Saturday, July 30, 2011

Faves Raves in New York City - Anthropologie for Fashion and Lifestyle

The Store of all stores.  Funky, slightly exotic!  Anthropologie has managed to bring two of my favourite things together fashion and homewares! The window displays changed almost daily are whimsical and inviting.  The fashion is very unique and a true breath of fresh air, geared to funky-chic women who want to dress outside the square.

I could not resist this bold and beautiful  Pavo Bedlinen set.....Hmmm maybe for the beach house.

Who wouldn't enjoy setting the table with this garden of delights..ceramic dinner ware


An outfit for me, something nautical for the Sydney Boat Show on my return.  The 'Pilcro" straight ankle chinos work well with the French chic Montaigne Tee

I adored these neo nautical shoes that looked absolutely seaworthy and to pull my outfit together I chose this stripey satchel.  Now to choose a belt......

Wallpaper, Dreamscape Mural, a water colour city by artist Rebekah Mayseles, you won't find this in Sydney.  I purchased a piece of this to keep for a rainy day!

I hope you enjoyed my shopping experience in Anthropologie and you can have you own shopping experience online, Anthropologie ships internationally!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fave Raves in New York City- Children's designer clothing

In between a visit here, and a visit to that, I popped my head in to many small, hole in the wall little people boutiques,  there were quite a few of them, as you can imagine, we are talking NYC here.  Most carried mostly main stream, I've seen that before, doesn't inspire me labels, so it was a case of "How ya doin'" and I was out the door.   I was really surprised at the lack of unique and gorgeousness.

I must say as large as NYC is, it didn't take me too long to seek out my favourite children's boutique.

From the rusted exterior and signage, walking into this store is like stepping back in time.  A time before there was Pumpkin Patch and mass produced, cheaply made children's clothing void of any style.  Bu and the Duck is a cult favourite for in-the-know New York mums.  All the clothing is designed by owner Susan Lane who was inspired by American children's clothing of the 30's and 40's.  The bespoke clothing racks hold darling dresses and, precious knits, plaid overalls  and adorable organic cotton basics, perfect for layering.  Don't think the boys get left out here!  Handsome plaid overalls, smart shirts and shorts a plenty. This store is likened to an art gallery, scattered throughout in the little nooks and crannies are Italian and French shoes, beautiful hand-crafted wooden toys, dolls, furniture, old world, unique, and the beauty of every object speaks for itself.  

See the vintage white and green pram.  This was designed in the early 30's and they were available to  hire to push children around in at Coney Island.  I loved this space and did make a few visits chat to Susan about inspiration and her love of children's playwear.  I left feeling like I had a kindred spirit in NYC.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A little White Dress Project

I feel like I am sitting inside the big bubble straight off the plane from the big apple!   I am bursting with inspiration, creative projects and fave shops that I want to rave about and share with you.  My taste buds are still jumping around in my mouth, I am craving fresh sustainable foods, street pizza, and tacomania, not to mention Mararita's Martini's and awesome Italian wines....
I am slowly getting my Sydney mojo back, yesterday I made myself sit down and finish 'The little white dress' project which is pretty exciting for me as I usually work with vintage inspired florals.   I loved working with the white cotton and over the next week I will be creating some garments in white and over dying them for a soft and muted colour palette.  I adore this piece and have already started to sew a petite little blouse with a mini peter pan collar to wear under the pinafore.  Too cute!

This month is going to be hectic for Rowantree.  First and foremost I absolutely have to get moving on the finishing touches to the new Rowantree website. Aggh! technology, how come it's so easy for some?
Tomorrow I have a photographer friend coming to assist me with a light box set up so I can photograph the collection myself which will make it easier to upload new styles at my own pace?  
I have a few pieces feautred in the spring edition of 'Shop4Kids', on the newsstand's August 1st, so I need to go, go, go, on the website.
If you love something you see on the Rowantree blog, send me a comment and I would love help you out with sizes and will post interstate and internationally to you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ready Red Romper. New York City Here I Come

Beautiful....My little red romper design is complete.  The piping really is the hero (I have been watching too much Master Chef) of this design, and I could not be happier with the butttons I have found, I love the curve on the edge of the button, it fits well with the piping...Hooray.  Finished just in time for me to head off to the big apple.

New York City here I come.  I will look forward to posting some blogs from the big city over the next week.  I  hope that I can share some really funky shops and sights with you...notice how I said shops first....Shhhh don't tell the sailor.

Monday, July 11, 2011

An Eclectic Mix of Sweet William

The guest bedroom is inches away from being ready for our first house guests.  Today I was so happy to hang my beautiful eclectic and whimsical collection of illustrations by 'Lovely Sweet William'.

Just perfect for my guest room. 

I fell head over heels in love with Paula's delicate artwork at the Magnolia Square market here in Sydney, my heart sang out for the Love Art print, and when I got it home, I loved it so much I knew I had to incorporate it in a small collection of other pieces of Paula's work in my guest room.   The colours  worked so well with the feature wall which is painted in half strength Tea, a Resene paint, and the eclectic compositions gave the room a a touch of romance.

From left, Bowl of Butterflies, Blue willow Pattern, Oak Tree Art Print, Love Art Print

I was reading the Sweet William blog today and was delighted to be introduced to these two very cute girls Camille and her best friend Valerie.  Available  in a cut out pack on Lovely Sweet William Etsy shop.  I can't think of a more precious gift for some lucky little lady.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Toddler Tango in Animal print

Step out in style, these gorgeous little shoes are definitely for baby fashionistas who want to share mum's style.......

This little shoe is not only on the foot for trend value but made for comfort with easy to put on and take off Velcro strap with leather upper, leather lining and grip worthy rubber sole.

Visit '' a great site with not only fabulous finds but great prices. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vintage Romper Wall Art

A divine work of art

This little romper would have been from the 50's, perhaps my brother wore it.   I once hung it in Peta and Lauren's room but they didn't like the mean look on the bunny's face. Ha ha ha  Now it is hanging in Rowan's room....
A fun and creative idea for decorating a plain wall in your child's bedroom and you can change it whenever you feel like it.

Work of Art? 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Vintage Nursery Inspiration

I am inspired

Buttercup Yellow dress. Duck egg blue walls. I love you!

Stylish Storage for the hip Nursery

Love this! The Oeuf Mini library, a very stylish, practical shelving solution for the modern nursery.  It's fun and a great height for little people still keeping a sleek and grownup profile.
I found it on the "Oeuf be good" website which also has beautiful clothes and accessories made from alpaca wool.  Check out the ball garland, too cute!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

K Road Girl

This gorgeous girl I found in a junk store on K Road in Auckland.  She looks so relaxed and unperplexed about life.  She is not worrying about the lack of a lower limb,  inspiration for designs, she has wings, shapely legs, a wonderful vintage outfit and a great make up job and she is as delicate as the beautiful Liberty Fabrics she resides on in my studio....

Saturday, July 2, 2011

French inspired dress for Alexandra. The preschool fashionista!

Alexandra the youngest of my three daughters thought she was lucky enough to miss being featured on my blog.  Yes, she definitely turned heads alighting from her car seat every morning arriving at preschool.  

SORRY ALEXANDRA, how could I not blog this beautiful black velvet, french inspired dress I made for you.  And it was you who always insisted on wearing  those cool 'Woodly Alan' inspired sunglasses of mine, the sunglasses really pulled the outfit together and the whole look really worked, except for the funny face you are pulling.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Cumquart Dress

Fruit preserving was always  a significant part of our kitchen, the perfect way to get the best from your bounty of fruit.  Part of the pleasure of growing or gathering your own fruit is to enjoy the aroma, the colour, feel and texture of it, and to have it sitting in the pantry looking deliciously enticing ready to eat is enormously rewarding.

The same  feeling I get when I see and feel a piece of fabric, the colour, the print the texture.  The feeling is often very overwhelming and immediately I am creating a design in my mind and can't wait to get to cutting the fabric, choosing a trim and constructing a garment.

Recently I picked the ripe, bright orange, plump fruit, from our cumquat tree, took them inside and placed them in a bowl, one by one I sliced them finely and removed the seeds.  Perfect round segmented slices bursting with colour, a fine pale yellow ring just under the skin, natures very own graphic design.

 Enjoying a glass of wine with the sailor whilst the jam was bubbling away, I was telling him how I felt inspired by the jam and how I wanted to create a little cumquat smock dress.  I thought that this was when he would vacate the room for the man cave.....
Instead he piped up.
"Just like a custom car the dress could be like a prototype, one you just keep on a shelf"

 I liked that, smiled and gave the sailor one of my best, 'sometimes I can't believe you actually got me looks'


Fabric, from Calio and Ivy.  Vintage lace, my own. Plate, a courtesy of "The Crafty Minx".  Yellow cup, Ikea.

The recipe
1  kilo of ripe cumquats
1  kilo sugar
Put a small saucer in the freezer.
Slice the fruit very,very finely.  Remove seeds.  Wrap seeds up in a square of fine cotton or a new chux cloth, tie with a long piece of twine.  Place fruit and the seed package in a heavy saucepan and bowl until the skins are soft.  Remove seed pack.  Add sugar and bring back to boil.  Simmer for 45 - 60 mins.  The jam will be ready when you pour a little onto the cold plate let it sit for a few minutes then run your finger through it, if a skin appears you are set to pour it into some clean jars that have sat in the medium oven for 30 mins.......Enjoy with toast and a thick smear of butter!
PS Cumquat jam is always on the runny side.

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