Monthly Archives: January 2013

Say it with junk – Brigitte Herrod


I love it when people come up with quirky ways to use otherwise useless things… such as these fine and quirky pictures by UK graphic designer and artist Brigitte Herrod.  The designs reflect ability to look twice at everyday objects and come up with a different perspective – that “why did I not think of that moment” springs to mind, using typography, quirky sayings….. and …. well…. JUNK! Most of her work is available to order through UK site Rocket St George.  Well they make me smile…. how about you?

From Scrabble pieces………


Ants Pants


…. to soccer player………


…. to farmyard animals……..and seaside postcards….



… a plastic tool box…..

Brigitte DIY

Bossy women…..which can be personalised for the bossy woman in your life…..

bossy women


And finally for all of those who remember the days you showed you appreciation for a band by wearing a pin, than “liking a page”, then this may be the ideal piccie for you….


… time to raid the junk draw……meanwhile on with the colourful adventure……


Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Art, Interior Design, UK, UK designers


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Reclaimed Typography – Coulson Macleod


Typography on Limestone

For those who love to give the gift of words, then you may like to sample a little of the lighthearted and whitty work of UK based Mark Coulson and his team of local artisans. With a strong emphasis on using reclaimed materials such as wood, metal, stone, fabric and recycled papers, they design pictures which incorporate a play with words which is fun and quirky.  For those who prefer pictures you are not forgotten either. Even the inks are “green”!


Mark and Hannah

Mark has a background as a graphic designer….and by all accounts from his business partner the “marketing guru” Hannah McLeod he is a pretty good tea maker…. (My kind of business partner!!!). The business has a strong emphasis on it’s relationships with local craftsmen and women, who help to make the bespoke frames that the works are presented in…. And with all of this local craft involved they still come with a very reasonable price tag!

Here are some more examples of their work, what words would you choose??



Work commissioned by Jamie Oliver, they also offer bespoke services for something a little more personal to you… or your little Jamie!

For those of you still struggling to find the perfect valentines gift, although… don’t have to use Valentines day as an excuse to say I love you! How about  these….




And for those of you struggling to find the romantic bones within you… about you search for it here…


And for anyone struggling to find me a gift…. well I kinda like these reclaimed wooden prints….. well a picture says a thousand words!!



On with the colourful adventure…………….


Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Art, Interior Design, UK, UK designers


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Quince – Landscape of Inspiration


Loving the simplicity of Michelle Koop’s new range from her hand-printed textile and homewares label Quince.


The textile designer, who also trained as a chef, pulls in all of her experiences to create her ranges, Michelle is quoted as saying:

” A good chef knows what ingredients to put into  each dish to get the most of it – and when to stop.  It’s the same with design.”

With this philosophy in mind Michelle has taken inspiration of the colours from the rich soils of the Darwin landscape, and yellow ochres from indigenous art. She has combined this with the “urban” and “graphic” edge that is exhibited in the contrasting city of Melbourne that she lives in and her studio is based, to produce a subtle range that will not look out of place anywhere.


The New Range INspired by Australian landscapes, and colours – source


cross dotty mandarin and burnt tangelo linen

Cross Dotty Mandarin and Burnt Tangelo Linen

cross dotty steel

Cross Dotty Steel


Let me know what you think!…. meanwhile on with the colourful adventure…..

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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Art, Australia, Australian Designers, Colour, Fabric


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Creatively Speaking – Janetta Kerr-Grant


Janetta Kerr-Grant is a Melbourne based ceramics artist.  Originally training as a painter, before going into journalism, Janetta found that she missed the world of art and headed back to the studio where she focuses on ceramics.  Janetta’s work has been the recipient of a number of awards and also featured in a number of publications, most recently Adam Liaw, winner of Australian cooking show Masterchef’s, cook book.

In between a busy few months, and what sounds to be an exciting 2013, Janetta has kindly taken some time out to be interviewed.  So sit back grab a cup of tea and enjoy.

janetta in studio

Janetta in her Studio

How would you describe your work and style?

My ceramic practice has a dual focus – I make work that I show in galleries that tends to be the exploration of a particular idea or concept that I investigate in a range of ways. Currently I am interested in how a ‘sense of place’, specifically the intersection of rural and urban landscapes, can be conveyed in ceramics.

3_Kerr-Grant_J_ detail Vista

I also make work specifically for retail. For the past several years I have been consistently drawing on the domestic appeal of gingham and tartan fabrics. For me, there is something inherently cheerful and welcoming that is somehow embedded in the patterning. I paint, carve, and inlay patterns and textures. I usually work in series across a range of large platters, plates, bowls and dishes.

10_ Stack Gingham

In both areas I tend to have a painterly approach which isn’t that surprising as I originally studied as a painter.

 7_Gingham plates_2

What, where and/or who inspires you?I am inspired by all sorts of things – until fairly recently I used to undertake a regular weekly commute to the country. Over time I found that what initially seemed a boring road trip actually became a big influence in my work. Traveling in the soft light of early morning or the haze of twilight, I began to find that the heavy traffic,, streetlights and bland freeway vegetation softened into something quite beautiful.

At the moment I am drawn to cloudscapes and have been photographing big skies whenever I am out in the country.

I also regularly visit contemporary art galleries and often find the work gets me thinking about things in a different light. I recently saw a large show by the late French/ American artist and sculptor Louise Bourgeois which I found really personal and moving.

Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois

Where did your love of ceramics come from and what makes your style unique to you.

When I was young my family used to stay at a cousin’s holiday house that had all this beautiful hand painted crockery, which I later found out was Titian ware. There were cream coloured cups, plates, bowls and tureens all covered in wonderful painted patterns of apricots, cherries and blueberries. I thought they were really beautiful. There were also blue and whlte Cornishware jugs which I also thought were great. Using this crockery made every meal feel special.


Blue and White Cornishware Jug – Inspiration

Which is your favorite personal project and why?

Usually the one that I am currently working on.

What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why?

In December I was really thrilled to find out I was the recipient of an Australia Council Grant. The grant will go towards getting my own kjln and properly equipping my tiny home studio. In the same month I also found out I was one of four ceramicists to be selected for  ‘ Vitrify’, which is a $10,000 annual prize for ceramic art.  It felt a great way to start 2013!

Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us?

Yes, as I mentioned, the Vitrify award. I will be developing a range of ideas exploring themes of light, space and landscape. The four ceramicists will all show their work at the Bett Gallery in Hobart in August.


3_Kerr-Grant_J_ detail Vista


What would be your dream commission?

At some point I would really like to design a range of crockery for a large ceramics manufacturer – like Arabia in Finland. The company has a history of working with artists to create really unique designs.

If I were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places for me to visit.

I would say head down the coast to Wye River, a tiny town on the coast which has just a bakery and a pub. It’s surrounded by forest, which is full of birds and koalas. Heaven!


Describe your perfect day.

Being down at Wye River with my family and spending the day swimming in the surf.

Now as much as I love your work, I love cooking and am always eager to find out a new recipe… what is your favorite dish to cook?

This dish is one I make when I want something really easy and tasty. It’s the sort of meal you can make without thinking and you can easily stretch the quanities depending on how many people you are feeding.

Eggplant, tomato and boccinni pasta

Minus the Eggplant !

Minus the Eggplant !



Cherry Tomatoes

Fresh Basil

Tub of bocconcini

Good quality olive oil

Good quality pasta

Salt flakes , fresh cracked black pepper

  1. Slice up 1 or 2 eggplants and put in a baking tray
  2. Top with two punnets of cherry tomates and a handful of fresh basil leaves
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt flakes and pepper.
  4. Put the tray in a moderate oven for 40 mins, or until everything is nicely roasted.
  5. While that’s cooking I usually throw together a green salad of rocket, avocado and cucumber and boil up some pasta
  6. When the eggplant bake is done toss it over the al dente pasta. Add a tub of drained bocconini – these should start to melt a bit due to the heat of the pasta.
  7. Ladle out into bowls drizzle with more olive oil if you think it needs it
  8. Top with more chopped basil leaves and serve with the salad and a glass of red.

I hope that you enjoyed… meanwhile on with the colourful adventure….


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Nancybird – From Football to Accessories


Well the link between football and accessories may seem like a long shot but this is how the Melbourne based accessories label came about it’s name Nancybird….. are you sitting comfortably.

“The name “nancybird” comes from the work Emily was doing at university – her main focus was the way AFL [Australian Football] footballers looked when photographed while taking a mark – it looks almost like a ballet dance. The word “nancyboy” was bandied around for this uni work, but for the label nancybird was eventually settled on – it ended up being a mix of the nancyboy and “dollybird”, which is an old 60′s term for a cool lady.”


Well thanks to these “nancybird” football players ( not my words!), the label was borne and I love the accessories that have come about.  My favourites have to be the cushions which look like they have been hand painted, really unusual….. I also love the inspiration of the sea and nature.  Let me know what you think.


Lobster Cushion


Spotted Long Cushion


Scallop duvet set


Scallop Cushion


Fish Scale Cushion


Scallop Scarve


Handbags and totes


Grey Scarf Bag

Nancy Bird Bag from eclectia Geelong


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Lost and Found – Upcycling Ol’ London Town


Ok, this is probably something for the proud lover of all things Britannia, and as an English born gal I have to say I do love the Union Jack flag ( possibly not to the extent of Geri from the Spice Girls) but in a classical, bunting and afternoon tea kind of way. Which coupled with the news of a new royal baby in July, is probably what drew me in to the world of UK based company “Lost and Found”.

Becky Oldfield, source

Becky Oldfield, source

Textile designer Becky Oldfield graduated from the prestigious Goldsmiths college in London, in 2000 and founded her company “Lost and Found”, which recycles through design to create new pieces which become “modern collectibles”.

“Inspired by the faded, distressed nature of the antique fabrics found, Lost and Found’s diffusion range is a range of interior products hand printed on hemp cotton. Each piece is individually decorated with antique buttons or ribbons, a mixture of old and new, a fresh new product which winks at the past.”

Here is a little taster of the “vintage” collection although there is also the option for bespoke, some printed cushions and the obligatory tea towel for when the royal visitors arrive!! Or even just in celebration of the new royal baby! Let me know your thoughts….


Perfect for the unexpected guest to stay over, with a private screen for modesty and privacy!


I love these deck chairs, it takes me back to the days of sitting on the Great British beach with an ice-cream…..and a knotted hanky on grandfathers head. Although these are a litre more regal!


The prefect regal quilt


Great Britannia together with a little bit of her colonial past adding it’s influence.


Becky also salvages the old bus rolls to make blinds… such a fun idea. for a little quirky statement


Mean while on with the colourful adventure…………….


Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Art, Fabric, Interior Design, UK, UK designers


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Quirky Things to make you smile – Nonesuch Things


I have to say that I think life is a little too short not to smile at at least a couple of things a day.  On my travels I spotted these cute little gifts from UK company “Nonesuch Things”, which are sure to add a little smile without breaking the bank. Here are some of my favourites. Also some perfect valentines gifts for something a little different…..

The Kissing Kids work using simple magnets which pul them together for a little quick smooch….

Or the Dancing Ballerina who works on a similar magnetic principle to the kissing kids….

I also love the concept of these postcards which allow you to stitch a personal travel path. For example you could send them to a loved one to highlight all the places you have been together, where you met or where you honeymooned, or give them to a friend who is about to embark on travels or keep your mum up to date on your travels… Ok they take a little more effort but lets face it they are a lot more precious than an email!



Let me know what you think, meanwhile on with the colourful adventure…..


Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Things I love, UK, Uncategorized


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