March 31, 2009

Institches : Pretty free things

Free furniture is something special. But just like buying a dress for a tenner that's a size too big, you have to ask yourself, "am I really gonna fix this mess?"

Well I'm here to tell a happy story. I stumbled across free furniture, picked it up with my bare hands (and a husband... and a ute kinda helped too) and I am in definite plans to reupholster the lot. I have two chairs and a two-seater in shiny, solid timber, just as gorgeous as my nan's old rocker. And I now have four cuttings from Warwick Fabrics that I'm flipping coins over to see what I likey the best.

Meet the girls (clockwise from top left): Cha Cha in magenta, Hanami in blossom, Istanbul in rose and Angelina in magenta. Pics of chairs coming soon!

March 29, 2009

Shopfind : Birdsongs and cherry spies

Wendy Paula Patterson is a Sydney-based freelance designer. To say she has a good eye would be a laughable understatement! She's worked as a Packaging Designer and Illustrator for over 25 years, and recently she's been getting inside Photoshop to collage original work with vintage images. I love prints and cards in this style, there's such a fun paradox when eras, styles and designs are mixed up... especially a crowned blackbird perched on a typewriter!

An avid collector of vintage packaging, Wendy often starts new ranges just by tripping over tiny details, like a button card or music sheet. Her inspiration comes from books, magazines, blogs, wonderful textile designers such as Florence Broadhurst, packaging, old master paintings and nature.

Want more? Check out at her Cafe Baudelaire shop at Etsy.
Clockwise from top left: The Tea Party, Ouvre tes yeux bleus petite (Open your blue eyes), The Etiquette of Letter Writing, Handle with Care, Cherry Jam and Love who you are

March 26, 2009

Youbeauté : Rainbow songs

The way I see it, there are two reasons to use, abuse, love, try, play and create with beauty. First, to make you look hotter than you are when you wake up. Second, to have fun. Now, to have fun you need colour. And there ain't no point having colour at the end of your brush if it's cheap and nasty and goes on like a poor imitation. You want professional colour that slides on like a dream, feels weightless and looks like an oil painting. Rock solid, glam colour.

So when Bobbi Brown says "colour", you say "yes m'am". Then you go to her counter and get yourself the Bobbi Brights Palette - 35 shades of heaven. Now don't get upset over the $150 price tag... fun has a ticket too people. And if you want the colour to go BANG all over your lid like it's singing some kind of anthem, mix with a drop of water on the back of your hand, and glide.

Then you'll know why there are so many songs about rainbows.

March 24, 2009

Talentcomp : Urban inspiration

I've always wanted to sing jazz in a smoky club, cook pork to perfection and have some kind of knack with photography. And it's the camera, not the pig, that annoys me the most. I just don't know what I'm doing. Even if all my fish were in one barrel, I still wouldn't get the shot.

I recently stumbled across Lucia Fischer on, a fellow Sydney girl who sells exceptionally cute recycled cards (luciandesigns). Apparently, these "bits and bobs" started when she discovered her late uncle's secret library of collage work. And she casually mentions she's a photographer. Well. Curiosity gets this cat every time.

So I leg it to, flip through her flicks, and come across the holga diaries. It's a relaxed tribute to the Holga camera, love it or hate it, that lives in Lucia's handbag. I vote for the dodgy plastic lens every time, especially when you get moments like the ones above. Music for the eyes. Thanks Lucia.

March 23, 2009

Beautyspot : Nouveau parfum

I discovered the joy of perfume in my early teens when my Pop discovered the joy of Duty Free shopping as a way of spoiling Mum and I on his return home. Early faves were Lou Lou by Cacharel (crikey I liked 'em sweet), Envy by Gucci (too strong for me now, but I wore it for years and years) and White Linen by Estee Lauder (fresh, fresh, fresh).
Hooked for life, I now have about 17 on my shelf, even though I only wear half of them. So really, I don't need any more perfumes for at least 35 years, but who can resist a newbie? Especially when it's by Sisley, especially when they're launching three perfumes at once, especially when they all smell fresh, modern and crisper than a martini, and ESPECIALLY when the labels have such phenomenal designs (as above).
Allow me to introduce you... 1 is lush like a mandarin, grapefruit, green tea, juniper and sunshine cocktail. 2 smells like the swiss alps would if they were home to iris, jasmine, rose, sandalwood and cedar. 3 is like a big hug from a friend who's been experimenting in her overgrown backyard with bergamot, lemon, purple ginger, patchouli, vanilla and musk.
Sisley Eau de Sisley 1, 2 and 3 100 ml Eau de Toilette are $165 each, available April 09.
Eeni, meeni, miney...

March 22, 2009

Shopfind : Cleverness

I'm a fairly obsessed with birds, but I only came across this fact accidentally. I was looking at a large mood board at work (which took me the best part of a year to complete) when I realised most pics had some kind of bird, butterfly or dragonfly on them. And it seems I'm not the only one - everywhere you look birds are forever making an appearance on fabrics, gift cards, paper and art.

The print above is called Celebrate with bird song by Lovely Sweet William. I found it on, a favourite shopping site.
It's from an original pen and ink drawing, inspired by the wonderfully consistent way birds celebrate each new day. The girls behind the label have a beautiful blog here: Dare I say, it's lovely!

March 21, 2009

Plaything : Calendar girl

Considering it's almost time to wax on about chocolate-coated easter bunnies, I shouldn't be harking back to the new year. But there's something about my small tradition each January when I buy myself a Cavallini & Co. calendar ( to put up over my desk. This year it's a collection of vintage posters from Italy. Last year it was engravings of butterflies from the 19th century.
Some of the butterflies were so beautiful I'm going to put them in frames (which makes me feel better than trapping real b-flies in an Ikea moment). Last night I scanned my favourites to keep on file, then all I wanted to do was play with each delicate image. And play I did! I'm thinking of printing this particular illo and making gift tags with them. Setting them free, so to speak.

March 19, 2009

Shopfind : Vintage

I love love vintage... I have a collection of beautiful coloured vintage glassware which I sit under a window in my living room. Each one catches the sun and together they throw a rainbow around the room. I also love vintage posters, but hubby and I have never agreed on the same one, so there is still a distinct lack of them on our walls. The closest I get is cards, like this one I bought for my friend Bella's 30th birthday ( I discovered it in one of those divine chocolate truffle meets incredible stationery shops on brunswick street, fitroy, on a trip to melbourne a few days ago. They sure don't make 'em how they used to.

March 18, 2009

Plaything : Illustration

I just stumbled upon a bunch of wrapping paper sheets I picked up last year in Kuala Lumpur. They cost me about AU 50 cents each, and they're all so whimsical and cute. This heart pattern by a.e.i.o.u studio ( is a real fave. The bottom pic is a straight scan of the paper, the top is an illustration I made with my Warhol glasses on, with a sunburst yellow star smack bang in the middle. So fresh and shiny!

March 11, 2009

Plaything : Ducks on rocks

I love the unexpected, but what I really love is the completely random. Like a collection of rubber ducks outside a general store on a recent visit to the Central Coast, NSW. The ducklings and friends looked dull and depressed because of the asphalt stretch they called home, so I spent some time on it in photoshop, throwing colour here and there, and voila here is my latest plaything. Don't they kinda rock?

March 10, 2009

Plaything : Sunny days

Hello... I'm Kris and this is my new blog. I hope you love.
This is a little illustration I made from a photo of my niece, Audrey. It's not going to win any awards, just a nice bright one to kick off the show.
I snapped her like a mad paparazzi on the weekend... we headed north to a beautiful beach house for a perfect Autumn weekend escape. You bet there were bad carbs and cheezels all round, but I didn't mind lounging around in a super-sized lagoon and hanging out with my hubby and the fam either.