Celebrations

Happy 2018!

Happy New Year, dear friends! May this year bring everything you desire and grant all your wishes. Thank you for all your support over the years. Have a beautiful 2018!

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Celebrations, Food

Mini Tarts with White Chocolate Ganache

Here’s a super simple recipe that I just prepared for NYE that is bound to be an instant hit with your guests or just a treat for yourself to bid farewell to 2017!

Makes 12

Ingredients:

– 12 Mini Tart Shells

– 200g White Cooking Chocolate

– 90mL light Sour Cream

– Apricot & Coconut Balls (or anything else you want to top the tarts with)

– (Optional: 2-3 Tbs Cinnamon for taste and texture)

Step 1

Prepare a large heatproof bowl and place it on a saucepan of simmering water ensuring the bowl does not touch the water. Place the chocolate in the bowl and stir gently at first.

Step 2

When the chocolate is smooth and completely melted, take the bowl off the saucepan and stand for 1 minute, stirring it occasionally. Add the sour cream to the chocolate and mix them together with a spoon until well combined. The mixture should thicken. Add the cinnamon if you would like. It’s more delicious this way I find.

Step 3

Once cooled, use a spoon to put the mixture into the mini tart shells and top with the apricot balls or anything else you’d like to decorate them with.

Step 4

Put in the fridge until they’re ready to serve!

The Result

This simple recipe is quick and delicious. You could almost call it a simplified version of a cupcake! Happy New Year to you all!

Celebrations, Latest News, Melbourne

Best Moments of 2017

This year was quite memorable and eventful for me. From holidays to concerts, leisurely bike rides to reading and writing long hand-written letters to friends, I’ve truly enjoyed most of what came my way this year. It’s almost time to welcome in the New Year, but before that let’s take a look at my favourite memories from 2017!

In January/February, I returned to my favourite city of Barcelona for a month-long visit! During this time Montserrat and Cadaques were also covered on day trips and overall this holiday was everything I could have ever wished for!

In March the superstar that is Adele came to town for an unforgettable summer’s night of raw emotion and a powerhouse vocal.

In July, I was fortunate enough to attend the concert of one of my favourite singers – Gavin DeGraw. Meeting him after the show was such an honour and his show was truly something special.

That same month one of my favourite musicals “My Fair Lady” was also playing in town at the Princess Theatre. I absolutely loved it!

Taking a bike ride along Port Melbourne’s foreshore never ceases to impress me.

I’ve absolutely loved making new friends through the art of handwritten letters and re-connecting with old friends.

This year I launched our “Cute Parcels” concept and recently was a market vendor at Carols by Kingston! Thank you to everyone that has supported us over the years!

This year I also took the time to engage with nature more, practise my photography and spend more time with the ones I love.

Just this month I was in the company of two more “One Tree Hill” alumni when Tyler Hilton and Kate Voegele came to Thornbury. They brought the house down!

So thanks 2017! You’ve been a pretty great year.

Bring on 2018!

Celebrations, Food, Life, Melbourne, Travel

Memories of 2016

Whoa, 2016 was quite a year! So much happened in the world – tragedies, triumphs, the unthinkable, the magical. This year had it all. In many ways I’m glad to bid farewell to 2016, which for me had its fair share of ups and downs just like any year.

A definite highlight was visiting beautiful Japan for two weeks in March. Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto were all places I had longed to travel to for many years and it will be hard to top my birthday from now on, having spent the day at Disneyland Tokyo – a magical place in every sense. I shall never forget my first trip in the Land of the Rising Sun – eating delicious food, seeing the sights with my own eyes, entering historic temples, smiling at the pandas and flamingos at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo. Getting a feel for Japanese culture was just incredible.

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Closer to home it’s been enjoyable spending afternoons at wildlife sanctuaries where cute koalas and wallabies can be fed and petted. It’s been so much fun creating a new studio feature wall and launching Mishka Mail back in August. I feel so grateful to every single customer who bought a subscription and every blogger that reviewed our kits on their blogs. Thank you!

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It’s been so exciting to place our first print advertisement in a funky Canadian hobby magazine called Uppercase for their special 30th issue.

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Other highlights include riding a bicycle at the beach in Port Melbourne, eating some delicious meals, writing and receiving some awesome letters from international pen friends, winning auctions on Ebay and listening to lovely concerts at outdoor summer venues.

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2016 has taught me that life isn’t about chance encounters that happen to you, it’s about how YOU chase each and every opportunity to make moments for yourself. I’m entering 2017 with this very notion in my mind and have a lot that I’m already looking forward to. Here’s to a beautiful and successful 2017 for you all!

Happy New Year!

Celebrations, Christmas

Christmas Snapshots – Melbourne

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The festive season is just around the corner and the streets of Melbourne have been tastefully decorated for the celebration. I must admit that I prefer the Northern Hemisphere traditional type of Christmas experience with snow dusting the streets, markets gracing town squares and the scents of cinnamon and roasting chestnuts filling the air. It’s such a beautiful time of year. In Australia however, we celebrate Christmas in summer and this mostly involves a trip to the beach and family gatherings over a backyard barbecue.

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There’s a wonderful Christmas tradition in our department store Myer which has been going since 1956. Animated Christmas Windows at their Bourke St. Mall store bring the magic of the holiday season to life like nothing else. It’s always wonderful seeing families with children lining the street to peek into windows and to hear a story along with moving characters and sets. This year they’ve brought to life a children’s book called “One Christmas Eve” by Corinne Fenton with illustrations by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall. It took the team 40 weeks of total production time and 25 days to install the windows, and the result speaks for itself.

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Christmas is such a magical time of year, even without snow and cinnamon and Christmas markets!

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We hope everyone has a splendid time in the lead-up to Christmas. Don’t forget, our Mishka Mail monthly subscription club is taking sign-ups until the 11th of December and the last theme for 2016 is “Summer Vibes”.

Celebrations, Melbourne

Hundred

ForBlog1

I’m so excited to blog my 100th post on WordPress today! I started this blog three and a half years ago when I was getting ready to open the doors of my stationery gift shop in the UK. Thinking back on that time of my life always brings the biggest smile to my face. I believe it was the fearlessness of venturing out into a brand new direction with my business that gave me the strength to actually pull it off, I simply had to do it and there was nothing that was going to stop me. The story of how my shop came about deserves a blog post of its own and I’ll be glad to share that with you some other time but for me, even today, my business still brings so much joy and satisfaction to my life that I cannot imagine what I would be doing if it wasn’t for Graceful Avenue!

When I first drew Mishka the panda I didn’t know how he would be received and of course I was apprehensive about sharing my drawings with the world through a retail outlet, but the people of Watford quickly diminished any self doubt I had. Customers came into my shop to buy something that I had illustrated by hand, something that I put my heart and soul into. They were investing their money in my work and to date I am honestly so grateful for each and every customer at market stalls or online who connects with my products and supports me as an illustrator and small business owner. Thank you all so much!

Today was Labour Day here in Melbourne, so I decided I’m going to throw a mini celebration in honour of my 100th blog post. So I packed a small backpack with balloons, soap bubbles and panda ears (I couldn’t resist!) and convinced my sister to come along and photograph me with my 3D Mishka. It was so fun to just be silly for a few hours without a care in the world! It was truly just what I needed.

Thank you to new and old friends for coming along with me on this crazy journey in cyber space! Happy 100th!

Celebrations, Life

Happy New Year!

As it has just struck midnight here in Australia, it’s officially 2014! YAY!

May you all have a productive, joyous, successful and blissful year filled with precious memories and happy moments. Thank you to everyone who’s following us on social media, to our customers in our UK shop, to those who have purchased cards via our online Etsy shop and a big thank you to those of you who regularly visit this blog! We welcome 2014 with open arms, it should be a very exciting year ahead! Cheers.

Happy 2014