Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wearing: Clementine

It's rare that I wear heels and if I'm honest on this occasion I totally put them on for the photo. DIRTY ROTTEN POSER. Can't you just see it in my conceited face?

Anyways, in my real life, I wear this exact outfit with flat boots all the time. Promise. I'm such a fan of black, white and tan. For me it's a classic combination that can be dressed up or down as needed. It's fresh but with the fur vest has a pinch of the boho, which is great, cis you know, Bohemian Traders and all.

The Clementine Vest is truly the most luxurious item I have in my wardrobe. I wear it with everything from striped tee's and ripped denim to fancy frocks for weddings (perfect for the winter bride too).


Clementine Vest | Bohemian Traders - size small
Sunset Blouse | Bohemian Traders - size small
Black Skinnies | Bohemian Traders - size ten - most flattering jeans ever
Pepita Satchel | Bohemian Traders
Wedges | Zoe Wittner

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Artist Series with Emma Gale

I am absolutely SMITTEN with the work of Emma Gale so you can imagine my excitement when the Bangalow based Artist agreed to take part in The Artist Series for The Beetle Shack. Her canvasses are a riot of colour, inspired by the traditional dress and adornment of woman the world over.

 Can you tell us a little bit about your life and work? 

Life is busy with 2 kids and being an artist I find that the most challenging part of life! I spend five days a week in my studio which is at home but separate from the house. Time is precious these days, so I do have to make the most of the time I have during the day to work. Weekends are busy with family and kids sports etc!

What inspired to to be an Artist?

 I have always wanted to be an artist, I was always going to do something creative. I am not much good at anything else! I was always creating as a child from drawing to making things.

 Is there an artist that you turn to for inspiration when you need it? 

 No, not a single artist. An old favourite of mine is gustave Klimt.

What is your favourite colour? 

So hard to choose! But I do love yellow. It's just pure.

 Is there a symbol that you find yourself using repeatedly in your work? Can you explain it to us? 

I guess for me it's not just one symbol or motif but its patterning. I have always been drawn to patterns and embellishment. That's what drew me to textile design years ago and draws me to other cultures and their designs.

What is your happiest childhood memory? 

When I got the full set of 72 derwent coloured pencils in primary school. That's all I wanted!

What is your greatest achievement?

I think it would be having my first solo show. I suddenly thought, gosh I am finally here! My own show!!!

 Did it take long to truly develop your own style? 

 I think it takes a lifetime! You constantly evolve and learn as you go , you make mistakes but the mistakes are never really mistakes just learning curves in the creative process. I like to try new things, i like a challenge, it keeps me stimulated.

Thanks so much Emma. You can see more of Emma's work here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Letting The Professionals Do Their Thing

Photography by Rose Jane // Model Merrin Grace // Hair and Make up by Estelle Artistry // Styling and Art Direction by Surfing Moonbeams 

Ever since starting Bohemian Traders some 5 months ago I've been stealing sunset moments with one of my beautiful sisters to capture shots for the website.

She'd frolic in long grass, mermaid hair blowing in the breeze while the sun threw a misty golden light around. We'd laugh at our inexperience and gulp back cold beer in-between outfit changes, racing to catch the light before dusk settled in and the mosquitoes emerged.

Earlier this week, I handed the job over to the professionals and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. The team (details above) worked their magic from sun up 'til sundown and now, all of a sudden, my little side project looks like a totally kicking online store.

Crazy how that happened!

Anyways, I just thought I'd give you a little sneaky peak. You can see some of the pieces here that will be listed inline in the coming weeks including the striped dress, white distressed skinny jeans (hello, love heart eyes) and the long sleeve T dress. We'll also be welcoming striped tops, a chambray shirt and a plaid partner (peter pan collars, please).

I'm super excited to show you the full collection soon!


You can see the studio shots on the Bohemian Traders site.

Okay, I'll stop taking about Bohemian Traders now.

Oh but before I do, my sincere thanks to those of you who read this blog and have now become supportive, amazing customers. That's pretty much the most awesome thing ever.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Craft Corner : Photography Tips

When Em issued me with this Craft Corner challenge, her instructions went something along the lines of ' about craft, cooking, photography.. totally want a good mix of projects. Absolutely WHATEVER you'd like.' I love the faith she has in me to pull something out of the hat each month, usually at the eleventh hour.

So today we're ditching the paint brushes and sander and we're talking about one of my most favourite things on this big, beautiful planet - PHOTOGRAPHY. Rah!

Little more than two years ago I was taking photos like this. It kinda hurts my eyes looking at that. But I also feel pride in having come so far in such a short space of time. I have always loved taking photos, a gift passed to me from my mother, who always had a camera in our faces growing up. At family gatherings, the whinging relatives always chimed in about how painful it was having their photo taken. Of course, they were the first to line up asking for a copy (yes, back when the only way to see your photos was to PRINT them!). Go figure.

Having children definitely makes us take more photos. We don't want to miss anything. All those firsts, just waiting to be captured. With each little bundle that arrived in our family, I began to take more and more photos. I loved preserving all those memories for years to come, by which time they would have grown into feisty, stubborn teenagers and I would need reminding of their golden innocence, once upon a time.

For me, photography is many things, but in a nutshell? It's honest. The camera doesn't lie. Photoshop may, but the camera doesn't. Everyday, honest, REAL photography is loud and colourful and imperfect and BEAUTIFUL.

A week before our youngest turned one we had Tim Coulson come and take photos of our family. It was a first for us, and there was much persuasion on my behalf to get the husband on board. We saved our pennies and Tim came, and it was all worth it to see photos with all five of us in the same frame. That day, Tim shared some advice with me that changed the way I took photos. Buy yourself a 50mm lens and don't take it off. So I did.

That one little sentence changed everything. Once I felt comfortable no longer having a zoom and learnt to move my feet to get a better shot, I taught myself to shoot manually. Making a plethora of errors along the way. Because that's how we learn. Somewhere along the way - during our school years I think - we are taught that mistakes are a bad thing. But that's not true at all.

I'm not going to talk exposure or f stops or ISO or settings. Of course, these things matter greatly. If you want to take really beautiful photos, you're not going to get them with your camera set on auto. But learning to shoot manually takes time and it can be daunting. I tried several times (becoming more and more frustrated with all my blue photos) before I gave myself the time I needed, to make the mistakes I needed, to understand it all. If you love taking photos - of your kids, your cat, your neighbourhood, your lunch? - and want to improve, it's the only way.

The technical part of photography is the same for everyone. It's a science. But the emotional part of photography is personal. Emotion is what sets us apart from one another. Emotion cannot be taught; it must be felt. But there are a few things you can try, to encourage a better connection with your camera, to break down your guard, and in turn, build a better connection with what is standing on the other side of it.

Don't pack it away // Give your camera a new home. On the kitchen bench. Or wherever you're going to see it everyday and it's going to be easy for you to grab when the moment arises that makes you want to reach for it. Having it out to see everyday will make you pick it up more. Picking it up more means more practice. More practice means more confidence. More confidence means average photos become good photos. And good photos become great photos. And great photos become.. and so on.

Don't say CHEEEEEESE // Some people adore the camera. Many don't. Sometimes we want our subjects to look at the camera. Sometimes we don't. A beautiful photo does not have to have everyone smiling from ear to ear, whether it's natural, scarily fake or kid-with-imaginary-vaseline-on-their-teeth. Let things unfold in front of you and hit the shutter. Remember a great photo is an honest one.

Forget perfection // Unless you're submitting images for the cover of a glossy, airbrushed magazine, imperfection is okay. Imperfection is GOOD. Imperfection is real. Again, we come back to the honesty of our photos. Our photos that tell a story of our lives; little moments threaded together. Nobody has a perfect life. Our photos don't need to pretend that we do.

Everything doesn't have to be sunshine and roses // Beautifully light and airy photos are lovely to look at. They just are. But those kinds of photos aren't always possible. And, they are most certainly not a one size fits all for a beautiful photo. Dark photos can be spectacular too. While I always edit my photos, I do as little as possible to try and keep them as honest as possible. I want the photo to look the way it did when I took it, just with a little enhancement to make it shine. If you're taking photos with shadows and depth, embrace the darkness in your shots, don't immediately try and get rid of them - whether they were intentional or accidental. Sometimes having the wrong settings on your camera will deliver a beautiful surprise.

It's okay to take shit photos // I take photos everyday. For myself, for my kids, for the love of it, and for practice. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Some days are off, when everything I take is rubbish. We all have good days and bad days and some days, we're just going to take shit photos. Even the best of the best. So what? Delete them. And pick up your camera again tomorrow.

Composition isn't everything // Composition can make or break a great photo, but sometimes it's completely irrelevant. Sometimes there isn't time to set up the shot the way you really want to. In those instances, I am happy with a good shot, still capturing the moment, rather than missing it altogether simply because the lighting or timing wasn't right. That's just foolish. Here, our kids were playing air guitar with the husband.. Technically, it's a terrible photo. But I love it because it shows how invested the kids were in that moment, rockin out to some hideous kind of head banging noise with dad.

Bend your knees // Or get on the floor. Especially if you're photographing children or pets. Part of telling a great story is diversity. Taking photos the same way all the time is not going to encourage improvement. Not the slightest bit. Try something new. New angles, new heights, new directions. Train your eye to see more.

It's okay to chop people's heads off // Or arms, legs, whatever. Really. It is. The Portrait Police are not going to come knocking on your door. They haven't turned up at mine yet. The unportrait can be more powerful than the portrait. Removing body parts in exchange for important pieces of the story can be better than if we took the same photo with whole bodies in frame.

Challenge yourself // If you're teaching yourself to shoot manually or still feel uncomfortable having recently switched over from auto, set yourself some small challenges to encourage growth. Joining a photography group like Ten on Ten will give you a purpose for your photos. Even if you may not have a blog to share them on, you can still keep your collections filed in your own library and then create a photo book at the end of the year. Another good one is to set yourself a certain number of images - say a dozen - and only allow yourself to take that amount of photos, whether it's in ten minutes, half an hour or longer. This will slow you down and make you think more about what you're shooting, your composition, your light, your surroundings.

Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle // I do love this quote and it's one I remember quite regularly. I am such a tiny, young, itty bitty fish, swimming in this huge ocean filled with big, old, wise fish. I know so little in the scheme of photographic things. I'm only at the beginning of my journey. Whilst I can appreciate and marvel at other photographers' work, I can never compare myself to them because they've been doing it so much longer than I have. We are all running our own individual race. Everyone's race is run at a different pace. It's okay to look for inspiration and strive to be better, but it's not okay to put yourself down in the process.

Relax // The more time you spend with your camera pressed up to your eye, the more comfortable you will feel, and the better you will become. So get that camera out and start snapping!

Oh mercy Tahnee. What a spectacular post. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, passion and experience with us- you're a generous legend.

Please do go and take a look at Tahnee's professional photography page, it really is a sight to behold.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wearing : Quilted Yoke Dress

I've been waiting for this dress to arrive for SO long and now that it's here I can't take it off. The Quilted Yoke Dress comes in a small selection of Indigo hand block printed cottons, has buttons down the top that allow that essential boob access and it deliciously floaty. I'm pairing it with the Bonfire Cashmere Cardigan. Easy peasy. 

When the cold of winter hits i'll be layering this beauty over knitted grey tights and boots.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's Okay, Really.

I've been a stay at home mum for five years and counting.  During that time I've fluctuated between being entertained by my children and infuriated by them. I've danced (poorly) between dedicated engagement in their little imaginary worlds to overwhelming bored by play dough, duplo and lego.

It's been three years since I've worked outside of the house for real cash money. Three years since I've been able to call myself a Visual Arts teacher (gosh, that just sounds so foreign now) and three years since I've been required to be suitably attired and ready to jump in the car by 7am.

When I think about my years of 'unemployment' and my now outdated skills for the classroom, I'm kind of stoked.

In the past I've mourned the loss of routine, structure and the 9 to 5. But now, years later, I'm a dedicated track pant wearing slacker.

I'm not accountable to anyone other than my children and do you know what, that actually suits me perfectly. If I'm still in my PJ's at 10 am, it's okay. If I neglect to do the groceries, we have eggs for dinner and If I forget to hang the washing out and find it festering in the machine, hey, what's another 2 hour cycle between friends?

The stay at home mumming years are boring. Deeply so. But they are also wonderfully liberating.

I mean, at what other stage in my life would I be afforded the luxury of leaving my hair unwashed for days on end? Or wearing shorts when my legs are hairy?


So this week. I'm looking at the positives.

My legs are hairy, my hair unwashed. There is damp washing in the machine and crumbs underfoot and it's all okay.


It is.

Lets raise our glass to motherhood. Pour another cup of tea and sit amongst the mess.

How are the holidays shaping up for you?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stills - A Weekly Collection

1. A Sneak peak of delicious things that will soon be listed online at Bohemian Traders. I'm so excited to be woking with a couple of photographers and stylists this week - we'll be shooting our winter collection. You can expect to see the introduction of chambray, plaid and our long awaited stripes. Perfect for pairing back with our block printed staples.

2. Autumn light in our living room. I love this house most of all at Autumn time.

3. That guy. My love heart. I wish he'd go and pour me a glass of red right now though.

4. Holiday time means serious play.

5. Pear shape. I know it well.

6. Elke Bear, almost 1. Where on earth has the past 12 months gone? Life is racing and it's hard to keep up.

7. My absolute favourite piece from the Autumn collection. I've been wearing it all weekend (as in the pic above with Elk) with an indigo Bonfire Cardi and some boots. Hides a multitude of stains (and pear shapes).