Thursday, December 31, 2009

Interview - Christina Gordon

All prints by Christina Gordon

Even if you don't know her name, I am pretty sure most Melbourne peeps would be familiar with Christina Gordon's brilliant little prints. Her characters are unmistakable - pretty, sullen little wide-eyed girls with a sweetly sinister edge! If you're a Northsider you might have seen them in the window of PG Printmaker Gallery in Brunswick st Fitzroy... and you might also remember seeing a few of her sassy little ladies gracing the walls of Shelley and Stephan's home back here?

Christina is one super-talented lady. In addition to her prolific printmaking output, Christina is also a whizz with a sewing machine - she makes and exhibits the most incredible dolls and softies which are almost like 3D versions of her printed characters. Christina also has a huuuuge Blythe doll collection - and of course she also makes the most beautiful hand-embellished clothes for her girls to wear! ...I get the feeling it's like one big Tim Burton-esque fairytale at the Gordon household!

I particularly loved seeing Christina's recent handmade 'Creepy Christmas' decorations... her black Christmas tree is so perfect - and how about all her fab creepy little stitched characters? The voodoo gingerbread man - inspired!

Christina's 'Creepy Christmas' tree and handmade decorations...

Creepy softies made by Christina

Thanks so much to Christina for her time with this interview! Christina's work is available at Print Guild Printmaker Gallery in Melbourne, and you can also purchase from her Etsy shop! Also Christina has a fabulous blog called JamFancy! If you like her work, you should totally pop over and say hello :)

Just a few of Christina's amazing Blythe Dolls, each wearing custom outfits handcrafted by Christina! For more of Christina's amazingly huge Blythe collection, see her Flickr set here.

Tell me a little about your background – what path led you to what you are doing now?

I think I always liked drawing and making things best, even as a child and it has continued the same, I even do the same kinds of things. I went to art school at RMIT and kind of fell into the printmaking side of things, I didn't actually know what it was when I started. I think that might be why I ended up working on hessian plates, I didn't realise you probably shouldn't, that and a love for textile arts combined to create my printing technique.

How would you describe your work?

I love fairy tales, the mix of the cute, beautiful and fully macabre and that is what I try to do in my work.

What is one of your favourite pieces and why?

That changes all the time, it seems each new set of work is the favourite, I suppose if I have a favourite it is this one as it makes me laugh, its nice when the expressions on the faces are just right, I hadn't really intended it either, the bunny just came out looking highly scandalised.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

I tend to wake up a bit horribly early, around 5am and spend far too long over breakfast and mucking about on the internet. Some days I'm drawing up the prints for next day, other days I start printing after breakfast. I like the non-printing days as they are my days off where I can make toys and dolls and sew.

Tea or coffee whilst you work?

Definitely tea. I'm addicted to Karel Capek teas from Japan, they come in wonderful flavours like caramel and chocolate, strawberry and apple cinnamon. They genuinely smell and taste like what they say they are as well and the tins are very cute.

Music or silence whilst you work?

I usually have something on, music when I draw and This American Life when I'm printing. I like Joanna Newsom and Arcade Fire particularly for drawing.

Where do you turn for creative inspiration – nature, travel, books, the web etc?

It seems like I find it everywhere, I often have to stop myself from looking at things in an acquisitive way, I tend to be looking for what I can use in my own work instead of just enjoying things for what they are. I think the internet is a great source of inspiration and just lately I have found much to work from in Japanese fashion as well.

Which artists / designers / creative people do you admire?

There are a lot and it would be hard to name them all without leaving people out.....just at the moment though I particularly like the photography of Tim Walker, its so dream like.

What are you looking forward to?

Christmas and going to Japan again in the New Year sometime.

Melbourne Questions -

Your favourite galleries to see the work of local artists in Melbourne?

I tend not to leave my house all that much actually, I like when I drop in to PG Printmaker Gallery to check out the other printmakers they have, its such a good source for young up and coming work.

What/where was the last great meal you ate in Melbourne?

This is going to sound terrible, but it was suckling pig at Libertine. You have to have ten people and they roast a whole pig, it was a bit sad to see the little guy, but there is also something very French and sumptuous about it as well. We had ten or so wines and a great group of friends and I just remember it as a really splendid night.

Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?

Rather boringly doing the weekly shopping with my partner Paul. I don't notice many people doing the weekly shop together, its the only way to make it a bit fun.

Melbourne’s best kept secret?

I don't think its much of a secret but Madame Sousou's is a very nice place to be. I like that they do breakfast all day and that you can have French champagne and French Fries at the same place.

Ps) I am posting this interview today because I have decided to take a little break tomorrow for New Years Day! See you all next Monday - 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Galerie Montmartre SALE!

Vintage posters currently on sale at Galerie Montmartre - from top left, Ski France c. 1950 was $550 now $400, Philips Globe c. 1950 was $1400 now $1000, Bagni di Rimini Mermaid 1993 was $350 now $275, Hermes Typewriter (fantastic acid yellow!) c. 1947 was $100 now $80.

Make an offer on these GORGEOUS posters at Galerie Montmartre. Chanel c. 1995 and Villemot Confiance a Contrex c. 1970. Oh my I looove these two especially. But I have no more walls. :(

OK so you all know I love Galerie Montmartre in Fitzroy from the bottom of my heart. Truly! They have been so incredibly supportive of The Design Files since the very start. I first met Shelley and Stephan when I profiled their gorgeous shop way back here - since then they've become great friends, I've even profiled their beautiful home... and I've also come to know Galmont's lovely gallery assistant Michelle who is truly the sweetest and smartest in the business! Also this year, after coveting them for a long time, I have finally welcomed not 1.. or 2... but 3 of Galmont's beautiful posters into my home! Oooh la la!

Anyway, enough about me and my posters. This is about YOUR posters. The ones you will perhaps purchase this week during Galerie Montmartre's incredible summer sale! Yeah!

There are three tables stocked with small and medium size pieces on sale right now.... starting at ridiculously reasonable prices like $25!!?

And THEN this week only there is also a 'make us an offer' sale on all big posters - ie if there's something special that you've had your eye on for a little while.... this is the week to pop in and make an offer, and Shelley and Stephan will do their very best to come to a lovely compromise and send you home with your treasured piece!

Make an offer on the stunning classic Bally Legs Noir poster (1979), or that gorgeous Calze Ortalion c. 1970 poster by Rene Gruau.

All sale items are also available online, and Galmont are offering free shipping nationally and internationally at the moment too!

Sale tables will run through January, but the 'Make us an offer' special ends this Sunday Jan 3rd! Better pop in soon, because the favourites sure won't last long! :)

Galerie Montmartre
rear 197b Brunswick st (enter via Moor st)
(03) 9486 8686

Christmas / New Year trading hrs -
Wed Dec 30th - 10am - 6pm.
Thursday Dec 31st (New Year's Eve) - 10am - 3pm.
Fri Jan 1st - CLOSED
Sat 2nd and Sun 3rd - 11am - 5pm.

...Then regular hours for the rest of january!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

get your sh*t together

Oh my gosh how genius are these? Sassy yet constructive! Love them! ..and I know someone who needs one...

Handprinted in the US by OrangeBeautiful

via Ink and Wit - new discovery who very kindly linked to me today! Thankyou! :)

Kitchen Inspiration

Acid yellow / concrete kitchen. Extreme LOVE. I pulled this shot originally from Real Living. (sorry I have no more info... it was many moons ago!)

Stunning green kitchen... love the big window and leafy view. Photograph by Mai-Linh/Marie Claire Maison/Picture Media.

Top - kitchen with blue painted detail - originally from *Wallpaper Magazine. Bottom - super-simple contemporary kitchen - I have no idea where I clipped this from. Hopeless, awfully sorry!

More Real Living Kitchen love. Simple. Gorgeous.

So, I don't normally do this... but today I'm gonna get all Desire to Inspire on you and share a whole bunch of random home eye candy! I've been rifling through my many reference folders on the hunt for kitchen inspiration... as it is our mission to build ourselves a new kitchen this summer! Aggh!

Admittedly, we are working with about 2m x 1.5m of floorspace... so most of the ideas here are a tad ambitious! I also find myself falling for all the completely impractical ideas - like open shelves - which look so lovely, but I know are a bad idea (unless you want to rinse every glass before using it)... and why is it that the cutest kitchens always seem to have zero overhead cupboards??

The acid yellow / concrete kitchen above sings to me so sweetly... and yet I know somehow I'll end up playing it safe with white cupboards and white walls and a dark timber floor. And maybe some chalkboard paint somewhere.

Sooo... which is your favourite?

More from Real Living... LOVE the industrial-style French doors opening out... swoon.

Very posh, very big kitchen! I think this was originally in Inside Out? Photograph - Bulthaup.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ricky Swallow at the NGV

Fig. 1 - Ricky Swallow. English Lime wood, 2008. photo: Robert Wedemeyer

Left - Come Together - Ricky Swallow. Jelutong, 2002 66 x 64 x 81 cm. Right - The Bricoleur - Ricky Swallow. Jelutong, 2006, 122 x 25 x 25 cm. Photos : Fredrik Nilsen.

One Nation Underground - Ricky Swallow, Watercolor on Paper, 10 parts, 2007, 28 x 35 cm each. photos : Fredrik Nilsen

Now that the hyped-up Christmas panic has passed, your living room is vaguely back in order, and your fridge stocked with enough leftovers for 2 weeks, it's time to do some stuff you don't normally have time to do.... like catch the tram into town and see an art show, perhaps!?

I have been meaning to get to the Ricky Swallow exhibition at the NGV in Fed Square for soooo long. He's such a superstar - at just 35, Swallow has won international acclaim for his stunning lifelike woodcarving sculptures and haunting watercolours.... and even though he's a US resident right now, we just won't let Mr Swallow forget where he came from! (ie Melbourne!)

The Bricoleur - Ricky Swallow
NGV Australia
Ian Potter Centre
Federation Square
Melbourne CBD

Tickets - $10.00 adult, $7.00 concession

Until Feb 28th

Together is the New Alone, - Ricky Swallow. Jelutong, Epoxy putty, Glass, 2002, 30 x 16.5 x 15
photo: Fredrik Nilsen

Top - Killing Time - Ricky Swallow, Jelutong, Maple bracing, 2003-2004, 108 x 184 x 118 cm. Photo: Karl Schwerdtfeger. Bottom - Killing time detail.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Apartment Therapy Homies 2009 Nomination!

Oh goodness me... as if being included in the Times Online Top 50 Design Blogs wasn't THE most exciting thing that's happened to me all year... it appears now that someone has nominated The Design Files for Apartment Therapy's 2009 Homies awards! Thankyouuuu!

There is a catch of course - in order to make the shortlist (of just 6!) I have to win many votes. I currently have only 13 votes! (I feel this is a somewhat futile mission...?)

But ANYWAY If you have a minute I would be SO grateful if you would vote for The Design Files! Unfortunately before you can vote you have to register - boring I know... but it only takes a second! There are also so many FAB home interiors blogs listed, browsing the nominations is a great way to make some new discoveries...!

Voting closes January 6th - and on Jan 7th the winners are announced... I'll keep you posted!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas and GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

Oh my, another Christmas day is upon us! I'm sure you're all busily rummaging through your stockings, watching your kiddies rip open their presents in delight, and munching on delicious treats.... and you're probably very far away from your computer screen on this special day!

BUT hopefully the following 12 people will check their emails sometime this weekend... because you are the lucky winners of the Great Design Files Christmas Giveaway! (please note - I have popped you email usernames below, but have not used your full email addresses to avoid spam spiders!)

Dinosaur Designs 'Shell' salad bowl - respondent #947 - karleeslater

Summer Scarf by Ella Sanders - respondent #656 - tinalele

Notemaker stationery giftpack - respondent #625 - esta.lau

Missoni beachtowel from Safari Living - respondent #158 - carriebartonek

BYO Coffee Cups from HookTurn Industries - respondent #54 - info@lizzyc

'Lino Royale' brooch by Betty Jo - respondent #449 - kylie@aprdesign

David Shrigley doona cover set from Third Drawer Down - respondent #911 - clairec@heide

'Morning Tea' sterling silver ring set by Victoria Mason - respondent #46 - cedwards@williamsboag

Kikki.K 'Bon Voyage' travel stationery set - respondent #631 - pl.grayson1

Safe Summer Essentials pack from Bloom Cosmetics - respondent #559 bronwyn_opland

Blue signature cushion by Beci Orpin - respondent #144 - info@oneo8

Murchison-Hume prize-pack - respondent #812 - flmitchem

*Note - I use to select winners of all TDF giveaways. In this case, generated a random list of 12 numbers, between 1 and 969. Each number corresponds to a survey respondent.

Thankyou SO so much to everyone who responded to the reader survey - there were almost 1000 respondents in the end! I truly appreciate you reading and taking a moment to give me your valuable feedback. Your incredible support this year has really given me the confidence and motivation to keep posting everyday.... Thankyou thankyou thankyou!

Also once again I must thank all the incredible local designers and retailers who sponsored this giveaway, offering such incredible prizes! Thankyou so much for your support!

Have a fab Christmas! xxx

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Alexander Girard Bikes!

Alexander Girard illustrated 'Tree of Life' bicycle by Electra Bikes

Would you believe I saw one of these insanely fabulous Alexander Girard bikes in Brunswick the other day!? YES it was parked outside Safeway. True. I wish I had had my camera with me.... :( It looked much cuter than these actually - it had a gorgeous little box-shaped wicker basket on the front...! SO cute.

I wonder where you buy them in Melbourne..? It's made by Electra Bikes in the US... actually in all there are 4 Girard designs... all super gorgeous of course!

Alexander Girard 3i bike - 'Madonna'

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lonny Magazine

Lonny Mag issue 2 - such gorgeous shots.. LOVE that black/white striped bathroom!

The incredible Paris apartment of textile deisgner Lisa Fine as featured in Lonny this month - photos by Miguel Flores Vianna, styled by Lauren Goodman.

I have a bold statement to make. I think there may be nothing better on the whole internet than Lonny Magazine. Truly!

I thought maybe blogs would be the new print magazine. But now I realise I was mistaken. Lonny Magazine is the new print magazine! Lonny is a magazine in every sense - except, it's not printed on paper. It's here, online. AND the pages turn, just like a normal magazine! Oh the genius.

Lonny mag is seriously TRULY fabulous, so fabulous, infact, that their launch issue in October has received 10 million pageviews worldwide! Is that not INCREDIBLE!?

Lonny is the brainchild of New York-based Rubie Green designer Michelle Adams, and photographer Patrick Cline, who conceived their ambitious idea back in June, when many of their favourite US interiors magazines were sadly folding due to the dreaded G-F-C. :( The result - a brand new publication which has the look and feel of well-loved US favourites such as Dwell and Domino, but which is entirely paper-free (= happy environment), reaches a far greater audience than any print publication possibly could (= happy advertisers), and oh yeah, it's 100% FREE (= happy readers!)

Just goes to show, sometime the simplest of ideas are in fact the most genius. NICE work Michelle and co!

Issue 1 (October 09) is here!
Issue 2 (current issue) is here!

Do check out Michelle's gorgeous blog too here! Ahhh I think I may have a new girl crush....

Kate Spade Feature in Lonny December issue

J. Crew Feature in Lonny December issue - photos by Patrick Cline, Styling by Michelle Adams

Manhattan apartment designed by Brad Ford, as seen in this month's Lonny Mag.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'My Christmas' on the Femme de Montmartre blog!

Last year's Christmas party in the park, styled by me and my dearest super-talented friend Gavin Youngs!

The fabulous Shelley from Galerie Montmartre has been posting a fantastic little series on her blog this month called 'My Christmas', in which she asks a brilliant group of local creative ladies (and bloggers!) how they spend Christmas, and was the season means to them. It's been so lovely getting swept up in the Christmas spirit of so many awesome ladies - including Pip Lincolne, jewellery designer Dearne Herrenberg, graphic designer and tireless organiser of the Creative Women's Circle - Tess McCabe, and the lovely blogger/mama and loyal TDF reader Captain KK!

And today it's my turn! I am so touched by the kind words in Shelley's sweet intro... but mainly, it's worth checking it out if you wanna see me, aged two, dressed up as a Christmas tree. Agghh! I may never live this down! ha!

Thankyou Shelley for your patience and the lovely words - you are too sweet!! x

Good Wives and Warriors - new work, new website

Christmas illustrations by Good Wives and Warriors

The gorgeous Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell of Good Wives and Warriors have got a new website. It is GREAT of course, and showcases lots of new work - man these girls are so talented! (Remember their stellar paint-a-thon at Mr Wilkinson a few months back?)

Becky and Louise work their magic at Mr Wilkinson in September!

Good Wives have been super-busy, with shows in Melbourne, Berlin and Copenhagen this year! At the moment they are in London, where they've just set themselves up in a shared studio space. Look at the super cute little video interview they did for their client Swatch at Illustrative 09 exhibition in Berlin... My fave bit is when the girls show off their Swatch watches and Louise says 'we wear them everyday, to see what time it is'!! Awwww tooo cute!

Painting in Copenhagen

Swatch watches featuring Good Wives Illustrations

Swatch window graphics in Melbourne (top) and London (bottom)

Good Wives and Warriors are represented commercially by Jacky Winter.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wary Meyers Decorative Arts

'Chaiseburger' stacked beanbag by John and Linda Meyers (seen in their own fabulous loungeroom!)

Brooklyn apartment styled by Wary Meyers - love their handpainted radiator!

Awesome marshmallow window installation for Anthropologie - 9 windows, 15,000 marshmallows! Concept and installation by Wary Meyers.

More marshmallows...

And again.

Re-purposed French Dresser by Wary Meyers, including sketches from their Tossed and Found book

John Meyers

Linda Meyers in her fabulous walk in 'closet' (pic from Domino)

Wary Meyers studio - with handpainted canoe!

Linda and John Meyers = Wary Meyers Decorative Arts, a US-based Husband and wife team who design and create the most incredible variety of artistic projects including paintings, interiors, illustration, design and soft sculpture. (Before they formed their business in 2004, Linda was a graphic designer and art director, and John was the Corporate Display Director for Anthropologie!)

They have had lots of press in the US for their fantastic and often very wacky creative projects... but I must admit it was Kirra Jamison who introduced me to this incredible creative duo when she mentioned them in her TDF interview earlier this month...! Thanks Kirra!

Interior design (and custom re-purposed lampshades) by Wary Meyers Decorative Arts

Wary Meyers are perhaps best known recently for their Tossed and Found column in TimeOut New York, in which this supremely clever couple take the 'reduce, reuse, recycle' mantra to a new level, re-purposing junk into amazing furniture and homewares truly unlike anything you've ever seen! The pair have recently written a book documenting all these amazing creations - Tossed and Found - Unconventional Design from Cast Offs.

ps) The Meyers' own home in Maine is seriously AWESOME and was featured in Domino Magazine a while back... (see pics below). Also, they also have a really great blog.

Linda and John Meyer's home as featured in Domino Magazine

Custom floor painting