Located in the beautiful Derwent Valley, Tasmania

Saturday, December 31, 2011

happy new year!

Image via splenderosa
Thank you to all my followers and visitors for a wonderful year of comments and thoughts. I hope that I could provide a little inspiration at times. What better way to bring in the new year but with beautiful antique champagne flutes? I am not sure whether the tray is silver or pewter, but it sure suits well.
And in such an eco conscious period, I have to agree with this motto...well, for one night, maybe!
Happy new year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

antique shopping and French linen in country Victoria

At the beginning of the month I had the opportunity to explore one of my favourite getaway places, the Daylesford area in country Victoria. I once again stayed at Hepburn at Hepburn (see previous post). Would you believe it if I told you that I was there for work purposes? Probably not. Especially as I did seem find the time to visit some of my favourite stores, including Lavender and Lace Living in the town of Maldon, north of Daylesford. Dianne who owns the store is surrounded by gorgeous vintage and new linens and lace for the homemaker and romantic in us all. Check out the monogrammed linen shades on the lamp, above.
I also love the detail in this panel, above, with the embroidered chickens.
Damask tablecloths are beautifully laundered and are piled up on a table. These tablecloths are becoming increasingly hard to find, I have noticed.
More antique linens stacked into a shelf. Very dreamy!
And antique floral quilts. Perfect for a little girl's room.
Another shop I couldn't wait to visit since reading about it in the April 2011 Australian Country Style was Peonies and Picnics, in the town of Daylesford. Look at the wonderful shopfront, above.
Peonies and Picnics is a delight inside, filled with all sorts of goodies including antiques, vintage wares and carefully selected gifts and home wares.
A central table in the middle of the store with soaps and other gifts.
Spanish oil jars are displayed on a sideboard.
A basket filled with brushes. I have such a brush at the sink for scrubbing potatoes and find it very useful.
And a polished milk churn.
The gorgeous window display must have great success in tempting people passing by in to the store. Who could resist?
Peonies and Picnics also stocks a selection of vintage French including ticking. Adjoining the store is a little cafe, a perfect little reward for a tiring day exploring!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry, merry Christmas to all

Image via the Paper Mulberry
As always, I can't resist a picture with antiques. And nothing suits Christmas warmth like pewter. I would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas with loads of joy, I hope that many dreams come true today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

antique gifts for Christmas (that you may not have considered!)

A friend suggested that I post some unique Christmas gift ideas, so here it is! A very small and inexpensive gift could be these gorgeous ceramic pudding dolls which date to around 1900. These miniature dolls were traditionally placed within the Christmas pudding. They are referred to as "feves" in France (Feve is french for Fava Bean, which originally represented the baby in French). Here are other gift ideas from our store that may just suit your hard to buy for friends and family...
For the homemaker...embroidered silk susani cushions from Turkey, handmade scented soy candles and silk ikat cushions, also from Turkey. These cushions have only just arrived in our store, just in time for Christmas!
For the linguist...tiny, tiny printer's stamps (you could send a message, or spell their name), leather bound Shakespeare volumes and a collection of printer's ampersands.
For the gardener...French herb pots, English watering cans and hand tools.
For the entertainer...French cheeseboards (these are a very popular gift at the moment, great for serving cheese or pizzas), French ebony handled knives, French linen harvest tablecloths, and French (of course!) chopping boards and bone handled knives.
For the cook...English cooking utensils, Mrs Beeton's home cookery book (opened at the pudding page, perhaps a recipe for next Christmas?), French linen tea towels, and big and small mortars and pestles.
For the decorator...lamps made from boot tree forms (arrived in store today), reindeer hide rugs, finger coral and sea fan coral, vintage glass fishing floats.
For the collector...chemist bottles, egg timer (this is so cute!), decoy duck, baby shoe lasts, boxed dominoes and sea urchins.
And for the very, very hard to buy for loved one, there is always our hand-stamped gift vouchers (on authentic elephant dung paper). Perfect.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

new French style bakery cafe in Hobart...Daci & Daci

I am very excited with the new bakery cafe that has only just opened in the last few weeks, right near Salamanca Place in Murray Street. It is called Daci & Daci, the names of the passionate duo who are currently baking their hearts out to deliver artisan breads and patisserie items to meet Hobart's demands. I called in this afternoon and bought some fig and walnut bread, green olive bread and their grainy bread, too! I didn't know which to try first...And the bread is all displayed on a 19th century French iron baker's stand. The bread has been selling out quickly, as you can see. You may recognise the baker's stand from our store. We were pretty sad to see it leave, we all loved it so much. But now I get to visit it in its new home. And the best part is it is now being used for its original purpose - to display bread!
The antique Gothic style counter has inset marble for the French style sweet pastries. I bought a traditional French escargot pastry to bring back memories of Paris.
The asparagus and gruyere tart had all but sold out. The savoury pastries and fresh sandwiches are displayed on these French style cheese boards.
Other baked items available for purchase, such as vanilla marshmallows, toasted muesli, Christmas cakes along with many other goodies, all made on site. In fact, the building was originally a bakery. There is a photo of the 19th century bakery within the cafe.
You can sit out on the deck on a nice day on these vintage French cafe chairs at original French bistro tables.
It is because of passionate people such as Daci & Daci that makes me love living in Hobart. I am pretty sure I will become a frequent visitor of Daci & Daci...did I mention that they make a great coffee?

Monday, November 28, 2011

antique inspiration in Sydney

On a recent trip to Sydney, and with only a few days to spend, I couldn't resist a hunt in a few antiques stores.
This lamp has been made from an 18th century shoe. Isn't it exquisite?
And even more stylish is this lamp made from an plaster corbel. In this case, it can double as a bookend.
These light shades are actually 19th century French glass garden cloches. We have sold out of such cloches in our store, but I will be on the hunt for some more on my next overseas buying trip.
The pair of mirrors above are made from from original zinc window pediments from French châteaux which are known as oeil de boeuf or "bull's eye". These are highly sort after. I didn't check the price but they would have been pretty expensive.
I fell in love with these gorgeous marble topped side tables. They appear to be Italian and early 19th century . Wouldn't they be great as bedside tables? Or perhaps in a very decadent bathroom or dressing room...
And this little antique shop guard dog found a friend in this tiger. Hmmm. Whilst I was watching the dog sniffed around the tiger's head and then jumped back in surprise and fright as one of the tiger's whiskers happened to tickle his face. Too cute.
And we were fortunate enough to catch the wonderful Picasso exhibition at the Art Gallery NSW. It runs until March 2012. For more information visit here. A perfect way to finish a little break in Sydney.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

a white (and silver) christmas countdown

I am very in love with this gorgeous knitted stocking with little crystal embellishments. It (almost) makes me want to start knitting! But I think I will leave that to the experts and try and source a ready-made version...if anyone knows of where to find, please let me know. Doesn't the colour of the wool look lovely against the white boards? It makes me feel excited about Christmas and the chance to decorate.
I adore silvered glass baubles such as these. I can't get enough! I have seen them for sale in a store in Hobart, Store and co. I think I will have to go shopping... I am picturing them hanging from white painted branches in a galvanised tin tub. With a bit of linen thrown into the mix. Somewhere.
And candles. Of course.

As my countdown to Christmas begins I contemplate how fortunate I am. I have wonderful family and friends to share the time with and can't wait to cook together, laugh together, and to give more of myself. Well, that is the plan, anyway...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

new in store...French stool, baby shoe lasts, chic Eastern table, printer's blocks and French linen cushions

This French limed oak stool is the most gorgeous piece in our store at the moment. It has been reupholstered in antique Belgium linen. I think I am drawn to furniture with cross frames such as this. Oh, and limed wood it seems. But then again, who isn't? These baby shoe lasts are also new into the store. I pictured them here with an adults sized last so that you may get an idea of just how small they are. I cannot see these lasting long in the shop! I love the patina on each and every piece of this antique printer's alphabet. The set includes some punctuation and also numbers. One would not need be too creative to make Christmas greeting cards with a set such as this. The unusual font would suit the French greeting Joyeux Noël. But then again, any writing in French looks good, I think. This Indian folding table is the epitome of Eastern chic. I recently took home an inlaid Indian folding table for my lounge room and I can't stop admiring it. I have placed a piece of coral on it with an Eastern lamp and it looks great. The detail in the tray top is amazing, it appears to be silver inlaid into copper and all hand engraved.
Our stocks of cushions made from handwoven grain sack linen has been replenished and are in the garden room at the moment.
And here is our version of Zoe Hoare's Hamptons style cushions (see previous post). These have been made from French harvest linen, used during wine harvests to cover the outside tables. Cushions with history, now that is what I like!