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The latest issue of Styling Magazine - No.5 2014

Karen Knorr - Perfectly poised and magical!

A view into the creative mind of Karen Knorr

We all need a little bit of magic in our day.

Valentino… Table settings and object d'art

One of the joys of editing and working in magazines is reviewing new books.
 Every so often a book arrives that is simply breathtaking. 


This gorgeous new book, published by Assouline, arriving in a couple of weeks (28th October) is an invitation into the refined world and graceful living of Valentino Gavavani.  The remarkable collection of table settings and objets d’art housed in his five residences, in Gstaad, London, Rome, New York, and Paris, as well as on his yacht, evoke the grandeur in which he lives and are presented in this first-ever edition with photographs by Oberto Gili and introduction by AndrĂ© Leon Talley Recipes by Mr. Garavani’s personal chefs are also included and bring readers one step closer to discovering his extraordinary surroundings.

All these delicious images - Oberto Gili  
Published by Assouline.
To pre-order the book click here

A Space Within - Like Mother like daughter

This week the Southern Highlands of NSW is buzzing!  - So much is happening in our area right now, it is one of the busiest times of the year... especially in the art world.  Galleries are open everywhere with new work and art shows and events are filling our usually empty community halls for the next month.  This week artists everywhere are getting their work ready for viewing as the Southern Highlands Arts Festival kicks off.  

One of the prettiest villages in the Southern Highlands is Burrawang, a little town about an hour and half from Sydney. This week five women from the country are arriving with their work to exhibit at one the Highland's tiniest galleries, the Old Post Office Gallery, owned by artists, Geoff and Jeanne Skinner.  Jeanne wrote a wonderful story for me last year for Styling magazine, July 2013 about "Allowing the Creative Flow within to Emerge".

Like mother, like daughter - This week, Jeanne has cleared all the existing artwork off the walls and handed the keys of the gallery over to her daughter, artist Kristen Skinner.  Kristen and four of her good friends, all artists, are coming together as a group for the first time to exhibit their work in an show called "A Space Within".

Artists - Kristen Skinner, Alex Wegner, Rosie Windsor, Rebecca Tapscott and Christine Dixon

I asked Kristen to share what this exhibition  "A Space Within" means to her.

Everyday life swirls around us like a chaotic, task filled avalanche of to-do lists. For women there is also an emotional to do list that can become an all consuming labour of love...for family, for paid work, for home.  That is not to say that these tasks cannot be fulfilling in some ways or are not completed with a sense of gratitude and giving; however, I know for myself as a creative person, there is another space, the space within that can be curiously put to the bottom of the priority list - so far down in fact that for seven years since the birth of my beautiful daughter I had barely given it the time of day.

This space is a sacred place, a powerful place. Was I to be put on a desert island tomorrow with the barest of essentials (and in my case, art supplies!) I know I could keep myself entertained and stimulated for years by just going to the space within. The fascinating part is that even when this place is ignored — even for years — and then you make it a priority again, its richness has not diminished; the calibre of ideas is still there. Perhaps the technical skills to communicate the ideas are a bit rusty but of course once you make the space the priority, then the skills are practised and come to fruition again.

So to our group show The Space Within, in which women connected by friendship and profession have decided to create with a deadline and show, in order to reactivate that sacred space that has always been within us. Many attended art school in our youth, whilst others waited until retirement to activate the creative space that was always within. We all work in a contemporary style and use all sorts of media. We are professionals with a high personal standard for presenting our work and look forward to people visiting The Old Post Office Gallery and enjoying the creative places we have gone to  in order to create beauty and meaning and fun for our audience of gallery visitors. 

Navaratri - Creative and loving energy is pouring in from the heavens

The Nine Nights of the Goddess - Navaratri
This is going to be a very exciting week ahead as it marks the beginning of the Hindu festival, Navaratri. 

Navaratri starts tomorrow, the 25th of September and goes through to the 3rd of October. In India tomorrow the festivals, feasts and wonderful ceremonies will start.  It is a time of giving and sharing with families and friends and a time of making delicious sweets. I would so love to be in India this week to see all the festivities, the colourful costumes and the wonderful dancing and especially to be a part of this special festival.   

The nine nights of the Goddess ceremony is dedicated to the glorification of Shakti, the feminine form of the Divine Mother. The first three nights, the festival honours Durga, (above) The Mother Goddess, the Mother of the universe, as she descends onto earth from her heavenly abode with her children, Lakshmi, Saraswarti and Lord Ganesha. Durga comes to protect and purify and to clear the path of depression and anguish.

The next three nights the celebration continues by honouring the Goddess Lakshmi, who brings to all rich energy filled with beauty, love, spiritual and material wealth and fortune.  The last three nights are devoted to the Goddess Saraswarti, she is the goddess of knowledge, music, arts and education. Saraswarti usually wears a white sari and is either seated on a a white lotus flower or riding on a white swan. 

Left to right - Goddesses ...Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswarti

I hope the sacred feminine energy of this beautiful festival floats out far and wide
 from India and rains over our planet and spreads peace to everyone through
 the difficult times that we are going through. 

We can also share in this special ceremony in our own homes. I'm sending to you, my wonderful readers, this post today, as it is said that if you 
have the photographs and/or the statues of these three Goddesses
 in your home this week (along with your prayers to them) 
you will receive their grace and many blessings.  

Wishing you all a creative week ahead!
 xx Coty

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” Charles Dickens

Hello Everyone and thank you for dropping by my blog today!
I cannot believe that we are in the middle of September, can you?
After nearly four weeks of continuous rain, the sun is shining and the blossoms are filling my garden.

Little  porcelain boot vase found at Vinnies and filled with blossom from my garden. 

Today, I am re-joining, for the fourth year, a wonderful group of women   
for the International blog party,  "By Invitation Only" …hosted by Marsha Harris of Splenderosa. 
Click on the logo below to visit everyone.

The theme for the month's party - Sharing.


I want to share a few things with you today, things about "sharing"

I was taught as a young girl to share everything, I am from a large family and we all had to share. It was the most natural thing in the world for us. I shared my clothes, my toys and pretty much everything. I wish sometimes that I had more than two children, so that they too could experience sharing with a big family. 

Picture this, back in the 60's, four little children sitting on the beach, all under five and ONE ice block being passed from sister to sister, brother to brother, each of us taking a bite and all watching each other closely that our bites weren't  too big.  One ice block! well, it wasn't through not having enough to go around, it was just one of those sharing things.  There are rules with sharing, number one rule, for there to be enough to go around, it must be divided equally, and  if someone was to take too much and dare I say, become a little greedy…well look out, because sharing is about making sure that nobody is left out.

Little child's  porcelain shoe vase found at Vinnies and filled with blossom from my garden. 

Sharing is one of the things in my life that brings joy to me. As you know, I love sharing my work, my time and my magazine with you, and also I LOVE being able to share the work of all the incredibly talented people artists and creative souls.  

I want to share something personal with you today.  Last year was a very challenging year for me.  It was a year when some of the best things in my life were happening at the same time as some of the worst. The universe was throwing literally everything it could at my door, it was quite hard at times, but you know,  I loved it! The reason I loved it was because I met so amazing people who came into my life to give me a helping hand and to share their lives with me. It is through these challenging times that you meet incredible people in this world.

My old studio was three doors down from the St Vincent de Paul op shop. A shop filled with kind, gentle and giving people. The business runs on giving and sharing, people give their unwanted things to the store and the store gives to and helps the community. I was invited most days to have morning tea with all the beautiful women...and men, that volunteer their time and they became my extended "daytime" family. The back entrances to our buildings was where we chatted to each other regularly. 
Everyday they sit together around a kitchen table in the tea room and share their news.  They have rosters for making the cakes and sandwiches for all and it is an old fashioned and beautiful thing.  

They all care for each other and they really care for the people coming into the shop, especially at Moss Vale. Many people shop at the Vinnie's stores, vintage and antique collectors,  those hoping to find a fashion bargain or two and of course me, it is one of my favourite shops, it's full of styling treasures and inspiration. But, there are many who come into Vinnies for real help.  Lets be real, we all go through difficult times in our lives, I have, that's just life!

I am overwhelmed with the generosity of my friends, local and afar, who have shared so much.   

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”  Charles Dickens 

The latest issue of Styling Magazine… dedicated to my Mother - Click to open and read 

To send an email to Coty Farquhar - Click here


The latest issue of Styling Magazine is now on line to read!

We are celebrating the magnificent Rose.
Just click on the cover above to open and read.

Warning… there are a lot of roses in this issue!
I do hope you enjoy reading Styling  

xX Coty