Saturday, 27 February 2010

Sticky!

New from Rosie Flo, the world's first sticky colouring book! Love it.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Olive's Friend Pop

Loving, loving, LOVING this brand new children's collection from Olive's Friend Pop. I have been so dying to tell you about it for months and it is finally here. Based on vintage childrenswear patterns but with a contemporary twist, beautifully handmade and designed by Aussie girls Lea and Julia, what a perfect match it is for Lark! The photos with some of our toys were taken by my very talented pal Kate of Tea and Jam photography. The clothes have been produced in a limited run so if you'd like to buy some you'll need to be quick. Find them here!







Sunday, 21 February 2010

Wrapping paper love

I picked these up at the Daylesford Bazaar, there is a new stall there that has piles of old wrapping paper. I love these particular ones as they are just like the paper I had as a little girl. I used to save up to buy them and then cover my school exercise books with them! I still love the illustrations.

Coming your way...

For those lovely customers who have written to ask if we can ship some Lark love overseas, the answer is YES, we can now ship internationally. When you place your order on our website, it will calculate the shipping price automatically. Let us know if you have any problems x

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Chill Out in Daylesford

Yes, it's Makers Market time again on 6 March, and this time the market is the biggest ever, with over 45 stalls including some gorgeous new local makers, lots of your fave Melbourne girls, music from Geoffrey Williams (calm down, ladies!), the cool cats from Thaw magazine and more. The event is being held during ChillOut weekend, when Daylesford comes to life with a huge family carnival, dance parties, a fantastic parade and lots of stuff happening all over town. I'll be hanging out there all day, and Lark will also be open, with heaps of new stuff in store for the new season. x

The Anorak winners are...

24. Carly
4. GemmaJoy
11. CurlyPops
2. Dianne
9. Bek

You are the 'picked from the hat' winners of my Anorak giveaway! Please email me your mailing address to allison @larkmade.com.au and I will pop your copy in the post. Thanks to everyone who entered and left comments, yay!

Maldon

We freed ourselves from the shop and drove out to pretty Maldon today, where I had heard there was to be weekend of vintage shopping, with over 40 garage sales and a huge vintage fair.



There were indeed lots of thrifty finds to be had, and I recommend you go on over there tomorrow if you're thinking of a nice drive in the country. Maldon is a sweet town with old shop buildings stuffed with cafes, antiques, delis etc. Too cute! Here are a few of the goodies I snapped up, I fell in love with this vintage Myer mohair winter coat (only $30), and can't wait for some cold weather to wear it!


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Free massages in Daylesford!

On Tuesday 30th March, my home town of Daylesford is aiming to get into the Guinness Book of Records for the world's largest simultaneous group massage. The gorgeous and relaxing surrounds of the Lavandula farm in Hepburn Springs are the setting for this event and the organisers need YOU to take part.

They are looking for volunteers either as massage therapists or recipients to be massaged on the day. To find out more click here. You could treat yourself to a relaxing massage and also be part of history in the making!

Just for me!

Usually all the parcels I get from the postie are for Lark, but today something arrived just for me with a USA postmark ... an exciting package from Hannah, with two new skirts (to fit the new, slimmer me, yay!) and two sweet t-shirts as well. I love everything this girl makes. I am hoping to eventually compete with Liz, who has an enviable collection of Hannah skirts.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Just a Spoonful



Do you find yourself feeling stressed about all the things you want to read but don't have time for - mountains of blogs, piles of magazines, tonnes of books? I do. That's why I like Spoonful, a beautiful new Australian zine that is full of little bites of inspiration and wisdom. It's small enough to carry about with you and read on the train or in your lunch break. Issue 1 is subtitled 'a happiness companion'.

New shop hours

'Tis the time of year in Daylesford when hardly anyone comes for a holiday and the town quietly goes about its business. Our shop has been pretty quiet, in fact we've christened the past week National 'Just Looking' Week! One very honest lady even walked into the shop, held her hands up in the air and said 'It's alright, I'm not going to buy anything, you can ignore me'! How can you know this when it's the first time you've been into a shop?

We also need to focus on getting the new season's range out to our lovely stockists (wait till you see what amazing goodies we will soon be sending out to your local shops!!). So we are amending our Daylesford shop opening hours for the next little while. The new hours are:

Monday 10.30-3
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday Closed
Thursday Closed
Friday 10.30-3
Saturday 10.30-4
Sunday 10.30-4

We'll be open extended hours around ChillOut and the Easter weekend, when the town is traditionally busy.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Glass of wine in the garden after work with the new issue of Frankie, for me it is still the best and most original magazine of its kind.

My favourite thing in this issue is 'ask a nanna: what would you say to your 20 year-old self?'. Brilliant. I especially like Joyce's words of wisdom: "Open a store that makes sensible frocks, blouses, knitwear and all at affordable prices. Nothing like today's fashion - all the necks are too big, which means your boobs fall out".

And look, here is my soap, with a very nice write-up. It's true that I spent ages searching for a soap that was kind to animals and had only a few ingredients, so it's cool that someone has noticed! Good onya, Frankie!

A post from the staffroom





Just some random pics of the staffroom area at Lark, lunchtime today.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Love Cake

Caryl is my lovely friend in Melbourne, I met her when I first lived in Melbourne in the early nineties - she was the PA to the boss in the publishing company where I got my first real job. She welcomed Paul and I into her beautiful, extended family and we are still close friends today. She and Michael popped over for lunch just last week! They are both foodies and great cooks. Every year when we visit Caryl and Michael at Christmas we are always sent home with a huge piece of Love Cake.

Caryl was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Australia at age 5, in the 1950s. She is an Aussie (she barracks for Geelong) but still retains a lot of links to her culture and one of them is Love Cake, a traditional Ceylonese cake. It is the most delicious cake I have ever eaten. A tiny, one inch square is enough, it is so sweet and rich! Caryl sometimes wraps it into pretty little parcels to give away, and I thought it might be a nice recipe to share for Valentine's Day! But beware, it will not last long...

So here is the Love Cake recipe, with Caryl's notes. I'm sorry there is no photo but we are always too eager to eat it. I have seen other recipes around but none as good as Caryl's version, which has evolved over the years into a dense, flat cake with a crisp top and chewy inside (sort of like the texture of a good brownie). It is a little tricky to make, but it tastes good even when it's not perfect, trust me! Have a great day with your loved ones today xx

CARYL'S LOVE CAKE

10 Egg yolks
500 gr. sugar (I still stick with the original 1lb which is a little less)
250 gr. semolina
350 gr. raw cashews (roughly ground)
250 gr. butter (also experimenting with 8oz which is a little less that 250gr)
1 teaspoon each of cardamom and cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon almond essence
1 tablespoon rose water
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 egg white beaten to a froth

OVEN NOTE: With new oven: I now set oven at 160C on Fan Bake first, to warm oven. When cake goes into the oven, turn to Bake (which uses both top and bottom elements) and cook for approx. 1hr.10mins but cover loosely with brown paper when it starts to brown … after about 10-15 mins.

In my old oven that didn’t have EIGHT different methods of baking(!) I used to just turn the oven ON at 300F (about 150C) and bake for about 1hr 15mins.

Prepare a 9 inch square baking tin by placing a thickness of brown paper on the bottom and then lining bottom and sides with baking paper. Set oven at 160C on Fan Bake. (See my oven note above)

Roast semolina for a few minutes (in a dry saucepan on the stove) then melt the butter into it – over a very low flame (the semolina might even be hot enough after the roasting, for the butter to melt into it without it needing to be over a flame). Then leave that aside for the butter to continue melting.

Beat egg yolks and sugar till creamy and fluffy. Add spices, essences and lemon rind into the egg mixture.

Gradually fold in the ground cashews and the semolina and butter into the mixture. Then fold in the beaten egg white.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven – see oven note above.

Love Cake can be frozen and will last for several days in a tin or in the fridge.


Apples and Hearts textile design by Graziela Preisler.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Lovely Cath!

Everyone at Lark adores these new Sticky Notes and Mini Journals from Cath Kidston - they arrived in the shop yesterday and Tess and I have already snaffled some for ourselves. I love the new Provence Rose prints and the Cherries print too!


Friday, 12 February 2010

Just pout a little now, please!

Some of my guys are off to a very exciting fashion shoot for a new children's label that you are going to love, I just know it! Watch this space for photos next week...

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Hello!

A big blog hello to Katy and her lovely family who are visiting Australia from the UK and came to Daylesford especially to pop into Lark and say Hello! It's always nice to hear a British accent, and have a natter about old blighty (and ye olde kids TV programmes like Pippin and The Herbs). We have a lovely friend in common. Katy went away with a Sleepy Lion pillow made by Dana. We have one of these in our house and when the boys are a bit restless I put some 'magic potion' (lavender) on his cheeks to make him extra sleepy!

It's raining again!

For the second day running there's been a huge downpour over Daylesford. Both days it happened at school pick up time, of course, and yesterday it continued through tea time. It's a huge, lashing kind of rain in the middle of a sticky heat. I mustn't complain, we need as much rain as we can get around here.

I was reminded of the melamine Viking plates we have in our webshop. These are made by German artist Sandra Herzensart. they also come in a forest design.

Cute Vintage

Speaking of haberdashery, check out this cute sewing cabinet I spotted when I popped in to say hello to Martine in her shop Blonde Vintage the other day.


The ornate metal feature becomes a leg for the pull-down sewing table, and inside there are reel holders and a drawer for notions. How cool is that!

Sadly a lucky customer had bought the cabinet as soon as it went into the shop or I might have been tempted.

Lovely Amanda has just been into the shop with some vintage wallpapers for me to play with. She knows I am an addict. Amanda scored a whole roll of this 1960s design from an op shop!

This gorgeous alphabet wallpaper was in Amanda's bedroom when she was a girl. Isn't it beautiful?

The Early Bird

For the second morning in a row I have set my alarm for an indecently early time. Yesterday the reason was to go for an early morning walk with my friend (we are on a fitness kick), today was to win this lovely old haberdashery counter on eBay, which is going to have pride of place in our new shop.

It is made of oak and glass and has 20 drawers with handles at the back. I have always loved these cabinets, they remind me of the haby shops I used to visit with my mum, who was a seamstress. You still find these cabinets in a lot of old shops in the UK. I owned a beauty when we were living in England, it was from an old lingerie shop that had closed down, but I had to leave it behind when we moved to Australia. Bah. But anyway, now I have a new one. Or I will do if it gets here in one piece. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Would you like an anorak?

I am so, SO excited about Anorak magazine. Currently this brilliant 'happy mag for kids' is only published in the UK, but I am collaborating with Cathy Olmedillas, Anorak's brilliant creator, to bring it to Australia. We're launching in March with issue 14 (the Daredevil Issue!), and our ultimate aim is to start a local edition before too long, printed here in Australia.

Anorak is brilliant, my boys love it and, ermm, so do I, it's aimed at 5-8 year olds and features brilliant illustrations, lots of creative stuff and the best stories. Oh I just can't wait! You can sign up here to be notified as soon as it arrives. In the meantime, I have 5 sample copies to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what was your favourite comic or mag as a child (if you had one). Please comment by 17 February to be in the draw!