Hello! I haven't abandoned the blog completely, but we've had three weeks of school holidays, and then I spent two weeks trying to catch up with work/ family/ generally recover so things have been a little quiet on here. But I thought I'd write a very generalist blog post about all sorts of random things I've found/ been enjoying in the past few months.




This week, while googling Kit Kemp fabric images for a client project I'm working on, I came across another collaboration she's done. Kit Kemp, for those of you unaware of whom I speak, is a celebrated Designer/ Hotelier of the Firmdale group of hotels - a variety of boutique hotel properties in London and now New York with a very singular aesthetic.


Kemp is renowned for using a very eclectic mix of fabrics and objects and her Ham Yard Hotel was instagrammed to death last year when it opened (and rightly so). She has previously partnered with two fabric companies to produce ranges, one being Christopher Farr's Cloth range, the other being Chelsea Textiles.

Kit Kemp for Christopher Farr Cloth used on the Bedhead via 

For those unaware of Chelsea Textiles (it is not distributed directly in Australia sadly) it plays into my love of embroidery - the range is all hand embroidered (in China and India I believe), and has a traditional Jacobean/ Georgian hand made feel to it, with a few small design ranges that they've partnered up with Interior Designers that have a more modern twist. Kemp's design is below.

"Mythical Creatures" hand embroidered cushion via

It's probable that it isn't distributed here as the market for expensive hand embroidered fabrics with an 18th Century aesthetic would be very small. But one of her designs for Chelsea Textiles is now available here in china form.


Kit Kemp has partnered with Wedgewood to produce one of her designs "Mythical Creatures" on a Tea Service. Certainly it's an unusual pattern on china - it's not a stereotypical "pretty" pattern which I quite like for a change. Unfortunately, prices are not exactly budget on that one too, so while I may think it's a lovely tea service, It's highly unlikely to make its way into my china cupboard. Possibly her new book is a more likely addition - a second book on her signature style is due out later this year.

via Firmdale's instagram account

Changing tack, I've been very pleased with a recent addition to my wardrobe - a new black puffer jacket. It's been fairly freezing, wet and grey in Adelaide, and the AV family also had a ski trip during the school holidays so it came in handy when walking around in the village.


I searched for 2 years to replace an old (14 year old) J Crew jacket that I bought in 1999. It was a fantastic, warm jacket, but after such a long time it was definitely time to move it on. So why two years for such a utilitarian purchase? Well, unfortunately puffers are not exactly flattering on. I am not that tall, and most end up making me look like the Michelin Man as a result. A lot are made of high shine fabric too, which I didn't like due to the extra visual bulk a shiny fabric adds. Additionally, I have spent two years trying to buy one on sale… with the obvious result that the nice ones in smaller sizes sell out well before going on sale. Stalemate.  So, I've been keeping an eye on the incoming Autumn/ Winter fashions overseas online, and when I found this Herno brand puffer with the hem that dips down at the back, and interesting side quilting pattern I snapped it up. Good thing too as it sold out in my size in the space of two weeks.


Herno is an Italian brand I was previously unaware of - they specialise in rain coats only (since 1948), and it has lots of interesting details. It has built in wrist warmers,  a zip off hood, a funnel neck and rubber coated zips which are a nice touch. It was purchased through Matches fashion for those interested… above are the Instagram pics I put up of it. Of course it still has a Michelin Man element to it, but it's definitely not quite so pudding-y as others I tried on in the past, so I'm very happy with it.

After the purchase of the puffer, Matches fashion saw fit to send me an email with some of their new season things that apparently based on my past purchases I would be highly likely to buy. I was surprised that based on buying what I'd probably describe as "conservative basics", I apparently would be interested in this very expensive Angry Birds inspired tote bag from Fendi.

via Matches

Something has gone very wrong there with some sort of algorithm…. however while I was browsing around on the new bag offerings after I stopped laughing, I came across this Mark Cross "Grace" clutch, which is much more my style (but sadly not going to be purchased in the near future as it's kind of pricey).

 Mark Cross, for those who are not familiar with this brand has been in operation in the USA since 1845 and claims to be "America's first luxury leather goods brand". It's had some pretty impressive product placement in the classic Hitchcock movie "Rear Window". In the movie Grace Kelly stays overnight with Cary Grant to investigate the murder and uses her Mark Cross bag to pull out all she needs for a sleepover.




In honour of the original, they named the slightly more petite clutch bag after her although the original, larger version is available. I love it because in this world of the big logo, it's nice to find something that is well crafted yet outwardly logo-less.
Funnily enough, while searching for the image of Grace with the Mark Cross bag I came across a quirky blog with a "Find your Classic Movie Star Style" quiz. It's fun, so try it (and let me know who you are - I'm a Grace ironically…).

In garden news I can't say I've spent a lot of time in the garden - too snowed under with work, and the weather hasn't exactly been conducive a lot of the time (rain/ wind/ freezing cold). I am definitely a fair weather gardener. But something I did last Summer has borne fruit (not in a literal sense). The hedging expert told me that with small box hedges that rather than tip prune them constantly (as is normal advice) to take the long leaders and peg them down. Eventually they will send out shoots into the ground, but they'll also produce new shoots all the way along the original branch, thus doubling or tripling your size of bush. I took a photo around 5 months ago and here it is



 and one this week to show the difference - bear in mind that most of the growth has been through Autumn and Winter, so this is pretty good in my estimation (it's more than doubled in height, and is probably 3 times as wide).



End result - the bush is only marginally shorter than the ones I didn't do this to, and it's much thicker and less of that sort of vase shape that you normally battle them growing into. So I think it definitely works. It's a labour intensive thing to do to set it up, but usually putting in the hard yards early on with soil prep/ pruning sets you up well into the future, so I definitely recommend trying this.

Sadly though the weeds have been out of control, and you can see a lot in the photo above.  I've become very interested in this fantastic personal flame- thrower as  it burns the weeds and kills them. Environmentally friendly as it isn't a pesticide, and saves your back with the laborious hand weeding. It's perfect for areas with gravel or paving (obviously you don't want to try this on piles of combustible mulch or on total fire ban days). It's from Diggers Club and I can't wait to get my mitts on one of them - nothing better than some hard core flame throwing garden equipment in my opinion.

Finally, if you're on Instagram I thought I'd highlight a few feeds I'm enjoying following (and I'm @anadelaidevilla on there).

One of my favourite feeds is that of Jenny Rose Innes. She has exquisite taste and if you haven't been to visit her blog, go and have a look (on my side bar - the Lime Walk), but in the meantime some snippets of her feed which is full of gardens, interiors, and good things…






nicolasdepompadour is a Scottish based Interior Decorator with very classic English- Country- House- style taste.




Humphrey Munson - classic English kitchen maker (all of you Hamptons/ classic kitchen style lovers will find plenty of inspiration here)




Teggy French - she is Faux Fuchsia's doppelgänger. Seriously, it's uncanny.


seriously - twins!

Mccormick Charlie - stunning floral arrangements and views of the English countryside




Wood_Farm - Marilyn has just returned to Australia from travelling through France, and posted the most sublime photos.






a_cannata - A Melbourne based designer who posts pictures of his rather nice weekender, city pad and multiple classic Mercedes Benz (in fact, he seems to like to purchase things in multiples - check out his Gucci loafer collection)





Phew - well that ended up being a long, random catch up post. I'll try not to leave it so long next time!



37 comments:

  1. What a treat this was and so many new things to check out, thank you Heidi! I think it's been a busy summer, well your winter, for many of us and we're not blogging or checking in as often. I've been busy myself with family, some work and setting things up for fall/winter, funny you've been on a ski trip because I'm away this week trying to nail down particulars of our ski season (we're thinking of joining a new club which is quite exciting).
    That garden flame thrower sounds just the ticket, I think FF needs one for her old-testament garden too! And twins or what, the FF look-alike is the first thing I will check out.
    Would love to find a puffer as flattering for our ski season, you know I love it with zeb-peg! XO

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    1. It's definitely been a busy mid-winter, and while there's been lots I could blog about so little time to actually do it. Truth be told I've had so much work to catch up on the past few weeks that I felt guilty using my computer for anything other than that! That's great news re the new club - our kids all LOVE skiing so much, this was our second year where all could go to ski school, and they are all doing so well. They actually wanted to move to the snow… I had to explain it wasn't such an exciting place to live during Summer! I can't believe the similarity of Teggy to FF! They are definite twins!!

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  2. Kit Kemp must have the best projects because she does what she likes and has carte blanche! I wear puffers but i wear them inside my other coats and use them to layer to control heat and I love the uniqlo ones because they have huge internal pockets so i don't need a bag. I am not into ironic bags. well I would be if they were cheap but to do expensive ironic bags are just such a waste! I do like IG more and more because it's the best if you are waiting around and will check out some new ones I didn't know about! x

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    1. Yes, agree re Kit Kemp - it must be nice to be sort of client- less in a way and not have to battle anyone with your ideas.
      I am not into ironic bags either - I'm not really much of a bag person and tend to use the same one day in day out, but I have to say I was surprised about the Fendi one (and that it was Fendi and not Anya Hindmarch or something). Actually I saw that Anya had out a new version on the Frosty Fruits tote with it just having that tiger thing imprinted into the leather. Still ghastly in my opinion!! I'm always on insta in the 5 minutes I'm standing around waiting to collect children from school, it's kind of handy for those waiting times...

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  3. Hello, and its good to have you back. I just returned from a month away from the blog with lots of inspiration and well rested.

    I adored finding out all about the Grace Kelly bag, which is right up my alley. Would love a well made over-night bag with conservative and classic lines that is well made, but as you say, a little pricey. I don't ever recall good quality bags twenty-five or thirty-five years back being that crazily priced! The world is going mad. I suppose the alternative is cheaply made good in China, which does not appeal.

    If you like Charlie's IG, I'm sure you've discovered Ben Pentreath's too (and his marvelous blog). I discovered it last year and have been hooked.

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    1. I was wondering about where you were CD, and though it must have been a holiday somewhere, but glad you're back too!
      Isn't the bag fab. I just wish it was a friendlier price point, the world is indeed going mad and it seems that bags have huge markups to cover other aspects of fashion. Although I wonder if part of it is marketing - I remember reading an Estee Lauder biography where she deliberately marked up an anti wrinkle cream to make it the most expensive on the market and told her marketing team that women wanted to believe it was special and would work and if it were expensive that would help… or something along those lines! It was a best seller. I have found Ben Pentreaths instagram, but not his blog… shall go and look it up as I do love his insta.

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    2. You will love Ben's country garden. And homes - perfection. He's been helping Kate do up Anmer Hall.

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  4. Heidi,
    Your posts are always such a visual feast, I need to better discipline myself as it'frustrating to now have to endure several hours wait til i have laptop wifi...but I'm already crushing on this Teggy French...the Bond Girl handle and FF resemblance are so enticing I almost suspect she's a KGB honeypot sent to unlock GSL's secrets.
    We'll certainly look in on Teggy French .

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    1. Teggy is definitely up your alley GSL - she has a kind of Palm Beach retro glamour going on and definitely some sort of old school Bond Girl thing happening!

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  5. love that puffer heidi. it does not overwhelm you and you look quite chic in it - which is a huge compliment b/c we all know how puffers look. i'm in desperate need of one!

    love all the recommendations for IG too. even though i'm no longer on IG. :)

    FF's twin? i can't imagine anyone as fab as her! x

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    1. Thank you for the compliment Janet! I have to say I was so pleased with it, which was why I shared it on insta (having never heard of the brand before).
      Well, you've met FF in real life and we both know how fab she is! But Teggy is so like her in style and appearance it really is uncanny! x

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  6. The quiz said I am a Katherine Hepburn. And yes, the description was uncannily accurate. Terrific post. Thank you. Judith

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    1. That's not a bad star to be like at all Judith! I've always loved Katherine's style. Glad you enjoyed the post x

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  7. Thank you Heidi for your lovely mention on IG - always look forward to your posts on your blog and IG. Admittedly not having a blog, IG has enabled me to be in contact with so much talent, yours included. Having only been on it for about a year, IG has made me realised what a visual person I am and I so enjoy the photos I see- truly a daily visual feast. ( if not a slight obsession!!!)
    I agree with you that Jenny Rose Innes is the doyenne of good taste and had the pleasure of meeting her for coffee in Paris just recently- a real treat and she is as lovely and generous as her blog and IG.
    Keep up your wonderful posts.
    Enjoy your week
    Marilyn xx

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    1. Well I love following your insta feed Marilyn, and it's a good way to micro-blog without having to set up the whole blogger platform. How lovely you were able to meet up with Jenny! And quite funny that it was in Paris too. Her blog is definitely one of my favourites - love seeing her interiors, gardens and table settings. Have a lovely week xx

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    2. Loved meeting you too Marilyn! You're too kind and to both of you... always love your posts and Heidi, your blogs are so thoughtfully written with depth and elegance! xx

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  8. Ha, I just blogged about puffer jackets, but subsequently bought one. Witchery do a good line in them.

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    1. Did you? Must have missed that post - will go and have a look. That's good the Witchery one worked out for you - as I said most of the ones I'd tried made me look horrendous, so I'm glad I held out for this one! And it's so freezing here (as it is in Melb I see) that it's been getting a work out this Winter. xx

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  9. The puffer is perfect! But I still remember that D&G leopard skin coat in Melbourne, the one that got away. It was fabulous and suited you so well. Though not nearly as practical or smart as the puffer.
    Such gorgeous images! Apart from the bizarre Fendi bag. Love all the beautiful textiles and Jenny Rose Innes' pics too.
    Have to admit to loving handbags (all accessories really), though without too obvious logos. Bought a great silver coloured leather one (stamped as mock croc) on last holiday - will probably take to Hobart as I love it so much. It's very me but probably not so much you. Loved the way Grace opened that bag in "Rear Window" and her beautiful nightie emerged. Sadly I turned out not to be Grace - but Katherine Hepburn. Probably the description is a bit like me - but only very partially.
    Your flamethrower sounds wonderful - oh to magic the weeds away. Have come home to a garden in a sad state and in dire need of Much Work. My wonderful garden man finally retired earlier in the year so was not around to keep it in check. The lawns were mowed and the edges done by Jim's Mowing but there's so much pruning and weeding to do. Very clever to layer the box leader. Looking forward to Hobart!! Pammie xxx

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    1. Hi Pammie - well look, if I could've pushed aside the fact that the coat would likely have sent me to the Divorce courts I would have snapped it up in an instant. It was so me! Just a pity it was over $15,000. This one was much more reasonably priced (and practically a bargain in comparison). Like the sound of your silver bag P, and can't wait to see it in action. Still remember your wonderful silver/ white combo in Adelaide last year when we went out for dinner. Katherine H is not a bad person to be though!!
      I spent a bit of time in the garden over the weekend, but it needs hours more - the weather has been terrible most weekends, and I haven't had time during the week. Hope you get on top of your weed problem soon, and looking forward to catching up in Hobart. xx

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  10. Thanks for all the inspiration. I wonder if that weed killer actually works? I put boiling water over them and that works but does take a lot of time boiling the kettle etc.

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    1. I think it would, Diggers Club is pretty reputable, and they say they use it in their gardens on the gravel paths with great success. I'll report back on my findings! Sadly the weeds are way beyond the boiling water trick - it would take me a week as they really have flourished this winter.

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  11. Heidi, hear you on the Matches suggestions on previous purchases. Apparently, on my previous purchases, I would like to buy a pair of Burberry high heeled, over the knee, patchwork suede boots. Was that based on the black suede ballet flats?
    Love Kit Kemp's style - particularly as she has used a friend's paintings in her hotel!
    Intstagram is my favourite way of whiling away the daily commute, my favourite is Mark D Sikes.
    Your puffer jacket should stand you in good stead for the next decade. It looks great.

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    1. Funny! Yes, just because you once bought something from one brand doesn't automatically mean you like all the rest. Although I've not ever bought Fendi, so not sure how I ended up with that one. They also recommended a mink fur collar with an 80's acid smiley face sort of sprayed into the fur on one side. Awful!
      How nice about Kit Kemp using your friend's paintings. Love Mark D Sikes as well, so many good accounts on there to follow. x

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  12. What a delightful read. Every girl should have a personal flame thrower,

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    1. I think so too. I had been wondering what exactly it was that was missing from my life...

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  13. Thanks for the shout out! I do luff Old Teggy, and Jenny R-I is a beacon of good taste in an otherwise ugly world.

    Meanwhile I LOVE the puffy jacket x

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    1. I will be wearing it non stop in Hobart I suspect! Although Adelaide this Winter is only marginally warmer! xx

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    2. FF - You always bring a smile - no a huge grin to my face!! xxx

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  14. Thank you so much for mentioning my Instagram Heidi! I was so touched! For those who never enter the online world, it is very dificult to understand that there exists, a warm, genuine camaraderie between women, most of whom have never met! I have new Instagramers to explore now and of course ... what would we do with our zany, colourful be-sequined FF! I loved this post - so interesting to read more about Kit Kemp! xxx

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    1. I know! It is a wonderfully supportive online community, and I love insta which is a different medium entirely to blogging - a good quick fix when I have 5 minutes waiting for children to come out of classrooms etc. And of course yours is always full of beautiful and inspiring images Jenny xx

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  15. Gosh those large bedheads are here to stay it seems, but loverly fabrics and love those hot pink chairs. Hot pink and red love it, though one does have to know when to hold em and when to fold em !

    Rather like the Fendi eye bag, bit of fun, I'm a bit over black at the moment, winter !

    Lovely to see the overnight case that Grace had in Rear Window, her clothes were perfection in that film , 50's clothes so pretty

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    1. Yes, the bedhead on steroids seem to be very popular at the moment in the design world. Her fabrics are sublime though.
      I am cloaked in black and have been for months. I'm really looking forward to Spring - it's seemed very long and cold this year. xx

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  16. Hi Heidi. I love this post. So many interesting things. I definitely will be seeking out more Kit Kemp. Isn't the painting on the green wall beautiful? And love the Grace Kelly bag. Indeed along with the bag, for years I've coveted Grace Kelly's pale green suit. I've even contemplated taking the photo to a tailor and getting the suit made. It is timeless. Hope you are getting on top of this. Life can be hectic, especially with a young family. :)

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    1. Hi Sandra, I'm looking forward to seeing Kit Kemp's new book I think it looks good, and agree with you 110% on that suit, it's divine! I think Edith Head did all the costumes in that book, and I loved that evening dress she also wore with the white tule skirt in the movie too. So elegant. Well you're right, life is busy around here, and blogging has suffered as a result. For some reason I thought things quietened down as they got older…. clearly wrong on that one!

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  17. Hi Heidi - I'm very late to comment... been off blogs, etc for some time now as sadly my father passed away mid June. He had been ill for some time but the end was pretty sudden. Knocks the wind out of your sails. However, feeling ready for some light relief and hopped over to your blog to check out your post (which did not disappoint). I will also check out the other links you suggest.
    Kit kemp is fantastic - the Firmdale Hotels are always great places to grab a drink or afternoon tea (all served on her mythical creatures for the last few years). I had wondered what must have come of all of the strawberry and vine that they used to use - I bet there was some amazing sale where you get it all on the cheap. Would have loved to have known about that!
    x ps Flame Throwers are amazing therapy.

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    1. Hello Charlotte - I am so very, very sorry to hear about your Father. That is just awful for all your family and I know how difficult a time you'll be having of things at the moment. Light relief and staying busy are key. I had wondered what you were up to as I'd missed your comments. Yes, I wonder where the old china went - it would have been available in such quantity that you'll probably stumble across it serving cream teas somewhere else!
      My flamethrower arrived yesterday and I'm itching to fire it up and attack the weeds! Take care of yourself xxx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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