Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Indian Summer on the Beach at Nielsen Park

I think we're having an Indian Summer in Sydney at the moment. Our summer was so rainy and miserable but the days lately have been divine.

After our boy's soccer game and a quick coffee with friends we decided to pack a picnic and head to our favourite beach on Sydney Harbour. Nielsen Park (or Shark Beach) in Vaucluse is just lovely. It's a harbour beach but close to the heads so lovely and clean. We usually sit up on the grass above the beach for our picnic, then swim, play in the sand, chat over a coffee for us and icecream for the kids, more swimming then bring our hungry tired kids home for dinner and a movie.

Nielsen Park is close to where I went to boarding school so I've been going there for around 30 years and it's very special to me.  There is a beautiful old kiosk with a cafe and lovely restaurant, and I love the old changing rooms behind the beach.  I especially love how the sand drops away quickly and it's lovely and deep close to shore.

I thought I'd share some iPhone photos from today.  The harbour was so sparkly and full of sailing boats with their spinnakers up. Spectacular.

  This is really Sydney at it's best!

Hope you've all enjoyed a lovely relaxing Saturday also

Hall Table for Sale

On Thursday I asked for opinions on which hall cabinet I should keep. Thanks for those who weighed in with their views on the blog, facebook and in the playground at school.

and the decision is....this is now for sale!

  A lovely white 2 drawer hall table with great legs.  
Send me an email if you are interested.

This is what we're going to keep in the hallway. 

...that is until another gorgeous piece comes along. 
You know how it is when you deal in furniture!

Cheers Fiona

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lifeboat Seafood at Brooklyn

My sister and I took a little day trip today up the coast to Brooklyn, which is about an hour's drive from Sydney. My dad and his wife had been on a house boat on the Hawkesbury for a week and we went to join them for lunch to celebrate my dad's 75th birthday.

We ate at my dad's favourite seafood place, The Lifeboat at Brooklyn. It's a tiny little restaurant with outdoor seating in a tiny little village with seriously good fresh seafood.  The owners, Tom and Sheree, only serve fresh wild seafood caught locally - very delicious!  

They are renowned for this seafood platter below.

That's my dad and sister in the right of the photo below.


  a decent coffee to finish the meal


oh look, even a lovely vintage French cupboard holding the crockery. No wonder I like this place so much. I just love french furniture - especially practical pieces.

So if you find yourself on the lower Hawkesbury River or travelling on the F3 up the coast make sure you pull off into Brooklyn for  some divine seafood in a tranquil setting.

Happy Birthday, Dad,  I love you so much!

Hope everyone has a good weekend. Soccer season starts tomorrow and my kids are both playing so we have games on Saturday and Sunday morning.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Which hall cupboard shall I keep?

I've just finished painting a lovely solid cupboard and as I was taking photos of it to sell, I thought perhaps I should keep it??  Help me decide....

The new one  

Great storage: These are beautiful quilts that are made by the women in my family. The top is a little blanket my mum made, then next is a quilt my aunt made, on the bottom shelf on the top is the beautiful Thousand Triangles quilt my mum made me for my 30th birthday and then underneath that is a quilt I made out of Laura Ashley material that I started when I was 17 and then found it and finished when I was 40.  I will have to share all these quilts and more one day.

The painting in the wooden frame is one I did when I was living in London in 2002. It's of a little corner of the inside of Saint Bartholomew the Great, which is one of London's oldest churches. It was founded in 1123 as an Augustinian Priory and has been in continuous use as a place of worship since at least 1143.  

I replaced the original handles with these vintage French crackle porcelain ones. 

The cabinet when I bought it - minus the Spanish style round iron handles.

and here is how the hall was previously.  I think my husband will vote for the new one as he's never been that keen on this one.

What do you think?

Fiona xx

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Watercolour Wednesday - the last class

The class term at Art Est has come to an end and I've not re-enrolled next term. Not that I don't want to but it's expensive and pretty much takes up a school day and while I'm there I'm not working at my business consultancy or my furniture so I decided to take a break next term. I'll definitely head back some time as I loved the class and re-discovering watercolours.

Today we painted some pretty flowers and passionfruit. A lovely palette of purples and greens. I am really drawn to painting with the dusky purples so I had an enjoyable day.

The photo below was the painting above but before the teacher suggested I put some of the yellow in the shadow (Quin Gold). Just a small thing but it makes a big difference. The above painting is much better isn't it.

I just wanted to eat them! Shame the painting doesn't capture the smell to share with you.

We then painted some Japanese anemones and some purple Calla lilies. Here is what we were painting. (That poor lily on the left had obviously had a hard day!)

And I had to include one last one from Jan. I really love her work.  She was turning this into a card. So pretty!

So that's probably the last of the watercolours for a little while.  

Do you think I've improved over the eight weeks?  
I think my favourite was the galah.

sharing at

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Atomic Blue Drawers

The other day I went to pick up a chest of drawers I bought on eBay and the lady selling them also gave me a sweet old atomic chest of drawers. Thanks Bronwyn!  They were in pretty bad shape with a mix of yellow and white paint and one drawer was broken. I fixed the drawer and decided to give the drawers a shot of peacock blue.

Bright white inside the drawers

 I love this little vintage wooden teddy and tin. 
My boy keeps these on his bedside table.

This is a close up on the painting. A tiny colourful print of Sydney Harbour. Close friends gave this to us for our wedding.

The drawers are for sale.

And before:

Thanks for all your well wishes for my daughter's surgery and recovery. She's still got a little sore throat but is feeling much better. She says it much easier to breathe and she's been sleeping through the night. 

She and my boy have decided they want to share a bedroom again.  As her bedroom was right in the middle of our house and the window actually looks into our lounge room (from a long ago extension) and it's noisy I think it's a good idea. Her old room has become the toy room once more and they are in together in his room which is a lovely big room.  While swapping the rooms over I've managed to sort through and cull a lot of toys. I'm also taking the opportunity to paint her chest of drawers. I'll post photos soon.  I am looking forward to renovating the back half of our house and getting them their own rooms when we build an upstairs.  Our aim is to get plans into council this year.


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