Monday, July 30, 2012


CASTLE was founded in 2008 by Rachel Castle with a small range of bedlinen made for friends and family. Considerable interest ensured CASTLE quickly became a commercial venture. The brand represents a love of beautiful, often handcrafted or handprinted, pieces for the home.

Rachel Castle has spent the past 20 years working in the homewear industry both in Australia and abroad. Prior to CASTLE, Rachel was joint founder of London-based branding and design agency, The Nest, and before that, worked for The Conran Shop in the UK. She regularly styles and writes for Australian lifestyle magazines, and currently lives in Sydney.All handmade artworks are sewn by Rachel Castle and her very patient and loving mother.

Question & Answer

Tell us a little about your background – what path has led you to what you’re doing now?
 I originally studied Communications at RMIT and moved straight into the PR department at Country Road doing all the marketing for the Homewear brand. From there I moved to London to work with Alex Willcock at The Conran Shop in the buying department, and ended up heading the branding division responsible for all the printed material for the shops and restaurants worldwide. From there Alex Willcock, myself and Russell Pinch set up our own branding agency called The Nest which we sold 7 years later to St Lukes in the UK. From there I started having babies and re-engaging with my love of hand-making anything I possibly could.

You have spent the past 20 years working in the homewares industry both in Australia and abroad…. What prompted your move into interiors styling and writing for magazines?
I guess the freelance nature of styling and writing is perfect for stay at home mothers. We need to work in little snippets of time and so a day on a shoot and then writing 2000 words at your own pace is a real luxury.

How do you find a balance your freelance editorial work with designing your gorgeous line of homewares and artworks for CASTLE? How do these two roles complement each other?
With difficulty at the moment. CASTLE is taking up more and more time, both the bedlinen and the artworks, and so I’m finding I do the odd house here and there at the moment, rather than a consistent amount of work.

How would you describe your interior decorating/styling aesthetic in your own home? How does this compare with the aesthetic you bring to your commercial styling work?
My style at home is very ‘abundant’ or as my fussy architect friend calls it ‘chaotic’. It’s a lot of stuff everywhere in a big white backdrop. I love clutter I must say, it makes me feel at home. I do however, like to have a specific spot for everything. This is where the jugs go, this is where all the chopping boards belong, this is where the cookbooks stand, this is where the sugar bowl sits. I tidy the house to within an inch of its life every Friday afternoon and Monday morning, without fail.With the clutter comes a need to make everything else as neat and tidy as possible. On a shoot I will ALWAYS make the bed, set furniture at right angles, be careful to put everything in its place. 

Which designers, artists or creative people are you inspired by?
There are just so many. David Band, Gemma Smith, Paul Rand. I love Jonathan Adler, he is hilarious. You should read his book, I laughed out loud it is so funny. I remember as a child my friends mother, Annamieke Mein, was an embroiderer, and I was very inspired by her workspace. I like to sit in my ‘making’ room surrounded by my ‘making’ stuff, probably just like she did.

Where else do you find inspiration – ie books, magazines, your environment, travel, your family and friends?
I feel really inspired by work itself, by the process of retailing, even if it is online I still have interaction with my customers who are just so appreciative and delightful to deal with. If I just had to sit and sew or screen print all day every day I would go potty. The mix of making and selling is really a perfect balance. Oh and I read every magazine known to man and just as many blogs. 

What does a typical day at work involve for you?
Sewing, there is always sewing, wrapping parcels, pleading with my bedlinen manufacturer to PLEASE let me have just 15 metres more of our cotton fabric, then pleading with our lovely printer to print me another batch of spots yesterday, and then I spend the other half of my day at the Post Office. My Post Office people are so lovely because I spend my entire life there.

What are you looking forward to?
Time to make some new embroideries and do some new screen printing. Ask me what I’m not looking forward to… our house renovation where we have to move out for 4 months.
You favourite fossicking spots in Sydney for unique furniture and home accessories?
I would have to say Koskela. All Australian design, everything from furniture and rugs, to pottery and exceptional aboriginal weaving and paintings. They are lovely, lovely people.

What and where was the last great meal you ate in Sydney?
Spice Temple in Sydney on my birthday.Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?On the side of the road arguing with the sat nav somewhere in Pymble driving Cleo to netball.

Sydney’s best kept secret?
I adore the Sydney Opera House. It is my favourite building in the world. It is an unbelievably beautiful piece of architecture inside and out, and I feel a serenity and peace whenever I am there. On any given day there is music and ballet and caberet and theatre and tours and things for children, so much going on. It is a very special, sacred, magical place that I visit often.

Thursday, July 26, 2012




Gorman is set to release their new Spring/Summer range shortly. With sneak peak photos released via Gorman's Facebook page and on Instagram. It's hard not to fall in love with all its new pieces. With bright electric prints, blocks of colour and accents of neon. Following the current trend's Tribe/Aztec and colours of the season, Gorman has a unique aesthetics take.

Lisa Gorman launched her label at a fledgling boutique in Fitzroy, Melbourne.The instant success of that first offering was the beginning of something special, and in the years that have followed the Gorman label has become an iconic part of the Australian fashion landscape and will also show this coming September at Melbourne Fashion week.

Visit Gorman at :

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Today i came across the new work of Kelly Smith for Company magazine in the UK.Illustrating the uber cool runway looks that have trickled down onto our high streets; namely Mary Katrantzou's gorgeous florals, Louis Vuitton lace and pastel,and Giles' metallic cat-eyed temptresses.No doubt you've all picked up on these trends as the Spring stock rolls in. I personally can't get enough of pastels,so pretty and tempting since the colours such as pinks, mints and lilacs becoming predominate I'm also quite partial to lace and floral also and why not something like Aztec to mix it all up.



Blacklist Studio New Prints

This time next month Blacklist studio will be release its new collection. This collection is definitely for the young hearted, not the faint hearted ,which i can't wait to see. Blacklist Studio Prints are created by dreamer for dreamers... By people who love a lazy sunday, a long lunch, turning houses into homes, friends into family... and never ever bothering to keep up with the Jonses.

Their current collection is amazing with some unique prints. They have also created a lovely video that makes me want to buy everything in it! Their latest collection, To The Sea (which includes wall hangings and cushions as well), is no different. It’s about “falling in love, following love and most importantly: staying in love.”


Monday, July 23, 2012


 Craft Designer Beci Orpin

Every Thursday until Craft  Design as a Career, Craft’s Annual Seminar, The Craft Blog has been featuring one speaker to give you all a little taster of what is to come at one of our biggest and most inspiring events of the year.

This week the craft blog visited the colourful studio of one of Melbourne’s most famous illustrators, Beci Orpin. One of Australia’s most flourishing freelance designers, Beci has blossomed swiftly since graduating from Textile Design at RMIT in 1997. From selling work in niche retail outlets to designing for worldwide companies such as Burton Snowboards, Universal Music and Dark Horse comics, Beci’s signature aesthetic is everywhere.In between juggling the design of her new book (coming out in November) and motherhood with sons Tyke and Ari, we felt pretty honoured to be slipped into Beci’s fun but busy schedule…


If you’re at a dinner party and someone asks what you do, how do you answer?
I always find it tricky to describe what I do in one word. My work is not technical enough to be graphic design and then often it is a bit too designed to be strictly illustration and then I make other things too.  I tend to use the blanket term of “designer”, and then provide more info if prompted. Luckily most dinner parties we go to happen at our house so I don’t have to explain myself.

What inspired you to make craft and design your career?
My gran was very crafty – always making rag rugs and quilts and things. I think she might have gotten me interested in making things. I always loved drawing too and knew from a young age that I wanted my job to involve drawing. It took me a while to figure out how I could combine illustration and fabric. Textile design was the perfect solution for me!

What do you love most about working within this industry?
As my work is a bit all over the place, I actually don’t think I’m involved in any industry in particular. Within my work I do seem to find myself surrounded by like-minded and inspiring people – that is a pretty great thing.

What’s the best piece of professional advice you ever received?
Work hard. Both my parents are hard workers so they showed me good work ethics. My lecturers at uni also loaded us up with so much work, and when we would complain they would tell us that that is what it is like in the real world. They were not wrong! It was good preparation.

You’ve become a Queen of collaborations in the past few years. In your wildest dreams, who’s next?Oh gosh! There are so many people and companies I admire and would love to work with. Something furniture-based would be amazing – I love local company Jardan. Others on my dream list would include APC, Baggu, mt tape, Marimekko, Mina Perhonen, Kirra Jamison and Apartmento Magazine. 

Craft and Design as a Career
9am-4pm, Thu 16 Aug 2012
Clemenger Auditorium, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
$90 / $40 Craft Members and groups of 10+
BOOK HERE or call us on 03 9650 7775

All photos by Beth Wilkinson.Interview  :

Saturday, July 14, 2012


My Lust List 

Mor Candle

J.CREW- Cece color block ballet flats

J.CREW -Edie wallet 
Time to embrace colour.

Typo Deer Pillow 

Equinoxe Collection by House of Baulch


With this weather being so grey ,why wouldn't you want to inject a splash of colour to brighten-up your day. And this is what one melbourne designer is doing,which you simply have to love be inspired by. With a bright colour spectrum at her figure tips, Emily Green is a Melbourne based designer who makes artworks and accessories that explore colour, chaotic geometric shapes and soft, organic forms. Her designs are inspired by her love of colour and the aesthetic of Melbourne’s inner north. Emily has studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Western Australia, a Graduate Diploma in Education and has studied Textile Design part-time at RMIT.At present, she work's from her studio in the Nicholas Building in the Melbourne CBD, where each piece in her collection are designed and handmade by her .

But did you know Melbourne’s favorite indie design darling is expanding her wearable neck accessories empire to include scarves? Yes, Emily has partnered with talented local artist and knit guru Lucy Hall to create a new range of knitted scarves. Collectively these two crafters have designed three cotton scarves in hues of fluorescent yellow, magenta and neon red, and a digitally printed watercolour silk version. These scarves could not have intervened at a more appropriate time, with the temperatures below 15. Each scarf looks super warm and extra long – and the fab colour combos are sure to alleviate any winter blues.

Emilys blog is also worth a visit, offering a insight into the the inner workings and daily musing of being a cleaver crafter and designer visit her here where you can also 
buy her work.



If you have a twitter account, follow craft blogs and devour kitsch stationery then you’ve probably heard the news: Ebony Bizys of Hello Sandwich.

From working at Vogue in Sydney to living vogue in Tokyo, Hello Sandwich has undoubtedly developed a worldwide cult following of cute and quirky stationery lovers. Ebony will be doing two stationery workshops at Craft at part of Craft Cubed in August, both which sold out in the first day tickets went on sale. The queen of tape, stickers and scalloped edged scissors will discuss her move to Tokyo and her multitude of freelance projects. Now let’s find out some quirky insiders niceties about this eclectic lady who everyone is mad for…

The Sydney-born, Tokyo-based graphic designer gives Time Out her to-do list for her forthcoming sojourn to Melbourne


If you are at a crafternoon and someone asks you what you do, how do you answer?
Before moving to Tokyo in 2010, I worked at VOGUE magazines for 11 years, most recently in the position of Deputy Art Director at VOGUE Living. Since living in Tokyo, I have Art Directed a Japanese book, designed a Japanese fashion website, been commissioned by VOGUE Japan to make artworks for their publication, collaborated with famous Japanese masking tape brand mt on workshops and have appeared in many Japanese books and magazines. I currently blog for VOGUE Japan, host monthly craft workshops and am just about to release my Japanese craft book on July 25th.

What inspired you to make craft and design your career?
I simply did what I loved daily and things fitted into place and my career path formed itself naturally. When I first moved to Tokyo I couldn’t have imagined that this is what I would be doing two years later. Just after the March 11 giant earthquake my Art Director at VOGUE Living magazine fell pregnant and my editor called me to offer me the Art Directors role. It was a difficult decision to make as I loved working at VOGUE Living very much and times were uncertain in Tokyo with constant aftershocks and radiation scares, but I decided to stick to my dream of living in Japan, and I am so happy I made that decision. Since then, I have worked on my own Japanese craft book with Japanese publisher BNN, due for release next month, and I still have to pinch myself to believe that this is all happening.

What do you love most about working within this industry?
Working on my Japanese craft book had all of my favourite parts of my role as Deputy Art Director at VOGUE Living, such as styling shoots and designing page layouts, but only with the subject matter of my own handmade craft. It combined my skills and career experience with the craft I love to make as a hobby in my spare time. For me it is almost too good to be true. With most of the jobs I do, I can’t believe I am able to call this my ‘work’.

What’s the best piece of professional advice you ever received?
A ‘can do attitude’ goes a long way. And, when I turned down the Art Director role at VOGUE Living to stay and try my luck in Tokyo my editor told me ‘What’s life without risks’. It was heartwarming.

In detail, describe your dream stationery set…
I love stationery that has a ‘hands on’ element. Japanese brand Marks have just released a corsage sticker set where you can create your own original corsage combination by selecting the corsage bow and ribbon details. I once produced a Hello Sandwich letter set where you could cut out a template to make your own envelope. It’s fun to make something original and I enjoy interactive stationery such as this.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


MOR is the inspired expression between Australian designers Dianna Burmas and Deon St.Mor
Motivated by a desire to develop desirable products, the creative energies joined forces to open their first design studio on a cobblestone Melbourne laneway in 1998.Deon and Dianna's mutual passion for travel, fashion, food and the arts was quickly evident in their initial product releases of contemporary lighting, homewares, soft furnishings and experimental categories such as perfumery and aromatherapy.Blending old time ingredients with modern technologies.

Each collection is inspired by the stories of ancient civilisations, by-gone eras, travel, art, cuisine and future technology allowing the creation of a unique story - from the finely blended formulation inside, to the hand finished detail on every product.

From its creative inception, the elegant mix of traditional and modern apothecary might begin with a uniquely blended scent, an ancient ingredient, the art of traditional paper crafting, or the pressed embossing on a tin box creating a keepsake for life - authentic and original and lovingly designed by MOR to take you on an beautiful sensory journey.Following a 11 year creative voyage today MOR combines a holistic design philosophy of presenting luxurious products in covetable packaging, admired the world over by consumers and the beauty industry alike. 

Text Source : Mor 
Photo: Mor ,Image Love Italian Blood Orange


Sunday, July 1, 2012