Clear Box Upcycle

Disclaimer: This is not a ‘mummy’ blog post (as if that’s a dirty word), but this week my kidlets inspired a cool upcycle, that took about 5 minutes of my time but… and you could use them to store alcohol at a party. Which is where I first saw the idea. See, NOT a mummy blog post! haha!

I’ve said it before that I don’t really LOVE those ever-so-practical clear plastic boxes you use to store things, but I’m the first to admit, they’re handy.

When you have kids, you accumulate ALOT of stuff!

Most of this stuff needs to be stored for when the next baby comes around, whether it’s yours, or someone else’s.

I usually keep these plastic boxes tucked away and out of sight, but this week I discovered another practical use for them, which aesthetically doesn’t make me cringe.

I’ve started a new job this week, and going from working at home to most of the week in an office is a big change for la famiglia.

One of the biggest challenges of getting out of the door each day is locating all of the paraphernalia that goes with the kids – backpacks, changes of clothes, drink bottles, sneakers, nappies and wipes for the little prince, sheets, pillows and blankets for day care.

Usually this stuff starts of in a neat pile by the front door and then leads you on a trail through the house… a shoe here, a sock there and it’s kind of like a living Dr Suess book trying to locate it all, “one sock, two sock! red sock, blue sock!”

So I was going to go out and purchase yet another piece of furniture, some cube shelves from Ikea where the kids can store their pre-school stuff, but really where would I put it? and stuffing things in shelves isn’t that easy for kids.

I needed a system that was dump and go.

Clear boxes! perfect! Kids can dump their stuff inside in no particular order, and at a glance you can get a jist if the sneakers are in there or if you need to go on a bear hunt to find them.

So here’s my totally easy Clear Box Upcycle:

1. Draw a rough stencil of the letter you would like to use on your drop box. I used plain computer paper, but you could also use card or cardboard. I love the simplicity of a single letter, but you can do a whole name or initials if you like. You don’t have to draw it either, you can use your favourite font and print it off from your computer. My kids names start with ‘A’ and ‘X’ which are symmetrical letters and makes them easy to hand draw. Tip: when hand-drawing symmetrical letters, it doesn’t have to be perfect, give it a go and then choose your neatest side, then fold the paper in half down the middle of the letter. Cut out the neater side, then unfold the paper and you will have a symmetrical letter!

2. Work out where you are going to place your box and which side you’d like to stencil on. Sticky tape stencil onto side of clear box. I knew I wanted the short side to be facing out, as they would fit neatly under the window sill.

3. Choose your paint. You can either use spray paint or a tin of paint and a sponge. I used some left-over interior paint I bought from the remnant tray at Bunnings and then just lightly sponged the paint on. Use a little bit of paint and sponge lightly so the paint doesn’t seep under the stencil. Any large globs of paint will seep. Keep sponging until your letter is a solid block of colour without streaks.

4. Place in sun to dry. Peel off stencil once it’s dry. Peel carefully so you don’t peel the paint off with it. Hold onto the stencils for another project.

5. Arrange in room.

X Stencil. Photography by Eclectic Kate

A Stencil. Photography by Eclectic Kate

Stencils stuck onto boxes. Photography by Eclectic Kate

Sponging on the stencil. Photography by Eclectic Kate

Stencils left to dry. Photography by Eclectic Kate

Finished Clear Box Upcycle in Kids Room. Photography by Eclectic Kate

Finished clear box DIY. Photography by Eclectic Kate

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One day ’til Mother’s Day

So if you had to ask me what a mother really wants for Mother’s Day, I’d have to say time.

If she has little kids then she probably wants time alone.

Time to do something without someone asking her a question, needing something from the fridge or time away from locating socks, sad puppy and that missing piece of Lego

However if her kids have flown the roost then she more likely wants time with her kids.

Time to hang, talk, eat and be together.

Which ever way you give her time this weekend… she will be happy.

However, if you’d also like to give her a side of gift with her time, here is my take on the traditional Mother’s Day favourites…

1. Books

Parisian Chic by French fashion It girl, Ines de la Fressange, is at the top of my ‘must read’ list…

Image via Booktopia

2. Slippers

Hugh Hefner-style slippers are tres-chic at the moment. Consider them as this seasons’ update on the ballet flat… Yes, they are worn outside.

Fab with leggings and an oversized tee or leather skorts and a lady-like blouse.

I love the leopard print version from Soles via StyleTread

Last Supper Dusty Leopard from Soles

3. PJ’s

Flowery flannels from the house of Target? mmm, no thanks.

Blue Camo all-in-one with non-slip iron on feet stickers? yes please!

For the pure hilarity of the pics on their website, check out Jay’s PJ’s

Image via Jay’s PJ’s

4. Flowers

Go for something sculptural and for added impact choose a single colour – I love gum blossoms

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Trash to treasure chest


This week I found this 70s suitcase on the side of the road. It was in fairly good condition except for a little mildew on the inside… Nothing a little Stain Magic can’t fix!

After wiping it down, I’ve left it in the sun to dry. Direct sunlight is a great way to kill any nasties and to air out any scent of mustiness. Tomorrow I’ll pack all my daughters’ dress ups inside. Our fairy costumes and old handbags are currently housed in a standard clear storage box… I think the trunk is much more exciting!

Cut Out & Keep: One for the boys

It’s lunchtime in Martin Place.

What surrounds you?

People in black.

Black shoes and black suits.

From what I can ascertain from male friends in the corporate world, the average guy just won’t venture too far from the black on black combo in fear of getting ‘it’ wrong… and let’s face it, most guys just want to get showered and out the door each morning without too much thought or hassle.

Well I just happened across a brilliant guide to matching shoes with suits, that EVERY guy needs to cut out and Blu-tak to their built in…

Full credit for this goes to Winston Chesterfield of Mensflair… please check out the original here

So go on, challenge yourself with a pair of oxbloods.

Very little has been achieved by blending in with the crowd.

Tan shoes

shoe suit tan

Tan shoes have a wonderful, peanut-brown colour that glows beautifully in sunlight. However, they shouldn’t be worn with too dark a shade; navy blue, black and charcoal are too much of a contrast. Mid-grey and mid-blue suits are better; the desaturation offsets the brightness of the shoe. Light grey, all shades of brown and cream are the most ideal colours.

Black shoes

Black shoes are the most formal shoe, but they are not the most versatile. They are highly suitable for greys of all types, particularly charcoal, but they clash with navy. Instead, wear them with mid-blues to achieve the correct contrast between blue and black. They are also unsuitable for browns.


shoe suit chestnut

Chestnut shoes are possibly the most versatile shoes a man can own; navy, charcoal, light grey, mid-blue, mid-grey, browns of all shades and even cream – chestnut shoes don’t clash with much. They are also the best shoes for odd jacket and trousers combinations as they are adaptable but less formal than black shoes.


shoe suit oxblood

Oxblood is possibly the rarest colour of shoe. Almost as versatile as chestnut, oxblood shoes look good with blues and greys of all types, although they can clash with some browns.

Dark brown

shoe suit dark brown

Dark brown shoes are, in inclement weather, often difficult to differentiate from black. Mid-blues bring out the ‘brownness’, whereas navy tends to shroud it. Light grey is appropriate, as are browns of all types but stay away from charcoals and blacks.

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Secondhand Saturday

Lately I’ve had some awesome secondhand finds.

Hopefully they can be your inspiration for a successful secondhand saturday…

let me know what you find.

1. I love this textile. I didn’t know what I would do with it, but knew I had to get it home. At the moment it’s looking fab covering my pretty ordinary Ikea futon, which is a day bed in the kids toy room. Who knows if this is where it will stay. I kind of feel like it may have lived in a Kombi van at some time in it’s life. AUD$10.

2. This blouse was a steal and is great for layering over tanks or I can button it up as a mini shirt dress over leggings.


3. We bought this wardrobe door from a garage sale. My husband sanded it back and put a layer of laquer on it. I didn’t want it too glossy as the aged look of the wood was so beautiful. It’s currently at the glass shop getting mirror placed in the oval panel to become a full-length mirror. AUD$10 for the door.

4. Ceramics from Israel. The ramekin dishes at the top of the image I found last year, it’s not often that you discover ‘Made in Israel’ on the underside of ceramics and I loved their slightly mottled finish and perfect hand painted stripes. This week I found the matching dinner plates and side plates. They were actually given to me as the store was getting rid of all of it’s knick knacks… imagine, these would have been landfill. I can feel another ‘collection’ coming on… Made in Israel. AUD$0

5. This woollen blanket is actually going to the dog in my life, a beautiful Staffy named Finn. I love these classic woollen blankets with a stripe and edged with blanket stitching. This one can be cut up and made in  to two doggie blankets for Finn, IF I can part with it. My cat has already discovered it and slept on it all night. The loosened blanket stitching makes it all the more endearing. AUD$7

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Snap! It just turned really cold in Sydney, like overnight.

No kidding, I was at Bondi last weekend, in a bikini and now I’m dreaming of thermals.

All I have thought about all day, is wearing socks. My feet are so cold.

But how do you sport socks and still look chic?

I’ve consulted some street style snaps, so you don’t have to…

1. Sock about-town

chloe main

Via Refinery 29

2. Above the knee… brings attention to the upper knee, you must love your legs for this look:


Atlantic-Pacific Via Chictopia

2. Crazy pattern socks… these work as she’s kept the rest of her look relatively simple, ladylike & chic

via Street Fashion Monitor

4. Ankle-biters… semi-sheer so they don’t cut you off. Clever with this season’s 7/8 pant.


5. Day Dazzlers: Awesome way to add sparkle to your day. These sequinned Miu Miu socks would be a great DIY project


Via Harper’s Bazaar

6. Block Socks: Colour blocked, socks pack a punch

Street style statement socks


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Scrub Up

Scrub Up

The gorgeous Simply Feli tried my Strawberry scrub with her own twist! Genius… check her out!

Future Classics

There are lots of great international fashion sales on at the moment and with a strong AUD and great shipping rates, there’s never a better time to buy up.

Here are some classics with a twist….

Leather paillette-embellished peep-toe ankle boots by Maison Martin Margiela

These Maison Martin Margiela booties are just beautiful. While the loose fabric on the ankle may look hard to wear, the 4-inch heel will counteract that by making your calves look powerful and strong. Team with ultra-skinny leggings or an above-the-knee skirt. The Outnet approx. $387.05

style #316288402 gardenia woven 'Fay' one button blazer

Blazers work wonders and this winter-white version will take you from the moment you roll out of bed, to the moment you roll back in… the strong shoulder detail paired with a single button will give you a taller, more slim silhouette… and it’s a S.T.E.A.L! BCBGMAXAZRIA Gardenia one button blazer via Bluefly approx $95.93

Image 4 of IRO Leather Leggings

IRO Skinny leather leggings. A good pair of black pants should last you a good few years, and a well-cut pair, in leather can make you feel amazing. Keep them as slim and tailored as possible, with very minimal detailing. Approx. $429.83 ASOS

Diane Von Furstenburg Gold Belt. Gold belts are one of my fetishes, and a chic, streamlined skinny will take any outfit from sad to glad. $143 from Stylebop

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Decoded: Wellingtons

Today the sun is shining… last night, it was bucketing down.

I’m finally coming to the realisation that the drought IS over and La Nina is here, and for the first time in my life I’m contemplating purchasing wellington boots.

My tips for wearing gumboots are:

  • Look for styles that replicate riding boots – classic, tall and equestrian in feel.
  • The higher to your knee they are, the more flattering they’ll be, but don’t go over the knee!
  • Calf-length or ankle-length will just cut you off and make your legs look bigger and thicker… no thanks.
  • Also high-heel versions are almost always wrong and will date quickly, so are best avoided.
  • Go for classic colours like black or khaki. If you want colour, avoid prints and go for an all over block colour.

Here are some of the best online deals for Wellies that I’ve discovered in my search… the hardest part is deciding which ones to purchase

1. BEST Classic

Image 1 of Hunter Regent Wellington Boots

Tall High Gloss Hunter Wellingtons $154.09 via ASOS made famous by Kate Moss

2. BEST quirky classic

Image 1 of Hunter Regent Savoy Wellington Boot

Like a Chanel bag for your feet $202.75 via ASOS


3. BEST Block Colour

Stand out in Acid Green Viking Triumph Wellies $64.28 via ShopStyle
4. BEST Designer
Just like riding boots, Burberry Cotton-canvas & rubber Wellies approx $448.81 Net-A-Porter
5. BEST on sale
Wellington boots by Tory Burch
Navy & Coral… a match made in heaven Tory Burch Wellington Boots approx $72.93 via The Outnet
6. BEST feminine
Did someone say crossgrain ribbon? Joules Evedon Ribbon Wellies approx $97.24 via Topshop
xx EK

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Fab Finds: Dalani discount shopping

Have you discovered Dalani yet?

It’s a pretty awesome shopping website that features lifestyle and home products, with brands you’ll actually like and prices that are fairly reasonable. I’ve been a member for some months but wanted to monitor the brands and quality of sales they offered before writing about it.

Every few days I get an email in my inbox with great shopping deals that run over a few days and I’m always impressed by the brands and deals on offer.

Today they have the awesome Butter London nail polish on sale, duo sets that normally retail for $44 are on sale until 10pm tonight for $26.40.

Duo Set: Jaffa + Cheeky Chops

My local health food store sells single bottle for over $20 and with colour names like ‘Trout Pout’ and ‘Cheeky Chops’, who can resist!

Butter London nail polishes are free from carcinogenic and toxic chemicals like Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP and Parabens.

Other fab finds currently on Dalani are Boyle Industries Wisdom Tooth stools which are reminiscent of the iconic Xavier Pauchard Tolix stool (that seem to be in every corner cafe at the moment), Have You Met Miss Jones ceramics and simply beautiful sheet sets from Jane Barrington – I’ve spied off the pistachio colour to work back with my Missoni for Target quilt cover.

Deals only last a limited time, so if you see something you like, don’t hesitate.

Dalani also publish an online interiors magazine which is quite a good read. Last week they featured Shibori dyed curtains with really good instructions, I did my own ikeahack version of these about a year ago and will put some images and instructions up soon… stay tuned!

400TC Egyptian Cotton Sheet Set Sateen | Queen | PistachioCockatoo LampWisdom Tooth Stacking Stool - Blue

L-R: Jane Barrington Egyptian Cotton Queen Sheet Set $84.38, Have You Met Miss Jones Cockatoo Lamp $51.35, Boyle Industries Wisdom Tooth Stool $238 – all images courtesy of Dalani

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