Located in the beautiful Derwent Valley, Tasmania

Friday, February 25, 2011

a visit to MONA, Tasmania

Made from discarded plastic bottles, this urn shaped vase resembles ancient Roman glass.

One of my favourite exhibits of the entire display was titled "Tracing Time" by Clare Morgan (above, right) consisting of 10,000 dandelion seeds which were collected here in Tasmania and glued on by hand. The moment of a wren falling through the seeds and the disruption to the seeds in its wake is captured in time. Magical. As is the "Fairy Horde and the Hedgehog Host" by Tessa Farmer (above centre).

This is a Victorian period skeleton of a monkey sitting in a Rosewood chair.

More amazing exhibits... "Bit.Fall" (above) consists of water pumps that allow droplets of water to fall and form words. The sound coming from dropping water resonated throughout the lowest floor of the museum. I can still hear the wonderful sound days later.

This bust is contemporary Chinese porcelain made in Jingdezhen, Jiang Xi Province, the centre for Chinese porcelain manufacture in China. It has been decorated by hand.

These corroded bronze coins are cargo from a sunken ship and date to the Ming Dynasty 1368-1644. They have been mounted on a wall and are a piece of art in itself.
And by far my favourite theme of the museum is ancient Egyptian and Roman artifacts. From mummies, sarcophagi (or coffins), scarabs and amulets I was in ancient heaven! The collection of turquoise coloured mortuary amulets (above) are a highlight. They date from c. 664 BCE to 525 BCE and have been mounted in gold in the 20th century, possibly by Cartier. A dreamy necklace indeed. All images taken from MONA. Admission is free.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

a visit to Tricycle cafe, Salamanca place Hobart

I treated myself to a little time out at the Tricycle cafe, a little tucked away cafe in Salamanca Place, Hobart. I have actually intended to go there on a previous occasion but I literally couldn't find it on my first attempt. Above is the entrance near the Peacock theatre. The tricycle lets you know you are in the right place if you were like me and a bit lost.
The interior is decorated with colourful vintage tricycles and Art deco mirrors add more interest.
My chai tea come out in a wonderfully petite vintage enamel tea pot. We once had an enamel tea pot in our store of this size, but they are very rare. I felt right at home with the old worn silverplated tea strainer and spoon. And how cute is this little sugar bottle?
Although most famous for the market that is held each Saturday, Salamanca Place is also home to many boutique shops offering unique pieces such as The Maker (above). This store had a lovely array of handmade jewellery in the window. Just half an hour spent poking about in this area made me realise you don't have to always travel to the other side of the world to be delighted with shops and cafes...sometimes the best places are right on our front doorsteps.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

shopping for my bathroom...antique French jars and Italian candlesticks

As my bathroom is nearing completion (finally!) I am starting to look around for a few highlight pieces. Just that little something special to make the room unique. I mentioned in a previous post that I was tempted with these Italian silvered candlesticks which look fabulous wherever they have been placed around the store. Well, they have had their chance to find another home, but it looks like they will just have to come home with me!
I love the detail. They date to around c.1800 and have a lovely red colour underneath the silver.
We once had this lovely 19th century decorated apothecary jar in store, many years ago. I was sorry to see it sell but the lady who bought it put it into her bathroom and it looked fabulous. It was her little something to make her bathroom unique.
Whilst quite a bit plainer, I have always admired these three jars that we have had in store for a while. They too are apothecary jars, French I believe. I really like the chunky ground lids. I plan to put the jars in my bathroom cabinet (the one with the glazed doors I showed in a previous post). I don't mind if I leave them empty, but the sea urchins look interesting, do they not? I may have to find some other jars to display the urchins in store.
I already have an antique mirror for my bathroom but I cannot help but think how great this early 20th century Venetian mirror would look above the pedestal basin...I will have to ponder further there, for the moment it will have to stay on the wall in the soft furnishings room as I think I have been greedy enough for one week, or two (or three!)...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

new in store...French bottle lamp and carrier, director's chair, French stool and a cane chaise longue!

How wonderful is this lamp? It is made from an antique French glass bottle and is currently lighting up the very back corner of the store. We will have other lamps similar to this coming into the store over the next week, including a pair of smaller bottle lamps and a large blue glass example. I am very excited...I have already worked out where in the store they will go! This French bottle carrier is a little different to most that we find as it has remnants of a green paint. These are great for carrying wine and other drinks to the outdoor table. They can also be turned on there side for a unique wine bottle display on a shelf. This is a vintage wooden framed director's chair which has been covered with a striped slip cover. These chairs are useful as they fold up when not in use and are very comfortable as well.
My favourite piece that came in this week is this French carved walnut stool. We have had it recovered in a neutral Irish linen. Very chic. I imagine this piece at the end of a bed...perfect for sitting to put shoes on.
This Art Deco period split cane chaise longue screams "lay in me and enjoy a freshly made lemonade on the veranda". This piece was a very lucky find during the week. At the moment there is no room in the store for it so it is out the front under the veranda beckoning to passers-by...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

all my favourite things in Jeanne d'Arc Living

I was jumping with joy like a child when these two Jeanne d'Arc Living magazines arrived all the way from The Netherlands, sent by the wonderful Ria of It's Me (thanks Ria! I love them!). But the gorgeously styled covers were only the beginning. Inside were the most beautiful European homes, all looking lived in and comfortable...and filled with my favourite things.
Slip-covered arm chairs with heavy linen cushions. Just the relaxed look our store is going for at the moment. Nice pale floors as well, very Gustavian.
I love French iron day beds and this one is no exception. Again, nice comfy looking linen covered cushions.
This dining room looks functional but still relaxed, particularly with the mismatched chairs. The glazed top dresser fills the wall really well and is perfect to display glass and china. As much as I am a fan of open shelving, glass doors keep things dust free which ultimately means more time to play and display!
I adore this chequered painted floor! Especially with the grey and white as opposed to the more commonly used black and white. It has a really soft look.
Brrr! Sometimes it is easy to forget that it is snowing on the other side of the world. I would definitely be underneath that fur, not sitting on top of it! I couldn't help but notice how similar the iron garden or bistro table is to the one we have in store at the moment. Ours is quite free from snow, however.
Another of my favourite styles of day beds...a Swedish painted daybed. I love the French basket chandelier as well. So many lovely muted colours in this room with natural light coming onto the table.
This is probably the image that struck me the most with the quote written on the wall (not to mention the table and chairs...). "RISK more than others think is safe, CARE more than others think is wise, DREAM more than others think is practical, EXPECT more than others think is possible" (Claude Bissell). I could definitely take a little of this advice.
The magazine uses vintage and often unexpected objects in its styling. And they would have pages of vintage items with prices and where to find them. Very useful for those living in Europe. I could dream a little.
And last of all, a very comfortable leather chair and footstool. The perfect spot to enjoy inspiring magazines such as Jeane d'Arc Living.