Clever Bastards.co.nz

I am a huge out-loud and proud fan of New Zealand design. I love the Kiwi design perspective, it feels uncluttered and free to be innovative often with its heart in sustainability. So we are uber-uber proud to be included on the Clever Bastards website - a site profiling the best of NZ art & design.

Paul Kayser and his team at Clever Bastards have passionately built an unpretentious, 'kiwi-as' online home for NZ creativity aiming to utilise the internet to allow New Zealanders to do what we were always best at: talking to our neighbours, meeting strangers, sharing a yarn and sometimes doing business.

And now they are sharing their love for NZ and Kiwi design to support Christchurch by running an online art & design auction, including a set of 4 signed books from us. All proceeds from this auction are going to the Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.

This is a personal favourite of mine - The Tio chair from Nathan Goldsworthy, Concsious design. It's already sitting in my 'dream' lounge and gives me great pleasure when I think about it (and it's just a chair!)


On our bookshelf ~ Love

I had the idea to start a regular blog feature on my most loved books for anyone curious about what's on our bookshelf. It's a good chance for me to rave about my favourite books (which I love to do) and they so often inspire me when I am creating our own books.

First up is......

Love, by Lowell A Siff / Gian Berto Vanni

I LOVE this Book. Love the story, love the uber clever design and production, love that it was first published in 1964 and it is still relevant and beautiful today. (These qualities are the very things I hope I am able to inject into our books, and I really hope that one day I too will be able to create such a master work. Cross fingers)

It is a simple, poetic story about an unliked orphaned girl. For me it's 'break your heart open' kind of poetry and made me weep when I first read it. It broke my heart and filled it up all at the same time!

Each page is vibrantly coloured and uniquely die-cut with strips, different shaped pages and peepholes that reveal more of the story as you look through.

Share the Love: It's nice to know you can still get 'LOVE'. Bookstores are still stocking it (you may need to order it in though) and it is available online from sites like fishpond and amazon.


{You} inspire me

Dear Linden. You have been inspiring me since before you were born when I saw your sweet wide eyed face standing in a tree - you looked about seven. I pinch myself when I see that face appearing before me more and more each day.

I love that you are always the first to hug a new or old friend. 
I love that you say "love you" when you see me thinking it.
I love the abundance of joy and life that leaks from your eyes.
I love that when I said something less than kind to Daddy you told me to stop it.
I love your laugh and amazing sense of humour.
I love that your favourite song is by Marilyn Manson.
I love that every night when you look out the window you hope to see fireworks, but are satisfied by the moon.
I love that the things to love about you are endless - and you're only just turning two. 
 But most of all, I love that you inspire me everyday with the clarity of your being. 

I have one simple wish for my role as your mummy... that I never muddy your beautiful clarity and that I provide you a fertile ground for you to conjure your wildest dreams so that you may take flight in this wonderful world knowing and being who you really are.

"And if others ever say you're a dreamer, just keep dreaming...never stop. Then turn your dreams into reality and swim all the way to the top!"

The privilage of knowing you, calls me to me.
Happy 2nd Birthday (for this Sunday), our sweet hearted boy.

What’s in the trunk?

When expressing myself creatively I tend to use words. Why then, when it comes to blogging, do I suddenly feel the urge to be an artist - drawing pictures and what not? It’s a curious thing given - a) words are my preference, and b) I have clearly forgotten how to be an artist. (As Picasso said "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist as we grow up.")

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this this morning and have concluded it has nothing to do with wanting to be an artist. And it’s got nothing to do with choosing blog content either. It’s got to do with what’s in your trunk. My trunk, amongst other things, has got drawings in it: pictures, sketches, half-realised cartoons, and visual jokes that have been (and continue to be) chucked 'in there' for lack of a better home. These ideas, like all trapped things, yearn for freedom and, in blogging, it seems my questionable artistic abilities have spied an opportunity to be seen and heard. I couldn’t stop them if I tried.


Pitchfork and Hose

Here's a quirky wee story of Mark's I'd like to share. It tickles my fancy...


It all started the morning Pitchfork called Hose a tube.

"I'm not a tube!" said Hose through its shiny new packaging, "I'm a hose!"

"No you're not," said Pitchfork. "You're a tube."

"Rubbish! I'm a hose. Look! It says so right here."

Some of the smaller tools muttered their agreement. The words 'Garden Hose' were printed clearly for all to read.

"I don't care what your packaging says," said Pitchfork.

"Then what about this receipt. It says I'm a hose too."

"I don't care what the paperwork says either."

Hose was getting really uptight. "Okay, how do you explain gardener Jim then. He came into the shop and asked where the hoses were and the sales assistant pointed him in my direction. She called me a hose and so did he and he would know: he's a gardener!"

"Just because other people say you're a hose, doesn't mean you are a hose." Said Pitchfork pointedly.

“And just because you say I’m a tube doesn’t make me a tube either.” Hose said wryly.

“Hey! That’s pretty smart - for a tube.” Pitchfork jested.

"Stop saying that!" Hose shouted indignantly.

"Sorry,” said Pitchfork unconvincingly, “I just have a thing about things not being the thing they think they are.”

Hose was outraged "Well if I'm no hose, then you’re no pitchfork. Look at you, all rusty and dirty and old! There's nothing to tell me you're a pitchfork but your own word for it. You don't even have a label!"

"Uh, no, Pitchfork is a pitchfork alright," Pail pitched in. “Just like all the other things in here are what they say they are. Except for you, that is.”

"How come! Who says?" Hose felt bewildered.

The tools fell silent.

"I could tell you what makes me a pitchfork," said Pitchfork. "But it wouldn't mean anything to you. It’s really something you have to work out for yourself."

"Oh, how convenient," said Hose sarcastically.

The sound of footsteps could be heard coming down the garden path.

"Look," whispered Hose after the footsteps had passed by. "I'm sure it's fun to play around with new guy and all but just tell me what makes you a pitchfork, and you a hammer, and you 50 Joule, remote capable electric fence energizer and let's be done with it."

"Okay," said Pitchfork, “We'll each tell you what makes us what we are, if you tell us what makes you a hose."

"Fine," Hose stammered, "It's like… ummm. I'm a hose because... " But Hose couldn't think what made it a hose. It was still in its packaging.

"Okay," Axe cut in, "That's about enough. We’ve all been there. It’s not really very nice to be teased for thinking you are something you’re not."

"What's that supposed to mean!" lashed the hose.

Just then the door to the shed flew open and the Jim the gardener walked in. He reached upward, pulled Hose from the shelf, and tore open the packaging.

"No!" shouted Hose as Jim the gardener threw the packaging and receipt into the rubbish bin. "That's my proof!" But Jim the gardener paid no attention to Hose's protests. Walking outside, he held tight to one end and threw hose up into the air.

"Help," cried hose "I'm unravelling!"

"Congratulations!" called Pitchfork from the shed,

"What do you mean congratulations! " Hose was exasperated.

"Oh, don't worry," Pitchfork continued casually, "it'll all be over soon."

"What will be over?" yelled Hose.

"Your life as a tube."

"I'm not a bloody tube!" Hose writhed on the ground as Jim the gardener dragged it across the grass and connected it to the faucet. "I'm aaaaaaaahhh..." Hose let out a long sigh as Jim the gardener turned the tap on.

"Yes," chuckled Pitchfork. “Now, you’re a hose."


Hope you're having a chipper thursday. Rowan



Mark's first post

I'm a writer. Like to write. Write all the time. Don't draw so much. Bad drawer. Hardly draw at all. Why then? Write first post? No. Draw first post. Yes!


Baa Baa gets first rave review!

John McIntyre from The Children's Bookshop gave Baa Baa a fantastic first review on National Radio, saying Baa Baa is a triumph! "Everyone I have shown it to has absolutely laughed out loud" he said. Listen to the full review below ...

Baa Baa made us laugh, It's great to know others are chuckling too!


We are ready for launch

Our dreamboat is now ready for her maiden sail. We have new books, a new name, an ALL NEW WEBSITE and BLOG -  its all very exciting. Welcome aboard!

Page 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8