Thursday, October 27, 2011

just hanging

You know me. I have a myriad number of ideas for this home. Some far fetched.
Some beyond the realm of Brunnel's tolerance level.
And some where the idea and inspirational photos have been stored away for some time, just waiting for the opportunity to try them.
Megan Morton calls this little idea a "French hang" - this basically means that you hang all sorts of smaller sized mixed media art works on the one wall. The wall acts as an equaliser, and, as in my case, accommodates everything from favourite etchings, prints & paintings to works of 'importance' by my girls. 
Normally I'm pretty gung ho when it comes to hanging art.
None of this banging on the wall to find the dwang which dictates where the piece can be hung.
Please - is there anything worse than a painting hung too high?
I belong more to the school that hammers now and sometimes pays the price later.
Or just makes another hole in the wall.
And this is where I came a little unstuck.
Suddenly the realisation that I wanted to experiment on a brand new, pristine, freshly plastered and painted wall hit home.
What if I got it wrong? And lets face it, the chances were quite high - I wasn't even entirely sure which pieces were going into my 'mini gallery', let alone where and how high on the wall. And in this instance, laying it out on the floor just didn't work.
A wall full of holes, and Brunnel's face were the only picture I could imagine!

I skirted the issue for days, stacking and unstacking my frames.
Finally I decided that if ever there was a time to make the mistake it would be now - before the painters come back next week.
So the hammer came out. And away I went. I started in the centre and went from there.
Being a work in progress, there are still gaps to fill, but that's the whole idea really. 
Nothing has to stay static.
So far so good I think. 

Amanda xx
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

normal service can now resume

My, it has been an emotionally fraught week.
Make that two weeks.
Who would believe how much emotional intensity would sit alongside an eighty minute rugby game.
It has been the only topic of conversation, whether you be a diehard rugby fan or not.
Actually, I think every New Zealander has become a diehard fan, whether they anticipated it or not. Everyone has been swept up in Rugby World Cup fever.
And the final was, as we all know, nail-biting to say the least.
But the All Blacks won, and the result is nothing short of sweet.
It is not every day that an entire country dances in the street.
Especially when it has everything and nothing to do with rugby at the same time. 
And I think we'll be dancing for some time yet.

Amanda xx
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

orla kiely love...

I know I am easily excited by pretty much everything I am lucky enough to sell through my store.
But there are some ranges that ellicit more than the average squeal.
 A new season delivery of Orla Kiely goodness will always do it.
Yesterday Jo & I waited patiently. Every time a truck drove past we looked up expectantly.
And finally, at about 3.30pm, the van we were waiting for pulled up. 
Nonchalantly the driver got out.
For goodness sake, did he not realise what precious cargo he had on board?
What riches? What treasures?
I was trying to load everything into our system from the invoice.
Jo opened all the boxes.
All I heard was 'ooooh, that's pretty', 'ooooh that one's lovely', 'oh, that's special',
'oh, this one is my favourite so far', and all this as she lovingly strokes the bags and clothes, and sighs. A lot.
It was very distracting I tell you!
But you can see for yourself.
The colours and patterns are just gorgeous.
That Orla is so clever!
I tried on a cardigan. I was sure my name was written all over it.
Brunnel told me they are not for me.
I am apparently meant to sell them. Such a novel and new idea he had come up with!
I think I may have to take advantage of that perk called a 'staff account'...
That will show him!

Amanda xx
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Monday, October 17, 2011

oh the irony...

..... or I could subtitle this post with something along the lines of 'the lies we tell will eventually bite us on the bottom'.
Shall I elaborate?
Every year when I have a birthday, I turn 39. Yes, that's right, every year.
Or so I tell my girls anyway. No one else believes me.
For a long time this didn't seem to pose any problems.
Things got a little complicated when my younger sister turned 40, and it dawned on Milly that I couldn't be 39 and have a younger sister who was older, but Eva, only 3 at the time, kept the faith.
Perhaps I should have come clean then, and confessed that in reality, I was 39 two years before she was born. But I didn't.
Anyway, bless her, now that she has just turned 8, and is quite good at maths, she still plays the 39 game.
Even on Friday, out of the blue, she'd worked out that the last time New Zealand won the rugby world cup, Mummy was 16. I nearly corrected her, until I worked out how she had come to that conclusion - the 39 game again.
Oh, I know what you are thinking!
I am obviously having some kind of mid-life crisis, because I'm well into my 40's and I'm just deluded.
You think I have issues! I do!
I'm kicking and screaming all the way.
Anyway, on Saturday morning, I'm quietly minding my own business, when my phone erupts with texts.
"Did you know you were a newspaper star now in your 50's" said one.
"When you lie about your age it's usual to go younger not older...hee hee" said another.
"Wow I didn't know you were in your 50's!!!"
"...mature women changing careers. You feature and u are (journalists do not lie) in your 50's."
It suddenly dawned on me. I had been interviewed some months ago for a story about 'encore careers - ditching a job for life and starting again', and it was featuring in the paper.
My neighbour, who thought the age thing was hilarious, handed the paper over the fence.
The article was great. Really well written, and the bit about me - all true...until it said I was now in my 50's.
Even my bank manager emailed this morning at 8.07am to say she'd read the great article, but she couldn't believe the bit about being in my 50's because according to their bank records I wasn't set to hit 50 until September next year. Could I confirm the records were correct?

On the plus side, I don't have to have 'that' party now because apparently I've already had it, and quite possibly, I do now look quite well preserved for someone in her 50's.
It takes me back to when I was just 18, and pretended to be 20 so that I could work in a winery bar. Only the manager and I knew how old I really was....
See? I've been doing it all my life!
What goes around, comes around, and I deserve all that I had coming to me.

Amanda xx

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Friday, October 14, 2011

shouting it out

There is only one thing on my mind at the moment.
I think it would be fair to say it's a collective thing on the minds of most kiwis.
It explains the constant cat on a hot tin roof, nervous knot in my stomach.
The sick feeling I've had all week.
Yes, I know it's only a game.
Yes, I also know it's beyond my control. (Really? Are you sure?)
But if we could just have a little luck this weekend it would be...fantastic.
Time out from earthquakes & mining tragedies & shipping disasters.
The girls spelt it out in 'shouty' writing on our blackboard.
It's what we're all about right now.

GO ALL BLACKS!!!!!

Amanda xx
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Monday, October 10, 2011

airing my dirty laundry


No, I won't subject you to the dirty laundry, just a glimpse through the door.
The sign reads 'Patients Only'.
Well, let me tell you, Brunnel felt the need to check me in somewhere where straight jackets are de rigeur when I first came up with this bright little idea.
When ever I visit one of my favourite second hand stores I am immediately drawn to the tool section.
All sorts of old, & odd, bits and pieces turn up there, from random jars with all sorts of screws and nails, a flick-flack ruler to add to my collection if I'm lucky, hammers, really heavy spades, you-name-it, it will be there somewhere. I love it all.
But for ages, I've been trying to think of a reason to buy some of the lovely old wooden planes that are always jumbled up in a box on the floor.
Each visit I'd get them all out, line them up, look at them lovingly, and then put them all back again.
And then I came up with the idea of turning them into a row of 'hooks' for the laundry. 
I had a reason to buy some at last!
When I told Brunnel my idea he gave me that look. The one that said he knew I'd finally gone over the edge and was a total nutter.
He gives me that look a lot.
Sadly for him, it has never been known to stop me.


And so I lined the planes up on the floor once more, and managed to restrict myself to just five.
Easier said than done, they were all so lovely, in a 'plane' kind of way.
A wee clean up, some wood glue, and bob's your uncle.
I'm very happy with my 'hooks', and even Brunnel grudgingly agrees that they do look quite good after all.
High praise indeed.
He's not committing me just yet then.

Amanda xx
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

lost and found

I've been unpacking some of my 'treasures'.
I say treasures in inverted commas, because truly, many of them would qualify as junk to most others.
But for one reason or another, they mean something to me.
There are some bits and bobs that I'm very happy to see again.
My photos tell me that there are some that I'm yet to find.
And I've even found one box of goodies that moved here with us five years ago, and had never been unpacked.
(I'm sure Millicent will be very happy to have her money box back.
She may not be quite so excited when she realises that in the five years that it has been missing, all those coins have become obsolete. Whoops.
On the other hand, I was very pleased to rediscover some of my Carltonware, which I 
definitely had been missing.)
So now, all these treasures are sitting on the table in front of me.
And I'm feeling like a stylist's big toe.
In other words, I'm moving them here and there, but really I haven't a clue.
What is wrong with me? I do this for a living. 
I must be struggling, because suddenly, writing a blog post seems the easier option!
In store I'm always telling people how easy it is.

Keep playing. Nothing has to stay where it is first placed.
Add and subtract and rearrange.
Flowers will always help.
Challenge yourself.
Remember that your home is not a showroom, and as such, the rooms in your home 
should be constantly evolving and changing according to your mood and current obsessions. 
And by this, I'm not talking about redecorating on a whim, but mixing up your existing things.
It's about displaying your pieces according to your desires, inspirations and personality.
Have fun becoming a curator.

Hmmm. 
Well, it seems, that I might just have to heed some of my own advice.
Or I could listen to some of yours...
Any thoughts to add?

Amanda xx
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Monday, October 3, 2011

waste not want not

My little pallet table has been the subject of much mirth over the past few days.
'Where is that thing going?' mocked my brother over the weekend.
I guess he at least recognised that it was a table, even if he wasn't sure what kind.
More insultingly, the builders thought that it was really cool that I had made myself a little
trolley to help wheel the furniture around without scratching the floors.
Well I should like to point out that the most predominant trend according to the who's who of the interior and retail design world in the latest Elle Deco magazine is the use of natural and humble materials in furniture and furnishings.
And what could be more humble than an upcycled pallet?
And to prove my point, just look at these beautiful pieces made by London's Hendzel+Hunt.
The top of this amazing Hinckley table is made entirely from discarded pallets, as is this Gowlett stool.

OK, so they are a lot more elegant than my exceedingly humble attempt, and trends are not always something I take notice of, but in this case, I'm quite happy just to follow along!

Amanda xx
(First image my own, other images Henzel+Hunt)
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