Thursday, December 23, 2010

a quiet christmas

Anthea created a very 'anthea' window for us this season.
Anthea's style is beautiful simplicity and one of my favourites, many thanks.

More thanks to all of the 'calico' girls for their unerring support and love.  Not a moment passes that I don't feel extreme gratitude for their presence in my life and their roles within the shop.  Each has an individual specialness of quality that they bring into the shop environment...and it is that which makes 'calico' a memorable place to visit.

We are approaching our down time now, and I welcome some special time with my family.

One more day for visiting before we close for a near on two week break.

These are a few new goodies you will encounter in store...

and these...

the new french ribbons have been well received...

and I cannot end the year without tempting you with a little Liberty... bias!

maybe I will catch up with you tomorrow, otherwise we re-open on thursday 6th january 2011, 9.30 on the dot.

It's going to be a great new year... I just know it!

Sarah is busy readying the Balmain shop for our first day of business on 10th January... have a glass of champers for me!

and a little bird told me that the newest Liberty seasonal collection will be available very early on in the new year...yes!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


It has been a while between posts but our attentions have been focused on preparing 'baby' calico for her opening.  We didn't quite make the mid December timing we were hoping for but have chosen to allow the holiday season to pass first.

Monday 10th January is our official opening day - 10am.

10 Birchgrove Road, Balmain is your destination for a visit.

 Lady Liberty classics have arrived, the new seasonal collection will be available by February:

Greeting cards galore:

A very special cabinet to showcase our Sophie Digard collection:

 And why not a cuppa while stitching?

very beautiful ribbon:

and of course our yarns are consolidating ready for the new season:

She makes us smile every time we walk in... hopefully you are liking her too.

Meet Sarah, Amy and Donna on your visits and be creatively inspired!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

soul blossom wedding

we had a wedding yesterday... the marvellous, beautiful wedding of our daughter Danielle and her fiance Nick. 

The lead up to the wedding was a tad busy, as much to our delight Dani and Nick asked to have the reception in our home.  We had a bathroom to renovate and decided the adjoining room may as well be fixed up in the effort.  This added to the refreshing of the Balmain 'baby calico' kept hubby and I on our toes.

But an amazing calm fell over the house on Friday, we had tizzied, fluffed, arranged, played, cleaned and fussed, until we could no more.  We took a collective deep breath and decided the fun would begin.  So a quiet Friday night led into a casual, laughter filled Saturday.  Everything fell into place perfectly and Danielle met her groom a relaxed, radiant bride, for a ceremony on the water off the cliffs of Blackwall Reach.

Back home to final preparations and Dani and Nick's guests filled our home. It was all candles and flowers and many upbeat, happy friends enjoying a balmy night for an occasion of great merriment.

 Random pics from the night.

I had a few problems with the camera and light over the night and most of my pics are a little blurry.  I will show you our beautiful bride and her dress very soon, on receipt of some better snaps.

Danielle is a girl of colour, and her fabric choice to embellish a couple of the tables came from the latest range of fabric to hit our shelves, Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms, and some of our linen gauze.

Amy chose to capture some of the textile inspirations she experienced while travelling through India for this range.  This collection takes me back to her earlier ranges in colouring and pattern.  The colours suited Danielle's palette of yellow, pink and orange for the wedding, so just arrived in time to play a leading part.  I found some free time on Friday to pop it onto the website here

Just a few more peeks at Amy's Soul Blossom in the shop

exciting isn't it...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

yes, truly enchanting

You may remember this image posted not so long ago.

Nimet sent me what she felt was a rough translation so I could get a gist of the written word.

Here goes:

"For Charlotte de L'Isle (written on door)

How often did the little door of La Charlotte open up?
How many times did faces fall upon finding her shut?
How many pots of chocolate passed through to the dishes, not to mention the cups... or the hands of the washer-man or washer-woman
As for having a rest, how often, how much... No! I stop.

Simply: thank you
For your presence, each of you, your peals of laughter, your silences full of care and attention.

This door which offered me so much and taught me so much will shut once more
and life will open up again, in the country, for other adventures."

We are of the opinion the shop may have closed and the owner moved to the country, as the shop was not open on what would have been a normal trading day (all neighbours were open) or maybe a grateful customer leaving Paris for new pastures presented this to the owner.  Whatever the circumstances, yes the translation was as enchanting as I imagined.

Thanks Nimet

Monday, November 8, 2010

balmain continued and fabric crochet

Simply put... thanks.  We have read your enthusiastic comments about our new store in Balmain... thanks.  I have received emails with offers of assistance, and talent abounding... thanks.  Even a few heads have popped into the half open doors while the paint dries, and the preparation works continue... thanks.  At such a busy time in the collective lives of those of us at Calico these touches are so uplifting... so many thanks.

Personally what is ringing through clearly is that Balmain is a community of like-minded, friendly, positive souls.  I have lived much of my life in and around Fremantle, here in the west, and that same vibe is what ties me to this environment here.  It feels good... very good.

Anthea has been guiding a class of girls through the ins and outs of fabric crochet.
The enthusiasm was such that before the second class these are some of the goodies the girls whipped up at home.

The above baskets were Jill's creations, just in one week.  The basket in the first image is made of multi-coloured voiles, the lower image shows a green woollen check with cotton string used as a trim for one basket and the other a patterned fabric, with added strips crocheted onto the edge to create the whimsical edging.

Above is Tracy's basket made from cotton fabric with the trims being strips cut from an Indian fabric skirt.

Next term might be your opportunity to learn this fun skill.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

calico and ivy is having a baby...


come on inside...

10 Birchgrove Road, Balmain.  A thoroughly cute little shopfront which is slowly evolving into our Sydneyside home.

A touch more paint, a little more of my builder's (hubby of course!) handy work, and then in will go the stock we have been collecting.

You might know Sarah Wheatley...

 oh Sarah, please show your smiling face...

Sarah worked in Mosman Park from the day I bought Calico until the beginning of 2009 when she returned home to Sydney with her family.  Truly missed is an understatement, but I caught up with her as much as possible, and when I began to deliberate on the Sydney option, I knew it would only work if I could coax Sarah back to manage the shop for me. 

Come early December we hope to open the doors, with the product you have come to know Calico & Ivy for, and a few new additions.   Of course, Liberty of London Tana Lawn will be well represented, with many, many classics available on opening, and the new Spring 2011 collection arriving in both stores in January.

We will be needing a little help in Sydney.  We hope to attract a few talented, experienced, innovative and friendly people to assist in both teaching and counter roles.  Email here and tell us about yourself if you're intrigued.

we will keep you updated as Balmain blossoms...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

christine and sophie

Christine Little might well be known to quite a few visitors to the shop.  Christine has owned the shopfront Quinces which has occupied a few tenancies within our Glyde Street shopping strip for around 26 years now.  Christine is an interior designer and manufacturer of soft furnishings and has a wealth of knowledge about the history of our little enclave and a few colourful characters who have spent time. 

Christine is also a very proficient and zippy knitter.  Allow me to show you her latest works.

This pattern Christine sourced from her extensive library, and chose our Colinette Jitterbug yarn and being the fantastic colourist that she is  popped four colours together her way and doesn't it sing?

Then straight onto another project Christine made this jumper that we affectionately call the botox lip.


from this book:

Lynn and I brought some Sophie Digard product back from France, having finally met Sophie and her lovely assistant Kay. A more enjoyable few hours could not have been had despite the heat being oppressive.  Ongoing choosing a huge quantity of linen scarfs that will arrive closer to Christmas, and more merino wool scarfs to arrive in February/March for the winter season.  Yes, Lynn and I were like kiddies let loose in a lolly shop,  colour and texture surrounding us and reviving our then jet lagged minds.

a snapshot of our latest Sophie Digard product.  I have posted it all on the website today, and will have it in the shop tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

class list and Kaffe lecture

today the latest class listing was emailed out to those of you on our list, and an invitation to purchase tickets for the Kaffe Fassett lecture on March 2nd, 2011.

I enjoyed such a lecture by Kaffe two visits to Perth ago, and became an even greater devotee as a result.   Kaffe's books are an inspiration, but he has a wonderful presence when speaking, and I found myself so much more engaged by listening to his descriptions of the elements that trigger his imagination and ever changing works, and enjoying the musings of such a creative man.  All of this accompanied by a spectacular slide show, and Brandon will be along side for some light entertainment.  Of course the lecture content changes for each tour presentation.  Bliss.

To access our class list follow this link.

To purchase a ticket follow through to here.

And how about this:

Lauren Price is staff member Suzie's 18 year old daughter.  Lauren has come up with this and a couple of variations to use on our promotional material for the upcoming tour.  I am so delighted with her work, just a little direction on my part and off she flew.  My thoughts are that this young lady is a very bright star. My favourite colouring of this image is that which we chose for the front of the lecture tickets.  When you receive your ticket you will see what I mean.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

and the beat goes on...

home again from a lovely time in Paris.  Lynn and I gently explored and ate our way through the various byways of the city.  The perfect millefeuille was one of our desires, and boy when they are good, they are soooo good. Over the next few months products sourced at the trade shows will be introduced into the shop and samples inspired by our travels will emerge.

Over our time away we managed to keep our hands busy - in Lynn's case a knitted pair of socks were achieved for hubby, and in my case the joining of many, many tiny Liberty hexagons...

I am finding the glue then stitch together method is working very well.  We have a Sewline glue stick available in the shop along with many different sized hexagon cut papers if you would like to have a go also.  Not quite sure where this is going in terms of a finished project, but sure am liking the process.  Any ideas gratefully accepted.

Just finishing with these gems...

found on the doors of two adjoining little shops on the Ile de St Louis (with Berthillon icecream in hand).  I present the first image hot having much clue as to the content.  Maybe a translation is in order.  I do hope it is as enchanting as the image.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

hip hip hooray

hip hip hooray.. Rowan yarns are back with refreshed lower pricing, and their renowned masterful colour palette.

We are adding to our colour range in the Pure Wool DK, Kidsilk Haze and have now stocks of Felted Tweed Aran and a new addition to the Rowan range named Lima, which is 84% baby alpaca, 8% merino and 8% nylon and aran weight.  Soft, soft, soft.

The latest Rowan magazine is very special and at the great price of $35.00.

and this is the picture of the year as I see it.

isn't she beautiful?

hip, hip, hooray to Leah and Emily as they welcome a new member to their family, young Lexie.  She has been visiting this week and has us all besotted.

and of course the obligatory puppy nappy bag...

but no mishaps inside thankfully.  Barbara is deep in concentration in the background...sock knitting.

hip, hip, hooray... off to Paris tomorrow

We haven't been able to wipe the smirk off Lynnie's face for weeks now. 

Well that's it for a bit until we come back from Paris and our quest to find many, many new goodies to tempt you with.

The shop is open as usual in the capable hands of Anthea, Jane, Kim and Suzie.

au revoir mes amis