Posts Tagged ‘Pretties’

And I said last year’s was a very belated stylemas, turns out it can get EVEN MORE belated! This is now StyleMAS in July territory!!!!

Happy 2019 StyleMAS, in 2020 StyleMAS in July!

But I wanted to share with you because:

  1. Tradition
  2. I did a craft

After decorating my 2019 StyleMAS tree, it was missing a certain something, something, something. So I finally tried out a random craft (making baubles out of old book pages) that I’ve been meaning to do for several years!

Defacing and repurposing books is a very loaded topic, but where the book is past usefulness but you still have an attachment to it…what to do with it? I have some old books that have been so well loved over the years that they have given up the ghost, and I’ve replaced them with more sturdy versions. And I have a couple of veryΒ  battered abridged versions of books where I have also got a copy (or copies) of the non abridged version, and that non abridged book has more meaning to me…so what to do?

[I really only need 3 copies of Little Women, not 4 where the fourth is abridged. And two working copies of the complete Sherlock Holmes is fine. And one properly functioning copy of Anne of Green Gables is acceptable, as opposed to one properly functioning copy, and one that’s spilling its paper guts out every time you pick it up.]

Book baubles

Obviously there is still the sentimental attachment to the books, even if the actual physical item doesn’t instigate the same emotional response. And old paper is quite beautiful, so I was never going to throw these slowly degrading treasures out. But I really wanted to find something quite special to repurpose them for.


I found a couple of tutorials online about making paper baubles, and baubles out of old books:

And I earmarked them to try with one of my stash of decrepit but still possibly useful books! And last year I finally got the time…

Repurposed copy of Anne of Green Gables, and bell from the crackers used at last year’s Fambly Christmas party

All you need is a glue stick, a circle template (I used a glass), invisible tape, a pencil, scissors and some twine.

And you don’t have to use these baubles only at Christmas πŸ™‚ They can be an all year round ornament if – as a random example – you like hanging things of some random twigs you have in vases in your house:

These are actual pages from a PD James book. Crime and Detective fiction for the win!

I made some for friends who either love Anne of Green Gables (kindred spirits, ya know) or are Canadian, and decorated them with little bells repurposed from last year’s Christmas Crackers:

QA Assured them by hanging them on my own Christmas tree

And I found that 3-5 segments is the perfect amount (there was some testing early on), while 7 is a bit too much. So I made versions that were either 3 circles, 4 circles or 5 circles. You can see some of my source books in the background:

My StyleMAS tree, covered in crimes to be solved

Pretty happy with this effort!

Book baubles and baked goods…


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Art Restoration

As you know from my post about the Gallery Hanging System in my office I have a beautiful painting by my mum that my uncle framed with a gorgeous, hand-made plaster frame. My uncle worked in a bespoke picture framing and restoration company in London for many years before he retired, so the frame is VERY special, unique and rare.

Sadly the beautiful plaster frame came into contact with a hard floor when it fell off its hook. And when bespoke, but slightly fragile, plaster meets immutable objects like floors…tragedies happen:

Very tragic, made worse by terrible photography

I asked my uncle’s partner whether it could be restored, and sadly the advice was that it was a handmade frame and if I’d lost the plaster bits (which I had, when they shattered into a bazillion pieces), my only resort was to get a new frame. One that – sadly – that wouldn’t be in the same style.

Much tragedy.

So I started looking for fine art restoration companies in Western Australia, and came across Guest Fine Art Services: Picture Framers and Restorers and sent them the above tragic photo.

Gregory responded that they would be able to restore it (one corner was in perfect condition so they could take a mould of it).

After a couple of months of eager waiting, my beautiful painting is back on my office wall in pride of place with a newly restored frame:

So beautiful!

My uncle and his partner are in the UK so they can’t see the outcome in person but I taught them how to Facebook video call and took them on a tour of my home gallery in our second video call, that was fun!

I asked if Gregory could save the framing label and information my uncle had written on the back of the painting (as it’s about the painting and who mum was studying with when she did it). Gregory was super accommodating, so he’s helped preserve all the important parts of this work – from the painting, to the frame, to the writings on the back ❀

Back hanging with its friends


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The Silk Panel Project: My Work Is DONE

After getting quite a ways into my goal of starting and finishing a project that my mum had always wanted to do: creating a wall hanging out of some strips of hand-painted silk wall paper.

Next stop: hanging on the Living Room wall at Chez DIY Dad

I had to take a break and regroup because although the panels were part of the same picture, they weren’t all the same height. So I stopped, and this also gave me time to consider the logistics of how I wanted it to hang (knowing there was no way DIY Dad was going to put this into a 1.9m x 2.5m frame: he had a brainfart when I asked).

Lined and Batting-ed

I decide to sandwich some natural batting in between layers of calico, and sew the connected silk panels onto that. And then sew along the seam lines of the panels to “quilt” it.

The calico immediately behind the silk is a natural colour (it seemed to work best rather than the bleached white calico), and then the backing is bleached white. Once it was all sewn together, I edged it with a toning cotton-canvas ribbon in green.

The ribbon fulfils two functions: it frames the silk panels, but it also provides a robust surface that we can clip curtain hanging clips onto so we can hang it from a curtain rail (an ornate curtain rail) from the wall. Originally I wanted the rail to be lucite (or an acrylic drapery rod) with gold brass hanging clips (see these listings on Etsy to understand why). But the price for a 3m length was…prohibitively expensive to say the least (DIY Dad had another brain fart when I looked at prices).

So I am compromising with gold brass hanging clips, ornate gold brass end pieces…and a long black metal rod, with DIY Dad’s blessing. When he (finally) hangs it up (in the Jungle Living Room) I will share a photo so you can see the end results!

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It’s not only the Gallery Hanging System in the hallway making me happy, it’s also the Gallery Hanging System in my office!!!! Yep: my office now has a bad case of the Gallery Hanging Systems AND THIS IS ONE THING I DON’T NEED TO VACCINATE FOR.

Gallery inspiring productive prettiness.

I chose my hallway (hello to hanging my amazing Miik Green’s) and my office as the first two rooms to receive the glory of the Gallery Hanging System. And it’s a decision making me very happy.

FYI: phase two will be: bedroom, lounge room; phase 3 will be studio and part of the other side of hallway…I dread to think how many drillbits DIY Dad will go through (one reason why this project is being approached in stages.)

Gallery on the facing wall.

Most of this artwork is actually my own work, so I don’t get to #humblebrag and #namedrop an amazing artist, I just get to #humblebrag that this is mostly me πŸ˜‰

This is what I see when I look in the doorway of my office, and it makes me happy.

From the top left: You have a drawing of my mum (study for a larger painting I still need to do for my sister…it’s only about 7 years late), a painting by my mum and framed in an ornate plaster frame by my uncle (sadly the frame was damaged when the painting fell off a wall – we don’t talk about that, it still hurts – so I need to get it reframed e.x.a.c.t.l.y. t.h.e. S.A.M.E. or else: and you’ll be pleased to know, dear reader, I DID) and the rest is me again.

How could you not be happy with this view?

On the other side, from the top left: that’s me, then a still life donated to my by my aunt Denny, then a painting donated to me by one of my workmates (we’ll call her Isabella’s mum)…it was Isabella’s mum’s mum’s if I recall correctly, and then the rest is me again. Fun fact: the bouganvillea cuttings I painted in the bottom right and on the opposite wall, were from my aunt’s garden #itsallconnected

Making me happy (in spite of the awful damage to the amazing plaster frame that still makes me sad)

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You know I’ve wanted a gallery hanging system in my house since 2012. Technically, I’ve wanted it since 2009 but I made it official by telling you that I wanted it in 2012. [I do like to workshop things before I commit in case they are passing fancy (cough…peacock blue coloured hallway), or I find a more practical/economical/suitable solution (cough…felt storage boxes as inserts for my expedits instead of costly expensive milk crate decalled plywood boxes shipped from Europe)].

And now, in 2019, I’ve broken the seal and bought the first set of lengths of the system and begun populating my walls with gallery hanging system and then artworks hanging from the aforesaid system. First room off the rank, is the hallway where I’ve finally hung two massive Miik Green paintings. Miik is a contemporary Western Australian artist (and friend) who does both paintings and sculptures, very amazing!

Looking down the gallery Miik Greens into the living room

Miik’s paintings draw from cell-staining techniques and biological pigmentation, where colour can define abnormalities or infection. He injects, drags and extracts liquid materials, pigments and chemicals, and the paintings evolve and develop as the materials and mediums used interact with each other.

I’m a fancy art owner now. Like a grown up.

Miik finishes his paintings with a hardened, highly reflective skin so any photograph of his paintings is also a photograph of reflections. Super amazing.

I’m quite enjoying seeing parts of my house reflected back at me, although it has made it challenging to take pics of only the works, especially given their placement in my hallway means I’ll always take the pic on an angle.

Much reflection, many book. Such artwork.

Just glorious. SUPER massive props to DIY Dad who did the drilling and fixing of the points into the wall so we could fasten the rail to it.

DIY Dad’s efforts were not without challenges: we went through 3 drill bits thanks to the occasionally super hard bricks in my house; and 3 different sizes of wall plugs thanks to the occasionally super soft bricks in my house; and had to discuss our different appreciations of levels (DIY Dad = use a level, DIY Daughter: follow the cornice so it looks good, I can level the paintings.)

Reflection of a bekvan stool in a Miik Green.

3 drill bits, 3 sizes of wall plugs, 1 trip to bunnings, 1 trip to DIY Dad’s house to collect a couple of important things he’d forgotten, a brief stop for Yum Cha et voila!

The hallway is not completely done: there’s another section where I can put the hanging system but that’s not as urgent as getting Miik’s beautiful works on the wall. So 75% of the work is done, but there’s 25% to do when budget and DIY Dad time permits me to continue the progress in the hallway.

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I ❀ these placemats. They were my 2017 birthday treat to myself, and they only come out on very special occasions.

…even if they are unscented.

Yes that is an ikea watering can being used to hold a floral arrangement.

The shot glasses holding the smaller tulips were my Nana and Poppa’s (Australian grandparents). They have history.

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The whole of the moon

Moon at night

Everyone needs a little bit of magic in their life. And the moon is a magical thing.

Portrait of a new moon

I’ve wanted a 3d printed moon lamp for a while, but the larger ones can be quite costly. There are kickstarters for authentic moon lamps (where the moon is 3D printed with geographic accuracy, and the larger sized ones go for a couple of hundred dollars…plus expensive shipping to Australia).

View of the moon

Serendipitously, I remembered my desire for a 3D printed moon lamp while I was ebaying for present ideas for the Amazant Monsieur H. Turns out you can also find 3D printed moon lamps, albeit at a smaller size and possibly not as geographically mapped, on ebay. And some offer free or cheap shipping!

Moon with a view

The lamps are made of cornstarch (yay not plastic), powered by LED and have 4 settings: full moon, new moon, dimmed moon and off. You charge them via a USB cable to your computer/phone charger, so there are no unsightly cables to clutter the view and – once fully charged – can apparently last for up to 30 hours.

Portrait of a full moon

It’s making my house magical and cheers me up no end. I’d still like to get a very large one to have in a corner of my bedroom, but for now I am quite happy with the little moon in the corner of my living room. I utterly love the new moon colour:

Moon in a room

You’ll be happy to know that AMH also enjoyed his moon lamp present (yes I did buy one for him too!).

I’ve managed to not reference any “moon” songs in this post so far, so I feel it’s only right to indulge myself with just one song.

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Happy StyleMAS 2017

It’s that time of the year: StyleMAS time

I splurged a little this year: I’ve really been feeling mercury glass (I blame Fixer Upper because I am thinking about mercury glass panes in the uppers of kitchen cabinet doors when that eventually gets redone…).

So I got some mercury glass StyleMAS lights and a mercury glass tree topper to glam it up and get the mercury glass fixation out of my system a little.

The mercury glass looks quite sweet with my matte white porcelain ornaments (another obsession not yet out of my system)

I went a little early with the tree this year, not because I want to be friendly and cohesive (#eyeroll) but because – for a variety of reasons – I wanted to spend some time caving in my house, and making it pretty and mine again. And I actually like the fun of decorating the tree…as well as the glass or two, or bottle, of champagne I drink while decorating it. It is the little things πŸ˜‰

When they are on, the lights are quite blue…

It’s pretty cool. I also got some scandi style swags that you can see hanging on the window behind the tree:

In position…

I also pulled out a silver lamp that my aunt gave me, and popped a light inside it. It’s now smouldering (metaphorically not literally) in the corner of the lounge by the fireplace and the plants:

Sultry silhouette

The tree looks quite pretty at night:

The reflection on the glass table top is something else:

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Happy StyleMAS 2016


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.


Pretties from the side, with the old tree topper

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


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.


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).


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.


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 πŸ˜‰ It kicked me over the line into putting it in the card, along with some cute felt coasters and some window gels.


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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