Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Paris, oops, Melbourne today - is this the last sunshine we'll see for a while?

click on image to enlarge it, then again if you like!

I took the hound for a long walk along the Yarra today and it was so crisp and clear and sunny - you'd hardly believe we were FREEZING!  The sunshine made a little more bearable the fact that winter hasn't even started yet.  I love the old bridges over the Yarra... although, would it be a teensy bit un-Australian to admit that for just a moment, I closed my eyes and pretended I was strolling along the Seine?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

colour combinations that float my boat...

click on image to enlarge it.

I am loving amber glass at the moment.  All of a sudden I seem to have a collection.  Some of it was my grandmother's (no, no Royal Doulton, rather, kooky amber glass!).  Other bits were collected at op shops, and the lovely Murano glass vase was a Coburg Trash & Treasure score (btw it's worth a visit - my mate Jen got some great stuff too).

What I love even more though, is amber and mauve.  I once had a scarf in this colour combo and it was divine.

Unlikely, but delicious.


Stage mother strikes again...

the elegantly aloof Sugar the cat
Yes, once again I have shamelessly pimped one of my young family members - but the truth is, I had to do it to even the score, and to keep the peace around here.   We have had some serious sibling rivalry issues between Dougal and Sugar of late.  You see, Sugar the cat has turned in some solid performances in shoots for both Real Living and Inside Out magazine - but unfortunately those shots hit the cutting room floor.  Then, in trots the puppy, who achieved overnight fame in both this Savvy Shopper page, and in Real Living.  Talk about awks.  So there you go Sugs.  It's your moment in the sun. Suck it up.  Beacuse you know what they say - todays news is tomorrow's kitty litter.
as it appeared on the page today

This Savvy Shopper page ran in the Sunday Age M Magazine today.  Stying and writing by me.  Photography and patience by Mike Baker.  Extreme cuteness by Sugar the cat.

Copyright owned by Fairfax Ltd.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

house crush....ohhh Cloud Street

click on image to enlarge it

Oh dear, I've got all the signs of a serious crush.  I'm all dreamy, can't concentrate, doing loads of heavy sighs.  Yep, I'm crushing.  Big time.  And the object of my desire?  Why the house on Cloud Street, of course.

Late night Annebelle and I settled in to watch the mini-series adaptation of one of my favourite books, by one of my favourite authors: Cloud Street by Tim Winton.

The house is EXACTLY as I imagined it. And I want it bad.  It is my new Barbie Dream house, which is the name my girls give to the many houses I fall in love with.   It's weatherboard (natch), all peely and patchy.  The plasterwork is all crumbly.  It moves and groans on the earth.  Faded grandeur at its most lovely.

When the front door first opened and we saw the gorgeous blue leadlight, Jeremy actually came into the room to see what Annebelle and I were squealing about.  And, btw, how superb was the vegie garden scene?

If you love a great Aussie mini-series, and like me, get sick for a grand old weatherboard, don't miss part two, next Sunday at 8.30pm on Foxtel, Showcase, Ch 403


Friday, May 20, 2011

curtain progress report...

click to enlarge image

I have been thinking about getting some curtains for the double doors in the loungeroom for ever, but, things like curtains always stump me, not just because they require a commitment to a certain style, but because they are usually really expensive to have made, or beyond my limited sewing capabilities.  But I may have found the answer...

I was in Lincraft last week and discovered that they were having the most amazing 75% off sale of ready made curtains (I think the sale is still going on).  I had a look, and there were some lovely plain white, triple pass insulated, pinch pleated curtains on sale for $25 a set, down from (der) $100.  BUT, the longest ones they make are only 2.3 metres long - and I need a 3 metre drop.  This has been an ongoing problem with the windows in this house.  IKEA used to sell a lot of 3 metre drops, but not any more.

I couldn't resist buying the Lincraft ones, so picked up 2 sets and vowed to get creative and add some more fabric to them to make up the extra length.  Finding the right fabric was the trick though, until I remembered the ClearIt store in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, where they sell off all the old Alannah Hill fabrics. And bingo, there I found some beautiful floral patchwork silk for just $10 per metre.  I needed 10 metres, but,  this still meant the curtains were only going to cost $150.  Add a couple of rods and tie-backs, and I still got out of it under $200.

I hit another hitch last night when I pulled out my trusty Bernina only to find that the presser foot and gone awol!  Grrrrrrrr, no sewing will be done until I manage to find it, or get hold of another one. The curtains will have to remain joined by pins  - but I am still soooooo happy with them.  I love how they kind of bustle out, like a ballgown, and puddle slightly at the floor.  So pretty, and if I feel like a change in a year or so, I can simply sew a on a new fabric for a whole new look.

Anyway, enough curtain chat - it is my darling Annebelle's 14th birthday today and we have 30 odd family members descending for dinner tonight, so I'd better get back to the kitchen!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quick sticks - only 40 hours left to become a film investor...

A while ago I blogged about a mates directorial debut in the film, ARC, see here.

The film has been shot, and Max is about to hit the editing suite AND there is only 40 hours left to donate - and you can donate as little as $10.

Do check it out at http://www.pozible.com.au/index.php/archive/index/230/description/0/0  

And here is an article on the film

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ending the week with a win...

click to enlarge - my Camberwell Market prize

I'm back after a week of bloggers malaise, or bloggers flu, or just a case of the CBA's (does anyone else suffer this - when you simply don't have the strength to put fingers to keypad?).

Not that I wasn't doing anything else... Amongst many other brilliant achievements, this week I managed to zap myself on the thigh on an electric fence!  There l was, doing a story at the most divine country property, starting to dream about  doing up an old barn or homestead, loving myself sick as I stomped around the fields, when I got startled back to earth with a jolt.  Hmm, better stick to the mean streets of Melbourne, I think.

So luckily the week ended with a win, and I even got a prize!  How gorgeous is my new old trophy, picked up at the Camberwell Market this morning.  I went there with low expectations, given that we got there after 10am and having had a low-ish kinda week.  So in true silver-lining style, the old Mount Gambier Skating Club's perpetual trophy now sits proudly amongst my other silver/wood/blue bits on top of the pianola.  Bring on next week, l say!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

the power of the flower...

my Savvy Shopper 'big florals' page ran in the Sunday Age this morning

click to enlarge

A little while back I was walking the hound down High Street Armadale and the shop display at Window Workshop caught my eye.  I had seen the big Designers Guild floral prints in plenty of mags, but this was the first time in the flesh.  Wow they are beautiful, and I knew they would make a stunning backdrop for a Sunday Age M Magazine Savvy Shopper page.   I liked the idea of replicating the big urn full of blooms, so of course knew straight where to head for those - to the lovely Brett Currell, whose new shop, White Rabbit, I wrote about here a few weeks ago.  Brett created the most incredible floral arrangement, and sooooo generously, let me keep all of those flowers after the shoot!!!   That NEVER happens.  I didn't realise how big the flowers were until I put them on my dining table at home and there was no room left for us to eat there. And, as you can see from the photo of today's paper above, the hydrangeas are still going -   three weeks later - quality, huh?

Photo by Mike Baker, styling and writing by me, copyright owned by Fairfax Ltd.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Nyary 604 - mmmm, new container from Europe...

click on image to enlarge

click on image to enlarge

click on image for a closer look at Bambi's tapestry

Last week I bumped into the lovely Jenny Keys, who together with her husband Peter Nyary, owns the incredible Melbourne homewares store, Nyary 604 (you may remember their home from this Sunday Life my space page last year).  We had a quick chat, then Jenny uttered those eight words that a stylist always loves to hear... "we've just unpacked a new container from Europe".  Cue to me looking dreamily upwards, not unlike Homer Simpson thinking of donuts. Mmmmm....container.

So today I popped in to look at all of the new loveliness and naturally, Nyary 604 didn't disappoint.  Eclectic is a word I dislike - it is bandied around far too indiscriminately  - but it really does describe the unexpected mix of beautiful items you will find at Nyary 604.  From exquisite dining tables made by Peter, to kooky ex-Carnival props from the US, to pieces from Parisian designers Fabienne Jouvin, Loulou de la Falaise, and the amazing Frederique Morrel, who uses vintage and antique tapestries to create fantastic animal wall trophies as well as life size animal sculptures - see Bambi, above.

For someone who spends her life visiting homewares stores, and can quite often suffer from that hideous affliction - boring homeware fatigue, this is the kind of store that picks you up and gets you inspired again.  Oh and did I mention there are seven rooms of gorgeousness there?

Nyary 604
604 High Street
phone 9553 7881

gorgeous Melbourne home - Maria and Rod Barkley's little piece of Paris in Prahran

I love visiting the home of someone who really has a handle on their own style - they know exactly what they like, how to put that look together, and how to live that style in all aspects of their life.  Maybe it's because I am a bit of a style masher - my home is all romantic and rose-covered in one corner, retro revival in another, and a cabinet of curiosities with taxidermy and scary stuff in another little corner. I own chairs from about ten different eras, and change my mind about what style I love almost every week.  My wardrobe is similarly capricious.

So when I met Maria Barkley and popped upstairs into her elegant home above her French fashion imports store, the divine Madame B, I was totally charmed.  To call her home well edited doesn't even begin to describe how thoughtfully put together it is.  Maria and her husband, well known Melbourne photographer Rod Barkley, have only recently downsized from their big old family home, so everything in their new space has been chosen for its beauty and sentiment.  Maria was a buyer at the grand old dame of Melbourne department stores, Georges, and now she constantly travels to France to choose the best pieces for her Australian customers, so the apartment has a definite Parisian air. Ooh la la, lovely!

This page appeared in The Sunday Age (Vic) and Sun Herald (NSW) Sunday Life Magazine today.

Photography by Mike Baker, interview and styling by me, copyright owned by Fairfax Ltd.