Divine Decorations by Anne Black

It's official, less than one month til Christmas! And although I've been pondering decorations for a few months, it's only just dawned on me that this will be my very first Christmas with Soda (we adopted her up from a shelter last Boxing Day!)

So in reality my Christmas tree will have to be Clumsy-Cat-Friendly (still not entirely sure how to achieve this yet!) but in my dreams I'll be thinking about a tree covered in these stunning porcelain ornaments by Danish designer Anne Black.

These heart ornaments caught my eye at the Elevate stand at the PYD Design Markets over the weekend, and I must say the photographs just don't do them any justice. They're so light and delicate and beautifully made.

I love the handmade quality of these cookie-esque Seam ornaments too, and of course it's hard to go by the classic bauble made new again with Anne's minimal design aesthetic.

It would be such a shame to take them down after Christmas and store them in a box for the rest of the year!

Is your Christmas Tree up yet? How are you decorating this festive season?

Summer? What Summer?!

Alright, so I featured Paool's beautifully summer-inspired work on Friday, but after a gorgeous Saturday and a truly miserable, rainy and windy Sunday and Monday, I just couldn't help but share this little slice of cool weather chic too.

Looks like I shouldn't have put all my tights and cardigans away after all, and I have to admit that sartorially speaking, less-than-perfect days suit me just fine.

xx Kit

Friday Friday Friday!

Hello Friday, and hellooooooo weekend!

Things are slightly crazy at Kit HQ at the moment, so I'm going to attempt to make the most of this weekend before the craziness levels go off the charts. A little time enjoying the great outdoors, a lot of time with family and friends, and I suspect some sneaky pre-emptive sleep might be taking place too!

Sydney folks, make sure you check out the PYD Design Markets at 197 Young Street, Waterloo. They're running from 10am - 5pm this Saturday and Sunday, and while you're there, try a macaron (or three!) for me at Patisse in the PYD building. I recommend the salted caramel...but that is of course if I don't get to them first!

And with that, over and out. Have a great weekend everyone!

xx Kit

[Photography by paool]

Derelicte - Detroit Disassembled

Today I'm posting a little more derelicte goodness that I came across on Sean Woolsey's site (more here) because you know me, once I get something in my head, it tends to stay there until something shiny distracts m...

Ooooh photos!

But seriously, le gasp. These heartbreaking neglected interiors are from “Detroit Disassembled," a book that thanks to Sean I am now completely obsessed with obtaining, but possibly not if it costs this much...oh alright, there's a $51 version too!

Nevertheless, this is the kind of ArchiPhotography that not only tugs at my heartstrings, but that also ignites in me the desire to respect, refurbish and restore...though quite possibly with all the layers in tact, including every single layer of graffiti! Anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting the Brisbane Powerhouse will know that I mean!

So Car City, I hope you know that despite your recent struggles, we still love you. A lot.

xx Kit

P.S. Just found this review and was struck by the inclusion of the term 'glimmer of hope' - for the sake of these beautiful buildings of Detroit, I'm so glad it's not just me who sees the potential or the promise. Rock on, Detroit!

Wednesday Wisdom - Invincible Summer

In the depth of winter,
I finally learned that within me
there lay an invincible summer.

-Albert Camus

[Photography by penguina-mica]

Sneaky Summer

For the last 3 months I've been patiently waiting for Spring to begin in earnest, with the beautiful bright days and cool-but-still-just-right evenings, and most importantly, perfect weather to break out some cute light cardigans, the occasional ruffled vest, and my new obsession, knee-high stockings with heels (I know, so Gossip Girl Season 1, I'm a late adopter...I also almost never wear heels!)

But alas, Sydney had other plans this year, and it seems that after a season of very odd, non-Spring-like weather, my fair city decided to jump straight into Summer in a truly outstanding fashion.

Away go the tights and stockings and cardigans, and out come the light dresses, cute flats and daily lashings of sunscreen (I go from zero to burnt in 5 minutes, tops!)

So...a little ode to the Summer ahead!

Bring it on!

xx Kit

P.S. I found most of today's images on deviantart, a huge community of amazingly talented artists. In the past I've used sites like weheartit to help source my images, but I just can't deal with clicking through pages and pages of people's tumblr just to find a circular link back to the original weheartit entry...not to mention the fact that so many artists aren't being properly credited or linked!

So, I'm sorry weheartit, it's about time we went our separate ways.

It's not me, it's you.

[As always, please click on the images for the original sources, and check out some amazing galleries in the process!]

Indulgent Daydreaming - Sponsored Post

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I'm a bit (okay, a lot) of a daydreamer...so when Nuffnang and Magnum Temptation challenged me to do some heavy duty daydreaming and ponder my own ultimate indulgence, it sounded right up my alley. But it gets better, because there could be $1000 in it for you, my endlessly patient and impeccably stylish Aussie readers (sorry international folk, I'll have a little something for you soon too!)

More details on that in a moment, but first...my very own version of Indulgence (oh yes, with a capital 'I'), not surprisingly, involves two things;

[The Palace of Versailles, photography by moi!]

1. Travel.

And lots of it. I'm talking round-the-world, every corner of the earth kind of travel. A bit of First Class flying wouldn't go astray either, and when it comes to accommodation, the more stars the better! Perhaps even a little glamour camping glamping just to mix it up! Add a few safaris and the occasional adrenaline-pumping activity (shopping included!) and my travel experience will be just about complete.

I haven't left Australia in almost 8 years and I constantly have the itch to explore cities, all the way from their expansive town squares to their tiny back lanes. I feel the relentless urge to murder a few languages with my sorry attempts to order the simplest of foods. I can feel the alluring pull of the history, the architecture, the ambience of difference cultures and different times, and the bizarre desire to record my observations in 140 characters or less and perhaps even on some precious, discontinued film.

I want nothing more than to dig through overflowing book stores and pillage each and every cafe. To walk along the historic boulevards and great rivers and simply enjoy the 'otherness' of travel.

And then, for just a little while, I'd like my own slice of otherness, where I can be both exotic and unapologetically comfortable...

2. To Build A Home.

This one should come as no surprise. My life has revolved around architecture since primary school, and design is my obsession. Whilst my vocation has been the creation of amazing spaces and beautiful abodes for other people, my dream, my passion, is to create my own home.

My ultimate Indulgence would be a home, my home, that I could restore, renovate and repurpose to my heart's content. A home with history and character, one that I could bring back to its former glory, and perhaps even surpass it.

It doesn't matter if it's a tiny ramshackle apartment in Paris or a sprawling villa in the Tuscan hills (or maybe even a delapidated old mansion in Detroit!) as long as it has a story to tell, and as long as it's mine. (Beautiful views and an exotic location would help, but I'd always make an exception for the right house!)

Ahhhh, one day. Maybe. If I win the lottery and/or marry rich! (Muhaha, I hope Mr. U doesn't read that!)

But alas, I probaby won't be buying up any European property any time soon, but I can still dream...and so can you, especially if you get a big chunk o' cash to help you on your way!

All you have to do is play the game below, then leave a comment telling me how you'd splurge with $1000 at your disposal! Be sure to include your high score in your comment too, plus your preferred contact method, whether it be via your own blog, Twitter or your good ol' email address.

The most creative response (across the 23 participating blogs, as judged by the client) will receive $1000 cold hard cashola, so think big! If that's not an incentive to do some serious daydreaming, I don't know what is!

You have until midday Tuesday December 14 to get your entry in, and the winner of the $1000 schmackeroos will be announced on Friday December 17. How's that for an early Christmas present?

So...how would you indulge with $1000?

Reckless Abandon

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all had a splendid weekend! Mine was very stock standard despite the amazing Spring weather...my lovely new neighbours kindly decided to crank some horrid remixes of 80's Madonna until 3 in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday, so I was feeling a little rusty for most of my weekend. Thanks so very much, upstairs guys! (I have a folder full of dubstep and drum and bass to return the favour, just you wait!)

Anyway, that's enough about my vendettas, back to bloggy goodness. So it should probably come as no surprise that I have a mild obsession with all things abandoned and neglected. Kind of masochistic for an ArchiGeek to love delapidated old buildings, but sure enough I found myself completely enchanted by this amazing photographic project, 100 Abandoned Houses.

It all began around 10 years ago when Kevin Bauman started photographing abandoned homes in suburban Detroit. Initially focusing on the now-revitalised Brush Park, Bauman eventually took his camera elsewhere, discovering entire suburbs that had been left to the elements.

Bauman estimates that there are over 12,000 abandoned houses in Detroit, but in just 100 images (well, technically now up to 103) he captures so much of the city and what it once was.

Encompassing an area of over 138 square miles, Detroit has enough room to hold the land mass of San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan Island, yet the population has fallen from close to 2 million citizens, to most likely less than 800,000. With such a dramatic decline, the abandoned house problem is not likely to go away any time soon.

Some houses look like a coat of paint could solve all their issues, while others look like they're only being held together by paint! Many are well beyond help, completely rotted, decayed and destroyed. Yet somehow, amongst all the heartbreak, there's a tiny glimmer of hope.

Ahh, such a poignant, haunting series. It's tragic to think what may have driven those 100 (+3) families away from their homes, their havens. I guess this is the time I look up and thank my lucky stars that I have a roof (and even noisy neighbours) over my head.

Meanwhile, Bauman has released a limited edition series of 5x5 prints, with a portion of the proceeds going to fantastic local organisations like Habitat for Humanity and The Greening of Detroit. Find out how you can help (and grab yourself some amazing prints in the process!) here.

[via seanwoolsey.com]

On Top and In Between

Alright, perhaps I'm still not feeling quite on top of things, but I'm getting there. I ticked quite a few things off my To Do list today, so I'm feeling positive...which is good, because that's what this blog is all about.

And that's precisely why I want to share this playful 'Lost In Sofa' with you. It's not particularly my style anymore, and it's definitely something that wouldn't be at home in my own apartment, but from a design point of view I can't help but love it.

As someone who is constantly losing my mobile phone, remote controls, keys, books...and yes, even my coffee (le gasp!)...the idea of just being able to tuck it into my sofa as a means of finding my belongings rather than losing them in the first place...beyond genius.

And even better is the fact that I could hit up to four birds with one stone! One book appropriately slotted into place could hold my keys, coffee, phone, and even other books!

A very smart, very appealing design from Tokyo-based architects, Daisuke Motogi Architecture. In fact, this is one super-modern looking design that I'd consider changing my whole apartment around for...stick in a few flowers and I'd be right at home!

It's strange to think how much my style has evolved since I started THAT[unreliable]GIRL two whole years ago, especially as my aesthetic remained very much the same for many years prior, including my six delightful long years at Architecture School.

And while I continue to ponder my ever-evolving style, I hope you have an amazing weekend! I'll be spending my time off working on some very exciting design projects, including a great collaboration that I can't wait to share with you!

What do you have planned?

xx Kit

P.S. Thank you to Michaela for the link, via FastCo Design & DesignMilk.

Time Out

Despite my best efforts and copious amounts of coffee, even by my standards, I just haven't been able to muster any energy these past two weeks. As my To Do list grows, so too does my stress level, but as I find myself at the end of each day, more items added to the list and very few ticked off, I just have to breathe, relax and tell myself...'Maybe Tomorrow.'

Soak It Up

After weeks of miserable, rainy and/or overcast days, today Sydney finally put on a good Spring showing, and it was nothing short of glorious.

I've spent most of the week cooped up in highly demotivating doctor's waiting rooms, and it's possible next week might be much the same, so this weekend I'm going to enjoy the great outdoors as much as humanly possible...even if it just means going outside, standing in the sunshine and soaking up the warmth for a few minutes. I'm going to enjoy every moment.

Hope you have a glorious weekend too - rain, hail or shine!

xx Kit

[Beautiful photography by Supermalade, heddaselder and bee hives]

Strange Days

Hello Friday, and helloooooo Wine O'Clock!

After a fairly strange and suspiciously long week, I'm so ready to curl up on the couch with some tasty pasta and a nice glass of rosé (or three) to help me settle into the weekend.

I'll be galavanting about Sydney with my mother for the next few days - it's a rare treat and something I'm looking forward to, even though I still haven't made any solid plans - eek!

I may live here but I take a lot of it for granted, so fellow Sydneysiders, feel free to give me a few tips!

Likewise, if you haven't been to Sydney before, what things would you most want to do? Shopping, sights, food, all of the above? I'd love to hear what your ideal Sydney Weekend would involve!

No matter where you are this weekend, I hope you have a great one!

xx Kit

P.S. Have my fellow Sydney kids (and other Aussies alike) registered for the Oprah at the Opera House lottery? I have and I'm not ashamed to admit it! It closes on Sunday so get in fast - good luck!

[Beautiful images by mister sullivan and IreneS]

Wednesday Wisdom - Change

If you don't like something, change it;
if you can't change it,
change the way you think about it.

- Mary Engelbreit

All changes, even the most longed for
have their melancholy;
for what we leave behind us
is a part of ourselves;
we must die to one life
before we can enter another.

- Anatole France

When we are no longer able
to change a situation,
we are challenged

to change ourselves.

- Victor Frankl

All change is not growth,
as all movement is not forward.

- Ellen Glasgow

Continuity gives us roots;
change gives us branches,
letting us stretch and grow
and reach new heights.

- Pauline R. Kezer

For everything you have missed,
you have gained something else,
and for everything you gain,
you lose something else.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Change can be bittersweet, sometimes even painful, but it can also be invigorating, inspirational, and exhilarating. Almost 18 months ago, I was in much the same position that I find myself in now, despite how much has changed during that time. Much of that change has not been for the better, and I feel that for all I have lost, for all the setbacks, I haven't gained nearly as much (sorry Ralph!) It's been rough.

Something needs to change, something's got to give.

I don't quite know what to change yet, or even if it will just be a small daily ritual or a one-way ticket to the other side of the world. What I do know is that it's probably going to be difficult, it's very likely going to be bittersweet, but I'm going to make sure it's absolutely worthwhile.

[Photography by Koray Birand for Marie Claire US via DS]