Styling practice...a photography shoot at my house

I had the absolute pleasure of having a wonderful photographer come and photograph my home last week.  Hope to share more about Maite and the photos with you soon.  
It was surprisingly hard work!  Not only does the house have to be show home tidy and full of flowers, but its amazing what needs to be moved because its reflecting in the windows or distracting from the shot.  A hint that all those magazine homes are not quite as they seem.

I was very pleased with how the house looked, it felt like all the years of planning and building and finishing (still finishing) were worthwhile.  And it was a real treat to have the house full of fresh flowers, these ones above were on my coffee table.  

I spent a lot of time tidying up those corners of the house that had got slightly out of control, and styling areas like the front door and our bedside table and en suite.  
I am thinking it should be a quarterly project - big tidy and organisation weekend with lots of fresh flowers and new candles as a reward.  

little Easter time

I am enjoying these little letters, hope you are too.  It makes me focus on the good stuff, and sometimes I need to be reminded there is good stuff.

Dear M family I can't wait for your Easter visit!  An easter egg hunt is always so much more fun with two families!
Dear Sydney weather be kind to us over the Easter weekend, we have lots planned that would be better with lovely weather.
Dear Grandpasaurus and Granny S, thankyou for the lovely and unexpected Easter parcel.  What a lovely treat!
Dear hot cross buns why are you so irresistable, its just not possible to stop at one.
Dear Easter Show I can't be bothered.  Crowds and show bags filled with junk, you can keep it.
Dear Miss J I can't wait to see you on the easter egg hunt.  If only we could all rediscover that one day you wake up and chocolate eggs have mysteriously appeared in the garden.

As always feel free to add your little letters too.  Have a wonderful long weekend!

Late summer days

We are having a gorgeous late summer heat wave of blue skies and sunny days, brief thunderstorms and still evenings, perfect beach and bbq weather.  I spent a lovely morning fossicking in the Manly markets this past weekend with Miss E and friends.  All the summer gear is on final sale and there were some lovely breezy bargains to be had, in this humid weather clothes must be loose rather than clingy.
The colours of this cotton dress and green amethyst ring just spoke to me of cool salty sea and sunsets.  Coral and mint again, my colours of this season it seems.

something fresh from Blu Dot

I spotted an interesting lamp, the perimeter floor lamp from Blu Dot, in the latest edition of Belle magazine and went on an internet hunt to find out more.  I was delighted to discover it was actually available in Sydney, so I went on a real life hunt to the store.  
The store, in Alexandria, has only been open a month although Blu Dot has been selling online in Australia since 2012.  In store I met the enthusiastic Brett Conroy who is passionate about their philosophy of creating affordable designer pieces - useful, affordable, desirable is their mantra.  

Below are my favourite picks.  The Charlie rug ($699) has great colours that will mix easily with other furniture.  A good price for its size (approx 1.8 x 1.2).
I really like that hint of pink and grey with the more traditional reds and browns.

The Splash Coat Rack is another good looking piece.  At $389 its stylish and practical, great for renters who can't hang a coat rack, and not a huge investment in the dipped look that is so hot right now.  

where Miss J and I work

This is where I post from.  Usually Miss J is seated next to me in her little lavender chair busily drawing with her crayons.  A pad of office paper covers her entire table so she can draw anywhere she likes but I have to keep an eye on her because she does like to draw on the floor.
A gallery of far flung family and friends watches over us.  
When Miss E is home in the afternoons she can sit at the twin desk to mine, on the other side of Miss J.  Three busy B's in a row.

This side of the room is mostly tidy, if things are not put away in the draws they get moved by Miss J.  But don't be fooled, the other side of the room where the toys are is not as serene.  More storage is on my to do list!!  But for now I can turn away from the maelstrom and dream organised blog dreams.
Realised that everything white is from Ikea, all the desks and the frames.  I am hoping they have the solution to my toy storage too.

All photos by Eva of BuildHouseHome
Have a lovely weekend everybody.

a handful of sunshine

Sometimes you just need a little bit of sunshine to brighten up your day.  This gorgeous capsicum was hiding in the veggie patch.  Amazingly Miss J found it before the caterpillars.  

We then spent a happy 15 minutes looking for caterpillars and telling them "night night".  No more caterpillars... but hopefully lots more capsicum's.

be organised and win...with a personal planner or notebook

Lets start the week happy with a lovely product and a prize.  Monday feeling better yet?  You, my lovely readers, have a chance to make your own notebook or planner from 
To win a gift card: write a comment on this post, or at the link to this post on my facebook page, and tell me which 2013 theme you think is cutest.  
I love this TOP SECRET cover for the music and note book I designed for Miss E ($29). Scroll down to see the BUNNY THEME planner I created for myself ($40).  Everybody likes a cute pink bunny right?  

Above - choose your cover: Top Secret - perfect for my tween songwriter.  Each theme has 4 sub designs with different colours and graphics.  Cover choice may take you a while, there are some great options.
Above - choose the inner: Four sections that can each be different.  I chose a combination of music sheets, lined paper and squared.  Lines can be pink, grey or blue on white.
Below - make the title page personal:  You can include a favourite quote or poem, address - you make the rules.  I went sweet and simple here, with a warning for inquisitive little sisters.

There are several reasons I like this product:
- cute graphics and cover choices, I like the 2013 themes best.
- easy to use, quick to complete, competitively priced (a simple less personalised note book will cost around $20 compare to $29)
- good choices for notebook pages: lines paper, blank, squared paper & sheet music

Specific reasons I like the planner:
- 12 month calender that starts at the month of your choice.  Good when you are only getting organised in March
- personalise with birthdays and anniversaries
- innovative choice of note pages at end of planner: sudoku, squared paper & colouring pages are a genius addition
- add up to 3 weekly modules to suit your life: like a day care planner, exercise planner, to do list 

See my Bunny themed planner after the jump.

Above - choose the cover: How cute is that bunny cover, and I love that it continues into the weekly header see below.

Below - choose modules & add personal dates: Select up to 3 modules that suit your life, great practical choices.  Personalise with your own dates in this section.
Below - make it personal: Cover page with your choice of information or inspiration.
Below - personalise back pages: 2 sections with cute choices.  Sudoku and squared paper for me of course.

If you like what you see like personal-planner on facebook here.
Don't forget to enter the competition by leaving a comment on your favourite 2013 theme either at the end of this post, or on my facebook page.   If you aren't on either, and I know there are quite a few of you, I will accept an email.  
The winner will be announced mid April 2013.

Competition is open to international readers, prize cannot be exchanged for cash.

don't you love...a little romance

I just had to include these pretties somewhere.  Not that romance has to be so pink, I like a dark masculine romantic style too.  These will keep me inspired as I tackle my mirror project this weekend.  
I love pink and green together, nature just does it best, so fresh and pretty.  A gorgeous photo of my favourite flower via A Rosy Note, on right a detail by Phoebe Howard
Isn't this the prettiest shoe storage you have ever seen?  Would be so pretty in a dressing room, of course you would need to have lots of pretty shoes and somewhere to hide the not so lovely ones.  Detail from Style Me Pretty.
A fabulous centrepiece with simple flowers and spray painted tins in bronzes and copper tones.  I am collecting tins for my own experiment. (This was via Shelterness but the link appears to have disappeared.)
This eclectic gallery (left) was pinned by my sister, it probably reminds us both of our mom who makes wonderful crazy arrangements like this all over her home.  Loving the mix of distressed mirror and that incredible geometric dresser (via Home Polish on right).  If you know where that dresser is from let me know, its incredible and I would love to know more about it.

Have a lovely weekend.

little the veggie garden

Growing and eating our own produce has been incredibly satisfying.  It's pleasure to think 'I'll just go and get the herbs/spinach/tomato' take a few steps outside and pick what you need. 

Dear tomatoes you were fab.  We loved you all, every shape and colour.  Next year I will learn to trellis better and plant more of you.  I had no idea your fruit were so heavy.
Dear watermelon, you love I love watermelon (lalala) were a delight.
Dear passion fruit, you have put out lots of shoots but you were supposed to be bigger by now, grow faster!
Dear spinach you are a star.  You grow and grow and we can never eat you all.
Dear zucchini you were a flop.  You got mouldy and your fruit fell off, you are not invited back next season.
Dear strawberries thanks for trying.  Next year we will try let your fruit ripen before Miss J eats it.
Dear rainbow chard you win the prize for prettiness and hardiness, tasty too.  Welcome to the all star list.

We are still getting a few last tomatoes and watermelon but its time to plan the winter veggies.
Miss J visits the watermelon plant several times a day to point out "tiny" and "fatty", her names not mine.  I think she is going to enjoy seeing pumpkins growing.

Let me know if you have any recommendations, and please feel free to add little letters of your own.

Quiet my house

A favourite light filled spot in our bedroom.  You can just see the balcony at the right, and my granny's old oak chair that I had reupholstered.

A little space for quiet when we have a moment.

Postscript: my mom reminded me that 12 March was my granny's birthday.  A real coincidence that I posted her chair the day before...

Vignettes...ideas and inspiration #2

Synchronicity has Jen of Design Addict hosting her third vignette challenge this week, just when I am obsessed with them too.  I would love to join in but not sure I have the time.  Some more vignette inspiration to get me in the mood.  Flowers, flowers and more flowers seems to be the trick.
Detail of yellow posy, autumn table via Dear Lillie

Table detail via A Rosy Note which is a must visit for gorgeous photos, detail of white bouquet.

Vignettes...ideas & inspiration

I decided that short of having a super stylist come and play in my home I should try and learn the secrets of styling myself.  This does not mean I will be able to do it, but I will be better prepared to give it a try.  Here is what I learned from these pretty pictures.
Ideas to copy
1 - fresh flowers make a room or photo sing, even just a few stems in a jam jar 
2 - neat piles of pretty books
3 - antlers     I wasn't expecting antlers in the mix but they turned up in a few photos (not just 
these ones).  Not sure where I am going to find antlers in Australia, a lovely piece of driftwood would be a good substitute, will have to go for a walk on the beach.

4 - Candles in a flat bottomed bowl
I love the candles in the flat bottomed silver bowl (above left).  Makes the candles even more of a feature than they would be, easy to move and will catch melted wax.  

5 - Great editing
This is the hard one to live.  My family are forever dropping crayons, paper, socks and toys on the surfaces I am trying to keep clear and pretty.  In these photos all the admin of life is hidden, they are so tranquil, they make us believe that life in these home is just about reading and candles.  

Love the animals in the vignettes above.  I have lots of little creatures around the house.

Images from left to right: top via Gild and Grace, horns via By Gabrielle;  Mint Six & Pretty Stuff; My Design ChicPhoebe Howard

mirror mirror... on the floor

The mirror project - big isn't it.  It will go above the antique bread bin you can see reflected on the opposite wall.  You can just see my desk reflected through the doorway. You can't see the wires underneath it unless you are sitting on the floor in the hall like I am now.  Ok ok, its on the to do list.  What do you think?

I am not loving the gold and black frame so I am going to have a go at making it look better.  
Paints and brushes at the ready!