It was this time last month that I was lucky enough to go along to one of the Wellington on a plate workshops. 'Behind the Camera with the Forest Cantina' was a super inspiring food styling workshop, presented by the uber talented Unna aka The Forest Cantina. You only need to follow Unna on Instagram or pick up her new cook book to see how talented she is, not only does Unna style to perfection she comes up with the recipes, creates the delicious dishes and photographs it all too!!! Talk about super talented. The workshop was as expected - beautifully styled, inspiring, and super informative. I learnt some great tips and tricks and had the best time. It was my idea of a blissful creative afternoon. With all the beautiful props that surrounded us I got a little carried away and styling just one shot was of course not enough...So i attempted a few, I mean HOW COULD YOU NOT RIGHT?!
They say things happen for a reason... Well in this particular instance I'm 100% believing it! Take a dark, windy, rainy Wellington night, mix it with my dizzy brain, add in my main man covered in dirt from installing insulation under the house, + my gal pal staying for the weekend and you have my recipe for disaster. YES... I locked us all out YET AGAIN. You would think we would learn to have a spare key out. but NO. Anyway long story short after many calls to the locksmith (not cheap at 8pm saturday night...) we chose the option of relentlessly smashing and bashing resulting in a huge mess and a gianormous insentive to put in a new back door. A black one of course. Blessing in disguise really as for some unbeknown reason there happened to be a beautiful old door sitting in our garage. It was like it was meant to be all along! A few weekends of hard yakka and a load of TLC and here she is.
One of my favourite things about being a 'creative' is that I get to work with other super talented 'creatives'. My dear friend Paige and I met whilst Studying textiles at University... we have sailed the 'post uni comedown'.. and the 'everyone has left Wellington' blues together. This has been a driver for us both to throw ourselves into creating! Paige has been working super hard on her first ceramic collection 'Batch #1'. I can honestly tell you - it is really something special. The moment I saw the hand crafted beauties I fell in love. The feeling of great need came over me and I wanted every single piece to be my own. I was privileged enough to be able to work with these gorgeous ceramics as the lovely Paige asked me to style the shoot for her first collection of many... we had the best afternoon. I was in my element and Paige did a super job at capturing the shots! This girl is going places... I'm telling you!!
There is nothing I love more than a well put together mood board... I think this is why I love pinterest so much, with literally a few clicks of a button you can create boards of beauty that inspire, excite and generally just give great visual joy. Mood boarding is something I really loved about my uni days... gathering a range of imagery to illustrate a concept, a mood, a holistic visual aesthetic. I sometimes find myself forgetting that some of the not so creative minds can't visualise things in the way I can....That's where the mood-board comes in... it is the perfect tool to effectively communicate the vision I have for a space to a client.
Mood board | a visual style summary.
I have a little something exciting to share with you all in the coming weeks but before that I thought I should share with you a bit about something that is close to my heart. Deep down I am really an earth loving eco warrior. I try to steer clear of all things that scream 'green' but I am a total sucker for all things that are kind to our earth. It all started when I was completing my major project, I stumbled upon some poignant words by Lidewij Edelkoort that still resonate with me to this day. It is an excerpt from the 'Earth Matters - the story' found on one of my favorite websites trend tablet.
It is these words that drive my passion for the things I create. My major project 'Assemble' was a nod towards where I would like to head in the future but for now I shall start small... so watch this space
How dust manages to escape out of one room, under two closed doors, travel through the lounge and land on your newly hung black pendant lights in your bedroom is seriously beyond me. But it happened. This room has taken the reno to another level as we pretended to be 'plasterers'. After playing the 'its snowing in our house' game we realised there is a reason you hire a plasterer with a special vacuum thingy that he attaches to his fancy sander. Lesson learnt. On the bright side - its done.
We really lucked in when we got this house as it is surrounded by established greenery, which every once in a while I like to forage! It's also super convenient that on my drive home from work up the valley each evening, I pass a little green grocer who sells an assortment of floral gems for cheap as chips. A quick stop off for a few stems of pretty pink proteas for a bargain $8.99 really makes my Friday night. Pop them amongst a bunch of freshly cut greenery from my garden and with a little faffing you end up with what I like to call a "rustic" arrangement! Im no florist but sometimes it's fun to pretend.
deɪʒɑː ˈvuː,French deʒa vy/
a feeling of having already experienced the present situation.
TRUTH. This rooms demo feels so 'been there done that' - a total repeat of bedroom número uno. That said its still just as exciting as the first and this time I feel a little bit more like... 'I got this'.
All I can say is I am thanking my lucky stars that our entire house isn't covered in wallpaper because let me tell you- stripping 40 year old wallpaper off is hell! We have cracked on to the spare room and us rookie renovators roared into it, ripping of the paper to reveal layer up on layer meaning we are now commited to stripping the lot... Then to sand the walls. Skim the walls. Sand the walls. Prime the walls. Paint the walls. Oh boy. Updates to come. For now - here's the mess we made. FUN.
I'm being a little impatient here but I just can't help sharing some of the little details of our room so far. We are finally up to the super fun part - styling! My favourite. We have a few bits of furniture which we have been working on to top of all of our reno work and make this place one of a kind... For now here is a sneaky sneak preview until the finishing touches are complete and all is revealed.
It's one extreme to the other around here. Last week was a white out and this week a blackout... It was only a matter of days before the designer within me was unable to cope with the utterly vile red stained wardrobe doors. There was only one thing for it - stain them black. As black as the ace of spades. I had the vision in my head of the sharp gloss black doors against the crispy white and there was nothing stoping me... Our lounge has become an obstacle course slash drying room for the last few days, but finally the doors are done and have turned out just as I had imagined. Soon to be re-installed... Watch this space.
So I (the whitewasher) have been super busy whitewashing our entire room... Well it's more of a total whiteout really but let me tell you - I am LOVING it. After all the laborious prep work it's so rewarding to finally see some serious progress. The space has been transformed and feels so much lighter and brighter.... After all - everything looks better in white right?!
Nespresso saving lives since ages ago! It's almost impossible for me to think back to the time when we didn't own our beloved Nespresso machine...how on earth did we survive so long without it? It has become our lifeline this year- part of the family, our little baby. If it wasn't for coffee I can assure you - productivity would be at an all time low and this reno would quite possibly take a million years.
We have roared into it and so far so good (to be honest without my main man Hame I would have no idea what I'm doing- thank goodness for builders right!). Pelmet off and out, insulation in is how we are rolling around here. We need this place to be a cosy warm oasis before this Wellington winter kicks into gear.
Today people I can confirm that slamming a hammer through a wall for the first time really does feel as good as it looks like it feels on tv. Our whitewash reno has begun and we are bursting with excitement about it! As we embark on this renovation journey I will do my best to document and share with you all the ups and downs of #renolife - all the pretty and even the pretty ugly.... Wish us luck!
It has only been a matter of weeks since we moved and already we're loving this neighbourhood. We have discovered that living up here in the clouds has its upsides - like the beautiful bush that surrounds us and the birdlife that gives us the most amazing sense of peace. Recent exploring has revealed that we have rambling bush-walk right at the end of our road - Te Ahumairangi Hill you are seriously the coolest thing ever. Leisurely wanders through the bush and over the hill to Tinakori road for coffee and cake have become weekend routine around here. We are loving it!
It's not exactly "reno" but it feels like a start- tackling the garden with the experts on hand. Thanks Ma and Pa! I'm not much of a gardener so plant and weed diferentiation was not my strong point, however one thing I knew to keep was that blossoming self sustaining rose bush. It's survived all these years without love and nurture so surely it can survive my mistreatment!! As for the rest - it was weeds out and hydrangeas in...now to remember to water them, that's the hard part.
I just want to take a moment to appreciate the goodness of summer time treats- am I right in saying you quite literally can not beat a juicy slice of water melon on a hot day? Speaking of hot day - I discovered just the ticket to cool you down this summer. The most delicious ice blocks by Dr Feel Good. They will seriously blow your mind - not only do they taste good but they are full of goodness with no yuckies. WIN WIN in my book.
It's taken what feels like forever but today we unpacked that last lingering box - Hoorah! We are finally starting to make this place look like ours- I mean its far from perfect and my reno radar is going nuts but I am taking pleasure in the little things, like those pleasing arrangement of objects about this place we now call home.
Since being back at work amongst the madness of moving it has made me appreciate dearly these long summer nights we are still having. I seriously think the key to life is to have a little 'aaah' moment each and every day. Whether its just a little 'aaah' when you sink into the couch after being on your feet all day, or the 'aaah' when you take that first sip of that fresh G&T after 5. I have been hogging these 'aaahh' moments this week with loads of after-work bathing sessions, dips at scorching bay, and fish and chips by the beach...'aaah'