I mean, don’t get us wrong. We LOVE love.
Naturally, we are totally into that all hearts-a-fluttering, forever feeling that you get when you are with the ONE.
But let’s be a little f$%king honest here... What about when it all goes messily wrong? As in beyond that gentle “this isn't really working for me”’ kind of wrong...
After a recent breakup, it struck me, that I wanted to create a range that encapsulated the emotions we’ve all had in those ‘less than perfect’ moments.
After all, life isn’t all unicorns and butterflies.
Sometimes it’s more ‘tequila shots and I want to burn your house down’, isn’t it?
So I set about channelling my ‘post break-up’ vibes into designing the ‘Bad Bitch Club’ (looking back now this was probably more productive than slashing tyres & jail time…;)
The result is a raw AF collection, for all the misfits, the heart broken & heart breaker’s, the less than perfect girls. The wild ones, the creatives, the fast and the cray ladies. The kind that live loudly and will never have their wings clipped.
We had the narrative and designs locked down, but still needed that perfect creative team to nail the visuals. Enter Sticks and Stones. This gang GETS it. They’ve felt heartbreak. They get raw, ‘imperfect’ and elegantly wasted. They can nail the ‘half bottle of vodka’, 5am kinda vibe we needed. They also killed it on the location & found the perfect sassy, sexy model Beth Hurrell, who was our ‘no holds‘ barred chameleon extraordinaire & made the perfect fit. Bold, brash and insanely alluring, she threw a genuine next level brand of magic to the shoot.
Sticks & Stones created a magical wonderland of fantasy merged with rock and roll reality, and took us on an adventure to a beautiful beach shack in Queensland, where the aesthetic for a new brand of girl gang was born. A modern day wonder-woman, who takes no bullshit and needs no hero.
Because this was not a cute, shiny hair, ‘shit yeah’ kinda highlighter shoot. We needed honest, gritty, still pretty, and a whole lot of sassitude.
So we embarked on this journey with the A-team and dreamed up a visual world that all of us will identify with, a girl gang that we all know. Maybe we are one of them. Most probably we are parts of all of them.
Fuck the fairytale, we don’t need red roses and white horses, we’ve got wild best friends and Uber.
Here’s a little sneak peek into the BTS world of the Bad Bitch Club…
That's "No, I regret nothing" to those who haven't ever heard of the classic Edith Piaf tune.
But on a more serious note. It's Bastille Day. That's the french national day equivalent to 'Australia Day' or "Fuck Yeah, USA" Day, as "Les Americians" call it.
So let's just take a little look at those irrepressible frenchies, and what the hell they do that make them, well, so damn chic.
It's a not very well kept secret that the French, just well, GET IT. They get life, food, wine, fashion, the art of eating cheese without getting fat, and a general sense of being that other cultures sometimes seem to miss. They have fun, and always look ever-so-chic doing it.
Yes, they have thousands of years of ballet flats, Chanel, movie star royalty in their sleek back pockets, and they practically invented the Paleo way of life without being as uncouth as to name it.. or any diet in any form.
But what is it about them as a whole, that makes them so, well effortless. We've broken it down for you in ten easy steps;
1, Simplistic Style. It's the casual ponytail with a ball gown, the smudge of red lipstick with a grey t-shirt, the slightly crumpled white shirt, and the peek of black lacy bra. It's super casual outfits, or at least it looks that way. It's those enviable photos of the french fashion editors tumbling out of Fashion Week looking like the rest of us do when we are over-styling a brunch date. How they make converse sneakers, torn jeans and a white tee look like a fashion forward moment rather than a lazy Sunday, is maybe more in their DNA, than their fashion choices.
2. Never too much make up. If you're reading this, you already know it. You've probably already Pinterested a million pics of Garance Dore, Lou Dillion, Emmanuelle Alt, or you even might be an old school Jane Birkin kinda girl? You know THE look. It's messy, slightly 'post sex' hair, not a hair straightener or blow wave in sight. It's a no foundation, yesterday eye-liner kinda look, but in an interesting, yet not trashy way? It's never overdone, yet never bare faced. It's the perfect balance of putting in effort, but not trying too hard. From an strictly analysis point of view, it's probably more about quality skincare, and an inner confidence, than it is about make up.
3. Work/Life Balance. Did you know the french have an actual LAW about not begin able to work more than 35 hours a week? Yup, they are so committed to not wasting life in an office cubicle, they made a legality around it. Do overtime and you are not only wasting your time, you are breaking the law. Enough said. Cue shiny skin and happy hair.
4. Cheese. We would try to define why cheese makes you happier, but.. have you ever eaten cheese? These girls eat it as entree, but mainly as dessert, and they have invented entire restaurants where they melt it on potatoes and call it a meal. Every local street has at least two cheese shops, and it pretty impossible to not glow like a light bulb when you eat enough cheese.
5. Wine. I mean, see above, and include the 35 hour work week, but this is a country of women, men and even children who drink the good drop 24/7 without guilt, during work, and with cheese. White and rosè at lunch, red at dinner, throw in that these guys invented aperol hour before it became trendy, and you can see why they look so happy, right?
6. Ageing Gracefully. You know that very famous french actress who has had too much botox? Stop. That was a trick question. Because they just don't. No, honestly, they really just don't. Ever. It's not their 'thing', and they don't seem to need to. Why? Because they age, as nature intended. Maybe it's the wine and cheese, but they tend to embrace grey hair, and a tiny smile line, and slather on moisturiser, and just don't mess it up. They focus on good skincare, and sleep, and country air, and affairs, and it turns out, if you are happy and confident, you really don't need to paralyse your facial lines.
7, The old 'cinq à sept' Ok, this one is controversial, but the old school french have a cheeky little secret called the '5pm to 7pm''. It's the torrid affair you have on the way home from work, where you 'take a lover', but you still get home by 7pm in time for dinner with the fam bam.
Because, they have class, and wanting sex isn't a secret, and they still respect their family. Shocked? I'm sure you are, but then again, you might be sneaking in a botox session on the way home. Tut, tut, tut.
8, Holidays. As in, real, proper holidays. Like, the whole country shuts down in August. Go to Paris during this time, and you will see a whole lot of hand written notes on shop fronts telling you they are shut for a month. No casual staff. No apologies. No care. They all hop on a train, and head to the country for an extended summer break. Don't believe us? Try going shopping during those months. Everyone is down south, babe.
9. They don't give AF about speaking their mind. Dinner parties are full of passionate debates about everything and nothing. It's OK to argue, and disagree, and spill wine, and have a visceral reaction to the world around you. Hell, it's expected. No one cares about anything, and yet everyone does care, about everything. Passion is sexy, non?
10. In essence? They don't TRY too hard. Yep, we get this is a pretty general thing to say, but look at every french girl you idolise (and they are a pretty impressive bunch) and the overall sense is: they don't overdo it. It's minimalism at its best. It's loose hair, flat shoes, long holidays, barely any make up and a certain 'je ne sais quoi' (google it, it's 2017) about their look. It's good food, even better fashion, and when all else fails? Well, mon amour, that's what champagne is for.
So this Bastille Day, raise a champagne flute for those gorgeous French girls with a flirt in their eyes, and a classic breton stripe on their shoulders.
C'est La Fucking Vie, mes amies.
No-one likes that smug person leaving behind winter to chase summer in a magically beautiful location in Europe, so I'll try to avoid mentioning I'm heading to Greece, and Croatia, with a side serve of Venice, and stick to sharing my must-have travel essentials...
As we ALL know, packing for the flight and final beach villa beyond is a huge part of the fun, and we all have our own 'desert-island' products to survive living out of a suitcase and arriving fresh AF after that uber long flight from Australia to .... well, pretty much anywhere in the world. Picking the right products will keep your bag light, your face fresh and your instagram snaps looking tight.
Here are my 'ride or die' travel essentials:
Slather it on once you board the flight and daily once you land, delight your fellow passengers with the dreamy fragrance that will keep you soft and silky at the same time. It's light, fresh, and a million times better for your skin than the hotel-issued moisturiser. (Unless you are staying at Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc, I hear they give you La Mer, but that's a whole other story..)
These are my current obsessions, and will not leave my face from start to finish of this trip. I'm obsessed with both the colour and the shape, and they come in handy for covering my aperitif hour people watching/creeping vibes.
3. Face Mist.
Use during long haul flights to avoid dry, gross 'plane face', but then keep in your beach bag to freshen up once you arrive on vacay. Also perfect for setting makeup for night time cocktails. Smells like a mermaid and feels like liquid face silk. Basically spray on repeat the whole trip.
It might just be me, but I need a cosy vibe of both home and a bit of calm when I travel, and there is something just a touch impersonal about the smell of even the most indulgent hotels. I tuck away a favourite D'Fly candle to freshen up the room when I arrive, and it never fails to help me sleep better. This is one of my faves from our latest range, and it's a blissful combo of fresh roses and violets, with a warming dash of bergamot and musk. Heavenly.
5. Eye Mask
Not only to block the light and let you sleep, but this one in particular just might help ward off those over chatty seat neighbours on the plane too. #sorrynotsorry
Goes without saying. I'm not a fan of sunburn, ageing, or skin cancer, so this is a non-negotiable every damn day. This Mecca fav glides on seamlessly and doesn't clog your pores.
7. Go-To Swipeys:
Holidays in the sun come with glorious 'no make up' times, but a LOT of SPF (see above), and these wipes used a few times a week at night gently cleanse away both the greasy 'screen and keep my skin fresh and glowy enough for minimal make up. Plus, let's be honest, we all have a girl crush on Zoe Foster-Blake, and anything she creates is legit magic.
8. The 'I can't put it down' kinda book.
One of the few joys of long haul flying is being able to switch off from the world for a few hours and get stuck into a real great read. Cat Marnell is an ex-beauty editor for Glamour Magazine, who has written a super juicy memoir into her high-as-a-kite rise to the top and subsequent downfall. It has all the feels and a few good life lessons, wrapped up in the international fashion world of sex, drugs and lipstick.
A must have for adding warmth on a plane (because, who buys a pashmina past 1997, right?) Obvs, these are also a stylish and lightweight addition to my beach bag, for both official pool towel use, a quick cover up over a chic one-piece for happy hour, as well as a conversation starter with any cute man folk that happen to be wandering past.Triple threat for the win.
10. MOST of all...
When travelling, take your passport, an open heart, a zest for life and a readiness to overeat. It's Europe after all, and I know the best of my memories will come over chipped mugs filled with Ouzo, alongside my crazy and beloved Greek relatives, in afternoons that stretch into midnight easily with the ones I love.
Happy winter guys, see you on the flip side!
It’s Mother’s Day soon, and ummm, since I guess I’m a “mum” now, I’ve been given permission to take over the blog to give my musings on motherhood this week. What it means to me now that I’ve got a tiny blonde version of myself doing the spinning of my world. *a side note, stay away from those spinning things at playground with a hangover, they are actual death after a recovery latte.
Until not too long ago, I used to be a smug ‘no baby’ kinda gal, who not only judged children, but their mothers too. I used to roll my eyes at the sentence ‘you’ll never know true love until you have your own child’, as well as ‘they are the meaning of life’. Now I have my own child, a rambunctious & hilarious toddler who looks like he might be a cast member from ‘Children of the Corn’, I can weigh in with greater authority on this whole ‘motherhood’ game.
Mainly? Everyone, stop the f#%king judging. Yep, that’s to you non-kid people, and ALSO to you fellow mothers. If you don’t have kids, don’t pretend you would be better at it. (To be fair, I TOTALLY thought I would be better at it.)
Stop rolling your eyes when a child dares to make noise in public. Guess what? That mother used to be cool and kid-free once too, and is also loathing the noise. If it was legal to gaffer tape children’s mouths shut they possibly would, but it’s out of their hands, and they’re already in cold sweats of embarrassment, so just grab your six pack of craft beer and move on, ok?
And to other mothers? Please stop the ‘mother’ judging. I know you claim your kid never eats sugar, or watches screens, but I saw the chocolate packet in the back of your angelic Snapchat, and your kid is singing the Frozen theme song on repeat, so I think you’re pretty much busted. None of us really know what we are doing, so let's keep the discussions to how to make the perfect afternoon margarita, you feeling me?
And if you are perfect? Then rad, pat yourself on the activewear clad back and roll on, because I’m pretty sure we can’t be friends anymore.
As for the elusive work/life juggle? Man, it’s a whole new world. Currently I work, freelance, mother and partner. I’m a sister, best friend, daughter and avid night time socialiser. I even get in a pilates class here and there. I’m so friggin tired and I’ve got a million balls in the air, but I’m also happy, fulfilled and I’m doing my damn hardest with relative degrees of success. There are plenty of tantrums and a lot of sultanas, but also so much love and a bunch of laughter.
Look, my kid eats kale (like, seriously, not just on instagram) but also nails those obnoxious squeezy yogurts covered in cartoons. He’s f#$king ridiculously adorable and infuriatingly challenging all at once. It takes a good dose of humour, and a large amount of wine to get through some days, and I recommend a balanced blend of girlfriends both with and without children to make it through. You’ll need both.
This ‘mum’ life is more chaotic, more insane and messier than I ever thought. It’s challenging and very rarely as chic as it looks on instagram. But it’s a strangely beautiful madness that brings more joy than I ever expected. And we’re doing it ok. We’ve kept our friends, and our jobs, and even taken the tiny tyrant overseas a few times without being thrown off any flights. He isn’t our entire world, just our very favourite part of an already full and happy life.
TBH? For the soppy Hallmark ending? Honestly, I absolutely knew what true love was before my son arrived, but maybe I never knew how much I needed it. I’ve slowly become a walking cliche, and I think I’m ok with that.
Just don’t ask me to brunch at a kid friendly cafe in yoga gear. I’m just not that kind of mum.
*dedicated to Henry Gruff : the cutest, funniest, smartest, coolest little dude I know. Being your mother is a gift.
The Bride. The Bestie. The New Mumma. The Bridal Tribe. Your Sis. The shining lights in your life that you simply can’t live without. They deserve something special, bespoke & elegant. With a cheeky butt pinch. Because this is Damselfly, after all.
This is the collection you’ve always wanted to find when you get engaged, or when your best friend gets married. For when you just NEED to let your sister know how much you miss her. Or perhaps that perfect Mother’s Day gift. Maybe even a ‘I Forgot Your Birthday’ moment. In short, it’s the kind of present you’ve always been hunting for, but can never find something that just feels ‘right’. Something sweet without being sickly, and heartfelt without being overdone.
“Wild Hearts’ evokes all those feels, with an iconic range of fresh new candles, celebrating the mood of the most special moments with your tribe. But with some much loved Damselfly quirkiness.
When we began to design this range, we wanted it to feel fresh and modern and different to anything we had done before. We secured talented artist Bree McDonald to collaborate with us on this project to create the artwork of our dreams.
To elevate the detail of Bree’s work, we designed all new packaging with foil detailing in dreamy tones of silver, and rose gold that adds to the glamour of the collection. These nestle amongst the softer tones of blush pink and silver, and result in the colour palette of our dreams. Our latest packaging with the range features hand painted textural brush stroke detail offset with a custom typography print on the insert.
To be honest, we’ve all loved indulging with our inner valentines for this collection. It’s been nice to add in some tonal magic to our signature monochrome style and experiment with something softer, a touch sweeter.
Wild Hearts is a crush-inducing, heart-stopping capsule from The Damselfly Collective. Artfully designed for the loves of our lives. For the wild hearted amongst us, this is true love.
Online now just in time for Mother's Day.
Creating a new collection here a Dfly is sort of like building a house. You start with the foundations, and add in fittings, furnishings, and everything in between, then change your mind a million times... and pin 47,237 pictures on Pinterest in the meantime.
Then you have to build the dream team behind it all to make sure everything ends up with that dash of magic...
When we begun the process of imagining our new 'Wild hearts' range, we knew we needed to raise the bar with our creative process and hunt out some shining stars to collaborate with us on this project.
So we reached out to local QLD artist Bree McDonald to collaborate on some epic new artwork & original typography to feature throughout the collection. Sitting down to debrief, we knew instantly that she was the kind of girl that saw life through the same lense as us. Quirky, and whimsical, her work is bursting with a life and vibrancy that encapsulated the feelings we were hoping to capture.
Before Bree could begin, we have the delicious, but lengthy process of creating our new bespoke scents for the range. Smelling, trialling, re-smelling, then starting all over again is just part of the delicate job of getting the fragrances perfect. We sniffed everything from gardenia to garden peas and back again, hunting for just the right combination. Whilst we LOVE this part of the job, we all began to start smelling candles in our dreams over this period, and I'm fairly sure the entire office lost their scent mojo after weeks on end of sniff testing.
From there, it was back to the drawing board to lock in the perfect quotes to encapsulate all the 'feels' of love. Trust us, this actually is one of the most pain staking parts of the process, landing on the right words that express exactly how we feel takes countless hours of workshopping, gallons of coffee and the occasional champagne session at end of a long week. There were heated debates about the perfect words, and the right phrases, and what felt like an exploding mood board of never ending options.
Think that is where it ends for us? Oh hell no... that's just the tip of the iceberg. Crack out the Pantone colour palettes, it's packaging time. Knowing we wanted tonal textural detail to be a key detail, we must have gone over a zillion different shades of silver, rose gold & blush before settling on the perfect pick for our original brushstroke packaging. That's right.. even the artwork on the packaging was created in house by hand to ensure absolute perfection.
We leave nothing to chance when it comes to our product development. It may seem like it's a simple brush stroke to the innocent eye, but before that comes a trillion versions and meetings and analysis about how thick each stoke should look on the corner of the box and if the paint splash is in just the right place...
To be fair, the level of OCD our team has to get it all right could turn the average person mad. Emails and phone calls can happen in the middle of the night to reassure each other that the rose gold detail isn't too 'rose gold', and we've ordered sample after sample and held our breath countless times as the courier arrives at the door with the final product.
Finally, at the end of all this madness, enter our adorable printer to make sure the quality level was bang on, and finally... drum roll please... we have a range ready to go!
In the eye of the storm, a collection like this can seem like an endless wave of decisions and second guessing, but once the long road has been travelled, we are ecstatic to have created something we are 100% proud of. (Even if we have a few grey hairs to show for it...)
Here's a little sneak peek into the not so simple world behind the humble candle.
Black and white. Naughty and nice. Strong and vulnerable. We’re a brand that fuses life’s paradoxes together and celebrates them.
This kind of beautiful inner chaos, is what lead us to create the Light and Shade collection, our premium candle range. It is our most indulgent and tactile collection ever. and we have spared no time or expense to design each element of the range to next level luxury.
The collection comes dressed in our most premium packaging that is as gorgeous as the candle itself. Subtle high gloss script shimmers on a heavy textured box with tonal detail that reflects the decadence of the debossed design inside. This is Light & Shade.
A perfect balance of crisp and clean design paired with indulgent texture and tactile appeal- the matte glass finish with chic deboss detail is as elegant to touch as it is to look at.
And the final Damselfly touch? Well that, our friends, is in the hint of the words embossed into the glass... Good Vibes Only or No Fucks Given? Up to you lovelies.
Ok, not really. Well, actually, I kinda do…. Look, I get it, there is a small chance that there isn’t really a mystical white horse-like creature, who may or may not be able to fly and stabs idiots in the head with their horn. But it’s nice to dream, right?
Do you remember being a little kid, and the anticipation of Christmas Eve? That magical feeling before you went to bed knowing that when you woke up, some sort of wizardry would have occurred, and there would be a pile of presents under the tree?
And even though you knew, deep down that Santa had used the same wrapping paper as your parents, and you saw the handle of the bike sticking out of a blanket in the shed… Well, there was that little butterfly of belief that it WAS true.. and he DID exist. So you would go to bed, hardly able to sleep, imagining you could hear the tinkering of the sled?
Well, that’s the feeling I have about unicorns.. and mermaids.. And yes, damn it, I’m an adult, and I’m supposed to be sensible, and I pay bills, and eat sensibly, and all the rest. And I know that outside using LSD, you’re not supposed to believe in visions and magic and all the rest.
But honestly? I love that shimmery, tingling, child-like excitement when I imagine that these creatures are real, and maybe there are mermaids deep in the sea, and perhaps, just maybe, they might exist. That somewhere, somehow, there is a magic that is there, that only the believers can see.
And I imagine a perfect world, without the bills, and dental appointments, and adult responsibilities, where we all eat glitter for breakfast, and believe in magic, and dance under stars with fairies and animals who can sing.
And why? Because “real life” can be too vanilla and sometimes too serious. We have lost the art of playing, dreaming and the art of make believe somewhere along the way of leaving childhood and it sucks.
In a world far away from all this, in my happy place, I am surrounded by creative people.. the adventurers, the artists, and the musicians and all the sparkly love vibes…There are unicorns, and they drink mojitos and dance to David Bowie, and they make life seem like Christmas Eve even if just for a little while. And I go to bed with that tingle of excitement and it makes anything seem possible.
So you think I’m crazy? Why, I should get down off my unicorn and slap you.
I want to believe in the god damn magic, and I will.
As a creative, it’s sometimes hard to be relatable to others that don’t quite understand the special kind of ‘creative crazy land’ that I inhabit for most of my week.
The endless daydreaming, the manic midnight inspiration sessions, the quest to create, and the ability to lose myself in a patch of creativity that takes over practical stuff, like cooking and paying bills. The drive to create is a strange beast, that can be hard to identify sometimes...
For me, I have been so lucky to be raised in a home surrounded by women who also lose themselves in this dreamland, and no one more so than my talented sister and resident mega babe, Stephanie Heideman.
From the earliest age, we scribbled, styled, painted and created together, guided by our talented mumma who sewed, modelled, decorated around us, and our childhood was a kaleidoscope of colour, design and whimsy. I admired (somewhat enviously) her deft hand with pencil or paint, and she wore proudly my early attempts of jewellery (macaroni necklaces in gold anyone?)
I marvel at her works, sometimes complex and intricate patterns of ink and pen, or dreamy resin creations that draw you in with memorising abstraction. She creates pieces that you can’t stop staring at, and i’m awed by her talent every day.
Stephanie has a knack of highlighting the beauty in the everyday, as well as creating a world of fantasy with her artwork and prints. From woodland animals to Rihanna, she turns everything into a visual magic. These pieces sell across the world now, and I couldn’t be more proud to see her creations pop up in boutiques and homes across the globe.
From surfboards to portraits, my sis literally turns any empty canvass into a lust worthy, authentic artwork, and so I was thrilled when she agreed to work with Damselfly to create a collection of prints for us. She has taken my obsession with gemstones, and spun her own artistic magic into them, and the result is a range of six bespoke prints of impeccable detail and beauty.
I feel so damn #blessed that my best friend is my sister, and my sister is such a talented artist. To share the love of design and creation has created a bond that is both inspirational and a whole lot of fun. It’s a crazy, messy, world that I’m happy we share together.
Tomorrow the Full Moon is rising in all it's glory, and you KNOW that means things are about to get a little cray-cray right?
Ok, before I hear any non-believers trying to tell me that the moon has nothing to do with human behaviour and emotions, let me just first explain why this has ALWAYS been the case.
This isn't a new age hippie thing to believe in full moons and their effects. I mean, it's not just a Teen Wolf kinda vibe, you know? (On a side note, wasn't that just a classic 80's memory right there. Seriously Netflix, start streaming that nostalgic magic)
No, indeed if we even look at the age old language surrounding moon driven behaviour, we can see that this is a long-term ideology.
The term 'lunacy' comes from the latin origin of 'lunaticus', meaning, literally 'moonstruck'. We call it the Lunar effect, and it's what we pull out as an explanation when people seemingly lose their proverbial shit during the full moon.
Teachers roll their eyes when a full moon is coming, knowing the kids will go loco, and hippies only cut their hair during this time, because, um, well.. hippies. People are charging their crystals, and it changes the tide and the vibe, big time.
This upcoming full moon is a BIG one. And maybe we can even see that it was going to be, because it is one that predicts turmoil and a lack of understanding, and a wild spirited discontent. And as the world around us gets more divided, angrier, and people seems less 'sparkly' lately, well, maybe the full moon effect has more weight than we think...
For us mainly, it's a chance to regroup, hit restart and get a fresh perspective. We're going to drink wine, dance in the rain, sing at the stars and then embrace the new moon rising. It signals rebirth, a clean slate and a wave of inspiration. And that's something we think is worth losing our shit over.
Stay wild moon child.