Sunday, August 30, 2009


My eleven year old attended his first 'sleep over' party last night. Little one cried the entire time it took for us to drive his big brother to the party. I looked in the car rear vision mirror and my big boy was holding the little ones hand to comfort him. There was a heartbreaking farewell scene at the car window, with kisses and cuddles. The tears continued all the way home. "Every time I think of him, the tears come into my eyes". Junk food, a movie and a camp bed in Mum and Dad's room sort of helped but the tears came again this morning. Oh dear! How do I cure this? It's only going to get harder. There is a five year age gap! Just wait until big one is driving to friends places and little one is 12 years old, stuck at home with us!

Happy Sunday! We're off to pick up our big brother.... and counting!
A-M xx

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunny And Hot Weekend

Image Courtesy Country Living
"Hello little kitty"

Phew, it's the weekend! They have forecast another Spring scorcher tomorrow... 31 degrees. Thank goodness our soccer matches are early tomorrow morning!

Had a lovely busy day today, wrapping orders, unpacking new stock and rearranging furniture. I am making room for my lovely new sofa for the Great Room, which arrives next week. A beautiful, pre-shrunk French linen 4 seater sofa..... with the most gorgeous shape. This sofa will be available through custom order via my shoppe. I can't wait to show you this beauty.

Have a great weekend everyone. Thanks for your constant support, visits, lovely comments and emails. This blog of mine brings me great joy, thanks to you. See you next week!
A-M xx

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Progress

We now have front lights and a house number! I will have to go and sit in the gutter across the road tonight, to take a photo of the place all lit up. I think I'm going to give 'Clark Griswold' (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation) a run for his money, in the exterior lighting department!

The lights are called 'Oceanside'.... sounds so coastal.... if you close your eyes, you can hear...the sea?..... oh no that's a train..... a little bit of seaside in the city!

Another view, from the other side of the fence (from my instant new best friend's garden)! Hi D!

'D' and I are taking the morning off and going out for coffee. As much as I love my house to bits, it's nice to leave it sometimes! Work can wait today....... I need some time out!
Have a great day!
A-M xx

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer Living

Image Courtesy Atanta Homes and Lifestyles

Oh yes.... the stone work, the wood, the gardens ... and those beautiful windows..... perfect summer living!
A-M xx

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weather Report

Image Courtesy Phoebe Howard

Well I thought I'd report on how we survived our first 33 degree day in "The House".

I flung open the windows and doors, front and back, and let a delicious breeze flow through the whole house... it was just beautiful....and to think we had our fireplace roaring just last week.. where did Spring go? It was very humid outside yesterday too but once you stepped back inside... cool (I am so glad I insulated). Oh goody.. I am so not an airconditioning girl... give me a warm breeze any day. I think we might get away with a breezy summer. Boys were beside themselves... straight from school and into the pool. All through dinner they kept thanking me for letting them swim after school! Ah, the novelty!... let it last!

LOTS of bugs though...and I was so excited about having 'real' windows... double hung, with no screens. Both hubby and I hung out each little study window yesterday, to talk to the gas man, who was downstairs outside changing over gas bottles. He must have thought "who are these two nutters, leaning out these windows, chatting to me?". I said to hubby, "how great is it having real windows!".... well by night, with the bugs, I was saying, "we're getting screens".

Now it's light outside and the birds have started. I'm off for my morning run so I will be able to squeeze into my bathers...... eventually. Have a great day!
A-M xx

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Days

I could not start the week without mentioning the absolutely beautiful weather we are having at the moment, here in Brisbane...... beautiful clear days, cool nights and deliciously warm days. The weekend was perfect. We worked hard all Saturday (gardens/ironing!) and Sunday morning (rubbish dump run) and then Sunday afternoon, played in the backyard with our darling cousin, Miranda Rose. If only the weather could stay just like this, forever. It's so warm and winter theoretically isn't over yet.... hmmmm, I wonder what Summer is going to be like this year! Have a great week everyone..... and if you are in 'Beautiful Brisbane'..... lap it up!
A-M xx

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Garden That Mr A-M Built

Some green stuff

Well, I chickened out yesterday, so poor hubby did it all. Voila!... instant front garden... well not instant...yesterday's effort took 6 hours of backbreaking work, in 30 degree heat. Each plant hole had to be jackhammered! It's rock solid clay. We have been 'gypsum-ing'(Calcium Sulfate - CaSO4) it since we moved in. It's mean, nasty rock. We've also been doing various water experiments in little holes over the past weeks. Water from weeks ago was still sitting there yesterday morning, before the task began! Hmmm! Next-door's garden seems to be lets hope our new trees are tough little things. We now can plan the easier task of potted plants up on the entrance terrace. I am also on the lookout for an old bench, that I can attack with our paint compressor at the same time I do the Adirondacks. That's next weekend I have one week to find it.

Our future hedge. 20 pencil pines are going right up the side of the house, in front of that wooden fence and lovely big grey pots of greenery are going on the terraced bit.

Don't mind the extension lead that enables us to open our front automatic gates. Still waiting on the electrician to connect it all up.

Our Liquid Amber tree (the bunch of sticks in the centre of the garden bed), covered in Spring buds. Pencil pines also going up against that wooden fence too.

Good morning house! You can just see the leaf-less Liquid Amber, peeking out from behind the wall

Me? yesterday? ...well I did the ironing... no small feat...hours and hours of ironing... first time I have been able to put the ironing board away, out of sight, since we moved in. I hate ironing (who doesn't) .... always something more exciting to do than ironing....... hence the ironing pile. The boys?... they squealed with delight in the pool. Their first pool. They're in heaven. It has full sun all day and then full shade from 2.30pm onwards... so in Summer, it will be nice and warm by the time I let them get in, post 'highest skin cancer risk time', aka 2.30pm... couldn't have planned it better myself...another design fluke!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
A-M xx

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just A Little Bit.....

... of the study Romans for now. Oh how happy I am that they turned out so beautifully. Hubby is beside himself... he never leaves the study/office, except for appointments and even then he is arranging for more of his appointments to be held here, in his 'parlour'. I am constantly rotating coffee cups! He sets himself up, after the boys have gone to bed.... with some sort of 'dramatic musical' softly piped through the sound system..... and works away. There is nothing like having a lovely work environment to motivate oneself. Beats the boxes and total chaos we have been living amongst for the last 3 years! Delayed gratification makes it ever so much more sweet.
A-M xx

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lets Start With The Kitchen

Don't mind the carrot.

Introducing the 'English Ticking Romans' in my kitchen. Unfortunately my dinky little camera has not captured the true 'duck egg blue nature' of these beauties. I photographed them in the evening (excuse the grated carrot on the bench top) and also in the morning ('big son' was on dishwasher unpacking duties) to attempt to capture the colour. Hmmm, sort of!

Don't mind the child - oh and the cloth nappies on the boys chairs (you too, can live with white, boys, chocolate and felt pens) where they sit for breakfast, chocolate and homework!

Oh and as much as I adore our new neighbours, on the kitchen side, it is going to be so nice not to not appear like I am peering into their lives every time I sit at the kitchen bench in my jammies!

This is a tricky stage in the project for me. I have 'almost, sort of, nearly' run out of funds (if I am to remain exactly on budget and not over capitalize) and this is where one needs it...... at this end of the project .....and not the 'squillions of dollars of boring site works and retaining walls' end of the project. I have to pick and choose where to spend the dollars.... hence the hand painting of the Adirondacks and the brutal DIY landscaping days we are suffering through... oh my back!

The decorating part is oh so much fun though. I have purchased some delightful and very affordable antique caricature lithographs of famous scientists and medicos, off Ebay.... very relevant to both our science and medical backgrounds. I will frame them in black and hang them in the study. Hubby is very happy with my purchases and is enjoying 'getting in touch with his feminine side' in this decorating part. Thank goodness he is too busy to read my blog! Sorry darling!

I will post some more pictures of the Study and the Great Room windows in the coming days.
A-M xx

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pretty Stuff On It's Way

Whew it's bright - curtains are comin'

Very exciting...... my curtains, romans and window seat cushions arrive tomorrow so I thought you might enjoy some before and after shots. This is the before shot, with 'big son' doing a rather 'glamorous' piano practice. I took his picture on my way out the door yesterday morning, yelling out, "hey son, does it get any better than this? is this not the best room ever, to practice your scales in!" Scales don't put a smile on many a child's face but he was beaming. ........ and the acoustics in the room are to die for.... what a fluke!

House Update: Husband pulled out all stops on the weekend and has almost completed painting the pool area. I ordered 2 wonderful Adirondacks through Ebay, which I am going to paint up next week. They'll be heading straight for the pool house, for the perfect 'children frolicking in pool' viewing position. Still no sign of painter number 3. Where are you painter number 3? You've still got lots to do. I have the list ready.

Some more 'before photos', and of course the 'afters', tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Nook

Cushion by Black and Spiro

Today's 'nook' is one of my many 'work spaces' around my home. It is the 'Armchair' part of 'Armchair Trader', my online business. This lovely chair has been with me since the beginning of Armchair Trader and when it is not perched high on the top of my displays, at my 'Bubbles and Bling Nights', draped in pearls, scarves and trinkets, it sits in the corner of my bedroom.

It has been shoved in the back of my old four wheel drive, I don't know how many times, covered in boxes of stock and props and despite it's very unpractical colour, it doesn't have a mark on it. It has even been seen sticking out the top of hubby's convertible backseat, on nights when I haven't been able to fit stock and chair in my car! Hubby has received many a desperate phone call from me when the 'pack up' seems to be greater in size than the 'unpack'. I can never pack my car as well after a 'Bling Night' as I do before one..... must be the 'dump and run' philosophy we all adopt at the end of the night!

I haven't the heart to cover my chair in a more practical coloured fabric as the current neutral colour lends itself to a variety of different displays. So here I sit, on it!, in the lovely morning sunshine, feet up, computer on my lap, cup of coffee in hand, ready for my day...... well until it all deteriorates into the mad "get ready for school' rush! One can dream....I'll just finish my coffee here before I make the lunches.

A-M xx

Saturday, August 15, 2009


A rather amateur photography attempt ... again... I was on my way down the steps and sort of lost balance!

...........a little bit of greenery... only a little bit ... but we are getting there. Stay tuned. Lots of green stuff is happening this week.
A-M xx

Friday, August 14, 2009


Image Courtesy Alan Greenberg Architect

Nothing is really happening on the house front this week. Still waiting to hear back from painter number 3. Also waiting to hear from the electrician so that he can install the front lights. So now that things have settled down, we've all looked at each other and said "lets enjoy this place".

We had dinner on the back terrace the other night. The temperature was so mild for winter and we had a spectacular winter thunderstorm for entertainment, complete with lightning. We sat and ate our warm risotto, listening to Part 2 of 'Les Miserables', through our wonderful terrace speakers. 'Les Mis' holds a very special place in our hearts. Hubby was in the cast, and I was in the orchestra, of the 1995 Queensland Musical Theatre Production of Les Miserables. It was way back before we were married. It was a magical experience and a fantastic production. We googled all our cast mates a while back and they have all moved on to either 'Opera Queensland' or 'The Ten Tenors'!!!

Having never lived with a sound system before, we are thoroughly enjoying living with music. It really does change the way you live. Music at dinner time, music while house cleaning, music while packing my orders! My boys are enjoying it too. I heard my big one whistling "Do You Hear The People Sing", the finale of Les Mis, the other night and I just smiled. Perfect.
A-M xx

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sink Love

Sink - Oliveri Titan, Tap - Gessi

If you remember, hubby and I had a 'marital maladjustment' during our sink and tap selections. He wanted the modern thing and could not get his head around farmhouse sinks and bridge faucets. I conceded... let him think he's the boss.... and hey I did get to build the whole place. Don't tell him, but I love my kitchen sink. It's the best size, and it has a grill/tray on the bottom so pots don't scratch the surface... and it 'scrubs up' beautifully. I'm a bit of a "the sink has to be clean at all times" girl, just like Melissa over at the Inspired Room. Melissa did a great post on 'Daily Routines' HERE. I love her idea of 'cleaning frenzies'. I told my boys about it and they said "oh that sounds like fun". Thank you Melissa.... and boys, "lets go!"
A-M xx

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We Have Lawn

Well, I have had lots of emails asking about how our 'DIY turf jobby went'. After a couple of weeks of TLC from hubby (as well as applying the sprinkler, he also sits on the garden wall and lovingly hand waters it, in the dark with the gorgeous blue pool lights on), the grass has now taken and I have 2 positively joyous boys who get straight out of the car from school and make a bee-line to the backyard, soccer ball in hand (hence the school uniforms in the pictures).
Ball + Grass = Heaven (boys are so basic, aren't they!).

Quote hubby, "make sure you say on your blog that the fence and walls haven't been painted yet". This part of the house is his baby and he wants to get it right!

In the early morning light.

Isn't our neighbour lovely. That's his ladder next door. He's cutting down the palm tree nuts, on his tree, so they don't fall in our pool!

Couldn't resist some pool shots in the morning light. It is just beautiful in the morning. Oh look and there's one of many soccer balls that are most likely going to be living in my gardens now.

Beautifully stained timber posts, courtesy of 'Sir Wilfrid'.

Have you noticed that the picket fences, in the garden and around the pool, are now white? Hubby spent a whole weekend in his attractive bee-keeper painting suit, fighting with a paint compressor and a paint brush. I kept him supplied with cold drinks, toasted sandwiches and a pikelet here and there. Of course, he finished with a well earned beer. We just have the rendered walls to paint now, in the same colour as the house. Then we can bring out the potted plants and pool house furniture.... just in time for Spring.

The boys are braving the weather each weekend and are managing to 'have a swim' if that's what you call their 'truth and dare games'. "I dare you to get in up to your waist. I dare you to put your head under". It's so cold I'm scared they will have a heart attack. That's what Mother's are for... to fuss!
A-M xx

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Nook

This Monday morning's 'nook' was totally inspired by THIS wonderful post over at 'Things That Inspire'. I too, just love to be able to see right through to the back of a home from the front entrance, to not hit a wall as soon as you enter, to not feel enclosed or as if in a waiting room.

This is our home entry as it is today. We are still waiting on hall furniture and as you can see our hall mirror sits patiently waiting for it's comrades, propped up against the wall on old cloth nappies (boy they come in useful... for everything.... especially cleaning windows). Gorgeous gloss work courtesy of 'Sir Wilfrid'.... every inch of it! Also, we are still waiting on curtains and a beautiful fibre rug for way out the back in the family/kitchen area, which will soften the view. The study is off to the right, through those French doors. The stairwell is next on the right, followed by the laundry and then up the steps, the powder room. The Great Room is off to the left as soon as you enter the front door. Our hall is 1.5m wide and is just the most perfect size for practising the moon walk in socks! I don't think my boys have ever walked through this hall... they are 'sliders'.

I haven't progressed that far with my next project. Still looking for the land. But once I find the land and know the land contours, I can finalise my floor plan.

The first necessity is an entrance similar to this. Deep breaths.

With a Great Room like this. This I know, FOR SURE!

Brooke and Steve, you do do long distance architectural consults don't you. Fancy, a 'Giannetti Home' right here in downtown Brissie... now that would be something! Somehow I don't think 32 perches would be quite big enough.
A-M xx

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Finally The Green Stuff

Image Courtesy House Beautiful

Right ... lots to do this weekend. Firstly 2 soccer matches, then searching for plants for our front garden. Despite being a Saturday, we have ANOTHER painter coming around to quote on the Master Painters repair work at midday. I'm feeling positive. This place is going to be a palace if everything does get fixed. I'm so enjoying Wilfrid's perfect gloss work. Maybe I wouldn't have enjoyed the place as much if I hadn't seen the 'woeful' version before the 'quality' version??!!
Have a great weekend everyone. I can hear hubby in the kitchen whipping up my coffee. Perfect start!
A-M xx

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blog Love

Have a look at this beauty! Belinda's place. Belinda and I only met through bloggy bloggy land just yesterday. She has been building her beautiful home over the past eighteen months too...... how kindred. She and I have such similar tastes! Belinda, I can feel some serious stalking will be happening now that you have come out of the woodwork. Say hi from me when you visit Belinda over at her place, HERE.
A-M xx

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Front - still waiting for lights to go where those wires are hanging out of the wall.
I'll post some more pictures, once we have the front wall lights hooked up and some green stuff planted.

We have gates! Big chunky, heavy gates... tied with an attractive red rag to keep them closed, until the motors arrive today. (I think the red rag is actually the shirt that the gate man was wearing yesterday?!). The gate man said the welder kept trying to 'lobby' for flat crosses (translation 'whinge'...... as it was hard work doing 'chunky') but to match the balustrade they had to be chunky 3D crosses. I got exactly what I asked for!! Oh, I could get used to this!

I attempted an evening photo (remember dinky, basic camera)... you sort of get the idea. We had a 'wine in hand, sitting in the gutter across the road, deep sighing moment' last night. Hubby was not impressed that I dragged him out in the cold but he agreed it was worth it to see the 'almost completed' picture, lit up like a Christmas tree. Just need some greenery now..... and some 'non dead' left over turf at the front. How come the leftovers always shrivel up and die? Do they know they're just leftovers?

Oh good, you can't see the rubblish bins under the stairs in this photo. Hubby couldn't see anything wrong with being able to see the bins through the stairs as you walk up them! They were promptly moved... just as well I am in charge of this thing!

I love how you can see the chandelier in the Great Room, and the wallpaper in the study, from the street at night... not that too many people would take up our vantage point, in the gutter across the road!
A-M xx

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Next Time

Image Courtesy Alan Greenberg Architect

Forget the stables, that to me is the perfect garage door.
A-M xx