Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hello Frida, Farewell Cobblestones.

Friday night friends A & J gave me an early birthday present (and delicious passionfruit cake) at a little soiree at J’s place.

My birthday isn’t for a few weeks yet but it was a lovely surprise.

This is Frida Kahlo - Mexicos most celebrated female painter. I love line art. The artist is Ariel O’Connor. And check the frame colour. Fluro Orange. Hot!

What’s so lovely about art as gifts is that it's something that you'll always have – thanks sisters - Love her. And now you need to tell me where I can find more of this womans work! 

We’ve had a bad run with weather trying to complete this paving but with some moments of sunshine on Sunday, I even managed to paint the inside step of the stairs and parts of the slab wall to finish off the stone.

Once the tiles are stained, they'll match the paint on the slab perfectly.

It's so invigorating to see instant results. Painting's satisfying work in small doses.

The paving is completed. We’re going to leave it to its own devices for a few weeks and then seal it.
One of it's many washdowns. This is pretty much the colour it will be on the final seal.
With the truckloads of grout needed, cleaning them has been an absolute mission. Each stone needs to be grouted separately to ensure the grout reaches the base and blends to the uneven heights of it's family. Time and some washdowns here and there will prepare it for a final seal which will see it in it's almost black form.

They look lovely as is anyway. Now it's time to paint the black part of the stairs. The joys of timber houses...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cobblestone Progress

It was a back breaking weekend around our hood. Laying Cobblestone tiles is much harder than I thought. They are SO heavy. I don’t think that many muscles in my body have ever been used at the one time. I have a whole new respect for the tiling trade. And let me say it here – I will never tile again.
A few befores prep stage ...

And finally they're stuck

Well... almost ...

As you can see, they need an enormous amount of grout which is to come ... but on the bright side of the exhaustion , it’s looking exactly as we’d hoped. This is a snapshot of them sealed. Nice and dark.

(Look at those ratty stairs. Another bloody weekend to waste right there.)

Slapping some sealant on prior to grouting will make it a whole lot easier for us to clean the excess grout off the stone. Once we have the grout in and set, we'll put a few more coats over the top of it all again. 

We have a whole lot of old wrought iron that's been sitting at the house for about  ….. 6 years. Maybe longer actually – I think we had it before we demolished the old shack and moved this one onto it.
We’re using it to enclose this area into a secure little patio/courtyard arrangement. I can’t wait for that to be done, so the tiling was the first step and the iron is the second.

Here’s to hoping she’s done and dusted by this time next week and I have some finished shots to share.

Meanwhile, there is a major shortage of attractive wall lights around. Any hot tips on where to find something Art Deco in a sconce/light?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Shades Of Autumn

Even though it’s still meant to be Autumn, it has been cold here in Brisbane. With the underneath of the house enclosed now, I had visions of warmth and cosiness on the top floor. No such luck.

I bought this last week and am most enamoured with it.  I was gazing at it for the longest time last night trying to work it out.
The men’s posture is tall and proud, dressed in white with a summer glow about them. Head high and kind of jovial looking. 
The women seem to be the opposite - posture meek, heads down, dressed in autumn tones. The colours are lovely.
I wonder where they are. My first thought was somewhere waiting for a boat. Not sure why. It’s always a good sign with art when you’re drawn into what it’s trying to say. What do you see? There's no marking so who painted it is a mystery.

Meanwhile, I was having lunch at a friends house Sunday and took some happy snaps. L lives in a townhouse in Bardon and has almost finished a mini reno. She’s redesigned the internal stairs, had new timber floors laid and the courtyard completely redone. It looks amazing.
I really love the tone of the floors - they even back the strength of the antiques and colour palette and the glass modernises it. And the handles on the cupboards whilst a small detail are super cool.
L lived in Honkers for years and years and has a strong appreciation for Asian antiques and styling. Works well because she's a red girl through and through. Many of these pieces have moved around the world with her and have a unique history.

These chairs are my 2nd favourite piece that I drool over when visiting. They came out of China and were owned forever ago by a General. He’d had them custom made and faintly below you can see his name enscripted on the back of the chairs.

This chair IS my favourite. This is a Kone Chair by Roger McLay. It was in L's family home while she was growing up and she’s always adored it. Magnificent piece. A brilliant example of post war Australian design.

L then showed me this recent article out of the paper which has them all pictured in the City Hall. Her father was an architect so it’s no surprise he would appreciate such a fabulous piece. I wonder where they all went? Somebody tell me!

Coincidentally, the chairs pictured in the background are also items L grew up with in the family home. She’s having the suite of 6 restored at the moment. I cannot wait to see them in real life. She has no room for them ...

These stools are the most comfortable ever, they’re moulded plywood and ergonomically magical. I remember her looking for these 5 years ago. Took her ages to find and even longer until they arrived. They're from Cherner in the US. They have stunning pieces check them out here. The benchtop was Riverstone from Argentina. I didn't get a good pic but it is the nicest benchtop I've ever seen.
The outdoor courtyard is still a work in progress and is completely different to the indoors tone wise but is linked with the riverstone and a touch of red in the cushion accents. Being that she had to buy an enormous piece of stone 4 years ago (when she did the kitchen) she managed to work it in now as a feature in the wall.  
So private and fresh. Still some landscaping and hanging the curtain screening's to do. The lounge was a great purchase. You can move it around into various configurations, storage under the seats, the double can fold out to a bed and that coffee table turns into a dining table. You pull the 4 pieces up in front of you to dining height. Handy.

On a beautiful day in May, champers in hand with a soft breeze and birds chirping, it was a most relaxing atmosphere.

This painting was done by one of her sisters of the family home front door. Isn't it fabbo!
L's home is a great example of what my blog is about. Nostalgia and Now. Mixing your own history with how you live and what you love today. Sentimentality is what makes this eclectic mix work - in my opinion.
Now, we are embarking on a project at home with some tiling. So I may have something on the renovation to finally share.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dishing the dirt on Blue Eyes

I just came back into the office from an appointment to find a delivery.
This book was ordered 4 weeks ago and finally it's arrived.

I've often read about Frank Sinatra's ferocious temper and undeniable charisma - so when I stumbled over this book it sounded way too intriguing (and trashy) for me to pass by.

I must know more about the man who's lived in some of my all time favourite homes. Written by Frank's former valet - here's a little bit about it if you're interested ...

"As the right hand of Frank Sinatra from 1953 to 1968, George Jacobs arguably had one of the coolest jobs in the world at the time when Sinatra was the undisputed master of the entertainment universe. Jacobs rose from his humble beginnings in New Orleans to join Sinatra in the mansions of Beverly Hills, the penthouses of Manhattan, the palaces of Europe, the pinnacles of world power. George Jacobs saw it all, did it all.

Sinatra took Jacobs with him on the ride of the century, from blacklist Hollywood to gangland Chicago to an emerging Vegas to Camelot, not to mention dolce vita Rome and swinging London. As a member of Sinatra's inner circle, Jacobs drank with Ava Gardner, danced with Marilyn Monroe, massaged John F. Kennedy, golfed with Sam Giancana, and played jazz with the Prince of Monaco while his boss secretly pursued Princess Grace. He also partied with Mia Farrow, but that one cost him his job of a lifetime.

Through the ring-a-ding-ding and the stars, royals, politicians, moguls, and mobsters emerged a warm and intimate relationship that reveals a complex Sinatra: vulnerable and arrogant, charismatic and violent, loving and disdainful, confident and painfully self-conscious. Jacobs is no sycophant, but rather a sharp-eyed observer of the highs and lows of his boss's turbulent life. And Mr. S is perhaps the most complete, honest, and intimate portrait of Sinatra ever written.

It is an unforgettable trip, and George Jacobs provides a front-and-center seat at the life of an American icon."

Move over Mr Packer, Mr S is on the read list tonight!

Monday, April 22, 2013


When I grew up my mother had a whatnot stand. It was an antique corner shelving unit that had all these trinkets on it. Porcelain budgerigars, dogs and other little animals which had been her's or her mothers. There was a trio of 3 horses in pastel colours that I always wanted to play with. It, like most rooms in our house, were off limits to touch or play in. So I'd just gaze at all the pretty things as I wandered by.

When I saw these two at a garage sale on Saturday I just had to have. Aren't they just the most adorable little dust collectors? I don't have a whatnot stand, 'A' would pass out if he came home and we did. He already thinks we live in an old people's home.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lighting Duo's & storm clouds

I love snagging things in two's and seem to have an over abundance of matching lights and lamps at the moment. In fact. Lighting has become a little out of hand around here.

My most recent addition are a pair of shell chandeliers   I could barely contain my excitement when they came home. I sat and looked at them for about half an hour after I'd hung them. Two get's me every time.
My pair of horse head lamps now face one another. I tinkered with one on the weekend and managed to dismantle and turn him around. They need to be in the same room and now that makes it easier.

These enormous lights are utterly fabulous. But I have nowhere to hang.

And these, these I purchased off a man from Germany who picked them up forever ago in France. They are so unique. The way the glass has been blown is really special. They're reserved for the downstairs laundry and office.
This is one half of a pair. Nice heavy marble. The woman I purchased these from has had them for decades and picked them up from an Antique dealer in Tasmania. They seem to be ballustrade converted into lamps. Well, that's what she thinks so i'm just rolling with it.

These two are lovely. They remind me of old corner stores hanging above the counter.
This is a wall sconce option for the bathroom downstairs.

A few Deco shades. The large one is replacing a chandelier which I am going to sell. It was out of a house my Grandmother owned in Annerley. The little one's i forgot about until I found them in the office. And the clear glass one is rather different. I've been puttting it over a candle to make use of it.
Anyone need a crystal chandelier? I bought it originally from Victorian Living about 6 years ago. It's not an antique.

I need to keep photos of lights on me because I just keep buying them and forgetting about the others. Stupid, but at least it gives me options. It's just one of those thing's I love to buy.

How's about those storms! My friend Anna sent me these pics below taken on the waterfront at Manly on Tuesday arv. Cool huh?

Monday, April 15, 2013

House For Sale - Holland Park

My Pal S came down Friday night and made me aware of this house for sale in Holland Park in Brisbane. It's near my old hunting ground and in a pocket of the suburb which is very lovely.

Graham Bligh is a Brisbane architect who designed the home. Check out his portfolio of other properties here. He said that his design approach for this house was influenced by Richard Neutra who was a prevalent architect in California from the late 20's until his death in 1970. (He designed such houses as the Kaufmann House, I pictured the pool in my post last week)

The exposed beams are magnifique and that rug. I wonder if that comes with the house?? ....

This is a bedroom. A serious bedroom.  Check the floating dresser to the right and the built in to the left.
Have a look at the reflection in the mirror at the detailing on the robe cabinetry. It's the finer detail that makes these properties.

Looking at the stairs in the background, the half wall is extended to break the space. I really love that.
I'm so in love with this property.

Great kitchen. It's in its own space doing its own thing.  The bulk head above the windows is cool.
 Good bathroom. Love the fixtures.