Thursday 31 March 2011

New Things

New Tables

New Paintings

New Blue and White Bone Inlay Boxes and Pink Inlay boxes too...

Another new painting

And another fabulous and very reasonably priced table

It really is like Christmas at Black & Spiro lately with all of the beautiful new things we have arriving from our overseas suppliers and also our wonderful Australian suppliers too.  Here are a few things which just arrived in this week.  I am finding it hard not to take things home.  I whisked one of the new pink inlaid trays home with me yesterday and I am obsessed with it...almost as much as my garden!!!

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Garden Pots Inside

After planting a few little pots for my garden table on the weekend I have been thinking I might do a few more so that I can bring some inside to put on the table in our lounge room or to place down the centre of the dining table when we have people over for dinner.  I also love how they are placed on the bench in the bathroom I have posted above.  I think it would be a nice idea to find an old rack with perforated shelves {like Brooke's} so that I can store lots of potted up succulents and also my potted bulbs and herbs in the garden near our garden shed.  Lots to do!!

PS.  If anyone is wanting to plant up some of these traditional little terracotta pots, I purchased mine from Bunnings.  I think they were approximately $2.50 per pot.  And if you live in Brisbane and want to purchase some bulbs then head to Bunnings as well.  Bulbs can be a bit tricky to buy here in Brisbane due to them not really liking our climate.   Oh and one more thing, if you want to plant some sweet peas you need to get them in this week if you live here!!  Mine were planted yesterday.  I can't wait to see them grow and flower over the coming weeks.

PPS. I only know these things about when to plant etc. thanks to Merve, Uncle Robbie, my mother, my grandmother and the lovely man at Bunnings who is my new best friend.  What would I do without them!!

image 1 - via delight by design scanned from easy elegance, image 2 - {thanks viera}

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Chair Heaven

When I was at a client's house a few weeks ago I spotted this fabulous image when she was showing me through her file of things she loves.  I took a photo of the tear sheet as I too love this chair.  I'm sorry I don't know the source of this photo so if anyone does then just let me know.  This image has now been slotted into my file of things I love...the file is bulging these days!

image source thanks to Make mine Mid-Century Blog - Home Beautiful May 2007 'Bohemian Rhapsody' p 72.

Monday 28 March 2011

Garden Ramblings

This is our garden yesterday with the round garden table Harry and I filled
with pots and also our vegetable garden to the left.

If my ramblings about my garden are becoming annoying just take me off your google reader or stop reading because I am thoroughly enjoying the excitement my garden is bringing me and I hope that these posts might inspire you to get your gloves on too.  I am actually quite a highly-strung, stressed-out maniac most of time however, I am finding that my garden is a place where I can relax.  I tend to drift off into another world when I am out there.  So, this is what I got up to on the weekend.

Harry and I planted up 10 little pots with succulents, herbs, pansies and another little plant which I can't remember the name of.  We arranged them on a round wire garden table which I placed near our vegetable garden.  I think this idea is such a great idea for interest in a large garden like ours but also would be wonderful on a verandah in an apartment or in a courtyard in a small garden.  I originally got the idea from a story on Deborah Needleman in Lonny magazine.  I think it was in one of their first issues...

We also started planting up some terracotta pots with Hyacinth bulbs which won't flower now until Spring but we are prepared and I think I might plant a few more this weekend as they will make nice gifts when Spring comes around. We also planted 30 Daffodil bulbs into the garden.  This weekend we will plant the Ranunculus, Freesias and tulips {which are currently in the fridge}.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will like it here in our red soil and will flower in Spring.

On Saturday we spotted 2 capsicum growing in our vegetable garden along with some corn.  We collected a small basket full of beans and cherry tomatoes which I cooked up on Saturday night.  This week we are planting some pretty sweet peas...this is the perfect time here for planting them.

And just to prove that I am making some headway in the garden compare the top photo in this post to this photo above as this is what one area of our garden looked like just before Christmas last year.  What a difference some effort can make and some help from my Uncle Robbie and Merv our lovely 84 year old gardener.  I can't claim all the accolades although if I didn't work I think I might be out there 24-7!

PS...One day she will be painted white but for the meantime we endure the red, green and yellow...xx

Friday 25 March 2011

Thanks Goodness it's Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where did the week go?  I have no idea but I am glad it's Friday.  I am thrilled to advise that our 2 back rooms at Black & Spiro are now open again.  We've had a lot of customers waiting for the doors to open so thank you for your patience with us.  It takes time to make things beautiful!!!  I thought I'd share a few pictures as above.  We also have lots of blue and white in again which is great.  We actually have a brand new supplier of  blue and white so the pieces are all a bit different to the ones we've had in the past.  Oh and we just got in some more I love New York cushions too.

I think it's time I left the office.  I'm heading home to the garden...hopefully it won't be raining this weekend.  See you next week.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Black & Spiro Today

I haven't posted any pictures of the shop lately so here is a little corner in the shop today.  The chest of drawers is one of Stuart Membery's which we stock and the antique chair is one of 2 we have covered in our pink embroidered fabric.  There's lots of great things arriving which is always very exciting...especially the the things we bought in New York recently.  That little painting in the picture above {which looks much brighter in real life} came in today and it sold to the first ladies who saw it.  I think if it didn't sell it was on it's way home to my house!!

Sunday 20 March 2011

My Wonderful Weekend

My plans for a weekend in the garden had to be slightly altered due to the weather.  However, despite the rain I did achieve some gardening goals.  I went to my favourite nursery at Wellington Point yesterday.  If I could put their garden surrounding their nursery onto a truck and deliver it to our house I'd be one happy girl.  I just love wandering around the little pathways through their beautiful established garden. 

My aunty and my grandma {the one I photographed here on the blog last week} dropped in for morning tea this morning.  Aunty Jane brought me these pretty roses from her garden.  I love garden roses.  They are my favourite.

As you can see I did go a little crazy at the nursery.  I love the mix of plants I chose.  I really want to add lots of different colours into our garden.

I can't believe our little Max turned 10 months old yesterday.  He is almost walking.  Time really flies...

This morning my brother Sam and my mum, Harry, Max and I went to the Chandler Markets.  I hadn't been before and was so excited by what they had.  I found some beautiful orchids and fresh flowers and a few little vintage surprises too.

Yesterday I collected this bundle of fresh lettuce, beans and tomatoes from our kitchen garden.  I placed them into a basket and took them down to my mum's house.  Today she and Sam made an amazing salad which you will probably find the recipe for over at Sams' Table this week. 

Weekends at home are my favourite.  I always feel so inspired and rested and ready to go back to work on a Monday when I have been pottering around the house all weekend.

Friday 18 March 2011

I'm in the garden...

If you're looking for me this weekend I will be in the garden...not looking quite as glamorous as the lady above!  I can't wait to get stuck into some planting...I'm thinking daisies...lots of daisies.

Have a great one.

image via party tights, photographer unknown             

Thursday 17 March 2011

Mismatched Cushions

I think everyone knows that I love mismatched cushions so when I spotted this image of Rachel Roy's lounge room in Olivia's photo files on her laptop today at work it stopped me in my tracks.  I love this. 

Wednesday 16 March 2011

It's a Small World

It really is amazing how blogging brings together people from all over the world.  I have met some amazing people thanks to my blog and the kindness of strangers continues to surprise me. 

I think almost everyone in our blogging community knows about the artist Anne Harwell.  She is one kind lady.  A long time ago she painted my gilt chair in my lounge room which she calls Anna Spiro's Chair. She sells prints of it in her etsy store.  Last year I received a package in the mail from Anne and inside was the original painting of my chair which she sent to me as a gift.  That little painting now hangs on my cluster wall in our sitting room at home {as above} and I look at it all the time and remember her kindness. 

Another artist we all know and love is Patricia van Essche who I had the pleasure of meeting in person in New York earlier this year.  She too has painted a few of my vignettes in the past.  I am yet to frame the original of the Staffordshire dogs she painted of mine which she sent me a while ago.  I am planning on framing it soon and hanging it in my office at work.  I will post pictures once I have hung it as it is beautiful.

I really think these ladies are so kind and so generous and I would like to thank them for their paintings which I love so much.  You must check out their etsy stores here and here if you haven't already done so.  I'm sure you won't leave empty handed!

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Kit Kemp in Elle Decor

And if there wasn't enough excitement generated from my last post about the new April Elle Decor then I hope this creates some mad rushing to the newsagent activity!!!  Kit Kemp's divine townhouse has also been featured.  How exciting.  I remember seeing her beautiful home featured in one of our Australian magazines late last year but I didn't buy the issue as I saw it in a coffee shop when it was too late to buy the magazine.  I think it was Madison.  I particularly loved her pink and white wallpaper in her hallway but I can't see it featured in the slide show on Elle Decor's website.  I hope they have included it in their article as it was jaw-droppingly beautiful.  She really is one of my most favourite Decorators. 

images - simon upton photographer

2 Lovely Spaces

Just a random post to say how much I love these 2 spaces.  The kitchen belongs to Andy Newcom and was featured in this month's Lonny which went live earlier this week.  The other image I found on Stuart Membery's blog and is the work of Sig Bergamin as featured on the front cover of the April issue of Elle Decor.  I'm in-love with Sig's room and I'm sure my mother will be and white gets her every time!  I think the thing I like so  much about Sig's room is that it is blue and white with a difference.  The Suzani throw and the mismatched artwork adds a different element which I love.  It doesn't look too contrived which is how blue and white can sometimes look in my opinion.  It's sort of like it's been shaken and stirred.  That's my kind of blue and white!!xx

PS.  I would like to send my well-wishes and thoughts and prayers to all of our friends in Japan. 
xx Anna

Monday 14 March 2011

The Family Gift Coordinator

I seem to be the go-to-person in my family for gifts which probably is quite obvious considering I have a shop full of things to give.  Today my brother Nick rang me pleading me to help him with a last minute gift which he needed for today.  I was up to my armpits in emails, quotes, fabrics and paperwork but I dropped everything immediately for his arrival.  I whipped out a few things in the shop and then he decided on a beautiful Sally Campbell quilt which I wrapped for him.  Usually it's a much longer and arduous task which requires me to pull the shop entirely to pieces.  If only I had someone in my life who would organise these sorts of things for me like I do for them!  He left grateful for my help.  I couldn't stop thinking that it was like a drive-through gift service!  Let's hope she likes the quilt!!!

Sunday 13 March 2011

The S.A. Crowd & Home on Sunday

Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I must apologise as I didn't get a chance to post before I left for Adelaide a few days ago.  I am working on a house in Dulwich which is such a beautiful area in lovely Adelaide.  Whilst visiting I had the absolute pleasure of catching up with The S.A. Crowd Kimberlee from Brown Button, Emma from White & Wander, Kate from Polka Dot Pantry, Pippa from Tres Dodgeois and Alex from French Navy Stationery.  What a lovely group of positive, happy, inspiring, funny, encouraging and creative girls.  We had a fantastic dinner at Sparrow Kitchen & Bar on Friday night and then went out and hit the Antique shops on Saturday together.  I was amazed by Adelaide's history, wonderful food, pretty tree-lined streets, old stone houses and fantastic Antique shops.  It really is a place worth visiting and I can't wait to head back down there mid-year to catch up with the girls again.

After such a busy few days away, today I loved being at home.  I spent the day with my boys pottering around the house and the garden.  We recently put in a kitchen garden or Potager as the French call them.  Our lettuce is growing beautifully.  I picked one today to make a salad with tonight along with our tomatoes which just seem to be sprouting up everywhere in our garden.  Although all of this rain we've had has done some horrible things to our state, our garden is just so green and full of flowers which I have been picking and placing in vases in the house.  There really isn't anything which makes me happier than arranging flowers from my own garden to place around our house...simple pleasures!!


Tuesday 8 March 2011

Work in Progress

I thought I'd share a couple of in-progress photos of a house I am currently working on.  The wallpaper in the powder room was just installed the other day and we also recently completed the main bedroom.  We are about to commence work in the formal lounge room.  The colours we have chosen for the lounge room are orange, purple, green and duck-egg blue.  Next time I'm over at this house I will try to take a photo of the outside as it is one of the prettiest houses I've seen here in Brisbane.

Friday 4 March 2011

Heaven on Earth

Whenever I visit Ursula's blog, Aged & Gilded, I am never disappointed.  She constantly inspires me with the beautiful images and articles she shares.  I love too that she shows pictures of houses in French Elle DecorThis house, which she recently posted, has me totally smitten.  I love it.  I love the patchwork tiling in particular!  Hope you have a great weekend.  I'm signing off now for this week...

images via elle decoration - photorapher unknown

Thursday 3 March 2011

TT Necklace

And just because I'm on a bit of a necklace thing this week isn't this one fabulous from the amazing Table Tonic {Click HERE to purchase.  I think there's only 1 left!!}.  I can't get enough of Indian, Afghani, Uzbeki, Mexican, African, Anatolian, Russian tribal things right now...

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Happy March!

Can you believe it's March already?  As March heralds the start of Autumn here in Australia I was inspired by the colour orange and falling leaves to create this month's calendar vignette.  I made a necklace out of paper letters I bought at Kate's Paperie and wrapped lots of gingham ribbons and pleated trim around the neck of our vintage French Mannequin.  This month we are opening our back displays at Black & Spiro again.  This is the third time we have redecorated the 2 back rooms since our re-opening last year.  We are using lots of orange and lavender.  I can't wait to unveil them in the coming weeks.  Happy March Everyone!