Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Champagne Friday - Party Planning

Today's Champagne Friday post is a little late this week, but oh well, you know what they say, better late than never! Today I was joined for Champagne Friday by the lovely Emma of Fleurage. We were very excited to get together and brainstorm ideas for our Spring Fashion event, which is fast approaching. Of course all the details will be revealed in good time...but I will say that it will be something fabulously glamorous and of course in keeping with the vintage style that both our brands are inspired by.
I am delighted to have just ordered some gorgeous hats from Melbourne Milliner, Ann Shoebridge, which of course will be showcased at the event. This will be the first Spring Racing season for Fanantique and I am planning on making it something special.
Here's a sneak peek at some of Ann's work..........

Ann is also creating some special pieces just for Fanantique, they will be stunning!!

Anyway, during our day of event planning, Emma and I were lucky to have several visitors pop in and join us for a Champagne. Amongst the visitors we had the delightful Jean, who kept us entertained with her stories. She told us about a dear old friend of hers, now in her nineties, who keeps pictures of all her lovers framed on the wall. Whenever she heads off on vacation each year to Hawaii, she wraps up all her lovers and takes them with her! When asked if she sat on the Captain's table during a cruise, she replied, "Darling, I slept in his bed!"

In honor of this entertaining character, I thought this week's cocktail should be something Hawaiian and what better than a Pina Colada!

Pina Colada
45ml light rum, ie Bacardi
3 TBS crushed pineapple
60 ml coconut milk
crushed ice

wedge of pineapple to garnish

Mix the ingredients in a blender . Serve in a highball glass with a straw and wedge of pineapple on the side.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mocktail Monday

Well it's Monday ....again. It does seem to roll around rather fast.While it is too early in the week (and the day for that matter) to be indulging in cocktails, I thought Monday is the perfect day for a mocktail.
It's a good time to recharge after the weekend and get stuck into everything that needs to be done.
With July nearly over, things are starting to get very busy indeed, we have already started to plan for Christmas! (We have some gorgeous things planned for the store and are very excited)..but before we get there we have Father's Day (and the Grand Final...GO PIES!!..sorry....I couldn't help myself). We have finally managed to track down some lovely vintage style gifts for men.We will be stocking a new range from AM living...they have the most divine furniture, decorator pieces and gifts....just look at this gorgeous image from their catalogue!

But much more exciting than Father's Day, is the Spring Racing Carnival!! I had the lovely and talented, Milliner, Ann Shoebridge visit recently and we are proud and excited to be stocking a selection of her beautiful hats for Spring...of course we will have a range of lovely vintage hats too.

So with the busy time ahead, combined with this miserable winter weather (and maybe a few too many Champagnes) a good dose of vitamin C is in order. This Mocktail looks just delicious!!!

Ginger- Lime Snap

6-8 ice cubes
2 ounces fresh lime juice
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
Splash raspberry Syrup
3-4 ounces Ginger beer

one piece candied ginger
2 raspberries

1. Fill a 10 ounce glass with ice-cubes. Add the lime juice, lemon juice and raspberry syrup, Stir to blend.
2. Top up the drink with ginger beer. With a toothpick (a plastic novelty one looks cute) skewer the candied ginger between the raspberries and pop into the drink to garnish.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Champagne Friday - Bastille Day - Part Two

Happy Champagne Friday!
As you know, last week we celebrated Bastille Day and we had a visit from the talented Natasha Burns. You may have already seem some of the gorgeous photos she took over at her blog Today I am sharing a few more that she took around the store as we shared a Champagne or two together, but first here's a delicious Champagne cocktail-

Pillow Talk
Champagne Flute

2 Strawberries
5ml apple juice
15 ml apple liquer
10 ml bourbon vanilla
splash Champagne
extra strawberries to garnish

Muddle strawberries in shaker. Add all remaining ingredients except for Champagne and garnish and shake with ice. Double-strain into flute. Top up with Champagne and garnish with a strawberry. mmm yum!
 One my favorite items in the store, the gramophone really creates a swanky, vintage feel.

Gorgeous, close up detail of our smoke glass chandelier

My Pinboard- allows me a chance to be creative. Here it is decorated with French themed cards and paper for Bastille Day (featuring Zetta Florence wrapping paper)

Chocolate and  rose cupcakes..yum 
Our Marie Antoinette inspired cup cakes

These hand carved pinocchio dolls have been a favorite with little kids and big kids!
Below are some more lovely photos from Natasha....all around the shop.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"If you want to get ahead, get a hat"

"If a woman rebels against high-heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat" - George Bernard Shaw 

I have just had two exciting deliveries here at the store, yesterday I received some gorgeous vintage hats and today I have just unpacked this stunning book: "Hats an Anthology" by Stephen Jones
I admit that I was guilty of judging a book by it's cover and ordering this book purely for the fantastic illustration on the cover. I didn't realize how great this book was until I opened it up and saw a foreword by one of my favorite designers- John Galliano.
Galliano has collaborated many times with milliner, Stephen Jones to create wearable pieces of art.

"Just as I wouldn't leave the house without a hat, I couldn't do a show without Stephen Jones:
he conjures up creations that bring Galliano and Dior shows to life. He is the frosting to any collection he touches." John Galliano

Galliano/Jones collaboration
Stephen Jones

And now, here's a selection of some of the new arrivals, I love the gorgeous, rich texture of the velvet!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bastille Day!

Well it's Champagne Friday again and this week it has been Champagne Wednesday, Thursday and Friday! Wednesday was of course Bastille Day and being lovers of all things French (especially Champagne!) we thought it was a great excuse to celebrate! Amongst the guests, I had the lovely Natasha Burns. Natasha is a talented artist who has a fabulous blog that you can see here.
I was lucky enough to have some beautiful photos taken of the event by Natasha which she will be posting on her blog soon...stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are a few photos of our cupcakes. Of course we featured the Champagne Cupcake and Parisian flags that I have been working on in my last posts.

Champagne  cupcakes

Marie Antoinette cupcakes (featuring fairy floss 'wig')

'Cocoa Chanel' (Chocolate) and 'La Vie en Rose' (Rose) flavor cupcakes

Thursday the celebrations continued and a group of us braved the Melbourne winter and ventured out for another Bastille Day event at  'Red Bennies'. It was fab! I never realized there were so many French people in Melbourne! With conversations happening in French all around us and the cool sounds of the Martini Sisters (you can listen to them here) It really felt like we had been transported to a cool Paris Jazz club.

The invitation for the evening encouraged fancy dress, amongst the costume choices were the Jazz age and the Moulin Rouge , so I jumped at the chance to get my feathers out!
Emma of Fleurage and I,  Heather of Trouve accessories and husband Julian

Gabor and Julian share a laugh

In honor of the fantastic performance last night by the Martini Sisters, I thought what better cocktail to drink than a classic Martini?

Martini glass

3 ice cubes
2 pitted green olives
2 teaspoons dry vermouth
1 1/2 Cups cracked ice
3 ounces chilled top quality gin, such as Bombay sapphire or Tanqueray

1.Rinse a martini glass with cold water, fill with ice cubes and place in freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill completely.

2.Meanwhile,spear the olives with a toothpick. Pour the vermouth into a small saucer. Add the olives and turn several times to coat with the vermouth. Let stand for 5 minutes.

3.Fill a cocktail shaker with the cracked ice. Drain the vermouth from the olives and add it to the shaker. Then add the gin. With a long handled bar spoon, stir very gently to chill, about 15 times in a clockwise direction. Or just swirl the gin shaker until chilled. Either way, work quickly so the ice doesn't melt and dilute the gin.

4. Remove the glass from the freezer and discard the ice cubes. Set the speared olives in the martini glass. Strain the gin over the olives and serve.
Recipe taken from 'Highballs High Heels'- A girl's guide to the art of cocktails. by Karen Brooks,
Gideon Bosker and Reed Darmon. Published by Barnes & Noble

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Champagne Friday- "Let Them Eat Cake!"

Champagne Cup Cakes

As you may have seen in my previous post, I am busily preparing for Bastille Day next week. All the plans are starting to come together and I am getting very excited! I was looking around for inspiration about what to eat when I stumbled across a gorgeous blog called 52cupcakes. (to check it out click here) This blog has the most wonderful collection of inspirational ideas for cupcakes. It was here that I found a recipe for Champagne Cupcakes! How divine. I think these cakes will be perfect for Bastille Day! I did give them a trial run last night and all I can say is YUM! Marie Antoinette would definitely approve! So for Champagne Friday this week, I am posting a cake recipe instead of my usual cocktail recipe. It is as equally indulgent!

Take inspiration from Marie Antoinette with a selection of items from Fanantique

Here is the official recipe for Champagne Cup Cakes taken from 52cupcakes. Please see further down for my quick and easy cheat's version!!

Champagne Cupcakes - Official version

2 3/4 Cups Plain Flour
3 Tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2/3 C butter
1 1/2 Sugar
3/4 C Champagne (the sweeter the better)
6 Egg Whites

Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees C, prepare cupcake tin with cup-cake liners.
Cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift Flour, powder and salt together and blend into creamed mixture alternately with Champagne.
In another bold beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 egg whites into batter to lighten it, then gradually add the remaining egg whites.
Fill the cupcake liners to about 2/3 full.
Bake at 175 degrees C for 20 minutes.

Champagne Buttercream Icing
3/4 C vegetable Shortening
1-1/2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
3 Tablespoons Champagne
4 1/2 C icing Sugar

In a large bowl, beat the shortening and butter until combined, add the Champagne. Slowly add
the icing sugar and blend until smooth.

If this is all too hard, try my cheat's version.......
(tried and tested)

Cheat's Champagne Cup Cakes

Vanilla cake mix (I like Betty Crocker)
- refer to cake mix for other ingredients needed, usually eggs & butter.
A bottle of Champagne

Prepare mixture as directed on cake mix box BUT substitute Champagne for the water then take out a Champagne glass and get drinking the left over Champagne. Spoon mixture into lined cup cake tin and bake for approximately 15 mins in moderate oven.
Icing - If you are lucky enough, the cake mix that you purchased will include ready to spread frosting. Simply add a little champagne to this( this will make it a little runny but if you put the mixture in the fridge for a bit it will thicken up again..if it is really runny add a little icing sugar)
Important- Don't forget to finish off the bottle of Champagne, an opened bottle will not keep well!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Craft Corner at Fanantique

Cut and Paste
With Bastille Day coming up next week, I have been planning a little French event at the boutique. I have been brainstorming about what to serve at the event (Champagne is of course a given) but I thought it would be fun to have some sweets and cakes with little French flags on top.
I was lucky enough to pick up some traditional red, white and blue flags at the party shop down the road, but I got to thinking that surely I could be more creative.
We have in the store at the moment a gorgeous set of Parisian style rubber stamps from Zetta Florence that I have been dying to play with so I thought this could be the perfect excuse. We also have some fantastic decorative wrapping paper (also from Zetta Florence) that had me inspired. I decided to try making my own 'cup cake flags'. I picked up some toothpicks and craft glue and got to work with my trusty cutting board and scalpel.
Zetta Florence Decorative Wrap
 Above: Zetta Florence Parisian Style Stamps

I set myself up in front of the TV one night as Gabor watched the World Cup (and I pretended to) and got to work. Apart from a few interruptions from Gomez, who thought it was great fun to jump on top of what I was doing (cat paws and ink pads are not a good combination) and a headache from those silly South African horn thingies at the soccer the whole thing was quite successful if I do say so myself.
Parisian Style Cup Cake Flags

My success with this project and the fun of using the stamps inspired me to create more.

Parisian Style gift tags

Small gift cards

Greeting Cards

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Champagne Friday- Vintage Weddings Part 2

The blushing bride, Lizzie looking stunning. I really love the vintage style diamond hair piece.

Vintage Weddings Part 2- Lizzie and Wesley
When my talented, fashion designer friend, Lizzie announced that she was getting married, I knew that we would be in for a stylish event. Lizzie and her Groom, Wes chose to have a 1920's themed wedding. Once again, the guests enjoyed getting into the theme and dressing for the occasion. The reception was great fun, held at Comme in Melbourne. Pie Gordon, the floral stylist did a spectacular job on all of the flowers, including the magnificent bridal bouquet. (She had a particular challenge as the wedding was held in December which can be quite warm here in Melbourne!)
The live swing band also added to the vintage mood of the event and made the perfect compliment to the evening.

Below: The bride and groom swing, the gorgeous flowers and back detail of Lizzie's Wedding dress
Above, some of the gorgeous flowers created by the talented Pie Gordon.

Below: Flapper girls and gangsters, we guests enjoy the theme!

Vintage wedding ideas from the Fanantique boutique. 
If you or someone you know is thinking of having a Vintage style wedding, there are plenty of ideas at the boutique. Taking inspiration from Lizzie's gorgeous hair piece here are a few pieces that we have in store.

For something really special, The Fleurage range would be perfect. The styling of the packaging and stunning glass bottles are all reflective of the Art Deco period. Anything from the range would add a touch of old world glamor to a vintage themed wedding. Pictured below are images from Fleurage's signature scents, 'Consort' and 'Chaperone'. Special his and her fragrances make a divine gift for a bride and groom.

In addition to their signature fragrances, Fleurage also offer a 'gifting' service for events. 

Champagne Friday Cocktail
In honor of the featured bride, Lizzie, today's cocktail is the "Thin Lizzie". It also happens to contain my favorite ingredient, Champagne.

Thin Lizzie
Champagne Flute

15ml Cream de fraise
15ml tequila
splash of Champagne
Strawberry to garnish

Pour cream de fraise and tequila into glass, add Champagne and Strawberry to garnish.

recipe taken from 'Cocktails and Rock Tales' Jane Rocca, Hardie Grant Books.

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