Monday, October 20, 2014

favourite photos

favourite photos via small acorns blog

I am not a photographer, but I love to take photos. I think the smart phone era means a lot of us are the same. The best camera is the one you have with you, and now 99% of the time, I have a camera with me. Your phone combined with one of the amazing photo editing apps available to download (Afterlight, Snapseed, VSCO or the editing features inbuilt with your phone) really means you can make the most of your photography.

But what do you do with your photos. Do most of them go no further than your Instagram feed and your camera roll? Same. With occasional, much loved, forays into Origrami. But some are worthy of more!

Turn some in to the art works they deserve to be. Have them printed. But not on regular photographic paper. Instead, choose a lovely raggy or textured art paper stock, and print them digitally so the colour is perfectly true.

Like this image of my favourite roadside fruit and vegetable stall signage. Every time we head up to the bach we pass these wonderful hand-painted vegetable signs, so typical of orchards and growers. Yet, when you actually look closely, many of them have gone 'up-market', their signage now professionally sign-written, same font, colour and size. This makes this amazing conglomeration, spelling mistakes and all, all the more perfectly imperfect to me, and I look forward to seeing what vegetables are currently for sale whenever we pass by.

favourite photos via small acorns blog

You will be feeling quite proud of your photographic efforts when you first see them printed, believe me.You can ogle them awhile, washi tape hang, or frame them. I print mine smaller than the paper size, so there is a nice natural border around the print, and then I frame them in a bigger frame, so they look more major than minor. If you use an off the shelf frame, like this one from Country Road, they can easily be changed on a whim, or a season, or a vignette, or a memory.

Healthy looking baby's tears plant - Ann at the garden centre was laughing because I'm sure I only buy them to then bring about certain death. I swear, I love them so much. I'm going to try much, much harder with this one.

Amanda xx Pin It

Monday, October 13, 2014

upcycled bottles

Hello! Hope you had a lovely weekend. For the first time in I don't know how long I had a weekend away from the store. I was AWOL but never mind. The weather was so beautiful and pottering around at home was about all I wanted to do. My little garden had some much needed attention, and I was so excited to see the first of my dahlias putting up some zesty green shoots. Yes - you're right, that did put a little spring in my step. But I'm an anxious mother, fretting about the prospect of that spider mite already, and doing my darnedest to wish it ill health and another venue this season. Not that I would wish that pest on even my worst enemy, truly. But hopefully, my preventative steps will keep it away. Wait and see...

My love for old vintage bottles and jars is well known. But I also love to upcycle new bottles, especially if they are quirky and interesting, or just plain 'foreign'. Remember that something seemingly so common and everyday in a far flung destination will be quite unique once transplanted back home and upcycled with a few flowers displayed in it.

upcycled bottles via small acorns blog

They make the most perfect flower vessels, especially for my haphazard, casually un-arranged few stems type of arrangement.

They are one of my favourite travel souvenirs. You can definitely guarantee that each time you use that bottle you will remember the day you acquired it, and where it came from, and the story involved, and these make for the best travel memories. A snapshot of a moment in time.

upcycled bottles via small acorns blog

Sometimes there is 'the one that got away' - like this Limca bottle which I was desperate to bring home from India. In a country where recycling bottles is literal gold, these stayed behind. In the incredible heat, Limca was a cool haven. I saw many Limca bottles, and because they were always recycled they came in many vintages and styles. This was the one I had to have, much much older, and quite quirky in shape. However, despite doing my best to persuade the seller that I would pay him more than the recycling fee, I had to let it go! Next time maybe!

Happy Monday.
Amanda xx

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

mixing old and new

mixing contemporary and vintage via small acorns blog

A perfectly imperfect example of a mixed up interior? Mine of course. I can't imagine things any other way.

Contemporary with vintage. Upcycled with upmarket. Industrial with handmade.
Hard and soft edges. Colour, pattern and more than just a touch of whimsy. Nothing matches and yet everything goes together in a perfectly imperfect mismatched kind of way.
This image of the living room and hall probably sums me up in a snapshot, literally.
The rustic, hotchpotch original timber floors softened with several vintage rugs. 
Cosy, soft plush velvet sofas that I wish the teenager in the house wasn't constantly lounging all over, alongside industrial lab stools, clean lined Emeco dining chairs and the mid-century Bertoia chairs which were a super lucky junk shop find.
Then of course there is my old Indian water carrier turned hallway console. This is the piece that I'd fall over myself trying to save in a fire, although of course I hope it never comes to that, but you know what I mean - I absolutely love it. I'm certain that it must have seen a good deal of life prior to semi-retirement in our hall. If only furniture could speak sometimes!
Add in the colour and the pattern, and the layers of texture via the upholstery fabrics, the cushions and the rugs, not to mention everything else going on behind the scene, and the mixed interior message is loud and clear.
I know I've said it before, excuse the broken down record player, but without a little vintage, contemporary interiors can look a little hard edged and uptight, and conversely, without a modern context, vintage pieces can feel a little drab and old-fashioned, nana-ish. Together they bring out the best in each other, and combine to make an interior that is one of a kind, has personality and a warm pull up a chair and stay for a while vibe.
I know it's my home, and therefore I'm allowed to be biased, but I truly believe that the best interiors are all mixed up like this. I don't mean that they have to look exactly like this. In fact they should not. They just need to be mixed up like this. With a surprise or two for good measure. Then they are more interesting. They're certainly not predictable, and they are personal and tell the story of the people who live there.

And speaking of the people who live here, and the broken down record player. I used that saying with Eva this week, as I heard myself harking on for at least the one hundredth time about the bomb site that is her bedroom. She said she didn't know what I meant, because she didn't know what a broken down record player sounded like. I'm feeling old.

Amanda xx
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