Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 the year that was

Hi guys

As you read this some of you will be recovering from last night's festivities while others are still probably celebrating. Me, well I had a fabulous day spent trackside with loved ones at Ascot's Perth Cup and am taking it easy today. And what better way is there to start off the year than blogging and reflecting on 2011 and filling you in on what's in store for 2012 - so here goes:

2011 was a whirlwind. There were many highs and a few lows but just so I don't lose you guys right here I'm going to keep this post upbeat and full of the highs. This year my job as a journalist has taken me to so many happy places and I got to meet the most amazing people too. In no particular order here's a list of who and what left a lasting impression on me last year. 
  • My city Perth: I became the food writer for ishoperth magazine in May and got to work closely with a fabulous team of writers who cover everything happening in our CBD. I reconnected with the city and discovered it has come a long way and there is nowhere I'd rather be. The nightlife has improved, the shopping is getting better and the restaurant and small bar boom holds its own and even rivals some of our eastern states counterparts. Seriously people of Perth if you haven't done so lately do it soon and discover everything our beautiful city has to offer.
  • Homegrown talent: My favourite things to do are to eat and shop and sometimes I do them at the same time - trust me it's a skill not getting macaron crumbs in my Belle Bijoux Evangaline hangbag! Which brings me to the fabulous homegrown talent I got to know - Belle Bijoux, Aurelio Costarella, Steph Audino, Debbie Kelly , Dianna Monastra and Keiko Uno are just some of the people I got to work with last year.  I have always been a fan of Belle Bijoux's leather accessories and last year I got to meet her in person (after countless emails and phone-calls). Since our initial meeting we've caught up over coffees, cocktails and handbags and like her designs she is bright, bubbly, an absolute joy to be around and someone I now consider a good friend - she is as I like to say - amazeballs. Also last year, I got to meet my favourite Australian designer Aurelio Costarella. I have admired him and his work for a long time. His collections are stunning, timeless and make you feel a million dollars every time you wear one of his pieces. We crossed paths at last year's Perth Fashion Festival and have to say he was just as I thought he would be - lovely and genuine (he definitely left a lasting impression on me as well as a giant hole in my pocket after buying several of his ah-mazing garments ). Dianna Monastra, Steph Audino, Debbie Kelly and Keiko Uno are  the other talented designers I worked with and stumbled across last year. These ladies even though so different in what they do, share the same qualities - professionalism, passion, overall niceness and are oh so easy to work with. I encourage you if you haven't done so already to check out their websites and see why I'm smitten.
  • Food for thought: The establishments that kept me satisfied last year include a French favourite, Italian stallion and a Japanese icon, I also got to meet some local talent too - so who made the list? Jean-Pierre Sancho for baguettes, macarons and palmiers - yum! Nobu Burswood for black cod miso, spicy tempura shrimp and their lunchtime bento box - such good value. Barolo on Beaufort for their braised beef cheeks, antipasto platters and yummy desserts. Rooftop bars were also the rage and the Greenhouse and flavour of the month The Aviary were great little spots to grab a drink while FIVE Bar in Mt Lawley became my favourite place to hang with friends and the Luxe Bar introduced me to their delicious cocktails. People to get my attention was Emily Galante whose candy buffet business Candy Couture blew me away and Kathleen Milner of Flirt with Dessert satisifed my sweet tooth with her unbelievable cupcakes - seriously talented the two of them! 
  • Interviews: As well as interviewing the people mentioned in the above categories other highlights included chatting to some of my favourite chefs including Bill Granger (my absolute fave), Manu Feildel (yes he is definitely a charmer) and Adriano Zumbo. I also got to meet Nigella Lawson (dee-lightful) and Matt Preston (love him). While on the entertainment side of things I got to interview my teenage boy-band crush New Kids On the Block's Jordan Knight (again I think I just died a little when I typed that). 
  • Charity: When it came to charities I supported Down Syndrome WA, Telethon and held a breakfast for Breast Cancer Care WA. Held at the Rydges Perth it was a huge success, with fashion parades, guest speakers, prizes and the gorgeous Nine News presenter/journalist Ebbeny Faranda as MC. I've decided to hold an event annually in support of this fantastic charity organisation and we are currently planning our next one as I type - so watch this space.
  • 2012: This year I'm hoping my work and scheduled travels over east, to the US and Canada will bring with them even more adventures, opportunities and the beginning of new friendships. Im also looking forward to discovering more of the hidden gems hiding in our beautiful city. Until then I bid 2011 goodbye and welcome 2012 in the hope it will bring myself and all my followers good things.  Happy New Year everyone xoxo
So what about you guys, how was 2011 for you? Do you have some beautiful memories or do you have any New Year Resolutions? I'd love to hear from you Bx

Bye bye 2011 - Hello 2012

Belle Bijoux and I at a fashion event last month

Me in the Aurelio Costarella Venus Dress

Ready for New Year's Eve race day @ Ascot's Perth Cup

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from Ms CIC

Merry Christmas everyone! Stay safe, eat, drink, be merry & enjoy the company of your loved ones this festive season xo


Monday, December 19, 2011

Be dazzled by beach gems

GLIMPSES of the Maldives, Margaret River, Rottnest and Bali have been captured in Scarborough jeweller Keiko Uno’s latest collection, Ocean Intrigue.
The premier jewellery collection, which was launched last month, features 18 carat gold and platinum bespoke jewellery with fine diamonds, South Sea pearls and colourful gemstones and is currently being exhibited at Claremont’s Greenhill Galleries until Wednesday December 21.
The artist said her latest collection was perfect for WA, where a large portion of the population living on the coast engaged in activities centred around or influenced by the water.
“These pieces are sophisticated, yet express vitality and energy which is the essence of the Indian Ocean surrounding our shores,” she said. “If you love the ocean, you’ll love the exhibition as all the pieces are inspired by the sea.”
Ms Uno, a qualified gemologist who has been creating jewellery for as long as she can remember, said her love of design and fashion came from her grandmother, a major influence as she was growing up.
“My love for creating began during my junior school days when I would put together chunky bracelets, rings and pendants using all sorts of materials found around home and at Boans,” she said.
“But my passion for luxury jewels was ignited while watching my grandma get ready for important state functions.
“I used to love as she’d make the magical transition from my loving and much loved everyday grandma to this lady of distinction.”
Uno’s latest collection took years to create, with one of the pieces – Sea Breeze – taking the designer four years to put together.
“While the initial sketches for this piece were down on paper over a long weekend, it took over four years of searching to source the right material to depict the mood and feel of the ocean at the instant when the sea breeze brushes over, turning the surface from glassy to choppy,” she said.
“For this piece, and others in the ‘Ocean Horizon’ series, I collaborated with a fifth generation master stone cutter from the Idar Oberstein region in Germany who skilfully shaped then etched into large crystals of blue topaz and Bolivian amethyst that I sourced to perfectly capture the scenes of an ocean sunset, sunrise and sea breeze.”
Visit www.greehillgalleries.com or to see other works in the collection visit www.keiko-jewellery.com.
Keiko Uno

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