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Springing into Picnic Season

As the sun shines a bit brighter, the wattle blooms and electric blankets and ugg boots get stored away for another 6 months or so, we know that Spring is in the air (and our steps).

It’s one of my favourite seasons in Sydney. Not too hot, but not freezing. Beautiful blue skies and fresh air. So, as we begin to come out of that winter hibernation we might start to think about spending lots more time outside. Whether that means dinner on the back deck, heading to the beach or planning a few picnics in the park.

Al Fresco Style!

Don’t you agree that food always tastes a bit better when we dine al fresco? (apart from when you get actual sand in your sandwich, then…not so much!) There is something quite special about this time of year in Oz. 

Now, obviously I’m not Nigella or Donna Hay so quite often when I get a picnic together it’s nothing more that shoving a bit of cheese between two slices of bread, dragging the picnic rug (and kids) to the park and calling it a day. But when I have a bit more time, energy and inclination, I have been known to put a bit more effort into picnicking (is that even a real verb?).  

So, if you’re feeling inspired to get your picnic on,  here are a few favourite recipes to add to your repertoire…

Recipes to try...

Roasted Pumpkin

+ Feta Salad

Chop up some pumpkin in to about 2 cm cubes and roast in the oven with a bit of crushed garlic and olive oil. Meanwhile, add some baby spinach, chopped spring onion, fresh herbs of your choice, cucumber and avocado to a salad bowl. Once the pumpkin has finished roasting, throw it on top of the salad. Top with crumbled Feta (I like the marinated feta as the marinade acts as a dressing). Then to finish, sprinkle toasted pine nuts on top. Yum!

The Ultimate Sandwich

In my opinion nothing is nicer than a fresh baguette with gooey brie and juicy ripe tomatoes, crunchy lettuce and if you want to add some delicious ham, then a trip to the polish deli in Roseville is well worth the trip… Simple and delicious

Gorgeous Guacamole

Grab some Avocados: The riper, the better.

Diced red onion, Coriander, Jalapeño (Or you can use serrano pepper instead), Lime juice – Freshly-squeezed, Sea Salt, Ground cumin, Diced tomatoes (Optional). First mash your avocados.  Add them to a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork or spoon until they reach your desired consistency. (I like mine slightly chunky, not completely smooth.) Mix in the remaining ingredients: Add in the onion, coriander, jalapeño (or serrano), lime juice, salt, cumin, and tomatoes (if using) and stir until combined. Give the mixture a taste, and season with extra salt if needed. Serve with some chopped up veggies or corn chips.

Something Sweet

Brownies (They also happen to be gluten free) – 225 g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), 225 g butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 200 grams caster sugar, 3 large eggs (beaten), 150 grams ground almonds, 100 grams chopped walnuts. (Or if you’re not keen on walnuts you can replace them with frozen raspberries).  First preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/gas mark 3/325ºF. Melt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan. Take the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla and sugar, and let it cool a little. Beat the eggs into the pan along with the ground almonds and chopped walnuts (or if using frozen raspberries gently mix then in at the end). Turn into a 24cm / 9 inch square baking tin. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The top will have set but the mixture will still be gooey. Once cooler, cut carefully, four down, four across, into 16 squares. Enjoy with some raspberries or strawberries.


 If you like a nice glass of sparkling rose then I can highly recommend 2018 JODIE WILBERTREE. From Lowe Wines in Mudgee. Perfect for a spring or summer picnic with friends


No Single Use Plastic
No Single Use Plastic here...

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Making Candles with Find + Form

Candle Making

Candle Making

Who doesn’t love the smell of a scented candle in their home? They are a great way to add ambiance, enhance your décor and maybe distract from the fact you might need to push the duster round a bit… Scented candles also make a lovely gift for family and friends, especially if you’ve made it for them yourself.

Our candle making workshops are a popular way to learn a new skill, spend time with friends and create something special from scratch.

It’s easier than you might think to make the perfect scented candles, but there are a few factors you need to consider.

First of all you need choose the right vessel. Whether your style aesthetic is modernist, beachy or classical there is a suitable vessel out there for you. Just make sure it can withstand the temperature of melted wax.

candle making
Candle Making

There are many types and brands of wax out there…

choosing the right wax can be a minefield. We focus on 100% soy wax in our candle making workshops and only stock soy wax candles in our store, but bees wax, paraffin wax, palm wax and  coconut wax can be found at candle making supplier stores throughout Australia.

One of the most important aspects of your scented candle is of course the scent.

We really love testing and blending scents. Any great scent should have a great balance of top, middle and bottom notes and a properly scented candle will smell divine, even when it’s not lit.  At our candle making workshops you’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of fragrances and we know you’ll find a scent you’ll love. We’ll teach you how to add just the right amount of fragrances and exactly when to add it to your molten wax. So you can be sure your candles will have a great scent throw. 

Selecting the right size wick and ensuring it is centred in your vessel will help to make sure your candle will burn evenly. Once your wick is in place it’s time to start melting the wax. Watching the wax gently melt can be a very therapeutic part of the candle making process. There is something calming about watching as the wax gradually changes from solid to liquid as you gently heat and stir.

Once the fragrance is added (at just the right time) it’s the moment to carefully and gently pour the molten wax in to your vessels. A steady hand is essential but you’ll soon get the hang of it. After a few hours the wax will solidify and cure and your candles will be ready to take home of gift to some lucky person in your life.

candle scent

If this has sparked your interest why not get a some friends together and book one of our private group workshops or join us for the next scheduled one… we’d love to have you!

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Spotlight on… Watercolour Workshops

If you’ve been in store lately and enquired about our Watercolour Workshops, you may have noticed the look of excitement in our eyes at the mere mention.
This is because after 5 months of hosting some fabulous workshoppers with the very talented Elizabeth Sullivan, we sincerely enjoy this workshop in particular.

Our collaboration with Elizabeth Sullivan began when we were introduced by a mutual friend who knew about our plans to start Find + Form and she thought that Elizabeth’s art might work well in our store. And so the conversations began…….

After a few chats and emails Elizabeth kindly invited us to her light filled studio. We were blown away by the work Elizabeth creates, so much so that we broached the question of whether she would consider collaborating with us on one of our creative workshop ideas. Lucky for us she said yes, and the Introduction to Watercolour workshops hosted by Find + Form were born.

One of the beautiful aspects of Elizabeth’s workshops is that you don’t have to have any experience and you won’t be expected to labour over your work until you create an exact rendition of a still life. Rather, you’ll be encouraged to unlock your creativity as you build layers of your abstract piece. Elizabeth’s warm personality shines through as she walks you through a number or watercolour techniques and after a few practice brush strokes you’ll be raring to go.

Elizabeth’s creativity and passion for colour, pattern and texture shines through in her work. Elizabeth uses many mediums in her work. From watercolour to acrylic through to embellishing her work with stitching, she has used a variety of techniques and processes that results in her own unique style and artistic language.

Drawing inspiration from the world around us Elizabeth’s work is influenced by her travels, a love of pattern, flora and fauna, the sea and the mountains. Her artworks endeavour to engage a sensory reaction by telling a story through layers of paint and mixed media, adding texture and tactility. She generously imparts her passion, skill and knowledge in the workshops that she hosts. We are confident that after a few hours in one of Elizabeth’s workshops you’ll feel more relaxed and connected to your creative self.

We love following Elizabeth’s journey on social media. She is a prolific artist who gives us a daily dose of colourful creativity in our feed. So, If you don’t already follow her on Instagram, check her out @elizabethsullivanart and if you feel inspired to join us for one of her workshops you can click here to learn more…

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Meet the maker – Lauren Skye Studio

One of the best parts of our job is meeting the makers and designers behind all the products in our store. We get a kick out of hearing about their creative processes. So, who better to write the latest meet the maker blog post about that our very own Lauren. Lauren is our in-house designer and she brings her endless creativity with her to work each day. We sat down and chatted about what makes her tick…

So, Lauren, tell us about how you became a designer...

I have always been a creative soul and interested in all aspects of design. Over the past 20 years I have worked as a Fashion Designer, Textile Designer and Interior Designer, as well as dabbling in graphic design so this current role is really a culmination of all of that. I was always more interested in working for myself and so after having my first child I took the plunge and haven’t looked back.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Due to my background in fashion, I am inspired by colour and fabric. Nature is also a big source of inspiration for me and the textures and colour combinations found in nature never cease to amaze me. 

What is the most difficult part of your work and the part you love the most?

The hardest pert is overcoming a creative block. It can be tricky pushing through. But, I find it is best to not force it and I just wait for inspiration to strike. Then when it does I’m known to stay up half the night getting my ideas out! 

The best part of my job is that I get to do what I love. I get a buzz from creating something out of nothing. I particularly enjoy seeing photos from my customers of my cushions in their homes. I seriously have the loveliest customers!


What advice would you give to anyone starting out in a career in design?

Be prepared to work hard and never stop learning! Don’t limit yourself to one design discipline as I find my skills transfer between different fields of design. Also, do not ignore technology! I cannot even imagine how much time and money I have saved by being able to build and maintain my own website.  Of course if you are an absolute beginner and you want to know if you can unlock your creative side, what better place to start than one of our workshops! 

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Gift Giving Dilemmas

Mindful Gifting this Festive Season

Like the vast majority of people I know, giving a well chosen gift to a loved one is a joyful thing to do. But, as the festive season gathers pace and we are bombarded with so many ads about all things shopping and spending, it can feel like there’s pressure to buy things just for the sake of it. There are so many massive companies with marketing budgets to match who are doing their best to get us to part with our cash without a second thought. However, many of the people I talk to about this pressure to spend spend spend are actively trying to move away from mindless consumerism. Personally I think that’s a great thing…..

Now I’m not necessarily suggesting that we forgo gift giving altogether (well I would say that right?!?!) I’m just advocating a more mindful approach to gifting.  We’ve noticed that our customers like to be more informed about where their products come from and how they are made. Here at Find + Form we are huge fans of that approach to shopping and gifting at all times of the year.  We know the names of the makers and designers of all our products. We know everything we stock is made or designed by an Australian creative and we know everything we stock is made with love and care. Plus, we are pretty sure someone somewhere in Australia does a little happy dance each time one of their products finds a new home.

For us, it was important to avoid the mass produced and disposable (dare I say junk). Of course we realise that our aesthetic is not for everyone, but what we do know for sure is that everything we stock has a story, it’s made to be treasured and it was carefully chosen by us to form part of a curated collection of gifts and homewares.
If that resonates with you, but you’re not sure how to go about selecting something special for someone special, we’ve put together a few collections which might inspire you.

Of course you may want to avoid giving “stuff” altogether and perhaps you’ve decided to focus on giving experiences this year. Well, we can help with that too. We will be hosting small workshops in our Roseville store, starting with a Sew Your Own Tote Bag workshop in January. We have many other creative workshops planned for the new year too. Such as, water colour, flower arranging and jewellery making to name a few. Keep an eye on our website for new workshop dates or sign up to our newsletter to hear about what’s new in store.

We hope that the our curated collection of gifts and homewares will delight the recipients and we know for a fact that every time you come in to our shop we are delighted to see you, so pop in and say Hi any time.

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So Sew Good

Our inaugural sewing workshop was such a great learning experience for Find + Form as well as our wonderful workshoppers.

We started with a choice of fabrics in our spring/summer season colours. Everyone chose a unique combination of lining and outer fabrics. So, as a result each tote bag created was a little bit different and special.

Many of our workshop participants hadn’t touched a sewing machine since leaving school.  Although, we are quite sure it wasn’t that long ago based on how young and glamorous they all look!

Never the less, having not used a sewing machine for a while it can be quite intimidating to get started. But after a few practice seams on our user friendly Singer machines, everyone quickly gained in confidence. So it was time to start pinning + sewing our tote bags…

Skip forward 2 hours and we had lots of totes-amazing tote bags all with coordinating straps, boxed out bottoms and fully reversible too.

We all finished with smiles on our faces and feeling a sense of satisfaction at having made something beautiful and practical. I know that the bags have been admired all over Sydney’s North Shore too!

If you would like to learn some sewing skills or refresh the ones you learnt a while ago, sign up to our newsletter + look out for the workshops coming soon.

We’ve been very busy planning lots of other workshops for you, but we are always happy to hear from you and take your suggestions for new workshops, so…..don’t hesitate to contact us any time to tell us your thoughts about future workshops

Work with us
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Meet the maker series

Meet the maker Juno + Ace

Meeting the makers and seeing how they create the beautiful things they do is one of the most interesting parts of our job. We recently had the pleasure of visiting the divine Sacha Jacobsen in her sunny northern beaches studio. Sacha is the creative force behind Juno + Ace. She designs and makes beautiful brass wall hangings and mobiles. We were keen to find out a little bit more about Sacha so we asked her a few questions….

So, Sacha tell us us about your journey to becoming a designer and maker....

I started making jewellery when I was pregnant with my first baby (I now have 3). That was back in the UK 8 years ago now! Phew! I did a jewellery making course on my maternity leave and it slowly grew from there into a business. Then after a few years and another baby, my Aussie husband sold his business and we decided to move over here to Sydney. I was pregnant with my 3rd bubs at the time and with 2 small pre-school kids in tow I didn’t expect to start making again so soon. But, after a trip to the Finders Keepers just before Asa was born in 2016 I was so inspired it didn’t take long for us all to settle into aussie life as a family of 5 and for me to pick up my tools again. Juno + Ace was born in early 2017 and I was mostly making jewellery, as I always had, but with such strong competition out there in such an overly saturated market, I decided to make a few changes and launch a range of brass wall hangings as well. These used my existing skills and gave me a point of difference from the jewellery crowd. From these I started making mobiles as well and now you will find Juno + Ace is doing all 3!  

Juno + Ace maker in action

Where do you find your inspiration?

Shiny Pretty Things

I love the simplicity and impact of geometric shapes, especially those with a feminine feel, circles, ovals and arches. I don’t often gravitate towards edgy shapes in the same way. I also love modern art. I grew up in St.Ives, Cornwall and there is such an amazing art scene there. I was surrounded by Barbara Hepworth sculptures and paintings by Terry Frost as a child. They built a Tate Gallery there when I was about 8 I think and I remember being taken there on a school trip and I just loved it! The building itself is all round curves and set right on our busiest surf beach (although its often too cold to surf)

What are you working on at the moment and what's the inspiration behind it?

At the moment I am playing catch up after a very busy trade show. I did my first trade show in August and the response was amazing. I’ve been working for several weeks now just catching up with the back log of orders I received. As soon as I’m caught up with these, I have all my Christmas markets to start prepping for as well as planning a few workshops too. And when I finally find some ‘spare time’ for research and development, I have a few ideas I’d love to get into, such as some table top sculptures and other homewares that could be made with a brass twist.

We also asked Sacha.......

If you won $10 million on the lottery would you still do what you do?

Yep, or if not this exactly, I would defiantly always be making things. I need to keep my hands busy and my creative mind well exercised other wise I get a little up tight!

Who are you following on social media at the moment?

Having recently changed product from jewellery to include homewares as well, I have started to follow a bunch of awesome interior designers and amazing stores. But another amazing person I’ve just found in a  totally different sector (food and travel) is @local_milk. She does the best podcasts for small creative businesses

Where do you like to shop?

I like to shop at the markets I take part in. I love doing trades with other creatives and I always want to look a little different so I find buying your clothes from small independents is the best way to do that.

What is your favourite restaurant?

My husband and I went on holiday to Biarritz in the south of France quite a few times before we had kids and there was this amazing seafood restaurant right on the cliff, but it was so rustic and down to earth. Just perfect. I don’t really get to eat out all that much now with 3 small humans to look after.

What advice would you give to anyone starting a creative career?

Don’t give up if it doesn’t all fall into place straight away. You have to keep trying and eventually you will find a way to get the ball rolling, and when it does you roll with it and learn as you go.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you?

Hmmm, I sometimes suffer with anxiety and have had PND and because of that my business gives $5 from every online sale to charity called PANDA -perinatal anxiety and depression Australia.

You can find out more about PANDA here

You can view Juno + Ace’s special products online now


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Finding + Forming

What a journey it has been so far. 

We have gone from dreaming about working for ourselves over a few glasses of wine to launching our new business Find + Form. After meeting at the school gate when our boys were in the same class we discovered that we had a fair amount in common, we both have 2 boys, we were both at the stage in life were the kids were settled in school so we had more time to focus on our own careers + we both wanted to work for ourselves. On top of all that, we were both planning renovations to our homes + through sharing design ideas + shopping for light fittings we found a shared love of making, creating, shopping + interiors. 

Oh + did I mention we are both married to blokes called Mark. (different Marks – we are NOT sister wives just for the record!)

Find and Form Lauren and Jo
Us enjoying this beautiful city we live in

It started wth a few casual chats when we talked about the fact there must be something we could do that would feed our creativity but also (hopefully) generate an income. As the chats became more frequent they also became more serious, we formed a few ideas, rolled them around + found the concept. 

Find + Form – A place where you can find beautiful Australian designed + formed products to fill your home. A place where you can find new creative skills and form something with your own hand.

After a few months of plotting and planning we told a few trusted friends + family members about our idea + most seemed to say go for it, or words to that effect. So we did go for it.  We started to source beautiful (in our opinion anyway) products made by talented Australian designers + makers. We started to come up with workshop ideas + even trialed a few workshops with some brave friends. We started to think about marketing, business plans, cash flow projections, and a million other things too. 

We have loved the process so far + I wont lie, its been a steep learning curve. No doubt  we will continue to learn along the way and we’d love to have you with us. So if you are looking for a creative outlet, if you want to learn a new skill, if you love discovering unique things for your home or to give as gifts or if you are a creative who wants to share your products or skills with other like minded people…..please come along for the ride.

Jo and Lauren

Find + Form