Friends, it's time for our monthly(ish) heart to heart.
If you haven't come across the Urban Jungle Bloggers yet, you need to. They're basically a community of bloggers led by Judith and Igor who celebrate all things green and leafy by posting to a theme each month. So this month's theme is to give a green gift. Aka the best gift in the world. Aka let's get tinning!
The cliff notes plus my hack version of the aforementioned tutorial is this: Buy some beans. Turn tin upside down and use a can opener to take off bottom. Eat beans or put into a container and keep in the fridge for later consumption (DO NOT WASTE THEM!). Wash tin and remove label. Put moss in the bottom (or top) of the tin so that the green is at the bottom. Cover with compost or a good, fertile soil then water. Stick removed tin bottom back on with hot glue. I actually used a thick piece of cardboard cut to size for the bottom because it seemed slightly less dangerous than handling the sharp aluminium disk.
I also kept it simple and skipped adding a new label as I prefer it nice and naked for display purposes. Finish with a little tag and make sure you gift it within a couple of days once tinned. Fun right?
I have however been obsessed with it since as it really is so simple (see what I did there?) and with spring in the air over here in London it felt like time to revisit it.
Simple syrups look and taste like you put a lot more time into it than you actually did which make them perfect for a last minute gift. They'll jazz up any soda or cocktail and I promise once you start syruping you won't want to stop because the flavour possibilities are endless.
To make a simple syrup of the floral variety, put equal amounts of water and caster sugar in a jar, add a dash of dried edible flowers (such as rose, chamomile or lavender) screw on the lid, and leave for a day or two. The sugar dissolves at room temperature so when you're ready to use it, you just mix the syrup with sparkling water (and booze if you wish) for a refreshing drink. If, like me you want to have even more tastebud fun times, may I suggest adding lemon zest to your infusion? Or pink peppercorns. Do it.
I am forever curious about how and where others create so it is with muchos excitement that I'm kicking off a new little series here showing artists, designers and makers in the spaces where they make the magic happen.
First off the bat is my friend Tania Gnecchi-Ruscone, the talent behind jewellery label Ruusk. I was lucky enough to catch her just before she packed up her light filled Sydney studio for a move to the Netherlands (tis the season!) where she will be establishing the brand again in the next few months. Get ready for lots of sighs and studio envy!
// What's the thing about your work that gets you excited/out of bed in the morning?
There’s nothing better than doing what you love and I feel so lucky to be able to share that with the world. Jewellery is such a powerful medium as it’s one of the few items that can be cherished for years, even generations to come. Creating pieces that can be so treasured is a magical feeling.
// Describe your aesthetic.
Simple, timeless, understated.
// Do you remember a moment when you realised this was what you wanted to do for a living?
Having grown up with two creative entrepreneurs as parents, I suppose I was always destined to design and create.
Although I’ve always been fascinated by jewellery, it wasn’t until I carved my very first ring that I realised that this was something I was meant to do. I was simply in love and there was no turning back.
// What's been the biggest challenge you've faced so far?
Running your own business comes with 101 challenges, however moving overseas has definitely presented me with the highest mountain to climb! New country, new language, tools on a boat at sea… lots of things to conquer and overcome. Nevertheless, it has also given me time to reflect upon what I’ve done and where I hope to go.
// And the biggest accomplishment?
Being able to trust in my ideas and work hard to make them a reality is something I’m really proud of. Having the determination to do what I love has to be my number one accomplishment.
// What’s your favourite creative resource?
There are so many wonderful online creative resources out there however when it comes to design inspiration I prefer to go low-tech. I love looking at old pieces in antique shops and could spend hours looking through old jewellery books. If you just take the time to look, every place, person or thing can provide you with a little inspiration.