Well, I can no longer feel ashamed of the cushion-less state of our house. It only took around 6 months (!!) to get them, due to repeated sagas I won't bore you with, but Ta-Da! Here they are:






For some reason in the last photo the flame stitch cushion looks a little bit green, which it is not.

Peeking out from under the chair in our dressing room  in the above photo is the wooden shoe polish box I gave Mr AV for his birthday a couple of weeks ago. He is passionately in love with it. I know, odd. It was rather expensive, considering that up until two weeks ago, the shoe polish equipment had been living quite happily, and cheaply, in one of those green coles enviro bags in the laundry. He specifically asked for this as his present. It was from Henry Buck's and came full of the shoe polish and brushes and cloths etc as well. I quite like the box, it's like a mini campaign chest with its brass recessed handles. It's called a Shoe Valet. I'm waiting for the man who presumably comes with the box and polishes the shoes to knock on the door any day now.




I've been admiring the beautiful liberty fabric wrapped wire names and words that Jane from Life on Planet Baby creates at Planet Joy, her etsy shop. After seeing them on Romy's blog a few months ago, I asked Jane to do one for E's room. It arrived before Christmas, and E loves it. The colours match her room perfectly.

Then, lovely Jane sent me a beautiful one in my favourite blues for my birthday too! Absolutely gorgeous, and such a treat. These are going to become my favourite present for a little (or big) girl's birthday this year. Jane also makes lovely liberty wrapped large letters, or ampersands which make lovely gifts (or a treat for yourself).




 And in reading news, I finished "The Bolter" and have ordered in "War and Peace", as instructed by lovely blog comment maker Pamela. Strangely, the local bookstore didn't have any copies for sale. I picked this up from the bargain table outside Dillon's on The Parade to tide me over for a while. Love the jewels that Debo wears while feeding her chooks.


And I've also been dipping in and out of this absolutely divine book "Garden Mania" which Janelle sent me a few weeks ago. It has lovely pictures of historic garden plans in it, and is in such a pretty binding, I've been enjoying just looking at the cover on my bedside table as I walk past. Although it has made me want to go on one of her garden tours even more!! Boo Hoo. Next year, I will.......





25 comments:

  1. Heidi, love the shoe polish box. I just sent that store's website to my husband, as I know he will LOVE it's online store. Also am excited to see more of your kitchen plans from your last post too. We have the smallest kitchen in Brisbane at present, however it is much bigger than the microscopic galley kitchen we cooked in for five years in London. I would love to renovate a kitchen one day and especially like the kitchens from all of Nancy Meyer's films. Love Debo and am a bit sad we did not go to Chatsworth while in the UK. Have you been there? Aren't the Mitfords fascinating. Have a good week xx

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    1. Hello Fifi, I love reading about the Mitfords, and did manage to get up to Chatsworth one weekend. I have only vague memories of it though, as it was now 14 years ago. I think a revisit is in order.

      Is there no Henry Buck's in Brisbane then? They are such an institution in Melbourne (and I think their Adelaide store was the first one outside of Melbourne many, many years ago). They specialise in classic Men's wear and accessories from Saville Row and some US specialty brands as well - it's the place to go for a new Dinner suit, for example!

      I will have to post pictures of my current kitchen. It is so dire, it's really quite, quite awful. Nothing like the beautiful ones in Nancy Meyer's movies! One thing I was very thankful for was a Thermomix - got it last year, and it has made the whole thing bearable. You'd love one (if you haven't already got one). Great for healthy food, it does absolutely everything and I am thankful for it every day, even 8 months after getting it! xx

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  2. My husband is also obsessive shoe shiner.... Our children go back to school next week & he will have 3 of them ironed & shined to within an inch of their lives! I want to learn to use a sewing machine ostensibly to make cushions......& am going to track down that book about the Bolter. I used to have strict book policy regarding childrens birthday parties.....now I'm convinced Jane's gorgeous Liberty names are the way to go! Rx

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    1. Definitely read "The Bolter" It's very well written (by her great-grand daughter), and I really enjoyed it. I like to give a book for a present too - friend's new babies always get a set of personalised book plates (from Osieaux on Etsy) and books to go with it to start their libraries, and I also give books for Godchildren gifts (my god daughter is getting a piece of those pretty pastel Limoge tea set every year for her birthday, plus a nice picture book, so she'll have a great tea set by the time she's 21). I do think though that I can do a liberty name instead for at least a year or so. Jane does such a lovely job. xx

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    2. Dear Heidi

      Definitely a fairy godmother! The books and the Limoges each birthday! Lucky goddaughter!

      Will finish reading "White Mischief" today and then begin "The Hare..." but will start looking around for "The Bolter" - also Debo's remaindered book, always wonderful to get them more cheaply ("White Mischief" was from a fete - 50 cents I think). Good luck with "War and Peace", really hope you like it (there are probably some passages you might find more heavy going than others - but think it's definitely worth reading). Makes me think it must be almost time to read it again. Must be around 10 years since the last time.

      Mind-boggled by fellow Mitford tragics and so impressed by ventures off the beaten track to find special places, like FF visiting the graves at Swinbrook. The only places I've seen so far (and by accident really) are what was once Nancy's temporary flat at Quai Malaquai and from the outside Gaston Palewski's (Fabrice's) apartment building, just a few doors away from her temporary accommodation. He must have felt stalked!

      When we were in the Dordogne one holiday some years ago we went to Mary Moody's ("Au Revoir", Last Tango in Toulouse", etc) favourite eating place, in Pommarede (tiniest of villages). Really a kind of very pleasant pit stop for road workers and French working men - very clean and nice ambience and fabulous freshly cooked local specialties (eg duck etc) and no-name wine. Incredibly cheap for five courses and a bottle of wine (no menu, maybe two choices for main course) at that time about 26 euro total for two. We went back of course. In the middle of all the serious rather bemused working men there were always tables of laughing chattering Australians who were following the Mary Moody trail. All happy to talk about where they'd been. Madame Murat (la patronne)loves Mary M and Australians! And though Mary's books are interesting and atmospheric, they don't compare with Nancy's!

      Debo's published letters are so worth reading too, especially the ones between Herself and Paddy Leigh Fermor.

      Best wishes, Pamela

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    3. I love the thought of dining where the 'working men' do, where you have a standard 5 course lunch!! Certainly not like the working men in Australia. As I once spent a year stationed in the site office of a major construction site in Melbourne, I became very familiar with what the working man ate. Schnitzel sandwiches and chips for smoko at 9.30 am, and it all went downhill from there. I'd frequently see them drinking a can of coke at 7am. A long way from France indeed! Will have to look out for Debo's letters. xx

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    4. Yes, totally different culture and people. The men came in, washed up, sat at their usual tables with one or two friends and then got quietly down to the serious business of eating - and drinking their wine with the meal. Soup and bread, crudites, main course, a cheese platter with two great local cheeses and then dessert. Coffee was extra. Don't think they could understand why there were always Australians there - it's such a long way from any big town.

      The Dordogne is one of the great and richest food regions of France. Their duck is to die for - and the food markets are out of this world, particularly the one at Sarlat. There was also a wonderful brocante market in Monpazier during our holiday, really high quality stuff, particularly lovely linen (I bought a beautiful white linen table cloth with hand embroidered cupidons etc, probably from a trousseau of about 60-80 years ago and clearly had never been used). We stayed in a little cottage in a farming area about 6 ks from Monpazier, a lovely bastide village. Had to drive up a farm track to get to the cottage, part of the way through a little forest with bambi deer occasionally stepping out from the trees. We were always waiting for Red Riding Hood and the Wolf to put in an appearance. An enchanted place.

      You were brave spending a year at a site office. Once had a friend who was an architect on sites for a while. She said it wasn't easy for women in these places - sometimes the working guys didn't like to deal with women. Pamela xx

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    5. What a meal - sounds divine!

      Unfortunately I didn't have a choice about the site office! I went from working on the 36th floor in Collins Street with panoramic views to a concrete box with no windows. I worked for the developer, so mostly they were very respectful, there were a few other women in the site office too. I only had problems twice - one when I walked on site wearing high heeled leopard print mules (inappropriate footwear), and the safety officer threatened to call in the Unions and shut the site down, and the second was being wolf whistled at by a worker - I had on a hard hat, steel capped boots and was wearing a full length shapeless coat (freezing mid winter). I just looked at him and said "are you joking?!!??" and burst out laughing.

      Your holiday sounds absolutely lovely - I can't wait until I can do more exploring of the world. A few years away for me though.

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  3. Love the cushion actioning. A new verb.

    Love the book about darling Debo too. She is fabulous and knows EVERYONE! I am an absolute Mitford tragic... There are many of us around!

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    1. Well Ann, there was no cushion action for far too long.... they've arrived almost 2 years after we moved in!! There are a lot of MItford lovers around I'm discovering. I read her book "Wait for Me" last year. I love that she claims Beatrix Potter's "Ginger and Pickles" is "the best book about retail you'll ever read"! xx

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    2. I trecked to the church graveyard at Swinbrook to find Nancy and Diana's graves....couldn't find Pam's. Sticky beaked round Asthall while Rosie Pearson was away AND trekked to Rue Monsieur in Paris with my sister to honour Nancy -visuals on blog x

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  4. Love the pillows. What a great idea for a present for the man in your life!! My husband does love to shine his shoes! I also have a thermomix and love it.

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    1. It's funny, I loath shining my shoes (it's so messy), but Mr AV seems to love it, so does it for me quite willingly. And now, he keeps raving about how wonderful his shoe shine kit is and how easy it makes it?! Thermomix has made my life complete. I waited 4 years to buy it, and so wish I'd just got it when I first wanted it - it's definitely worth the money xx

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  5. I worry Debo's not long for this world, then what?? Ate at her pub at near Asthall in the Cotswolds 2 years ago. Very cosy. And they sell Nancy's and her books.

    Nice shoe shine kit.

    Well done re the cushions.

    x

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    1. Debo is a survivor, that's for sure. Would LOVE to eat at her pub - you are lucky.

      I feel that we can be friends now that I have cushions. xx

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  6. Hi Heidi,

    Enjoying your blog (I'm a recent follower from one of the aforementioned suburbs in Melbourne from a couple of posts down). I'm enjoying reading about your renovation project and upon seeing your kitchen drawings, just had to comment. Sorry about the late commenting. Not familiar with blog etiquette.

    Firstly, we're on the home stretch of our own complete house renovation & extension (old rambling 1917 house - this is house number 3).
    I comb through blogs looking for inspiration!

    Secondly, one wall of my kitchen is very like yours - would love to share photos but don't know how (is there supposed to be an email thingy on the side bar?)

    Lastly, love reading about your bargain buys from Mary Noall, other non-house related purchases and your mini getaways from your kids. So lucky! Our kids ALWAYS come with us!

    Would love to hear from you,

    Val

    PS Love the cushions and shoe polish box.

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    1. Hi Val, I'm slightly technically challenged, so I've only managed to link all the icons up to my Pinterest pages, rather than what they're supposed to be linked to!! I have to try to sort it out, but it will take time and a clear mind, neither of which I've had much of during the school holidays! My email is anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com Your house sounds lovely, old Melbourne houses are so ornate, and I do love a rambling house. I'd love to see your photos. You'll have to keep an eye out for the Mary Noall warehouse sale - it was on in the last weekend of May when I went - you've never seen so many Porsche and Range Rovers parked in an industrial side street in Port Melbourne in your life! It was hilarious. xx

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  7. Have you seen Freud's portrait of Debo, if I could have one artist's work it would be his (or Rosalie Gascoigne, actually probably Rosalie's).

    I am traumatised to say that my husband would love that shoe shining kit too. My mother in law probably has 10 antique ones hidden away somewhere (bit of a hoarder - God bless her). I may to show hubby this post, I'm sure he'd be quite envious. Strange creatures men. Kx

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    1. I think I vaguely remember Freud's portrait of her....will have to go and look it up. I have a very large coffee table book on Freud's complete works. It was sent by mistake by the Book Depository, who then apologised when contacted and sent the book I'd ordered and told me to keep it. Retail was around $300!! I love the Book Depository.

      I am staggered at how many men are closet shoe shine obsessives. Hilarious! xx

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  8. Hillarious cushions comments.... LOVE FF's comment re her cushions too!. Could someone please tell me what a Thermomix is?! I have never heard of this gadget! I love your deep buttoned sofa Heidi as well as all of the cushions!. Mr R-I seems to like polishing his shoes too,... although I often find shoe polish fragments on the laundry floor after his wild antics with the brush which then stain the tiles, leaving me cranky!!!.... he has now taken to polishing them on the step outside the laundry!!!xx

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    1. You'll have to book a demonstration in for a Thermomix Jenny. You'd love it. In a nutshell, they chop & grind like a very powerful food processor, but they have a heating function, so you can make sauces in them (like hollandaise, or creme anglaise for example) or make risottos or curries (it stirs for you), boil eggs, cook rice, and they also steam, so you can do anything you'd steam on them. They also have in built scales. They make cooking super quick and are very easy to wash up, much easier than my old Magimix food processor. If you're interested, you should definitely call your local rep - they sell by demonstration, because there is so much to show that you wouldn't get if you just looked at it in a store. I make all sorts of things in mine - from basic dinners for the kids, to my own curry pastes (by first dry roasting in the thermomix then grinding them in there) or chopping vegetables for salads, making dips, bread, mashed potatoes (so good!), steaming fish or dim sum, making my own flour (really!). I'll stop now!
      Mr AV also likes to polish his shoes with gay abandon, but on the carpet. He seems to think he doesn't get it on the carpet.... probably because it's so dark, but I can see it!! I'm always yelling at him to use the newspaper underneath. xx

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  9. Love the shoe polish boxy thingy. Gorgeous and practical. My favourite combination.

    I read The Bolter and enjoyed it. Adore the photo of Deborah Devonshire feeding the chooks in her diamonds and pearls. I have found they lay much better when I get out there in my heavy duty jewellery. Who doesn't like a bit of bling?

    I decided to venture to the Mitford dark side recently and read Diana Mosley's autobiography "A Life Of Contrasts". Odd combination of glamour and vehement fascism. Worth a read though.

    Best go - worst thing about school holidays is that no matter how often I tidy up my house it seems to permanently look like a crack den that has just been burgled.

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    1. It's funny, I've always pictured you in your gumboots and a tiara out in the vegie garden and tending to your chooks. Now you've confirmed it for me. Definite Squattocracy.

      Haven't read Diana's autobiography, but would be very interested to. Moseley is such an interesting historical figure. All the aristocracy is so intertwined from the early 20thC, that so many other biographies reference them both. xx

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    2. Just to chime in here as I remembered reading "The Viceroy's daughters"... by Anne de Courcy... about George Curzan .. and and and .... the MOST riveting read.. again, intertwining all of the above.

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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