Architecture of Barcelona

PasseigBarcelona is the city that forever has my heart. I have so many stories and so many ideas for future blog posts about that special place but for today’s post we’re going on a virtual trip to this Mediterranean gem of a city to explore some of the architectural details that make it so unbelievably beautiful. Walking through the different parts of Barcelona such as El Born, Eixample and Gracia, you see a myriad of stunning doors, windows, balconies, roofs and facade details. If I had all the time in the world and I could stand and appreciate each apartment block in the city, I’d walk away very happy.

Stationery Giveaway

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Friends, if you follow any of our social media networks you would have heard that we are holding a GIVEAWAY and a pack of our original stationery is about to leave the studio and fly to a surprise destination anywhere in the world. With the total value exceeding $55AUD, it’s the perfect prize for any paper and snail mail lover and features stationery from past and future Mishka Mail kits.

One lucky winner will receive:

4 Greeting Cards
2 Wall Prints
6 Stickers
2 Postcards
2 Gift Tags
1 Mini Card
1 Magnet
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You have just 4 days left to ENTER, so hurry and please show your support to Danielle of “See, Shop, Love!” for hosting this giveaway and reviewing March’s Mishka Mail kit.

Good luck!

Adele’s Melbourne Show

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Imagine you’re one of a record 77,300 Adele fans waiting to enter Etihad Stadium on a balmy Sunday night. There’s barely a breeze but plenty of insects in the air. The gates open exactly on time and you’re finally within a couple of hours of seeing your idol on stage for the first time in your life. Upon entering you see her beautiful closed eyes and that’s when you realise that the night is finally here and tonight your dreams will come true.

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After a few mexican waves go around, the crowd begins to cheer and roar with excitement. The circular curtain starts to lift and standing on the stage is the superstar that is Adele. She’s real. She’s actually here and is within reach. The atmosphere is electric. The visuals on the screen have now changed to her beautiful open eyes and then she starts to sing – “Hello, it’s me…”

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Wearing a dark pink sequined gown, she sparkles like a diamond as she makes her way around the stage. Delivering note-for-note perfection with each song, she entertains the crowd with a mix of music from all her chart-topping albums. She simply is unstoppable and 100% believable.

Adele is flawless in her performances but seeing her live, you also get to see the other side to her. The completely unedited version, raw and free to speak her mind. She isn’t trying to be anyone but herself. She swears a fair bit. She complains about the insects and the fact that the almost 30-degree heat is causing her make-up to sweat off her face. She reveals that she’s very emotional as it’s her final show in Australia and she doesn’t want to leave yet. This was her first tour Down Under after all.

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Seeing Adele live at a show like this really is something. She has a great sense of humour and seems to be very honest and direct. The crowd was completely hooked on her words not only during the songs but also in between the music. She got a fan up on stage and there was a surprise proposal. She offered parenting advice to couples going through a divorce. She gave some insights into what she was going through when she wrote particular songs and how terrified she was of shooting clips in a tank of water for the on-screen visuals shown during the concert. She told us that she’s the happiest she’s ever been. She shot a few T-shirts out into the audience along with $20 notes so winners can buy themselves a drink. Her handwritten lyrics and messages launched into the air as confetti and fireworks lit up the stage. Adele was on fire and we were with her every step of the way.

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Last night was magical. From the brilliant visuals on the screen to the powerhouse vocals, Adele left Melbourne wanting more. She exited the stage holding a cuddly koala toy presented to her by a fan. Last night was a night many who attended will never forget, as one of the world’s most influential performers with once-in-a-generation talent entertained us like no one ever has. Indeed there will never be another Adele.

Barcelona Has My Heart

When I arrived in Barcelona just over a week ago, I couldn’t believe I was finally here again. Almost every day for the past four years I had spoken about my deep desire to return to the Catalan capital and after a long 22-hour flight from Australia, I was finally on European soil once again, and it felt good!

There’s something about Barcelona that just lights up my soul and makes me unequivocally happy. When I walk its streets, I feel at home. When I think about where I am right now, I’m filled with so much zest for life. Barcelona brings out the best in me and I can’t wait to call this place home one day. The locals, the architecture, creativity and culture of this city all make Barcelona a shining beacon of light in my eyes. No other city in the world quite compares.

Memories of 2016

Whoa, 2016 was quite a year! So much happened in the world, tragedies, triumphs, the unthinkable, the magical. This year had it all. In many ways I’m glad to bid farewell to 2016, which for me had its fair share of ups and downs just like any year.

A definite highlight was visiting beautiful Japan for two weeks in March. Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto were all places I had longed to travel to for many years and it will be hard to top my birthday from now on, having spent the day at Disneyland Tokyo – a magical place in every sense. I shall never forget my first trip in the Land of the Rising Sun – eating delicious food, seeing the sights with my own eyes, entering historic temples, smiling at the pandas and flamingos at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo. Getting a feel for Japanese culture was just incredible.

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Closer to home it’s been enjoyable spending afternoons at wildlife sanctuaries where cute koalas and wallabies can be fed and petted. It’s been so much fun creating a new studio feature wall and launching Mishka Mail back in August. I feel so grateful to every single customer who bought a subscription and every blogger that reviewed our kits on their blogs. Thank you!

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It’s been so exciting to place our first print advertisement in a funky Canadian hobby magazine called Uppercase for their special 30th issue.

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Other highlights include riding a bicycle at the beach in Port Melbourne, eating some delicious meals, writing and receiving some awesome letters from international pen friends, winning auctions on Ebay and listening to lovely concerts at outdoor summer venues.

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2016 has taught me that life isn’t about chance encounters that happen to you, it’s about how YOU chase each and every opportunity to make moments for yourself. I’m entering 2017 with this very notion in my mind and have a lot that I’m already looking forward to. Here’s to a beautiful and successful 2017 for you all!

Happy New Year!

Christmas Snapshots – Melbourne

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The festive season is just around the corner and the streets of Melbourne have been tastefully decorated for the celebration. I must admit that I prefer the Northern Hemisphere traditional type of Christmas experience with snow dusting the streets, markets gracing town squares and the scents of cinnamon and roasting chestnuts filling the air. It’s such a beautiful time of year. In Australia however, we celebrate Christmas in summer and this mostly involves a trip to the beach and family gatherings over a backyard barbecue.

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There’s a wonderful Christmas tradition in our department store Myer which has been going since 1956. Animated Christmas Windows at their Bourke St. Mall store bring the magic of the holiday season to life like nothing else. It’s always wonderful seeing families with children lining the street to peek into windows and to hear a story along with moving characters and sets. This year they’ve brought to life a children’s book called “One Christmas Eve” by Corinne Fenton with illustrations by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall. It took the team 40 weeks of total production time and 25 days to install the windows, and the result speaks for itself.

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Christmas is such a magical time of year, even without snow and cinnamon and Christmas markets!

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We hope everyone has a splendid time in the lead-up to Christmas. Don’t forget, our Mishka Mail monthly subscription club is taking sign-ups until the 11th of December and the last theme for 2016 is “Summer Vibes”.

Jack Savoretti “Sleep No More” Review

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Not many artists in the music industry today can touch your soul through music the way Jack Savoretti can. His fifth studio album “Sleep No More” was released on October 28th 2016 and is charting at No.6 on the Official UK Albums chart. I’ve been a fan of Jack’s from the first moment I heard him sing in Munich in 2008 and it has been such a beautiful thing watching him evolve into the confident, charismatic singer-songwriter he is today, finally getting the recognition he deserves.

The first track on the album “When We Were Lovers” is the perfect opening track as this rhythmic ballad sets the mood for the music that follows. Jack expresses so much raw emotion in his voice and performs with such passion that it’s hard not to be completely spellbound by him, especially during his live shows with his incredible band.

“Deep Waters” performed acoustically sounds even better than the album version in my opinion and it would be amazing to have this version on a future record. If you close your eyes and listen to the beautiful guitar music accompanying a man with a husky voice like Jacks’s you’ll go to some amazing places in your mind. Pure bliss and a personal highlight for me!

The third track “I’m Yours” has been described by many fans as the perfect first dance song at their wedding and is so beautifully delivered by Jack, I can’t help but feel as if he wrote this song for his beautiful wife, Jemma Powell, describing their life together through poignant story telling.

With each track it’s easy to get a sense of who Jack is and where his music comes from, even if you’ve never heard his older songs before. “Helpless”, “Only You” and “Start Living in the Moment” are all bold songs with a driving drum beat you can’t help but tap your feet to. Jack’s brilliance really shines through in “We are Bound”, “Tight Rope” and “Sleep No More” as each track showcases his amazing vocal range and songwriting ability. “Troubled Souls” is a powerful track (one of my favourites) and has a catchy Eurovision vibe.

“Any Other Way” is an upbeat track which perfectly sums up how far Jack has come after almost 10 years in the music industry. It tells a beautiful story through its lyrics and is a track you can’t help but dance to. “Lullaby Loving” is such a beautiful way to end the album and has a slight resemblance to “Harder than Easy” with its melancholy and haunting vocals. Jack delivering the line “Don’t give up on our love (x3)…Don’t give up on us” is a highlight for me because it’s such a bittersweet moment knowing that this is the last song on the album and after he delivers these lines, it’s all over. When the silence hits after this track, I always feel an overwhelming sense of emotions. I’m so proud of how far he has come and so grateful that he didn’t give up making music in the face of adversity.

Jack’s fifth album is absolutely brilliant. After touring around his native UK this month, Jack will next head to other parts of Europe and the US next year. Fingers crossed for a return to Australia very soon as well.

Go out there and buy this amazing musician’s album and listen for yourself how music of today can be so meaningful in its lyrics, so poignant in its delivery and so beautiful in its musicality.

-Naira Tamanian

“Graceful Avenue” Founder