Thursday, September 30, 2010

Candy, Cakes and Desserts of Marie Antoinette the Movie

Many of you have seen posts on Marie Antoinette the movie by Sophia
 Coppola. I only had a chance to see it tonight which inspired me to look up
a synopsis of her life story to see how accurate the portrayal of her life was. 
The movie isn't exact but it comes close (she had 4 children and not 2 among
other points.)  It skips over the latter portion of her life where she became
more involved with politics and tried to help her husband.  

I think Marie Antoinette is one of the most misrepresented people in history.  
She was literally the scapegoat of France in those times.  Despite the odds, 
she managed to survive in a politically hostile environment with a mother who
sought only to use her solely as a political pawn.  Unfortunately, she actually
had very little political influence in France.  Not to mention a husband who was 
so insecure that the marriage wasn't consummated until 7 years after they
were married (and even then - intervention was required to get to the bottom
of the mystery...)  Granted they were married at 14, but 7 years is a long time
not to consummate a marriage. 

I now appreciate what an amazing woman she was and have come to see 
the enormous amount of pressure she was under.  Like many of us gals 
today, when she was depressed or down - she liked to party and have retail
therapy.  As for her spending, it was no more frivolous than what a queen 
would have spent in those days.  I can't imagine being sent away from home 
at 14 to a foreign land to be married.  Being Austrian (not friendly with the 
French), she was a convenient scapegoat.  

What I liked about the film is that it did not feel like any of the usual period 
films.  The film is from theperspective of Marie Antoinette and it makes feel 
as if you are personally witnessing all the events.  I also think the romantic
scenes were wonderfully filmed - romantic and classy (no need for graphic
detail.)  Enough of my babbling and onto the eye candy... literally!

Laduree provided all of the candy, desserts 
and sweets that were shown in the movie.

In fact everything in the movie looked like candy and cake.
 Absolutely gorgeous.

Strawberries galore.

Candied almonds adorn this plate with a 
piece of chocolate as the centerpiece.

Isn't the orange color a feast for the eyes?

Pink and Red go so well together for candy and desserts.

A personal cake inspired by Marie Antoinette (not my cake.)

If any of you are interested in Marie Antoinette's story, Sophia Coppola based 
her movie script on a book she read on Marie Antoinette's life called:  Marie

Photos are from Google and movie stills from Sony

Monday, September 27, 2010

Black & Spiro Today

This morning I pottered around my garden at home and collected a few flowering things for the shop. I arranged some pink bougainvillea and some native gum leaves in a couple of shell encrusted baskets I picked up in Bali a while ago. There's something so Summery and vibrant about bougainvillea and I do love it mixed in with a few classic blue and white ginger jars.

Above is one of a pair of amazing hand beaded African chairs we have in the shop at the moment. I think these chairs are a favourite of mine right now. To think of the work that goes into them...

We just received this gorgeous geometric patterned rug in today. The girls and I couldn't wait to put it in place under our bright orange coffee table in our front lounge room display. I think it has added so much colour to the shop...I just love it and I am very tempted to take it home!

Just thought you might like to see a few of the new things we have in at the moment.

Wonderful simplicity

Architecture : studio Zimmermann
Photography : Bruno Helbling

Another Fab London Home with Pops of Pink

Despite a grueling tour in Spain and becoming ill, I am now back at home.  I will post more about my trip.  In the meantime, I adore how colorful this fabulous London home is with all the pops of pink everywhere.  Chocolate and Jewel toned pink do indeed go together.

The home has great lighting,

 and Very roomy living space as you can see here.  Although, it really could use with some divisions to divide up the space just a bit.

 The home boasts a light and airy modern kitchen.
 With a fantastic sun room for a dining area.


 Get a load of this rug!  I love the unusual color.
  I adores Union Jacks.  The Union Jack and very bright pink rug is paired with more traditional French styled furniture such as the bed and a contemporary chaise lounge.  Eclectic but fun.  The white floor boards make a great backdrop for the pops of color.

  Did you notice the fabulous chandelier and very romantic armoire?

  The bathroom is just as spacious with the pops of pink carried through.

This room seems like a throwback to the 70s.  Love the sheepskin on the chair - great way to make a chair more comfy and cozy.

Doesn't the house look great from the back?  
Which was your favorite room or element?

Photos from 1st Option

Friday, September 24, 2010

Need It Now

I'm completely loving these vintage Indian embellished shoulder bags Louise over at Table Tonic just got in!! I love, love, love the silver necklaces too!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Domestic Transformer" - One Room: 24 Different Configurations in 330 Square Feet

Talk about ingenuity when it comes to small space living.  I absolutely
love what this architect did with his own space (only 330 sq feet) of 
living space.  Can you imagine 24 different configurations for just one
room?  You absolutely must watch this video if you haven't seen it.  I'd
love to hear your thoughts and the things you thought were ingenious.

I was surprised of the layers of the walls and the location of the guest
bed over the bathtub.  I also loved the media room with the projector
screen over the windows - every detail was so thoughtfully designed.

Serious Undercushioning

Finding the time to work out a few little things I need for home has proven to be a bit hard lately with a baby in the house and a busy shop to juggle.

If my friend Faux Fuchsia could see my very undercushioned sofas right now she would be in shock as undercushioning {her very own term for not enough cushions} in her world as well as mine is a big NO NO. Actually, I think many of you would be in shock. So, late this afternoon I spent a few little minutes with myself and my collection of fabrics in our stock fabric room at Black & Spiro. I found a few old pieces of fabric I have been saving for a rainy day and let me tell you my rainy day has come. So I whipped them out and packaged them up and off to the workroom they will go tomorrow.

I can't wait to get some fresh cushions in the house. It really is amazing what a few new cushions can make to a room!! How's your cushion situation at the moment?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In Fashion

A couple of weeks ago we played host to a Spring fashion shoot at Black & Spiro for Q Weekend as above which was featured in the Saturday morning paper here in Brisbane last weekend. Thanks Elizabeth for wanting to use our new store.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The exquisite hand-made lighting of Empel Collections

Are you like me and do you have a weakness for beautiful lighting, then I want you to discover the exquisite lighting of


Ron van Empel, the principal of the company EMPEL COLLECTIONS (The Netherlands) designs and creates the most wonderful lamps. From elegant traditional bouillotte lamps to contemporary glamour and Mid-Century chic.

Over 500 designs spread over several collections to inspire you. Ron welcomes any custom request.

“ In our own workshop, we design and create the finest in lighting, from chandeliers and table lamps, to wall fixtures with a wide range of styles, in a vast choice of colors and finishes. The custom options are endless, making our range of lamps stand apart from the rest.” explains Ron on his website.


 78 Article Dutch Magazine Residence, September 2006.


Important detail like luxury lamp holders, switches and luxury silk wiring complete each and every lamp.

There is nothing ‘standard’ about the lamps by Empel Collections. All models can be customized to your specifications in size, color and finish.


It was so hard to decide which lamps I wanted to show you here, I just made a random choice to give you any idea of what the Empel Collections is about.

Be sure to visit the EMPEL COLLECTIONS website and you will discover a wide range of the most beautiful lighting!


Chandelier%20Monaco%20Detail%201  Ceiling lamp with Bouillotte cluster

Louis XVI chandelier

Ceiling lamp


Swing-arm desk lamp


Brigitte bouillotte table lamp

Chambourgh bouillotte table lamp

11.3.09 Canon EOS, Stefan 022



Crystal spheres Mid century series

vintage oval sunburst mirror 007

Diamonds table lamp

Harvard swingarm floor lamp

FC, Dolphin table lamp. 016. 017  One of my favorites : the Dolphin table lamp.



Ceiling%20lamp%20NE,%20Clarckstown%20traditional%20version%202   Classic Candlestick table lamp I just love those candlestick table lamps!

Inspiratie_New_Elegance7These lamps are vintage pieces. Ron van Empel is able to reproduce a similar lamp for you!


The following images are taken in the private house of Ron van Empel, published in the Dutch Magazine More Than Classic, December 2009.








Whether you are renovating or building a new home, Empel Collections can help to prepare for the perfect lighting atmosphere by designing a light-plan.

To discover the complete Empel lighting collection , please click on logo.

Logo Empel Collections

Sumatrastraat 112A


The Netherlands

Phone : 0031 (0) 71 523 23 95


I am sure you will be able to make your choice visiting the Empel Collections website.



All images : website Empel Collections