Sunday 31 August 2008

Some artists I like...

Over the next couple of days I'm going to post some of my favourite Australian artists...
The first one is a lovely friend of mine Yumi Takahashi. She is a multi-disciplinarian artist, spanning water colour illustrations, weaving and anything else she thinks of.

NP and I were lucky enough to have her beautiful work on the booklets for our wedding in April. There were two different designs that spoke of little things that reminds her of us. It was so special to have her do this for us.

Thank you Yumi!

Images: From Yumi's Website.

So I thought I was going to be posting about my favourite artists last week, but that didn't really happen... I thought I'd scheduled them properly, but alas! I've worked it out now so here they are...

Six Hours of Summer

We had a glimpse of Summer in Sydney this weekend, and I was so happy to be up and out in the world to witness it... while NP reffed soccer, I wandered down to Bondi and walked along the coastal path to Bronte. Five minutes into it and I was peeling off my hoodie and getting my arms out to feel the first rays of light in four months. Perhaps I should have thought to bring my SPF, but I couldn't resist!

Sunday 24 August 2008

A new knitting project!

A new knitting project began after perusing the lovely Wool Shack website... they have such a divine range of yarns and could not resist bundling up some of the Sublime Cotton Organic. And I thought a nice new set of needles wouldn't go astray either (I chose the very sensible Baah Harrah Painted Floral ones). The girl's promised it would be a treat to open the parcel and they were right. And so great to knit with. I have taught myself a new daisy stitch with a few trial and errors, though I kinda like those random mistakes and wobbly edges. A salute to the hand-made!

Metis Sheets

My mum gave us a lovely gift of a set of Metis Sheets. She and I share a bed linen gene that cannot be conquered. We both have linen cupboards over flowing (though her armoires are a little bigger than mine!) These metis sheets are as crispy as you can get because of the linen and hemp fibres. Delicious!

Saturday 23 August 2008

Wish List

I've been collecting all the things I would like to buy in a bookmarks folder called "Wishlist" in attempt to stop the spontaneous spending. The idea is, if I still want these things in a month, perhaps they are actually worth buying. However, having them in the wishlist seems to heighten their desire-ity to greater levels. Oh well.

1. A Chloe Pleat Panel Dress inspired by sails in the wind... half price on Net-A-Porter, but still about 3 times the amount I'd like it to be!

2. The Martin Sitbon Pebbled Bucket Tote, which as far as I can see is not available anywhere. A relief as I would have to have it otherwise! It turns out that Sitbon designed for Chole, which really makes perfect sense.

3. Savannah DK at the Loop Shop, UK... a yummy hand dyed .organic blended yarn of cotton, merino, linen and silky soy fibre. Favourite colours are as follows: Bluegrass, Bleu Marine, Seafoam, Crimson, Moss and Pink Grapefruit.

4. The Whistler Knit boots by Ugg.... the grey ones are my favourite... so cosy and warm! P.S. My shoe size is 9 if you would like to bless me with these snugglers!

5+6.  I am desperate for some good SPF Moisturiser and have heard that Kiehl's deliver the goods... Not sure which one would be better though. Being a sucker for packaging the Abyssine is looking good.

7. Some more lovely wool, this time Australian Made by Pear Tree Yarn. 
The Oishi Merino is inspired by Japanese vintage Kimono's in colours such as Acacia, Eucalyptus, Jacaranda, Pilbara and Rosella. Ooooo!

8. These lovely prints are by Hanna Konola of Helsinki. Recycled paper too! They would look quite nice next to my Fifi print!

I thought it would be fun for everyone to vote for what I should buy next month! Please let me know and your reason.

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Sugar Plum Debut

After making some head-pieces for our wedding in April I thought I'd do some research and start branching out into a whole new arena!
The pieces are called Sugar Plums (my Mum's name for me since I was little) and the first series was based on a rather forgettable movie "Prince Caspian", part of the Narnia series. The only thing I really remember is how lovely the costumes were, and the grey/teal/red palette used so beautifully. 
So here are the first couple of pieces for you to see! Mostly made of fabrics I've collected plus some feathers too.

Images: My own, except for the Narnia shot, by Disney.

Lovin' 'Paris is Burning', LadyHawke.

LadyHawke was on Triple J this morning and I must say I quite like this song... not many words so I can sing-a-long in the car - the perfect theme song for me! She's from NZ,which is where one sis lives at the 'mo... it makes me feel a little closer to her!

In other music news, tonight I was playing a copy of a Valentine's Mix Tape I made the boy who I had a big crush on for about 3 years while at COFA... very unrequited, very fraught! And no wonder I never ever got a response, not even while watching the Valentine's Day OC Episode at his house... the music is all mopey and boo-hoo... I was obviously pine-ing in a big way! Makes me chuckle!

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Tickets are booked!

NP and I are jetting down to Melbourne for my birthday next month! This is very exciting and a whole lotta planning must be done so every moment is made the most of.

Here are my priorities for the trip:

1. Pellegrini's Espresso Bar ( I rang today to make a reservation, but it seems we'll have to fend for ourselves. The Italian man told me not to worry, there will be a special seat waiting just for us... I'm a little suspicious as he does not know when we will arrive... there better be a table!!)

2. Art Deco Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria... I've been told it's wonderfully beautiful. I have the V+A Exhibition Guide my Dad brought back from the UK... so inspiring. Though I've just read no sketching is allowed in the gallery. Boo.

3. All the shops that I read listed in the mags but sigh when I see the (03) telephone number... Husk, Cactus Jam, Douglas and Hope, Craft Victoria.

4. Eat donuts at Little Creatures, Fitzroy.

5. Relax in the wellness centre at The Westin Hotel.

And of course hang out with NP... hopefully he doesn't get too bored with the grueling schedule!

If you have any other suggestions please let me know!

Opening Night...

This should really come before the MHB post, but it's all a bit topsy-turvy around here!
A lovely friend gave me tickets to go to the opening of Workshopped at Chifley Plaza, Sydney... never one to say no to an opening, Yumi and I partook in Bombay Saphire Raspberry Cocktails and perused the work/outfits. We both chose our favourites: Mine was Adam Goodram's Revolution Vase (perhaps more because of the colour than anything else). Yumi... what was yours again?? I think it was Nick Randall's Slip Credenza. My favourite outfit belonged to a Mina Perhonen-esque girl, wearing a light blue woolen coat, dip-dyed woolen skirt and peach flats. 
Other honorable mentions go to Stephan Lie's Plie Shoe and Stuart Williams' Pods.
Hurrah for new design!

Images: All from the Workshopped website. I assume the artist's themselves took their own photos... but that could be completely wrong!

Marion Hall-Best

Tonight I was lucky enough to hear Joanna Nicholas and Michael Lech speak at The Mint  about one of my favourite Australian interior designers Marion Hall-Best. She was a fiend with colour - chartreuse, magenta, burnt orange. I remember my Gran telling me she much preferred Marion to Florence, as Florence was a bit snobby. 

We saw a beautiful show and tell of fabric samples she imported and sold in her Woollahra shop - Marimekko, Jim Thompson silks, and Frances Burke fabrics. She also supported Australian artists and designers such as Gordon Andrews, Grant Featherston and Clement Meadmore.   

Her overseas travel inspired her aesthetic. In particular, a trip to Japan in 1957 lead to her bringing back  "temple blinds" (like matchstick blinds but very fine which she spray painted in spinach green, white or orange) and rice paper which she used as wallpaper. I remember my old apartment hallways in Darlinghurst being covered with this textured paper - suddenly I appreciate it a little more! She must have been in Japan at the same time as my grandparents - my grandpa constructed a zen garden in Lane Cove which I loved when I was little. It reminds me of our trip last year and how incredibly inspiring the country is.

There were some family and colleagues of Lady Hall-Best in the audience, who kindly illuminated on the details of fabric and interiors. I am in love with her sister's name: Dora Sweetapple. The only other name that can almost compete is one Yumi told me of: Velvet Belle. 

Swatches, colour cards, interior plans, wallpapers and diaries have been hunted down by the Caroline Simpson Research & Library Centre, which you can go and see during the week by appointment. They also have an extensive library connected to anything of the Australian home.

First Image: Dining alcove designed by MHB for Peter Playfair's flat in Elizabeth Bay, photographed by Antonia Blaxland, found at the Caroline Simpson Research & Library Centre, Sydney.
Second and Third Image: MHB interior, from "The Best Style: Marion Hall Best and Australian Interior Design 1935-1975" by Michaela Richards.

Saturday 9 August 2008

I Heart Stationery

Last week I received a big box at work. I knew what was in it, and waited till lunch to see what was inside. I always think the anticipation of opening a parcel in those moments just before tearing it open is the greatestl!
I had made an order at Russel + Hazel, an American stationery store. The kind of stuff that you just can't find in Sydney. Lovely bright linen covered binders, complementary post-it-notes, and organisational systems galore! Kikki-K gets pretty close, but since it introduced it's crocodile/elephant/animal line I've been disappointed. 
So I bought a mini-binder in mandarin (looks so sparky next a fresh jar of blood-orange tea), paper to fill it and some olive green post-its.  So super is this stationery that I have to make up things to write on it just for the sake of it.  I'm getting a lot ticked off my lists at work!

The Original

All ready I'm not a very consistent blogger!
Here is the original Germ made by NP... do you see the family resemblance?

I've had 2 things happen today that make me think that I should be a bit more careful with things...

1. I broke the washing machine by over loading with heavy blankets and the entire central spinny thing broke off.

2. I filled my favourite water jug with boiling water and it shattered.

These 2 things really could have been avoided if I had thought about things a bit more. I actually did consider that over filling the washing machine and putting boiling water in a glass jug would spell bad news. The germs are laughing at me.