Saturday 28 April 2012

Francoise Nielly

Lately, all of our spare time is being spent in hardware, garden, thrift and furniture stores or on eBay or Etsy.  If we're not doing that, we're talking about it! We're deep into nesting mode, whether it's converting the pond into a herb garden or finding just the right coffee table or hanging art on the walls. We're throwing ideas around, solving problems, being creative. I'm LOVING it. 

I came across French artist Francoise Nielly a few months back and her work made me stop, and move my face right up to the screen.  These images have been in the back of my mind this week, perhaps playing a part in the decisions being made.  Daring me to be a little bold and fearless.

Happy weekending!

Belinda x

Wednesday 25 April 2012


So, this blogging gig's a funny thing isn't it.  It's been four months now since I started. Still such a newbie, flying blind, and self doubt lingers. I'm having a bit of a moment, maybe it's a lull in inspiration, maybe its the change in weather, maybe its the fact that there's a big, scary thing on the horizon, I'm not sure but I feel a little lost in it all.

Sometimes blogging can really make my day, make my heart swell and mind spin with ideas. Other times it can feel quite lonely and intimidating. Especially after blog hopping, people seem to have time, amazingly interesting lives and limitless inspiration to share weekly, daily, hourly! I do not have any of these things.  But then I remind myself of why I started and really, it's something I did for me. So I'm vowing to take it easy, keep it simple, not get caught up in what others may think. 

I've really been enjoying the process of writing and sharing things that inspire or motivate me. And I love this keepsake of my happiness and treasures. It's definitely helped to instil some sense of balance between the corporate machine that constantly threatens to consume, and my creative leanings. But, it's also exacerbated that feeling of being limited by time. Maybe I've just added more to the list of things to do without really making room for it.... I'm also mindful that this doesn't steal from the already precious little time I have to simply be, with my beautiful, patient husband.

*sigh* please forgive my ramblings today. I'm processing my thoughts out loud.  It kinda works for me ;-)

On a completely different note, we've been busy getting our new home just so. This move has been somewhat cathartic.  Knowing we're setting our roots here, we've been clearing out things of the past, simplifying and making room to breathe. I've given away an entire rack of clothes & shoes to friends, we've found a local 'Buy, Swap, Sell, Giveaway' group and have been offering artwork and furniture away for free. It feels great to share with people and receive their smiles as thanks.

Belinda x

Friday 20 April 2012

Top Five

Rich and I went to see Angelique Kidjo the other week, which was really nostalgic for me since I've loved her since I was fifteen.  She turned me onto world music and a whole world of music I hadn't ever been exposed to.  

My brother, sister and I share a love (obsession) of music.  As kids, we grew up listening to whatever was in the charts, it wasn't until we were older that we really got our education in music. We have deaf parents so we didn't have their musical influences shaping our own.

I remember distinctly hanging out at my friend Katie's house when I was fourteen, working our way through The Beatles back catalogue she had grown up listening to, learning about them for the first time ever. Sure, I'd heard a few of the songs by then, but I really didn't have a clue who they were! It was only then that I realised that there was so much more to music than songs that made you feel good on a top 40 countdown.

Homebake Festival, 2008
Arrested Development
Baba OJ !
Kings of Leon (pre Sex on Fire) 
Rage against the Machine
Laura Marling 
Outside Lands Festival, San Francisco
Lissie & me!
So many memorable live shows over the years, and I've been thinking recently about my all time top five.  It's difficult to choose because there are so many variables and reasons why one might stand out. It's not always just about the music either. More often than not, it's also about those that you share the experience with. Or those songs from our life's soundtrack that remind us of certain times and memories.  My list is always going to be sentimental, I cant be any other way.  This is my (current) all time top 5 and why:

1. Faith No More, The Horden Pavilion, 1995.
I went to this gig with some friends of mine who played in a band.  When those distinctive first few chords of 'Epic' were played, we ran from our seats down to the mosh pit.  Before I knew what was happening, my mates had hoiked me up off my feet and let me go…..I was crowd surfing. I will always remember those moments of making my way to the stage - above the crowd - and looking over at Mike Patton just metres away.  I'm not a crowd surfer or even that much of a mosh pit enthusiast to be honest, but that moment was seriously (mother flippin) incredible.

2. Erykah Badu, The Sydney Opera House, 2012.
Ask any of my friends and they'll tell you, I pretty much die for an awesome female singer.  From Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, to Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Alela Diane, Lissie...the list goes on and on!  Erykah Badu is one I had waited to see for a long time and finally got the chance earlier this year. And she didn't disappoint! The SOH is a very respected venue, there is a certain reverence, which means seeing your favourite bands or artists play there can be somewhat subdued or 'unplugged'.  But Erykah had the place jumping out of their seats. By the third song, I had kicked my heels off to join the crowd in a massive dance off.  That gig for me was all about the music, her overwhelming talent and the pure joy that everyone in the room felt by being there. It was electric.

3. Michael Franti & Spearhead, Byron Bay Blues & Roots Festival, 2003
Every year from 2001 to 2005, 'Blues Fest' was a staple in our events calendar.  If I had to rate the best festival of all time, this would be it, without a doubt.  We saw some seriously mindblowing and historic performances, discovered loads of amazing new and 'new to us' artists & bands.  But this performance in particular makes my list because that year my sister joined for the first time. She is is seven years younger than me and was nineteen at the time. She was wide-eyed and excited and we went to this show together. Just the two of us. We kicked up the dirt and danced, we sang 'all the crazy people make the beauty of the world' we hugged strangers, we hugged each other, we hugged Michael Franti and we left with the hugest smiles. Sharing this moment with her is forever in my heart.

That line speaks for itself, really. It was as awesome as it sounds.  ok so, technically it was two gigs, they didnt play together on the same stage, but I cant choose one or the other.  People were up trees and flagpoles to get a glimpse, I've never seen so many people at a show actually. There was a sense of seeing something truly special, we were lucky to be there. 

Oh! AND, we stayed in the same hotel as Thom Yorke, I passed him in the lobby and for the smallest of moments, we locked eyes.  I'm sure he'll remember that moment forever ;-)

5. Hollie Smith, The Vanguard, 2008.
My music loving husband introduced me to Hollie Smith, she is another one of those to die for female voices. This was back when Rich and I were dating, sharing music and love song dedications.  We got amazing tickets, sat spellbound in front of her keyboard and watched her play barefoot and sing her heart out.  She's stunning, in every sense of the word.  It was special, and especially so for us.

*sigh* it's been fun to relive those moments! 

I'd love to hear about your all time favourite gigs too. Share!

Belinda x

Sunday 15 April 2012

Back in black

Thanks for being patient with me while we spent the week moving into our new home.  I'm utterly exhausted but we're in. And couldn't be happier! We've finally unpacked the last of the boxes and have the place looking relatively civilised. That wonderful connection we had with this house when we first saw it, has only grown stronger and we feel so at home and content here already.  Knowing that it's ours and we can set our roots here for a while probably has a lot to do with it.

We're also realising that we've moved into a lovely community too. Yesterday, our new neighbours popped over, offering (delicious) homemade shortbread and a sunny welcome to the street. It absolutely made my day! Maybe that happens a lot where you live, but for Rich & I who have always lived in a major city, it felt like we had gone back in time, when things were simpler and people took the time to get to know each other.  

We even had the sunday paper delivered this morning by the local paper boy.  I couldn't believe I was hearing that familiar whistle, I swear I havn't heard that in over 20 years!

I love putting little surprises in our little girl's room for her to discover. Her nightlight needed replacing and I found this gorgeous Fairy Jar night-light. It's mesmerising and magical and I know she's going to love it!

By the way, I've added a link to my Instagram on the blog so I can share my latest photo's with you here too.

Have a wonderful week!

Belinda x

Tuesday 10 April 2012

I should be packing boxes

Poolside, The Entrance Beach pool

How about my first attempt at a GIF eh? Fancy pants ;-)  I was picturing a much slower, breezy movement but I probably needed more than two frames to achieve that. Oh well, this is all very new to me so I'm quite proud of it none-the-less!

We're moving into our new home tomorrow! Living in a shamble of boxes at the moment, and I'm easily distracted from the task at hand (!) but we've hired packers and movers so the bulk of the load will be taken off us.  I think it will turn out to be the cleverest thing we could have done.

We'll be in and relatively unpacked by the weekend, which is supposed to bring more amazing weather to the east coast.  Happiness!

A few more glimpses of our lovely Easter weekend away up the coast, sometimes it takes a grey afternoon to really see the colours.

Hopefully I can get back online sooner rather than later.  

See you on the other side!

Belinda x

Sunday 8 April 2012

Pleasure Bound

Pleasure Bound! Ha, I bet that got your attention ;-)  *hint - be very careful with the google search on that one!*

This Easter long weekend we decided to head up to the NSW Central Coast to stay with some friends.  I was lucky enough to steal away a few hours on Saturday (thank you darling husband!) to check out a few vintage and antique stores that I had spied on our way in.  Who knew a little seaside town could be such a treasure trove!

So much so, I'll be making this a destination drive again soon, once we've moved and I know what it is I'm looking for to furnish and style the new digs.  I could have spent ALL DAY in these shops, check out my bounty:

- Advertisement for the 'Pleasure Bound' Vaudeville Revue at the Grand Opera House (formerly the Princess Theatre, then became the New Tivoli) in Sydney.  This poster is EIGHTY years old !!!!
- Polaroid Land Camera, Colourpack 82 (circa 1971 - 1975)
- Folding Box Brownie Camera (Introduced in 1937 -  discontinued in1940)
- 1950's Pyrex glass baby feeding bottle. Latest addition to my growing glass bottle collection.
- Early 1900's flat iron.  Will be used as a door stop!

Heck yes!  I'm SO thrilled with these little pieces of history, I can't even tell you. As a result, I've primarily spent the last few hours since getting home researching Australian Vaudeville (variety) Theatre. And it's fascinating!

Vaudeville didn't have the prestige of 'legitimate' theatre but it was quintessential Australian theatre in the early 1900's. The depression and the introduction of radio and talking pictures (movies) in the late 1920's meant that our colonial theatre industry suffered terribly, especially the performers, actors, musicians etc.  In the early 30's, J C Williamson was arguably the most prominent and successful theatre manager in Australia, his company was a bit of a powerhouse and was able to secure international artists and reduce prices of theatre tickets (you can see Matinee prices start at one shilling on the poster) to encourage people back to the theatre.  Otherwise in Sydney, traditional vaudeville gave way to revues and amateur productions or 'peoples theatre'.

George Wallace and Ella Shields were the headlining performers in the Pleasure Bound revue.  Both were very successful and much loved.  Larrakin George Wallace in particular was a very popular Australian comedic performer.  I've watched and listened to a few of his clips, I just love him. Check this video out! 

There isn't too much to be found on the Pleasure Bound revue itself, aside from ad's in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1932 describing it as a 'lively, laughable revue.  Pretty girls, funny ideas, beautiful costumes, brilliant dancing' - definitely worth a bob entry fee!

I am loving this beautiful keepsake of a lost art form. Vaudeville theatre officially died in the sixties when television completely took over as the popular form of entertainment. 

It feels a little like I'm in an episode of 'Who do you think you are?' This is part of my story as an Australian. I don't know whether I would ever have known all this if not for the discovery of this poster. How wonderful a gift it's proving to be.  Cant wait to have it appropriately mounted on a wall in our home and tell what I know of it's story to my guests in years to come!

Another cornerstone of Australian entertainment history.  But, a girls gotta draw the line somewhere ;-)

Belinda x

PS. I'm just as enamoured with the cameras and other amazing pieces but I have to stop myself from prattling on here, seriously I could go on about all of them all night!

Wednesday 4 April 2012


We've all experienced those moments of something iconic happening being burned into our memory. "Where were you when.....?" Admittedly, this isn't quite to the scale of moments of tragedy, loss or historical consequence....but with the boldest of prints appearing everywhere this season, it got me thinking.  I remember clearly - like it was yesterday - the sharp intake of breath when I first spied this Vogue Italia Cover in 2007.

I'll be honest, I didn't know who Steven Meisel was at the time. Now, I love myself some fashion, photography and art; but can be blissfully ignorant to the details a lot of the time. This cover encouraged me to learn that he was in fact responsible for every single Vogue Italia cover since 1988 and is one of the worlds greatest and most controversial fashion photographers. 

So back to that moment.  I have high maintenance hair and visiting the hairdresser is one of my all time favourite treats.  It's MY time - gossip, laughs, head massages, magazines - seriously, what's not to love!  I was in my happy place and this Patterns editorial by Steven Meisel in Vogue Italia had me absolutely mesmerised. 

I remember thinking it was so clever and being blown away at the colour, movement, how you really have to study the image to find the models amongst the barrage of print, in all it's forms. The models themselves look like pieces of fabric, swirled and contorted. Complex, arresting, beautiful.

This one is my absolute favourite.  What I would give to have this hanging on a wall in my home.

That's what art is to me. Of course it's completely subjective, but it moves you. Burns it's place in your heart and is unforgettable.

Belinda x

Sunday 1 April 2012

Love like a sunset

So, I have some exciting news! A few weeks ago, we officially became homeowners!!! We've been hunting for the perfect place for around six months now, all the while madly saving away for the deposit.  When we finally walked into this place, it really was love at first sight. I mean, I actually had a physical reaction, I felt like I might cry - it was THE one.

Thankfully, the stars aligned and we were successful in adding this lovely beach house to our family. Check me out Mum, sooo grown up!  This is the first time I've gone through the whole house buying process, and although we are absolutely thrilled with the end result, I can honestly say I dont want to go through it again any.time.soon. It's ridiculous how much emotion and stress is involved.

We move in 9 days - and counting! I cant wait to get in and work out the personality of the place, the best part is having the freedom to make it our own. I'm an avid reader of home and interiors magazines and cant wait to get creative and decorate to our hearts content!

We're not going too far but we've been feeling a little nostalgic about the neighbourhood we've called home for the last few years. We've been pretty spoilt being so close to the beach and to stunning places like this for sunset.  Last night, Rich and I stayed well after the sun had disappeared on the horizon, soaking up the changing colour of the sky and its reflection on the sea.  Magical.  Although, we did leave it a little late - the walk back to the car in the near dark through the bushes wasnt ideal.  Especially with a husband who think's jokes about snakes and spiders at a time like that, are funny ;-)

Belinda x

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