Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Love that slanty 'between seasons' light...

I love this time of year here.  Autumn.  Cooler afternoons, a chill in the air in the morning, and that wonderful slanty light.

image via House and Garden magazine
In a sub-tropical climate here in Brisbane, gardens can be 'green all year'.  But I love the rolling seasons in a garden, and in my own I have planted it that way.  In Autumn we are starting to get some beautiful contrasts of bright leaves, grey trunks and clear blue winter skies to come.

Trees like the 'Illawarra Flame Tree' and 'Liquid Amber'; which by their names you can tell will throw some great autumnal colour of yellows and reds, as it gets colder, before dropping leaf altogether.

image via Home Life magazine
And already now, the birch leaves are falling and the enormous Frangipani trees in front of our house (they are taller than our roof and estimated to be more than 80 years old!) have dropped leaf and are arching their mottled grey arms in the sky.

Lazy autumn light to read away the afternoon - if you're an 8 year old!

And that lovely slanty light.   And the shadows it throws.   I just can't seem to get enough of it and am happily clicking away in the afternoons.

These grey metal lanterns throw some lovely patterns in the afternoon sun, and have candles inside to twinkle away on a verandah table at night.  They are not currently in the store, but are available to order now.  Email me if you are interested.

I hope you're enjoying the changing seasons where you are, whether it be Spring or Autumn.


{all images Vintage Finds unless otherwise attributed}

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In store now ...

 {all images Vintage Finds unless otherwise attributed}

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Back on board....

We've just had two weeks of school holidays here in Brisbane, and with all the best intentions in the world for magically combining fun things for the kids to do, organising visits with their friends and cousins and trips away, and also somehow balancing all my work commitments at the same time - surprise surprise! - it did not happen.

The first week was spent 'beating myself up' about not finding enough time to stock the shop, update social media and not getting time to post to the blog .... until I just 'went with it', enjoying the wonderful opportunity to spend time with the boys doing the things they love to do.  They are already so big now, and when you fast forward 10 years .... as much as I don't like thinking about it .... these opportunities will be gone ....

We finished the break with a visit to family in Melbourne.  And one of these wonderful but jam-packed days was spent in the Yarra Valley - with picture postcard weather - visiting wineries, a chocolatier and even time to negotiate a hedge maze!

Domaine Chandon winery, Yarra Valley, Victoria
Melbourne is known for it's abundance of great top-quality 'foodie' restaurants, and after eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the trip, it was the lunch at Oakridge winery restaurant that was our most fabulous by far.

Food, wine, view, service ... nothing could be faulted.  Even their 'under construction' expansion at the front (not in view of the restaurant) did not dampen the experience!  No wonder they were Yarra Valley Winery of the Year in 2012.

Tragically, the half case we purchased is currently being enjoyed by whomever cleaned the above seat cabin storage on Qantas flight 610 to Brisbane!

image via Domaine Chandon
And I had a little history lesson to boot!  I was unaware that the Domaine Chandon winery is one of a handful of estates owned by Moët & Chandon outside France producing méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines!  Did you?  ...perhaps the 'Chandon' could have been the clue....

As you can imagine the chocolatier was a firm favourite - both for the mountainous bowls of free chocolate tasting at the entrance ...

... and because they (very knowingly!) provided a great space AND footballs outside for the boys pumped up on chocolate to have a run!  Perfect after the hour drive from Melbourne.

The hedge maze was a hit too, where they ran off not to be seen again....

... for a full 10 minutes of blissful silence!

I quickly retreated from a round of 'frisbee golf', happily taking photos, when the natural boy-competitive-instinct started to take over and some of us were taking it a little more seriously than the others.

So here we are back again, recuperated, and gradually getting into the swing of our usual school / work routine again.

Tomorrow I'll have some stock updates, and some other things planned for later in the week.  So as they say ... your usual programming will resume shortly!


 {all images Vintage Finds unless otherwise attributed}

Monday, April 1, 2013

Poisson D'Avril ... Easter Fish

Have you ever noticed that the french chocolatier's windows at Easter are filled with what may seem like unusual things?  Alongside chocolate bunnies and eggs, are flying bells ... and fish!  Bunnies and eggs are synonymous with Easter (Pâques) around the world, bells (explained here) are to be understood ... but fish?

It is really just by coincidence.

Chocolate fish start appearing in the stores around April 1st for April Fools Day which happens to fall in the calendar around Easter time.

Amid all the fun and trickery of April Fools Day, in France the tradition is that children play a trick on as many adults as possible by sticking paper fish onto their backs.  And as they run away they laugh and shout, "Poisson d'avril!" (April fish!)

The tradition is centuries old, and as as with so many french traditions, it centres around the understanding of the food that is eaten.  I am told it comes from playing a trick on an unknowing person - to send them to market for freshwater fish - when it was not in season.

So April fish are an Easter symbol in France purely by proximity ... hence you will find chocolate fish in the shops amongst all the other lovely chocolatey treats!

{image via}
Thinking of 'April Fools' - my all-time-favourite April Fool's trick is the BBC featuring a 'serious' story on the evening news in 1957 (here), about the bumper spaghetti crop in Italy ... with footage of a women picking spaghetti from a tree!

A large scale hoax on a serious news service in the '50s, where it would of been 'unheard of' to do such a thing - priceless!  No wonder the BBC actually received hundreds of calls from people enquiring where they could find spaghetti bushes!

In this year's round of  Fools tricks, I did love the photo of the first glass bottomed flight by Virgin, and I'm queuing to buy the first version of 'Google Nose beta'!

I hope you all had a lovely Easter break, and were spoilt with treats by friends or family.  Are you still working your way through your Easter goodies or were they all gone in one hit?

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