January 29, 2009

changes are afoot

LinkI will be posting sporadically in the next month, as some exciting things are happening here. I thought I'd leave you with this image of bouts that I took for Bouquets of Austin this past summer.

It finally looks like our New Zealand house will proceed to closing on Feb. 12th. Which means that there is absolutely a million things to do to get ourselves and our 2 cats back to Austin. Hopefully we'll be able to enjoy a few more weeks of beautiful Auckland weather - sunny beaches, cool evenings, and good waves. Going through all our stuff today, I had a moment of sadness, as we'll be leaving almost everything we brought with us here. But life isn't about things, and hey, there's an Ikea in Austin!

I can't wait to see everyone in Texas. Contrary to popular sayings, maybe you can go home again.

January 26, 2009

new zealand: native agent

Our friends Erin and Paul (of Rosehip Flora and The Decoder Ring Design Concern fame) are visiting New Zealand this summer along with their precious bubba June. What better excuse to hit the shops and have a little retail therapy? We visited Kingsland, an artsy Auckland neighborhood, home to Royal Jewellery, Mixt retro furniture and Native Agent. Lindsay Mace, Native Agent's business manager, was kind enough to chat with us while finishing her sandwich... Here are some of the amazing products they stock by local artists, which can be purchased by contacting Native Agent.

'Nautilus' flatpack lights by Rebecca Asquith.

Traditional kete with shells by Clare Gemmell.

Luscious stack of Miranda Brown hand-dyed wool pillows - wow it was hard to resist these!

Interactive, changeable shelf by Hold.

Daybed/sofa frame by Bob McDonald, cushion embellishment designed by Rona at Native Agent.

January 22, 2009

new zealand: bloom saloon

For the past year I've been working in a small town an hour north of Auckland called Matakana. It's a place full of new energy and buildings, fresh talent mixed with traditional Slow Town ethics. There's a Farmer's Market (read this article about it in the NYTimes) every Saturday morning, a wonderful gallery called Piece, a spectacular cinema, and a light-filled florist shop called Bloom Saloon (images of Lucy and her shop here). Lucy Rowsell, the owner of Bloom Saloon, was kind enough to answer some questions for me, and share a few images of her work. Thanks Lucy!

"The best part of owning my own shop is the creative control that I
have. I love liaising with my clients and coming up with individual
arrangements for their needs. I really enjoy interior 'decorating' the
shop space with flowers, packing it full of colour and vibrancy."

"Right now with it being summer in New Zealand I love the blue flowers
that are around like gentian (below) and hydrangeas. I use a lot of ruscus for its colour and how long it lasts; it is such great filler in both
bouquets and arrangements. I am also enjoying likopodium for its shape
and tension and also camellia foliage for its classic beauty."

"As far as new trends in wedding flowers I see many brides taking a
simpler and therefore cheaper approach to their flowers by perhaps not
ordering as many as they would have in the past. I see brides going for bold colours, natural themes using native plants, simplicity in shapes
and styles."

"On my day off I usually end up doing some office work from home but
once that's done I like to go to the beach and go to my Kung Fu class. I
try to really 'get away' from work but that can be hard when you have
your own business especially during summer when there is a lot of
wedding work to prepare."

January 21, 2009

behind the scenes at martha 2

Now you can see behind the scenes at MSO HQ here. Cool. (Via good long while.)

January 20, 2009

jewelry: jennifer maestre

I'm loving the work of Jennifer Maestre - she creates fantastical sculptures and jewelry from art pencils. Go to her website and etsy pages for more. (Via Modish)

January 18, 2009

new york designer: fleurs

Today I'm happy to share the delightful work of Jessica Wolvek of Fleurs, and I'm sure you'll agree, the girl is seriously talented. And so very nice! From the simplest bouquet to the biggest arrangement, it's obvious that Jessica loves turning flowers into works of art. See her blog for more inspiring images.

January 15, 2009

the greenhouse by joost

This amazing pop-up event venue and cafe, called 'The Greenhouse by Joost', is a temporary but salient reminder of what can be done with waste. The structure was created on site in 14 days, from hay bales and deconstructed shipping containers. For a short time you can sit on chairs made from used street signs, and eat food grown locally in Joost's family's greenhouses, then the whole thing will be hauled over to the Milan Furniture Fair. I really wish I lived in Melbourne. Or that Joost was single. Or both. (For the record, I am a happily married woman.)

From Vogue Living Australia (jan/Feb 09). I apologize for the general crappiness of these images. No scanner, only digital camera - that's no excuse though.

January 14, 2009

the house that joost built

I was so excited to see inside Joost Bakker's home in the recent Vogue Living Australia (Jan/Feb 09). Joost is a multi-talented Dutch floral designer and all-around interesting dude based in Melbourne, who puts into practice all kinds of environmental ideas. His house is ringed with terracotta pots, ready to be planted with edibles like strawberries and herbs, or succulents. The lights made from rusted chrysanthemum guide wire are one of my favorite touches (above). Joost's home is mainly constructed of straw bales and recycled concrete blocks. As he puts it, "my whole life has been about using the stuff that people throw away."

Tomorrow I'll post the article about his most recent project, 'The Greenhouse by Joost', a "self-sustaining, fully recyclable, pop-up event venue made entirely from detritus".

January 13, 2009

textiles: uniform studio

My fondness for gray is showing this week. Here's another beautiful thing to wear... go to her big cartel page to see more architecturally-inspired wardrobe staples by uniform studio. There's even a discount - go here to find out details.

I've followed uniform studio journal for a year, and it's been very interesting to watch the development of a small clothing line from the inside. I love seeing the process by which other creative people conjure things out of the ether. Like my new favorite TV show here - Dryspell Gardening. Is it shown in the US? Anyway, I digress. All of uniform studio's items are handmade and lovely.

January 12, 2009

jewelry: megan auman

I've been a reader of Megan Auman's blog for a while now, and I'm a huge fan of her jewelry. Looks like she's discontinuing her fine silver on steel range, so get it while you can on her etsy page.

January 11, 2009

textiles: robert le héros

I think I've had blogging block. Sure, I've been reading other people's inspired entries, but alas, have been lazy with my own. Although I've had good reason - it's the height of summer here in New Zealand, and everyone is out at the beach. This last weekend my sweetie and I celebrated both our birthdays at this idyllic spot for 2 days, also taking in a Donovan Frankenreiter concert. But now it's back to the real world.

I splurged a bit on a cosmetics bag and an ipod bag for myself this holiday season. I just couldn't resist the coated natural linen bags by Robert le héros that came into the shop where I work (I bought the ones in the bottom image). The whole line is durable and funky, and I just love the floral patterns - looks great as pillows and curtains, too. If you live in New Zealand you can purchase here, in the US try here.

Top 4 images from here.

January 6, 2009

a whole new year

This image by Gemma Comas (be sure to visit her blog to see more) sums up the feeling I have for the remaining 360 days in so many ways. It is handmade and rustic, but at the same time eloquent and sophisticated. It is poetic and yet grounded in the mundanity of everyday things. In the past year I've had a checkered relationship with hope, but largely due to an incredibly supportive group of friends and family I can see nothing but good things on the horizon. Thank you.

Business-wise, I've been struggling to reconcile the airy ambitions that float through my head most days, and the reality of what I can actually control and accomplish. There are some wonderful ideas and changes that I hope to share with you this year as they come to fruition, and I can't wait to witness yours. Let 2009 be a year of which we can all be proud.