DIY

Rainy day activity

02.03.15

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If I’m ever at a loss on what to do at home with Sunday, I’ll get out her paints. A rainy day playdate with her little friend Mimi was the perfect excuse to try out the two painting packs that recently arrived from Blank Canvas Gifts. The brand cleverly combines 100% cotton ‘canvases’ (things like pure white cushions, painting smocks, sunhats, party dresses, library bags, pencil cases, shoes and t-shirts) with non-toxic fabric paints and markers, packaged in a reusable calico bag with a gift tag…making it a perfect gift idea for a little artist, or buying multiple packs would be ideal for a kid’s birthday party concept.

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Sunday and Mimi were entertained for close to an hour as they turned the t-shirt and cushion in to little works of art – and now the cushion is taking pride of place on the sofa (under Sunday’s instructions).

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I hope you all had a great weekend,

Briar x

 

Chatting to Sarah + Brooke

03.02.15

As part of my new series that interviews lovely and creative people, I’m chatting to Sarah Thornton and Brooke Johnston – the clever duo who came up with The Finder Keepers Markets back in 2008 after feeling frustrated with not being able to find a suitable market to sell their wares. Their aim was to bridge the gap between local weekly style markets and trade fairs, and bridge they did! The result (which keeps growing every year) is an epic design and art market that you’ll find in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne on selected dates through out the year.

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1. Tell us a little about your backgrounds – what was your first job and what path led you starting up the markets?
Brooke:
Sarah and I both come from creative backgrounds. Sarah has worked for various fashion labels, while I spent several years studying jewellery design whilst working in retail. The conversation of starting the market concept started early in 2006 after my frustration and struggle to get my jewellery label off the ground. We found at the time that there was no suitable platform to sell handmade design and the weekend markets weren’t an inspiring environment. We were constantly competing with bric-a-brac and imported goods. We had the idea of creating the markets into more of an event, a place that people could not only shop for well designed hand crafted goods, but also come together as a creative community.

2. Can you tell us some resources (website/books etc)  that inspire you and influences your work?
Brooke:
Some sources for us are blogs, books, magazines and Pinterest, but I would have to say our biggest inspirations are the designers who attend our events, they are constantly pushing the boundaries and coming up with new innovative well thought out products.

Sarah:
We are constantly absorbing ourselves in the creative worlds around us, whether they are local Australian designers or artists from around the world. I love following creative people on blogs, Instagram & Pinterest. These days you can get so much inspiration on the go. It also helps us keep up to date and informed of design trends, brands or new skills/techniques, and that is important when curating the markets.

3. What does a typical day in the office for you both usually involve?
Sarah:
There is no real structured business environment behind The Finders Keepers as such, we are all creative designers that have other small businesses or hobbies too and we all work remotely from Sydney, Bowral, Byron Bay & Melbourne!

As our work varies in the lead up to each event we don’t have a typical office day, our work is more seasonal based on our events. We are just about to start kicking off applications for our Winter 2015 events, and that involves going through many applications together and then we start curating the line-ups for each city. A lot of creative planning and admin work goes into our events. Event planning can be very diverse from day to day.  Our blog, newsletter and social media content is much more consistent though. We have new content weekly and our peak periods are around our bi-annual events.

4. Can you share some brands/labels that ‘you discovered’ by starting out (small) at the Finders Keepers markets?
Brooke:
So many talented designers have launched at the markets, too many to name! We have a debut section at our events for designers who are just launching into the design market scene. These sponsored stalls are for first time designers only, giving them a chance to. Some of the most memorable labels to start out at Finders Keepers are designers like Emily Green and TMOD who have now gone onto create small empires!

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5. What’s a dream you would like to see come to reality?
Brooke:
We would love to see Finders Keepers in every capital city and even international one day, there are so many cities we would love to explore and it would be amazing to watch our creative community grow. Introducing people to the world of independent design & supporting emerging creatives is what keeps us going.

6. What are you both reading?
Brooke:
To be honest at the moment we don’t really have time to read, we both have small babies so reading is a thing of the past, multi-tasking has a whole new meaning! That said, somehow I always manage to flick through a great design magazine…

Sarah:

I try to keep up a bit of inspirational reading these days. I am not a fiction reader (not really my thing), and I try and ditch the TV in favour of reading or keep iBooks on my phone to read (great while breast feeding!) Some favourites lately have been #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso and Daring & Disruptive by Lisa Messenger. Highly recommend.

7. Where would we find you on a typical Sunday morning?
Brooke:
A dream Sunday morning would definitely involve a yummy breakfast  & a chance to flick through one of the magazines mentioned above! This would be followed by a mosey through a great vintage store – ideally somewhere off the beaten track.

Sarah:
Ahh a typical Sunday morning use to be something completely different for me! The idea of a breakfast at a cafe is a dream at the moment. We have 2 young kids – an almost ‘Threenager’ and a 5 month old which means NO sleep-ins, its usually a 6am start for us, so we opt for a homemade breakfast and we usually end up with a play in the park, or out for a swim.

8. What are you looking forward to?
Brooke:
Seeing where our 2015 events take us! Hopefully some chances to travel, finding great new designers & getting inspired by new trends.

Sarah:
As Brooke mentioned, this year is full of new things and exciting changes! 2014 was a very challenging year for us, both in business and personally. We’re looking forward to ‘growing up Finders Keepers’ in lots of ways and seeing its growth in new directions as well as making sure to have a heap of fun a long the way!

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Thanks for your time ladies! Check out the dates for the upcoming event dates in three states here.

Briar x

Photos courtesy of Beck Taylor and Dave Kan.

CHATTING TO HEIDI

05.01.15

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In all the time I’ve been blogging, I’ve never published an interview on here. I’ve decided that 2015 will be the year that you’ll find a few popping up. My aim is to share some words and pictures from creatives that inspire me, and in turn, inspire you. Party decoration master Heidi Moore-Gill from The Bespokery has been blowing me away with her creations for the past few years (just check out her website for the amazing wedding + corporate events she designs and decorates). It was certainly happy mail that arrived towards the end of last year with a beautiful hand-bound book especially made by Heidi for Sunday. As well as asking Heidi to explain how the mysterious but lovely notebook came about, I asked her a few extra questions, which she very kindly answered (and I am now positively desperate to visit the shop in San Francisco she mentions) :

Tell me about where you were/what you were doing when you made the gorgeous book for Sunday?  
I spent 4 inspiring days with Wendy Addison and a group of like minded creatives in a really special place called Porta Costa in California. We stayed in an old bordello, in the gold mining town about 40 minutes north of San Francisco.  At that time of the year, the hills are covered in golden grasses, the famous fog is gone and the sun shines the most. We met daily in the courtyard between old buildings, garlanded with marquee lights at night, and learnt to letterpress, to work with wax and flowers,  to make crowns,  to make paper theatre  &  bind books*. Molly and Kaari Meng set up an outdoor shibori dying area in the woods up on the hill, which remained alive all weekend so we could come and go and dip and dye all day and night. Marcia from Tinsel Trading in New York brought trunks of antique bullion, trims, paper, tickets, flowers, and ephemera for us to use and purchase in our work. Lisa Salazar lovingly made us the most amazing lunches and dinners,  using the local Californian produce, and we ate in Wendy’s beautiful rambling garden, drank exquisite local prosecco in her kitchen and watched her puppet theatres in awe. I met a brilliant and beautiful group of friends at the retreat, and we laughed and crafted and helped each other over the days…Aided by beautiful wines from Sonoma that we drank from paper cups in the courtyard.

(*I discovered some 50’s wrapping paper that reminded me of Briar, and that began Sunny’s book.. While I was looking  through Wendy’s antique papers I found sheet music, old cover pages and notes.  “Sunday” themed papers and pieces kept presenting themselves to me while I rummaged and to be honest, I thought that very few people would ‘get’ the beauty and thought but Briar would and I do adore their little Sunny from afar.)

What’s been a career highlight so far?
I really enjoyed doing the POP to Popism launch, at the AGNSW – it was amazing! It also felt very special being photographed for Australian Vogue and I loved being profiled on The Grace Tales. Julie Adams is a wonderful portrait photographer.  

What’s your favourite restaurant?  
There is a tiny little place perched on the edge of a limestone edge in a hill town in the Luberon, France.

What’s your favourite shop?     
Bell’Occhio in San Francisco, my friend Maybelle took me there when I was in California. The most exquisite ideas and execution, every single detail is beautifully finished and wrapped and made, down to the owners finest handwritten shop dockets.

What are you reading?  
Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please! and Monocle’s Guide to Good Business.

What are you looking forward to? 
Riding my bike for hours and getting fit again!

Photos from her time in Posta Corta below are by Rachel Stanich:

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Thanks for your time Heidi, you are the definition of a natural talent.

Briar x

Clay Gift Tags

19.12.14

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I’ve been completing a night class pottery course with the Mosman Community College recently, so I decided to use clay for my gift wrapping efforts for Christmas this year. I’m going to pursue pottery for a second term in 2015, as I find it so therapeutic and something that I can really ‘zone out’ from.

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The tags were helped along by a few modern cookie cutters I purchased from Printmeneer on Etsy, and the very handy decorative chalk paint from Annie Sloan – the paint goes on to pretty much anything! I added a bit of Christmas bling with some gold glitter spray paint, and then tied the tags to gifts that have been wrapped with brown paper that Sunday (and I) painted.

If you don’t have access to a kiln, air dry clay is incredible handy – just make sure you leave it for a solid few days to dry properly. Now I’d better get started on the next mountain of presents that need wrapping. You really notice you’ve got a big family around Christmas time, that’s for sure!

Briar x

Gifts from Sunday

16.12.14

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Every year at Christmas time, I like to include a few gifts under the tree that are either homemade or have sentimental meaning. As I’m a fan of crafting, the homemade part is never a chore – and a gift with meaning for people like my parents is pretty easy now that there are grandkids in the family.

It was with perfect timing that Officeworks invited me to try out the Kodak Picture Kiosk, which you’ll find in all stores (the little yellow photo stations you may have seen), and online. You can create so many things through the kiosk – from fancy printed photo-books, photos on canvas, to personalised coffee mugs. I was originally just going to print some photographs from the recent family shoot with Gui Jorge, but I decided to have some fun and also ordered coasters with photos of Sunday’s recent paintings. I chose to visit in-store, but you can also simply transfer the photos you’d like to use from your Facebook and Instagram account to your smartphone, connect to the Kodak Picture Kiosk via the Kodak Connect App through Wi-Fi and away you go.

The process was also very easy in store. I simply snapped photos of the art on my phone at home, added the files to a USB that I then loaded on to a self-serve kiosk at Officeworks. My order had been placed within minutes, and the metal coasters were ready for collection a few days later. I’m so happy with how they turned out. I wrapped the gifts with one of Sunday’s original paintings and voila! Sunday has her very own gifts to give to her loved ones on Christmas Day. Note: I ordered four sets of coasters (RRP $29.95 each), and split the selection up so each recipient ends up with a mixed set of Sunday’s paintings.

For more inspiration, check out this video on creative Christmas gifting produced by Officeworks or join in the conversation on social media via #creativechristmas.

I hope you are all having great week,

Briar x

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