Saturday, April 30, 2011

Congratulations to William and Kate the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge

The whirlwind engagement has culminated with the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey; where there have been only 15 Royal marriages in 1000 years.

With timing and decorum exec,t the crowds of thousands and viewers of 2 billion worldwide watched Catherine step from the Rolls Royce Silver Phantom with her father at her side. Dressed in a Sarah Burton, the designer who headed up Alexander McQueen when he passed.

The result was an elegant lace appliqué bodice with 9ft train that appeared to be inspired by Grace Kelly's gown for her marriage to Monegasque Prince Rainier III.

She accessorised with a 1936 diamond 'halo' tiara by Cartier - her 'something borrowed' - lent to her by the Queen.

The hair was, as expected, worn in her signature loose waves with a 'demi-chignon'.
The natural look was offset by pear-shaped diamond earrings designed by Robinson Pelham and inspired by the Middleton's new coat of arms.

The veil - made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers - fell to her waist, framing her naturally beautiful face.

The dress was made with Individual flowers hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design - incorporating the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.

The matching wedding shoes were also hand-made by the team at Alexander McQueen and are made of ivory duchesse satin with lace hand-embroidered.

Though hidden her graceful walk would suggest the heels were low.

What a triumph. A restrained dress from Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen,

'The English lace, hand embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework, was demure but pretty.

'The trademark McQueen padding at the hip made her waist look even smaller, while the corset meant her posture was that of a queen: upright, and formal.

'Kate didn't didn't falter once, which tells me her wedding slippers, also by McQueen, were no more than a couple of inches high.

What a great day for British fashion, but also for Kate, whose modesty could be seen in every hand stitch'

Read more:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What makes your House "Home Sweet Home"

Its been a wonderful Easter School break with children doing great games all day outside in the Autumn sun where its still warm enough to don shorts, singlet and sunscreen. Many sleepovers and Easter Eggs later after bbq's and campfires in braziers on the terrace (bit too damp for camping) our Easter break is drawing to a close and so I'm back blogging again.

In the attempt to tidy up after a lovely easter break I am posting these images of a delightful house that was for sale a year ago. I've kept the photos as a reminder of my favourite type of home. And this one is really sweet.

It is on the Northern Beaches on our way to the boat ramp when we take our boat out, very close to the village shops, cafes and water, what more could you want.

Floor plans are extremely useful as they spell out any design boo boos and give you am immediate indication of square feet so you won't be surprised when you go in a place a second time when it always appears smaller.

When you see these kitchen design shops and hear or the thousands people are paying for their kitchen installations - simple is best. This old Queenslander style home has an open kitchen with everything white. Adding to its appeal is a petit chandelier, high ceilings and island breakfast bar.

Adorable and still my favourite kitchen.

Queenslander style homes have that Cape Cod feel and allow the sea air to breeze through the house thus negating the need for air conditioners.

Comfy and airy in summer, though cozy in Winter this main room is filled with large framed retro film posters.

Tell me what makes your house a home I'd love to hear your comments.

Dining doesn't have to be in a separate room..

A long shady porch, easy wicker chairs and palm fronds all add to the delight this house emanates. 

An easy to clean bathroom.

So what makes your house a home sweet home... add your comments below. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Le Jeu de L'Oie

Hi everyone - I hope you have all been having a great week, here in Australia our week has drawn to a close with the Easter School Holidays just begun. Lots of families are heading off for a wonderful Autumn break dashing out of Sydney on a Friday night to beat the rush and making their way out of town for some down time with the family.

I myself am preparing for the Art and Design market in Wollongong which takes place next Sunday 17th April in the Wollongong Art Gallery and run by the girls from Milk Thieves, so looking forward to a busy week of finalising some works.

In the meantime I wanted to blog about some fabulous images found on Flickr from France. The first up is a Childrens Book Cover from the 1930's.

Picture cards, this one featuring an owl.

Chocolate Box lids were a collectors item - here's one by Casino.

I love this illustration of the History of Aviation depicting early hot air balloons, zeppelins, and mans first flying machines.

You may not have heard the game a Million Faces.

Letter cards...

Just love the style of these game cards from a picture matching game.

 A box lid for Le Jeu de L'Oie.

Love the subtle colours in this picture. 

This fabulous jigsaw puzzle of France pieces are the provinces. 

I find this adorable - an illustration of an old electricity metre!

Have a great weekend and pop on over here for more collections of ephemera from France.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Red Letter Day - its a sign of the times

Hi to all you today on this first Tuesday in April. 

I'm calling today a Red Letter Day in honour of the following photographs. 

The first one's courtesy of Cape Race Cultural Adventures with their kindly advice to tread carefully. It's been on my doing list, but the one where I have just not yet got round to doing.. that is paint the risers on the staircase and stencil them.

Next up is an interior by Rachel Reider Interiors. The salvage yards would be a good place to start if you want to find store, train, restaurant architectural features.

Decor Modern have incorporated an "F" from TGIFridays and housed in a lounge where large doesn't look out of place.

Retro chairs, mannequin and custom made bookshelves set this scene where French grocery store signage takes our eye to ceiling level. Nice.

I admire an aesthetic where a cot and nursery don't send parents into a tiz of pink and blue. This antique signage says St. Honore after the saint Honorius of Amiens. It's the part of Paris that houses the Louvre and Rue Fauberg, an exceptionally fashionable part of Paris too. Lucky baby. Image from SB Architects.

The Lettered Cottage asks whether this lovely wooden handpainted sign belonged to an Inn up a mountain or a Pub (Saloon Bar) on the edge of town..

Old world charm comes alive here from Jonathan Adler who did the designing of the lobby at the Parker Palm Springs adding quirky charm with this old drugstore hanging sign. 

I've featured pictures in my blog before from Life in the Fun Lane and below show a storage trunk stencilled romantically with "Supplies".  

Most brits know this is so true, the loos in France are pretty dodgy at the best of times. It is lovely that they are now warning us. Picture from Lucid Interior Designs.

Guest in this household are well advised with this lovely touch reminiscent of the 1930's where all offices in corporate buildings had signage written on glass whether clear or frosted.

Australians real love this word, I've seen it a lot in peoples houses - we're such a hedonistic race! Credit to Sweet As A Candy

Designers Bosworth Hoedemaker present a therapeutic answer to their design dilemma.

Buckets of Burlap in a cosy country kitchen where recycled coffee bags make an amusing cafe curtain.

I think this design art is from Sugarboo. I love the way the stencils are worked right up against the left handside of the plaques.

Michele Hinckley's bathroom renovation is part of a larger diy project the entire tract home that she's turned extra trendy. She featured my bus roll prints with her children's initials above the loo. This little reminder framed in yellow is super.

So next time you're lucky enough to walk a highstreet that's filled with independent retailers that aren't part of a chain, spare a thought for the signmaker whose work stands the test of time and may one day end up in your home.

Monday, April 4, 2011

An Englishman's home is his castle

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a lovely weekend. After my entries yesterday and the knowledge of it being Mothers day in the UK I've added a couple of images of England.

An Englishman always likes to share a little knowledge of their heritage and the UK has a wonderful organisation that preserves buildings of historic and national interest, it's called the National Trust.

My mother lives in the UK while I live in Australia, mum is a volunteer for the National Trust and works here:

Dunster Castle is in Somerset and is only open in the Spring and Summer and closes for late Autumn and Winter. Spanning a 1000 years of history this castle has seen siege and was a stately home. Serving as a frontier fortress against Celt and Viking raiders, it was mentioned in the Doomsday book as being owned in 1066 by the Saxon Aelfric. It's halls and dungeons still house a few ghosts..

Mum knows the history of the place very well and is a font of information. She spellbound myself, and Finley with her talks of battles, beseigements and renewal.

Every castle has its armaments and this is no exception as there are cannons angled ready to defend the buttressed walls against attack.

The chapel stands a few hundred metres away from the main castle buildings across a well manicured lawn.

A wonderful vista of Devonshire coast from atop Linton.

Finley searched this Jurassic beach and found what he was looking for at Kilton.

So if you're ever thinking of heading to the UK for a holiday give Somerset and Devon a visit as there's some incredible coastline and places of historic interest to see.

Enjoy your day.