I'm feeling a bit more in control of things this week - we are gradually back into our routine, and I have the house running as smoothly as it can be, considering we have no kitchen and the fridge is in the family bathroom.


So I thought I'd do one of my normal weekly posts. We've had glorious weather this weekend, and yesterday we visited Dad in Stirling for afternoon tea. The garden is looking spectacular.


I picked armfuls of roses to bring home, and as Dad is not much into arranging flowers inside, I used my Mum's Isis Ceramics flower brick and put a posy of mixed pink roses into it for him. These things truly are magic for arranging flowers. Half way through, Dad expressed doubt that it was going to look any good, but he was surprised to see that it all came together easily in the end, just by plonking stems through holes. He may even attempt it himself - he has picked up all sorts of new life skills in the year since Mum's death, so flower arranging might be the go!


I brought this flower brick home with me from London as a present for Mum, after the year that I lived there. It's much nicer (more detailed) than mine, so I warned Dad that if he didn't start to use it I may end up nicking it from him.

The row of Seduction standard roses along the Croquet lawn has had the bridal veil netting removed as they are in full flower and no longer at risk of the cockatoos eating their buds.


 Opium Poppy - these grow wild all over Stirling.


 The three copper Beeches on the front lawn are in leaf

And so, with my armful of roses at home, I did a mixed arrangement in my other cheat's flower arranging vase- the Alvaar Alto wave vase. In between the roses, I shoved in these pretty and highly scented old fashioned carnations (not the full fluffy ones that are commonly grown now, but the old single petal ones). They're so sweet.


It distracts me from the fact that my saucepans are stacked below the flowers, underneath the hall table


Last night we took the children out for dinner to Melt (pizza place) in the City. For a minute, I felt like a hip city groover. Except for the reminder that I'm definitely not by having the kids there. They were playing Depeche Mode and The Smiths as background music, and there are these 'interesting' murals of semi naked women on the walls with antlers on their heads. I'm not sure the relevance, but there's definitely no naff Italian theming going on.



The kids got busy with their colouring in placemats - I bought them last year, and they're washable. When they've finished colouring in, I just wash them as normal, the coloured ink disappears and they're read to use the next time we go out for dinner. I don't like them being on tablets or phones when were out (we try to focus on manners and conversation with them and behaving properly in public), so these are a good balance between entertainment and the manners and conversation goal we have.


I wore these leopard print shoes. I bought them when in Melbourne with Pamela, Faux Fuchsia and Romy 6 weeks ago. If you're on a budget, and don't want to buy anything.. don't go shopping with those three. I feel lucky to have escaped the entire weekend with only one purchase under my belt - they are good shopping enablers. I have realised that while I'm not quite as leopard print crazy as Ruth from Clothing Fixations blog, it has crept in without me noticing... my iphone case is also leopard print. I'm one step away from becoming Jackie Collins.

On the renovation front - I posted pictures on Tuesday, so not a lot to show you for the other 3 days of work this week that is interesting. The wall with the fireplace has finally been plastered up - they'll finish it off this week by cutting around the windows and doing the reveals, and also putting in the flue for the new fireplace.


The skirtings have been fitted - they're flush with the plasterboard, as I wanted simplified details in the back part of the house. It feels very peaceful in there (when the builders are gone) - I'm so enjoying the feeling of volume of space, and the light that we get in the rooms.


Above is the view looking back through the living area to the dining area and the kitchen cupboards beyond. You can see here how they stop about a metre from the ceiling to keep the feel of open plan. The kitchen has been undercoated, and will be painted this week


The appliances are being fitted this week


Outside the louvres have been put into the outdoor dining area, and they've started painting it all ready for the roof to be put on. There are going to be big chunky timber posts under it, rather than the spindly looking steel ones that we currently have.


We're still waiting on the render colour to arrive from Melbourne to finish off the rendering. So far it's been 4 weeks....

To escape reality this week, I've been reading this book - an oldie but a goodie The Garden at Forest Hall by Susan Irvine. All about the beautiful rose garden she created in Tasmania.


As is often the case with one book leading to another, I'm keen to get my hands on a copy of another book she mentions, and am planning on finding a place in the new back garden to plant some of Julia's Rose - a beautiful coffee buff coloured hybrid tea rose that is beloved of flower arrangers and interior decorators the world over.


Hope you had a good week xx

45 comments:

  1. Wow those roses are stunning! Your father's garden looks amazing - so much more green and lush than Sydney gardens, although with the amount of rain we've had over the past 3 days, Sydney must start looker greener soon. It has rained So Much!
    V impressed with the colouring in placemats, and love the leopard shoes. Thanks also for the mention. I'm a bit of a leopard neophyte, really. Only the 4 items in my arsenal, and I think that's really all I need!
    Your kitchen is really taking shape. It must be such a relief to be in the home stretch..... I bumped into a friend I haven't seen for ages today, and it turns out that their renovation which they had planned to have finished within 4 months is at the 8 month mark, and just keeps on growing. They moved out for the duration, and she reckons it will be a year to 18 months in total before it's finished.... Eek!

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    1. It's been strange weather this year - we've had cool temps and a lot of rain up until the past month, whereas you all have had a long dry spell with hot temps already. Glad you've had some rain!
      You're not rivalling Jackie Collins yet Ruth! But I think your recent leopard kick has been pretty funny... and I've been a little bit susceptible to it as well. If I had the money the matching $15,500 coat would've been mine too!
      I hope for your sake you have a smooth, trouble free reno. Ours has taken almost 9 months at this stage, so not too bad really... but when you're living in it it feels like forever! xx

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  2. Can't get over the amount of flowers you get from gardens! Really impressive and that brick does make those flowers come alive. I am in love with Julia's rose but I bought one once at this place called only roses and a stem was ten quid so just bought the one...

    Your place looks fab but do you order stuff from Melbourne bc you use your old contacts? Bc that amount of travel is quite a lot!

    I do have a pair of leopard shoes but there was a home decor pic on northern cal style blog I fell in love with, chinoiserie wallpaper and leopard carpet go surprisingly well!! Xx

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    1. It's peak rose season in Adelaide - they're everywhere! Cannot believe how expensive the Julia rose stem was! London prices for sure...
      Not sure what you mean by second part of comment - I use a few old contacts, but mostly order through the Adelaide showrooms and reps, as it's better to support the local operators. The travel back to Melbourne is purely for pleasure (and Mr AV's work sometimes) - haven't visited one of the Melbourne showrooms or sourced anything from there for ages. It's all on the net now, so don't need to.
      Love the combo of Chinoiserie and leopard print. I see antelope print is all the rage in the US at the moment. The Colefax leopard print and the brunshwig et Fils version in colour are beautiful. Have a good weekend N! xx

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    2. You mentioned you are waiting for render color to arrive from Melbourne but doesntbadelaide have render color?

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    3. Ah! I see what you mean - the render colour is manufactured in melbourne. I think the other company manufactures in Perth. The renderer just wants to use this particular product, which we buy through the Adelaide showroom, so we wait for them to manufacture it. And they're not great at communicating....! xx

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  3. Heidi - good on you with the reno! WHen we do small ones, I get so impatient and whiny from the mess.

    I just purchased leopard print shoes, so I salute yours, though yours are much sexier than mine!

    And your roses - are divine! I do not do well with them here - not enough sun and only the rosa rugosa really thrive and not even so much this summer as it was cold and rainy!

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    1. Ha Wendy - you're like my husband. He's been whining now since around March.....!
      Leopard is definitely having a fashion moment I think, I like these shoes a lot - the heel isn't so high, so they're actually quite comfortable to wear compared to some of my others, which you kind of end up tottering around in. xx

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  4. Your father's garden is incredible. I really enjoy seeing photos of it whenever you post them. I find myself increasingly yearning for a garden and bit more space outside than we currently have in London. Good job with the flower arranging too: you have definitely sold me on the flower brick. I am due another trip to the flower market in the next couple of weeks to get a few things for our thanksgiving table and I will need to replace my orchid - it lasted only 3 months as you predicted!
    Kitchen is looking good - what a fantastic living area it will be! x

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    1. I know the feeling Charlotte - I had a heavily cultivated balcony that was 1 x 2 m in size for 3 years before we bought our first house. Our courtyard in Melbourne was also then heavily cultivated... but I'm not sure I could garden on Dad's scale - it's definitely a step up from our suburban plot! It's nice to have no responsibility for it and to get to visit when we feel like though!
      Sad about the orchid... I think the radiators kill them off pretty quickly - they like a bit of humidity. Get the flower brick - you won't be sorry! xx

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  5. So impressed with the flower arranging whilst in the middle of renovation! That's a step above and beyond. The kitchen is looking lovely - can't wait to see it finished. I can not believe I am the only one who likes dusty renovation photos? There must be more renovation tragics out there? Surely? Also intrigued with the TV dilemma from last week - I HATE televisions and rarely watch them. Apart from Breaking Bad but that's another story. My husband is a die-hard tech-head who has the world's largest TV. It. is. enormous. No hiding that sucker. I had a beautiful full wall of cabinetry built on the opposite wall to the doorway when you walk in to the kitchen/family room so that at least it is not the first thing you see. Ugh. You have to walk right into the room and turn around before the Beast is revealed. At least I persuaded him to give up the matching enormous black speakers for more discreet white flush-to-ceiling ones. And tried to fill the cabinetry with beautiful things to distract from the Beast. Oh well. He didn't ask for any thing else, so had to accommodate that request - no interfering in kitchen design, finishes or appliances. Bless him! T x

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    1. I think a lot of the renovating readers don't comment. I have a few male readers, and they're certainly not here for the frocks (I think!). The flower arranging is a good distraction from the dust and mess everywhere... plus there really is only so much cleaning you can do before you go a bit nuts!
      TV's are a problem - and I think you're right - you have to let the other half have something they want in a renovation. But by God they are ugly. I still have to work out our solution, but fortunately my husband has not wanted the equivalent of a movie screen in the room, so we may find a solution that works for both of us (fingers crossed...) xx

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  6. Gorgeous roses, just loving your reno!

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    1. They are pretty - think they're all David Austins... we can't remember what they were as Mum planted them all (she was the rose expert) xx

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  7. Hello Heidi... I've been very quiet on the blogging front of late and just this morning 'tuned in' ... lovely to read this and see how far your renovations have come along... The photos of your Dad's garden are wonderful and I love your leapard print shoes....Am going to pass on the tip of washable placemats to my daughter too... did you get them in Aus? Have a wonderful week! xxx

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    1. Hi Jenny - have wondered where you've been (thought you might be overseas again!). The placemats I bought at a shop in Stirling, but they're French, and they say on the packet "Set de table a colorer creation marielle hazard" here's a link to her website http://www.lecoindescreateurs.com/english/les-createurs/marielle-bazard/set-de-table-a-colorier-princesses.html
      Not sure where else you could get them in Australia - but you could try googling? xx

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    2. Actually, just found them for you http://www.sillymillymoo.com.au/home/82-girls-princess-colour-in-placemat.html?utm_source=getprice&utm_medium=cpc

      you need some washable textas too though. I bought mine (same brand) from the same shop, but you could probably do the same with just plain old washable crayola textas xx

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    3. Thanks so much Heidi... I'll pass this along... no.. haven't been away.... Just been so madly busy and also one of my beloved Shih Tzu doggies died from the Paralysis tick...so thought I would give blogging a break...

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    4. Oh Jenny, I'm so very sorry to hear about your doggie. I know how much you love them, and it must have been terrible to have that happen. Much love xxxx

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  8. The fireplace surround and mantle is rather gorgeous…such a sensual curve to it….very elegant. I collect old crystal vases with the inbuilt frog thing - just so jolly practical - but hard to find. And am jealous of your roses. Stunning. The only ones which are flowering in my garden are the boring icebergs…though am beginning to understand their virtue, as they are obviously shade resistant. On the home stretch with the renovations now! x

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    1. I love the fireplace because it is simple, and a bit rustic - nice to have something old in the new bit of the house.
      Those vases are the best. Can't understand why no one uses frogs anymore - oasis is not the same (nor so environmentally friendly).
      The humble iceberg does have its place! xx

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  9. Those roses are beautiful. I will be tracking down an isis ceramics brick on ebay! I think I'd be blushing if I was dining at Melt- I'm such a prude- just returned from Gold Coast where the schoolies were wearing short shorts, and found myself tut tutting! I like your anti technology approach to dining. Meal times are so valuable. x

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    1. I know what you mean about the fashion of the young today. I feel quite old when I look at some of the get up that the kiddies are wearing these days xx

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  10. 1. love the seduction roses in a row!

    2. I have susan's rose garden book and luff it

    3. love all those divine flowers you have arranged! Jealous!

    4. love the shoes!

    5. hour looks FAB!!! xxx

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  11. PS the Julia rose is thorny and sometimes called the brown paper bag rose but do you remember when it was THE rose to have in wedding bouquets? Maybe late 90s ??? x

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    1. I do remember! Vogue Living used to feature it in their interiors a lot too. Susan knows her stuff- I learn so much when I read her books. Xx

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  12. Love the colour of the kitchen cupboards, know it's just the undercoat, but they look great. The roses are so beautiful. Would love to know the name of the ones in second pic if anyone recognises. Your mother chose such beautiful varieties and colours and she must have loved the rose brick you brought her from the UK. Your father's garden is really a paradise.
    Have often thought about getting Julia's rose, it's such an unusual colour. Maybe next year. Quite a few of our roses are very thorny, including the lovely Albertine which I planted along the back fence years ago. It's a good deterrent to possible burglars fence hopping as they would really be impaled. Sadly though we had to cut it back drastically because it had climbed through quite a large tree which died during the drought. It used to be gorgeous, in November the tree would be festooned with the lovely blooms right from the top branches - and the scent was heavenly. But when the dead tree was taken out the rose had to be reduced to a shadow of its former self. When picking for vases I always removed the thorns first. I guess Julia needed a lot of de-thorning too.

    Still love the shoes - and at 50% off they were quite a bargain! Best wishes, Pamela

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    1. So sad you lost a tree, especially as it was doing such a good job of being a pillar for your rose. Your photos you've posted of your garden in bloom are so lovely Pamela, I have garden envy! Next year hopefully I'll have more than a tiny cultivated patch. Haven't regretted the shoe purchase one bit! They are beautiful and lift every outfit. Xx

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  13. Meant to ask Heidi - where did you source that beautiful fireplace? Cheers

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    1. It was the subject of my first ever blog post! Antiques Avignon in Adelaide. Think he's closed down though, which is very sad. It's French and made of limestone (and weighs a tonne!).

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  14. You and ruth have joined my wardrobe world with the leopard shoes! Next you'll be wearing uggs ;)

    Gorgeous flowers ... reminding me to clip the few remaining roses in my garden to enjoy indoors.

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    1. Ha Tiffany! I do wear uggs, just never in public. One of my real life friends likes to play spot the uggs in the back of the outfit photos I sometimes post (as you can see into our dressing room behind, and they're usually lying on the floor somewhere). xx

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    2. I wouldn't think many Aussies would wear uggs outside the house/garden. To me and almost everyone I know, they're slippers so wouldn't be seen dead in them in public. It's kind of a sign that you've lost the plot, or at least that you can't be bothered about standards anymore. But they're lovely at home on a winter evening. Best wishes, Pamela

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  15. You father's home looks so incredible - just those gardens and flowers alone, I remember seeing some photos from there in the past. I admire your flower decorating skills, I am just the plop the tulips in the bowl type and hope they go up and down like tulips do their undulating. My friend who's from the South - every Southern woman knows how to arrange - showed me how to put sellotape across the top of the bowl holding them out beautifully. AAaanyway, I have never every bought anything leopard or animal, but am loving your shoes, very classic and they would go with my new grey dress!!!

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    1. It's a really lovely spot - he loves it, and I think we'll be carrying him out in a box when he's 100. The garden is his passion.
      I'm terrible at flower arranging, the vases I use are good cheats for arranging - I aim to be like your friend, however unfortunately I was never sent to finishing school, so have missed that part of my education. Maybe one day....
      The shoes look great with everything (almost) - embrace the leopard print Jody, you could definitely rock it xx

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  16. Roses are gorgeous. I love Julia's rose because it will grow here!! Mass plantings look a bit drab though so I only have one.

    The house looks great too. Hope all well with you.

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    1. So you don't advocate planting it in a group of 3 or 5 then? I usually like to do a mass plant of my roses. Maybe a bit of white in there will do the trick?
      All ok here - just too busy! Hope all is good on the farm - where's your latest post??? Am missing the harvest update! xx

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    2. I was just asking myself where my latest post was. It seems to be MIA as I am lacking time (and motivation...) Have a half day at work today so may get there. (Or may not).

      I normally plant roses in groups too. Just found the Julia's rose looks gorgeous cut but not as gorgeous in the garden.

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  17. The roses. I fell off my chair. Puts my 3 scabby ones to shame. They are positively overflowing from the flower brick. PINCH IT!!! Heheh, do a swapsies. I want a flower brick. I want so many vases.

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    1. The roses are enormous this year - seriously huge. I'd love to pinch the brick, but Dad is slightly sensitive to us fleecing him of his possessions. I have to bide my time.....! xx

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  18. (my browser won't let me make a proper reply) So I'm going to leave my apologies everywhere because for the longest time, I didn't even realize I was offending the heck out of people wearing my uggs out and about. Blame my SoCal surroundings and not keeping up with what's in or out at all. However, I have not found better footwear for winter travels (way too many ways to fumble going through airport security) and I refuse to be miserable as I was the one time I went without them (my cold tootsies suffered immensely the entire five-hour flight). So I'm sorry, so sorry ... if I run into one of you ladies wearing them. oxo

    On the other hand, your post got me to take some garden roses to my office and oh I have enjoyed them this week!

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    1. Oh tiffany rose, you haven't offended any of us at all!! We just find it funny when people wear them in public, as they do elsewhere in the world aside from Australia. The Europeans love them too - one of my friends moved to Germany, and said that Uggs were very expensive there, and all the well dressed women were wearing them in public. She went backwards and forwards about whether she would bring herself to wear them publicly, and eventually succumbed due to the cold. She got her parent's to bring her a pair from Australia, because they're quite cheap over here and said she still felt weird wearing them in public - we really do just think of them as slippers!! But you don't need to fear our disdain when encountering other foreigners wearing them, it's just pretty funny. They're called Uggs as it's slang for Ugly Boots.
      So glad you picked your roses and had them indoors - you're lucky you've got some blooming on your bushes still as you head into winter xx

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    2. Yes, it's only cultural differences. When Uggs first came into shops in Australia they really were just slippers because the soles were made from the same sheepskin as the rest. Very comfortable and warm but you couldn't step out into the garden wearing them. Then v2 came out with proper hard soles so you could wear them to go outside and hang out the washing or whatever. But despite comfort and warmth factor, probably because of how we first thought of them - as the best slippers ever, most Aussies still tend to believe it isn't OK to wear them outside the house/garden. Rather like wearing your comfortable old winter dressing gown to go to the Post Office or the shops. So even though there are more jazzed up versions around now, we still think it's rather funny when we see pictures of Hollywood stars happily wearing them out. In fact in Paris in May this year I saw a whole display of Uggs in Le Bon Marche shoe department and was so astonished I took a photo of them. My mother never really approved of Uggs at all (she loved beautiful shoes) - she always wore proper slippers but had Ugg inner soles put in for extra warmth and comfort. But we're never offended by seeing other nationalities wearing them in public. Just a bit amused and astonished. Best wishes, Pamela xx

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  19. Your roses are stunning and I like the idea of a cheat's vase too. I'm all for cheating when it comes to flower arranging! I'm also admiring your leopard print heels which are handy to add a touch of glamour to an outfit. There was a time a few years ago when I would never have imagined wearing animal print but I started with a scarf then some ballet flats and last year a tunic dress!! I don't however wear them all at once!!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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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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