Sunday, June 23, 2013


This past week has been a rough one, but hey sometimes life gives you lemons. I've had to wave farewell to my beloved mountain life and am now taking up residence in the beautiful harbour city of Sydney.

Things may be a little quiet around here whilst I determine how to best turn these lemons into sweet, sweet lemonade. Sadly I'll be shutting up my Etsy store for the next few months whilst I get things back on track. The plus side of this is that I've marked all dresses down to $100, so if you've been eyeing anything off now is the time to grab yourself a bargain.

Oh and to any Sydney siders out there, lets be friends!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lost Without You

Edwardian dress - American eBay
Gold pendant - belonged to my Grandmother
1950s straw bonnet - Gift from Eloise
Leather boots - Antique mall in Cambria, California

This outfit or some variation of it has been my mountain uniform of late. White dress, leather boots, straw hat and I'm out the door. A few weeks back I pulled this dream dress off the wall, where I'd been gazing longingly at it for far too long. As I sheepishly asked Oli to fasten the 15 tiny shell buttons running up the back, I was delighted to discover that each and every one actually did up! I guess my American diet of cheeseburgers, Pabst Blue Ribbon and cherry pie had come between us in the past.

I have a small favour to ask of you. For the past six months I've dedicated my life to Lost. I never mentioned it all that much but we were living and breathing the happenings of that creepy old island. Since watching the season finale I'm feeling like a part of me is missing, akin only to post Twin Peaks melancholia. I'd love to hear some of your favourite series that may help me overcome this heartache. Oh, and kudos to anyone that recommends a show starring Desmond Hume or Sawyer...

Friday, June 7, 2013

On the Road at Hearst Castle

After months of penny-pinching I finally got a few rolls of film developed from the last leg of our American road trip. I thought processing in the US was costly but heck it has nothing on the land down under! In this 'On the Road' series I'll be sharing my favourite road trip destinations, some cheeky tips for living on the road and answering any other questions you might have.

The first post is from Heart Castle in San Simeon, California. I'm usually not one for guided tours but I couldn't bear to leave the USA without seeing this garish display of decadence in the flesh. Nestled in the clouds 1,600 feet above sea level, 'The Ranch' is a pastiche of historical European architecture and a showcase of Hearst's extensive art collection. As the tour bus slowly winds its way up the steep incline towards the Mediterrian Revivalist castle,  Zebras and other exotic animals can still be seen roaming the grounds, relics of what was once the worlds largest privately owned zoo.

The guided tour through the main building was short and sweet. Each room in the house is a mishmash of historical styles. It's so bizarre walking through the Refectory and into the Baroque style Billard Room, the Rectory is reminiscent of a church from the Middle Ages whilst the Billard Room boasts 14th century Flemish tapestries and an intricate 15th century Spanish ceiling. The highlight for me was the screening of home videos in the incredible theater. Candid footage of Marion Davies, Charlie Chaplin and countless others 1920s Hollywood A-Listers goofing around in resort wear made my heart skip a beat. Knowing that some of my favourite stars of the silver screen would've lounged in the very same velvet armchairs to watch the very same footage over 80 years ago left me filled with glee.

After the tour we meandered around the gardens for a few hours, checking out the famous Neptune Pool, the mesmerising indoor Roman Pool and countless ancient artefacts. I've always desired a simple life in the country so needless to say this opulent display of wealth was all a little overwhelming. However, as I gazed out at the stunning vista of Californian coastline, there was nowhere in the world I'd rather of been.

If you're a history buff like me, be sure to pop over to the Hearst Castle website. The story of this estate is so fascinating, you can even take a virtual tour which is almost as good as the real thing!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Nothing But Flowers

The Nothing But Flowers Dress - available now in my etsy store

Sheesh, these past few weeks have come and gone in the blink of an eye! I've been sewing the days away, dancing into the wee hours of the morning and meeting some lovely new Sydney buddies!

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the Great Gatsby premiere at the Ritz Randwick with the lovely duo behind Like Johnny and June and my bobbed soul sister Eloise (hi guys!). For those of you who have seen Gatsby, I'd love to know what you thought. It has been one of my very favourite books for many years now, I don't think any film adaptation could ever live up to my expectations. However, those extravagant party scenes left me determined to stage an equally sparkly soiree of my own!

Lately I've been working on a bunch of new designs in handsome velvet, broderie anglaise and my love of all loves, brocade. I'll be posting these new designs before too long, but in the mean time I wanted to share this darling that I made a few weeks back. Sewn of the softest Japanese cotton voile with the most delicate floral design, the Nothing But Flowers dress has officially won my heart.