Mishka Mail, Stationery

Monthly Stationery Subscription: “Mishka Mail”

We’ve got something super exciting to tell you guys today! For a long time we’ve been planning this surprise for you! Today we are happy to launch our monthly stationery subscription service called Mishka Mail.

Every month our subscribers will receive a beautiful parcel in their mailbox filled with different kinds of illustrated designer stationery from greeting cards and wall prints to stickers and gift tags! It’s going to be great value for money! The contents of each shipment will be a surprise but for those who want a sneak peek at the parcel’s content, we’ve made that possible too. Plus, we ship worldwide!

MeetCharactersScreen2Our popular character Mishka, the cheeky panda, will feature on stationery in every parcel while our new characters Moxy the cat and Mo the raccoon will feature occasionally.

Everything is explained in more detail on our Mishka Mail website:

http://www.gracefulavenue.com.au

Hurry, August subscriptions close on the 26th of this month! Happy mailing!

ForBlogging

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!

Our Studio, Products

“Mishkas in Europe” Wall Prints

It’s been a long time coming and today I’m so excited to share our newest products, prints of Mishka in four of my absolute favourite cities of Europe – London, Paris, Barcelona and Bruges.

Frame them, pin them up, use some washi tape and stick them to your wall. They look super fresh and funky in any space and suit a child’s nursery or even a studio/work space. We’ve made a Pitchi video where everything is explained and you can purchase a print online.

Just follow the link: https://www.pitchi.com/pitchi/panda-wall-prints/10961

Prints

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.

 

Event, Markets, Melbourne

Weekend Market Debut

Yesterday we made our debut at our first ever Melbourne design market! Located in Doncaster, The Fine Design Market is a treasure-trove of beautifully crafted items with anything from jewellery to stationery and everything in between. The organisers of the event were friendly and made us feel very welcome.

It was great to have that one-on-one interaction with customers once again, as it reminded us of our little shop in the UK. Plus we really missed it! Visitors were so kind and warm and had such nice things to say about our products, making us feel so truly appreciative and grateful. Thank you to everyone who came along and hopefully see you at another design market in the future.

 

Market Venue: MC2

Our Stall Display

Mini Pouches

Our Products

Notebooks

Mishka Collection Cards

Gift Tags

Melbourne

Luna Park, Melbourne

Visitors to our beautiful city of Melbourne have a lot of choice when it comes to sightseeing. The city exudes a certain cosmopolitan vibe with plenty of amazing restaurants, entertainment and shopping. While I’m yet to post about my favourite attractions in the city (look out for that soon!) I would like to show you one of the many attractions for tourists to our city…Luna Park. For the young and young-at-heart Luna Park is heaven and you can easily spend a few hundred dollars there! With its carnival atmosphere, colourful rides, tempting food and eye-popping visuals, it makes for an amazing day out in St.Kilda. While you’re there make sure to go shopping along the hip and funky Acland St, visit the Botanical Gardens for a bit of relaxation time and go to St. Kilda beach where you can see kitesurfing at its best during the weekend.

Australia, Melbourne

Hello there…

Welcome to the newly renovated Graceful Avenue website! We trust that you’ll find it easy to navigate through as we wanted to create a simplistic user interface with a clear vision for our brand. Here’s the latest news from us:

1. You can now sign up to our exciting Newsletter, giving you the chance to see our new products before anybody else. You’ll also receive exclusive offers and discounts to use in our Online Shop! We are very excited about this new venture.

2. We can’t wait to grow our brand, so very soon you’ll get to see our Wholesale Catalogue with the opportunity to flick through the virtual pages of our exclusive Mishka Collection card range.

3. On the menu up the top we now have a “Stockists” section where we’ll be thrilled to update you on which lovely retailers have chosen to stock our products. If you’re a retailer please get in touch!

4. As the year approaches Christmas (can’t believe it’s nearly November already!!) we are hoping to do a few local markets and events so keep your eyes open for that too!

5. We also have a new email address to go with our new domain name: info@gracefulavenue.com.au so please take note of that.

Overall we’ve been super busy with business/admin stuff lately and that’s why it’s been a bit quiet on the blogging side of things. Here is a photographic summary of life in Melbourne during the last fortnight for your entertainment. Please check in again soon.

Melbourne

Last weekend in Melbourne

So originally I was supposed to be landing back in Melbourne today but moved my flight forward by about 3 weeks. Doing so not only allowed me to be present for my mum’s, sister’s, aunt’s and friend’s birthdays, it also gave me the chance to hug my adorable cat, whom I missed for a whopping 700 days, much sooner.

Welcome Home Lunch Boy Boy

Here are some photos from last weekend. We went as a family to a wonderful cafe in Port Melbourne called Pane e Tulipani (http://www.panetulipani.com.au/) to have breakfast on Saturday morning. While the title of the establishment comes from the Italian film of the same name, the food, staff and environment were highly original. I loved the atmosphere, the friendly waitresses, enjoyable Italian music, delicious food and really good coffee. Bellissimo!

Afterwards we went for a walk to the beach. The water was a green/grey shade and the sun was no where to be seen but I truly missed the beach while living in London, so I had fun walking on the sand and seeing the boats in the distance. It’s great knowing that whenever I feel like it a trip to the beach is only a 25-minute car ride from home.

On Sunday my sisters and I went to the cinema to watch a wacky French drama/comedy entitled “Mood Indigo” or L’Écume des jours as it’s known in French. What can I say? The film was made in a really clever way using a combination of stop-animation and in-camera techniques. Right from the start we were invited into a completely unusual world where everything wasn’t what it seemed. It’s a film that Gaudi or Dali would be proud of because of the highly imaginative nature of the scenes with very creative props, inventions and objects that challenge us and our preconceived notion of the world we live in. At first we couldn’t believe what we got ourselves into but as the film went on we laughed until we were in tears (still partially because we couldn’t believe what we were seeing!). I recommend this film to open-minded people who have a sense of humour, a good imagination and a creative side. Don’t take it too seriously and you’ll soon see that it’s actually a masterpiece and an ingenious French film with really good acting by Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou and the rest of the cast. My rating: 7/10

Event, Products

DIY Classes!

Wow, August is upon us already! A new month signifies new beginnings and new quests for us all. We’re super excited today to announce that until August 17 we will be teaching you how we make our origami Graceful Flowers in small DIY classes! You don’t need to have any special skills or abilities. We will teach you step-by-step how we transform simple pieces of paper into our popular and original three-dimensional flowers! They are perfect as gifts for loved ones or simply to decorate your homes this summer.

Information about the event:

  • All materials are provided
  • All ages are welcome to attend (children must be supervised)
  • Cold drinks will be provided, as it is summer after all!

DIYClass

DIYClass2

When: Daily (except Sundays) from 11am-12pm, until August 17, 2013
Where: 9 Ye Corner, Chalk Hill, Watford WD19 4BS
We are only 20 minutes by train from Central London. Take the Euston-Watford Junction train, disembark at Bushey Station and then it’s just a short walk up Aldenham Rd until you reach a busy intersection. Simple!
Cost: £5 per person

We truly hope that you’re able to attend and spend an hour of your school holidays with us this year. It’s going to be so much fun!

Flowers2

Travel

Bruges (It’s in Belgium!)

The beauty of living in Europe is that you can visit multiple countries in just one day! As an Australian, this concept will always amuse me! Last week  I was fortunate enough to go by Ferry from the port of Dover (UK) to Calais (France) and then cross the border into one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen – Bruges, in Belgium.

The weather that day was everything from snowing in the morning to hailing in the afternoon to a very heavy downpour with thunder in the evening! The waves on the English Channel were so roughSo with all these weather delays I ended up getting to Bruges in the middle of the day with only 3 hours of exploration time at my disposal. I made the most of it though – I tried delicious Belgian chocolate, had a simply divine Belgian waffle, some really nice fries and a nice beer! I just have to return to Bruges someday because what I did end up seeing only left me wanting more. It was so charming.

Here are a few photos, enjoy!