Friday, December 19, 2014

{ Colour of the Week }

We bought our first home at the end of last year, so this is the first time I have had my own garden and been able to plant what I please. I planted some cornflower seedlings a few months back, and was excited to see the first vibrant blue flowers opening last week. The colour, set against the silvery green of their leaves, is simply stunning. 

Carina x

Thursday, December 18, 2014

{ For the Love of It }

On my recent trip to India (you can see my related posts here and here), I spent a few days in the town of Nawalgarh, three hours drive north-east of Jaipur. I wanted a taste of the Rajasthani countryside and had heard of a gorgeous little eco-lodge who offer workshops which utilise the skills of local artisans, thus helping to keep the local traditions alive in a time of rapid change. 

The place was stunning, with a private organic vege garden out the back, hand-painted traditional decorations on the mud brick walls, bursts of pink bougainvillaea overhead and marigolds embellishing everything from Ganesh statues to holes in the walls – I thought I was in heaven when I walked in on the first day!

One of the workshops I wanted to do was learning how to make bandhani or tie-dyed shawls. I've always loved this fabric and was excited to learn more about it from the source!

The pattern was created by first folding the cloth into quarters, and then tying or wrapping thread very tightly around small pinches of fabric in a pre-planned pattern. We then set about the process of building an open fire in the sand out by the vege garden and boiling up our dye. The cloth can be dyed in potentially several different colours to get various effects, and the result is the most beautiful patterns made up of hundreds of tiny circles – depending on how adept you are at the technique, that is! That's my red one in the bottom right picture and you can see I didn't make as many ties as the professionals do.

To un-do the ties we simply stood holding either end of the folded fabric and pulled in opposite directions to pop the ties off! Amazing! I had always wondered how on earth they cut all those millions of tightly wrapped little threads off!

What a lovely afternoon; I can't wait to try making bandhani now that I'm back home...

~ Amy

Monday, December 15, 2014

{ This Week in the Office }

This week, we have been discussing how to add texture to some cushion designs we are working on, and thought that appliqué or embroidery would be a nice way to achieve this. I think embroidery is often seen as being 'un-cool' and 'grandma-ish', but these pieces by Takashi Iwasaki are the complete opposite - the abstract subject matter and colour palette make it fresh and contemporary. I am excited to see more.

Carina x

Friday, December 12, 2014

{ Inspired By }

We Make Carpets is a trio from the Netherlands, who create stunning installations out of everyday things – in the form of carpets. Construction materials have included bottles, pasta, clothes pegs, forks, pinecones, fireworks, bricks and straws. The work is painstaking, intuitive and collaborative – and the final results are gorgeous!

"We want people to take a fresh look at those [everyday] products. We want them to become aware of their beauty. You don’t buy a paperclip because it’s beautiful – but it is."

Do take a look at more of their work – there's a lot to trawl through and it's delightful.

~ Amy

Thursday, December 11, 2014


When dust jackets were cool...

Another inspirational mid-century illustrator, Alvin Lustig.