Come on a journey of inspiration & adventure while renovate & restore a beautiful Victorian home 'St Elmo' in the picturesque Hunter Valley, Australia & laugh at a few of our family adventures along the way.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Birthday Boy

My little man has turned 8 yrs old this week.
I can't believe how quickly he has grown up, especially in the past 12 months. He has matured greatly & is really growing into a nice boy.

We decided to let him have a slumber party this year & he invited the 6 boys that live in our street.he plays with these kids every day, rain hail or shine. we really are lucky to live in such a family filled street. between the boys & girls there is generally at least a dozen kids out in the street on bikes & scooters or just hanging out having a good time!
We call  the boys the scooter gang, 4 of them are 8yr olds & the other 3 kids are 11 yrs old. I was a little apprehensive about the older 3 coming, but they all got on like a house on fire & really had the most fun!

there was a lot of scooter action, they are certainly a daring bunch.

I purchased a NERF gun for each kid, instead of giving the traditional lolly bag.
They had some pretty awesome gun fights & once it got dark they launched a full scale night battle using nothing but lasers to guide them, total boy heaven apparently, or as they put it
"sick as!"

We took full advantage of Halloween & had a spooky theme for our party food.

Skeletons on the cake where a big hit!

We served lollies & chips in witches cauldrons...

Chocolate spiders in skull cup cake papers
unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of my best creation....eyeball jelly!
I made jelly in plastic cups & pushed plastic eye balls into them when it was set.
 Yes they where also described as "sick as!"

They went full speed until midnight & got back up at 6am, I awoke to a barrage of foam darts pounding my bedroom door!
They devoured an enormous amount of pancakes for breaky & then back to the gun battle & death defying scooter acts.
Believe it or not, the only injury was by the birthday boy himself...he was walking out of his bedroom & kicked his toe on the tall boy, split it open & it appears to be broken.
I couldn't believe it!!

All in all they had a wonderful time & I am exhausted, so I guess that's a sign of a great party.

Happy Birthday Big T

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I stumbled across a stylishly talented design firm from Michigan in the US  & I just had to share it with you all

Dwellings traditional living room
Dwellings is an interior design studio owned by Laura Davidson
Laura & her team not only help their clients in making the best choice in fabrics, furniture, accessories and paint colors that create a warm and comfortable space, they also assist in designing a new home from the plan  through to completion

Dwellings traditional kitchen

This kitchen is divine,
I'm guessing by the lovely fabric covered stools that NO small children live here!!

Dwellings traditional exterior
Dwellings studio is  located in a cute cottage in Grand ville, Michigan, where they showcase a wide range of their products.
Dwellings traditional porch
Dwellings studio is open to the public & each time you visit there is a new look.
Dwellings traditional bedroom
From their portfolio this  Green Lake home was one of my favourites.

I could seriously see myself living in this home, the colour scheme is so calming I think it would be nice to put your feet up & relax at the end of the day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A dream home for sure!!!

I was exploring some of the beautiful images on Houzz today & came across this beautiful Victorian farm house.
I was very surprised to see it was a new build as it looks like it had been a part of the scenery for many years.

Folk Victorian Farmhouse traditional exterior

I couldn't help but look follow the link for the building designer who was responsible for such a gorgeous home.
I needed to see more.

Folk Victorian farmhouse traditional exterior

Madson design is a building design studio in San Francisco specializing in residential remodels, additions, and new custom homes.
This one just oozes character & charm

Folk Victorian farmhouse traditional exterior

This was once a dairy farm, built in the late 1800s/early 1900s.
 The new owners are in love with the site’s history and unassuming, simple, yet beautiful nature, so were looking for a new home that would be sympathetic with its surroundings, both in appearance and in character.

Folk Victorian Farmhouse traditional exterior

I do believe this project was a definite success!
I love the freshness of the black & white exterior, softened by the greenery surrounding the home & then the original old red shed  adds a lovely contrast & a sense of history.

Farmhouse family room traditional family room

That sense of history was also continued inside the home.
A view from the entry to the family room.
The wood posts and mantel framing the fireplace are old railway ties, salvaged by the owners from an abandoned track nearby, they add so much character, which is why I never suspected it was a new build.

Farmhouse family room traditional family room

These exposed beams add a rustic & aged touch connecting  the fireplace to the rest of the home.

Farmhouse kitchen traditional kitchen

I love the beautiful farmhouse style kitchen ,with the shaker style doors being an all time favourite of mine.
Unfortunately there where no other photo's featuring what appears to be an incredible mudroom in the back ground.

Farmhouse dining room traditional dining room

The dining area has 180 degree views of the surrounding farm land & the pool.

Farmhouse master bath traditional bathroom

Of course if you haven't had enough of the view, you could also relax in this amazing clawfoot tub.
I love the wainscoting & the hexagonal floor tiles, I could see myself enjoying some bubbles here...
both in the tub & my favourite champagne glass!

I don't know about you but I fell in love with this masterpiece!

Drop by Madson design & check out thier photo gallery.
 They have some lovely images of many projects from new builds right thru to renovations & kitchen make overs. They have included some incredible before & after shots

Trish xxx

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Christmas tree inspiration

So with a bit over a month left until we decorate the Christmas tree, we always do this on December 1st, I'm looking for a little inspiration.
Every year I like to have a bit of a theme or colour scheme in mind.
Last year I let the kids go nuts & do what ever they wanted & I must say it was a bit of a Hodge podge tree( no offense kids!)
My family like to tease me & call me the "tinsel police" ,because, I like the tree to be perfect, so last year I stepped back & let them go for it.

Lets just say.... It nearly killed me!!!

I will be having a little control say in the decorating this year
Bwah ha ha ha ha!!!

The moons & stars on this gorgeous tree are actually baked from cookie dough. 
 I don't think I would like to hang actual cookies from my tree for a month, here in Australia I would fear an ant infestation would feast upon my tree, or worse still I may end up with mice, but if you pop on over to
Jenny has a fabulous idea that would give you a similar look, that isn't edible!

Now this one really ticks a few boxes for me....pardon the is decorated with clock faces.
I do have a little clock addiction, so I think something like this could be fun & VERY ME!!!
Does any one know where I could come across some little clock faces ?

So So So pretty !!!

The above images are all from country living & there are many more to inspire you.

This beautiful tree comes complete with a How-To article here
Apparently over sized decorations are the key to a glamorous looking tree!


I'm not sure if its the tree I love in this home or the decor, what a beautiful room to relax in!


& another simple tree in a beautiful room...


a few well placed pops of red to get into the Christmas spirit & co ordinate the room with the tree,
Very nice!!
I just love the giant snow flakes hanging from the ceiling.


lots of bright colours make this tree look very cheery & bring a little whimsy to the room!!!

Images from Design of house

I couldn't resist this image as it has ghost chairs in it & mini ghost chairs!
  You know how I dream of one day having the space to be a proud owner of a "Ghost chair"

How will you decorate for Christmas this year, will there be a theme, a set colour scheme or just a pile of kid fun?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vintage Camera Collection

One of the things i have started to develop an interest in over the past couple of years  is photography .
 Some time in the future I would really love to invest in a decent digital SLR camera & perhaps a basic course, on how to get the most from my camera, with a few basic skills for fab snaps thrown in.

Technology has made taking photos & editing them so easy & there really is NO limit on how many you take, in search of that perfect shot.  In the past with film & developing costs really limited your choices, not to mention the waiting time whilst your film was off at the developers!!

I have been very privileged in being the proud recipient of my in laws first ever cameras.
They had come on a little shopping adventure to Maitland Markets where I was about to buy a vintage camera & kindly offered me theirs instead.
This worked well for all of us, I had a new decorator item that had a little family history & they had someone to look after an item from thier childhood that was dear to them!

These 2 cute little box browning camera's are my new prized posessions.
My mother & father in law both got these as gifts when they where only 13 & 14 yrs old, in the 1940's.
They have been kept in their cases  & carefully stored so they are in pristine condition.
I just love them & feel very privileged to be the new custodian!
Whilst shopping at Maitland Markets on the weekend I came across this cute little vintage Kodak camera, circa 1910 & I thought it would sit perfectly with the box Browning's & complete my little collection!

What do you think? don't they make a perfect trio!!

Maitland Markets are one of Australia's largest markets & they are 5minutes from my home. I would have to say they are a thrifters dream. There are so many stalls full of antiques & pre loved items, if chinoiserie is your passion, then these are the markets for you, the choices are endless, not to mention all of the clever arts & crafts plus the rip off designer stalls!!

I'm not sure where I found these images but I love the rustic display of these vintage cameras!

I enjoy  seeing a few old treasures mixed in with the new, shiny things. I think it adds a little character & warmth to a room, especially if there is a story behind the item.
 Sometimes the story of how you came across a vintage item even makes it fun!!

Do you have any family treasures handed down thru the generations?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Better Homes & Gardens Live

Well my trip to see BHG live was definitely worth while.
 We had a wonderful day out, although my guest list dropped off a little. It only ended up being myself, my mum & dad & my 3yr old daughter, the others all got what they thought was a better offer!

I had 7 tickets so I gave the 4 spare tickets to some people out the front before we went in as I didn't want them to go to waste.
There was an enourmous amount of exhibits to explore & everyone working on them was extremely helpful.

Mya had a wonderful day, she painted & played & ate her way thru the exhibits, sampling lollies, chocolate, popcorn & whatever people offered her really!!!

There where a lot of live shows from the BHG team but having a pram meant you couldn't really get close enough to see what was going on, but I'm sure they where great.
I did catch a snippet of Tara  doing a demonstration & I have to say, she is even more gorgeous in real life than she is on TV.

I was a little disappointed that there where only 4 rooms set up on display to inspire us.

They where decorated by an online company called

Connect Furniture has a collection of over 1000 diverse & unique furniture providers

You just type in what your looking for  & it will bring up a pile of choices

You are then able to purchase online & your lovely new piece will arrive within 14 days
Now that makes shopping easy!!!

One of the suppliers for Connect Furniture is

They decorated this space for BHG live

love the venetian mirror

& the corbusier chaise lounge

this mirrored buffet was just gorgeous

so where the Metropolis trunks.

I would love to hear what others thought of the day, I hope everyone had a great time!

Trish xxx

Friday, October 15, 2010

inspirational Designs for the weekend

I am looking forward to a wonderful & inspiring weekend as we head off to The Better Homes & garden Live show on Saturday!
I must extend a big "THANK YOU" to Jenny from
who kindly donated the tickets.

 My mum has purchased the BHG magazine for as long as I can remember, which is great for me. I read her copy all the time & that means one less magazine for me to purchase each month!!

( My name is Trish & I am a magazine addict! )

I can definitely blame my parents for my decorating bug, as my entire life they have been serial renovators. They have always purchased older homes, renovated them, sold up & moved onto the next one.
Now they have a brand new home that they had built 5 years ago & guess what....
they are even renovating this one,
 adding an outdoor entertainment area, building a large walk in storage cupboard, an extra kitchen pantry & now they are fitting out there study with some built in desks & cupboards.
You can never have to much storage!!!

I think this weekend will be a blast, my seven yr old son is looking forward to seeing Dr Harry & has a question about training his dog prepared, just in case he gets to talk with him...
Very cute!!!

Are any of you lovely bloggers attending ?
If you are interested in meeting & saying Hi, email me. It would be wonderful to say my blog friends are real humans, LOL, not just cyber pals!!!

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend & all of you Bris Vegas people get a little sunshine, after all, you do live in the Sunshine state!

Trish xxx
All images from BHG

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