Thursday, September 27, 2012

nutters, mutters & a rug

I'm sorry that I'm still not back up to full speed with this little blog.
I could tell you that those blessed peg dolls have still been my number one pre-occupation, and that wouldn't be far from the truth.
Those pegs are starting to upset the whole household.
The other night I had a marathon session sorting out the finalists.
After the judging team had conferred which they were to be, I photographed each of them again, and then prepared each photo to load up for voting on both the store website and facebook.
By 2 in the morning I was finally done.
Staggering to bed, I made the mistake of turning on the hall light.
Milly woke up and asked if it was time to get up.
No, I explained, I was only just going to bed.
Eva woke up and decided she would be scared unless I hopped in to bed with her.
No, I explained, she would be fine, and I was just going to get in to my own bed, thanks.
A drink of water, a night light, and Eva was still insisting she was scared.
Gently, I explained that quite possibly the only thing to be scared of would be a sleep-deprived and increasingly grumpy Mummy, but funnily enough this tactic didn't work.
Milly suggested Eva hop in to bed with her.
No, she only feels safe with Mummy.
The voices are getting louder.
Bruno the dog wakes up and decides he needs an extra trip outside.
Brunnel wakes up and is decidedly unhappy.
I get a 2.15 in the morning lecture on the fact that my children are 'Mummy's girls' and why am I working this late.
The dog returns to his bed but everyone else is up yelling at each other.
Now we play a round of musical beds.
The girls and I end up in my bed, and Brunnel continues to mutter darkly about the 'Mummy's girls' and his wife who is a nutter, as he goes down the hall to Eva's bed.
You see what those peg dolls have started?
By 2.30 all is peaceful once more.

Oh yes, the Designers Guild rug which has made an appearance in my living room.
Of course it's meant to be for the store.
But I thought I would just see how it might look at home first.
And I'm afraid that I like it. A lot.
 Maybe I'll have to order another one for the store!

Amanda xx
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

happiness is a peg

Wondering where I have been for the past week?
Life has been consumed by one thing and one thing only 
- peg dolls.
It has been wave after wave, you just stand up again, and another arrives.
I've been stressing about looking after them all carefully, getting each one photographed before it can be separated from its name tag, and of course getting them all in to the store window.
These little friends of mine have become my life this week!
And so, at last, they are all in the window - over 400 peg dolls - they've been delivered from all over New Zealand, from Australia, and from as far away as Canada.

All day yesterday there were noses pressed up against the window. Excited little ones searching for their creation, and giggling in delight when they found it.
And passers-by who do a double take when they realise what they are actually seeing.

These photos don't do them justice. I realised that when I downloaded them last night - but it's a start.
This year we have ballerinas, mermaids, cancan girls, super heroes, All Blacks, skiers, flower fairies, leaf fairies, and just plain old fairies, queens, kings, a giant, beach babes, robots, astronauts, farmers, hunters, cupcakes, twins, One Direction, Flight of the Conchords, Margaret Mahy, witches, a fisherman, a big fat gypsy peg wedding, pirates, queen's soldiers, Miss World, Wayne Rooney, Marie Antoinette, a bunny, a shark, an Irish dancer and a leprechaun, and many many many more.
I am astounded by the amazing creativity and incredible ideas.

And they all have one thing in common - they make you smile!
It's quite contagious. They are a very happy little window.
Simple, sweet and happy.

The voting round will begin soon.
Keep watching for details.

Amanda xx
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

small things

'a multitude of small delights
constitutes happiness'
c baudelaire

Just some of the 'small things' that have been inhabiting my world of late.
Things that are making me smile amidst a flurry of days that, to be honest, have been a little crazy to say the least.
Is it just me, or does the slippery slope as we head towards Christmas seem like a headlong rush?
My 'to-do' list grows longer and longer by the day, and I seem to add three things for every one that gets crossed off.
So in a small way, it's good for me to do a little post like this.
It reminds me to be grateful for moments such as these.
Hope your week is going beautifully!
Must fly - I have my lovely family coming to visit. For some reason they want to celebrate my birthday, even though it's one of those that I'd rather forget about!

Amanda xx
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Friday, September 7, 2012

embracing a little colour

(image copyright & with permission, Designers Guild)

Does this image get your heart skipping?
It does mine.
If I break it down to the specifics, it is the perfect mix of everything that I believe a beautiful room needs. These are the elements I combine in all my interiors.
Texture - gorgeous plush rug underfoot, those amazing floral & dip-dyed linens at the window, and a painterly sweep of graduated colour on the wall, which is, believe it or not, an ombre wallpaper. 
(I know, stunning!) Then a little upcycling, by way of the simple palette bed.
A little bit contemporary - the clean, modern lines of the white chair and that great lamp.
Chippy, old and so very beautiful, the tiled fireplace is that one of a kind find.
Sitting on top of it, a fleamarket mirror, and a beautiful mix of handmade vases, filled with simple, fresh flowers.
And of course, the colour. The thing that only Designers Guild can do as Designers Guild does.

(image copyright & with permission, Designers Guild) 

And never mind if these are not your colours. I love a little pink myself. But, everyone responds to different colours differently believe me. Whatever your favourite, add a little colour into a room, and I promise you, from boring and bland, to singing, in no time at all. 
You know, ever since I started working with Designers Guild (exclusively for 13 lucky years now), people have wandered into the store for a little pick me up. Sometimes they may not have heard of either Small Acorns, or Designers Guild, they don't even know what has 'called' them in, but that whisper of colour is mood-altering, and they all say how great that makes them feel.
Our regulars come for a daily dose! No wonder I still find Designers Guild as exciting & inspirational as when I first discovered them for myself. (Maybe that's a story for another day!)

(image copyright & with permission, Designers Guild)  

And if I hear one more person intimate that Designers Guild is only about bright, in your face colour, I'll scream. If that's what you like, then great, we can do that. But equally, we embrace every colour in the spectrum, from softest, palest chalk to moodiest, sludgiest midnight. Just name your potion.
About the only 'colour' I struggle with is what I call porridge - my all-encompassing term for a bland, safe, take-no-risks interior. Although porridge itself, as a colour, with brown sugar & cream on the top, that might be OK!! Lots of brown sugar though.

(image copyright & with permission, Designers Guild) 
These images are all featuring fabrics and wallpapers from the 
I hope they inspire you to have a colour-filled weekend!

Amanda xx
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Monday, September 3, 2012

bits and bobs

I could sub-title this post something along the lines of once a collector, always a collector.
For I do think that being a collector (of ... things!) gives great purpose to shopping excursions, and a perfectly valid excuse for buying something, that up until that moment you had no idea existed.
And though I may harp on constantly to my girls about the need for focussing on the job at hand, and not allowing distractions to take over, I'm of course referring to homework and pocket-money earning tasks at home, and piano practice.
And, as any self-respecting magpie will agree, you cannot let an opportunity pass you by, especially when you chance upon a treasure that you absolutely love, even though you were not meant to be treasure hunting.

Which is of course, my way of justifying why, when on Friday morning, as I was, I promise, very focussed on gathering props and ideas for our upcoming peg doll store window, I somehow came home with these fabulous finds.
Which are nothing whatsoever to do with either store windows or peg dolls.
But which I just love.
The fabulous floral enamel tray in mint green, orange & red.
I can't wait to serve a big salad on it, but for now, all washed up and shiny,
I'm just enjoying looking at it.
The super-cute little drawers are, I think, old Japanese first-aid boxes.
Don't you love the sumo one?

For me, these old unique pieces have a charm that cannot be replicated with a new piece.
I love that they're chippy and imperfect.
Someone else's junk. Another's treasure.
Sometimes inspiration comes unexpectedly.
And must be seized upon!

I'm joining in with Sarah's Bits and Bobs today.

Amanda xx

P.S For those of you enquiring - yes, we had a great time in our 50's gear on Friday night. With all my underskirts I felt the size of a small building, and was grateful for my sunglasses to hide behind. Many of the other parents dressed up also, which gave us all a good laugh, even if our kids didn't think it remotely funny.
Eva was happy to dance with her parents. Milly, not so keen. Far too cool for school! x
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