Save the Date!

Feb 28, 2012

Designs Daisy & Jack Photos the simple things studio styling Oscar & Ruby 

Having a party, wedding or special event? Thrill your guests with a surprise bespoke tea towel, custom designed for you by Daisy & Jack. I was so excited to find these very cool save the dates made especially for bride and groom to be Ally + James who lived in London but were getting married in Australia. Given the the number of overseas wedding guests they wanted a save the date that was quintessentially Australian. Ally chose a quote from Australian satirist Billy Birmingham's Twelfth Man to add a touch of humour (and cricket) to this friendly little tea towel reminder that was sent out to her nearest & dearest. A matching belly band was designed to tie it all together.  

The are all screen printed on the highest quality cotton tea towel and all 100% Australian made this is truly a unique way to remind your guests of your big day!  All of Daisy & Jack designs, whether they be for a save the date, engagement, wedding or birthday, can be printed on a 100% cotton or linen tea towels in a variety of wonderful colours.  For more beautiful wedding day inspiration you must visit by the extremely talented sweetheart and citizen of the world that is Sophie Georgina Lord! 

eat read love is so very happy to be included on Daisy & Jacks website & inspiration board (so chuffed to be surrounded by such good company...)

a little whimsy wedding day and special event inspiration just for you...
DESIGN: Daisy & Jack beautiful bespoke invites, save the dates and more
PHOTOS: thesimplethingsstudio wedding photography is to die for!
STYLING: Oscar and Ruby simply gorgeous creative styling for your special day

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Heima Love

Anthology Magazine Baggu BagAssorted French CardsDesign*Sponge at HomeCamera LampChevron Louis XV ChairCath Kidston Love Seat

LOVE: sharing a little Heima Store love this week on the blog. Heima Home and Lifestyle has such a cute and quirky range of colourful home delights. Heima, meaning 'at home' in Icelandic has a fabulous range of lifestyle products inspired by a lust for travel, photography, music and design. These splashes of colourful and whimsy wont just stick out, they will stand out to create a centrepiece in your home. Check out the Heima Store for some gorgeous books, bags, cool chairs, postcards, not to mention interior styling at Heim Interiors. Anthology Mag and Design Sponge at Home are on my wishlist too!

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Featured Artist: Kareena Zerefos

Feb 18, 2012

Images and inspiration via Kareena Zerefos and CreativeBoom. 

The last few weeks I have taken my head out of the books and hit the galleries instead. Totally inspired of late by various artists; the one and only Pablo Picasso, Lisa Madigan's beautiful oils, and most recently my dear friend Melanie Duncan's desert inspired outback collection (more on that soon...). All of this creative energy has led me to a new project: creating my very own workspace at home, a place for me to keep my treasures, write my stories and blog of course! We are slowly converting our garage to create more space...but in the meantime I am just looking for a little corner of creativity in my own home. I was delighted to stumble across this gorgeous workspace and equally lovely article about artist Kareena Zerefos on Creative Boom.

Kareena is a Sydney artist, illustrator and designer living in London. It is easy to see how this beautiful workspace (at Papered Parlous Studios) could be the place of creative inspiration for these absolutely dreamy artworks. Loving the whimsical faces, feathery sketches with a vintage circus feel, I have been totally swept away by this artist. Both graphite, markers and ink on paper - 'From the Menagerie' inspired by travelling menageries, and running away to join the circus; and 'Siren Girl' inspired by the seductive, yet dangerous bird-women of Greek Mythology, are two of my fav collections. I am thinking they would look perfect in a cosy corner of my little boy's room...or anywhere for that matter! Simply beautiful. 

A little quote seen on one of the postcards in Kareena's workspace that just caught my eye:

"I wish you were here to see confusion give way to clarity. Paper covers rock."

More on this beautiful artist

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Surface Energy

Feb 17, 2012

All photos by Natalie Hayllar (eat read love)

A piece of desert in the city
A serendipitous conversation in her final Honours year, studying fine arts at COFA, UNSW, landed local artist Melanie Duncan in remote Central Australia at a place called Docker River (Kaltukatjara) throughout 2009-10. Docker River is located in the Northern Territory 200Km west of Uluru, approximately 8 hours from Alice Springs.  

This experience has inspired the works displayed in her debut solo show 'Desert Spirit' at Project Contemporary Artspace in Wollongong, showing until the 26 February. Memories of Melanie's community work, first in an Indigenous Art Centre across the border in WA, and as a Youth worker delivering a women’s art program at Docker River have transpired into the colourful and beautiful abstract works on canvas and boards. 

You might be familiar with Melanie’s 14 large jelly fish panels currently sprawled across the front of the Wollongong City Art Gallery, along with previous works entrenched in ocean themes. This new work is so vibrant, colourful and refreshing, and still maintains a connection to previous work by displaying themes about deep geological time and cycles of nature - where time is not linear. Other works capture what she calls ‘surface energy’ in a place where it’s difficult for ‘whitefella’ to reach any deeper.   

Melanie has often talked about her amazing experiences in Docker River but these paintings describe her time in the outback so much deeper and richer than any spoken word.

"it was a privilege to experience this part of Australia – meet so many beautiful people, lifelong friends and experience complete immersion in a stunning landscape – it was a glimpse into a culture so deep that you feel it in the land. The wise old Desert oaks – some 600 years old – will always call you back"

As someone who has watched Melanie paint and create beautiful works of art since she was twelve years old, and now to be a part of her first solo exhibition some 25 years later  I have admit I was blown away and quite emotional walking into the exhibition. I am truly proud of the dedicated community work and the inspiring artworks that have blossomed from this beautiful and talented artist and dear friend.  Congratulations Mel, you are an inspiration to us all!

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Mr & Mrs Johnson

Feb 12, 2012

Sydney based photographer (Mr Johnson) meets creative director/stylist/general ideas girl (Mrs Johnson) to create a marriage (literally) of all things pleasing to the eye...  

It's not often that you meet a beautiful couple, who are also extremely creative and inspiring at what they do...together! Matt and Mads of Matt Johnson Photography are the creative duo behind the brand new Mr & Mrs Johnson - creating beautiful photo shoots, from concept creation, to styling, to shooting, to the finished product, as well as producing a photographic print range for the homemaker. As you can see from their work above, their style is just beautiful, quirky and a little different. Jump across and check out their new blog too for more of their collections and collaborations.

LOVE: The gorgeous soft furnishing and cushions featured in this post can be found on White Horse Home - 100% Australian homeware collection. The exquisite hand sketched greeting cards are from another favourite of mine Amanda-Lee, available in selected Berkelouw book stores.

So happy to welcome Mr & Mrs Johnson to eat read love!  

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Belinda Alexandra talks 'Golden Earrings'

Feb 9, 2012

Images: 1. Dancers a the Paris Opera 2. the book, 3. Segrada Famiglia Barcelona 4. Flamenco Dancer, 5 Paris Ballet Dancers, 6 Liceu. 7 Branguli, 8-9 The Ramblas in Barcelona, 10: Catalan Woman. 
All of Belinda Alexandra's novels have inspired me - the impeccable historical details, tales of unrequited love, passion, betrayal, powerful women, and a touch of the supernatural. Golden Earrings, Belinda's fifth and most recent novel certainly didn't disappoint. A story that moves between two of my favourite cities - Barcelona in the lead up to the Spanish Civil War, and Paris in the 1970's. The novel is rich in Spanish history and a fascinating insight into the world of Flamenco.  "Soon Flamenco will be as natural to you as walking....or even breathing. You'll see" 

Golden Earrings is the story of two women and the extremes to which they are willing to go for love: the suspicious death of 'La Rusa', the worlds most famous Flamenco dancer, and Paloma, the dancer in the Paris Opera Ballet, and granddaughter of Spanish refugees.  I would like to thank Belinda for taking the time to answer all of my burning questions about the book and the inspiration behind it.

Q: What was the inspiration behind Golden Earrings?
A: The setting of a story is always the first aspect of a novel that I decide upon. Golden Earrings began with a fascination to know more about Spain, in particular, Barcelona. I’ve always been fascinated with Spanish music and dance. In writing Golden Earrings I had the opportunity to explore the origins and development of flamenco and its earthy, dramatic rhythms. For me, Barcelona is the gentle side of Spain, without the bullfighting and machismo. I fell in love with Gaud√≠’s unique architecture and was beguiled by the way he based his designs on shapes from nature. I could see myself living in the Casa Batll√≥. But Barcelona has a dark side too. When I was researching my novels Wild Lavender and Tuscan Rose, the Spanish Civil War kept coming up as ‘the last great cause’. The failure of Britain and France and their allies to intervene on the behalf of Spain’s beleaguered democratic government against Franco’s fascist forces was often referred to as one of the causes of the Second World War. It was a war that brought people from all around the world to serve in the Republican army, as soldiers, ambulance drivers and nurses, or to document it. People like Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Martha Gelhorn and Robert Capa.  I wanted to know more – and that’s how I began my research for Golden Earrings!

Q: There is so much wonderful & rich history in all of your books, In particular the Spanish Civil War in Golden Earrings was fascinating and tragic. As a writer how do you begin the research process - where do you start and how long does it take?

A: I always say that each book I write makes me a smarter person: The amount of research I have done for each one is probably equivalent to the amount of reading required for a Bachelor of Arts degree – or more! I have about two years to complete a book from the time I start to the time it goes on sale. At least half of that time is spent in intense research. 

In order to create the time and place for my readers, I have to know the world I’m writing about inside and out. Luckily for me, I love researching my novels! Apart from academic books on the history and politics of the times I listen to the music of the era and watch the films, read novels that were popular in the period I’m writing about and pore over recipe books as well as interior design and fashion magazines. (There is nothing I love more than researching a good frock!). I travel to the country and try to learn as much as I can of the language in order to create my characters’ rhythms of speech; and also in understanding a language I find that I better understand the culture. 
Q: When can we expect the next new and exciting book from Belinda - any hints?
A: I’m very excited about my next book. It’s set in Russia and I’m planning something ‘top secret’ for the moment that I hope will really enthrall my readers!

Q: Where can we learn flamenco in true Spanish gypsy style to find our own dancing 'demon'?
A: According to Australian flamenco artist, Lucy Vernon, there are not many people left who continue to dance and teach in true gypsy style anymore, with the possible exception of some teachers in the South of Spain. There are, of course, many teachers in Australia who teach 'Flamenco Puro' as opposed to the more contemporary or fused styles of Flamenco - but that's a very debatable topic in itself! Lucy suggests that rather than getting caught up in the particular school of flamenco, choose a style of flamenco that suits your personality.The 'demon' comes from within ourselves, after all, so if we dance Flamenco with passion and commitment, we can feel the force of that demon no matter where we might be. 

Anyone interested in finding a flamenco teacher in their area can contact their local Spanish Club or visit which has up-to-date information on all things flamenco.

As a lover of dance I have a new found appreciation for a style of dance I knew little about. Belinda beautifully and passionately describes every detail of the flamenco Duende, the internal force of your spirit combining with the spirit of the dance and the music. My next visit to a much loved Barcelona will be even richer knowing more of its turbulent and tragic past. My visit to the recent Picasso exhibition has also helped! 

I love that in all of Belinda's books there is a character or thread linked back to Australia, and Australian wildlife. A truly inspirational Australian author. Thank you for your stories and for taking the time for this interview. 

Natalie x x 

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Rainy Day - Top Ten

Feb 3, 2012

The Artist
Images 1,2 via Otford Spa, 3 via paperbark Camp 4-6 via Roots & Wings, 7-9 Natalie Hayllar. 

Everyone is Sydney is getting a little cranky with all this rain. Lets not get hung up about it. Being the optimist that I am, a rainy weekend does not have to mean a boring one! (although being curled up on the couch watching a DVD actually sounds quite nice, here is my top ten for a rainy weekend...
  1. Pamper Me - head south to Otford Valley Sanctuary and listen to the rain while you enjoy the tranquil settings and perfect pampering at the day spa.  Nestled in Otford's tranquil valley, on the fringe of the Royal National park and only 5 mins from the beautiful Stanwell Park beach, you will find this 'ladies only' Sanctuary.  Lush surroundings where women can unwind and indulge in some luxury treatments. Sorry guys! Full story coming soon on the blog.
  2. Art Undercover - this rain is the perfect excuse to head to the Art Gallery of NSW and experience fine art first hand at the fabulous Picasso Exhibition. 
  3. Hogwart's Express: for the geeks like me who love a little Hogwarts adventure,  then pack up yourself and/or the kids and head into the Harry Potter Exhibition at the powerhouse museum. A first-hand look inside the famous wizard’s magical world and the iconic props and costumes from the Harry Potter film series.
  4. Silent Movie - The Artist. A rainy day is the perfect excuse to go and see a good film. Hearing great things about this one.
  5. Culinary Delights. Spend some time perusing around the Donna Hay store in Woollahra, pick up a few cup cake sets and head home to bake some delicious cupcakes or macarons. Jones the Grocer nearby is a cosy place for a coffee and some take home treats. Check out Saturdays treats and treasures for weekend inspiration.
  6. Books & Nooks - find a book cafe, grab a book and sit and read in peace. The Book Kitchen is the perfect place to eat read & love on a rainy weekend, surrounded by what I like to call the Devonshire St Trifecta with La Maison and ici et la right next door. 
  7. Luxe Camping  - whos says you cant camp in the rain! You can if you do it in style at the stunning Paperbark Camp -  after a delicious dinner in the tree top dining room, snuggle up with a red wine and some candles in your own private canvas hideaway and be lulled into a restful sleep by the peaceful sounds of the rain on your luxury tent and the bush at night. Dreamy!
  8. Market Me - if Paperbark Camp is not in your budget, then why not find your local indoor food and providore markets. BizzyLizzy has a fabulous list of the best markets in town, and a gorgeous foodie blog as well!
  9. Find your Wings: rain = retail therapy. Berry is a fav place and Roots & Wings is a shopping experience not to be missed. If you cant make it to Berry, you can still 'ooh' and 'ahh' over the gorgeous goods, and luxe Australian designer labels online 
  10. Blog Away - check out the eatreadlove blog roll for some great weekend reading and inspiration on all things food, design and travel. 

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eat read love is turning 1!

Feb 1, 2012

Misty & moody...this whimsical white cottage in the NSW Southern Highlands serves as cosy home, gallery, workshop and design space. And it is also the place where my lovely new eat read love branding was created...just in time for our first birthday!

it would be hard not to be inspired in this stunning workspace...
an eclectic mix of old and new in this old world artisan room with a touch of french. dreamy...

eat read love is turning 1 this week. To celebrate I am thrilled to share my new look and new logo! The hand sketched icons, and logos on the blog, representing all the things that I love... food (eat), books (read) & design (love) have been created by the talented and gorgeous artist and designer LISA MADIGAN. When you look at the pictures above of Lisa's stunning country home (images via Home Beautiful Magazine) and visit the Berry store, it is easy to see why Lisa's bespoke design and styling was the perfect choice for me, and for eat read love...

Thank you to all of you for following, and my lovely partners for joining me on the 'eat read love' journey. It has been, and still is, so much fun and everyday I find more and more inspiration from the people and places around me. My head is continually filled with new stories and my new camera has certainly not been spending much time in it's case! Looking forward to sharing plenty more adventures in dining, reading, travelling and loving with you in 2012.

Don't forget to join me on facebook, and twitter for daily ideas

Natalie x x

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