Dark Horse Studio + GIVEAWAY

This week we had a chat with Jennifer Boyle: Equine photographer, student of dressage and a full-time lover of horses. Her latest project Dark Horse Studio delivers a quirky range of equine jewellery and stationery that is fun, unique and exclusively horsey…

Dark Horse Studio creates a range of fun and contemporary jewellery and greeting cards  based on a mixture of styles ranging from illustration and pop-culture through to imagery from the neo-victorian and romantic periods… all with a horse theme!

 

I’ve always loved black horses, especially Fresians. My dream is to one day own (and learn to drive) a two horse carriage.

Working for myself has always been my goal. Getting to this point has very much been a natural amalgamation of my interests. My parents have been constantly supportive of every creative endeavour I’ve pursued and it certainly helps having people cheering from the sidelines.

We live in such a throw away society so I spent months experimenting with different  materials to create a final product that will last. I’m really passionate about making a quality product and I put a lot of effort and love into designing and handmaking each piece..

Dark Horse jewellery is made to be treasured for years, not thrown away next season. Even my gift tin packaging is something to keep and reuse.

In the equestrian jewellery market, the style Dark Horse Studio presents is totally unique and fresh.  My products cross every horse interest and are not limited to age. I have children and adults wearing my pieces and I’ll be adding a men’s range in the coming months.

I’m also an Equine photographerI’ve completed a visual arts degree and have also worked as a picture framer for many years.

My advice to young designers? ‘Fine tune, don’t change channels’. That’s become a bit of a catchphrase around the property that I share with a dressage instructor. We always take great delight in laughing about it, but it’s so true. If you want to continue to improve at something – you need dedicated focus

When I’m not working I’m hanging out with the horses – there are at least 15 on the property. I also get dressage lessons, my dog gets a walk on the beach most days… and I do a lot of photography.

Listening to Goyte and Kimbra improves my day. I find them fantastic inspiration to get a lot of work done.

The last ethical product I bought was coffee. I always buy fairtrade coffee. I really dislike that many third world producers (of anything) often get paid next to nothing while the middle man profits.

My favourite other Bluecaravan designer is Elm Design. I love the whole aesthetic going on there, especially the porcelain cups.  I love the humour in them.

Visit Dark Horse Studio

//  GIVEAWAY  //

Jennifer has generously given us two pendants for this week’s giveaway!

The Small Cog Horse pendant is valued at $65

 and the Lady & The Unicorn oval pendant is valued at $70

Both come with gift tin they’re pictured with.

HOW TO ENTER

**ENTRIES NOW CLOSED**

1 entry = Just leave a comment here telling us which one you love!
2 entries = plus Subscribe to our blog (over there on the top right)
3 entries = plus ‘Like’ us on Facebook (surely you’ll win now?)

GOOD LUCK!


Sollis Jewellery + GIVEAWAY

A little bit rock and roll and a litte bit macrame – Sollis Jewellery has created a stunning range that is as sophisticated as it is unique.

We had a quick chat with Eleanor Ford of Sollis Jewellery this week, here’s what she said…

Sollis jewellery is handcrafted glamour with an edge.

I gather inspiration from the decorative arts and crafts of world cultures. I like learning new craft techniques and re-appropriating them with a modern twist.  Fusing this passion for craft with a bit of rock ‘n’ roll and a sharp fashion aesthetic I create stunning and innovative jewellery.

My current collection is called ‘Masai’ so I would call the aesthetic of this latest range ‘modern tribal’.

All my products are handmade and I always try to source products locally.

The design, the bold colours and the combinations of materials makes our products very different.

I studied BA in Jewellery Design at Middlesex University, London followed by an MA in Textiles at Goldsmiths College, London. Since completing my education I worked for Erickson Beamon, and Kirt Holmes in London who designed for Swarovski in Paris.

In 2006 I launched my own collection ‘Eleanor Jewellery’ with great success, selling to some of the most prestigious boutiques throughout the world. After relocating to Australia, SOLLIS jewellery was launched in January 2011.

My advice for young designers is to work really hard and learn lots of different skills like web design, marketing, accounting etc. You will have to be a jack of all trades and you probably won’t have the money to pay other people to do these things for you!

When I’m not working I love cooking, and of course eating… and wine.

I couldn’t live without water and wine!

I’m listening to Blues.

I’m preparing to launch Sollis into the international market.

//  GIVEAWAY  //

Eleanor has given us this gorgeous ‘small metal’ necklace (valued at $110) to give away to one of our lucky readers!

HOW TO ENTER

1 entry = Just leave a comment here (too easy)
2 entries = Subscribe to our blog (over there on the top right)
3 entries = ‘Like’ us on Facebook (now the odds are awesome)

GOOD LUCK!


State of Design Festival 2011 – on now.

One week left to go! Established in 2004, the State of Design Festival (Victoria) is the largest and most innovative design event in Australia and the heart of design thinking and design activity…

The Festival increases the awareness of the value of design and showcases how design generates innovation, promotes sustainability and adds value to business and society.

It’s an exciting event, and with Design:Made:Trade already done and dusted, you can have a look at a round up with some great images over at The Design Files.

To check out the remaining events, just head to The State of Design.

Little Branch + GIVEAWAY


Little Branch is an Australian creative design studio producing eco cards, prints and paper products based on original artworks. Bluecaravan had a chat to partners Maree & Anna about life behind the scenes of their creative enterprise…


Little Branch is a small bespoke Australian made and designed paper company.We aim to be predominantly based in recycled and up-cycled materials.




Anna was in love when the business started (that’s me) and my nickname when signing emails to this person was…little branch. Love blossomed and so did a company name. The name evokes organic, unfolding, natural imagery and potential.

I have been a self employed author and artist for almost twenty yearsMaree was raised in an independent family business. She has that in her DNA. I am incapable of office work as I was raised by artists.We are both mothers as well. All of these elements are critical to wanting to run our own show. I think our biggest inspiration comes from women who manage a business and a home life without compromising either. Though of course at this stage it’s the ideal yet to be reached.



Little Branch is romantic, fresh, natural (sounds like yogurt but bear with us), sensuous, naughty, evocative, emotional, quiet.

The paper for our cards, envelopes and prints is recycled, carbon neutral and also made in Australia. We try to lessen the guilt associated with paper by also encouraging our  customers to recycle the paper they buy …for Xmas ornaments, bookmarks, anything as long as it lives. Our ethic is continual pleasure without waste, based in quality.

Little branch is different. We use a huge range of our own original art. Married with Maree’s amazing design aesthetic we feel Little Branch is a bit of a world within itself.   

I worked for magazines from the age of eighteen, designed handbags for Lulu Guinness, wrote four books and had a kid. You know just bumming around! Maree has worked in design and advertising for over 12 years, in between living and working in London for 6 years and having 3 kids.




We wanted to see what our two visions could produce. I sat on Maree’s floor drawing, and really that was the start. Ink, ideas, dreams…drive.

While I am reading English Vogue in bed, listening to PJ Harvey on vinyl, being with my son and my man. Oh and drinking lakes of hot tea…

… Maree is running after her 3 kids and hubby, moving house, drinking coffee and sneaking glimpses of various magazines

Maree would tell me to: a. pick up the phone  b. stop dreaming  c. stop worrying

I think she is… Passionate, creative, punctual, entrepreneurial and tired.

I couldn’t live without people like my partner Maree. Kisses, tea, my son, my family, colour, black eyeliner, rock and roll….it’s never just ONE thing.


Maree says she couldn’t live without with her husband, kids, cuddles and coffee.

We are listening to: PJ Harvey’s new album. Dylan… any Dylan (me, Anna), Kings of Leon (Maree).

The last ethical product I bought was Eco Kid lice “prevent” shampoo, made in Australia, smells like grapefuit. Maree: Billy Goat Soap , her daughter suffers from skin eczema and this is lovely and gentle on her skin. Australian made from locally sourced ingredients.

Our favourite other Bluecaravan sellers are Mrs Peterson’s Pottery & Kanimbla Clay. Beautiful products made by awesome ladies!

 Our aspirations for the future? Health. Solvency. Creative freedom. Love.

// GIVEAWAY //

4 names will be drawn at random and will be sent a ‘Red Gloves, Toile Dress’ Open Edition Print.  Entries close 31 July 2011.
HOW TO ENTER
1 entry = Just leave a comment here on the blog (too easy)
2 entries = Subscribe to our blog (over there on the right)
3 entries = ‘Like’ us on Facebook (now the odds are totally awesome)
Come back here and let us know how many entries we owe you…
GOOD LUCK

Guerilla Gardening // Seed Bombs

    [image via lost at e minor]

Those busy guerilla’s are at it again…. this time with a bit of garden bombing. We discovered this fine art over at  Lost At E Minor (how did it take us this long to find you??), but not before Gwyneth Paltrow pipped us to the post. She’s a fan, they say, of throwin’ it and growin’ it to reclaim unused urban spaces.

If you haven’t twigged on yet, seed bombs are handmade, packed with seeds and ready for you to soak and throw… You can get some more info, and even buy some at Seedbom.

Industrial Design // GIVEAWAY

Meet Leigh Cavallin of Cavallin Design 

Industrial and interior designer Leigh Cavallin of Cavallin Design talks to us about his motivations in product development, his take on design, and his future aspirations as a young designer…

Cavallin Design is a multifarious studio where our design emphasis is to generate and develop creative and technical solutions for a space, product, concept or design. We provide a high level of personal collaboration and consultancy for our clients.

We create identities and aesthetics through interior and exterior design, branding and signage solutions, design consultancy and product design.

Cavallin Design is minimalist and futuristic creating pieces that will stand out and be a talking point in a room.

My design background stems from VCE (Art, Graphics and Design & Construction), which lead me into further interior design studies.

Design helps us express our image through what we find aesthetically pleasing. The style and period of designs we align with show our influences – and more broadly the evolution of design is the answer to yesterday’s problem.

Cavallin Designs products are ethical in that they are handmade or locally manufactured supporting local trades and using quality components. Everything is ‘in house’ and we try to build and create products that are sustainable in energy consumption and through the materials and manufacturing processes we use.

I endeavour to design things that people haven’t seen before. Through the use of the materials we use and the combinations and applications of the finished products, we ensure that our pieces maintain a point of difference within the market.

I’m also a renderer.  I love the outdoors, being on the tools and working physically. It balances my love for being in a studio designing and creating concepts.

My advice to other emerging designers is to never give up – do what you want. The internet is your best friend and you can never know enough people.

My girlfriend would describe me as… energetic, creative, prompt, happy and… detailed.

I couldn’t live without… my family and friends, without a doubt.

I’m listening to… Lupe Fiasco and Mac Miller at the moment.

My favourite design blogs… would be http://www.qmulative.blogspot.com because of the diverse range of entries as well as being one of the first blog to accept my submission. Also http://www.yankodeisgn.com and http://www.mocoloco.com

In the future… I would like to see Cavallin Design create products that are recognised and remembered.

// GIVEAWAY  //

To celebrate the launch of their latest product, Cavallin Design is giving away a set of their new Rota Coasters.

Made from perspex and designed to be arranged into various formats, these beautiful coasters could be yours…

  To enter, just leave us a comment here…

Another entry? Like our FACEBOOK page, and come back here to let us know you have.

Too easy!

*Good luck*

The I OWE U Project

Bluecaravan is so overwhelmed with gush for IOU that we are speechless. One image, a manifesto and a video tell the whole story – without the need for a single (other) word from me…. *sigh*