Spare a thought for textile artist Maryanne Moodie, pictured above, who is currently experiencing a New York winter! The Australian-born textile artist took up weaving in 2010 while at home with her first baby, and moved to Brooklyn in 2013 where she continues to create beautifully textured woven tapestries. You can see her work on her Instagram feed (she’s at @maryannemoodie) and if you fall in love, you can commission your own work at her Etsy shop where she also sells DIY weaving kits and equipment. Here she shares a glimpse into her New York life… 

Christmas trees line every corner. A cheery way to forget about the bitter cold and early sunset at 4.30pm!

Walking around Prospect Park; it is one block from my home and designed by the same person who did Central Park.

New rain boots and hand woven scarf. The best way to tackle the cold is with style!

New hand-made beads for an exciting collaboration with west coast maker jujumade.

Sketching and painting new ideas. I sketch out new ideas about every season – 4 times a year. The seasons really inspire new growth.

One of my pieces in the loom. It is so lovely to be able to move my work around from room to room to find the best light.

Respite. Sometimes when my son Murray goes down for his nap, I crawl back into bed too.

This is a new gold and silver coiled work inspired by the onset of winter and the holidays. It is so dark in NYC so early and the Christmas lights brighten up the darkness. They actually make sense here! It is personal experimentation that I like to do seasonally to jolt my work in a new direction.

This is the yarn wall in my studio, for my own work and my DIY weaving kits.

A piece for a client. My clients come from all over the world – Europe, America, Australia. This piece is a set of two that a mother bought for her two daughters for Christmas. I am lucky that most of my clients give me creative freedom when creating pieces. I usually create my best work this way.

Murray playing in the leaves. I never understood “fall” until I moved to NYC!

Inspired? Contact Maryanne via her website, visit her Etsy shop or follow her on Instagram @maryannemoodie

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Mother and daughter team Anne and Hannah, pictured above, launched Major Minor Sydney in 2013 with a burst of colour and a flexible approach – their entire range is sold separately so mixing and matching is easy and you can build a collection over time. Today’s sale event features both neutrals and bold colour in singles and cot sizes, so you can treat the littlest people in the house to a good night’s sleep in this natural, eco-friendly fibre. We asked the pair to share the things they love about linen.

What do you love most about linen?

Linen is a game changer! As well as its eco-friendly properties, it works to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, and it absorbs colour really well, which allows us to be creative with our range.

What make linen perfect for kids?

We have chosen to produce our linen with no harsh chemicals, bleaches or dyes, so it’s suitable for babies, children, parents and grandparents! It’s easy to care for, it’s a natural fibre and it’s super soft, plus our collection includes beautiful bright colours kids love.

Where do you source your linen?

Major Minor linen is 100% Belgian flax. We design our range in Sydney, then source our raw linen from Belgium and and we work with our team in India to come up with our finished product.

What advice can you give on caring for linen?

Our linen doesn’t get special treatment; it’s part of the family. It’s easy to wash and you don’t need to iron, perfect!

What does soft washing mean, and why do you do it?

Our linen is washed during the production process, a simple technique that softens the fabric texture and increases its absorbency, giving it a lived-in appearance. It gives our products a unique soft, aged feel that we just love.

To iron or not to iron?

We prefer a lived-in linen look. We both lead busy lives, so we definitely don’t iron our linen!

One colour, or mix and match?

Everything in our range is sold separately to allow mix and match, or just one colour. We love our classic, neutrals but also our bright pops of colour.

Favourite colour combo in the range?

Hannah’s favourite for this summer: Khaki Kick with White Euros and Gold Metallic Wash pillowcases. Anne’s favourite for this summer: Strike Grey and Lime Rush.

Follow Major Minor Sydney via Facebook or Instagram @majorminorsydney.
Images by Lauren Bamford, styling by Mr Jason Grant. 

Shop the Major Minor collection today.

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This seafood-filled Spanish dish is perfect for your next family fiesta. Increase quantities to cater for larger numbers, but remember you’ll need a larger pan, too. Thanks to eatlove.com.au, we’re sharing a recipe by My Kitchen Rules co-host Pete Evans from his book Fish (published by Murdoch Books). 

The name paella comes from the two-handled shallow pan in which the dish is cooked. It isn’t strictly necessary to cook paella in this pan, but if you’re going to make it fairly often they aren’t very expensive and do look great on the table.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) fish or chicken stock
10 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley stalks
250 g (9 oz) prawns (shells and heads kept)
1 lemon
a pinch saffron threads
2 garlic cloves
2 ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon paprika (I like to use La Chinata)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 chorizo sausage
250 g (9 oz) Calasparra or Bomba short-grain rice
150 g (5½ oz) squid
100 g (3½ oz) vongole (Italian clams)
75 g (2¾ oz) pimentos
a handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

Preparation

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Put the stock in a saucepan over heat and add the parsley stalks, the prawn shells and heads and half the lemon. Bring to a simmer and add the saffron.

Heat a touch of oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic, tomatoes and paprika for a few minutes until soft, then purée with a blender or a mortar and pestle. (This mixture is called picada.)

Heat the oil in a paella pan or large heavy-based frying pan and fry the chorizo on both sides. Add the rice and the picada and cook for a few minutes, stirring well.

Strain the hot stock into the paella pan and stir well. Add a touch of sea salt, bring to the boil for 5 minutes and then stir again.

Add the squid, vongole and prawns to the paella pan, cover with the lid or foil and put in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the vongole have opened. Arrange the pimento or capsicum strips over the top with the chopped parsley and lemon zest. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper if needed and serve immediately in the paella pan.

See more at eatlove.com.au where you can follow your favourite chefs, share their recipes and order their books.

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The lovely Jacqui Fink, curator of our Hand Made Markets, is herself the creator of Little Dandelion and maker of incredibly appealing knitted textiles made using giant needles and huge ‘bumps’ of natural wool.  Her knitted throws, vessels, scarves and wall hangings are now available through her Little Dandelion online store, and she also takes commissions for her heirloom-worthy work. We asked her to share her Christmas plans, and styling advice.

My Christmas style is semi-casual with a predominantly white palette interspersed with bunches of hydrangea blooms, frangipanis and gardenias from the garden. I adore white paper decorations and I hang these everywhere.  Think of the movie Elf and you’ll get my drift. Our tree is white with which we decorate with brightly coloured baubles. The table linen is white. The plates are white. We really love white.

This year I’ll be buying a couple of new decorations for our tree – we do it every year. It’s an irresistible pleasure isn’t it? Christmas is also a good excuse to buy my favourite chocolates for the table from Sweet William in Paddington.

My failsafe Christmas styling tip is Keep it simple and use fresh flowers to add interest and texture to your table.

Jacqui working at home, as featured in Artisan magazine. Image – Natalie Hunfalvay.

This Christmas I’ll be serving A traditional roast meal with all the trimmings in the evening.  I love keeping Christmas day free to loll about with family and friends, look at our pressies, go for a walk to listen to the happy neighbourhood noises and, of course, play with our children. An evening meal also gives me something to look forward to: it somehow elongates the day thereby prolonging its specialness and joy. I never want Christmas Day to be over.

My Christmas playlist includes all the classics with some Michael Buble and Mariah Carey thrown into the mix. From 1 December, the carols mix will be on rotation and the kids and I will be deliriously happy. Not so my hubby.

All I want for Christmas is A wet suit. Yup! A wet suit. I really feel the cold and so rarely go for a swim. It drives my children crazy because they are water babies. I’m always sitting on the beach watching them have the fun. So – I’ve written my list to Santa and will hope for the best.

“My new decorations, bought my sister on a recent work trip to Boston. The sparkly birdie is my fav as it remind me of our Grandmother – she used to have similar birdies all over her tree,” says Jacqui.

My biggest Christmas disaster was 2012’s Turducken. I saw one being made on the Jamie Oliver Christmas special just days before Christmas. It looked delicious.  I was very disorganised and so when I saw a Turducken in our local butcher shop I was in seventh heaven… or so I thought. It was dry and miserable and everyone was terribly polite about it but I am still not over the Turducken.

After Christmas I’m planning…my birthday is on the 29th of December so I’ll just let that roll past before I get back to work. I then have to knuckle down and do some writing and prepare new samples for the winter 2015 season.

For more, visit the Little Dandelion website or follow Jacqui on Instagram @jacquifink 

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Imogene Roache took the plunge and went out on her own as a freelance stylist this year, after several years at Australian House & Garden. Yes, she looks impossibly young – she’s still in her mid-20s! Here she shares an insight into her new (and busy) life…

After leaving my role as Stylist at House & Garden magazine back in March this year, I’ve become more familiar with a freelance routine. One of the benefits is working from home- and spending more time surrounded by all my favourite things. Matt black ceramics, monogrammed leather and recycled perspex are top of my list.

My job requires a lot of showroom visits- whether it’s sourcing for a shoot or borrowing product.Today I’m collecting product for a shoot tomorrow, from Cult in Chippendale. Not only is the product beautiful, the space is amazing too – a showroom you could wander in for hours.

Shoot day! All of my sketching, sourcing and crafting over the past week has led to today – and this is where the beautiful magazine images are created. After the shoot is over, the hardest part for me is waiting months at a time before my shots are printed in the magazine!

My morning is spent returning a couple of products loaned for my shoot yesterday, followed by a trip to Bunnings Warehouse. I’ve found a love for gardening lately, and can’t help myself when it comes to buying more plants for home.

Today I am food styling for my good friend Matthew Woodward, and helping out on a new business he is about to launch. The day is filled with picture perfect produce, and an abundance of natural light. Matt and I have collaborated on other projects before, and I can’t wait to see the final result of today’s efforts.

I was recently asked by The Life Creative blog to answer some questions about the styling industry, so today is spent writing this feature. Like any job, there are always admin jobs that need to be done- shoot credits, invoices and updating my website are just some of the jobs I try to keep on top of.

7. Since going freelance, I’ve had to think about personal branding and designing business cards etc. So I was lucky enough to catch the last day of ‘It Doesn’t Get Any Easier’ exhibition by design studio Mira Yuna. Their colour combinations and type play left me feeling very inspired.

There’s nothing more I love than enjoying a relaxing dinner with my partner. Tonight we decide to try ACME in Rushcutters Bay, a new restaurant just opened by friends of ours. A fancy baloney sandwich, goat bucatini plus a to-die-for fitout- a great way to end the week.

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Click to shop for Florence Broadhurst bedding and cushions today.

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We’re calling it: every home needs Turkish towels. Find out why these versatile textiles are for life, not just for Christmas.

Let’s face it, any product that works in at least 5 different ways deserves a place in your home. When it also combines the charm of traditional techniques with natural cotton and beautiful colour, you know you’re onto a winner.

 

The traditional use for these flat woven towels was in a Turkish bath or hamam, so they’ll be perfectly at home in your bathroom. Fold a stack for guests, allocate a different colour for each family member, or use as generous hand towels.

But they really come into their own in the great outdoors. Being the triple threat of the towel world – lightweight, absorbent, and quick to dry – they’re a welcome addition to your beach bag, travel case or picnic basket. Heck, they probably weigh less than that large coffee you’re carrying to the park.

Make sure you choose a colour to match your eyes, because did we mention that they also work as a scarf, wrap or sarong? Stylish new mothers will appreciate them as a chic baby wrap, and since they’re made from natural cotton they’ll only get softer with age. You can even throw one over your summer table as a gorgeous runner or tablecloth.

We hope the Ottoman Empire weavers who started it all several centuries ago would be happy to hear that their traditional cloth is absolutely perfect for the way we live now. Turkish towels are, without doubt, here to stay.

Shop for Turkish towels today.

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‘Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and the end of human existence’, said Greek philosopher Aristotle and in turn, this is the quote that opens Amanda Talbot’s latest book, Happy. Clearly the search for that elusive emotion is nothing new, but Amanda takes the question of happiness in the 21st century on a serious journey of discovery, as seen through the lens of a number of different constructs that touch our lives. Colour, Downtime, Edit, Order, Senses, Spontaneity, Humour, Flow and Memories are but a few of her gateways for exploring happiness in our homes and the lives we live in them.

Here we are fortunate enough to be able to share a few of those concepts and some of the remarkable imagery that supports them. This book is not only uplifting but will make you think twice about what influences your mood, and have an awareness of how you might manipulate your life to stay in the upswing. 

Image by Werner Asslinger

COLOUR

When it comes to understanding colour, I am a big believer in not following fads, but learning to approach the subject in a holistic, human-centric way. For too long , colour in architecture and interior design was simply thought of as decorative, but it can play a much more powerful role. The colour of a building or a space should connect the inside with the outside and, more importantly, connect it with the humans who live there or use it.

From the beginning of the design process, you should be aware of the emotions, feelings and moods you want a space to have. Good colour choice in design is an essential factor in the communication between human beings and architectural space in all areas of life.

The Swiss home of Mirko Beetschen, journalist & Stephane Houlman, creative planner. “We found dirty colours with a lot of grey in them soothe people and set the scene that this is a house to unwind in’, says Mirko. 

DOWNTIME

It is important to free yourself and get away from the hassles of work, the nagging at home and the pressures you face daily. It’s okay to run away and break out from it all  but you don’t have to spend a fortune on yoga retreats. All you need to do is find your own corner in the home – a place you can flee to and have some shhh time. For our wellbeing we need to turn off the television, step away from the computer, flick on some music, read or just sit quietly and let our mind take us on a journey. People all around the world have found their tranquil corner at home by creating alcoves, using curtains, screens or silent pods, or going into the  bathroom or bedroom to have some time alone.

EDIT

Ask yourself: Am I a hoarder?

  1. Your belongings give you more discomfort than comfort
  2. You have a fear of letting things go
  3. You commonly say ‘I need to hold onto this because you never know when I might need it again!’
  4. You own more than one or two of the same object
  5. You have a pewter cup full of old lottery tickets and pens that don’t work
  6. You have piles of faded paperwork, junk mail and old bills that will be filed and read one day
  7. You hold on to discarded broken machines in case there is fix for them one day.
  8. There are unopened boxes that haven’t been touched for more than two years

The best advice I can give you is: throw it all away!

Image – Studio RUIM

PLAY

Fitting play into your life can even help you solve problems, big and small. When we play we create new neural networks in the brain. These help deal with cognitive problems. While we are playing, somehow our dilemmas are being solved in our unconscious mind. Playing for a few hours can make you feel fresh and new again and, while you are in the middle of playing you might suddenly have a lightbulb moment and think of a solution to a problem that has been bugging you for days.

Edited extract from ‘Happy – creating joyous living spaces through design’ by Amanda Talbot, photography by Josef S Rosemann, published by Murdoch Books ($69.99)

Update: Congratulations to our winners. This promotion is now closed.

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It’s December, which means it’s time for Ten’s The Living Room Christmas Challenge! This year stylist, author & designer Shannon Fricke took on The Living Room’s James Treble, and their challenge was to create two different looks using the same furniture pieces.  We talked to Shannon and James to find out more about the looks they created, their creative DIY ideas, and how to make it all work together. Remember, if you love what you see you can shop the looks in our special The Living Room sale event! First up, Shannon Fricke.

I’d describe my Christmas look as:  My look is recycled vintage with a touch of twinkling fairy lights. A little bit girly, a little bit magic with a touch of Scandi…

The key ingredients for this style are:  Soft muted tones, layers upon layers and soft twinkling fairy lights.

Styling secret to get the look:  Keep to a palette of only 3 colours and go for textured materials and patterns to create interest and depth in the space

What to avoid: Hmmm…perhaps traditional dark racing green and bright red. Too old-fashioned for me. Christmas is a time to let your inner creative free!

My favourite piece from the challenge was:  My suspended twig light, strewn with fairy lights and flowers

Tell us more about it!  Oh, well this is my favourite piece – it’s what I call a folly! It’s like a fairy grotto suspended from the ceiling. I can see Tinkerbell all dressed up in a floral ensemble – no really! I haven’t been drinking too much eggnog!  Promise…

What cocktail I’d serve in this space:  This look has a Scandi feel about it – I imagine snowflakes outside and the family cosying up inside – so I’d have to say mulled wine.

My playlist would include:  Well, there would be dancing on that coffee table – so some Beyonce, Kanye perhaps some Jay Z and Iggy Izalea – moving onto Moby into the wee hours

Next up, we caught up with James Treble…

I’d describe my Christmas look as:  Firstly, in case you don’t know, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! I always have – the preparation, the spiritual nature of the religious celebration and the time of year for everyone to get together to celebrate no matter where you come from or who you are. My Christmas look this year was all about recycling but I especially played on decorating with print and the written word!  So I’d call it  “Celebrate and spread the word.”

The key ingredients to this style are:  I would suggest keeping the palette simple and neutral which further expresses the natural and  ‘back to basics’ nature of reusing and recycling. To keep my print theme, I used old newspapers as my wrapping, old books from the Salvos to make my fan tree decorations, and old Scrabble letters on jute string for my hanging decorations. My stockings are from old hessian bags, but well sewn with some glossy black ribbon for a bit of glam.

Styling secret to get the look:  Keep the palette simple – just white, black and neutral – and add interest through texture and form with different shapes and silhouettes. I looked for simple patterns, natural finishes like timber, leather and metal, as well as ceramic hand painted vases and woven wicker accents

What to avoid:  As everything was recycled and reused, it was important to retain a finished and refined look, allowing everything to look important and done with purpose. If you’re too free and loose it can end up looking like a pile of old rubbish!

My favourite piece in the challenge was:  I am totally in love with the candlestick vignette in the fireplace. It worked perfectly in the room and candles are so special at any time of the year, but completely perfect for Christmas. I also love my Scrabble decorations – they came out even better than I had hoped and the simple power of words written on the tree evoke feelings and thoughts which are perfect for this time of reflection.

Tell us about the gift-wrap concept you created for the look:  I have actually wrapped my presents in newspaper since I was about 16 years old. I did it first due to my tight budget as a teenager, and the realisation that everyone rips open the paper and throws it away. By adding beautiful ribbon or natural jute string, newspaper can take on a simple and very stylish look, and the gifts always stand out under the tree.  I added to that idea this year by spraying old biscuit and chocolate tins. They are a great way to repurpose old tins which I also love and collect, and you can spray them whatever colours you’re working with this year

What cocktail I’d serve in this space:  I’d recycle and oldie but a goodie and have a Daiquiri, the classic variety of Ernest Hemingway. Rum, lime juice and simple syrup shaken and served neat! Fresh and stylish, the perfect way to start preparing for the busy day ahead so Id start with one of these with Christmas breakfast! YUM!

My playlist would include:  I love all of the ‘Chillout Sessions’ CDs and the will play them throughout the day But it is Christmas, so I have to have, Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’, ‘Noël’ by Josh Groban, and a medley from the classic Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. And of course the amazing ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ by Mariah Carey.

Create your own Christmas wonderland – shop the Living Room sale event today 

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