side garden

As it's now officially Winter (with the temperatures suddenly switched to match - we've had night time temperatures of 2C which is very cold for Adelaide this week), I thought I was overdue to do a wrap up of Autumn.

 Back garden


Other side garden

This year Autumn was particularly spectacular in Adelaide. I think because we had such an unusually wet Summer the leaf change was dramatic, and for a 2-3 week period I just loved looking out over my back garden with the changing colours from rich deep reds, to umbers and bright golds. Of course this also means that I've had the leaf blower out a fair bit, and will do so for another few weeks yet, as some trees are still going.

Doing:
A lot of my work the past few months has been drafting and design of new projects, so nothing particularly interesting to show on the blog, completed project wise. I did do about 85% of the beach house project install that I was working on a few months ago. It was a pure decorating job (furniture only, no Architecture or Interior components to it) and I took a few snaps before I rushed off. Still waiting on a few key pieces to be made and delivered, so I'll post some further pictures once it's all done. I'm really pleased with how it's all come together. The wall colour was the existing, nothing has been repainted.

Octopus over the master bed, which some Instagram followers found a little spooky to potentially sleep under. Fabrics are William Yeoward and Ralph Lauren. I chose relaxed, washed out navy tones

Work has also nearly wrapped up on one of my long term projects. We're still waiting on a few pieces, but I thought I'd share these in progress shots of the concealed TV I designed to hide in wall panelling in the casual living area. It has a push catch on the panels that fold back to see the TV. I've done a lot of paneling in this house, so this pared back modern approach worked well in the new extension. Cushions (and garden plants outside!) are still to come


I did do a cushion delivery of some for other rooms though, and this is the window seat reading nook in the Tweenager's bedroom that has been completed. I looove this room so much.



In our own house, the large bronze pot, final focal point for the front garden, was placed on its plinth. This was delivered last November, however the pre Christmas rush, and the post Christmas holidays meant my landscaper was unable to build the plinth it sat on until a month or so ago. It's had a box ball put in it, and is underplanted with a trailing succulent. I need to plant something around the base to get it to blend in a little (aside from dead leaves), but the front garden is looking so good now. Everything has grown enormously in just a year and a half, and I think it really suits the style of the Victorian era house.

Bigger than it looks here

Progress on the new garage has been a little slow the past few weeks. With colder temperatures the render is not setting overnight, and it's been slow going. Hopefully this week it will be completed and the scaffolding will come down - in the meantime the builder wrapped it in tarpaulins to try to keep it all dry to allow the renderer to work. The painting inside started over the past week, and the gyprocking (plastering) has almost been completed upstairs. New garage doors were installed too, so it's finally inching closer. I think probably in 3-4 weeks time it will be complete.

inspiring view from the back garden

A few readers have emailed or commented to tell me to get to the David Roche Foundation museum in North Adelaide, and I'm ashamed to say I have only just been, a year after it opened. This is despite the fact that I've attended no less than two dinner talks given by both Martyn Cook (the Foundation head, and a very well known antique dealer originally from Sydney), and Robert Reason, head curator. Both gave fascinating talks and I was desperately wanting to go.... but things have been busy and a year flicked by.

Elephant inkwell on malachite base was a gift to Tsar Nicholas II

De Gournay wallpaper clad spare bedroom. In the corner is an embroidered waistcoat that had belonged to Louis XVI

Finally I made it with a friend, and I have to say it's one of the best Private house museums I've been to in the world. Worth a trip to Adelaide for this alone. David Roche put together one of the best collections of Russian, French and English antiquities around his particular interests, and the collection has been conservatively valued at $85 Million. Many of the items would no longer have been allowed to leave their country of origin now - there are chairs that Catherine the Great commissioned and sat on, items owned by Napoleon, Regency English furniture, paintings, silver, Faberge boxes, Chinese export porcelain, and all displayed in his house, a typical Adelaide sandstone villa which he decorated in a flamboyant manner (De Gournay wallpaper, leopard print, elaborate passementerie on the curtains etc). Nothing is behind ropes, and you can wander at will with the tour guides. After the tour finished, we walked down Melbourne street to The Lion for lunch in the restaurant. It was a very pleasant break from the hum drum day to day of family life and work.




Wearing:

It was the Royal Flying Doctor's "Wings for Life" ball a few weeks ago, and as usual I frocked up and went with some friends. This year's theme was "Beach Ball", and they had sand inside and a band playing classic beach themed music from the 60's onwards. It was great fun, as always, and we sat with some very funny friends on our table who kept us all entertained. I wore a Collette Dinnigan dress that long term readers would remember me purchasing a few years ago, and DIY'd my own hair this year into a messy updo which I stuck a brooch into for interest. I did not go barefoot however, as I'm short enough without removing my heels. Here are some terrible iphone selfies to show you my efforts:

dress - a great underarm shot if I do say so.

blurry DIY hair photo

Reading:
Just before Easter I was lucky enough to attend a lunch at which Janelle McCulloch was the guest speaker, launching her long awaited book "Beyond the Rock". The book has been a labour of love for Janelle who has painstakingly researched the life of Joan Lindsay, author of the seminal Australian novel "Picnic at Hanging Rock". Janelle's book is a biography of Joan Lindsay, and in particular her writing of a mysterious novel that has captured the public's imagination in a way that no other book has done since in Australia. Janelle gave a fascinating talk about the influences in Joan's life, and what had lead her to write the book. It's a beautifully compiled biography, more like a coffee table book in the production values, and while it doesn't answer "the secret" (no one can, as Joan carried it to the grave with her), it certainly made me draw my own conclusions as to what compelled her to write the book, and if it had a factual basis to the mysterious story of the disappearance of four school girls and their teacher on St Valentine's Day 1901.  Janelle has long written a wonderful blog centring around Travel, Gardens and Design, The Library of Design, which is on my sidebar if you haven't already discovered it.


Another thing that I have been reading are old magazines - very old. I bought a set of "Flair" magazines, circa 1950-51, which have had an enduring influence on graphic designers, publishers, and other related design fields ever since their very brief print run (It closed after a year due to high cost of production). It's clearly been an influence on modern publications such as Cabana magazine, and reading such a high quality magazine of its era was fascinating. I loved the ads, the suggestions on lifestyle matters (table linens, newleywed gifts, furniture), beautifully tailored fashion from its era in New York and the high quality articles from leading literary luminaries at the time such as Hemingway. If you don't want to try to hunt these down yourself, but are interested in their contents, a compendium was put together by Rizzoli in coffee table book format called "The Best of Flair".


I can't imagine how uncomfortable it would be to sleep in this to sweat off the weight...


Cooking:

I have been making a recipe I discovered on Tenina's blog quite a bit. It tastes a lot like a Vietnamese Clay Pot curry in that it is light and fresh tasting, and as it makes a very large quantity is great for freezing. I serve mine with Rice noodles and steamed beans.


Spicy Vietnamese Ginger and lemongrass Curry
Here are the instructions and recipe if you have a thermomix

Otherwise:

Ingredients
4 trimmed lemongrass stalks
8 Cloves Garlic
8 Kaffir Lime Leaves
5cm piece of ginger (peeled)
1 small red thai chilli (recipe calls for 2, but my children prefer mild tastes)
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3KG diced beef (chuck)
2 Star Anise
1 Cinnamon Stick
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1 TBSP fish sauce
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
3-4 eschallots peeled
500grams Carrots diced

In a mortar and pestle, or food processor process lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, chilli until a fine paste forms. Add olive oil and fry off in a saucepan for a few minutes until fragrant. Add water, fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, Star Anise and Cinnamon stick to mixture and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a slow cooker (or large casserole pot), add beef and pour over the liquid. If cooking in the casserole pot, set the oven at 150C and cook for 4 hours. Add eschallots and carrots for the last hour of cooking. Serve with Rice Stick noodles.

It takes about 10 minutes of basic prep and then you have enough to feed a family for several meals. A great meal for the time poor.



These are (possibly) my last roses, which I picked a couple of hours ago. Somehow they've survived the cold overnight temperatures. Every time I think I've picked the last, I get a couple more on the bushes, so who knows! I've put them in an empty Cire Trudon candle vessel. They make a great vase.

Lastly, I thought I'd comment on the terror everyone has about the profiling that goes on in the Social Media world. If you're on Facebook or Instagram there are targeted ads, all mining information on you based on your likes, who you follow, words or terms you use, and places you've tagged or been tagged as visiting. I know people get very worked up about the information possibly being used against them. But I am here to tell you all to fear not! Based on my Instagram targeted ads, I think we're all safe. I follow, and generally like other people's photos of Interiors, books, gardens, fashion... pretty much everything you see me write about on here. Based on this, Instagram has been targeting me with these ads:




Eyelash extensions for Asian women




Some stone thing to attach to your hijab that will make you look "classy as hell"



A special Easter celebration at a Gay bar in Singapore called "Are you a friend of Dorothy's"


And just for good measure, a breastmilk keepsake pendant. 

I think Instagram has got a little confused. We all have nothing to fear people.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

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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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