Wednesday, 13 November 2013

a night with fete

fete press | daylesford

Last night I had the absolute pleasure of joining the amazing team from fete magazine, for an intimate dinner that they hosted at Lyn Gardener's delightful White House in the picturesque regional town of Daylesford. To say that it was a fabulous night would be an understatement.

We were a touch tardy in our arrival, however we were greeted so warmly and welcomed into the cozy surrounds of the lounge-room so graciously by our hosts Annabelle Kerslake and Jane Cameron, that we soon relaxed and found ourselves enjoying delightful conversation with the other guests for the evening.

We were waited on so attentively by Annabelle's sister Becc and husband Naish, and were soon enjoying our pre-dinner drinks served in fetes signature stemless wine glasses. All the while I was peeking at the beautiful decor of the white house, Annabelle and Jane had replaced some of the decor with pieces more in line with the fete aesthetic, and it really did feel like we were {just for an evening} living the life between the pages of the actual magazine.

There was a sneak peek copy of the new issue, set to hit the shelves in around a months time, but it's a testament to how much I was enjoying the company of my fellow guests, that I never even took the time to take a peek!

The evening progressed so smoothly and we were soon enjoying the delicious cooking of Jane's husband, chef and restauranteur, John. My mouth is still watering as I think of the food, in particular the slow cooked pork shoulder… after our meal John sat with us and graciously talked about the food that we had just eaten, and generously divulged some of his tips and tricks - now I'm just hoping that the pork will get its own feature in an upcoming issue so that I can replicate its sweet tenderness at home.

Over dinner we got to know our fellow guests better, I sat next to the passionate and entertaining Mandy who, with her husband, owns edwards greengrocer and deli just outside of bendigo, and her friend Tania who shared so many similar interests to my own.

As we had driven up from Melbourne and it was a dark and rainy night, we didn't want to leave our trip back too late, so all too soon we were making our goodbyes and heading off into the night, with our appetites sated, and our heads and hearts full of the beautiful sights, sounds and tastes that we had just been submerged in.

… and in answer to our family and friends questions, was it worth the trip?… oh my yes, if you ever get the chance to enjoy the company of the wonderful fete press team, don't hesitate, it was quite simply, wonderful.

You can purchase the current spring issue of fete magazine now, just have a look on the fete press site for stockist details.

Monday, 11 November 2013

… in english






i've had a long love affair with japanese sewing books, and have many in my collection. they are just so beautiful, and the lack of english explanations is hardly an obstacle with the diagrams tell the story anyhow.

i love the simplicity of so many of the garments, and as i've recently put on weight, i've taken to wearing leggings and tunics, a lot. in fact i have an entire pin-board with many examples… and it was this one in particular that sent me off searching for this japanese sewing book - which i couldn't find in print!

but fortuitously, what i did find was that it had been translated into english by penguin and was easily available through their site. it will be quite strange to sew something from a  japanese sewing book, in english!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

sitting room


I thought that it was time for a room reveal, we've been working so hard for so long that I've just about forgotten how much progress we have made. When I look back over our photos for the last few months I'm quickly reminded that this space didn't always look like its current bright, white self.

Here, lets have a look at this room as it was in the real estate add… sometimes I can't believe that I even looked through this house, let alone 'knew' that it was the one… but I had vision, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I did...


On the day that we settled, it looked quite spacious I guess, but as you know that pink wall had to go, as with the floors, curtains, brown trim… well mostly everything.


So we rolled up our sleeves and got started… this shot shows all of the trims painted, the curtains gone, and the floors sanded back and sealed {I can tell be the clean but yellow-y colour}


but still, that pink wall just had to go!


Now I am loving this part of our {being the parents retreat} room. It's light, bright and white, just how I like it.

I've been picking up bit's and bobs from all over, as this is an additional room to what we had before, so it needed some furniture.


The lamp and dresser were ones that we already had, and since I painted my old pine dresser white last year, I am still totally in love with it. The chairs were on sale from milan direct, they are black wool so they do get a bit fluffy from the cat and in hindsight maybe I should have waited until I could afford the black leather ones?!? … I'm really happy with the way that they look though, and they swivel so as the spa is just outside this window, I can sit and watch the kids while they are splashing around out there. My only criticism with milan direct was that their shipping company was super-slow, and they left it up to me to chase up my lost parcels - so they lose big points for customer service. boo.

The coffee table - well I've mentioned before that I've spent way too much time online perusing coffee tables, and I soon knew what I didn't want in this space, but it took me ages to find something that I did want. I have no idea how I found zanui but I am so pleased that I did, when I saw this coffee table I was straight out with my tape measure and had ordered it in a flash, I think it was around $150 + delivery, and their delivery was spot on. It has oak legs and an mdf top with a high gloss finish, so it's quite heavy, but the soft organic shape works so well in this room, and creates a great traffic flow from the kitchen door into the lounge area.

Of course there is an ever revolving pile of magazines or books on the table, whatever is taking my fancy right now. Currently I have the new Kinfolk cookbook sitting there awaiting some peaceful time for me to have a read.


I also spent an enjoyable morning with my sister at garden world last saturday, and as suspected was able to put my hands on the pea plant {otherwise know as string of pearls, ew} and this lovely little geometric pot. I've been wanting one of these for ages, so i'm loving it up every time I walk on by.

I also had some birthday money to burn and surprise, surprise, I spent in on another glass reagent bottle...


it's huge! A whole 15 litres, and garden world sell them at the bargain price of $85, which is less that the $110 that I spent on my 10 litre amber one. At the moment it's sitting on the floor next to my dresser, and as I already have five terrariums on the go, i'm waiting before I decide what I'm going to put in it, if anything. Of course I have plenty inspiration on pinterest, here, here and here.

and of course, speaking of terrariums - this vessel was my 'congratulation we just bought a house' gift that I bought for myself on my way to picking up the keys on settlement day. I know. It was the Plantation Hurricane Large from freedom, but they also do a smaller one too. It's been sitting on the dresser since we moved in, so a few weeks ago Daisy and I spent some time converting it to a living terrarium, complete with moss from the back garden. Alice, was only a temporary addition to it while her home was being resurrected, usually it has a miniature man flying a kite in it.


So I think that's it* … our peaceful retreat, full of favourite things, and just nice to sit with a cuppa and take a breath. Exactly how I envisaged it.

* if you have any questions please feel free to put them in the comments section and I'll answer them there

Monday, 4 November 2013

waste land to wonder land

I noticed a few weeks ago that I had {inadvertently} over-watered my lovely alice terrarium, so without really thinking things through, I decided to rectify this by placing my terrarium outside in the sun for a few hours so that the water could evaporate...

waste land

... and this here sunburnt land, was the result. Oops.

I left it sit for a few days while I pondered my options, and once I'd ruled out sending it by ambulance back to Rachel for some tlc, I set about fixing alice's little land.

wonder land

I tipped out all of the decorations and plants, then everything else was up-ended into a plastic tub filled with water, which meant that I could salvage the stones, sphagnum moss, and charcoal to re-use. After cleaning my flask, I carefully retrieved each stone from the murky tub of water, rinsed it off and placed them back in the bottle. Each later was carefully re-created, then I added some new green plants, and finally set alice back in her little wonderland.

wonder land

She's now back in her spot on the dresser in the sitting room...