Thursday, April 23, 2009

Memory Lane

Sometime ago my mum passed on old copies of various magazines for me to peruse. It is great to see when trends first came on the scene, what trends are still around and what have disappeared. I thought I would share some of my favourite images from Australian Country Style ala June 2005. I guess for me, these are the sort of images that are classic and timeless.

A simple palette of cream, white and  grey allow the simplicity of a cast-iron bed and wooden chair acting as a bedside to shine through. And so it is in all the images- simple palettes of colour, texture through wood and simple furniture = bliss for me.









Don’t forget to close the gate!



source: Aus Country Style June 2005

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This is nice...

I am loving two things about this image (spotted on Camilla At Home).

Firstly, it is nice to see black wooden chairs with the traditional table. I have gotten a bit over seeing white chairs (either a traditional chair or juxtoposition with a contemporary chair) with every wooden dining table. Set against the fresh white walls keeps the feeling light and airy but there is more depth to the room.

Secondly, I think the overall feel of the room is helped by the two-tone wooden floors. I have been loving either painted white floors or ebonized flooring lately, but this image has reminded me how nice natural tones can be.

I also like the general nautical fell to the room, although it does not feel at all"themey". I'd lose the whales on the wall though :s (are they whales??).


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Give me a slap on the back of the head...

Seriously, I feel like a twit.

Please picture one slightly frazzled mama chasing her two year old and four year old around the supermarket, trying to keep them on task.

"Miss Chooken, you grab the bread. Miss Sunshine, help me grab a cucumber. Remember girls, we are only here to grab 4 things! OK, let's grab the milk and paper and we are out of here!"

(Said girls are running up and down aisles, Miss Sunshine laughing at random old men, Miss Chooken walking backwards and singing at the top of her lungs).

We make it to the newly installed self-serve check-out area and as a reward for nearly getting through my housework I grab the nearest copy of Real Living.

Miss Chooken starts scanning our items while I try to restrain Miss Sunshine from taking them out of the bright orange re-usable bag,

"Please replace item in the bagging shelf"

says the automated register chick, thinking I am trying to pinch something.

(note to self: make some nicer looking shopping bags soon).

OK, all good, we get out of there with my sanity surviving, collect our trusty Jack Russell from her veranda post and we head home.

Poor dog is going blind and gets scared half-way across the road and just stops.

She wont. move. an. inch.

Frantic shouts at Miss Chooken to wait on the over side of the road while I desperately try to shield the stroller and Miss Sunshine from on-coming traffic and work out how to pick up the dog, not drop the shopping and push the stroller to safety.

Car stops for me to pick up dog, we make it across safely. I think dog may need to see a chiropractor as my initial frantic attempts to pull her across the road surely dislocated some vertebrae...or maybe just her ear (lucky the collar wasn't too tight).

We get through the front door and after sorting the girls out with a drink and snack, I sit down to peruse my little literary reward.

Then it hits me....

This magazine looks a little familiar.

A little too familiar.

Like I bought it a few weeks ago familiar.

There goes my $6.75.

There goes my hour of guilt-free relaxation time.

So, sorry April edition of Real Living, you are off to the spare room closet along with the two County Living November editions I bought last year (yes, this is not the first time I have done this).

So another magazine I will hide from hubby....and I don't have that many hidey spots left.

But that is a post for another day.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Hey good lookin', What ya got cookin'???

Ok, mine was not quite so good looking, so I am using the published image...

Slow-cooked beef duabe....mmmm, and it was nice!

I actually prepared all the ingredients in a pan and then transferred to my slow-cooker to give it the extra long coking treatment. The recipe calls for a bottle of red wine, and I used a shiraz, but next time I will use something milder or maybe 1/2 wine and 1/2 stock.

So thank you Country Style! Even Miss Chooken ate some!

What good recipes have you tried out lately? I'd love some more ideas :)


The Easter Hunt

Miss Chooken was very concerned that the Easter Bunny would not know where she was for Easter, or that Miss Sunshine could only eat nut-free eggs.

After many reassurances, and a long count-down to Easter ("How many more nights mummy??), Easter Sunday arrived. Luckily, the Easter Bunny knew that we would be doing an egg-hunt at my sister's apartment. Here is Miss Chooken on the trail. She spied a bunny footprint (he sure has big feet ;) ).

Miss Chooken brought her hand-made bunny ears all the way from Adelaide to wear on the egg-hunt, along with the egg basket she decorated at my sister's (thanks Jess!).

Miss Sunshine needed a little extra help to find her eggs, but luckily Easter Bunny had left some on the lawn.

Many thanks to Uncle Ray for helping Miss Sunshine decorate her basket! (He has a great eye for colour combo's, no??? :)

The girls got to show-off their findings to their Opa (my dad) and his partner Annie.

The egg baskets even made it home on the plane. The girls got lots of looks boarding the plane with their baskets in hand, but I had nowhere else to put them! So carry-on luggage it was!
Thanks to Jessi, Ray and the Easter Bunny for making such an excellent egg hunt!

Check out this inspiration!

The inspiration:

The resources:

The result:

Seriously, what a great looking ottoman??? I really want to give this a go... I wonder if I am up to the task?! Full credit to Jenny at Little Green Notebook for this one! Another great blog to check out :)


Cottage Appeal

I have a little crush at the moment. Yes, the cute appeal of a symmetrical cottage has me totally under it's guile. Seriously, aren't they sweet to look at?

The bullnose veranda is always stylish in my book.

I love the idea of the four main rooms and then discovering what, where and how past owners have added on further rooms.

It seems the kitchen lean-to at the rear has sometimes been more recently renovated (sometimes not!). Some have lovingly established gardens.

Some are all stone, some bluestone, some part brick.

And some are weatherboard.
Some have iron roofs, some tiled.

I like them all, I do have to admit.

(I'd get rid of the aluminium windows in this cutie though and replace with the 12-pane sash window).
I know contemporary house design had lead floor plans in more open direction, but the symmetrical cottage still has something going on, don't you think?

Maybe it is the chance of finding an original fireplace and mantle, just ripe for a little TLC?

Or other features like chunky skirting, architraves and lead light windows?

Have you ever noticed in older homes how the light switches are often located behind a door? Apparently it is because in older design it was common for doors to open so you walked towards the nearest wall within the room, rather than opening to face into the room itself (does that make sense???). This was to provide more privacy (when rooms did not often have locks, too expensive etc) and also to help prevent draughts from entering the room/heat from quickly leaving the room. As times have changed and doors have been re-hung to open leaving more space to enter a room, often the light switches have stayed on the other side of the architrave (hence, behind the door). Another thing to assess if you ever get the chance to reno a gorgeous cottage like these ones!

One of my favourite renovations on a similar cottage was spied in Aus. Home Beautiful (Feb 2009).

Apologies for my scanning technique here! What I love about this reno/addition is the T-shape addition at the rear of the property. The four main rooms were retained, but an open-plan living area was built across the back of the home. Although done in a contemporary style with vintage furnishings, I really adore how the owners were able to get the best of both worlds with this design. The curb-appeal was not lost, but modern living is achieved. The long hallway is retained with the bonus of a great view through to the stylish dining room. I particularly like the study nook behind the kitchen and the parent's retreat off the main bedroom. Great design.

So, do cottages hold any appeal for you? Would you take on a cottage renovation project?? If you need more inspiration, head over to The Lettered Cottage. Layla and her husband are doing the most gorgeous job of their renovation. I am really taken with their latest efforts in restructuring the fireplace. It is a must to check out!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

We're Back!

Wow! Holidays can be hard work! hehe, not really, we had a lovely time visiting my sister and brother-in-law with their new baby. But it is always nice to fall into your own bed.

Our trip to Canberra began with a gorgeous walk around Lake Burley Griffen. Miss Chooken loved feeding the swans and ducks. On another occasion, a very cheeky swan ate some Jatz biscuit right out of her fingers and gave Miss Chooken a bit of a fright. They really are the biscuit for all occasions!

The bike and walk-ways around the lake are stunning. It was fabulous to see so many people out walking, running and riding. Great infra-structure that many cities could learn from, and we loved it. I urge anyone who visits to have a look around the lake, it has a lovely relaxed vibe to it.

Ofcourse one of the main reasons to visit the nation's capital was to see my sister and her newly arrived daughter. Here she is at 3 1/2 weeks, a long and lean gorgeous girl (and my sister too, lol).

Along our walk we enjoyed a mini-picnic, complete with a early treat of some Easter eggs. It was the first egg my girls had enjoyed this year and we got lots of chocolate-smiles.

Miss Sunshine loved getting out of the back-pack.

Just chillin-out :)

More pics to come as I adjust to being back home!