Thursday, 23 December 2010

Fantastic Plastic

How cool is this - Im featured in the Canberra Times Times2 lift out from Monday.

Click on the image below to read the article.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

How to make wallets from recycled plastic bags

I also promised that I would share with you the pattern for how to make your own wallet from recycled plastic bags.... so here it is. The pattern is from the Why dont you [re]design Christmas publication. Click on the image below for a larger version which can be printed.

Let me know if you would prefer a pdf version and I can email it to you.

Here are some examples of what they look like in colour......

Happy creating x

Winners of Handmade Living & [re]design books announced

Handmade Living is an Australian publication put together by Tania McCartney and the lovely ladies at Shop Handmade in Canberra. It contains lots of lovely handmade ideas by Australian creators.

Featured in this book is my lampshade made from knitted recycled plastic bags.

To win a copy of Handmade Living, readers were asked to become a follower of my blog. Followers names were written on pieces of paper and randomly drawn from a hat.

And the winner of Handmade Living is.......... Kylie!

Why dont you [re]design Christmas is a British publication put together by [re]design, an organisation that promotes designers who create objects from found or recycled materials.

A collection of twenty designs, I am very lucky to have two of my works feature in this publication. The lampshade made from recycled plastic bags was featured, along with a wallet also knitted from plastic bags.

To win a copy of Why dont you [re]design Christmas readers were asked to subscribe to my newsletter. Again, names were written on paper and randomly drawn from a hat.

And the winner of Why dont you [re]design Christmas is Bronwynne!

Congratulations to the two lucky winners who have been randomly selected to win a copy of two publications my work has been featured in this year. I will post the books to you on Monday so that you will receive them just before Christmas.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Pomegranates..... and Christmas hampers

Pomegranates often feature as part of my display at the markets. One of my first screen printed designs was of a Persimmon Tree and my sister, who helped me with my first handmade market, couldn't find any persimmons at that time of year and so displayed some pomegranates instead. Since then the pomegranates have become a regular fixture on my stall.

It is really interesting to see how people respond to them. When they are displayed out of their usual context - people often think they are ceramic - and cant resist but pick them up and admire the shape, colour and weight of them.

I also hear about peoples stories associated with pomegranates - the juice is very popular in Turkey and you often find stalls at the side of the road selling freshly squeezed juice. Ahh, another reason why I want to go back and explore more of that marvellous country :) The fruit has also been around for a VERY long time and can be dated back to 3000 BC!

(Above Image courtesy of Canberra Handmade Markets)

Whilst purchasing some the other day, I was told by the green grocer, in his broken english, that they are very good for you... and this lead me to look into the marvels of this delightful fruit.

Pomegranates are:
  • High in anti-oxidents (even more than green tea!) which helps fight certain forms of cancer such as breast and skin
  • They can prevent hardening of the arteries therefore reducing the chances of heart attack and stokes
  • It is good for thinning the blood; raising good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol
So they are beautiful to look at AND good for you too......

I have been eating the fresh fruit squeezed over a bowl of bircher muesli for breakfast. The muesli is very easy to make, you just need to be little bit organised to make it the night before. Click here for the recipe.

Im thinking this year Im going to give Christmas hampers full of delightful, natural goodies (such as pomegranates) and other beautiful handmade things.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

High Tea, Handmade Living Book Launch & Give Away at Daltons

As part of the Handmade Living events, the fabulous Handmade team orchestrated the book launch this morning at Daltons Book Store in Civic, Canberra.

A selection of the contributors to the book (including moi) displayed their creations alongside a very delicious spread of cupcakes and nibbles - you can see Mikaela, who makes beautiful accessories using Japanese origami papers in the background.

The other clever people also in the book at the launch were:
Posy Patchwork - who makes wonderful things from fabric. I just love her doorstops.
Poppy Bean and Bloss - also makes wonderful things from fabrics, including journal covers
Tiny Concept - delightful wares, including the Parisian Pillow (pg 43 of the book which I just adore). A big congratulations to her, as one of her handmade dolls features in a film!
Polbymade - makes lovely japanese inspired garments using exquisite fabrics from Japan.
Highland Habitat - Naomi makes gorgeous lotions and potions from natural ingredients.
Real Chai - kept us hydrated with delicious chai made from real ingredients

I ran a giveaway for the above cups, hand baked ginger snaps and Kate Ward Design 'Ooh La La' tea towel (valued at over $50)...... the winner of the prize was Debbie Campbell.

Congratulations Debbie!

And a big thank you to the Handmade team for such a lovely way to start a Sunday morning. It was a fabulous opportunity to meet other creatives x

Friday, 10 December 2010

My first news letter

I have finally found the time to put together a news letter to share with you my comings and goings, latest designs and inspiration. Click here to go directly to the newsletter ......

If you are interested in receiving these updates, all you need to do is click on the subscribe tab at the top of this page and enter your details. If you do so before 17 December 2010, you will also go into the draw to win a copy of the fabulous book 'Why dont you [re]design Christmas' which contains 20 designs and the instructions on how to make them..... it features two of my designs too!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Into the night at the Gorman House Markets

You are invited to Gorman House Markets’ Christmas event,

“Into the Night”

Saturday 11th December 2010

10am – 9pm.

Its Christmas time and we are celebrating,

On 11th December, Gorman House Markets are trading Late!

You will find all the treasures you seek,

To delight your loved ones for Christmas this year.

Come for the amazing shopping and gourmet food.

Enjoy the musical talents of local bands.

Our “Kids Land” will be in full swing with activities galore.

There will be a visit from Santa at 2pm.

As dusk falls, be delighted;

Majestic fairy lit hawthorn trees will light the night sky.

Bring your family. Meet up with friends,

Celebrate Christmas time in the city, at Gorman House.

Hoping you can join me. I will be selling my limited edition Christmas tea towels, dual jewels and other delightful bits n pieces ........

Thursday, 2 December 2010

And the winner is.........

With eyes firmly shut
my fingers pick by random from the basket of folded up comments

....and the winner of my tea towel give away is
Drum roll please.........


Congratulations! And thank you everyone for your lovely comments x

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Countdown and giveaway

As the count down to Christmas begins in earnest, along with the release of the greatly anticipated Handmade Living publication AND the next Handmade Markets the Christmas carol 'The twelve days of Christmas' continues to be the inspiration for my range of designs.

A limited edition of 'Two Turtledoves' (above) and 'Three French Hens' (below) has been printed onto linen teatowels, and a similar design onto t-shirts will be available at the Handmade twilight markets.

The twilight Handmade Market held at the Kamberra Wine Centre in Canberra this Saturday 4 December. For those unable to get to the markets this weekend, the designs are also available from my online store.

I am running a give away today as part of my participation in the Handmade Blog Tour and Handmade Living publication. Leave a comment on this post and I will select at random one lucky person who will win one of the above tea towels (you get to choose which one). AND become a follower of my blog for your chance to win a copy of the new Handmade Living publication.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Green Christmas Ornament Auction

Handmade Canberra is joining forces with Loop to auction handmade Christmas decorations. (Loop is the new sustainable development at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets) The ornaments can be for any purpose: the Christmas tree, dinner table, mantel piece or even the front porch. They must be made by hand, preferably with local and/or recycled materials. All the proceeds from the auction will be donated to Paediatrics at the Canberra Hospital (PaTCH).

I thought one of my special Dual Jewels which are designed as an ornament for the christmas tree or to adorn the body would be perfect for this and I designed this one for the auction.

Ornaments will be auctioned online at with a selected number of items auctions live at Green Christmas, at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Christmas at CraftACT

I dropped into CraftACT yesterday to celebrate their Christmas event with them. Lee has done a fantastic job of displaying the wares available - it looks like she had a lot of fun playing with colour, texture and shape :)

I was impressed at how vibrant the colours looked against a black background. It really enhances my Marks & Spencer green Re-find handbag and knitted wallets knitted from recycled plastic bags.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Redesigning the Regular

Today I was featured on the Canberra Weekly magazine! Im tickled pink by the review :)
Read it all here by double clicking on the image below

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Dual Jewels and Re-find Wallets at CraftACT

CraftACT are holding their annual Christmas event this Saturday 27 November 2010 from 2pm-5pm.

In anticipation I have created Dual Jewels which are designed to be worn and are also a decoration for the Christmas Tree. They are available exclusively at CraftACT and are the perfect gift for Secret Santa.

Also featured in the CraftACT shop will be my Refind wallets - which are made from recycled plastic bags. The wallets also feature in the book 'Why dont you [re]design Christmas'. For your chance to win a copy of this book, simply subscribe to my newsletter. The winning entry will be announced on Friday 17 December 2010.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me....... at the Undercurrent Market

The Christmas carol 'On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me' is the inspiration for my range of designs which will be available at the Undercurrent Market held at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra this weekend.

I am participating in a series of markets leading up to Christmas with a new limited edition Christmas design being created for each market. A limited edition of 'A partridge in a pear tree' design has been printed onto linen teatowels (above), t-shirts in a variety of summer colours (below) and calico bags with the design printed in festive red (further below) will be available at the markets.

Undercurrent is a one day design market showcasing orignal Australian works, curated by Richard Baz, the owner of the National Portrait Gallery Shop.

The market will be held on Saturday 20 November at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra from 10am to 5pm.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Goodies selected and made for Maker Handmade

A lovely store in Melbourne has recently opened called Maker Handmade which stocks exquisitely handmade ceramics, textiles, jewellery, paper products and other beautiful products of the highest quality. Their stock selection criteria is simply that it has to be handmade and of high quality.

I was delighted to be approached by Rachael from Maker Handmade who asked me whether I would be interested in selling some of my handprinted wares in her store........ the answer was a great big YES and I will be posting some goodies to her tomorrow (tea towels, soft cover sketch books, cushions) - just in time for the formal opening party on 25 November 2010.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Man in the Maze Cushion Commission

I was recently approached to design a special image for a 21st Birthday present.

The request asked that I design something which incorporated the Native American Indian 'Man in the Maze' symbol which represents a persons journey through life. The Maze contains seven concentric circles with many twists and turns representing the choices made in life. The centre of the maze is always blank to symbolise reaching our goals and dreams.

I wanted to personalise the design to represent the person's life so far, so I incorporated imagery and symbols to suggest his duel citizenship, achievements, interests, dreams and goals.

The above image is the end result. The design measures 48cm x 48 cm and printed on hemp fabric using water based, permanent fabric inks. The cushion a black linen on the reverse side to further emphasise the black print on the front.

I really enjoyed working to the brief and working with Margo who commissioned the cushion. I hope that her son loves his very special, and thoughtful gift :)

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Adventures at the Tasmanian Craft Fair

My arty friend Jo and I visited the Tasmanian Craft Fair on the weekend. It was a very well organised event with 14 venues around the town of Deloraine. Thankfully part of the entry fee included catching buses between the different venues which towards the end of the day saved our feet! We met some amazing people and discovered some beautiful objects.

Our first stop was The 3rd Door who make beautiful handbound books. We were both so inspired we bought a lovely sketchbook and Im thinking about making a trip down to Tas again to do a book binding course with them!

Next we discovered the delightful quirky stained glass birds created by Diane Brown. We both had to have one of these, and Jo's blue wren is already hanging up on her kitchen window.

I fell in love with Sally Cassanrda's beautiful ceramic jewellery and objects. I restrained myself and only bought a pair of earings and some buttons. Her designs are made from the impressions in clay of lace she has collected over the years. I cant wait to knit something beautiful to attach to my new buttons. It has been raining here for the past 24 hours..... perfect knitting weather - if only I brought my knitting :)

I was looking for a new bag to replace my very worn (and loved) japanese handbag. I found a lovely design from Sashiko Design with lots of pockets (very important to put all my things in)

My last extravagant purchase of the day was some beautiful 'cloud cups' by ceramicist Dean Smith which took my breath away that had light blue crystals floating on an earthly caramel background..........

We also discovered some very beautiful etchings by Joseph Austin, a Sydney based artist. He had a lovely selection of prints and cards. I couldnt resist and bought a card of his exquisite coral tree etchings.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Selected to exhibit at Handmade in Britain and the UK Eco Design Fair


My recycled knitted plastic bag designs (plastic lampshade and knitted purses) have been selected to be displayed at the Handmade in Britain Chelsea Old Town Hall from 27-30 October 2010 and the Eco Design Fair Islington Town Hall, 4-5 December 2010 as part of [re]design's initiative to encourage people to consider the provenance of what they consume and purchase over the festive period.

[re]design are promoting how to make and recycle Christmas decorations and gifts and have selected 20 Good and Gorgeous MIY designs (two of my works have been selected!) and are compiling the ‘How to make’ of these designs, with a step-by-step instructions into a small book which will also be available for purchase at the events.

[re]design is a London based organisation which curates sustainable design exhibitions and promote designers who don’t want to make landfill, and at the same time to educate visitors about sustainability in an inclusive and accessible way. [re]design also faciliate workshops, lectures, seminars and publications on recycling and design.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Lake Burley Griffin Cushion Commission

I was recently asked to translate my design of Lake Burley Griffen into a black and white screenprint for a cushion by one of the customers at Shop Handmade in Canberra.

Screen printed using black ink on white linen, the original image has a lot of blank space around it so I decided to frame the print by adding a black border at the top and bottom of the same material (also linen) to match the back of the cushion.

The cushion is being delivered to Shop Handmade today. I loved the design so much that I have also made one using navy ink on a cream back ground (hemp fabric) with a border of navy blue (cotton) and matching fabric on the back which is available to buy at Shop Handmade. They retail at $90 which includes the cushion insert.

All my products are created using quality fabrics, water based fade resistant fabric print paste and are created by hand in my studio.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

New Persimmon Tree Design

The Persimmon Tree design has developed into a season of designs, from the winter tree with bare branches and orange spheres of fruit into the summer tree with fresh green leaves.

Printed on 100% natural linen tea towels (70 x 50 cm) the Persimmon Tree design is centrally placed and measures 30 x 35 cm and are perfect for bringing a bit of art and design into your kitchen. Or you could frame it and hang it on the wall.

The tea towels are printed in limited editions, ensuring each tea towel is unique in its placement and colours.

The tea towels can be bought at Shop Handmade in Canberra or from my online store

Monday, 11 October 2010

In the studio.....

This image captures the creative chaos that happens in my studio..... also known as the kitchen bench.

I usually have a number of projects on the go and here you can see the design of a new fabric print, my patchwork project of a lyrebird for an online collaboration, coloured fleece in a favourite cup from a felting workshop I participated in at the NGA earlier in the year, a collection of interesting objects collected on my travels through South Africa last year (I particularly love the giraffe and zebra cutlery), daily living bits n pieces and my goldfish (who are painfully shy and hid whilst I took the photo).

There is a riot of colour where ever you look..... and this creative chaos continues throughout the rest of my home.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A Cup of Light

I have just become the owner of a delicious smelling Erica Soy Candle made by the fair hands of Erica herself. Erica's candles not only smell amazing, they are good for you too! The soy wax melts at a very low temperature which means you can use the melted wax as a perfumed moisturiser - yummy - just be wary of the flame if the candle is still lit :)

It is environmentally friendly too, the candle doesnt emit any of those nasty petro-chemical toxins in the smoke that comes from regular parafin candles.

I just love it! It looks beautiful and smells gorgeous (I have French Pear flavour).

Check out Erica's website for all her delicious flavours

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Winner of the Red Heart Paris Cushion

A big CONGRATULATIONS to Catherine Lorimer who was the lucky winner of the Red Heart Paris Cushion. The competition was open to all who attended the Handmade Markets at the Kamberra Wine Company in Canberra on Saturday 11 September 2010, and those who entered left a business card in the lucky draw at my stall.

The design is inspired by the beautiful balconies in Paris, and this particular design came from a building on the Ill St Louis, the island in the middle of the city.

The cusion measures 50 x 50 cm and the design is printed on hemp using water based, permanent print paste.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Designer Talk Article in Canberra Times Weekend Magazine

Following on from a wonderful day at the Handmade Markets on Saturday, I was delighted to see an article on my wares in the Canberra Times Relax, the glossy Sunday lift out section of the Canberra Times paper.

I would like to thank the lovely ladies at Shop Handmade for making this article possible and also the amazing Jocelyn Rosen for such a nice photograph of me. Jocelyn is a wonderful portrait photographer and you can view more of her work at

Monday, 6 September 2010

Recycled Plastic Knitted Lamps exhibited in the Belco Bizarre Exhibition

I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to have my photo taken and interviewed about my hand knitted recycled plastic bag lace lamp by the Northside Chronicle in Canberra which was part of the Belco Bizarre exhibition, one of the many events which make up the Belconnen Arts Centre first year anniversary celebrations.

The idea to create plastic lace lampshades hand knitted from recycled plastic bags developed from my fascination of space and light and the interplay of the two. The shadows created by the lace lamp cast create a rippled pattern reminiscent of the sunlight sparkling on the lake.

I enjoy the juxtaposition of taking a discarded item and giving it value through recycling and transformation.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Look what's in the window at Shop Handmade

I was wandering past Shop Handmade yesterday and I saw something that I recognised in their front windows.

Upon closer inspection, to my delight it was one of my Lake Burley Griffen screen printed tea towels. How marvelous and a big thank you to the Ladies at Shop Handmade for displaying my wares in their windows.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Screen Printed Wool Designs for Lizzie

Last week I found the time to print up the wool images into repeat fabric that I had designed for Lizzie's knitting needle case. The wool motifs are about 3.5cm. Here they are in a couple of different colours...

Red Wool printed on cream hemp.

Red Tangle printed on cream hemp.

Teal Tangle on cream hemp.

Black Wool on cream hemp.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Sketches of Treasury Building in Petra

I have been commissioned to sketch an image of the Treasury Building in Petra to screen print and transform into a cushion to match my Aya Sofia cushions (below).

Petra is a historic and archaeological city in Jordan that was carved out of rock walls in a ravine. The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and has since starred in the Indiana Jones and the last crusade movie.


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