Saturday, December 3, 2011

DIY Christmas Advent Calendar

Do you remember those cardboard advent calendars with a silly picture of kids getting gifts from Santa, and each day you could open the little perforated cardboard door and get a waxy tasting piece of chocolate? I love those and miss them! This year I decided to make a grown up version of the Advent calendar out of many things I already had around the house. 'God Jul' (goo yule) means Merry Christmas in Norwegian.

I fill the bags with ornaments that we already had (special ones that mean something to us), and chocolates.

See the 'How to' after the jump. And here is a super cute round-up of Advent Calendars.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween - le chat

Here in Australia Halloween isn't a huge event like in the States. Hopefully next year we'll do a Halloween party with dress ups and the works. When my sister came to visit she brought down heaps of little goodies for me including caramel apple cider and this little cat tin basket. I currently have it in my craft room and it usually holds some tags and labels that I use for impromptu gifts and the like. 

all photos by me, Sonja Barrett

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bunting Bag

There's something really fun about Bunting, and it always conjures up thoughts of a party. I made a tote bag from Ikea's Fialena fabric and some leather, and cotton canvas I had. It's reversible and has a fun pocket with the bunting fabric on the inside. 
The fabric in the background is some Marimekko fabric that I purchased in Seattle and stretched onto a canvas frame (How-to to come soon). Hubby and I love to buy fabrics from different countries that we go to, mainly because they're beautiful and we can remember our trips AND because they're really easy to pack.

all photos by me, Sonja Barrett

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DIY Chalkboard Art Canvas

We have a revolving art gallery in our house and like to move different pieces around to suit the mood. So this DIY Chalkboard Canvas fits right in. I use it in the guest room and write greetings to our guests, or I'll  draw seasonal flowers or write quotes that inspire me. And best of all this project is easy peasy!

All you need is:
Art canvas in any size (I bought mine for $7AUD at a local art store)
Spray Chalkboard Paint ($13AUD at local hardware store). Get the non-toxic kind
painting mask
well ventilated area

Lay down newspaper in a well ventilated area and put your canvas on it. Put on your painting mask, even if the paint is non-toxic it's good to keep that stuff out of your lungs. Spray an even and thin coat of chalkboard paint on the canvas, no drips! Let it dry and apply another thin even coat of chalkboard paint. Let it dry and just for fun apply another thin even coat of chalkboard paint. Leave it overnight to set and dry and you're ready with your Chalkboard canvas. Have fun!

all photos by me, Sonja Barrett

Monday, September 19, 2011

Typography and the bargain bin

I hope you had a good weekend. Our's was busy, we had friends over for dinner on Friday and then we went over to some friends for dinner on Saturday. We looked at a couple houses that we are interested in buying and we ran a lot of errands. Hubby and I had a good time going to the farmers market and buying overpriced bananas and having a couple of good laughs in the car.

When I was in America in July this year I picked up these wooden stamps from Target in their bargain bin. They are so simple and pretty and they can be used for so many lovely projects.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lotta Jansdotter cafe apron

I love the simplicity of Lotta Jansdotter's designs and projects and my hubby got me one of her books for Christmas last year... or maybe two years ago, and I haven't made anything from it. Oh yes, I've perused through its pages several times and even pulled out fabrics that I wanted to use for various project but I've never actually put the pedal to the metal (or sewing machine), until now!

The little hanging hook wasn't part of the pattern but I
took the idea from Lotta's tea towel pattern

I used fabric that I already had in cotton/linen and some cute Kokka fabric in three little pigs.

photos by me, Sonja Barrett

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mini pom pom tutorial

You know I like a good DIY and when one of my friends posted this on Pinterest the other day I had to try it! I didn't have any bakers twine (shame, I know) so I used regular yarn, and it worked a treat!
Go on over to the original mini pom pom tutorial here, along with other fun stuff to do with baker's twine. I'm working on a pom-tastic project so I'll wait to show you pics. Watch this space.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Styled mag

Have you seen Styled mag? You can buy it on print or view online. So many great ideas - it's getting my creative juices flowing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Etsy motivation

This video from Etsy is getting me motivated! It's very cute. 
Hello Etsy: The Movie from Etsys Deutscher Blog on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Follow me on Pinterest

Painterly Flower Arrangement Pink Peach Ranunculus Protea

Follow me and my boards on Pinterest, click here

photo via here

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Christmas 2011 Inspiration

I know this might be hard to believe but Christmas is 15 weeks away! It looks like we'll have the in-laws at our place this year. We were hoping to have bought a house of our own by Christmas, but that's looking unlikely so we'll have another Christmas in the townhouse.

My husband and I both agree that Scandinavian Christmases are the best so we've opted not to celebrate like Americans or Australians, but to embrace my Norwegian heritage and do Christmas like the Scandinavians. This year I'm inspired by these photos, found via here.

Lots of gray, green, white, natural wood, and red
I've already got plans for making new fabric napkins (serviettes), napkin holders, and maybe some place mats and a table runner. Stay tuned to see the DIYs.

Have a look here to see the red and white theme I did for Christmas last year.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Garden Tea Party for Two

My brother sent me a link to a fabulous magazine called Kinfolk, where they focus on small gatherings. I love the concept of making even small events really special. I had a garden tea party for two in my backyard today.

All the items at my Tea Party I had on hand. The lace doily was given to me by an Australian lady that lived in Russia (so I brought them back to Australia with me). The cups and saucers are from Russia, the butter knife is from Tallinn, Estonia, and the cloth napkins are from an Bed Bath and Table in Australia.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Homemade Marshmallows

photo via Piece of Cake

I've had such a craving for Marshmallows lately. Did you know you can make them at home? I found this seemingly simple recipe. I'll have to add to my repertoire of recipes to make.

1 1/2 cups caster suger (confectionery sugar)
2 tablespoons gelatine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups desiccated coconut
food colouring (optional)

recipe from

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pinterest Favs

Have you heard of Pinterest? Of course you have! It's a great website that helps keep a repository of your favourite things. I have a few pin boards that I've put together and sometimes I just go through my boards and see what it is I really like. I noticed that I love base colours of grey and white with hints of linen, natural wood, blue, green, yellow, black, etc.

Here are a few of my favs that I've stored on Pinterest.

on my Pinterest
from my Pinterest
on my Pinterest
on my Pinterest

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What's your style?

I stumbled upon this fun Find my [Home] Style quiz and immediately tuned out the episode of Wipeout I was watching and took the quiz.

The quiz told me that my style is Earthy Modern and that my design strengths are that I keep up with current trends but have an appreciation for timeless forms and simple lines.

It was kind of an Aha! moment. Not that I didn't already know that I like those things, but for a quiz to tell me that was kind of a confirmation. I automatically thought of this space (featured below) that I've seen on countless blogs and features in Holly Becker's book Decorate. When I first saw the Brooklyn home of Fitzhugh Karol and Lyndsay Caleo my knees got weak. Their home just sings to me! I love the points of interest and the warm natural materials and colours. The only thing I would do to make the space mine is add some different colours; I gravitate towards blues (something the quiz told me, which I totally do), I also love green, grey, brown, and subtle hues of yellow and red.





photos via The Selby

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vintage Lounge

Currently dreaming of new looks for our living room. We're currently looking to buy a house and move out of our rental townhouse. It feels so grown up! But then there's the fun stuff like decorating a new place and being able to paint the walls and put nails wherever we want to. If only I could decide on a style for the new digs.

Vintage Lounge

1. Vintage doily cushions from Revision Design Australia, 2. Krenit mid-century bowl found Vertigo Home, 3. Retro Arco Lamp found via Vintage Looks, 4. Vintage sofa found via Study, 5. Vintage reproduction Pug Poster found via, 6. Vintage coffee table found via Soundslike HOME

Friday, July 8, 2011

Craft Drawer Makeover

When we moved to Australia a lot of lovely people had free furniture to give us to get us by for a little while. One piece was this handmade file drawer. I now use it as my craft drawer and have lots of pretty fabrics and supplies tucked away in it. I love it but it needed a makeover. A little bit of paint, new knobs, and some numbers and it has a new lease on life.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Celebrating Australia Day in Style

My friend Louise is a master when it comes to throwing parties. She put on a wonderful spread with a lovely twist. She even put Aussie sayings on tags and hung them in the tree "You little beauty!"

Have a look at her blog here, and her online shop here.

Badge buttons!

I'm loving how these little gems will brighten up any outfit. They can also adorn a pillow or tote bag.

It's like telling a little story in tiny pictures.

You can find these Toadstool badges and more here.