dog day afternoon

This photo is (once again) from sfgirlbybay's blog - she always has an interesting assortment of photographs. Anyway! the ceramic dogs remind me of a day when I was a lot younger; my friend & I found a similar dog in a derelict farmhouse, hauled it home & gave it a fresh coat of paint. For years it stood pride of place at the front door. Its amazing how images, smells & objects trigger memories long forgotten.


This is a design I was working on for our summer 08 range. The intention for its use was as a design for a new embroidered duvet. Unfortunately it was vetoed...but I still like it!

The inspiration behind this came from two sources - a visit to Karikari beach up north & a day spent collecting small treasures off the beach; & the symmetrical flora & fauna prints by NZ artist Penny Stotter whose prints I first came across via the eon design store in Auckland. Penny's work plays a huge influence in this design - which is clearly evident. I took an artist model approach (like we used to do in high school) but incorporated my own elements. I intended to develop this design further & make it more my own but never got the chance. Oh well!

white, one sugar thanks.

Ceramic pieces seem to be the trend of the moment & Im absolutely loving them. It seems almost everyday I am coming across a new & exciting piece. I have 'had' to buy a few pieces lately & there are plenty more I would like to add to my wish list... if only it was my birthday!

Over the next few weeks I will post (amongst other things) some of my favourite finds from NZ & around the world.

These 'Duncan mugs' by soop design were featured on design sponge at the beginning of May. The mugs are individually handmade & make teatime that little bit sweeter. I am intrigued by the name of the mugs - my bfs name is Duncan & being English he appreciates a good cuppa. He also has a proper sweet tooth, so these mugs may not be the best buy for him!

'jewellery goodness'

Julia from studio home creative featured some 'jewellery goodness' by Australian designer Dani M on her blog today. Her stuff is simple, beautifully made &  super cool - I love the oversized facetted necklaces & the pretty colours of the porcelain beads...but the thing that really caught my eye was the cute (but grumpy) embroidered tooth on the models top! my oh my he makes me laugh...

look what I found!

In April I posted 'hippo on a plate', & today I stumbled across his family! Oh so cute!...

oh deer me!


hare, hare!

These bowls/plates are by dutch designer (whoop whoop!) Hella Jongerius who, I have discovered, is well known for the way she fuses industry & craft, high tech & low tech, the traditional & the contemporary. Each animal plate is made by hand meaning no two are alike - each item is unique through individual 'craftsmanship' marks, colour, size & depth. These bowls/plates were made in 2004, but are still SO cute - can I have one please?!

new found love

I had a mini love affair in the started in the window of seed gallery in Newmarket & progressed as I wondered up the stairs & checked out their current exhibition by NZ artist Holly Shepheard. Entitled Synesthesia this exhibition is an explosion of vibrantly beautiful 'blots' of colour, that strive to evoke your senses, & certainly succeeds in doing so! I could honesty stand in front of these paintings all day...

Eve-Marie Leach sums this exhibition up well - '...the paintings pulse & move around in space arguing that the senses do not have fixed boundaries, nor are they containable. 

Synesthesia, the feeling of sensation in one part of the body when another is stimulated, is present in this new series & will begin another dialogue about the condition of painting, its compelling attraction & our fragile existence.' 

Make it a priority to get up/down to seed gallery & check it out - but make sure you do it quick smart because the exhibition closes on the sunday.

an introduction to me... part 2

Here is some more of my work - bar the dog studded pj's on the right. The inspiration for this range of winter pyjamas was drawn from the intricate patterns found in traditional New Zealand villas. I took aspects for the ornate ceiling rosettes & gave them a modern twist - one is bold & bright, the other soft & delicate. It is a pretty exciting, & sometimes frustrating, experience seeing something you have designed transferred from screen to fabric to clothing - seeing the whole process from start to finish. Even better is walking past a shop & seeing your designs in the front window; or in Viva magazine for that matter! 

a weekend around town

Domestic Chores

He's All Man

Dangerous Beauty

I love these word play games that sfgirlbybay posts on her blogs. These are a few of her most recent ones. My favourite is the one entitled He's All Man. This particular series is a portrayal of her travels around town one weekend in May.

Oh!...and I've just discovered that sfgirlbybay has an etsy store that sells 'keep calm & carry on' posters!

an introduction to me...

I thought that I should start posting some of the stuff that I have been working on. We are about to start our winter 09 range & I have been throwing around a few ideas & doing a bit of research.  This is one pattern that I have being working on...I like it, but don't know if it's quite there yet...the colours are also yet too be confirmed.

I can see this being used on a printed ottoman, or perhaps as a woven fabric for a cushion? A fairly major part would be exploring scale & use of colour. At full size this pattern is approximately 100x100cm. I will keep you posted as this pattern develops.

snow globe love

Snow globes are so pretty, I can't get enough of them. There is something truly magical about picking up an miniature world & turning it into a winter wonderland of falling 'snow'. I found this painting on the black apple etsy shop, & although I don't think it is actually a snow globe it reminded me of one.

a day at the shops

I have just got back from a research day at the shops - fun I know! I found these Studio Antic journals at Republic in Ponsonby. Made from recycled paper, & screen printed by hand I think they are really striking. 

inside a black apple

I found a new blog called inside a black apple, that has a ton of cute paintings & handmade toys etc. As I was having a nosy around I found these painted apple heads which are just adorable! Funny enough they remind me of my wooden chinese doll that I bought on a recent trip to China. I now want one of these to sit next to her... 

to sir with love

This is Australian clothing label 'to sir with love' (also available throughout NZ). The clothes are simple & beautiful - truly timeless pieces made from super soft cashmere. The photographs of the collection mirrors the softness of the clothing, & are just as exquisite.

this is doe

This is doe from Australian blog pollipop by grace. She loves tea... apparently. Im not sure what to think about 'doe' - is she cute, or is she creepy?? i can't quite make up my mind...

whats the time mr wolf?

I found a site (via the tabitha emma blog) that lets you put a clock on your blog. I really, really, REALLY want to add the clock below, but cant work out how!! I know nada about html code, so dont really know what im doing when they tell you to edit your template. Help!!!.....


etsy is such a treasure trove of talented people & their goodies. It gives you access to affordable art & craft pieces from all over the world. My favourite find so far has been Berkley Illustration, based in Portland USA, who I first came across via design sponge. I have bought three animal prints (above) from this etsy store already, & have had to force myself into deciding that I REALLY don't need anymore...

I will continue to post other great finds from australasia & the rest of the world as I come across them.

hey dutchy

So I've decided to explore my roots & check out some clever dutch artists & designers. My parents moved to NZ around 28 years ago, & although my heritage has always been a part of my life I have never really looked into what the dutch are doing creatively. So here is a small dose of what I have found so far, & what I really like... 

I found this image on design sponge.  It linked too a website that sells quite a wide selection of dutch art. Ive been to a few museums & galleries in Holland, & seen some amazingly rich & beautiful portrait paintings, so it was a change to see some new subject matter. The giraffe painting (as pictured above) is my favourite - it crosses from being a tiny bit of kitsch to being beautiful & classy.

This reminded me of when I was younger & we would make pompom balls. Although mine were never this big (I never had the patience for ones this size!) I used to love mixing as many colours as I could into one ball. As soon as I saw these pompoms by twins Marieke & Tineke Williams of Tweelink, I was taken, & knew I had found some special talent - love it!

How sweet are these rings! What could be better than a mini tea set on a ring, & a cute knotted button with what looks like a woven band. These pieces are made by dutch design label XS-M-L & are new, creative & fun.

I featured these poufs in my beanbag/ottoman round up, & had no idea they were created by someone dutch - how smart are they?! Made by Christien Meindertsma of the label FLOCK these poufs are truly beautiful - the huge knit & stony grey colours make for smart, modern furniture pieces.

beanbag/ottoman round up - add on...

I had just finished posting my beanbag/ottoman round up when I came across these amazing designs. Called livingstones, they represent the irregular forms & colours of smooth pebbles & boulders found in nature. At the glance they look cold & hard, but in reality they are a different story all together. I love the above images that show a variety of 'stones' and the fact that no item is the same as the next. If I had the luxury of producing a range like this there is no doubt that I would, unfortunately in a small country like NZ it just isn't viable, unless they are both made & produced here.

conscious design

I am going to go so far as to say that I think the Tio Chair ,by Conscious Design, is one of the best known pieces of New Zealand design furniture of the last few years (i use the word 'few' loosely as it could be as many as 6 years or more!). I dont know many people who have not heard off, or seen this fabulous chair. The chair portrays the meeting point between furniture & fashion as selected New Zealand designers were given the task of creating bold textiles to cover the generous back & seat cushions. These covers are easily removed & replaced allowing you to stay up to date with fashion & interior trends. I would dearly love to own one of these chairs (maybe one day...), as it adds a bold statement to any room, & I am all for supporting great NZ design.

folding, slicing, soldering...

These rings are made by Kingsland (Auckland) based jeweller Anna Wallis. I love this range of rings she has created which are reminiscent of faceted landscapes & naturally forming rocks & minerals. Through a process of folding, slicing & soldering precious metals Anna makes these interesting pieces which are available from a number of auckland galleries.

inspired by origami

Origami painting - focus is kept on the geometric shapes of the origami figures through limited colour & recycled paper/card canvas.

PJ Pocket Pillow - a quick twist of the lid opens the pillow to reveal a hidden stash of pyjamas & other treasures.

Fold Origami Dish (below) - designed & made in New Zealand by Rachel Young. The inspiration for this dish came from water holding origami models.

I am seeing a slight trend moving towards the wonderful - but oh so tricky – art of origami. I regard origami as an art requiring skill, concentration & patience as you bend, fold & tuck paper in all sort of directions. This makes for some really interesting art & design pieces.

beanbag/ottoman roundup...

knitted/textured ottomans. Non evasive use of colour.

Patterned ottoman/beanbag. Pretty pastel colour palette & traditional check.

This is a new pattern I have been working on. Below are some fabric swatches from our supplier. One is slightly quilted with diamond stitching, the other is faux leather.

Every summer & winter season we bring out a new beanbag range. I am currently in the process of brainstorming ideas for winter 09. Above is a collection of beanbag/ottoman images I have found for inspiration – whether it be texture & colour, or pattern & colour.

I have also posted a pattern I have been working on (colours to be decided), & some fabric swatches from a supplier to draw possible ideas from.

same same but different

I found these glasses on the website twentytwentyone. I like that each glass is different from the other, yet they all hold the same amount of liquid & once stacked they create an interesting dynamic where they appear to be the same; but are different. And the name! who can get past a name like 'same, same but different' - its clever & catchy, & something I won't forget in a hurry.

huhu grub

I found these coasters by chance on vanilla design & was instantly drawn to them. Im not sure if it was the name - huhu, or the fact that they have laser cut bugs on them - or a combination of the both - but these coasters are a breath of fresh air & are made in Dunedin NZ.

The name huhu transpired through combining the first two letters of the designers last names - Tim Hunt & Griff Humphreys, and is also an edible beetle native to NZ - which helps conveys the earthy nature & theme that run through the designs.

huhu coasters are limited season designs & change regularly, so get in quick to nab these ones!

craftwerk may 08

The most recent Craftwerk market took place yesterday at tetuhi gallery in Pakuranga. This weekends event was a lot smaller in scale then previous markets I have been too, but the stalls were just as great.
Not your average art & crafts market, Craftwerk is an opportunity for young & emerging New Zealand creatives to show & sell their work in a fun relaxed environment & for us punters to find new & imaginative goodies & support some talented people. Below is a small round-up of a few of my favourite finds of the day...

Nut and Bee - stationery range. This stuff is super cute, making it super hard to decide what to buy for someone who can't make up their mind at the best of times.

Ellie Smith - describes herself as an 'illustrator & maker of things'. Her stall consisted of a range of handprinted t-shirts, tea towels, cotton totes & stationery sets. Ellies items are also available from her etsy store misselliemay

Antifashionleague - a range of humorous tees with an underlying message promoting & encouraging us to wear what we want, when we want. Its clever & funny & i will definitely be buying a t-shirt when i have a few spare dollars.

Anemonecrafts - two crafty friends joined forces a year ago & have been creating bits & bobs for small children ever since. They have a range of cute clothes & collage artworks, & have also created a range of cards & bags for us grown ups.


I have had an A-MAZ-ING day! I am now the proud owner of a brand new MacBook (LOVE LOVE LOVE!) & I am super excited! - I now have access to the world wide web, & my blog at home - whoop whoop! Too top off my day, I went to the craftwerk 'market' at te-tuhi the mark where I found heaps of cool people to write about (im going to sort out a craftwerk roundup), my flatmates feed me a YUMMY dinner & dessert (the homemade mousse was to die for!) & I got to talk to my friends on Skype - yay!!
I wonder what adventures tomorrow will bring...

the silhouette

I found these images on the DesignSponge blog a while ago, and have keep them with the numerous images i have collected over the past year & a half. They remind me of my primary school days & 'drawing' portraits of my classmates. They are simple, yet striking.

Row of silhouettes above cupboard - Im not sure what they are...but they inspire me to do an animal seires in a long strip.