Saturday, July 31, 2010

And The Winner Is ...

Thank you to all those who took part in my giveaway - I had 59 entries in total!

Unfortunately, there can only be one winner .....

Congratulations to Kym from Kyandra Rose!!!!

I decided to 'pull the name out of a .... retro vessel' the old fashioned way. Below is the image of my lovely assistants, my sister Jennifer and my 4 year old Ella, picking the winner (sorry about the image quality) - that piece of paper actually says Kyandra!

Kym has a beautiful blog filled with inspiring images and lovely finds. Her home is called Kyandra and her blog is about the transformation of Kyandra.... a new chapter. If you haven't visited the lovely Kym's blog before you definitely should here.

Thank you once again to everyone for their enthusiastic support and beautiful comments.

Now it's up to Kym to choose a piece of artwork and set of tags from my madeit or etsy store! I'll let you know what she chooses in a future post!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Michelle

Friday, July 30, 2010

French Inspiration

I was out with a friend the other night and she was talking about her trip to Paris planned for
early next year.
It's funny where inspiration can come from ......

Symmetry and colour in a room .....

A beautiful french inspired dining room and chandelier.....

French style slipcovers and calming hues .....

Or just from some beautiful french fabrics ......

So today, with romantic french notions filling my head, I designed a range of french inspired tags using pages from a vintage french dictionary, french style stamps, acetate and ribbon .....

I hope you have a weekend filled with the things you love and are inspired by - you never know where it will take you! Michelle

Oops, almost forgot - the Bris-style night markets are on tonight in King George Square if you get a chance to pop along. I'm not selling my wares there tonight as I am only eligible to have my first market in October - and you can bet I'll do my best to be there!

p.s. don't forget to enter my giveaway here - you'll have to hurry though as I am drawing the winner tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Melbourne Bound

I hope everyone is having a great week. Just wanted to do a quick post and catch you all up - I usually post on Tuesdays .... but .... well - I have been busy with a wholesale order that is Melbourne bound. Hence the image below showing over 100 tags that went out today - phew!! It still excites me to think that someone is going to walk into a store and purchase my creations.

I promise I will get around to visit you all in the next couple of days - in the meantime don't forget to enter my giveaway here - it will be drawn on Saturday 31st July so be quick!!!
Thank you to all those who have entered so far - your kind words are very encouraging. It's funny, I don't know what I expected when I started blogging - I know for sure I didn't think I would actually make new friends - but I definitely feel I have! So once again, thank you, I appreciate each and every one of you. Michelle

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Giveaway Time

You may not have noticed but recently the little symbol below was placed on my sidebar:

I am soo excited because this little symbol means I have become a member of BrisStyle!! For those of you who have not heard of BrisStyle, it is a collective of independent artists and crafters from the greater Brisbane area who sell on etsy. Not only does this group support each other in the business of crafting, but members are eligible to sell their art and craft through various markets held throughout the year. So if you have not had the chance to see what BrisStyle and its members have to offer, pop on over and have a look - it's the hottest place for everything craft!!

To celebrate my membership, and to say thank you to all those who read my blog every week, I have decided to hold a giveaway:

To those in Australia - any one piece of artwork from either my madeit or etsy store and any one set of tags!

To those who live outside of Australia - any two sets of tags!

All you have to do to enter (and many of you will already know the rules) is:
1. For one entry follow my blog and leave a comment to tell me you have done so
2. For another entry add me to your blog roll and leave a comment
3. For another entry blog about my giveaway and leave a comment

Thats a potential for three entries ..... so ..... simple right? All you have to do then is take a look at my madeit and etsy stores to decide what you will choose!

The giveaway will run until Saturday the 31st of July when a winner will be drawn and notified - the winner can then tell me which items they have chosen to receive!

Have a great weekend everyone. Michelle

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Reno After Images

Hi everyone, hope your having a great week. Last week I promised a photo of our kitchen as it looks today. I'm no photographer, and I did find our kitchen hard to photograph because of its galley style, anyway here are some after images:-

Yes, I usually have some form of baking in my kitchen - this is not a set-up! If you ask any of my friends they will tell you that my mother's chocolate slice is usually under the glass dome. My mother often bakes it for me (spoiled I know) but sometimes (when the cravings strike) I do bake it myself.

The artwork on the wall is one of my hearts.

If you missed the before images and want to check them out, you can see them here.

The image below is of my laundry - we replaced the bench top with the same stone as in the kitchen. We still have to get rid of the yellow cupboards (they matched the original kitchen colour) and re-tile the splashback ...... many jobs to do!

Lastly, I just thought I would share my mother's chocolate slice recipe as its a great winter one:-

For Chocolate Coconut Slice you will need:-
4 rounded tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/4 coconut
1/2 cup of sultanas
1 cup of flour
1 tea spoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of cocoa (big ones - I usually put in 3!)
optional - but oh so good - 1 handful of roughly chopped cooking chocolate
1 tablespoon of milk

Then: Cream butter and sugar. Add egg beaten in the milk, then add all the dry ingredients and mix. Bake in moderate oven (180 degrees) for about 30 mins - I find that in my fan forced it is done in 20 mins.
Icing:- just do your favourite - we do 1 cup icing sugar; 2 big tbspns cocoa; 2 tbspns butter; small amount of water

Hope you enjoy this one. Have a great day. Michelle

p.s. I will be announcing my giveaway tomorrow so please pop back in and say hi!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cottage Garden & the WAC

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I was fortunate enough to get some time to have a little look around the Cottage Garden in Stanley St East, Brisbane. I must confess I hadn't been in a while .... and .... I was really impressed with the lovely collection of antiques and bric-a-brac on offer, along with their wonderful little cafe! I was even happier when I found this gorgeous little wooden tray in Katherine's store ..... so thank you Katherine for having a great eye! If you don't already know, Katherine has a beautiful blog and business The Old Boat House. Her store in the Cottage Garden is filled with wonderful finds, so if you love anything old or antique, and you haven't visited her Blog may I suggest you do.

The image below shows my delightful little find along with some lovely canisters I picked up from the Woolloongabba Antique Centre. The WAC is celebrating its first birthday with a buy-one-get one free coffee every Monday for the month of July, so pop along if you have time and say hi to the girls who are always friendly and helpful. As usual it is filled with delicious antiques and collectibles from every era, and is now open 7 days.

Not sure what I will do with the canisters yet .... but I just had to have them for their old-world charm and wonderful patina! Oh, couldn't resist popping my other feathered friends into the picture - I adore china birds, and have these sitting in my office!

Hope you all had time for some time to indulge in your favourite past-time over the weekend. Michelle

P.S. Stay tuned for a giveaway later in the week!!
More details later!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Reno Before & Afters plus Another HR Find

Hello everyone, hope you are having a great week. As promised below are some before and afters of my lounge. This is where my husband and I spend most nights just chilling out. Once again, apologies for some of the images - I wasn't intending others to see them! Please also realise that my house is not 'staged' - this is how we live 'warts and all'.

Below is image of our lounge AFTER. The framed 'bus scrolls' are actually tea towels that I framed in Ikea frames for an all up cost each of $10!! The doorway to the right goes into the girls' playroom which we created from a car space in the garage that was originally for 4 cars.

Image below is BEFORE. Please note the horrible windows which you will see in the next set of 'after' images I have replaced with cafe style bi-folding windows with seating. Toys are everywhere before we created the playroom.

The door (shown below) was the original entryway into this room. It is now where the t.v. sits and on the other side, our fridge in the kitchen - if you missed these 'before and afters' and wanted to see them click here, and here.

Below more AFTER images of the lounge. The first image (sorry about the light but it was very bright this morning) shows the cafe style bi-folding window with seat that we put in. This leads out to our front courtyard and entryway.

Below the AFTER image of the playroom entryway - we have tried to make it look as 'adult' as possible from the doorway.

Below is the AFTER image of the playroom .... when you walk around the corner - this is what you see - all the girls toys! Yes, I have put tags on all the baskets for ease of finding where each type of toy goes - I know, it's the Virgo in me!!

The final AFTER image of the playroom shows the craft area - I did a post a while back about the pin board I found in an op shop for $4.50 - here it is in situ.

Lastly, on to my Hard Rubbish find! I was driving through a neighboring suburb on Wednesday and oh my gosh if I didn't spy a Casala chair out of the corner of my eye!! Well, my heart skipped a beat as I did the u-turn to go back to have a look ...... not 1 but 2 Casala chairs!! Okay they look a little bad right now all dirty and covered in cobwebs, but, they will clean up okay and I will then have them resprayed for my new side deck that is being started next week. Yay!!!

Oops, just realised I said I would post an image of my kitchen again as it looks 'today'. Sorry, I will do it next week.
If anyone wants any contacts for tradesmen or companies in Brisbane re renovation, just ask - I have folders brimming with contacts as this is reno number 4 for us.
Hope you all have a great weekend - we are just doing a bit of work on the house ready for next weeks phase two to begin. Michelle

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tags & My HR Find

Hope everyone had a great weekend. I am feeling refreshed and looking forward to another chaotic school term!

As I said in last weeks post, I have been filling some wholesale orders for stores lately so I thought I would share some of the new tags that I have sent them. I have just uploaded these to my madeit store and will upload some to my etsy store later in the week.

The first set of tags are hand cut from a vintage atlas and then hand stamped. Each set sells for $5.50. I love the sense of adventure these tags instill.

The second set of tags are hand cut from a vintage dictionary and hand stamped with fauna from the Webster's Dictionary range. Each set sells for $5.00. These tags remind me of the set of heavy dictionaries my mother owned (in two volumes) when we were growing up. I guess these days we just google the word?

Lastly these tags are just a bit of fun and are hand stamped onto recycled card. Each set sells for $4.50.

Now on to my fabulous Hard Rubbish find. It was HR collection in our area this week so my oldest daughter and I (miss 4) went out under the cover of darkness (due to the fact is was in my own suburb) to look for treasures - she loved it but we came back empty handed. Imagine my surprise the next day, after venturing a different way to the post office, when I came across this delicious old head board! Okay, it needs a clean up (looks like 100yr old cobwebs on it) and a definite recover ...... but with some TLC I think it will be perfect in my second daughter's room - yay, her scheme is starting to come together. It may take me some weeks before I get to this project, but I promise to post the after shot.

By the way, I got some very funny looks from the builders across the road who were watching me haul it into the back of my car ..... I could just hear them ..... has she no shame?!! This got me thinking ..... have any of you ever hunted for treasures in the HR in your own suburb (or am I the only embarrassing one)?

Hope your all having a great week. Michelle

p.s. I haven't forgotten about posting more images of my home - I'm just waiting for the calm on Thursday when daycare and pre-prep go back!

Friday, July 9, 2010

More Reno Before & Afters

Hope everyone has had a great week. Sorry I have not visited anyone this week as I have been very busy with school holiday 'stuff' and filling wholesale orders for stores. I hope to knock on all your doors over the weekend.

As promised, some more before and after images are to follow. I have only included our outdoor entertaining space and kitchen today - and not the final kitchen image I am sorry as it was too dark when I got home to get a good photo :( I will also show you the lounge etc. next week as the light just got too bad! Once again please forgive the ..... ahem ..... 'unstaged' look of our home.

Below is the outdoor entertaining area at the back of our house as it looks today. Sorry about the leaves in the pool - it was very windy today!

We had the pool completely renovated (resurfaced) and the tiles outside replaced to match the new tiles indoors. We also installed a glass pool fence. The image below shows looking from inside out towards the pool.

The image below shows how it looked before (yuk)! The lattice (not my fav) and the old pool fence really closed in this space.

On to the kitchen, if you want to see what the old kitchen looked like, please refer to Tuesdays post here. The room below shows where we created the new kitchen - it runs right next to the laundry and downstairs bathroom, so it made more sense to locate the kitchen here for ease of flow and a cohesive design (the 'ghost' in the laundry was someone who didn't want to be shown in the image). The door shown on the second image below is where the fridge now stands in the new kitchen, this was the old door to what we now use as our lounge. Are you confused yet, because it's getting late and I know I am!!

Below shows part way through the renovation.......

Below is the new kitchen, some of these pictures were taken before we painted etc. The light was so bad today I had to use some images I already had. Will take a better one for next week.

Looking back at all these pictures made me realise how much we actually have done! Not that far to go now to finish the whole thing off .... looking forward to that day so we can have a bit of a rest and enjoy it before we move on. Thank you all for your lovely comments on my previous 'before & afters'.

Hope you all have a great weekend. I am exhausted, and, just between you and me, can't wait for pre-prep and daycare to start back next week! Think I'll spend my weekend trying to catch up on some sleep! Michelle

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Comments Disappeared Reno Before & After

I have posted this due to the fact that I came home this afternoon to find 8 comments left on my blog re my previous post of my renovation before and afters (and was sooo excited). When I clicked on the comments to moderate them, they all disappeared! So ..... I would really, really, appreciate it if you left your comments again as I love to read them. And, if you didn't see my previous post - please read below. Has anyone else had this happen? Not happy!! Michelle

p.s. if they reappear I,ll let you know.

p.s.s. 9:30pm - looks like lots of us are experiencing the same problem ..... lets hope it all corrects itself by the morning!

Renovation Before & After

As promised I have put together a series of before and after images of our home. In this post I will show you the Formal Lounge (I know - no one has these anymore), the entry/stairs, and the 'chill-out zone'. Please forgive me as I am not a professional photographer, none of these images have been 'staged' but show how we truly live. The 'before' images were not intended to be seen by many so you will see the occasional small child - and I don't know how to operate those programs that get 'rid' of things you don't want in them so these images are raw and real.

This first images show the afters of our 'formal lounge' and stair case. I love our David Trubridge light in this room.

As you can see, below, there was lots of pine in the house and the stairwell was built in underneath. When the builder (my brother-in-law) and I pulled the carpet and the risers off the stairs, we did a little happy dance as we found the original stairs were 'open' and made of Tasmanian Oak - that also saved me a lot of money - no need for newer 'trendier' stairs! You will see from the after image above that we installed glass balustrades on the stairs also to give a feeling of more light. We also changed the tiles throughout the house, continuing out to our pool.

Below, looking back towards the entry 'after'. We installed a new entry door and took out a brick dividing wall (lovely) at the entrance. We also installed bi-folds in the formal lounge.

Below, looking back towards the entry 'before' - shows old brick wall and "beautiful" stained glass window (yuk). Sorry, if I am offending anyone, stained glass windows have their place just not in my modern renovation!

Below, 'after' image of our bi-folds in the formal lounge.

Below, 'before' of the silder that used to be in the formal lounge. You can see the ceiling in this image also - we have painted it out white. Forgot to mention - the previous owners had bars on all the windows - don't know why as we live in a very safe neighborhood (of coarse these came off also).

Below is the last 'after' of the formal lounge. This just shows how we took the back off some shelves that were already there - we wanted to keep some of the eighties vibe of the home. This images shows my Marimeko which I have posted about previously here.

Below is the 'after' image of our 'chill-0ut zone' - named this as it is opposite our kitchen and is where my 4 year old watches t.v. while we watch ours in our lounge room (which I will post later this week). This room is great because it leads directly out to our outdoor entertaining area and the pool. The t.v. swings around and many games of cricket are watched while swimming! Anyway this area used to be the kitchen (as shown next).

Finally, the image below shows the 'chill-out room' before - yes it was a yellow kitchen. I hated having to pull it out as it was only 2 years old, however, it was in the wrong place for the flow of the spaces in the house. After a lick of white 2-pak paint it now resides in my sister's house and looks stunning - unfortunately it wasn't the right configuration for us and we couldn't reuse it.

If you are all still with me, I have to let you know that I am really lucky to have a friend with an interior design business who I could run ideas past and could draw up the plans for me. Hope you enjoyed that little tour, later in the week I will post images of our kitchen, lounge, and pool area. Michelle

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Favourites & Renovation Stage 2

As many of you will already know I am a serial home renovator. We currently (and I say currently, because yes, we already have our next reno lined up) live in a brick home originally built in 1981, so far we have completely redesigned the downstairs area of the home - the first stage. We are soon going to embark on our second stage. Major areas requiring attention for the completion of stage two:

1. Master bedroom reconfigured to incorporate a walk in robe
2. Addition of ensuite (master suite)
3. Complete redesign of main bathroom
4. Deck to side of house along with new fence
5. Garden redesign and replanting
6. Lots more painting inside and out ...

Friends have urged me to put our house on my blog, so I have finally succumb to the pressure (I am weak) and starting next week I will include pictures of our interior. I love looking in other peoples homes as much as you do, so I guess its my turn to show you all a little of how I live.

True confessions: some of you may not know but along with being a renovator I am a mother of two little girls aged four and eighteen months (they keep me pretty busy), I am studying interior design, and earlier this year I set up my business Paper Tree Design. As I am planning to complete stage two of our reno, and also renovate our little townhouse near the beach this year, I have decided to put my studies on hold for this semester - a big decision as I only have 4 subjects to go. My husband sat me down and said 'something had to give' - to preserve my sanity - so no study this semester! I hope you will all stick with me and follow our ups and downs as we start the process. I may even start to post more regularly (ahh)! Thanks for all your support, blogging has really opened my eyes this year, it has given me more inspirations (and information) than I could have dreamed of ... so I thank all my lovely followers and hope I have made a few blogfriends along the way! (okay, no more mushy stuff)

For now: I have started to plan what we will do with our bedroom. Whenever I plan a space I put together an 'inspiration folder', these images will form part of that folder (along with many others taken from magazines) as I search for the perfect bedroom solution for us. If anyone knows of a site with beautiful bedrooms - I would love to know about it.

Hope you enjoy these .... which one(s) do you like best???

1. Neutral symmetry....

2. Hello Yellow ....

3. Back to nature modern ... not sure about achieving the tree in the middle of the room!

4. Ahh .... butterflies ... I would love some wallpaper to feature in our room

5. A bit OTT .... not sure about the bath in the bedroom!

6. A touch of retro .... yay!

Now, if you have read all of that long winded post - and are still awake - you probably deserve a coffee!!
Hope you all have a great weekend.