Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sartorial Sunday: Maxi dreaming

Is it just me or do you sometimes wish you had a magic wand too? It could transport you to sunny resorts and make everyone's heart sing with just a flick of the wrist.

My little bro is having a rough trot so we were down in Geelong to see him this weekend. The area reminds me of my university years and summer holidays at the beach. Unfortunately, it was grey and gloomy today so no frollicking in the sea for me.

I'm living vicariously through my Polly Dolly this week and sending her off for some fun in the sun, or better still, some reading time under an umbrella on a sunbed with a cocktail in hand. Being the kind soul that I am -and so that I feel like I am on holiday too - I've loaned her my white thongs, Tiffany pendant and Savvy Chic book (a birthday gift that I'm reading greedily). Lucky Polly Dolly has a Stella McCartney gloss nylon bag and vintage maxi dress of her own. Sunscreen is a must, so she's taking some 30+ Le Tan. We agreed that it has the best smell and consistency. Bon voyage Polly Dolly. May there be sunshine in your heart and a few teeny rays kissing your face.

This is my entry in the Polly Dolly weekly Polyvore challenge (but I'm trying to learn Photoshop so I used that rather than Polyvore) in conjunction with my own Sartorial Sunday .

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A woman's love for her ottoman

 Photo by Michael Partenio

Trawling through design blogs, I've noticed that great rooms always have little displays of books, flowers and quirky objects or figurines placed on tables or ottomans. Sometimes called vignettes, these displays really catch my eye and I am particularly fond of the neat displays, with the inclusion of a tray, on plump ottomans - the type with wooden legs. The display (and room) above is a favourite.

So, of course I needed one of my own for the living room I am trying to create. On Sunday night, my nerves went into overdrive as the Mister and I hovered over the computer in an attempt to "win" a black, leather chesterfield ottoman with a final, late bid on eBay. My mood board for our living room, created in Photoshop, included a photo of this very ottoman, so I was overjoyed when I knew it was mine.

What a find! Worth every cent of the $130. Now, in an ideal world, the leather would be a black and white print fabric and the legs wouldn't be brown, but those things can be changed if need be. The leather is in great condition so I couldn't bring myself to have it reupholstered yet (not to mention the expense). The brown legs, however, won't fit so well in a black and white scheme so I'm deliberating options (a very dark wood stain, a black paint, a white paint...?).

Here are some ottomans and vignettes to insire:

 Designed by Alessandra Branca

Designed by Windsor Smith Home

 Photo by James Merrell

In order to perfect the art of vignettes, a plastic tray with short sides seems essential. Something to add to the "hunt" list. Round, square or rectangular? Black or white?

Designed by Rita Konig

Books and flowers are easy to come by though, so the fun has begun. Can anyone share their own experience of how and what works in such displays? The Internet hasn't provided me a lot in terms of design advice for this, so if you know some of the fundamentals or tricks of the trade, now is your chance to make my heart sing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Inspiration file: Living room

After swooning over the work of Kelly Wearstler, Diane Bergeron and Black & Spiro, I've decided the look for our living room should be modern, vintage glamour with a touch of Hollywood Regency on a budget! My inspiration folder revealed these common features that I'm hoping to incorporate:
  • Black and white scheme with a few yellow touches
  • Use of bold, graphical prints
  • Matching lamps and other symmetrical touches
  • Unusual/eclectic/vintage objets d'art
Take a look (and my apologies for not knowing where most of these pics originated):

 Love the stripey rug above, the white bamboo chairs, the head bust statue and the airy feeling.

 Ooh symmetry! I like most of this, especially the x-stools, rug and Greek key cushions.

Symmetry (again), how I love thee. The trellis rug is what caught my eye in this design by Kelly Wearstler and I love the introduction of the yellow.
The above is a little busy for my personal style - I only wish I could add so much interest without it looking messy and mismatched. The black, Barcelona chair and ottoman manage to look cosy here. Is that a reindeer? Loving the antlers. Another bust. Love.

I saved this image for the paint colour and carpet. Also love the illustrations, the sofa, the rug and the burst of pink from the blooms.

Hunting and gathering for our own living room is now in full swing. I've tracked down some exciting pieces (an ottoman and trellis cushions to be revealed in later posts) but there's lots more to do. A fresh coat of white paint on the beadboard and a subtle grey to cover the green walls is on the agenda and new carpet too. Doubt over my initial choice of sisal has set in, so I'm looking for alternatives. The search for a replacement mantle continues.

After getting some handy advice from Naomi of the Live Breathe Decor blog, I need to find time to paint four more black and white canvases to add to the two I did a few years back, track down an attractive fire screen to hide the ugly heater and have curtains made with some Greek key detailing. Did I mention I'm looking for a TV unit and side tables?! No time for my day job when I'm on the hunt for all the things that make my heart sing. Oh, hang on, that's how I finance this little adventure. Life!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sartorial Sunday: Black Swan

Contrast/Black Swan

Contrast/Black Swan by Ellise Whyte 

Another fashionably late Sartorial Sunday for you. I'm a fan of the edgy ballerina look so sadly this outfit is not my own and I didn't swan around in it on my own Sunday brunching with friends and then clambering up our roof to lend a hand. Created in Polyvore, it is my first entry into the weekly Polly Dolly challenge. The theme this week was clever contrast, inspired by the movie Black Swan and I've started by dressing my dolly in things I'd wear myself (well, mostly...not sure I'd be brave enough to wear the headpiece!). Not much chance I'll ever own most of these items but I may get around to seeing the movie sometime soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pearls of wisdom: Love

All is quiet on the blogging front because I have been totally preoccupied eating cake. It started on Friday and continued until this morning, all in honour of my birthday on the 12th. Lap it up, I say. Nothing better than a celebration.

Today's post is a little acknowledgement of Valentine's Day. The matchstick art is by Peri-San Ng and the words of wisdom come from none other than TV show Brothers and Sisters. Grand gestures on February 14 are optional but loving words and notes are always welcome!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cafe Love: Olivessence - The Olive Shop Cafe

Since moving to Footscray just over a year ago, the mister and I have looked on with interest at any new development or promise of a new shop, especially of the culinary variety, in our neighborhood. When a permit for a restaurant or liquor license appears on a boarded up window, the excitement builds and we try to guess what type of cuisine is coming our way. With the following as a prime example, we're not always spot on with our guesses and clearly some things escape our notice.

Last year a shop on Barkly Street caught my eye with it's use of dark wood and bentwood chairs. The business name was hard to make out but I spotted the word 'essence' and wrongly assumed that this must be related to aromatherapy and naturopathy. It took me until December to realise that the sign in fact read Olivessence and was an olive shop and cafe.

Olivessence opened in its new location in the Barkly Theatre in October 2010, having previously operated in nearby Seddon. It's a welcome addition to the Victoria Street end of Barkly Street, an area devoid of options of the espresso variety. I've enjoyed several cups of their Bean Ground and Drunk organic and fair trade coffee.

For one who always has trouble deciding on only one dish, 'Nani's special for one' was the perfect summer lunch. I was very satisfied - so much food!

Tasting plate of olives, warm turkish bread, extra virgin olive oil, dukkah, relish/chutney of the moment (large plate at front), tomato, sweet tips of asparagus and haloumi cheese sprinkled with dukkah of the moment and drizzled with herb infused olive oil (small plate at back, also pictured below). All this for $14, the standout being the dukkah which could very well be the best I've ever tried. Yum. 

Nani is the warm, welcoming owner/manager and a strong advocate of reducing food miles by sourcing her products as close to the shop in Footscray as possible. Tall shelves around the shop are stocked with yummy products and oils primarily from around Victoria. Before you buy, oils can be sampled at the tasting bar above!

While the cafe menu is limited to antipasto selections and locally made cakes and biscuits, the combinations are thoughtfully put together and prepared with passion and pride. Nani is clearly knowledgeable and supportive of the local food industry and appears delighted to answer any questions her customers throw at her. Some customers will undoubtedly yearn for more choice on the menu but what's here is surprisingly satisfying and if not, there is plenty to buy for the road or pantry.

Olivessence on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sartorial Sunday: Ode to Heath

It's still Sunday (just) in Baker Island so I'm sneaking in my Sartorial Sunday even though it's now Monday evening here in Melbourne town. My Photoshop skills are really getting pushed with this new weekly segment as I'm having to edit photos I've taken myself when I can't find my clothes on the net - as in the case of this Sass and Bide denim jacket which was an early birthday present from my mama. I love how it's much shorter at the back even though my kidneys will be crying come winter.

I wore this on Sunday afternoon to a high tea exhibition and a lovely lunch with the Mister. My joker singlet (Kmart find) had its first outing for awhile and made for quite an androgynous look coupled with the cargos, denim and my pixie locks. The addition of the black, patent Stella McCartney for Target bag cleared the matter of my gender somewhat, if only for the fact that it's an oversized handbag and less likely to be confused with a man bag.

I've called today's collage 'Ode to Heath' in honour of the much-loved Heath Ledger and his gifted performance as The Joker. 

"I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you…stranger." The Joker

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cushy, cushion love - part two

There's a certain fabric pattern catching my eye of late. Sometimes called trellis, Moroccan tile, riad, or Moorish, the simple repeated graphic catches my eye. You may remember me loving it on a bedhead in Sex and the City 2 or on curtains at Black and Spiro. I'm on the hunt for cushions again as I'm not so sure about the ones chosen in my last search. A few in the Windsor Smith Riad fabric paired with some coordinating graphical prints - like links, diamonds or squares - could do nicely. Perhaps...

 Trellis fret work cushion by Nena Von on Etsy

 Trellis fret work cushion by Nena Von on Etsy

 Pop by Sheridan Jiro pillowcase

 Trellis fret work lumbar cushion by Nena Von on Etsy

Circles and Squares cushion by Olive and Joy (Florence Broadhurst fabric)

Link cushion by Milk and Cookies on Etsy

Decisions, decisions!

There were not enough hours in the day for Sartorial Sunday today. I searched the web for pics of my new jacket to no avail and it's far too dark and late to take any myself. Lovers of chilled Sunday fashions - I apologise.



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