Monday, December 21, 2009

Still Dreaming of a White Kitchen

Visiting day had arrived. Pulling into a carpark right outside the Ikea entrance just had to be a good omen. Swinging my handbag without a care in the world, my feet fluttering over the hardwood floors like a dancer floating onto the stage I headed for the kitchen department. I may have pranced. I may have sasheyed. I may have also hummed.

I have patiently waited for a new kitchen. One that would accommodate both my dishes and a small crowd of hungry mouths waiting to be satisfied with succulent morsels of slow roasted chicken bathed in lemon and garlic, vuluptuous spoonfuls of airy chocolate mousse and pillows of buttery berry-filled pastries. Heaven to the tastebuds.

If you remember from 'I'm Dreaming of a White Kitchen', there were three kitchens that set my heart a'fluttering. So after much roving back and forth, a decision was made.

An Unexpected Detour

It may have been all the decisions; rounded bench edges or straight, benchtop colour, cupboard door style, handle style, lighting, sinks, mixers but it all became a soupy blur and I was swiftly escorted to an unexpected utopia also known as the Ikea restaurant.

Love at First Bite

Despite lengthy queues, it didn't seem long before a dinner plate was skidded across the table to me, accompanied by a bottle of juice. There, sitting on a pillow of soft, creamy mashed potato were a dozen sauteed little gems. One bite and I was considering Sweedish citizenship. These little meatballs were so good, I wondered how I never knew about them before now. Forget the kitchen measurements left on the table at home, (nothing more needs to be said about that!)forget stone benchtops and soft-close drawers. Now I had the ultimate excuse to drive half an hour on the freeway, scramble through the winding maze of Ikea and fight off shoppers just to have one more meatball or nine and it would all be completely justifiable and most definitely worth it. This was a whole new European dining experience. Would this nation stop at nothing to create yet another genius offering to the masses?

I may very well be one of the last people on earth to discover Sweedish meatballs (as proven by a poll I ran on Facebook) but I'm not deterred. I'm not thinking of those who shall remain nameless, who gleefully wolfed down plate after plate of Sweedish meatballs AND piles of creamy mashed potato over the years and simply 'forgot' to mention it to me. All is forgiven. Now all I can say, with the kitchen measurements tightly gripped in my hand this time and a coupon for $3.95 meatballs in the other is,"Kids, we're going out to dinner!"

copyright 2010 Philippa Vette

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm Still Dreaming of a White....Kitchen!

Coming soon... (I promise).

More Boutique Market Stalls

Check out Karen's gorgeous kiddies clothes:

The lovely Donna and her amazing windmills. Everyone seems to love them. You can't help but feel happy with one of these. Contact:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Unique Gifts

Natural Fibre Art

Dash Robin Designs

Crochet,vintage, chic design +craft
Upcycled fashion

These are just a few of the amazing stallholders with me at the Boutique Gift Market. Very unique ideas and lovely creative souls who make them. Looking for something a little different? You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Day a Dream Became a Reality

After an exhausting day driving like a crazy woman in an actual thunderstorm, I picked up my T-shirts, hurled a bundle of cash to the T-shirt guy and raced off to my other job.

When I finally got home at night, I was so tired I may have been asleep even before I got into bed - impossible to tell but likely. But after laying there for the shortest time, I was suddenly wide awake with every thought systematically hijacked by points on my List of Things Not to Dare Leave Behind, in the morning. Beautiful.

Destination: Boutique Market, Anne Street, Brisbane, Australia

I woke this morning even before the birds, (which in Brisbane is super early), feeling like I'd spent the night being "sucker-punched" on Wipe Out. With the help of every able-bodied person who was awake or semi-awake, the car was soon loaded with every product I had. Breakfast was consumed and in some cases, inhaled as we raced for the door. After fulfilling the obligatory babysitting drop offs, I barrelled down the freeway into the city.


With the quirky turn of events I've become accustomed to while developing my range of inspirational products, my greeting cards still needed to be cut to size. I desperately hoped the guillotine guy had got to work early and done mine first. Yahtzee! They were waiting for me and after parting with a little more cash, they were released into my steely grip. No time to look at them. Ann Street here we come.


As I set up my display I could hardly wait to peel back the newsprint that encased my greeting cards and take a peep. A sharp breath caught in my chest. The first sheet was blank. What? Nooooooo! Not another hurdle to clamber over. I've been tumbling over obstacles and deflecting unforeseen glitches for four months solid and I wasn't even sure if I even wanted to solve one more "issue". Then, the next sheet was a stylish, glossy, printed and embossed greeting card. Classy. I had a private "moment".
I sat each of the four types of cards on display as if I were introducing them to the T-shirts (another new addition only one day old) and to the framed quotes. There. A nice little family.

So there they were; no longer just a dream housed in the gallery of my mind - they were real. If only to prove to myself who had never ventured this far in unfamiliar waters - that dreams really can come true, then I'd have to say the journey thus far has been worth it.

copyright 2010 Philippa Vette

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Boutique Market
166 Ann Street, Brisbane, Australia
All Welcome.
Featuring: Inspirational Writer, Philippa Vette's striking Eye Chart Quotes
including framed quotes, matching t-shirts and gorgeous greeting cards.
Come along to support local women in business
and get your Christmas shopping done all under one roof.
Come and say "hi".

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a White... Kitchen

I've narrowed down the new kitchen to three styles. My beloved Ikea catalogue has doggy-ears to mark my favourite pages. It was time to set out in hot pursuit of soft-close doors, European-inspired tapware and gadget drawers that were truly designed by geniuses.

It wasn't long and I was up close and personal with my first kitchen. It was a 'kid in a candy store' moment. I knew my eyes were bugging out. I knew my mouth was gaping - I didn't care. I opened drawers, investigated sliding pantries and then I found a dishwasher hidden behind a cupboard door. I almost applauded.

I've never had a new kitchen. I once had a kitchen that crumbled like weet-bix on he inside of the cupboards and drawers and I had to dust everything off before using it. (Please don't tell me it was asbestos.)

I pulled myself away in search of another favourite and found it just around the next bend. A smile spread from ear to ear as if I was seeing a dear, old friend. I took mental pictures and tried to imagine the style in my own kitchen. Very nice.

Finally, I came face to face with the last kitchen. The silvery taps glistened in the battery-operated down light as if it beckoned me to come closer. I reached out and dared to touch the cupboard edges. Oh, so smooth. I began to purr. What had my life been missing? I was so happy, all I wanted to do was lay down in the middle of the floor and make 'snow angels' in the shaggy rug but other folk staring would've ruined the moment.

I inhaled deeply and pulled myself together. Composure girl. It's just a kitchen. But it's not just a kitchen to me. This is where we've talked about life and love and loss and we've held each other, fought with each other and kissed and made up. It's more than a venue where food is served; it's the hub of our home. It's where our hearts beat together when we rise for the challenge of a new day and where we gather in each other's arms at the end of the day.

Our kitchen is touched by the lives and stories of our family and it deserves to be a beautiful place. And with those marshmellowy thoughts billowing through my mind and my heart pulsating with renewed purpose, I left the store and headed home in search of a tape measure and sketch pad. It was time.

copyright 2010 Philippa Vette

Monday, November 16, 2009

Seduced by Square Footage - Part 2

Still dreaming of the six bedroom house with room to swing a cat, I approached my husband gingerly about the open home in thirty minutes. "Go ahead and have a look," he said.

"Will you go with me?" I asked. I was still in a state of shock that he hadn't given me the extensive list of reasons why we're not ready to move yet.

"Nope, you can go." But I really wanted him to go too. He's Mr Dependable, Mr Reliable and very Mr Practical. This is the man who insisted we buy a set of bakeware as a wedding gift, you know, cake and muffin tins. It was thirteen years ago but I still remember.


My husband has been living by a motto, which until recently, I was unaware. "Happy Wife - Happy Life." Somehow he let that little gem slip right out of the vault and now I can get almost anything I want. (How long this window will remain open, is anyone's guess but if I don't abuse it too often, who knows?) So when I quoted his motto back to him he folded like a deck chair and we were soon in the car on our way to the open home.

All I wanted to do was go inside and see the kitchen and the 'cat-swinging-space' but Mr Practical wanted to check out the front garden and down the side of the house first. I was patient. Eventually, we tracked through each room. Mr DIY lagged behind tapping on walls, pressing on floorboards to find creaks and pointing out every hairline crack or piece of peeling paint. Practical but just a little annoying. His tapping kept interrupting my alfresco-dining-with-girlfriends-under-swaying-palms-on-a-balmy-summer's-evening scenario emerging in my imagination.

After a brief interrogation by the agent who was dressed as if he were just popping down to the local store to get milk - rather casual, we traced our steps back to the car - deflated.

"It didn't grab me," he said, getting into the car. I had to admit, me either. I cast one last look over my shoulder at what I had hoped would be my oasis and let a disappointed sigh escape my lips.

On our way home, I realised I'd been seduced by square footage alright. But so it is with anything that holds little or no real significance to us, once confronted and seen for what it really is, it no longer has the power to affect our lives or decisions from that moment on.

As we pulled into our driveway, a sense of liberty and excitement grew within. I knew my next move exactly. Reaching for my beloved Ikea catalogue, I skimmed through the pages in search of my next great adventure - a new kitchen. Booh-yeah!
copyright 2010 Philippa Vette

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Seduced by Square Footage

"We need a bigger house," I muttered through clenched teeth as I tripped over the office chair rammed into the corner of the room as I clambered over boxes, products and samples, in a desperate attempt to get to the door.

This house we live in was great when there were four of us but now that there are five (one is a teenager - another is a toddler) and a new business, I'm feeling the pinch. Funny thing is, I'd had a bit of a twinge to drive down one of my favourite streets in the neighbourhood, for some time now but today I decided to drive a different route for school pick up... just for a look. And what did I find? Not one but two houses for sale.

Last time I had that twinge I drove down the street we live in now (8 years ago) and found our house. So now I'm starting to wonder. A quick look on the internet and I was almost packing. Six bedrooms, three-car garage (who really cares about the garage?) park at the end of the quiet street, ensuite to master bedroom, (I've been sharing my 'cosmetic counter' with three males and I have no 'girl' space of my own. Did I mention they always want to use the bathroom when I'm styling my hair or putting on make up? Absolutely no forward thinking! Sorry I had to vent.)

The bigger of the two houses had space, space and more space. I bet if I went upstairs and the kids where downstairs, I could almost think I was on holiday somewhere by myself. That is a fantasy I could re-live again and again. If my husband brought me a drink with an umbrella, he could be the cabana boy!

Sadly, we're not ready to move. We're just about to rennovate the kitchen and I suppose if I rearranged a few things I mightn't keep tripping over my office chair. Oh but just imagine... open home this Saturday. It wouldn't hurt to take a look, would it?

copyright 2010 Philippa Vette

Finding Your Rainbow

After a week that can only be described as frantic and messy, dodging traffic and skipping between rain clouds, my rainbow finally appeared - in fact I got two!

I'm starting up my business as an inspirational writer and we all know in varying degrees that when we start something important, it's a massive undertaking, piecing it all together with a million decisions, each with the potential to lead us in so many different directions. But what I wasn't quite ready for was HOW much work really goes in to setting up a business to get things how you imagine them to be in your head.


So when I finally got to see the T-shirts samples at the end of the week and they weren't what I wanted, I felt like scrapping the whole idea. (Did I mention I need them by this Friday - Ladies Market Night, Mansfield State School 7pm?)

But Saturday rolled around and with it appeared my rainbows. Invited to a High Tea at WB's (Walking Buddy's) house, I finally got to meet WB's friend Keren who inspired me to pull out all the stops and keep gunning for my dream. Awesome, bubbly lady, beautiful products. (

That was rainbow numero uno.

Number two appeared when my buddy, Lil Lauren met with me (after High Tea) to discuss my website. She came up with a simple, clean layout and this morning, like magic, I found a copy in my Inbox. I love it but when did she find time to do that?!

So, when you feel like your feet are dragging through the mud - lookup, find your rainbow and just keep going...

The best is yet to come!

copyright 2010 Philippa Vette