Monday 17 December 2012

Conversations, Thoughts & Conclusions

Before I start I will warn you this is one of those long, drawn-out blog posts so just close me down now if you're not interested!!xx

Over the past week or so I've had some pretty inspiring conversations with a few people I love.  It seems that my recent 'missing in action' approach when it comes to the blog really isn't good enough and maybe just maybe some of you might be missing my chatter.  Sitting on a plane with 2 beautiful friends earlier this week talking about all things me and all things them it became quite clear to me that I have kind-of left you guys in the lurch here.  The ease and convenience of Instagram has taken over but I want you to know I am going to try harder to post more regularly because I think I have actually missed writing down my thoughts and sharing my passions here. That's not to say I will be back everyday but anything more than I have been doing will be better...won't it?

The days of my life have been very full this past year and the projects I have been involved in and the people I have had the great fortune of working with have made this year a wonderful one.  You know how there are great years and not-so-great years, well when this year of 2012 clicked into action back in January I was a bit worried about the months which lay ahead.  With all the talk of the economy and the negativity in the air, I wasn't so sure of how things would be this year.  If you didn't know, I am a worrier from way back {just like my father} but as one of my clients pointed out to me a few weeks ago the more you worry, the more successful you become because worriers think about every single little detail and in this profession, detail is paramount.

One of the most exciting things about this year has been the work I have done for clients in Sydney. To have people from afar ask me to help them with their homes is something which actually gives me goosebumps.  Sydneysiders have such talented Designers at their fingertips and for them to call me all the way up here in Pineapple territory is a pretty exciting thing!

 Having completed quite a number of projects in and around Sydney this year as well as still working on a few, it has made me think more and more about our presence in my favourite Australian city (besides Brisbane of course)!  Ideas are swirling and conversations are being had so watch out Sydney.  It may not be tomorrow but my sights are set.

One of the things on my to do list this year was our Black & Spiro website and unfortunately I won't be able to tick that one off before we move into 2013 despite trying so hard to do so!!  Don't you hate it when people say 'our website is coming' annoying!!  However, I am thrilled to say that it certainly will be up and running in the early months of the new year.  I am very excited about this website because it is really looking so beautiful and there are some wonderful new projects on it which will be very exciting for you all to see.

Sitting on my verandah feeling the bay breeze sweep away my tiredness from the crazy week that was I think about the holidays which are approaching.  I dream of days with no schedules, days of sun, surf, sleep and fun and in amongst all of that I will be finishing the first draft manuscript of my book which is due into Penguin at the end of January and maybe getting my thoughts together on a few new wallpaper designs because it seems that Porters want me to do another collection with them in 2013.

Busy times lay ahead but for now let's enjoy the Spirit of Christmas because as we all know it only comes round once in a year!


image 1 - Photo of coffee table top I arranged at client's house last week, image 2 - Xmas wreath at Black & Spiro made by Kara Hynes aka LuluLucky for Mr & Mrs G Bar.

Friday 23 November 2012

Black & Spiro Christmas Flea!!

Don't forget we are having our exciting Black & Spiro Christmas Flea next Saturday 1st December at the store.  We have a wonderful round-up of beautiful things including lots of hand-made items by some very talented Brisbane girls and also my Harry has made some fabulous painted rock ornaments.  We have some vintage pieces, Christmas baked goods and not to mention a few very special bargains including some of our remnant fabrics which always seem to get snapped up very quickly!! 

Also, we know how long that queue gets so this time we have 3 portable eftpos machines ready to go which will hopefully speed things up for you all!!  It's set to be another fun Black & Spiro day!  We hope to see you!


Wednesday 7 November 2012

Christmas Is Coming...

Hello!  Can you believe that Christmas is here again??!!  We are madly putting the finishing touches to our Christmas window displays which {fingers and toes crossed} will be installed next week!!  Every year we put much thought and work into our Christmas windows and this year I am very excited about what we are creating!  So, keep watching and don't forget we are having our exciting Christmas Flea market at Black & Spiro on Saturday 1st December...mark your diaries!!


Wednesday 31 October 2012

Black & Spiro Hosts The School

Last weekend Black & Spiro was so excited to host Megan Morton and her wonderful School of creative teachers upstairs in our Design Studio.  Having just launched her 2nd book here in Brisbane at Camargue last week, Megan is in high demand and we were so thrilled to be part of her amazing whirlwind week in her hometown with her gorgeous French assistant Sophie.

Our staircase was lined with her signature pineapples.

The first class was held by Sydney florist Holly Hipwell where students were taught how to make one of Holly's signature flower bombs using carnations.

Kara aka Lulu Lucky's son, Charlie was first to finish!  You are so clever Charlie!!

My Harry and all of the Black & Spiro girls took part in Kara's (Lulu Lucky) class in which she taught the art of making a Polish paper chandelier.  We all had so much fun.  I hung our chandeliers in our lounge room at home to try to get in the festive mood for Christmas which is just around the corner!!

I also did Rachel Castle's screen printing class and it too was so amazing.  Here's what my friend and client Helen created.  So gorgeous!!

Thank you Megan for bringing The School to Brisbane.  It was truly wonderful.  If you would like to go to Sydney to do one of the fabulous classes on offer then just head over to their website -  I would love to do some of the Christmas classes which are coming up in the next few weeks!!


Friday 26 October 2012

The Design Files Brisbane Guide

Have you seen the wonderful Brisbane (Mini) City Guide posted by Lucy on The Design Files yesterday?  What a wonderful round-up of Brisbane stores, cafes and galleries.  We were so excited to be included in Lucy's picks.  To see the full list click HERE.  Thank you Lucy for listing Black & Spiro.  We are so chuffed!!  And thank you Toby Scott for photographing our store so beautifully.xx

Thursday 25 October 2012

Exotic Faraway Places

When Brad announced to me that he wanted to go to Hawaii, a place we have visited many times and loved over the years, for his 40th Birthday, my heart fell into my stomach.  Being that his birthday falls in October, our busiest month of the year at Black & Spiro, I thought there would be no way on earth I would be able to pull it off.  However, just a few days ago we came home from one of the most magical holiday's we've ever had and Black & Spiro is still open and under control thanks to my gorgeous girls who have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to have everything perfectly executed. 

For me Hawaii is a place where I find so much inspiration.  The tropical-retro beach vibe and the casual pace really resonates with me and I have come home feeling well, happy, excited and rejuvenated...

My happy holiday snaps can be seen on my instagram but here are a few of my faves.  Hope you enjoy and if you can get to this magical place then do so because you won't regret it.  Maybe you will fall-in-love with it like we have and make the pilgrimage back each year.  It really is one very special place where memories are made, happiness resides and dreams come true.

Thursday 11 October 2012

Flowers on my Table

I couldn't agree more!!


image 1 - via pretty stuff

Tuesday 2 October 2012


Have you seen the latest issue of Adore Magazine yet?  We were so excited to have Mr & Mrs G Bar {which we just completed a couple of months ago} featured.  Thank you Loni and Jen Bishop for the wonderful story.  Click HERE to read...

Over the weekend I thoroughly enjoyed reading and flipping through Claire Lloyd's new book, My Greek Island Home.  Isn't the cover divine!  I also spotted this behind the scenes video...CLICK HERE to watch.  The book is out this week just in case you wanted to pick up your own copy.  Mine is sitting on the top of my book pile on my coffee table and the cover catches my eye every time I walk passed it!!

Wasn't it great having a long weekend this weekend just gone!  I spent my entire weekend pottering around at home in the garden and around the house.  I purchased these pretty hydrangea pots from Lulu Lucky at our Spring Flea last month and I can't believe how much they have grown.  I have never had much luck with hydrangeas but I think the trick is to water them every day without fail and keep them out of our very hot sun.

And to finish this quick little post, here's a picture of our bedroom display at Black & Spiro which I shared on Instagram last week.  Lots of pretty things in store at the moment!


Monday 17 September 2012

News & Stuff

If you've dropped into Black & Spiro on a Saturday lately you may have bumped into Archie our Golden Retriever friend.  He's the best behaved dog I've ever come across and happily sits wherever he is told to...I wish he'd teach our Ned a few of his good behaviour tricks!!

We've been very busy these past few weeks installing some beautiful jobs including this very special house on the beach which we have been working on for 2 years since planning stage.  Everything turned out just as we had planned and it really does look quite spectacular.  I think one of my (and the client's) favourite things is the wonderful custom made armchair which we had made below using a kilim rug...

And here's a snippet of another house we have just installed.  I was so excited the first time I visited this lovely old house when I spotted the round dining room which we have decorated with mismatched dining chairs and a fabric covered pendant light.

On the home front, our sweet peas are in flower.

And so is the Lavender.

And in other exciting news, guess who is coming to Brisbane?  Megan Morton and her amazing school of talented artists and craftspeople.  And guess where they are holding the classes? Upstairs at Black & Spiro!! We are so excited about hosting The School. If you would like to book a place in one of the classes (which will be held over 4 days towards the end of October) then just click on the website HERE to book your seat!! But hurry as you wouldn't want to miss out because it will be AMAZING!!

xx Anna

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Baby, Cushions, House & Garden

Look at this gorgeous visitor we recently had at Black & Spiro!  She fits right in sitting there amongst our pretty mismatched cushions! 

Did you see our little feature in this month's House & Garden?  We were so thrilled to be involved!  Thanks H&G for asking us!!xx


Monday 3 September 2012

Spring has Sprung!

Not a day goes by without me being thankful for the beautiful flowers which grow in our garden.  They really do bring me so much joy.  This wonderful bunch of things which I picked last week certainly confirmed the presence of Spring here and even though the official first day of Spring occurred last Saturday, I think here in Brisbane we've been experiencing the loveliness of Spring weather for the past few weeks.

To celebrate the arrival of Spring, last Saturday we held an exciting and unprecedented Spring Flea market at Black & Spiro. 

We collaborated with a few local artisans including the very talented artist Pip Boydell whose work we have all fallen-in-love with since her first exhibition at Black & Spiro last Christmas.  Just like her first exhibition, her pieces on Saturday sold-out within the first couple of hours.  All 17 pieces...sold! 

We were also very excited to have the incredibly creative Kara Hynes & Ellen Newman from Lulu Lucky display their wares.  The girl's pieces were absolutely beautiful.  I couldn't help but bring a few of their divine pot plants home for our verandah...not to mention the fabulous multi-coloured Hmong clutches!!

My little garden posies proved to be very popular along with the delicious home-baked treats by Lora Calvisi...the proceeds of which will be donated to St. Vincent de Paul.  We were also thrilled to have a few of Vanessa Macphail's original artworks for sale and a huge thank you to her for doing the amazing chalk street signs...she is one talented girl!!

The other amazing, hard-working and talented girls I would like to mention are Olivia, Alexandra & wonderful team of girls at Black & Spiro.  Without them Saturday would never have been.  From sewing a patchwork of fabric for our window diplay and bunting for the street to organising the invitations, the stock, the packaging of the baked goods, the list goes on and on.  These girls are the backbone of Black & Spiro and they must be thanked and bowed down to because they are a wonderful, hard-working, happy and obliging bunch of girls!!

This brings me to you..the clients, the friends, the supporters, the followers...I must say that you, YES YOU, never cease to amaze me on days like Saturday.  I really was blown away by the turn-out with one lady lining up before I arrived at 6.30am and then as it approached 9am the line just got bigger and bigger and bigger.  I can't believe that you all line up there like that.  I really can't.  And you all do it so nicely and orderly and you are all so friendly to each other.  The sense of community spirit is there in that line-up and it follows right through to that dreaded line to pay.  I worked on the till at this event and I will admit to you that it stressed me to no end that you all had to wait so long to pay for your lovely things.  But again you all stood there so patiently and hapilly.  So I would like to thank you for your amazing support and I want you to know that I feel so special that you all come along and enjoy what we do. 

I would also like to say that we are planning a Christmas Flea which we hope to hold around the 1st of December....perfect timing for Christmas gift-buying.  What I want to achieve with these fleas is to encourage you all to support our local Brisbane up-and-coming artisans.  I will be calling for submissions for our Christmas flea as we would like to add a few artisans to the line-up we already have.  And next time I think we will hold it entirely in our carpark at Black & Spiro so that it can be bigger and better!! 

Thank you again and I really hope you enjoyed our first Black & Spiro Flea Market.  Let's support local artists, local craftspeople, local businesses because it wouldn't be the same without them!!


Monday 20 August 2012

Black & Spiro Spring Flea

I am so thrilled to finally let the cat out of the bag! On Saturday 1st September we will be holding a very exciting Spring Flea Market on the front footpath at Black & Spiro. There will be lots of wonderful treasures to find including some special little paintings by Pip Boydell, jewellery and accessories including some amazing clutches and neon sparkly collars by Lulu Lucky & Ellen Newman, home-made cakes and biscuits, some fabulous vintage and antique pieces found here and in NYC, fresh flowers including some sweet peas from my own garden and also some other very special things we are offering which will make for bargain buying!

We hope to see you. The fun starts at 9am and will run through until 3pm on the first day of Spring!!

Thursday 9 August 2012

All Over The Countryside...

These colourful feet certainly have travelled some miles over the past few weeks with a few days in Melbourne spent hunting down special things for clients and Black & Spiro.  And then another road trip but this time out to the West visiting new clients and unearthing some wonderful and exciting new projects.

The weather was perfect out in the country earlier this week, and not only did I enjoy walking through some very beautiful country homes with their lovely owners, I actually enjoyed getting away from the city for a few days.  I know I always talk about a breath of fresh air but it was so nice to get out into the big wide countryside and smell that divine fresh, crisp Winter air!

Back at Black & Spiro the girls have enjoyed unpacking lots of wonderful new things which have been arriving this past week including these beautiful new throws and bed quilts.

And you should see the beautiful floor rugs which also just arrived this week.  Here's a snippet just to whet your appetite. I'm in-floor-rug-love!

At home we have been enjoying the bounty of fresh poppies our garden has been supplying us with.  I am sad that they are almost over for the season.  Their ruffling petals make me feel so happy.

And just in case you're interested we have a very exciting event hapenning at Black & Spiro in the coming weeks so make sure you keep checking back here on the blog and on my instagram feed for updates.  It will be something you won't want to miss!!