Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Moving over to Tumblr

Hello hello!
Just a quick note to let you know that I am moving my blog over to Tumblr, so I won't be updating at this blogspot address anymore.
Please update your links and come join me at my new blog home!

Blogger has served me well over the years but I think I may be more suited to the 'microblogging' style of Tumblr (as you can probably tell - my posts have been few and far between lately, mainly because it just takes too long to actually sit down and create a post)

Hopefully this new tool will enable me to keep you more up to date with all my design, crafts and homemaking.

See you over at Tumblr!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Rolling! Action! Cut!

The stand-off - Morty versus the Horse

I mysteriously mentioned in my last post that something exciting had been happening in my neighbourhood, and now its time for the big reveal... they have been filming a TV series right outside my house! It's a kids TV series for the ABC and its based on the book My Place by Sally Morgan. It's all about one house and the children that lived in it from the 1800's through to now. And the house chosen to be used in the series is right across the street! How exciting!

So for the past couple of months every week or so they block off the street, bring in the film crew and film the exterior shots for the show. It's been facinating watching them out the window, with different props and cars and costumes to represent the era they are filming that session.

The first week was the 1800's, and they completely covered the road in dirt. Unfortunately that day (and it seems most days they are filming here!) there was torrential rain, so the dirt road turned into a giant mud pie. All the more authentic I guess!

The horses were 'parked' right outside our house - Morty was not too thrilled to see them, and the horses were not so fond of Morty either!

As carriages thundered up and down the street all day, I couldn't help but wonder if they might wake up a ghost in the house - our house is very old, and its such a surreal sound to hear a horse and carriage at full flight. It is a deep rumble that rattles the windows, I thought for sure it would stir something from the past, but so far no ghosts have emerged (that I know of!)

Left 2009 - Right 1889. It looks so authentic with the dirt road and horse and cart!

It's such a fun thing to have happen in your street, I love hearing the calls for 'Quiet please, rolling!', 'Action!' and 'Cut!' as I'm working away here on my computer. I can't wait for the series to air so that I can see if our house made it into the background of any shots :)

The Snapper Board Guy

READING: The 5C's of Photo Styling, a great guide with beautiful example shots (via Mint)

LOVING: Unique Michael Jackson tributes here and here and here. We are both big fans of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, and have been listening with heavy hearts to Thriller and the Best of the Jackson 5 since we heard the news. RIP MJ, I hope you have finally found peace.

INSPIRING: I'm looking for inspiration at the moment - I have some new projects coming up that are exciting and different, but after my last project which was so long and draining (finally finished, but with some finishing touches STILL to go) its hard to have to start all over again!

COMING UP: I did a spot (or should I say stripe?) of painting over the weekend, I can't wait to show you the result!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm still alive!

I did some rearranging in the study/sunroom, and swapped
out the plant from the bathroom to the little side table.
Morty doesn't appear too pleased about it.

Omg, I can't believe that in my last post I couldn't believe it was mid April. And now its MID JUNE. Holy cow!

Good news is that Delaks is growing quite rapidly. I've been up to my eyeballs in work, which can be a little stressful at times, but I'm certainly not complaining! I've just finished up on some beautiful wedding invites - a trifold, bi-lingual invite with pocket and 2 extra cards. All of the folders were hand cut and folded, as was the information in each panel. They ended up so beautiful and stylish in cream with a gold shimmer.

Creams and golds with accents of lucky red and purple,
difficult to photograph but divine in real life!

I have a big website which I am about to finish which has been eating up all my time (day and night) since... well, since mid April. That hasn't allowed much time for doing things around the house, but there have been a few small home improvements squeezed in here and there which I will update you on soon, as well as some exciting events in the neighbourhood that I'm dying to tell you about. As soon as the big website project is done, I am going to take some time out and do some projects I've had on my mind:
  • Revamping the back deck - this is in progress, but we have big plans for out there
  • Painting a wall with some wide blue stripes, you'll have to wait to see where!
  • Creating some bulldog art (hopefully it turns out as I'm envisioning)
  • Adding to my etsy store - I have some great ideas for new products and some improvements to my current items
  • Finally purchasing some chairs for the empty space in the lounge room
  • Possibly creating a library a la this one in Real Living magazine (see the black and white shelves in the middle of the last picture?) instead of the Expedit, it has served me well but I am slowly trying to de-Ikea our house
  • Also from Real Living magazine, adding some decorative molding to my walls similar to Michelle from Rubie Green
  • Redesigning my own website
  • Blog about all of the above and more! :)

To tide you over until then, here are some gratuitous Morty photos:

Seriously, could this dog be any cuter?

Why yes, yes he can!

READING: M-A-Belle - Michelle is so inspiring, she's my age and she has a fabulous international company selling gorgeous eco friendly designer fabric. And she lives in Manhattan.

LOVING: Guy singlehandedly starts dance party totally cracked me up today (via The Small Joys)

INSPIRING: It seems the youngsters over at This Young House had the same stripy wall ambitions as I do!

COMING UP: I still owe you a freebie don't I? It's coming, I promise!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Catch Up

Gee whiz, time is absolutely flying at the moment - can you believe its
mid April already? I swear it was Christmas just last week...

I've got quite a few exciting things to catch you all up on! Firstly, my little Etsy store has been coming along nicely with a few sales already :) Thanks so much to everyone who has purchased from my store, it makes my day each time I get an 'order' email! And a HUGE thanks to Al Ain Notebook and Baby Daniel and Us for featuring my bookplates on their blogs, you guys are gems! :) I am hoping to get some new printable items and paintings up there soon.

Speaking of paintings, I also received some pics of some of my commissioned paintings hanging all the way over in Ireland, its such a thrill to see my work on someone elses wall... in a whole other country no less!

My paintings - in Ireland! via Sixblackdots

I've also been working on some wedding invitations and I'm quite pleased with how they turned out:

And a detail of the invites is at the top of the page

I think the hit of yellow (a piece of the brides favourite painting, Klimt's The Kiss) on the envelope liner is a winner.

I also had a huge clear out over the past couple of weeks and sold everything on ebay. Can you believe I had over $400 worth of stuff just hanging about? Neither can I! With my windfall I shouted myself to the blue ceramic kettle I've been dreaming of (pics in situ soon), a (faux) Chloe bag in my fave shade Martha blue for a total steal, and a sensational trench coat as its getting rather chilly these days. And I still have some moola left over! :)

READING: The Brick House - sensational style... and it totally cracks me up!

INSPIRING: I am determined to earn enough money as a freelance designer to go to New York for my birthday this year, so this Ork print is now right above my computer as a constant reminder what I'm working towards. I know, its a crazy business goal to have, but it works!

LOVING: Layer Tennis: finally a sport I can get into ;)

I have a FREEBIE to download coming up over the next couple of days, so stay tuned!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Before & After: Study Bookcase

I had a couple of pics of this up on my Flickr a while ago but I realised I never posted about it here! I have a white Billy bookcase in my study/sunroom, tucked neatly into the awkward corner between the door to the kitchen and the french doors out onto the deck. There is not a lot of storage in our house, and with me running my little business from this room and the hubby studying his MBA at the same time... well, lets just say the junk had piled up in the bookcase.

So I took the time recently to do a bit of a spring clean and tidy and its so much better now, both to look at and find things in!

Here are the before shots - not nice at all. Textbooks and pens and stationary supplies and folders and paperwork everywhere!

And here are the afters: the folders all lined up nicely, stationary tucked into the little white boxes and paper supplies neatly filed into the magazine holders. The plain cardboard box on the top shelf was a cheapy from Ikea and holds all those annoying little electronic bits and pieces - mobile phones and chargers, adapters, extra cables etc. I wrapped the box in white paper, with a panel of blue striped scrapbooking paper on the front to tie in with the other blue items.

The blue fabric covered document tray on the second shelf was from Target, marked down from $20 to $8, and I also bought the matching mouse mat for my desk for just $1!

And I know theres been a bit of a backlash against colour coded books, but you can't deny that it makes Physics and Calculus and assorted other textbooks look damn fine ;)

Its amazing what a difference a simple tidy and organisation can make, and its so easy to find everything and keep it clean when everything has its place.

In other news, the recycled plastic rugs I bought on ebay for out on the roof terrace and back deck have arrived and they look fabulous! My only tiny worry is that Morty seems to have developed a taste for the rug on the back deck, he's already nibbled a small hole so I hope he doesn't destroy them. The back deck is currently a bit of a blank slate so no pics just yet, but I'm thinking with my economic stimulus payment from K Rudd I'm going to get a lovely outdoor lounge for out there. And all I need on the terrace is a shade sail or umbrella, and then I can show you its final before and after as well.

PS. I have added a new item to my Etsy store - printable bookplates & bookmarks :)

READING: The Brick House, a fabulous renovating/decorating blog I've just discovered via Apartment Therapy. This gal is the thrifting queen - so many wonderful midcentury pieces on a budget of less than $100 per piece, including a beautiful George Nelson light fixture for just $6!

INSPIRING: This post on Modish (via Avie Designs, also a HUGE inspiration at the moment), such a pick-me-up during a crisis of confidence.

LOVING: Kelly Giesen (website and new blog and a great set of shots of her place on Flickr), also via Apartment Therapy. Her fireplace/TV storage shown below is to die for, I wonder if I could do something similar in our place?

Kelly Giesen's TV/fireplace, via Flickr

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

White Out

The majority of my house is white, with accents of blue and black. I love how crisp and light it is, but it sure is hard to maintain! Case in point: my skirting boards. Now, the skirting boards are one of my favourite things about my home - they are lovely, deep and original to the house. However, they are also disgusting. See pic below:

And this is just after cleaning them! There is beading at the bottom which was never painted properly in the first place, compounded by the fact that when the floors were polished they obviously didn't remove the beading so there is floor stain on it as well. The skirting boards themselves had also become a bit yellowed with age. I had been contemplating repainting them for a while, and today was the day - I busted out the semi-gloss white acrylic and got to it. A couple of hours later I had done most of the skirting boards around the ground floor and the door trim upstairs. Morty and I both are both covered in paint, but what a difference!!

Needs a bit of touching up, but it really is true that white paint can fix everything.

And while we're in a white mood, here's the info I've been promising on the interactive art hanging in our loungeroom:

It was made by my sister as her Year 12 major art piece, and while its original intention was to demonstrate that the meaning of art is irrelevant as each viewer interprets each piece differently from the artist's intention... in actual fact its also a really fun piece to have hanging in your lounge. She has never told us what the original sentence was (hence the idea of the original meaning being lost), but everyone who comes over likes to leave a little message of their own. For quite a while it read 'Holy Toledo Batman' which made me chuckle.

The construction is pretty simple: 2 canvases, primed and painted white. The letters were then printed onto clear sticker paper, and mounted onto foam core which was then cut into 'tiles' for each letter. A velcro sticky dot on the back means that the letters can be changed around as we please. Voila! :)

READING: Quotes about reading & books, for a soon-to-be-released new product in my Etsy store. My favourite so far: "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss So true!

INSPIRING: Tsk Tsk (website and blog), a fellow Aussie and a prolific and very talented artist/crafter. Her works are all so lovely and unique. Something to aspire to!

LOVING: Font Squirrel - I love me some free fonts, so this site is heaven. All beautiful, all gratis. Fabulous!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Open For Business

Well, it's taken me a while but I'm finally on the Etsy bandwagon and I'm absolutely thrilled! I've had so many ideas floating around in my head lately, so I decided its about time I got some of them out and into the marketplace. So far I have one item in my shop (my 'You Rock' printable gift card set), but I will be adding more over the coming week or so.

So here's where you come in - is there something you would like to see in the Delaks Etsy store? I've had some requests for the bird paintings as seen in my living room, so I will have some original paintings and prints of those up there soon. I'm also thinking some wedding invitation sets, personal stationary and some fun birthday invitations. What do you think?

In other news, I missed out on a pair of white leather Wassily chairs on Ebay last week and I'm a bit sad about it. They went for $172, not that much at all and I should have bid but but my thrifty side kicked in and I chickened out at the last minute... which I then immediately regretted. We have house guests staying over the weekend and I really want the house to be 'finished', so I am thinking I may have to try and strike a deal with my favourite reproduction place and see what chairs I can find. But happily a blue/green glass bowl I recently found for $2 while out thrifting is in Home Beautiful
this month in their 'Style Hunter' feature for $16.95 :) Score!

And a big Hello to Monique of My Little Humble (check out her fabulous purses!) and Catherine of Little Glowing Lights (just plain fabulous!), now added to my Aussie blog list on the right.

I've just discovered The Dieline, a fantastic blog of high end packaging design. Total designer eye candy.

INSPIRING: fffound, an oldie but a goodie - I could spend hours clicking through all the interesting images

LOVING: The Presets Apocalypso album - track 11 'Anywhere' is divine, it gives me goosebumps everytime

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Guerilla Gardening Redux

Hello! Although its now Autumn down under, I've been feeling distinctly 'Springy' lately and have been getting back into gardening. I have been a fan of the guerilla gardening movement for quite a while, and lately since I've been watching Guerilla Gardeners I've been inspired to get out there and get planting!

First up, it was the little nature strip garden on the footpath outside my house. I wish I had taken a before photo of this - imagine a big pile of dirt and leaves, rocks roughly strewn around the edges and the long strappy plants dotted randomly among it, and you're getting close to the untidy mess that this garden was before. I pulled everything out, dug the whole thing over, rebuilt the rock edging, added some new top soil, planted some colourful marigolds and replanted the strappy plants along the back. Its very bright, but if you can't be bright in the garden where can you? The little pot was recycled, it holds pink Sweet Williams and sits on top of an old tree stump I uncovered.

Not a very expensive makeover at all: 5x tall yellow marigolds, 5x short orange marigolds, 1x pink sweet william (all $2.20 each), recycled pot (free), bag of soil and bag of mulch ($3 and $5)
TOTAL = $32.20 for colourful nature strip

I also have a little planter near my letterbox and a pot beside of my front door which needed new plants, so they got a makeover too.

New conifer for beside the door ($12), 4x Sweet Williams ($2.20 each), 2x grey trailing plant beside planter (free from council), leftover mulch from front garden
TOTAL = $20.80 to revamp the front verandah

Next on the list was my roof terrace off the bedroom. I needed some pots up there to block off access to the top of the roof of the deck downstairs as a certain bulldog thinks its hilarious to run around and around on the roof where mama can't catch him. It's super hot and sunny up there so I thought it was the perfect place for a little herb garden:

The horrible 'before' shot - please ignore my washing!

After - much nicer!

Strawberries, rosemary, basil and mint

Little strawberries are already on the way!

I have also ordered an outdoor rug for up there from ebay, so I will post more 'after' pics of the terrace once it arrives.

3x Mint and 3x basil ($4 each), 3x strawberries and 3x rosemary ($5 each), 3x long planters ($20 each), 3x smaller square pots (I already had these so I'm not counting them in the total), 3x timber deck tiles ($20 each), 2x bags of soil and 1x bag of premium soil mix ($3 and $5), left over mulch from front garden
TOTAL = $185 for terrace transformation

Then, purely by chance, I was at the local Town Hall to do some paperwork and there were dozens of plants out the front. So I asked at the counter what the plants were for, and apparently our council gives plants away a couple of times a year and today was the day for free plants! So I grabbed 12 little bushes with purple flowers, and the 2 grey trailing plants now beside my letterbox.

Council garden beds - now with bushes!

Over the weekend I got right into the spirit of guerilla gardening and planted the 12 bushes in 2 little council gardens either side of a set of bollards near my house. The garden beds were dry and dusty with a smattering of straggly plants and rocks, so again I dug them over, added some of my left over soil, planted the new bushes in between the existing plants and mulched with my left over mulch.

12x bushes ($0), left over soil and mulch
TOTAL = literally priceless! :)

Gardening is so rewarding, don't you think?


Thanks to Ana of Rearranged Design for the lovely tour of our home :) Its an honour to be featured on such a great blog!

And a big hello to fellow Aussies Style is Eternal and Red Door Read - I'm always on the look out for blogs from down under, I've started a collection over there on the right so leave me a comment if you are a fellow Aussie too!

READING: The Happy Home, new blog from the web editor of my favourite magazine Real Living

INSPIRING: Eddie Ross does it again, this time with a fab carver chair makeover. There are some similar chairs on ebay at the moment, I wonder if I can pull off Eddie's look...?

LOVING: Vanilla Green Tea from Aldi, I drink it non stop

COMING UP: The post on our interactive art is still on the way, plus stay tuned as there will be an announcement regarding a new Delaks Etsy store soon!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hello, lover

I am SO excited. My darling hubby got me the best Valentines/wedding anniversary present EVER...

Yep, its the tulip side table in marble I have been lusting after for-like-ever! I must admit, it did take a little bit of subtle *cough* email hinting:


side table
Danielle (Delaks) [danielle@]
To: 'Lakshan De Silva'

I am watching a marble tulip side table on ebay, it’s a genuine one (not a fake), it has one bid at $200 and it conveniently finishes on valentines day. Just letting you know… ;) xxxx


Unfortunately, though we did bid on that one on Valentines Day, it went for about $400 which is a little outside our budget. BUT - my fave replica store had it on special this week for $275, so off we went yesterday to pick it up! Hooray!!

I'm thinking when I eventually find a pair of chairs for the other side of the room it will go between them (similar to Victoria's set up), but for now its near the lounge and looking damn fine.

It's like a mirage or something, I keep walking in to the room and seeing it there but it hasn't yet sunk it that I actually own it! I'm so thrilled!!

READING: Cheap Healthy Good - well written, great recipes, practical and hilarious!
INSPIRING: I'm into illustrators at the moment as its an art I am trying (currently unsuccessfully) to master. I am loving the beautiful work of Yara Kono (found via Flickr)
LOVING: This interior - it was blogged all over the place but it really is beautiful. Something to aspire to in our own house I think!
COMING UP: I've had lots of questions about the interactive art in the lounge room, so stay tuned for an upcoming post about it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Domestic Bliss

The table set ready for the strawberry & cream tea party

So its been a little over a month since I left the rat race and started working for myself. And I must say it has been brilliant. All the heartache and bullying and unrecognised work at my previous job seem (almost) worth it to be where I am now. Working my own hours, coming home to Morty in the hot afternoons, and earning similar to what I did before but working about 1/3 the time I did previously, it's absolutely wonderful. An unexpected side effect is that I have become Martha Stewart. Yep, I cook, I clean - I am now the hostess with the mostess. And I'm loving it! Case in point: it was my nan's 75th birthday last Friday, and my mum's 45th birthday on Sunday. So on Saturday I had them over for yum cha lunch at the Fish Markets followed by afternoon tea a la Martha at our house. The theme (yes, my afternoon tea had a theme): Strawberries & Cream.

The new pink dishes make an appearance, ready for strawberry jam & cream

We had apple tea cake as the birthday cake (too hot for heavy chocolate cake), pikelets with strawberry jam & cream, actual strawberries with cream, and strawberry & cream lollies. And creaming soda spiders because they are also pretty pink and white!

My inner-Martha emerges in the form of a festive garland

My 'Happy Birthday' banner is from Martha Stewart (rediscovered via Design Freebies), hung with mini Kikki-K pegs on a white ribbon. All round it was a great success, we all ate far too much and enjoyed the day thoroughly! Happy Birthday Nanny & Mum!

I've been thinking about a small new addition to posts - a few quick links to things that have sparked interest or inspiration recently. So from now on I will have a small link list at the end of posts - et voila!

READING: Renovation Planning (via Desire to Inspire). I just love aussie blogs!
INSPIRING: Illustrator Thom Glick's daily drawings and the gorgeous style of Helen Dardik (via Drawn! and Cupcakes & Cashmere/Etsy)
LOVING: Sunbeam Ceramic Kettle in blue, would looko fabbo in our kitchen (hint hint hubby!)

PS. Although its a rainy day here in Sydney, there are still terrible bushfires raging in Victoria - the worst bushfires in Australia's history. Many people have lost their homes, and far too many have lost their lives. Please visit the Red Cross to donate if you can.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Thrifty & (Un)Sticky

New pink glass bowls - just $2 each!

A million thanks to Victoria of SFGirlByBay for featuring our home in her 'Unexpected Guests' post this week :) I can't tell you how thrilled I am, its one of my favourite blogs. Hello to new readers who have linked across!

In other news, I went thrifting over the weekend. I was after chairs for the blank spot in the living room, but all I came home with was some sweet little dishes in pale pink glass, just $2 each. So pretty! I've eaten my icecream out of them every night since.

They are the palest of pale pinks, its tricky to photograph the colour, but this is pretty close

There are 4 of them, there were also 2 matching saucers as well but I thought I would be extra thrifty and save myself the $4.

Sticky no more!

Now I'm going to confess something quite silly here: I am totally thrilled this week because... I unstuck a sticky window. Small thing I know, but its made a HUGE difference to the study. It never used to open and it would get quite hot and stuffy in there because of all the glass, but no more! I used a sharp screwdriver and a bit of elbow grease to get it unjammed, and now the breeze comes straight in on me while I'm working away. Its so nice as the tinting on the glass is rippled, so I never used to be able to see outside - now I can gaze all day at the pretty tree in the park (whoops, I mean diligently work on my computer and not be distracted by the tree in the park).

I also missed out on these this week and they went for an absolute steal, what a bummer.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blank Slate

The chair, now living upstairs in the bedroom

So I had previously pondered what to do with the reading nook area, and eventually I settled on reupholstering the red chair. But over Christmas, the newly reupholstered chair moved up to the bedroom to make way for the Christmas tree, and I realised that I liked it much better up there. So now I am thinking that that half of the lounge room should be another sitting/conversation area for when we have lots of people (read: more than 2 in our tiny house) over, with a couple of chairs and ottoman or bench/coffee table. So I am now on the hunt for the perfect, smallish chairs and ottoman/table to fill the space.

Empty space awaiting new seating area.
(above) Looking towards the stairs,
and (below) looking towards the window.

I saw this chair on ebay, plus another in blue and another in red from the same seller, but I would want them to match and I was worried about reupholstering this style of chair. Then I totally forgot to bid anyway, and they havent relisted, so I'm back at square one.

Missed opportunity on ebay :(

I'm thinking this may also be the opportunity to get the Noguchi coffee table I've always wanted, but it could be a little too large for this space? And again, what chairs with it? I think for now I will leave it blank, ponder on it some more and wait for the perfect pieces to come along.

PS. Thanks Alysia for the lovely mention on the Bueller Designs blog! :)