Afternoon tea delights

Over the weekend I attended my first ABCD (Artists, Bloggers, Crafters, Designers) meetup and met the loveliest and talented group of women. The conversation focused around Instagram - being addicted to it, using it for business and privacy issues. Held in the stunning Polli studio (thanks Tess and Anna!), each attendee also brought along a plate of homemade goodies, quickly covering the table with delicious treats.

Transient
Transient

Whenever I have people over, the table is the last thing I think about as I'm usually freaking out about the state of the house, whatever is cooking in the oven or having enough plates. Styling the table does deserve some thought and is a perfect opportunity for you to show your style and set the right vibe. The afternoon tea table was definitely front and centre for this event and there were more than a few ideas I'll be stealing from the stylish organising team (was there a florist in the house?): 

  • Jars - collect as many as you can get your hands on, de-label them and decorate them with washi tape or twine. Use them as vases and containers for cutlery.
  • Flowers - repetition was the key here with a number of similar flower arrangements creating a centrepiece down the middle of the table. 
  • Hanging flower bunches - colourful bougainvillea and fragrant jasmine add instant life and greenery. Hang them on doors, walls and any handy, hanging cords. 
  • Overlapping tablecloths and tea towels - don't have a single tablecloth large enough for your table? No problem, overlay tea towels to add visual interest. I particularly liked the vintage and retro vibe with a mix of graphic and large-scale floral designs.
  • Cupcake/muffin flags - everyone likes to know what they're eating. Tags, flags or place cards, these all work well to add labels and a final touch to a smorgasbord of options.
  • Drinks station - a self-serve area with glasses and lemon soda or water. Perfect summer options.
  • Bunting - a colourful decoration that can have a big impact over large, empty spaces or walls. Two variations at this get-together, one of Instagram logos and the other of colourful, patterned fabrics. A bit of crafty know-how goes a long way!
  • Blackboard with props - perfect idea for an Instagram meetup to get the cameras going and encouraging people to join in the fun!
  • Sweet Jane's Travelling Tea House - Kelly and her lovely caravan are awesome! Serving T2 teas and coffee, these were a perfect accompaniment to the sugary goodies.
Transient
Transient
Transient

Thanks again to Steph (Bondville), Lisa (the red thread), Jaclyn (Little Paper Trees) and Jayde (Little Paper Lane) for organising such a great afternoon and attracting so many other talented and inspiring ABCD'ers. Next one is in February, mark it in your calendars!

Megan Morton's 'Things I Love' book launch

Megan Morton celebrated the launch of her new book 'Things I Love' last night at The School and generously invited the design and Instagram community to join in the fun. The Instagram pics created to celebrate the launch of the book adorned the walls. (Looking forward to my next visit there as MM hopes to cover all of the walls!)

Logan 'Hannah' rosé in heart-adorned paper cups and a beautiful arrangement of peonies to start. So warm and welcoming, Megan was close by greeting friends and introducing herself to new faces. No pictures of the meringues, ginger pistachio slices or mini sugared doughnuts on offer. Was too busy eating them. Delicious.

The breaking of Kitiya Palaskas' glorious pineapple pinata marked the official launch, spreading glittery confetti everywhere. I can't say enough good things about MM - such an eloquent speaker, giving a short speech to thank her family, team and talk about all the things she loves. 

I cannot wait to go through the book and absorb all of that MM magic, styling goodness and inspiration! 

Sculpture by the Sea

This amazing Sydney event is in its 16th year and the Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach coastal walk is once again transformed into a 2km outdoor sculpture gallery. Over 100 artists have their work exhibited against the backdrop of the beautiful ocean.

My favourite sculpture was mirador by Rachel Couper and Ivana Kuzmanovska. A 3.5m dome, it is clad with timber on the outside and mirrors on the inside. Creating a kaleidoscope effect when standing inside the dome, it is quite the contrast with the seascape seen through the porthole-like circular holes.

mirador, Ivana Kuzmonovska and Rachel Couper

miradorIvana Kuzmonovska and Rachel Couper

This event is nutso on weekends so it was great to end the work day with such an inspiring outing. Sea breezes, relaxed crowd and stunning sunset - it just doesn't get any better. Ends this weekend on Sunday 4 November, get there if you can!

Sunset

No idea where to start? Make a moodboard!

If you are just starting to decorate or renovate a space and have no idea where to start, a mood or inspiration board can be a handy tool. Call it your personal design compass. Creating a mood board can help you determine your personal style and preferences and guide your decision-making along the decorating journey.

A board for a blog! This is my personal reminder of what I intend to share.

A board for a blog! This is my personal reminder of what I intend to share.

Start by pulling together anything that catches your eye - magazine pictures, paint swatches and fabrics. Inspiration can come from anywhere; feel free to gather favourite objects and take photos as you're walking down the street. It can be handy to take notes as you're collecting - 'love that neon pink', 'rad chair', 'want those high ceilings', etc. You might want to group by room as you're going if you're looking at more than one space.

Once you've gathered everything together, stick it in one place - pin on a corkboard, go gluestick-crazy in a notebook, tape everything to a wall or even pin things on Pinterest. Seeing everything together let's you see the trends. Try and identify the common themes, you'll find that you may be drawn to particular colours, a certain feel or even style. 

Keep your mood board out in the open or close by for the next little while and live with it. Make edits as you find new things and decide if you really love something or not. Finally, give your style a name.

There you are! You now have a visual reference and a name for what you're trying to achieve. When making decisions on paint colours, new sofa or even type of flooring you can use your newly named style to determine if it will fit in with your vision. If it doesn't, be strong and ditch it!