Friday, November 29, 2013

DIY Chanel Pop Art....

Inspired by this iPhone Scribble above, found on Pinterest, using my own bottle of Chanel No 5 as 'the model', and armed with Butchers Paper (do you know they sell that stuff by weight? I am now the proud owner of 10kgs of it!)...and just four artists crayons in black, white, soft grey and deep yellow, I created this....

I just covered an old picture that I was a bit tired of with the Butchers Paper, and went for it. It's not meant to be neat or realistic. It's meant to be Pop Art-ish.
I popped an interpretation (that's what it means when you can't draw it properly!) of a Chanel camellia in the top corner to fill the space a bit.

You could do smaller versions on card stock with a bit of bling on them, or A4 sized ones, framed in gold embellished frames for that hard to buy for friend.

Just try to not be too picky.

It's an interpretation, remember....*wink*....

Have fun!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bookcase makeover....still going....

A timely purchase of French inspired storage trays has me working overtime on my office bookshelf makeover. I'm hoping that these trays and a few well placed trinkets will have my office area looking "chic", rather than "shack"!
I'm stealing ideas grabbing inspiration from Jen over at Craft-o-maniac for some little Christmas inspired vignettes in gold, black, white and woodtone. I adore her colour scheme and elegant style, and I'm hoping she won't mind me having a design crush on her stuff.
So while, I lug magazines to the thrift shop, rehouse sewing bibs and bobs, and generally fluff and frivolise, why not pop over and visit Jen. She has a linky party on and there's some fabbo stuff there.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Motherly Advice...Make ironing a pleasure

 'Woman Ironing'  Armand Desire Gautier (French 1825-1894)

First and foremost, have a decent ironing board with padding beneath the cover, and comfortable shoes to relieve fatigue. I'm assuming that like me, you prefer to get the ironing over and done with in one fell swoop!

Secondly, do treat yourself (that sounds odd, but having good equipment to perform your household tasks IS a treat of sorts) to a decent iron. One that feels light in your hand, preferably cordless....this is the twenty first century after all...and a decent steam and spray function.

Start with the most delicate items, ironed on a lower temperature, and move upwards to the more substantial items requiring the higher temperatures.

Make sure you have plenty of coathangers! I have been buying six velvet covered hangers a week for ages. An investment of just $6 a week, now means we can use these exclusively. They take up less space in the wardrobe, and the clothing does not slip from them.

Put a little of your favourite fabric softener into a spray bottle and use it as ironing aid.

Not only will it make your clothes and ironing area smell beautiful, but it'll make the ironing easier.

Alternatively, add a teaspoonful of Lectric Soda and a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

It'll perform the same task.

Have some music playing. Use your iPod or other techno gadget, or just have a battery operated radio in your ironing area. Sing along. Singing always makes the task go quicker.

Iron near a window, where the breeze can blow over you and you can enjoy the view outside, no matter what it is. I'm equally at peace looking at rainforest, water, the backyard, or a city skyline. My favourite ironing view though, is my front garden, so I iron near the window that best shows off my roses and hydrangeas.

Set up your favorite movie or TV series, and iron while you watch. The time will fly!

Take pleasure in knowing that no matter what you wear, it will always look better ironed! Even the most threadbare, vintage, or aged clothing is more flattering when fresh, and pressed.

Ironing won't be fun, but it will become a task you can take pride in.

What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

Custom scented shampoo and conditioner

Todays tip is to have beautifully scented shampoo and conditioner with which to wash your hair.
And by that, I don't mean expensive.

I mean something that you love, whether it's Green Apple, Peach, Coconut, Berry, Lemon, Honeysuckle, Frangipani, Jasmine, or something else.

An easy way of having shampoo and conditioner that is scented exactly the way you like it, is to buy unscented shampoo and conditioner from a health food supplier, or online, like this...

...remembering that the more you buy the cheaper it is, so find a friend who wants some luxury in their life too, and go halves :)

You can buy the most divine essential oils online with which to scent your shampoo and conditioner, and my current favourite is either Jasmine or Frangipani and those in a shampoo and die for.

Decant it into glorious embellished bottles (being careful with glass in wet areas of course!), and see if it doesn't make you feel like a Princess.

Be your own Lady-in-Waiting

The truly wealthy or blue blooded, all of them have someone to perform the more menial tasks for them.

I suggested recently, putting your towel out on the end of your bed or the edge of your vanity, beautifully folded with toiletries tucked inside.

You can extend that idea to much of your daily routine.

The trick is to think 8-12 hours ahead.

What will be happening eight hours, twelve hours, 20 hours from now? What can you do NOW to make that run more smoothly or make it more luxurious?

For me, it will be dinner time. So I've just prepared a green salad in a pretty bowl and set the table with placemats, dinner plates, polished cutlery and linen serviettes. I even had time to iron the serviettes at this time of the day. Not essential but a nice touch. I've put a vase of greenery in the centre of the table too.

The gluten free Chicken Parmagiana is sitting in the fridge ready to pan fry and bake for a few minutes, and the potatoes are peeled, diced and soaking in water ready to be roasted.

Likewise, lunch is ready. It's my Quinoa Salad, and it's all ready to go, in the fridge.

Twelve hours from now, we'll be heading off to bed. Our towels and toiletries are already laid out and fresh pyjamas are floating on the line in the sunshine, lightly scented with homemade Sunlight (Velvet) soap laundry detergent. They'll be neatly folded and snuggled inside the folds of our towels too.

Twenty hours from now, we'll be heading off to breakfast at a friends house, so our clothes are already ironed and ready, and I've done a Bircher Muesli in a crystal bowl to take with us.

Blueberries need to be purchased at some stage today to add to the top of the Muesli.

So here I sit now, the next 24 hours pretty much under control, and now I just have to find that cleaning lady to do the dusting, polishing, mopping and vacuuming. Mind you, with home made Jasmine scented furniture polish and Eucalyptus cleaner, that task isn't all hard either.
Do it for you.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bookcase makeover time!

I'm inspired.
I've been drooling over the furniture makeovers over at Three Mango Seeds, and!
I used to be a big furniture renovator but the Musician Husband has made me promise that I will not bring another stick of furniture into this least not till I've got rid of some first!
So thwarted as I am, I have to seek inspiration to make the most of what's already here. And actually it's not that hard because I'm ALWAYS  up for a project!
So using this beautiful makeover as a guide....
...I'll be turning my overstuffed office bookcase....
....into something a little more civilised....ahem!
No painting necessary, thank the stars, but a tidy up and some beautiful embellishment is definitely in order.
Graphics Fairy here I come!
 photo signature_zps33fd9dfd.png

Saturday, November 23, 2013

How badly do you want it....Week pleasures...

After 5 weeks, I've lost 4 kilos (nearly 9 pounds). I've done it safely, slowly and steadily, without food supplements, shakes or protein bars.
In the process, I've found some new (healthy) pleasures.....
Cottage cheese dip instead of Brie on crackers. This is my own recipe and is just delish.
To one tub of low fat Creamed Cottage cheese, add two diced tomatoes, 2 finely sliced shallots (spring onions), 2 teaspoons of curry powder, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix well, and enjoy on crackers, lettuce leaves or in halved and hollowed out tomatoes. Very yummy and due to it's similarity in appearance to egg, palatable to little old cottage cheese hating me!

Peach tea with a hint of orange, in a delicate china Limoges cup. A new favourite and recent addition to the supermarket shelves here. Light, just a bit fruity and tastes like something, unlike many other herbal teas which, to me, taste like hot water with a scent waved over them. I've completely eliminated caffeine in the form of coffee or normal tea, and I feel better for it. I really look forward to my fruity cuppa these days.

Chilled water with lime slices, in a crystal tumbler. Yes, you might remember I said I detested iced water. Change of heart. No wine here these days, so an iced water in a nice tumbler, makes me feel part of the merriment, so iced water it is. I've grown to like it and my waistline certainly likes it more than wine!
So despite not having done much exercise for a few days due to some really annoying head spinning spells that are not a brain tumour (they've checked!), not blood pressure, not diet related and it seems, are perhaps inner ear related, I've done well, weight loss-ly speaking.
It's all about finding new things to love.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas confectionery packaging....

I love making confectionery for Christmas gifts.
It gets eaten, everyone loves it, it makes people feel special when you say you made it yourself, and it doesn't clutter anyones' home. It can't be regifted, it doesn't collect dust and there's no such thing as ugly confectionery!
I always think though, that if you're going to gift something you've made yourself, you really have to make an effort with the presentation. So with this in mind, I visited a packaging warehouse yesterday to see what I could find to make gorgeous gift packaging.
Shown here, are a gloss white 'Acessory Bag' with ribbon already attached, a Cake Wedge, and a polka dotted cellophane bag with polka dotted ribbon.
That marshmallow Christmas Tree is simple generic brand Giant Marshmallows threaded on to a red striped paper straw with a red jube 'star' on top. Packaged like this, it will be perfect for The Diva to gift to her 13 year old schoolfriends.
The Cake Wedges are for fudge. I've made the fudge in round cake tins this year and will cut it in to wedges just like a piece of cake to go into these. Some foil ribbon curls and jingle bells atop will look very cute and festive. I'll add a paper lace doily underneath the fudge too.
The Gloss Bags are for tinted sugar and tinted sugar hearts. I'll share how to make these tomorrow, so stay tuned. They're so simple and look unbelievably pretty in these. I'll also use them for my special edible gold leafed chocolate truffles :)
None of these things were expensive and they just make your homemade gifts look extra lush.
Everyone will think you've spent hundreds at a posh deli or sweets boutique.
I bought mine here....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christmas in the Tropics....Hastings Street, Noosa Heads

Noosa is a wonderful spot.
Safe, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, stunning blue skies and balmy weather, a haven for lovers, families, retirees and tourists.
This is the Hastings Street 'Christmas Tree'.
Sure, she's not very traditional, but this year, she is bathed in Ballet Pink fairy lights and she looks a treat.
Fairy lights twinkle and sparkle in the trees overhanging Hastings Street at both ends, and driving into it is reminiscent of driving down a miniature Champs Elysees`.
If you're in the area, pop down to Hastings (as it's fondly called) and see the very French inspired Christmas lights for yourself.
While you're there, you can feast at one of the many restaurants, have dinner at the Surf Club (honestly the best seat in the house along there), indulge in a Gelatissimo, a coffee, or just fish and chips at one of the picnic tables along the foreshore.
There's something for everybody and every budget.
We love Noosa :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Each day is a little at the dinner table...

These are my Mother and Grandmothers serving spoons. I love them so much and they are so beautiful, that I tie them with this organza ribbons and hang them on the wall when they're not in use.
I've taken them down today for their annual polish up for Christmas. We often use them, but in their tarnished state, which I find oddly comforting and homey.
But for Christmas, they must be shiny, so shiny they will be.
I long ago eschewed nasty plastic serving implements. Not good for the soul.
In the absence of heirloom serving spoons, even dressing up your normal cutlery with a bit of double satin ribbon, can make mealtimes extra special...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How badly do you want it....Week 3...

Well after doing a lot of sitting on the North Shore at beautiful Noosa Heads on the weekend, I decided to add hills to my walk...

This may not look like a very big hill to you, but I can assure you that if felt like Mt Kosciuszko when I was walking up and down the thing. I waltzed down the hill, wheezing my way up the other side, only to realise that I had to do the same to get back home. Three hills later, I stumbled home, cursing my years of inactivity. I used to run up those dang hills.
After doing that, 20 crunches, 20 lunges, and 10 minutes of stretching, then buffing the bod with a gorgeous body scrub (the scrub was gorgeous, I was most certainly not), and dressing in decluttering gear, lunch was required...
Here's my super tasty Quinoa, Walnut, Coriander and Chilli salad....

You'll need:
1 cup Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa)
1 1/2 cups chicken, vegetable or beef stock
Bring this to a simmer, then cover with a tight fitting lid and switch off, leaving it on the hot plate. It will cook itself in twenty minutes, so long as you don't peek! So peek at your peril! If you cook with gas, you may have to give the Quinoa another blast of heat after about ten minutes.
Then chop or dice:
2 large red chillies
A large handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
A large handful of walnuts
And measure out:
1/2 moist coconut flakes
1/2 minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
Toss it all together once you've fluffed the cooked Quinoa.
Tasty, healthy, yummolicious lunch.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Each day is a little life....always have something beautiful in your day...

Limoges teacups and a single rose.

I've wanted these gelati Limoges cups for many years.

Now I have four of them, gifted by my adult sons.

I use all four, each and every day, and they bring a smile to my face every time.

Today it's Peach tea, tomorrow French Earl Grey, then perhaps Chamomile and Ginger.
A singular pleasure for me every day.