Saturday, February 27, 2010


The lovely Engracia of Lynwood Musings has tagged me to tell 7 things about myself, so here goes...

My name is Alice.

I have the most amazing family anybody could wish for. I love my parents more than they'll ever know and had a magical childhood. I have 2 wonderful sisters, R who is 38 and A who is 28 (I'm a middle child). I am happily married to my sweetheart (we've been together since I was 20). I have the 3 most amazing, wonderful, unique little boys anybody could ever wish for and thank my lucky stars for them every single day, they are the reason I was put on this Earth, I am truly blessed :-)

I'm 36, with the 3 kids and can't drive!! Pathetic, I know. But I did take my first ever driving lesson this morning, so that's a step in the right direction.

I have met Mother Theresa. When I was about 19 she returned to visit the convent in Dublin where she trained to be a nun. My mum brought us down to hear her pray and we waited after to meet her and she blessed us, it was very emotional. Here's a photo I took of her with my little sis...

I am a total anglophile. Is there anything the English don't do well? Drama, advertising, retail... And who couldn't love London, what a city!!

I'm a dual citizen. I am Irish and first came to Australia on hols in August '98, this was followed very quickly by returning on a one year working holiday visa in April '99 which got extended to 2 and a half years. In October 2001 we returned to Ireland for a couple of years, got married, bought a home and then applied for Australian permanent residency. We returned to Sydney in April 2004 and have lived here since. We became Australian citizens in October 2006 and feel very lucky to call such a wonderful place home. I will never forget our citizenship ceremony, several people were being given their certificates in the same ceremony and while we waited for our turn I was trying to discreetly breastfeed our little newborn S under a poncho while my hubbie chased 18 month old H around the hall, happy memories :-)

I originally studied Psychology and English in university but dropped out to go to art college. I worked as a graphic designer until the birth of my first son. I'm now a stay-at-home Mum and love it.

That's all folks!

I'm meant to tag some others to do this but it's hard to pick so I'll just invite anybody who feels like it to do the same :-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Just a few little items I bought recently for no other reason than I like them :-)

I'm not usually a fan of yellow but the starkness of the colour and art deco shape of this bowl won me over - $1.

These bowls and dishes aren't vintage but they are gorgeous - 50 cents each.

Denby pottery is made in England and is hugely popular in Ireland aswell, pretty much every Irish bride has a Denby dinner service on her wedding list - I got this casserole for $4 in Vinnie's.

This cute pair of milk glass candy/dessert dishes were $1 each, they have a fruit pattern on one side and a floral on the other.

I really love the aqua/brown colours of this mug, I wish there had been more than one - 20 cents.

This corning ware saucepan was 50 cents - made in Australia.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Try"pod lamp

For a while now I have been obsessed with tripod lamps. It all began with one I saw in a "Domayne Design" advert back in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue of "Vogue Living Australia". Scouring the web and interiors stores around Sydney the nicest one I could find was this from "My House"...

The design is really lovely but when I actually saw it in-store I was a bit disappointed with the tripod part itself, it didn't feel like real wood and lacked a real vintage charm which I suppose reproduction pieces rarely have. Also it retails at $229 so even if I had absolutely loved it I don't think I could spend that much on one new piece without thinking of all the amazing vintage pieces I could get for the same price.

So of course, my next idea was to make my own. I have watched tutorials on the web before on turning household objects such as vases etc into lamps simply by using a "lamp kit" which consists of a screw-in fixture, socket and cord, simple!!! All I had to do was find a dreamy vintage tripod...

Easier said than done. But finally last weekend my patience paid off and I picked one up at a market for $10. It's a really lovely brass tripod with long extendable legs, so it can be used as a floor or table lamp. Then I picked up a nice new black lampshade in Target (shock, horror) and I am so, so, so happy with the result...

I also love that unless, by HUGE coincidence, somebody else out there has found the exact same vintage tripod and paired it with the exact same lampshade that I am the only person who has this exact lamp.

It currently resides on top of the bookshelf in the study.

The finer details of the brass legs and fitting really appeal to me.

And the gathered pleat of the shade adds a slightly soft contrast to the industrial edge.

Of course it's not officially a lamp until I attach the light fitting, cord etc but I want to take the time to find a really nice one and in the meantime this is a nice piece of decor.

Tripod: $10. Shade: $20. Not bad!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rozelle Tinted Glasses

Rozelle Market is located in Sydney's inner west. I have only been a handful of times as it's quite a trek from where I live. My first couple of visits yielded some of my favourite finds ever including my lovely 2 drawer card catalogue and my beautiful wooden wooden box and vintage fan.

So on my last couple of visits it was with great excitement I set off in hope of finding more items on my wishlist. Alas, I didn't find anything mind-blowing but still came across some cute items...

Eiffel Tower - $2. French text book - $2.

Lovely rusty letter A (my first initial) - $1.

Original oil painting of Lane Cove national park - $5.

Original oil painting of Lake Wanaka in New Zealand - $5.

My husband and I stayed at this lake on our road trip around New Zealand when I was pregnant with H :-)

Fantastic map of the Pacific Ocean floor - $3.

I'm hoping to be able to flatten this for framing, it has fold crease marks - any ideas would be appreciated - cover it with a sheet and iron maybe?

I couldn't resist the steely blue and rust of this old iron - it will make cute decor in our laundry room - $6.

A couple more Aussie story books for the boys' collection - $1 each.

Yes! I have been looking for a slide-viewer for a while now, this one was $8, I love the packaging too!

This map of Sydney's Upper North Shore including the Hawkesbury River region is from the 1970s and cost $1. My hubbie and I got engaged at Cottage Point Inn at the Hawkesbury River back in 2000.

The map is from a newspaper and I just noticed after photographing it that the entertainment section is on the other side, the ads make for great reading and a chuckle, nights out in the seventies were a whole different ball game, definitely deserve a post of their own soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Book Depository

Books are expensive here in Australia, I mean REALLY expensive, I have never been able to fathom why. Huge taxes? Or are we just getting ripped off? Well, I have found a way to keep on buying all the lovely books I like without going broke...

A lot of you have probably already heard of The Book Depository but I only learnt of its existence myself recently...

I thought I'd do a little comparison between the Book Depository and 2 major book retailers here in Australia - Dymocks and Borders. Here goes...

Book Depository: $21.62
Dymocks: $39.95
Borders: $41.95

Book Depository: $38.34
Dymocks: $69.95
Borders: $69.95

Book Depository: $37.71
Dymocks: $95
Borders: $81.95

Book Depository: $18.29
Dymocks: $34.95
Borders: $32.95

Book Depository: $21.46
Dymocks: $29.95
Borders: $38.95

Huge differences in price as you can see, to buy all the above books in one go you would end up paying about half the price by using The Book Depository and the beauty is that the shipping is FREE, yes FREE shipping worldwide!!!

This is not an endorsed advert, my blog isn't that big!!! I just thought that maybe others out there who are sick of getting ripped off on book prices and may not have heard of it would appreciate the tip. The prices you see on the screen are in your own currency and alter due to exchange rates against the British Pound, they also have daily specials, eg last week you could have gotten Rick Stein for $16.40!!!

I know nothing can beat going into a book shop and whiling away the hours browsing books but why not do that? Go in, have a coffee, browse, pick out a few books you love then go home and order them online and save, save, save?

And here's one book I was able to remove from my wishlist :

You may remember me mentioning I won Grunge Queen's Giveaway, well my gorgeous new book arrived promptly last week and I am really enjoying it! It's full of gorgeous photos and really useful advice, it may be the very first decor book I actually read from cover to cover. Thanks again Grunge Queen :-)