Friday, 29 November 2013

The Dharma Door Giveaway.. - CLOSED

Earlier this year I stumbled across some amazing wrapping paper from The Dharma Door while shopping at one of my favourite Brisbane stores, Biome. I loved it so much I've used it for everything from wallpaper to vignette backgrounds and greeting cards.  I was so happy to find The Dharma Door, a Fair Trade homewares company foundered by Shannon Speedy, based in the beautiful Byron Bay hinterland. I truly admire Shannon's aim 'to bring the highest quality designer Fair Trade homewares to an audience that values contemporary design' and I'm so delighted to support her beautiful philosophy.
 
As an early Christmas treat, Shannon has been kind enough to give one lucky Her Library Adventures reader the chance to win a beautifully crafted hessian sack with gorgeous sari and pom pom details (valued at $79.00).  This sack would be just perfect for storing craft projects, toys and all kinds of treasures. 

 

For your chance to win:
Leave a comment and let me know how you'd use this hessian sack in your home.
 (I know I'd use it to stash my crochet projects in!)
Bonus entries:
1. Follow The Dharma Door on Facebook
2. Follow The Dharma Door on Instagram 
Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry.
 
The giveaway is open to everyone worldwide
Entries close at 11:59pm the 6th of December Australian time. 
A winner will be drawn at random on Saturday the 7th of December.  

Good Luck!
Much Love
xxx

EDIT: This Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Amanda K, the lucky winner of this giveaway.





Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Our World in November..

  
So after writing my October post in true Sophie rambling style, I found it such a joy and pleasure to just letting the words tumble out that I've decided to write all my monthly wrap up posts this way.  Blame the English teacher in me, but sometimes I forget that not every sentence that hits the page has to create a lovely piece of prose.  So while I document my little family's happenings each month, I'm also allowing my soul a little time to be free and just let the words flow.
 
And my first thought is, as cliché as it always sounds, where did this month go! I feel like we only just finished up October and here I am sitting here next to a box of Christmas decorations.  The year is quickly coming to a close and what a year it has been!  This month has been one of simple pleasures and adventures, of adjusting to change and making the most of these sweet Spring days. 
 
We've ventured to the beach, explored the fabulous Noosa Farmers Markets, enjoyed breakfast at our local favourite café Raw Energy and had a successful outing to find a Christmas tree (although it did include getting caught in the middle of a quite scary thunderstorm).  Quite the adventure for Tallow's first shopping centre outing. 
 
This month, I've loved watching the River Cottage Australia series and am more inspired than ever to find a little property of our very own.  In the meantime our little backyard veggie crop is blossoming and we've enjoyed peas and beans so far this season.  I'm also delighted to see two little pumpkins growing bigger each day and limes that should be ready just in time for Christmas.
 
Tallow and I have had fun returning to the Wilde Asher studio two days a week.  It's been so wonderful to be inspired and creating again and our first batch of Summer Wanderlust necklaces is now in the Wilde Asher shop. We've got big plans for 2014 and I'm so grateful to my mum and my sister for making this adventure possible. I'm also enjoying writing the Wilde Asher blog again and sharing our weekly eclectic inspiration.
 
 
I've been loving pouring through the beautiful Christmas edition of Country Style and getting very inspired for the festive season.  My sister and I are in charge of our family Christmas this year and I can't wait to begin new traditions with a fun summer vibe and enjoy some beautiful local organic produce.
 
I've been making a little time during Tallow's afternoon naps for a little soul nourishing.  Some days it's journaling, others it's just catching up on a little blog reading with a hot cup of tea.  This past week I've finally rolled out my yoga mat and it's been the best feeling of all.  Although the first few attempts were a little daunting and emotional to say the least, with the help of Gaby and Kristen's fabulous encouraging blogs and some inspiring classes on Yogaglo, I feel like I've turned a corner today and am embracing all the emotions, interruptions and precious moments that come during my yoga practice.    
 
With December only days away, I can't wait to catch up with our families for Christmas, for Tallow to spend time with her cousins and to really make the most of  this beautiful time of year.  We're also planning a family day trip to the Woodford Folk Festival and are dreaming up some exciting plans and new projects for 2014. 
 
Here's to a wonderful December!
What's happening in your world right now?
 
Much Love
xxx
   


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Merry Scent of Christmas..

 
Do you still get that little magical feeling inside at Christmas? Each year I long for that buzz and often stumble across it in the most unlikely of ways. That illusive magic sparkle can be tricky to replicate year after year, especially when life gets busy and the to do lists get long.  It was last weekend as we searched for a new Christmas tree that I realised for me this year, the magic is hidden in the aroma of my childhood Christmases.
 
This year, as we celebrate Christmas as with our beautiful Tallow, the holiday season has taken on a whole new sense of wonder for me and as I began to flick through my favourite seasonal magazines I realised I wanted that Christmas feeling and fast.   I tried my favourite Christmas carol, Dean Martin's fetching rendition of Winter Wonderland, I searched through old journal pages, I watched Nigella, Jamie and Heston embrace all the joy of Christmas cooking.. and yet no spark.
 
They spoke of traditional spices, cinnamon and cloves, chestnuts, eggnog and flaming puddings, but none of these truly evoked Christmas for me. My last resort was a spot of Christmas tree shopping to get me in the spirit.  Our current miniature tree has been with us for nine years, since our days renting a tiny duplex on the Gold Coast and while in Mildura we decided to enjoy an outdoor Christmas and made a recycled tree for the front porch.  So to celebrate Tallow's first Christmas we decided a new tree was in order and braved the Christmas shoppers for something special to begin our new family tradition. The carols were in full swing, the lights twinkling and the glitter abundant and as I wandered through woodland of Christmas trees that a little spark began to flicker inside.  It was the scent of faux pine needles that took me back to my grandparents apartment, five years old, in my special white party dress, waiting patiently by the tree to open presents on Christmas Eve.
 
Of all he magical smells of Christmas, it seems it's the strangely delightful (to me) smell of plastic pine that brings me joy. Not entirely romantic but wonderfully nostalgic none the less.  On further contemplation other festive scents I love include, the sweet smell of frangipanis, baking shortbread biscuits, cherries and of all things, wrapping paper.  So when it comes time to put up our tree this weekend, there will be shortbread in the oven, blossoming frangipanis on the coffee table and perhaps even a little Dean Martin playing in the background.
 
 What does your Christmas smell like?
 
Much Love
xxx
   


Monday, 25 November 2013

Everyday Moments..

 
 One of my favourite inspiring reads..
Tallow intrigued by Daddy's story..
Sunday afternoon gardening - Succulents and teapots..
Filling the living room with the scents of coconut, lime and lemon myrtle..
Yoga in the afternoon sunshine..
After the storm - a magical sunset..
 
Much Love
xxx
 
Joining the fun and inspiring images at The Shack hosted by the gorgeous Em.
 


Sunday, 24 November 2013

47/52..

 "A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Tallow: Getting ready for an afternoon beach wander..
 
Joining in with Jodi's 52 project. 
 
Much Love
xxx
 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Crafty Project - Upcycled Retro Summer Tote

 
 I just love using patterns, especially over the summer months, to decorate my home and liven up my wardrobe. The brighter and bolder they are, the happier I am and it’s no secret I have a crush on fabulous retro prints. My favourite pattern has to have three things: bold graphics; flowers (preferably daisies); and, a burst of sunshine yellow. These classic sixties floral patterns  transport me to summers of yesteryear, when all you needed was a split-screen Kombi, some groovy tunes and flowers in your hair. When I was searching for a tote bag to take to the beach recently, I thought why not get nostalgic and do a little crafty upcycling. So here’s a quick and easy DIY (I’m really loving simple crafting projects right now), which adds a fresh and fun retro summer vibe to an everyday hessian grocery bag.     
 
To Make Upcycled Tote
 
You’ll Need: A hessian grocery bag or something similar, a thrifted retro scarf or cute vintage fabric featuring a fun summer pattern, a needle and thread (or sewing machine) and scissors.

1. Cut fabric to desired size leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance for any raw edges.
2. Pin and sew to bag either by hand or with your sewing machine.

To make Tassel & Beads
 
You’ll Need: Twine, Embroidery thread and beads (to match the colour of your fabric) and scissors.
 
 
1. Wrap twine forty times around your fingers.  Cut and leave about 30cm extra to secure tassel.  
2. Secure the twine in place by wrapping the extra 30cm length around one end and knot tightly.
3. At the top of your tassel, wrap your chosen embroidery thread neatly around the twine. Tie off securely at the back and trim any excess thread. Then cut the bottom of the long end of the twin to create your tassel. Trim the twine to create an even finish if needed.
4. Take a length of twine and pull one end through the loop at the top of the tassel then create a knot to secure.
 
Then Add some Beads
 
1. Take a length of twine, knot securely on one end and add smallest bead.
2. Continue adding beads knotting in between. Add a final small bead and knot at the top to secure.
 
Put it all Together

Secure tassel and beads to bag handle, fill with your favourite beach accessories and enjoy a beautiful pattern filled day!
 
Much Love
xxx
 
This post was originally written for Voices of 2013 and published on Kidspot.


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

November Seven Vignettes...

 
Now I know it's cliché, but I really can't believe how quickly this month has flown by, or for that matter this year.  It's December in 10 days, December, really! I feel like someone's playing a trick on me.  However, rather than dwelling on the few days left of what's been a very special year, I'm going to embrace each and every one. So I thought I best begin by sharing my November seven vignettes, before it's time to start dreaming up December's festive delights. So here they are..
 
Day 1 - Holiday. Inspired by daydreams of a Parisian holiday to wander the beautiful boutiques & ateliers.  

Day 2 - Stack. Inspired by vintage, haberdashery and found treasures.
 
Day 3 - Hanging. Inspired by my grandmother's trinket box and the lyrics to Gotye's 'Hearts a Mess'.
 
 Day 4 - Recipe. Inspired by my grandmother's handwritten recipe books.
 
 
Day 5 - Soft. Inspired by nature's enduring beauty & grace. 

Day 6 - Reflective. Inspired by the ancient art of Tarot. The World symbolises completion.. the reflection of a personal journey.
 
 Day 7 - Paper. Inspired by soul ramblings & journal pages.. my favourite kind of paper.
 
It was such a fun challenge to play along in November.  With Miss Tallow often cradled in my arms while I fossicked for treasures and dreamt up ideas, I kept things really simple using my coffee table as a backdrop and working with bits and pieces from around my living room.  As for my (kind of) theme, well my great grandfather was a tailor and I love vintage haberdashery, so my favourite spools of thread and a sweet doily of my Nan's appear throughout.  I just adore visual story telling, especially with elements that contain so much personal history, like my Nan's beautiful recipe book and my own journal pages.  
 
Now I can't wait for December's seven vignettes, every month I'm just so inspired by everyone's incredible creations and ideas.  I'm already dreaming up a theme and searching for treasures to create  a festive series of vignette delights.  Pop over to Interiors Addict to find out more about seven vignettes and join in the wonderful community on Instagram.
 
Much Love
xxx
 


Monday, 18 November 2013

Everyday Moments..


Beautiful roses fresh from the Noosa Farmers Market. My favourite spot to spend a Sunday morning..
Cuddles with Mr Tiger..
Cute market stall crochet love..
How I adore handmade signs..
The gorgeous Velvet Wren gypsy wagon..
Our little bounty of sugar snap peas..
 
Much Love
xxx
 
Joining the fun and inspiring images at The Shack hosted by the gorgeous Em.
 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

46/52..

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013.
 
Tallow: This smile lights up my world.
 
Tallow's expressions are so magical and fleeting right now, I'm finding myself scrabbling for a camera every moment.  This week's portrait is another iPhone snapshot taken just after Tallow's morning nap. I was so glad I had my phone handy to capture this precious joyful smile.
 
Joining in with Jodi's 52 project. 
 
Much Love
xxx
 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Finding Inspiration in Fleeting Moments..

Whether you work full time, run a busy household, have your own business, like me are just beginning your journey into motherhood, or are a mixture of all of the above and more, finding time to be inspired and stay creative can be a real challenge.  
 
 
Over the years I’ve realised that being creative is not just a past time for me, it really is a part of who I am, perhaps even the sum of passions in my life, so adjusting to no longer having as much time and energy to be inspired and creative has been an important and challenging aspect of being a new mum.    While I was pregnant, I enjoyed reading The Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood by Rachel Power recommended by the lovely Pia.  Each story was so raw, so real, they really made me ponder how I was going to nourish my creative soul while balancing my new role and lifestyle. 
 
Now although only six weeks into my journey, I’m truly beginning to realise the importance of cherishing each moment and finding inspiration in the everyday.  As I explore these fleeting moments, I’m feeling more inspired than I have all year and I wonder if it all has to do with harnessing time.  When there is no time to procrastinate on an idea, project or blog post, you either have to dive in head first or lose the opportunity all together.  This makes for some very exciting possibilities, filled with raw passion rather than calculated and well thought out plans.  This sense of urgency, perhaps rather like a deadline for a school assignment is really is fuelling my desire to live each day more creatively and grasp that inspiration when it strikes.  Here are a few hints and tips that I’ve been using recently to stay inspired and creative now that life has become a whole lot more ‘busy’. 
 
 
Create a 10 minute Craft Kit – Grab a basket and fill it will all the creative things you love to do.  Don’t forget, scissors, glue, tape, needles, thread, and even a few tea bags.  Keep it handy, perhaps in your living room, so that when you have an inspired moment, even if it is only for ten minutes, you don’t have to waste that precious time going searching for your favourite illusive pair of magically disappearing scissors.  
 
 
Keep a Journal – Whether its leather bound, on your phone or a bundle of scrap paper, I always say keeping a journal of some kind is imperative to the creative process. Keep a few pens handy, take it everywhere and don’t be afraid to fill the pages with your ideas and soul ramblings.  Even in the busiest moments, jotting down a few thoughts can be truly rewarding.  Check out the fabulous works of Julia Cameron and Keri Smith for many ways to fill your journal pages. 
 
 
Create a Space – Big or small, creating a space to call your own can really help when searching for that spark of inspiration. While it’s not always possible to have ‘a room of one’s own’, even making a moveable space (I love coffee table crafting) can ignite the creative fire within and make those fleeting moments really magical. Check out my Pinterest board if you are in need creative space inspiration (I love seeing people's studio spaces).  
 
 
Mix & Mingle – Spending time with like-minded, creative people is a sure fire way to find inspiration fast. Whether it’s in person or online, a chat over afternoon tea, an email or brief comment can be wonderfully uplifting. You can find social media communities who share similar inspiring ideas and values and when you have a little free time, join in the fun of workshops, classes and InstaMeets.  Introduce yourself, mix, mingle and open your heart to new adventures.  
 
Celebrate small achievements – Sometimes even the smallest achievements can make you feel amazing.  Celebrate the small stuff! Right now I’m celebrating getting my camera out and snapping a few photos each week, taking time to get back into journal writing and enjoying the occasional hot cup of tea.  
 
It’s all too easy to become overwhelmed with the everyday, rather than celebrating its delights.  Grab those fleeting moments, enjoy and capture them, explore the details and revel in the opportunity to be inspired.  Every little bit helps to nourish your creative soul.
 
How do you find inspiration when moments are fleeting?
Much Love
xxx
 
This post was originally written for Voices of 2013 and published on Kidspot.
         

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Everyday Moments..


 First frangipanis for the season.. Summer is on its way.
Doing a little rearranging in our kitchen..
Tallow's beautiful little cardigan created by the fabulously clever Steph..
So excited to be back in the Wilde Asher studio this week..
Playing peek a boo..

Much Love
xxx

Joining the fun and inspiring images at The Shack hosted by the gorgeous Em.
 

Monday, 11 November 2013

45/52..

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Tallow: Full of personality.. 

I just couldn't pick one out of these four.. so consider this week a little series.  It's moments like these that I truly appreciate my little iPhone camera.  So delighted to be able to capture Miss Tallow's magical and fleeting expressions. 

Joining in with Jodi's 52 project. 

Much Love
xxx

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Tallow's Whimsical Nursery Tour..

 Creating Tallow’s nursery bought me so much joy throughout my pregnancy.  There was something so special about opening the door to this magical little world and pottering about, adding special touches here and there as I patiently awaited our little girl’s arrival.  Honestly I think I’d been collecting for this nursery for many years.  On my thrifting adventures I would collect vintage figurines, crochet blankets and beautiful picture books, for this special ‘someday’ room.   I knew early on when dreaming up nursery ideas, I wanted to use a neutral palette for the walls, furniture and curtains and let beautiful bright colours shine in the whimsical textiles, accessories and trinkets I’d been collecting.

 Originally I chose a gender neutral colour scheme for the room featuring  teal, mustard and navy, however when we found out we were expecting a little girl I couldn't resist the addition of a sprinkling of orange and magenta, inspired by these Aden & Anais swaddles.  Once I’d chosen the colour scheme, I just kept an eye out for inspiring pieces while out and about.  I especially loved searching local businesses and thrift shops for sweet additions to Tallow’s whimsical space.  A few of my favourite pieces include:

The beautiful dream catcher we found at The Green Bank in Nimbin, hand crafted by a local artist.  We had only recently found out we were expecting when we discovered this beautiful piece and knew straight away it would be a special feature in the nursery.  

The thrifted arm chair we added as a main feature in the room.  We discovered the pair (the other currently residing in our bedroom) at the local tip while living in Mildura and they are one of our most favourite discoveries.  It creates a lovely little nook for cuddles, feeding and precious bedtime stories.

We just love the collage wall filled with sentimental bits and pieces, including some sweet golden book pages, a twenty week ultrasound image and a few favourite outfits.  And of course I couldn't resist making some pretty bunting using beautiful Plushka’s Craft felt. My most loved item on this wall is the little framed handwritten card that reads… GIRL.  Our lovely doctor was kind enough to write down the gender and pop it in an envelope so we could take it to one of our favourite local spots and open it together.  It was such a magical moment and a perfect reminder of this amazing journey.  
After nearly nine months of dreaming and styling this little wonderland, I thought I’d share a few of the things I've learnt along the way to help create a unique nursery:

Be Inspired by Colour – It’s all too easy to play it safe and stick to traditional nursery colours, but if your after something a little more unique, why not choose colours that you love too.  Whether it’s bright and fun or warm and nurturing, it’s amazing how adding a splash of a fabulous hue or two can transform a room. 

Shop Around – Get creative and go beyond the baby section of the big chain stores.  Try markets, second hand shops, local artists and designers for beautiful and interesting wares.  

Tell a Story – Throughout our home, I always tend to feature décor that tells stories from our travels and adventures and the nursery was no different.  Rather than choosing ‘trendy’ décor, find pieces that share stories of your family and things you love.  Ben chose the Viking ship mobile, inspired by his love of Norse mythology and we included May Gibbs story books and foliage from the Tallowwood tree which inspired her name.  We also added some of our own favourite childhood picture books and toys.

Work your Storage – Make the most out of your storage space by utilising buckets, baskets and wall space.  As we did not have a traditional wardrobe, I put the shelves to good use creating open drawers labelled with shipping tags.  Displaying favourite outfits on walls and furniture like Tallow’s Little Tienda dress adds instant ‘artwork’ and a lovely personal touch.

Make It – Can’t find what you’re looking for? Why not try making it.  Whether it’s a simple strand of bunting or a sweet little softie, get crafty and add your own unique style to the space.  I made these sweet birds using this Spool pattern and Ben and I joined forces to create Tallow’s door sign, using fabric scraps and wood offcuts.

During the last few weeks of my pregnancy I would sit in the nursery and dream about what it would be like to hold our little girl in my arms.  Now as we spend our days feeding, changing, rocking and singing, I dream about watching Tallow as she grows and adds her own special touches to her little wonderland.

If you want info on any of the items in Tallow’s nursery, feel free to ask.  I 'd love to help!

Much Love
xxx   

This post was originally written for Voices of 2013 and published on Kidspot on the 29th of October.