October 30, 2012

Halloween on Chambers

Okay, so I completely forgot to take photos of the Halloween party. Between the 220 cocktails and 10 kgs of hot food, I was a little busy in the kitchen. So I'm making do with a few blurry iPhone shots and a couple I snapped on Sunday after the clean-up (sorry!). The party was a hit, my candy jars survived an enthusiastic onslaught by the local kids, and we managed to make many a middle-aged farmer dress in Halloween costume.

Now, I'll just take a little breather before Christmas planning starts...

October 22, 2012

A demolition from Farmer Joe's iPhone...

I do some ridiculous things in the lead-up to hosting a big event (remember my pre-Christmas posts?). Most recently, I decided that the old pergola on the west wall of the house needed to be demolished and the area revamped before our Halloween party this weekend. As I was already committed to a girl's weekend in Sydney (such a hard life), Farmer Joe was left as Site Manager and captured the demolition on his iPhone...

So that's the demolition done. I'll post in the coming week to show you how the revamp comes together!

October 15, 2012

Halloween Party Planning

invitation by Minted
I live in a very small town and we need to make our own fun. So Halloween this year seemed like a good excuse to thrown a costume party. After (too) many hours on Pinterest, here's a sneak peak at some of what I've planned...

Clockwise from top left: Outdoor decorations will be simple; I've used this dancing skeleton stamp from Etsy on the invitation envelopes and also on the lolly bags; Carved jack-o-lanterns (using templates from Martha Stewart) will decorate the drinks tables; I've chosen this Putrid Prom Queen costume {here}; Nibbles and drinks will be Halloween themed (think Vampire's Kiss and Slime Fizz cocktails); Farmer Joe will be appearing as the Grim Reaper (and no Farmer Joe, you cannot use a real scythe - I've bought you a plastic one); the dining table will be turned into a Trick or Treat Candy Buffet for kids of all sizes.

Photos to follow!

October 9, 2012

If you haven't seen...

...Dering Hall's new feature on libraries, take a look {here}. I've said many times that the room I am most excited about creating in the House on Chambers will be the study/library. Frustratingly, it also looks set to be the last room we'll get to. For now, I'll just have to settle for appreciating these wood-panelled wonders...

October 4, 2012

Topiary for the shade (or, what not to do with English Box)

I've had some lovely emails and comments wondering why the blog has been so quite lately. I can assure you the renovation hasn't stopped! Farmer Joe and I have been slogging it out in the garden, and while the work is important, it isn't terribly bloggable. However, I've put together a couple of posts to show you some of the projects we've been working on.

Some of you may remember my dismay when the large and expensive English Box topiaries flanking our front door took a turn a few weeks before Christmas. Recently, a kind nursery staffer gave me some advice that I wish I had heard $400 ago: English Box won't grow in complete shade. To recreate the large topiary ball 'look' with a plant that would actually survive, she suggested Chinese Star Jasmine grown over a round chicken-wire frame. While I'm sure the finished product would look lovely, I don't fancy having chicken wire greeting me at the front door each day. So, I've up-scaled the idea and replaced the chicken-wire with rusted wire sculptures by Manning Sculptures.  

By securing the sculptures inside the pot and planting the Jasmine at the base, the vine will eventually grow to cover the ball completely. Meanwhile, we have a lovely and constantly changing piece of art to enjoy.

In other garden news, the first flowering trees we planted two and a half years ago are finally rewarding us with a spectacular display of blossoms...

It's a great time to be in the garden!