Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!


We’re back on January 14th ready for a massive 2013. Thanks to everyone for such wonderful support this year.

Have a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Christmas Party

xmas fellaThe cutest Christmas Elf! {By Debbie Mackenzie}

Woohoo, last day at the studio! And I’ve organised the BEST Christmas Party for us all in the studio TODAY. What a massive year and none of it would be possible at all without the help of the girls - Rachel, Kate, Robyn,Jessica & my sister Jacqui. Everyone has worked so hard and at times it’s been very challenging. Especially when Florence decides she has a headache! Long hours and deadlines were no trouble for my tireless bevvy of girls. There’s no shortage of love for them! Thank you!

And a big thank you to all of the wonderful creative people that have come to us this year to bring another dimension to their artwork. It's been amazing meeting everyone and hearing such wonderful feedback. It's a terribly scary thing quitting a well paid job to go out on your own and set up a completely new business which may or may not work - well it's worked! And it's thanks to all the people supporting us and my wonderful family of girls here in the studio. Can you tell that I'm very grateful?!

So as for the Christmas Party – the fun starts in 1.5 hours!

 - First lunch at Mama Baba around the corner
 - THEN Chelsea from Trophy Wife Nail Art is coming to the studio to paint gorgeous things onto our nails!
 - THEN it’s off to Claremont Tonic for cocktails.

imageTrophy Wife Nail Art!

Yay! Fun times!

Happy Christmas and New Year to all!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

“My Creative Days” | Interview with Debbie Mackenzie

Living on the Peninsula has provided no shortage of inspiration for artist Debbie Mackenzie. Less than an hours drive south of Melbourne, her little seaside village oozes style, charm, sophistication and an understated elegance – all of which is abundantly shown in Debbie’s work. From the beach to the bushy surrounds, this locale heavily influences Debbie’s often whimsical and always charming work. She lives with her (also creative) husband and two young children in their recently renovated ‘old Orchard Cottage on the hill’. It sounds gorgeous! 


Tell us a little about your background?
I’ve always been obsessed with drawing, even as a young child I would completely immerse myself into a fantasy world drawn from my imagination. After year 12 I was offered a place in what was my dream course, Illustration, at what is now Swinburne. I thought long and hard about it and decided I would never suit being a "poor artist". I was too much of a consumer and admirer of aesthetics. I decided to go with my second option Graphic Design, at least this would provide a career in which I could afford all things beautiful in design. In the end I spent a wonderful early twenties in the Film Industry followed by a decade in Multi National Ad Agencies. It was a great career for a young girl. A few years after meeting my husband we decided to move to the Peninsula and that is where I explored my desire to paint. Other than meeting my husband and having my two beautiful children, nothing fulfils me more than painting. Its a euphoric experience!


What are the main influences on your work?
Nature is a constant influence for me. I'm also obsessed with the composition of a painting and I think my Graphic Design background plays a big part in how I structure a painting. When I look at a landscape I cant help but feel that our surroundings are so big and we are so small, so when I paint, my skies are LARGE and everything falls into place scaled down from the sky. I've seen people look at me strangely when I'm staring into space completely absorbed in looking at the colours in a cloud or the depth of the texture of a pine tree. All of nature triggers a major creative burst. I'm currently very taken with how many butterflies there are. They are everywhere and things like this make me feel creative. With my illustrations I often draw little fable like characters. I will see a photo and my interpretation of it instantly becomes "fable" like. My little owl man came from an image I saw on Pinterest and I just had to draw him. My Auntie & Uncle also had a MAJOR influence on my illustration work. As a child I would walk around my uncle's art studio in awe. He always had amazing things in there, like dead dragon flies and bugs on his window sill and then right beside them an intricate drawing of them. My Auntie showered us with beautiful books on the wonder of fairies and goblins and it was really the birth of "fable like creatures" and my imagination from there.


What does a typical day look like for you?
Up at 6.30am scurrying around getting lunches and breakfasts done and my daughter ready for school and then usually do a mad dash to school with my 4 year old in tow. We do try and keep active during the day so my son and i are usually either at the gym or at soccer or swimming. If not we are at home cooking or making play dough. My 4 year old requires a lot of stimulation at the moment and he is very much looking forward to kinder next year (so is Mummy)! Then after a short stint its school pick up and I'm usually playing peace maker and diplomat to the children. Then its dinner, bath and bedtime. It can be a bit "Ground Hog" day but my goodness its great and they are just the funniest little people!


You have 2 young children – how do you juggle the work/life/creative balance?
My husband has his own business and works very hard. I support my husband in his business one day a week and the remainder is spent playing Mum which I do feel so blessed to be able to do, albeit at times challenging & time consuming. I try to squeeze creativity in where ever I can but being creative requires you to immerse yourself completely and isn't something you can just turn on and off. At times this is difficult when you are really into something and one of the children requires me immediately. My very wonderful husband does try and get them out of the house 1 day on the weekend so that Mummy can do her paintings and I think he's a GOD for that!



What are you looking forward to?
So many things! I've given myself a challenge for next year, I'd really like to have an exhibition somewhere or at least get some of my work into a gallery. I'm also looking forward to watching my children learn and grow and loving my husband even more (if that's at all possible)! He's a ripper! x



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Snaps

photo 4

I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. So much has happened – a new baby for me (3 months old now and sleeping pretty well touch wood), and the business is doing super well! It’s busy busy times and there’s so much to look forward to next year as well. We’ve got LOTS planned and are seriously excited.

So while I’ve been on ‘mat leave’ (not really, as I’m in the studio nearly every day anyway),I’ve been playing around with Instagram.  Are you on Instagram? I must admit, initially I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t get it. The photo filters made images look weird - twitter just seemed to make much more sense. But now Instagram is my number 1. It’s like twitter in that there is interaction and conversation but it’s done through a visual medium. Twitter through a text medium. It’s the ability to capture a moment, a single second in time, that is lovely about Instagram.

I’m about to take a snap of the apricots Kate brought in today – from her tree at home. Watch out for it on Instagram!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Hankey cushions {Made by Mosey}


I have serious love for these new cushions by Madeleine Sargeant, the super lovely lady of Made by Mosey fame. I first met Madeleine last year, pretty much around this time, at a lunch that Tess and I hosted. I was super excited when she came to us to help recreate hankey cushions. I’m actually going to buy a couple for my girls for Christmas!




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday Dates!

"Little Wren" by Rachel McCarthy

Is it beginning to feel a lot like Christmas? Maybe the festive season hasn’t quite started as yet for us, but it has for Florence! She’s a busy lass and is tipped to get even busier in the lead up – especially as we’re taking a Christmas and New Year break!

We'll be printing all the way up to the 20th Dec with a last mail run on Friday 21st - keep in mind postage times!

 LAST PRINTING DAY = Thursday 20th December
LAST MAIL RUN = Friday 21st December

Please make sure if you have printing or product production orders that you get them in to us as early as possible – early December, so we can schedule your project and send it to you in time for Christmas. We all know Australia Post is stretched – so allowing for postage time is super important!

Our printing turnaround is 7-10 days (with postage time on top of that) and production is 14 days (with postage time on top). We often turnaround projects quicker than that, but to avoid disappointment or rush charges, please give us enough time for your project:)

We'll be back printing in the new year 14th January 2013:)


Thursday, November 8, 2012

This Sunday! Creative Women's Circle + Chrissie Feagins

Are you coming to the next CWC on Sunday? If not, you should be! Chrissie Feagins, from Hookturn Industries - maker of the famous BYO coffee cup (and yes, mum to Lucy from The Design Files!) is the speaker for this event and it's the last one of the year.

Read on and then go get your ticket - there's only a few left.



Date: Sunday 11 November, 2012

Time: 10am-Noon (9.45am for 10am start)

Location: Frankie & Swiss, Ground floor, 199 Toorak Road South Yarra (enter via Claremont St laneway).

From the CWC website:

"Our speaker at this event is Chrissie Feagins. Chrissie is an advertising agency Creative Director. During her long career she’s worked in both Australia and the UK at global agencies such as OBM Advertising and J. Walter Thomson, raised two children, and forged relationships with many organisations she cares passionately about. She is currently on the Board of the Victorian AIDS Council, and with two eco-minded business partners Chrissie runs Hookturn Industries, famous for their BYO Coffee Cup.

At this CWC, Chrissie will share with us the details of her long and rewarding career in advertising, an industry often viewed as male-dominated and fiercely competitive. With her breadth of experience in advertising, working with not for profits, and in product design and development, her presentation will surely appeal to a wide audience. You might even go home with a BYO Coffee Cup of your own, as Chrissie has generously donated a door prize for this event!

After the talk, join us for morning tea.

Please note, seating is limited so be sure to book your tickets early. Hope to see you there!"

Cost: $11.00 CWC Full Members / $16.50 Subscribers & Non-members

Tickets available here

A portion of all ticket sales will go to support the Victorian AIDS Council.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Making Softies for Mirabel @ Southside Brown Owls

Brown Owls time again!  Next Thursday 8th November, join us all for a very good cause – this month we’re going to be making softies – Softies for Mirabel.

Pip from Meet Me at Mikes has been running Softies for Mirabel for 6 years now – head over to Mikes for more information about this great cause.
Mirabel Foundation does important work, supporting kids who are affected by parental substance abuse. They also support family members who might be caring for those kids.
Did you know that lots of kids move from the care of their parents to grandparents or aunties and uncles? Mirabel provides support to these children and their extended family, making sure that they all know how special they are, and that they are not alone.
Each year we run Softies For Mirabel with The Mirabel Foundation. We encourage you to make a soft toy (a softie!) for a Mirabel child. We think that it's really important to show these kids that they are in our thoughts and that we care about them. A handmade buddy can be a loyal companion to a child who may have the weight of the world on their shoulders at times.”
(excerpt from Meet Me at Mikes)

Date: Thursday 8th November

Time: 7:30pm onwards

Venue: Frankie and Swiss, Ground Floor, 199 Toorak Road, South Yarra. It’s the building on the corner of Toorak and Claremont Street. Right on the #8 tram or a 2 second walk from South Yarra station. I’ll also have parking available underneath the building. You’ll need to call me (9826 4261) to buzz you under:)
Craft: Fabric, sewing machine or hand sewing bits and pieces, trims and anything else to make softies!

We will have tea and baked goodies, please feel free to bring something along if you would like to show off your baking skills!

RSVP: Please do leave a comment to let us know you are coming along! Feel free to email me or tweet me with any questions.

See you all next week!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Maryla Johns :: Coastal Gems

EDIT: Maryla now has her shop up and running - visit here.

I can easily say that artist, designer, stylist and all round lovely lady Maryla Johns is an absolute delight to work with. Not only is she super talented, she’s also super organised, has a gorgeous dog and an amazing collection on Pinterest! I’ll be busy re-pinning for days!
Her cushion designs revolve around a relaxed surfcoast lifestyle – from photographic work of beaches, feathers and other beachy paraphernalia through to more abstract full colour artworks.
All perfectly capture the abundant experience that living on the coast offers.
The cushions, backed with a heavy weight Belgian linen, are also piped adding an elegant and luxurious element to the coastal themes.
Keeping it all local is something so important to us, so they are all sewn in Melbourne by our amazing sewing team and have recycled PET inserts from an Aussie company in Sydney.
Maryla+SurfLifeStyle1Maryla Johns Sept 2012Maryla Johns Sept 2012
Maryla Johns Sept 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Little Livvy


Hello! My name is Olivia, you can call me Livvy! I was born about 2 weeks ago and my mumma is Michelle. I also have 2 big sisters and they think I’m pretty cool.

I’m hanging out at home with mummy for the next little while but soon I’ll get to go to the studio with her and I can’t wait! At the studio, there’s lots of colour and nice things to look at. And my cousins hang out there a bit too which will be super fun!

I’ve met the girls in the studio and of course my aunty Jacqui and they’re all really nice. There’s Rachel, Kate, Jess and Robyn now, a growing little F&S team! Anyhoo, I’m off to have a sleep now. Ciao for now!

Love Olivia

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September Brown Owls

So, with only 2 weeks to go until my third bub is born, there’s no slowing me down! Next week, not only are we hosting the Curvy Exhibition as part of Semi Permanent, but it’s Brown Owls time again!

We’re keeping it simple this month – a BYO project and a chat with a lovely cuppa. So be it quilting, crochet, a little knitting, decoupage or embroidery, bring it along and have a fun night in:) If I get a chance to get the supplies, I might try my hand at this tutorial and make these cute magnets!

Date: Thursday 13th September

Time: 7:30pm onwards

Venue: Frankie and Swiss, Ground Floor, 199 Toorak Road, South Yarra. It’s the building on the corner of Toorak and Claremont Street. Right on the #8 tram or a 2 second walk from South Yarra station. I’ll also have parking available underneath the building. You’ll need to call me (9826 4261) to buzz you under:)

Craft: Your BYO project

We will have tea and baked goodies, please feel free to bring something along if you would like to show off your baking skills!

RSVP: Add a comment to let us know you are coming along! Feel free to email me or tweet me with any questions.

See you all next week! (And if I happen to have the baby between now and then, the lovely Tess McCabe who runs the Creative Womens Circle will let everyone in!)


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Your invitation to the Curvy Exhibition!

CURVY is an annual book and exhibition that features the most exciting female artists from over 40 countries around the world.

Join us in Melbourne at Frankie & Swiss on September 12 as we launch the latest edition and group show as part of Semi-Permanent 2012.

Collaborating with women from design capitals including Paris, London, LA, NYC, Melbourne, Toronto and Tokyo – and from countries as far afield as Australia, Ecuador, Mexico, Moscow, Serbia, Latvia, Indonesia, Norway, Malta and Israel among many others, CURVY is a platform where the next generation of female creative talent can shine.

This edition, the eighth in the series, introduces the latest wave of exciting female visual artists in a new hard cover format and builds on the momentum of previous years with a new batch of boundary breakers.
The 2012 exhibition features work from a selection of artists in this year’s book plus a special collection by Miss Van in her first Australian show. A range of works are available for purchase exclusively via this one night only event ranging from $100 - $8,000.
The CURVY group show kicks off Semi-Permanent 2012 and is not to be missed!

From 6:00-9:00 PM
12 September 2012
Frankie & Swiss - Studio 8, 199 Toorak Road (Corner Claremont Street) South Yarra

Below is last years show. Fun! image

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Design Made Trade

So Design Made Trade is over for another year. Every event/market/fair/thing I go to in Melbourne, I’m always blown away by how many awesome talented people there are! So. Many!

So first up is Sandra Eterovic. Her stand was so gorgeous and right in the entrance as well, fabulous exposure for her work which has also been in Inside Out and Frankie. We printed The Lonely Polygamist for her:) So cute! See her lovely blog here. And an interview here.

I think everyone knows by now how much we love Rowena Martinich and so working with her and her partner Geoffrey Carran on their new collaborative range was really cool:) The cockies were super popular! More (and much better!) photos over here on The Design Files. (sorry, crappy iphone pics here…)



Belinda Christie is the designer behind Surface, a Textile and Surface Print Studio, and she’s really quite amazing. It was really great working with Belinda on her launch range for DMT, her designs are intense and they are printed on the organic cotton/hemp. You should check out her other work – so beautiful! Her Facebook page is here.



And Maraya from Print Paper Cloth’s new range of cushions and tea towels is also gorgeous. There were so many people buzzing around her stall, very popular! Our favourite is the cushion below – it printed so well! My photo is so crappy it’s hard to see – but the contrasts between the black and white elements to the coloured feathers worked so well. Her lovely blog is here.