Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thank You

Thanks for all of your kind wishes yesterday. I had a really terrific day!
David Downton

I worked in the morning, shopped a little in the afternoon...then relaxed before going out to dinner last night.

We went to Va Tutto in Ivanhoe. Great service, great food, great wine! What more could you ask for?

We've been there a few times before and have never been disappointed. They have a restaurant section as well as a bistro and they are equally good.

Oh ...and MONT gave me a gorgeous pair of silk pyjamas...gotta be happy with all that!

Thanks again everyone. It was lovely reading all of your comments!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A little milestone

I'm celebrating a birthday today.

Can I bear it? Is it all too much for me?

Norman Parkinson via Brabourne Farm

Yes I can and not at all. Every birthday is a bonus as far as I'm concerned. It sure beats the alternative!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Shopping 'til I'm dropping

Well, not quite, but there are a lot of people out there who ARE! I can't be bothered battling with crowds and snappy, grabbing shoppers.

Instead, just before Christmas, I made a quick visit to an op-shop not far from me that I heard about here

...and these are a few of the things I picked up. Two tablecloths, one pure linen the other embroidered. A couple of napkins/hand towels and six gorgeous damask napkins in pure white.

They need an iron because I used them on Christmas Day. But when I first picked them up they looked like they'd never been used.

This is the linen table cloth. It's covering an old cupboard on the back deck that we used as a bar on Christmas Day.

I also found an old Simplicity pattern for a t-shirt that I'm going to make into a dress and a pair of jeans. I think I came out having spent $24. Not a bad little shopping excursion if you ask me.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Deck the Halls...

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

I hope it's full of love and laughter and maybe a little champagne!

But most of all, I hope it is a safe and joyous time of year for you.
Thank you for all your comments and wisdom this year. I've met some incredible people in this little blogging world of ours and I've had a blast! I hope we can all do it again in 2010.

Take care!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Going to the Mattresses

As you know, Saturday was a big day at Number 10, what with everyone here for the "meat festival" and me finishing the chester drawers (Teresa). But the best thing that happened on Saturday had nothing to do with Christmas or meat or furniture restoration.

No. It was all about MONT and my sleeping arrangements.

Let me explain. Three years ago we bought a new bed by a well known manufacturer. The mattress had what is called a "pillow top" and we chose it because it felt OK when we laid on one in the department store and because a couple of friends had told us how pleased they were with theirs.
But we regretted buying that mattress from the first night of uneasy sleep. In fact it was so bad, we called the manufacturer to check that we'd got the firm mattress that we'd ordered. Apparently, we had.

We found the bed to be soft and not firm at all...but what we rally hated was the way it developed two, permanent body indentations where we slept, which left us with a hump up the middle of the bed

I called the manufacturer again about this hump and was told to go through some convoluted process of measuring the indentations to make sure they were within the depth deemed acceptable and "normal". Not great after sales service if you ask me, but hey, I'm just the consumer right?. The one who has to sleep in the thing so what would I know?

Anyway, earlier this month I found out the son of a friend was returning home from overseas and needed a mattress, so I offered him ours and he accepted. Thank Goodness!

We toddled off to a bed place down in Preston that actually manufacturers their beds on site. We chose one and told him we needed it Saturday. DONE!
The pillow top was collected, our new mattress delivered soon afterwards and we've had the best few nights sleep we can remember. In fact MONT told me he'd kiss the mattress man if he ever sees him again.

Oh blissful slumber.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Three R's

Rescue, recycle, restore. They're my three R's.

...and I've applied that principle to this chest of drawers.

Remember what they used to look like when I dragged them across the road from the front of my neighbours house?

Like this.

Now they're like this.

I sanded them back with my new Ryobi and gave the drawers their first undercoat while MONT replaced the borer-damaged back with a new sheet of timber.

I sanded and undercoated the whole thing again and applied the first top coat last Friday afternoon.

The final top coat was applied on Saturday morning and MONT re-drilled the holes for the new knobs, which I had bought from IKEA. I let it dry and put it in the lounge room on Saturday afternoon.

I painted it the same colour as the walls (antique white USA) because I wanted it to blend in and not stand out in the small room. I used a small roller to apply the top coats because the paint goes on much easier and you aren't left with brush strokes on your finished piece.

Yep...rescue, recycle, restore. Can't wait till my neighbour takes a look at what used to be her old chest of drawers with the missing and broken knobs.

Told you Saturday was a super busy day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Festival of Meat

Hi all...hope you had a splendiferous weekend!

We sure did.

Saturday night was terrific with all the family and kidlets converging on Number 10 for our annual Chrissie get together.

The littlies loved all their gifts, especially their tutus and magic wands and jelly bean bracelets, while the adults all loved the food.

This is the 2009 ham...and it went down a treat, as did the roast beef, chicken, terrine and seafood...yes it really was a celebration of meat! In fact most of the farmyard animals were represented on our table

But the question I am posed with now is: What do I do with all this left over food??!!

It looks like MONT is going to be eating ham sandwiches every day well into 2010.

Apart from the cooking and entertaining though, I spent part of Saturday morning finishing off a little project... more of that tomorrow, but when you see it I think you'll agree the transformation is amazing.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thank You Amanda

It's really lovely when you fire up the computer and see someone likes your daily mutterings so much they give you an award.
So, thanks Amanda, I really appreciate it
But to have this award I have to list 10 things that make me happy and 10 bloggers who brighten my day.
This should be easy.

Things that make me happy

1. My husband and family. I really am a lucky person to have such a wonderful bloke who makes me happy every darn day....and my extended family. You know who you are. Thank you.

2. My friend "G" who I love to bits. We've known each other since the late "70's and knew the instant we met that we were kindred spirits.

3. My pets who are funny and smart (well maybe not really smart) and bring joy to me every day.

4. Renovating old furniture and houses makes me really happy. I love the transformation. I love being able to turn something old and rickety into a piece that is functional and beautiful.

5. Travel. Overseas, here at home. Anywhere.

6. Cooking and feeding people. How good does it feel when you make a dish and someone comes back for seconds?

7. Sewing and creating.

8. Working and earning my own money. I love being independent and not having to rely on someone else to "fund" my little shopping expeditions. Add to that my shopping expeditions with "G" We shop well together.

9. Blogging. I've met some terrific people who have visited Number 10 and left comments and insights and I love wandering over to their places too and reading what they've been up to.

10. My life. I really am a very lucky person to be able to have the freedoms and privileges I have. I thank my lucky stars each and every day

Now, to my other list of 10 bloggers who brighten my day:

1. White Dove. A lady who writes beautifully about her life and family

2. AM at the House that AM Built. An Inspiration who has chronicled the trials and tribulations of building her gorgeous new home

3. Brabourne Farm. Leigh has some of the most beautiful images on her gorgeous blog.

4. Ada and Darcy where Kellie has a real way with decor and fashion. I love checking out what she's been up to each day

5. Cavania. Karen does some beautiful work. Well worth a look

6. The Laurel Hedge. Millie is funny, clever and a delight...

7. At the Farm where Gail tells us about her animals and farm life in the USA

8. Journaling Woman. Teresa is a real delight and a lovely person.

9. Kitchen Hand from What I Cooked Last night. I've been reading his blog for ages now. Recipes and insight. He always give you something to think about

10. Amanda at Homely One. Amanda, I'm yet to try your fudge, but plan to over the next week or so. When all this Chrissy madness calms down. Then, like you, I will sit down with a nice cuppa, a good magazine, take a deep breath and devour a piece of your fudge. Yummy

There are so many more: Undomestic/mumma, Stacey Snacks, Pottering About, French Essence and Chek, to name a few.
Thank you everyone.
and thank you Amanda

Friday, December 18, 2009

TuTu Much

Hi all.....are you all plum tuckered out yet? Is it getting all too much for you?

Well, take heart. We're all in the same boat and paddling like mad to get everything done for the "big day"

Me? Well my big day is tomorrow, when all the family and kids and littlies descend on Number 10 for a big Chrissy bash.

A week or so ago I was wandering around the big wide web, catching up on blog posts etc. and discovered this

... and on further searching, found this as well. So I thought I'd make a couple for the know, them wanting to be fairy ballerinas and all.

So that's how I've been spending my time. Making tulle tutus for the Princesses. Next time though, if there is a next time, I think I'll read the instructions PROPERLY and get the soft tulle rather than the stiff one, as it was a little hard to work with and could turn out to be a bit "scratchy". I'm sure they'll love them though...and their new magic wands.

Amazing what you can do with an old discarded venetian blind rod, a Chrissy star decoration and a hot glue gun!

I've also been doing a bit of cooking for tomorrow night. I've made, what I hope, will be a delicious pork and chicken terrine that also contains pistachio nuts and cranberries. As soon as it's ready to eat, I'll take some photos and post it over at Live, Laugh Live and Cook. Fingers crossed it works out OK
Have a good Friday and weekend...Tonight MONT and I are heading out for Chrissy drinks again...gotta love this time of year. It's the only time we really get out and socialise!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ID please...

I've found some amazing things on Etsy recently...vintage dress patterns, gorgeous gift cards and these.

Last Saturday night my girlfriend "G" invited a few of us over for dinner and drinks for Christmas. I knew she was going to serve champagne so I found these gorgeous personalised drink ID tags on Etsy

They're by Tessa Long and her Etsy site is HattieRex.

I knew who was going to be at "G's" for dinner so gave Tessa their names to be stamped onto the tags...and "G" loved them!

Cute huh?! Tessa also makes other personalised jewellery, so check out her shop when you get a chance.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gift Giving

Do you have a gift wrapping theme each year, or do you buy the brightest Christmas paper you can find and just "go for it"?

A few years back I decided to make my own wrapping paper, so bought a roll of brown paper, a gold stamp pad and some stamps and got to work. It looked pretty good too, if I say so myself.

I've also used photo copied pages of sheet music, newspaper and plain coloured boxes from the $2 shops, covered them in cellophane and attached bright ribbons.

When I am buying wrapping paper though I tend to buy a neutral pattern so it can be used for lots of occasions...

This year I'm going with a striped paper in pale blue, silver and white and will use black ribbon as the contrast.

How do you plan to wrap your gifts this year?

Image 1. Notebook. Image 2. Monica Buck. Image 3. Rick Lew

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday again...

...where did the week go?

I can't believe it's just two weeks till Christmas Day.

Here are my Christmas Tree lights.

Not sure how I achieved the blueish affects actually. I just pointed the camera and clicked, then changed a setting and clicked again.

I quite like how they turned out though.

We've got the neighbours coming over tonight for a few drinks and a sausage sizzle...and tomorrow night we're off to my girlfriend G's for a Christmas get together. This is a very hectic time of year for MONT and me, in fact I think we have more functions to attend in the three weeks prior to Christmas than we do for the entire year...well not quite, but you get my drift.

Have a great weekend....and stay safe.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree..

It's up....

... and decorated!

This little peacock is my version of an angel at the top of the tree.

...and I've got my other birds on there as well.

The tree was given to us some years ago by a friend. It has filaments on the end of each branch and they light up in different colours. It's only small....but it suits us perfectly.

Now to the housework... UUUGGGHHH

We Have A Winner...

Drum roll please........
It's.... White Dove!

Congratulations! You've won the $70 voucher for lighting from Buyster.
Please email me your details so I can have the voucher forwarded to you.

What a nice little Chrissy pressie.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Watch the Birdie

I feel very fortunate living in Melbourne because I can get to a whole range of discount and clearance outlets to get just about anything my heart discounted prices.

Like these decorations I purchased today. The Bed Bath and Table clearance centres in Carlton and Ivanhoe always have plenty of bed linen and towels on sale...and at this time of year they also have their Christmas decorations discounted as well. This glass bird with the feathered tail was 30% off. was this little birdie...

...and these glittering stars and poinsettia.

I've been a bit slack in getting the tree decorated this year, but it WILL HAPPEN tomorrow. I promise.

I do.

I'll let you know how it turns out

Also....I will be drawing my giveaway tomorrow for the $70 gift voucher for lighting from Buyster. It's only available to Aussies though, as Buyster only delivers to Australia...sorry 'bout that.

Everyone who's left a comment this past week will be going into the draw. Good luck

She's finished

I removed the excess feathers, tied the excess fabric in a bow.

Put another little dangly trinket on the bottom...and it's done and hung.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Feliz Navidad. Have a cool yule.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope this time of year brings you peace and happiness and good health.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I really like Christmas time... or to be more precise, I really love what this time of year promises.

I know it's busy and crowded and hectic and the roads are crazy, but I still get a kick out of this time of year

But each year at this time, I also have to ask why some people seem to think it's OK to be rude, impatient and generally bad tempered?

Why do levels of anger boil over in December? Why do so many get so short tempered?
Everyone's trying to get things done, everyone's got somewhere to be. But in a lot of cases, they lose perspective and forget that this is supposed to be a happy time of know, goodwill, peace on earth. That sort of thing.

Just the other day I was leaving a multi-level carpark and had a bit of a run-in with a motorist who wanted to move into my car space ahead of the person who'd got there first. When I pointed this out, he got a little heated with me...saying he didn't care! Well, I bet he'd care if he'd been there first.

Anyway, all I can say is "chill people". Time to put things in perspective.
Just remember, if the worst thing that happens to you this week is that you're second in line to a parking spot, then you're not doing too bad in my books.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Almost there...but not quite

The doves are connected, there's a little bit of "bling" and there are also feathers.
The bottom though needs some work.

I might have to rethink it.

Friday, December 4, 2009


What do you think?

I started with a twig wreath and some ivory chiffon

I wrapped the wreath in the chiffon, glued the ends so they wouldn't come loose...

...and now have to decide which trinkets to attach to it.

These, or something else? I have silver hearts, more pearls and some other little birds. What do you think?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Decorations time

Do you go all out to decorate your home at Christmas?

I have to admit, I don't. But I do like a few things scattered around the place to remind me what season it is and give me a bit of Chrissy cheer.

Image from Cavania

I've been thinking about making a new wreath for the front door. I know what I want the finished effect to be, but I'm not sure how to achieve it.

I'll keep trying I guess... where'e that glue gun of mine....

PS. Don't forget about my giveaway this week. A $70 voucher for home lighting. Keep those comments coming.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Josephine Baker

Late last year, MONT and I went to the Art Deco Exhibition in Melbourne. We had a lovely day in town. We sat in the sun and ate lunch at a riverside cafe, had a glass of wine and then toddled off to the Art Centre and lined up with, what felt like, thousands of others to see the exhibition.

Apart from the cars, furniture, jewels and photographs, there was also film of one of my favourite women.

Josephine Baker.

A few years back, my Mum gave me a small photograph of her and I framed it and have it in my bathroom so I can say good morning to her each day.

Even in 1950 she was a true beauty. This was taken in Havana, Cuba

She was a star in France and became famous for what they they described back then as erotic dancing but strangely, she didn't really have much of an impact in the USA.

She died in Paris in 1975 at the age of 68