31 Aug 2013


 "A portrait of my babies, once a week, every week."

Bijou -  A sunshiney bright flower fairy.
Remy - Always playing his harmonica.

Nothing quite like a kitchen sink bath and this shadow play made my heart sing.
Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

Steph x

29 Aug 2013


Shopping centres make me tetchy.  Harshly lit and full of muffled noise they evoke feelings of claustrophobia at best and despair at worst.  I'm often totally overwhelmed by the mass of choice and wander aimlessly like a lost soul only to leave empty handed. When forced to take my babies with me into these abysses their eyes glaze over within minutes from the assault of light, noise and visual clutter. My hands reach for them constantly as I perform an octopus dance pulling them back from the swirl of people around us. I'm sure I always leave with one or two more grey hairs.

Oh but to explore. Places where our eyes can rest on natural textures and our lungs inhale fresh, pure air. My anxiety lifts like a fog in these spaces and I release my hold on chubby hands. I let my babies wander off ahead of me, the invisible tether much longer in these parts as they turn over rocks, peer down hollows and crunch papery leaves between their fingers.

Animated chatter and skippedy feet slowly subside and give way to a quietening from us all. I observe them observing the world and use my camera to hone in on the minutiae of their beings in the same way they use their magnifying glasses to scrutinise tiny life. Treasures are collected and new paths are tread. Wisps of nature that capture our particular attention are recorded with concentration and detail. We will delight in looking back on these in years to come.

To explore is to seek, to hunt, to sift, to scout...to question....to live.

Steph x

I made Bijou a small, simple explorer's bag for our many travels (a small calico bag would work perfectly). Filled with a magnifying glass, a sturdy journal and a set of pencils or pastels she is ever prepared for a magnificent discovery.

25 Aug 2013

little things - hands

Little things that make our world. Things I want to capture, tuck away and peek at another day....and smile.

A lady beetle took a liking to him. 
She painted his toe nails in the morning sun. *
Salad stealing.
Beautiful girls and old school champagne glasses.
Afternoon milk.
Beloved Nana.

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Em.

* I have discovered that the only way I can manage time to paint my own toe nails is to  hand my honey girl a tiny bottle of something glittery and leave her to it.  Her careful artwork  never lasts the day as play and a good srcub in the bath washes it away.

24 Aug 2013


 "A portrait of my babies, once a week, every week."

Bijou -  Playing giggly games with Papa Bear.
Remy -  My dingle dangle scarecrow watching the world go by.

I was delighted by precious Alba and her chubby cheeks and Matilda in all her copper haired glory .
Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

Steph x

22 Aug 2013


Three steps down from our back deck is a higgledy piggledy garden. Far from my lofty ideals of raised beds with golden blankets of straw this one is all overgrown and sprawling. Tucked beneath parsley plants are tarnished spoons long forgotten but discovered from time to time like gilded treasures. There is one lone cork mushroom placed just so to lure passing fairies to set up home here amidst the basil flowers and thyme. The clay versions have since returned to the earth. And in the far corner is a ball of silvery green leaves and misty lilac flowers. Perhaps these snips will imbue an afternoon tea treat with a delicate scent and flavour. Or maybe a little eye pillow in a luminous silk filled with dried and crumpled blooms to soothe overwrought babies and weary Mummas. But for now they can join the stoneware, the banksia men and faded yet still adored gifts from dear friends. They can adorn my kitchen shelf with rustic loveliness and remind me daily of the beauty of nature.

Steph x

19 Aug 2013

sling diaries - kinship

As we roll over to snatch another few moments of sweet slumber they are packing their trucks. The sun is far from painting the sky pink and gold as their warm breath sends mist out into the quiet.  Labour from the previous day now fills basket and box with heady scent and vivid colour.  Their ideals carry them here.

With quick hands and hearts full of anticipation their jewel boxes are unloaded and displayed with care. Lemons still bear leafy remnants of their mother and broccoli harbours the odd wriggly stowaway. Tiny blemishes and spots adorn apples and pears and reveal the pesticide free nature of their beginnings. Such blights would deem them unworthy of the garish "supermarket spectacular" but here these characters only fuel the philosophy to eat close to the earth; to nourish ourselves while nurturing our world. 

In the line before me is a striking dread locked beauty all snapping green eyes, silver nose ring and intricately laced sandals. Her basket heaves with citrus, deep jade greens and ginger and I wonder if she is fighting a cold.  Behind me is a designer hand bag ladened Mumma with a giant rock on her ring finger and immaculate highlights through her hair.  Through the gapes in her string bag I spy magenta rhubarb and pink lady apples and I envisage a hearty crumble with lashings of double cream. My own basket holds the makings of a late Winter salad with leaves so fresh they appear to still be growing. We'll wander across the way to buy free range eggs with fluorescent yellow yolks and sourdough loaves all golden and crisp. The "banana man" will chat with my boy and offer him a small blood orange and talk to me of the ninety-six year old apiarist who supplies him with raw honey. 

Like that man's bees to pollen laden blooms we make our way here from all corners of this city. From varying backgrounds we gather as one people under majestic fig trees and drink rich chai, gather our weekly organic produce and chat with farmers about life and this land. Our cup of hope is filled and we head off to our permaculture gardens, corporate offices and our duplexes content in the knowledge that collectively this space and the many varied people who inhabit it are making a change. 

Steph x

We wander through the Northey Street Organic Markets with Remy snuggled close to me in the Sakura Bloom simple silk sling in Pebble . Bijou's dress and my skirt are by the divine Little Tienda.

Photos were taken so very generously by our beautiful friend Toni Raper.

18 Aug 2013

little things

Little things that make our world. Things I want to capture, tuck away and peek at another day....and smile.

Shades of blue.
Fishing for algae.
The dusk sky like a painting.
Kisses for Papa.
He fashioned me an old rope clothes line. I hung flowers to dry in the sun.

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Em.

17 Aug 2013


 "A portrait of my babies, once a week, every week."

Bijou -  Studying her collection of minutiae.
Remy - A boy in a box with his tomato has become a boy in the bush with his rock. 

This ethereal shot of a golden haired angel took my breath away and Penny in all her coloured filled morning is delightful.

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

Steph x

16 Aug 2013

the mean reds

 "You know those days when you get the mean reds?" " The mean reds, you mean like the blues?" 
No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. 
The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of.  
Do you ever get that feeling?"
Breakfast at Tiffany's 

Today I have the "mean reds". That feeling when the world seems to be spinning too fast and I feel I may very well topple off it. The anxious gnawing in the pit of my gut where positive thoughts are snuffed out cold by darker, disagreeable ones. No team of archaeologists worth their salt could dig deep enough to find the magic in the mundane for me today.

The morning sun on my back and strong coffee albeit instant are doing their very best to soften the edges. Perhaps casting my eye over treasures and trinkets stacked on rickety shelves may calm me further still. Pottering about dusty places filled with baskets and bric a brac where a wisp of vintage fabric may show herself to me alongside a golden book or two to add to the collection.  No. Today I feel the only antidote to my demeanour is to centre myself amongst green, growing things. 

To breathe air thick with rich new oxygen, to hear bird song and leaf whispers and step away from washing up, our "bursting at the seams" budget and traffic. Holly Golightly in all her Audrey Hepburn created loveliness talks of calming herself amidst beauty. Well, today my kind of Tiffany's is filled with nature's jewels. 

The mean reds....what do you do to shoo them away?

Steph x

15 Aug 2013

splashes of colour

He shadows her movements and mimics her every utterance. She talks to him of colours and birds and growing things whilst gently directing his brush to the water jar, then to the paint and then to the cloth. As watery droplets seep into the fibres a spark ignites and he sets about splashing colour here and there just as she is doing beside him.  I sip tea as they make rainbows on cream calico and draw breath and cloud watch.

I know only too well that this swirl of serenity and colour will before long become an overturned paint jar, a scuffle over a brush or a task abandoned in search of other enchantments. Such is the way when creating with little people. For now I will revel in hot tea, morning sun and happy babies.

Steph x

We used our watercolours to make rainbows on scraps of calico. I used thrifted embroidery hoops to keep the fabric taut and let the dappled light inspire us.

13 Aug 2013

minted bread sauce


There are those parts of recipes that barely make it to the table; the salty,crispy "calling to me" pancetta sprinkles, the guacamole all green and vivid, croutons fried crisp in butter and garlic oil.   And this one, minted bread sauce.

We serendipitously stumbled across this Jamie Oliver recipe for minted bread sauce * many years ago when our cupboard left Mother Hubbard's for dead. Armed with nought but a chunk of stale baguette, a few fridge condiments, snips from the garden, some lamb chops and a bottle of red wine we created what was one of the most delicious meals we'd eaten. A perfect way to use up a leftover crust languishing in the bread bin and a divine accompaniment to any meat.

Steph x

* The recipe comes from his book, Jamie Oliver - The Return of the Naked Chef. We chop all the ingredients by hand and use the whole chunk of bread, crust and all. It is heaven!