June 15, 2010

A Few Problems Down Under



This is the Beach Cottage, Australia

We interrupt this broadcast to advise you

I am having a few problemos here

hopefully normal transmission will resume soon


things could be worse

I could be an Australian national team soccer player

or I could be in the shoes of an English goalkeeper







June 13, 2010

A Beach Cottage Visitor Caught in the Act


I don't normally stop by here on Sundays, but seeing as it is a long weeend here in Australia I find myself with more time on my hands than usual and thought I'd quickly stop in and say G'day.

So, every morning in Beach Cottage Land we have been waking up to mysteriously carved out orange skins dropped almost allover the place...on the back steps, all over the barbecue, on the outside table and we'd deduced that it was probably possums stealing our oranges from that lovely old tree I told you about the other day. 

Sitting out on the deck this arvo, a nice cup of tea, a magazine and minding my own business all of a sudden a huge swoop of white whipped past...swiped an orange from the next door neighbour's tree and landed on their out-building roof. 

...and this guy was caught in the act...

A sight that in my old life in England would only have been seen in a zoo. 

I'll leave you with that Australian eye-candy and see y'all next week. 

Enjoy the footie. 




June 10, 2010

Afternoon Tea, The Old Orange Tree & Plates from Anthro


Hello, how the devil are you all.  Be warned this is a rambling post.

The other day I had to answer some interview questions and I said that one of the things about this old place that is great in the hot summer months is the old Moreton Bay Fig Tree...a huge old thing, where we have a hammock precariously hung ...a great spot to swing and read in the cool... 


Later on I was in the garden, which I must say is in need of weeding and a little ahem rough around the edges when I got to digging under the old orange tree...and I thought actually this little gem is a pretty good asset too...


We found this old dear when we had moved into the cottage, all was white, floors were stripped, kitchen and en-suite were in but that was about it... and after the initial zap by a local gardening firm who had to dig in the undergrowth to find the lawn the garden was looking far from good....very bare and very very neglected.


It was a hot and dry summer and I thought there was not much hope of ever getting this place looking good...and for sure I quickly threw all my dreams of an English style garden heaving with laden David Austin roses and things that basically need much water swiftly out the window.

But, when the winter came there were a few redeeming features to the garden, first of all after sitting in many a sloping garden we realised that our 'landscaped' (and I use that term very loosely) flat garden was a boon around here. 


And as we worked, interspersed with my whining, we strangely began to come upon the idea that this old place must once have been very much loved....you see, one day clearing the weeds that were thigh high on the right side of the cottage we started to discover the basis of someone's planning...we found a path, we realised that the old blue bench, though particularly hideous had been placed precisely to get the winter sun, the laundry line sitting in the breeze just where the sun hits all year round...and the remnants of what we think was a veggie plot.


...and then we found the tree...it was sort of hidden under weeds, strangled by overhanging stuff from next door and it was full of dead branches, abandoned through years of neglect...at the time it had the odd tiny little green fruit on it which being from a land where ya oranges tend to arrive on an aeroplane and certainly don't grow in your garden, we thought they were limes...


So I stripped that thing back...you could almost hear her sigh as I pruned back the old dead wood zapping her back to life.


Now she still doesn't give us an abundance of fruit, it is definitely a ratty round the edges orange tree...but to sit up here warmed by the winter sun...it's one of my better discoveries...


Well anyway, after all that I actually came here to talk about vintage plates. 



Yep, knowing that you all sit around breathlessly awaiting the next addition of my treasure hunting escapades I thought I'd get some blue and white and vintage china going on...under that orange tree...in the sun...

Sooo, the blue one with the gold is one of my favourite old vintage pieces though I think I seem to write that everytime I mention a piece of old china on here...I got it while shopping at Anthropologie while overseas *wink *wink (yeah in my dreams, I got it from Salvos).


It's a Meakin, of course from the Old Country, the gold gilding mostly faded away now and with a name like Florida Sol, I think it may well have found the right home under that tree.


I love these old vintage beauties...stacked up in a tumultuous pile...and believe it or not, do not gasp, I love the ones with all the colour...

...but today's theme, for some reason was blue

...and the other one, a sweet as little platter, no idea where I found it, oh yeah it was Anthropologie,  Johnson Bros, lurving the old painted flower...funnily enough named Moderne...sweetly ironic dontchya think?


Sooo,  I hope you enjoyed Afternoon Tea with me?  Do tell.
How very nice.

Righto I seriously have to get myself outta here

...the BC Boys will shortly be home from swimming about ready to eat the house...

I have a chilli that's been sitting in the slow cooker all day getting spicy...

See you around ladies





p.s. totally off topic, but if any of you have a Black Bean Soup recipe up your sleeve I'd love it (remember I am a slap and dash kinda gal, no fussing...I was thinking about this one, but would love the real mccoy, cheers)

oh and there is a ROCKING GIVEAWAY going on here, check it out

care package winner announced soon


vintage table, tablecloths, stool, jugs, sundae dish : thrifted

 vintage china, cutlery  :  thrifted

white glass  :  IKEA





June 09, 2010

Beach Cottage DIY Entrance Hallway Makeover Part II



Thanks for all the lovely comments and more for your opinions on style and styling...may I just clear up though that I wasn't intimating that I have got 'style' (whatever that is) more that it irritates the **** out of me when people furiously lament their skills in style just 'cos they shop the trendy shops...

Anyway, less of that and moving swiftly onto much more interesting things...the other side of the hall...

There is no denying that this is white porn...and I am one hundred percent holding my hands up to that...I still love it, in fact as I was ensconced in Dulux White on White on Sunday I wondered firstly how much longer this might last and secondly how it started.

It started back in England when I began seriously looking for vintage furniture and was astonished at the power of white paint when turning an old sad and lonely piece of furniture into a new life...back then I liked the whole English vintage scene...floral Cath Kidston prints, oilcloth table covering, white and brights and vintage props. 

When we moved here I had a lot of that stuff with me, but somehow it didn't seem to hack it with the bright colours outside everywhere else...the climate here in Sydney didn't seem to sit too well with vintage carpet and floral sheets... and that whole English vintage thing seemed somehow inappropriate to a life in Australia...and so I found my self one day in the Beach Boutique and thought how my old white furniture might suit a more rustic beach hut feel...

This was the ambiance I wanted here...white 'panelled' walls reminiscent of an old beach hut, lots of hooks hinting at the Scandinavian, the odd nautical thing, bare floorboards and sandy feet, whitewashed driftwood and putty coloured stripes...


plus of course a jug of drugstore flowers


a rustic, weathered lantern...


a bench for things washed up by the sea


Shall I tell you though that all this decoration very much has to fit in with the reality of my day-to-day, you probably don't wanna hear that but it is very much true and reality means most of the time, it don't look like this baby...hence this here blog...

and I hate to burst the bubble but I can assure you I am no self-proclaimed home purist...this place will be by this evening a riot of life...school bags, sports equipment, flung-off shoes, dropped jumpers, an empty lunchbox, a newspaper, homework, a briefcase dumped by the door...

...and into this white cavern there will be the males in my life who will squalidly drink from the bottle in my panelled heaven and take this whole white beachy vintage coastal cr*pola as they call it on the chin


males who I make sit with me on white sofas, sleep in frenchy white beds, carry baskets to the beach and load vintage furniture into the back of the car...

...who however much I try to pretend, will use my finds to their own ends...


But at the end of the day, when I walk in this tatty old cottage and kick the door shut I feel like I have come home...I am safe...

and that is what this whole journey my friends in this old cottage is all about.

I will see you beach chicks later




p.s sorry if I haven't answered all your questions in the comments - for sure I read, smiled, and more, LOVED them all, I am so glad I know you guys...I am busily working on my website and other stuff - if there is anything you really wanna know shoot me an email


oh and the rugs, from that exclusive boutique Ickea..... nope I have them everywhere and they don't curl and come up...I shove them in the machine all the time and dry 'em on the line in the aussie sun ;-)

stacy I am looking for a garage sale buddy...it seems they are not quite forthcoming 'round here...wonder why??? ;-))

and yes Vickie in Rockaway Beach (hey I'm lurvin that) I am just so darn adorable

Sharon, I would love to come do up your brick cottage with you...watch this space lol!


hook rack :  IKEA

bench  : thrifted

glass float  : Bed Bath & Table

umbrella  :  garage sale

jug  :  Wheel & Barrow