Now before you read any further, I want to be clear- this article has absolutely nothing to do with my work as a divorce lawyer and some would say even less to do with my side hustle coaching other lawyers BUT it does have everything to do with Christmas and gifts and supporting our local artists so now you have my disclaimer, I hope you might read on!
This past year I have made it my thing to as much as possible buy from, learn about and support artists, designers and craftspeople in Brisbane and beyond and can I say now, it has been such fun! Instagram is really to blame for this
addiction I mean “challenge” that I set myself along with our home renovation earlier this year. Whatever the reason, I have come to learn that we are surrounded by talented artisans who make the most beautiful things and so just in time for Christmas I am sharing with you 16 of my favourite finds thanks to my addiction sorry I mean “challenge” this year that I have come to love and I suspect you might too!
I am starting with a Brisvegas local in artist Carley Cornelissen. I found Carley thanks to a bit too much clicking around on Instagram and now have 3 of her amazing pieces in the Rayward collection! Carley is a painter and illustrator and her work is fun, colourful, intricate and beautiful- full of playful animals and colourful rainbows. She has an amazing ability to combine detailed sketch elements with wild colour splashes. With original works starting at only $95 this is an easy one to add to your Xmas wishlist and something you will treasure for years to come.
2. Nanna Woo Handmade
I found Hanna and Gabby who make up Nanna Woo thanks to a tip off from my ever creative friend, Dyan Burgess late last year and have fast become a raving fan of their colourful resin creations. With everything from bowls and platters for your Christmas table to amazing bracelets and earrings just for you, these two Tasmanian artists create the most beautiful, colourful and sparkly designs that you must see to believe.
The Nanna Woo collection is like nothing you have ever seen before and these gorgeous handmade items make the perfect gifts for any of those #homewaresaddicts in your life!
3. Rachel Burke “Imakestagram”
If you haven’t already found the wonder that is Rachel Burke, trust me, you need this in your life. Rachel is a Brisbane local who has built the most amazing creative empire, all thanks to her talents with sparkles, pom poms and glitter jackets.
Rachel also happens to be the wife of a local Brisbane lawyer, so that alone gives us all a reason to support her.
This year she launched her first book “Be Dazzling: Simple Projects to Make Your Wardrobe Sparkle” that makes for the perfect stocking filler for anyone looking for a bit of creativity in their life.
For anyone really wanting to step out with a Christmas gift, you can’t go past Rachel’s tinfoil jackets that have found their way all over the globe to the shoulders of popstars, celebrities and hopefully will next year be on the shoulders of my Dancing CEOs team!!
4. Meg Makes
Local artisan Meg fills her weekend creating gorgeous, colourful, handmade earrings that need to find their way into your collection. Meg and her husband are regular stallholders at my local markets and her earrings feature widely in my and my daughter’s collection!
Another great gift for a stocking filler, or perhaps just a gift for yourself, Meg’s earrings are a great price point for that Secret Santa office gift as well.
I’ve been a long-time fan of Rachel Castle and her Australian homeware label, Castle and Things. Rachel is another artist turned designer who has taken her talents for painting, drawing and embroidery and converted them into a homewares and fashion emporium of colour and fun.
Based down in Sydney, Rachel is forever creating new designs that will ensure your home is popping! Whether it be her beautiful tea towel collection (that you will be framing rather than using), her beautiful bed linen or her individual art pieces, there is something here for everyone.
This year, I couldn’t go past her range of baby blankets – a perfect gift for the new mums and dads in your life.
Another great painter that I’ve fallen upon, thanks to the wonderful gold that is Instagram, is Maggi McDonald. Maggi’s big, bold, bright canvasses are the perfect addition to your living room walls and just this week I discovered Maggi’s pre-Christmas sale that may have resulted in my husband buying me a birthday present for this weekend! (he just doesn’t quite know that yet…)
A talented artist with a natural eye for mixing bold colours and abstract designs, you will want to add more than one Maggi original to your collection I am sure!
If you haven’t already found the amazing collection of iconic vases, thanks to Brisbane local duo Helen Bayley and her husband at Lovestar Loves, you are in for a treat. These handmade vases are like nothing you have ever seen before and will be the perfect gift for any flower lover in your life.
This year the team at Lovestar Loves have had no end of challenge, losing their warehouse and all their designs in a fire and then more recently, an Instagram hacking thanks to the Russians (I can’t believe that really happens!!). Despite their challenges, they have kept on pushing through and it is the perfect time to support this homegrown business.
In this day and age of mass-produced items, you only have to jump on their Instagram page to see the time, effort and detail that goes into each one of their creations and I can assure you, an Iconic Iris Vase on your law land desk is sure to keep you smiling all the way through 2019!
Now this Melbourne homewares label is like nothing you have ever seen. From bed-linen to bags and even matching PJ’s, there is something here for everyone.
Sisters Kate Heppell and Hayley Pannekoecke and best buddy Alex McCabe are the amazing women behind this brand. Kip & Co are a great Aussie success story- their products are now all over the world.
Kip & Co are renowned for their fun, colourful collaborations. One of my favourites this year was their May Gibbs range and you can’t go past their bamboo wraps for newborns. (Daisy may be the proud over of a few Kip & Co originals… )
You could tick off your entire Christmas list thanks to Kip & Co so do go check them out (and get ready for their amazing Boxing Day sale too!)
Cameron is another great painter I stumbled across earlier this year. His canvasses are a colourful mix of graffiti elements and abstract shapes that are the perfect combo for your walls.
Cameron is another solopreneur building his business in the art world and anyone with a love like me of pastel pink is sure to love Cameron’s works as much as I do. Another perfect option for those living room walls! (Anyone else thinking they might be doing a mini room makeover over Xmas thanks to all these amazing artists?)
10. Pete Cromer
If you haven’t already seen the collection of fun budgies and crazy druids that make up Pete’s Instagram page, jump over there now – you won’t be disappointed. Who would have thought that resin budgies could be a thing but now you know they exist, you will probably never forgive me as you keep adding budgies to your collection!
Another great gift for the person who has everything, I like to think Pete’s budgies are the perfect pet – beautiful and colourful but require no maintenance, make no noise but are a fun addition to your home.
11. Catchy Attitude
I fell upon Caroline’s work earlier this year and have loved watching her portraits emerge each week in my Instagram feed. Caroline, aka Catchy Attitude, takes your photographs and turns them into these wild, popping portraits. You might have seen the one we had made for my 100th podcast celebration of Michael Kirby.
This again makes for such a great gift for the person who has everything. Send Caroline a photo of your loved one, friend or colleague and ‘hey presto’ back will come an amazing digital print that you can use in all sorts of fun ways.
Caroline has also produced a series of great art prints and mugs that will easily fit under the Christmas tree, including some of my favourites in Iris Apfel and Frida Kahlo.
I am also super excited to announce that in 2019, Caroline and I will be working together on a collaboration, linking her portraits with some of our most influential women lawyers in a project that you will have to see to believe!
12. Tiff Manuell
A Christmas shopping list of my favourite artists wouldn’t be complete without the amazing works of Tiff Manuell in Adelaide. I’ve been a Tiff fan for many years now and am so grateful to the world of social media that has enabled artists like Tiff to build thriving businesses, making beautiful, one-off pieces to send all over the world.
Tiff’s canvas empire stretches from purses to bags and canvasses to clothes and if you’re looking for a bag to brighten your life, you can’t go past her tote collection. Each item is hand painted and hand stitched and all made here in Australia and if you happen to be in Adelaide, I encourage you to pop into her studio where you will see her and her team working away at their masterpieces in live time.
Next in my list is the wonderful Anna who many of you know is the talent behind the recent collaboration of our 2019 Happy Lawyer Happy Life stationery sets.
You will find Anna’s amazing murals all around Brisbane but when she’s not painting enormous Fortitude Valley walls, she is at home in her studio creating stunning pieces for your home or office. Anna’s whimsical design and peaceful colour palette make her the perfect compliment to the artists above and I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, her works would be perfect on any boardroom wall.
14. Poco Posy
This year the wonderful little shop that is Poco Posy popped up just a few hundred metres from my home and I am so very grateful to have this beautiful floral escape to walk to each week!
Daisy and I are regular visitors, picking up our daily Posy’s for our home (or accidently buying a scented candle or coloured pot because we can!)
The good news for all of you who don’t live near their store is the Poco Posy send the most delightful bunches of flowers all over Australia for just $35! This has become one of my go-to gifts at all time of the year!
15. Bonnie Hislop
I bought my first ceramic piece from Bonnie Hislop a few years ago now and I have so enjoyed watching her work grow. Bonnie creates the most amazingly detailed ceramic mugs, pots, wall hangings and plates. From cats to dogs, doughnuts to giant Iced Vo Vo’s Bonnie is forever coming up with fun new treats. But you have to get in quick- her pieces tend to sell out the minute they hit her website so keep your eyes peeled to for her next collection.
16. Jericho Road
And last but certainly not least are my favourite fashionistas, sisters Kate and Chloe from Brisbane label Jericho Road. What can I say- it was like they dreamed up a fashion label just for me! Bright colors, crazy prints and fun styles I can’t go past their collections (particularly those banana pants from a few months ago- they are my favourite by far!!)
What I really have loved about Kate and Chloe is the way they have built their label literally from the ground up. Until this year they have both been holding down full time jobs while doing this ‘on the side’ but lately Jericho Road has started to bloom and now this little Brisbane team are starting to send their designs all over!
Find me a girl that doesn’t love a new dress for Christmas! Jericho Road needs to be on your lists ladies!
So, there you have it, Clarissa’s tips for Christmas gifts for the person who has it all. If someone could just forward this list to my husband, who does everything he can to avoid social media, I would be eternally grateful.
But in all seriousness, earlier this year, Emma Isaacs, the creator of Business Chicks, a worldwide organisation supporting women in business, published her book “Winging It” and there is something she said that has really stuck with me- “We’ve got to back our friends no matter what. Enthusiastically like and share their social posts. Unashamedly talk to anyone who’ll listen about their achievements. Buy their products and don’t ask for them for free. Attend their events and bring a mate or two. Endorse their brands. This is what friends do and this is how the sisterhood is built, one act of encouragement at a time.”
All of the creators I have mentioned above (and so many more!) are working hard to support themselves and their families from their talents, passion and love for the arts and so why wouldn’t we help them along? And while we’re at it, if you know someone else making beautiful things, why not share them with me below and we can all start our 2019 Christmas shopping list in advance. No need to thank me now, you can thank me next year when your Xmas stocking is well and truly empty but your home is full of amazing pieces of colour and fun!
Happy Christmas everyone.
Hi, my name is Clarissa Rayward and I am probably best known as a Divorce Lawyer and the Owner of Brisbane Family Law Centre. I specialise in
assisting my clients to experience a dignified divorce- staying away from the Court process and finding sustainable agreements for the future.
More recently I have begun to tackle the challenging issue of unhappiness in the legal profession through my weekly Podcast ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life‘ where once a week I interviews lawyers who have found a way to maintain a successful career in the law while not giving up their life outside of their career.
In January 2017 I published my second book, ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life- How to the be Happy in Law and Life’ and launched the first ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ online course, helping lawyers nationwide to better understand how they can drive happiness in their careers. I now spend my days juggling my new baby ‘Daisy’ while trying to run my business and coach and assist lawyers all around the Country.
When I am not being a lawyer I love being creative- writing, painting and generally doing anything that involves making things! Hence my love of anyone else who spends their time being creative too!
If you would like to learn more about how I could help you through any legal matters associated with divorce and separation or perhaps you are a lawyer looking to learn more about the work I do in that space, then please feel free to organise a time we can speak here.Book your complimentary chat with Clarissa here