Wednesday, December 15, 2010

my love of tretchikoff

I purchased my first Tretchikoff about 3 years ago and this is her. I LOVE her the way Oprah loves Australia.

Isn't she beautiful. Her name is Balinese Girl.

Last year for my birthday, friends bought me these girls. Meet Lady from Orient on the top and Chinese Girl on the bottom.

And also the divine Miss Wong.

At the moment they're sporadically placed around the house but eventually they'll be together once i have the wall space. I found these frames to put them in but the top 2 girls have not been done any justice. Frames are so hard to decide on. The 3 above were purchased straight from his estate by my pals, so are recent reproductions. Balinese Girl is an original repro ... i love them all equally.

When i was searching for his website, i came across these wall murals. Not sure where the first one is from but the second one is apparently in a lounge bar in Notting Hill, UK called Trailer Happiness. Fab right?!

I want one.

For those of you who don't know the works of Valdimir Tretchikoff - he was a self taught South African artist prevalent in the 1950's and 1960's. His works were mass produced across the world and is 2nd only to Picasso in popularity. You can snag reproductions on ebay and in antique/second hand stores and his family trust now produce them through their website here. I am constantly on the lookout for more to add to my little collection.

I read that a few years ago, one of his original sketches fetched $480,000 at a Sotheby's auction. So if you happen across an original ... well, i'll take it off your hands for whatever you pay for it! That's fair isn't it? ...

Monday, December 13, 2010

ferns and macrame

Look at my fern. Isn't it a stunner. This is the one and only plant that i have kept alive, in the house for more than a month. Normally my ferns get escorted to the garden after only a few weeks.
Purchased 4 months ago from the lovely man at Cottage Garden Nursery in East Brisbane, it was a considerable size to start but continues to grow, they have such lovely plants there especially the ferns and palms. I asked how to look after this fern and he said to drench it once a week. Like drench-drench it. Not a bit of water here and there, one big drenching. Totally works people. Look how happy he is...

Macrame is fab, sadly i can't use it for this fern, it's just too big, it gets tangled when i try to put it into the macrame and ruptures it's leaves. This is my little collection ...
I have decided to put jars, vases and light fittings in them to make it easy.
The local demolition yard has a bunch of white round glass globe light fittings. I see them there all the time in varying sizes. I plan to put plants, flowers and candles in them and just hang them on the back deck. Then it's easy to alter when i want to. Here are two i tested (below left )with a vase and jar today, seems stable enough

I've also got a few lamp shades which i have stripped back to wire, i like them in it too (pic above on right) so might add a plant or the right sized jar or glass with a candle.
Now i just need to decide where all the hooks will need to go... and find plants that like to live in water. Suggestions anyone??

Thursday, December 9, 2010

ebay listings

I have been a busy bee trying to sort out my hoarding. I'm selling off some bits n pieces and i have to start slow because i really need to put thought into what i'm selling ... just in case, you know? ... i may need it someday ... and it won't be there.

These are the items i've just listed on ebay.
Iron saucer chairs. I have a couple others up my sleeve so am happy to share. Like them in this green. 
This is a great trunk. I keep staring over at it and wonder if i will regret it. It's so masculine and tough looking.
These have been in our kitchen since the beginning. I need a kitchen stool i can stand on and 'A' gets very stressed when i stand on these red ones. They're very fine. Would be better off used to put plants on or for children. Colour's beaut.
This mirrored octagonal planter is very special. I've never seen one before and this too may be a sale riddled with regret. I'm not good at letting go ... the clean out continues.
What else can i try to let go of i wonder? Meanwhile, i have painting to do. Where has this week gone?

This is the link to the above if anyone's interested

Monday, December 6, 2010

a converted sideboard

Amongst the many other projects, this has sat gathering dust for about 18 months. Now that we have pushed stage 2 of the house reno out, i decided to get stuck into this one and bring it indoors. I love the carvings. One end is a cocktail cabinet and the other has slots to hold records.
This is it sanded back, i began to have second thoughts on painting it at all... maybe i shouldn't have
Close up on a  a carving on one of the ends.
Colour choice was tough. I wanted my latest green, but then thought better of it with the couch i have (it's a tropical print 50's number). Then i thought black or white. Naaa. How about grey? Yes, i'll do a light grey. So this was the semi-final product
I sat while i looked and then i looked while i sat. Boring, just plain boring no matter which way i eyeballed it. I could barely see the carvings. Black, just had to be. So i picked up a semi gloss tin and slapped on 2 coats and this is the finished product.

We'd already moved it upstairs and hooked up all the electrical when it was grey. Indoor painting in black is not a good idea when you're me...

Those very large speakers had to go somewhere ... underneath is the least offensive

Now i can see the carvings properly. I painted this part with the brush very flat - no bristles so i didn't fill them in.
Much happier with this version, and the little cocktail cupboard just makes it for me - lookswise i mean. I've yet to decide on whether to keep the doors clear or not on the cabinet. I like that it looks lived in - providing i can keep it semi neat. Unfortunately the dvd /sound system / radio player thing doesn't fit inside. Ugh!

I actually finished a project i've been talking about for months, it's a good feeling. What's next??? .....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

christmas with friends

Catching up with friends at christmas time is such a blast. I thought i'd share some snippets of dinner parties i've been to over the past 2 weeks - love, love LOVE a good dinner party particularly when catching up with all different people you haven't seen in months.

Numero Uno.
The flowers on the dining table were stunning. Our friend who is also an 'A', picks up the most amazing flowers from the Rocklea markets. Her last dinner party was punctuated in natives and for christmas we had  pretty peonies amongst other delights and little red reindeers at our place settings.

I had to add in a couple of shots of the living/dining area of the house. She's got a great style and mixes very new and old with ease.

The home is gorgeous. It's modern in design with polished concrete floors throughout the living areas, floor to ceiling glass overlooks a lap pool which practically wraps around the living area and then meets at the back bi-folds which open onto a large courtyard. Kitchen is so sleek with white on white high gloss cabinetry and white/ivory granite. Walls and ceilings white too which creates a bright and fresh canvas for the whole space.
I've only captured one angle really, it's a big space. She does open plan well this one
Needed to grab the close up on this. Love the diverse artworks together 
Simple and a lovely mix.
These pots at the front entrance caused quite the stir. Gorgeous pattern.
Great night - the perfect home for summertime entertaining.

Last nights soiree was also a cracker. My friend 'T' sent adorable invitations in the mail for 10 guests and it was themed with Ginger Bread Men. Here are some snaps of the theming on the night.
little delicasies

How pretty. She picked up these darling little ginger bread lights

Look at this tree. It's like a winter wonderland. I felt like i was sitting in a swedish lounge room while admiring this

I had real difficulty photographing things with this flash so pics didn't turn out or were blurred.  'T' also lives in a modern home which is also 100% brilliant - she's a total bowerbird. Her home is like a museum with bits and pieces from travels, family airlooms and things she and her husband love. She's got a good eye and everything just looks so perfect every time i go there, i love to wander around and observe...everything has a story. I snapped some shots of things i hadn't seen before that i  loved last night, Thankfully these one's came out clear!!

A nordic collection of reindeers - they're big lovers of swedish stuff
This print is just stunning, so much so that i asked if i could take it home with me. How rude! It's lucky we've been friends for nearly 20 years or she may never ask me back ... the little hanging birds in the corner are from kim and judy at camp hill - so sweet

Prickly Pear. A sicilian setting for juice at the back (of the prickly pear) and to the front is an espresso setting. Sugar pot in the middle. The colours are gorg  

And with a momento of another truly fabulous night we were all given a little chrissie gift. Awwww cute! I shrieked with joy like a 5 year old, i just love the unexpected. It's earmarked to read in the bath tonight! She said that she didn't want to discriminate and that the more mature of us can also enjoy a book about ginger bread men just as much as the child it was written for.

Bless christmas dinner parties and wonderful friends. Tis the season...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

baths and bad weather

This weather is doing two things. 1. Interfering with my anticipated snorkelling at Tangalooma and 2. allowing me to enjoy a warm bath regardless of the fact it's the introduction of an Australian summer... there's a silver lining to everything. 

I think it's fair to say that you’re either a bath person or a shower person?

I pondered this rooms importance to me, being that i am 200% a bath gal. During the reno the bathroom was my main priority in getting right.  It had to be well appointed with excellent air flow, cosy and lovely to look at (with the door open) AND the toilet was to be out of sight on entry. I snapped some shots of the bathroom as best i could today.

To the left you can see the shower doors. It's built in, same subway wall tile and floor tiles. Toilet sits hidden on the other side of that wall.
Claw foot bath was a must have and the old cigarette table is superb for wine placement, poor little calf there on the ground, he makes the room feel cosy. The lantern was from no other than 'Victorian Living' at Red Hill, fell in love the minute i saw it.  They never let me down.

My vision for the bathroom was crystal clear in my head, but I had no pictures or anything to show people so finding the right floor tiles that were close to concrete in texture and colour was a mission. I was thrilled when i found these at Salvatore Ceramics at Brendale - the subway tile for the walls was the perfect match. 
Pedestal basin and antique bevelled mirror with an old broom cupboard for storage (thanks to Katherine at the Old Boathouse ... 3years ago now) which we spruced up. Was hard to find a tall skinny cupboard that wasn't new laminate. I toyed between this idea and some kartell stackable drawers. Definitely happy with this.  

We added trimming, shelves inside, laquered black and added a new hardware. 
Since the old goods and chattals shop closed down at Woollongabba 2 years ago i have found solace in Paddington hardware for great handles which is where i snagged this stunner. 

We added VJ panelling to the cove where the toilet is (it's just to the left of the cupboard- no need to witness) and linen cupboard sits in behind the louvred door there too. That wall was painted in such a perfect shade of light grey. 'White Gazebo' by Dulux. An antique wooden towel rail takes care of the bath mat
I admire the room often. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's mine and aids in the daily unwind. I'm desperate to design another bathroom and am always thinking about downstairs and what it will look like. The below bits n pieces i have come across which i like the look of... but they're not quite right.

Having a warm bath in summer turned into a long winded bathroom rant, baths are the best. Maybe someone's gained some inspiration into bathroom renovation... or not. 
Come on sun, shine your love down on me, it's snorkel time!!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

december 1 ... finally!

I woke up this morning, put on a christmas record and cracked out the christmas tree. Finally! I'm a December 1 person. I wanted to do it before, but tradition was too overpowering so today it finally happened. Unfortunatley, they never look as lovely in a picture as they do in real life.

This is the tree ... there's a monstrous mirror that leans on that wall behind it, so it makes it a little confusing to look at ...
This is the'star', i have a thing for butterflies and birds. The tree is covered with them
A closer look at the deco's seeing you can barely see them in the main shot ... the apples remind me of a strawberry that is covered in red glitter my mum still has for the family tree. It was my favourite growing up and would be the first one i would search for to hang
These are my new additions which i made a couple of days ago. Bit of newspaper and some coloured paper and now i have MORE birds. I'm wrapping with newspaper again this year and wanted the tree to look a little less glittery. I made about 10 all in different colours
A tree ain't a tree without presents. I love using satin ribbons, feathers, fabric and sequins ...looks a treat with the newspaper - love the mix ... shame you can't see the sequins
These guys are on the dining room table.

I used them last year for my xmas dinner party, these big ones were the centre piece and then i had the smaller versions sitting at the top of each place setting in a row. (like they were pulling a sleigh)

The standing for the boys and sitting for the girls so each couple had the pair to take home.
Instead of using bon bons and paper hats i tied the napkins in string with these feathers attached and everyone had to then wear it around their heads like their adopted reindeer... it sounds silly out loud, but it looked rather fab and everyone got into it...even the gents.
I'm off, we have guests for dinner - the 'open plan kitchen' is a disgrace and it's bath weather.
24 days till christmas.........