Thursday, 30 April 2015

These Days - Mid Autumn..

These days,  we are packing and getting ready for our first family adventure to the Gold Coast for my Nan's 90th birthday.   

These days taste like, earl grey tea, Anzac slice and pumpkin soup..

These days, I've been helping the gorgeous Bec with her amazing Prayer Flags for Nepal project, to raise money for OXFAM's Earthquake relief efforts.  These scraps will become little prayer flag rainbows..

These days smell like, sweet blossoming eucalyptus flowers..

 These days I've been working on product photos for our new Wilde Asher ranges.  I just love bringing all my favourite things together.. 

These days, I'm gathering herbs to dry and dreaming of a beautiful big spiral herb garden..

 These days, call for warm coats and boots and are perfect for garden explore and muddy puddle finding..

 These days, we are make a special 90th birthday card from pretty toddler paintings. We are deciding which books and teddy bears to take on the plane and whether we will need gum boots or sandals.  

These days are busy and exciting! It's been over a year since we've been back to Queensland and we can't wait to see our families and celebrate a very special lady's 90th birthday.  Can't wait to share our adventures next week.

Much Love & Light

Monday, 27 April 2015

Capturing the Weekend - 17/52..

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

Sunday: 5:00pm - The garden pixie off to inspect our new pea teepee. 

Much Love & Light

Friday, 24 April 2015

Conscious Living - 10 Simple Ways to Tread Lightly..

It's such an inspiring week on the conscious living calendar, with Earth Day celebrations on Wednesday and Fashion Revolution Day today.  What better opportunity to acknowledge all the amazing work being done around the world to bring about change and to share ideas and inspiration that can help us take simple actions in our daily lives. Today I wanted to share some of the ways we have been working towards making changes in our lives, simple ways to tread more lightly on the planet.  

Grow you own food - Connecting directly with the Earth has been such an amazing experience for me.  To get started yourself, I suggest trying to grow whatever you can, where ever you can, every little bit makes a difference. Even growing in pots on a patio, or a tiny backyard patch can help feed you and your family. It can be a bit intimidating, but there are so many people and places that can help on your food growing journey. I promise, not only will it help the planet, it will change your life.

Buy local - If you can't grow it, buy it as locally as possible. I love getting to know our local growers and producers and visiting their road side stalls and farmers markets.  Doing this, is not only helping the local community and also reducing the amount of energy required to transport goods. And it always tastes so much better too!

Make your own cleaning and beauty products - Making my own products has really been a revelation for me in the past year. It's simple, cost effective and so much better for the environment. Making your own means you know exactly what's going into your products and you can choose exactly what you want to use. I suggest starting with homemade laundry liquid (I love Rhonda's recipe) and from there, the list is endless.

Rethink gift giving - Over the past few years, we've been making a conscious effort to rethink the way we give gifts and the affects have been quite amazing. I especially love knowing that I'm giving something unique, homespun and made with love. Next time you give a gift, really think about what you are giving.  Rather than going out and buying just another 'something', make something or support a local maker or artisan.  Or why not give an experience or a class, a fruit tree or even your time. Not only is this a beautiful way to tread lightly, your gift will also mean so much more to its recipient.

Break up with disposables - In our current paradigm, letting go of disposables is not always easy. One day I'd love to have a totally waste free home, but for now, we are doing a little bit everyday to make a difference.  If you want to break up with disposables, my suggestion, start small, one step at a time.  Begin with plastic water bottles and coffee cups and bit by bit you can begin to eliminate many single use items from your life.

Rethink what you wear - Conscious fashion is something that I'm so passionate about and with the help amazing campaigns like Fashion Revolution, it's wonderful to see so many people starting to ask where and how their clothes are being made and under what conditions. Just think, it takes nearly 10,000 litres of water just to make a pair of jeans.  I'll be writing more next week about curating a conscious wardrobe, but for now if you want to take the next step to knowing more about what you wear, start by considering a few things before your next purchase. Why do you need it? How much wear it will get? Where will you purchase it from? Where was it made? Who made it and under what conditions?  Check out Fashion Revolution and Behind the Barcode for more information and remember that fair trade, ethically made and locally produced is always the best option.  

Start a worm farm - We've recently just created our first worm farm and are already reaping the benefits. Worm farms are a great way to recycle household waste, reduce greenhouse gases and create wonderful fertiliser for your garden. They can fit into any kind of space, it's easy to do and it's a great activity to get children involved in too. Check out worm farm on Pinterest for heaps of ideas. 

Slow down your life - Over the past few years, I've found one of the most effective ways to tread a little more lightly is to slow down. Of course this means different things to different people, but by simply taking stock of your weekly routine, identifying unnecessary stress and burden, you may be able to find ways make a little more time in your everyday.  This could mean more time to cook from scratch, plant some veggies, learn a craft, make instead of consume and take a more lingering,gentle and enjoyable approach to life.  

There's so many more ways to contribute, I've only just scratched the surface. So now I'm turning it over to you. It's always so inspiring to hear about what others are doing to make a difference, so I'd love to hear about how you tread lightly in your everyday. The more we connect and share, the more changes we can make together. For more ideas, be sure to check out 1 Million Women and Overgrow the System.  If you know any great resources, I'd love to hear about them too! 

Much Love & Light

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Soul Journaling - Tips for Making the Time to Journal..

So you've started your journal.  In the beginning you were enthusiastic, motivated and writing every other day, but then as the weeks went by, life got busy and your journal began gathering dust.  When there is a free moment, you feel a bit guilty, spending time writing when your to do list seems never ending.  But you know what, taking that time out, even if it's just ten minutes, can nourish your soul and rejuvenate you, ready for the rest of the day. So here are my favourite tips for how to make a little more time in your everyday to journal. 

Create a sacred journaling space - Having a space to write, can really allow the words to flow. Now this may not 'a room of ones own', it might not even be at a desk. You might prefer to sit in the garden, on the front porch or even in a library or cafe. Wherever you are, connect with the space, make it your own, somewhere you can feel comfortable and really open up and connect with your words.

Cultivate a purposeful time to journal - This is the key to soul journaling.  Find a time that works for you. It might be early in the morning, just before bed or ten minutes during nap time. Acknowledge this time as yours, solely to journal. Whether it's every second day or just on the weekend, for fifteen minutes or an hour, make the time yours and schedule regularly it in to your life.

 Have pages ready to go & supplies handy - There's nothing worse than finally having the time and motivation to write and not be able to find a working pen, or a glue stick. If like me, you like to add inspiring ephemera to you pages, try and have a few pages pre-prepared and ready to write. 

Don't hold back. Just write!So you've got a spare five minutes, start writing!  Keep your journal close by and just begin. I'll be discussing writers block in the coming weeks, but for now my simple tip is this.. put the pen on the page and let the words unfurl. They are just for you, whatever you need to release. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in finding the right words, but when time is precious it's important not to let it hold you back from writing anything at all. 

Remember every little bit counts Don't feel like you have to sit down and rewrite War & Peace each time you journal. Just one page can be really nourishing and soul expanding. You'll often find, once you work out the kinks on that first page, you won't be able to stop. 

Visit your journal often - The more you visit, the more time you'll want to spend in your journal pages. Even if you don't have time to write a few pages, just have a flick through,read, smile and reflect, add a few little notes, photos or ephemera. I like think of it a bit like decorating your home. Make it feel warm & inviting and develop layers of things you love. 

Make journaling part of your everyday well being - Just like eating well, exercising, yoga and meditation, journaling can be a wonderful part of your well being routine. The moment you are able to see journaling as more than just scribbling words and to dos and begin cultivating a journal practice as part of your own soul nourishment and wellness, is the moment you will make time for this powerful form of self transformation. 

I hope some of these ideas might help to carve out a bit more time in the day, perhaps they might even help you to begin a new kind of journaling practice.  I  just love writing these posts and will be adding to this series every few weeks, with prompts, ideas and ways to get the most out of your practice.  If you've got any questions or want me to cover a particular topic, just let me know.

Much Love & Light

PS. You can find more of my soul journaling posts here

Monday, 20 April 2015

Capturing the Weekend - 16/52..

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

Sunday: 4:30pm - Adventures at the old Wool Shed..

Much Love & Light

PS. I love the contrast of this photo to last weeks.. Last week felt like Summer, playing in the water.  This week it feels like winter, rugged up in handmade knits, exploring for hidden treasures. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Everyday Moments..

My first 'sacred treasures' basket.. almost finished. I love the process of basket making and can't wait to create a little collection for Wilde Asher.
On the mantelpiece.. a new cactus and flowering lilly pilly.
I love seeing our homegrown pumpkins sitting in the kitchen.. Feels like Autumn.
And they make the most wonderful pumpkin scones.
Always a stash of yarn, thread, fabric and notebooks around somewhere.
And always a few sprigs of eucalyptus, foraged on our afternoon walks.

Much Love & Light

Monday, 13 April 2015

Capturing the Weekend - 15/52..

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

Sunday: 4:30pm - Nothing beats a bucket of water on a lovely Sunday afternoon.

Much Love & Light

Friday, 10 April 2015

Cultivating Silence & Baking Anzac Slice..

These days, life is loud. It's mostly a happy joyous toddler kind of loud, new words repeated over and over, block towers crashing, maracas shaking, ride on wheels scooting in and out of the kitchen. And then of course there are the other kind of loud. Protests to put shoes on, take clothes off, get into the bath, not get out of the bath and definitely not come inside from the garden.  So when it's quiet, for a few hours each day, I'm all about the silence.  

These days I revel in silence. I dance with it at every opportunity. I notice the bird song, the afternoon breeze, the tap dripping and our old house creaking.  I breath deeply and take it all in, enjoying each moment of the quiet, the total still.

And it's not only the noise of the days activity that's loud, but also the online noise. I'm beginning to realise that some days the noise of soical media is just too much. Just when I feel like I'm up to date and on top of things, there's always more to catch up on.  So today I'm cultivating silence. I'm letting go of the social media to do's, I've deleted Facebook from my phone and I'll endeavour to only look at Instagram occasionally.  Small steps and far from a social media detox, but a little way to finding that inner calm, space for my mind to clear and my soul to expand. 

In one of my quiet moments this week, I baked an Anzac slice.  It's a twist on the classic Anzac biscuit and I have to thank my lovely friend Shell for the original recipe (which I've adapted) and for her genius idea to throw the mix in a slice tin, instead of having to roll out each little biscuit.  Big points on time saving.  It's now my go to slice for a lovely morning tea treat and works so well because you can customise all you like and make it your own.

Anzac Slice

1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of  desiccated coconut  
1 cup of plain flour
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of bi-carb soda
2 tablespoons of boiling water 
125g of butter
1 tablespoon of golden syrup or good local honey
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
2 tablespoon of linseed
a sprinkle of mixed spice (optional but I added it this week because I was having hot cross bun withdrawals)
(you could also add nuts, more seeds or a handful of white chocolate buttons)

Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line a slice tin. 
Combine oats, coconut, flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl. 
Melt butter and syrup in a saucepan on a low heat. 
Mix bi-carb soda and water then add to the butter and syrup.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine.
Then add in the chia, linseed, mixed spice and anything else you fancy. 
Mix well and then press the mixture gently into the lined tin.
Bake for 20-25 mins, but keep an eye on it as it can dry out easily.
Allow to cool and then enjoy with your favourite pot of tea. 

Note: You could make this dairy free by using coconut oil, but the oil will more melt easily and may not hold the slice together as well. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead, perhaps, even with a little silence cultivation thrown in!
Much Love & Light

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Everyday Moments..

 An Autumnal crown for my little fairy..
A custom mandala for someone special..
Eggplants for days..
Blushing bloom..
Gumboot weather..
Wandering through the roses..
A happy little Easter basket - books, a tambourine & a little mama made duck..

Much Love & Light

Monday, 6 April 2015

Capturing the Weekend - 14/52..

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

Saturday: 5:20pm Rose garden wandering.. 

Much Love & Light

PS. I hope you're enjoying a magical Easter long weekend. 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Conscious Making - Botanical Printed Naturally Dyed Eggs..

With the Easter weekend upon us and school holidays in full swing, it's the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen and make some gorgeous naturally dyed eggs, that not only look lovely but taste wonderful too.

 I featured a basket of naturally dyed eggs in my column 'The Simple Things' in the Autumn issue of Mildura Living Magazine, so I thought I'd share some simple instructions and tips to create your own.  Now I know there are plenty of DIYs on dyeing eggs, so I'm going to keep mine quick and easy and share what worked for me.

You'll need..

Some lovely happy free range eggs
Skins from about six small onions 
Some small leaves or herbs
A pair of stockings
Scissors, two small saucepans, a ladle, a bowl and some paper towel. 
Get Your Eggs ready..

Make sure you choose some lovely fresh, local, happy free range eggs. The natural colour of your eggs will alter the overall finished colour.  The lighter the eggs, the more vibrant the colour. 

If you're creating your eggs as a fun Easter craft, it's simple to just hard boil your eggs, that way you can enjoy them from lunch afterwards. If you do, allow them to cool before continuing.

If you'd like to keep them for a display, blow out the yolk and whites by piercing a hole in the top and bottom. Clean and dry them, ready to dye.

Prepare Your Dye..

There's many wonderful colours you can create using natural dyes. For more information about how to achieve these colours I recommend Kirsten's beautiful blog post. I found the fastest and easiest way to achieve these lovely botanical printed eggs is with brown onion skins.

Pop a good handful of onion skins in a small saucepan with enough water to cover your eggs and bring to a gentle boil. Allow it to gently boil while you prepare your eggs. 

Preparing the eggs for Dyeing..

Pick a variety of small leaves with interesting shapes. Gently rub each egg with vinegar, especially concentrating on where you would like the botanical pattern, then gently apply the leaf.

Cut a length of stocking, tie one end and gently slip the egg in without disturbing the leaf, then tie off the other end. Try to ensure a snug fit, so the leaf can't move around too much. Repeat this process with each of your eggs.

Dyeing the Eggs..

Turn the dye mix down to a simmer and gently add the eggs. It's best if you leave them in the dye for a two to three hours, but you can achieve a nice print in about an hour. 

Check your eggs after about an hour and you should notice a difference in colour. When you're happy with the colour, gently remove them from the dye and allow to cool on paper towel before cutting the stocking.  This is when the magic happens.  Cut the stocking away and peel back carefully to reveal your beautiful botanical patterns. 

Now you can enjoy your beautiful eggs. 
No two eggs are the same and this process can work in mysterious ways, so just have fun and be sure to try out some different colours too!

Happy Making!
Much Love and Light