Friday, December 10, 2010

Renovations update

How time flies! I mentioned quite a few weeks ago that we were about to tackle the living room renovations, and we are only a couple of weeks from Christmas so it is race against the time to have it finished.

Here are some before pictures:

It is a nice, large room with the high ceiling, but it had a lot of problems. There was a raising damp on one of the walls (see the corner there), outdated fittings and lots of holes above the windows. I sometimes think that the previous owner perhaps used a machine gun to make holes for the curtain rods :).

So far, the windows are white, holes are filled in, the old ceiling fan is gone and the fireplace looks awesome. The floor tiles have to remain for a while even though I hate them with passion.

Bella lends a hand!

I think this space was rather hip in the '70s when the house was built. It had ceiling mounted speakers, a bar in the corner, a funky shaggy carpet and the saloon doors and all in the super hip orange, yellow and mission brown. Groovy baby!

We've decided on a more up to date look with the enclosed gas fireplace, nice billowy curtains, and the walls in Dulux Antique White USA. I'm also thinking wheat, chocolate and charcoal with hints of red and aqua. Here are some inspirational images (sorry, I don't know the source for some of them).

unknown source

Pottery Barn ?

Pottery Barn



Vicente Wolf

Keep well

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Out of blogging hibernation

I can’t believe that it’s been this long since my last post. I guess it had to happen – I was simply doing too much and I thought that what was happening at the time wouldn’t be of huge interest to anyone. In short, here is what happened since:

August – my job changed which meant a bit more interstate travel. There were two trips to Adelaide and I’ll be travelling to Darwin in early November. August was also spent thinking about Bella’s 5th birthday party, what to do, where to do it, etc.
September – Bella’s birthday party was a lot of fun, with fairies and pirates running a muck. A big party hit were the edible fairly wands - grissini sticks, white chocolate and coloured sugar and 100s & 1000s (below are the pics of Bella & I making them). Just about every weekend in September was spent taking Bella to birthday parties! I can't believe how many of her friends were born in September. We were also making plans for the renovation of our “grotto” aka the living room, possibly the ugliest room in the house. I’ll do a separate post about that one. Whenever there wasn’t a birthday party to go to, I spent time in the garden as the weeds were slowly turning into a forest!

October – we finally attacked the grotto. We are back living like nomads in our own house, the kitchen/dining area now housing our sofa, TV, large bookcase, and the study once again becoming a dumping ground for everything else.

So there, just in an unlikely case that anyone wondered what’d happened.

Keep well.
Maja xx

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Organising workshop @ Kikki.K

Hi all
I hope you've all had a lovely weekend so far.
As I love stationery, I was very excited to see that Kikki.K store in the City (Enex 100 building) will be running a workshop called "Paper Flow".
Then my excitement subsided when I realised that it is on the day I will be in Adelaide (all work, no pleasure).

Anyway, if you are interested here are the details:

Date: 3 August 2010
Time: 6 pm
Store: Enex 100
Topic: Paper Flow
Cost: $40 (you get 10% discount off purchases at the workshop and for 1 week following)

A lovely girl there told me that they'll run more of these in the future - yay!

Have a wonderful Sunday
Maja xxx

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blog Awards

I was recently rewarded two blog awards: The Versatile Blogger from lovely Amanda from Homely One and the Sunshine Award from equally lovely Christine from Sunshine & Lollypops.

Belated thanks to both ladies and all the other lovely followers (already 8 of them, yay!). So here are the 7 things you didn't know about me:
  1. I was born in a country that no longer exists. I am talking about former Yugoslavia that fell apart in 1991. We came to Australia in 1996 and haven't looked back!
  2. I have an unnatural love of books :). Seriously, I can't NOT have a book in my handbag or on my night stand and I usually read at least 2 books per week. My favourite writer is Jane Austen.
  3. I am an aspiring writer. I am about to submit a short story so keep your fingers crossed.
  4. I love the Australian bush. There is something otherworldly about the scorched red earth, gnarly trees and the big blue sky above.
  5. I am drawn to water (perhaps it's something to do with being an Aquarian) and I love living so close to the beach which I visit often, particularly when I need to 'recharge my batteries'.
  6. I love food both cooking and consuming it. At the moment, I am better at the latter, particularly anything containing chocolate :).
  7. Last but never least - I couldn't be what I am today and be doing all the things I do without my extremely understanding husband and my lovely daughter. Yes, there is an occasional eye roll and a 'here we go again' mumble, but considering the numerous changes I make to things and plans, that is pretty good.
Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.
Maja xx

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I'd like to tell you that I've been Missing In Action because I was on some tropical island, drinking pina collada by a pool, but the truth is a little bit more mundane. There was work, which was hectic, as it always is this time of year. Then there was a uni exam (I'm doing some postgrad studies). Then, to top it all off, there was this massive cold and in my case everything settles in my sinuses so my head feels like it weighs a ton! And let's not forget unseasonally cold weather in Perth and the last few days unseasonally wild storms too!

So whilst I was not inspired to look at yet another computer after spending hours staring at the one at work, I did get my reading mojo back and I devoured 3 books in a week: Cecelia Ahern's The Book of Tomorrow, Juliet Marillier's The Dark Mirror and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian.  Of the three my favourite is The Dark Mirror. Juliet's writing is mesmerising, and she is one of my favourite Australian fantasy writers. If you haven't guessed so far, I am a huge fan of speculative/fantasy fiction. My writing mojo is also back and I have a couple of blog posts almost ready to go, so watch this space.

I hope you all had a wonderfull weekend.
To those in Perth, brace yourselves for another night of crazy weather.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lissanne from SORTED! in Perth

Lissanne Oliver from SORTED! will be running a workshop in Perth (Mandurah actually) on 3 July. This is very exciting, as I regularly refer to great tips in Lissanne's book (also called SORTED!) to get me back on track particularly during renovations when things are all over the place.
It will be a good opportunity to spend a day in Mandurah as I haven't been in ages.

Maja xxx

Friday, June 18, 2010

Great finds

I had a lovely day today looking at the treasures over at the Greenwood Salvos store. I found a lot of great things (bags, clothes, shoes, art, bric-a-brac) but as I only allocated $20 for this trip I had to compromise. So here is what I managed to get for the twenty: a pretty tray for only $3.99, a little acrylic of Esperance WA that was living in an ugly frame - $4.99, a pretty oil on canvas with pink roses also living in an ugly frame $3.99, a pretty wooden frame $3.99, a wooden mug holder $4 and a pretty ceramic figurine for $2. Isn't she gorgeous? OK, so I went a little over budget, but it was worth it. Oh, and the latest issue of Home Beautiful from my local newsagent :).

Have a lovely weekend
xoxo Maja

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kitchen reno

One of the main projects we've so far undertaken was kitchen renovation. This was something I was desperate to do as the original kitchen was nasty. It was smelly and greasy and had serious lack of adequate storage space. Not that I really stored anything in the cupboards anyway, things lived in boxes for quite a while. The first thing that went was an old exhaust fan and it was discusting (oh-my-God)!. It's a shame I didn't take a picture of it because it looked like something from an episode of CSI!


We got a few quotes but they were all above our total budget of $10,000 (and this was meant to include new appliances) so we decided to tackle the job ourselves using the flatpack kitchen from our local hardware store.

The old kitchen decided it wasn't going to go away without a fight. The old wall tiles were stuck to the wall with cement or concrete or whatever it was, it was pulling big chunks of plaster off the wall so we had to do a lot of repair and that slowed the process somewhat.

During (even Bella decided to land a hand)...

As we were doing most of the work ourselves (apart from plumbing and electrical), we could afford better quality kitchen tops and we opted for granite. I wanted a glass splashback, but again the cost was prohibitive and instead we discovered these awesome Spanish tiles that look like glass and finished the rest with handmade Turkish stone mosaics.

We are thrilled with the final result. The new layout makes cooking a breeze and we use the central island for meals very often.

xoxo Maja

Almost French

My windows, that is. One thing I loved about our house when I first saw it was that all the joinery was made of hardwood (jarrah), hidden below the layer of mission brown enamel. Right at that moment I saw the potential - French windows!

They were very painful to restore as they had been neglected for over 30 years so they needed a lot of TLC. Some window panes were warped and the putty was missing in quite a few places. Paint caused some hassle. We used shiny white enamel on the inside but DH decided to go with a water based high gloss externally. Let's just say that we quickly returned to the trusted enamel :).

There are still a few to go (there are only so many weekends in a year), but already the neighbours have commented how pretty the 'new' old windows look. 

What do you think?

xoxo Maja

Friday, June 11, 2010

Label away - Win a DYMO Labler or $5000!

I've always wanted one of these. $5000 would be useful as well :).

•$5000 cash
•DYMO LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo
•DYMO LabelManager 210D

•the first 99 runner up winners each receive a DYMO LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo
•the next 99 runner up winners each receive a DYMO LabelManager 210D

Friday, June 4, 2010

First ebay purchase

I promised to show you my first pretty purchase from ebay. Tada! Isn't she pretty. But the fabric is soiled and worn so that will be my project in the next few weeks - to find a fabric and pretty it all up.
I got all excited about it and bought 3 pretty cushions as well. I have to admit it is all rather addictive. I think I'll be freezing my credit card soon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! Today has been an interesting day with two firsts for me - my first blog post and my first ebay purchase. I know, I know! What was I thinking?
But here I am, wanting to share with you my trials and tribulations as we try to convert a small 1970s house into a pretty, functional and above all sustainable home.
Oh, and as for my ebay purchase, it's a pretty dressing table stool in a desperate need of some TLC that I hope to present to you on Friday.
Have a great week!


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