Friday, 11 July 2014

All Washed Up

I love all things Celtic.
I am fascinated by the Dark Ages and the traditions of pre-Roman Britain.
My Dad's side of the family are descendants of the clan Buchanan, and I was once told that in a past life I was a highland warrior :)
I went to art school in Cornwall, where I lived happily for a few years... until I found New Zealand!
And I love being near the water.

Which may be why I am so attracted to the work of Scottish artist, 
Kelly Munro.
She works out of a studio in Edinburgh, creating gorgeous pieces using silver and drift wood. 

Drifted Pendant
 Her jewellery is inspired by lobster pots, fishing nets and other fishing related items, that are sometimes washed up on shore.
Drifted Brooch
Not only is Kelly skilled at intricate saw piercing, she also uses pyrography to add detail and pattern to the wood.
Open Creel Brooch
I love how Kelly uses colour to add contrast to the raw materials she chooses to use, and enhances their connection to the aquatic theme.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Shameless Self Promotion

I've been a busy bee the last couple of months -
practising yoga, 
enjoying Wellington On A Plate food festival,
holidaying in Samoa :)
... and making jewellery!

So I thought I would do a little showcase, 
to see whether anyone would be interested in commissioning me
to make something beautiful for them.

Aquamarine stone set on texturised silver pendant

Cast silver ring

Labradorite stone set in silver ring

Circle silver chain necklace has not quite been built yet, 
so for more info please contact me or leave a comment.

Remember, Christmas isn't too far away :)

Monday, 29 July 2013

Drop Your Drawers...

... and get these instead!
Zoe Murphy for Liberty of London

I love these pieces of furniture by British designer Zoe Murphy.
By upcycling retro drawers and cabinets with thoughtful colours and intricate patterns, she has created something contemporary and fun.

I reckon this 1950's style vibe lends itself perfectly to a Kiwiana/Wellington hipster interior - just add some pink fringed lampshades and a beige velour sofa and you're set.

Strangely enough Zoe studied at the same place as me - Loughborough University, which is even more impressive because that little Midlands town is far from inspiring!

Anyway, if you're in the UK you can find Zoe Murphy's pieces at Tent London during September 
or at Liberty.

For those of us on the other side of the world, we'll just have to make do with drooling over her website -

Monday, 17 June 2013

Oh My Cloche!

Once again I am taken back to my school days,
and this time it's to Mrs. Campbell's English Literature class.
Surprisingly, being forced to study F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, for my A Level did not make me despise it! 
I think the key was the whimsical depiction of the opulence and glamour of the Jazz Age, that captured my imagination.

The whirlwind of publicity for the remake of The Great Gatsby movie has swept through Wellywood, and inspired many in terms of style.
With the onset of Wellington's famous winter wind and rain, these cloche style hats are perfect. They will keep the raindrops off my new short hairdo, and much less likely to blow away in that wind!

Cloche with Pleats - Maggie Mobray Millinery
I found this beautiful hat on Etsy, courtesy of Maggie Mobray
- stunning.
Another modern twist on the cloche - geometric angles at the nape...

Geometric Cloche Hat - LisaLuFashion
Check out for more hats of the cloche variety.
My advice - avoid any with flowers attached... this can look dated and frumpy. Stick to the clean and simple designs!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mild Red, En Zed

I stumbled upon this label whilst shopping for something to wear to a New Year's dinner party... Lucky for me!
MILD-RED is an NZ designed and made fashion label, which has been created to layer, reverse, drape and play with.
Bouquet Jacket & Shut The Gate Dress
 Reminiscent of All Saints clothing in the UK, Donna Tulloch (designer & director) has gone a step further. 
You are encouraged to wear pieces back to front, upside down and inside out! You get to be part of the creative process.
Colours tend to be muted, but luxurious - which I love - and this means they are easily mixed and matched.
So Pure So Black Dress
 Now that Wellywood has reached its winter season, there is nothing I enjoy more than layering on merino wool, jersey and leather. The texturised leather is bold, but can be dressed down, and I love a nice hood :)
Paradox Waistcoat, Shut The Gate Dress & Live Wire Hooded Jumper
MILD-RED can be found in Maggie Potter, on Willis Street 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Mirror Me This

After reminiscing about my uni days as a design student, I started looking through the lists of people who have shown at the New Designers exhibition in London, hoping to recapture the inspiration I had once felt when walking through this maze of creativity.
Each year all the finalist students from universities around the UK, come together at this event to show their skill and potential to the "real" world, and it seems many of them have now made a name for themselves.

In 1990, two guys from Glasgow School of Art got together and founded Timorous Beaties - but their designs are anything but timid! 
They have come a long way since their exhibition at New Designers, producing limited edition ranges for John Lewis and Liberty of London.

This ink blot inspired wallpaper is amazingly textural, and the blood red colour creates a moody yet sumptuous feel.

Euro Damask Hand Print

And again, with slightly softer, more ethereal colours creating an hypnotic, dream-like pattern.

Chic Blotch
I would love to see these on a large scale wall - great impact.

This ink blot/mirror pattern is rampant and reproducing! You can see it everywhere now, especially in womenswear. When done right it can look like a piece of art, but when done wrong it will resemble a bad Hawaiian shirt.

This dress has struck the right balance of florals and mirror print...
Karen Millen Pansy Print Dress
By keeping the colour palette limited, it becomes striking and elegant.

So many interesting shapes can be created by mirroring one simple image - the possibilities are endless! 

You can see more designs by Timorous Beasties here...

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

I Heart Linhardt

After a 3 month sabbatical from the blogosphere, I am back!
Having gone through some personal struggles, I am ready to build myself back up, bringing into focus my true passions and dreams.

It is so easy to get caught up in the mundane - but luckily there are those  people/places/things that can spark excitement, and reignite that desire you forgot you once had.

And that's exactly how Lisa Linhardt's ring designs have helped me...

The simplicity and sculptural elegance of these designs make me want to start  creating again!

This design incorporates a technique called Mokume-Gane, which originated in Japan about 300 years ago. Beautiful.

At once I am transported back to a University tutorial with the brilliant silversmith Alistair McCallum, who is the leading practitioner in Mokume in the UK. He created this exquisite piece below...

Layer upon layer of different metals that have been soldered, sandwiched and milled together. Then drilled, filed and hammered to create this stunning pattern. It is truly a labour of love.

So if you would like a little piece of love to wear, you can browse Lisa Linhardt's creations at