Sunday, October 14, 2012

Nepal study tour

Seven Women skills training centre - Nepal (photography by Kim Cartmell)

A lot of you probably know that my biz partner Teegs is off to Mexico for an artist's residency in less than a week (so soon!). What you might not yet know is that I'm off on a similar(ish) journey to Nepal at the end of this year!

In December/January I am heading off on a study tour of the main fair trade enterprises in Nepal. Over 20 days, group of 15 will be visiting, learning, volunteering and getting inspired. The trip is run by Steph Woollard, founder of Seven Women - a not for profit enterprise that employs marginalised and disadvantaged women to make handcrafted items that are sold in Australia.

I'm simultaneously excited and terrified. Having never been to a developing country before this is going to be such an incredible, eye opening and challenging experience. Steph has a long standing and intimate knowledge of Nepal, it's people and culture, so this trip will be far from tourist-like.

The thing I'm most excited about is the fact that we will be volunteering at the Seven Women skills training centre with tasks that are based on our personal areas of expertise. I am very lucky to have gained Steph's confidence in taking on a product development role. I am so excited about using the skills and insight I have in the Australian design & craft scene to help develop products that will appeal to the local market. And to work intimately with the women who will be making those items - teaching them, even - that is an experience that I could never have dared hope for!

Seven Women skills training centre - Nepal (photography by Kim Cartmell)

The trip isn't till the end of December, and I need to do a little bit of fundraising between now and then to donate to one of the enterprises that we will be visiting. So stay tuned for more on that!

More pics of the Seven Women skills training centre below - I can't wait to meet these women.

Seven Women skills training centre - Nepal (photography by Kim Cartmell)

Seven Women skills training centre - Nepal (photography by Kim Cartmell)

Seven Women skills training centre - Nepal (photography by Kim Cartmell)

Seven Women skills training centre - Nepal (photography by Kim Cartmell)

If you're interested in participating in a similar trip, Steph is taking another group mid 2013. Shoot her an email if you're keen!


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Behind the lens

Monochrome, timber & mustard - experimenting with styling

As a Melbourne based designer, right now what it feels like I should be doing is working with colour. Crazy amounts of colour. Colour out the wazoo! And as much as I appreciate all the splashes of brightness I'm seeing around me lately... I have to admit, I really much prefer a bit of monochrome. Especially when it's coupled with warm timber tones and a bit of mustard! It's not very "summer" I know, but I love it all the same.

The other thing I've been enjoying is playing around with styling. I've always enjoyed photography and making nice interior spaces, but I've never actually tried to "style" a shoot. I have to say at this point: THIS IS NOT HOW MY HOME LOOKS AT ALL. You'd actually laugh if you could see what's behind the camera in this shot - all our usual living room furniture and things crammed up against the opposite wall, my house mates relegated to armchairs pushed into the corners to eat their dinner and read their books.

Monochrome, timber & mustard - experimenting with styling (circle shelf by Bride & Wolfe, rug by Armadillo & Co)

I think the "styled" versus "reality" is a very important distinction to make - life behind the lens is rarely what you think it is, and it's important not to get sucked into thinking that what you see on people's blogs,  Instagram and Facebook is a true reflection of their lives.

I had a funny moment actually when taking these photos - a couple of girlfriends of mine were visiting at the time and having a big discussion/confession session about their relationships and all the behind-the-scenes tough times they were having. One pauses to say to me "wow, it's different looking at a photo like this when you know what's hidden off to the sides". I thought that was a very fitting comment, given the topic of conversation...


4th Birthday and Open Studio - with cupcakes!

It's pretty hard to believe that Ink & Spindle is almost 4 years old. FOUR YEARS. Four years of making a living doing what we love without compromising our ethics! It hasn't always been easy but we're proud to have reached this point, and would love for you come celebrate with us! It'll be the usual open studio type shindig but this time there'll be celebratory cupcakes!

Hope to see you here! xxx

Monday, October 01, 2012

Darwin you stole my heart

On the road to Litchfield in the Suby; swimming at the top of the falls at Greenant Creek; a classic NT moment, road trains and 130 speed signs; a territory full of unique native flora

Today is my birthday, but I'm not 100% into it. Yesterday Dave and I returned to Melbourne from a brief five day trip to Darwin and I'm pretty sure I left a big chunk of my heart there.

There's something truly magical about a place that is so connected with nature; nature that is everywhere, rambling and pervasive. Darwin is a place where the boundary between indoors and outdoors is blurred, where walls are filled floor to ceiling with louvred windows and geckos on the ceiling are the norm, where footwear is optional and fashion is a carefree mishmash of colour and pattern.

And the pace. The slowness. Darwin was a welcome break from the relentless pressure to be always doing / creating / pursuing more, more, more. I loved that. I needed a break from that so much.

An evening at Deckchair Cinema, so awesome; my most wonderful travelling companion looking like a hipster; our Darwin abode courtesy of the lovely Ange who hosted us; a little bit of NT (woven on Elcho island) brought home with me

I love Melbourne, you know I do. But Darwin you stole my heart... and I'll be back one day to get it.