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

Colour/Styling/Decoration, Red Olive Updates, The ART world, The General Blah, I mean Blog!


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.


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Colour/Styling/Decoration, Kere's Personal Journey, Red Olive Updates, The ART world, The General Blah, I mean Blog!, underground ARTspace updates


As the Worm Turns – Faith No More

“Through their hollow tombs I can see them, through their mouths

I can hear them praying for pain. It’s only a game.”



Caffeine – Faith No More
“The world expects the pose, perfectly natural (loosen up).  Smearing wet concrete, and swearing you’ll never be…(caught).  At your weakest, etched in stone.  And we’re frozen here peaking.”


Daniel – Lior
“Outside it’s overcast, and visions hard to find, but the memories will be my guide.  ‘Cause even though I know our skins have changed, colours that we share, they still remain.”



Dear Mr President – P!NK  
“How can you say, no child is left behind.  We’re not dumb and we’re not blind.    They’re all sitting in your cells.  While you pave the road to hell.”


Fade to Black – Metallica
“Growing darkness taking dawn. I was me, but now he’s gone.  No one but me, can save myself, but it’s too late.  Now I can’t think, think why I should even try.”


Fast Car – Tracey Chapman

“I remember when we were driving, driving in your car – speed so fast I felt like I was drunk. City lights lay out before us, and your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder. And I, had a feeling that I belonged.

And I, had a feeling I could be someone.”



Forgive Me – Missy Higgins
“All, all, all of my light is for you. An home, home’s anywhere you are too. So take this one fallen man on his knees. Saying please, forgive me. “


 Hard to Concentrate – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Do you want me to show up for duty, and serve this woman and honour her beauty? And finally you have found someone perfect, and finally youhave found yourself, with me.”


Heading West – Cyndi Lauper 
“And I’m heading west, without a sad goodbye. And I’m heading west, I’m  like a letter with no address; just like a book I read I’m heading west.”


I Could Have Lied – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“A mountain never seems to have the need to speak, a look that shares so many seek. The sweetest feeling I got from you, the things I said to you were true.”



Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri
“And it took so long just to feel alright.  Remember how to put back the light in my eyes. I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed,  ’cause you broke all your promises. And now you’re back, you don’t get to get me back.”


Letter to Hermione – David Bowie
“But something tells me that you hide, when all the world is warm and tired. You cry a little in the dark – well so do I.   I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to say, but I can see it’s not ok.”



Nitemare Hippy Girl – Beck
“She’s a nightmare hippy girl, with her skinny fingers fondling my world. She’s a whimsical tragical beauty. Uptight and a little bit snooty.”


One Crowded Hour – Augie March
“Now should you expect to see something that you hadn’t seen, in somebody you’ve know since you were sixteen;  and if love is a bolt from the blue – then what is that love, but a glorified screw? And that doesn’t hold nothing together.”



Phoenix Rising – Annihilator
“Wings on fire, tearing into the night. Screaming into the light of another day. Carry me, out of the hurricane.  Into the smoke and flames, and we’ll fly away.


Redemption Song – Bob Marley
“But my hand was made strong, by the hand of the Almighty.  We forward in this generation, triumphantly.”


Return to Serenity – Testament
“This innocent beauty my words can’t describe. This rebirth to purity brings a sullen tear right to your eyes. No time for anger, no time for despair. Please let me take you, cause I’m already there.”



Same Love – Macklemore + Ryan Lewis
“Live on, and be yourself! When I was at church they taught me something else. If you preach hate at the service, those words aren’t anointed. The holy water that you soak in has been poisoned.”


 Settle for Nothing – Rage against the Machine
“A world of violent rage, but it’s one that I can recognise. Having never seen the colour of my Fathers eyes.  Yes, I dwell in hell, but it’s a hell that I can grip. I tried to grip my family, but I slipped.”



Shattered – Casey Donovan
“And I’m Shattered – I’m not broken enough to bleed.  And I’m Shattered – I was blind but now I see. And it hurts like hell, but you are not the end of me.”


Soul to Squeeze – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“It’s bitter baby and it’s very sweet. I’m on a rollercoaster but I’m on my feet. Take me to the river let me on your shore. I’ll be coming back baby, I’ll be coming back for more.”


Space Oddity – David Bowie
“Though I’m past one hundred thosand miles, I’m feeling very still.  And I think my spaceship knows which way to go. Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows.”



Suddenly – Cam Tapp
“It’s every wrong that you wanted to right. It’s every star holding up the night.  It’s every song that you wanted to sing. It’s every gift that you wanted to bring.  Suddenly”


The Past Recedes – John Frusciante
“I lied to the greatest thieves about anything and everything.  I’m a figure of forgotten speech, I’m out of reach.  I can’t play it safe, but I might just incase.”


Sound of White – Missy Higgins
“If things get real for me down here, promise to take me to before you went away – if only for a day. If things get real for me down here, promise to take me back to the tune we played, before you went away.”


They Weren’t There – Missy Higgins
“You sighed and I was lost in you, weeks could’ve passed for all I knew.     You were the blanket of the over world, and so I couldn’t say, I wouldn’t say No. They all said, you’re too young to even know.”


This Love – Pantera
“I’d been the tempting one, stole her from herself. This gift in pain, her pain was life. And sometimes, I feel so sorry – I regret this, the hurting of you.”


This Love – Pantera
“I’d been the tempting one, stole her from herself. This gift in pain, her pain was life. And sometimes, I feel so sorry – I regret this, the hurting of you.”


Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
“Together we can take it to the end of the line. Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time. I don’t know what to do and I’m always in the dark. We’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks.”


Uncomfortably Slow – Newton Faulkner
“So don’t take my photograph, ’cause I don’t wanna know how it looks to feel like this.  As cars and people pass, It feels like standing still but I know. I’m just moving uncomfortably slow.”


Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“I drive on her streets ’cause she’s my companion. I walk through her hills ’cause she knows who I am. She sees my good deeds and she kisses me windy, and I never worry. Now that is a lie.”


White Lies  – Paolo Nutini
“Take a chance, watch it fall. Grab too much, and lose it all.  Now I’ve lost my disguise, it was all white lies.”


Wish you were here – Pink Floyd

“Can you tell a green field, from a cold steel rail. A smile from a veil.

Do you think you can tell?”


With or without you – U2
“See the stone set in your eyes, see the thorn twist in your side. I wait for you. Sleight of hand and twist of fate. On a bed of nails she makes me wait. And I wait, without you. With or without you.”

Chromesthesia – The Colour of my Song

Limited edition of 10 prints only


* First editions purchased on opening night $220.00 
Please contact us to see samples, and select preferred framing option

Our Christmas Gift to YOU. x

Colour/Styling/Decoration, Design & Architecture, Red Olive Updates, The General Blah, I mean Blog!, underground ARTspace updates



What a year folks, friends, fans and followers.

Lot’s of ups and downs huh! I can’t help but feel blessed (for obvious reasons) and this time of year is a wonderful special time, with all the magic that Christmas, and the promise that a New years always brings. I always love to get my craft on at the time too – and have got some brilliant new ideas planned for our classes starting soon too. One of them, I am sharing with you and hoping to encourage you to have a crack at your inner creator. I printed mine on to A4  recycled paper and used them to wrap small gifts (see image) and chopped them to make labels etc. We then made sticker labels by pasting some images we’d found online onto and Officeworks label, and others by spray painting over simple decorations like bells and snowflakes for something a bit more abstract. Super simple, zappy and best of all, home made! Enjoy 🙂 If you’re reasding this blog – just email me, and I’ll forward you the PDF. 
IMG_0003   IMG_0005  IMG_0006  IMG_0007
I had a brilliant special – 20% of everything, limited time all that jazz, and then realised there was something wrong with the host of our shopping system! Doh. We’re still testing to see if it’s resolved, but I’m honouring the discounts for the rest of the year. Just email me your wish list and I’ll keep the goods aside. Also, for orders over $50, we will gift wrap and make sure they get to you by Christmas by subsiding the difference between the average post to the overnight delivery! 


I’ve finished building the underground ARTspace website too. Will be launching in the new year. We’re consciously separating the ARTspace from Red Olive. ARTspace will be all things Art, Art + craft related – a home for Artists Bios, Updates + Info for Classes (also launching soon), ART markets (Rachel is looking at making these a regular occurrence with a few twists!) and online ART sales. Have a sneaky peek if you’re interest, there’s lots of Artists still to upload work – it’s early stages, but I’m happy with how we’re going. www.undergroundARTspace.com

Red Olive Studios:

Red Olive will be purely all things retail and interior design related – all things related to me (Kere) personally, like it was before the ARTspace. Less confusing we think! Also, I’ve started doing graphic stuff, and various other avenues, so Red Olive will eventually return to being my sole trader personal little retail space (which rents a space WITHIN the underground ARTspace). Make sense?
So, as always thanks for sticking with us. Our very very best wishes for health, happiness and hope. During this period and always.
Kere, Adrian, Lanya (and Modi who Lanya tells me is the Red Olive mascot!?!) 

Hey all,

Thought I’d pop in and give you a quick update. I’ve been busy trying to heal and recover (and quickly rebuild a website having had MEGA issues with our hosting/site managers. It seems the Red Olive website was spending more time down than up – not cool when you’ve launched online shopping huh!

I did it. It’s been hell and back, and back, and back. I will put a more detailed post soon, but just wanted to let you know that because of a complete stranger ‘Klaus’ who donated his wonderful strong powerful stem cells, I have another shot. I’m in remission and I just passed 100 days on Saturday. My Dr tells me (constantly) that I still have a loooong way to go, but I’m trying to celebrate the victories wherever they are. I’ve come off steroids, and most of the pain medication – and it’s shown up a lot of damage which the drugs were hiding. Some hip, nerve damage – hopefully not permanent. Graft vs Host disease has reared it’s heap this week, but with each bout of nausea, or cramp, or debilitating lethargy I’m ‘trying’ to be grateful for the little German cells raging war inside me, and forgiving them for the good cells they’re destroying on their hunt for the bad one. Imagine being a lovely German bloke, then being born, and waking up inside a mad kiwi woman!

Have I told you that my blood group will be changing? I go from being ‘A negative person, to A positive person’ Get it? A- to A+ hahahaha. I think it’s well funny, but it didn’t get a laugh from my Dr. though perhaps he’s heard it before…?

My team at RNS Hospital are second to none, and if I had to do this bollocks of a journey, I’m daily thankful it’s with them.

Unidentifiable but listed: Matt, Lisa, Barb, David, Ian, Taz, Cassandra, Donna, Lynnie and the AMAZING Nurses & team at both 12D and 12A. You took me in when other had given up, when the priests were trying to read me my last rites (WTF?) You nurtured me, and believed in me enough – and have continued to fight with me for my life. We all think what we do is so important professionally, but none among us have more value in our daily lives than this group of people. Not only do they save lives, they remind us why we want to fight for them.

The miracle of science and nature, and the will to live huh?

The General Blah, I mean Blog!