Category Archives: upcycled

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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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!

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

Interview // Osiris Jewellery // GIVEAWAY!

Using old school techniques to meticulously craft her jewellery, Kirra Springs of Osiris Jewellery shows us the beauty of simplicity in her designs. By creating unique pieces to connect with the essence of those who wear her jewellery, Kirra is all about staying in touch with her artistry…


[Read the full interview here]


// GIVEAWAY //


A piece that receives much adoration has made its way to our giveaway post!

Kirra is parting with this beautiful stack of ‘heart rings’ to adorn one of our lucky readers.

To enter just leave a comment here. So easy!

***Sorry folks, ENTRIES NOW CLOSED***

A project… or two.

There’s a new site I’m drooling over called Pinterest.  How did it take me this long to find it?! While I *should* have been doing something else, I found these great little projects to share instead. The potential for distraction at this treasure trove of ‘things people like’ is severe and I’ll be creating my own pin-board over there pronto!

[Megan Hamer via Paul Rosenblatt] The original caption with this photo asks if it is ‘recycling’ or if it’s ‘destruction’. I would say that depends. Lets just imagine they are all… say… David Hasselhoff records.

[Marine Loiseau via Lisa Russo] Just a bit of love to a pallet from the back lane and… voila!

[Sarah Hannevik]  The difficulty rating has just dramatically escalated, but these are amazing!


[Marine Loiseau via Monica Smith] Who could have thought you could do that with toilet rolls? Me, personally, I don’t know if I could come at adorning my home with them, but you must admit…

 


Welcoming 2011 with… Bunting.

Well, here we are in 2011. I’m excited by all that lays ahead, and misty eyed (in a good way) at the sheer mammoth of all the happenings of 2010. What better way to celebrate a wonderful year past and to welcome in another than with… bunting?

I do love it. Even so, I made 100 metres of it in 2010 (with some lovely ladies for an event), and hope that I don’t need to make a 100 metres in 2011.

What I do want for 2011 is:  To spend more time with my family; Take an overseas trip; Continue laughing with my friends; Wash the dishes more often; Exercise more often; Blog more often (!); Be as productive as I can… and of course show Bluecaravan to a bazillion people.

In fact, I think I’ll go and write a list, neatly fold it up, and pop it under my pillow…

Jen x

{source: http://www.opart.etsy.com}

{www.homefromthesea.co.uk}

{www.designismine.blogspot.com}

www.petalplum.blogspot.com

{www.honeykennedy.com}

Meet Chrissy Foreman C… and a giveaway!

 

A Chat with Chrissy Foreman and her Nostalgic Feeling…

Plus a little Pre-Christmas Giveaway!

A self-confessed tree-hugger, Chrissy Foreman C and her label ‘My Nostalgic Feeling’  are  all about vintage inspired fabric jewellery and colourful nature based artworks. A mix of nostalgia, beauty and sustainability form the basis of Chrissy’s creative practice…

Hi Chrissy. Thanks for the chat…Tell us a bit about your work.

I love to make fabric-infused artworks and jewellery with an emphasis on environmental sustainability, quality and nostalgia…

What / who inspired you to take this direction?

Just about everything I see, hear, smell, taste and touch! I’m inspired greatly by nature. I’m also strongly influenced by my memories and feelings which I think brings a sense of flow and organic movement to my works.

Most of all, I’m inspired by beautiful patterns, vintage fabrics, dynamic colour combos and almost anything granny, eco and nostalgic.

How would you best describe the look or aesthetic of what you do…

A little bit contemporary, a little bit vintage, a little bit whimsical, a little bit tree-hugging.

All the products on Bluecaravan are ‘ethical’. Can you tell us about the ethics of your product?

Oh my ~ this questions excites me! I LOVE the opportunity to make my work as eco-friendly as possible across the board. It’s taken years to find the right products, but it’s been worth the wait! I make sure all my items are packaged and displayed using quality recycled/re-usable materials wherever possible, and all the fabrics I use in my jewellery and artworks are vintage and/or ethically sourced.

My new Art Prints range are printed on fine art paper made from sugar cane by-products – meaning that they’re both archival and made using renewable energy resources. It feels so great. I’m also waiting to receive my very first designer fabrics printed onto organic fabrics using vegetable inks, so stay tuned for that!

What did you do before starting your business?

In 2000 I left my job as a preschool teacher and decided to travel and study visual art. Since then, I’ve spent the last six years working as a community artist, running workshops, painting murals, having exhibitions and hoping to empower people about the power of creativity, expression and connecting with others. I moved into jewellery last year after my love affair with fabric, art and hugging trees all finally merged into one.

What are you doing when you’re not working?

My work is my love, so it’s rare that I’m not working or thinking about working in some capacity! In the glimpses between, you’ll usually find me eating, reading, in the garden, walking, doing yoga or rummaging through op-shops for the perfect piece of fabric.


What is in music player right now? No cheating.

I’m a radio girl. I flip between Triple J (cool indie music) and 4BH (old grandma music and power ballads). The sad thing is, as a result, I can pretty much rattle off all the upcoming festivals in the same sentence as quality retirement and funeral homes.  :S

Reading?

The Natural Way To Better Babies’. I’m reading up on natural ways to make a lovely place for my future bun!

What was the last ethical product you purchased and what do you love about it?

I just bought a gorgeous twisty-woven recycled fabric brooch from Mary Elizabeth’s little cube at Bleeding Heart Art Gallery and Cafe in Brisbane. I’d been eying it off for weeks. I always love supporting another artist’s beautiful work.

I’m also a regular at Reverse Garbage in West End, Brisbane. I’m always excited about the quirky things I’ll find there!

Who is your favourite other Bluecaravan seller? Why.

I’m pretty smitten with Little Thing’s gorgeous hand-embroidered clothes for kiddly-winks (and their mums).  I love them because their garments are colourful, floaty and so beautiful, whilst being ethically produced at the same time. Win-win in my books!

What are your aspirations for the future?

Professionally, I’m ready to focus more on creating new designs, artworks and prints, and turning them into a vibrant organic fabric range. An assistant would be awesome!

Personally, I’d love to move to a beautiful place amongst nature with a veggie patch and a huge studio and chickens and children running around my feet….


*GIVEAWAY*        *GIVEAWAY*        *GIVEAWAY*

Chrissy has given us this gorgeous vintage fabric necklace to giveaway to one of our lucky readers! All you need to do is go to our FACEBOOK page and leave a comment for your chance to win. GOOD LUCK!