Life

Praying for Barcelona

My beloved city of Barcelona was targeted in a senseless terror attack yesterday. I have no words, only tears. I was in Barcelona just six months ago and walked along Las Ramblas many times. The atmosphere was always lively, filled with people, with lots going on in the food markets, shops and restaurants that line the avenue. Yesterday’s events are simply too much to comprehend. I’m so devastated to see what this world has come to now. To the beautiful people of Barcelona, stay strong as you move forward. Your city will always have my heart. Sending love and prayers to everyone affected.

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Cute Parcels, Mishka Mail, Our Shop

Cute Parcel of Birthday Love

CPBirthday

We’ve shown you our other two themes for “Cute Parcels” and today we’ll showcase the Birthday-themed goodies you can choose from to make your very own cute parcel. Remember, you choose one item from each category (four items in total plus we include a special FREE GIFT), then securely checkout with PayPal. We’ll create a lovely package of your selections and ship it to you worldwide. It’s very simple!

For the “Cute Parcel of Birthday Love” we have these products for you to pick from…

Greeting Cards:

BirthdaysCards

Stickers: 

BirthdaysStickers

Mini Cards:

BirthdaysMiniCards

Gift Tags:

BirthdaysTags

Has something caught your eye? Don’t forget that you can add a “Cute Parcel” to your shopping cart and mix it up with other products from our Online Shop before checking out! We sell stickers, postcards, greeting cards and wall prints on our website too.

Take me shopping!

Cute Parcels, Mishka Mail, Our Studio

Cute Parcel of Romance

CPRomance

Have you seen our “Cute Parcels” concept yet? Today we’ll show you the second of three themes – Romance. Jam-packed with stationery you could gift to your partner, we’ve put our heart and soul into making this issue a love-filled one.

So here’s what is included in the “Cute Parcel of Romance” for you to choose from…

Greeting Cards:

RomanceCards

Stickers:

RomanceStickers

Postcards:

RomancePostcards

Gift Tags:

RomanceTags

Have you made your choices? Great! Head over to our Online Shop and make your purchase. Remember, all orders $25 and over will be shipped for free. Plus, every “Cute Parcel” order is beautifully packaged and comes with a very cute FREE GIFT!

Music

Jack Savoretti “Sleep No More” Review

jacksavoretti5albums

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

Music, Our Studio

Music I Love…

Pictured here with my older sister, singing together
Pictured here with my older sister singing together

For as long as I can remember I’ve been in love with music. There are old cassette recordings of me singing popular children’s songs in Armenia at the age of 3 or 4. These recordings are a beautiful way of remembering my childhood, as we didn’t have a lot of different ways to capture things, like we do now. There’s one video of me as a baby at my uncle’s wedding and a few moments captured on photographic slides (negatives viewed through a special slide viewer). I get very emotional whenever I listen to my voice on those tapes as I can hear the passion in my voice for something I loved so long ago! I am so grateful that we managed to bring these tapes to Australia with us.

Music has surrounded me all my life. Playing the piano, composing music and singing always cheer me up after a rough day and brighten my mood. While there are hundreds of songs I love, below I’ve created a Spotify Playlist of songs that are always playing while I’m at work in my studio. They’re an eclectic mix of tunes of various genres and various tempos. These songs help me remember special moments in my life and make me get things done productively while singing (sometimes dancing!) and humming away with the music that I love. Take a listen…

Travel

My Love for Barcelona

Followers of this blog will know that I have a deep and meaningful connection with the capital city of Catalonia. There was something so special about being in Barcelona that both times I visited the vibrant and lively city, I felt at home so naturally. My fascination for Barcelona has already been covered briefly in previous posts but this time I wanted to delve further under the skin of the city that has given me so much happiness.

I don’t have a single bad thing to say about the locals of Barcelona. Most of the time people were friendly, helpful and polite. An old man spoke to us as we rode up to ground level with all our suitcases from a Metro stop at La Rambla. He was so curious to find out about where we came from, what our story was and where we were heading. Although he started off by speaking Catalan to us initially, he quickly switched to English the moment we said we don’t understand him. We were pleasantly surprised! At the end he said “bye bye” and went on with his day. This moment in the lift always makes me smile because just when we least expected to chat to someone, there was a man of 75 – 85 years talking to us extremely well in English.

Catalans appreciated when we put in the effort to at least speak in Spanish but most of the time when our Spanish reached its limit, people could easily speak in English.

As an interior design professional I’m also deeply connected to architecture and the beauty of buildings, both old and new. Barcelona is without a doubt heaven-on-earth where architecture is concerned. On every street corner something suddenly surprised me with its simplicity, intensity and overall effectiveness. I was always left wanting more.

Yes, Barcelona is my all-time-favourite city in Europe and this post is an ode to some of the hidden street corners, tourist attractions and locals that inhabit it.

Event, Melbourne

Les Misérables

If you’re in Melbourne right now you would undoubtedly have seen a phenomenon sweeping the city streets. Everything from trams to lamp posts has been decorated with Émile Bayard’s sketch of Cosette and people from all over Australia have been coming to Melbourne to experience two events that celebrate the story of 19th-century Paris in Victor Hugo’s epic literary work – Les Misérables.

For many months now there has been a sensational production of Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed musical screening at Her Majesty’s Theatre. This world-famous musical began in June and I’ve seen the show twice now, once during an afternoon performance on a rainy winter’s day and once more just recently at an evening screening. What can I say, the production is incredible and no matter how many times I hear the beautiful music, experience the realistic set design/special effects, see the phenomenal actors on-stage in their amazing costumes performing show after show, I’m left wanting more. I leave with goosebumps on my skin, my spine-tingling from the electric atmosphere in the theatre and tears in my eyes that it’s all over once again.

Theatre Day & Night

Victor Hugo’s timeless novel is a masterpiece and in a corresponding event at the State Library of Victoria entitled Les Misérables From Page to Stage, Melburnians can see Hugo’s original handwritten manuscript on display in a world-first exhibition. Right before my eyes were the words that the great master wrote from 1845-62 and in a frame on the wall nearby were the very quills he wrote those transcendent words with. Just incredible!

Last Sunday, during the Festival de Victor Hugo, curator Tim Fisher took visitors on a special guided-tour of the exhibition providing insight into Hugo’s life and adding an interesting background about the efforts the organisers went to in order to get this French national treasure to leave Europe for the first time and travel Business Class to Australia! I absolutely loved the exhibit and highly recommend a visit to all the fans out there. Everything from Rodin’s sculpture work of the great Victor Hugo to candid photographs of his life, immaculate artworks by the writer himself, programmes from shows around the world, costumes from the 2012 award-winning film, timeless memorabilia, musical insights in the French language, and a lot more can be seen until November 9th at the State Library.

"From Page to Stage"

In a specially-built addition to the main room showing the story of Hugo’s life, everything about the music from Les Misérables and musical adaptations come to life. The costume and visual art areas depict the endless amount of time spent in these creative departments through insights and screenings showcasing the work that goes into making a musical. Meanwhile the 25th Anniversary Concert from London’s O2 is played on a large screen for everyone to enjoy. Visitors are even permitted to try on costumes for themselves and take to the stage alongside the professional singers on the screen! There’s a brilliant gift shop at the end where everything and anything to do with Les Mis can be found!

I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to experience all this French culture here in Melbourne. Organisers have done a spectacular job bringing the production and exhibition here, giving true fans something wonderful to believe in and an unforgettable experience to cherish for life.

My Collection