Other People’s Houses: #3

 

Name: Louise Sutherland / Queen Stitch

Job: Property Manager / Crafter and Blogger

Location: St Albans, Christchurch.

Describe your style: Colourful. Eclectic. Ordered. Colour is everything. I could never live in a minimalist white box (and I would only spill tea everywhere).

Favourite element of your home: My red front door. Painting it the brightest red I could find was one of the first things I did when I moved in. It was something of a personal statement. It might sound airy fairy but every time I walk through it, it reminds me of who I am, how far I’ve come and what I stand for.

Plus, y’know, red doors are so sexy!

I am inspired by: My confused and awkward Anglo-Kiwi up bringing. 1950’s and 60’s design, art, fashion and culture. The films of Wes Anderson. Travel: colours and cultures of the places I have been and those where I want to go (currently Paris, Mexico, India, Scotland and Scandinavia). Vintage, up cycling and the joy of a good rummage. Being surrounded by things that have history and a back-story.

I’ll never part with: My first Matryoshka (Russian) doll. My dad brought it back for me from Istanbul when I was 9. Apparently back then Russia still got a lot of goods through the borders into Europe, so this doll is the real deal (my dad, the history nerd, always stresses the significance of this point to me, so it is my duty as a good daughter to pass it on).

If I open the doll up I can still smell the raw wood which takes me back to the exact time and place that he gave it to me. It’s amazing. I hope I can still have a good old sniff when I am an old lady!

I am obsessed with collecting: The perfect book collection. I love unusual art and design books and those weird ones you can only find at book fairs.

I believe that you can tell a lot about a person by their books (or lack of) and I think mine reflect me pretty well (if I visit your house, I will probably judge you based on your bookshelf, sorry).

Where to from here?: I don’t quite have that figured out yet (does anyone? oh God, do YOU?). Past attempts at plans have never worked out all that well.

I figure if I keep doing what I love, being a good person and saying an enthusiastic ‘yes’ to opportunities as they arise then you can’t go too far wrong…plus, you know, the Universe, karma and cosmic intervention etc etc.

Oh and I shall also continue evolving into the lovechild of Nigella Lawson, Helena Bonham Carter and Morrissey. That would be lovely.

Be sure and check out Louise’s blogs: Queen Stitch + Some Beardy To Love
Felt Store
Facebook Page
& Twitter!

Other People’s Houses #1
Other People’s Houses #2

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Three Hundred & Sixty Five – Days at Home: Week 15.

 

I’ve so enjoyed the challenge of a photo a day; and I’m still taking them! But love how they look all together, at week’s end, so they’ll be a little Sunday feature.

Bright orange Gerberas on the sideboard; I never used to care much for them, but now I love how long they last; their relentless optimism / Should probably get around to cleaning this up… / Theo vs the broccoli / My fortnightly treat – flowers for every room / Potatoes from the garden washed in the sink / Helping me write the card for their Grandmothers birthday / Theo is obsessed with the Atlas of late – we search it for places we recognise. Walk our fingers from our lonely Pacific island to Aunties in Borneo; in London; on Adventures / My little gift and name tag made for my lovely swap partner Jess as part of the recent National Bloggers Conference / Like the first day of school! Me on the morning before the conference.

Theo asked me on the way, ‘Mama? Are you going to a conference to make a new internet?’. Kind of, Bubba. Kind of.

I love being a part of this community. The spectrum of people it has introduced me to. Their humour and inclusiveness. Their personality and honesty. Their creativity and ability. And being able to transfer these connections into real life? The best.

It was also a reminder that it’s true what they say; never meet your idols. Or they just might get you lost in a part of your home town that even Google maps doesn’t want to know about, and completely confirm to you, that all the best people, the brightest and the best, think there’s nothing funnier than a good innuendo. Aye, Alex Fulton? In-your-endo.

We Make: Mistakes. A Pantry Make-Over. And a Give-Away.

 

Step 1: Find, in your possession, some adorable kitchen labels from Stuck on You.

Step 2: Stand, forlorn, in front of your woefully disorganised pantry. Your Spare-Room Policy of ‘if an area is a total mess, but I don’t have to look at it, does the mess really exist?’ has clearly been extended here. Look from your pantry, to the cuteness of the kitchen labels, and back to your pantry. Resolve that drastic action must be taken.

Step 3: In a flurry of activity, remove every item from your pantry and place them, haphazardly, all over your kitchen surfaces. Preferably an hour or so before you must prepare a meal for your family. This will lead you to discover that the lid of the washing machine makes a perfectly adequate chopping board.

Step 4: With hot soapy water, scrub all hardened jam, flour, crumbs and fingerprints until sparkling clean. As if on cue, have your cat walk over your freshly washed surfaces. Rinse and repeat.

Step 5: Get up at 5.30am, two days in a row, to undercoat your pantry before the children wake up and try to ‘help you’.

Step 6: Go to your local paint store for test-pots. Do not let the fact that, on returning home, you discover you do not have any of the other tools required for painting a decorative feature. You know, like painters tape. Or a ruler. This is the point where most people, on having a freshly painted pantry, all white and inviting, would just say, hey, maybe I don’t need to paint a Chevron stripe in here. But you are not most people.  Devise that, alongside your can-do attitude, a record sleeve and some ordinary cellotape will do just fine to fashion a guide for your stripe. Be pleasantly surprised with the results. Feel a little smug once you have finished. Go and have a shower. I can’t believe you left the house like that.

Step 7: As you stand under the warm water trying to wash the paint out of your hair, think to yourself what a shame it is that it overcast; that now you will have to wait until tomorrow for your paint work to be dry enough to get to the fun part of the make-over – the organising! Wonder if it’s normal to feel so genuinely excited about your kitchen cupboards. Realise suddenly that you seem to have completed a whole thought. This has not been possible during the children’s waking hours…ever before. Feel immediately and overwhelmingly suspicious.

 

 

Step 8: Expletives.

Step 9: Thank your ‘helpers’ for the ‘fine job’ they did ‘helping you’. Worry that perhaps the tone in which you write about parenting on the internet is somehow drawing these experiences to you. Try not to think too much about Thomas theorem.

Step 10: Spend another two days preparing all the meals in the wash-house because you cannot face painting the pantry for the eighth time.

Step 11: Just do it already. This is getting ridiculous. You haven’t seen the bench in a week.

 

Re-Re-Painted Pantry.

 

Step 12: Paint over Jackson Pollock Jr and Jackson Pollock Jr. Jr.’s masterpiece, ignoring their cries of protest. Realise this may well be the first in series of instances wherein you ‘don’t understand their art’.

 

 

Step 13: Once your pantry is completely dry, enjoy with great relish the grand reorganisation. Know now that this was the reason you had been hoarding all those jars. Stand back often to admire your work and to take a series of poorly lit photographs. Ignore the realisation that you could have just used washi or another decorative tape to create your Chevron stripe, and saved yourself a whole heap of trouble.

But where’s the fun in that?

 

The End.

 

And now! A  Give-Away!

Stuck on You have kindly donated a set of their gorgeous personalised kids pyjamas. Head over to their website and check out all the styles available here. Then come on back leave your preference in the comments for a chance to win. I’m crazy about the Circus themed ones!

The winner will be picked at random next Thursday the 18th of April. Good luck!

For more from Stuck on You checkout their homepage. Or say hi to them on Facebook or Twitter.

That’s no Gouda.

Mabel comes tearing into the living room, in distress.

Mabel: ‘Mama! There’s an angry, angry cheese!’

Alice: ‘An angry, angry…cheese?’

Mabel: ‘Yes!’

Alice: ‘Um…I’m not sure what to do with that information, Mae. That’s…no good?’

Theo enters.

Theo: ‘No! I am a happy, happy cheese!’

 

Sometimes you just have to let them brie.