May 30, 2013

Pop Up Sale & Treasure Hunt

If you've been following myself, Kijaro, or Her Library Adventures on Blogger, Facebook or Instagram, I hape that you know we're holding a Vintage Treasure Hunt and Pop Up Sale!

Hosted by the fabulous Kim over at Kijaro, this is going to be a wonderful, fun filled day where you can come along and find that perfect piece, eat cupcakes and have a chat.

Held in Moorooka, Brisbane on Saturday 8 June between 9am and 2pm, so you have plenty of time for a look.

So, this weekend I will be buckling down, sorting through all the lovely goodies I'll have on offer (I'm talking lots of Johnsonware here - including full sets!), and making tags and bunting for my display.

If you're in Brisbane on 8 June please please please come along for a hunt, a cup of coffee and say hello!

April 26, 2013

Lemon and Pistachio Slice

I'm a chocoholic. I grew up in a family of them and I always will be a member of this delicious club. But I've got a soft spot for anything lemony - lemon meringue pie, lemon sour cake and now, lemon and pistachio slice. This recipe is super easy (retro Bessemer or Pyrex optional!)

Dough Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

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                                                                              Filling Ingredients
60g butter
1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind
1/2 cup of caster sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut 

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                                                                                   Lemon Icing
1 1/2 cups of icing sugar
1 teaspoon of soft butter
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (approximately)
1/2 cup of crushed/chopped pistachios (approximately)

What to Do
1. Sift flour into medium bowl, stir in sugar, rub in butter, add egg yolks and essence. 
2. Mix ingredients into a firm dough.
3. Press the dough into the base of a greased slice or brownie tray.
4. Bake at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes, and meanwhile make the filling.
5. Beat the butter, rind and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until it is smooth.
6. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
7. Stir in the remaining filling ingredients.
8. Pour the filling over the hot dough base and bake at 180 degrees for a further 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Meanwhile, make the lemon icing.
9. Sift the sugar into a small heatproof bowl, stir in the butter and enough juice to make a stiff paste. I like a really lemony icing so I add quite a more lemon, along with more icing sugar.
10. Stir the mixture in the bowl over hot water until it is spreadable.
11. Stand the slice for 10 minutes once it has baked in the pan, then spread with the lemon icing, and sprinkle with the pistachio nuts. 

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Someone stole the corner!

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And now - eat!

April 21, 2013


First up - the loungeroom.

Being a small, renovated worker's cottage, the loungeroom doesn't provide much space to work with. Good thing there's only two of us then!

The horrendous futon is now hidden away downstairs and in it's place is this deliciously comfy corner lounge. Squishy cushions and enough room for both of us to lie down means it's perfect for movie watching, Jamie Oliver drooling and My Kitchen Rules yelling ("why would you do that? HURRY UP" - yes, I know it's terrible, it's a horrible addiction).

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The couch is from Super Amart but surprisingly, it's comfortable and right now it just suits what we need. The coffee table is a replica Noguchi table that we bought from Replica Furniture - if you live in Brisbane and are in need of something new, I cannot recommend them enough! While we were there I fell in love (again) with Eames chairs and naturally, decided to get 6 of them when they come back in stock.

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This little guy has got the hang of things

While delving around the Internet for cheapish decor, I came across Society 6. Entering Society 6 is like falling down a rabbit hole. You could spend hours on there and not even realise ... like 2 ... ok 3 hours, it's addictive. The prints are designed by artists all over the world and some can be made into cushions, shirts, iPhone cases, pretty much anything really. I've chosen the prints below as well as a few cushions to go with our new couch. Hopefully they'll give the place a happy, colourful vibe and once I frame them they'll adorne the walls in my office, the kitchen (the whisk print was too cool not to get) and the lounge.

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ONE The Whisk Wasn't the Tallest by Marc Johns | TWO Easter Green by Colour Project | THREE Life is the Glorious Adventure by Twiggs Design | FOUR Wander by Wesley Bird | FIVE Ampersand by Matthew Taylor Wilson | SIX Tilting Triangles by Gary Andrew Clarke | SEVEN Retrographic by Budi Satria Kwan | EIGHT Orange Lollipop by Colour Project | NINE Future Globes 001 by Matthew Korbel-Bowers

So, it's getting there. Slowly but surely we'll have a home, and not just a house. And if you spend hours on Society 6, I'm sorry! (But let me know what you get)

April 12, 2013

7 Vignettes - April

A few weeks ago I was gifted an iPhone, and I've been snap happy and addicted to Instagram ever since. It's though this that I discovered the 7 Vignettes Challenged, created by the amazing Jen at Interior's Addict - it was just the creative challenge I needed. I had an absolute ball of a time putting these vignettes together, discovering stories, and perving on the beauty that can be created in this challenge.

I hope that you enjoy my vignettes almost as much as I enjoyed making them.

Day One - Favourite.
I love colour and The Beatles, so naturally this is a mishmash of the two. My mint condition Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band record I found when I was 16 (complete with cutout moustaches), a retro Micky Mouse phone, and glass vases - one filled with old coloured cotton collected over the years. 

Day Two - Layered.
My mum's fabric cupboard. Perfect in every way.

Day Three - Gifts.
I love wrapping gifts, I love receiving gifts. I was just lucky that it was my birthday the next day and these beauties were all ready to go. 

Day Four - Everyday.
A cup of tea is vital to the start of every morning.

 Day Five - Soft.
Inspired by the softness of feathers and silk, I just wanted to lay my head on this collection. 

Day Six - Rough.
Being from Central Queensland originally it would be a crime not to think of a pineapple as rough - in fact our whole town got together once a year to have 'Pinefest', I was even dressed as a pineapple on a kindergarten float when I was young. 

Day Seven - Secondhand.
Oh the choices I had for this theme! I could hardly contain myself to only three photos.

Antique books, tassels, oil lamp and typewriter

Only the best way to display old knitting needles. 

This is my family's 1926 Nash Ajax - a beautiful old cream car with red leather seats. Complete with vintage suitcases, driving goggles and gloves and a few scarves it's perfect for picniking. 

Hands down, my favourite theme to set up was secondhand. My house is full of it, I could have just photographed everything. I think the first theme, favourite, was the hardest - I just have so many favourite things it got difficult not to overload everything. 

I cannot wait til the themes for next month are listed, and a big thankyou to Interior's Addict for giving me something to look forward to!

March 25, 2013

House shots

Just a few house shots as we slowly get around to cleaning and organising - so much sugar soap, so many rags and ladders everywhere. 

Loungeroom - complete with retro side table, sunflowers, medical prints, Pyrex and chocolate

I managed to wash half the walls in the loungeroom, the half I can actually reach. The colour difference is amazing! Most walls in the house are a creamy colour with a dark mint green trim, which makes for lovely bright rooms now their clean. But the old owners decided to decorate with pastel walls, grey carpet and a black and white tiled hallway - I guess the 90's wasn't only harsh on fashion.

When the sun's out, the cats will nap. In amongst some vintage sheets. 

The other side of the front garden. We have a path! Check out here for a picture of what it looked like before. So much more needs to be ripped out, well pretty much all of it bar the trees, and we'll have much more of an idea of how much room we have to work with when it's all gone. 

Setting up my studio. The trunk came from the Paddington Antique Centre in Brisbane in my first year of university. I remember being awestruck when my parents took me there, there was so much to see, so much to drink in. Although I had a tiny dorm room at college, I saw this trunk and absolutely had to have it. The suitcase I picked up this morning from my local op shop for $4. $4! Yes please. 

March 20, 2013

Fashion Film

I adore Lizzie Caplan. Ever since Mean Girls, her and her characters have left me feeling like a I have a kindred spirt and also left me in stitches. 

Plus, the movie Bacherlorette was seriously underrated. 

If you have a slightly warped and self-deprecating sense of humour, I'm sure you'll enjoy this clip as much as I do. 

March 14, 2013

Life and other things

It's been so long since my last post! Life has been pretty full on this month - I've discovered I can grow flowers in our new and improved garden, moving boxes of fabric and Johnsonware to their new homes in new cabinets, washing countless walls and getting the odd bit of work done here and there.

Pretty pink petunias and pottering around the garden in Naughty Shorts dresses.

So much Johnsonware has been unpacked, and I discovered the most delightful full set complete with roses and scalloped edges. It's absolutely divine, but although I love it I just cannot keep everything (much to my dismay). So this beauty has gone up for sale on the Facebook page, along with some more flowery cups and saucers 

The ones on the right are a special love of mine!

Some painting has also been going on, mostly just painting some desk storage for the moment (practising really). I do have some ideas for some embroidered prints, and if my test runs are ok I think I'll put them up on the page as well. I'd love your feedback when I do!

The most ah-mazing fudge in the whole wide world - Turkish Delight and Caramel Macadamia. As you might see, someone already had a bite of it before I could take a photo!

While ripping out the garden we met our neighbours - and it turned out they actually used to own this house and the ones around it! They renovated it themselves back in the 1990's and Vogue Australia photographed the house. Pretty exciting. They had this particular photograph framed, making us realise just how good the place can look once we do it up. Don't you just love the tiled hallway?!

I'll get some more photos from them and do a bit of a comparison as we go, and I'll update them as we go from room to room. But for now, it's just cleaning cleaning and more cleaning!

February 23, 2013

Dirt, dirt everywhere

What a week! Apart from non stop work for some files due, this week was spent having my parents down, introducing my little sister to the wide world of University and O-Week and working on the house.

Although the house needs a lot of work (come at me pluming, drainage and electrical problems) we decided to start small and tackle the garden. Start small indeed, only half has really been touched. We ended up discovering that our fence lies about 2 metres from where we originally thought because the garden had become so overgrown. Essentially it all just came out - ferns, small trees, bushes - and replaced with mock orange bushes, agapanthus and petunias. There will be a sea of flowers sometime soon (hopefully!). What I really wanted was some beautiful hydrangeas, but after discovering that they're not in season for at least another six months I realised just how much I have to learn about this gardening business.

All in all, we ended up getting rid of half a tonne of green waste, which sounds like a lot but really was only two ute loads.  But there is so much more to come out. Has anyone done a compete overhaul of a garden before? Any hints for a complete newbie?

It's a jungle in there!

The progression. 

My Mum also brought down for me this amazing antique Post Office cupboard that came from a small town out in western Queensland. It's going to be done up in the future, but for now it's perfect for storing all my fabrics/canisters/everything.

1/10th of the canister collection to be relocated.

Finishing touches of a colourful doorknob. 

I've taken the front room of the house to become my study/studio space, so this is where the cupboard is going to stay. The walls are in need of a good clean and a paint to brighten it up, but what's needed right now is a rug. Bare wooden floors are beautiful but I can't wait to feel a bit of something beneath my feet. 

Perhaps something like this? If anyone knows of some great (and cheapish) rug stores around Brisbane, please let me know.

I hope your week was filled with many wonderful happenings as well, and your weekend is being spent lazing around in the heat.

February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day

Ahh Valentine's Day. A day either loathed or loved. Or you can be completely impartial to it, like I am. Either way I hope you had a wonderful day with a full heart. 

A vintage wallpapered heart, that is. 

Still, I was home and avoiding doing the growing pile of work to be completed (edit - by next Friday! Argh!! Where has the time gone?) and so I decided to make red velvet cupcakes. After rescuing Ruby my beautiful red Kitchenaid from her hiding spot, it dawned on me that I don't actually have a recipe for these delightful treats. After trawling through countless Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks I came up empty-handed - I love those books but I couldn't believe I didn't have one! One phone call later, and the middle sister provided foolproof instructions.

Hey girl.

My sous chef and the prettiest cupcake cases. 

The next issue facing this undomestic goddess was the icing. Thinking 'these are Valentine's cupcakes, I couldn't just use buttercream!' was probably the winner for worst thought of the day. I should have just stuck to what I know.

My attempt to make 'Silky Smooth Frosting' failed abysmally, and quite a bit of abuse was hurled at the poor egg whites. Never mind - onto 'Fluffy Frosting'. First the syrup - check, no failure there. Then the egg whites - this time they cooperated. Then ... The piping bag. Oh hello, old friend. Or should I say, enemy.

Even more abuse was thrown at the piping bag before the bag itself was thrown (with quite a bit of vigour) into the sink. Fine. Spreading it on with a knife would do.

Finished product. 

And finally, 15 gorgeous cupcakes emerged - admired and then devoured. And I was left vowing to learn how to ice properly. Just a small hurdle to jump.

Did anyone do something very special for Valentine's? Any other baking difficulties?

The sweetest Rifle card. 

PS. I've now entered the real world and got an iPhone. Follow @mynanasjoy on Instagram!

February 13, 2013

The best of times

This Sunday saw me head to an afternoon tea with three of the most beautiful creative and collective people out there. Hosted by Laura from Kit and Nancy, I (finally) met the amazing Sophie from Her Library Adventures and Kim from Kijaro, the collector queen.

That's right - it was an afternoon tea that dreams are made of and one that lasted 5 hours. Johnson jugs, a bit of Staffordshire and some of the sweetest treats you could ever imagine. Hours flew by discussing crazy op shopping stories, the love of Naughty Shorts dresses, our collections, design and style, and what's next for the future. It was just so lovely to be around people who truly understand the need to fossick around and collect, create and generally be a bit different.

Under strict instructions from Tom not to bring back anything (because that's usually the case when I visit Laura's) I naturally wandered through the front door clutching an armful of treats. I will miss this girl when she up and leaves us all for Europe and the bright lights and love filled hearts of Rotterdam.

Wallpaper and daisy delights.

I had Tom home with me yesterday, which is so rare and so lovely. Usually he's out the door by 7am and not back until 7 at night. Out all day in Cardiology, and moving to Anaesthetics next. People sometimes say to me 'what a power couple - a doctor and a lawyer, you must both be smart'. To which I think, this is the boy who has his boxers on back to front and plays in boxes with our cats; he's just a big kid at heart. And I love him to pieces.

So we ventured into the city despite the threatening rain and I wandered around the Cultural Centre, filling myself with fascination and inspiration.

Rain clouds coming in over the cold stone. 

Such a contrast to my (very) early morning yoga sessions. Every weekday for the month of February and I'm proud to say I've been going strong!

Tom had been thinking about buying a Mini Cooper for a while now, sort of a congratulatory present and something to make us feel good after a pretty horrible year, and so we made a impulse trip to a car yard.

And there it was. All hot chocolate and toffee coloured - with seats that look so delicious you could just take a bite out of them. One test drive later and we both had the biggest grins on our faces.

What have we done?!?

February 1, 2013

Hello Sunshine!

After a crazy week of weather, it's nice to finally see the sun out and shining. I hope that nobody was affected by the wind, floods and rain and that the water has gone and power is back on for you all. Thankfully we were fine as we're on a hill, but my poor black car had turned brown from all the mud blown into her. Least of my worries though.

So now that it's passed and sunny again, it was time to discover some unknown areas around Brisbane. Which naturally led me to some op shops, whereupon I discovered this beauty - an amazing retro sheet set in perfect condition!

I love when I discover pieces that have a little bit of history in them. This suitcase was owned by a Maxwell and by the looks of it, he had modified the inside to fit his old video camera. Tres cute, and it's going to be a wonderful place for the vintage cameras I got for Christmas.

Labels on the case and German instructions for the camera.

Last week I picked up the mixing bowls of this floral Pyrex pattern and I recently found the matching dish. Isn't it crazy that you can find matching items at totally different areas, days, weeks or months apart? I'd love to here what matching items you've found that have come about in different ways.

And the cutest Disney Word Book that a small child had a taken a love of drawing to. I'm going to save some of the pictures and put them into frames for around the house - there's sections for the kitchen, garden, toys, animals and the drawings are just too adorable to let go.

Cuteness overload.

Boat and bunting!