It's been a while. We've had school holidays (which always, despite my best intention has me disappearing off the grid for a while), then with the inevitable catch up of work/ laundry etc post school holidays, and then this week one (vaccinated) child home sick with Chicken Pox, so I've not been on blogs for a while. Oh, and then I became sucked into the Netflix void and started binge watching "Outlander". I'm clearly on some sort of Scottish kick this year, between Outlander and the James Trilogy plays I attended during the Adelaide Festival in March... and Outlander is very good by the way.

So, here are some snapshots from life for the past few months....

I've been to the Royal Flying Doctors Ball - Wings for Life, as I do each year. I know my real life friend and avid blog reader Richard has been dying to read a discussion about my dress (he really loves the dress chat posts I do), so Rich this is for you. This year's outfit was a dress I've had in my wardrobe unworn... purchased back when the dollar was at parity with the US (the Glory Days, shopping wise), and I was in a severe Fantasy Wardrobe phase purchasing cocktail dresses to escape from the actual reality of my life - a major building project while living in it with toddlers. So, I finally pulled the dress out (navy blue Martin Grant), bought new earrings to go with it (Oscar de la Renta) and donned the pink Shoes of Shame and their matching clutch bag.



I had an updo done by my hairdresser.


Unfortunately Mr AV is a reluctant photographer (he thinks social media is stupid, and he's probably right), so there are no fashion blogger style photos of me fake walking down the street. Just bad selfies using mirrors, poor lighting and an iPhone. Enjoy!

Reflecting on why I'd bought this dress in the first place, I realised I had in fact sort of outfit repeated, and already owned a remarkably similar dress in white


My Wedding dress. I do like a bit of architectural style folding over the bodice it seems, even if they were worn 16 years apart. I also did a remarkably similar hair style on reflection... I guess I like what I like and am consistent!



On the home front, a shuffle around was undertaken in the living room when a new artwork arrived for the casual living area. It still has to be properly hung, but I'm debating about frame choices. In the meantime I love the way this space has warmed up so well with the fabric choices on the armchair and cushions and colour from the painting. For a long time it was very neutral, and while I love neutrals, I love a bit of colour and warmth in our main living area. I have tonal cream elegance in my Sitting room/ library to satisfy me there.


The arrival of the painting dovetailed in neatly with a book I'm reading - "I sold Andy Warhol (too soon)" which I picked up on the bargain table at Dillon's on the Parade. It's a bit of an inside account of the modern art market, centred around New York,  which makes for depressing reading. Essentially a bunch of people just bid up things at auction, stockpile art that they never display, and manipulate prices for an artists work, in much the same way as people speculate on stocks. The artists work is not necessarily actually worth that much by technical prowess or maturity (and in many cases is totally overvalued when considering the quality of the art compared to prices fetched by paintings 100 years old by better quality artists... then again Art is subjective). Especially interesting reading given that a Basquiat broke records a couple of days ago by fetching $57.3M at Auction.

via Christies


old slipcovered sofa in my kid's playroom

In house news I've also just farewelled the 17 year old Jardan sofa to have it reupholstered. It's now the sofa for the kids playroom, having been our one and only sofa for 14 years before that, and I've had it slipcovered for about the past 8 years as the old beige coloured upholstery did not look good at all. I chose an indoor/outdoor fabric from Jim Thompson, and this will hopefully survive the kids and give a bit more longevity to the sofa, which is still in good nick and proves that quality lasts.



Aside from my client work, I've also been working on another house. It's four storey, and has needed a few structural repairs on the exterior railings. It's only partially furnished, and my deadline is this Saturday... it's my old Dollhouse, which we are giving E for her 8th birthday, pictured above. E will be able to finish furnishing it herself - I've previously told the story behind the dollhouse, but to recap, as my father put me on a payment plan akin to a mortgage (after I had saved half the price by doing weekend jobs for 2 years) when I so desperately wanted it as an 8 year old, I wasn't able to furnish it. By the time I paid it off I was a teenager, and wanted to spend my money on clothes, rather than furnishing a dollhouse, so the interiors are sparse. It's been living at my Dad's house on the back landing upstairs with our old rocking horse Rigby whom you can see in the photo. So this weekend marks a bit of a birthday celebration and a passing of the baton to E with my first ever house project. I'm going to have to let go of it and let her make her own decorating decisions, which is only right I guess. Even though E doesn't seem quite so passionate about houses as I have always been, I know she'll have a lot of fun playing with it, and I can't believe she is about to turn 8 - when I started this blog she was 4, and that seems like a blink of an eye ago.

Lastly, I thought I'd share a few Instagram accounts I've been enjoying... I mostly follow Designers, people that focus on their own house interiors, and fabric companies... then a couple of extras. These are two that never fail to make me laugh

Firstly Barbie Savior - it's a parody account on the young women in their 20s that earnestly go to Africa to "save" the local population, all while taking slum selfies, and talking up their noble efforts and sacrifice.



The second is Overheardla, which is an anonymous account people submit funny things they've overheard people saying in LA to, some of which are downright hilarious, and also those that capture the zeitgeist.

Enjoy!

34 comments:

  1. Have really been missing you - so great to see your latest post. But sorry to hear about the chickenpox. Can be miserable and so hard to stop them from scratching the itches.
    Love the new painting, gorgeous, and really does add warmth and colour and so glam and vibrant too. Fits in well too with the outdoors garden theme. Look forward to seeing the new covering for the playroom sofa. Jim Thompson fabrics always seem to be worthwhile. lucky E to be receiving that dolls' house! Would have been over the moon when I was a child too. Your father trained you so well for adult life - the way you had to save up for a deposit and then to keep paying off the balance. Not many parents are capable of persisting with a scheme like that. Most probably give in and say, OK don't worry about paying anymore. But then that's not what life's really like.

    "New" dress looks fab! Oh, for those glory days again when the A dollar and Yankee were at parity! Only wish the Oz was much better against the euro. In 2013 for the Paris non-tour it was around 81 to euro. Now it's about 64! If we're lucky! Getting a bit excited though - we're off again soon. Pammie xx

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    1. Hello P - kept meaning to blog, but life's been busy. Yes this is child number two with chicken pox! The first one was during school holidays. Fortunately as they've all been vaccinated for it it ends up being very mild. The one home this week has been bouncing around, completely bored and unfortunately infectious, so I think were all looking forward to him returning to school tomorrow.
      Yes, my parents were harsh, but fair with their financial training. I am very sensible now, so it's not been such a bad thing... and I try to follow through a similar thing with my kids. Oh the dollar is no where near as good anymore, and it's so sad! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time shopping away regardless in France though! Fortunately the food etc is always so much cheaper than here it does make a little bit of a difference. xxx

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  2. Updo- fab, navy frock- fab, shoes of shame- look nice, but painful. I know nothing about 'cream tonal elegance' but desperately want to learn.

    Living room is superb and new painting looks wonderful.

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    1. Thanks for the kind compliments G, the shoes are quite well balanced, although I fear my days of skyscraper heels are sadly numbered and I'll be retiring to mid height soon enough.

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  3. I'm consistent too. If it wasn't for Pinterest telling I've already pinned something my boards would be reruns! Love the dress and the tailoring and it really suits you too. You look stunning. You day outlander eh? I'll add to my watchlist but now I watch shows weekly again. But I miss a binge watch. How amazing is your dollhouse? It's fabulous and live the lessons of life and your first mortgage too. My parents tried that with me but I just let them repossess stuff. I never liked a toy more than a day...E will love it and you can let her hire you too! Love the painting but I must say I think it looks good I framed but then I'm rough around the edges like that. I love the art market shenanigans and when we have lunch in the future can't wait to discuss!! So glad you posted too xx

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    1. Actually that Pinterest thing annoys me because now half the time it suggests a pin for me, I try to pin it and it tells me I already have it on my board. Why????!
      You need to watch outlander! You'll have to binge watch as it's half way through series 2, and I have to say, the first half of the first episode I was kind of meh, but once she time travelled it has been RIVETING I tell you. Political/ Historical intrigue, battles... Plus the love interest spends a lot of time with his shirt off strutting around in his kilt and isn't bad to look at, so that helps I guess Haha!
      Love that your parents repossessed your toys!! Too funny. I was very determined with the dollhouse, and it did set me up well for the pure drudgery associated with plugging away at a mortgage.
      Always love all your art market inside info, but it seems from this book New York is in a league of its own. There's quite a bit about Saatchi too and what he did marketing wise to drive the prices up in the UK. So fascinating. xx

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  4. I'm with mr AV, social media IS stupid.

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    1. I think, largely, you are both right. There are some good elements to it, but it does seem to have dumbed down society as a whole and lead to a weirdly addictive behaviour pattern in others.

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  5. Hello Heidi, I haven't commented before but I have been a long time reader and after all this time I feel I know you well enough to add in my two cents worth! I found your post about Jim Thompson so interesting and since you have mentioned him again I thought you would be interested to know that in her autobiography, "The Woman I Wanted to Be" by Diane von Furstenberg, DVF seems to claim she had dinner with Jim Thompson the night before he disappeared! I guess someone had to... . Since I couldn't make up my mind whilst reading her book whether DVF simply had good self talk or was a straight out narcissist, I didn't know what to make of that anecdote. However,once again a very enjoyable post.

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    1. Hello Hannah, thank you for commenting! Well, that's an interesting claim from DVF.... was that the dinner he had the night before he left for Malaysia? Because the dinner on the saturday night at the villa up in the highlands was fairly small, and there was definitely no mention of DVF. Interesting take on her with the bio too... I haven't read it, but might. She sounds quite complex if it left you with mixed feelings.

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  6. Your ball outfit is stunning Heidi - I love the structure of the dress and the earing are a fantastic addition. Belle of the ball, I bet.
    Sorry to hear about the dreaded pox... I hope everyone is on the mend now.
    Love hearing all the house project updates. The living room is looking great - I love what you have done with the colours.
    I gave my girls my old dolls house (minus the furniture) but it is in dire need of a bit of TLC. I figured that they could enjoy it for the next few years (my oldest is 5 and a half) and then I can do some remodelling when they are a bit older. So lovely to have cherished toys to hand down.
    x

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    1. Thanks Charlotte - the draping on the dress is lovely... not sure about Belle of the Ball though! There were some beautifully dressed women there.
      Agree with you with the toys. I feel very lucky I have a little girl to pass my dollhouse onto... the boys definitely hold no interest in it! I just know she'll love playing with it, and it's just a beautiful house on its own in her room. I've held off giving it to her until now as I think it's definitely a much older child's house, rather than a beginners one - your plan with yours sounds like a good idea. xx

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  7. I didn't know Jim Thompson had Outdoor Fabrics, I am trying to select fabric for our back deck cane lounges as they desperately need re-upholstering but I can't find anything that is suitable and that both Ross and I like. I will have to investigate his fabrics. On a side note, we used to holiday near where he went missing in Malaysia and my brother and I would spend hours in the jungle hunting for his bones. That sounds quite morbid writing it down here but I remember having a wonder time looking and being convinced that one day we would actually find his grisly remains. Hmmm, your childhood saving for your stunning dollhouse and riding that divine rocking horse looks very wholesome in comparison! I hope your sick little one makes a speedy recovery. Nicholas had chicken pox at 9 months old, before I even had the opportunity to get him vaccinated. Fortunately at that age he didn't scratch too much. Love the new art work and living room arrangement, it looks fabulous! xx

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    1. There are some beautiful outdoor fabrics around now! All the big companies have them, and a lot are really interesting. This one is a black and white design, you should definitely check them out Emma.
      So funny re your own personal hunt for JT though! I bet your parents were happy you were just out and busy, regardless of the slightly gruesome motivation... It seems the vaccination isn't particularly effective at any rate, as I have friends whose children have also had it, and been vaccinated. That's an awful things for a little baby though - he must've been so miserable. xx

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  8. I follow an account called overheard at le labo. It's funny.
    From the limited views on the pics here, you've not changed a bit x

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    1. I follow that one too! But the LA one is funnier I think. You're very kind re the no change comment. I'm feeling quite elderly at the moment, but that could be due to lack of sleep due to binge watching tv, and the associated bags under the eyes (plus the general day to day...!). xx

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  9. Love this post and the story of the dollhouse! My gosh the years go by quick though don't they. My youngest will be 14 next week, how in the world did that happen. The last decade has flown by.
    The navy gown is stunning! Terrific look for you with your shoulders and the updo. So stick with what works I say. Ugh the chicken pox, I've heard so many stories of the vaccine not working, wonder why. Those instagram accounts look hilarious I'll add them to my feed, a laugh is always good, thank you. XO

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    1. They have flown - S was only 2 when I started blogging! Now he's a big school boy. I don't feel like I've been blogging that long either, but when I realise the big transition all the children have made over the past 3.5 years it has flown.
      Agree with you about sticking with what works - I think that is the beauty of getting older, you know what works on you and don't feel the need to experiment. I just pass over a lot of the trends as I know I'll look dumpy in them xx

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  10. I love the new look in the family room! Oh and your gown! Looks beautiful as does your hair. I just don't trust myself with social media since it makes me insane (or insaner depending on ones view of me) and makes me ravenously want things I don't care about on my own accord. Also I think it's a double edged sword for creative people as it can open a new world of inspiration but it can creep too heavily into personal aesthetic and homogenize tastes. So I don't object to social media on the whole but it's not for me. But don't worry if I get really skinny and really really rich I'll come back to Instagram. Maybe just really skinny because I can pretend I'm *~so boho*~ and don't care about money. Also if I'm ever planning another wedding (I've planned one but luckily a lot of those ideas never saw the light of day) I will totally use social media and exploit my wedding to get in Martha weddings.
    Hope the children are all healthy once more!

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    1. I think you're quite right about social media. I find myself feeling so bored with all the designers work looking so similar. There's a well known Decorator here who has a lot of imitators on Instagram. Inspiration is one thing, but I think straight out copying is the reality, and a lot of creativity gets lost in the process and there is a lot of homogeny washing over it all. But I'm laughing about your skinny comment - didn't you know there is an app for that?! I found it by accident one day and couldn't believe that it existed (but it does make sense). The blurb by the app said "make yourself look skinny on all your social media platforms". But it always makes me think what happens when you meet up with your long lost school friend and they realise you've shrunk a couple of inches and stacked on the weight compared to all your social media photos?! x

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  11. Thank you for pointing me to Barbie Savior. Fantastic!

    Love the dress. My wedding dress for my upcoming wedding is a bit similar. Strapless and architectural, emphasizing the drape of the fabric. My favourite!

    Love how your space is coming together. And what a good mum on the dollhouse front. I had excellent intentions but opted for a purchased Calico Critters ordeal.

    xo

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    1. It's such a funny account, I do get a lot of laughs from it!
      Can't wait to see your wedding dress! I loved the pics you posted of the try ons, and I'm sure you'll look stunning.
      We have a few of those Calico Critters too, and all their little accessories drive me batty! I'm always finding tiny ice cream cones or bottles of wine (which I love that they supply - you can tell they're European made toys) scattered over the house. xx

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  12. What a fabulous round up- life with children is always very busy!!!!!
    In no particular order- so love your dress and I agree your family room has taken on a warm elegance with the introduction of colour.
    Having a new granddaughter, i would love to indulge my passion for houses and introduce her when she is older to a doll house. I never had one and would love to share it with her and i love the style of yours and can see why you fell in love with it. I was going to buy it for Amelia's first birthday but now I think it will be better when she is older and can take ownership of it.I am on the hunt for one though. (Who's the child here, I'm sure your asking!!!!)
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and design elements. Always look forward to them. Have a lovely week
    Marilyn Wood

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    1. Sadly I had this crazy thought that once they all started school things would be easier, but I am clearly mistaken and it's all just sped up and increased.
      Love the dollhouse idea for little Amelia. If you wanted a starter dollhouse the Le Toy Van ones are beautiful, and made for little children so very sturdy and with chunkier furniture sets. The proper dollhouse are definitely more for an older child, which is why I held off for so long. I'm hopeful that things won't be destroyed... and yes, it'll be hard for me too to let go and not be tempted to decorate it myself too! Have a lovely week too Marilyn xx

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  13. You look fantastic from the snippets in this post. Think your gift to your 8 year old girl is great. My girl was given a dollhouse when she was very young. She's spent the past year telling me to move it out of her bedroom. We've finished updating her bedroom ( painting, soft furnishings) so it is suited to a teenager. Since reinventing the dollhouse as a book case ( removed the furniture) , she has not complained about it (and dare I say it even some of her friends think it is "cool") . Den xx

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    1. Oh that is too sad about your daughter's dollhouse!! I had mine in my bedroom until I left home aged 19, but it didn't bother me, and I can remember a friend at a party when I was 16 late at night opening it up and rearranging things (and making me turn the lights on inside!). But your daughter is clearly very much at the peer pressure stage, and that's great that you've found a way to use it without having to discard it. xx

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    1. Thanks Judith - can't believe the dress had languished for so long! x

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  15. You looked stunning!

    Linda C.

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    1. Thank you so much Linda. Always so nice to have a dress up event to go to x

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  16. Welcome back and boy, you've been busy! Firstly, love the armchair - what a transformation! Oh, and it looks incredibly comfortable too. I hope you and the rest of the family enjoy it for many years to come.

    Adore the fact that you manage to take rather fetching selfies with the use of mirrors at just the right angle. Surely, a book needs to be written on this (perhaps there is one out there already?). Your up do and dress look divine and so very elegant.

    I enjoyed reading about experience of passing on the baton, or doll house, in this case. I did the same with some Pippa dolls I played with when I was young. I looked after them so very carefully for years, they looked practically brand new when I gave them to my daughter. She enjoyed them for a bit, then I noticed bits of their outfits disappeared, like their tiny shoes and their hairbands. Ugh, so sad for me to see this as I had so very carefully looked after them. Your daughter will enjoy the doll house I'm certain of it, and will put her own spin on decorating it. Please take pictures as and when this happens. Will be interesting to compare her choices and yours.

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  17. You look stunning Heidi I hope Mr AV jaw dropped. Wear those shoes of shame as often as you can. My days in heels are now resigned to out to dinner so only a little walking and standing as the next day I literally can hardly walk. I don't care what anyone says flats just aren't the same.

    The house looks gorgeous and I look forward to seeing the sofa recovered.

    Mr AV is probably right about social media. It's really just a bit of fun.

    I always wanted a dolls house.

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  18. Gosh you look incredible in that black dress (and the white one!!) the pleating and cut is just wondrous and sits on you so well
    and fyi you have the most amazing transluscent skin, spill the beans on your lotion. or i suspect its just good dermo genes. Love the hairdo too very Grace kelly for the '16.
    I have been trying to inject a soupcon of color into our living room and just love that throw (ombre in diff colors) that I can see on your couch. None of the throws I've tried out have worked, too much color or not enough.
    Hope you're well my friend!!!

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  19. Your dress is gorgeous and and your living is stunning, no matter the quality of the pictures

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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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