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
Totally addicted to this track by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. I woke up this morning, still half in dreams, with it playing on a continuous loop in my head. Sounds like pure happiness.
I also went to see Crazy Heart last week and can’t stop thinking about it and humming all those tunes as I go about my days – particularly Falling & Flying and The Weary Kind. Needless to say, I’m on the lookout for chambray.
There’s something delicious about the blues.
Back when I was a student, cash for decorating was tight (indeed, it was virtually non-existent). I’d far rather spend my hard-earned waitressing tips on music festivals and parties than something as unecessary as a nice room, so hung loads of paper lanterns from the ceiling of my share-house bedroom for decoration instead.
I bought these from Eastern Flair the other day, the same shop that I used to hunt for decorating treasure in when I was at uni. But you should be able to find these in any Chinatown if you fancy doing the same.
I’ve been snapping up old atlases and interesting-looking books when I see them at charity stores for a while now. It might seem like sacrilege because it’s purely for the purpose of chopping them up, but at least they’re not sitting dusty and unloved on forgotten shelves.
Hence the paper bunting above, and heart wall hanging and mobile below – stitched together on my trusty old Janome sewing machine yesterday, only one broken needle later.
J’adore paper art – particular favourites are from Jo Neville of Paper Couture (the bird’s nest she made for Inside Out was genius), book sculptor Nicholas Jones, Francisca Prieto and everything available at Upon a Fold. All well worth a look, and a purchase, if you’ve no patience for making your own.
Many thanks to journalist Robyn Willis and photographer John Fotiadis for the huge book promotion in last Saturday’s Daily Telegraph Home liftout.
I’m passionate about decorating on a budget and that’s what the article is all about – filling your home with recycled and thrifty pieces you love, which don’t necessarily cost the earth… putting things to use in unusual ways, and thinking twice before throwing anything away.
Money might make the world turn (and spending help the economy) but what’s the point if we turn it into one great rubbish tip? If you’re savvy, you can recycle, have a stylish abode, and more money in your pocket to boot! And I think we could all do with a little more of that.
[To read the article in full, click here for the pdf - there is one for each page.]
Two things I’ve been mulling over a bit lately (which might not immediately seem relevant here but are, I think, at the core of the crafts movement) are collaboration, and support for our fellow women. Unlike other industries where people watch each other closely, jealously guarding their own turf, craft has a way of bringing us together to share ideas, talent and friendship in one huge, creative love-in. Maybe it’s because, when we craft, we mostly do it for those we cherish – everyone knows craft ain’t half as fun if you’ve no-one to share it with.
I had a fab workshop at Paperchain Bookstore in Canberra a few weeks ago, which about twenty women attended. You couldn’t have met a more friendly, warm and open bunch of people. We chatted for a couple of hours over the making of baby singlets, abstract fabric collages and the like; discussing favourite fabrics, patterns, shops, blogs, books and lifestyle shows, even though few of us had met before. This was a seriously switched-on bunch of women, and I felt genuinely honoured that a) I had the opportunity to meet them, and b) everyone was falling over themselves to share their sources of inspiration with each other.
The influences around us so often fuel creativity, but collaboration of this kind only breeds more talent, goodwill and happiness, if you ask me. And my favourite thing? There’s room enough for everyone to have their own measure of success, because success is not, and never will be, a finite resource. Share, and it comes back to you tenfold – I’m utterly convinced of it.
Which brings me to my second thought: it makes me intensely happy to see women supporting each other, especially in the creative industries. I don’t know where I’d be without the wonderful bunch of gorgeous, talented and unselfish women I have in my life on a daily basis. It’s a constant source of confidence to know they support me as much as I do them.
Something I want to drum into my own daughter from the word go is this: be kind to other women, and you’ll make allies for life – enough to seldom feel alone.
From such little things, big things grow.
This has to be the best use of granny squares I’ve ever seen. First spied on my clever friend Olivier’s site, Dossier37, this lustworthy item is by Australian label First Born. Thanks for the tip, mon amie. I gotta get me that coat, for the days, they’re-a-gettin’ cooler.
Or bite the bullet and learn how to crochet… one more resolution for the year ahead.
Or not… I might get chopping with an old men’s jumper in the crafts cupboard instead, using this image from Jak & Jil for inspiration:
I like it. An odd combination, but somehow it just works, don’t you think? I’m sensing a little theme here for reviving dated knits – check out the next image from The Sartorialist. Maybe it’s only a matter of time before Colin Firth’s reindeer jumper in Bridget Jones’s Diary has its day?
Here’s a couple of favourite items from a nifty little site, co-created by Trudi Jenkins (Editor-in-Chief of Delicious Magazine).
Hard to find showcases some of my favourite Australian designers such as Dandi, Mozi and Bride & Wolfe, and you can pop products from each of them in the one virtual shopping cart and pay once. Shipping’s free for most items as well – very handy, non?
The two metres of pink I’ve earmarked for a willowy summer kaftan, and plans are underway to line my vintage Burberry trench with the black feathered silk satin on the chair below – a steal at $25 for five metres.
The silk chiffon above might simply become a scarf… the possibilities are endless.
I’ve mentioned this site before but Natalie Walton, brains behind clever website Daily Imprint and Deputy Editor of Real Living just sent me these images of her beautiful Bondi apartment – I just had to share them here. Most impressively, the renovation was completed on a shoestring budget.
Natalie came along to the book launch back in November, and contacted me recently about an interview for her site, which you can also read here.
Many thanks, Natalie!
Not too long now and the new book will be published… hurrah!
Here’s the cover image – a gorgeous craft table set-up by stylist Sarah DiNardi, and shot by photographer Franciska Rauwenhoff. I’ve been living kids’ craft for the last wee while, and can’t wait to hear what people think about these new projects.
The Crafty Kid: projects for and with children hits bookstore shelves this June.