Latest News, Melbourne

Australian Open 2016

For as long as we’ve lived in Australia, we’ve never been to the Australian Open tennis except for Charity Matches or Kids’ Tennis Days. Luckily last Sunday we decided it was about time to experience the real atmosphere of a highly popular and entertaining tournament that brings visitors to Melbourne from all around the world. As a tennis fan and lover of the great game, getting a Ground Pass for the day made me really excited.

It was a rainy start to the day that made the practice courts outside wet and dangerous. Other fans and us waited for Novak Djokovic to begin practicing on one of the exterior courts, but after a while we saw Spanish tennis player, David Ferrer arrive for training. With his athletic looks and on-court charisma, it made the long one-hour wait by Court 17 really worth it. He graciously signed autographs for fans and posed for selfies afterwards.

It’s one thing to see the matches on TV and a completely different experience to actually be at the Australian Open. We’d catch celebrities everywhere we looked, even finding tennis champion turned commentator, Jim Courier, near the entrance to one of the major courts. My sister and I split up in order to see more and find our favourite players. I managed to come across my childhood idol, Martina Hingis posing with trophies, while my sister found her idol Mark Philippoussis.

1Hingis

Luckily by the afternoon many of the practice courts were being used and we could also catch Australian Bernard Tomic practicing, as well as second seed Andy Murray hitting shots with his coach Amélie Mauresmo. We were once again made to wait over an hour in the hopes of seeing the legend Roger Federer, but a last minute court change made us all run to a much larger practice court where the atmosphere was much less personal and made getting an autograph from the champion a lot more difficult!

1Federer

Other matches we got to see were men’s doubles between Cuevas/Granollers and Dodig/Melo on Hisense Arena and Australian Stosur/Peers playing against Rodionova/Reid in the mixed doubles on Showcourt 2 as the sun started to set across the Melbourne skyline.

1Stosur_Peers

All in all, I highly recommend a visit to this tournament as it’s one-of-a-kind and really shows off the true Australian sporting culture we’ve all grown to know and love.

Congratulations to Angelique Kerber for beating Serena Williams last night in the Women’s finals and good luck to Djokovic and Murray in the Men’s finals tonight. I know that we’re in for a great night of tennis, even if this time I’ll be watching it on the television with a cool strawberry smoothie I always prepare for finals of the Australian Open.

Event, Melbourne

White Night Melbourne

Last night Melbourne came to life like never before with live indie music, illuminated buildings, creative art installations and lots of entertainment (and crowds!) to keep visitors happy from 7am to 7pm. This event known as “White Night” is a lively summer festival of light. It was a very hot and humid evening but the event was uber-cool, hip and very captivating. The packed train ride home though was far from pleasant! Still, Melbourne proved once again why it’s the artistic capital of Australia.

(All photos taken with iPhone 4S)

White Night
At NGV
Projections
Illuminations
Coffee Gelato
Blue Fountain
Flinders St Station

Event, Melbourne

Les Misérables

If you’re in Melbourne right now you would undoubtedly have seen a phenomenon sweeping the city streets. Everything from trams to lamp posts has been decorated with Émile Bayard’s sketch of Cosette and people from all over Australia have been coming to Melbourne to experience two events that celebrate the story of 19th-century Paris in Victor Hugo’s epic literary work – Les Misérables.

For many months now there has been a sensational production of Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed musical screening at Her Majesty’s Theatre. This world-famous musical began in June and I’ve seen the show twice now, once during an afternoon performance on a rainy winter’s day and once more just recently at an evening screening. What can I say, the production is incredible and no matter how many times I hear the beautiful music, experience the realistic set design/special effects, see the phenomenal actors on-stage in their amazing costumes performing show after show, I’m left wanting more. I leave with goosebumps on my skin, my spine-tingling from the electric atmosphere in the theatre and tears in my eyes that it’s all over once again.

Theatre Day & Night

Victor Hugo’s timeless novel is a masterpiece and in a corresponding event at the State Library of Victoria entitled Les Misérables From Page to Stage, Melburnians can see Hugo’s original handwritten manuscript on display in a world-first exhibition. Right before my eyes were the words that the great master wrote from 1845-62 and in a frame on the wall nearby were the very quills he wrote those transcendent words with. Just incredible!

Last Sunday, during the Festival de Victor Hugo, curator Tim Fisher took visitors on a special guided-tour of the exhibition providing insight into Hugo’s life and adding an interesting background about the efforts the organisers went to in order to get this French national treasure to leave Europe for the first time and travel Business Class to Australia! I absolutely loved the exhibit and highly recommend a visit to all the fans out there. Everything from Rodin’s sculpture work of the great Victor Hugo to candid photographs of his life, immaculate artworks by the writer himself, programmes from shows around the world, costumes from the 2012 award-winning film, timeless memorabilia, musical insights in the French language, and a lot more can be seen until November 9th at the State Library.

"From Page to Stage"

In a specially-built addition to the main room showing the story of Hugo’s life, everything about the music from Les Misérables and musical adaptations come to life. The costume and visual art areas depict the endless amount of time spent in these creative departments through insights and screenings showcasing the work that goes into making a musical. Meanwhile the 25th Anniversary Concert from London’s O2 is played on a large screen for everyone to enjoy. Visitors are even permitted to try on costumes for themselves and take to the stage alongside the professional singers on the screen! There’s a brilliant gift shop at the end where everything and anything to do with Les Mis can be found!

I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to experience all this French culture here in Melbourne. Organisers have done a spectacular job bringing the production and exhibition here, giving true fans something wonderful to believe in and an unforgettable experience to cherish for life.

My Collection

Life, Melbourne

Life & Photography

Life’s been crazy busy this past month, I can’t believe we’re already in June! Thankfully the Melbourne winter hasn’t been too cold and even though there have been lots of rainy days we’ve also had a lot of really warm sunshine come through.

I recently attended a spectacular theatre show of Don Quixote performed by The Imperial Russian Ballet Company. It was absolutely wonderful with the highest quality of ballet we’ve all come to expect of Russian dancers. Their precision and energy was so beautiful to watch, as was their ability to light up the stage with their expressive faces and graceful movement. 10/10!

Don Quixote

Then there were the beautiful sunsets! It was actually on the night of the performance that I walked to St. Kilda beach and saw the calmest water, smooth as silk and completely still in the distance. All the people there were silent, not a single voice came to mind and there we all were admiring that beautiful and serene moment when the sun crossed over the horizon. I loved the spiritual feeling within my soul that evening.

Calmest Sunset

On other days there were picnics in the backyard alongside my gorgeous black cat, who was uncharacteristically thirsty and drank straight from the tap! Then the arrival of some wonderful snail mail from new international pen-pals, days spent wrapping our Mishka Collection greeting cards/sending promo postcards, more visits to the beach, dinners with friends at funky restaurants, rediscovering local parks and the beauty in nature, and not to mention dreaming of my dream home!

Life is going at full speed and I feel like I’m barely keeping up! I’m still reminiscing about my European travel adventures, my beautiful shop and the simple days of life in Watford, but I’m grateful for all the memories created in Australia so far as well. Enjoy your week!

 

Australia, Melbourne, Travel

Melbourne’s Docklands

One of my favourite places in Melbourne is the beautiful area known as the Docklands. To be completed in 2020, this waterfront paradise is filled with many exciting shops (known as Harbour Town), interesting sculptural public art, fine dining restaurants, extremely modern architecture and beautiful views of the city.

A trip to the Docklands would be incomplete without seeing the recently constructed Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. This giant engineering masterpiece definitely has some resemblance to the London Eye, but it is smaller in size and with less carriages. Everything one desires can be found in the nearby Costco and if you prefer somewhere a little bit more peaceful you can take a walk down to the water and see statues of Kylie Minogue and Dame Edna among others, and see our take on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame featuring Australian entertainers. The mosaic of Aussie personalities is really amazing.

Tourists and visitors to Melbourne’s Docklands will not be disappointed. The best part is that you can catch the free City Circle Tram right into the heart of the Docklands and explore the area on foot from there!

 

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, Melbourne, Travel

Last Sunday…

was a beautiful day in Melbourne. We spent it in South Melbourne, a funky part of the city filled with quirky gift shops, busy cafés, interesting people and cool vibes. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. The day started off with us shopping on Clarendon Street, spending a while at one of my favourite stationery shops called Paperpoint and having lunch at a place called Grill’d. Their burgers are to die for. After some retail therapy, my sisters and I drove to the beach and were surprised to find the luxurious cruise ship Queen Mary II docked there. It was majestic and striking from a distance. We soaked our feet in the warm sparkling water of Port Phillip Bay, let the sand go between our toes, turned our backs to the waves and bid farewell to a memorable and very hot Australian summer.

Australia, Melbourne, Travel

Melbourne = Home

I’ve been back in Melbourne for exactly 6 months today. I enjoy the lively atmosphere on the streets, its modern architecture, skyscraper views and hidden city discoveries. Melbourne is home and I absolutely love being a tourist in my own city. There’s always something happening in the city. From interesting exhibitions and installations at the National Gallery to cultural events at Federation Square, Melbourne’s got you covered for everything hip and uber cool. It has a certain vibe to it that has to be experienced, it can’t be described.

Here’s my photographic journey through Melbourne on a quiet summer’s afternoon.

London, Melbourne, Products, Travel

2013 in Photographs.

Whoa, what a year 2013 has been! From exploring our favourite European cities to running our shop in Watford (UK) and finally arriving back home in Melbourne after almost 2 years of being abroad, 2013 has been packed with fun escapades, new experiences and enchanting discoveries.  From attending many London movie premiers to walking the streets of that captivating city, it was an honour to have lived so long in the UK. Something else which was very exciting was publishing our very own magazine about Paris, attending our first Aussie market this month and reuniting with a special pet after many days of being apart. Launching our Mishka Collection and visiting Spain (including Barcelona twice!) would have to be highlights. Goodbye 2013, you’ve been surprisingly pleasant and enjoyable. We can’t wait for the New Year!

Melbourne

Introducing Melbourne!

One word can be used to summarise this past weekend…markets. On Saturday I visited The Big Design Market in the Melbourne CBD and on Sunday we exhibited at a market of a similar name, The Fine Design Market in Doncaster (see blog post here). Overall the quality of both markets was outstanding and I can honestly say that the Australian design scene is right up there alongside British artisans and designers. The Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton was a beautiful backdrop for the event and although it felt like a million people were inside the space and all coming at you with tremendous enthusiasm and a willingess to hunt down that perfect designer Christmas gift, I still had a wonderful time.

Afterwards there wasn’t too much time to wander the streets of my beloved city as I had to prepare for Sunday’s market but I did manage to snap a few introductory photographs on my way to the train station.

Melbourne is certainly a great place to be over the festive season. I’ll be sure to blog about it in more detail in the future so stay tuned for that 🙂