Thursday, 24 February 2011

Take the tram!

How much do I LOVE this toy tram? It is based on a classic W-class Melbourne tram, with the exact paint colours, and it comes complete with 12 wooden passengers and 2 uniformed tram conductors (sigh!) that have their own cabins on each end of the tram. And in case you are interested, the no. 79 route runs from North Richmond to St Kilda Beach!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Lalé est arrivée

It's here! Thanks for all the emails about when Lalé would be coming in from France, we opened the gorgeous big box today. Some items we only have a couple of so don't delay if you love it! (I have already grabbed a Marlene suitcase for moi!). xx

That was the week that was

Monday: we are making final arrangements for our trip to Sydney for Life in Style when the call comes in from the school - my 9 yo has fallen and is in pain. Mad rush to hospital, he's come off the dastardly Monkey Bars and badly broken his left arm. He's rushed in for an operation (thankyou staff at the Ballarat Base Hospital - you are awesome!!!). Our dear neighbour Michelle picks up our other son from school while I'm watching him go under the anasthetic - worst thing I've ever had to do, sob! Back in the waiting room we hastily rearrange our flights to later the following day, and cross our fingers. He comes through the operation ok and Paul stays with him overnight in hospital.

Tuesday: we rush round madly doing all the last minute things forgotten in the drama of the day before, wait for the hospital to sign us out (the operation's been a success, a cast has been applied) and then dash to the airport for our 2.30 flight. To find that we somehow re-booked the flights out of Avalon, a tiny airport somewhere near Geelong, an hour away. I am about to burst into tears when the nice Jetstar man tells us he can re-book us again for a 4.30 flight from Tullamarine with no charge (yay, thanks Jetstar, you're awesome!). We sit around the airport for a few hours. While we are mid-air the TNT delivery guy tries to deliver our furniture and samples to Life in Style but gives up and leaves us a phone message, grrrrr. We've missed our delivery window for the day, and there's nothing we can do. We finally get to Sydney and meet up with the rest of Team Lark at our hotel.

Wednesday: we ring our delivery people (Pack Send), only to find that TNT have GONE ON STRIKE. Deeply suspicious that the guy never even tried to deliver our stuff the day before, and very anxious because they are saying they wont deliver our goods. Lots of phone calls later Pack Send manage to get our stuff out and we can finally begin building our stand. I take the kids to the fantastic EQ farmer's market while the guys do the heavy stuff. Somehow the impromptu-ness and the last-minute-ness works, and I am actually feeling that it is one of our best trade fair stands,w hen I survey our efforts at 6pm. After a mad dash around David Jones looking for sugared almonds and champagne glasses, we repair to a Thai restaurant near our hotel for beers and curry.

Thursday: Things can only get better, and they do. Life in Style opens and we are inundated with customers who are clearly loving all our great new products. We don't take a breath until 2pm, when I finally snatch a few minutes to catch up with my buddies at the Cupcake Wrapper Co, Down to the Woods and Made590. We work until 6 and leave Paul to stay until 9pm, while we rescue the kids from our babysitter Sarah, who is a real find. The boys are impressed because she's fun and cute and recently starred in a Coca Cola ad; I am impressed because she comes armed with a healthy lunch and cool DVDs like Bugsy Malone! The Lark kids have had a great day out at the aquarium and Powerhouse Museum. I'm exhausted and my feet are beginning to hurt.

Friday: Another busy trade fair day, even busier than the first day, which is fantastic and makes the day fly over. We have a birthday dinner for one of the Lark team and fall into bed very tired. Feet now hurting big time, thanks to the concrete floors at the Hordern Pavilion.

Saturday: Leaving the guys to man the stand I schlep around the Home & Giving trade fair with Morgan. We both find some cute things. Catch up with Diana, our sons' godmother and one of our oldest friends, at a Turkish restaurant. She has been looking after all the kids today, a group of 5 of them from toddlers to teens, but she still has so much energy (thanks D, you're totally awesome!!!!!). My little boy has learned to put his head under water in the pool, something we've been trying to teach him for ages.

Sunday: Off with Morgan around the Reed Gift Fair, then we are back for the afternoon shift. It's the final day at Life in Style and I meet with our favourite suppliers Mister Mista and Olive's Friend Pop and others, as well as making some new acquaintances and placing orders. I am very taken with the girls at Dear Charlotte, Love Banjo, they are adorable and so is their range (watch this space!). We pack up in an hour - how good are we?? Say goodbye to everyone for another six months. Thai again for dinner, yum, and we have a meeting to review the trade fair and go through the orders we received.

Monday: Before we fly back to Melbourne we have a couple of hours to peruse the shops. I head to some of the vintage shopping arcades in the CBD and go crazy in Haigh's chocolates. Flight back is all lovely and smooth and we are home in time for dinner. It's nice to be back, I am looking forward to getting a bit more settled in our new place after all the travels and drama and business of January and February.

I hope your week has been good!x

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

papier mache

So lovely to have this new magazine in our shop! I think you will like it too, you really will! Find papier mache here! It's a limited edition.

Monday, 14 February 2011

City of Love

Recently in Paris, we were walking across the Pont des Arts, the bridge that crosses the Seine between the Louvre and the Left Bank. My son spotted lots of 'bicycle locks' attached to the sides of the bridge, but on closer inspection these turned out to be love tokens. It has become a tradition, apparently, for lovers to write their names on a lock, tie it to the bridge and throw the key into the river. We spent a good half hour reading all the little messages and marvelling at some of the extravagant locks.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Can you spot Ingrid?

She's our pretty little 4 year old grey and white cat. She loves a cuddle on the sofa, and she likes to spy at us through the windows, but she is also very fond of hiding in the garden. When we were on holiday she hid away for 14 days until after we came back, leaving our neighbour Michelle to worry about her. Most nights Ingrid comes in for tea, but sometimes she doesn't, and then at 4am she decides that she might, after all, grace us with her presence, so she sits outside our bedroom window (how does she know we are in there?) miaowing persistently. Luckily for her she is very cute.

Coming soon: Lalé

Any day now Ron the postie is going to be knocking at our door with a huge box of goodies from Alix at Lalé in France - yayyy! Just look at the delicious goodies from the gorgeous and talented Alix, who I was lucky enough to meet in person in Paris last month.

TOP of my list is the Marlène suitcase, which I have every intention of using as a case for my laptop and all the papers, catalogues, magazines and gadgets I tote about on a daily basis.

And I will be decorating my new house with some of the cute eiderdowns and cushions.

If you would like to be informed when Lalé comes into stock, you can click on any item HERE and ask us to send you a notification email so you don't miss out. x

A round-up

It's been a mad, mad week at work. Trying to prepare for next week's gift fair, trying to get on top of emails from when I was on holiday, re-stocking the shop and checking in all of the new season products. But who wants to think about that? Here are a few sweet moments from my week ... morning tea with my dear friend (and her pretty china), opening the samples of my new Daisy Lane plates, popping along to the Sugar and Spice market in Ballarat where I chatted with Morgan, Jennifer, Ali, Nicole, Marion and Stephanie, Belinda, Robyn, Craig, Sophie & Gus, and a little tea break by myself! I hope you've had a relaxing week. x

Friday, 11 February 2011

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Alain Gree makes a drawing

If you have a few minutes today, I insist you sit down and watch this video clip. It is the most lovely thing I have seen in a while.

Thanks to Ricobel for sending me this, you brightened up my morning!x

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


I love the word 'pantry'. My nan used to have a 'pantry' and a 'larder', even though she lived in a small council house. They were only cupboards, nothing grand, but that's what she called them - maybe because as a young girl she was in domestic service in a big house.

So I have always loved the idea of a pantry, a little storeroom for all your dried goods, baking equipment, jars and such.

One of my favourite finds for Lark this year has been this Pantry range of kitchen goods from British design company Rex. The pretty styling makes me smile, and they are just beautiful objects as well as serving a purpose.

The Pantry product that most makes my heart sing is the Jam Making Kit. How adorable is this? It comes with cute jars, labels, string and a recipe book. I'm getting all domestic just thinking about it!!

There is also a printed label set for when you are using recycled jars (hurrah!). I can't wait to start using these.

And look at this little jam jar candle!!

The first Pantry collection has just arrived in Lark this week, and we will have more things coming in March. You can find them ONLINE HERE, and of course in our Daylesford store too!x

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

School rules!

My boys started at a new school this term. We spent ages finding a new school for them, even moving house to a bigger town where there is more choice of primary schools. While no school can ever be perfect, this one ticked most of the boxes. The principal really impressed us, and the whole vibe of the school is so positive and inspiring. Although it is in the country is has the feel of a city school, with a big mix of families and nationalities, beautiful old buildings and a lot of participation in the local community. It was important to us to find a school that takes bullying seriously, even when it is 'mild' bullying, as this is where it all starts. We also liked the emphasis on the arts, the wide range of subjects including languages, and the fact that the school discourages parental cliques. Here's hoping for a good year, so far the boys are certainly enjoying it. School is such an important part of family life with young kids, and it can be so fraught with issues and disappointments - may it all go well for you this year, especially if you have prepsters!