Thursday, 27 August 2015

Decorating: With Clouds


Ever since I became addicted to the Kmart cloud cushion (see below), I've been noticing clouds everywhere, and not just in the sky! There's something about clouds that sparks the imagination, makes us marvel at the world, sends our thoughts heavenward and yes, get the creative juices flowing. 

Most of the time...

I can still recall my Year 8 geography exam question that asked me to list six types of clouds. From memory my technical knowledge petered out after "cumulonimbus" and I was left with the following fall backs: white; fluffy; black; heavy; and ominous. Needless to say, my marks weren't great.

Whether fluffy and sweet, or dark and threatening, clouds are never boring. They are represented in everything from art to comic humour. If you feel a yearning to bring some into your home, here are some cute cloudy items. Failing that, look out the window and prepare to be amazed!

This quilted sleeping bag for kids, would almost guarantee sweet dreams! From Adairs for $59.


The gorgeous cloud cushion (only $7!! I know, I've bought heaps!) from Kmart Australia along with these other gems make fun gifts and decorating items:

The Cloud Nightlight will set you back $5.
 And the hanging cloud shelf is $12

The adorable D'Anjo Liberty print cloud mobile from Hard to Find would make a perfect baby gift. Sparkly raindrops won't dampen anyone's spirits!


Why not carry clouds with you all day, with this bag? (from Etsy for $50)


And if one was to dress like a cloud, this is my top pic (from ModCloth)!


Amazing wallpaper by Fornasetti creates a fabulously moody atmosphere:


Or for a lighter touch try these fabric wall decals from Hard to Find ($82 from SnuggleDust Studios):


And now for a final and profound word on clouds it's over to Charlie Brown:

If you haven't lain back on a grassy knoll in a while to stare up at the sky and look at the clouds, make time for it.
No one will see it the same way as you do...

Other stories you might like:
Bring the Outdoors In: 15 Inspiring Nature Murals
Blue Skies Up Above - DIY Painting Clouds
How to Make Glowing Clouds of Cotton

Friday, 14 August 2015

Mr Huff - Book Review

It was published earlier this year and I've been hoping to get my hands on it for ages. But perhaps it was fitting that this book, sweetly named MR HUFF, only appeared in my life after our household had been consumed by weeks of colds and flu, exploding headaches, hacking coughs, sleep deprivation and and plenty of sorry-for-ourself tears. Yep life has been all kinds of miserable (obviously to keep things in perspective, colds and flu aren't big on a world scale of misery, but you know what I mean) and Anna Walker has entered the fray with something worth reading.

Firstly, Walker's wondrous illustrations and whimsical words have been a favourite of mine and many for a long time. Her last picture book, Peggy, was a gorgeous ramble through Melbourne Streets as a chook was carried by the wind far from home. Perusing it regularly almost makes up for the fact that I am located far from the gleaming copper and delicious coffee of Collins Street.

In this new book, a boy, Bill, wakes up feeling out of sorts. He gazes at a sky that looks grey and foreboding. Nothing goes quite right in the morning and his mood darkens. So now we meet Mr Huff, who seems oddly familiar, kind of like an awkward relative who hangs around and isn't exactly a welcome addition to the family circle.  Mr Huff appears and follows Bill, like a burden of bad feeling that Bill can't quite name and can't shake either. Mr Huff doesn't exactly look scary, but he is big and overbearing - literally taking up too much space in Bill's life. It makes Bill angry and upset that Mr Huff has seemingly taken over his life, inserting himself in to every scene. Mr Huff isn't impervious to the affect he is having on Bill. In fact he is sad too. Bill sees Mr Huff in a new light. Slowly but surely he takes charge of the situation, and as he does light begins to shine through and colour returns to Bill's world. A new day brings a feeling of optimism and quiet happiness.

Walker's delightful drawings of city life capture details of books in shelves, coloured quilts, roaming pets, street trees and puddles on pavements.  This is a poignant tale of a boy fighting with emotions he can't control and the grey figure of Mr Huff who many of us recognise. He certainly seems to have taken up residence in our house in recent weeks. So it's nice to read and realise that a) when you're feeling down, you're not the only one who's ever felt like that; and b) bad times pass and the sun will come again.

Did I mention the big kids all went back to school today and Arch and I made a coffee cake and sat in the sun for morning tea? Our coughs are not quite as raspy and I'm sure if I looked Jetstar or Virgin might have a deal on trips to Melbourne... things are definitely looking up!

Thank you to PenguinRandomHouse for sending me a copy of Mr Huff by Anna Walker - available from all good bookstores and online.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Poster Art


It's an accessible and cheerful (usually!) form of artwork that doesn't require the financial investment of forking out for a more substantial piece of art and requires less emotional commitment too. Meaning, you can afford to replace poster art when it no longer suits your mood/decorating style/room vibe.  If you've bothered to frame it, then pull out the old poster and simply replace it with the new...

What Should I Display?

Well, obviously almost anything that can be stuck down, hung or suspended in some way is up for grabs. Think about what is special to you... Travel? Kids art? Fashion? Inspirational Quotes? Landscapes? Portraits? Interiors? Illustrations? Books? Australiana?  ....these are just a few themes that might get you thinking. Once you have a theme, then you will have more of an idea of where to source your posters.  Maybe it will be pics you already have lying around: like paintings from preschool, love letters, concert paraphernalia, postcards or maps... or maybe you'll have to search further afield for what you're looking for. Either way, prepare to have some serious fun!

For more inspiration, check out my Pinterest Board on my favourite poster art

To Frame or Not to Frame? 

Totally up to you, the look you want and how swiftly you need results. Most of us have hopefully moved on from the old high school mojo of blue tacking your latest magazine pic to the wall. Now we use washi tape and call it cutting edge grunge pop art...  Framing will generally give you a neater look and, dare I say, a more sophisticated result. There are so many cheap frames on offer at retailers like Kmart, Target and Ikea, that doing it yourself is too easy. Framing shops will give you the option of adding borders and custom designs. Just be prepared to pay a little more.

If you're displaying more than one poster (go on!) then using the same style/colour frames will unify your look, even if the actual posters are not all similar.

Poster Art Sources:

FREE! - from your own collection find original letters/postcards. Even snazzy wrapping paper or a swatch of material can become great poster art.

Thrifting/Op Shops -  I keep an eye out in op shops for old pictures or paintings in great frames. This way you get something unique with character to give a more eclectic or vintage look.

Check out this signed Colin Buchanan concert poster that I hung recently. The old gilt frame came with an old print of a ship I picked up for $10 at my local Vinnies. I covered the old print in bright wrapping paper, layered the poster over the top and then put it back under the glass. The end result made me ridiculously happy!


DIY - Downloadable poster art is all over the net, and usually doesn't cost much. Or if you've embraced the colouring in phenomenon, then why not frame a page or two? My friend Lorien has launched a wonderfully inspiring Colouring In Book of Spiritual Meditations. Check it out.

I sourced a TinTin Poster on Ebay for my son's room a few years ago. There is a huge array of private and registered sellers offering posters of every description. Prices are usually good and postage can sometimes be cheaper than other overseas sources. Poster Art is huge on Etsy, on account of the number of artists and designers who sell their wares. Type in a favourite author, book or theme and see what you find. Here is a couple of my favourites. 



RETAIL: Depending on your budget and style might determine where you look first - but there is a lot out there. If you're on a strict budget, try Kmart. This cute poster, doesn't need a frame and will set you back $9.

Indulge your passion for romance and travel. Heaps to choose from at Ikea. This one is AU$89:

ONLINE: This fabulous postage stamp styled poster from the imaginative hardtofind website has WOW factor and is a little more pricey due to the larger size (AU $245 for 120x150cm) but it is cheaper for smaller versions.


What poster art have you hung in your home? How often do you change it? Share your favourite sources, I'd love to know!

Helpful Articles from Houzz:

Witty Word Art That Brings Wisdom To Your Walls

What's Your Wall Gallery Personality?

Nine Everyday Items You'd Never Think To Frame