Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Happy Birthday Dutchy!

Yesterday was spent celebrating a good friend's (Dutchy's) birthday. It was such a treat. We spent the afternoon swanning around our favourite local haunts, eating, laughing and generally being merry. The sun shone down and the leaves crunched underfoot...a perfect Autumn day by the seaside.
We lunched at Cicciolina which never fails to please me. Never a bad meal and always the same warm ambient feeling. I just love this Melbourne institution. After a lovely slow lunch we crossed the road to our favourite cake shop for dessert. Monarch cakes is another all time top of the pops for me. If the fact that you can buy Kugelhopf by slice (I'm forever asking for a slice about $10 worth when we have guests coming) isn't enough, their baked cheesecake is just incredible.

A not-so Crafty Monday ...... we substituted craft for cake!

Monday, 30 May 2011

For the love of old.

I found this gorgeous Hungarian cookbook at Doo's Garage Sale on the weekend and couldn't resist bringing it home. It was printed in Great Britain by The Garden City Press Ltd., at Letchworth, Hertfordshire, MCMXXXVIII. So it was printed in 1938! It's 73 years old and has that damp and musty beautiful old book smell to boot. The illustrations, by I. Farkas & Zoltan Poharnok, are just sublime. They look like they have been hand coloured?

The Garage Sale was a huge success. It was great to see Doo's things going to lovely new homes where they'll be cherished.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Flickr Favorites

Here are some of my recent 'favorite' photos on Flickr. They all melt my heart at the moment. As you can see by the 3 Ercol Studio Couches in a row I am very excited by this project. I discovered one out on the roadside recently & made a call to my lovely & trusty Dutch friend who promptly turned up and helped me carry it home...where it's waiting for a revamp.
I'm thinking of making curtains for Z's bedroom out of Jacki, in the top left hand corner, the rest are just pure love.

. Jack!, 2. house quilt, 3. any day now..., 4. run with your inspiration..., 5. Sidewalk Chalk, 6. 10/365 - Sammy le Oobee in the Playroom, 7. lightning bolt quilt, 8. Untitled, 9. Kaj Franck for Finel, Finland., 10. Elle Keramikk of Norway, 11. Inger Waage / Stavangerflint, 12. Rochelle dining room, 13. Ercol daybed, 14. sofa, 15. studio couch 04, 16. Hello Kitty Hibiscus Flower address stamp

I hope pure love permeates your weekend. Enjoy xox

Thursday, 26 May 2011


After another day of sorting at Doo's, in preparation for this weekends garage sale, I'm exhausted & seeing crosses. The end is in sight.....
The L.F. & I ordered this above lovely linen fabric from Spoonflower last night. We ordered the upholstery weight for a chair we're currently working on. It's such a fantastic site for fabrics as you can choose which weight fabric you require depending on the project. The prices are really reasonable plus they're all by independent designers. I'll post photos of the resurrected chair (another roadside find) once we've finished.
I'm off to put my feet up. The L.F. is cooking dinner tonight. Yippee.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Library Tuesday

Tuesday seems to be turning into our day for a little jaunt to the library. We discovered this book on the shelves today, 'It's a Book' by Lane Smith. I love it. A book........no add ons, no noises, demanding beeps or inconvenient ringing...... a book.

"Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated."
- Confucius

Over & out. I have a pile of books awaiting my attention......& a pile of washing for that matter.

Simple pleasures hey. Enjoy x

Monday, 23 May 2011

Crafty Monday

Today's Crafty projects. Bunting for Z's bedroom door and the 'tram' Z and I made from some recycled packaging. Z stuck all the button wheels on and I went about stitching up the sweet little people.
I did finally make this cape, by Suzy at Floating World, for Z today (I'll post some photos at a later stage). It's been on my To-Do list for some time now. So today was the day. When I, full of excitement, handed it to Z this afternoon he started crying and said he wanted 'wings' instead. Oh, well. I had fun making it. Thanks Suzy!

Where on earth is Marfa?

No Place Like Here: Marfa, Texas from Etsy on Vimeo.

In the Jan Feb 2011 Edition of Vogue Living they ran a story on Marfa. Prior to reading this Marfa didn't register on my radar. Where the hell is Marfa? (....besides I thought it was definitely a typo...wasn't it meant to be Mafra?) I cut the article out anyway and have had it pinned up on my inspiration board. The thing about Marfa that really stuck out was it's quirkiness.

Then last week Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks posted that she'd just been on a 10 day road trip to Marfa. Still convinced it was Mafra I had a pang of 'oh no, she's made a typo'. Then finally the penny dropped.

Heidi posted a link to this house and my heart grew even fonder of Marfa. So I started to do a little searching around and came across this great blog post. I discovered that Donald Judd, the sculptor, moved to Marfa in 1971 and in doing so has helped put Marfa on the map. He founded The Chianti Foundation, a contemporary art museum that looks incredibly striking and houses 100 of his untitled works in mill aluminium. There are also 15 of his large-scale concrete works scattered across a field in the Chianti grounds.

I know this is a tangent but any mention of Donald Judd makes me chuckle. Our neighbour, also a sculptor, has a sticker on the back of his car which says 'I Love Judd'. The L.F. being an football crazed lad innocently and rather enthusiastically asked our neighbour if he supported Carlton, automatically assigning his love of Judd to Chris Judd! He he, makes me chuckle every time I think of this. Anyway, Judd ended up leaving Marfa for quieter parts but he left a huge legacy and a growing creative community.

There's also the Frank Lloyd Wright Fountation, in Taliesin West worth factoring into the road trip....

Take a look at these sweet links too: Hotel Paisano looks fantastic, or if you're up for some pretty upmarket camping the El Cosmico Trailer Park looks awesome. Trailer trash I think not!
Fancy Pony Land where else would you get guns screen printed into your skirt holster than Texas? I love it.

My enthusiasm for this tiny town is growing rapidly. The L.F. is talking about heading over to the U.S. for South By Southwest next year. I'm thinking we may have to tag along and make it one mighty fine road trip. Open road, desolate landscapes.... the Texan desert really seem to be calling me.... Weird, I've never had a desire for the U.S, previously.

Friday, 20 May 2011


I was a little disappointed to find our local art supply store has moved to a new suburb (the suburb which houses many permanent... & rather expensive... Danish Furniture Stores, Prahran)...however I was delighted to find that a Danish Furniture Pop Up Store would be appearing (for the next 3 weeks anyway) in it's place.
I do have a thing for Danish furniture & since I missed out on joining Ladle and her sister in an outing to the Midcentury Modern Show, in London, I'll have to settle for a Mid Season Pop Up shop in the back streets of St Kilda. A perfect antidote.

For those that want a little midcentury fix take a peak at Michael Haverland's interiors. They're very swoon worthy. I think the Delux Apartment is my pick.

Enjoy your weekend and keep cozy.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Bathing in Autumnal gold

I'm a huge lover of Sonya Delauney. The circular shape and earthy colours of this drinking fountain evoke a feeling of her work, for me.

These photos, again, were taken on our morning walk. I'm in love with this golden colour of Autumn which seems to permeate our day. There's something so uplifting about 'gold'.

Today I've enjoyed reading:
this post by Jane, at My Pear Tree House, Is it a Painting or real life room?

& numerous books tucked up in bed this afternoon, while my little man recoups from his cold. One of my favourite childrens book, "I wish I had flown with Amelia Earhart" written by Leonie Young & Avril Janks; illustrayed by Tohby Riddle, sadly seems to be out of print now. I purchsaed it a few years back from the Salvos Op Shop on Crown Street, Paddington. The thing I love most about this book is to dream big but to work in everyday ways to make the dream come about....like Amelia did...driving trucks & selling sausages!! It's the little steps, accrual of time, remaining present while always maintaining the dream (mmm, a big one for me. Distraction is the #1 killer of my dreams. More single pointed focus required, I say).

I read this post yesterday 'What if I am?', obviously it's stayed with me. A beautiful post, by Dana at One Haute Plate, about jumping in and living your dream.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A photo snapped on my iphone today while walking in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens. Waiting for the Z man to catch up, I looked up to find these superb flowers.

We're lying low today while Z recovers from a nasty head cold. Here's a list of the things helping to warm our home & hearts:

this delicious blog 'What Katie ate'. Not only are the recipes mouth wateringly good but the styling and photography and heavenly.

Vivian Maier's street photography and the story of her discovery.

and the spectacular photographs by Penny De Los Santos

Monday, 16 May 2011

Finish & Complete

The L.F.'s mum is always on about 'Finisher Completer's'. Apparently there are only two types of people in this world. Those who Finish & Complete and those who don't.
I've never been too sure which side of the equation I reside on in this debate. I like to think I'm a 'Finisher Completer' but sometimes the lag time on my projects stretches out way longer than would be considered 'a fair quota of time' (we're talking, on occasion, years)....which possibly negates my 'Finisher Completer' status?
I do however love to finish off other peoples crafty projects. Especially ones that have been so lovingly stitched and laboured over. I found these gorgeous quilted pieces on Saturday while continuing our clean up over at Doo's. What a precious find, hey! They were stitched in the 70's and have been packed away, for some reason, for the last 40 odd years in an old suitcase in the studio. I've never attempted this kind of patchwork before, using paper templates. So I'll have to investigate the process and add it to my growing list of To-Do's.
When my mother passed away I found some woollen patchwork pieces she'd been working on and turned it into this quilt. It's kind of a lovely, cathartic, contemplation on someone special's life (if that makes sense). A way of showing gratitude, I suppose. Finishing the pieces somehow makes the journey together feel strangely complete.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Cupcakes anyone?

We cooked up these cupcake crayons on Friday. They injected a vibrant burst of cheeriness into one particularly drab Autumn day. ‘Pretend’ cooking is a favourite activity around these parts, at the moment. So these brilliant cup cakes really hit the spot. The idea came from Artful Adventures and it’s a great way of using up all those broken bits of crayon. So, how about a cupcake? Please indulge, it’s great fun and super easy.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

One perfect day

There's is no better day than today for hand quilting!
Let me paint the picture. Melbourne, freezing cold... ahem, 12 degress... that's considered freezing, isn't it?! The rain is coming down sideways and the hail stones have miraculously turned our trampoline tarp from black to a blinding white. The site of which makes it 'feel' arctic!
A DVD is playing (Z's favourite, a musical adaptation of Pinocchio, filmed in 1976, starring Danny Kaye) while Z and me snuggle up under quilts on the couch. I'm using the quilt above to keep me toasty while I hand stitch the quilt pieces together.
It really is a perfect day for ducks..... & quilting.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Autumn clean out

Busts originally from The National Gallery Art School, which Reshid purchased on its closure in 1973 (when it became part of VCA).

Gorgeous old light and french provincial chairs.

The studio door.

We are in the process of clearing out the L.F.'s Grandmothers house. It's packed full of incredible bits and pieces from one fully explored life. Doo is an amazing lady, who at 91, is still exceptionally intrigued by life. She's interested and I must say, endlessly fascinating.
Her husband, Reshid, was a member of the 20 Melbourne Painters' Society. They traveled Europe in a caravan with a little gas cooker. Reshid setting up his easel to paint while Doo coordinated and tended to the logistics and managed their social engagements. Back in Melbourne they ran art schools and lived quite the society lifestyle.
Needless to say the studio at the back of their house is, to this day, brimming with busts, easels, palette's, fantastic old drawings and a huge stack of original artworks, artbooks, projectors, hand dyed textiles.... it's endless.
We'll be there again this Saturday sifting through the remaining contents in preparation for a mega garage sale & for the auction houses to come take a peek. Firstly, however here's a snippet for you. So much beauty in one place it's staggering.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Fankful Friday

Today I'd like to give thanks for all the beauty around me. These photos were taken over a number of mornings. Quiet mornings, spent pushing a pram around our neighbourhood, St Kilda, discovering all of her unsung treasures.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Thank you for the music.

I've been buzzing through a list of To-Do's today spurred on by music. Two songs in particular have really managed to put a pep in my step, Two Door Cinema Club's, You're not Stubborn and Elizabeth Mitchell's, So Glad I'm Here (a randon pair, I know!). They both lift my spirits. Even if I'm totally engrossed in a task I notice something has shifted inside me and a smile has crept across my face.
I really love music for this.

I hope your day has been all happy clappy as well. xox

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Slow down & pretend..... like nature.

(Photo taken on our recent Easter break, at Lorne.)

I love a slow day hanging around our neighbourhood with little to do. It generally starts with a stop in at our local Cafe, where we happen across so many familiar and friendly faces. Frenetic exchanges and general enthusiasm & interest in one another's day ahead always ensues.... until I glide, coffee induced, back into the rhythm of the day.

Today we took a stroll to the St Kilda Library and I magically found 2 books (while down on the ground consoling Z after he hit his anklebone on a book stand...ouch) I've been meaning to track down for some time now. A copy of Amanda Soule's 'the creative family' and 'Small Fry Outdoors' written by Caroline Webster. They were sitting there on the bottom shelf of the 'Parenting' section, a shelf I rarely peruse.

Too early for Story Time we took the back exit out of the library onto Duke Street and discovered a new playground between Duke & Pakington Streets. Ahh, the joy of a new playground to discover and best of all...master.

Home for Z's nap & some quiet time for me. I'm going to try my hand at making my own Sourdough Bread.

'Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, 2 May 2011

Walking the walk

First it was simply navigating my new Mac that seemed to be occupying my time....now it's the addition of photoshop. Wow! What a wonderful tool but seriously, where do I start? Hours at a time have disappeared while I fumble, create....loose everything and start again, afresh. I have no idea yet about layers and all the complexities involved but I am loving the experiment.

Lame, I know....I did create the banner! There was more to it than this....however, somewhere along the way I lost a couple of layers.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some of the photos from a recent hike I did with 6, of my all time funniest & most compatible, friends along the Great Ocean Road. We hiked for 3 days starting at Blanket Bay we headed to Cape Otway for our 1st night, then onto Airie River and ended up at Johanna Beach for the 3rd night. We each carried packs (around 18kg) with our food, clothes & tents. An incredible achievement and every bit of it was an adventure. It really was pure joy to be out in nature with friends, testing our limits while having many a laugh.


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