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.

Monday, 17 March 2014

profile - elke lucas ceramics.

Ceramicist Elke Lucas

Today I am thrilled to feature the work of ceramicist Elke Lucas, who enjoys many of the things I love too - native plants and walking through Noosa National Park - both of which influence her work - no wonder I love it! Elke's ceramics have a lovely curvaceous handmade quality, which makes each individual piece unique. Describing her ceramics as pieces which are, "made to be used, loved and enjoyed," there is no doubt  they add a certain specialness to any table top and I imagine food would undoubtedly taste better served up in one of her hand thrown pots. With an obvious passion for what she does, Elke's insight into her career as a ceramicist is inspiring. I get a real buzz featuring people like Elke who have taken the plunge to pursue what they love to do and despite myriad challenges, continue to find inspiration and joy in what they do every day. You can find Elke at the Peregian Beach markets and can also snap up her pieces on online

How would you describe yourself:
Someone who looks and listens.

What was your childhood dream?
To travel the world.

What led you down your current path?
Love really,  I was traveling up the west coast of Ireland in an old converted red fire engine where I met a surfer who was on the same journey. He came from a family of eccentric artists and he was a potter. We fell in love and after many adventures together we eventually took over the family pottery on the Cornish coast. I thought, ‘well if you can’t beat them join them’ so I started making pots. We used the local earthenware clay from that area and to my surprise found I was a natural and my pots quickly became successful, I always had a secret longing to work with porcelain though, because I loved its delicate translucent quality. Since setting up my studio in Noosa on the Sunshine coast I’ve been able to fulfill that desire as I’m now working with these fantastic Australian porcelains and just loving working with clay again. 

What do you love most about what you do?
Working from home and doing what you love is the most satisfying work – I love working with clay, I love the endless possibilities it represents, I love the successes and sometimes even the failures can help you to progress to where you want to get to. I have two boys too and it’s great that I can be there when they get home from school – working for myself gives me the flexibility to be there for the family and work around it and still get to do what I love..

Where do feel most inspired and what inspires your collections – Botanic – MaC Dot – Running Copper?
Walking through the National Park gives me time to look at all the beautiful leaves,
grasses and flowers that are native to this area. Every time I discover a new shape of leaf or shell, stone or even stick, I have to inspect closely to see if it would work on one of my ceramic pieces. The colours, shapes and textures I see on a daily basis through the park and on the beach are a constant inspiration for my work.

The Botanic Range is inspired by the leaves, grasses and flowers I come across daily when walking through the park.

The effect on the MaC Dot Range is reminiscent of a piece of sea shell that has been scoured by the effects of sand and waves and washed up onto the beach.

The Running Copper Range is a reflection of the greens I see in the park, sometimes the light reflects through the leaves, sometimes the leaves look dark and ‘gloomy’

The König Gold Range has evolved from being inspired by sea urchins and the Darion Fruit (also known as King of fruits) – hence the raised studs on the pots and once I discovered gold it took me right back to my teens when I wore a studded white leather belt after punk had finally reached my sleepy village in the Black Forest!

Who do you admire?
I admire people who have the courage to just be themselves and follow their dreams.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Pottery always has constant challenges. It’s quite a process to get started because of the amount of equipment required to set up a studio and the time you have to put in to acquire the skills involved. It’s taken me a while to take the plunge, invest money and pour myself into it but as soon as I did, it was all worth it.
The work itself is challenging as there are so many factors that can affect the end result from the consistency of the clay to the weather conditions for drying to the glaze testings and the firing techniques – pottery has endless options and endless challenges but that’s what makes it such an interesting craft to be involved in.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
Sometimes juggling the demands of life can become all consuming – so for me those moments when you can suddenly see clearly and feel thankful for everything, those times are precious.

What are your top (four) inspiring resources (books, blogs, music, the outdoors etc)?
The internet is the most amazing resource, I enjoy looking at beautiful ceramics, but really I draw most of my inspiration from nature. I’m a soul girl too, I love the old motown soul classics and usually have either that or some Xavier Rudd or Ben Howard blasting out in the workshop.

Do you have a dream creative project?
Answer- One day I’ll embark on a journey to master the secrets of glaze making

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
I love design that is beautiful to look at as well as being functional.

What's next?
I wish I knew.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read –  Something light usually, PG Woodhouse always makes me laugh.
Watch- Addicted to Breaking Bad at the moment (I know I’m a bit behind).
Cook-  Home made pizza with the family.
Create- Havoc if I’m stressed.
Listen to- Friends solving all the worlds’ problems whilst drinking some wine.
Dream about- The beautiful spacious workshop I one day will have.
Look forward to- Simple and easy times.

Monday, 10 March 2014

profile Anannasa - yen sher lo.

yen sher lo of Anannasa
Vibrant and vivacious are not words I often use to describe someone, but they are very fitting for today's profile on Yen Sher Lo of fashion label Anannasa. I first had the pleasure of meeting Sher last year at her home and was instantly swept into her creative and colourful mix of global styles. I was literally overawed and felt as if I'd traveled to another far more exotic part of the world - a long way from the Brisbane suburb I was in. Just like her home, Sher is full of energy, puts you instantly at ease and one of those people you can just chat to all day long. With a background in fashion overseas, last year Sher launched her new label Anannanas, which features kaftans, layered necklaces and beautiful billowy silk and cotton tops and pants. Sher's stunning home provided the perfect backdrop for the label's 2014 look book and for those who would love a further glimpse of Sher's home, you can read about it in the Autumn edition of Queensland Homes. A big thank you to Sher for sharing her home and creative insight.

How would you describe yourself:
Curious,  creative, Chinese, convivial and compassionate.

What was your childhood dream?
From a very young age, I was always drawing, sketching and making paper dolls wearing different outfits. It seemed inevitable that I would do anything else when I grow up! However, I did a commerce degree which had nothing to do with design but it gave me the opportunity to be fashion buyer for a department store chain in Singapore straight after my stint at Melbourne Uni.

What led you down your current path?
My professional life has always revolved around retail and merchandising from fashion to lifestyle products. However, since emigrating to Brisbane (from Hong Kong) 10 years ago, I gave up my career to raise the kids and to help with the family business. But there’s always been a yearning to do something more. During the middle of last year, with my husband’s encouragement I started my label for a bit of fun. Suddenly I found myself selling to 10 stores within a short period of time. I was so thrilled.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love fashion and I love being creative, so it is a very natural extension of who I am to do this.  A big bonus is I get to go to India again and again! I can also go shopping, read magazines, surf the net, visit places of interest and inspiration and call it work! Best of all, it is very exciting yet humbling to see my clothes being worn by my customers. 

Where do you feel most inspired?
I don’t think I have an answer to that!  Inspiration can appear anywhere and anytime! I love this quote from Grace Coddington (creative director of US Vogue) “never to fall asleep in the car because you might miss potentially inspiring views from the window”!!!

Who do you admire?
Tricia Guild is my style icon. Her intoxicating use of colours and prints in interiors transcends into fashion for me. I get a lift every time I see her work.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
My own insecurities, having second thoughts about starting out as an unknown, in a very competitive market. Other than that, I‘ve been incredibly lucky, it has been rather seamless to date, although I do foresee challenges ahead as the business grows.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
There has been several. But the one that takes the cake is the day when Fashion Allied Agency, Brisbane wanted to represent me!  I went in to deliver a necklace and walked out with them behind me! 

 What are your top inspiring resources?
Fashion and interior magazines, Pinterest and Instagram, people watching and travelling.

Do you have a dream creative project?
I toy with the idea that one day, my four sisters and I can join forces and put our creative talents together! Maybe to run a small but stylish resort in Borneo? The staff will have to wear my kaftans as uniform!

What are you currently coveting in the world of design?
I was in Bangkok a few weeks ago and saw the latest Furla Bag.  I am very partial to it at the moment!!!

What's next?
Developing a second label called Chutnee, so named due to the number of times we ate that while in Rajesthan last month.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read –  Fashion, interior, travel, food, lifestyle magazines…
Watch- Movies; I love movies, from Hollywood to Bollywood, I do not discriminate!
Cook -  Laksa, a family favourite.
Create - Laughter.
Listen to - FM 105.
Dream about - My next holiday possibly Morocco but maybe Bhutan.
Look forward to - Getting my convertible soon!