Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Last open studio for the year! This Saturday!

It's our last Open Studio for the year! That totally spins me out. Please come and say hi and help us bid adieu to 2011!


Friday, November 25, 2011

MARKit at Fed Square

MARKit is on again this Sunday at Fed Square! Teegs and I will be there as usual, spruiking our wares and taking turns to sneak away from the stall so we can catch up with fellow stallholders and friends :)

We're gunna have some new xmas-present-worthy kits and also my new Leuca print will be making it's debut (can I have another word? I don't like that one) which is pretty exciting.

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Looking up

the ceiling of manysquaremetres, our studio neighbours

So things are looking up, since my post about a month ago. I'm still in the midst of a big transition phase in my life but I'm feeling positive about the future, there's brightness ahead. I'm also about to move house (again, I know) to North Fitzroy, which I'm pretty excited about as I've never lived in the North before. And I'll be able to ride my bike to work again which will be nice.

Here's to making lemonade from lemons.


Wednesday, November 09, 2011


New things that are keeping me smiling...

'Leuca' on screen and ready to print

Gorgeous custom colourway (Large Birch in Olive on Hemp/Yak)
for a local customer's curtains


Tuesday, November 08, 2011


A sneak peek at a couple of new kits we're launching in the next few weeks. Out of my head and into reality, finally. Loving the abundance of colour.

Thanks to Manysquaremetres for the location!

P.S. - thank you all for the new print love! Glad you like it :)

Saturday, November 05, 2011


It's strange how sometimes when one part of your life starts to crumble you finally find the time and motivation to fix other things that aren't right. Or maybe it just requires the luxury of a long weekend...

Whatever the cause, I am so, so, SO happy to have found some design mojo again and finally conquered my latest print. Sometimes it can be quite a battle, turning an idea from my mind into a reality. I knew I wanted to do another botanical print, I knew I wanted it to be quite detailed, and I knew I wanted the subject matter to be something from the Proteaceae family.

So I did lots of research, bought lots of books, brought home lots of specimens...


I drew a lot, experimented with shading and form, got frustrated, dilly dallied, changed tack a few times....


And finally decided upon the gorgeous Leucadendron as my subject matter...


So I drew some more, scanned, edited, arranged and rearranged, layered, measured...

And "Leuca" finally came to life.

"Leuca" - textile design for meterage

"Leuca" - textile design for meterage

Sure, that process was probably more drawn out than it needed to be. Sure, once upon a time I had the luxury of time and head space to design new things every week. Sure, I could have busted out 10 new prints over the last year if I'd really wanted to. But that process no longer fits with my ethos. These days I want to design prints that I'm exceptionally proud of, that are versatile and have inherent longevity. It's tricky to do all those things within the constraints of hand printed meterage. But extra rewarding in the end when it comes together :)

Looking forward to printing this just in time for xmas!

xx Lara.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New developments...

New developments

So last time I posted here I wasn't feeling all too good. And things haven't really improved... they've somewhat taken a bad turn. I won't talk about it now, but maybe soon. I'm ok though. And I'm trying to stay positive.

I love this fern because it reminds me a little bit of bracken and hiking trips in the bush. This one is an Kiwi native called a Wheki and it's so rewarding watching the little koru unfurl. Especially when fuelled with some worm tea - my fern is literally going insane with growth right now. Me too, I hope.

x Lara.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Sitting, thinking, should be doing...

Sitting at my laptop. Doing a little freelance work. Watching this very inspiring video. Thinking about creativity, life, meaningfulness, inspiration, the importance of following your gut. Right now I feel at a loss, both creatively and fundamentally. But I don't know where to turn for inspiration or how to pull myself out of this rut. The studio is going great. I have a new design slowly progressing. But I don't feel fulfulled. I don't feel like I'm making the most of my days or doing enough things that are meaningful.

But... I'm sure I'll find my way.

On a lighter note and because it's in my field of vision right now, I thought I'd share a photo of this little porcelain origami bird. A gift from the lovely Gemma. Not sure where he came from but I love him and I love the little corner of my home in which he resides.

Perching ceramic origami parrot friend


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Birch decals!

Hey remember aaaages ago I did that limited edition collab with the lovely ladies from The Wall Sticker Company? And how I used to have that Birch wall sticker in my bedroom in my flat before I had to vacate and go live on the East side?

Well finally after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing the Birch decals are available for sale again! They've been simplified slightly so instead of having the trunk markings cut out to show the wall behind, they are now printed with a second colour that you can choose to either match your wall or printed darker as an accent! It was a change borne from practicality but I quite like how it looks with darker markings like a real birch tree.

Birch Decal in my bedroom from The Wall Sticker Company

Birch Decal with darker markings, available from The Wall Sticker Company

Hope you like!! x

I am 30

On Saturday 1st of October I turned 30.

Turning 30 is a bit like the first time you're riding on a tram that you hear a mother tell her child to "mind the lady" and you realize she's talking about you. But I'm just a girl! When did it become fitting to address me as a "lady"? And now, since when did I become a fully grown woman, student days far behind her, a full gamut of grown up responsibilities on her plate?

How I feel about turning 30 changes from day to day. Some days I feel completely fine about it, other times I struggle with the concept.

There are days when I feel immensely proud of all I have seen, done and achieved in my 30 years. But there are other days when those things seem meaningless and insignificant. How does one more organic cushion in the world help anyone? How can I make more of an impact, do something even more meaningful and significant with my life? What's next?

That all said, I do feel very lucky. Lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful, supportive people, and lucky to call Melbourne my home.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Introducing... 'The Formula'

This morning on the train I decided it was time to write that post I've been meaning to write for a long time. Spurred by a increasing frustration with people's general lack of understanding of cost and 'real cost' (be it an 'expensive' handmade item or a cheap $15 tshirt) I want to share with you how we price our goods, and why pricing correctly is extremely important.

Read the full blog post over here at the Ink & Spindle blog. Enjoy!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

This morning...

I seem to be getting very good at bringing home bits of blue vinyl furniture from trash and treasure markets. Here is this morning's haul from the Camby market:

Camby market haul

That chair has so much potential for awesomeness. I quite like the pretty detail of the tacking too, adds a bit of a feminine, lacy touch.

I also bought a couple of bunches of leucadendrons for a project I'm slowly working on...

Leucadendron, my favorite species of Proteaceae

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Spring time for me so far has been about...

- Contemplating turning 30 at the end of this month and all the typical, difficult thoughts that go with that
- Enjoying the sun on my face & time with good friends
- Feeling pretty much on top of things at work for the first time in a long time
- Feeling super proud of building a new gallery section of our website (upholstery! curtains!)
- Planning & preparing a new kitchen garden

The last item excites me a lot because I've never had a garden of my own before, having only lived in apartments since moving out of home. Plus I love the idea of being just a little more self sufficient. One day I will have chooks. One day.

Tumbleweed worm cafe and some inspiring reading

I am also now responsible for 1000 little wormy friends who reside in the laundry and eat our kitchen scraps. The laundry locale will protect them from the extremes of Melbourne weather and my laziness in the evenings. No mass wormicide will be happening here, folks.

Living Fundraisers Organic Veggie Growing Kits

I love, love, love this fundraising idea by Living Fundraisers. Dana brought these in to work courtesy of her little ones' kinder/playgroup (I forget which). I grabbed the lettuce and tomatoes. Yay! Sooooo much better than chocolate fundraisers!

Hope your springtime is off to a good start :)


Tuesday, September 06, 2011


I know it's a little bit lame and all been done before, but every kitchen needs a good chalk board. Especially a renter-friendly one. It's amazing what you can achieve with a chisel and some angle brackets if you want to attach something without doing any damage to precious surfaces.

Making the chalkboard - chiseling, attaching brackets, priming, blackboard painting

The chalkboard hangs nice and flush with the wall, and to secure it at the bottom we just used a couple of 3M strips to hold it in place. Easy stuff.

Chalkboard calendar - renter friendly :)

I'd love to paint an entire wall in blackboard paint, but this will have to do :)


Sunday, September 04, 2011

NZ part 2 - Wellington shopping (& a bit of south island gorgeousness)

Hello! I'm back to prattle on more about NZ. First stop, Wellington!

Wellington is a gorgeous city, and is indeed just like a smaller version of Melbourne in many ways. I definitely felt at home there, which is saying a lot because I find it hard to feel at home anywhere other than my beloved Melbourne! Although coming from Melbourne where everything is generally quite flat, I was also enamored by the landscape and all the gorgeous houses dotting the surrounding hillsides.

Whilst in Wellington I was fortunate enough to have three things on my side. 1) A very patient man-friend who didn't mind being dragged all over town, 2) a very lovely local client (Celestina of Vida Textiles) who showed us around some fantastic local design stores, and 3) the Design*Sponge Wellington City Guide at hand (I used screen-shots on my phone when lacking internets).

One of the stores that Celestina took me to was Madder and Rouge, a customer who had recently placed an order for some custom printed colourways of our Large Scale Birch. It was so exciting to see what they had done with the fabric and how their vision for it tied so well with the rest of the store:

Madder & Rouge, Wellington

Madder & Rouge, Wellington - Birch in Black & white!

The next day, following the advice of the D*S city guide we ventured to a bunch of cute little designy/homewares/cute objects stores scattered around the city:

Vessel and Swonderful, Wellington

Here's a list of some of the fantastic little design/craft/indie stores we visited whilst in Wellington:

- Vessel
- Swonderful
- Made it (owned by the very talented Melina Martin)
- Pixel Ink
- Madder & Rouge
- ES Design (amazing mid-century furniture awesomeness here too)
- Small Acorns

On our last day (thanks to Janette from Verdant Design) we discovered the Frank Kitts Market full of indie crafty/design goodness. I had to giggle though, not only was this design market in an undercover carpark (sound familiar?), I also found three stalls featuring our fabrics, including the very first stall I encountered when I came through the entrance! That was trippy, I tell you what.

Frank Kitts Market (including the very lovely Craft Me Up stall)

Verdant Design at the Frank Kitts Market (Acacia lamp!)

After Wellington we headed down to the South Island via ferry to Blenheim, where Jon grew up. We stayed with his folks for most of the time but also borrowed a car and drove down to Hanmer Springs for a night (hot springs and mineral pools half way up a snow-capped mountain!)

Let me just say, the drive down to Hanmer was A-MAZ-ING. Such spectacular scenery. Imagine rolling hills, winding roads, deciduous trees with new spring growth, cherry blossoms in bloom, cute little spring lambs everywhere with their crazy tails, single lane bridges over little creeks, black pebble beaches, seals sunning themselves on rocks... and all the while these huge dramatic snow capped Mountains in the distance.

The drive to Hanmer and Cheltenham House

We picked a winner again with the accommodation too - a beautiful sprawling, refurbished 1930's house turned into a B&B - still with it's original billiard room and full sized pool table. We stayed in one of the rooms off the garden and awoke to this view - more snow-capped mountains in the background of course!

It was a bit of a whirlwind trip and now that I'm back into the swing of things at work it feels a world away. But I still love my Melbourne ;)


Saturday, September 03, 2011

NZ part 1 - Wellington!

The classic Wellington shot

If you happened to catch Teegs lamenting my absence all over Facebook last week, you might already know that the man-friend and I recently skipped town and went to NZ!

Let me just say, every time I go to that country it puts on quite the show. Last week was no exception - gorgeous sunny weather, spectacular scenery, amazing designer goodness, great food... and as I sit here trying to process all my photos I quickly realized that I need at least two blog posts to cover it all!

I also realized that I definitely need to dedicate an entire post to the amazing accommodation that we treated ourselves to for a couple of nights in Wellington. I'm talking about the Ohtel. Recommended in Design*Sponge's Wellington city guide, and definitely, definitely living up to the hype, Ohtel is a boutique, 10 room hotel on the waterfront which is entirely fitted out in gorgeous Mid-century furniture and collectables.

Ohtel boutique hotel - Wellington. Mid-century designer furniture heaven

I mean just look at it! The photos speak volumes. I'm not usually excited at all about hotels when traveling but it was so nice to come back to this room in the evenings and be surrounded by so much gorgeousness. Not to mention the spectacular view over the bay, a great music selection, free wifi and a gorgeous, deep, non-guilt inducing bath. (NZ is definitely not a country in drought!)

Ohtel boutique hotel - Wellington.

Ohtel boutique hotel - Wellington. That bath!

Of course Ohtel isn't cheap, but definitely worth the splurge. We justified the expense by staying our first night at a dodgy backpackers in town and then staying with Jon's folks down south for most of the rest of our trip (quite the contrast, I assure you).

More Wellington awesomeness to follow soon!

xx Lara.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Last weekend the girls and I skipped town and went to stay at Dana's mum's house in Daylesford. It was peaceful, relaxing, cosy... full of craft and treasure hunting and yummy food and chatter and a spa & massage at Hepburn to top it all off. A cliche Daylesford experience you might say.

Here's some pics from the weekend...

Sass makes Dandelion tea, bunches of Daphne all around the house

The house. Very D'ford. Amazing garden out the back. Crazy colour scheme inside though!

My bargain from the Daylesford Trash & Treasure. It pays to get there at 7am. I got these T.H. Brown (?) chairs for an absolute steal. The seller said "yeah this stick furniture is all the rage right now"

Flowers from a roadside stall, and Dana's bargain retro desk chair from the Trash & Treasure

I got inspired by some pics I saw over at the Harvest blog and spent time making this little vessel from fabric scraps (I had no instructions or idea what I was doing but got there in the end after a few false starts)

So many more treasures and crafty goodness to show you but as usual I forgot to take photos ;)


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Open Studio this Saturday!

Photo by Luka Kauzlaric

More details over at the Ink & Spindle blog. Hope to see you there!


Monday, August 08, 2011


I'm so excited to be visiting Wellington again in a couple of weeks! And this amazing hand-stitched stop motion animation ad makes me even more excited:

Wellington Tourism stop-motion ad by Yukfoo

The last time I was in Wellington was about 8 years ago and I still remember it as one of the few cities where I could imagine myself living. Which is a big call considering how much I love Melbourne. That said I happened to be there during a decidedly non-windy weekend. Ha! Let's see what late August brings ;)


Saturday, August 06, 2011


Just finished reading this - Macrobertsonland by Arcade Publications

If you live in Melbourne and you don't know who Macpherson Robertson is you really should.

Mac.Robertson was the founder of Australia's biggest chocolate factory in the late 1800's. He turned working class Fitzroy into the chocolate capital of Australia. He went from making sweets in the bathroom of a tiny Argyle St house to owning acres of factories in the back streets of Fitzroy which still stand today (as apartments of course).

He was much loved by his workers and was a huge philanthropist. I know of Mac.Robertson because he believed in education for women and funded my school.

Macrobertsonland by Arcade Publications

He also invented the Cherry Ripe, Freddo Frog and Old Gold chocolate!

I picked up Macrobertsonland last week from the Nicholas Building open studios and it's been such a great read. I loved reading about our city in it's early years, during a time when things were still made locally and globalisation was yet to change everything. Made me feel very nostalgic.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Beth-Emily & Panelpop

You know when you get a great vibe about someone straight off the bat? Well in the short 15 minutes that I spent chatting to Beth-Emily and Tom in Adelaide at Bowerbird early this year, I knew they were lovely people.

So when they mentioned that they were coming up from Hobart for Design:Made:Trade I barely hesistated before offering them our spare room for a few nights and some delicious home cooked meals :)

Beth-Emily's gorgeous display at Design:Made:Trade

As a thank you for having them stay, Beth gave me one of her prints - one that I had been admiring on their stand. Apart from being spectacularly gorgeous, this was no ordinary print...

'Bird of Sun' Panelpop print by Beth-Emily

It was in fact a Panelpop print. An amazing, wonderful new thing that I had never heard of before.

The surface of a Panelpop is essentially a smooth stone-like substance. It is framed with reclaimed timber and backed with reclaimed polystyerene - materials that have essentially been rescued from landful. Photos or illustrations can be printed onto the surface, and the finished result is amazing.

You have saved me from 2000 years of landfill.
As a token of thanks, I will stare diligently at your wall.
Yours sincerely, your Panelpop.

They're funny, too.

Beth's Panelpop print - reverse

I mean how awesome is that!? They even come with a little info booklet pinned on the back which tells you where your materials came from. The timber on my frame is "stringy bark rescued from John's old fence, Camberwell". The polystyrene backing is "saved from the Queen Vic Markets".

Panelpop are based in Fitzroy. Of course, Beth-Emily and Tom being the lovely people they are were more than happy to share how & where the prints had been made. Gotta love the mutual supportiveness of our creative community :)



Design:Made:Trade. Best thing we ever did. Such a great event. Such great feedback. Everything came together almost perfectly. Interior designers and furniture makers asked for pricelists. This little girl's dream. Definitely a career milestone.

We finished up on the Sunday completely wrecked but on a high after a last minute flurry of sales.

Here's some pics I took of our stall:

The Ink & Spindle stall at Design:Made:Trade

D:M:T - Our little kids corner featuring the Allsorts Quilt Kit, reupholstered stool by Reissued, and Table Lamp by Wilkins & Kent

D:M:T: Our little lounge area featuring mid-century Fler Armchair reupholstered by Reissued

More photos of the show & our fellow stall holders over at the Ink & Spindle blog.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reupholstering a little chair

I just blogged about this over at Ink & Spindle but had to share it here too because I'm just so happy with the result... but today Dana and I recovered a small child sized armchair that Sass bought for us from the Mill Markets!

Little armchair - before

Little armchair - after

Reupholstering the little armchair - in progress

It was somewhat disgusting work but sooooo worth it! Cuteness in armchair form! It's also nice to give my Little Forest print some love :)

This little piece will be coming along with us to Design:Made:Trade. Of course ;)

xx Lara.