Posts filed under ‘Inspiration’

Happy holidays

Wishing you all a very happy and safe festive break – however you celebrate! Thank you so much for your support in 2015! It’s been a big year and we all need to put our feet up!

I’ll be taking a break from the blog for a few weeks, but I’m sure I’ll still pop the odd photo up on Instagram – you can find me under the handle ‘‘.

xmas card2


December 25, 2015 at 8:54 am Leave a comment

A room of unimagined treasures

With Christmas and the next GOMA market fast approaching, I’ve been looking for some inspiration for a couple of new cushion designs to add to my menagerie. It got me thinking of how varied my tastes have become when it comes to textiles…

While I like the idea of nice, neat matching cushions, I’m also a big fan of lots of mismatched soft furnishings with the theme of abundance – especially when it comes to colour! This reminded me of one of my favourite artists and his approach, which appeals to the hoarder in me.

British artist Mark Hearld’s most recent exhibition was influenced by a short story called The Lumber Room, by Saki, which was read to him in an English class when he was 15. As Mark explains:

“Since I heard Saki’s story I have always been intrigued by the idea of a locked room that contained treasures so wonderful they are beyond what your mind can imagine. In this exhibition I wanted to create the sense of excitement and wonder that you get when you discover the key to the room and see the ‘forbidden’ objects for the first time.”

Food for thought…

Mark Hearld artwork

October 27, 2015 at 8:06 am Leave a comment

African safari inspiration

Still plugging away at my new African Safari postage stamp cushion series… and now I’m up to the elephant! The challenge is capturing those enormous ears – and the enormous size of these amazing animals – while still making him look friendly. Stay tuned…

Elephant postage stamp

May 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

Even more Japanese embroidery inspiration

I’ve been meaning to take some pictures of this lovely Japanese embroidery book to show you for a while. Nothing like the holidays for taking stock and remembering all those things that didn’t quite make it to the to-do list…

Atsumi Japanese embroidery book

This book doesn’t have a particular theme, but there’s a lot of beautiful satin stitch and detailed close-up photos, along with outline drawings for all the works.

Atsumi Japanese embroidery book

Plenty of inspiration – I always love anatomical hearts!

Atsumi Japanese embroidery book

And there are also heaps of examples of creative lettering, like this one. Very pretty!

Atsumi Japanese embroidery book

January 6, 2015 at 7:11 am Leave a comment

Best of 2014

Oh my, didn’t this year go by quickly?! I’ve been taking some time out this week to reflect on what was an incredibly productive year and remembering a few of my favourite things…

Top 10 fabric finds

1. Boomerang beat barkcloth in black

Boomerang beat fabric in black

2. Orange kisu barkcloth

3. Abstract flowers barkcloth

4. Polar bears linen

5. Japanese ovals cotton

6. Boomerang beat barkcloth in pink

7. Kokka blue flowers linen

8. Pink birds barkcloth

9. Boomerang barkcloth in bronze

10. Tiki barkcloth


Top 5 vintage sewing patterns

Here are my favourites from Saturday Special this year.

1. Vogue 7229 – I had been stalking this pattern for a while and finally came across a copy! It’s very Agent 99 (from Maxwell Smart)!

Vogue 7229 vintage sewing pattern

2. Simplicity 3927

3. Simplicity 4609

4. Simplicity 4083

5. Simplicity 8119


Top 5 most popular cushions

1. Vintage boomerangs barkcloth in yellow cushion – so glad I decided to back this one in yellow – it’s such a happy colour!

Vintage boomerang barkcloth cushions

2. Japanese cherry blossoms stamp cushion

3. Guitars and boomerangs barkcloth cushion

4. Canadian moose stamp cushion

5. Pin-up cowboys cushion


Top 5 albums

My favourite 2015 releases to sew to.

1. First Aid Kit – Stay Gold – these Swedish sisters carved a path to my heart pretty quickly!

2. Interpol – El Pintor – this one turned out to be a grower (and how could you go past a song about cruising in an Oldsmobile?).

3. Dum Dum Girls – Too True – sometimes you need a little bit of 80s-style pop.

4. Rob Snarski – Wounded Bird – the perfect Sunday afternoon record from the Blackeyed Susans’ songwriting maestro.

5. The Roots – …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin – yep, I sew on Saturday nights too!


Thanks for all your support in 2014. I hope your 2015 is everything you’d like it to be!

December 31, 2014 at 7:14 am Leave a comment

Creating a haven

If you’re looking for some interior decorating inspiration, the lovely Maree OShea of Interior Balance will be holding a seminar this Thursday 24 July from 5.30pm at the Build and Design Centre at South Brisbane. Maree’s approach is special because she not only focuses on the physical aspects of a home, but also the personal and social ones, to make them liveable for everyone regardless of age, family needs or changes a person may experience during their lifetime.

Maree will be discussing how to apply simple universal design and decorating principles, and in particular the process of selecting colours, furnishings and decor for a newly constructed home in Mount Gravatt East which she’s dubbed her ‘Creating a haven for the newlyweds’ project. To register, email or visit the Build and Design Centre website.

Yes, that’s a couple of pairs of my vintage boomerang barkcloth cushions adorning a very large, spotless lounge suite!

Maree OShea interior decorating

And here’s the bedroom – cool, calm colours and lots of clear space.

Maree OShea interior decorating

July 21, 2014 at 7:35 am 2 comments

Small pleasures

We know it’s winter when this wattle tree flowers. And right on cue, after the westerly winds blew every last remnant of cloud away to leave a perfectly blue sky, out popped these beautiful flowers – like a sprinkling of bright yellow French knots on blue linen!

Walking past this tree in full bloom on my way to work each day is one of the small pleasures in life… Aside from being an indelibly Australian image, it only happens once a year and this tree only flowers for a couple of weeks, so I make sure I take the time to stop and breathe in the heavy scent while it lasts.

Wattle tree in bloom


June 16, 2014 at 7:22 am 1 comment

A day at the gallery: part 2

After a spot of morning tea, Mr A and I went back into the Queensland Art Gallery to see the Yirrkala Drawings exhibition, which I think I enjoyed more than any show I’ve seen in a long time. It was moving, inspirational, evocative and very easy on the eye.

The story behind it is that in 1947 Indigenous elders from the Yirrkala community in north-east Arnhem Land produced hundreds of vibrant lumber crayon drawings on brown butcher’s paper for the anthropologists Ronald and Catherine Berndt. This exhibition presents 81 drawings out of about 360 that were produced and the colour palette is extraordinary: in brilliant red, blue, yellow, green and black, they depict Yolgnu culture and life. The photo below shows a spread from the exhibition catalogue that’s indicative of the works – the one on the left is by Bangaliwuy Marrawungu and titled ‘Shooting Star Site at Dhuwalkitj’.

I know I see the world through the prism of fabric, but there were so many that I could see reproduced as quilts – I think they would be spectacular!

Yirrkala catalogue

May 8, 2014 at 9:25 pm 1 comment

New horizons

I’ve been on the hunt for new inspiration on the stamp cushion front… and it’s taken me to a new continent. Look out for some fun critters coming your way soon.

Red vintage globe

April 2, 2014 at 10:36 am 2 comments

Cover to cover

When Mr A and I were in Melbourne in January – it seems like ages ago now – we paid a visit to one of our favourite bookstores, Metropolis, and this is one of the special books that came home with us. It’s exactly as described: a miscellany of terms used to quantify groups of things. It’s the kind of book that I would have read from cover to cover as a child!

Compendium of Collective Nouns book

As you can see, it’s going to be a great source of inspiration and is already collecting a few post-it notes for a new series of woodcuts Mr A is planning. Me? I just want to make a circus of puffin cushions!

Compendium of Collective Nouns book

February 25, 2014 at 10:39 am Leave a comment

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