Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cotswolds revisited part 2.

During my recent trip to England to visit my second home as mentioned before, my gorgeous bestie Little One took me for a surprise adventure to the Cotswolds. Neither of us had visited before and we had just the most glorious time.

I wasn't told anything until our journey had begun. The surprises just kept unfolding: we're going to the Cotswolds, BANG; our first stop on the way will be the biggest antiques fair you've ever seen, OMG; then to Oxford for early lunch, BOOM; we're camping in paradise (I LOVE camping), AAAAARGHH; and so on and so on. Aren't I too, too spoilt?

The pics above are from one of my absolute favourite stops, the gorgeous village of Shipston-on-Stour, which was actually just outside the Cotswolds but firmly burrowed inside my fiery heart.

p.s. another dream home, picture two. Ahhhhhhh.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Green B_E_E.

Strangely, I quite like doing the dishes. I find it meditative. But, even stranger perhaps, is my terrible habit of not being able to put them away very quickly once dried. I have actually left them there for days at times, just grabbing a knife or whatever when I needed it.

And, embarrassingly, sometimes I just put the wet newly-washed ones on top of those already dried.

Strange, right?

So, if you're like me and like to sing to yourself while doing the dishes then perhaps you're also like me and use green housecleaning products wherever possible...

And perhaps, unlike me, you haven't discovered the brilliant NZ brand B_E_E with their too-cute labels. You only have to use the tiniest bit of their stuff so even though it can be a bit pricier you'll get your money's worth.
Do you have any strange domestic habits?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Oh, Paloma!

Paloma's Nest is a revered veteran in the magical land of Etsy. Founder Caroline Colom Vasquez is always quoted in the countless 'rise of online shopping' articles that have appeared everywhere from the local paper you wrap your flowers in to the New York Times.

And, it's not hard to see why - her gorgeous ceramics range offers so many beautiful gifts including the trademarked ringbearer bowls that are hugely popular for marriage days!

I gave my absolutely-perfect-for-each-other friends Chelsea and Craig the 'I carry your heart' bowl you see above for their engagement.

And, my little 'good egg' smiles happily at me often from the Anthropologie ceramic egg crate in which it rests.

Too special. Too special.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Midnight in Paris.

Ooooo can't wait to see this. Where is Adrien Brody though?!!!!!!! Hmph.

Cotswolds revisited part 1.

While half of the world's fashion media was traipsing around the Cotswolds in the lead up to a certain K. Moss's wedding I was traipsing around taking photographs and, as you know, antique treasure hunting.

We ate flaky-pastry pies and read vintage books in the sunshine, marvelled at the freshly-learned factoid that the Queen apparently owns every single swan in the country and sipped cold cider on warm afternoons.

I'm determined to go back for an extended camping trip next July. Wanna come?

Disclaimer: I get first dibs on all goods during treasure hunting expeditions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shanna Murray.

Ok, things are getting hairy. I'm sharing some of my serious secrets.

Illustrator Shanna Murray is one of my absolute favourites. She creates the most utterly gorgeous wall decals with beautiful garlands and the sweetest quotes.

And, she also designs the most lovely desktop calendars every month, available to download for free every month.

Check out Shanna's shop for gorgeous gifts and must-keep treats.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Rest in peace, Margaret Hannah Olley. 

(image: Ben Quilty's 2011 Archibald Prize winning portrait)

Ceramic crush.

For a short time, oh alright already, a REALLY long time - ok - still to this day, I feel like I'm missing out because I haven't yet been to Portland, Oregon.

And, for some reason, more than half the time when I find a new stationary label or a new artist or a new fashion star, they seem to come from Portland.

So, imagine my *gasp* surprise when my latest ceramics crush (believe me there are many) was based in, yep, Portland.

Pigeon Toe Ceramics lives by the mantra 'heirlooms for the modern home' and it sums up their aesthetic perfectly. Beautiful, clean and unique lines with a modern yet classic twist.

I love this beautiful water carafe that I keep beside my bed for a midnight gulp.

And these quirky 'cheaters chopsticks' would make a gorgeous gift.

Can my nearest and dearest please take note that I really do love this folded dinnerware...smiles.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweet Sydney.

As I write this I'm sitting in one of my favourite Sydney haunts, Surry Hills vegie haven, Yulli's, sipping on an alcoholic ginger beer while it's quietly starting to rain outside.

Just before I walked in I snapped this quick shot of the laneway next door.

Oh, the light.

Brains and bikes.

I kind of geeked out in England.  Kind of actually meaning big time.  As if an early morning visit to Cambridge wasn't enough, I *may* have also strolled Oxford's cobbled streets.

What is it with bikes and brains?  There has to be some explanation that goes beyond the obvious.  Is it more conducive to keeping an open mind?  Do big-brains need more air?


I loved it.  Even the rain.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Violet & I.

In Australia, Sydney rules the fashion roost. A vast majority of the designers, PRs, sales agents and the major retail fashion week call Australia's pseudo-capital home. But down south, a young Melbourne designer named Anna Linklater has been quietly toiling away, making such beautiful garments that are so feminine and unique.

Anna's label is Violet & I and, I must say, I think more than a few garments will be making their way into my wardrobe this Spring/Summer.

AND...if you 'like' Violet & I on Facebook you'll also have the chance to score some serious sample bargains.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Little Sydney Lives.

Sydney's biggest public arts festival, Art & About, is held every year in Sept/October. Its 'Sydney Life' photography exhibition has always been one of the most popular events on the calendar and, this year, event organisers have created the MOST gorgeous spin-off.

Little Sydney Lives gives Australian children (aged 3-11 years) the opportunity to showcase their talents and submit pics that show how Sydney looks and feels to them.

The top 20 finalists will have their photos enlarged and displayed in Hyde Park, during Art & About.

Isn't that amazing?

Entries close next Friday 5 August so only one week to go for the artistic lil ones out there!

Kiki and Polly.

Oregon-based artist Lisa Golightly sells these uniquely gorgeous pieces under the moniker Kiki and Polly. She used to paint original pieces but now tends to focus more on prints (these are both available and her shop).

Lisa has also carved out a niche of offering 'old school portrait paintings with a twist'. You send her a picture of your child/family and she'll rework it into an original painting for you in her standard faceless style and the final effect is really striking.

It's no wonder Lisa is garnering many fans, including Martha Stewart Living!

Thursday, July 21, 2011



When I was about 14 or 15 I developed a strange obsession with Shakespeare.  I'm not sure where it came from but I read virtually everything.

Although the obsession has long since turned to mere admiration in normal doses, last month I visited his hometown - Stratford-upon-Avon - and it was *lovely*.  We walked along the river, dined in the oldest pub where countless beers had been chugged and spilled, and, of course, admired the old lanes.

It was glorious.  Well worth another visit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Paper and prints.

I am a stationary and paper nut. I love it all. Folded cards, flat cards, letterpress, ink drawn, rough paper, smooth paper, coloured paper, big prints, small prints. All of it.

One of my favourite designers is New Zealander Dear Colleen who makes gorgeous old-school type prints, tea towels, totes and many more treats.

I bought my gorgeous friend Jess this print for her birthday.

And, my very tall brother John this one for Christmas.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


It was a very early English summer morning when we drove into Cambridge. Golly it was so lovely to stroll the streets without too much company.

Wouldn't you just be so inspired living in one of the apartments behind those little windows overlooking the river?

I bought my first first edition book at the markets where this seafood stall was and gorgeous homemade cakes for afternoon tea.

Our only issue was that it was too early for the chocolate shop to be open...