Monday, April 30, 2012

One Year Later

Yesterday was one year since we said good bye to our precious boy Charlie. 

If you are a new friend or you missed out on that part of our journey you can read about it here

You have all been so wonderfully supportive and many of you have asked how I am going. I am going well. It has been tough at times and I did have another miscarriage not long after Charlie's birth but the doctors and specialists could find no reasons why I was miscarrying. The last specialist we saw advised that I give my body a rest for about 6 months. So we did. 

Having 3 miscarriages in 12 months, two of them being in the 2nd trimester was hard. I lost a lot of blood with those two miscarriages and it is only now that I am feeling better that I realise just how tired my body was.

I am glad that we had a break but it wasn't easy to just wait. 

Our human nature urges us to get in and fix the problem not sit back and wait, combine that with the pressure of a ticking body clock and my desire to have a few more babies, not just one made the waiting very hard!

So we are trying to have a baby again and I am trying very hard not to become consumed by the process and the desire. 

The new business has been a great project for me to focus on and channel my energy into. It is a blessing to be able to be doing something I love and having the flexibility to be around for our son when he gets home from school and during the holidays is fantastic.

Thanks for being around when I've needed you and for stopping by and visiting me. Thanks to all of you who emailed me to check on how I was. 

I would appreciate your prayers as we try to have a baby, twins would be just fine :-) and would love to hear any advice you may have.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Pip's Bridal Shower

I had the pleasure of styling my friend's bridal shower last weekend and I had so much fun!

I loved everything about it and it was such a great reminder of how blessed I am to be able to do something I love and how wonderful my family and friends are to be so supportive.

Have a great weekend


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Card makers and scrap bookers - Giveaway

Hello my lovely friends, I hope all my aussie friends had a lovely Anzac Day yesterday. I tried to take a day off and stayed away from the laptop for as long as I could.

I did get into the spare room which has been overrun by stock for my store and started tidying up a little. While I was at it I found some extra templates I still have from my Creative Memories Days. 

I don't need that many of each one so I thought of my wonderful supportive friends and decided I will give them away as a thank you.

To enter make sure you are a follower and leave a comment on this post. 

I will announce the winner tomorrow.

For a second chance pop over to my Facebook page like it and leave a comment there too. 

I have 5 to give away here and 5 to give away on Facebook.

I will choose 10 random winners and I am happy to post anywhere in the world. 

If you have a preference please let me know I will try to accommodate but no promises.

I will leave it open until 10am tomorrow, Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Thanks again and have a great day!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Before & After -mirror & blanket box

Yesterday I mentioned that both the mirror and the blanket box I featured had undergone makeovers however I had never gotten round to sharing them.

Finding before photos proved to be harder than I thought! I think I need to give my files a little tidy up :-)

Not to worry, I found something, better than nothing and they are before shots after all.

My sister's boyfriend picked up the mirror, almost brand new during council clean up in Sydney somewhere.

I was the lucky one who got to keep it, a lick of white paint and it was perfect! I used white gloss spray paint for this job, just apply light coats allowing them to dry in between until you achieve the cover you want. On a good day 20 minutes between coats is all you need. 

The next photo is really terrible but all I could find, the blanket box is in the back left against the wall and I am looking rather stylish. Lol!

I am guessing it was too cold to be painting outside. Over the last 3 years our dining area has regularly become a painting room. It is close to the wood fire so it helps to dry the paint. I can open the doors and windows for ventilation and not freeze. 

I am painting our new stools to look old and it looks like a door on the saw horse and I must be working on the mirror too. Very efficient! 

Speaking of stools, one day I would like to stencil something on top of them, maybe numbers or a letter? Any suggestions?

Looking back at this photo reminds me that we have new flooring too that I haven't shared yet, but that is for another day!

I painted the blanket box with the good old Door & Trim paint that we always have on hand. I used a combination of brush and rags to get the effect I was after. I also blended in some grey paint to add depth. I find that I am not a very technical painter I just experiment until I like what I see. Paint goes on, gets wiped off, add a little more here and there, wipe a bit more off, paint over what you just did....... very experimental!

The beauty of paint! It is a great way to get a new look without a huge cost! 


Monday, April 23, 2012

My Weekend, My house and a Winner.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, I had a busy weekend but is was fantastic.

We had a lovely dinner with my sister and her hubby on Friday night. I love that they are living closer to us now and we can catch up for dinner and I love being able to see my nephews more often too. 

My friends Bridal Shower was held on Saturday and I had the pleasure of decorating the event. It was so much fun and was a great reminder of how blessed I am to be able to do what I love!

I will share some photos of the shower later this week.

I had a lovely evening catching up with some friends from high school on Saturday night for dinner. 

Thanks girls! xx

Yesterday we visited one of my favourite towns, Mudgee NSW. We went to watch the NRL City v's Country match and even though I am not a huge fan. I love doing things with hubby, he is my best friend and I love seeing him happy (unfortunately when his team loses that is a totally different story)! 
It was also great to spend the afternoon with my brother in law, his gorgeous girlfriend and our son Nicholas of course! 

We had dinner at the Indian Restaurant Rajarani in Mudgee before we headed home and if you are ever in Mudgee, try it I highly recommend it. 

A big 'Hello' & 'Welcome' to my blog for all of my new readers and followers. Thank you for taking the time to visit and for all of your wonderful supportive and encouraging comments. It really makes my day to read them and please feel free to email me if you have any questions or if there is anything I can help you with.

Thank you to everyone for your support with my new online store and for entering my giveaway. The $100 gift voucher was won by Ness Sandry who liked and shared on Face Book

Congratulations Ness and happy shopping.

I will be having regular giveaways here and on Facebook so please pop by often to see what is on offer.

There are lots of lovely gift ideas in my store and if there is something in particular you are looking or that I don't have please drop me a line and I will see what I can do to find it for you!

The photos are of a corner of my house that changes often. It is a great spot to display things I love and a particularly good spot for keeping fresh flowers. They are highly visible and also protected from direct sunlight and heat which helps them last longer! 

The mirror and the blanket box are both projects that I have never shared. I have painted both of them and I am sure I took before photos. I will try find them and show you the difference, I love a good before and after!

Have a great Monday!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Giveaway for Mother's Day

Just a reminder that I am giving away a 

$100 gift voucher to 

These are just a few of the goodies I have available in store.

To enter my giveaway go here.

Wishing you all a great weekend. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012


Slipped inside the last issue of BHG was an offer to receive an introductory package of 'Gardening made easy'. I was very excited because the free gift they were offering was the gardening set I was looking for and it wasn't going to cost me over $100. 

Yay! Sign me up please, if you don't like the series there is no obligations but the free gardening set is yours to keep regardless.

I really was very excited, I have been looking for new gardening tools with the right wooden handles for months ever since someone left my last set out in the yard and the dog decided that they were perfect for sharpening his teeth on.

My gardening set arrived the other day and I was slightly disappointed. Funny how the photo of them in the brochure made the set look slightly bigger!

I am still on the lookout for a nice set of gardening tools, looks like I may have to ask for the Laura Ashley set for Mother's Day (if I can't get a Kitchen Aid that is)

My nephew loves them though. He is staying with us during the school holidays and he just loved getting out and planting some seedlings. The tools were perfect for him :-)

My new herb garden seems to be surviving and the cute labels look great

I got the herb labels for my birthday last year but they were  from Big W and from memory only about $8 for the set of 6.

If you know of anywhere that I can get a nice wooden handled gardening tool set please let me know. 

I do love the Laura Ashley Sets but they are a little pricey especially since I am a gardening novice.

You can still enter my giveaway for $100 gift voucher to McCarthy Designs & Occasions online store here.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Replica French Grain Sack Cushions

I love cushions and could happily keep adding to my collection. It's funny but I don't actually use them when I sit on the lounge, I take them all off and put them on the ground.

I do use them when I start getting sleepy, I'm watching a movie, my head gets tired, I grab a cushion,  put my head on it, then my eyes get tired so I just close them to give them a little rest and next thing you know hubby is waking me up. 

It's not that I am not interested (unless it's sport, but then I have my laptop with me or  I am reading a magazine) I think it's because I have stopped for a while and relaxed. 

We record a lot of shows like Midsummer Murders, Frost, Miss Marple etc to watch when we get a chance and I always end up having to ask Nick who did it and why?


Is it just me or does anyone else have this problem?

These lovely cushions are from Sam in the UK and have just been listed in my online store McCarthy Designs and Occasions. Stock is limited so if you are interested you can check them out here.

If you would like a chance to win $100 gift voucher to my store you can enter here.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

$100 McCarthy Designs & Occasions gift voucher giveaway

I want to thank you for all of your support with the launch of my online store

It has been a really exciting time and such a big step to start working for myself and not rely on a regular income. 

We're praying that one day we will be blessed with more kids and this business will be perfect in allowing me to spend time with them and still earn an income.

Speaking of children and being a mum, Mother's Day is not far away and to help celebrate I am giving away a $100 gift voucher to McCarthy Designs & Occasions

I would love for you to spoil yourself or a loved one with something from my store, if you haven't visited the store yet please pop over and have a look I would love to hear what you think.

If you would like to enter there are several ways you can. 

Please leave a comment for each so I can count them if you do both.

1. Head over to my FB page and like it then share the link with your friends.

2. Be a follower or become a follower of McCarthy Designs blog and share the news by blogging about my giveaway.

I would really love your help in spreading the word about my store :-)

The giveaway ends on Monday 23rd April 2012 at 9am AEST.


*McCarthy Designs & Occasions does not ship internationally.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kitchen Aid or Kenwood Chef

Ok bloggy friends, Mother's day is just around the corner and I need to start dropping hints.

I would love a new mixer as I know it would help me become a Domestic Goddess but I am undecided about which one to get. 

I thought I wanted the Kitchen Aid mixer and I love the red, (but I would play it safe/boring and get the brushed nickel)

But I have heard that the Kenwood Chef mixer is better. 

I am in need of your help, this is a big investment I don't expect to be replacing it in a hurry (there are far to many other pretty things that are not practical that I would like to buy as well) and I am not even sure that I will get one for Mother's Day, I may have to wait until the end of the year and ask for a  combined Birthday/Anniversary/Christmas present in order to justify the expense but I would love to hear your thoughts.

Do you have one? Which one? Do you know anyone that has one and do they like it? 

Do you have another mixer that works just as well or better?

Please tell me all, the good, the bad and the ugly?

I did mention that I am a researcher, didn't I?


PS. I am running a Mother's Day giveaway on my FB page for $100 gift voucher to my online store. More details to come but if you want to check it out go here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Before & After - Candle sticks

Last year Nick and I had a long weekend away in the Southern Highlands and happened to drive by some local markets. Being the dedicated bargain hunter that I am I braved the rain and the mud and hubby's displeasure at the thought of dirty shoes in the new Volvo (we had only just picked up the new car in Sydney the day before) in order to snag myself some treasure!

Thankfully it was all worth it  (even though I had to take my shoes off lol!) and I found these fabulous candle sticks. 

To be honest I can't even remember how much they were, I think maybe $6 each and they stand 45cm tall.


The before wasn't too bad but I wanted them to have a lighter finish to suit our house.

I started by giving the candle sticks a wipe over to make sure they were clean, I didn't bother sanding them.

I used some left over door and trim paint (the stuff we used to paint the doors and skirting boards in our house) and applied it to the candle sticks with a small paint brush.

In order to get an aged finish I took a slightly damp chux cloth and started wiping the paint off.

It is easy to wipe off too much paint if you're not careful, I just keep applying paint and wiping off until I get the finish I am happy with.

I love how the darker colours come through the white and create grey tones.

I used some twine to add some clay heart tags that I made and stamped, popped on some candles and voila, all done!

Which do you prefer before or after?

I think they would look quite good in a gloss black or gloss red finish too,

maybe for their next makeover......


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

White Lounges

Way back here I blogged about wanting new lounges

and how I really really wanted white ones

After lots and lots of lounge hunting expeditions

Many trips to Ikea,

Lots of research

More trips to Ikea

A little bit of pleading and bargaining

A special offer from Ikea for a $25 gift voucher

with every $500 spent

and I finally have my new white lounges.

3 months on and I still love them

and no I don't regret getting white.

Anyway I can always get different covers if I need a change.

Do you spend a long time researching before you make a purchase

or are you a compulsive shopper?