A catch up

November 7th, 2011 — 1:11pm, 1 comment »

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, blogging and otherwise …  I don’t think I ever did share a few  ‘new’ additions to the study nook/dining area.  Study nook – ha – sounds good – but that’s  really stretching the truth  – a lot.  It is true that this is where the teenager spends much of his time on the computer.  Alas, I don’t think he’s doing much study,  unless of course he’s majoring in computer gaming.

Firstly, is the little black and white ‘french’  desk I picked up at the local antique/collectibles centre.  Perfect fit, I like.  Next, harder to see, is the wooden horse head to the left.  Not something I would have imagined hanging on my wall, but I absolutely love it.  I found it my Dad’s shed, during their recent move.  It was made by my Dad’s Uncle Wayne, who died as a teenager,  when he was a boy growing up in rural Pennsylvania.  Apparently my Dad had it hanging on his bedroom wall as a kid.   It is so familiar to me, and is so special now that I know it’s history.  It belongs.

Finally, is the blue bench  – I can’t resist anything that colour – to the right.  Not that it’s in that spot anymore.  It moves around a bit.

In other news, I am totally intoxicated by the scent of gardenias.  Is there anything as divine?

And am listening to Sarah Jarosz‘s new album Follow me Down again and again …  only 19 years old!

This could be it …

May 2nd, 2011 — 7:43pm, 5 comments »

Just thought I’d share my latest treasures, they could be my last.  This time I mean it.  I think I might be tired of decorating. I know, very odd.  I must be sick and will probably be back to my normal self soon. However, I bought the latest Vogue Living on Thursday and haven’t even opened it?  Friday I got terribly excited and raced in to look at/buy one of those gorgeous cockatoo lamps I saw on the latest Black and Spiro post, but left empty handed.  I  realised I had no where to put it.   When did that matter?

So, before I care even less, take a look at this cute little table from the local nursery/antique shop/cafe. I am glad I saw it before I got over homewares because it does add a little je ne sais quoi to my living room.  Non?

See those leaves?  Here’s another angle so you can appreciate it’s full cuteness…

Now for that essential piece, the wall vase, in pink. And you know, I almost didn’t buy it. ‘How many pink things can you have?’ I did ask myself. Clearly not enough. Seriously, how adorable is it? If you look closely you can see the teenager’s growth chart pencilled on the wall.

And because I was running out of room in the house for other pink things and non essentials,  I recently picked up this cupboard which looked better in the shop than it does on my verandah.  But it does the trick…

It’s time to stop don’t you think?

Good Intentions

January 6th, 2011 — 9:23am, 6 comments »

I think I remember why I haven’t (yet) developed my regular outside yoga practice – my new (year) disciplined approach to better health…  Leaving the house is too bloody tiring… unless it’s to visit the local antique/junk shop of course.  That’s different.

What do you think?

Friday Find

October 9th, 2010 — 8:46am, 7 comments »

Bingo! Yesterday I finally stopped by the collectables/estate furniture shop near my house that I’ve been dying  to explore/restraining myself from exploring for a while now.  Not that I really had time to explore (I had to get home for the internet cable guy- who I missed anyway – that’s another story) but I was there long enough to spot this very cute table, which is now sitting on my front verandah.


It’s a Depression era  games table,  and I’ve never seen one before.  Apart from the fact that it’s so quaint, and I do like ‘quaint’,  I just love the honesty and simplicity of Depression furniture.

I plan to keep it pretty much as it is, maybe a light sand and wax to remove the remaining varnish, but repaint the black squares.   Then again, maybe I should leave them faded as they are.  Here’s a closer look, what would you do? 

One step forward, two steps back – Confessions of a Collector

September 30th, 2010 — 10:31pm, 8 comments »

A few days ago I heard the comedian Corrine Grant talking on Radio National about her new book, Lessons on Letting Go – Confessions of a Hoarder. I like to think of myself as more of a collector but nevertheless my interest was piqued.  So much so that as I was packing to come down to Canberra for the week I threw in the book my thoughtful number one son had given me for Christmas, Sorted – The ultimate guide to organizing your life – once and for all by Lissanne Oliver. 

I was aware that of late I had started to pick up the odd bit of furniture – again – the odd piece de resistance that I didn’t need or have room for but liked, that I could see potential in.  The problem being, I had a truck load or two of the very same when we arrived from Canberra eight months ago to our new, much smaller house in Queensland, and I’ve been trying to get rid of it all ever since.  I vowed my collecting days were over.  I wanted to travel lightly through life, free of excess baggage – I still do.   But then I found my local demolition/collectables centre – and what a find that’s been.

Anyway, I have been reading Sorted and can’t wait to get home and get sorted.  Really.  It makes so much sense.  When you get something new, throw something old out, that way things don’t ever get out of hand, apparently.  Of course there’s much more to it but I have to read more.

So renewed is my commitment to getting sorted that when my husband suggests after dinner that we stroll around to our favourite book store, I decline.  “No, I have lots of books at home I haven’t read yet,” I tell him.  (We have also given away enough books in the past 6 months to start a second hand book shop, which I’m now thinking mightn’t have been such a bad idea.) “Too bad, it’s our tradition,” he says.  And he’s right, it is, or it was.  Going there after dinner was also one of the great pleasures of our life.  How could I refuse? “OK, let’s go and just look,” I say.  

Five books later we are ready to leave. I knew this would happen – it always did.  Mind you, they’re not all for me.  David chose the latest Martin Cruz Smith – an Arkady Renko novel set in Russia, and we both love this series, well we collect it actually.  Conor chose Reckless by Cornelia Funke but I would have bought him anything with words.  He is not what you’d call an avid reader – what were the chances of that?  I decided to grab Stephanie Dowrick’s Choosing Happiness because I’ve been meaning to for a while, and could not have left the store without the new Isabel Dalhousie novel by Alexander McCall Smith.  Such warm, feel-good stories.   Last but not least, how could I not pick up a copy of Lessons in Letting Go?  I’ll let you know how I go.


July 8th, 2010 — 2:55pm, 3 comments »

I was thinking of not sharing this find, but given that we read about it in the Lonely Planet I guess I’m not really spilling the beans.  So, if you ever come to Beijing I can highly recommend you visit the Panjiayuan Antique Market – if you like that sort of thing.  The trouble is figuring out where to start – keep calm and breathe slowly –  and having enough time to browse.  I only had a few hours and it wasn’t nearly enough.   Of course I don’t know much about antiques, unlike others I saw perusing with their magnifiers.  I just like what I like – whatever takes my fancy.

And this did …  I just love the painting!

and I found a real treasure below …

This stall took my fancy …

and so did this …

and this. I also found a very special treasure here …

And of course here I felt a mosaic project coming on, but given my boxes full of broken china at home, I resisted.  (But I don’t have broken antique chinese porcelain …)

If I had had more time, a bigger suitcase and an even bigger house, I think I could have done some serious shopping.  But I’m (almost) glad I didn’t.  Looking is good too.  I felt privileged just to be there.  The next day when we went to the Chinese National Museum, I recognised a number of items I had seen the day before at the market and understood their actual use. 

But I did take a few things home with me …

This old photo album touched my heart.  I couldn’t leave this family behind.  A mother, a sister, chose this beautiful album to keep her loved ones safe. Where are they now?

I decided this beautiful celadon flower shaped bowl wouldn’t take up much room in my suitcase.  I can’t say no to flowers.

I also found this old photo and frame absolutely compelling …

Lastly, a touch of whimsy  – this vintage chinese globe.

My treasures.