sunshine & holidays

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A few weeks ago my sweet friend, Abbey, lent me her DSLR camera to see if I liked it, and naturally, I fell completely in love. I loved the beautiful, bokeh effect that various lenses created and the overall image quality. I'm so excited because I'm currently saving up for a camera just like it and not only will it make this blog a whole lot better, but I'll be able to improve my photography skills. How was you first experience with a DSLR? Did you love the difference compared to a point-and-shoot?

These were some of the pictures I still hadn't gotten around to posting. It wasn't as cold as it is now so I was making the most of wearing simply one layer of clothing. We had ventured out to a charming cafe that day (one of my favourite things to do) then headed to the bookstore by the beach. I bought a book called Le Road Trip by Vivien Swift. Not only was it filled with enchanting, vivid drawings, but Vivien's lovely way with words were perfect for taking me on a journey through France without having to leave my warm bed. 

 (How to survive winter: 1 cup of something warm, two issues of Frankie, crafts books, and many blankets)

The weather has, however, taken a turn for the worst. The temperature has dropped below average for us Australians, and I have no choice but to rug up in almost every item of clothing I own; with two pairs of socks + slippers and a blue beret to top it all off! I may be starting to envy the balmy weather overseas...
Have a lovely Tuesday xx

DIY: How to make your own envelopes!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hi everyone! So, I have a a confession to make: I'm a stationery junkie. I love, love, love collecting and making my own writing paper and envelopes. Not only is it calming, easy and exciting (who wouldn't want to receive a hand made letter in the mail?) for the recipient but the only limit to your decorating is your imagination! With a special request from Katie of Beautifully Pure, I've decided to show you an easy way of making your own envelopes. Good luck, and I hope you like this little DIY.

You will need:
Lots of pretty paper! It can be of any kind. I bought some beautiful vintage wrappings from an op-shop for only 20c a piece!
Scissors, glue, lead pencil and an old piece of card or thin ruler
You will also need an envelope as a stencil. This has to be folded out as shown below in step 1. 

1. On the opposite side of your chosen paper, lay the folded out envelope. 2. Sketch lightly around the edges of the envelope. 3. It should be light enough that you can't notice it on the other side. 4. Carefully cut around the lines that you drew (sorry it's so hard to see on mine, the lighting wasn't perfect!)

5. It should look exactly like the stencil. 

6. Using the ruler or card, fold (making sure it is straight and even) along the edges of each flap and make a crease. 7. This is what the envelope will look like 8. Glue along the inner edges of the two sides and press the bottom up to the edges. 9. You now have an adorable envelope!  

...why not make some more? ♥ 

I adapted Christina's original envelope tutorial for this DIY.  

two weeks of winter: creative ideas

Thursday, June 21, 2012
A few little ideas to plan my holidays out. DIY projects, cooking parties and afternoons set aside for reading and tea. 

 This floral scalloped collar is nothing short of a dream come true! It looks quite simple to make and would add the perfect amount of charm to a simple white blouse. This collar was made by talented sewer and etsy seller, Theresa. Visit her store here: Scandivintage

Gifts in a jar? Yes please! Wondering what to fill them with? Here are 27 ideas!

I haven't yet made red velvet cupcakes and am thinking it would be splendid to make these. I think the cream cheese frosting makes it all the more tempting, don't you? 

Gosh, I'd been looking everywhere for a tutorial on how to make these beautiful wind-up paper butterflies, and I finally did! They are the perfect little gift to slip into a letter to someone special. You can make one here too!

Put flowers and braids in your hair. At the same time. *sigh* 

And, last but not least, listen to this while you are DIY-ing, cooking or daydreaming. You will be whisked away to Paris as soon as she starts singing...

life through the lens

Monday, June 18, 2012
1. Some beautiful tea party invitations I stumbled across whilst preparing to write to pen pals. My stationery box is a little overloaded and needs sorting out desperately! 2. Chai lattes and sparkly nails. Essential for sleepovers in winter. (Well, sparkly nails are actually essential all year 'round)

3. It was quite chilly at the beach on Sunday but this coat kept me nice and snug! 4. Starbucks is not only the perfect place to relax after a long stroll at the beach but their chocolate frappés are the best!

5. Out-takes from Izzy and I's little photo-shoot. This photo makes me laugh; I look so...jubilant6. The gorgeous flowers that sat on our heads.

7. It was a polka dot and white accessories kind of day. This dress is perfect for the sudden (and unpredictable!) weather changes in Australia. 8. I couldn't believe it when I was featured was featured on the cover of Teen Vogue's snapshot app. I still get excited thinking about it!  

9. I was scrolling through my archives yesterday and I stumbled across a hair bow tutorial I did last year! I remember being really proud of how pretty it turned out. If you'd like to make a bow like this one, here's the link: Hair Bow DIY (hopefully the instructions aren't too hard to understand)

You can follow me on instagram via @avenuemaria

P.S: My little sister, Jo, just made a blog! She would really like some new visitors so take a peak if you fancy ♥ 

pink out-takes

Saturday, June 16, 2012
(I'm thinking of shortening this dress a little. What do you think? Should I add a lace trimming or some details to the collar?)

(I'm slightly obsessed with sparkly manicures lately. Whenever Izzy and I spend the day together it always includes a nail painting session and I tend to go slightly crazy with the glitter...)

How has your weekend been so far? I'm meant to be studying for the last exam of term but I have been procrastinating all day. I've done nearly everything possible to avoid opening that math textbook, including: baking the most delicious muffins in the world (they were decorated with hundreds & thousands), cleaning up my room, experimenting with make-up and reading magazines I've already read. I may have even stared at the wall at one point!

Tomorrow we are off to the markets and I can't wait. I haven't been in a while and I'm dying to get my hands on either some vintage pieces or a pot plant. I hope the rest of your weekend is positively marvellous!

Maria ♥ Avenue M

latest discovery: papilio bridal

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Although I won't be getting married any time soon (I'm fifteen after all!) I still find great pleasure in looking at other bloggers' weddings, bridal gowns, reception inspiration and hair and make-up ideas. I couldn't resist sharing this beautiful label, Papilio, with you. The soft lighting of the photos, exquisite models and elegant designs make it just that little bit more special. The lace is so beautiful and delicate that it seems as if fairies had spun it with their tiny fingers!

I think one of the main reasons I want to get married (besides love, hehe) is the wedding dress shopping! I often 'pretend plan' my wedding down to the last bridesmaid hair-pin for fun. I think these holidays coming I might make a little booklet of wedding plans and take a few pictures for you all to see. Yes, I think that will be splendid!
Well, I'm a happy girl tonight because my assessment is over for the term! Now I can snuggle into my floral PJs, read as much as I please and finally return the amazing comments you left on my last post ♥

BFF + giveaway winner!

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm planning on framing the top two for my room, they'll look really lovely!

Izzy and I were quite astonished to find out that we hadn't had official photos together since we were thirteen (cue this post) so we set to work planning the pictures; with a sleepover before-hand, of course! The weather here in Australia has been quite, uh, unpredictable so we needed warm woolies and chai lattes on hand at all times.
Despite the weather constantly playing tricks on us, we managed to capture the perfect shots and have numerous giggles in between!
I honestly don't know how I would remain sane without Izzy! She basically gets me through everything...♥
You can look at the rest of the pictures on Izzy's blog, Views of Now. Have a great week and I'll be back with some outfit pictures from the same day soon!

P.S: The winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway was Darlene from My Mauve Shoes! Congratulations and enjoy your prize ♥


Friday, June 08, 2012
Pastels for life!

My favourite night-time accessories: French sleeping mask, frothy hot chocolate and a fabulous book. 

The paper roses on my perfume tray. Aren't they gorgeous? You can find out how to make your very own perfume display here: A Pretty DIY

Starting to write to pen friends again. I've just gained one from London!

I love this photo and was really pleased with the way it turned out after editing. Hibiscus flowers have started blooming like crazy -- it's hard not to want to take photos! The blurry background and details of the flower is so beautiful. 

Gorgeous underthings...

The cutest (and most accurate) pocket-watch around. 

Have you ever gone through that phase where you just want to escape? Travel? Soothe your wanderlust? I have that right now. All week, actually. I don't know whether it's because I'm a teenager and supposedly we're all dramatic about everything but I just want to have adventure. I want to see the world. Learn new things. Meet new people. Write everything that comes to mind. Draw what I see. I want to grow up faster, but I also want to stay my age. I want to stay comfortable but also want to explore what I am capable of doing. A lot of the time people don't understand me, but most of the time I don't ever understand myself.

And now I am off to have a really, really large hot chocolate because I absolutely positively can. It's freezing cold and I haven't even had one today. That's all the excuse I need.
P.S: This music from Anne of Green Gables is so beautiful and calming. I love it and may have clicked the 'replay' button about a million times...

(All images taken by me)

life's a beautiful thing...

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

“This life is what you make it. Not matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, somg go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soul mate.

 You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.” 

― Marilyn Monroe

snippets + teen vogue feature!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

These are a few of my favourite clothes right now. I love the romantic, soft colours… I can’t help but dress sweetly all year ‘round. Whoever said that Winter was all about wearing dark tones was quite mistaken!

This stack of Teen Vogue is my go-to for inspiration and beauty ideas. Getting this magazine in the mail each  month means there's always something to look forward to. 

I bought these belts at the start of the year and they've been a godsend in my wardrobe ever since; going with absolutely every outfit I own. 

I always collect perfume samples on cards and use them as bookmarks. They look pretty and leave the pages in my novels smelling so good!

(I took these photos last weekend and hadn't gotten around to posting them, sorry!) 

This weekend really has started off beautifully. In the morning I skyped the beautiful Lauren of Someone Like You and it was the most wonderful, surreal experience. I honestly couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I was skyping her from Australia and she was in Ohio. We talked about life, love and blogging and tried to even replicate each-other's accents... and let's just say our attempts were quite hilarious!

And, as if my day couldn't get any more exciting, I found out I was featured on Teen Vogue's snapshot blog!  Wow, still recovering from the excitement... 

♥ Enter my $50 Shabby Apple giveaway ♥