Friday, April 29, 2011

Renovation Before and After

Yay, finally the sun has come out here in Brisbane for long enough to take some 'after' images of our garden renovation. So here goes ......

Before out the back of our property near the pool ....

After (below) with our new plants on the rock wall, and our synthetic turf. Apparently when the sun gets a chance to be on the turf and we walk on it the join will no longer show ....

Before at the side of our property looking from the back of the house to the front .....

After (below), this shows how fantastic the synthetic turf looks. You can also see our bamboo trees that will eventually be a thick hedge down the side of the property. Oh yes, and we do need some furniture on the deck - it needs to be 'all weather' - any suggestions?

Before out the front of our house ....

After (below) - even the grass seems to like our new garden. Look how far you can see down the street now - and the neighbours ....

Before, out the front .....

After (below), out the front of the house, this shows off one of our two larger frangipani trees. We have 3 other smaller ones out the back now too. You can also see one of our tulipwood
trees ....

After (below), out the front of our house down the side (sorry, I neglected to take a 'before' shot). This bamboo will also form into a nice hedge

Phew, if you are all still with me, I hope you have a great weekend (a long one in Queensland).

I will be at the BrisStyle Indie Twilight Market in King George Square tonight (I hope the weather holds out!!). If you are in the city (and not watching the wedding) pop in and say hi.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Wicked Design

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter break. We had a great time finishing some projects around our house ..... I'm hoping to do an outside reveal on Friday if the weather will let me take some nice photos!

The BrisStyle Indie Twilight Markets are on again this Friday night, and I am lucky enough to be on the co-op stand this time with some truly fantastic designers. One of those designers is Little Chrissy who makes, among other things, these amazing wall hangings ....

I'm hoping to take home one of her gorgeous lavender scented eye pillows ...

She also makes these delightful brooches ....

Little Chrissy's blog is an account of her life, loves and gorgeous creations. I know she would love it if you popped over and said hi! You can also view her designs at her etsy store and at the BrisStyle Indie Twilight Markets in King George Square this Friday night from 5pm to 9pm!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Wicked Design

On Monday I posted about the lovely Jessica Van Den from Epheriell Designs giving a talk on Social Media, so today I thought it fitting to shine the Wednesday Wicked Design spotlight on Jess and her amazing jewellery designs.

Jess uses recycled sterling silver to create simply gorgeous jewellery under the name of Epheriell.

Love, love love ...

Another range, under the name of Vintette, uses a mix of vintage and vintage inspired elements to create jewellery pieces that look like they could have been passed down from your Grandmother.

Simply gorgeous ....

All of these pieces can be viewed on Jess's website Epheriell Designs.

Now, you would have thought that running a thriving jewellery business would be enough to keep her busy, but last year Jess decided to start a little zine called Bespoke. Bespoke is jam packed with crafty goodness with everything from interviews, tutorials, photography, vintage guides, recipes and much much more. With the first issue selling out, Jess has recently launched her second issue which is on sale now for $10 here. I am lucky enough to own both issues and have read them from cover to cover - I love reading all the inspirational articles and attempting the tutorials!

Jess also runs Crafting A Business where she shares all her crafty business advice and information. It's always a great informative read, if you have a craft business, or are thinking of starting one I strongly suggest you pop over and have a read. Oh, and Jess has also recently launched an e-course! I know, I'm also trying to work out when she sleeps!

Hope you are all having a great week. Our Easter break starts here in Australia on Friday so I will be taking the long weekend off! Hope you all have a great weekend whatever you have planned. Stay safe.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Social Media

from here

A little while ago, I was lucky enough to attend a Social Media information session run by the wonderful ladies at Bris-Style. The speaker on the day was Jessica Van Den from Epheriell Designs who gave an amazing talk on many topics for us crafty folk, including the different social networking sites.

I don't know about you, but until the course I have to admit I had a facebook phobia, I thought twitter was only for self-indulgent people with plenty of time on their hands, and as for things like stumbleupon .... well I guess I never have! Thanks to this course I can now see that I simply must be on facebook, definitely have to look into tweeting, and could also benefit from a good dose of stumbling, among other things!!

I guess I have known for a while now that I am behind the times when it comes to 'socialising', and that I need to start 'hanging out' in more places! I have made a promise to myself that in the coming months, along with a new website, I will make sure I have a presence in other venues.

Thanks very much Jess for giving us an informative talk. And most of all for giving me a kick up the you know where!

How about you, are you a networking wizz, or does it all seem really overwhelming? Where do you like to 'hang out'? I'd love to know (even if it does make me feel like I have been waaay behind the times for far too long).

Friday, April 15, 2011

In The Studio

Despite all the work that has been going on around my place this week I have managed to do some craft work. More of my garlands will be listed in my online stores at bluecaravan, madeit and etsy next week. This is an image of 'pink love' ....

School holidays have started here today, my girls had a lovely morning playing with a friend. Her mother and I also got a chance to catch up for a chat - thanks for today divine Miss M!

I'm going to try and do some more artwork next week, after the last Twilight market I am down to one. Lets hope I get a bit of time to blog too. If your children are on school holidays, I hope they are off to a great start.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Wicked Design

string of cranes 3 piece brooch

This week I wanted to share with you the beautiful designs of Melanie Gray Augustin. While living in Japan Melanie fell in love with the Japanese Kimono and Obi Fabrics, their colours and the symbolism of the motifs used in their design. Six years later, when Melanie returned to Australia, she decided she wanted to share these gorgeous fabrics with others and so Kimono Reincarnate was born.

Sourcing most of her kimono fabric from specialist second hand stores and antique markets, Melanie crafts beautiful pendants and brooches. She returns each year to seek out exciting new stock for her designs. Each piece is handmade and totally unique.

Melanie sells her designs online via etsy and through her website. She also sells through stockists Australia wide.

I just love the patterns of the vintage Japanese Kimono fabric, some of my favourite designs are shown below. There are many many more to choose from on her website.

kimono flower in pink vintage kimono pendant

tea anyone brooch

Melanie's latest collection "kawaii" (Japanese for cute) reflects the modern, fresh fashions that can be seen on the streets of Tokyo.

matryoshka fabric pendant

Melanie's blog is a personal account of her life, loves, and her latest Kimono Reincarnate projects. Melanie is as lovely in person as she comes across in her blog, so pop on over and say hi, I know she would love to hear from you.

Hope you're all having a great Wednesday.

Monday, April 11, 2011

How do you toast?

from here

I have a always had a Dualit toaster on my 'list' .... you know that totally indulgent list of wants and desires for the home etc.

Anyway, recently our toaster broke down - now, this would normally send me into a total toaster investigation (as with any other electrical product I have replaced), but when this happened I knew exactly what I wanted.

from here

I don't quite know what it is about the Dualit, but it has always screamed quality to me - from its sleek looks to its extra wide slots .... yes I do believe I am infatuated. One thing I have never been excited about though is its rather large ...... price tag! At a price of over $500 for a four slot it was definitely not going to fit into my rather smaller toaster budget. Enter the ever trusty ebay and, at a price of only $133, I found a four slot stainless steel and white cast aluminum toaster - perfect! It looks similar to this one ...

from here

Dualit toasters were first invented in the 1950's, and even today each toaster is hand made with the individual makers mark stamped on the bottom - how cool is that?!

I received our new/old toaster today all the way for NSW, so I am yet to clean it up for photographing (my apologies). I must say, I am looking forward to using it at breakfast tomorrow morning.
So, how do you toast? Michelle

Friday, April 8, 2011

Frangipanis, Craft and Rain

Despite the miserable weather we are having here in Brisbane my little outdoor renovation is still chugging along nicely.

from here

As you may recall we had a garden design done a few weeks back, so on the weekend we planted out the front and back garden with our gorgeous array of plants supplied by Palms For Brisbane. Their design included 2 magnificent Frangipani trees for the front (I only wish that they were as big as the ones in the image above). Mr Paper Tree and I were very exhausted by the end of it all, much better than a workout at the gym!

As we speak my fence guys are working in the rain in order to stick to my schedule. All going well we will have the synthetic turf in before the Easter long weekend .... that is if the weather improves. I promise, as soon as it is all done I will show you all the before and after pics!

Other than that it is a day for some craft and preparing the house for dinner guests tonight.

Hope you all have something nice planned for the weekend. We are going to my nephew's 18th birthday .... can't believe he is 18!!! Happy Birthday Bradley!! I must say, he has turned into a fine young man.
(Makes me feel ancient though considering my oldest is 5)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ooh La La ... Wednesday Wicked Design

Bonjour everyone! I couldn't help but go a little french on you today as my Wednesday Wicked Designer is the very chic Steph from Mon Petit Poppet. Steph designs and makes simply gorgeous french themed children's clothes, accessories, and toys.

girls' denim smock dress

girls' A-line french blouse

child's chef set

child's art smock

Aren't they all just adorable?! As Steph says "..... style doesn't have to be compromised for comfort" and looking at her designs I would have to agree.

All of Mon Petit Poppet's designs are available through etsy and madeit. Steph also has a gorgeous and witty blog where she talks about her designs, loves and life. I know she would love it if you stopped by and said hello.

Wishing you all a fabulous Wednesday.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Good Things Come in 3's

number 3 cushion 50 x 50

Hi everyone! Okay, I confess, this is just a shameless way of showing off my new 'number 3' cushion I picked up yesterday from Freedom (sorry about the pooch in the background)!

I just loved this cushion as soon as I saw it in the latest issue of Real Living. Why the number '3' I hear you ask when I could have had '1' or '2'? Well, as an interior designer (wannabe) I prefer to arrange my 'clusters' into groups of 3 or 5 - odd numbers always look visually better. Also, when we bid on anything, be it a house or an item on ebay, we always end it in a '3' and somehow this has always worked for us (cue the spooky music).
So it seems, good things do come in 3's!

Do you have a 'lucky' number? Or perhaps you do something that always works for your family when it comes to bidding. I'd love to hear your story.

Have a great weekend everyone.