Browsing Tag

sophia the show pony

Fashion, What I Wore

What I Wore: Sophia the Show Pony Book Tour

21st July, 2022

One of the most exciting things about writing Sophia the Show Pony was being able share the story with parents, kids, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas… and the list goes on when it was finally released. I loved doing the various events to promote the book as most of the time it meant I was able to meet the kids who were fans of Sophia. As Sophia is a fashionista show pony, I wanted to have fun with my various outfits for the book tour. Things kicked off with media interviews, followed by the launch and book readings/signings at various book stores and schools. It was all so much fun! These were some of the outfit highlights for me.

I enjoyed channelling my inner Elle Woods with this ultra pink ensemble. I wore this to an appearance on The Morning Show when Sophia the Show Pony was released. I knew I wanted a look that was fun and feminine and this strapless Rebecca Vallance dress certainly fit the brief, plus who can resist an oversized bow? These Mach and Mach shoes with the pearl embellishment are one of my faves for dressing up a look with quite a streamlined silhouette. They’re just on the right side of fancy and are always a statement piece and a talking point.

Credits: Dress, Rebecca Vallance; Shoes (similar here), Mach and Mach

I wore this to Sophia the Show Pony’s book launch at the kids’ book store, Harry Hartog. I am a huge fan of co-ord sets, and this particular Anna Quan set was polished yet not overly “done”. Knit pieces are always so great to wear as they’re ultra comfortable, don’t crease and are easy to move around in. Also ribbed knits are definitely having a moment right now and I felt this look tapped into the trend perfectly. Post-event I’ve been able to wear these pieces separately and together which is always a bonus in my book. Lastly, can we take a moment for the button detail on the skirt? So simple but so striking. I’m a huge fan of anything Anna Quan does as her designs always honour the way women want to look and feel in an outfit.

Credits: Top (similar here) and skirt (similar here), Anna Quan; Heels, Bottega Veneta

I wore this to a book signing and felt it was the right balance between polished and casual. Book signings are always great as I get to meet so many kids, and as a result I always want to be comfortable and approachable in whatever I’m wearing. Enter this jeans and white top pairing, which is always a winning, failsafe combination. I decided to dress it up a little with this Rebecca Vallance checked blazer, and to finish the look, I went for crisp white Bottega Veneta almond toe slingbacks.

Credits: Blazer, Rebecca Vallance; Top, Viktoria and Woods; Jeans, Slvrlake; Heels (similar here), Bottega Veneta

Sophia the Show Pony would be proud of this ladylike look! This sweet dress by Rachel Gilbert was the ideal choice for a book reading as I felt it was special and also on the dressy side. I really loved the neoprene fabric of the dress as it felt a little unexpected used on such a feminine silhouette. The square neckline and the full skirt with ruffle were the two elements that really helped to elevate the look.

Credits: Dress, Rachel Gilbert; Heels, Scanlan Theodore


Fashion, Lifestyle

My chat with Sally Spratt, fashion and lifestyle illustrator

5th July, 2022

Sally Spratt

My skills are with words so I’m always in awe of people whose creative talents lie in other areas. When I wrote Sophia the Show Pony, I knew the illustrations would be critical to the process so I had to find the perfect person to bring the story to life. I’d seen Sally Spratt’s illustrations via her work on The Lust List and loved her style and her use of watercolours. It had an elegance and softness to it which I loved. So we teamed up! I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I saw Sally’s drawings of Sophia — it was everything I’d hoped for and more.

Super talented, accomplished and with a palpable energy for what she does, I wanted to have a chat with Sally about her work, her inspiration and also her creative process. Here we talk Sophia the Show Pony (including how Sophia and Grace helped inspire her drawings!), the covetable items on the Lust List and her biggest pinch me moment…

In a few words, describe what you do.

I’m a fashion & lifestyle illustrator.

What led to your interest in drawing? Did you always know you had a talent for it?

I have always found it calming and energising and naturally gravitated to it because of that. I was fortunately always encouraged in my passion. The more I practiced the better I got.

What was the catalyst for starting The Lust List?

I was in-between jobs when I began The Lust List. I had quit my job at a fashion label and decided to give myself 6 months to make it as an illustrator. In-between sporadic admin jobs and a few client projects, I would lust after a life I was no longer a part of and found refuge in drawing little items I wish I could have but couldn’t afford. This is where the tag line “If I can’t have it, I’ll draw it” came from.

What’s been your biggest pinch me moment in your career so far?

Illustrating my first children’s book alongside you would have to be it! I took on an opportunity I wasn’t entirely skilled for (I had never created ‘characters’ before) and had the determination to learn and make it happen on the go. With the encouragement and support of the team we brought it to life and I couldn’t be more proud of what we have created.

Who would you love to collaborate with in future?

I would love to develop Sophia into a series if we had the opportunity, therefore I would love to collaborate with you again!

Tell me about your process—what’s involved when you’re commissioned to illustrate something?

I usually love to connect with a client over the phone first to get feel for what they are after. I will then spend a few hours researching and collaging references and ideas to support their brief. From this a series of concepts are produced using these reference images. Ideally the client will choose their favourite and I begin drawing. I start by creating outlines on the iPad and then print these onto watercolour paper. Then the watercolour painting begins. Once dry, I will scan and edit these images on Photoshop and collage into an artwork or project using InDesign.

Do you have any special rituals or routines when you draw?

Not really, however when I am drawing I love listening to audiobooks or podcast. I like to stay in my zone when I paint so I try to allocate full days just to painting.

How did you find working on Sophia the Show Pony? What was the process like to bring the book to life?

It was a fascinating process upon reflection. To start, I sourced inspiration from all of the beautiful, animated movies that had animals in them to study how they created their characters. I also did a lot of research around the movement of horses and the other animals in the book. How their fur, hair, body and facial expressions would change. Those details were all new to me. The fun part to observe was seeing how the more I created these little characters, the more I learnt and wanted to evolve what I began with. Every time we had reviews, I found it a growth opportunity to develop. The feedback allowed me to see things I may have missed or develop something I had played with. Having Sophia and Grace’s input in what they loved to see in their books allowed me to take this book to another level. By the time final revisions came around I was so thrilled and proud of what we produced. It was a beautiful collaboration!!

How does it feel to have a book you’ve illustrated on shelves?

Surreal! I don’t think it’s sunk in!

Who would you love to see with a copy of Sophie the Show Pony?

The young royals of the Royal Family along with Harry and Meghan and their children. I would love to see your story bring joy around the globe!

One of the biggest lessons in Sophia the Show Pony is to reach for the stars and follow your dreams. What advice can you give to other women, particularly creatives, who want to follow their passion?

Something I have learnt is, if you are energised when you create, it is a sign you are on the right path. Allocate time to your passion, even when you’re tired as it will always bring you joy. Educate yourself though tutorials, podcasts and accounts that support your goals. Surround yourself with people that are where you want to be and learn from them. Failure shouldn’t be seen as a negative, as it is always an opportunity to grow and a sign that you had the courage to try. Follow those dreams!

What’s currently on your lust list?

A Leo Lin Summer dress. I know I it’s not in season now but I just love their dresses!


An illustration from Sophia the Show Pony

Sophia the Show Pony in all her finery

A Lust List illustration

Sally capturing one of my looks doing publicity for Sophia the Show Pony

So many gorgeous pieces from The Lust List


Sophia the Show Pony Book Launch

29th March, 2022

I’ve been lucky enough to attend many launches in my time but none were quite as special as being able to celebrate my new book being released! Seeing Sophia the Show Pony in store and watching kids flicking through it excitedly was a surreal moment, I just can’t believe something I worked so hard on is finally out there.

The magical launch took place in Sydney at Harry Hartog book store and I was so thrilled to be there with Sally Spratt who drew the gorgeous illustrations in the book. It was so much fun being able to do a meet and greet with so many mums and mini fashionistas in store. Honestly, it was such a fashionable crowd, especially where the kids were concerned which was very fitting considering we were there to celebrate one extremely well dressed pony!

It was my first official in-store book signing (there are more dates to come so stay tuned for more details) and my family and friends all came to show their support. Luke, Sophia and Grace, my mum, my Aunty Louise and many of my friends and their children all attended and helped me officially launch Sophia the Show Pony. I felt very lucky to have them all there as they’ll have all been there with me on this journey.

Sally and I signed books and had a great time chatting to everyone, but what kind of celebration would it be without a cake cutting? There was a beautiful Sophia the Show Pony cake, designed by the very talented Mor Creations at the launch, and it was almost too stunning to cut. I wish I could have taken it home as a souvenir!

It was such a great morning being able to meet readers and I was honestly so excited every time I was able to dedicate a book to someone because I know from reading to my own girls how much of a privilege it is to be included in a child’s book repertoire. The fact Sophia the Show Pony will become a part of story time for many kids is something I’m so honoured about, and the launch was the perfect way to mark the occasion.

Sophia the Show Pony is out today! Grab your copy here.

Photography: Grace Hampshire


My new book is here! Get set to meet Sophia the Show Pony

3rd February, 2022

Today is a huge day for me. As a writer it has been one of my biggest dreams to one day write a book and I’m seriously having a pinch-me moment today. The secret’s out: I’ve written a kids’ book!

Sophia the Show Pony is a tale inspired by my beloved childhood pony Gypsy, and also by my daughters, Sophia and Grace. It’s about a show pony who is the chicest horse in town but also has dreams of becoming a racehorse. I wanted to write a story that had a great lesson in following your passion no matter what anyone says and finding your place in the world, and also embracing your individuality. It’s essentially all the lessons I want to impart to my girls encompassed in a children’s book.

Being a kids’ book, the illustrations were ultra important to me and given it was a story also inspired by fashion, I really wanted to work with a fashion illustrator. So, I was thrilled to be able to work with Sally Spratt who is the artistic wizard behind The Lust List. Her watercolour style and her expertise in drawing high fashion was the perfect aesthetic for my little show pony, Sophia. I couldn’t love the illustrations more.

Story time is such a critical part of our household and I am so excited about the prospect of my book becoming a part families’ bedtime reading rituals. What a great privilege and honour. I hope you all love Sophia’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Sophia the Show Pony is out on March 29. You can pre-order copies of the book here!