Friday, December 9, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quinoa Vegie Frittata

Now that was quite a break, wasn't it?  I've been in New Zealand, then to USA (NY, NJ, DC and LA).  Home in Melbourne now... just in time for summer.  Speaking of which, I tried adding quinoa to a regular frittata recipe tonight and it was a hit - for a quick, easy high-protein-low-calorie supper, give this a go:

1 cup green vegies (anything that cooks like broccoli, spinach, peas, etc)
1 cup mixed vegies (other colours - carrots, peppers, cauliflower, zucchini, etc)
1/2 cup raw quinoa
1 stock cube (I use Massel vegie stock because it's low salt and gluten-free)
1 1/2 cups water
4 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
grated parmesan to taste

In a large saucepan, bring water to the boil and stir in the stock cube.  Add the quinoa, stir for a few minutes, then add the chopped vegies.  Reduce heat and simmer until all the liquid has reduced (about 8 minutes), stirring frequently.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and set aside.  Grease a large frying pan with the olive oil.  Once the vegie mixture is ready, stir it through the beaten eggs and pour into the frying pan.  Return to medium heat on the stove until the mixture is firm (you can see it is lightly brown on the bottom when it's ready).

Sprinkle with parmesan and place the pan under a hot grill for a few minutes, until browning on top.  Use a plastic utensil to slice and serve with a simple salad.

Bon apetite! mb

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Style Icon: Coco Chanel

Art Deco Style at Home - Some Fabulous Finds!
"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening".  Coco Chanel.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Different Kind of Souvenir

I should run a competition like the one where you count jellybeans: how many scarves do I have in my collection?  I'm thinking about a 1,000 but there's no way I'm proving that!

Preparing for some more vintage scarf cushions, although now I'm making them to order.  Starting with souvenir scarves... wonder if I should include some designer scarves?  There's Lanvin, Hermes, Lacroix.  Can't wait.  Requests welcome! mb

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's A Class Act

Class Act - a selection by MayBrady
Spend a lot of time in your workspace?  I do!  Here are a few ideas for keeping it bright and light... mb

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crazy Sexy Cool

Image courtesy of MONA
I've been vacationing in Tasmania.  It was my very first visit to the island state and there were a few things on the list...

The highlight for me? MONA, which I'd been dying to visit since the doors opened in January.  It's the brainchild of filthy rich eccentric David Walsh, thus a truly spectacular display (being a private collection - no holds barred!). 

The Monanism exhibition has been extended past July, if you're in or about the Southern Hemisphere, I'd highly recommend a look in.  mb

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Loving Right Now...

Gorman Winter 2011
What I'm really loving right now is the swing between mild, sunny afternoons and full blown storms complete with numb fingers and toes.  Why?  Because we get to layer our clothes on-the-fly.

This week I've been through a stack of statement Gorman pieces (sometimes all at once!).  My favourite look has been topping any outfit off with her short-sleeved giant stripe oversize sweaters - it's like a failproof formula.

Somehow, winter dressing is always so much more interesting.  Perhaps borne of necessity.  Perhaps not. mb

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kate Shaw: Liquefaction

Kate Shaw, Molecular Memory, 2011. Acrylic and resin on board, 90 x 60cm
Last night I had the pleasure of attending Kate Shaw's latest exhibition opening, "Liquefaction".

Kate explains her work like this:  ‘Vacillating between the real and hallucinated, my paintings harmonize textures, dimensions and colours with the fluidity of a psychedelic body of moving water. Through these vibrantly saturated pieces, I create an intermediary space between what we know to be natural and organic and what we perceive as other worldly; ultimately constructing a narrative of how nature and art are both irrevocably transformative.’

Bright, bold, moving.  I just wanted to cut a hole in the middle, pop it over my head and wear it.  mb

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Pen is Mightier...

Whilst I love what can be done with 'old things', I also have a penchant for collecting them in their original state.  In particular antique letters with envelopes.  Some people find it strange that I should read someone else's letter, but it's usually more mystery than not.  I especially love the old English, how strictly and well mannered we once spoke to one another.

Here's a little selection inspired by the writers of yester-year.  Enjoy! mb

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Black Gold

Isn't it time you asked where your coffee came from?  I just finished watching Black Gold and it has changed me.  From now on, when I have coffee out, I'm asking.  I'll also be purchasing ONLY fair trade coffee for my home - which shouldn't be a problem given the numerous local options I just found in a quick internet search.

It seems like something so simple to do, yet each of us can make such a difference.  Find out more now by visiting Black Gold and watching the movie.

Now I need a coffee... mb

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From Runway... to Room

DKNY S/S11 Collection
Courtesy of Kelley Moore, For the Love of Design
Seattle's lifestyle expert and author of Cube Chic: Take Your Office Space From Drab to Fab, Kelley Moore has featured my Medallion vintage scarf cushion as part of her 'Runway to Room' interior design challenge on her blog For The Love of Design - doesn't it work perfectly to add a little catwalk to the lounge? Thanks so much, Kelley! mb

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Fashionable Abode

Modern Apartment Therapy
Home is where the heart is... and this heart's yearning for some yester-year style.  Simple, classic shapes and shades to lighten and brighten up living spaces.

A friend has just moved into her new Art Deco apartment in Wellington this weekend and asked me to send her a pair of macrame lamp shades we spotted on my street during her recent visit.  It's the same store where I found my giant (13 bulb) hand-carved wooden chandelier, which I painted dark blue.  So I got inspired and whipped up this selection of complimentary homewares.

Chances are, my eyes will wander at the market... you never know what treasures you might find!  mb

Monday, April 25, 2011

These Boots Are Made For Walking

Beau Coops Boots, Southern Hemisphere Winter 2011
Isn't it interesting how the GFC has changed the way we shop?  I've always had a huge mix of investment pieces, vintage and high street fashion.  Now... not so much.  I'm aiming for investment pieces primarily, with the odd not-so-necessary item from 'wherever' along the way. 

Although, whilst the coolness of early winter is moving in, I've yet to find the motivation to shop... what is wrong with me?  I'm so relaxed, thank goodness for long weekends!  At the very least, I can start planning, there are some obvious gaps (shoes, woolens, warm dresses) and surely to be a few temptations along the way.  How about some Beau Coops boots to warm my toes?  Mmmmm....

Keep warm, mb

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Imagination Running Wild

Masquerade Marquesa and the Caped Man
I'm exploring the idea of making more specialised costume and high fashion pieces, like true-to-period corsets and unique evening bags.  Not to mention I've purchased some prime leather pieces that are just crying out to be used.

I love dressing up and have the good fortune of a huge storage space for the numerous items I've invested in over the years that don't often get worn (but are simply amazing): my Julia DeVille custom leather spats, Melissa heeled t-bar sandals with black crystals, Manning Cartell beaded silk mini-dress with gold silk mesh frill sleeves, a Lutz Teutloff black wool military tuxedo jacket covered in jewel encrusted medals, a Dan Scurry ring sculpted around sliced metal needles...

Why am I not using my own style as inspiration?  On the one hand, I'm super-keen on simplicity paired with 'feature items'.  But then I have a deep-seated yearning for real effort, style and appreciation in everday dressing that I think has been missing for quite some time. 

So... next step is to take a trip to the leather super-store to buy tools, gadgets and hundreds of bits'n'pieces ready to get cosy in the workroom.  Perfect timing, now that the days are shorter.

My afternoon was spent 'researching' (ok, ok, more like shopping), which inspired me to create the rather mysterious collection above.  Hope it sweeps you far, far away... mb

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Passport to Fashion

Tan Chimera Ball Gown by Natasha Lazaravic, CANADA
The most exciting thing about selling on Etsy is that my customers are from all over the world - my wares have made their way to Belgium, England, France, USA, Latvia... it truly is a worldwide handmade market.

Here are few of my favourites from around the world.  Enjoy! mb
Water Sun Silver/Gold & Citrin Ring by Andreas Schiffler, SPAIN

Coral Carnival Bangles by Dirty Lush, ENGLAND
Denis African Print and Leather Bag by Out Of Afrika, USA
Turquoise Suede Spats by Veronica Vartic, BELGIUM

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bird on a Wire

For some reason, this morning I started thinking about a guy I met on a NYC subway ride last year.  He was a fashion student at Parsons, sat there painstakingly twisting wire into a purposeful sculpture.  I quipped that I remembered that exercise when I was a fashion student. 

Here's a collection of what others are doing with wire these days.  Enjoy! mb

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Campers Are Not For Camping

Annie Alto by Camper
Ariadna by Camper

Rachael by Camper
I have a confession to make:  I own fourteen pairs of Camper shoes.  Actually, that's not quite true.  Three pairs are boots

New season is on the way now.  Somebody stop me.  Then again, there are worse addictions... mb

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

North of the North Island

Back to Auckland today, farewell Wellington!  This is the souvenir I picked up from Karen Walker, a narrow engraved acrylic cuff in 'smog'. mb

Saturday, February 26, 2011

We Heart Christchurch

Walking through the streets of Wellington I'm taken by the local support for Christchurch.  It's warming and I wanted to share these quick snaps with you...

What can we do to help? Make a donation to the New Zealand Red Cross. Thinking of you Chch, mb

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smother Me

Blanket Protection by Victoria McIntosh
Welcome to Wellington!  Time for a long weekend catching up with old friends, wining, dining and indulging in a few NZ Fringe Festival events.

First on the list:  Smother, an exhibition of fibre based art by Dunedin jeweler Victoria McIntosh.  mb

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Call Waiting

The Gaugin Gown Jo Torr 2001
I remember the 1995 opening of the Auckland Art Gallery's NEW Gallery, an exciting time with space dedicated to contemporary art.  Not to mention the flash new much-talked-about restaurant below: Paramount.

Fast forward 16 years and it's time to reflect.  What better way to do so than visiting the gallery's retrospective exhibition Call Waiting: A Celebration of the NEW Gallery 1995-2011.  Time for a trip down memory lane... mb

Friday, February 18, 2011

Not So Distant Shores

Karen Walker Pussy Bow Cotton Blouse & Marle Boat Pants
I'm home in New Zealand for couple of very good reasons: my Mum's 60th birthday and my nephew's 4th birthday.  It's celebration time all round!

Not to mention the impending 'change of season', we all know what that means... change of fashion.  Oh, yes.

My wish list?  It's just begun, but I'm thinking good quality fitted knits, 60's style stovepipe pants and some new boots in order.  For now, beginning to browse and where better to start that Karen Walker's A/W11 Southern Hemisphere collection.  mb

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Zambesi For A Good Cause

Zambesi Solar Silk Tulle Sequin Dress RRP$915
Australia's been slammed with a string of disasters of late, as most of you will know.  I've been supporting the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal in a number of ways, such as pledging funds, donating goods and encouraging others.

My latest little show of support is a big win:win... dozens of designers donated items for a charity auction and guess what?  I'm the proud winner of this spectacular Zambesi cocktail dress!!!  Very very happy.  Most excited because Zambesi is well up my list of favourite designers, not to mention they hail from my home town of Auckland, New Zealand.  And, of course... it's all for a good cause.  mb

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fly Away With Me

Thousand Paper Crane Project begins to unfold
Just a few days in the life of the Uniform Project
 Who can resist interactive creativity?  It's one thing to commit to an ongoing project, like A Collection a Day (which I very much enjoyed), yet quite another to rely upon your audience for success.

My favourite so far is The Uniform Project, where Sheena Mathieken wore the same dress every day for a year in a completely different way.  Not only did she triumph, over $100,000 was raised to support her chosen cause: The Akanksha Foundation, which provides education to children living in Indian slums. Wow.

I've thrown my hat in the ring for the Thousand Paper Crane Project, where Rich Greenhagen has devised a 1,000 word love letter, written each word on a piece of paper, folded it into a paper crane and is posting them out to volunteers all over the world.  Once received, participants reveal the word in a photograph sent back to the artist, who posts them in their correct order until the entire love letter is revealed.  I must admit... it's good old fashioned romance that's reeled me in.  mb

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Art of Fashion

Have I been busy with custom orders!  Here's a sneak peek at the shortlist of ideas for a client in Tennessee... soon to be a long silk satin kaftan with red brocade obi tie belt.  mb

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Stitch In Time

Just having some fun - this treasury can be found here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Australian Flood Relief Appeal

Swoon Bracelet $26.00
Devastating floods have ravaged Queensland and other parts of Australia over the past few weeks, causing a disaster of the likes we haven't see in our lifetime.

If you'd like to help, visit the Etsian Australian Flood Appeal store, organised by the DUST team, where hundreds of items have been donated that you can purchase.  All profits are donated to The Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal.

What a fantastic way to lend a hand!  I applaud the volunteers administrating the store for all of their time and effort.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the floods.  mb

Angel Wings Fine Silver Necklace $50.00
Bandeau Style Birdcage Veil $100.00

Monday, January 10, 2011

Nostalgic Romance

Nostalgic Romance - a selection by MayBrady
Get swept away in the romance of times gone by... mb

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Delicious Torment

A gorgeous selection by GlassRiverJewelry... with thanks, mb.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Black Swan

Black Swan Earrings by Shayisa
Swan Lake was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse.

I made this treasury today and couldn't resist the earrings... now they're mine!  mb

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pretty in Ink

This is one of my favourite things.  Ever.  The scarf is a bit of a mystery - it's pure silk and purchased from France, I thought I'd paid way too much for it at the time, but now that it's framed and on my wall, there are certainly no regrets.  I think it might relate to the story of Dorian Gray. I love the detail, every time I look at it I notice something new.

I'm focusing on goal setting for 2011... so, so many!  Where do I start?  Exciting times.

A happy new year to all!  Back soon with a new focus - not like the sun, like a laser beam! mb

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Night Frolic

Alexander Wang Leather Jacket
3.1 Philip Lim Silk Sequin Top
AllSaints "Amikiri" Deconstructed Skirt
Lanvin Python Wedge Heels
Inge Christopher Beaded Celtic Fringe Bag

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuning in Tokyo

Just finished two more dresses for Eliza.  The black one is made in boiled double-knit pure wool from Marc Jacobs, which was remarkable to work with (and is on it's way to Japan next week!). mb

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Party Time!

La Garconne Suede Leather Jacket

Alexander Wang Drape Asymmetric Dress

Elliott Lucca 'Sintra' Embossed Leather Bag

Restricted 'Marine' Suede Boots
It's the weekend... time to dress up for Saturday night shenanigans... mb