Dec 31, 2011

Auld Lang Syne...

 Whether you are celebrating at an elegant soirée for 20,
or a romantic dinner just for two,
I hope you have the most beautiful New Year's Eve,
and that the evening sparkles with magic & promise 
for a spirited 2012.
(After all, it is the year of the dragon...
so it has to be magical.)

images: 1/2/3

Dec 30, 2011

NYE: a Golden Soirée on the Water

Almost every year since we have been married,
I throw a dinner party for New Year's Eve, 
always with a dress up theme.
But this year, 
we are doing something quite different.
When the clock strikes midnight,
we will be on board a boat in the bay,
at a soirée for 12,
with the glorious fireworks popping all around us on the river & the city.

Delectable Duet: Jewellery + Words of Wisdom

Combining words of wisdom with a beautiful necklace
seems a rather lovely way to display one's outlook.
Captured in a delicately scrolling twirl 
on a golden necklace by Nicole Fendel,
are these fabulous words...
Not exactly wearing one's heart on one's sleeve,
but pretty close! 

Dec 29, 2011

NYE Inspiration: Hairstyles: DIY braided bun

If there is one night of the year to try a truly glamourous hairstyle,
New Year's Eve is it.
And I am thinking that this braided bun,
made easy in a step by step tutorial by the Beauty Department
may just be the perfect style for an evening of elegance & sparkles.
As the clock ticks down the few days left till the end of the year,
I love this reflective week between Christmas & NYE.
Suddenly, everything is more relaxed & anything is possible.
There is time to talk, and time to laugh.
Time for plans, and time for dreams. 

Storage Solutions: Handbags on Display

 I have a confession.
I am completely powerless to resist the lure of a sweet handbag.
My son counted the collection the other day: 54.
Most of which are vintage. 
{1950s handbags are my biggest weakness.}
But the problem is: where to store them?
Some of them are in the wardrobe...but they seem to be spilling out...
I have already taken over a bedroom wall,
where they hang about with some hats.
{So far, my husband is just amused...}

Dec 28, 2011

Living in a Glass House...

 Taking the notion of living in a glass house 
as a literal concept,
this home in Toorak would never be short of natural daylight.

Dec 27, 2011

Glamourous Vintage Couture Collection to be Sold...

Can you believe this glorious confection of femininity 
is actually a vintage Callaghan gown from 1973?
It's completely wearable now. 

Dec 23, 2011

Have Yourself A Sparkly Little Christmas...

Not quite sure how Christmas came up so fast this year, 
but speedy it sure has been, 
and we haven't even made our usual gingerbread house. 
But when all is said and done, 
all that matters is being with the ones you love,
at this very wonderful time of year.

Dec 21, 2011

Holiday Decorating: Summer by the Beach: My Tree

 And after dreaming up 12 different decorating themes 
for the holidays this year, 
I decided to have a little fun with our own tree.
It's a rather tongue-in-cheek take 
on our heavenly summer Christmas in Australia, 
 with convertible cars, boats, lobsters, 
tableaux of cricketers...and well, you get the picture!

Blue & White Agapanthus: it must be Christmas!

If there were a single image to evoke Christmas in an Australian city,
it would have to be the absolute explosion of 
blue flowers 
which sparkle in the gardens every December.
Jacaranda flowers carpet the streets, 
blue hydrangeas bloom in profusion,
dianellas bob their starry blue heads in the breeze.

Dec 20, 2011

Butterflies, Birds & a Dream.

 While we are in the glittery, fantasy world of the last week
before Christmas (how did that happen so fast???)
let's revel in the beauty of these surreal photo montages,
which capture a fleeting moment of delicacy.
 Zanita photograhed model Jaqueline in vintage & new outfits,
then illustrator Kelly Smith added the dream-like swirls.

Dec 18, 2011

Hello again!

 After a few spectacular days in the impossibly beautiful New Zealand, 
I have so much to tell you, 
but first, 
just popping in quickly to say hello & hope you are loving the Christmas season so far.

Dec 10, 2011

Christmas Decorating: Day 12: Drums, Sparkles: Magic & Fantasy!

For the grand finale of the 12 Days of Christmas decorating series,
it has to be the one and only Magical Fantasy of the Nutcracker ballet.
So jump on your magic carpet, 
and let's fly to the land of sweets to revel in the beauty of imagination,
at its most magical at Christmastime.

Let the drum role begin! 
The 12 Drummers are standing by with their shiny drums.

As we glide past on our magic carpet, 
there is an avenue of Christmas trees to light the way to the ballet house.

A magical story of no particular sense
{shouldn't all good fantasies be like that?}
the Nutcracker was first performed in 1892.
These are the original set designs for the St Petersburg production.

Of course, we'll be needing to wear 
a magical Christmas dress. This one would be nice.

Or perhaps this one.

After the performance finishes, 
it's time for Christmas dinner.
And the table is set with little surprises,
hidden in bonbons & tucked into little boxes at each place setting. 
Sparklers are lit & candles twinkle.
For this is a Christmas full of magic.

Gingerbread houses, department store windows of utmost imagination,
glittery dresses, sequins & dreams. 
It's a fantasy land where anything is possible,
because everything is magic, just for Christmas.

Our Christmas tree fairy is resplendent in gold glitter & black velvet.

While the tree is full of impossible things:
a newspaper elephant, Father Christmas in a hot air balloon,
a mouse king, crazy clocks & of course, lots of sweets.

The gifts under the tree are decorated with magic and sparkles.
There are boxes of sweets & lolly trees.
Jars of magic & little drummer boys.

In this place of imagination,
colour knows no limits.
It's a feast for the eyes and a feast for the spirit. 
The Christmas spirit, that is.

And it's a magic which makes us become children all over again, 
every year, 
sometime in December;
when the magical Christmas fairy waves her wand 
and, just for a moment,
we are lost in a world of fantasy and magical imagination.

I hope you have enjoyed the Christmas Decorating series.
You can see all the earlier posts here.
I am off to New Zealand for a few days,
but shall return with lots of new ideas.

images: 1: mask 2: blue fruit gift tag 3: lit trees 4: nutcracker sets + dancers
5/6/: dresses 7: Christmas table setting: bonbons + others 8: fantasy Christmas {1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10} 9: tree fairy 10: tree {1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9}
11: gift wrapping {1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9} 12: table setting 13: fruit tree

Dec 9, 2011

Christmas Decorating: Day 11: Pipers Piping at our Scottish Castle

Can you hear the 11 pipers piping?
They are summoning us to the castle, 
because it's time to board the Royal Scotsman train 
and go hither to the Highlands for our Scottish Christmas Fling,
to celebrate day 11 in our Decorating Series.

Dec 8, 2011

2012 Pantone Colour of the Year: Tangerine Tango

The most lusciously fabulous tone of tomato red
has been announced as the Colour of the Year for 2012 by Pantone.

Time for Romance amongst the Sparkles....

Amongst the sparkles of the holiday season,
with glittery dresses & Champagne soirees,
it's a gorgeous time of year to celebrate a little romance too.
I awoke this morning to find a bottle of my favourite perfume
from my husband, 
to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary.

Dec 7, 2011

Floating steps...that's an Entrance!

The front entry to a home is a place where one can play a little drama.
How fun, then, to enter this house in Sydney via stone slabs 
over a pond filled with duckweed & a sculptural tree skeleton.

Dec 6, 2011

Something Old and Something New...

A 91 year old grandfather 
plays horses on broomsticks with his granddaughter.
It's a fabulous reminder 
that one is simply never too old to play.

{This photo is part of the Getty Images "Grab" competition for amateur photographers, 
currently on display at Showcase Gallery. The theme was Captured Moments,
and the expression on the young girl's face sure is that. Photo by Paul Watson.}

Dec 5, 2011

Playing with Lines: new work by Luigi Rosselli

With an emphasis on both horizontal + vertical lines 
and the patterns made therein,
this new house by Luigi Rosselli 
carries an element of Streamlined Modernism about it.

Have you ever fed a carrot to a Giraffe???

 Ever dreamt of hand feeding a giraffe or two?
When that big face bends down towards your hand,
on such an impossibly long neck, 
it is truly one of the most magical experiences on the planet.

Dec 3, 2011

Christmas Decorating: Day 10: Martinis at the Jazz Club

Put on your tap shoes because tonight we are going to celebrate.
It's the 10th day of Christmas Decorating
so there are lots of lords needing to leap about.
They may as well do it in style, at the Jazz Club.

Dec 2, 2011

A beautiful entrance...

Come inside these beautiful timber entrance doors, 
because I want to show you a lovely white home for sale by the coast.

Dec 1, 2011

Christmas Decorating: Day 9: Fairytale Christmas for Ladies who Dream of Dancing

9 ladies gather for the dance, 
in Cecil Beaton's tribute to the female form in 1948.
And 9 ladies gather for our fairytale dance,
because it is day 9 of our Christmas Decorating series.

We shall begin our evening with a saucer of Champagne,
set upon a mirrored tray in the dressing room.
That shall get our toes tapping.

Oh, we better not forget to hang the silvered wreath on the front door,
otherwise the guests won't know 
where to find our Fairytale Dance Soiree.

Now we better decide which gown to wear to the dance.
They are all so pretty...

Decisions, decisions. 

The guests will arrive very soon, 
 so we must attend to the Christmas tree...

The tree shall be trimmed with fresh gardenias,
for their scent is that of enchantment.
Lichen-covered branches magically blossom with 
paper flowers of magnolia + cherry blossom
With stars of silver + ornaments of palest lilac,
the tree takes on a fairytale glow.

And here is our fairy, for the top of the tree.
She is a Barbie, dressed by none other than Christian Louboutin.
Fairytale magic, indeed.

There will be time to be kissed under the mistletoe, 
for one never knows where a handsome prince may be hiding.

Right, ready now to greet our guests.
A quick dab of Chanel No 5 and we can begin the evening.

The table sparkles with magic & candlelight,
with golden dishes & blossoming branches.
There must be some magic about tonight.

And guests will know their places, 
with little dance card name tags to guide them.

And as each guest departs, 
they will be handed a little gift wrapped in lilac satin bows 
& glittered velvet ribbons, 
as a sweet memento of a wonderful evening. 

So all that is left to do now, 
is to blow out the candles & retire to bed in a satin gown.
Dreaming of dancing ladies & handsome men,
and the enchanting evening that was.

In case you missed the earlier decorating themes, 
you can catch up here.

images: 1: Cecil Beaton 2: gift tag blue fruit 3: Champagne saucers
4: wreath 5: dresses by Erin Fetherston 6: pensive lady 7: ornaments
8: Christmas tree artwork blue fruit clockwise from top right {1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8}
12: the table artwork blue fruit {1/2/3/4/5} 13: name cards

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