Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Side By Side Week 117 - If I look cute, I won't get in trouble!

Side By Side Week 117  - If I look cute I won't be in trouble?!
Little Missy 'found' a Christmas tree bauble and was enjoying some frantic fun with it. I appeared in the living room to investigate what the noise was and she dropped and rolled into the "if I act cute, I won't get in trouble" pose! Too funny, although glass baubles do not mix with wooden floors and cat entertainment! 

Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog

Side By Side Week 116 - Joyeux Noel

Side By Side Week 116 - Joyeux Noel
As part of my rustic and homemade theme I made these little tags for the wall. I also decided to go a little European with the lovely french version of Merry Christmas. Joyeux Noel everybody! Check out more here. 

Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog

I think Mr. Postman played football with my parcel!

My package from the lovely package exchange was the last in a frenzy of parcels from friends and family from all over before Christmas. This was The parcel was sitting at my front door and I picked it up with great excitement as I knew I was allowed to open this one before the 25th. When I picked it up I could hear some bells inside which were jingling as I walked inside. Hang on a moment....I can hear the bells tinkling but I can hear something else, I think its broken glass not so festive.

 Sadly, I opened up my package and the jar which Carmen had used for part of the packaging had shattered in the box. All was not lots I managed to salvage everything which she sent and it was ok. These things happen and I just felt bad for poor Carmen as she was nervous about sending her package (as I was). 
Anyway, she sent me some lovely handmade goodies, some Christmas tree decorations, crochet coasters, some cute bells (the ones that were jingling) and a one of her wonderful hand screen printed tea towels which I read about on her blog the other week. As a lover of screen printing myself this was perfect. She had printed using my fave coral colour and the subject was fab vending machines from Japan. Couldn't be better as I too was fascinated by them when I visited Japan last year. Thank you so much Carmen, I really do appreciate all your handmade goodies. 

The exchange was such a cool thing to do, I loved it. Plus I think I have found a new blogger friend who shares my interests. Just a shame she is in Sydney and I am in Melbourne. I hope we will keep in touch and who knows we can maybe try the exchange next year - without any misshaps! ;-) 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Neon and neutral package exchange

I wrote a few weeks ago about a package exchange I had signed up for via the Oh Hello Friend Blog. 
I had great plans and I think I actually managed to pull off my plans/ideas. For a while I have been seeing neon with neutrals and I love the look. I think Leslie Shewring showcased the neon/neutral look the best in her Tokyo and Neon post in August this year.
Photo: A Creative Mint
I found some great neon pink ribbon at Spotlight which was just what I was after - super vibrant and awesome. I decided I would use it with some brown kraft paper but it just wasn't quite enough, looked a little plain. After some messing around and trial and error I decided I wanted to add some interest to the paper. As a lover of all kinds of printing techniques, I decided I would carve out a snowflake motif and use that to stamp the kraft paper. It worked really well and just the pop that it needed.
Side By Side Week 115 - Handprinted wrapping paper 

I didn't manage to get a very good photo as it was late and there was no natural light. Still you get the idea. 
Carmen my swap buddy took a MUCH better photo, check out her super lovely post about my package and gifts.All packaged up inside was a cool print from Dawn Tan, some tags from super ace new packaging company Blank (I bought a tonne of stuff from them at the Melbourne Design Market earlier this month). Oh and also a little pack of postcards from the awesome Yellow Owl Workshop which I got from Notemaker a while ago. 

All in all my package was a hit Carmen LOVED it and I loved putting it together. I look forward to doing another one soon.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Joyeux Noel

Pinterest it's a veritable feast of all things beautiful, clever, or just down right cute. At this time of year though its jam packed full of festive goodies, yummy food shots,sparkly dresses and my favourite, Christmas decorations! While I was  scanning the pages I stopped on this shot which gave me an idea...

I used Rosewood font and printed out the letters onto 250gsm off-white card. Then trimmed them up so that they were all an even size. I then used a fancy scalloped corner punch for the corners which add to the vintage feel. I strung them up using some mini pegs on a natural twine. Added a couple of calico stripey tape bows and threaded in some mini lights from IKEA to add some sparkle. The battery pack is cunningly hidden behind the L on the Noel so that I can switch them on/off easily.
Here it is for your viewing pleasure.  I am particularly happy with it, hope you like it and the French  vintage vibe I am aiming for.

Side By Side Week 115 - Handprinted wrapping paper

Side By Side Week 115 - Handprinted wrapping paper
I may be a little mad to even think about doing this BUT I did it anyway. I carved out a snowflake stamp and went to town with some white paint and a roll of brown kraft paper. I am pretty happy with the results.

Side By Side Week 114 - Tis the season

Side By Side Week 114 - Tis the season
I did take a shot last week similar to this but it was no good so I took another. The reindeer decoration from Ikea is my new favourite decoration, but the tartan bauble in the background is a close second. Yay....I love Christmas!! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lovely Package Exchange

Whilst cruising around the blogosphere - I do a lot of that don't you know! I stumbled upon yet another great little blog called Oh, Hello Friend. Now it seems Danni the author of this awesome looking blog is a big fan of thoughtful, beautiful packaging, as am I. So much so, that I often take more time to either decide on my wrapping of choice or physically wrapping the gift than I do buying it! So when I read that she was running a packaging exchange I jumped right in.

What is a package exchange I hear you ask!  Firstly I had to sign up and answer a couple of 'about me' kinda questions. We were then partnered with another one of the willing participants from the same part of the world - quite the coordination effort on Oh, Hello Friend's part I think! From here the fun part starts. I have to buy a gift and parcel it up and send it to someone I have never met and I will receive a parcel back from my swap partner. The emphasis is on the packaging and it is important to put in some thought and effort into the package. 

My swap buddy Carmen, is an Illustrator and Designer based in Sydney. She writes and illustrates about things in her day to day life including her funny cat Miso on her blog Forgotten Fancies. I am REALLY looking forward to seeing what we manage to come up with. It reminds me of writing to penpals when I was a kid. Just a bit of festive fun people! 

Side By Side Week 113 - Rad

Side By Side 113 - Rad
I love the NGV Studio in Federation Square, it's an active little space focusing on 'youth' apparently! Currently there is an exhibition called Board which presents a collection of 1970s & 80s skateboards and ephemera from Tony Hallam’s (Australian Skateboarder) collection alongside contemporary decks created for the exhibition, it explores the evolution of board graphics and design. I have a blank deck of Shane's at home that I have been meaning to do something I feel inspired. 

Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog

Side By Side Week 112 - New Shoes!

Side By Side Week 112 - New Shoes!
We had a wedding to attend this weekend and I decided on a very high (for me) pair of new shoes to finish off my outfit! Wowsers....they are my fabulous disco shoes! So I decided to add a crazy gold bokeh overlay for added effect! 

Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog

Side By Side Week 111 - Setting a Scene

Side By Side Week 111 - Setting a scene
I have been messing around with some 'styling' for the first few of my prints I plan to post up in my online shop and I like how this looked...sunny and relaxing!

Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gifted Magazine - Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Yep, I am singing the praises of Creature Comforts again! Gifted Magazine- Holiday Gift Guide 2011 is out and bursting full of great Christmas gifts and ideas. I think most of these wonderful gifts are from US websites but with the US$ still sitting well in Australia at least it is doable and there is plenty of time to get some of these little goodies shipped before Christmas. So, get in a comfy chair and sneak a yummy treat and sit down to soak up all the fantastic products. Just don't break the bank balance ;-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Side By Side Weeks 109-110

Week 110 - Hailstorm
Side By Side Week 110 - Hail storm
The weather has been crazy in Melbourne over the last few days...sunny then rain..sunny then rain! Tropical almost, which sucks cause my hair gets it's frizz on but its awesome because we get heaps of thunder and lightning storms. YAY. These gigantic hailstones were falling from the skies, awesome. 

Week 109 - Letterpress
Side By Side Week 109 - Letterpress
We had a sad week as we had to say goodbye to our little dog Zak after 18 years (I have only been around for 8 of them) so to take my mind of it I immersed myself in creative projects my first being setting some metal type and trying out my Letter press machine. Super exciting  - it worked too. Some results to follow soon. 

Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog

Design Files Open House

Photo: The Design Files

I am beyond excited about this. A few weeks ago Lucy over at one of my fave blogs The Design Files announced a very cool upcoming event - The Design Files Open House.
Today all the details (except for the address) have been unleashed to the design loving masses. Building on the current trend of Pop Up shops and events, but taking it a step further. For four days (1st -4th Dec), a beautiful home in Fitzroy, Melbourne will be transformed into a showroom of sorts, displaying a gorgeous array of Australian made and designed products. Each room will be filled with fabulous furniture, artworks and all sorts of homewares. Now here is the good bit, everything, yes everything in the house will be for sale over the four days. Some you will be able to take home on the day, and other larger items like furniture will be delivered at a later time.  There will even be the new Mini Coupe on display for everyone to get a sneak peak of the new design in the garage. Amazing!

Check out the dedicated website for the event here at The Design Files Open House website. You can also download a store directory here and peruse the wonderful products which will be on show. 

My diary is marked and I can't wait to walk around and pretend I can afford everything...see you all there!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Amazing art.

I spent my lazy Saturday indulging in one of my favourite passtimes, blog reading! I have a special bookmark folder of my favourites and Creature Comforts is right at the top. I just love everything that Ez does over there and I must confess I am almost a little obsessed with checking for new posts. One day I would love to have a blog half as great as what she has. Anyway, I will leave the fan love for another day.

Whilst checking out her latest posts I saw this and just had to share it (it's a one time story steal I promise)! It's the wonderful work of Chan Hwee Chong...who has created amazing pieces of art by working in a spiral motion and applying varying pressure to the Faber Castell pens used to create these unbelievably amazing images.
Check out the video below of Chan Hwee Chong in action. Awe inspiring don't you think?

Some more of his work can be seen below and here. Now go get your pens out people!

Monday, October 31, 2011

(Long) Weekend Wishlist - Bright and Breezy!

Summer is trying to break through in Melbourne, the sun and warm air is feeling great when it manages to make an appearance.

With the change in the weather, my mind appears to have taken on a lighter, more bright and breezy mood. As a result, my long weekend wish list is full of fresh finds. 

Recently, I made a visit to South Melbourne and discovered a little pocket of great little shops on Coventry Street. I stumbled across Southwood Trading a wonderful fresh homewares store full of wonderful modern pieces. They stock products from one of my favourite Melbourne brands bonnie and neil.  Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie, create functional decorative pieces which are handmade and hand-printed in their Brunswick studio. Their current collection is inspired by native Australian flora and fauna. I have my eye on some of their wooden storage cubes

If you want to know even more about them, Lucy on The Design Files did a great feature on them back in June.

Moving on from a local bricks and mortar store to an international online store, Dahlhaus. Heather Braun-Dahl makes some great ceramic pieces in her studio in Vancouver, Canada. I have my eye on a one of the turquoise (10 o'clock position in the pic) vases...$46 US well spent in my opinion.

Last but not least is to attend one of the Panelpop workshops which are being held at the Fitzroy store/workshop. If you have not heard of Panelpop they are the brains behind an exciting new stone art medium which can be drawn on directly with pencil or charcoal. Or you can even work your magic with watercolour, oil or acrylics. If you are not feeling creative, you can upload one of your favourite photos which can be printed directly onto the surface. The framed piece is lightweight and UV stable which means you can even hang in outdoors if you want to.  If that's not awesome enough, most of the materials used are salvaged or recycled which will also satisfy your carbon neutral needs.

I had one made a few months ago, using a photo of my dear cat Muffy (I know funny name - but I was 10 when we named her...give me a break!) who was with us for 20 years.

As I have already done a photo, I think I would like to try my hand drawing or painting on one so I think I might sign up for one of the last available spots for one of the workshops they have running this month and in December. Watch this space....

Side By Side Catch Up.

Week 108 - Crazy Babies!
Side by Side Week 108 - Crazy babies!
A parade of giant demonic babies engaged in a battle of good and evil have invaded central Melbourne as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Crazy babies alright!! It has caused quite the stir in Melbourne though... 

Week 107 - Coffee Art
Side By Side Week 107 - Coffee Art
With my brother visiting over the last few weeks, we have been sampling the coffee delights of Melbourne. One of the best both in taste, and for the amazing Barista skills. The place is called Manchester Press named after the old printing press office that used to be in the building. It might be my fave place in Melb at the moment.

Week 106 - Modern History
Side By Side Week 106 - Modern History
It was my Birthday and I am now 33! Eek. One of my wonderful gifts was a refurbished 70s polariod SX-70 camera! Its fantastic...although I am a little scared to use it because the film costs so much! Also in the shot are some photos of me as a kid taken with our trusty polaroid. My Dad would get film from work and as a result a LOT of my old family photos are polaroids. You can just see my awesome birthday costume where I was dressed as a domino - I think I was 9 or so. Random!

Week 105 - Is that a Chicken?
Side By Side Week 105 - Is that a chicken?
I went to take some shots of these and it was too dark last week and I tried again the other day when we were visiting sadly its a phone shot! These are Japanese silky chickens! No I did not make that up and I also did not take a crap photo where you can't see any eyes or beaks etc  this is what they look like. They freak me out because you can't tell what there are up to - they are like toilet brushes on legs! So funny! 
Week 104 - Haste Ye Back
Side By Side Week 104 - Haste Ye Back
I have been working on a little Scottish print for my spare bedroom,which I have decided is going to have a bit of a flavour of home. Haste ye back is  Doric for come back soon.
I have designed the whole print myself and after a lot of changes and layouts. I am super happy with it. I also got a modern deer head from Pulp to add to the 'theme'.

Week 103 - Primary Positive 
 Side By Side Week 103 - Primary positive!
Random photo alert. Shane is like a Womble and likes to re-purpose and recycle. Anyway, he has few car batteries ready to be taken to the recycling place and I was liking the colour and shapes of them all lines up. Primary colours a plenty.

Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog

Friday, September 16, 2011

Side by Side Week 102 - Chocolicious

Side By Side Week 102 - Chocolicious
I made Molten Chocolate Puddings on the weekend - Yummers! This is typical of me, but the remaining chocolate that I didn't use has sat in the packet for the last few days and I don't have any inclination to eat it. Its a family joke that I could sit with an open packet of chocolate and not eat it - much to the dismay of my Mum and Bro. I look at it as one of my key skills in life, cause I reckon I would be a few kgs heavier if I didn't have it! :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekend Wishlist - Prints

I have quite a bit of wall space in my house and much of it is just crying out for some colourful art to brighten up my neutral d├ęcor and add a bit more interest to some of the rooms. 

I plan to frame some of my own photos and to make some prints of my own but here are a few odds and ends that have caught my over the last couple of weeks. 

The first is City In Pink by Inaluxe

The next is a handmade silkscreen poster for a Feist concert in 2008 by Vahalla Studios posted on the Poster Cabaret website (where there are a whole heap of other awesome prints by other artists and design studios.)

I LOVE Melbourne artist Ghostpatrol and can only dream of owning one of his original pieces. Recently though, he collaborated with another of my faves Panelpop  (a wonderful company who have come up with an innovative framed art surface which you can draw directly onto or have photos printed etc). This is his Fox Shadow illustration now I just need $180 to buy this little gem.
Last but not least is a 2012 Mountain Calendar by Palmostracco on Etsy.
It's a wonderful mountainscape (Did I just made up a new word?) and dates follow the mountain contours. So cool.

Hopefully a couple of these little beauties will be on their way to a new home - my home - soon.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Side By Side Week 101 - Spring has Sprung

Week 101
Side By Side Week 101 - Spring has sprung.
The weather has been fantastic and it looks like Winter has gone and Spring is here. We have a big old fig tree in our back garden and the leaves and little figs are already popping out all over the tree. (oh and a little overlay action - Prismatic Paper 2 overlay from )

Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Side By Side Week 98- 100!!

 Week 100 - X marks the spot!
Side by Side Week 100 - X marks spot
X marks 100!! Wow we have been doing this for 100 weeks! That sounds nuts! This is a random metal 'thing' Shane found and thought I might like to paint it or something and turn into a door stop or the like. I do very much like it's industrial look and after a bit of filing and grinding (by Shane) it's had its first coat of white paint and is already looking better. A paper weight perhaps?
 Week 99 - From the Shadows
 Side By Side Week 99 - From the Shadows
We headed up to the snow this past weekend for some snowboarding! Its much like spring here which is WAY too early and it looks like the snow wont hang around this year sad :-(  Still we had a great time with what is there and enjoyed the sunshine! Ooh and I got a new snowboard which was all kinds of awesome!! 

Week 98 - A snails pace
Side By Side Week 98 - A Snail's Pace
I am kinda fascinated by snails in that they appear from dark damp places when the rain appears and slide around the back garden and then disappear again. Crazy crawlies!
Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog....Happy 100th photo and yay to us for keeping at this for so long!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Wishlist

I have been thinking of creating a regular feature here for a while . After a bit of thought I decided that I might write a little about the things I like and have on my wishlist to buy or at least dream of one day owning. I seem to bookmark more and more wonderful products every day whether from the newspaper, magazines and all the wonderful blogs and sites online.

This weeks wishlist has a few odds and ends that I have my eye on...
1. Hilary Grant - Mountain Cushions
These are just brilliant, I HAVE to have these. Not only because they are made from 100% pure Lambswool in my home country Scotland, but they appeal to my snowy/mountain love and therefore tick all the boxes for me. They will go just perfectly on my Eames eiffel chair in my bedroom!Hilary Grant is an independent knit and textile designer who in addition to creating these wonderful cushions makes scarves and mittens too.

2. Pony Rider - Swiss Alps Cushion
Following on with the mountain theme, I am loving this Swiss Alps cushion by Ponyrider which features a screen printed image of the Matterhorn with a little extra graphic touch to make it pop. I have singled this one out but I could quite easily buy one of everything in their shop. I don't think the bank balance could cope with that though (sadly)!
Pony Rider is a collaboration between Sydney friends Kelly Searl and Jacqui Lewis. Their textiles and soft furnishings are designed in house, and then hand screen printed and sewn in Sydney.

3. Gotye - Making Mirrors
Ok so this is no longer a wishlist item because I just bought it this afternoon (while writing this post), but it I think it should be on everyone else's list. A fantastic album...really brilliant - love the album cover artwork too. Check out the first song from the album below.

Look out for more goodies soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Little Things!

Little things 2
Life is busy and chaotic most of the time and I am a big believer in the taking time to make a little something or write a little note whenever the opportunity arises. Whatever it is it allows you to step back a bit from the day to day and immerse yourself in something creative or just downright fun even if its for 5mins!
I love to create on paper or with paper and do so whenever I get the chance, even if it's just wrapping a gift. When I received a little gift from friend and (former) work colleague on the day she left to say thanks for the support and just 'because' I was really thrilled. Jane who gave me the gift, presented my wee gift perfectly and I feel took the time and effort to make a small gesture wonderfully thoughtful. Not only was there a great little gift (a clever magnetic photo wire and a lovely scented candle) - perfect for 'Studio 2' - but it was the presentation that really was fab. The painted stripes simple and the colour perfectly picked to go with the blue gum leaves in the wee poesy of flowers she included.
Little Things
Oh and I couldn't resist a little bit of creativity myself in the top photo. I added some of everyone's fave Japanese Masking tape to a humble jam jar. Hey presto cute flowers on display in my room! And so, you see its those little things.......