Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Not your everyday spring flowers

I love these haunting images of flowers by Indigenous artist Clinton Nain. I know it's not your traditional "happy spring flowers" post...but I was drawn to these and wanted to share their beauty. 

You can read more about Clinton here

These images were taken from the mossgreen gallery website. 

Monday, 29 August 2011

What can't you do with cardboard?

I have to admit I'm probably not the world's best recycler. I'm not bad, but I haven't quite reached the compost-in-the-garden level. Well, we don't really have a garden, so I suppose that could be my excuse. But I do love recycling - and I especially love when design meets recycled cardboard. So now I'm wondering what you can't do with cardboard!
The offices of Nothing Advertising Amsterdam, made from cardboard

REST Cardboard bed by Melbourne's Karton Group

PLAY Cardboard teepee by UK group paper pod

WORSHIP Cardboard cathedral design proposed for Christchurch, NZ, by Shigeru Ban

ADORN Cardboard and gold jewellery by Israeli designers Yael Gaizier and Aviv Kinel

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Never say never...

It's a technical question, I know, but do you think grey is a shade of black? The reason I ask is because something strange has been happening lately: I've been finding myself drawn to clothing in shades of grey. This is a problem. Ok, not a third-world-crisis-call-the-UN-immediately type problem, but a problem. You see straying from pure black goes against what I've known for so long, not to mention my mission statement for this here blog. 
It's all stemmed from my gradually taking my blonde hair back to reddish-brown over the last six months...and now the striking contrast between blonde hair and black clothes just isn't ain't there. I've been feeling guilty about flirting with the dark (grey) side and have been trying to deny the attraction... Of course, when my gorgeous friend Anna came round on Saturday night in the most-stunning outfit in all tones of grey with a hint of acid yellow, it didn't help one bit. 

Grey, moody waves
Love Elin Kling's style

Texture and wash = pure beauty

Minus the shoes and socks...they're just not me

And with just a spoonful of orange, sold!

Visit my pinterest board is grey a shade of black for direct sources of images

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Yep, it's Ikea...and it's art!

I have a slightly unhealthy love for Ikea. I think it's part admiration (yes, I would like to design products for them) and part that I love a good bargain. Unfortunately my husband doesn't share this love, and I often have to show him something I like on an unrelated website so he can decide if he likes it without the bias of knowing it's from Ikea. Anyway, I began research for this post thinking I would do a style page of my favourite Ikea products, and even a few projects, but then I stumbled upon this:

Yep, that's right, it's Ikea...and it's art!
This is the work of artists Andreas Gysin and Sidi Vanetti. The project, titled Composizione 1, 2, 3 was exhibited at Museo Cantonale d'Arte in Lugano last year. The idea was to "build artworks which are replicable at a moderate cost by everyone by following the instructions we provide".
Composizione 1
Composizione 2
Of course I love this because of the white-on-white shadow play
Composizione 3

Composizione 1, 2, 3
You can go to their website and download pdf instructions for each of the artworks.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A milestone of sorts...

...yesterday, amidst the haze of a never-ending to-do list, a milestone of sorts quietly passed me by. Yep, that's right, I've clicked over 5,000 visits to this little blog. That makes me happy. And makes me want to say a big thank-you to all of you who visit, and hopefully keep visiting.

What better way to celebrate than with an image of these insanely beautiful livingstones by French artist Stephanie Marin. I love the idea of bringing nature into interiors, and the idea that something which is normally hard and uncomfortable is transformed to be soft and inviting. Of course if I could convert page visits to dollars I might just be able to afford a few!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Looking inside

Sounds deep, I know... but it's not. Let me explain: I quite liked my themed week last week and thought I'd continue this week with the theme 'interiors'. 
One of the draw backs with working from home is the fact that I get to stare at the things around me (while brainstorming of course). This is not a good thing - it means I'm constantly wondering if a room is finished, or if something else wouldn't make it just perfect?! 

Our kitchen/dining area – needs some finishing touches

My project at the moment is our kitchen/dining area (above). What I love about the space is the light it receives, the view onto our courtyard and the fact that there is no television. I love that when I'm in there I'm either cooking, playing with Malie or entertaining friends and I can do it all without the temptation of having the television on in the background (I think this is the reason Malie has very little interest in watching it). 
What I want to do though is create some division between the kitchen and dining areas (in a very small space). I've been thinking about this for 3 years and have finally decided what will complete the room. I have LOVED Ingo Maurer's Zettel'z pendant light since I first saw it in a magazine years ago. It was designed in 1998 by the German designer featuring Japanese paper with poems and drawings. It comes with replacement paper and this encourages you to personalise the light (your own poems, love letters, shopping/to do lists(!)...). I love that an inanimate object can become so personal just by the words, drawings or personal touches you add to it. 
Zettel'z pendant by Ingo Maurer
House by Maurice Padovani in Marseilles, France.
Interior of jewellery designer Charlotte Lynggaard's house in Denmark. Photography by Jacob Gils as seen in the current issue of the amazingly beautiful Est magazine
So...what do you think, will it work to add some personaility and intimacy to the space?

Thursday, 18 August 2011

(How to) Make your own fortune

I've always been a 'surprise/love' note writer. Usually I write little notes and leave them in wallets or suitcases (no doubt I'll be putting them in lunchboxes soon!). A cute variation I came up with years ago was to customise fortune cookies. I think it's a unique, unexpected way to show your love - and you can be as meaningful or cheeky as you like!
What you'll need:
• Box of Fortune cookies
• Scissors
• White paper
• Pen
• Tweezers
• Noodle box for packaging (most craft stores carry them)
Step 1:
Choose as many cookies as you want. Make sure you choose ones that already have some of the paper sticking out - it will make it easier to remove it from the cookie.
Step 2:
Using tweezers gently pry the paper from the cookies. Patience is the key as if you pull to hard you'll rip the paper.
You'll end up with empty fortune cookies like this
Step 3:
Cut small rectangles of white paper about the size of those you removed from the cookies.
Step 4:
Write your 'fortunes'.
* You may notice there are six cookies and only five messages. This is not because maths has never been my strong point - it is customary to eat one cookie while doing this project!
Step 5:
Fold your pieces of paper long ways and then in half.
Step 6:
Using the folded end gently push the new fortunes into each cookie.
You're done - your future is now written!
Package cookies in the noodle box and decorate the box in any way you wish.

Now if you don't fancy going to all that effort - I've found the perfect non-perishable alternative.
Sterling silver fortune cookie necklace with fortune plate 'never settle for anything less than butterflies' $76 USD by Christina Kober on

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Love is in the (country) air

This post should help make sense of this week's  'love and romance' theme. When my gorgeous friend Meisha uploaded her self-designed wedding album I immediately emailed her asking if I could run it here. I just love the elegance,  simplicity and unique touches she and Perry used to make the day theirs. 
In Meisha's words, credit where credit's due: "the inspiration for the welcome thing, is a complete rip-off from the gorgeous Briar Stanley – I loved her wedding so much in Real Weddings!! So hopefully it doesn't get back to her (or you can be extremely nice and point to her blog too?)."

Fingerpainting - best idea ever. Wish I'd thought of it!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

An invitation to love

I've always loved wedding invites. I suppose it's because they're so personal and can really give an insight into a couple, their cultural traditions and heritage and their favoured pastimes. But they're also surprisingly difficult to design (especially for yourself, so I'm glad I'm not planning on getting re-married anytime soon), so whenever I stumble across an invitation I like, I save it. Today I'm sharing my favourites and inviting you to join in the love.
Perfect for lovers of old-school photography (and the not camera-shy!) 
Viewmaster invitation by melangerienyc
No surprise music is also a favoured theme in wedding invites and I'm loving the current trend for album invites

Whimsical 70s inspired album by zed and bee studio

Custom screen printed Mix CD wedding invitations by guest list

Ok, so I snuck in a band poster I did for my best friend and her husband who's in the music industry

For lovers of nature (and paper cut art, like me!) – Christine and Ian's wedding invites

Cool and quirky printed fabric bags for art school lovers

Modern take on the Jewish tradition of paper cut art by zed and bee (yes, I really like their work)
Oh and can we just admit I am a master with words - this post was all about being invited to a wedding and the wedding invitations I love - so see what I did there with the double-meaning 'An invitation to love' blog post title?