Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm a Published Author!

I hope you all don't mind me doing a little self-promotion but it's not everyday you get a book published!

I recently won the Kinglake Unpublished Author Competition for the women's fiction genre for my novel Moral's Inc which meant publication - whoopee!

A brief blurb to give you an insight: Samantha Connors may look like a woman of the world: ex-model, magazine columnist, author and mother of one. But she is not, it seems, a woman in control of her life. One evening she turns on the televsion and comes face to face with an old fling and the father of her 19-year-old daughter, Millie, whom she's not seen for 19 years. When Vince Bradley - once a model, then a pig farmer and now Governor of Indianapolis running for the U.S Presidency - flaunts his capped dentures on the late night news, Sam knows her life is about to change forever.

If you want to read more about it you can go to my website or to the UK Kinglake Publishing website.

And if you're feeling so inclined you can also buy it online at Amazon, Amazon UK, WHSmith's, Waterstones, Blackwell's and

Well, enough about me! I'll back on to the house build and design inspirations later in the week ...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Queen Ruby and Chesterfield Sofas!

Who could resist this?

Our big one-year-old puppy decided to make herself at home on a newly purchased Chesterfield sofa. (Hey, just because I was sitting there doesn't mean ... you know ... that you can push me off!)

But no guesses who was keen on this wee Union Jack number to reside in our new rumpus room ... yes the Pommie man of the house! But I'm thinking it's going to look quite good with a backdrop of the original exposed brick, my grandfather's old trunk and a pool table.

And, just for the record, Ruby isn't allowed on the furniture!

Enjoy the weekend folks!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Up, Up and Away: Study

As promised, here are some more pictures of the second floor - primarily, the study which is off the entrance way and next to the master bedroom and ensuite.

This is one of those ones where you really have to have a good imagination!

Basically, a built-in desk will run under the window to the left (which will be my work space) and then all the way along the far wall where there will be another two work stations. The long window is a lot higher than I thought it would be so we'll need to carefully consider the window treatment for privacy and blocking out the afternoon sun. The room will also be narrower than it looks in the picture ie around about where the wheelbarrow is will be the ensuite.

Image: Desire to Inspire via Apartment Therapy


This is kind of how I envisage my 'space' to be: wooden floorboards, thick white desk top, shelving up the wall and a large window with a leafy view to look out of. There will also be a pendant shade but centred in the room and probably in a fabric by Cloth to match the retro S.H.E armchairs we already have that will both hopefully fit in the space as well. Have no idea what sort of desk chair I have. At the moment I'm using a dining chair - white, leather swivel from Freedom which is actually quite comfy and would probably suit the space.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Up, Up and Away!

Yes, we're going up! What a great day it was on Friday when we could, not only walk up some properly formed stairs (and not a ladder as I thought we might), but stand on the second level of the bedroom wing of the house.

The beautiful (!) stairs that lead down to the girl's bedrooms and laundry ...

... and lead upstairs to the master bedroom and study. It's a little hard to see but this shows the small deck at the end of the master bedroom that overlooks the pool below, gets a glimpse of the sea ahead and the national park to the right (out of sight) above the rooftops.

The bedroom window with a tree-filled view. The reason the bricks are different colours is because the supplier delivered the wrong ones (!). But we didn't need to change them as the colour is the only difference and they won't be seen once it's all clad.

Entrance to the master bedroom.

View from the outside with the study window above Amy's bedroom and the laundry door to the right.

More pictures to come ...!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Dreamin' Of ... well, definitely not a white Christmas!

I'm actually dreaming of a sunny one! Well, at least the rain hasn't dampened the start of my Christmas shopping. Am feeling quite good about having ventured to both actual shops and those online - although I can't post any of my good finds as I don't want to give the game away to the intended recipients! Needless to say, I'm feeling in more of a festive mood and am looking forward to spending time with the family in the sun (hint, hint oh sun up there!) at Christmas time. What about you? Have you started Christmas shopping?

In a bid to organise my computer files, I've also been going through my 'sources of inspiration' images I've collected over time. Here are some rooms that I love for being fun, eclectic and colourful and, I think, have a hint of Christmas spirit about them despite there being no green or red in sight!

 Image via Belle Maison

Am loving the coffee table and the sofa, even though I have to say, I probably wouldn't buy a teal-coloured sofa. Yet it really works here.

If you haven't heard about the UK's Bryonie Porter and her wallpapered furniture, you've got to check out her site - here - what cool stuff and she even commissions. Too bad we're not in London!

Well, okay, so I said there wasn't any red but it really helps bring alive this neutral room and it's unusual mix of styles.

Now, if this doesn't scream summer time, Christmas time, relax-outside-for-a-bbq-by-the-pool-time I don't know what does. You could entertain a crowd here!

Image via Belle Maison

Okay, so maybe this isn't so colourful but after all that entertaining you might want somewhere serene and peaceful to retire to and this bedroom corner looks like just the spot. I've always wanted a mannequin to drape my jewels (!) over and a girly spot in which to powder my nose but hubby isn't so keen on too much girly stuff! I guess when he lives with a house full of girls (even the dog) he's allowed some respite.

Happy Christmas shopping everyone!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Building Progress: Second Level Slabs Get Poured

Finally we have half of a second floor slab! I thought the rain would never stop, but it did (although it's started again, I might add) and at the end of last week and on Saturday the guys were able to do this ...

They formed the slab and poured the concrete over the girls' bedrooms, above which will be our bedroom and the study. To the left is the guest bedroom and you can see the frangipani at the front of the property start to bloom. And although you can't see it yet, in the middle will be the stairway linking the two 'wings' (for want of a better word) and the front entrance, which will be set halfway between the two levels.

Hugh has been busy moving mounds of muck but the mound of rubble in front of Amy's bedroom has made the boundary fence start collapsing! Oops! But at least we were going to replace it anyway.

In the far distance, if you squint really hard, you can see the sea!

The next stage now is to do the same on the upper level wing and then the brickies can start building the second storey walls so the whole thing can start to look more like a house!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Joy of Gardening on Paper

You may remember from previous posts that I'm not much of a gardener (and neither is hubby, I might add!). Although we do appreciate lovely, well-kept gardens. So, the thing is, we are now looking more closely at the landscaping plans and deciding which plants to plant where. And I must say, I quite like this gardening-on-paper lark!

Our three main priorities are plants that are low maintenance, have low-water requirements and, for me, are allergy friendly (asthma, hayfever and sinus problems now being my new unwanted friends since moving to Sydney). The focus is on native and tropical plants with a cream and red flower theme. So, here are some of our choices.

As we already have a pink, orange flowering frangipani at the entrance to the property, we're going to add another couple of frangipanis around the garden to keep with the theme and they're my favourite flower.

Then we've got dwarf New Zealand Christmas bushes (or Pohutukawa as we call them). They come out in gorgeous red flowers at summer time.

Cream Clivias which I just love en masse and will be great in the more shady areas of the garden.

Star jasmine to climb the fence at the back of the garden.

A couple of Cycads

White Mondo grass

Slender Rush grass

There will also be Lilly Pillys running along the neighbouring boundaries to provide privacy, slender tall bamboo along the concrete/stone wall side - to not only hide the concrete/stone wall but provide a screening of greenery to the guest bedroom, rumpus room and the glass splashback in the kitchen above. And hopefully our rather sad-looking tree ferns will survive and be able to be replanted.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Swedes do it Again!

Now I have to give a big thanks to Sheila over at Folder of Ideas who, inadvertantly, helped me find out where one of the wallpapers I am quite keen on comes from. I blogged about it last week here and saw it in the latest Real Living magazine.

Image via Daily Imprint

The black and white wallpaper featured in this bedroom is from Swedish inspired design Funkis, from their Dejavu collection. It's so sweet and also comes in other colours such as textured grey and slate, gold and white, lime and purple.

They also do fabric ...

Lighting from Denmark ...

Jewellery ...

Clogs ...

Plus bags, clothing and homewares.

I can't possibly show you all their wonderful stuff but pop on over here and you may even want to visit their online store!

I can't believe I never knew this place existed, particularly as there are two stores in Sydney (Bondi Beach and the city). So thanks Sheila! And you can check out her post featuring decorating ideas with one of the Funkis fabric here at Folder of Ideas.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Fishin'

I wish had some riveting updates on our house build but there's really not a lot to say or show. Rain has held up the second floor slab going on and other work that's been completed (ie retaining walls, finishing the lower level brick work etc) isn't worthy of a either a photo or a blog post. Slowly but surely we are getting there but, like everyone in Sydney, we're sick of the cold, rainy, windy days that make it feel more like winter than spring.

I wouldn't mind jetting off to this house, though, that's not only got the weather but a rather amazing pool and house design that looks rather resort-like.

The Fish House which is described as a 'modern tropical bungalow' - which downplays it somewhat, don't you think? - is in Singapore and was designed by Guz Architects.

I mean, check out the master bedroom ensuite - what views, what size!

Enjoy the weekend folks!

Images via The Contemporist

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mirror Envy

I have mirror envy. Of no mirror in particular. Just mirrors of all shapes and sizes, any sort of frame, both new and old.

I was reminded of this on my long walk home today from the Holden service centre where I had to take my car to be fixed (flat battery + electrical problem = $$$ and no car for the time being!!) when I popped into a mirror shop I had been wanting to visit for ages but had only ever passed in my car.

And wow, I was dazzled. As I wandered through the shop I 'bought' a mirror for every room in the house. Not because I think we should all be primping and preening ourselves but because I love the look of them and how they can become like pieces of art.

Image via Crafty Nest

Do you love mirrors too? What are your favourites?


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