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little bit of our place: outside

Well, the last few weeks and no doubt the next few weeks are going to be all about the garden and deck at our place.  I am desperate to get it all finished for Christmas so that we can sit back and relax and enjoy all the hard work that we (with help I must add) have put into making it all happen. 

At the moment it doesn't look too different to the picture above that I posted a few weeks ago. Besides the fact that the deck frame is completely finished and the leftover decking from the front deck that you see in the first photo has been laid by my very handy husband.  Mostly we have been getting covered in dirt gardening but next weekend will be all about the deck.  Countdown is on - can't believe it is December tomorrow!  I have no idea how I will get any Christmas shopping done when every spare moment at home is spent outside.  I think there will be lots of gifts purchased online!

Here is my little sketch above to give you an idea of what it will actually look like whilst finished - the master plan so to speak. The lounge and dining area are all under cover.  I am really excited about the bench seating we have planned for the edge of the deck and around the spa.  I was researching outdoor fabrics for seat cushions and throw cushions - and came across some really lovely fabrics.  At the moment I am thinking white seat cushions with some colourful scatter cushions.  I may live to regret the white what with all the homes being built around here (= lots and lots of dust, aargh!).

I also plan to buy a simple Lillberg sofa from Ikea for the undercover area and some of these fab upholstered poufs (pictured above) from a company in Qld called Urban Sofa Gallery.  I can order them in any fabric I like or even supply my own fabric because they give you the 'white' price (only $112!) and usually only charge you wholesale for whatever fabric you do choose.   I really love some Meridian outdoor fabrics from the Australian Botanicals range (the red poufs are covered in one of the designs) - I love, love, love this range.  The little poufs/ottomans - whatever you may call them could also be little tables too with a tray popped on top, and being upholstered in a great fabric they can easily be brought inside.

So this is the plan, let's see if we can make it happen by Christmas! 

i've been dreaming of

this light

this wallpaper

 these tables

there is no fear in love

Cute little greeting card from We Are Messengers I framed the other day - I love the sentiment and it looks so great my little Japanese dolls.  Three of the dolls I brought back from a trip to Tokyo a few years ago and one was a gift from a good friend who honeymooned in Japan for a month - lucky duck!  The rotund one on the left plays a little Japanese lullaby tune and spins around when you turn the wheel on the bottom - too cute!  They currently sit on the desk in my office.  Nice way to start a Monday :)

inspiration in the very, very ordinary

I can't think of anything more boring then opening a bank statement, right?  Well normally yes, but look what one Australian bank who shall remain nameless is doing with their envelopes. Very, very clever branding.  Recently I have seen other marketing material using this bank's logo to make up all sorts of patterns and pictures.  It would be nice if more envelopes had a little surprise inside don't you think? 

deck update

Our back deck is coming along slowly but surely.  Most of the posts and bearers are in and the posts for the glass pool fencing went in yesterday for the spa.  Our cats have a new playground as you can see - they run across the beams so quickly, it's hilarious.  Could be a while until it's all complete, here's hoping it will be finished for Christmas. 

Is this unusually large for a tomato plant?  I wouldn't know, we don't grow vegies, much as I would love to. It happened by chance that the triangle palm we were given came with a bonus tomato plant seedling. Which grew, and grew and grew some more!  We ate our first little cherry tomatoes on the weekend and are eagerly checking everyday to see if any have ripened. I LOVE cherry tomatoes - yum!

i know that house!

I arrived home this afternoon to find the December issue of Real Living in my mailbox early, which is always a treat.  I just settled in to read the magazine when I came across this little photo in the 'your letters' section.  Hmmm, those pendant lights look familiar, I thought.  I looked a little closer and realised that I know this house! 

We would walk past this house with our beloved Chasie almost everyday until we moved about 5 months ago.  In fact, for some strange reason, our lovely old boy particularly liked to stop in front of this house to do his, you know, business (which we dutifully disposed of).  But it did kind of become a bit of a joke between my husband and I at the predictability of him stopping there.  Sadly we had to say goodbye to our Chase the same week that we moved (a VERY sad, stressful week that one).  We miss you buddy.

Kellie and Clint, we never did meet you but we loved your house and it's safe to say our Chase did too!  I'll be looking out on the Real Living blog for more pics of your beautiful home.

beautiful baubles

Very christmas baubly-looking Giclee Print by Jenn Ski

Christmas card by thespottedsparrow - christmas baubles printed on vintage German encyclopedia pages!

Gorgeous felt baubles with buttons - Fat Elf Baubles by SnowySideDrive 

Lovely white Porcelain 'Baubles' by joheckett

Technically not baubles, but I couldn't help myself - Sweet 'Xmas Dream' Garland by Brisbane's own 3GIRLSandagoat.

my thoughts exactly

This is exactly where I want to be right now, curled up on one of our lounges having a catnap like our Kitty here.  She looks a little fuzzy in the photo which is how my head feels, an improvement on yesterday when it felt like a pressure cooker.  So it is has been a rather unproductive week so far on all fronts.  Hoping to wake up tomorrow feeling as vibrant and energetic as the yellow on our cushions :)  Wish me luck!

fab ikea door mat

How cute is this new door mat I picked up at Ikea today!  It's the Trampa Door Mat and at only $24.95 I couldn't walk past it.  I promised myself a new door mat for our newly finished front deck so it was great to stumble upon this one.  I also picked up some cheap and chic fabric to sew with (ahem, attempt to sew with more like it :), and a couple of simple cushions. Ah, got to love Ikea.

Image:  Ikea

the real issue

I've been having a little internal debate for a while now about how I feel about buying replica furniture.  I was reading an Australian designer's blog recently which brought up the issue in a roundabout way and it made me see it more from a designer's perspective, which was interesting.  The designers work hard to design a piece and it must kill them to see their design replicated.  However there is quite often a huge gap in the price of a replica and the real thing - which is obviously why the former is so tempting. 

I have been tempted many a time to buy a replica Eames shell rocker or armchair.  One, because the replica can be bought in a fibreglass version (which I love) whereas the chairs manufactured under licence have a plastic shell - and Two, because well, they are just more affordable aren't they?  But something always holds me back from buying the replica. 

I don't know if it is because I know the real thing will eventually increase in value, whereas the replica will be worth peanuts.  Or if I would rather pass on to the real thing my children or grandchildren - (how good is Living Edge's 'Pass it on' campaign - it really made me think).  It certainly isn't because of what my family or friends would think because they are not design inclined and wouldn't know the difference anyway. 

Friends of mine have a few Jonathan Adler 'inspired' vases in their home and because I am such a big fan of his work and have some originals myself, it does make me feel a little sad when I see them.  But my friends certainly didn't buy the vases because they wanted a replica of Jonathan Adler's work, they wouldn't have the feintest idea who he is.  They simply bought them because they liked them, and I see nothing wrong with that.  I'm sure that we have all unknowingly bought designer inspired pieces before, whether they be fashion or homewares. 

Magazines feature a lot of replica furniture, and it has never really worried me (just tempted me!).  I can see reasons why they do it - probably so that the furniture they feature is more accessable to the everyday person.  They wouldn't want to alienate the readers by featuring outrageously expensive items in their magazines.  So it comes back to affordability.  Or is it just that we all 'want it now' and don't want to wait and save up for the real thing? 

The only real designer furniture pieces I own are a couple of Grant Featherston dining chairs from the 1950's and I absolutely treasure them. I wouldn't part with them for any amount of money. I know if these were a Featherston knock-off I wouldn't look twice at them. I think the replica furniture these days certainly looks the part and I LOVE the affordability, but I just can't see me cherishing them like I would the original.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, how do you feel about this issue?  Would/do you buy replica furniture and objects and why?  Do you cherish your replica item?  If you don't buy replica, what stops you?  

Image:  ameeliah

sewing attempt #1

Many broken threads and one broken needle later, I finished sewing this cute little pencil case.  It looks pretty on the outside, just don't look inside at my stitching.  For some reason things got a little messy on the inside - and I don't know where I went wrong which is a little frustrating.  But I refrained from ringing my mum at 10 o'clock last night to ask her.  Lucky for me I chose a sunshine yellow fabric sample to sew with - hides all imperfections!   I feel part proud and part embarrassed by my effort :)

vintage lace

'Vintage Lace' are lovely hand crafted ceramic homewares and jewellery by Brisbane based Kim Wallace, who I found at The Finders Keepers markets held last weekend.  I bought some lovely gift tags and the little dish above.  Each piece is impressed with either vintage lace (hence the name) or crystal pieces to create the lovely patterns you see above.  I love that the gift tags would work well as christmas decorations too, being embossed with messages such as 'with love' and 'hope' - and you can buy them with good conscience as 50% of the proceeds are being donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. 

Kim Wallace also has a website called udessi  for representing her beautiful work and that of other independent Australian artists.  From jewellery to fabric and artwork, it's worth a look!

wilde carnation

I love this image, I discovered it again when I was looking at wallpaper the other day.  It's not just the wallpaper though, I love everything in the image especially the beautiful book-matched veneer on the drawers.  The wallpaper is Wilde Carnation by Osborne and Little, it is from their Vintage Collection which comprises of patterns taken from the Osborne and Little archives - I'm guessing this one is from the 70's?