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 was in Melbourne last week doing some workshops for the book and visited Craft Victoria, where I saw this quirky exhibition from Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison. How great are these? I love the unexpectedness of the animals roaming through dated souvenir books, inspired by Herman Hesse’s Der Steppenwolf.
For more favourite Melbourne stops, click here.
On my tour to Tassie last week for more workshops, fellow Crafty Minx Belinda Gobbey kindly took me to The Quilted Crow, owned by partners Leonie & Deirdre… I fell in love, in raptures over the delicious range of fabrics. Very jealous of all those Hobart people living in such close proximity to this beautiful store, when I’m so far away. Deirdre’s son works at one of Hobart’s popular tip shops and sources all the second-hand furniture, which I love also.
Award-winning quilter Helen Stubbings came along to the workshop at Fullers Bookshop and I couldn’t help gushing over her quilt, shown here below. I bought a few half-metre lengths of Rosalie Quinlan fabric (love love love this – it even has a tea set design), hand-dyed felt in bright red, blue and yellow and some sweet rusted heart and star decorations for the xmas tree this year. Heaven is.
I like displaying cards from friends when I’m given them, rather than popping them away in a box or even throwing them away. We have a large corkboard for doing just that, but it was starting to overflow – I thought this wire heart from French Bazaar was a great idea. I’ve hung it in an empty area of the kitchen and think it fills the space quite nicely.
Here’s some pics of the craft projects I worked on for The Australian Women’s Weekly’s December issue a while back. I spent three days sourcing materials for the wreath alone and putting it all together with the sun beating down, then cut my hands to shreds on the wires, just about scraping in on deadline… but it all worked out in the end (hurrah!)
I also made some boxes, crackers and xmas stockings for the Magic Moments feature, with the stockings making an appearance in the Michael Clarke shot. Here they are in our kitchen:
I do love my sorbet colours but I’m not sure I made the pastel a success this time… what do you think? My favourite colours for the season are still fairly traditional: red, white and beige. Very French, very gorgeous… non?
Speaking of gorgeous, if you do see a copy of the Weekly, check out Marijke Kingma’s xmas craft feature on p298 – I think it’s lovely, particularly the doily thingummies on p300. I bought a stack of these at my local discount store a while back, so will experiment making them myself ASAP.
Popped into Adriano Zumbo’s store on Monday to stock up on macaroons (black sesame, fig, pink grapefruit and strawberry balsamic, amongst others) and had every intention of arraying them prettily on a plate and photographing them for the site, but they didn’t last the night.
Took me a while to drop off to sleep with all that sugar in my system… yum.
Just a reminder about the Prints Charming Market Day this Saturday, open from 9-3pm at 2 Young St Annandale. Have a look at some of the gorgeous items they’ve been making in preparation:
The thing that gets me is, all these prints are done by hand – you wouldn’t believe the amount of time and effort involved. And the paints they use are non-toxic and safe enough to wash down the sink, so socially responsible to boot.
Last week has been busy travelling up to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane for workshops in two lovely stores – Avid Reader and Books of Buderim – but I also enjoyed meeting people at the Better Read than Dead workshop here in Sydney. I was seriously impressed by some of the things people made, and just love how everyone interprets such simple ideas so differently.
Here’s some images for you… see? Clever people.
I made this recently out of a few leftover bits and pieces of fabric from Cloth – it’s quite useful for storing bits and bobs such as hair slides and bobby pins, but you could have one near the front door for keys or a selection in different sizes on your dressing table to hold brushes, jewellery or loose buttons. All you need is a stiff, sturdy sort of fabric. This one’s hemp – I quite like how slouchy it is.
I have fallen in love with the home of French stylist Sandrine Place, which was featured in a Design Sponge sneak peek recently… especially these rooms above. J’adore the splashes of colour everywhere, too. I’m now just a touch obsessed with the idea of painting random bits of furniture in Elsa Schiaparelli’s favourite shade, shocking pink, or yellow (as per Porter’s Lemony Goodness). Even a bold, Yves Klein Blue.
But I’m waiting until the xmas break to get stuck into the paint tins… for now I’ve settled for a garland instead, as per Sophie Cuvelier’s creations, but with felt. I bought the felt shapes and balls already dyed and cut from Chrissie Jeffrey’s No Chintz the other day, and threaded them onto a long piece of string you can see here below. V happy.