Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A few days in Brisbane then home again

I've just had a 2 day get away to Queensland and while the reason was very sad, it was a nice short break for me.  The weather was perfect and how good does the water look in the photo below.

On Monday morning I flew to Brisbane for one of my gorgeous friend's, Jodie dad's funeral. It was actually quite hard to go to a funeral so soon after my mother's but I really wanted to be there for Jodie as she and her family were in a lot of shock from losing their beautiful dad so suddenly.  He, like my mum, died within 3 weeks of being diagnosed with an illness. I stayed with another mutual friend Jen (actually I'd met both girls together back packing in the States, then we all lived in London for a few years and have all since returned home to Australia and we've remained very close friends since).  It was good to be able to have a night and another half day with Jenny in Brisbane after the funeral.

On the way home from the funeral, Jen and I stopped into Sandy from Paint Me White's beautiful booth at the Wolloongabba Antique Centre.  Sandy wasn't able to get up to Brisbane to see me (she's currently painting 35 pieces of furniture for one customer! She's amazing) but it was nice to see her latest pieces. Check out her blog for beautiful stuff if you don't already follow her.

Then while my friend, Jen was getting dinner for her girls I went for a stroll around her lovely suburb admiring all the beautiful houses and huge back yards.  I love Queenslanders (the name of these weatherboard raised houses) to look at but think I'd prefer to live in a brick house. I always wonder how noisy weatherboard houses are especially between rooms when you have noisy kids.  If you have one, let me know what you think in the comments below.

Jen and I then had dinner, drank a bottle of champagne and chatted until midnight.  We don't see each other nearly often enough so it was great to have time with her.  The next morning as we were dropping her 3 girls to school one of them asked what we were doing for the day.  I said "Mummy and I are gallivanting for the day!"  and gallivant we did...

First stop was to drop in for morning tea with A-M in her shed to hear all about her wonderful trip to the Hamptons and NYC Blogher conference. She's got severe post travel blues!  so it was good to be able to cheer her up with a coffee and muffin.

A-M had warned me that her shed was very unglamorous but I am fine with that. My first job out of uni was an engineering officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and my office was in an aircraft hanger and when the aircraft did their engine warm ups I had to wear black zone ear muffs while doing work at my desk.  

A-M's shed is at least filled with very pretty things. (behind all those boxes) If you want beautiful homewares and lights for a very good price and to do business with a lovely lady then check out A-M's blog and website.

We then went and dropped in to my good friend Cath who has recently moved to Brisbane. She's a teacher so we spent her 20 minute recess catching up. After that lovely but all too brief visit we headed over to Paddington to Hamptons Home Living for lunch and a browse. If you are in Brisbane and like home wares (and good food), this shop is a must see.  It's perched on top of a ridge and from the balcony where you can eat your lunch there are wonderful views.  The front of the shop has lovely homewares, then the cafe in the back and a small providore section.

I love this hanging bottle look and have been saving my tomato passata bottles to create some little hanging bottles for flowers.  Once I have a few days at home and get some of my already in progress projects finished I might attempt something like this.

Blue and white was the theme this month and it all looked gorgeous.

And some beautiful artwork from Kerri Shipp at Driftwood Interiors blog.  I love Kerri's ming vase series in watercolour.  Her print prices are very reasonable and you can buy directly from her blog if you wish.

Lunch was delicious and enormous! I ordered the avocado and Persian fetta with bacon and a poached egg on sourdough, and a latte of course. Sitting in the sunshine, chatting to my beautiful friend and eating yummy food I felt myself relax for the first time in weeks. Even while we were in Bali I didn't properly relax because of mum being so sick and I've had so much trouble sleeping since she's died. One of Phil's friends has recently lost his dad and he said he didn't sleep for about 6 weeks after the funeral so I'm hoping I can start sleeping properly again soon.

Across the road from Hamptons Home Living is a shop with a riot of colour - The Happiness Place.  So much colour in this place and I think an easy place to find a present for someone.  I loved this Pantone colour chair.  Not sure what the sort of room it would look good in but it's pretty cool.

and speaking of cool, how groovy is this peace sign. the 20 year old daughter of the owner made it from fake flowers.  I love it.  The photo is bad because the sun was streaming in but you get the idea.

then it was back home again. It's always good to fly back into beautiful Sydney.  The Qantas magazine had a feature on Sydney and the first paragraph read "If you're not living in Sydney you're camping out", declared former Prime Minister Paul Keating. Arrogant? Maybe but on a warm summer's day when the light dances on the harbour and everything looks newly washed, it's easy to see what he meant. Hedonistic and outward -looking, Sydney is all about the view - and the views are generally about the water..."

I then went to pick up my kids (who had been cared for and fed  dinner by another lovely friend Maxine) - actually who poured me a glass of red wine as soon as I arrived - I love friends like that!  Once i got home, put the kids to bed, sorted out dinner for me and Phil, I stayed sewing until midnight for the kids school book parade. Trust me to leave it till the last minute. I am quite proud of my efforts though. Sasha went as red riding hood and needed a cape. Luckily Jonty wanted to be Zac Power and just needed earphones and a back pack.

Back to normal now. Can no one else die for a little while please! 

Fiona xx


  1. Wow - what a great trip. Wish I'd joined you. Hamptons shop looks definitely worth a visit.

  2. My goodness, what a huge day you had! So wonderful to see you. You cheered me up no end. A-M xx

  3. Wow, I love the blue and the white!

    Looks like you had a great trip up there! Love the book costumes, we have ours on Friday and I am scratching my head a bit. I think I will go simple and easy this year.


  4. A very busy couple of days. Did you get to Blake & Taylor in Paddington?

  5. Hello Fiona! This was a fantastic read. Glad you had such a great time.
    I know how it feels to lose a parent; I lost my dad 5 years ago after an accident. It's hard and pathetic. But with time it is all going to be okay.

    And who took the pics? They are lovely.

    1. Sorry to hear about your Dad Lucinda. Very sad. Thanks re feedback on the log post. Great day. All photos are mine so thanks for the lovely comment
      Cheers Fiona

  6. Hi Fiona, Looks like you had a wonderful time in Brisbane this week. Pity I didn't know you were in town I would have loved to have met you for a coffee. Oh well maybe next's hoping things are in the up for you:-)

    Cheers Karen

    1. thanks Karen. i did have a great time and feel so much more energised since coming home. I am not sure when my next trip to brisbane will be but have had a couple of people say they'd have liked to catch up so will plan a lunch get together and announce it here and on my facebook page. sounds like a plan!
      Fiona xx

  7. Looks like you had a wonderful time despite the sad circumstances. Love your photos!
    Sarah Jane

  8. hi Fiona, your kids are just gorgeous and I love your daughter's outfit, also love the description of your brisbane trip and photos. glad you could relax
    cheers Suzie

  9. Hi, Queenslanders are very good at absorbing noise. Maybe it's all the wood - floors, walls, ceilings. I love our cottage in Paddington, Brisbane.

  10. Whilst your reasons for the visit were sad your day sounds as though it was just what you two girls needed very badly. Life does go on and it must be lived (reminder to self to keep that in mind!!!!) A-M is looking good despite her post travel blues!!!!
    I will be in Sydney mid September perhaps we could catch up?!!!!!

  11. Hi Fiona,
    I didn't know you were skulking around my hood! I would have met you at the Hamptons for a coffee jox

    1. oh Jo that would have been brilliant. next time for sure. how are you going? lots of press for your outdoor fires I see. good news all round
      Fiona xx


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