Wednesday, April 10

This blog is moving house!

Our blog is moving to it's new home.  We've been busy busy busy and we've just launched our new website. We're happy with it, and although there will be some inevitable tweaking, it's so nice have all of our pages and galleries and information in one place - finally!  Our letterpress studio, tucked up high in the hills of Northern NSW is purring away each day, creating hand-made objects and products of beauty and use. This really is the main focus of our work place, making beautiful things that have a place in each and every home, things of usefulness and pleasure. As well as printing custom design jobs, we produce a range of hand-printed and assembled letterpress products such as notebooks and gift cards. Our new range of notebooks are coming together this week, they are inspired by the hues of Japan and it's breathtaking textiles;  it's exciting watching every aspect of their design materialising before us. We hand-print our gift cards also, and one by one our designs are rolling of the press and into our online stores and bricks and mortar stockists.  I can't tell you how great it is to be creating everyday and doing precisely what we love.

So from this moment on, all of our blog posts will be published directly from our new website.  It's the spot to visit if you're curious about who we are, where we are and what we do.  We'll be posting about our most recent print jobs, our inspiring clients and the business of making (or trying to make) a living from a creative life.  We will bring you links to people who inspire us in our everyday creative practices, artists who blow our minds, designers who we admire, friends who are toiling away at their own beautiful creative lives and some fine sites and blogs to visit.

We would love you to visit our new online "home" where you can explore our work, find links to our stores and stockists or find info about up and coming workshops. If you do visit be sure to say hi, you can leave a comment on the blog or drop us a note via the contacts page.  We'd love to hear from you.

Monday, February 4

Time to get back to work! I'm so excited to be moving into a new studio this week. Our beautiful Heidelberg press resides at our home in the hills,  but all of the drawing, printing and ideas work will now be happening in the Murwillumbah studio.  The best part of being in the town studio this year will be the people I'm surrounded by; all unique mentors in their own way and all marvellously inspiring and endlessly creative. I can't wait to see what work comes from all of this positive energy. Is your studio a ball of electric energy or are you the country mouse motivated by solitude and peace?

Monday, January 21

Holiday Mode


Hello and thanks for stopping by.  We've gone into holiday hibernation here at Olive and the Volcano so there will be new posts starting in Feburary 2013, once children are safely ushered back to school at lightening pace!

New Beginnings

We're very excited about a new Olive and the Volcano website being planned for the early part of this year, a new look blog, jazzing up the online store and of course getting back to the studio for some fresh artmaking, designing and letterpress printing. 

Watch out!

In the next few months we will be working those presses to have a new series of superbly crafted notebooks, cards and paper goods for you. Olive and the Volcano will be expanding your choices by adding to our blank notebooks the choice of grids and lines, especially useful if you're the structured type. Jo is already busy in her own notebooks making sketches for the new designs inspired by recent travels, weird things kids say, colour and pattern, words, music and the everyday.

New Store

Olive and the Volcano is also opening a "little sister" store very soon which will stock a fine array of the completely addictive Washi Tape.  There is a whole world of washi love out there and a gazillion washi projects that will keep you crafting well into the night!  Look out for the new Etsy store called "Volcano Washi" opening asap and the Pinterest board "Volcano Washi Projects" to get you all hyped up to washi your whole house and totally washi your life in all ways!

Lots on the list

The holiday haze has nearly lifted so you can be sure to see some super changes happening here at Olive and the Volcano. It's going to be a grand year so keep checking back regularly to keep up to date on store openings, website launches, specials and workshops.

To get your name on the mailing list just e-mail Jo on
and you'll have all of the best info super fast.

Happy holidays letterpress loving people

xo Jo

Monday, September 10

Why you should love Instagram

I know it's probably a very popular thing to do and yes, maybe I have been totally seduced by the ease of creating fab pics from generic filters, but I really love Instagram and I'll tell you why.  Firstly, if you are not one of the gazillion people currently obsessed by this visual feast then let me get you up to speed. Instagram is an app for your phone, you take a pic, crop it, apply a filter and bingo you are an instantly fab "phonographer" who can take atmospheric and sumptuous images by simply snapping pics on the run with no major crisis about the correct exposure, weather conditions, shutter speed or aperture. It's easy photography, some photo snobs may even say "lazy" but Instagram has a fair bit going for it and here's why.  Good old Instagram makes you take notice. Suddenly every trip into town, every moment spent with the family, every outing, every landscape before you, every lost moment waiting for the bus or being stuck at the roadworks become an opportunity to look around you, line up a composition, focus on a colour, get happy finding a pattern or just see something beautiful amongst something kind of ordinary.

Being a visual girl, I tend to look for inspiration everywhere, pretty much all of the time, but now I can "collect" them, instantly, beautifully, easily. I guess in a ridiculous kind of a way, this "instant" visual fix makes you keenly present. In all of the rushing, in all of the to and fro, you take one small second to be still, to observe and to notice all of the detail around you, or the bigger picture.  So is Instagram a spiritual experience? Um, well, I may be going a little too far there, but I do know one thing; everytime I collect an image on Instagram, this little gadget, app, novelty, I get to capture and document something really beautiful. So everyday I get to experience a beautiful image, and everyday I get to see other peoples beautiful images and I get to "like" that image, and talk to that person and I get to experience their joy at seeing beautiful things.

It may just be Instagram, but if more people could capture one single moment of beauty everyday in one little image I think that THAT is amazing. And when people tell you that art is a luxury and not a necessity, you point them towards Instagram and tell them to prepare to see beautiful things and smile at least once a day.

See my Instagram pics here


Friday, September 7

Tiny books in tiny moments

Sometimes when you are a mum, a maker, a project obsessive like myself, you need to use each moment wisely. This is why I usually work so small, it's kind of easier to achieve things amongst making sandwiches, replying to e-mails, wiping noses and doing dishes (I detest doing the dishes!).  So yesterday I dedicated myself to making tiny books. Little tomes that will become little necklaces. Tiny books are like treasure, their pages are intimate and quiet and they always make me think that the people using them are storing away secrets and wishes and dreams - basically I'm a hopeless, hopeless romantic.  So, in my "small moments" my "tiny minutes" I'll be stitching these thumbsized vessels with wonky linen stitching, watercolour papers and beautiful rusted pages, screen-printed leathers and frayed fabrics.  They'll be ready in time for the Christmas Markets (yes, they will be?) and they'll be ready in time for New Years Resolutions.  They will all be unique, they will all be special and they will all be beautiful in a wabi-sabi kind of way.

                    rusted bamboo paper and screenprinted leathers go into this one - already sold!

    a little selection of tiny books, with wonky stitching, handprinted covers, watercolour papers etc etc

my new fave, yellow and black and white, chunky and sweet all at the same time!

Love love this one, already sold, completely gorgeous in it's own crazy stitched way! 

rusted paper sampler

simple japanese stitched binding for this selection of beautiful rusted papers

Tuesday, August 28


ooooh DIG is coming....yes the newest workshop and I'm so excited about getting gritty with ochres, rusted paper, stitching, spuds, hessian sacks, it will be just like my childhood, bandicooting in the spud paddocks (yes I actually did grow up among swarthy spud farmers!) book a spot at the Print + Paper + Book store and spend a beautiful day making tunnel books.  Did I mention that it's at the Blue Knob Hall at the lovely Lillian Rock in Northern NSW, AND they have the best little cafe with big pots of Chai and hearty meals...can't wait!

Friday, August 10

you know, we made it!

It's been a little while since it all happened but the Hey Maker! Collective made it, we reached our goal and we made it! $11,700 and a bit more was pledged and it's amazing and wonderful and exciting.  The next steps are underway, we now look at spaces, we develop some awesome workshops and events, we design a beautiful space and we start, the beauty and the magic is in the action and from here we simply start.

Thank-you if you pledged, thank-you if you simply read and watched and hoped and sent out happy feelings......thanks xo

little bits of our little town...................