Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Crafty Lady

I was at the hairdressers this afternoon and, whilst waiting for the stylist, I had a lovely chat with a lady who told me that she is 92. Ninety-two, imagine that! Within a few minutes we had established a connection - her great-grandson was friends with my son in pre-school. This happens all the time in Daylesford, whenever you meet someone you quickly find that you can 'place' people, and I think it is the thing I love best about living in a country town. It's a bit like blogging really, it cuts through all the formal introductions and niceties and you feel an immediate sense of trust and belonging. Then after a few more minutes of chatting she revealed that she is a passionate crafter too - cross-stitch is her speciality although she has tried everything. Heaven! We could have chatted all day but I needed a trim and my new friend was getting a perm.

Packing up for Life in Style

Do you like how the little pretend-play kitchen unit came out? We freshened it up with paint and applied some folksy decals. I think it is sweet and it will look perfect as a centrepiece on the Lark display!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Shop Progress

The door and windows are in place! The old warehouse door has been replaced with new galvanised metal. A ramp has been built for prams and wheelchair access.

Inside the plasterers are working away to create some walls.

It's still not pretty but it's definitely starting to shape up. I am now on the lookout for shelves and furniture to fit the shop out with, cheap and cheerful of course. I have already found an old art deco shop counter on eBay.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Vintage Wallpaper Exercise Books

This week the printer delivered my new Exercise Books. They come in a set of three and each one features a cover inspired by the vintage wallpapers I collect. Inside there are 16 lined pages, each with a little Lark bird. They are the size of old school exercise books. I am very pleased with them. I probably wont put them onto the website for a week or two until after the trade fair, but I couldn't wait to show them!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Ugly duckling...

One day this old shed in the centre of town that currently houses a vintage fire engine will be our new studio and workspace.

And one day this ugly corner will be a beautiful little shop.

Yes, we are moving! When I first started my own craft business four years ago, I rented a room in a beautiful old school in Cambridge, overlooking a duck pond, a red telephone box and students cycling to and from the colleges. It was just like a Richard Curtis film. This picture of Katie (my friend Paula's daughter) in an early Lark creation was taken outside. I would sneak out from my job at lunchtimes and go into my lovely room to dream up ideas. Even better, my little boy was at creche in the room below, so I could pop in to see him too!

When we moved to Australia we decided to live in the country and make Lark a full-time family business so we found a house with space for an office and studio. It has been nice to work from home, but after three years I am, to be honest, a bit tired of it and I feel that we need to gain some personal distance from Lark. So we have been waiting for the prefect premises to come along and finally they have!

So from next month we will be working from this old warehouse in Daylesford, and (gasp!) in September we will be opening a little shop in one corner of the warehouse where we can welcome visitors and customers. As well as Lark goodness, we will be selling work by local designer-makers and a small group of friends from Melbourne and further afield whose work I love. I hope you will visit us when it is open.

But there is much work to be done! I have to turn this unloved old space into something pretty! At first I was daunted by this task, but then I remembered our trip to Tokyo, and all the beautiful little shops and art galleries that I found tucked away in unlikely buildings, like this one. We are going to make something utterly lovely here... I will post some pictures of our progress.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

One week to go!

Life in Style starts next Thursday. I have been decorating our various display bits and bobs today (we give them a new look for every trade fair), and generally flapping around in a bit of a panic.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Little Shop Of...

I simply couldn't resist treating myself to this 'Sassy Secretary Glasses Pendant' from Little Shop of. This ace new 100% handmade store has just opened in Carnegie, Melbourne and has a cute website too. I was wearing the necklace today, and at bedtime my little boy perched the perspex glasses on the end of his nose and said to me in a posh voice 'young lady, I am Dame Slap, these are MY spectacles and I am going to take you to my school for naughty boys and girls'. Can you guess that we have been reading Enid Blyton?

Australian Story

Our friend John was the subject of Australian Story tonight. Paul met John not long after he had discovered that his birth father was one of the five Australian journalists murdered in Balibo, East Timor in 1975. John's father never knew of his existence. It's an incredible story and very moving. And shameful. If you missed it you can catch it again on ABC2 tomorrow or on ABC on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Darling Clementine

This is the lovely Tonje Holand from Darling Clementine, illustrators of the most exquisite greeting cards. Tonje and her co-designer Ingrid Reithaug contacted me a while ago to help bring their range to Australia and we now finally have them on our shelves. I thought you might like to see these charming photos of Tonje's home and get a sneak preview of the card designs, which you can find on our website here. They should start appearing in lovely local shops in August. You can see more shots of Tonje's gorgeous Norwegian home on Flickr.

Noel Darling


Candy Cane



Friday, 17 July 2009

Scrapbooking ain't my thing, but I frequently find myself on scrapbooking websites hunting down obscure paper punches or a special size of ribbon that I need to craft something. And they are just so overwhelming, don't you think? But here is a website that has a small and well-chosen range. I just bought a pretty paper punch there to make some Belle & Boo gift tags, and these other things caught my eye - lovely silvery-blue paper, a cute deer stamp, blue and white baker's twine (on a massive 560 yard roll for just $36.50, yay!) and these leafy decals. Koko Vanilla also has a very helpful owner, who helped me track down the special thing that I needed. Thanks Anna!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

eBay Score

Yay! I can't wait to get this housey display shelf that I won, it looks super-cute!

Only in England...

Yay for sheep art!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Wednesday afternoon...

It's a gorgeous, crisp sunny day today. I'm watching four young boys bounce and bump on the trampoline from the safety of my girly desk. I really love the school holidays, play dates, hearing giggly children, I will miss it when they go back to school next week. Although with only three weeks to go until our trade fair, it will be good to actually get some work done! Looking at this photo, I think it's about time we cut our grass!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


The Handmade Help recipe book, Home made, is now available! Yay! And it looks amazing - the Handmade Help team has done a brilliant job. There are so many yummy recipes from Blueberry Croissant Pudding (yum) to pumpkin polenta, and honey jumbles. And a lovely cover illustrated by Loobylu.

The recipes were contributed by bloggers, artists and crafters (including moi!) and a few well-known chefs like Margaret Fulton, as an initiative to help families and communities affected by the Victorian bushfires.

Buy it now - limited copies available at $15, or pdfs at $8. I am snapping up a few copies for Christmas presents. (I just realised how tragic this sounds - I don't usually do my Christmas shopping in July but I am thinking of friends and family overseas and I am worried this will sell out!.)

Monday, 6 July 2009

Vintage Cake Decorations

Vintage Cake Decorations, originally uploaded by saturdayfinds.

Gasp, look at these vintage cake toppers!!! How perfect are they?

Sunday, 5 July 2009

New Belle & Boo Prints

Mandy has finished four adorable new illustrations and they are available to order as signed prints from Belle & Boo stockists or our shop.

Belle Feeds the Chicks

Belle & Her Little Lamb

My Paper Plane

My Paper Boat

I love the colours Mandy is using at the moment, especially the aqua and teal shades. It is difficult to decide, but I think I like My Paper Plane best.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Lovely magazines

Australian (and NZ) magazines are the loveliest and craftiest around, here are my current reads...


World Sweet World




Donna Hay

Lovely new Paumes books!

I'm very excited that new Paumes design books are arriving at Lark this week, fresh from Japan. We'll have nine new titles including Kitchens of Paris, London and San Francisco, Girl's Apartments in Paris, Stocknholm Love Apartments, Recettes des Mamans a Paris and London Ateliers.

Also this very sweet craft book, full of projects for children's things. We only have a few of each title so please snap them up here.

And MOST exciting, next month we will have London Vintage, the newest book from Paumes and sure to be very close to my heart. Can't wait, I will tell you when it comes in! x