Vignette Magic

Last week, with great excitement, I attended a Vignette Magic workshop with the queen of vignettes, Kara Rosenlund. Kara and her gorgeous husband, Timothy O were visiting Sydney from their home town (mine too) of Brisbane. ( I discovered Kara went to school just up the hill from my Queensland workers cottage!)

One of Kara's vignettes

One of Kara’s vignettes

Kara is Australia’s modern day Gypsy. She travels around with her caravan, Frankie, collecting and selling her vintage and one off finds.

Frankie the caravan

Frankie the caravan

The workshop was held at Megan Morton’s “the school” which is a fabulous white space at Rosebery. There were so many exciting elements to the night that had me all a quiver.

"the school" at Rosebery

“the school” at Rosebery

Megan met course participants with Iced Tea Vodka Sodas which gave us time to mix and mingle, check out the interior of the famous Frankie and browse Kara and Timothy’s current collection. We were then ushered into the school and set eyes on our pre-workshop feast.

Frankie open for business

Frankie open for business

A scrumptious table of hand-churned butter, cheese, figs, honey on the comb, bread, dukka, hand made yoghurt and marinated olives was beckoning us.

Scrumptious buffet table

Scrumptious buffet table

But before we could tuck in, it was the perfect photo opportunity for all the instagrammers in the room. We had time to fill our plates and then take our seats for the main attraction.

Megan brought in a ladder to get a bird's eye shot of the buffet table

Megan brought in a ladder to get a bird’s eye shot of the buffet table

It was magical watching Kara select items from her table of “bits and bobs” and place them on the mantle.

The table of wares to be used in the vignette

The table of wares to be used in the vignette

She’d add, take away, move and rotate the carefully chosen pieces until the story was complete. And her vignettes do tell a story. As a spectator, you are drawn into the scene and want to find out more.

Kara adding and subtracting

Kara adding and subtracting

Kara had lots of little tricks that she generously passed on. Tricks like scrunching up paper to sit in a vessel so the item you place inside sits up and can be seen. And leaving crummage. Little bits of floatsam such as petals under flowers and fallen leaves under foliage. It helps to connect the viewer with the vignette.

A close up of the finished vignette

A close up of the finished vignette

It was then time to create a vignette, watch on or go back to graze at the buffet table. I enjoyed watching the other participants create and then Kara waving her magic wand over them, twisting an item to the left instead of the right, popping something up on a stack of books, or adding some vital crummage. It was a very inspiring evening.

One of the students' vignettes

One of the students’ vignettes

Before the trio took to the road again, Kara left us with her golden rules of vignettes. I hope she comes back soon.

Top 5 Rulles

Top 5 Points

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  1. Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing! It sounds magic! Unfortunately I could not make it that day, but enjoy now reading your post. There is a great little book I recommend in regards to creating displays: Arranging Things – A Rhetoric of Object Placement by Leonard Koren.

  2. Thanks Bettina, I’ll look out for that book.

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