Tuesday, 29 April 2014

profile artist & surface designer - belinda marshall.

artist belinda marshall        photo by Martina Gemmola
Cool calming colour combinations don't come any better than those from the palette of Melbourne based artist and surface designer Belinda Marshall. Incredibly easy on the eye, Belinda's painterly works draw you in and lead your eye around the canvas/teatowel/cushion/card - whichever the surface may be - you can take a peak at Belinda's collection here.  Don't be surprised if your shopping cart fills up quickly. And if you love collecting beautiful tea towels you never intend using on the dishes, you can get your hands Belinda's limited edition linen teatowels here. I love them! The cushions are also irresistible.....

How would you describe yourself?

What was your childhood dream?
To have a horse!

What led you down your current path?
The desire to do something truly creative, for myself.

What do you love most about what you do? 
I love making work that comes from somewhere inside, the surprise of the finished work is exciting and I also love the feeling when others connect to the work. 

Who do you admire?
Miranda Skoczec, Jo davenport and Wes Anderson.

What challenges have you had to overcome? 
Breast cancer, separation, single parenting and finding the time to paint in amongst it all!

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment? 
My work was licensed for the Goteborg Opera 2014/15 campaign this month and that has been really amazing.

What are your top (four) inspiring resources (books, blogs, music, the outdoors etc)?
* design*sponge
* travel, 
* miranda july stories
* my instagram feed.

Image of  'everything, all at once' linen cushion with feather insert
Do you have a dream creative project?
I would love to create a range of bedding!

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
A seven hands high desk with blue legs.

What's next?
Wall hangings and a design market at the end of the year.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read - My instagram feed.
Watch- An episode of whichever series I’m into.
Cook- Never like cooking!
Create- A painting.
Listen to- Chet Faker.
Dream about- A trip to Spain.
Look forward to- A night out with friends.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

top four - planters.

I think I've raved before about my love of plants indoors and of course in the garden. My favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning is head to the markets and splurge on a few plants, then spend the rest of the weekend working out where I can put them. 

Although I mostly buy plants for the garden (and therefore spend a lot of time digging holes), I've never thought of indoor plants as daggy, as I feel most rooms in the house benefit from a plant, or at least some greenery to give it life. I am a little obsessed and am very partial to dracenas and succulents indoors so, with this in mind I thought I would round up a few planters which have taken my fancy lately. Very tough! In refining my top four, I decided to go for colourful, smaller table top planters. I hope you like them too!

1. Ombre planters  Sown Sow

2. Ceramic bright pots The Small Garden

3. Diamond Planters  Love Hate

4. Mint Bamboo Basket  The Family Love Tree

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

profile Charlene Spiteri - warp & weft.

 POP Brights

charlene spiteri of warp & weft

If you hadn't notice, macrame is big right now - particularly macrame plant hangers. Someone who has mastered the art is macrame queen Charlene Spiteri of warp & weft who perhaps was inspired by her childhood home which was full of knotted wall hangings and planters. Far from 'nanna craft' Charlene's hand knotted pieces are modern, stylish and colourful. I particularly love her unique macrame pendants. Intrigued by the name warp & weft, Charlene enlightened me it was inspired by weaving terminology - ‘Warp refers to the strands of yarn positioned on a loom length ways, while ‘Weft’ is the direction yarn is placed into the warp, horizontally then interwoven together to create a textile. Specialising in both macarame and woven pieces which are all meticulously handmade by Charlene from her Melbourne, there is something about the them which just seems cheerful. If you're looking to inject a little fun and colour into your interiors I think these are ideal - particularly the hangers filled with a lovely cascading plants. You can find Charlene's full range here or get in touch to commission a custom piece.

How would you describe yourself in five words?
Passionate, vocal, creative, meticulous, generous

What was your childhood dream?
From a young age I always had this vision that I would see my future involving some creative element. My family and extended family were all in the design field so having this exposure gave me inspiration. I actually thought I would follow my dad’s footsteps and become a designer draftswomen as I recall drawing my future home on paper; creating interesting spaces and room layouts. It turns where my parent’s were born, is well known for making textiles pieces dating back to BC. My intrigue and interest in this is where textiles played a big role for years to come.

What led you down your current path?
After studying textile design with honours I fell into the textiles automotive field by coincidence. After years of being in the automotive business as a creative designer for Ford and Holden, I really wanted get back into making products by hand, so I started creating my own hand woven cloth for a few years selling these through markets. I then decided to venture into other areas of textiles and really wanted to explore macramé. After learning the knots/techniques, which came really easily to me (I think having a weave background may have helped!) I started to make pieces for myself and from here my pieces gained lots of interest.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love the creative element, being able to work with various materials; having that tangible piece, a connection to something that I have created. Macramé requires the basic of tools - rope, knot techniques and your imagination. I love being able to design something and see the end product in a home. That gives me so my joy!

Macrame Wall Hanging

Where do feel most inspired?
Inspiration for me has no restrictions. It can come from the most unusual places and can also come at a whim. I do a lot of thinking and drawing which is typically how my ideas are triggered.

Who do you admire?
Other like minded designers like myself who have gone off to create their own labels and do what they love. Mara Kapsis who creates stunning hand printed textiles and Amy Wright from Wunderplant a floral artist and stylist. Two amazing women...

What challenges have you had to overcome?
The time versus cost. It’s always hard to put a value on a handcrafted piece when it has taken hours to create.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
Creating a custom macramé piece for a Levis Store in Malibu in the USA.
It all happened very quickly and next thing I’m making two overly large pieces for a retail store display with two weeks lea time. It was my first commercial piece and was proud to carry an ‘International’ name. Also recently became featured in Stylesight interior trend report….

What are your top inspiring resources?
Magazine - Frankie.
Book - The natural home.
Website – Designspiration.
Music – David Bowie, China girl.

Do you have a dream creative project?
Creating a large macramé installation for a venue event and creating a series of unique macramé art sculptures for gallery open.

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
Beyond traditional macramé. Venturing into lights & taking macramé one step further, into 3D printing.

What's next?
Fitting out my soon to be renovated home studio.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read – Trend reports.
Watch- My crazy cat chase objects.
Cook- Scrambled eggs on toast.
Create- New macramé ideas.
Listen to- Tropical rainforest sounds.
Dream about- Fun and happy moments.
Look forward to- The future.

Monday, 7 April 2014

I like it!

Introducing the new kids room range from Cotton On - featuring cushions, bed linen and toys it is all lovely and not overly 'kiddy'. There are no wiggles, disney characters or scary combinations of pink and purple - just raindrops, geometrics and stars. Perfect for little kids and big kids. I am patiently waiting on the wall art range, it must be coming soon too.




My favourite is this guy - 

For the full range head online. Selected pieces available in selected stores soon.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

profile kati williams - spoken.


Kati Williams of Spoken
I absolutely LOVE plywood, so when I spied Kati Williams pieces, they Spoke to me! Sorry, I couldn't help the play on words. For Kati Spoken started as a side project making carved plywood wall art to help fund her and partner Rory's bespoke furniture company Maker Studio, yet it's turned into a thriving  business in itself. With a love of writing and obvious knack for working with timber, combining the two is a natural fit for Kati who makes all the pieces herself from her Noosa studio. One which particularly resonates with me is, "but first, coffee", so true! You can find Spoken online here, or if you are on the Sunshine Coast you can pick up a selection of boards at Lamington in Noosa and Kati is at the Eumundi Markets each Wednesday and Saturday.... Stay tuned for a further peak at Kati's and Rory's talent with timber over the coming weeks.

How would you describe yourself:
Grounded, stubborn, honest, creative and independent.

What was your childhood dream?
To be a ballet dancer.

What led you down your current path?
When I finished Uni at the end of 2008 with a marketing and creative writing degree, all I wanted to do was get a job in big company in the marketing department. Unfortunately the GFC was happening and jobs were scarce (non-existent for first year graduates). So, I found a full time job in retail and started working on my own projects on the side.

It wasn’t until my boyfriend wanted to start designing and making furniture that we started making the quote boards in our spare time. Initially we were hoping they would help fund the equipment and materials needed to start developing a range of furniture, but we soon realised they were a business in their own right. I quit my job and bought a pair of blundstones. 

You, Me and the Sea.

What do you love most about what you do?
I saw a quote a few weeks ago that said “love the necessary work” and although making the same product over and over again can get very monotonous I do enjoy the continual work it provides. I always feel busy and productive, which I suppose is true with plenty of jobs, so it’s great I get that feeling from my own business. I have to say though, my favourite aspect of making quote boards is cutting out new designs for the first time and changing my colours every six months. 

Where do feel most inspired?
Travel seems to be my best source of inspiration. I love getting out of my normal environment and experiencing new things. I always feel refreshed and full of ideas after a holiday or weekend away. 

Who do you admire?
My parents for instilling good work ethic in me. And I guess anyone who is willing to go after their passions in life- it’s very inspiring. 

Ampersand - Personalised Wedding Board

What challenges have you had to overcome? 
The biggest challenge has been starting a business in an ‘organic’ way.  Learning to manage and grow a business without loans is sort of tricky. It’s great because you learn to walk before you run and you learn to prioritise your finances, but you really do need to spend money to make money. I feel like I’m finally getting a tiny bit of flexibility which is definitely improving my daily life. For example spending money on things that will make the process easier (better tools, customised packaging, etc.)

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment? 
 I think when the quote boards really started to take off. It feels like such a big risk putting in so much time, money and effort into something when you aren’t even sure it’s going to sell. It’s SO exciting when people love it too-  it’s very rewarding and a good motivator to keep going. 

What are your top inspiring resources?
*Pinterest for styling and interiors although it’s also very distracting
*All forms of writing I come across—  books, poem excerpts, articles, whatever really. Things resonating with me was why I decided to initially cut quotes into the boards (as opposed to images). 

Do you have a dream creative project?
I’m really looking forward to either building or renovating my own house one day. I’m not in any rush to do it, but my interest in interiors has only really developed in my mid 20’s, so I think it’d be a great project (and challenge). 


What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
Plumen light globes and Pony Rider textiles.

What's next?
Promoting the quote boards and getting them out there. Adding a blog to the website, doing some more styled photo shoots, adding new quotes to the range— my list of things I’d like to do is endless, it’s just finding the time to schedule it all in. 

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to: 
Read -  About to start “Where’d you go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple - I’ve heard good things.
Watch -  I seem to be in this crime/legal drama phase right now. Two favourites at the moment are The Good Wife and Scandal.
Cook-  My go-to tomato pasta recipe or eating out.
Create- Special Sunday morning breakfasts.
Listen to- My custom spotify stations.
Dream about - Sleep ins.
Look forward to - Catching up with friends.