I thought it would be a quieter week with everyone back to school/ kindergarten and into old routines, but it's instead been filled with a million little errands that were the backlog from the school holidays.


Firstly, I finally managed to get into the city to collect four dresses that I had dropped off for alterations around 5 weeks ago. They all needed adjustment mostly to make them more fitted on the top, although the pretty one with the watercolour style painting of birds, insects and flowers on it hasn't been worn for a year - it was purchased 4 months after the birth of my 3rd child. Not the best time to buy clothes... and needless to say nearly 3 years later, it didn't fit at all. Probably two dress sizes too big, but the seamstress was able to alter it perfectly. Hooray! Unfortunately it's now so cold that I won't be wearing it until next year, but at least I've finally sorted it out.


As I picked up the 4 from alterations, I then dropped off another three items.... the problem you have when you have had a changing shape for a period of around 7 years of bearing children - you've been all sizes. I also put my knee high boots into be re-heeled ready for the really cold weather to hit. Two things ticked off my long list


Nothing much exciting has happened on the renovation this week - the concrete pour was supposed to be Thursday, but was delayed until this week... the hydronic heating coils were all run (the purple tubes), which meant the concreters all cleared off to another job for several days due to the one day that the hydronics took. Fairly typical.


I'm not sure if you can see the wooden boxes in the living area in the distance - these are the forms for the floor boxes (to keep the concrete out of them). Floor boxes are usually only done in a Commercial setting - they sit into the slab so the top of the box is flush to the floor and inside contain power outlets, data etc. You usually have them under a boardroom table for instance. I've put three in the sitting area of the Living room as it's a big room and I wanted lamps in the sitting area without having to run cords across the floor to the wall outlets. They'll be covered by the rug so the lamp cords will disappear under the furniture into the boxes. I've decided to do no overhead lighting in the Living room for a few reasons, mostly because I prefer lamp light, plus we have 4 meter high ceilings. There'll be some wall sconces as well around the perimeter of the room.

Speaking of electrical cords, I was admiring this lamp from Circa lighting in the US in the latest Architectural Digest, but was confused about how it was powered... where was the cord? There were a few others in the magazine like this as well.... unless the US have invented the cordless electrical lamp I'm thinking there's been a bit of photoshopping going on. I did quite like the greek key detail down the sides though.


I went up to visit Dad during the week in Stirling, as some curtains I'd organised for him were finally being installed by my curtain maker. He's decided to sleep in one of the smaller upstairs bedrooms in Winter, as it's much warmer than the rather palatial Master bedroom (Stirling is freeeeezing in Winter), so new curtains were called for (there were none before). We chose a paisley in soft blues/ tans from Duralee, it suits the slightly Arts and Crafts style of a lot of the Interiors, and I chose a timber curtain pole as it matched others already in the house that are original. The curtains look like they've always been there, which is my general aim with most interiors things I've done in the house - we were very pleased.




On to books, and one thing I have always loved to do is read to my children at night. It's probably my favourite time of day with them. I've especially enjoyed reading this children's version of The Odyssey to my oldest in the past month - I studied Classics, and we of course read the full version as a text. My 7 year old absolutely loved it, it's such a great tale. They've sanitised it a little by taking out all the womanising Odysseus did during his voyage, but the bits with the mythical creatures, giants, Gods and Odysseus's general cunning and living by his wits kept him enthralled. I also loved the illustrations as they were modelled on Etruscan vase decorations so were perfect for the story. A great book for a child aged 6-12 (either to read aloud or them to read themselves) and would make a fantastic gift.


And you might remember that I went to Writer's Week back in February and attended a talk by Anne De Courcy on The Raj... well I've started on her book The Fishing Fleet (I now have three books on the go that I'm dipping in and out of...), and I'm really enjoying it. Recently the Adelaide Writer's Week put podcasts up online from Writers week, which is great as I got to listen to a couple of others I was interested in, but couldn't get to. If you're interested her very entertaining talk is here.


And in something that goes totally against the grain with me, I've started a 10 week exercise program. So far I've completed a week, and am totally hating it. I'm just not a good at exercise that involves pain and suffering. But I know it's good for me so I will push on and hopefully start to really enjoy it and see the benefits soon. So far I'm just at the stiff and tired point. Most afternoons I've felt like having a nap, which is not a helpful development.... wish me luck!

Hope you had a great week.

36 comments:

  1. That dress with the watercolour print is stunning. I have so many ill-fitting things in my wardrobe, but the thought of having them all altered sends chills down my spine - the cost would be astronomical. I spend hundreds of dollars on dry cleaning a month, so the budget for post-purchase care is stretched as it is.

    Your dad's house is just beautiful. My parents live in a 70s architectural delight, which I hated as a child but have come to adore now that I'm older. I know nothing about architecture, but new houses these days just seem to be so utterly soulless - my poor old 1930s apartment is a bit battered and bruised, and certainly short on space, but I just can't fathom moving out of it into a boxy 4x2 with next to no garden and nothing but cream and white interiors.

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    1. Hi Z, I'm so glad I've had them altered - they just look so much better now, and especially it's made me a bit sad to see things that I love but that I haven't worn this Summer. It isn't cheap though, I agree, but cheaper than buying new. I don't dry clean a lot - put everything in the machine on handwash cold setting (it's a good machine though)... I worked in retail through my Uni days, and was told that the care labels were just to ensure no one could return anything.

      Your parent's house sounds Fab - they used to do some great design back in the 70's, and they were usually much better built than things are now. Agree about the soulless box as developed ad nauseum now, it would do my head in. Love a 1930's apartment, they were actually designed to live in, rather than aimed at investors to rent out. xx

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    2. You need to do what I do with dry cleaning- give it to Old Mr FF on a on day and drive him to work. Problem solved!

      I believe dry cleaning ruins clothes but sometimes the fear is too intense to risk it x

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  2. I agree with Z, beautiful print on that dress!
    I spend a fortune on tailoring things, due to my 'tricky' size. One of the reasons I love J Crew so much is that their skirts and pants fit without tailoring!
    I'm very impressed with your box for electricals in the slab. What a genius idea. I also despise most ceiling lighting. I especially hate halogen down lights (sorry if this offends anyone!). I seriously hate them....
    Love the Odyssey. M loves reading Greek myths - she has an illustrated book of myths that are a bit watered down, but fab! An old friend of mine was a total classics nut at school and is now a classics lecturer and does documentaries on Brit TV about the Ancients, so it just goes to show how far one can go with a good classics education!!
    I'm hoping to make it to the Sydney Writers Festival, but work is crazy so it's not looking promising.... Oh well
    Well done on your exercise programme! Good luck and stick with it - you may yet enjoy it......xx

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    1. I do like the way the Americans do the regular length or tall length. I find with regular length I have half a chance of not having to take it up by several meters on the leg length. Wish they'd do it here! Halogen lighting can ruin a good ceiling. They're a bit of a necessary evil though. I thought if I put them in the raked ceiling in the living room they'd look awful, plus be ineffective anyway.
      Clearly your friend studied a little harder than me at Classics.... no tv shows on my horizon I suspect. Plus I've forgotten so much, Mr AV relied heavily on me to be his personal tour guide through Rome last year (he can't be bothered reading guide books), and I kept forgetting things. Listen to the podcasts for the Adelaide one... then you can say you went to that one and don't need to do the Sydney one!! xx

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    2. Or even better, short length!! I love it when I don't have to hack a metre off the bottom of pants!
      Good idea about the podcasts. Really want to see William Dalrymple, though.

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    3. He'd be quite interesting... can see why you're tempted. Always hard to find time though, which is probably why the audience of the Adelaide one during the week was full of silver hair! xx

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  3. The print dress is beautiful! I am with you on the exercise! Hate that pain factor- but must keep with the motto - no pain no gain!

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    1. So far it's all pain no gain Deanne. Lets hope it changes soon....! xx

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  4. Love the print on that dress. Almost looks like your did it yourself but made it into a dress - no issue of going to a party with another woman wearing the same thing!

    I am like Oprah except I don't have children as a reason for fluctuations. I don't get things altered because I know I may need it either on the way up or on the way down.

    That electric idea seems a very good one - 4 meter ceilings! Wow - but I agree about different layers of light as well. Yes that lamp is either wifi or photoshopped. I can't blame them because wires are cumbersome. It's good to know I am not the only one who questions things while flipping through magazines :)

    I might get that Odyssey book as I am still very behind on Greek stories. Medea is the only one I studied properly so this might be a good book for me to get into it. Do your children like Horrible Histories? I loooove that show and although I thought I was a history buff - it sometimes teaches me new things - if you don't have it on the ABC there - I would honestly youtube it and show your kids. It is brilliant and great viewing for both adults and children alike. xx

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  5. PS Good luck on your regime by the way! Marathon training next perhaps?

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    1. Good lord - no Marathon training... ever!!

      I've hesitated to have dresses altered for that reason too - but I figured my weight and size has been relatively stable for around a year now, so thought I'd take the plunge. Fingers crossed I won't go up again!

      Read the real Odyssey! You need the womanising to really get the whole story. Just skip the chapter that lists all his crew and their family lineage. It's a bit dull and you can likely do without that part. The kids watch Horrible Histories. It's on after Star Wars on ABC 3 and I have to say I've learnt things too!! xx

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    2. Ooh we love Horrible Histories too! I love the songs!

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    3. the songs are hilarious! x

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    4. The Charles the second song and the Kate Bush parody are my favourites!

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  6. I hate organised exercise - make myself do it though. I just prefer to be generally active but unfortunately that does not seem to cut the mustard.

    The dresses are pretty. Worth getting them altered if you like them.

    I don't dry clean much either (except evening dresses and suits etc). I just put it through the machine on delicate cycle and dry flat. I must admit this is mainly due to complete lack of drycleaner in 200km radius.

    Z - laughing at your description of modern houses. I think I have too much garden. i have just spent most of the afternoon in it and I swear you can't even see where I have been!

    Love the little floor boxes idea - would definitely do that if I ever built. Makes so much sense. So hard to make cords look anything but horrible.

    Take care. School back tomorrow. I am a little bit relieved but not looking forward to the lunch box/sports uniform/homework dramas that ensue. Plus have had a fun time with the kids these holidays.

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    1. I prefer to do what I call "passive exercise". That involves walking. And maybe doing a bit of lifting of children and that sort of thing. I sort of got roped into this, and so far it's reminding me why I haven't taken out a gym membership in the past 10 years (I vowed to myself never to sign up to a gym again).

      Must be a little difficult in a country town to do a lot of things, hadn't thought about dry cleaning, but as we all survived before the chemicals were invented, there must be a way of cleaning everything without them.

      Enjoy the peace of school back. It's amazing what a 2 week break will do to your routines! It's taken a while for us to get back into ours... xx

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  7. LUFF Anne de C- Viceroy's daughters is a fave. So much good gossip.

    Love the curtains. So pretty.

    Love the frocks too. I need so many things altered as well. Got some shoes re heeled and soled last week- felt like I had scaled Everest xxxx

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    1. The Viceroy's Daughters is one of my favourites too. I have another one of hers on Diana Mitford on the bedside table... the pile is growing, I can't help myself!

      Felt similarly about collecting the dresses and putting the boots in to be reheeled. Such a hassle, and a great feeling of accomplishment! xx

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  8. Heidi... I can relate totally with regard to exercise ... why would one enjoy anything that makes the chest burn and the muscles ache? Obviously things improve and I have been through to the other end a few times in my life. At my age and plagued with arthritis, exercise is essential. I Love the curtains in your Dad's winter bedroom... I am very partial to the Arts and Crafts era ... there is something solid, comforting and grounded in some of the design detail. The very heavy wooden look is a bit much though! Dresses are fab and we look forward to seeing you in them in the summer!!! I have to say that I am so impressed with sunken power points into the slab. It requires very careful planning - knowing what furniture will go where... Well done and the end result is fantastic as no ugly wires trailing around! xxx

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    1. The furniture placement took me a while to sort out as I had to choose what the sofas and armchairs were going to be (we have only one very old sofa so will be getting new ones for the new room. The old one will go into Mr AV's office or the kid's playroom). But I think (hope) I've got them in the right place! Agree with you about the dark wood of the Arts and Crafts era. Dad's house is a reasonable balance I think - no heavy ceiling beams or anything like that. I did some curtains last year for the guest bedroom and no one has yet noticed they're new - a beautiful floral Colefax fabric that looks slightly faded and fits perfectly.
      Very sorry re the arthritis - it can be very debilitating. Do you have it in your fingers? I always worry that's where I'll develop it in my older age (as my grandmother has it quite badly) which will curtail so much of what I enjoy doing... but very good on you for continuing with the exercise. xx

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    2. I've had it for 30+ years ... and manage it totally with diet - NO medication!! ... it's not for the faint-hearted though as it never goes away but can be controlled - no wine, vinegar and and and !! But I'm Not complaining... really - Just sometimes though it would be great to let go and eat anything. Thinking about blogging about it actually... there are so many sufferers out there xxx

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    3. Goodness you've done so well to control it with food. Although that is difficult (as I know with my eczema). You should definitely blog about it, it really does help a lot of people if there is information. I have really only learnt a lot about what triggers eczema since blogging and the internet over the past few years, despite having it since I was 13 and seeing numerous dermatologists since a baby (had it as a 2 year old, then it disappeared). xx

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  9. Hello Gorgeous Yes, I'm alive! I'm so sorry for the radio silence. But I'm thrilled to catch up on your latest.

    All four dresses are fabulous, especially the top one. I'm like that with alterations. I'll get organised and stash the clothes at the front door, ready to take them. They invariably stay there for several months before I actually do it. And then I take ages to collect them. Go figure!

    Those curtains look perfect. Well done you.

    And the children's version of The Odyssey sounds so intriguing. Given ours are 7.5, 5.5 and nearly 4, maybe I could give it a go here as well.

    J x

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    1. Jane! Hello, have been thinking of you - so good to hear from you! I have a permanent pile of stuff to go to charity/ alterations/ dry cleaner. I get rid of them and then the pile grows again. Frustrating!
      Definitely look for that version of The Odyssey, Josh would love it. xx

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  10. I adore the curtains that you chose. I'd wear that pattern somehow too! And I still love the pattern of your blue and white dress.

    Lovely dresses. I'm doing the end of season clean-up/prep too, just for the opposite season. I need to alter so many things, it really makes me want to own a lot less - too much upkeep. My husband and I bought a sewing machine and are teaching ourselves to do alterations. Last night he took in a work-worthy sweatshirt and I hemmed my jeans. We felt rather accomplished!

    Hilarious about that lamp. Maybe lamps are going to start having body image problems too?

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    1. I really love Paisley... I'm thinking it might take over from Ikat in Interiors in a few years time, it's not really been used much in recent years.
      Well done on the sewing! I had my machine out on Saturday and spent an hour sewing on name tapes to children's Winter Uniform bits and pieces and mending things. Alterations are expensive...and I'm not clever enough to do them myself, but I'm glad that I can keep wearing my things without having to buy new. Now I just have to stay the same size!!
      There is so much photoshopping that goes on with Interiors you'd be amazed! One of the fabric company people was complaining about it to me as the colour of a fabric featured in a magazine spread was totally different compared to the real deal - everyone was getting annoyed that it didn't match when they went running in to buy it. xx

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  11. Love your chevron dress. Hope the tradies pick up soon.

    I am dying to know your thoughts in the fence height proportions and indented or not wall in between the pillars. Hope you get a chance to pop over *shy*

    Hope you are having a lovely week.

    B

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    1. Sorry B! Will pop by and have a look xx

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    2. Don't be sorry <3

      Thank you so much for stopping by!!!!

      B

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  12. Wow, those two dresses on the right at pieces of art, so romantic. You have the best clothes. I'm doing alterations. Now I'm 51 I'm taking all hems down as far as they can go, waaay past the index finger rule.

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    1. I think you could probably still get away with having shorter skirts - but I guess we all have to draw a line in the sand at some point? The pinky coloured Lela Rose dress is much nicer in person too - the silk is textured and has some metallic threads in it. I find it very hard to resist a pretty dress.xx

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  13. The curtains look fantastic. What a charming print.
    I love the dresses and good for you for getting round to sorting them out. I don't think that I have finished having children yet so I have just packed away all my post baby clothes that are too big. I wore a Milly dress over the weekend for the first time which I had bought on the outnet and found it to be huge around the chest (which I know you have complained about with some of the US designers). So I think I will get that taken in... when I get round to it!
    What sort of exercise regime are you doing? I think you will find that you begin to love it and will probably become addicted. I could never get into going to the gym but started running whilst I was at law school and I think it took about 3 weeks to get over the constant pain/out of breath stage and then the endorphins kicked in. Now I don't run so much but adore reformer pilates. It is idea for busy people as you get the cardio, strengthening and stretching all in one work out.
    x

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    1. I do love Pilates, but the studio nearby hasn't really inspired me - full of the very elderly during the day, so the instructor spends a lot of time with them adjusting their springs etc... I was getting very bored. I used to do it a lot in Melbourne and loved it, you get such great results, especially post baby. My new program I have to go 3x's a week to a personal training gym. There's a group of around 10 women and it's a diet and exercise program with a personal trainer who is very nice... so it's making me accountable, otherwise I would have quit after the first two sessions!
      Glad to hear I'm not the only one with the bust problems!! The US dresses are huge up top, the Milly ones are really big, and Lela Rose have become quite large too (didn't used to be so big but they seem to have adjusted their sizing in the past year). The waists are still quite small though... xx

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  14. I agree re: cords and have asked for the same thing in my office, as I have an open free-standing desk .. and yet the computer cables run off to the other side of the room? :(

    I love your hand painted skirt! .. and hear you on an ever-changing shape. Pre-kids I was proud of my one-size wardrobe and constant shape/size .. now I have 4 sizes and i'm still not sure which one i'll end up being! Exercise is not my friend however, and wine is .. the combination isn't really my friend...

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    1. I have the same problem with exercise and wine.... the elimination diet I was put on made me stop drinking for 3 months and amazing weight loss ensued (sadly, would have liked to lose a lot of weight without giving up alcohol). Exercise is more for overall health and wellbeing I think. Diet is more important for weight. But neither are particularly easy... and the whole child bearing thing takes a big toll on the body for years and years. It's just hard. I don't think you realise when you start having children how long the effect pregnancy has on your body for the years ahead. xx

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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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