Friday words and pictures

Here’s a little selection of pictures and words to brighten your Friday. Happy almost weekend!


There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

Emily Dickinson

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Spring rain
leaking through the roof
dripping from the wasps’ nest.

Matsuo Basho


When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.

Robert Frost


Here’s some more poetry and pictures: a little about Haiku, some found poetry and inspired by vintage styling.

Working Creatives: Meet Stephanie Doyle

Creativity is a huge field, with ‘creatives’ work in all sorts of pursuits. So far in our Working Creatives series we’ve met designer and photographer Clint Sutherland and radio personality Carly Portch.

This week we’re featuring marketer turned entrepreneur Stephanie Doyle. Stephanie has taken an idea, turned it a key product, designed it stylishly, manufactured locally and now it’s found in the most personal of spaces across Australia: bedrooms.

Meet…bedroom design entrepreneur Stephanie Doyle


Stephanie Doyle was a career marketer of more than 20 years. A little over a year ago she decided it was time to shake things up. She took a chance and moved in a different direction to start her own ‘bespoke bedroom design’ business, Tuft and Buttons.

Whilst her background is marketing communications, at the beginning of her career she also studied product design.

She is inspired by a passion for beautiful bedroom furniture and was disappointed by the mass market imports that have flooded the market. So she decided to fill this gap by creating Tuft and Buttons. She started with a bang too, with one of her bedheads featured on the huge home renovation show, The Block.

One year on, her goal remains the same – to design and manufacture exceptional furniture that is locally made.


Everyone should own… a beautiful, comfortable bed that is your sanctuary.

Happiness is… spending time with loved ones and listening to the happy laughter of shared memories and new adventures that are being planned.

I collect books about… travel destinations. Planning my next adventure is always exciting and turning the pages of a glossy picture book is so much more inspiring than browsing online.

I feel most creative when… I’m relaxed and spending time with my friends. I love bouncing ideas around and bringing a concept to life.

My cheap thrill is… having crispy bacon when I’m out for breakfast. This doesn’t make me a very good vegetarian, but I can’t help it. I just love it and it puts a smile on my face!

My next adventure is… to France and Italy, to explore the country-side and be inspired by traditional manufacturing methods.


Right now, I’m inspired by…. Jeffrey Alan Marks. An established, US-based interior designer, I love the way his style is fresh and contemporary yet timeless. Each project is entirely different and clearly demonstrates the personality of the client

The best gift I’ve ever given was… last week – it was a booklet of 70 love notes to my mother on her 70th birthday. Each note was handwritten and designed by different members of our family and we recounted all the quirks and traits we love about mum. She loved this gift of precious memories.

The best money I’ve ever spent was… my ticket home to Melbourne. After living in London for five years I was ready to come home and be enveloped by all my favourite things and places. It marked a defining moment in my life and the start of my next chapter as a business owner.

The best way to make a statement is... to be confident and articulate. Know yourself and back yourself – you won’t regret it!




Changing fashions…in book cover design. Six original vs current covers.

It’s wise to remember that the “perfect idea” or “perfect solution” doesn’t stay perfect forever.

The idea of what makes something ‘great’ is far from static. It changes over time – sometimes it only takes months, or a few years – but what was once the ideal becomes passé. It’s affected by everything from technology to taste to design trends.

This is really changes in ‘fashion’ – which is noticeable in areas far outside the clothing industry.

Book publishing is a prime example: Books and book jackets look extremely different now than they did even ten or twenty years ago.

You can see variations in everything from fonts to imagery to text. And of course with ‘classic’ books, their nod to the original period is notable – but still somehow more modern.

We’ve collected a few classics and pictured their original (or an early) edition against their modern counterpart. Even if some of the original jackets didn’t look so worn, you can immediately place the old versus the new.



“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” was published by the Homewood Publishing company, circa 1900. “Through The Looking Glass” was published by Donohue, circa 1904. Image sourced from Forgotten Book Marks.

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great gatsby cover




A spot of science on a surprising way to boost your creativity

exercise creativity

I’ve long been an avoider of exercise. Not because I’m not an active person, but because exercise for exercise’s sake just seemed like a waste of valuable work/reading/crafting/writing/learning/relaxing time.

But over the past few months, I’ve had a change of heart. I’m training for a 50km fundraising walk and I’m exercising at least five days a week. And I’m not just feeling the physical effects, but also the mental effects. I feel more focused, more energised, in the hours after exercising. I wondered if this was just me – a placebo effect or a way of patting myself on the head! – or whether there might be some science to it?

And it turns out, according to some exploratory scientific research, it’s likely I am actually more creative post-exercise. According to this study, immediately afterwards – and then for up to two hours afterward – subjects were judged more creative (based on the use of several tests: Figural’s tests A & B and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking). So there were immediate and residual effects to the exercise on creativity.

Does this mean all creatives should become gym-bunnies?

Not at all – it’s only an ‘exploratory’ study after all. But like with the effects of music and creativity, it does give you another creativity tool to help generate ideas should you be in need of a boost. And if you already exercise, perhaps this suggests you should schedule your most creatively demanding work challenges post a morning walk or gym visit rather than spending the first hour of your workday checking emails.

Paper art influenced by science (and vice versa) – 3 artists

I love art, I love science and I love paper. What could make for a happier Friday than when three of my favourite things collide? Here are three artists, working with paper and influenced by science. Enjoy!

Rogan Brown


Rogan Brown’s Outbreak series uses cut paper and turns it into a striking and elaborate scientific experiment. Each piece is an exploration of patterns in nature; microbes, viruses and organic shapes manifest out of the painstakingly created paper sculptures. He says in his artist’s statement that he has ‘…chosen paper as a medium because it captures perfectly that mixture of delicacy and durability that for me characterizes the natural world.’

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‘I am inspired in part by the tradition of scientific drawing and model making, and particularly the work of artist-scientists such as Ernst Haeckel. But although my approach involves careful observation and detailed “scientific” preparatory drawings these are always superseded by the work of the imagination; everything has to be refracted through the prism of the imagination, estranged and in some way transformed.’ Rogan Brown, from his website.


Matthew Shlian


Matthew Shlian sees his work as invention along with artistic exploration; he creates kinetic sculptures, an approaching born from his engineering background, which then result in three dimensional forms and drawings.

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His paper engineering work has lead to collaborations with scientists at the University of Michigan, looking at his paper structures on a nanoscale. This has resulted in visualising cell division and development.

‘Researchers see paper engineering as a metaphor for scientific principals; I see their inquiry as basis for artistic expression.’ Matthew Shlian, from his website


Lisa Nilsson


Lisa Nilsson’s Tissue Series uses ‘quilling’ to construct cross-sections of human anatomy. Slices of muscle, bone and vital organs are re-imagined in tightly rolled and shaped strips of paper. Nilsson uses a mixture of Japanese mulberry paper and gilded edges of old books, much as monks and nuns of the renaissance would have done in the same expression of craft.

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‘…I find quilling exquisitely satisfying for rendering the densely squished and lovely internal landscape of the human body in cross section.’ Lisa Nilsson, from her website.


All images copyright of the artists.


Looking for more art inspiration? Here are three artists working in imagined space, some more creating book art, and some collage artists I’ve been inspired by recently