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Doubtful Sound

Please excuse the radio silence recently – my computer died on me the other day which as you can imagine is a bit of a disaster when you run a blog and a graphic design business! I ordered a new one but I wanted it custom configured so I have to wait for it to arrive. Boo.

Thankfully The Man lent me his laptop (I declared him my Knight with Shining Hardware) but with all the workarounds and file transfers everything is taking three times as long as normal.

The timing could not have been worse: I had an epic amount of work to get tied up before I go on leave and was already having a bit of a panic attack about how I was going to do everything! In fact I still have a list as long as my arm and we leave tomorrow… oh and did I mention I haven’t even thought about packing?! (My Type-A tendencies are not used to this level of last-minute chaos!)

Anyway, all that aside, I am SUPER excited to be heading off to that beautiful place in the picture. Well, sort of: that’s a photo of the South Island of New Zealand from our honeymoon and we’re going to the North Island, specifically Hamilton (for The Man’s work conference) Auckland and the Bay of Islands region.

I haven’t had any time off since January and have been working long hours lately so I know it will be really good for me. I’ve got a couple of guest posts that will be scheduled while I’m gone but for the most part I’ll be taking a much-needed blog break.

I’ll see you back here in two weeks!


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I love lamp

Sponsored by Target.

Target lamp

I’ve resisted using that post subject for every lighting related post for three years and finally the temptation was too great.

I really do love my new lamp that I picked up for a steal at the Target home sale (the regular price of $80 was still great value but I scored it for $60!). I’ve been looking for a floor lamp for the living room for years and I could never find the right thing because they were either too big or they were about $300 over my budget.

The simple design fits perfectly in the narrow spot in the corner and it adds a nice layer without making it look cluttered (and of course the evening glow is lovely). The brushed chrome finish ties in with a few other pieces in the current room, but I know the classic design will be really versatile in the future (I’m picturing it as a reading lamp over a big cushy armchair).

The room is now one step closer to being ‘finished’ (I use inverted commas since I’m a firm believer in interiors that keep evolving).

What item have you been searching high and low for? Has your quest finally been successful, like mine?

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I’m hoping I will get a chance during the Easter break to get back to the neglected novel on my bedside table. Til then, I’ll get in the mood by printing out one of these cute free bookmarks from designer/photographer Sharon Rowan.

Sharon Rowan bookmark 1

Sharon Rowan bookmark 2

Sharon Rowan bookmark 3

Grab your fox, mod or birdie bookmarks via How About Orange.

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Today I’m excited to share with you the first of many DIY projects from our wedding!

I had bought jewellery and headbands for my bridesmaids and wanted a nice way to present their gifts the night before the wedding. I decided to make some jewellery boxes so that the wrapping was actually part of the gift. Remember how I lined the invitation envelopes with vintage book pages? Well I had some left over and thought I’d incorporate that to carry through the theme.

Atypical Type A - jewellery box tutorial

You will need:

  • Wooden jewellery box (available from craft stores)
  • Adhesive-backed felt
  • Old book pages
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Mod podge
  • Scissors
  • Small screwdriver
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler
  • Scalpel

Atypical Type A - jewellery box tutorial1

1. Take a photo of your friend’s profile. Make it into a silhouette and print in the mirror image to how you want the final product.

2. Glue the silhouette onto the back of the book page.

Atypical Type A - jewellery box tutorial2

3&4. Cut out the silhouette.

Atypical Type A - jewellery box tutorial3

5. Unscrew the hinges of the box.

6. Paint the box and allow to dry. Attach the cameo to the box lid with Mod Podge and cover with as many coats as desired (more coats will produce a glossier effect).

Atypical Type A - jewellery box tutorial4

7. Measure the dimensions of the inside of the box.

8. Cut felt to size.

Atypical Type A - jewellery box tutorial5

9. Stick felt to the inside bottom of the box.

10. Continue until all sides are lined.

11. If the hinge holes have been filled with paint or varnish, use a skewer or toothpick to unblock.

12. Replace the hinges.

Atypical Type A - jewellery box tutorial final

And there they are! Three pretty boxes for my three pretty ladies.

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Lonny eclectic living room

It’s so true that the most appealing homes are those that have evolved over time rather than being ‘finished’ as soon as the owners have moved in.

My parents’ generation would set up home with nothing more than a mattress on the floor, a hand-me-down card table, a couple of beanbags and some old sheets used as curtains. Now, with no-deposit home loans, credit cards and interest-free finance, I feel like an anomaly in a generation who wants everything instantly. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that I wouldn’t have loved to have had a finished look from day one. But I knew that, with a bit of restraint, we would end up with a much better result. 

As summed up in a recent article by Apartment Therapy, the biggest benefit of decorating slowly is that you will discover your personal style, rather than being too influenced by the trend du jour. You’ll save money by not having to replace poorly thought-out purchases. Your home is also more likely to suit the needs, lifestyle and personalities of your family. And let’s face it, if I’d have done everything when we moved in two years ago, I’d be bored by now and want to change it!

Read the full article here and take the time to read the fascinating discussion in the comments.

How about you? Do you prefer to get everything done in one go? Or are you in the slow and steady camp?

P.S. By request, I have added more photos and instructions for my Ikea-hacked desk.



Guide to Auckland

I am taking some time off my regular blogging schedule during the final days before my wedding and while I’m on my honeymoon. Since you will be at home while I am having the time of my life, I have pre-posted some fun links and great guest posts to keep you entertained.


This is about where we’ll be by the time you read this. With my mind preoccupied over the last year by dresses, decorations and do-it-yourself, The Man thankfully put his hand up for Chief Honeymoon Planner. So when Design*Sponge added Auckland as their latest City Guide, I flicked it straight to him without even reading it first. I knew it would be chock full of hidden gems that reflect “Auckland’s creative, indie and relaxed personality”. Stay tuned for my report.

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I am taking some time off my regular blogging schedule during the final days before my wedding and while I’m on my honeymoon. Since you will be at home while I am having the time of my life, I have pre-posted some fun links and great guest posts to keep you entertained.

If all this talk of my library themed wedding has got you inspired to revisit your book collection, you’ll love this roundup of free bookplates.  Emily Martin bookplates

Thank you, Emily Martin, for giving us these adorable bookplates.

Helen Dardik bookplate 2

Helen Dardik bookplate 1

Illustrator Helen Dardik has made this and this for you to cute-ify your kids’ books.

Image Zoo bookplates

You know I love a nice bright pattern. Grab yours from Image Zoo.

Knit Love

Laylock is spreading some Knit Love.

Lulabird bookplate single-01

Lula Bird gets a bit poetic.

Petite Bookplates

A little bit of sunshine from Miss B.

Mers Ex Libris

If Art Nouveau is more your thing, grab this lovely classic Ex Libris by Mers (read about his inspiration while you’re there).

Urban Nest bookplates

There’s something for everyone at Urban Nest.

Wedding Style Guide book party

Why not have a book party? Wedding Style Guide has the goods.

Happy reading!

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CD cover roundup

Canon printable CD covers

Designed by Tomoko Suzuki for Canon, these uber cool retro chic CD cases would be fantastic for your mix CDs or travel photos. Choose between the music theme or the travel theme.


Rachel from Benign Objects designed these folksy cute CD sleeves for her wedding favours and has made them available without the text for you to customise and print.

Spring Mix

Another beauty from Benign, this one just in time for you to make a Spring mix to welcome the warmer days.

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You saw that our wedding invitations featured hand-lettered calligraphy on the envelopes. We had some guests who we were inviting only to the ceremony, so in addition to designing another version of the invitation, their addressing also called for something a little less formal.

Akimbo - Mortlock 8

I designed a couple of labels in keeping with the ornamental Victorian style. You can download the yellow label pictured above, as well as a smaller green one.

Instructions: Print onto adhesive paper; trim. Use to address envelopes, label gifts or organise household supplies.

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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