Tag Archives: #Gift

The most gift worthy coffee table books this Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner so it’s time to find a little something special for the mums in our lives. One thing that is always a delight to receive, but something they never seem to buy themselves, is a fabulous coffee table book. We have rounded up some of the most glorious ones recently released on interiors, fashion, space and history so that you are bound to find one to treat your mum.

Imaginarium by Sibella Court

This is a sumptuous picture book of style and design inspiration from award-winning Australian stylist Sibella Court. Imaginarium is a glorious coffee table book of images that reflect the things that inspire and motivate this interior stylist, historian and globetrotter. Immersing you in a world of travel, nature, interiors, art, oddities and curiosities, Imaginarium will open your eyes to the world around you and fuel your imagination for your own creativity, design and adventures. Themed by colour and featuring more than 300 beautifully shot and curated photographs, Imaginarium is the ultimate picture book for lovers of design and interior styling, and anyone looking for fresh ideas or inspiring daydreams.

A Tree In The House by Annabelle Hickson

A Tree in the House is part guide for the aspiring home florist, and part celebration of rural life in sync with nature. Annabelle Hickson provides stunning ideas and instructions for flower installations and arrangements, covering beautiful, seasonal bouquets, flowers for friends, table and overhead arrangements and flower arrangements for special occasions. A Tree in The House celebrates the joy and simple, natural beauty flowers bring to the home, every day, with a focus on foraged and locally and seasonally grown plants. Interspersed throughout are gorgeous snapshots of Annabelle’s picturesque rural life. A Tree in the House is a stunning ode, in words and pictures, to flower arranging, and is as much an aspirational window into rural life as an inspirational guide to creating beautiful, simple arrangements.

Anti Glossy by Patrick Remy

Capturing contemporary trends and forecasting the look of the future, this dazzling anthology collects the work of the most cutting-edge photographers working today. This volume is an essential compilation of the most important photographic trends of the age of social media and digital publication.

The interaction between photography and fashion has always been compelling – how can artists balance commercial viability against their own creative vision? Anti-Glossy collects some of the most innovative photographers working in the field of fashion, exploring the way new media is influencing the direction of photography for print.

As the notion of the “fashion photographer” becomes less distinct, the industry is benefitting from the talents of artists whose influence leads the genre into a multitude of surprising, often shocking, directions. In this collection of new fashion photography, full-page colour and black-and-white photographs represent an incredible range of styles and techniques.

From the evolving vision of masters of the form such as Juergen Teller and Glen Luchford, to the ironic work of Sebastian Kim, to the challenges posed by young female voices like Annemarieke Van Drimmelen, Charlotte Wales, Sarah Piantadosi, Joanna Piotrowska, and Karen Knorr. The photographers featured in this exciting collection represent a cutting-edge trend in all its diversity. Paris-based author and editor Patrick Remy has selected over twenty photographers from emerging talents that hold the prospect of creating enduring fashion images and influencing the cultural and style trends of tomorrow to established figures exploring new directions.

Off The Grid by Dominic Bradbury

Recent advances in technologies and home-generated renewable energy have made building away from urban and rural infrastructures more practical and affordable than ever. This survey of the world’s most innovative off-grid homes reveals the cutting edge architecture and technology that is enabling us to escape to some of the most extraordinary natural environments on the planet. All of the houses featured in this book are fully, or almost fully, self-sufficient in terms of energy, water and, in some cases, food. Architecture and interior design expert Dominic Bradbury reveals how each architect has made everyday living in these wild and natural settings a rewarding and tempting reality. From snowbound cabins in the far Northern Hemisphere to coastal retreats that can only be accessed by boat, the diverse projects collected here show the innovative ways in which architects and their clients are tackling extreme climates, remoteness and construction challenges to enable a new way of life that is both liberating and sustainable. The imperative to reduce our carbon footprints and refocus on renewable sources of energy is having a profound impact on our domestic lives. This fascinating survey demonstrates that creative architecture, design and technology are redefining the possibilities for leading a truly rewarding and responsible lifestyle.

Space Utopia by Vincent Fournier

This unique collection of photographs features over ten years of collaborations with the most important space and research centres in the world, resulting in a one-of-a-kind story of the human race to the stars.

Vincent Fournier’s visionary photographs provide an imaginative look at space exploration by merging fantasy with reality in images of rockets, other worldly landscapes, research facilities, and cosmonauts. To produce these extraordinary images, Fournier has collaborated with the world’s major space centres and astronomical observatories, including NASA, the European Space Agency, the Russian space agency, and the European Southern Observatory. Readers are given access to confidential locations and projects such as the NASA SLS rocket. Fournier’s artistic vision creates a unique look at the history of space exploration, from the early Sputnik and Apollo programs to the future Mission on Mars.

The images invite us to focus on our perceptions of space and time. Fournier questions our past and future utopias–what are our expectations for the future and has the future already happened? The evocative images document and archive while also exploring humankind’s myths and fantasies about the future. 

As It Was by Heather Cremonesi

The iconic black-and-white photographs of Hamburg-born photographer Frank Habicht (born 1938) reflects the spirit of the Swinging Sixties in London. In the 1960s, the conservative postwar years in England gave way to a period of upheaval, with a younger generation dreaming of an unconstrained life, one full of free love, peace and harmony. On the streets of the British capital, Habicht began photographing the profound social and political changes that were underway. 

Habicht, who has lived in New Zealand since 1981, has produced photographs for many international magazines and newspapers, such as the Guardian, Die Welt, Camera Magazine and Twen. His photographs were recently exhibited at the Barbican in London, and he has made portraits of music and film greats such as Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Jane Birkin, Christopher Lee and Vanessa Redgrave.

Enjoy!

There is a book for every sort of mum… not your usual Mother’s Day booklist

Mother’s Day only comes around once a year (most commonly on the second Sunday in May, but some countries celebrate mums at other times, such as Spring Equinox or International Women’s Day) so when it does you have to make it count. After all, our mums do so much for us and this is the one day each year that’s all about them. So on May 14th this year, why not treat your mum to to something she can enjoy and expand her horizons with.

For the Mum Who Loves a Little Mystery…

The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For by Kate White

This unconventional cookbook features breakfasts, appetisers, desserts, cocktails and other fabulous goodies from a number of mystery authors and their characters. The book also offers multiple sidebars that link the food to the fiction— like poisons people used to plant in their gardens, and an explainer about how “red herring” went from the plate to the page.

 

 

 

For the Mum Who Sees Everything…

 

Capture the Moment by Sarah Wilkerson

This book is both beautiful to page through and a thorough instruction manual for budding photographers. More than 100 contributors from Clickin Moms, the largest female-photographer social network, have included photographs and advice for capturing basic, understated moments in everyday life and beautiful ways to chronicle family in photos. She’ll be inspired to pick up her camera and finally use it without having to attend an actual photography class.

 

 

 

For the Mum who’s had enough of trinkets and dusting…

 

The Art of Discarding: How to get rid of clutter and find joy by Nagisa Tatsumi

Before there was The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, there was this book that inspired it all. Published for the first time in English, Nagisa Tatsumi gives easy advice on how to get rid of things that are just cluttering your life, instead of adding value to it. Additionally, she gives guidelines on how to acquire less stuff in the first place, so what she calls “accumulation syndrome” doesn’t return. Tatsumi believes that by changing our attitudes about our possessions we can rid ourselves of all the stuff we don’t actually need, opening the door to find joy in a clutter-free life.

 

 

 

 

For the Mum who loves a story…

 

 

Stop Here, This Is the Place by Susan Conley and Winky Lewis

This book is a string of memories between two women. Every day for a year, Lewis sent Conley a photograph of her children, and Conley responded with a story that spoke to the photo. What resulted is a collection of moments and stories that chronicle a child’s growth and a mother’s love for her family.

 

 

 

Happy Family by Tracey Barone

Abandoned and then adopted when she was just a baby, Cheri finds herself 40 years old, in a bad place with her own parents and her job, and trying to have a baby of her own. But she is no stranger to dysfunction or reinventing herself when she needs to. A story of imperfect characters, who, despite constant surprises, pull through the difficult times in life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Mum who could rule the world…and often does…

 

We Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler

Mums with an interest in politics will enjoy this history of the Feminist movement that follows the term from when it was once regarded as a dirty word to the present day, where it is plastered on T-shirts and adopted as a brand by celebrities. Throughout the book, Zeisler argues that, although the phrase (and its ideas) have been popularized in the mainstream, the acceptance of the phrase doesn’t mean women are any closer to becoming equal. Touching on movies, advertising, fashion and more, Zeisler explores how the “feminist” world around us has done little to push for real change.

 

 

 

 

First Women by Kate Andersen Brower

This anthology looks at powerful First Ladies who were often underestimated women who are intelligent, thick-skinned, and as important to their country as their husbands. From Jackie Kennedy to Betty Ford to Michelle Obama, this book reviews their achievements and struggles, and paints a powerful picture of female political leadership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret History of Wonder Women by Jill Lepore

Wonder Woman was created in 1941, on the brink of World War II, and is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, she has lasted the longest and commanded the most vast and wildly passionate following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike others, she also has a secret history. In Jill Lepore’s riveting work of historical detection, Wonder Woman’s story provides the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights, a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.

 

Enjoy!

 

The Best DVD Box Sets of 2015

2015 has been a great year for DVD releases, so compiling this “Best of” list has been tough.  I have scoured the world to find these hilarious, absorbing, and downright gorgeous box sets.  Perfect for some downtime as we approach the frantic end-of-year period; these box sets also make excellent gifts – for a favourite someone, or just for yourself!
These titles hail from several different DVD/Blu-ray regions, so do check whether they will be compatible with your media players.  In many cases, an edition suitable for your country will be available.

 

Mad Men: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray and Digital HD) [Region A/1]

My absolute favourite is this Mad Men Limited Edition Gift Set, as stylish as the show itself.  23 discs containing all 7 seasons of the show, all previously-released special features and commentaries, plus over 4 hours of exclusive new special features including Cast Wrap Ups and Show Timelines.  And to get you into the spirit of things (pun intended), two handmade low-ball tumblers and four themed cork coasters.  All packaged in elegant black, white and red.  So pour that whiskey sour, settle into your mid-century armchair, and relive that Mad Men magic once more.  This gift set also comes in DVD format.  The complete final season (Series 7) is also available separately.

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X Files – The Collector’s Set (Blu-ray) [Region A/1]

As one iconic show wraps up, another is reborn.  The X-Files revival, a six-episode “event series”, will premiere in late January 2016.   Helmed by original creator Chris Carter, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will reprise their roles as Mulder and Scully.  Will the new episodes be as good as the originals?  Inform your decision by revisiting the original show – a ground-breaker that has become a significant influence on media and pop culture in general.

This Collector’s Set is the first time The X-File has been available in Blu-ray.  Containing the nine original series (202 episodes) plus over 23 hours of extras, the compendium box has also thoughtfully set aside space for the 2016 series.

 

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Utopia The Complete Series [Region 4]

Utopia is a deadpan satire about public service bureaucracy – however, such a simple description does not do it justice.  Think The Office with a dash of Yes, Minister.  Focussing on the fictional Nation Building Authority (NBA), Utopia shows how grand plans and great visions are compromised and eroded by red tape and political fickleness until nothing can be achieved.  A central irony is that the less the NBA achieves, the more it finds favour with the government.  The creators’ observations are spot-on and eerily prescient, with some of the absurd-sounding story arcs coming true in recent months.  Its depictions of the frustrations of working life is so realistic that some public servants describe it as documentary.

 

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Doctor Who – 10 Christmas Specials [Region 4]

The Doctor Who Christmas Special is a highlight of Christmas TV viewing, and has become a tradition for many.  These stand-alone movie-length episodes often include big-name guest stars (Kylie Minogue comes to mind) and are a good introduction to the Doctor Who universe.  Bearing in mind that they are usually the most-watched episodes of the year, the show’s writers often include key plot points into these stories, including new companions and Doctor regenerations.  So here is a collection of all ten official Christmas Specials from 2005-2014, starring Doctors Eleven to Thirteen (aka David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi). Each set contains a bonus gift – Christmas cards for Regions 2 and 4, while Region 1 is offering a sonic screwdriver!

 

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 3 (Complete) [Region 1]

Take one gutsy, racy lady detective, put her in the glamorous Jazz Age, add a string of carefully-plotted mysteries, and you’ll begin to understand why Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries has become a favourite world-wide.  Closely based on Kerry Greenwood’s beloved novels, the show has an enormously entertaining heroine, who is strong, independent and liberated.  The series is a visual feast, with acclaimed set and costume designs recreating the 1920s based on the author’s meticulous research.  Series 1 and Series 2 DVDs are also available.

 

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Archer Complete Seasons 1-3 [Region 2]

If you think James Bond is politically incorrect and gives spies a bad name, you probably haven’t watched Archer. Sterling Archer is a suave, egotistical and highly accomplished secret agent.  He is also extremely dangerous because he is into espionage for the thrills and the jet-setting lifestyle.  The outrageous story arcs follow Archer and his spy agency colleagues, including his mother (who happens to be his boss), and his ex-girlfriend (who happens to be a fellow agent).  Archer is a fast and furious spoof of 60s/70s spy shows, mixing retro stereotypes with futuristic technology.  It is rude, violent and very funny.  Animation that is definitely not for kids.

 

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Miffy 60th Anniversary Collection [Region 4]

Miffy, the sweet little bunny star of books, TV series and a film, celebrates her 60th birthday in 2015.  Stories about Miffy and her friends are available in over 50 languages, and are part of many childhoods worldwide.  This 3-disc set contains episodes of the original TV animation series, that shows Miffy and her friends having fun doing, making and learning.  These are short, gentle stories that will engage even very young children.

 

Horrible Histories Series 1-6 & Specials Box Set [Region 2]

The creators of Horrible Histories know that grossness and jokes about bodily functions work for kids, and have used them to great effect in a show that combines music, comedy, and “the horrible bits of history”.  Based on the books by Terry Deary, what started as children’s edutainment grew into a ratings winner with a cult adult following, picking up many awards along the way.  Horrible Histories is subversive, satirical, and has an impressive cast and creative team drawn from the UK comedy scene.  This new box set contains the five original series, plus Series 6 (a reboot produced this year), as well as four Specials episodes.

 

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Life Story narrated by David Attenborough [Region 4]

Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries are the gold standard in natural history broadcasting.  It is amazing that, after almost 40 years, he can still find fascinating stories and craft amazing footage to keep us riveted.  Life Story follows the journey from birth to parenthood, with each episode focussing on a different life stage, such as Growing Up, and Courtship.  We see the myriad challenges animals must face just to survive from day to day, and to reach their ultimate goal – producing and ensuring the survival of their offspring.  There’s plenty of drama, pathos and humour to enrich the stunning visuals.