Monday, March 22, 2010


Ooh ooh ooh guess what!? We just launched a proper collection of fabrics!! Allow me to introduce...

tamarillo collection
Introducing - the Tamarillo collection!!

How pretty does it look! The fabric is all organic & fair trade and the red basecloth is herbally dyed using madder root! It's so much fun to finally launch a proper 'collection', do a nice photoshoot and make a range of products with it.

tamarillo collection
The Tamarillo collection - cushions and lamps!

tamarillo collection
Tamarillo - fabric bolts in canvas and light weight

The fabrics are available in the Ink & Spindle shop in both canvas and lightweight. We haven't printed huge runs of these yet so if you like something, snap it up quick smart!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The last few weeks in review

It's been quiet over on this here blog but not so quiet in my real world. Lots going on! Printing printing over at I&S, and most excitingly working on our new collection! That's right, a collection! Not new designs but a new suite of colourways that go together which we've been making into cushions and lamps and a quilt so we can do a photo shoot! Hoping to launch the range early next week!

And aside from work I've been filling up my weeks and weekends with beach-house trips with my folks, Muay Thai classes and going back to my old dancing class, which has been fun! Doing more active stuff now than I ever have, and definitely feeling the endorphins from doing so. Reckon this is the happiest I've been in a LONG time.

The only downer over the last few weeks was the rain damage our building suffered in the recent storm. All four floors of our building were raining inside, and lots of people lost a lot of stock and equipment. We got off relatively lightly but had a lot of cleanup to do. Still, it hasn't affected our love of our building and all the people in it.

And on that note I have to share this cute 'Ginkgo' video that Yong our next door neighbour made the other day! Isn't he sweet?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ginkgo curtains

Whilst we're on the topic of all things Ginkgo (thanks everyone for your kind words about my new ink), I have to show you these lovely curtains that a good friend of mine just put up in his son's bedroom! Please excuse the iPhone pics...

ginkgo curtains
Ginkgo curtains in Gus's bedroom

Remember this house, well I'm super proud that they've chosen Ginkgo curtains to be a part of it. They tie in really nicely with the rest of the house which is colourful and homely.

ginkgo curtains
Ginkgo curtains & Gus


Monday, March 08, 2010

Tutorial - cut your own mat board for picture framing!

Sorry it's taken me so long to finally get around to posting this! Quite a few people expressed interest in a tutorial on my picture framing post, so here it is!

Mat cutting can be a lot of fun. Many of the lovely little prints you get from Etsy etc aren't a standard size, so being able to frame them properly in a shop bought frame is a very handy skill to have!

With the right setup, and familiarity with your tools it can be super easy. I struggled with my first few but once I had a bit of practice it was so easy and so satisfying. I've included some tips here that will help you to avoid the troubles I had!

mat board cutting tutorial
Materials required

You will need:
- A bevel cutter and guide rule. I got this set from Frame Co for $126.50
- Mat board (AKA Mount board) in a colour of your choice. Again I got mine from here.
- Pencil
- Cutting knife
- Flat quilters ruler (optional)
- Sticky tape
- Large sheet of thick cardboard or some spare mat board to use as a "cutting mat" (do NOT try to use a green cutting mat, it's too tough!)

mat board cutting tute
Close up of bevel cutting head - very fun to use

mat board cutting tute

Step one: measure your artwork width and height, including the space you want to leave around the artwork. If your artwork has a defined edge you can measure to this point or slightly beyond it to leave a nice white border around your print.

Next, measure how big your mat board needs to be to fit inside your chosen frame. Take a larger sheet of board and trim it down using a plain cutting knife and ruler, making sure it's perfectly square (as in 90 degree corners)!! The quilter's rule can be handy for this.

mat board cutting tute
Doin' maths.

On the back of your cut mat board, do some maths to figure out the position of the hole you're going to cut. Eg: (board width - artwork width)/2 = left & right width. Sometimes it can look better to leave an extra 20% at the bottom so it looks more visually balanced. Up to you!

mat board cutting tute
Mark out your lines

Step two: Use your previous calculations to measure and mark where you are going to cut. Draw the lines on the back of the mat board, extending all the way to the edges. Make sure it's all perfectly square! (again quilter's rule can be handy but not essential, you can just do it the old fashioned way).

mat board cutting tute
Bevel cutting head - with blade pushed out

Note: Before you start cutting, make sure the depth of your bevel cutting blade is correct. Push the blade out and line it up with a piece of your mat board. It should extend just half a mm beyond the thickness of the board for a clean cut. Too deep and it'll cut too far into your cardboard "cutting mat" and affect the smoothness of your cut. The blade depth is adjustable.

mat board cutting tute
Cutting edge 1

Step 3: It's time to cut! Place your mat board face down on your cardboard "cutting mat". Remember, don't use one of those green cutting mats as they're far too hard and won't let your blade slide easily.

Place the ruler exactly in line with the left hand pencil line. You will be cutting away from yourself. Position the bevel cutter so the little marker is in line with the pencil line closest to you.

mat board cutting tute
Closeup of start position (this isn't a sponsored post by the way! That's just how my tools are branded!)

Push the handle down firmly and slowly cut away from yourself until the marker on your bevel cutter reaches the pencil line at the other end. Precision is very important!! Keep your elbow low to help with the smoothness of your cut.

mat board cutting tute
Cutting edge 2

Rotate your board counter clockwise so you're starting at the line you've already cut. Cut the second edge in the same way. Depending on your equipment, you might find that your first cut is 1mm off the pencil line. Ignore this when positioning your cutter head. Just refer to the pencil lines for start and stop positions. If it's not producing a clean corner then just take note of where you started and stopped and adjust accordingly.

mat board cutting tute
Cutting edge 4

Rotate your mat board counter clockwise again and cut the third edge. Repeat for the fourth edge. In this pic I'm holding the board up slightly just so you can see where I've cut.

mat board cutting tute
Lift it away!

If you've cut accurately, the outside of the mat board should just lift off leaving the middle behind! If you've got some little tags in the corners holding the middle in place, gently cut them free with a spare blade.

mat board cutting tute
Oooh pretty

Turn the board over and admire your corners! Ooh, pretty. I like how the white core stands out on a coloured mat :)

mat board cutting tute
Tape your print down

Carefully position your print in place and tape to the back of your mat.

mat board cutting tute

mat board cutting tute
Finished! Today print framed with DIY cut mat board for a ready made frame.

Pop it in your frame, and voila! You're done!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Ginkgo. Ink.

ginkgo tattoo
Ginkgo leaf tattoo - drawn by me, Tattooed by Wendy at Soul Inn House

This little bit of art has been a very long time coming. For close to 10 years now I've been thinking of getting a tattoo, but had no idea what I'd get done. What motif or concept I identified with and could have on my body for the rest of my life.

The idea of a Ginkgo leaf eventually came to me and became firmly planted in my mind. I could try and give you some spiritual or philosophical rationale for this decision and whilst there are many such reasons I really just love the form & concept of the Ginkgo leaf. It's beautiful.

ginkgo tattoo
Ginkgo leaf tattoo - drawn by me, Tattooed by Wendy at Soul Inn House

So then the question was where. Top of foot, ankle, calf, inside upper arm, wrist, forearm? I really loved the idea of wrist or forearm, but worried that it was too obvious, too showy, too difficult to hide away if need be.

But then I realised: my Ginkgo leaf isn't something I need to hide. I don't have any grandparents to shock or potential employers to disturb. And I have fantastic parents who accept and support everything I do.

I quite like the contradiction. Quite a few people have said to me "you didn't strike me as the type of person who'd get a tattoo". And I love that. Let it redefine your notion of tattooing, instead of me.

I remember being very inspired last year at the Sydney Stitches & Craft show by an obviously classy and "well brought up" lady in her 40's or 50's with a tattoo of Florence Broadhurt's Japanese Floral on her inside upper arm. I loved that she broke the mold and did that.

ginkgo tattoo - from my perspective
Ginkgo leaf tattoo - how I see it every day. I love it upside-down the most.

I don't do regret. I may angst and fret about all sorts of things on a daily basis but when it comes to things that are permanent I'm very good at accepting them. Regret is wasted emotion. Every decision we have made in our lives shapes the present. To go back and change a single thing could change everything. There's no point living life in fear of regret. That's my philosophy anyway.

So yes, that's my little tattoo related novel of a blog post! I'm very happy with how my leaf turned out. There's a few minor changes I think I'll make when I go in for my touch-up in a month, but otherwise - very live-with-able and lovable :)


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Most exciting collaboration - Wall Stickers!!

Guess what? There is one awesome thing about Autumn - the launch of my wall sticker range in collaboration with The Wall Sticker Company! So very exciting. Check it out!:

birch wall sticker/decal

I had been thinking about printing my designs as decals for AGES and so when Jen and Fi got in touch with me to do a 'signature range' with them it was a perfect match. The Wall Sticker Company are a small Melbourne based business and they're carbon neutral too - win!

geese wall sticker/decal

It was also a perfect opportunity to put to use some of my favourite designs that didn't make it to textiles. Like lovebirds and houses and geese and rainy day. Yay!

rainy day wall sticker/decal

Some of the designs are available just as cutout motifs, and some are available as actual wallpaper which you apply in strips like normal wallpaper :)

houses wall sticker/decal

They'll be available on the website for only 2 months, so they won't be available forever. I'm still trying to decide which one I want in my place :)

ginkgo wall sticker/decal

The other cool thing is that although I've suggested some colourways, you can actually get them printed in any colour you like from their default colour range - everything is printed to order.

rooftops wallpaper

Go poke your head in over at The Wall Sticker Company and let me know what you think :)


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hello Autumn

Hmmm Autumn. I really do have mixed feelings about you. I think I would like you more if I had footwear that was somewhere between Birkies and Boots. And some sort of Autumn jacket. And maybe gloves for riding my bike on chilly mornings.

I will also like you more once I've made some new curtains for my flat to keep the cold out (verticals are the worst invention ever).

I've been a very slack blogger of late and I promise to post more soon! I have a tutorial and a recipe to share.

Meanwhile, at Ink & Spindle we have having our first ever SALE. Check it out!

And also... I've been doing a LOT of thinking about this here Ginkgo leaf that I drew. Have a guess why.

ginkgo leaf