A Charmed Life & A New Book

Australian born Author and fellow blogger Vicki Archer seems to live a charmed life in the South of France, the place she has found and now calls home. Like many, I adored her first book "My French Life" and her new book "French Essence", continues to drag me into her dreamy world. The photography by Carla Coulson is divine and Vicki's styling is second-to-none. I have posted my absolute favourite page in her new book above. I decided on this one page as I don't want to spoil it for you. This book is definitely one to add to the Christmas wish list! Congratulations Vicki on another huge success!!

Nb. French Essence is available now in Australia & New Zealand and will be sold on Amazon later this year.

"Did you Add to it?"

I got a really interesting question this past Saturday at my daughters Soccer game. I try not to dwell on the negative, when it comes to creating content for this blog. But the comment keeps nagging at me. The best way to get something out of your system is to talk about it. It was not a extremely major incident, but none the less, it stood out to me as odd.

So I am sitting down with my fellow soccer moms, and a lady (mother of a family friend) that I have not seen for a while recognized me before I saw her. So she starts to say hey... I almost didn't recognize you. Then she makes her hands go up and down as she looks at my hair and says "You added to it!"

I at first I froze... lol. I didn't quite understand what the hell she was talking about. But then I realized that she somehow thought that my hair was artifice and that I could just add to it to make it longer. I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, and assume that she did not mean any harm. Ignorance often comes from just not being educated on certain matters. So I just turned to her and politely said "It's growing." And she then said "Ohhh....." as if that was an odd theory; and then went on her way... lol. So it was not a huge thing. I just needed to get it out of my system. Thank you for reading!

Black & Spiro Today

Here is our current window display at Black & Spiro {above}. It's very bright, I must say, even for me! It's been a crazy week here at B&S. Usually the September school holidays are a quiet time for us. It is usually a time we call the lull before the storm with the onslaught of Christmas coming! However, for some strange reason these September holidays have been crazy. Lots of deliveries arriving as you can see below. A few clients will be very happy at the end of this week once they receive their beautiful armchairs!!

A Summer Table

This lovely table setting screams Summer to me. I love the fresh green and white colour palette. I also love the little succulent arrangements. They actually reminded me of the lovely succulent arrangements Chelsea over at Frolic created recently as below.

image 1 - victoria pearson via brown turtleneck sweater,
image 2 - frolic

Curly Style Inspiration

Naturally Leslie talks about one of her hair styles, that has that "wow" appeal. Check her out she achieves her 'two-strand twist out' on her blog.

Bathroom Shelving & Stools

The concept of open shelving in a kitchen or lounge room is often talked/blogged about but I do also like the idea of open shelving in a bathroom. These images above, which I have saved in my files, certainly show this concept very well. I like the idea of soaking in the bath tub looking at my beautiful things in the shelving surrounding me.

Another great idea for a bathroom, if you have a bath tub, is to use a drum stool next to the tub to put a book or a glass on. We have some lovely blue and white stools {and other colours too} in the shop at the moment which would do the job. I use one at home next to our bath and it is fabulous. I often have a pile of magazines on mine...nothing like reading some magazines in the bath at the end of a long day!!

image 1 & 2 via the lettered cottage, image 3 - anna spiro

The Dutchess Legging

The House of Dereon has a new pair of leggings on their site, called The Dutchess Legging. I think these are cute. But this has to be outfitted carefully - maybe with like a longer blouse. This could go from being hella cute - to just trashy if not worn correctly. What's your opinion?

Me Likey!

These boots are slammin! Featured on Garance Dore ....

Also, check out electric styled shoes by Jimmy Choo, featured on High Snobette -

"Those who can not afford hot, cute - but expensive shoes... blog about it! lol...." - Karen :-p

Ormiston House Sneak Peek

I thought I would share a few photos of a job I have been working on lately for some very lovely clients at Ormiston. It's quite a funny story actually. When Brad, Harry and I lived at Ormiston a few years ago this house was one we used to drive past and comment on. The gardens were always so beautifully kept and the house was picture-perfect. I was thrilled when I arrived at the front door earlier this year at my first appointment with the clients to walk inside and see the house we had long admired and to be asked to be involved with the renovation and update of the home.

I helped the clients with the concept for the kitchen. One of my favourite things in the kitchen is the 3 vintage light fittings we found for above the island bench. I took them to one of my little vintage lighting haunts and we spent a good half hour there looking for the perfect lights. Two of the lights match and the third is slightly different. The clients were a little unsure of this at first but after my re-assurance they were happy to go with them. When I visited them at the house last week they couldn't have been happier with the lights. I actually love the size of them. Being smaller they don't dominate the kitchen which I really like.

We installed some of the furniture last week including their old sofas which we recovered in a plain pale blue linen with contrast white piping. The two Antique French gilt chairs I found for them and had covered in a beautiful pale blue and white stripe fabric to work with the blue/white/taupe floral fabric we selected for the scatter cushions. We are still working on a few more pieces of furniture including barstools, dining chairs, lamps etc.

Once we have completed the house in a few months we will be photographing it for our Black & Spiro website. I'll be sure to let you know once it is up on the portfolio page.

Oh, and look at the beautiful afternoon tea my client had prepared for me when I arrived to install the furniture. So lovely!!

Ooze heats up Arlington

A day of fun in the sun with a little mud?... What more can you ask for cool...

Well if you happened to have been within the vicinity of a certain university in Arlington, Texas last Friday, perhaps adding a couple gorgeous guys and an ultra-talented photographer to the mix couldn't hurt. We are talking about super hot guys rolling/playing in the mud here so I guess it's only natural someone had to cover it mrgreen.

These photographs (taken for blogmate Popwired) were shot on Friday by photographer Tracy Nanthavongsa at a University of Texas outdoors September event aptly titled Oozeball (basically a bunch of teams participating in various competitive match-ups, all taking place in a filthy, drippy/sticky mud setting)... Sounds oddly hot.

Perhaps even moreso when you've got a professional photographer scoping out some of the finer samplings of beautiful men competing on the field...
This last guy here (I mentioned to Tracy) totally screams male model potential. From what I gather he's a frat brother who took part in the muddy volleyball competition. Considering what Tracy's done with some of the other beautiful men on his site, I think if he ever managed to get this guy in front of a lens I'd just keel over confused... Anyhow, you can check out more muddy fun shots from the Ooze event over at Tracy's flickr page.

Investigating Gorgeous Zagorski

I've been on a little bit of an investigation tangent this past week... Seeking and searching for what seems to be a non-existent accounting of our gorgeous perfect model specimen Maxwell Zagorski attending the NYC 2009 pride parade. My search has unfortunately turned out fruitless this time around...

I blame my blogmate Kenneth for this all this... Apparently he couldn't resist posting up a couple shots featuring one of my favorite models (looking as hot as ever)... And from the looks of it, partaking in some shirtlessness festivities earlier this summer. A pox upon you Kenneth, for dangling the carrot cool...
I kid Kenneth of course... But yeah, aside from being Dancing With the Stars alumn Cheryl Burke's current beau, Max seems to be doing quite well for himself as of late (a far cry from being pretty much invisible on the net back earlier this year when I previously featured him). This shot above by legendary photographer Bruce Weber has to absolutely be my favorite Maxwell shot thus far... Just Beautiful...
Incidentally Maxwell still does quite a bit of modeling work for European Abercombie-esque clothing line Geddes & Gilmore. His latest shots though unfortunately feature him from one direction. A photographic travesty if I've ever seen one... albeit still oddly ultra-sexy. Perhaps it's the missing belt mrgreen...

Guy Trouble in Cougar Town

A woman in her mid-40s, stumbles from one awkward young hottie encounter to the next... all the while acclimating herself to her newly donned 'cougar-dom' status following her recent divorce. Sounds like an interesting premise. Execution-wise though Courteney Cox might just push this series to prime-time comedic gold.
I think I might have just found a new show worth tuning in for weekly. Granted this is only the pilot/first-episode, but the precedent being set so far for future hottie encounters shows a lot of potential. Plus if the writing for Cox's character keeps up I'll be sold cool. Cougar Town starring Courteney Cox and her random young bachelor du jour airs every Wednesday at 9:30 est on ABC.

Beautiful Intensity

Every once in a while my love for photography supersedes my fondness of beautiful men biggrin... I think this stunning shot might be just one instance.

Not to insinuate the subject of this shot isn't gorgeous in his own right. From what little I see, his gaze looks pretty intense... (but naturally I'd have to see more to make a more accurate determination). Nevertheless, I love the detail in this photo... dripping sweat and all mrgreen. I'd love to know who's responsible for my current Iphone wallpaper, but for the time being I'll simply deem it Just Beautiful...

Hollyoaks Hunks steam up 2010

British television makes its bid to steam thing up come 2010 cool...

And judging from the looks of 24 year-old actor Anthony Quinlan down below, mid-winter January might just turn out being the hottest month of the year... (give or take a few degrees for the conspicuous absence of actual boxing shorts cool)...
Introducing the 2010 Hollyoaks calendar... an introspective look at just how much the British television series has apparently bulked up since last I recall watching it confused. And to be honest, quite a step up as well from... well let's just say the last calendar was a tad less proficient in the abs department.
The 2010 'Hunks' calendar went on sale earlier this month and basically stands as a counterbalance to the 'Hollyoaks Babes' 2010 calendar which debuted the month prior. As usual, the Calendar's available through the standard Amazon channels.

I'd imagine this set might make a fine addition to the torrent of sexy 'hunks' calendars slated to vie for the spotlight in time for next year.

Btw, I take back what I said about January. Clearly June stands out as the hottest month out of them all (subjectively speaking of course). Geminis rock mrgreen.