Monday, 25 June 2012

i think i might have a thing for rust..

While enjoying my mug of hot chocolate this morning, I couldn't help admire the rosy glow a pot of my succulents had taken on and how lovely they looked against some rusted hurricanes..

Then I began to notice all the other warm rusty hued things that had crept into our home over the years. I'm surrounded..

and in

to snuggle up on..
under our feet..

in my wardrobe..
decorating the walls and tables..

I also (and perhaps subconsciously) picked out a rust knit skirt for myself and a pair of oxblood pants for Thom while shopping the other day.

It appears I musty really have a thing for rusty hues... Or maybe they just make everything feel a little toastier, when it's cold and grey outside?  What cool weather colours are you drawn to??

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

a spot of home sewing...

Where on earth have the last seven weeks gone?!

Other than keeping busy with a little freelance work, preparing for the imminent arrival of numero two (now only 3 and a bit weeks away) and surviving the first family flu of the season, it's just a blur...

I admit, third trimester fatigue has well and truly set in, so any motivation to post a blog is generally overridden by an opportunity to curl up and have a nap...

I've also been churning out a few soft furnishings (ok mainly cushion covers) as part of my nesting craze.

First job was transforming the junk/ironing room into some semblance of a nursery..  Although it's a tiny space, it's filled with morning sunlight and now with the injection of some colour, it's beginning to feel like a proper little nursery. Just add baby!

Painterly Ikea fabric & raw linen backed with seersucker 

Sewed my first curtains out of this fun candy stripe drill, also from Ikea.

 I had a little leftover fabric to revamp this shade..

Thom is quite intrigued by all this shuffling of furniture (the cot was only recently his), the new car seat, pram etc.., so as not to feel left out, his room got a little home sewn love too..

A felt, denim & cord cushion for his 'story chair'..

And a couple of strings of festive felt bunting... Felt is my new favourite thing!

And lastly our bedroom got some much long overdue attention... 

Still very much a work in progress, the room is slowly coming together. My painted bedsides are finally in, after many months gathering dust in the garage.
I also made a pair of new pillowslips (the easiest, cheapest thing in the world) from this pretty floral cotton I found at Spotlight and revamped an old Indian mirrored cushion with some coral pink drill for a pop of colour..

A dash of coral, my new favourite colour!!
Now with Thom taking his midday nap, I really should get on with sorting out the study.
Or I could just have a little lie down instead...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

injeanious no..?

I love when clever types turn their light bulb ideas into successful businesses. I came across this when searching for tips to salvage a favourite pair of my husband's jeans...

Denim Therapy are magicians when it comes to mending denim and can breathe new life into your most well loved and worn strides. They work out of NYC , but will take in jobs from just about anywhere.

These before and after photos are quite amazing, don't you think?!   

Saturday, 21 April 2012

mid morning experiments - coffee bags & brown bananas

Yesterday morning I decided to tick off a few things on my steadily growing to do list.. First up was transforming a bunch of forgotten and very brown bananas, into some kind of banana bread/cake thing.

Having never made banana loaf before and not being one to stick to a recipe, I did as I always do.., started with a basic idea and then made it up as I went..

Then with the loaf baking away and Thom tucked in for his morning nap, I got to work on a new lampshade for a favorite vintage lamp. I've been meaning to replace the shade forever, the current one is all cracked inside and to be honest is just boring..

Awhile ago I picked up a burlap coffee sack from Reverse Garbage and then found a simple polypropylene drum shade at Ikea. After a quick google search for diy lampshades, it was a matter of grabbing scissors, spray adhesive, a bunch of pegs and voila, I have myself a spiffing new shade!! I admit it still needs couple of lengths of fabric binding to finish it off in the inside, but not bad for less than 20 dollars and 15 or so minutes of my time..!




ta da!!

and here's the other side.

The banana loaf turned out ok too. Here's the recipe (of sorts)..

130g white self-raising flour
130g whole meal self-raising flour
40g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup walnuts (roughly chopped), plus extra for the top
1/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup brown sugar

2 ripe bananas (mashed)
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs (lightly whisked)
50g melted butter (cooled)
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees
2. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
3. Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
4. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl and then add to the dry ingredients.
5. Mix together until well combined.
6. Spoon mixture into lined tin and top with the extra walnuts.
7. Bake for 45 - 50 mins or until golden on top (or a skewer to the centre comes out clean).

Cool, then slice and enjoy with a nice cuppa..

Thursday, 5 April 2012

lovely long weekend ahead..

Easter is upon us again..  This weekend all the family will be bunked up together at my parents beautiful property Cloudlake.

I can't wait, as it's generally around 5 degrees cooler up there and will finally feel like Autumn should, unlike the lingering Summer heat we're experiencing down here..

I'm also anticipating there will be much baking, choccy scoffing, gossip, giggles instore. As well as plenty of country walks and maybe even a little Easter crafting with my two gorgeous nieces! 

Speaking of which, how exquisite are these speckled, plaster eggs?! Handmade by my very clever friend Emily, they make a beautiful ornament for any time of the year..

You can see more of Emily's endless creativity on her blog Kuber 

Hope you all have a lovely Easter too!! xx

Saturday, 31 March 2012

candle lit dinner..

Don't forget it's Earth Hour tonight!!

We'll be marking the occasion with a romantic candlelit bbq,  just the three of us... What will you be doing? Check out the Earth Hour site here for more info and fun ways to participate.

And forget the hour, why not make a whole evening of it. After all everyone looks better by candlelight!!

Friday, 23 March 2012

three thrifty finds..

Inspired by all the beautiful brights I saw on the Anthropologie site, I snapped up a couple of cheerful items this week to chase away the rainy day (or should I say rainy month) blues!

All on the cheap though, I'm trying to be good..

One soft cotton boyfriend cardi in rasberry red, for keeping the bump cosy this Autumn,  $19 from MIX at Coles (yes, as in the Supermarket).

A set of vintage billiard balls  just for a bit of fun,
$2 from the Aid for the Blind Store, Wynnum 

A luxe new cushion cover in jaffa orange velvet, perfect for story time or a little 
r & r with a couple of new mags. $16 from Ikea.

Feeling brighter already, a wee bit of retail therapy always does the trick. Hey and the rain has stopped too! Hurray!!

Have a great weekend! xx

Saturday, 17 March 2012

for the road - pea, feta & mint muffins

Aaah what a lovely week!! We've just returned from several lazy days spent on the Tweed Coast, swimming, reading and eating..

Even better, this beautiful part of the world is practically on our doorstep (an hour and a half drive away). Still, like my Mother and my Nanna used to, I baked some road trip munchies to take along just in case...

Peas with fresh mint is one of my favourite things, add a little crumbled feta and you have a very yummy combination indeed!  I used Stephanie Alexander's failsafe muffin mix recipe as a base, all too easy..

  • 2/3 cup of peas (I normally use frozen but fresh would be lovely if you have them)
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped mint
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup of grape seed or light olive oil
  • 220g of self raising flour (I like to use half wholemeal for this recipe, for added texture)
  • generous pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a 12 muffin tin.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. In another larger bowl sift the flour and salt.
  4. Add wet mixture to flour and mix until combined.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin tray until 2/3s full and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to stand in tray for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool.
Perfect for a little snack on the road, washed down with a lemon iced tea...

Have a lovely weekend and to those who hail from the Emerald Isle, Happy St Patricks Day!
El xx

ps. Here's a sunny little tune for my Dad, who no doubt will be enjoying a couple of favourite Van albums today..

Saturday, 10 March 2012

I heart Anthropologie!!

It's officially Autumn here but the weather doesn't seem to know that... Today it's bright blue skies and 31 degrees!
Our mailbox is stuffed full of catalogues advertising black and grey winter coats, scarves and flannel sheets and yet here I am sipping an ice tea and drooling over Anthropologie's Spring Collection..  

Sooo much colour, sooo much gorgeousness!! Maybe we can just skip Autumn/Winter this year..

Hope your weekend is bright and breezy too!! xx

Friday, 9 March 2012

M is for Monogram

We reached a small but important milestone recently, Thom started daycare.. 

Aside from mentally preparing for my little one venturing out into the world for the first time, sans me or his dad, I had a list of stuff to organise in preparation. 

He had a little kit to pull together, for which I sewed this little bag and then everything had to be labelled..  Scribbling initials everywhere with a permanent marker is the easiest solution, but far from the prettiest. 

Luckily I already had a bunch of simple iron-on letters left over from some forgotten project, so that took care of Thom's new bag.
It also got me looking for ideas for more inspired ways to identify your stuff..

Who could forget the bespoke L.V. luggage featured in Wes Anderson's

or posh Goyard..! I snapped these beauties stacked outside their historic
Rue Saint-Honore store.

A monogrammed stamp of ones very own would be pretty special. I love the deco feel
of this one, found here on Etsy.

Or maybe a pretty monogrammed pendant like this one, in case of amnesia..?

On another Typographic note.., a friend sent me a clip of this young and super talented Brooklyn artist's work (in motion) . Her name in Dana and she works exclusively in chalk. 

Click here to see Dana in action, chalking up this whimsical mural at the Ace Hotel in NYC..

I'm in love with Dana's style..  She also created this gorgeous series of alphabet paperweights for West Elm.. You can check out more of Dana's work on her website.

Friday, 17 February 2012

What's cooking through the round window..

Not so long ago a quick flick through the latest Delicious mag would be what inspired a new culinary adventure in the kitchen..

Yesterday I picked up a recipe idea from a slightly different source.., Thom's favourite show, Playschool!!

In between all the singing, dancing around and the pretend play, Playschool sometimes throws in the odd 'cooking' segment, you know pizza with toppings arranged to make a face.. 
In this particular episode, they made Cheesy/Vegemite Scrolls. They looked pretty yummy and really easy, so I thought we'd try a batch..

25 minutes later my happy little Vegemite was very much enjoying his tasty new snack.

I tweaked the recipe we saw a little bit, like using wholemeal flour instead of white and the result was not half bad..

Here's our version -

  • 2 1/3 cups of wholemeal self raising flour
  • 40g of butter, cubed
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200mls of milk
  • 2/3 a cup of colby or mild cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of Vegemite
  • extra butter and Vegemite melted to brush on.

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, salt and butter together in a food processor to form a fine bread crumb like texture.
  3. Add milk and mix until combined.
  4. Turn out dough mixture onto a well floured board and lightly knead into a ball.
  5. Roll out dough to form a rectangle approximately 30 x 20cm.
  6. Add a teaspoon of boiling water to the Vegemite and stir until smooth.
  7. Spread the dough with the Vegemite and then sprinkle the cheese top.
  8. Roll up the dough length ways to form a log.
  9. Slice the log up into 2cm thick pieces and place on a tray lined with baking paper.
  10. Brush scrolls with the melted butter/Vegemite and bake for 15mins or until lightly browned.

    This is a good easy recipe to modify too.. Next time we might try herb and feta or aged cheddar and mustard etc. 

    Who knows where this new source of inspiration will lead, decorating ideas via 'The Night Garden' perhaps..?

    Have a lovely weekend!! xx