I seem to have a rather persistent problem when it comes to packing a suitcase and that is I completely overpack.  Every single time I just can't help myself and the worst thing of all is that my carry-on luggage could be compared to everything 20 people would need for a 2 week holiday.  It is just ridiculous. 

However, after hauling my usual 10 tonnes of so-called 'I can't live without' luggage on a 20 hour flight from Brisbane to New York a few days I ago it was quite humorous to read an article by Amanda Fortini in the New York Times this morning in which she proclaims her obsession with the overpack too. 

I was comforted by the fact that she too has packing anxiety and as her friend kindly puts it - 'It's like you're traveling by ocean liner.  Will you be accompanied by a porter?'  I WISH I could be accompanied by a porter.  Usually my husband is around and has in the past helped me lug large seashells in my carry-on luggage from Hawaii and cushion covers, mirrors and a painting from LA but this time it is just me and my carry-on and let me tell you it is exhausting running for a connecting flight with 3 heavy bags.  I have vowed and declared that on our return flight next week I will only be bringing 1 bag into the cabin with me and the rest will be checked in.  It will be interesting to see how I go.

It is snowing here in New York which is quite amazing as this time last week I was swimming in our pool with Harry and Max in 30 + degrees.

Happy Weekend

Have a fantastic, colourful and happy weekend!

image source unknown

Inspirational Photos


I have been a follower and admirer of Katie Armour's blog, The Neo-Traditionalist for quite sometime.  She is always coming up with the most stylish things.  So when I found out she was starting an online mag with fellow editors Jane Lilly Warren & Fallon Hogerty I was very excited.  Yesterday the girls launched Matchbook which no doubt many of you are already aware of.  I was thrilled to be included as above and I loved the interview on Rita Konig.  I think they have succeeded in creating something a little different and I can't wait to finish reading their launch issue tonight. 

Art by Leonceo!

I want to thank Leonceo Omar Bennett for creating this image art for me. I love this. Thank you.

To Natural Hair:

Art work by Love Sugar


Today I collected together a little group of mismatched, brightly coloured fabrics for some cushions for a client's sofa.  I never tire of putting different fabric combinations together and I always try to make sure each client has a different combination so as to keep their look unique to them.  Lately I have been so inspired by fashion and the combinations of different fabrics fashion designers have been using in one outfit.  I love the way Easton Pearson mixes fabrics and incorporates beading, frilling and special details in their designs.  The top image is actually a collection of Easton Pearson dresses from 2008.  I like the colour combination used in those 4 dresses and would love to create a room scheme using this image as inspiration.

image 1 - jane roarty stylist

Featured Reader - LaRisha!

Q: What is your hair story?  What kind of hair styles have you rocked, before embracing your natural hair?  

A: Throughout the mid-80s to late-90s, my hair was chemically tainted from perms, s-curls, leisure curls, and relaxers. In 1998, after my first big trim, I tried to grow it out and wear my hair natural, but being afraid of “the big chop”, half my head was curly and half was chemically straight and limp. Ewwwwwwwww.

In 1999, I got inner-locs twice. First time, I took them out, my hair pressed out beautifully and it was long. Second time, I left them in too long, and I broke off a lot of my hair. Still afraid of a big chop, in 2000, I started getting it relaxed again, got trims and started wearing it in cute roller sets (think Whitney in the 90’s). Relaxers finally ruined my scalp completely, so I started transitioning again by using this mixture – LIV leave-in crème, ProStyle Gel, and water and scrunching my hair into these pretty cool waves and curls. As the transition progressed, I started getting creative with the curly/wavy styles. I started putting my hair in medium braids at night, and I would use jeri curl rods to curl the braids tightly. When I take the braids and curls out, it would make the cutest style (think 1930s).

One day, after getting my hair pressed, I saw how badly uneven and broken my ends were, it was horrible. So finally, I did THE BIG CHOP! And, boy it was liberating. I was chemical-free!!! I wore it in a bob cut. It was so cute when pressed, but it felt so good to wash it and wear it wavy/curly knowing that this was ALL MY NATURAL hair!  I’ve been wearing it natural ever since.

Q: When and why did you decide to start wearing your hair naturally?
A:  I’ve been wearing my hair naturally on and off, but went permanently natural in the early 2000s. Chemicals were killing my scalp and ruining my hair. I always loved the look of curly hair on black women (i.e. Lark Voorhies from Saved by the Bell was my inspiration), I desired to rock that look one day.  I didn’t know my hair could really do it.

Q: Did you have any big fears about going back to your natural texture?
A: Not really. I didn’t know my hair was naturally curly and wavy, so I embraced it.  Only thing I feared was losing a lot my hair from the breakage after washing it. When my hair finally got to its total natural state, my curls got real coily and tight, and they would get tangled a lot. I had to learn to be real careful when I comb my hair out.

Q: What are three products you can't live without for nurturing/styling your hair?
A:  Essential oils (Castor at the moment), Aloe Vera Gel, A good deep conditioner (using Aubrey’s at the moment)

Q: What would you say to someone who's thinking about embracing their natural hair, but scared about being rejected in various parts of their lives?
A: Look at the millions of beautiful and prominent women who are embracing their natural hair, and say to yourself “hey, this is me – take it or leave it. I’m awesome, confident, and this is part of my heritage”. There are so many ways to wear your hair as a natural woman. You can be wild and free, or neat and chic, so don’t be afraid, there is a personal style for every natural woman. If one regimen doesn’t work, try the next.  Don’t give up. You just have to be willing to accept that being natural is a trial and error process. Not all regimens work the same, but it’s worth it when you find the right one or few.

Q: How can we keep up with you and your journey i.e. blog, twitter, facebook, fotki, tumblr, personal or professional website? (Optional)
A: www.rishabelle-summersoul.blogspot.com

Just a few pictures I love to begin the week...

Link of the day - Franchesca's Headband/Necklace

Franchesca found a great accessorie online. It is a bendable necklace that can also be worn as a headband.


I have been searching for the perfect blue and white tiles for a wall above a bench in our kitchen and I have found them.  Patchwork blue and white tiles....could there be anything more beautiful than this?! And they have used brass taps which I love.  A huge thank you to  my blogging friend Emily for posting about these.

Link of the day - Baby Kenzo looking fab!

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Wedding Styles by Twist & Curves

 Twist and Curves Natural Hair's Photos
- Bridal Expo and Photo shoot
Styles by Maria Thompson

Today I Love

I thought I would collect together a few little items I absolutely love which were sitting on my desk today.  Obviously fluoro pink is currently a favourite hue.  I must say it is hard to get things in fluoro pink so whenever I see anything in the colour I grab it including the fluoro pink envelopes, the fluoro papermate pens I recently found at our local newsagent and a little snippet of boucle fabric with fluoro pink, fluoro green and fluoro yellow threads running through it.  We also just received a new collection of vintage suzani textiles  in the shop today and this one above is my absolute favourite!

Happy Things

I think this is a wonderful idea along with something my mum told me to do last night when the rain started.  She told me to go out and breathe in the smell of the rain as she said it would make me feel happy so I did and it worked!

image - via pink wallpaper

Natural Beauty - Kwarana Adrea

This weeks Natural Beauty is model, Kwarana Adrea. A good friend of  Kwarana emailed me and recommend that I feature Kawarana. So I am very happy to introduce you to this lovely young lady, that has been natural all of her life.
What inspired your to have natural hair? Well growing up I've always notice family, friends, random people in the street - all following a trend of weaves,extensions... straighten hair, basically.  And I didn't want to be part of that group. Even still to this day, I'm the only person in my whole family who has locs. Never in my life, did I ever put chemicals in my hair. The quality and texture of my hair has never changed since day one. I remember being such an outcast in my school years, because all of little girls my age were already perming their hair.  It honestly never bothered me . My younger sister always begged my parents to have her hair permed, but I never did. As a child I grew up with every possible natural hair style you could imagine....I had the braids, corn rows, William sister beads, Afro puffs, mickey mouse puffs and Afros.  I carried those hairstyles up through elementary and middle school then eventually high school. Finally in my second year of high school, I started to grow loc's.When I first started the loc my hair, I got so much negative feedback from a lot of females, but that didn't stop me. And look at me now  ..... Its been six years now and I love my locs!!!!! I was meant to have natural hair all my life; and I wish alot of women could follow...  The same young ladies back in high school, who told me to not loc my hair, are in love with my hair  now and actually are on a path for having natural hair. So I'm very thrilled about that!!!

Maintenance Tips: I use two very good product line for my hair and I would recommend it for everyone....I use the "Loc  A Fella twist gel" & the " Jamaican Mango & Lime Island Oil".  These two products work well with my hair. I used the "Jamaican Mango Wax" for a couple of months at one point, but then I stopped because the wax created build up. So I wouldn't suggest using the wax. But a great alternative is honey. But I have always been curious to know if other people with loc's use wax and if it also created the same build up..."
- Kwarana Adrea,  facebook.com/KwaranaAdrea


These pretty pictures which I spotted in my picture file on my laptop today inspire me.  The colours, the floral wallpaper, the ruffling tulle...

image 1 - michelle holden photographer, image 2 - tumblr source unknown

Moving Forward

It's really hard to come back and post about the mundane things I post about here on my blog after our city and surrounding areas have been through the worst natural disaster in over 30 years.  I have been stalling and not really wanting to post about anything. 

I have been out to some of the worst affected areas and I have helped in my own small way.  It is really awful and probably worse than you can imagine.  I feel guilty because we weren't flooded.  I feel sad and absolutely scared for the people who have lost everything.  The elderly couple I met on the weekend have lost everything and it is just so hard to imagine how they will get over this.  I think it is the elderly I feel most sadness for as the young ones have time and the ability to recover but the elderly don't. 

Everyone I know has in some way given to those affected.  I am proud to be a Queeslander and I am proud to be part of such a caring, giving and generous community of people.  This week I will be posting about some of the wonderful ways we can help via donating to certain charities as I have been asked by so many of you living interstate and overseas.

It is time to move on, help rebuild our city and our neighbour's lives.  It will be very hard but with the response we've seen in the last few days, I think we have it in us to do great things.  I for one will do everything I can to help this week, next week and the coming months which lie ahead.

image - leanne shapton artist

Ima's Curls!

I have total loc envy when it comes to Ima's loc's. I first saw Ima online and then in person, and she is just as beautiful in person as she is in her photos (also see her previous post). Ima recently tried the styling technique of using pipe cleaners, to create big beautiful curls, with her loc's. And it came out gorgeous!

"After shampooing my loc's I put the pipe cleaners in them while still damp & kept them in until they where completely dry, before I pulled them out. I use very little oil on my scalp & hair.  I had so much fun styling my hair, it was easy to put them in." ~ Ima

I am inspired!  I will be trying this style soon. Thanks Ima...