Sunday, July 31, 2011

A colourful pink, gold and mustard outfit

So, I already have the pink jeans, and thought why not roll with it and create a super colourful outfit.

I'm loving mustard at the moment, especially with pink, and I often like using brown or tan as my base colour to keep the outfit colours warm and a little bit more casual. You may have noticed I've included 3 different sets of bangles... I couldn't decide which I liked best, and in honesty if they were mine, I'd mix and match them.

The one thing I have trouble choosing is the shoes - seriously, are these heels too much?

Happy Sunday!

- Amyshka

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Painting art inspiration

Painting is one of those things I love doing, and never do.
Or at least, not lately....when I was 12 years old, I painted a lot more:

I found this crinkled, huge painting today that I did as a kid. At the time I didn't get to choose the subject matter ( a coat rack!) but I did get to choose my own colours. Pop!

I held it up against the lilac walls in my room (I'm definitely not a fan of the wall colour but this isn't my own place so I can't change it) and thought, actually, this could work. I could go from the bland lilac wall, below...

... to a louder, more crazy art wall. You know, just because I can. And that lilac wall looks much more lilacy in person. Trust me!

What if I let the coat-rack painting inspire me and went nuts with colourful art?
Something like this maybe?
Too much?

(I'm just going to pretend all that mess is part of the eclectic look. I'm a student - don't judge me.)

Yes, they are very big pieces and yep, very loud colours. So I may change my mind about the size and colours, but it was worth a shot to see how it might look. Either way, I'm keen to get my paintbrushes out and do some art, so I scouted out some inspiration. Here are a few of the painting ideas I'm loving:

                               Source: via Amy on Pinterest

I never considered a pink flamingo before, but this setup really had me considering it! Lurve it on that clean wall with the amazing seat underneath. I love pink paired with neutrals and earthy tones.

                                                               Source: via Amy on Pinterest

The colours and graphics in this are awesome. I've got a thing for doodling lines within lines, so the tattoo-like pattern rocks my boat.

                                                                  Source: via Amy on Pinterest

A white frame and backing with a simple colourful paper bird inside is easy and effective. I'd love to do this with origami paper.

Why is the brown-paper background so amazing with a simple graphic print in only a couple of colours, below? It's so chilled out and stylish.
                                                                           Source: via Amy on Pinterest

I only just realised they are all pictures of birds!

I'll be sure to post about it when I get around to doing some art - it may be some time, depending on my school workload.

All comments, feedback and ideas welcome! :)

      - Amyshka

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Duckegg, blush and mustard yellow

I'm loving the chilled out, happy colours in this:

pink yellow and blue, pink green and yellow, mustard yellow and pink mood board, mustard yellow mood board, pink mood board, kiwi interior design, interior design blog, home decor, new zealand home decor, new zealand interior design, home decor blog

Myself and ochre (mustard yellow) are so into each other. I'm glad it's finally in fashion! And doesn't it look great with pink?

Amy Butler fabric
Anthroplogie knob
Floral fabric

      - Amyshka

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Illustration Station

I've had illustration on my mind for a while.
It's one of those things I used to love doing back when I had time and studying architecture wasn't taking over my life... now I get to "illustrate" concrete foundation slabs and timber joists. Woot go me!

                                                              Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Sandra Suy was the first artist who I really ever noticed internationally. You can see why in her picture's above and below - these are 2 of my favourites.

                                                                         Source: via Amy on Pinterest

I love how only part of it is coloured. I often think some paintings look best half-finished!

And of course the Finnish artist Jutta Rikola, check out this quirky illustration below. I love the serious facial expression, juxtaposed by the not-so-serious headgear.

                                                             Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Now if I could just find time to do some doodles of my own. Here's an old sketch I did a year or two ago (below). It's one of those things you need to keep practising or else you get rusty. I did love drawing/inventing her scarf and funny head-beads, not quite sure how they would function in day-to-day use tho.... ;)

 Do you have a favourite illustrator? 
I'd love to hear about some others.

                 - Amyshka

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back to Black

You know me - I'm all about colour.

Colour on top of white like here...
Colour for the sake of colour like here....

The one 'colour' I've never given any thought to is BLACK.

Black is like a staple uniform in New Zealand. Every female in the country owns the same black cardigan from Glassons, we gravitate toward black shoes, black bags, our national sports team is called the All Blacks. For a colour junkie like me this can get a little depressing, so no wonder black interiors haven't been on my radar.

Until I saw... this:

via Pinterest

Admittedly it's a brown-based black, but doesn't it look perfect for a little nook in your house? With a large coloured accessory of course.

It can be done.

I decided to make my own black virtual-room (since I, y'know, don't have a real one to play with) to see experiment with using black:

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It all stemmed from the one large photo print on the wall, so I chose pinks and golds for the room to keep it cheery. Pairing black with white can make it hard if you also want to add a colour. So sticking to one or two light, bright colours like the pink and gold above really works.

I love the missoni hanging lamp, and the Robert le Heros fabric called "After the Morning Rain" on the pillow and wall.

Sources below,

    - Amyshka

Hanging lantern by Missoni
Wall photo print
Drawers from Anthropologie
Ottoman from Anthropologie
Pillow from Madder & Rouge
Robert le Heros wallpaper framed in oval
Robert le Heros fabric framed in rectangle

This post is shared on The Handmade Home.
The Handmade Home

Monday, July 25, 2011

Best ever cupcake recipe.

I can't seem to stop experimenting with cupcakes - I'm so determined to come up with the perfect recipe for this Hen's Night I'm planing! I already made these cupcakes the other day, but wanted a less-sweet icing, and fluffier base.

As usual, rather than following a recipe, I started experimenting...

These are the cupcake cases I am planning to use for the Hen's Night to match the colour theme. Is it just me or are they much harder to eat out of than normal cases!

I don't really know how to pipe icing, this was my first time. I think I like the style above best - where you start piping from the centre rather than the outside.

Then to tie some black in, I used scissors to cut up a piece of licorice into little bits. It naturally makes cute little flower shapes!


Anyway, that's my experimentation for now...
The secret ingredient in the cupcake dough is sour cream, and salt. It makes the cupcake super moist, delicious, and not bland like some cupcakes can be. A squirt of lemon juice helps too!

Here's the recipe for the vanilla cupcake:

1/2 cup castor sugar
115 g butter
2 eggs
1 cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons milk
100gm sour cream
A sqeeze of lemon juice
1 tspn vanilla
1 pinch salt

1. Soften the butter so it's just creamy and opaque, then pull out the electric beater and whip it until it's light coloured.
2. Keep beating as you add the sugar and eggs, sourcream, lemon juice and vanilla.
3. Turn off the beater and stir in the flour and salt with a wooden spoon.
4. Spoon into cupcake cases - fill each one about half way up.
5. Bake at 180 degrees celcius until just cooked and a tiny bit golden.

Vienna Cream (or whipped buttercream) Icing:

For the frosting (icing) I actually used a cream-cheese icing, but it was a little too rich, so I'd recommend this classic butter cream recipe that we always had on birthday cakes!

125 gms butter, softened
1.5 cups icing sugar
2 tbspns milk
vanilla, and lemon juice to flavour

1. Whip the butter with an electric beater until pale and fluffy (it will get much lighter in colour).
2. Add in the other ingredients to get it to the consistency you want, and whip until mixed.


   - Amyshka

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beach House Mood Board

I spent last weekend at a friend's bach (traditional small Kiwi beach house) at Ngawi - a tiny fishing town - which is my excuse for creating this moodboard even tho it's clearly not summer here!
The walls are a neutral chalk colour that doesn't show stains as much as white, and the carpet is Sisal as it is so tough.

I've tried to keep this look achievable and relaxing - and something that can withstand hoards of reletives and guests! The aesthetic is kept simple and neutral, with accents coming from paintings and cushions so it can be easily changed.

I love the New Zealand paintings and the uneveness of the recycled glass vase. Sources below;

   - Amyshka


1. "Fantail on Pohutukawa" painting
2. "Pohutukawa Coast" painting
3. Rattan pendant lamp
4. IKEA Poang chair
5. Recycled Spanish Glass vase
6. Basket cabinet
7. Turquoise cushion
8. White and beige cushion
9. Missoni Kew Cushion
10. Moroccan Pouff

A colourful Wellington find

Today I was pleased to pass a little homewares shop that looked colourful and artsy, on my own stamping ground in Wellington, New Zealand.

It really stood out from other expensive homewares stores here, and their motto explained why:
 "We believe interiors should contain some element of quirky & have some sense of fun".
Sounds like me!

I love love love this fabric called "After the Morning Rain" by Robert le Heros, and the bright happy cushions and wooden letters.

How refreshing.

   - Amyshka

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cupcakes with 3 frostings

What do I do when I'm supposed to be studying? I make cupcakes.

Today, I had an actual excuse, as I was making them as practice for my cousin's Hen's Night coming up in a month or two.

When I say "make cupcakes" what I really mean is... experiment with cupcakes.

I made 2 batches of batter from a recipe I adapted. Many people find the taste and texture of cupcakes is not a good as you would expect based on the pretty appearance, so I eventually came up with a moist, light recipe that tastes good. (Even Big C loves them, and he's definitely not a cupcake man!)

glazed cupcakes, pink and white glazed cupcakes

The batter was looking suspiciously goopey, but it turned out fine after cooking.

The first icing I tried was a simple glaze, made of little more than icing sugar and water:

The red thing on top is... a peice of my GIANT gummi bear! Yep, some friends gave it to me for my birthday a few months back, (ordered from the States) and it's still going...

I liked the look of the glaze, but it was pretty thin and you could start to see the cake underneath, especially over the chocolate cupcakes.

I don't know what it's officially called, but I whipped up some egg white and made a new, thicker glaze with that (plus icing sugar). It needs a squirt of lemon or lime juice to counteract the sickly-sweetness, but the effect is cute!

I like how it's thick enough to stop the chocolate showing through, but still wet enough to spread itself out into a smooth shiny glaze. It's so sweet that just a tiny blob of icing in the middle is enough anyway.

Next up, I took the egg white mixture and pummeled it with some cocoa...


I love the shiny, rich look! However I found that taste a little too sweet. Next time, I'll use real chocolate and maybe make a ganache with cream, then pipe it on. That way you get the full chocolate flavour and creaminess, rather than just sweetness.

The icing was so pale pink it barely photographed, but I love it against the dark cupcake, especially with a piece of broken dark chocolate on top. (It was partly inspired by Sweetapolita's rosewater frosting chiffon cake. She is amazing!) Cupcakes in this colour would work perfectly with the Hen's Night colour scheme - and they would probably have black and white wrappers.


        - Amyshka

Hen's Night part 1: Tea Party - mood board

My cousin asked myself and a friend to be bridesmaids at her upcoming wedding. None of us (including the bride) were particularly certain of what our exact roles entailed, but one thing we knew for sure: the Hen's Party was ours!

We began scheming about all sorts of naughty and nice surprises to fill a day, or whole weekend, for the party.

We came up with a day and night broken into 4 parts - mini-events if you will.
Part 1 will be... A tea-party, with cupcakes.

 I made this mood board for it today:

The task of making all the cupcakes has been delegated to me - I've spotted those cupcake wrappers at Stevens and hope to grab some on sale.

The chocolate chiffon cake with rosewater frosting is by Sweetapolita and I found the contrast of dark cake and fluffy icing so inspiring!

We're sticking to a basic colourscheme of pale pink, black and white as that matches the invites and is a little sophisticated and feminine. (Trust me - the rest of the afternoon and activites we have planned, will be far from sophisticated!)

I also made some cupcakes today as practice, which are in this post.

    - Amyshka

A Josh Goot inspired mood board

Josh Goot has always been one of my favourite designers. He is Australian and I have huge respect for his bold use of colour and confident structuring. His designs look sporty and sleek while still being beautiful.

This mood board is inspired by one of his older collections - Spring 2010 RTW.

The moroccan pouff is a colour I would call "Acid" which is just rebellious enough against the black and white New Zealand Toi Toi cushion and tangerine IKEA lamp.

Josh Goot has mastered the use of harmonious-clash in this collection.
    - Amyshka

Finnish Artist's Home

The first time Finland crossed my mind was when I watched this funny ad on TV here in NZ, ages ago. The accent make me chuckle every time.
The second time that Finland crossed my mind was when I was studying in Sweden a few years ago, and one of the new exchange students was a Finnish girl. (I was stoked to hear hints of "Otto Otto I find Feenesh Sorce!"- like in the ad - in her accent.)

And then, not long ago, I found one of my new favourite blogs - and the artistic home of the Finnish illustrator Jutta Rikola.

Here's the thing: I am not normally into bunnies, or gumboots. But I AM into this picture. So she must be good. The wallpaper is awesome.

 I enjoy seeing the ways she has thought outside the box. The kitchen cupboards are very daring, but also easy to change.

She decorates with painted branches and paper cranes.

And the fairy lights make me happy.
There is nothing pompous or "posh designer" about this home - it's beautiful, simple, personalised and artistic and that makes it truly chic.

Next time I am in Europe a trip to Finland is definitely in order! I'm curious now about the "other side" of Scandinavia. Can't wait to experience their style.

All images from her Flickr photostream if you want to take a peek.

Yay for Finland,

           - Amyshka

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big Ups to Free stuff!

Months ago when I just discovering the world of blogging and realising how much cool online stuff existed outside of my little sphere (also known as New Zealand), I came across this picture:

I really, really liked those floral tags. Yes they are simple, but I just had never seen something like that being used. They were pretty and old-fashioned and I just liked them.

I wondered how much they would cost.
I mourned the fact that New Zealand is too far away from... anywhere, meaning that most companies were not prepared to mails purchases here.

And then, by some fluke several weeks later, I saw the picture in context. And I realised, wide-eyed, that they were called "Printables" and that they could be downloaded and were officially, legally FREE.

via Eat Drink Chic

I also love that fact that the Australian designer, Amy Moss, is just across the ditch.

If you happen to know of any similar ventures by New Zealanders, I would be really keen to hear about it. Drop a comment!

Cheers - to free stuff. :)

   - Amyshka

Friday, July 8, 2011

Randomly - a doodle

I couldn't help it - not sure if it's the slightly incorrect grammar or the amazing facials - but this doodle by Lim Heng Swee makes me laugh.


Windy Windy Wellington


I couldn't think of a more appropriate picture than this one by Christian Schuller.
I love his work - he is SO talented.

If you have ever experienced the wind in Wellington, New Zealand, you'll know what I'm talking about.
At times the house trembles and I think it's a small earthquake. Not to mention thunder and lightening has just started, along with hail. Hard to believe it was so beautiful and sunny this morning. Exciting.

Happy Weekend!

    - Amyshka

Kootut Murut - DIY painted jars

I have recently found a new blog that is super cute and smart.

Kootut Murut is a blog by Finnish Illustrator Jutta. You may have heard of it. As well as being a talented artist and having an uber-funky artistic home (I bet I'll be talking more about that later) one of her ideas particularly stuck out to me.

Cute jars, right?
They are totally easy DIY and possibly even free to make, assuming you have a jar and some poster paint in your house.

She pours the wet paint in and tips it around to coat the inside:

Then lets it dry:

And fill with the objects of your choice.

I love how good it looks while being something that literally anyone can do.
Big ups to Finns!

Check out the full tutorial on her own blog here.

                    - Amyshka

Pinboard project

It happened in a matter of minutes - I got annoyed with some little notes I had on my desk, and decided I needed to pin them somewhere, immediately.

And so a pinboard was born...


 Here's a run-down on my process:


I began with this un-opened frame from a second-hand shop for about $4. I bought it a while ago then ran out of inspiration for what to do with it.


I removed the border and painted it white. I decided to leave the frame wooden, for now.



Then to select a fabric - I could have gone for something very plain but I wanted something that could bring life to a wall.

I landed on this favourite recent fabric from Spotlight, then laid a piece of foamboard under the fabric.

I glued the fabric over the foam-board and down onto the edges of the wooden backing board. 

...then assembled it all back together.

which left me with a pin-board to pin my notes on.

I'm not sure where to hang it yet - this room needs some serious work - but you get the idea.

It was definitely a very simple and quite rushed job, but I'm glad I can use it!

- Amyshka

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