Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Loving the contrast between light and dark in this kitchen, from the September issue of House and Home. All my favourite elements - grey stone floors, white cabinetry, lots of drawers, free-standing stove, brushed metal drawer handles - and I am warming to the idea of a dark countertop next time. I have one now where I live, you can see all the smears though. I did love the lighter countertop in my last place. It had flecks in it so you couldn't tell what was dirt and what wasn't... handy with lizard handling boys. What do you think, light or dark? You know you could change my life with your answer!
PS. Don't know about the corbels though.... bit rustic for me.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Doing a bit of 'realestalking' on the weekend and found myself down near Bowral, NSW.

Isn't this place heavenly! 

Images Courtesy www.realestate.com.au

Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


2nd from the left!

Oh we had a great day today. Little one played in a soccer carnival, to celebrate the end of the soccer season. 4 intense games over 4 hours... he was fearless!

Leaving a trail of destruction in his wake... that was a goal!

When not scoring goals (secretly bursting with pride I was) he was mostly taking spectacular, melodramatic tumbles... putting his well rehearsed Italian soccer skills to good use.

Yes, down for the count again, the one down on the left, in spectacular fashion.

Yep, in most photos I took, he was on the ground clutching at some injury. He was carried off, injured, by a lovely Dad in the 3rd match, screaming, "he chipped my bone, I'm sure he chipped my knee bone"..... after a few hugs and kisses and a bit of drink bottle water splashed on it, he ran back on, the other parents exclaiming, "gee that chipped bone healed mighty fast".

"Chipped bone" incident, 2nd from right.

He's a little bloke but he gave the big boys a run for their money, went in hard in every match..... so by 5pm he was asleep in his chicken casserole.

I had to blog about this day as I want to remember him at this gorgeous age.... forever.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Quiet Moment...

... with 'Brian', the 'non-eating', 'non-moving', 'barely alive' lizard. He's still with us. Don't know how. Still doing everything the lizard doctor told us to do. The 'Dr' thinks it's 'classic failure to thrive due to bullying'. Even happens in lizard land. Big son is hand feeding him.. through force... total 'Lizard Whisperer', that boy. 'Twice the size Nigel' is thriving and rubbing it in Brian's face. It hurts to watch. Never have 2 lizards been so loved.... and believe it or not, they do love back. If they could purr in their 'masters' arms, they would. I think we'll go a cat next time... and just one.... no bullying.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Car windscreen wipers poke through an overnight dump of snow at Mt Hotham in Victoria on August 26, 2010. Around 47 centimetres of fresh snow fell overnight, Hotham's biggest fall since 2003.

I guess it does snow in Australia when it wants to. I need to get me to Victoria and get on some skis!


Image Courtesy Design Sponge

It's lovely, homey nooks like these that remind me that I am sort of missing all my 'things'... you know, all the stuff I have in boxes in our storage shed while we live our minimalist life here in our little apartment. It will be like Christmas when I meet all my pretties again.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Good Place To Chill Out......

Image Courtesy Canadian House and Home

... and wait..... while our nation decides on a government. 3 days post federal election and still no word. As someone said on twitter, "quick, let's drink straight from the milk carton, #whilenoonesincharge".... on a knife's edge... very enthralling. By the way, how beautiful is that ceiling.... and floor!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kitchen Love

Thought you might enjoy some photos Lynette (one of my readers) sent in to me. Lynette has just finished her renovations and her beautiful kitchen. Look, she used the same lights I did... totally kindred! Isn't her kitchen gorgeous!

....love the tiles, floors, open shelving! Sigh.

.... look at that wonderful wall colour. C'mon, cough it up Lynette, I am sure someone is going to ask!

... and look at the beautiful lights over the dining table! Lynette has also confessed to having a 'severe lighting obsession' and managed to smuggle all these fittings on as airline hand luggage to get them home (managed to distract the cabin crew on a 'running late flight'.... love your technique Lynette!) Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home. xx.
Addendum from Lynette... who is just about to hop on a plane to Melbourne.... so I have cut and pasted her email with all the details.....

"Kitchen Cabinets: Dulux White on White (Satin finish)
Stools: Ikea (can't get a better priced kitchen stool and nice and sturdy for 2 little ones to use)
Wall colour: Resene Triple White Pointer (tried about 20 greys but they kept looking grey, greyer and grey-est! This colour is an absolute winner - very warm, without any pink undertone, and has more of a linen colour to it)
Tiles: from Academy Tiles in Artarmon, Sydney - visit www.academytiles.com.au select Ceramic Tiles, select Amano Walls, in 75 x 150mm, white. The tiles are the number one thing that people love about the entire house (and not a bad price - think about $115 per square metre...maybe an OK price for a small area!)
Kitchen handles: from Restoration Hardware (U.S.) - I had them shipped over.
Caesarstone: Oyster White 30mm"

Lynette is going to get back to us re the floors!... oh and here's the 'before picture'!!!

A-M xx

Monday, August 23, 2010

They're On Their Way

Big teeth, little teeth.

There has been serious cause for concern here at 'The House', as 'Master Almost 8' is STILL awaiting the experience of 'the loss of a wobbly tooth'. They're still not wobbly and the only teeth he has lost have been his 2 little bottom teeth in an extraction ..... due to the big ones growing up behind (and not pushing out) the little ones. I did not cope well with the 'extraction experience' at all. Little one sailed through and was delighted to walk away with teeth not attached to his gums. Didn't even relinquish them to the tooth fairy... too precious.

Well, good news from Dr Shayne, our lovely Dentist, last week....there they are, waiting in the wings! Aren't they enormous chompers! "Will my head be big enough, Mum?" He will look just like his brother... and hopefully also not require braces! Thank you hubby for your nice, big, symmetrical teeth genes! Stay tuned... this little face is gonna change!
PS. Dear Blogger, thank you for being my precious 'motherhood memory storer'. I will be forever grateful to you for this wonderful medium.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Love

I am currently engrossed in this book, which a reader in Adelaide excitedly informed me about (dear reader in Adelaide, you are right, I think it could possibly change my life). Chased around with no luck sourcing it in Brisbane so ended up ordering it from www.bookdepository.co.uk (highly recommended... free worldwide shipping.. and super fast!).

From the Publisher;
   Even as oversized McMansions continue to elbow their way into tiny lots nationwide, a much different trend has taken shape. This return to traditional architectural principles venerates qualities that once were taken for granted in home design: structural common sense, aesthetics of form, appropriateness to a neighborhood, and even sustainability.
   Marianne Cusato, creator of the award-winning Katrina Cottages, has authored and illustrated this definitive guide to what makes houses look and feel right—to the eye and to the soul. She teaches us the language and grammar of classical architecture, revealing how balance, harmony, and detail all contribute to creating a home that will be loved rather than tolerated. And she takes us through the do’s and don’ts of every element of home design, from dormers to doorways to columns. Integral to the book are its hundreds of elegant line drawings—clearly rendering the varieties of lintels and cornices, arches and eaves, and displaying “avoid” and “use” versions of the same elements side by side.
272 pages, hardcover. Sterling (October 2007)

Author: Marianne Cusato & Ben Pentreath
Publisher: Sterling Press

Here's the dustjacket blurb that will suck you in.... promise......especially if you are planning to build, or currently designing, a home:

"Have you ever driven down a street filled with newly built homes and wondered why it just didn't feel right? Or looked at a house festooned with porticos, porches, and columns, and asked yourself, "What's wrong with this picture?" In this comprehensive and authoritative guide, Marianne Cusato explains why so many of today's traditional-style buildings miss the mark; describes the essential elements of a house, how they work together, and how to avoid common mistakes at every stage of the design and construction process.

Creating a well-designed building that looks and feels right isn't a matter of sticking on shutters or applying trim here and there. To be successful both on paper and on site requires fluency in the language of architecture. Written with designer Ben Pentreath, Get Your House Right, teaches you how to speak this language and how to "read" it in every house you see. It covers the vocabulary (components such as windows, doors, and eaves) and grammar (the rules we use to put those components together) in depth and rigorous detail. It also offers practical advice on which elements and materials to choose in order to achieve a beautiful, harmonious, authentic design.

Sorry about the rather tragic scanning quality 

Cusato's nearly 1000 meticulous line drawings illustrate errors to avoid and correct approaches to use when designing the entrance, the eaves, the chimney, and everything in between. You'll learn to steer clear of mistakes including second-story windows that are out of proportion to those below, shutters installed in such a way that they could not possibly close, and arches that defy structural logic. You'll also find solid information on issues of place, materials, and cost; the ways in which homes relate to others in the neighbourhood to form streetscapes and communities; and sustainable building.

.... Get Your House Right is an essential reference for builders, contractors, homeowners, and home buyers. It's also a rich source of inspiration and pleasure for armchair architects, design enthusiasts, and everyone who appreciates a beautiful building."

End of blurb.

I tell you, it's good stuff.
Happy Weekend!


Monday, August 16, 2010

A Tale Of Two Brothers.....


We've been rather spoilt with big son. He was born an 'old soul', is wise beyond his years, has taught himself good manners and really has just brought himself up perfectly (I slightly exaggerate in that we might have helped a little bit along the way). He is so self directed with everything he does, I don't think I have ever helped him with one molecule of his homework... apart from sourcing project materials. His 'Insect Diorama' in Grade 2 got an A, as it was the only one that looked like a kid had done it.

Little son, well he's a completely different soul. He has a loving, protective big brother who has waited on him hand and foot all his life..... so he's more than happy to play the role of the 'lazy one'. He is spectacularly skilled in 'tactical homework avoidance' and 'creative fibbing' to cover his tracks.... he fools us time and time again... and always manages to get us on a 'technicality'. If only he would put as much effort into doing his homework as he does making up excuses for not doing it. His teacher has resorted to, "if you weren't in a coma in the hospital, I am not interested in your excuse". The final straw this week, was the 'red signature' at school for lagging behind in his reading (3 x red signatures = detention).

At our wits end, hubby and I decided to bring out the big guns... 'a ban from playing in his soccer match on the weekend'. Hubby was the mastermind behind it.... as he remembers the exact feeling of despair when he was inflicted with the same punishment as a lad. He's still damaged.... but thinks he learnt from it?!

Little one took it remarkably well, after he picked himself up from the initial melodramatic slump to the floor. He knew he was in serious trouble, due to the nature of the punishment, so he quickly composed himself, hoping that the punishment didn't extend to soccer training next week. He waved his big brother off to his match, biting his lip, holding his tears back and then settled into some.... homework.. with hovering mother.

First step in the 'tactical homework avoidance' was to quickly slip in a completely irrelevant activity, while Mum was out of the room putting a load of washing on.... googling and making! "the most difficult origami dragon"...quote, unquote...... "yes Mum, I will start my project as soon as I am finished here".... the kid has gall let me tell you.

We finally settled into his 'Honey - From Hive to Table' project... me espousing scientific facts and little one 'putting it into his own words'.....spectacularly rewarding morning... big smiles and high fives all 'round.

Little one even made a few swift changes to the 'Homework Avoidance Origami Dragon' and it now takes pride of place.... in the centre of his project... as a 3-D honey bee. Resourceful.

During bedtime snuggles..."I know why you and Dad did that to me today Mum..... to make me a better Man" (school motto is "Manners Maketh the Man".... it's all about becoming decent men around here!). Ah yes, the brainwashing is working. Hopefully. Here's to a better week :)... he's going to be doing a lot of reading and I am going to be doing a lot of 'hovering'.

Friday, August 13, 2010


All images courtesy Ann Sacks

You know my Canadian friend, Andrea, the one I met right here in Brisbane very briefly before we became eternal bloggy friends, well I also keep in touch with her Canadian Aussie travel buddy, Will. He emails me from time to time with some beauties (Canadians are so ridiculously friendly and sharing and nice. Note to self: move self and family to Canada). Will sent me a link to one of his favourite Canadian bloggys which featured the most glorious tiles from Ann Sacks. If you are into tile art, the Ann Sacks Website has some great concept examples under each tile style in the ceramic tile section. I could spend hours clicking on each little tile and studying the concepts featured (well.... actually... I did).

Look at this one.......

.....close up! Sigh.

I could see this one in some stylish bachelor pad.

So simple and so elegant.

Look at those mosaics!......

...close up!

They do plumbing... isn't this darling little sink gorgeous (disclaimer - personal opinion only)...

.... and vanities...oh and all the lights in the images, they do them too... sigh

This would be so gorgeous in a traditionally styled white bathroom... a bit of personality without strong colour....there's something for everyone... wouldn't you agree! Worth giving up the telly for a night.... if you're into tiles that is.

All this gorgeous-ness is HERE. All images courtesy Ann Sacks.

Yes, so you can imagine hubby's delight last night when I kept interrupting his favourite TV program ("sorry darling, just pause it one more time, oh you've got to see this one") to show him tiles. He was considerably underwhelmed, unlike me who thought they were worthy of a post. "Straight to the blog", I always say. My children tremble when I use it as a disciplinary threat...... works a charm. Oooh it's Friday, have a great weekend. Yep, you guessed it for me... soccer!