Browsing Tag


Garden, House

Twig by twig nesting.

6 December, 2012

My living room with a new coat of duck egg blue paint, two big beige chairs and the tv stand.

All the years I rented, not having much control over my space or the power to improve it even when it verged on unlivable, I thought buying my own home would be amazing. I was going to paint every wall a different colour and put up pictures! I’d knock out walls, re-tile the bathroom, install ridiculous tap-ware, and make the entire floor of the bedroom a mattress with draped fabric dripping from every corner. After the contract on the house settled and I saw how much money was left at the end of every fortnight I realised my absurd and fanciful home improvement dreams were going to have to wait. Now I’m trying to insert my whimsies in whatever budgetary cracks I can find, and while my beautiful swan-like domicile will unfurl its many coloured wings much slower than I’d have liked, I think it’s actually going to prolong the fun.

In the last week we’ve made significant headway in the living room thanks to Nick playing furniture tetris and finding a much more pleasant way of configuring the bulky lounge suite we bought so cheaply before we moved in. The living and kitchen areas are my problem zones due to the overuse of grey. 50 Shades of Kill-Me-I’m-Living-In-A-Rental-Again Grey. Grey carpet, grey curtains, grey tiles, grey cabinetry, grey counter tops. The sand beige lounge suite pushed me over the edge into blandtopia so I was pretty excited about the offer of leftover paint from my Mum, who tastefully chose a duck egg blue for her sewing room. I know it’s a bit out of “fashion” in blog land, everyone was all about duck egg blue in 2008 and I have no idea what they’re all about now but I still love it.

My colour block cushions in pink, yellow, aqua and red.

Last night I got out all my fabric including a bunch of scraps from my Granma’s stash and set to work salvaging all the best bits of the brightest colours and sewed it into four new cushions. I wasn’t intending on doing a colour block/ triangle thing but that’s what happened.

Our tiny giftmas tree with papercraft gems and rock salt lamp.

Earlier this week I permitted a small tree during this time of Giftmas, a time of the year so unbearable in temperature and jolliness that I reject reality for several months. This year I thought I’d ease up on the Scrooginess for Nick’s sake because he loves Christmas and he ought to be rewarded for tolerating my cantankerous nature for seven years. The paper craft gems are from Mini Eco; I will interrupt my crotchety lady times for a bit of gratuitous paper craft any time of the year. I’m still waiting on Kanye West to respond to my crafternoon invitations, I suspect he’d enjoy paper craft.

Our courtyard garden with flamingo populated turf.

I can’t help but shelve my angry pants when I go out to our courtyard. The lawn flamingos are a recent addition and are actually guarding the most burnt patches of grass, thanks to the potency of Miffy’s pee. (I know there are things you can add to dog water to alleviate the burnt grass issue but I haven’t bought any, and to be frank it’s not that distressing.) The cuttings I took from Mum’s place are mostly doing well – the daisies and geraniums are loving it, and the polka dot plant will probably flourish anywhere because all it wants to do is propagate all over earth.

Purple daisies blooming.

Super close up on the pink geranium.

Things that don’t grow so well in my garden: chives, pansies, pink begonias and poppies. So far we’ve enjoyed eating home grown beetroot, basil, shallots and marjoram. I’m currently growing rocket and mignonette lettuce, purple beans, tomatoes and kale. I don’t hold high hopes for the tomato and kale because spring melted into a heat wave and many of my seedlings have carked it. Growing plants is very experimental at the moment but it’s rewarding and offers me a space for meditation.

The proposed grey chevron along the long wall of our living room vs the current bare wall.

Come back inside and sit down while you listen to my grand plans for the rest of the living room! One thing I definitely know is blog-cool is chevrons and I don’t want to be that person, but I didn’t know it was cool until I started googling chevron textiles for the bedroom. I want to paint a pretty thick grey chevron pattern down the long wall of the living room that extends into the hall way, and on that wall I will hang an assortment of pictures. The blue wall is currently empty because it’s waiting for me to save up for some white floating shelves!

So that’s what we’re up to at the Perkhaus as 2012 winds down. It’s been a year of unexpected things, some good, some challenging and some pretty shit. I am very fortunate to have our little unit though, and look forward to putting it together piece by piece.

Garden, Life

Perks’ Backyard *

18 September, 2012

I haven’t posted much about our new place mostly because I’m still working on it. The garden has come a pretty long way since we moved in and I may as well show you the progress!

Our courtyard garden as it was when we moved in. A small paved area bordered by a low hedge with taller plants behind.

Collage of the courtyard during process of ripping out the garden and pavers. (Also Miffy enjoying the new turf!)

We don’t have a large yard, and we weren’t fond of having the small space made even smaller by claustrophobic hedging. Miffy needed a place to go to the toilet and sun herself too! The whole yard was ripped out (mostly by Nick!) but we did keep the lovely pink camellia tree on the left hand side. The garden beds were pushed back a little on each side to allow for more grassed area.

The backyard blitz was done on the cheap: we pulled out plants on the weekends (a good thing to do because some were damaging our front fence!), recycled the tiles and sleepers into garden edging, and housewarming gifts bought our turf. We had (and still have) a heap of dirt which has been great for potting up cuttings from my mum and Nick’s mum. Sharing cuttings is FANTASTIC for getting a garden started! I never knew you didn’t really need to buy plants! (It sounds so basic, right? But I never knew!)

I have plans to put lattice up on the big fence (on the right side) and train vines up it, and to hang small pots of colour and herbs on it as well. The right side fence extends down the length of our property and could do with some softening! I hope to scour junk yards for cheap lattice – I checked on pricing at Bunnings the other weekend and discovered it’d cost $25 a piece of lattice and we can’t afford that!

I took a video this morning as I did my regular garden check up and prepared to plant seedlings given to me by my gorgeous friend Erin. I thought I’d share it here so you can see what I’ve been working on. Gardening is something I’ve wanted to do, but never had the chance; any pot plants I’d ever had died rapidly in my care so I was really nervous in the beginning. It’s nice to have things to take care of, that you can watch growing. It all seems very magical to me!

* For non-Australians, my punny title refers to Burke’s Backyard – a long running gardening show on the teev that starred Don Burke.


Just DIY it.

6 September, 2011

I’ve been collecting a few rad tutorials and how-tos lately and I thought I’d post about them because you might want to do them too!

A photo of a black and white patterned padded headboard against a dark grey wall behind a bed with white bed linen.

Make a padded headboard.

I made one last week and it was surprisingly easy after I found all the materials but beware, unless you have foam on hand it can be expensive and I couldn’t find flush mounts anywhere! The bedhead pictured is by aimlesslyhome.

Two photos of someone wearing a white singlet dress with white lace trim down the front and sherbert orange yarn fringe.

Make a Leyendecker-inspired dress.

I don’t like the sherbert orange fringe (even though it’s a cool colour!) but I love the ideas in this. You could revamp t-shirts in lots of different ways with these ideas.

A photo of a hand with rainbow stripes and stars on each nail and a unicorn painted on the thumb.

Paint a unicorn on your thumb.

I don’t know if my nails are long enough for this but maybe I could paint a tiny unicorn? Watch the video to see what kinds of tools are used (a skewer!) for your future nail art experiments.

A photo of a small black and silver dog wearing a blue patterned harness.

Make a small dog harness.

We bought Miffy a harness but it keeps coming loose and it isn’t very awesome looking. I’m going to make her all kinds of cute harnesses now!

A photo of a necklace made of box braided tan leather with washers braided into half of it.

Braid a necklace.

This is a nice project for gifts or for doing on a lovely crafternoon with your friends. Honestly WTF also has tutorials for a wrap bracelet and braided hex nut bracelet. Make a bunch and mix them together on your wrist, it looks great.

Image - a pale green frame with a tiny vertical garden of succulents planted inside it.

Make a framed garden.

I’ve loved vertical gardens for so long, and this project is an awesome small scale idea that you can hang on a wall. I want to scour op shops for frames of all sizes so I can make lots of framed gardens to hang on the fence in the backyard.


B.Ditto, crumpets and other endearing things

17 September, 2010

Photograph of a pale skinned fat woman with a short brown bouffant bob, wearing a cherry coloured velvet dress with lots of stuff pinned around the neckline and around the front.
Beth Ditto, the woman responsible for this morning’s excitement, can not be excluded from the Fance this week. We love you B.Ditto, thank you for designing a collection of clothes that is fun and makes us feel good. I particularly wanted to post this photo because of the fantastic dress – you can probably DIY this with any number of velour dresses that are out at the moment, and a bunch of pins and badges and keys from your local op shop. I know I’m going to be giving it a burl!

Photo of a chair with a big ornate backing made of cane, there's also a bunch of old pictures and frames on the wall.
I have no idea what to call this spectacular cane thing but I want one. Seeing as I grew up in the ’80s and my parents had furniture from ’70s I saw a lot of this kind of thing in bedheads and tables and chairs so it’s little wonder I have a fondness for the style. This is from a studio reno on Design*Sponge – check out the kitchen, it’s pretty cute.

Diptich of photos of a lovely pale skinned red-headed young lady wearing two fantastically gorgeous jewelled and fancy head pieces.’s Black Label is gorgeous but the photography they’ve done for these ornately special headpieces is something else! I am very envious of this model’s incredible mane of hair, and also because she gets to wear these beautiful fancy things.

Home made crumpets with a raspberry sauce drizzled on top.
Crumpets are the best and I’m sad that as we move into summer I can no longer fully enjoy the warmth and comfort of this delicious carby meal. (But I will still probably try and eat crumpets in summer anyway!) I have never tried to make crumpets from scratch but these look so good with the raspberry curd that I might give it a go one day.

Photo of a miniature elephant in a party hat on a tricycle that holds a tiny glass jar full of grass.
It’s almost a rule that I include a garden type thing in the Fance, and this week you get a tiny little adorable elephant pulling a tiny garden on a trike. Naturally, Elsa Mora is the creator of such an endearing object! See more of these tiny terrariums on her blog.


It’s still Friday somewhere in the world

24 July, 2010

An art nouveau era posta for Job cigarette papers in which a young pale skinned woman in a helmet and lots of jewels smokes a cigarette as her hair flicks around her.
One of my favourite artists is Alphonse Mucha, and if you thought this poster looked a lot like his work you’ll be interested to know about Manuel Orazi – the designer of this poster. I love the detail in this, particularly the jewels on the neck of her dress. Gorgeous! Art Nouveau cigarette posters are so beautiful, I’d really love to buy a few prints to hang at home.

A young woman sits on a couch, surrounded by hundreds of brightly frosted cupcakes.
This comes from Vogue Girl Korea, and other than that all I know about this photograph is that it’s part of a shoot for the magazine and features this plus sized model surrounded by food. It’s an image that causes conflict in the old brain hole because
a) yay cupcakes and plus size modesl!
b) heyyyy… we’re still stuck in that stereotype :(
It’s a gorgeous photo at any rate.

A photo of two adjacent walls with two big old windows with a gorgeous view to a green garden.
Dream home porn time! I’m all about gardens that impose on living spaces and this room is right out of my fantasies! I can so imagine sitting on that bench and sketching things or reading books. Apparently this home and garden belong to Michael Trapp – you can see more pictures at Desire to Inspire.

Photo of a young pale skinned young woman with platinum/ purple toned hair.
I think Kelly Osbourne is terribly cute, especially with that hair! Grey hair fascinates me, and even though I’d love to try this hair colour I don’t know if my poor old follicles could handle all the bleach. I do love it though. I hope lots of people go and get grey hair, it’s hot!

Detail photo of an embroidered piece of fabric with a brightly coloured bird sitting in a tree with paisley-like symbols as the foliage.
Birds and paisley and embroidery! I do have a soft spot in my heart for all of these things. I have done a little embroidery recently but I hope I get more time to practice because this is really inspiring. This piece was posted by sarah the pirate whose grandmother actually embroidered it.

You may have noticed…

The site looks a little bit different! I’ve changed the layout a tad and made things a little cleaner (in my opinion!) If you’re reading the feed, come over and take a look.


Detail oriented

5 July, 2010

I took a bunch of photos at Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens the other week and most of the photos I took were of details. You might have noticed, but I am a fan of finely detailed things. I thought I’d post some of these just in case you’re inspired by details in nature too.

A tight birds-eye shot of three stones in still water, grass is growing on the sides of  the stones and you can see the reflection of the sky and some leafless trees in the water.

Macro shot of a spiky leafed succulent, the sun casts a ridged shadow in the middle of the leaf.

Broad green leaves cover the trunk of a tree and form a tesselating kind of pattern

Macro shot of fern at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens

A plant with long orange closed bulbs sits against greenery at Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens

Macro shot of hanging ferns with a plaited texture at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens

Close up shot of a peach coloured flower with sun glare peeping over petals

Photo of plants inside a humid climate dome at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens


Friday Fance: Fance harder?

18 June, 2010

A photo of an ornate chair with a pink frame and green seating that looks like a prickly pear.
A prickly pear chair! I had to look a few times before I understood what I was looking at. I love this chair style, and I adore that the back has been used to replicate a cactus! It’s by Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers, and her site is currently down but I’ll link to the Design*Sponge post I found it in instead!

A photo of a walkway in an abandoned railway station. The architecture is ornate but deteriorating, and plants have started to overgrow parts of the structure.
This is part of an abandoned railway station in Abkhazia, a former Russian territory. Basically this is like my dream landscaping and/or interior decor. I love vines and overgrown plants reclaiming buildings. Check out the rest of the photos on

Beautiful handwritten calligraphy on an envelope that has stamps with flowers across the top of it.
I adore calligraphy, and have wanted to get into it for ages but simply haven’t had the time to investigate buying the tools! This work is by Patricia Muman of Primele, who offer custom calligraphy as well as stamps. The product photos are just gorgeous, I love when sellers put such thought into styling their photographs.

A photo of an older woman dressed in fucshia sits in a kitchen, bright pink and orange flowers in her red hair, her right hand brought up under her chin and her left hand gesturing towards the camera.
Advanced Style posted some photographs from a Dazed and Confused editorial that featured two incredibly fancy women. I really REALLY want to be this amazing when I grow up.

Photo of a living room with a window revealing a garden on the left, a vertical hanging garden in the centre and a bookcase to the right.
Continuing my obsession with vertical gardens, here is a product that was MADE for me! Woolly Pockets are hanging vertical pockets that allow you to plant all kinds of amazing greenery on your walls. I got this photo from Design*Sponge’s post on Barbara Bestor‘s house, which uses the Woolly Pockets to great effect. I’m pretty sure these would be perfect for renters too!