Monday, 30 April 2012

When in Paris...Laduree The Must Visit French Patisserie

When you think Paris, amongst many amazing thoughts, you have to think pastries and whether you are a dessert person or not, Laduree is a visual and gastronomic feast for the senses!. 

I was fortunate enough to visit the Madeline store in 2010. First opened in 1862 as a bakery, later transformed into a Patisserie, Laduree Madeline is said to be one of the first Patisserie/Cafes in Paris.

If not to sample the sweets, which are absolutely DELICIOUS, you have to visit for the interior, meticulously crafted pastries and the old world charm.... as I sat in the downstairs Tea Room you can imagine women in draped over skirts and bonnets and suited men smoking pipes.

One of my favourite scenes in Sex And The City is below, remember that scene? Yep, that was Laduree... but I think it may have been the Champs-Elysees store.

And those decadent sweets featured in Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette - Also Laduree, so beautiful!

Las Vegas Wedding Packages (Source:

Wedding Inspirasi


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Vintage Style Baby Craft Gift Idea

When I was little my Aunties hand made a number of gorgeous keepsakes for myself and my siblings that remain in the family to date. When my friends started to have babies I thought why not bring the tradition back so the next generation of little ones can have some handmade treasures to pass down the family lines.

I made this Vintage Inspired Baby Bird Door Hang for a little boys room. 

The Shopping List
fabric remnants (wrapped around a small hoop), a small ring or hoop (as the bird perch), ribbons (ric rac and candy striped), little bird, stamp set and a hot glue gun.

Basic Directions
Start by painting the bird (if needed), then tightly fold the fabric around the hoop and hot glue to fasten in place, Loop the ribbon to the hoop and again fasten with hot glue, Hot Glue the bird to the perch and finish by stamping the letters to the ribbon or adding a bow or two as above.

A great DIY vintage inspired baby keepsake for years to come!

This 50's inspired Stencil artwork by Audiobirth would also make a stunning contribution to a nursery or child's room.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

DIY Vintage Tripod Lamp Lighting - So easy

Upcycled/ Repurposed Tripod 
(vintage horse head bookends - Market Buy)

I love taking something old and dis-guarded and making it new again. Upcycling this Vintage Telescope Tripod and turning it into a gorgeous retro inspired Tripod Lamp was so simple and so cost effective. 

I found the Tripod on Ebay for $50, bought the retro lamp shade at beacon lighting $45 and had the tripod re wired for about $55 at my local lighting store.

How easy was that, a great weekend DIY project! FYI unless you are a licensed electrician it isn't legal to wire a lamp DIY-style (in Australia) so seek assistance from a lighting store and leave it to the professionals.

Here are some other fantastic recycled Vintage and Antique Tripod's transformed into lamps. 

tripod lamp 

Royal Marine Tripod Floor Lamp

Lust worthy! Restoration Hardware Royal Marine
Loving this!

David Bromley Collection

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Macrame - The New Generation of Knotters

When you head out on a vintage home wares shopping spree you're not always going to find things you like... fortunately for me, last week instead of finding objects of desire, I found three vintage craft books two on the art of Macrame and one on embroidery (with the owl on the cover).

The whole Macramé thing got me thinking, is this something I want to partake in??? Then I started searching the net and decided YES IN DEED!

The new wave "Macrame-ers" are taking this ancient art of hand knotting to a whole new level. The Design Files recently featured the amazing Sarah Parkes who effortlessly reworks this craft for modern interiors and I was lucky enough to find the brilliant Sally England who adds a soft, organic, beach-house aesthetic to some of her amazing works. Both artist's consistently create incredible works... Definitely on my wishlist!.   

Sarah Parkes Courtesy of The Design Files

Fur hairdressing macrame pot hangings.

Fur Hairdressing website- Sarah Parkes Smalltown

Sally England - Modern Macramé 
I love the use of the Duck Egg Blue cord - so fresh.

Sally England website 

The art of knotting cord is thousands of years old and spans the globe. From Japan to America this art form was used to represent numbers and story telling before it was adopted by the Royal Courts and Convents as a pastime throughout Europe.

From humble beginnings Macrame made it into interior decorating by way of tassels and fringes before bursting into the bold statement craft we knew in the 70's and have rediscovered today.

My aim is to try and make something from one of the books this year! 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Junk Girls - Amazing Upcyling Artists & Vintage Wedding Favour Idea

This amazing table top consists of vintage printing blocks! A great conversation piece for your next dinner party.

Wedding Favour Idea

Upcycled Silver Spoon forget-me-nots

The Junk Girls - Via
this is what they did with the rest of the spoon - so beautiful!

This would make a wonderful wedding favour for a vintage themed wedding presented as a centrepiece hung on branches in the centre of the table (see below) or just placed over each napkin with a personal message to each guest (the spoon faces can be strung onto a necklace, hung around a bottle, used as a keyring the options are endless).

Courtesy Martha Stewart Weddings

How cute is this setting - wedding or not - so inspiring!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Tolix Chair Xavier Pauchard (1880-1948) - One down many to go....

Everyone loves a Xavier Pauchard Tolix Chair, and before you start yawning this Ebay find (above) is an original Galvanised A56 Armchair, not an all too common replica. When we purchased this armchair at auction we also just missed out on a galvanised A Chair, the hunt continues...

Here's a few other original Tolix Chairs. I love how versatile these items are... they compliment all decorating styles and themes.


Stunning! - here


Gorgeous! - here 


Love it! Mixing old and new - found here

The History of Tolix

All merit goes to Xavier Pauchard (1880-1948) who was a pioneer of galvanisation in France. Shortly after World War 1, based in Autun, Burgundy, he found himself (a visionary and inventive entrepreneur) in charge of a flourishing manufacture of galvanised sheet-metal domesic items, which at the time, embodied household comfort. It was in 1927 that he registered the trademark TOLIX, at the same time converting to the «production of chairs, armchairs, stools and metal furnitures». 

Thank you Xavier Pauchard, we owe you one!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Animal Print Rugs - Zebra Leopard Luxe!

Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest

H&H Home - vintage Louis Vuitton trunk, yes please!!

I love animal print rugs. They suit any interior adding substance, style and diversity to a room.

Zebra print rugs are particularly great whether faux or real and can be added to a retro, boho, industrial or french provincial space with ease.

I am loving the Louis V / Zebra combo above courtesy of H&H Home... luxury at its finest!.

An antique Vuitton Steamer Trunk and Zebra Rug are to be added to my future shopping list.... budget wishfully permitting!!!!

Mum's the word, Coca Cola Crate & Tolmie Collector's Fair

Last weekend Mum surprised us with a visit, she came baring vintage gifts - a very cool vintage coca cola crate (as seen below, I'm still to clean it out and give it a purpose, was thinking cool cosmetics sorter or cutlery holder). We then went for a bit of an opp shop shopping spree and as always we began to draw the lines between what she thinks is trash and I think is treasure....

While we were out and about I took a picture of the spoons above, to me they were stunning antique treasures to her, a seasoned collector and trader, they were a bunch of lime-washed old scrap.
Fortunately she does enjoy and identify with my love of all things retro & kitsch even if it is a mass produced 1960's tray with loud orange roses printed all over it. She even dabbles in a bit of industrial chic herself, just yesterday she had a rather cool WWII Metal Toolbox she plans to display at home. 

It's funny, when I was a teenager and we were clothes shopping, my goodness me some of the clothing she would choose for me was so wrong, but now, the number of cool vintage items in our home courtesy of her keen eye is amazing.

She's busy giving her time this weekend in the Regional Victorian town of Tolmie at their annual Antique Collector's Fair held this weekend 21st/ 22nd April 2012.... Antique's Road Show, eat your heart out!

Up-cycling Inspiration  

Great re purposing / upcycling project... DIY kids room storage
courtesy of Life in the Thrifty Lane

Sivad Designs

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The hunt is over! Vintage Ceramic Garden Stools

I have been looking and looking and looking for a pair of ceramic garden stools... I love how versatile they are from a garden seat to an end or lamp table, they do it all!. I also love that they add great texture to a room.
Ideally I was looking for a metallic pair or a cool blue and white pair (chinoiserie style) but I also wanted a bargain so the $350 pairs available on every corner just didn't fit the bill. 
To my delight these babies presented themselves in Feb this year and were a bargain at $40 for the pair.
Considered spraying them white... but the tan and green grew on me so they will stay as is creating more of a retro look.

Traditionally known as Conservatory Stools these ceramic beauties were often used in Victorian Sunroom's or Conservatories and going back even further to their region of origin these stools were once used in Asia to fragrance clothing by placing a burning scent (perhaps like incense) under the stool and allowing the vapour to permeate through the ventilation holes at the top of the stool.  

Image Boston Herald

I'll have one of each thanks!!!.... loving the wall sconce #5 and the foo dogs #2

Hmmmm Turquoise Foo Dogs, yes, my next vintage purchase awaits!.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Industrial Revolution - Vintage Indian Club and Shoe Lasts

My husband LOVES American Pickers, it's the whole "man-tique" thing coupled with his new found love and appreciation for vintage bits and pieces - when we met he begrudged popping into an Opp Shop aka Thrift Store but since I've been buying and selling Australian Art and given that Mum is an Antique Dealer, he's found an incredible affection for all things vintage. 

I love any vintage bit or piece be it Shabby Chic, French Provincial, Retro you name it and together we've developed a love for Industrial Vintage - anything that may have been once used in a warehouse, workshop,  tram or train station, factory or in the case of the Indian Club above a Gym.

This was our Easter present from Mum and Dad. Mum bought this circa 20's/30's item, which was once used for exercise, by chance at a local Opp Shop in Mont Albert... she had no idea what it was but she knew she liked it and having seen a similar item on American Pickers I knew exactly what it was and had been hunting around for one - so great when the universe presents a vintage gem like this!.   

Also in the picture above - vintage shoe lasts (Trash and Treasure $15), Vintage Ladder (Warehouse Braeside $45). 

Vintage Club/ Juggling Pin Examples

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Dorothy Draper Hollywood's iconic 1930's interior designer

Modern Baroque

Dorothy Draper design - courtesy hgtv

Born in 1889 Dorothy Draper was the founder of 'Modern Baroque' aka Hollywood Regency with a distinct boundary pushing bold decorating style mixing colour with oversized patterns and mouldings.
She revolutionised home decorating with the 1939 release of Decorating Is Fun!

I adore this style of decorating, it's like creating a bold abstract oil painting with furniture. 

This decorating style is not to be taken lightly though, precision is key.

Dorothy Draper hgtv

Dorothy Draper - Good House Keeping

Clock Seating Area at Greenbrier Resort
Image courtesy of Good House Keeping

I am on the hunt for a large rug, to start my Hollywood Regency theme... something like the Jonathon Adler Herringbone Rug below would be nice, I LOVE his designs. 

Jonathan Adler Design

True style never fades and Draper's design aesthetic is proof of this with many current day designers taking inspiration from her creative ground breaking style and making it work in modern interiors.