Lazily wandering around the lovely Perigean Markets one Sunday morning, with a warming coffee firmly clutched in one hand, a bright cascade of colour from one of the stalls caught my eye and drew me in.
It was the beautiful handmade cushions of Cheryl Ladlow which, together with her vintage storybook bunting, made the crisp winter morning a little bit sunnier. Each cushion is unique, combining vintage style fabric with crochet and pom pom edging, and the bunting is upcycling at it’s best - looking at all the various strings on offer I started to have some seriously fun Disney flashbacks! Don’t get me started on the prices - at only $30 for her beautifully executed cushions and $10 for her magical bunting, I think she is seriously underselling herself...
Cheryl Ladlow is one of those people for whom being creative is a way of life. She has owned a successful art gallery, done roving street performance at the Edmund markets for several years, and - as well as working on her handmade ranges of cushions, bunting, dolls and rugs - is now planning a return to her first love, painting.
She has a lovely twinkle in her eye, and when she talks about the creative process, you can tell Cheryl harbors a well established passion for its joys. I’m eagerly awaiting the results that come from her return to painting...
So the next time you are wandering around the Perigean Markets on a chilly Sunday morning, head on over to Cheryl’s vibrant stall and warm yourself up a bit, from the inside out. There is something so very special about handmade things and, if my experience is anything to go by, Cheryl’s pieces are sure to put a lasting smile on your dial :)
What’s your Sunshine Coast story Cheryl? What originally brought you here?
I used to live here years ago, then moved to Victoria. However family drew me back to the coast, and I’m now happily reestablished here.
What is your design background?
I did a Diploma of Visual Arts in Victoria - I started in Ballarat, and finished it in Warrnambool. I actually completed the painting component up here at Kelvin Grove which was fabulous. For a while I had a contemporary art gallery in Port Fairy - there was five of us that owned the gallery, and we did quite well out of it. I did a lot of painting at the time, which I loved, and which I’m about to start up again.
Can you describe the process that takes you from the initial concept to the finished design?
I have an idea and I get to it! Like the dolls I did this week just to try - they’ve turned out a little bit different, but that’s how you learn. That’s what I love about painting - I never spend a lot of time in the planning, I’ll quickly do a chalk sketch then boom, I’m straight into it with the paint . Basic composition - then I’m into it! Then when it’s done, I’m on to something new.
With the cushions and bunting they’re bright and a bit different, with a vintage feel. It’s not really a money thing, it’s just a love of being creative. Learning from the process, and just seeing where it takes me.
Do you have any Blogs that are your particular favourites?
Do you know what - I only bought an ipad very recently, so I have to really get onto it!
What’s your preferred social media choice?
Facebook and Instagram at the moment...
Are there any plans to add to your range?
Always! Always finding new things to do, coming up with new ideas to challenge myself, and trying new things. As well as the cushions, bunting and dolls, I’m also thinking of starting a crochet rug line as well, keeping it unique to my style.
I’m excited about starting to paint again. I do big scale canvases, acrylics, lots of colour - lots of fluros. To loosen up my style I put the paint on with pieces of cardboard, to give it a defined texture, playing with the light and darkness to make a statement. Starting this week I’m going to be looking after a friend’s house for a while, which is situated on the shore of lake Wyba, so I’m planning to set an easel up there and start again.
Finally, what are the best things about being your own creative boss?
Definitely the freedom!!
Fav Sunny Coast retail outlet/s?
The shops in Perigean are wonderful, it’s lovely to walk around see all the interesting things they have on offer.
Fav Sunny Coast cafe/restaurant/foodie paradise?
Pitchfork at Peregian.
Fav Sunny Coast weekend routine?
At Column, the walk along the beach to the lookout and back. Love doing that!
Fav Sunny Coast icon/landmark?
Fav Sunny Coast hangout?
The Peregian Pub on a Friday night! We go with a group of friends which is fun.
Brighten up your day!
Cheryl Ladlow has a stall at the Peregian Markets, which is held every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. She is also on Facebook and Instagram, and is soon to be launching an online shop. Watch this space... :)