Thursday 27 November 2008


If you love white like I do then you must visit Photographer Mari Eriksson's website...lots of white eye candy there...

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Lee Matthews' Australian Christmas

Loving the way Australian Fashion Designer Lee Matthews celebrates Christmas {styled by Jane Roarty}...

Gift Idea

I am totally in love with these new release scalloped gift cards from Annechovie...what a great Christmas gift idea.

Gift Idea {For Me}

Just in case my husband is reading I would LOVE this original hand painted French salon mirror C 1900's {also from Elements} for Christmas!! But then again I really don't have anywhere to put it but it is just sooo pretty!!

Gift Idea

I love this old Lolly Jar and scoop available from Elements. I think this would make a gorgeous Christmas gift for a sweet tooth! My dad would love this for Christmas filled with all of his favourite jube lollies!!

Monday 24 November 2008

A Beautiful Tulle Skirt

Last week when we were re-arranging the shop Melanie spotted this girl who works in the shop next door to our shop wearing this fabulous tulle skirt. As Melanie is getting married next year we had to stop her and ask her the details. She told us it was the skirt from her wedding dress which was a vintage 1950's dress. We were in awe of this beautiful skirt and asked if we could take a photo so that we could swoon over it. When we were looking back at the photos we noticed she had paired the skirt with a silhouette t-shirt. How gorgeous is that!! I just had to share this beautiful outfit with you!!

Thursday 20 November 2008

Black & Spiro Today - Part 2

Here are some more pictures of the shop. We have been re-arranging things at Black & Spiro today. As you can see we've got some purple emerging in our fabrics at the moment {I'm not usually a purple fan but I have been enjoying it lately}. I am very excited about the new curtains we recently installed. I based them on our couture cushions and had them made in patches of different fabrics we had in stock. I am also very excited about our Antique Mother of Pearl Dowry box and of course I'm thrilled with our vintage artwork cluster wall which we hung today. If you live in Brisbane we'd love you to drop in to see our new things!!

Black & Spiro Today

Here's a little sneak peek of a display we have been working on in the shop today. I'll post some more pictures tonight. We have finally created an artwork cluster wall in the shop after months and months of collecting paintings!!

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Today I Love...

Beautiful flower vignettes from Domino.

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Christmas @ Black & Spiro

Today we created the first of our Christmas 2008 windows at Black & Spiro. We have selected a blue/white & pink colour theme this year. I used a set of old blue and white teacups I had to decorate this tree along with lots of other decorations and if you look closely at the top I have used a blue and white plate with an old silver sugar bowl filled with fresh pink roses as the Christmas Tree Topper. I just used a navy and white stripe fabric {which we had in stock} at the back as the drop and I also found a vintage trike which you can see we have used as a prop with a ribbon tied on. We will be finishing our other Christmas window display on Thursday. Unfortunately these pictures are not the best but I hope you can get the idea.

PS. You can click on the images to supersize them for more detail.

Monday 17 November 2008

A Beach Christmas

Image - Coastal Living

And just in case you need a little beach style Christmas inspiration here is a fun way to decorate your house at the beach! Here in Australia we celebrate a Summer Christmas so this style of Christmas decorating is right down our alley...only problem for us would be the keeping the fresh Christmas tree and branches alive as it is so hot here at Christmas time.

Colourful Christmas Inspiration

Loving these red & green Christmas ideas from House fresh against an all white background!

Thursday 13 November 2008

Christmas Tidbits

Here's a bit of Christmas inspiration from stylist Jane Roarty...loving the vintage vibe of these Christmas tidbits!

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Starting To Think About Christmas

Usually around mid November I start to think about my Christmas theme for the year. When I say theme, for me, it's usually mostly about what wrapping paper and gift cards I am going to use and which ribbons I will use to re-thread all of my mismatched Christmas ornaments which I have been collecting since my husband and I got married.

This time each year I love pulling out my collection of Christmas decorations as they always bring back so many happy memories especially the little ornament one of my girlfriends gave me when Harry was born. I also have ornaments I have found overseas in special places like Venice, Paris, Hawaii, San Francisco etc. etc. I'm always on the lookout for special Christmas decorations!!

Bird Ornaments available from Black & Spiro

Bunny Ornament available from Black & Spiro

To keep my collection growing I like to buy 2-3 new decorations a year. We are selling these two gorgeous decorations {above} at Black & Spiro this year and I have decided to add some of these to my collection at home. One day I will pass on my collection to Harry and hopefully he will get as much joy out of it as I do and maybe he too will carry on the tradition with his children by adding a few new ornaments each year.

Our 2006 Christmas Tree

Another thing I changed about my Christmas theme last year was the tree. Whilst I have always gone for a white tree {above}, last year, as it was time for me to replace my tree, I went for a traditional green tree. This year however, I have decided to go back to a white tree as I just feel that a white tree looks much prettier with my colourful decorations and because the green tree I purchased last year has somehow been damaged in our store room....I'm thinking a little 5 year old I know may be to blame!!

Just this week I came across these pretty, colourful Christmas napkins from Cath Kidston. When I spotted them I knew straight away that they would be my inspiration for my Christmas theme this year. In particular I love that they look vintage and the pretty colours really caught my eye.

I then went about trying to find some pretty ribbon, cards, paper etc. After having a little hunt around I started to think that maybe I could try to be a little more creative this year and instead of spending lots of money on expensive wrapping papers I decided that Harry and I will make our own Christmas wrapping paper. I will purchase a large roll of butchers paper and then get out the paint brushes and maybe even make some vegetable printing blocks!

I love these pretty yellow and white polka dot cards which we sell at Black & Spiro. I think they work so beautifully with my theme so these are a definite.

I have a roll of this grosgrain ribbon at the shop too so I think I will use it up with some of the other ribbons I already have in my present drawer at home. I also love to make ribbons out of some of my fabric remnants at the shop...I just tear them up into strips and tie them onto my gifts...a great way of using up small pieces of fabric.

Vintage Tea Tin from Etsy Seller Sohn

This Christmas I am challenging myself to try to be a little less extravagant and a little more creative. Therefore another way to meet this challenge is to do some baking. I thought I might look for some vintage tins and then use them to package up some home made biscuits to give to my family & friends.

What are your plans this Christmas??

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Claire Stening {Artist}

I love the work of Brisbane based artist Claire Stening. A few years ago I saved up and purchased one of her paintings which I have hanging at our Straddie house. Claire emailed me today to let me know about her upcoming exhibition at Rushcutters Bay Gallery in Sydney. Click HERE to see the exhibition.

Her work is so beautiful, precise & so, so realistic. Today when I was looking through her latest pieces I had to take a double check as some pieces looked like they were photographs. This orchid painting above is one of my all time Claire Stening favourites.

Monday 10 November 2008

Thank you!

Image via Nibs Blog
Today was one of the very few Mondays I woke up and just wanted to go back to sleep. I usually love getting up on a Monday morning and getting into work as I am so passionate about what I do. But today I could have just rested and slept all day. However, despite my lack of motivation I did get up and it was a wonderful day full of lots of great work. I felt like I achieved so much today....thank goodness I didn't stay in bed!!

To begin this week I would like to thank you all {my lovely readers} for your lovely comments you have been sending me when I post pictures of my work. It's very intimidating posting pictures of your work and sometimes I brace myself ready to accept some bad comments as I know my work isn't everyone's cup of tea and sometimes I think you must all get tired of seeing these pictures!! But you are all very kind and encouraging so I would just like to thank you so much for your kindness and support.

I would also like to thank Liberty Post Editor for the extremely kind post she did on me today. Wow, I was so honored to be included in her Australia Week posts!!

Here's to another Happy Week for us all!

Friday 7 November 2008

More Gumdale House

This is the family/casual dining area {above & below}. We used white painted Chippendale dining chairs which we upholstered in a navy & white ticking.

This is a little area at the base of the staircase which we had panelled.

These are the drapes in the Main Bedroom. We purchased the Antique French timber chandelier from a dealer in Melbourne.

A pretty little section of the kitchen {above & below}.

This is an area in the Master Bathroom. We sourced the antique mirror for the client and had it painted white. I love how the mirror itself is yellowing with age. I told the client she needs to get some pretty little vases with fresh flowers and some little tea light candles and put them on the little shelves on the mirror!!

Well it seems another week has gotten the better of me!! I can't believe it's the weekend already!!

To end this week I thought I would share some more pictures of the Gumdale House with you as it progresses. We are still working on the finishing touches so once they are all done I'll be sure to post lots of images of the entire house.

I would like to note that I worked on this job with the client from frame stage. We performed our full interior design and decorating service on this home. Throughout the project I worked very closely with the client as she had many ideas of her own and provided an excellent brief. Specifically I provided specifications for tile selection and layout, cabinetry design, cabinetry handle selection, paint colours, architrave & cornice selection, internal door design, tapware selection, decorative lighting selection and other general finishes. The client has taken only a few pieces of her old furniture into the home with the rest either sourced or custom made and designed by myself with the client.

I spent an hour with the client this afternoon and I finally got to sit down in one of the beautiful armchairs and look at everything we had achieved. It's just such a lovely feeling looking at your work, being proud of it and having a very happy client. That's the most important thing of all....having a happy client!!

Happy Weekend!!