Build a Boat for a Good Cause (mine)

marine weldingDay 1: Still feels surreal that I’ve taken on this challenge, but I’m brimming with excitement. Never done anything like this before. Should probably start by thanking people…my family, obviously. My friends, all my donators. Of course, I owe this entire venture to Melbourne’s stainless steel welding industry for supporting me and letting me work alongside them.

For anyone new, here’s the deal: I’m sailing to Istanbul! It’s where they’re holding the Over-Botch World Cup, and I love that game, so I thought…why not raise some money, get myself there AND  do something really silly at the same time? Anyway, I’m crafting my own, makeshift vessel, with a few friends in the marine welding business. So we’ll see how THAT goes.

Day 7: I would describe my progress as ‘interesting’. I’ve got the shell of a boat, but it turns out that you need to do a lot more research when it comes to surviving on the high seas. I’ll bring supplies with me, but someone said I might need a fishing rod holder installed if I want some sustainable food. Never been a big fan of fish, but there’s no better time to learn to love seafood.

Day 15: It’s looking like a boat now. Turns out that plate alloy boats take a while to put together with just a couple of people, but I’ve had a load of great advice from the other people at the docks who do this for a living, so it’s going much quicker than it should. Maybe a paint job is next? Oh, and I’ll need a name.

Day 23: It’s done! Fishing rod holder, snapper rack, plate alloy and all. Stay tuned, because I’ll be giving regular updates when I can get them while I’m sailing. And now…set sail for the Over-Botch World Cup!

Stylish, Not ‘Chic’

designer lightingIs it just me, or is ‘chic’ now one of the most overused concepts in home design? Like, EVER? Not that I’m a professional home designer or anything, but I keep up with the whole thing and I read Home Beautiful every single week the day it comes out, so I at least know the trends. And I see the same thing every time: chic. Chic furniture, chic curtains. Every single reviewer of anything spouts the word ad nauseum, like it’s a magic password that’ll make people understand your point of view.

I do think the home design scene is getting a bit stale. Maybe there’s just too much chrome. I mean, at least when it comes to that new exhibition on Melbourne designer lighting trends, not everything is chrome. Seriously, you walk into a lot of lighting shops nowadays and all the high-end stuff is shiny and reflective, and thus just looks the same as everyone else’s. The whole reason I read home design mags is because I want my home to look different. I want visitors to walk into my home and be impressed by the designer lighting, not just pass over it with their eyes like it’s stock-standard.

At least there are actually people making some different stuff, like the lighting people. And yesterday in the ‘pre-loved’ section of Home Beautiful there was a sofa with these swirling patterns that looked like they’d be right at home in a 1970’s smoking lounge. Maybe retro really is the key to breaking the power of ‘chic’. Maybe no one ever comes up with anything new; they just recycle old stuff, and the retro label is what we use to make it seem cool.

Okay, now I’m wondering about the ‘retro’ standing lamp I just put in the study. Maybe once upon a time, it was chic piece of residential LED lighting, and now…things have come full circle. Or maybe I was just born too late?

-Vera