SHOPSHOOT - Donna Hay General Store - Part 2

30 Jun 2009

When I posted the first images of Donna Hay's General Store I knew people would be interested in the store, but I completely underestimated the level of interest. 

Every day I discovered new blogs that had featured my images or had posted a link to the blog.

Holly didn't feature all the images I took and when I looked through my files I realised I had a few more images that I thought were worth sharing.... and here they are.

2016 edit - The Donna Hay General Store has closed but you can visit the Donna Hay Pop-Up store at the Entertainment Quarter, details here.

Bye for now,


North Beach Bathers Pavilion - Black and White Images

28 Jun 2009

From the first time I saw the North Beach Bathers Pavilion at Wollongong I knew I wanted to capture it on film. I just loved the shape of the building and it's state of disrepair. I had no idea of the political shenanigans that had gone on in recent times.

Whilst I was roaming around taking photos of some architectural details, some passers by were truly bemused by my interest and asked me what I was photographing. I don't think a drainpipe is quite the answer they'd anticipated.

When I use black and white film I photograph differently. I look for objects with strong lines and shapes or a scenario which tells a story - the perfect medium for wedding photography.

I collected the black and white film from the lab on Friday and set to work polishing the images.

As promised, I've posted a few colour images from Coal Cliff which I took last Sunday.

The weather was a bit wild and woolly as you can see from the surf and the vivid colour of the water in the pool is true to life.

The next post will be part 2 of my Donna Hay General Store photo essay, so I hope you check back. I hope you've all had a great weekend.


Friday Favourite - Bali

26 Jun 2009

What a week! Last Saturday I went to the Opera House to see the play 'When the Rain Stops Falling'. Sunday I drove down to Wollongong for brunch at diggies, then Tuesday night I met a friend for dinner at Neil Perry's latest venture, Spice Temple. I've just been to the PMA Australia 2009 Imaging Technology Show, a huge photographic trade display at Darling Harbour in Sydney. I played with a Nikon 85 mm Tilt Shift lens but was as clueless at the end of the experiment as I was at the beginning! I visited some of my suppliers to see their new products and noted the absence of quite a few suppliers from the 2004 show including my own album supplier, Queensberry.

There are lots of blog posts coming up. I've just collected the black and white film from the lab so I've been editing those images like mad all afternoon and there should be a blog post of those images in the next week. There is a food post in the wing and some more Donna Hay General Store images, so please come back. 

Until then I'll leave you with an image I shot in Bali a few years back. I had a great holiday there exploring parts of the island most Australian tourists fail to see. This image, taken at a hill top temple, was shot in on Fuji Reala 100 ISO film, known for it's vibrant colour.

Have a great weekend,


diggies cafe - north beach wollongong

24 Jun 2009

I drove down to Wollongong last Sunday to meet my sister for brunch. The forecast was for showery weather but instead it was glorious - all blue skies, sunshine and puffy cloud formations.

North Beach on a sunny day is a hive of activity - power walkers, families, puppies and babies and an energetic volleyball game on the beach.

I arrived early and took some photos of the old bathing pavilion. I shot some black and white film so I'm waiting for those images to return from the lab. Hopefully I'll be able to post them this coming weekend. I only brought along 1 roll of film but I also brought my digital camera with me and snapped a few images.

We were meeting for brunch at diggies, a cafe right on North Beach, so I waited in the queue for a table and called my sister to let her know that I'd arrived.

We sat outdoors on the terrace and I was so hungry after the drive from Sydney that I'd wolfed my breakfast down before I even thought to take a photo of it! I'd had lunch at diggies with my sister a few months earlier and we'd eaten indoors. The cafe is decorated in "beach chic" style so I asked if I could take some photos of diggie's interior to share with you.

I drove back to Sydney via the Sea Cliff Bridge - a most scenic journey. I didn't take many photos but I'll share some with you when I post the black and white images.

Bye for now,



Chocolate Macadamia Brownies

21 Jun 2009

I've been working on developing the perfect chocolate brownie (if there is such a thing) so I keep tweaking the recipe. In this version I reduced the flour content, added toasted macadamia nuts and a tablespoon of honey then simply dusted the finished brownie with icing sugar.

I left the brownies cooling in the oven a bit longer than I should have so I was worried they'd be too dry. I did sample one of the brownies and thankfully they were okay - very dark, dense, moist and chocolatey.

Bye for now,


Friday Favourite - San Pedro, Guatemala

19 Jun 2009

When I visited Guatemala 2 years ago I took a circuitous route from Sydney to Cancun via Vancouver, Edmonton, Banff and Calgary. I decided to travel light and only took 1 camera with me. It was the first time (and the last time I might add) I'd ever travelled without a film camera.

We took a ferry around Lake Atitlan and one of the places we visited was San Pedro, home to many Spanish language schools. We heard a band playing in the schoolyard and stopped to listen. I saw the young girl looking out the window, waited until the gentleman passed into view and took the photo. I think this image would have been even more evocative if it had been shot on black and white film. I have made a black and white version but it's just not the same as film.

Enjoy the weekend,


e'cco bistro chocolate tart - overwhelmed

17 Jun 2009

I thought I should preface this post with an acknowledgement to the power of the Internet. When I submitted some of my images to Holly at decor8 I knew her blog was popular, but I hadn't realised just how popular it was until she posted those images on her blog.

More than 21,000 hits have been registered on my site in a week and it's all a little bit overwhelming. Now I'm sure my mother and I are responsible for a good proportion of those hits as we've been checking all the different countries that have visited my blog this past week. I've been flattered by the nice comments and emails and promise I won't let your praise go to my head - well maybe just a little. I hope some of you will continue to visit my blog now that you've stumbled upon it.

As it's Wednesday in Sydney, it's "food" day. I had a bit of a baking bonanza on Sunday and managed to bake 3 items. I've not been feeling well so not everything turned out quite as expected including this chocolate tart. I used a Philip Johnson recipe from e'cco bistro in Brisbane. My parents live in Brisbane and e'cco has been our restaurant of choice for just about every important family celebration we've had during the past 12 or 13 years. I can't remember from which recipe book this comes (maybe from my sister's collection of cookbooks) as I'd handwritten the recipe.

I ignored the baking instructions and the resultant tart which tasted spectacular didn't look quite as I thought it should. It's amazing what a dusting of cocoa powder can cover! I had plenty of the ganache filling remaining and made a few individual tarts following the instructions to the letter. They looked like I thought they should look but when cut, I preferred the texture of the larger tart. The filling is wickedly rich and the whole tart was demolished in record time so it must have tasted good.

Bye for now,


Bedtime Stories

14 Jun 2009

I had dinner with my favourite model last night, Little Miss B. She was suffering from an advanced case of 'ants in her pants' so in focus images were few and far between.

I was given the task of reading her a bedtime story but Little Miss B. decided I was veering from the text and took matters into her own hand.

I lay down and listened to her rendition of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Marks and Spencer version. She may not have been sleepy but I was by the time she finished!

Bye for now,


Friday Favourite - X-Puha

12 Jun 2009

I took a trip to Central America 2 years ago and during that trip I visited Guatemala, Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. As far as I'm concerned any holiday which involves snorkelling +/- climbing a volcano is a good holiday. I climbed the Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala (hands down the scariest thing I've ever done) then dreamed of snorkelling in Belize.

That plan went awry when I tripped over on the jetty at Caye Caulker and instead of snorkelling in the aqua coloured waters I had 11 stitches inserted in my knee. One of my friends jokes that I collect scars on my travels like other people collect souvenirs. Back in Mexico and on the last day of my trip, the wound had healed sufficiently so I decided to go to the beach. I was staying at Playa del Carmen and asked where the best beach was and I was told "X-Puha". I took the collectivo along the highway towards Tulum, alighted when told and walked the kilometre to the beach.

After I walked through the clearing, this is what I found. Who would have thought water this colour actually existed?

Have a happy weekend,


(Very) Crumbly Date Squares

10 Jun 2009

I'm back from my 3 day trip to Brisbane so my normal posting routine will resume. As it's Wednesday, that means baking, and today it's crumbly date squares. I first started making these squares when I lived in Canada, using a recipe from one of my Australian recipe books. I didn't know at the time that the recipe probably originally came from Canada where they're known as Matrimonial Bars.

The biscuit base is very short so crumbles everywhere. I defy any-one to cut this slice into neat piece, but I think that's half of its charm.

The date filling is so sweet that no extra sugar is really needed, though I did add a sprinkling of brown sugar at the very end. I like the filling so much that I doubled the filling 'cos I don't think you can ever get too much of a good thing!

See you soon,


SHOPSHOOT Donna Hay General Store Woollahra

3 Jun 2009

I used to live in Woollahra a few years ago and I loved doing my shopping there. The major thoroughfare, Queen Street, is a beautiful tree lined street which has a European feel to it. Whenever I needed a location for a photographic assignment, it was the first place I visited.

Holdsworth Street is a tiny street that comes off Queen Street and if you didn't know about it, it would be very easy to miss. It's primarily a residential street with the best kind of houses on offer in Woollahra. For many years a homewares store was the only retail store in the street and that building is now home to the Donna Hay General Store.

I visited the store a few weeks ago in my quest to locate a cake plate. Who would have thought it such a difficult task but I'd been everywhere in a vain attempt to source the plate. I had a brain wave and visited the shop a few weeks back and voila - there was my cake plate. I was really taken with the beautiful home wares on offer and knew I had to return to take some photos.

I was in Woollahra on Saturday looking for shoes and managed to find a park in Holdsworth Street. I returned to the car without shoes (but that's another story), walked past the store and decided to drop by.

I spoke to the lovely Liz and asked if I could take some photos and she referred me to Donna, who was in the store that day. She kindly agreed and I returned the next day. It's very easy to photograph beautiful items displayed so thoughtfully and I had a fun time.

Thanks once again to Donna Hay for giving me free rein in her store.

Happy browsing,

P.S. It's a Long Weekend this weekend and I'll be out of town, so there'll be no posts until next week. Have a great Queen's Birthday Long Weekend and I'll be back next week.

P.P.S I'm seriously flattered that people like my work so much that they've featured these images on their blogs. Some people have done the polite thing and have let me know or even better asked my permission first. Using my photos without my permission, even with a link, or altering the lay-out infringes Australian copyright law. Please contact me first before doing so. Thanks muchly,

2016 Edit - the Donna hay General Store has closed but there is a new Donna Hay pop-up store at
the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park

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