23 July 2008

catching up

We've been back from Melbourne for 2 days, and as much as I love going away I just feel exhausted right now. Catching up with washing (4 loads!), catching up with ironing, catching up with groceries, catching up with emails and catching up with blogland. I'll just tear away the slaving housewife persona now and take a few more sips of this lovely shiraz beside me......
How's that for a ceiling? It's the auditorium of the National Gallery of Victoria. Countless school trips and personal excursions later, I still find this place wonderful - a great collection of artwork has been amassed and, like any good gallery, displays them at their best.

The main reason we went was for the special exhibition commemorating the Art Deco era. Well, what can I say - how many adjectives do you want to hear? Awed, enchanted, inspired and pure pleasure at what I saw. The exhibition really showcased the extravagances of the era, yet simple lines and fine details were all that was needed. You could really see how they rebelled against the cluttered Victorianisms of furnishing and fashion.
Cloche hat (c. 1925) by Kilpin Ltd London. Straw, felt and velvet applique.
This hat was one of many clothing items I drooled over, and yes - gives me some inspiration too.

And this fabric!

Furnishing fabric, linen (c. 1920) by Raoul Dufy. Manufactured by Fianchini-Ferier, Lyon, France.
What a boon! I actually sketched (thanks for the idea Alice!) the blue leaf in the centre, then fortunately came across these postcards in the giftshop afterwards. Even one of the dress fabrics had been reproduced and you could buy scraves (oops! scarves), bags and ..... um, something else - beautiful but too expensive for tight arse me.

But wait, there's more! Thursday was pretty much Furnitex and meetings with Ant's suppliers. I did come away from there with a couple of inspirations, I'll share these later.

Friday Ant went back to Furnitex and I did my own thing. Trundling along Brunswick Street Fitzroy I soon came to Meet Me at Mikes, unfortunately Pip was away but I had a lovely chat with her other half, and he pointed out some other places to go. I explored Brunswick Street a bit more before jumping on a tram and heading to North Melbourne and Kids in Berlin, but more importantly - the Thread Den, man I love this place!! How cool is it to have a shop that sells original (hand made) clothes, vintage clothes, fabric and patterns, PLUS has it's own sewing lounge! I could have done some real damage to the credit card, but was a good girl and only came away with some vintage tweed fabric - one light brown and the other grey with a blue fleck, as well as a vintage pattern and buttons. Mmmmm, yummy......

Saturday morning Ant and I 'regrouped' to check out the Rose Street Market in Fitzroy, full of lovely hand made stuff. I saw some great Matt bags, and came across Anna Laura's stall, but didn't have time to chat. *sigh*

So Saturday arvo saw us heading to Geelong to visit family for a catch up, and back to Melbourne on Sunday night. Monday morning was the Art Deco exhibition and the afternoon was spent in Bridge Road Richmond - where a lot of the factory outlets are. We're pretty tame as far as clothes shopping goes, but we always manage to find nice pieces that last, plus the odd bit of cheap tat that you wouldn't want to last for more than a season anyway.

So yeah, we had a great time and very productive to boot. Next time I'm in Melbourne I hope Lara, Bianca and Tegan's new enterprise is up and running, how exciting is that!



  1. That hat is sooo gorgeous! You HAVE had a great time. No wonder you'll take a few days to return to normal. Hope the Geelong family was well. Catch up soon!

  2. I adore the National Gallery of Victoria - in my humble opinion, it's the best in Australia. The markets and shopping in Melbourne are fabulous. I'm envious but delighted that you had such a good (if exhausting) trip.

    Cheers, Ann.

  3. Jen,

    What a grand time you had? What idea did I give you?

    Take your time to recharge your batteries... we'll be here.

    What a great place the National Gallery of Victoria must be... sounds like a lot of inspiration.


  4. Sounds like you had a ball!!! Looking forward to seeing what you do with inspiration from that hat, it is truly gorgeous!!! Cathyxx

  5. Thanks for the link Jen! I also love the NVG, and particularly that ceiling - whenever I take my students there on excursion, we always lie down and contemplate the meaning of life.. or at the very least, try to find funny faces in the coloured glass!
    Let us know when you're next in town, hopefully we'll have the studio ready for visitors by then!
    The Ink & Spindle girls