Friday, July 31, 2009

Our Hamilton Island Holiday

My husband and I have just come back from our short break to Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. It was so beautiful, and I thought I would share some photos with you.

This is the first time I have gone to the Great Barrier Reef, or any of the islands off Australia. So I was quite excited!

Before we flew to the island, we stayed one night in Brisbane, at the Emporium Hotel. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who needs to stay in Brisbane. It is a beautiful hotel, the foyer speaks for itself (pictured above), and the rooms are spacious and well appointed.

It is a boutique hotel, situated in, I guess you could say, an oasis of designer fashion, jewelery, homewares, and restaurants, called "The Emporium". Surrounding the oasis: car yards, home shopping outlets etc. It seems strange that they decided to create the Emporium where they did, but it works.

We had dinner at the French restaurant next to the Hotel, in "The Emporium" complex, named "Belle Epoque".
It was a gorgeous restaurant, fantastic food, and great service. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys good food, and beautiful surroundings!

Try the French Onion Soup, the Duck, and the Souffle'- fantastic!

So we arrived to Hamilton Island on the Saturday morning.... I didn't really know what to expect with the weather, but it didn't disappoint, and it was beautiful basically everyday!

There were many activities, and we decided to do a few: sunset kayak, catamarans, scuba diving (the hubbie only), snorkelling, tour to Whitehaven Beach, and shooting. The pictures are below....

Me having a go at shooting a pistol...I much preferred the rifle!
The sunset kayak tour.

The gorgeous sunrise that we witnessed while eating breakfast.

Me going for a snorkel!
The hubbie swimming at Whitehaven Beach. It is meant to be one of the whitest sand beaches in the world, due to the amount of silica in the sand.

The boat we arrived in for the tour.

So I hope you liked the photos! I feel so lucky to live in this beautiful country, and I am proud to share how beautiful it is with everyone!

Hopefully I will have photos from the scuba and snorkelling soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Silk Ikats of Central Asia: Art Gallery of NSW

Yesterday I visited the Art Gallery of NSW to view their latest exhibition, Silk Ikats of Central Asia.

While it was a small exhibit, the displayed items were extremely beautiful, and very inspiring for my work!

The embroideries, colours, detail, patterns, prints, and textures were just simply stunning, and it truly is amazing how much work is involved in each piece. It is astounding that each and every piece was created by hand, and it really inspires me to want to create more hand worked pieces.

I would recommend this exhibit to anyone who is interested in or enjoys needlework/craft, printing, fashion, costume, cultural and historical backgrounds.

After viewing the works at the gallery, I returned home full of inspiration for my latest Penelope Red designs! I am hoping to base my latest designs and next photo shoot on these costumes, colours, bold embroideries, and exotic jewellery. It will be quite exciting to see it all together, and I can't wait to show you!

Please note, not all images displayed in this post are from the gallery exhibition. Some of the images I found on the net.

The shape of the Penelope Red Hooded Coat is perfect to reflect the robes, the mini skirts I have made so far reflect the bold colours, and the textured embroideries.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How-To Frame Your Photos Uniquely Part II

As promised in part 1, these are the steps for the wedding "artworks":

1: Collect all the materials you will need (clean chopping board, metal ruler, long plastic ruler, pencil, blade, your papers). I used frames from Ikea for this project. The Ribba series is recommended.

2. You need to first decide on what papers you will use. I used the rust/red colour, and the gold, because I wanted to place these framed photos in our bedroom, and the colour scheme happens to be Rust/red, gold, white and black. I deliberately used a photo that was smaller than the mount size, so I can have a large double mount of gold. I bought my papers from Pepe's Paperie.

3.Measure the photo. Minus approx 1cm from the width, and 1cm from the height, then halve each of these measurements. Square up on the back of your A4 piece of board (I used the gold cardboard for this), these measurements (starting from the outside). Check to make sure your photo sits approx 5mm outside of each of these lines.

4.Using your metal ruler, blade, and clean chopping board, cut along the line, to create a window for the photo to sit in.

5.Use sticky tape to tape the photo face-down to the back of the window mount. Sticky tape is best, as it allows you to undo it, and reapply if necessary.

6.Check to make sure the photo is sitting square to the mount.

7. Using the mount, draw the dimensions of the window size for the large mount, onto your piece of paper. (In my example, this is the rust coloured paper)

8. Cut this paper out, and cut out the window.

9.I decided that the mount looked best, with a highlight of black. The best way to do this is get a wide pen, and very carefully mark along the diagonal edge. (see photo)

10. Glue your pretty paper, to the large window mount. Then tape the small window mount, face-down to the large window mount. Check that it has been lined up square.

11. I decided to decorate the corners with a little gold detailing, but this is entirely optional.

12. Assemble the frame as normal, and hang it proudly!

The Rocks Aroma Festival

My friends and I went to The Rocks Aroma Festival yesterday. It was packed full of people. Some coffee outlets had lines of about 50 people waiting, and the food lines was even worse, as there wasn't many of those! Either way, if it wasn't busy, no one would want to be there. I always say, the crowds is part of the fun!

There were so many coffee outlets/market stalls. I don't usually drink coffee- tea is my love, but since I was there, I got into the spirit! There were lots of chocolate, and biscuit stalls too- well worth the crowds (sweets is another vice of mine too!).

Some photos from the day:

We couldn't have asked for a more glorious day- we were even hot. Not bad for a mid winters day! Sydney, yet again, lived up to its reputation.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Penelope Red Kaleidoscope Mini Skirt

The picture above, of me, was taken with the help of my hubbie- so it isn't poffessional, but atleast you can see it properly on a body.

Today I finished a new design- The Penelope Red Kaleidoscope Mini Skirt. I am loving the colour/fabric combination! While I understand that the combination is not for everyone's taste, sometimes it isn't about pleasing the masses... I like to keep it fresh and sometimes create items just for the love of doing it! This is what keeps me coming back!

I wanted to create a mini skirt that wasn't too mini. I wanted a length that was still classic and sophisticated, so this skirt is short- but not sky high.

I decided to place a curved panel down each side, as this creates an optical illusion, as well as it is my signature look- I love my panels! The curved panel means that the darker fabric (the plain Emerald Green Silk) is detracting from the thighs. The peach satin binding is creating a longer line, and draws your eye up and down the length.

When I make straight skirts or fitted skirts, I like to try and curve them around the hips and butt- we want to show off the curves! Not hide them in excess fabric!

This skirt was made from two beautiful 100% Silk fabrics. Together, they have such a luxurious feel, and the satin binding just lifts it even further!

I also managed to match the check where possible.

Of course, it is fully lined as well, with an invisible zip.

I only have enough fabric for two of these skirts- so this skirt is 1 out of 2. I hope whoever decides to buy it, loves it! This will be available in the Penelope Red Etsy store, in September 09.