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.