Friday, March 30, 2012

The Bach 'A Retro Statement'

It's Friday and I'm loading up the ute this morning but instead of tools, paints and the likes, I'm loading in gorgeous goodies, sheets and pillows a toaster and kettle,  cause tonight baby I'm staying over.  I am so excited I want to stuff as much in the car as possible.  I forgot to mention that I am also taking the framed, yes FRAMED pineapple prints.  I think they look amazing!!!

Love this?  It's so mad men, right now.   This handsome Parker buffet is the second piece of furniture I purchased for the bach.  The first pieces, two drop dead gorgeous chairs have a lovely story to tell and I can't wait to share it with you later.

This is my kinda candy store, and believe it or not I have a box of these retro plastics in my garage, making their way into the ute this morning. 

You must know me by know.... Yes. I have packed a bottle of french bubbles for drinks on the deck tonight.  Wouldn't this look fabulous?  

I'll be taking lots more pics over the weekend and I am looking forward to sharing them with you next week.  If you haven't entered my 'Four Cow Farm' baby skincare giveaway, pop on over and enter!  These products are so naturally beautiful.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Bach 'Interior Update and Exterior Colour'

Another busy mid week and weekend working bee at the bach.  I am over the fact that I couldn't  complete the project in time for Easter.   Instead of the mad rush to have it finished I will take the opportunity to enjoy every minute of decorating the interior and landscaping the gardens.  I was at the bach yesterday, a gorgeous autumnal day, sunny blue sky with just a hint of crispness in the air.   It was the perfect day for playing with paint,  the perfect day for nailing the exterior colour.  The colour I chose for the exterior is a Resene Paint, 'Manz', it is the closest shade for what I am trying to achieve.  The surrounding area is very bush like and green, the houses sit under canopies of huge eucalyptus trees so I wanted the colour of the house to reflect the movement of the trees, and the sun as it moves around the house.  I also have a love of those cheeky, menacing Sulphur Crested Cockatoos who squawk in and out of the trees through out the day.  The colour of the crest is what I imagined for the bach.  

Such  rich coloured flowers  that I see from the back deck, the yellow of the house will be so uplifting.

In the full sun the yellow bush at the back looks happy, as the mango tree I have a restoration plan for her recovery.  Oh, that nasty shed, I plan to hide it with a group Banana trees.

This is what I painted yesterday.  The original 'Manz' is the strongest colour you can see, then I started mixing it with white.  Three parts 'Manz' and one part white is the mix I am happy with.  It's the middle colour.

Here it is on the front, I love the shadows and how the lattice takes on the yellowy tones.

It was so important for me to get it right, I just needed the house to move with the surroundings, take on the rise and fall of the sun and shadows, everybody was getting so peeved with me, I just couldn't make the sailor understand where I was coming from.  Finally, with lots of painty mess, I did it, I got there.  The exterior painting can begin.  

Look!  Some furniture arrives.

 Bedroom one.  Inspiration here  

 Bedroom two, I am still in thought about this one, though I think it will be navy. Loving the blinds, they look awesome, adding texture to the inside of the room and a great beachy feel to the outside.

 The buffet and dining table look great, inspiration here.  The table surface is ready for the pineapple stencil I thought about here.  I am very happy with the floors, I choose a poly satin finish.  The walls do 
look very white, but as I start adding wall decor I'm sure the white will move back.  Love the blinds here too.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on my progress, any suggestions?  Anything you don't like?  I'm racing out the door as I ping my blog into the cloud....I look forward to hearing from you.

Rowan has something to say!

My Nan made me hold these beautiful 'Four Cow Farm' products up for you to see so you can skip on over to Nan's blog and enter to win them.  They are really, really good, they make my skin soft and the nappy balm makes my botty smooth after eating Poppa's spicy food.  Nan and Mum use them on me all the time and get really fussy when Dad and Poppa don't use them!
Whoops, Nan is going to be really fussy with me now that I have broken the package that you are going to get.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rowantree Designs 'Meet Caludia'

Inspired by the French school blouse.   Crisp and bright

I love this print, all peachy and warm

I have been super busy this week, working late into the early mornings finishing off new designs for my autunm/winter collection of dresses, smocks and blouses.  I love the eclectic collection of clothes I put together, I work really hard making sure that each piece is perfect in every way.  No unsightly unfinished seams or button holes,  all my hem lines are generous, not to mention the beautiful fabrics I choose, some from from my vintage collection, others sourced from Japan and Europe. The fabrics, the simple elegant styles and quality are a trademark of Rowantree Design.

I have a long history of fashion in my family, My grand-mere being French was a fabulous couture creating bespoke clothing for the Paris fashionistas and their children, she past this onto my mother and she past it on to me.  My grand-mere always instilled in me that you don't need a wardrobe full of rubbish, you don't walk around with a bin on your back. (French women are very arrogant where fashion is concerned, quality and style are foremost).  Therefore, I have always bought fewer clothes, more expensive, let's say investment pieces, than most of my peers, given that, I learnt from an early age how to style few garments into many outfits using accessories.
When my three daughters were young I made them beautiful clothes just like the clothes that I design and make for Rowantree, every where we went people would go out of there way to comment on their clothes and enquire as to where they could buy them.  I soon had a following of very loyal customers from the right side of town, but in those days I had  one of "those 80's" dream jobs that you could never, not in a million years consider giving up to follow your passion.  Sad!  

So back to my Rowantree  Collection!  I only make a small run in each style, I have fabric left over therefore I can always recut.  I have two shops in the lower East side of NYC that stock a small range, which each season is growing.  I know there is a few celebrity off spring running around in Rowantree.  Yahooo!    There are a few boutiques in the eastern suburbs who would stock my collection at the drop of a hat, but would need to charge triple my online store price to cover there overheads.

I don't do markets anymore as most of the boutique markets just ain't boutique anymore.  I am tired of listening to mothers who love to talk the talk about quality and bespoke clothing for their children, and then tell me that forty dollars or so, is far too expensive to pay for a  beautitful hand made one hundred percent cotton garment thats exudes style and will last a few childhood lifetimes?

At this point you are probably wondering where all these words and thoughts came from, this blog was simply to introduce you to Claudia, but when I started to write the blog,  thinking about how I would describe her to you, I started thinking learning to cut and sew.  My Grand-mere in her thick tonque telling me,
"too much length in the cotton, it won't make you any faster, it just make it ugly"
All these thoughts and words are my passion and the history behind Rowantree.  My history of making classic and quality bespoke clothing for little people.

We all have dreams and passions and today I feel so much lighter for sharing with you mine and why I love it so much.  And to tell you how sad I feel today, that I didn't have the courage follow the dream before.

What's your passion!  Will you find the courage to follow your dream?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Giveaway Rowantree Loves 'Four Cow Farm' Baby Skincare

Nana know's best.  Just ask me?

When I choose fabrics for my children's clothing range I choose only quality 100% cottons and linens.  My luxury  baby knitwear range is 100% pure organically grown cotton of the finest quality.   So naturally when Rowan was born I only wanted to use the very best organic products on and next to his skin.  That's how 
I met 'Four Cow Farm' and I  am so very excited that I can offer this wonderful giveaway of an organic range of baby skin care products that are handcrafted and produced on the family farm in South-East Queensland.  

I sing the praises of these beautiful products to every mum I meet and I am so happy that two lucky mums will have the opportunity to try these beautiful products for themselves.

The 'Four Cow Farm' product range was conceived by a loving Nana who wanted to use best skin care possible for her grandchildren.  Nana,  a midwife has of much and loved experience in handling soft and precious little bundles.  The 'Four Cow' products are produced on the family farm, situated high up on a mountain range amongst lush rolling hills of volcanic soil.  I love the fact that Nana insists that every ingredient used is food grade, there are no artificial fragrances or colours , the rich colours, smooth and luxuriant textures and fragrances are pure and natural and nothing else.  

You will not only enjoy using these products on your bubs you'll love using them for the whole family.  My daughter Peta suffered from extreme eczema as a baby,  I understand the stress you feel as a parent when looking for a product that will not only ease the discomfort of the irritation but will help promote a healthier skin.  Peta, my daughter and Rowan's mum uses the Calendula remedy on her skin when her eczema flares up, it has wonderful remedial properties for soothing  her irritate skin, we keep it in the fridge at home and on the boat.  For any minor scraps, scratches, itches or irritations in our family we shout for the 'Cow Cream'.  Try it on your lips, it's amazing for windburn and dry and chaffed lips.  

Thank you to Delphinia and her Nana I have two Baby Kits to give away.  Excited!  Well pop on over to 'Four Cow Farm' and have a read about the products, sign up for some great promotional offers.  Like the 'Four Cow Farm' facebook page and leave a comment on the 'Four Cow Farm blog telling Delphinia and Nana  that you read about them on the Rowantree Blog. Please link this all back to me.  Now for my bit, please let all your readers know about this fantastic give away by linking it back to this blog, and of course! please leave me a comment.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wall Candy, Happy and Bright

Wall candy, it's sweet and very happy..................

I have been searching high and low for a big impact, dramatic statement wall paper to hang on a wall in my studio. I love bright, I love happy, I love colour and love to collect ornaments and objects to fill my space with interest and life.......something like this I showed you in an earlier blog

I came across this unique collection of wallpaper from Eijffinger a famous Dutch studio. who, in collaboration with Pip Studio, famous for its “Happy products, Happy people” line of bed sheets, breakfast crockery and handbags have produced this beautiful and whimsical wallpaper.
I love the bold colours and strong designs, colour palettes to suit every room for big and small people.  I have the sample book at home right now and several times a day I sit and lovingly pour over it!  If you've got little ones and watch the ABC for Kids you might think that 'Pip Studio'  designed the wallpaper for 'Angelina Ballerina's' house?

I loving the yellow, so bright and bold, just like me!  What's your favourite?

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Bach 'This Weekend'

Friday night the sailor and I stayed at the Patonga Beach Hotel.   Patonga is a tranquil bayside village just around the headland from Pearl Beach, it has a very layback vibe, some very funky little beach cottages, a caravan park and of course a great family pub with a huge open old style beer garden area and serves great pub food.  We have been popping in for lunch on a regular basis, fish and chips a plate of sliced cucumber (for Rowan) our typical order.  With a list of tasks to complete before the floor sanders arrive on Tuesday we decided to stay over and enjoy some of the local hospitality.  We had so much fun, a great dinner, a few wines, catching up with the locals, the seafood raffle and a competitive game of darts. That's Friday night Patonga style.

Saturday morning we woke to the malarkey of the kookaburras laughing at the fishermen as they pulled up their boats to the wharf and unloaded their catch.  We strolled along the wharf and chatted to the fishermen, taking a few pics before heading back over the hill.

Barrenjoey Heads  in the distant right...How beautiful does this look?

These little trawlers have a nostalgic look to them, please don't go trawlers and leave this bay empty.

I love these pics of the little red trawler.  Perhaps I should put them on canvas for the house?

Most of the day my view was flora through squares.  When I began the painting of the lattice, my initial approach was tidy and mathematical, that was slow, until it became very clear to me that the only way forward was to be aggressive with the paint brush, and get it on faster.  

All locked up and ready for the floor sanding on Tuesday.  I can't wait to see how they look on Friday.  I'm also very excited about getting some furniture delivered on Friday so we can stay in the house.  I'm very happy with my choice of Lexicon quarter strength paint, it's a cool colour, it has a fresh appeal and will need colour and warmth which will come from the furnishings and decor.  If you've just popped over you can see the befores here and here.


 A trip to Spotlight this week for a few metres of lace curtain.

I'm looking forward to some sewing this week,  I have some wonderful new designs nearly ready to show you.  Today Rowan and I will be hand dyeing some buttons and cutting the new styles.  If you are expecting a new baby or know somebody who is, I have a great little giveaway which I hope to post this week.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rowantree 'Pinterest'

Pinterest a window into all the things that inspire us every day!  

Just lately my Pinterest boards have been going off big time, I must get at least 20 repin emails a day.  I love the fact that there are lots of people loving my boards.  I started my Pinterest Boards over a year ago, I was absolutely obsessed with pinning images that inspire my creative self, images that I can look at when I am renovating my house, images of beautiful events when I am planning an event of my own, images of drop dead gorgeous houses, clothing and holiday destinations that I can only dream about. Pinterest boards are a window into all the things that inspire us every day.   Do you create beautiful things  to sell in your online shop? If the answer is yes pop on over here, Steph Bond-Hutkin of the gorgeous, all about Aussie design, Bondville blog has written a short and very informative article on using Pinterest to promote your business.  Are you pinning?  If so pop on over to my Pinterest Boards and have a look see what's inspiring me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Bach 'Taking a Look at a Juicy Trend'

The pineapple, the Princess of fruits, the very symbol of hospitality.  With it's bold good looks, the pineapple is indeed an inspiration in decorating concepts and designs.  

Let the sun shine in!  Remember my kitchen inspiration post, I mentioned I wanted to stencil a wall or the dining table, what do you think of this?  

Ice cream a licious
Love this scrumptious cushion,  the white background and pom poms makes me think of a pineapple sundae. here

Hula ba lula

This is gold, found it on ebay

Spotted this beauty here

How very Key West indeed

Found here

Way too cool
from here

Happy hour!

The pineapple of my eye

I just could not resist making up a 'Beach Collection'  for Rowan to accompany me to the Bach.  He's the coolest little dude when we hang out at the cafe and in the park.  

Rowan is wearing the gadabout pant in sailboat print and a new shirt I naming the 'Clooney' shirt.
 Can you guess why?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Bach 'A Catch Up'

YaaaHoooo!  I have finally decided on my colour for the bach, if you have just stopped by, you can read about it here , before I got started on the make over.  I have almost driven myself and those around me crazy.  Firstly I was so adamant I wanted to paint the house orange, then it was going to be turquoise (not my favourite) and then I thought about yellow which turned into lime, so a yellowy lime colour it was, there are just so many shades of colours and full strengths, half strengths etc. etc. and so many brands of paint.   I love using Resene paints because of the high quality tints they use, especially Resene  exterior colours which look great for years.  So this is it 'Manz'  What do you think?

Bathroom looks great!

I love these new 'floor board' look tiles, they have a beachy feel and are have a great surface, lovely to stand on and no slip which is perfect for little ones.  

I chose plain white glossy 600 x 300 wall tiles and laid them horizontally to give the small room depth instead of height, as the ceilings are quite high.  A huge improvement on this.  I wanted the bathroom to have a clean and modern feel, a good bathroom always makes you feel squeaky clean and fresh. ( I do have a little twist up my sleeve.......

I love my choice of the yellow and white tiles they have added a touch of fiesta to the very unstylish kitchen.  Before

The new doors look amazing, totally opens up the living areas with a great flow to the deck and back garden.

New doors from the outside. I am spray painting the existing yellow aluminium window frames white, the job is relatively easy, a bit of prep work involved but low cost for a big impact finish. 
There is a cloud of doubt hanging over the bach make over being complete for the Easter holidays.  The job has been hampered with rain from the word go, the 5th February was the day we got started and we have had rain for part of every week since.
This week I hope to complete the inside painting, the deck and start the new carport and side picket fence.

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