Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Guest room goodies - part deux

I've blogged about getting the guest room ready before, but I just wanted to give a couple more tips about small gifts that you can give your guests.

My in-laws are coming to visit and I haven't seen them since I got back from America so I brought back some local souvenirs - chocolates and bath products. I think giving local foods or sweets is a nice way to introduce your guests to the local fare. Bath products like lotions and soaps (in travel containers) is something that they can use while they're at your house and at other 'exotic' locations.
a nice presentation never hurts.
Shown here, tags made of scrap-booking paper and a short handwritten note.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Clever idea Anthropologie!

On my way back from the States I had an 8 hour lay-over in LA, so I met up with some friends and we went down to Santa Monica to enjoy the beach and the shopping. We went into the store Anthropologie and I had to touch EVERYTHING! I haven't been to an Anthro store in a long time so I was just gaga-ing after everything. So after I tried on all the headbands and accessories we check out the kitchen-wares.

I absolutely love this Matryoshka doll measuring cup set - so clever!
Each piece is a different measurement
My husband would have snatched up this Elephant bottle opener had he been there.

Sometimes for therapy I go to their website and look through the catalogs.

Polka-dots and tea towels

Last Friday I had the pleasure of spending the day with my lovely friend Louise and her new baby boy Eli. Lou has excellent taste and has done a splendid job of decorating the baby room. I was enlisted to make a fitted sheet for Eli's 'big bed', to cover a lamp shade in the same fabric as the sheet, and to make a pillow-case out of a tea towel. Eli came out from time to time to help out but mostly he slept.

recognize the owl in the picture below?

Friday, June 26, 2009

What a deal!

If you're just tuning in now, this week I'm posting pictures of things that I brought back from my trip to the US

I found this cute little pair of elephants at a store called Daiso in Seattle (unforunately their website seems to be down at the moment, when it's back up I'll add their link). Daiso is a $1.50+ store with mostly Japanese merchandise. My husband is obsessed with elephants like some men are with classic cars or golf so I thought this would be a surprise addition to our kitchen table. No surpise that Cam loves them.

Also at Daiso they have a large range of paper lanterns, some with solid colors and others with cute prints. I brought these back with me. I love the colors - now I'm just waiting for an excuse to use them!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

'Northern lights' of my life

My mom is from Norway and after I graduated from high school I spent some time living in Norway with my family. I was fortunate enough to learn the language and spend some great time with my family and see where my mom grew up and I brought back so much with me, not just souvenirs. I brought a few artifacts from my time in Norway with me to Australia.

mittens my grandma knitted and used during the cold winters in Norway

I realized I didn't have a 'normal American' upbringing when I learned that not every family owned a cheese slicer (a Norwegian invention along with skis and paperclips!)

mini Viking ship salt dish

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Russian dolls

I love my Russian nesting dolls (traditionally know as Matryoshka dolls) from, you guessed it, Russia.

One of my favorite things

Besides raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, one of my favorite things is my Lomonosov Russian Imperial porcelain. For our engagement present from my parents Cam and I got 2 Russian porcelain tea-sets. I brought them back to the States with me as my carry-on luggage and then brought one set with me to Australia as carry-on luggage in February when we moved here. I'm eager for any occasion to use them. It's a great memory from our time in Russia.

You might think I'm crazy...

... but I brought my (our) KitchenAid mixer back with me from America last week. The mixer took up half the weight allowance of one suitcase and half the space. It was given to my husband and I from my parents for our wedding 2.5 years ago. It's been in storage at my parents' house and we haven't been able to use it because we decided not to take it overseas with us the last couple of years. I checked the price of KitchenAid mixers and the same model that we have would cost us around $800AUD, which is about 3 times the price my parents paid in America. So I brought it back with me. We'll need to get a power converter before we can use it, but I'm happy its here!

Oh, and it's pink! We didn't choose pink but my mom arbitrarily got us the pink one, and I'm glad she did - my husband doesn't mind either :o)

Also included in the picture here is some wooden kitchenware from a small town in Russia - handmade and painted.

Throughout this week I'll be posting other things that I brought with me from overseas and a few new things that I got here in Australia that I love.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm back!

The travels back to Oz were uneventful, and that's a good thing. I got back on Thursday morning and I'm just now sitting in front of the computer and catching up on things. My wonderful husband bought me a new bicycle and we went for a long ride this morning and saw lots of kangaroos. Yesterday we went down the peninsula near Melbourne and called into a few different little towns along the way. I really liked Sorrento and equally liked their shops. One that I really liked in particular was 'Gallery Sorrento'. They have homewares, furniture, art, and jewelry. You should totally check it out AND stop by 'Blue Mini Cafe' in Rosebud on the way down.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pretty Peonies

I've seen a lot of pictures of peonies in the blog-o-sphere these days. Just wanted to show some that are from my brother's front garden. In the background of this picture is my niece's graduation picture - gorgeous girl. We bought some flowers from the farmer's market in Seattle and then picked some peonies from the garden as a filler. Lovely!

More pics of the flowers at Pike Place farmer's market in Seattle.

Me with a bouquet that we chose for my niece's party.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Going back to Oz

With all the graduation festivities this weekend, I'm not sure I'll be able to post anything while I'm busy having fun. And I fly back to Australia next Tuesday and of course there are plenty of last minute things to do. So, have a great weekend and you'll definitely be hearing from me next week when I get back home to Oz.

Now I've got to get ready to go up to Seattle with my brother. We might go see an IMAX movie.

Shhh, don't tell!

My niece Laurel is graduating from high school this weekend and I've made her a little something for her dorm room, that's right, ANOTHER pillow! I haven't given it to her yet, so don't tell her -I'm pretty sure she'll be occupied with other things involved in graduation so she won't have time to look at my blog.

The fabric is Wonderland by MoMo for Moda (thanks for the tip Steph!).


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tiara Tomato paper

I'm loving this eco-friendly paper co. from Tiara Tomato. Cute designs and ECO!

images via Tiara Tomato

Monday, June 8, 2009

May the 'Norse' be with you!

Sorry for the cheesy blog title today, but I saw it on a t-shirt and I had to use it sometime, but it goes with the theme for today's craft project. My sister is redecorating the downstairs of her house and one room will be strictly Scandinavian so I made her a pillow with a 'Dala horse' and pom-poms (because all good Norwegians love pom-poms). It's a really quirky pillow but I like and I hope she likes it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My nephew's band - Awaken

I've been working on some graphics for my nephew Christian's band called Awaken. We made some stickers and I just finished a t-shirt for him. I'm pretty proud of Christian - he plays the drums in the band and the drums are currently in the guestroom where I'm staying - so I stay clear of band practices.

I made some new Revision stickers too. Here they are in action! I packaged up the t-shirt to give to Christian.

Elephant Awesomeness

I think I'm jumping on the elephant bandwagon - even though my husband is obsessed with elephants and would have everything elephant in our home I've noticed that the four legged pachyderm is making its way into a lot of new designs and have even become hip. Here's my revision of the elephant caravan on a pillow.

Made of nice white cotton/linen and Amy Butler's Daisy Chain fabric.

This is just a mock up of the pillow. I'll take the stuffing out and take the pillow cases back to Australia with me (2 weeks!). Maybe one of them will make its home on Cam's new office chair
in our bedroom.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Polaroid your Digital photos

I went to Cannon Beach Oregon over the weekend and dipped my feet into the cold Pacific Ocean. As I did this I thought of my husband who's on the other side of the Pacific Ocean right now.

Had this idea to make my digital photos look like Polaroids, turns out there's a website that will do that for you! Click here.

Here's the original

Here's the one that I doctored up with Picasa to make it look more like a Polaroid (I added the effects: warmify, film grain, and gradual tint), and then made it into a collage and chose the option that made it look like a Polaroid.

I previously tried this with a website that would allow you to make your photos look like Polaroids, but it only allowed you to keep the image for 24 hours, that's why I found another way

Rolling Rosettes

I finally sat down and learned how to make a fabric rose, or rosette. I've seen them done on a lot of different blogs and even on 1980s and 1990s Vogue wedding dresses, but I never successfully made one myself until now.

These will be fun to put on a shirt, jacket, or purse to spruce it up.