A design blog to capture a collection of thoughts from a bowerbird who is in love with unique design - fashion, furniture, art, photography, interiors, jewellery and creative minxes

Monday, August 31, 2009

Master Chef

In my experience the motivation to cook a tasty meal doesn’t always come from fresh ingredients or a delectable recipe. Instead, a meal can be born from a beautifully crafted inanimate object that gives you the confidence to create something special.

Take tonight for an example…. Pondering what to cook I was found staring blankly at an open fridge for minutes on end. I then opened and shut the pantry door about 10 times in the hope some yummy ingredients would jump out and cook themselves.

And then an “aha” moment. Perched on my kitchen bench was my new stone mortar and pestle. It’s cool grey tones and solid stone structure were too beautiful to overlook so a meal was born. Bruising Cardamom seeds with Turmeric, Cumin and Coriander I had the perfect base for a curry.

So, to help create your next meal I have sourced a range of interesting, unique and well-designed kitchen objects that would inspire the inner chef in all of us!

Bowlboard - Kain Lucas for Ute Australian Design - $78
I would love this bowlboard.... I'm a organised cook and like a bowl for everything I cut up!

Joseph joseph index board - $98
I'm jealous of my best friends who has this board set. A designated board for chicken, veggies etc

joseph joseph nest bowls - $112.50
How retro cool... everyday essentials all in the one stack! Large mixing bowl, colander, sieve, small mixing bowl, 4 measuring cups

eva solo microfibre dishcloths - $65
For those of us who are slightly obsessive/compulsive here's a dishcloth that's worthy to put on show

eva solo garlic press - $135
A work of art!

eva solo knife magnets (set of 4) - $140
Like a sculpture in your kitchen

meeting bedded knife set - $1210
Ok, so this set is a little out of my price range but window shopping doesn't cost anything.

self watering planters - $60-70
I love the idea of ingredients growing in your kitchen. You can't get any fresher!

Stainless Steel Cookware – from $199
Good food come from good cookwear and who could pass these stackable design

Apron + Oven Mitt - $44.90

The BIGGER Glass Drying Mat
Funky spotless drying!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sensational Sales

With the new summer season fast approaching it’s time to think about your wardrobe. “Out with the old and in with the new!”, I hear you cry so here are a couple of upcoming sales (thanks to missy confidential http://www.missyconfidential.com.au/) to help you refresh your wardrobe.

Bally outlet sale – on now until sold
Bally Outlet , 8 Canal Road, St Peters NSW
Men’s & Women’s shoes and accessories

Shona Joy Sample Sale – Thursday 3rd September – Friday 4th September. From 10am
Room 5, Level 1, 617 Elizabeth Street, Redfern NSW
One-off samples, silk prints, denim & more

Incu Annual Garage Sale – Friday 4th September – Sunday 6th September. From 9am
276 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, NSW
Tops $25, Pants $50, Dresses $75

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Everyday objects that make a big difference!

I was recently at the Young Blood designer Market at the Powerhouse Museum.

The market was part of the Sydney Design Week and has become an annual event for me due to the wonderful objects and innovation on display.


One of the stand-out stalls this year was a local business called “keep cup”. Coining the phrase Hot Coffee. Cool Planet this business is tackling the issue of disposable coffee cups and lids head on.

According to their website, even disposable paper cups are not recyclable so both the cup and the lid are a huge contributor to landfill issues around the globe.

Keep cup has been designed to help this problem by providing us with a reusable takeaway coffee cup that is suitable for any barista coffee machine.

Costing only $10-12 a cup it’s an easy way to do your bit for the planet.

I bought a couple of cups at the market; however you can also purchase them online from
http://www.keepcupstore.com/servlet/the-Small-Cup/Categories I've put a few away for Christmas presents (great for the office Secret Santa)!!!

Key features of the product are:
- Pleasing to drink out of
- Simple pop on/off lid
- Stackable and dishwasher safe
- Microwavable
- Thermal and lightweight
- Uses – Coffee, tea, juice, water, soup
- Low embodied energy. Reusable
- Unbreakable
- Life span – 4 years
- Recyclable polypropylene #5
- Designed and manufactured in Australia

More information can be found at http://www.keepcup.com.au/#/home

If you missed out on the Young Blood Market this year don’t worry, they also have a Christmas market on 28 November 09!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Stitch in Time

I find craft activities very therapeutic… Channeling creativity through your hands and out of your fingers tips in the hope that the end result will be a master piece.

I’ve been taking sewing lessons for 2 years with Letty La Rosa, a larger than life character who calls a spade a spade (watch out if you don’t do your home work!).

A couple of my weekend projects are pictured below. These simple projects only took a day to put together, just in time for a night out on the town!

Missoni style knit skirt

Black wool soft jacket

I’m planning to enter the Tessuti awards “Vintage Little Black Dress competition” with the following pattern used for inspiration. If anyone else is a keen sewer, details of the Tessuti Awards and categories can be found at http://www.tessutiawards.com.au/

A great place to start your sewing inspiration is a fabric store, so listed below are my favourites

1) The Fabric Store, Surry Hills http://thefabricstore.com.au/ Sourcing fabrics from both local and international designers this place is a fantastic destination for quality fabrics.

2) Tessuti Fabrics, Bondi/Surry Hills/Chatswood/Sydney http://www.tessuti.com.au/Beautiful fabrics from all other the globe. They buy from over 30 leading European, Australian and NZ designers including Chanel, Prada, Miu Miu, Akira etc. You can always finding something unique and the Sales Bin is a treasure box of goodies!

Letty La Rosa teaches sewing one Saturday a month from her house in Forestville. There are 2 spaces available this semester so if you are interested in attending lessons drop me an email kellymcort@yahoo.com.au

Friday, August 7, 2009

Nickels & Dimes - This Weekends Markets

Attention die-hard market shoppers who are willing to brave the wild weather this weekend – Please see below for this weekend’s hit list


North Sydney Market
Miller Street, North Sydney (between Ridge and McLaren Streets)
2nd Saturday of each month, 9am – 3pm
Over 120 stalls including
arts & crafts
prints & frames
plants, herbs & freshly cut flowers
clothes, hats and jewellery
kitchenware & small furniture items
books & cds
bric-a-brac & antiques
freshly made pies, cakes, jams, honey, and preserves
tea, coffee & drinks
massage treatments and more!

Manly Arts & Crafts Market
Lower end of Sydney Road, adjacent to The Corso
Every Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm
Unique handmade arts and crafts


Kirribilli Markets (Art & Design/Vintage quarter)
Bradfield Park, Milsons Point (Cnr Alfred & Burton St)
2nd Sunday of the month, 9am – 3pm. It’s worth getting there at 8ish to ensure you don’t miss out on good second hand clothes.

Gordon Rotary Markets
Gordon Railway car park, Wade Lane, Gordon
2nd Sunday of the month, 8.30am – 3pm
80 regular stalls and a variety of casual stalls each month selling jewellery, books, collectables, clothing, food, plants, etc.

Bondi Markets http://www.bondimarkets.com.au/ Sometimes the garage sales on the street outside the market are better than the stalls inside. 10am – 4pmOrganic Food Market http://www.organicfoodmarkets.com.au/Organic-Food-Markets.aspx I feel healthier just walking through these markets at Frenchs Forest!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Personal Shopper

I found a couple of super sales that were too good not to share. Thanks to Missy Confidential http://www.missyconfidential.com.au/sydney.php I’ve compiled the following list

Madaboochoo online sale – HUGE sale, fantastic pieces
To save you time, I’ve done some virtual window shopping through the 85+ pages of “on sale” clothes and accessories o bring you the “best of” list.

Moss & Spy top - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_04_cream-cap-sleeve-blouse-with-lace-panel-by-moss-spy.html

Lily Dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_04_ivory-jersey-dress-with-crochet-lace-neck-detail-by-lili.html

Moss & Spy double breast coat - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_06_navy-double-breasted-coat-with-satin-lining-by-moss-spy.html

Dusty Pink Citi top - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/dusty-apricot-and-pink-long-sleeve-top-by-citi.html

Seduce black silk jumpsuit - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/black-silk-jumpsuit-by-seduce.html

Seduce little black dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/black-dress-with-lace-back-and-bow-by-seduce.html

Martini floral dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_02_floral-and-spot-print-dress-with-frill-by-martini.html

Stone coloured trench - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_08_stone-trench-coat-with-gold-stud-by-martini.html

Lili chain cardi - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_10_two-toned-chain-cardigan-by-lili.html

Deep blue pencil dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_12_deep-blue-satin-pencil-dress-with-belt-by-martini.html

Hot seduce dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_14_champagne-strapless-silk-dress-by-be-seduced-luxe-by-seduce.html

Leona Edmiston dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_16_dark-slate-long-sleeve-jersey-dress-by-leona-edmiston.html

Katherine poppy dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_18_multi-print-silk-poppy-dress-by-katherine.html

Vallen top - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_23_charcoal-velvet-sequin-top-by-vallen.html

Cream Vallen Cardi - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_23_cream-cardigan-sugar-ribbon-by-vallen.html

Black velvet dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_26_black-velvet-short-sleeve-dress-by-dusk.html

Beaded wool cardi - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_26_black-beaded-wool-and-cashmere-cardigan-by-blanc.html

Moss & Spy pleat skirt - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_30_pleat-hem-pencil-skirt-by-moss-spy.html

Ivory Moss & Spy dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_31_ivory-embroidered-shift-dress-by-moss-spy.html

Pinafore dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_38_plaid-pinafore-dress-with-belt-by-very-very.html

Harry Who jacket - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_39_purple-double-breasted-crop-jacket-by-harry-who.html

Leona Edmiston dress - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_41_multi-print-geometric-jersey-races-dress-by-leona-edmiston.html

Mustard & Lace top - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_41_mustard-cap-sleeve-blouse-with-lace-panel-by-moss-spy.html

Black donna bag - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_04_black-donna-bag-by-leona-edmiston.html

Black leather gloves - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_06_black-wave-cuff-leather-glove-by-violet-priscilla.html

Yellow leather bag - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_08_dijon-leather-bag-by-elise-caarels.html

Leather bag - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_15_taupe-leather-bag-by-ceinture.html

Straw clutch - http://www.madaboochoo.com.au/boutique/_19_rose-natural-straw-clutch-by-etiquette.html

Clothing Down Sale At Bluejuice Parramatta – Nothing over $70 http://www.missyconfidential.com.au/cms/content/Sydney-designer-sales/CLOTHING-DOWN-SALE-AT-BLUEJUICE-PARRAMATTA-_2039.php

Attention budget shoppers - $5-$10 Livingdoll sale

Monday, August 3, 2009

Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Baker's Man....

Why do we crave something sweet after a savory meal? I’m hunting around the house trying to find something for desert but the closest I’ve got is a Donna Hay cook book.

So, I’ve started thinking about how inspiring sweet treats can be. The thought of a pastel cupcake or a brightly coloured macaroon instantly puts a smile on my face.

I wish we had the Parisian tea salon Laduree in Australia. Famous for their macaroons and other sweet treats they’ve been refining their recipes since 1862. http://www.laduree.fr/public_fr/maisons/champs_accueil.htm

Not only are their macaroons special but the interiors of their retail chains are amazing. The Champs Elysees store is fit for a queen with velvet drapes and Edwardian chairs.

Hope is not completely lost for a store in Australia with 2 stores now open in the Asia Pacific (Tokyo)…… yummm!

In my internet surfing I couldn’t pass this yummy recipe for chocolate chai spice cupcakes http://chockylit.blogspot.com/2006/05/chocolate-chai-spice-cupcake.html

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Steals and Deals for this weekend

Burning desire to shop this weekend? Check out this weekends markets and sales:


ici et la Bourke St Store Closing Sale.
588 Bourke St, Surry Hills. Today – Saturday 22nd August
If you are thinking of recovering a piece of furniture or creating some colour in your home with soft furnishings then this is the sale for you!
Inspired by provincial France this shop contains homewares, soft furnishings and a fantastic array of fabrics!! I’ll be very sad to see it close down L

“By San Sebastian” Basement Birthday Sale.
220 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee. Today – Sunday 2nd August
All great brands heavily discounted from G-star, True Religion, Lee, Zanerobe, Elwood, Ladhka and One teaspoon, to name a few, starting from $10!

Online sale – iloveabargain.com.au. Starts Tuesday 4th August until Sold
iloveabargain are having a GIANT clearance sale to make way for their summer stock and you will find an amazing range of bargains all priced at a mere $5 to $10
iloveabargain are an online factory outlet store who stock clothing from lables such as CKM, Sunnygirl, Living Doll and more. http://www.missyconfidential.com.au/cms/content/steals1.php


Heritage Craft Market – 1st Sunday of the month. St Ives Showground, St Ives
250 Stalls of Quality Australian Handcrafts with no mass produced, second hand or imported items. http://www.heritagecraftfair.com.au/
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