Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Road Tripping- Mount Zero Olives

"It is better to have love and have lost than never loved at all" or something like that. Isn't that what they say?  It has now been a few days since I reluctantly returned my little CR-Z hybrid back to Honda after a two week joy ride and I am feeling a bit down....I miss that little car!

I must say that I did make the most of my time with the car. In addition to our visit to Narrapumelap, Gabor and I also stopped in and visited Mount Zero Olive farm and cafe, which a good friend had recommended. Because we were feeling very environmentally responsible in our new hybrid, we thought it was fitting we visit an organic farm.

After quite a long drive down a bumpy, dirt road (sorry Honda!) we finally came across the farm, seemingly in the middle of nowhere where we had a delicious tasting plate of the most divine olives, oils, bread , tapenades and other goodies.  I was also very excited to see that they stocked a small range of olive skincare, ('The Girl and the Olive') including a range for babies. As a good friend of mine has just welcomed her precious daughter, 'Olive' into the world I was excited to find such a fitting gift!
 Pulling up amongst the olive trees
 Above and below - Some of the food and surrounds at Mt Zero Olive farm, images from the website
In addition to my weekend away with Gabor, I did also manage to squeeze in a mini-road trip with the girls during my two week love affair with the CR-Z. When I first picked it up, I was a little nervous that we wouldn't all fit inside. As you can see, we did, and we even managed to fit in a car seat. (Admittedly, it was quite squashy in the back but the point is it can be done) We headed out to the Yarra Valley for an afternoon and had a long lunch at the Yarra Valley Dairy. We made a quick stop at some wineries but I plan on re-visiting those when I am not driving!

I also did have some fun zipping around town in the Honda and enjoyed a quite a few admiring glances. I must admit that I quickly got used to it. This is why I am missing it:

  • The quietness. Being a hybrid, when the car stopped at a light or an intersection, the engine switched to 'auto-stop' . While this was a little unnerving at first, it was a feature that I quickly got used to and loved.
  • The three driving mode options- I loved the rush of power that surges through when you hit the 'sports' button.
  • The style! It is a pretty sexy car (as my neighbor commented)
  • The economical and environmental aspect - being a hybrid the car creates far less pollution than a regular petrol car. It also gives the option of driving in 'Econ' mode which adjusts everything from the engine to the air conditioning to create the most economical way of driving.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Road Trip Continued

After a tough year, it was fabulous for Gabor and I to get away over the weekend and even more fabulous to have a new car to test drive (courtesy of Honda) . With only one night away we spent most of our mini-break driving which suited us fine. The CR-Z Hybrid Sports Auto that we had to play with was an absolute pleasure and attracted lots of admiring looks and comments.
We headed up towards the Grampians to visit a fabulous old country homestead that we had read about.
During the drive up, we had a chance to try out the three driving modes and found that there really is quite a noticeable difference between the 'Sport', 'Normal' and 'Economy' mode. The sports mode was so much fun it made it hard to switch to the other modes! Driving in the city and in the traffic the other modes, especially the economy mode, really made sense. There is nothing more frustrating than burning through fuel while sitting in traffic, so the hybrid really makes a perfect city car.

The beautiful grounds of Narrapumelap (find out more about it here)

 Enjoying my weekend with the Honda CR-Z

Even though the CR-Z is a small car, Gabor who is well over 190cm found it very comfortable

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Road Trip

     picking up the Honda CR-Z hybrid

So a few days ago I picked up a cute little hybrid Honda CR-Z to test drive. Gabor and I have just returned home from a fabulous mini road trip on which we really put the car through it's paces. We visited the most stunning country mansion that made me feel like we had walked onto the set of Edward Scissorhands. ( I am sorting through all my photos now and have a ton more to follow)
We have been having an absolute ball with the car and are not looking forward to having to give it back!


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Car Love

One thing that may surprise you about me is that I can get rather excited about cars ( Not that the car I have now is anything special , but rather just a very practical model)
I have to admit my interest is purely design related and my knowledge of cars is limited to the way they look- although I can check the oil and water! You could mention pretty much any car make or model to me and I would at least know what it looks like and perhaps a little bit about the manufacturer's history. (For example did you know that the BMW logo is adapted from a picture of an airplane's propeller in motion- the white being the propeller and the blue being the sky behind it?)

One of the reasons that I may know a little more about cars than the average woman is the fact that my little brother and his best friend are both automotive designers and from an early age would spend all of their time in my parent's shed building cars.
From the backyard shed they went onto a pretty major project here in Melbourne, being part of the design team that built General Motor's Holden Efijy. (I've included a few pictures so I can brag about my talented brother!)
 Above: The team with the finished car- gorgeous!!
 A work in progress- model making

 My brother, posing with the car under construction
 The finished product- On the road

 So, as someone who has quite an affection for cars, I was very excited to be invited to take part in a project that Honda are running. For two weeks I get to test drive one of the new Honda Hybrids, I even got to choose what model. Of course I chose the sports car! A Honda CR-Z Sports.
I am picking it up tomorrow and can not wait. I already have a few adventures planned. There are quite a few places out of town that I have been wanting to visit and review, so will take the opportunity  to test out the car and review a few beautiful places. It will be interesting to drive a hybrid, to see how it feels in terms of power and to see if it is much more economical to run. I look forward to letting you know! Oh, another thing, Honda have given me a prize to give out over the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!

Below, my new toy for a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My 1940's Inspired Wedding Dress

I recently have received our Wedding photos from Hungary, so am hoping to choose some of my favorites to post soon! In the meantime, here are a few pics of the dress!

I did spend some time hunting for a dress at a few boutiques around Melbourne and while I admit it
certainly was fun...I discovered pretty quickly that I wouldn't find what I wanted. I also did consider trying to find an original vintage but the odds of finding the right style, the right size and in the right condition was very small (especially with my broad shoulders!) So it didn't take me long to decide that having my dress made was the way to go. Before I had really decided on a design...I managed to get my hands on some beautiful cream silk that I fell in love with.

So this was the starting point. I have always liked the 1940's silhouette (early to mid '40's) and feel that it suits my body type....I also love the glamour of  the late 1940's and early 50's but don't have the curves to pull it off!

I grabbed a sketchbook and started playing around with some ideas. Some things I had to keep in mind were that the dress would be traveling with me to Hungary. Also, our wedding in Hungary was held in a beautiful old church (300+ years) so I knew that I had to have a dress that was fairly traditional, that would suit the venue. I was also planning on wearing the same dress at a civil service back in Australia so wanted to keep this in mind too.

And so here it is.....

above: my sketch
Below: Outside the Bridal registry after our civil ceremony in Melbourne, Australia
Above: Back view of the dress at the ceremony in Australia
Below: Outside the Church in Hungary, worn with a long Cathedral length veil.

Aren't our flower girls gorgeous!!
Stay tuned, more pictures coming soon!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A New Look

A 'New Look' for Fanantique

If you've been following along for a while, you'll know that the past year has brought about some massive changes and both my business, 'Fanantique' and my career as an illustrator have been somewhat neglected.

Now that things are slowly starting to get back on track, I have put some time into re-branding everything and am trying to consolidate everything I do into one cohesive identity . It is not easy!

To gather inspiration, I looked over both the current Fanantique and Lizzie Lamb branding; logo design, fonts, colours along with some of my favorite images and promotional graphics created.

 Above: The Current Fanantique logo & colours
Below: An advertising image created for a sale
(photography by Rob Luxford of Vivid )

My very favorite Fanantique image is this one below, of the gorgeous Anna Boulic in this fabulous 1950's dress. I am sure you have seen this image around the place on the Fanantique website and facebook page.

While having a think about all this, I spotted an image I had hanging above my desk and drew a quick interpretive sketch of it.
I then scanned the image and had a play with it in Adobe illustrator, adding some color and tweaking the design. (I'm thinking about trying to upload a tutorial soon)

below: The iconic image that inspired me, Dior's 1947 New Look

This rough sketch was scanned and then colour shading and pattern added to create the below drawing.

I was pretty happy with the image, so used it as my starting point to create my new business card (I love polka dots!) I just got the cards back from the printer and they turned out well. I actually went with rounded corners and they turned out great.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Product Review - Matrix Total Results Hair Care

Just for a change of pace, here is a product review I took part in recently. I was given a hair consultation by a team of hairdressers at L'Oreál who then recommended that I try a range of products from the 'Matrix Total Results Sleek' range.
I usually get all my hair advice from my favorite hairdresser in the world, Adrian at Delilah Hair Studio, but thought it might be kinda fun to take part in the trial (They were offering free Champagne- how could I resist?)
After the consultation, I was given a showbag full of product to try- Shampoo, conditioner and serum.
After a month, I had to report back in with the results.
Initially, I was quite impressed as I wasn't really expecting much. The products did do what they claimed they would- making my hair more shiny and smooth.
After trialling the product for a little while longer, I noticed that the product did build up on my hair and I felt like I needed to find another product to use to wash it out.
Overall given the price (this is a fairly cheap range- positioned at the lowest end of the salon category- about equal to the most expensive supermarket brand) I would say the product is good value. Would I buy it?....hmmm, not so sure. I have never found a product I love enough to stay loyal to but am willing to continue the search!!

If you want a bit of a laugh, here is a clip and some of the images from the trial! 

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