The Sweet Meadow


Bridget Bodenham's Studio

inspiration, living the sweet lifeAishe Besim
We are drawn to items that represent...slowness, that reflect the marks of the maker, and embody the individuality that comes from objects created by human hands.
— Amber Creswell Bell

I've been an admirer of Bridget Bodenham's work for a long time. I first saw her pieces at a Finders Keepers market in Melbourne. There was a huge crowd hovering around her stand and for good reason - her handmade pieces are works of art that have gained a cult following.

I recently visited Bridget's studio in Hepburn Springs to collect a some platters and cups for The Sweet Meadow. Her space is very inspiring - lots of natural light and beautiful scenery (Hepburn Springs is surrounded by the Wombat State Forest). 

There is something magic about visiting someone's space of creativity. I felt it when I first visited Kaye Poulton's studio in Mooroopna, and Jim's Garden at Cactus Country. I think we all need our own little space where we feel safe to explore our creativity. 

Photographer Kara Rosenlund describes Bridget as "the kind of person who actually makes you want to strive to be a better person yourself" and I can totally relate to this. She lives in a way that is harmonious with nature and her surroundings and reminded me to step back and live a little slower. 

Thank you Bridget!

Video - The Photoshoot

video, living the sweet lifeAishe Besim
Eating outdoors makes for good health and long life and good temper, everyone knows that.
— Elsie de Wolfe

I had a lot of fun setting up a photo shoot recently for The Sweet Meadow. I take a lot of photos of my food, but I realised I didn't have any print-worthy photos of people sharing food together, which is essentially what this business is all about.

I called upon super cool photographer Nicole Williams to help me bring this idea to life, with flowers by Bonnie Weindenbach Floristy. Bonnie's family grow mountains of flowers at the Avonlea Flower Farm in nearby Murchinson, so I knew I was in good hands!

The models for the day were my beautiful cousins. We have all grown up on this farm together so I liked the idea of having them feature in these photos. This is just the first of many times where I will be roping in my family to help me bring The Sweet Meadow to life!

Watch the short video below for a behind the scenes look at how this all came together.

The business of business cards

brand, living the sweet lifeAishe Besim

I don't care that we now live in a digital age - the humble business card is still important and will not be replaced with a digital version any time soon.

This last month has seen me have meetings with architects, builders, landlords, creatives, antique dealers and salesmen, and scribbling down my email address and phone number on a scrap bit of paper just doesn't cut it. What a way to project an image of professionalism!

I made it a priority to invest in something tangible now so that I could carry something around with me in my wallet. Not purely to hand out to others, but for myself - my dream is really in motion and I need to keep my eyes on the prize!

I haven't had my own personal business card since my first job out of uni back in 2007, so I knew I wanted to invest in something special. Having studied and worked in marketing for the last ten years, I understood that business cards do more than provide contact details. In many cases, it is a person's first impression of your brand. A memorable business card will create a great first impression and is more likely to be shared. 

A few months ago I was reading about the founder of Bespoke Letterpress, Alischa Herrmann. Alischa developed a love for the ancient art of letterpress printing (it was invented back in 1439) and after investing in an antique cast iron letterpress, she established the company in Brisbane. Now operating from Bowral, NSW, Bespoke Letterpress is one of the world's leading letterpress studios designing and printing couture letterpress stationery. I knew once I checked out the studio's website that I'd found the perfect printers for this project. 

So what image did I want to portray with my business card? Firstly, I wanted it to be printed on a recycled plant-based stock. Lots of memorable cards are printed on metal or hologram plastics, but I wanted to go with something more earthy (of course). I ended up choosing a beautiful 600gsm cotton stock in ivory, famous for its smoothly finished uncoated surface.

My graphic designer friend who developed my original logo put the design together, which was created with letterpress printing techniques in mind (letterpress doesn't look as effective with large solid areas). 

The ink colour was a soft pink that was hand mixed to match a Pantone colour, with the end result being delicate, whimsical and slightly fragile (like the Because of the labour-intensive nature of this printing process the cost doesn't come cheap, however as a creative person myself I think it's important to support these old-fashioned ways of living creatively. 

Check out Bespoke Letterpress on Instagram here