Mag Square

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Fellow parents will likely join me as I take a moment to whinge about the lack of child friendly dining options available. Many a time I have enthusiastically declared that we are heading out for a family dinner, before doing a quick google search on 'child friendly cafes' to then, just as quickly declare that we are having toasted sandwiches!

Eating out as a family usually means a degree of sacrifice...either sacrificing the good food or sacrificing the 'kid friendly' part..either way, someone leaves unhappy.

Today however I was introduced to Hey Bambini; one clever Mums answer to this seemingly national pet peeve. Jolie has set herself a challenge to find Melbourne's most family friendly cafes. More than just offering up a plate of fish fingers, Hey Bambini looks at important dining factors such as pram access, entertainment for the kids and great food.

The site lists cafes by area and also encourages visitors to share their local 'secret' . We wait with batted breath for other states to be included.

Photo courtesy of Skye Photography.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

frozen in time.....

Loyal fans of Type Key will be eagerly anticipating the next unique installment in the collection I have dubbed 'history to wear'. Amongst the new ( but oh so old) pieces ready for launch this year are authentic Frozen Charlotte pendants and 18th Century skeleton key pieces.

The story behind the frozen Charlotte dolls is almost as precious as the pieces themselves.....

Charlotte, was the beautiful daughter of a man who acquired great wealth in the lumbering business, and he could afford to indulge Charlotte because she was the apple of his eye. Charlotte was very beautiful, she had a long slender white neck set on soft round shoulders, ruby lips and blond curls that framed her face. However, Charlotte was totally and annoyingly vain. She could not pass a mirror without gazing at herself in rapture.

One New Year's Eve, a holiday ball was planned for the local young people by a well to do farmer. It would be the social event of the season. Charlotte managed to corner the local heart throb into escorting her. Her evening dress was a marvel of daring seldom seen in the countryside. The bodice was cut to reveal her beautiful neck and shoulders. The skirt was long and full and nipped in tightly at her tiny waist. The fabric was a silky, gossamer blue. Clearly, no other girl would be Charlotte's equal on this occasion.

New Year's Eve dawned clear and cold; by sundown the cold was assisted by a bitter wind. Charlotte's beau arrived at dark bundled up in a long wool cape, a scarf wrapped around his neck and face, and a fur cap pulled down over his ears. He knew the value of warm dress on such a cold night.

Charlotte was waiting in the beautiful gown and a satin cape with a little hood tied under her chin. She radiated beauty and anticipation of her impending social triumph.

"Please, daughter, you will catch your death in such a thin cape," pleaded Charlotte's mother. "Wear my warm woolen coat and long knitted scarf."

"Oh, no, Mother, such a dowdy coat will spoil the effect of my gown," snapped Charlotte. No matter how much the boy pleaded or the mother begged, Charlotte could not be persuaded. They set off in a flurry of frost and blowing snowflakes.

Before long, her escort asked, "Charlotte, Charlotte, are you cold?"
"It is very cold," she shivered.

I have a blanket under the seat that I can wrap around you," said the boy. "It is a bitter night and a long ride."
Oh, No!" retorted Charlotte. "By the time we reach the party, I will smell as bad as your old horse blanket, and everyone will laugh at me!"

They traveled on at furious rate. It was quite evident to the boy that Charlotte was extremely cold. Her ruby lips were nearly as blue as her gown, and her hair was frosted white.

"Charlotte, Charlotte, are you cold?" asked the boy again. "I have a bearskin under the seat that will warm you up." "What!" replied Charlotte but much milder now. "And wrinkle my beautiful gown? I have my anticipation to keep me warm."

A little further on, the boy chanced a look at the girl in the light of the rising moon. She appeared as an ice maiden and was quite still. An uncharacteristically innocent smile touched her lips.

Truly frightened, her beau drove on as fast as he could whip up his team and after awhile pulled into the festively lit farmyard. Smoke poured from the chimneys, and a warm glow flooded from the windows. The house was so warm that the revelers had even found it necessary to to crack open a window for a little fresh air.

The boy jumped down from the sleigh before it had hardly come to a stop, crying, "Charlotte, Charlotte! We are here! Jump down, and we will go inside and warm you up!"

Charlotte said not a word. Thinking she was too cold to move, he reached up to help her to the warmth of the fire. Touching her hand, he found that she was... frozen quite solid.

Be the first to get your hands on one at Magnolia Square at St Kilda.

Friday, January 22, 2010

have you heard.....

Have you heard whats new at Magnolia Square? lots! 2010 will be welcomed in with a new venue - the remarkably beautiful St Kilda Town Hall. We are just thrilled to be bringing Magnolia Square to the picturesque bayside setting of St Kilda and are expecting it to be an amazing start to the year.

The building itself is magnificent but filled with a fresh mix of fabulous retailers, St Kilda is set to shine.

Applications for new retailers are being accepted but be quick. March 18, 19 and 20. Email with your postal address if you would like a date card for your fridge.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

badge of honor.....

Badges really are the hottest thing right now...oh so 2010! These perfect little pieces are handy in sprucing up or reinventing bags, scarves, hats and entire outfits. Here are a few to get you started.....

Meet Mr Elk - positively glowing in electric blue from Dick and Dora. Super cool.

Bright little delights from Me and Amber...see the girls at Magnolia Square in 2010 for lots of hand printed goodies.

You just must read this blog...the badge says so! Available here....

Hand printed brooch by States of Nature. Ecologically sound piece with delicate silk cord wrapped around in reference to the ancient Asian arts that inspired the design.

Hand worked birdies to cheer up a scarf or hat from Chubiwat.

Monday, January 18, 2010

leoni and vonk....

It's is often as exciting for us to see the progression and achievements of our retailers as it is for the retailers themselves. As big fans of jewellery designers Leoni and Vonk, we were thrilled to hear their gorgeous new website is up and running.

Fully designed and made in St Kilda, team Leoni and Vonk specialise in hand crafted and limited edition pieces. Using combinations of sterling silver, fresh water pearls and semi precious stones, the works can be seen in galleries, boutiques and of course, Magnolia Square!

Pop in for a gander here...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

in gypsy mode....

With the heat getting to all of us of late, we are all searching through the wardrobe with one be as cool and comfy as possible.

This gorgeous gyspy top from And Me Too would certainly do the job. Made in Australia from the most divine range of Liberty Tana Lawn prints, the loose fitting shirt is a perfect summer piece. What's especially great about it is that is looks just as sweet with a long sleeve tee underneath for winter and goes up to a size 12. Teamed here with the equally delightful shabby chic pants which continue to be a crowd favourite.

Head to And Me Too to see the range.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

if the shirt fits....

From the onset we knew Magnolia Square customers would love Yolk... who could possible argue with this;

"Some things should be hard – climbing Everest, dating a super-model, running NASA. Nowhere on this list should appear the words “buying a great business shirt”. Strangely though, it can be very hard. YOLK decided to change that"

Seeing the shirts in the flesh cemented what we thought - Mag Square customers were instant fans. Each shirt is custom made to fit you perfectly and shopping is superbly easy. Simply choose a fabric from the range of high quality 100% cottons and send through your measurements step by step and hey presto...a perfectly fitting shirt every time.

Look out for the YOLK team at Magnolia Square events this year or contact them to organise an office visit.

Monday, January 11, 2010

toss the mess...

Most parents have a love, hate relationship with the humble bib. We love that they function as a clothing protector, acting as a force field between orange pumpkin and designer outfits but aren't as fond of the extra pile of washing they create.

How is this for a great idea then...a biodegradable disposable bib from Cocoboheme. If you just can't bear to scrap off the hardened weet-bix and broccoli then do what the royals do and toss it out! Printed on a potato starch material, it is an environmental solution to bib woes!

We look forward to seeing an Australian equivalent soon.

have you had a peek....

People new to the Magnolia Square concept often ask me to describe what it is like and I find it a really tough thing to do. So hard is it to explain just how magnificent an event it is and how amazing our retailers are.

So for those of you that haven't been able to make it to one of our fairs and indeed for those of you who already adore what we do, take a peek through our archive of images now up on the Magnolia Square website.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the artful child.....

In years gone by, art was strictly adult business and finding a gorgeous piece suitable for a child's room for serious hard work. Thankfully we now have a myriad of options and choices to suit every taste and budget. From original illustrations to digital prints, here are a few on our current wish list.....

Prints like this one from Printspace are really affordable and super gorgeous. Perfect in an Ikea frame. Visit them at Magnolia Square Sydney and Melbourne or online.

We love the Belle and Boo range even more now that we have been fortunate enough to meet the artist Mandy Sutcliffe who visited us at Magnolia Square in November. Prints available at Habitat Baby.

This little guy looks full of delight over his nutty find! Yum Yum lunch is an original watercolour and is available here.

Limited edition mixed media work from Ana Ventura, Primavera ( Spring) Cut and Paste is available From our friends at Kindergallery.

This exquisite piece would not be limited to a child's space and would look just as spectacular anywhere in the house. Loving the snakes and ladders type approach of silks, french fabric, hand drawn detail and digital technique. View at Nikki Catalono's Esty store.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

forest for the trees....

These eco-friendly natural inspired pieces will get you a little closer to Mother Nature and keep your home right on trend. Organic shapes, neutral colours and amazing textures..all in their natural's a few of our favs.....

Your very own miniature forest will have you ready to picnic any day of the week. Organic wall art piece with birch detail is available here.

Koshkela birch plywood cubes - perfect for tables, seating or just divine to look at!

when is a bow not really a bow? When it is a sculpture! Amazing piece from Christine Tillaman available here.

Mr Maple - super cute in the office...and great to play with when the brain needs a wee rest! You will find him at Hunt and Gather, one of our favs from Magnolia Square in Sydney.

Sculpture? Light? Both. Love this twig light from Mark Tuckey.

And so you don't leave home without a bit of natural inspiration, here's a little piece to wear...available here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

hello 2010.....

Its hard to believe 2009 is behind us and we are a few days into 2010. If last year was an exciting one for Magnolia Square then 2010 is going to be sensational!! With 2 huge Sydney dates, the introduction of an Adelaide fair and a move to the gorgeous St Kilda Town Hall...the year is going to be over flowing with Magnolia Square goodness!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal customers, our talented retailers and our extended team for the wonderful support during 2009 and wish everyone a new year full only of great ( and gorgeous!) things!

Happy New Year!!

Nic, Georgina and Brooke X

New Year banner available here.