Sunday, 30 April 2017

Falling Leaves




Autumn brings so many beautiful colours and we have been collecting leaves over the last few weeks and pressing some of them. We love the shapes and subtle tones of gold, red and brown in each leaf. Our house is now filled with collections of leaves in bowls and on shelves. We add them to our gift wrapping and even bluetac them to the walls!


This lovely garland image is from The Happenstore in Sydney. https://www.instagram.com/thehappenstore/ 

In the past we have made digital cards using collected and weathered leaves. We can't stop decorating with them in many corners of our house at the moment.  Autumn is such a beautiful season.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Book Illustrations





Late last year I posted a couple of drawings that I was working on for a publication by Tasmanian scientist Peter Davies. The two images above are details from the published book that was launched last month and show how some of my drawings have been combined with vintage maps and actual gum leaves and nuts. You can see the cover of the book with my emu drawing on the bookshop's launch material below. The project was blessed to have graphic designer, Gillian Ward, who  beautifully combined all the written material, drawings, photographs and other imagery to create the book.


It was a wonderful experience and I was thrilled to have my drawings in print! It is also the first time that I have drawn so many animals and flora - some of which are endemic to Tasmania. My drawings reproduced in the publication include the wombat, spotted quoll, devil, emu, kangaroo, swallows, eastern bettong, galaxias, black tipped orchid and midlands buttercup and kangaroo grass. 

The Book was project managed by Lynn Davies and together with artist Nikala Bourke, the four of us enjoyed being the creative female force behind the publication.

Peter E Davies, Woven Landscape: Connections in the Tasmanian Midlands, Australian Book Connection, Hong Kong 2017

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Community



Recently we were commissioned to make a very large 'nest' and over the last 10 days we have been constructing it in our driveway. The nest had to be designed so that it could be hung about a metre off the ground, so it was necessary to construct it with a sturdy wire armature as the finished nest was to be at least a metre in diameter.

The wonderful thing about making it in view of our street was that all our local community took such an interest in its making. Each day, as the nest began to take shape, friends and neighbours would leave a little surprise on the pile of branches and sticks we were using. Sometimes it was a perfectly curved branch they had collected or gumnuts on twigs, feathers or flax. So many lovely natural gifts from everyone as they shared in the making of this huge nest. The final nest in many ways ended up as a 'team' effort. Many discussions about its progress enriched each day as we worked on its construction. and it was such a joy to see everyone share their ideas and their collected items as the nest grew.

                 










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 a later blog post.

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.