Wednesday, June 30, 2010

knitting, cake and stencilling, now that's my kind of ménage a trios!

These intricate stencils will add a hint of Icelandic Spice to your coffee or cake. Perfect for tarting up that winter desert or steaming beverage and just made for sharing with friends.

Lovingly designed by a dear (and much missed) friend of mine, ex pat Melbournite and artist Megan Herbert, each stencils image beautifully interprets elements of Iceland's scenery and culture on to your hot chocolate, cake or hearts fancy! Mine were delivered in person by the designers little sister after being held hostage by an enormous ash cloud for a couple of weeks which makes them that much sweeter. 

If you would like to adorn your own cakes with some romantic scenery or a bit of knitting you can visit Megans shop here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

mrs p's gingered orange room perfume

I like to get a bit 'witchy' on occasion and brew up my own home cosmetics. Nothing too Macbeth, just a bit of lip balm, a salt scrub maybe and the odd bottle of perfume or room spray.
Gone are the days when I could casually leave the oil burner to work it's magic on last nights bouillabaisse so now when I need to get the place smelling 'humans - not swine live here - fresh' I use my own favourite blend oils in a home made room spray.

Since I've just made another batch I thought I would share my recipe with you!

The most important element to a successful home perfume is the spray bottle or 'atomiser' itself. You want a quality dark glass atomiser with a very fine spray so that your perfume will diffuse and vaporise when you spray it. It's preferable to have a dark brown or blue coloured glass atomiser because UV light will make your perfume spoil! I purchased mine from an aroma therapy supply shop 8 years ago and it still works perfectly. You should be able to get them from your health food shop or anyone who sells aroma therapy supplies.

for this recipe you will need 

20 ml vodka
80 ml distilled water (at room temp)
2 drops cinnamon oil
10 drops ginger oil
15 drops sweet orange oil

atomiser bottle

Now down to the fun bit!

In a glass container (such as a mason jar or any jam jar with a screw top lid) add your alcohol. Slowly blend your oils into the alcohol one drop at a time. You can adjust the scent as you like, but remember that while it may smell very strong in the jar it needs to skunk up a whole room! Once your happy with your oil blend add your distilled water, put the lid on the jar and give it a good shake. Leave the perfume overnight to infuse and then decant into your atomiser. If you have perfume left over, keep it in the jar in a cool, dark place.

Spray away my hipster skunks!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Caramel Baby & Child

all images care of Caramel Baby and Child

I've only just stumbled across Caramel Baby and Child's winter 09 collection and it's killer! It's rare for me to love an entire collection, but I will have to make an exception in this case. Mustard yellow socks, teal hat and gloves, brown pinnys, thick ribbed tights and pea coats what's not to love. I'm particularly fond of how unmistakably  British it feels, 'Shine your shoe's there Gov'ner'!

Caramel Baby and Child can be purchased online here.

and on the subject of kids clothes, it's your last chance to buy some amazingly reduced stock from Cintia at My Poppet before the retail shop closes. The online store poppet it in the post will of course still be trading as per usual!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Big Game Hunting

Andrew is on holidays at the moment so I've had more than the usual number of opp shopping adventures this week. The hunting has been good so I thought I would share a few of my favorites.

1. Vintage cotton throw (we had one of these growing up) Super soft and not stains, bonus!
2. Deer Hunter motif fabric. Not sure exactly what to do with this one but I couldn't leave it behind. Suggestions welcome!

and my personal favorite of the week
3. Leather and canvas slouch bag with an indigenous African fabric. I've been on the make for a new bag for a while and this baby ticks all the right boxes, wheeee!

More flea market finds over at Her Library Adventures 

Friday, June 18, 2010

happy accidents

Sarah over at Red Gingham posted this tutorial  for a Raggy Heart wreath made from fabric scraps a month ago. I love a project that requires now sewing and you can do in front of the telly so I thought I would give it a go. I didn't have a wire heart but I did have a bunch of rings and a big pile of scraps so I was set, or so I thought. It looked pretty easy and self explanatory so instead of taking the 30 seconds to read Sarah's tutorial, I plonked my ass down in front of the telly with a glass of wine and got to cutting and tying lot's of little bit's of fabric around my ring.

The more I tied, the less my ring looked like the heart that Sarah made (aside from the obvious geometrical differences). Were my fabric strips too wide? Did she iron her's flat when she was finished?  I couldn't work out what I was doing wrong, so I decided finally to read the instructions and low and behold, it turns out you don't tie the fabric around the wire frame you loop it! Well, the end result is a bit different, but the spirit of the project is there and I'm still quite happy with it. Strung up together they make a quaint little wall hanging!

I now need to work out what to do with the scraps from my scraps, covering tiny buttons maybe?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What'cha doin'?

I've been watching telly and doing this! What is it? I'll tell you later when it's finished.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

flea market finds

I'm playing along with Sophie from Her Library Adventures and this week my finds have a distinctly sixties flavour!

1960's  beach umbrella, Gidget style (new in the packet, I had to open it to take the picture)

1961 copy of SUSPENSE, a monthly crime journal full of short stories, politically incorrect jokes and super bad illustrations.

Conquest of Space! Part book, part album and produced by Nestle prior to man walking on the moon. This book is full of pictures that the young collector had to add herself. I'm wondering if the little picture cards didn't come in a cereal box? They're all there, not a single one missing! I especially love the certificate at teh front of the book, ';to prove my interest in scientific progress'! How awesome is that!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

two chicks in the nest

Image care of Procrastination Mama

Image care of Procrastination Mama

Image care of Emily Henson, sneak peak for Design Sponge

Image care of Ohdeedoh

She doesn't know it yet, but Ada is about to get a room mate!

With so much inspiration out there I'm a little giddy with all the choice. I've created a Pinterest board here with some favorites at the moment (including the ones above) but a few things are fixed. The wall's are White and the carpet is a pale avocado green.

I've been collecting a few decorating pieces (a few, cough, splutter! Talk about understatement of the century) including a recent ebay purchase of a vintage 1960's tectonic and geological map of Australia, it's a whopping 2 metres x 1.8 metres and is incredibly bright. I'm hoping to incorporate into the kids room but I have a feeling that it will only work if the rest of the room is kept fairly spare. Once the painting is finished I'll post some progress shots.

Friday, June 11, 2010

a change of plans

Up until a couple of weeks ago the family Pickersgill were going to embark on a 'reverse sea change' and move the clan to the big wide streets of Ballarat. An affordable housing market and quality of life were the main reasons but  things can change pretty quickly in this house and a number of factors conspired to undermine those plans. The work/family balance can be tenuous even at the best of times, but I guess I started having reservations when I realised just how much time Andrew would have to spend travelling into Melbourne and back everyday. With a new(ish) baby and a toddler with a search and destroy philosophy, when it came to crunch time, I just chickened out. what? We have been in a holding pattern for the last 6 months and I have a very long list of things that need to be repaired, painted, cleaned, moved, removed and re-decorated. If we are going to be staying put then I intend to feather this nest a little, even if it is someone else's.

stay tuned!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

snug as a bug in a rug

Winter is my favourite season and since the day's are cool and the nights chilly, I've been keeping my eye out for lovely, bright, warm woollen blankets to pile on our bed's. These blankets are from a recent haul. I absolutely love the hot pink and olive green one! If I can uncover some more, I'm considering making some big, fat floor cushions to roll about in. Ugg boot's, a cup of obligatory tea and a trashy novel, I hear you calling! 

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Envelope Project

Pip over at Meet Me at Mikes is running a bit of a fun competition at the moment, The Envelope Project (read about it here). This is what I'm sending in.

I'm on a bit of a yellow kick at the moment, it always happens this time of year. I blame all the daffodils! I would love to be the lucky fox that wins all that booty. Imagine getting a big box in the post full of envelopes full of all sorts of crap! Crap, I declare to be the best! So, send in your envelopes full of lot's of lovely little, funny things, so that you can make one person incredibly busy and happy and also so that Pip get's a pretty fab window display that we quasi locals can go have a gander at!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

flea market finds

vintage pyrex beakers

Italian black and white polk-a-dot ashtray

absolutely HUGE vintage print of a 'swarthy' Spaniard!

Thought I would play along with Her Library Adventures flea market finds this week. I've been catching up on a bit of thrift shopping recently and have lot's of things to show over the next week. Why don't you play along too?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

embroider my heart

Elegy (This is my house...), 2004
12-5/8x14-1/2 inches
Stephen Sollins

Elegy (Let me live in a house...), 2004
19x8-1/2 inches
Stephen Sollins

Elegy (...and glad to be home...), 2004
21-9/16x17-11/16 inches
Stephen Solins

Embroidery floss and fabric (hand embroidered)
cm x cm
 Takashi Iwasaki

Embroidery floss and fabric (hand embroidered)
35.5cm x 35.5cm
 Takashi Iwasaki

Embroidery floss and fabric (hand embroidered)
35.5cm x 35.5cm
Takashi Iwasaki

I'm a bit in love with embroidery at the moment. Iv'e been spending my evenings learning the finer points of this very gentile art and during my webly wanderings came across the gut wrenchingly good works of these two artists, Takashi Iwasaki and Stephen Sollins.

Heralding from the United States, both artists are currently working this traditional folk art in very different ways. Takashi's embroidery is indicitive of his illustrative style and his approach to fabric with needle and thread is much the same as his works on paper or canvas, full of joy and life!
Stephens work is much more conceptual and  examines the disparity between "high" and "low " art by systematically abstracting/deconstructing traditional folk art embroideries and reconstructing them with the same number of stitches and using the same coloured thread, beautiful and a little confronting.


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