Monday, August 30, 2010

material dames...

As I stood in the queue at Spotlight the other day, clutching seven rolls of fabric that will hopefully provide the inspiration for an upcoming Savvy Shopper page for The Sunday Age M magazine, my mind wandered back to the most hilarious piece of crafting advice I have ever been given. When we first moved to Sydney and I had a bit of time on my hands, I used to attend a 'quilting club' in a gorgeous old council-owned hall in Bronte. The club was full of fabulous Eastern suburbs dames - I think I was the youngest by a good two decades! Anyway, they were a wonderful source of inspiration and knowledge and their quilting skills had to be seen to be believed. One day two old birds were recalling a recent shopping expedition to a fabric store, with the usual quilters anecdotes about needing a storage facility for all their fabric, hiding it from their husbands, etc. Mid way through the story, I was laughing along with the rest of the room, when one of them stopped and looked at me and said, poker-faced, "You do know, Heather, that she who dies with the most fabric, wins".

I think I may be on a winner!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gorgeous Melbourne home - Christianna Heidemann's house on a hill

If you love enchanting homes with loads of nooks, crannies and history, then Christianna Heidemann's place is for you. Set on a massive block in inner Melbourne, there's a garden full of rambling roses, a charming original kitchen and more rooms than I could count. It has a fab mix of inherited and newer pieces, and a really cool, casual vibe - with snowboards and long boards scattered throughout the rooms and an impressive butterfly collection. A true creative haven.

Photo by Mike Baker, copy and styling by me, and it appeared in the Sunday Age / Sun Herald Sunday Life magazine today. Copyright Fairfax Ltd.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Am I Gaga? Please tell me it's not September next week?

It can't be September next week. It's impossible. What happened to all those other months? And I know it isn't just me that is feeling this way, all out of control and dementedly busy, because everyone I speak to says the same thing! I knew I was losing the plot last week when I was doing the 4.30pm dash to Lincraft to get some last minute supplies to whip up a very dodgy Book Week Parade costume for Al. She could ONLY go as Lady Gaga. "She is not a book" I protested, but she got me on a loophole- Quin from Glee dressed up as Gaga in an episode and now you can get Glee books. She had me, and despite already having a cracking dress-up collection, nothing was right. So when the shop assistant asked me whether I was to use my credit or debit account and instead of choosing one I blurted out my pin number, I knew I was a losing it. The next morning Al was prancing around in an extremely ill-made gaga outfit, ready to rock the school quadrangle, completely oblivious to the blush-worthy stitching and pin-work!

And as I pinned the last bits into place that morning, I had a flash-back to the day when I was seventeen and I asked my mum to whip up a black strapless dress for me to wear to a formal ball I was attending THAT NIGHT! I don't know how she did it, but it was magnificent, and even had boning in the bodice (it was the 80s). She was literally on her knees, pins in mouth, hand sewing the hem as I did my hair, put my shoes on and headed out the door. I know it will drive me crazy when it happens, but I can't wait to do that for my girls.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Gorgeous Melbourne home - Anton and Emma Assaad of Great Dane Furniture

I am an admirer of the mid-century Scandi look, bit I have never really coveted it for my own home, however... I could have easily lingered a little longer in the beautiful home of Anton and Emma Assaad, of Great Dane Furniture. It was all very light, bright, breezy and effortless. And you know you are in the home of some serious style-mongers when you find yourself checking out the 2 year old daughter's jacket, and thinking you wouldn't mind one in a bigger size for yourself. That's it, hanging on the chair.

This page, shot by Mike Baker and styled and written by me appeared in the Sunday Life magazine last weekend.

Copyright owned by Fairfax,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

totally cleaned up...

the hero shot, and behind the scenes.

as it appeared on the page today.

Here is my Savvy Shopper page for the Sunday Age M Magazine that appeared this morning. The cracking bath is from Schots Home Emporium, and the delicious chair? It's an Urquoila Frilly chair from Space (that is now happily residing in my hallway). I loved styling this page except for one thing... we had to shoot it in the upstairs studio - which meant that the floorboards and the bath had to be carried upstairs, then down again afterwards. Man it was a good work-out! I sure felt it in the calves the next day. We ran way overtime, which meant that a certain young styling assistant, who never happens to be short on opinions, got to come along and get involved. In all, an exhausting day, after which I certainly needed a long soak in the tub at home.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

cheap and cheerful

There's nothing like a bright collection to cheer up a dull area of your home. I have been collecting Country Road mugs for years, and can't resist adding a few new colours to my collection each season. They really do brighten up my dodgy kitchen, and I love choosing which colour to drink my tea or coffee from, depending on my mood.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

the Aladdin project part II - going for gold!

A while back when I posted about the 'palace gates' I am constructing for Alex's school production of Aladdin, I intended to get them finished and out of the house really quickly. But in true form, I have left them until the deadline, and yesterday, got myself in a complete lather about finishing them.

I braced the back of the gates with some 3x1, then completely lost my confidence when it came to making the actual rear frame - what if they fall on some poor kid? or the audience? So I called in the engineering help of my old mate Kumbah, who likes that sort of thing. He also loves prime numbers, so you know the type. A brainiac.

My talents were much better employed getting light-headed on spray paint fumes. Then I got Alex to go nuts with the glitter. I am going to add a bit more in the way of a lock, and a few other bits and bobs. Then I just have to get them to the theatre in one piece.

I am sure that there are many other school parents in a similar frenzy this weekend - one amazing mum is making all of the costumes for the main characters and they are exquisite. She is a seriously clever costumier and we are so lucky to have her at the school. I'll post some photos of her amazing work here soon.

still mourning the Melbas...

All styled up and ready to eat, I mean shoot.

As it appeared on the page today.

when I styled this page for the Sunday Age M Magazine in late June, I couldn't miss one last chance to pop some Melba's from the now late, great Patersons in the shot. Of course they were strictly for prop purposes... Mike and I didn't scoff them

Photo by Mike Baker, styling and writing by me and copyright owned by Fairfax Ltd.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

fashion with asher

look at all those lovely jewels

and those seriously swoon-worthy skirts

a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to assist Aleksandra Beare, the Sunday Life art director and style queen, on the Asher Keddie cover story shoot. So instead of lugging around all sorts of homewares, it made a nice change to be playing dress-ups with all sorts of beautiful clothes and accessories.

There was lots of shoe taping and garment steaming involved, plus we got to check out the fab range of Gap clothing ahead of the new store opening at Chaddy this month.

I fell head over heels for the beautiful tulle skirts by Mrs Press, and the Kit Holmes for Belinda necklace.

One piece of furniture did manage to make an appearance on the pages - my crazy old chair that I have dragged from home to home, interstate and back. I knew its faded grandeur would come in handy one day.

Sunday Life photos by the v cool James Geer. Copyright owned by Fairfax Ltd.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

this shoot, I am trying not to buy...

well, this shoot I am trying extremely hard not to buy about five gorgeous things. But at the top of the list is this divine 'home sweet home' cushion by designer Shannon Lamden ( It will be available in her etsy shop extremely soon. She promised. Second up is the pale pink Eames rocker - I know, it's a Matt Blatt knock off, but before the design police arrest me, I am simply making a statement about how cute it is. I will do that whole debate about replica furniture (and fashion) very soon. I promise.