Monday, 30 April 2012

Fancy some toast?

yes please...

Winter may be just round the corner, but on the other side of the continent things are heating up with the launch UK label TOAST's  House & Home summer collection. I always love a bit of toast and their latest range has me hungry for more.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


First it was caravans

Then is was the campervan

Now sheds have suddenly become a whole lot cooler

It seems Jane Field is one cool lady. First came caravans, then campervans and in her latest book, sheds are thrust into the realm of 'cool'. I love a good fossick through a shed, and Jane's latest book takes a peek inside the humble and not so humble shed, from artists’ studios to beach huts, and the diverse ways in which owners are styling them. With a distinctly American and European focus, My Cool Shed also includes small cabins, garden rooms, beach huts, modern architectural mini masterpieces and other small spaces. Due for release on May 16th you can pre-oder a copy here.
For an Aussie take on the humble shed/shack another one for the bookshelf is Simon Griffith's Shack.

From cow sheds and tree houses to barns and beach shacks, this book really does showcase, it is the simple things which are often the most alluring.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

profile shannon garson ceramicist.

Shannon Garson
lepto and glass pieces

wallum map

wallum teapot

small brushbox bowls

There's crockery and then there is the pieces produced by ceramic artist Shannnon Garson. Beautifully delicate, her vessels are tactile canvasses adorned with colour and hand drawn elements which reflect Shannon's love of nature. Although her works are stunning objets de'art, Shannon's passion lies in creating pieces which are functional, as well as beautiful, and can be appreciated and used daily. From the weight and texture of the piece, to the drawing, colour and smoothness of the glaze, every element plays a part in experiencing the true beauty of her work. A cup of tea surely has to taste better poured from pots which look this good. Shannon also has a very talented husband who you can read about here.
How would you describe yourself?  
Imaginative, diligent, dreamy, happy and loving.
What was your childhood dream?
To live in the country and be an artist.

What led you down your current path?
My childhood dream! Although originally I wanted to be a painter. After three years studying art at university I began decorating ceramics for a small Brisbane studio, I loved how the ceramics and the drawings worked together on domestic pot, so my focus changed and I became a potter.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love working from home and being independent. I love the earthy, strangely clean smell of wet clay and I love the thought of thousands of bowls, cups and teapots that I’ve made being out in the world, quietly sitting on people’s shelves and being used every day.
Where do you seek inspiration?
The environment is my greatest inspiration. A few years ago I began to look closely at the wallum (coastal heath) ecosystem. What originally appears as a dry, scrubby landscape is actually full of amazing things like flashing iridescent Rainbow Bee Eaters and carnivorous plants.

Who do you admire?
I admire Viennese potter Lucie Rie for her commitment to a lifetime of creating beautiful, wheelthrown pots. Jeanette Winterson for the way she sculpts words, turning a sentence about a mundane topic into a thought about the wider world. Louis Theroux for his unquenchable interest in humanity and ability to see through the superficial and find what we all share rather than what divides us.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Becoming a mother and continuing to work during my children’s early years was very hard. Pushing yourself as an artist takes a lot of time, which is in very short supply for parents. I’m still learning to accept that I will always be doing things “at the last minute”, that in fact, the phrase ”at the last minute” isn’t even relevant to my life anymore. At=as, there is no alternative way of doing things, I’m always just arriving places barely on time, with stuff spilling out of my bag, thoughts disordered and, possibly, some food that I, myself did not actually eat plastered to my clothing!

What are your top creative resources?
I love the cooking, gardening and life blog “Whole Larder Love 
I’ve been listening to the strange tales in the songs of “Passenger 
And I’m always reading. The latest book I’ve loved was “The Eyes of the Skin” by Juhani Palasma and the book I always love to re-read every few years is “The Green Knight” by Iris Murdoch.

What dream do you still want to fulfil?
I’d love to write a book, like the best cookbook you’ve ever read but about creativity, making art, nature and how I live this strange, creative life.
What's next?
I am showing an exhibition of porcelain, jewellery, photography and glass work inspired by the wallum swamps at Noosa Regional Gallery. This has been a three year project with jeweller Rebecca Ward, we studied the beautiful, wild wallum landscape and have been exhibiting the works from this project around Australia.

The next exhibition and sale of jewellery and porcelain artworks.
will be at the Noosa Regional Gallery from May 9th - June 30th, 2012.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read - Greg Malouf’s cookbooks “Saraban “ and “Turquoise.”
Watch- “Justified” based on Elmore Leonard short stories.
Cook- Fresh pasta, with buffalo mozzarella and basil.
Create- A huge mess of newspapers, novels and cookbooks next to the couch!
Listen to- Bach’s Cello Suites.
Dream about- Italy and Turkey.
Look forward to- Hanging about at home with my husband Trevor and the kids for one more day!

Monday, 23 April 2012

little building co.

Miner's Cottage
Colonial Gable Cottage
Surry Hills Terrace


If you've ever dreamt of owning a Queenslander or a little Sydney Terrace, you can for less than $50. However, unless you harness the technology used in Honey I Shrunk The Kids don't expect to move in any time soon. Made from Queensland Maple and scaled at 1:100 the pint sized architectural models are the brainchild of the Little Building Co. Flat packed and easy to assemble the homes come with information about the iconic styles, location, method of construction, architectural details and historical anecdotes. There's even a QR railway station for train enthusiasts. My favourite is the Queenslander, yet the little miner's cottage is pretty irresistible too. Why are small things so cute! See here for a list of stockists.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

profile nadine sawyer artist.

Nadine Sawyer photo by Stuart Quinn
Exhibition of works at Rylo Interiors
Original works which now adorn tea towels

There is a sense of enthusiasm which emanates from Nadine Sawyer which is infectious. Just as lovely and vibrant as her striking artworks, I first spied Nadine's paintings in a house I was writing about for Home Beautiful. While researching the story I dutifully googled Nadine's name, found her website and much to my delight discovered she lived close by. Several emails later I had invited myself you do. 
Originally from New Zealand, Nadine has lived in New York and Japan but for now is happy to embrace the laid back coast lifestyle. Prolific with a paintbrush Nadine's works grace every medium from ceramics and tea towels to greeting cards and cushions lovingly sewn my her mum and business partner Joy. Colourful, ethereal and a little cheeky, her art simply makes you smile,checkout the collection here.

How would you describe yourself?
Intuitive, artistic, optimistic, energetic and a wee bit moody sometimes.
What was your childhood dream?
1st - To be a ballerina, which I fulfilled at age seven for three years.
2nd - To be a florist, which I did when I left high school and while I was at University and had the opportunity to work alongside the very talented Fleur McHarg.
3rd- To open a shop, this will happen in the next few years!

What led you down your current path?
Art school for six and half years and a talent and passion for all things aesthetic and creative.

What do you love most about what you do?

Where do you seek inspiration?
Music is very important, nature, the ocean, birds, flowers, artists like Tommy Watson, Sally Gabori, Matisse, Picasso, Sidney Nolan, Chagall – artists that emphasize nature, colour and emotion, elusiveness, the ethereal and importantly a sense of positivity and optimism.

Who do you admire?
Coco Chanel for saying “Freedom is never out of style.”
Jamie Oliver for inspiring people all over the world with his positiveness.
Noel Fielding for being so utterly amusing and childlike and bringing powerful aesthetic surrealism and music and absurdity to television!! For me there isn’t much else worth watching except for Spicks and Specks reruns, cooking shows and docos.
Jimmy Little (who died recently) for being a gracious artist in a difficult cultural climate.
My mum Joy for being a caring, strong and a beautiful person.
I also admire talented successful people who are able to stay down to earth and relate to and inspire people from all walks of life. 
What challenges have you had to overcome?
I was excruciatingly shy as a child. I had a very unsettled father which is why we moved a lot, starting a new school was a bit like hell. I was so afraid because you make nice friends and then you move again soon after.
I have had to overcome loads of self-doubt and my art receiving rejection after rejection. As I became more confident in myself I realised I just have to do what I want and keep doing that no matter what people say. I have learned to listen to myself and move forward with my art practice and business in a very intuitive way. With very limited funds at times it has been a very challenging to remain an artist but what else would I do? I love it and I feel so satisfied with my life and where it’s going. I feel more excited about it now than ever before and I can visualise a lot of dynamic projects and adventures in the future.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
Receiving $32,000 to study art for two years with my own studio at Monash University in Melbourne.I went to a friend’s house and drank champagne in their pool with my boyfriend of the time (who also received the scholarship). A very exciting day and it was an amazing two years of art making, exhibiting, curating and traveling.

What are your top creative resources?
Biographies of inspiring musicians, artists, comedians, social reformers, chefs etc… I have recently read about David Bowie, Dame Nellie Melba, Jamie Oliver, Kate Bush and Marc Chagall.
Film Marigold Hotel
TV Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy show
Music documentaries in general

What dream do you still want to fulfil?
Curating art shows aboard showing Australian, New Zealand and Pacific art. New art which is lyrical and heart felt not intellectual! I also want to be involved in some large scale installation outdoor shows.

What's next?
Taking the business to the next level. Working on a collection of cushions – which my mum is sewing very well. Producing platters using local Coast potters and developing my abstract paintings further.
In September I will be exhibiting linen prints, linen cushions and painted platters  at Fleur, 12A Rose Street, Armadale, Melbourne, a stunning flower store in Melbourne. 

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read – Joanna Lumley Bio
Watch- Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy
Cook- Fresh salads, Thai curries
Create- lush electronic music with lots of layers – can’t wait to make more of this! it’s the most fun I have ever had
Listen to- classical, punk, pop, ambient, world, 70’s and 80’s pop and rock everything! I cannot choose really I get very stimulated by music and my taste is very diverse– Pink Floyd, the Clash, The Flaming lips, Spiritualized, Nick Drake, Phillip Glass, Split Enz Leonard Cohen it's endless.
Dream about- Opening up my own shop (which will be a cross between an inspiring shop and gallery space which is warm and welcoming. Not sure where it will be yet.
Look forward to- Opening my own shop! And more travel- Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands, India, Mexico, Vietnam, USA road trip and Italy. I want to go everywhere really.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

citta design.

Tokyo collection winter 2012
            -  A collision of contrasts  -                   


As someone who flits between admiring interiors which are refined, sophisticated and minimalist, yet also swoons over spaces crammed with colourful kitsch curios (and owns a garden gnome), it seems Citta Design's new Tokyo collection caters to my interior split personality. A collision of contrasts, the winter range provides a tantalising smorgasboard of decorating combinations. From simple understated neutral pieces, to vibrant geometric designs, with a hint of Scandi thrown in for good measure,this collection could very well be the answer to my long held dream of decorating every room in the house in a completely  different style.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

profile georgina hobson - perpetual one.

Georgina Hobson photo by by Taryn Newland

Vintage Caravan Magazine
There are people who have innate style, talent and infectious passion and Georgina is one of them. I first met Georgina when I was sent by Country Style to write a story about her life in the Country and Sunny, her vintage Sunliner caravan which she took to the markets to sell handcrafted and beautifully restored wares. Since then Georgina and her beloved caravan have appeared in Peppermint Magazine and most recently Vintage Caravan Magazine.
Enamoured by design which is simple, unique and timeless, Georgina's passion for vintage pieces reflects the ethos behind Perpetual One - a small retail business in which she brings pieces from a bygone era back to life. A handcrafted labour of love, Georgina's blog provides an inspiring insight into her daily joys and her creative spirit. Check it out here

How would you describe yourself?
Loyal. Trusting. Task-oriented. Sentimental. Blessed. 
What was your childhood dream?
When I was young, I wanted to be vet. I love animals and caring for them seemed the perfect fit. When I did work experience at a Veterinary Surgery in Year 9, I realised I was too sensitive to make it a career! Seeing the animals hurting and sometimes cruelly treated by their owners was upsetting.
After school I completed a Health Science Degree and worked in Health Promotion. In the back of my mind though, I started dreaming about having my own small shop. I was particularly interested in it being a vintage/old wares shop that was unique and stylish.

What led you down your current path?
When I became a mum and took maternity leave from work, I began researching my dream and how it could work. As a mum of young children I wanted to start slowly and not over-commit. I began by completing a couple of TAFE courses to develop my business knowledge.
Then in 2008 I started doing the markets on a casual basis to gain experience and test the market. I registered as a second-hand dealer, but kept the business part-time appearing at markets twice a month. Using my 1960’s vintage caravan as my ‘shop front’ created amazing word-of-mouth and I have learnt so much in the last two years of trading. Most recently, I have stepped back from the markets and focused on selling a selection of hand-made and hand-restored pieces on-line.

What do you love most about what you do?
Restoring old blankets and linens by hand is something I love. It can be time-consuming but is very satisfying work. Applying hand stitches to darn something that was discarded and thereby extend it’s working life.
I also love the freedom and flexibility of working for myself and seeing my ideas become a reality.

Where do you seek inspiration?
My favourite and sometimes necessary inspiration is to get outdoors. I often go outside and sit where I have the perspective of nature and the bigger world when I feel frustrated or overwhelmed with my work. Fresh air and sunshine work wonders!

Who do you admire?
I have great admiration for all start-up ventures and small business owners. The required mix of courage, hard work and persistence to follow a dream and make it real is something that deserves a lot of respect. I have only a little taste of the challenges of balancing a dream with financial viability – so when I see people working hard to make their business their sole income I am keen to support them.   

What challenges have you had to overcome? 
One of the biggest challenges is that YOU are the business. Everything that needs doing or researching is up to you. There is a huge amount of learning and background work that is necessary aside from the creative process (which is the bit that you want to do!). Sometimes there is a danger of trying to do too much. At times it’s hard to step back and wait.
Having said that – it is also very rewarding to realise how much you can achieve with determination. 
What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
In June last year, my sister and I collaborated on a pop-up shop called ‘Two Golden Hours’. We were so thrilled with the support and success of the event and when I look back at photos of the event I still get a buzz from the atmosphere we created.

What are you top online creative resources?
Etsy: aside from being a marketplace, there are a huge amount of resources and interviews with other small-business owners and designers.
Design Files: The amazing talentboth local and international that Lucy Feagins manages to uncover on a daily basis is so impressive!
Rena Tom: Such a great flow of tips and contributions for creative businesses. 
OhHelloFriend: Danni is a very passionate, creative and successful blogger and businesswoman who continues to inspire. 
maeve magazine and est magazine: A couple of recent e-mag discoveries. They are produced in Australian and have some great local content and inspiration.

What dream do you still want to fulfill? 
1. Own a boutique vintage/old wares shop.
2. Publish a book
What's next? 
I am currently pursuing a long-held idea of self-publishing a book. I am working hard to polish the manuscript and collate design/printing ideas with a view to release it later this year. It is a project that gets me out of bed in the morning so you will hear more about it soon as the plans become clearer! I am very excited about it. 

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read– newspapers(SMH/The Age) or non-fiction books 
Watch-‘parenthood’ series
Bake- fresh loaves of bread 
Create- gardening
Listen to- ‘nearer’ by Anna Weatherup
Dream about- visiting France with my family
Look forward to- trips to little cove beach

Friday, 13 April 2012

profile andy brown & sass goldsworthy - goldnbrown.

Andy Brown & Sass Goldsworthy

Merging some of the world's oldest fabric designs with a contemporary take on homewares and accessories, Mornington Peninsula creative duo Andy Brown and Sass Goldsworthy have poured their passion into their label Goldnbrown. Inspired by their love of the beach and a relaxed coastal lifestyle their range includes vibrant cushions, towels, sun visors, beach bags, rugs, pouches and baby accessories in colorful handcrafted Indonesian Batik and Ikat textiles. With a weakness/addiction for cushions I could happily layer every chair, bed and couch in my house with with every style, they're all simply stunning. For a peak at their full range visit Beach:Baby:Home
How would you describe yourselves? 
As a team we are – easy going, happy, honest, playful and analytic.
What was your childhood dream?
Andy: I always wanted to be a florist…
Sass : I always wanted to work on a fashion magazine.

What led you down your current path?
Our love of colour and the beach.
What do you love most about what you do?
Being creative and being our own boss.

Where do you seek inspiration?
Textiles, colours, patterns, fabrics and the beach.
Who do you admire?
Each other.

What challenges have you had to overcome? 
Seasonal peaks and troughs and dealing with off shore suppliers.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment? 
Definitely seeing our products all over our local beach Sorrento.

What are your top creative resources?
We don't conform with current trends as such, we are just in love with colours and fabrics.

What dream do you still want to fulfil?
We really want to expand our range but most importantly we are trying to build a loyal customer base who grow with us and our products.

What's next?
Well, we are about to launch our new bed linen and pop ikat cushion range. Not to mention our 2012/13 neon beach range which will be launched in August this year.
When the weekend rolls around what do you love to do?
We both love to relax with our kids and make the most of our beach and natural surroundings because we live down the coast in Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula for a reason… to escape the city.