Friday, July 29, 2011

Creative Little Soul: Mekaela Ferrero of Ruby & Belle

Hooray, I have found another incredibly talented little Miss who has managed to turn her love of design into a successful business... read on to find out more about this creative soul.

Creative Soul: Mekaela Ferrero
Company: Ruby & Belle
Lives: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

I only discovered childrens brand, Ruby & Belle a few weeks ago while meandering my way around the internet (...wasting hour after hour, looking at insanely beautiful things!).  I immediately fell in love with the gorgeous offerings of designer and owner, Mekaela Ferrero - her mix of bright colours, whimsical prints and sweet designs are totally captivating.  With a background in boutique bridal and fashion design, its little wonder that her blog and online shop are such a bounty of creative magic... find out what makes this crafty Mum tick.


I wanted to be a fashion designer.  I've been obsessed with sewing since I could hold a needle and always had some crafty project on the go.


I completed a Fashion Technology course at Tafe straight after school and after a couple of years traveling overseas I returned to Sydney where I studied a Bachelor of Design, Fashion and Textile at UTS.  Following that, I had my own bridal boutique in Newport on Sydney's Norther Beaches.  I moved  the business to home when I had my children and continued making dresses until my second child was born.


I have been doing markets on and off for about 10 years and started my first label, Ruby Rosebud Designs prior to moving to Brisbane in 2009.  I gave the business a make-over when it progressed from a hobby to a busy home based job.  I have always loved the crafty side of sewing and this was a perfect way for me to be able to stay home and be a Mum as well.


I have a magazine addiction and will often take inspiration from there - I like to try and recreate things in my own vision.  Some things just evolve... my handmade birdcages came from my business logo that my graphic artist and I came up with.  Originally I made two just to hang in my market stall as decoration and ended up selling them both on the first day!

Balancing work and family time is the biggest challenge.  Also, the market and handmade industry has taken off in a big way over the past couple of years, so there is a lot of competition now.  It can be difficult to maintain original products so trying to introduce new ideas and knowing when to let old ones go can be tricky.


Ruby & Belle online - the website will be getting progressively updated over the next couple of months. I'm a stall holder at the Boutique Markets in Hamilton Wharf, Mathilda's Markets in Ascot (next market: Sat  6th August - look for me in the white marquee outside) and The Butterfly Tree baby and kids market, on the Gold Coast.


I'm a self-confessed internet junkie and more of a blog hopper but these are a couple of my favourites:

4. Etsy

THANKS Mekaela for sharing your story with us!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's Chic To Be Shabby

A friend of mine is doing a mini makeover of her apartment... out with the old, dark wood furniture belonging to her husband (what is it with men and heavy bench seat dining tables I ask you?) and in with  a whole collection of bits and pieces she has sourced from all over the internet at bargain basement prices.  The plan is to paint everything in various neutral shades and then give them a loving scrub down with sandpaper.  Before you know it, she will have a brand new interior scheme using affordable furniture that is dripping with character (and sweat!).

In this era of tightening budgets and economic meltdowns, is it little wonder that Shabby Chic has continued to win over our hearts?  Not only is second-hand furniture cheap, but the subsequent hours of tedious, back-breaking labour required to transform an ugly duckling into a swan, provide a mood-altering high so powerful it can blind us from the fear of interest rate rises for at least a week!

Images from here

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Life's Perplexities: How To Fold A Fitted Sheet

Please don't laugh at me, but this is one thing that I've never been able to master!  I fold and fold and re-fold and still my fitted sheets are creased and bulky and uncooperative... they are the shameful children of my linen cupboard!  Finally, a step-by-step guide to ease the pain x

Image from here

Monday, July 25, 2011

Neutral Tones

When selecting a colour palette for a room, it sometimes pays to look at the things around us for inspiration.  I love all the earthy, neutral tones in the images below... they would make the perfect starting point for paint selection.

Images from here

Friday, July 22, 2011

I Heart Maps

These gorgeous heart shaped cut-outs from Bombos are the perfect little treat for a map lover like me!

So simple... so up-cycled... so very, very cute!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hurry Up Spring

Its cold and rainy 
I want to be 
wearing pretty printed cotton
and drinking iced tea
Hurry up Spring!

Images from here

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Wish

Today I made a wish... 
I sent it floating up into the sky like a balloon
To be carried away into the universe
Where the angels will decide
If my wish will come true

Image from here

Monday, July 18, 2011

Boiserie Panelling

Boiserie panelling (a French term used to describe ornate and intricately carved wood panelling) is one of my favourite forms of interior detailing.  I love to see it painted in subtle, contrasting tones like in the image below.  It adds so much depth and character to a room.

Image from here

Friday, July 15, 2011

Moroccan Tiles

I'm absolutely drooling over these incredible tiles from Aeria Country Floors.  The top is a mosaic mother of pearl tile, while the bottom is a bi encaustic cement tile from Vietnam.  Such stunning patterns with a strong Moroccan vibe don't you think?  The colours of the mosaic are so feminine and beautiful... perfect for a private bathroom retreat.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sea Green & Turquoise

A little colour inspiration from Swedish textile company AnnaO

A beautiful palette combined with creative styling... DELISH!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Colour Scheme: Red, White & Pale Blue

I know this colour scheme is a little "Cath Kidson" but I still love the bright cheeriness of it.  The combination of carnival stripes and florals is like being dropped into an Enid Blyton book... a tad kitschy, a tad quaint but endlessly gorgeous and totally British!

My favourite detail: the painted blue and white floorboards

Image from here

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exposed Beams

My husband and I don't always see eye to eye on architectural detailing... he often loves super 'architecty' things that make me turn up my little nose!  BUT we do share a love of exposed beams and rustic interior spaces.  If we ever build a house (an event more unlikely than I can tell you) then we would have a kitchen just like this one.

You know me, I'd be sorely tempted to paint that ceiling totally white but then you wouldn't see the beautiful contrast of the beams... the lime-washed finish combined with the skylight is a beautiful touch.

Anybody care to dream with me?

Image from here

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Home Beautiful Article - Keren Brown

Every so often I come across the most wonderfully talented and creative people... they inspire me so much that I just have to share them with the world!  I recently interviewed the delightful Keren Brown from The Brown Trading Co for Australian Home Beautiful magazine (August edition).  Keren's company stocks the most gorgeous range of textiles imaginable - the eclectic mix of bold patterns and bright colours will have you drooling, trust me!  Make sure you pop on over to Keren's blog to say hello.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bedroom Scheme: Mauve & Ice Blue

Ever since I was tiny I've been in love with mauve... I blame it on my grandmother Marnie (it's such a granny word after all) who used to wear mauve cardigans, grow almost exclusively mauve coloured flowers and decorate her house with mauve cushions (a little O.T.T I'll grant you, but I grew up in a house where the predominant colour combination was brown on brown so you'll forgive my adoration!).  

To this day, one of my favourite bedroom schemes is mauve and ice blue.  I find it so soothing, so pretty, so peaceful... so undeniably girly!  Often, just a touch of pinky purple is quite enough x

Images from here

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Letter Love

First there was the 'Tram Scroll' (which I used to excess in 2008!), then there was the 'Eye Chart' (which everyone other than stylists thought slightly strange to hang on a wall), now I give you the 'Learning to Write Graph'.... I don't care if you think it's totally ridiculous, like all the other typographical fads before it, I LOVE it!  What's your verdict?

Image from here

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

7 Things I'm Into

1. Maps
(of all shapes, colours and descriptions)

2. Flowers
(In another life I'd be a florist)

3. Coloured Chandeliers
(so breathtakingly pretty at night)

4. Lemons
(I'm addicted... the colour, the taste, everything!)

5. Organised Drawers
(I can only dream of drawer that looks like this)

6. Mismatched Bedlinen
(treat the linen cupboard like a lucky dip!)

7. Sunsets
(to soothe the soul)

Images from here

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Timber Framed Patterned Headboard

I love this idea... if you have a delicious handyman floating about your home like I do, then whipping up this headboard should be a cinch!  The construction of the frame is apparently quite simple (I'll take my husband's word for it!) and you can either use fabric or wallpaper to create a stunning framed headboard.

You can adjust the proportions to suit the ceiling height - I love that the above headboard is really tall, but you could only get away with it in a room with high ceilings.  A squat heaboard would also look great using this application.

Just out of interest, do you say 'Bedhead' or 'Headboard'?  

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Love Affair with Africa

I'm back... from a land so beautiful it almost defies description.  My journey through South Africa was filled with so much wonder and colour it will remain etched in my memory as a place where the heartbeat of the country is audible in the sky and the landscape and the vast razor-wire jungle of Johannesburg.  It is a place of contradictions, where fear sits comfortably with pride, where anxiety is soothed by smiles so blinding you remain desolate in their wake.

I loved it.  From the radiant light of the Waterberg, to the crude, yet stunningly beautiful architecture that is so raw and authentic.  I adored the people and the way they turn every child into royalty.  The harsh, imposing landscape of the Cape made me feel insignificant and powerful all at once.  The animals... my God, the animals!  To see an elephant flap his ears and mock charge at twenty paces is a chilling thrill everyone should experience at least once.

Here are just a few photos... a little teaser of things to come.  I was so inspired by the architecture (particularly my husband's!) that I'll post in more detail as soon as I get organised.  I'm warning you that I'm now obsessed with stone... their use of natural materials is so superior to anything I've seen here in Australia it definitely warrants further exploration!

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