Monday, 31 December 2012

it's finished.

The deck extension was actually finished a few days after my last post but with Christmas, trips away and lazy summer days, it seems my blog has been on holidays too and until now I haven't had a chance to post a photo of it in all its glory.

I absolutely love the small but significant addition. The barbecue has now moved, the old deck was also revamped with a new coat of oil and we went all out and put LEDs in the deck facing so the surrounding grass is illuminated at night - great for spotting and avoiding cane toads when venturing into the backyard at night - eek. Next on the agenda is a front step, but that can wait until well into 2013. Now it's time to enjoy it.

 Happy Holidays and all the best for a wonderful 2013!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

all good things come to those who wait.

Not long after we bought our house two years ago, I started to drop a few subtle hints that it would be great if our back deck could be extended....

I didn't get much of a response, so I patiently waited and waited... then dropped a few more hints, but it seemed to no amount of persuasion could convince my other half it was a great idea. So when it seemed like the deck extension was an absolute lost cause, I changed tack and downgraded my plans to a few large timber stairs coming off the deck. I measured out the planned stairs with rope to share my vision... Still no movement or sign of interest...

However, an early Christmas present of a seven piece Makita drill kit changed everything! Much to my delight and absolute surprise I walked out the back on Sunday night to see the power tools had been used and little construction site had been established. Measuring had taken place and by Monday morning the holes for the bearers had been dug. I could not believe it! With a little patience and the gift of a new Makita kit good things can happen.

On Tuesday the bearers and joists went in.

This morning we did a little timber shopping.

And now it is well and truly underway! Christmas for me has come early.

Monday, 10 December 2012

all the trimmings.

Although I am sure most die hard Christmas devotees would have already decorated their trees, I wanted to share a few of my favourite decorations which I came across over at Outliving. I do love a Christmas reindeer and a few penguins in the mix.

Friday, 7 December 2012

getting into the christmas spirit.

I love unique christmas decorations, cards and embellishments and upon popping over to upon a fold I found lots of lovely festive things which will no doubt inspire you to send a little merriment in the mail. There's also of plenty beautiful paper pieces for table tops and crafty types. Check it out!

a card and decoration all in one
santa surprise card
snowflake washi card and ornament, a card which just keep on giving

you can reuse the embellishments
perfect for presents and table tops
the coolest christmas coasters I've seen
beautiful gift tags

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

they're back.

I have loved Zaishu stools ever since I first spotted them way back in 2004. Simple slot together creations made from plantation timber, it seemed no two were the same, as Zaishu collaborated with a range of artists and fellow designers such as Julie Patterson from Cloth, David Bromley, Nicola Cerini and Kat McLeod. Although I loved them, I never nabbed one and always wished I had, particularly as it seemed Zaishu had vanished into obscurity. However, the good news is they're back and lucky Melbournites can checkout the new launch range at The Big Design Market this weekend. I wish I was going!

I had this picture from the Zaishu brochure above my desk for years. I'd glance at it longingly and covet the wire old wire chair too.

For the creators of Zaishu their product is much more than a sustainable clip together seat/table. It bridges the gap between art and design, and is integral to numerous large social projects and exhibitions where it is utilised as an expressive canvas for artisans and creative individuals world wide.

Thanks for coming back Zaishu, you've been missed.

Monday, 3 December 2012

profile mel french - dick + dora.

I was a big fan of Dick and Dora books when I was a kid and loved reading about Fluff and Nip's adventures. Now I am older my appreciation for Dick + Dora extends to the accessories - homewares - decoration label of the same name which was inspired by the primary school reading books. Designed and made in Tasmania, the Dick + Dora range is created using a mix of acrylic and timber and features motifs of sausage dogs, rabbits, boats, elks and owls, reminiscent of the simple yet charming illustrations from the original books. This year their Christmas decorations are super cool and as owner and chief designer Mel French explains, they're incredibly popular. If you are looking for a few more embellishments or presents, checkout the entire range here

How would you describe yourself?
Inquisitive, devoted, I try to be giving, a bit of a McGyver.

What was your childhood dream?
Not sure I ever had a strict career in mind, more a need to be hands on in whatever I ended up in.  

What led you down your current path?
I’ve found myself more by accident than design in a variety of creative roles over the years since art school, including years in visual merchandising and I am always happiest when I get to build things all day. I was keen to take on the challenges of running a ‘lifestyle’ business although it can be crazy at times- like Oct/Nov in the lead up to Christmas!

Who are the chief designers at Dick + Dora?
Myself and husband Chris when he’s not too busy teaching graphic design.

What is the inspiration behind some of the designs?
It’s a mix really between whimsical nostalgic images, things that make you smile and nature. We seem to switch between the not so serious more literal quirky pieces to more designed based pieces with lots of clean lines. This years Christmas is a mix of traditional bauble shapes with detail based on vintage fabric designs.

What are the advantages of using Tasmanian materials?
It gives me much more involvement in the process- I know where the materials come from, can be completely hands on in the process and support local industry. Plus Tasmanian timbers are quite unique.

Who do you admire?
People who make the best of each day are not afraid to have a go. Glass is half full type of people.

What are your top creative resources?
I love work by book illustrator Jan Pienkowski, Australian artists  Mirka Mora and David Bromley, blog wise the design files, and I my favourite music is jamiroquai.

What is your idea of happiness?
Lazy days with family and friends that are too few and far between but I live in hope for a few more over the summer.

What are your plans for Christmas?
Time at the shack on the East coast, morning ocean swims and lots of fresh flathead! 

What are Dick + Dora up to next year?
The wholesale side of things slows down early in the new year but we’ve got a couple of the busiest markets for us between xmas and new year, so will just have to get them out of the way first. We really want to develop our Christmas range to include an extended range of products. There’s been so much interest in our oversize decorations and wall art as store merchandising props this year, after Life In Style that we’re thinking of looking into doing some designs especially for that purpose. My years in department store VM might actually come in handy!

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read – Jasper Forde Thursday next series.
Watch- grand designs & later with jools.
Cook- chicken korma is at the top of the list.
Create- at the moment endless Christmas craft with the kids. I'm loving  made by joel.
Listen to-  Florence & The Machine.
Dream about- The end of this years Christmas decoration bag  packing!
Look forward to- The first cup of tea of the day.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

it's summer.

Pinch and a punch for the first day of the month and the start of SUMMER! I absolutely love summer. The hot days, followed by a cooling swim, all the summer fruits, the long days, the afternoon storms, the sound of the ceiling fan ticking away all night long. Everyone seems to be in a relaxed holiday mode and there seems to be so much more time to do fun stuff, like play table tennis before breakfast. Happy summer, I hope you enjoy it too.