I haven't taken any renovation photos yet - I'll try to do another post tomorrow with all the details... I've been flat out cleaning... and cleaning some more and trying to move all our stuff into the back of the house since the builders packed up and left yesterday for their long January holiday.




We've had seemingly weeks of up to 17 builders a day in and outside of our house, working hard to try to have us move into the new extension for Christmas. But this has meant that I've had builders around on Saturdays... and Sundays... and every other minute of the day. And while I'm happy they've pushed along progress so well, I've been a bit weary of having to seem cheerful at 6.30 in the morning. So it was quite a relief to escape for a night to Melbourne, although this entailed going to a client (of Mr AV's) cocktail party at their home in Toorak. A party at which I knew pretty much no one, except for our hosts. But never fear, I am quite adept at making conversation with anyone. And although memories of faux pas past still haunt me (like the time I started an animated, 20 minute conversation with a Harvard educated Meteorologist about... meteors), I had a good time meeting lots of interesting people. I wore this old Lela Rose dress pictured above. I think I need to get it taken in as I was post baby #3 when I bought it and it's now a bit loose around the hips. And the top (mores the pity). I wore my leopard print D&G shoes which were purchased under severe peer pressure by Faux Fuchsia, Romy and Pamela on our Melbourne trip in October. They've been a good buy.



Bourke Street, this photo's for Naomi who claims shots of the streets of Melbourne make her homesick


Earlier that day, I'd done a little light shopping in the city after arriving from Adelaide. I bought some books for the children at my second favourite book shop in Melbourne, Hill of Content, in Bourke Street. By the time I'd made my way down to Collins Street in the 40C heat, I was feeling a little weary. But thanks to a quick pit stop in Paspaley, where the manageress could see I was suffering and attempted to revive me with a nice chilled glass of Veuve, and a mince pie, I pushed on. They're so nice in Paspaley (feel free to sponsor the blog with product if you'd like Paspaley. I feel there is good synergy).



Faux Fuchsia, your $88,000 strand of Baroque Pearls say Hi. They're still waiting for you. And good news Pamela - I think G is a romantic type and has been reading my blog, as that $280,000 strand has been sold! I'm sure it's going to be waiting under your Christmas tree! Hope I'm not going to ruin the surprise though...You'll just have to fake shock on Christmas morning.



After buying Mr AV's hard working PA a Christmas present, that was pretty much it for the shopping expedition. It was too hot. 

the Lyall Hotel got into the Christmas Spirit, despite the heat


Aside from the respite in Melbourne, it's been school holiday chaos here, with friends to play and a lot of Christmas tree decorating.

tree on the back of the trailer

We were up in Stirling on Tuesday to help Dad do his Christmas tree. Each year, Dad cuts a self seeded fir sapling from his garden, and we use that for the Christmas tree. I have to say, they always look a lot smaller in the garden than they do in the house... After selecting the tree in the garden, chainsawing it down, and then hauling it up the hill on the back of the trailer of the ride on mower, we lugged it into the hall and roped it to the stair balustrade - and it reaches right up to the first floor. 

The children and I put up the baubles, and then they became very liberal with the tinsel - they were throwing it down from the upper level, and we've ended up with a shimmery, tinselly tree.

My photos are not the best - I was shooting into the light, there are no christmas tree lights, and using an iphone 4 as your primary camera is not the best idea I would think.






 And today, despite spending approximately 6 hours cleaning the cupboards in the kitchen and unpacking, I was also required to supervise the Christmas tree decorating at our house. We managed to have only 2 broken glass ornaments. And one child in time out... and it does look rather like someone vomited tinsel all over the tree (the kids were a little heavy handed), but it shimmers and looks suitably Christmassy, and scents our new extension with delicious pine smells, rather than paint.


I buy the Georg Jensen  Christmas ornament every year. This years was designed by Marlene Birger


I also like to decorate with things I associate with Australian Christmases, rather than snowmen etc (we've never had a proper Northern hemisphere Christmas) 


 This is for Sanjit, the peacock that lives at Dad's house 


 We always eat truckloads of Adelaide Hills Cherries at Christmas




Hope you've had a good week, and I'll be back tomorrow with renovation photos. xx

37 comments:

  1. Love the leopard shoes matching the phone case! I must get my leopard shoes out that I only wore once...
    Love the dress, how I wish I needed things taking in!

    So funny bc just when I saw upper Burke street I was oohing and then I saw you knew I love glimpses of Melbourne so thank you!!

    How amazing does that Xmas tree look in the hall against the staircase??? Honestly stunning, does it snow in your dads place? If it does you should do a proxy Xmas when it is all white. I have Xmas decor hand me downs from the mil and I was trying to give them away to my builders as I just moved some boxes and no takers so I guess I will reuse them next year but mine are not as fun nor as interesting as yours! Xx

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    1. They're the only two leopard print things I own! Both from this year (the phone case was on sale, and was $8 so I thought that was a good buy!).
      I thought of you as I was tramping over Melb, but I feel so stupid taking photos (i have to get over it, I know), so I didn't take too many. Plus it was HOT. You're not missing the heat, I can promise you!
      The tree is huge, and it does suit the house at this time of year. It occasionally snows, but never lasts long. You need to embrace your own Christmases. But I have to say, that we didn't used to do a tree until we moved to Adelaide. I used to string the ornaments up in the window (as we were always in Adelaide for Christmas, it seemed a waste to do a tree and then leave it to die over the holidays). xxx

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    2. Ps forgot to say I love your pearl drop earring! I am eyeing something myself but possibly just to distract my building pain...

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    3. Probably is a building pain distraction, but you need a bit of distraction N! xx

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  2. Nothing in the post I do not love 11/10!!!

    Wish we could have a Christmas drink xxxxxxx

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    1. Wish we could too! Although I feel like my liver needs a break from all the Christmas cheer lately...! xx

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    2. So pleased you've been able to put up your own beautiful tree with all those special ornaments! Your father's tree is stunning against the staircase, a completely fairy tale setting.
      Great you had a getaway and got to wear leopards again. They work so well with that lbd. Sad to hear gumballs have gone - but know they won't be under my tree, maybe Ms HH might be the lucky one? Or Sarah Murdoch!?
      Love a fantasy of a white Christmas just now. Canberra has been 35C+ for days. Can hear the buzz of the saw as our wonderful garden man is rescuing us from Sleeping Beauty's wood - the creepers (wisteria and orange trumpet vine) have gone quite mad in the heat and are marauding across the roofs and down the sides. He knows to cut just the right amount so deck pergola doesn't lose the essential shade and house doesn't disappear under all the leaves and orange flowers. As much as possible we're retreating inside to air conditioning and doing outings in early morning and evenings. Looks as though Adelaide has been even hotter! Can't wait for new pics of reno/extension. Pammie xx

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    3. They had a million dollar strand in at Paspaley once - it was heading to Dubai. There are obviously enough people with substantial change in their pockets to be buying large gifts for Christmas - the shop was packed (with men), and all were walking out with yellow bags in hand.
      Hope the heat passes soon for you - we had horrendous heat, and my garden is fried. No working air con in the back of the house, which has meant it was hot as Hades, but thankfully it's a cool day today, as I've been dragging boxes in from the shed and unpacking, which is horrible at the best of times, but absolutely awful in heat as well. xxx

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  3. I walked past your house today! I was pushing my two boys in the pram & your children were out the front & called out to my boys! I stopped so they could wave & I was thinking 'I know that house'. Didn't hit me until I was sitting at GG's drinking my coffee!

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    1. The kids are always hanging over the front fence chatting to other children when they go past, so that doesn't surprise me one bit! Love GG's too! xx

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  4. YOu look beautiful and you have convinced me that I MUST have tinsel on the tree again next year!!!! It looks wonderful!

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    1. Wendy! I cannot believe that YOU of all people do not have tinsel on your tree!! It's very you. Just remember to go in hard with it, like my children did. Although they may have gone in a little too hard - you can barely see the ornaments! xx

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  5. You look stunning, I too am love in the case and shoes! I must be the only person without an iPhone cover.
    Yes, nip that dress is a wee bit you are tiny and it's a beautiful dress. I've said this before but your dad's house is soooooooooo like the sones here, its uncanny really. The tree is beautiful.

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    1. The phone cover is a necessity - the number of times I've dropped it (or the children have). It's saved the day. Plus it's easier to find inside my bag. It is a very Scottish style house, especially because of the Arts and Crafts interiors as well. Arts & Crafts were very popular in Adelaide. The largest collection of William Morris carpets etc is in Adelaide's Art Gallery (the biggest patrons of the company were two Adelaide families) xx

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  6. The image I have of your children throwing tinsel all over the tree is so funny! I think it looks amazing and I bet they had so much fun. That staircase is stunning. I'd forgotten about tinsel, we always had it as kids but I've never bought it for my own. It's so interesting for me to see you celebrate Christmas in the heat, of course here in Canada we normally have lots of snow and all the cold we could ever want. Though this weekend the weather is really ruinous with a massive freezing rain storm well underway.
    Your ornaments are so pretty! And that dress! The shoes were definitely a good purchase, perfect outfit for a cocktail party.
    Looking forward to the reno update as well.

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    1. I was trying to get them to calm down Dani, but they were literally going crazy with the tinsel! We celebrate very much like the Northern Hemisphere. There are lots of images of snow men, snow flakes etc... but also a lot of people like to decorate with more seasonally appropriate things like shells etc.But we eat a hot Dinner that is very traditional - turkey with stuffing, cooked veggies, and flaming plum pudding for after. A lot of people do seafood now though... it doesn't seem right eating hot food when it is 35C. xx

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    2. It's not so much the eating the traditional Christmas dinner/lunch it's the shopping for it and then the preparation in the heat I don't enjoy ...thats putting it mildly

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  7. Heidi, Your dad's tree is the kind I like, but have never hunted the forest to get. We shop ours at the city lot and then I spend hours carefully/obsessively cutting out rows of branches to make room for danglely ornaments.

    Enjoy your peace and quiet while the construction takes a break. Merry Christmas!

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    1. It's not the common tree here Linda - my Christmas tree (common pinus radiata trimmed to shape) is all you can get here. I like the more spaced out tree as well - Dad's lucky he has so many 'weeds' to cut down, they're perfect for Christmas.
      Merry Christmas to you too xx

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  8. What fab shoes, Heidi! Looking very chic indeed, although I do think the dress needs taking in a touch!
    Lovely to see pic of the Lyall - can't believe they have the fire on!
    We love that book shop on Bourke Street. I think we went there about 5 times on our last trip!
    Your father's staircase and tree is amazing! Love the excessive tinsel thrown from the stairs.
    Looking forward to seeing reno pics.
    We finally got our tree yesterday, and have only got 3 more social engagements before Christmas Day.
    I'm utterly partied out!!

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    1. Thanks Ruth! I'll be taking the dress in- I think that's the reason why I haven't really worn it this year much... it was my favourite before then as it's so flattering on. Hill of Content is such a great bookshop - it makes me realise how few good bookshops we have left in Adelaide now. They've mostly closed down. The good ones still have an awful lot of thick paperbacks with the author's name in large gold letters on the front cover out on display too.
      Couldn't believe they had the fire on at the Lyall!! They also had a creepy santa thing which was motion activated and would start singing. I should've got a photo The staff didn't seem terribly fond of it! I'm all finished for social things - thank goodness! Good luck with your last 3 xx

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  9. Happy Christmas Heidi!

    I love both the trees and the gorgeous child helpers you had.

    Hope you have a wonderful day with your family.

    xxxxx

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    1. Merry Christmas T! Hope you get lots of R&R on the farm now that harvest is over (or is that at the beach?) xxx

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  10. I love your outfit - you look gorgeous!! Those leopard shoes were an excellent choice, glad you caved into the peer pressure! Love the kids' decorating job too!! Happy Christmas! Have a wonderful holiday! :-)

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    1. Thanks Louise - I'm glad I caved to Peer Pressure too! Have a wonderful Christmas xx

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  11. Love the dress and shoes Heidi. Your tree is looking very tinsel-tastic!! Wish those pearls were under my Christmas tree - I think it is perfume and a book instead! Sending Christmas wishes to you and your family. Jo xx

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    1. It is very tinseltastic - unfortunately the tinsel has a habit of blowing off in a breeze, so requires a fair bit of maintenance.... I've got books under the Christmas tree this year too - the best thing during the holidays I think. Have a wonderful Christmas xx

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  12. The children have excelled as Christmas tree decorators. It is well known fact that you cannot have too much tinsel on a Christmas tree.
    I love leopard print, pearls and Melbourne and not necessarily in that order.
    Feel for you doing the cleaning in that heat.
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. The children definitely subscribe to the more is more theory of decorating! There is definitely no self restraint when tinsel comes into it. Have a wonderful Christmas Claire xx

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  13. Gosh, I got tired just reading this post!
    Have a wonderful Christmas.
    Linda C.

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    1. I'm looking forward to a bit of a rest in the New Year Linda - hope you have a wonderful Christmas too xx

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  14. why on earth did they have the fire on at the lyall….beggars belief….i must be getting old because every year i get crankier and crankier about people pretending it's winter at christmas time in australia…when we are so LUCKY to have a summer christmas...was a hilarious article in the age yesterday suggesting we have christmas every 18 months so that both hemispheres get a taste of summer/ winter christmas types…

    ps…adore your christmas trees with the tinsel…utterly fab….and loved the meteor reference….gorgeous! x

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    1. Sometimes I have a bit of a brain freeze moment... hence the meteors!
      The fire was a little bit strange, but it doesn't put out much heat, so it was more decorative. But still strange! Shall have to look up that article in The Age. Was so disappointed to see it in its new format last week when I was there - it's a shadow of its former self. Have a great Christmas Virginia xx

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  15. You did manage a tree at your place after all! Bet the kids are thrilled. Just so we are clear, you are saying that the tree at your dads place grew that tall in just one year? Or am I miss-reading it? If so, that is pretty cool and I guess fairly easy to manage. All this pearl talk and I am lusting after some pearls now.

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    1. No, no! The trees have been growing from 4-8 years, depending on the species. Dad just leaves a few around to wait until they're Christmas tree size ready. If he didn't cut them down the garden would be a forest in no time. Hope you have all your kitchen things fixed now Laura? Merry Christmas xxx

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  16. Christmas trees look fabulous. like fireworks. Merry Christmas to your family Heidi!

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    1. They are very sparkly, and a bit firework like! Have a wonderful Christmas too xxx

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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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