Winter may be a long way off down here in the Southern Hemisphere, but that doesn't stop me looking at coat patterns so I have something warm and comfortable for the football. In fact, this is probably the best time to be checking out what's on offer in the Northern Hemisphere.
I've been sticking to my Dottie Angel Challenge ethos and buying second hand items and some vintage patterns have been on my list.
I saw this on Etsy ages ago and decided to buy it in November. It arrived from the US the other day
It's a 1960's Vogue original.
I don't have to buy any fabric. I already have plenty to choose from in my "stash" so I have quite a few options to play around with. I really like the blue version with some navy velvet on the collar as a contrast, but I also have some lovely camel wool in the cupboard and that may be what I lean towards
The back view has some nice detail and I really like the way the pocket is incorporated in a slot in the front...the little hat's not bad either, although I can't see myself wearing that too often
As you may know, I don't mind throwing a bit of paint on the walls...but getting the colour just right can take a long time
Number 10 is the fourth house I've painted/renovated and I've always played it safe as far as colour goes. That's mainly because I'm not good with colour. I find choosing colour can be hit and miss because it's difficult making the right choice from a small colour card you get from the paint store. In fact, that's been the experience of a friend who's had a couple of rooms painted grey and who hates them because they're so dark now, but her husband says they're only getting painted once and he's not paying the painter to do it again.
There are so many darn "whites" out there that paint companies produce brochures dedicated to them...but you really have to ask yourself if there's a hint of tint in it, is it still white?
I started off, many years ago in a former life, painting the walls of my home atNumber 3 a Bristol colour called "Clay". It was what I thought at the time was fairly neutral, because it was light... but at different times of the day you could see it taking on a real pinky/mushroomy tinge.
The exterior was always White though. Can't go past it for weatherboards.
Then I started having "Clay" toned down to half strength...it still had that pink undertone, but it wasn't too bad
Then at Number 10, I moved on to Antique White USA, which looks lovely with just about anything: linen, white, darker tones like black and brown...even blue. I loved it.
In fact I loved it so much, I even used it for some of the old chest of drawers I rejuvenated so they blended in with the walls and made the rooms look bigger.
Then I started half strength on that.....less creamy, more just a hint of colour.
The main bedroom drawers and walls - all A-W USA half strength
Now though, I'm leaning towards another white that has really caught my eye. It's been used in a truly gorgeous, just-renovated home I saw recently and I have to say it makes everything "pop" and complements the dark stained timber floors in the hall and living areas and the almost-latte brown carpet in the bedrooms.
It's "Builders White" and all it has is a drop of black in it to take away the "starkness of that straight-out-of-the-tin-white
That's what I'm after. A non-colour that doesn't bring out the undertones of the things around it.
What it also means though is apart from the walls, I'll have to paint all the chest of drawers...but at least I have the time on my hands to do it now
Christmas is over. New Years is just a memory...and it's time for a tidy up.
The Christmas decorations have been put away.
... and the Twiggy Christmas tree is now reduced to kindling to be used in the fire in the backyard.
So now it's all systems go to get ready for our annual trek to the caravan at the beach. That won't be happening for a little while yet, but I like to get organised and have some basics packed so there's no last minute panic....at least that's the plan.
There are lots of other things you can do with it, but simple is best for me
MONT and I went to a pre-Christmas drinks function recently and they had a scrumptious panettone as the sweet finish to the night
It was just torn apart and some were dunking it in their liquors and coffee... Delicious!
So, I celebrated my birthday just before New Year chimed in and as always, I had a bit of a think about the year just gone and what the new year will bring
It's also at this time each year that I set up my new diary. I go through the previous years almanac, make sure I put down everyone's birthday. Note the little anniversaries that come up each year like when we got our dogs or when someone had a significant event...and about the people we lost.
Mont's Dad passed away last year. He was 97 and a lovely bloke. His Mum is still with us and, since going into care, has really blossomed. Thank Goodness!!
This is also the time of year I try to set myself a little challenge...I'm not really into "resolutions" but challenges? Yes.
It's almost a year since I set myself the challenge to not waste money on "stuff" and only spend on important, necessary things...and I think I achieved my goal...mostly.
The Dottie Angel Challenge, which I blogged about here last January, was to see how much I could do "without"....to see if I could shop the closet and the cupboards, so to speak, and not rely on retail therapy.
The Challenge was started by Tiff at Dottie Angel in 2009 and is a great way to think about our over consumption of goods.
Now I have to admit I did buy myself a few things...but none were impulse buys and many are second hand or hand made.
One of those handmade items was a new pair of slippers. I got them fromInga on Etsy. Inga is from Lithuania and she felts the wool then molds it into these gorgeous slippers. I have to say they are beautiful and will last me right through the year.
Other items I purchased were some second hand sewing patterns and some new fabric...I also bought a new fry-pan, some new underwear and a few cook books. Most of the books were for gifts though
I haven't kept a tally on the dollars I've spent, but I know I have saved a lot this past year and my bank balance is looking (a little) healthier
Happy New Year. I hope it brings you everything you wish for
We spent our New Year's Eve here, where MONT and three mates have been working on their house for the past, oh, it seems like forever.
It's at Bonnie Doon and this is the view from the front of the property. The last time I was here, there was no water and cows were grazing on the lake bed and you could see cars going across it
It was just us...and the dogs...
MONT cooked us dinner and we had a couple of glasses of champers, as you do.
It was hot and because there's only a generator for power, we had no fans or air con through the night. Just too noisy to run it while you're trying to sleep...there was a nice breeze coming through the open door though and it did cool down a little. It was glorious watching the sun come up welcoming not only a new day but a New Year!.
I feel extremely lucky
This is the view from our bedroom....gorgeous!
Thank you for all your support and kindness over the past 12 months...it really has been appreciated!
I think there are a lot of us who are glad to see the back of 2011 and are hoping 2012 is a little kinder and gentler. Let's hope that's the case.
I'm a Melbourne born girl, but over the years, have been very fortunate to be able to live and work around Australia. I'm married to a wonderful bloke and we live with two very loving dogs and plan to get some new chooks this year.
We both love renovating houses (me more than him) and have almost finished the work on Number 10, but who knows when it will be finished, if ever..