Wednesday, November 28, 2012

fa la la la la...

Is it just me... or is Christmas suddenly upon us?
Even though I start buying for the store in March for some of our indented ranges, I am the first to admit that this year, I still feel that I am behind the 8-ball.
And although I am never one to dress the store for Christmas before mid-November, I am possibly a little later than I would like to be. I like to do a complete change about, so that suddenly everything sparkles in quite a different way for our regular visitors.
I thought you might like a little peak at some of the store displays.

Yes, 24 little (actually, not so little) advent houses grace the front window.
It seemed like such a great idea at the time.
Until Harriet & I were probably only seven or eight houses in, and I realised I possibly didn't have quite the same sized merchandising team as anthropologie. Just the same ambition!
We persevered!
A little bit of sparkle always goes a long way.
In this case, some beautiful vintage glass decorations, a washi tape bunting, some ivy-wrapped branches & an old bottle.
Starting to feel the pressure, it was a case of utilising whatever was on hand, and it became a bit of a 'voila' moment!
A stack of old drawers & crates in our other front window, hopefully inspires a few gift ideas.

And now there is the rest of the store to pretty up.
By Christmas Eve I should be getting there!

Amanda xx
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Monday, November 19, 2012

old friends

My goodness, it's been a while.
No exciting excuses I'm afraid.
Just time. Or the lack of it!
My Mum likes to tell me that I'm not the only one who has a busy life.
I know... but perhaps I am the most disorganised!
Anyway, a week or so ago, my Mum, my fairy godmother Shirl, old family friend Barbara, & I spent a fabulous couple of days nosing around a number of stunning Hawkes Bay homes & gardens on the charity Holly Hospice trail. 
I've decided that I am basically a nosey person at heart.
I could pretend that keen observation & the opportunity to pick up a styling trick or two were my prime motivation, but the truth is, I do so love to get inside a beautiful home.
I love seeing those little touches that speak about the people who live there.
What do they collect? What do they like? Who are they?
What does their home reveal about them?
It's a guessing game, and listening to others play the same game is half the fun.
You see, just your plain old nosey parker at heart!
Think about it. What does your home say about you?

What does my home say about me? 
Some kind of hoarder and collector of junk with an OTT predilection for asian dolls & preserving jars, and yet there is not a lot of evidence of any actual preserving.
 Someone who likes chippy old things, and shiny new things.
Someone not afraid of colour or pattern, and likes to mix both together.
Someone who likes things which tell a story.
I often wonder about the story behind these two old friends.
Their silk clothes are almost threadbare, and ever so delicate. 
They've been almost everywhere with me since my school days (and that's obviously a while ago now.)
My sixteen year old self named them Sue Li & Wong Bing (!!)

So the houses on the trail that I found the most exciting, were the ones that told the best stories.
Even if the style wasn't quite me, they had personality, and that was the most important thing.
Amanda xx
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Monday, November 5, 2012

the writing is on the wall

 Have I told you before how much I love my blackboard calendar?
No, I mean REALLY love my blackboard calendar.
Quite honestly, without it, I am sure that life would be a chaotic haze of forgotten-ness!
(I know that's not a word, but it works!)
Maybe it's age, or maybe just general family busy-ness, but some days I would truly forget my head if it weren't screwed on.
Let alone the PE bag, piano lesson, & dog's haircut.
Not to mention that I have two girls who are extremes when it comes to timeliness.
One frets if she is a second late and remotely disorganised - hence the calender works for the obsessive compulsive side of her personality.
The other is almost always running late & only seems to know when it is the weekend. Hence the calendar works for her cheerful fly by the seat of her pants nature too!
Then there is the husband who is away a lot, so it works for him too.
Not for me a small calendar on the wall, or diary. I end up with things written in one diary that are not in the other for some reason.
No, I know that all family goings-on need to be written on the wall.
Then each time I glance at it I know what is happening.
Getting breakfast, check the daily happenings.
Preparing dinner, know what is needed for the day ahead.
Use the last of something in the pantry.
Write it on the wall.

Yes, it's large as you can see.
I like to state the obvious!!
Each month I stand on a ladder to refresh it.
There is just one obvious liability - if I don't remember an event to go on the calendar in the first place.
Still working on that one.

Must fly. According to today's events, it is Guy Fawkes - and that means that I have a large gathering descending on our place after work tonight for a BBQ and to watch the fireworks.
(That would be the fireworks in the sky, not Brunnel & I squabbling!)

Amanda xx
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Thursday, November 1, 2012

quick fix ~ washi tape love

 Is washi tape addictive?
I'm beginning to think so.
Put a little roll in my hands, and I'm sticking it up...and on...and over. 
Whatever happens to be in my line of vision is in danger of a little paper embellishment.
That may or may not include husbands, children and dogs.
Instore I've restricted myself to the window.
After all, it would be good to have some tape left to actually sell, rather than me getting decoratively carried away and using it all. (Retail 101!)
So, just a few little ideas - the old school chair looks fantastic, and would be fabulous in a child's room or around a table.
Our favourite stem bottles look cute wrapped in washi, and this would be a great idea for a party or table decoration.
And of course, the obvious - moodboards, kid's artwork, photos, magazine tearouts, frames - all benefit from a little paper tape.
And all in less than the time it takes to say 'washi'.
And I have to say a big thank you to Carolyn, who, knowing my love of flowers, drove an hour over the hill from the Wairarapa to collect her peg dolls, with a beautiful bunch of goodies from her garden, including wild sweet peas, queen anne's lace, and the amazing gone-to-seed parsnip flowers that you see here.
Suddenly my window display came together beautifully because of it!

Amanda xx
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