Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Buying Australian Made

The EOFY (= end of financial year sale) in Australia is a BIG thing. Normally I don't take much notice but this year I wanted to get some new furniture and a new rug for the living room - the room which just didn't feel right yet.

I really wanted to buy some Australian made furniture but this was harder than first thought. Most of the furniture was more or less made to order and was therefore extremely expensive. But finally I found a shop which makes their furniture in Australia. The timber came from NZ which is borderline but closer than anywhere else.

We bought two bookshelves - a smaller one for this corner I really disliked before.

Now this corner keeps my most valuable books - all of my 'antiques'.

The other bookshelf is a bit bigger. I'm still looking for something decorative for on top of the bookshelf but so far haven't found anything suitable. We'll see. 

When I told Steve that I found those Australian-made bookcases, he wanted to add a new entertainment unit. Our old one was bulky for the old style television sets and I know how often we hit our toes on it.  

We also got this rug which isn't made in Australia but it's nice and it's the right size and colour. After searching and searching for an Australian made rug, this one will do.

We both love the new look and soon will add a new coffee table. We have something special and locally made in mind. Stay tunes....

Buying Australian products is becoming more and more important to me, however sometimes they're hard to find. Most textiles come from Asia, are cheap, dyed with chemicals and don't life longer than 4 washes. And most of the time, you don't even find what you're looking for.

One of the things I have been looking for was a rectangular pillow for on top of my rocking chair. For some reason the cushion ended around my neck and my head is always leaning on the timber. Now where I have a sewing machine I can make my own which I did.

When I saw this embroidery file advertised, I knew this would be perfect for my rocking chair pillow. I bought it and started to look for the right coloured fabric which I have now found. So one night I started to embroider my pillow and I LOVE it! The size is perfect, the shape is perfect, the picture is so pretty and so colours turned out to be amazing! I'm so happy and so proud - this is my favourite spot!

If you don't know how an embroidery machine works, you actually load a file into the machine and the machine embroiders but YOU choose the colours. Every single colour in this picture was chosen by me and I think it just looks absolutely amazing. I feel so accomplished - making something so beautiful myself and for me...

To further increase my mood I received a parcel from my Sister with my favourite German magazines. I made myself a nice Cappuccino, sat on my rocking chair and started reading.

Isn't it nice when you can make something yourself, isn't it? I'm thinking of starting to learn woodwork, maybe I can make our next bookshelves? Also they will not look as nice as the ones we just bought, I would e very proud to have something in our home which we made ourselves. As it is so hard to find good quality Australian made items here, I think I will try to make as much as I can in the future. I started with growing our own food, buying local meat, making our own products for cleaning and skincare and have started knitting and sewing to make our own clothes and decoration. I have learnt a lot and I'll keep on learning. But what I've learnt so far makes me proud, feeling accomplished independent and extremely satisfied. Of course making a jumper takes a lot longer than just buying one but you also appreciate it more and it is exactly what you wanted - even with the little mistakes.

What do you do these days? Can you buy local products, do you make them yourself or do you prefer to buy what you need?

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

4 months to go...

Today in 4 months time, on the 7 th November 2015, I'm going to marry the love of my life.
4 months sounds like a lot of time but as I'm only going to be home for 2 out of 4 months, it's going to be rather quick. As I love planning and organising, it's all under control.

1. Venue
We've chosen the Montville Country Cabins in a he Sunshine Coast Hinterland as our venue. It's central for everyone and I love that we have the entire venue to ourselves. There's individual self-contained cabins set on 19 acres of beautiful gardens, so we will be all together but still have enough privacy. Steve & I decided to pay for our guest's accomodation because we're able to afford it and we find it a nice thing to do. The guests will arrive Friday afternoon, we will go out for dinner, Saturday is the wedding and on Sunday everybody goes home again. Very relaxt! 
Photo by Montville Country Cabin

2. Guestlist
We established the Guest list rather quickly. Only immediate family was invited and inivitations were sent. You seen those in a previous post on my blog. I've got my invites done via Etsy. Unfortunately most of my family members will be unable to attend our wedding, therefore we're planning to set up skype, so my family in Germany can follow the ceremony. Fingers crossed, it will all work well on the day.

3. Celebrant
We decided on a Celebrant and met up with him to discuss our wedding. We want something fairly informal and fun. We want it to be relaxt - for us and our guests. For me personally, this wedding is about combining 2 families into one and I'm very much loooking forward to my family meeting my new family and vice a versa.
Photo by Montville Cabin

4. Catering
As we will have a late afternoon ceremony (so my family in Germany doesn't have to get up in the middle of the night), we decided to serve canapes just before the ceremony, so that nobody drinks on an empty stomach and feels strengthened for the ceremony and reception. For dinner we have decided on Tapas style, as we both love Tapas. For dessert we will have the wedding cake as well as a cheese and fruit platter. We have decided in a caterer but haven't yet worked out the menu yet (too many choices). I know how I want my wedding cake to look like and we will go cake tasting next time I come home from work. Luckily enough, we wil be able to bring our own drinks which saves us a lot of money. We will have a purple signature cocktail and Steve and I have been trying different varieties. That's a lot of fun!

5. Presents
We don't want presents from our guests. We will have a wishing well if anybody wants to give us something, we will use it towards our Honeymoon. I don't think Steve is getting me a present - he already got me the world's most beautiful engagement ring. But I wanted to get something for us, so I bought these matching Swiss Watches. A Swiss watch is a companion for life - just like we will be becoming companions for life on that special day.

6. Rings
Steve and I have decided on a set of beautiful wedding rings. It was hard to find something suitable for me as I do want to continue to wear my engagement ring. This one fitted the best and maybe once we're married, I can get them combined.

7. Flowers and Decoration
I haven't decided on a florist yet. I have a bouquet in mind and my Mum wanted a bouquet as well rather than the traditional corsage/boutonnière. However, I will get one for Steve's mother. All decoration and other flowers will be supplied by Montville Country Cabins. With their beautiful garden, I can imagine what a gorgeous display of fresh seasonal flowers it will be. Absolutley amazing!
Photo by Montville Country Cabins

8. Photographer and Entertainment
There will be no wedding photographer. Most people have cameras on their mobile phones or can bring their own and take pictures. My best friend who is attending the wedding, will take some nice shoots of us before, during and after the ceremony, including some family shoots. It saves money and feels much less formal. 
Our entertainment is our iPod and a docking station. We have chosen 2 songs for the ceremony and Steve is creating a playlist for the evening. We will not have a first dance, so this will be a perfect solution for us.

9. Make up
I will splurge on getting my make up done on the day. My Mum wanted to get hers done as well. I normally don't wear a lot of make up. I wear moisturiser, powder when I go out, eyeshadow, some blush, eyeliner and lipstick. Sounds like a lot but it takes me less than 3 mins to do and looks very natural. I like it. Next time I come home from work, we will stay on the Sunshine Coast for a few days to finalise all arrangements. Then I will go and get a trial make up done. If I like it, I go with it, if not, I might end up doing my own. We'll see. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

10. The DRESS
I wanted a short dress as I always wear short dresses, so I went to a few wedding stores just to disappoint the sales women that a) I don't want a 'princess' dress I cannot sit in and never wear again and b) nor do I want to spend $2500 on a dressand chop half of it off. I tried on real wedding dresses. Just to see if it gives me that certain feeling you're supposed to feel. Nothing. I really disliked it. The only dress I liked was an off white Mother-of-the-bride dress but it was long as well. I saw some nice dresses online but really wanted to try something on before I buy it. Then I started to check 'normal' shops such as DJs and Myers for nice short whiteish cocktail dresses. I took pics in the change room, sending them to my friend asking for her opinion. Looking at those pictures now, I look like a lamb being taken to the slaughterhouse. It just wasn't me. Then as I was walking around, I found it! It's short, it's beautiful, it suits me, it's lavender and I feel fantastic!
Sorry about the wardrobe selfie but this is me! It's an Athena Crawford dress and it was reduced to $299. How good is this?!

With the average Australian wedding costing $36,200, couples spend a house deposit or a good chunk of their mortgage for this one day. I know it's a special day, I want our wedding day to be special too. But what makes it special? Having to pay for 100 people attending, giving them something to eat and drink but not even able to talk to everyone? Having people attending you haven't seen in years? A marriage to be is a close bond between 2 people and a newly formed bond between 2 families. Very close friends could also be included. But if I don't invite someone for my birthday or Christmas, then I don't need that person at my wedding. 
Our wedding is under $10,000 and that includes the venue for 20 people for 2 nights as well as all the other items mentioned under 1-10. Yes, you can have a wedfing on a budget and make it beautiful.
We will have a special day amongst family and close friends and I'm really looking forward to it!

Now, since I never ever attended a real wedding (with one unusual exclusion); have I forgotten anything???