Monday, August 29, 2011

Stre-etched! Stop. Coffee time.

Hi everyone

Where have I been? Not here, which is clearly obvious by my utter lack of a post for over a month.

You see, I did a silly thing and stretched myself thin,...really thin.

(would be nice if it could transfer to my hips and thighs in readiness for Summer)

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

What have I been up to? Well,

- I am finalising our wandering travels and accommodation through the UK - very hard for someone who doesn't do well with so many wonderful choices;

- In the excitement of our trip to Paris, I have been doing French Lessons;

- These lessons are in addition to my foundation studies in Colour and Design via distance education;

- I happily agreed to illustrate a girlfriends children's book.  Thankfully she is not pressing a due date right now;

- For fun, my Mum and I enjoyed a roadtrip (750+kms each way) to Melbourne to visit my brother, wife and my nephew.  It was fantastic fun!

- Mix all this activity with the usual working and raising three active wonderful children. Phew! Tired!

....and you know what, in the background of all of this activity I heard this nagging whisper "".  So to block it out, I just avoided even looking at blogs for fear that someone would "spring me" for looking, but not updating.  

True, it was my own little demon whispering guilty messages in my ear.  

To that end, I am going to pause on this blog, only updating it when I have the time...which really is what I am doing now, but I am letting you know...just in case you wonder.  :-)

I will be trying to update my other blog with my creative activities when I get the chance too.

Love and hugs for your understanding and patience,


Monday, July 25, 2011

Perfect paper wrapped pear muffins

Hi everyone

Today my gorgeous boys return home from their holidays, and that means returning to school tomorrow and all the craziness that comes with *that* particular schedule.

Yep, the holiday is over!

So, today the little Bella Boo and I got busy and baked some Perfect Pear Muffins.  

Muffins are perfect for little princesses to make, because mixing for muffins doesn't require beating, blending or whisking within an inch of it's batter-mix life: just a nice gentle combine.

Each individually packed one will get popped into their lunch bags each day, along with the abundance of other food that I buy for my growing lads.

Boys! They sure do eat alot!

Perhaps I should have stuck an embarrassing 

"mum loves you!" on each wrapper....hmmm, maybe next time.

And yep, I ate one with my coffee: delish!!!

Well,  I had best go collect them from the airport now.  

Til next time, 



Friday, July 22, 2011

Paint Party at Modern Country Style...bring nibblies!!

Hi all my lovely friends

Have you heard that Sarah at Modern Country Style is having a party?

And yes, it is not just any party...this is a PAINT party.

Would you agree that this would have to be one of the best parties ever, because whether it be furniture, walls or can link something up!

Strangely enough, I mulled considerably over what to link up.  I know...paintings everywhere and nothing to show.   In the end, in keeping with Sarah's latest series on painting furniture, I have decided to link back to an old post about Bella Boo's bed.  It really is a 2-for-1 link, because I painted the bed and the painting hanging above it!

I am not very good with the pillow smooshing and joo-jooing...
I think they call it styling ;-)

Now, a little bit closer at my fine paint splashing, layering and sanding....

Now look away if you don't want a shock....this is the before...

The full post about the transformation is here.

Enjoy the party!!



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The "man flu" and super Mum.

Dear friends

If you have not met the man flu, let me explain:  this is when your other - sometimes better - half gets sick.

He sighs.

He sniffles.

He sighs some more.

He is pitiful.

Well,...truth be told, the "man flu" this year is pretty extreme.  What gave it away as "real" man flu was the pile of many blankets, a wool jumper, a heat pack ALL in front of the fire.

But never fear!! With his incapacitation, life went on.

I took 3 children to the airport at 5am on Saturday so the boys could go to Queensland for their holidays.

The little Bella Boo enjoyed her early morning trip - I bet no one had heard a more excited 3 year old at 6:30am, than when the planes took off.  

And yes, I mean "planes"...plural.  
Because when the boys plane took off...
we had to stay for the next one as well.

Thankfully Bella Boo also went back to bed once we got home, so I could also steal a few more winks before I got up and into....

Prepping the ensuite!!

As a bit of background, our ensuite has had a change in vanity and loo, 
 the walls were in desperate need of attention
with peeling white paint over
the dreaded 80's apricot.

I had bought myself a new power tool to help with the job: the all powerful sander, with multi speed, multi attachments, multi everything...I was excited!!

When I bought the sander, the boys were still here on holidays.  Knowing they were happily ensconced in front of the TV for hours of Wii Indiana Jones Lego fun, I adorned my safety costume of mask and goggles, primed the ensuite and attacked the walls with a fierce and noisy vibrating abandon.

When I stopped to admire my first sweep of sanded art, I turned to find two bewildered sons staring at me.  Wii controllers gripped still, their mouths slightly ajar!

"What are you doing", asked my eldest genius.

"I'm sanding" I said with glee!

Though perhaps that was muffled by the mask I still wore.

Again, my eldest stared at me as if an alien.

"You're building!" he said.

"No!" I reassured him, "I'm sanding".

They were a touch confused by my activities.  But then again, I reasoned with myself, perhaps the combination of their holiday hang-time and my inspired behaviour with a power tool...perhaps, this was the first true opportunity for them to realise I am a woman of action AND many talents.

Yeh, whatever.

Anyway, back to the "man flu".

So I had already sanded the ensuite and had puttied.

Once the boys flew away - a quiet relief as their concerned glances at me "building" was not doing much for my "I can do it all" confidence - I needed to perform further sanding...further puttying.  Without watchful, concerned eyes, I took to my task like a seasoned pro - I had little idea what I was really doing, but it felt good. It felt right. And I was a little OCD about making sure everything puttied was smooth...that all previous signs of peeling paint were obliterated.

By the end of the weekend I was ready to make the most of the extra holidays I had taken to paint our ensuite.  Bring on the completed task!!

Then guess what happened.

I got "girl flu".

Naturally, it is not as bad as "man flu".


But it has involved alot of this:

I will finish the may not be as quick as I would like.  I certainly hope though, it is before the boys return from holidays.

big hugs


Saturday, July 9, 2011

A further concrete the bathroom?

Hi all

I think we were mostly in agreement that with the right elements concrete in the kitchen may just work.

But what about in the bathroom?

I don't know about you, but the bathroom is a "cold room" for me.  In summer the bathroom is the space I find relief in, because it is cool and refreshing.

Yet, come winter, the bathroom is the space I spend as little time as possible because it is cold!  Even with heat lights, it is cold.  In fact, I become a little manic in Winter about making sure all the wet area doors are closed, because they create an arctic breeze all the way down the other end of the house.

Well, that's my opinion - but I do get a little bit "princess and the pea" about it all.

So how would concrete work in the bathroom for me?  It would be necessary to have underfloor heating for starters.  Perhaps a concrete that is warmer in tone...?  I think it can look visually lovely, but I am in the middle of Winter right now, so perhaps I should ponder this question in Summer.

Green and organic

Svelte and chic

Just plain pretty!

What do you think? 

Is it too cold for you to consider the option, or does it feel just right?  

Is concrete better suited to warmer climates than the cooler ones? 

It does make me wonder how much our habitat plays
 in our decisions of home textiles and surfaces.

Happy weekend everyone!!



Sunday, July 3, 2011 it too hard?

Hi lovelies

I have a quick question.

Is concrete too hard...harsh...cold or cool for the kitchen?

Or does it add that little something extra?

source: Nancy Fishelson

Gorgeous Jami at Freckled Laundry helped me remember the source for this image
because she has done a WHOLE post on Nancy Fishelson.
Be sure to check out Jami's whole post here.

image via Nestegg

I think with the right elements such as some warming timber,
 and plenty of natural light, 
it could be quite lovely.

What do you think?



Thursday, June 30, 2011

I am having a blast!!

Hey lovelies

Look at this! I am posting twice in one week?

Sorry, did that feather just knock you over?

I just wanted to share a couple of things with you;

the first is that I finally had my Dahlia painting framed!! 

Let me hear a big Wooo hoooo!

I was so chuffed with the gorgeous aged silver frame that I was instantly inspired.

You have to love when you inspire yourself...

Our bedroom is the haven of the house.  

No, not the haven for us, but the haven for where;
 the washing goes if we haven't folded it yet, or
our three year old stashes her toys, or
our dog hides when the three year old is chasing him with her toys...

You get the picture.

So I bought a gorgeous silver fabric with a pale silver sewn pattern
and mocked up a bed head.

I then changed the sheets
  (domestic duty made this necessary) 
to all our white sheets/ doona cover, etc,

and hung the painting above the bed head.

It wasn't "photo perfect", but it was enough to give an idea.

Do you know what the hubs said when he walked in?

"Oh WOW!!"

That was all I needed to know it was a plan that could be developed.

It's a work in progress - like most things in our house - 

but you know, that's okay because I am


healthy and

having fun!!

Despite the washing not being folded.

Have a great weekend!!



Monday, June 27, 2011

Let's celebrate the little rays of sunshine


It has been so long since I have been here that I almost forgot what you look like!

I must say though, 
you are looking rather lovely today
...have you done something new with your hair?

No?  Well, let me tell you then that you look WoNDerful today!!

At this time of year we are smack in the middle of winter...smack cold, frozen, iced over, winter.  But let's be honest, we are in Australia...

So how cold can it get?

Well, where I live we have cars frosted over that need de-icing.  My boys like to do this by using the warmth of their hands so I end up with little warm hand prints all over the frosted windows.  That's about as bad as it gets.

If it snows, which has happened here in the last 2 years, we get really excited and stand around in the yard with our mouths open trying to catch flakes on our tongues.

Well, the kids and I do at least - the lovely just looks on fondly.

The truth is I love winter!! Mostly for the special days where the wind is still, the sun shines and the freshness of the cold morning is invigorating and makes you feel alive.

So in celebration of the winter rays of sunshine, let's have a wee peek at some beautiful inspiration.

I don't know about you, but I have noticed lots of yellow with black, white and grey lately.  I am not talking the yellow walls that we injected into happy homes in the 90s,  but rather the pops of sunny cheery yellow.

Don't you think that the yellow really sparkles
in the calming neutrals we love right now?

I am loving this gorgeous abstract, 
set behind the crisp white vase and the bare branches.

Seriously, who needs flowers?

Actually, I lets just forget that last question.

all images from decorpad

For me it is the artwork that makes this scheme work.

Being a large piece, it helps to break the wallpaper 
and bring together the striking combination
of contrasting colour and pattern.

Would you have picked yellow, turquoise and grey together?

I don't truly know if I could live in this 24/7,  
but I do love the colour adventure...
 the solid turquoise and grey chairs, 
the yellow curtains, 
all set against the patterned grey rug and happy yellow wallpaper...

As you all know, I love colour and for me yellow is happy.  

Plain and simple.

Happy Sunshine!!!




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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Please be blogging is not easy....

Hi friends!!

I'm terrible, yes? I know, I know; it is too long between posts and standard excuses of family, work and other commitments all start to sound thin when EVERYONE has the same hectic lifestyle.

Add to that, I've returned to blog and now, for some odd reason, blogger is not loading. I am hoping it is a temporary issue that will miraculously resolve itself.

However, for now, I am typing one fingered on my phone. Fun!!

I spent a lovely winter Sunday with my folks down the coast, and what I wanted to share today was my Dad and his photography. Just quietly, he rocks photography! And since Dad has followed me since the beginning, I know he will be reading.

Hey Dad! Yes; permission is granted to glow ;)

While we were at the coast Dad entered the 'weekly shooter' comp at Photo Art. Dad came second in one of the previous BIG international competitions. This week Dad won the weekly 'shoot out' theme of movement...with a photo of our little Boo riding a tricycle.

Very proud!!

So please check out my Dadda, here :

I am sooo disappointed I can't post a photo to show you all the super photo he took on the weekend when I demonstrated to my middle little-man (after we ate) why you don't feed seagulls while you are eating...they swarm! He thought it was a hoot!!

Anyway, again forgive me. Hopefully I will be back to normal soon.



Monday, May 16, 2011

Family history

Hi all my beautiful, and patient, friends

Can you guess what this is?

Or, perhaps the question should be: who did this?

Before I tell you, I do need to apologise for my absence.  Short and sweet: work is busy.  So please stick with me;  you aren't forgotten.

Now, on to the exciting news.... 

Recently my lovely Dad sent an email to family members with a link to this beautiful sampler.

On the reverse it reads:

Phillis Dixon 1873, Prestatyn, born 1863 Melide Flint North Wales. In 1881 listed as unmarried & living with her parents Thomas & Catherine on their 250 acre farm, with two sisters Catherine Jessie & Emily Jane & 4 servants, her father born in Scotland.

What is so fabulous is that it was done by my great, great Aunt!  Another way to look at it is, Phillis (Phyllis) Dixon's niece, Katherine Dixon, married my paternal Great Grandfather.

I don't know how Dad found this trawling for family historical information, but somehow a search popped this sampler up for sale here!

Hmmmmm, maybe if it is still for sale when I do my holiday later this year I can go and take a look. :-)

I think it is so wonderful that technology allows to take a glimpse like this into the past.

Looking at it I can't help but wonder:

Where did Phillis choose to do her work? Did she do this on a beautiful Spring day in the garden, or by the light of a window on a cold Winters day. 

Did her mother Catherine sit patiently by her side guiding her with each stitch?

How long did it take, I wonder, for a 10 year old to do this?

Can you picture the happy face when she had finally completed it? I can; a smile big and proud.

The mind but can't help but imagine and it is such a lovely step back in time.

Til next time, big hugs!!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Australian Linen love

Hi my lovelies

Don't you just love this glorious bed!

I have spent a little bit of time in bed lately 
recouping after my inconveniently timed trip to the hospital,

(yep, all good now thanks!)

and I suspect had this bed been mine...

...I may have been tempted to stay in bed a little longer.

(Cheeky, I know...but who could blame me!)

Take a look at more of the beautiful KAS linens;  
I love how Australia is beautifully captured in the images.


Have a super Monday!!!



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Our wedding anniversary!

Today is our first wedding anniversary.

We were married in the beautiful gardens of Mona Estate in Braidwood, New South Wales.

It was the most beautiful Autumn day.

My beautiful sons walked me down the "garden aisle" 

Our gorgeous daughter ran across the lawns to meet me,
then walked with us the rest of the way

(that wasn't planned, but oh my, it brought a tear to many!)

The light was perfect for some most beautiful photos

We then celebrated our wedding with a bush dance in a renovated wool shed 
with our family and a small group of friends;

It was fabulous fun! 

Everyone danced, everyone laughed; 
it was everything we had wanted in a celebration.

How did we celebrate?

Not how we planned.
We spent it here...


In the theme of "in sickness and in health" 
we spent the night of our anniversary eve
in the emergency department
 with suspected appendicitis...

I even got to spend the night!

But you know what, it doesn't matter where we celebrate; 

we were together;
we are as in love today, 
if not more so,
than we were this time last year.

Love you babe! It just keeps getting better.


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Monday, April 18, 2011

Party time...

How do I define my blog?

A smidge of crafty creativity

A few fab furniture finds

Some painting creativity

fed well with food and coffee....mmmm

tossed wtih some home musings and renovating

and embraced with a bit of family fun

I hope that this answers the most important of questions being asked at the latest party held by the wonderful Sarah at Modern Country Style.

I am usual! And perhaps that perfectly illustrates my blogging style: I am a relaxed cruisy blogger with all the best intentions of being here more often.  Instead, due to family, work and day-to-day life commitments, I am here maybe once a week.

I love colour - house paint, oils, pastels, acrylics, fabric, leaves, trees, sky...I just love it. It was my constant ramblings of creativity, met with glazed expressions and the "uh-huhs" of my husband (clearly thinking about something else), that led me to engaging with the blogging community.

My affinity for colour means I love to paint, draw and doodle; to dabble in mixing, blending, smoodging (yeh, surely that is an art term!). I love it so much, sometimes in my enthusiasm to get started, I don't change out of my "normal" day clothes - so I have lots of clothes with paint on them.  Whoops!

So that's where my second blog comes in: Paint With Me!

The intention of that blog is to engage and inspire other people who *may* want to give painting a try, but find "learn to paint" or "pay to learn" either intimidating or more of a commitment than they really want.

I figure I love painting and sharing...I love talking! why not combine the two and if just one person gets something from it, then that makes me happy.

And, that's me!!

I really am enjoying Sarah's party, because there are some truly wonderful blogs and I feel a little sad that there is just not enough time in the day to pay credit to all the talent that there is out there!

Thank you Sarah for organising a super party!!



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's my birthday!

Hello my lovely friends

Today it was my birthday.

Normally this is the one day of the year that I can indulge myself by staying put in bed and have my family wait on me. What's not to love!

This morning was particularly special, because my lovely children are old enough now to make me breakfast in bed without guidance from an adult.


Normally I am not *all about the presents*: I'm more of an attention hound, soaking up lots of love.

Well today, I admit, I was all about the present. But I think after I tell you about it, you will see why.

(insert melodic "earlier that day" harp music)

There I was, propped up in our bed with my lovely husband Mark next to me, the children were all excited about giving me my presents.

I should mention, Mark spent all last night giggling to himself about his present, so I knew he was pretty chuffed with his efforts this year.

First up, Boo hands me a beautifully wrapped present; being three, she took it straight back instructing that she must open it for me!

What do you know, a book!

Woo hoo!!

I love books.

I love French stuff.

Happy days!

Next, my two little men gave me a hand made card with a beautifully drawn Eiffel Tower on the front.

My eldest little man and I had been printing Paris maps on fabric together over the weekend, so I was proud he was paying attention to what I like.

You know.

French stuff.

My present was a new scarf and beanie. Beautiful! We are coming into cooler weather, so this is perfect for watching them play their outdoor weekend sports. A beautiful, logical and thoughtful gift.

Finally, my lovely husband handed me a gorgeous card with some cryptic message that the squirrel with nuts on the front (the card itself says "that's nuts, your not that old". Bless him.) is a distant hint to the present. Okay....?

He hands me my present. It's another wrapped book.


Eloquent, I know.

Now I have to explain that Mark has this way about him, that when he knows that he has me completely speechless, he just blinks at me.

I kid you not.

He has these big blue peepers; he gets this look on his face and he blinks.

The truth is, behind those big blue eyes is a man performing a happy dance, giving himself a hi-five and yelling out "score!".

I finally managed to squeak out a few incoherent questions which enabled me to properly put the puzzle together.

The scarf and beanie are actually (if I looked closer), a scarf and BERET.
There are squirrels in Paris.

There may have been a little grinding sound as my caffeine deprived brain finally moved into gear.

It turns out, we are going to enjoy Paris in Autumn this September as a combined birthday and anniversary present.


Now, I won't lie, I spent my birthday a little bit dazed and stunned.  Mark on the other hand; well, the little dancing man in his head had finally escaped, so he was proudly strutting around, proud as punch!

I love Autumn. I was born in Autumn. We got married in Autum. What's not to love about Autumn!! Forget Spring; for me, Autumn is the season of love.

And I am in love with my husband who is,...well, he is the bees knees!!

Love you baby!!

Have a thoroughly happy day everyone,



PS - all tips, hints and recommendations for where to go in Paris are *very* welcome. x
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