inspiration

Young life

Our neighbours at Flinders are keeping a very protective watch over this nest.

Nesting

These Willy Wagtail babies are so sweet.  Their nest is just a metre or two in front of our neighbour's front deck.  I was able to get about a metre away from them to take this shot, with the mother twitting furiously at me from a nearby branch.

The nest is bursting at the seams and I suspect they are ready to flee the nest any moment now.


Clever friends

This beautiful house was designed AND built by very clever friends of ours.

House 1

It is tucked away amongst sand dunes in a quiet part of the Mornington Peninsula, near great surf breaks like Gunnamatta.

House 2

It has been a labour of love for the owners, who lived in a caravan on site while the house was being constructed.  A surf in the morning, 'on the tools' during the day.  It sounds idyllic for the surf loving people they are.

House 3

They are selling this beautiful house, as they are now looking for the next piece of coastal land to do it all again.  It would be hard to leave this house though.  Will and I love it.  To us, this is beach house perfection.

You can see more photos on the real estate listing, while the link lasts.


Inspiring embroidery

This is the bodice of a little Bonpoint dress I bought for Adelaide in Paris earlier this year.

Dress bodice 1

I think she likes it - there are her eager little hands making a grab for it.

Dress bodice

I love the simplicity of this dress - the striking contrast of colours, and the straightforward cut of the dress.  

I'm off to pull out my embroidery pattern books.  I think I might spend this long weekend with embroidery hoop in hand.


Children's wear shopping in Paris

Looking back over all my photos, I realise I never posted as intended about rue Vavin in the 6th arrondissement.

Vavin

Rue Vavin can be found adjacent to the Jardin du Luxembourg.  The street is a mecca for shoppers of children's wear.  Many well known French children's wear brands can be found in this single street.

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Unlike the craft shopping itinerary I posted, this children's wear list can be covered in one short stroll.  Within walking distance is the flagship Bonpoint store I posted about previously.  I would suggest including this in the same outing - and you can enjoy a stroll through the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg on the way to rue Vavin.

Rue vavin map

Then you can ponder, like I did, about who lives or once lived here inside the perimeter of the garden:

In the Jardin du Luxembourg


A little online shopping

Brown check dressTaking a break from building my own website today, I enjoyed browsing through a catalogue that arrived in the mail this week from one of my favourite French children's wear brands.

I find this little winter dress adorable.  And I love it with the knee high socks too. 

But for Adelaide next winter, I think grey rib tights, Henri's hand me down Chocolate brown Sonnet Mary Janes, a grey cable knit cardi or Henri's pre-loved chocolate cashmere coat and she will be good to go.

Grey check dress When she grows out of that one, she could wear this one.  Definitely with these shoes and a red coat.

What I love about these dresses is they are wool.  Which means they are warm for Melbourne winters.  And machine washable to boot.  What's not to love.

On the subject of shopping, Adelaide got her first pair of proper shoes today.  She has been walking for about a month.  I can hear her coming now - tap, tap on the floorboards.  So cute.


The good stitch

There are many beautiful shops in Paris.  My hands down favourite, without a doubt, is the Bonpoint flagship store in rue de Tournon.  As luck would have it, it was just around the corner from our sweet hotel in the 6th.

Bonpoint store

This stunning store is located in a former 18th century residence.  Room after room prettily displays the high-end children's wear.

The loveliest feature of the store is the amazing garden.  Many of the rooms look out onto the prettiest courtyard garden, with verdant lawns and mature trees.  It was enchanting.

Bonpoint garden

The garden is enclosed by the buildings around it, making it a serene little oasis in the middle of Paris.

Bonpoint garden 1

I enjoyed my Bonpoint store visit so much I dragged Will there on our last day in Paris.  There is a tea room in the basement (possibly the original kitchen?).  We had a perfect light lunch there.  Like everything else in the store, it was expensive, but oh so desirable.

Bonpoint tea room


Quilting time

Lately a lot of modern style quilts have made their way into my Flickr faves.  And I've found some wonderful new blogs to follow.  Namely:

These impressive quilters turn out a surprising number of finished projects.  I was so taken by this quilt by Red Pepper Quilts that I felt inpsired to pull together fabrics in the same blue, green, yellow colourway.

Citrus quilt pieces

I decided to make blocks in the style of this quilt. I started with fabric pieces of 5 1/2" x 8 1/2".  I then spread them out (as seen above) so that when I cut them through, each one would be slightly different.

Citrus quilt cut pieces

I then did the same with the middle section, so that the white centre of each block was in a different horizontal and vertical position.

A few blocks later, and this is the result.

Citrus quilt blocks

Rather than put them together in a checkerboard pattern, I think I'll piece them like this, with white sashing between each block.

Citrus quilt blocks 2

This is one of too many half finished projects in my studio at present.  I hope to be able to show you progress on this project.  So far I like it quite a lot.


Happy coincidence

By happy coincidence we were in Montsoreau on the one day of the month that the town hosts a lovely little antique market on the banks of the Loire River.  Fortunately for us it was the 20th anniversary of this market, so the turnout was particularly strong and there was a lot of lovely "junk" to admire.

Mosaic

If only it was acceptable to take wardrobes and library ladders and boxes of jam jars home on the plane...

There were so many beautiful pieces, and it was all displayed so prettily.  The atmosphere was very relaxed and it was the perfect way to spend Sunday morning.

Market stallholders These two lovely gentlemen saw me taking photos of their wares.  When I said I liked the way the stuff looked they suggested they looked pretty good and I should snap them too; so I did.

There was also a farmers market.  This takes place every Sunday in the town square.  Local produce such as mushrooms, foie gras, fruits and vegetables were on offer.  And they looked fabulous.

Champignons I have posted some more photos in a flickr set here.

If you're travelling to France and want to stumble upon such a market, you might find this sight helpful.  

I didn't buy an armoire or anything bulky, but I did purchase a few metres of vintage braid, which I will photograph in the light of day.


Le Marais

First day in Paris.  While Will was busy at his conference, I caught up with Penny, a university friend who moved to Paris last year with her husband and 4 children.  We met in the Marais - an area I have stayed in once before, but haven't really been back to often.

Merci

We met at a gorgeous shop that is accessed through a courtyard.  This little display greeted shoppers as they came through the portico.

Merci mobile garden

On the other side of the courtyard was this mobile garden.  Inside they sold the porous bags for carrying pots of herbs.  Quite handy if you need to move your plants out of the sun or into the rain.  I love the big metal door frames. 

Merci entrance

The shop is called Merci and can be found at 111 avenue Beaumarchais.  It is a mix of eclectic homewares, stationery, fashion and childrenswear (as well as Liberty fabric sold by the metre) - all round - my kind of store.


Tricky-woo

Men are hard to buy for.  I have no idea what to get Will for Christmas.  I would love to hear any readers' suggestions for great men's presents.  And it's not just Will.  I find my brother and father equally tricky.

We have some friends coming for dinner tonight to celebrate Will's birthday (which was on Monday).  Our best man, or Big Tom, as he's known in our house, also had a birthday recently.  He's a keen surfer, so when I spied this book in a bookstore, the choice for his gift was easy.

Grannis4

Here are some of the images from the book.  Look at all those great cars.

Grannis1

Tom recently built a beach house at our favourite seaside town of Flinders, so I think this will be a nice addition to his bookshelf.

Grannis3

Tom likes to ride long boards, so he will appreciate the many great images in this book.

Grannis2

Including the ones of the pretty, bikini-clad girls, no doubt.  (Clearly melanoma wasn't a concept people bothered with back then - everyone is so tanned.)