30 October 2011

Sunny day dress

Last night, after many months of no sewing (about ten months, actually), I decided to make a dress. I don't know if that means I'm officially 'old'. Ten years ago I would not have predicted that I'd be sewing late on a Saturday night!

I decided to pull out my Sew La Tea Do book and make Pip's fabulous sunny day dress, as I'm sure it will be a good thing to have on hand in summer. I had just enough candy-stripe material in my stash (thanks to my friend Irene), and I decided to use some leftover red fabric for the straps to avoid stripe overload. The pattern was for small to medium, so I sized it down a tad. I probably could have gone a bit smaller, but I guess a dress that's a little too big is better than one that's too small! I also omitted the pockets, simply because it would save time.

Pip also suggested using iron-on hemming, but I decided to sew my hem. This bit took quite a long time, as I had to get rid of a lot of excess fabric. I'm not entirely happy with it, but the dodgy bits are on the inside so I don't really care. I'm going to make a red sash to go with the dress as well. That way I can choose to wear it a little more fitted if I want to. I think the original 'flowing' design will be perfect for our humid Brisbane summer days, and perhaps even for the beach.

Overall, this was a really easy dress to make. The straps take a while to sew, but nothing in the pattern is overly hard to do. Pip's instructions are perfect for beginners. She even tells you when to make a cup of tea!

23 October 2011

Close-up: art hanging system

By popular demand, here are some close-up shots to show how our art hanging system works. Firstly, you remove the cap from one end of the track and slide in a hanger. Each of these hooks can hold up to ten kilograms.

Then you can adjust the hook to the required height by sliding it along the plastic tubing.

Finally, you hang your frame (or, in this case, skateboard) on the hook. The plastic tubing is quite long, so you can hide it behind by loosely securing it with a rubber band.

You can change the configuration at any time by sliding the hangers along the track or changing the height of the hook. This makes it very easy in our case to just add more skateboards to the wall!

17 October 2011

David Bowie is here!

Today we (well, John) finally got around to picking up my Cease and Desist skateboard from the post office, featuring none other than Mr David Bowie. As soon as I got home from work, I promptly set about installing it on our new art hanging system.

Also, thanks to those who commented on my post about the hanging system. As requested, shortly I'll post some close-up shots to show everyone how it all works. 

09 October 2011

Art hanging system

In my last post about skateboard art I mentioned that we were considering having an art hanging system installed in the living room. Well, the price turned out to be so affordable that we decided to have two walls done! We went with the original plan of the wall above the TV (where the boards were hanging), as well as the main wall that runs along the hall.

I think this system will work very well for us, as it allows us to change our display very easily. The skateboards are now hanging on the main wall (with the two new boards still to be hung), and our framed Blacklist Studio prints (which were previously on the floor leaning against the wall) are now above the TV. I'd still eventually like to hang my Kozyndan print on the main wall once it's framed, but I love that we now have the flexibility to change our minds about the configuration whenever we feel like it (rather than drilling permanent holes into the concrete walls).

What do you think?! We've only had it installed for a day, so it's still very new and exciting for me...

24 September 2011

Update: skateboard art

Quite a while ago now, I mentioned our desire for more skateboard art in our home. We currently have two boards hanging in the living room: one glow-in-the-dark limited edition Dalek board, and one Neckface board signed by the artist on his 2007 Australian tour (when we are lucky enough to see him spraypainting at the former incarnation of the Alibi Room in New Farm).

In the last two weeks, we've added not one but TWO new boards to our collection, which means we'll soon have four on the wall. The first one was this Jordan Hoffart/Vernon Courtlandt Johnson (VCJ) board that John wanted. Apparently it's quite significant because it's the first commercial board produced by VCJ in a long time, and he designed some of the most influential graphics of the '80s. John was lucky enough to get one of the first five boards, which are signed by both Johnson and Hoffart, with all proceeds going to charity.

Our second board (which I purchased) is this Jason Lee/Cease and Desist David Bowie Aladdin Sane board. The Cease and Desist boards are replicas of (or, perhaps more fittingly, tributes to) original designs from the '80s and '90s which were only produced in limited numbers due to the fact that they infringed on copyright (and therefore subject to cease and desist letters). The new boards are hand printed in limited runs of 100. As it's next to impossible to get hold of an unused original of this design without parting with a significant amount of cash, this is the next best thing. Oh, and for those who don't know, the Jason Lee I am referring to is the one as the My name is Earl guy (he was a pro skateboarder in the early '90s).

We're considering getting a professional hanging system installed by the Art of Hanging in Nundah so we can display the boards in the best way possible (and so that we can easily change them around should we acquire more!).

20 September 2011

Red porcelain

In addition to the incredible Dinosaur Designs platter, my best friend also gifted me these stunning porcelain cups from Shanghai homewares store Platane. I'm also yet to find the perfect location to put these. They are deserving of an extra-special spot, I think.

17 September 2011

Dinosaur Designs platter

Wow, would you look at those tumbleweeds rolling on through the land of Flying Ducks? It seems that yet again I have been absent, due to a whole range of things happening in my life (a family wedding, sickness, study, work). Thankfully I only have to contend with study for a couple more weeks, so I should be around a lot more!

My best friend recently moved house, and decided to rid herself of her 'red things' in the process. Lucky for me, I love red things! Even luckier still is that I love Dinosaur Designs, and I am now the proud owner of this incredible (and HUGE) platter. I haven't quite worked out a place worthy of its presence just yet, but here is a little peek at its amazingness.

27 August 2011

Cast iron apple pot

How amazing is this cast iron apple pot from Terrain? I've long wanted to invest in a big cast iron pot, and I think an apple-shaped one is just perfect! It looks like it belongs in my kitchen, yes?

Alas, Terrain do not ship overseas. I'll just have to keep dreaming...

07 August 2011

Real Living 2011 reader decorating contest

This year, for the second year in a row, I'm entering the Real Living reader decorating contest. I really don't think I'll have much of a chance against the many other great entries they'll have, but it's worth a shot. I don't even want the prizes. I just want to get my home in the magazine!

My entry for the living room will consist of around 20 photos. I think I might need to post a CD or USB! Here's a sneak peek of a few of them.

For more information about this year's contest, visit the Real Living website.

31 July 2011

Ottoman sofa bed

The first part of the office 'upgrade' is complete with the arrival of our ottoman sofa bed this week. I was a bit nervous about purchasing a custom-made piece of furniture on eBay, but the experience with Sydney Lounge Specialist was wonderful. We weren't quite happy with the standard Wortley and Warwick fabrics offered by the store, so after two rounds of samples in the mail we settled on Wortley 'Hustle' fabric in Carbon colour.

The sofa was made in Sydney from sustainable Tasmanian pine, and includes a ten-year warranty on both the timber frame and the foam. We paid extra to get an inner-spring mattress instead of a standard foam one, and the trampoline base also includes timber slats for extra support, so our visitors should have no reason to complain.

I couldn't resist buying some new cushions to celebrate. These are all from Target, who really seem to have stepped up in the homewares department.

I'll add more photos in the coming weeks when the room is a little tidier!

30 July 2011

Baked rice puddings

Last weekend I tested out my new ramekins and made some delicious individual baked rice puddings.

The Vinyl Living tea towel was a lovely birthday gift from a lovely friend for my birthday.

23 July 2011

Design*Sponge Brisbane city guide update

Remember the Brisbane city guide I wrote for the Design*Sponge website back in 2009? I've just recently written an updated version, which is now available to read on the site here. This much more comprehensive guide also includes a link to a Google Map with all the highlights pinpointed. Handy!

Do leave a comment to let me know what you think, either here or on the Design*Sponge site!

18 July 2011

Heart for Art

Some of you may have seen the post on my other blog a few months back about little-known overseas aid organisations. One of these organisations was Project 18, which is run by the Sunshine Coast's Cate Bolt. Project 18 is dedicated to a range of humanitarian and conservation projects, including Foundation 18, a girls' orphanage in Indonesia.
Project 18 logo - Conservation through Education

Today, bloggers around the world are getting the word out about Heart for Art, explaining how ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference in the lives of the little girls living at the orphanage. All you need to do is make something crafty and send it their way! You might even get a little surprise in the mail in return. If you'd like to get involved, you can send your art projects directly to Cate Bolt:

Cate Bolt
Attn: Heart For Art
PO Box 239 
Glass House Mountains, Qld 4518 
If you're in the UK, you can direct your package here:

Lerner Farrington

Attn: Heart For Art
18 Suffolk Rd
Lincoln, LN1 2UG
If you're not much of a crafty person but still want to help, there are so many other ways you can assist Project 18 in making a real difference in the lives of these kids:

For more information about Heart for Art, email HeartForArt18@gmail.com.

17 July 2011

Nundah City

After having brunch today, we noticed a newcomer to the vacant shops in Nundah Village. We're now lucky enough to have a fabulous retro/vintage store in our suburb! (Although, I must point out that the owner hates the terms 'retro' and 'vintage'.)

Nundah City is owned by Steve, who was behind Rotten Records in the city and Kleptomania in Fortitude Valley. Now Steve will be selling records, furniture and other homewares right in my neighbourhood. If anyone's keen, he currently has a set of bright orange Kartell nesting tables! I was super tempted myself, and probably would have caved had they been red, white or black.

He also has a replica of a Kartell magazine rack, which is a yellow version of the one I own.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to be spending a lot of time looking around Steve's shop in the coming weeks!

16 July 2011

Movie ticket giveaway: Big Mamma's Boy

Thanks to Madman, I have five double passes to give away to a preview screening of Australian film Big Mamma's Boy.
The screening takes place at Hoyts Stafford 10 Cinemas next Sunday (24 July) at 10.30am.

To enter, just leave a comment before 5.00pm on Monday 18 July, and I'll pop tickets in the post the next day.

09 July 2011

Birthday flowers

During the week it was my birthday. It was the first birthday in a decade that I haven't spent at my old workplace, so the day was tinged with a tiny bit of sadness for me (given that the last decade equals most of my 'adult' life). I did, however, get to catch up with some wonderful friends for a picnic in the park today. Much eating, drinking and chatting took place.

I got some great birthday gifts from my husband, friends and family, many of which I will share in a blog post soon. For now, here are some lovely flowers given to me last weekend by my mother-in-law.

03 July 2011

Origami flowers

After patiently looking for more than a year for something suitable to place inside our Dinosaur Designs vase (gratefully received as a wedding gift), I bought these origami flowers from Hideyo at the Finders Keepers markets over the weekend...