Tuesday, 31 March 2009

(shop.inspiration) lisa stickley






There is something incredibly comforting about Lisa Stickley's textile designs and her gorgeous shop in London. It's that return to the good old-fashioned values of the past. Cherishing the detail in the everyday. Sticking tongue firmly in cheek. Keeping calm and carrying on, as everyone is so fond of saying these days. And, I MUST have that travel bag!

Which five words best describe you? Honest, uncomplicated, endearing, inspired & conscientious.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? I was a Saturday’s girl at a photographic shop when I was 15, a taster of creative beginnings. I have done 7 years training and have been running my own business for 7 years.
What’s your proudest achievement? I’m still working on it!
What’s been your best decision? Career-wise it has been to go straight into setting up my own business because it is such hard work and I have completely started from scratch.
Who inspires you? My parents, Cy Twomely the artist, Audrey Hepburn, David Schrigly, David Hockney, Lucienne Day.
What are you passionate about? My work. Colour, flee markets and vintage pieces. Supermarket packaging in Portugal. Overall creating uncompromised products. Old English traditional values.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? There are many lessons I have learnt and have still to learn. The best lesson is to be adaptable and truly focused on what you are doing.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? The Queen.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I will tell you when I get there but on a side line I would like to surf in Fiji.
What are you reading? Good things in England by Florence White.
Images courtesy of Lisa Stickley

Monday, 30 March 2009

(real living.) may issue







The May issue of real living is on sale today and here are some of my fave features/pages. Would love to know what you think.

Images courtesy of real living

Friday, 27 March 2009

(art.inspiration) song ling







For people who say they "don't get modern art", I think they just haven't looked at enough of it. Because there really is something for everybody. For me, I'm loving the work of Song Ling right now. He has just held an exhibition at Eva Breuer Art Dealer.

Which five words best describe you? Happy, stubborn, ambitious, love and working hard.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Always been an artist, since the first job.
What’s your proudest achievement? Having a nice son.
What’s been your best decision? To be an artist.
What was the starting point for this exhibition? To show the variety of my style.
Who inspires you? My parents.
What are you passionate about? A happy family.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Trust myself.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Dalai Lama.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? Own a painting by Rene Magritte.
What are you reading? Books by Zhang Ai ling

Images courtesy of Song Ling and Eva Breuer Art Dealer

Thursday, 26 March 2009

(babyccino.) natural love



Now it's turning a little cool at the start and the end of the day I'm going to have to get a few more winter outfits for Mr C. First port of call will definitely be Pure Baby. Divine! Oh, and I love their approach to business. I wrote about it here for Babyccino.

Image courtesy of Pure Baby

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

(shop.inspiration) roots and wings






In a recent issue of Country Style (how great is that mag now!), I came across the shop Roots & Wings in Berry. It's divine, and well worth a weekend drive just to check it out. I think owner Rebecca Riles personifies a shift that's occurring in country towns at the moment. She has cleared away the cobwebs of fusty, country style and given it a new relevance. Kind of like what real living style director Jason Grant did with his "modern country" shoot - see the pics with his Daily Imprint feature. And also like what Shannon Fricke is doing in Byron Bay. It makes me want to put on a pair of gum boots and relocate. Well, almost...

How and why did you start Roots & Wings Design? I wanted to share the products I knew and loved; there are so many opportunities to do new things on the South Coast that haven’t yet been done. So when the original blacksmiths building in Berry became available for the first time in years I knew I had to make the move and quickly. From conception to opening my doors was a little less than two months, I barely had time to think it through but it was a chance to immerse myself in work that I could really get excited about.
What has been a highlight so far? The response to the store has been amazing! Every day someone new walks into the store and expresses how much they enjoy the space, the products and the overall experience. I am privileged with wonderfully supportive customers and many have become good friends.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was working in a shop in Berry. At 16 I was already flat-out merchandising the shop and I loved it. I moved to Sydney to study interior design full time a few years later and worked in retail again to support myself. I was eager to learn every aspect of the business: I was head VM, buyer’s assistant & whatever else I could get into. I became store manager, and came to realise that I would really love a store of my own but thought I was headed in another direction. Life is full of surprises!
What’s your proudest achievement? My BEAUTIFUL store, it’s my dream come true but I’m still working on it constantly. There is SO much more to come, including the launch of our website - www.rootsandwings.com.au, including an online store – shortly! I get calls from all over the country so the online store will help our customers to stay connected to the store when they are unable to come visit us.
What’s been your best decision? To return to the South Coast and open Roots & Wings Design. I’ve made many new friends – of all ages and have a renewed love and enthusiasm for the area… and I’m doing what I love.
Who inspires you? My mother, she never lets anything get her down and takes everything in her stride.
What are you passionate about? My family & friends, first and foremost - they are my world! Secondly, my beautiful shop: I get to surround myself with the things I love and support amazing creative people.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? To do what you love. My parents never pressured me to do anything but encouraged me to do whatever I wanted. I always knew they were happy if I was happy and I’m very lucky to have such supportive parents.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? John Pawson who says, “architecture is like music, the more you reduce the notes, the more perfect the notes must be” and he achieves this in the simplest designs. At the same time they are never cold and are so timeless. I’ve been lucky enough to get to London and New York and see some of his great retail designs. I’ve never been one to get excited by futuristic designs like those of Zaha Hadid but I admit she is amazing.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? There are too many to list, but I’d like to do a lot more travel for one. Also, I think that there is a big gap in terms of authentic Australian homewares. I’m always looking but can’t seem to find exactly what I’m after. I’d love to design my own seasonal product range and have it made in Australia, reflecting our relaxed Australian style. One day!
What are you reading? Trash usually – I love chick lit! I have, however, just read It Can’t Be Forever by Tamara Jermolajew. It’s a biographical and written by a friend’s grandmother. What an amazing woman and story! After living in Australia since the early 50’s, she finally "learnt English" and wrote the book - in her 80s! I found it quite inspirational: throughout everything she endured, she remained a strong and independent woman – and has a great sense of humor.

Images courtesy of Roots & Wings and Country Style

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

(music.inspiration) melanie pain





I can't tell you how excited I am to feature Melanie Pain on Daily Imprint. I went to see her perform last Wednesday when she was in Sydney previewing her soon-to-be-released CD My Name at the Oxford Art Factory. I was a big fan of Nouvelle Vague and then became besotted after seeing them perform live - it really was THE BEST gig I've ever been to. I was about eight months pregnant and couldn't stop dancing - perhaps not the image you want in your head - but you get the idea: it was so much fun. Some of the best songs performed that night were by Melanie. She has the softest, prettiest French accent when she sings. It's so sweet and sexy - in the way that only French women can do. And when she sings in English, it's just irresistible. You must check her music out. You'll love it, I'm sure.
PS If anyone can tell me how to post videos onto blogspot (from YouTube, etc), I'll be eternally grateful.

Which five words best describe you? Happy lucky French female singer.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was in a big advertising agency in Paris, I was 24, then I worked in design for a while and 2 years later I did my first recording and my first concert, it really changed my life and here I am: a singer.
What's your proudest achievement? My first solo album "my name".
What's been your best decision? To quit my job to go on tour with Nouvelle Vague in USA.
Who inspires you? People and landscapes.
What are you passionate about? Shoes and Greek philosophy.
What's the best lesson you've learnt? Always deal with big things first.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Napoleon.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Learn how to surf.
What are you reading? The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Images courtesy of Melanie Pain

Monday, 23 March 2009

(design.inspiration) david hicks





David Hicks designed Sydney's tres sexy Mars Lounge as his first project. Quite an achievement in itself. For those of you who are American readers, I'm talking about the Australian David Hicks - not the late great David Hicks, aka India Hicks' father. Although, David is quickly heading to the same stratosphere.

Which five words best describe you?
Crazy. Controlled. Creative. Moody. Funny.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job on my own was a bar in Sydney called Mars Lounge. My design path has been progressing every year since. I love to look at new materials and finishes and evolve my design, however, I always stick to clean, rationalised detailing, which Mars Lounge has a lot of.
What’s your proudest achievement? Still being in business after seven years.
Who inspires you? Too many people and things to mention - at the moment I am inspired by and intrigued by Rachel Zoe, the famous stylist in LA.
What are you passionate about? Design, fashion, food, love and laughter.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? To keep trying and never take no for an answer.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Again, too many to mention - one would be Tony Duquette.
What’s next? Don't know - maybe a TV show, and maybe a book.
What are you reading? Jacqui Collins.

Images courtesy of David Hicks

Friday, 20 March 2009

(art.inspiration) pippin drysdale







It is hard to pin down what I love more - the colour or the shape of these beautiful ceramic pieces. I think, perhaps, the colour wins out. It's not hard to see that Pippin Drysdale takes her inspiration from the landscape - she was born in Melbourne but spent many years of her youth on country properties in Western Australia. More recently she has taught at prestigious universities such as Princeton in the USA. Currently she is exhibiting at the Michael Reid At Elizabeth Bay. Oh, and if that's not impressive enough, her works are in collections at the National Gallery of Australia; the Museum of Modern Art in Gifu, Japan and the Museo del Ceramica, in Faenza, Italy.

Which five words best describe you? Passionate, outrageous, dedicated, nurturer of the creative spirit, enjoying the journey of life.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? In despair of me, my father, who played golf with the manager of the local national bank got me a job as a typist at the bank. I was a lousy typist, couldn’t take shorthand, and a misfit within the company. I lasted about a year and then ran off to become a hippy and set up the largest organic herb garden in WA.
What’s your proudest achievement? I am a person who wakes in the morning knowing I have much to achieve and goes to bed knowing that I have achieved. Therefore over the past 30 years I have had amazing achievements, such as being an international ambassador for Australian ceramics.
What’s been your best decision? At the age of 30 the move from being a hippy with an organic herb garden to working with clay – and I’ve never looked back!
What was the starting point for this exhibition? To develop a variation of form, whether vessel or closed form, to move from the single entity to topography.
Who inspires you? The landscape, people in the landscape, travels and life experiences which all have a relationship to the growth of one’s personal journey. When it stops hurting you may as well give up!
What are you passionate about? Life/living, journeys, my work.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Never be beholden to anybody. Know your rights. Always go with your intuition (it’s the only thing you know).
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Willem de Kooning
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To stay physically and mentally alert and fulfil my journey.
What are you reading? Bad news & stock market reports and getting depressed!

Images courtesy of Pippin Drysdale and Michael Reid Gallery

Thursday, 19 March 2009

(design.inspiration) annabelle poustie








So which one are you? Until I started scrolling through all the myriad designs - both shape and fabric - I didn't realise how much a bag said about your own preferences. Hmmm. I think I'm "basket bag" in "motif". I love it's simplicity, but then there are those fabrics. Oh, those fabrics! What a gorgeous selection Annabelle Poustie from bsirius has created.

Which five words best describe you? Determined, Optimistic, Messy, Generous, Energetic. What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? When l was 18 l opened up a vintage shop called Octopussy. It was here that I worked out that retail was not for me, and later started my pursuits in wholesale.
What’s your proudest achievement? Getting out of bed at 5.30 this morning to go to the gym. It's been a long time coming.
What’s been your best decision? Once l was trapped in a hotel fire in Hong Kong. When an exit was finally cleared (the fire was in the fire escape) everyone was sent onto the roof. I refused and headed downstairs and escaped, while every one on the roof ended up in hospital with smoke inhalation amongst other things.
Who inspires you? Hanna Werning
What are you passionate about? Mastering traditional Indian cooking. This is a life-long mission!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Don’t leave your phone in the veggie crisper of the fridge, it's really hard to find!
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Definitely Brett and Germaine from Flight of the Conchords.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To visit Greenland to see the northern lights.
What are you reading? The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. which won the Man Booker prize 2008.

Images courtesy of BSirius

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

(real living.) decorating dilemma


Usually I'm putting my thinking cap on for readers of real living, but today the problem is mine. I wrote about it here. I bought these great chairs the other weekend from Robert Plumb and have to decide what colour to get them powdercoated. Do I go for one colour - my preference, probably bright yellow - or four separate colours - white, yellow, orange and dove grey. What do you think?

Image courtesy of Robert Plumb

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

(design.inspiration) marika jarv






Marika Jarv is someone that I've been admiring for some time now. She first came to my attention when real living featured her gorgeous home in the July 06 issue and ever since she's worked on a steady stream of projects that have impressed me. I love her relaxed style with its hits of fashion and retro-cool.

Which five words best describe you? Busy, hard-working, creative, honest, happy.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first "real" job was a huge influence. Straight after graduating from uni, I was lucky enough to land a position with the highly regarded architectural firm Stutchbury&Pape. Pete (Stutchbury) taught me incredible attention to detail and to think inventively. After seven years I took the daunting plunge, went out by myself, and now run my own solo design practice Marika Järv Design from home. Then one and a half years later (as if I wasn't busy enough!) my friend, Alice Flynn and I, decided to start the design label PrintDolls.
What’s your proudest achievement? Having the courage to start PrintDolls, with not only no money (we had to beg/borrow our start-up costs), but with no experience in either screen printing or sales. What we did have was faith in ourselves and our idea - and it's been so worth taking the risk.
Who inspires you? My friend Jacqui Lewis. We just love sharing together all things artistic - be it music, food, art or fashion. Our funnest pastime is iPod playlist wars at parties. And we fritter away hours emailing each other at ridiculous hours of the night with our latest "finds" discovered on the net - music clips, soup recipes, Vivienne Westwood shoes, french cushion covers... At least now she's put our "squandered" hours to good use, by recently launching a new online chronicle, Distillate - it doesn't make me feel as guilty!
What are you passionate about? All the fun things in life - music, food, wine, friends, fashion, art.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? That I need to slow down. Forked out way too many dollars at the physio lately, all due to the ridiculous amount of hours I spend hunched over my computer - must learn to sit up straight, and take breaks!
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Rosalie Gascoigne. Not only do I love her artwork, but the fact she did it all with no formal art training - truly inspiring.
What’s next? A holiday - off to Bali & Sumba for a month, and I cannot wait.
What are you reading? I have two on the go and never enough time to finish them.
Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela's autobiography.
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions - by Dan Ariely

Images courtesy of PrintDolls

Monday, 16 March 2009

(babyccino.) talking my language



I'm in love with this image so, so much. It's too cute for words. I wrote about the Australian company who distributes these clothes here. I love what they stand for.

Image courtesy of Mudd Kids
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