Monday, 28 February 2011

Suburban Chickens

I don't know if its because I never really had proper pets as a child - (well, with the exception of the three goldfish named DJ, Stephanie and Michelle after the Full House sisters - but they didn't last very long) but I've grown so attached to our three chickens since we got them last May.

I'll admit it was a slightly longer wait than I expected until we started to get eggs, but they're the funniest little pets and the fact that they earn their keep with lovely eggs is a bonus.

This is Henrietta - she loves to lay out in the sunshine with one wing extended.

This is Charlotte - named after the white chook on a kids show I worked on.

And this is Dr Octopus our adorable silkie.

I've given her a haircut since this photo was taken so she can see properly now. She lays teeny tiny eggs and goes broody at least once every two months - she spends all day in the nesting box and makes the most pained squeals if you try and move her little furry butt.

We got our girls from City Chicks and I can't recommend them highly enough.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Cane Bedside Tables

My new bedside tables are settling into their new home.

We've had mismatched ones for so long and it never really bothered me, but the new headboard was crying out for a pop of colour on either side.

I'd had my heart set on ones like these at Eco Chic - but their price was kinda ridiculous.

So the ebay stalking began and I eventually got my hands on these little pretties.

There's a time and a place for white but this wasn't it - the fabulous criss crosses of the cane and the great curved pieces would just fade away against the white walls - so after a trip to Bunnings and a lick of paint I now have two lovely teal bedside tables. (in case you're interested I used Dulux - Mamala Bay).

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Zig Zag Rugs

Yay my new rugs from Design + Retreat arrived yesterday.

Last winter was our first in the house - and my first with timber floors. Even in Brisbane it can get pretty chilly so I've been on the hunt for some living room rugs before the temperature drops this year.

After obsessing over Madeline Weinrib rugs for so long I'm glad I found a budget alternative.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Garden

I'd given up hope on this hydrangea plant in the backyard - but look at the shoots that its sending up out of the dead base.

This flower took me by surprise too - before we went overseas last year I'd scattered some seeds and was kind of dismayed when none of them had sprung up on our return. Little did I know that this little gem would pop up four months later.

I started this corn from seed back in January - it's been pretty slow progress since then - I don't think that patch of soil is the greatest. The last dregs of the cucumber vine are in the background.

Ditto with the below pumpkin (right hand side).

Don't you love how our grape vine lives in its own little prison cell? This is for possum protection (though to be honest they've gotten through it in the past).

The $3 Gerbera Challenge

At the markets on the weekend I got a bucket of gerberas for a ridiculous price (and the stallholder even insisted that I take the bucket and just return it next weekend - West Enders are so lovely). But gerberas really aren't my favourite flower, so with a bucket of them in my kitchen I had my work cut out for me to make them look cute.

It's been almost a week now and they're still looking great, maybe gerberas aren't that bad after all..

Monday, 21 February 2011

Martha's Lemon Cake

Oh Martha - I do love how you're slightly mean to all the guests on your show because they can never make their Christmas decorations as perfectly as yours - but do you purposefully make your recipes hard to navigate so our cakes never outshine yours?

I had a stab at Martha Stewart's Lemon Cake on the weekend for my Mum's birthday. 

Which of course meant that I got to use my lovely KitchenAid mixer.

Which is a good thing since I'm trying to bring down it's cost per use in order to justify it's existence in our kitchen. Can you see the 67 point planetary action?

It makes great pizza dough, and it can even roll lasagne sheets - but no it unfortunately doesn't read the recipe for you and ensure that you've printed out all the applicable pages.

It was only when I'd cooked both cakes, made the frosting, candied the lemons and was about to layer one cake on top of the other that I read the line in her recipe that mentioned lemon curd - a hyper link recipe that I suppose I should have noticed, clicked, printed and cooked earlier.. but I think Martha had buried it in the opening descriptive paragraph to ensure that my cake would never be superior to hers.. Luckily I had a jar of marmalade in the fridge that served as a perfectly fine spread between the cake layers.

Nonetheless I was pretty happy with how it turned out. The whipped frosting gradually recoiled in horror at the heat of the afternoon, but the cake inside was lovely and nobody seemed to think the marmalade filling was strange. It even looked pretty similar to the one from the recipe. See Martha, your devious plan to outsmart me was foiled..

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Upholstered Bedhead Project

With a few days off over Christmas I tackled a project that's been on my to-do list for awhile - making an upholstered bedhead.

I've always loved the retro velved tufted ones - ala The Drapers, and even had a vintage red one hanging around from a shoot years ago, but it didn't quite fit the bill as I wanted to go for something lighter and fresher.

I immediately fell for the bedhead on the cover of the last edition of Ivy and Piper,

and with a quick brush up on my upholstery skills with Grace at DesignSponge I was on my way.

After spending considerably more time than I thought and a small fortune on upholstery tacks, the project was complete and I had my very own orange monstrosity to rest my head on.


I found my nice thick orange cotton at Ikea and said tacks at Spotlight. A potential tip to those about to embark on their own upholstery adventure is to ensure your foam filling isn't too thick - I had trouble getting some of the tacks to grip into the plywood backing and had to create a work around with tack heads glued over nails...

I'm in the middle of somewhat related project revamping some bedside tables, no more upholstery though thank goodness. (Although I do tend to have a short memory when it comes to decorating drama, I'm sure I'll be tackling a padded footstool or armchair again in no time..)

Saturday, 19 February 2011

West End Markets

A trip to the West End markets has become a lovely routine on a Saturday morning over the last two years, whether we're meeting friends for breakfast or supplementing our weekly veggie box with extra supplies. After a felafel wrap and an iced coffee I was ready to face the crowds and stock up on supplies for tomorrow.

I loved the amazing colour of these dragonfruit.

King oyster mushrooms were an unusual sight.

Some of those lychees are in my fridge right now - hello afternoon tea.

Good Morning

Even on a humid February morning I can still start the day off with a coffee.

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