Six years ago today, I thought I'd try my hand at the funny thing called blogging. I dusted off my camera, went out to my favourite antique shop, snapped a few photos and wrote a few lines. Seems I enjoyed it so much I even wrote another post that day, sharing some cushions and art that I'd made for our living room. Six years ago I was in my early 20s, newly married and had just moved to a new town in the country. Who knew how wonderful, transforming and inspiring that funny little thing called blogging could be.
Six years later I find myself back in that town in the country, a little older, perhaps a little wiser and with a few more adventures under my belt, but essentially the same tea drinking, day dreaming girl, who loves sunny afternoons filled with making, writing and arranging (or rearranging) fossicked and foraged treasures.
I thought I'd celebrate by sharing twelve of my favourite blog posts I've written over the past six years (I tried for ten but I just couldn't quite narrow them down).
Nurturing Your Creative Soul ~ I wrote this post on little scraps of paper when I first began blogging again. It's a very special one to me.
With all my heart thank you for taking a moment out of your day to stop by and visit. Your comments and friendship mean the world to me and those connections we create are what make this blogging community so amazing and so special. I look forward to many more years of blogging, cherishing the moments, enjoying the simple pleasures and sharing the joy and magic of everyday.
My dearest Tallow, you'll be six months old on Saturday and I just can't believe how quickly the moments have past by. It's such a joy to watch you grow a more each day, although sometimes I wonder where my little baby has gone. Soon though, I realise that in her place is the most enchanting little lady, full of spark and giggles, ready to take on the world. Now that you're learning to crawl, it's amazing to watch you discover the world around you. And as you begin to explore, in your little green shoes* I can't help by wonder about the places you will go. Will you take to the stage like Jimpop and Aunty Anna, or love to run like Grandad and Aunty Ella? Perhaps you will dance like Nannie Annie or love to take photos like Aunty Phoe. Wherever life takes you, I hope you'll have grand adventures and embrace each new day with the same sparkle you do now. I have no doubt you have an extraordinary life ahead of you my beautiful girl.
The world is at your feet, whatever you choose. Oh the places you'll go, in your little green shoes. ~~~ When we first found out we were expecting a little girl, I couldn't help but dream about playing dress ups and all the sweet handmade things I'd love to fill her wardrobe with. I've loved All About Heidi's gorgeous leather shoes since they caught my eye in a few lovely nurseries in Pinterest. So I was delighted when the lovely folks at All About Heidi contacted me about their gorgeous products. All About Heidiare giving one lucky Her Library Adventures reader the chance to win a pair of beautiful HEIDI walks (valued at $45.00) in the colour and size of their choice. All the colours are so gorgeous, having fun choosing!
Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry.
The giveaway is open to everyone worldwide.
Entries close at 11:59pm the 3rd of April Australian time.
A winner will be drawn at random on Friday the 4th of April.
*This is a sponsored post - All about Heidi sent us a pair of HEIDI walks for Tallow to explore in. I chose a velcro pair in mint green and we both love them! Not only do they look adorable and get compliments everywhere we go, they fit beautifully and entertain Tallow too (she's forever playing with them and clicking her heels together 'Wizard of Oz' style. We found the velcro great too, especially if she falls asleep wearing them, they are easy to slip off before putting her down for a nap. I love supporting local creatives and small businesses who share my passion for handmade products and quality craftsmanship. THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED - Congratulations to the lucky winner Christina from Christina Lowry Designs.
"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Oscar Wilde
I'm truly fascinated by the creative process, where ideas come from, how they can be so fleeting and how one day you can be bursting with potential creative genius and the next not a drop, especially when everyday life seems to be getting in the way. So for the days when there is a dry spell, I made a little list of simple ways to spark creative ideas.
Write a list - Make list of five things you'd love to be doing right now. Don't worry about time, place, or money. Anything at all, anywhere at all! I promise this will get your creative soul soaring in no time.
Make the Bed - A bed can make a really great work space, lots of room to spread out and squishy pillows to lounge on too! Perfect for afternoon naps and creative pursuits. And the bonus, I find when I make the bed, I feel like the whole house is that little bit neater.
Be Still - Find a quiet and comfy spot and still yourself. Take some long slow breaths and just enjoy a quiet moment or two.
Bake Something - Dust off your grandma's cookbook and bake something yummy. While it's in the oven, phone a creative friend, invite them around, pop the kettle on and you're on your way to a wonderful and creative play date.
Turn Your Phone Off - And once it's off, go outside, look around and enjoy the day. Breathe it in, notice, listen, wander and pay attention to the details.
Organise Something - A shelf, your shoes, the pantry, your favourite collection, make it something you really enjoy. Study items, flick through pages, think about why you love the style or colour. This is sure to trigger an idea or two.
Be Daring - Try a new shade of lipstick, a different hairstyle, tell someone a secret, write that email you've been worried about. Just for a moment, feel invisible and watch what happens for the rest of the day.
Write a Letter - A real one, on paper (like this lovely letter Rin from Papered Thoughts wrote to me). Make it beautiful, like a little treasure map, with secrets and lovely bits and pieces. It will make someone's day and it will make yours too.
Plan an Adventure - Spin a globe, point to a destination and plan an adventure. Make notes about where you would go, what you want to see and where you would stay. If you put it out there, the universe might just find a way to make your adventure happen.
Be Prepared - Whatever creative pursuit you have in mind, get everything organised and ready, so when the moment strikes you can dive right in, without having to search for USB cord, charge a battery or locate your favourite pen or crochet hook (trying looking down the back of the couch).
I truly believe creativity is hidden everywhere, sometimes in the most obvious of places, that at the time might be just out of sight. For more creative inspiration check out Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk on creativity. It never fails to inspire me.
A weekly document of little thoughts that dance around my head at 3am.'
These past few weeks I've been making our little house a home.. and I can't even begin to tell you what a wonderful feeling it is. While there is still much to be done (including the poor old guest room/studio that always gets left until last), our little cottage is slowly taking shape.
I've been testing out our little oven, which unfortunately has no fan, so I've been getting creative in order to stop everything from getting too brown on the bottom. Jam drops and oaty biscuits, muffins, bread and lovely morning tea slice (recipe coming soon), have made the all important morning nap time cuppa that little bit special.
I've been finding sweet little moments here and there to delight in the beautiful pages of the new Kinfolk magazine and have also been enjoying 'An Offering of Leaves' by Ruth Lauer-Manenti, which the lovely Gaby suggested as one of her favourite yoga books.
I'm loving Katie's gorgeous post on Simple Living and totally agree there are so many ways to go about living a more simple life. It really is all about the process than a definitive end result.
Our new veggie garden is underway with the soil prepared and seeds planted. Now to be patient.. (not one of my best virtues I'm afraid). In the mean time I'm enjoying my little potted herb garden and loving finding old dip tins to fill with fragrant herby delights.
On the crochet hook, I have been making a few cotton dish cloths and working on Tallow's baby blanket (yep she is six months next week and I haven't finished). Come to think of it, that might just make the perfect half birthday present.
I've finally found a fabulous pink retro dining table which will make the perfect sewing table for my little studio. Now if I can just get into the room (currently filled with boxes), I can't wait to set up the sewing machine and get to work on a few bits and pieces for my wardrobe and the couch.
Autumn has well and truly arrived here and I've been searching eagerly for our socks, jumpers, blankets and cardigans which have been squirreled away for too long. Now for a week washing, airing and mending before the crisp mornings get any colder.
I'm finally writing a special something very dear to my heart. I've spent years trying to work out how I wanted to put it together and have decided it's time to just dive right in. It's early days, but I'm looking forward to sharing more soon.
I'm fascinated by what's happening astrologically at the moment and always look forward to reading KV's insights on Aquarius Nation. I found this month's full moon reading particularly insightful and it's really helped to remind me to stop just dreaming and start doing. Inspiring stuff!
As the days grow shorter and the mornings cooler, there is something wonderfully comforting about spending time in the kitchen. It's made all the more special at the moment as I unpack my favourite vintage kitchen wares and family treasures and find my way around each corner and cupboard of our new home.
It's been a long time between kitchens for us, as we created a pop up kitchen of sorts in our previous nest. And while it did the job at the time, I longed for space, sunshine and a place I could really call the heart of our home. Now I must admit the kitchen and I have not always had such a fond connection, in fact it has always been more of Ben's domain (he's the cook in the family). As cliche as it may sound, as soon as my motherly nesting instinct took hold, so did my desire to spend more time creating a warm and inviting kitchen. With big windows and a lovely view to the garden, our new kitchen is just right and as the warm morning sunshine fills each corner, I'm find myself smiling as I fill the kettle and delight in a quiet moment dreaming of what herbs I'd like to grow on the window sill.
While one day we aspire to create a no waste kitchen, right now we are working on the little things we can do, to simplify and really enjoy the heart of our home. We're planting our new veggie and herb gardens and planning to eventually enjoy at least one meal a day from our crops. Composting, stockpiling, baby food making and preserving are all on our Autumn to do list, as well as our regular bread baking. Autumn also calls for stock, soups and chutney to be made and Anzac biscuits and pumpkin scones to be baked. And if there is anytime left over, we might even practise our mulled wine and ginger beer making, just in time for Christmas in July.
I love that there is always something to be done in the kitchen, a conversation to be had, a cat to feed or a cup if tea to enjoy. It is where I find a little bit of romance in my everyday.
Have you ever been offline for a few days and when you returned to 'blogland' it felt like you'd been away for a year? I've been feeling a bit like that this week. While I was packing, moving and just being a mama, shops have opened, babies have been born, collaborations have unfolded and so many posts have been written, it kind of got me feeling a bit out of the loop. After dwelling on it for a morning, searching through my bloglovin feed for what I'd missed and trying to find my own groove to start writing again, (which mainly consisted of me staring at a blank screen, hoping Tallow wouldn't wake up from her nap), I found myself feeling not only uninspired but also quite anxious. So, I put the laptop screen down, walked away from the computer, unpacked a few boxes and you know what, the ideas started rolling. I did the dishes and had a thought for a DIY. Funny how so often, when you're not looking for it, inspiration strikes. So I thought I might share a few things I've been trying this week, to get back into blogging and find my creative groove.
Step away from the computer - Trying to catch up on everything can be disheartening. Sometimes I find myself thinking, 'how did she do all that in one week?'. And it makes me doubt if I'll never get some of ideas off the ground. So my new strategy is simply this.. walk away. If reading blogs, checking out Pinterest or Instagram is not making you happy, then use that precious time to think, scribble notes and explore your own ideas. It's amazing what even half an hour can do. Go back refreshed and you'll see things in a totally different way.
Get cleaning - Lost for ideas? When I hang the washing on the line or do the dishes, I often have ideas or see little things that inspire posts, make nice photos or just make me happy. Try it out, get lost in your thoughts, keep an open mind and you never know what you might notice. Be sure to make notes!
Have fun - Sometimes I feel this blogging caper has become too serious, so I say, just have fun! Put your favourite music on, dance, be a bit silly, funny and enjoy yourself. Not every post has to be totally life changing or complex. Remember you're writing for first and foremost for yourself.
Dive in - That awkward 'sorry I haven't been around' line never sounds quite right. There's no need to be sorry for living life. Dive back in, share a few moments about what you've been up to and move on.
Have a cuppa - Seriously. Make it slowly and with care. Choose the cup and saucer, smell the tea. This perhaps goes hand in had with closing the computer or hanging the washing on the line. When things get a little overwhelming, your inbox is overflowing, you have too many tabs open, your blog schedule is empty and time is not on your side, boil the kettle, have a cup of tea. It's amazing how much energy you can shift by focusing totally on another task. Sit down with a blank notebook page and if you feel like it, scribble ideas while your enjoying your tea.
Check your archives - Chances are you have a great post just waiting to be written, updated or followed up. Go back through your archives and pat yourself on the back for all your hard work.
Blogging is such an incredible, rewarding experience but sometimes, especially after a little time away it can be overwhelming too. This week I've been reminding myself to write my own story and find own way. Everyone is running their own race, with different goals and aspirations. Write, take photos and blog because you love it, not because you feel like you have to keep up. It really is all about the journey.
I'd love to hear your tricks too, how do you find your blogging groove?
PS. We are back in Mildura and have spent the week settling into our lovely new home. We finally had the internet connected yesterday and its great to be back after a little blogging break. It's been a really nice opportunity to get inspired and enjoy some precious time together and now I can't wait to settle back into my little online home this week too. Hope you're having a great weekend!