Sunday, May 18, 2014

Beautiful Birthday Cake {and a little update}

I made a cake. I've made a lot of cakes, but I am pretty proud of this one! Isn't it so pretty? Made for my mum's birthday tomorrow, the end product is not only pretty great (it didn't taste bad either), but I had so much fun making it... it was such a fun challenge! Inside, the cake has three layers - vanilla cake, followed my frosting and marshmallows, then chocolate cake, topped with frosting and chocolate and then finally another vanilla cake.

Anyway, I haven't updated Sophie At Home in so long... and I sort of miss it, but I've had so much going on, in particular a very exciting (very time consuming) other blogging project... more details to come! Also, we bought an old house in the little country town of ours which we will be renovating, I can't wait to share updates :) My Cert III in Design Fundamentals course is also going really great and I'm enjoying it so much. My life at the moment is pretty great (cake helps).

How are you?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

OOTD // New Glasses

Scarf // Target, Singlet top // Target, Pants // Target,  Jewellery // Lovisa, Watch // Ripcurl, Shoes // Grendha for Novo, Frames // Raybans for OPSM

This past Wednesday I got some new glasses.

Not only do they have the added bonus of being so clear and beautiful to see through, I simple love the frames! I had my last frames for two whole years and whilst they suited me when I first chose them back at the start of 2012, I will admit I was a bit sick of them... This time I chose big black frames! I haven't had black frames since my first pair of glasses in 2007, but even they were thin. I think for a long while I've been trying to make my glasses as unnoticeable as possible. This time however, I'm totally owning them and LOVE them!

Also, when I went to get my glasses, I got some contact lenses to try. It took quite a while for the optometrist to get them in when I was at the shop and I have not yet been successful at home. My eyes must just be so sensitive! Really, who would want to wear contacts but when you can wear beautiful glasses like these?!

Hope you've been having a great week x

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Wattle Cottage // Dining Room Inspiration

Floorplan of Wattle Cottage (not to scale)

It has been WAY too long since I've shared an inspiration post for a room in Wattle Cottage, or really just WAY too long since any posts or ANYTHING has happened over at Wattle Cottage! I really want to change that though, and don't the above examples just inspire you? Well they inspire me!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Quick Craft // Colour Block Wooden Mobile

These days, mostly when I'm feeling creative and looking for inspiration, I head to Pinterest. There's millions of ideas on Pinterest and you can't really log off Pinterest without feeling inspired. But then sometimes I feel like the ideas were never actually mine in the first place. Sure, it's fine to adjust and modify projects others have already done, but you feel so much better when the idea was yours originally.

So, a few weeks ago, when I was feeling creative, I headed outside for inspiration. I got a spark of an idea and it grew from there until I had a colour block wooden mobile. 

1 // Collect your materials - five wooden sticks of varying lengths, one longer stick for the base, a roll of twine, five different coloured craft paints (I chose white, blue, pink, green and yellow), a paintbrush, a hot glue gun and scissors.

Please note that this is a QUICK craft, so I didn't sand, prime or seal the sticks, but you can do so if you wish! I did go for smooth sticks though and scraped off all the bark before beginning.

2 // Use the paintbrush to paint the bottom part of your stick. I probably painted 2/5 of each stick, but it depends on the size etc.

3 // Allow the sticks to dry (which you will need to do standing up, I just poked them in some soil), before doing another coat so that you get a nice thick, even coverage.

4 // Glue the end of the twine onto the opposite end of a stick (a couple of cm down) and wrap the twine around the stick, adding small dobs of hot glue every now and then so it is nice and secure. Repeat for all the sticks. When you reach the end of the stick, I just added some more glue in a way so that the twine was facing up.

5 // Attach all the sticks to the longer base stick. You can choose whichever pattern you like but I went for a triangle sort of shape with the biggest stick in the centre, and smaller ones on the edge. I simply tied the twine around the stick with a double knot and a dob of hot glue for security and so that the sticks wouldn't move.

6 // Use the same method as above (tie and glue) to attach a piece of twine that will be used to hang the mobile.

7 // Display and admire! And isn't it gorgeous! I'm in love... I just love how the natural textures of the wood and twine are combined with blocks of bright colour, the perfect combination :)

This is a super easy craft that I can definitely recommend, have fun!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quick Craft // Glitter Jars

I absolutely adore setting the Christmas table (or any table settings) and these gold glitter jars made their way onto our table for Christmas lunch this year. The gorgeous gold glitter also means they would work for New Year's too... or really just for anytime, anywhere for a glitter lover (like me!) I will warn you that you will probably create a big mess when making these jars... but at least it's a glitter mess!

Jar 1 // Glitter Stripes

You will need // double sided tape, glitter, scissors, jar, sealant (optional)
What to do // Wrap the jar in double sided tape stripe s(measure if you like, but eyeballing it is easy enough!) By sticking two (or more) widths of tape next to each other, you can add extra visual interest by having different size stripes. Peel off the double sided tape cover and sprinkle (or dip) the glitter over the sticky stripes. Optionally, seal the jar so that the glitter stays for a long time :)

Jar 2 // Glitter Dipped

You will need // white paint, paintbrush, glitter, jar, sealant (optional)
What to do // Use the paintbrush to coat the bottom section of the jar with white paint. You can measure but I just eyeballed the straight line and applied a thick coat of paint. If you want a nice even, thick coverage, apply a second coat. Whilst the paint is still dry, sprinkle glitter all over the painted section! Wait for the paint to dry and then seal if preferred!

I love the way the jars look with a white tablecloth and rustic wood length, but there's so many things you could use the jars for. Wouldn't they be a pretty way to store some paintbrushes or pencils?

How did you set the Christmas table? Or did you go for a casual BBQ?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 Resolutions

2014 is going to be great. I just know it! Here's what I hope to do this year...

Grow my blog // Last year I didn't have the resources and things to really grow my blog, which I'm sad about because I think in some ways it took a backwards step. I really want to change that this year. I know it's easy to say when I'm on holidays but I hope it will be easier because I'll be living in Busselton (instead of boarding). I have lots of ideas for studio spaces and the like to make my dreams become a reality!

Embrace opportunities // I'm doing lots of new things this year, so I'm sure there will be plenty of new opportunities! I really want to be the best I can be and not be afraid to say yes.

Exercise more // I hate exercise. But I really want to change that! I might never love exercise (okay, I know I will never love exercise), but I can still try! I have this idea in my head that lying next to the beach this year will mean I can go for lots of nice long walks and runs. First things first, I plan on getting an iPhone armband and an app to record my moving!

Sew more // Again, this was something I couldn't do last year but hope to do more of in 2014. I really want to sew myself a piece of clothing or two and more than anything, a quilt. I simply love quilts and would love to have a go!

Improve my photography // Already, I know my photography has been improving but truthfully I hardly know how to use my camera! I want to learn more functions of my camera to be able to get better images, which of course... translates to better images on the blog! I love nothing more than blogs with nice big bright photos :)

Eat healthy // Originally this was going to be "eat nothing from a packet". That was a bit unrealistic though (and I've already broken it!) but I really want my diet to be great this year. I know that already my diet isn't that bad, but it could definitely improve! I'm talking lots of fruit and veggies and homemade foods. I will have to pack lunches again (first time since I was 11!!) so will be looking at some healthy, easy options.

Be nicer // I really want to be a nicer person. Not saying that I'm mean, but I know that I can get really angry with the people closest to me for no real reason. So this year I really want to be nicer. I always want to have a smile on my face and be someone people love to be around! I want to make other people smile and feel special so hope to send more random snail mail letters and awesome birthday (or just because) gifts and notes.

Explore more of WA // I love this gorgeous state of mine and hope to see more places I've never been. A weekend or two per year we like to do places we've never been before (Yealering in 2012, Dalwallinu in 2013) and this year I'd love to go to Esperance and up further than Dalwallinu to Meekatharra and the like.

Make the most of things // We only live once so I just want to make the most of every day and every opportunity!

Do more design work // I love designing things and have designed many posters and invites for community and personal events (all just because I love it!) This year, I will be starting Cert III in Design Fundamentals so I really want to consider doing some design work for other people. (Contact me if you're interested!!)

I know it's a lot to commit to, but since it's now on the web, I really hope I can make all these resolutions come true.

What are your resolutions for 2014?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Photoshoot // Cute Cousins {O + E}

We had Christmas at the farm this year and we had lots of family come down. Odette and E hardly ever see each other, but they are just so much alike! They are born only five days apart, are the same height and have the same hair! I really wanted to take some photos of them together since they hardly ever get together. Then on separate occasions I took some individual photos of the gorgeous girls. It was so much fun and I'm so happy with the end results! The memories are the most precious though. I hope these girls stay friends forever.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Highlights of 2013

2013 was a good year for so many reasons, but here's a few highlights of the past year... (not in any sort of order, just a smorgasbord of the year it was!)

1 // We welcomed Blossom, our gorgeous ragdoll cat into our family after a spontaneous decision at the markets whilst on holiday at Bremer Bay. I am so happy we bought her though because she is simply the best addition to our family! Blossom an adorable cross eyed cat who loves to sit on top of the tadpole/frog tank and dip her tail in the water, sleep in the sink and wait at the bidet for someone to turn on the tap so that she can have a drink!

2 // We went back to Bremer Bay for Easter. Every year we head down there during January, but it was our first time for Easter and it was the best! Not all of the family got down, but we had a great few days 4WDing and fishing and swimming and going to markets and the like.

3 // I made the decision to go Manea Senior College next year (and got accepted!) This was a really hard decision for me to make and I spent a long time weighing out the good and bad things. Once I made the decision about mid-July though, I was so happy! I am really looking forward to it, especially since I will also be completing a Cert III in Design Fundamentals whilst I'm there.

4 // My trip to Taipei! It was my first time travelling alone (let alone overseas!) but it was a great adventure and enjoyed my two weeks in Taipei very much.  Some of the highlights included going to the top of Taipei 101 and eating chicken hearts and large intestine soup!

5 // I spent most of the year planning the WPIPS Camp 2013 and in October, along with a group of friends we finally head off to Busselton for four fun days. We did so much together and made some fantastic memories. Those days were definitely a few of my favourite from 2013!

6 // From July to the end of November, I volunteered afternoons per week at the After School Care at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School. I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with the sweetest children.

7 // In January, I was fortunate enough to receive the Shire of West Arthur Young Citizen of the Year Award. It was such a  surprise but a lovely way to remember all the great things I did in 2012! I go into the Shire these days and find it funny (but cool) to see my name up on the big board of award recipients.

8 // I got a job! At the start of this month, I was employed at the Shire of West Arthur as a Project Officer. I am focusing on compiling information of the Darkan-Dardadine Railway for signs that will be sued along the rail trail being established along there. Other tasks include answering the phone, shredding, photocopying and filing.

9 // I had a boarding unit filled with amazing, supportive girls which helped make 2013 great! Living away from home is hard, so to have a bunch of great girls there was really nice. I made some good friends, had lots of good times and will miss it next year!

10 // In May, the flooring was finally laid in Wattle Cottage. It is a light wood-like linoleum, which I love! We had been waiting forever, so it was great to be finally done so that now we can decorate etc. It is probably the only big thing that happened over at Wattle Cottage this year so it is very significant!

11 // We had Christmas at the farm! It is the first time we have hosted any Christmas at home since 2004, and especially great since both Mum and Dad's side of the family were there together. Not every could come, but we had a nice crowd and enjoyed each others company, spending most of the time in the patio since the weather was just great!

12 // At the start of December, I did a week of work experience at Childside School in Boyanup. I had the best four days and never wanted to leave! The school is a community school that draws on Steiner and Reggio Emilia approaches and the like. It was so different to anything I had ever experienced or school I have ever been to. Everyone was so nice and I felt like part of a big family!

13 // The 11/12/13 marked Taylor Swift's Perth concert, which I was lucky enough to have tickets to along with both my sisters! It was an absolutely the best night, and reviews in the newspaper say that people who went to the concert will be disappointed with other concerts since Taylor's was so great! It was the first concert I have been to and I have to say I was very impressed.

14 // In November, through my Media studies at BCGS, along with a group of other enthusiastic movie makers, I was able to work as the director on a ABC Open production featuring Deb "Spoons" Perry from Bridgetown. The small group of 6 (plus 2) did everything from the planning down to the editing which is being completed as we speak.

2013 was great. But I have a feeling that 2014 will be even better... bring on the new year!

Wishing you all the best for 2014 x

P.S. Great way to end the year, with my 100th post on this little blog! Thanks so much to everyone for your continued support and comments, I love you all :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gift Wrapping // Glitter Glamour

This year, for the first time ever, I participated in the Fat Mum Slim gift exchange. It has been so much fun stalking and shopping for my secret giftee. Wrapping has also been just as enjoyable since I love nothing more than a cutely wrapped present. I sent little gifts for the recipient's daughters and love how well this glamourous glittered packaging came together! It took a bit more effort but was soooo worth it. I'm in love.

You will need // gold glitter, key (or another cute symbol) scrapbook paper, floral wrapping paper, cardboard cutout letter, brown bakers twine, sticky tape, scissors, hole punch, liquid glue, black fineliner, white cardstock, paintbrush, pencil and circle template (or circle hole punch).

What to do // Start by wrapping the floral wrapping paper. Cut (or punch) out a circle shaped gift tag. Cover the chipboard letters in glue before coating the front with glitter. Attach to the gift card. At the top of the gift card, punch a hole for the ribbon to be threaded through and at the bottom script a cute message or name. Use bakers twine to wrap around the present and attach the gift tag once dry along with a cute graphic cut out (like the key shown above). Send with love...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Little Bit of Life // A Chinese Meal

We nearly always have a foreign backpacker or two sharing our home with us. We provide food, accommodation and a friendly family and experiences whilst they help out with farm and house work. It's a win win situation! Last weekend, one of our Taiwanese helpers Margie and friend Angela hosted a special Chinese meal since it was Margie's last weekend with us.

Preparation for the lunch began early in the day and there was delicious smells wafting through the house all morning, accompanied by the sound of Christmas music since it was December 1st and I got a bit excited for the festive season!

There was LOTS OF FOOD. We had sweet and sour pork (my favourite!), green vegetables, fried rice, a spicy chicken dish and the most interesting.. battered prawns topped with sprinkles and pineapple. The presentation was absolutely amazing and it all tasted really good as well (despite the weird combinations).

To finish off, there was tapioca in coconut milk. I didn't have much though since everything else was so filing!

Thanks so much to Angela and Margie for this delicious meal. What's your favourite Chinese dish?
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