10 Favourite Things: Making nana proud

Annemaree Shaw's grandmother was the inspiration behind her bespoke cushions

Annemaree Shaw left her corporate job to create cushions that "make people smile". Photo / Babiche Martens
Annemaree Shaw left her corporate job to create cushions that "make people smile". Photo / Babiche Martens

Annemaree Shaw is the designer behind new handcrafted cushion company Anne & Peg. For eight years, she says, she reluctantly inhabited the corporate world in both London and Auckland, but ultimately couldn't resist the call of her creative side. With her nana Peg as a creative inspiration, Shaw decided to create cushions that would "make people smile with their bright, colourful prints". While setting up her company, Shaw spent many months sourcing every piece of the puzzle including finding fabrics from all around the globe. It was the filling, however, that was the toughest challenge which was solved when she found a blend with just the right quantity of South Island wool to provide that perfect cushion texture.

"I want my creations to be bright, fun, long-lasting, and feel great to snuggle into. Really, just like Nana would have made," explains Shaw, who also loves to cook and can't think of anything better than having a group of friends around for cocktails, followed by a feast. All handcrafted, of course. She tells us more about her favourite things.

• Find out more about Anne & Peg.


10 FAVOURITE THINGS

1. Yellow Francis Francis coffee machine

My brother gave me this coffee machine 14 years ago, before I really appreciated what good coffee was. Affectionately named the yellow monster, it sits proudly on the bench and still produces a great flattie.

2. Canvas photo of Machu Picchu

We were so lucky to get this picture as the mist cleared for only a couple of minutes while we were on the final descent to the ruins. The photo hangs in the lounge to remind me of the magical places I have visited and the determination and hard work it took to get there.

3. The colours of Seville

The bright vibrancy of this Spanish city is addictive; the warm terracotta colours of the buildings accentuated by the vivid blue sky, coupled with the red passion of the flamenco.

4. My ring

My boyfriend gave me this handmade ring for my 29th birthday. The beautiful blue stone in the middle is slightly chipped like it has been on an adventure. The ring itself is big and bold but it has a dainty side with the little pearls around the edge.

5. Nana's chocolate peppermint square

I love to bake and have recently discovered this old recipe of Nana's. This slice is the perfect blend of chocolate and mint with a cakey, chewy base, and it always reminds me of sitting on the kitchen bench watching her cook.

6. Red vase

This vase came from a glass artist in North London's Camden Market. Not only is red my favourite colour but the shape and texture means it looks different from every angle. As they are all handmade, I also know that each one is unique.

7. Newly restored chairs

We picked up two old chairs at a retro store and then looked at them in their sad old state for almost a year. Now they have been repainted and I have made new cushion covers for them, they are my favourite seats in the house. They are both completely different and don't match in any way but that's what makes me smile.

8. Raymond, the cat

Rescued from the SPCA with his little mate Audrey, Raymond is the most affectionate and noisy cat I have ever had. He has two extremes: he is either telling you about his day or reminding you that you always need something warm to cuddle.

9. Growing my own strawberries

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved strawberries and have recently discovered the joy of growing them myself. Perched in a hanging basket over the deck these little droplets of happiness have been so easy to grow and have the most intense flavour.

10. Summer

Swimming at the beach, hiking in the Waitakeres and a gin and tonic in the afternoon sun. What's not to love?

- NZ Herald

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