Thursday, 27 November 2008

mosey on down to mozi...

This looks suspiciously like stylist Clair Wayman's handiwork. I recognise the chair from a Real Living shoot she styled for us. I could be wrong, but surely that'd be a first? Ha!

...and you'll see they've expanded their lovely range of homewares recently to include cushions, aprons, lingerie and tote bags, crockery, handcream and, well, lots more. Well, I say recently, but it might just be new to me! Plus, they still have their gorgeously bright designs and cheery colours on their stationery, iPod covers, mugs, olive oil decanters, bathroom bags AND a pretty red and white Chrissy range. Also good news: they have global shopping so you can buy online from anywhere. Check out Mozi's full range here

Flannel Flower side plate, $12.95

Tote bag in Waratah, $34.95

Lilly Pilly cushion, $49.95

iPod cover in Marrakech, $19.95

Fields in bloom gift card, $4.95

Gift tag in silver, $1.75

Flannel Flower bath bag, from $16.95

In other news, Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop site has finally gone live. So far, it's all her newsletters archived (I'm not sure if this is what it will only be?) and a few glitches with missing pics and wrong pics, but as a website editor I can totally sympathise!! I don't think I've uploaded an issue yet without dramas! But if you hadn't signed up the newsletter or missed some, head there for some great recipes, fashion advice and health and fitness tips. Maybe she should add chef, journalist, spiritual guru and tour guide to her list of accomplishments!!

twinkle twinkle little lights

Love is... this pretty sparkling fairy-light canvas. Sure beats a lamp! Image from Apartment Therapy

I was happy to see my paper-covered plywood letter included on One Pretty Thing the other day. But I was even more excited to see this amazingly beautiful lightscape. Fairy lights (or, for Trina, Christmas lights!) have become popular away from the Chrissy tree, entertainment deck and the Griswald family's house exterior. They're often pinned to the wall in a tree-like pattern, hung over vanities or mirrors or wrapped around stair railings. But I love this the most: basically, little holes have been made in an art canvas in a pretty pattern with the little light bulbs pushed through. I imagine the back of the canvas is one huge mess, but the front is divine. How AWESOME would this look hung from the ceiling in a kids room? You can find the instructions here.

But this is just one pretty thing on One Pretty Thing and if you haven't discovered it yet, set aside a few hours because you'll be there for a while: it's crammed full of great projects, tutorials and freebies around the world wide web. Your to-do list will never be blank again!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

are the doors closing on homes titles?

Is Domino going to go down like, um, a pile of dominoes? Hopefully not! Despite the fact I can't buy anything from its pages (sometimes due to price; mostly due to geography), I love flicking through it and stealing ideas. Image from Habitually Chic

It would seem so in the States where, like everything else in the world, they're in a little trouble. According to the Observer, when times are tough, people usually look to making their own homes that bit nicer - hence the need for magazines full of ideas and inspiring images. After all, they'll be eating and hanging out there much more than usual seeing as movies and entertaining luxuries are usually the first things to be scrapped from the budget. But the feeling out there (especially in the comments section of the Observer article!) is that the magazines on the stands aren't catering for those who need them the most. That the overcrowded "shelter" market is fillings its pages with items so expensive, it'd be a good few months wages for some households. And yet, the magazines that did encourage stylish, budget living (Blueprint; Budget Living) have - poof! - vanished from the stands. I wonder if people were snubbing the mags more suited to them for the more aspirational images and glossier lifestyle. And because they didn't want to be reminded of their situation. Or is the internet to blame? Why fork over cash for inspiration and ideas when you can get it for free on a blog, design website or Flickr? I, of course, am guilty of all of the above, but there is still nothing quite like flicking through a brand-new magazine.

I'd like to think that Real Living is a magazine for this era - from the start we've challenged ourselves to fill our pages with items that are both stylish and inexpensive. Occasionally, we slip up, and boy do we hear it when we do! But it's a good thing to be kept on our toes by our readers who want us to live up to our title. So we should! (And for the record, everyone has been briefed again recently to "keep it real") It's more of a challenge to create a stylish room on a budget - as I'm sure real homeowners are aware - so are we doing the trick? Why do you buy our mag (and others for that matter) - for the pretty pics? The info? The ideas? The shopping? The recipes? The projects? The articles? The fact the prices are (usually!) in your price range? And what would be your ultimate interiors mag? I'd love to hear. Call it a little market research!

decorators i'd like to hire

Love this little display. I just bought some gorgeous Moroccan Tea Glasses from Mighty Leaf (they'll be up on their site any day). I just might need to add to the collection with a few different ones and throw a cast-iron teapot into the mix to re-create this look!

Yesterday I fell in love with some images on Desire To Inspire by interior stylists Krakvik & D'Orazio. Of course they're from Norway - the best seem to be from that part of the world! - so I can't call them up to get them to work their magic on my place. But I did check out their website to see if they had any more pretty pics and from what I can gather, from following some links and my non-existent knowledge of Dutch, they've styled out an apartment complex (or possibly just the display homes). And each apartment style is very, very stylish as you can see here. I love their mix of old and new in the first one. I'm ready to move into any one of them, how about you?

Apartment 1: Light & airy

Apartment 2: dramatic and feminine

Apartment 3: family friendly

All images from Krakvik & D'Orazio and Rosenhoff Fabrikker

Check out the above links for more pics and another cool apartment.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

need to know site: the book depository

I've had a flick and I quite like. Love seeing the staff's rooms. I want to live in Deborah Needleman's living room.

Ok, so I'm a bit late in getting the Domino book, but I'm glad I waited and didn't do the pre-order thing through Amazon, because I found this via a commenter on another blog: the Book Depository. It appears to be a rival to Amazon with cheaper prices and FREE WORLDWIDE DELIVERY!!!!! Which is a huge deal for us Aussies who cop the highest shipping costs ever being so bloody far away from the rest of the world! I have to admit I was a little sceptical so did some Googling - found some good reviews so ordered, paid and a whole week later my new best friend - the delivery guy (he practically lives at my house now. He even has a name: Zak calls him "The Man") - popped it right into my hands. Didn't even have to go to the mailbox. Best news is, the whole thing cost me $AUS35 - compared to the $69.96 I saw one Australian bookshop selling it for. So, now that I know it's real and it delivered safely (and so quickly!), I thought I'd share because it's almost Chrissy and I know how popular books are to give as pressies!

Monday, 24 November 2008

real living december issue

Oooh so summery! Out now!

Feel like you just got the Chrissy issue? Yes, it's only been three weeks. Which means everyone worked like mad people to get this to the printers in time. And just to keep us extra busy, we also had to put together a fabulous cookbook too as a free gift to you - even subscribers!!!! Hooray! So enjoy!

Bonus summer cookbook

The website is also up - I'm slowly working on a few changes. This month I've introduced a blog list - I'll add to it every month, so keep an eye out - your own blog just might pop up there soon. There is also a real reader's Chrissy room. And I'm also - FINALLY! - working on an image gallery so you'll get to see a fair few more of the pics online from the mag in the near future. Now if I can just get the site redesigned as well... Oh, and be sure to head there for a cool kikki.K giveaway too.

Make an earring display

How to create a party room

Make over a living room in a weekend. All images from Real Living magazine

And of course, don't forget to let us know your thoughts.
PS: Go here to find out where to buy a super-cheap leather Moroccan ottoman like the one in the second picture. I'm expecting mine to arrive any day now. In white, of course!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

2 easy projects

A stylish way to count the sleeps until Christmas. Pic from The Red Thread blog

1. DIY advent calendar
For as long as I can remember, Christmas was always counted down in our place with an advent calendar. We had a really cute one from Germany for years that didn't have treats in it, but tiny little toys you put on display in the appropriate window. This was our favourite. Until the chocolate ones came along. I've noticed they're not the most attractive things, though, are they? So I was happy to see this little project last week by Lisa Tilse, the clever artist behind the The Red Thread. She'd been winging it and writing about it as she went, and I noticed this morning she'd finished. Isn't it beautiful? She swears it's not that hard to do, so I want to give it a go as soon as this deadline is out of the way (it always seems like I'm on deadline, doesn't it? Was a very short month this time, new issue out Monday). You can find out what you need and how to do it right here.

Book-page envelopes. Sooo easy.

2. Storybook envelopes
The end result is in the Chrissy issue of Real Living, but here is a little how-to. If you have children and if they're anything like my son, you'll know that there's only so many times you can stickytape a ripped-out page back into a book before it falls apart completely.

You'll need: a book page (or photocopied page, gift wrap, scrapbooking paper etc), scissors, glue and an old envelope

So if you have random pages lying around the house or books beyond repair, put them to good use: turn them into an envelope and mail them off to the grandparents with a little note inside from their favourite little person.

Step 1: Open up a used envelope (it's all about recycling) so it's completely unfolded and lay on top of the page (or photocopied page) you want to use.

Step 2: Cut around the envelope shape.

Step 3: Fold all the flaps so it's an envelope shape. Glue the two side flaps, fold the bottom up and stick in place. Fill with goodies and glue the top flap down to seal.

Chances are, there won't be much room on the front for writing an address, so to ensure it's clear for the postie to deliver, pop on a sticky label or glue on a piece of plain white paper for the address label.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

my latest inspiration: poppies for grace

Here's a pretty special way to show off the kids' artwork!

If their products and gorgeous website aren't enough proof the women behind beautiful stationery line Poppies for Grace are creative gurus, these pics of their stands at trade fairs will be. I think you can tell an individual's passion for their product in the way they promote it and Alana and Sara have plenty of it. I love how they've gone over and beyond setting up a stall - what store wouldn't want to carry their pretty range of stationery, invitations and cards? I so would if I had a shop. And I'd ask them to decorate it for me too! These three images have inspired my upcoming decoration attempt of Zak and Layla's joint room. I can't quite believe it's time to do that already, but Layla is quickly outgrowing her cradle. Stay tuned for that one!

How cute are these bird houses?

I love the writing on the wall, the picture wall, the birdies... everything! All pics from Poppies for Grace

Coincidentally, I was planning to post a little tutorial tomorrow of a really easy project from the current issue of Real Living. While checking out their blog today, I realised the project was from them to begin with!

Monday, 17 November 2008

zakky's birthday party

Before the table was set (or rather, crammed with food). It was help yourself to balled food: mini meatballs, chicken vol au vants, dim sims, mini pizzas and pies, potato balls etc!

My little boy turned two yesterday! Can't believe it! To celebrate, we had immediate family around for a lunch of balled food. Seriously. I was debating whether or not to do a theme and to be honest, I'm really not sure if I ended up with one! I thought I'd do balls (or round things) because he pretty much is attached to a ball most of the day - kicking, bowling, batting. He's obsessed. So I thought I'd make Martha's pom poms, blow up some balloons, and make a Happy Birthday banner with sewn-together round paper discs. I bought and made all round food (or as close to round as possible), decorated his number 2 cake with round icing balls, smarties and mini M&Ms and was going to collect all 214 balls from underneath the deck for all the boys to play with but completely forgot about it. But no matter, some of Zak's gifts included a soccer ball and goal posts, a golf set, a plastic pool/sand shell with 50 plastic balls and a backpack filled with sports equipment including a football, soccer ball, velcro ball and tennis ball. So safe to say, there were enough balls to play with. And play they did! Steve and his sports-mad family put the soccer posts and ball to good use (despite its mini status) while Zak ran happily amongst them playing his own game of soccer with another ball.
So the place looks like a paper bomb hit it, but here's a little look at how it did look. Before anyone got there! Here's what I did (yet again, not the best pics - it was a rather overcast day and quite dark inside. But still, I don't know why my stupid camera takes such grainy pictures...).

Our new purple stone wall. Needs yet another coat but getting there! Pom poms were over the table; balloons hanging from the fan over the living room. I chose a blue, purple and green theme. Love those colours together.

Cutlery, napkins and favours dressed up in pretty colours and patterned paper.

My happy birthday banner. I collected a range of scrapbooking papers in shades of blue, purple and green and spray painted them onto sheets of cardboard then cut out the circles, stitched them together and stuck on individual wooden letters. I'm very impressed with myself! Ha!

I originally ordered the birch cutlery but they wouldn't have got the forks in on time so I went for bamboo cutlery, plates and bowls. Plastic cups got the special treatment - wrapped up with paper.

My favours were little organza bags filled with pencils, colouring in sheets and a little book. I also attempted the Rebecca Thuss favour bags for lolly bags. I had grand plans to make EVERYONE one. But after the first, second, third attempt and a hissy fit over my sewing machine's inability to sew properly, I ended up handstitching the last two and was grateful only four children were coming. And I've just realised I hadn't even filled them when this picture was taken! They looked a little better filled out. But I do love how they look. If you have the time and energy, they're perfect for weddings and baby showers.

Friday, 14 November 2008

eye candy: stylist Sidsel Zachariassen

Natural and nice. All images from

A few pretty pics from Danish interior stylist Sidsel Zachariassen to end your working week. Have a good weekend!

my swan princess

Organic Swan Onesie, $US18 by Green Thread Shop

There seem to be a few select nicknames that babies get: bubs, monkey, princess. I'm afraid I'm not very original: Zak is monkey because he's so cheeky and cute. It's also his most fave toy ever, but for all the love, he refuses to call it monkey: he calls it "Ooh Ahh". And so far, Layla is Angel or Princess because, well, they seem so girlie. I was calling her Princess Layla and was a little horrified when it dawned on me we'd named her after a Star Wars character. But when I mentioned this to my Star Wars guru of a husband Steve, he assured me it's actually Princess Leia. Close, though.

Steve is of the opinion that because Zak's nickname is also his fave toy, Layla needs a two-in-one too. So Swan Princess she has become. He thought a swan was fitting for a little girl - white (which she SO is), graceful and beautiful. And if she inherits my long neck, all the more fitting! So far, not much luck in the swan toy department, but I did find this cute little organic onesie with a swan on it which I'm going to get her for Chrissy. But in a week or so because I discovered the seller is coming to Australia and will be shipping from here the week of Nov 22 which will mean it's cheaper! I'm a thrifty girl at heart...

Now I know I'm not the most original, but there must be some good nick names out there - so share away! And don't forget the story behind it!

PS: My monkey's 2nd birthday party is on Sunday. I decided on a bit of a "ball" theme (well, "round" theme) because he's completely obsessed with balls. I'll share pics on Monday.

PPS: DOH! I just realised when I posted this I posted it to the wrong blog. Meant for Mini Meez, but might as well leave it. I'd blame baby brain, but I'm starting to wonder if I have a brain to blame the baby on anymore!