Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Recipe To Riches Mrs Mills Easy Bake!

After watching Channel 10's season 2 return of Recipe To Riches last night I went straight to Safeway aka Woolworths and bought a packet of Mrs Mills Easy Bake! I loved the show last year and Choc Corn was the only product I tried during the competitive rounds. After last nights show I knew I had to try AJ Mills gorgeous creations because in my book sour cherries and chocolate are a match made in heaven!!!

So let's get down to the review...

This is a frozen cookie dough stored in the freezer aisle. Having read many tips on good biscuit baking I knew resting and freezing dough before baking were two "bakers secrets" worth knowing so the product had a big tick in my book from the get go...  the chocolate cherry cookie combo was another big tick BUT after many years of baking my own cakes I recently baked a store bought cake mix and boy was I shocked by the awful taste - they really are nasty. So I was kind of expecting the same mass produced chemical taste from this bake-at-home product but before I talk about the taste let's look at the packaging, product and how to.

The directions are as simple as pre heat your oven, place on a baking tray and bake for 12 mins! I love the no fuss no mess approach... once these guys cool they are crispy around the edges and soft in the center. The biscuit isn't oozing with chocolate but the ratio is just right and the contrast with the sour cherries is delish. They really don't taste mass produced either, you could definitely pass them off as home made... for my money dried sour cherries for a chewy texture would have been gorgeous but that's being super fussy. Overall Mrs Mills Easy Bake is really delicious and well worth the win!!!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Local Business Crush - Cush & Co And Those Must Have Moroccan Leather Poufs

The lovely people you meet and the community you form through Social Media is really something! I I love stumbling across an amazing online business who know their style, take on the big brands and own their corner of the market. Melbourne's Cush & Co is most definitely a prime example of one of those brands.

Courtesy of Cush & Co

Founded in 2012 with the aim of sourcing fabulous furnishings at great prices the Cush & Co team offer a beautiful range and it's no surprise their hand crafted Moroccan Leather Poufs lead me straight to them while perusing Instagram.

I was thrilled and delighted when the team re-posted one of my pics a few months ago and was over the moon when Clare approached me for an interview featured here on their blog - blushing!!

Courtesy of Cush & Co

Cush & Co Facebook
Cush & Co

Pillows and ottomans are one of the simplest ways to update and enhance your interior without overhauling the lot... I recently added a caramel leather pouf to my living room and it is like a little work of art. Hand stitched with silk threads and just the right amount of boho chic - love it!

Enjoy your weekend

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Vintage Chanel Poster - Thrifty Saturdays

It's been a while between thrifty Saturday shopping hauls and this extra special purchase was found online a few weeks ago. I love eBay and have bought many second hand and vintage bits and pieces for my home through the site and as soon as I stumbled across this vintage Chanel poster I had to make it mine! It is very similar to the style and size featured on The Block last year and my husband and I tried building our own frame using wooden moulding and custom cut perspex but it was a total fail so we sent it the be professionally framed.

Today marks the posters homecoming from the framers and at 1.2 x 1.6 metres it is without doubt the largest framed work I own to date - can't wait to see how it looks! I chose a lime washed flat edged wooden frame similar to the image top right (below).

I plan to rest the poster against a wall rather then nailing and hanging in place, that way I can move it around our home as I please!


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Cocktail Hour - My Fave Chairish Vintage Bar Finds

When the gorgeous team at Chairish asked if I'd be interested in putting together my fave bar style finds, using their directory, I was super excited! Hollywood regency, Palm Springs chic & mid-century glamour are some of the first things I think of when it comes to designing my ideal drinks room. Here are some of my finds...

I'm totally obsessed with brass and glass vintage furniture at the moment and anything with faux bamboo features or lucite components are my faves. Chairish had a number of amazing bits and pieces that fit the bill and if my budget was endless I would have bought the lot! 
Cherner - oh my!!!
 Lucite Deer wall feature

 Never short of an amazing vintage find this leather elephant is a footstool!!


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Lucas Grogan Douglas & Hope Plate and Adriano Zumbo!

It's birthday time in my neck of the woods - 8 in 8 weeks - which is totally crae! One great thing is it gives us a chance to try a few sweet treats along the way and last month I popped down to Adriano Zumbo's salon in South Yarra. I love how real and humble he seems - total dessert genius but you could imagine he's quite a cool and collected character in real life... so I wanted to do his sweets justice by serving them on "le plat du jour" by Lucas Grogan and Douglas & Hope... Anya Brock I totally have my sites set on your budgie plate too!

Image courtesy of Zumbo's site


Saturday, 30 August 2014

The $6 Kmart Metal Plant Stand!!

I am a bargain hunter from way back when. Whether I'm spending $5 or $1500 I have to get value for money. I think it goes back to my days in wholesale fashion - once you see the cost price of an item it becomes hard to pay retail at big chain stores. With the exception of handmade, local or ethically produced merch I lurve buying cheap, functional bits of pieces - I think it's the committed thrifter within.

I spotted this planter on Instagram last week and went straight to 24 hour Kmart and bought two in turquoise. $6.50 is my idea of an out right crazy bargain. Such a useful buy... perfect for my house plants!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Vintage Thrifting Goodness - Concrete Swan Pots

It has been a while since I've shared a vintage shopping haul in this space and I'm not too sure why. I certainly haven't stopped thrifting by any means and this was one of those finds that had my heart pumping! It was also quite literally one of those trash to treasure purchases after the previous owners found them in the garden of their new bayside Melbourne property. A moment of clarity resulted in listing the pair for sale on eBay after initially thinking they would simply end up on the hard rubbish pile.

I love vintage swan figurines and a pair of concrete pots were at the top of my wish list. There are a few chips here and there and they have been painted white but they are an original, large mid century set and I just adore them!

happy thrifting!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

DIY Sponge Cut Cement Soaked Letters

I am loving cement based homewares at the moment. From pot plant stands to coffee tables concrete has ventured beyond flooring and counter tops and found its way to my heart! While perusing pinterest recently I found this cute DIY tutorial via Gedane and I wanted to share my own version.

If you haven't mixed concrete before it's super simple, just add water, mix to a cake batter-ish consistency pour and leave to set! The best thing about this little DIY is that you can achieve the cement rendered look in any shape or size without needing a mold.

To make your own sponge soaked cement cutout you will need:
Cement (small bag)
Marking Pen (optional)
Bucket (for the cement mix)
Sponge (preferably not less then 1/2-1 inch thick)
Baking paper (to lay your soaked sponge shapes)

1. Start by cutting your sponge shapes. You can use a template marked out on your sponge as a guide
2. Mix cement and water in your bucket to the correct consistency
3. Dip your sponge cuts outs in the cement and soak
4. Lightly wring out leaving a veil of cement over the outside of the sponge piece
5. Leave to dry lying down


Monday, 28 July 2014

Design For Mirabel 2014

I was delighted to attend the first Design For Mirabel charity exhibition this weekend where 10 industry leading Australian designers styled a room full of donated treasures. Everything in sight was for sale at fabulous prices including a Smeg fridge & Hay marble tray (Arent & Pyke), Johnathon Adler homewares (Brett Mickan), brass sea urchins (Brendan Wong) and gorgeous coral (Coote & Co) and best of all the proceeds went straight to the Mirabel Foundation!... can't wait for next year :)

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Feast Watson Re-love Project Final Reveal!

With bunting hung and punch bowls filled it's now finally time to reveal my contribution to Feast Watson's 2014 Re-Love Project!

First a super quick recap. In May myself and 7 fellow designers were charged with the task of re-loving an unwanted piece of furniture using Feast Watson products. On July 24th these items will be auctioned on eBay with the proceeds going to Salvos Stores. Feast Watson are also covering the shipping costs within Australia!

I love shopping, upcycling and selling goodies on eBay so every part of this project has been fabulous fun.

As we know I started with this old pallet table and tripod...

 a few weeks later, armed with an electric sander and Feast Watson products, I re-loved the pair into this...

This project involved three separate but simple DIYs using three Feast Watson products and a dash of Dulux. You can create these looks using any coffee table or flat timber surface, wood based lamp and drum shade.

Table Re-Love 
Chevron patterned table
You will need
Feast Watson Liming White Stain and Varnish (Gloss) 
Feast Watson Liming White Stain and Varnish in Danish Dust (satin)
Feast Watson Clear Varnish
Dulux Metalshield Enamel in Black (satin)
Painters Tape
Sand Paper

1. Start by preparing your frame and table top for painting by sanding all surfaces. 

2.  In order to paint your table frame you will need to block out and protect the table top. To do this simply tape around your table top with painters tape.  

3. Using Dulux Metalshield in Black (satin finish) paint your frame then leave to dry over night before adding a second coat and leave to completely dry for 1-2 days. 

4. To create the patterned table top start by lime washing the timber using FW Liming White Stain and Varnish (gloss). You will need to do at least 3-5 coats depending on the colour of your timber and the effect you want to achieve. For this project I used 5 coats spaced out by no less then 3 hours each time. (if using FW Liming White you may only need to do 1-2 coats). 

5. When your lime wash is set and at the level of opacity you desire it's time to gently sand the top to increase the milky weathered look. I needed to do this as my timber was quite warm. This seemed to calm down the red tones and enhance the lime wash.

6. To create the chevron patterned top we firstly need to tape and block out the pattern. You can do this by eye or by measuring and taping at precise points. The easiest place to start in order to create this pattern is to make a large crisscross across the table by taping from one corner to the other on both sides of the table top. (if you are measuring the taping points measure the length and width of the table and find the center point. Lightly mark this point and then crisscross the tape meeting at this point. Once this is done you are then basically creating two evenly spaced graduating triangles within each of the four blank triangular spaces you have just created). I used 2" painters tape with 2" gaps between each triangle. I found it was best to tape each section with triangles directly underneath one another almost as if you are taping a parquetry style flooring pattern. Then once you have blocked out each section with taped triangles remove every other triangle starting with the first (please make sure to leave the large cross cross taped firmly in place).   

7. Apply FW Liming White Stain and Varnish Danish Dust (satin) to the blank spaces on the table top. I used two coats with 3-4 hours gap between coats.

8. When the Lime wash has dried carefully peel back the painters tape (don't worry if some of the stain comes away with the tape it adds to the character)

9. For a rustic look you could sand the top. I chose to leave it as is and finished with a coat of FW Clear Varnish Gloss. Using a small painters brush apply the varnish in long even strokes in the same direction. It's best to do this in a dust and bug free environment to ensure nothing sticks to the varnish during the drying process. Leave to dry for 24 hours. Please note this step will lessen the milky lime wash white finish slightly.

Tripod Re-love
Lamp Base

You will need
Feast Watson Liming White Stain and Varnish in Danish Dust (satin)
Dulux Metalshield Enamel Black (satin)
Timber Tripod
Painters Tape
Sand Paper

1.Start by sanding the entire tripod base.

2. Unscrew the nuts and bolts at the top of the tripod and remove the legs for painting.

3.Using painters table block out the surrounding timber near the hardware and apply 2 coats of Dulux Metal Shield in black leaving 5 hours drying time between coats

4. Using FW Liming White Danish Dust apply 2 coats to the timber base leaving at least 2 hours drying time between each.

5. Once dry lightly sand and scuff the timber to create a rustic look (You may want to tape out the freshly painted metal brackets for this step)

6. When the legs are completely dry reassemble the tripod.

7. The tripod is now ready to be wired by an electrician at your local lighting repair store.

Creating the Lamp Shade

You will need
Feast Watson Liming White Stain and Varnish Danish Dust (satin)
Hot glue
Wood Veneer
Drum lamp shade (I used a thrifted shade for this project)

The clam shell lampshade was created using thin, flexible, wood veneer off cuts hot glued to an old beige drum shade in even rows. If you have trouble finding wood veneer you could also use sticky bark sheets found at larger art supply stores which can then be tinted with timber stains.

1.  In order to shape your veneer pieces begin by creating a template as a guide. To do this I basically cut a rectangle with a curved half moon edge on one side. My template was approx 2"wide x 3"long.

2. Cut your veneer clams. I used approx 100 veneer cut outs for this project.

3. Choose a few pieces and tint with a coat of Danish Dust. Leave to dry (they may curl initially but will return the their original shape when dry)

4. Apply the veneer pieces in rows by starting at the base of the shade working up. The first step is to decide the length of overhang you would like at the base of the shade. This creates a nice scolloped edge. I chose an overhang of approx 3cm at the base.

5. Given the length of the overhang ie. 3cm apply your first row of clams with this overhang using a hot glue gun and applying a thin line across the top of the veneer piece and half way down each side. As a guide you can measure the length of your clam shells minus your overhang and lightly mark a line across the shade at this point (this will serve as your guide for gluing your first row).

6. At this point measure the remaining uncovered height of the lampshade and divide by 4. At each of these four heights a new row can be glued.

Note: I did a practice run before gluing the veneer using blu tac. Prior to gluing I also laid out 5 rows of the veneer pieces to ensure the colours were mixed and varied before gluing. Consider the front view when choosing your veneer pieces prior to gluing.              

A big thanks to Feast Watson for including me in their Re-love Project for 2014. I have loved every minute of it! My fellow participants have produced jaw dropping transformations with their chosen pieces and I can't wait to see the full reveal on the 24th of July!!