Our Fijian Honeymoon

We had an AMAZING time.

We spent our first week on the main island, Viti Levu, down on the Coral Coast. Snorkelling, scuba diving, foraging for hermit crabs, drinking cocktails, cheering on cane toad races….you know, all the stereotypical islandy stuff!

We travelled up one of the inland rivers on a long boat to visit a traditional village and primary school where we took part in a kava ceremony and had a lovo (Fijian earthern oven) lunch.

We also went on a rainforest hike to some volcanic hot springs. It was a beautiful walk and, let’s just say, interesting experience – unbeknown to us, the road to the start of the hike was a muddy 4×4 goat track navigated in a dodgy old ute with us in the back on makeshift timber stools being advised to “just hold on to whatever is available”, getting bounced around like popping corn then ending up bogged in the mud!

He, he, it makes for a good story though.

Our last few days were spent on one of the islands in the Malolo Lailai group.

It was beautiful and relaxing….my favourite part of the holiday. Snorkelling (again), bike riding, sunset gazing, basket weaving, drinking cocktails (again!).

The view from our room was so gorgeous.

Okay, so that’s enough of the non-housey, non-decory stuff. I’ll be posting a few new furniture makeovers in the next couple of days – promise!


Bula….I’m Back!

Did ya miss me?

Thanks so much to everyone for all the pre-trip well wishes :-)

I’ll be trying to catch up on all your lovely blogs over the next few days.

We had an absolutely awesome time! I’ll post some details and pics soon though in the meantime to help me get back into the bloggy swing (and maybe ease my melancholy as I lament for my already fading tan) here’s a little sea-side eye candy.

Before I left for Fiji I was working on a few projects which should be ready for their reveals soon. So, I promise some new inspiration is coming right up!

I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or not that I felt a little guilty for neglecting my blog and somewhat lost without you guys during my absence though it really hit home to me how passionate I’ve become about The Painted Hive and the importance this little blog of mine has as a creative and cathartic outlet.

Of course there’s more to life than just staring into a computer screen all day though what a nice little supplement blogland can be!


I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane

That’s right, because of this day….

Lovey-Dovey Pic (sorry!)

Which, admittedly was a few months back now, we’re lucky enough to have an excuse to take a holiday under the guise of a honeymoon (belated as it may be) and will be frolicking (can I say that?) in Fiji for the next couple of weeks!

Though don’t be tooo jealous. I mean, this doesn’t look like much fun at all….

Nah, seriously, I’ll be back before you probably realised I was gone – you can miss me a teeny bit if you want to though :-)

And just a little note to say a big THANK YOU to every one of my followers, commenters, readers or accidental stumblers! I know I don’t always manage to get around and visit all of you though please know that I do try. I read and adore all of your sweet comments and emails and always do my best to follow-up on any questions.


Ceiling Light Revamp

Question: What do you get when you take….

one kinda very ugly old light fixture,

a can of black spray paint,

some blingy old necklaces you wore once to a wedding three years ago,

and an el-cheapo drum shade from Target?

Answer: A pretty awesome ‘new’ glamorous ceiling light for under $20 – score!

To ‘create’ this new light fixture I first took the original light apart and sprayed all the really lovely polished brass with flat black spray paint.

I chose black because I wanted the finished light to have a dramatic, parisian edge.

I then divided out my beads into even lengths (still on their necklace string) and used the wire out of some bread ties (hey, that was what I had on hand – and it did the job!) to create little rings in each of the holes you can see in the light above (the holes were previously for the screws holding on the lovely frilly glass shades).

Next I attached the ends of my bead strips to the wire rings to create chandelier-like loops.

Once re-attached to the ceiling and encased in the drum shade the ‘new’ light makes for a pretty impressive and very thrifty little addition to my parent’s sitting room.

It’s hard to tell from the pics though it looks pretty awesome lit up. The light bounces off the crystal-cut beads and creates some real bling.

Here it is in place….

The drum shade is held up by being sandwiched between the light canopy and stem.

So again, just for comparisons sake, from tired old-fashioned drab….

To chic parisian fab (if I do say so myself)….


I know I’m probably not alone in my opinion that new ceiling lighting can be pretty excessively expensive so hopefully this little post has inspired you to look at ways of improving what you might already have – no matter how ugly it may seem to begin with!

Telephone Table Bench Seat

You know those old-fashioned telephone tables? Like this one….

Most of them have good bones and smart lines (and can be found super-cheap!) and I’ve seen lots of them looking great once made-over though the utilitarian function is some-what defunct nowadays with everyone having cordless phones and the like so I thought I’d do a little re-purposing….

First, I removed the screwed-on drawer (don’t worry, I didn’t just throw it away – I’m keeping it for a rainy day) and old chair pad then painted the base crisp white.

Then on with some jute webbing. Kinda like this….

Next, a layer of foam wrapped in some thick wadding followed by a piece of cute fabric (taupe and cream ticking stripe in my case).

I pulled, stretched and staple-gunned the fabric into place before trimming away any excess and hot-gluing a length of braid trim around the whole bench to conceal the staples.

Some covered buttons were then added for that finishing touch.

So, from this…

To this…

Some co-ordinating pillows and a throw rug really make for a cute ensemble.

The throw is plain taupe polar fleece trimmed with the matching ticking fabric and the cushions have simple faux envelope fronts dressed with some more covered buttons.

In the pic below you can see the braid trim and fabric. To give the base a bit of extra character and a slightly more relaxed feel I lightly distressed the edges.

Here’s the set in my parent’s guest bedroom….

I know as a tutorial this is kinda vague (sorry!) though I didn’t take any step-by-step photos because, to be honest, this was the first project of its kind that I’d ever attempted and I really didn’t know just quite what I was doing and how it might end up (plus who knows if I did it the ‘proper’ way anyway!).

If you wanna give something similar a go though are a little hesitant, seriously, just go for it. Let’s face it, I could hardly have made it look much worse!