Monday, 31 May 2010

Lisa Loxley's inspired by...

Lisa Loxley from Lox + Savvy is about to embark on an exciting adventure. I've already requested a spot in her suitcase. She's inspired by stationery and...

"My favourite thing to do is to surf the web, where I find inspiring people, environments and creations. This has lead me to up and coming paper artist Chloe Fluery. A mix of digital and handmade installations, she illustrates and hand makes things she’s passionate in life about [cupcakes and fashion] by use of cardboard, paper cutouts and various fabrics to create and build life-like, colourful, playful and dream-like worlds. Her vision is far and wide, and I particularly love her newly created project ‘The place I live’, which is a series of 3D pop-out poster installations featuring her favourite neighborhoods of San Francisco [where she currently resides] to express the colourful diversity of her world.

"I’m currently working on a newly formed project I have created ‘the paper convention’ which will be a collective festival/event/incubator, celebrating the fast-growing underground paper movement scene [since I have an innate passion for all things paper!]. I hope to involve some international paper artists/engineers, in particular Chloe.

images Chloe Fluery

Friday, 28 May 2010

Jason Grant's inspired by...

real living style director and blogger about town Mr Jason Grant is inspired by Doshi Levien:

"I love this husband and wife duo’s furniture and attitude - especially the Principessa daybed, My Beautiful Backside sofa and the Paper Plane seats with a modern global “boho” vibe. Quirky, colourful and fun. They design for Moroso and Habitat. Discovered thanks to Safari Living and via Neale Whitaker's Milan report held at interstudio recently."

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Kelly Doust's inspired by...

The Crafty Minx is also a crafty mum - she's got a new book out, The Crafty Kid - super cute. This is what the author Kelly Doust is inspired by... "Late last year I went to see UK comedian Daniel Kitson at the Opera House performing his show, 66a Church Road - A Lament Made of Memories and Kept in Suitcases. I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought of it since – it really struck a chord. "Kitson performs a monologue about the time he spent renting the house of the title in London, and all the recollections tied up in it. It’s funny and sad and really got me thinking about the notion of home… how it’s not just where the house is, and how we place so much importance upon material things both to ground and define us. "I love my own home and being around all my things, but it reminded me that I can be happy anywhere, and with very little – a house is just a shell, after all. It’s the weight of our memories that makes it a home, and those people we share them with."

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Tamara Maynes is inspired by...

One day I want to be Tamara Maynes. This is what she's inspired by...

"Lately I am completely taken with vintage greeting cards depicting roses in the quirkiest shades of pink, yellow, coral and blue. So taken that I am busy growing a new collection with needle and thread. Stay tuned for Dreamy With a Capital D..."

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Jodie Fried's inspired by...

Bholu's founder Jodie Fried is inspired by...

"I've been travelling a lot lately. Inspiration from people and places never ceases when you travel. I love it. It's Spring here in the northern hemisphere and right now I am so inspired by all things colour. And bright colours too. Everywhere I look I see incredible colours and objects in places where you least expect it. I think it all started when I bought a kooky Spanish painting from a flea market in Austin, Texas, then my friend started obsessively colour coding his bookshelves and a divine blue bird built a nest right outside my window."

Monday, 24 May 2010

An Italian adventure

Well, if all is going to plan I should be in Rome, Italy, right now. I wrote about doing a home exchange here - and, yes, I managed to find not one but three homes in Italy via the Homelink website.

In my absence I have asked some friends - old, new and ones that I'd like to get to know better - to share with you something that they've found inspiring recently.

Enjoy! (And see you in about three weeks' time).

image carla coulson

Friday, 21 May 2010


Another day, another creative partnership. Today it's brought to you by Blacklist Studio. As the couple Nathan and Jaynie say, their project was "entirely inspired by a crazy little thing called love". Here Jaynie shares the rest of their story.

Which five words best describe you? Impulsive, perfectionist, exciteable, interested, thankful.

What was your first career & what path have you taken since? I trained as a Primary School Teacher & have since deviated to working as a stylist & creating Blacklist Prints with my husband Nathan (creative director of Blacklist Studio). It all started when I decided to create a children's fashion label & discovered my favourite part of the process was working on the photo shoots. That led to me landing a gig at SHOP 4 KIDS magazine working as the Market Editor, which I love but have had to take a little break from as we’ve just had our first child 4 weeks ago. I was trying to work out what I could do for the first few months while I’m at home looking after Willow Ever and Blacklist Prints was started & we haven’t looked back.

What's the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? That there’s a lesson in just about everything.

What's your proudest career achievement? Probably that I work with my husband and he still enjoys having me around.

What's been your best decision? To work doing something I love, not work for the love of money.

Who inspires you? Lots of people, but professionally: My husband, Danielle DeGail, Rebecca Caratti, Jonathan Zawada, Max Doyle, Kym Ellery and Maree Homer.

What are you passionate about? Working out ideas that remind people that life and love should be fun, creative and simple.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My grandmothers.

What dream do you still want to fulfill? To renovate and create a little home by the sea and to own a shop.

What are you reading? This is where I leave you by Jonathan Tropper.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

globe's olivia buxton

In the latest issue of real living we have featured the gorgeous cafe Globe. I love it when cafes make an effort with their interiors. I have to say, Melbourne cafes seem to do this better than anywhere else in the country. I thought it would be interesting to learn a little more about one of its owners, Olivia Buxton.

Which five words best describe you?
Impatient, excitable, hopeful, happy, a-little-insane.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? I was a dog walker when I lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I worked for an industrious woman from New Zealand, and my favorite dog was Lucy, a hugely overweight Basset Hound, whom I had to drag out of the house and around the block in the 45C heat. Since then I have worked as a shop girl, ran a nanny agency and worked as a nanny, and now as a café owner/manager.
What’s your proudest achievement? Opening the doors of Globe Café on December 17th, 2008.
What’s been your best decision? To marry my husband, Ben. Although it did not really feel like a decision, more like a cosmic alignment of the stars. It was the most definitive decision I ever made. Who inspires you? Passionate and determined people inspire me. I get inspiration from my barista, watching him obsess over the perfect flat white, from my niece discovering the flowers in her garden, from my father in law who swims in the ocean every single day, no matter the weather. They don’t necessarily inspire me to do the things they do, but more so to live my life with integrity, pay attention to the details, and throw myself into the deep end.
What are you passionate about? Work. Shoes. Husband. Dog. Not in that order.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Things are not always as they seem.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Michelle Obama.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I haven’t dreamt it up yet. What are you reading? Foreign Correspondence by Geraldine Brooks. I cannot get enough of her writing, I thought after reading People of The Book I would never be able to find anything worth reading again. Then I found her other books. Her fierce intelligence, perfectly researched subjects and story-telling makes me want to cry with contentment.

images courtesy of

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

strangetrader's andrea duff and robert schwamberg

Andrea Duff and Robert Schwamberg from Strangetrader are living my dream life. They travel the world looking for great products for their shop and bring them back to Australia. And what is it with Byron Bay? It's become the coolest place in Australia.

Which five words best describe you?
Andrea: Creative, impatient, observant, generous, free-spirit.
Robert: Imaginative, non-conformist, integrity, independent, caring.

What was your first job and what path have you taken since then?
Andrea: Many odd jobs but once I discovered my passion for styling it has allowed me to live and work in London, New York, Sydney and now Byron Bay.
Robert: Hairdressing, an intriguing profession to read people, many a varied and diverse path, and you learn to adapt and incorporate tried and true skills. From Yacht broking to boutique hotels and cattle farming (and a whole bunch inbetween).

What’s your proudest career achievement?Andrea: Starting Strangetrader and seeing it grow and develop.
Robert: Taking a concept from zero to a structured format that can sit up there with the best of them.

What’s been your best decision?
Andrea: Oh, that's difficult... I like the fact that each decision leads to another.
Robert: Your own, know one knows you better than yourself.

Who inspires you?
Andrea: My friends and Robert... all from different backgrounds and all with a different point of view.
Robert: People with personal mettle and who live without wearing blinkers.

What are you passionate about?
Andrea: Being happy.
Robert: Embracing life, it is short and not a dress rehearsal.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt?
Andrea: To let go and not dwell on the past.
Robert: Just do it, Ground Hog Day sucks.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?Andrea: No one individual. I always like to meet interesting and funny people. Maybe Madame de Pompadour.
Robert: My father.

What dream do you still want to fulfil?
Andrea: To learn to sail well in all conditions.
Robert: Sail the world; we are already on the way.

What are you reading?
Andrea: I love reading so I usually have a couple of books on the go at all times... History, English and French... Anything by Vincent Cronin. Biographies from Beirut to Jerusalem. Thomas Freiedman, Ken Follett Pillars of the Earth Series.
Robert: Apart from nautical pilots and almanacs, whatever book Andrea has just finished, at present the third in the Steig Larsson trilogy. The girl who kicked the hornet's nest.

images strangetrader and prue ruscoe

Monday, 17 May 2010

artist simon cavanough

A few weeks ago I met the lovely artist Anna-Wili Highfield at her studio in St Peters (pics here). She shares the space with her husband, Simon Cavanough, also an artist. I was fascinated that the two could work side-by-side, especially as they both create sculptures (albeit quite different ones). When I went to visit their home, it was filled with examples of both their work: different but complementary - kind of like them.

Which five words best describe you? Intrigued, dreamer, inventor, romantic, cranky.
What was your first career job and what path have you taken since? Opera Australia for 13 years (ouch) followed by special effects and models, mostly for TV commercials.
What's the best lesson you've learnt along the way? The drums.
What’s your proudest career achievement? My carreer is in making stuff and I've made a thousands things, but maybe 300 of them have had a bit magic and most of those 300 I can't even remember; there is no mid-week hump.
What’s been your best decision? Having a child.
Who inspires you? Anyone with a mix of keen passion and objective distance.
What are you passionate about? Dynamic soaring (check it out).
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Meaningful conversations are not prescribed.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? My own business.
What are you reading? Not much time for fiction. I love facts and I read about them in magazines and on the web. My work is science and engineering, the magic and the poetry is pulled from the gaps.

images courtesy of simon cavanough

Friday, 14 May 2010

artist elizabeth marruffo

The art gallery Friends Of Leon in Sydney's Surry Hills hasn't been around for long, but it's sure making an impact in terms of its exhibitions. The last one, which I featured here, came via the talents of Jodee Knowles. Well, now it's time to meet another star on the rise - Elizabeth Marruffo. Her exhibition runs until May 30.

Which five words best describe you? Sure, blue, stars, pointy, pale.

What was your first career job and what path have you taken since? The first 'proper' job I had was in interior design. I enjoyed it and it gave me a lot more confidence but I always knew that I needed to finish my art degree and so after traveling for a while that is what I did and things have just been getting more and more exciting and falling into place ever since.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Something about building stuff and then people turning up. Also, to find someone who can make you laugh and laugh and laugh about it all. Also, there really is no shame in going out of style. I'm talking to YOU - Painting!

What’s your proudest career achievement? It will be this solo show coming up at Friends of Leon. I'm especially proud because it has been a real team effort between my partner and myself in terms of figuring out how to balance home time with studio time. It is also great as we get to go to Sydney for our first family airplane adventure.

What was the starting point for this exhibition? After being given this dream-like opportunity by Leon (who has been SO amazing to work with) it began with an exciting purchase of a 10 metre roll of Belgian linen. I stretched up all the works and started with a little nest made out of cactus spines with a baby hummingbird inside.

What’s been your best decision? Definitely to go back to art school. Not only did I find who I wanted to be but I also struck gold and found this incredible person - his name is Campbell Whyte, you might want to check him out.

Who inspires you? Hard-working dreamers who are also part rascals, good mothers, good fathers.

What are you passionate about? Looking after my family.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My dad. Just watched the Bruce Springsteen Live concert again, it never gets old, so I'll have to say him as well.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Career-wise, to enter into the Archibald and personally to live back in Mexico so that my son can learn Spanish properly. And eat Mexican food properly.

What are you reading? Counting with Miffy.

images courtesy of elizabeth marruffo and friends of leon

Thursday, 13 May 2010

interior stylist vanessa colyer tay

There is great camaraderie and good will among people who work in interior magazines. I've only ever worked on an interior title so I'm not sure what other sections of the industry are like, but it never ceases to amaze me how much love there is. I'd be lying if there wasn't a degree of healthy competition when looking at other local mags to see what they produce - both in terms of content and design, but it's always done with respect.

For example, whenever I look at Inside Out I'm always blown away by the work of style editor Vanessa Colyer Tay. She is, without a doubt, one of the best interior stylists in the country. And yet she's so lovely and approachable. And her own story comforts me that you don't always find what you want from life straight off. I'll let her tell you more...

Which five words best describe you? Totally and utterly in love.
How did you get your start and what path have you taken since? I redirected my career path from hairdressing to advertising to interior styling, so the age-old saying third time's a charm is absolutely spot on. After studying at Enmore Design Centre, I took the typical path of a committed, nerdy, eager-to-learn styling pupil. I assisted some great Australian stylists who still inspire me today. One step at a time, I grew into my own. I worked freelance on a number of glossy titles before settling into a full-time styling role at Australian Home Beautiful. Now I reside at Inside Out magazine as its super-busy Style Editor.
What advice would you give to aspiring creatives? Just do it, less thought, less talk, more action.
What's your proudest career achievement? Most stylists will tell you that the end of any big shoot is a very proud moment, I'm no different. I love to bask in beautiful imagery once the chaos is over, but right now I'm quite happy with the cover styling of Inside Out magazine's 10th anniversary issue along with the styling of its 10th birthday party, an event which displayed art pieces for auction by the likes of Akira Isogawa, Kate Sylvester, David Bromley, Jason Benjamin and a whole swag of other talent. The night boasted oversized colourful dahlias, bright whimsical wire-furniture by Patricia Urquiola and an enchanting hanging garden.
What has been your best decision? To explore, to be open, to scrap poor ideas (that I thought were good) to make way for great ones.
Who inspires you? My beautiful husband for his ease at being happy, my dad for his incredible working pow wow, my 5-year old burmilla for her adaptability, stylists, artists, creatives, people who suffer for their art but do it anyway, and of course, my mum.
What are you passionate about? Creating, relaxing, being calm among chaos, mental expansion, skill development, delivering good work, pretty pictures, nature, the beauty in
our everyday and the quirkiness in what some call ugly.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Can I add an s please?! I have stacks of dreams, big and small, each one is worth conquering, no matter the size. Some are: motherhood, the Kokoda trail, styling projects for my favourite overseas publications, eternal happiness, rock climbing in Thailand.
What are you reading? Looking at the large stack of books on my living room floor, the top three are: Around Fog Linen (a little book/zine spun from the catalogue of Fog Linen, a very beautiful Lithuanian linen company based in Japan). It houses a bunch of creative people profiles and shows pictures of Fog Linen product in various creative people's homes around the world.
Design as Art by Bruno Munari and Marcel Breuer: Design and Architecture. Below these three titles are more design, art, and tree books, ­ some read thoroughly, some merely grazed over, and some have rarely been opened but they have great spines.

images courtesy of vanessa colyer tay and inside out

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

photographer sharyn cairns

There are only a handful of photographers that Australian interior magazines use over and over again for shoots in Melbourne. Sharyn Cairns is one of them. And while she is prolific with her shots of interiors, Sharyn is also a leading food and travel photographer. In fact, she's working on a couple of cookbooks.

Which five words best describe you? Creative, passionate, easy going, energetic and loyal.

What was your first career job and what path have you taken since? I wasn't a person who grew up with a camera in my hands. I originally thought I wanted to study architecture or interior design. But after being exposed to photography in my later school years I knew this was the perfect career for me. After completing a photography degree at RMIT I assisted many varied and wonderful photographers before going out on my own.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Don't take anything for granted, enjoy every moment, it could change in a second.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Each stage in your career has moments that you are very excited and proud of. From your first published piece to your first overseas travel story, the highlights keep growing and I'm grateful that I can do this as my career.

What’s been your best decision? To follow my passion for photography, it really has given me a wonderful life.

Who inspires you? So many other creative people: photographers, film makers, artists and then personally family, friends and elite athletes.

What are you passionate about? Definitely photography, creating beautiful images that evoke an emotion is a huge passion... also travel, food and running.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Annie Leibovitz.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? There are so many, to produce a magazine, to be involved in a film, to master a language, to run a marathon, to travel more... and to have a work life balance!

What are you reading? Dean Karnazes: 50 Marathons 50 days... no I'm not going to attempt this, I'll just stick to my 1/2 marathons for now!

images courtesy of sharyn cairns

Monday, 10 May 2010

the country trader's geoff clark

A few years ago I lived on Glenmore Road in Sydney's Paddington. One of the treats of living there was being so close to The Country Trader. I was most upset when the owner Geoff Clark moved his beautiful antiques emporium to Waterloo, and I have to admit I wondered if he had made the right decision. Well, turns out he was completely right. And if you've never visited his showroom then you must. It's perhaps the biggest public showcase of antiques in Sydney.

Which five words best describe you? Introverted, passionate, visual, thinker, creative.
What was your first career job and what path have you taken since? Architecture, building and construction, design, then The Country Trader.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Believe and follow your gut feeling, if it ends up to be a mistake, confront it, learn and take something from it. Then the odds will then always be in your favour.
What’s your proudest career achievement? My business, its reputation, longievity and unique position in the design market.
What’s been your best decision? To move The Country Trader from Paddington to the buzz of Danks St, Waterloo.
Who inspires you? Jean Nouvel, the French architect, and Axel Vervoordt, interior designer and antique dealer.
What are you passionate about? Entertaining, socialising, friends and my two dogs on the private side. In business, continually creating and delivering something new in the world of interiors and events.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Jonny Depp: such a chameleon.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To live for a time in France.
What are you reading? The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ by Phillip Pullman.

images courtesy of the country trader


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