Old Australian stamps

About 4 years ago I bought several packs of old Australian stamps from an op-shop.  I didn't know what to do with them, but I do love all the colours and patterns on stamps so I've been hoarding them ever since!

I finally decided to do something with them - and created a collage style map of Australia!  I bought an old Atlass and tore out the Australia map as a background, and then collaged the old stamps in the shape of Australia over the top of the map!

It's a bit kitsch - but quite cute! 

More kitchen illustrations & sketches

I've been messing around with sketching some more of my collection of cups, teapots and kettles!
I've been exploring using different media to acheive different effects, and also incorporating some collage elements into the sketches.  I've been working 'blind' by just applying paint direct to paper - without putting down any pencil outlines first!  It can be a bit scary at first - but I love the freedom of working so direct and letting the paintbrush dictate the finished outcome.
I've also been inspired by seeing the work of Kat Chadwick on The Design Files recently - and bought myself an ink dipping pen to experiment with!!  Ooh - I love new media to experiement with, and this has been lots of fun!

New stockists for Me Old China!

I'm really excited to announce two new stockists for Me Old China!
The first is a newly opened on-line store called Kindred Gifts.  Kindred Gifts beleive in offering an ethical and sustainable alternative to gift purchasing - and you won't find any mass-produced items in this store!  

The products featured at Kindred Gifts are created by artisans who hand-make their designs often using vintage, recycled or organic resources and packaging, or, follow fair trade principles and contribute to the safe and fair working conditions of communities where the products are made - gotta love that!  
The other new stockist for Me Old China is the gorgeous Portobello Lane in South Yarra.   Portobello Lane is an independant boutique jewellery shop stocking hand crafted pieces from local and international designers.  They have a diverse range of jewellery from whimsical, cute and quirky pieces to selective elegant and sophisticated ranges.

I'm really thrilled to be able to stock my work with these two lovely stores, and it's great to take the opportunity to show my support and say a big 'thank you' to Kindred Gifts and Portobello Lane.  Thanks!   

I want this dolls house - for my home!

I've found my dream home..... sadly it's a dolls house!

I came across this article in the fabulous Frankie magazine about a lady who has a 'secret world of dolls houses' - and I found myself wishing I was one of her dolls as I'd love to live in such a pattern-crazy retro house!!  
Just look at this kitchen! O.M.G!!  It's perfect with its retro style coloured cupboards, green deluxe fridge and enamel cooking pots.  Too cute!!
A perfect example of a 1960's / 70's lounge with brown and orange striped couch cushions and coordinating chairs.  Do you think they are a terry-toweling type material - I do hope so!
The level of detail in the dolls house is amazing.....from the patterned wallpapers, vintage and retro furniture, food packaging in the kitchen, posters, to old telephones, tableware, lamps and and glassware etc.  The sewing desk complete with folded fabrics, old sewing machine, cutting matt and cup of coffee is adorable!
And lastly, an orange bath and matching toilet - what more could you want! 

The scanned pictures don't really do the dolls house much justice or show up all the little cute details - so head out and check out issue #38 of Frankie magazine.  I'm off to join the other dolls to do some sewing, stick a record on and plan a dinner party to utilise that fabulous kitchen....

Awoke on a Whale Heart - fab vintage clothes!

There are some things that shouldn't be shared..... things that you keep all to yourself, smug in the knowledge you've found something wonderful and only you know about it.  I've found a fab on-line vintage clothes shop just like that, and I had to think hard about whether to share the love.....  

The shop is called Awoke on a Whale Heart and they sell a very affordable mix of cute vintage ladies and mens clothes.
I bought this very cute panther dress last week - I'm loving the mustard colour and slightly obscure print! 
I love the selection of colourful and fun vintage dresses at Awoke vintage - so perfect for summer!  There's a couple of other dresses that caught my eye (the blue pleated dress and the pretty yellow dress above), but sadly someone beat me to it :(

Awoke vintage also have a GREAT returns policy - if you buy something on-line and it doesn't fit or you don't like it you can post it back for a full refund.  Go and check them out - but please don't buy anything that I like ;-)   

Poppy illustrations

I loved seeing the statuesque poppies in the Burnett Gallery & Garden in Castlemaine, and it reminded me of some poppy illustrations I painted a while ago.  The illustrations above were all painted in watercolours as it's a perfect medium to encapsulate their delicate papery petals.

Castlemaine's Festival of Gardens - part 1

I had a lovely day on Sunday visiting beautiful Castlemaine and it's Festival of Gardens. The open garden festival is a bi-annual event running over two consecutive weekends, and features some stunning gardens! 

I am going to have to do this post in two parts - I took heaps of pictures and am finding it very hard to cull the images!  This first part is the beautiful rambling country garden of the Burnett Gallery & Garden.
 The Burnett Gallery & Garden features a beautiful old traditional brick house, with a very long garden stratching down to a creek.  
The garden was a fabulous riot of colour, texture and pattern - nature at her absolute finest showing off her creations in all their glory!  I love these purple Irises with their delicate watercolour petals. 
I fell in love with this garden, partly because it reminded me of a very English country garden.  The garden had a wildness to it - it wasn't too structured or perfect, with a mix of flowers and plants jostling for space.
I'm such a fan of poppies in a garden with their intense colour, tall gangly structure and beautiful large papery petals.  Even the seed pods have a wonderful sculptural quality to them.
I also love blue flowers in a garden, so calming and the blue tones are off set perfectly against the yellow-green leaves. 
A perfect spot to sit and soak up the sun and the beautiful surroundings.  Sooo lovely....
 Kangaroo sculptures in the garden made from old corrugated iron sheets.  Cute!