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Nice Knits

27 February 2009

My lovely mother was an incredible knitter - she could knit the most complicated things in no time and with no trouble. Unfortunately it was before craft and knitting became cool again, so although I treasure all my Mum's hand knits there's nothing amongst them that I would really wear.

Maybe it's that feeling of 'home' that's drawing me to new hand knits. I'm loving these pieces by Ruth Cross, which are described as inspired by traditional methods in a contemporary setting. Now that's cool knitting. I especially love the long scarf.

It did occur to me that while all of the pieces on the Ruth Cross website look fab on the gorgeous model, some - like the cardigan - may take on a whole new (not so cool) look when worn by someone else. Like me!

Image Source: Ruth Cross

Ruth Cross is a company run by Ruth Bridgeman, which involves over 50 hand knitters scattered across Britain. Visit the Ruth Cross website here.


I *Heart* Fridays: no more

The second post ever on my blog, in August last year, started like this:

Everyone loves Fridays....
Even though my life isn't a 'Monday to Friday' existence: I have worked my own hours from my home office/studio for years; my husband's workdays aren't strictly weekdays; and our daughter isn't at school yet; Friday is still an anticipated and welcomed day.
I have decided to do a weekly "I *heart* Fridays" post featuring something that I love.

And I have posted about something I *heart* every Friday since then. But no more.

I thought it was an original idea until I came across Mrs French's blog Bliss this week. Mrs French does an I heart Monday post each week with a photo list of lots of things she loves. I didn't have Bliss bookmarked and I can't remember visiting it before, but I can't shake the feeling that I must have seen Bliss before I started blogging and unconsciously copied the idea. And I just can't stand the thought that that's what has happened, and I would hate for anyone reading my blog to think that I stole an idea from someone else.

So... please do visit Bliss because it's a really fab and lovely blog, and although I still *heart* Fridays, I won't be continuing with those posts.

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!


Vintage Graphic Design

Use the words vintage, graphic design and illustration in a sentence and you'd have me at hello.

These fab examples are from a website with over 3,000 images of vintage English railway publicity material. Check it out here.


Everyday China

26 February 2009

These photos are from a fabulous and fascinating blog called 'An Eye On China' which is part of the Le Monde site. It features wonderful images and commentary on daily life in China. Visit it here.


Enchanting Sculptural Playhouse

This divine and magical little playhouse is woven from willow. It looks gorgeous - like a garden sculpture - and allows for lots of imaginative play. It's called the Dreaming Spires Willow Playhouse (love the name too!) and is handmade by Judith Needham in Surrey, England.

Apart from looking so much nicer than the more traditional cubby houses, it's also environmentally sound. The willow naturally degenerates over about 5 years (not so good if you have more than one child) and it can then be recycled in the garden as kindling, mulch, or compost.

Image Source: Judith Needham


Inspiration: Lisa Jones

25 February 2009

These beautiful works by Lisa Jones are laser cut acrylic combined with pencil illustration or inkjet prints. They are part of an exhibition currently showing at Multiple Box in Sydney.

Love them.

Image Source: Lisa Jones


Inspiration: Cal Lane

The work of artist Cal Lane is something that elicits an audible gasp from me each time I see it. Her sculpture and installations are studies in contrasts, marrying industrial and ornate, robust and delicate, permanent and temporary.

Car tyres and icing sugar.

Dirt lace floor installation.

Filigree Car Bombing.

I like to work as a visual devil’s advocate, using contradiction as a vehicle for finding my way to an empathetic image, an image of opposition that creates a balance - as well as a clash - by comparing and contrasting ideas and materials.

See more of Cal's work on her website.

Image Source: Cal Lane.


Wood You Believe!

24 February 2009

Just before my week off sick I finished creating a new range of Wood You Believe! pieces, which I have now added to my website, here. In response to all the people who were disappointed that Go Fly A Fish was already sold, I have featured fish in a number of creations in the new range. I've also made some larger pieces too.


mmmm... Plum

I'm loving all the yummy plum tones I've seen in the new season's fashions... winter fashions that is, even though we are still definitely in the midst of summer. I just happened to be walking through David Jones women's fashion a couple of weeks ago when I fell head over heals for this plum coat.

It's by Veronika Maine, one of my fave Australian labels. What I love about this label each season is the purity form, simplicity of embellishment and the sophisticated colour palettes. The folded shapes and details are a modern take on vintage - specifically the style of the '50s.

Unfortunately the images on the website don't include some my other faves of the season (including some gorgeous jackets and dresses), but these few might just whet your appetite enough to make you want to check the range out in person.


The Red Thread: Featured

Have you visited Bondville? It's the fab blog of Steph Bond which showcases the work of Australian artists and designers. Last week brightened significantly for me when I received an email from Steph saying she'd featured my SushiBird tiles on Bondville. You can see the post here.

Thanks Steph!

And big thanks also to Magnolia Square Snippets blog, which featured my Personalised Heart Boxes recently. Here's the link.

Ain't blog love grand?



Hello friends, I'm sorry for such a long break between posts. I am almost back to normal now - thanks for your lovely comments and emails, it was so nice to read them. It's great to be back doing things again and feeling involved in the world outside of my bedroom and bathroom!

These lush photos are the work of Denise Grunstein. I'm enthralled by the depth and richness of the colour in these images, they have such a painterly quality to them.

Image Source: Denise Grunstein

Found via Katy Elliot.


A break in transmission

19 February 2009

My husband and I have both been struck down by a particularly nasty virus. He's into his second week with it, and I'm just a few days in. I'm hoping to be back on deck posting again next week.

See you soon(ish).


My next craft project

18 February 2009

Image Source: The Style Files

Do you remember way back in November that I gasped when I saw these to die for chunky knit poufs? Well, imagine my delight when I saw this DIY project on Design*Sponge last week - not quite as dramatic, but still fun.

I wonder if I could use the instructions to make something more like the original pouf. I can't crochet, but it looks pretty simple doesn't it? I think I might make this my first Brown Owls project. I'm sure there'll be some crafty crocheting Owls who will be able to guide me when I need help. I'll show you how it turns out.

Image Source: Design*Sponge



17 February 2009

Melbourne business partners Sarah Thorne and Piero Paolo Gesualdi have combined their talents and experience to create WorldWeave's first collection of soft furnishings. Sarah sourced the materials and artisans in India to have the rich and at times quirky collection, called Explorations, produced. The collection includes emroidered felt cushions, hand-stitched quilts, merino wool throws and scarves, rugs and carpets. Aren't those cushions great!

Image Source: WorldWeave


Wallpaper Wishes

Remember early last week when I was gushing over the hand printed wallpaper I saw in a shop (here)? Well, by coincidence Pia blogged about it on Friday. As an aside: If you don't already know Pia Jane Bijkirk's blog Enhance the Everyday make sure you check it out because it's just beautiful.

So now I know the wallpaper is by Deborah Bowness, but it doesn't change the fact that it's waaaay out of my budget. But I can dream can't I? You can see a lot more of Deborah's digitally and hand printed wallpapers on her website.

Image Source: Deborah Bowness


Monday BlogDay

16 February 2009

Apologies for the late post today. Like so many others it seems, I am feeling quite flat. There is so much sadness, uncertainty and 'stuff' going on on every level at the moment: personally, locally, nationally and globally. I'm finding it hard to find motivation and my spark.

So in times like these I look externally to find that push I need to get out of my doldrums. One of the places I have been visiting regularly since I stumbled upon it early in the new year is Diary of a Self Portrait. This is the inspirational blog of artist Jessie Marianiello of Stray Dog Arts and Patch of Sky.

This is a small example of Jessie's writing that speaks to me (it was hard to choose something, because everything seems to resonate with me!):
What if we really, truly believed in ourselves? What if we actually did all the things that we are pulled to do? What if we let inspiration lead us in whatever direction it might take us--however unexpected?

Today I can feel my heart. And, even better, I can feel what it wants from me.

Jessie recently started her Word of the Day project: "living life one word at a time". She chooses a word for the day and dedicates living that day through the word. I really like that idea as a way to focus on life, creativity, destiny, or whatever suits you on the day. Diary of a Self Portrait has links to other inspirational women's work and blogs, quotes, and wonderful motivation and insights from Jessie herself.

I came upon Diary of a Self Portrait when Jessie had just written about her 'Mondo Beyondo' list for 2009 (photo below) and she reflected upon the list she made for 2008. I have made my own Mondo Beyondo list and I am really excited about it. Maybe you could give it a go too?

Jessie appears to be an ordinary woman (albeit a very talented artist) - just like you and I - who is on a wonderful journey in her daily life... and I love reading about it and being motivated, inspired and changed by all she generously gives of herself to her readers.

Image Source: Jessie Marianiello


Love is in the Eggs

14 February 2009

A Valentine from our chickens - the heart was spotted by eagle-eye Roxy.


I *Heart* Fridays: I *Heart* Girl of All Work

13 February 2009

In an effort to reduce my bookmarks I've been trying to sort through at least a few a day. One website I'd bookmarked but haven't visited in some time is Girl of All Work.

Now I remember why it is bookmarked: it's the home of beautiful paper goods, one of my weaknesses. The first things that set my heart a flutter were these page flags. I *heart* the 'Raval' ones on the right with their soft water colour drops and lovely colours.

I also adore this sweet Curious Hedgehog Journal. The simple line illustration on natural linen is a look I'm really into at the moment. And the illustration on the Fancy Friends card is adorable too.

Feeling all glum about not having access to these lovely Girl of All Work products I looked at the stockists page just to torture myself further, and lo, there is a Sydney stockist! Guess where I'll be off to next week. Only in the name of research of course.

Happy Friday, stay safe and have a lovely weekend.


Inspiration: Alex Tebb

Under the name Lexy Art, Brisbane artist Alex Tebb creates incredibly detailed artworks on timber using her Prismacolour pencils and ink. She layers her drawings which results in solid colours that look like they could have been painted. Alex says her job as a graphic artist influences how she uses and experiments with colour, graphic backgrounds and patterns.

Alex loves using her Prismacolours, and says: I've had a lot of people tell me that one day I will 'step-up' from pencils and start painting, but I can't see it happening anytime soon. Besides, far too many people leave their coloured pencils behind in childhood!

The level of detail in Alex's drawings is unbelievable, I can't begin to imagine how long they must take her to complete. And get this: she's only 24 and hasn't studied art since high school art classes.

She enjoys trying to capture the personalities and quirly expressions of animals, and she's recently begun to draw people - with stunning results. I really loved seeing this series of photos on Alex's blog showing Sirena in progress.

Image Source: Alex Tebb

You can check out Alex's etsy shop, where she sells prints of her work mounted on timber panels. She also has an online gallery of work, and a blog where she shares work in progress.

There is a Lexy Art and FlowerPress giveaway currently on Modish, so go check it out.

P.S. Isn't this FlowerPress tea towel gorgeous? It's one of the prizes in the Modish giveaway. White on unbleached linen is one of my fave combinations.

Image Source: FlowerPress