Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tagged...6 interesting things about me

Image from Claire Richardson

The delightful Mrs B at Decorating a Modern Home has tagged me. My challenge is to come up with six interesting things about myself and post them on my blog, and then I have to ask 6 other bloggers to do the same.

I've been thinking about this post since yesterday and I'm hard pressed to come up with six things that are even remotely interesting! So here's what I've come up with...
  1. I haven't eaten red meat in almost 25 years, and I can honestly say that I've never had any inclination to eat it since giving it up in April 1984 (gosh it makes me feel old just writing that).

  2. I cannot go to sleep at night without reading - it doesn't matter if I hit the sack at 1am or 2am in the morning, I still need to read a few pages just to switch off. It works a treat.

  3. The first thing I always, always do every morning is the puzzles in 'The Age' newspaper - the sudoko, the general knowledge questions, the word puzzles. It's like my mental exercises for the day and it gets my brain ticking.
  4. I won a beautiful car in a competition a year or so ago - and I kept it! This was an amazing experience, particularly since the only other thing I've ever won in my life was a basket of Easter eggs over 15 years ago.
  5. I have considerable difficulty giving away/retiring books - hence I have over 500 books on my bookshelves. I have no problems lending books though, in fact I love introducing friends to new books/authors that I think they will like.

  6. In my early 20's I did triathlons - anyone who knows me now will find that hard to believe because I'm such a bookworm and sloth.

Now, here's the really difficult bit, I have to name 6 bloggers that I'd like to find 6 interesting things about. I'd really like to know more about:

Jacky at Art 4 Moi

Catherine at Simply Natural Decor

Geisslein at Creative by Geisslein

Heather at 'H' is for...

Terri at Wind Lost

Ness at Marley & Lockyer

Friday, February 27, 2009

A blogging question

Image from National Gallery of Victoria (I think!!)

Sometimes I feel quite technologically illiterate, like I'm looking at blogger the wrong way around, upside down, in a foreign language etc etc.

My question is, I've found some lovely images that I'd like to post on my blog but they're Adobe Flash Player 9 images and I just can't for the life of me work out how to copy them. Does anyone who happens to pass through my little piece of blogging space know how to do this? If so, it would be great if you could let me in on the secret. Or is this something that's just not possible unless you have some fandangled piece of software?

A bird in the hand

Image from Est Australia

If I get a chance this weekend, I think I'll take myself off to Est Australia to purchase one of these whimsical little birds to hang in the garden.

On another matter altogether, Vicki over at French Essence has written a very illuminating, thought-provoking post titled 'to blog or not to blog'. It's all about why we blog, how often we blog, the pressure to blog. It's worth taking a look at the post & comments if you have the time. Vicki's post really made me stop and take stock about this whole blogging thing. It's an enigma indeed.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What makes a house a home?

The lovely Terri at Wind Lost posted a brilliant blogpost about 'the acquisition of things'. In this post she used William Morris's famous quote: "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful". And quite validly Terri theorises that whilst this is admirable, it is really not possible. But, this got me thinking about those few things that we do love in our abodes, and what is it that makes a house a home.

For me my house is made a home by having my books around me, photos of loved ones, fresh flowers, art on my walls that brings me joy, mementoes of my travels, lighting candles on the dining table, gifts from family and friends, keepsakes from my parents (who sadly passed away a long time ago).

Fresh flowers in my living area

Books in my bookshelf and a small, favourite piece of art (and a cup of my favourite green jasmine tea).

My bedroom drawers - the woven storage box was a gift from my mother over 20 years ago (she passed away in 1991 when I was quite young) and is very special to me. The red perfume bottle at front is Tumulte by Christian Lacroix. It was purchased from a shop just off Place Vendome in Paris - I love both the scent and the design of the bottle. Every time I look at this perfume bottle it brings back fond memories of a wonderful trip.
And these are the candles on my dining table - we don't keep them for special occasions, we like to light them most evenings.

What makes your house a home?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shades of grey

There's something about the moodiness of shades of grey that really appeals to me. Here are a few of my favourites...

Image from Firmdale

Image from Firmdale

Image from Lucyina Moodie

Image from Lisa Cohen Photography

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Buenos Aires?

There are some great travel deals out there at the moment and we're thinking about going to Buenos Aires for a week or two, but have no idea where we would stay! Or what we should do!?! I am quite ashamed to admit that I know very little about Buenos Aires and Argentina.

Has anybody been there and do they have any suggestions? I've be ever so grateful for the information.

The Firmdale Group of Hotels

If I'm ever lucky enough to return to London again, I hope I can muster the funds to lay my head at one of the Firmdale Group's hotels in the heart of London - they're all ever so stylish. Following are just a few of the images from their site...

This is the exterior of the Covent Garden Hotel.

And here's one of the rooms inside this gorgeous boutique hotel (I think I'd have to take a very big suitcase so that I could take that sublime green bedside table home with me!!)...

One of the rooms in the Haymarket Hotel features this riot of pattern...
This room is 'pretty in pink' at the Number Sixteen hotel...
But, if I had to make a choice I think I'd opt for the Soho Hotel...

Or maybe I'd stay at the fabulous Charlotte Street Hotel...
However, the Knightsbridge Hotel isn't too shabby either...

It would be a tough decision to make!
Do you have a favourite hotel? If so, I'd love it if you would share it with me. I'm forever on the lookout for places to stay when I get the opportunity to travel.
All images in this post are from Firmdale.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Monday morning shop post - Fenton

Well this is actually a late Sunday evening shop post because I have meetings all day tomorrow and won't be at my desk.

This week's shop post is I'm afraid just a link, but boy what a link it is...

Fenton Homewares opened for business in mid-2008 and is owned and run by two sisters, Lucy and Emma Fenton. Stepping inside their shop is a like taking a trip to India and Morocco all in one day - it's an exotic little place filled to the brim with beautiful furniture, objects of interest, jewellery and artwork. As the many beautiful images on the Fenton site show, these two girls really do have style.

Image from Lucyina

This weekend I...

Received a lovely bunch of flowers from my husband...

Made this linocut...

Discussed this book at a book club lunch with girlfriends...

Image from Book Depository

Bought some plants for the back garden...

Went for a Sunday afternoon walk and wondered what lay behind this blue door...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Garden love

I'd like my garden to look like this...

Image from Paul Massey Photography

With this in it...

Image from Willie Wildlife Sculptures

Or maybe even these...

But this is what is actually in my garden - a swing tied to our great big willow tree. My son loves it (as does every little person that visits)...

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sunshine in the corner

The thing I love most about this image is the sunshine in the corner of the room. I think I'd have a big, comfy chair right in that spot and a table right next to it so I could lay my book and cup of tea there. That would be bliss! This got me thinking...what brings sunshine to my corner of the world? These are just a few of the things that bring sunshine to my life...
  • a fierce hug from my son
  • a long, lazy lunch with girlfriends
  • soaking in the bathtub, reading a home magazine
  • the scent of a tuber rose candle
  • a book that's so good it transports me to another time and place (I think that's called escapism!!)
  • making others happy
  • chocolate coated ginger
  • a cup of T2 green jasmine tea
  • a bunch of white flowers
  • stealing away for an afternoon nap

One of my favourite quotes is from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air...

Do you ever think about what brings 'sunshine' to your life?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blue heaven

The amazing Ms Amy Butler does 'blue' and I think the results speak for themselves...

Images from Amy Butler Design
I know I'm a bit late to the party on Amy Butler's fabrics, but I'm still loving her mid west style. Hell, I can't even sew but I still covet these fabrics. Delicious!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The White House in Daylesford

Image from Grandiflora

Okay, if I died and went to heaven, this is what it would look like...

The White House in Daylesford

(Design and interior by the irrepressible Lyn Gardener)

Bedtime change

We've just painted our bedroom Dulux Chalk USA on the ceiling and trims and half strength Hog Bristle on the walls. The previous owners had painted it a hideous pinky apricot colour and I honestly don't know how I lived with it for 10 years!! Anyway, here's what it looks like now (sorry I don't have any before pictures)...

My husband made the bedside tables and the padded bedhead. The bedside lamps and the quilt cover were wedding presents (so that makes them nearly 13 years old). Definitely time for a change! It's difficult to tell from the picture, but the mohair blanket at the end of my bed is a light celadon green.

Painting my bedroom has prompted me to want some new bed linen and bedside lamps (don't think the budget can swing for new bedside tables at the moment), particularly since I think the room is now looking a little bland. Trouble is I haven't a clue what to replace the bed linen and lamps with?!?

Whilst I absolutely adore the white in the following picture, I don't have a strong architectural feature such as these windows/doors to anchor the look.

Image from The White Company

Instead I think I'd like to use a bit of pattern and I love the way that stripes, dots and florals have been mixed in the following bedrooms...

Image from Toast

Image from Toast

I'm quite liking the range of bed linen available from the newish Australian company, Castle and Things...

But last weekend I visited Household Linens in South Melbourne and thought that their bed linen range was particularly nice and of very good quality...

Image from Household Linens

Truth is I'm not feeling very confident about mixing stripes and patterns and will probably end up with white bed linen like in the following picture. I know I really should try to be more adventurous.

Image from Black Barn

So the question is, what to do and how do you successfully combine stripes and patterns?

And don't even get me started on the bedside lamps!!! That's another post altogether.

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