Thursday 25 August 2011

Travels in technicolour

Hi everyone and welcome back to regular posting here on make space! 

A whole lot has been happening lately, what with travels and then finishing (part of) my studies, so it's great to finally make (space and) time to reflect on the things that have inspired me lately and share them with you.

Colour, colour - everywhere!  Travel awakens my colour senses even more than usual (sometimes I wonder if that's possible, but anyhoo, I digress), so here are a selection of colour hits from my recent trip to Paris, Scotland and of course, Singapore ....

Macaroons - the new cupcakes!  Spotted these in a Paris patisserie window.

How good do these look?  Good food and colour all in one - a dream come true!  It was early morning in Paris and this shop wasn't open, so the tasting had to wait until Singapore and the wonderful Jean-Philippe Darcis cake shop at Marina Bay Sands.  Don't miss it if you're visiting Singapore!

A gorgeous vintage car being used as a promotional vehicle for the Tour de France

My visit to Paris also coincided with the Tour de France, so cycling-mania was all around.  So much passion and pride surrounds this race and whether you're into cycling or not, you can't help but get swept up in the excitement.  And to the two lovely old French blokes I got chatting to at the start of Stage 8 - what was that about Cadel not being up to the task???!!!

In actual fact, I saw very little of Paris beyond the first day or two, because I fell ill with a virulent flu virus and spent the majority of the stay sweating it out in my tiny apartment (thankfully one with a great view overlooking the Seine).  What I did manage to visit, though, was the Musee d'Orangerie ....

One of the Monet curved paintings at the Musee d'Orangerie.  Unusually, you're allowed to take photos in this gallery - of course unfortunately that applies to everyone, not just me!

Despite the hordes of tourists (Paris in July - never again), I found this building and the treasures within very calming, almost ethereal.  Thanks for the recommendations to visit, everyone.  Well worth it.

And so on to Scotland, where summer in the countryside is always a riot of colour ...

If you missed my Six Senses tour of Fife last week, make sure you check it out here.

A field of oilseed rape - a common, but stunning, sight in Scotland in July
But Scotland always has the ability to surprise me too, every time I visit.  I hadn't planned to, but I ended up going to Stirling Castle and I'm so glad I did - it was a major highlight.  I'll do a separate post just on this at a later date, but here's a sneak peek of the nearly 10 years of painstaking research and restoration that just blew me away ....

The King's Bedchamber in the Palace at Stirling Castle

The passion, craftsmanship and attention to detail that has gone into restoring Stirling's Royal Lodges to their 16th century splendour oozes out of every room, every piece of furniture, every tapestry and every painting.  Do not miss this place if you ever find yourself in Scotland!

And so finally to Singapore - a colour and pattern lover's paradise!  From the flowers planted and blooming everywhere you look, to the simple but beautiful designs on my hotel stationary, Singapore had me at hello ....

 A beautiful example of traditional shophouses in Singapore

This row of 'shophouses' in the Katong and Joo Chiat area of Singapore had me snapping away like crazy.  Ok, just one more ....

Not to mention my new favourite shop ....

Rumah Bebe - a shop selling traditional Peranakan fabrics and other fabulous items.  I'll show you what I bought in a later post!

Well, that hasn't even skimmed the surface of my photos, so with my colour tour complete, look out for the pattern and texture tours that will be coming to make space very soon.

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone, and may something colourful brighten your world today -and every day.

Til next time, Nx

Friday 19 August 2011

The sights, sounds, smells, textures, tastes (and secrets) of home ....

Hi everyone,

It's Friday, the sun is shining and I'm where I'm supposed to be - life is good! 

A sneak peek from my Six Senses Tour - link below
Spring must be on its way here in Brisbane, as Jezebel the cat just brought me the first lizard of the season.  Thanks Jez, I love you too. (If only the tail would not detach and wriggle about on the carpet all by itself!!!!!)

I wish I could take credit for this great shot of Jezebel, but I have to thank Ruth, who with her husband Fred, took the best care of the girls and the house while I was overseas - thanks guys!

Since my trip and then my graduation, there's been a lot of thinking about 'home' and what that means to me. 

Fitting then that my post today is simply a link to the post I've written for a gorgeous blogland friend of mine, Felicity, of Gifts of Serendipity.  Felicity regularly posts a feature on her blog called the Six Senses Tour, and when she read that I was heading back to Scotland to visit my family, she asked me if I would write a Six Senses Tour about the little corner of Scotland that is my original home.

So here it is - I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it:

My Six Senses Tour of Fife, Scotland

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.  I'll be back to regular posting next week, with a mix of new thoughts and ideas, as well as a host of highlights from my trip.  Don't expect too much from the Paris part, however - most of that was spent in bed with a hideous flu!

Til next time,

Saturday 6 August 2011

Coming home ...

Happy Saturday everyone!  Back from my amazing hols earlier this week and madly working away to complete all my course work before next Wednesday - I graduate from the Beaumont School of Interior Design and Decoration here in Brisbane next Friday evening!

I do keep having to pinch myself, but it looks like I may already have work lined up as well.  More details to follow, but it seems surreal that just a couple of years after deciding this was the direction I wanted to take and just over one year after I quit full-time employment, I have - all of a sudden - changed career. 

I am an Interior Designer.

And it feels good, and right.  After years of - not what I would call unhappiness - more of an internal disquiet, like radio interference humming away in the background, I'm finally . . . .

Paris shop window - more holiday photos and tales to follow!

Til next time,