Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bush walk

Anth and I went on a bush walk (of sorts) in John Forrest National Park on Saturday afternoon.

I was wearing thongs(!) because bush walking wasn't on the agenda when we left home, but I still managed a good 5 or 6 clicks (kilometres) before we ended up in the beer garden of the tavern, (thoughtfully situated in the grounds of the park).

It was a sentimental stroll for me, because when I was a kid (back in the day when there was no such thing as an eleven dollar entrance fee!) my family spent nearly every Summer evening there. Mum would pack a picnic dinner and we would eat it in one of the little hand-made huts built by sustenance workers during the depression in the '30's. This after spending hours in the "swimming pool".

(read dam here - and looking much more like one these days than it did when I was little! I'm sure the water was clearer and cleaner back then - I wouldn't let my girls swim in it, that's for sure! Not that I'd have to restrain them, I'm sure they'd turn their noses up - I can hear the "ewwww's!" now...these days swimming is prohibited anyway).

My littlest sister actually learnt to swim in that 'pool', I still remember her making her way across it, foam turtle strapped to her back. We weren't the only one's either, the place was usually packed with families, making the most of the long, hot Summer evenings.

Perth families have been doing the same thing we did at John Forrest since the 1900's, but on Saturday we very nearly had the place to ourselves, it was lovely, but it was a bit sad to see the little huts and stone walls looking neglected and unloved. The bush though, was/is as beautiful as ever...

As I mentioned, we ended up at the Wildflower Tavern. This place is not fancy (although the beer is deliciously cold), but if you're ever in Perth on a holiday (or you're a local with kids) and you want to get up close and personal to a kangaroo, this is the place to do it. Cheap, no annoying tour guides, just a cold brew (and a jug of lemon squash for the kids!) and a roo or two. Perfect!

That's Anth in the foreground and that kangaroo (there were a few of them, including a joey) came right up to our table. The kids in the tavern were all over them and they didn't mind a bit. They let them pat them and scratch them behind the ears etc - it was gorgeous! The little boy in thepic below was here on holiday from Ireland, I bet he'll remember that roo for years (his parents took plenty of photos!) I was less enamoured though, with the mother (an Aussie - she should've/would've known better! Surely?) who allowed her daughter to feed the kangaroos potato chips. Helloooo? I really wanted to say something, but I bit my tongue. Some people, right!

p.s. if you've got a special little vintage spot in your home you'd like to share, don't forget the Hung Up On Retro/Lucy Violet link-up on the 11th. Details here. A pretty cushion, old china tea cups filled with succulents sitting on your kitchen windowsill, a vintage tea towel hanging from your oven door, or something groovier...we'd love you to join in x

Saturday, April 27, 2013

House Proud?

How about putting out the welcome mat, and sharing a few pics of your favourite vintage/retro inspired space with us in our brand new bloggy link-up?

Yep, in the proud (ahem!) tradition of the  The Great Retro Cook-Off  Donna and I are inviting you to show-off the best room at your place.

Old school, way cool, too cool for school, join us, we'd love a sticky-beak of your home-styled stylin.

We're after real spaces too, so don't stress too much about perfection, dust, or taxidermy! Things look more interesting when they're a bit haphazard anyway - the art of 'plonk', in my opinion is seriously underrated. Agree? 

Please spread the word (we'd appreciate it),
the more retro/vintage interiors we all get to perve at, lust over, covet, and inspire us the better.

You can even join in if you haven't got a blog (just email your pics
and a bit of a blurb and we'll post it on our blogs on the day).  

Speaking of blurbs, how about this one?

"the sparkling copper exhaust flue and antique hanging pots accent the lovely warm tones of the tulip oak walls and counters at the home of Mr and Mrs David Seymour"
The Seymours bought this house "because of the marvelous potential it had for changes and extensions" Same old, same old, right? I'll show you some more of the Seymours "Cornering Space on a Cliff Top" soon. It's nice. Very nice...

Until then, don't forget to scribble the 11th in your diary x

All images, Australian House and Garden, April 1970 (thanks library girl x) 

p.s. thank you for all your lovely comments on Annabel's birthday post, she doesn't read my blog regularly, but I made sure she read that one. Life can be tough when you've a red-head, thanks for boosting her ego x

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Anzac Day

Today Anthony and I went to our local Anzac Day ceremony. I was a blubbering mess just watching the parade, but it was when I noticed the man standing next to us (around our age) holding a framed photograph of his uniform wearing son (Adelaide's age - if he was a day) that I really lost it.  

Lest we forget.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Annabel!

Annabel is sixteen today.


Sixteen years ago, life pretty much sucked round these parts. Anthony had just had surgery to remove a tumour from his spinal cord. In the few weeks before she was born we went to hell and back (and back again). I won't go into details, that's a another story and this isn't the time, or place. I'd rather not get too personal here  - if I start now I'll be trotting out stories about my ingrown toe nails etc before you know it! It's all about the mystery (darlink).

Needless to say, Annabel's birth was that lightness all those do-gooders say you are supposed to find in the darkness.

I know she looks a bit moody in this pic -  put that down to teenage posing. She is so funny, a crack-up! Her impersonations are legendary. I have been known to wet my pants more than once while she's 'entertaining us'.

(what was that I said about mystery?)

These pics were taken on Sunday, we were on our way to Annabel's favourite restaurant (here, if you're interested).

Here's one of the three of us with me trying to look natural (ie. not like I've got a carrot shoved up my you-know-what, to quote Adelaide)
I do not know what 'look' Anthony was going for?!

Here's a couple of the girls taken at the restaurant. It's beautiful up there in the hills of Perth.

It's either love or hate, there's nothing in between with those two!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Three Stylin It.

(get it?)

Here are my final 'projects' in Justina Blakeney's online Stylin It course (a.k.a. The Fundamentals to Styling Your Space Like a Pro).

First up the boudoir

This is it after I styled it like a pro.
Doesn't that ply headboard look good? I just wish it was attached to the wall instead of propped against it for the photos!
(oh the cliches I could trot out here, how about "Rome wasn't built in a day" for starters?!)
And here's what it looked like before:
All a bit blah - even the Jedster (enticed with a slice of cheese) fails to liven it up.
That's better.
It's amazing what that darker linen does. Even the purpley-grey walls look better (we're still repainting them though Anth!).
What do you think of my Bentwood bedside table? It's a stop-gap (instant replacement - back to the kitchen straight after photos!) until the headboard's built. We (ie. Anthony) is building boxy, shelvey things from ply where we'll keep our books, lamps, glasses of water and other boudoiry things...
Next up, (and for me, the hardest and least successful 'project')
the bookcase.
As it was:
and how it finished up:


(as far as I'm concerned, bookshelves should be for books. A few knicks-knacks here and there - fine, but I would find it annoying having to dismantle my little displays every time I reached for a book, wouldn't you?)
Justina's course was great, I really enjoyed it, but now it's time to finish the real Mc Coy. I tell you, it'll be happy days when that's done and dusted!

bedtime story?
(picked up from a little vintage shop down South on our recent mini break, and for you Pippa. I also scored some iittala (for me), but that's another story...)



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Stylin It Part Two, the Sideboard and Sofa.

Stylish Kylish ? (thanks MMMC!) most definintely not!

but I'm having fun working on it...

Here's my most recent 'work':

We bought our vintage teak sideboard about a month ago. It was designed by Nils Jonsson, (a Swedish architect and designer) and manufactured by Troeds in 1960. It's stunning isn't it...
We feel like grown-ups now!

Here is a pic of it before I worked my magic (ahem!)

Getting rid of the telly made a huge difference (unfortunately this arrangement is only temporary - Anth will be home on Thursday, and I reckon know the first thing he's gonna do when he walks through the door, is put that (ugly) baby back!)
Most of the other stuff (all the pottery is West German) remains, I just tried to arrange it a bit more aesthetically. What I wanted to avoid, at all costs, is to detract from our new 'sidey's' beauty by cluttering it up with lots of stuff. I hope I succeeded...

Now for the sofa.
(I used to think that fabric I draped across our sofa made it look better, ummmmm, hello?! I know now, that all it really did, was accentuate its chunky, clumsy, ugliness!)
Fabric covered cushions or not, I hate the sofa in this room!
We have a lovely Danish de Luxe lounge suite in our family room. I'm thinking of making a swap, it's far too nice for the girls and dog to rough-house on, but unfortunately this mousey, micro-suede covered, monster beats it in the comfort stakes (probably why it ended up in our t.v. room - Anthony is a man of comfort, he'd also have a Jason recliner in there, if I let him!)
Anyway, here's a few afters:

Bear in mind, while I like cushions (the colour, texture, etc...) I'm not a fan of too many - especially when you have to remove most of them to get comfy! In our case they'd end up on the floor, covered in dog hair!
I played around with cushions for a while, trying lot's of cushions, one cushion - you know the drill - and ended up with three.
Freedom blankety looking cushion at the rear, Bonnie and Neil galah cushion, and (probably my fave) little vintage op-shopped bark cloth cushion in front. The throw is mohair, made in Scotland, and was a few dollars from the local oppy.
Anyway so that's this room just about done and dusted...just waiting on a special tassel from a certain someone to add a bit of bling!
I'll end with the ultimate B & A.
The same room, as it was when we inspected our house.
note: you do not see the rising damp, holes in the floor boards, mould, etc. etc.

Still got those bloody awful blinds though!!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stylin It!

I am enrolled in Justina Blakney's interior styling online class, and I'm loving it!

(Justina describes herself as a "design maniac with a bohemian heart" You can find her blog here)

Most of you know I am also studying a 'proper' interior decoration course. Well, that's a bit of a fib, because until I started Justina's course (which has completely motivated and inspired me) there has been very little of the 's word' (study) going on.

Truth be told, the course I'm enrolled in sucks (and before you ask, it is a bone fide course, not one of those fly-by-night one's advertised on the back of a cheap magazine!).
I felt completely flat and at sea when I received my work books

 (I'm doing it by distance which is probably part of the problem...)

and started reading through them. I was disheartened from the beginning.

 (now I know I am not the only student in the course who feels this way, but unfortunately you are not privy to this info until you enrol in the course)

Anyway Justina's little course has been like a breath of fresh air! It/she has given me the kick up the backside I needed to get over all the negative feelings I have toward my other course. My new 'mantra' is "just do it!"
I am ready to tackle it and finish it, and then, hopefully do something useful with it.

The first project in Justina's syllabus was to style a coffee table which illustrates the eight principles of styling  (colour, placement, needs, texture, botanicals, shape, pattern, and bling).

Here's my Before:

note: I banished the Noguchi to the shed.
a) it was a knock-off and b) I couldn't stand the dust on its glass top!
And a few Afters:

I know the remote looks ugly, but this is where 'needs' comes in.
What do you think?
A little contrived? (you know I don't knit!)
Baby steps, right?
Stuff in Pics:

coffee table: old tool box - garage sale.
mug: vintage Orzel pottery, made in New Zealand - op-shop.
agave: in old glass pickle jar - garage sale.
teak bowl: made in Indonesia - op-shop.
huon pine platter: Tasmanian(?) - op-shop.
little black bowl: the prettiest pink inside, made in Japan - a present from Anth years ago.
black birds: these were Lucy Violet's.
brown and black ceramic with Air Plant: vintage Polish art pottery, part of a trio.
books: vintage Enid Blyton's, here.
knitting: Annabel's (daughter #2).

And obviously I've got nothing better to do on a Saturday night!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Swimming in the Seventies.

More vintage mid-century styling for you to feast your eyes on.
This time we're living in the 70's and talking exteriors.

In a scene of such perfection I find it amusing to see a single leaf floating in the pool. Nature? Or carefully placed by a stylist?
(it couldn't be, as naughty Curtise suggested, a number two, could it?!)
Concrete rafters, marble paving, fibreglass furniture? Yes please!
Those gorgeous matte black exterior lights remind me of yours  Dana, and for anyone in Australia (well, here in Western Australia for sure) I have just seen lights very similar to these in...Bunnings! I know!

This pool was built in converted barn in Belgium (yours Woolfy?)
Gorgeous beams, painted bricks, copper-hooded open fire, and I like that bull(?) skull on the wall too.
Honestly, I could've kept scanning and scanning these!

I've had to force myself to stop.

All images from "Pools and Terraces, A House and Garden Guide to Landscaping and Furnishing", published in 1974, and happily picked up by me in an op-shop this arvo, for one dollar.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vintage Tea Towel on a Tuesday (except I've just realised it's Wednesday, not Tuesday! Oops-A-Daisy!)

I doubt I'll get my act together to make these vintage tea towel posts of mine a regular thing this year, but I had to show you this most gorgeous one, because, as far as I'm concerned, it ticks ALL the vintage tea towel boxes!

I love it so much I am going to stretch it over a canvas and hang it in our kitchen (where I think it will look bitchin!)

The spelling mistakes are particularly charming.

(too many cocktails on the job, me thinks)
I don't drink Burr bon, but if I did, Darrrlink, I'd pronounce it like that. I'd be a little bit Eartha, a little bit Zsa Zsa (and after a few cocktails...I'd be anybody's!)
I can't believe I just said that! I wouldn't really. Honestly. That's just me trying to be funny!
And I swear there's not a glass in my hand (well there is actually, but its got green stuff - vegies, not creme de menthe! in it)
Best end by remembering my manners, after all this tea towel was a present. Thanks Anne, I love it,

I cock-a doodle do!