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Away with wicks and stiks

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Blog, interior styling | 0 comments

Away with wicks and stiks

Hi everyone, Today I would like to talk about objects that some of you might find strange and boring but I beg to differ.  They won’t cost you a cent, they are easy to be found and look great around your home.   I am talking about natural objects like tree branches, palm husks, willow sticks and the like.  Their phenomenal textural elements and boundless versatility are renowned amongst interior stylists, event decorators and store visual merchandisers. The palm tree husks, for example, look great in an oversized vase or a glass bottle (these husks are quite heavy and long) which you can then place on a dinner or side table to create a dramatic centrepiece or at the bottom of a staircase as a focal point.  The other great idea for a centrepiece on a dining table is to place small tea light candles inside the husk’s cavity.  Oranges, lemons or limes will not only look great too but will fill the room with a delicious aroma. The other option is to tie a string around the husk’s neck and then hang it on a narrow wall or if the wall is quite large – have few of them hanging in a group to create a bold statement. I also love to use curly bushy branches that are part of the date palm tree.  They are great when you need to add some texture or contrast to the room’s interior.  Use them the same way as with the husks or get really creative and use paint spray or a food die to change its colour.  A string of LED lights weaved though it could help you to create mood lighting to the room or add a feel of festivity to the outdoor dinner. The other advantages of these natural objects are that they are free, do not require any maintenance, last forever and are generally easy to get.  All you have to do is take a walk in a park and let your imagination and creativity guide you.  I can picture some of you wrinkling your noses thinking: “I am not bringing home this rubbish!!!” but I urge you to give it a try and can promise you that not only will your home look great but with a personal touch it will be unique.          ...

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Meet New Artist – Martin Metaphoric Metal

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Meet New Artist – Martin Metaphoric Metal

Hi All, It is time to reveal the last but certainly not least of the talented trio of upcoming artists – Martin Metaphoric Metal. Martin M M is a contractor and a collector. He scavenges metal scraps with an industrial appeal and puts them together in a unique way. He is a master of Steampunk art. Masculine and rugged with a touch of a mad scientist, he uses bits and pieces of metal and wood and transforms them into lamps, candle sticks, furniture or sculptures with distinction. Abandoned factories are where MMM searches for his prime materials, hunting high and low for treasures of heavy steel, dark sultry wood oiled by time – glories long forgotten by the high speed world of common men.  “You search the ghost in the winds whistling in these magic corridors of suspended time.” I have included some images of Martin’s work for you to enjoy.      ...

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Meet New Artist – Ape

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Blog, interior styling | 0 comments

Meet New Artist – Ape

Hi All, Now allow me to introduce to you a second artist from the “Meet New Artist” trilogy. He is secretive and full of surprises. He fancies calling himself Ape, probably because humanity wasn’t meant for him. Traveller gems seeker, Ape, was raised in Morocco from a French background. He came to Australia almost forty years ago and intermittently lived a bush life for over twenty years before finally settling down in Sydney. He has his own contracting company. Ape is taking pictures of ephemeral scenes adding a layer of mystery for you to discover. He is inviting the public to a guessing game full of humour and magic with an element of a distinct playfulness in his tableaux.  The result has a primitive feel, amazing depth, a complex colour scheme, extravagant imagination and an explicit creativity. All Ape‘s scenes tell us fantastic stories from a different time and place, born in his imagination:  beasts, fairies, demons and gods are hiding in all his photographs inviting your reason, your sight and challenging your ability to escape from reality. In the written portrait of an accidental artist, he wrote: “Hi, my name is Bernard alias Bernie alias Ape, I am a new comer in the wide wonderful world of art (WWW. Art). Well, I always was part of it without really being aware of it! What it means is that I have forever, or at least since my early teens, cherish this incredible feeling of euphoria when I was able to write in some practical ways what my mind was imagining in very abstract and cryptic mysterious paths! And when it was time to land back in the worlds of reality and normality a lot of it didn’t make all that much sense! But a tiny part of it, I thought, was prodigiously beautiful and that was enough and I loved that so hard to explain feeling of euphoria when abstract thoughts connected so well with reality! And time passed by bringing with it new extraordinary horizons and people into my life which distracted me from being some kind of a poet ( still conflict with the term !) but brushed some photographic notions into my soul when I landed in Terra Australis – Australia does something to your soul! The negative of your “raison d’être”! Slowly and quietly the mantle of humanity weaved its web around my freedom and sent me into a torpor that only Van Wrinkle experienced for twenty years! And suddenly some friend from a distant past came from the land of eternal “freezedom” and, let say it, kicked my sorry arse and reintroduced me to the WWW.Art! And that is why I have gained some more knowledge about confidence and photography and software editing. A very scary and slippery commodity confidence! So, all this to say that after trying to make some art and doing things that I like with certain unusual mediums, time has come to lay the ego on the line: “Is this good enough, is this really good enough to be called art?????” Yes it is, regardless of the notoriety of the artist! This brings me to the subject of trying to make a living out of doing art and to tell you what are my believes on that matter. I think art and...

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Meet New Artist – Agnes D

Posted by on Sep 27, 2013 in Blog, interior styling | 0 comments

Meet New Artist – Agnes D

Hi All, Today I would like to share with you a story about three very talented new artists – Agnes, Ape and Martin who asked me if I would like to feature their work in my blog.  The request came somewhat unexpected since I have never collaborated with artists in such a form before, however I decided to give it a go and share with you their stories, passions and works.  Hope you will like it as much as I do. Please meet Agnes, a Canadian photographer who came to this country on a dream expecting to be disappointed by an all too rough reality but fell into a magic well of creative minds in the most unexpected place.  Here is her story: “You might be transported to other continents by some pictures, but I am travelling within your daily life in these places we ignore or are disturbed by. Visiting a friend who works out of sewage treatment and water filtration centres in and around Sydney, I went into the centre of the earth and back, deep into the belly of the city where its guts had the gloomy look and smell of a putrid dragon. Most of the places are surrounded by glorious sceneries, offering a world of deep contrasts. Industrial grounds in the mountains or on the ocean shores are hidden to the public but so ever extravagant and rich. The major theme is water in all its forms, salty or fresh, clean or soiled. I started to collect photographs illustrating my journey, but then I came across a microcosm of incredible talented artists using their unusual visions and imagination to make a difference around them. A world of inspiration, storytelling, charades and intellectuals games started to unfold in front of my eyes. I recognized it was once in a life time chance and unimaginable gift.”    Agnes           You can contact Agnes via this address:  Agnes.Durbet@gmail.com or visit http://onceuponanape.wordpress.com/ to view more...

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Seasonal Concepts

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Seasonal Concepts

In this post I would like to share with you one of my favourite shops situated right the heart of Inner Sydney called Seasonal Concepts and its owner, a dear friend, Ken Wallis. My love affair with this shop began a few years ago when I had just started m y bottle collection and one of my friends suggested that I should pay a visit to Seasonal Concepts which is well known for its famous trove of treasures and finds. One day, my friend and I were having coffee at the coffee shop called Buffy and Mo on Redfern Street.  As we were leaving, I spotted some colourful chairs placed in front of the shop next door.  My first thought was that of it being just another second hand furniture store but the moment I stepped inside I found myself among the trove of treasure and finds.  It was the love from first sight.  It is not easy to describe what type of a store Seasonal Concepts is because it is so multidimensional.  I think their motto “Delight the eye, cheer the heart” sums its up pretty well. The first thing you see everywhere are flowers –  artfully arranged in spectacular bouquets or just casually placed in ancient vases, aluminium cans or crystal cut Bohemian vessels.  But take a closer look at the old wares spread around you and you will immediately be transported to the farm where you, as a child, first discovered Grandma’s kitchen and Grandpa’s garden shed while the vintage silverware, ancient delicate tea cups and sauces made from porcelain as light as an egg shell and crystal cut goblets spread out in the floor to ceiling display cabinets transport you to the Victorian era and beyond.  There is also a collection of old Chinese glass bottles used to store chemicals (I couldn’t help but buy one for my own collection). Needless to say, when the first shipment of solar jars/lanterns landed on our shores, my immediate thought was of this store.  I could almost picture how Ken would place flower bosom inside to make the lanterns visually appealing and then hang them here and there for all to see.  My gut feeling was right; he immediately understood the cleverness of the idea and the quirkiness of the design and thus became our first stockist. Come here for creative, sculptural, imaginative, robust and abundant floral for the home, weddings, corporate or other special event or if you just happen to be in the ‘hood, I would recommend you pay a visit to this lovely store and I can guarantee that you will not be likely to leave empty handed.            ...

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DIY – How to jazz up a plain glass vase

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Blog, interior styling | 0 comments

DIY – How to jazz up a plain glass vase

Hi all, Apologies for taking too long to write this last post but I simply couldn’t find a time. In this DIY Project #3 I want to share with you my trick on how to jazz up a simple glass vase employing the same principle, I call triple R  –  ”Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose“.  I used an old glass vase left on a grass strip outside our building and  waiting to be collected by the garbage truck; as well as a piece of wrapping paper I saved from a bunch of flowers given to me by my loving husband.  You can also use a piece of fabric, I suggest plain to avoid the clash with the flowers,  or even a burlap for  more textural and distinctive look. Just simply wrap the paper around the vase, tucking it underneath and secure at the back with blue tack.  Finish it up by wrapping a piece of ribbon or thick string or a cord around the vase and tie it up with a fancy bow or a simple knot, whatever takes your fancy.  If you are using a piece of fabric, you can secure it at the back with safety pins. This easy trick is boundlessly versatile – choose the cover according to your mood, time of day, type of event or just for fun – you are only limited by your imagination.  ...

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Deeper into the Blue – or dinner of Frutti di mare

Posted by on Mar 18, 2012 in Blog, food | 1 comment

Deeper into the Blue – or dinner of Frutti di mare

Karma or not (see the previous post “Feeling blue”) but my relationship with blue blossomed to the point that, when I was about to host a dinner party, it become a colour scheme for a table setting.  But I didn’t want my guests to associate the colour blue with the food I was about to cook.  The reason being that according to colour psychology blue is one of the most popular colours, but it is one of the least appetizing. So I thought I’d better call it “Frutti de mare” instead. Menu Mini vol au vents filled with tea smoked salmon mousse Sesame seed crusted crab cakes served with sweet chili sauce Roast barramundi with a medley of seasonable vegetables Orange and red onion salad Wine: Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc This menu is ideal if you are having guests who are pescaterians or if their religious dietary inclinations are unknown to you. Tea smoked salmon mousse You need (for 8 people): 16 small size vol au vents 2 pieces, appx 500g of fresh salmon (tuna is absolutely fine) 2 tbsp of white sugar 2 tsp of sea salt 2 tbsp of jasmine rice 2 tbsp of aromatic tea (jasmine, pekoe) 2-3 tbsp whole egg mayonnaise or crème fresh (to your liking) 1 tsp of horseradish cream 1 tbsp of capers 1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped Lemon juice to taste Bunch of coriander (as much or as little as you like), chopped Bunch of dill – ditto A drop or two of red Tabasco sauce (optional) Salt and freshly ground black pepper It is the first time in my life that I have smoked any food but I have to say if you are armed with the proper cookware, it is not that difficult and the result is a heavenly delisious, moist fish.A wok is ideal but it has to have a rack and a lid which mine doesn’t, so I opted for a bamboo steamer which works well as long as it sits snugly on top of the pan leaving enough space between them to accommodate the ingredients for the smoking process. Prepare your fish by sprinkling it with a mix of sugar and salt, then place into the steamer and cover with the lid.Line the bottom of the pan with foil, mix remaining sugar, jasmine rice and any flavoured tea of your liking and pour over the foil, cover loosely with another sheet.Place it on a burner on medium heat and wait until the smoking process kicks in, once you smell and see the smoke rising from the pan, place the steamer on top and smoke for about 8 minutes.The fish should be of a pale pink colour inside and out, but make sure not to overcook it as the process continues even when you take it off the stove.  I prom Once it has cooled down, flake it, mash it and mix with all the ingredients.Adjust the seasoning to your liking, if the mixture looks too thick, add more mayo or thick cream. And, of course, if you cannot be bothered with “all that jazz”, smoked salmon from the supermarket will do the trick, except I’d rather blend it with all other ingredients. This recipe is very versatile and almost every ingredient could be substituted.  The trick is to make sure...

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Feeling blue

Posted by on Mar 12, 2012 in Blog, interior styling | 0 comments

Feeling blue

I was feeling blue the other day, I don’t how to describe it, all I know is that I went around the house and gathered all the objects I could find of that hue.I then spent the next few hours re-arranging and grouping them together until I liked what I saw. That pursuit of looking for blue must have slipped into my subconscious because when, later that day, I saw a chair sitting on a lawn at a random garage sale with a cushion upholstered in blue and yellow silk, I went and bought it.I have to admit, I didn’t just buy it for the sake of following my fixation, and it was love at first sight.That the colour of the cushion struck with my fixation was a pure coincidence, however people say that everything in this world happens for a reason.But I leave this to the philosophers....

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Amazing Food of East and West

Posted by on Feb 29, 2012 in Blog, food | 0 comments

Amazing Food of East and West

    Hi All, I can’t believe that the summer is over, for those who live in Australia, that is.  And I must say it was the worst summer weather ever, I am not one bit upset that it is finished.  So I’ve decided to mark this small event with a big celebration and what is the pinnacle of every successful celebration – food of course!  But not in a conventional way by sharing recipes and images of the dishes cooked and served at one or the other food establishments or home.  No, I wanted to do something different and so I’ve opted to follow the pattern of the last few posts and share with you more!!! images from my photo library from the folder called “Food glorious food”. I hope that you find the diversity of these images fascinating? Till the next post, Anna Cheese shop at the Barrow Market, London   Barrow Market, London Nishiki Market, Kyoto  Nishiki Market, Kyoto   Nishiki Market, Kyoto  Barrow Market, London Barrow Market, London  Barcelona’s Boqueria Market  Barcelona’s Boqueria Market  Rialto Bridge Food Market, Venice   Rialto Bridge Food Market, Venice   Rialto Bridge Food Market, Venice   Rialto Bridge Food Market, Venice Nishiki Market, Kyoto  Rialto Bridge Food Market, Venice Fresh Food Market at Indian’s Quarters, Singapore A variety of cucumbers Fresh Food Market at Indian’s Quarters, Singapore Chilies in...

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Windows at a glance

Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Windows at a glance

Hi All, Since I ventured into the area of architecture (see the previous post), I think it is only fair if I mentioned something about another architectural feature  – the window. If the door plays a role akin to a book cover, would it be right to call the windows book flaps? And as book flaps offer an overview of the book without revealing the whole story, so do the windows grant you just a glimpse of what’s inside. But that’s where the similarity ends.  If the content of the book flap caught your attention, reading the book will be the obvious way to satisfying your curiosity, but windows never reveal the identity of what and who lies behind them… The images that I would like to share with you today are also a part of my extensive photo library. You might notice that none of the them represents a commercial enterprise of any kind and I have a very good reason for it.  But that is the story for another post. Meanwhile, please enjoy Jerusalem Greek Islands Tel Aviv Barcelona Greek Islands Prague   Hong Kong Hong Kong Nice   Nice    ...

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