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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A corner of my home

I am slowly getting together some photo's of my home in its current state. I would like to have a good record of the changes we make  & also to create a great 'House Tour' here on my blog.
I figured I would start at the front & work my way through.
Its a given that the entire house will get a new coat of paint but those colour decisions will be for a another day.

This is where I start & end my day.In my 'peaceful' room.
I call it this as there is no television in here. so the kids have no interest in hanging out.
This also means it stays tidy.
When your a mother of 4 a permanently  tidy room always brings great joy!!! 

Its a beautiful sunny room & a great place for my morning cuppa & equally as inviting to burn a candle & have a glass of wine in the evening.

I love picking fresh flowers from my garden to have in here.
I think this table could do with a piece of coral & a smaller candle.
The photo is one of my absolute favourites  of my two eldest girls when they were very small, it makes me smile every time I see it!

I haven't purchased anything new for this room, except for the clock & tapestry candle, both from my store of course & not specifically for this room, more because I loved them. All of my furniture would you believe has sat in storage for the last 5 years, so it feels kind of new.

I am planning some new cushions to dress the place up & give it a mini make over as these cushions are also 5 years old. 

The walls in here are still bare & screaming out for some art work, especially seen as though the hooks from the previous owners are still in the walls, he he he!
It really needs some extra layers to make it feel finished as well. I think I might make a small gallery style wall with some smaller clocks with the large one I already have. The chairs are quite low backed & the ceilings are very high so I need some different height pieces to help the eye flow comfortably around the room.
You need to create a mix of high, medium & low pieces to achieve that flow.

Once I have the cushion situation sorted out, which will determine my accent colour I will then decide what to hang on the walls.I have several ideas but I am struggling to make a decision. At this stage it is very monotone but I would like to soften things by adding another colour in a medium tone/depth, which is what I have tried to do with the warm greys. I would like to replace most of the solid colour cushions with something a little softer & introduce some pattern for a little more interest.
It currently feels & looks incredibly boring.

It is open to the formal dining area so these two spaces will need to work together.
There is only room for smaller art pieces as there are two walls with a window each & the other two walls have door ways.
It was actually very challenging getting the furniture placement right, especially when the chairs are more of a one & a half seater. The room we previously had them in was much larger & they worked well there. It's not in my budget any time in the near future to replace them so I need to make them work.

I would like to update the pendant lights but I really cant decide what I would like, once again it has to work with the dining area.
Perhaps a floor lamp rather than or as well as the current table lamp to help create a step in the heights of my furniture pieces. 
I am looking forward to getting a few interesting decor items to create a nicer vignettes on the  side tables.

This current side table isn't staying here I just needed a little something for the space, so used this one that we had, it normally lives in the living area.
Its actually to large for the space, I think something round would be nice here.

My wish list for this space :
Light fitting
 Coffee table
Side table
Floor lamp
Decor items

I will most likely be asking for your advice &/or opinions on these ideas as I go along.
It will all happen at a snails pace, but that's OK, I think a room always looks nicer if it evolves over time rather than  creating it over night.
Now I am off to Pinterest to analyse exactly what it is that I love about my favourite inspiration rooms.

Do you have a peaceful room or even a little nook to have some quiet time?

Trish xx

Monday, October 13, 2014

A SERIOUS scented soy candle addiction !

I kid you not!!!
I am seriously addicted to scented soy wax candles....
There's no harm in that...right.
Well technically there's no harm as they are non toxic & scented with essential oils which are fantastic for the mind & senses.
 The only harm is to my wallet, ha ha ha!

Seen as though I loved them so much I decided to stock them in my store but its a real struggle to not just burn them all myself.
Oh the greed!!!!!

They all look pretty &  smell so incredible.
I find there is nothing more relaxing than lighting a candle & making a nice cup of tea or enjoying a glass of wine in the evening.
My kids really love the smell of a scented candle burning in the house as well & because soy wax is a soft wax it has a lower burn temperature which means it is highly unlikely to scald  or burn any one if it were to be spilled

I had a fantastic time creating my little photo shoot & styling them with things from my garden, now to work more on learning how to edit them nicely!!

We have these beautiful antique jars in 5 different scents & 3 different sizes.
Small - 15 hour burn time - $10ea
Medium - 40 hour burn time - $20ea
Large - 60 Hour Burn time - $30 ea

They are all hand poured in the Currumbin Valley, QLD using 100% Soy wax.
So they are not mixed with any other waxes.
This also means they are less likely to affect people that suffer with allergies.They  don't contain any of the cancer causing chemicals found in the waxes derived from crude oils.
Using 100% cotton wicks which are lead free & matched perfectly to the candle size  prevents tunneling of blackening of the jar.

This is how evenly our Dream House Candles burn, which means there isn't any waste at the end.

Unlike this candle I had been using previously, its created a well & has lots of blackening on the wax & the sides of the jar. I find there is so much waste on these ones as one entire side doesn't burn & lets face it, we expect to get the entire burn time out of our candles. That is what we are paying for.

Did you know you need to nip the top off the wick before you light  your candle  each time. 
By keeping it no longer than about 5mm you maximise the burn time & prevent any soot forming,keeping your candle looking nice. 

These incredible Tapestry bowl candles have a whopping 160 hours burn time.
They are pretty large with 4 wicks.
They are priced at $80 ea
I love that the vessels are fully re usable after the candle is finished, as these bowls would make fabulous little trinket dishes.

The tapestry bowls come in 3 different colours, Black, Green & Violet & each one has a different scent.

The Verona Candles are even prettier in real life.
We have them in Black & Clear & each one comes in two scents
'Bliss' or 'Harmony'
They have a burn time of approximately 47 hours & retail for $25 ea.

So are you as addicted to scented candles as I am & are you using nice healthy, non toxic 100% soy candles?

All of our candles are handmade especially for us, making them a little unique.
They  come packaged beautifully, so make a wonderful gift.
Pop on over to our store & stock up on some of our lovely candles, before I use them all myself & my dream guy has a melt down....pardon the pun!!!

Trish xx

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

RIP fur baby Rex'

 So today has been an extremely sad day for our family.
We have had to say goodbye to our big dog.
He & his little partner in crime had somehow managed to escape our back yard & he darted across the road to another dog & was hit by a 4wd.
We live in a very quiet street but they had diverted traffic from the main road down our street so they could do some road works & it was like a highway.
Our non road savvy dog chose the wrong day to get up to mischief that's for sure.

We heard the accident & ran out the front of our house to see what happened, not expecting for a minute to see our dog out there.
It was a rather shocking & confronting situation for our kids to have experienced.
The lady that hit him has been so lovely & thoughtful even though it wasn't her fault, thankfully there was no damage to her car.

Rex was a bull mastiff X great dane & whilst he started as a pint sized pup he rapidly grew into an almost 50kg gentle giant.

He used to look tiny next to our beagle....

My how that changed.....

His absolute favourite place was riding on my Dream guys ute

Rex felt the kids trampoline was the perfect bed....

He was a gentle giant that loved a game & bounced around like a gazelle when he was happy.

There is nothing more heart breaking then telling your children their beloved pet didn't make it & it was so so sad seeing them sit down & cuddle our little beagle & tell him the sad news.

This big guy is going to be sadly missed, especially by his little mate that is sitting & howling by the gate as I type this post.

Farewell Rex RIP big guy xoxox

Trish xx

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Life in the new house!!!

So here I am confessing again that its been a long time between blog posts.
So now I have so so much to tell, but most importantly we have moved into our new but very old home.
You can check out my previous post full of the real estate pics here

The real estate wrapped our front door in a bow, it was so nice to turn up with our keys for the first time & be greeted like this.
Thank you Ray White Maitland.
They also left a lovely gift basket full of goodies but the kids raided it before I could snap a pic.

We only have a single garage here so have temporarily put a shipping container in the back yard until my dream Guy can build his man cave.

We  have a narrow driveway so the crane driver lifted this big thing over the roof of our house.

I'm pretty happy he is good at what he does, no damage any where...pheww!!!
We used Tom Lawler Cranes for this job & I highly recommend them. Tom is a precision driver that's for sure.

Our lovely old home needs re peering, the floors slope off in all different directions.
As you can see by the above photo of just one of the peers, they are in a pretty bad way, this all all that is left of this one, it should be almost a metre long but has been eaten out by termites.

The termite damage is old & there are no active termites in the house now.

All of this is being replaced by adjustable steel peers, we only have to do about 48 of them....eeek!!!!
We knew this when we purchased the home.
Do you like how I say we... I don't really get my hands very dirty, I feed the worker, help with the clean up, sometimes I have to assist when it comes to lifting heavy things & most importantly take photos.

Doesn't everyone keep a wheel barrow in the laundry.

So the renovating has begun.
We are just taking it one step at a time but this part of the re peering process will allow us to build a much needed ensuite & set up the plumbing for a new main bath & laundry.
We currently have no water tanks for that all important water catchment from the roof to run the toilets & washing machine from & the way the house is set up at the moment it runs off two electric hot water systems , so it is a bit of a priority to address these issues as we go along, so we can be a little more energy & water efficient.
Its also a huge pain, if you flush the toilet while someone is showering as they lose their water & you cant run the washing machine & any other taps at the same time for the same reason.

Its time to make this 108 year old home a little more efficient!!

Stay tuned for my next installment, I have so much more to tell!!

Trish xx

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