Creative Showcase - Concrete & Honey

It's no secret that we are big fans of stylist, photographer, craft extraordinaire Nicola of Concrete & Honey. From baking to flower arranging, paper craft to crotchet, it seems there is nothing this clever lady can't do...

Since launching her popular blog in 2009, Nicola has been sharing her creative ideas with her avid followers, inspiring them with clever party ideas, gorgeous baking, beautiful flower arranging and her crisp styling ideas for the home. Nicola now offers her eye for style and her photographic skills to other up-and-coming brands, helping them to share their vision with her signature clean aesthetic.

We asked Nicola a few questions about what inspires her...
What is your background?
It's been a long and colourful pathway. I studied Economics and majored in Industrial Relations and Psychology. I then started a Nursing degree while working for an Industrial Relations Lawyer before moving to a big bank and spending my weekends studying Design and Mixed Media at the International School of Colour & Design, and correspondence courses in Journalism and Floristry. Hence my Iove for words, flowers, colour & design.

I've worked full time in Sydney and London in Financial Services for the past 15 years with a lot of travel in between. In need of a creative outlet I started my blog Concrete & Honey in Jan 2009 and started stitching garlands and making dot artworks large and small soon after for my Etsy shop.

When I was on maternity leave last year I met a lot of clever mums and small business creatives via Instagram. Having this time out of the office created the space for the idea of Styling & Photography for growing little businesses to bloom.

I discovered a little too late in the game that my dream job would be interior styling, but thanks to Instagram, it's become possible to share and interact with a network of like minded creatives and build a portfolio of sorts at the same time.

At the moment I'm a full time working mum and I style & photograph on weekends. Requests to design and photograph kids rooms and photograph babies and kids parties have also come my way, which is really exciting and I look forward to seeing what other opportunities 2015 brings.

What do you love most about what you do?
The creative process. I never knew what that meant, but once I get started, I stop thinking and arrange and re-arrange until I've created the most beautiful scene possible ready to shoot.

I never know quite how it will turn out, I just need to get started and see what happens.

What inspired you to get into styling and photography?
My love for styling and beautiful things. Photography is a way to capture them.

I also get to play with lots of beautiful products and really enjoy supporting small businesses, mums and makers by providing a service that shows off their products in a way that makes them really shine.

What has been your favourite space to style to date?
Since having a baby, I have a new found love for little ones spaces (and people tend not to hold back like you would in a grown up space).

Speaking of which, I am working on a bedroom makeover for Mr and I, so stay tuned.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A hairdresser or a truck driver. I didn't know styling existed.

Where is your favourite place to shop for kids?
Online in the global marketplace. My favourite brands are Pure Baby, Boramiri, Rock Your Baby and Atsuko et Akiko.

If you were to make the ultimate ice cream what flavour would it be?
I thought I'd do you a collage (which I do pretty obsessively and have scrapbooks full of!). The flavour is passionfruit, French pastry with strawberries and crunchy bits of macaron in the shape of my all time favourite Weiss bar.

19 Jan 2015
creative showcase

Tropicana with Esperanza Moya

Take a trip to a time when the pineapple was sweeter, palm trees were taller and rock music ruled the airwaves. Yes, just take one look at these gorgeous photographs from Esperanza Moya and you will feel as if you have stepped right into the nineteen seventies...

Esperanza Moya is a Spanish photographer based in Barcelona. She shoots for a variety of magazines including Vogue Kids and Harper’s Bazaar. This collection of images was put together for Yo Dona magazine.

We are in awe of her understanding of light and how she manages to capture the perfect mood aesthetic in each of her campaigns.

Putting the average Instagram filter to shame, the retro yellow-film effect that has been applied evokes a sense of nostalgia and recollection. Oh how we want to go back…

The off-beat crops and framing make these images all the more interesting to look at too.

To see more photography work from Esperanza Moya, head over to her website.

16 Jan 2015
tropicana
photography

Modern Day Wonder Woman @curated_by

Because girls are superheros too. Like for real. And it’s all the more fun when you can add some wings, feathers and a superhero crown. Just so people don’t forget who we really are. You know.. the fairy godmother; the make it happen lady; always with a smile on our face (sometimes with a martini in the hand); the first to wake up and last to go to bed; the make pancakes on a Friday night lady when all you want to do is watch some bad reality TV; the dance to Taylor Swift album type on demand anytime/anywhere with my babes (ok, Taylor is actually my hero right now so this is all me guys); the get to 3 different drop off points in the morning and successfully get a soy latte for oneself all by 8.30am (#BOOM). I am surprised we are not an urban myth actually...

So this is to celebrate each of us. And how we really should be dressing every day to remind everyone just how awesome we are #evenwiththelackofsleepandnewwrinkles #desperatelyneedapeel #yikeshashtagsdontworkhere #oksoineedsleeptooigetit
P.S She actually wore this to the supermarket.
Best. Outfit. Ever.

Vintage Wonderwoman Outfit and Crown from www.bellaandlace.com.au.

Follow Renata on IG @curated_by and subscribe at www.curatedby.co.
Follow Bella and Lace on IG @bella_and_lace.

11 Jan 2015
curated by
contributor
photography

We Are Taking A Little Break...

Happy Holidays

Hello folks, it has been a very busy year for us so we have decided to take a two week break to recharge and prepare for the year ahead. We hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas and we look forward to gathering more goodness to share with you in 2015! Till then...

29 Dec 2014
christmas

Behind the Scenes

Wanda Kujacz is an amazing French multi media artist based out of Paris. She has a wonderful imagination and loves telling stories. On a recent shoot she gave a great gift to the talented (and very lucky) Ganaëlle Glume from Mon Bopetit Monde. Wanda invited Ganaëlle to shoot the behind the scenes images. With such gorgeous children, an imaginative fairytale wardrobe and a stunning back drop it really did look like a magical experience for all involved...

See more of the stunning behind the scenes images here.

15 Dec 2014
photography
christmas

A Glorious Day

This Glorious Days shoot by Ulla Nyeman for Papier Mache is nothing short of glorious...

Bushy eyebrows teamed with quirky accessories like bowties, leg-warmers and eye masks are just some of the details that leave you feeling completely intrigued by the gorgeous black and white setting. Where have they been, or more importantly where are they going next, and can we come?

Ulla Nyeman is a very talented and passionate photographer from Denmark, now residing in the UK. Over the years she has undertaken lots of interesting jobs and shoots of all shapes and sizes in all sorts of countries. You can see more of her work here.

14 Dec 2014
night-time
photography

Introducing... @curated_by

We are very excited to welcome our newest Instagram contributor to the Little Gatherer gang... The amazing Renata aka @curated_by! With a penchant for light, colour and all things beautiful, Renata spends her days capturing these little moments with her signature touch of quirk. There is something special about her images that makes them almost surreal, anyone who can make a girl with donuts for eyes look like a high fashion shot has got some serious talent! Once you see her beautiful images we know you will be just as excited as we are...

A mother of three beautiful girls, Renata has always been obsessed with Fashion. She recalls spending her younger years saving her pennies for the ultimate pair of RM William Boots or the latest Vogue, while her friends were saving for teen magazines and stationary. Music was also high on her list, weekends were spent with older cousins in the front row at rock concerts, decked out in the exact RH William Boots she spent six months saving for, a Suede skirt and ripped up band Tee. "Nothing much has really changed when I think about it, except now a babysitter is involved and recovery time is a week minimum."

Starting out her career in Fashion Business Consulting, Renata soon realised that her true passion was to work for the fashion brands themselves. This change led her to work for an amazing range of fashion houses both in Australia and abroad, including the likes of The Corner Shop, Alexander Wang, Lanvin, Dries Van Noten and Kenzo.

"This experience changed my life. It made me realize that you must continue to push yourself, learn, live and LOVE! I met a beautiful group of humans along the way, we are all still the greatest of friends and inspire and create new things every week."

After the birth of her third daughter, Renata started freelancing. It was during this time that she started Curated By, a role that has allowed her the freedom to create on her own terms while at the same time explore her love of fashion, art and interiors. It didn't take long for her beautiful imagery to get noticed and she was soon collaborating on shoots with various fashion and interiors brands, and was asked to become a regular contributor to La Petite Magazine. As they say... The rest is history!

Living her life with a youthful spirit, Renata's sense of freedom and adventure can be seen in her stunning images. At the very beginning she imagined her dream role, something she thought couldn't even exist in this world, but her positivity and can do attitude has seen her do just that... "Anything is possible. You just have to fight for it if you want it! I think this is reflected in my images somewhat too... they slightly push the boundaries, but in a beautiful way that’s still feminine and soft." Well we for one cannot wait to see the beautiful images she will share with us on the Little Gatherer blog!

We caught up with Renata to find out more about her stunning images and what inspires them...
What inspired you to start Curated By?
I always knew I wanted to have my own brand but I wasn’t about to start sewing with a needle and a thread or open a traditional bricks and mortar business that required me to be somewhere most of my week. It had to be flexible and I had to maintain my freedom. And I wanted to be able to catch up for a coffee with my girlfriends whenever I wanted. I never thought it was possible that something like this could exist right? I mean basically I needed to win the lotto!

I still dreamt of something for myself but I just couldn’t articulate nor express what that was. Falling pregnant with Mila was the blessing I needed so desperately to shift my perspective and make a change once and for all for the better. Don’t be fooled I worked up until the day I had Mila, delivered her and then went straight back to work with her in my arms in the office breast feeding and talking spring summer collections. So change didn’t come easy. Curated by began as a way to continue to be creative whilst finding my feet with now 3 kiddies on a very short term break.

Exploring my personal style from Fashion, Kids, Home and Lifestyle further and without boundaries of sales targets, budgets and constraints of someone else’s business somehow it grew quickly and I was beyond excited when I reached 100 followers I thought this is CRAZY! Fast forward only a couple of months and I was collaborating with designers, local and international, in both kids fashion and interiors as well I was asked to contribute to La Petite Magazine which cemented that this was a really big deal kind of corner I had just turned. It is now a full time business and I have the freedom to raise my baby girl without giving up my creative passion (and sanity!) along the way.

Some of my amazing clients have included Gardner and the Gang, G Nancy, The Minimalist Store, Bobo Choses, Popupshop and Sons and Daughters Eyewear to name a few. Currently I am working on a campaign brand launch for a new Australian Children’s Label. Its an exceptionally exciting time as kids fashion is such a fresh industry from the perspective of blogging, social media and imagery. So it’s great to be a part of this shift and to deliver something innovative and create original content.

But my love for interiors is an equally deserving participant in this journey. Styling and photographing up and coming innovative products from around the globe is a dream come true. When brands such as Playtype contact you to shoot their product, I have to say I truly feel as though I have won the lotto after all! And in return I will only keep striving to better my skills and delivery. I don’t want this journey to end!

What do you love most about what you do?
The freedom. Choosing projects that interest me and only working with people and brands I love every single day. I have total control about what I do and when I do it. This for me is worth more than words can relay. Meeting interesting and like-minded creatives has been the biggest joy also. Over social media but even more so in real life too! The world definitely connects the right people together and for that I am grateful. I have met a handful of woman via Instagram that I definitely know are friends for life now.

Every day is 100% creative. Searching for locations, sourcing props, editing images, concept development. The possibilities are endless and exploration captures my adventurous heart. Photography has been a surprise love. It was originally all about the styling and finding new fresh labels to work with. My natural skill sets gravitate on this platform quite comfortably. Photography was secondary.

However I realised that you do need both and I am learning quickly about the technical side of things and have been taken aback as to how much I am enjoying both sides of producing an image. That’s the thing with life and choices, you open one door sure one door closes but another 1000 open! You just don’t know where your life can take you so have an open mind and heart and work hard at what you love!

What inspires your images?
My friends I have to say firstly. I am very lucky to be surrounded by pretty creative people who are all doing such incredible things. We are all about the same age and to constantly see them pushing themselves harder makes me want to continue to better myself firstly as a person and then through my work.

For me the thrill is pushing the boundaries and trying something different. Taking an amazing photo that is beautiful but emotional and fresh excites me so trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone. I have a long way to go for sure, but you have to try. And work for it.

Where are your favorite places to shop for kids?
I have so many wonderful friends in the industry with great online stores it would be impossible to choose some favorites as there are so many! But if I have to choose, Four Monkeys is up there as are Minibots, Stars in a Jar, My Messy Room and of course Kido Store. They have you covered with their own personal twist on various trends and new brands.

What did you love most about being a kid?
In hindsight, Time. There was so much time and one day felt like a week and one week felt like a month. I remember counting down to summer holidays for what seemed like forever. Now seasons come and go and years pass by and this makes me somewhat sad... time is fleeting. I wish I really had more time to spend with the girls and my husband and create! If only we didn’t need to sleep. Perhaps Edward Cullen can share some tips?

But as a child, I loved summer. The long days, the water, the beach. Having 2 ice-creams before dinner. The sound of cicadas in the evening. Sunshine. The smell of freshly cut grass on a Saturday afternoon with mum serving slices of watermelon to the kids besides the family pool. Thank goodness I am a Sydney girl, we have this kind of weather for probably 7 -8 months of the year! This is when I feel my best as a human. Warm weather speaks to my soul. Daylight saving means I have more hours in a day to shoot too which is just so much fun!

If you were to invent the ultimate ice cream, what flavour would it be?
I definitely don’t have a sweet tooth so it would have a salty base concoction such as peanut and lychee. However bring me a platter of cheese and olives any day! That’s the Croatian in me. We love our antipasto. My fridge is overflowing in all things European.

Renata will be sharing her first post with you very soon... Exciting!! In the meantime you can follow her journey over on instagram.

09 Dec 2014
creative showcase
contributor
curated by
instagram

A Sign from the Stars

When nighttime falls, oh how we love to stop and map out all the different configurations shining bright in the stars above. It is such a crazy, out-there notion to think that our personalities are all influenced by those beautiful little wonders twinkling up above...

Here we have the 12 Signs of the Zodiac as imagined by the talented photographer, Ulla Nyeman, for Papier Mache Magazine. They are all there beautifully captured with pretty colours and a perfectly serene mood… the Leo, forward and bold, even the Gemini with their split personality.

We adore every image in this shoot… but when it comes to picking a favourite we are rather biased towards our shared sign the Capricorn. Damn, just look at that doo!

02 Dec 2014
photography
night-time

I Wish I was a Princess

I Wish I Was A Princess is a curious collection of very pretty images put together by Barbara Berrada of Les Zigouis for Papier Mache Magazine...

Filled with absolutely gorgeous clothes that we cant stop pouring over, the shoot is brought to life with some fun little squiggles, which give it a very dreamy, youthful feel.

The shoot was inspired by bored little Lolita, who is on the cusp of two ages and thinking about little girls dreams… I wish I was a princess. See more over on the Papier Mache Magazine.

The shoot was inspired by bored little Lolita, who is on the cusp of two ages and thinking about little girls dreams… I wish I was a princess. See more over on the Papier Mache Magazine.

28 Nov 2014
photography
wonka

Pink Wings

This gorgeous collection of photographs looks they were shot in a sugar coated corner of the fantastic chocolate factory and styled by Mr. Willy Wonka himself...

Not far from Wonkaville, this amazing shoot for Polish children’s brand EFVVA, was put together by the quirky creative agency for children based out of Poland called, Pink Wings.

The EVVA AW/13 might be a year old now, but it still makes us feel very fine and dandy. Bright colours and jester-inspired prints, it’s hard not to feel all jacked up with happiness when you browse the images.

Photographer Paulina Kania and stylist Anastasia Borowska joined forces to create a new agency called Pink Wings, which specialises in creative content for children. They work on advertising campaigns, fashion shoots, product launches and family photography… anything really, you name it. They offer everything from creative concepts to set design, styling and photography.

To find out more about this wonderful agency and how they turn colourful dreams into realities, head over to their website… and don’t forget to hit the translate to English button (unless you speak Polish of course).

20 Nov 2014
wonka
photography

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