Sunday, July 29, 2012

Walking the beaches does the world of good

Thanks for all your lovely messages and kindness this last week. Grief and organising a funeral is so exhausting. I am now home in Eden and feeling much better. The funeral is on Tuesday and we are pretty much organised.

We arrived last night and this morning I woke early and walked along the beach. The light down here on the far south coast is very beautiful.

a little sea spray is very healing

very restorative

This region is called the Sapphire Coast. You can see why.

We all felt that it would be a little weird staying at mum's house without her; and the four of us kids and our partners and all the kids wouldn't have all fit in her house anyway so our cousins are there and we have rented an amazing enormous old house across the road. You would love this house. Big old kitchen with an Aga, that we cooked up a big breakfast on this morning. Poached eggs cooked on a wood fired stove, eaten sitting in the warm winter's sun overlooking the beautiful Twofold Bay.

The front garden has a massive tree and a wooden swing that the kids are loving. A perfect diversion for the children.



Monday, July 23, 2012

Sadness and Peace

Thank you for all your kind wishes over these last few tough weeks. Your good wishes and prayers have meant so much. The friendships you make are the nicest part of blogging.

My mum died early last night. She had been in much pain. In the end it was very peaceful, with me, my sister and my aunt by her side, loving her.

I was very grateful for these last few days with her ... as well as a lifetime.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Update II

We are still here for 10 more hours.
Spending it by the pool and savouring every moment!
Today is our last day here and we'll be making the most of it, spending the day by the pool and a possible massage at the spa. Although we'll be sad to say goodbye to the pool, the beach and the other simple pleasures, we are all quite looking forward to heading home and seeing my mum who is still in RPA Hospital and also our dog, Charlie

I'm sitting at the pool bar writing this post having a terrible coffee (I also can't wait for a good coffee back home - really missing the lovely team at Divi Cafe) and I thought I'd share some photos of this last week. I should have ordered a cocktail!

Where we are staying has an adult's pool separate from the family area. It's a shame really as it is a lovely pool that we haven't been able to use it much. We snuck the kids in one evening when no one was around. They loved it. Is on a roof top and the water overflows to a catchment. It's got beautiful green tiles so the pool water is such a serene colour.

Hard to imagine we'll be back in the midst of winter tomorrow. I'll be heading straight to the hospital from the airport to see my mum and the doctors. She had surgery on the tumour in her brain this week and the results and prognisis (which isnt looking good) are back tomorrow. Thanks for everyone's thoughts and sweet messages over this tough time for her and our family.

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen lots of these shots before. This orchid below is one of my favourite flowers. I found this growing at a temple. So pretty and unexpected!

One thing we have enjoyed doing in the evenings here is finding a sweet bar along the beach or by a pool and having mojitos as the sun goes down.

So that's it from me. It's back to furniture and makeovers....


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DIY Designer Upholstered Bedhead

I got an email recently from my gorgeous friend whose country house we stayed at in Burrawang.  When we were there for the weekend she had mentioned that she wanted an upholstered bedhead to that matched the curtains they had made when the house was built earlier this year. The curtains are made from hessian and are beautifully sewn. the only problem is that the seamstress who made them has said she will refuse to ever work with hessian again as it's so difficult to sew.  So asking her to make the bedhead was definitely out!

I suggested that my friend make it herself and talked her through how to do it.  I've seen enough ones on other blogs and done enough upholstrey of chairs and sofas to know exactly how to make them, even if I've never actually done it myself.

Here are the results:

And close up.

She's done a great job, hasn't she. It all looks fabulous and wasn't expensive. I love how you can usually create a designer look on a budget.  You've got to love MDF, a glue gun and a staple gun!

When things settle down for me, I'll post a full tutorial on how to do this.

Also don't you love how my friend has used metal tool kits from Bunnings for her bedside tables. Can you see them in the first photo?  Such a great look and way cheaper than buying proper new furniture. Of course I would have bought cheap second-hand vintage ones and paint them white...but you all knew that already.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Beach in Winter

Are you a winter beach goer or only a fair weathered friend of the beach?

I love the beach any time of year. What I love about the beach in winter is the solitude and the wind and briskness.

During the busy days last week when I was in Eden, I managed to get down to the beach for 15 minutes one afternoon. I thought the kids would want to run along the sand but it was so cold down at the beach and the wind was really whipping around and the kids refused to leave the warmth of the car... so I had some solitude on the beach.


This is Aislings beach - the main beach in town

I was accompanied by faithful puppy, Charlie! He had so much fun running around and sniffing everything. But he's so obedient that when I asked him to sit he, of course, sat and posed.  Looking this way ...and that


I think he's wondering which is his best side?

Ok enough he's thinking - let me go play!

So who's with me? who loves the beach in winter?

How good is this sign?  I think every beach town needs a sign like that. This one is directly outside our old house with it's fabulous views of the beach and bay. 


Friday, July 13, 2012

An antique shop or an episode of hoarders?

vintage suitcases galore
Last week when I was in Eden to look after my mother she needed a CT Scan so I took her to Bega where the closest Radiology department is.  After we left the scan, I noticed that next door was a little house turned into an antiques shop. Mum suggested I take 10 minutes to myself to have a quick look while she sat in the car with the kids (who were so good and patient as we traipsed from appointment to appointment all day to work out what as wrong with mum).

loved these chippy old skirting boards turned coat racks
The antiques shop was full to the brim and to be honest was a little freaky for me. I felt like I was in an episode of hoarders!  Don't get me wrong, there was heaps of stuff there and some of it was great (if a little expensive, in my opinion but I'm spoilt because I go to auctions all the time and have access to so much stuff more cheaply than shops sell it).

what a great colour and worn paint work on these chairs

This beautiful vanity mirror caught my eye as soon as I walked in. Which was actually a miracle as there was so much stuff packed from floor to ceiling. I'm a real sucker for scrolls and carved detail. I love the fan/leaf detail on the top. 

Lots of rusty old junk. There was so much stuff in the garden that I'm sure they don't pack it away at night or bad weather - furniture and everything. Perhaps by leaving it all out in the weather is how the further enhance the chippy rusty patina.

I couldn't even tell what this thing below is - but it's got rust, chippy paint and a scroll. My kind of details!

So if you ever find yourself in Bega, on New South Wales far south coast then pop by Artizantique. Details in the photo below. Be prepared to shift through some junk to find treasure but it's there if you look.

Do you ever feel like that when you go to junk/antique shops? that it's a waste of time as it's all junk and seriously who would want to buy any of it? how do these places stay in business? but then you find some beauties amongst all the crappola? and then the next thing you know you're forking over your money...


Thursday, July 12, 2012


Well I ended up coming on our planned holiday. Getting on that plane and leaving my sick mum was so hard. She was adamant that I come. She is still waiting for test results and a surgery date. It will only be palliative care. My siblings are all with her and loving her.

In the mean time I am slowly unwinding. The hotel is amazing.

The people are so kind and have the widest smiles. The pool is beautiful and you can walk miles along the beach. The hotel has great water sports. I kayaked out to a little sand bar off shore yesterday and had the beach to myself. It was very peaceful. And then Phil and I went jet skiing. Not peaceful at all but so much fun. My smile matched that of the locals.

I am posting this from my ipad on blogsy so excuse any formatting etc weirdness. I'm not really sure about this app.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Furniture to paint, Furniture to not paint

EDIT - I just want to assure everyone I would never paint these - I am just interested to see if you would! These aren't even mine to paint, they are my mothers (well they probably are mine now as she recently passed away, but still I will would never paint)

I wanted to show you this divine intricately carved cupboard that has always sat by my mother's front door, no matter which house she has lived in.  This piece is very old and originally would have been a chamber pot cupboard for next to the bed. Aren't you glad we now live in modern times and have lovely stuff in and on our bedside tables and not big bowls of wee? ok best we don't go there mentally... 

My mother's great uncle was an antiques dealer and he had given this to his daughter, my mother's Auntie Gwen, who in turn sold it to mum for 2 pounds when mum was first married to my dad.  At the time she thought it was a lot of money but I think it's pretty good value seeing she's had this cabinet to use and love for around 50 years. It has a little white ant damage on one side but besides that it is lovely.

The wood in the central panel looks like leather. It's such an interesting effect.  I love the carved handles and all the flourishes.  This is a piece that I wouldn't paint (if it were mine). Although it would look fantastic antiqued glazed. See my antique glaze tutorial

This funny little green and gold bowl below has sat on this cupboard for my whole life also. Don't you think it's interesting that you can love something just because it's been around for a long time? If I look critically at this bowl I don't know if I even like it. I'm never a fan of gold but I do love this bowl just because it's always been in this spot.

This chair on the other hand I would definitely paint. My mother's friend moved into a nursing home a few years ago and gave her this chair. It is now sitting by mum's front door. 

The chair is very unusual with it's shell like back. It would look fantastic painted white and slightly distressed to show off the details.

sweet little fan details on the legs

How good would this carving look all painted white with antiquing glaze or dark wax in it's crevices. 

Do you have furniture that you would never consider painting?  Do you have furniture that desperately needs some paint to refresh it?  If you are not confident to do it yourself or just like outsourcing I'm always happy to provide a quote for painting your furniture if you live in Sydney.  It is a cost effective way to bring new furniture to life and can really brighten up your house, while either keeping pieces that you love or totally transforming an ugly piece.


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