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! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Out and About - 'The Day Before Lanvin'

Anna Boulic and myself at the 'Day Before Lanvin' film premiere presented by Madame Virtue & Co.  photograph by Couturing.com taken at ACMI Melbourne. For more photos and a wonderful review please visit www.couturing.com

This week I was lucky enough to attend a special premiere screening of the Lanvin film; 'The Day Before Lanvin'. The film was presented by Madame Virtue & Co. at ACMI at Federation Square as part of the upcoming Melbourne Fashion Festival.
The film followed current Lanvin designer, Alber Elbaz in the 48 hours leading up to their collection premiere parade. The film did a wonderful job in giving a realistic insight into the world of high fashion.
As an ex-fashion student, the stress and the all night marathon of work was all too familiar. I actually had a physical reaction as my eyes stung from the familiar feeling of exhaustion and concentration and my stomach started to churn. Watching the seamstress unpicking stitching hours before the show, reminded me of all the time I'd spent with my un-picker. (It was WAY to much which is why I became an illustrator not a fashion designer!!)

Some of my favourite things to see in the film:
A very quick history lesson. I loved hearing about the story behind the Lanvin Logo. The Logo was taken from an original photo of original designer Jeanne Lanvin and her young daughter and then styled into the famous trademark we know today.
A real insight into how hard the seamstresses, patten makers and technicians work and the pressure they deal with. I was very pleased to see them drinking some Veuve Clicquot at the end of their night and actually being in attendance at the actual parade (even if it was to work).

There is a wonderful review and photographs of the film premiere at here at www.couturing.com. Please check it out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Vintage Poster Wedding Invitations

Before I get started on this post, I apologize once again for the lack of attention to this blog! If you've been following along you know things have been rather hectic to say the least! Just to catch you up to speed, this is where we are at now......
The Fanantique Boutique....is closed indefinitely as we work with our lawyer to sort out the disaster we had with the building and the landlord. We are hopeful that a resolution is on the horizon sometime in the not too distant future...I'll let you know. (In the meantime I'm becoming an expert on commercial lease law)
Gabor.....is continuing to recover really well from his accident, he's back at work and his overall recovery has been nothing short of a miracle (Thank-you for all of your well wishes)
The Wedding...has come and gone, we had a fabulous time in Hungary and doing some travel around Europe..we were also lucky enough to celebrate all over again with another wedding in Melbourne.
There will be plenty of pictures and posts to come re: wedding as I try and catch up!

So when it comes to the wedding, I've told you all about my special wedding fragrance in the last post, today I'll tell you a little about the invitation.
When I started looking around at all things wedding, spending hours and hours on Martha Stewart, pinterest and various blogs I discovered this gorgeous vintage style wedding poster.
(found on pinterest, originally pinned from 'Ruffled' see more here)

Isn't it stunning?! Of course my mind kicked into overdrive and I started to think about creating my own version. I loved the idea of including the venue and the date into the piece and I course I just adore the vintage style!   Given all the drama happening around me at the time, I knew I wouldn't have as much time as I would have liked to spend on this, so I thought about how I could take some short cuts....with a little help from photoshop of course!
Obviously, I wanted to convey the fact that the wedding was taking place in Hungary. I set about looking for Hungarian themed vintage posters. Given the sad history of Hungary...it was slim pickings for something that had the right feel.
One of my favourite prints is the one below, a travel ad for Budapest...but I was a little stumped on how to turn this into a wedding poster.
It certainly is gorgeous, I love the colours and the mood created by the lights dancing on the Danube.
(In the end I decided not to touch it but to incorporate it as a postcard inside my wedding invitation 'pack' that I was creating. Given that I was planning a destination wedding, I needed to provide my guests with a heap of information, such as travel details, useful phrases, language help etc. I made a series of postcards for this and this poster was reproduced as one of them)

Anyway, back to the task at hand..... I came across this old advertising print for a Hungarian Champagne. Perfect!! On so many levels! I love it. Now....to get to work.
Isn't it beautiful? Gabor tells me it is quite an iconic piece, well recognized by most Hungarians which I was happy to hear.
Ok, so as I explained, I know the right thing to do would be to create my own original piece from scratch...but who else puts together a wedding while their roof is literally falling in and spending time between doctors and lawyers? I gave myself permission to cheat.

So, I set to work....the first thing to do was remove the third person, this was to be a romantic wedding poster and three is a crowd.
Gone! I also changed the ladie's dress to white, to make it more 'weddingy' and made her a red head so she looked more like me. The next step was to change and add the text. I decided to replace the word 'Torley' (The Champagne brand) to the word 'Wedding'. In keeping with the style of the piece I used the Hungarian word for wedding. I also added the place name - Kunszentmiklos and our names and date. If you look closely below, you will see I also changed the label on the bottle.

What do you think? I'm pretty happy with it. I ended up using it as part of my invitation suite but will also be framing it up as a poster size. It will look just perfect next to my Grace Kelly L'Instant Tattinger print!

The finished product

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Perfect Wedding Fragrance

My Perfect Wedding Fragrance 


Here I am sampling perfume drafts at Fleurage with perfumer, Emma Leah.
photo by Rodger Cummins at the Age Newspaper
After some very drama filled and draining long months in the lead up to our wedding, it was simply wonderful to get on a flight to Budapest, get away from it all and just enjoy our big event without distraction.
Gabor and I have now been back in Melbourne for a week and are settling back into our normal life ...finally.
There have been some big changes and I have just started a new job (and already met some amazing people!) which I look forward to telling you more about in the weeks to come!
Despite all the hurdles along the way (read about all that here and here ) I still tried to take time out to plan my wedding day, in particular the small personal details that I know will be especially dear to me in the years to come.

I was very lucky to have had my entire wedding ensemble created by family and friends dear to me.
With the help of my Aunt, my dress came to life through my sketches and her amazing design and dressmaking skills (pictures to come soon) .

Apart from the dress, one very special element of what I wore on the day was my fragrance. I knew that whatever fragrance I chose, I would always remember it as my 'wedding fragrance' and it will always be very sentimental to me.

I was extremely lucky to have had the incredible experience of having the very talented Emma Leah of Fleurage custom make a very unique a personalized perfume just for the occasion. I can't speak highly enough of how wonderful the whole experience was, from the initial starting point to being able to actually wear the fragrance on the day. It was such a thrill to wear a scent that so perfectly captured everything I am and wanted to be on the day.

Of course, having the finished product (which was exquisitely presented in a full size bottle, a travel size presented in a bridal package and refill collection.) was fantastic but I also thoroughly enjoyed the process, getting to sample and discover new scents and be educated by a professional perfumer was a real treat!

The Age featured a great article recently, entitled 'Bespoke Melbourne' and you can read more about my experience at Fleurage perfumery there.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Time Out

There has been so much going on the last few months, with Gabor's doctors appointments and re-hab (he is doing amazingly well!) sorting out the shop and of course wedding planning that we needed a break.
We took some much needed time out and went out sailing on the bay on a beautiful sunny day.
It was so peaceful to pull the sails up and cruise along quietly away from all the buzz of the city.

Enjoying the sun
Melbourne in the distance

Monday, February 20, 2012

What has happened to Fanantique?!!

I am sure that many of you may be wondering, 'What has happened to Fanantique? Where has it gone?'
Well, unfortunately the answer is a little sad and quite unbelievable. You may or may not know that as of late November last year we had to leave our cute little shop in Bay Street due to storm damage.
We had a significant amount of water come in from the roof and damage our shop and stock. What you also might not know is that the water damage had happened on several occasions- soaking into the floor and ceiling and making the building quite unsafe. There is also a whole lot more to the story that I would love to share, but I am currently dealing with insurance and have enlisted the help of a lawyer to deal with a most disagreeable landlord. It is probably not appropriate to divulge too much just yet, but look forward to telling the whole ugly story once everything is resolved. (A simple drive past our old location will help paint a picture of what is happening!!)
With most of our stock being ruined right before the Christmas period, the chance of relocating and re-opening another store was simply not viable.  Further to that, you may have read or heard about the frightening time we were having with my fiancé, Gabor, being critically injured and in intensive care after a 17m fall while rock climbing. As you can imagine, this was another factor that made re-opening just not possible.
Until things are resolved we will not know for sure what is to become of 'Fanantique'.
But, the good news is:
Firstly Gabor is doing extremely well and continues to surprise everyone with his recovery.

Secondly, Fanantique will continue to operate.
For now, Fanantique will continue to operate as an online store and we will be expanding it and reworking it continually. I am also in the process of setting up an Etsy shop and from time to time will list larger items on Ebay. I am also taking part in some Markets here and there.  (I will update via our mailing list- sign up at www.fanantique.com.au)
Once we get insurance claims settled, we are planning on having a "garage sale" style of sale.

As for me, I have started to focus more on my illustration work in the meantime and look forward to sharing more of that here on the blog. I hope you don't mind but you will see this blog undergo some changes in the coming months. Initially, I began this blog to compliment the store and share some ideas but after the events of the last few months, I have decided that this will be a place for me to share a little more and  things will be a bit more personal. It will still embrace the Fanantique feel, because that is very much a part of me- but it will probably become a little more random but a lot more interesting.
If you have been reading the blog for a while you might remember that I have a wedding coming up, thankfully that is still happening despite everything! (all be it with a few changes to the plans!) It has been a welcome distraction as I am undertaking quite a lot of the work involved in organizing a wedding, from designing the invitations, the dress and accessories to possibly even having a go at a cake! (All with a little help from Pinterest) I look forward to sharing some wedding 'work in progress' images with you soon!

Anyway, I am looking forward to an exciting year filled with possibility and change, I look forward to us getting to know each other better!
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