Saturday, 28 February 2015

This Summer..

This Summer I connected.. With the earth and the sky.  I planted, nurtured, watched and waited.  I gained understanding, felt something ignite within me, a tangible sense of place and expansive wonder. 

This Summer I found.. A deep happiness in creative projects. 'Making' took on new purpose and meaning when creations were made in rebellion, with passion and defiance for 'the norm'.    

This Summer I discovered..  A sense of calm and reflection through the challenging Mercury Retrograde and resilience in a time when it was so easy to be overwhelmed and frustrated.  I returned daily to wise words and beautiful reminders and found solace in within the pages of my journal.  

This Summer I grew.. As a mother, a wife, a gardener and a creative.  I learnt the importance of trusting my intuition and following my heart.

This Summer.. Our family solidified our dream. To find our patch of earth, build a sustainable home, tend the land and make a difference. And although it might be slow going at times, we are now on our way to making our precious dream, a reality.

This Summer.. We holidayed right here in the backyard, ran through the sprinklers, swam in the river, picnicked in the park, collected feathers and flowers, watched clouds and stars, cuddled, crocheted, harvested and preserved.  It was our quiet, homespun Summer and one I will forever be grateful for. 

Much Love & Light

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Capturing the Weekend - 8/52..

"A portrait capturing our weekend, each week, in 2015."

Sunday: 4:30pm Decorating new shelves in Tallow's big girl room.. 

Much Love & Light

Friday, 20 February 2015

Conscious Making - My Rebellious Raffia Hat..

In the last week of Spring, I went searching for my straw fedora, I'd bought a few years ago at Woodford Folk Festival, only to realise it hadn't made the trip with us to Mildura, so I was without a summer hat. This got me thinking, once upon a I would have just popped down to Kmart for a cheap new one. These days though, fast fashion just isn't for me.  While thinking of alternatives, a quick look online was quite eye opening.  There was an absolute lack of simple ethically made summer hats. Short of something that could be worn to the races, my only option was to make one myself.  So armed with my trusty crochet hook, a few balls of raffia and only a rough pattern in my head, I set about to create my ultimate summer hat.. My little rebellion against consumerism, trends and fast fashion.

Eight weeks later, two and a half balls of raffia, two crochet hooks, plenty of tea and episodes of Gourment Farmer and here's the result.. My perfectly imperfect, one of a kind, rustic raffia hat.  

My method.. I watched a quick YouTube clip about working with raffia and just started with a single crochet, adding each row to get wider in the crown.  Once I thought it was about right I just continued with that amount of stitches until it fit snugly on my head.  I made the brim by chain stitching about 100 or so stitches to make a big circle.  This corresponded to the amount of stitches at the base of the hat.  Then I just continued out, adding on a few stitches every now and then, quite haphazardly, as I wanted the brim to have a nice, worn in shape.  I attached the two pieces together with hemp cord and just trimmed all the little stray bits and it was ready to wear.  

I had quite a few people on Instagram ask what working with raffia was like. Honestly, at first I thought I was a bit crazy for taking on such a project, having never really made a hat before (except a few berets). Raffia comes in short lengths, is very stiff and a little unmanageable. After a bit of perseverance though, and figuring out what worked, the process became much easier.

So here are my tips.. Find the best bits, thickest pieces (the thin ones are too brittle), curl and scrunch them in your hand, to get a bit more movement before using.  After a little while the natural oils in your hands really help to soften the raffia. Don't pull to hard, the pieces can snap (so can your crochet hook) and try to work a little bit loosely as it's easier to see where you're up to. Try your hat on often and make sure to turn it inside out, so the 'nice side' is on the outside.  This will make it look like you're wearing a hat, rather than a bird nest.

Of all the projects I've created over the years, I think this is one I'm most proud of.  It's certainly not the neatest, or perhaps the most beautiful, but it's the most real. It's a reminder of our gorgeous Summer, it's an intentional comment about the shocking state of the fashion industry and it's my little act of rebellion. Something to keep the sun off my face in the garden and something that makes my heart very happy.

You can check out all see all my progress photos over on my Instagram feed and under the hashtag #myrebelliousraffiahat and if you've got any questions about the making process or would like to try and make a rebellious hat yourself, I'd love to help out.  Please feel free to comment or email me.

Much Love and Light


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Cloud Meditating..

The last few nights, just on sunset, I've embraced my love of cloud watching and taken ten minutes to myself to lay down in the back yard and stare up at the sky.  And you know what, I've had the most remarkable revelation.  

This simple process, a cloud meditation, has not only bought back fond memories of my childhood, but there upon the grass of my suburban garden, I've begun to truly reconnect with my place in the earth.  With the ground below, still warm from the summer sun, and the sky above, a boundless, intricate and ever evolving universal painting, I've found myself gazing up, forgetting all the 'busyness' of my everyday and being enveloped by something far greater. 

The magic that is Mother Earth.. 

That feeling you get when you dive your feet into warm sand and inhale the salty sea air. When you climb a mountain, wander through the rainforest, catch a glimpse of the full moon or listen for the early morning magpie warble (my favourite). And in the past, all too often I've let those moments pass me by, too caught up in what's on the screen, what's on the to do list.. to just put the phone down, stand up, walk outside, lay down, inhale and just be. 

Each day I feel myself drawn deeper into The Great Turning, evermore yearning for that interconnection with the fibers that makes up my life.  So I begin with cloud meditation.. Just ten minutes to stare up at the sky. Yesterday two beautiful pelicans flew over my head, the day before that, the most magnificent angel wings appeared in the clouds.  Letting go, embracing the peace, the joyful celebration and gratitude for Mother Earth.. This is where change begins. 

Tonight I might even try.. The stars.
Much Love & Light 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Capturing the Weekend - 7/52..

"A portrait capturing our weekend, each week, in 2015."

Sunday: 5:15pm - Cooling off on the hottest day of the summer..

Much Love & Light

Friday, 13 February 2015

These Days - Late Summer..

These days, the summer is slowing drawing to a close, although the days is hotter than ever.  The harvests are bountiful and rainbow hued and with armfuls of zucchinis and eggplants we are feeling oh so blessed.

These days, the afternoons are a little too warm to venture outside, so we join in with Daisy and Flora's book club. 

These days, with leftover raffia wisps, I'm enjoying quiet moments on little basket projects, perfect so storing treasures in..  

These days, the peaches are sweet, abundant, joyfully traded and ready for summer desserts. 

 These days call for floral sun hats and yellow watering cans..

These days, most wonderful bundles arrives from afar, wrapped up with string and full of inspiration from a dear friend who knows me so well. 

These day, the sun dances across the sky well into the evening.  We play under the water sprinklers, watch the clouds, gather from the garden and revel in the beauty and warmth of the season. 

Much Love & Light

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Capturing the Weekend - 6/52..

"A portrait capturing our weekend, each week, in 2015."

Sunday: 6:15pm - Just hanging out in the garden.. Full of gratitude.

Much Love & Light

Friday, 6 February 2015

Reveling in the Everyday..

Once I used to chase beauty, now I revel in it..

For the last ten years my little tagline has always to been, 'I write, I create, I drink tea and I chase beauty'.  I used love the idea of chasing beauty, like it was out there somewhere to run after and capture in a jar, like a specimen in a museum. It seems though, the last two and a half years of my life have taught me that I might have been going about things the wrong way.  You see, I think all the chasing of beauty wore me out, looking for it out there somewhere, in far off places, destinations I couldn't reach, in a life that wasn't destined for me.  These days as I take pleasure in the simple things and spend my days at home, pottering and playing with my girl, I have come to realise that all the beauty I was chasing, is right here, all around me and within me, I had just never stopped to really notice.  I went straight from high school to university, straight from university to work and then back again and then into a teaching position that encompassed my whole life. I was barely at home. And when I was, I was busy 'chasing' inspiration, looking for external sources of inspiration, rather than taking a moment to enjoy what was all around me.  

So these days, I take a moment to enjoy the lovely smell of lemon oil in my homemade washing liquid and bask in the glorious afternoon sunshine as I peg sweet floral bloomers on the clothes line.  I pause to take a glimpse at the delightful illustrations in the picture books that I re-shelve for third time today and feel a little bubble of excitement as I grab my basket ready to gather veggies straight from the garden for dinner.  And when I'm in need of a little inspiration, rather than wishing I was in a far off country, or finding myself spending hours searching through Pinterest, we don our walking shoes and sun hats and head down to the river, gathering flowers, feathers and leaves along the way, watching the clouds paint the afternoon sky and listening to sweet bird songs as we walk.  Each day I revel in this simple, quiet life of ours.  I remind myself to take things slowly, to enjoy these precious days, to worry less about the passing hours and more about embracing them with joy and gratitude. To find that balance, online and offline and most of all to be present and open to every opportunity that life presents.   

Much Love & Light

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Everyday Moments..

 Playing with calico and turmeric on a perfect kind of summer day..
Finding inspiration for seasonal change..
At last my raffia hat has a brim and is almost ready for gardening in..
Products and props ready for a photoshoot..
Oh so beautiful cinnamon basil flowers..
Nothing better than a good swing..

It's been such a wonderfully creative and productive start to February offline, it's nice to be able to take a moment to share a few snippets with you.  The full moon's creative energy is in full force and there's some wonderfully exciting things on the horizon. 

Much Love & Light

Monday, 2 February 2015

Capturing the Weekend - 5/52..

"A portrait capturing our weekend, each week, in 2015."

Sunday: 1:30pm - Playing at the big kids park... So much fun!

Much Love & Light