Crepe Paper Birds and Flowers

My love of all things paper has been well documented here, but I must say, I have a special place in my heart for paper flowers. I love making little crepe paper cherry blossoms, and sticking them on branches with little fake birds, as you can see. So, I was really thrilled to see this month's Martha Stewart living - photo above - in which she gives instructions for making crepe paper birds. Looking forward to trying my hand at a flock of these!


Gotta lotta birds....

I've spent the last little bit updating my etsy shop with the "Little Bird" collage, as well as my bird prints and some new images of my bird cards. I took lots of new photos over the weekend in an attempt to jazz up my shop a bit. They are an improvement, but I can't say I'm totally thrilled with the results. It's really difficult to get good light here in the winter - maybe when it brightens up a bit, I'll get some better shots.

I have to say, that taking photos of my work is something that I struggle with. I'm hoping it gets better with practice - but I just can't seem to get exactly what I want. I'm no whiz at Photoshop either, so that can get frustrating too. That being said, I had lots of fun using props. Just things I have around the house - but I really think it helps people imagine how things might look in their home. My favorite "prop shot" is totally random - I placed the collage on the shelf with my teacup collection, and I really like the way it looks. Hmm...cuppa tea...sounds like a good idea right now!
By the way - isn't that the most corny title ever!


Little Bird

Over the weekend, I spent some time working on a bird collage. I wanted to try something a bit smaller - this canvas measures 4 x 5. I think he looks quite pleased with himself - checking out the buds on the tree and waiting for summer to come...like me.


Sydney Link-a-palooza

As I've said before, Sydney was so inspiring art/craft wise that I could talk about it forever. But, it's time to move on from my trip (sigh) and return to real life - so, although each of the shops/artists/designers/crafters below really warrant a post of their own, I'll just provide a link so that you can be inspired too...and, possibly spend way too much money at a few great indie shops!

Miljo (pictured above) - a Swedish design shop, but nothing like Ikea. Beautiful wallpapers, sandals and brushes were among their wares. I especially loved the mobile/installation in the middle of the shop made of paper and twigs.
Materialistic - saw this lovely stall at Paddington markets. Gorgeous hand printed fabrics.
Kjash - beautiful vintage inspired jewellery, also found at Paddington.
Feed the Dog - hand printed, hand crafted pillows and wall hangings. Another Paddington favorite. I really loved this work, and I'm kicking myself for not buying something, but there is always the etsy shop.
Kate Raffin Handbound Books - Everything about these books is hand made - the covers are even hand painted with Kate's own designs. They are really vibrant and funky! Umm, if you go to Sydney, I think you have to go to Paddington Markets because I discovered these there as well.
Bholu - Hand embroidered fabric journals, pillows and other fabric goods. A fair trade company with products designed in Australia, and produced by artisans in India.
david met nicole - a great home store with lots of vintage products. This shop was located in Surry Hills which is another great indie shopping mecca.

This is but a short list of all the great places in Sydney, but it should keep you clicking for a while! I hope to post tomorrow with some things I've been working on.


Winter Vacation Part Deux - The Beach

One of the nicest things we did on our holiday was rent a cottage in Hyams Beach for two days. It's a small village about two hours south of Sydney - I guess you can't even really call it a village - there is just one cafe/general store (which was very trendy - with amazing coffee!). Above are some old cottages on the main street of Hyams beach.
The cottage we rented was more modern, set back amongst the trees. It was very relaxing - lots of eating, drinking and flipping through the piles of Australian home decorating magazines a friend had lent me. We spent a bit of time at Iluka beach - it's a beautiful beach in a national park.
A huge expanse of white sand. And, for most of the time we were the only people there. Looking at these photos makes me wish I was back....

If you'd like to see more of my holiday photos, check out my flickr.


Paper Couture

There were so many inspiring paper related destinations that I wanted to visit in Sydney, and the main one was Paper Couture. I had heard great things about the work of the owner Jo Neville, and although the shop does not have a web presence, I had seen a photos here and there that I found inspirational and intriguing. I have to say, my visit to Paper Couture did not disappoint! Both the work and the shop were amazing.The shop has the most exquisite paper goods - from cards, to tags, to invites - so simple and so beautiful. Jo Neville incorporates lots of sewing into her designs - as in this beautiful paper chandelier... All the prints are also designed by Jo. I love the colours she used, and the gradiations of colour, and how it all looks against the gorgeously understated colour on the walls.

If you are in Sydney, I would recommend a visit to Paper Couture. I also visited lots of other lovely paper shops in Sydney, and for this I have to thank Jesse of Follow Studio. She kindly provided me with a list of great paper shops, and her blog has many inspiring images from Australian shops, cafes and designers - a must read!
Paper Couture is on 284 South Dowling Street in Paddington.


What I did on my winter vacation - part one

We spent one of our first days in Sydney at Circular Quay - site of the iconic Opera House. There are lots of other things to see there - for us there was the Museum of Contemporary Art, where we took in two amazing exhibitions by Tim Hawkinson and Shazia Sikander. While very different - Tim Hawkinson does some amazing constructions and Sikander has these intricately detailed Islamic minatures - I loved both exhibits for the way that they combined art and craft. After looking at the exhibits, we had a coffee and I bought a Camilla Engman teatowel in the museum shop. Then, we wandered around a bit and ended up at the Opera Bar having beer and sweet potato chips. Martin took one of his famous "self portrait with long arm shots" which only served to confirm that we are the palest people on the planet, well in Australia anyhow.



I am slowly getting over my jetlag and poring over photos and memories of our trip to Sydney. Our main reason for going was to visit family and friends - my husband is an Australian, and I lived in Sydney with him for eight years. It was fantastic seeing everyone again after four years, and we had many great times together. As an added bonus, I got to explore Sydney again, and see lots of amazing Australian art, design and craft. The nancybird wallet you see above combines both time with our family and Australian design. I admired it while on a shopping trip with my sister-in-law, and then the family bought it for me as a combined Christmas/birthday present. I love the wallet - all the fabrics are hand-printed, and it's got birds embroidered on it - what's not to like? And, everytime I use it I'll be reminded of everyone back in Sydney. So, thanks to everyone for the lovely gift, and the lovely time.

More posts on Sydney to come soon, right now it's time to go and blob with "The Darjeeling Limited." In the meantime, if you want more info on Australian design, check out the Design*Sponge guest blog by Real Living's Natalie Walton - also author of the inspiring blog daily imprint. It's been great to read more about a lot of the amazing designers I saw in Australia in Natalie's guest blog posts, and I can see daily imprint becoming a daily read.



We arrived back from our trip to Sydney on Sunday night - two days later than planned due to airline delays. We had a great trip, and some wonderful visits with family and friends. And, from a craft/design perspective, Sydney (and Australia in general) is an amazing place. I'm a bit overwhelmed about how to blog about it all - and also a bit overwhelmed by jetlag - so I'll leave you for now with this view from under the Harbour Bridge.