29 Apr 2014
From my kitchen window I've been watching a new house being built. In a matter of a few days a rectangle of dirt in a suburban street has been transformed into a collection of concrete, timber frames and plasterboard. A sizable dwelling, someone's new home. I envisage a plethora of light fitting catalogues and great debates over the merits of Hog's Bristle versus Clotted Cream and I hear, "White is white!" and see rolled eyes and huffy walking.
But after all the plaster dust has settled and removalists have trundled away what will make this house a home? Once the gloss of newness has faded a little it will be the small things brought to the space by those who reside there. The small squiggle of red crayon on those Hog's Bristle walls, the worn dining table bearing marks of afternoon craft sessions, too hot pots and time. Little wisps of the natural world plucked with abandon on fossicking adventures and sprinkled about the place; they'll re-invigorate gentle memories on days when it all seems a bit too much. Abandoned shoes and socks that whisper of school monkey bar triumphs and pasta sauce splattered cookbooks and mismatched cutlery.
All the little things that have been touched by familiar hands. The laughter, the scraped knees, the bits and bobs that resonate with play, connectedness and love. The handmade, the hand me downs, the created. A quiet and unique space that can't be bought or styled. A space filled with heart.
We made some clothing sachets using two small squares of muslin filled with some dried lavender from the garden, dried cinnamon bark, dried mint, dried thyme, dried rosemary and cloves. Tied up with twine and popped in amongst the smalls and hung from the clothes rails these little hand made lovelies will ward off the pesky moths and mould and remind us of a quiet afternoon creating together.
26 Apr 2014
Bijou - Her new bob highlights her pixie features all the more. And those eyebrows.
Remy - Wearing his slightly too big "crabby" shirt and swaggering a little when he walks.
24 Apr 2014
this is a sponsored post
It's not often that the natural world echos the palette of the urban landscape. But right now, in Autumn, I'm seeing the similarities. Eucalypt trees, both trunk and foliage, turn more silver at this time of year; all concrete and iron bars. And although in my part of the world we're not privy to the spectacular show that leaves can put on, the few that turn are infused with red brick, rusted steel and terracotta. The morning sky is often a muted smoky grey and as the sun sets, asphalt black.
I find myself reaching for similar hues when dressing myself on Autumn mornings. A geometric rust maxi skirt from Fabrik in silky rayon; a slightly thicker, warmer alternative to summer's cottons. And soft, drapey jersey in grey and black teamed with their licorice bamboo leggings. In a nod to nature's seasonal show I covet the delicate meadow skirt and the organic cotton henley tee, and for effortless dressing, the jersey dress for it's elegance and simplicity.
Fabrik uses locally sourced natural dyes to infuse their wares with such earthy tones and their Autumn/Winter collection is delicious to say the least. Founder and designer Sarah Hardie has based her business on an ethical and eco-friendly philosophy and produces beautiful, wearable pieces with a conscious. Very generously, Fabrik is giving away a $100 gift voucher. To enter simply leave a comment highlighting your favourite thing about Autumn. Perhaps a meal, a pastime or maybe an outfit. This giveaway is open to international readers and the winner will be announced on Thursday 1st of May.
Wearing: Fabrik striped boat neck in grey/charcoal
Fabrik bamboo leggings in licorice
Scout and Catalogue scarf (purchased in a local boutique many moons ago...find similar here)
Vintage beads and silver bracelet
Fabrik bazaar skirt
Both boots from Sportsgirl (again, many moons ago)
Little Tienda handcrafted leather bag
Comments are now closed. The lucky winner is sapling house. I'll be contacting you soon!
21 Apr 2014
nourishing - A nasty tummy bug swept through all my loves so gentle, easy to digest soups have been called for. We've been supping home made chicken broth with tiny cubed vegies and rice or noodles, drinking lots of water, and sleeping.
reading - Rhonda Hetzel's Down to Earth is much loved and I turn to it often for inspiration, for recipes and to remind me why we're embracing simple living when things are a little trying.
creating - I've got a load of vintage flannelette waiting to be transformed into snugly Winter pajamas. Pastels and florals and soft as snow...I hope there's a little left for me.
nurturing - Warm washers drenched in lavender water, sunshine imbued sheets, open windows for fresh air and plenty of cuddles to soothe tender tummies and souls. I've been spraying my "germ killing" concoction all about the place too.
watching - The sky's hue has changed; the blue is deepening. When there are no clouds the sky seems to reach up forever.
20 Apr 2014
Bijou - She watches this world with such intensity; I know her mind is whirling with questions. I wonder what she's thinking here?
Remy - Fast forward 15 years....the shades, the car, even the spots on the chin. Oh my.
19 Apr 2014
Much love and light,
16 Apr 2014
It's raining outside. Not a downpour, just a barely there drizzle only audible as car tyres spray it about. Thankfully the temperature has dropped a little and the air inside warrants a cotton wrap about my shoulder; Autumn is showing herself. My beloved is snoozing on the rug and in a stroke of luck, both the babies are napping also. All is pleasantly still.
A candle flickers in the breeze, an open window, and I inhale frankincense, sandalwood and mandarin vapours. Their warming scent promotes contemplation, focus and happiness. Tomorrow I might burn cedarwood and rosemary to bring in the new day.
It's almost time to haul out the blankets from the linen cupboard for a wash in eucalyptus infused liquid and
a sun bathe. An eclectic collection of secondhand, crocheted and pure wool beauties brought back to life with homemade binding to encase raggedy edges. Early Spring sees me packing them away but come Autumn, I wash them and add one to each of our beds. Maybe tomorrow if the sun is shining.
By the door is evidence of a little thrifting adventure. A collection of wicker, twig and woven grass baskets in earthy hues for toys and knitting supplies. And small pottery beakers for freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning and warm honey milk in the afternoons. An intricately carved table, an exciting find, now sits beside my bed awaiting a cup of tea. Perhaps now before everyone wakes on this perfect Autumn afternoon.
15 Apr 2014
Lately my world has been a happy, messy jumble of vintage fabrics, pins and too many ideas. On good days there have been pastel woodland fairies to photograph, on others, nasty arguments with Photoshop. Doubt and hope vie for top ranks in my attention but always the fire in my belly burns steadily. All the ideals I hold so dear are culminating into this, my little online shop.
In Summer when my girl asked for a new nightie I obliged her with a trip to the shops. Reeling from the garish colours, inappropriate slogans and unforgiving fabrics we shared a milkshake in defeat and headed home empty handed. In the essence of "making do" we scoured my cupboard of vintage fabrics, mocked up a little pattern and made one ourselves. And so little wren was born.
A collection of childrens' * sleepwear using butter soft, vintage cottons and flannelettes, and fuss free, simple designs that hint at a time when children ran freely and played cricket in the street. Cool, flowy and breathable. Recycled, whimsical and beautiful. And at it's core, my ideals of sustainability, reusing and recycling, and comfort in harmony with beauty. With every step of this small venture I will endeavour to weave my philosophies of life; to tread gently on this planet.
This project is very close to my heart, I hope you enjoy it.
* a boy's range is in the pipeline
14 Apr 2014
connecting - It's school holidays here and so delicious to have both my babies close by. We're planning a few small adventures but mostly looking forward to slow days at home.
nourishing - The weather has turned slightly cooler so I'm savouring beakers of herbal teas. Chai and ginger are helping to convince me that Autumn will show her true colours soon.
reading - I've bought a few back issues of Taproot and have relished it's gentle ways.
creating - Quiet days at home have had me reaching for my knitting basket. With a "Granny's favourite" cardigan completed for my honey girl and plenty of snuggly grey yarn left, I've cast on a Tama for the little man. They'll be twins.
nurturing - Breakfasts have been all about sourdough toast, ricotta, honey and chia seeds.And a cup of tea of course.
growing - Neglecting, rather. Those wispy maiden hair ferns I boasted about are on their last legs. A good hair cut and some time outside in a cool, sheltered spot should hopefully do the trick.
listening - My babies have loved their time together again and there has been a lot of giggling. Some fighting, but mostly giggling.
13 Apr 2014
6 Apr 2014
1 Apr 2014
Spring seems to be synonymous with cleaning. But I find that once the road side fields ignite with wild flower blossom and the sea air wafts through open windows, I want to kick off my shoes, get outside and play amongst it all. Autumn however, with it's drawing inwards nature always inspires me to rethink the way we're living. I tend to go about about my decluttering more gently at this time of the year too allowing plenty of time to thoroughly cleanse areas of our home.
With one babe at school and the other besotted with a handful of cars and trucks I have turned my attention to our toys. Although we have mindfully sourced high quality play things I have found what with birthdays and Christmases that the collection has grown beyond the cupboards, and more importantly, beyond the needs and wants of our little people. How much do they really need?
At times we've been lured by the fanfare of catalogues and advertisements and we've guilted ourselves into believing that our babies are missing out if they don't have a sizable collection of Sylvanian families or a plastic washing machine that makes bubbly noises. But watching them deeply immersed in simple play has highlighted the power of less and re-affirmed the choices we are making. Toys of natural and sustainable materials, handcrafted and beautiful, recycled and reinvented; toys with soul. Ones that will grow with them, water the seeds of creativity and inspire imagination to blossom. And few of them.
These are the toys our babies reach for time and time again:
- Schleich animals with little wooden fences, trees and Mumma made felt play mats. Housed in a hodge podge of baskets they are easy for little hands to help with packing up.
- Fossicked shells, stones and seed pods are ever inspiring props. Add a few colourful silks, tiny boats and this timeless gnome house and all manner of worlds can be created.
- Dress ups housed in a vintage suitcase that lives under the bed.
- Baskets of Duplo and Lego can fill an afternoon with quiet play.
- A simple kitchen setup with a little sink and oven, a handful of knitted fruit and veg, wooden eggs and thrifted pots, pans and wooden spoons. Simple, beautiful play.
- The sandpit.
- Second hand match box cars and a small collection of handmade wooden trucks and trains.
- Wooden puzzles (again mostly sourced on thrifting adventures).
- Blocks; off cuts of building timber, tree blocks and handcrafted and rainbow ones. And with the addition of a mirror and some loose parts, the sky's the limit.
- Sets kept in calico bags e.g. doctors, hairdressers with most props sourced from trips to the local op shop.
- Soft dolls and animals, puppets and gnomes and a small basketful of handmade dolls clothes, old baby wraps and blankets.