Archive for the ‘Home’ Category


Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Well hello everybody long time no blog.
I just wanted to pop in and let you all know I am still around. I have had trouble updating the blog due to timing as I am now 24 weeks pregnant. The pregnancy has stripped me of all my energy. Personally, I feel it is unnatural to work full time, be pregnant, have a toddler and also wish to pursue extracurricular activities such as sewing and blogging. Another thing that stops me from being able to update the blog was my own indecisiveness. I didn’t want to blog about things that weren’t actually happening or I haven’t fully decided upon. So let’s visit what has actually happened.

As mentioned previously, I am pregnant! My husband and I fell pregnant with our second child after 9 months of trying. I know this isn’t a lot for other people but we had such great success with Audrey, it came as a bit of a shock. 




I also contributed my free time to a creative endeavour which was published by Style Me Pretty I was approached by Mornington Peninsular photographer to be part of a styled feature.

It was also featured by Ivory Tribe

I was only 7 weeks pregnant and in the thick of extreme fatigue when I put together this wedding stationery suite.

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 I was pleased with the results as I’m sure all the other people that contributed are. All credits are in the 2 links above.

Photos – Michelle Pragt of In Photography

If you are a bride to be do not hesitate to check these people out especially if you are located in Victoria. If you’re interested in my services then distance isn’t an issue.

With what little spare time I had left I dedicated it to sewing as the sewing bug has hit me. It has been extremely frustrating though to try and sew with a toddler around. It is also quite dangerous without anything between the toddler and the sewing area in terms of a barrier. She is an opportunist and will grab the pins, scissors, fiddle with the overlocker, play with the iron cord, etcetera, at any given chance. But I love her to death and she’s the reason why I sew.

Here is a look at some things I’ve made.









But the biggest thing to come out of being pregnant and wanting to sew all the time is – What are we going to do with our house?

We currently reside in a 2 bedroom house. We have decided to stay put and live with what we’ve got. Doing an extension to include more room is just not something we can do at the moment with our financial situation and not something we will see happening in the next 7 to 10 years. With another child on the way and my desire to sew, we are in desperate need of room. We have finally decided after months of deliberation is to convert our garage into a usable space. We looked at all sorts of other options like knocking down the garage and removing it. Having something built externally and craned in or put together on site.

Jenny Rose Innes on Instagram posted from her builders, a new endeavour there pursuing with outbuildings which are built off site and brought in. I was keen to go ahead with that until I had more people look at my existing garage and comment “why don’t you just fixed the garage the way it is?” And that is the direction we will head in.

The garage is 3 metres by 8 metres giving us 24 square metres of usable space it just needs a facelift I have had a builder come around and quote. Still waiting for the quote but I will go into this further in another blog post.

Another thing that is happening around our house is we are changing the disgusting ugly terrible aluminium windows back to the former western red cedar windows.

To match what was there already there but sadly removed by people that clearly have no taste. I now need to get a quote on putting lead light in the front 3 windows that face the street to match my neighbour’s bay window and other houses in the area from the same era.

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You could say I am in nesting mode but the truth of the matter is nothing will be done before this baby arrives. Typical! I have made peace with that and have just moved on.

Another thing that has been happening around my house is gardening. I planted spring bulbs that gave me a beautiful display in my front garden bed which has now finished flowering.

We were all so sick to death of having plants in the black plastic pots we bought them in years ago, we have now repotted all our plans into terracotta pots.

We planted out the garden bed that goes part way along the length of the garage with iceberg standard iceberg roses, buxus and lavender. We will extend this garden bed to be deeper as it appears the roses don’t have quite enough room. It is a narrow garden bed.

The great thing with knowing we are just going to stay in the house the way it is means we can now renovate it to completion. We were too hesitant to do any renovations because anything we did do would be affected by an extension later. It would be in effect a waste of time and money but now that we are just going to have a 2 bedroom house with the studio, we are quite happy to finish everything off. Such as the second bedroom, the large laundry and the gardens. This gives me a lot of excitement and I feel very creative. It took a lot of time, discussions and number crunching to get to this decision but I feel this is the right decision for us at the right time.

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Want to dig up this ugly slopey concrete and lay down a stone patio.

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Don’t let the flakey paint throw you. Just received a quote to replace the glass on the windows in this room and fix the sash weights as the windows will be heavier and THEN, we will get them painted. They are actually in great condition. It is just flakey paint.

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A metal shed that I want to remove and replace with a cedar cute cottage shed. Mint and rosemary going crazy! Neglected mother in laws tongue in the background. . . I don’t really like this plant and guess who gave it to me. . . GUESSSSS, you will never guess!!!!

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Teddy Bear Magnolia about to flower. I have 3 of these plants and I have just had them planted into MUCH larger pots before we decide where they will go in the garden and they are doing much better. I was scared they were going to die a slow death.

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Stupid bats came through last year when my neighbours had these trees in their yard and shat everywhere. That is what the marks on the garage are! But our neighbours removed those noxious trees! And this year, no bats!

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My little topiary collection! My favourite is Korean buxus! I love my standard bay tree too! Friends got us a bay tree seedling for our house warming and sometime last year I decided I wanted to train it into a lollipop and massacred it. Left a tuft of about 4 leaves on top. My husband was shocked when he saw it and a bit mad, I said, just trust me!! AND LOOK AT IT NOW!

(GOD I HATE MY BROWN COLORBOND FENCE! But I love them too. They are in good knick and there is no fencing dispute between neighbours that I have seen play out at the court house, so gotta be grateful)

Another future blog post will be year of the garden YOTG that will be 2016 when I am on maternity leave!! I can supervisor children and my husband can garden to his heart’s content. It’s impossible at the moment to do much on both of our separate weekends (me: Thursday and Friday, Him: Saturday and Sunday) as we are alone.

Really looking forward to maternity leave next year and I’m not going to do something silly like I did with Audrey and only have 4 months off. I’m going to enjoy my time with my family and hopefully have a year off.

 Thank you for getting this far and can’t wait to update you further.


Friday, January 9th, 2015

Welcome! I’m back. I am ready to blog!


I declared it year of the house which equals – #YOTH15 in hashtag lingo. I urge you use the hashtag if it is also YEAR OF THE HOUSE for you too!

This remark came as I wanted to put of a 4 square collage on instagram of things that I did around our house this past year and I all I could come up with was the banquette upholstery and the bed head d.i.y.

It dawned on me then. Not enough was done around our place. I wasn’t happy. This year, I would like to change that.

There are countless things that need to be done, so time to starting ticking them off.

So far! 1 week in:

Bunk Beds bought for my daughter’s room.


I would LOVE twin beds! I LOVE that look, but I think only works if you have boy-boy or girl-girl. And as I haven’t fallen pregnant yet, I can’t determine that.

But it is time for my daughter to go into a big girl bed and with all the sales floating around, I thought it best to do it now.

Even if I did end up with a second daughter, realistically in a small room, bunk beds are the way to go. And we don’t have rumpus or playroom either.

I am a bit sad as I would have LOVED to make a crazy headboard.

But don’t get me wrong. Bunk beds can be cool too! I had bunk beds with my younger sister and we had a BLAST!!!!! It was the best fun.


Sarah Richardson designed nursery – source

(Might have to give my bunks a coat of paint in a cool colour)

I purchased 2 occasional chairs for our living room. They are dining armchairs (carvers). I don’t have the width to fit 2 separate armchairs. I dislike slipper chairs as they are so low and most people in our families would have a tough time getting out of them including myself!

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I am really happy with these. Just need a very petite side table to go in between them.

This is something that has been on my list for a while, when our families visit there isn’t enough room for people to sit.

Another BIG TICK that has been lingering since we bought the house. LIGHT FITTINGS! A cheap light fitting is a cheap light fitting!

Plus I need 2 for the living room.


I have now placed an order for these. They match my fireplace scones.


I had my heart set on the Bryant chandelier


Since forever, but in the shop today, I changed my mind and it is for the best.

I already own, for the living room, this coffee table


and now these 2 chairs

Coco Republic - Shoot Oct 24+25, 2013

And the settee (needs re-upholstery)


And this is my fireplace

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(Still on the hunt for a mirror. I would like antiqued style panelled mirror with the studs/flower pins)

They are all soft and feminine pieces. The bryant chandelier is graphic and masculine and not 100% the direction I am evidently heading in with the selections I have already made.

We have also received 3 quotes for airconditioning. My husband has been asking ever since we have moved in, but I keep saying no as truly it is not that bad. THAT IS UNTIL THIS WEEK AT HOME! I finally see where he is coming from and the heat affects him more. Poor guy!

So we will hopefully be installing 2 split system units in our house (Part of he reason I said no, is I dislike the units on the wall, they are gross and I would prefer ducted, but wouldn’t bother doing it until we do an extension and do it all at once. . )

We have also received 2 quotes on new guttering and a water tank. We definitely want a water tank as we are slowly becoming keen gardeners, especially with growing herbs and vegetables and also my flower and hedge aspirations.

I think that is a CRACKING start to 2015!

My home is my castle and if you are going to work so hard, you might as well benefit from it with a nice place to come home too from a day at work.

On that note, about work,

This blog post was JUST WHAT I NEEDED TO READ!

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Sadly applies to me to the letter!

A good wake up call though, sometimes I just want to pack it all in and be a stay at home mum. but that would mean a massive cut back on a lot of things. No fabric purchases, no furniture purcahses, no holidays away.  Probably not even nice cuts of meat for dinner. HELL NO Meredith Dairy goats cheese. Not much at all.

So just put my head down, bum up and keep on keeping on!!

Because I got a quote on THE display cabinet of my dreams.

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Yes, $22,000. That is what American made, solid timber costs. . . . (this is the price of a trade discount, the original price is $28k because our dollar is not the best right now)

Never in my wild reverie could I fathom owing this.

Maybe with a winning lotto ticket in hand. . .

Any plans on #YOTH15 around your place? TELL ME!!

Alice Mary Lynch – Custom Hare doll for Audrey

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

I was browsing pinterest. . . like everyday of my life and came across the most gorgeous dolls. I fell in love with the flair and style of them.

Then I started following the creator on Instagram. A random comment from me at the right time saw an opportunity for me to commission a custom doll for my daughter – scratch that – me!! HAHAHA

I present to you Audrey Hare Princess from Alice Mary Lynch.







Such a special gift for my daughter that I hope will get passed down.

I really want to get a boy fox now.

Alice Mary Lynch

And check out pinterest for more of her dolls.

D.I.Y Bed Head

Monday, July 28th, 2014

I did it!

I am so thrilled with this bed head. I took all progress pics and I can make a tutorial if need be. Let me know if you want a tutorial.


Sneak peek!

I did a piped edge


It is 50 mm deep and simply leaning against the wall with the weight of the mattress ensemble holding it in place.

I was going to do a piped edge on the back edge, but thought it didn’t need it.


Tah Dah!

What do you think?

It is nearly 170 cms tall. (taller then me)

 I made it that tall to accommodate European pillows which I haven’t purchased yet. I want to make covers up for them in LUXE fabric. Embroidered etc. .  all the bells and whistles.


My curtain rods that I want to replace. I want to have one single rod that has a right angle bend/curve to go around the corner and possibly bend back into the wall! I have found a brand that can do this for me.

Plus I want to make new curtains. Thick fabric, block out lining and wide trim tape!

And that is my ikea rast hack bed sides. I quite like them too.


I’m really happy with the outcome.

Kitchen Renovation – Part THREE of three – reflections

Sunday, July 20th, 2014


The layout of the kitchen. I spent YEARS on this. I was always playing with the layout. I drew it to scale and moved everything around and in the end I believe I came up with the best solution. Having utilised the kitchen for about 9 months now, it is working nicely.

The knobs and handles!! They are so glamourous.

I like my down lights. They are pretty inconspicuous when turned off. And when turned on they give amazing light and I like the way we wired them. 2 sets of 4 on an individual switch.

The kitchen sink. I am so glad I swapped to a big single bowl! I can wash the tray from the high chair, the fridge shelves, the oven racks all with ease! I also have a small suspended drainer that acts like a small secondary sink/drainer without taking up any extra bench space. Thankfully I was able to get one from ikea for less then $40 as opposed to the the abey optional extra drainer that was ~$180 (from memory)


This is how my sink normally looks. I really try to avoid having the dish cloth hanging off the tap. When I want to quickly wash up a 1 or a few items I just place it in the drainer, if I washing up more, I just lay out a terry dish towel to drain everything that place it over the back of a dining table chair for the sun to dry it.

I love my pull out bins! SO HANDY!!!!!!!



I am not a fan of the bench top colour. It is a warm white. Obviously not what I wanted. I just wanted a white. I hate my range hood. It honestly serves no purpose. It does nothing. I couldn’t get anything else or would mean touching my cornices which I wanted to keep as is. I couldn’t duct it out through the wall behind, because that is a bedroom. If we are frying something on the cook top, all doors and windows are open . .  even in winter. . . I am constantly wiping the cabinets door fronts above too. To keep everything pristine. The 2 pac poly finished makes that easy. It honestly is driving me to the point that I want to make this kitchen a show kitchen and put a butlers pantry around the corner (where the current laundry is) in an extension. An induction cooktop, ducted quiet range hood and another fridge! HA!


The fridge. I wish it was built in. I hate the way it is just plonked there. Doesn’t look well resolved. We wanted to use the current fridge because it wasn’t that old and we were trying to keep costs down.

The grout colour of the backsplash tiles. I am not entirely happy with the grout colour of the back splash. It should have either been white or DARK grey. The grey we used just matches the tiles and blends in.

 Would have chosen fake stone tiles that look like slate. We spent a small fortune on sealer for the slate tiles and it doesn’t appear to be working and they are staining. Even though we are diligent with cleaning up spills straight away.


Art work for the wall between the windows. I would love a demi lune console table to go between those 2 windows.



And have a grand ginger jar or really nice ceramic on top OR this GORGEOUS lust-worthy candy dish I spotted the other day from on Juliska’s instagram.


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But I have visions of a rogue ball hitting it and smashing it to smithereens. Or kids bumping the table. I think this idea might have to go on the back burner until kids are moved outta home!

I am yet to make curtains for the dining area. I want to make curtains for that space to mark that it is a different zone or space from the rest of the kitchen as this house does not have a dining room!

(Ohh I wish!) I am going to make dreamy soft flowing white cotton curtains.


But with an aqua trim tape to pull in the colours of the bench seat and the back door. And also to just add some colour. Because I don’t want it to be too monochromatic. I am not that bold.




With the window above the banquette. I want to make a fake roman blind valance and use the same trim tape.


The windows need extensive work. They need some TL C and some painting. Then I can swap out all the old painted over hardware for shiny new brass hardware that I purchased. This is a big job and I can find people that will do the fixing up of the windows but also point out that they won’t paint the windows.

This is also a very dirty job! Probably should have been the first thing to be done.

Chandelier. If I can pick one! I keep going back and forth about what I want. I still like the original one I picked out from my mood board.


The French doors need to be painted white. Along with the laundry door. Lots of bits of trim painting here and there. As well as the architraves.

Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to return with the reveal of more finished projects.

Kitchen Renovation – Part TWO of three – Sources

Saturday, July 19th, 2014


Chinese slate natural split tiles 300 x 600


White 2 pac poly doors.

Stone bench top – Essa


Top knobs cabinet pulls and handles.



Marble splash back tiles – Bisanna


French doors – Doors Plus. I kick myself for this decision. The quality is SO POOR. Never again.


Ilve cooktop & rangehood. Fridge (from previous kitchen) – Fisher and Paykel

Dishwasher – Asko. LOVE IT!


Rugs – Overstock (was happy at first with these but the colour is turning to yellow because they are exposed to the sun)

Sink – Abey. Tap – Brodware


Paint – Dulux Limed white quarter. Whole house is painted in that colour

Back door – Sydney Woodworkers in Brookvale. This is a gorgeous door! I would love to use this company again! They were fantastic. I love the reeded glass. Back door paint colour. Dulux Meadow lane.


Bench seat – Designed and partly upholstered by me. See tutorial link here.


Brass handles. Domino or Superior Brass (Which is NOT AT ALL SUPERIOR. Made in India and the quality is terrible.)

NeoReverie Diamond Tufting Tutorial Banquette.

Friday, April 18th, 2014



Welcome everybody. There is a wealth of information and guidance available for this process, but I still thought I would do my own version.

I’ve graduated, master upholsterer, from the University of YouTube based on all the videos I watched and information I absorbed.


Medium density foam: cut to the shape you require. This stuff is expensive. There are more savvy ways to acquire foam, like foam mattress or other end products made of foam from big box stores like IKEA or target and cutting it down with an electric bread knife. I have a history of getting stroppy with a D.I.Y that doesn’t go to plan. So my personal philosophy is to start off on the right foot with the right products. Just pay the money and get exactly what you need. I bought the foam at the Foam Booth in Surry Hills. You can also get Foam at Clark Rubber and I am sure there are others. I needed 2480mm x 380mm and this cost me $80

MDF/ply wood/peg board: I used 3mm mdf which I believe was too flimsy. Hence why I braced it which you will see later.

Batting: I bought it on a roll from Spotlight. I needed 3 metres

Fabric: Thickish in weight and upholstery grade. You will need more fabric then you think. I cut 3.2 metres for my 2.5 metre long banquette. Because my projects had really long rows of buttons, it just ate the fabric up

This YouTube video shows how to measure your project to determine the right amount of fabric you need. I didn’t bother doing it, because I was talked out of it by this blog post.


As she casually mentions that it doesn’t take up much more fabric. To be fair, I had a lot more buttons on a row then she did and I should have realised. It left me to sew on more fabric on either side. I had the half tufted banquette on the floor and the sewing machine on the floor while my husband pressed the pedal and intermittently moved the 2.5 metre long piece through the sewing machine.

I bought my fabric on clearance from Bargain Upholstery in Seaforth. I wanted a light blue grey fabric that was a linen look-a-like and not a fabric that they needed to order in (So I could get started right away and If I needed more that it wouldn’t be a drama) I also wanted it to be easy to clean and have stain reducing properties. Like my couch. I am not a fabric expert or anything But it has 2 colours in the fabric. So one direction has the first colour of treads woven and in the other direction it is the second colour of threads woven. It helps to mask stains. (Well, in my experience) In a perfect world I would have loved glazed linen. I am into that so hard right now. But this fabric has man made properties and it gives the fabric a nice sheen, so I was happy with that.

And I will be scotch guarding the crap out of it on completion too. You have worked too hard to have it ruined by a wayward glass of red with a girlfriend or a naughty rugrat.


 So because I had the diamond tufting bit half done and it was just leaning there and the bare base seat cushion foam there and I haven’t got around to finishing the project because I needed another set of hands and free time with my other set of hands (husband) doesn’t come around often and when it does, he sure isn’t helping me with this project. It was sitting there for some time. Unfinished. I was trying this new thing. Not leaving anything on my island bench. So I picked up my paint palette from doing calligraphy with highly pigmented MAGENTA gouache paint. And I went to place it on the foam base cushion and right before my very eyes the paint just LEPT! LEPT I tell you out of the palette and make a big splash on the diamond tufted part and then dribbled down. MY LIFE FLASHED BEFORE MY VERY EYES. Why God? Why me? I’m a good person. I tried. I’ve sincerely tried. What have I done to deserve this? F***ing panic town. Population ME!

ANYWAY. Blah Blah Blah. I got the stain out the best I could after 1 hour of frantic scrubbing and it is only just visible. . . to me. I can live with it. I died, but I have been revived. Then after my daughters party there was another stain. But I got that out too (on the base cushion). So yes. I need to scotch guard it.

Upholstery Twine: This is a nylon twine that is quite thick. I looked for it at Spotlight and they only had upholstery weight thread for your sewing machine, for when sewing covers. This will not be strong enough. I bought my roll from here. LINK I am sure there are cheaper places to get it. But this was what I came across and was easily accessible to me.

Upholstery Needle: I bought a packet of Doll needles by Birch from Spotlight. In Hindsight I should have bought a proper upholstery needle from an upholstery supply shop as the eye of this needle was still a bit too narrow for the twine to pass through. I soldiered on and managed though.

Self-cover buttons: The consensus is that you can make them yourself, but it will be the most monotonous and annoying part of the project. I didn’t want to lose momentum or enthusiasm, before I even got to the tufting part. One blog post mentioned that she outsourced them. So I did too. I couldn’t even find the self-cover button packs at Spotlight. They sold 2 self-cover buttons in a pack for $6 and that seemed very expensive. So I took my fabric to this place and got Number 36 buttons made up for me.

They did it in a few hours.


Staple gun: I own a staple gun and just as I was gearing up to start, I asked my husband where it was. He has been pottering in the garage recently and he said that he has never came across it. So I had no idea where it was and part of the garage had blocked access. I wasn’t going to go and look through boxes. So I scooped up my kid to go and buy another one. You could put a regular staple gun for $20 to $50. But this job requires doing a lot of stapling and will be taxing on your hand muscles.

We have the RYOBI One power tools with the interchangeable batteries and I was looking at that brand to buy an electric one, but they currently don’t cater for it (And besides, I am not too keen on all this cordless get up. I would hate to run out of battery when I am full of steam, how annoying to have to stop prematurely)

So they had a cheapy OZITO branded electric stapler that is corded. SOLD.


(Bosch had one too that was $99 but it was cordless and the battery would have needed charging before I could start and I wasn’t waiting for that)

Batons, liquid nails & screws: For bracing and forming around the bottom architrave of my window. Not necessary if what you are attching to is flat.

Scissors: Dressmaking shears. For snipping the batting and trimming the fabric.


Mark out where your tufts will be on your mdf. I had 2 rows of 14 buttons and 1 centre row of 13 buttons. They were 17 cms apart horizontally and 8.5 cms apart vertically.


Drill through the mdf where you marked for the holes.

Brace your mdf with your batons, by gluing and screwing them. Making sure not to place them over any holes. (You don’t need to do this if  you use thicker wood. The stuff I used was pretty flimsy, plus I need to brace it and pack it out to go around the bottom window architrave that I didn’t want to remove.)


Put your mdf on top of your foam and with a marker push it though the holes to mark the foam. Remove.


With a knife, cut out channels in your foam for the button to go down deep when you tuft. I used a serrated steak knife. Stuck my fingers through and yanked out the foam.


Place the mdf on the bottom. Then the foam. Drape over your batting over the foam and mark where the holes in the foam are and with scissors. Snip the batting in a x shape to make a hole.


Drape your fabric over the batting.


Now you are ready to tuft.

This is what I did, which If/When I have my time again, I would do some things differently, which I will mention throughout this. Start with your centre button and work out from there. Doing the one above, the one below the one to the left, the one to the right and out you go. From the front, use your thumb to push the fabric into the hole. Pass the needle through the foam until it pokes out the back of the mdf. I had trouble doing this, as it was hard to keep the needle straight and was going in blind and found it difficult to find the hole. What I ended up doing was from the back, I passed the non-sharp end of the needle from the back through the eye and up through the foam and the fabric. My fabric wasn’t a tight weave. So if your fabric is, I don’t think you would have had much luck with it.

Thread the needle with the twin and then pass it through the back of the button and tie and double knot. I used my teeth to make sure it was nice and tight. Then I pulled the needle back through to the back. Only when it was all completed did I realise I had done this step a bit funny as I was pulling the knot through the fabric. Again, if my fabric was tighter I would have had buckleys chance of doing this. It also at some points caused my fabric to snag. But I smoothed it out with my hands from the centre and it wasn’t visible. And some times because I was pulling on the knot, the knot would come undone, causing the button to pop off and for me to start the process again.


What I should have done was. Thread the twine through the back of the button and tie a double knot onto the button. And then with the 2 tails of the twine, thread the needle. This would have been very difficult for me as I had trouble just threading the needle with one length of twine, let alone two.

Then from the back, you have the knotted twine poking through. From the front side, fold the fabric, by rubbing/rolling it in between your thumb and forefinger to make nice pleats in the fabric. Then from the back, you pull with all your might to make a nice diamond tuft. You staple the twine in a zig-zag like pattern. Give it about 4 to 5 staples.


And that is one button done. Move on to your next button


Once all the buttons are done.


Staple the excess fabric right around. Trim it off and if you wish. You can cover the back with inexpensive fabric for a professional look.

I didn’t do this, as I would like to still be able to access it if I ever need to repair it.

Last step. Outsource the base piped box cushion to an upholsterer. I can bring myself to diamond tuft, but not sew a cushion cover. Let it go and call it a day.



The only thing that needed improvement was the depth of each button is inconsistent. But as a first timer, I am happy with it and I will do better with my next diamond tufting jaunt if I so chose to take one upon me.

I wish I had centred the banquette with the window above it. The reason I didn’t do this is in case we wanted to put a heater to the right (their is a gas outlet) or a tall narrow cabinet in between the 2 windows. But I think it would have looked really flash and we could have made a feature of the window (that still needs repairs and painting) with a nice roman blind and trim tape and flanked it with Oly San Fransico candle sconces. Always in hindsight. . . .

Another thought I had was finding a really nice demi lune table to go in between those 2 windows and placing a nice piece of art above it. But I always suffer from cramming so much furniture into a room.

before_afterWho doesn’t love a before and after?




Next thing. I think I am gearing up to do a headboard. But probably not diamond tufted. I just can’t settle on a shape.

Melbourne 2014

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Long time, no post.

Apologies. Something shit happened. Like really shit. Nothing to do with health, illness or death. But something pretty lousy, hurtful and plain annoying happened. I don’t want to write what it is because I do read back through my post to remember things and look back at what I have achieved and I don’t want to be reminded of this terrible incident. Just let the past swallow it up and take it away.

I did write it all down in a document at work. But I grappled with whether I wanted to post it or not. Do you ponder over what you will post and what you won’t?

I still haven’t posted my birth story because I can’t decide if I am that kind of person anymore. Am I completely honest and open as I use to be? I of course will let you in on every gory detail if you are my friend and want to know. I have no hesitation there.

I am just going to print out Audrey’s birth story and place it in her keepsake box and pray to God that my house doesn’t burn to the ground or gets stolen.

I also don’t want to write about bad things. Life isn’t all butterflies and rainbows, but I can just make my blog a little happy place only. Escapism for me. (And my readers, I hope)

I was feeling really low and negative after this event. There was lots of fuck this, fuck that, fuck the fucking world. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCKKKKKKKK and I want to be less about the fuck and more about the pretty and the happy and the positive. Which sums up what I already am about. So no blotches on my blog. Back to business. The show must go on!


My husband had a work trip to Melbourne. Which because of the public holiday on Monday. Meant he left on Tuesday morning and would return on Friday and HELLO, that just happens to be the non-working days for me! So I told him to book Audrey and myself tickets and a rental car. We tagged along.

We are budget conscience at the moment and holidays for us are just not going to happen. We would rather be spending the money on renovation of our house at the moment. I also am on a self-imposed leave ban. I am thinking about baby number 2 and I need to save my leave so I don’t have a total of 5 seconds with my baby before returning to work. I used my extended leave last time and that won’t accrue fast enough to have the same amount of leave this time around. So I take what I can get. Small mercies.

Having said all that, I did take a day off on Monday. Under duress it was! LOL. We had a picnic for my Mothers Group so that all the men could meet each other. There was a very long email chain that was going back and forth of proposed dates for this shindig and none of them was going to suit me because I work weekends and all the public holidays, but this was the date that suited the majority and a line was drawn in the sand. I did entertain the idea of sending my husband just with Audrey, but he is a pretty shy guy and that seemed kind of cruel.

I digress. It was a beautiful day and I relished in my leave pass. Ohhhh to be social! It really is an important part of life.

Then on Tuesday we rose at the ungodly hour of 4am! (well not ungodly because my co-worker in the lead up to Christmas was attending Church at 4.30am. A novena she called it. 9 days before Christmas!! WHAT??? Dedicated she is! I love hearing about other people’s cultures and traditions. Do you? Fascinating.

4am, out of the house at 4.30am for our 4.43am train to the airport. We walked in the dark with pram, 2 suitcases, nappy bag and laptop bag down the hill to the station. We made it to the airport without much fuss. I was immensely proud.

The flight with Audrey was great. She wriggled a bit in the beginning which was annoying in the confined space, but then she had a bottle and drifted off to sleep for the rest of the flight. She stayed sound asleep all the way til baggage collection. What a legend.


My husband’s work site was next to the airport which isn’t ideal, but we had a rental car and I like to drive. I thrashed it up and down that freeway all week long! I used a tank of petrol in 4 days LOL. The air-condition was on full throttle constantly. I was certain the car was going to clunk out.

On the first day I went to Chadstone shopping centre because it was 39 degrees and I wasn’t taking baby girl out in that.

Had a browse around there and then I picked up my husband from work. We checked into the hotel and headed straight to the spa and pool!!! It had been a LONG day by that stage. Audrey had an absolute ball in the spa. It wasn’t a hot spa.

The next day I went on a MAMMOTH walk. I walked Malvern Road, High St Prahran, Punt Road and Toorak road and lots of little streets in between. I was so pleased with myself. I just kept on walking and walking. When I got back to the hotel I asked if I could borrow my husband’s laptop so I could plot the walk. 15km!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For me, UNHEARD OF! Well I use to do long walks like these when I was a size 10. . . . .  I am so proud. I must get out more. I really must.

But, poor little Audrey had her little legs poking out the stroller and they got a wicked tan. Mummy guilt to the max!! I did make an effort to try and keep them covered, but it kept coming off. I aloe vera’d up her legs so much. She loved the massages.

Then on Thursday, I went to Gertrude St, Fitzroy to look at arty stuff. Then I met up with my 2 cousins. One of them has a 1 year old son who I haven’t met. That was lovely.


My other cousin is a famous sommelier. Famous to me! HE HE HE and in the wine world. We went to a new café on Chapel Road Windsor. Around the corner from where she lives called Plenty. Delicious.

859 858

That is a poached egg on top!!

Then I went to Hawthorne to visit a shop. . . but the GPS wasn’t kicking in on my phone so I just kept driving til it kicked in, I knew I was going in the wrong direction, but that’s ok. It was heading towards Albert Park so I decided to just do a drive through and view the gorgeous houses!! So picturesque.


I went past another twitter girls shop and I saw the shopping strip. But I was melting and my daughter was catching zeds so I didn’t get out. Then I trotted back to Hawthorne. I didn’t realise that Hawthorne is also a gorgeous suburb. Very pretty houses there too. I went to a shop called Peony. I only walked away with a candle because the choice was overwhelming. I have fallen in love with this perfume. Well it was the bottle first. It looks so chic. I went over to the display and only saw French words on first inspection and my knowledge of French doesn’t extend beyond, Bonjour, Bonsoir, Au revior, merci etc etc. So I was out of my depth, then I saw the word Camellia. I have been on a Camellia kick of late.


I have been in talks with an advance plant nursery for plant recommendations for a narrow spot in my garden and they recommended Camellias. So I have been doing a lot of research on them.


I only got a slight whiff of it. So I need to track this range down in Sydney.

Then on the Friday I finished off the top end of High St. Picked up where I left off and did High St, Armidale. Then I met up with 2 mums from Twitter. Well. . . if we want to split hairs, back in the good old Vogue forum days. I already feel like I know Slavisa So funny. Her daughter is a few weeks older then Audrey and Eirini’s daughter is 4 months old. We had a wonderful afternoon in the Botanical gardens.



Then I went and picked my husband up from work and we went the airport, returned the rental car and caught the plane home.

Thank goodness for work colleagues that are catching a flight 15 mins earlier who parked at the airport and who also has a car seat in their car. AND offers lifts home. HALLELUJAH! While he was waiting for us, he adjusted the seat and moved to the pick-up area and luckily we weren’t putting him out much because we live on the way to his place. The thought of catching the train home and walking up that hill was too much. I was exhausted from all that travel and working and baby nurturing!

Fabulous jam packed full 4 days in Melbourne! Just wish I got out and ate some decent food of an evening but alas, husband was way too busy and exhausted.

I have Heidi my designer beacon (always pointing me in the right direction) to curse thank for the bulk of these purchases.



The dolly is called “Eloise” I didn’t realise that until I looked up the brand online and saw the title. I knew the doll spoke to me!!


Liberty fabric garments from Jacadi


Dolly, lavender sachet and table runner from Plane Tree Farm. Candle from Peony. Figs from my inlaws garden and FINALLY! My husband has finished the mantle.


Loving the table runner.

And there was no stopping. It was back to work the very next day!! Arghhhhh

Ohhhh and Husband needs to go back at the end of this month for the second round. . . . decisions, decisions. My cousin lives near the Mornington Peninsula, So I might spend time down there. She was talking about hot springs!! YES PLEASE!!

Bedroom Plans

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

In the sales we purchased an ensemble. I have been thinking about this for some time but our mattress is not that old. It sits on a bed frame, which I don’t like. It is nice enough, but it was cheap and no longer my style.  I have been thinking about a new bed head and I think it would be easier to make a stand alone bedhead as opposed to try and recover my entire bed frame. Too much fabric. So thinking bedhead with a valance to cover the ensemble base.

Anyway, so that decision was catapulted right to the top of the list when the shops were doing amazing deals like in excess of 50% off and free delivery. Talk about impulse purchase. The only con to this option is we lose the storage we had under our bed. But the thought of sleeping on top of my clutter doesn’t appeal  to me either. So best just be ruthless and more organised.

For our 2nd year wedding anniversary I purchased a canvas to paint a picture (cotton) but I never got around to it, so instead I purchased a new duvet cover. I have been looking for a 2 stripe or 3 stripe cover for ages. House Hold linens does one but it is quite expensive and I didn’t like the colours. Now Sheridan does one but don’t like the colours. And the border is around the edge of the cover and not smaller to frame the mattress top. (I don’t think I would buy Sheridan sheets ever again. My last set is now painting drop cloths. I don’t use bleach, I don’t over crowd the washing machine and I have a front loader and it got all these holes in it and is torn to shreds now. That is the second set to do that. No other sheet brand has done this.)


So I purchased this one from One Kings Lane with a shipping forwarder. First time I have done that and it was successful.


I am thrilled with the quality. The pillow cases are the PERFECT size. I often find that pillow cases are a bit slack on the pillow, too big. The cover is also very generous in size. I don’t know if this is an American thing or not. The width of the queen was good for the quilt inside but length was much longer. It is because the cover is designed so that the cover sits right up at the top of the bed and the pillows sit on top of it!! That makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE!!!! It looks a lot neater. But I don’t know if their quilts are made longer, or it was just this particular duvet cover. I did notice that in the top corners INSIDE the duvet covers it has ties. I guess to tie your quilt in and prevent it from slipping down. Do their quilts have like eyelets in them or something?? I don’t understand how you would tie it. I am so fascinated with this all. Can you tell? I haven’t tied mine, but it hasn’t shifted either.

For the sheets, I would like to purchase 100% linen sheets. They get such rave reviews. But where to find a set? (My husband hates the sound of the crunch of crisp cotton sheets. Says it wakes him when either of us moves. Poor. baby.) And a set that has the fitted sheet with a extra long depth. 35 – 40 cms doesn’t cut it around here.

But I would like a set from Linoto. It is cheaper getting these ones from New York then Sheridan from David Jones (Which aren’t long enough in the fitted sheet depth).


How the bed looks! What do you think? I spent the best part of 2 hours, ironing the sheets and covers! Do you iron your bedding? This photo was taken a few nights of sleeping in, hence why they are a bit crushed. Any good tips on how to keep the fabric creaseless for longer?? Any miracle spritz or something?


Can you see how generous the drape is on the duvet cover? Love it.

Target box pleated valance for the win. I looked at the big names that I could think of for this type of valance and all I could find was those (in my eyes) hideous quilted bed wraps. If I wanted that look, I would just keep the ensemble base exposed.


For $29.40. You can’t really go wrong. Well. . . I would prefer if it was just a few centimetres longer.

Image source


Here is that chair I got fixed up but never showed. I am really not happy with the whole experience. The central wood motif was damaged and the result of the restoration is not a good quality in my eyes. I think a FAR better job could have been done. It is very basic and only serves a functional purpose and form is out the window. The fabric though. Ohh my the fabric. The fabric is just beautiful. Maybe in time I might try again with a restoration. I have detailed pictures of how it use to look. . . . Also in the future I will ask for additional pictures of recent work and make a better educated decision on who does work for me.


They are our new tempur contoured pillows underneath. I wanted to give them ago. We’ve slept on them for one night and I am not sure. Kinda weird feeling. I need to get pillow protector cases from them as the cream covers show through and it looks yuck. We bought a new mattress protector in a Queen size which is the size of our bed and it is 20 cms too short on the length. What is with that? I thought a queen was a queen. That will get returned. Our current mattress protector is fine and in good condition. But is doesn’t sit right under the mattress. These new mattress that are super sized in height. Need more depth on fitted sheets & protectors.


I am LOVING the new mattress ensemble. I feel like a queen. It is higher up then previous bed. I need to jump on it and jump off it. I am average height at 165cms.

So there is lots to be done in this room. That frame to be hung for starters. Some matching lamps. New bedsides. I already earmarked them for 5 year wedding anniversary – ‘wood’. These current ones are IKEA rast hacks.


These curtain rods seem unresolved. I would prefer some custom ones that have a joined elbow bend. That would be nice. But where on Earth do you get custom curtain hardware in AUS? Well not even custom. Just nice? Not tacky, cheap, nasty SHIT!! These have extendable rods and they shit me. Oh how they shit me. So hard to get the rings up and over the ‘jump’.


You know I love a little photoshop mock up effort. No matter how tragic it looks. WOW that frame got hung on the wall!! How about that? (I think I missed the mark on the scale of that lamp. but never mind)

I want to D.I.Y a headboard. I am going to do myself a huge favour and KEEP IT SIMPLE. Just a straight up plain rectangle with a piped/corded edge. That’s it! in a powder, seafoam, marine, light blue VELVET!

Schumacher has the EXACT colour I want in a luscious mohair velvet.


I want the height of the bed head to be quite grand, so I have to work out how much yardage of fabric I will need. I am not sure at this stage if I can justify the cost of the Schumacher fabric. If no other colours are doing it for me, I might have to revisit it. Designer fabric is only within reach for me with the odd throw cushion. Definitely not for a full upholstery job nor curtains. Oh man. I am in awe of curtains made of designer fabric. There is so much yardage required to make curtains so the cost is astronomical. But they can make the room and they have gorgeous drape. Fall beautifully and that is really showcased with curtains.


Also there is still the hideous wardrobe doors to resolve.


I want to paint them white and add mill work and change the hardware.

A mirror and a light fitting will round out this room. Well a new rug would be lovely too. A gorgeous silk wool blend 12k job would be perfection, but that is just day dreams. (The ivory rug doesn’t really have a place in this room anymore)

Christmas Recap

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Hi! How was your Christmas? Hope it was fabulous.


My Christmas took place prematurely on Christmas Eve. It felt so naughty opening the presents before Santa had time to come. But it was best because I was able to be involved.



Audrey Claus!!

I hosted both families for dinner.


In between dinner and dessert we opened Audrey’s presents with her. I got to say, My living room was transformed into a toy shop. I think they went overboard, but first grand kid on both sides would do that I think.


After dessert we opened the rest.


(How funny is this??? It was a gift from my Brother in law. Time to get into some serious gardening!)

Then after everyone had left hubby and I opened each others. There just wouldn’t have been time in the morning before I had to leave for work. And we wouldn’t have had time for the heartfelt “Oh you shouldn’t have. . .” Blushing, embracing etc.

And we got each other the same gift. Trivets. How RANDOM!!!!!! You can clearly see the difference in styles. We both like both.


In terms of the kitchen, I am pretty happy with how it is shaping up. I purchased a new cutlery set and I quite like it. But it is for 8 places and I hosted 11. How many place settings do you have at your place? Do you have 2 separate settings, Nice and everyday and just mix? Wondering if I should purchased another one so I have enough for 16!! That kind of seems excessive now.



(Husband went way out of his way to get me these mugs. They are so beautiful and exactly my style. So humbled by the effort he took upon himself)

I want to purchase another Christmas plate set. So I have enough for 12. We only had 8 for Christmas, and for all my lusting after it and obsessing, I wasn’t even fortunate enough to eat of it.


Audrey baked cookies for everyone! I loved this project. I designed the landscape scallop tags. I used my “Audrey” stamp, twine and a jingle bell.

I did Calligraphy on my envelopes partly because I need to practice and partly because the printer was snowed under. They served as place settings and I put Santa photos of Audrey inside them for the guests.

The place settings were my complete undoing.  For all my thought, hard work and stress rash, this still wasn’t enough to please some people. In fact piss them off completely, so much so, that simply sitting adjacent to the main table on the banquette would ruin the entire evening by someone constantly and unashamedly sulking. The only child in attendance was my daughter Audrey and we aren’t talking about her behaviour. Those antics placed a huge dark cloud over the evening and I never want to invite that person to my gatherings again.  I’m still waiting for an apology. (This isn’t the first or second time that this behaviour has surfaced)

I think now the only things my kitchen needs is a new dinner setting. But what?? I could never decide (And for how many for and what should be in it??). And a really nice glass pitcher for chilled water, ice tea, sangria etc. Ohhhh and I would LOVE crystal water goblets too. Got my eye on some. You can serve pretty much anything in them.


Villeroy & Boch Miss Desiree.

I didn’t get around to sewing the table cloth with my toile fabric  (nor the red ticking stripe table runner I was supposed to have. But I am not keen on that anymore, so wasn’t fussed)

But I did a really good iron job on it and folded it under and you couldn’t even tell.

It is so chic and I can use it year round.

I cooked lots of yummy food too!


A glazed ham! I have never done this before and have wanted to do it for the longest time. (I didn’t get an after shot. Bad me)


I made a fresh cherry clafoutis for dessert. Pretty easy dessert option. When it was in the oven cooking, I managed to sit down to a glass or two of bubbles.


So I am pretty obsessed about my kitchen and very pleased with my effort. Time to move my attention away from that and onto another part of my house, which will be our bedroom. Post on that coming soon.


Audrey enjoying cherries!


She looks like this baby! HAHAHAHH