Friday, November 30, 2018

༺ Teacup Chat with Tanith Rowan Designs ༻

The “Teacup Chat” series on Lavender & Twill is a short and sweet spot where we take a glimpse behind the scenes of a brand’s creative process. I am very inspired by all the talent I see building a corner in the world to showcase their work, and also making it available for others to enjoy. So without further ado, let’s get to know some more about the artist behind Tanith Rowan Designs!

As we found out in the previous post, Tanith Rowan Designs is the work of the talented milliner, Tanith. She’s a hardworking mother of two little ones, who still finds time to pursue her dreams and creative interests. She recently released her own hat pattern, which is super cool and I can’t wait to hear more about her creative background and how she got to where she is now.

Tanith at work | Lavender & TwillTanith Rowan Designs millinery collection | Lavender & Twill

Hello Tanith, welcome to Teacup Chats! We can’t wait to learn more about you. So let’s jump right in! What first drew you to creating hats, as millinery seems to be sort of a forgotten skill these days?

I've always loved making things and I sort of stumbled onto hats as I was dabbling in historical costuming. I was just playing around at first, but the more I started to learn, the more I really loved the process and wanted to make more hats. The millinery world is quite active in Australia thanks to the races so I was lucky to be able to take a lot of workshops and keep learning all the time.

How do you go about finding the inspiration and the patterns for your creations or do you make them up yourself?

Inspiration is very easy to find! With vintage books, films, magazines and genuine vintage hats, I will never run out of ideas. I love curling up with a book and sketchbook and drawing up possibilities. I've had good training in pattern drafting so when a pattern is required for a hat I start from scratch, but a lot of hat shaping is free form or on blocks. Sometimes the fun is in the challenge of working out how to make the sketch a reality.

Sketching hat ideas by Tanith Rowan | Lavender & Twill

How do you figure out techniques to create vintage styled hats ~ is it easy to replicate them by pictures and visual details?

It's usually not tricky to work out how to make a hat look right for a vintage style, but some of them can be very perplexing and I'm left wondering how on Earth they've done it! I read vintage millinery books and magazines to learn more traditional techniques. The ones from the 1940s and on are easy enough to understand as the terminology and materials haven't changed a lot, but they are harder to interpret the further back you go.

Making of a raspberry straw boater hat by Tanith Rowan Designs | Lavender & TwillMaking of a raspberry straw boater hat by Tanith Rowan Designs | Lavender & Twill
{Those with sharp eye might be able to recognise the beginnings of the beautiful straw boater from this post! It’s so fascinating to see the process of creating something like that.}

It’s been very interesting to find out more about your business, but we’d also love to know a little more about the creative mind behind these beautiful pieces.

What is your favourite thing to do beside create your delightful hats?

I love all kinds of making really. I do a bit of sewing for myself and the kids, I'm learning how to knit, and I like cooking and gardening too.

And finally, what are five quirky things about you that not everyone might know about?

1. I wanted to be a zoo keeper and did my school work experience at the zoo

2. Plucking my eyebrows or pulling my hair makes me sneeze (anyone else afflicted with this??)

3. I listen to Christmas music at any time of year (just a little)

4. I genuinely enjoy solving mathematical problems

5. I was once at a meeting where a man in a business suit was hit with faeces (see point 1)

Millinery Fruit trims from Tanith Rowan Designs | Lavender & Twill

Oh! Christmas music! I totally agree Tanith! Sometimes I just want to sing along to a carol, and  some of my favourite lullabies to sing to my children are carols. I think being in a Christmas choir helped a lot with my love of all Christmas music.

Thank you to Tanith for sharing her time with us, it was wonderful to have the chance to learn more about her and her inspiring creative work! And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out Tanith on Instagram and Etsy.

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻
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Monday, November 12, 2018

༺ Within A Dream ༻

Vintage girl on a sunset road | Lavender & TwillOut of a misty dream - Ernest Dowson - 'Vitae Summa Brevis' | Lavender & TwillSummer vintage style with straw sailor hat | Lavender & TwillOut of a misty dream - Ernest Dowson - 'Vitae Summa Brevis' | Lavender & TwillTatyana Flower Cart Dress in summer vintage style | Lavender & TwillTatyana Flower Cart Dress & Tanith Rowan Designs straw sailor hat | Lavender & TwillTatyana Flower Cart Dress in summer vintage style | Lavender & TwillTanith Rowan Designs Cherries & Raspberry Pink Boater Hat | Lavender & TwillTanith Rowan Designs Cherries & Raspberry Pink Boater Hat | Lavender & TwillSummer vintage style with straw basket purse | Lavender & TwillVintage girl on a sunset road | Lavender & TwillTanith Rowan Designs Cherries & Raspberry Pink Boater Hat | Lavender & TwillTanith Rowan Designs Cherries & Raspberry Pink Boater Hat & a straw basket purse | Lavender & TwillVintage girl on a sunset road | Lavender & Twill

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes,
Within a dream.

Ernest Dowson - 'Vitae Summa Brevis'


If there was a soundtrack to these pictures it would be ‘The Silk Road’ and ‘Alba’ by The Sidh. But even though I am sure I could have music playing along thanks to the technical genius of The Mister, there’s no way I’d subject you to that horrible moment when a website randomly starts blaring out music and scares the heck out of you! Haha!

However, the celtic inspired tracks do meld beautifully with the magic of this amazing winding road into the sunset…

I finally found my golden hour, the treasure of light and location that transports you to a distant world when you find a place that feels like you stepped into a dream.

Where the misty beams of glittering light transform the deeply overgrown road into a place of wonder, a scene from a fairy tale…

But the reality of it was that I had to be so careful not to twist an ankle as I trotted down the rutted track as fast as humanly possible over terribly uneven ground, in heels no less, to beat my camera timer! Haha! Whew, I was “glistening” by the time I finished that shoot, that’s for sure. Romanticism has it’s place but nothing beats a cool lime popsicle from the restaurant next door after an hour of shooting in tropical heat!

Still, I was so thrilled to be able to shoot at a dream location with a dream dress and a dream chapeau.

It’s such a fantastic moment when unicorns land on your doorstep!

This Tatyana Flower Cart Dress is one that I immediately loved when it came out years ago. But I also had to admire it from afar as it was way out of my budget. Fast forward several years and it pops up in a BSS at a decent price AND in my size!

It was meant to be!

Just in the same way this darling hat dropped into my lap…

Some months ago, I saw a notice pop up in my Instagram feed that Tanith, a talented and lovely friend of mine, was giving away some of her old millenary work for the cost of postage. I don’t think I breathed a single second when I posted to put my hand up for this amazing raspberry pink straw boater hat with cherries!

You see, I remembered this hat!

Tanith had posted about this particular boater when she’d made it, and I completely adored it back then. I gasped aloud when I first saw this delightful confection. That’s how much it spoke to me, I felt like it had been made from the stuff of my dreams!

I have always told myself that one day I’d save enough to purchase one of her amazing pieces, but I thought there was no way that the cherry & raspberry boater would still be around because it was {is} STUNNING and I’d just have to accept it would be snatched up in a heartbeat!

And honestly, I have no idea how this one wasn’t whisked off immediately, but I’m so grateful because it’s allowed me to own this dreamy chapeau and I couldn’t be happier!

Tanith’s work is so impeccable. I love the way she’s paired the pink straw with red cherries, and the how the rim of the hat has straw that goes inwards rather than it being simply coiled around in a circle. It’s those little details ~ such as a tea rose pink satin lining and loops for bobby pins to secure your hat to your head that make this such a special piece.

Of course, it came carefully packaged in it’s own hat box, and that is so great for storing your hats away from the evils of dust and sun fade. I have footage of me unboxing the package in my Instagram stories, so feel free to check it out if you want to see it in live action!

I’m sure it will be back on the blog as well, as I’ll have to force myself not to want to wear it constantly. And if you want to see more of her awesome work, she has Instagram, a blog and an Etsy shop so be sure to check those out!

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻

Cherry & Raspberry Straw Boater  | Tanith Rowan Designs
Daisy Everlasting Dress Clips | Teacup Girl
Tatyana Flower Cart Dress | BSS
Cherry Days Basket Purse | Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tan & White Giselle Spectator Heels | Chelsea Crew

༺ ♡ ༻
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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

༺ Versailles Roses ༻

Tropical vintage spring with Hell Bunny | Lavender & TwillThailand's taste of Europe at the Floating Lake Resturant | Lavender & TwillPastel princess vibes with a vintage twist | Lavender & TwillDaisy Jean Floral roses with the Peppy Chapette swallow | Lavender & TwillLyn Around flower bag charm on a Moshi Moshi purse in powder blue | Lavender & TwillTropical vintage spring with Hell Bunny | Lavender & TwillPastel princess vibes with a vintage twist | Lavender & TwillTropical vintage spring with Hell Bunny | Lavender & TwillThe bright flowers of Chiang Mai | Lavender & TwillDaisy Jean Floral roses with the Peppy Chapette swallow | Lavender & TwillThe Floating Resturant in Chiang Mai | Lavender & TwillPastel princess vibes with a vintage twist | Lavender & TwillPastel princess vibes with a vintage twist | Lavender & Twill

In case you couldn’t tell, this is one of those posts where I had a lot of trouble whittling down the amount of photos to put in… I know. I know. I didn’t do a very good job… Ooops!

Also, sorry not sorry for the second Hell Bunny post in a row. I just had to share this lovely skirt. It just arrived in the mail the other day, and I couldn’t wait to wear it as it matched perfectly with my new handbag and Lyn Around handbag charm.

I really love how the charm reminds me of gumnut leaves and gum blossoms, I have been missing Australian spring with the wattle and gumtrees in bloom!

And even though this isn’t the most vintage-styled outfit ever, I still really love it. The tee is so soft and silky to the touch, it’s a great top to wear out and about. Comfortable, but looks nice at the same time! And the colour palette of this ensemble is so my aesthetic, even with the tiny touch of black accent.

The Parisian print with the pink roses matched so well with my Peppy Chapette mirrored swallow brooch, and when I paired my mint Miss L Fire Juarez Heels, it was just perfect.

I love to have soft tones everywhere, so I end up falling for anything in baby pink, baby blue, mint or white. Throw in some gold accents, and I would happily live forever in a Marie Antionette, Rocco inspired house.

And while this spot I found to shoot at isn’t quite as extravagant as Palace Versailles, I was thrilled to find this gorgeous location that is only 15 minutes away from us! It’s a very cute, whimsical restaurant that is called the Floating Restaurant. It’s kind of a jetty over a miniature lake {or a large pond?}, and there’s a playground for children, all these lovely flower arches, and so much space!

When I arrived there was no-one around at all, so I asked the owner if I could shoot some photos and they were happy to let me which was so great.

I really want to go back and explore more in that area as there seems like there was a lot of amazing places to photograph. I love exploring, and it’s great to find reliable shoot locations close by to our house finally! There’s a whole city, but it’s not always practical to drive 30 – 40 minutes for a shoot when you have to run out quickly while the children are napping! 

Anyway, it’s my birthday today and isn’t weird how birthdays make you want to think and reflect deeply on passing time?

I guess it’s natural to start pondering the year that’s gone by, and to contemplate the path you are on. I’m beyond glad that we’ve been able to start this adventure ~ despite all the challenges and difficulties. First we’ve been able to enjoy living overseas, and now the opportunity to begin our own business. I have been really loving working on Teacup Girl. Even all the business side of it is really fun to me! It’s something I enjoy ~ although the art & design is my favourite for sure.

We talk about it a lot ~ what we want to achieve with Teacup Girl, what direction the business should go in ~ and I have sooo many ideas outside of brooches that I have to save to do some R&D with.

It’s so exciting, and I really can’t wait to see where the next year takes us!

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻

Signature Double Rose in “Peach”  | Daisy Jean Floral Designs
Swooning Cindy Swallow Brooch | Peppy Chapette
Blush Tee | Wararot Market, Chiang Mai
Paname 50’s Skirt | Hell Bunny
Black Western Belt | Kmart
Powder Blue Handbag | Moshi Moshi
Pink Gum Blossom Key Chain | Lyn Around
Juarez Mint Huarache Wooden Heels | Miss L Fire

༺ ♡ ༻
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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

༺ Western Rose ༻

Wearing vintage summer style in tropical Thailand | Lavender & Twill The vibrant hues of Chiang Mai, Thailand | Lavender & TwillWR_12bRose and harlequin print perfection from Hell Bunny | Lavender & TwillWearing vintage summer style in tropical Thailand | Lavender & Twill Easy summer vintage vibes | Lavender & TwillRose and harlequin print perfection from Hell Bunny | Lavender & TwillEasy summer vintage vibes | Lavender & TwillRose and harlequin print perfection from Hell Bunny | Lavender & Twill

I took these photos, oh, roughly over a month ago?

But I didn’t post them and it was a whole thing....

I don’t know why now, but I was convinced that they needed to be reshot. I think I did have trouble with the lighting being so varied throughout the shoot. But when I came back and re-edited them for a second time, I was like ~ okay, but why did I hate these again?

I’m guessing it’s because they are so dark and saturated? Being a total pastel princess this style and mood is really not my aesthetic, but I can’t seem to avoid it. Especially as the following two shoots I did after this one came out nearly exactly the same despite the time and location changes!

I think I am so used to golden hour being the last hour of sunlight that I’m not taking into account the mountains and the clouds they catch at the top. They block out a lot of the late afternoon light, and I really have to adjust for this by shooting at 3:30pm, not 5pm.

But blah-blah, I’m rabbiting on about photography again, and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear my agonising over blog photos!

Can we just talk about how Hell Bunny has been absolutely crushing the vintage reproduction game recently? I think I just about died when I saw this year’s summer offerings, and although it took me the whole of summer I picked up my four favourite skirts and this dress… This dress!!

I bought the skirt in this print as soon as I saw it because I knew it was something I just had to have in my wardrobe. Then I saw how amazing this dress looks on a variety of body shapes, and it became a must-have. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend $90.00 to buy it. Then it was almost sold out everywhere in my size, and I just had to bite the bullet and go for it!

I think I might have even grabbed the last one…

I’m sooo glad I did however, as I just love this dress so much. The shape is so flattering for my shoulders, and I really love how the straps sit further in on the décolletage like true vintage tends to do. I feel like a million bucks when I wear it which is always such a good sign.

You can expect to see a lot more of Hell Bunny on the blog in upcoming posts. I’m sorry it’s going to be late and out of season for all the Northern hemisphere, but I have to roll with it, living in the tropics as we do!

Sometimes I’m sad that we miss autumn with its cozy knits, and crunchy, glorious foliage, but I really don’t miss layers and layers of clothing. When we had spent much longer in Australia than we meant to at the beginning of the year, I was already so glad to get back to sundress and light cardigans after only a couple of weeks of really cold weather!

Plus, all of these gorgeous prints from my current favourite repro brand definite deserve some time in the spotlight.

And speaking of spotlight, I am obsessed with the Starstruck Flexiclogs I’m wearing with this outfit. They are such an awesome pair of reproduction vintage sandals, and I’m planning to do more of a featured post about them later on as this small brand really deserves some love. I think their design is so fab, and I want to share more about them!

They go so perfectly with my bamboo purse {yes, I have two of these ~ one in pink and one in white!}, and just fit really well with that “vintage on vacation” vibe that I am all about these days! My style is far more relaxed and chill than it used to be and while I do miss the process of putting together full outfits at times, there’s no denying that this is the best way to continue to stick with vintage style in the tropics.

If you have an Hell Bunny summer dress recommendations, let me know what they are! I swear I’ve seen them all as I keep going back to see what else they have, but you never know ~ I might find the next perfect one for me…

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻

Pink Peony Hair Flower | Dollar Shop
Harlequin & Roses 50s Dress | Hell Bunny
Pink Bamboo Purse | AliExpress
Flexible Wedge Sandal | Starstruck Clothing

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Friday, September 14, 2018

༺ Teacup Girl ༻

Owner, Artist and Maker of Teacup Girl Brooches, Bonita Ellen Joy | Lavender & Twill

Dearest, Forget Me Not - Forget Me Nots Brooch by Teacup Girl | Lavender & TwillMushroom Munchies - Mushroom and Caterpillar brooch by Teacup Girl | Lavender & TwillOde to Autumn - Acorns and Oak Leaves brooch by Teacup Girl | Lavender & TwillRun Rabbit Run - Jackrabbit brooch by Teacup Girl | Lavender & TwillOwner, Artist and Maker of Teacup Girl Brooches, Bonita Ellen Joy | Lavender & Twill

If you follow me on social media, I’m sure you have well and truly heard this by now ~ but I still feel like I really have to make an official announcement on my blog as well!

I’ve been hinting at it long enough, and the day has finally come… We are launching our very own business ~ Teacup Girl!

Teacup Girl is an acrylic accessories brand where we handcraft wearable pieces of art to bring a touch of whimsy for your days.

It’s been one and half years in the making, one and half years of agonising over designs, colours, materials, packing, shipping methods, samples, tools, stock photographs, work stations, storage equipment, suppliers, and mistakes… Oh, the mistakes!!

You know that saying “You don’t get an omelette without breaking a few eggs?”

…There where many eggs.

And not all of them stayed in the basket…!

So to say that it has been a journey and a half would really not be an understatement. To be honest, I sort of feel like I’ve been through the gates of Mordor to the foot of Mt. Doom and back again!

There has been a ton of stuff to figure out, and I know that I absolutely have so much more ahead of me to learn. I feel like even though I have learned a lot, I’m really only just beginning ~ like I’m in the first semester of the first year of school, and have a whole education still in front of me to go.

I don’t mind learning new things, though I do struggle to keep a positive outlook on the mistakes. I can be very hard on myself, and I’m all too willing to label something that’s not gone the way I planned as a total failure and the absolute worst, most stupid decision ever.

But one of the most crucial mindsets an entrepreneur needs to have is that mistakes aren’t failures ~ they are an opportunity for learning.

Yes, plans don’t always {actually most of the time tbh ~ it’s only varying in degree as to how badly they don’t work out!!} work out the way you think they will, but now you know what doesn’t work so you can keep trying to find something that does!

This is a new way of thinking for me. I’m a grade A perfectionist and I absolutely hate things going wrong!

But I’m learning to breathe through it all, and view those times as another stepping stone forward. Because they are ~ you can’t go forwards if you don’t know what doesn’t work!

It has, without a doubt, been amazing to go through this process. I mean logically, you know that starting your own business is a lot of hard work and takes a long time, but then there’s the actual fact of going through the infinity of To Do lists, and the mountain of jobs that seem never ending… Then to arrive at the other side, at a point where you can say “Wow! Look how far we have gotten!'”

It’s just so unbelievable...!

I have been working towards the dream of creating and sharing my art ever since I was a teenager. So to me, it really feels like this launch is a day that has been seventeen long years in the making! It’s a monumental event for me, I can’t really describe how it feels to see a life-long dream begin to be realised…

It’s overwhelming.

It’s immense.

It’s the moment when you watch the sun rise, or a epic thunder storm roll away…

When you reach the top of the mountain.

Seventeen years of reaching for that dream ~ not just a year and a half since we decided as a family to start our own business creating whimsical acrylic accessories…

I’m so excited!

And nervous.

And eager to see where else this journey may take us!

I hope you will join us at www.teacupgirl.com, visit our Instagram at @teacup.girl, or come say hi in our Official Teacup Girl Facebook group.  I can’t wait to see you all there!!

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻
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Thursday, August 2, 2018

༺ Currently: Busy Bee ༻

‘Currently’ posts are a series of memoirs, featuring snapshots of events that are occurring in my day-to-day journey. These episodes feature photos from my Instagram, do come and say “Hi!” if you are around. Also, if you would like to participate in this feature yourself, please feel free! I’d love to read your posts, so don’t forget to leave a link.  ♡

But first ~ can you believe it’s almost a year since the last ‘Currently’ update? Eek! I guess we are crazy busy… So let’s jump right into it.

Patterns

READING:

Nothing right now – I have read a bunch of great novels by K.M. Shea recently though. She’s quickly become one of my favourite authors with teen lit that is quirky and funny, but also has great story lines. She writes a lot of fantasy based stuff – A Chicago Urban Fantasy collection, Timeless Fairy Tales which are fabulously re-written versions of the old favourites, The Snow Queen series which is in a similar vein, and a lengthy series that I would say is for an older audience – King Author and Her Knights. Yes, you read that right… ;) 

Copper

WONDERING:

I don’t have time for thinking. That’s probably a bad thing, but, … life…

Lani

FEELING THANKFUL:

That we get to experience this adventure. Yes, life in Thailand has settled down to a fairly steady routine, but I still love that we get to do this and be where we are right now. It’s fun.

Bamboo - Copy

EATING:

The best Thai food! Currently loving spicy fried rice, mango shakes, caramel buttered popcorn, and cashew chicken.

Pink-Stars

WATCHING:

Project Runway, Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia, Voltron: Legendary Defender, and The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. – all on Netflix.

Peppy

WORKING ON:

Shhhhh! Top secret business stuff. And teaching my son to read and write, my daughter to do numbers and write, and my youngest to potty train. Busy.

Starstruck-Flexiclogs

LOVING:

Iced coffeeeeeeeeeee. BBQ chips. New York New York Hair salon because they can actually cut my curly hair!! Kombucha, I’ve started brewing my own and it’s really helped with my numerous tummy issues. Divine, and insanely cheap, fabric. Exploring. Swimming. Cute shoes – particularly my Starstruck Flexiclogs.

Hat

ATTEMPTING:

Well, you'll find out. Oh, and to fly back to Australia for five days all by myself. It’s going to be a crazy quick trip and I’m going to be rushing like a mad thing while I’m there. We literally booked the flights this morning, and I’m leaving on Saturday. Gulp!!

New-Projects

WANTING:

To succeed. All this work, time and well – let’s be honest here – tears… It needs to happen.

Frangipani

DOING:

Packing for that flight that I am on in a day’s time!


Reading

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻
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