Monday, 22 December 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

Click on image to supersize!

Well, this is it....this is where I say goodbye to you all for the holidays! It's been the most amazing year for me, Absolutely Beautiful Things and Black & Spiro and for that I have to thank you all as you are my supporters, my friends and my clients. Your continued interest, support and enthusiasm for me and my work has certainly overwhelmed me this year and I am truly humbled by each and every comment you leave me or email you send me.

Over the holidays make sure you watch out for the January issue of Australian Country Style magazine in which our beach house at Stradbroke Island will be featured {sneak peek above}. Back in October I was very lucky to work with talented stylist Shannon Fricke, amazing photographer Jared Fowler, intelligent and super interesting writer Barbara Sweeney.....and the very lovely Victoria Carey {deputy editor of Country Style}. What a lovely group of people they are and I would just like to thank them so much for including our Stradbroke beach house in the January issue.

Well my friends, I truly hope that you all have an amazing Christmas and that the New Year brings you all that you dream for. I will be taking a few weeks away from the blog to spend with my family at the beach and I will be back here sometime around the 19th January 2009 with lots of 'Absolutely Beautiful Things' to share!

Take care, Merry Christmas & bye for now....


Christmas Celebrations

Well the staff Christmas drinks went very well....I think there were a few of us with sore heads on Saturday morning...poor Kelly had to be the one who opened the shop up at 10am...I did not envy her at all!

The girls all loved their Christmas goodies which I wrapped in each of their current favourite fabric which I thought they could keep and have a small cushion made using the piece of fabric I gave them....they all loved this idea!!

We all laughed and reminisced about the year that was and all talked about our upcoming plans for 2009. Part of the gift I gave the girls for Christmas was to take them all down to Sydney in February for the Gift Fair. We will also hire a car and I will drive them around to some of my favourite haunts in Sydney. They are all very excited as am I!!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Flowers, Drinks, Pottering Around...

Yesterday afternoon I pottered around getting the house ready for our Black & Spiro Staff Christmas Drinks which I traditionally hold at home a few days before Christmas each year. I arranged lots of vases of pretty fresh flowers which I placed around the house. This one {above} was one of my favourites which I placed in a old crystal vase my grandmother gave me on the chest of drawers in our kitchen next to one of my most treasured possessions....a Herend tea set for two which was give to us as an Engagement present 8 years ago. Also on the chest of drawers are a couple of Antique spoons which I bought when I was in Paris earlier this year and lots of other special little things which I hold close to my heart!!

Friday, 19 December 2008


Gorgeous Thank you Cards from Rifferaff

A very big thank you to you all for your generous comments this week about our house and my work. As I said earlier this week, I am truly humbled! Thank you also to the bloggers out there who then posted about the house on their own are all so supportive and for that I thank you! xx Anna

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Christmas Decorations

As you know each year I buy a few new Christmas decorations to add to my growing collection. The decorations I added to my collection this year I placed on an old plate I had which I then placed on my sideboard in a table vignette {as above}. As I decided not to put up my usual style of Christmas tree this year I had to find an alternative way to use my new decorations. Each time I walk past the sideboard I just love seeing this bowl of pretty glass decorations with their pink bows sitting on the table....just another different way of decorating for Christmas!!

P.S. Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments on our, you totally bowled me over with your enthusiasm and support!!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Welcome To Our House...

I picked up the old front gate from a demolition yard as having one custom made was way too expensive. This one cost a mere $40!!

I covered most of the exterior windows with black and white stripe awnings as above.

Here you can see the old part of the kitchen which is made in white laminex. We do plan to eventually change these cabinets but for the meantime I am very happy with the way they work. To dress the kitchen up I placed an Antique French Armoire in this old section which I use as our pantry and opposite it I placed an old chest of drawers I had which houses my large collection of napery. On top I placed a few of my favourite pieces of china and above it I hung a painting which was painted for us by a family friend and given to us as an engagement present {as below}.

Above is the new island bench we had made for the Kitchen with a white carrara marble benchtop.

In the dining area I was inspired by U.S. Designer Windsor Smith to use my 2 old black and white wing chairs as end chairs which I then paired with a collection of mismatched Antique & Vintage side dining chairs.

I had this large bookcase custom built to cover the entire wall at the end of our new room so that it could house my large collection of magazines, books and pieces. I had to let my husband have one thing in this entire renovation and that was having the t.v. in this bookcase. I'm usually not a fan of t.v.'s on show but I gave in!!

This loom sofa I had custom painted in hot pink. I bring it inside during the week so that we have extra seating in our lounge room and then I take it out on the deck on the weekends when we have friends over.

I wanted to use wallpaper somewhere in the house and as I have alot of artwork I didn't want the house to look too cluttered with wallpaper as well so I decided to use this Manuel Canovas paper in the W.C. to add some interest and fun to a usually not so interesting room!!

In the bathroom I selected white subway tiles with grey grout on the walls and white hexagonal mosaics on the floor. I found the old timber workbench on Ebay for a very small sum of money and decided to use it in the bathroom. I went for two Antique mismatch mirrors which I absolutely adore!

Hello again. I know you've all been waiting so patiently for this........

Finally here are some pictures which I promised to show you of our newly renovated home! As you can see there's lots of white with pops of colour and lots of vintage/Antique pieces of favourite look!! We are just so excited and thrilled with the end result and we feel so lucky to be able to have our little dream cottage renovated just the way we like it.

We still have a few more things to do which include building a new garage pavillion which will also have a little room to house our treadmill, renovating the other bathroom in the house, doing some new cabinetry in the kitchen, planting some garden beds and skim coating the exterior brickwork of the house which we plan to paint white...but all in good time and anyway I think would get bored if I didn't have a little project or two going on!! I hope you enjoy sneaking a peak inside our home. Thanks for dropping by!

Oh, PS...I do have one more room to show you which I will post pictures of this's another little lounge room which Harry uses as his play room but it was WAY too messy to show you pictures of today!


Just a reminder to check back tonight to see the pictures I am posting of our house renovation! Here's another little teaser for you!! See you tonight!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Weekend @ Home

We've had a wonderful weekend full of family and friends coming over to enjoy our newly renovated home {as you can see in the above picture}! I know I promised I was going to show you some pictures of the house at the end of last sorry I didn't keep my promise!! BUT, come back tomorrow night as I will be posting lots of pictures for you to see! I hope you've all been having a great weekend too!! See you tomorrow!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Harry's New Room

And while I'm on the subject of Harry, here are a couple photos of his new room.

Harry's 6th Birthday

Melanie {above} on a ladder in our front yard decorating the tree for Harry's Birthday.

Red wine makes filling up 150 water bombs much easier!!

Yesterday afternoon we celebrated Harry's 6th Birthday at home with a couple of his closest friends and cousins and family. We had a pool party with water pistols and water bombs and a swimming pool birthday cake which my lovely friend, Sharnel from The Cupcake Company made. Melanie {my lovely and creative decorator at Black & Spiro} came and decorated our front tree with red, white and blue bunting, red & white polka dot lanterns and candles.

The night before over a few glasses of red wine my husband managed to fill up approximately 150 water bombs which probably lasted all of about 15 minutes once the children got a hold of them!! My gorgeous friend Jody helped me with the food which was such a huge help!! A fun time was had by all and my little 6 year old thanked me this morning with a humongous hug and a kiss for "the best birthday ever"!!

Oh, and I nearly forgot to show you these gorgeous cupcakes which Sharnel also made for Harry which we sent to school last week for his birthday! So simply gorgeous!!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

My Christmas Tree Creation

Well I completely went in the opposite direction with my Christmas tree at home. Here is my little creation which I just finished decorating this afternoon. I used fresh Peonies and Camelia Leaves to decorate this old garden trellis which I found and had painted white with a rough rubbed back finish.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


Today I scurried around picking up a few last minute bits and pieces for Harry's Birthday and who should I run into in one of my favourite little gift stores just down the road from where I live???.....Hayley from Porchlight Interiors. She too was running around picking up some Christmas presents for her children. It was so lovely to see her and because of our Blogs be able to say hi. I think it is so fantastic that Blogland has brought a few of us Brisbane Decorating girls closer and who knows maybe sometime in the future we might even organise a Bloggers morning tea. What do you think Brisbane girls...should we organise a morning tea in the New Year?? Here's another little snippet of my house above {my new Domino book taking pride of place} and yes I promise I will post lots more pictures of the house at the end of this week for you all to see!!

Pretty Christmas Wreath

I love this pretty Christmas Wreath which my Gumdale client made for the front door of her beautiful new house! She made it up using lots of vintage baubles she purchased on Ebay!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Christmas Treat Bags

I love these pretty Christmas Treat Bags! Wouldn't they look lovely on each plate on a Christmas table setting as placecards or even lots of them hanging off the Christmas Tree as decoration and then if you needed a last minute gift for someone you could just whip one off the tree!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Back Again...

Hello, I'm back again with lots of inspiration and a clearer head and a to do list which doesn't look all that bad! It has been a very productive week in my world! Thanks for all of your lovely comments while I took a week away from the blog to catch up on things!

Last week it was my son's last week of his first year at school and whilst installing lots of pre-Christmas jobs at Black & Spiro my little family and I had to move out of our house as our floors were being painted. As I sit here and write this post at my new kitchen bench {with the most beautiful pink peonies I just picked up from my florist} our renovation is almost at an end....phew! I must say we are actually very lucky as we started this renovation only 2 1/2 months ago. I've had the most amazing team of men working here at the house and all have just been so wonderful, obliging and surprisingly on time!

This week is going to be another crazy week as we install more jobs at Black & Spiro and also as I prepare for a little 5 {turning 6} year old's family Birthday Party at home this Friday afternoon! But don't worry I will be here with lots of lovely things to share!

It's lovely to be back!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Felicity Interviews Yvette Inufio

Hi All, here's another fantastic post from Felicity {All Things Bright & Beautiful}....xx Anna

Those who know me know that I have a weakness for beautiful photography and flowers. Yvette Inufio is one incredibly talented lady who combines both. She photographs a variety of subjects which often have a certain vintage ethereal quality to them, but her flowers are my favorites. She often pairs them with inspiring quotes such as ..........

"Love life, engage in it, give it all you've got. Love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it."~ Maya Angelouand........

"Stuff your eyes with wonder... Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories."~Ray Bradbury

I am delighted to be have a short interview with her for you to enjoy.................

Yvette, where are you from?
I was born in La Habana, Cuba, 33 years ago. I've been living in Miami, FL since 2002.

How long have you been photographing for?
Since I owned my first camera, about 10 years ago.

What is your favorite photography subject and why?
I enjoy discovering simple things and love how they look in my photos, it's like magic.

Who are your favorite photographers?
I don't have any in particular. It's that bad? But I learn every day from all the pictures that I see constantly. It's a great inspiration.

What are your plans for the future?
I dream of having one day having an exhibition of my pictures. Until that day arrives I will continue to shoot all the tiny details of my world.

Thank you so much Yvette for taking the time to chat with us. You can also find Yvette's work for sale here on Etsy. Have a look, she has some lovely prints.

All images from Yvettes flickr stream. Thank you Bliss for the introduction:-).

Lots To Do...

Hello again! I will be taking this week off from the blog due to lots and lots of things I need to's that crazy time of year again. I will be back next week with lots of great things to share with you all!! Hope you have a lovely week.