfortunately it is not real according to 213's top 10's blog and was purpose built for the movie in Surrey; but don't we all wish we had one of these to sneak away to for a mini break and snuggle by the fire!

Rosehill Cottage
Looking into the kitchen from the sitting room

This gorgeous cottage sitting room - so cosy!  I love the blue velvet ottoman and of course the fireplace


Bringing the outside in this large conservatory is being used as a dining space with a mix of traditional and modern furnishings The Kent Conservatory Company

Front doors - brightly painted complete with brass mail slots and door knockers.  The hard part is deciding which colour to go with!


Wallpaper has had a resurgence in the last few years, but enthusiasm has never really waned in the UK and here are a few more quirky examples of it being used as a feature of the room.
Traditional and Stylish image from Archzine
Bright and warm feature wallpaper, balanced with a traditional pattern and furnishings image from Archzine

Striking 8 pointed star wallpaper featured here comes in a number of other colours.
This is a fun wallpaper "Crowns and Coronets" released for the Royal Wedding as designed by Graham & Brown suitable for any "princess" or "prince"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Wonderful Easter

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!
Gorgeous Liberty Print Easter Bunnies available from Alfresco Emporium
We had a very busy, but lovely Easter blessed with friends and family and lots of food and most importantly chocolate!

I got my hot cross bun truffles finished at midnight Easter Saturday and they were a hit.  I modified the recipe from one I found last year in a grocery catalogue.  They are simple to make and delicious.

Yummy Hot Cross Bun Truffles

I also made some cupcakes for the kids - an ode to the Oxford Street Bakery. The kids enjoyed them even if they weren't quite as beautiful as their beautiful cupcakes.

Easter Cupcakes

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My fave things in Red & White

I am in the throws of organising my son's super hero party this weekend and was up late making transformers icing faces last night to put on a large cake and some cupcakes.  While I was tidying up the back garden today my darling Mr Nearly 4  decided he was a little hungry and preceded to eat 5 or so plus some stars and also a tiny nibble of the large face too.

what's left over of my star and transformer face cake toppers! after a hungry Birthday boy eats them before the cakes are even made.

Luckily I didn't throw out the left over icing last night, so I shouldn't be up too late tonight making the faces again and patching up the teeny bite taken out of the bottom of the large face too!

So it's a quick post from me - three of my favourite things in my favourite colour combination of red and or white!

Smeg 330L retro refrigerator available in assorted colours - I love the red one it's my favourite colour!

I have one of these great folding wooden chairs, I picked mine up from the Paddington Antique store for a great price.  It just needed a fresh coat of white paint and it's been a fantastic chair for my small office/guest room.  When visitors come to stay and the sofa bed comes out it can be folded away in the cupboard until their stay comes to an end.
I love this Circus Silhouettes wallpaper by Catherine Martin available through Porter's Paints. I love the red but also available in blue.  I first saw this back in 2008 in a Home Beautiful article and it is still a favourite of mine!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Power of Art

I've just walked down the hall and put the kids to bed; and I get a little thrill every time I catch a glance at the new framed print hanging there at the end of the hallway!  I really love it.
My new artwork from Target who would have thought - You can find art you love in the least expected places! it is called Spring Romance by Lisa Audit

I had gone to target to get an inexpensive frame for my girls' room (they usually have a good selection) when I spotted this unexpected gem!  I looked at it longingly but thought where will I put it? do I really need it? and left without giving it too much thought.  But later that day and for the next few days I kept thinking of that print.  That's the beauty of art sometimes you can't even leave the place without the piece you've fallen in love with; and other times it sneaks up on you and you can't stop thinking about it!  So I headed back and loved it even more the second time and promptly took it to the checkout! and it was a bargain too.

This is one of my favourite prints from working in the gallery Robert Doisneau "The Kiss"
My love of art started at a young age - always colouring and creating something!  I studied art at school and then managed a B & W photographic print gallery before heading off to uni.  During this time it really wet my appetite for art, I've seen quite a lot of visiting exhibitions and really enjoy visiting Goma regularly.

The Andy Warhol Exhibition was fabulous - he was such an amazing innovative artist!
I've also been lucky enough to visit the Louvre and a few other extraordinary galleries, but I genuinely love local art as well whether it's an original from the markets or a reproduction online, art can really make a statement in a room and really bring life to a home or office.  My problem is that I don't have enough walls to hang all of the things I'd like to have on display.

The great thing is that there are no rules when it comes to art.  If you are buying an original, I'm sure it'll be something you love as you will probably have it for a long time. If you buy something inexpensive and your tastes change or you move and no longer have a home for something; you can donate your art to charity or an op shop.  Ebay is also a great way to pass on your artwork to a new owner. 
This is a work by Anthony Pilley called La Rambla de Barcelona, I thought I brought home a print of this from a trip a few years ago but I didn't check what was in the tube and to my dismay I didn't discover I had been given the wrong print until I got home!  I still love it.
If it's a collection of photos you can update them at your leisure.  I have an array of prints, travelling and family photos, a couple of original prints and sketches in my home.  I also have framed postcards of retro artwork from overseas and these have made great original quirky pieces.

Postcards can make great artwork framed with a mount - image by Yadid Levy on

Art doesn't have to be expensive.  You can let your creativity takeover and paint a canvas or have one of your own photos printed on a canvas for a personal touch.

This is one of my favourite travel snaps that I have framed with a few others.  It's hard to take a bad picture in Santorini, right? I can never get tired of that view!(please link to my blog if you use this image by CCoombes)
IKEA have great frames and you can take your children's, grandchildren's or your own work and put it in a frame.

If you are looking for original work local markets and galleries are a good place to start.  The internet has also allowed galleries to become more "global" and you can browse collections online.

Local french born artist Sylvie Leroy "Promenade/Stroll" see more of her work at her exhibition in April details in this link Sylvie Leroy exhibition or visit her website

For more inspiration checkout the new book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die.

A must read for art lovers available online from Amazon or get your local book shop to order in for you!
Another of my fave's Gustav Klimt's The Kiss image from the The Artchive

Spruce up a spare wall space today!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Easter Specialties

The Easter Bunny is on his way and all the Easter treats are everywhere to tempt us!  I have to show you the pic I took of the cakes I bought from the Oxford St Bakery.  This place makes the most amazing looking and tasting cakes,  particularly their cupcakes!  Just so scrumptious, my kids loved these cakes and ate the entire thing, which often doesn't happen - they usually just eat the icing off the top!

Yummy Easter theme cupcakes from the Oxford Street Bakery Bulimba
Are you looking for a special Easter themed gift or something to decorate your table for Easter celebrations? Etsy might be a good place to start looking for that special Easter something! Either Vintage or Handmade there is some wonderful creations to browse and buy! I have chosen Australian Etsy stores but with 20 or so sleeps to go you may have time to get items shipped from the U.S. or other destinations O.S.
One off Mali Doll - Smiley Bunny Mali Dolls
This is a wonderful new Etsy Store called Malidolls which has some wonderful Easter creations!  All the creations are unique! More wonderful Etsy creations below...

Sweet Handmade tags from Enchanted Quilling so many designs to choose from!

Beautiful French Market baskets from RetroBirdDesigns perfect for Easter Eggs or an Easter Hunt perhaps?

Have you found any wonderful Easter Treasures?  I have a wonderful truffle recipe that I like to make at Easter - I'll share this once I get them made! I also have a tradition with the kids that we find all our toy bunnies and take a photo surrounded by them!  Enjoy the lead up to Easter and this special time with family and friends!