Sunday, December 15, 2013


Ever felt a bit confused? Scribble it out, you never what might happen in amongst those scratchings.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What's pink and purple and a bit crazy all over?

Something bright and fresh I worked on a little while ago, just to add a little cheer to these wet days stuck indoors. Long time, no is happening, unfortunately less and less prints are being designed but perhaps that will change once the bigger of the tiddly winks starts kindy next year. Cheers to growing up and crazy pink and purple clashing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Natural Rainbow Cake

Okaaay! HELLO out there! So my last post was from over 2 years ago, and obviously the nature of this post has zilch to do with textiles or graphics in anyway. This is perhaps due to the fact that my life has very little to do with this subject at the moment, but I thought it was a creative endeavour nontheless so here it is for anyone interested!

Since the last post I had another baby (and they have published another Print & Pattern book so it has been a long time) I had a beautiful little girl named Teah. She recently turned one and I made her a very special cake.

So the rainbow journey began on a long sleepless night in July trawling facebook and pinterest for something interesting (don't tell the doctors, the computer screen is terrible to be staring at when you have sleep anxiety but I was so bored and the night seemed so long) and I happened upon this new rainbow cake fad and knew right away I had to make it for Teah's birthday! Only problem was it was tortured with artificial food colouring and for a one year old party that is a big no-no. So I researched many natural cakes, many, many, many. What I ended up with is a mix between good and bad. Good would have been making my own white cake from scratch as well as the natural dyes for the layers. Yet after 3 failed attempts I just could not make my white cake delicious or light and fluffy whatsoever. I read A LOT of recipes and tips and borrowed an amazing mixer and whipped and beat and creamed and blah blah and it just didn't work. So I forfeited and have used a (eeek!) packet mix. It worked. A dream. The end.

So I used two packs of Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake, and only fruit and vegies for colouring - I figure for a time poor mother not magnificently skilled in baking it would suffice. Now, from all my investigations and experiments I found that most of the colouring was best done with vegetables which didn't make for a very exciting tasting cake, so my twist on the concept was to pair each vegetable with a fruit puree to also give each layer a different flavour. The effect was fantastic and helped boost the colour a lot. So for all those who been asking for the you go :


For the Cake :

2 x Betty Crocker Super Moist Vanilla Cake mix
6 x 22cm round cake tins - I managed to get hold of 3 so baked in 2 rounds of 3

For the colours :

Red : 2  beetroot, 1/2 small punnet of strawberries
Orange :  3 carrots, orange zest

Yellow : 1 egg yolk, lemon zest
Green : 1 bunch English spinach, 1 kiwi fruit
Blue : 1/4 red cabbage, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
Violet :3 purple carrots, 1/4 cup mulberries

Notes on the colours : 

You can leave out the egg yolk in the yellow layer, the batter itself makes a pale colour anyway. I added a a few drops of beetroot juice to the carrot juice to boost the orange effect as carrot juice on its own was quite weak. I was also VERY lucky purple carrots and mulberries were in season as they make an amazing violet together - if you're not so lucky you can just do a 5 layer cake. And the purple cabbage sounds weird but it it turns a magnificent blue when you juice it. Although you can do the vegetables on the their own and they will still colour the batter, I found doing the beetroot without the strawberries seemed to bake out the colour a bit, and also the fruits mask the unusual flavours - spinach! cabbage! weird flavours to eat in a cake but with the fruits you can't even tell.

Sugar syrup for between the layers :

1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar

Method :

The measurements for the amount of liquid/colouring you need will vary depending on the cake mix. The general idea is to make the cake according to instructions on the packet (or if you're skilled enough, according to your white cake recipe), and withhold some of the liquid. Divide the mix into batches then add the liquid component as colouring separately for each layer.

For my chosen cake mix, 250ml of water per packet was required, so I added a dash of water when making the mix just to help it mix up a little better (this was 10ml). I did the packs one at a time (it was simply too much mix for my bowl but I don't see why you couldn't make 2 packs at once if you have a large enough vessel). This left 240ml for 3 batches, making a nice neat 80ml of natural colouring required per layer.

1) Juice vegetables separately in juicer, set aside in jars and keep in the fridge.

2) Puree and zest fruits, set aside and store in fridge. 

3) Prepare tins according to cake mix instructions
4) Make batch 1 of cake mix.
5) Divide mix into 3 bowls, add 80ml mixture of vegetable dye and fruit puree. I must admit, I went overboard on some of mine as I wanted as intense colour result as possible so I did add more than 80ml for some of them. This didn't seem to affect the cake too much, just made those layers a little heavier.

Sorry forgot to photograph the blue mix
6) Bake 3 layers. While they are cooling on racks, prepare the next batch of cake mix and repeat step 4 and 5. Allow all layers to cool.
7) In a small saucepan mix the sugar and water. Bring to the boil then simmer for a few minutes. Brush the mix between the layers as you stack each layer on top of the other. Place the cake in the fridge to set the layers together. Many rainbow cakes use buttercream icing between the layers but I like the look of the layer hard up against one another, do as you please.

My all time best icing is White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting from this cake, the cake is also divine should be baked if you have the inclination! I used this for the outside of the cake and it complimented the fruity flavours of the layers really well.

Sorry this write-up is difficult to read, I am not a recipe writer or baker extraordinaire - I am a designer and we tend to not think in a straight line.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Print & Pattern by Bowie Style

Yay! Finally published. Haven't seen it in any bookshops in Perth yet. I bought mine from Amazon

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My best creation so far...

On break from designing and making, focusing on another wonderful creation! Baby Leon was born January 14, 2010 and is a happy, beautiful boy. No certain plans yet when I will return to pattern design and bag production but will keep you posted ♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bursting with excitement

Excuses, excuses I know! It has been months since I have done anything pretty enough to post, but I think being 37 weeks pregnant gets me somewhat off the hook :) Christmas is days away, and now the nursery is almost organised, I found some time to make sets of Christmas cards and gift tags from a mish-mash of old patterns.

Wish me luck for the next few weeks, I am literally BURSTING with excitement to meet our little boy. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fancy doodles

You know, it only took a few months but we are now hooked up with wireless internet at home so I am on-line all over the show. Favourite spot is front porch lounge with a cup of hot soy milk. Also means I am trying to "multi-task" : emails, blog updates, making obstetrician appointments, scheduling yoga classes, writing design classes, patting Mr. Moko and doodling all at once. Who says pregnancy makes you forgetful? Mind you, all I really do all day is draw fancy doodles, here's a nice one on a wood box I made for my lovely husband. Anyone want a doodle? Just come over for a cuppa, apple and cinnamon scrolls heartily accepted as payment!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The cat is out of the bag...

I know I promised 'more bags soon' but the only bag I have in mind right now has kittens and bows and storks all over it...yes...being a little under the weather in my last post turned out to be a more than we thought! Instead of inflicting upon you mushy baby-brained prints I am digging through my archive, here's a pretty little thing I did some time ago. Perhaps a bit too mature for a newborn but sweet and calm, unlike my swelling belly these days.

So I am taking a break from production for a while, concentrating on teaching until the end of the year. Will probably have super-sugary-sweet-as-pie designs for baby pouring out of my already forgetful brain in no time...please ignore any oddities between now and January...and probably even more oddities after that!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Chive {hearts} Parsley 4eva

Easter has come and gone, seems like summer will never end in the west... sweet summer romances still lingering in the air. A good time to finish off bits and pieces while off from teaching for a week - four new shops to explore and a few limited edition purses and pencil cases in Chive and Parsley available from Sedonia (Seddon, VIC) this week. Check stockist websites above.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ipanema dreaming

Apologies for the absence in updates of new work. As proof I haven't been in Ipanema cruising the beaches (not mentioning anyone I am stupendously jealous of right now!) I'm going to show off my newly set-up studio that I am totally in luuurrve with.

We have ornate windows to keep an eye on my pussycat through, and a cute native garden. The
prettiest deco style ceiling and room for my bike! Super all round.

Righto, back to the cutting table.

More stock arriving in Freo soon and few new stockists in Vic, QLD and Tas coming in the next few weeks so I'll keep you posted where!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

blue and yellow makes green

Finished marking my first year design students work today, always a little sad to see them grow up and move on to their diploma year *tear*. Seems like so long ago I was teaching them the simple things, like red and blue makes violet, blue and yellow makes green. Now they can tessellate regularly and irregularly with perfection.

It's coming up to that silly time of year again, so I whipped up for myself a very indulgent big hemp/silk bag for long summer nights when I might need my extra pair of flats in case the heels just don't cut it, hair stuff as my new short do just doesn't do itself, towel for emergency beach swim, bikini, sketch book, my massive pencil case with pens of all colours ranging from the 0.1 tip - bullet tip (you never know what mood you'll be in), hat, ipod, and newspaper (just to check up on just how bad the recession will be as I may have to sell my nice shiny bag for my next meal).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Thanks to the nice folks at INHABITAT for the write-up this weekend, and for supporting eco-fashion & accessories alongside all other eco-creative pursuits. You can check out the sustainable style post here.

blue cheese, chives and walnuts

Mmm, the tastiest and prettiest little plant around ... I just love that lingering aroma of chive, garlic and butter on home made garlic bread, all over my fingers, all over the chopping board, just all over anything. I found a recipe for a blue cheese, chive, walnut and parsley spread that I am going to have to try today, maybe walk to the bakery and get some crusty bread, then sit down for another day of drawing. Sounds like a good plan.

And I'll take red chive bag with me I think for a walk, I'm sure a ciabatta will be comfortable in there. Chive bag comes in red (hemp/yak hair) and black (hemp/cotton), both with a zip closure and hemp/organic cotton lining.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

awww...they're twins!

Sometimes it's impossible to decide which one I love more...luckily I can have both!
On the left is Aviary Bag in hemp/organic cotton canvas, and her twin on the right is hemp/yak hair. Both have hemp/organic cotton linings and a handy pocket for small treasures. x

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

plums...check, bamboo...check!

Who would have thought plums and bamboo would go together so well? This is from the new range We {Heart} Herbs...soon to be in stores, I'm talkin' weeks away so keep your eyes out. This little sweety is the Bamboo Purse (100% bamboo fibre inside and out) in Plum, it also has a friend in Bamboo Cocoa and Soy fibre. Oh, and yes, that is an Australiana inspired print. I know, it's not a herb.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

free as a bird

I'm all outdoors these days, the house is stone cold, nowhere to go but outside, find a patch of sun and sit ... and wait to feel my to fingers thaw .Then in again - more stitching, more lovely prints to share, more tea and maybe just another biscuit ...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

parsley tea? yes please!

A preview of some parsley goodness you could soon be carrying all your treasures in. Grind up some fresh parsley leaves to make a tea that's good for your kidneys and bladder, can relieve gas and do many other wonderful things. Mmm, yum (?))

Thursday, May 22, 2008

my baby odd-toed ungulate mega-fauna

Otherwise known as my Baby Rhino...he has been on show with the ambiguous equestrian sort in the big-smoke on the east coast, but soon he will be home! I just have to go fetch him! He needs a home, doesn't require any watering or grasses and never wants anything more than a little pat and hug (and perhaps a smoothing of his stuffing) every now and then.

Friday, April 18, 2008

a callistemon phenomenon

Top : Callistemon, hand-silk screen printed wall hanging on hemp/yak hair
Above : Callistemon, detail

Just hanging around with the ladies...grevillea, dryandra, bottlebrush and the baby of the lot, little golden wattle. A fresh touch of Australiana will always brighten my day!

This piece can be viewed and purchased at Object in Surry Hills April 05 - June 15, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

giddy up!

Shell Purse : phone - check! wallet - check! sunnies - check! mandarin lip balm - check! i-pod - check! banana - check! tissues - check! shells - CHECK!

Giddy-up and grab one from Ambiguous Horse ON-LINE SHOP
and check out all the other fabuous creations from far and wide.

Friday, December 28, 2007

'tis the season to be silly

What have we been up to? I jumped out of a plane, the first of what I hope to make an annual tradition, monthly if I'm very lucky...weekly if I sell a lot of these perspex artworks. Dreaming of jumping doesn't make me weird right?

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and you all have a nice silly New Years.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

yak yak yak

I call it CatBag, it's for carrying cats and other nifty stuff. The print was inspired from the tiny weeds and flowers growing around the fallen dead tree in my back yard. Poor little tree.
Made from a hemp/yak hair blend and lined with a pretty floral cotton.

enquiries :

Thursday, October 4, 2007

a bit big and a bit bold

Tiger Bag, hemp/cotton shell, cotton lining, hand printed, sewn in the sun-room, sitting on the rack near the french doors...waiting for a lovely owner to go shopping with.

enquiries :

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


One part elephant
One part bird
A few apples and a pear here and there
A dash of bright green
Sprinkling of hot blue
Some serious dots
and some serious black to top it off...
Ah, pretty elephantbird.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

frida frida

Home again after 6 weeks of adventure! We covered a lot of ground, driving up the west coast of the USA, then heading to Cuba and Mexico where I found so much colour and s o many beautiful are some from a building near Frida Kahlo's house in Mexico City.

Maybe I could do a Caribbean/Spanish theme for my next collection of bags, inspired by the crabs I met on the streets of Havana.

Friday, July 6, 2007

meet kitty

This is Kitty Clutch, she is friendly, not very old and likes to go wherever you take her.

Anyone in Melbourne this Sunday (July 8)? Go check out the Melbourne Designers Market at the underground carpark at Federation Square. You can't get Kitty there as I made no friends for her yet but she has a few cousins, brothers and sisters for sale!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

bon voyage

Feels like all my friends are overseas...where is everyone?
"Balloon Party" is a little peek at one of my new prints for 2007
The collection is called ElephantBird and features 8 styles of bag
with 8 unique prints.

Good luck to all the old architecture crew heading off for good-times and
new adventures in Greece and beyond. Hope to see you all in a couple of years!

Friday, June 8, 2007

a million ancient bees...began to sting our knees!

A tiny peek at what I have been up to the past little while. It's not all flowers and happy days though! Today I heard Regina Spektor is coming to Australia (not Perth) and I am so prepared to fly to Sydney / Melbourne for a show but they are both DAYS before we leave for our holiday and wouldn't it be terribly selfish of me to indulge before I indulge further?

I actually cried - REAL TEARS of sadness I may miss her tour. If anyone has a spare bed in Sydney on July 11 I may need a spot to crash.