Monday, June 25, 2012


Hi Everyone,
With only now five days to go till the opening of 'Christmas in July' 
at Fountaindale Grand Manor here in the Southern Highlands of NSW in Australia
I thought I would quickly say hi and apologise for being away from my blog for
so long.  It's 2am in the morning and I am sitting checking of my list of 
last minute things to do.  As many of you may know, for the last eight months
I have been working on this enormous'' and wonderful event here in the Highlands in this
historic hotel as the Creative Director of 'Christmas in July'.  This event goes for the whole month of July ..........  We are right in the middle of winter here in Australia 
and Robertson is certainly very cold at the moment and the locals
are saying that we may get snow soon.

Christmas in July – Was designed originally to mimic the 
northern countries when Christmas falls in winter, 
(as we here in Australia celebrate Christmas  in Summer)
 In Australia this is fast becoming a very popular celebration in July
and Fountaindale has had guests coming for Christmas lunches and dinners
for well over 30 years.  However, this year it's a little different to way 
it's always been celebrated.  Last October I was asked by the owners
to create a Winter Wonderland and all things magical for all ages.

I can't show you quite yet all my decorations 
or the festive elements and everything that we have done 
until after the opening on Friday night.  
But, I can say, we have a beautiful large out door ice rink set in the historic gardens.
There are decorations everywhere that we have been making in our
workshop and studio for the last five months.  There is an amazing 
miniature train layout that my son Thomas has created... I can't wait to show it to you!
There are incredible hand made gingerbread and sugar cottages made
by a very talented group of local cake artists on display.

There are beautiful old fashioned toys everywhere.  The three dining rooms are 
dressed up, all tables set and ready for the arrival of thousands and thousands of guests over the month.
There are amazing lights and decorations everywhere throughout the building 
that have been installed over the last week.  The first floor of this three story 1920's building
is to be a floor of shopping and art and we already have a few shops set up.. the 
rest of the shops are arriving to set up over the next couple of days.

There are robots and a space ship arriving
this week for the garden straight from the Farquhar's furniture workshop ..oops toy Farquhars toy shop. 
Andrew's workshop has literally turned into a Christmas and toy workshop.  

 I have a very special display to set up
in the next two days on the front lawn and I can't wait to see it complete as
at the moment it's in all my head and on paper.   

We are all very tired and everyone is working
so hard to complete everything in the next couple of days.  I have been living 
here on site now for the last week and will up until it is ready on Friday.  My room
is on the top floor so I am burning lots of calories running up and down the stairs
hundreds of times a day.. which is a great thing!.  
The view from my room (below) is breathtaking and I just heard a country train going past outside. 
 I really should be asleep, but I have 
too many things to do.  But, I just wanted to say hi and say thank you to all for 
dropping by and leaving such wonderful, amazing comments and wishes for
me this last week, especially on my Facebook page.  I was overwhelmed by your kindness and
I have never in my entire had so many emails in my inbox.  

Sending love to everyone .....
You may not hear from me again this week until I get this event 
open and then I really look forward to sharing everything with you.
xxx Coty



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  1. Coty, I'm leaving your blog open on my computer and will refresh often so I don't miss a thing. Totally love the Christmas logo, and all the snippets you've shown. There is no one in the world who could better do this event and evoke the spirit of wonderment with such beauty. Sending a huge big hug from HOT HOT HOT Texas, my darling friend....

  2. We have a Christmas in July party at our home every year. I love celebrating the spirit of Christmas in winter rather than in the hot and overbearing Aussie summer!

    Lovely ideas here-thanks for sharing them!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  3. Goodness me Coty, I can't imagine the amount of work required to stage this sort of event,I hope you have a holiday planned for August! I am really looking forward to seeing the photos when it is all unveiled, it sounds amazing. Be careful on those stairs
    bon courage!!

  4. Dear Coty,
    I am very pleased I discovered your beautiful blog.
    What a gorgeous idea to celebrate Christmas in July!!! I have always asked about how if would feel to celebrate Christmas in Australie. So totally different than here in Europe! But yes this is a fantastic idea! To see on the images of your blogpost of today, it will be so great! Oh dear the Christmas decoration looks wonderful Coty. I can't wait to see the pictures of the celebration! I wish you lots of success and don't forget to rest a few hours so that you can enjoy the party!!

  5. I really wish I was one of those sounds just SO magical.Good luck with everything,

  6. Hello hello, I am new here but totally blown away by this post and all that it shares. What a wonderful and rewarding project to be working on.
    I lived 12 years in Australia and am proud to be an Australian citizen. Christmas in December was always hard for me though and as I was born in Sweden I much preferred 'Christmas in July'!

    I wish you the best of luck with the final preparations and hope everything goes well. I am sure that the visitors will be overjoyed by all the wonderful things that you have in stall for them!

    Lots of love all the way from Sweden!
    Space for inspiration

  7. What a wonderful project you are working on, Coty...and snow sounds favourite time of year.
    I hope it all goes fabulously and Happy Christmas!

  8. Oh my Coty, this makes me wish it was Christmas right now here in France! Or even better, to be there celebrating with you all because it looks as if you spun gold out of your dreams. Good luck with this last push and I agree with Greet--try to sneak a rest in there at some point so that you will be able to enjoy all of your hard work!

    With all my best from Arles,

  9. Dear Coty, With temperatures here soaring to 100 degrees a touch of frost and Christmas fantasy is such a welcomed sight! Your work has really paid off, from the fabulous glimpses of the fariytale you have spun!

    You evoke such magical designs no matter what job you do... but a wintertime Christmas seems to suite you best. It is all just breathtaking, my friend!!!!
    I will be back to see more... with Christmas bells on!

  10. Oh my Coty...You are so talented. I can only imagine how exhausted thst you are. I'm sure it's that" good tired" as we call it. That feeling you have after working really hard on a job and being very satisfied with your accomplishment. Can hardly wait to see it all unfold. XO, Mona

  11. You shall inspire us early Coty which means we will all have the most beautiful Christmas this year. This event looks incredible and I can only imagine how wonderful this will be for all to see. Can't wait to see the reveal! XO

  12. Every photo is a dream; I cannot imagine how enchanting the displays will be in person!

    Best of luck with the opening and get some rest soon!

  13. Good luck Coty... I can't wait to see all that you have created... I know it will be magnificent... xv

  14. Oh, Coty, It's magic. You have such exquisite taste.

    I can't think of anything better than celebrating my favorite holiday twice each year.

    Warmest regards,

  15. Oh my word Coty this is sooo amazing!!!! Congratualtions it looks and sound like its going to be amazing... Wish I could see it first hand!!

    I can just imagine all the work and hours of toil! and you still make it up and down those stairs....?? You go gal!!

    Sending warm wished and enegery from a freezzzing Cape Town!!


  16. Almost too late but can't wait to visit Fountaindale. It looks amazing !!!

  17. The only trouble here now is to decide which one to bring home! Gorgeous stuff here!

    Visit the fashion blog here:


Your comments and emails truly make my day a very special one. Thank you for dropping by and visiting me at home in Australia, I read every single comment and I treasure each and every one. xxx Coty