Thursday, 9 March 2017

Changing Seasons



The air in Hobart is already signaling Autumn. Gentle sunny days, skies darkening a little earlier and of course the beautiful changing hues in the garden.


At Two in a Teacup we are making nests again and of course our eggs which are one of our most popular products. We use vintage maps and lovely old book and music papers for our various sized eggs. This year we are trialling selling sets of eggs in our online store and some as individual eggs. 



We are also starting to collect beautiful Autumn leaves to press and use at a later date. We will share some ideas on collecting leaves and what to do with them in later blog pot.

After the joys of a long Summer we do still look forward to the change of seasons and all it brings - shorter days, cooler temperatures and more 'inside' time by the fire to create, read and cook.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

'Tis the Season



Christmas is such a special time of the year. When I look around our home it is strewn with wrapping papers, ribbons, paints and our hand made cards and tags as we wrap presents and send off cards to friends and family.  In amongst the chaos of this time of year is the reassuring constancy of family rituals. At Two in a Teacup we have always loved to make our own cards, tags and sometimes wrapping papers and of course make many of our gifts too. Sometimes these are designed and created as part of our Two in a Teacup range but other gifts are ones that have been part of our family traditions for many years. In Tasmania it is the beginning of the raspberry season so we always make pots of fresh raspberry jam for our friends. This tradition dates back to my mother's family who grew their own raspberries and made shelves full of jam ready to be decoratively labelled for gifts. The sweet smelling, bubling saucepan of hot juicy red raspberries heralds Christmas and the summer months to come. We also like to make fresh pots of basil pesto and the little red and green filled jars look so festive together as gifts. This year we have made some traditional gingerbread hearts using a lovely set of three copper hearts from Kiki k. and their recipe.

We know there are many absolutely wonderful gifts that can only be bought in stores but we still believe there is something truly special about a present that has been lovingly handmade. What do you make at Christmas to share with family and friends?








Thursday, 24 November 2016

November

 Although we had lots of plans for 2016 it has been one of those years where things change or don't quite go to plan. So now, as this year draws to a close, my mind is beginning to re-think what we wish to focus on in 2017.

Some of the ideas we had hoped to develop this year we will roll over to next year but we feel that the coming year may be a good time to start exploring and making small artworks along side some of our stationery products.

Holidays are always such a great time to think deeply about what we hope to achieve in the new year - so along with us, we hope you also have a chance to plan some exciting new ventures or to rekindle some lovely old ones.


On my last post I shared one of the sketches that I have been working on for a small publication focused on a particular part of the Tasmanian Landscape. These images (designed by Gill Ward, the graphic designer who is working on the project) show how she is combining my drawings with old maps and plant specimens. They are draft images at this stage, but it is exciting to see how she has interwoven the drawings with other visual elements to emphasis the connectedness and interwoven nature of the landscape and its history.



November seems to have raced by this year but we have managed to put some Christmas inspired gift cards on our Big Cartel shop site and the 'string of hearts' garlands always look lovely adorning rooms or the mantelpiece at this festive time of year.


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Drawing

 


Drawing is something I have always loved doing but it is a very long time since I have put my mind to anything more than sketches in my holiday journal. Recently though, I have been asked to do some drawings for a small book that is focusing on the connections between plants, animals and humans in the Tasmanian landscape both in the past, present and future.  

I went into panic mode first and decided I couldn't possibly do drawings that would be good enough, then I decided that I had nothing to lose and that it would be a great opportunity to enjoy the drawing process and face my fears! 

This drawing is not complete yet as I need to build up the plant a little more and put some more shadow into the middle of the hands but it is a start. It is about the future and how we can make a positive impact on the future of our land.  

So, I will keep going with the drawings and try to surpress my doubts. I have never drawn quolls, Tasmanian devils or the rare black tipped spider orchid before but I am really enjoying the challenge. Will post a couple more drawings in the next post. Until then I hope you are all enjoying the change of season and are gearing up for the wonders of Christmas to come.




Saturday, 27 August 2016

Nesting

nest
noun
        1.    a structure or place made or chosen by a bird for laying eggs and sheltering its young.
        2.   Something in the form of a bowl or layer, used to hold, protect, or support something
verb
        1.    (of a bird or other animal) use or build a nest.
        2.   fit (an object or objects) inside a larger one.




We have just completed a commission for a lovely woman I met a year ago at a painting workshop on the mainland.  It has been so heartwarming to make this nest with vines from Bruny Island, feathers from Devonport, twigs from near the Botanical Gardens in Hobart and dried watsonia flowers, moss and ferns from my own garden.



As in the dictionary definition, she plans to place some personal treasures in this nest.

Nests speak to us because they symbolise the things we all cherish - home, security and family.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Notebooks




You are probably aware that the Two in a Teacup studio has been busily making 270 small notebooks over the last few weeks for a charity that helps provide accommodation to families who have sick children in hospital - The Ronald McDonald House. We have loved the opportunity to contribute to their annual Charity Ball with our notebooks.

Being stationery addicts has inspired us to develop our range of notebooks further, so we have some new ideas underway that will make their way to our online shop soon. We are playing with ways of using maps and transparencies with images printed onto them and are refining our leather notepads too.

It is hard to imagine life without a trusty little notepad in our pocket or bag. Along with making variations of our very practical little notebooks, we also hope to experiment with some one-off journals/notebooks too, so we will keep you posted with our new ideas. Our current range of pocket notebooks are now available at our online store through the link on this blog or the link on our instagram site.


Saturday, 4 June 2016

St David's Park and my camera


On a recent walk through St Davids Park in Hobart I was struck by the subtle beauty of the old gravestones that have been preserved in a commemorative wall and just had to take some photographs. It is amazing how a camera lens can shape our vision - from the big picture to a focused, close up and often cropped image.

Remnants of words carved into the stone, soft greys and gold of sandstone, the colours of lichen and the poignant sense of past lives.



These crumbling stones are a tangible reminder of some of Hobart's earliest settlers and somehow their weathered nature makes them even more mysterious and wonderful.


I always have a small sketch book in my handbag and of course my iPhone to capture ideas but I really enjoyed walking with my camera this time.