Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 farewell - and some honest thoughts

Achillea, real and sketched

So. 2010 is coming to a close. And what a year it has been. So much has happened yet it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. For me, the year has been one of a lot of personal and professional growth. Not as much as I would have liked (on both fronts) but growth all the same.

I've spent this last week doing a lot of reflecting whilst on holidays. And I think my thoughts on the year can be grouped under two themes:

Anxiety & Acceptance
Like most people, I have lots of different anxieties, that affect me to varying degrees both socially and in the workplace. 2010 has been a year of recogising these and learning ways to manage them - definitely still a work in progress! An important part of that is acceptance. Both accepting myself for who I am, but also surrounding myself with lovely people who accept me & my quirks and don't push and pull me to be something else. And of course, doing the same for them in return :)

Inspiration & Intimidation
The hardest thing about 2010 for me has been the lack of creative inspiration. Running Ink & Spindle so often feels like a machine that constantly needs feeding. Opportunities for creativity have been centrered around working with our existing designs (new products etc) rather than developing new ones.

I want to be inspired again but also inspire others again. I look back at my work from a few years ago and miss all of that random creative expression that wasn't related to my work. And I miss how that made others respond and connect with me and my blog. I also see all of the amazing creative development going on around me (eg our friends at Harvest) and feel so intimidated by it all. I know that might sound crazy given what we have achieved so far but moving forward is still really important - both commercially and personally.

Anyway, I really want to bring inspiration and creative expression back into my life, and I'm really hoping our 2 week break away from the studio (and some time out of Melbourne!) will faciltate that.

Anyway enough rambling, here's some sketches from the last few days :)

Top - I've been toying with the idea of getting into ceramics again, hmmmm
Bottom - flowering eucalypts...


Lastly, I just want to say a huge thank you to anyone out there reading this blog and commenting. It really does mean a lot to me. I hope next year I'll have more interesting and exciting things to share :)



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Xmas in pictures

Hello all, I hope you and your family had a great day yesterday doing whatever celebratory things you do!

Ours is typically a very small Christmas, this year just the 5 of us. Here's some pics :)

Presents under the tree (gift tags by spin spin!) and a Kindle cover for my mum

The Kindle cover for my mum - nice to sew something non-work-related for once, and I love how the Kindle screen is just like paper

Musical family - the most awesome xmas cracker contents ever, and some serious concentration at the piano as my bro and I *attempt* to play a duet

The Xmas Pav - with passionfruit AND kiwifruit (don't tell Margaret Fulton)

The Xmas Pav - reduced to very little, very quickly


Friday, December 24, 2010


Annnnnnd, it's break time, yay!!

The holidays have been very well received so far. I've done some non work related sewing (no really!), had a lovely lunch with my girls, loaded up the car with presents and clothes and bike and Kitchenaid and driven (all of 20 minutes) to my folks place where I'm going to stay for a few days.

Mum's kitchen (+ my kitchenaid, which FYI I didn't buy)

Mum and I have been busy in the kitchen this morn. We've made the xmas Pav (somehow it took us 25 years to realise that nobody in our family actually likes pudding) which the Kitchenaid whipped into satiny peaks in a matter of seconds. So impressed! Proof will be in the eating though I guess.

I've got plenty more end-of-year thoughts to write but will do that soon... in the meantime, Merry Christmas for tomorrow!


Monday, December 20, 2010

a weekend of xmas markets

Helllooooo! I'm back from an epic and thoroughly exhausting weekend.

Sunday saw Mikaela and I leaving town at 6am to head up to Ballarat for the day to attend The Design Exchange market. I'd left an xmas party and gone to bed early the night before but as irony would have it I couldn't get to sleep till 2am. Bah! Needless to say I was a bit vague all day.

But this is how our market stall looked at the start of the day, and how gorgeous is this building!? The market was held in the Mining Exchange building and it was such a great venue:

Ink & Spindle at The Design Exchange market

Our soon-to-be-studio-buddy Dana from Twiglet was also at the market - her stall was located in one of the many little alcove rooms that lined the central space:

Twiglet at The Design Exchange market

On Saturday I also managed to pop into the Harvest Xmas Market which was awesome! So many familiar faces and some new ones too, and so many people making amazing things!

It's funny, it's been ages since I've been inspired to actually buy anything at a Design Market, but these two markets had some great fresh stuff and I bought heaps. All for myself though, oops!

My xmas market loot. From left to right:
- Top by Sunday Morning Designs
- Screen printed Tshirt by Unit
- Porcelain bowl by Clay Body
- Hand painted bowl by Jedda Robaaard
- Screen printed card and gift tags by Spin Spin

All in all a great & inspiring weekend. I'm looking forward to having a couple of weeks off over Christmas so I can find time & space to create again. Soon, soon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Design Exchange - Ballarat

Just a quick reminder that Ink & Spindle will be at The Design Exchange market this coming Sunday in Ballarat! The market is going to be held in the gorgeous Mining Exchange building which I'm very excited about. Should be heaps of great designers there so if you live nearby please come visit!

xx Lara.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Open Studio tomorrow!

Wow I am terrible at remembering to blog about things like this! We mentioned it over at Ink & Spindle but I should have blogged it over here at the same time!

Nevermind, hopefully it's not too late and you still might be able to come join us for our very last Open Studio for the year! There'll be a printing demo and wares for sale and of course lots of bikkies and cups of tea and lollies.

Saturday 11th December 2010
10:00am - 1:00pm (printing demo at 11:00ish!)
206/10 Elizabeth St, Kensington

Hope you can make it!



P.S. - I really, REALLY can't believe it's December already. What happened to 2010?? It's been a very good year though :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

MARTit - tomorrow!

Hey just a reminder that the MARKit Design Market is on tomorrow at Fed Square! I know it's going to be a pretty miserable rainy day tomorrow but don't let that stop you! The market is in the lovely Atrium area - just a short walk from Flinders St Station or there's parking at Fed Square.

Anyway I really hope you can make it along. I'm very excited about this market, more so than usual. Partly because we have an awesome new display setup and also because we have some great new products and kits. Excited to see how they go.

See you there! xx

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I think it says a lot about me that can get so very excited at the prospect of spending my Saturday afternoon taking photos of teatowels.

Granted, it partly involved being outside on a gorgeous sunny day, and also involved eating banana cake fresh from the oven, plus I got to spend some more quality time with my camera. Not to mention the fact that I'm excited about the teatowels themselves (a little side project we're working on).

I know teatowels aren't exceptionally innovative, but I like these a lot because:

1) It's nice to have just a little bit of finished product on our market stalls
2) They're made completely from scratch using a fancy hemming foot (by the talented Miki!)
3) Some of them are made from the very ends of our print runs, so the print only covers 2/3 of the teatowel and the rest is blank. I love this look! Sometimes I just get bored with seeing all-over prints every day and these feel a bit more like placement prints which is really refreshing. Am I sounding like a textile geek? I think so :)

Anyway here's some more random photos - I first tried taking the photos outside but like the indoor ones more.

Mmmmmmm banana cake (made by the man-friend, yay!)

Love how this idea for the labels turned out

Random photo (Someone needs to do some weeding)

Oh, if you actually want to buy some teatowels they'll be for sale at the MARKit design market NEXT SUNDAY 28th at Fed Square! Should be awesome. Hope to see you there!


Friday, November 19, 2010


I've been veeeeery quiet on this here blog of late. It's been a weird kind of month full of dance practice and birthdays and illnesses and general lack of routine. Feeling a bit out of sorts and creatively frustrated, and in need of inspiration.

That said, we have been doing some fun things at the studio and making some new product, which is keeping me happy. Can't wait to photograph them :)

Speaking of photos, here's some vintage goodies I've picked up recently!

Vintage finds - wooden crate and little stool

I have always ALWAYS wanted one of these "vacuum oil company" crates with their awesome lettering. But they were always stupidly expensive if I found them. But thanks to a little second hand shop in Lorne, I stumbled across one at a reasonable price. Yay!

I found the little stool at a little organic food/second hand market in Sydney - thank you to my friend Dan who drove it back to Melbourne for me a few months later. I might recover the top or just leave it as is.

Vintage wooden crate (and ceramic by Christopher Plumridge)

Other things that I'm liking at the moment:

- This interview with Loobylu over on the Design Files blog - testament to the fact that creative inspiration is ever changing and life can be full of a myriad of creative pursuits

- Sharing our studio space with lots of lovely ladies - Katrina, Mikaela and Stina are our extras this month :)

- - many tears of laughter to be shed

-Letters and Numbers - only the best gameshow-for-nerds (and Aspy's) ever. With a hot hot hot maths genius chick on it. SBS weeknights 6:00pm!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Hello Monday

Hello! Just popping in with a quick post about random bits and bobs. It's amazing how a new camera makes it MUCH easier to capture little day to day things that make me happy and blog about them.

Here's some things from my Monday that made it a good start to the working week :)

We finally listed our new Allsorts Quilt Kit in the shop! Available in Pink, Red & Charcoal (pictured above) or Blue, Green & Charcoal (pictured below)

The Allsorts Quilt - kits available here.

Miki posing with one of our Sling Bags so I could update the pics in our shop (kit here!)

Our studio garden grows

I've been wanting to get a bit more greenery in the studio and finally bought these gorgeous little succulents for the windowsill. I have a Jade tree at home but I really like this variety with the smaller leaves! Very cute and bonsai-esque. I'm going to find some interesting tins and objects to use as pots. (and check out the cute little basket that Miki made for home!)

That's all for now. Fingers crossed for a smooth and productive week :)


Friday, October 15, 2010

You Are Invited

Photography and styling by Gabriella Moxey

Who would have thought that it was over two years ago now that Ink & Spindle was born. Time has absolutely flown by and we've loved (almost) every minute of it!

Teegs and I would love, love LOVE you to come by and help us celebrate our 2nd birthday NEXT SATURDAY!

Everyone is invited, even if we've never met you before! Just rock up and enjoy the company of some lovely ladies and gentlemen, and we'll have plenty of drinks and snacks on hand.

RSVP to or leave a comment on this post.

Hope to see you there!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Dawwwh Twiglet, you make such gorgeous things!!

Had to share xx

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


My god. I fail at quiet time. Teegs and I have taken yesterday and today off as a substitute weekend and my head has really struggled with it. I'm so used to being busy busy busy.

Yesterday I visited Shanny & Tom at their new Elevenses Espresso Bar, and had a delicious roo toastie, pear danish and coffee. Mmmmmm. Today I've just pottered and cleaned and entertained the neighbourhood cat who decided to come upstairs to my flat.

I also took a trip to Poyntons which is my favourite plant nursery, and bought some new parsley seedlings and some Begonias because I like red flowers in planter boxes. I would have bought Geraniums but apparently they're not so partial to growing indoors.

planter boxes by

cute ceramic garden label by Little Jane Street

Back to work tomorrow, and another epic few weeks ahead it seems!


Monday, October 11, 2010


Exhausted after Finders Keepers so taking a couple of days off. I've written more about the market over here on the Ink & Spindle blog :)

Meanwhile, a pretty photo of some native flora that I put together for the market stall - just using the branches that were still good from an old bunch of natives.

Native flora in bottles (couldn't decide which photo I liked more)

I think I'm going to do this random bottle thing again every time I buy a bunch of flowers! I like how it makes you appreciate each one.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Little updates

Just a quick post with some pics of little updates to my flat!

Firstly, a gorgeous 1960's foot stool reupholstered for me by Jacqui from Reissued. So gorgeous! Jacqui and I did a swap of some of my fabric in exchange for the sourcing and reupholstering of a stool, and I'm so happy with how it turned out!

Little stool reupholstered in Kangaroo Paw by Reissued

The stool at home by the couch (amazing spring Jasmine blossoms in the background!)

The other change around here is in my much neglected bedroom! I finally got around to putting up the Birch decal that I made in collaboration with The Wall Sticker Company, and I love how it turned out. The white decal on cream walls is nice and subtle which I much prefer to the usual decal look.

I've also temporarily borrowed a Birch Drum Shade from Wilkins & Kent. I have bulb socket that's flush to the ceiling (typical in rental flats), but figured out how to make and add an extension cord to hang a drum shade. Renter friendly! Tute to come soon!

Birch wall decal in white

I put together this little string of circles too... just to break things up a bit...

Strung circles...

A closeup of my beloved Oobee - just for fun

Well that was all a little bit indulent but I love decorating my flat and love my new camera (still so much to learn!) so I had to share.


Finders Keepers - this weekend!

Hey everyone! Just a reminder that the Finders Keepers market is on this weekend! There's an amazing line-up of stall holders and we're so excited to be a part of it.

I'll be manning the Ink & Spindle stall with Mikaela (our Intern for the next 10 months!) so please pop by and say hi! We'll have some new goodies and old favourites and sharing a space with the lovely Harvest girls too.

Yay can't wait. It feels like so long since we last did a Melbourne design market :)


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Birthday & Camera Play

Hey everyone! Wasn't that a bloody amazing weekend?! Melbourne definitely came through with the goods. Sunny and warm and full of outdoorsy backyard goodness.

I had such a fun time this weekend playing with my new camera (and awesome new 50mm fixed lens thanks to my good friend Gus), that it's warranted another blog post! Yay!

I've still got so much to learn, but loving the results so far...

Rooftop beers at Younghusband - Louie, Teegs, Suz and Gus

Rooftop beers at Younghusband - me and Louie (if you understand my hoodie, then points to you!)

For the first time in months we finally had access to our building's rooftop again. I've really missed Friday after work drinks, watching the sun go down and admiring our beautiful city.

Reading in bed - Lotta's Handmade Living.

Reading in bed - Lotta's Handmade Living.

This is such an awesome book! I know it's been out for a little while but I never got around to buying it. Fortunately "man friend" has very good (unprompted!) taste in books. Yay!

Making bundles in the sun

Making bundles in the sun

Making bundles in the sun

It's kind of weird but I really like making bundles out of our scrap fabrics. I find it kind of therapeutic. We are running out of time at the studio so I took some time today to sit on the couch in the sun and make some.

Add yet another Grand Final BBQ, dance practice and dinner at Taxi (oh how much I wanted to take photos of the food), and that pretty much sums up my weekend. Life is good.

Friday, October 01, 2010

29 and feeling fine

a Happy birthday in the studio

Today is my 29th birthday, and I have to say that it's probably the best birthday I've ever had.

Not just today, but life in general. I'm feeling so lucky to be surrounded by such fantastic friends and family. I get to come to work every day and work alongside an enthusiastic and gorgeous team of ladies, building a business that's actually starting to feel like a "real business".

And tonight I'm being taken out for a fancy dinner at a surprise location by a very lovely man.

I don't for one second take any of this for granted. I know life can be really hard. I know that my life has had it's ups and downs and will again in future. I tend to struggle to be content when things are good. But today I'm just going to enjoy it :)

I also want to say a huge thankyou to everyone who reads this blog and has left such supportive comments along the way. I know my posts a few and far between and I never get a chance to comment back (the irony that my blog has made me too busy to blog), but it means so much to me that you're reading and have helped make Ink & Spindle what it is today.

Oh, and in other good news - I got a DSLR for my birthday!!! FINALLY! After 4 years of blogging I finally have some decent equipment for the job :)

Anyway here's some pics from today. It's been a fun day even though we're still madly preparing for the Finders Keepers and Bowerbird markets!

29th Birthday - pressie from Lara D!

A bunch of Gorgeous Waratah's from the lovely Lara D

Cutting and folding - ooooh dusty pink Wrens!

Teegs working on an awesome secret new project - ooooh!

The gorgeous Lou. Who always looks hot, even when doing stupid things with string

Lou and Mikaela (our new Swedish intern! More on her soon) working hard

Out to lunch with the Younghusband crew

Out to lunch with the Younghusband crew - a gorgeous sunny day

Out to lunch with the Younghusband crew