Australia, Life, Travel

Australia’s Gumbaya Park

Last Sunday was the perfect time for my family and I to re-visit a place we really loved going to – Gumbaya Park. Located in Tynong North in Victoria and set on 430 acres, this theme park and natural bushland has been an old favourite of ours ever since I was a child. I remember riding on the Mini Cars with my younger cousins and having barbecues with extended-family who’d visit us for a holiday. Gumbaya Park is also home to many of Australia’s beautiful wildlife and birds, from dingoes and emus to snakes, wallabies, wombats and cockatoos, who occasionally talk to you and say things like “Come over here” when you’re starting to leave them! Kangaroos and their joeys hop around you and if you’re lucky enough you can even give them a feed and a pat. There are also opportunities to pat koalas and have your photo taken with them!

For the young and young-at-heart the rides are fantastic. I purchased the Ultimate Pass allowing me to ride on any rides I pleased all day unrestrictedly. I drove a kart, paddled a boat, went down Australia’s longest concrete toboggan and couldn’t resist going back in time to my childhood by squeezing into a Mini Car (yes it’s a miracle I can still fit in one!). With this pass another person could ride with me in all the rides that allowed more than one person, so the value for money was excellent with this Pass.

All in all, Gumbaya Park will always be close to my heart and I highly recommend local and international visitors to Victoria to visit and make a day-trip out of it. It’s awesome fun and you’ll have memories to cherish for a lifetime.

 

Life, Travel

Irresistible Portofino.

I’d like to tell you a story from years ago on this rainy Autumn afternoon here in Melbourne. Back in 2008, my Dad and I were on a day-trip from Florence to Pisa in Italy’s beautiful Tuscan region. It was to be only for a short time that we’d take turns pushing the Leaning Tower of Pisa (mandatory for every tourist to the historic site), have lunch somewhere along the Arno River and explore the small, compact city on foot. It was winter and the sun was starting to set. By 4pm we reached the train station ready to catch the train somewhere. I begged Dad to take me to Portofino. I’d seen photos of its incredible harbour with colourful buildings and expensive yachts and had always dreamt of visiting it. I had everything planned out; we’d catch the train to Santa Margherita Ligure and then sit on a bus to Portofino, see it in the dark and return to Florence. I should mention that I was 19 years old at the time, sick with a bad cold and not thinking clearly. Dad declined my offer and made me catch the train directly back to Florence for some much-needed rest. Years passed and I couldn’t help but feel that his resistance that night must’ve been for a reason and that I would see the real Portofino someday, if destiny was on my side, and preferably see it in daylight!

Fast-forward 4 years and my dream comes true. My sister and I were on a holiday in Italy and I made it my mission to finally get to that irresistible part of the world, that is Portofino. My sister stayed in Pisa for the day. I remember clearly that it was the day before our flight back to London that I managed to take the train from Pisa to Santa Margherita Ligure and then a picture-perfect boat ride to Portofino. The views over the Gulf of Tigullio were breathtaking, as is expected from the Italian Riviera.

Everything was gorgeous! I don’t know how else to describe what I saw that fateful, hot summer’s day. I arrived in Portofino in the afternoon under the scorching hot sun. I was greeted by those very same luxurious yachts I’d seen in postcards placed against the backdrop of beautiful architecture and lush, green hills further in the distance. I was finally there and although I only had 2 hours to explore the town (S. Margherita Ligure looked too beautiful not to walk around so I went back on the return boat-trip earlier), I’m proud to say that every single minute there was pure bliss.

As the rain falls ever-so gracefully on the window outside my studio, I am reminded of that summer day when I was young, fearless and free.

Here’s a photographic overview shown in the order Portofino unravelled for me:

Cruising

View from Cruise

Views from Water

Arriving in Portofino

Luxurious Yacht

Marina Welcome Sign

Portofino Signs

Above Portofino Beautiful Views Gulf of Tigullio Portofino Portofino Details Snapshot in Portofino View of Portofino Here’s Santa Margherita Ligure… (now you see why I had to explore it, right?)

Life, Melbourne, Products, Travel, Wholesale

Graceful Avenue News!

We’ve been so busy here at the office lately, it’s almost like someone’s hit the fast-forward button! For today’s post we thought we’d show you what we’ve been working on and tell you about all the things we have coming up soon.

1. We now have an Instagram account so if you’d like to see what we get up to during the week, what life in Melbourne is really like and all the latest behind-the-scenes photos at our studio, please follow us here.

Instagram

2. We are very excited about this! We are now taking Wholesale orders from retailers! So if you, or someone you know, runs a cute boutique store, gift shop, florist, bookshop, cafe or any other outlet, you can now order our greeting cards, gift tags and handmade flowers and become stockists of Graceful Avenue products! Just click the Wholesale section of our website and from there you’ll be able to see the entire ordering process, including our two wholesale catalogues.

Wholesale Catalogues

3. Very soon we’ll be releasing yet another Newsletter so make sure you’ve signed up for our Newsletter here. By doing so you’ll receive exclusive discounts to use in our online Etsy Shop and get the chance to read about our latest news first.

Promotion

4. With Easter just around the corner, we’ll be updating our Etsy shop with new greeting card designs just for this celebration, so look out for that! Meanwhile, you can buy our Mishka Collection greeting cards here.

Mishka Collection

5. In future blog posts we will reveal our brand new design of our studio space, as well as guest blogger interviews with cool creative people, and all the latest Melbourne travel photos. Make sure you follow our blog to see all these exciting new adventures.

Melbourne

6. Last but not least, there will always be more blog posts about our European travel escapades, which we know make you all very excited. We’ll take you on a virtual trip to Strasbourg, Amsterdam, Brussels, Prague and more fabulous destinations.

Milan

Thank you for checking in and have a great week!

Naira

Australia, Film Industry, Life, Music, Travel, Welcome

Nice to meet you!

I thought I’d start the year off by introducing myself to you in a creative manner. Below you can see an illustrated page showing what my other passions in life are, when I’m not running the label or spending hours browsing through craft shops. This is just a snippet as there are so many other things I love doing, so I’ll be creating more posts like this one every so often. Hope you like getting to know the person behind this company.

Just click the image below for a better reading experience.

About Me

On this website you can find a link to our Online Shop, Personalised greeting card order formNewsletter Sign Up, information about upcoming events, stockists, contact details and a section about us.

Thanks for your interest in Graceful Avenue. I just know that 2014 will bring new and wonderful things our way and I hope it’s been a good first week for you all.

Naira (Founder/Creative Director of Graceful Avenue)

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