Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Lazy Sunday In Bowral

What better way to spend a drizzly Sunday than to take a drive to the Southern Highlands .

Bowral is a leisurely 1 1/2 hours drive south west of Sydney. It is a mecca for cafes, homewares , book shops and boutiques.

One such place is a divine French inspired shop so named 'So French'.

Linda and Pauline, a very talented Mother and Daughter team are the owners and their combined talent make this shop a worthwhile visit.

They are both extremely welcoming and are willing to share their knowledge and aspirations, but best of all there are many wonderful items to tempt one . How could you walk past these wonderful doors, they just beckon you inside.

This bike just takes my mind to the country lanes of Provence, in a country where bike riding is a foremost mode of transport.

Open those doors and this is the greeting, a real feast for the eyes.

Its hard to know where to begin, unfortunately these shutters had already been sold

but this old French grape crushing bath, with pourer is still available for sale, it is truly divine and would look wonderful with an array of buxus plants and some white cosmos, what do you think ?

no matter which way you turn there is something to tempt open the purse strings

really different pieces of furniture with lovely paint patina's

Room fragrances and candles adorn the shelves.

All displays put together with thought and imagination. Can't go past a box plant wrapped in hessian.

as I said previously the girls love to share their future aspirations, and they have some amazing plans for this area. I think I can reveal this is going to end up an amazing courtyard that you will want to spend some time in. (Watch this space further down the track)

another corner of the same courtyard

In case you are wondering, yes we did manage to come home with some goodies.

I love nice soap and I also love anything to do with script, how could I leave this behind.

I enjoy just having these lying about the house , they not only look interesting, they smell lovely.

and yes we purchased this.

You are probably wondering why anyone would purchase an old paint peeling window frame.

Well we have plans for this trust me, I will reveal in a later post. ( Mr L&R has some work to do first)

Just a close up to show you the detail of peeling paint. Such character that only comes with age.

Just around the corner from So French is another wonderful shop called 'My Place'.

Lynne Wilson, the owner of this shop is another very talented lady who knows exactly how to put together an enticing store.

Lynne used to own 'Berrima Patchwork' Berrima is another wonderful destination a further twenty minutes down the road.

This time Lynne has decided rather than a straight patchwork shop she wanted to do something a little different. This is the place to be inspired to make things for the home as well as clothing and bags. Sure you can still buy gorgeous fabric to make quilts (She has great taste in fabric).

Why don't you come inside and have a look around.

That's if you can bear to leave this lovely courtyard

after you have have stepped inside the gate

there is plenty to tempt the purse strings open in here also, notions, patterns, homewares , stamps,etc etc.
It is almost impossible to walk past this display of the 'French General' fabrics without a sampling to take home and add to the stash.

Some inspiration to use these gorgeous fabrics

Shelves of fresh funky fabric just waiting to be made into something wonderfulA simple throw draped over a chair with the fabrics displayed along side .or how about some of this fresh and crisp looking fabric to make this gorgeous bag.
The vibrancy of these braids and trims are hard to walk past,perhaps a book or two could find their way to the counter for purchase.
Right next door is an Interior Designers store, I was enamoured by the front path.

not to mention what was displayed in the window.and in the window on this side an old dough table caught my eye. (sorry about the bad reflections in these windows, the shop was not open) Whilst we were peering in the windows, the most amazing fragrance was in the air ,I looked around

and realised the plantings were Rosemary and these gorgeous silver curry plants. What a fantastic idea , the colours so suited that gorgeous path.
at the side of the shop was this stunning garden. Designed by renowned landscape architect, Peter Fudge.
How I would love it to be our garden.

That's how we spent our Sunday. Lovely.
I hope you enjoy this tour Bowral.
Until next time happy creating

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oh My, How Time is a Thief

It is a month since I last updated my blog, just where has all that time gone. Some of it was spent here, Mr L &R & I love spending some of our down time at this beach in the lovely Port Stephens area. We have had some extremely hot sunny weather and the best way to keep cool is a dip in the ocean. I took these photos last Saturday , when temperatures here reached 43 degrees. I have to say little relief was achieved even at the beach, the sand was so hot it was impossible to walk on without Jandals on. Thankfully most people were sensible and kept themselves under some sort of cover.
As the clouds started to build in the afternoon (ahead of the cool to 35 degree change) I thought this was such a beautiful vista especially for anyone that is a lover of blue and white, as I am.

Little sewing has been achieved. I have been working on a little project that is very portable , it is difficult to know what to bring away when we are on holiday and I can be guaranteed I always want something that I left behind.
This project is a lap size clam shell quilt.

Very apt for sewing whilst on holiday at the beach.

It is such a fun project, you get to play with all your favourite bits of fabric. It is going to be very scrappy.

Row by row, every other row will be a shirting fabric of some description.
The clams are just randomly picked out of the basket and how it ends up is how it will be.

as I said previously you just get to play with all your favourite bits and no scrap is left out.

possibly the only problem being that you tend to end up with a few quilts that are similar in colour but is that really a problem?

The construction and inspiration for this quilt came from my attending classes with Brigitte Giblin at Material Obsession.
If you can't get to attend a class with Brigitte, Material Obsession are offering some Brigitte BOM , which is a great alternative.

I have also been trying to improve my needleturn applique skills. Included with the latest Quilters Companion magazine is a DVD which gives some great hints on needleturning.
There have been some very generous bloggers in the past that have given tutorials, such as Janet and Cathy and watching this DVD just reinforced what that have blogged about.
One thing I should say about these DVD's whilst they are helpful , I just wish the camera person would get overhead during these demonstrations, I find myself standing up thinking I will be able to see what is going on behind those hands.(Just a little constructive criticism)

These circles are my practise, I am very happy with the outcome. I remember Janet say just take small steps, this is reinforced in this DVD , just think about 2 stitches at a time.

You may have noticed over at my friend Liz's place , Liz blogged about this pattern from Michelle Yeo.
We are thinking we will do a quilt along , anyone out there want to play ?

I made a test block , the templates that we ordered to go with the pattern are fantastic. The block is 14 inches and takes no time to construct. I haven't chosen a background fabric as I like to construct all my blocks then audition them for the background.
I am not sure what fabric way I will go, I think Kaffe fabrics could be fun but Reproductions could also be good.
I think the centres should be a stripe just to make it a little challenging, or any fabric that could be fussy cut to give it some movement.
What do you think ?
Anyway if any of you are interested we could set up a flickr and load our photos, we could even have a block swap of one or two blocks , let me know what you think and perhaps we could set something up to begin in the autumn, that is March here downunder.

Today is Australia Day here downunder. We get to have a day off. It is a beautiful day , so it is off to the beach and them home for a Lamb B-B-Q in the evening.
I hope whatever you decide to do is also a fun day.
Until next time
be happy in whatever you do, and by the way a very happy and creative twenty ten.