Thursday 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas, Thoughts, Thank you's & Wallpaper

Here we are again at the end of another busy year. As I tidy my desk and prepare for some much anticipated time away from the office, my mind reflects on the year that was.

It has been a year of setbacks, struggle, sickness and sadness for so many people I know and so many people I don’t know and to them I would like to say sorry. Sorry you had to go through so much heartache and sorrow. I hope, as the year crosses over to the next, things will improve for you all. xx

For me, I feel like I have been chasing my tail all year with to do lists the size of Mount Everest. No matter how easy it may look, nothing and I repeat, nothing comes easy.

With lots of hard work, commitment, stress, worry, exhaustion and tears comes achievement and 2011 saw the successful launch of our online store which I am looking forward to growing and developing further in 2012.

The year also brought some exciting jobs my way along with some wonderful new clients as well as old clients who are very supportive and encouraging and for that I am very thankful. I am also very thankful for the wonderful, hard-working and creative people I've had the fortune of working with this year both in-house at B&S and externally. They have all helped me more than you could ever imagine and I am truly grateful for everything they have brought to the table.

Throughout the year I was presented with some extremely exciting, yet humbling offers. One such offer is something I have been secretly working on for the most part of the second half of this year and it is something I have been dying to tell you about.

Do you want to know what it is?

Well, I am thrilled and excited to announce that earlier this year renowned Australian paint and wallpaper company, Porter’s Paints asked me to design a range of wallpaper with them and in the early part of 2012 we will be launching Anna Spiro for Porter’s Paints – a collection of wallpapers which will certainly spell my signature style . This is something I have always dreamt of doing and I would like to extend a huge thank you to Porter's Paints for this wonderful opportunity.

In the photo above and below of my inspiration board, if you look closely, you might be able to identify some of the drawings of the proposed designs. A special little sneak peek for you my loyal readers.

There will be 3 designs to start with and the collection will hopefully grow to 12 designs and maybe, just maybe, some of the designs might eventually be available in fabric too. The colour ways will be fresh and uplifting and perfect for all of you who love colour just as much as I do.

So, there are some big things in the pipeline and lots of hard work ahead in 2012. But for now, it’s off to the beach with my boys to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and just between you and me I can’t wait to spend endless days with them swimming, walking, reading, sleeping, laughing, talking, kissing and cuddling.

Thank you so much for following my blog and my journey. It’s been 5 years now since I started this blog and I can’t believe that you continue to read it. I really can’t.

I hope I can continue to fill your world with colour and inspiration in 2012.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!


PS.  I'll be back sometime in January.  Not sure when. xx

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Almost There...

We are getting there slowly but surely even though the days just seem to be racing by.  We only have a few more jobs to install between now and Friday thank goodness!! 

Today we installed a job which we've been working on all year and although the builder's haven't quite finished I had to snap this photo of the ensuite to show you.  It's just such a gorgeous house.  I will get some more photos to share with you in the new year because the kitchen is to-die-for!!  We painted all the cabinetry pale pretty!

My posts may be a bit light on now this week but I will be posting a final post for the year towards the end of the week in which I will be sharing some very exciting news so stay tuned for that!!

Sunday 18 December 2011

Flowers Everywhere

We've had an endless bounty of beautiful flowers from the garden this week.  The Zinnas are flowering in full glory and the Dahlias just seem to keep on coming.  Here are some sitting on our fireplace mantel this afternoon.  There's no doubt about it, they make me so happy!!

Hope you've had a happy weekend!

Friday 16 December 2011

Happy Friday

I just had to post this beautiful vintage one-off Indian cloth box.  It is so beautiful.  It is one of 8 we just received into the store today.  I am officially in-love with all of them.  You should see inside them...they are divine!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend...not long to go now until the holidays!  I think I am counting down the minutes!!!


Thursday 15 December 2011

Pretty Things

Just a few pretty random things I've been obsessing over this week...

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Tablecloths Back in Stock

Just in case you missed out the first time round, I thought I would let you know that we have some of our beautiful embroidered tablecloths back in stock over at the online store.  There is only 3 red and 2 blue left so if you would like one CLICK HERE... UPDATE - ALL THE BLUE CLOTHS ARE NOW SOLD AND THERE IS ONLY 2 RED CLOTHS LEFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  HURRY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, if you liked our fabulous beach towels I have marked the green and coral coloured towels down to half the original price.  CLICK HERE...

We also have a few more blue and white owl jugs back in stock...CLICK HERE

This Friday will be our last day for guaranteed pre-Christmas shipping within Australia just in case you wanted to do any last minute Christmas shopping!! xx

Sunday 11 December 2011

Our Tree is Up

I was a bit late getting our Christmas tree at home up this year.  Maybe it was because I had already decorated 2 trees for our store and online store and the thought of decorating another one was exhausting!

We opted for a live Christmas tree this year and instead of my usual 'filled to the brim' with baubles style tree, we went for simple big bows which I made in an array of mis-matched fabrics.  I don't think I could have coped with our little Max pulling my baubles, which I have collected over the years, off the tree!!  I have even placed some of the gifts, which I have wrapped in fabric, on our fireplace mantel because I am sure that Max would be into them big time if they were on the floor under the tree...too much temptation!!

You might notice a little origami star which I have hung at the top of our tree.  Well, this very special decoration was made by Henry.  He and his mum, who is a beautiful client of mine, gave it to me on Friday and I was just blown away.  I can't believe that he sat down and made this for me.  I actually had a tear in my eye when it was given to me.  After such a hectic and stressful week it certainly put a big smile on my face...Isn't that what giving is all about...putting a smile on someone else's face and making them feel so special. 

Thank you Henry and A...I just love it so much!!

Friday 9 December 2011

Fab New Things

Late last week our store was starting to look a bit bare with the lead up to Christmas but this week we've had quite a few deliveries of new and exciting things.  One of my favourite things we had delivered this week were these fabulous drum side tables which also come in orange.  For under $100 they make an excellent Christmas gift but you will need to be quick as we have already sold quite a few and the numbers are limited!!

Hope you have a great weekend.  Only 2 weeks to go until the holidays.  I just can't wait to get away from it all...


Wednesday 7 December 2011

Cushion Central

I thought I would share a few shots of some of the fabulous cushions we have in store at Black & Spiro at the moment.  Lots of clashing colour.  Lots of mismatched patterns.  Just the way we like it. 


Tuesday 6 December 2011

A Happy Ending

From one happy ending to the next....

Earlier this year I was contacted by Jo & Brenden Conolly after their beautiful inner-city cottage, which they had just finished renovating late last year, was completely inundated with water during the horrendous Summer floods.

As I drove away from the house after our very first appointment I just couldn't believe what they had been through.  It was just so incredibly heart-breaking.  I had never met the Conolly's before that first meeting with them at the house that hot, muggy Summer day however, upon meeting them I instantly knew that they were very special people and I wanted to put all my effort into making their house beautiful again. 

The job only took a few months to complete and it was the most rewarding job I have ever worked on.  I don't think I will ever forget this house.  It certainly has a special place in my heart along with it's beautiful owners who are now expecting their first child.  Things are definitely going to be sunny for Jo & Bren from here-on-in, I just know it!!

I wanted to share this inspiring story of Brenden & Jo's house so I contacted Loni from Adore magazine a few months ago as I knew she would love it for her beautiful online magazine.  She did love it and so it is featured in the fabulous December/January issue of Adore magazine which hit the virtual newstands earlier this week.

If you would like to read the story and all the other wonderful stories in this month's issue then click on over to Adore Magazine HERE.


Monday 5 December 2011

Ben & Phoebe's Beautiful Wedding

It was a wedding like no other.  It was the most beautiful party for the 2 most beautiful people you could ever wish to meet. 

They have been through more than you could ever imagine and this weekend was in their own words - 'the greatest of their lives'.

Everyone embraced colour for what was a divine garden party at Amileka - a seriously gorgeous private home at Federal in Northern NSW.   Even Brad got into the swing of things with his navy and white polka dot bow tie.

That's my mother in that gorgeous patterned dress and Jen's hot pink Josh Goot dress was STUNNING!!

The flowers were a hit.  This Dahlia measured about 12cm across!!

Phoebe wore Vera Wang...of course!!

We used lots of vintage blue and white vases mixed with old glass bottles, jugs and tea pots which came from family members for the table flower arrangements.  No new vases were purchased. Every single flower came from our garden.  It was my gift to my cousin and Phoebe.

Phoebe's divine mum, Meg made little bottles of chutney for each guest.  The recipe was her father's.  There were so many references to the importance of family at this wedding which made the day so deeply meaningful and beautiful.

The morning after the wedding Ben's mum and dad, my Aunty Jane and Uncle Rob, prepared a huge breakfast at Ben & Phoebe's beach house for all of the wedding guests.  It was so beautiful.  The tables were set with pretty tablecloths from B&S and fresh frangipani and hibiscus.  I have no idea how they did it after what was a huge night of partying.

There was no wiping that beautiful smile from Phoebe's face all weekend.  She is the happiest girl on this planet.

And as for my Brad, he finished up like this...absolutely tanked!!

Here's to you Ben & Phoebe and the wonderful life you have in front of you!!  We love you both SO much...

Thursday 1 December 2011

Wedding Preparations

As I write this post I am preparing 8 large rectangular tubs with chicken wire inset into each tub ready for all the flowers I will be cutting from our garden very early tomorrow morning.  After the big harvest I will be loading the tubs into my car for the journey down to Northern NSW tomorrow ready for my cousin's big Wedding this coming Saturday.  We will be filling approximately 60 mismatched vintage vases with Dahlias, Zinnias, Daisies, Calendulas and Foxgloves all of which I have grown here at home in our garden.  You should see the Foxgloves.  They are amazing.  I will try to take some photos of them before they are all cut tomorrow. 

Here's a snapshot of some of the gifts wrapped at Black & Spiro today which have been purchased for Ben & Phoebe.  They were so kind to mention that B&S is their favourite store on their wedding invite and I must say they have some divine gifts coming their way!!

I won't be back here now until early-mid next week.  Hope you all have a great weekend!!

New Pip Boydell Paintings

Just in case you missed out the first time round, I thought I'd let you know that we have 4 new beautiful paintings in store by Pip Boydell.  The middle orchid is sold however, the 4 surrounding it are all currently available.  It will be a first in best dressed situation...

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Chanel Brisbane 2011

Last night Brad and I attended the glamorous Chanel party/parade at Old Government House.  We were greeted by a man in a white golf buggy who drove us down to the lawned section where a fabulous white painted platform had been installed.  There were so many people we knew and it really was such a lovely party.  My favourite champange, Perrier Jouet flowed on and on throughout the night.  Unfortunately the photos I snapped on my i-phone didn't really turn out very well but you can see that we had a wonderful vantage point.  Our seats were front row at the end of the catwalk...AMAZING!!

Oh and here I am just before we left.   I wore black of course.  My eyes look red and very tired...obviously a sign of absolute's been a big year!  I can't wait for the holidays!

Thanks Chanel for inviting us to your beautiful party.  We had a fabulous time and dinner with FF and Mr FF afterwards was fab too!!


Monday 28 November 2011

Parties, Weddings, Installations...

Over the weekend I met a reader from New York at a party for my soon-to-be cousin-in-law.  She said that one of the things she loves about me is that I always let my readers know when I am going away from the blog or not going to post for a few days.  Well, I must apologise to her and to you as I seem to have been missing in action since last Wednesday with no such notice of absence.  I'm unsure where all of those days have gone to...

So, what have I been up to you might ask?  Well, I won't delve into every single detail however, here's a snapshot of a beautiful bedroom I just finished for a lovely teenage girl.  It was an absolute delight working with her and her mum.  I think she is the most polite, effervescent and happy teenager I have ever met. 

The day we installed the furniture into her room, I took her some dahlias from my garden which we arranged on her antique bedside table I found for her.  On the other side of the lovely upholstered antique French bed we placed a Stuart Membery chest of drawers.  I love the mix of furniture we chose for her room and I must admit I found it very hard parting with the antique bed.  However, I know she will cherish it and that makes me very happy!! 

I wish I got some better photos...I seem to be always saying that but I'm always in such a hurry.

This week is a very big and exciting week for my family as this Saturday my cousin is getting married to his beautiful fiance Phoebe at the most divine property in northern NSW.  We have family flying in from Canada, Sweden, New York, Holland and interstate.  Everyone is coming together which is just so exciting.  I have been given the lovely job of arranging the flowers for the tables.  I am using  the beautiful dahlias and zinnias from our garden which is very exciting.  I can't believe how many flowers we have.  It's quite amazing and so thrilling to be able to use my own flowers for my cousin's wedding.

Oh and tomorrow night is Chanel.  As an update to my post from the other week, Chanel called today to ask for Brad's last name.  Maybe they read my post!!xx


Wednesday 23 November 2011

Beautiful HB

Receiving my digital copy of the December issue of House Beautiful this morning was like a breath of fresh air.  I loved this house above in particular.  Absolutely beautiful...


Tuesday 22 November 2011

Guest # 3 - Paul Hunt

One of Brisbane's finest couture fashion designers, Paul Hunt was only too happy to be involved in our Summer Vignette photo shoot.  Paul has long been a wonderful customer and supporter of Black & Spiro and we were so thrilled to have him in our Summer Vignette.  He certainly is one stylish lad. 

Here's what Paul had to say about Christmas...

What has been your most memorable Christmas?
There have been so many! One was at home in Glen Innes before I moved to Brisbane. After lunch we all lay on the floor listening to old records of Monty Python- we laughed and laughed.

What is a Christmas tradition in your family?
When we are all together the roast lunch is always a must to our Christmas.

Where are you celebrating Christmas this year?
With my loved one.

What are you giving for Christmas this year?
Who knows???? Haven't had time to think yet.

What do you hope to receive for Christmas this year?
Well a puppy would be nice but I know that's not practical. So maybe a gold fish for starters!!!!

What does Christmas mean to you?
It means being with loved ones. Oh and holidays :-)

Hope you get that gorgeous puppy Paul!!  Happy Holidays and thanks for being part of our Summer Vignette!!

PS.  If you haven't already visited our online store, here's the 

Sunday 20 November 2011

First Dahlias Flowering

Earlier in the year I was so impressed by the pretty Dahlias one of my clients had flowering in her garden, I decided to plant some in our garden for this Summer.  About 4 1/2 weeks ago we planted 60 Dahlia Bulbs and this week I cut my very first bunch.  My Mum and my Grandmother and Aunty came over yesterday afternoon and each of them picked their own large bunch to take home.  It really is such a joy to be able to give flowers from my garden to my family and friends.  I can't wait for the Asters and Zinnias to flower in the week ahead...

Thursday 17 November 2011

Guest # 2 - Joshua Jones

My second guest over in our Summer Vignette is the very chic Joshua Jones.  Josh, as we like to call him, is the General Manager and Buyer for Brisbane's top fashion Emporium, Jean Brown {}. 

He always looks so groovy and stylish and is one of the nicest people you would ever wish to meet.  Oh and did I mention he used to be the State Manager for Ralph Lauren...

Here's what Josh had to say about Christmas;

What has been your most memorable Christmas?
I think childhood memories of Christmas are my favourites! My grandparents had a house in Tasmania when I was a child. Most of the extended family would try and make it down there to have a large joint Christmas. Because we were all catching up after a big year it became a whole celebration rather than just Christmas, and would take up the entire month! My grandmother was quite the cook and with my mum and all her sisters in the kitchen, it was the place to be - especially waiting for a fresh, raspberry-filled sponge cake!

What is a Christmas tradition in your family?
Presents in the morning and then everyone pitches in to get the Lunch ready! Lunch normally goes for a good 4 hours and then a few quiet drinks after clean up. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some reflective drinks at the end of a long day. Then we normally get family rivalry back on, and bring out the board games!

Where are you celebrating Christmas this year?
I will be starting in Samford this year to see my partner’s parents then off to Maleny to have lunch and a sleep over at my family’s. A country Christmas all round!

What are you giving for Christmas this year?
I like to find individual items, such as antiques and quirky one off pieces. A few bits and bobs from Black and Spiro never go astray! And handmade cards and wrapping paper always set things off and add that personal touch.

What do you hope to receive for Christmas this year?
An orange box is always nice! Honesty, I don’t mind. It is always the thought that counts, and some of my most treasured gifts received are the ones I would never expect.

What does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas is a time when I can really catch up with my family as a whole. It really means laughing, relaxing, watching my nieces and nephews grow up, pretend to be a kid again and eating lots! 

A huge thank you to you Josh for being apart of our Christmas/Summer photo shoot.  You looked so cool on that gorgeous vintage bike!!  Oh and I loved your orange shorts and your YSL tote bag didn't go unnoticed!!xx

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!

PS.  Here's the website for our online store  just in case you haven't already visited!!

Tuesday 15 November 2011


After what has been a kind-of yucky start to the week, today I arrived at the front gates of my clients home and I was greeted with the most beautiful sight...masses and masses of agapanthus in flower.  Not only do they line their driveway, they pretty much line their entire property.  The very generous J wouldn't let me leave without a huge armful of flowers.  I was absolutely delighted.  They certainly cheered me up.

I brought them home and arranged them in one of my large glass vases.  They are so pretty.  You might notice the black and white card sitting on the table...

I was thrilled to receive an invitation today to attend the very exciting Chanel party at old Government House in a couple of weeks time.  I can't believe little old Brisbane town now has it's very own Chanel store.  I tried to visit the newly opened store on Saturday just gone but I don't do queues so I'll be sure to enjoy my visit when the queues slow down.

As I go by my maiden name Brad sometimes gets tagged with it too!  It was funny to see the address on the invite with him as Spiro! 

This will be one party we won't be missing.  The WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR conversation has already begun!!