Tag Archives: art

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…



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.



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.


4 names will be drawn at random and will be sent a ‘Red Gloves, Toile Dress’ Open Edition Print.  Entries close 31 July 2011.
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…

interview // me and amber// giveaway

Karen and Amber are joined at the hip. They worked together, studied together, travelled together and eventually started me and amber together. It’s their bold and simple style that has caught the eye of the creative community, and has allowed them the luxury of a creative life in a successful business….


visit me and amber


How I love the giveaways!

This week Karen and Amber have given us a set of screen-printed artworks for one of our lucky readers to win. If weather in the Byron Bay Hinterland is anything to go by, the theme is perfect!

Just leave a comment here to be in the draw.

Good luck!


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


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….


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!