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Posts Tagged ‘Pretties’

Happy StyleMAS 2016

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With the new tree topper

This year’s StyleMAS was a little subdued, one of the housemates was ill when I was setting it up so my heart wasn’t in it this year.

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Pretties from the side, with the old tree topper

The colour theme this year was matt white porcelain and lime green.

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Silhouetted pretties

I bought a new tree topper to go with this theme after I’d decorated the tree, so you have a couple of photos with the old snowflake tree topper and a couple with the new star tree topper.

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With a couple of fancy presents under the tree.

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Pretty flamingos

Some people impulse buy tech gear online after a couple of chardonnays, others impulse by shoes or clothes online and even more others impulse buy CDs, DVDs or books after a few wines. I remember those days, before mortgage (BM).

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And then she said…

I’ve been pretty good post mortgage (PM), I do impulse wishlist after a couple of chardonnays. I am a keen wishlister on Amazon, eBay, ASOS, modcloth, Etsy and more…but I am mostly good at resisting the urge to add to cart.

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Who doesn’t need a flamingo in the garden.

That was until Ozsale had outdoor decor on sale, with one item being replica retro flamingos. SOLD!

Turns out the impending promise of the sale closing, with no opportunity to purchase retro plastic flamingos is now my weakness after chardonnays ๐Ÿ˜‰ It kicked me over the line into putting it in the card, along with some cute felt coasters and some window gels.

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Hipsta flamingos.

I’ve got them out in the back garden at the moment, hanging in the laundry trough come herb garden. I did want to put them out the front, but what if someone sees and steals my glorious retro flamingos? The stress!

It’s not like I can’t buy more of them, but these were ON SALE!

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Celebrating the little things

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From the side.

Sometimes you need to stop and celebrate the little things. Like the blue ginger jar I got from Great Aunt Eileen’s house in Tamworth, NSW, and how it goes so well with the blue glass jars I bought in my 20s and only recently bought over from DIY Dad’s house.

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Reflection.

Wonder at the beauty of the reflections of the blue glass and wireframe basket, that you can see on the top of the glass dining table. And how, even though it’s shining hot and bright outside, it’s calm and peaceful inside.

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Dehipstamaticised

Celebrate that life looks good with filters, and without.

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Champagne glass eye view

So I had two functions across two different weekends at mine, a high tea with the ladies and morning tea baby shower with workmates.

But I was thrifty about it: you’ll note each function is decorated with the same bunch of flowers. White lisianthus and small green chrysanthemums. When I was getting ready for the baby shower, I cut off another inch of the plant stalks, refreshed their water and got rid of any manky leaves and flowers.

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Baby shower all set up

I couldn’t be bothered doing a lot of washing up for the baby shower, so I used bamboo cutlery that I bought from Eco Toys. I bought the cutlery last year, for my birthday party (along with bamboo plates and biodegradable paper cups) and I still have plenty of supplies left: the idea being to be able to use sustainable, renewable, compostable and/or recyclable items when I have BBQs, parties and etc and I don’t want to do a lot of washing up.

After a party catering for 25+ people, 4+ BBQs, a baby shower and a couple of other events – it’s working pretty well so far. And not enormously different in terms of cost compared to the non-sustainable, non-recyclable plastic forks, spoons and cups sent to landfill every year. I just bought in bulk to justify postage (and I bought from a reputable supplier).

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All set up for the Baby Shower

I did have to use porcelain side plates instead of bamboo plates, as everyone was seated in the lounge and resting their plates on their laps.

For the Downton-esque ladies high tea there were only 4 ladies, plus a mini me (4.5 of us), with the Editor-In-Waiting bringing her 2 year old daughter. So easier to clean up from – you might recognise some of the decorations from Getting out the best silver.

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Champagne eye view, with some height thanks to a portrait orientation.

See The things you can do with Crostini for the recipes of the different crostini featured at both the morning tea and high tea.

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Victoria Sponge cake filled with whipped cream and home-made mulberry jam and home-made mulberry syrup.

One interesting fact about the difference between high tea and afternoon tea, is although now high tea has been claimed as refined and classy exercise, it actually originated with the Victorian working classes while afternoon tea was the province of the wealthy upper and middle classes:

The drinking of tea not only became a social event for the upper classes, it altered the time and manner in which they took tea. Afternoon Tea became the bridge between meals because many wouldn’t eat their evening meal until maybe 8pm. As such, Afternoon Tea became a ‘mini meal’ in itself.

This was all well and good for the upper classes, but the working classes ran to a different schedule and a different budget. Tea was still quite expensive at the time and the working classes could not afford to waste it on anything other than necessities. A wearied factory worker wouldn’t arrive home until six in the evening, and when he did, he was famished! Thus, in the industrial areas of the UK (northern England and southern Scotland), the working classes evening meal evolved: high tea.

So while Afternoon Tea was largely a social event for their upper class counterparts, high tea was a necessary meal in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This traditional high tea still exists for some parts of the North and Scotland.

What is high tea?

Meanwhile, afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea is a tea-related ritual, introduced in Britain in the early 1840s. It evolved as a mini meal to stem the hunger and anticipation of an evening meal at 8pm.

Afternoon Tea is a meal composed of sandwiches (usually cut delicately into ‘fingers’), scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes. Interestingly, scones were not a common feature of early Afternoon Tea and were only introduced in the twentieth century.

What is afternoon tea?

Other sources indicate additional differences: High Tea had cooked food and was served at the dining table with people seated at the dining table, while Afternoon Tea was served in the parlour and eaten while seated on the more comfortable lounging chairs.

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High Tea: seated at the dining table, featuring cooked savoury items.

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On Great-Aunt Eileen’s buffet.

Life is beautiful: always look for the possibilities. You can see and reflect beauty in everything: an empty passata jar, and empty vinegar bottle, some limes and some cheap flowers.

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See the reflection in the mirror? It heralds an old friend being back in town…which I will talk about in a separate post ๐Ÿ˜‰

Those random things – some detritus from everyday living –ย  can be glorious, if you let them. Plus knowing how humble they are, how other people would see them as things, or rubbish, is energising.

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Let your life be beautiful and filled with joy and creativity.

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Getting out the best silver

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Silver, coral and shells

As I cleaned the silverware from DIY Dad’s, I decided I would keep some and put it into circulation to get some use out of it: family history doesn’t have to be turned into museum level artifacts: it should be used. Particularly in the case of silver and silver plated items, because use helps prevent tarnish build up (tarnish build up means cleaning, cleaning means taking off tiny molecular layers of silver).

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Aerial view: lacy coral on ancient dried seaweed, oyster shells and different coral.

Apart from the stuff from DIY Dad’s, I also helped clean my aunt’s house, where there were heavily tarnished silver-plated items that were from my Nana, which were not going to make the grade it terms of being kept: so I insisted I’d take them and clean them up.

Which I did: some I have given to my other aunt, some I have put in with the stuff I returned to DIY Dad and a couple of curiosities I have kept. Because they were curious and fun: they had potential.

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Vintage egg coddler and footed cream jug (could be a gravy jug).

I had a couple of events at mine (especially another high tea with The Most Ladylike Lady, Molly’s Mum andย The Editor-in-Waiting, you might know them from the High Tea: Slacker Cocktail Sponge Cakes recipe). And I knew The Most Ladylike Lady – being another Downton Abbey fan – would like it if I Downton-ised the decorations.

…what better way to Downton-ise something than to bring out the silver?

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Sugar cube holder with spoon, and the vintage egg coddler (that was actually my mum’s)

It did look very refined – and what a day it was! It actually rained on this summer day, quite rainy.

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Silver-plated pepper and salt shakers in the background.

The footed bowl was perfect for presenting Ginger Kisses (and would be perfect for presenting macarons too):

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A very Downton centrepiece.

Not all the silver is ornamental (although I am using some of it that way in this staging), I got Nana’s siler-plated cake forks out for the Very Downton High Tea:

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Mmmmm…cake….forks…

It’s quite fun to put this stuff to use, I don’t think it’s been used for at least 20/so years (if not more).

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One last view.

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Hipsta-view


After my great phase of garden detective work, identifying a mystery plant I saw on my weekly walks with an old workmate, through to adding 6 x of the plants to my 2016 New Years Houseolutions: I now own 6 x Ligularia Dentata Reniforme plants. Also known as 6 x Tractor Seat plants.
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With aesthetic as well as practical water droplets.


I’ll be potting them on to 6 x larger pots in the next couple of weeks.
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In their current location, out the back…until they are ready to be planted.


Then planting them into the front garden beds in autumn.
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De-hipstamaticised view.


Really looking forward to it ๐Ÿ™‚

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