Don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday (for those of you that may have forgotten – gift vouchers are always a great idea – click the link here for a list of options).
It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday and if you’re living in New Zealand or Australia, it’s likely you’re one of the lucky few that will be able to visit mum in person this year. After the year that we have all had, let’s all celebrate our Mums in style. Be sure to arrive on her door step with baked goods, flowers, heart felt cards and hugs galore. To help with gift ideas we have rounded up our favourite newly released, beautiful, coffee table books that we know would make a fabulous present.
If you are in a country that is still needing to keep distance to remain safe, calling mum for a chat, or sending her a little something online are beautiful gestures.
For all the new mums, we hope you have a fabulous First Mother’s Day.
Still Life; Contemporary Australian Painters by Amber Creswell Bell
Still Life explores the diverse practices of more than forty contemporary Australian artists and documents a repertoire of styles, subjects, visions and philosophies. Alongside flowers and food, mainstays of the genre, the works within these pages also incorporate objects such as books and beer cans, birds and balloons, adding energy and intrigue to both the composition and the story revealed. This book captures the inanimate beauty of the everyday in a distinctly Australian context, and offers a meditation on human experience and the brevity of life.
Utsuwa; Japanese Objects for Everyday Use by Kylie Johnson, Tiffany Johnson
A piece must be practical enough to be used every day. It must be crafted at its place of origin, using traditional techniques and materials. And it must be handmade. Japanese craft has long been revered for its quality and beauty, and skilled craftwork remains an important part of Japanese life. ‘Utsuwa’, meaning ‘for everyday use’, embodies the ethos of hand-making in Japan, where handcrafted wares must be as practical as they are beautiful. This book takes us behind the scenes into the private studios of some of Japan’s most exciting artisans to reveal stories of material, method, place and culture. It guides us through quiet galleries and colourful marketplaces, where the provenance of a piece is central to its story. Utsuwa is a love letter to the makers and sellers, and to all those who share the Japanese reverence for tradition and beauty.
A Room of Her Own features the dazzling homes of twenty extraordinary women around the globe. Across sitting rooms and studios, salon-style hangs and table settings, this is a book of daring inspiration. In this new Renaissance period, a time of artistic, cultural and intellectual rebirth, these women have chosen to carve out their own space to live creatively. Artists, designers, makers and curators invite us into their domestic and professional domains to reveal a world of meaning and purpose beyond status and consumerism. Now, more than ever, we are searching for new ways of thinking, new ways of living. These pages are filled with beautiful rooms, but Robyn Lea’s gorgeous photography and evocative texts look beyond the aesthetics to explore the ideals and practices of these women and guide us all on a new and exciting path forward. A Room of Her Own is a manifesto for the 21st century.
Design Lives Here: Australian interiors, furniture and lighting by Penny Craswell
Australian design has forged its own unique trajectory, influenced by geographic isolation, a distinctive natural environment and a modern sensibility. Design Lives Here showcases the best of Australian residential architecture and interiors, and pays homage to the local designers and makers who have crafted bespoke pieces of furniture and lighting for these homes, whether large or small. From a reimagined Californian bungalow with a dining table inspired by the humble HB pencil to a monumental inner-city residence furnished with more than 100 custom pieces, these houses, and the objects that reside within, offer a compelling snapshot of contemporary Australian design through the lens of materiality, utility, site and place.
Ken Done; Art Design Life by Amber Creswell Bell, Ken Done
Ken Done has achieved what few others have. His signature style has graced ad campaigns and art cars, magazine covers and doona covers, public spaces and landmark cultural events, but it is his unabating passion for painting that sustains him. For more than forty years, Done has chronicled the Australian way, documenting how it feels to be Australian with an exuberance that is immediately recognisable. Ken Done: Art Design Life documents Done’s expansive art and design practice over four decades and provides a fascinating insight into the artist and his oeuvre. The book features both early and lesser-known works, as well as the iconic paintings of Sydney Harbour, the Outback and the reef. It opens an extensive archive, providing readers in-depth access to the catalogue of fashion and homewares, and the designs that came to define an era. This book celebrates the man, his work and his enduring legacy, which has captured hearts around the world.
The beloved fashion and lifestyle illustrator celebrates the best, most important joys of all – the little pleasures. The Joy in the Little Things is a guide full of ideas and inspiration for tapping into your own happiness and creativity. This delicious book begins with an invitation to discover joy every day, just as Kerrie Hess does. Her fabulously creative life has turned her into one of the most eagerly-watched influencers on Instagram. Kerrie’s secret is that she’s discovered the little things that make her heart sing, and now she wants to help you do the same. From the very first sparkling words to the charming illustrations of macarons, peonies, teacups, and jewellery to the images of strong, chic women who grace its pages, this book is a love letter and guide to what makes us truly happy. Weaving through pleasures, including relaxation, creative pursuits, time with family and friends, in person or virtually, as well as fashion, beauty, home, and travel, Kerrie shares her favourite joy-givers and her tips for bringing sparkling moments into each day. Brimming with Kerrie’s signature original watercolour illustrations and photo vignettes, and beautifully evocative text written with Paris Dreaming author Katrina Lawrence, this book is an unquestionable object of desire.
Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day!
Mums are pretty amazing; they can see if you have a coat on even before you come down the stairs, know when you are rolling your eyes in another room and know just when a hug is needed. If your mum had a super power what would it be?
Happy Monday! In case you needed reminding (ahem, forgot) Mother’s Day is on Sunday so on the blog this week we’ll be sharing our top 6 coffee table books we know she’ll love.
From ice-cold punches through to warming winter serves, Gin O’Clock proves it’s always a good time for gin, no matter what the season.
Mother’s Day is next weekend here in Australia and we have been scouring the internet for goodies to wrap and gift mum. For many, next Sunday will mark their first Mother’s Day so we thought we’d offer some suggestions to give the sleep deprived, I’m-still-getting-used-to-this, did-I-mention-I-was-tired new mum.
Sit back and get ready to click because these books offer kind advice, laughs and much needed insights and are way better than any soap or candle… though may come in second to catching up on sleep.
Letters on Motherhood by Giovanna Fletcher
From the author of the number 1 bestseller Happy Mum, Happy Baby, and the chart-topping podcast of the same name, comes a beautiful collection of heartfelt letters written to her three young sons, her husband and the family and friends who have inspired and supported her to become the mother she is today. In this beautiful book Giovanna shares touching personal tales of her own family life whilst also reflecting on deeper universal truths of parenting, from coping with mum guilt and finding a work / life balance to positive body image and a parent’s hopes for their child’s future.
#IMomSoHard by Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley
Has it been months since you’ve read a book with actual adult words that had nothing to do with farm animals or superheroes or going potty? Well then, it’s time to take a break. Pour yourself some wine. Put on your comfy pants. All good? Ok, welcome to the party.
Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, the creators of #IMOMSOHARD, know that you probably didn’t get to shower today and that the last thing you need is more advice on how to be a better parent. Instead, they invite you to join their laugh-out-loud, best friend banter on the eighty bajillion ways moms give their all every day. Come for the laughs, stay for the kinship with two friends who are just getting it right, getting it wrong, and leaning on each other for a laugh at the end of the day. They don’t care if your house is a mess and they won’t judge you if you pee a little when you sneeze. So kick back, relax, and enjoy. You deserve it.
Mama Rising: Discovering the New You Through Motherhood by Amy Taylor-
Are you struggling to figure out who you are now that you’re a mama? Do you feel like you’re coming last in your own life? Do you feel guilty for not loving every moment of this motherhood gig? As someone who used to put themselves last, doing everything she thought was ‘right’ for her children and family, but not really listening to what her body and her spirit was begging for, Amy understands first-hand the overwhelm and complex range of emotions that mothers face. Amy’s background as a journalist set her on the path to uncover all that she could about the latest research on matrescence, the transition a woman undergoes when she becomes a mother. She now shares what she’s learned in the hope that it will help you navigate this stage of your life. Mama Rising includes interviews with experts, case studies and Amy’s own tried-and-tested advice on how to reconnect with the woman you are underneath all that washing, cleaning and caring. Full of useful and empowering insights that will help you change the way you feel about motherhood, and yourself, so you and your whole family can flourish.
Grace Mothers: Letters to Our Children by Georgie Abay, Julie Adams, Claire
This beautiful coffee table book is both an intimate insight into the joys and tribulations of motherhood and a celebration of mothers and their children everywhere. Some 60 eminent women, from Australia and around the world, have written heartfelt letters to their children. Inspiring, occasionally surprising, often funny and frequently poignant, they capture the essence of what motherhood means for each writer. Brought to you by Georgie Abay, former Australian Vogue deputy editor and founder of go-to website for style-conscious mothers and renowned fashion and portrait photographer Julie Adams, The Grace Tales, Grace Mothers features such luminaries as Australian actress Teresa Palmer, British journalist Pandora Sykes, Australian designer Collette Dinnigan, US journalist, author and advocate Gretchen Carlson, and UK financier and campaigner Dame Helena Morrissey. With a foreword by Australia’s former Governor-General, Dame Quentin Bryce, and gorgeously evocative photographs throughout, Grace Mothers is a book to cherish forever.
The Little Book of Mum Hacks by Kate Murnane
Packed with over 150 life-changing tips, tricks and hacks, this little book will help make your home happier and your life easier. Whether you’re a mum-to-be or have children already, this practical guide contains everything you need to know about savvy parenting (and will wish someone had told you sooner!). From tips on cleaning and tidying to cooking and playing, plus with a section dedicated to those first few months taking care of a newborn, these small everyday changes will help keep you sane and your children happy, calm and healthy. Illustrated with cute line drawings throughout and a beautiful gold foiled hardcover, this is a lovely gift for all mums.
‘Welcome to The Motherhood, my dear.’ After her son was born, Jamila Rizvi felt isolated, exhausted and confused. While desperately in love with her new baby, the world she’d known had disappeared overnight and so had her sense of self. Jamila’s salvation came in the form of a letter. A dear friend, Clare Bowditch – who had been there herself – wrote to tell Jamila she would get through this. Her comforting words reassured Jamila that she was seen, that she was supported and that she was not alone. Now Jamila wants to pay it forward to the next generation of new mothers. The Motherhood is a collection of letters from some of Australia’s favourite women, sharing what they wish they’d known about life with a newborn. Coming from writers with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, no two stories are alike, but all are generous, compassionate and deeply honest. As the old adage goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ and it also takes a village to properly support a new mother. Here is your village. These sisters (with babes) in arms are here to share the joy, the fear, the love, the laughter, the tears and the frustration, and to hold your hand in the dark. Together, they will give you the strength and courage to find your feet as a new mum.
Make every day healthy and delicious with Salad of the Day. This is our kind of week night cooking – quick and simple but super yummy.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner so we are pulling together our top books to gift Mum on the blog this week.
Ahh… children’s books. We love their ability to share big ideas in fun, engaging ways; tell tales of mischief, feelings and friendship; bring characters to life through unexpected adventures; delight budding imaginations and inspire little people to become life-long readers.
We have scoured the internet to find six of the most delightful and heart-warming children’s books that we know you are going to love reading these school holidays.
Oli and Basil: The Dashing Frogs of Travel by Megan Hess
Meet Oli and Basil, the dashing frogs of travel, in Megan Hess’s first World of Claris story! Two frogs dream of flying, but don’t realise that they’ll need each other to take to the skies. Oli is an artist who dreams up wild, fabulous machines, but he doesn’t know how to build them. And Basil is a master craftsman who can build anything from scratch, except he doesn’t know what to build. If only there was a way that these two dashing frogs could become friends. From the beloved creator of the Claris stories comes this heart-warming adventure about the joys of newfound friendship. You can see Megan’s other books here.
Malala Yousafzai (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
When Malala was born in Mingora, Pakistan, her father was determined she would have every opportunity that a boy would have. She loved getting an education, but when a hateful regime came to power, girls were no longer allowed to go to school. Malala spoke out in public about this, which made her a target for violence. She was shot in the left side of her head and woke up in hospital in England. Finally after long months and many surgeries, Malala recovered, and resolved to become an activist for girls’ education. Now a recent Oxford graduate, Malala continues to fight for a world where all girls can learn and lead. This powerful book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the activist’s life. You can read Malala’s own story here.
Bedtime is Boring by David Campbell
Billy Bunny REALLY doesn’t want to go to bed. He’s NOT tired! Not even a little bit. It may be bedtime, but Billy is NOT going quietly… See if Billy wins the bedtime battle in this hilarious sequel to Stupid Carrots, written by (a quite tired) David Campbell.
Maybe…by Chris Haughton
Chris Haughton is a fan favourite in our household. Maybe is another funny, suspenseful and keenly observed cautionary tale about pushing boundaries and indulging your more mischievous, cheeky side (when nobody is looking). Three little monkeys, and their big monkey, are sat high up on their branch in the forest canopy. “Ok, monkeys! I’m off,” says the big monkey. “Now remember. Whatever you do, do NOT go down to the mango tree. There are tigers down there.” Mmm . mangos! think the little monkeys. They LOVE mangos. Hmm … maybe . maybe they could just look at the mangos? That’d be ok, right? You can see Chris’ other books here.
Did you know that feeding seaweed to cows can reduce the methane in their burps and farts by more than half? Or that a forest of kelp absorbs more carbon than a tropical rainforest of the same size? We can even make edible bioplastics from seaweed! Beyond the tideline, there are around 10,000 types of seaweed. An essential ingredient for life on Earth, seaweed has sustained animals and people for many thousands of years. From ancient history and mythology to modern uses in food, health and medicine, discover how seriously cool seaweed is, and how it can even help tackle climate change. Complete with a guide to common seaweeds and foraging guidelines, this charmingly illustrated picture book will educate and inspire, and encourage respect for the natural world.
Reggie Red by Josie Layton
With freckles and curls so big and so red, Reggie felt worried…’Just look at my head! Others have hair that is brown, blonde and flat, How can I make MY hair look like that?’ Reggie Red tells the story of a little girl who discovers that beauty is far more than what you see on the outside.
Lindsay Oesterritter provides a crash course in the most accessible methods of alternative firing with minimal equipment in Mastering Kilns and Firing.