Sunday, October 31, 2010

Way back when - last day of Blogtoberfest

It is the last day of Blogtoberfest and even though I didn't end up posting everyday, I certainly posted more regularly and met some great new blogging friends. It was a good month and a milestone one, with our builders starting work.

Now for some reason looking back over the last month also got me to thinking and looking back in general. This antique dresser not only is nearly 100 years old it is the first item of furniture I bought. (It is not normally this bare by the way, I normally have a vase of flowers and candles on it but they all have been packed up).

I loved it from the first time I saw it in the Antique Market in Adelaide and as soon as I had saved enough put it on lay-by when I was 21, over 15 years ago.

The thing I love about old furniture is that it has a story and a past. Also as I read somewhere recently it is better for the environment to buy old pieces, so that's good to know.

I have also enjoyed visiting others blogs and seeing how others have restored items found at markets or op shops, it has given me ideas for some of my existing pieces which are looking a bit tired.
Like the coffee table above, made from recycled timber, which I also bought in my early twenties, has a lot of marks on the top (hard to see here but can't take a close up a friend has it at the moment). Anyway thinking of giving it a sand and white wash to go in our new family area when completed. What do you think? The area is going to have a blue and white theme, to go with our blue sofas (the narrow space they are currently in below is going to be the dining area).

Hope you all had a good October and have a great Sunday, oh and Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tread Lightly upon this World


On a visit to the Yarra Valley a while ago I bought this card, not only because I like the design but the message resonates with me.

You may read something else into it but for me it is all about sustainability, something which we are trying to think about when it comes to our renovation, our garden and our everyday life.

With the house we are putting in high rating insulation, double glazed windows, getting a water tank, looking at solar panels, energy efficient lights and more.

For the garden I am currently learning about permaculture principles and how this can work in with the house as well.

With everyday life we try to remember to turn off things at the power point, dry our clothes on the line, put buckets under taps and more.


This design by Freya Art & Design I also bought for the colour, design and because I love the ideas it communicates. I especially love to travel, though haven't done much recently, but can't wait to with my children and explore with them. I also in accordance with the philosophy above, buy carbon credits every time we do to at least try an counteract the impact.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It has started - mess, asbestos, the juggle and more


I can't believe I haven't been online since Sunday, the last 24 hours I have had stomach virus (just starting to feel better though very shaky), my little boy has been sick and we have had builders here, it has been a bit of a juggle to say the least.

Looking from the bathroom through the WIR to the main bedroom

The week has been exciting, messy, exhausting and unsettling for the kids, all part of living in a house being renovated. Since 8am Monday we have had builders in our house and our bathroom has been fully demolished, the frame for the walk in robe has been built and last but definitely not least we had some asbestos removed yesterday, which has already added an unexpected cost.

The carpenter discovered the asbestos 10am Monday morning in the lino and bath caddy. Fairly common in houses of the age of ours (built in 1950s), but not a nice feeling all the same. At least in this instance there is only a small amount so they could continue working on other things around it.

So yesterday morning the asbestos guys rocked up and of course we had to be out of the house. Normally this wouldn't be an issue as both Hubby and I work in the City on Wednesdays and the kids go to crèche but our poor little boy was sick so we had to quickly find somewhere for my hubby to take him for the day. So good to have friends near by at times like this (the same friends who are letting us have a shower at their place).

For me though Monday was the hardest and surprisingly, even though I didn't do any of that full on physical work I was exhausted and developed a bad headache. Probably because of all the dust (though have managed to block the area off well), the anticipation and looking after the kids , who were initially very excited and wanted to watch, but got upset as the day went on. My daughter particularly freaked out when she saw the ceiling missing.

So at the end of the day we all collapsed and for the last three nights we have ended up letting my daughter sleep on the sofa bed with me while Hubby slept in her bed in the same room as our son - the hallway is in no condition for night time wanderings which my daughter is in the habit of at the moment.

Even with this, all the mess (which nothing can prepare you for) and trying to get the kids out of the house as much as possible, I am still loving it at this early stage. The guys are friendly and I enjoy seeing how it is all done.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A day on the farm

A perfect Sunday morning, the sun was out and so we headed to the Collingwood Children's Farm to meet some friends who we hadn't seen for a while. I love the Farm, only a few kilometres from Melbourne's CBD but it feels like you are in the country.

The kids love looking at the animals (so do I), which they can pat, feed or even milk a cow. I love the atmosphere of the place, the rustic style of the stone buildings, the community vegetable gardens and more.
It certainly inspires me, as I have a love for old buildings and natural materials like wood and stone. I also can't wait to build vegetable and herb garden beds like the ones I saw today. Something for after the builders have left considering they will be putting their materials in piles in our back garden.

What did you do with your Sunday, hope you had a good one?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It has begun, well sort of!

The electrician came around this morning to cut and seal or 'make safe' the wires etc in the bathroom ready for the builders on Monday to start demolishing.

Current built in cupboards - will be ripped out and replaced with a walk in robe through to the bathroom / new ensuite

We have also moved officially into our lounge which will now act as our bedroom as well. Thankfully we already had a sofa bed that we can use rather then trying to fit our Queen size bed in.

Our empty bedroom - well except for the tiles and lights all ready to be fitted.

The kids certainly enjoyed all this this morning, helping to move our bedding and then proceeding to hide under it on the leather sofa, then going through books we had moved together, very cute.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ode to the Geranium

Many years ago I used to think the geranium was the kind of flower my grandma had in her garden, so back in my early twenties didn't think it was appropriate for our apartment balcony.

Now since having visited Italy a couple of times where I saw them in abundance, I love them and have them growing in many spots in our garden.

Not only do they add great colour to the house and garden, they also flower most of the year and are hardy in our dry Australian climate.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Melbourne black

I was reminded today when walking through the City in my lunch break of Melburnian’s love of black. Even with the weather warming up, black is the colour of choice. It is the backdrop with spots of colour being added with a scarf, shoes, jewellery or maybe jacket.


In the house however it is the opposite with white as the popular backdrop with colour added through furniture, rugs, cushions or other ornaments.

Melbourne is my adopted City, I have lived here now for nearly 10 years but am certainly a true Melburnian when it comes to colour choice.


I must say too that both in my dress and at home I like the black and white combination. Black being dominant with clothes and at home white walls with black pictures frames.


I love this black and white tea towel I bought a while ago from Yardage Design. As soon as the builders are finished this is going on my wall.

What is the colour of choice where you live?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Coffee and tea


I love my coffee, so much so that Hubby and I invested in a Saeco coffee machine two years ago as a Christmas present to ourselves. Recently I have been on the look out for some red coffee cups and found this set in Target the other day. I thought they looked so good that I put them on display in the kitchen bookcase.

Now I would love to get some red tea cups but haven't found any as yet. Anyone know where I can get some?I do love this toy tea set too from Kids Central, so good not to have pink. Very gender neutral.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We have a build date!

Yes we have finally had a build date confirmed - Monday 25 October. So in just over a week we are going to be watching builders demolish our one and only bathroom to make it into an en-suite and walk in robe.

I am very excited but at the same time wonder how quickly this will wear off, with Hubby and I having to sleep in the lounge, all of us having to go to friends houses for showers (at least we still have a toilet) and having builders in the house from 7ish in the morning on a almost daily basis for about a month.

After that month the builders will break for Christmas and we can move back into our bedroom to get the rest of the house ready for the rear extension build which will start mid January.

So it is all happening. And in what is fairly normal at this time of year it is really busy in most other parts of our lives too, hence I am getting a bit behind with Blogtoberfest.

We have both been relatively busy at work (it has started to slow down for me though), had regular interstate visitors from our home town of Adelaide (which I do love), catching up with other Melbourne friends, the parties have already started for the many birthdays we have over the next few months and booking in the Christmas ones and last but by no means least the mayhem and fun of two small children........breath!

I sometimes wish that I could collapse among my favorite things like my little boy does when he has had enough.

I know we will get there but I must say I am hanging out for Christmas when we will have a break in Adelaide, doing a house swap with friends. I think we got the better end of the deal as they have a beautiful finished home with a pool! The thought of this keeps me going.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Advent calendar - Blogtoberfest day 14

Well it's seems that Christmas isn't far off, as for the last couple of weeks all the Departments stores have been selling Christmas decorations. This reminded me that I really wanted to get an advent calendar this year. One that I can put my own treats into for the kids and can reuse year after year.

So it was with luck that I stumbled into Myer in Melbourne yesterday, just to get out of the rain to find their 'Trim store' is having 25% off until Sunday. And I found just what I was looking for, it is made of wood and has little drawers that I can put treats in, I also like the red and white combination, fits perfectly into our lounge room.


I must admit I love looking in stores like Myer when they are filled with Christmas decorations. I love the sparkle and glitter and the memories it provides of decorating a real tree as a family when I was a child. I am now lucky enough to enjoy the magic of Christmas with young children, my daughter loves decorating the house and tree (my little boy is still in the rip the balls off the tree and throw them stage).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Blogtoberfest day 13


I have just joined in on Wordless Wednesday, to find out more - Wordless Wednesday

Blogtoberfest day 12 - what happened!

Well here in Australia it is actually Blogtoberfest day 13 but lets pretend I am over the other side of the World somewhere and still in day 12.

I couldn't do my daily post in Australian time yesterday as last night I got home from work and rushed straight to the physio. I have had a bit of back pain recently and the physio certainly helped last night but told me to minimise my time on the computer and rest that evening.

So when I got home instead of going back on the computer I put a heat pack on my back and watched an episode of Grand Designs with Kevin Mcloud. Hubby and I have become a little addicted to this show recently watching an episode almost every night in the past week. In the episode we watched last night the couple didn't finish their build in time for Kevin to show us around the completed house. This is a reasonably common thing, with both build time and budget going well over what was planned. Something to take into account when doing any kind of build work on a house.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blogtoberfest day 11 - hectic


Trying to post everyday is a lot harder then I thought. It has been a hectic week and today was no different. So what made me smile today, sun, flowers in my garden, coffee with friends at my house, time with the kids on the trampoline and then an evening walk with a friend.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Windows and light


The morning light coming through our family room windows this morning was beautiful. We are lucky as this area faces North and so we get great sun all year around. The only issue is this means it gets a little hot in summer. Something we are looking at fixing with the renovation.


Unfortunately this beautiful sash window and these French doors will soon be removed. Where the French doors are we are extending out for more living space, off which will come a hall to lead to two new bedrooms, a family bathroom and laundry. At the end of this new living space we will be putting in wooden framed, double glazed, sliding doors. The window will also be replaced with sliding doors to lead out onto an alfresco deck.

We did think it would be great to reuse the French doors but we wanted better energy efficiency with double glazing. Now I am trying to think how I could reuse them elsewhere. Maybe in the garden?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Books add a little something


I love to read and I am one of these people that will read a book a few times if I have enjoyed it. I particularly love non-fiction books about women trying to set a new life for themselves in some foreign place, especially the ones where they do up a villa or something similar.


The other great thing about books is I think they make great decoration around the house. Big picture books lying on a coffee table or a collection of books propped up against something and the spines of colour in a bookshelf.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A good day - build date in sight


Today was a good day, firstly because we had our pre-commencement meeting with our Building Manager. This means that the build will start very soon, in the next two weeks. We have permits and are ready to go! So now a weekend of packing, making lists and getting organised ahead. Something I actually enjoy.

Secondly a good day as a good friend who I haven't seen for a few weeks came over for coffee. Her two kids were in tow so they entertained mine, always a bonus.

To top this off I got my copy of the November Home Beautiful today. I have already flicked through twice and love a couple of the feature homes. Also a big fan of the cover with the red, blue and white combination.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Colourful pieces for kids rooms


The one room where I have a lot of colour is my children's bedroom. Having a girl of four and a two year old boy sharing a room means I have kept it gender neutral. Pictures like the one above from Mooo are perfect for this. Mooo sell a great range of products including labels, wall stickers and bags.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Hubby makes me smile


I told my Hubby the other day that I was taking part in Blogtoberfest and so was writing a post every day in October on things that make me smile. He naturally said "are you going to write a post on me then?"

In all honesty I hadn't planned too, not because he doesn't make me smile but because I was trying to keep the posts in the theme of the blog - relate them to design, creative things or our renovation.

Then after some thought I realised talking about Hubby is very relevant to our renovation. As many of you would know the whole renovation / build process can be very stressful and put strain on relationships and the household. Well luckily for me Hubby and I have very similar tastes in style and are on the same page in what we want from the renovation / extension. This really helps and what has made me really smile is when Hubby said 'I trust your judgement on interior design so will leave it up to you' - though I do know that means once I have discussed it with him.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Room with multiple personalities

I have had friends often say they hardly use their lounge room but spend all their time in the family room living space. This is certainly not the case in our house - lounge room, study, blogging room, guest room, reading room, puzzle room, music room, weekend morning coffee room, Christmas tree room and last but not least my French room. The front room of our house acts as all of these, with a sofa bed, desk, piano, bookshelves and even a filing cabinet tucked away behind the door, it is very versatile and well loved.

To add to this impressive list it will very soon also act as our main bedroom while the builders work on our WIR and en-suite.

Once we have finished the extension though this room can focus on being our lounge room. The desk and filing cabinet will move to our new study and this will also act as the guest room.

Even so this much loved room I hope will still be used. I love the art deco fireplace and the view out the front window so I am sure it will still be a favourite for our weekend morning coffee.

Do you have a room like this?


Monday, October 4, 2010

Colour, sun and bare feet


The sun is out and the temperature is starting to creep higher after a very long Winter. And so yesterday we were out and about near the water, checking out the new area in the Docklands of Melbourne.

The blue sky, colourful lanterns and watching the kids enjoy the day made me smile. Then realising it is warm enough this morning to walk around the house in bare feet and feel the smoothness of the floorboards just added to this, I love spring and summer.

Now time to bring more colour into the house I think.

Happy day four of Blogtoberfest!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

French for atmosphere and inspiration


French food, wine and family - it was my Mum's 60th this week and to celebrate we went to a French restaurant for dinner.


Dinner in a place like this with family not only makes me smile but inspires me. I love the French style and flair. It helped that all the waiters in this restaurant are French, so got to here that lovely accent and enjoy the atmosphere.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Beautiful prints

Day two of Blogtoberfest (find out more by clicking on the image in the sidebar). As part of this for the month of October I will be posting everyday something that makes me smile.

So something that makes me smile is beautiful prints to decorate the house and My Sweet Prints has a great range of these. And if you buy any this weekend you get 20% off. Click on the image above to find out more.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pictures - children's artwork makes me smile


As mentioned in my last post my daughter loves to draw and paint, so much so that she is now bringing home about ten pictures a day on her kinda days. At home when her brother is having his daytime sleep she immediately wants to get her crayons, paint and craft things out, a lot of fun.

At first as the very proud Mum I kept all her pictures and still keep a lot, but have had to come up with ways of displaying, storing or using them for something else. Especially now as my two year old boy has started getting in on the act bringing home his own pictures from day care.

My daughter and I put together a display folder for her prize pictures, others we put on her bedroom wall and rotate, we have framed a couple, done paintings on canvas, use older paintings as wrapping paper and take photos of others before they get recycled.


Ideas for home creativity - we make things to decorate her room, or birthday cards for people. And more recently she draws and paints online with sites like ABC Playground.

I have to say though even though we receive so many pictures, I still take time to study every one, they make me smile.

Each day throughout the month of October, I will be taking photos of things that make me smile as part of the
Blogtoberfest bloghop. Click on the logo in my sidebar to find out more....

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