Sunday, December 19, 2010

'Twas the night before Christmas...

Here is my last Christmas shoot for the year, that appeared in The Sunday Age M Magazine today.

I love the night before Christmas - to me it is such a mixture of relief and anticipation.  The shopping and wrapping all done, but so much to remember to make the next day special.

Here are some behind the scenes pic's from the shoot.  Lovely Mike Baker is painting my backdrop before I bring in the props. Then he created such beautiful, ambient lighting.  Another thing we loved about doing this shoot was.... getting to sample some delicious eggnog, compliments of my dear friends Di and Storm Pedersen.  For those of you who have yet to catch the Christmas spirit, here is a sure-fire remedy.  Handed down to  Storm Pedersen from his great-grandfather in New Orleans, this eggnog recipe has been a source of Christmas cheer since the 1880’s.
Storm’s family eggnog
2 dozen eggs
½ kilo castor sugar
750 ml bottle of bourbon
750ml bottle of dry sherry
60mls white rum
1 litre thickened cream – to be whipped before adding.
1/2 litre of thickened cream and ½ litre of milk (to be added to mix together)
Makes a lot!
Separate egg yolks from whites
Beat egg yolks until thick and pale gold in colour.
Add sugar very slowly, beating all the time.
Add the bourbon very, very slowly so as not to curdle the eggs.
Still beating, add rum and sherry.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold the whites gently into the main bowl and finally, pour in both the cream and cream /milk mix.
Bottle and refrigerate.  Sip it slowly!
The final tradition is to try to save a little to drink whilst making next year’s batch.

I know the week ahead is going to be nuts, so if I don't get back before 2011, have a very, very merry festive season. Thanks for popping by my blog in 2010.  Lots f exciting things are in the pipeline for next year.  See you then.


Photos by Mike Baker, copyright Fairfax Ltd.  Styling by me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

telly love...

Don't you hate it when you discover your new favourite TV show and there are only 3 episodes left to air?  I did this recently with the wonderful 'Delicious Miss Dahl' series.  I now have to satisfy myself with watching only three episodes on high rotation.

What's to love?  Here goes:

Sophie - the pedigree, the height, the accent, the writing and cooking talent, the rock-star boyfriend

The kitchen - seen here both before and after it was styled up for the show.  It has been in Living etc, and is owned by a UK photographer (can't recall his name).  They added some fab wallpaper, which is by Neisha Crossland and loads of vintage kitchenalia.

The Kitchenaid mixer - pale lemon. Say no more.

The abundant flowers - all blowsy and full bloomed and terribly English, sigh.

The animated titles - so whimsical

If you like your telly to be beautiful,light-hearted and delicious, find a copy of this series.

the kitchen,  pre-Miss Dahl

images from the BBC

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

beautiful vintage cake decorating book...

I had to share this beautiful vintage cake book I found recently.  Or maybe I should be more careful about what I call vintage - because it was first published in 1965..... excellent year for many things, ahem.  Anyway, your are only as vintage as you feel!

Back to the book, it was the delicious, strong pastel colours on the cover that first caught my eye.  Then inside, the colour pages are heavenly.  Some very quirky colour mixes are used, which always appeals to me, and some gorgeous, deeply kitsch cake decorating ideas have started me thinking about breaking out the icing sugar this afternoon.

Yum. hx

Sunday, December 5, 2010

gorgeous Melbourne home - Ursula and Hans van Schoonhoven

Here is a home for the romantics.  I have been busting to shoot Ursula and Hans van Schoonhoven's home since I met them at their fab store, House of Orange, last year.  I love their philosophy of making 'clean, honest designs', and the pared back way Ursula uses colour.  And as usual, it is the unrenovated, charming and elegantly run-down homes that I always fall in love with the most.

My favourite quote from Ursula involved three bottles of gin (on the mantle)  as follows:
"A wedding gift, these gin bottles are labelled ‘Tears of the Bride’, ‘Venus Oil’ and ‘Complete Happiness’.  What can I say, we have drunk them all…"

What can I say?

This page appeared in the Sunday Life magazine yesterday.  Photography by Mike Baker, interview and styling by me, and copyright is owned by Fairfax Ltd.