Monday, February 28, 2011

Shaun Tan - those quirky pics get the gong!

Shaun Tan - the illustrator I featured in Quirky Illustrations has won the Oscar for the best animated short film - "The Lost Thing" 
I feel like I discovered him!
  I'm so pleased that a Melbourne (ex Perth) boy has done so well in a field that has paricular interest in our family.
Well done Shaun - I hope this brings you professional and personal joy.

Visit The Lost Thing website at

Image copyright of Shaun Tan

Friday, February 25, 2011

Miss Brodie

My clothes for the classroom need to be comfortable so that I can kneel, sit crouch and lean whenever I need to whilst teaching sewing.   I’m always stretching over the table to grab the pins or scissors and when there is no table space left I scramble around on the floor with the students cutting out pattern pieces.  Not that any of that is hard but my clothes need to be suitable for the task.  So no gaping necklines that reveal the assets when I lean over and no short hemlines that make floor work tricky.  This little outfit worked well today.
The flat brogues from Witchery are so comfortable they required no breaking in. The platform dessert boot was my solution to the issue of a higher cut bootie with a heel I can wear all day. These ones are a Windsor Smith from Joanne Mercer in Mocca. The colour looks more like khaki which suits the cargo skirt from Witchery and open weave boxy top from Country Road.
Windsor Smith Pacific

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Boots on my mind

Paul Smith at ASOS
Dallas at Wittner

This Winter (which I’m pretty sure has started before we’ve even had Autumn) I am continuing my love affair with ankle boots. How many pairs does one need? Well you need black ones and grey ones and khaki suede ones, some with open ankles and some with fitted ankles, low heels and at least one high-heeled pair.  So that means I really only need to buy one pair.
I love the dessert boot with a heel look.  But there is a warning here if you tend to have a little bit of extra cushioning around the ankle by the end of the day – the dessert booties finish right at the site of the problem.  I have purchased the Dallas at Wittners but I think they might have to be swapped for a lower heel and a slightly higher cut.  I’d love to keep them but an occasional wear – mostly in my walk-in robe, is not what I need right now. My boots need to be able to be worn for a few hours teaching and then a promenade around the shops hunting and gathering.  I’m just not used to tottering around on anything other than flats. So back to Wittners I go.
These ones are up for consideration.
Buddy at Wittner

Jenna Suede Flat Boot at Seed

Jess Lace up Heels at country Road in black.
Yes I know the Country Road booties are heels but they are scrumptious in both the dessert sand as shown here and in the black which I just might have to order on line when I find some cash under my mattress!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


My not so secret addiction is the magnificent feeling of wearing soft luxurious cashmere on bare skin.  I cannot resist a purchase when my favourite cashmere website goes on sale. I have quite a number of cashmere jumpers, hoodies and singlets.  No cardigans… yet.
Of course I have had to research the best types of cashmere but when it comes down to it, its just all about what feels good to the touch. All of my cashmere items have become softer and softer after each wash. I use Pantene shampoo and cool water.  I store my items in their little drawstring bags with cedar balls to ward off those pesky moths. If there is anything that moths love to munch on it is high quality cashmere. They will go straight past the merino wool in favour of the most expensive knitwear you own. 

My top websites for cashmere are –
B&M have gorgeous modern designs, fantastic delivery times and their packaging is divine. I recently made a purchase and the next morning the item was heavily discounted.  I emailed them and they happily refunded the difference in price . It made my day!

Also the cashmere knitwear from Scanlan and Theodore is always fine gauge and superb quality. And the little trouble maker that started this wicked addiction is the Del Corso Italian brand that I bought from Euro Collections in a moment of indulgent madness several years ago. One of my nieces is about to be gifted this one as it is a bit on the skimpy side for me. 

The odd fact about cashmere is that the smoother and non fluffy the garment is when it is new,  the softer and more long lasting it will be in the long run. 
Now... lets see if cardigans are on sale.

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Eye for Talent

I must have an eye for talent (how hard is it?).
Shaun Tan, the illustrator I featured in "Quirky Illustrations"
has been nominated for an Academy Award for the short animated film "The Lost Thing"
I will now definitely be watching the awards to see if any of our locals take home the little gold fellow. Go you good things!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Giftees from India

My son has just returned from his travels in India.  He came home bearing gifts!  This little elephant is carved in one piece and has a tiny baby elephant inside her.   Now that would have been a bit fiddly to carve.

He went to the markets and picked me out some braids from the sea of colours and textures. I think I can see these being incorporated into a table runner to add the right touch to a Madras Curry Night. Just a thought......

Friday, February 18, 2011

End of Summer Blooms

Whenever I see that the roadside stand on Wooralla Drive has bunches of roses for sale I pull over, scrounge around the car for $5 and choose my bunch.  Its such a sweet little indulgence it makes me smile.  The blooms are old fashioned roses with the heady fragrance of old tea and musk.
The flowers don't last long because they are already in an indecent stage of full bloom but what a fragrant few days we have together.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And the winner is....

No not the Academy Awards... yet.
I finally made my watch purchase. 
Of course I couldn’t choose between the gold and the silver for my new watch so I made an executive decision to compromise.  I usually wear silver so I bought a good quality Guess Watch in silver with a large face and chronograph dials. The mother of pearl face looks pretty when the light shines on it …. But I had to have the gold watch from Asos because it was so well priced and the perfect hue of gold. It is not not too orangey yellow – just right really.  When I want to go gold on any occasion I have the watch – now I  need a few little gold bangles and chains to add to the look.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I ♥ Sunday Papers and a Latte

Cafe Gourmand Mount Eliza

I rather like deciding I'd like a coffee after my husband has put on his scruffy gardening clothes and is ready to do the weeding. He has to go put something decent on and grab his wallet.
We choose a newspaper from the pile  - fashion for me, sport for him. Cliche I know -  but hey its Sunday.   Just for today we don't want to know about whats going on in Egypt, global warming , Wikileaks or the new Health deal.
I am conducting some serious research on my favourite local coffee spots.  And as I'm such a high powered person and like to do two things at once I am desperately trying to finish "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak for this week's book club. So I have been seen engrossed in the book in several coffee shops of late.  And there is always Amazon reviews if I need to cheat!

Coffee Traders

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Maxi

Country Road Gathered Maxi Skirt

Country Road Boxy Knit

I hit the shops this week and started my new season purchases. By the state of my credit card I better have started and finished.
Malcolm Suede punch-out Flat
I love the idea of wearing a lovely soft jersey maxi instead of my familiar and much loved tracky pants around the house and out at casual get togethers. I bought the softly gathered dark grey maxi from Country Road and teamed it with a boxy knit in oatmeal.
I was inspired by my young friend at Travelling Calamity to add the brogues as a  stylish addition to the outfit. These ones are from Asos and are in a soft dove grey suede.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quirky Illustrations

Whilst browsing the bookshelves of Farrell's books I stumbled upon the illustrations of Shaun Tan. When an artist's work piques my interest I just have to find out more about them. His website gave me plenty of rich fodder.
He is a Perth boy who now works in Melbourne as a freelance artist. His illustrated story books are quirky and detailed. A couple of these are on my "must have" list. A short animated film has just been released in DVD and I might just have to put that on the list as well. It is called "the Lost Thing" and is narrated by Tim Minchin.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ginger Love

Country Road Cape Sleeve dress

Mimco Necklace
Even though we are at the height of Summer the recent grey skies have inspired me to combine an Autumn outfit.
I love the simplicity of nude shoes with my new Ginger silk Cape Sleeve dress by Country Road. Accessories with a touch of gold complement the warmth of the ginger dress.
Now all I need is the occasion. 
PS - I'm very proud of my first cut out using Gimp. I did the side view of the nude shoe.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Random Fruit

I'm always scrounging around my garden for seasonal botanicals to decorate my dining table.
I found the old unpruned and unloved quince tree laden with not quite ripe fruit.  I googled quinces and found out that they are ripe when they smell like pears and are yellow in colour with the velvety bloom almost absent.  I think they make a better display right now so I picked a bunch for the fruit bowl.

I've left the rest of the fruit on the tree to ripen or more likely for the parrots to eat.  If I manage to save a few I might make one of the recipes I found  - I'm partial to a little quince paste with my King Island Brie. So lets see if I get around to it at the end of February when the fruit should be ripe.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Must Have Giant Watch

DKNY Street Smart Silver Bracelet Watch
Michael Kors Jet Set Sports Watch

ASOS Giant Retro Style Watch

I know for sure that I need a giant watch. Don’t judge me – I have poor close vision from all my years at the sewing machine. So the bigger the watch face the better. It just so happens that they are awfully fashionable at the moment so I have many to choose from. I have narrowed it down to the very affordable Giant Retro watch at ASOS, the DKNY Street Smart or the gorgeous Michael Kors Jet Set Sports. There are even larger faced watches from both DKNY and Michael Kors but I’m not fashionable enough to carry it off. If you have the credentials have a look at this link just for the desire factor. 

My dilemma is whether to go for the gold or stick to silver. I do not wear gold jewelery very often but somehow I think these watches just look right in gold. There is a latent homeboy somewhere in me.
I will have pics of my choice in the next week or so.