Tuesday, April 29, 2008


A reader I met a little while ago while 'on assignment' at Pepe's Paperie (Woden) let me in on these amazing origami projects she has mastered...

I've been working on a series of kusudama (modular origami floral balls) using Paperie papers. I like to use kusudama to explore colour proportions and interactions, sometimes they translate well to other art/design projects too. The photos will be streamed on my flickr site.

Much paper!

Wow...incredible work Danyka, thankyou for sharing this with us - I really enjoy the colour combinations and the obvious patience and perfection required to make these so successful.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Kikki.K: Swedish delish

No prizes for guessing that I'm just a little bit excited to see the opening of Canberra's very own Kikki.K stationery boutique! Scandinavian inspired design, gorgeous colour, quality product - well, it's pretty hard not to get happy, and I'm not the only one...

When Swedish born Kristina “Kikki” Karlsson decided to set up a home office almost ten years ago, she struggled to find beautiful and stylish products which she had grown used to in her native Scandinavia. So she designed her own. By combining her appreciation of design with her love of stationery, the business was born.

Today she is the creative director and founder of international fashion stationery label kikki.K – Swedish home office Style, with retail boutiques in Australia & New Zealand, and now Canberra!

And, of course, I couldn't leave without the cutest pencils in the Canberra's Got Style office colours, a beautiful, beautiful business card folder in red, a pack of 'mini notes' and some cute little sticky notes (because I always forget the little things - er...but not the children).
Kikki.K is in the Canberra Centre, level 1, (right next door to the Coffee Club).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reader SOS: A little cushion love

"Dear Nina,
After seeing your house, I now have an obsession about sourcing two funky and bright cushions for our sofas. They are dark brown leather in a beige painted room with brown wood furniture (get the picture?) I like lime green and bright blue although not necessarily together....Where do I need to go to find something like I see in your house. Please send me some divine intervention Nina!!!"

Emma, I chose fabrics sourced in Canberra to make my cushions, I chose the highly patterned Amy Butler Water Lotus fabric from her Nigella collection as my 'hero' fabric (from Addicted to Fabric, Phillip), then tied in the dark greeny/mud colour to bring it down a little. I then made a textured plain colour cushion and a bold graphic tying the mud back in with the hot pink. Try having a look for fabrics you love which will tie in with a couple of bold designs.

Here are some of my favourite picks...

Donna Aylen designs, at Rarified Framing Gallery.

Karen Hilton Designs (UK), online via ETSY

Frances Rose (UK), online via ETSY
And don't forget Inside Story will custom make your cushions from the most comprehensive and delicious choices of fabrics in Canberra.

Got a style dilemma? drop me a line...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Decadence and wine: Parlour Wine room

A new venue for decadence and the devine is now open. I took a look at the New Acton East precinct to see that things are looking absolutely gorgeous. At Parlour Wine Room, opened only 2 weeks, the look is chic-antiques-meets-drama-queen and I love it! Who wouldn't feel like royalty in one of these thrones?

Parlour Wine Room has gone to considerable lengths to a offer their comprehensive 140 strong wine list, sampling some of the finest wines, sparkling and Champagne that the ACT, regional Australia and the international wine community has to offer - as well as classic cocktails such as the perfect martini, Manhattan or Old Fashioned cocktail. To accompany the wide selection of wine is a creative menu of Spanish Tapas with a modern Australian twist and an ample array of deserts to keep the sweet tooth happy.

Parlour Wine Room 16 Kendall Lane (off Marcus Clark St), Newacton Pavilion.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Felt Jewellery: Mammoth Designs

Wow! I came upon this very talented Canberran jeweller quite by accident the other day and was floored by the uniqueness of her designs. The maker behind Mammoth designs tells us about her amazing felted jewellery...

Lana, How would you describe your personal style? "I like to make things that are different yet not outlandish. My style is mostly simple and restrained, focusing on form and colour and allowing the pieces to be interesting without taking over an outfit."
How long have you been making Jewellery? "I've been designing and making felt jewellery for about 2 years."
Who or what influences your work? "The materials themselves inspire me, and exploring styles and techniques keeps me motivated."

You use some pretty interesting techniques, can you tell us about those? "Felt making is an ancient technique using water and friction to turn animal fibres into a textile. Modern applications use a basic or acidic agent to aid the process (commonly soap). My work is made from sheep's wool and involves folding the wool in a specific way before beginning to felt it. The end result is a product that is both tough and durable, but soft and tactile at the same time. Felt is a marvellous thing!"

Where can buy your work? "currently my range is available only online on the Mammoth Designs website. I am having a break from designing... (but) I plan to get back into it in about a year."
What do you hope for in the future in terms of your work? "There are a great many possibilities in what can be made using felt. I plan to continue focusing on jewellery but to expand into homewares as the business grows."

Love it, love it, LOVE IT!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Behind the Curtains with: The Shopping Sherpa

From cruising around the Blogosphere one of my very regular blog reads is authored by Canberra's own fabulous monochromed frugaller and talented crafster, The Shopping Sherpa. Anna-Maria invites us into her Dickson duplex to have a look behind the curtains...

Images by Ninaribena
Anna-Maria describes her style as "black and white, understated, modern and classic." With a keen eye for absolute value for money, and proving her Shopping Sherpa title, she is a proud frugaller and bargain hunter, never failing to select items which will improve her collections but not date. But while black and white may seem cold, Anna-Maria has created a warm and inviting atmosphere, adding natural textures and timber for pure style.

Images by The Shopping Sherpa
Many of the quirky collectibles here are from her native New Zealand, her former home of which she is immensly fond and proud. Above Koru, from NZ.

Anna-Maria's collections are testament to her passion for travel with many unique pieces from all around the globe. Quirky postcards and her own photographs from her travels are dotted around her home.
"Postcards, photographs, images from magazines - anything in a frame can be art, and it's inexpensive. When I get tired of one thing, it's easy to replace it for something new"
Above left: Venetian graffiti takes centre stage in the kitchen; Right: Street art, a Dragon in Barcelona.

Images by The Shopping Sherpa
A keen knitter and maker, Anna-Maria runs her small business 'in her spare time', making Shopping Sherpa folding shopping bags, tote bags and messenger bags which she sells online.

Images by Ninaribena

Images by Ninaribena
And just in case you're wondering if there is any colour at Casa Sherpa... Anna-Maria lives out a 20th century modern colourful existence in her absolutely AMAZING collection of doll houses, just announced as the exhibit for the Cabinets and Curiosities collections at Canberra Museum and Gallery from October through to January (CONGRATULATIONS!). To have a bit more of a look at what she does with mod style and miniatures, have a look here - fabulous.

L: The Shopping Sherpa; R: Ninaribena

Image by the Shopping Sherpa
Visit The Shopping Sherpa's website for more information about buying her work and reading her blog. And stay tuned for "Behind the Curtains with The Shopping Sherpa - in miniature!"