Tuesday, May 30, 2006


My new favourite flower (although if I look back to this time last year I might have been saying the same thing back then). Can you get them in Australia? Can't remember seeing them in Brissie. My faves used to be gerbras but their bright colours can't compete with the romantic pink of these delicious blooms.

They are really expensive when the first come out at the beginning of the season (£2 per stem) but come down from platinum prices to silver after a while. This bunch was £5 at the stall at Blackfriars. I bought them up on the way to work on Friday and they're still going strong today. I love the way they start as a little bud and open up to this.

(Inspired by Anna's pics but without the dreamy delicate quality of hers)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Drowning in curtain fabric

When we moved in I got quite excited about the prospect of a bit of decorating and went a bit crazy on ebay with the curtain fabric. It started off under control but quickly decended into a a frenzy of stalking and bidding. The problem was I had discovered Romo fabric. It is simply beautiful.

There happens to be an interior design shop around the corner from our house and I spent about two hours one afternoon going through all the Romo sample books. And i was relieved to discover that the fabric looks even better in the cloth than it does in photos on ebay as I'd bought considerable metres of the stuff at that stage.

I had thought that I would use the Oriental Bird fabric below for our bedroom and this Cranberry Simonii Romo for my study.

But then there was some reluctance from Smithy for pastels and he fancied the red for the bedroom. But I felt it was a bit bright for the bedroom being a big fan of 'calming' neutrals. And by then I'd fallen in love with the chocolate colourway.

So now the chocolate is the plan for the bedroom - which I think will have the added advantage of keeping out the 4am sunshine.

But the flowers on this are quite big and I think too big for my small study so now its going to be the red in the living room and I'll just have to find something else for my study ;)


Experiments with tile paint

The ugly fireplace in our bedroom has been annoying me for weeks now. This picture shows the grey tiles but its hard to see from the picture just how offensive it is in real life.

Fireplace BEFORE

Well, no more! The tile paint worked a treat. Its very gooey paint and there is a litte bit more on the carpet than I would have liked - but look! Lovely.

Fireplace AFTER

We bought the painting at St Ouen Marche aux Puces in the northern suberbs of Paris. I never get bored of looking at it.

I also had another spurt of painting this morning and covered the guest room in 'Icelandic Blue'. I got as far as buying curtain lining in John Lewis this afternoon but no curtain sewing yet. I think that is enough for a bank holiday Monday.

This is the fabric that the curtains will be made of when i get around to it. Its the most girly of the curtain fabric I've been snapping up on ebay. Which is why I can only get away with it in the guest room. I think its Lovely.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Back Tack III and a generous sneak preview

Back Tack III and a generous sneak preview
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

I cavalierly ignored the dire warnings from the girls over at BT not to participate if you had too much going on....busy at work....gadding about with friends .........moving house....but was still a bit shocked with the "halfway there" post.

But now things are a less nuts and I have my fab studio/office going on I was able to concentrate for more than two seconds and sew something for my buddy. In LOADS of time. phew.

There is still the Post Office at Lunchtime challenge yet to overcome.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Jo's last night

Beth Jo & Helen
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

One of our great friends from Singapore days, Jo has been here for six weeks on a project for Lonely Planet, the lucky thing. And lucky us as we had a great time. Regressing several years, drinking too much, being silly and laughing a lot.

But we'll see her again in October as she's MC at our wedding!

Prototype Backtack III

Prototype Backtack III
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

I finally started on my Backtack project on Sunday. It was a grey rainy day and the christening of the new BBQ was cancelled. You can see the view from my study of the back garden through the doors.

I can show you this prototype because the real thing is turning out nothing like this.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Topiary Curtains

These were the once green, floppy curtains in the dining room, minus the top pelment frill that Smithy ripped off after about two minutes of moving in.


And after i got busy on Saturday and made up these with some bargain e-bay fabric that came in the perfect amount. Am still planning to attack this room with the white paint but not as urgent as the grey fireplace.


Dining room - new curtains
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Home of Cricket

Jo, Chris, Smithy and I went to Lords for the first day of the England Sri Lanka test yesterday. The atmosphere was fantastic and the weather even better. From what I am told the cricket was pretty good too. We had awesome front row seats and Chris came prepared with sarnies and wine.

It was *really* hot - at least 26 ...

eating Ice Cream for England

You can tell who the *real* Aussie is by her tan....

Me Jo and ET
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


So far we have re-carpeted and painted a few rooms incuding this one....

and this one.....

It was fun slapping on litres of white paint without any regard to preparation, skirting boards or carpet. Before my Dad rolls his eyes in horror - painting over wall paper that has already been painted over several times can't really be that bad. In fact the paint was helping it to cling on to the wall in places. Its sooo much better but I still have some work to do before the "after" pictures.

There is more painting to be done - an "Icelandic Blue" coat in the second bedroom and some more white everywhere else. There are curtains to be made and general arranging to be done. I also have some tile paint to deal with the lovely grey fireplace in the photo above. Although I'm wondering if it might be protected under some listed building laws. Some kind of regulations protecting sheer ugliness.

PS - I make it sound like I'm doing all the painting round here but actually Smithy, Nomes and Pauline have joined in the slop slapping of white painty goodness. I think its very important to recognise helpful DIYers in case they come back for more. Although before she would do any painting Pauline insisted I go through every unpacked box to find a knitting pattern she wanted. And insisted on regular cheesecake breaks. But you have to make allowances for creative types.

Monday, May 08, 2006


K and Herbie Modelling his cardie
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Due to my incurable cluckiness I had to start with the baby story. K and Charlie came over yesterday for a Sunday Roast and while it was very nice to see them I couldn't tear my eyes away from the little bundle of Herbieness.

Especially when K dressed him up in the cardie to prove it does still fit and that i was right to increase the sleeve length by a few centimeters. I was very gratified, especially to hear that he had his passport photo taken in the cardie.

New Equipment

so two posts in April and none in May so far - not looking very good is it.

But now I have my own computer (thanks Smithy and Amex) AND broadband (wireless no less) for the first time ev-ah there will be no end of blogging I'm sure.

There's so much to catch up on I don't know where to start!