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!