About Me

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Loving all stylish and wonderful things in life, fashion and interiors. I am English but living my life in the fabulous city of Melbourne in Australia. Welcome and please read on.... (contact me at sjstubbs19@gmail.com)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New artist discovery

Whilst in Australia I regularly get emails and updates from a favourite art gallery in Totnes, Devon, England and last week one came through with details of a forthcoming exhibition.... One of the exhibitors immediately caught my eye and I am very tempted by a piece of her work..... The artist in question is Marilyn Browning - I had never seen her work before but I just love her slightly naive style and the palette of colours she uses... See what you think..... All the images are from the website of White Space Art.

A little about Marilyn.....

Marilyn Browning’s understated paintings are a treat. At first one sees a table, or a vase of flowers, a pair of shoes, isolated from their everyday surroundings. Delicate and dreamlike, her seemingly ‘simple’ canvases are instantly memorable.

“Scraps of memory come and go, ideas come slantwise, one thought enlarges another, they appear random, unrelated, until suddenly and stunningly, they don’t. Links are made and the subject of the painting begins to reveal itself to me.“Freud referred to the unconscious as opportunist, and it is in this sense that painting can be understood as a kind of watching and waiting. It is sometimes during the still and concentrated observation of ordinary objects that partial memories and vague feelings begin to surface, and the lifelessness of these inanimate subjects become endowed with enough presence to be felt.” – Marilyn Browning .

Since graduating from Falmouth College of Arts in 1999, Marilyn has steadily built a strong reputation and has exhibited widely, mostly in Cornwall and London.

I think her work is amazing and it really appeals to me .... I have only once bought art through a website before and in that instance I knew the artist but I think I may have to make an exception here....(and the one I have fallen for is the first one of the images shown).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Unique Finds

This wonderful UK based online company showcases items that are unique and that you would definitely not find on the average British high street.... I have bought many things from them over the years especially when looking for that gift for the person who is hard to buy for! Thought I would show you just a taste of what they have, but do go onto the website - however, once there you might find it difficult to leave! Click HERE to be transported.
First off - this pretty little Vase Shelf (Susie - might this fit the bill?) - retailing for 45 pounds.

Gorgeous little silver beakers - suitable for flowers, pens etc. Price 35 pounds.

Or how about a personalised doorstop ? From 35 pounds.

And I am so taken with this ! Such a clever idea - a giant station clock sticker. Once the sticker is in position you then simply screw into the wall the hands of the clock - they have a battery mechanism and hey presto a working clock! This retails for 69 pounds.

As their motto says..... One Basket, but literally HUNDREDS of unique shops.

Enjoy browsing!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weekend flowers at Peony

Took this photograph of these gorgeous white flowers at Peony where I have been working today - so pretty in their silvery container and can you see the black and white etching on the wall behind of Napoleon too? Very Gallic!

A busy day which seemed to fly by.... I also had the pleasure of meeting a fellow Melbourne blogger who came in to see me - from the wonderful blog SHE WORE IT WELL.... She is such a sweetheart and it was nice to meet her in 'real life' too so to speak. Needless to say she loved the shop!

When I got back from work dear Mr SE had prepared dinner too - a chicken dish which he is marinating in chilli and ginger - can't wait...

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Juicy Bear

A little about this wonderful Melbourne company - Juicy Bear - and I love the name almost as much as I love their products which are all beautifully soft and comfortable garments (mainly tee shirts and tops)...... They are all made in Australia which in itself is unusual in this day and age of many garments being manufactured in China . Granted this does make them a little more expensive than many other tee shirts but the fit and the designs are also far superior than most.

Sarah Walker and Lucy Sherman are the creators of Juicy Bear. The girls had a need and after tirelessly looking for the perfect tee, decided that if they could not find one, they would create one themselves.

The result was a versatile, indispensable tee - one that does not hug, shrink or ride up; a tee that is made using 100% pure Egyptian cotton; a tee that is cut much longer in the body to elongate the waist and hide any natural ‘waist padding’; a tee that you can layer, mix and match all the colours and own a whole collection so you can always start building your perfect outfit. Just like a favourite pair of jeans – Juicy Bear will form to fit your body shape beautifully.

As demand grew, so did the range. Juicy Bear now uses beautiful soft 100% Australian Merino wool for their winter collections, applying the same design principles as those seen with the cotton tees. The following photographs taken from their website - http://www.juicybear.com.au/ are indicative of the lovely garments they produce. The website also gives stockists both here in Australia and abroad.

Classic white short sleeved tee.

Long sleeved tee.

'A' line slightly flared striped tee.

I own a striped grey and white tee from them and a plain white one too and I hope to add some Merino wool tops too this Autumn.
Meanwhile a great weekend to one and all - Mr SE is off to watch the Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday and tomorrow I am working at Peony.....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An evening out

Last night Mr SE and I went out to the beautiful Regent Theatre in Melbourne.... A majestic building which was first opened in 1929.... A photograph of the decadent interior - which was apparently based on the lavish interior of the Capitol Theatre in New York .......

And this is what we went to see :

We took dearest niece and her Australian man .... (overheard at half time - 'Yes, but I am still not quite sure what a Jellicle Cat is?"......)
No, neither am I if I am honest - a figment of T.S. Eliot's wonderful imagination really - but what spectacular physical theatre it makes, brought to life by Andrew Lloyd-Webber's genius - a real show of energy and musicality with fabulous choreography..... It has lost none of the magic since I first saw it a month or two after it first opened in London in 1981.

Now, I really cannot believe that was nearly 30 years ago. Honestly, where does the time go? Needless to say we all had a wonderful evening and this morning we were still singing and humming all the songs over again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A delicious book

If you have a sweet tooth and love Patisseries then I would thoroughly recommend this book - Paris Patisseries (forward by the man himself- Pierre Herme) and published by Flammarion.

The photographs are amazing.... you can almost taste and smell the deliciousness!

Such a wonderful photograph of these colourful macaroons.

Interiors too....

At the back there are recipes should you want to have a go at recreating these masterpieces.

And, most useful - an address book at the back to tell you where you can find the best of the best in Paris!
The book came in to Ma Maison last week and we only have 2 copies left - looks like we will have to re- order!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dinner for one

Mr SE flew off late this afternoon to Brisbane as he has meetings etc. there all day tomorrow and dear niece is off gadding about with GAG (gorgeous Aussie guy) so I threw together what I had in the fridge to make un petit supper as I was dining alone this evening.......

A stuffed mushroom on a bed of "young" leaves (don't you love it when they say that in restaurants.. well, they are hardly going to be old, going off mouldy leaves are they!!??)
I think Shirley Conran (first wife of Sir Terence C) once said that life was too short to stuff a mushroom but I would imagine she meant little fiddly ones not large field type mushrooms like this one was but if she meant all mushrooms then I am afraid that I disagree with her!! Anyway..... my recipe.
Well, first of all I put the oven on hottish.. Then I removed the stalk from the middle of the mushroom, chopped that up and fried it in a mixture of a little olive oil and butter along with a chopped spring onion (scallions in some circles I think), also added half a clove of garlic and some red chilli.... Then I added some brown bread crumbs and stirred it all around for a few minutes... Took it off the heat and added a tablespoon or so of grated cheddar cheese and seasoning and when it was a little cooler a small beaten egg. I then placed the mixture into the mushroom, and the mushroom into a lightly oiled dish and cooked it for 20 minutes or so...

The result is above and very tasty it was.....!! You could add bacon I would imagine to this recipe or any other kind of herbs and spices as you wish depending on what you have to hand.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Weekend flowers

White roses given to me by Mr SE yesterday and arranged in the vase I bought in Brisbane from THIS lovely place....
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - enjoy!

Friday, March 19, 2010

New displays at Peony

Yesterday I popped in to Peony ( boutique perfumery) where there is a gorgeous new window display... so very pretty and I particularly love the side table with its worn paint finish.... There is a little bit of a glare/reflection on the window in this photograph - many apologies- a bit difficult taking photographs through glass.

Wonderful old French sign... (sold, I believe!).

A shot looking out from the smaller window.. - look at the little canary bird cage light - cute!

A better photograph of the table in the bigger window - fresh and beautiful white flowers - my favourite. Cire Trudon candles in their green faceted glass containers.

Window display - photo taken from the side.......

The latest range of fragrances at Peony ... L'Artisan Parfumeur... A small niche company and my favourite was L'eau de L'artisan.... described as follows:

Citrus/Classical notes - A fusion of classic elegance and modern nonchalance....
Traditional notes of citruses, herbs and tree moss a fresh twist of marine accord and hay, creating an aroma as refreshing as a splash of icy cold water on a very hot day. Timelessly refined and loved by men and women alike.
I have to say that it was really gorgeous... very fresh - just the kind of fragrance I adore.

Oh, and just thought I would show you these - freeze dried box balls! You just spray them with water and they last quite a while, Jill- owner of Peony also had a box circle hanging up in the shop too....
I am going to be working at Peony looking after the shop on March 27th (when Jill is hosting a Perfume Workshop at a nearby hotel in South Yarra - the workshop is described on the website and is completely sold out/fully subscribed already!) and am also at Peony on April 1st too- can't wait!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Who's that girl?

A week or so ago (okay maybe a couple!) the lovely Jeanne posted this photograph above on her blog Finding My Way. I was very excited when I saw it and said to her - "Aha, I know who THIS is - the beautiful and talented Nell! " I promised that I would tell Jeanne all about her and so here I am keeping that promise .....

So, just who is Nell? Well, I had planned on doing a post about her later on in the year as Nell Gifford owns, along with her husband Toti, the wonderful and amazing GIFFORDS CIRCUS..... (in England) .

In 2000 Nell and her husband Toti built their 1930s style circus from scratch. With no training in carpentry, Toti transformed a dilapidated wagon they found in a ditch into a cosy home. He then built a big top and circus wagons, which were all painted their trademark 'Giffords red'. By the spring of 2002, he had finished the vital component to all travelling circuses: the catering wagon and this was the year they started touring.

Now, before you think.. "No, I don't like going to circuses" ... Let me tell you - this is not just any old circus. It is a wonderful, traditional small circus along with a pretty, sawdust floored big top and it tours the West of England each Summer (they did take a break in 2007 and in 2009) but I am DELIGHTED to tell you that they are going to be touring in 2010 (starting in May I believe) and you would be mad not to go if you lived anywhere near where they may be going ... check out their website http://www.giffordscircus.com/. I would go as far as to say that even if you did not live near where they appear I would go to the West Country especially and stay in a B and B or hotel for the weekend and go and see them! You honestly would not be disappointed. There are jugglers and acrobats along with a small brass band (rescued from a Parisian street corner), a little bit of fairytale, gorgeous dancing girls and a funny man -' Tweedy' but NO garish or horrible bright clowns I promise you!! I have seen them in four different shows and one year I loved it so much I went twice... I laughed till tears ran down my face during one performance and you always leave with a feeling of such euphoria. The whole audience dances in the ring to the music played by the band at the end of each performance (not mandatory of course, but infectious I warn you!)

As you can see in the photograph above - the circus touring vans painted in their vintage fashioned colours - dark maroon and cream...

I saw the show that this frog was in - think it was in 2004.

Cossack horsemen - extremely handsome and daring...! And the exotic and wonderful Nell Gifford (who rescues and trains these horses) appears in the ring several times as the Ringmaster and with her beautiful horses too... I saw her appear and perform in the outfit that she is wearing in the first photograph. Simply breathtaking....

I would make plans and book your tickets sooner rather than later if you do want to go and when you go onto the website I think it is easier to scroll down to see the categories.... I hope to see them when they come to Marlborough Common in late August.

This is a show for the WHOLE family, even for those "too-cool-for-school" teenagers, I promise (just don't tell them where you are taking them) - you will all LOVE it or I will eat my Australian Akubra hat if I had one!

Oh, and p.s. - Talking of eating, if you wanted some food afterwards they have a Circus restaurant (a 'fairy- light bedecked' marquee/tent) where you can dine with members of the show - they serve up wonderful 3 course dinners sourced from local ingredients. Again, book far in advance and on the website for this treat too at the same time as booking your tickets.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Trifle Eiffel

New items in MA MAISON at the end of last week and arranged yesterday in the shop ... A lovely collection of Eiffel Tower inspired items..... I took some photographs to show you all....

Singing in the rain! This is one of those umbrellas you can pull right down over your head and 'look out' through the clear part through where the Eiffel Tower is pictured .... Very clever.

Long tubes containing giant sized matches - think these are great - you can light all your tea lights/candles with one match, in one fell swoop!

Eiffel Tower magnets to fix all your 'to-do' lists, photos, notes etc. on the fridge door.

Little photo/note holders for your desk maybe....

A Gallic feel to your dining table ! Eiffel Tower salt and pepper shakers - cute!

And finally another photo of the book ends we had in a few weeks ago - only one pair left now I think!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Adorable free sample

I have been meaning to check out the new Chanel Rouge Coco lippie since I read about it on Deja Pseu's lovely blog Une Femme D'un Certain Age a while back and so remembered to do this whilst I was in 'Pulse' pharmacy today in Camberwell, Melbourne where the sales associate for Chanel is always such a sweetheart - helpful, never pushy and thoroughly pleasant. This is why I always go to her if I am interested in any Chanel makeup rather than go to the city or the large department stores of DJ's or Myers.

Anyway, to get back to the matter of the lovely hydrating lip creme...... It's gorgeous!! Felt so soft and moisturising and the colour pigmentation is great. I tried both Mademoiselle (05)and Venise (26) - could not quite make up my mind and so the delightful, helpful Chanel lady gave me a cute little folder with BOTH these colours,- in quite generous samples and a little brush too..... So lovely.

Apparently the names of the lipstick colours have been chosen to correspond to a part of Coco Chanel's life.....For example there is aforementioned Madamoiselle (a soft pink), Camelia (a deep rose) and Paris (a bright red). Rather nice really.

Photo above shows another shot of the inside of the free sample card with the lipsticks in little plastic 'bubbles' on the right. In the line up I have (at the top) Egerie (not sure what this means/is ?!) then the Madamoiselle (apparently this is the colour that Vanessa Paradis wears for the promotional video) then next is Cambon and the last one is Venise.

(and then sssssshhhh, don't tell anyone but the v.nice Chanel lady told me that Pulse Pharmacy are having a 20% off store wide special sale next week - think it is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - I will be returning on Tuesday morning.... any readers in Melbourne you have been TOLD - but just don't say that the nice Chanel lady told you, will you?!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday flowers and foliage in some lovely gardens

It was such a beautiful warm Autumn day today in Melbourne and so this evening I took a short walk to take photographs of some of the lovely front gardens near by......... My favourite one (photographs above and below).... Don't you just love the topiary in the terracotta pots and the large bay trees in the cream square planters at the front porch?

Another view from the other side showing the lovely white Iceberg roses.

Gorgeous herringbone brickwork in this garden.. a lovely place to sit and contemplate life from the wooden bench I would imagine.

And this is very pretty too - gorgeous blue flowers the other side...

So I got in a little closer to take a better look.... Love the blues with the fence behind showing up the dark greens.

And this garden belonging to a house in the same road as ours is receiving its second viewing on the blog .... to see the first time I featured it click HERE.
Wishing you all a wonderful and happy weekend.