A truly beautiful Minxy mix of charm, inspiration, practical advice, and pretty projects to simplify and beautify your life and home. - Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity
I’m looking forward to two events coming up over the next couple of months: the Magnolia Square and Finders Keepers Markets. I haven’t been to Magnolia Square but hear nothing but good things about the Melbourne event, and Finders Keepers is always brilliant; full of so many fresh designs and new things to see.
Sometimes one is simply crafted out; brain too shot to read or write anything decent or think of a single clever way to pass the day productively. And daytime TV only sinks me further into this sort of stupor.
I played hooky today and went to see a wonderful film. Oh, it spoke to me… based on a novel by Lynn Barber I shall seek out immediately, it tells the story of a canny English girl who risks her chance at an Oxford education on a charming older man… It often fascinates me; the myriad possibilities of life and how choices big & small affect their directions ever after.
Mulligan & Sarsgaard are superb as the central characters, but the supporting cast is equally compelling. Plus the Sixties garb is really quite lovely… hooray for feeling inspired again.
I met designer Kristen Masters at Julie Paterson’s shop, Cloth Fabric in Surry Hills because Julie now stocks some of her fantastic jewellery range.
At this stage you can only buy these unique handmade pieces from Cloth or direct through Kristen’s new blog, but they’re well worth checking out for their intricate, avant garde beauty.
I’m particularly loving the two on the second line down. So fab.
So we’ve gone a bit doorstop-mad, but Anna and I got together to make some for our own families this time…
Here’s Olive’s new owl doorstop, embellished with one of Rebecca’s felt flowers as fascinator (gotta love a fascinator), and the owl & pussycat quilt square Anna made for her sister Tess’ baby shower. Cute, huh?
Both the owl & the pussycat can be taken from their boat and used as finger puppets. Do try this at home.
I’ve had my eye on this site for months now, where you can purchase lovely letterpress prints from artists living all over the world. Wilkintie, which was set up by Melbourne-based couple Carly Hargreaves and Niels Oeltjen, focuses on artwork for children, but their whimsical collection of pieces should appeal to the child inside everyone. Enjoy.
What to do with that short length of wool left in the ball when you’ve made a long scarf or socks or a beanie? This is Rebecca’s clever solution. I want three.
I’ve become quite obsessed with handcrafted ceramics of late, acquiring a small collection to dot about the house with feathers, bits of driftwood, sea glass, pebbles, shells and other found objects. These are fine art objects anyone can collect.
I’ve also started using ceramics every day in the kitchen, purchased from Mud Australia at one of their legendary sales in the Marrickville studio. You can be assured of its pedigree – Mud’s stocked at MoMA, as well as Pentimento in Sydney’s Newtown.
And here’s another beautiful bowl by Brisbane’s Kylie Johnson – aka Paper Boat Press. Well worth a look also.
I’m feeling too all over the place at the moment to concentrate on a novel, so the books on my bedside table are, if you can believe it, cookbooks. But not just any cookbooks – two beautifully written tomes, each with an ethos I heartily agree with.
#1 Bourke Street Bakery: the ultimate baking companion by Paul Allam and David McGuinness
I love this book – not least because I’m somewhat addicted to eating there every second day. Just looking at the pictures makes my mouth water and has me fantasising about becoming a master baker (whether I will remains to be seen), but the writing’s so evocative I’m actually enjoying just reading through the intros.
“Bourke Street Bakery evolved in a beaten-up old car. Two friends talking about their dreams and aspirations makes for a long drive… Our vision of the perfect bakery was small, rustic, homely and timeless; we wanted to create a bakery people would feel comfortable in and make food that people wanted to buy every day… We kept the focus on the quality of ingredients rather than the aesthetic.” Spot on.
#2 Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl
I fell in love with Sophie Dahl’s writing when I read her semi-autobiographical novel, Playing with the Grownups a few years ago. Writing’s clearly in the blood – the gel is a genius when it comes to describing her love of food and the importance of eating well.
“Baked haddock ramekin: Don’t make this in the first throes of love or when you have people coming over. Haddock is not, and never will be, a sensory aphrodisiac. Is is, however, delicious.” Hilarious. Love her. There’s also lots of references to her famous bohemian family, days as a model, travels around the globe and beau, Jamie Cullum if that’s your bag. Buy it now.
My friend Annette just sent me a link to this image on the Sea Angels site, and I suggested it wouldn’t be too difficult to re-create with a tired piece of wooden furniture and lick of milk paint.
The stencilled images are distributed by Cavallini & Co. on cards, stamps, stickers and wrapping paper. I bought the very same set of stamps from Duck Egg Blue in Balmain some time ago, but you can buy the wrapping paper, enlarge it on a copier and then cut out a stencil with a stanley knife. Adhere with sticky tape to your wardrobe door, then paint over the stencil to get your image. Easy peasy.
And here’s another gorgeous robe, spied in the Easter issue of Marie Claire Idées magazine. Love love.