This week I was invited to give a short talk (like really short, two minutes! I'm pretty sure I went over time just a bit) at the Meet the Makers evening for the 'Colour of Country' exhibition at the Redcliffe Cultural Centre. I was very thankful for the opportunity and spent much time thinking about what I could talk about in two minutes that would make any difference to anyone. In the end I decided to talk about opportunity itself. I would like share just a wee bit of the concept here for prosperity's sake.

Opportunities, I believe, are a lot like wisdom. It is not until you are ready that they are of any use to you. A very wise friend once told me a story about the wise men in  a town. It was a large and busy town and there were many spruikers and preachers and such roaming the town and knocking on doors. However the wise men simply sat at the city gates; everyday in the same spot. They did this because they knew that once a person was ready to receive their wisdom they would seek it out and the words would be heard. They understood there is no point trying to give wisdom or advice to someone who is not ready to hear it. 

The link is, bear with me, it's good...is that opportunity to me is cut of the same cloth. When you are ready you will see the opportunities for what they are, you will boldly go and grasp them and do with them what is meant to be done. 

For me the Moreton Bay Regional Council has given me 4 wonderfully timed opportunities along my path, they have literally helped to build me as an artist and created the opportunities for me as I asked for them. I am so very, very grateful for those opportunities and would not waste them for all the world, as I understand the intent and the wisdom with which they were given. 

I would like also to take this opportunity to thank my personal Patron Saint of Up-and-coming Artists, Janice Charlish. This wonderful woman works tirelessly on many fronts to ensure that creativity thrives in the region and deserves lots and lots of hugs.  

I'm sending out good opportunity vibes to all those who seek them and a timely reminder that they are often a thing sought out, not stumbled upon. Also remember to show a little bit of gratitude for the opportunity while you are there, it will help with the next one ;)

 
 
Happy New Year everyone, February already, I know! School holidays are not an excuse they are a utterly justified reason! And guess what I did on my first day back at work after School holidays???I bumped in at my very first exhibition. A great start to the year! I am a part of the 'Colour our Country' exhibition at the Redcliffe Cultural Centre Stage Door Gallery. I have even been invited to do a little talk so I am very excited! If you are in the area drop in and have a look, there are some wonderful artworks there. I purchased a painting on the bump-in that I absolutely loved by artist Tricia Reust, just to commemorate my first exhibition experience. I am so excited to finally be getting out there in the world! 
You can also find me this month in eARTh magazine, which if you haven't subscribed to - you most absolutely should. It is such a high caliber e-mag filled with the most amazing people, and now this month, me! Gratitude!

And because it's such a big month I am also in Bespoke mag which is the most beautiful publication focused on hand crafted business. Just lovely, I haven't seen the article yet but check out their website and you can see how much effort they put into their magazine. Truly lovely and gratitude to the team at Bespoke for honouring me with a place in their publication also. 

But wait! There's more! We have another workshop coming up at the Bribie Island Community Arts Centre. Am soooo excited to see what gets made in this one, see the flyer below or check out the details on Facebook
Well that's enough blogging for the day, am off to do the books then hopefully squeeze a few sketches in for my upcoming exhibition which I am now working on thanks to school holidays finally being over! Gratitude!
 
 
My business mantra that hangs on my wall near my desk...
I am a firm believer that your body will let you know what emotional issues you need to deal with and at the moment I have a huge, and very unattractive, sty on my eye. It pops up every time I am asked by my life to really put myself out there. A little bit of googling on emotional causes of physical symptoms has revealed that I am overwhemed by the future and I have to say - Spot on! 

Owning your own creative business is a funny thing.  When you start out you are determined to be successful. Then when things start to happen, opportunities arise and the actual big moment of putting yourself and your creative soul out there happens; it's really quite scary! 

On the surface I am calm and ready. Inside there is an epic mental battle going on between my Knowing Self  (the one who knows that if I just go with the flow and take the opportunities, I will end up exactly where I want to be) and my Society-brainwashed Self (the one that says there is no way you can make a living out of making pretty things, that sort of shit just doesn't happen to people like you... loser.) The later is not the sort of person I would normally be friends with. 

My Knowing Self is winning. I know, because I continue to take baby-steps daily towards my dream.  However,  just as a bit of an 'Up yours!' my Brainwashed Self likes to throw in an eye sty or a bung shoulder (symptom of feeling weighed down by financial pressure), just to make her presence felt. 

Well to you Brainwashed Self I say 'Bugger off!' Throw at me all the dastardly physical symptoms you like, I will not be stopped! I will make pretty things for a living, I will contribute beauty to the world, I will do what I love and be well paid for it, even if I can only see out of one eye! So there! I'm off to do some meditation and white-lighting  for my Knowing Self to give her a boost of confidence. To all those out there doing the same thing - Solidarity the the higher self! Let them shine!


 
 
Hvve just looked over the last few posts and am realising that I have done a lot of workshops lately! Yet another great day this Sunday, this time at Brunswick Heads. Also landed in town at the same time as the Sea Shepard Tour, so lucky enough to see Kit Bray but just missed Bobby Alu! Bummer! Anyway, Brunswick Heads is truly a lovely little place and the workshop again was a lovely nurturing afternoon of good converstaion and great crafting results with everyone leaving with their own designer felt vessel. I am really loving these workshops and am planing to amp things up next year. So keep an eye out in your area or send me a request and I will come and visit you! Shameless promotion below, a testimonial from one of the 3D felting workshops

"Thanks Meg for a wonderful workshop on felting vessels - I really enjoyed the casual environment, and your informal teaching style.  The steps were easy to follow, and the size of the group was perfect for banter across the table as well as individual attention from you!  I've done quite a few textile workshops before, and found yours to be one of the ones I've most enjoyed - relaxed and friendly, but with a definite outcome.... you were generous with your knowledge and advice, and I loved that I could try this technique without a huge investment in supplies! I'd happily recommend anyone needing an infusion of textile creativeness to book a workshop with you!"


Thanks to Karoline for that glowing testimonial!

 
 
What a fantastic workshop we had at the Sunday Sessions on Bribie Island! Thanks so much to all of the creative peeps who came along, you really stretched those creative muscles!!! Well done. Creativity was flowing as our participants created two tea towels using block printing techniques, one to a brief given at the start of the workshop and one where their imaginations could run wild. With lovely company, good food and awesome designer homewares to make, these Sunday Sessions are fast becoming my favourite afternoon of the month! Thanks guys - look out for the next one on Sunday the 1st of December! 
 
 
When I am working in my studio felting or painting, I like to have the music on LOUD. I like to bop around like a teenager and use the movement created by the music to work it's way into the art. It's fun, brings up the bubble of joy and it I like to think it helps me burn a few calories too! I am totally loving Spotify because it just plays me music all day and when a song comes on that gets the creative juices flowing I add it to my Spotify playlist for another day. There are some songs that just make good art! It's true, so today I thought I would share my top five 'Songs to bop around to while being creative'. This is where you realise what a dag I actually am, can't claim to be listening to the latest 'thang' all the time I'm afraid! Some old school tracks may slip in!
Price Tag by Jessie J
Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5
Non, je ne regrette rien by Edith Piaff
Wishing Well by Cheyenne Marie Mize
No Diggity by Blackstreet

Totally aware the content has little to with Art in these songs but the beats make me move, except for Edith Piaff which just makes me feel like I'm painting in Paris! Enjoy! xx

 
 
Laeta Loca Designs has finally found the time to photograph and launch our felt vase and vessel range. These simple but beautiful vessels can be set in groups for display or insert a glass and you can use your felt vase just like a ceramic one! Great for adding texture and warmth to modern interiors our vessels start from $25. Available at www.laetaloca.com
 
 
The new range of Laeta Loca Cushions is available for sale, check out our website for a glimpse of our lovely grass tree cushions and papillon cushions now available in pastel and sunset colours!  
 
 
Our first Laeta Loca Sunday Session at the Bribie Island Community Arts Centre was a huge success - with sold out numbers and a real buzz of creativity. Thank you to all of the very creative ladies who made the day such a nurturing afternoon. There was some beautiful vessels made and hopefully a little bit of learning! Our next session will involve some creativity with silk! Contact Meg today to sign up for our next session on the 3rd of November.
 
 
Me and anna with a felt pod I made during the workshop...
Oh My Goodness!!! So excited to have attending the 3 day workshop held by Anna Gunnersdottir from Iceland, felting superstar!!! Her stuff is amazing...and HUGE! She creates the most wonderful shell like structures and I am very ecited to be shown the techniques for making something so big out of felt, whole new world about to open up, I can feel it. Check out these amazing images of Anna's work and the amazing things created by the attendees at the workshop, held by the very kind (and excellent baker of cakes) Mrs Wendy Bayley. Did I mention that I am excited? 
Ann's sculptural forms have been exhibited all over the world and are absolutely huge. They are stiffened with wood glue to hold their shape (a switch I will now be making, as I use fabric stiffener but the glue is much better). She is such a lovely lady and builds all her forms all by her little lonesome, which when you experience the work that goes into something just little like the ones we made, is quite a feat! 
Some of the results of our three day workshop. Can't wait to pass on some great tips in the Bribie Island and Caboolture workshops in October!
A table full of 3-D felted goodness! Thanks Anna and Wendy!
 
 
Hello everyone. The Sunday Sessions are on! Laeta Loca Designs is starting a regular Sunday workshop, on the first Sunday of each month, with a focus on crafting our own designer homewares and gifts. Afternoon tea included on Bribie. We will also be having a session at the hub in Caboolture on the 26th of October with the same topic, felting your own vessel/bowl - if you are unable to make it on the 6th of October. It will be a relaxing and rejuvenating session with all materials supplied. Only $35, limited spaces so book early to avoid missing out!
 
 
Being the type of person who really has to have some sort of intervention from God to make a new friend, cold calling is not my idea of a good time. Cold calling seems to me to be an activity best done after the first glass of wine but before the second. Sadly, no wine is probably the accepted method, which helps me, let's see...not at all. 

Strangely though I think the butterflies in my tummy are ones coloured with nervous excitement rather than dread, which is a positive I guess. I am so excited at the thought of actually getting a stockist for Laeta Loca Designs there will be a party at my house when I get the first one. And, being of reasonable intelligence, I realise that the only way to get stocked somewhere is to go out and show them what you've got. So go I must.

Luckily I am quite proud of my silk cushions, the product first off the rank, so that takes 'mortification at the thought of selling something horrid' out of the equation. Now just have to deal with being  'naturally chatty and business-like' and trying to control the highly unattractive red-faced syndrome I get anytime I am in a position I find socially uncomfortable. I don't know which family genes gave me that winner but really? Could have done without that one. The colour my face turned in grade ten after the first boyfriend went for the first boob-grab has been an ongoing legacy I am yet to shake.

Oh gosh, just had a thought! What am I am going to wear? I have to look cool, yet reliable; on trend, but unique; effortless but obviously capable of ongoing creative genius. Oh dear! Best get onto that straight away, it could take a while. 
 
 
Ok, here it is. I wrote a little blog a few weeks ago about being slapped in the face by the hand of truth, well here is the red mark my friends. The video is complete and ready for viewing. This is probably up there with the most confronting things I have ever done! My finger is twitching in anticipation of pushing the 'publish' button on this post and not in a good way! Nerve wracking. And while there are a few things I would probably like to go back and change, let's face it, at some point I just have to push send otherwise my very talented friend Josh at Pixel Vandels ! So here I go!
 
 
Hi Nan. I miss you. I am trying to think of what you would be telling me right now as I put myself out there in this creative business venture. "Just be you," is what I am hearing. Awesome advice. Really, I tell my daughter the same thing and hope that she manages to avoid the 'sheep' phase in high school thanks to this worldly gem. But Nan, seriously, I am finding it is taking considerable and constant, watchful effort. 

And I think I have discovered the problem. The internet. You kind of missed that development Nan, mercifully dropping out before the internet became the all-purveying success factor for creative business. In your day, someone came up with an idea, made it, sold a few to their friends, set up a little shop in their town and success was measured by customer satisfaction and word of mouth patronage. Well it's kind of the same now Nan, except instead of hoping to get a few customers I have to get thousand's of these things called 'likes'. I need to make 'friends' from all over the world. I have to 'connect' with all the right bloggers and connected media types. I have to have literally thousands of these connections before I can even consider myself to be 'marketing' my business. The pressure is huge and I have to say I think it is causing some addiction issues. I am checking my emails and Facebook page a little too regularly. The magic email could come in at any moment and checking to see if a purchase has been made approaches with a little rush akin to some kind of cyber drug. I am feeling a little unhealthy Nan.

I sent off a submission to one of these 'connections', pinning my hopes for a full 48 hours on their prospective positive response. They didn't respond Nan. Can you imagine! My first long shot didn't come off! It's a mystery! I say this tongue in cheek because of course these poor people who have managed to get hundred's of thousands of 'friends' like The Design Files, are as you could imagine - having that many friends Nan - now so ridiculously slammed with invitations that the chance of getting a real-life personal response from them is heartbreakingly small. I have to remember that even though I am sure that if they actually met me they would want to be my real friend, because let's face it - I am a really nice person like you told me Nan - but I am in the cyber slush pile and my job is to climb to the top. 

I spend a better part of my day looking at the pictures, designs and stylings of others which is very distracting, sometimes inspiring and sometimes a little disheartening if I'm honest. 

So here is my solution! I think what I need to do is make sure I limit this madness. I need to make sure a good, and no doubt better, part of my week is spent on doing what I actually love. Creating. I need to feel the fibres in-between my fingers and not lose the love of what I do. I need to get out into the world and meet real people, start local. After all that is the way I would like to see the world go. Be the change you want to see in the world! So thanks Nan for the chat. I hope you are proud of me and I hope the craft groups up there in heaven are totally rocking. Thanks for the arty genes, I will do my best to do something worthwhile with them. 

Meg xx
 
 
Be a dear Mr. Carpenter and finish off my studio...I'd be so very grateful. 
Close to all of the time (i'm working on it) I am supremely happy with my lot in life. I have everything a girl could want - times ten. But I have to say there is nothing, repeat NOTHING, on this planet that makes me wish I was stupidly rich like renovating does. I am nearing the completion of the DIY renovation of our second home and we are currently transforming one of the spaces in our house into a new studio for Laeta Loca Designs. It's all good. I am excited about getting it done, impressed that we have done it ourselves, despite that really crooked bit, blah blah blah. Let's be honest here, I must confess: I would have been equally as excited if it had of been finished 8 weeks ago with quality tradesman skills and finishing. I don't want to sound ungrateful but I like tradies, they are just so darn useful. And as cute as my husband looks in his tool belt, and as much as I love him for working so hard on behalf of my dreams, I feel like he too would have rathered a couple of buff carpenter types to spend three days here doing what has essentially taken us nearly two months. But, when you have a budget, DIY is the key to getting the most bang for your buck and hopefully I will be posting photos of my new studio at some point, in the not too distant future. One week, tops....maybe two...ish. In the meantime I am listening to one of my favourite songs Royals to remind myself that I am not into that kind of buzz...Not that the film clip is really helping convince me, if I had a tiger on a gold leash I would most definitely sell it to pay for the tradies. 
 
 
Jessica Swift - Float Softly Upward - What a great title!
Good morning, or evening, or afternoon in fact, totally depending on when you are reading this! I have been doing up my business goals this week as a part of the whole keeping on track thing, and am reminding myself that business goals are not about money, and sales, and how many magazines I get featured in. Hopefully some! My main aim is to contribute. Contribute to my family, my world, the Universe in general. So I have structured my goals around where and to whom I would like to contribute. The money and the sales and the mags will come as a by product of my contribution. That's the plan anyway. 

My friend and I were discussing business over lunch yesterday and were talking about the importance of keeping 'the vision' clear in our mind. That long term happy place where you are exactly who you want to be, where you want to be, with worries and cares nothing but a distant memory. Ahhh...I love that place. I go there everyday. If you have that as a guide then the decisions you make on a daily basis are far more likely to lead you right there. Amazing how the world works isn't it!

Then this morning as I was wikki-walking my way through my emails (this is when I read one email and then an hour later realise I have linked through to eight different websites, signed up for three more RSS feeds and discovered 10 more people who are totally rocking it) I discovered a woman called Jessica Swift. I highly recommend taking your own wikki-walk down her lane, what an inspiration! Her shop is gorgeous, her philosophy on life nothing short of euphoric and her tips on business success are just plain lovely. Jessica is the reason I am focusing my goals on contribution, as it occurs to me that contribution is what it is all about. And she seems to be doing it in spades! Here are my new life/business goals, because frankly I can't separate them at the moment! 

1. Do something that reflects my dreams everyday.
2. Make something beautiful for someone every week.
3.Create products that support Australian industry.
4. Do something inspirational for my daughter everyday.
5. Stick to my principals of sustainability.
6. Take time for me: replenish, rejuvenate and breathe, every day.
7. Make here and now my happy place.
8. Run an honest, reliable and innovative business.
9. Believe in myself.
10. Believe in others. 
  
If I follow these, I will be contributing to the family income and thereby my husbands happiness ;), contributing to my daughter's view of the world, contributing positive energy, contributing something worthwhile that may, every now and again, make someone smile. And that sounds more than okay to me.
 
 
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After last weeks very zen post of being attached to nothing, this week is about being very attached to something. With me it usually happens with fashion but once or twice I have had the problem with a particularly nice bowl that has shattered ruthlessly on my kitchen floor and also an ornamental hook that is frankly just truly awesome and if I can work a way to get that no-nails off it will be coming with me when I move. It's the "Dang, I should have bought two of those!" problem. The sparkly blue converse shoes for $15 in Macy's San Francisco? So should have bought two pair of those. My Zara jeans? Kicking myself as the owner of only one pair of those. Awesome geometric pillow from Spotlight, never seen before or again, totally random find? Should have hunted harder in the sale pile for a matching one of those let me tell you. 

As mentioned in last week's post my red boots are my all time favourite designer find ever. The world's best designed boots, hands down. Everywhere I go, people want to know where I got them and what brand they are. They are RMK by the way. In all seriousness, I have yet to try them on with anything that they don't look fantastic with. But even despite searching four continents over the last decade, emailing the company personally with photos of said boots, and constantly having a subconscious awareness of every boot I see, in every store, in every town I visit - I have never been able to get another pair, or even any that are close to being as truly awesome as they are. The sad part of the story? Get your tissues ready: they are dying. The zips are precarious as best and the leather is so worn around the rims it looks like my husbands socks before we got married. The soles have been redone twice and the inner lining has to be held back out of the way so you can do the zips up without tangling the lining in them - which would be bad because of the previously mentioned precarious nature of the zips. I bought them on sale for $35 12 years ago! I know right!? I have since spent a grand total of $180 keeping them alive. When Laeta Loca Designs takes off (which it will of course, because I believe!) the first thing I will spend my hard earned money on is commissioning a talented shoemaker to make an exact replica of my boots. Actually, as hindsight has been gained, I will get them to make two pairs! Do you have anything that you should have bought two of?

 
 
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A little while back now, maybe just before the tsunami in Japan, which in hindsight is kinda weird, my husband and I decided to pack what is now affectionately known as the 'Tsunami Bag'. A bag that we can grab at a moments notice in the hopefully unlikely event of a fire, an earthquake, or, as indicated by the name of the bag, a tsunami. We do live a measly 1.5 m above sea level after all. It has practical things in it like a big bottle of water, hats,  a blanket, a backup of our hard drive including family photos etc, two sarongs. The sarongs are like the towels in HItch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, useful for many things such as shade, drying, tying ones child to ones self...yes I know, it's weird that I have thought about this so hard. Once all of these things were in, hubby and I walked around the house trying to fill the available remaining space. 

What started out as a morbid task, actually turned out to be a very zen experience. We couldn't find anything to put in the bag. We have plenty of beautiful things. Trinkets, books, music, souvenirs from our travels, you name it. Our home is filled with all the trappings you will find in any other middle class home. The great and zen thing was we couldn't find anything we would actually want to drag around in an emergency. There was nothing that we were truly attached to.  We discussed it and were shocked to find that if we had to leave it all behind we would do so, in theory, gracefully and without any true bitterness. When we looked at it all, we could appreciate it's beauty and the stories and spirit behind it, but in the end, it wasn't what mattered.  So we put some extra survival tools in the bag, pocket knife, first aid stuff etc, my grandmother's pearls, and my father-in-law's coin collection (because they were little and it seemed like we should take something), our passports and were done with it.

While the reality of dealing with the loss of personal possessions is no doubt quite a different and horrific experience, I feel that we can at least go forward with philosophical intentions.  While all of the things I spend my days designing, oogling on pinterest or reading about in Belle Magazine are beautiful and wonderful products of the human mind, there is also a zen impermanence about them. Realising that they are things, and seeing them as objects to enjoy for fleeting moments in time, really kind of adds to their charm; more so than desperatelycoveting them and attaching our inner happiness and sense of wellbeing to what is essentially, in the heat of a natural disaster moment,  just 'stuff'. I do however hope I am wearing my red boots if I have to make a dash for it.  I would so hate to loose those boots, they literally go with every item in my wardrobe and I can run very fast in them, no problem...

 
 
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Meg working hard at a photo shoot for Laeta Loca Designs

Oh God help! Starting a business all on my little lonesome is feeling like a very heavy burden today. Must write a blog post, must sort out some decent images, must spend at least half an hour updating Pinterest, fresh content is so very important, must complete killer press release that is going to have the world's design media scratching at my door, must apply for grants to improve myself, must find internship to increase industry contacts and knowledge, must work out why my reach on Facebook is over 2000 but only 12 people are seeing the darn posts, must eat something, must update etsy shop, must be able to have something tangible to show supportive husband at the end of the day, must be looking cute and be wearing the right underwear to thank supportive husband in an appropriate manner at the end of the day, must cook dinner, must pick up darling daughter, must spend time researching how other cool arty people have made it, how have they made it??? Must keep up with trends, must read at least some of the 5 magazines that have piled up on my desk to keep abreast of what is being showcased, must rehash SEO to make google like me more, please like me more Google, pretty please. Must make more lights and go to Spotlight to buy some cord to hang them and then must get a decent photo of them, must have decent photos, having trouble with decent photos, must pack dishwasher, must unpack dishwasher first, must make a list of all the things I need to do, must locate list, must actually follow the list and cross things off it to make it an actual valid list, must tell myself I am doing okay, must believe that I am doing okay, must pick up new lampshade ring design from fabricators, must show my cats some love, it has been quite some time, must finish painting new studio space so I have somewhere to tell myself I am doing okay, must make it big so I don't have to go and work at Bunnings, although have secretly always wanted to work at Bunnings, must write blog post...

 
 
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I would like to take a moment to ponder the sheer brilliance of the human imagination. Being a part of the design world has opened my eyes to the role design plays in making the impossible possible. Our forefathers would most likely fall over in a dead faint if they saw some of the buildings, the gadgets and the astounding creations we have today just as we can look back in awe at the feats accomplished in days of old by those with the simplest of tools. Designers at some point have touched just about everything we have in our lives today, not to forget the ultimate designer, nature itself. Have you sat back recently and just had a marvel at the brilliance of it all? Designers make the human imagination tangible and real. What a wonderful way to contribute to the world. Here are a few pics to highlight my gratitude...

Gaudi - talk about your out-of-the-box thinker...
Swedish treehouse hotel...
The chalk art champions deliver some incredible feats of the imagination...google it, you'll be amazed!
Seems so simple but lots of great design solutions required to make it work methinks.
Design reflecting nature in this amazing staircase...Amen!
 
 
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I particularly love when design provides the world with a solution to a daily mum problem. Plastic wrap. Excellent invention. Very, very useful. Not so good for the environment though, plastic in land fill and all that. The folks at 4myearth.com.au have worked out that the average child will use about 105m of plastic wrap on their school lunches each year. Multiply that by all the kids going to school and that's, well... a lot. Add to that all the plastic wrap you use for covering leftovers, freezing stuff, wrapping up the the dead stick insect to take for show-and-tell, all the usual things...it's a lot of plastic going into our landfills each year. 

A year or two ago I discovered this great Australian owned company called 4myearth.com.au. They are a truly ethical company that has a selection of very well designed products that solve a very real problem. It's what I like best about design and I love this website. Their lunch wrappers and little bags are oh so cute, with lots of funky designs, and I can vouch for the fact that they do keep the food in just as good condition as plastic wrap.  Not only does their design solve a problem but they are contributing to communities as well with a great fundraising option for schools. Ethics all round, now that is something worth supporting. Their products are all food safe and they also have very cute excerise book covers that are reusable, biodegradable and totally affordable. So check them out as they are a great example of design doing good things.

 
 
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Hey Peeps, thought I would show you my latest design...Laeta Loca Designs brand new cushion called 'Papillon' with Sarah Fielke 'on the pond' fabric on reverse side. Hand painted silk in cerulean blue, watermelon and rye colours. My absolute favourite thing so far. This cushion looks just gorgeous, I think I might have to keep one for myself. Available now at Laeta Loca Designs.

 
 
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Last week I was slapped in the face by the hand of truth. At 40 I thought I was ageing pretty well. People occasionally told me I was looking good, I even got asked for ID last year at a festival. I see now that it was a combination of low lighting and very low IQ (on behalf of the bouncer) that caused that little miracle. 

Last week I had an artist-profile video shot; just two minutes as a showcase of the Laeta Loca Designs and backstory etc. I knew the first watch of the video was going to be tough as I don't generally like looking at photos of myself and there is nothing like a video to turn the most confident of souls into a self-deprecating hermit.  

I thought it was going to be bad, but it was way, way worse. Like I said – slapped in the face by the hand of truth. Repeatedly. Each time a close up came on I very nearly died with the shock. Even my husband, who loves me with love goggles strapped on tight, had to admit it was a confronting experience! As I worked my way down my extreme close-up, lamenting the degradation of my physical appearance, it got me to thinking about the Grand Design of the human form.

My theory on the Grand Design of the human being, admittedly with generalisations, is this, tell me what you think:

We start out cute as a button constantly being told how adorable we are so we become ingrained with a certain level of vanity. Then puberty and analytical thought kick in. We spend a few years thinking we perhaps aren't quite as adorable as all the adults said we were, or alternatively, we embrace it fully and agree with them wholeheartedly. In our twenties and thirties we get comfortable and learn how to make the most of what we've been given. Great. Then... just as we are feeling comfortable and happy with the state of affairs, in comes ageing. Eyelids start to droop, as do boobs. Crows feet, smile lines, grey hair here and there? So now the spiritual challenge is to overcome our vanity, however humble, and accept these changes as they occur. But I think The Universe/God/insert your own Deity  knows how hard it is to overcome this one, because it happens slowly. You don't really notice it until presented with a moving image of yourself in HDTV. 

I can utterly see now why Hollywood actors and actresses are going the way of Botox and plastic surgery. "Just age gracefully!" I used to yell at the magazines when I read about the latest nip and tuck. But that was before I saw myself in High Definition. Now I completely understand. If I had to watch that back on a regular basis I may find it difficult to walk past the cosmetic surgeon myself. I no longer think High Definition is necessarily a good design invention. Bring back the hazy days of analogue I say! 

But to the Deity in charge of the Grand Design of the human form, I say thank you. Thank you for giving us at least a few years of adorable, a few years of comfortable and for giving us time to adjust as we become...mmmm...hold on, searching for the right word...haggard?...no...saggy?...no...gracefully wise? Yes. That's it. For ageing gracefully is now more of a challenge than it was last week, but I accept the challenge! First step, send out a video of myself to the world looking haggard! Out in a week or two...Enjoy.



 
 
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As a part of  'infusing beauty' into my life I am taking on the ritual of tea. "Ritual?" I hear you say. YES! why not? Tea used to be a savoured ritual, where the best china came out and milk and sugar was put into oh-so-pretty jugs and bowls. In Japan there are whole ceremonies based around the pouring of tea! Now I'm lucky if I have time to whack a tea bag in a cup, boil my (admittedly very cool) kettle, pour in some milk straight from the carton, then fingers crossed, finish the whole cup before it gets cold (rare). 

Why? I see all these fabulous kettles at op shops, garage sales and particularly antique stores, (took some photos for you of my finds) and yet we seem to have lost the art of tea. Just recently a friend very kindly gave me a tea set; asian vibe, very cool. The cups are teeny tiny but it jogged a memory. I once heard of a friend who had three children and instead of them slamming down a gulp of water before bed, they would all sit around a low table and have a small cup of chamomile tea. It was an honour to be given the task of pouring it. The children would willingly take turns using the beautiful teapot and pouring the warm liquid into the lovely matching cups. They would then sit and talk about their day while sipping the nourishing tea. What a wonderful way to go to bed at night! 
So slap a couple of tea bags into a teapot instead of straight to your cup, find yourself some mugs or tea cups that make you smile and bring back the ceremony, the blessings and the love that comes with serving ourselves, and our friends and family, a nice hot cup of tea.  
 
 
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I was walking through Fortitude Valley the other day and came upon this truly awesome store called Incube8r. There is one in melbourne too apparently and they are a retail market concept for budding artists and designers like myself

So as we know from the last post, markets are not my bag baby, despite the 5am starts, the transport logistics and weather risks. :) But this clever concept has made markets fun! They are a showcase for handmade designers and sell space, just like markets, on a weekly basis, and the artist gets 100% of the retail price of the item! 

Not only is it fantastic for the vendors but this shop is a real treasure trove for the buyers too. You can see the showcased artists on their blog and if you buy from here you know you are getting something that is made with love and passion from a boutique artist trying making their way in the world. Help feed a local artists or designer today! We need it, let me tell you!