Spring Has Sprung...

It's the first day of Spring here in Australia and it's my Wedding Anniversary so here are some florals on florals on florals from an old Vogue Living article to celebrate...

Featured Reader - Natty

Natty contacted me a while back, and I was very impressed by her blog. She is a designer who crochets and creates various crafts. I asked her a few questions, and here's what she had to say:

1. How did you learn to crochet? Today its very easy to learn crochet/tricot, the world of Internet brought us that blessing. I first learned the basics from my family (grandmother and mother) but the Internet is where I most learned and where I learned to expand my creations into "modern" creations. I read blogs, participate in google groups and watch youtube videos. There is teaching in every language, from the Latin and German languages, to the Arabic and Russian. For English speakers here is a start and I cannot forget to mention my first online teacher Elaine Crochê (Portuguese).

2. How do you decide what you are going to make? Well it is hard I confess... I have a list of things I want to make and I try to start on the things I need for me at that moment. Now that its summer, I tend to make more bikinis and tops in terms of clothing.

3. Do you sell your items? Or make custom orders? I sell my items, but they are custom made because I don't enjoy that factory feel of making the same product over and over again. And this is an advantage for the people who buy from me because I do it especially for them. I don't use patterns as a sure thing, I try to adapt the design with and to the client and try to make every piece special.

4. What part of the world do you live in? I live in Portugal, which is a country in the southwest Europe. We form a peninsula with Spain - Iberia Peninsula. So to North and East we have Spain, on the South the Atlantic (and Morocco’s) and to West is the Atlantic again. We also have two sets of islands - Açores and Madeira.

5. How has your culture or environment influence your creativity? I guess I am a mix of many cultures that my country has. Portugal has been under the power of the Arabs, Romans, Celts, Spain and others - all those cultures left their legacy here. We cannot forget the role that Portugal had during the "Conquer of the Seas" during the XV century and of course our African/Asian colonies. In my works I try to show myself as the citizen of the world that I am and not just Portuguese, even tough I love and embrace my nest. My biggest influences comes from Africa, I have a heart connection to Mother Africa ever since I was born (my mother says so). My family is a big influence as well. Both my great grandmas made loom work, crochet and other crafts. One of my grandma’s hand-made jewelry and the other is a seamstress, who crochets and does beautiful traditional Portuguese rugs - Tapetes de Arraiolos. I guess it's genetic as well!

To read more about Natty, check out her blog at Natty Crafts. The blog is in the Portuguese language. For assistance with translation, go here. She has also been featured on the Naturally Beautiful Hair Website: Reader Appreciation & Style page.

A Pretty House

I think this house is so pretty and charming. The all-white background is divine and I love the little hints of blue and pink and red and green.

All images via skona hem

Displaying Collections

I often talk about collections and how to display them. Here a few images to inspire...

All images via skona hem

Bright & Colourful

I love these two bright and colourful vignettes....perfect inspiration for Spring!

Top image from British Homes & Gardens and bottom image from Notebook magazine.

Also, I would like to send a huge thanks to Vera Klein for her mention of Absolutely Beautiful Things in this month's Notebook Magazine!! xx Anna

It Has Potential

This little old fisherman's cottage {bottom image} is one I've often admired on my morning walks over at Straddie. I think this house has so much potential and when you look at the top image you might possibly agree with me?!

Image 1 - elle decor

Friday Flowers

Here are some pretty fresh Freesias in an old bottle vase which I have placed on a table in the shop to end this week. See you next week...

Fabulous colors...

Color, color, color! I love vibrant colors and earth tones. I wish that I could start all over and jazz up my closet with amazing fabrics, that have rich colors and ethnic patterns. Maybe one day I will get that chance. One can only dream.

Black & Spiro Today

The shop is brimming with lots of lovely new things. I thought I would share a few photos of some of our new bits & pieces.

Megan Park's Latest Collection

Today I viewed the new Megan Park cushion collection and I must say it was very beautiful. Our new stock will be arriving early November which is still a couple of months away but it will be well worth the wait. We will be sure to let everyone on our mailing list know when they arrive. I absolutely love the styling of her new range as above....so simple and beautiful.

To be kept in the loop please email us info@blackandspiro so that we can add you to our mailing list.

Ambrosia's Transitioning Video

Ambrosia created two videos, that showed a cute style that you can do if you are transitioning from from permed hair to natural hair. Naturally Leslie featured Ambrosia's video on her blog, back in July '09.

Fabric Deja Vu

I knew I had seen that gorgeous Christopher Farr fabric before when I opened up my copy of this month's Vogue Living and spotted those beautiful chairs on the cover by designer Darryl Gordon. When I stayed at the Haymarket Hotel in London last year that fabric was used by owner & designer Kit Kemp en masse in the foyer of the hotel. It's such a fresh and vibrant fabric and looks so beautiful on those chairs on the cover of VL. I thought I would show you a few photos I snapped last year of the fabric and how it was used at the Haymarket.

Image 1, 2, 3 - Anna Spiro, Image 4 - Vogue Living

Need A New Hairdo?

Are you in the need for a big change? Is your current hair-do a hair-don't? Check out the Naturally Beautiful Hair website photo gallery, to get a few idea's on how to switch up your style. If you decide to try out a new style, send in a photo to share with the Naturally Beautiful Hair blog readers. And show everyone how hot you are with your new do.

It's Feeling Like Summer

Dana Cowie Artist

Photograph above by Robert Capa, Magnum Photos 1996 Estate of Robert Capa via Style Court

Francois Hallard

Hugh Stewart Photographer

Brooke Gianetti

Cap Ferrat - Anna Spiro

Grace Kelly Image source unknown

Tim Clarke

At the moment nothing excites me more than the thought of Summer. Our weather here in Brisbane this week has been crazy hot. I feel like it's those hot few weeks we experience just before Christmas but it's still Winter. It does scare me a little to think that we are probably in for an extremely hot Summer. All this heat has got me looking at Pool Houses, Outdoor Showers, Beach House images etc. etc. So, here are a few images I'm loving right now. There's probably a few pics we've all seen before but nothing like a few good oldies to come back and inspire us...

Last image via
Desire to Inspire

There's My Chair

Anne Harwell recently painted the French chair in our lounge room at home and sent it to me as a very big surprise in the mail. I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened up the parcel. I absolutely adore Anne's work. Her drawings are so precise and beautifully composed. I particularly love her chair drawings. Courtney's chair certainly has been a favourite in the blogosphere! If you would like your own copy of my French chair Anne is selling it in her etsy shop along with all of her other beautiful pieces. I am trying to find a special spot to hang my chair and the frame is also still being decided on. For the moment I keep on propping it up on pieces around the shop. It looks so pretty with all of our mismatched cushions....I am mad, I know!

Beautiful Shading

I love this drawing. The shading is amazing!
(artist unknown)

Joy's Pocahontas styled dress

Dress wore by Joy Byrant.
Photo source - YBF

Looking Through the Windows

Some of you asked to see some more images of our new display at Black & Spiro. Well here they are. If you look closely you can see that we wallpapered the ceiling of the entry to the shop in a contrasting paper to our front wall. Sorry about the terrible photos...I haven't mastered the art of taking photos through glass yet even though some of my lovely readers have tried to offer me advice on how to do it!!

Inspirational photo

Inspirational photo from Shelene - aka Reggaebassline