Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Before and After

I took a huge step late last week and finally took my favourite Danish style chair to receive the pampering it deserves. It has been sitting in this position in our lounge room for the past two years in the condition I found it. The timber still looks and feels amazing but the cushions are passed their prime. The hardest decision has been which fabric to cover them in. I adore cloth fabric, but I also have a 16 month old child, and numerous friends, not to mention the upholsterer telling me perhaps now is not the time to go down that path, so I am still unsure of the end result but I am nearly at the point of deciding. Those who are close to me will know that that is huge in itself. So very soon I hope to introduce you to my refreshed favourite chair back in its spot in my lounge room. I miss it, but waiting anxiously for the transformation.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Vintage Inspiration

I love coming across images, be it in magazines or my favourite blogs that get the mind flicking through the endless possibilities.  There are so many beautiful options and not enough rooms to decorate. For now I just admire. I love the mirrors in this photo.
Image from Decor8

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Spritely Yellow

Happy Days...

Image from The Design File via BHG

Ceramicist, Honor Freeman

An Airtight Container for Every Occasion by Honor Freeman
For my birthday last year my husband bought me flights for a friend and I to go shopping in Melbourne for the weekend. Very exciting, although at the time I was Fashion Fasting, which was like entering the most fabulous French patisserie and being a coeliac. We did however go to a show, slept in and ate at some of the most amazing restaurants including The Press Club which was an experience in itself. On the flight home I purchased the latest Inside Out magazine and while slowly flicking through it I came across a small photograph of some beautiful ceramics. My friend Jane and I had just been admiring similar works in a little side street in Melbourne and so it demanded my attention. When I looked to see who the designer was, I was thrilled to see the name Honor Freeman, a girl I went to school with. I love her take on Tupperware (above).

Image from Craftsouth.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Tea time...

One of the best gifts we've ever received is our divine little Pizza Maker pizza oven (thanks C&J). Apart from Russell's Pizza in Willunga (a must to visit if you are in SA), it consistently turns out the best pizzas I know.
Tonight I came home from work to be welcomed by my husband cooking Onion Confit Pizza for tea. It was so delicious I just had to share it.

Onion Confit Pizza

Pizza Dough
2 cups of plain flour
3/4 cup of warm water
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 sachet (7g) yeast

2kg brown onions peeled and sliced thinly
20g butter
dash of olive oil
herbs from the garden (Josh tonight used a bay leaf and thyme)
black olives (could use Kalamatas or green if you already have those)

Firstly I have to say, you need to cook your onions in a shallow baking dish in the oven along with the butter and olive oil for about 1 1/2 hours at 150 degrees. This makes them nice and caramelised, which is essential to the flavour. Thankfully it is easy, just a little time consuming. You need to heap them though, if they are spread thinly they will burn. Turn the onions every 15 minutes or so. Remove from the oven... the smell is divine! Remove the bay leaf and thyme. If the thyme is cut finely I'd leave it in there.

To make the dough, add the yeast and sugar to the warm water, stir until frothy and then add to the flour. It's easier to mix if you make a little well. Knead for about 5 minutes, then put in clean bowl and cover with a tea towel or cling wrap and leave for at least 30 minutes. The dough should make about 4 pizzas. Divide the dough and then roll out to your preferred thickness. I love them thin. Top with onion confit, a sprinkling of olives and a few anchovy fillets. You can cut the anchovies finely or even not use them at all if they aren't to your liking. I am not usually a fan but they do add a pleasant pizzang. Place in pizza oven or normal oven (on stone or tray on about 220 degrees) until the bottom of the dough is crisp and the edges are lightly browned. Drizzle with a little olive oil if you like and serve. WOW the flavour is magnificent. It'd go nicely with a fresh rocket and pear salad. Enjoy!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Find, Make, Do...

I came across a great blog tonight, Find, Make, Do... and as it turns out I have actually purchased one of the author, Betty Jo's handcrafted brooches from a little store in South Melbourne two years ago. Her jewellery pieces are absolutely gorgeous. Made out of retro lino, buttons and laminex... very funky indeed and adorable!!

Images of Betty Jo Designs' handcrafted delights from Lino Forest via Find, Make, Do

Friday, 17 June 2011

Colour me happy

Here is a sneak peak into the home of someone who is dear to my heart. It is such a happy place. Each room boasts a different colour scheme that compliments the next. I just love the 2-pac green coffee table. More to come...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Farm stay

I can't believe it has almost been a week since my daughter and I left to go on our little farm stay just out of Hamilton in Western Victoria... my old stomping ground from my radio days. I do love this part of the world. Warm log wood fires, porridge in the mornings, the sound of new life in the form of little "baas" throughout the day (and night), relax time reading magazines, long bike rides in the country air, fresh produce straight from the garden, catching up with old friends and lots of cuddles from my little girl. Blissful.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Great spotting

I can't describe my excitement on Saturday when driving through the quaint little town of Macarthur in Victoria on my way home from a trip to Port Fairy. Deep in conversation with my friend Lorraine in the front seat, I spot out of the corner of my eye a glance of red. When I realised what it was I had to pull over suddenly to capture it. A bright soulful red door. I do not know what draws me to red doors... bright doors of any colour really, but red especially. There is something about that pop of colour that just makes me happy.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Loving wallpaper

1. Spotcheck by cloth

2. Stripes by Porter's Paints

and for the kiddies... 3. Marjorie Duck Tweet Dreams by Bholu

4. Mavis Monkey Ma & Pa by Bholu

5. Circus Silhouettes and Stripes by Catherine Martin

I am in love with wallpaper. There are so many great prints around these days which makes decision making a little difficult. These quirky prints are available from Porter's Paints.

Images from Porter's Paints

Pause on the painting

I mentioned a little while ago that I had bought an old table and chairs for my daughter which I was planning to paint raspberry with a chalkboard top... well it has been on the verandah for a few weeks now and today I put a potted geranium on it and have fallen in love with the green. It is such a happy colour. I think I will leave it for the winter and then rethink my little project when the weather warms up. Not ideal conditions for painting anyway.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Tea time

Roast Pumpkin and Feta Risotto

I thought I didn't have anything for tea, and then came up with this concoction. Takes about 30 minutes, plus time for roasting the pumpkin. So tasty.You can add anything you like to this really. That's what I did, but it turned out to be a great combination.

Pumpkin cut into cubes and roasted until cooked through but not too soft.
2 cups of arborio rice
1 onion diced
About 2 litres of vegetable stock
1 cup of dry white wine
1 cup of frozen or fresh peas
Handful of parsley finely chopped
About 150g of chopped feta
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan
Olive oil

Brown onion in about a tablespoon or two of butter, then add rice and stir around for a minute or so. Add wine and stir until absorbed, then slowly start to add stock about a half a cup at a time. Make sure you keep stirring so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of your pan. If using frozen peas add them as you go so that they have time to defrost and heat through. Once most of the stock has been absorbed fold through the pumpkin, parsley, feta and Parmesan. Add cracked pepper and sea salt if desired. Serve and savour. Delicious!


Anyone would think I am opposed to colour.  I am not at all, the opposite in fact. I do however, find myself drawn to mostly white interiors like this Danish Summer house, even though our home in the hills is not like that at all. Perhaps it is because when life is busy we dream of simplicity.... I do anyway. Enjoy.

Images from My Scandinavian Retreat. Love this blog!
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