This is what Christmas will look like at my house this year. I am moving away from the bright and garish decorating that is usually associated with Christmas and creating a theme that is more in keeping with our contemporary home. I am adopting a little nordic style and blending it with a bit of Australia. There will be lots of white, minimal decorations and focus on Christmas shapes, rather than colour. I LOVE that Christmas is a time when we can unapologetically decorate in excess, often in bad taste, but for our neutral coloured living, kitchen and dining, I wanted clean and simple decor. Don’t worry, I’ll be flooding my rumpus room with loud and glitzy decorations, all in the traditional red and green combo. A minimal and simple style of decorating style doesn’t necessarily mean boring. My Christmas table setting, while focusing on neutrals, maintains plenty of interest with the varying shapes and textures. The rustic hessian table runner provides some relief from the abundance of white and ties in nicely with our country setting. Using sticks from your backyard, antlers and blooms are a great way to bring nature indoors, especially if it’s hot outside. Including items from nature helps create a relaxing and down to earth vibe, as we often feel more at peace in natural settings. The large white wooden star works well as a centre piece and makes the table look a little more Christmassy, as do the white deer ornaments. And do those antlers belong to Rudolph, shed after last Christmas perhaps? All I need now is some matching Bon Bons to complete the table. So, what do you think of my neutral Christmas table setting? I love it!
I’m totally flattered and grateful to be chosen to kick off Houzz Australia‘s newest series called At Home With… It is a fabulous concept created to showcase some of Australia’s best home and lifestyle bloggers and i was selected first! Chuffed! Houzz readers get a sneak peak into bloggers homes and find out what makes them tick.
One of the great things about this new series is a fun competition element that could win readers a $50 voucher to one of my favourite stores, Jumbled in Orange. It’s a bright and colourful homewares store that I visit often, usually to buy a craft or decorating book. They also have beautiful gifts and home decor items.
Click on the “Featured on Houzz” button above and leave a comment after the interview to be in with a chance of winning. It’s easy to do and only takes two minutes. Please go and check it out. I’d really love one of my regular readers to win the voucher. :) thank you!!
Welcome to my clean and organised home office! I’m taking the photos now as i’ve just reorganised this room and i know that it won’t stay this way for long. I’m sure a lot of you can relate when i say that keeping a home office organised is difficult, especially when there is more than one person using the space. There are five people actively using our home office space, so it tends to get messy and becomes a bit of a dumping ground for junk. Our three kids use our home office for study and homework, my hubby for work and myself for craft and blogging, so it’s nice for it to be organised. That said, it rarely is…Our office isn’t a huge room, but I’ve managed to fit three designated working areas into the space without it feeling cluttered. In fact, after moving everything around and adding an extra desk, it actually feels bigger. I’m not sure how that happened, but Yay! :)The key to maximising the space is to be clever with storage and organisation. We are lucky that we have great built in storage that covers one wall of the room. Two thirds of that wall is a built-in cupboard and the last third is a handy little office nook, that you can see below. We have two free standing desks on opposite walls, which means we have three designated working areas. I also added a couple of extra open shelved cupboards that fit nicely into what was previously an unused space. I store a lot of my craft items here. And by adding lots of boxes and files for storage i was able to really tidy up the room, so all i need now is for the kids to put things back where they belong. I know, wishful thinking! The final working area is my craft area. How great would it be to have an entire room JUST for creating! Ahhh, but it’s not to be, so i am very grateful for this little space. I really and truly tried to resist the pegboard trend, but i just couldn’t help myself. After completing my tufted bedhead using pegboard, I’m seeing so much potential for this affordable material. And golly gosh, a pegboard is so great for organising craft supplies. Do you know that you can buy proper pegboard hooks and clasps to help you get organised? I didn’t, but i do now. And finally, i filled my last corner with a big cane basket to hold all my rolls of paper and cellophane. I’ve thrown in a few of my Mollie Makes magazines here too. Boy, i love being organised! I hope you enjoyed the tour. Don’t forget that I’m on Instagram and Facebook if you’d like to join me. :)
I thought it was time I created an improved tutorial for my paper cone wreaths. You can find my original tutorial made from vintage sheet music here. These paper wreaths get a lot of attention on my instagram account and they’re not that hard to make. I was delighted last week when I found an old atlas from 1965 for $2 in an op shop. The colours that adorned the pages were so beautiful that I knew it would be my prettiest wreath yet. Of course, you can use whatever paper you prefer – sheet music, golden books, a dictionary or even Christmas paper would all work well. Here’s what you’ll need -
- double sided tape
- hot glue gun and sticks
- lacquer suitable for paper
Step 1 – cut up your paper. I divided the atlas pages into quarters, measuring 11 x 14cm, so this will be quite a small wreath, but you can use whatever size you prefer. The bigger the page, the bigger the wreath. Step 2 – stick a piece of double sided tape across the bottom of the paper. You can see in the picture that it doesn’t need to go all the way across, but it’s important that it covers the far right corner of the paper.Step 3 – take your paper and bring the top lefthand corner across the front. Then wrap the top righthand corner around and stick in place to form a cone. Step 4 – fold under about a 1/4 of the bottom of the cone and then staple it into place.Step 5 – cut off the excess paper. This reduces bulk when you glue your cones together.Step 6 – make around 60-70 cones. The number of cones needed depends on the size of your wreath.
Step 7 – cut a circle out of cardboard. My circle measures 14cm across.Step 8 – using a hot glue gun, start sticking your cones to the circle of cardboard. I like to place cones marking four quarters and then fill in the gaps with equal numbers of cones. This helps to create a uniform and symmetrical wreath. In the picture below you can see the first round completed.Step 9 – continue to attach your paper cones round by round. The number of rounds depends on the size of your wreath.
Step 10 – once you reach the centre of the wreath, you may find it tricky to fit the paper cones in place. Don’t be afraid to cut more length off your cones to help them to fit into place. Ta da! All finished.
Step 11 – I like to spray my completed wreaths with a couple of coats of lacquer to make the paper more durable.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to creating gallery walls, but I find a few gentle guidelines can make the difference between an ordinary gallery wall and an extraordinary one. I don’t like too many rules, especially for interiors because it make a home seem contrived and a bit cold, but I think these tips are helpful for anyone who isn’t confident enough to let loose! Here are my three main tips and some images of my own gallery walls -
Tip #1 – Unity : I like to have an element that ties all the pieces together whether it be colour, subject, frame or shape etc. For example, a cluster of unique frames work well when they are all the same colour. In the parlour at the guesthouse I’ve used all gold frames to tie everything together. And below, our family portraits are in a variety frames, but the tones and colours in the photographs are similar which makes the cluster work.
Tip #2 – Organise by size : if you have items of varying sizes it’s best to have the larger items towards the centre with smaller frames or pictures tapering off at the edges. This rule doesn’t always apply, but it is definitely easier to achieve balance if you arrange your items this way. In the gold bedroom at RedAgape Guesthouse I’ve hung a large oil painting over the bed, in the centre of the wall, with smaller frames and items around this central painting.
Tip #3 – Balance : A poorly composed gallery wall will look and feel awkward. There are a couple of ways to achieve balance – symmetrically or asymmetrically. Try to arrange your items on the floor until they feel right or alternatively, use cardboard or paper to represents your items and blue tac them to the wall. If you are unsure, check out my Pinterest board on gallery walls for layouts that you can reproduce.
I love gallery walls and can’t recommend them enough. They can inject lots of life and personality into a room. So take the plunge and give a gallery wall a go! :)
I was really excited to finally hang my DIY tufted headboard on the wall in the navy room at RedAgape Guesthouse. You can find the tutorial here if you are keen to make one for yourself. It is a challenging project but well worth the time and energy, as it is so cost effective when compared with buying a new headboard.
You can find more images of RedAgape Guesthouse in my Instagram feed or my FaceBook page. :)
The 12th of September is International Crochet Day! A massive thank you to @crochetgirl99 for introducing me to the joy of crochet. You can follow her on IG here. And I’m pleased to report that I’m producing granny squares that no longer look sad and wonky (see above). Happy Crochet Day!! xoxo
I have just completed my DIY diamond tufted headboard and it looks great! Following is a tutorial and recount of my emotional journey ;) that lead to the creation of a tufted headboard that is a fraction of the price of a bought one. I won’t lie, this has been my most challenging DIY yet. Don’t be fooled by the feminine curves of the tufting or the inviting soft plumps of foam, this project was a bitch! That said, it was so worth it!! I’m so relieved that it turned out well and my button to button method (explained below) worked beautifully for a beginner at upholstery. I challenge you to give this a go! It’s so rewarding. Anyway, here we go -
You will need -
Pegboard cut to size. The measurements will depend on what style and size you need.
3inch foam the same size as the pegboard
Batting – the same size as the pegboard with an additional 6inches all the way around
Fabric – same amount as the batting
Extra fabric for buttons
Upholstery thread – NOT regular cotton (trust me it won’t work)
Button making supplies – I needed 51
Buttons for backing – 51
Upholstery needleStep 1 – mark out where you want the tufts to be on the pegboard by circling around the holes. My tufts were about 6inches apart but you may prefer to have them closer or further apart depending on the look you want to achieve. Start marking the holes in the centre of the board so that the tufts are symmetrical. I drew up the pattern of diamonds when I was finished so that I could see they were all positioned correctly.
Step 2 – lie the pegboard on the foam and using a sharpie draw through the holes to mark the pattern onto the foam. You should be able to see the marks clearly on the foam. Step 3 – using an old knife cut out a square section of foam where marked. Don’t be scared to cut out a decent amount of foam as this will make the tufting process easier and make sure the hole goes all the way through. This is the secret to nice deep tufts. Step 4 – layer up your headboard : pegboard, foam, batting and then fabric. Make sure the marked side of the pegboard is facing out at the back (so you can see where the tufts will be) and that the batting and fabric are nice and smooth with no bubbles. Step 5 – using the extra fabric make enough buttons to complete your tufts. This process takes and while, so be patient. Warning – your thumbs will be sore….very sore.Step 6 – let the tufting begin!! I’ve seen some tutorials where a staple gun is used to secure the upholstery thread in place. I tried it and I didn’t like it….at all. I found it difficult and really messy looking, so I tried a new method using some old buttons. I’m calling it the ‘button to button’ method. The pretty fabric covered button is on display at the front and any old four hole button secures the tuft at the back. Thread your upholstery needle, double it over and tie the ends in a knot. Thread the needle through the four hole button and then through the middle of the two threads. I went around a few times for added strength. Step 7 – start at the top in the centre and work your way out to the edges. Insert the needle through the marked hole at the back and out the front through the foam, batting and fabric. Pull your thread tight so the button at the back is over the hole. At the front, ease the fabric into a point and then attached your fabric button. Step 8 – Take the needle back though the foam and pegboard. Don’t go through the exact same position or your fabric might tear. I tried to leave about 1/2 cm between the exit and entry point. Sounds easy right! Wrong. :( sometimes the needle went straight through and out the exact hole and other times it took an eternity to find the right route back through the foam. Patience is the key. I was pretty patient, surprisingly patient (especially given I was premenstrual) up until the last couple of rows. Then the cursing started….and it didn’t stop until the last button. Thank goodness the kids were at school. :)Step 9 – Alright, once your needle is back out through the same hole it entered it’s time to secure your tuft. Apply pressure to your fabric button while pulling tight on the upholstery thread. Insert the needle under the thread in the button and knot tightly. I repeated this about three times for each button to make sure it was properly secure. Stand back and admire. Step 10 – Now repeat steps 6,7,8 and 9 about 51 times (it felt like about 1000 times). It’s agony….really. I must have stabbed myself a hundred times with the needle, the thread almost cut a slice out of my hand and all of my muscles ached from wresting with the foam and buttons. I totally underestimated how physical this task would be. When that last button was secured I’m pretty sure I heard a choir of angels singing and I may have cried a little. Post tufting euphoria! Cursing over. :) Happy days! Step 11 – staple the fabric firmly over the pegboard making sure your corners are nice and tidy. Try to keep the tension the same all the way around. Trim off the excess fabric and batting. I’m planning on covering the entire back surface with a piece of felt or fleece to stop the buttons rubbing on the wall once it’s hung. Here are a couple of shots in my room at home. The headboard will go to the guesthouse next week and I’ll be sure to post some pics of it at it’s new home. I’m convinced now that I want to make one for my bedroom at home, but I’m going to wait about 6 months, maybe have some counselling and physiotherapy before I started the next one. :)
Some of my paper wreaths are now available for sale at Tomolly in Millthorpe. Please pop in and see the lovely Belinda at Tomolly if you’d like to check them out in person. Currently, i have two golden book wreaths and one vintage sheet music wreath available. You can also follow Belinda on Instagram or FB if you’d like to see what she has in stock.
Gosh I love a good gallery wall! I have a slight obsession with them and have included them in the guesthouse and my own home. Painting the parlour walls this deep rich navy was one of the best decisions I’ve made at the house. The room was smallish and dark and rather than fight against the natural moodiness, I decided to embrace it. It’s surprising how the dark walls make the room feel welcoming, cosy and warm. I began planning a gallery wall against the navy base even before I’d picked the paint colour. And gold seemed like the natural choice.
I have a small gallery wall featuring gold in one of the bedrooms too, which means I have to split my gold framed finds between to the two spaces. Neither wall is complete yet, but that’s ok because I love how each wall is growing and evolving. Over the weekend I went treasure hunting again for gold frames. This pretty oil painting framed in gold was a stand out during my treasure hunt. It’s so pretty and feminine. I did find another larger framed oil painting of flowers, which was stunning, but the budget didn’t allow it this time. Pictured below is the progress so far. What do you think?