Monday, June 29, 2009

A whole lot of this and that

I can't really say I did a whole heap this past week. But I can't recall doing much sitting down either. We did have Shannon and Penny come visit the studio for morning tea, fabric buying and lunch... and I did make these custom cushions:

custom cushions
Custom cushions - acacia and spikey bush

and I did go to Nikki's morning tea which was lots of fun and met lovely peeps.

I also ordered 100 metres of the most amazing organic cotton/hemp fabric too, which we'll be printing on instead of cream cotton/linen from now on - whoooo.

I also digested everyone's feedback on the scale of my Chalk print and decided that I think large scale is the way to go, because personally I want to get more into larger scale and upholstery based applications. And I think I've decided to call it Chalk after all. Although that seems to be one of those words that loses all meaning when you say it too many times...

And... I booked our accommodation for the Sydney Stitches & Craft show! We'll be staying right near the venue in an apartment with the lovely Sandra of Winterwood and Bek from Sprout Design (and I think even Kate from Little Bird). So it'll be a crazy week all 5 or 6 of us living together.

And now back to planning out the week ahead xx

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

dash rain chalk

Well that was a valuable bunch of feedback on my most recent pattern - thank you! I have indeed taken much of it on board - some tweaks have been made, and I'm feeling much happier about this design.

And! Here's some scale options for you to look at. Any preferences?

cushion/pattern mockup
Rain/Dash/Chalk larger scale cushion mockup

cushion/pattern mockup 2
Rain/Dash/Chalk smaller scale cushion mockup

I'm also wondering what I should call this print. I think it reminds me of rain but also of chalk and also of dashes. Any suggestions?

Man how awesome would it be to dye some fabric red and print on it in white? Mmmmmmm, something for the future xx

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mattt - Textile Design Competition!

The very lovely Matt from Mattt bags is holding a digital textile design competition!!

So if you've ever wanted to see your designs on a Mattt bag now's your chance - hop over to here for more details or download this PDF. There's prize money and everything.

The theme is "Local Knowledge", to be interpreted how you will!

If you're not familiar with his range, here's a photo of a collaboration we did about a year ago:

collaboration with Mattt
Mattt & Ginkgo collaboration

Go check it out quick - the competition is only on till the end of the month.


Sunday, June 21, 2009


I'm really not very good when it comes to doing simple designs. I always feel like they should have more, that there's not enough happening in them.

But I would like to do something simpler and a little more abstract, with a bit of texture. Really not sure, what do you think?

playing with abstract & texture

playing with abstract & texture

Corner Store

grigons & orr corner store
Grigons & Orr Corner Store, North Melbourne

Ooh there's a new cafe in North Melbourne town, which just opened last Saturday and I discovered thanks to Shannon. Pete and I sussed it out today and we were totally impressed.

Introducing, Grigons & Orr Corner Store.

grigons & orr corner store
Grigons & Orr Corner Store, North Melbourne

It's a totally awesome retro inspired corner store slash cafe, that actually sells pantry goods and lollies and free range eggs and organic milk in glass bottles and butter fresh from the farm. Just like the good old days.

grigons & orr corner store
Grigons & Orr Corner Store, North Melbourne

grigons & orr corner store
Grigons & Orr Corner Store, North Melbourne

Definitely worth a visit. Nice work owner peeps.

Corner of Queensberry St & Chetwynd St, North Melbourne
Tuesday - Sunday 7am - 7pm

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New & improved online shop!!!

Geez sometimes it feels like I'm creating a new online shop for Ink & Spindle every few months. But this is the last time I promise!

Let me introduce - The New and Totally Improved Ink & Spindle shop!

new shop for Ink & Spindle
New Ink & Spindle shop - looks the same, but magic hides beneath

The old shop software was slow, clunky and unreliable. We had this constant problem where orders wouldn't process properly and stock wouldn't deplete. This version is SO MUCH BETTER.

There's only one downside, and it's actually an upside too depending on your point of view. There's no customer account/login. So every time you buy something you need to enter your address again. But that said, I often find having to create an account REALLY ANNOYING so I think this is better for new customers. And existing customers - we just hope you love us enough anyway ;)

new shop for Ink & Spindle - simple ordering screen
New Ink & Spindle shop - ├╝ber simple order screen

Oh, and as part of the launch - my new Rooftops print is now available!

rooftops in deep red
Rooftops in Deep Red on Organic Cotton/Hemp

rooftops in snow
Rooftops in Snow on Natural

Melbourne Black

I do go on about how much I love seeing my fabric in different contexts, made into different things. So I was absolutely flattered when Kirsten from Assemblage blogged not once, but twice about my new Charcoal Birch. How awesome are these photos and the skirt itself!


photo courtesy of Assemblage


Simple A line skirt by Assemblage (photo courtesy of Assemblage too)

Thank you Kirsten!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Design Market stall video!

I'm really glad I took this video just after we set up the stall, before the crowds set in. But gawd, do I really sound like that??

A most fantastic day

Teegs, Bee, Larz and Sandra (aka Pepperberry)
Ink & Spindle (and Pepperberry & Co) at the Melbourne Design Market. Curious that we're ALL almost exactly the same height.

Cushions, Lamps, Teegs with her new jacket and me with my infamous jeans!

It's Tuesday night and I reckon I'm just about recovered from the craziness that was the Melbourne Design Market. Oh. My. God. What a day. I'd have to say it's up there with some of the best days of my life. Not only did we have a super successful day (GFC you say??), we got to interact with lots of lovely peeps, meet other stall holders (including my long time idol Nicola Cerini and her partner!) aaand...

AND! The highlight would definitely have been when I was tucked into a corner of our stall eating lunch. Out of the corner of my eye I see Bee running towards me. "Lara, Lara!" She says. "Lawrence Leung is in our stall!!". You should have seen me move. I was basically in the back most corner of our narrow stall staff area. I had to run across the back and all the way down the side of our stall (almost knocking Teegs over in the process) in order to get out into the public area to chase him down.

I asked if I could shake his hand for being so awesome and I did. And raved about how his humour appealed to my Gen-X slash Gen-Y childhood. I should have mentioned growing up in Blackburn.

Must say he's much shorter in real life.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here's some pre-Design Market preparation pics, because pics are good! And you can find heaps more over at the I&S blog.

lara making rooftops lamp
Me making a new rooftops lamp. I have a love/hate relationship with lamp making

Mattt inspecting rooftops
Mr Matt from Mattt bags inspecting the first print of his new fabric. Rooftops on a lovely Sea Foam coloured 100% hemp - mmmmm

The finished result - our latest 100% hemp collaboration with Mattt bags

I'm just mid way through uploading to youTube a video I took at the market. Will post that soon!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The same old scenario the same old rain

handmade soaps
Wrapping handmade soaps

It's the same old story blah blah blah. Down at the Ink & Spindle studio we're working our proverbial bottom's off preparing for the next big event - the Melbourne Design Market this Sunday.

Although I must admit, the rain is novel. It's been freezing, and we are so so so grateful for the big gas heater we have in our workroom. Trips down the icy corridor to the loo are hellish though.

It is quite satisfying seeing things come together. Like these little bundles of handmade soap wrapped in fabric (and hemp twine - booyah!)

handmade soaps
Handmade soaps all wrapped up and ready for Market

Aaand, aand, I'm squealing with excitement about this one, my new Rooftops design which we'll be launching on the day!

new rooftops fabric
New Rooftops fabric - in red on Organic cotton/hemp and white on natural cotton/linen

And, a little bit of modeling for Teegs who's making gorgeous 100% wool felt scarves for the market:

wool felt scarf
One of Teegs' 100% wool felt scarves (and I need to cut that fringe)

Okay laptop battery is almost dead. I left the charger at work intentionally so I'm only permitted so much computer time. Now I'm going to go read my book!


Escape for a day

On the Monday public holiday I escaped from the city with my mum & long time family friend Sandra to go visit some woodfire potters down South Gippy way. Mum needed a pot for an orchid she received, and both potters we had visited had just done a large bi-annual firing.

First stop - Gooseneck Pottery.

gooseneck pottery
Gooseneck pottery - out the front

gooseneck pottery - studio
Gooseneck pottery - studio

gooseneck pottery - bush view from the studio
Gooseneck Pottery - studio bush view

My parents have been visiting Robert's studio for some 15+ years. I even made his website for contra once upon a time, which is still there! Robert's studio is in a gorgeous hillside bush location and has a 15 metre kiln which he fires over several days twice a year. Yep. 15 metres.

rainbow and cows

After stopping for lunch at my favourite cafe owned by aforementioned awesome house-on-hill owner, we drove out the other side of Leongatha (past a cow and rainbow filled paddock) to:

Valley Plains Pottery

valley plains pottery
Valley Plains Pottery - studio and gallery

valley plains pottery
Valley Plains Pottery - studio and gallery

valley plains pottery
Valley Plains Pottery - The lovely Zak and his anagama kiln

In complete contrast to Robert's studio, Zak's light filled studio is perched utop a ridge with gorgeous panoramic views of the surrounding gippsland hillside. He doesn't yet have a website (although I'm considering making him one!) but here's some details:

Zak Chalmers
Valley Plains Pottery
Nicholas Road
Leongatha South
Victoria, Australia
ph: 0356745657
Open weekends and public holidays 10-5
Open most weekdays, please call before you visit.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Studio Spaces at Ironside

I first mentioned the Ironside Studios a while back when they were just looking into starting up. Now I'm happy to say that not only did they fill every single one of their studios with lovely arty folk, they're now looking at expanding!! So if you're still keen to find studio space in our awesome building - here's your second chance:

Ironside Studios opened in Kensington in February 2009 with twenty individual studio spaces. Ironside currently houses a variety of artists and designers. These include several sculptors, industrial designers, textile and fashion designers, screen printers, set designers, lighting designers and animators.

Ironside Studios is now considering expanding to accommodate a further twenty artists and designers.

The studios are suitable for a wide range of artistic practices, particularly those that require ground level access and a more industrial space.

A combination of individual lockable spaces and open-plan spaces will be available. Lockable spaces range in size from 16 to 32 square metres and in price from $50 to $95 per week accordingly. Each lockable space has solid floor-to-ceiling white walls.

Open-plan spaces will each be 12 to 16 square metres at $40 per week, in a group of eight to ten. These will be more suitable for those with a quieter practice.

These prices include all expenses except internet access. High speed internet is available at a further

$15 per month. All spaces have lighting and power points, 24 hour access and use of the communal kitchen and sink area. Some studios have natural light. The studios are easy to get to on public transport, or by bike or vehicle. At this stage we're looking at the studios being available by September.

Ironside would love to hear from any practicing artists and designers who may be interested in a studio space. If you would like further information, or to register your interest, please contact Laura at with a brief description/images of your practice and an indication of the kind of space you may be interested in. If you know of any others that may be interested please feel free to forward this email on to them.

I stole a whole bunch of photos from Spin Spin's blog - hope you don't mind, Susan!

Front door of existing studios (photo courtesy of Spin Spin!)

Entrance hall of existing studios (photo courtesy of Spin Spin!)

Front yard (photo courtesy of Spin Spin!)

The view from the street (photo courtesy of Spin Spin!)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

houses i mean rooftops

I really should learn my lesson by now and give my prints the simplest name possible. I know that I'm going to end up calling my new 'rooftops' print 'houses' like I do with my other prints. Thankfully Bee is often on standby to correct me.

Anyway, it's not quite up in the shop yet, but here's some progress shots of the new rooftops print:

houses original tile sketch
First, the original sketch (with shadow of the halfdrop repeat to see how it interlocks)

printing rooftops
Then, printing! This is looking down at the screen as it sits on the fabric. Mmmm a lovely deep red on organic cotton/hemp.

rooftops - freshly printed
Et voila - printed rooftops stretching into the distance.

We've also printed it in a lovely white on natural - mmmmm.

I'll put it up in the shop after the Melbourne Design Market. Which I should probably have mentioned earlier. Yep we'll be at the MDM yet again this year! On June 14th (next Sunday) at Fed Square as usual. Hope to see you there!

furniture friend

Do you ever have those moments when you're finally catching up on all your blogs and you suddenly feel like lately you've been a terrible blogger, hopeless friend, completely un-creative and that your life for the past few months has just been playing catchup and sorting out admin shit?

That's how I feel today.

I will however post about something exciting I did a couple of weeks ago. I finally bought a new sideboard thingy for our living room:

new furniture friend
I love the screen printed drawers. One day I'll replace them with prints of my own...

I've wanted something to go in this spot for ages, and when I walked into Wilkins & Kent's new shop on Little Bourke, there it was, waiting for me as discounted display stock. Yay!

living room clutter
And the coffee table from way back when that it matches. Don't you just love our hideous carpet?