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rainbow dreaming

Look what I found this week, my Derwent pencils sets! The most exciting find was the watercolour pencils, you know the ones where you draw in pencil, then with a paintbrush and a little water - instant watercolour!  So much fun.  All the rainbow colours of the pencils have me itching to bring a little colour into our home.  Here are a couple of my favourite rainbow finds I would love for my home:

It's colourful, it's inspiring and it's very me - always the dreamer.  It's by Yumalum, I found it on Etsy.

The Eames Hang-It-All needs no introduction really.  Made for kids, but adored by many an adult, myself included.

Images:  Middle: Yumalum;  Bottom:  Living Edge.

pressed for words...

I am falling more and more in love with typography and the wonderful art of letterpress. I would love to take a class on letterpress to learn how to do it. I picked up the wood type collage above at a stall at the Notting Hill markets in London about 5 years ago. I love it because it not only looks great but it holds special memories of our overseas trip. I remembered that the stall that I bought it from had a website and I think I've found it, The Old Printing Shop of London.

I never imagined that I could actually use these collaged letters to print something on paper but as I've discovered if I had access to a press, I could! There are so many talented people out there printing away on lovely old presses, mixing their own inks, and creating beautiful things. I am so inspired by this! It looks like it is a lot of work, getting the type set up correctly and making sure it all lines up etc. But it must be incredibly satisfying to see the finished product in your own hand.

You only have to take a look on Etsy to see the hundreds of beautiful letterpressed products you can purchase. All these creative people toiling away on their vintage presses - Love it! There are a few things I have my eye on, a poster pictured above by Hijirik Studio which you may have seen before, and some personalised letterpress stationery for my mother-in-law for Christmas.

There is so much to choose from, I struggle to pick a favourite! I would love to be able to press the stationery myself though, now that would be an extra special gift to receive. Also check out Bespoke Letterpress Boutique, the wedding invitations (and matching place cards, thank you's etc) are AMAZING, and all made here in Brisbane!

Bottom image: Hijirik Studio

green dreaming

I keep coming back to this image so I thought I would share it with you. It's from a Living Etc magazine (July 09) that I was reading while on holidays a few weeks ago. There's lots of green so of course I love it, especially the Orla Kiely storage boxes. But the trestle legs on the desk are pretty special too. And the Organic chair which I have never seen in this colour before. Must work on making my office look this good! Hope you like it, have a good weekend.

Image: Living Etc

ooh... sneak peak of Real Living November issue out Monday

Look what I found in my letterbox last night, the new issue of Real Living due out Monday. Getting the issue early is such a bonus of subscribing, downside is the postie roughly jamming the mag into the letterbox therefore tearing the cover!  It's a great issue filled to the brim with happy, sunshiny things - Hello Spring!  Here are some of my favourite finds from the November issue. Starting with the white outdoor chairs on the cover above. Can you believe they are from Jamie Durie's Patio range for Big W!  Go Big W!!

And the chairs would go great with this Net Glass Side Table (and it's only $79!!!) from Matt Blatt also in the issue.   

This Sunshine Quilt set from Kideko is super cute, I noticed it ages ago and I always love it everytime I see it.  It's printed with lots of happy words, which is kind of educational too if you think about it.  Can't wait for my little nieces to move to big beds so I can buy it for them!  Makes me smile :)

More kid stuff, there are so many cute things in the mag, but this Animal Farm wallpaper from ferm LIVING really caught my eye. And there is also a matching wall sticker set. You can have SO much fun with kids rooms!  Today I learnt that ferm means clever in Danish, which is where these products are designed and quite the appropriate name.  ferm LIVING is not just for kids there are lots of lovely things for adults too, wallpaper, cushions, tea-towels - take a look!

Bye, I'm off to put my feet up and enjoy the mag!

Images (top to bottom): Me;  Matt Blatt;  Kideko;  ferm LIVING;

search for a new sofa

I've adored this Slimline Lounge from Angelucci 20th Century for quite a while. Based on a design from the 1950's by George Nelson, I love the sleek lines, wooden feet and buttoned-up style. Angelucci 20th Century is based in Melbourne, and call me practical but seeing as I am not planning a trip to Melbourne anytime soon I don't think I'll be ordering it without sitting on one at least once. So the search continues...

Next on our list was the Kramfors sofa from IKEA. The one we liked was longer than the one pictured. What I love about this sofa is that it has slipcovers, YAY! So when I get sick of the sunny yellow cover that I am partial to, I could buy a cover in a more neutral colour. However... as much as we wanted this to be our new sofa, everytime we tried it out instore we were disappointed it wasn't more comfortable. We must be a little spoilt with our current sofa which is VERY comfortable, but unfortunately its shape doesn't fit the living area in our new home.
So... we have been searching and searching, and I think we have found it. The One. It's called the Domino sofa from Freedom Furniture. It is just the right size, it sits up off the floor on sleek legs so I can clean underneath, it can be upholstered in whatever fabric we like and.. most of all it's very comfortable. So it seems to tick all the boxes. We would like to have it covered in a dark, almost black Warwick Fabric called Ocean Drive Ash, similar to the picture above. We figure it will be a very forgiving colour if we have any littlies of our own, or to protect from our growing brood of nieces. So decision made, I think! We are off to Freedom tonight to order...

Images: Top, Angelucci 20th Century; Middle, IKEA; Bottom, Freedom.

It's eerie outside today!

If you are on the east coast of Australia you will know what I am talking about. A huge dust storm has blown in from the outback. The atmosphere is incredible, the sky is glowing and everything is blanketed in an eerie haze of dust. It all feels very peculiar, like we are in an old movie or something. Great opportunity to take some pretty pics, although I think I'll need to track down a dust mask before I attempt any more photos. This photo was taken from our workplace which backs onto a rural property south of Brisbane, I have never seen it look so beautiful.

loving vintage decorative concrete blocks

I've always been drawn to these retro concrete block walls, granted usually they are associated with a run-down house or unit block in need a bit of love - but I see the potential. My husband and I were driving around a nearby suburb yesterday looking at houses, for no particular reason (ok, maybe hoping one day to see THE perfect reno house), and I saw a house with a decorative concrete block wall out the front which caught my eye.

Unfortunately the picture I took of the house that sparked this idea was not great (car was moving!), but thanks to the power of google I found a very informative website/blog by Las Vegas real estate agent Jack deVine called VeryVintageVegas. Very Vintage Vegas Jack specialises in selling mid century houses and I'm thinking he sees a lot of these decorative block 'sunscreens' (as he calls them) in his line of work because he has documented over 50+ different designs on his blog!

I found it a little bit exciting to be able to pick out my favourite patterns, and there are some beautiful ones which I have never seen before. Maybe the washing basket pattern from last week would be a great design for a decorative block. I wonder how hard it would be to make a mould to produce them?

I believe that the decorative concrete block would have a place in design today, either in landscape design or in architecture. Adding interest to a building facade or an interesting way of screening/shading in the backyard. I don't know how many other people would share my opinion, but I'd love to see someone manufacturing them again in Australia. What do you think, like them or not?

Pictures via VeryVintageVegas

inspiring places: aitutaki, cook islands

Today being Friday, it's the perfect day to share with you some pictures of what I believe to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Aitutaki, a small coral atoll of the Cook Islands group in the southern Pacific Ocean.

We arrived back from a holiday there just over a week ago so it is still very fresh in my memory (although it does feel a bit like a dream now we're back). I hope the pictures do Aitutaki justice, the colour of the water is simply breathtaking. It is a place where you can do as little (lie in a hammock), or as much as you like (get out on the reef and snorkel, kayak etc). The people are lovely, and extremely proud of their little island paradise, with very good reason.

I came back from holiday with a new lease on life, hoping to do something that means a little more to me. And... a few days later this blog came to life. I'm thinking there must be something in the water over there. Maybe we should bottle it!

The pictures were taken at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa where we stayed. It is the only resort situated directly on Aitutaki Lagoon and only 38 villas in total so it doesn't get too busy.

I hope the pictures inspire you to have a bit of time out this weekend with your feet up. Enjoy!

psst! signature prints sale continues online

If you missed the sale at Signature Prints last weekend then check out their website because the sale continues online...while stocks last! Who could resist a bit of Australian designer Florence Broadhurst on sale, I know I can't. 30+ years on, her designs are still fresh, re-interpreted in up-to-the-minute colours by the people at Signature Prints.

The most exciting thing I find when Signature Prints have a sale is that you often come across designs that are not in their usual range, as well as their classic patterns in experimental colourways. Like the 'Horses Stampede' fabric (pictured above), which I picked up at a previous sale. How quirky is this print...? I love it, especially in sunny yellow! And seeing as it isn't usually printed in yellow, it's sort of limited edition... or so I tell myself :)

Also good to know... Signature Prints conduct factory tours for the public at their base in Sydney where they will show you how these beautiful designs are screenprinted onto fabric and wallpaper.


Here's a preview of some of the patterns available in the sale  

Bottom images: Signature Prints

a little bit of my place: green

Today I thought I'd feature some little snapshots of our home with an emphasis on one colour in

Green seems to pop up everywhere in my home so it goes without saying that it is one of my favourite colours. And mother nature has always been the ultimate designer so who am I to argue...?

So here are a few examples of how I have brought a little bit of the hue into our home.  My favourite...1950's chair pictured above!

inspiration in the ordinary

Sometimes it's during the most mundane of tasks that you come across a little bit of inspiration.  I love the pattern above which just so happens to be two washing baskets stacked together!  I spotted it by chance whilst folding clothes and just had to take a picture of it. It made me smile to think that two plastic washing baskets could create such a beautiful pattern.  

I'm going to aim to capture more of this type of unexpected inspiration.  So often I see something only to forget about it shortly after.  This pattern would look great screenprinted on fabric. I've seen a similar pattern with circles but I think it's even more interesting with the juxtaposed oval shapes.  

Thought of the day:
Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary 

loving Jonathan Adler's new Shelter Island collection

This is my first post on my very first blog. I'm an amateur so have lots to learn, and hope to have a bit of fun along the way (Thanks Belinda)! I desperately need an creative outlet as my day job is less than inspiring at times so here it is. I will share with you my thoughts/inspirations on any given day, starting today with Jonathan Adler who I love, love, love!

In my inbox today I found an email showcasing the new "Shelter Island" furniture/lighting collection by Jonathan Adler, which I immediately fell in love with. Especially the chair, in all its wicker, white painted iron, and retro burnt orange upholstered glory. I'm very into white juxtaposed with vibrant, happy colours at the moment. Such a gorgeous shape too, I can visualise it fitting perfectly into my living room. It is moments like these that I wished I lived in the States, why, why is there not a Jonathan Adler store in Australia?

The one time I was in New York, I visited one his stores which was CLOSED due to Thanksgiving. Picture my face pressed to the glass window, staring longingly inside. Oh well, it's a good excuse for another better timed trip to New York, someday... Otherwise, I'll just have to make do with the pottery at Orson & Blake, candles at Peter Alexander and lusting over all his other genius goodies on the website.

Image via Jonathan Adler