Tuesday, 18 February 2014

top four - teatowels.

Thanks to dishwashers and drying racks, these days there is no real need to own masses of purely functional tea towels, which is great as it means decorative tea towels can be enjoyed like a true work of art. 

Below are my current favourites, which I believe should be simply admired for their good looks rather than relegated to drying wet dishes.

As an aside, when our dishwasher recently broke down I realised how integral it is in our household and I how much I love and appreciate all the work it does! Thankfully it was back working again after two days and I didn't need to use any 'good' tea towels.

1. Aussie Love- Everingham & Watson 
2. Fest - The Minimalist
3. Velo - Ferm Living
4.Tulip 2 - Castle

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

happy 50th unikko.

Marimekko's bold Unikko poppy print is instantly recognisable and this year the iconic pattern celebrates its 50th anniversary. It seems the prints popularity hasn't waned over the years as it has transcended fashion, reinvented itself in numerous colourways and graced all sorts of homewares from tea cups and towels, to cushions and lampshades. Interestingly the Unikko print designed in 1964 by Maija Isola, was inspired by a statement by Marimekko’s founder Armi Ratia that the company did not manufacture floral prints. In protest, Maija designed an entire collection of floral patterns. Seems like it was a good they made an exception and ran with it!

Beautiful 50th Anniversary Inspired Pieces -


A taste of colourful new season Marimekko -Love Love Love it!

Monday, 10 February 2014

store profile - hearts and minds art - greg peeler.

Greg Peeler Hearts And Minds Art
Todays profile features Hearts Minds and Art, a lovely store in Hastings St Noosa,  which belongs to a Greg Peeler and his partner Julie. Both passionate supporters of local artisans, their store is filled with great pieces made by talented artists and crafters including their own works- Greg produces wood and wire peg frames, while Julie is a fine photographer. If you're in Noosa, add a visit to Hearts Minds and Art to your holiday itinerary followed by a dip in the ocean and a long lunch. 

How would you describe yourself?
Happy, generous, considerate, good company and friendly.

What led you down your current path?
A move from the Mornington Peninsula (Victoria) to Noosa after children left home. A move we are loving. I started fiddling with timber and my peg frames started to take off. A retail opportunity came up, we ran with our ideas and here we are!

Where do you feel most inspired?
In the presence of my partner Julie, when we are chatting over a glass of wine. Lists are made, hands are waved around; we have a lot of fun planning.
What challenges have you had to overcome?
Belief that I do have a creative “side”, particularly as my background is real estate. I have always enjoyed drawing housing and 3D plans, so I guess there is some creative spark there!

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
Every time I look at my life as it is, with what I am doing and the people I love.
locally made stools at Hearts Minds Art Noosa
Do you have a dream creative project?
To increase, or pull together, ways to further create opportunities for other dedicated artisans to display and sell their works, and to be appreciated for their talent. I also enjoy working with clients to design furniture to suit their particular needs, so more of that

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
Colour, colour, colour. I do tend to lean towards new works of art rather than so-called vintage.

What's next?
To grow our business and replicate it in other towns, but keeping the focus on ‘local artists’. Of course my peg frames will find their way in there too!

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to: 
Read – Autobiographies, crime and suspense novels.
Watch- Sport .
Cook – Definitely BBQs, my favourite ‘Gregs burgers’, butterflied lamb
Create- My timber peg frames.
Listen to- 50s and 60s music.
Dream about- The next step, more travel.
Look forward to- Tomorrow (and playing more golf).

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

top four + 2 - birthday wishlist.

As it is my birthday next week, I thought I'd compile a top 4 wishlist and added an extra 2 for good measure. Of course I don't need any of these things and I don't expect to actually receive any either (well maybe number 1...fingers crossed...) However, just like pouring over recipe books to pick your ultimate cake, half the fun of Birthdays is putting together a fanciful list of things you love. So, in no specific order here is what I'm currently coveting.

1. Unikko fabric - Marimekko 
As this year is the 50th anniversary of the classic Unikko print and I've always loved everything Marimekko does, I thought it is time I added a little bit of Marimekko into my life. 

2. Banksia by Nicola Cerini - Zaishu. 
Every since I first spotted a Zaishu stool years ago I have loved them and wanted one. They've been out of production, but they're back. This botanical inspired one by Nicola Cerini is my absolute favourite!
3. Sääpäiväkirja salad platter - Marimekko.
Much the same as number one, I feel Marimekko products and prints are absolute classics and you can never go wrong with them. I particularly love their weather range...more on this next week when I devote a few more posts to Marimekko.
4. Home - Orla Kiely.
If you've read my blog for a while, it should be no surprise that I am completely in love with everything Orla Kiely produces. For me no one else perfects colour combinations like Orla. As I am quite vocal in my obsession, I seem to have inspired a bit of a tradition amongst friends and family, who spoil me with something Orla Kiely each Birthday and Christmas. I am more than happy to keep this tradition going! Orla's new HOME book provides an insight into her own mid century modern abode and others which have inspired her prints and homewares collections.

5. The Trees - Belynda Henry.
I admire a lot of art I will never own, but simply appreciate from afar. For me it is the colour combinations and stylised lines of Belynda's work which I love and can imagine hanging on one of my walls. 

6. Still Point -  Kirra Jamison.
I have told myself, with a little experimentation I would be able to create one of these myself, however deep down I know any attempt at a replica would be far, far inferior and too embarrassingly bad to ever hang. Just like many things which are done really well, it looks like it could be easy to paint. But I know it's not. That is why I want it.

Monday, 3 February 2014

profile print society - karen johnston.


Karen Johnston of The Print Society

This week I am kicking off the first profile of 2014 with textile designer Karen Johnston of The Print Society. Bright, geometric and bold, Karen's screen printed designs are inspired by her travels, love of traditional textiles and joy of playing with shape and scale. Layered with lovely colours and trimmed with poms poms and fringing they're the perfect antidote for a dull couch. If you are keen to learn the ins and outs of screen printing Karen is launching courses later this year. I have been hankering to get my hands dirty and delve into screen printing and if I lived closer to Sydney I would definitely do a course through the Print Society and then venture further south and enroll in a class at the Harvest Workroom. For more details sign up to Karen's mailing list here.

How would you describe yourself:
Meticulous, aware, adaptable, optimistic, tenacious.
What was your childhood dream?
My childhood dream was to have my own newspaper.  I remember being at school and asking my friends to write stories that I could publish.  I have no idea how I thought I could actually produce my little newspaper, but I do recall trying to sell subscriptions!

What led you down your current path?
I was fortunate enough to have an exceptional art teacher in high school, who exposed me to many different forms of art and taught me a great deal about art history.  I can still remember the first screen print that I pulled on paper in that class, and the huge amount of instant satisfaction that I felt when I lifted the screen.
My tertiary studies were in fashion design, and later textile design where I honed my screen printing methods and skills.

What do you love most about what you do?
For me the love is in producing something tangible that will last forever.  I’m not just creating an idea or a process, I’m making pieces that people can touch and feel, and that I hope will take a lasting place in their homes.

Where do you feel most inspired?
In a quiet, cosy cabin during winter; overlooking mountain bushland.

Who do you admire?
Marina Abramovic is possibly the world’s most renowned performance artist.  Her determination and focus in incredibly inspiring.  “The Artist is Present” is a recent documentary that explores Marina’s life and practice.  Prepare to be amazed.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and needed nine months to recover.  Striving to be creative during that time was both a challenge and an absolute blessing.

What’s been a ‘pinch yourself’ moment?
I’m lucky enough to experience little ‘pinch yourself’ moments all the time.  It may sound corny, but every time a person subscribes to our mailing list, I feel humbled that people like what I’m doing and want to hear more.

What are your top four inspiring resources:
      * Art galleries – there is something about taking the time to stand still and study the elements of an artwork that I find both completely indulgent and inspiring.
      * Kinfolk and Anthology magazines – both of these titles have a sensibility that inspires me.  There is a quiet sense of enquiry to them both that encourages you to look at your surroundings in a different light.
      * Traditional ethnic textiles – I am a complete sucker for textiles from anywhere including India, Iran, Africa, Japan, the list goes on…the multitude of reference books in my library are proof of this.
  * I like moody music, and I love jazz, mainly instrumental stuff.  I think it’s the lack of lyrics that lets your imagination reach its own conclusion.  Creating new colour ways whilst listening to music is a must.

Do you have a dream creative project?
My dream creative project is to create large quirky works for public spaces that focus on social issues such as homelessness and cancer research.  I’m developing a plan for an idea at the moment that requires public interaction, which I hope will increase engagement with these causes.

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
I’ve been hankering to get my hands on one of Tom Dixon’s cast copper Mini Jacks for quite some time now.  For me this object offers a piece of unbreakable and shiny nostalgia.

What’s next?
We’ve been working on the development of our own range of textile inks.  Coming very soon!

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to do?
Read Short Stories.  At the moment I’m reading Ranpo Edogawa’s “Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination”.
Watch Woody Allen films.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched ‘Annie Hall’
Cook  Pork and napa cabbage dumplings.
Create Experimental fabrics, using random materials.
Listen to Jazz with a glass of vino.
Dream about Taking a trip to Bhutan.
Look forward to The launch of our next collection!