Balmoral Boatshed Sydney


Balmoral Boatshed Sydney!  The drive here was in itself a beautiful way to start the day.  Travelling interstate over the last week on what seems like a race around Australia marathon, I spent a morning traversing the morning peak hour traffic with my daughter and her friend as we navigated through the outer northern beachside suburbs until we finally came to Balmoral!  This historically referenced, quaint and and very sought after suburb not only offers locals and tourists the two beautiful beaches of Balmoral and Edwards Beach, but a range of seaside cafes, restaurants & other eateries.


After a short meander along the foreshore to the Boatshed, It was a nice surprise to see the effort they had gone to in creating an authentic rustic-chic beachside feel to this well-known and interesting cafe by the sea.IMG_2456IMG_2448

The Breakfast Menu also pleasantly surprised with delightful variations to standard menu items like the ‘big breakfast’. Oop!! I forgot to take a pic of our breakfast selections, but I can tell you they were huge and had a sense of being served breakkie by your grannie, on the backyard porch early on a Sunday morning in summer.  The coffee too, was fantastic and served with a dash of coffee art, as seen above.  The excellent service of the wait staff deserves a mention too!  I don’t like to choose favourites, but I have never seen his standard of timely & efficient service in Western Australian eateries and always notice the outstanding professionalism of the Sydney Hospitality Scene.  A must do visit on your next trip to Sydney folks!


I Love A Sunburnt Country……

Australia Day PoemAustralia Day – 26th January is my favourite day of the year. It totally reminds me of how lucky I am to live in this sunburnt country, of vast extremes (48.3 degrees)today, in a little far North Western Australian town known as Marble Bar! I love this country for all that it offers in its rich landscapes, endless summers and diversity of cultures. I love it for the opportunities and lifestyle that those who live in this amazing country are fortunate enough to enjoy.

I love that Australians know how to have a good time on Australia Day!  The symbolic and iconic euthanisms of Australia Day go way beyond the broadly known and well accepted colloquial terms like “g’day mate” “goodonya” “little ripper” and “budgy smugglers”. Check out the Australian Slang Dictionary for more Aussie Idioms! and be prepared to be bamboozled with nonsensical and somewhat comedial colloquial terms that have honestly come about over the decades in the most stereotypical of ways – the backyard or beach BBQ.

No this is just the beginning of what is and will always be a monumental day of “bogan” rhetoric, all in the name of “Australia Day” fun and shenanigans………………

Growing up in suburban Melbourne in the 70’s & 80’s: me, like most youngsters from a large middle class family, we gravitated towards the closest and coolest beach on what was and continues to be one of the hottest days in the summer calendar in Australia.

A day at the beach was nothing without packing the usual culinary delights for this iconic and always memorable of occasions. The first thing to go in the “eski” of course was dads beer, a six-pack or two depending on who was driving that day.  Then in goes the “barbie” food for the iconic beach BBQ: this is, for those of you uneducated in the traditional Australian outdoors summer lunch, simply a large insulated box containing picnic food and alcoholic beverages (namely beer, beer and more beer). Food choices back then consisted of your average supermarket sausages otherwise know as “snags” and for the lucky ones, a juicy pork or lamb chop! “Wack” it on the “barbie” for a short, but very hot sizzle until charred black and unrecognisable, then “bobs your uncle” its done!

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After lunch and feeling happily full and content, we would either “break-out” the beach “floaties” ready for the brave or stupid of us who dare to dive into the candescent aqua-marine blue waters of St Kilda Beach (unawares of the possibility or likelihood of sharks) or perhaps if you were lucky enough to getaway for the long weekend, a trip down the Great Ocean Road stopping off at either Torquay, Apollo Bay or Anglesea Beach just to name a few. Mostly, it was the ever-ready cricket bat and ball for a game of beach or backyard cricket that we all enjoyed on Australia Day and still do for all accounts as I can’t remember an Australia Day where I haven’t spotted a game of Aussie cricket.

In 2015, Aussies are still celebrating all the iconic things that have made this great country what it is today, but Australia Day has evolved accordingly, and so the typical Aussie family can choose to head to the beach or backyard BBQ, or maybe one of the amazing events that are on offer every year across the country in various locations – but never far from the beach or your own backyard!

Either way, It’s the best w/end of the year and not a bad way to celebrate your birthday either 🙂

For more on what to do this Australia Day, whether you’re an Aussie abroad or at home visit Australia’s Beach events and thanks for dropping by my blog 🙂

Swingtags & Labels

Working through the design process over the last four weeks has been awesome, a real shift from the structure and routine of my normal working life as a teacher.  Developing ideas visually as fashion design drawings, followed by the technical aspects of the pattern-making process that involves design interpretation and a solid understanding of proportion, line & balance.  Today, I’m working on a range of “Bandeau” stretch dresses (pics to come)

Its an evolving concept of continuity and dedicated application and who knows if it will lead me on a journey of the heart or a new career path.

With all the production I’ve been doing recently, I had forgotten about the need for Swingtag’s to accompany my designs as these will be required for retail sale.


PicMonkey @ enabled me to edit a saved image of LiliPilly’s Logo Design in a “tile” format and altered via a range of “free” filters on the PicMonkey website.

LiliPilly Swingtag for my first Range………..LilyPilly swing tag


My Label and ribbon has finally arrived!  I ordered these from – and although it has taken more than two weeks, I am happy with the result.  The labels are woven Satin (6cm x 1cm) woven black text on a silver background. The ribbon is also (Icm width) with white background & black printed font.  I ordered a standard (100) labels and (50metres) of ribbon: but next time, I will look into using my own style font and upload this to the ‘advanced design tool’ section of the site so that I can use my own font style for the ‘LiliPilly’ label.  These options are at additional cost and so I decided to keep it simple for now.

Care Labels

In Australia, it is illegal to sell garments or clothing in retail outlets, unless applicable ‘care labels’ are attached.  The care labels need to represent the fibre content, washing & other care instructions.  There are options on the labelsandribbon website for care labels. Dependant on the fibre content of the fabric chosen for your design, each care label used will need to specifically represent how the garment is to be laundered and generally handled with care.

Time to get to work and attach these babies to my sample range & complete my first Summer Basics Range!  Time is running out and I really need to get onto it and start marketing my samples to local boutiques, and perhaps look into setting up a small market stall at local ‘fashion oriented’ market in Perth.

My blog will feature my collections, but this is a work in progress, so I will need to set-up a ‘new page’ called LiliPilly Store and turn this into an online retail space so I can sell from here.  I have no idea how to achieve this, or what the legalities are and how to go about setting up the page so this will be an interesting learning curve in the coming weeks!

Anyone who has any background in this area, I would really appreciate some advice on marketing and online store creation at this point!  Designer and manufacturer I am – Marketing guru…………..I am not !!




………………………………………………….Let the Journey Begin !!    

LiliPilly Quote#1

Blogging #101 ‘Be Inspired by the Neighbours’

Whatever it is, it’s not so bad…

Bear with me today as I attempt to complete today’s assignment! Sleep did not come easy last night, for the second night in a row, I tossed and turned and my mind wandered to far off places as I churned over many ideas – creative and innovative thoughts that I hope I remember today.

Sleep, or lack thereof; being the topic that slapped me in the face today when I awoke ……..reminded me of a post I had read in the last few days at Whatever it is, it’s not so bad…and I have to say it prompted me to think about the many and varied reasons why we sometimes fail to get that magical seven to nine hours of glorious, restorative and invigorating sleep!

Sleep, by definition, “is controlled by the circadian clock, sleep-wake homeostasis, and in humans, within certain bounds, willed behavior. The circadian clock—an inner timekeeping, temperature-fluctuating, enzyme-controlling device—works in tandem with adenosine, a neurotransmitter that inhibits many of the bodily processes associated with wakefulness. Adenosine is created over the course of the day; high levels of adenosine lead to sleepiness.”

Lack of sleep therefore, can lead to the following effects of “Sleep deprivation”.


Fortunately for me, I’m not prone to insomnia, even though it does affect other members of my family. I often wonder how people in general cope with lack of sleep ongoingly. I, like most people have felt the impact it can have on your working day when after a restless night of the mind ticking over, downloading & venting the previous days events and morphing them into lucid dreams that come and go during my nightly sleep cycle, apparently of their own accord and without any deliberate prompting from me!!

Sleep or Lack thereof! Well its Friday, so tonight seems like an opportunity to enjoy a sleep inducing glass or two of my favourite Aravina Estate SSB and hopefully a more restful night………….Hmm!!

Evening wear Collections 2015

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The first of my evening wear/formal collections is finished and as an overview I thought I would explain the design process from a-z and how it transpired and evolved into this Year 12 Formal Gown for Alyssa.

The fabric was brought in Singapore, July 2014 from an Arab St store and consists of a beautiful plum coloured medium weight satin and Black heavily beaded Guipure Lace that formed the overlay on the “two piece one shoulder set”.


Alyssa supplied a photograph of a model wearing a similar design and we discussed modifications to include coverage of her midriff area.  A toile was made and a first fitting before I commenced production and today we had the final fitting!

The design and Pattern were made made by me using a size 10 fitted bodice block and an ‘A line’ skirt block.  Note: Guipure lace is difficult to fit on a 3d body as there is not stretch in the lace apart from natural ‘ease’.  Therefore, the lace was cut on the cross, and the darts were folded and hand stitched into position after second fitting.  The lace overlay was also hand-stitched to the mounted front bodice before cutting around the armhole and neck edges before being ‘bagged out’ and pin-stitched!  What worked really well, was the angle of the ‘scallop edge’ sat beautifully on the waist with the gentle curve of the scallop finish that needed no hemming or finishing!

A lovely simple and elegant style and a very happy mum & daughter!

Dream Reader – Blogging 101#

Writing a post about my dream reader today is a great topic for many reasons, the first being that it does prompt introspection and metacognition (thinking about your thinking).  Why am I writing a blog, why now? Does it matter if I’m successful, if anyone reads it, or it has an impact on anyone else’s life apart from my own!

For me, my dream reader is an independent women, a wife, a mother, a traveller, a lover of culture and unique style, of eclectic taste and creative ingenuity and of unpretentious class. Someone who knows themself and is comfortable with their Identity, but not precious, or self-indulged, someone who has compassion for others and a global perspective on life and living.  Someone not so consumed in the here and now, the day to day grind, that they forget about the magnificence of the world they live in and how they can take inspiration from the smallest details, to bring forth growth and new beginnings.

“From little things big things grow” Paul Kelly songwriter


New Life

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “New.”

New Life!! This morning I was sitting on my balcony reading the daily Post’s “New” challenge and looking for inspiration, when a babyIMG_2199 bird flew out of a large Queensland Oak tree right in front of me, following its mother on what could possibly have been its first fledgling flight.  Nothing like New Life to Inspire you………………

Sunday Morning…………….

For some of us (my husband included) returning to work for the first Monday of the year is not what you want to be thinking about on your last day off & Sunday morning.  The Idea of breakfast on the foreshore in Scarborough however; feels more like a can do moment to enjoy today.


We discovered the Scarborough Beach Bar on New Years Eve, after a casual dinner at the Sandbar 500 metres up the road.  Previously known as ‘Johny Rockets’ cafe and diner the now renovated and  vastly improved beachside bar, with panoramic views over the large well placed balcony definitely lends itself to a more authentic beachside bar and cafe feel, with an interior design theme that perfectly compliments the iconic Scarborough Beach foreshore and conjures up memories of a bygone era.

Open for just over three weeks now it feels to me like this refreshing new venture could be the beginning of an new era of classier beach chic , on trend, themed bars the Scarborough redevelopment plan has had in mind for the Stirling Scene in 2015 and beyond.

Entrance to the venue is via a lower level stairwell in the entry foyer, accessed from the Cafe Del Pescatore restaurant courtyard. The casual & relaxed attire required to dine here for breakfast, lunch or diner somehow seems naturally appropriate, unassuming and nonchalantly accepted as the norm for the Scarborough Beach area.  Why pretend to be something your not!! especially when you have it all right in front of you………….the view I’m referring too of course, not to undermine the beachside chic ambience and casual charm created by the refurbishment of the new Scarborough Beach Bar.

Theres a lot to love about this place, everything from the polished timber floors to the high bar tables and white wicker stools, to the iconic and classy beach theme decor of the 1950’s and the classiest long horseshoe shape bar made with a beautifully crafted white and caesar stone bar top.  The relaxed vibe, is also created by the background tunes piped through a central sound system and playing the melancholy chillout tunes of Jack Johnson, Bernard Fanning, Lorde & jem to name a few.


Ordering breakfast here was delightful especially when given the menu cards depicting  a 1950’s photograph of the stereotypical ‘widge’ and ‘bodgie’  twosome, ironically with contemporary similarities……… that a hipster beard and mo on the grow there?  


On the Menu is your usual choice of Eggs Benedict and big breakfasts for the protein hungry and some delicious selections for the carb cravers or ‘hangry’ revellers if your here for a hangover cure from the night befores shenanigans! The coffee is good, but seemingly born of european traditional small cup size, costing the same in comparison to other eateries I’ve experienced around the Perth scene and notably served in a timely attentive manner by the equally well-trained but casually dressed wait staff.


Scarborough Beach Bar Mantra

Lets see how this one pans out in the coming months in 2015 with local support and the tourism trade it will be interesting to witness if they can raise the bar and pull it all together for the long haul and expand on what they have created here.  I for one are looking forward to more Sunday morning breakfasts and evening drinkies with friends, maybe even a selection of local and very talented solo acts like Ben Merito to liven up our weekends and take in the holiday crowds alike.

Living Perth


Before I leave home in February of this year to travel interstate and overseas, I am reminded of how grateful I am to live in the West of Australia in our mediterranean summer and close to the beach.

I have all the inspiration I could ask for, living in this richly diverse and ever-changing city.   A five-minute drive to Trigg or Marmion Beach is the best therapy for any notion of “lacking motivation” before I begin my working day.    It awakens your senses and stimulates your creativity just taking a stroll along the boulevard or the sandy dunes of any one of these amazing beaches along the West Coast Highway.