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this is the time for change

I really enjoy blogging although it is sometimes difficult when the going gets tough in my personal life or with too much going on at work. I hold a lot of my personal life back as I am really quite shy and not sure how much to share or whether to keep Olive & Joy strictly decor-related.  Most of my readers also blog so I'm sure you know how this feels?  With this being my 100th post today I am going to open up my heart today and share with you a decision we made this week.

For the last 5 years I have worked for my husband's family business which was a decision we made after we married because we planned to start a family and thought it would work well with raising little ones. The doctors can't really give us a definitive reason why but we haven't been able to have babies on our own as yet. But we personally think it may have something to do with our work. It is the only part of our life where we are not content. We made a commitment to the family business however we are now going to try to chase our own dreams. Both of us! The family have given us the 'green light', as my husband put it, to do our own thing.

I'm almost crying at the thought of this, I cannot tell you what a relief it is. A weight has been lifted. The guilt I felt thinking of leaving the business myself held me back in the past.  I love seeing my husband at work, I really do. So with us both planning to start up new ventures ourselves from home, I feel much more supported and excited. This is not going to happen overnight, but hopefully by the end of the year we should start to see things in motion. I have ideas I want to explore and new skills I would like to nurture before I decide exactly where I am headed.

I am excited and I wanted to share this with you today. We are going to make this happen, I feel very positive about this decision. It is going to be scary but if we have some form of success with what we do, how rewarding will it be, wow!

With that thought in mind, I hope you have a lovely, lovely weekend. We will be working away on our gardens to try to finish them so we can get a lawn in a week or so.  Green grass, finally, woo hoo!

Image:  Olive & Joy

soaking up the sun

The weekend is over, which is a shame as it would be nice to be soaking up the sun right now on our new bench seat cushions.  Yes, we finally have cushions, and no, they aren't white but a neutral - dare I say it -  beige.  I know, how boring am I!  But they were cheap as chips from Bunnings and the size fits almost perfectly so they are all right by me.  Also the bench cushions will go great with some fabrics that I have been hoarding which I can make have made, into scatter cushions for the back of the bench seat.

Most of the fabrics aren't outdoor fabrics but I plan to only put them outside when we are entertaining or just chilling by ourselves so I'm hoping it won't matter.  The moorish style fabric which is mostly black is a Mokum outdoor fabric which I have been dying to use.  All the fabrics compliment each other quite well, which is a happy coincidence as I didn't plan it that way.  

We also have our sunlounges back, which were on loan to friends of ours who had just put in a pool.  They were collecting dust in our garage whilst we built/lacquered our deck so we thought our friends could get some use out of them over summer.  Nice to have you back home.

How was your weekend?  What did you get up to?  We got a few things done around the house, got up early to go to a Dawn Service on Anzac Day, attended a garden wedding and said goodbye to a friend who was visiting from the UK.  Looking forward to a short week this week and another long weekend coming up!

Images:  Olive & Joy

travel finds

This wooden bowl was purchased whilst on a trip to Tokyo a few years ago and it just so happens to be my most treasured souvenir from all our travels. I love to discover and bring back items for our home when traveling overseas. I almost never buy clothes, or jewellery, I sometimes buy make up/skincare (hello duty free), but always find myself buying vases, bowls and bits and pieces for our home.  Tokyo was very dangerous, save your pennies before boarding a plane to Japan friends, and leave space in that suitcase!  We purchased quite a few lovely things whilst there including some pottery, little Japanese dolls and wooden wares. We almost didn't get this bowl however.  My husband had spotted it and liked it a lot however it wasn't love at first sight for me. Over the years the bowl has grown on me to the point that I love it to death now. I dream of going back Japan again and exploring more of the country, I'd jump on a plane tomorrow if I could! 

Image:  Olive & Joy

vintage window shopping

Feel like coming window shopping with me in a few vintage stores?  Here are some things that caught my eye whilst vintage shopping on the Gold Coast.  I just love how the first image turned out, you really get the feel of the store (it's from Found at Palm Beach), seriously full of amazing vintage pieces.  Can you spot the doggy in the first image?  He was just gorgeous, I could have sat there and patted him all day. I love how much detail you can see in a photo, whereas when in person I am often overwhelmed by so much stuff.  With a photo your mind has the time to search the image finding all the hidden gems.  

The yellow lamp is from another vintage store down at Coolangatta, it's chock full of a lot of junk and a bit of treasure. The lamp really caught my eye, the texture on the base is fantastic. Also had my eye on some West German pottery which I failed to take a pic of.  I walked away without buying anything that day but I love a good window shop. I could window shop all day!  I enjoy having a look and I quite often go back weeks/months later and make a purchase.  Although with vintage shopping this is quite dangerous, if you love something you must buy it, otherwise it will be gone forever. Hope you enjoyed window shopping with me.  Anything catch your eye?

Images:  Olive & Joy

a beautifully unmade bed

I took a little pic of our bedroom over the weekend.  It's completely natural, with an unmade bed, carpet in need of a vacuum, and cushion chucked on the floor from the night before.  At the time I was taking some pictures of our bathroom and I turned around and noticed the beautiful folds of the bed linen on the bed.  It looked so inviting! I couldn't have made it look like that if I tried. Something about the folds in the doona produced a response within me, a need to be cocooned within that cosiness.

Do you have little moments like this around your home, when the natural state that things come to be in (aka the mess) somehow inspires you in a small way? It's nice to look at an unmade bed, or say, a pile of books on the floor, or a piece of clothing casually tossed onto a chair, and enjoy the beauty of the mess, if just for a minute. I usually don't stop to enjoy those moments, I'm too concerned with getting the place back to ship-shape order.

How was your weekend?  I hope you found the time for some quiet moments to enjoy the little things.  I drove out to the country on Saturday with my mum, sister and 2 year old niece to visit some old family friends. Simple country towns with lots of open space, fresh air and familiar faces. So good.  

Image: Olive & Joy

oh, hello weekend

Oh, hello weekend.  Nice of you to stop by.  Please stay awhile, I've missed you so.  

Image: Olive & Joy

eye-candy for your floor

I've just been drooling at the rugs over at Designer Rugs, prompted by this image above from the 30 days of Home and Entertaining campaign (does anyone know who styled the campaign?? so amazing!) featuring a rug designed by Greg Natale for Designer Rugs.  Gorgeous, graphic, geometric goodness! And it's yellow.

Oh boy, it comes in green too. You would need the right room for this rug, it is bold with a capital B.  Too bold, what do you think??  

I also adore this Moon Shadow rug by Easton Pearson for Designer Rugs. Completely different to the geometric rug - a lovely, soft organic design. The colour combinations are so spot on. We are looking for a rug for our living room to warm it up for the cooler months which are hopefully going to grace us with their presence soon, it is Autumn here after all. I initially thought a plain, textured rug would work well, but these patterned rugs are tempting me. 

thea & sami - hand printed eco fabrics

Thea & Sami eco fabrics are hand printed with love by Thea Samios.  Thea and I first met a few months ago when I attended a screen printing workshop held at her Brisbane studio.  Yesterday I went to her Open Studio day at which she held a screen printing demonstration (I really needed a refresher course!) and sold her beautiful hand printed fabrics and homewares.  Thea is incredibly passionate about eco-friendly design and prints with water-based inks on natural linens and hemp organic cottons. Here is a little peek at some of her designs.

Ever wondered how fabric yardage is printed?  Then you are in for a treat!  I took some pictures of the process involved in printing Thea & Sami's new design (which is my also my new favourite) featuring these lovely peacocks.

A warm white ink on a beautiful natural linen.

First every second pattern repeat is printed and left to dry.

The screen is then carefully registered (I hope I get all the printing lingo right!) to make sure the pattern repeats will be correctly aligned. And the screen is loaded with ink ready for the second round of printing.

It takes two to print yardage!  Lovely Thea passes the squeegie to her husband on the second 'pass'.  It is really important to have a good printing partner as the pressure and style of printing needs to be the same for each person to produce an even printing result. 

All care needs to be taken when lifting the screen from the fabric to ensure the wet ink doesn't smudge.

The finished yardage.  The ink is brighter when wet and will dry to the same colour.  Once dry, the fabric is then heat-set.  

I loved this pattern so much I ordered some for myself.  The linen is to-die-for! All of the base fabrics Thea uses for her printing are the most beautiful quality. I also picked up some of the lovely Fretwork design (first and second images) in my signature olive green. Although I must admit I had to stop myself at snaffling up the black and charcoal too! Fabrics can be printed to order so Thea and Sami's designs can be custom printed in a colour just for you (oh, the options!)- minimum quantities apply. Thea has an online ecostore and you can also catch up with the latest on the Thea & Sami blog. Thanks Thea, it was great to see you and catch up yesterday!

Images:  Olive & Joy


I've been surprised and delighted at the love my blog has been getting over the last month or so and just wanted to take a little time to thank some lovely people.  Especially seeing I haven't been posting as much as I would have liked lately due to work commitments. With the workload and pressure easing now the inspiration is starting to roll again.  So thank you for being patient and so warm and welcoming!  Want to meet some nice bloggers who have been sending some love Olive and Joy's way?

First up is the ever stylish Belinda from The Happy Home.  Belinda's blog was one of the first blogs I ever read and also inspired me to start my own blog.  Belinda also very kindly answered all my silly questions, offered up much needed advice and added in a little link-love to boot.  Belinda was formerly deputy editor for Real Living magazine and is now a freelance writer, mum of two, blogger and is becoming quite the stylist too!  The Happy Home is full of inspiration just like the image above of Belinda's master bedroom,  along with plenty of diy projects and style, style, style. Thanks Belinda .

Kirsten from Simply Grove  featured my dressing room on her blog earlier last month here.  Her blog and home are beautiful, I just love the image from her home above.  I know it's a bit festive for this time of year but how could I resist - it is a little bit of JOY for your weekend.  Kirsten lives in Idaho with her hubby and two adorable kids.  If you want a hit of beautiful images and ideas pop on over to Simply Grove.

You may remember we held a birthday party for my mother in law Cheryl last month.  Party Perfect Blog is the mastermind of Sara Hicks Malone and is formerly Art Director for Martha Stewart Baby & Kids magazines.  So this lady knows her stuff!  When I found out Party Perfect Blog featured Cheryl's 60th Birthday High Tea, Cheryl couldn't believe it!  It made both of our days :)  Party Perfect Blog also featured Captain KK's gorgeous lanterns on their blog a few days later - lots of love out there for us Aussie bloggers.  If you are hosting a party and need some inspiration this is the perfect (sorry) blog for you.  How beautiful is the wedding image I found there?  Divine.   Image: Beaux Arts Photographie found via Party Perfect Blog.

Louise Bell is behind the amazing Table Tonic a blog full to the brim with daily hits of inspiration.  So when I clicked on one day recently and saw my dressing room featured here I was a happy girl.  Also laughed hystericaly at the term 'magpaper' Louise coined, referring to the wallpaper I made out of fashion magazine tear sheets.  Louise is formerly The Creative Director of Australian Cleo, Cosmopolitan and Dolly magazines and her blog is decor with a fashionable edge.  But wait....there's more!  Table Tonic also has an Online Store selling gorgeous wares including ikat cushions, mexican suzanis, union jack cushions, baby bunting and more. And this weekend there is FREE SHIPPING Australia Wide!  Offer ends Sunday at midnight so don't miss out.  I've got my eye on this black and white chevron ikat cushion. 

Desire to Inspire included Olive and Joy in one of their Easter Reading Guides last weekend.  So surprised.  So excited!  I'm sure we all know Desire to Inspire, a steady stream of eye candy for the home is their forte.  But one of my favourite features on Desire to Inspire?  Monday's Pets on Furniture - guaranteed to put a smile on your dial.  Love this photo!  

Whilst on Viv's blog Ish & Chi the other day I notice a little link to our Armchair makeover - so sweet!  Viv home is so lovely as is her blog Ish & Chi.  This woman has an wonderful sense of style!  I love the Fashion Fridays features like the one above where Viv takes a picture of herself at home in her beautiful clothes.  Really beautiful clothes.  And don't get me started on those stunning chevron-print shoes!  Viv also has an Etsy store filled with beautiful prints and handmade fabric artworks for your home and children's rooms.   

Last night I discovered that Apartment Therapy had featured the before & after of Fleur, our 70's armchair here!  My husband always freaks out (in a good way) a little when I show him that images of our home/furniture are being beamed out to the world wide web for thousands to see.  He's like, "REALLY?". Yes honey, really! - and then we do a little happy dance. So funny.  How about this gorgeous image above that I found on Apartment Therapy of Dana's home of Yellow Trace blog .  Pretty gorgeous isn't it - look at those high ceilings, gorgeous windows, Eames shell chairs....  

Thank you all, your kind words made us feel a little bit special. I hope you all have fun clicking around these beautiful blogs.  I REALLY hope so, because my fingers are about to fall off from coding all those links - ha!  Have a lovely weekend...

Images: As per links below image.

happy birthday inside out!

Happy Birthday Inside Out!  Inside Out is 10 years old and their special anniversary issue is out now. There is a special gift with every issue, a gorgeous anniversary tea-towel which comes in grey, green and blue.  I was hoping I would get the grey one and I did! Above is the subscriber's cover so the copies in store will look somewhat different.  Wow, has it really been 10 years?  I have been a loyal reader since day one and still own the very first issue (actually I still have EVERY issue but we'll talk magazine hoarding another day;).  Want to see it?

Here it is, the very first issue.  You've come a long way Inside Out.  I feel like I have grown up reading this magazine.  I was 22 when I bought my first copy, and now I'm umm.... well, you can do the math ;) Luckily they changed from monthly issues to bi-monthly issues a few years ago or I would have serious problems with magazine storage!   

One of the features I loved in the first issue is about the sisters who formed the furniture company Zuster (back then it was called Sibbel Furniture Design).  I love to see family working together, especially in a creative field.  It can be tough sometimes, as I know working with my husband's family for the past 5 years, but it can also be amazing.  I don't know when I would see my husband if I didn't work with him, especially right now when we have been working crazy-long hours. 

Anyhoo back on subject, I was so excited to see Zuster featured in the 10 year anniversary issue (First issue on left, 10 year Anniversary issue on right).  There is something so lovely about that, I'm sure it can't be a coincidence.  There is so much more to love in this very special issue of Inside Out including an online auction of gorgeous artwork to support the charity HeartKids - view and bid online here.  Happy Birthday and I hope to be reading you in another ten years time!

Images:  Olive & Joy

Jessica Hische exhibit at Lamington Drive


njoy seeing the creative fonts Jessica Hische creates for her website Daily Drop Cap?  Then you really should pop on over Lamington Drive to take a peek at her work in their online store. How gorgeous would these look framed!  Typography at it's best.

armchair: before & after

Meet Fleur. Our 70's armchair we finally got around to recovering, only 12 months after purchasing on Ebay. I usually have a couple of chairs in storage waiting for the right fabric to come along. About time this poor neglected chair received some love! Now I'm not usually one for naming my furniture but I couldn't resist naming her Fleur seeing this is a FLER design (Fred Lowen pre-Tessa days). Furniture stores name their furniture so I'm not weird at all (ha!).

Being our sofas are quite dark, we decided our living room could use some more white to brighten it up.  I also loved the idea of the contrast of the fresh white with the timber base. So we sent the chair to be recovered in a faux-leather called Lustrell Florida, colour Blanc by Warwick fabrics. I sanded back the base myself and applied a few coats of Danish Oil to give it a beautiful shine. 

What do you think of the new and improved Fleur?  The armchair does need a bit of wearing in to make her a little less stiff and new-looking, but otherwise I'm loving our pristine new baby.

Images:  Olive & Joy

colour wheel of cover plates

Will you just look at the variety of colours in HPM's Linea range of cover plates for all your light switches and power points.  A kaleidoscope of colours!  The names are pretty delicious too - from Cheeky Boy Blue and Orange Crush to Black Midnight Dash and Ivory Runaway Bride.  Hmmm ... what colour would you be?  I usually like to blend in my light switches with my walls so the neutrals are more my thing but just how cute would Sunshine Yellow be in a children's room or perhaps a fun studio or kitchen?  If you want to know more just pop over here.

Image:  Olive & Joy