September 30, 2011

Can I frame a sack and call it art?

via my sweet savannah

Since most of our guest bedroom suite drove away in the back of Mum's car a few weeks ago, I have been busily planning a new modern/vintage room design. Yesterday, Krista Salmon {Kiki's List} posted about framing vintage scarves and it gave me an idea: Why not frame a vintage french grain sack as guest bedroom art? A quick google made it pretty clear I'm not the first person to think of this (don't you hate that!) - but there are plenty of pretty grain sacks out there to choose from -

Dorsbien - Etsy

Dorsbien - Etsy

SimplyFrenchVintage - Etsy

Dorsbien - Etsy

I'm imagining the sack in a bold, white, modern frame to give some balance. What do you think - can I frame a sack and call it art?


September 29, 2011

One big cheeseboard...

I'm in love with my new oversized french cheeseboard from Two Pairs. Farmer Joe couldn't understand why anyone would want a three foot long cheeseboard. He even offered to cut it in half to make two smaller ones. So I loaded it up (sort of) with homemade pizzas to demonstrate it's usefulness.

Now I'm planning a Sunday brunch so that I can use the cheeseboard for a huge German-style tasting plate... (I love servingware that inspires entertaining).


September 28, 2011

Inspiration... Outdoor entertaining

With a hint of Spring in the air, Farmer Joe has declared that he will not, must not, and cannot survive another Summer without an outdoor entertaining area. I suspect that all Aussie men consider owning a patio, pergola or gazebo close to a basic human right. So, although we can't afford to have the entire structure built in time for this Summer, I have a plan to have an outdoor open fire built that can be enclosed in the overhead structure later on. So I went looking for some inspiration...

All images via decorpad

And just so you know why I need so much inspiration to start planning this project - take a look at the area now (deep breath, it's really bad)...

Future outdoor entertaining area - West view
South view


September 26, 2011

When the cows come home...

Our cows on our farm!

Our cow painting commissioned from local artist Julia Davis has finally arrived! (I blogged on the commission process back here). Just a sneak peak for now - we're only one roman blind and a few paint touch-ups away from a proper 'before & after' living room post.

Georgia the Corgi - shameless poser

(My poor photography has managed to make the painting look much smaller than it really is).

Julia was a delight to work with, and Farmer Joe and I are thrilled with the finished painting. I've been like a kid before Christmas all week waiting to see it for the first time. I even tried to sneak a peak through her studio window the other day! (No luck - she had the blinds down).


Sources: Julia Davis is a local artist based in Keith, South Australia. She has recently opened a new gallery, Two Cows Studio, just off the Duke's Highway between Adelaide and Melbourne.

September 23, 2011

Loving... Bespoke Press

While we are on the topic of beautiful paper goods... Loving Bespoke Press and their gorgeous collection of letterpress stationery, gift wrap and prints. I've been admiring (stalking?) their online store for months and this week I finally made a purchase. (Why do I leave these things so long?).  I bought their double sided gift wrap and an assorted pack of letterpress gift tags (shown below).

All images by Bespoke Press

They've got a great website and blog - pop over and have a look (they're having a sale until October 3rd!).


P.S. I seem to have developed a temporary obsession with accumulating gift wrap. I went slightly mad on Etsy this week. Can't image what the postman will think of me. I've even bought all my Christmas wrap, ribbon and gift tags already (- I promise not to blog on them until December!).

September 21, 2011

Calling cards, etiquette and Emily Post

I remember reading Austen and Dickens as a child and being charmed by the ritual of leaving calling cards when making social calls. While our modern social interactions are no longer quite so choreographed, calling cards seem to be enjoying something of a renaissance (much to my delight). So how does one go about adopting a social ritual that has been out of fashion for almost 100 years? Why, we turn to the doyenne of etiquette, Miss Emily Post, of course.

Miss Post's advice for the use of a calling (or visiting) card, as taken from her 1922 book, Etiquette:

1. Who was it that said - in the Victoria era probably, and a man of course - "The only mechanical tool ever needed by a woman is a hair-pin"? He might have added that with a hair-pin and a visiting card, she is ready to meet most emergencies.

2. Although the principal use of a visiting card ... is going gradually out of ardent favour in fashionable circles, its usefulness seems to keep a nicely adjusted balance. In New York, for instance, the visiting card has entirely taken the place of the written note of invitation to informal parties of every description. Messages of condolence or congratulation are written on it; it is used as an endorsement in the giving of an order; it is even tacked on the outside of express boxes.

3. The personal card is in a measure an index of one's character. A fantastic or garish note in the type effect, in the quality or shape of the card, betrays a lack of taste in the owner of the card.

4. All people who live in cities should have the address in the lower right corner, engraved in smaller letters than the name. In the country, addresses are not important, as every one knows where every one else lives.

5. To be impeccably correct, initials should not be engraved on a visiting card. A gentleman’s card should read: Mr. John Hunter Titherington Smith, but since names are sometimes awkwardly long, and it is the American custom to cling to each and every one given in baptism, he asserts his possessions by representing each one with an initial, and engraves his cards Mr. John H. T. Smith, or Mr. J. H. Titherington Smith, as suits his fancy.

6. And a widow no less than a married woman should always continue to use her husband’s Christian name, or his name and another initial, engraved on her cards. She is Mrs. John Hunter Titherington Smith, or, to compromise, Mrs. J. H. Titherington Smith, but she is never Mrs. Sarah Smith; at least not anywhere in good society.

7. On the hall table in every house, there should be a small silver, or other card tray, a pad and a pencil. When the door-bell rings, the servant on duty, who can easily see the chauffeur or lady approaching, should have the card tray ready to present, on the palm of the left hand. A servant at the door must never take the cards in his or her fingers.

8. Etiquette absolutely demands that one leave a card within a few days after taking a first meal in a lady’s house; or if one has for the first time been invited to lunch or dine with strangers, it is inexcusably rude not to leave a card upon them, whether one accepted the invitation or not.

9. One must also unfailingly return a first call, even if one does not care for the acquaintance. Only a real “cause” can excuse the affront to an innocent stranger that the refusal to return a first call would imply. If one does not care to continue the acquaintance, one need not pay a second visit.

10. Not so many years ago, a lady or gentleman, young girl or youth, who failed to pay her or his “party call” after having been invited to Mrs. Social-Leader’s ball was left out of her list when she gave her next one. For the old-fashioned hostess kept her visiting list with the precision of a bookkeeper in a bank; everyone’s credit was entered or cancelled according to the presence of her or his cards in the card receiver.

11. The best type of young men pay few, if any, party calls, because they work and they exercise, and whatever time is left over, if any, is spent in their club or at the house of a young woman, not tĂȘte-a-tĂȘte, but invariably playing bridge.

12. At the house of a lady whom you know well and whom you are sorry not to find at home, it is “friendly” to write “Sorry not to see you!” or “So sorry to miss you!”

13. Turning down a corner of a visiting card is by many intended to convey that the visit is meant for all the ladies in the family. Other people mean merely to show that the card was left at the door in person and not sent in an envelope. Other people turn them down from force of habit and mean nothing whatever. But whichever the reason, more cards are bent or dog-eared than are left flat.

14. Someone somewhere asked whether or not to answer an engraved card announcing an engagement. The answer can have nothing to do with etiquette, since an engraved announcement is unknown to good society.
- Emily Post (1873-1960). Etiquette. 1922.

all images by LetterLove Designs

Okay, so I might have to work out my own approach to using calling cards, but I'm certainly going to order some today. All the beautiful cards shown in this post are by LetterLove Designs on Etsy - a wonderful South Australian business (always happy to support a local).


September 20, 2011

My postman is Santa Claus

When I first moved to the country I went into immediate retail withdrawal. My nearest decent shopping strip was almost 300kms away, and I was used to a weekly fix. So out of necessity I began to dabble in internet shopping. And the local postman became my very own Santa Claus.

Yesterday he kindly delivered my apothecary jar beverage dispenser from The Little Big Company. Such a treat.

I love feeling that all the world's shops are just a click away...


September 19, 2011

Bedrooms, nudes and gallery walls...

Traditional Home

Farmer Joe and I enjoyed a lovely visit from my family this weekend. Mum and I were discussing ideas for a makeover of her main bedroom. She has a great plan for a gallery wall of charcoal/drawn nudes, but doesn't have time to look around to find them. So I offered to do some Etsy-hunting to get her started.

Wickstrom Studio

Classic Fine Art

Classic Fine Art



Wickstrom Studio

Classic Fine Art

And I hunted down some inspiration photos for good measure -

via decorpad

via decorpad

Elle Decor

Mum also decided that our guest bedroom suite was just what she had been looking for, and most of it went home in the back of her car. I can't wait to see how it all comes together!


September 18, 2011

Take 2... TV cabinet

The TV cabinet received the 'Take 2' treatment recently. I loved the glass lanterns that were on it before, but the area needed brightening up, and Farmer Joe wanted some family photos on display. This was my first attempt -

Take 1

(Same story as before, a little bit hesitant and lacking in detail). And here is my second go at it -

Take 2

The loveliest part about this redo is that whenever I watch TV I find my attention drifting onto the photos instead of the TV screen (they make me smile).


September 16, 2011

B. vs The Kitchen Pendant

My hands are up. The white flag is waving. I admit defeat. The glass pendant has been installed above the island bench in the kitchen and now everyone's unhappy. The kitchen looks uncomfortable, the light is hanging there awkwardly, and when you walk into the room your eyes don't know where to go because the eye line has been confused. I give up. If the house doesn't want a kitchen pendant, then it doesn't have to have one.

The light is being redeployed to the study this weekend. Fingers crossed it's happier there.


September 13, 2011

Take 2... Chest of drawers

While we're on the topic of 'fine tuning' the decorating, I've decided to introduce a new series - 'Take 2'. Renovating our house has been a steep learning curve for me. Being a complete interior design novice, I've drowned myself in blogs and online shelter mags for inspiration and know-how. I've come along in twelve months (still a long way to go though). So now I look back on some of the early things that I did and think 'I could do better'.

So things get redone! Here was my first attempt at decorating the chest of drawers in the main bedroom -

Take 1

As you can see, I was a little ummm... hesitant? uncertain? overly restrained? So with some bloggie inspiration and a little more confidence, I tried again (Take 2) -

Take 2

A little extra detail and a better balance of colour has given this spot a bit more character and interest. (Ok, so my house is hardly going to be gracing the pages of Lonny, but I'm learning!).