DIY framed chalkboard


I found this vintage frame months ago and I was unsure of the best way to repurpose it. The ornate wood was a beautiful colour and I would have loved to have kept it in its original condition, but alas, there were areas that had been drawn on or stained with paint. Spray painting it was going to be the simplest way to clean it up.20130225-173808.jpg
It took a few coats of glossy white spray paint to cover it thoroughly. I attached a blackboard to the back using strong adhesive and tape. Finally, I found an amusing quote about love and hung it on the wall.




Treasure Hunting in the Hunter


Babies grow quickly, right?! They don’t stay perfect little newborns for long, so when my new niece was born last week, i knew we had to visit as soon as we could. The kids were very keen to meet her too, so we made a quick visit over the weekend. It really was a beautiful drive to the Hunter Valley as everything was so very lush and green. The last time we traveled there it was quite dry and a bit sad looking. I managed to get a little bit of treasure hunting in and a generous visit to see the new baby. She was simply perfect, as newborns always are. Such a sweet little baby.

My first find is an assortment of old bobbins as seen above. I found these in Morpeth, just outside Maitland. I have NO idea what i’m going to do with them. I just love the shapes and colours, and being a sewer i felt an instant attraction. Aren’t they neat!

My second find are these old map and state stencils. Unfortunately, NSW is missing and poor old Tassie has to be hand drawn if you are using the one piece map of Australia.

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My last find is this decorative wall ornament of two gold swans. My husband didn’t see the potential. :) But i’m sure they will look great hung outside at Winterfell on the back patio.



No Vacancy


There are probably a thousand things I should be doing right now! I’ve got sheets and towels to wash, grocery shopping to do, three kids to get organised for school and a house to clean. But I’m far too busy basking in the afterglow of a weekend that saw Winterfell at full capacity….plus visitors.

There was not a bed spare on Australia Day weekend when my husband’s family came to visit. I’ve been curious as to how Winterfell would cope when fully occupied and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was still roomy and comfortable. Of course, the caliber of visitors most certainly made things easier.

There were 22 people in total with groups staying at the Millthorpe Motel and The Old Chemist. We filled the time with barefoot bowls at the local bowling club, dinner at the Commercial, breakfast at Tonic, a trip to historic Carcoar and games of blackjack.


The sign was hung before everyone arrived. I’m so happy with how it looks!! And with a weekend of rain the grass and plants are looking greener and healthier. Soooooo……I guess it’s time to get my butt into gear and list my house for rent. :)
Oh, and here’s a pic of the happy group just before breakfast at Tonic. And thanks to those who left beautiful messages in my guest book. It means a lot to me that you enjoyed your time at Winterfell.


Frame Arrangement – The Gold Room Complete


Happy New Year! I know we are barely two days in, but this year has been brilliant so far!!  😉 I am starting 2013 with fresh eyes and a positive attitude. Last year was challenging, but there were also amazing times and both have changed me for the better I hope. Here are just some of the lowlights and highlights of 2012.

We saw the New Year in at Times Square NYC. I made the cover of a regional magazine thanks to flattering lighting and Photoshop!  I started studying again and discovered my brain still works. Yay! My chronic illness flared badly this year. Internal bleeding throughout your large intestine is never good, but it reached a new level last year. I really do not want to see 56kgs again.

My husband and I had the BEST ever weekend in Millthorpe and bought a beautiful house that has kept our family close. Johno tattooed a poem I’d written on his back. It’s impressively large and lovely. My Mum was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She has endured surgery, radiation and multiple rounds of chemotherapy and has managed to keep a positive attitude. Amazing!

We had to put our dog Bob to sleep. He was a silly, fat beagle and we loved him. We got a friend for Ruby who was missing Bob and we are so very glad we did because Pepsi is gorgeous. She has slotted into our family with ease and we love her. My daughter Eilish duxed her primary school. I am so very, very proud of her. My husband merged his business with two others and hopefully this will decrease his work hours.

My son Daniel blossomed this year at school and has grown in confidence, which is so very important. And Rose, my gorgeous spectrum girl, not just survived but thrived in her second year of high school. We celebrated Christmas with my parents, all of my siblings, partners and children. And finally, Johno and I saw the new year in on our red seat on the porch of Winterfell.

Oh, and another room at Winterfell is complete!


My collection of gold frames finally made it onto the wall. I’m hoping to add to this wall as i find more frames.


I used some vintage wallpaper i discovered at a secondhand shop to fill this ornate gold frame.


My grandmother’s buffet features in this room. It looks beautiful here. Also, my other grandmother’s bowls sit on the buffet. I’m going to fill them with chocolates for my guests.



White timber ceilings feature throughout the house.


I’m a little obsessed with collecting books about collecting and decorating. They will all remain at Winterfell for my guests to enjoy.


Local artist Leanne Watt created this golden image, which reminded my husband of our daughter so much that he had to have it! It hangs on the wall in the hall before the gold room.

IMG_3282 IMG_3290I have only two more rooms to finish (eek!) before we get to the serious business of creating a website, information booklets, professional photography (yes, i recognise my photographs aren’t ideal) and then finally opening the doors of Winterfell to guests. How very exciting!

The Parlour – Finally Finished

If i had a dollar for every time i walked into the parlour and said, “I hate this room”, i’d probably have enough money to buy another house! It seems crazy that this room has caused me so much trouble. I have rearranged the furniture a 100 times, hung pictures on the walls and then taken them down, added more stuff, taken stuff out, bought new items, moved things around again….nothing seemed to satisfy me. I found this room so very frustrating, but in the end the solution was simple. Stop trying too hard!! I emptied the room and started a fresh. I put back only the basics, a lounge, some cushions, a mat, a coffee table, a mirror, a tiny hall table, some lovely books, a couple of carvers and some interesting items. Then i stopped. I banned myself from adding anything else. And now i am satisfied.

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Pretty Pastels


Here are some pretty pastels for one of the bedrooms. The Astor radio I loved instantly! It doesn’t work but that didn’t deter me. It was the lovely buttery yellow that caught my attention, so therefore its main purpose is to be pretty. I don’t know anything about old radios or their value. I did try to source some information, but I couldn’t find another radio that matched mine. I don’t really care about the value….I was just curious.

The following three glasses were also purchased for their loveliness and because they look like half open flowers. They are purely for decoration and look so pretty with radio. WARNING! Super Girly room in progress! 😉 It will have soft greens, yellows, pinks and charcoal. I’ll also be attempting my own DIY headboard. Wish me luck!



Saucy ads from the 70s

I was packing up some books to take to Winterfell this weekend, when i found this little gem in the pile. I had forgotten all about it. I found it at a retro themed store in Bangalow, which i now can’t remember the name of….sorry. Anyway, i spent a good deal of time flicking through this book, enjoying A BLAST from the past! As a baby from the 70s i’m reluctant to tease the era too much. I think i’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. WARNING!! Things get a little saucy from here on in, so if you can’t handle the heat then stop reading here! 😉

70s Fashion – Vintage Fashion and Beauty Ads, Edited by Jim Heimann, Tashen, 2006

Happy Legs, 1973

Brylcreem, 1974
Now this ad really confused me. The arrow points one way for sexy and the other for not sexy. Hmmm…..
Also, LOVE the catch phrase at the bottom! “We’ve come a long way since, a dab’ll do ya!”

Eminence Paris, 1977
“In colours that dare”? I could only look at this one for a moment…..cringe!

*SHOCK* This cologne ad from Faberge, 1976 is baaaad…..really bad and NOT in a good way.

Ok, time to tone it down a bit. My skin is still crawling….ewww. Here are some light ones to finish off.

Sunkist, 1973.

Jump Suits Ltd, 1976. The name really does say it all. :)

I’m hoping that the guests of Winterfell will enjoy this book as much as i have. Happy Friday!!

The spare room might be my favourite…

The house is an eclectic mix of old and new, of neutral and brights, of gold and silver and of practical and just pretty. Each room is different from the next. The loft, the main bedroom, is my husbands and mine. The kids have all decided on a bedroom and are helping me with decorating ideas. This leaves one ‘spare’ room. A room to decorate however i wish….This is the first room that i have finished!

Shopping for bedlinen, doonas, blankets and pillows has been an expensive exercise! Unfortunately, it is an area where i need to buy NEW and thankfully I’ve been able to save a little money due to end of winter sales. And thank goodness really, because it has cost enough without paying full price. I guess it’s all in the timing.

Target lamp shades, my son Daniel lying amongst some of the linen and the ‘before’ shot of the room.

The barrels, before they were a side table.

The bedside table was created using a little experimenting. I picked up a couple of barrel planters, lacquered them, glued and strapped them together and finally attached a tray on the top. In total it only set me back $50, which i was pretty pleased with. :) The lamp shades were a Target buy and were ridiculously priced at $3 each! gotta love clearance sales! I whipped up the cushions with Amy Butler fabric. And the frames above the bed, well you’ve seen those before…..vintage prints $15 in total.

I really like this room. It’s not typical of what i usually like, but maybe that’s the reason it appeals to me…..a change is as good as a holiday right?  Alright, a couple of the other rooms are very closed to being finished. I’ll post when they are done!! Excitement!!

Byron Buys and other towns starting with B


I found a few little goodies in Byron Bay and the surrounding towns. I was limited in what I could purchase as we didn’t have a lot of extra room in the car…actually, there was no extra room.
This little toy cash register we found at an antique store in Brunswick Heads. We also found the dotty tray in Brunswick heads, but at a homewares store. I’m aware they are both red and I wasn’t going to buy more red items, but I’d purchased them before I realised. 😜


This leather framed mirror we picked up at the Bangalow Markets pretty cheap!

Finally, these all came from Byron. Leather coasters, parlour games and lots of lovely books! Yay! 😃




The Mother of all Maps

We’ve just spent 10 days in Byron Bay. It’s so much fun discovering new places and finding fresh shops in which to search for treasures! We found Heath’s Old Wares in a little inland town called Bangalow. Such a beautiful little place.

Anyway, Heath’s Old Wares is packed with goodies and i mean PACKED! he must have about a 100 old ladders! And lucky too, because we needed one to reach this gorgeous maps of the United States that was hanging on his back wall. From the moment Johno saw it i knew he wanted it. He wanted it BAD! :)

Steady she goes….i’m not sure about using a vintage ladder to reach a vintage map.

Like the cat that got the cream…

It needed a good wipe over before the rolling and wrapping.

Getting it home was interesting. It was almost the length of the inside of our car, a four wheel drive, not a small car. It was a ten hour drive with this mammoth map running down the drivers side of the car. We were pulled over for random breath testing at one point. I thought the cop would have have something to say about it, but after Johno cleared the breath test he wished us well and we were on our way. There was one point in the car where Johno turned to me, and after a dramatic pause said, “You know, this is the best map EVER”. :)

So, despite 10 hours in the car, being pulled over by the police, and a car full of people and luggage, i am pleased to say the map survived. We weren’t long unpacked before it was hung on the wall. Awesome.