March 31, 2010

sweet tooth

Don't you wish this had your name on it?

March 30, 2010

rainy day delights - Gina and May Umbrellas

With the sky beginning to drip and Summer fades further into the past, I found myself pulling out my old, faithul umbrella this morning. Old being the operative word. I don't know when my lovely, plain silver brolly became such a shameful, grubby object, but the fact is it's past it's prime and I thought I would look out for something new. With today being the first real grey day of the year, I was in the mood for something bright and Gina and May seems to have come along at just the right time!
This new Australian brand was born, when founder Gina was unable to find an umbrella that was both good quality (we've all had one of those inside out flipping wonders I'm sure) and also vibrant and funky, standing out from the crowd of sombre hued brollies that so many of us end up with. A Gunnedah, New South Wales native, Gina tells the story of the official brand launch held in her country home town last December, after which the dusty town was blessed with some much needed rain!
The umbrella models from the top are: Carnivale, Night Lights, Popsicles & Starlet. Check them all out in the online store.
I've picked out the black and white striped Starlet for myself as it's one of the compact models which folds down to a tidy 19cm. The long handle models feature a lovely wooden handle with the Gina and May logo burnt in.

walk with rainbow

walk with rainbow, originally uploaded by m o d e.

proof the rain doesn't need to be all bad - find a colourful umbrella and get outside!

March 29, 2010

sweet things come in mini packaging

I love when I come across something new and different, particularly in the world of home decor. These little miniature porcelain pieces from the AshleyG etsy shop fit this description.
These little sweeties make a nice change from wall stickers, framed prints and canvas art. I think they look lovely as a cluster like this, but would equally look nice one their own.
They look so lovely and smooth, I just want to run my finger across one and feel the difference between the printed and blank areas. I'm a very tactile person and this type of matte, smooth porcelain is a favourite.
I love Ashley's illustration style, especially the little ladies like this Miniature Bunny Bean above.
The etsy store also has prints for sale.
Another cool little thing I have come across is that Ashley and her creative partner Drew, offer a custom portrait service, in their own unique style, like below.
There are plenty of places to find more of Ashley and Drew's work - etsy, flickr, website & blog

March 26, 2010

china blue - old and new ceramics

I think everyone has had an encounter with classic blue ceramic china. I remember plates and bowls we had when I was little that had lovely watery blue fish swimming across them in the traditional Chinese style. Cobalt blue and white ceramics have been dated back to as early as the ninth century in both China and the Middle East. The classic Chinese blue and white porcelain was really perfected in the Qing dynasty in the 17th Century.
Recently I was thrilled to find, online, some wonderful images I have at home that I have kept in my 'best of' interior magazine folders. Styled by Christine Rudolph, this magazine spread is truly beautiful. It is large format (I can't remember which title it was) and the blues are so rich and luxurious. I am pleased that I can share a few of the pics with you.

{see Christine's portfolio here - scroll to image 30 and 31}
As a style, blue and white ceramics have certainly lasted a long time. So much so that it is a style that almost is common and a bit daggy. It's great to see it re-invented almost with a modern take, like in the images above. Another creative use of these classic ceramics can be found in the work of German artist Gesine Hackenberg.
Gesine has explained her work so eloquently,  she is "... fascinated by the aspect of personal preciousness revealed in all kinds of belongings". Isn't that a great phrase "personal preciousness". As mentioned, I have fond memories of our "fish bowls" and if any of them had survived me and my 3 siblings, I would have appreciated being able to continue my relationship with these pieces in a new way as something wearable. I also like that the original ceramic pieces are not destroyed in the process of extracting the jewellery pieces. The old plates get a new lease on life as a piece of art.
{See Gesine's work on her website, and please read her lovely description of her concept.}
My last find today is some modern re-interpretations of blue and white china. There are plenty out there, but my favourite is this range from UK retailer John Lewis.
I like that although these pieces feature a modern pattern, the blue colouring is not perfectly even, replicating the traditional hand painted, watery effect of the original Chinese style. I would happily have this blue and white china in my home.

March 24, 2010

classic dance

Those who know me already know that dance is a part of who I am. In fact it is such a part of my life that I often don't even mention it. It's so naturally a part of me I assume everyone knows already. 
I am completely thrilled to come across these amazing images from the New York Public Library archives.
 I stumbled across this wonderful collection on Flickr. The photos are from the Denishawn Dance Company who performed in the first few decades of last century.
I love the movement caught in these images and the wonderful costumes. They are so intricate and ornate. You can only imagine the work that went into these in the era where every single jewel would have been hand sewn into place.

Check out the complete collection on Flickr here and for a full on experience go for a wander through the online photo archives of the New York Public Library. Warning - you might lose a few hours of time as you travel back in time!

March 23, 2010

deco dreaming - reading nook

Following on from yesterdays indoor camping post, I have gone "shopping" for fabulous accessories to fit out my tent. I like this type of shopping where you spend no money, but get all the thrill of finding perfect objects. I've hit up some of my favourite homeware and furniture sellers. I even tried to source most things from local, aussie stores just to give it a sense of something I could actually go out and get!

top left: Scales mobile by Polli - I think this would look lovely hanging inside from the top. It would move around gently. I also like the two little birds sitting on the top bar!
top right: Samantha Robinson Illuminators -  I couldn't resist adding some of Samantha's beautiful porcelain illuminators. These look fabulous both in daylight where you can appreciated the lovely patterns and then they transform into wonderful glowing vessels when lit form inside by candlelight.
middle right: Of course no reading nook can do without a way of consuming caffeine. These great mugs are from Maxwell Williams - Candy Lime Mug and Polkadot Cup & Saucer. I think they add a bit of colour and fun. they also would coordinate with the Kas linen I picked out yesterday
bottom left: I've headed to the USA now to Brocade Home which I just wish would open down here. I love all their furniture, and this turned wood pedestal table in high gloss white is a perfect modern yet classic piece.
bottom right: and lastly I turned to my other fave US retailer - CB2. This knitted pouf would be nice sitting outside the tent, maybe tucked under the side table.
I hope you enjoyed this little virtual shopping trip with me. Please check out all the stores above and have fun finding little treasures to put on your own 'wish' lists.

March 22, 2010

indoor camping - a girls tee-pee

Last Friday evening, I found myself watching the movie The Holiday. Admittedly this was mostly due to Jude Law (hot!) but there was one enchanting scene involving an indoor tent/tee-pee that I loved. You can check it out here on YouTube (flick forward to about the 5:48 mark). Jude Laws character has 2 little girls and they have created a girly extravaganza in their bedroom!
This is the movie tent - but I have found some real-world examples too.
I would use one of these as a reading nook to hide away with a good book. Seems that Tonya from Lifeamundo had the same thought.
I came across this on Flickr, but the instructions are from another blogger. Rachel from Smile and Wave gives step-by-step instructions for creating one of these little nooks for yourself.
So now we've got instructions we can get onto the fun part of dressing our tee-pee! First we need some bed linen, cushions and throws.
I think this Anoushka bedlinen from Kas Australia would be lovely in my tee-pee. I really like the crochet throw, you can just see it in green where the model is holding the sheets. I think it would be lovely to snuggle under. It reminds me of crochet blankets we used to have when we were kids - I still have mine stored away somewhere but the colours are a bit of a 70's mix - pinks, browns, greens, blues - every colour really!
Next we need some beautiful fabric for draping. For that I have popped over to Mokum Textiles. I have fallen in love with this beautiful range called Dauphine - see the brochure here. I love the colours and the patterns in this range. So beautiful and romantic! It also comes in a pink range.
The Dauphine range was inspired by 18th Century pre-revolutionary France and I think would look wonderful draped over a bed frame or a post, tee-pee style. I like that it is mixed in with neutral grey and taupe to keep it from being too pastel.
Check back tomorrow and I will continue to fit out my reading nook with all sorts of pretty things!

March 19, 2010

blush pink - colour crush

This week I've found myself drawn to pink -  blush, rose or dusty, I have found myself in a very girly frame of mind and loving everything pink. I'm not normally that way inclined and have never been a 'pink girl'. I've always been more into the cool colours like aqua, blue, green. Anyway, I have found some lovely images and products around the web-world to share with you today.
These images had me gasping earlier this week! They are so pretty as both images and items of clothing! They are from the Flickr stream of Allen Company Inc. The talented Kristina certainly has an eye for vintage finds! The top image features dresses from the 1940s and 60s. The dress on the left actually looks like a dress I saw in a shop earlier this week. Take a closer look at it here. The bottom left image is titled "What little girls dreams are made of" but I think big girls dreams are also made of shoes, bags and even a little hat like the antique eggshell one (take a look at the original here as it is cropped out in my collage). Kristina sells her vintage finds through etsy and has new finds every Monday. I love dresses, they are so elegant and lady like. It's quite amazing how timeless the style are too. Check out this 1940's emerald strapless dress. I could see it in shops today.
 top left: A Spectacle (Pink) by Ashley G ::: top right: Pink Grapefruit - Print by Amber Alexander ::: 
bottom left: medicine cabinet for SAD afflictee by Doodle and Hoob ::: bottom right: sardine and anchovy postcard by cricicis
This collection of perfect pinkness is from various talented artists on etsy. What most appeals to me is that these use the colour pink without the clich├ęs of 'pretty pink-ness'. Even the cute bunny has an individual, unique style. I think he is fabulous.
Another etsy find is this Set of 3 Little Sauce Dipping Bowls in Speckled Blush Pink by the little red door. So sweet!

and finally - the clothes shopping....
 Both these looks are from Forever New. They always have such fun, girly clothes and these to outfits don't disappoint. I particularly like the Tulle tiered skirt in the top pic!
Hope you enjoyed my colour crush today!

March 18, 2010

silver cocoon - jewellery

I took a peek over at the Uniform Project the other week and was quite taken with a piece of jewellery Sheena was wearing. It was donated by Silver Cocoon and I instantly went and sought this brand out. Silver Cocoon creates wonderful jewellery from felted wool & acrylic and the result is interesting, sculptural pieces that I want to wear!
Sheena from the Uniform Project is rocking the Hive Acrylic necklace - see my earlier post all about the feel good project. An accompanying piece is the Hive felt cuff in those 5 great colours.
The talented Tia Salmela Keobounpheng is the artist behind these pieces. She applies influences from her Finnish background as well as a childhood enriched by her architect father. I think you can see the scandinavian design aesthetic as well as structual, architectural influences in these designs. I love the shapes in these pieces.
The felt coil bracelet goes straight to the top of my wish list - and I think that this would be my colour pick to. I love this green, but there are plenty of other vibrant and also muted colours to choose from. Each bracelet is handmade by Tia so you will certainly get a unique piece.
I really like this shape that appears in quite a few pieces. I have used similar shapes in artwork - it's actually part of my own logo I use on illustrations I do, so I would love to wear this shape.
top: Chain Acrylic Necklace ::: bottom left: Pod Acrylic Earrings ::: bottom right: Drape Wood Earrings 
There is (of course) an etsy shop, an online store, a blog and to learn more about Tia there is an interview with her here at Nordic Reach

March 15, 2010

Beautiful Afterlife - Something To See

As our southern hemisphere days get shorter and the air a little crispy, the end of summer is upon us. Far from being sad about this, I am really looking forward to the seasonal change. Unfortunately we don't get the full autumn colour explosions everywhere, but it is certainly worth a day trip from Sydney up to the Blue Mountains to see the bright red, flaming yellow and burnt orange leaves. I'm hoping to do a day trip up to Leura. With Autumn colours firmly in my mind I came across these beautiful images from a series called 'Beautiful Afterlife' by Something To See on Fickr.
The super talented Kim Carney captures the beauty that still exists in these plants beyond their accepted life-span.

The colour captured in these fading hydrangeas provides an amazing colour combination - makes me want to do a little colour palette like Kris's Colour Stripes
I think one of the most appealing parts of these images is the translucency of the petals. Coupled of course with the talented lady behind the camera I find these photos to have a really dreamy quality - even though they are simply dead flowers!
Check out the full Beautiful Afterlife set here as well as all the Flickr images from this talented lady and if you're still wanting more please see Kim's blog

March 12, 2010

colour crush - citrus

Following on from yesterdays colourful post from h&m home, today I'm sharing some really cool and quirky products from CB2. CB2 is the younger, funkier sibling of US home retailer, Crate & Barrel. I always enjoy checking out their products and catalogues. The current style is bright and vibrant with citrus colours - lime, lemon and orange.
The Compliments Dinnerware range features pieces with fun sayings like - Jolly Good and Spiffy
The Abacus wall art piece lets you slide the colourful beads to create your own patterns and mix it up at any time.
I really like the use of the Circuit Office accessories in the shelf unit above for a different storage idea. You could line the baskets with coloured paper and create feature blocks.

Another find I really like are these hourglasses - 1 hour (large) or 15 minutes (small). I think these are a great decorator piece-  something a bit different.
I like the graphic simplicity of this Urban Mandala bed linen. Would be fun for kids to create their own adventures on in their own town.
My last find also has a childhood theme - I love this Hopscotch Rug
Check out the latest CB2 catalogue and enjoy finding your own quirky favourites!

March 11, 2010

colour blast - h&m home

With a slight chill in the air and the official change of season (date wise anyway), I thought I would look for a splash of colour out there. I headed to h&m home and checked out their Spring 2010 collections. As the northern hemisphere gears itself up for warmer temperatures, the euro retailer has loads of bright homewares to welcome spring.
Purple is such a big colour now, both for winter down here and also spring on the other side of the world.
Hot pink leopard print seems to be popular too. Not sure it's my thing, but the images look great.
One thing I think Europeans do very well is embrace the outdoors in summer by really putting effort into doing up an outdoor table with bright linen and fresh flowers. I think in Australia we are spoilt by so much pleasant weather, that we often don't make the effort to do this. It can look so good too as these shots show.
What's more, you could then (maybe) even take delight in washing up..... only if you have these fabulous tea towels to dry with.
Having said that though it would be a shame to ruin these by actually using them :-)
My favourite of this bunch is definitely the "I'll do it soon" - my cleaning mantra
Now if you would like to browse this h&m home range, you will need to navigate in foreign languages. It seems the home range is only available in the online shops, which are only available for Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland, Norway or Sweden. So take an adventure, pick your language here and get inspired by the European spring.


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