Thursday, April 29, 2010

underfoot luxe

I don't still mean to be on my chartreuse bandwagon, but this new Designers Guild Baudard rug has really caught my eye. And especially as it is distinctly cooler outside tonight, with a gentle autumnal breeze blowing (read gale force) I'm thinking a rug underfoot would be especially cozy and appealing. Actually tonight I'm so tired I think I could just curl up on it. Rather beautiful don't you agree?

Amanda xx

(Image Designers Guild)
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

a colour story - chartreuse

I love chartreuse - the colour that is. (I have distinctly less fond memories of the liqueur muddled up with a bad dress-up cocktail party back in my student days!) But the colour - not quite yellow, not quite green, a zingy zesty bite somewhere in the middle, with a muddy tinge. Sometimes moss, often lemongrass, a touch of willow or pistachio. Not at all predictable. Fresh and modern, with a retro sensibility. And a colour that easily manages to work its magic in any interior scheme.

Hope you're having a zesty week.
Amanda xx

(Images Designers Guild, Orla Kiely, Polly Wreford, Living etc, Atlanta Bartlett, Vintage)
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Monday, April 26, 2010

i've been tagged

I've been tagged by the lovely Janis of Pinecone Camp to play a little blogging game. I am to re-post the 6th photo I ever posted. Seems like a lifetime ago. Here it is...

It is an image of the iconic Cafe L'affare, here in Wellington. Heart of the immensely strong Wellington coffee and cafe scene. At least every other Saturday, at around 9am, my brother, sister and I, together with our other halves & families, meet at L'Affare for a catchup over a BCC (L'affare-speak for big cup of coffee) and breakfast. This cafe has been a regular part of our lives for more years than I care to think about. Suffice to say that when we first started going there were no children, and I was the only one married. Collectively, we now have five little girls between us. L'affare plays host to our familial catchup, squabbles, & laughs, over milkshake spills, great coffee, eggs and creamy mushrooms - because even though they're not on the menu, we always ask for them. Breakfast over, and life caught up on, the rest of the weekend then gets underway, and we all go our separate ways until next time. It's a much treasured family ritual.

By the way, if you'd like to learn about coffee roasting, and learn some barista skills, L'affare are hosting an open weekend next weekend 1st & 2nd May at their new Jessie St coffee roastery. Details here...

Now, if you'd like to play the game, I'm tagging...

Oh, and happy happy Monday!

Amanda xx
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

lest we forget

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted.
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

For the Fallen - Laurence Binyon                     

We will remember them. ANZAC Day 25 April 
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

playing in store

In amongst playing with all our peg dolls as they arrive instore, we've also been having lots of fun with the new Designers Guild Barcelona fabric collection. I thought you might like to see a few images of my store this week. I am just loving the Ramblas rose print. I think that bed looks fantastic.It always takes a while to pull these displays together by the time we have furniture recovered, lampshades and cushions made, and find a few extra props such as the cane chair which I've spray-painted. But it's always worth the wait and effort, and the store becomes so inspiring to be amongst!

Amanda xx

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

meet princess zara voignier

Actually Princess Zara's full title is Princess Zara Voignier of Woodthorpe. Don't you just love it! One of the rules of the peg doll competition is that each doll must have a name. And some of them are priceless. We have several fashion designers - Miss Coco Chanel, Trelise Cooper x 2, and Devil Wears Prada. Then there are the Acorns sisters who aren't really sisters at all - Danielle Acorns, Nellie Acorns and Mademoiselle Acorns. Crazy Maisie has made friends with Racey Macey, while Butterfly, Button, Petal, Bee & Pompom also quite enjoy hanging out together. The boys are represented by Cape Man and Monster Man, although Monster Man's 4 year old creator whispered to us that he was 'really a butterfly'!!
The arts feature quite nicely too - we have Polly the Ballerina, Bella the Bellarina, just plain Bella and Gisele. And we mustn't neglect Lulu, Flossy, Holly, Rosie, & Molly who all feature more than once.
I can't believe how much fun this competition is. The proud looks on the little faces when they bring them in to us, and the grins on our faces when we open up a treasure delivered by the postman. As Jaboopee commented 'every one of them bursting with happiness and enthusiasm', and she is so right. Currently we have around 120 entries and honestly, these little creations are all winners. And therein, I am very happy to announce that I have relieved myself of judging duty. The delightful task of choosing the winner is going to be handled by Trelise Cooper herself. I am fairly certain that she has no idea exactly what she has let herself in for. But I am mighty grateful that I'm not doing it!! Right now I just want to give everyone a prize. They all deserve one.
Amanda xx

P.S As well as the overall winner as judged by Trelise, we have decided we are also going to have a 'people's choice' winner as judged by popular vote. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, get your entries in. You have until next Monday 26th April. Make it work...

P.P.S Did you guess which was Princess Zara Voignier of Woodthorpe? She is the beautiful bride in the very middle of the second montage. 

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Monday, April 19, 2010

out of the mouths of babes

Eva, like all 6 year olds, knows everything. Now that she has decided to become a spy, she spends much time writing in her 'PRIVAT' notebook. And in her down time, she has been expanding on her 'seven ages of man' theory. In her words...
0-1 years - you're a baby
2-6 years - you're a toddler (this is true Mummy)
7-9 years - you're a kid
10-12 - you're a tween-ager
13-19 - you're a teenager
20-50 - you're an adult
over 50 - you're a grandpa or grandma

Brunnell, as a 50-something Dad fits neatly into this last category. Eva thinks it's hilarious. 
As an 'adult', so do I. Brunnell is less amused.

Happy Monday everyone!
Amanda xx
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

a forest of light

One wet day these holidays, the beach and bach a little dreary, cabin fever, our plans to see Nanny McPhee stymmied because everyone else beat us to the seats, we decided that a visit to the Hawke's Bay Museum & Art Gallery might keep us all entertained. I have to be honest, it was second choice, and I had no idea what to expect. Many a year has passed since I visited this museum in Napier, in my school uniform! So, when this 'forest of light' greeted me in the first gallery, I admit, I was a little surprised. And, totally wowed! 

My photos don't do it justice. An entire gallery filled with the most amazing standard lamps - a literal forest of light. The artist responsible for this installation is Sara Hughes, one of New Zealand's leading contemporary artists. And the inspiration for each of these creations came from selected pieces from the collections of the museum. "By creating a place for dialogue between disparate artefacts, and through the juxtaposition of imagery she constructs new layers of meaning and associations."
Beautiful old tapestries, old lace, trashy souvenirs, buttons, crochet peggy squares, fake flowers - all have a new look as a contemporary lampshade on some great original lamp bases. Even the lamp flex is trailed into forest flowers across the floor. Literally brilliant! How I wanted to load a few into the car there and then!
'For Kultur' - the forest of light is showing until June 27.

Amanda xx
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

simple study style

I love everything about this character-filled workspace featured in a recent issue of Elle Decoration. Yes, I know it's a departure from my usual more upbeat colour palette, but I love the obvious mish mash of the tactile old chair, table and stool, alongside the moody artwork (or could it be a blackboard) and the shiny new laptop. Add a bit of typeface, and that amazing old industrial lamp. It's a very happy juxtaposition!

Amanda xx
(Image Bjarni B Jacobsen/Pure Public via Elle Deco UK)
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Monday, April 12, 2010

pegs on the runway

Remember the peg doll competition I told you we were holding at Small Acorns? Well, we've been absolutely amazed at the amount of interest it is generating. We've sent out over 200 starter kits to some very keen fashionista's eager to show off their creative genius. And I think too, that there are an awful lot of Mum's who fondly remember making peg dolls themselves and can't wait to share the experience with their kids.
We've even had requests from school classes asking if they can enter, with the teachers taking such an interest that they are allowing class time for the kids to plan and make their peg creations. Just look at this box of creativity which I received from the Year 7 & 8 girls at Iona College on Thursday! These girls had to plan & sketch their outfits before dressing their pegs. I'm not sure what the Havelock North equivalent of Project Runway's fabric shop 'Mood' is but wow, these girls did well!
And, oh my gosh, ALL the entries that we have received so far are just so so gorgeous.  Today I put them into the store window - around 70 peg girls and 1 peg boy, are currently strutting their stuff on the runway. Remember, there is still time to enter, and yes, we'll accept entries from overseas. All the details are here.
One minor problem - I have absolutely no idea how we are going to pick the winner!
Happy Monday!
Amanda xx

(P.S Lack of internet coverage at the beach meant I was very sporadic in my blog visiting last week. I'll be making up for lost time now I promise!)
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

an old rust bucket

These sad, loved, but obviously neglected, chairs have been rusting away at the bach for some time now. I felt that perhaps it was time to help them a little before Brunnel found them a permanent home at the dump.
Now I confess that I am never averse to a DIY challenge, but once I get going on something I like to complete it, and just sometimes, I might cut a few corners. 
My father, upon seeing my 'prep work' on these chairs was aghast. I genuinely felt that if I scrubbed away too much of the rust I wouldn't have any chair left. And I didn't want them to look like a new chair. Rustic is still fine, just not rusted totally away! That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Dad is still laughing and shaking his head.

The rust primer seemed to take forever to paint on, but I'm quite happy with the end result.
I hope they'll survive the elements for another few years. And I'm too nervous to see if the rust has 'marched on', now that we've had a couple of days of solid rain!
Amanda xx

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Friday, April 2, 2010

bunny my honey

Thanks so much for all your lovely comments and visits this week.
I hope you all have a lovely restful Easter break. 
I'm sure to over-indulge in hot cross buns with far too much butter.
And the odd chocolate morsel as well perhaps.
How we love the Easter bunny.
See you next week!
Amanda xx

(hut-up felt bunnies - selvedge)
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

pink & the april fool

The gist of this post was meant to be about little girls and pink. By the time I had sorted my technophobic computer skills last night, the pink was more about me. Not only was I pink, I'm guessing steam was coming out of my ears. At one in the morning, this is not a good look. I decided bed was a better option. 
This morning I am somewhat calmer - but I still can not find the images which I had carefully montaged together, and which at the touch of a button seem to have vamooshed - forever. I have searched the whole computer. They are obviously on some great 'clipboard' in cyberspace.My computer's fabulous idea of an April fool. I do not yet get the joke.
So - back to the point of the post, with some new montages, not quite so lovingly put together!
Little girls and pink - it is a given. I feel sorry for the little one's whose mother's won't let them have a touch of pink because it might spoil their monochromatic modern ideals. These are the babies who wake up in a bedroom of beige. I long for someone to give them the most garish fluoro toys imaginable, to which their tot takes an instant inseparable liking. And experience says, what you shall avoid, will come back to haunt you with a vengeance. They are only little for such a short time. A few flowers and a younger print can surely do no harm? There will be plenty of time later for sophistication.
For that matter, I see nothing wrong in a little pink for bigger girls too. As these images show, pink in a teen bedroom can be whatever you want it to be - contemporary, retro, personal - it doesn't say 'baby'. 

I've obviously never grown up! I still love a little pink in my home - just not coming out my ears!
Oh, happy day.
Amanda xx

(Images from Designers Guild, Julie Arkell, Living etc, mae, naomi murrell, shanghai ruby.)

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