Tuesday 28 July 2009


I was first introduced to Antonio Gaudi in my History of Architecture class when I was studying Interior Design. His work belonged primarily to the Modernist style (Art Nouveau) and Gaudi was famous for his unique and highly individualistic designs. I LOVED the undulating, organic curves in his work, the use of mosaics and the highly decorative style of his designs.

My Dad had recently been to Spain on holiday (and bought me a book on Gaudi as a gift)……he told me of seeing his work – I had to see it for myself. Years later – off I went to spend 7 weeks traveling the entire Spanish countryside. What an adventure! My favourite part of the trip would have to be the two weeks I spent in Barcelona – what a fantastic city and of course everywhere you look is Gaudi’s work. I was in heaven.

Two highlights I remember most are taking the photos above from the top of one of the towers at Sagrada Familia - the detail of the mosaic work is astounding considering that they are 170 metres high! And the hot summer night when I went to a Flamenco concert on the roof top of Casa Mila (La Pedrera) and sipped champagne and gazed across the city’s rooftops. The vibe was incredible. What an amazing man.

Monday 20 July 2009


It was my 23rd birthday and I was out on the town with those nearest and dearest to me – whooping it up and generally partying until the wee hours - as I was prone to doing way back then…….when one of my dear mates Dru bought me a ‘birthday drink’ to celebrate. It was one of his favourites and I had never tried it…..needless to say from the moment I had my first sip – I was smitten…..a shot of Frangelico on ice with lots of freshly squeezed lemon juice. What a treat!

Apparently the origins of Frangelico date back more than 300 years to the existence of early Christian monks living in the hills of Northern Italy. It is made by crumbling up hazelnuts and combining them with cocoa and vanilla. What a heavenly nectar!

Thursday 16 July 2009

Fornasetti Faces

I can’t remember the first time I saw the face of Lina Cavalieri (a famous soprano who sang opposite the great tenor voices of the early 20th century in New York's Metropolitan Opera) but what I do remember is that I have never forgotten her face.

Neither did Piero Fornasetti (1913 - 1988) who I’m not sure ever met Cavalieri, but saw her face in a magazine, and apparently couldn't erase it from his mind. He just kept painting it - on no fewer than 500 of his design works.... my favourite of which are the plates – which at about $250 a pop stop me from having a wall of them…..instead I have this set of canvas’s that I picked up from a stall at the Shirt & Skirt Market years ago when it was in East St Kilda.

It was one of those moments where by from quite a distance away I spotted them and I was off….making a bee-line to claim them for my own. They now live on the mantle-piece in our living room and every time I walk into the room – Lina’s there, with her classic beauty and enigmatic smile.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Felt Beads

My love affair with felt beads started with a necklace that my husband bought me for my birthday a few years ago. It is in varying tones of pink and orange interspersed with gorgeous glass lampwork beads and has been much worn and loved and commented on.

There is something so tactile and delicious about felt beads – I love the shapes and the texture and of course the colour! When I make my heart-felt necklaces I hand knot (with ribbon) the individual felt beads along with some gorgeous resin beads I have found in my travels.

Here are the basics of how to make your own felt beads……

What you’ll need:
- A little carded wool (called wool roving or wool top)
- A bowl of warm water with a little dish soap added
- A towel to protect the surface your working on

1. Start by pulling a little piece of fleece from your roving.
2. Wind the wool in a little ball shape like you would with yarn. Try to wind it tightly to avoid creating wrinkles in the finished bead. Your bead will shrink during the felting process so you have to start with a bead slightly bigger.
3. Dip your dry ball in the warm water and start rolling it gently between your palms like you would with a clay ball. As the bead starts to felt you can add a little more pressure. When your bead is firm and felted, and has reached the size you want rinse it well in cold water and let it dry.
4. To make oval shaped beads, just roll the bead flat between your palms instead of in a circular motion.

Happy felting!