My Creative Space by Ginger Kelly Studio

Dear Lauren (aka Ms. Ginger Kelly), We heard you just moved house and thought it might be a good time to catch up with you during the holidays so we can see your new place and you can tell us about your plans for the new year… Your artwork leaves us enchanted and we’d love to see where the magic and creativity happens!

Ginger Kelly Studio - Handmade Toys and Jewellery

Dear KID independent, The last six months have been so filled with a buzz of activity, and not the friendly humming of a bee hive, instead the sound of drilling, sawing, hammering and sanding. My family and I have just finished renovating our vintage cottage (which still needs a name!)

We now live literally on the banks of the Orara River, Upper Orara NSW in a little yellow timber clad cottage from the 1950’s. It still has its original hardwood floors and cladding and now sports a brand new galvanised roof and a little bit extra added on to the back to include the old breezeway and laundry into the house as the entry, mudroom and bathroom. It’s not quite finished… but you can follow the story and photos on our renovation blog.

Ginger Kelly Studio - My Creative Space

Ginger Kelly Studio - My Creative Space

Ginger Kelly Studio - My Creative Space

During the last eight weeks I have been helping my grandparents recover from surgery/chemotherapy and set up a temporary studio in their living room to await the moment when I could shift all my boxes into my temporary bedroom in the cottage. You see, it has been my plan all along to build my own studio and living space somewhere on our sunny 3 acre block. With the river so close by (including a perfect swimming hole, with waterfall I might add!) and my horses in the paddock below the cottage I can think of no better place to sit at my easel (or computer monitor) and paint to my hearts content.

Ginger Kelly Studio - My Creative Space

Ginger Kelly Studio - My Creative Space

Ginger Kelly Studio - My Creative Space

My plan is to have a simple timber open plan studio with space for sleeping, cooking and crafting on a epic scale! With my hands always busy at painting, drawing, stitching, beading and embroidering I need a fair amount of working space and storage for all my bits & pieces. My parents and grandparents living rooms can no longer stand up to the punishment I have been giving them.

Constantly clearing scraps of fabric, buttons and trim off the dining table for each meal is no doubt frustrating for the other household residents and as every crafter knows, an uninterrupted space of your own is essential for creativity! I’ve been collecting hundreds of inspiring ideas on my Pinterest boards which I’d love to share with you.

Ginger Kelly Studio - My Creative Space

Ginger Kelly Studio - My Creative Space

Ginger Kelly Studio - My Creative Space

Ginger Kelly Studio - My Creative Space

The other things I need around me are my animals and the wilderness of this valley and river. I grew up here. It is a large part of who I am and inspires my work every day. Many of my Facebook friends will recognise my rabbit, (formally known as Mr McTwisp) who appears somewhere in almost every forest scene from my fairy tale illustrations. I’m hoping in the new year to do a series of stock photos with my horse Will, who I’m sure will make a very pretty steed for a medieval maiden on horseback and as many people have pointed out, our hair matches colour perfectly (we salute redheads everywhere & send our sympathy to you all this summer).

Luckily Will does not share my sensitivity to the effects of the sun so while he’s content to mow down the overgrown paddocks, I’ll be spending the holidays in the sun dappled water of the river… then when the sun goes down I can venture out to help in the vege garden, look after the chooks and their newly adopted five little babies and plan the construction of the Ginger Kelly Studio! With any luck it’ll be underway in time for my birthday!

Ginger Kelly Studio Art and Illustration

Thanks for sharing your beautiful new home with us Lauren. We can’t wait to see your finished studio and all your magical new creations for 2013.

You can visit Lauren online at Ginger Kelly Studio where you’ll find a range of art prints, posters, postcards, jewellery and other merchandise. If you’d like to check out her textile and toy designs, visit her at Thistle and Fox.


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Photo Journal - Around the Block by Tiny & Little

It’s a beautiful afternoon here in sunny Brisbane. I’ve just finished watering my seedlings {fingers crossed they grow into thriving plants}, the neighbourhood is still a little bit quieter than usual with just the odd barking dog and singing bird. It’s the perfect time to stop and appreciate the wondrous environment that surrounds us… Introducing Natalie from Tiny & Little and her 4 year old son.

Around The Block - Photo Journal by Tiny & Little

“In the eyes of a child you will see… the world as it should be.” – unknown

I adore this quote and viewing the world through a child’s eyes, finding it both inspiring and filled with their sense of wonder. My love of capturing that, while encouraging them to take the time to explore the world around them, led to an activity we do regularly in the tiny & little household – Around the Block.

Around The Block - Photo Journal by Tiny & Little

Around The Block - Photo Journal by Tiny & Little

On any given day, usually when they’re not expecting it as it gives the element of surprise and doesn’t allow them time to think out shots before the outing, each of the little ones will be handed a camera – two receive my old point and shoot cameras, the other my iphone. As we step out the door, they’re given a challenge – “We will be walking for 20 minutes and in that time I’d like you to take five/six/ten photos of whatever interests you on our walk.”

Around The Block - Photo Journal by Tiny & Little

Around The Block - Photo Journal by Tiny & Little

Around The Block - Photo Journal by Tiny & Little

Setting the low limit on photos reminds me of the days when I photographed using film. When you only have a 24 shot film, every single one of those 24 shots is carefully considered before you take the photo. You don’t rush too early because you may miss out on being able to take photos at the end of the journey. Each shot needs to be considered if you want to make the most of the limited number of photos, so you slow down. You look around you. You consider the whole world around you to make sure you don’t miss the beautiful thing you could’ve photographed while snapping randomly.

Around The Block - Photo Journal by Tiny & Little

Around The Block - Photo Journal by Tiny & Little

In this activity, I watch the little ones slowing down. They notice the birds and look to see where they are. The little ones hear the wind in the leaves and gaze at how the branches move. They look through gates, down drains and over fences, and watch ants crawl along the footpath. They look for the sun, the moon and cloud shapes in the sky.

Their faces shine with excitement and pride as each shares the images they’ve taken with the others. It’s that or giggles as they see who can bust the craziest pose for another’s photograph.

Throughout it all, I’m an observer. I follow them with my DSLR, capturing their emotions as they create their own photo journal. Often I’ll take a photo of the same thing after them so that I can join the conversation when we compare photos and show them a different perspective. The way that we view the world so differently at times is astounding.

Before they know it, what was a twenty minute activity has taken 45 and they are content. Tired, but joyful, and it’s time for a milkshake break to recharge before we walk home.

Around The Block - Photo Journal by Tiny & Little

All photos in this journal (excluding the title image) were taken by Mr 4 (the TINY in tiny & little) and photos by the teeny and little ones will be shared on the tiny & little blog soon.

A little inspiration for using the photos

  • let the little ones create a scrapbooking page with printed copies of the photos
  • show all photos (yours and theirs) that you took of the same object side by side and discuss differing perspectives
  • use a particular photo as an opportunity to learn more about something (for example, after these photos Mr 4 and I spoke about sunflares, sunlight and camera lenses)
  • ask the little ones to draw/paint/sketch their own art copy of the photograph or to recreate aspects of it (patterns, shapes, colours) in their own abstract piece

 


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Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi (Mee a Bee)

Over the past couple of years I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many inspiring handmade designers from all edges of the globe. Our newest feature called “Photo Journal” captures a day in the life of these designers and their families, enjoying their beautiful city, spending time with loved ones, and generally having a ton of fun! Our first guest photo journalist is Jacqui Miyabayashi from Mee a Bee in Japan.

Kishiwada Castle  - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

I’m Jacqui, a New Zealander living in Japan. I came to Japan about fifteen years ago on my way to Europe. I loved it so much I never left. Our family of four live in a small city about an hour south of Osaka. The children attend local school and kindergarten are are both bilingual and learning about their two cultures. After several years as a stay-at-home mum I began sewing for my own small bag business, Mee a Bee. I am very fortunate to be able to work from home with flexible hours to fit in with the demands of the family.

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Yesterday, being close to the end of the year, my two kids finished school and kindergarten early. My aunt is visiting for Christmas so we decided to go for a picnic at a local castle. Get out in the fresh winter air! It was a beautiful day. Just twenty minutes drive from my place we arrived at Kishiwada Castle.

This castle was originally built in 1640 and was the home of a feudal lord and his family for a couple of hundred years. It was burnt to the ground after being struck by lightning in 1827. The present castle is a concrete replica of the castle (built in 1954) and now houses a small museum. The original zen garden remains.

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

My two boys are Noah (10) and Tyler (5). They were excited about the possibility of seeing a real samurai and maybe a ninja or two. We made ninja bread men (using cookie cutters from Fred) as part of our picnic lunch.

It’s free to enter the grounds and while you cannot walk in the zen garden area it was still fun running around the moat and up and down the huge concrete stairs. For $3 you can enter the museum and climb up to the top look-out posts. The whole day was definitely fodder for many creative stories and the wild dreams that boys of their ages have.

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada is a small city about 45 minutes from downtown Osaka. It’s touted as the most accessible castle town in the world due to its proximity to Kansai International Airport and the fact that the castle co-exists with present day residents of the city. It’s really quite amazing to round the corner at a busy traffic intersection and see a castle rising out of the ground.

There’s a high school right next door and we could see the children practising sports and going about their lessons like normal! If you ever get a chance to visit Osaka then Kishiwada is a great place to visit. It’s very family-friendly as it’s almost all flat and most of the tourist spots can be reached on foot.

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada Castle  - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Kishiwada Castle - Photo Journal by Jacqui Miyabayashi

Thanks so much to Jacqui, Noah, Tyler and their Aunt for sharing their fun trip to Kishiwada Castle! It looks like you had a superb time.

Would you like to be a {KID} independent photo journalist? I’d love to hear from you, please email me for details.


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Happy Harmony Day!

In celebration of Harmony Day {in Australia} along with the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, today I bring you series of beautiful faces that celebrate cultural diversity and embrace uniqueness, community spirit and respect.

Harmony Day - Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Do you remember the song “We all sing with the same voice” from Sesame Street? It has such a beautiful message, and I couldn’t think of a better song to sing on Harmony Day. It certainly warms my heart and puts a smile on my face, and I hope it does the same for you.

My hair is black and red. My hair is yellow. My eyes are brown and green and blue. My name is Jack and Fred. My name’s Amanda Sue. I’m called Kareem Abdul. My name is you.

I live in southern France. I’m from a Texas ranch. I come from Mecca and Peru. I live across the street. In the mountains, on a beach. I come from everywhere. And my name is you.

We all sing with the same voice. The same song, the same voice. We all sing with the same voice. And we sing in harmony.

Harmony Day - Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Harmony Day - Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Sometimes I get mad and mean. Sometimes I feel happy. And when I want to cry, I do. When I’m by myself at night. I hold my teddy tight. Until the morning light. My name is you.

I have sisters one, two, three. In my family there’s just me. I’ve got one daddy. I’ve got two. Grandpa helps me cross the street. My cat walks on furry feet. I love my parakeet. My name is you.

We all sing with the same voice. The same song, the same voice. We all sing with the same voice. And we sing in harmony.

Harmony Day - Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Harmony Day - Celebrating Cultural Diversity

I like to run and climb. I like to sit and read. I like to watch my TV, too. And when it’s time for bed. I like my stories read. “Sweet dreams” and “Love you” said. My name is you.

We all sing with the same voice. The same song, the same voice. We all sing with the same voice. And we sing in harmony.

We all sing with the same voice {Sesame Street}.


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