Happy

How can you not love this song?

Gorman, Gorman, Gorman

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Is this the uniform of the Aussie creative? I’m not sure what it is about Gorman, but I think it might just be the chosen label for women in the arts. Maybe it’s the organic cottons. Or the inspired mix of prints and patterns. Or the wild enthusiasm with colour and collaborations with the likes of Rachel Castle. Because everyone I know has the designer Lisa Gorman’s clothing in their wardrobes, or at least one piece. Ms. Gorman’s married to another designophile, Dean Angelucci of Angelucci 20th Century. Did you see their home in Inside Out? It’s freaking gorgeous. I’m wondering when she’ll launch the new homewares range into its own retail stores. Soon, surely? I’ve got my eye on those cushions and mohair throws, even if I’m too busy prioritising fashion at the moment (always with the compromise). The separates go with vintage a treat, too.

Last week I visited the launch for Stillways at Better Read than Dead – a raw, lyrical, hilarious memoir of childhood by The Big Steal star Steve Bisley (a great Australian film – remember Ben Mendelson before he got scary, and Claudia Karvan in those cowboy boots? Heaven) – and met a book editor wearing a checked short-sleeve Gorman blouse. I had on a Gorman spotted shift, so we bonded over our love for the label for a good few minutes before realising we had loads more in common.

The socks and knits are staples, plus a dress from each season if you can manage it. How could you not love these shots from the previous seasons’ lookbooks? Her clothes just make me, I don’t know, so… happy.

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Foodie accessories

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Look at these new images by The Crafty Minx at Home photographer, Amanda Prior featured in last weekend’s Sunday Style. Fabulous.

Styling – Emma Freebairn

Creative Director – Mary Talato

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Clare Bowditch’s Big Hearted Business

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Yesterday I went along to the Big Hearted Business morning tea hosted by musician, actor & singer-songwriter Clare Bowditch, on a tip from my friend Jess (of Coco Repose). It was really inspiring – the premise being an opportunity to gather creative people together to talk about monetizing their art, and making a realistic future from pursuing your passions. Such a worthy business idea, don’t you think? The truth is most creative businesses fail within the first two years, so the real question isn’t how to start, but how to keep going and evolve in the process.

Most of the people I met (predominantly women, although I did notice one bloke) were from the fields of music, art, writing and design. It was energizing to be in a room networking (for want of a better word) with others from the creative community. As a writer who works from home, it’s not often I get the opportunity to meet new people. It was the sort of environment I imagine any artist would benefit from being involved in.

So many readers have been in touch with similar hopes for growing your own creative businesses over the years since I’ve been blogging and writing books – I hope you’ll look into BHB and be part of its excellent business model. I think the plan is to incorporate short courses for creative business entrepreneurs, amongst other resources. Check out their Inspiration Bombs, for a start. They’re like TED videos for Aussie creatives, with gorgeous illustrations you can watch as they’re being created. I’ll certainly be following BHB in future – I think the potential is huge for this to span the country and indeed the globe.

A brief meeting with the brain behind BHB, Clare Bowditch

A moment with the brain behind BHB

 

 

Lawson’s vintage fashion auction

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Last Friday I was invited for a sneak peek inside the back room of Lawson’s Auction House at the contents of their upcoming sale, featuring a spectacular archive of vintage and designer pieces from Lisa Ho. See some of the beauties above… how gorgeous is the silk kimono in particular?

Sadly the designer fashion label’s gone into receivership, but this Friday’s 2pm auction will see items similar to the feathery frock below going for a fraction of the original price. I adored the midnight blue one above – the heart quickens.

I have my eyes on a twenties beaded number and brocade/velvet evening coat. I hope you won’t beat me to it!

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Hannah Richell & The Shadow Year giveaway

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Last year at the Sydney Writers’ Festival I met Hannah Richell, author of the international bestseller Secrets of the Tides. Since then, it’s been so inspiring to witness her progression from debut novelist to highly-acclaimed author of her second novel, The Shadow Year, in such a short space of time.

Anita Shreve calls The Shadow Year ‘an engrossing and clever tale’, a thrilling endorsement for any writer, and Thuy On writes about the book here for The Australian. I found its mystery especially powerful and foreboding (just like that within Secrets). It kept me guessing right to the very end, and I was reminded of books by Donna Tart and Jodi Picoult – even though Hannah has such a distinct voice of her own. I simply loved the moody sense of place she created in the UK’s Peak District, and the use of a plant called Honesty within the story (which she writes about here). I can’t wait to see what she does next.

The good people at Hannah’s publishers, Hachette, have offered Crafty Minx readers 5 x giveaway copies. First in best dressed but please, do tell, what would you do with a year off from all responsibilities? I’m curious to hear. And feel free to email me at kelly@thecraftyminx.com.au if you’d rather keep your answer under wraps. Don’t forget to pop in your mailing address.

 

String Theory

Exhibition opening at the MCA

New exhibition opening at the MCA

Heard of this? I’m heading in to see it.

String Theory Opening Weekend
16–18 August 2013

String Theory: Focus on contemporary Australian art – an exhibition of Aboriginal artists who work with expanded notions of textile and craft-based traditions – opens with a bang in August.

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to hear directly from exhibiting artists, including Tony Albert, Laurie Nilsen, Regina Pilawuk Wilson and more, and bring your little ones along to bounce on Thelma Judson’s incredible giant inflatable basket. A series of workshops and other events will be presented throughout the exhibition period. Check the MCA website for details.

Lipaki Marlaypa, Raki 2013, hand-made string

Lipaki Marlaypa, Raki 2013, hand-made string

Out & about

Wall of Singers & Dark ‘n Stormies at Stitch Cocktail Bar

Wall of Singers & Dark ‘n Stormies at Stitch Cocktail Bar

I love my hometown.

Every couple of years we do a staycation to appreciate the good things Sydney has to offer when there’s time and peace to enjoy it. What did we get up to? Loads of eating out mid-week at favourite haunts plus a few new ones (Cornersmith, Bourke St Bakery, The Carrington, Black Star Pastry, The Riverview, The Three Weeds & more), hit the cinema, shopped and caught up with friends. It was flea market lightning raids and running the bay. Visiting the Art Gallery. Cooking from Neil Perry’s Balance & Harmony, leisurely yoga sessions and reading a book in a day. Slooow crafts, and decimating the alterations pile so I now have five new frocks to wear.

Apart from the shoddy weather (I think we chose the wettest two weeks of the year) it was fab.  I’m feeling refreshed and chilled, ready to get stuck into the novel which now consumes most of my waking thoughts.

And we spent a good while plotting our next holiday… Viva Italia! I cannot wait.

Flea market finds: handstitched ballerina costumes from the 50s

Flea market finds: handstitched ballerina costumes from the 50s

Blue winter skies

Blue winter skies

On the road with Olive

On the road with Olive Rose

Scallops at the Riverview Restaurant, Balmain

Scallops at the Riverview Restaurant, Balmain

Crochet & champagne

Crochet & champagne

Flea market finds: silk kimonos

Flea market finds: silk kimonos

Flea market finds: old metal cabinet

Flea market finds: old metal cabinet

A day at the NSW Art Gallery

Escaping the wind & lashing rain at the NSW Art Gallery

 

 

Talking books with Mama Mia Book Circle

Winter holiday, I can taste you

Miss Mon & Me

Miss Mon & Me

Cramming novel writing in around promoting the new book and spending time with a boisterous 4-year old lately. Very conscious that she starts school next year, but feeling psyched about where she’ll be going. Kids didn’t have iPad minis to work from in my day. And I’m all for this Humanist approach educators seem to be opting for. School camp, learning to read, drama classes… she’s gonna love it.

James and I are about to take two weeks off in Sydney. We’re staying local this winter, putting Olive in for a couple of extra days’ care to hang out together and work our way through the Good Food Guide. Can’t. Wait. Been training hard to combat the influx of food and drink, and have a few races coming up where I can put my new skillz from Balance to good use.

What else-ski? Had a fab event with the lovely Monica Trapaga last night for City of Sydney and met Claire from Ariel, whose mum made her this book bag from Brownie badges. So cool. I’m thinking similar projects to make with Olive’s old gear. Nostalgic, me? Just a little.

Being a brownie is fun fun fun!

Being a brownie is fun fun fun!

 

Way to go, mum

Way to go, Mum

 

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