new collection from swarm: pillow portraits…
Posted in handmade, homewares, pia's photos November 21st, 2011 by pia

My dear friend Leslie recently sent me some of her latest creations from her studio in Amsterdam- pillow portraits, featuring some of her favourite once-forgotten portraits from her personal collection. They each have a name, and each their own little narrative which is screen printed in unique handwritten fonts on the back of each cushion. Here, I’ve taken some promotional photographs for Leslie to use. Below, meet Rolf…

 

…and Bridget, who tells us about journeying along a canal and finding the perfect shop …

I adore the anecdotes on the back of the cushions as much as I love the portraits themselves. There are six pillows in the collection thus far, and I secretly hope Leslie designs more. I can imagine collecting each one as they are made…

Leslie is happy to ship these anywhere in the world, so if you are keen to start your own portrait pillow collection, click here to read the details on her blog.

xx

PS I think my favourite is Rolf – he goes on walks and collects leaves and bits of nothing that mean something to him. Man after my own heart.

PPS wow, this time last year.

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all about props…
Posted in homewares, stylists, sydney April 22nd, 2011 by pia

My first ever job as a stylist was assisting on a david jones catalogue, some 7 or so years back now. I was nervous, to say the very least. I had no idea about styling, or photo shoots, or anything of the sort. I remember walking into the windowless studio – a concrete room filled with hi-tech camera paraphernalia and trestle tables full of props – daunted by the bright lights and the fact that everyone in the room knew exactly what they were doing. That is when I met Jenni Booth, the stylist I was to be assisting. Jenni took me under her wing from that first moment, teaching me the ropes of styling for the many months that followed. Her generosity and genuineness never faded, and we soon became great friends.  I’ve always said that if it wasn’t for assisting Jenni, I would never have wanted to pursue a career in styling.

playing with props at Jenni’s place

A few years back, during a skype conversation while I was living in Amsterdam, Jenni let me in on an idea that she’d been nurturing for some time. We were rattling on about the frustration of never having enough time in a day as a stylist – so often we are allocated a minimal amount of hours to prep for a shoot, and those precious hours are spent rushing around from store to store, with most of it wasted in travel and trawling the internet for props. Even if we find something on the internet worth pursuing, we still have to get out there and pick the item up. During our conversation, Jenni asked me, “What if you could hire your props online, with clear photos and prices of each item. Would you use that service?” I answered, “absolutely! That would be awesome.” In the months that followed, Jenni got to work on creating just that – an online hiring store that would be super easy to navigate, with loads of great props, clear photos, and next day delivery.

Today, I’m super excited to be the first online to tell you about my dear friend Jenni’s new venture,  Prop Hire Online


What makes Prop Hire Online truly unique is that it is an ONLINE ONLY store. It has been created to make the life of a stylist, art director, photographer – really anyone in the industry who requires props  - a lot easier and much more productive. It’s open 24hrs a day, so you can hire when it suits you. There are beautiful clear photographs of all items to show you exactly what you are hiring. It works just like an online shopping cart where items for hire can be added and tallied as you browse. Then, the items are delivered the next day to your studio or location and will be collected when the hire period is finished.

all sorts of props – from baskets, books, and backdrops…

Jenni has also included something rather exclusive to the range of items available - stylist supplies and kits. So if you have run out of masking tape or need a whole new kit, she can add this to your order and deliver it too. With this launch there are over 500 items available to hire for every kind of shoot, be it interiors, still life, food or fashion. New products will be added as they are gathered and a regular newsletter will keep you up to date with the latest arrivals.

One of the other things I love about it is that you can type anything you like in the search button – be it, say, the colour ‘red’ – and you get a selection of all the red props…

Isn’t that cool? Since shoots are often theme-based, you can narrow down your search this way. Let’s try, ‘green’…

I love it. There are so many gorgeous items. Looks at some of the crates…

and vintage bottles…

Last year while I was visiting from Amsterdam, Jenni and I were in a fabulous antique store in a little country town, and found this divine vintage French champagne bottle to add to the Prop Hire Online collection…

It’s one of my favourite items in stock, and I can’t wait to hire it for an upcoming shoot.

So if you’re based in Sydney or around, and are a stylist, photographer, art director, or just love photographing beautiful props for your blog, OR if you want a stylist’s kit of your own, then this is the store for you. Congratulations Jenni, after all the hard work and persistence, you’ve done it! And it’s more than fabulous. I am a very proud friend.

xx

-photo credits: first 3 images by me, fab product images by Alan Richardson.
-click here to visit Prop Hire Online.

 

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swarm gallery in London…
Posted in handmade, homewares, interiors, london, stores April 13th, 2011 by pia

Did you know that anthropologie in London (Kings Road)have a beautiful gallery space? And did you know that my friend Leslie – who is responsible for sending me that fabulous bag featured in my last post – has an exhibition of her wares in there right now? It’s times like these that I wish I could wiggle my nose and pop up just in front of that window, spending the afternoon wondering through the gallery, being inspired all the while…

I’ve known about the gallery exhibition for some time now as Leslie has been working on creating pieces for it for the last 6 months. And I’ve also been lucky enough to see all these pieces during the making of, so seeing these photos of the space all set up is super special…

If you are in London, I do hope you can find some time to go and visit the gallery to see all the amazing things made by swarm. The exhibition will be up until May 10th. In the meantime, you can also visit the anthroplogie online gallery which features more individual swarm pieces, with information and images on each creation.

……………………………….

All  photos are courtesy of Anthropologie, London.

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sydney boutique love: newspaper taxi
Posted in homewares, pia's photos, stores, sydney March 24th, 2011 by pia

In a gorgeous little back street of Newtown, appropriately named ‘australia street’, sits an incredibly quaint boutique called newspaper taxi. I’d been dying to visit ever since I met owner Stefanie Bassett at my impromptu book signing last year at Berkelouw bookstore in Newtown. Finally last week, I got my chance…

(the always inspiring children’s magazine, papier mache.)

Stef’s store is filled with vintage collectibles, handmade home wares and beautiful publications like you see above, and below…

(ebony’s divine gift wrapping zine. Ebony is also selling her zines online, of which all proceeds from the sales will go directly to Red Cross to help survivors in Japan.)

(above left: beautiful ceramic brooches made by sarah o’sullivan above right: a little in store vignette of vintage goodness.)

Newspaper Taxi is also an exclusive stockist of one of our favourite parisian artisans, Nathalie Lété. At the moment, Stef has some stunning prints by Nathalie. If you’re in newtown, be sure to check out stef’s store.  If you’re nowhere near newtown and don’t think you’ll be there in the near future, you can also view part of stef’s extensive collection of goodies on her online shop here. And! she writes a blog here with updates on her newest finds.

Oh, I can’t wait to visit again and again. It’s good to be back in my ol’ hometown.

xx

 

 

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made by hand: elephant ceramics…
Posted in handmade, homewares February 15th, 2011 by pia

How exquisite is this new range of porcelain and ceramic ware by Michele Micheal?  She incorporates the texture of homespun linen into the clay, and uses a series of painterly techniques like brushing, dripping and pouring for glazing. I adore the deep blue color palette and the organic, raw shapes. Without doubt this range will be used a-plenty in upcoming photo shoots around the world. Congrats Michele!

-All images by elephant ceramics.
-View the whole collection here.

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