Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year (and Birthday)

Self Portrait with Curled Hair on Birthday, 2008

Well, another year is ending and with it another year of life goes by. Today I am 27, so as of 3am this morning I am officially in my late twenties (as opposed to mid-twenties), which is a little scary and makes me feel like I should probably be grown up... or something.

This time of year makes everyone a bit philosophical, and I for one have certainly been pondering life, the universe and everything a lot lately. I posted recently about job security vs. job satisfaction, and wondered what I should do next in my working life. Well, it seems that fate stepped in and not-so-subtley guided me towards the job satisfaction option. So as of January 5th 2009, I am not on christmas holidays, and I am a self-employed freelance designer.

apprehensive and I feel a little nervous if I can actually carry this off successfully. But I am ready to give this a go and find out what it really is like to work for myself rather than "The Man" (or in my case, it was more the Devil wears Prada).

So in honour of new beginnings and big challenges (with big potential rewards), my motto for 2009 is:

Not be lazy, but learn to breathe, take it in, and not stress so much. Work hard to enjoy the rewards it brings at the end. Do what you love, and love what you do.

That, and actually follow through on things (my late resolutions for 2008 are still outstanding, so I'm rolling them over to 2009).

Happy New Years everyone, I hope that all your 2009 dreams come true!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Morty's First Christmas

I don't want this to become a blog entirely about my dog, but his first Christmas was just so cute I couldn't resist:

Wake up Morty, Santa's been!

*yawn* But I don't want to wake up Mama!

Wait, did you say Santa's been?

That means I can open my presents??


*rip* *shred*

Hey neighbours, look at my new Stegosaurus!

4pm Boxing Day - Morty is yet to wake up after all the excitement of Christmas.

Hope your Christmas was as wonderful and fun as ours!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas...

In the spirit of giving, I give you... an interesting post! :) I am determined to get this blog happening in the new year, so hopefully this is one of many going forward.

My parents and sisters are coming over to our house early tomorrow morning to rip open many presents and have breakfast together before everyone splits to see various in-laws and assorted other friends/family. I love setting the table for Christmas, its the opportunity to do something really special.

I'm trying to be thrifty this year, so apart from the fresh flowers everything else are things I had around the house - the blue "table runner" is left over wrapping paper, with a strand of tinsel for sparkle, a set of Ikea candlesticks which I bought on special, and left over tree decorations as napkin rings. The spotty mugs and the plain plates are part of a set I got last christmas and I love them (althought they are not dishwasher friendly so I don't love washing up after using them!)

Even the flowers are a little bit thrifty - the lisanthus are left overs from a bunch I bought last week, I just pruned out the floppy/browning ones. I added singapore orchids, Christmas bush and some random glossy foliage (cost $10 altogether) to plump out the bunch. I also love to bust out my Jasper Conran for Wedgewood teapot/creamer/sugar bowl whenver I can, their platinum rim adds to the sparkle.

I'm certain Eddie Ross would have something to say about this table setting! :) Well, how
do you properly set a table for breakfast? I have just winged it here - knife and fork for eggs and toast eating, spotty mug with teaspoon inside for tea and coffee sipping, and a wine glass for some extra special orange juice drinking.

And last but not least, our Christmas e-card. It took about 1.5hrs, 2 sets of antlers and dozens of blurry shots before Morty would sit still and smile for Mama, but what a gorgeous smile it is.

Merry Christmas from my little family to yours, I hope your holidays are safe and magical!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Growing up & ramping up

Gosh, it has been months since I last posted. So much for my new years resolution to post more often - maybe I should start them next year, since its so close!

A year ago today we got the keys to our little house. It has flown by so quickly, I just cant believe it! We have made improvements here and there, and it still makes me smile that this is ours.

The little guy in my last post has now grown to be this large fellow:

...who makes us laugh all day long with his crazy antics (right now he's trying to wedge himself under the lounge for no apparent reason).

I was going to write a long, deep post about the many many things I have been working on and pondering lately, but I think instead I should just update my blog more often and explain it as I go!

One big thing I have been thinking carefully about is my career, and the interesting conundrum that arises when a secure, well paying job yields zero job satisfaction. Do you leave and do what you love, sacrificing a steady wage (and possibly some of the lifestyle that that affords)? Or do you stay and be miserable every day, but be able to afford lifes luxuries? Its a tough one.

I have had my little business on the backburner for quite a while now, I'm thinking that 2009 may be the year to ramp things up and get some real job satisfaction happening. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New addition!

Ive been a little distracted on the home & design fronts lately because ... *drumroll* we got a PUPPY! Hes just 8wks old and is so gorgeous and very clever, he loves to eat and cuddle.

MORTIMER aka Morty
The Australian Bulldog

Hi everybody!

Can you see why hes so distracting? Hes just so cute and makes me laugh all day long.

On other news, we're very pleased to be an international entrant in Apartment Therapy's Small Cool comp, vote for us if you get a chance xxxx :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Yellow there!

Fresh from the oven - a brand new Delaks design!

I have done a new design for Delaks, a beautiful butter yellow invite which I am a quite in love with. I really want to get some yellow happening in my home decor, but Lak hates it so I am making do with yellow in my designs. What do you all think?

Ive slowly been getting together the Delaks wesbite, and its (finally) up, but theres still quite a bit of tweaking to do and of course uploading the full set of designs. Over the next week or so I will be really spending some quality time on it, so watch that space! Apparently there is also a spelling mistake on the website somewhere - my mum told me she saw one but couldnt remember where, so Ill have to read through it all again to find the culprit. First one to let me know where it is gets a surprise prize!

Im also adding another thing to my list of resolutions for the year - I am determined to dress better. Dont get me wrong, Im not completely devoid of style or fashion sensibility, but I want to be even more fabulous and well dressed this year. The theory is to dress for the position you want to be in, and I want to be more than a cute jeans-type girl, I want to be a serious, fabulous, sucessful woman. So my new fashion inspirations are the uber-chic ladies of Cashmere Mafia (my new favourite show). I am especially fond of Lucy Lui's outfits on the show - professional, but edgy and colourful. I like it!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Reading Nook Revamp?

So Ive been thinking about my reading nook. Its a beautiful little spot to kick back and relax in, but I think the red chair is in need of a revamp soon. Ive had it for about 8 years now and its a bit faded looking. So through the wonder of Photoshop I present to you...

Some Reading Nook Options

Option One: Revamp the Chair
This is the budget option really, Im thinking of staining the wood a little darker and recovering the upholstery of the chair and the footstool in plain white, plus adding a super funky cushion in some sort of fabulous fabric. Alas, I think the Imperial Trellis shown in the pic is out of my price range (and besides I cant seem find it anywhere nearby) but hey, its my Photoshop mockup and Ill KWID if I want to! hehehe

Option Two: Replace the Chair
This would be the blow-the-budget-and-then-some option, but hot damn it would be good looking. An Eames recliner in white leather would be so fabulous here, then I can move the existing chair up into the bedroom where its lighter wood would better match the furniture.

Another completely different thought would be to get 2 or more smaller chairs of some sort (or maybe an upholstered bench under the window + chair) plus a little table, and make more of a 'conversation' space.

Tough call, any thoughts out there?

Im also planning to do a painting for the blank back wall above the daybed in the sunroom, I might get going on that this weekend if I have time, so stay tuned for that one!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

15 minutes of fame

I feel like a rockstar today! I was preparing to enter the Apartment Therapy Small Cool comp, clicked over to check out the entry details, when BAM! My own desk was looking back at me!!

Yep, I was featured on Apartment Therapy San Francisco today, and I am beside myself with excitement! Im so honoured that they like my desk, Im so proud of it and all the effort that went in to it, so its the biggest pat on the back for it to be shown on my favourite website. Hooray!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Our little lounge room

We're at home tonight, kicking back to enjoy Earth Hour after a long & tiring day.

We bought our little house in Sydney (about 5mins from the CBD) in December, and it makes me so happy that its ours. I absolutely *heart* my little house. Its 115 years old, on one of the oldest streets in one of the first suburbs in Sydney, so it has gorgeous floorboards and the most divine deep skirting boards. The light streams in here all day, so even though its small it feels so light and lovely.

I have been slowly unpacking everything over the past few months, buying new things here and there, finding spots for everything in our little home. Theres still some things to do - in this room I want to paint the walls up to the picture rail to really make the white ceilings/trim/skirting boards pop. I also want to get a Tulip side table for in here - I think it would be just perfect with the whites.
The art is waiting patiently for a decision on the wall colour, leaning nonchantly against the wall waiting for us to finally make up our minds. The little tiles on it are all letters that can be moved around to make words - when people come by to visit there are often little messages left on it for us. Currently on there is 'holy toledo batman', as well a nice mixture of nonsense and the occasional 'gnu'.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Ok, I am going to admit my guilty pleasure here:

My name is Danielle and I am a Ebay Watchaholic.

Sad but true - I like to dig up wonderful Ebay finds, pop them on my watchlist, then never quite get around to buying them. Im not entirely sure why I do it - I think its partly being on a budget (Sydney mortgage = no cash for luxuries), and partly because I just cant decide what I want! I guess its a form of window shopping, no?

For instance, some of my latest interests:

(top) Replica Eames Walnut LCW - went for about $150, they got a bit of a bargain I think
(below) Replica Saarinen Tulip Marble Side Table - went for just over $215, retails about $250 up
(bottom) Replica Noguchi Coffee Table - went for about $250, about average on Ebay

Now given that the house is tiny, there really is no room for random Eames chairs, nor is there space for two coffee tables. But they are all so beautiful, I want them! I think the Saarinen is the most practical one, given that its small and versatile, but Ive lusted after a Noguchi
forever, and the Eames is just ridiculously good looking.

*sigh* See my dilemma? I guess Ill just have to keep daydreaming unless my house (and bank balance) miraculously grows!

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Years Resolutions

Our little slice of paradise (emphasis on little!)
Its almost a year since I last posted to my poor little blog, and similar to my last post there have been a multitude of changes in my life, not least of which has been becoming a home owner for the very first time! So my focus has shifted a little from wedding plans to floorplans, flower arrangements to furniture, and modern ceremony to mid-century modern style!
In a nutshell: life is pretty sweet, but I still have some bigs plans for the future and Ive gathered a few thoughts on how to get there. I have been pondering how to fufill my work aspirations, expand my skills and feel good about myself and my place in the world. I think that writing it down (and sticking to my promise to post more often!) is probably a good way to start.
So here it is - my Handy Dandy 2008 New Years/Life Resolutions (backdate these to New Years Eve)
  1. Post to blog more often (alright, so right now more often can mean anything under 6 months per post, so I will quanitfy this one at at least twice a week)
  2. Design & be creative/crafty for 2 hours per day - either for someone or for myself - with the view to earning enough from design to eventually work for myself
  3. Work out how to become a carbon neutral household, or at the very least more environmentally conscious
  4. Have a 'screen free' day one night per week - no computer, no TV, no phone

Some of these are pretty simple & shouldnt take long to acheive - for instance I just need to get my butt to the pilates class and rejoin - and some are quite large goals, like being able to work for myself. Some of them I have already started, and some are things I want to do over time to be a better person all-round and more of a global citizen. Im thinking the blog will now document the progress of these, as well as the progress of making my little house into our first real home.

Wish me luck, Ive got a lot of work to do! :)

PS. Im super interested to know if anyone is still out there reading this blog? There was a bit of interest earlier on, particularly with my japanese crafting things, but its certainly been a long time between posts and Im wondering if youre still about. Leave me a comment to say hello if youre stopping by again (or just arriving!)