December 2013

Our final MVPS Christmas Gift, and it didn’t hurt the Earth…


We moved to Manly 7 years ago, half way through Lou’s kindergarten year. It’s been filled with so very many highs and obviously lows, but it’s the best move we ever made. I remember, for the first time feeling like I fit. Friends and acquaintances have come and gone, as have diseases, business and many things; but our one true constant has been Manly Village Public School, where Lanya attended. We couldn’t have wished for a better school for her, or better friends along the way.

Now in her final year, wanting to gift something to the school that was personal, relevant and captured the school spirit – and who she was, we came up with the idea of a Christmas wreath. Now, if you’ve ever met my kid you’ll know that we are never in a position to recycle uniforms. They get lost in our family, they get ripped, paint covered – you name it. But they’re never in a position to be passed on to anyone else, for the shame of the state of them. We had one particular dress that was all kinds of bad, so we set about. As a family we’re pretty passionate about re-use, and always have been. We’re don’t harp on about it, but have always had a philosophy of ’cause less harm.’ The catch phrase for Red Olive since 2003 has been ‘re-invent, re-create, re-generate’ and this has been important in our home, and business life, and I’m proud to say has totally rubbed off on our kid. Manly Village has been brilliant at implementing ways for the children to learn about the environment, waste reduction and educated the kids by way of ‘waste free Wednesday.’ ‘Earth Alive,’ and even the song ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’ I remember when she was year 1 or 2, and they were learning about water conservation, she would follow us into the bathroom, and see if we wasted any water while brushing our teeth (which apparently we did), and would hover while we were doing the dishes in an attempt to find a better way. These are pretty cool principles to install in our kids, and along with many other things and reasons, I think Manly Village Public School is all round pretty ace.

So, enough nostalgia, here we go folks. Step by step. Super super easy and I think it looks pretty tops. I’m looking forward to making one for us. Fortunately I have just over 52 weeks!


  • Get a wire coat hanger and bend until you get a circle (you can bend once it’s finished so don’t fret too much about the perfect circle at this point). Twist the hanger part down into itself.
  • Heres the fun part. Rip or cut roughly the same size strips from your uniform/fabric/items.
  • Tie them onto the circle. I recommend this part is done while watching a really fantastic movie, so you forget you’re doing it. It’s a process.
  • When you think you’re done, squish it together and keep going. No unsightly gaps – see close up.
  • For the hanger part, we used a scrunchy. If I was doing it again, I think I’d glue and weave fabric around it.
  • We looked around for ages to find some bauble that were colour suitable. We wanted whites and silvers, and ultimately found them in Coles. Great colours, but because said baubles were from Coles I had to spend a bit of time super glueing the bauble back onto its attachment…
  • BE CAREFUL of glueing your fingers together. I’ve been glueing for years, and I don’t think my skill has ever improved.
  • I then got short little twists of a silver craft wire to twist them on to the wreath. We left these a little posse so you can play around with the positioning of them.
  • Done. Then it was off to console several devastated Year 6 girls, tears of the like I’ve never seen!

Give it a go. I’d love to see your images, and add them into this thread.

Merry Christmas, over and out from me and my crew.





Well hello lovely mailing list. How’ve you been?

I had to write and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a year that was better than ever. I hope your year has been filled with colour, adventure, misadventure – and lot’s of wishes coming true. I won’t keep you, just a few things to share.
  • Firstly, as you know I’ve very much wound down retail. As such I’m having a ludicrous 50% off the remaining stock. Keeping in mind that everything already was hugely reduced – it’s an absolute steal. I really want my store room back! Happy shopping. We are here (in and out) until Christmas Eve, if you want to have a sticky. Even Art is included AND the new louie&i jewellery range that Louie & I have been making. Code is XMAS13.
  • ARTspace news. What a space! For a very rare change we have not one, but TWO double studios available. One of these can be split, but if you are considering giving yourself the gift of Creativity – then come and have a look. They’re both pretty awesome spots, so come have a look if you’re curious. Avail. ASAP. We only ask for a 3 month minimum, and we’re affordable so it’s a low risk while you see if it works for you. I’m so looking forward to just hanging here a bit in the holidays with my kid, and just enjoying the amazing beauty here. A few of you are asking if I plan to do any classes over the Christmas break so I’m actually considering mid-late Jan. I’m even considering doing a candle making session with the older kids where they choose their own scents, design their own labels etc. Let me know if there’s any interest.
  • Most of you know, we recently launched Loobylou candles at Finders Keepers. It was EPIC. And that would be understating it. We had so much fun, met so many cool people – and there was such a sense of, well pride that we’d gotten there. As I’ve made no secret of, this was an idea I had in hospital – when we weren’t even sure I was coming home. I saw it so clearly, and I said from the start, I would only launch at Finders Keepers so it was a pretty incredible moment for us. Thanks ever so to those of you who rocked up to hang for a bit.
Pretty short and sweet for me right? Busy time! Sending my sincerest and very best wishes for a wonderful AND SAFE Christmas and New Years.
Much warm fuzzes,
Kere & crew x


Go on, give yourself the gift of creative space this Christmas!

We have TWO studios avaialbe within the dynamic underground ARTspace. Spots come up very rarely – particularly on this side! Can be double or two singles.

There’s something really special about being a part of a group of creative people, a wealth of information – and a glorious space to boot.

Call us ASAP to arrange a viewing.  0424 604 603

studio avail.


Simply, a space for the ARTS. A destination/location/platform set up by Kere M Baker of Red Olive Studios (retail and design). In an effort to provide affordable Studio and Exhibition space, somewhere for local creatives to, well, create…the underground ARTspace was founded.

Initially ARTspace flew under the Red Olive Studios banner, however the ARTspace itself has been the core of it all,the constant, a continuing.

Our goals and plans for the New Year are to continue to educate, create and become more of a collective. We are looking at hosting kids and Adults Creative classes, both with our own Artists network, and with others coming in to host their own – so there’ll be lots of opportunities and perspectives.


t’s a great little ‘underground’ spot at 294 Sydney Road, Balgowlah which we’ve turned into Studio and Gallery space for local Artists. It’s been a LONG process – lots of learning along the way, but I’m really stoked about all of it – including the Artists and creative folk you’re surrounded by on your own creative journey.

It’s an Underground space, which is quite special – there’s a kind of exclusive, boutique feel about it. It’s raw and industrial, and pretty unique really. There’s also an incredible backyard which has seen many days with easels and paint on sunny days, bubbles and tealight candles on opening nights…Something for everyone! We’ve had the studios running since Easter 2010, and the Gallery part of the space officially opened with astounding success on August 5th 2010 with the group show ‘Editors Pic(k)s’.

It’s a really wonderful space, with kitchen and full bathroom facilities, an incredible leafy and inspiring backyard and in the company of some beautiful and talented like minded people.

Even if you’re not looking for a Studio or Exhibition space, you might be wanting to run workshops or seminars or host lectures or functions or hold Art classes, – all of which we’re really open to having a chat about. I’m personally wanting someone to do some hebel sculpting lessons – that’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time…Watch this space!


For those of you who haven’t realised, Loobylou candles is Kere and Adrian’s new venture. It started an idea when Kere was in hospital having her first transplant, and was REALLY investigating her home environment including the candles she was burning constantly. Having retailed candles as a best seller for many years, it was a shocking discovery that all the ones claiming to be ‘earth friendly’ and Eco – were also intact filled with chemical stabilisers. People were actually taking a natural wax – and bunging it full of chemicals. She told the Nurse (wh thought she was suitably mad) that when she got this whole surviving thing sorted, she was going to create a candle brand. A simple brand, causing less harm.

And then came Loobylou – the name being a combination of an old nickname of Kere’s (looby), and one of her daughters (lou).

Now, all this time, dreams, experimenting, researching, planning, failing and extraordinary effort is really coming to fruition having been invited to attend Finders Keepers Sydney this year. Loobylou candles with be debuting the entire range of 10 signature scents, 3 baby scents and 4 Christmas fragrances.

Further to that, and to fully walk their talk about their commitment to waste reduction and causing less harm, the couple have constructed the entire stand using reclaimed, re-worked and found objects.

Super excited for Finders Keepers – and good luck Loobylou. Hope to see you there.


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