September 11, 2012

rain&hale Fancy New Blog!!!

Great news team! r&h have acquired a pimpin’ new blog space made specially for us by the beautiful Bianca at The Social Factory.

We know you’re dying to see it, so click below and check it out…



September 6, 2012


Recently, while trawling for recipes involving Oreo’s,  i found a cooking website called Smitten Kitchen. Her wonderful pictures and fresh home-created, and sometimes  traditional, family recipes inspired me to dive into this complex (but fun) chocolate cake roll recipe.

Here’s my attempt…..

If you’re up for the challenge, heres’ the recipe straight from smitten Kitchen…

Cake layer:
6 ounces semisweet bittersweet chocolate, chopped or 1 cup semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons water or strong coffee
6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

1 cup heavy or whipping cream
2 to 3 tablespoons powdered sugar (use more if you prefer a sweeter filling)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 to 2 tablespoons liqueur of your choice, such as Grand Marnier

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or oil a 10-by-15-inch shallow baking or jellyroll pan. Line the bottom lengthwise with a piece of waxed or parchment paper that extends up the short sides one inch.

Melt chocolate with water or coffee in a small saucepan over very low heat until it is 75 percent melted. Remove from heat and stir until the remaining chocolate is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to beat until yolks are pale and ribbony. Gently stir the chocolate into the yolk mixture.

In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites with salt until they hold stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 of egg white mixture into the chocolate-yolk mixture to lighten it. Fold the remaining whites into the cake batter in three additions. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cake layer feels dry (but very soft) to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. It will still seem a little underbaked.

Transfer to a cooling rack and cover the top with a light damp towel or two layers of damp paper towels for 10 minutes. Gently remove towels; don’t fuss if they have a bit of cake stuck to them. Run a knife around the edges of the cake. Sift one tablespoon cocoa over the top of the cake and cover the cake with a thin tea or flour sack towel [Updated: To clarify some cake rolling confusion, the prior directions had you roll the cake with a piece of waxed paper underneath, towel on top. In hindsight, the cake is much easier to roll with a towel underneath, as my photos show]

] that is a little longer than the pan. Place the back of a baking sheet or a large flat tray over the towel and invert the cake and paper onto it. Gently peel back the parchment or waxed paper that lined the pan. Sift the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder over the top of the cake (that was, one minute ago, the underside). Using the towel underneath to help lift and roll the cake, roll the cake from short end to short end with the towel inside. Let cool completely, encased in its towel.

Once cool, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until it holds stiff peaks. Get your serving plate ready and place it near your cake roll. Gently unroll chocolate cake and remove tea towel. [Try to get the tea towel to the hamper without touching anything, as it is saturated with smudgy cocoa and trust me, can mess up a white kitchen fast.] Spread whipped cream filling evenly over cake. Gently use waxed or parchment paper once again to reroll cake. Place on serving platter, seam side down.

If you’re fancier than us, you can now garnish it with shaved white or dark chocolate or even a drizzle of each, melted; raspberries are pretty too. Serve immediately in 1-inch thick slices or refrigerate until needed. This cake is best to serve on the first day it is made. It’s still delicious after that, but the whipped cream filling does begin to deflate a little into the cake spiral.

Good Luck!!!



September 1, 2012

Hughster’s September Gig Guide

Saturday 1st September: The Laurels – Annandale Hotel – $13.30 + bf

One of the best Sydney bands going around at the moment, the Laurels are setting off on a tour of the country in celebration of their new album, “Plains”. Their grungy sound will suit the renowned rock-venue the Annandale Hotel to a tee.

Wednesday 5th September: YesYou – Beach Road Hotel – Free

Celebrated as one of the Triple J Next Crop Artists last year, Brisbane production duo YesYou have been busy writing and producing for the likes of Jinja Safari and DZ Deathrays. They’ve also been finishing off their own debut EP, which will include the current single “Frivolous Life”.

Wednesday 12th September: The Medics – Spectrum – $15 + bf

Hailing from North-Queensland, the Medics’ debut album Foundations has been one of the highlights of the year, having won a swag of awards at the recent National Indigenous Music Awards.

Wednesday 12th September: Twerps – Beach Road Hotel – Free

I included Twerps in last month’s gig guide, and in case you missed them (like me!), they’re in Sydney again this month. And this time, it’s free – no excuses dudes.

Thursday 20th September: Pond – The Metro – $22

For those who weren’t aware, the guys from Tame Impala play in another band, Pond, and funnily enough, they’re just as good! More of a psych-rock vibe to their music, they’re an experience to watch.

August 16, 2012

Fox and Beau

Fox and Beau makes the cutest stationary and homewares your eyes would ever see. Everything is handmade and beautifully designed and each piece has its own personality.

Amy and Katie are the creators behind the brand. We were first introduced while setting up our stall at the Favourite Things Markets in Bondi. We got talking (as you do, when you’re neighbours for the day) about how they came about and what inspires them the most. They are just the sweetest and you could really tell that they love what they do. We shared the same level of passion and drive – working late nights, weekends and any spare minute that you have, just to make your dreams become reality. So we thought we’d share their story…

Tell us how it all started…
We both went to high school together, and then met up a few years ago and realised that we shared the same passion for design, craft, interiors and paper. We just meshed so well and decided to launch Fox and Beau. It is our sanctuary, our home away from home. A place where we can get lost and share everything that just means the world to us, next to our cats! We are so proud of how far we have come in such a short space of time. We are proud of the products we make as they are all designed by us, printed in Australia and eco-friendly too!

Where do you get your inspiration from? Any artists or creatives that you follow for inspiration?
We LOVE colour! It is the simplest way to express our work, so we thrive off others that infuse this aspect into their projects as well. There are so many to choose! A few favourites that we admire is Donna Wilson, her colours designs and fabric ooze energy and life! Beci Orpin is another artist that just creates beautiful artwork and projects by using geometrics and fluros.

What are the plans for f&b? Anything new coming up?
Absolutely! We are constantly adding to our stationery store! We are currently working on our Christmas Card range (in-store in October) They are oh so cute!

We are also expanding our design service, and working on creating a delightful wedding invitation range. We are both married, but see the importance of beautiful wedding stationery. This is an up and coming project so watch this space!

Where do you sell your product?
We have a lovely shop that we launched last year, and also at occasional market stalls in Sydney. We will keep you posted on our next stalls on or



August 13, 2012

Arts & Crafts – Rozelle

I snared this kitsch ladder for a small $18 when r&h set up at Rozelle markets last week. And i knew exactly what I wanted to use it for. In the worlds tiniest bathroom I could definitely use a space-saving towel rack. So once the sun was out, I got painting….

First i gave it a thorough wipe down with a damp rag, followed by a rough run-over with some sandpaper…

I simply used an interior paint i had lying around..

…and with a little helping hand, and after a few coats of paint…

….I finished it off by using a thick coat of spray lacquer that will keep it from splitting in the bathroom….

…and viola!! The ultimate convenience…



August 9, 2012

Bec Winnel

As a creative, you sometimes get lost or your mind gets a little stale, so you look for a little kick in the inspiration department. I found my kick a few months ago after attending the intense two-day conference at Semi-Permanent in Sydney. It reels in the industries’ best, from all parts of the world. Semi-Permanent for me, is like being a kid in a candy store – it seriously gave me a buzz. I got to see many of my faves and some newbies that got my mind and pencil racing. But, the one speaker that inspired me the most was the extremely talented and self-taught illustrator Bec Winnel. She was very nervous and softly spoken but that didn’t deter me from becoming love-struck. I’ve seen her work online, and in the Curvy editions, so it was good to see the face behind her amazing pencil drawings. She showed us a little demo on the process of how she illustrates (below), and expressed her creative journey. I decided to get in contact with Bec after the conference, to get to know her a little more and to share her story with you all.

“My first exhibitions were in Nan’s kitchen on her fridge” – Did you always see yourself being an artist? What steps did you take to get to where you are now?

I can remember dreaming about being an artist when I was little, alongside a few other careers like a Ballerina or Fireman (laughs), but I’ve always loved being creative and always wanted to end up working in a creative field.

I see your main inspiration derives from creating affection for feminine beauty, nature and nostalgia. What other sources do you gather for your inspiration?

 I guess all my inspiration comes from essentially, beauty, but in many forms. It could be the beauty of a flower, the beauty of a song or the beauty of a facial expression. One image I recently created was inspired by a beautiful French provincial kitchen cupboard I had seen online. I love French provincial furniture – the curves, the detail, the craftsmanship, and the love that went into these pieces – certainly artworks within themselves. I guess to me, beauty also means pure and unconditional love in all forms.I really admire that you explore different mediums to create your illustration. What are your favourites to work with?

Certainly pencils are my favourite,  they’re so instant and clean! You need a pink, so you pick up pink and start drawing with it, while with paint, you need to take time to mix the correct colours and I can be a little impatient at times! But then, I do love the fluidity of paint and the life of it’s own it takes on. I enjoy experimenting with mediums, even if at times the pieces don’t work out, I learn something I can take to my next artwork.

There is so much detail in your works. How long does it take to complete just one piece?
It’s hard to say as I usually work in about 3 hour sessions, sometimes a couple a day, so to guess, it would be around 20 hours on average.  I think the most I have spent on a piece would be around 60 hours.
“Image making is my therapy and life fuel!” – Being a full time artist, are there times when you’ve reached your creative boundaries? If so, what other outlets do you explore to refresh your creative mind?

Yep, there sure has! There have been times where it all seems to hard and I  wanted to quit! As time goes by, I learn more about my artistic practice. I’m finding going for a walk, leaving the studio, getting some fresh air and room for my mind to breathe works wonders. It’s amazing how I try so hard to find inspiration at my desk at times but then, whilst out walking, an idea will pop into my head. I’m also a visual person, so sometimes I’ll find inspiration from books or image collections online like Pinterest.

What’s on the cards for the rest of 2012?

I’m currently working towards a solo show, Muliebrity, at Just Another Agency Project Space. It opens on Friday the 14th September, 6 – 9 pm at 153 Greville Street, Prahran. A solo show is on the cards for 2013 in the States, so I think I’ll be starting work on that one too. There will also be commercial illustration work in there too and any other exciting opportunities that pop up. But yeah, just to keep creating art and going along on the journey!

I hope this too inspires you all, even if it’s just you picking up a pencil to colour in your My Little Pony book.

To see more dreamy, nostalgic works by Bec Winnel, visit her home here. 

August 2, 2012

Hughster’s August Gig Guide

Friday 10th August: Break the Ice Fest – UTS Glasshouse Bar – $28.10 + bf

A fantastic line-up of local talent will appear at the University of Technology for the first ever Break the Ice Tour (which will also stop at other Uni’s around the country). Joining headliners Bluejuice will be the likes of Deep Sea Arcade, The Preachers and Hungry Kids of Hungary.

 Saturday 11th August: Kill City Creeps – The Vanguard – $11.80

With influences ranging from 60s psychedelia to 70s glam-rock, Sydney’s Kill City Creeps are a thrill to behold. Lead singer Daniel Darling is ably supported by Knives, Mon Cherie and Nina B, combining to create a truly unique sound.

Saturday 11th August: Twerps – Goodgod Small Club – $14

If Kill City Creeps don’t sound like your cup of tea, perhaps Melbourne’s the Twerps are. After a huge American tour, they’re back in Australia to promote new material. Their US trip saw them stand-out at SXSW before supporting the incredible Real Estate on their national tour.

Friday 17th August: Jinja Safari/Opossom/White Arrows – Metro Theatre – $38.90

The Metro welcomes an incredibly diverse line-up, with local popsters Jinja Safari being joined by Opossom (NZ) and White Arrows (USA). The truly innovative and original International acts especially should not be missed for any reason.

Wednesday 22nd August: The Pharcyde – Upstairs Beresford – $47 + bf

Hip-Hop pioneers the Pharcyde are returning to Australia after their last visit three years ago. An alternative to early-90s gangsta rap, their music was (and is) as challenging as it is fun.

Wednesday 29th August: SURES – Beach Road Hotel – Free

Rain&Hale favourites SURES continue to sweep all before them. Having supported a number of prominent acts in recent times, they’re quickly becoming a heralded group on their own. See them for free alongside equally talented Battleships, as Beach Road comes up with the goods once again.

July 25, 2012

Van it for Splendour

If only we had the time (and money) to decorate a caravan and glamp it in style for Splendour.

Here is our wish list for next year…



July 24, 2012

Tattoo Inspiration: The best of the best

Are you anti-tattoo? Hit this page and you’ll leave wanting a sleeve. A collection of some of the most beautiful and inspirational tattoo’s around…

Looking for some inspiration?



July 23, 2012

Splendour in the Grass 2012

 Splendour in the Grass is coming home! After two years on sabbatical at the Woodfordia Festival Grounds (in QLD), Australia’s premier Winter Festival is returning to Byron Bay (July 27-29). With a purpose built festival ground still in the works, the three-day music love-in will be held at the Belongil Fields, the site of the festival’s birth in 2001.

With a smaller capacity (Belongil’s capacity is just over 17,000) and a more “Splendour-friendly line-up” this year, the festival sold out in under an hour – the quickest sell-out in the festival’s history.

Two of the Rain&Hale family will be packing their bags and road-tripping up the Pacific Highway for the weekend, and we’ve both put together our top-fives – an extremely arduous task, sifting through the incredible line-up of international and local talent.


Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Electric Guest, Tame Impala, At the Drive-In, Here We Go Magic


Lana Del Rey, Chet Faker, Jack White, Bleeding Knees Club, Metric

See you there (more updates to follow)!