The knitted ottoman/pouffe

Don't you love the knitted pouffe trend going around? 


While some of these lovely decorator items from well known Scandinavian designers can be picked up for around $400, there are also less expensive alternatives. Spotlight are doing fantastic copies at the moment for under $80. They're available in a great range of colours from teals to charcoals - all very on trend. So, looks like I might be able to have one after all....

The Block 2012: Sophie & Dales style at yours...

Who didn't love the Alphabet Wall Sophie and Dale's created in the elimination rounds at The Block 2012? Wouldn't you love one at your place?!



Let me introduce you to Gigi! Noosh's gorgeous 27 character alphabet. 

Gigi comes in Bamboo for the eco savvy style conscious decorator, and MDF for those who like a bit more control of their colour scheme. So go natural, or go to town with colour. The choice is yours! 

And the best part is you don't have to run around a thousand stores like a Block-head trying to source the components of your masterpiece - the hard part is all done for you! 

Noosh is having a Mother's Day sale right now! So if you've been suffering from this particular itch, the time to scratch it is now!  Sale ends midnight mothers day...

Noosh on sale!!!


Sale ends midnight Sunday. Hurry over to Noosh and fill your trolley with special deals now or miss out!

Making Creative Kids - 2 books I know...

One of my favourite things about being a mum is being able to share my passion for creativity with my boys. I've never met a kid who hated craft, and I'm glad to say mine are quite normal in that respect. They LOVE to craft. Hugh is constantly stealing my post-it-note-pads to make story books, and if I can't find a stapler or hole punch you can bet your last clam that he's been using it to make circles for an artwork or he's been building flags out of cardboard, sticks and staples... 

Last week, on a trip with the boys to Koskela (store oasis of all things divine in the realm of design - from furniture and toys, to lights and art... oh, and accomodation that I'd be happy to be held hostage in - if you don't know about it already then you need to take a look here - but not yet...), I stumbled across a couple of majorly inspiring design books for kids. One was Make Art Mistakes Sketchbook by the Museum of Modern Art New York - it's essentially a workbook filled with tasks and space to do them like drawing lines with the point vs the side of a pencil and shading a whole page and then drawing a picture in the shaded area with an eraser... Awesome book on my must buy list.

The second one was a book called DESIGN. This one I can't find anywhere else so I'll have to go back there to get it. As a lover of the meanings and stories that lie behind what is seen, this one is right up my alley. It's an illustrated book filled with the stories behind iconic designs - for example, know this light?

It's called SkyGarden and it's designed by Marcel Wanders. (I remember the first time I saw one I was down in Melbourne. I spotted three of these hanging in a typically uber-stylish establishment. They took my breath away. Literally. I actually gasped. Such a design geek I know.) Well, the story, according to DESIGN, is that Marcel lived in a very old apartment building. He worked hard during his days and when he came home he looked forward to turning on the light in his living room, sitting in his favourite chair and losing himself in the intricately designed plaster ceilings. With no actual garden of his own to spend time in this moment became his favourite part of the day. Years later, Marcel moved to a new home and found his "SkyGarden" to be the thing for which he was most homesick. And so an idea was born. He created this light so he could once again sit in his living room and be lost in the SkyGarden.

This is just one of hundreds of stories about iconic designs. I need this book. I need it for me. I need it for my boys...

Clever storage - 5 ways...

It's been a slow process, but I've now learnt that the key to keeping things tidy is to have good storage systems in place. Well, that and selling my children. Here are 5 clever storage solutions in kids spaces. Ideas people! Here for the taking!

1. Custom built beds.
A great way to maximise storage in the kids rooms. Not only does a custom design like this utilise all that under-bed space that usually goes to waste, but it creates space that kids can access easily and teaches them to be responsible for their own tidiness. And if you're thinking it looks expensive, think again. A decent cabinet maker should be able to put something like this together in your home for a price on par with most new single beds... Check your local classified section or ask friends for recommendations of carpenters and cabinet makers they've worked with or know in our area.


2. Bins!
These lovely white bins are from Ikea. They go for about $29 and I can tell you - they're great toy storage. We have one full of Lego Duplo. The boys actually love packing away when they finish playing because of the resounding tinny crashing sound the lego makes as it goes in the bin... You can use them for just about anything, soft toys, cars, dolls, dressups...


3. New space.
Again with the customised bedding option, but this time it's in a converted roof space! I'm dying to do this to our place. It's a big job converting your roof like this and can be expensive. But the beauty of this project is that it can be broken down into stages. Fitting an attic ladder - not too hard... Putting down some blue board for a floor - doable. Insulating - foul but achieveable... and so on. Okay, there's a bit more to it in some cases, but you get what I mean right? Call in the big guns for the bits that are too hard to tackle yourself. Take your time and be patient and before you know it you'll have a huge extra room to play with! It'll add value to your property and maybe even save you having to move!!!


4. Way up high
Don't discount the rafters! Creating storage that goes right to the ceiling saves you a dust trap, makes a great display area and it's safely out of reach of wee ones for delicate bits and bobs or things you don't need to access often. We have a similar situation in the boys room and this is the spot where we keep their memory cases - they have a vintage suitcase each filled with baby photos, tickets to football games and wiggles concerts and the like...


5. Divide and conquer.
Open shelving is a good solution for large areas. A shelving unit like this does double duty as a vast storage space as well as dividing the sleep area fro the play area. Attractive cane baskets store toys in categories (until the kids mess it up again), and you can even custom make the fabric liners for these to coordinate with your room decor. For example, you might want to line the baskets to match your Frankie Sofas!

Tuesday tour

The (not) cute (but full of vintage goodness) kids room


The rest of the house










The Block: Room reveal Week 2

As a fan of Sophie and Dale's vintage style on Channel 9's The Block this year, tonight's Room Reveal was a hands down win in my book. Unlike last week, they found a beautiful balance between the Luxe and the old with their master suite. I just adore the Maison Jar lighting Sophie has used in both rooms so far and the distressed doors they used for their bedhead looks fantastic. If only all old doors had such gorgeous colours in their layers of paint... But my favourite part of the design was the bedside tables. Sophie used a found dresser with Queen Anne legs and had it split down the middle to create two matching side tables which were then attached to the wall with their legs at the front. Very clever. Very sylish. Take a look around... Do you think they deserved to win? I'm happy the boys won though, as long as it wasn't that awful Dan and Dani couple! Soooo arrogant. I'll enjoy disliking them this year...





Ace space Saturday

Welcome to Finn and Tuck's room. Such a gorgeous space with it's clean palette and abundant natural light. Hop over to LMNOP for the full story and details about where the boys mum sourced all these stunning treasures....






Sprout sensation

Because it is SOOOOOO good, I have literally taken a quick break from the kitchen to tell you about what I'm cooking....

Brussel Sprouts with Chorizo and garlic in brown butter sauce. OMG Ah-Mazing.... Sorry no pics - we ate it all already!

These sprouts have been hanging around in the crisper for a few days - I bought them in a fit of conscience at the supermarket the other day and haven't quite known what to do with them... Tonight I had an epiphany. Chorizo in the freezer finally found it's purpose, two cloves of garlic, and (way too much to be healthy) butter all fried up together with the sprouts of course. Presto! Yumba carumba! Even my 3 year old loves it! Too good not to share. Let me know if you try it... Back to the kitchen I go...

PS - secretly quite chuffed Noah likes this. He won't sit on a toilet or a potty but he'll eat brussel sprouts! I guess it's all about taking the good with the bad eh?

Future plans & dreams...


Photographs like this one remind me that I'd love to take pictures. It's my "one day..." dream to learn how to use my camera properly (instead of winging it and experimenting), and if I could, the pictures I'd take would be a bit like this. Dreamy and pretty with filtered light and a good dose of whimsy. Well, I don't suppose they'd all be like this, but it's a feeling that I adore. 


Sofia Coppola captured it perfectly in The Virgin Suicides - that almost ethereal quality...



...and then while I was looking at Sofia's pictures, I found these ones by Sophie van der Perre...




This last one is my favourite, the smoking girl. It's such a contradiction, she looks so naive and pure, but she's smoking...


Making things is what I love to do. I could do it all day every day. For my job I make things and then I source all the elements that go in the shots to make those things pretty - in a way, I make pictures of the things I made. I love it. I'd really like one day to be able to take the pictures of the pictures that I make... 
I guess once the boys are a bit older I might be inspired to toddle myself off to camera school. Maybe. Or maybe it'll just stay my dream. Do you think everyone has a secret dream of that something that would make them so happy to be able to do? I think we have to - it's what keeps us going, trying to move forward. Have you got one? Do you plan to do it?

New kid on the block

Hot off the presses! There's a new pram in town. 


Rozibaby landed in my inbox this afternoon and I have to say I was intrigued. 
It seems my friends, that we finally have a well priced, stylish, and Australian designed answer to the Bugaboo (which is ridiculously overpriced in my humble opinion). 
She's Aussie owned and operated which gets a big thumbs up from us! (though there's no sign of a clue about where she might be built... Probably not Sweden at this price I dare say.) A model like the one pictured will set you back a meagre $665! That's really affordable compared to the rest of the market right? There are basinette options available like this...


...and the price doesn't change much either - still well under $800! I'd be very interested to see the actual pram and give it a good test run before I recommended it but hello - so far she looks pretty good! What do you think?

Lego Storage

Last weeks Ace Space Lego storage discovery lead me to another great Lego storage idea. This one doesn't require international shipping headaches either - just a trip to your local hardware store!


And while I was discovering fabulous storage ideas for you I also came across these amazing Lego creations! It's all over here (and much more Lego amazingness) at Gimme Lego



940 saturdays = 1 childhood


Did you know there are only 940 saturdays in a childhood? A friend posted this link on her Facebook page yesterday and I think it really puts into perspective how quickly our babies grow up and leave the nest. If your kiddo is around 5, you've already seen around 260 of them pass by... This is the premise behind a new book called No Regrets Parenting - it urges parents to relax the schedule and enjoy the moments because before you know it that kiddo you're wishing would go to bed will be out with his/her friends and you'll be left on the sofa wondering what they're up to and when they'll be home again...

It makes me want to establish some traditions like "Dress-up Saturday" (which I always swore i'd do pre-kids) and let them run around the farmers market in their super-hero capes... But I guess it's kind of nutty to enforce such things. They need to grow organically.

One new family tradition I have started is "High/Low". It's basically a game we play at dinner - we go around the table and everyone has to name their highest and lowest point of the day and talk about what happened and how it made them feel. I saw it years ago in a movie - The Story of Us I think it was? It's a really nice part of our day now. I look forward to the boys stories and their animated little actions and faces as they recount stories about their day at school or pre-school. And it's an excellent way to keep in touch with what's going on in their world (and hopefully down the track it'll become a handy tool in the event of bullying and other nasty things that may come their way).

Have a read of the original blog post I found anyway, she talks a bit about her own childhood and rollerskating in the 80s and such things - it's funny. Let it inspire you too. After all, tomorrow is another Saturday!!!

Green with envy

This room is clearly going to be a winner no matter what you do with it. The light is incredible and those windows - well, as far as windows go, for me an old school set of sashes beats just about anything else going.... So it's no surprise that this space would be wonderful. But aside from all those pluses, the palette these owners have chosen is lovely. Raw timber, pale grey and fresh green accents. Don't you feel the peace just looking at it?

Remembering


Happy ANZAC Day. It's a day that represents a lot of different things to me. I have a lot of memories of ANZAC Day from different stages of my life. It's a day off. It's the birthday of an old boyfriend. It's crazy fun 2up day at the pub!... But for me, these meanings are things of the past. Now, it's what it should always be - a day where we stop and reflect on what the courageous men at Gallipoli sacrificed to ensure our futures. And it's this sentiment I'm determined to impart to my boys. It makes me happy to see so many younger people making the trip to Turkey, being touched by the events that took place there almost 100 years ago. It's a tribute to hope that we've remained true to our promise to never forget those men.

We got up early this morning and watched the service on tv, went out to the garden and picked a bunch of rosemary for a vase in our kitchen, lit a candle that burned all day and talked about what ANZAC Day means. 

Without being too graphic about it all we're pretty honest with our little guys about what happened there that day. And going to Gallipoli for the dawn service is high on my bucket list. Sometimes I question how honest I am with them about the nastier things that go on in the world, but at the end of the day I guess that's who I am. I'm an honest girl who doesn't pull any punches about the way things are and it goes against my nature to soften the truth. Hopefully it's not a bad thing to raise them this way.

I had no idea that parenting would be so hard. Apart from the obvious "work" angle of being a mother (ie balancing a career with the nuts and bolts of caring for kids, housework etc), I never really thought all that much about this kind of stuff - how I would tell them about war and politics while still remembering that they are only 5 and 3 years old! How do you deal with big questions with your kids? Do you tell them like it is? Or do you try to preserve their innocence? I hope I find a happy medium between the two. But I guess I won't really know until down the track when I can see the men they become. I look forward to knowing those men...

Is this what we have to look forward to?

Tuesday Tour: Swedish delight

Welcome to the home of Swedish Jewelry designer Stine A. Johansen. An eclectic mix of old, new and beautiful. When she isn't designing jewellry, Stine likes to dabble in other creative pursuits and has painted all of the artworks in her home... Take a look. I LOVE the natural timber finish on the floors and the muted tones of their decor choices. Just beautiful. It makes me feel calm looking at it all.

The beautiful nursery...


And the rest of Stines home...








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