I'm the first to admit I was a little over enthusiastic with the details at our wedding last March. Having originally studied graphic design - my little Epson printer went through 5 black ink cartridges and what felt like 155 hours of cardboard-loading to produce what you see above. My advice - leave the printing to the professionals. I do love the 'B heart M' stamp we had made - $40 well spent at Australian Rubber Stamps. Images taken by photographer Amanda McLauchlan.
One could spend hours in Spotlight. I think I sometimes do, especially at the Rockdale branch - the biggest in the land. In preparation for a shoot tomorrow, I spray-painted this Papier-mâché dog a lovely blue. As you do. Ol' Bluey is yet to choose his ribbon from the bright range above -also from Spotlight. He will probably make his way back home to my house after the shoot...at least until my husband notices with a 'Honey, what's with the dog in the lounge room?'
A favourite on the bookshelf at the moment is from The Selby. Having long been a fan of Todd Selby and his blog, the book brings all the cool interiors and their beautiful inhabitants (sometimes too beautiful) on to paper. The 'real' qualities of the spaces with humorous interviews and illustrations make for a very good read/house stalk. The bonus page of cute stickers at the front will take you back to feeling like an excited 8 year old too. Ariel Books has it on special right now.
Real Living asked me to decorate a living room, dining room and bedroom - all for under $5000. Without visiting my beloved thrift and junk stores. I began the job thinking it would be rather difficult- but I scoured budget friendly places like Kmart, Fantastic Furniture, Spotlight and Bunnings. With a little bit of DIY, using things like an old tin can for a vase, and very careful planning - I was pleasantly surprised on the day of the shoot. You can see the results in this months issue. (Including a photo of me at work - I'm a big believer in wearing sneakers when on the job).
Photographs by the lovely Jason Busch.
I have been surrounded by good cooks all my life. My mum and two older sisters (and numerous extended family) certainly know their way around the kitchen. This childhood indulgence has left me...well, a little lazy in the chef department. Especially now that I'm married to a man that sees A Day at elBulli as light reading material. I could handle these garlic prawns though - cooked by a 'good cook' friend recently, I was impressed by the taste and how simple the process was. No recipe needed, just photos. Not in the mood for cooking? You can't go past the seafood served at Garfish.
I have just discovered the reason I learnt the Indonesian language for four years at school. I'm going to have to brush up on how to order a Gado-gado, because two of my best friends are getting married in Bali early next year. It was so exciting to get their gorgeous invite/booklet in the post, designed by the girls at Zed and Bee. I can't wait for the celebrations to begin - and have a drink or two at Sea Circus, a new restaurant in the heart of Seminyak - check out their seriously cute blog.
I began the morning early with a bleary eyed drive to Sydney Flower Markets. The rest of the day was spent with a spring in my step - purely from loading the car with the the most beautiful blooms at such a huge discount for an exciting shoot tomorrow. Flowers really do make a girl happy. Put a visit to Flemington on a to-do list, you'll love it.
Invented in the 1940's in Australia by Bill McArthur of Potts Point, Splayds changed the way people ate...with one hand. The concept of the Splayd makes me smile - a utensil that combines the funtions of a spoon, fork and knife. 'Ideal for eating in front of the Television Set'. Genius. The collection pictured above belongs to my Nan, who gave them to me to share with you. Always ahead of her time, Nan isn't one to hold on to too many trinkets from the past - although the leather bound boxes of special forks and spoons survived the house moves over the years. On another note, my new favourite television series is the 1960's based Mad Men - a bit late to catch on, I know - but I think Betty would have had a few Splayds in her cupboard too.
I visited my in-laws in the Southern Highlands last weekend and, as always, was delighted to find yet another new store in Bowral. Sidetracked Depot stocks a really interesting range of knick knacks and collectibles, all beautifully displayed. The doll heads aren't as freaky as they may look in my photo - they actually come from a 'Build a Doll' set that you can buy for $17 - very cute. Business is booming in Bowral town.
The first post on this blog pictured one of my favourite op-shop purchases. This would have to be another one - a 1950's hospital bedside table that I found one afternoon at Burwood Vinnies for $12. My sister thinks it's rather morbid - but I love the handles, the melamine top and the secret magazine shelf - that now holds coasters and remote controls. If you are a fan, I have seen these come and go at Doug Up on Bourke. The wire heart is from Spotlight.
Next time you are getting a chair upholstered or curtains made, promise me you will visit Bargain Upholstery Fabrics in Seaforth. It consists of six shopfronts and an overwhelming range of fabrics that take up half the street - expect personal service and big discounts on current ranges. You can then march your fabric across the other side of town to visit a brilliant old-school upholsterer, Europa Upholstery in Hurlstone Park.
My job often requires sourcing the strange. The Bower Re-use and Repair Centre in Marrickville often helps. The collection of 'round things' was purchased today for a Christmas shoot I am working on. I haven't gone completely mad - these old items will have a new purpose, I will show you what eventuates once the shoot is complete. When you have finished having fun here, you can drop in to Reverse Garbage - a warehouse filled with 'industrial and commercial discards for creative and practical people'. They have just opened a branch in Darlinghurst - love all this positive re-use.
I promised you a more extensive post on our Mt. Tomah visit, and here it is. My photos don't do this place justice - you have to see it for yourself. Our weekend was filled baking with the AGA cooker - using produce from the veggie garden, reading with a wine by the fire built from local stone, plus a few trips to a new favourite restaurant, The Apple Bar. Not to mention taking in the breathtaking views that surrounded us, and that gigantic bath. Check out the (better) photos and write up of 'Tomah' on Stayz.
I dropped in to the Mitchell Road Design Gallery recently. As usual, the vendors had their stalls bulging with collectables from the 1950's through to the 80's - and all fairly reasonable priced. Call or visit the website for dates and details of upcoming auctions - which are held in the warehouse space on the ground floor. You will always find something you want here - for example, I want that white chair.