meet a mama – mara from printspace

I always wanted to be a graphic designer.  And I love art.  And I love anything mid 20th century. Read on and you too might think Mara and I could absolutely be twins separated at birth … oh, except she just oooozes that cool factor, is terribly, terribly talented and can create something like these little gems …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you! (what do you do, who is in your family, where do you live etc?)
I am a trained graphic designer & illustrator, who dabbles in art and who secretly wants to be a textile designer!

Our family consists of me, husband Nicholas, Maxy (6) and Archie (4).  We live in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, and work in Richmond.

I run Printspace with Nick, combined with being a mum and wife. Juggle, juggle, juggle.
I love design in all its forms, especially design from the mid 20th century.

Who inspires you?
My family inspires me – sometimes seeing things through the eyes of children is all you need. Simple and honest.

Designers such as: Paul Rand, Charles & Ray Eames, Lucienne Day, Alexander Girard, the list goes on…

What can’t you live without?
Good food, sleep, cheese, sleep,

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
http://thedesignfiles.net/
http://bloesem.blogs.com/
And I know this isn’t a blog, but I love pinterest! So inspiring!

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Ah, spare time … so rare.   I love hanging out with the family, and going out for dinner and drinks with friends.

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?

Sanity saving tip: You don’t need to do it all – at least not at once.
Give yourself a break, mentally. And don’t worry if the floor hasn’t been cleaned today. I am still trying to find a good work/life balance, but I try not to worry about it too much either.

Time saving tip: Freeze pre-cooked meals. LOVE IT! An oldie but a goodie, and I still use it even though my kids are no longer babies.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still doing what I’m doing, only bigger and better!

What is your favourite quote?
My favourite quote at the moment is;

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
Dr. Seuss Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Where can we find you?
On our website (you can link to our blog and facebook page from there), at our friends at rudy and the dodo, and across a wide selection of stores across Australia.  Internationally, our prints are available in New Zealand and Singapore.

meet a mama – tamara from jellystone designs

We have loved Tamara and the gorgeous Jellystone Design silicone jewellery and teethers since she and her business partner launched 12 months ago.  We are preeeetty sure you will love her story and her goodies too.  But don’t say we didnt warn you … you might just want it all!

Tell us about you, fabulous you!
I live in Port Macquarie, on the Mid North Coast of NSW, with my husband and 2 children, Master 7 and Little Miss 5.  Life is very busy. Both my husband and I run our own businesses, mine being Jellystone Designs (silicone jewellery for all ages and stages) which I run with my business partner Natalie.

Natalie and I first met when we gave birth to our kids 8 hours apart – my first and Nat’s third child – and shared a hospital room together.  After 5 days of rooming together, and getting along famously, our first business “Forwalls – removable wall decals”, was born.  The business was very successful but the pressures of young families saw us sell up to focus on our children.

Years later after the kids become a little more independent Natalie got itchy feet and developed Jellystone Designs.  After a cuppa together one day we become business partners again. We launched Jellystone Designs together in August 2011 at Kids In Style trade show and now 12 months on we distribute to 6 countries and have over 100 stockists in Australia.

We work 5-6 days a week, but we absolutely love it!  You know what they say… if you love what you do you never really have to work a day in your life!

Who inspires you?
My mother.  She is the most amazing woman I know, and I’m proud to say she is also my best friend!  She is a very happy, energetic & enthusiastic woman, who always puts others first.She is nearly 60, just became a qualified naturopath and has recently opened her own clinic.  Nothing can stop her achieving her dreams.  If I turn out to be half the person she is I will be one happy woman!

What can’t you live without?
Besides my family and friends, I would have to say technology. Having the technology we do today is amazing. It allows us to do international business at the press of a few buttons. I would be lost without the internet and especially Skype (I am on Skype at least 15 hours a week speaking with our manufacturer and distributors around the globe)

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I get to read lots of great blogs with my business, and we have so many great bloggers writing about our products.

I don’t necessarily follow certain blogs, but I am a huge fan of pinterest!  You can always be sure to find some inspiring ideas there.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
What spare time?? Being a full time mother of 2 with my own company is a sure sign of minimal spare time! But when I do manage to find a little I love to socialise and throw dinner parties with my friends.

But my favourite thing of all would be getting lost in my own world as I redecorate rooms and rearrange things throughout my house!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would love to say living in China, managing our company from a central hub!  But I am happy to be managing it from anywhere if it is going that well in 5yrs time!

What is your favourite quote?
Everything happens for a reason! (I live by this quote)

Where can we find you?
Sitting in front of my laptop at Jellystone Head Quarters 5-6 days a week or with a vino in hand on my deck!  Oh, and also on our website.

Want to see more of Tamara’s fabulous creations?

meet a mama – jenny

I think it was Oprah who once declared that being a stay-at-home mum is the hardest job on the planet.  Having attempted to do it full time for about 18 months myself, I would have to agree!  So I take my hat off to all you clever stay at home mamas out there, including this gorgeous one, Jenny …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I’m Jenny – wife to Robert for almost six years and (stay-at-home) mum to Oscar for three-and-a-half years. I’m 30. I have a wonderful family. I love laughing, travelling, eating (!), music, DVDs, walking, adventures, and proof-reading (yes, I’m serious!).

Before motherhood I was a youth worker and office manager. Nowadays, besides running around after a three year old and all his activities, I help run a little fair trade stall with Robert at a couple of local monthly markets, selling fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate and handicrafts.

I’m not much of a housewife and I’m a terrible, unmotivated cook. But on the plus side, I’ve recently started learning to crochet and am attempting to grow a green thumb!

Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who have strong values and are set on making a positive difference in the world. Especially those who are passionate about social justice and poverty, the environment, fair trade and eco-friendliness.

What cant you live without?
My family – I have such an incredible support network with my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, my inlaws, and extended family.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I love many different blogs, too many to mention. I’ve been blogging myself for almost nine years, and love my friends’ blogs. My absolute favourite is my husband’s, The Howie, although he is a bit of a slacker in regular posting at the moment. I also really enjoy 1000 Homes of Happiness, Foxs Lane and Little Eco Footprints. And of course, a new favourite is this one!

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Reading, watching old TV shows I love on DVD, crocheting, pottering around, napping!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
To be honest, I have no idea! Hopefully we will have found a way to buy our own home and work hard at making it “ours”. Our son will be at school and I hope to be able to volunteer there as well as elsewhere. Maybe we’ll be a little more “well-travelled” too.

What is your favourite quote?
One I stumbled across recently and is still ringing in my ears is from Albert Einstein – “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

Where can we find you?
On my own blog – Just Plodding Along

 

 

meet a mama – kate from o.b designs

I came across lovely Kate from O.B Designs as I stock their gorgeous goodies over in my little store.  Always friendly, vivacious and oh so clever I thought she was another perfect choice to feature in our meet a mama section. So here she is.  Meet Kate …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I am Kate, originally from Jacksonville, Florida USA. I met my husband Luke surfing on a remote island in Indonesia. He has had me swept off my feet for the last 11 years ❤ . We live in Lennox Head just outside Byron Bay, NSW. I am the mother of 2 sweet little girls – Evie, 5, & Willow, 3. I am also co-founder of O.B. Designs, a company dedicated to designing and wholesaling  innovative toys and decor for babies and kids.  When I am not working on O.B. Designs, I love to hang at home with the family, read design books and mags, cook wicked meals with Luke, exercise regularly  & listen to music of all genres.

Who inspires you?
My husband & kids have always inspired me and make a better person. From the beginning, of O.B. Designs, my eldest daughter inspired me to want to create a business that made uniquely beautiful and fun toys. I live in a small country town in Northern NSW and all we have here is large chain stores to buy products made by other huge companies. I had the thought that, generally, toys today lack the soul and love in the designs that in years past were always a key ingredient. At O.B. Designs, Leesa and I make sure every item we put our brand name on comes from a place of love and good intention.

Kate and her business partner Leesa with some of their fab creations

Kate and Leesa developing products ‘with love’ in their studio

What can’t you live without?
I can’t live without my family. They are my life’s purpose. Oh and, of course, an epic Red Wine is always a bonus.

Kate and her family on a recent trip to the USA. Kate says “We were on the beach in Santa Barbara. Evie (my eldest) was sooky cause she wanted to play at the park and not do the family picture thing. We love it because it is how we were that day.”

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
Little Lovely never disappoints. I love the inspiring creations mums all over the world are doing right now!   Babyccino is great for keeping an eye on international kid’s designers.
I also hear through the grapevine there is a new up and coming called Rudy and the Dodo…. It is supposed to be terribly FABULOUS!!

How do you like to spend your spare time?
I love to cook food, hopefully, grown in our garden, surfing /exercising along the gorgeous coast here in Northern NSW & international travel.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully, living for a while back in my home country of the USA. I have not lived there for over 10 years now!

What is your favourite quote?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Laozi

Where can we find you?
our website
our facebook page

If you’d like to see more of the range – check out the quirky ding-a-rings, heart felt creations, flipity flop rainbow balls and the all new sensory teethers.   Tune into their facebook page and ours for new of amazing new goodies on the way in the coming weeks!

meet a mama – “AJ”

As well as being a fellow school mama of mine, Anastasia (or AJ) is the queen of de-cluttering (halelujah!), organising (yippee!), styling (man, does she have style!) and providing storage to help turn your home into a haven.  And she is super dooper cute to boot!  You can read all about her here …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Creative, capable, passionate, caring, a doer, resourceful, don’t like NO for an answer, dreamer, born romantic, fussy, try not to take life too seriously, a little crazy and have a love of turning the old into something new.

AJ (I told you she was cute!)

With that list came the rise of re-do my space. It’s about turning your space into the best it can be no matter what your budget is. Many think that you have to discard what you have but I don’t see it that way. My passion is to work with what you have, create ideas for easier living, bring in the new where required and make their space a place they love to be in.  The feeling of when my clients and their children come home to a space that makes them feel relaxed, snug, organised and at home is truly addictive.

the “before” room shot

after AJ gets her hands on the room!

loving the storage options and fresh new look for this room

My other love is my every minute of my everyday world –  2 x sweet (most of the time) boys, 1 x loving Hubby, 1 x Chokkie Lab “Lenny” ….. oh, and our recent additions are 3 fish Cookie, Goldie & Bubbles. 

the two sweet boys


Who inspires you?
People who touch the hearts of others, creative minds, my husband, my boys and all those Mummies who give it their all, whether in business or not, to raising and loving their kids to be the greatest they can be.

What can’t you live without?
Family, kisses & cuddles, I Love U’s, my brown boots, my hair (I’d look scary without it), scrambled eggs with Vegemite toast, my bed & pillow, tape measure & camera.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
Hmmm, in my industry there is so much choice so to name a favourite would be difficult. But I can start with the Fabulous Rudy and the Dodo. Julia’s style, wit and love for anything happy is infectious. She makes me want to go back for a 3rd little chunk of love!!!  (Aaawe, thanks AJ!)

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Being with all my boys, going for a run, relaxing in a bath, being near water, reading books and interior mags, time with friends and just finding the beauty in everyday things and moments.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Where do I start!?! I do have some fab plans for re-do my space in the future but am in no rush to tick every box just yet. I started this journey so I could find the balance of being the mum and wife I wanted to be for my family whilst at the same time wake up every day, make a difference and be happy. Travel, good health, laughter, love and giving to those less fortunate would be some of my hopes in 5 years. Oh, and being a better cook and gaining magical powers where I just click my fingers to get those mundane jobs done would be a bonus … I told you I like to dream.

What is your favourite quote?
Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful (Annette Funicello)

Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. (Oprah)

Where can we find you?
www.redomyspace.com.au
facebook

lenny the chokky lab!

meet a mama – kate wilson

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I am Kate. I’m a teacher (well, educator is probably a better description these days). I’m a WAHM. I own and run Back to Basics Tuition; a small Learning Studio focused on helping students improve their numeracy and literacy. I’m a Mother to 17 month old Indi (and our 4 year old American Staffy, Ruby), a wife to Dave, a daughter, a sister, a friend.

Kate (she’s very glam, isnt she!)

Who inspires you?
Currently I am most inspired by my daughter. She makes me want to be a better me (both personally and professionally), in order to be a role model for her.

funny little Indi

What cant you live without?
Family. Both near and far. And laughter. Our house is filled with laughter (and the odd 17 month old tantrum), it’s good for the soul. It’s the best way to raise our daughter. She has a wicked sense of humour and her smile is infectious.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I love passionate, inspired people so Rudy & the Dodo of course!  Also along these lines I enjoy Penny’s blog at Wildlife Fun 4 Kids. She’s passionate about her subject matter; wildlife, and teaches it to children. And although she tends to update her Facebook page more than her blog, Carly from My Life in Colour is someone else I follow. She writes openly about her life and I am constantly amazed at how she juggles three children, their therapy (two are Autistic) and building her photography business, being a Mum, wife and friend!

How do you like to spend your spare time?
I would LIKE to spend it with a book in the sun (or sleeping!)….but I tend to spend it on Facebook, Pinterest or tidying up after ‘Hurricane Indi’. I’m about to try my hand at a little craft (education related of course!) though for some personal achievement.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Well, Indi will be at school by that stage and my husband will have finished his University double degree. I really want to focus on streamlining my business systems over the next 12-24 months and using new technologies more. I would like us to begin travelling the globe. By the time Indi is 5, I would like to start showing her different cultures, different ways of life and to develop her understanding of just how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful country and have 1st world problems.

Kate’s “other” kiddies

What is your favourite quote?
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere – Chinese proverb
We are consciously constructing our lives – our own saying 😉

How did you come to know Rudy & the Dodo?
I actually stumbled across you when I was putting together my baby shower wish-list. I wanted a wooden mobile for Indi’s room. I was hooked!

Where do we find you?
Blog: http://www.backtobasicstuition.com.au/conversations-with-kate
Website: http://www.backtobasicstuition.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/backtobasicstuition

Indi and Ruby

meet a mama – bron ‘maxabella’

Thanks so much for the huge response to our first meet the mama “interview” last week. It seems you all like getting to know each other so we have some terribly fabulous mamas lined up for you over the coming weeks.

Today is no exception.  I stumbled across Bron, a terribly entertaining and inspiring writer, via her blog Maxabella Loves, which is now one of my all time favourites.  Check it out (you can thank me later).  In the meantime, here’s Bron …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Well now… Max, who is eight, Arabella, who is six, and Lottie, who is four (but really twenty-four in her head) call me mum. Or mumma or mameitra, actually – don’t worry, I’ve no idea what a mameitra is either. I call them my Tsunamis.

My darling husbie of ten years calls me his sweetheart and we are about as saccharine as that in real life pretty much all the time. Many, many people will not hang out with us as a result. He’s a banker, which doesn’t help.

I’m also a freelance writer and the editor of Kidspot’s Village Voices, a job I like very, very much. I write, I edit, I plan, I collect pretty pictures. It’s kinda like having a blog that other people help write. This is a new life for me as a mere four months ago I gave up working in corporate marketing after fifteen (rather long) years. I called corporate life ‘the grey world’.

Who inspires you?
Pretty much everything in the whole wide world, but particularly people who are inherently kind.

What can’t you live without?
My husband and big belly laughs. My Tsunamis as well. Probably.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
As I’m a blog collector there are too many to mention, but I will drop my sisters’ blogs: Al at Life in a Pink Fibro and Coo at And then there were four. Both fab chicks.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Pinning random stuff on Pinterest and making cool stuff for kids’ parties. I’m also very happy with a glass of wine and loud conversation.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Doing pretty much what I’m doing now, only with more people wanting me to write for them. I just love it and I work from home around my children’s schedules. Maybe I’m living back in London… the husbie and I lived there for four years ten years ago and we’ve hankered to go back for about nine of those years. We just loved it there and it will be fun to show London the Tsunamis.

What is your favourite quote?
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies inside us” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Oh and “Try a little tenderness” – Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Harry M. Woods

How did you come to know Rudy & the Dodo?
The lovely Brenda at Mira Narnie put me onto the store in 2010. I bought all my niece and nephew gifts for Christmas from Rudy and the Dodo and then I did exactly the same thing again last year. Can’t beat it!

 

 

meet a mama – kate mccarthy

This is the first of a series of Meet the Mama “interviews”.  We will be featuring a different, fabulous mama each week – giving you a snapshot of their life.

These Mamas are inspiring women I have come across over the past few years and they come from all walks of life.  They are stay at home mamas, creative mamas, corporate mamas, educational mamas, playful mamas, sporty mamas and designer mamas.

We are starting with a fabulous artistic mama – Kate McCarthy – whom I discovered through my sister (also an artist) and whose work I have coveted for many years.  She’s also terribly funny and, as you will see from her works below, fabulously quirky.  Two of my favourite traits in a person.

Here is Kate …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!

I’m a mummy of two gorgeous boys.  George is six and Louie is nearly four.  We live on the east coast of Tassie which is beautiful and amazing but it doesn’t have enough people! I’ve been craving the city for a few years now…

I paint whenever I can and for some reason I also make tea towels. And face clay of all things.

My partner works in the seafood industry here with odd hours so he entertains the boys like a champion so I can work.


What can’t you live without?
Can I have more than one thing? It’s easy anyway: my boys.

Who inspires you?
I’m usually inspired by people I know. They are my friends and family. People that give things a go in any field amaze me. I’m inspired by my mum so much on a daily basis as I try my best to be a great mummy too. I cannot believe she did this all on her own and survived and did an amazing job and smiled and laughed the whole way through. Seriously wow.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
Duh, Rudy and the Dodo! Enjoy Parenting saves me at the end of every day too. Oh and Lost at E Minor is perfect for several awesome design injections daily.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
If I had spare time I’d spend it in cafes reading the paper.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Filthy rich in Paris with heaps of creative leisure time.

What is your favourite quote?
‘May the bridges I burn light my way’ – by Anon or someone.

Where can we find you?
Through 19Karen Contemporary Artspace.  I’m also at The Big Design Market in Melbourne on the 7th, 8th and 9th December