Sunday, November 24, 2013

All-weather outdoor chairs + eco friendly + recycled

Adirondacks (emphasis on the second syllable)
Multi-tasking, all-weather beauties, that reduce landfill! (emphasis on landfill)
Chris from Polywood Outdoors kindly delivered these classics for our Home Beautiful shoot. Of course I fell totally in lust and have placed my Christmas order as not only are they beautiful but they're completely weatherproof, eco friendly and made from recycled materials. Rain, hail or shine they still look good while giving landfill a nudge.

Have a look at The Porch as well, for more of Chris' fabulous outdoor furniture + decor.

Polywood outdoors 
The Porch

ttfn Jo


Friday, November 22, 2013

Sweet, edible gardens

City Pickers
The burgeoning backyard vege patch, chickens softly clucking about
the garden, the shallow wicker basket filled with tomatoes and....
oh god, I'm having that Pottery Barn dream again.
How do you have all of the above, vege + chickens + wicker basket
without it all looking totally feral? Is it possible to have a sustainable
garden that tastes good and looks good?

If you think Felicity Kendal had the Good Life then you haven't met Lisa Harper!
The very clever Lisa, of Akemi Gardens has the sweetest vege patch
in her front garden and the coup de la coup in the back garden...
plus a fluffy white dog to complete the picture.

Gorta Yuki and I shot this lovely garden for Home Beautiful, November issue.

memo to self: leafy greens must cascade from wicker basket
 hello honey, I'm home and I'll be counting the chickens!
 mum, where's the little round sticker?
 neighbour envy, the heavenly vege patch in the front garden
 more neighbour envy...chickens free ranging
 the cubby de coup...those lucky chickens
 the adults playground and produce from the garden
For more clever, economical landscaping ideas visit Akemi Gardens

ttfn jo

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Red & white Christmas decor

 Love getting the cover shot @ xmas, thank you H&G!
A red & white Christmas
Being a died in the wool Swans fan this shoot was a cake walk.
The brief was family friendly, fun and of course use the classic Christmas colours.
Instead of vases on the table I used crisp white paper bags and filled them with tulips and red berries. The apple place card holders are more plastic than juicy but add a simple leaf name tag tied with a ribbon and you'll be excused for not taking a bite.
Red & white spotted crackers, a cute white wooden tree with red birdies and you are set for a classic Christmas.
Looking for great Red & White Christmas d├ęcor, try 
Enjoy, Jo

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guestroom makeover

before the nanna room makeover
like omg so, after! They will never leave now
a diy floating bookshelf for essential reading & cup of tea-ing
hard rubbish chair revamped & the picture frame gets white washed!
nice bedside manner..a lamp, headache balm plus a ruler, just in case
guest bedroom blues
Aunty Brenda Interstate guests come to stay at ours occasionally and with that in mind we decided to redecorate our guestroom and create a space that they wouldn't want to leave. Do they really have to roam around the house...really?
The clotted cream had to go and the Roman 'was I' Blind has been on ebay more times than I've been to Hardware house... here's my laundry list for our guestroom smarten up.
check in:
Bed. The first thing to go was the bed as bedheads & footboards can clutter a space-  replaced by a simple base ensemble. So much easier to make the bed too! :)
Windows. The Roman blind, as seen regularly on ebay also got the flick. Shutters were ordered -they can take up to 8 weeks and have to be specifically designed for the space.
Don't buy any off ebay as one size does not fit all.
Paint. The walls were painted in whisper white and the trim, fireplace, mirror frame, bedside table and my fringe in 1/4 strength hogs bristle.
Artwork. I found some beautiful fabric swatches at Patchwork on Central. The swatches had the width but not the length for my canvases. Note the use of twine/jute to cover fabric joins at the base. Neccessity & invention - winner!
Relax. Create a reading area - hhmm a comfy wingback, diy floating bookshelf, lamp and a side table for the endless cuppas.

Now to call Aunty Brenda my fabulous interstate friends and book their stay.

ttfn jo

Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas Outdoors

Love Chinese lanterns, economical and cute
 Trevor, the papier mache reindeer busy in the garden
a firepit, lanterns and an upturned nursery crate for the g'nts
fa la la la
 Our greenacre, in Olinda is a wonderful place to be on a hot Christmas day.
Horizontal rain and hail, on the day of the Home Beautiful shoot couldn't
deter our 'xmas in September spirit'. Bring on the fizz and flip flops says I.
For simple festive ideas for an outdoorsy "it's not complicated" kinda chrissy
have a look at the Home Beautiful December issue
Guess's out now!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Floating bookshelf

 the almost finished cable knit becomes quite the 'must have' styling item
need the spectaculars to read the crochet bible

Magazine sculpture
I LOVE vertically stacking the endless homeware bibles on a wall looks sensational and is functional when next to a well loved reading chair! 
I hacked borrowed the idea from a floating bookshelf gizmo that, unfortunately is
not available in Oz.

diy floating books stacks
Get yourself to the hardware store and pick up some L-shaped brackets( you can see mine if you peek underneath the stacks) plus the appropriate fastening screws.
Make sure you keep in mind the type of wall you are working on eg. plaster walls
require a special type of fastener as they crumble easily, which is not great for 
supporting a stack of books!
Measure up the length of the mag/books then position the brackets to allow the stack

to centre- in my excitment I forgot about the overhang each side of the bracket and
had to start again...but first ,a little polyfilla.
I made stacks tall enough to cover the vertical part of the bracket as I did not want

to tempt fate with skyscraping towers.

Have fun & if you have any Q&A...I'm listening!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Bathroom makeover | showers on timber floors

from shower tardis to vintage wetroom
Hazaar! a shower base that looks fab on a timber floored bathroom

Loving my walk-in wetroom shower from Reece Bathrooms
Carriage towel rack from my home away from home, Schots
The shower cubicle before - note where toilet isn't anymore!

tres tray challenging was le quest to find a shower base that would suit a timber floor. The standard option being the white cubicle tray, which is fine if you like a transparent tardis. The solution, after much searching was the Reece walk-in wetroom, 
with the aromatic cedar (pass me the birch twigs) insert mat.
Subway tiling (best value rating) and the newly replated tapware create that neo-vintage aesthetic..something old, something new, something borrowed, something periwinkle?

FYI: is a must for renovators. 
Loads of ideas plus you can create your own ideas notebook for reference.

Stay posted for the final images in the bathroom makeover...
meanwhile I'm off to find some birch branches in the garden

Bathroom makeover posts


Thursday, May 23, 2013

How to roast chestnuts

chestnuts roasting on an open fire...hhhmmm

chestnut roasting + buy or diy roaster 
harvesting fallen, spikey little green chestnut tufts from our garden in late April requires heavy duty gloves...they is mean and nasty before they emerge like shiny brown jewels.
Once they have been collected leave them until the pods split- its easiest to prise open the green shells with your feet (shoes essential) to extract the chestnuts.
scoring the skin before roasting is essential. Using a sharp knife or scalpel, score the skin with a cross marking (note x split on roasting chestnuts) this prevents exploding chestnut bombs during cooking.
roasting is easy, according to my Italian girlfriend, Caterina. Her father fashioned a chestnut roaster, many years ago (which she still uses) from an old frypan and a drill. I didn't have an old frypan, or a Calabrian father but did have the internet and hey presto, 2 days later there was my CR waiting comfortably at the front door...begging for a roasting.
The firepit and new roaster (pictured) were put to work and the results were fantastic. We tried sweet cinnamon and salty chestnuts, both yummy. Highly recommend roasting over an open fire, so much tastier than oven roasted, just ask Caterina, it was all her idea!

online roasters $30 available from bbqaroma 
diy roasters you will need an frypan + drill set

( nb. the size and amount of holes in the pic for reference )

happy roasting :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Autumn gardens in the Ranges

just walkin the dog(s)

 wait for it Ruby, on your mark, get ready.....
GO...wait a minute where's Ted?
 wait for me, wait for me, wait for me
Ted, deep in thought and autumn leaves.
 following the trail home.
 are we there yet?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bathroom makeover | painting a clawfoot bath

the clawfoot bath gets a makeover

Before                                                                  After

The burgundy & gold on the post modern (ie acrylic) clawfoot bath
were always gawn as a newly minted parent in a Downton manor.  After a few calls to pro spray painters I decided that the $600 could be put to better use and, as I was not terribly attached to our post modern (i.e. acrylic) clawfoot bath I would paint it myself!
exterior base
The exterior base of the bath was given a coat of triple prep (surface paint glue) and then a few coats of oil based enamel, in tiffaney-ish blue with a mini roller. Contortion cramps and paint fumes aside I'm well pleased with the colour.
Searching, searching on ebay for clawfeet and found a whole shoe rack at the Schots ebay store...EUREKA, says I, but my sensible twin told me to make enquires re feet and fit 
before hitting 'buy it now'. BUGGA one size does NOT fit all, so it's back to the 
hardware store pour moi for more strong paint.  
Changing the colour of the feet was a Goldilocks process.The first foot trial was an attempt at a bronzey look, to match our door hardware. Black and brown enamel mini pots were purchased to paint what eventually looked like dirty hobbits feet. Too Golim. Next came hogs bristle trotters. Too creamy against the honey floor. Then methinks silver enamel and goodbye Goldilocks, hello gorgeous and its just right! Loving the silver and looks authentic if you are slightly myopic. Perfick!

Stay posted for the series finale
Shower bases that work with a timber bathroom floor!

Oh yes, it can be done and look good, trust me I've done the research when 
not obsessing over Downton and Game of Thrones.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bathroom reno | turning a buffet into a vanity

 Buffet to vanity & beyond the ebay stratosphere

a nip & tuck for a buffet sans hutch
 The old pedestals, wall cabinets, sconces and glass wall shelves were delivered unto the ebay ether and the new basin rests comfortably on the right hand side of the buffet. 
My handyman cut a hole in the benchtop to drop in the basin and consequently we have one dummy drawer..but at 2metres in length, this baby has ample storage, so no drama.
The skirting boards were cut and edged nicely to accommodate the new vanity, new wall scones installed and my 2 old antique gold mirrors were given a lick of hogs bristle quarter strength and carefully hung. Still to finish painting the ceiling and the wet room shower is the next phase of the the reno...can't wait till it arrives.

 The original cabinet purchased from Provincial Home Living

Next in the Bathroom mini series:

This one's for you Dermie
Kimmie: What's the difference between a buffalo and a Bison?
Kath: You can't wash your hands in a buffalo, Kimmie.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bathroom reno | replating brass tapware

replate don't replace
Feeling very smug about my new bathroom tapware...oh yes, very smug.

Brassed off
After purchasing new chrome tapware for our clawfoot bath I discovered the tap points 
did not match my existing points on the wall...translating to plumbing cha-ching!
Back to the showroom for a refund and another browse at shiny do-dads.
 Quality old fittings are very $$ to replace, so instead I had them removed, 
including shower tapware and sent off to the replaters - goodbye brass, hello chrome!

before                                                                                  after

 Precision Plating did a fantastic job- and considerably less than replacing. 
You do have to factor in the plumbing cost for removal and it's best to replace the 
divertor shower head & hose(which went straight to ebay) 
It's so nice to know my dear old taps have a new lease of life!
 google replating in your local area or contact: 

Stay posted for:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Country cottage style

A Woodend cottage shoot for Home Beautiful's April edition
picture book curb appeal.
just waiting for a friand and a throw rug!
baby, it's cold outside
really...go on, who'd have thought?
 just off to get the or white?
a little Provincial Home Living styling.
sure picked the wrong cat to outstare!
a Vermeer mo, stirring, pouring, looking, looking.

so that's why they call it Woodend?
a functional and pretty little herb roulette.
excuse me, I think you have the wrong room?
vertical weatherboards...perfect!
details, details, details.
pressed metal, laundry envy.
more laundry envy.
off to the studio without me?
living room door leading to the fab studio.
a place to sit or maybe climb a ladder?
or have a nap before...
hitting the workshop.
Annie @ Botanica Flowers, keeping busy as per usual.

aawwggh, a ppppurrrfect place for a catnap

Thank you to the lovely, talented Annie Morrison. 
When she is not renovating cottages in the Macedon Ranges
she is very busy creating floral arrangements for 
weddings, parties or just about anything.
Botanica Flowers