grocery shopping 2fruit market 3fruit market 2fruit marketfruit market 5plywood milk crate with groceriesfalcon enamel prep bowls 9photo shootfalcon enamel plate 6 This week my creative intern Miss Anwyn and I have been holed up in The Spring Studio, shooting a whole new look for The Spring Shop online. Our goal was to take photos that balance clean lines and simplicity with warmth and a sense of the utility of everything I’ve collected there. It’ll be a few more days before our new imagery is fully  rolled out but I’ll be sharing tidbits on Facebook and Instagram if you’re impatient for a sneak peak!

{ 0 comments }

Brisbane Finders Keepers I was so excited to post these shots on Monday morning as I basked in the sunny after-glow of the Finders Keepers weekend… But when I flipped up my laptop lid and hit ‘refresh’ on The Spring Blog I discovered to my horror that the blog. had. died. Rats. This was the first time that something has broken on this site that was too complicated for me to fix…  Too complicated, largely, because the root cause is still a complete mystery to me. In an email weeks ago (which I barely read) my web host had announced automated PHP upgrades across all sites. I didn’t bother much about it since the only thing I know about PHP files is not to mess with them. Luckily my new friend Jess recommended the loveliest blog fixer Lis who got straight onto my web troubles and has me back online, stress free. Amazing. THANK YOU. And back to Finders Keepers. The two market days set a blistering pace of greeting, chatting, and selling to the design-savvy crowds that pack the beautiful Old Museum site. The buzz about the place is tremendous and and for all the brands its such a significant event in our calendars that even the seasoned designers (myself included) get a few butterflies in our stomachs before the doors fling open and the first rush begins. The Spring Shop stall was so busy I didn’t personally get much of a chance to explore, so my creative intern Anwyn stopped by to take these photos on the Sunday afternoon. You’ll be seeing much more of Anwyn’s work on the blog soon because we’re starting an exciting project together next week, so stay tuned for that! finders keepers Brisbane duos2Brisbane Finders Keepersfinders keepers Brisbane duosBrisbane Finders KeepersBrisbane Finders KeepersBrisbane Finders KeepersBrisbane Finders Keepers

{ 0 comments }

social media for creative entrepreneurs
I’ve been working on this behind the scenes for a while now and I’m so excited to finally share it with you all…

My good friend and personal marking guru Claire Deane and I are launching our introductory Social Media Workshop for bloggers, small business owners and creative entrepreneurs at Showroom this month!

Claire and I are both super passionate about creative entrepreneurship and help with social media strategy is the number one thing people in our community ask us for. Having both built brands on the back of social media know how far a bit of good training goes in finding success online and in the ‘real world’. We’ve designed our workshop to help demystify the various social media platforms, provide specific strategies for brands, and we’ll be sharing a lot of our personal experience to help equip creatives to craft a successful online presence of their own.

The workshop is taking place at 135 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington QLD on Saturday, July 19th from 10am – 12pm. The session will be capped at 10 participants so we can answer everyone’s questions and have plenty of time for discussion. We’ve also teamed up with photographer Mary Hillier who’ll be taking a professional head shot that each participant can use as their profile pic and on their about page.

We have a few other goodies up our sleeve that I’ll save for the workshop webpage, so if you’re in SE QLD be sure to click over and check it out!

{ 1 comment }

CANADA DAY BUTTER TARTS

by Catherine on July 1, 2014

in Recipes

butter tarts

Happy Canada Day!

Butter tarts for me will forever taste like childhood summers on the dock by Lake Simcoe. Akin to pecan pie (sort of – don’t let any of my people catch me making the comparison) this iconic dessert inspires patriotic devotion among Canadians. They’re sickly sweet and totes not paleo. They are, however, tradition so on this day of flag waving I’m super excited to share my mom’s best ever recipe for the perfect butter tarts.

butter_tarts_recipebutter tarts-1butter_tarts_recipebutter_tarts_recipebutter_tarts_recipe

Canadian Butter Tarts Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets of ready roll pastry or 24 mini tart shells, defrosted*
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup very soft butter
  • 1/2 cup corn or golden syrup
  • 1 slightly beaten egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • raisins
  • pecans (optional – I don’t include them)

* If you prefer to make your own shortcrust from scratch, my trusted recipe is over here.

Directions:

1.  Preheat your oven to 425ºF or 175ºC

2. If you can find good quality ready made tart shells, by all means use them – this recipe makes 24 mini tarts or 12 large ones. I used defrosted pastry sheets, cutting out circles with my largest round cookie cutter and rolling them out and forming them into the well of my muffin tin.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk all the filling ingredients together until smooth, leaving aside the raisins (and nuts).

4. In the bottom of each tart shell scatter a covering of raisins (approx 5 – 10 per tart, depending on how big you make them). You can also add some chopped pecans, but that’s not the way my mamma makes them.

5. Spoon the running mixture over the raisins, filling each tart shell no more than 2/3 full as they will bubble up in the oven.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the filling is set and the pastry is golden. Transfer to a cooling rack and serve at room temperature with a cup of tea or coffee.

butter_tarts_recipe

{ 1 comment }

DAYBORO

by Catherine on June 30, 2014

in The Best of Brisbane

dayborodayboro_smith_and_bartondayborodayborodayborodayborodayborodayboro

We cram our weekend into one day – the only day we have together – and try to make it twice as good. We call it #MagicMonday. It’s the best.

That’s how we came to find ourselves in Dayboro. Nestled at the foot of Mt Mee, the sleepy 1.5 streets are self-styled as the ‘town of yesteryear’. There are plenty of cafes (all but one of which is closed on Mondays) and the very Kinfolk workshop collective Smith and Barton.

If we’d been more organized we’d have chosen a walking track in the forest reserve to tackle. Instead we just wound the windows down cruised past honesty boxes, homesteads overlooking fields and valleys, Blueridge lavender farm, and a vineyard too, stopping road side to stroll down a quiet lane and soak in the rural idyll.

{ 0 comments }

FINDERS KEEPERS

by Catherine on June 17, 2014

in The Best of Brisbane

Finders Keepers Market Autumn Winter 2014 It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The Finders Keepers Autumn/Winter 2014 market is almost upon us… Mark your calendars, design loving friends, and I’ll see you there!

{ 0 comments }

TROVE

by Catherine on June 12, 2014

in The Best of Brisbane

molten store trovemolten store trovemolten store trovemolten store trovemolten store trovemolten store trovemolten store trove

My new friend Jessy unveiled her Molten Store pop up TROVE this week and I couldn’t resist making a special trip down to visit the treasures she’s collected inside. The shop itself is like a jewel box – a beautiful lux bohemian dream. TROVE opens for a month only and it’ll be gone again before you know it, so be sure to make the pilgrimage while you still can.

Molten Store pop up // 60 James St // Open 11 June –  10 July, 2014.

{ 1 comment }

THE SPRING X SHOWROOM CRAFTERNOON

by Catherine on June 9, 2014

in Showroom

the spring shop crafternoonshowroom brisbane crafternoonshowroom brisbane verandah

On Sunday I organised a bit of an experiment.

Here’s the back story. At Showroom we’re finally in the groove of running workshops every weekend. But if Mother’s Day taught us one thing it’s that on public holidays and special occasions people make other plans; we knew trying to sell tickets to sessions on the Queen’s Birthday would simply be too big an ask for our fledging marketing machine to handle.

Still, we love hosting a room full of people who’re having a great time making things… it’s what we hang out for in the shop all week. So I wondered if I put on a free event – a crafternoon –  and invited everyone following on instagram, Facebook, and our newsletter to pop by and make things with me would anyone come?

At 2pm on Sunday – the appointed start of crafternoon –  the shop was quiet and I’d convinced myself they wouldn’t. Then a pair of girls came in, and another, and another, and before I knew it we had a little group together on the back verandah, soaking in the sun with cups of tea and getting our macrame on.

We all have metrics that we use to determine how well things have (or haven’t) gone. One of the things we’re trying to differently at Showroom is change the way we think about traditional metrics – more than sales per square meter in the shop we’re turned on by the idea of experience per square meter for everyone who comes through the door (including ourselves).

By that reckoning the experiment was a ringing success and I can’t wait to do it again. It was simple but (and) for me completely charming thanks to the bright, funny women who made it rad.

{ 0 comments }

SLOW COOKED BLACK BEANS

by Catherine on June 5, 2014

in Recipes

slow cooked black beans
Months ago, Mr. Spring won a rice cooker. I can’t quite remember how he managed it, but after one trial use we got over the novelty it ended up perched on to of our fridge, collecting just. What can I say? We’re pasta people.

Then, at the peak of the maddest week when we were just launching Showroom and I wasn’t doing very well carving out the time to cook and feed myself, this bolt of inspiration hit:

A rice cooker is basically a crockpot with less settings. And even though it seems radical, that probably means it could be used to mindlessly prepare lots of things.

Confident I was on to a good thing (but in need of some reassurance) I googled ‘rice cooker recipes’ and began scrolling through the four million, seven hundred and thirty thousand results. It’s tough to be original these days.

So far, slow cooked black beans are the best rice cooker dish I’ve discovered. Anyone who’s ever cared to look knows it’s relatively difficult to find canned black beans in Australia, and anyone who’s ever tried to cook them from scratch knows how difficult it is to keep them from burning to the bottom of the pot. With the rice cooker, though, the process is painless. You just set it and forget it! Then, just about an hour later and having paid no attention to the process at all, you’re ready to start building the perfect tacos, burritos, nachos, huevos rancheros, or vegetarian stew. Brilliant!

slow cooked black beansslow cooked black beans

Recipe:

1 cup soaked black beans
1 medium onion, diced
1 – 2 garlic cloves, diced
a pinch of salt to finish

Directions:

Pour enough boiling water into the rice cooker to cover the beans by about 3 inches. Put through one or two cycles in the rice cooker, depending on your machine, until the beans are tender.

Add straight to your favourite dish or decant into a mason jar and store in the fridge.

{ 3 comments }

MAGIC MONDAY

by Catherine on June 2, 2014

in Personal Posts

magic mondaymagic monday jasmine dowling magic monday print magic mondaymagic mondaymagic mondaymagic mondaymagic monday

Magic Monday is my new thing.

The adjustment hasn’t been at all difficult. Maybe it’s because I don’t work a steady 9-5. Maybe it’s because I’ve always loved any chance at a new leaf. But what I do know for sure is that I’ve never had it in for Monday.

Now it’s the one day Mr. Spring and I have to spend away from computers, manuscripts, shops, studios, and meetings. It’s our day to linger over brunch, swim in the ocean, visit with friends, and walk the dogs together.

Sometimes other commitments push in, but we do out best to keep the best part of the day. It wasn’t until I fell in love with running my own businesses that I realised how easy it could be even for me to fall also into over-work. And it wasn’t until last week when we decided to make Magic Monday sacred that it occurred to us how simple it is to switch it off again.

{ 2 comments }