There was a moment back in May when I’m not ashamed to say that I literally squeaked with excitement. I had just discovered that Tony Parker, of Parker Furniture, was relaunching a capsule collection of his iconic ’50s designs in an exclusive collaboration with Surry Hills design store WORKSHOPPED. Anyone who’s a fan of mid-century furniture probably squeaked in unison, creating some kind of modernist-fuelled squeaky, squealy chorus as the Parker name translates to Australian mid-century modern LEGEND.
It was only a few weekends ago when I finally stumbled into WORKSHOPPED that I actually laid my hands on this glorious new furniture. Re-worked in American Oak and American Walnut, the pieces have been gently tweaked and reinvented in that unmistakable Parker style.
I loved the beautiful white oak extension butterfly leaf dining table, but I made a beeline for the iconic coffee table with its organic lips, marvelling at how fresh and well, modern, it looked at once. Funny that.
I couldn’t be more overjoyed by this happy collaboration, breathing new life into one of Australia’s greatest design names while offering brand new pieces that have been reworked by Tony Parker himself. The new range is made by Covermore Designs, a company featuring many of Parker’s original staff and craftspeople, which offers a lovely sense of continuation.
The timing for the new collection couldn’t be better, with mid-century modern a key trend and source of reference in mainstream design and interiors. (That doesn’t stop short-sighted Sydney realtors from flogging incredible examples of mid-century architecture as potential for detonation and new apartments, but that’s another rant.)
Kudos to WORKSHOPPED Director, Raymond Scott, for bringing the Parker name back into currency, and three cheers for Tony Parker, for his undeniable verve in relaunching this collection.
In the meantime, our original teak Parker coffee table is currently in storage, as we have a rather unlovely Thomas the Tank engine train table in its place. Tell me, parents of older children, when do I get my beautiful teak coffee table back, assured that it won’t be used as a racetrack or a surface for pounding neon orange playdough? When? When will the sippy cup ring stains stop?
Tony Parker mid-century furniture is available at WORKSHOPPED
Shop 2 / 8 Hill Street
Surry Hills, NSW 2010 Australia
Tel. + 61 (0) 2 9146 4353
All photography courtesy of Workshopped.
If you love design and happen to be in Sydney between the 3rd and 18th of August, you might like to book yourself in for some of the excellent talks, tours and workshops lined up for this year’s Sydney Design.
Now in its 16th year, more than 75 events across the city will explore the theme, ‘Design re-think – can clever design save the world?’. (I bloody well hope so!)
My top picks? I’ll be making a beeline for:
Head over to Sydney Design to check out the full program.
Photography courtesy of Sydney Design and The Powerhouse Museum.
Regular readers will know that it doesn’t take much to entice me to a traditional tea at a hotel, so I was delighted to attend The Langham Sydney’s Peter Pan tea on the weekend – with grandma and my two-year-old in tow.
This beautifully themed tea is a special school holiday promotion to entice the youngest fans of the boy who refused to grow up with the promise of Tinkerbell cupcakes with Pixie dust, pirate cookies, fairy bread finger sandwiches and scones studded with Smarties. Add to that a wee jar of gold coins and a green napkin fashioned into a Peter Pan cap and you have a fairytale tea worthy of the best Never Land dreams. My wee one was tired and wasn’t feeling very well at all, but one glimpse of the jar of gold coins and he literally rose from the stroller for a better look (and a nibble).
Now it’s not quite your average trip-to-the-museum school holiday activity, but it’s perfect for a very special treat or if you’re celebrating a special occasion. And while little ones nibble on fruit swords and sip on hot chocolate, grown-ups are treated to The Langham’s traditional Tiffin tea, a three-tier tray crammed with dainty finger sandwiches, golden sultana and plain scones, sumptous cakes and petit fours.
The Peter Pan morning tea is $30 per child (who must be accompanied by a full paying adult). The journey to Never Land comes to an end on 14 July 2013, so you’ve got a few days to book your fairytale adventure.
To book, tel 02 8248 5220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Pan Morning Tea
Langham Hotel Sydney
89-113 Kent Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
According to Instagram, my week looked like this:
- I went to the beach – again! That makes it two weekends in a row. Must be a record for me.
- I attended my first ever Kids Business Bloggers Brunch – and found some quick and easy Christmas crafts from Spotlight. (Quick and easy being key words for me.) I’m on my way to Spotlight this afternoon!
- I also met the girls from Brown Sugar at the Bloggers Brunch, who gifted me a beautiful coral striped scarf, which went fabulously with my coral Dinosaur Designs bangle and Tom Ford lipstick in Wild Ginger.
- I’m still loving Sydney’s magnificent show of jacarandas this year. Front lawns and footpaths everywhere are awash with jacaranda confetti. And the sight of backlit jacarandas in the warm glow of the late afternoon sun is one of my favourite Sydney sights. It means summer is just around the corner.
- I went to an excellent Blog Photography Workshop to brush up on my DSLR skills. Hosted by the fabulous Little Paper Trees (check out her blog now) and led by lifestyle photographer Emma Scamell, we covered an incredible amount of skills in just one wee day. The workshop was held in the studios of one of my favourite Sydney shops, Little Paper Lane, so it was a day filled with lots of laughs, creativity and neon. It’s a very neon Christmas this year at Little Paper Lane – check out the riot of colour in their window displays!
- If you’re in Sydney and you need some Christmas present inspiration, make the trip to Little Paper Lane in Mona Vale. Or check out their superb online shop. I dare you to resist pulling out your credit card! I shopped up a storm, and stocked up on Washi tapes, ribbons, an awesome extra-large alphabetical stamp set and neon gift cards. So lovely.
- I also met a very cute duckling (it had just hatched in my friend’s home incubator!)
- I found the sweetest-smelling baby pineapples from the organic grocer in Avalon.
- I stopped by The Boatshed in Palm Beach for some ice-cream. They always have the most magnificent displays of fresh fruit and flowers.
- I took out 10 minutes to watch the Melbourne Cup, and decided to make a last-minute bet. Should have stayed at home.
- I took delivery of a very sweet box filled with Chupa-Chups, and the latest candy-inspired collection of lip gloss, nail polish and eye-shadows from L’Oreal Paris.
- I met the guys from Rust-oleum at the Bloggers Brunch and discovered a brand new world of magic paint and spray paints. I’ve got to get a can of their white matte spraypaint which gives your average jam jar a beautiful white ceramic-like finish. Genius.
Phew, what a week. Did I mention that I also launched a brand new craft tutorials website, Crafttuts+? More on that very soon!
Tell me, what did you get up to? You can follow me on Instagram here. I’d love to see your Instagram pics, too!
p.s. I made 2000 ‘likes’ on Facebook! Hooray! Thanks everyone for following me. X
According to Instagram, this is what the last week or so in my life looked like. We went back to Cockatoo Island in Sydney today to see the rest of the Biennale of Sydney. It finishes next week so make sure you catch it before it goes. It was a glorious day on Sydney Harbour, and I loved wandering around the old industrial buildings exploring the installations.
I really loved Li Hongbo’s extraordinary Ocean of Flowers; a wondrous landscape of multi-coloured honeycomb paper sculptures that upon closer inspection actually folded down into revolvers, arms and bullets. And Phillip Beesley’s incredible Hylozic Series was well worth the half-hour wait, with a delicate and interactive forest of fibre-optic lights that responded to movement and touch. I hate to say it but it reminded me of the fantastical world of Avatar. But don’t let that put you off: it was truly incredible!
And predictably I rather enjoyed Maria Fernanda Cardoso’s Museum of Copulatory Organs, which is entirely dedicated to the genitalia of insects. And it was FANTASTIC; imagine delicate ceramic and resin sculptures of the most extraordinarily complex penises. Who knew the penis of the bean weevil was the “spikiest in the world”? Apparently, it’s not size that matters. It’s shape.
We also headed back to Quay restaurant for our seven-year anniversary and feasted on Peter Gilmore’s seven-layer chocolate cake and jersey cream with “ethereal sheets”. Amazing.
And if you fancy the awesome vintage Mr Men toddler pants, they’re by My Poppet Shop for My Messy Room.
What have you been up to? And if you’re on Instagram, find me @WeeBirdy.
Seven years ago today we got married. Here are some of the details and moments I loved from the day. Happy anniversary, M.
Ceremony: Lion Gate Lodge at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
Reception: Quay restaurant, Sydney
Civil marriage celebrant: Pauline Fawkner
Flowers: Susan Avery
Wedding gown: Steven Khalil