2014 end countdown....

x KL

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Christmas. Take 11.

Well, THAT was a depressing post! I'd actually decided to post some of my better gift ideas and somehow went off on a tangent. Funny how good intentions can derail like that!

Anywho, thankfully the pessimism I felt pre-Christmas eventually lifted.

 I decorated the tree. Wrapped pressies and organised food and family. 

My monochromatic + metallic theme was sabotaged by Santa's wrapping!
 We had two Christmas's.The first was with Mum and Dad on December 23rd (also Dad's birthday) where I made a really simple Aussie style, mango and chicken salad, served with king prawns, fresh bread rolls and followed with pav. Easy peasy lunch for ten!

Then we celebrated here with the children and their partners on Christmas Eve with a more traditional European baked dinner of turkey, lamb and chicken, peas, roasted veggies and lashings of gravy. 
Luckily the weather was cool and forgiving! This is the first hot Christmas meal I have ever prepared for a large number and it was surprisingly easy; I had all day to prep (hubby generously helped) and roast the larger pieces of meat and then we served it on platters so everyone could help themselves. There was very little left - which is always a good sign!

our Christmas Eve table
Desert was macerated fruit (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries) in brandy snap baskets (Shh...store bought ones) with brandy infused whipped cream and ice cream + a mini Flake chocolate in each! Yum. All pre-prepped and put together to serve in less than 5 minutes. (Yup; I'm no cordon bleu!)

We then opened presents on Christmas morning while eating croissants and mini egg / bacon and feta pies I'd made the day before so the older children could scoot to their partner's family luncheons. 

And we got a real surprise gift from Santa!

As this was our first year with all 'knowing' children...we tried to add some fun for our 12 year old by getting him involved in the Chrismas Eve, Santa arrival prep. This included making e-mail videos through PNP for the older children, who J decided to nominate as on the the 'naughty' list. (Yup. He's 12. And a boy. LOL!)
Imagine our surprise on Christmas morning on finding alien wrapped gifts for us all in our stockings from Santa! We were on the 'naughty' list too with chunks of coal* inside!

BEST present ever! Still LMFAO!

*Without channeling Scrooge, I'll quietly note that daughter #2 is currently dating a miner!

Merry Christmas!
x KL

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Some years, I am bursting with enthusiasm about the upcoming festivities and enthusiastically prepare to celebrate with gusto. Others, I approach the season with a bit of a Ho - Hum attitude. 
Unfortunately, this year is unfolding as the latter.

It may be because this will be the first year, in 25 years of motherhood, that there are no Santa believers in my household. J, newly 12, realised the truth at Easter and sobbing, also lost the Tooth Fairy and Santa in one painful moment of realisation .

It could be that my life has been recently touched by friends grief. The loss of a Grandmother, the sudden departure of a young Mum, a long battle lost by a child. And the sad memories of losing of my Father-in-law and Aunt rekindled.

Or the stress of a looming client deadline - with them immigrating from overseas and anticipating a completed home for Christmas. The tile supplier informing me this week that their tiles (ordered in August) are quite literally on a slow boat from China...W.T!

Perhaps, as my adult children establish their own lives, and extended family grow, the coordinating efforts to celebrate together has become such a drudgery, that the event has lost its lustre.

Maybe I'm just tired.... The Table Debacle was resolved only yesterday.
The top floor bathrooms show no further progress because our tiler became unavailable.
Mattress gate concluded a fortnight ago.

Or perhaps it's the heat. It's hot! I'm hot. And honestly, just not bothered!

 Trying to look on the positive side, with less than 5 weeks before Christmas, I am very relieved to have purchased 98% of our gifts.
The wrap is really to go and my 2014 theme decided; metallic + white
(which is rather unoriginal as Christmas 2013 was bedecked similarly)

I might try and action the tree this weekend. It can only end one of two ways....
The Christmas spirit will either be created or drunk...

x KL

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 The Leibster Blog Award is a fantastic idea created to promote and support new blogs.
 I follow Jess from A Little Part of The World, who recently received this award. She in turn, generously nominated me.

Now, I don't consider myself as a 'new' blogger, having surpassed my 4 year blog anniversary and 500th post. Also, I was nominated for this award almost exactly three years ago, twice! (HERE) Back then, the Leibster was sans questions, so it has morphed a little as it has been passed about! I do however always welcome new readership and love finding new blogs to follow, so here we go!

The rules that came with this nomination were:

1. Link back and recognise the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer ten questions given by the nominator.
3. Nominate ten other bloggers for the award.
4. Create ten questions for nominees to answer.
5. Notify your nominees.
6. Get an award button and display it proudly.

 My answers to questions from Jess:

What is your greatest fear? 
Poking myself in the eye with a needle when sewing by hand. Weird, I know!

What is your earliest memory?
The hullabaloo I caused shoving a Flatsy Doll into the suction tube of a ventilator when I was four. I'd had heart surgery and broke the machine. Oops!

When was the last time you had a really good belly laugh?
Last night. My man-boy who's taller than me at 12, came screaming out of the laundry because he saw his own reflection in the dark window. Still chuckling!

Have you ever broken a bone? If so, what and how?
Yes my toe. I dropped a scythe on it whist teaching in Papua New Guinea.

Chocolate, Strawberry or Vanilla?

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Weird. My son asked me this last week. I was told creating peace and wish-giving were not super powers... so - To be able to heal things.

What is your dream holiday destination?
I miss my three 'nest leavers' so much; so anywhere we are together

What do you want for Xmas?
One, stress free dinner with all my family together without rush or deadlines imposing.

What’s your favourite type of music?
Eclectic. I like it all!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Where I am...but in a finished house!

My nominations are:
  1. Natalie from In The Night Sky
  2. Laura from Elsee
  3. Trish from A Dream House for Trish
  4. Giulia from Something Gorgeous
  5. Toni from Something Gorgeous
  6. Johanne from House by the Water
  7. Heidi from Adelaide Villa
  8. Shielzy from My Hudson
  9. Leanne from Lime & Mortar
  10. Treacy from Our Forever Home
And my questions are:

1. What is your earliest memory? (It's a good one Jess!)
2. How many homes have you lived in?
3. What do you love most about blogging?
4. How would your mother describe you?
5. In five words describe your interior style
6. Current obsessions?
7. What's your most cherished possession?
8. Name three things you're grateful for
9. What are you passionate about?
10. Describe your perfect Christmas

Thanks again Jess for your nomination!
If you're looking for some new reading material / inspiration, check out Jess' blog and those I nominated too!

x KL

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You may say I'm a dreamer....

 ....but I'm not the only one.

A few months back we took a family weekend trip to Jenolan Caves
On the way there, we stopped in beautiful Leura for lunch and supplies. My daughters and I couldn't resist a quick peep inside the local shops too. We were very taken with a window display created using multiple white dream-catchers which were stunning, unlike the abysmal pictures! They obviously stuck a chord, as my daughter A has asked for one for Christmas. 
I get stressed easily and have learnt that the secret to alleviating this is being well organised. 
With most of my Christmas shopping complete, I have frantically tried to source something similar and eventually found a local shop prepared to make a white version, of their design (pictured below) for me.

Cost? Approx $100.
W. T.  F. ?

Guess I'm making one...

Wish me luck!

x KL

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My Missoni for Target picks

 Did you buy into yesterday's Missoni madness and buy any of their articles from Target?
My local store was not a stockist and as their online shop crashed, I only took a peek today.
Nothing appeared to be sold out and social media reports seemed unanimous that the quality was lacking in many items.

Never-the-less, I bought a bath mat, hand-towel and scarf which can  be returned if I don't like them.

My favourite items were the children's wear; softly toned muslin wraps, blankets, onesies and clothing. None of which I have need for but would make gorgeous presents! 
I also liked the velour beach towels, small cushions, toiletry packs and the moccasins pictured above...but not enough to purchase.

Did you attend the launch in store or buy anything online?
Would love to hear your thoughts...
x KL

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You are very welcome and encouraged to comment, I love receiving feedback!


Taking stock

I think we are getting somewhere lately...
Somewhat at a two lolly-pop steps forward and one step back, kinda pace!

Keen eyes would have spotted in yesterday's post that underfloor heating has been installed in the two upstairs bathrooms. If I can get a crane here to lift the palettes of travertine off the driveway then I can order sand. Those floors can then be screed-ed and prepped for tiling! Yay!

Of course nothing much has gone to plan though. Our crane guy keeps cancelling
One of the recently installed dining room lights is 'crooked' and needs to be replaced
The dining room table saga continues; it was eventually delivered but with the wrong legs
David finds the new mattress too hot so we need to address that issue.
 I finally ordered my dream, bone-inlay chest of drawers but it's out-of-stock
The fabric for an upholstered bed I wanted has been discontinued.  
Ahhh. Life!

You may have also spotted in yesterday's pics some repair work to the upstairs hall area too. Unfortunately the dark colour we painted in this area showed up imperfect plastering joins. David is quite the perfectionist so sanded the area and re-skim coated the wall. Re-sealed, re-undercoated and re-painted too. One more coat to go... Whew!

I am soooo itching to get decorating and start living in this house!

Anywho, in amongst this I decided to unpack all the art work I have and take stock. This is as a result of being quite aghast that a key piece I'd anticipated in the hall, looks less than impressive in it's spot. No dusting is going to make this light box look better. Wenge + Grey =   #$@*%!!!

I really thought I could 'visualise' well. Obviously, I'm mistaken! 
So before we finish painting I need to ensure the pieces I have, have a correct 'home'. 
Some need framing so that's going to be my next project!  
Then to work out what's going where!

The items in the above images (with the exception of the OFFS tea-towel) all require framing.

 'Art History' silk scarf by Vuk Vidor. More info HERE
'Constellation - Explorer; Compass to The Southern Sky' Municipal Prints Company. Deets HERE
A new purchase: Archival Print 'Moby Dick' by Lisel Ashlock via Etsy
'Union Jack' wallpaper by Vivienne Westwood for The Rug Company. Info HERE

As do two David Bromley Quilts / Throws and a cheap Bali knock-off of some lass!

Not sure if I'll hang any of my own paintings. The colours are wrong and the big monochromatic piece has stagnated. Like wise, some favourite prints from previous properties are too 'beige' to work here.

Am unsure about the Marimekko fabric pieces as art...they'll be OK as 'fillers' if needed but I'm aiming higher now. The middle image below is a Rude Rider's Scarf which I'm considering framing for J's bedroom. ?

And I still need to find a location for my 3D pieces; skulls and Bamileke Headdress.

 And Mirrors! Don't forget that collection! Eeek!

 Glad it's a big house with lotsa walls!!!!

x KL 

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if a picture paints a thousand words...

..here is a forty-thousand word essay on 'what we've been doing'!

x KL

Thank you for stopping by my blog. 
You are very welcome and encouraged to comment, I love receiving feedback!


A Tour Through Blogland

The lovely Natalie from In The Night Sky has nominated me to join A Tour Through Blogland. Natalie's blog is a favourite of mine, not only because she shares my love of Black and White interiors but because her posts are always an informative, warts n' all description of renovating. And her design aesthetic is inspirational too!

Anyhow...here's my wee tour via answering four questions:

1. What am I working on?

ATM, probably too many projects at once! Trying to make some progress on our house is always top of the list but, like many others, time and money are in short supply!

To be more specific though: Finishing painting the walls in the lounge / dining area. Trying to find my lost mojo for a large painting that I started. Organising the underfloor heating for the main bedroom en suite and upstairs powder room. Finalising colour specifications for a client project. Designing some custom cabinetry for the new bathrooms, hall and laundry.

2. How does my work differ from others in the DIY / Decorating genre?

Unfortunately the pace of my project is so abysmally slow that if you read a post once a year you'd probably catch-up pretty quickly. I find that frustrating and fill in the 'blanks' with inspirational material, client projects, family life and shopping finds!

3. Why do I write what I do?

Like Natalie, I often wonder why I blog and recently I have been toying with the idea of deleting my site entirely. I do enjoy posting when I can, it is a personal 'diary' in many ways but sometimes I wonder if having my life online is a bit too invasive. Most of my friends and family aren't aware of my blog and I like it that way. I feel very uncomfortable with the thought of anonymous spying but love reading other's renovating blogs and contributing to that pool of information regarding experiences.  I make no money from blogging but get an enormous amount of pleasure from reading others opinions, comments and reactions to my posts.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?
Finding time is obviously necessary. Then, with a post idea formulated, I'll go searching my own computer files, Pinterest and Google for images after which I'll write the content. Sometimes I'll have a few ideas which I jot down but usually I only post when I want to and I have a clear topic. It is time consuming but now I've mastered most of the mechanics it is much easier.
  It's my turn now to nominate two blogs:


Heidi is an Architect, Interior Designer, Mother of three, Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, and Writer of random things in South Australia! She is a talented writer whose posts are varied in content and substantial in quality. Her home renovation posts are my favourites; full of generous information and tips for others.
Kristie is a Professional Blogger. She is also an Interior Stylist, Colour Consultant and full time Mummy and Wife. She has just finished building house number 4 and has renovated 7 in the last 11 years. I love how varied her posts are and have particularly enjoyed following her latest build project.  

Pop over and see why I nominated them...and don't forget to take a peep at In the Night Sky too!

Thank you Natalie for the invitation to be part of A Tour Through Blogland!

x KL

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You are very welcome and encouraged to comment, I love receiving feedback!


In the frame

I mentioned in a previous post my fascination with framed display boxes.
Everything just looks a bit more 'special' when displayed under a cloche or in one of these cases.

 But it seems I have a bit of a weak spot for all things 'framed' in steel; my first foray into custom design was the steel framed desk (pictured below) that I had made for our previous property.

 I love lighting options in this style too...the left one was recently featured on the reality show The Block, whilst I have purchased two of the right design for our dining area.

These Kubus by Lassen, bowls and candlesticks in black or copper are gorgeous!

 And a black Hay Tray Table is high on my wish-list....*sigh*

It seems that there are a multitude of objects in this style about at the moment...

Lanterns anyone?

My DIY coffee table project (which is still sans top) is another commitment I've made to this style.
Last week, I popped into my local Freedom store and came across the CBD table range.

The side tables in black were reduced from $210 each to $45!
 (Get your skates on if you want some too!)
 I grabbed a pair with the intention of switching the simple glass tops for marble to match the proposed top of my coffee table but atm the glass looks fine. I think they'd make excellent bedside tables too if you were tight on space. . .

x KL

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