Saturday, March 27, 2010

House Portraits

These amazing pictures are created in fine ink by artist David Oberdorf who has specialised in house portraits for the past 16 years. My daughter and mother-in-law discovered him at the Paddington Markets in Sydney last weekend and it got me thinking.
So, are you thinking what I'm thinking ...?

I think you are! You see, I thought, as I cannot recycle the whole of my house, what better way to keep its memory alive (apart from its bits being in someone else's home) than in a picture.
David's drawings are so detailed and intricate they could well be mistaken for photographs, which is interesting as he was a press photographer for 22 years.

David is going to come over to our place, take some photos, do a bit of creative aboreal work and then get to work on drawing our little brick house - which isn't anywhere near as grand as some of the houses he has drawn previously - before it gets pulled apart.
I can't wait to see the result and it may even end up somewhere on this blog.

Note: As you can see I've had a bit of a play around this weekend with my blog's design as Blogger has come up with some new template designs. I will change the header image but have yet to decide to what exactly.
Oh, how I love a work in progress!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Goodbye Windows

I'm very excited as I've found a beautiful home for our stained glass windows and doors (and maybe even the timber floors)! A builder and his family who've bought a turn-of the-century weatherboard cottage just out of Newcastle want to re-use our windows and doors as part of their home's restoration.

So it will soon be goodbye windows and doors, and hello new, temporary windows and doors in a soon-to-found rental property (but more on that later).

How on earth did I find this man, you ask? Well, through a rather circuitous route that started with Peter Orlando from Orlando Designs in Mosman, Sydney, which used to deal with remnants of old houses such as stained glass windows, but now mainly specialises in antiques and decor.

I met Murray the builder this week on a reccy trip to Sydney and he told me all about his plans to renovate his house and how hard it is to find multiple window sets from the same house with the matching stained glass pattern. I felt very chuffed to know these babies will be going to a good home, with heart and help keep some of Australia's old architecture alive.
There's even a chance the timber floorboards can be successfully (depending on how they've been nailed down) uplifted and re-used. My recycled timber table is looking promising and Murray may also be able to use the timber in his house. Let's hope so.

Now, my next job is finding another place to live. As the four builders we've chosen peruse our plans to present their quote, we need to secure a renter and move house.
Finally, it feels as if this build is really going to happen.

Friday, March 19, 2010

There is a pig in my garden and a pug dog on my side table

Yes, my girls have done it again! Papier mache magic to brighten the house.

It's amazing what a balloon ...

some paper ...

and lots of glue ...

a bit of ingenuity ...

some paint and sparkle ...

can do!

Enjoy the weekend folks.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Vinnie's Lamp

Now, I know what you're saying - not another light!

Well, yes, it's half a lampshade base but I bought it at the local 'Vinnie's' (aka Aussie speak for St. Vincent de Paul) charity shop for only $10 and it's Laura Ashley. Only went in because the kiddies wanted to fossick and see what they could spend their pocket money on and we all came out happy.

So, I have plans for this base. It will be the bedside light for one of the bedrooms up at the bach.

Watch this space ...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Swedish Inspiration

Hello everyone! One of my favourite blogs, Desire to Inspire, featured this beautiful room not so long ago and I decided I wanted a piece of it (which basically means saving the image as part of my online mood board and looking at it every now and again because of all its dreaminess).

Every time I look at it, I find something else to love - the chair which looks vintage, stylish and comfy; the simple pendant bulb; the framed art arrangement; the monkey sculpture (easy to miss in the background); the charcoal rug and the all-white floors and walls. While that corner of the room was probably styled to within an inch of its life, it still looks like a place that is someone's home. Which it is - because Desire to Inspire found it on a Swedish real estate's website - Alvhem Makleri!

But then, we all know the Swedes have design in the genes.

My only question is, anyone know what the blue box is on the coffee table? A box of matches, a packet of cigarettes or a pack of cards ...? Was it left there by mistake or is it something all Swedes desire to have on their side table?

While you're pondering that question, I've just had a quick look at Alvhem Makleri's website and can now see why you would want to browse it when you don't live in Sweden (just remember to click on the translate button in Google to get the quaint, if not sometimes wonky English translation).

Then I discovered that the room above belongs to 'A wonderfully charming turn of the century apartment of 2 rooms + kitchen with newly renovated kitchen and bathroom. A dream home, located on the attractive Chalmersgatan with elegant turn of the century details such as white-painted originalbrädgolv [whatever they are!], fine moldings and 3.2 m high ceiling with stucco. Stable & well-run club with very low fees'.

Nice. But it's sold.

Now I want to keep browsing! Yet I have work to do. Until next time ...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ruby on Deck via Phone!

I am very excited as I have just worked out how to blog via the fancy-pancy phone I've had for a few months but had been too scared to fiddle around with and figure out how to do it. But since having such features was the whole point of getting it (as well as the fact that my old phone died), I thought I should really learn how.

The only problem is I accidentally published the post before I'd written any text. So here I am now back on the computer!

Nevertheless, I feel quite proud to have mastered this wee piece of technology. I can see how useful it will be on my future travels both near and far when I find something I want to share with you all.

By the way, the photo is one I already had on my phone of Ruby - now four months - being nosy on the deck at Hardys Bay. Isn't she cute?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rumpus-Living Mood Board

I am SO excited because I have finally found out where to get this vintage union jack flag-inspired cushion, a picture of which I cut out from a magazine (can't remember which one)
and stuck on a picture of the sort of sofa I'd imagine it sitting on in my
mood board folder of ideas and didn't note its source. Doh!

Rule #1 - if you like something, keep a picture of it and note where it comes from.

So then, when I read a recent post by Sarah from Palatial Living, I was overjoyed to discover the cushion I love is made right here on Sydney's Northern Beaches by two new-to-the-scene homeware designers Jacqui Lewis and Kelly Searl.

Their 'industrial vintage' wares come under the brand Pony Rider and are fab! Plus, they are featured in the March/April 2010 edition of Vogue Living - which reminds me, I must go out and buy it (even though I have been trying show restraint in the magazine buying area .

You see, my idea for our rumpus-cum-living room (which will also house hubby's longed-for pool table) was to have a charcoal and red theme with a fun play on our English and New Zealand heritage and Australian connection. So, have a grey sofa a bit like this one ...

With cushions in fabric with a dash of red, from Pony Rider,

NZ-inspired ones with Pohutukawa flowers and Tui birds from Ingrid Anderson Textile Design (click on link) and some in fabric like this from Cloth with the Aussie Currawong ...

What do you think?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Maldive Magic

Summer's over and it's raining here today. Boo hoo.
So I'd much rather imagine I was here, in the Maldives
in a beautiful timber villa right on the beach with a private pool

and gorgeous, sumptuous outdoor living area,

a to-die-for-bath - or should I say view from the bath

and elegant bathroom.
I think Alila Villas Hadahaa, the first luxury resort in the Gaafu Alifu (North Huvadhoo) Atoll in the Maldives’ new southern frontier, is the ultimate in beautiful design and has all the elements for a beautiful holiday. It was created by SCDA architects.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Poring over Architectural Plans

I can't believe it was over a year ago that we first began discussing our house plans with our architects and we're still going! I have sometimes wondered whether it is all just fun and games on paper and if it will really happen. But now, I think I can say that we are getting closer to it really happening. Once we got council approval just before Christmas, the process has been full speed ahead and hopefully, yes, hopefully in two months time we will be ready to start. Yipee!
Because our current house, while cute and quaint and all that, is beginning to drive me nuts. The only decent work space in the kitchen - the island bench -is only 125 x 90 cm and acts not only as a meal preparation area but a desk on which to do leave homework, do homework, leave stuff, do 'stuff''. The cupboards are crammed with ....well, stuff. The study/my office is piled with more stuff, including five boxes of wine hubby decided to purchase en masse. The bedroom the girls share is crammed with other stuff and toys and junk that no matter how many times we tidy and clean out, never seems to diminish.
If you think I'm starting to sound a little ruffled, you'd be right.
Rock on the new house.
Which brings me back to where we're now at - scrutinising endless pages of detailed architectural drawings and plans. For while the overall design and layout of the house hasn't changed much, we are now at the nuts and bolts stage where every little detail - from power switches to speaker zones, window openings and dimensions, uplights, downlights, pendant lights, ceiling fans, drawer and door openings and closings etc etc - is to be itemised and specified.
Take a look at the electrical 'legend' for the laundry for instance ...
And that's just a laundry!
Here's what some of the symbols for an electrical legend look like ...

Bored yet? Well, here's more ...

Then there are pages and pages on every window and door for which you have to look back at the drawings of the whole house to figure out which window or door each picture is referring to.

Wow, it's complicated and oh so detailed and requires a lot of pretending to walk in the rooms, use them, live in them to realise what's missing or what's wrong, if anything at all.
I have to take mini bites at it, otherwise my eyes glaze over and I loose interest - and this is coming from someone who thought she liked a bit of detail! Needless to say, hubby, while deeply interested of course, is demonstrating all the traits of a typical male preferring to look at the overall picture and leaving the detail to me. Sigh.
So, for the umpteenth time I'm going to peruse, study, scrutinise and ruminate over every itsy bitsy, teensy weensy thing in this house in the hope of getting it right. Wish me luck!


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