Monday, 24 June 2013

profile sharon fuller - podart.

Sharon Fuller of Podart
Inspired by seed pods which gradually open and scatter their delicate contents and blossom, Sharon Fuller's Podart range is a beautiful mix of organic shapes. Bursting with bold colour, there is something undeniably cheerful about her graphic designs which she paints on canvas and inspire her lovely bespoke range of cushions. Set to launch a beautifully bright textile range for Pod Living in the next few weeks, I strongly recommend you bookmark Sharon's Podart site, so you can pounce as soon as it is available online!

How would you describe yourself?
Procrastinator, perfectionist, positive, people person and happy!

What was your childhood dream?
I don’t remember having one!

What led you down your current path?
Growing up I was always drawn to beautiful things and loved art at school. There is not one specific thing I could say has led me down this path, it has been a lifetime of experiences and influences.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love the freedom to try new ideas and the positive feedback i get from people who appreciate art and design.

Where do feel most inspired?
I must say my new studio is helping…..the dining room table was becoming a bit of a downer!  I love getting out in the garden, mowing the lawn, it clears my head.

Who do you admire?
My husband, he has had to put up with a lot and continues to support and encourage me.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
I suppose having triplet boys after four years of IVF was the biggest challenge I have had to date. It’s still a juggling act, but i know how lucky we are to have them.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
Seeing my first fabric design roll off the printer. 

What are your top creative resources?
Magazines (I have a serious problem), architecture, homewares shops, blogs, trade shows.

What is your idea of happiness?
Getting together with my three sisters and our 13 kids!  It’s noisy, messy and wild, but the champagne always puts a smile on our faces!

What's next?
I will be officially launching my textile collection for pod living in the coming weeks and getting ready to sell it online.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
My own thing...but alas, there is soccer, washing, groceries etc.

Read – Any design magazine I can lay my hands on.
Watch- Trashy reality shows.
Cook - One-pot-wonders.
Create - new textile designs.
Listen to - My running play list (hopefully while I am running).
Dream about - Winning lotto.
Look forward to - A family trip to America.

Monday, 17 June 2013

profile fiona pringle - hook & eye.

fiona pringle founder of hook & eye

Now winter is finally upon us, I find one of the best ways to warm up is to head to the beach (albeit wrapped up in a jumper and scarf). During the warmest part of the day I can almost  trick myself into thinking it is summer, particularly when I start dreaming of a day bed topped with pom-pom fringed cushions from hook & eye. Created by former fashion/graphic designer turned homewares designer, Fiona Pringle, inspiration for hook & eye's debut range has come from Fiona's love of the sea, travel and home. And with a desire to create beautiful artisan pieces which are unique and soulful and will be treasured long into the future, I think Fiona's array of cushions, artwork and tableware do exactly that - to me they perfectly capture a wonderful laid back, holiday feel. Perhaps it is the rattan pod chair as well...If you're dreaming of summer or simply want to beat early onset winter blues, I strongly suggest a visit to hook & eye and the beach!

How would you describe yourself in five words?
All depends on the day.

What was your childhood dream?
To be a ‘famous’ artist. I always knew I wanted to be a ‘designer’ of some sort, even before I really knew what it meant. That was when I wasn't dreaming of owning a milkbar with my sister so we could help ourselves to the lollies all day, or becoming a dolphin trainer at Seaworld.

What led you down your current path?
A break in my career to have kids after nine years in fashion design and eight years in graphic design gave me the space I needed to be creative on my terms. I felt like I was stuck in a revolving door in the fashion industry before I left to have kids, so I wasn’t overly keen to jump back in. It was also going to be a case of going back full-time or not at all and I want to see the kids being kids before they quickly grow up.

What do you love most about what you do?
Finally I’m designing for me, exploring my talent and using it to benefit my family and me ... not for someone else’s gain. Flexible hours and being my own boss, even though at times that can prove challenging as much as liberating, as I can be a bit all or nothing. Mainly I love the feeling of FINALLY ‘doing’ instead of always whining about wanting to ‘do’ something!


Where do feel most inspired?
I'm most inspired when I'm travelling, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. Failing that, which I am of late, it’d be when hanging outdoors in the sunshine with my husband and kids. Without time constraints.
I’d also love to say ‘in my light-filled studio overlooking the ocean’, however the reality is I have a spare room in what is a pretty cold house at the moment. In saying that, I am very grateful to have the space at home where I have a lovely view across a bushy gully and over the hill to the beach. If I turn the stereo off I can listen to the kookaburras, magpies and distant laughter of kids at the nearby school. That’s inspiring me right now.

Who do you admire?
Lucy Feagins for taking me on a daily journey of inspiration through the Design Files. I also admire her for all she has done and achieved with her business so far. I also admire Clare Bowditch for everything she has done with her life and her career, but especially her new Big Hearted Business venture. Attending her inaugural BHB conference was hands down the best $$ I have spent since starting hook&eye. I also admire Garance Dore, Jamie Oliver, Rachel Power, Jessica Bettany, Beci Orpin and Megan Morton. I love what they do and the fact that they are all making a success of doing what they LOVE. Last, but definitely not least, I admire my husband for being such an amazingly calm and balanced soul. I would be quite lost without him.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Everyday challenges involved in trying to wear all the hats in a business, when all I want to do and love to do is design and create pretty things. I’m learning so much, but I feel frustrated as I am trying to build a strong business foundation, however this means only a small amount of time right now is being spent on the design side. Not having a money tree out the back also offers some ‘challenges’ ... for want of a better word.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
I wouldn’t call it a ‘pinch yourself’ moment, but Frankie Magazine contacting me to be featured in their June edition is pretty cool, especially at this early stage in the business. It’s just cool to know that they like what I’m doing. The great responses I have been getting from some pretty cool stores wanting to stock my wares has also been pretty amazing. I wasn't expecting it all to happen so quickly. But I'm certainly not complaining.

What are your top creative resources?
1. Design Files – SO much awesome talent in this country!
2. Internet – SOOO much inspiration out there, wish I had more time to look.
3. Interior books and mags
4. Fashion mags

What is your idea of happiness?
At the moment it’s opening a nice bottle of champagne on a Friday or Saturday night while a meal is being cooked for me. There's a big open fire crackling, the kids are tucked up in bed, the house is reasonably clean and there are even a coupla episodes of Breaking Bad lined up. Man, am i getting old!?

What's next?
I'm working away on some new products to expand my range, as well as some beautiful new designs that I hope will be welcomed into people's homes soon. I'm also looking forward to the August Life InStyle and a couple of pre-Christmas markets. Lots of work to be done!

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to do:
Read – A Divided Heart by Rachel Power.
Watch- Working our way through Breaking Bad series five.
Cook- Anything from Jamie Oliver’s 15/30min meals (strictly for weekends though as they take us more like 45/90mins).
Create- Pom-poms of late, for my ‘Pushka’ cushion. Something with the kids from the Craft box.
Listen to- Triple R (a great Melbourne community radio station) is a constant at home and in the car. Also loving The National's new album, and the Tallest Man on Earth (Khristian Matsson ). I may have a little crush on him.
Dream about- Having one more day in the weekend to just chill.
Look forward to- Family holiday (in a tropical climate-yay) later in the year. It has been far too long! Looking forward to summer as always.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

and the winners are...

The winners of the 2013 Australian Interior Design Awards have recently been named. Two of the top gongs have gone to - Leeton Pointon Architects + Interiors and Allison Pye for best Residential Design and Nexus Designs for Residential Decoration.

A big shout out also needs to go out to design firm Wrightson Stewart Interiors which took out Best of State Residential Design, Queensland. As a fellow Queenslander I am very proud and truly love the interiors they created for the Teneriffe Warehouse Apartment. Congratulations! 

Residential Design Winner PARK HOUSE


Leeton Pointon Architects + Interiors and Allison Pye Interiors Photography Peter Bennetts


Residential Decoration Winner TRIBECA LOFT - NYC


Nexus Designs Photography Jonny Valiant



Best of State Residential Design, Queensland - TENERIFFE WAREHOUSE APARTMENT


Wrightson Stewart Photography Kylie Hood

Sunday, 9 June 2013

profile rachael smith - penelope & pip.

Rachael Smith of Penelope and Pip

Today I am super excited to be sharing an interview with Rachael Smith, illustrator, craft whiz and all round DIY super-star! In addition to creating humorous, super sweet prints for her label Penelope and Pip, Rachael also contributes to numerous blogs sharing wonderful DIY projects. From clever crafts like miniature hanging gardens which take just a few minutes to knock together, to geometric light shades, it's easy to see Rachael distinctive style which bursts with colour, cheeriness and a touch of cheekiness. So inspiring, I love it! Checkout her lovely range of prints here and set aside PLENTY of time to check out her blog. Just a word of warning though, once you try a few of Rachael's DIYs you'll become hooked...before you know it you'll be popping to Spotlight to load up on felt, fabric, pom poms and craft glue! Lucky it is a long weekend, enjoy!

How would you describe yourself?
Kind, adventurous, nurturing, cheerful and optimistic.

What was your childhood dream?
To be a vet! I loved animals and wanted so desperately to work with them. Then I did a prac at a vet surgery in Year 10 and it was too emotional. All those poor sick kitties! Now I just enjoy drawing them instead.

When did you discover you were a crafty whiz?
I think when I was younger I loved doing crafty things, but it wasn’t until I started a blog and wondered what I could post every day that I really started to unlock my craftiness. I did one project that went viral on Pinterest and it all went from there! Now I work for four major blogs creating lots of DIYs which is loads of fun.

What led you down your current path?
My path as an illustrator began only a couple of years ago when I was looking for a career outside of teaching. I love teaching, but it’s too stressful for a long term job. I started a graphic design course and wasn’t really into all the logo and branding work, but I discovered I really enjoyed illustrating instead.

What do you love most about what you do?
Working from home is a wonderful thing. As is making connections with people from all over the world. I have clients in Asia, America and Europe – it’s amazing how small our world actually is.

Rachael's DIY raindrop cushion project
Where do you draw inspiration for your art prints and pretty paper goods?
I have a quirky sense of humour so I’m always thinking about funny situations with cute animals and their human friends. I get asked this question a lot but I can honestly say I have no idea where the inspiration comes from – it just pops into my head like magic!

Who do you admire?
I admire anyone who runs their own successful small business. I am constantly seeking inspiration from those who have achieved this goal and work hard to follow their advice.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Earning less money in the pursuit of my dreams of being an illustrator. It’s hard to make the move from full time work in a secure well paid job to freelancing. I have no regrets, but I do wish I’d saved more money when I was working in my previous job – I don’t need all those shoes now I work from home.
Rachael's DIY hanger project
What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
I really loved having one of my illustrations on the cover of Bespoke Magazine. It was really exciting to go into the newsagent and see my little girl smiling at me. I have a range of cards with La La Land too and whenever I see one of my illustrations on a card in a shop I have to take a photo as I still don’t believe it.

Do many people think you’re called Penelope? - what’s the story behind the name of your label?
This question made me laugh. Yes, I get that all the time! I just nod sometimes and agree. Penelope and Pip were just two little characters I dreamed up many years ago and the name kind of stuck once I opened my Etsy store.

Rachael's DIY 5 minute frame project
What are your top creative resources?
I’m going to name four blogs I love as they provide great creative resources and inspiration too:
A Subtle Revelry (her DIYs are crazy good!)

Do you have an all time favourite DIY Project?
My favourite DIY was my “Be Thankful” bunting. It hangs in my studio above my desk and reminds me every day how amazingly lucky I am to do what I do.

What is your idea of happiness?
A foreign city, a map and no plans to be anywhere other than in the moment.

What's next?
I’m winding down Penelope and Pip slowly over the next three months to open a boutique invitation business. It’s very exciting and something I’ve been planning for a while. Stay tuned on Penelope and Pip for when the new website will be up and running!

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read – My google reader.
Watch- Anything from HBO.
Cook- Pasta.
Create- Lots of lovely illustrations.
Listen to- Bon Ivor.
Dream about- My next overseas adventure.
Look forward to- Continuing to do what I love.