Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mums' Place

For something different.... today l thought we could take a leisurely stroll through Mum's place. l guess to other people it's pretty unusual but to those of us who know her it's just the norm. Over the years a number of tradies have been called in to do various repairs, and of course whilst most are simply either fascinated or maybe bemused, others have been so intrigued that they've gone home to get their cameras or their wives.... and sometimes both. 

As you can see mosaic work features heavily, the pic on the left shows part of the back porch which is entirely covered in shells, mostly collected from necklaces and the ilk found at op shops, flea markets, and also donations from friends who wanted to contribute to this epic work of art.
The pic on the right shows the back of her house leading up to the porch. This too has been completely mosaiced. It also shows the steps which she has also completed and the stone wall she built to enclose the balustrade. Succulents are grown in any spare cavities.

Mum has been a collector of the old, beautiful and unusual for as long as l can remember.
This old treadle Singer sewing machine still works perfectly and is the machine of choice whenever a stitch here or there is needed.
She has a lovely collection of handbags and l blame her for my own addiction to them.


This is an old celluloid doll we bought Mum for her 60th Birthday, she'd wanted one since childhood so we found this lovely one still with her original clothes. You may also notice the decoupaged walls and old sea chest.....
l love the decoupaged vintage suitcase and the beautiful shawl she crocheted. The beads were added for weight and pretty.


Her unique style reminds me a lot of Robyn Browns' of Magnolia Pearl. (image right)
l think mostly they are people who are individuals, and whose thoughts and actions are unhampered by convention. Always and forever thinking outside the square. Where Robyn covers her walls in carpet , Mum will also be exploring new and interesting materials to cover any available surface with.

These crinoline dolls have an air of olde worlde presence.
What was once a boring 40's slate fireplace has been given a mosaic makeover, marbles beads and buttons are just a few of the items used to achieve this look.

A couple of pics of the bedroom. The walls have been pasted in old calenders that she couldn't bear to throw out.
My Sisters' painting hangs above the bed.

Mums' collection of perfume bottles takes pride of place attached to the wall of her small sunroom.

The garden has been transformed from what was once a bare suburban block to a series of rooms divided largely by  large trees and shrubs that have survived years of drought and more recently floods. Anything that doesn't do well is quickly replaced.

The image on the left shows the wisteria canopy that has grown over a disused clothesline. Glass bottles and jugs hang beneath and catch the sun as it passes across.

The image above and the two below are from Robin Brown's book. A bit of Velvet and a dash of lace. You can visit her unbelievable website here. These pics have been taken directly from her book.

 A large part of the driving force behind Mum's creations is her desire to reuse and recycle. Waste is definitely a dirty word, and although her physical impact on the earth has been minimal, her creative impact knows no bounds.
l hope you've enjoyed this post, l know Mum is hugely excited to able to share it with you, as am l.

Til next time.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Conservatories and Garden Rooms


A couple of weeks ago on Labour Day weekend our town had it's Annual Art Show, it's held in conjunction with lots of other activities/events and it's a weekend we look forward to for ages. Each year l try and finish a couple of paintings to enter but this is sometimes a bit tricksy as it seems it's just Christmas and then the show, these are not the kind of paintings l can whip up in a couple of days.
Anyway did get a couple in and was very encouraged to learn that one of them had sold. l've popped in a pic of it below.
Generally l paint native flora of some kind, mainly 'cos l love it , and no-one else seems to paint it, it's great to find a bit of a niche if at all possible.

Acrylic on canvas. Flowering gum.

Since it's now Autumn and soon we'll be stuck inside for months, a garden room or
conservatory is one way we can still enjoy the garden without having to don the gumbies.
The pic above shows my Hydrangea showing off her Autumn foliage. 


The pic above shows the same room all spramped up for Christmas lunch.

When we first built our house about 16 years ago this room didn't exist. The area was intended as a courtyard/barbecue space, but after the first Summer we knew that wasn't going to work, we almost fried ourselves out there. It took some time but we finally decided on building the entire area in. It has triangular windows each end to allow the Northern sun to enter, as well as 2 skylights. A couple of years ago we also put in a wood heater, we used to close the area off in the Winter but now it can be enjoyed year round.


The English style conservatory seems to be the first thing that comes to mind when deciding on a conservatory "look" so l began my search for images there. l found these beautiful examples at or

Can you believe another week has disappeared, soon be Easter.

Til next time, thanks for dropping by,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mother of Pearl.


After everything that's been unfolding in Japan, it was very encouraging to read a story yesterday of an 80 year old woman and a 16 old boy that were rescued from the rubble . Both still alive after nine days.    Amid all the tragedy....... a miracle story.
When l found this single earring many years ago, never would l have imagined using it as a sad reminder of ones that are lost forever

This little Japanese earring has been patiently hand carved with the little bird inside.

Burnt orange rose which (though l've tried to find out, l don't know the name of), sits inside a ceramic photo frame with mother of pearl necklace, that probably dates from the turn of the last century. It's one of my favourite pieces of jewellery and l wear it heaps. l bought it a few years ago at the local trash & tresh for 50 cents.

Here l've changed the flower to white (Iceburg), it sits with various mother of pearl buttons and  knife & fork. Though the cutlery is pretty enough, it'd be useless to eat with. Also are lace gloves with mother of pearl buckle. A small tin container inlaid with M O P is actually an ashtray.

On the left is an Art Nouveau ring inlaid with M O P which l suspect dates from around 1880, it's worn on nylon hailspot gloves circa 1950. Neither of them fit on my chunky hands so it's just as well l'm not on the invitation list to that wedding.


l was really happy with this pic, it was taken at the same time as the ones above but l've just changed bit and pieces including the background. l've also been fiddling with the settings on my camera including the ISO settings. Not sure what that means and my chance of reading (or understanding) the written instructions is slim, but today l had a bit of a chat about camera settings with my Sister (who has a new camera and enjoys the technical stuff)...... anyway l was off like a brides' nightie to experiment. You can view her lovely blog here.

What fun l had messing around, just wish l'd remembered to write down what l'd done. Finding and using the super macro helped produce the clear image of the earring - (first photo).

Love the mother of pearl tiles. Would be kinda like having a shower in a shell wouldn't it. Image  from

Hot pink M O P inlaid dresser. image from    

Well my friends, be safe and happy til next time.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mantle Mirror Makeover


This week l've been finishing off a couple of projects and today l'm sharing with you the mantle shelf makeover. l finally hung it yesterday and spent a couple of happy hours "spramping" the bedroom again so l could take some pics for you.

You may remember this old shelf l bought for $10.00 at an old wares and collectibles store a couple of months ago, and originally it would have been part of a fireplace/mantle.

The picture on the left is the shelf in it's original state. To the right you can see l have  glued on a picture frame (either side) which l'll use as a focal point for some porcelain roses.

After convincing hubby to attach a small shelf over the top edge, l've painted the structure with three coats of Dulux Sago half strength. Once everything was dry l glued on various porcelain roses (using no more gaps) along each side edge, and as a final touch, add the roses in the centre of each picture frame which l feel gives it more balance.

This is the shelf in it's entirety after l finally attached it to the wall. l placed the "laugh" blocks across the shelf and add a porcelain rose at the end (again) for balance.

After much fiddling l elect to take away more than l add, the sconces that usually hung either side looked too heavy, and the bags that hung on the bed rails made it all look a bit cluttered. It takes a bit of trial and error but eventually l'm happy with the result.
We're thinking a bit of extra life insurance may be warranted in case it all comes down and decapitates one of us in our sleep.

This pretty, relaxed bedroom and dressing table shown below are from Via flickr.

This image and the one above it are from

This awesome dining room image is from 

Have a wonderful week,