Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ring in the New Year - in style

If I was hosting a New Years Eve party at my house this year, I'd be taking inspiration from the amazing people at In The Now Weddings. I saw this shoot posted over on Green Wedding Shoes this morning and couldn't help but post it myself. Those fantastic colours, the wonderful decorations, the ideas!

How great that they took traditional NYE party ideas and gave them a cool, modern twist. I'm in lurv.......

Happy New Year to everyone, I hope 2010 brings you joy, laughter, happiness and success.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all readers, I hope you get what you want from Santa and that you have a lovely NYE celebrating the coming 2010 year. I only hope that it brings you bigger and better things and that your lives are filled with joy and happiness througout the entire 12 months.

Love from me, my man and little old Diesel who would only pose in front of the Christmas tree if I had food in my hand (if only he'd moved his head a little to the right it would have covered up the electricty switch in the background. Oh well, you can never work properly with animals can you)......

Enjoy your holidays wherever you are.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Little elephants

I couldn't help posting this today - a special one for my friend Miss S and her nieces first birthday. I don't know if the party has happened yet or not but if not, your Sis might get some inspiration from these beautiful photos! (Miss S, please send some photos of the event!)

I discovered these this morning on Head Of the Table and am totally in love with this blog. I could look at photos of table settings and party themes all day. Another great one for party inspiration is Party Perfect. Some fantastic ideas for kids and adults alike. These two are definately going in the favourites list. I also know a few friends who have some wee ones first birthdays in the coming months that will no doubt drool over these blogs! Enjoy everyone.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's (finally) beginning to look a lot like Christmas

While it may have taken a bit longer than usual, it's finally beginning to look (and feel) like Christmas in my home. I managed to get to Ikea earlier today and low and behold, I came back with some bargain Chrissy decorations and oddly named furniture that my man had to put together.

To make our little house a bit more festive, I managed to pick up a gorgeous wreath in the Christmas decoration section - on sale for just $9.99! Being only a week before Christmas, all their decorations and trees were marked down and I've been looking for a non-traditikonal wreath for years. I simply added a little red ribbon to jazz it up and I'm so in love with it, I'm wondering how long I will be able to leave it on the front door for before my man tells me to take it down.
Left: Ikea Kotte Wreath, Right: Hanging on our door

We have 3 spare rooms in our house - one for the guest bed, one for the weights bench which never gets used and one for my desk and the ironing. I've longed for a beautiful home office for years and am slowly getting close to it. I may not have everything matching exactly just yet but I know one day I will. I picked up a very reasonably priced bookshelf whilst at Ikea and now have all my paper, ribbons and magazines off the floor where the dog enjoys putting little claw holes in everything.

Now if only I could get the place to look something like this, I'd be the happiest woman in the world! (don't you just love the wallpaper?)

After watching my man get a blister thanks to the bookshelf assembly, I re-organised the office room and sat down to read a few blogs. If you haven't checked out Parcel Post yet, you are missing out. I found out that this particular blog is the work of a lovely young couple who own a store in Venice, California called Urbanic. And I tell you, this is my DREAM shop. All that stunning paper and stationery, bookshelves full of ribbon and gifts and invitations..... lord I would go nuts in a place like this. If I had the money, I'd be out scouring Brisbane for a shop front to fill with things just like the products at Urbanic right now. I think I'm going to start buying lotto tickets - first on my list would be travelling to Venice to check these guys out, then back home (maybe via New York, Paris, Greece) to set up my own shop....... Ahhhh, one can dream can't they?


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blogs worth checking out: Magnolia Gray + more

Weeeellll, it didn't take me long. I've had my computer back for less than 24 hours and I've already found things to post about.

It's unfortunately 4.26am Saturday 19th December. Yes, I'm awake and posting. For some reason, I woke up at roughly 3am this morning (actually, I know the reason and it had everything to do with my bloke throwing his arm over me in his sleep but unfortunately not in a "I even want to cuddle you while I'm asleep" kind of way). Once awake, I started thinking of a million things and couldn't get back to sleep: Why can't I find plain white gift tags for my christmas presents anywhere? Am I going to have to make them myself? I really want to go to Ikea tomorrow but I know I will end up spending money we don't have and my man will kill me (I wonder if I showed him my list whether he'd allow me to go and promise not to get anything more than what's on the list). What am I going to wear to a friends BBQ this afternoon? Why did I drink so much wine last night (wait - I think I know the answer to that one). I wonder what my dog thinks of me sitting in an almost pitch black room in front of the computer at 3am?

And the list goes on...... I'm sure you can now see why I got up.

Anywho, I'm babbling so I shall get on with it. I realised after doing some general web browsing that it's been about 8 months since I started this blog and in all that time, I can't remember dedicating a post to a cute blog by some close friends of mine. So belated it may be but ladies and gentlemen, here is Magnolia Gray!

Ok, so I'm sure I've mentioned it before and there is a link over there ----> to their site but I can't seem to remember doing a "Blogs worth checking out" on them. The two lovely ladies who are Magnolia Gray are Merrin & Courtney. I went to school with Merrin and Courtney is her soon to be sister in law. And I tell you, these two have such an eye for great things, it kills me.

Since I've got so much time on my hands of late, I went to visit Merrin and her little baby Evie yesterday afternoon and as always, had to stop myself from admiring everything in her house and not paying attention to our conversation. After looking at their blog and their wonderful assortment of hand made gifts, baby clothes and more, you'll see why I enjoy visiting Merrin and checking out her house so much.

They sell their items to friends and family but also at the Powerhouse Markets. Back in October they invited a bunch of people around to drool (and purchase) their items and I tell you, I was in heaven. They make everything from decorated rompers and baby singlets to hand painted artwork and gift cards. I got myself a cute bird image frame but can't seem to find my picture of it right now (I shall post one later though).

I'm not sure how frequently they attend the markets these days (Merrin/Court, if you're reading this, please let everyone know!) but be sure to check out their blog and contact them if you want to purchase any of their items (I believe they are working on a website so I'll post about that when it goes live).

Another reason for my early morning post this morning is gift tags. A few weeks back I decided to can christmas cards completely. While I love getting and giving cards (and enjoy making my own) when it comes to christmas cards, I just can't get excited about them. You have to think of a million different things to say to each family member, they read it and tell you how lovely it is then put it in the pile with all the others while they attack their gift. So to a) avoid buying or making cards that will only get thrown out after a few months and b) help save some trees by not buying/making them, I decided that the best way to personalise each present while still allowing me some space to write a small sentiment was to use gift tags (sorry ozone layer - I will need some paper for this).

The problem with this idea though? They are not easy to find ready made. Which normally is fine by me, I would rather make my own. However, what I've been searching for for almost 2 months is plain white, blank pre-cut gift tags that I can personalise with my own images, stamps, text etc. Can I find them anywhere though? No. And it's slowly driving me insane (hence I'm up at 4am writing this....).

I have found some at a local newsagent but they are that lovely shade of cream - you know, manilla folder cream and unfortunately that colour just doesn't go with my christmas tree nor my christmas presents (my decorations are red, blue and white and I match all my wrapping paper and ribbon to the tree decorations).
One of my many reasons for wanting to visit Ikea is there is every chance they have some in other colours - apparently Courtney managed to pick some up from there (thanks for the tip Merrin!) so I'm desperate to get down there and find them. Failing that, I know I'm going to have to make my own.

While this isn't a hard task (draw the shape, print, cut, personalise), I do like ready made ones with the little punched hole and cute die cut shapes. Plus anything that requires me to cut non straight lines makes me shiver, I'm hopeless at getting cut edges to look professional.

And so my search continues. Should anyone know where I can find some blank gift tags (other than ebay or etsy as it's a bit late for delivery so close to christmas) I'd love to hear from you! If my search brings up nothing, I shall document my attempt at making them and endeavour to post all about it in the coming weeks.

Since it's now 5am and I'm ready for cuppa number 2, I shall bid you farewell and only hope that you're not up reading this as I hit post.....


Friday, December 18, 2009

Where have we been?

Yes, it's been a while readers.

I'd firstly like to apologise for the lack of posts in recent weeks (or by now, it's probably months). Due to some unforseen circumstances, things in my personal life have changed and I just haven't been able to spend much time searching the net and finding interesting things to write about.

I do hope that this will change though and whilst I have some time off I will be able to post a little more for you all. I've been without a computer for almost 2 weeks so now that I'm back online, I feel back in the land of the living and shall endeavour to update you on all things design+style (I had every intention of doing some special Christmas posts but alas, the world had other ideas for me).

Secondly, we have a winner in our Westfield Gift Card competition! We have randomly selected (and by randomly, I mean everyone's name went into a Tiffany's box and I had my man pick one out with his eyes shut) and one lucky person will in the coming weeks be the happy owner of a $50 Westfield Gift Card.

Congratulations to Miss J Cook! I'll be getting in touch with you soon via email to get your address details.

And lastly, a big thank you to YOU, the readers for coming back and checking out my blog this year. While I may not have a cult following (I'm certainly no Satoriliast) I love finding things to post about and only hope that you all enjoy reading them.

A very Merry Christmas to you and all the best for 2010. I hope it brings much joy and success for you all and your friends and family.

Till next time....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

When materials are limited

Ever needed to wrap something with limited access to fancy materials? Never fear. There is always a way to make something look just that little bit special without a lot of effort (or money!).

A roll of brown paper, a clever quote that relates to either the gift or the recipient, a bit of coloured paper, printer, scissors and your in business.

I recently created a design in Illustrator that my Mum fell in love with when she noticed I was using it as a bookmark. We came up with the idea that it would look great in a white box frame and set out to find one. While the Country Road option was great quality, the price was a little more than what I intended to spend (especially since you can get the same thing for half the price in a number of other stores).

After some more searching, I found a medim sized white stand alone frame in the Reject Shop in Byron Bay for just $19.95. I printed out the image to size, removed the white board from the inside of the frame (I could have left it in but wanted as much space as possible for the print for more impact) and whola! Instant gift.

My intention was to give the gift to my Mum as part of her Christmas present but after hearing about a difficult situation she had to deal with at school (she's a primary school teacher), I thought the frame could be just the thing to pick up her spirits.

The only set back was I had everything ready to go at work but no wrapping paper or ribbon. But that didnt stop me from thinking outside the box. With a little brown paper from the stationery cupboard, a little folded red paper ribbon (that wont get crumpled when packaged) and a nice quote glued to the front, it's cheap, effective and will most certainly make her feel better.

If you're wondering what the quote was I used, here it is:

The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward

For a massive list of fantastic quotes, I use The Quote Garden. Almost every subject you can think of, and more!
Hopefully when my Mum receives the gift she might leave a comment on how it went down when she opened it (hint hint Mum!).

Till next time....


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blogs worth checking out: The Cherry Blossom Girl

The Cherry Blossom Girl

I dont think this little lady needs much of an introduction other than she's gorgeous, she's French and she loves fashion. If you don't like reading but love having a sticky beak at what's hot on the other side of the world, you've got to follow Alix. A fashion designer and amateur photographer, visual candy doesn't get any better than this.

Well worth keeping in your favourites, go check her out!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thats a wrap - part 2

Finally..... having 2 computers can be such a pain in the you-know-what. I've finally managed to get the photos of the engagement gift I made/wrapped from one computer to another ...... and so here they are in all their glory!

You've already seen the canvases..... but here they are again just in case you haven't.

Add some brown paper (recycled of course)....

Find some ribbon and a matching gift tag..... wrap the present

Tie the ribbon to the gift and add the wooden letters....

And voila!

It may not be as fancy as A Gift Wrapped Life but it still had the desired effect - I got word from the newly engaged couple that they couldn't bear to open the present but when they did, they loved it so much they put the canvases up straight away!


Monday, November 9, 2009

design+style's first giveaway!

For the first time on design+style, I'm giving one lucky subscriber the chance to win themselves a $50 Westfield Gift Card. Imagine all the lovely things you could buy.... an early Christmas present to yourself perhaps? Or maybe a special something for your special someone. Personally I've got my eyes on a cute little bright yellow singlet in French Connection but unfortunately I can't enter my own competition.... damn.

All you need to do is subscribe to our newsletter to be in the draw, it's that easy (if you're already a subscriber, you are automatically in the draw). To subscribe, simply enter your email address in the "subscribe" section over to the right ---->

If you are already an avid reader, I'd love for you to pass this on to friends and family, and what better time to subscribe than when there's a $50 Gift Card up for grabs! The competition's open till the end of November and the winner will be announced the first week of December - just in time for any pre-Chrissy sales at your local Westfield!


Terms & Conditions: Winners must become a subscriber before November 30th, 2009. Winner will be drawn Thursday 4th December and will be notified by email (prize will be sent via Express Post). Gift Cards only valid in Australia at participating Westfield Shopping Centres. T&C's for the Westfield Gift Card can be found on their website. Design+Style is not responsible for lost and/or stolen gift cards. All care will be taken to ensure the prize is delivered to you safely however I'm not responsible for missing mail sorry! Any questions in regards to the competition, please email me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thats a wrap

It's Friday.... finally! I apologise if anyone was waiting for photos today, I simply haven't had the time to find any (I have a few but to just post 3 feels a little lame).

Instead, I couldn't help but post about the wonderful new additions to A Gift Wrapped Life (this is her online shop, for the blog click here).

If you're ever stuck in one of those "what to buy someone who has everything" moments and you know they like stationery, gift wrap, ribbon and all manner of beautiful things, here is the solution.

It may seem odd to give someone gift wrapping materials as the actual gift but if the person you giving to is anything like me, they'd think they've died and gone to heaven. Included in this lovely wrapping sets is everything you need to re-create what's in the image. Beautiful paper, quality ribbon, decorative labels and even things like the goregous white paper rose above.

I was so inspired by these adorable packages that I came up with a fabulous idea for an engagement party gift I have to have ready for tomorrow evening. While trawling through Lincraft recently I came up with what I thought was a brilliant and cheap idea for an engagement gift - 2 canvases, paint, first letters of the couple's first names and glue. Get the idea? Well, I did (at least in my head).

Unfortunately, when my man asked what I was doing with armfuls of crafty nick nacks and I explained the concept, he pointed out that the weight of my letters was going to be too heavy for the thickness of my canvases.... ooops. Yes, I could have nailed the letters instead of just glued them but I'd then have to have the letters sitting right over towards the edge of each canvas. Not what I wanted.

And so onto Plan B. I decided to ditch the wooden letters and paint the J and A straight onto the canvas. And since I'm not one for painting the straightest line in the world, I simply typed out the letters I wanted, printed them onto A3 paper, cut them out and traced around each one. To ensure they didn't look like baby blocks I turned one slightly to the left, the other slightly to the right and left the '&' symbol dead straight with each letter so big, it's edges just go over the side of the frame.

After completing the canvases, I was at a total loss as to what to do with the leftover wooden letters I had purchased. Neither my nor my man's name begins with a J or an A and I don't know any other couples who are a 'J & A'. Here's where A Gift Wrapped Life came in. I've always thought adding an embellishment to a gift is almost better than a card - why not take the extra time to make the gift itself look spectacular than spend half an hour in the newsagents looking for an overly priced card that you're only going to end up writing the same thing on it that you did the year previous and the recipient will keep for 2 months then throw out with every other card they've been keeping for the last 10 years.

Lacking in funds, I've armed myself with some brown paper, thick brown twine, black, white & red ribbon (to match the black and white letters I've painted on the canvas) and....... those pesky wooden letters. Once I've wrapped the canvases in brown paper, I intend to paint the wooden letters and attach them with the twine and ribbon. Not only will it stand out against everyone elses gifts but it's handmade and the couple will get to keep the little wooden letters to put somewhere in their apartment.

Once I've actually put the whole thing together, I'll be sure to post some photos. In the mean time, check out the letter canvases (note: these aren't actually complete - if you ever paint a canvas and have some white space, never leave it the white of the canvas, it just looks silly).

And in case you're wondering, no the couple who are receiving the gift don't read this blog so I'm not giving away the idea before I give it to them!
Watch this space for more pics after I've attempted to uniquely gift wrap the aforementioned canvases!
Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A little bit racy

Today's mood board proudly inspired by Melbourne Cup....ok, so traditionally Derby Day is all about black and white but I do like a bit of monotone every now and again (especially when it's clothing, so easy yet so dramatic). Enjoy and I hope you backed a winner!


Jodi Gordon: Yahoo7

Hat: OperaScurra on Etsy

Sonia Kruger & Jen Hawkins: Yahoo7

Fascinator: Diva

Outfit: Portmans

White dress: Sportsgirl

Race Day cutie: Ninemsn

Lace dress: Birdie on Etsy


Friday, October 30, 2009

Another day, another mood board

In the midst of getting ready for work and getting the dog some treats, I was inspired by something in my own house today. The fantastic typewriter I picked up at a garage sale a few weeks back is slowly running out of ribbon but there's just enough left to write funny messages and love notes to my man in the hope that he'll see them when he comes home from Melbourne last night!

I just love the bright yellow and black of my typewriter so thought I'd create a mood board to reflect it (and also to try and encourage the sun to come out in Brisbane since it's been raining all morning!). Enjoy.

Photo credits/items:

Table setting: Design Mom

Jar: Tomato & Cantaloupe Salad from Sunday Suppers

Feather Fascinator: Vie Moderne on Etsy

Necklace: Sweet Surprises on Etsy

Absinthe poster: Blue Dog Posters

Singlet: French Connection

Lady in yellow (and blue): The Satorialist

Jordana Brewster: Popsugar

Bouquet: Green Wedding Shoes

Typewriter: Authors own!

Print: Authors own creation!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Feeling moody

I felt like creating a mood board this morning. I may have been inspired by the colours I saw on a few houses while sitting in traffic on the way to work..... lots of beige, grey, off white and a little pale pink in some gardens. Enjoy!

Photo credits as follows (from left to right, top to bottom):
Flower print: Etsy
Table setting: Sunday Suppers
Maxi dress: Rose and Ruby
Married couple: 100 Layer Cake (don't you just love her shoes?)
Name necklace: Simply U Jewellery on Etsy - this was an uncanny find.... I love necklaces with names on them and I actually found one with mine and my partners names on it!
Leggings lady: Chictopia
Paris gift tags: Etsy
Chandelier: Etsy
Suitcase: Rubie Green
Fascinator: Marilena Romeo Millinery from Madaboochoo (this is my all time favourite fascinator.... if only I had the $400 to buy it)
Floral skirt: Chictopia
Bouquet: Pink & Purple Petals (if you live in Brisbane and want a good florist, contact Danielle, she is AMAZING!)
Invitation: Mae Mae Paperie
Nicole Richie: Google


Friday, October 23, 2009

Tonal love

I've gone a little tonal today.... and created a mood board comprising of a few things I've recently bought and a few things I want. Starting at the top, check out this gorgeous little cotton dress I bought over the weekend from Sussan. Yes, you heard right, Sussan! It's no longer the Mumsy store it used to be and this great black and beige printed number is going to be perfect for summer, dressed up or down. Worn with a black waist belt, it's even better and a reasonable price at just $119.95.

With such a versatile dress, I've every intention of wearing it for a number of occasions, the first being Melbourne Cup day at the office - all I need to add is a little fascinator. From one of the millions of talented artists on Etsy, the lovely little number top right is from LiveInStyle, a beautiful store full of feathered head pieces and stunning necklaces. Since the Australian dollar is doing so well at the moment, now's a good time to buy up big in the US - total cost of this peacock feathered headband is only AUS$26. Quite the bargain really, hence the reason I just bought it!

A few other purchase I've made in the last week were a cute sale item from Sportsgirl - a girl can never have too many bangles and this wooden & silver animal print one was just $4.95. Not only was it cheap but it works wonderfully well with a great bargain I purchased on Ebay, a cute grey "faux" leather handbag (unfortunately one's bank account doesn't allow for real leather this month). A low, loow $45.45, it's a great piece for when I'm not wearing any black.

Last but not least, on my wish list are these stunning nude coloured heels from Tony Bianco. With a cute buckle and little bit of texture, they'd look great with a dress or jeans (I've got a few light printed tops they would look stunning with!). The "Erin", $129.95.

The reason for my explanation on vintage you ask (since none of the images in the top picture are technically vintage?). This FABULOUS typewriter I picked up at a garage sale last weekend. All I need is some ribbon and I can spend hours writing silly messages to my bloke for him to find when he walks past it next. All for just $25. Now all I need to do is come up with some witty remarks to type..... suggestions welcome!

Enjoy your weekend!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday photos - mix & match

Today's picks (or pics, however you would like to take the pun) are a bit of a mix of everything, inspired by my new found love of a few blogs I mentioned in my post yesterday.

Of course, there's still a few fashion related images for those of you who might be out and about this weekend doing a spot of shopping like I am. My wonderful Mum is coming to Brisbane for the last few days of the school holidays to do a spot of shopping and to check out Trinny & Susannah at Westfield Chermside on Sunday afternoon (3.30pm if you want to check them out - they're at Carindale at 11am as well).

Lets face it, it's impossible to go past a picture of David Beckham (shirtless or not) without pouring drool all over your keyboard. Or is that just me? Either way, I had to include this smashing image of him at an airport (where he no doubt spends half his life). THAT shirt..... THOSE jeans..... THE Louis bag...... can he do no wrong? Now if only I could get my man into an outfit like that (he may not be a world renowned soccer player but one can dream right?).

Wondering who this lovely young lady is? So am I. That's because I found her on The Satorialist. I am normally one who doesn't mix and match colours in an outfit (ie. if I'm not wearing black, I wouldn't carry a black handbag) but something about this pink dress, those pale shoes and the LV bag just works. The drab black suits around her are helping her stand out like the proverbial but hey, isn't that what most women want?

All I can say is if I look ANYTHING like Faith Hill when I'm her age, I'll be happy (just without the blonde hair and country twang voice). You've got to give her or her stylist props for dressing her in something sophisticated but sexy. Of course we all know you can't go wrong with a black suit but to pair it with a silky unbuttoned shirt and a little "bling" (god I hate that word) hellloooo Mama.
So I've mentioned big necklaces before and if you read fashion magazines or window shop as much as I do, you'll know they are THE accessory for the season. I've been after a "bib" style neckpiece for a few weeks now and Sportsgirl has saved me. Fabulous without being freakishly expensive, this $59.95 stunner is perfect for something that could potentially go out of fashion within weeks. If you're after a cheaper version, Dotti has got a similar shape & look for less (as seen in the November issue of Madison).

Slightly off the fashion topic but still adorable are these fantastic party blowers I found on Utterly Engaged. How great that they give you the instructions on how to make them?! If you've already attempted the gift bow from yesterday I know you're going to love this one... In case you're wondering what velum is, I googled it (having no idea myself) and it looks to be some sort of transperant paper. No doubt your local craft or invitation shop could help you track some down.

I was recently telling a work colleague about my parents old business (anyone know Hatz from Oxford St, Bulimba?) and remembered some of the wonderful feathers my Mum used to use on turbans, hair accessories and hats. They started out collecting the dropped feathers from the cages at a pheasant farm but soon realised the accessories were in such high demand, they needed to buy the birds and pluck the feathers themselves (I have heard stories that they would hang them up on the clothesline out the back of our Bardon house and lop the heads off, pluck the feathers, then have the animal for dinner!). This got me to thinking about the fascinators that are everywhere at the moment for the summer racing season.
There's something to be said for making your own piece of headwear and when I saw these pictures from an overseas company, Bando, I couldn't help but think back to my Mum's feather collecting days. The contrast of brown & beige feathers with the aqua of the bead is to die for. I'd wear this with a beige dress and accessorise with a big aqua ring and maybe matching necklace. The gorgeous model even looks like a girl who used to pose for my Mum's business..... uncanny!

Last but by no means least today, a wonderful image from Blue Dog Posters. If you're after cheap and fantastic posters for yourself of for a gift, these guys are worth checking out. This great Guiness number is just $11 without a frame (not including postage). Get yourself a cheap Ikea or Target frame or send it off to a professional and whola! Cheap & cheerful gift for someone special. Thanks to my Mum for passing these guys onto me. I'm highly considering purchasing myself an Breakfast At Tiffany's poster after the last one I had mysteriously ended up with little holes in it after I found the dog walking around our spare room..... seems our pup isn't a fan of Ms Hepburn.....

Enjoy your weekends, whether your hot (Brisbane), windy (Melbourne) or anywhere in between (the rest of the country!).


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blogs worth checking out

So I've been doing a lot of surfing on the information superhighway lately and have come across some fantastic new blogs. Due to my Internet Explorer Favourites getting to be a list as long as about 100 laptop screens, I've started writing them down in a notebook to refer back to. The only problem with this of course is I forget to check them for updates as they're not staring me in the face every lunch time when I sit down to have a sandwich and search the world wide web.

And so today I'm going to post a few blogs that are worth checking out - each one a little quirky, fun and different in their own kind of way.

Free Range Duck
First up is a hilarious website I found whilst looking for some vector images for a work project. I searched for stickers on Vecteezy. I found some. I also found some weird duck images that were totally unrelated but decided to download them anyway. I noticed the web address. Free Range Duck.

A cool project designed to get the cutest little duck image spread to every corner of the globe. I now have my own Free Range Duck on my partition wall at work and intend on taking him for a few escapades around Brisbane to send over to the crew at Free Range Duck. What fun. Completely pointless but fun. Tell me you're not laughing at the hilarious photos from the Secret Garden Party of ducks offering free hugs, right?!

Black Eiffel
I'm a sucker for all things design related - always wishing I'd actually gone to university after high school and studied it (instead of trying to fit in a college course part time while working at the age of 27). I'm also a sucker for a blog with beautiful photos and great links to websites that fill me with inspiration and ideas for things I can make (or design on the computer). I've just started drawing and creating images to start making my own cards for gifts and found a tonne of inspiration on a new blog I came across, Black Eiffel.

You can tell from the first image on the site that Rachel the writer is a graphic designer - her choice of images and words make you want to read through her posts for hours. I also love that she mixes her choice items to post - fashion, photography, music, design and more. One for the list.

How About Orange
So this was actually one of those "stumbled across it through a series of links and found a cool idea" type blogs. I haven't spent much time on the blog How About Orange itself but I noticed it had the BEST idea for crafty types who want to save money, like wrapping gifts creatively and love the adoration when someone comments on how lovely the present is (and they don't want to unwrap it). This is me in a nutshell by the way.
Have you ever wondered how the hell those big bows at the newsagent are made and never just took the time to pull one apart and work it out yourself? (I also can never find the ribbon they use anywhere - can you tell I've tried?). Well, fear not, here is the solution to your craft problems. Grab an old magazine, find a nicely coloured page, cut into strips as instructed, a few pieces of sticky tape and........ tah dah! You've got yourself the cheapest gift bow ever and you've recycled at the same time (ok, so the cost of the magazine may have been twice that of a bow from the newsagent but how many pages are there in the magazine you can make these from?).

Here are the instructions on how to make the bows yourself - and in case you don't have a ruler with inches, here is a quick inches to centimetres calculator.

In case you're wondering, yes I have attempted a bow already. And yes, I did intend on taking a photo and posting it but since it didn't look as nice as the one in the above pictures I decided I'd wait till I get better at it.

Design Mom
I also have to give a shout out to the wonderful Design Mom. I have mentioned her in a few post before but without a doubt, this is one of the coolest blogs I've come across since starting my own. Another designer by trade, the things Gabrielle creates for her kids and the parties she puts together are just wonderful. Should I ever have children, these are the sorts of things I've every intention of doing with them! (even though no doubt at the age of 3 years they are too young to appreciate a fully coloure coordinated get together).

You also have to admire her ability to do all this with 5 children (soon to be 6 as she recently announced she is pregnant again!). Some of the most wonderful images were for her daughters Maude's 10th birthday - a Young Einstein party, just delightful! What 10 year old wouldn't want to eat "brain" cupcakes and make cool science experiments? Not to mention the groovy gifts all the kids went home with (check out the covered clipboards - such a great idea).
I've loads more links to blogs and websites and the like but unfortunately, not enough time to list them so I hope you enjoy at least one of my pick from today. If you have a blog you think I should link to, feel free to comment or send me an email (over to the right is a link to my email address).
Till next time.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I've fallen in love with Lonny

That's right. I've fallen in love with an online magazine.

While flicking through a new favourite blog Black Eiffel I came across this wonderful home/design/decoration magazine called Lonny.

I'm a big magazine junkie which I blame my mother for (50 to 100 copies of Vogue in the house at any given time) but I just haven't gotten into the world of online magazines because you can't sit down with a cuppa, feel the gorgeous glossy paper in your hands or turn page corners down when you find something you like. Yes, I know you can pop your laptop on your knees whilst on the couch and click to turn the page but it's just not the same.

What sucked me in most about this online mag was the people's houses featured in the Fall issue (it's American) have decor and homewares that aren't all worth over $5,000 - and that's just for a lamp shade.

Vogue Living and the like are what I call "scratchie" mags. As in, if you ever win $25,000 on a scratchie you might actually be able to afford some of the items in the magazine. Lonny shows you that the right mix of antique pieces (yes, they can be cheap) and chain store finds can actually make your place look like it should be in the next issue.

I'm also a sucker for photographs of people in their own home with their beautiful pets. People aren't the only ones who make a house a home. The best part of my day is the minute I walk in the door to see my man and our dog waiting to greet me with a mouth full of drool (the dog that is).

The positives of this online magazine though - you can have your lunch break at your desk and read it while enjoying your sandwhich. Even better, check your emails on a Saturday morning over breakfast and flick through it then.

Well worth the read and with barely any ad pages (which we love!) get onto Lonny now and be inspired!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Friday photos - pay day purchases

Family comes before blog.... so in light of my trip to the coast tomorrow to catch up with my lovely Grandma for lunch, I'm posting my photos today.

And this week instead of celeb style, I'm going to let you in on what's on my list of things to buy when pay day hits (after I've paid for my Big Day Out ticket of course - mental note, don't bother to get up at midnight to try and score tickets, 9am the next day on Ticketmaster is much easier).

Anyone who knows me won't be surprised I've got a few items on my list from Witchery considering about 90% of my wardrobe is from there. I've got my eye on the Skinny Tough Love jeans ($129.95), a lovely black and white silk blouse ($139.95), some nice casual utility pants ($109.95) - a great alternative to jeans, and to jump on the White Shirt Campaign bandwagon, the most devine necklace & tank combo ($149.95) - the necklace is detachable so it's like you get two outfits in one!

There's plenty more in the latest release of items both online and instore at Witchery so get yourself in for a look see. They've got some gorgeous beach clothes (a few skirts I have my eye on) plus new season shoes and accessories that are on the list for next month!

Also worth a look at their new season stock is French Connection. These guys can be a bit hit and miss but a lot of this seasons summer pieces are more hit.
I'm loving their dresses and tunics especially with this cute black & white print one coming in at under $100, bargain (Under the Sea tunic $99.95). Another cute tunic that could be the perfect addition to my wardrobe to go with leggings when it's a little on the cooler side is the Polished tunic ($79.95). Their Tom Tom pants in black are also a great option if you want the skinny look with wearing jeans ($119.95) and their wrapped disc necklace would love great with a crisp white singlet or T and jeans ($69.95).
Among a tonne of other shops in and around Brisbane, there is plenty more out there that I've got my eye on but with Christmas now not far away and a few too many festivals to have to save for, I'll have to try and keep my spending to a minimum for a few more months.....
Enjoy your weekends whatever you're doing - I'll be spending a lot of time in front of the TV cheering on Holden at Bathurst (yes, I'm a bogan at heart).
Till next time.....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Easiest & best summer drink..... EVER

What you need:
- A free Sunday afternoon
- Some great beats cranking out of the stereo/mp3 player
- A few friends/family members (unless you want to enjoy this on your own, then grab a book or magazine)

- Bundaberg Ginger Beer
- Vodka (brand is up to you)
- Handfuls of mint (loads of 'em)
- Ice
- Small tumblers

What to do:
- Turn on music

- Place ice in tumbler
- Pour shot of vodka (or more if you have the day off on Monday)
- Place handful of chopped mint leaves in glass
- Fill glass with Bundaberg Ginger Beer
- Find yourself a seat
- Chill......

Best served with your choice of canapes/nibblies (rice paper rolls are quite good with this, load 'em up with corriander and you'll get double the herb hit).

If this isn't the best drink you have all summer, I'm not a 27 year old chick living in Brisvegas.

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