Friday, May 28, 2010

Gallery 33 {Friday Finds}

While researching Ash Hilton I came across Gallery 33 and thought I'd do a quick spiel on them seen as they seem to be doing such a fantastic job supporting and promoting the work of New Zealand artists.

Based in Wanaka (South Island, NZ) the website is interesting, easy to navigate and (conveniently) offers works for sale online.  They can, and have, organized shipping of works, big and small,  to Europe and beyond...

A few that caught my eye were:

Lyn Kelly:
Flax Necklace
Silk and Flax. 250mm across
Bing Dawe:
 Detail - Head of a Curlew
Hand carved and painted Rimu

Ben Reid:
Old Yellow And Old Blue - The Black Robins Story
2009, drypoint and relief print 4/5

Annie Smits-Sandano:
Fantails on Kura Landscape
2008, woodcut, edition of 200

Richard Adams:
2007, oil on paper framed

But there's lots of other amazing and beautiful works to gaze at!
If your in Wanaka Call in and check it out for yourself!
(all  photo's from Gallery 33's website)


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Real Art Road Show

This is the kind of project I would LOVE to be involved in.  The Real Arts Roadshow is the brainchild of Fiona Campbell (see below) who combined forces with art director Garald Barnett, and artist & art teacher Rob McLeod. 
Together they began to buy art in order to deck out a truck as a travelling gallery and give school kids across New Zealand access to authentic New Zealand art! Genius! Art students can get up close and personal with the works, smell the paint, see the texture, appreciate colours and depth.  I wish it had been around when I was a student.

For more information, to check out the on board artwork, or to give a donation (as with all these types of projects every little bit counts) check out the links...  All photos from the Real Art Roadshow.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ash Hilton

I got engaged one morning while curled up in bed, in the tiny flat we lived in, in Putney, London, while we were on our OE... It wasn't romantic (we'd been to Paris, Venice and Rome only months before) but hay sometimes that's just how it works out... We had had the moment but we had no ring - which was brilliant really because it meant I got to choose my own! Yay! I really, really wanted, and nearly, nearly got, one of theses by New Zealand jewelry designer Ash Hilton:

Image from Gallery 33, (The top one is my favorite) 
 But the logistics of getting it sorted from the UK seemed a bit much... in the end I found a beautiful antique gypsy ring - this exact one here:

Sapphires are hubby's birthstone and well diamonds are for forever.  We got it from this shop in Hatton Gardens in London - which is the craziest place to visit - jewelry shop after jewelry shop with many specialising in diamonds! Madness! I love it, and would not change it for the world, it speaks of that particular time in our lives so comes with many, many memories....

But that still doesn't stop me coveting an Ash Hilton piece... an eternity ring substitute perhaps, or just something because...  Here's a few of my favorites!

Etched ring with Cabbage Trees, Image from Gallery 33

Art Deco Rose Ring from Ash Hilton's etsy shop
Perfect Pear, Image from Ash Hilton's Etsy Shop

And the double Koru one at the top of course! Check out his website here, his etsy shop here, and you can also find him here at Gallery 33 in Wanaka (which incidentally stocks an impressive range of other very talented local artists and jewelers, and is worth a look on its own merits!!)


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Mum and Dad said this movie was brilliant! I've just checked out the trailer - it looks hilarious, and its always fun to see something set in the area I grew up, (Whale Rider was filmed in, and its corresponding legend comes from, our little region too).
The film is written and directed by local lad Taika Waititi, and is already the highest grossing New Zealand film - which hopefully means we'll see this 'comic drama' in mainstream cinema's in Aus soon!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

From Here to Eternity

In the last few decades the antipodes have come in leaps and bounds in creating their own unique niche in the international food sphere.  We are proving to ourselves and to the the world that our products are equal in quality and sophistication to anywhere else on the planet.  And often our most successful enterprises started off as someones passion and just grew, proving that little ideas can become big dreams.

Cyclops Yogurt, for example started in kitchen in suburban Christchurch, NZ, with a family recipe, hard work, and self belief, and grew into a product you can find in stores across the country. I've lived in the UK and Ireland and have never  encountered the creative and delicious combination's Cyclops specialise in - coffee topped Greek yogurt anyone? Its sounds random but it is incredibly good... and the berry flavours! Bliss!

Likewise Nudie Juice started with great idea - brilliant combinations of real fruit juice conveniently packaged.  They started in Sydney and 7 years later they can be found in stores nationwide... Their website has a very cute story about their founding - check it out here. If you haven't come across them yet you'll know them by their uber cute labels and yummy yummy flavours.  The website is super sweet too! And  their next big thing is coconut water - I'm intrigued...

Its folks like these, companies we take for granted as we peruse the shopping isles that really prove great ideas, a bit of luck and a lot of self belief can make dreams into realities!!!

Have an inspirational week

Friday, May 21, 2010

Search for meaning - Viktor Frankl

I recently discovered TED, and now check up on it from time to time when I feel like having some inspiration... This speech from Viktor Frankl made me laugh but also think, and believe...
Viktor Frankl: Why to believe in others Video on

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Its nearly the weekend so...

Lets talk about beer!
Have you discovered Jamieson's Raspberry Ale yet!

If not track it down.  The label design is really cute - its a raspberry grenade! and it is really really really tasty... you get the initial flavour of raspberry goodness but it rounds out into a smooth ale that's not to sweet.  Perfect!
I found it at Ritchie's Liqueur, but my local has run out and their taking their time to bring in more stock... Grr! So if your looking for something new to drink this weekend - and you can stumble across it - Jamieson's Raspberry Beer comes highly recommended.
I'm a fan of trying something new, I'd love to hear others suggestions!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home (or counting ones blessing's)

I love this song! Its so cute... and it gets me thinking, you know, bout home! 
Home to me will always be NZ, but its also wherever my hubby is, which is why I'm here in Aus... And while I would love to move my little family (dog, boy, me) back to NZ, some times I have to remind myself to be happy here and now - so my career path is non existent, sometimes I just really want my Mum, or my god mum, or my old friends around, and sometimes I just miss the places - Wellington, Gisborne, Ohiwa, the special places.  But I have a super amazing husband who puts up with my annual hissy fits on the above subjects, we own a house and its becoming a home, our pup is the funniest, sweetest natured beast one could meet, its never to late to re-invent oneself career wise (once one figures what path will suite them), and my family, my friends, those amazing places will always be there - I'll always be able to go home... So this is a reminder, a perk up and a pep talk!!
my wedding flowers, photo by the talented Clare Webber
I think I'm quite lucky to have such a strong sense of place.  My parents have lived in our house since forever, it was my Dad's Grandfathers place so its seeped in family history.  My mums brother owns the farm she grew up on and before that both her parents grew up on the property - her mum, my gran - was a shepherds daughter and Grandfather was the owners son (it has a makings of a sweet meant to be story don't you think).  We got married 2 minutes down the road from my parents property and had our  photos taken in their wool shed - connecting my past and my future.  I am so lucky to have places so filled with memories and history.

And now I will have two beautiful unique and amazing countries I can consider home...
So I count my blessings, and the wonderful invention of skype!!!
(from Wikipedia, attributed to Erik Veland)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Alex DiMercurio

Alex DiMercurio is a Parisian born artist who now calls Wellington home.  Wellington by the way is one of my most favorite cities in the world,  its where I met my husband, its where I found my feet as a adult, its where I would live if I had the choice... but that's beside the by, she's there and she's amazing. 

I stumbled upon her work via Artfind and was immediately drawn to it.  My grandparents lived out the country and when you passed the corpse of silver birches you knew you were almost there.  These paintings remind me of that - the anticipation, the excitement, the movement, the light...

I love the colours, the rich textures she used.  They are works you could live with for 20 years, and still  be invigoated and inpired by them, see something new, feel something different, from up close you can appreciate the luscious application of paint and colour, from afar, the play of light and shadow, shape and form...

Good art should not only look beautiful, but provoke a response, an emotion - it should sing to you.  Alex's work sings to me!  I wish I could see this series in a gallery space - if they can amaze me when looking at them on a computer screen imaging how astoundingly beautiful they would be 'in person'.  Alex - I'm going to have to stalk your work when I'm next home!!

And I'm not the only one who's fallen for her works.  This talented lady has works in private collections in New Zealand, France and Australia, and has won several national awards.  Hopefully I too will own one... someday... there is space in my dining room... hint hint, hubby if your reading!

If your lucky enough to be in Wellington in August you'll be able to see Alex's work at the New Zealand Art Show.  Cant wait that long? Try Tamarillo Gallery, also in Welly, or contact Alex direct.

Wishing you a inspirational week!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bison Ceramics - Friday Finds

Have you discovered Bison Ceramics yet? Beautiful, durable and handcrafted in Australia - Whats not to love?!?
I already own a few pieces of Bison - my favorite at the moment is a duck-egg blue tulip bowl. It makes my morning breakfast of raspberry porridge  look so pretty (cook rolled oats till done, throw in a handful of frozen raspberries in, serve drizzled with maple syrup! Yum!), and is the perfect size to cup in your hands while eating curled up on the sofa (a habit I only do at times when I'm on my own - but it is a lovely indulgent habit to have).  I sort of subscribe to the Mireille Guiliano (author of French Women Dont Get Fat) attitude that food needs to be enjoyed as an aesthetic as well as sensory experience, the bowl should look nice, feel nice, be comfortable to hold, and I swear this makes breakfast taste better, feel better, you appreciate it more, feel better nourished than you do scoffing toast while running out the door (another habit I am not immune too unfortunately).  Bison fits the bill perfectly - their ceramics feel solid without being heavy, look elegant while still being usable and are available in the most fantastic colours - a nice change from the white, white, and white platters that dominate my cupboards!

Anyways Bison opens its online store next month and I will be able to shop without hazarding the train to the city! YAY!

I'm coveting one of  the Cucina Plates.  I think they would make fabulous cake platters - imagine one in purple holding a cake dripping with chocolate icing and dusted with silver sprinkles... yumm!

Have a great weekend - rain or shine!


P.S. All these lovely pics are from Bison's Website, and taken by the talented David Plummer

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The natropath asked me the other day what my favorite season was and I was hard pressed to decide between Autumn and Spring.  Over in Aus (well at least in my part of Melbourne) most gardens are dominated by evergreen trees - gums etc so I miss the colour Autumn can bring (my parents front fence was planted with liquid amber's - Autumn blazed!). 

So now I guess if I had to choose it would be Spring first and then Autumn.  However I'm really enjoying the crisp chilly weather and the moment - my morning walks with ze dog really leave me feeling all pink cheeked and enthusiastic about the day ahead (until I realise he chewed up my black heels at some stage in the early hours of the morning... and then my good feelings for the day ahead plummet rapidly...)
...the other exciting thing about autumn is garden wise you can start dreaming about spring!  I have tulip bulbs sitting in my fridge which I will plant this weekend, in a big pot by the front door and then wait patiently...

(images Rococo Parrot tulip and Evita double tulip from here, I ordered my bulbs from here)
Now I cant wait for Spring!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stuart McLachlan

May and April are the two worst months for me in terms of having to remember birthdays, and because the majority of my friends and family are in NZ it can mean a lot of trips to the post office at this time of year... which brings me to stamps! Yup stamps.  Have you ever thought about the amount of thought and design that goes into a single stamp.  When I saw these:

I was instantly reminded of the Thelwell books we read as kids, and wondered about the designer behind them. Well his name is Stuart McLachlan and if you check out his portfolio he is one talented guy.  Born in Adelaide, he studied graphic design and illustration and has worked in Canada and Holland as well Australia.  And not only is he triumphing in illustration, but he also creates beautiful sculptural paper art, paper millinery, and paper fashion that has been featured in magazines such as Vogue:

His ability to stretch the boundaries of what an illustrator can do got me thinking about this post from decor8 (read through the comments there is lots of food for thought in there). 
Wishing you a inspirational Monday to fuel you for the rest of the week!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bambinos {Friday Finds}

I have kids on the brain at the moment...
I swear everywhere I look I see beautiful things to decorate my as yet non-existent children's rooms, things that will delight, inspire, and fascinate them.  My husband will be afraid (very afraid) when he reads this. We both agree we're not quite ready - plus we already have a baby:
... and this baby has totally taken over our lives!
So just cause I wont be painting a nursery anytime soon doesn't mean I cant share a couple of my finds with you!
How sweet are the seasonal Bella and Boo cushions for a little girls room
Found @ Lark

And how wonderful would these little critter's look framed in a boys room:

And then there's their where-the-wild-things-are-like peers:
All of the above are made in Wellington, New Zealand by the talented Minu, and are limited edition prints, making them extra special.  And best of they can be shiped to Aus! YAY! To see these and other cute creations visit the shop @ Felt or check out 

Have a Fantastic Friday!


Hello World
My name is Kate Sara B....e, and today I'm starting a blog. I'm not sure what form it will take yet. Hopefully it will end up part treasure chest part visual dairy.
Why am I starting a blog today of all days? Well it was my birthday, I'm now 27 and I feel I need to do something. Something that will allow me to be creative, be inspired, to think and dream and explore.
Many moons ago I did a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Anthropology because I wanted to share my love of the art and creativity with the world... now I work in retail, in a job that has nothing to do with art, design, food, books, gardening, fashion or any of the other things that I'm passionate about.
So this blog will be my creative space! My place where I can re-involve myself with the happenings out there in the world... And hopefully, in the process it will interest and inspire others.
Wish me Luck