Wednesday, December 2, 2009

things to do while waiting to go into labour...

At 4 days overdue I'm proud to say I still haven't given in to watching daytime television.
On my first day of maternity leave I tried it for 10 mins only to be bored by infomercials selling ladders that are 'easy for women to use' (excuse me?) and Brazilian dance dvds that profess to help you lose that waistline. Instead I have turned to long neglected creative projects, like setting up my new office which is a handy bench-style desk built by my brother in law and an ikea shelf, both mounted in a corner of the living room. Complete with a Glasshouse candle and Pantone mug full of paintbrushes I'm ready to draw something. With just one linen curtain from Freedom and a staple gun I was able to cover my old cork pinboard, a project in Dec issue of Home Beautiful, as well as recover the seats of our dining chairs. I am missing the girls from work so I pinched some hydrangea from the back of our unit block- someone always has a lovely bunch of these on their desk from the local florist.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

chalk it up to experience

There's something not quite right about a woman approaching 30 who still has a fondness for bunnies, but there you go, it's out of the closet- nothing is cuter to me than a little rabbit, from the white ceramic versions to the ones chasing eachother around the rim of a small dinner plate! And now there's a cute one peering at me from the surface of a chalkboard paint covered egg by Lisa Tilse, complete with it's own nest and chalk sticks. Find your own at The Red Thread, along with many other hand crafted delights.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Meet Bluebell the Jackapole, handcrafted in felt, and some of her less fortunate friends who have fallen victim to 'feltidermy'. I'd like to tell you that no cute little fluffy animals have suffered for the sake of today's post but that would be a lie. However, Girlsavage is responsible! (and adorable)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

papier mache magazine

I can't think of papier mache without thinking of the year 4 art class i had to do where we made masks of mythical creatures by layering newspaper and clag onto a balloon and painting it at the took weeks and weeks as we had to let each layer dry. Never again. Now I have a totally new connotation for this lovely french phrase- by far the most beautiful online mag I've ever seen, and it's Aussie! Click here to experience the ethereal beauty of papier mache magazine, produced by The Convenience Store.

Monday, July 27, 2009

let's hear it for the girls

"Oh you pretty things, don't you know you're driving your mamas and papa's insane?" -David Bowie.
These ladies have been keeping me busy with the back page of Home Beautiful mag which i have the honour of illustrating each month to accompany the sardonic David Smiedt's column. After an afternoon doodling with a tube of water colour on my balcony i found that i now prefer to draw lines with ink rather than pencil these days.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

get folksy with elizabeth prince

A few months ago I lost my wedding ring...i had to conclude it must have slipped off during a morning swim. But when it gets replaced I'll be purchasing one of Elizabeth Prince's ceramic dishes and keeping it on my bedside where I can put my rings when I run down to the beach for a splash before work or less glamourously, have to clean the bathroom.

On a much more important note, I discovered Elizabeth on you are probably all ahead of me on this one, but methinks it could trump Etsy the way Facebook did Myspace! Not only are there talented craftspeople selling their wares, just as much of the site is devoted to step-by-step projects you can do at home contributed by members free of charge, like this envelope cushion cover. I love the idea of people sharing their crafty secrets for free, it keeps alive the spirit of pre-internet craft.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

plastic fantastic

Trying to match that glaringly hideous shade of Coles 'envirobag' green to any outfit is impossible. I've always objected to those bags which are made of plastic-pressed-to-look-like-fabric anyway (am I the only one to notice?) and which have been mass produced in such volume they can't possibly help mother earth in this lifetime or the next. If 'they' want us to re-use plastic bags, they'd have to be hand crafted, in trendy colours from scrap material by Susan Bilj. By making them precious we'd use them again and again...think cost per wear and forget flying that faux-green tote from the supermarket today!

do little, eat much

Craft that looks like food is like window shopping and not buying anything. Sometimes this can be strangely satisfying. Unless of course you have the palate for felt, in which case you would need professional help but at the same time be able to indulge in these little french macaroons by Dolittle Design!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

pretty type books

What to do when sitting at home with a bung hip? (and you've already gone around the corner for a chai latte and watched Oprah) for cool fonts on the net. There is this one amazing font that has been eluding me for a couple of years now, but on my continued quest today I found some inspiration at a boutique book publishing house in NY that at least has some very nicely executed font based books to admire...visit them here.

mon chocolat chaud (my hot chocolate)

It's that time of year. Both when it starts to get cold here meaning chocolate is required to warm the body  (you can freeze to death even in Sydney without it I've been warned)...and when some lucky people head to the south of France. My friend Helen is heading to Provence on Friday so to ale my jealousy and have my own little piece of France I'm turning to the hot chocolate scented candle by Ambroise and Ambroisine (cutest website art), beekeepers from La Sarthe region in France, but thankfully available here in Australie.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

cloth it up

Depending on your age you may remember Cloth kits, popular in the 70's and 80's. My mum made me a strawberry-shortcake character cushion with one.Basically it's a pattern with a printed design on it and all you have to do is cut it out and sew it together and look like an expert!
Well, like all good trends they're making a comeback, and like all good comebacks, there are famous designers involved! Clothkits in the UK have partnered up with Rob Ryan, People Will Always Need plates and others...make your own dresses, skirts, cushions and toys for all ages here

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

baker's delight

My lemonade scones are 'famous'...or so I thought, until I started sharing the recipe. Now add 'in' to 'famous'. For some reason they only work for me, but my obviously mis-measured instructions to friends (which I have passed on at many a bridal or baby shower...I shudder to think how many!) leave them with a pile of goop that no amount of King Island cream and raspberry jam can save. I'd like to imagine them being served to their other friends on these Whitney Smith cake stands, as they coo 'oh my, where did you get the recipe for these darlings?'
However, no scone of mine is worthy of these homespun-on-a-studio-pottery-wheel creations.
To my dear friend Crystal, my most recent 'victim' and the baking queen of my life...I'm dreadfully sorry, love!


This post is way overdue, a discovery I made whilst in Melbourne and one that makes me very proud of our aussie designers from my vantage point in London. Arns
dorf. In my opinion this label epitomises cool, not the sort of cool that compels boys to wear their trousers too low or the cool of  girls wearing vintage that should have been buried with their grandmas. Arnsdorf is sophistication. Simple lines, controlled palette but oh so edgy. The minimalism that is offered by the hugely talented designer Jade Sarita Arnott, is the kind that takes the best of modernism and fast forwards it right into the present. There is not an ill conceived piece in the entire collection, which, by the way, is called I think we could do great things 08/09. Clothes that would normally take balls to wear, like the often gimmicky jumpsuit, manifests itself here as a beautiful relaxed piece, oozing understated style.  I have pinched some of my favourite images of the Arnsdorf collection from their website. But to see the whole thing click here. I think I could do great things in these clothes, don't you?

Monday, February 16, 2009


Whilst strolling through the streets of Paris I visited what can only be described as a bizarre taxidermy zoo.  Deyrolle is a shop cum gallery dedicated to "preserved" animals... which apart from the beautifully coloured beetles and butterflies from around the world, has a collection of animals big and small and has been around since 1831. Not really knowing what to expect but certainly not realising how confronting it would be I  wandered in and up the stairs to the first floor. A 7' bear welcomed me into the space and then suddenly i was surrounded by wild cats, birds in flight, majestic deer and even a giraffe and calf. All dead. The shop itself is in a grand turn of the century building with high ceilings and all manner of period details which whisk you back in time and make you feel like royalty (yes i do have a vivid imagination)  but the animals... Spectacular! I have to say that I am a fairly passionate animal lover, I don't for the most part condone wearing them. Mink coats and fox furs are not morally compatible with my values, though  I do wear leather shoes, so where does that leave a prowling lion frozen forever in motion? Or a display cabinet of glorious butterflies with pins in them? Well, I at the moment my french is not good enough to engage the shop assistants in a discussion of animal rights, so I have decided that to stuff an animal that died naturally is ok. To then put that animal in your lounge room? That's just personal taste. 

This little Parisian gem is a curiosity in the very least. . Click here to have a squiz at what i am talking about ... but for the english version you'll have to use the good old google translate tool. 

I nearly left with a lobster.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Right now London equals snow, slush, mud and puddles (yes the snow is beautiful).  Delicate shoes are not the answer ... not even sensible boots fare well in these conditions. The humble wellington is a must. Enter Hunter boots. This Scottish company has been making their classic boots since 1856 and are suppliers to Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family. Now the term classic tends to be a little over used in this day and age but in this case it is the only fitting description. Built to last their current design has not changed since 1955 but now we can buy them in a myriad of different colours. I just invested in the forest green but likes of Kate Moss an other celebs have been spotted wearing anything from black to silver, with a bit of red thrown in for good measure. London does not have a monopoly on rain and where there is rain... there should definitely be a pair of Hunters. God, this sounds like an ad, but I truly am a convert! 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Some hope for a sweet tooth

Well now it is my turn to send you a postcard from london and I couldn't think of anything more fitting than a moment of escapism from grim financial crisis and plummeting temperatures. The escape is a little sweet shop tucked off the main drag of Covent Garden called Hope and Greenwood. Stepping inside this little red shop is like walking into a fantasy world of the 1950's. Packed to the rafters with old fashioned lollies there really is something for everyone here. Pick up a box of rose and violet cream chocolates for tea with your grandma, or maybe oodles of strawberry cream fudge for a girls' night in, then again maybe it should just be a stick of great british rock to nibble on as you float out door past the theatres of Drury lane. I promise you'll feel just like Doris Day. Click here to visit their website.

Monday, January 12, 2009

other people's pixels

Illustrators, designers and photographers are like the catwalk models of the artistic world... because they require an impressive portfolio to get more work! However, unlike models, we don't have a team of helpers doing our mundane chores while we walk up and down a big plank in designer clothing! If you hate doing up your website as much as me, and just want to get on with the job of drawing, why not join many of the leading artists handing the job over to Other People's Pixels...solely providing templated portfolio sites for creative people,they are incredibly affordable, the design templates are chic and simple and all you have to do is upload your work. And if my favourite illustrator in the world (Kat Heyes) has signed up with them, I'll certainly be following suit next time I revamp my look!