Posts from December 2018


December 17, 2018

It’s hard to tell if it’s even a child in this image, but just the thought of a little girl spying on her parent’s soirée, makes me smile. Many of us have memories of sitting in our rooms listening to the clinking of glasses, music and jolly banter coming from the grownups downstairs. If we were lucky, we’d get to stay up a little later than usual, just to see the guests arriving. We rarely have people over past 8 p.m these days, but if we do, it’s our eldest child who loves to stay up and greet them at the door, fill up their wine glasses and eavesdrop on all the conversations. She reminds me so much of me as child, switching from a nightie to a tartan tutu in less than a minute, never wanting to miss out on a party.


December 14, 2018

I like the idea of wearing various shades of the same colour from top-to-bottom. Some colours –– black, white, navy, grey –– are easier than others. Mustard, orange, racing green, now that’s a challenge. I wear a lot of pink, all together, all the time. It never feels too much, even when it probably is. I love this monochromatic vermilion look ––  it’s fresh, fun and daring. And of course, one can never go wrong with denim blue.

80s, baby

December 13, 2018

The most recent collection from Dodo Bar Or feels like a modern riff on the 80s. I can see Alexis Colby in any one of these numbers. This jacquard top in marshmallow pink would be dream to wear over jeans or black palazzo pants, and this velvet jumpsuit with puffed shoulders is pure drama. It’s all so luxe compared to the label’s signature peasant tops and frocks, but I like both in equal measure.


material matters

December 12, 2018

I’m quite drawn to the work of Aussie artist, Sally Blake –– mostly because I find her creations so strange and ethereal. There are baskets woven from copper wire, pomegranate dyed wool, silk and hemp and beautiful wall hangings constructed from copper and aluminium wire. Some of her processes sound painstaking; “The Fire Drawings combine marks made from the ash of eucalyptus destroyed by fire with patiently delivered burns that penetrate the picture surface. The ash represents the aspect of fire that is uncontrollable which reduces everything in its path, and the burns suggest the aspect of fire which can be contained. Images are created as the paper is destroyed, revealing the tension between fire’s destructive capacity and its potential for creating the conditions for renewal.” What I find impressive is how many techniques –– dyeing, basketry, weaving, stitching and piecing –– Blake combines in her work. And the way the artist mixes natural materials with man made ones to achieve both balance and tension.

mother love

December 12, 2018

I always thought I’d have a hard time getting pregnant, mainly because I’d struggled with endometriosis for years. When I did get pregnant, a few months after our wedding, my Mum said that “pregnancy came easily to me, because so much else hadn’t.” I was so grateful to be pregnant, that I resolved never to complain about the nausea, about the leg cramps, about the size of my areola, about anything. My second pregnancy came swiftly after, with bouts of heavy bleeding that landed me on bedrest for months. Again, I resolved not to complain. It was a miracle that he was alive, that’s how I felt. By my third pregnancy, I did complain. Mostly to my husband, who always did his best to empathize with all the bonkers things that were happening to me. This time, the nausea and constant sickness sapped me dry. I felt and looked so dreadful. It really wasn’t until the last month that I blossomed, and started to embrace the pregnancy. When I look back though, the most challenging part, each time in fact, was the huge responsibility I felt. I was so conscious of what I ate, how much I exercised; was the baby growing and thriving in there? “French women drink wine and eat fois gras,” people would say. “Paula Radcliffe ran throughout two pregnancies.” Good for Paula and good for the French. Midway through my third pregnancy, I was coughing so hard that I worried my uterus felt like an earthquake. Would the reverberations hurt the baby? It’s why I was ok with bedrest, because lying flat was the only way I could relieve myself of the responsibility of something going wrong with my son. It’s a long time to carry that kind of weight. Each time, I looked forward to the babies being in the world, not least, because it meant that the responsibility would be shared. And it is, in every way. My husband and I also have a village of good people who guide, nurture and challenge our children everyday. But there’s strain of irrational angst, mad love, punched-in-the-gut pain, that no person, that no village, no matter how big can relieve a mother of. I realize now that pregnancy was just preparing me for it. As best it could.

festive greens

December 11, 2018

This is a so festive and decadent, an antique daybed festooned with a bushels of fir and brightly coloured baubles. I love the gold wreath and the candy cane effect of the red ribbon. Hard not to feel the Christmas spirit in a room like this. Shame about the size of the stocking though. How will these Italian Foliate Lamps ever fit?

white collar

December 7, 2018

I seem to be amassing a lovely collection of white shirts, some structured, some blouse-y, but each one easy to throw on over a pair of Khakis. This beauty from sustainable NYC label, Cienne is high on my wish list. It’s chic, sexy and just a little left of centre. Trifecta! Now, to keep it free of grubby fingerprints and pasta sauce. Unlikely.

room enough

December 7, 2018

There’s something cozy about a room so small that it can only house one piece of furniture. My daughhter’s room, at one time a cupboard, has a bed and a tiny, toddler wardrobe, and that’s it. She complains from time to time –– she’d like a desk and life size pony in there –– but for the most part she’s content in her quarters. And what more does a little girl need that somewhere soft to settle into at the end of the day?

square space

December 6, 2018

These tiles by Aussie stylist, Sarah Ellison for Teranova are really lovely. I like the mix of earthy tones –– rust, brown and ochre. This design looks beautiful in a bedroom, and I’d love to see something like this in our entrance. The palette is Mediterranean, and the pattern feels very 50’s. Two big thumbs up in my sample book.

nothing like a dame

December 6, 2018

A weekday matinee movie is one of my favourite things to do, one I rarely have time for. I think of my Mum when I go to matinees, partly because I remember watching back-to-back matinees in a snow storm together one winter, and partly because she’s a woman who doesn’t apologize for doing things for herself, and by herself. She never has. Even as a child, I remember watching her skinny legs in black sheers walking out the front door for the ballet or the opera. It’s quite something for a child to know she’s at the centre of your universe, while also knowing that there are other planets within that universe. This was very much the way we were raised. And it’s trickled down, the importance of doing things for oneself, and not apologizing for it. The importance of loving your children wholly and richly, while exploring other avenues that make you feel whole and rich. It’s not that I didn’t feel some tension Tuesday when I went to see a film in the middle of the day, knowing that I could’ve, and possibly should’ve been elsewhere. But I’ve come to understand how important these pleasures are for me, and how grateful I am when I have the time for them. “It was four British Dames sharing wells of stories, memories and wisdoms,” I told my children when I picked them up from school afterwards. “What’s a Dame, Mama?”

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