State of Quirk - slide 4q

The bird outside my window is insistent, ‘Gingerbread, gingerbread’ he says,… another is  repeating like a mantra, ‘Me and you, me and you…’.  Each bird song so different, and so many of them calling out to one another in the garden.  The days grow cooler, and it is time for a sale. I need to clear the decks for a new collection that is slowly working it’s way from my head to the work table.  Browse the State of Quirk website to see the jewellery is still left, and choose yourself a unique small treasure, at a fabulous price.

IMG_0023 (4)



Our land loving friends  live in an old turquoise bus in Woodville, on a grassy section strewn with fresh herbs, vegetables, and chickens and a visit to them is always restorative and most quirky. One month Nigel’s hair is blue, the next Rachel’s is purple, he sports a waxed handlebar mustache….or dreds… it is always a surprise.  The company is gentle and affable and the table lavished with home produce.  Sometimes the home brew is ginger, or it’s stout, or grapefruit.  Always it’s given with love. They depart soon  for distant climes, back to an Alabama community with like minded rural creatives.  Part of the dissembling process  has been the throwing of a huge garage sale.  Nigel’s mother can throw nothing out, and the plunder goes back decades.  My friend Maria and I galloped to help, and drove back home – the car low to the ground; rattling and clunking and boinging with bargains. Part of the haul is a quilt made by Nigel’s Gran that has seen better days – so during the late Autumn evenings I have been hand sewing and replacing patches tattered with age.  A huge bag of fabric scraps also scavenged at the sale, has meant that many of the original fabric pieces have been matched. Fascinating to open the padded squares to find old stockings used as stuffing.  Many in pristine condition, some with back seams; and able to be paired and worn by those with a mind to don a suspender belt.


Here’s a piece of the quilt on it’s way to restoration.  I like how the squares don’t sit in even pristine rows.  It’s hand made, with love, by a woman in days gone by who knew what it was to live on a budget.  We make do.  We mend.  We beautify.




An Indian summer has settled into this corner of the world, and March feels more like February.  Everything that grows is wilting and papery, and the crammed tomato plants, (over planted in case a few died at the hands of an over enthusiastic novice crop producer, none of them did), in our raised vegetable bed are beginning to resemble something from The Day of the Triffids. I think that I love this part of the year best, there is something so still and calming about the quality of the light, life seems to move more slowly somehow and I feel thankful. Time enough to walk through the days, to plan winter craft projects, and to design jewellery for the chilly days ahead for we Antipodeans….and some multicolored fripperies for the parts of our planet moving into Spring.


It takes courage to become your authentic self.  I don’t mean the kind of courage where you battle cancer, or decide to leave an abusive relationship – not the monumental type, when everything you know yourself to be is tested.  But there are other, smaller kinds of courage, and in a world where many people are heading the same way; to peel yourself away from the pack and choose a different path can be a little scary at first.  But ultimately liberating.



Meet Millie, one of the gorgeous State of Quirk models, and a woman I am proud to call my friend.  The outward beauty – take one look at her and that’s obvious, but after an in depth conversation with her you’ll clearly see the inner beauty is of similar quality. I first met her at an artsy craft fair in a local garden when she wandered over to peruse the jewellery at my stall; took one look at her lace and floral tattoos, the refashioned bohemian mini dress in vibrant autumnal shades – and dived right into a meaningful and authentic conversation with her.

Millie lives in an old church just out of town with her man Mason, a builder and artisan recycled furniture maker tattooed affable he man kind of a guy, daughter the fun and beautiful Rosie, who has both grace and pluck and isn’t afraid of hard work.  And wide eyed younger son Reif, taught the old fashioned way to respect others, and who will politely talk your head off once he knows you.  Millie’s the only woman I know who can drape herself in a Victorianesque shirred blouse, worker man dungarees, ropes of pearls, geek glasses, gold sneaker boots, 3 buns in her hair (yes that’s right, three, all at the same time), cats eyes eye  liner….. and kill it.  Just nail it.  Polka dots and tweed paired together on her look like a marriage made for one another; she’s helped me think outside the box in my own vintage style combinations and I thank her for it.

Continue reading →

First Blog - State of Quirk

Welcome to State of Quirk. Where the offbeat is celebrated and the whimsical sought after, and highly prized.

I think about the year spent living above the 17th Century stables of an East German castle, and the joy of the Saturday flea market trophies – piles of history strewn on tables filed alongside the banks of the River Elbe. Glorious plunder; enough to make the knees of the most astute bargain hunter wobbly.

Continue reading →