My Journey From Heart To Home

My Journey From Heart To Home

Journey From Heart To Home is a document of my travels from the desert heart of the USA to my coastal home in beautiful Byron Bay. I’ve always valued travel as a way of exploration, not only of the beautiful world around me but also of my inner world. That part of myself I know is my core, or my soul. As a 60s girl, I seem to be born into the realm of inner exploration! Travelling is a wonderful opportunity for me to connect and to see life for what it truly is.

The desert of the USA – Sedona through to Palm Springs has always provided inspiration for me. There’s something about the rocky landscape that captivates. I’m drawn to it, in a completely irrational way. It’s raw. It’s bold. And there’s nowhere to hide. I find I come up with the best inspiration in this kind of landscape. So many books have been born there! It eeks out the best parts of what’s going on inside – and I relish these times. I tend to travel to the desert on my own – just me, myself, I and the land around me.  Indigenous cultures have always valued the heart beat of the land. They know the land speaks to them – it provides a pathway; a kind of road map for life. A connection to the heart. This is what I experience when I’m in the desert – so any opportunity I can seize to spend time there, I do. Connecting to my heart is an important ritual for my life. Living life from the heart – an open heart – ensures that I’m living my truest life. A life that’s in rhythm with the universe. When you dance in unison with the universe, then you are living exactly as you are meant to.What could be more captivating, inspiring and honest than that.

What inspires me most about travelling though, is the coming home. It’s the bringing back of my best self, into my day to day life that drives me to keep exploring. Home is the place where I can be myself. Home is an expression of how I see life. Sometimes it’s only when you step out of home that you find the truest value in it. As a mother, it can be difficult to justify times spent away from my teenage angels. But I find that when I do step out, it benefits not just me, but adds a layer of experience to the kids lives also. Everyone benefits when mum spreads her wings.

I’ve created this collection with the hope to inspire you to explore the world – both your inner and your outer world. Through this collection I hope that you choose to surround yourself with the things that resonate most with who you are and how you see the world. After all, it’s the things that we surround ourselves with, it’s the stories that we build and the earth that we choose to tread that is the sum of who we are.

Working with the team in the creation of this range has been a joy and a privilege. We launched SF Bedlinen in 2012 and the range keeps growing and the story keeps building. Our story is one of individuality, of being yourself, of creating a life that fits your skin. Of being confident. Of knowing exactly who you are and how you want to live.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do….

x

 

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Garden Of A Lifetime

Garden Of A Lifetime

‘Making a garden is somehow like conducting a symphony – different plants come forward at different times and you need to think carefully about their placement in relation to each other’ Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

I love this quote, taken from the book Garden of a Lifetime by Anne Latreille and written about Cruden Farm, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s vast and inspiring garden in Victoria Australia. It’s such a lovely reminder of what it means to grow a garden – and how, at the heart of it all gardening requires a certain kind of rhythm for the plants to flourish to their full potential…

From a practical perspective, it is simply the thoughtful arrangement of plants in a space that makes for a harmonious garden. When I look outside at my own little patch, I love to imagine that my plants are all dancing in rhythm and ‘coming forward’ in unison Of course, I don’t always get it right – but I find the process of trying to create a symphony is the most satisfying thing of all.

Small Offerings

Small Offerings

 

When growing up, I’d leave my city home every summer to spend the school holidays in the countryside with my Nan and Pop. Nothing much happened in the little town where they lived, and so time passed slowly, punctuated by the small rituals of their daily routines.

Hot hazy days were filled with simple practices that, for the most part, revolved around caring for home and family. For Pop that meant tending the vegetable garden and ‘keep his grass down’. For Nan it was time spent at her old Singer sewing machine and cooking in the kitchen. Hours went by watching Nan sew my Barbie doll’s new wardrobe or pottering around the kitchen, stewing peaches that fell from her peach tree and brewing jams and marmalades that she’d later offer as gifts to relatives on ‘visiting’ days

Although legend has it she was no gourmet, I relished observing how Nan did things in the kitchen and in turn, her teaching me how things were done. If it’s true that one’s passions are handed down through those who are passionate, then I know where my love of life (and stewed peaches and jam!) was first nurtured. ‘The only true gift is a portion of thyself’ said American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and I believe it is the precious objects of time given to you by others that makes up the sum of who you are. And although all the time in the world has not turned me into the sewing expert she once was, I do fancy myself as a bit of a gourmet in the kitchen. Or so legend has it, that is!

If The Walls In Your House Could Speak

If The Walls In Your House Could Speak

 

‘I want a house that has got over all its troubles. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life bringing up a young and inexperienced house.’ Jerome K Jerome

If the walls in your house could speak, what stories do you think they would tell?

Would they be thrilling tales cloaked with high drama and suspicion, or charming fables of love and romance? Perhaps the walls would talk of joy and celebration or the laughter and the tears that make up your life and the history of those who have come before you.

Would they be words of wisdom – words of comfort and guidance? Or are they brand new walls, just assembled and a little wet behind the ears, waiting eagerly for their story to begin?

The houses we choose to live in say so much about who we are and how we prefer to live in the world. They speak of what we need to survive – not just from a functional perspective of providing shelter for our family, but from an emotional one.

Your home is a participant in your life, not just an obersver. It should both inspire emotion and satisfy the senses. At its very best, if should reflect and support the very essence of who you are, providing you with a place to retreat from the world, a place to cast off your pretences. A backdrop on which your story can unfold!

In this way, every room in your home offers its unique emotional perspective, working to enhance the ambience of your home as a whole. The kitchen, for example, is the hub of the home. It is the engine room, ensuring your survival on the most basic of levels – we need to eat to live.

But it does so much more than just feed the hungry hordes. The kitchen brings families together. Where there is food about, there are people about, all gathering to feast and let go of the events of the day. In this way, the kitchen is the great connector. It is a place where we can communicate authentically and revive ourselves enough to move on to the next leg of the journey.

The bathroom, on the other hand, is our sanctuary. It provides us not just with a cleansing space but a place to unwind, to reconnect with our souls and our hearts. The ritual of bathing purifies the spirit and calms the inner self. The act of sloughing away the residue of daily life helps us to feel renewed and ready to take on whatever life throws our way.

If you think about your home as having a kind of heartbeat of its own, then when renovating and decorating it makes sense to address your choices and the assemblage of things, not just from a practical point of view, but from an emotional one.

For it is the feeling in a house, created as a result of the stories unfolding there, which will best convey the story of your life so far.

By Shannon Fricke

Originally published in Inside Out magazine

This Weekend

This Weekend

 

This Weekend…

In the work that I do, I rarely look back – it seems that when it comes to design and living (as in life) – the here and now and the trends going forward become the focus… But, every now and then, when I’m feeling a little nostalgic, I’ll go back through my past work; possibly as a way of reminding myself how far I’ve come… By chance today, I opened a copy of my very first book – sense of style: colour – written in 2005 whilst sitting on my bedroom floor. The writing of this book was a watershed moment for me… The first time I braved myself and declared my most inner thoughts and feelings on design and living to the world. That is, my belief in home as more than just a collection of things that we buy. But rather an emotional support structure – our heart centre – that needs to be tended in the image of our truest self… Upon opening the book today – my eye was drawn to one paragraph. And of course, it’s the most important paragraph of all, for me, right now. I thought I’d share it with you…

‘I believe that the simplest principles of living provide the best instruction. Life teaches us that to develop a relationship of any kind – whether with a person, or even with food, or in this case with your personal colour palette – you must begin by simply being open to the possibility of it. I know this is tricky in this day and age when we allow ourselves such small increments of time for carrying out our daily tasks. But, it’s impossible to connect with anything if you don’t give it exactly that – time.’

‘Find a quiet part of the world – this could mean lounging in your living room, sitting in the park or lying on the beach and just – STOP. Live in the moment for a second. Have a cup of tea to give yourself an excuse to just be still. You’ll enjoy it. I promise. Then look at and absorb the wonderful colour combinations that exist around you. Engage your ‘third eye’ and simply think, see and feel. Reconnect with your senses.’

‘Understanding colour is, to some degree, a process of enlightenment. Remember, that colour is not a mystery – it’s always available to you, it’s there everyday, there are beautiful combinations in every corner of your world. Becoming aware of them is the first step on your journey towards forming a relationship with colour.’

And as with colour. So with life.

Lessons in Creative Living…

Lessons in Creative Living…

 

LESSON 1 – Finding Your Imagination…

Sometimes good things can come from doing nothing, from just being still and allowing the mind to wander. From daydreaming… I find, it’s the ideal way to begin any kind of creative journey…

Freeing yourself from the monotony of day-to-day living and letting your imagination take you where it pleases is one of the most effective ways to resolve what you need and desire from life. How is it possible to connect with a true sense of who you are if you don’t take the time to reflect on all aspects of how you are living? How is it possible to create a life you love living in and conjure an ambience that soothes your soul, if you don’t stop to acknowledgement the kinds of experiences and environments that make your heart sing…

In childhood, we all instinctively appreciate the benefits that come when we use our imaginations. By daydreaming, creating our own alternative worlds, we learn about the complexity of relationships and the environment in which we live. It’s how we begin to understand our basic emotions, what makes us happy and sad.

Have you ever observed children when they are building their own private world? Whether it’s a wooden cubby house, or simply a sheet thrown over a chair, their process of creating and inhabiting secret spaces is simple and pure – the name of the game, although they are possibly not conscious of it, is simply to nurture the spirit. How wonderful to possess the inner freedom to create a world that truly reflects the needs of your soul…

Alas, as we grow into adults many of us lose the capacity to dream. Purpose takes over from play. The drive for success takes over from experimentation. But is it ever too late to begin again?

So today, take the time to stop, to daydream – and remember the things that nurutre your spirit. That’s the first step to creative living. Once you create the space in your heart and mind you’ll be amazed at what creative thoughts bound forth…

An Hour Of Power

 

A couple of weeks back we had a visit at the Farm from Lyndall Stewart. Lyndall is creating gorgeous terrariums and is in the process of transitioning from creative pastime to creative business. Lyndall had a condensed Styling 101 and Building Your Brand workshop in one morning.

It was an Hour of Power!
Since then, we received an email from Lyndall that I thought may inspire those of you looking at taking a creative leap…
“I’ve been meaning to write to you since my return from Bangalow a few weeks ago to tell you how very much I appreciated your time and tea. Your advice was so helpful – in particular, you were great at giving me the confidence to say that my creativity is valuable and there’s nothing wrong with earning a living from it!

So, in that vein I’m happy to tell you that today I placed my very first selection of terrariums on consignment at The Design Hunter! I had some lovely photos done as we discussed, and I kept the cost down by having them done at home by a specialist food photographer and styling them myself.”

Love hearing these stories of women taking taking control of their mojo!

Taking The Leap

Taking The Leap

 


I’m lucky to be surrounded by a lot of women in my life… Women of all sorts…. Young, old, mothers, daughters, sisters, careerists, creatives, homemakers, tall, short, blonde, brunette… And for every woman that I meet, in whatever shape or size – I come away from the experience learning something… Of being inspired in some way… You see, every woman has a tale to tell. The tale of love, of pain, of joy, of tears, of adventure, of longing, of hope, of dreams… Women are inspiring – the way we wear our lives so close to the skin. This is what makes us who we are. This is what makes us unique.

I’m lucky in the work that I do – that I hear the unique stories of women on a daily basis. The workshops that I run give me an insiders view into what drives us as a collective – and what inhibits us. What are our most common fears. And what’s stopping us from moving ahead in our lives and inparticular, our careers… Last week, I was lucky to meet so many gorgeous women who came to Adairs for the book signings. Each woman told me her story. Of course, the series of events were different for every one. But there was a thread of similarity that underpinned every tale. That similarity was, in fact, a fear. The fear of taking the leap.

It was Kylie (yes, Kylie, this is for you!) – whom I met last week at a signing – that laid it out so beautifully. I mother with young children, Kylie has spent the last few years dabbling in painting, in sewing and a little interior design. She’s a creative woman. A woman who loves and who needs to express her true self on a daily basis – and uses these mediums as her way of finding her daily creative. But Kylie is at a crossroads. The kids are growing up. She senses that they have edged a little closer to living their own lives. And the time has come to ‘do’ something with her talents. She came to me to find some clarity on how she may be able to move forward. What could she do with these skills that she’s accrued? What does she really have to offer? Is it really possible to make money from a creative career? These questions keep spinning around in her head, so much so, that she finds she spends day after day walking around in a metaphorical circle! Until, the thought of it all becomes too much and she retreats back into her regular routine – with a fear that she might never work it out… From there, a crisis of confidence ensues – she contemplates giving it all up. And the cycle begins again.

Ring a bell anyone? The story of Kylie is the story of so many of us. It seems that we women are all underpinned with a similar tale to tell.  How do we turn what we love to do creatively, into what we love to do for a living. And more importantly, how do we build our confidence and push through our fears…

My advice to Kylie was simple. She needed to take a leap of faith. And to take that leap of faith – she needed to change her internal dialogue. So many women are scared to take the leap of faith – trusting their talents and backing themselves 100%. I don’t know what the barrier is for us. Perhaps it’s education. Perhaps it’s upbringing. Perhaps it’s a mix of a lot of things that holds us back. But when it comes down to it – taking a leap is the only way forward. Whenever I’m at a crossroads – questioning my ability to make something happen – I try and imagine myself at 80 years of age. Looking back over my life. Over the choices that I’ve made. At the opportunities I didn’t take. I know – that at 80 – the mountain will look like a very small molehill – and I’ll be kicking myself at not – at the very least – trying to move towards turning my dreams into a reality. The key is understanding this one key point – that every successful creative struggles with their fears. That, although the process becomes easier when you gain more experience and confidence – we still question our abilities. The difference is this. That everyday, regardless of fear – we take a leap of faith – in ourselves. We do it anyway. We throw ourselves out on the metaphorical edge – we expose ourselves to the market. We cross fingers that our decisions are well received. We take the wins. We accept the losses. And we wake to find another day. Hopefully, not too battle scarred! And with a smile…

Today, in your life – take the leap of faith you need to help you move towards realizing your dreams. It can be a small leap (more of a hop perhaps!) – but take action. Imagine yourself at 80. And remember, the motto – no regrets…

It’s Not What You Do, It’s Why You Do It…

It’s Not What You Do, It’s Why You Do It…

 

I love working with people – creative people inparticular. What’s inspiring about creatives, is that they are never short of ideas. Ideas make the world go around; they inspire innovation, they inspire beauty and a better way to do things. So I was very excited to have recently been approached by a gorgeous creative woman who asked me if I would work with her on an idea she had for a business. A creative business. A dream that she wanted to turn from an idea into a living, breathing reality. Turning creativity into a business isn’t an easy task. It takes not only confidence that the idea will fly, but also the structure and impetus to ensure that the idea will survive. Being creative is a beautiful thing. I’m a big supporter of it… When we create, we are offered an opportunity to connect with a true sense of ourself – creativity is an honesty, a truth. To be creative, it’s important to feel free. To feel uninhibited so that you can connect with the deepest, most reflective part of yourself. Running a creative business, on the other hand, requires a completely different set of skills and for most of us creatives, those skills aren’t innate – they need to be taught… And so, I’ve been having a hoot of a time, working with my client to bring brand to life. Our first mission was to work on her story. As with all creativity – behind every great brand resides a story. The story consists of the intention of the brand. Where was it seeded, how it grew, flowered and began to take shape. Story consists of the why – not the what or the hows. At the heart of every great brand lies a story. I like to think that my brand is the story of freedom – of whimsy, of individuality and spirit. When creating my brand, story was my first pit stop. And even though my brand is still in its infancy – story was the most important place to start. You see, once your story is in place – then you have a foundation to build a business, one layer at a time. My clients brand was just an idea. Now it’s a story. Next it will have a structure. A path to follow. And one step at a time, will build into a business that flies… I never get tired of watching it happen…

Classics Last Forever….

Classics Last Forever….

Going back through old photographs I came across this pic of my lounge room nook in my previous house in Camp Cove in Sydney. I loved this space – it was teeny tiny – but cosy and relaxing at the same time. This colour palette is such a departure from the blues and greens that surround me in at the farm – it was my first attempt at decorating and the warm tones were exactly what the doctor ordered at the time. As well as the colour palette, I’m struck that – after 20 years – two pieces of design in this room have stood the test of time… The first is the David Trubridge pendant light shade. The geometric cut outs were new and exciting when they were first released to market – and after 15 years still hold a strong space in the world of design. The second is my zinc topped Terence Conran coffee table. This coffee table is old, old, old – and from a range that Conran produced for Country Road many moons ago. I still have this table – and love it to bits… It’s classic shape and materials coupled with it’s robust construction has kept it relevant in the fleeting world of design. When it comes to design – whilst fashion is just such fun – nothing beats a design classic… Like an E-Type Jag – they are simple, sophisticated and the love lasts forever…

Mood Board Inspirations…

MoodBoard-Flowers

There’s something intensely satisfying about collecting beautiful things. To have, to hold and to keep safe something of beauty is one of life’s precious gifts. At the heart of beauty lies a kind of peace and a rhythm. When disparate, often opposing elements come together, seemingly at random, to create a new thing that inspires joy – well, what could be more heavenly than that. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is no one type of beauty that somehow supercedes all others. There are many. At the core, beauty is more than what you see. It’s what you feel when you see it. If you feel blessed, if you feel a joy – then you know there is beauty about…

I find such beauty in flowers of all kinds. The promise of new life in an opening bloom never fails to uplift. However, it’s not only new life that inspires. Following the life cycle of a flower, from blooming to dying is a poignant experience. It’s natural. It’s life. There’s such beauty in the cycle of life…

And so, today’s moodboard is about the cycle of life and the peace that’s gently held in the hands of beauty…

From Dusk ’til Dawn

The launch of a new range of Shannon Fricke bedlinen and homewares is always an exciting time… So much thought, creatiivity and toil, goes into bringing the range together – and of course, many hands make the final offering. This range, From Dusk ’til Dawn is inspired by the quiet of night time – that beautiful time when the world is still – so still, that you can hear the beating of her heart, if you listen real close. Our campaign pics have been taken by the beautiful Prue Ruscoe – such a support over the years – who always produces the most evocative work. And a big thank you to Sonya from Jatana Interiors for opening the doors of her home to us. The photographic results are stunning. Love you all…

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The Studio Is A Candy Store

 

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The loveliest thing about working in a creative industry such as the world of interiors and homewares – is that I’m able to spend my days surrounded by the most beautiful things… I remember, years ago, when I was deciding on how I would like my future work days to look – that being surrounded by beauty was high on the agenda. I figure – if I have to work to make a living, I would like to spend those work days in the company of gorgeousness. And so, it is in this spirit that I share with you a little snippet of what’s around me right now… These are our Turkish towels – all the way from across the waters – that we have stocked high in our storage cabinets. We’re so lucky here in the studio – because, not only are we selling these – but we have a few put aside for us to use in photo shoots too (one for you! one for me!)… Our latest shoot – photographed by the gorgeous Johnny Abegg (remember Johnny from our bedlinen film) – shows the towels in all the glory, used as towels but also as a table cloth in the prettiest setting up here at the farm…

Don’t you just love the prettiness of it all…

A Sneeky Peek…

 

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The countdown to the launch of our new Shannon Fricke range of gorgeousness has begun… April is kick-off for an injection of divine products that I know you guys will love – think new bedlinen pieces, towels, ceramics and candles all designed with the essence of freedom at it’s core. Our new range is warm, luscious – and, it has to be said, kinda sexy too… So, watch out gals… Your bedroom (and bathroom) will be the place to be – come April! Here’s a sneeky peek of a pic taken by the divine Ms Ruscoe and photographed at Sonya’s shed (you know the one)… Decorative perfection…

The Power of Creative Play…

 

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Whenever I’m creating a concept – whether it’s for a book, a range of products or a decorating scheme – I always play around with a mood board. If you were to witness this process you might feel that it’s a rather childish pursuit. And on the surface of it, it does appear this way! At its core, however, a mood board is one concrete way of transporting the ideas from your mind into the world – it’s about playfulness and experimentation – and tapping into this side of yourself is the first step when exploring your creative side.

The idea behind a mood board is to play around with colour, texture, form, materials and other inspirations until you find a common thread and a sense of balance on the board. It could be that the laying down of a coloured feather or piece of jute becomes the springboard to a new and exciting idea. Many times, the simple art of playing this way has helped in defining my ideas and given me a creative direction to head down… A starting point…

Take the time when you can (a rainy day like today is perfect), to sit, play and experiment with the things you have around you in this way… The very act of being quiet and at one with yourself will surely lead you to creative places you’ve never been before. And with that, a whole new creative adventure will emerge…

pics by Prue Ruscoe from How To Decorate by Shannon Fricke

Look Where We’ve Popped Up…

 

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I do get ever so excited when I see Shannon Fricke Bedlinen turning up out there in the real world… I’m always so, so, so intrigued to see what you creative souls have been up to and how you’ve integrated my gorgeous bedware with your existing spaces and bits and bobs… I was over the moon to find that we’d been mentioned on the gorgeously, stylish decor bible DESIGN SPONGE in the story they ran on Paula Kilpatrick of the lovely and inspiring Tuppenny Farm. I think Paula may just be a kindred spirit – her farm stay on Wild Duck Creek near Heathcote (about 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne) looks like just my kind of place to hole up and get the creative vibe flowing. No TV, no internet! Paradise…. A real getaway… Perfect for writing a book perhaps! Thank you so much to Paula for the mention…

If you would like to book Tuppenny Farm for a farmstay getaway – then click on the links to be redirected to Paula’s airbnb site (to book a night or two) or like her Facebook page.

These gorgeous pictures have been taking by Tara Pearce – you can find her work here 

 

Top pic: Ask Me Again Pillowcase

Middle Pic: Hedgerow Ticking Stripe cushion, Velvet Sky Euro, Flowering Trellis pillowcase, Barely There Quilt Cover and Hedgrerow Ticking Stripe Valance.

Bottom Pic: Hedgerow Ticking Stripe cushion

 

GORGEOUS…

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