Writing a blog


Writing content for blogs can be time consuming but also rewarding, unfortunately, we have had an extremely difficult year personally, so I have not put a lot of time into my blog or any of my ventures.

I have however been writing an absolute ton of blog posts for our main business, Central Avenue Homes.

We have just renewed our website and created a new logo, so to get things moving, I have been creating blog posts for our new website.

Hopefully, our new website will be up and running fully in the very near future, so I can concentrate on this blog.

Please check out our new website and logo and let me know what you think..

https://www.centralavenuehomes.com.au

I’ve also spent a fair bit of time on Pinterest creating boards for our clients and other people who might find inspiration for decorating or when designing their new come.

 

Difficult times


20161116_145636I would like to preface this post by apologising for the length of it.

After an extremely difficult year, and an even more traumatic fortnight, we are now able to get back to some normality in our lives.

With the death of Greg’s brother Stephen (RIP) earlier this year and 5 friends inside 9 weeks we, have come to realise even more so than before, that life is precious and can change in the blink of an eye, so we must do what we can, when we can and enjoy the time we have with friends and family while you are able.

For those who don’t know, Greg and I were to be on a cruise to the south pacific 2 weeks ago with 40 of our friends to celebrate a 60’th birthday, unfortunately, due to my honesty in ticking a box to say I had been unwell in the previous 2 days, (I now know that if I had my time again, I would probably tick the other box), that I was denied boarding the ship.

Well, first there was extreme anger, and then disappointment and then the extreme anger returned with the way we were treated by the ground staff of the cruise line, we arranged to fly home the next day, and to his credit, Greg found some humour in the extremely upsetting situation, joked that we have now done a mystery flight to Sydney as we had no idea we would be back home so soon.

The day after we arrived home, Greg went to visit Mum Grainger in the nursing home only to be told that she had been taken to Peel hospital.

He went to visit and she had been moved onto a ward from ED, the next day he visited her early in the morning with Bryce for an hour or so, we were going to go again after lunch as we had a few things to do, however no sooner had Greg arrived home, he received a call advising him that Mum Grainger had been taken back to ED, and that’s where the stresses of the next week began.

Unfortunately, a couple of days later Mum Grainger passed away peacefully at St John of God.

It’s times like this when you appreciate the friends and family who surround you.

No funeral is fun, and to make the service a little easier to bare, as we wanted to celebrate her life and not mourn her death, we asked that people wear colour the service, and as her favourite colour was green, a few of us chose to wear that colour in her honour.

We, as the family were asked to be at the funeral home at least ½ an hour before the service so that we could greet the attendants, and to my absolute delight (yes I did burst into tears) my good friend Linda, in a green blouse no less, was seated on the lounge in the waiting area.

Then to my further delight as we were greeting old friends from our early days and friends of Mum Grainger, so many of our new good friends were there in that room with us to share our sorrow and shower us with their love and support.

Please know that Greg Grainger and I would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us on this very sad occasion.

We would also like to thank everyone who has sent their love and wishes, please know that we treasure your friendship and support.

Would you wear Active wear (gym clothes) to the shops?


Would you wear your active wear (gym clothes) to the shops?

In the below article Michelle Bridges encourages people to wear their active wear  out  just in case they are going to train.

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/michelle-bridges-almost-banned-from-shops-for-wearing-activewear-20160902-gr7aqk.html

My friends and I were discussing this very subject on the weekend and all of us agreed that gym wear, and let’s face it, that’s’ what it is, was designed to wear to the gym, admittedly, we are all over 50, but some of my friends certainly have the figure to look great in anything, we all agreed that wearing active wear is the same as wearing leggings.

I absolutely abhor leggings worn as pants with nothing to cover the front and back bottoms no matter the age and size of the person.

I wear longer leggings most days, but they are worn as bottoms that warm my legs under tunics and longer tops in winter, and shorter ones in the warmer months more for discretion, exactly what they were designed for, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leggings, and I find that active wear falls into the same category, underneath wear.

I don’t wear activewear myself, but it looks as though it would be like putting on hold me in underwear, tight and an effort to put on, I prefer to wear something that is easy to put on and take off and more importantly, something that I look good in and is appropriate for the outing I have planned.

I decided to do a little research after reading your post and went looking for some articles on this subject this morning and found an article by the Daily telegraph Active Wear: – Is gym wear suitable for streetwear, and found it very interesting reading.

The author decides to put wearing active wear out and about to the test, albeit a little long, the result of experiment is very interesting indeed.

My friend Robyn from Paterson Personal Styling, http://www.patersonpersonalstyling.com.au made the following comment:-

Sorry, Michelle, but I don’t endorse it. It’s lazy dressing. Why not wear your pyjamas all day just in case you feel like a nap?

That said, I agree with Robyn’s comments  wholeheartedly, maybe someone might start a trend of wearing pyjamas out and about, a trend that I won’t be following.

 

What are your thoughts

Some of my artwork from years ago


I first learnt how to paint by learning folk art, unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy it and wanted to learn what I called proper painting, so as soon as I learnt how to do the brushstrokes, I moved on to proper painting.

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This paper towel holder was one of my very early pieces, and I was very proud of it.

Once I started proper painting I started painting teddies and animals, this was what I called decorative painting

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I was also making cloth dolls, they were the primitive type until I started making moulded faces, fingers and toes that were covered in cloth  and were jointed.

Primitve dolls

Primitve dolls

Primitve dolls

Whimsy

Whimsy

Shopping my wardrobe and using my Intimo half slip


I was taking some photos today ready for my blog post, Shopping my wardrobe, and I thought I would post the photos on my friends Facebook page as well as they are all incorporating the Intimo black half slip that she sells and some of the tops that I haven’t worn for a while as I have lost weight were using my Maggies magnets (available from Ruth, the Irish Bra Lady in Australia) to pull them in and create a nice fitted waistline.

I now have 3 black half slips and 1 honey one and I just absolutely love them.

I used to wear tunics to create a longer hem underneath my shorter tops, but they wrinkle when you wash them and the creases don’t drop out for several days if they drop out at all and quite often they loose their shape, and the Intimo  half slip just falls nicely every time.

http://www.intimo.com.au/everyday-half-slip-blk-10_1001427/

I haven’t worn a lot of these tops for years as they are too short to wear over leggings without a tunic and I don’t particularly like them over trousers and I don’t wear skirts very often, so the mini slip has certainly added back a whole pile of outfits that I wouldn’t normally have worn.

I can’t believe how many more outfits I have created by shopping my wardrobe and adding my black half slip over leggings.

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Origins of the term capsule wardrobe


Origins of the term capsule wardrobe

Capsule - Long weekend away 1

The term “Capsule Wardrobe” was created by Susie Faux, she was the owner of the West End boutique “Wardrobe” in the 1970s.

A capsule wardrobe refers to a collection of essential items of clothing that would not go out of fashion and could be worn for multiple seasons and can all be worn together by mixing and matching.

The aim was to update the collection with seasonal pieces, eg, jackets, scarves, etc in order to have something to wear for any occasion without buying many new items of clothing.

Susie suggested that a basic woman’s capsule wardrobe should contain at least “2 pairs of bottoms / trousers, a dress or skirt, a jacket, a coat, a knit (jumper or tunic top), two pairs of shoes and two bags”.

The concept of a capsule wardrobe was made popular by American designer Donna Karan in 1985, when she released her “7 Easy Pieces” collection.

Her aim was to fill what she referred to as “a void in the marketplace” for a stylish and practical wardrobe designed with working women in mind.

When the collection debuted, she showed eight models dressed only in bodysuits and black tights

The models then added items separates, (clothing such as wrap-skirts, trousers, and dresses) to demonstrate her interchangeable style of dressing.

As a term, “capsule wardrobe” is widely used in the fashion media.

The concept, capsule wardrobe, was made more popular by several television programmes, including Trinny and Susannah’s ‘What Not to Wear’, that showed on the BBC 2001–2007, and Gok’s Fashion Fix that showed on Channel Four from 2008 onward. Presenter and stylist Gok Wan emphasises that a capsule wardrobe is an especially vital tool in a recession because it helps people to look good on a small budget.

This is perhaps part of the reason that the idea has been sustained since its conception in the 1970’s.

General guidelines

Below are some general guidelines that are widely given for creating a capsule wardrobe.

  • Choose a colour scheme that suits both your lifestyle and your colouring.
  • Choose one or two base or neutral colours that can be comfortably worn with everything, such as black, white, cream, brown, grey, or navy, these are considered your core colours.
  • Items such as trousers, handbags or coats would be best in shades of these colours, so that they can be worn with everything else in the wardrobe.
  • After choosing your base colours, choose one or two accent colours, which are brighter than your base colours, and co-ordinate with each other.
  • These would typically be tops, dresses, or accessories.
  • Once a colour scheme is established, all the items in a wardrobe should be interchangeable, (able to be worn with each and every item) as the colour of the pieces will always complement each other.
  • Consider your body shape.
  • Some designs, colours and cuts of clothing are more flattering than others, as such, If the clothing is flattering in both style and colour, you are more likely to want to keep them in your wardrobe.
  • Choose classic shapes, patterns colours and fabrics, while some cuts, patterns colour and fabric of clothing go in and out of fashion, there are others that are considered ‘classic’ because they don’t date.
  • It is wise to choose classic pieces for a capsule wardrobe, as they are intended to be kept for a number of years.
  • Choose good quality fabric, as the idea of a capsule wardrobe is to own a few items of that can be worn in a number of different ways, individual pieces will get lots of wear, therefore, it is a good idea to choose well made clothing that will continue to look good despite the heavy and or constant wear.

Below are examples of a typical capsule wardrobe.

Sample women’s wardrobe Sample men’s wardrobe
A belted trench coat A suit
Bootleg jeans A pair of jeans
A white shirt A pea coat or pilot jacket
A black blazer or jacket T-shirts
An LBD (little black dress) Cotton shirts
A pair of tailored trousers A jacket or blazer
A pencil skirt A pair of slacks
T-shirts and camisole tops A pair of smart shoes
A jumper or sweater A pair of casual shoes
A sundress A pair of  joggers or boat shoes
A pair of flats or sandals A watch
A pair of long boots A jacket
A tote bag
A clutch bag
A silk scarf
Sunglasses
A pair of high heels

 

Long weekend sample capsule wardrobe


Creating a Capsule Wardrobe that works for all areas of your life makes outfit creation a pleasure, whatever the occasion.

If you get an impromptu invitation for a long weekend away, you won’t have any last minute shopping dilemmas or what to wear problems, because you will already know what to wear and what to pack, because you have created a capsule wardrobe,

Of course there will be the odd occasion when you need to add something a little more specific but if the basics and the majority of your regular events are covered by your capsule wardrobe, you can pack for a long weekend away quickly and easily without any great thought.

I’ve created an example of a capsule wardrobe for a city long weekend break.

Here are the pieces to wear for work on Friday and to pack for your long weekend away

Capsule - Long weekend away

Friday at work is smart but not formal, and you leave straight from work with your bag packed

wear to work long weekend

On arrival at the hotel swap your trousers for your jeans, give your feet a rest from heels and pop on your black flats, ready to go to a casual dinner on Friday evening.

wear long weekend 9

Saturday, you have plans for pottering around the city and a little site seeing, it’s still a little cool, so add a light jumper with your vest and add some animal print flats and an animal print bag, and you have completely changed your look, if you’re still a little cool, add a scarf.

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before heading out to a more formal evening dinner, add a sleeveless top with a choker, a skirt and heels that you wore to work and you could go anywhere.wear long weekend 20

Sunday – spend a relaxing day, breakfast with friends and a pub for a counter meal, put a light weight black jumper with scarf and add your animal print shoes and bag.wear long weekend 1

Meet up with friends for drinks before dinner, swap your jeans for your black work trousers, change your shoes and bag, add a long statement necklace, and again a completely different outfit.wear long weekend 11

Breakfast with friends before a walk around the city and lunch in town before heading home, you will need comfortable clothing and shoes

wear long weekend 2

And if you stay longer you could put the following outfits together to create an ever larger capsule wardrobe.

Capsule - Long weekend away 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am sick of winter already – Electric hot water bottles and scarves to keep warm


I’m sick of the cold weather all ready, we are only in the first week of July and already I’m sick of it, it has been cold and miserable and I’m finding it hard to get warm

My saving grace, if you will, my favourite possession this winter is my electric hot water bottle.

I did a little research before posting and some electric hot water bottles have been recalled, but not mine, and not in WA.

skyla hot water bottle

I follow the instructions and I absolutely love it, I am not a big fan of air conditioning and having the heat on my face, so the hot water bottle sitting in my lap when I’m cold helps warm me up.

I heat it up before bed and it keeps me warm all night, we don’t have electric blankets or fleecy sheets, I heat it up before we get in the car so that I am kept warm on our hour drive into the office, and plug it back in again when I get there and it keeps me warm all day.

I also have one on the boat, because they stay warm for hours, I don’t need to use electricity to heat it up often and only when we turn the generator on do I plug it in again and warm it up.

I am a big lover of scarves, and have lots of them, however, I don’t like the big bulky ones around my neck, I find that they give me a neck ache, so I have made my own this winter.

I needed a white embellishment of some sort to put on my black scarf, and found a lovely flower scarf clip in Spotlight, but it was $7.50, and after looking at it, I thought to myself, I can do this, so I set to googling on YouTube for making fabric flowers.  Well I found the best video showing a no sew technique for making flowers, so I used the technique to not only make flowers as scarf clips, but scarves as well.  After creating the first couple I got so excited that I now have at least 1 flower and 1 scarf in each colour fabric that I had.


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Its time for a funny – I just can’t stress this enough, Do not wash wool in hot water.


I saw this photo on Facebook the other day, I shared it and now it is going viral. A cold water wash is obviously best, and I do believe she didn’t check herself out in her mirror before she left her home.

mirror 11

I just can’t stress this enough, Do not wash wool in hot water.

One thing always do before I leave the house that I’m sure a lot of people out there don’t do and that is look at my entire outfit in the mirror.

When I look at my outfit before I leave the house, I check all views INCLUDING my rear end.

I look at my outfit as though I am looking from someone else’s perspective, for example, is it too short, too tight, does it ride up my backside, is it too see through, do my boobs bulge, etc.

I bend over slightly if it is a short dress or top  and if you can see my underwear, I get changed, if my bust is popping out, the top is too small, I change it.

The one piece of advice I can offer all women, please, please look in the mirror before you leave the house, and don’t just look, act if it looks like you wouldn’t like your daughter or you mother going out looking like that.

mirror 4mirror 10 mirror 7 mirror 6


mirror 3 mirror 2 mirror

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BroochesIn the past, brooches have a bad reputation for being old-fashioned and matronly.

If you associate brooches as something worn only by grandmothers, then it is time to think again.

Brooches have been making a comeback, and are now a much coveted fashion accessory. To get some ideas on how to wear brooches keep reading.

Brooches have long been neglected as a fashion accessory and were seen as something that is worn only by old ladies.

But it is time to get those brooches out of your jewellery box and have them  cleaned, polished and ready to wear.

This season, brooches have made a definitive comeback and they are flaunted as one of the hottest fashion accessories.

With such a large variety of brooches available, from ornate vintage ones, beaded, floral, textured and very basic ones, you will be completely spoilt for choice.

They can be worn so many different ways, and one of the best ways to wear them is by attaching them on dresses or tops.

The right brooch can spruce up even the simplest and drabbest of any outfit.

And the best part?

They are ideal for camouflaging an outfit that is torn or has a stain on it.

The secret is to find a brooch is big enough to cover the spot and your dress will look as good as new.

Here are a few of my tips on how to rock the brooch trend.

How to Wear Brooches with Dresses

A jewel or crystal brooch in eye-catching colours can transform even the most boring outfit to something dramatic, and the best thing about wearing brooches with dresses is that you can pin them anywhere on your outfit to create dimension and that wow factor.

It is a great way to attract attention to your most flattering features.

Traditionally, a brooch was worn on the lapel of a coat or jacket but you can pin a brooch to a dress or top to dress it up.

Shoulder – If you have a plain shift dress or tunic and want to smarten it up for evening wear, then pin a cluster of brooches on the shoulder of your dress.

It is one of the best ways to glam up a simple dress.

Look for a mix of quirky, bright and dimensional looking brooches on soft feminine dresses to make a statement.

Back – One of the sexiest way to wear a brooch is by pinning in at the back of your dress. If you are wearing a dress with a plunging back, then attach the brooch at the lowest point on your back.

Alternatively, pin a ceramic or crystal brooch between the back straps of the dress.

If you have a bohemian dress that is very flowy overly large and simply not flattering to wear, a chunky brooch can be used to gather the dress at the back or under the bust to create a more fitted and modern effect at the bust area.

BodiceIf you are wearing a cocktail dress that has a plunging neckline, just wear the brooch at the centre of the neckline. This will accentuate the neckline and give your dress some more glamour. Large antique brooches with a subtle sparkle works very well. You can also opt for brooches with a nature-based design to up the style quotient.

Side – One of the best ways to wear a brooch is by attaching it to the side of your waist. You can pin the brooch on one side of your dress if it has lots of folds and pleat the best brooch should be a large one so that it is eye-catching or it will get lost in the folds and not serve its purpose.

An large hanging crystal brooch will  look best with a solid coloured or plain dress.

Waist – You can also wear an antique brooch pinned to a ribbon or sash and then tie the ribbon at the waist. You can align the brooch either at the centre to help cover a slight bulge or slightly to the side.

This idea works well for floral dresses or vintage dresses.

Brooches that are very traditional and are encrusted with diamonds, pearls or crystals can be worn with wedding dresses.

Diamond encrusted brooch will compliment a white wedding dress beautifully, especially with lace trimmings and beading.

A great way to jazz or dress up a dress for evening wear is to wear a dramatic cluster of jewelled brooches in eye popping colours like electric blue, neon pink and fuchsia.

Pair this with a sleek up do and you will instantly look very formal and dressy.

Another way to use a brooch as a fashion accessory, is as a hair pin in your bun.

You can also pin two brooches on your flats or heels or use a brooch to pin your scarf.