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!!


Monday 14 November 2011

Guest # 1 - Faux Fuchsia

Faux Fuchsia was so gracious in accepting my invitation to be involved in our recent online store photo shoot at the beautiful Seaforth Cottage.  If you don't already know about FF then make sure you head over to her very popular blog where she takes her readers on her daily journey talking about everything from gardening through to fashion.  She certainly has a wonderful way with words and is very witty and often has me laughing out loud.

So FF I would love to know....

What has been your most memorable Christmas?
I've spent a few Christmases in Hong Kong with my sister and her her husband who live there and I always have a wonderful time with them.  It's cold there and I love wearing all my winter clothes and enjoying how cosy everything is.

 What is a Christmas tradition in your family?
My family lives all around the world so we decided a few years ago in the spirit of thrift to only give presents to the children and not to the grown ups. We already have everything we want anyway and our birthdays are our big present giving times. And because I follow a Retail Christmas, I action the tree as soon as Christmas stuff appears in the shops. This year I put it up in October.

Where are you celebrating Christmas this year?
I'm not sure where I'll be celebrating Christmas this year but I am so excited to be sharing my baby's first Christmas. I have lovely memories of Christmas Day with my family where my Mum cooked a beautiful traditional roast lunch and made a pudding and we were all so excited to see what Santa left us under the tree. I can't wait to share these traditions with my son.

What are you giving for Christmas this year?
I'm not sure what I'll be giving for Christmas because I haven't started my shopping yet but I really do love to give books as gifts.

What do you hope to receive for Christmas this year?
Now that I have my baby, there's nothing more in the world I really want. Although jewellery is always welcome!

 What does Christmas mean to you?
This is my first Christmas as a mother which I am very excited about. It used to mean time off work, travelling, cooking huge feasts, beach holidays and lots of presents but I think this year the focus will be on the Baby's First Christmas, and creating special memories for him. Everyone has told me that having a baby at Christmas time makes it so much more fun and special.

FF, I'm sure you are going to have a very special Christmas this year with your beautiful baby boy.  Thanks so much for being part of our online store Christmas/Summer photo shoot.  It wouldn't have been the same without you!!

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

Sunday 13 November 2011

Summery Daze

I must admit I am in a bit of a Summery daze.  After a very hectic couple of weeks all I can think about is going to the beach for a few weeks at Christmas.  I can't get it out of my head.  I am so desperately longing for the holidays to roll in.  Not long now.  I thought I'd post a few pictures I have been saving for Summer. 

BTW - I will be posting some fun interviews here this week from my Summer Vignette guests.


images 1,2,3 via milenachka, image 4 matchbook magazine via notestosarah, image 5, 7 - rachel mcginn photography, image 6 via chance via matchbook tumblr, image 8 via cottages and gardens mag, image 9 via pretty stuff tumblr

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Florence Broadhurst for Kate Spade

Helen with Kyle AndrewDana In the Studio

As an admirer of Florence Broadhurst patterns, I was so excited to see an email in my inbox today from Signature Prints sharing their very exciting news.  They have collaborated with Kate Spade for Kate Spade's year of pattern in 2012.  Apparently Kate Spade is working with The Florence Broadhurst Library to create one-of-a-kind products for 2012.  12 of Broadhurst's extra ordinary designs have been selected!!  Wow - exciting times ahead for our fabulous Australian friends!!  Can't wait to see what they have in store for us!!


Tuesday 8 November 2011

Seaforth Cottage

Jane & Neville {above}

Janes Lilies {above}

Harry on the front steps {above},  He looks like he lives there!!

Me with Max and Charlotte {above}

I have long admired {actually, ever since I was 14 years old} the very pretty cottage which is located diagonally opposite my parent's house.  It is called Seaforth Cottage and was built C.1897.  It has been owned by Jane and Neville for the past 30 or so years and they are some of the most beautiful people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

As a young girl I would often talk about the pretty white cottage across the road.  I even told Brad when we were looking for our first house years ago that if that house ever came on the market then I would really, really love to live there.

I recently plucked up the courage and went over and introduced myself to Jane and Neville.  We sat on their front verandah and I asked them the huge favour of whether I could use their beautiful home for our upcoming Christmas/Summer photo shoot for our online store.  I explained to them that I had always loved their pretty cottage and I would often wish I could go inside to see what it was like and what lovely things they had furnished it with.  There was absolutely no hesitation and they offered their home to me with open arms.

One of the most beautiful things about Jane and Neville is their generous spirit.  Jane is actually a potter and an extremely talented one at that.  She holds classes for a couple of ladies in the street one morning a week in her gorgeous white timber shed at the back of the house.  You might have noticed the pottery animals on the verandah under our Christmas tree over at the online store.  Well, those are Jane's.  She has lined her entire verandah with her pretty and enchanting pottery animals.  I told her I wanted to take them all home with me!  She laughed.

I should also mention that next year Neville turns 100.  I really couldn't believe it when Jane told me. 

We had the most glorious day setting up our Christmas/Summer vignette on their front verandah and front lawn.  Did you notice the beautiful garden in the pictures?  It is amazing to say the least.  When we were there all the November lilies were beginning to flower.  It is just so beautiful and rambling and imperfect.  Just the way I like gardens to be.

I hope you enjoyed hearing a little bit about the beautiful house we used for our online vignettes this season.  I feel that Seaforth cottage was the perfect setting for our photo shoot.  It gave us that beautiful, lived-in, comfortable, old family house feel which is exactly what I wanted this season to reflect...a place where good times are shared and memories are made.


Above are some of Jane's pieces.  They are so gorgeous!!

Saturday 5 November 2011

Pip Boydell Debut Exhibition @ B&S

Thursday night just gone we were so thrilled to open the debut exhibition of paintings by Pip Boydell at Black & Spiro.  It was also a night for our clients and friends to view our 2011 Black & Spiro Christmas windows which we unveiled over a few bottles of champagne.

Pip's paintings were a huge hit with 70% of them now sold.  There are 29 pieces in total and I have to say that each and every piece is absolutely divine.

The orchid in the blue and white pot was the first to sell and I think we could have sold it 10 times over.  The pink lilies were snapped up very quickly.  I think they were my favourite painting of the night.

My other favourite piece, the red geranium, hasn't sold and I am so tempted to whisk it away.  I just love it so much!!

The beautiful Agapanthus is also still available.  I love it too...

The pretty teacup was also one of the early ones to be snapped up.

Here's a snapshot of one of our front windows.  Thanks Pip for painting the beautiful and vibrant fabric back drops for us.  Sorry these 2 photos are a bit smudgy!!

Here's our other window...

Our amazing paper/fabric chandelier which our friend, artist Sue-Ching Lascelles collaborated with us on is certainly bringing lots of people into the store.  It's so bright and summery and festive.  She is so clever. 

Oh and here's a shot of our back bedroom.  I am so desperately in-love with the 4 cushions on the bed.  I really, really want to take them to our cottage at the beach for our bed.  So gorgeous!!
Hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures of Pip's exhibition and our Black & Spiro Christmas display!

Thank you so much to our beautiful clients and friends for coming along and supporting us and Pip last Thursday night.  It was so great to see you all.


All images thanks to Elouise & Harriette B.