Archive for ‘Art’

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. 

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 20, 2012

Whimsy Milieu

It’s a good day when we stumble across other designers that inspire us. Sydneysider Jacqueline Chan is just bursting with creativity and dying to share it with the world. I mean, how adorable are these hand painted wooden rings!!

Jacqueline is the creative director of studio WHIMSY MILIEU, also dabbling in a selection of unique accessories….


…and even furnishings….

 WM has a new range of accessories to look forward to, launching very soon. Here are just some ways you can keep an eye on her gorgeous work…

Etsy shop

Young Republic


July 9, 2012

Photography Love – Julia Trotti

Oh my lordy lord! This is the kind of photography most of us could only ever dream of being able to create.

Julia Trotti has solidified herself as a major player in the Australian creative industry. Not just dabbling in conceptional photography but throwing her own seductive spin on fashion, music and weddings. Her work has been featured in oh too many publications to mention, and her skills have been consigned to shoot some of the biggest bands and events in Oz.

Here is just a taste of what Julia Trotti has to offer up to the photographic gods…

Even more enticing than her online portfolio is her blog ‘I have something to tell you’ where Julia often spoils us with sneak peek shoots and inspirational ideas.

Now you can love her like we do.



July 3, 2012

Five Words – Tell Your Story

Ever heard the chorus line to ‘that’ song or seen a poster (perhaps even a meme) that has managed to sum up your feelings right at that very moment? Just 5 little words that have surprisingly sparked your interest and then circled your head for days? Well, it happened to these 2 talented girlies one too many times, until they decided to create a space where you can attain that warm fuzzy feeling everyday single day…

rain&hale snagged 5 minutes with the 2 creative cats behind the site, to ask just a few curious questions…

What is one thing you both find inspirational about your everyday life?

Music. It can lift you up and get you out of a creative rut in no time. At the moment we’re loving Matt Skiba and the Sekrets. We’re both pretty excited to be heading to Outside Lands Festival as part of our prize for the 2012 Ultrabook Pedestrian TV Blogster Awards.

What would you say to other creative thinkers to encourage them to put their ideas out there like you have?

The internet can be a tough yet wonderful place. Don’t take criticism personally – think of it as a chance to learn from others and be inspired!

We agree! Do either of you have background in or currently work in graphic design? Or what skills do you have that contribute directly to 5 words?

Mel is a full-time graphic designer and I work in Marketing, so we both have skills that contribute directly to Five Words. It’s been a great chance for me to learn more about design and for Mel to have a creative outlet.

We see you have an Etsy store, do you intend on selling these amazing graphic images on a range of mediums?

We do! We’re actually in the process of shortlisting our favourite pieces, which is a massive task since there is nearly 600 of them! We’ll be starting off with a number of prints and expanding from there. Our first range will be online in July. Exciting times!

What do you look for in submissions for the 5 words website?

 Since we do all the design work ourselves we tend to connect with some submissions more than others. If the words are something we can identify with, we seem to use them pretty quickly. As long as it sits well with our other posts we will try to do the submission justice.

How long was it from the birth of the idea to the proud moment of fruition? And was it a difficult journey?

Surprisingly not that long, it was only a few days while we sorted out the details and got the site up and running! Creating something new everyday is probably the most difficult part of Five Words. We go through inspired stages, but we definitely struggle sometimes. It’s all worth it though when we receive an email from someone saying we brighten their day.

Well girls, there’s no denying that’s exactly what you have managed to do. Here’s just a taste of some of the goodies added to their site in the last 6 months…

You heard the ladies, 5 words will be selling these beautiful & inspiring images online really soon so keep you online eyes (and wallets) open on this space…

If you are wanting to submit 5 words that mean a lot to you, you can do it here..



July 2, 2012

The best of the Blue Mountains

What to do in the middle of Winter? Go where it’s even colder, of course! From the giftwear haven of Leura, to the mix-and-match mall of Katoomba, to the gourmet selections of Blackheath, the Blue Mountains have something for everyone. The Hughster and I piled up the car and made the short two hour drive up to the Mountains over the weekend and thought we’d share our favourite everythings with you.


The Great Pretender – Owner and devotee of all things vintage and chic Linda Steven has just opened another shop around the corner from her first love, The Kween’s Emporium. We had a good old chat about the fashion industry and our love for great vintage finds. Linda has been collecting fabulous frocks and accessories for many years now, so she knows a thing or two. She’s currently busy setting up shop for The Great Pretender just off the main strip in Katoomba. The label specialises in reproducing a range of retro-inspired frocks, all from original patterns that she’s collected over the years. All styles are sized 6-22 to cover all shapes and sizes – if you like to dress like a real lady, then this is the one-stop-shop for you! For more info on this great find, visit and ‘like’ her shop here. The Great Pretender is located in Katoomba, at 69 Waratah Street.

Victory Theatre Antiques – Now, if you’re on the hunt for some collectables, this is the place to go, a two-storey building full to the brim with antiques, one-offs and trashy treasures. You could spend hours in there, so luckily they have a cafe at front to satisfy your hunger pangs from all the browsing you’ll be doing. Located at 17-19 Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath.

If you can’t get enough, we also found some great vintage stores in Leura, we recommend Leura Vintage and Mrs Peel.



This small restaurant, hidden away in the regional town of Blackheath, attracts foodies from near and far who come here for the mouth-watering menu. Chef Phillip Searle’s cooking is sensational, the pilgrimage from Sydney is well worth the petrol money. Housed in an old bakery (with the baker’s oven still intact – and in use!), the decor is simple yet warm. After struggling to pick a dish each from the hand-written menu, we ordered spicy smoked trout cakes with light shellfish sauce and glazed duckling sausage with beetroot & orange relish. Then for our main-course we shared the barramundi & sesame coat with artichoke & shiitake ragout, and roast glazed pork with spicy papaya salad. Despite our curiosity to try the restaurant’s famous Chequerboard ice cream, we couldn’t bring ourselves to eat another thing (although we still managed a few toasted marshmallows back at the cottage later on). 33 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath 02 4787 6899

Our other gastronomical favourites included:

Good coffee/hot chocolate – Nikita Espresso Bar 179 Leura mall, Leura

Gourmet Deli – Leura Gourmet 159 The Mall, Leura

Booze – The Carrington Cellars & Deli  Parke Street, Katooomba

Best Cocktail – Apple Bar 2488 Bells Line of Road Bilpin


A trip to Govetts Leap lookout for breathtaking views over the endless valleys and rivers was as far as we got nature-wise. For those more outdoor-inclined, there are hundreds of walks around the mountains, ranging in difficulty and length. A drive down to the gorgeous Megalong Valley is also a nice option, where you can find horse-riding, vineyards and tea rooms.

Note: Thermals are essential.

June 22, 2012


           For all you crazy cats out there, here are some kitteny flavoured album covers for your perusal.

For more catty goodness, check out the tumblr here.


June 20, 2012

Girl Crush – Kelly Mittendorf

Photos by Matthew Priestley

Discovered on