Category: vintage love

Studio Peek

my studio wall of inspiration and work in progress

my studio wall of inspiration and work in progress

Today I thought I’d share a little peek into my work space. I decided it was time to refresh the wall in front of my work table – I wanted to have a look at some of the ink paintings I’ve been working on, and also my new postcards from Sou Sou of artwork by Katsuji Wakisaka. I also put up my new little marimekko gift cards- I love how they’re printed on the front and back with bright and graphic images. The envelopes were really nice too- patterned in bold colours on the inside, white on the outside. The fabulous pencil sketch of a moose is by my 7 yr old, as is the lily pad lake drawing beside it- both inspired by our trip to Algonquin (we saw a moose!) I also took a pic of my messy work table… sigh.

my messy worktable and fabulous apron- thrifted- it's an inuit screen print!

my messy worktable and fabulous apron- thrifted- it’s an inuit screen print!

I’m loving having a set up for painting- I just skiddle up here whenever I have a moment and pick up a paintbrush- it’s working for me. However the whole concept of cleaning up and organazizing is not really happening at the moment.. one day! Check out my amazing work apron… I got it years ago at a thrift shop- it’s a screen printed inuit image by Nanogak! I have held onto it for all these years and kept it so pristine, but now I think– I should give it some life! And you know if it gets a little paint on it, c’est la vie. Also check out my new mug… LOVE this unikko colorway from this summer. Mmm tea. Now back to work!


Busy bee

julia B by kate austin

julia b by kate austin

I have neglected my blog a bit this past week, partly because i’m just working away and time flies without me even noticing, and partly because I also finally set up a facebook page! — it’s coming along! please check it out, and if you like it, “like” it! I’m working on some cards for the show this week, and this pattern is featured. I have been re-colouring some classic designs and this one is seriously doing it for me in this colorway. I would love it in a corduroy jacket, why stop there let’s make it a whole suit! And I would be very happy to flop down into a velvet covered comfy chair also in this pattern, so as to be completely camouflaged while drawing in my linen sketchbook (with this pattern on the cover, of course!) Pure spring bliss!

Book Love


I’m totally dependent on my extensive art& design book collection for inspiration and motivation. I wanted to share some of my favourites ici– just thought they might inspire and motivate others as well, and I love to spread the love!

Today’s gem was a very random find in the excellent Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. The bookshop there is worth the visit- but the museum is also totally one of the best anywhere. Never disappointed at the CCA.

This cover caught my eye and pulled me in- the endpapers are amazing!- I had never heard of this Italian designer- ceramics and textiles- fabulous midcentury work. It’s a gorgeous book- textile cover, beautiful big reproductions throughout –all in glorious colour of course. Here are a few snippets for you to enjoy…





mas flores

navy petra by kate austin designs

navy petra by kate austin designs

We are still experiencing the deep freeze here, so the wishful thinking flower explosions keep coming out of my head and into new patterns. I love a flowery scarf- in a soft cotton- worn as a headscarf, or around my neck. Lately I’ve been loving wearing furoshiki – especially this one by super designer Lucinda Newton-Dunn. I’m picturing my new floral pattern in the furoshiki format- a bit bigger than a kerchief, enough to be able to wrap myself up in flowers and forget about the windchill factor for a moment!

here are a couple of other colorways I’m loving right now…

spring petra by kate austin designs

spring petra by kate austin designs

yellow petra by kate austin designs

yellow petra by kate austin designs



Keeping Busy

jaybird oven mitts

jaybird oven mitts

thought i’d post a few of the things i have been sewing lately, with some of my own fabric designs. This one is called jaybird and you can find it here. i got some very nifty high tech quilt batten that’s thermo insulated – perfect for shopping bags and oven mitts! It’s from PurlSoho and you can get it here. The first thing i made was these connected mitts. I modelled them on a set we got on a long ago trip to Prague, from a great little screenprinting business quite a lot like ruckus- now nowhere to be found unfortunately. The connected oven mitt is one of the handier items in the kitchen- hangs over the oven door, ready to go at a moments notice, protects your arms too with the middle bit and looks great to boot!!! This set is for a good friend. I quilted it down the middle just in case, but I dont think it is totally necessary- just adds a bit of quirk. I’m really happy with the way this one turned out.  Now to make some more!

Barrie VV


Oh Barrie VV, you never disappoint. My once a year stop always ALWAYS proves worthwhile. Today was no exception. And there was a special surprise extra fantastic cosmic moment even! I complimented the woman at the checkout on her lovely brooch- asked if it was ceramic- and she said “I have no idea- you can have it!” And gave it to me- just like that! It’s a gorgeous little ceramic dogwood flower- and I love it! It was her last day of work- they were having a big 50% all clothing sale- and I guess she was just feeling generous. So nice. I also got some great cups for the knit cafeand a super teapot -also for the cafe though I am pretty tempted to keep this one it’s in such perfect shape-

And we got some great toys including this one from 70s fisher price- loved the colours, kids love the game!



Diamonds are this girls best friend


This is one of my all time fave fabric finds- one which I don’t totally understand. I’m not a huge fan of forest green and yet throw it in with the primaries, black and white, and brown and suddenly it makes sense to me! Flowery gold overlay? Sign me up! Plus it’s a really fine cotton- lovely and soft. One of the flags that hangs on the bunting on our porch is made from this fabric and it makes me happy to see it every day. Go figure!