Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beautiful rugs on my wishlist

I have been on the search for a lovely rug for my studio room for some time now. I just love the Designer Guild numbers but they're unfortunately beyond my budget, as are the amazing rugs from Designer Rugs.
My current wishlist features a couple of the Amy Butler rugs - just gorgeous!

Hmm, apparently not available in Australia (despite being made in New Zealand) but I'm on the hunt :)

All images via

Monday, June 28, 2010

Roses, roses...

The new bed out in the backyard has left me with space for a bunch of new rose bushes. I just can't go past roses for some reason. My backyard features a red/purple/pink colour scheme so I've been deciding what to plant.
So far I've acquired the very pretty mauve Angel Face...

the David Austin rose, The Dark Lady...

the pretty Jane McGrath rose...

and the Brilliant Pink Iceberg...

I am planning to finish off the bed with some more David Austins. Decisions, decisions!

ps. regarding my orchids, I think the key is finding the right spot for them to live. I think I must have found that spot. Filtered light is best though I must say, mine are pretty well in shade throughout winter. I tend to neglect mine pretty well and occasionally I give them a soaking with some Yates Orchid fertiliser. I have to get Dad to come around and help me tidy them up. Oh the other thing, they've got to be in orchid mix which is very coarse and does not hold water, no potting mix allowed!

Images: 1st Photobucket, the rest, Treloar roses

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday flowers

My beautiful orchid flowers are coming to an end. It has been beautiful having them inside to enjoy. These pics are also taken through my old Kodak Duaflex camera with no image manipulation.
Thanks for your lovely comments about the pics in my last post and how funny is it that Rachael from It's Simple Love didn't even know this was supposed to be a renovation blog!! Whoops, hopefully I can remedy that soon :-)
Have a great Friday everyone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Around the house

I have been experimenting with ttv photography (through the lens) with my recently acquired vintage Kodak Duaflex II camera. The vintage feel of the shots seems to suit the very vintage feel of Molly's Maison!
I am hoping my renovation blog (yes, that's what Molly's Maison is supposed to be!) will (shock-horror) feature a bit of actual renovation in the weeks to come. Yay for "Wayne the plasterer" who is hopefully coming to give us a quote or two!

Monday, June 21, 2010

One stylish pooch

I couldn't resist taking a photo of Molly in her winter pajamas. How cute is she??

She really enjoys wearing her bespoke jumper hand knitted by my Mum.

You've really got to feel sorry for our little girl, suffering through winter in her fuzzy wool jumper and heated bed (inside next to mum and dad). Oh well. I say there's no point having a dog unless they're truly part of the family!!
I hope you all have a great week :-)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday flower

A pretty little flower blooming in my garden despite the wintry weather.
Happy Friday everyone - here's to a lovely weekend!
I'm off to see my friend Leonie's art exhibition tonight - I can't wait to see it.
Have a good one bloggies!
ps I'm also linking up with Joyce's Friday Pretties. Head over for a look at other pretty things!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

River fun

Sharon from My French Country Home is linking up with bloggers who have stories about living by the water. Living in Tasmania, and my city Hobart, we see water everywhere. I have been lucky enough to have a view of our Derwent River from all the places I have lived. I drive by and cross the river on my way to work. In summer we play on the river.
Lyndon is proud owner to a 1960 timber powerboat called Touchwood. She has a marinised Holden car engine and a whole bunch of vintage style. We enjoy taking her out on the river for a fun cruise on a sunny day. About half an hour or so up the river is a little town called New Norfolk (great for antiquing!). It's such a pretty place and the river, while not wide, is picturesque here. Above is a photo of Lyndon out on the water enjoying himself.
Being such a small boat, she can only go out in smooth, clear weather. It is funny how you come to 'read' the water and see the weather changes on the way. I'm not great 'in' the water, but just love being 'on' or near the water.
ps this photo was taken one summer a couple of years ago. At the moment Touchwood is undergoing maintenance and hopefully will be back in the water this coming summer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My giveaway win!

I was very pleased to receive a lovely parcel in the post the other day from fellow blogger Rachael from A Room for Everyone.

 I was lucky enough to win my very first bloggy giveaway - a fantastic catalogue from the Titanic exhibtition currently on show at the Melbourne Museum.
It's a fabulous catalogue that has really inspired Lyndon and I to consider a weekend in the big smoke. It covers the design, construction and of course that fateful voyage. It tells stories of the passengers with amazing historical images as well as pictures of the artifacts that make up part of the exhibition on display.

Love this pic of the deck :) Thanks so much Rachael!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

award + a game tag

I recently received the Life is Good award by Jess from the beat my heart skips. Thanks Jess! As part of it I am to answer some tricky questions.
Here goes:

1) What do you do when you're bored?
Well, I never think, "Hmm, I'm bored, I might just do some housework". Nope, I will browse the net, read, make another cuppa or weed a garden bed. Or just think for a bit.

2) Are you an autumn or spring?
Probably spring as I love the flowers but I must say, I really enjoyed all the amazing colours of autumn this year.

3) Quick! You're stuck at an airport for hours and the only options are crossword puzzles or an old novel that nobody's heard of. Which one do you pick?
Definitely a book. I will give any old book a go so long as it doesn't smell. I don't like the fusty book smell.

4) Jane Austen or Emily Bronte?
I love reading and have had numerous books on my to read list for many years but have to admit I haven't sat down to read anything by either of these authors (that I remember). I now, that's bad...

5) Do you feel prepared for the five other questions coming your way?
A rather strange question considering I have been answering these from the bottom up! What does that say? :)

6) Who's your hero?
Pretty much anyone who cares about others especially animals.

7) Favorite word?
At the moment I am quite partial to the word "pesky". It's a kind of cute word but gets a subtle message across. eg,"You are being rather pesky" = "you are being a pain in the butt".

8) Are you one of those "checklist" people or are you a "wing it and hope everything goes well" sort of person?
I do tend to write lists but then forget them and end up having to wing it.

9) What phrase has stuck with you in your life?
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". But I also like the one that goes something like, "Reach for the moon, if you don't make it you'll still fall amongst the stars".

10) If you were to choose between coffee and tea, which would you go with?
Well that's a no brainer...TEA...TEA and more TEA!!! I drink about 2 cup of coffee a year (I've had 1 so far this year).

(image via we heart it)
The lovely Nellie  from McCarthy Designs also tagged me to play along and answer some questions. Here goes!

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I'm very happy living where I do - I'd really never wish to move away from my family and friends. Having said that, I always feel at home in New Zealand (similar to Tassie) and the idea of a Parisian life is quite tempting.

(image via we heart it)
2. What is your favorite band?
I'm such a dag when it comes to music - I really only listen to it in the car and then I just listen to rock/pop and am happy to sing along to 80's music. How embarrassing. I should not be typing this!! I do like Seal, Robbie Williams and Kylie.

3. If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?
Well, I'd quite like to be Marc Jacobs, fashion designer to his own label and Louis Vuitton. I'd like a day designing handbags and accessories.
I'd also very much like to spend the day as an elephant keeper at Taronga Zoo, Sydney so I could play with the gorgeous baby elephant, Mr Shuffles (not his real name).

4. Concert or Broadway show?
Hmm, I don't go to many of either but saw Wicked on stage last year and loved it. So, maybe I'll go with a broadway show.

5. Theme song for your life?
This is so difficult, in fact I have been thinking about it for days. I copied Nellie and did an online quiz, my result was Beautiful Day by U2 (same as Nellie!). There must be others but I just can't think of anything. Maybe Slide by GooGoo Dolls or My Friend by Groove Armada?

6. Would you choose a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant or a picnic in the park?
I'd be happy with a lovey picnic on a sunny day. Lots of cheese please! Not to mention a nice glass of wine...

(image via we heart it)

7. Favorite place to shop?
I do love internet shopping as I love receiving parcels in the mail :)
I love a bargain so enjoy tip shopping and markets but at the same time, I like to save up (go without for a while) and then splurge on something really fancy.

8. Favorite movie?
Too many to choose by my favourites include Dirty Dancing, Chocolat (might have something to do with Johnny Depp), Enchanted April, Sound of Music, anything with Audrey Hepburn.

Thanks Jess and Nellie! Seeing as I just passed on some awards recently I might hold onto these for a while.
Images from Google and flickr unless otherwise noted. Sorry they're so small :)
Hope you're all having a great weekend (a long one if you live in Aus). We are off to the market and maybe lunch at a country pub :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Macarons take 2 + recipe

Thanks for your lovely comments about my macarons - I would have liked to have sent one to you all to enjoy with a cuppa.

The other day I made Raspberry macarons and the results were good, in fact they taste more like I imagine a macaron should taste. I didn't add enough colour to the mixture and then overdid it with the filling (which is unbelievably sweet) but they're quite nice I think.

A few of your asked for the chocolate recipe from the other day so here it is. It's really not difficult so give it a go.

Chocolate Almond Macarons
3 egg whites
1/4 cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
1 cup (160g) icing (confectioner's) sugar
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder
1 cup (120g) ground almond (almond meal)
2 teaspoons cocoa powder, extra
1/4 cup (60mls) pouring cream
150g (5 ounces) dark eating chocolate, chopped finely

  1. Grease oven trays, line with baking paper (I just dabbed a tiny bit of oil under the paper to hold them in place). Use a good non-stick baking paper.
  2. Beat egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add caster sugar, beat until sugar dissolves; transfer mixture to large bowl. Fold in sifted icing sugar and cocoa and ground almonds, in two batches.
  3. Spoon mixture into piping bag with 2cm plain tube (I just used a snap-lock bag and cut off the corner). Pipe 4cm rounds (or a little smaller) about 2cm apart onto trays. Tap trays on bench so mixture spreads a little. Dust macarons with extra sifted cocoa powder, stand 30mins.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150degrees C/ 300degrees F (if fan forced reduce by 10degrees).
  5. Bake macarons about 20 minutes. They should feel crisp and dry on top but will still be soft inside. Cool on trays.
  6. Bring cream to the boil in small saucepan, remove from heat; add chocolate, stir until smooth. Refrigerate about 20mins or until spreadable.
  7. Sandwich macaroons with chocolate filing.
Note: unfilled macrons will keep up to a week in an airtight container. Fill them just before serving.
This recipe came from the new Womans Weekly Macaroon and Biscuit cookbook. Enjoy!!
ps I must comment on the spelling of macaron. In the book it says macaroon but I have read in numerous places that it should only be one 'o'. Who knows? Doesn't matter, they still taste good!

I'm linking up with Joyce from I Love Pretty Little Things for her Friday Pretties posts. Please drop by for a look!
Have a wonderful weekend bloggies!! It's a long weeend in Tasmania so YAY!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quirks of old homes (and a hot pink ensemble)

I suppose one of the downsides of owning an old home is that things all start wearing out.
The other night while I was cooking dinner I noticed the lights dim when I turned on the oven. Lyn came in from his shower to say he felt tingles off the taps and shower head. Hmm, a bit of a problem.
We went through the house and check the earth connections, the fuses and behind the panels in the switchboard (the benefit of being an electrician) and discovered a problem with the earth.
We decided if I was going to have a shower the next morning I would have to wear thongs so off I went to Kmart to buy some lovely hot pink thongs (flip flops for those of you outside Aus). Now, if I was going to shower as safely as I could that would also mean rubber gloves, and being the fashionista I am, luckily they were also hot pink. I like to be co-ordinated, even in a potentially dangerous shower situation. Can you imagine it?? What an hilarious picture.
Anyway, Lyn rang the power supplier who came around and discovered we had a broken neutral where the power enters the house - so they fixed it! No need for my hot pink showering ensemble after all :(

While we were checking the earth on the hot water cylinder (which is in our ceiling and is ancient - please don't leak!!) I thought I'd stick my head up there for the first time. WOW! There's so much room, in fact room enough for a large master bedroom and tonnes of extra storage. I had to take some pics but they don't really give an idea of the height and space.

Ours is probably the highest pitched roof in the street. I've been daydreaming ever since about a gorgeous attic room with dormer windows (the view would be great), maybe a cute little juliet balcony?
A girl can dream.

This pic (though not great) shows the light streaming in through the holes and gaps in the roof :) Amazingly, it doesn't leak in downpours (knock on wood).
Ah, the joys of an old home  :) I love it!
ps macaron recipe coming up in next post!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Marvellous macarons!

I have been a bit obsessed lately with French macarons. I've never eaten one but really wanted to make some. I used a fairly simple Woman's Weekly cookbook recipe and results are quite good...

...of course I haven't anything to compare them with. These are obviously chocolate (they taste like a chocolate bomb) and my next attempt will be raspberry, mostly because I like the colour. Of course I should be sanding this or painting that, or making jewellery for the gallery. It will all happen in time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tip shop step ladder

Another little project for my studio room. I scored this somewhat pre-loved (read: very neglected) timber step ladder up at the tip shop the other day. I have been thinking for a while that I'd like something like this in order to reach the top of my wonderful shelves.
This little guy is great as he doesn't take up a lot of space and is tall as well.
My plan is to paint him a bright-ish aqua blue colour. What do you think?

Here are a few samples I picked up - I'm leaning towards the ones on the right.

These look a little darker than in reality.
Anyway, as a start I'll give him a sand, then once I've chosen the colour he'll need a few coats of paint and new cords to make him safe. Having concused myself falling off a ladder last year I am in no rush to do that again. He's a bit wobbly so at some point I'll need to level off the legs a bit.
Hopefully we'll see a little reno action in the actual room very soon.
Hope this week's a good one for everyone xx

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday flowers

Two images of a gorgeous ruffly old rose taken by my friend Leonie on our quick visit to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens the other day. I checked out Peter Cundall's vegie garden (a tv gardening personality for those of you OS) and was happy to see that it looks similar to the one here at Molly's Maison ie not much happening.
Here's wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What was I thinking...

...when I ordered more bulbs for the garden?!! Everyone has read my complaints about having far too many bulbs to plant and how I am never getting through them.

Well, I couldn't help myself and ordered some lovely white Regale Lilliums (the nice fragrant white ones) and a pretty pink calla lily for the backyard patch. The even crazier news is that I have just finished planting the whole lot of them! Of course I now have no idea where anything is.
I have tried to go in colour themes - the front yard is yellows, whites, blues, mauves with a splash of orange and the backyard is full of pinks, reds, purple and anything else that doesn't fit out the front.
It's looking very patchy but that's a winter garden for you. I'm having fun working out what David Austin roses to plant and am hoping my hollyhocks and foxglove don't get obliterated by the slugs (I'm not a fan of snail pellets).
Now all I have to do it sit back and wait for it all to happen!

ps I did find time today for a lovely French vanilla slice at a cute cafe with my friend Leonie. How cool is the Hipstermatic camera application on her iPhone? And why don't I remember to brush my hair before I go out in public??!
Back in a few days with my new tipshop mini-project :-)