Sunday Collector Renovation


I’m guilty of a rather impatient wait, but we have finally been given notice that our tenants are moving out of our red brick beauty in two weeks. Our first family home is now in a baby arms reach, and I’m really excited. I met with our builder on site this morning and we chatted about everything from floorboard finish to pendant light positioning.

The first cab off the rank with our refurb will be a new kitchen, so I’m currently googling kitchen removal companies who will do it for free (I have visions of trying to do it with Mark and busting a pipe). The day we have a clean space and the site measure happens where I press go on the manufacture of our gorgeous kitchen cabinets will be an exciting one. I can’t wait show you the kitchen concept, it’s a goodie.

I hope you welcome this –  but I’m going to be taking you all on the renovation journey on here and on Instagram. A plus on the delay of our tenants leaving is that I’ve been given lots of time to research, and because of this, I’m working with some amazing Australian brands. I feel like my blog is a good platform to share my tips and tricks and document a project I can truly call my own. Wish me luck!

Briar x

Spring Flower Master Class with Holly Hipwell


Next month I’ll be putting my student cap on and meeting fellow flower lovers at a master class and lunch at The Boathouse in Manly with chief flower enthusiast, the gorgeous and hilarious Holly Hipwell, founder of The Flower Drum. Holly explains: “This master class is perfect for those aspiring florists with an unmeasurable love for flowers who want to explore their creativity and passion with blooms! This class is also ideal for the DIY bride, who wants to take control of decorating for the big day and learn the skills of creating a bridal bouquet and table centrepieces”.Img0497Yay, I really can’t wait. Gaining better skills with flower arranging is something that has definitely been on my bucket list for a while. It’s now just an added bonus that I get to enjoy a delicious lunch at such a gorgeous location and with such a talented teacher. You guys should thinking about joining us on the day?

Saturday 17th September

10am – 2.45pm 
The Boathouse Shelly Beach
1 Marine Parade Manly

Book your spot here.

Holly took some time out of her busy life with flowers and event styling to answer some questions for the blog. Her sparkly personality really comes through in the answers – she certainly is one cool lady!

What will your students learn after a day at the workshop?
Mostly, it’ s about giving people the confidence in constructing arrangements and flower selection… People usually start out quite shy… “Oh I don’t know what to do!” Then the next minute they’re elbowing someone out of the way to get the last peony! I’m always so happy when I can see the satisfaction and joy from each creators masterpiece. This upcoming class is perfect for the DIY bride who wants to take charge and design their own wedding… but also perfect for those with a love for flowers as this class allows you to put your own spin on The Flower Drum style.

What do you love most about running your workshops?
Seeing people get in the zone and creating something they think is beautiful! I love entertaining and making flowers fun! People always think that flowers are so delicate and precious.. and then I come along and dance on the tables throwing petals in the air!

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you’re doing today?
Who knows! I’ve never been good at working for other people, I like to be the boss. I’ve always joked that my ultimate job working for OPI chosing names for nail polish colours.

How did your floral/even design career start?
I’ve been running The Flower Drum for about 4 or 5 years now… it all started by the way of a blog – I was documenting all of my floral adventures and creations and quite quickly it took off! I had a lot of experience already working in event production and fashion so I knew how to pull a show together… concept to creation is one of my favourite terms and I love the whole process.

What’s a project you’re most proud of?
A while ago I was commissioned to make a real life exploding flower bomb with a team of pyrotechnics – it was one of the happiest days of my life! Overall I’m just so proud to have created a career from my passion in an industry overflowing with talent.

Where did you grow up, and what do you miss most about that place?
I was born in Melbourne… you can see my first house when you land at the airport! Totally like the movie The Castle – we lived out there because my dad was a pilot, so he was close to work I guess! Or maybe because they used to have outrageous parties and didn’t want to have neighbours close by to complain… Then we moved to Hong Kong where I learnt the art of shopping with my mum at a very young age! We moved back to Aus and lived in Queensland before I moved to Sydney ten years ago. I really love Sydney – well only the best part of it… The Nothern Beaches

Three things you are passionate about?
Espresso Martinis, Having Fun and Other Peoples Dogs.

What is your favourite flower?
By season it changes – my top list
Peonies (of course)
Sweet Peas
Fragrant Roses
Ok Im about to list all the flowers….

1526525_637542789625821_12400096_nWhere do you like to shop for clothing?
I like to fill up my online shopping cart with about 500 things and then I think – what am I doing?! Then I shut it all down. I have a bit of a shopping addiction… but Bunning’s is usually my shop of choice.

Where do you like to dine out?
I love The French in Avalon – Bistro Boulevard.

What’s your favourite travel destination and why?
My house. I spend so much time on the road; I just love staying home when I have time out. I haven’t been on a proper holiday for about two years … every time I start planning one, my diary becomes stacked with bookings so I cant go! I’m busting to get to Thailand– they have a 24-hour flower market and that sounds like my idea of a good time!!

How do you treat yourself with some time out?

What does the future hold?
I’ve been working on some really fun events recently and its been great to work on the whole production process, not just the flowers… I like being in charge! So more Miss Bossy Pants activities I hope. In saying that I still enjoy working on small intimate events. Balance is the key to not getting totally worn out!

Choose one or the other:
Rosé or Merlot: Rosé
Cheddar or Brie: Cheddar… I think for midnight snacks
Blonde or Brunette: Somewhere in the middle
Rose or Orchid: That’s like me asking you to pick Sunday of Raff!
Steak or Kale: Steak
Sneakers or Heels: Sneakers!
Marble or Ceramic: Marble
Hawaii or Tasmania: Tasmania
Straight or Curly: My hair is dead straight, so definitely curly!
Mini or Range Rover: Range Rover (only because I need the room for my precious flowers!)
Nail polish or Lipstick: Nail polish! OPI Mod About You!!!!

Thanks Holly! Looking forward to creating some beautiful arrangements! Briar x

It’s a wrap – christmas 2015


Xmas1I took the easy way out of christmas wrapping this year (well, easier than my usual efforts). I realised I had way too many small things  to wrap, and with a family that is growing in numbers every year – my present list was bigger than ever (but let’s be honest, shopping for gifts is half the fun of Christmas, really). As time is also precious these days,  as is the want to keep within budget – I decided to buy some nice kraft paperbags in bulk from my local Kent Paper store (I spent around $28.00 for 40 bags).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe next step was easy, I simply used a small roller and acrylic paint in a range of pastel colours to create thick stripes on each bag. I then lined each bag with some tissue paper, placed the present/s inside and concealed each bag with thin cotton rope and white tags I picked up at my local $2 shop.

Xmas2 Xmas3The total cost of the project was $50.00. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out – and the best bit, the task was over and done with in a few hours.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say thanks for another year of checking in to Sunday Collector. It’s coming up for it’s 6th birthday half way in to next year, which kind of blows my mind. Time sure does go fast. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas break, and I’ll see you on the flip side!

Briar x

Hosting the perfect christmas lunch


As some of you will know, I come from a seriously food obsessed family, and can shamelessly tell you that emails have already gone around between us all (around 35 bums on seats this year) with a menu plan for Christmas lunch. I can totally relate to the whole ‘premature christmas decoration’ movement, but when it comes to the entertainment factor on Christmas Day –  it’s never too early to plan in my books.  Here are some tips for hosting a great Christmas lunch:

The standard Australian Christmas lunch isn’t all about roast turkey and steamed pudding anymore, it’s a chance to showcase seasonal produce with a nod to tradition. Our family never misses out on a yummy selection of fresh seafood and the addition of a good fruit platter and cheese board. We also never forget some salad options in bright Christmas colours along with the traditional baked vegies. If you’re catering to a large crowd you can make things a little easier by asking everyone to bring a selected dish.

The weather will determine where you set up for your big feast but regardless of whether it’s indoors or outdoors, you should take the time to select and set up the right space. That means having the right equipment for the job, including comfortable seating and extra tables that you can borrow or purchase for the occasion.

While traditional Christmases may be white in the north, the summer festive season of our lucky country inspires celebrating in the great outdoors so make sure your outdoor entertainment area is up to the task. Builders like QLD based Altec provide a great range of options for patios, pergolas and screens to provide the perfect zone for an outdoor Christmas of entertaining.

Christmas presents in my family are really all about the kids and their wish lists for the year, so in recent years we have developed a great Secret Santa game for the adults, that always gets huge amounts of laughs. Here are the rules:

Each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift and places it in a designated area. Guests are given numbers, and they select and unwrap gifts from the pile in that order — with a twist.

The person who receives the number 1 will pick a gift (that is not their own) from the pile and open it for all to see . During the selection of a wrapped gift, the participant may visually inspect the gifts, pick them up and/or gently shake them.

The person who receives number 2 then chooses a gift and opens it, and then must decide whether to keep it or swap it for the first player’s gift. Each person in order then gets to select a present, open it and decide whether to keep it or swap it for any other gift someone has already opened.

Opening of gifts and swapping takes place until all the presents have been chosen. Finally, the person who picked first gets to choose from all the gifts or keep what he/she has already received. In the end, the gift you are holding is the gift you take home. Trust me, it’s funny.

Christmas is definitely the greatest annual excuse to go to town with decorating (yay!) and making your space festive using everything from table decorations to fairy lights, wreaths, flowers, tableware and pretty much any adornment that come your way. It’s always a good idea to set up the table the day before, so you can relax to an extent before your guests arrive.

I won’t be indulging this year because of the baby on the way, but that just means I’ll be a designated driver for the family members who will be kicking up their heels. It’s great to have a range of drinks (my favourite being a good celebratory champagne) on ice for your guests, and consider briefing your guests to bring specific bottles to make sure the range is on hand for the day.

I don’t know about you, but my childhood christmases were all about the backyard grass slide. As you know, kids do not want to spend their Christmas Day at the table. It’s a good idea to have a couple of activities up your sleeve for the kids to keep entertained, so the grown ups can stay comfortable chatting around the Christmas table.

I’ll be sure to share some photos of our lunch on here this year, I just know it’s going to be a good day.

Briar x
PS. Can you tell that I love Christmas?


Dream Catching


PoppiesSunday’s bedroom – the always evolving fun room at our place. I couldn’t resist adding some pretty when I spotted the gorgeous gelato colours in the new 1.8m feather garlands from Poppies for Grace. Perfect for some luxe party decorations, or a more permanent kid’s room installation like I’ve displayed above. I simply doubled the garlands over and used 3m hooks to mount and layer the three colours on top of each other. The colours match perfectly with her new liberty print La Cerise Sur Le Gateau bedlinen, purchased by my lovely cousins for Sunday’s birthday from I Am Kidz Boutique in Avalon.

I like to think of her new feather installation as a modern day dream catcher – dream big, my little Sunday.

Briar x

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