Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Finders Keepers

Dearie me, I've got a cold. So I've decided to be dramatic about it. Tonight I've turned my bed into a nest of recuperation, complete with soup, tissues, a new interiors magazine & I'm even watching trash telly. I feel pretty lousy & what better way to cheer myself up than settle in my bedly nest and update my blog.
I was the luckiest girl on the weekend, with the chance to go to Melbourne for the Finders Keepers Art & Design Market. It's an event I've been longing to attend for ages & who better to share it with than my beautiful Mum & Dad. I even got the chance to see my gorgeous bestie there!
The turn out was UNREAL & the atmosphere was excitement + + + Inspiration & creativity positively hummed in the air & the stalls were jam packed with beautiful bits n pieces that were a delight to peruse. After visiting the market both on Friday night & Saturday afternoon, I was able to spend the rest of the weekend eating, laughing, thrifting & exploring my favourite city with Mama & Papa bear. I am proud to say they celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last week & I felt SO blessed to be able to share such an incredible weekend with them. I promise not to waffle on about how much I love them TOO much on here but if only I knew how to express just how much their unfailing support & encouragement means to me. They have NEVER demanded I be anything other than myself and I'm sure you'd agree that often those people are few & far between. This year I've been a little bit lost but they always manage to make me feel anything but. And we laugh so much! It's like medicine for the heart.
OK, here are the pictures of my wonderful weekend away. ENJOY!
I quite fell in love with Kinfolk, a GORGEOUS volunteer run cafe on Bourke Street. A blissful haven amidst the Melbsy madness! Their profits go to 4 incredibly worthy charities which only adds to it's charm & loveliness. I had brekky at Kinfolk when I first arrived on Friday morning & was so happy to be there, I couldn't wipe the grin off my face!
The birds & books topped it off! I could've stayed all day!
Just the sweetest place. Please go if you get the chance?
This little beauty kept me going all day! After a 4am start, I definitely needed it.
I took 2 photos at Finders Keepers... t w o!! I got so caught up in the excitement of it all, I failed in the picture-taking department. But at least I know I saw it all with my eyes & tried to soak in as much inspiration as I could. I was red-faced & hyperactive by the time we went to dinner Friday night. We followed it up with delicious pasta on Lygon street & talking late into the night. Check out the Beattie Lanser blog. It's just as gorgeous as her stall. What an inspiring lady.
Check these beauties out?! Aren't they just the coolest thing you've ever seen?! I would love to have taken one home with me! The idea of upcycling is so exciting & this takes the cake. They are called Jukecases & you can find out more here.
Leave Finders Keepers.... find a crocheted tree. Brilliant. Life was smiling on me this day :)
The beautiful Carlton Gardens. How many times have I strolled through this very spot at very different stages in my life? It is nice to look back & realise you feel healthier about lots of things as you grow.
May I introduce you to possibly THE funkiest cafe I have ever had the pleasure of slurping in!! It's in Fitzroy & it's called Sonido! There was a waiting list just to sit & have a coffee!! We were lucky enough to grab a spot pretty much straight after stumbling across it. The staff were as eccentric as the decor & it was a paradise of eclectic wonder. The walls were covered in bits & bobs, the coffee machine was a brilliant green aqua, complete with toucan statue, the chairs didn't match & the menus were made from old record covers. We had Columbian hot choccies, the most delicious limeade.. ever! and shared a raspberry brownie that almost had me licking the plate. Looking at my funny little photos, I can almost feel the atmosphere, hear the music & remember how deliriously content I felt being in there. They have a website :)
That yellow door... perfection!
Our happy little table :)
one of my many new planty obsessions - succulents in tins. About to get stuck into making some myself!
The Paperback on Bourke Street. A fantastic little booky hideaway, often open til late in the night. Books aren't going anywhere, my friends. We need to keep places like this alive!
One of Melbourne's many laneway coffee shops. Breakfast time here is chaos but the coffee is quick & creamy & you cannot help but be swept up in the excitement of it all.
A Melbourne icon :)
Everywhere you look, there is something worth stopping for just so you can take it in. These windowsill pots caught my attention. I can only imagine how stunning it looks inside!
A pot graveyard that made me want to weep!!! If only I could have smuggled every single one of these home with me on the plane?! I managed to buy 3 tiny ones that would travel home safely. Camberwell markets are still my very favourite. It was awesome being able to introduce them to Mum & Dad who loved them as much as me!
The pots that took the plane ride with me & some vintage material scraps that I can't wait to get stuck into!
Some things that happened during my weekend adventure

1. I watched the sunrise & felt so so alive
2. I met some amazing arty creatures who reminded me that if making lovely things is what matters most in our hearts, we have to make sacrifices & break some rules of convention to make it happen.
3. I realised it's never too late. For anything.
4. My heart swelled to the size of a watermelon.

xx Jessie Lee.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Keeping busy

I've been busy getting creative and it feels so good. Especially after a period of time when I seemed to be completely sapped of imagination & creative energy. Now, I long for more hours in the day to be covered in paint, my tiny studio full of the smell of glaze & a tea going cold by my side. Probably sounds awful! But to me, that is the ultimate!
The search for a bigger house to move to is frustrating & as soon as something pops up that I just love, it seems to vanish in the blink of an eye. Agents show 0% interest & you feel like such a numpty rocking up to inspections with dozens of other hopefuls, applications in hand, fake smiles plastered on their face... what a silly process!! The joys of house hunting! Wish me luck.. this could take a while. 
My pots and paints are slowly taking over the house & arty remnants seem to pop up in every room. I found a big chunk of orange paint in my ponytail the other day which is fine, but I was already at work when I found it ;) 
I am on the verge of so many things shifting in my life & that can leave me feeling like I am tiptoeing on very uncertain ground. Thank goodness I have art to keep me grounded!
Happy Sunday to you. It is a glorious day here & I am outside in the sunshine with an afternoon of painting stretched ahead. 
PS - I just came across this & absolutely HAD to share. Wow.

"Trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)"

ee cummings

I have rediscovered my love for letraset! SO much fun watching the letters appear on my pots. Such a childish thrill that I can't get enough of! And I like the way some letters don't come out perfectly. Seems to tie in nicely with the rest of the design. This pot said 'A heart that's remembering how to heal'
A cute little pair ready to be glazed & signed off!
pile upon pile of creative mess on my desk... my several attempts to clean have been, well, unsuccessful!
I am really excited about transferring some of my pot designs onto a flat canvas surface. This one came out quite well, again with letraset coming out imperfectly which I really like. 
'You and your delightful soul'
A couple of weeks ago, my friend commissioned me to do a pot as a gift for his friend. He wanted the colours to be earthy with blues & greens but still in keeping with my style. He also wanted words that involved his & her nicknames of the fox and the platypus. It was SO much fun to do. Mostly because he had an idea of the kind of thing he wanted which is a lot easier to work to than someone who says 'just do anything'... eek! The imagine above was the humble beginning.
The finished product :) I was quite happy with how it turned out. And once glazed, the colours really shone. He loved it & apparently she did too. Just makes my heart sing to hear that! I was so happy.
Little bird guarding my pot full of stamps :)
A practise design that I ended up being quite happy with & have had a really good response to. Yay! Sometimes one colour with black & white can be quite striking.
A concept for the smaller pots that need a strong design. Really pleased with the end result & the stamps didn't smudge on this one as they have been tending to do. About to do a series of these smaller ones, with the same design but different words & background colours.
'I'll wear flowers on my hat if I want to'
I FINALLY finished my last journal which I started in April lasy year... woah! It's never taken me so long to fill one before! This drawing is in my new journal :) Hoping to try her on canvas. She needs a bit of work but was so fun to do.
This is what happens when I watch TV. I can't sit still!
'And this sad bird has begun to weigh me down'. Another new journal sketch. Something to work with :)
Some very dear friends of mine got engaged in January & I had the opportunity to celebrate with them at their engagement party 2 weeks ago. It was a perfect night & they are the loveliest couple! I wanted to make them something nice to put on their walls & lots of hours went into the little framed set above :) It was so nice to make something for 2 people who are so in love & about to start such an exciting journey together! Sorry for the dodgy photo!
Journal bitties!
Pile upon pile of pots... I'm getting closer & closer to feeling ready to have a stall somewhere!
Attempting to leave the pinks & reds & warm colours alone!
The front of my new journal. The words come from THIS poem. I think it is one of my very very very favourites. Couldn't be closer to how I feel right now about lots of things. Jeanette has the most incredible knack with words.
Can't work out if this image is scary or exciting!
Hanging with some chicky babes. They like laying eggs, Easter & watching me paint.
More skecthes, collages & scraps of journal pages.
My latest pot or pencil holder. Simple but bright n cheerful