30 June 2010

Happy (belated) blogging birthday

Five days ago marked one year since I started my blogging adventures. How silly of me to overlook this anniversary! My first post stated that 'This blog will chronicle my continuing adventure of decorating the 1970s two-bedroom apartment owned by myself and fiance John'. Aside from the fact that John is now my husband, I think that opening statement is still largely accurate. In addition to my decorating exploits, in recent months I have also branched out to also include other topics of interest to me, including craft, cooking and ethical shopping.

Let's celebrate my belated blogging birthday with the lime and pistachio cake I made for John's birthday back in February...

Hello bunny friend

Regular readers of Flying Ducks know that I have quite a few (John might say too many!) bird objects around my home. What isn't quite as obvious is that I also love bunny rabbits, previously only evidenced by my Lightly mirror in the bedroom.
Clearly, I needed to rectify this rabbit drought. I picked up this little guy at Aladdin's Fair, held a couple of weeks ago at Downey Park in Windsor, Brisbane. I don't know anything about him as he doesn't have a stamp, but I suspect he was the 'hear no evil' third of a set of garden ornaments.

Our new bunny lives next to the sliding door onto the balcony in the living room. Unfortunately due to the recent overcast weather I've been unable to get a good shot of him in his home, but this is what he looks like.

29 June 2010

Blacklist studio prints are here!

You might recall my excitement at finding the Roxette-inspired prints from Blacklist Studio recently.

I actually got them quite a few weeks ago now, but I haven't had time to properly photograph and blog about them. In the meantime, here are a couple of snaps of the prints in their current home next to the TV (complete with Ikea Ribba frames - the result of a record 15-minute dash into the Logan store one busy Saturday morning!).
I quite like them in their current location, but I think my husband might have other ideas. We'll just have to wait and see!

27 June 2010

The Finders Keepers Markets

I ended up going to The Finders Keepers Markets in Brisbane not once, but twice. John came with me the first day, and then when my friend said she was going back for a second round on Sunday, I decided to tag along too. I didn't make any major purchases, but I did get things that I really needed (ok, wanted): some new brooches, hair accessories and a long necklace.

Here is a run-down on everything I bought (photographed on a bone china 'bamboo' tray from Have You Met Miss Jones?). First up, the brooches, starting with this cute little mirrored squirrel from A Skulk of Foxes. I really really wanted to buy their kissing bunnies necklace, but I'll save that for a future online purchase.

My next brooch purchase was from Brooke Johnson Design, who makes these lovely little fabric things. Too cute!

Next, this postage stamp brooch featuring some kind of gazelle-like creature. This one was an absolute bargain at $4 from Corky St Clair.

And the last brooch is this patterned blue bunny from Brisbane-based Tree Party Design.

I also got this very adorable wooden necklace on a long chain from Tree Party Design.

Finally, the hair accessories. These lovely clips are from Black and Bird.

And these little fabric-covered pins are courtesy of another Brisbane designer, Chi Designs. I also would have loved a Chi clutch, but perhaps that can be yet another future internet purchase.

There were many other items I could have blown some cash on - the clothes were incredible, as were many of the original art works and ceramic pieces. I think that for a total of less than $80, I did pretty well this weekend. I'd better start saving for the next one in November...

21 June 2010

Giveaway: movie tickets

Thanks to Madman films and Palace Cinemas, I have three double passes to give away for a special preview screening of The Hedgehog in Brisbane - a moving story about love, life and the beauty of unexpected friendships. For more information about the film, visit the Madman website
The double passes are only valid for Palace Centro, James Street, on Monday 5 July. If you can't make it to this session, please don't enter.

To win a pass, just leave a comment on this post by 5.00pm this Friday 25 June. If you don't have a blog where I can contact you, please leave an email address as well. I'll contact the winners and post out the tickets the following week.

20 June 2010

Move over Margaret Fulton!

This morning I decided to bake scones after my driving lesson. The reason? Well, last week I was given a gift of citrus marmalade from Stanthorpe. Lovely! But, those who know me well would be aware that I do not mix sweet and savoury - for me, this means no sweet spread (i.e. marmalade) on savoury bases (i.e. bread or English muffins). I don't even do fruit toast, because I hate dried fruit. Do you see my dilemma?! So, in order to enjoy this tasty gift, I needed to make scones or pikelets. I've never made scones before, so I figured I'd give it a try. Margaret Fulton helped a little...

Margaret only said to use a 4cm cutter. This sounded very small to me, but I complied with her wishes. The resulting scones did rise considerably, but I still consider them to be little. Mini scones, if you will. Maybe I kneaded the dough too much? Or maybe back when Margaret wrote her scone recipe they weren't intended to be super-sized like most food is now. In any case, I'm pleased with them.

Margaret kindly suggested that I wrap them in a tea towel when hot to make nice, soft scones. I obliged. Then I decided to sample a warm one with citrus marmalade. Delicious. Maybe if I get really adventurous (and decadent) I'll whip up some cream for afternoon tea. 

19 June 2010

Cat amongst the owls...

This week, my Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti record sleeve has been put away to make way for another 1970s favourite.
It's exactly one week until I see Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) with my dad, mum, sister and best friend. I have a feeling it will be something special. Even though my dad's old Foreigner sleeve looks like it's seen better days, it's nice to have a Cat around the house...

14 June 2010

Crocheted scarf: complete

Well I have been a productive little so-and-so today. After I finished my Meet Me at Mike's Envelope Project, it was time to get out of my pyjamas and do some 'work'. First, I finished three assignments for my correspondence ceritificate with Beaumont School of Interior Decorating and Design. Then, I submitted two entries (living room and bedroom) to the Real Living magazine to win an interior stylist for a day as well as a feature in the mag.

After lunch (which was grilled organic tomato and mozzarella on olive and feta panini - yum!), I sat down with my laptop on the couch to watch a television series that shall remain nameless, and continued crocheting my red scarf. I started this project last Tuesday when I was off work sick, with no real idea as to how it was going to turn out. As I have only mastered BASIC crocheting (i.e. one stitch) with a huge (and I mean toothbrush-sized) hook, it wasn't going to be anything special. As the edges were a little wonky, I decided to do a couple of rows around the finished scarf with cream wool to see how it would turn out. And, to my amazement, it worked! Check out my handiwork!
The brooch is from Mrs Smiley's Lockets, purchased at the last BrisStyle Twilight Markets.

Next, I might try my hand at some more 'advanced' stitches with the Meet Me at Mike's crocheting tutorials. Most online tutorials manage to confuse the hell out of me, but these ones seem super easy enough that even I could grasp the basics of a granny square.

Just for amusement's sake, here is one of the blurry pictures I took of my scarf...

Meet Me at Mike's: Envelope Project

Last week I saw a blog entry about the Meet Me at Mike's Envelope Project on the Cerebral excrement blog. Intrigued, I headed over to the Meet Me at Mike's blog to find out more. Basically, you fill an envelope with cute little bits and pieces, and then post it off to Pip at the store for her to display in the window. At the end of the project, one of the participants receives ALL of the entries!

This sounded like the perfect little craft project for a public holiday, so after I had my porridge and coffee this morning I got to work! The Flying Ducks entry for the Envelope Project contains:

Sons and Daughters promo flyer from a few years ago
Hawaiian postcard
Page ripped out of a very old sub-editing handbook
Pipecleaner saying 'hello'
Some cute pieces of notepaper
Some little buttons
Green dart shaft
Puffy pink bird sticker
Coathanger paperclip from Kikki-K
Green paper crane made by me
...all inside a Gumby envelope!

Gumby and Pokey are now all sealed up with alphabet tape and ready for their flight to Melbourne!

I hope Pip decides to run this project again. It's a lot of fun, and it's lovely to see what other people come up with. In fact, I'd like to see a variation on the project in the future - an envelope swap! Sort of like the old-fashioned chain letters that your mum used to participate in (you know, send a pair of fancy knickers to the person at the top of the list and add your name to the bottom, and you'll end up with 2 million pairs of fancy knickers - but just a straight swap version). This way, everyone gets to peek inside an envelope!

Thanks to Meet Me at Mikes for my fun little crafty distraction for today!

13 June 2010

Giveaway winners

Congratulations to uglygirl, Linda Kish and REread! I will be in touch tomorrow for your postal addresses.

For those who missed out, until the end of June if you buy one of my bags on Etsy and you mention this post, you can have $5 off. Just don't pay through Paypal until I've sent you a revised invoice.

12 June 2010

Wind and Water Designs

As part of my Ethical Clothing Pledge, I started looking for clothes closer to home. I started off at some street sales and markets, and found them to be wonderful places to meet up-and-coming local designers who aren't charging the earth for their designs.

I first came across Irene from Wind and Water at sidewalk sale for Panda Pearls in my suburb. (If you're in Brisbane, check out their next sale - they're fantastic, and you can pick up some wonderful vintage items, as well as gorgeous fabric art.) Irene works with vintage designs to make her clothing, and I instantly fell in love with her tops and dresses. Her ruffle dress has been so popular that it was recently featured in Frankie magazine (and, yes, I certainly own a ruffle dress!).
Image: Wind and Water Designs

Image: Wind and Water Designs

Irene is currently researching organic cotton and bamboo for her range, which makes her designs even MORE appealing! Until then, she uses high-quality fabric that she's sourced from around the world, and her clothes are made right here in Brisbane. Hooray! Here are some more of her fabulous dresses - a v-neck frock (which can cleverly be worn both ways, as in the first and second photos) and a sailor frock. Too cute!
Image: Wind and Water Designs

Image: Wind and Water Designs

Image: Wind and Water Designs

Recently, Irene ran a competition on her Facebook page for a $150 shopping spree to the person who introduced the most friends to Wind and Water - and I won! Today I visited her stall at the Valley Markets to pick out my winnings, and I walked away with another two dresses (a sailor frock and v-neck frock, which can cleverly be worn both ways), and a tudor top. I am incredibly happy with my new items, and I know I'll be back shopping at Wind and Water again and again.

You can find Wind and Water each Saturday at the Valley Markets, and also at the Southbank Young Designers Market every month. She'll also have a stall at this year's Ekka, with a fashion parade on the Pavilion stage.

05 June 2010

100th blog post! Etsy news and a giveaway!

Happy 100th blog post to me! It's almost a year since I started this whole blogging game, and I only ever really expected that my friends and family would be interested (and even then only for a few weeks!). The support I've received from other bloggers around the world has been incredible, and I'm so grateful to have made it this far.

There have been a few highlights along the way, the biggest and best of which was my Apartment Therapy house call early this year. A big thanks to the lovely Jenny for arranging that for me! The other big highlight was writing the Brisbane city guide for Design*Sponge, and the even bigger highlight was the wonderful people I came into contact with as a result.

I've decided to celebrate my 100th post achievement with the announcement of the Flying Ducks Etsy store! Many of you may remember my crafty attempt last month, which involved printing leaves onto tote bags. I received some great feedback, so I decided I had nothing to lose and started an Etsy store. I may sell some, I may sell none - I'll never know if I don't give it a try! Please pop over and have a look at my store, and don't hesitate to give me feedback of any kind, as any comments are most welcome.

AND, to celebrate the launch of the Flying Ducks Etsy store, I have three of my 'prototype' bags to give away! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment (and your email address if I can't contact you via a blog). If you mention this post on Facebook, Twitter, your own blog or somewhere else on the internet, leave another post letting me know for another entry. Hurrah!

Entries will close next Sunday night (13 June) at 7.00pm Brisbane time. Good luck!

Oh, and Emma from Sirens and Sailors, you do not need to enter - I still have your special bag waiting for you! I'll post it out with the others.

01 June 2010

My new Roxette-inspired gifts to myself!

Confession time. As a kid I loved Roxette. I mean I really LOVED Roxette. To the point where I was all too willing to pack up, move to Sweden and play backing violin for them. I even got my hair cut like Per Gessle when I was eleven. When I saw them in concert when I was twelve, I cried.

Anyhow... I was flicking through the June issue of Real Living magazine when I noticed this 'I love you' print.
Image: Blacklist Studio

Nothing out of the ordinary, right? Wrong. The caption stated that it was from the 'Hello you fool' print set from Blacklist Studio. Instantly, the lyrics to 'Joyride' were circling around and around in my head. Interesting fact: I got  the Joyride album on cassette tape for my ninth birthday. My parents cunningly disguised it in a new pair of underwear inside wrapping paper. Oooooh, the excitement!

So, anyway, I checked the website for Blacklist Studio, and I found this:
Image: Blacklist Studio

Here is the close-up of the other half of the print set.
Image: Blacklist Studio

I deliberated for about ten minutes, and then I bought the set. Not only does it reconnect me with my childhood, but the colours actually match our decor! I did ask John for his opinion, of course, but I'm pretty sure he knows I was going to buy it no matter what. I think I might put one either side of the TV cabinet, but I'm not too sure yet...
Final interesting fact: When I was eleven I won the school fete karaoke competition singing 'The Look'. I won $10 and bought a talking troll with it.