Pretty Country House

It really is such a treat being able to work in beautiful houses.  I am currently working on a house out in the country which has a big fabulous barn, horses and very pretty gardens.  It is an old white Queenslander and it really is something very special.  I love it so much I had to share it.  Here's a little snapshot of the front garden.  I've also posted a few photos below of the beautiful sofas, cushions and rug we delivered there this week.  Next on the agenda is a custom built-in bookcase which will cover an entire wall floor to ceiling.  I have also been asked to find a beautiful Antique dining table and chairs and the best part of all is that the clients are so kind and so easily pleased.  They love everything I show them which makes my job so easy and at the end of the day I think it makes the look so much more beautiful too...

{sorry about the smudgy photo above...not a great photo!!}

Alicia Keys - Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)

Alicia Keys has an amazing song out called "Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)".  Along with the song, Alicia made a very powerful video, that touches on the racial tensions that surround interracial relationships. The video begins in the 1950s, where Alicia's character faces anger and disapproval from her community for dating someone that is of a different race. The video covers over 6 decades, to the present day, showing that not much has changed since that time. 

This video really impressed me because I could feel a lot of the emotions from the scenes that reminded me of what I went through in my own life. My relationship with my boyfriend, who is a different race, is amazing - because he is amazing!!  Not because his skin is a different color than mine. Being a part of a interracial relationship is no different then being in a relationship with someone of your own race. The only difference is that there are people in the world that choose to treat you with hate, because of their own ignorance or self hatred.

"This is my and my boyfriend's song. Its unfortunate that others can't see the love we share for each other. instead they see a Latin and African American together and start to judge. Love is deeper than skin color."
- Nancy  

"In the video (from the 50s to the 2000s), people have not been accepting interracial relationships. She [Alicia] just shows that prejudice has not changed much since 60 years ago." - Caitlin H.

"It's crazy how not much has changed since back in the day. I use to think racism was dead until this summer when my mom found out my boyfriend was black. She freaked out. Race doesn't matter. Let's be more open-minded than previous generations and end racism! Finally." - MGL

"Interracial Love is beautiful! This song isn't attacking black men nor white men or anything just stating a truth, as to how it once was and in some areas, still is!!! Please grow up and recieve knowledge and understanding becasue IGNORANCE is not a pretty trait!!!" - Y.A.M

"I think that interracial love is beautiful, and also natural. We live in the 21st century, and I would hope to think that you would be able to date anyone, no matter race or origin, without being judged for your own decision. Just because you prefer white men over black man does not make you self hating, just as preferring black men does not make you a racist against white men. It's just preference, I think that the whole point of the video is, that LOVE is colorblind." - B.B.C

This song is one of many great songs off of Alicia Key's album "The Element of Freedom".


I will confess when I am not at work I am very much a homebody.  That's not to say I am unadventurous.  It's just that I love being at home.  We don't eat out alot these days and I tend to decline invitations to fancy events.  Some would probably tag me as boring but I just prefer, in my very small amount of spare time, to be at home with my family.  There really is no better place than home in my world.

When I spotted this vintage tear sheet on Full House blog recently it really struck a chord with me because I would love to take a week or two off to spend at home just pottering around the garden and the pool, cooking for my boys and taking some time to really enjoy what it is that we have....time to stop and smell the roses so-to-speak.

I also think that as much as I would like to NOT talk about the slowing economy and as much as I would like to ignore it, it would be remiss of me because the reality is that we are smack bang in the middle of tough times.  Please don't get me wrong, I am not writing this post to try to depress you...quite the opposite.  I am writing this post to try to inspire you.  Tough times shouldn't mean the cancellation of fun but they do make us think a bit differently about how we spend our money.  So here's one way I think we can save on money but not on fun...

With the arrival of Spring here in Australia it's hard not to think about holidays because that's what we all do when the weather gets warmer, we plan holidays.   Instead of thinking about grand plans for an expensive holiday overseas or interstate I think it could be a wonderful idea to think about grand plans for a happy and relaxing holiday at home.  Pretty up the house, add some cushions, get into the garden, read a book, take afternoon naps, cook lovely meals, play scrabble with the family and enjoy what it is that you have because what we all have is really so very much...


Photographer Leon Dale - Images You'll Love

For any one that looks for images online, depending on the site you to go - finding beautiful images for women with big natural hair is not easy. But thanks to Photographer Leon Dale, we will have another great option for finding beautiful images of women with natural hair.  Leon is currently working on a project called The Big Natural Hair Project.

"The Big Natural Hair project is a celebration of Black women with natural hair. The explosive crown of natural hair was once frowned upon,considered unkempt or too ethic for the work place.  It is now so muchmore appreciated and respected.  It has been covered by mainstreammagazines, featured in fashion spreads and on characters in prime time T.V. Ithas a thriving online community both for those who wear the style and those whoare enamoured by it.

The big natural hair project is my homage to natural hairduring this period of renewed interest.  The women who decide to wear their hair natural do so fornumerous reasons and come from diverse backgrounds. Not all of them areneo-soul, not all of them are afro-centric and the style can be rocked in manydifferent ways, from out right afro to frohawks and twists. It can shine, itcan kink, it can curl, natural hair can blow in the wind or stand in defiantcoils.

The women in this collection are particularly proud of theirhair and it shows. Their hair no longer simply a shield from the sun, but anexpression of a life style, a unique and personal accessory.  Put in itssimplest terms, the plumage that is natural hair is hot.  I believe itsbeautiful and there's a large and growing fan base that's right along side me."  - Leon Dale

Leon Dale Photography
Leon Dale's Big Natural Hair Photo Collection

Half Price

Just in case you might be interested I have just put our 4 remaining neon framed embroideries over at the online store on sale.  They are now half the original price which is very exciting!!  Only 4 left though...

CLICK HERE to see...


PS.  Please note, all of these embroideries are hand-made and will vary slightly in design to the one shown.  If you want to see a selection of what is left prior to purchasing just email us and we would love to send you some images.

Link of the Day - Natural Beauty in Swim Wear

Even with summer ending, I can still appreciate the beauty of this colorful and unique bathing suit.
Source: Current Obsessed With

Monday Ramblings

I woke up on Saturday morning to the sound of heavy rain on our old tin roof.  My plans for a mindless day in the garden had to be cancelled.

If only I could have stayed home today because this morning I woke to the most beautiful, warm, sunny Spring day.  Isn't it always the way!  I was rather envious of Merv who arrived at around 8am ready to work in the garden for the morning.  There was just something in the air this morning.  Did you feel it too?

Next on our gardening agenda is planting 2 garden beds full of Dahlias, Zinnias and Daisies.  These should then flower right through Summer...fingers crossed.

Has anyone driven passed Black & Spiro over the last few days?  Did you see the divine, divine, divine pair of vintage concrete Swan pots we have sitting right at the front as you enter our front door?  I am having major problems trying to hold myself back from getting them picked up and delivered to our house.  They came from an old house in South Australia and I will admit that I am in-love!  I really don't think I could stand seeing them go to another home.  I haven't been like this over something in the shop for such a long time!!  I wonder where they will end house or yours?

image 1 - via seboise, image 2 - via pretty stuff, image 3 - via pretty stuff

A Day for Daffodils

It seems my Daffodils have flowered right on cue.  Back in Autumn I ambitiously planted 50 Daffodil bulbs in our garden and although not all of them have surfaced, we have quite a few in flower today just in time for Daffodil Day.  To support this very special day click HERE to make a donation or to find out how you can contribute.

On that note I am signing off for this week.  I'm yearning for a weekend in my garden.

Celebrate - 1,000 Subscriber's!!!

Today marks a great day in for the Naturally Beautiful Hair Blog. We have reached 1,000 (plus) subscriber's today & 3,598 readers on the Naturally Beautiful Hair Facebook page. It has been such a great experience sharing all the joys of loving our natural hair.  Let's continue to encourage, inspire and learn from one another!! Thank you for all of your contributions and support. This blog is about you and for you. Peace, love and happiness. Continue to love your naps, loc's, coils, curls, braids, kinks and more. 


~ Karen, Naturally Beautiful Hair Blog & Website

Natural Hair Coloring Book!?!

What if there were coloring books for our little girls and young women, that inspired them to love their natural hair?  I do not know if a coloring book like this already exist - but if they do, please reply to this post, and let us know the Title of the book and the Authors name, so we can look it up.  Until then, I thought it would be great to start a collection of Natural Hair Drawings that can be printed out and given to our kids, so they can color them in.  Here are few sketches to start off with (see artist credits below):

I will continue to add drawings to an online album, that I will create on the Naturally Beautiful Hair facebook page, to add to this collection. If you have a great sketch or know of an artist that has great sketches, please contact me at  Or you can post the photo on the N.B.H. Facebook wall.

Artist:  Jacques Provitt, Ehlin, SayaDarkholme, Ehlin, Qmab, BasicLee, Izryell, Molleren, Ebonfire, Kevin Winters

Here are a few of my own sketches, that will make great print outs for coloring pages. Enjoy!
Artwork by Karen:

Dishevelled Bathroom

I love this CRAZY bathroom.  Seems I am loving everything a bit dishevelled...


PS.  This fabulous bathroom belongs to Johnelle.

PPS - I have just discovered that this bathroom AND that lovely dishevelled bookcase I posted a couple of days ago BOTH belong to Johnelle!  I didn't realise this at the time of posting.  How serendipitous!

PPPS - Well I seem to have really gotten my wires crossed.  Thanks to a reader I have been advised that this bathroom belongs to Jo Kornstein, a talented set designer in London. My sincere apologies for this mistake.

Shoe Fetish! Ernesto Esposito's Heels

Love these shoes! These are Multi-Colored Platform Heels by In Ernesto Esposito. They were worn by Beyonce, for her photo shoot for Instyle Magazine.
 Source: Necole B.

Spring Just Around The Corner...


Spring is just around the corner here in Australia.  I am really looking forward to some warmer weather and all the pretty flowers which are starting to pop up in our garden. 

I am also excited to announce that our Spring Vignette over at our online store will be live in just over 2 weeks.  We've almost sold out of our Winter Vignette however, there are still a few things available so make sure you head over there to grab any last minute bits before we close Winter.

I will say that our Spring Vignette is going to have lots of gorgeous vintage items and an array of pretty floral cushions too...something to look forward to.


image 1 - source unknown, image 2 - kate spade, image 3 - via pink lemonade design, image 4 - via mary ruffle

Inspirational Photo - NicholĂ­

Her face is framed beautifully by her loc's. Gorgeous!
Source:  Tumbler

Dishevelled Perfection

Last night I did something I haven't done in a very long time.  I got caught on a couple of tumblr sites and I couldn't get off.  I just kept on scrolling.  Back in the early days of this blog I spent a lot of time reading other blogs and tumblrs but I have to be honest, these days I don't read many blogs.  Maybe it's a time thing or maybe it's because there are just so many out there now and I can't keep up.  Not sure.  However, I did find this fabulous image on Matchbook's tumblr last night.  It stopped me in my tracks.  I love how imperfect and dishevelled it is. 

Have a great Monday! 


The Perfect Spot

Could this be the most perfect spot to sit and enjoy a warm Spring Saturday morning?  So beautiful!! 

image via - cote de texas

Simply Divine

I have a thing for white houses.  Our first house was white our second house was white, our beach cottage is white and our current house, which will be the house we stay in forever, will also eventually be white.  I don't ever stray to another colour and even when clients ask me what colour they should paint their house I always reply white.  The fact is that white houses never date.  I especially love white houses when they are surrounded by lots of gardens or big green luscious trees and lots of green neatly trimmed grass.  There is nothing prettier in my opinion.  I was completely awestruck when I spotted this beautiful old white house over at Coco + Kelley blog earlier this week.  How simply divine!!

Inspirational photo of the day!

The Cushion Thing

One of the most important elements in the rooms I put together for people is the array of beautiful, unique cushions I compile and have custom made for their sofas, armchairs, beds etc.  Usually these cushions are made in the most exquisite fabrics which are either imported, hand embroidered or made out of vintage materials or trimmed with fabulous braid or rouche.

The downside of these beautiful cushions is that they tend to be quite expensive.  Sometimes I prepare my clients for the cushion price prior to sending them their quote but sometimes I forget and there has certainly been times when I get the call in which I am asked - 'What's with the cushions?  Did you make a typing error when you wrote the price...?'

During the week we had a lovely young woman into the shop and I was thrilled to hear that she was back to purchase some of our beautiful cushions to add to her collection.  Apparently a few years ago we had made a set of our cushions for her which she absolutely adores.  She was telling one of the girls in the shop that most of her friends have been through 3-4 rounds of inexpensive, ready-made cushions since she purchased her set from us and yet her unique collection still sits proudly on her sofa loved and cherished. 

So, even if you can't afford to purchase them all up-front I suggest starting with a couple and then adding to them over time.  That way you will end up with the most gorgeous, unique collection of cushions which you will love and adore for many years to come...

Or you could be like one of my clients who comes into the shop every week and pretty much takes home a cushion a week!!  With Spring almost on our doorstep it is the perfect time to add some beautiful cushions to your sofa.  They will be like a breath of fresh air!!


image - polly wreford

A Basket of Fresh Garden Flowers

Early this morning I headed out into our garden which is currently in full bloom.  I spent about 20 minutes in pure heaven collecting this basket of fresh flowers for Black & Spiro.  It has been so great having lots of vases of fresh garden flowers in the shop over these past few weeks.  As you have probably guessed I am a little bit obsessed with fresh flowers.  Maybe if I decide to give up decorating I could just grow and sell pretty bunches of fresh garden flowers...I'd really love that. 

Pretty Chair

This pretty vintage armchair just came back from the upholsterer last week.  I particularly love the box pleated trim we added to the base of the chair.  We decided to keep the legs in their vintage state so as to show the age of the chair.  With Spring just around the corner this little floral chair is such a fresh addition to the shop...


Alfoil Packages

We have this thing in our family of packaging up food parcels in silver alfoil after big family events for everyone to take home.  My grandmother's soirees always end with a divvy up of the amazing left overs which she has often spent days preparing.  This similarly happens at my mother's house too.  But it really hasn't been a thing which happens at my house as I don't love to cook.  It's just not my thing.  I mean I can cook but I really don't get the enjoyment out of it like my mother and my grandmothers do. 

I think I am starting to become known in our family for a different type of silver alfoil package....

Whenever anyone has visited our house lately they have left with a big bundle of fresh flowers from our garden which are wrapped at the base with wet tissues and silver alfoil for the trip home.  Here's the little bundle of fresh lavender, calendulars, basil, bougainvillea etc. I collected out of our garden today for a special family member.  I hope she gets lots of enjoyment out of them this week.

I am yet to tell the family that our huge trellis of sweet peas will be in flower next week...I'm sure they'll all be dropping in for a visit once they know this!!


Easy Loc Braid Up - from Franchesca

Franchesca Ramsey create a great video tutorial for a cute braided updo. The style was inspired by Model Sepsenahki.

Interview with Sashae!

How did your Natural Hair Journey Start?
I’ve decided to transition because I want to liberate mynatural beauty. I came to the point where I want to show myself and others thatto embrace yourself naturally is a blessing from the Creator and noone should ever be afraid to be themselves. Also I was tired of theperception that “relaxed hair” is the way to go. I want to be unique, andversatile in the way God intended.  

What inspired you to wear your hair naturally?
I’ve decided to transition to my hair natural because; I nolonger wanted to feel bounded my relaxers… Also I’ve came across many ignorantpeople; and I want to inspired others/myself by showing that natural hair isphenomenal. in addition I absolutely decided no turning back when I found yourblog/website honestly that is truly what has kept me going on my journey. Ms.Karen you are my inspiration; your work is greatly appreciated. 

Any fears you may have, had or have overcome?
During this transition stage I’ve been wearing extensions(to grow out my hair) I still need to gain complete confidence for when I’m100% natural to be able to wear it & not be afraid.  I have overcomethe myth that you can’t do much styling when your hair is natural; because“natural hair” is the most versatile. 

What your natural hair goals are for the future?
To have long and healthy natural hair. Also to wear avariety of styles i.e. Bantu knots, twist outs…

What are you favorite products?
Mane’n Tail Original Conditioner, Grapeseed & JamaicanBlack Castor oil, Elasta QP  leave-in H2.
What advice do you have for those who are afraid totransition to natural hair?
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see theshadows." Making the decision to transition to natural may not be easy.However you need to overlook the negative things you’ll here from others, andbe optimistic about what you want. You should have Will-power, Patience, Commitment& Dedication.