June 28, 2012

squeezing paint & something new...
When it comes to crafting, I try to steer away from paint - I just don't have the space to be free with the messy medium but it doesn't stop me from buying paint in lovely shades, tempting Craft sales....I want to experiment and try mixed media and collage so like to have it in my crafty supplies for a rainy day.
Last week I tried to dye some cotton twine to match some new gift tags I made - I wanted a subtle pinky lilac shade but ended up with a hint of pale pink - not intense enough but still visible...

so I thought Id test the colours I had at home and squeezed small blobs on some cardstock.  I ended up squeezing more paint than what I needed, freaked out a little as I didn't want to get paint on my bedspread - yes, I was doing this in my bedroom!!??!!  - so I placed another sheet of cardstock on top and sandwiched it together (didnt we do this in pre-school??)
it smudged the paint to form a pretty pattern and the cardstock has a lovely texture which came through..
so I decided to turn them into long Gift tags!  Fun!
I wish I  had more time to play with my supplies....

New tags are now in my Shop!

a great post if you have Paint + a Cardboard Roll - check this out!

June 26, 2012

Days at Home...
On my days off I just love to stay home...
today was not one of those days though.

I had a quick morning coffee with my dad and sister and then I headed out ( rain!)...first I headed to the boys school as I had a Parent/Teacher catch-up with my boys teachers (no dramas - all good!)
then it was straight to the post office
and next door to my optometrist,
spotted a clothing sale down the road ...had a look but way too cold to try on clothes.
Jumped back in the car  (rain!) then off to the supermarket for some grocery shopping - it was so tricky to find a car park so I drove around aimlessly waiting for a spot.  After picking up some necessities I ran across the road to my favourite Fruit & Vegetable grocer - way cheaper and better quality freshness,  planning the week's dinners in my head whilst I shop,  do you do this too?
Last stop was the Dry cleaners to drop off a coat 
and back home until school pick up time which comes around so fast!  
                                               some snippets around my home...
On my desk,  vintage book 'The Luckiest Girl' found on Ebay
and fresh flowers from my inlaws garden on my kitchen window sill.
The view to our Garden - a Winters Day...lots of rain.

and a new ottoman for Neo's room handmade by Coco & Milo . He loves it! happy chappy...

playing with paint, a little experiment
and mini cinnamon rolls.
These were so easy to make  store bought Puff pastry sheets + sugar + cinnamon...roll and bake!

June 22, 2012

Inspiration Now!  Pretty hues in the bedroom

I had to venture into town today and boy, it was freezing!!
its officially coat, scarf and beanie weather in Sydney!
time to rug up!
I love Winter and all the good things it brings - comfort food, warm slippers and thick soaks and of course a cozy bed  - Im loving both these bedrooms, perfect for a nanna nap on a chilly afternoon.
I love the pretty colours in the bed linen and throw and the bottom image is a perfect boho mix!
What do you think?

* Top image by Shannon Fricke Bedlinen Bottom image via Hus & Hem magazine

June 18, 2012

A Girl called Ruth-Mary...
Hello friends! 
A brand new week and I think its a great time to meet another creative girl.
Today I want to introduce Ruth-Mary, a Sydney based artist whose illustrations always have a touch of whimsy, Motherhood and Family and lots of Love!
Welcome Ruth-Mary!
Can you tell us what is currently inspiring you? I am crazy inspired by all things vintage, particularly at the moment by the patterns on vintage sheets. I am a very visual person and spend more time than I should combing through beautiful images and then drawing them into my own style.

Name 3 things you couldnt live without right now?
Definitely my family. I had a long journey to have my family of 3 girls through adoption, natural and also fostering to adopt. I am so blessed with a great marriage and these sweet girls, I find this spills into my illustration. I couldn't live without time to create. It is woven into the fabric of me! At times when I am overwhelmed with other responsibilities I have been known to say to my husband " I just have to paint!!!"
Lastly I would say my faith, it keeps me grounded and gives me purpose.

Can you define to us your personal style? Tricky to put into a couple of words perhaps vintage inspired whimsical?? To be honest I dont exactly know except that it is "me".

Do you have a favourite colour (or colour combinations)? I still enjoy the colour scheme of early on in the shabby chic movement- faded greens,pinks, beige and white.

What is your favourite Smell or Fragrance?
 The fragrance I am wearing everyday is Jennifer Lopez,  " My glow" I bought it on the specials table and was so surprised thatI loved it.

What do you love about your City? I love Sydney as it is part of me. I grew up here and love the special things that we can now take the girls to. I live in a beautiful part of Sydney near the beaches so there is lots to love!

Do you have a favourite quote you'd like to share with us?
I have been doing a lot of illustration lately around the theme of mother and child. It has caused me to reflect on the things I love so for me at the moment the one I relate to is" Home is where the heart is".

To see more of Ruth-Mary's work head on over to her Etsy Shop 'PatchworkFamily Art'  and her
blog and Facebook page for all her latest news!

June 15, 2012

an E-Decorating experience
One of the amazing things about the internet is how its made our world so much smaller, the instant connections and communication has opened up so many opportunities, like Virtual Interior Design.
 Christine, a super talented Interior Designer in NYC helped me decorate a room in my house
and all this was done via the Internet!

I was lucky to meet Christine online so was thrilled to have her help me out.
The plan was to re-arrange our formal living room which wasn't being utilised and turn it into a fun hangout room for the whole family.
Storage was so important as I was also moving all my books, crafty papers plus a workspace
and trying to figure out a layout was doing my head in - I was stuck!
The room has a fireplace, kooky small windows and a large french door leading to a porch.  I knew I wanted a whole wall full of books ( I have a lot of books...) so it was SO great to have Christine there (well,  over there in NYC) - such a huge help.
Our budget was very small but Christine offered SO many great ideas, options and advice.   We emailed often and she really understood what we needed!   The final presentation was a 10 page document.  We've bought most things but I still need to add a few more touches, art work needs to be put up and i will reveal our changes soon (promise)...you can see Christine's inspiration for the room below.

For those new to E-Decorating, I asked Christine to explain how her online decorating services work.
My online decorating service is an easy three step process that's fun and easy to implement. 
I will be personally working with you one on one to create a space that you want to live in. 
It's the like having an onsite interior designer but  instead we will communicate via email, phone and skype. 
You can choose from different services that I offer, for example a full room service like a living room or home office where I come up with the concept for the space, the floor plan, and make furniture, color, fabric, and accessories suggestions based on your space criteria, and how you want to feel in the space.
Or you can choose a specific service like window treatments or lighting where I will choose the best window treatment or lighting option that best fits your space and what you are trying to achieve.  

After choosing and purchasing the design service, you need to fill out a comprehensive design profile questionnaire where you will tell me about your space, let me know how you live in the space, how you want to feel in it, and your design style. You will need to send me requested snapshots of your space, measurements and drawings of  your floor plan and elevation, inspirational tear sheets, or your pinterest moodboard.  I will provide you with advice on how to take pictures,  how to measure your room, how to catalog heirlooms and treasures you would like to keep
 When I receive all your information, including pictures, tearsheet, drawings and design profile questionnaire, I will schedule a Skype talk to review your profile and pin down your priorities via phone or Skype.  
 After our conversation, I will start to work on your space.  Then, in 4-6 weeks you will receive a personalized decor package especially designed for you and your space complete with floor plan and elevation for furniture placement, color suggestions, furniture suggestions, fabric and accessories, shopping guide and a to do list - either delivered to your doorstep, or to your inbox.  After receiving the design package there is an unlimited email communication for 14 days, along with two 30 min. skype conversations to go over your design package and any other questions you might have

Is this process suitable for anyone?
Yes, the online decorating service is suitable for anyone -  first time homeowners, entrepreneurs working from home,  singles or couples moving into their first apartment - who is happy doing some of the legwork themselves, like measuring and sketching out the floor plan, taking pictures of the space, cataloging what they want to keep and (this is the fun part) who will enjoy being their own decorator and decorate and their own pace.  I will give  you guidance, suggestions, and homework to do throughout the projects, you get to do the purchasing and installations at your own pace.  
An example would be if you have a sofa that you are keeping  that needs to be reupholstered, I would select the fabric and send you the fabric sample, give you guidance on buying the fabric and questions to ask the upholsterer, and you would be responsible for purchasing the fabric, and finding an upholsterer of your choice. 
If you are a DIY, you will be a perfect fit, because this process is very hands on.   Also if you want to keep the design cost down, online decorating is considerable less than having an on-site designer, and you can still benefit from my design experience and expertise.  

If someone is like me who had never worked with an Interior Designer before, what can they expect? 
A lot of people think that interior designers only choose colors and fabrics, this is simply not true.  Choosing colors and fabrics is part of the process but we also take into consideration how you live in the space, and devise a plan around this.  When working with an interior designer, you can expect us to give your home continuity, function, and beauty.  We can save you money by eliminating decorating mistakes.  
To ensure that the interior designer give you the best service the owner also needs to be prepared with some information, like deciding on budget, know what colors they like or dislike, have pictures from magazine or online to  show what they like or dislike.  The more information you can give the designer the better.  Communication is key between you and the designer to develop a great space.  On the other hand, the designer should listen to your needs, and ask you questions that you have not thought of, and give you fresh perspective of your space, and how to make the best use of it.   
As an interior designer we are here to help you  make the best use of your space that speaks to you, that is comfortable, and makes you happy.  

Again, for people like me who adore many Decor Styles, how can you focus on a paticular style or does functionality in the room override everything?
For a beautifully decorated space, it does not only need to function well, but it also need to create a mood and feeling of the family or the person that lives in in the space.  For a person that likes many decor style it is totally fine to mix decor styles, it's interesting and it shows the owner's character.  A lot of people think that they can only have one decor style in a space or a house but this is not true.  We can mix old with new, modern with traditional, and it will work well.
We don't have to sacrifice style to satisfy the function of the space.  Functionality of a space does not depend on the decor style, it is more about choosing the right furniture that is suitable, proportioned, that fits the space and on the  proper arrangement and flow of furniture, taking into account the traffic patterns in the room and use of space.
 An example of mixing decor style could be a chesterfield sofa, mixed in with mid-century modern side chairs, and a contemporary lucite coffee to create a fun and elegant space.  As long as the furniture is suitable  and well proportioned in the space and not obstructing the traffic pattern it's good.  

Why did you want to be an Interior Designer? 
It all started in my childhood bedroom, when my family and I moved into our new house.
It had walnut paneling on all four walls, drab yellow drapery and some really bad furniture.  I don't even think you can imagine how bad it was! I was seriously traumatized by my ugly bedroom.
So I became an advocate for good design, because I don't want anyone to suffer like I did.  I want people to love their space in a way I never could, and I understand how important it is to live in a space that can transform you. 
I believe that good interior design is important, because it's not just about creating beautiful spaces, but about creating harmony, transforming one's lifestyle, and being happy and productive.  
With the online service being more affordable it allows me to reach more people and help them lead a happy and more productive life by creating a space that they want to live and be comfortable in.  
I do still offer traditional face to face interior design in NYC area.  

To contact Christine head on over to her Blog and Facebook page!
Thanks Christine!!

June 14, 2012

Vintage Style Icon: Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda still has it!
Did you see her at this year's Oscars - she looked amazing, on the best dressed list for sure!
but she's rocking it at 74, can you beleive it!?  still working, still expressing, still interested, thats what keeps you young people!
Jane's always had great attitude and lots of energy and so when I spotted these 'young Jane' images via Pinterest, I knew I had to do a Vintage Style Icon post about Jane...
* images via my Pinterest - Vintage Life board

June 13, 2012

Creativity & Motivation
The past couple of months I've been a little flat in the creative department.
I needed a little motivating push and so decided to enroll in a paper craft workshop with Paula of 7Gypsies -  should be a great and its been a while since I've done a crafty class.  So that's what I'll be doing this Friday - i will check back next and share what I make!  Paula is in Australia on holiday visiting friends so is only doing three classes so Im happy to have booked early!

I also ended up enrolling in Holly's BYW2 e-course and that's for the whole month of June, that'll keep me busy.
I took her first course two years ago - I learnt so much and the course was very visual with detailed notes and styled images, just like Holly's beautiful blog.   I knew I had to enroll in this one too! We even get weekly homework tasks and its been great networking and meeting other bloggers too!

Another great event I attended this month was
 Etsy Sydney Success which was part of the Vivid Festival - it was a full day event and i left feeling  energised and invigorated! It was great to catch up with Suzanne of PaperIvy and Melinda of Paperklip design and there were a few familiar faces in the crowd.
I wish I had time to stay for the after party to meet more creative peeps but I had dinner arrangments that evening.
The day was planned so well and the speakers were very inspiring.
Etsy's CEO, Chad Dickerson was there talking about courage and following your heart...I'm all for that!!
I also got to meet creative girl, jewelry designer and blogger Jess , which was Super! she was also speaking about her experience as an Etsy seller.
One of the presentations was by stylist Lara Hutton, Ive admired her work for a years now as she styles in all the FAB Australian mags -  I have featured Lara's styled images here - the session was all about styling your products so they shine online!

Another great session was with design duo TMod, their story was inspiring and they have kindly blogged about their talk - how to transform your creative ideas into a viable business - you can see it here.

Images styled by Lara Hutton for Country Style magazine

June 10, 2012

Snack Attack
So im a week into the 'Clean' detox and I must admit it hasn't been as bad or as hard as i thought it would be.  The aim for my detox is to try and improve my digestion, to eat well, poop more frequently, improve energy slumps and mental clarity.
If I lose some weight too then hey, Im happy!
The book doesn't mention snacks but I've been having a handful of my toasted Trail mix mid-morning and a piece of fruit in the afternoon otherwise Im famished!...but that's the problem,  these days we don't really know what 'being hungry' really feels like!
Eating well sure takes time and lots of focused energy  - I'm spending so many hours preparing meals and on the days I work I'm up the night before getting my lunch ready - but its worth it though, as its for me, my family, my body, my self...

Trail Mix
Toast in a slow oven
1 cup raw almonds ( I chop mine up with a knife)
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
once they are nice and toasty I remove from oven and add
1/4 cup dried cranberries and
1/4 cup goji berries
I keep mine in a sealed glass jar - yummy, satisfying snack!

and my favourite Green Smoothie (beats  that coffee morning - did I really say that??)
bunch of baby spinach or kale , 1/2 cup coconut water , 1/2 cup pineapple pieces
1/2 avacado , 1 & 1/2 cups almond milk
handful of ice cubes - blitz up and enjoy.....

June 6, 2012

Etsy Picks of the week - Living doll
feeling a little playful this week...pretty girly details, lovely shades of delicious pastels.
I do hope you enjoy my etsy picks of the week!

Top image - backstage at Christian Lacroix *
Resin Stacking Ring by TopazTurtle * Poetess pastel mint bobbies by Gardensofwhimsy
* I follow my Path Pinback button by LillyMoon

June 4, 2012

A touch British
Yesterday felt like a very British day...well weather wise that is,...it was gray, it drizzled then rained and rained some more.
We went to our local shops centre to pass the time, i did my grocery shopping and I bought some fresh salmon which I plan to cook tomorrow on my day off.
I also bought a lovely purple jumper that was heavily discounted  - nice one!
I spent the afternoon on the couch watching documentaries about Queen Elizabeth II,  Im suprised I didnt get any whining from my boys but they kept themselves occupied and I enjoyed hogging the TV (for once)!
Its been wonderful to see The Diamond Jubilee celebrations...seems like people are embracing the Royals and everything British all over again.

The latest Gourmet Traveller magazine celebrates British  food...puddings, pies  - perfect comfort food!
I even spotted a recipe for Eccles Cakes - very old fashioned indeed!

June 1, 2012

A Girl called Vicky...
I came across Vicky's work a few months ago and absolutely fell in love with her style and beautiful details.
I'm thrilled to feature her work here today!
Vicky creates lovely printed Wedding stationery but also features another range,
The Vintage Drawer, that is extra special with beautifully embroidered and embellished pieces for Weddings, social stationery
and gifts.  Vicky has also just introduced a new product line 'Home with The Vintage Drawer'.

Welcome Vicky!
Can you tell us what is currently inspiring you?
 …the current season, I had forgotten how a little bit of sunshine makes you feel so invigorated. I love watching the plants and shrubs in the garden come to bloom and then make hand picked posies in an assortment of vessels for the house, every room is currently filled with peonies, lilac and lavender. I am like an excitable child when strolling around the local car boot sales for hours. The floral paintings of Vernon Ward is currently a big influence as I am slowly filling my house with his paintings and prints. Gardening and walking is a continual inspiration through all seasons as it allows your imagination to go a wandering.

Name 3 things you couldn’t live without right now? 
My two little girls Ava & Mia, my patient husband who allows his wife to be a free creative and bring ridiculous amounts of junk into the house!!
and days away in our little touring caravan.

Can you define to us your personal style? 
“The Floral Linen Lady who loves to stitch and potter” I am a stationer who makes products purely from recycling fabrics from the 1940’ to around the 1970’s…from little linen booklet invitations to embroidered place names, ideas continually moving forward. My collection 'The Vintage Drawer'  has now developed into homewares, from cushions, brooches for your cushions, scented lavender pillows, domestic goddess dusters, pinnies and soon to introduce a collection of personal drawings and prints.

What is your favourite colour or colour combinations? Teals, Smokey Blues and Greys and a tiny flash of raspberry, mustard yellow or mandarin.

Favourite Smell? Jo Malone’s Jasmine & Mint or smouldering wood with herbs.

What do you love about your City/Town? I love that I live near to the sea (a five minute walk away) and if I drive for 5 minutes I am at the edge of North Yorkshire a very beautiful and inspiring part of England and again its beauty changes so dramatically through the seasons.

Do you have a favourite quote you'd like to share 
with us?
“There are a hundred languages in the world but a smile speaks them all…” Anon

Thanks SO much Vicky!
To see more of Vicky's work please visit her Blog , Facebook  Etsy Shop and Twitter 
for updates and her websites below
Vicky Trainor
The Vintage Drawer
At Home with The Vintage Drawer

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