Myanmar, Cambodia, KL and KK

It is so hard to sum up the 'highlights' of our recent travels to Myanmar, Cambodia, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur. I've tried to whittle down to just a few of the pretty pics from my massive folders of images - thank god for huge SD cards and spare hard drives!

First stop, Yangon (formerly Rangoon) in Myanmar (formerly Burma). A bit of culture-shock and in-your-face poverty did not help already missing the little ones. Surviving a confusing and volatile political climate, you can't help but feel for the everyday people that the world seems to have forgotten. In spite of this (or maybe because of), they are beautiful and friendly people who are happy to help. Knowledgeable guides are worth more than the few dollars they accept (although some wouldn't accept anything!) Top places to visit include Shwedagon Pagoda and it's glimmering expanse of golden stupas, the decaying colonial-era buildings of downtown and enjoy a cocktail (and escape the heat) at the Strand Hotel.

Yangon, former capital of Myanmar.
{Yangon, former capital of Myanmar}


Oh the Places You'll Go! Giveaway

I love when a local creative finds the courage to get out there and start something new and exciting. I know coming up with ideas is the comparatively easy part, but getting the idea out of your mind and into the real (or online) world is definitely harder. What's the saying? 1% Inspiration, 99% Perspiration. Indeed!

I recently had a chat to designer Adina Levy of The Cumulus Factory about her new range. The Cumulus Factory designs and creates cushions, tote bags and textiles in Sydney, Australia. She has teamed up with Brisbane Photographer Kristina Childs to create a collection of photographic cushions, 'Oh The Places You'll Go'. It struck a chord with me. Firstly, I love almost all creative homewares, I love textiles, I love photography and I love, love, love cushions (Just ask my husband!) Secondly, I had just had my own tropical adventures so the subject matter took me straight back to the crystal waters of Kota Kinabalu. Sigh!

So while I sift and sort through all my photos from the trip away so I can bring you highlights of each location, enjoy the beauty of the 'Oh The Places You'll Go' range and a quick Q&A with Adina.
(P.S. Who doesn't love all this social media for putting you in contact with people you would just never have met in your own little bubble of the world?!)

Also, as a bonus, Adina is graciously giving one lucky reader their choice of the 'Oh The Places You'll Go' photographic images as an A4 print. Check out the end of this post for competition details. For everyone else, head on over to their Kickstarter page to grab yourself a cushion (or four) before the deadline closes. The cushion covers are available for pre-order until 4th December 2013, with delivery in time for Christmas for Australian orders. I still can't decide between the 'Juliet' and the 'On the water' designs - with only a few days left!

'Oh, the Places You'll Go' #cushion series by The #Cumulus Factory. Photo by Kristina Childs. See more on the RSD Blog.


Hello Perth!

Hello ladies and gents!

Miss me? Winking

Sorry for the big delay. Massive changes in our lives at the moment. We sold the house (see previous post Home Open); packed up the house; moved from Melbourne to Perth; went on holiday sans-kids to several Asian nations; found out our belongings were not delivered due to company liquidation and therefore not on their way; rearranged delivery while overseas via email (with some worry and stress); eventually received goods and moved them into the folks’ shed (luckily for us super-builder-dad has large and multiple sheds!); moved ourselves and the kids into the parents’ house; begun unpacking essentials; and now to start looking for land/house/new home… Phew!!!

I have a lot of ideas for the next few posts, and now that I have my computer back (Thank God!) I can get back to work and share some wonderful finds, designs and goodies with you. In the next post, I hope to bring you just a few (of the millions) of the pics from our holiday to Myanmar, Cambodia, Sabah and Malaysia. I hope they inspire you to travel, explore, design and create as much as they have us. Here’s just a taste with more very soon.

A few holiday #travel #photos from #Myanmar, #Cambodia, #Malaysia and #Sabah from the RSD Blog.

xo Mo

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Unearthing Treasures

Finding your personal style is a difficult endeavour. 

Inspired by
Carpet Court’s new Love the Look competition (How hard is it to choose between team Darren and team Stacey!), I went rummaging through my boxes of trinkets and collected items from my travels and explorations. You know the ones - the pieces you’ll put up in your one-day house (the one with room to spare - a library, a sitting room, a chic powder room off the entry foyer, maybe even a gift-wrapping room à la Martha Stewart). The piece that caught my eye was right there on my bedroom wall. The exquisite hand-painted Indian wedding ceremony on a government stamped paper that I found in a market in Jaipur, India. 

Indian Artwork on the RSD Blog. See more at
{Indian Government Stamp and painted Wedding Ceremony Artwork, from a market in Jaipur, India}

Another work from the same market is the black and white elephant heads (below right). Until I photographed them for this competition, I had forgotten how much I liked looking at all the scribbly detail in them.

Indian Artwork on the RSD Blog. See more at
{Indian Government Stamp and painted Elephant head Artwork, from a market in Jaipur, India}

They are totally out of place in my current bedroom. As it stands, it’s a mismatched explosion of objects - and not in a good way (thus the desire to refurb it, stat!) I love mixing vintage with contemporary, but the pieces have to be right and I feel it has to be done with a cautious hand and keen eye.

I had been meaning to reinvent my bedroom into a palace worthy of old Hollywood. Glamourous crystal and blinding chrome. Tufted velvet and mirrored lucite-legged vanities. All look but don’t touch. Now though, I am having to remind myself that yes, although I love the look of these in magazines, could I live there? Especially with two young boys (one who likes to crawl into bed with us after pushing most things off the dresser with his cars, and another that I’m sure will do the same as soon as he is able to get out of the cot).

I’ve decided to go back to basics. Firstly, I have to decide what, if anything, I want to keep from my current room or if there is anything that I already own that I want to introduce into the new room (such as an art work or armchair). I think I will be keeping more than I’d like to (budgetary reasons), but upcycling is under-rated, so I’ll see how I can change the items that I can’t afford to replace, to fit the new style. If you follow me on
Pinterest, you may have noticed that my DIY folder is getting more of a work out lately than usual. With two kids, and without the disposable income that we had before them, I can hardly do the complete Jonathan Adler meets Kelly Wearstler that I’d like to.

Secondly, research images that attract and excite me, and define what it is about that image that gets me going. Is it the whole package, a particular furniture item, the colours - warm or cool, the scale, the layout, the fact that its tidy, what? Then see how it can be applied or worked into the canvas that is my room. Again, Pinterest and
Houzz are wonderful resources for finding inspiration and products. Of course, its always fun flicking through drool-worthy magazines like Belle, Real Living, Sanctuary and Home Beautiful when you can find the time. I embrace my iDevices, but I am not quite ready to part with my monthly deliveries of hard copies just yet, thank you.

Luckily time is on my side. With a bathroom renovation due in October, it may be a few more months before I have the spare coin to put towards the fabrics or wall paper that will make it really worth doing. There’s nothing wrong with taking time to make sure that you really do love that particular pattern you chose, and not just because its on-trend or was used in that house by that guy in that magazine, you know the one! For now, I am just trying to remind myself to keep the basics somewhat neutral, so I can really go nuts on the replaceable items like headboard fabric or bedding or window dressing.

OK, so I think I have successfully gone completely off topic. Maybe one day I’ll be able to do it with the charm and imperceptible manner of Ross Noble or Billy Connolly. Until then, I will just say that I will revisit the idea of finding hidden treasures in your home when inspiration strikes. I’m hoping to also bring you a little introduction to our planned bathroom reno coming up - I look forward to some peer feedback if you feel like it. Ciao for now.

xo Romona

P.S. (again) Sorry that comments aren’t allowed at the moment. I really want to hear any feedback you have but iWeb is disagreeing with me and I need to find a new program. Excuses, excuses!
Please feel free to email/tweet/FB post me - would love to hear from you!
UPDATE: Hopefully comments should work now….
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