Tag Archives: Australia

Transformation of a furniture

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I love my walnut 9 piece dining  furniture but I thought of giving it a new spot.  A place where its beauty can be admired the most especially at this time of the year here down under, spring.  Of course, during summer its beauty and purpose can linger on.

I took the risk of putting it in our courtyard, our outdoor space.  The problem definitely is how to keep it damage-free because of the harsh weather and other elements outside.  So, me  and my hubby went to Bunnings Warehouse where you can find all stuff for home renovations and DIY projects.  This is what was recommended to us:

The solution:  Bondall Clear Timber varnish for Indoor furniture ( I contains invisible Zinc to protect your furniture from UV light exposure.

Then during my day off from work, I did my project.  I put varnish on my dining table and 8 dining chairs.

I applied one thin coat  and let it dry which I think only took an hour.  But after the drying time, I was pleased with what I saw and therefore, I decided not to apply another coating.

One coating was enough to make it shiny and cover some of the small scratches.  Well, my husband said that he’ll apply the second coat one weekend to really make sure our furniture gets the maximum protection from high temperature when summer arrives.  But for now, I am just happy to have a shinier 9 piece dining suite in our courtyard.

For sure there is no regret that I took the risk of transforming my indoor dining suite to be an outdoor furniture.  Now I can say, we are pretty much prepared to face and enjoy the increase of  afternoon life as Daylight saving time commences in NSW and other parts of Australia  tomorrow.

Sharing this with: Delightful Order, 52 mantels and a whole lot more, Organizing and Decorating everything, Nesting place

God bless,

Nova

Christmas in July

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Tomorrow marks the second month of winter here in Australia.  So while other people who live in the other part of the globe are enjoying the sun, the sea and the sand during summer, the world down under experiences chilly nights and mornings.

Here in Australia, it’s not uncommon to hear “Christmas in July” .  Of  course, we have our “true Christmas” in December but since Christmas here in Australia falls on a summer, it’s not practical for people to have a big and sumptuous  roast because of the high temperature.  Hence, some families and organisations celebrate with a big feast in the middle of the winter when the weather is nice and cool ( or shall I say cold ) and it’s good to have those hot pudding.  A Christmas in July dinner would include Christmas candles, hats, bonbons and whistles.

Also, a more popular way of celebrating Christmas is by going to the snow fields resorts, build a snowman, go Santa skiing and have a delightful dinner with the whole family. So it becomes a perfect scene for Christmas in July celebrations.

Last year, our family and our friends had “Christmas in July’ at Mt. Selwyn snow fields.  Here were some of the highlights:

Me and my son at Snowy mountain ( July 24, 2011 )

My son and hubby went tobogganing

We let our hair down during the “snow fight”

My son built his own version of a snowman

My husband dared to be covered with snow

A happy family ( our friends ) built their own snowmen

I did enjoy the company of my friends

Our family had a “Merry Christmas” in July

That was our Christmas in July 2011 and as you can see from the pictures above, the elements of Christmas were present.  There was joy due to the gifts of family and friendship. There was love which kept our hearts burning and kept us warm all throughout.

My  message  and wish to you this weekend is for you to be “MERRY” wherever you are.

God bless,

Nova

Mantels for different occasions and seasons

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I am in love with mantels, in my pinterest, I have placed mantels under my “seasonal home  decor” board.  Here are some that I have pinned

Love mantel

Everyday love mantel

The first love mantel was from adventures in decorating blogspot and the second one that you see above is my own everyday love mantel. These mantels are also appropriate during Valentine’s day but as I’ve mentioned to see a love mantel at any time of the year is quite pleasant since our heart do not stop breathing for love.  Well, before I sound so romantic, let’s move on.

Easter mantel during Spring    Easter mantel at Fall ( unique in the world down under )

These are Easter mantels. I love the simplicity of the first one, what was catching was the message: REJOICE which says it all for Easter.  It’s from studio 1621 blogspot.  Of course, I want to include again my own, an Easter mantel during autumn season.  Let’s try to have a look at some other mantels for different types of celebrations:

mantel for St. Pat'snew year's mantel

The first one was created for St. Patrick’s day and so green color dominates here and emphasized from creative school resource and the second one was a New Year mantel which gives me an idea how to welcome the year to come with so much positive anticipation.   Now, how about mantels for different seasons?

home 047

I haven’t pinned yet the above picture but this is a summer mantel from Northern Cottage.  I love how she enumerates the list of summer activities that can be enjoyed.   Two days ago, I put up my winter mantel since it’s becoming freezing cold here now in Australia although it does not snow, still we have absolutely chilly days.  In my mantel, my message was to “show love” and “keep warm”.  Well, human blanket is still the best, do you agree?

God bless,

Nova

Winter mantel

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Few more days and autumn here in Australia is over.  The first of June marks the official winter season down here.  So today, I’ve decided to put up our winter mantel.  First I thought of the gift I have received recently from my aunt from the Philippines.  It’s an oil lamp which we call it there as “storm lamp” ( ilaw bagyo  ).  It is used during the olden days during storm and electricity is cut off.  This brings back memories from my childhood, brings back memories of the town ( province ) in the Philippines where I grew up.

What came with this lamp from the Philippines is the love and concern of my precious aunt.  Then, I put the fabric flowers which  traveled all the way from the United States down here in Australia.  I was chosen to be the recipient of these lovely flowers by Beth from chicenvelopements.

What comes with these creation is the creativity and appreciation of a another blogger from the other part of the world.

Then I also added my own chalkboard paint project ( picture frames I used for my son’s birthday party ).  This time, I have written these:

For me it the love that you share that will keep you warm this winter, more than the electric blanket that you use, more than the gas heater that your house has.  Love is the best shield in the coming chilly days of winter.

So here it is, my simple winter mantel:

Keep warm and continue loving!!

God bless,

Nova

I’m sharing this to:

52 mantels                    crafty confessions

It’s a Blog Party           organizing and decorating everything

fun on a dime               Delightful Order

I heart nap time         Kristen’s Creations

Raising memories

my 1929 charmer

A BIG Thank You

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I feel so blessed because one of my followers, Beth from Chic Envelopements ( I’m a follower of hers as well because I want to journey with her as she joined the refashion wagon and I want to witness her creative creations ) chose me to be the recipient of her giveaway, fabric flowers, one her own DIY projects.  She announced it last April 9 on her post “and the winner of the fabric flower is…”

Last April 4,  she asked her followers to leave a comment on how we found her and what can she do to make our visits worthwhile.  She also announced that she’ll pick a winner to receive her giveaway as a way of her gratitude for the support and encouragement she has been receiving.  After I read the post, I left a comment straight away not only for the giveaway but because I would like her to know as well how I found her and why I am following her.  Actually, I found her blog after she followed me, then when I visited her site, the first thing that I read was the rustic chic wedding of her gorgeous daughter and my heart was captured after that.  The wedding is just beautiful and more importantly, I felt that she is a loving mother, a mother who shared one of the most meaningful life events of her daughter.  For me, that is so essential so I followed her and will always be.

Since that time, we’ve been encouraging each other through our simple yet straight from the heart comments.  So, once again, a BIG thank you to Beth from Chic Envelopments.  Greetings from the world down under…Australia!!  Cheers mate.

Maynard

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Almost 13 year ago, on the third of May 1999 in Manila, Philippines, a boy who weighed 7.8 lbs was born through a Caesarian section at FEU-NRMF hospital. He was called Joseph Maynard. Joseph because his mother has a devotion to St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus Christ. Maynard was from a baby book which means strong. His mother thought that she wants a boy who is not just strong physically but will grow up as a boy who’s strong emotionally and spiritually. He was given the nickname, JM which obviously stands for Joseph Maynard.

When he was growing he was such a delight to the whole family, before his first birthday, he was mistaken sometimes as a girl because of his long hair which was only cut after he turned one. It was sort of an old belief and tradition among Filipinos. He started school at the age of three at Blessed Scalabrini Institute. The Scalabrinian sisters were so happy with JM because he was such a well- endowed and talented boy. At the age of 5, he won Mr. Talent by doing a declamation piece written by his mom. He also danced during that contest and so by unanimous decision, he won the title. He became too, the overall winner for a popularity contest and he was crowned as the first Mr. Scalabrini.

He was six when his parents decided to migrate to Australia. He was sad to leave his friends and their big extended family especially from his mother side. He was not good at conversational English when he arrived in Sydney. He adapted to the language and to the culture of Australia quite easily although in between the adaptation, there were few kids who made fun of him because of his diction and pronunciation. His parent’s heart even broke one time when one kid told them explicitly ” You know what, I just do’nt like JM”. When his parents asked the kid what was the reason, he just replied without hesitation, ” I don’t know, I just don’t like him”. This was the same kid who ruined his favorite toys which they brought from the Philippines. During that time, his parents were trying as well to fit in with a group of people ( Australian citizens but from the Philippines as well ) so they just said nothing, tongue tied they were even though inside they were hurting so much. There were still many incidents which transpired, Joseph being pinched by the same kid, being blamed for nothing and other things . Then it came to a point that his parents decided not to mingle anymore with that group. In fairness though, from that group, his parents found some true friends as well. Friends that they will keep for life.

Now, Joseph is almost turning 13 and is in year 8. This boy has been doing excellently, academically and socially. His parents always receive excellent feedback from his teachers, they always tell them that he is just such an adorable kid, who’s smart and very well-mannered. He plays the violin and is part of the school orchestra. He loves theater sports and is good in acting as well.

Today, his parents know no one can just make fun of him because of his pronunciation and accent. In fact, he’s developing himself to be a good public speaker since he wants to become a lawyer someday. This time, no one can just pinch him because he knows now how to tell them off. His parents know that he has gone a long way and they are just exceptionally proud of him because unlike most kids who were born here and who were never ridiculed, he is someone who was able to rise above all those extraordinary challenges. Definitely, his second name describes him all the more, Maynard which means strong, and yes, he is STRONG!

Easter centerpiece

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Leanne from Organize and Decorate everything together with three other creative ladies thought of a challenge for people who loves pinning in Pinterest.  The challenge is to select from your pinned projects, make it happen, write a blog about it and share your point of view in their link party.  I thought this is amazing since I’ve been drawing so much inspiration from Pinterest lately.  All  I need to do is to blog about it.  The only problem that I had yesterday was that, I can’t choose my favorite.  I love them all that’s why I pinned them!  Until I came across this meaningful Thanksgiving centerpiece yesterday ( which I pinned ) from one of my favorite sites: 52 mantels 

show of gratitude on the table

Well, we do not have Thanksgiving celebration here in Australia but we are in “fall” now.  Easter celebration is the biggest thing that  transpires during our Fall season that is why I even made a post about my Easter mantel during fall.  I’ve made the correlation of Easter during fall or the other way around.  Just like what I’ve implied before, it makes sense after all since during Easter you give thanks to your Redeemer for His bountiful blessings.  With this idea again, I’ve made up my mind to make an Easter centerpiece during the fall season.  Since the project involves chalkboard painting, I did buy for the first time, chalkboard paint from Riot and Craft

I was so excited since it was my first time to use a blackboard paint and to top it all, after many years I can write on a blackboard again.  I remember when I started teaching in the University in the Philippines, I was using chalk and board until it was replaced by the whiteboard and marker then the overhead transparencies and before I migrated down here in Sydney, most of the time, I was using powerpoint presentations.  But yeah, blackboard is something that has been close to my system.  This time, i can write whatever is overflowing from within. So I want to show you first how I painted a wooden tray which I got from my co-worker as a present and it’s still untouched since we do not have breakfast in bed often, in fact I have to admit, we do it rarely.

It says in the instruction that double coating is needed but you have to let it dry for 2 hours before you apply the second coat.  Of course, I had time constraint since I still have to go to  work in the afternoon and again if you may, I have to admit, the excitement is just too strong to finish the project and share it.  So after allowing it to dry I tried writing and it did work!

So I wrote “Give thanks with all your Heart” for the abundant blessings He is continually showering me and my family.  In fact, couple of days after Easter, my brother and his family from the Philippines is paying us a visit.  This is indeed a tremendous blessing for me because being with your cherished family is more than anything in this world.

After writing on my board, then I placed some nice stuff from Vinnies, store run by St. Vincent’s de Paul society that is  why everything is not expensive.  I did buy ceramic birds and  mug from them and then I did make Easter eggs again covered with music sheets and put them all together.  By the way, I draw the inspiration of making these Easter eggs from Pinterest

nest and eggs for Easter

source: Confessions of a plate addict

Now, my Easter centerpiece is done!

My point of view here, there is always something that can inspire us from Pinterest but most of all we can draw inspiration from within, the graces and blessings from the Almighty.

Now I’m ready to link this to:

http://organizeyourstuffnow.com/wordpress/home-decor-organizing-link-party-44

Be inspired and inspire others!!

I’m partying as well in:

http://www.cherishedbliss.com/

http://myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/

http://www.itsybitsypaperblog.com/2012/03/hippity-hop-easter-project-hop.html

Easter during fall, does it make sense?

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I grew up in a country where Lent and Easter fall during the dry season, summer to be specific.  To us Filipinos ( well, I’m still Filipino by blood and Australian now by law ), the hot humidity during lent becomes our spiritual  challenge.  In the United States, Easter falls during spring.  It’s easy to give meaning then, spring which means  growth and new life which is the the significance of Easter that has been given by our Redeemer.  In autumn they celebrate ” Thanksgiving”, which becomes   the highlight of the season.  They give thanks on that day for all the bountiful blessings they receive.   They usually make meaningful mantels which include pumpkins which signify harvest and in return, this denotes abundance in life.

Source: Meadow Lake Cottage

You can also find mantels which emphasizes the counting of blessings of each member of the family.

Source: My Blessed Life

But how about for us here who live down under when Easter is during fall.  Is it right for us to decorate for Easter with a type of mantel which reminds the family to gather, count their blessings, give thanks and celebrate during Easter?  The answer to this question is a BIG yes.  Definitely Easter is a time to be thankful because our Lord opened the gates of heaven for us so that when our time comes, we can be with His Father.  Surely, Easter is a time to be thankful because  we can enjoy life while we are here on earth because of his many gifts for all of us, the gift of family ,  the gift of friendship, the gifts of joy and love just to name a few.  Truly Easter is a time to harvest what the Lord has planted for us…salvation!

With all these in mind, I can now say that Easter during fall makes sense after all and I feel blessed that I can decorate for fall in time for Easter here in Australia.  Easter anyway is a time for us to show gratitude for the GIFT of LIFE that we are all enjoying.

Stay tuned for my Fall/Easter mantel then.  Thanks for following  by the way.  God bless