Murder Mystery Dinner Party game & my 30th Birthday

I recently celebrated my 30th birthday with a Murder Mystery dinner party game. I've been wanting to play one of these games for years. The particular game we played was called "The Brie, the Bullet & the Black Cat", set in 1942 Casablanca. The guest of honour was to have been France's greatest living mime artist, but he fails to arrive, and has been murdered! Everyone at the dinner party is a suspect. Aim of the game is to investigate who of your dinner companions is the murderer.

It was a fabulous excuse to get dressed up, and act out in each character - here are my friends and family in their amazing outfits. I was so impressed with the effort everyone went to. Aren't they great? Big props to my mom who decorated the dining & sitting rooms, and organised ALL of the food, as I wasn't available during the day (sorry I don't have any photos)! 

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Of course the majority of my outfit was thrifted. Months ago I found this stunning fur at the local Sacred Heart Mission op shop. On the same visit, I also found a vintage black feather hat (seen on my friend Lara in the selfie). Both pieces were so fabulous I took them home, I knew there would be an excuse to wear them one day. Plus, I feel like I could get away with the black hat as a winter hat; I'm determined to try to bring it into the modern age as an everyday piece. Watch this space. 

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Here I am in my full 1940s outfit (apologies for photo quality). The dress ($10) was from Sacred Heart mission op shop South Melbourne, and the fur ($15) was also from Sacred Heart but their Prahran store.  The fur has these really cool backpack-like straps, put your arms through them and voila it won't fall off! Earrings were also a thrifted pair; the shoes were the only item I had bought new. A Kate Spade pair I found at a clearance store on a trip to the US. You may not have noticed but it was 30 degrees Celsius (that's 90F) so the fur didn't last too long!  My hair was curled a lot more but the heat and humidity ensured that didn't last long. 

Have you ever gone to a murder mystery party? If so, what did you like about it?

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Em xx

DIY Leather Bench and table

This is my first venture into furniture making. It was a three person effort, with my dad, the boyfriend and me, and none of us had worked with leather before!

The initial challenge was getting all the materials. I'd originally wanted to find a second hand table which I could cover in the foam and leather, but that proved difficult as I wasn't able to find a table the right size. Instead I found an upholstery place online called Home Upholsterer which sold foam cut to size, and decorative table legs, among other things. They were also very helpful when I called with questions, and followed up with more emailed questions.   

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Materials if making your own table:

  • 4 x table legs (I bought mine online from an upholstery shop in Sydney) and stained 
  • Foam cut to size (I had 900 x 450)
  • Upholstery nails (same online store)
  • Plywood 900 x 450x 13mm (Bunnings)
  • Leather (My Dad's shed)
  • Wood glue
  • Screws and screw driver
  • Upholstery hammer
  • Staple gun

Apologies if my instructions aren't clear, as I'm going to give a high level description of what we did in case you're wondering. Full disclosure - there are some things I would do differently next time but as a first time attempt I'm super happy with it. 

  1. First you need to make the table. We attached the legs to the plywood with screws and wood glue. The legs already had pre-made holes in them which made this very simple. 
    Note: In hindsight before you make the table, I'd recommend gluing the foam to the plywood, and stretching and attaching the leather at this stage. This will result in smoother edging on the corners, and you can hide any of the corner bunching when you attach the legs. As we didn't do this, I'll continue on. 
  2. We then used wood glue to glue the foam to the top of the plywood before attaching the leather. 
  3. Lay the leather over the foam bench, and measure. Cut away any excess making sure you have enough to stretch over the table and staple the leather underneath. Once stapled you can hammer in your decorative nails. Make your way around the table, leaving the corners until last. We left them last because we weren't sure how to handle them! And you'll see the corners are a little lopsided. 
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The bench doesn't quite match our current living room, especially with the dark blue carpet, but we're moving in a couple months, so I'm sure in our next place we'll find a home for it. We wanted a coffee table which could double as a bench seat and we got it. Now to find a nice metal tray to put on it :)  

Now that I've completed one upholstery project (with much appreciated help from dad), I think I've been convinced to do more. 

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Em xx