Monday, May 30, 2011

Pavilion Style Beach House

I'm still in the planning stages for our new house design, and one style I keep coming back to over and over is a series of pavilions. It makes perfect sense for our climate - hot, humid summers, and mild winters. We have the space, and I'd love to wrap the house around the pool, so when I saw this house in Noosa, it ticked all the boxes.

 Hmm, pity we've just given our pool an overhaul..I'm liking those steps - very clever

 Not exactly my style furnishing-wise, but the wide-plank timber floors are divine

 LOVE the pivot louvred for the files for sure

 ...and another must-have are those clerestory windows...perfect for Queenlsand summers

 ok, so ignore the artwork, but I love the way the house wraps around the pool...and I love the Pandanus tree in the middle of the deck too.

So, my plan is slowly but surely taking shape. I like quite a few different styles, and I'm aiming to blend some of them together into a cohesive design. It's like putting together a great big jigsaw puzzle, adding pieces as I go. My biggest dilemma - not being sidetracked by all the fantastic options out there.

I'll be back tomorrow with a new painting that's just about to be listed in my Etsy shop. There'll be a little preview on Facebook later today if you just can't wait until then..... :)

all images courtesy

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Blue and white times two

I know my posts often feature blue and white, but what can I say, I love it. So here's the latest painting in my blue and white china series - "China Blue".

"China Blue"
watercolour on paper
8" x 11" (210mm x 297mm)
original on hold, but prints are now available on Etsy

But this isn't the only new blue and white piece around here. On the weekend, I was shopping with Mum and stumbled across this beauty:

I'm not sure if you can tell from the pic, but this vase is pretty big...almost 60cm high. I spotted it in a market stall, and couldn't race across fast enough to snap it up. And even better, I paid the princely sum of $26 for it - total bargain. Of course, mum is trying to steal it off me, but for now I'm not parting with it.

there are four panels around the vase, each with a different scene. Gorgeous.

So, what do you think of my bargain buy? I used to go antiquing every weekend, visiting junk shops and garage sales, until my shed was full to the brim (actually, it still is). This was my first buy for quite a while, so maybe I should get out there again. Probably best if I don't mention that to the Mr, especially with a reno on the horizon.

That's it for me today, I have some serious work to do. Catch you soon,

Monday, May 23, 2011

My kitchen makeover on Apartment Therapy

The lovely Kerry was kind enough to let me know that my kitchen makeover was again featured on Apartment Therapy (oops...totally missed it!). I know many of you would have already seen my re-do, but for those new to my blog, here's a recap:

For my original posts with all the before and after pics, and a breakdown of the project, pop on over here, here and here.

As an interesting aside, I'm always curious to see the comments left on posts like this. The majority of the kitchens featured all had one thing in common - the painting of timber/timber look cabinetry, and it seems that it can be a contentious issue. I noticed that a number of comments questioned the choice to paint:

..."why does everyone slather white paint to cover their natural wood cabinetry? some do make sense, but #8 looks like gorgeous wood to me. it seems like a shame to cover it up."

Now don't get me wrong...I love timber. I love the detail in the grain, the texture....but I have no problem painting it if need be. In our kitchen, the cabinetry combined with exposed brick, pine ceilings and dark stone floors, making the room dark, dingy and uninviting...and completely depressing. I've noticed that men, in particular, hate the idea of covering wood with paint...maybe something to do with the old 'man cave' theory?

To me, having an inviting, bright and airy home, filled with natural light, is the ideal. One of the most telling comments on my makeover was that many people had never noticed that we have a skylight in the room. The dark surfaces totally absorbed every last ounce of light. Now, the room is light and bright, and my only regret is that I didn't do it years ago.

So, I'd love to know what you all think about painting timber. Are you all for it, or do you think it's totally taboo? Or maybe you think it's a fad, and we'll all be reaching for the paint stripper and varnish?
Over to you!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Sometimes, inspiration can be hard to come by. I've had times in the past when painting has been a torturous process, and I've come to learn that often, it's other stuff going on in our lives that blocks creativity. Stress, name it, it can wreak havoc. Of course, these things can act as a catalyst for some artists, but for me, it's rarely the case. Lately, it's been the opposite - I have so many ideas, there's just not enough time to paint everything I'd like to. But that's quite a nice problem to have, so I'm not complaining. Here's an abstract I've just finished...a little departure from the detailed watercolour pieces.

'In Motion'
mixed media on canvas
500mm x 400mm (20" x 16")
(this will be listed on Etsy as soon as I sort out shipping costs - in the meantime, if you're interested please drop me a line and I'll give you a quote)

Not sure how well you can see the detail in this pic, but the circular patterning is in metallic gold. This is a smaller piece, and the first in a new series. In an upcoming post, I'll show you how to combine different works - abstracts on canvas, framed prints, watercolours etc to create a really unique and personal gallery. It's always nice to see rooms that have been put together over time, and it's also perfect if you can't afford to splash out on large artworks - a collection can be added to when time and money allow.

So, back to painting. I'd no sooner put the finishing touches to this piece when I saw this pic over on Jessie Lauren's gorgeous blog:

...which reminded me of this....


...which led to this - a large diptych in moody blues. It's not quite finished yet, but here's a teaser:

'Glacial I & II'
mixed media on canvas
Diptych - each canvas 700mm x 700mm (28" x 28")

So, for those of you who've wondered about the process of creating art, I'm sure I'm not your usual case study! I'm terribly fickle at times, and probably a little scattered in my approach, but hey, that's just how it is. And it never gets boring, so that makes it fun too - there's always something new catching my eye. 

Hope you've all had a great day, and I'll see you tomorrow with the reveal of this latest piece.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shannon Fricke workshop

Now that Blogger is finally back online (hallelujah!) I can tell you about the fabulous weekend I spent at one of Shannon Fricke's workshops. And to make it even better, I also had the pleasure of the lovely Kerry's company for the weekend. We headed on down to Byron on Friday afternoon, spent some time shopping before turning in for the night at the Atlantic Guest House. You may remember I blogged about it here, but if not, here's a reminder:

Bright and early on Friday morning, we, along with ten other lovely ladies, headed on to Bangalow for the workshop. Shannon was so warm and welcoming, and shared her styling tips and tricks of the trade with us...what a great way to spend the day!

Thanks Shannon for a fantastic day, and thanks ladies, it was so great to meet you all. Now, the hard part....which workshop should I book next?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stately Homes by the Sea

Those of you who follow my Facebook page may remember that, a little while ago, I sent nine original paintings off the the US. It was just after my Martha feature, and excitement levels were running high. For those of you who haven't seen them on Facebook (you can 'like' my page for all the juicy news and sneak peeks!) here's a little look:

Designer Lauren Guarcello, of Porter Design Company, was kind enough to include my paintings in her room for the show house, and from the photos she's sent me her room is absolutely stunning! I can't share the pics just yet (let's just say Lauren's gorgeous work hasn't gone unnoticed, and will be featured in print very soon) 
but here are a few shots of Lauren's work from her website:

So, if you're in the New Jersey area, pop in to the Stately Homes by the Sea Designer Show House.

It's open  from May 3 to June 12, with more than 35 top designers working their magic on the country estate known as Holly Hill. Oh, and if you do visit, I'd love to know all about it...I only wish I could pop in myself!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To all the wonderful mums out there....

Happy Mother's Day! 

20% off everything today in my Etsy shop

I hope you all have a wonderful day - brekkie in bed (even if that means soggy cereal and lukewarm tea!) crafty cards made by your little ones, bouquets of chysanthemums (or crepe paper roses)....all of the little things that make Mother's Day so special. 

To celebrate all the mums out there, I'm having a one-day 20% off sale, on everything in my Etsy shop. So if you'd like to treat your mum (or yourself!) head on over here and enter the code 'MOTHERSDAY' at checkout for your discount.

After a big week (which I'll tell you all about on Monday), I'm heading off to visit my lovely mum this afternoon. Hope you all have a great day with your loved ones, and I'll see you all tomorrow.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Something's Gotta Give...

Hi all, how's things? I've been under the weather for the past week, so I spent the time planning and plotting the design of my new/revamped house. Like many millions of other die-hard fans, I fell in love with the film "Something's Gotta Give"... in particular, that stunning Hamptons home of Erica's. I've watched the DVD endlessly to savour every little morsel of the many gorgeous details, I could go on for ever. But there are a few common elements that crop up again and again in my inspiration folders, that will definitely make their way into my plan.

1. Comfy white slipcovered sofas...and a blue and white striped rug

2. of the most important features of a home, IMHO. Love these, complete with transoms (hello A-M!!)

3. White subway tiles, stainless appliances, feature lighting

4. This bedroom....quite perfect actually. I might change the windows for french doors, but that's about it.

all images courtesy of the wonderful Joni and Linda of Cote de Texas and Silver Screen Surroundings

I thought I'd found every post ever written on this house, so imagine how excited I was to stumble upon a floor plan, drafted by a fan and shared on Linda Merrill's fabulous blog, Silver Screen Surroundings. Although it's a fan's interpretation of the design, it's a pretty good one if you ask me. Pity there's not an actual plan from the movie set...if anyone manages to come across one, I'd love it if you'd share it!

Now, my design won't slavishly copy this I mentioned in my previous post, I have lots of other design influences to incorporate. But really, they all have these elements in common, so I'm sure I can blend them all together and come up with something nice. Once I add a little quintessential Aussie beach house loveliness...


...and of course, not forgetting a little Ralph Lauren magic, into the mix....

...I think it could be rather special. I'm working on a floor plan of my own, so as soon as it's done I'll share it too.

Have a great week everyone,


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