Thursday, October 30, 2008

chinny chin chin

Not since my ex accidentally gave a christmas card to our friends at their wedding have I laughed to heartily at the inappropriate well, maybe when my friend Serena walked into a telegraph pole... or when she tripped over a blind man's stick. Ok, so i think that I have made my point, I have a fairly black sense of humour all round. Now, with Chinny chin chin's fantastic Cheapskate Cards I can subject my humour on all my nearest and dearest. I really warm to their tag line "When love is too strong a word, show them how you really care with these not-so-gushing greeting cards." This great design team also create other fabulous things like the pre doodled note book, littered with doodles from some amazing artists, incase you think your own doodles aren't up to scratch and it comes complete with a coffee cup stain on the cover. I am now Chinny chin chin's greatest fan and am stocking up for christmas right now! Click here to do the same.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

the future is analogue

Finally, today I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again (well, actually I do, in 4 weeks time) but you'll be left in the very capable hands of Xanthe and just think of all the goodies I'll have for you when I get back from my mini world tour! In the spirit of leaving behind my mobile phone, promising myself not to use the net and just get lost out there in the world I purchased the lovely analogue Diana lomo today. Despite having a father who was a published photographer, i just don't have a natural ability with technology so hopefully going old school will help me capture some ethereal retro images on my way. I'll be sourcing as many hot little european finds as I can for the blog and share them on my return. In the meantime, here are the Lomography Society's tips for shooting, and if you feel like picking up a camera of your own, I recommend you visit the friendly folk at Just Shoot Lomography @ Blender Gallery, 16 Elizabeth St, Paddington, Syndey! 

1. Take your LOMO with you wherever you go
2. Use it all the time, at any time - day or night 
3. Lomography does not interfere with your life, it's a part of it 
4. Get as close as possible to the objects of your lomographic desire 
5. Don't think (William Firebrace) 
6. Be fast 
7. You don't have to know what's going to be captured on your film
8. You don't have to know what's on the film afterwards either 
9. Shoot from the hip 
10. Don't worry about rules

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

crowded teeth

While many people go around complaining about Generation Y (how they're lazy, ungrateful and selfish), let's take a moment to look at a very talented and motivated young woman, Michelle Romo, who is completing an illustration every day of her 25th year and posting them for the enjoyment of the world on her blog Crowded Teeth. While there are plenty of young folk who can't even manage to shower once a day let alone get motivated to do a digital artwork, take it as an encouraging sign that all hope is not lost! I love the name takes me back to my pre-braces days- if only I had a dollar for every time I was told I had crowded teeth!

Monday, October 20, 2008

the letter U

Today's post is brought to you by the letter U. Umbrella. Ubiquitous. Ultra-Violet. Uplift. Teacup. Clock. Well. Almost. My favourite design co of the moment, U+, has released the perfect clock for all the girls I work with- it always tells you it's tea time. Made with real ceramic tea cups, wit and love (which you'll need to get your wallet out for) it is none the less the most charming clock I've come across and sure to get your pinkie finger poised in it's tea cup position just looking at it. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

profile: saffron craig

If you think the world is a better place when sprinkled with hand printed illustrations of owls, then today is your lucky day, because you're going to meet fabric designer extrordinaire, Saffron Craig. One of my favourite things about what she and husband Patrick create together, is that you have the choice of buying their gorgeous fabrics to fashion your own homewares, or if you're prone to having an anxiety attack at the site of a sewing machine like me, there's plenty of goodies they've prepared earlier that you can buy online here or here. Nothing makes me happier than seeing design practitioners go out on their own and be successful with products made with love in a real how does she do it?

Q.Describe your studio in 3 words...leafy, haven, changing
Q.What is the best and worst part about working creatively with your spouse? ... BEST: The creative contribution. He has great eye which I totally trust, he will always always find the solutions to a challenge, he is very calm and centered. WORST PART: We get so involved with the business our daughter has to fight for our attention.

Q.What was your first creative job and roughly how did it lead you to where you are now as an independent practitioner?... After completing and honors degree form Rmit I travelled overseas non stop through europe and the middle East and on returning did not find any creative jobs working for a few years retail was the easiest work for me to find, probably Nicola finetti was the most creative though not really. I started my own label with the support of friends who loved my clothing and wore them and asked for more, so that is what  led me to being an independent practitioner. I use to hand paint silk dresses and wanted to design fabrics so that is where I am now.

for boys with good taste

Aika jeans have really got it sussed, so sussed that I have a love hate relationship with the brand. On the one hand they make me go gooey at the knees .... raw selveged denim, timeless style, impeccable craftmanship and all the jeans, pants, t shirts and shirts look great on. They really have embodied the je ne sais quoi of Japanese design and really shunned the fickle nature of trends, Aika jeans are a life time love affair. Then there is hate. The hate bubbles to the surface every time a set foot in their Sydney flagship store and oasis on Oxford St, Paddington. Hate threatens to take over again when I parouse their awsome website... why? Because it is menswear, and however much I enjoy shopping for others it will never totally satisfy me. I want it for myself! Sorry, that is the only child coming out in me, oops. Anyway, check it out here and see if you aren't also seduced by Aika.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

marguerite magnifique

While I can admit to asking my hairdresser to give me a 'Kate Moss' fringe, as well as to flipping harmlessly through the 'trashies' at lunch with my work girlfriends, I would never in a million years want to trade lives with a celebrity. While many women covet their looks and lifestyle, I would way prefer to spend a day in the life of one of Marguerite Sauvage's illustrations. Far more enchanting and colourful than any real life superstar, I would pack my pink bag and random fluffy animals, and head straight for the Cote D'Azur. Beautiful birds would fly from my hair and I'd end the day staring longingly into my husband's eyes as he offered me cake in a Parisienne patisserie. THAT would beat drinking a giant Starbucks coffee sans makeup while being harassed by paparazzi ANY DAY. Thankfully the prints by this leading lady of French illustration are available here, incredibly for around just $150 US. Elle magazine and Longchamps are also among her press clients to name just two. Sigh!

Catch the Obus

You want to go somewhere a little folksy? Somewhere cool and interesting with a touch of nostalgia, but you also want to be comfy and relaxed. So what do you do? Jump on the obus. I was poking around Melbourne's great lane ways when I discovered this great label. Totally Melbourne designed and made, obus somehow makes the improbable wearable. Now, I love to wear interesting clothes and I love to have eye catching and different clothes in my wardrobe, I I like to be noticed but I really hate to stand out. I am not an attention seeker and my clothes have to be easy to wear (mainly because I throw them on in a delirious morning haze without the benefits of a good strong coffee). Obus can deliver all of these things... and they stock a healthy range of Melissa rubber shoes to top it off! 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I wish I'd thought of that!

I hate to even bring up my uni days...not the most favourite 4 years of my life (crying over assignments, humiliating lecturers, carrying A2 sheets of pasteboard on the bus), but I do remember a particular textiles project where I sewed the outlines of palm fronds and poetic words onto a Bonds tee shirt (yes, i know, how did they let me graduate?). The lecturer rightly hated it and I had to do it again, i think I've blocked the final result from my memory, but I'd like to think that at the last moment I came up with the brilliant Idea of handstitching vintage wallpapers instead, like London's Claire Cole. Why didn't I take a cermaic tea cup and hand stitch that too, rendering it too beautiful and too full of little holes to drink from? When you have a 'why didn't I think of that?" moment, just accept that some people are talented freaks of nature and we should just marvel at the beauty they create instead of being jealous! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

confessions of a print addict

I would like to consider myself a bit of a magazine buff. I have a bit of a penchant for  a good looking periodical, the typography... graphics... ahhh. But mostly I like the opportunity to catch up with what is going on on the world of design, graphics and emerging artists. I like to dream that the cutting edge is actually accessible. My secret mantra is  "I could be cool if I wanted to". Well, the Wooden Toy Quarterly is just the fix I need. A beautiful publication that sits well on any coffee table Wooden Toy Quarterly has its finger firmly placed on the pulse of emerging art and design in Australia and introduces its subjects with interesting in depth articles. Have you ever of Melbourne artist and illustrator Bec Winnell? Or Perth artist Kid Zoon? No? Well you should. And the best part is that the creative director Timba Smits really understands that art is just as important as the artists ( maybe that is because he is also one of Melbourne's coolest creative artists!) I reckon that I will earn some serious street cred just by reading this mag.

Monday, October 6, 2008

confessions of a (not in a ) notebook

I can't actually admit to ever filling a notebook. I intend for amazing scribbles and deep thoughts to make it's bindings burst when I first open a fresh one, but I feel I'm insulting its press-fresh goodness with my appalling handwriting. And there's never a pen around so the pages get spoiled with a green texta at running-out point. I'd rather just display them on desks or shelves to avoid all this guilt. And just when you though nothing new could be done with notebooks after all the revamped cloth covers, moleskins and laser-cutting out there, here are two very display worthy new inventions from Paper + Cup designs (here) and Chikabird (here) 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

natural curiosities

Just two weeks ago my brother in law made the discovery of a human skull on the beach, and made the front page of the local newspaper! While it was pretty interesting being involved in a mystery like that, most of us would prefer to find a lovely seahorse frozen by time, mid sea frolic. So if you're not lucky enough to live by the shore or want someone else to do the foraging through smelly seaweed for you, behold Natural Curiosities, who have all the beautifully illustrated nautical knowledge and botanical beauty you need to display your love for nature in the home.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Body conscious

The recipe for a fantastic outfit? Just make it effortlessly chic, add a spot of individuality, don't forget the relaxed glamour and for the social conscience remember to check for natural fibers and local manufacturing. Easy? Well of course! Just have a look designer Dainy Sawatzky's fashion label Body. Celebrating 10 years this year Body consistently creates clothes that are easy to wear and beautiful, with enough pizzazz to make every woman feel great. I am certainly going to grab a few pieces from the spring summer 08 collection and keep them till they wear out! But don't take my word for it, have a look yourself by clicking here