Friday, October 30, 2009

Christmas Spirit giveaway


Well there are approximately 55 days until Christmas! Wow Weee how time flies. Sending Christmas Cards is such a lovely thing to do and it is always great receiving cards full of news from friends and family. We have designed and printed a small range of Christmas cards (now available to buy in our etsy store) and to encourage a little Christmas spirit we thought we would do a give away - of a pair of cards, one pink one blue. For a chance to win simply leave us a comment and we will do a random draw at the end of play on Monday the 2nd of November. Happy Friday to you all! xx

***** Update: Mara Mail won the little duo of cards - well done and we hope you will have fun sending them out and bring a little joy to someone ******

Silver and light









Monday, October 26, 2009

so excited!!





We are so proud and excited about our beautiful 2010 calendar including 12 of our illustrations! Yipeee! You can check it out in our etsy shop. We have been busy, busy, busy - gearing up for all the lovely craft markets that we will be participating in in November and December. Shells had a wonderful day on Saturday at Craft 2.0 in Wellington - thanks to everyone who supported that. Jeanine and I will be at the Sisters Teeny Tiny Market in Melbourne on the 7th of November next, can't wait should be fun!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

lovely loveliness










I have fallen completely in love with the art direction and styling at sleeproom.com. I saw their advert in the latest Elle Decoration UK , went to visit the web site and have been pouring over the styling of each image. I also found their little annimated video above - so lovely! I love the white floors and pops of color all over the place, the vintage fabrics, and the cozy lived in feeling each room has. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

Friday, October 16, 2009

dumbo feather



I love blogging but nothing beats sitting down with a cup of tea and a fantastic magazine. I am a bit of a magpie and collect anything , so I have piles of magazines, some dating back to 1996!! I have done three continental moves with my cherished magazines and still get cross when I think of the ones I had to throw out. Some of my favorites are Elle Decoration UK Edition, Living ETC and since living in Australia I have found Dumbo feather pass it on, which is really a stunning 'mook' - half mag half book! Here is a blurb from their website that describes what the mag is about:
What unites the people we interview is their creativity, passion and integrity, and somewhere they’ve found the courage to fly. In their own words they tell you how they discovered their passion, what inspires them, the lows as well as the highs on the journey and ultimately why they do what they do.

The art direction, writing and even the printing is truly inspiring. I love the fact that it celebrates creativity and passion above everything else, they haven't succumbed to the big advertising campaigns that fill so many other glossies out there. Happy Friday to you all and happy reading.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

wow




We love the work of Skinny Laminx for many reasons, here are a few: 1) they are based in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa, where Shelley and I grew up; 2) they have a brilliant eye for color, pattern and design; 3) they do these amazing paper cuts, fabric design and so much more. I found these images of their work space via an amazing web site called share some candy which is packed full of incredible work and inspiring things to look at - oooh you could loose hours!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A little word



Today I received this lovely little wire word from my friend Milli. It came all the way from South Africa in a little birthday parcel. It made me smile and it made me pause and think, that yes, Hope was just what we needed at the moment. Trusting that things will turn out for the best can be hard sometimes, I had little ground for this feeling last week when we found out our lovely English Bulldog, Poppy, has advanced heart failure. The vet said she could go any day now, or live for another 6 months to a year. She has responded so well to her medication, so now the little seeds of hope have sprouted, our wish - to have her with us untill after Christmas.

We are also trying to sell our house, and of course, have gone into that with strong expectations, but our confidence has been buffeted a bit .
I put this little word above my kitchen sink - so I can look at it everyday and hope against hope.

For a complete change of subject - I wanted to take this opportunity to blow my sister's trumpet because I know she wont. So - Well done Paula for completing your 10 km run in such a brilliant time - you sure did kick some butt!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

artist profile - Cuckoonest



Recently, Kim from Cuckoonest made the most gorgeous little mail box for my daughter, Layla. At the moment, Layla is really into mail, envelopes, stickers and stamps, so I though a little mailbox for her birthday would be fun. Kim's creation is so much more than that. One side unzips to receive the mail, and a little mouse lives in the mail box, with her budgie, chimney and pretty toadstool garden. The whole piece is so joyful and imaginative. I really wanted to do a little feature on
Cuckoonest as I love all the work. Kim was kind enough to answer a few questions.


Questions
1) Since you have started Cuckoonest what has been the most joyful and the most challenging?

Its the most wonderful feeling being my own boss and being able to charter my own creative course everyday. Being able to contribute to the family income (however modestly) from home whilst caring for my family has kept me true to my goals -I always want to be available for my family and working hard and being creative, with my family close by, makes me extremely happy.I think the most challenging thing is trying to prioritise and decide what's the best use of my very limited time. I 'm on the job as mum 24/7 and in order to get my sewing projects completed I have to stay up way past my bedtime most nights. The other thing that I find difficult is filing gst returns on time and keeping all my receipts in some kind of orderly fashion. I have a filing system where all of my receipts are shoved in my purse haha!2) What new craft/any skill would you like to learn?

I would love to do a carpentry course at some stage. I do repair and renovation jobs around the house and have constructed a few pieces of basic furniture eg. our kitchen island bench and have upcycled some furniture scores off trademe. Furniture really gets me excited as much as fabric. I'd like to design and make cool furniture for around here.
3) What does an average making-day look like for you?

I cut out lots and lots in the mornings. I like to make things in batches of 10 -its just a habit. I am often over ambitious and cut out all the little bits for 10 items and only get around to completing 3 and come back to the rest later??!! I get over making things really fast so everything I make are limited editions. I am happiest trying new designs and enjoy making products that I or my kids would personally like. I can turn stuff out pretty fast -Its the design time and preparation/cutting phases that take me the longest.

I like to get my kids and husband's creative input on a daily basis. The kids are brilliant they draw the most wondersome imaginary places where hedgehogs eat cake with squirrels and I have a fabulous figure and my hair is down to my knees. My sons have a natural eye for colour and design. They can pick out at a glance whether or not my colour combinations work and throw all sorts of questions and reasonings at me if they think some design aspect of a product is good or not. They're decisive and pragmatic - 9 times out of 10 I follow their line of reasoning. Design is simple to them -my 6 year old said to me 'mum that doesn't look like a tree' -plain and simple and he was right so it was back to the drawing board. So the kids provide huge inspiration and practical help in my creative process.

Talking to my husband about fabric and kids decor makes for a good laugh most days. Ten years ago I wasn't prone to talking to him about sewing and he wasn't terribly interested. But in recent times he has taken a lot of interest in what I do and his questions and ponderings often lead to the funniest exchanges about my work and design. He is more often than not left bewildered as to the purpose and function of the purely decorative things I make. So I'm convinced this husband and fabric will probably never mix. Although I love him for trying.

4) One studio organizing tip

Keep all your patterns in order so you can access them easily and use for future reference. I put all my patterns in plastic filing sleaves and file them away in beautiful large tins which I have all over the place. I also use large covered shoe boxes with the plastic window in the front to house my most popular designs which I make a lot of. The window is handy I can see exactly which box has what. I throw the patterns in there, all the cut out bits and half made up stuff and materials. It just makes it so easy to pick up the box and everything is ready to go to get making. I often choose a box and take it with me if I'm going away for a weekend and everything is in there that I need to finish a few things off. Also I find if my work space is in chaos and I can't find things it slows the making and creative process up. So I try to get everything back in its place and orderly at least once a week- fabric folded, patterns in order, pins and cuttings off the floor.

Thanks Kim for your fun and creative answers. All of these items featured can be found at CuckooNest on FELT.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

more inspiration - Emily Chalmers







I love the work of stylist Emily Chalmers. I bought the 'London Ateliers' Japanese edition Paumes from Lark the other day and was so pleased and excited to see a feature of Emily's work and apartment. Her book; 'flea market style' is one of my favorites, it is well thumbed and I often refer to it as a style guide. Emily also owns a store in London called Caravan, oh how I wish I could visit - thank goodness for the web! Here is the link to the Caravan blog, and I found this lovely blog: found, now home who have done a lovely feature on Caravan. Hope you find some inspiration too. p x

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

inspiration



I bought this bunch of poppies at the market on the weekend, the buds were still closed but slowly they have started to unravel and reveal themselves to the world. After peonies, poppies are my favorites and so I had to grab a pen and sketch them. ''Through the dancing poppies stole A breeze most softly lulling to my soul.'' Author: John Keats

Monday, October 5, 2009

flicker favourites


Some of my favorites on flicker at the moment. You will have to click through to flicker for the links to each shot. Lots of lovely loveliness out there.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Inspiration


I just love blogland - there is so much to look and learn and be inspired by - and it is all so accessible and available for everyone all the time. So here is one of my latest finds: the work of Lizzie Stewart, so whimsical, delicate and interesting to look at.