A good crop

This summer has been a strange one, weather wise. I just heard on the news that it has been the wettest one since they started recording such things, some one hundred years ago. Yet I have had a good crop of some things, while others (like beets) have not done quite so well.

Broad beans have certainly done well this summer, and today I picked, shelled and blanched yet an other load. Now broad beans are not the regular fare here in Norway, and save for growing them yourself you are not likely to come across them here. I am quite partial to broad beans.

But since they are not commonly available here they do not figure in the Norwegian food tradition either. So I am short of a recipe or two on how to prepare them (the usual way I serve them is to give them a quick boil, and "Bob is your uncle"). Do you happen to have a good recipe that you would be happy to share? I sure would love to know.

Broad beans I grow in my potager, but mushrooms grow in the wild. And this year there has been a glut of them in the woods behind our house (must be all the rain). They are, of course, best eaten freshly picked and quickly fried, but the second best choice is to dry them. Which is what I have done this year (my freezer is still full of cantarelle from last summer... and the summer before). Good mushrooms recipes... anyone?

a closet clean out...

Spring is just around the corner and I'm spring cleaning! The most recent area to get attention in my mission to organize different zones in my home has been my closet. For the last few days I have been trying to get on top of my laundry so I can really understand exactly what clothes I have and what I really wear/ no longer wear. I have found in the past I have been so slack with my washing that I have bought myself a new white t shirt only to find one at the bottom of the laundry pile that I had totally forgotten about! It took me the most part of yesterday (in between kindergarten drop offs and the usual housework) to give my wardrobe a complete overhaul but it was worth the effort and I am feeling very satisfied.

My ultimate dream would be to have a beautiful dressing room, with plenty of hanging space and shelves for my shoes and bags etc, but that dream will have to wait awhile. The rental house we are in has a row of built-in wardrobes although I must confess that I actually take up two wardrobes in our house, one for my day - to - day clothes (half of the built-ins shown in the photos) and another freestanding wardrobe for my party dresses... not that I attend too many dressy events these days!

The first step in the wardrobe spring clean involved getting realistic about what I really wear and what can actually be given away to charity or thrown out. I always find this culling process hard as it is so tempting to hang onto things "just in case". There are a few things that I have popped into a suitcase under my bed (to decide at a later date ) as I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of them even though I never wear them and probably never will.

Once the culling was done I pulled out all the hangers that didn't match and hung my clothes by colour few (we mondocherry girls colour co-ordinate everything!! ) I know that hanging by type (e.g. skirts together then shirts etc) works better for some people. I have tried a few different boxes to store my shoes (as you can see from the bottom of the cupboard) but have now discovered these clear plastic shoe drawers which are expensive but worth the money as they are so much easier to use, look neater and seem as though they will last well. I will treat myself to these gradually!

I'm not sure how long my wardrobe will stay this way, but it definitely made choosing my clothes for the day much more enjoyable.

Farmhouse Dining Table with Grey Chairs

I love making over dining tables and seeing them come alive with a new coat of paint and stain. I have teamed the white table with some painted grey timber chairs which have been distressed so the timber underneath pops through. 

This piece will be available at the Woolloongabba Antique Centre this week. 

Check out my tuffed red chair. I call it my Santa Claus chair as it reminds me of a chair that you would see Santa sitting in at the Shopping Centre come Christmas time. 


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Designers Guild

The latest launch of Designers Guild has arrived, I'm so inspired by this beautiful collection. I love the pink and navy silk pin stripe with the most devine trims for cushions and lampshades. Image doing a front window display for Spring (Yes I do miss owning a retail store!!) my brain is on overload thinking of all the wonderful possibilities, the window would be filled with potted fresh spring flowers, vintage ginger jar lamps, the possibilities are endless! Dont you just love Spring! 

Meg Braff

I'm completely obsessed!!!! love the new wallpaper from Meg Braff, completely in love and I cant wait to use in my next project x

Tolix love

I can not remember the last time I bought I stick of furniture... The ones we have, have been in service for years, and have followed us from town to country. Most of them are either inherited or bought second hand. And that is quite the way we like it.

But for the past half a year I have had a secret love affair with the classic Tolix chair, and have wanted one "to have and to hold". And now all of a sudden I have four of them! And I do love them.

I especially love the distressed old look of these particular Tolix chairs. Just as I love the bluey greeny colour. Even though the old patina is not really a genuine article. Just as the chair itself is not really a genuine Tolix.

Not that I care of such "minor details". As long as I love love love the chairs. So far I have chosen not to have any cushions on the chairs, but to be honest they can be a tiny bit chilly to sit on.

So come winter I might choose to have some sheepskins thrown over them, for warmth and comfort. Yes, that might be a good idea. And just in case you wonder what kind of chairs I used to sit on earlier, click here.

vintage tags galore...

We have been very busy creating vintage gift tags for wholesale orders - these ones are made from various botanical books published in the 1950's and 60's. After sewing a few dozen tags I start to go a bit cross-eyed from concentrating so hard on all the curves! They turn out beautifully though, so are well worth the effort.

Enjoy your weekend!


Happy Weekend!

Cute pair of vintage birds available here this week

Batik printed blue fabric

Collect petite vintage blue and white vases, group together as a centrepiece and add orange or hot pink flowers to make a beautiful table setting at your next dinner party.

A large selection of tablecloths, napkins, placemats in colours of blue, coral, greens and pinks due soon at Jessie lauren just in time for summer entertaining.

Hydrangea's are back in season, if your in the Brisbane area, I found lovely potted hydrangeas in Bulimba at the local florist for $35

New Project

In the new year I am launching a new website, new look blog and a concept I have been working on for some time, I'm keeping it under wraps at the moment but for now here is a sneak peak of some great outdoor furniture I will be having on my website, at last something a little different and very chinoisiere and can handle our harsh Australian climate, we will have antique furniture, one off finds, fabrics, wall papers and lots of inspiration for you.

I'm so impressed with the choice of outdoor fabrics in faux bamboo design, chevron and modern prints these very affordable fabrics will all be available here at only $29m