Located in the beautiful Derwent Valley, Tasmania

Friday, December 31, 2010

hobart celebrates with yachts and a food festival

It was a lovely night last night in Hobart. It was mild(ish) and the waterfront festivities at this time of year generate a celebratory atmosphere. The yachts are arriving from the iconic Sydney to Hobart yacht race and dock on the wharf in all their pride. I am not particularly a boat person, but I do like to wander along and imagine the trials faced by each boat on the journey to our city. Looking out to the now famous Taste Festival. Tables are positioned inside and outside and they are always occupied. There are more than 70 food and wine stalls which show off Tasmania's produce. We managed to find a spot at an outside table quite quickly. We enjoyed Holm Oak wines and Waji's crumbed scallops and cujun calamari. We were spoilt for choice when it came to desserts, a raspberry panacotta and French fritters with strawberries and chocolate sauce. Each yacht that arrived received a welcoming cheer and clap from the Taste Festival patrons. Definitely the place to be at this time of year, again I remind myself how lucky I am to live in such a fabulous place!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

find it in our store

Page 125 Country Style December 2010
How romantic is this setting? I am not sure she is in the best outfit for climbing ladders in an orchard but she gets away with it. The day after I saw this image in the December issue of Australian Country Style I found two near identical industrial ladders!

They have very similar red paint. Very decorative. I must confess, I do have a thing for ladders, but you may have already worked this out?

Page 128 Country Style December 2010

This wooden and metal folding cafe chair is very similar to one that we found recently.

At the moment it is on the wall in the garden room next to a fancy seagrass chair. We will definitely be on the search for cafe chairs on our next buying trip. And one can never have enough ladders...

Monday, December 27, 2010

the perfect gift for the francophile and antiquaire

Firstly, I hope that everyone has had a wonderful Christmas time with family and friends (and received as many lovely thoughtful gifts as I did!). One such gift was this book by Laure Verchere. The pages are filled with the most inspiring images from stalls of the Saint-Ouen flea markets (les puces in French) of Paris. Now all I need is a little time to sit and read this book, and to dream of trawling the streets of les puces again...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

our French table on the cover of Australian Country Style magazine

I did a little double take when Mum's copy of January Australian Country Style arrived and I saw the cover. Not only is the Tasmanian scenery beautiful, I spied our French cafe table smack bang in the middle!
The setting is magical. I could easily have a little picnic at this table and chairs on the coast. Some of the other little props are also from our store.
Here is the table in our store, ready to go out for the photo shoot back in October. I know I always say Country Style is one of my favourite magazines...it most definitely is now! The magazine often comes to Tasmania to promote what this state has to offer. And the January issue with this cover does just that - shows off Tasmania's rugged coastal beauty but hints at the refinements available in between...

Monday, December 20, 2010

new in store...Gustavian dining chairs and Indian juggling batons

These chairs are wonderfully elegant with their high backs and cut out detail. The seats have been reupholstered in a neutral linen. They date to early 20th century.
These Indian juggling clubs have been stained a deep red and decorated with gilt highlights. We have never had any quite like these. I would think they date to late 19th century.
This industrial butcher's shelf was in the garden room previously and we have just moved it out into the main hall. It has more space now and looks great. I love the industrial wheels at the bottom. It would work well in a kitchen for stacks of white china or in a lounge room for stacks of books.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

one week to Christmas

Image from Australian Country Style, December 2010 page 130
I fell in love with these apothecary bottles...how great do they look together like this? At this time of year one week from Christmas I found this image from one of my favourite magazines, Country Style most appropriate. Each vintage bottle is labelled with the instructions to revive, unwind and relax. And sometimes when we are so busy we have to remind ourselves to do just that, even if it is just for a few minutes (longer is better of course). For some it could be to get out in the garden to water some plants or sit in that seagrass chair under the veranda. And most importantly to treasure the time we have with family and friends. I hope that everyone has a lovely lead up to Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

an early Christmas present for me

My early Christmas present to myself arrived and I was oh so excited. It is a large Indian grain pot and still has some decorative paint on it. It is huge, so tall that I can't even see inside it. I plan to make it a centrepiece of the vegetable garden (I promise a photo when this happens). It is so wide that it didn't fit through the back gate! After removing the gate and some of the palings off the fence, it made it through into the back yard. Phew!
I picked up this tin jug and a faded wreath in a great antiques store in Richmond, Tasmania called Walkers of Richmond. This wreath is now on the back door, without embellishment (it is just nice as it is).
During the week I also picked up this wonderful seagrass chair. I thought I would keep it as it is very comfortable and is a lovely faded colour. But my cat liked it even more than me and I am too frightened that she will use it as a scratching post. So up to the store it goes... we have a fantastic collection of wicker and seagrass chairs at the moment, perfect for sitting back with a cuppa under the veranda...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the drill hall emporium gets into the Christmas spirit...

We found these mercurised glass acorns in a shop closing down in Harrogate, Yorkshire on our last overseas buying trip. They are now hanging on our ladder near the counter.
A decorated Christmas tree greets customers upon entering the store. It is sitting on an early Spanish farmhouse table in between some Spanish oil jars. The crystals are actually chandelier drops!
A wreath with holy hangs on the front of our counter. Along with "Merry Christmas" written with our printer's blocks. Some people have bought small printer's letters to do their own "Merry Christmas" cards.
Red baubles hang from antlers in a large dough bowl. Suddenly, Christmas is less than two weeks away. A very exciting and busy time...enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

vintage objects for growing herbs and salad

I really enjoyed this article from Notebook magazine (October 2009, pages 132 - 136) on using vintage objects to grow your own herbs and salad. It made me start looking around the yard and the kitchen at otherwise unused objects. It is much better for the environment too, to use items that may be thrown out (who am I kidding, I throw nothing out!). I love the cart in the first image with rosemary, oregano and lavender growing successfully in it. I once read that we should try and buy items that will last. The best example of this is the humble bucket. You can pick up plastic ones at the big hardware stores for around 79c or something ridiculously cheap. But is it really cheap? And at what cost to the environment? I know from my own experience that all plastic buckets eventually crack (even the better examples, the ones that cost around $3). Alternatively, one could buy a tin bucket (new ones probably cost around $18 at a guess). Galvanised tin does not rust and being made of metal should not crack for a very long time. I know what I would prefer to buy and use. Actually my ideal bucket is vintage tin buckets like the two above in our store (great for a Christmas tree, by the way) as they are heavier than their modern equivalents.
For this same reason, I choose to buy very good quality garden tools, especially the old ones (see previous posts from June and October). I have never, ever had an old tool break which means less trips to those big hardware stores.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

amazing london kitchen and photographer

Photos: Paul Massey
This is such an amazing kitchen. It belongs to Paul Massey, London photographer. He obviously has a knack for interiors too! I particularly like the contrast of the rustic butcher's block with the predominantly white setting. I also like the what I assume is a pantry cupboard, painted grey with timber coming through.

Photo: Paul Massey

Just string on a parcel...it looks so good! Another great antique cupboard in the background.

Photo: Paul Massey
Great stack of French linen towels. We can never have enough of these in our store! (Or at home...) Wonderful imagery (and chairs).
Photo: Paul Massey
More string, along with an antique French mirror, plus a jar of shells. Sometimes I wonder whether I should have little areas that are picture perfect...but this is an unrealistic goal. Ultimately I think it best to surround one self with loved and found objects, then things will be perfect.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

new in store...a birdcage, french benches, a duck and more

This birdcage was put into the store today. I love the shape! I found a spot for it in the soft furnishings room on a blue painted chest of drawers, the colours work well together. These French fruitwood forms have been in the shop previously, but they couldn't fit for a while so they went into storage. I am glad I found a spot for them on the big farmhouse table as I really like these. They are much happier in the store.
These soft pink linen cushions have just come in. One sold instantly, so only one is left. It is backed in a soft bone linen.
Donna found this French pottery bowl during the week. It has a lovely glaze and is a good size.
This cute decoy duck has made his home on an old Oscar Wilde book on a French ladder. He looks content, does he not?
The case on top of the tin trunk is made from a black canvas and has a leather trim. It too was a lucky find this week.
And our clever younger sister has been busy hand printing these calico bags with French sayings using our antique printers blocks (she raided our stock to do these!). Next she will do some for Christmas, perfect for wrapping Christmas presents...the ultimate recyclable wrapping!
The new range of bags are hanging on our French ladder at the counter, ready for action.