Monday, October 4, 2010

Melbourne Mums

Well, our visit to Melbourne was lovely. Mum and I walked, shopped, enjoyed the exhibition and ended our day with a wonderful meal at Cafe E Cucina on Chapel Street. Allesandro, our waiter, flirted with Mum and she was in heaven!


Ealier, at the European Masters exhibition at the NGV - the main purpose of our flying visit - I saw a Monet I had never seen before! The highlight of my day! It was a painting of lop-sided traditional Dutch homes nestled on the river in Zaandam. The painting was acquired by the St├Ądel Museum in 1904 and the pic below does not do the colours justice. I loved the roof lines, the clever reflection in the water and the green colours. Very Impressionistic, and oh, so Monet!




After the exhibition we wondered over to Gertrude Street – thanks Kate B, for that recommendation! - where we came across some lovely shops and boutiques. The street itself was filled with a few dodgy looking characters, but the range of shops and their originality made the trip very worthwhile. The most memorable were, in no particular order:


Vixen: http://www.vixenaustralia.com/. Not only was the sales assistance absolutely lovely, the colours and lay out of the shop were so, so nice. So lush! Lots of pinks, reds, fuchsias and little things to look at every time you took a step deeper into the shop. I bought this Chinese bowl, which I think is beautiful. It sits on a bit of a stand, like a mini cake stand. It appears to be hand-painted (I am no expert!), with its design slightly off-centre (a bit like Monet's houses ...) and has wonderful colours. I particularly love the yellow flower in the middle ... I served tomatoes on it tonight, so I could enjoy the colour contrasts.




Needless to say, I bought some beautiful Vixen-made lavender filled silk coin purses - I think I bought about 15, I was becoming a tad obsessed - for our wardrobes and a lovely silk brooch. See pic below, taken on the bedroom carpet! I must get a proper camera and stop relying on my blackberry ... but you get the idea!
Couldn't stop there, when I saw the purses, all neatly lined up in the wooden wall cupboard. I bought one by Australian designer Belinda Pieris. It's dark licorice in colour, with a lovely turquoise green patterns stitched over the top ...


Cottage Industry:  cottageindustrystore.blogspot.com. This was a great find, and one of the fist shops on Gertrude we entered. The owner, Penelope, is a prolific crafter and has created just about everything in the shop. She turns old vintage tea towels and turns them into cushions, knits lots of great hot water bottle covers ... I bought a really cute match box, filled with vintage buttons and ribbons. They only sell them sealed, so it was a great a surprise to unpack on the tram, on the way back. Can't find it right now (shame on me!) as I hid it from the boys … Will post a pic soon, I promise!! [added 13/10: seriously frustrated so have ordered two more and apparently they will be put in the post today. Hopefully I will end up with three little treasures instead of none!!]


Sankofa:  http://www.sankofa.com.au/ - this is another great shop, filled with fair trade and African goodies. I loved (and resisted to buy, because I was going a bit nuts) the dragonfly ornaments in the window but bought some small recycled glass decorations, for Christmas,. or maybe to wear as a necklace ...








Anyway, on returning to the heart of Melbourne we went to a few shops in the Royal and Block Arcades. Again, did some damage and bought some gorgeous jewelry in one and a Babuskha doll in Babushkas (they also have a shop in Darling Harbour, Sydney!). The shop was filled with dolls in every shape and size and mine's a little beauty. She is holding three red strawberries and has six smaller dolls inside her . . . Look at those rose apple cheeks!



Above:  Mine holds three strawberries



Above:  I didn't buy these, just drooled!

With that, I must stop. Heidi is hosting one of my favourite shows - Project Runway!

Sweet dreams,

Ike
xx

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