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wardrobe sorted, almost

Ikea wardrobe it is! I am 80% sure that we will be going with the black-brown colour much as I adore the white.  When I saw the white wardrobes in person I found that the drawers are not the same white as the frame.  We have the layout sorted (it's a little different to the one above) and we are ready to make our purchase tomorrow night. I must admit that until we have ordered I will be swaying back and forth between the two colours.  The darker colour will suit our home well as most of the joinery is a dark laminate.  Head says dark, heart says white :)  

Image: Ikea

look what i made....

Look what I made in the screen printing workshop I took part in on the weekend.  I am really happy with the print on this tea towel, I LOVE it.  Of course it helps that the tea towel is made from the most beautiful linen!  Another class member lent me her little birdy stencil for this print, which is really gorgeous - I just love bird motifs on homewares.  I am yet to try out the design I showed you the other day properly as it was too complex for the workshop (not enough time to cut out all the little teeny bits!) but will try it out at home once I get set up. I've bought a screen and squeegie but need to stock up on inks, tape, contact and fabric before I can start printing at home.

If you live in Brisbane and want to learn more about screen printing go to Thea's website, she only has a few spots left for February workshops so be quick!  Or you could visit to take a look at the stunning eco fabrics she prints under her label Thea and Sami.  

I hope you all have a lovely Australia Day tomorrow! 

Image: Olive & Joy

my latest bargain

These wall plaques only cost me $70 total from Target on the weekend, which was something like 70% off the original price so I couldn't let them sit on the shelf any longer. My husband put them up on the wall outside on the deck which was looking pretty bare.  Verdict?  I like, I like a lot :) 

Oh, and all our decking boards are down finally.  Yippee!  I have been a little anti-deck of late as I took a big fall on an unfinished section a few weeks back. Let's just say it helps to look down every once in a while when cleaning cobwebs above whilst balancing on beams and wayward bits of timber. We haven't finished the bench seating yet so will wait until then to share some pretty pictures. Have a lovely day!

Image: Olive & Joy

work in progress: pattern for screen printing

I am taking a course this weekend with Thea to learn how to screenprint and am working on some patterns to print on the day. This is the first pattern I am working on, it is still a work in progress and just a sketch so ignore the edges as I haven't finished, concentrate on the middle section.  Do you like it?  The pattern is inspired by this post way back in September when I saw a cool pattern in laundry baskets of all things! See the pic below...

The ovals in my pattern are more rounded than in the photo, but apart from that a good likeness, at least I like to think so :)  Is the 3D effect is coming through in the middle section?  It is an odd pattern in that you can view it so many different ways. Any suggestions for colours to print this pattern in? 

Need to get back to work on some different patterns now.  Ooh... this is good fun!

Images: Olive & Joy

wardrobe lust

Oh Poliform, I want you, I need your wardrobes in my home.  I'm partial to the fresh, white wardrobes, my husband likes the dark, sexy ones.  Hmmm what a predicament, or it would be if we could actually afford Poliform.  Which do you prefer, the light or dark? 

We have an empty dressing room in our home waiting to be filled with all our clothes, shoes, and anything else that finds it way in there.  But first we need fittings. The details in the Poliform units are what I love - it's the little things like those fabulous clothes rails that hang from the shelves above that make them so special. And the floating drawers are amazing! Love. Them.

So ok, with budget in mind, if not Poliform, then maybe Ikea?  Ikea units can look pretty special if done right, right? Ikea have a special until the end of January, get a $50 voucher for every $500 you spend so it is a perfect time for us to purchase. We are going to get a quote for made to measure units also, just to compare, but I'm thinking they will be out of our budget or at least the ones I like will might be? Damn champagne taste.

Images:  Poliform  

best lamb roast ever

Melt in your mouth lamb with a tangy, warm fetta dressing. Mmmmm makes me want to cook it right now, for breakfast ;).  Trust me this is the yummiest lamb roast you could ever dream of.  Ok, traditionally this is an Easter Lamb, but it is so good I couldn't wait until then to share.  Maybe you can try it out for Australia Day this year - cooked on the barbeque if you have a roasting lid. The marinade does take some time to prepare but it is worth it.  Hint: If you prepare the lamb the night before you can use some of the marinade on lamb cutlets for dinner that night, two meals in one!  I love it in summer served with a fresh greek salad (the fetta dressing is perfect with this) and some roast potatoes. Simple. Good. Food. Yum!

Easter Lamb with Lemon, Almonds & Oregano with a Hot Fetta Dressing
Recipe by Karen Martini

1 leg of lamb

2 large juicy Lemons juiced and zest

1 sprig Rosemary

1 bunch Oregano

2 Bay leaves

8 Cloves Garlic

4 tablespoons sea salt

50 grinds Black pepper

½ cup Almond meal

½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Roughly chop over herbs and garlic.

Put herbs, stems and all, garlic, a little oil and lemon zest, pepper and salt in mortar and pestle and pulverize.

Add almond meal then transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the oil and lemon juice.

Mix, and massage into the leg of lamb.

Leave at room temperature prior to cooking to marinate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven over 230°c and cook for 25 minutes to brown(or throw on barbeque to seal). Reduce the heat to 180°c and cook for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
(Ps. Don't take too much notice of the cooking times, I always cook mine a little longer, just depends how rare you like yours. Tastes just as good marinated overnight or for a few hours.)

* Do try to bone the lamb yourself; it’s really not that hard and it doesn’t matter too much if you hack up the meat a little. If you don’t feel confident, or simply don’t have the time, then ask your butcher to tunnel bone a 2kg leg of lamb for you. Once the bone is out you need to score the fat with a sharp knife making slashes all over so you can rub the yummy marinade inside and out. Marinate for 1 – 2 hours or overnight if possible.

Hot Fetta Dressing
4 sprigs Oregano leaves removed
120 ml red wine vinegar
½ Lemon juiced
250 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

250 g of Meredith fetta drained from its marinade. Meredith fetta is my favourite, but you can use another brand if you like. 
(I use a greek fetta or any firm fetta will do, I have no idea what Meredith fetta is??)

Mix vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and seasonings to make a dressing and then warm in small frypan.

Pull off and pull off heat and add fetta and oregano leaves and spoon over hot meat.

Serve immediately


Image and recipe:  Lifestyle Food

an artist at work

Not being particularly talented in the drawing department I am always fascinated at how beautiful illustrations come to life.  So I was really excited to see this video of graphic designer and illustrator Kat Macleod doing just that.  Her illustrations or mixed media collages, are so fluid and beautiful, I wish I owned one.  I have a book which she illustrated called The Cocktail, which I have been tempted to rip up and frame some drawings but just can't bring myself to tear up a book!  Anyhoo enough gushing, just watch the video and I'm sure you will agree.

Ooh and this is cute too.  A Decal Dolly by Kat Macleod, dress her up (reminds me of my childhood, with the paper clothes, know the ones?) and frame her like an artwork. Find this at Third Drawer Down.

Find more from Kat, here, here and here.

interior styling

here is a new group on Flickr called Interior Styling formed by Holly of decor8.  If you have ever wanted to try your hand at styling this is the place for you.  I tend to 'style' little vignettes around my home but never really paid attention to any rules.  I simply pottered around until it looked good!

I am hoping to become more aware of what works and little tricks of the trade through the Interior Styling group.  The gallery is a hive of inspiration for anyone interested in decorating or design so feel free to take a look here.  You don't have to contribute photos to be a member so if you are a bit shy don't worry, just enjoy the inspiration.

Every month there will be a new styling challenge posted and this month is a simple one:  Put 3, 5 or 7 of your favourite things on a tabletop arranging them triangle style with the taller items in the middle, you get the picture.  I have noticed a few of my favourite bloggers have also posted their lovely images to the group.  The image above is one of my submissions with 7 items not including the wallpaper remnant I used for the background. I played it a bit safe using only vases in my image.  I did try to use a picture frame with other items such as vases but the reflection on the glass was spoiling the image.
I found styling fun, hopefully I can find some more time to have a play around with it this month.

Ps. I just wanted to try out this drop cap at the beginning of the post - cute!
Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

Image: Olive & Joy

how to screen print

I'm gearing up for my screen printing course next week, can't wait I am so excited!  Here is a quick link to a tutorial on how to screen print including a downloadable stencil for the pattern above.  I found the tutorial on the homelife website, home to Inside Out and Notebook magazines.  There are lots of 'how-to's' on the site as well as a lovely gallery section.

Image:  Notebook Magazine

pale and interesting

How lovely is this bedroom found via Livingetc, ooh I adore the patterned screen!  Here are some other pieces I would add in my dream feminine bedroom... a Contour chair with ottoman designed by my favourite Australian designer Grant Featherston from Gordon Mather industries, and gorgeous lattice wallpaper from Signature Prints. I have a soft spot for the light watermelon colour, yum!

shannon fricke workshops

Did you know that Shannon Fricke is offering Decorating Workshops in her hometown of Bangalow on the northern NSW coast?  I did, and I planned on booking myself into one but then got caught up with everything at Christmas and forgot all about it!  It's only a couple of hours drive from where I live and it really is such a beautiful drive through the hinterland.  Also keen for some of Shannon's genius to rub off on me!  I will have to book in soon because there is an early bird discount for bookings made prior to 31st January. There are four workshops being held throughout the year in March, May, August and October. Go here for more info.  Maybe I'll see you there...

Images: via Shannon Fricke

lulu by norman & quaine

Spotted over the Christmas break, the 'Lulu' table by Norman and Quaine.  I love this table and have posted about it before.  It was nice to see it in flesh especially surrounded by all that Eames goodness.  Guess where I saw this?  A hospital cafeteria! Yep, I was as surprised as you are. The whole cafeteria was decked out in Eames armchairs and side shell chairs in white, black, green and orange. Needless to say this brightened up my day considerably :)

Images: Olive & Joy

outdoor fabric roadtest

I have been looking at outdoor fabrics lately trying to choose a fabric for our bench seat cushions.  What I really would like is white, plain white bench cushions with some colourful cushions to bring some fun into the mix.  However everytime I tell someone this they say "are you nuts, they will show so much dirt!".  I'm a little stubborn and I reaallly want white, so I decided to test out the sample of white outdoor fabric I had lying around.  The sample feels just like cotton, really soft with a fine texture. It is a premium Marine outdoor fabric and I am told it is the best so lets see shall we?   

clockwise from top left:  tomato sauce; dirt; red wine; coke.

I cut half my sample up into four sections so I could test as many of the usual suspects as possible -  tomato sauce, dirt, red wine and coke.  I probably went a little overboard with the dirt sample, rubbing it vigously into our dusting decking boards. I don't think my bench cushions would ever be treated that badly! I left all the samples overnight to see if the liquid would absorb into the fabric.  I left the other half of the fabric as a control sample to compare after cleaning.

coke sample after leaving overnight

In the morning the red wine and coke were still sitting nicely on top of the fabric.  All that was required was a little bit of blotting with a wet cloth.  The red wine sample initially looked as though it would leave a stain but a few additional blots and it was gone.  I was really impressed with how the fabric dealt with the red wine spill - amazing!

Now to the dirt and tomato sauce samples.  I didn't even try blotting these first because I thought it would be useless, I went straight to sunlight soap and water.  It did take a while to get these stains out but they did come out. I am a little concerned that using the soap has changed the liquid repelling properties of these samples, possibly because I got the back of the fabric wet (the back is quite absorbent). If you were blotting with a mild soap and water whilst the covers were still on, the back of the fabric wouldn't get wet.

result after cleaning, with control sample on left.

So, the verdict?  I was really impressed with the liquid repelling qualities of the fabric but I'm not completely convinced with stains that permeate the fabric such as the tomato sauce and dirt. Overall, I was happy with the result though.  White is still a risk, considering the cost of the covers I would not want to replace them anytime soon, that's for sure.

If you have used outdoor fabrics before I would love to hear about your experiences with them. 

Images: Olive & Joy

welcome to my new home

Happy New Year and welcome to my new home, olive and joy, I hope you like it!  This is where I will be posting from now on. All of my posts from over at cre8tive outlet are here at olive and joy also.

I've had a little break over Christmas which I was greatly in need of, I'm sure we all were.  It is so nice to have the time to just potter around the home, watch a dvd, catch up with friends, or take a nap after the craziness that was the week of Christmas. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year.  I am looking forward to 2010, I have a lot of hopes and dreams for the coming year.  

Image:  SmartAnnie (Away)