Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Public works with style and a sense of humour - who knew?

How funny are these signs on the barricades down on Chapel Street in South Yarra? Only on Chapel Street would underground pipes need to be fashionable. And the best part is - they are! Look at the beautiful pale blue pipes.

Photos by my lovely Annebelle. And full props to her for charming the pipe supervisor when he wanted to know what the hell she was doing, taking photos of his pipes!

Add to bag...

If I was a wallpaper, this would be me. And right now this wallpaper is what I am seriously coveting. Just one wall is all I want - and only up to the picture rail. But at 150 GPB per roll (and I would need 4), it is going to take a moment of sheer recklessness for me to hit the 'add to bag button'. Or a tattslotto win. Oh dear, I think I have an itchy trigger finger. Looks like we'll be having mince for dinner for a month!

(It's the Cath Kidston digital print wallpaper in Wild Rose. Delicious)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kitchenware Savvy Shopper - behind the scenes

the hero shot

painting the floorboards

all set up and holding the grey card

Mike in action behind the lens

on the page

Here is the Savvy Shopper kitchenware page I styled for the M Magazine that appeared in the Sunday Age this morning. Sourcing this was great fun, as I love loads of bright stuff in the kitchen, and the cuter and kitsch-ier the better. I looked at lots of possible locations for this shoot, but it seemed that the boring (but, I admit, highly necessary) bits like sinks, ovens and range-hoods always got it the way. So I created a little kitchen corner in one of the studios we use at Decent Exposure. First I found a little $40 kitchen dresser at Vinnies in Glenferrie Road, Malvern (which now sits happily in my kitchen, see earlier post), gave it a good scrub and a few coats of paint and added some cup hooks. Next I went to Tait Timber and purchased a heap of floorboards they had going cheap in the warehouse. They were dragged upstairs into the studio and given a few coats of paint too. Then came the fun bit - dressing the little kitchen scene.

Good photos by Mike Baker, dodgy ones by me. Copyright Fairfax Ltd.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Souvenir de la Riviera - via le Marais

My rock-star in-laws Mick and Robin have come home from their annual tour de France with another cracker of a gift for me. This 'Souvenir de la Riviera' head scarf will be wrapped around no heads though - it has gone straight to the wall, and will remain pinned there until it is framed. The best part is that Robin found it in "a big wooden crate in a higgeldy-piggeldy second hand shop" in the Marais district - for just one Euro! I LOVE it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

we are in therapy!

A week or so ago the lovely Jenny Butler, who is the Australian correspondent for one of my favourite blogs, Apartment Therapy www.apartmenttherapy.com asked if I would like to do a 'house tour' for the site? Would I? Of course I jumped at the chance, and it went live on the site today.

So if you would like to take a little tour of my place, just go to:


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gorgeous Melbourne home - The Elliott residence

Occasionally I get to style a home that belongs to someone I know well, and it is always very exciting and very nerve wracking at the same time. There is always extra incentive to do justice to their beloved homes, and to make sure that they are happy with every word, image and reference. I always try to capture the love that someone has put into their home, and to get the essence of their style into just 150 words.

So, here is the home of my good mates Jenny and Mark Elliott, and their gorgeous girls Claudia and Lily. Jenny has the most covetable collection of brocante, and it was nearly all sourced by her good self when she lived in London and travelled frequently to the French countryside. It looks amazing in the original part of their home, and somehow even better in the bold, modern extension they did at the rear. It was a serious struggle to decide which bits to put into the shot, and which bits sadly had to be left out. This is another home where I would have loved to shoot every single room. And you can see that Jenny and I share the same love for the Chanel No 5 posters from Tarlo and Graham - maybe it's a Leo thing, and something to do with us being born just days apart!

Photos by Mike Baker and copyright owned by Fairfax Ltd.

Head over heels...

the hero shot

on the page

Yes, I am head over heels in love with cameos. I have worn cameo earrings for years, and I am always on the lookout for more. Recently I have seen them popping up on all sorts of homewares, so I asked my Dep Ed, Miranda if I could dedicate a Savvy Shopper page to the cameo. This is probably my favourite page that I have done so far, and the one that is the most 'me'. And it was the page that I struggled with the most, in terms of sending all those lovely products back to their stores. However, as I am saving up for a big splurge for my bedroom, I am being extremely virtuous.

Thanks to Mike Baker for beautiful photography and for painting the wall (it's Porter's 'La Vie En Rose'), and to Annebelle for lending me the black frames from her bedroom wall.

Copyright is owned by Fairfax Ltd.

Ta, Liz...

Despite loving the odd royal (such as the gorgeous Monaco types, Caroline, Stephanie and Charlotte; "our Mary" of Denmark; some of the Greek spunks: plus, who could fault Marie-Antoinette's home decor choices), I am actually very pro-republic. Not to be too harsh, but all Liz really has going for her is the Hunter wellies and cute dogs. But, how awful would it be to lose our June long weekend. This is the national Aussie weekend for bunkering down, eating and drinking too much, and cranking up the open fire. So anyway, cheers Liz.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

this shoot, I am trying not to buy...

this shoot, I am trying very hard not to buy these gorgeous silver cake forks from Izzi & Popo in South Melbourne. I love the daintiness of cake forks. Probably because I have been known to be somewhat less than dainty when in the act of eating said cake...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vale Paterson's Cakes - the end of an era for Melbourne's sweet tooths...

this may be my last Strawberry Cream Melba

I am so sad to hear that one of Melbourne's great food institutions, Paterson's Cakes, will be closing at the end of June, as Pato's has been a part of my life for as long as I remember (actually it has been open since 1916).

When I was little my two eldest sisters, Sandra and Maggie, worked there on a Saturday morning. After the shops shut at midday they would come home brandishing big, flat cardboard boxes, filled with leftover treats. I would quickly scoff down a Cream Melba (strawberry, of course) or an Iced Fancy, or a Cream Horn before heading off to Brownies (yes that is my DAG alarm you can hear going off). I must have been only seven or so, but I was hooked.

Paterson's made both of my daughter's first birthday cakes: large, pale pink heart shapes covered in thick royal icing, sprouting fondant hearts on wires (I still have these). On my thirtieth birthday, Jem asked them to make me a large Melba, which was actually cake-sized. So decadent, and I wish I could find the photo of it. I always pick up a Chocolate Curl cake for Jem's birthday and when my best girlfriends were married, I bought them Strawberry Melba's to eat for breakfast with French champagne on their wedding days. In my years at Channel Ten, we always bought Melba's when it was someone in Publicity's birthday, and more recently, Jem and I have been training our girls in the fine art of eating your Melba without spilling cream down your chest (FYI, turn it upside down, eat the pastry base first, then chomp into rest of the choux pastry casing and cream).

I have even indulged in a little anticipatory nostalgia, wondering what kind of cakes my girls will choose if and when they decide to get married.

I know there are imitations, but to me, if it doesn't come from what was for years the dodgy end of Chapel Street (now it is the cool end), it just won't be as sweet.

Annebelle's first birthday cake

Alexandra's first birthday cake.

Monday, June 7, 2010

this shoot, I am trying not to buy...

how cute is this thermos from Lark store in Daylesford? It is a fab reproduction of the old-school flasks like my grey one that I love to put cut flowers in (seen below). Soooo don't want to send this one back after the shoot - it's much more fun just to send my credit card details...

Gorgeous Melbourne home - Phillippa Grogan's kitchen

The food issue of Sunday Life is always a great one to work on. At last year's shoot I ended up drinking French champagne with the lovely Mykal and Kate from Coda restaurant, which was tough. This year I got to sample the delicious treats that have made Phillippa Grogan's bakery business, Phillippa's, so wildly successful. Another very rugged gig. And then the lovely and generous Phillippa sent photographer Mike Baker and myself on our way laden with two big bags of yummy treats, including the delicious mixed spiced nuts (which are now sitting very nicely on my hips, dammit, but oh well). Here is her lovely, unpretentious family kitchen, which she swears will be renovated one day, when she isn't churning out 6000 loaves a day for all of us to enjoy.

Photos by highly skilled Mike Baker, copyright Fairfax.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Annebelle's bedroom - the teenage makeover progress report

the teenage makeover has begun

pre-makeover pastels and softness

On the weekend I started to update Annebelle's bedroom, inspired by the brilliant colours in the Chanel No 5 poster we gave her for her 13th birthday a few weeks ago. She really wants a more grown up look and after years of having my way with her room and keeping it very little girly, I think she has a point. We only changed a few things: first up the pretty pastel frames on her wall were given the chalkboard paint treatment, so now they are a lovely matt black; then the white iron bed we bought on ebay years ago got a lick of the same; white sheets were exchanged for hot pink ones and the bedside table was swapped for another we had stored away. Even the wooden moose head on her wall got a new look - he's now Porter's paints Duchesse Satin in Moulin Rouge. There is still a long way to go (like actually hanging the poster, installing built in robes and a desk, making new curtains.....) but I think it is starting to shape up. Oh and the lovely Eiffel Tower cushion on the bed was made by my soon to be neice-in-law and is available from her etsy shop, Miss Hayley Designs' www.etsy.com/shop/misshayleydesigns

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Five for Thirteen...

I know, it's not an iphone, which is probably what Annebelle really wanted for her birthday a few weeks ago. But we really struggled with that idea - I mean, how many 13 year olds need to send and receive emails when away from home? We wanted to give her something to mark her entry in teen-dom that she would have forever. So eventually we settled on this gorgeous Chanel No 5 advertising poster. I first saw these prints at Tarlo and Graham in Chapel Street last year, and my friend Jenny E bought the red one for her girls, Claudia and Lily. I watched and watched the pink one, hoping that it wouldn't sell to anyone else. And thankfully it didn't, so after getting it framed, Jem carried it home (literally, in his arms, as it wouldn't fit into our car), and it will form the basis of her new look teen bedroom. Happily she loved it, and it is something that I know she will appreciate when she is 18, 21, 30, 40, 50 and all of the landmark birthdays afterwards. I am thrilled with it, even if it means we have to hire a van to lug it around every time she moves house!