Giveaway - Red Beaded Flower Hair Clip!

Today's giveaway is a Red Beaded Flower Hair Clip. It is five hand beaded petals using seed beads, held together with silver wire  and formed into a flower. The back has a duck bill clip attached.  Measures 3 1/4"  in diameter. The hair accessories is from Fatemeh's Jewelry & Accessories.

To win this item, reply to the post with your funniest hair experience as a child. This contest will end on March 11th, 2011 at 10pm. The winner will be chosen by Fatemeh, Designer and shop owner. Good luck!

Rearder Art - Painting by Anjula

Oil painting by Anjula Montgomery

Ormiston House in Veranda Magazine

Well, it's turning out to be a big week for us.  We just found out that the Ormiston house has made the front cover of Veranda Magazine in Poland.  I thoroughly enjoyed working with Paul and Hayley on their beautiful home and am overjoyed by this wonderful article.  The morning of the photo shoot I gathered lots of flowers and foliage from my garden at home and arranged them at the house.  My favourite arrangement was the one I did on their dining table in a collection of Hayley's mismatched antique jugs and vases.

Thanks again must go to Catherine Shields and Simon Kenny for their continued interest in my work and their beautiful coverage of these lovely family homes I have had the pleasure of working in.

If you would like to see more images of Paul & Hayley's house head over to Content's website HERE...

Gumdale House in AWW

Back in 2007, I was very excited when Sharnel & Perry Dollar asked me to help them with the interior of their new family home.  The latest issue of Australian Womans Weekly magazine features their alluring home.  It was lovely to look at the images and remember all the work which went into making it the special place that it is today.

Sharnel was a wonderful client to work with as she was very open to everything I suggested and recommended.  Catherine Shields & Simon Kenny's story certainly captures the ambience of the Dollar's beautiful family home.

As Summer Fades...

As Summer draws to an end here in Australia we are heading away down to the beach for a few days to enjoy what remains of this warm balmy weather.  I hope you have a great weekend wherever you are, whatever you do...


PS - My heart goes out to all of those in Christchurch who have been affected by the terrible earthquake.  What is happenning in this world of ours?xx

Inspiration Photo - "Life Is Devine"

Source: Devine Color (paints)

NY Cushions

For a bit of fun we picked up some I love NY tote bags when we were in NYC a few weeks ago to make into cushions for the shop.  We selected a few different fabrics to put onto the backs of them.  We only have 3 left...we should have bought more!

Alexander McQueen Canvas Foldover Boot

Love it or Leave it!?! 
These shoes were featured on Fashion Bomb Daily today, and worn by both Beyonce and Nicki Minaj.  Thoughts?

Apple Tea Cake

Whilst I'm not a wonderful cook like others in my family, I don't mind cooking a lovely old fashioned cake every now and then.  One of my favourite cakes to cook is actually a lemon and coconut cake which is an old Woman's Weekly recipe.  However, I think my family may be a little bit 'over' my lemon cake so tonight I went in search of something new to cook.  I didn't have to search very far as I found a recipe I am going to try in the latest Real Living magazine.  My family and I are all heading away down to my cousin's beach house this weekend so I might just try my hand at this recipe tomorrow night.  I figure that if I post about it then maybe I will actually do it!!

PS.  Thank you all so much for the super kind comments you left me in my last post about my grandmother...Considering your interest in her, I might post more about her in the future.

Link of the Day - From I Love My Loc's Blog

Kitty always has the most amazing images on her I Love My Loc's Blog.

I Love Her

This is my grandmother.  Her name is Ellie and this is what she was wearing when she came to visit me today at Black & Spiro.  She is one of the most stylish women I have ever met and I am so proud to call her my grandmother.  She has done so much for me in my life and I love her so much.

Black & Spiro Today

Today we changed our front window display.  It was a little overdue I must admit.  The fresh blue, white, pink and yellow in the windows is nice for a change.  Our Max range of furniture is now available in a console table which we have placed into this display in yellow.  The nice thing about this furniture we are making is that it can be made in any colour and it only takes a few weeks to have it manufactured and delivered.

Isn't it hot today!!  I can't wait to go for a swim when I get home this afternoon...

Friday Flowers

I took this photo at Dean & Deluca in New York a few weeks ago and thought it would be perfect to post today for Friday Flowers.  I just can't get New York out of my mind.  I think I am going to have return sooner rather than later...

Happy Weekend.  See you next week.


Color Correction Tip from Nerissa

Model Nerissa Irving did a YouTube video talking about how she washes her hair. It is a two part video. I can't link the first video, because there is a shower scene... lol.  But above are a few screen shots of of the first and second video. Before Nerissa washes her hair, she does a color check/correction. She looks for any spots where there may be sun damage or embedded lint.  She then uses Bigen to color correct those spots.  I can link part two of the video where she shows how she moisturizes her hair and creates her big curls -

Thanks Nerissa!  I also did a blog a while back on an alternative color spot correction here.

What is James Wearing

I have been checking out James Andrew's blog - What is James Wearing for a couple of years now, on and off {it's quite funny seeing his poses} so I was excited to see his apartment featured on New York Social Diary recently.  I love his bedroom {particularly the navy and white ikat covered armchair} and look inside his many beautiful jackets and all so neatly lined up.  To see more pictures {including his shoe collection} and to read more about James head over to the NYSD HERE...

French Native Beauty - Anaïse

Today's Natural Beauty is Anaïse (it sounds like "Anna-is", it's a french). She is from French Guiana.

Q: What is your hair story?  What kind of hair styles have you rocked, before embracing your natural hair?
A: I was 12 or 13 years old when I started relaxing, but I met problems with breakage, lot of length gone and damaged hair! I was 15-16 years old and I thought I would prefer a short and healthy natural hair, rather than “long” and damaged relaxed hair. Then I decided to do a big chop once. Unfortunately, it wasn't so easy at this time because I wasn't enough mature to embrace my natural hair. Indeed, relaxed hair is a standard for a lot of people. I decided to go back to relaxed, as it took a good length. 

Q: When and why did you decide to start wearing your hair naturally?
A: I was around 19 years old and I left my country to study in France. So it was easier to wear my hair in my teeny weeny afro again! Before going to the plane, I went to a hairdresser for the big chop again! No laughs, no unkind remarks… it was easier, new friends, new schoolmates, new life, new community! You know, living in French Guyana is like living in a small village, and it’s harder to correspond with a beauty standard or ideal because people like to talk, gossip, and give "advice". Obviously, in France there are many black people who don't like kinky hair and prefer relaxing but in general, "indifference" is the norm. I realized we can be pretty the way we are. Everyone has complexes and some unkind remarks that can hurt, so you can choose to pay them no mind even if it's not easy everyday!

Q: Did you have any big fears about going back to your natural texture?
A: Hum...looking like a guy! But I found great ways to feel more feminine. Since the BC, I've tried to take care of my hair, my skin, make up, jewels, etc.

Q: What are three products you can't live without for nurturing/styling your hair?
A: Organic Root Stimulator's Olive Oil Moisturizing Lotion, Curl Junkie's Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix, Bioshine Intense's aloe vera treatment (Brazil)

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: Appearance isn’t the most important thing (humor, intelligence, temper, points of view are far more important in terms of relationships), but people sometimes act like is. Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated for who they are, but you also do your best to be an “attractive person”. I’ve never really felt ashamed about my hair but there was a gap between my natural hair (+ other things) and some TV idols. Today, I feel prettier than ever because I'm not challenging a beauty standard. I understood 

 there is difference between  "my beauty" and "the ideal of beauty".

Q: How can we keep up with you and your journey i.e. blog, twitter, facebook, fotki, tumblr, personal or professional website? (Optional)
A: I have a blog but if you don't speak french, it's difficult to understand!
Thank you Anaïse! Gorgeous pictures and I enjoyed reading your interview. ~ Karen

Brown Packages

The bounty of goods we purchased in New York has started to arrive.  Today we received our first deliveries.  One of the things we opened was the wonderful HUGE vintage one-off Chanel poster we purchased along with some colourful fabrics.  I was suprised to see these things arriving so quickly.  I am looking forward to the next delivery of special things we went to the other side of the earth to find for our clients and customers.

Comfortably Cluttered

This morning I received my digital copy of the latest Canadian House & Home magazine.  I did my usual quick flip through and then happened upon this article with the title - Comfortably Cluttered.  I liked the sound of it.  When I read articles about people who live their lives without clutter and are neat and tidy I feel like I am such a mess but I'm not a mess.  I feel most comfortable when I am surrounded by the things I love.  This afternoon I took a photo of the pile of fabrics and trimming sitting on my desk here at work which I am currently working on   {bottom image above},  That's how it is for me and I don't think I will ever change...I am comfortably cluttered!!

Happy Valentines Day!

Art work found on Alisa Burke.


Today I received pretty pink and orange flowers for Valentines Day from my husband which I arranged in a vintage blue and white willow patterned teapot.

Today I obsessed over this fabric and contemplated it for a new project.

Today I cooked Spaghetti for dinner.

Today I did a guest post on my brother's new blog HERE...


Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.

 {Robert Browning}

For Bebe

Look at these darling little handmade elephants by Fern & Feather.  I'm always on the lookout for beautiful baby gifts.  With two friends having babies soon I think I might just have to order one in but it's so hard to choose which one!  Click HERE to see the current selection available.