A truly beautiful Minxy mix of charm, inspiration, practical advice, and pretty projects to simplify and beautify your life and home. - Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity
November’s almost here and the new book just arrived in bookstores yesterday. It feels as though I’ve been holding my breath for months, just waiting, and now it’s here – I can’t quite believe it. Books are so long in the making, it’s strange when they finally do become available and friends can finally see what you’ve been spending all your time on. Especially since I’m almost finished writing the next one, and it’s due back with the publishers so very soon… such busy times (bear with me here as well – I’ll be blog posting more often soon).
Check out the Events page for details of where I’ll be visiting – new dates are dropping in all the time. There’s another event in Canberra and two more in QLD coming up, so stay tuned for details on those.
And perhaps the biggest event in the next few weeks: a high tea & champagne party to celebrate the book’s launch for Books & Nooks at The Victoria Room. Exquisite vintage from favourite vintage clothing store, Coco Repose will be available on the day, with owner Jess Guthrie holding a special pop-up stall.
When: Sunday, November 21st from 12pm to 2pm.
Click here to purchase a ticket, which includes a copy of the book, lunch, high tea, champers, and a talk from yours truly, as well as an exhibition of ten of my favourite frocks and the stories behind them. Hope to see you there x
If you’ve read the books or been following the blog for a while, you might have an inkling of quite how much this means to me. Mon Dieu, I’m over the moon, fit to burst, and every other overused cliche today. Words cannot describe – here’s a photo I took while staying in our rented French farmhouse in July, which just about covers it.
In honour of the news, I’m running a giveaway with Hopscotch Films to see Gainsbourg, the much-anticipated new film about Gallic national treasure and superstar, Serge Gainsbourg. Post a comment here about your favourite Frenchy thing – I have in-season passes to post to 5 x lucky winners. Entries close Friday 5 November.
Excitement plus – my favourite stationers, Paper2, have just opened an online store. Now you can buy these out-of-the-ordinary bits and pieces from the comfort of your own home and all over the country.
Love online ordering… isn’t it great when those little packages arrive on the doorstep?
Now I’m quite impatient, so tend to make things as simply as possible in order to have them done all the more quickly… But after finishing the tepee in The Crafty Minx (which took a while – it’s one of only two day-long projects in the entire book), I found myself thinking I could’ve made it a little easier.
This month’s issue of Australian Women’s Weekly (October) features instructions for a new & improved version, with the image above taken in Olive’s bedroom.
Styled by me, photography is by the wonderful Dean Wilmot. Grab a copy if you’re interested in seeing detailed step-by-step shots on how to make it, or click here.
From Gaby, who came along to one of the workshops at Shearer’s Bookstore late last year. Love her use of fabrics – Ikea really is producing some great designs at the moment:
Last week No Chintz hosted my simple brooch-making workshop. See here for some of the glorious combinations we came up with: bright, fun, and perfectly timed for the crisp days of early Spring.
Bring on the sun.
Recently I was asked to organise my dear friend Katrina’s baby shower. It’s always an honour when someone involves you in a special event in their life, but this one in particular made me acutely aware of how rare and precious such occasions are.
Yesterday dawned, sunny and sparkling on the NSW Central Coast town of Terrigal, while two families spent an industrious morning setting up and preparing a sumptuous array of food. Husbands and boyfriends disappeared to the local bar around midday, before ten fabulous women sat down to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate impending new life over champagne, lunch, Pimms and afternoon tea.
The theme? High Tea with a Twist, Alice in Wonderland-style. Guests were asked to don their best English eccentric get-up, and send a very chic woman on her way into motherhood with style. And with everyone rising to the occasion, it just so happened that it worked.
Remember times like these?
And because I’m particularly outfit-obsessed in the lead-up to A Life in Frocks hitting shelves (and because who dares write about fashion, then spends an entire day in public wearing a dressed-in-the-dark ensemble comprising food-stained shirt and jeans? Not me, I would never do that… ) here’s two more fave shopping tips for excellent vintage finds. But be quick, both end soon:
Go, go, go to the Love Vintage fair at Canterbury Racecourse this weekend for homewares, fashion, accessories and some damned fine people-watching. It’s the highlight of the vintage calendar year, with dealers travelling from all over the country to exhibit. And take cash, because the queue for the ATMs is a nightmare. If my husband didn’t have a shaven head, he’d be sporting a coiff.
When: Friday April 11th to Sunday April 13th
Where: Canterbury Park Event Centre, Canterbury Racecourse, King Street Canterbury.
But save a few pennies for The Travelling Dress, the finest collection of Victorian clothing for women & children I’ve ever seen in one room, bar the V&A (and you can buy these… bonus!) Just extended for a further two weeks, The Travelling Dress is above Journeys Bookstore, Annandale on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays until Saturday 30 October.
I’ve been thinking about this lots lately: if you think vintage clothing’s becoming too popular (read: expensive… what with the Mad Men-inspired, Louis Vuitton-championed revival), imagine what a good 1950s frock will fetch in 2050? Best stock up now, people.
So just last weekend I was ruminating on how few odd tea cups and saucers I seem to find anymore at the markets or in charity stores – they’re all being snapped up. It’s nice to know people are using them again, and not bothering with buying entire new sets. But a bit disappointing to see prices being hiked up like crazy – I saw some on the weekend for $25 a cup, which weren’t even that special. Supply & demand, I guess… the high tea comeback has everything to do with it.
If you don’t want to collect pieces yourself or can’t seem to find any tea cups & saucers second-hand, here’s a great idea: high tea party hire from A Vintage Affair. I like.
And I’m in the grip of a new obsession with traditional crafting techniques from all over Asia (but particularly Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam). I’ve been scouring the markets for clothing, fabric and soft furnishings made from batik and intricate cross-stitching lately, because there’s something about these story-rich pieces that has me enthralled… I’m presently cooking up projects to make from them, or ways to incorporate the techniques into my own work.
On my Asian travels in my early twenties I often picked up special traditional pieces, but never as many as I would have liked. This newfound zeal might be a form of nostalgia for those footloose & fancy-free days. Interesting how the mind works, isn’t it?