Tag Archives: handmade

Cup Cake Tastic


It was one of those moments where the landline, mobile phone and doorbell go at the same time.  In an effort to try and get to everyone you speak before your brain engages….. and well… one of the calls was from my sister in law asking if I would mind baking a few cupcakes for my Nieces 21st… Famous last words….”of course not… I would love to….” …..” so how many? …… “Oh about 100” was the response… Oh C**p…. oh well what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger….. and believe me I have a new found a new appreciation of little cupcakeries! But if I am tiny bit honest… I loved doing it and the look on my sister in laws and Nieces faces when I delivered them was worth 4000 cupcakes….

My only brief was that they needed to have a “K” for the birthday girls initial and the colour theme of cream and gold!!!  So here is two days of creativity in the kitchen condensed into a few shots…. of my first, and likely last, attempt at breaking into the Cup Cake empire :-).

Step 1 – Making the cupcakes (and thank god for my KitchenAid)


….2 dozen at a time……


Step 2 – Recalling my primary school skills of cutting out play doh….

Using highly sophisticated (blunt) play doh cookie cutters…. which mixed with fondant and a 27 degree day nearly caused a few swear words to be emitted…..


Step 3 – All hail edible gold paint…. and a steady hand

I promise this was not nail varnish…. although given I cannot remove from the tupperware or the paint brush I am wondering!



Step 4 – Cue the Butterfly Stamp

Courtesy of a butterfly stamp….possibly the best $5 I have ever spent……… 130 perfectly formed butterflies……




Step 5 – Presentation ( thanks to my hubby for constructing the boxes!)

Boxed and bowed……




Step 6 – And Breath…..

Meanwhile on with the colourful adventure…………… x


Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Cookery


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Felt Forest Charm – Barbara Keal


How much fun would it have been as a kid to have one of these in your dress up box??? Welcome to the whimsical world of Barbara Keal and her felt work.


The Keal “sheep family”

Barbara creates her quirky and fairy tail style hoods from felt.  Usually having 8 or 10 different bags of local fleece open and mixing and layering freely to achieve a wide range of colours and textures. The creatures come from both her imagination and from pictures of animals…. creating everything from hares to tigers, rams to stags, each one an individual piece. Simply magical…….





How cute is this felt tiger skin jacket…. perfect for the little urban hunter….





…..which is your favourite?  Meanwhile on with the colourful adventure……….


Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Art, Things I love, 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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Getting Creative With a Little Quercus Style

You may recall one of my Friday interviews late last year was with the lovely Adam Jones from Sydney Wallpaper company Quercus & Co.  Well Adam, as a thank you kindly sent me a very generous sample of his beautiful “Tapestry” wallpaper (above)….. which has been elegantly waiting in the corner of my room for me to get creative and display it.

“Tapestry” – really gorgeous wallpaper – Thank you Adam

Now, when it comes to choosing colours and furniture for other peoples homes I am pretty decisive, but when it comes to my own it is like a builder, it never gets done. This is usually because I see so many things I want them all and then end up getting nothing. One such search was for something to place above the head of my bed…..and well Mr Jones’ wallpaper turned out to be just perfect.  Armed with three fantastic frame give to me by Santa ( my father) here is the outcome of my first creative project for 2013.

The “Before” awaiting the perfect something to hang on the wall.

Colour testing…i.e procrastinating about cutting up the paper! Well I only get one go!!

Measuring up -i.e. more procrastinating!!

One done, two to go need to take a rest on the arm chair….

Procrastinating with Instagram while measure up the other two!!! (Well Rome was not built in a day!)

Two down one to go…..

Mission complete just need hubby and a hammer…..

The finished article…. thank you so much Adam……loving them! My very own one off tapestry feature!

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


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Timber Carnival – Bonnie and Neil


With summer just around the corner here in the southern hemisphere, it is the perfect time to add a little bit of fun and colour into your home.  Melbourne based duo Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie, creators of the interior product company bonnie and neil have launched their summer 2012 collection which is full of colour and fun and is the perfect way to inspire a little change to your home.

Catagorising themselves as “compulsive hoarders” of vintage fabrics and timber, Bonnie and Neil combine their skills in textile and design and furniture design to create their ecological eclectic collection.  No matter what your taste I think there is a little something for everyone.  Here is a little peak at their summer 2012 collection.


Timber tiles in various block colour styles are perfect to add a little colour, or even cover a whole wall or floor should you choose.  The tiles were created as an alternative to wallpaper.


For those of you who love to bring the outdoors in the duo have also created these wall mounted botanical print vase holders (complete with vase) which can be placed on their own or in a group to create an effect.  Perfect for holding some freshly picked herbs in the kitchen, or bringing some of the spring and summer blooms into the house. I love the fact that they allow you to have a little creativity in how you choose to display them.



For those of you looking for an alternative storage or shelving solution then you might like these “shadow boxes” or the “cubes” which come in a botanical or current trend geometric design.  So simple yet really cute.



For those of you who can never have too many cushions then the fun prints (which go well with the tiles) cannot be ignored.


Let me know what you think…. mean while on with the colourful journey………….


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Collage, Tea Leaves and Sherlock Holmes – Ali Miller

Yes it is no secret I love a good cuppa, and a good success story and Ali Miller has both… OK maybe I cannot attest to her tea making skills, but the teapots she creates to brew your favourite cup of rosie lea have my vote…

London based artist Ali Miller quite simply states that her personal experiences and family history are her inspiration.  Ali sources materials and patterns which relate back to these memories, creating collages which are in themselves the source of inspiration to give a little flair to the humble teapot, ceramics and tea towels to name but a few.

Ali Miller


One of the big influences for Ali was the dominance of WIlliam Morris wallpapers in her childhood homes. The presence of this dominant figure of the Arts and Crafts movement can be seen in Ali’s work, such as the screen print and collage on William Morris paper below.

Ali Miller, Fun Ride

Ali Miller, Fun Ride (above), Band Lady (below )

 Ali Miller, Band Lady

Tea Towels

Many of these designs have been turned into quirky tea towels….left to right “London Always an Adventure Tea Towel”… “Home UK Map Tea Towel”…”Hard Day’s Work Tea Towel”. The perfect way to add a little whimsy to your washing up….

London Always an Adventure Tea Towel Home UK Map Tea Towel Hard Day's Work Tea Towel

China fit for Sherlock Holmes

Perhaps more concerned about his arch nemesis coming around for a spot of Tea, little did Sherlock realise that a simple cup of tea could lead to a teapot (the UK and Ireland Map teapot to be precise), which Ali had been selling for a year on her online store, selling out by the end of the evening…. Who would have thought that Sherlock and a tea pot could have the same effect as Kate Middleton and a high street dress!!…. but I just love this story…. you just never know!!!

Ali Miller's tea set in Sherlock

…so here are a few more of Ali’s designs to make your afternoon cuppa a little more special…. let me know what you think…

 Image of Ali Miller - Always an adventure cup & saucer

 … I have to go and put the kettle on…. on with the colourful journey….

Photo: Feeling a little empty one day the Ali Miller Tea cup took a little walk down to the Eastend of London and came across this Lovely Big Red Tin Full of Assam and kenyan Tea, Rosy Lee Tea London  they fell in love and the rest is history!

Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Art, Things I love, Travel, Trends, UK, UK designers


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Out of the Chicken Coop – Lisa Neimeth

Lisa Neimeth – source

In a converted chicken coop in the heart of San Francisco, Lisa Neimeth, together with her desire to create a useable piece of artwork, creates beautiful one of a kind hand made table ware.

The above bowl is a green cereal bowl… but I have to say that I think this is a little too special to put my cornflakes in!!

A Little Background……..

After a career change from social work and urban planning, and a couple of children along the way, Lisa followed her passion for clay, studying ceramics in college, as well as studying with Native American Potters. Lisa also uses her knowledge through her community development roots to absorb influences from a wide variety of her home land cultures and neighbourhoods.

“Everything inspires me. I am constantly taking note of colors in nature, food, in magazines, newspapers, fashion, street art and graffiti and love seeing colors put together unexpectedly. Traveling has been a big influence on my work as it heightens your observation skills and offers opportunities to experience things in a new way. I have traveled extensively to Mexico, Central and South America-infusing my vision with the collecting of folk art, perusing ancient indigenous sites and wonderful age old traditions of pottery.”

You just have to have a look at Lisa’s blog to see that these influences and shapes come through from everything and anywhere.

 “I get to travel a little bit each day to new neighborhoods with new people, sights, smells and images. I bank these images which often wind up on a plate. I have always been a collector- flea markets, the beach, the woods, the street , second hand shops, the desert–basically I am always on alert to pick up an object anywhere. The vintage objects I use a lot include broken off pieces from old tourist toys that one may have purchased early in the 20th century in Mexico- an old plaster bird or just an arm from a doll. I love to use old figurines-known as Charlottes who were used as good luck charms baked into cakes-whoever got the slice had a year of good luck! I also use a lot of found natural objects-textured branches, pods, berries, bones..I’ll press anything into a piece of clay and see how it looks!”


Lisa now has a new rang at Anthropologie which are available online.  Anthropologie, in an effort to show case more American artists into their constantly changing array of offerings, commissioned Lisa to do several different tableware pieces for select stores. With each of the nearly 600 pieces being made by hand Lisa classed herself as a “one woman plate making machine!!”  This means that although the designs are the same their unique handmade status means there are truly no two pieces that are a like, they are truly one of a kind.

Artful Dinner Plate, Striated Earth Artful Dinner Plate, Upward Blooms Red Ring Platter

Artful Dinner Plate, Perched Birds Artful Dinner Plate, Right Angles Leaf & Wing Serving Bowl

On with the colourful journey………….


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