Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Jen Sievers | Artist

It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to my old mate, Jen Sievers. Jen and I worked together in a design and marketing firm back in the day. I knew she was a super talented graphic designer, but what I've recently discovered is that she is an amazing artist too.




From a young age Jen always loved to paint and draw. She started her career with a fine arts degree, and went on to work for 15 years as a graphic designer. Jen's 'Big Magic' moment happened when she and her husband moved out to a semi-rural house in the foothills of the Waitakeres. It was spring time and the beauty of her surroundings inspired Jen to pick up her paintbrush again. Working four days a week as a designer, Jen spends as much time as possible in her studio on Friday through Sunday, and in the evenings (when she's not chasing her beautiful wee toddler around).






Jen paints contemporary abstracts that are fresh, whimsical and drenched in colour. Her aim is to capture movement, draw the viewer in and evoke joy and emotion. I think it's safe to say that she has achieved that, don't you?







You can find some of Jen's acrylic on large canvases at Endemic World, and she may be introducing some of her work in print form too in the near future.






She also has a number of her pieces available on Society6, from prints to tote bags to cushions, and more.




As well as her large canvases, Jen creates small wood blocks that can sit on a bookshelf or be hung on the wall. For more details and to keep up with all the happenings and new work, make sure you follow Jen on Facebook and Instagram. I know I'm excited to see what's next for this fantastic artist.



Friday, 29 January 2016

Favourite Finds

Boy, it's been a while since I've done a "favourite finds" blog post, but I've been really busy pinning, posting, saving, coveting, discovering, watching and learning, so there's lots to show you. Friday seems like the perfect day to share some of these things with you, and you may even decide to try or check them out for yourself over the weekend.




I recently pinned this gorgeous kitchen and shared it on Facebook. The beautiful Morris & Co wallpaper was originally designed in 1876, but still looks amazing in this modern day space. I love it teamed with the crisp white tiles - green and white is a favourite kitchen colour combo of mine, it's so fresh. The wood and copper accents help to bring out the blush of the flowers. Old and new, it's the way to go.





In my job I use a camera a lot to take 'before' and 'after' photos of our clients' spaces, as well as pics for our Instagram feed. We have a large SLR camera that we use for work purposes, but more often than not it's just my iPhone that gets used for everyday snaps. I recently came across the Olympus Pen E-PL7, and it's now high on my wish list.




As well as looking super cute, it's small and compact enough to carry in my handbag, while serious enough to take some great photos. The LCD screen flips down, and can be turned around around making it the perfect selfie accessory (not that I'm a selfie kinda gal).




Definitely my favourite new app is PocketYoga. For just over NZ$5 you can download the app to your phone and/or tablet and be ready to practice your yoga anytime, anywhere. I absolutely love it! You can choose between different practices, different durations and different difficulty levels. Wherever you are, home or away, just roll out your yoga mat, make your selections and you're ready to go. With soothing background music, let a calm voice talk you through the practice. Once downloaded you don't need wifi to use the app, so it's great to take on holiday with you.




I came across these wise words earlier this week and I knew I had to share them with you. So true, and such good advice. Make sure you follow this link and read them all.




Every year on my birthday, I always ask for the same thing - no fighting from my kids, and pizza and bubbles for dinner (I'm easy to please). This Friday Night Pizza is the best, and since it's Friday you should make it tonight - everyone will love you for it. If you live in Napier, pop into Vetro for your prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, and other cheeses. They also sell the delicious Pizza Pazzi bases. Or if you can't be bothered cooking, just buy the whole thing from Pizza Pazzi.




If I'm not drinking bubbles with my pizza (sometimes I'm the responsible driver) I'll be drinking my new favourite, Höpt Soda. My friend Mandy introduced me to it, and it's so delicious. I like to pour mine into a wine glass or one of our crystal tumblers, and have even tried it with a splash of gin (when I'm not the driver, of course) - yum! There are four delicious flavours. I have now tried them all and my favourite is Pear & Basil.




I'm currently saving for a pair of Juliette Hogan Japanese Denim Ankle Jeans. I'm a huge JH fan, and these jeans are the perfect length, just above the ankle. They look fab with heels, ankle boots, sneakers, and even my fave pair of Havianas. Can't wait to get them in my wardrobe.




Last on my list to share with you today are my two latest TV obsessions. I had heard a lot of hype about the series Breaking Bad, so over the holidays I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I'm now midway into season 3 and am well and truly hooked. Sometimes I cringe, but you just have to keep watching to see what happens. 




And new to TV One and OnDemand is the series Blindspot. We've only seen one episode so far, but already I love it, and am intrigued to see the mysteries unravel each week. Check it out this weekend, and let me know your thoughts on it (and any of my favourite finds).

Monday, 25 January 2016

Nina Dobrev's Home Tour

Definitely the coolest home I've come across on the net this year is the California bungalow belonging to Nina Dobrev. I have a hard time putting a label on my interior style, and I don't necessarily think that we should have to label everything. But if I did, "relaxed-boho-glam" would be an apt description, and I think Nina has the same aesthetic.




After following Mat Sanders (Consort Design and creative director for Domaine Home) on Instagram for some time, Nina knew and loved his style. He, along with partner Brandon Quattrone, worked with Nina to help transform the Spanish-style, four bedroom house into the glamorous, laid back home you see here.






Mat used the strong contrast of black and white throughout the home and softened it with warm tones such as natural wood, brass and gold.





Artwork, books and accessories collected by Nina over the years help bring through her personality and tell a beautiful story about who lives here.






A powder blue kitchen is a bold choice, and it works so well with the brass fittings and black and white tiles. They've even included an all-time favourite of mine - the breakfast nook - yay! The tiled herringbone floor is gorgeous.






Nina has just enough layers to create a warm, comfy and interesting home without being OTT. Beautiful natural materials and texture for the relaxed, cosy vibe, and a touch of glam in the artwork and accessories.






Usually a peach bathroom is not so favourable with me (I've seen too many bad ones left over from the eighties), but teamed with chic panelling and simple black and white styling, Nina's is super cute.




Finish the tour off with a gorgeous blue walled pool area complete with festoon lights and a Buddha head - yes, I totally love Nina Dobrev's new digs! Check out more at MyDomaine.


Photos by Chris Patey

Blogging tips