Thursday, July 31, 2008

pretty bird

My grandfather had a parrot enclosure when I was little, and in his second bedroom, matching wall charts and books to identify them. Just when you thought the current bird trend was exhausted and that every beautiful thing that can be done with a vintage book has been done, along comes Lizzie Buckmaster Dove. Beautiful and expensive...of course I want one, and I don't have any pets so that should justify it!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dark horse from NY of course

Is a Dark Horse the same as a Black Sheep? Discuss. 
I have fallen for this little antique shop in Brooklyn called Erie Basin (which i admittedly spotted on Designsponge). Don't you love finding one place that just offers everything you love? Found it! Sadly the D ring has sold, but I am thinking the design might make a nice tat, being my second initial. Saddle up people, I'm off to NY!

Stay Ferm

Put away the Jane Fonda work out videos, there's a new way to stay ferm, and no, that's not a typo. The girls I work with and I are all awaiting the moment we can buy the gorgeous birdy cushion below online, because while bits and bobs from Ferm Living have been available in Nordic Fusion (and online in the US and Denmark), it's been announced you'll finally be able to buy this home grown but Danish inspired brand with the click of a button in it's home country- Australia. Think wallpaper, decals, bedlinen, the works. Start salivating and I'll keep you posted. Oh, and if the cushion is sold out you'll know who to blame;)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

decoy indeed

Decoy: a beguiler who leads someone into danger (usually part of a plot); to lure or entrap with or as if with a decoy. Oh dear, it seems I've taken the bait! Liquidy watercolours. Beautiful girls. Pretty animals. Printed for you to treasure for just $20?
It's like a Derwent-induced hallucination and this is just a taste of what the unfairly gifted Maiko Kuzunishi has cooked up in her little laboratory! Visit Decoy Lab here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

cute as a button

Very. Strange. Coincidence. At age 3 I was a sunny little blonde girl in brown corduroy overalls (mine actually had an owl embroidered on the front) and I wore them to a kindy excursion to the farm. I kid you not. And I hated those overalls like you wouldn't believe. Only now, seeing this gorgeous art work in which the artist somehow psychically channelled my childhood do I see how cool they were...for a 3 year old in 1983. You can buy this art as well as vintage fabric covered buttons and badges (also shown) from The Button Tree. From $12!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Imagine coming home and finding some of your toys missing. Mum would say 'I gave them to Elsie, for the poor children'. Elsie was the sweet old church lady down the street who repaired unwanted toys for poor children, as Mum promised, and I was totally cool with that. There was only ever one mistake, Flopsy was a soft pink rabbit who always had her eyes closed and I wasn't done with her yet, and she accidently got passed onto Elsie...I need to check out the new range from super-talent Mine by Katherine Pont.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

weekend idea

The question here is, what do you love more....your book or its' cover art?
If your answer is the cover, you could take your favourite old book covers and frame them like Andy Spade did for an exhibition at the Collette gallery In Paris. I must admit, these pics are not brand new but when I came across them again it got me thinking what a great weekend project this would make in this rainy weather...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh what a beautiful morning

Even though it's wet outside and cold enough to freeze the raindrops before they hit the ground, here is why today is already off to a great start for me, just by appreciating the little things...
I finished the last page of the book I was reading in the coffee shop on the way to work.
I enjoyed licking the chocolately foam from inside my takeaway coffee lid. 
I visited the website of American photographer Jen Gotch and got a caffeine-strength hit of warm fuzziness and inspiration to start the working day. Love her felt pen style website navigation, be sure to check it out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

lead weight

Remember your first HB pencil at school, making your first lines of neat handwriting with it in an exercise book, learning from your friends the fine art of 'shading' pretty pictures in the corners of the pages.... I think my new favourite Aussie artiste Kelly Smith knows what I'm talking about. I'm feeling a whole lotta love for her work right now! 

Sunday, July 20, 2008

a good weekend

Sorry for missing your monday morning post! I was enjoying the weekend too much and forgot to get organised last night. Here are some happy weekend snaps from 1961, by Slim Aarons, the famous lifestyle photographer of Vanity Fair notoriety. Who could want more from a weekend than an overdone fake tan and bleached hair by a californian swimming pool or an outdoor soiree in the snow sporting hair as stiff as the nearby glaciers. A pair of red capris doesn't go astray either when you need to stand out against an entirely bamboo-decorated poolhouse. Happy days....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

a little birdy told me...

Coloured with water based dyes on machinery run by solar power (in Byron Bay of course), Rachel of Bird Textiles' new spring summer range of clothes and facrics invokes A Midsummer Night's Dream. 
p.s. She now has a lovely new store on Cleveland St, Surry Hills (though I'd prefer a leisurely drive to Byron any day.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

perfect bound

Are you a stylist? I thought so! 
I mean, wouldn't we all like to fancy ourselves as stylists, arranging a bit of this and that in a fanciful way for a living? Of course the reality of styling is layers and layers of collecting, borrowing, shooting and editing with love, but Canadians Julie and Kathryn of Perfectbound make it look so easy. They don't even own a cool camera or so much as a light metre! And they do it just for the love of it! Check out their Flickr photostream which is beautifully categorised into themes and is now in my permanent library of design inspiration...a great vault of resource for stylists out there too!

Monday, July 14, 2008

ethereal delights

I didn't think it was unusual that I grew up on the back of my Dad's Ducati. He wore a black balaclava when  he rode it home from work in winter so it always seemed as if we were visited by a friendly burglar each weeknight. I was brainwashed to believe that a Ducati is the only motorcycle worth riding, but I have recently discovered that I also love Kawasaki...yes, I digress, I am now talking about the delightfully ethereal artist Audrey Kawasaki whose last name happens to be that of a motorbike label.
 Today, if you haven't already, you will fall under a spell...guided through misty forests, wildflowers and oceanic mystery you will discover that you love the art of Audrey  as much as I do!

Issue 1 out now!

Throw away your bookmarks, pull your bookshelves off the wall. All you'll be needing from now on is the lusciously digital page turning experience that is Mankind Mag, the beautiful magazine for creative types that you can flick through online, download and keep, or, if you're not quite ready to give up 'losing your page', order a printed copy. Issue 1 HERE!

feeling fifties

To this day my grandmother claims the best gift she was ever given was an Acme nappy wringer in 1956. No more boiling nappies in a copper pot, this modern invention changed her life forever. While I can't see the nappy wringer making a comeback, plenty of other household goodies from the fifties are, such as trusty wood veneer, the new canvas for many retro design houses and illustrators, including Pop Ink  (below) and Cabin and Cub.(above) Get your Mr Sheen ready to polish these babies for years to come!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

five year plan

I got my first diary at age nine. It included many an angsty entry about how I loathed to practice the piano, how Dad would only give me have half a Wagon Wheel for arvo tea today, and the scandalous moment when a girl in my class wet herself during story time leaving a puddle on the floor in the shape of - I kid you not- a koala! It's been a passion ever since...if only I'd known I could have condensed as many as 5 years of journalling into one sexy package. Grab one from Fred Flare and enjoy looking back on the ride when it's full.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Let's hear it for the boys!

I sometimes forget that the world of design involves the male species too...for those of you getting a bit flowered out, meet two of my favourite, crazy, multi-talented designers. Jaime Hayon, from Spain, can design anything, enjoys bizarre publicity shots and I've seen him illustrate an entire wall in one sitting on video. Jonathan Adler from the US started as a potter and now has a retro-poppy empire online. And that's about all the testosterone I can offer you today!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

my beautiful tea towel

When Mum drove us up the North Coast for holidays in the 80's, there was a part of the Pacific Highway she dreaded called Bulahdelah Forest. Dark with tall Eucalypts and very windy roads, we would reach this stretch of road when Mum was getting tired of driving and she would ask us to all sing a song to keep her awake. She made it up in her true random style by looking at something in the car to inspire her and taught us the words. It was about a tea towel and the melody was something akin to such ditties as  'chitty chitty bang bang' or 'Step in Time' from Mary Poppins in it's cheery repetitiveness and even lent itself to us singing rounds for the next hour. Sadly that part of the bush is now bypassed, but look Mum, there are some gorgeous new towels to sing about from Lovely Lovely on your next road trip. Lyrics to 'My Beautiful Tea Towel': My Beautiful tea towel! My beautiful tea towel!I love my faithful tea towel faithfully! oh faithfully! repeat (x10)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Designer's Guild loves Laduree

What a tease...flaunting French goodies in front of your eyes that you can't get without a plane ticket in hand! You'll just have to imagine you're in Paris, there's a summer afternoon drizzle, but you happen to have a flouncy parasol handy. It seems just about time for royal tea and the only macaroons really worth eating in all the it's off to the Laduree Tea Salon, around the corner at 16 Rue Royal, Paris. The sweet meringue collapses into the cream filling on your are like Marie Antoinette (the cool, Sofia Coppola version) and before you wake up, you reach to snatch a souvenir- of all the pretty vintage gift boxes there is only one choice on this trip, the new Designer's Guild box, whose designer, Trisha Guild, has translated her wallpaper design skills for this decadent cause. Bon Apetit!

My Beautiful Backside

Words like 'butt' and 'bum' were forbidden in my house when I was little (how times have changed!) However 'backside' was acceptable which means I would have been able to refer to these uber chic and super expensive retro couches which are aptly named 'My Beautiful Backside'.Designers Doshi Levien won't be dropping them into stores til early 09...but at least you heard about it here first, with plenty of time to start saving up!

Friday, July 4, 2008

another famaous rabbit

French, impeccably dressed in designer dresses hot off the catwalk, her name is Fifi and she's a blogger too, with a facebook, a shop...oh, and did I mention she's an adorable illustrated bunny!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

belle and boo

It's raining outside but children dance and play in the sunshiny world of belleandboo as we speak. Mandy Sutcliff's illustrated creations are a warm teapot of goodness on a day like this! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I dub thee 'UK DAY' at Love Illustrated

Grab your dread-it card, a cup of tea and an English muffin! Having spent the day with various friends coming and going from London I am inspired to introduce my picks for shopping this afternoon in the kingdom that's united.

Meet Ella Doran and her home accessories with photos printed on them. Loving these place mats with vintage plate pics on them, and pencil cases with pencil photos on them.
Michelle Mason has an amazing array of laser cut rugs, lampshades, bags, tea towels, the lot me love!
And last but not the least, the grande dame of British textiles, Celia Birtwell with her diving fabrics and wallpapers.

must- reads for creative types

Waiting for my amazon package to arrive was almost too much to bare...but the relief of plopping down in front of the heater and having a greedy first flick through these design books, their fresh paper aroma filling the apartment...well, i can only encourage you to treat yourself to the same!

behind the curtain

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, seeing what cool designer's studios look like, these are a few of my favourite things! Kate Spade, the queen of NY style, has added a fascinating element to her website called Behind the Curtain where you can see all the goings on of her headquarters, from the books they release, parties they attend and the way her staff style their working environment. A true chic-peek!

thou shalt not covet...

...but on a cold windy morning in the middle of winter when you've run out of cash, it's hard not to dream of a day in the life of a trendy designer enjoying the millions their creativity has bought them on some island in the Bahamas!

a little retro for little people

Over dinner on Saturday night, my lovely friends Amee and Glenn, (an architect and photographer who live in a tree house) were expressing their disdain for plastic children's toys, and that one day when they bring little ones into the world, only lovely wooden, Scandinavian and vintage toys will do. I couldn't agree more and would recommend they visit for the best in retro chic for kids.