Category Archives: Handmade

Meet Emma Kidd (& her lacy knickers)

Emiliana Underwear began with lingere designer Emma Kidd’s desire to step away from the world of fast-paced fashion. She now sources end-of-line and unwanted fabrics and transforms them into a gorgeous range of lacy handmade knickers… 

Emiliana Underwear is both elegant and quirky. All the designs are based on underwear that I would like to wear myself, so they have to be comfortable. I use pretty stretch lace instead of elastic to ensure the smoothest fit.

I was inspired to start Emiliana when I could not find any other way to produce underwear that was 100% environmentally or ethically responsible. I trained in underwear design and have been in the industry for over 10 years. I realised that I just had to go it alone and prove that it is possible to make an ethical lingere choice.

I used to be a Lingerie Designer and Product Developer in Hong Kong and worked for high street brands as well as famous fashion designers such as Collette Dinnigan.

…I then realised that I didn’t agree with the mass production of underwear or the commercial underwear industry. I left Hong Kong to do a Masters degree at Schumacher College in England (an amazing International college of Sustainability), studying Holistic Science. This confirmed my thoughts and worldviews and gave me the courage to do things differently.

 
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My advice to young designers is – don’t be afraid! Go for it, and most importantly, trust in process.  You may not know exactly where you are headed but it doesn’t matter, it will emerge as you go along.

When I’m not working I like to read a lot. I love to challenge my ways of thinking and expand my ideas about the world and our place in it. I love being outdoors and get a lot of strength and inspiration from a stroll around my garden.

My friends would describe me as: Determined, sensitive, open-minded, dreamer, warm hearted.

In the future I aim to continue showing women that there are ethical ways of fulfilling their need for underwear – including learning to make it themselves! There is no better way of understanding the process involved in something than to try give it a go yourself. I create make-your-own knicker making kits and would love to increase the awareness of this wonderful process.

Visit Emiliana Underwear

// GIVEAWAY  // GIVEAWAY // GIVEAWAY //

Emma Kidd and Emiliana Underwear are giving you the chance to win a piece of the prettiest ethical underwear of your choice PLUS a knicker making kit to create your own! Just head over to Emma’s Bluecaravan store and choose the pair that you’d like to be yours…

*Entries now closed*

HOW TO ENTER

1 entry = Head over to our Facebook page and tell us which style you would love to win: the Skimpy Short; Hipster Brief; Italian Bikini; or Boyshort? 

2 MORE entries = While you are there – be sure to hit the ‘SHARE’ button on the Facebook giveaway post for triple the chance to win….

  

GOOD LUCK!

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T_design + Valentine GIVEAWAY

Design student Tania Gnecchi has recently launched her new label T_design. We spoke to Tania about her beautiful range of stationery, jewellery and homewares that is sure to delight all lovers of simple, evocative design…

T_design is a brand new Australian company which prides itself on designing and making unique, beautiful and handmade products. Tdesign’s innovative collections are a mix of graphic, ceramic and jewellery design. Each item is designed and handmade with love and care in my small Sydney studio.

If I had to sum up what I do, I’d say it’s all about simple, understated, unique and beautiful design. I aim to make things that are true to who I am. I want them to reflect my values and beliefs and this has been no easy task but has definately been a great learning experience. I am someone that needs to explore all the options before choosing – this has resulted in many many different designs and projects.

I am still a full time Design student and also work as a graphic designer – so my life has just become a bit busier, something that I didn’t think was possible before now!

Even when I was miles away from home, travelling around Europe, I still somehow found a way to make things along the way. There wasn’t really a turning point that brought about T_design –  It just happened. I suppose I have a need to create things. T_design is really an extension of me, my life and my passion to create. I think it was bound to happen.

My advice to other young designer? Go for it, don’t be afraid! It is scary when you start your own business, when something becomes more than a hobby, but everyone has to start somewhere. There are bound to be many bumps along the way and I know I still have a lot to learn but it’s all such an enriching experience. Trust in yourself and your product – and don’t ever stop trying!

When I’m not working I’m eating way too many cookies!!! I simply adore them!

I guess my friends would desribe me as determined, fair, loving, caring and maybe sometimes a little stubborn…

In the future… I hope to see Tdesign grow into something really special. It would be amazing to really get the brand out there and have a big following. There are also so many gorgeous stores that I would love to approach to sell my designs. But essentially I want to develop a strong brand identity and a range of beautiful timeless pieces. Sometimes the simplest things are the most beautiful.

Visit T_design

// GIVEAWAY //

Tania Gnechhi and T_design are giving you the opportunity to win a gorgeous collection of cards just in time for Valentines Day. The pack includes 2 each of the cards pictured.

*Giveaway drawn this Friday the 10th February*

HOW TO ENTER

1 entry = Head over to our Facebook and say ‘Hi’ – how easy is that?!

2 MORE entries = While you are there – be sure to hit the ‘share’ button on the Facebook giveaway post for triple the chance to win….

  

GOOD LUCK!

Meet Mariana Garcia-Katz + GIVEAWAY

Inspired by both the natural and urban environment, graphic designer and photogapher Mariana Garcia-Katz has created m2matiz, a range of homewares, jewellery and stationery that is as edgy as is it beautiful. This week we had a chat to Mariana about her motivations in developing a business built on design…

m2matiz - Bluecaravan

Photography has always been important to me and by around 2007 it developed into a real passion. The camera was with me, everywhere I went. Through the eye of the camera, there is a moment of beauty in almost anything. Commercial and corporate work was becoming a bit stifling, so I decided to find a way to make my passion viable. Using my skills in graphic design, a range of gifts started to develop. By 2009, the m2matiz range was born, including cards, stationary, jewellery, the t.lighthaus® and lumierebox.

The more I photograph, the more I see, the more I want to create. I’d have to say Mother Nature and our environment is my greatest inspirations. The flora and fauna of our country, is truly spectacular. We are also extremely lucky with the technology we have available today. The digital world allows me to experiment and bring my ideas to fruition, almost instantly.

The aesthetic of m2matiz is unique, minimal and elegant. The quality and feel of something hand crafted is also a very important part of what I do.

m2matiz - Bluecaravan

Wherever possible I reduce, reuse and in most cases use recycled materials. All our products are printed in Melbourne and hand crafted by me, from hand cutting to folding, to wrapping and tying with string. I am very conscious of the strain we have put on mother earth.

There is always such a great response to m2matiz, but ultimately, my images are the point of difference and are the essence of my range. I believe I have something that appeals to just about everyone. A particular image will grab someone’s attention. The boys love the luMierebox, the girls love the jewellery and people of all persuasions are inspired by the t.lighthaus.

Before starting m2matiz I used to freelance as a graphic artist/designer and more recently studied Interior Decoration and Design at RMIT.

m2matiz - Bluecaravan

The best advice I can offer to young designers is to keep doing what you love, follow your passion and your heart. If you can afford a website or if you can create your own, I’d recommend it. I believe my website has truly been one of the best tools for me yet.

When I’m not working I’m out and about taking photos! Raising two beautiful teenagers, tending to our chickens, cat, dog and veggie garden. Reading interior design mags and café hopping!

My family would describe me as creative, perfectionist, generous, honest, stubborn.

I’m listening to The Vaudeville Smash – Check them out if you can! They’re an amazingly talented and entertaining band. Truth is, I have a crush on Marc…

m2matiz - Bluecaravan

There are so many fabulous blogs I visit regularly but I peruse these three on pretty much a daily basis:

The Design Files: http://thedesignfiles.net,       Roost – a simple life: http://www.roostblog.com/,     Kinfolk – A Guide for Small Gatherings: http://www.kinfolkmag.com/journal

The last ethical product I bought was a resin ring from Milkwood Design just this weekend. We were both selling our creations at the Maribynong Maker’s Market on Sunday. I couldn’t resist the gorgeous hot pink ring. I wear black for the most part, so I love the ring for its pop of colour and beautiful organic shape.

Way too hard to pick just one favorite other BC seller! Let’s just say I’ve purchased little treasures from Snowfawn, Milkwood and Little Viking Girl. All of which I love for their quality work, customer service and of course their products are very pleasing to my eye.

Our future plans? Given that m2matiz evolved very organically and really without planning, I think I’ll continue on that path! I’ll keep doing what I love and wait to see where it takes me. I’ve always been one to take life a day at a time; you can be guaranteed surprises that way. Somewhat humbling I think.

 //  GIVEAWAY x 2 //

m2matiz - Bluecaravanm2matiz - Bluecaravan

                          We are totally in love with both of these giveaways!

Marianna and m2matiz are giving you the opportunity to win one of her beautiful products: the t.lighthaus© is a photographic translucent lantern designed to house a tealight candle (choose any photographic insert from Mariana’s range), and the ‘hello my love’ necklace (image insert as seen here) is part of the claudia range.
We will randomly choose a winner for each…

HOW TO ENTER

***ENTRIES NOW CLOSED***

1 entry = Just leave a comment here on the blog telling us which one: tealight or necklace?

2 entries = plus head over to our Facebook page say ‘Hi’…

3 entries = Head over to the m2matiz Facebook page, and let them know that we sent you.

GOOD LUCK!

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!


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.