Tuesday, June 28

Rooms with temperaments

Cool, restrained and sophisticated via keep feeling fascination

Can a space be described as steady and level-headed? Be given attributes normally used to describe human characteristics? I am the first one to love my pops of colour. There is something hot, volatile and passionate about brightly coloured spaces. But what about lovely pops of muted honey-toned woods? These places feel subdued, quiet and comforting. Spaces I know my husband would really like. These have been on my desktop for a while and they always remind me of the kind of rooms I would love to create for him. I think I am inching more and more towards this kind of muted sensibility.
I really really like these spaces. 

Somehow these rooms come across all self-composed and level-headed.
Restrained, cool & serene. 

Herringbone flooring. My great love here and at the very beginning.
It's funny, while I love the rush & chaos & emotion of colour 
(I even have a label dedicated to it!), there is something so steady, tranquil and understated 
about these rooms. Like they are not showing off. Or trying too hard.

Grounded, strong and understated via apartment therapy

Another quiet room via the marion house book
This room actually manages to exude maturity, depth and substance.

And in the kitchen pops of honey-toned goodness too  (via here) 
I am slowly but surely building up a collection of wooden boards of all shapes and sizes. 
They can be bought quite cheaply over here. 
There is actually a lot of lovely rustic and functional kitchenware in Jakarta.

Coffee which is not in a hurry via simple lovely

 Grounded and loving via keep feeling again
This space is in former factory in Milan. Loving the wire wall art.

 Calming lighting ha via here

ps Have not seen Tom in 5 days - he's been away working (which kind of might explain this post!). Tonight we are heading out post afternoon thunderstorm (I presume - it's just begun as I type this) to sit in a little curtained booth at our favourite Japanese restaurant and eat lots of raw yummy fish. We'll have our nice walk home afterwards. Something that we try to do regularly. A luxury in Jakarta when you usually have to move around by car. So in that respect, something so simple can be blissful and much appreciated. 

So very corny I know but I dedicate these spaces to him. I've really missed him lately as he has been travelling quite a lot. I'm going to get you one of those Eames lounge chairs one of these days my love (hopefully thrifted cause I don't want a replica!) I live in hope - read this great Eames thrifted story via The Brick House here. Always loved this story and all the other great finds they acquire. They enforce a rule where they do not spend over $100 on any one item. So if you love op-shopping this is a great place to go. 
Op Shopping, markets, rummaging - it's the one thing I really really miss over here.

Saturday, June 25

Dissidence and opening doors

via fashion gone rogue

After watching our 4 year old break out (in a good way) at his first visit to an art gallery
(writhing around and soaking everything up), as well as our recent painting sessions, 
the image above came to mind. I've had it filed away for a while. It's so striking.
Ok, so she's a beauty with an attitude, but it's the painting on the wall I really love.
I'd love to let loose and do something like that!
Looks like it would be therapeutic too!

Love this door, this colour, this floor and the promise of
what's behind it. You can see the whole apartment here.

Daggy segue ahead - another door opened this week -  artist and dissident 

(albeit with probationary conditions, but still such great news)

I was upset when I wrote about him here (which includes the original back story if you're interested). 
I know there are so many things going on in the world and that this may pale in comparison to other injustices which I have and still do struggle with on here sometimes. Trying to reconcile all the pretty shiny things with the absolute awful things going on elsewhere. It can be strange. In many ways naval gazing blogging is a refuge from that chaos. Especially living here, so close to so much of it. And living with someone so involved in it. Without sounding flippant, I like to think that Tom takes care of one side and I take care of the other. We kind of balance each other out like that. Literally - take a look at the drawings on the wall in his story. 
Sad. Not shiny.

Friday, June 24

An afternoon at the gallery

On Tuesday we finished up work early and all went to see a new exhibition in town. 
Indonesian Eye: Fantasies and Realities is a collection of 41 works by 18 emerging artists from all over Indonesia. 
In August it will move from Jakarta to London's Saatchi Gallery!

After downloading the photos, I realised the majority are of Noah writhing around on the floor trying to
get a closer and better look at everything. I envy a child's enthusiasm and lack of inhibition.

PS. so much for my big claims of being a cataloguing extraordinaire.
I decided that the time had finally come to label all of these posts. A herculean effort (for a little while at least),
but glad it finally got done!

Thursday, June 23

Beauty and function: jewellery bowls

Swooning over Laura Carlin's painted ceramic bowls 
Laura is an illustrator first so her ceramics are not only beautifully and organically rendered,
 her graphics are great as well. Storing jewellery is exactly what I'd use these for!
I'd worry too much if these ended up in the kitchen storing fruit.

Laura here again

and again (my favourite one)

Table Tonic jewellery via here

Laura's lovely earthy tones here again

Intricate textile patterning  (via here)

.........and this one too (Joe Kievitt via here)........
 for no other reason than these beautifully patterned textiles remind me of the bowls!

last one of laura's here
What would you put in these bowls? Disclaimer: these are not actual jewellery bowls.
I just like the concept. Beauty and function.

Wednesday, June 22

Compact living in Sydney: making every bit count

While we live in typical expat mega-structure style over here in Jakarta (it's virtually impossible not to), 
I think a lot about our move back to Sydney at the beginning of next year. We won't move into the part-owner of my heart straight away. We'll instead move back to the city first. With five of us it will be tight, but we will make it work. While I am usually drawn to pictures of big beautiful rambling gardens and old country homes, I still keep one eye on small spaces and compact living.

I really love this clever use of space above. Unless you are really lucky, it seems you have to make a choice between small and compact near the city or big and airy in the suburbs.
For lots of reasons, we will choose the city.

Loving this almost invisible clever storage. 
The top one has that lovely warm honey injection of mid century wood. In an otherwise stark white setting 
it creates such a lovely ambiance. While of course I love form to follow function, in small spaces first and foremost, it's got to be practical. The crazy impractical stuff (like my 2 glorious and very old Chinese printing cabinets - the ones that can't actually hold anything except for small Chinese printing blocks!) might fit happily in the country but sadly not in the city.

bike rack via here

brilliant via here

I love how this pretty storage area doubles as a display for one of my 
favourite ornaments - babushka dolls! 
Why not display what you love somewhere you will see it everyday!

And now for something completely different: what about this revelation from Martha Stewart! 
She teaches a simple trick: to store a sheet set in each set's respective pillow slip.
How cool is that! Maybe sad that I find it cool but I struggle with a mismatched linen cupboard
 usually in complete disarray. At least this will introduce some method in our soon- to-be small home.
Simple pleasures! 

Tuesday, June 21


Imagine resting in here

.....climbing down and swinging in this strange and wonderful contraption.

Or if you must work, doing it in a space like this....

Sunday, June 19

Actually doing it

I have started painting! 
These are from a quick session the other day. 

texture gallery @ lost and taken via here

 Noah and I have been painting almost everyday for the past couple of weeks. Using the wet-on-wet technique, it's been great watching the paint move itself around the paper with the colours swirling and finding their own way. Watercolours are great! Noah loves to tilt the paper so that blue runs into yellow, turning green before his very eyes! He thinks it's magic. Literally. With no formal background (except a long ago degree in art history) I've been getting inspired by YouTube tutorials, the daily painting movement at RosaPicks, lots of art books (left over from said degree), and a desire to just actually do it. Much like the reason this blog started. It feels so great to just let go, muck in, and paint. Like trying a handstand!

Considering purchasing this but am also trying to just relax and not think it through too much. Actually, it's interesting to see the difference between my effort and Noah's. Noah's paintings look more fluid, balanced and somehow more right (whatever that is). His watercolours seem more natural and organic. His paints mix to form beautiful plumes of colour. With me on the other hand, there seems to be a disconnect. Even though I'm trying to paint as freely as I can, I still feel like I might as well be painting action plans and KPI's at work.
It's a real exercise in letting go and just enjoying the process. 
Rather than striving to get the look right, I need to get the feel right. 

Helen Frankenthaler, First Stone,1961 lithograph here 
It's not watercolour, but you know, any excuse.

Actually, I long to paint like Noah. I feel kind of envious of his uninhibited joyousness and freedom. He just goes for it, no hang ups and ends up with a great final product. I actually think that is the key. I'm so hung up on that final product, on how the painting is going to look, whereas Noah is all about the journey, mannn. 
Woah. I know. Heavy and deep. Well actually, it is. Those little tubes of paint are teaching me quite a lot: that even though I like to think of myself as all relaxed, free and chilled out, I think my paintings may be uptight.
Now I really understand how art can be therapeutic. I'm waiting for the day to paint like zen master noah.

Noah's is the orange-y one at the top. Like some crazy intense sunset. 
Mine is in the middle. The pink and orange one. A little linear. A little neat.
Ok, so I'm actually pretty happy with those colours. It's the lined boxes to the left that have me worried. 
Why do I have to stay in the lines? Why did I draw boxes to begin with? Surely those colours want to break out of their confinement and become a crazy intense sunset too!

Wednesday, June 15


I know I'm probably a bit late to the party on these,
but I admire clever people who can put a spin on ordinary objects.
I'd love to order this living necklace here.
Image above and below from Colleen Jordan's Etsy shop.

Love the lettering in this Dirty Girl Clayworks 

ha ha and these too......Letterpress cards from Saplings Press via yellowtrace 
I do try Grammar, I really do. You should really talk to my sons.

 !! Remember those days!!
I still find it excruciating when on the rare occasion I watch something with my lovely dad, 
the obligatory sex scene pops up. The opening scene of french film Betty Blue, anyone? 
I do not recommend that as a first date movie. Oh lord.

Monday, June 13

Helen again

Images above {here via here}
Here's to people that take the time and effort to scan!

Following on from yesterday, here is Helen Frankenthaler's 
and husband, Robert Motherwell's apartment photographed for the 1967 issue of Art in America. 
Motherwell was also a painter, an American abstract expressionist. 
There's not a lot to say except for wow. And then to sigh
It's really worth taking a moment to read the original text below
The contents of the rooms are incredible.

(Above) Living room in Mr. and Mrs. Robert Motherwell's brownstone, with Mrs. Motherwell (painter Helen Frankenthaler) seated at far end of room. A Mark Rothko oil hangs over the fireplace. The objects on the mantel include an Archaic Greek head (center), a painted wood Egyptian standing woman, about 1350 B.C., and a Thai bronze walking Buddha. On the white-topped table is a small David Smith bronze, 1961-62. The large blue and white painting is Hlen Frankenthaler's Blue Tide, 1964. On the lamp stand next to the sofa is Jacques Lipchitz' bronze study for Ploumanach. Above the sofa are two paintings by Motherwell: America Cup, 1964, and Figure 4 with a Blue Stripe, 1966. Among the objects on the coffee table are bronzes by Rodin (left) and Matisse (right). The painting on the right wall is Motherwell's The Homely Protestant, 1948.
 (Top): A corner at the Motherwell's. The painting in center is Helen Frankenthaler's Small's Paradise, 1964; below it, on table, is a South Indian stone female figure, Pala period. At left is Barbara Cohen's Yellow Rest, 1966; directly above the Cohen is Kenneth Noland's Seed, 1962, topped by a Hans Hofmann from the fifties. Flanking the Hofmann is an African Baga wooden mask. A wooden Polynesian paddle rests on the floor.
Photos by William Grigsby.

Another Frankenthaler painting in situ via here

Helen again via here

Frankenthaler's Small Paradise 1964, as seen in top image via here 

I posted a little Frankenthaler back here as well as in a homage to our pool here. I've always loved her fields of colour on such a grand scale! Even when it's not her work I love her work as I'm sure Frankenthaler has inspired Hadley Halliday (and many other artists too!). She is impressive. Not only are her paintings majestic and beautiful, but she also broke free of so many constraints for that time: she lays her unprimed (gasp) canvas on the floor so the paint soaks in like giant stains; she uses acrylics like one would use water colours, and she paints with house brushes, mops and buckets! As she herself says: 

There are no rules. This is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules. This is what invention is about.