Tuesday, June 26, 2012

kokeshis & sunlight


It seems that everything has its day in the sun - including my little kokeshis. 
I managed to capture this little sunshine moment the other day - in between the clouds, the grey and the rain.
I think you have to do that don't you...seize those moments!
Like many of my little collections, the kokeshis are something that the girls and I take great delight in.
We search them out together, and Milly especially treats them almost as family.
Brunnel doesn't get it.
Many of our little dolls are tiny. He doesn't notice them, tucked as they are, here, there and everywhere.
However these two are, as you can see, quite large.
He literally fell over the biggest one day and stubbed his toe.
I can't repeat his actual words, but translated, roughly, something along the lines of 'what kind of nutter collects all this rubbish and puts it in such a dumb place'.
Your wife, that's who darling!
I guess it was rather like dropping a large log of wood on your toe, but frankly, the girls and I were more concerned that the kokeshi was unscathed.
Ah yes, a sunshine moment!

Amanda xx
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

it's all in the details

"It's the finishing touches that add the
wow factor and take any room from
ordinaire to extra-ordinaire."
Abigail Ahern

We have a focus instore at Small Acorns at the moment which centres around finishing touches.
All those little details which add expression and personality to a room, and the things that
make it yours and yours alone - after all when you decorate your own home, it should be about 
creating spaces that reflect you, your way of living, and your personality.
The impact that is achieved by adding these flourishes of personality is like the icing on the cake.

These are some of our favourite ways to avoid the prescriptive catalogue look...






Do you have some favourite finishing touches?
I asked my team, and we all decided that flowers were the flourish we
turned to the most. They are that little detail that brings a room to life. 
Even the most dull decor is perked up by the natural verve that flowers have.
I guess it depends upon your personal style, but I know for me that my home is also 
very much about me, my family, and the things we love.
So for me that means my treasures and collected objects, beautiful fabrics, 
a mix of second-hand vintage and contemporary new furniture, all mixed with colour and a lot of creative license!

Amanda xx

(images copyright Designers Guild, Deborah Bowness & Amanda Holland)
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Friday, June 15, 2012

little girls & happy weekends!


Things are stirring in Eva's room.
Ah yes, there are the ever so popular sea monkeys in their attractive 'tank' on the desk.
She swears they have hatched and are growing and swimming about.
One has been named Tom.
I'm thinking I must need my eyes tested, because I cannot see anything, let alone a sea monkey named Tom swimming in this tank.
Eva has even kindly provided me with a magnifying glass. She points out where Tom and his buddies are, quote, "zip-zipping along" (singing probably), but I still fail to see anything - except perhaps what could be a mosquito larvae, but that would be worrying!
I thought I could pretend, just go along with things, but I wasn't even good at that. I was pointing at quite the wrong zip-zipper. It gave the game away.
Known for her imagination (!!) I wondered if Tom was imaginary.
After all, we lived with 'Rena', an imaginary friend, for quite some time a few years back.
But, no. These are for real, and I must apparently never, ever tell anyone about Rena. Oops.
So you see, it has been an eventful week here at chez Brunnel.
Eva and her friends. Accompanying Milly on the rounds of prospective schools for next year.
All the while, with an appearance akin to that of the Michelin Man, in an effort to keep warm.
Cold does not even begin to describe it.
And thankfully, I have a hair cut booked in for this evening.
You know that adage about dogs and their owners looking alike?
I look at Bruno and I'm afraid.
There is no mistaking the resemblance!

Have a great weekend.
Amanda xx

PS Yes, you may have recognized the photo board in Eva's room from this post.
The old window frame is now happily strung with Eva's photos, cards, and mementos.
I have just screwed some eyelets in on either side of the glass, and strung some string between them.
All the treasures are pegged or washi-taped on.
Everyone's happy & the sea monkeys have a lovely outlook. x
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Monday, June 11, 2012

sew loved


Eva May, my baby, had a birthday last week.
She turned nine. By her own ages of man theory, that still has her
as a kid, but only just.
And what did this kid want for her birthday?
Sea Monkeys, an Indian 'costume' and something to keep her treasures in.
The first two were easy.
Sea Monkeys are flavour of the month currently, and so I'd readied an 
extra 'family' when purchasing 
some for another of the nine year old set.
And I'd bought the 'costume' while away on my trip.
The treasure box - not so easy - until I found this...



An old wooden Japanese sewing box.
Five little drawers and a lid that opens to reveal a lift-out tray
and a secret drawer.  


The wonder of it all?
It was already filled with treasure.
Every little drawer  was crammed with all the ephemera
that a busy Japanese seamstress would use.
It felt like I'd won lotto.
Do I really get all that with the box I asked?
Really? Apparently so.


Silk threads, cottons, pins, little spools of thread,
miscellaneous buttons & domes, a stone to sharpen scissors,
little snippers, a pin cushion, packets of needles - all beautifully wrapped & in
a little lacquer box, tiny snippets of fabric, rulers, measurements & pattern for
making a kimono, a tiny notebook, stubby little pencil, little boxes, wooden cards to store thread
- every drawer opened to reveal something special.
Oh-my-goodness.


I brought the box home and spent an age looking at everything.
I couldn't help myself.
The value of the contents is, in effect, almost nothing, if you treat each item for exactly what it is - an old foil packet of needles, or a little card of thread.
And yet, as a whole, it is priceless.
I wonder so much about the story behind the box.
Whose was it?
How did it come to be here, in New Zealand?

I decided to give it to Eva, complete with contents.
My thinking being that I could then carefully take everything out and store all the bits and bobs until she's old enough to really appreciate them.
However, she (and Milly) looked at each and every item, just as I had.

The little drawers are to stay full, just as they are for now.

Perfect!
Amanda xx

P.S I'm adding this post to Jane's Post of the Month Club over on Life on Planet Baby.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

photo shoots & blog neglect


Today I've been all in a panic about a photo shoot, here at my home.
For a number of reasons of course, not just the 'OMG, it's such a pigsty, Milly clean up your room OR ELSE; Eva, those undies have been hanging around on the floor for days' type of reason.
I plumped the cushions so many times, Brunnel felt for sure he couldn't sit anywhere this morning.
He wasn't even sure if he was allowed to sleep in our bed last night.
Put it this way, it probably was safest if he just stood up, touched nothing, made sure the toilet seat was down, and went to work.

There is also the 'what will they think' type of reason.
Although quite honestly, this is my home, so what matters the most to me is what I think.
My home is a collection of personal treasures that tell a story or hold emotional significance for my family,  & I am comfortable enough with my own style to know and understand that it isn't and never will be liked, appreciated, or even understood by all.
And mostly, that's OK.
Even if that little voice in my head sometimes says otherwise!
After all, I'm meant to be in the business of interior style, so I'm honest enough to admit that it would be nice if it were thought I had just a little style myself.

I guess the main reason I was hesitant about the shoot is privacy. Maybe I'm just not good at 'putting myself out there' even though I so love to read and see about others!

As for the shoot itself, the most torturous part was trying to get a photo of yours truly. I had but two small requests - make sure I look my natural age of '39 again', and photoshop the stomach out.
Hmmm. Easier said than done apparently.
In all other respects LeeAnn & Larnie made the whole process a breeze - and lets just say I've experienced other shoots where I definitely didn't feel as comfortable.
It is quite fascinating experiencing your own home through the eyes and lens of another. 
But from what I saw of the images, they look great.
Little snapshot of Eva's room above - see, no undies!

On another tangent - this poor neglected little blog!
Just as it's easy to get in to the habit of blogging, sometimes it's easy to get out of it too.
There are so many other web connections, Facebook and Instagram for instance, that I feel as though blogging has taken something of a back seat. Both in posting and reading.
And I miss the connections made with my blogging friends through blogging. 
After all, this is how I got to know so many of you in the first place. 
So, although I am getting to enjoy the joys of instagram, I am also determined to make more time for the blog world again.
And I hope that's not famous, last words, because honestly, sometimes life does get in the way!


Amanda xx

PS On Instagram you can find me as smallacornsamanda
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