Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Pretty in pink

Kitchen is sparkling clean and a subtle scent of lavender is in the air. Lunch and a bakewell, which looked pretty in pink but had icing like a rock and zero flavour, that will teach me not to bake my own. I think I will make one now to delete the bad memories of this cute looking one.

Burn the floor

A night at the theatre filled with sequins ruffles and muscles. My sister and I went to see Burn the floor at the Shaftesbury Theatre last week and although I was a bit dubious at first, the dancing was amazing, and the costumes got better and better throughout, by better I mean the sequin and rhinestone numbers went through the roof. I am sure by now you know how much I live for the sparkle.

The cast of stunning female dancers and prized bodied men make this perfect for a tasteful hen night. Not sure many husbands or boyfriends will like it but it may inspire them to join a gym. I am sure half the audience must have signed up for dance lessons the next day. What an awesome way to zap calories.

I love it when you leave a show or film and feel like dancing all the way home. I want to go again.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Happy Wednesday

Pretty in pink, things for a sweet tooth and new craft projects. I'm going to London for the day with my sister to meet a friend and see a show. Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


Catching up with Flickr and loving all my Favourites.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Obsession Cream and gold

Exquisite Fashion from the latest Givenchy collection at

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

All I want to do is bake

I spent Friday screaming and getting soaked through all the layers of my clothes at a theme park with four of my girlfriends and had so much fun, slow drive home in weekend traffic and then a dinner at Wagamama's. When I finally got in at ten o'clock I was happily exhausted.

Then up at 6am Saturday to bake 150 cupcakes for a wedding and I was a bit daunted at first but mostly it went well (my electric whisk blew up) and was such fun icing them all, I really think I could do this for a living. The house smelled divine and they looked so pretty all lined up in their boxes ready to be delivered. Think I will try whoopie pies for a birthday tomorrow.

Monday, 12 July 2010

12 from Gillian.

The final submission for twelve things, this time from Gillian of I heart crafts. I hope you enjoy her explanations below.

1. Mannequin Head - From my Grannie's Hair Salon - She was a very inspiring and independent woman.
2. The Wizard of Oz - This was a gift from my Mum a few years back - The film is a favourite and I just love the tiny size of this book.
3. The Eiffel Tower - A little kitchy souvenir from a perfect Parisian holiday.
4. Leafy Branch Brooch - Also inherited from my Grannie - This is one of my favourite pieces of jewellery.
5. Joe the Guin - Really sweet wooden penguin bought for me by my husband during some tough times last year.
6. Rose Scarf - Has skyrocketed to my favourite scarf since recent purchase at Urban Outfitters. I have a scarf for every occasion.
7. Glass Jug - Complete with swizzle stick - Inherited from my other Gran - perfect for Elderflower Cordial during the summer!
8. New Shoes - I bought these last year and have been keeping them for 'good' - but now intend to wear as soon as possible.
9. Ivor the Teddy Bear - Keeps all his prised possessions in his little bag - he has kept me company during exams for twenty years.
10. Deer Photograph - Reminds me of family members not with me anymore - This was my Grannie's 'pet' deer!
11. Wooden Box - Snaffled from my Mum's dressing table when I was small - has lived on mine ever since.
12. Orange Flower Facial Oil - Smells wonderful - A beautiful gift from my thoughtful friend in London.

Thanks Gillian! this will be the final entry and how I have loved peeking into all your collections feel free to continue the theme over at your blogs if you were too late to be featured. Now to start really paring down and cleaning out some of the unnecessary items from my home. Starting with two, yes two vintage style bird cages. Boot fair or Ebay?

Room for 12 more

Last 12 things with Briar.

1. Telecom Australia telephone from the early 1980's. As a props buyer, I am always coming across interesting things in thrift stores - this is one of them. We used the same model at home when I was a child - and whenever we have children visiting our home now, it's the first thing they go to.1.
2. Silver Horse. This is an original 'fun fair' prize from the 1960's - it was given to me by a colleague when I was working on the film 'Wolverine'. It reminds me of the laughter during that job. The horse were purchased from a retired circus ringleader in Sydney.
3. Smoky quartz ring. I have four sisters and two female cousins. All seven of us are very close, and all own the same ring from Jan Logan. We plan to pass the rings on to our daughters one day, so they are always kept in the family.
4. Timber Swizzle Stick. A memento from my wedding. These were used by guests to stir their pink mojitos.
5. Polaroid. The majority of photos from my 1980's childhood seem to be polaroids. This is one of my favourites. A photo of me and my cousin/best friend. We are five weeks apart and have always been inseparable.
6. Coral. I purchased this piece of coral me, it signifies our home at the moment. My husband and I have been living in Manly for two years, due to work commitments. (on the other side of Sydney to where we grew up.) I have slowly come round to our new suburb and now love the beachside life.
7. Vintage Rubber Stamp. I have a big collection of rubber stamps, and this would be my favourite - given to me by my very good friend from school, Rachel.
8. Timber Apple. This has been around me since I can remember - playing with it is one of my first memories. I have no idea where my mum got it from, but I like how it's in my home now.
9. Black & White Photo. This is my mum and her parents in the family car in the 1950's. I love how happy my grandma Olga looks. Up close, you can also see 4 year old mum grinning in the back of the car.
10. Perfume. My husband bought this perfume for me a few months before we were married. It's the scent I wore on our wedding day - I also love the bottle design.
11. Vase. I realise some people would find this a little garish. I have a few items in my home that could be described as garish! The vase was given to me by my grandma and I love the colour and texture. It looks great holding a few white flowers.
12. 'My Rainbow' Story Book. This is one of the little books I created when I was seven. My mum is a primary school teacher, so
she was always really encouraging. I remember thinking I could be an illustrator when I grew up. On reflection, it's lucky I chose a different
career path

Pastels, pompoms and place settings.

How was your weekend? I hope you have enjoyed peeking into the favourite item lists of some of my readers in my previous posts.

Monday again and although I have the day off, I am glad for the grey sky, I need to stay home and do all things domestic so don't need the lure of the sun to coax me out of the house. I always find pink counteracts the rain so here is a pretty dream like setting for everyone from Swedish interior stylist Lo Bjurulf. Found via House doctor.

All images Lo Bjurulf.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Final 12 with Louisa.

1. Madonna - I am not a Catholic but I do love the Madonna image. I see her as a strong woman and protective, always overlooking. She is on my bedside table. I also have another who lost her arm. I have kept her all the same and lives on my duchess.

2. Moulin Rouge Vintage Book - I have to admit I have not read this book. In fact I have three copies of this book and when I do decide to read it, it will be the others as this one has such a pretty cover. I love the "idea" of an exciting bohemian lifestyle and its colourful characters. Quite content to live my quiet life though.

3. Vintage Birdie Tin - Lives on my kitchen bench. There is nothing inside it. I just love the colours, the pattern and beautiful things are really what make a space.

4. Vintage Apron - This represents my love for all vintage aprons. I have taken a particular attachment to this one. It's not prettier than my others. Just that the colours appeal. Oh and it happens to go well with my gumboots.

5. Love letters from my kids - Perhaps I should have saved the best till last because these are my favourite of all twelve. My son's letter to me reads, "To mum, The Rose - It's pretty like you, It cuddles its seedlings and then drops them and raises them. It's like you're the rose and me and Lily are the seeds. Love from D.J.C. My daughter's letter is filled with kisses and hugs plus the infinity symbol to show that these are never ending. Yes these are my most favourite of all my twelve items.

6. Note Paper box - Inside my note paper box are little notes to my self. Of things that inspire. I also have the stem from one of those fairies that you blow and make wishes. The blossom then flies into the air carrying your wish on it. I can't remember the wish but must have been good.

7. Grandma's Brooch - I gave grandma this brooch. It's of a bee thats body is made from Russian crystal. I am sure she loved it but never wore it because it was too sparkly for her to wear. It has now come back to me and I love it and have begun wearing it...because it's not too sparkly for me.

8. Tea Cup - I adore the willow pattern and I adore a cup of tea. In a tea cup and saucer. And when I watch BBC period dramas I tend to especially want to drink my tea from my tea cups. Go figure.

9. French coasters - My mum gave me these. They were vintage finds from a local thrift shop. They feature some of my favourite places I would love to visit in Paris. I am yet to go. But I am seriously yearning.

10. Shell Candle - I don't live near the beach. I am closer to the gorgeous countryside. But I do love the sea. Not as a beach babe but more for the romanticism of it all. From the crashing of waves onto the sand to the sunken treasures that lies beneath. So I think this is a part of what shells symbolise to me besides their natural beauty.

11. Bedside dish of gemstones - I love gemstones. They can mean so many things to many people. To me mostly they are just beautiful. This little dish that lives beside my bed has four of them and I am in love with their colour. Turquoise is my all time favourite. You may also notice a pendant that has been carved from shell with a pearl in its centre. It has just ended up there after taking it off one night before going to bed.

12. Country Living magazine - This is the British Country Living magazine. It makes me feel at home when I read these magazines. I am not sure if I could really choose just one. This is the most recent one I've read and once again I am in love with it and has given me some great ideas. From the pretty plate wall to bunting on another page that is threaded onto some thin rope. I'm going to try both.

All images Louisa from Vintage by Lou Lou

Sunday, 4 July 2010

12 with Isidora, Kate, Julie and Maureen

Isidora of E-sidora

- a letter my father sent me when I was only two months old, and that was before he had even seen me. I believe that it was a moment when he predestined me to be a letter fan.
- another letter is from my sister when she was little
- a pair of "opanci", traditional shoes from balkans I got as a present more than 25 years ago
- my kindergarten drawing of dandelions. I started drawing my way, but the teacher told me it's not how dandelions look like, so I finished with her version. mine was better, I see it now clearly. :)
- my notebook from 1st grade
- a bible
- my favorite skirt because it suits me best of all clothes i own
- my first camera
- matryoshka, the smallest one from set
- sarah kay sticker album
- a picture book "Hedgehogs little house"
- natalie jost's coloring book because it was a reward for the first contest I won in my life

Kate Kelleher of Blue sky butterfly studio.

My jewellery box, given to me by a friend. It is a fancy old medicine box, filled with jewellery that I have collected over the years. I have a small crush on Emma Cassi’s jewellery, it’s so delicate and beautiful. Each season she creates magical wonder and I love it.

Our family money box pig, we bought this in china town when it was Chinese New Year when my boy was born. It has bought us luck ever since, despite the fact my boy took a hammer to it when he was two as he wanted to see what was inside! I have attempted to glue it back piece by piece, but as you can see a fair amount is missing!

My glass wedding domes bought in Paris, filled with little bits from our wedding day.

My wedding bracelet, with a teal heart an old friend gave me.

Memory blocks, pictures printed onto ceramic tiles collected over the years, evoking thoughts of different times and places.

A carved wooden box my husband gave to me this year on our wedding anniversary.

My sketch book filled these days with pictures I find inspiring, be it through colour, form or pose.

Behind the sketchbook is a painting I am working on at the moment. It is a little camera shy, made from silver leaf that has been treated and worked upon to create a smoky grey exterior.

And finally, liberty suitcases. I bought a few when they opened the doors for the Merci Liberty collaboration. We gave one to my husband’s god daughter filled with treasures for her christening day. Another I am going to fill over the years for my daughter which I hope to give to her on her wedding day. And there is one more that I shall never be able to give away, some things are just too precious.

Julie of The craft caravan.

1. A beautiful photo book that a dear friend made me of all of my wedding photos.
2. A jar of love letters between my husband and I.
3. My favorite candlestick (rescued from the dumpster).
4. The silver tea set that my mom gave to me for my wedding. She purchased it when I was fifteen (and had to save it for thirteen long years...) One of the most beautiful things I own, and hands down the most valuable.
5. A lone birdcage earring that my mother in law gave to me, which I turned into a necklace. I have a hard time not wearing it every single day.
6. My collection of Anthropologie latte bowls. Anthropologie is so sneaky, always changing their colors so you have to buy more. I'd be so sad to lose the ones that are no longer available...
7. Photos of my dad as a little boy.
8. My copy of Etc., purchased just days ago and not yet fully read. Definitely rescuable.
9. An autobiographical homework assignment my husband made as a kid that still perfectly describes him.
10. An amazing hand-quilted book of drawings by my grandmother, depicting fashions throughout the ages. An amazing heirloom entrusted to me by my aunt.
11. The jar of money we keep for emergencies (and vacations!)

Thanks for inspiring me to take stock!

Maureen of Lady and light.

*An old jewel encrusted frame that belonged to my grandmother, some stones have fallen out but the picture of her happy smile still radiates.
*The Celtic cross bell was a something my husband and I picked out together as a reminder of our first trip to Ireland.
*The glass ball was a gift from a high school friend, sent from Japan. It always amazes me that the intricate Koi and Japanese characters were painted through a tiny hole on the underside of the ball. *Blush brush that I received from my grandmother as a child.
*New York Confidential book, I picked this up on a trip to New York when I was 20. I can still remember being inside the bookstore and finding this little book. It reminds me of everything that was so mysterious, fast, loud, dangerous, and exciting about my two weeks in the city, spent with two close friends.
*The Nepal Prayer Wheel was what I brought back with me from my first truly eye opening travel experience. I spent six weeks backpacking through Asia with my cousin G, three of which were spent hiking the Annapurna's. I fall back on these memories whenever I want to lift my spirits and it comforts me that no matter what I will always have that experience.
*A picture of myself on my beautiful Mother's lap. She is one of my best friends and I talk to her about anything and everything, I feel very blessed to have such a close relationship with her.
*Small martini glass that belonged to my Great Aunt Buddy (sister to my grandmother in the picture). She lived many years after my Grandmother passed, and she was the pure embodiment of a women with a cutting sense of humor. She never failed to say exactly what she thought, and it always brought everyone great laughs.
*Blue Moroccan "lamp", another travel artifact that brings me back to certain smells and tastes, images of the sunsetting over a land of sand.
*A journal, which was a gift from a good friend. I love journals and have always brought along a small one while traveling.
*A ring from a yearly family trip taken to the ocean, symbolizing the importance of tradition.
*A necklace from a trip to Spain.

These items serve as reminders of my past and great experiences I've had in my life. Some tie me to the importance of family and others to the importance of travel, friendship and love. The only thing I would have also added to the picture but could not would be my camera, I take it with me everywhere and helps me explore the world I live and love. So I guess there are really Thirteen Things.

Thank you for the opportunity to think about important things in my life and the chance to share a few tangible examples of them with you.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Twelve things with Louis Duke and Dana Plank

This may not be an inspiration collection of objects as seen on The Selby, but it is twelve things that, at this point in my life, describe me on more than a personal level. Although I am by no means a person to put much weight on possessions, these are the twelve things that I certainly could not live without, and will be decorating my university dorm. Louis Duke

A bit about what they represent:

The journal, of course, because everyone needs their place of honest reflection.
My laptop open to one of the many blogs that is my creative outlet.
My Polaroid camera and the first Polaroid I ever took. (Captured completely on accident)
Photography and inspirational books that have helped me through bouts of doubt and those restless nights.

Dana Plank.
My violin. I am a violinist working on a master's degree in performance. This instrument and all the rosin dust on it represent so many times and places and pieces to me; hours spent in windowless practice rooms with metronomes, dark concert halls, the quintessential Bach Sonatas and Partitas, countless weddings with my string quartet. I've always been passionately in love with music, and this instrument has carried me through it all: Callouses on my fingertips, every pain and failed audition, every bow stroke and every triumph.

My engagement ring. My ring is perfect; I'm terrible at capturing it on film. It has such depth and intensity. It's a thin grooved band with a bezel set oval-shaped teal diamond. I was originally completely anti-diamond, at least, anti-white-diamond. My fiance left me to my own devices to design the perfect engagement ring. I knew I wanted something with a thin band (so I could still wear it on the left even though I'm a violinist-many violinists opt to wear their rings on their right hand), a blue/green stone (teal is my favorite color), and a quirky (i.e. non-prong) setting. I wanted it to be ethically sourced, unique, and handmade. Kate Szabone of Etsy did an incredible job bringing my ideas to life. As soon as she sent a picture of the teal diamond, I knew instinctively that I'd found my stone.

My favorite childhood stuffed animal. His name is Ralphie.

The first love letter John ever sent me.

Strangers in Paradise. I have a massive book collection. I am a lover of poetry and graphic novels, of classic literature and silly children's books. But nothing has ever spoken to me quite like Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise series. I began the comic in early high school, and faithfully subscribed until the series' demise my sophomore year of college. I grew up as the comics came out, and though I had long been a nerd for comics, this book was the first I read about real people, their decisions, their relationships, and their unabashed love.

A piece of lace from my paternal grandmother. When my grandmother passed away, I was able to hold on to many of her forgotten craft and sewing supplies. This piece of lace was one of the more striking; I hope to incorporate it into my wedding dress when John and I finally tie the knot.

Silver rings. The stack of silver rings represents my maternal grandmother. She was a watercolor painter and a silversmith. She was such an incredible artist, and yet I barely knew her growing up because she was in the later stages of MS. I feel as though, even though she's passed on, I carry part of her spirit in me; I think her and my mother gave me my artistic eye and my gift for working with my hands. After she died, my grandfather held on to her silversmithing supplies. Years later, I am now learning how to make silver jewelry, and I am able to do so mostly because I have all of her old tools and sheets of silver she never used. I hope to make some beautiful things with them in honor of her. I also plan on making the wedding bands for John and I, because my grandmother made my parents' and this is a nod to my family history in several ways. The rings pictured are a mixture of hers and mine.

Blue suede shoes. These shoes represent two loves of mine; my love of vintage clothing styles and my love of swing dancing!

Gold heart locket. This locket belonged to my paternal grandmother. It was lying abandoned in the bottom of my mother's jewelry box until I found it one day while we were cleaning. I was never much one for hearts, but there's just something so incredible about this locket. I added a chain and clasp and two photos of John and I, and I wear it constantly now.

Sigma Psi bid card and badge, I have to admit, this is sort of a two-fer. But I couldn't decide which was more important: the beginning or end of my journey as a sister of Sigma Psi. We are a local sorority founded at Western Reserve (before it was Case Western Reserve University!) on March 7th, 1897 (the same year that Johannes Brahms died. Don't ask me why I remember that fact). The bid card was a representation of love and support; I didn't go through a formal recruitment process. The sisters sought me out purely because they liked me and wanted to share their sisterhood and support with me. I had no idea, sitting in the dining hall, why I was being accosted by three girls with yellow roses and an envelope. What ensued was the best thing to happen to me in college next to meeting the love of my life.

Hair fascinator. This piece represents my creative side; I make these hairclips by hand; incorporating vintage millinery netting and velvet leaves, guinea feathers, and rhinestone pieces (usually well-loved orphaned earrings). The one pictured is one of my favorites. I love working with my hands, whether it's to make silver jewelry, bold vintage-inspired jewelry, hair ornaments, gourmet food, cross-stitch, handmade cards, or any DIY project I get inspired by on a blog. I love making beautiful things and I try to surround myself with beautiful, simple things.

China, collected and inherited.These pieces represent my love of beautiful vintage things, my love of tea (particularly Earl Grey), and my doctrine: every day is special enough to break out the nice china and the candlesticks. John and I have candlelight dinners almost every night. I don't believe beautiful things should be squandered and put away in a cabinet for special occasions. My morning tea is a special enough occasion to drink it from a beautiful vessel. This philosophy stems from my personal mantra, which is "Passion in all things." I try hard to live by that.

Thanks to you both for taking part in Twelve things I am really enjoying your pictures and explanations.