Chirp!:

    Thursday, September 04, 2014

    Much Ado about the DFO

    The boy's dad has been going away on business for all of their lives.

    However, in the last few years its been different.. we've been dealing with anxiety
    in one form or another of 6 years now .. I shouldn't be surprised, i'm quite an anxious
    person myself, and my firstborn is pure me, except for the fact the husband declares him
    "pure him". 

    Maybe I married my brother?  I dunno, we are quite twinsies, I kinda like it :)

    So the hurdles.  We're not perfect ( newsflash! ), and it's quite painful seeing bad genes
    in your kids. In my lowest moments I may have wailed, unattractively, with snot running
    freely ( note: genetically not an attractive crier ) that I should not have procreated. 

    Like why would I put a kid through my shitty genepool?

    But then, I think we turned out ok.  On the surface anyway.
    I certainly know the more people I meet at this age ( where people tend to let the cray
    hang out a bit more
    ) the more nutters I meet. 

    So I like my nutty, they can keep theirs.




    Today the boy's Dad left us at 4am ( to go away for work ). 

    My ultra-light anxious-about-sleep-this-year 10yr old, of course woke up, and
    followed him around the house sobbing until he left.  Distressing, tiring, upsetting for all. 
    I eventually got him back to sleep with me, and when the sun  rose, I let them sleep.

    We took a day off school and made the trip to the DFO we'd been planning anyway.

    The 10yr old has recently grown out of children's sizes and has no clothes. 
    He's a tricky size .. a man-child .. too big for boys here .. too small for mens there ..
    with a youth's market kinda hit&miss.

    So we had a fun-ish day celebrating man-dom and Mama got some new shoes which
    I shared on Instagram .. a site I haven't embraced, but keep getting told I need to be on..
    i'm trying !






    So anyway, when we got halfway 'round .. the boys were hungry - i'd promised a sweet lunch
    ( translation: chips and sorse ( sauce ) ) and we went on a peruse of the mini-food-court.

    Counter #1 was intense, he was going to make a burger just fresh to my liking!
    ( I didn't want a burger! ) and he had chips .. they looked kinda old and yukky though,
    so I cheerfully said we'd be back! and encouraged the boys to look around.

    He.freaking.watched.us.the.whole.time as we stopped by the sushi counter, and perused
    his direct opposition ( also with vile-looking chips ) and then I asked the boys what they wanted.

    Master 6 wanted a tuna handroll from the sushi place WITH  a bowl of chips from
    the first place - done.

    Master 10 wanted a slice of Quiche Lorraine, with some chips, also from the first place,
    also done.

    So we went back and he was all over us.  I only wanted a Diet Coke ( yes, judge me, fine )
    but he talked up his Spanakopita soooooo much I felt obliged to order.  After all, it's tough
    for small operators out there and I do like to support one who stands behind and sells/believes
    in his/her product .. so ok, yes, I will.. you've talked me into it.

    I ordered the DC, the spanakopita, a bowl of chips and a quiche with a side of chips
    ( they'd both got a drink at the sushi bar when we bought the tuna roll )

    Then I stood back while we waited for the two pastries to be heated and another lady came by.
    He took my money and pushed a crappy Quiche on a plate my way unadorned
    ( not even a limp salad ).  Oh!  I said, that is supposed to be with a side of chips? 

    Oh, I did not charge you, one moment, another dollar. 
    ( he acted all puffy while he served the only other person there like he was flat-stick )
    Yes, yes, that's fine.,

    So he serves the other woman and makes up another bowl of chips - $3.50 please. 
    Um, no, I just wanted a small side, on the same plate? 
    No, we do not do that.
    Ok, well, that's too many chips.
    *tips chips back in bain marie and shrugs*


    Mr Cafe Owner?  Seriously? 
    I felt for you, and although i'm hardly a regular, I tried to support you, and you were a dick.
    Once you had my money, you changed.  It was like Madonna/Whore syndrome,
    except it was lovely patron/dirtyshopper syndrome.  I do not wish you well.


    Lady at the shoestore however ( who looked like the twin of the equally ace chick at Quicksilver )
    .. you can sell me shoes anytime. 





    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    Debut House Tour: Apartment Therapy

    Well, my first tour is now live.
    I hope you like it!!


    housetour1




    You can pop over and see it here:
    Apartment Therapy


    ***

    Do you know someone with a cool home?
    Maybe it's you?


    Apartment Therapy is not about having the best things or the most money. 
    It’s about real people with real lives.  It’s about people that craft a home with what they have
    and curate and comfort their nest with a mixture of old and new, of things bought,
    of things found or things made with their own hands.

    Items that reflect their travels and interests and people that follow their heart.

    Words I would use to describe a good Apartment Therapy “fit” would be:

    - artists
    - artisans
    - collectors
    - eclectics
    - designers
    - hipsters
    - eccentrics
    - scavengers
    - amassers
    - lovers of colour
    - creatives
    - individuals


    So, you know ... people! 

    If this is you or someone you know, get them to flick a few pics my way and say Hi!
    You ( or they ) can reach me at: apartmenttherapy@leannebertram.com


    I hope you love Jo's house .. make sure you leave her some love .. I know she's pretty nervous too!

    xx
    Lea




    Friday, July 25, 2014

    I Have Very Exciting News

    What if you scored your dream job?

    What if a company you had admired for many many years and dreamed of working for employed you?

    What if you beat out over 700 other applicants to get it?



    This my friends, has happened to  me.


    New Job :)


    You are in the cyber-company of the newest contributor to Apartment Therapy.


    How excitement!!!!!!!!

    Seriously, a dream come true.  It went kinda like this:


    - See ad calling for applications
    - Not much time to apply
    - Work deadlines ahoy
    - I have to do this, I have to make this happen!
    - Friend contacts me about some product shots.  Ignore her to take long shower

    - Ruminate on application while enjoying uninterrupted shower time.
    - It needs to be someone with both an awesome home and that will support me as well as
       keeping secret squirrel and not thinking I suck if I lose....

    -  * LIGHT BULB * ( use Gru's voice from Despicable Me )

    - Call back friend and tell her how it's going to be.
    - You have an awesome home, I say.  Let me shoot it!
    - Enthuse and squee! a lot so she will feel really bad to say "No"
    - She says "Yes!"

    - We do it!
    - I collate application in a way I truly hope will make me stand out
    - Involving working in Photoshop at 2am the day before deadline ( the only way to work )
    - Apply
    - Wait, feeling ill
    - Worry, knowing they are inundated, and I am in Australia anyway
       and there will be so many applicants
    - Receive THE email from the Executive Editor
    - Go freaking nuts and almost pass out from adrenaline overload.
    - Tell friend.  Have an hour-long happy dance phonecall


    Which brings us to today!  Yay!
    All official, on the books after a midnight Skype training call from New York.

    I'M IN BABY! :D


    However ... you will have to wait and see the images I took of Jo's house when they debut
    on Apartment Therapy.  I'm a little excited and buzzed on coffee even as I type this,
    so i've thrown in some rando images of my own house. 

    I know, they're old and you've seen them before .. but I cant do a house post and talk about
    A.T. without images!  Sacré bleu!


    finishedrooms


    Anyway, if  you are still reading, I need your help!

    Do you have a cool house?  It doesn't have to be the prettiest or the most perfect ..
    I want homes with stories attached, with interest and variety.  I have noted a few of my friends
    & readers across Melbourne and they can be expecting me to hit them up in the coming
    months and lock them in.

    It's Apartment Therapy kids - of course you wanna be on it!
    Maybe your friend has a cool house - nominate them too!
    They don't even have to be Melbourne - have interesting abode, will travel.

    I've set up a little click-box over there on the side, or you can just contact me the regular way.
    I'm committed to quite a few posts per year, so don't be shy - I love other people's houses
    and i'm quite enthusiastic about getting to see your stuff. 

    Let's be friends!  True, call me! We'll do house.

    xx
    Lea


    Tuesday, July 01, 2014

    Home Art

    Remember CopperArt ?  I think I saw more ads for CopperArt as a kid than I did actual
    tv programs.

    CopperArt is now HomeArt, but i'm still pretty sure most of the items you can buy there
    are on sale in this fabulous Pete Smith commercial from 1988:




    Nice.


    My aunt was an award-winning local copper artist. 

    She did relief sculptures and they hung around her home festooned with the
    show ribbons to show off her many successes.  Her house was pretty interesting -
    along with the copper art, there was a giant fork and spoon wall hanging and they had a bar

    I used to play in the bar a lot as there wasn't much to do for little kids at their house. 

    I was fascinated with the copper(!) necklaces around the bottlenecks declaring
    "MARTINI" or "VERMOUTH" and they had matchbooks from many different places
    and fancy cocktail napkins and swizzle sticks. 

    Oh, and her bed had a radio built in the bedhead, and she had these fibre-optic flower
    lamps that bloomed with changing colour.  I'm sure it was all very tacky, but I was fascinated. 
    We didn't have any of that stuff at my house. 

    There is something very magical about falling to sleep watching a musical fibre optic rose
    blossom and fade, blossom and fade.


    Anyway, when we moved back into this house, some of the art we had up previously
    no longer worked with the new walls, and I cant put up my giant LOVE metal letters as
    I inherited my Grandmother's piano, but we are getting there. 

    I've got some great ideas for a few empty spaces.. just got to get my craft on.

    It wont be copper art.



    Here's some art i've got up so far:

    hbfotografic - house art (2)


    ^ You've seen my hallway art .. still quite proud of that effort :)


    hbfotografic - house art (9)


    ^ Outside my son's room.

    I made this too.  There's a similar one you can buy on the market, but to be honest,
    whenever I went to click "BUY" the dimensions of the arrow bugged me .. not quite right. 

    I spent a long day in Photoshop creating this and comparing to the proper iconic
    Melbourne hook turn signs I could find in Google Images to get the dimensions just so,
    and to find the perfect font.

    You can see my big unhung L O V E metal letters on top of Grandma's piano here too. 



    hbfotografic - house art (1)


    ^
    Further down the hallway just before you turn into the open-plan kitchen/living area
    is my wall of SuperCats.

    I was lucky enough to receive these 4 SuperCats for Christmas last year .. and I knew
    where I wanted to put them, but they were just too small for the wall space. 

    Oh!  but then I remembered my Chat Noir framed print and I think good & evil offset
    themselves nicely here.


    hbfotografic - house art (5)


    hbfotografic - house art (7)


    ^ I won this piece of art with my Carpet Court prize.  I love the colours in it.
    It's by Gazza & Wazza of The Block fame. 

    I'm not sure if they actually made the art though, I think maybe just curated? 


    hbfotografic - house art (6)


    ^ and this superb canvas is an original artwork by my multi-talented friend Clair.
    When I enter my home via the front door, this is the first thing you see at the end
    of the hallway and it's just perfect.  You can find Clair here, among other places:
    ( http://www.saatchiart.com/clairbremner )


    hbfotografic - house art (8)


    ^Finally, I picked this up on our Geelong Weekend, just before we were about to board the ferry.
    It is perfectly sunny in my laundry/pantry.


    livingarea-renovation-hbfotografic-(4)logo


    ^ Next up I am concentrating on that space above my green egg chair.
    I have some ideas I need to workshop some more that are perfectly formed in my mind,
    so we'll see how they pan out in real life!

    Then I need to hit the bedrooms.


    I don't mind little steps though .. it takes time to make a home come together.


    xx
    Lea

    Monday, May 12, 2014

    La Tour Eiffel ( or: Our last Day in Paris )

    We planned our last day carefully as we wanted to keep the boys out late and not wear
    them down running about the city and walking vast kilometers, as we are wont to do.

    We carefully packed up our little apartment and the boys watched "Ratatouille" on DVD. 
    We don't take restful holidays, so this felt a little odd.  But our eye was on the prize -
    the afternoon and evening at the Eiffel Tower!


    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower


    At last the hour did fall and we set off out into the late afternoon for our last walk
    around the city.

    We browsed street stalls and breathed in the atmosphere as we made our way to the
    batobus ( rivertaxi ) to take us to our destination.


    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower


    As to be expected, the lines were huge and one of the lifts was out of order.
    We've been up before and to be honest, the boys didn't care .. after a quiet day,
    they were content to run around on the grass underneath and play tiggy.

    Neither AB or I wanted to contend with meltdowns or demands for piggybacks climbing a tower.
    We try to keep our vacations full of good memories, not of tantrums.

    See also: not silly :p


    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower


    So we just chilled on the grass along with everybody else. 
    People watching..

    Enterprising young men would come by with cold champagne in their backpacks,
    bought from some local boozer for €5 and would sell them for €20. 

    To be honest, it was a good little earner, and although we declined, we wished them well :)

    After the kids had got grass stains all over themselves and we got bored of sitting,
    we moved on to the carousel.


    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower



    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower


    The kids were having a blast :)


    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower


    Eventually it started to get darker.  It was a beautiful balmy evening -
    it really couldn't have been more perfect for our last night.


    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower


    As it got darker, brides started arriving on the scene to be photographed with the
    Eiffel backgroup, or to be photographed riding on the carousel.  Some had hired
    professional photographers, but one couple I watched, although dressed beautifully,
    seemed to be capturing their wedding day on his smartphone? 

    Which of course meant he really wasn't in the pictures. 
    They both seemed very happy though, and who knows, maybe it was a fashion/
    photography assignment for Uni .. but still, it amused me a little :)


    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower


    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower


    All good things must come to an end, however, and by now the boys were getting tired.

    We started walking back to the train station and admired the moon and the tower
    by night - so very gorgeous:


    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower


    And then we went home to bed, full of mixed emotion.
    We had the countryside ahead of us, but such an amazing time in the city we were leaving behind.
    We'd done so much!  We'd done so little!


    Paris 2012: The Eiffel Tower


    Goodnight Paris! x












    More Paris/France posts from our holiday here:
    i-phone montage
    The Arts et Métiers Train Station
    Les Marchés de la France
    The Cafe de la Prominade
    Our Paris Apartment
    Amsterdam
    Les Averries :: Our Country House in France
    Paris Daily

    I Heart Versailles