Thursday, 31 July 2014

Journal Your Heart Out..

 'I write to discover what I know.' -  Flannery O'Connor

I've been keeping a journal of one sort or another since I was about ten years old.  Over those years, I've written countless pages, mused about life, love, creativity and everything in between.  Some days I write pages and some months go by when my pen doesn't touch the page.  And over those years, I've realised however the words flow, it is totally ok.  My journal is a sacred space, a place I know I can always come back to, an important part of my paradigm shift and my creative journey.

This past month, while I've been working on other projects, my journal has sat beside me each day, but has often remained closed. I know it's there whenever I need to take a moment, each page ready and waiting to envelop my words, calm my busy mind and allow me to rediscover my voice.  A few days ago I felt a calling, a reminder that it was time to write again, the old fashioned way, pen to paper, straight from the soul.  And with the precious month of August ahead, a time that holds so many emotions for me, I knew it was the perfect time to journal my heart out.


So in August I'm going to do just that, with a special little project called, 'Journal Your Heart Out'.  My plan is to fill a page (or more if I'm feeling inspired) of my journal, each day of August with conscious soul musings, straight from the heart. I'll be sharing snippets of my pages and words each week both here and on Instagram and I thought it would be a lovely opportunity for fellow journal keepers, writers and wordsmiths to join me in some ramblings of the heart. I'll be using the hash tag #journalyourheartout on Instagram, if you'd like to share your pages.


So if you've got a journal that's been collecting dust, or you're feeling inspired to start something brand new, I thought I'd share a few things I've learnt and taught over the years when it comes to writing from the heart, to kick start your creativity.

Take your journal with you.. This one is so simple, but so effective.  Just take your journal everywhere you go.  When you go to pick up your phone to check Instagram, pick up your journal instead and write a few lines.  Keep it beside your bed and on the kitchen bench, allow your journal to become part of your everyday.  Find a pen you love, keep it close and don't be afraid to just dive on in.

Let the words go.. So often an empty page sits before us and all that white, all that empty space can be a little bit scary.  We start to judge our words before we even write them.  We worry if someone might read them, we worry that they won't be pretty enough.  My solution.. Just let the words go.  Don't worry about spelling, syntax or what people might think, just let the words fall onto the page, however they please. I promise it will feel amazing.

Embrace your dreams.. One way to get started with your soul musings is to write down your wildest dreams.  Perhaps even start with a list of things you'd love to do, places you'd love to visit, details about the home you dream of building, the garden you'd love to grow.  Writing these beautiful visions down, even the smallest details can not only open your heart to new possibilities but be a wonderful manifestation tool as well.

Write with gratitude and love.. A really powerful way to connect and rediscover your voice through journalling is to write down what you are grateful for, what you love. Filling your pages with positive affirmations, gratitude and moments that bring you great happiness will free your mind, ignite your passions and fill your soul with joy.  It's magic and all kinds of wonderful.

'Creativity is magic. Don't examine it too closely'. Edward Albee

We can change the world one page at a time.  Follow your heart, write out your dreams and watch them unfold in the most wonderful of ways.

Much Love
xxx

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Months are Flying By..


Dearest Tallow,

The months really are flying by.  It seems like just weeks ago, you first learnt to crawl and now you are on the verge of taking your first steps.  You turned 10 months yesterday and I've got some catching up to do, so I'm sharing your eight and nine month photos together, because it feels like the last eight weeks really have disappeared right before my eyes.  No more my little baby, you are now my beautiful little girl, always into mischief, inquisitive and full of chatter.  Mumma and Dadda are your words of choice and you're even starting to use them to call to us, especially around dinner time, when combined with the perfect amount of girly stomping and whingeing.  Ever the independent explorer, you're quickly mastering the art of standing by yourself and wondering what you can do next.  When you're not clapping, singing or pulling all your books off the shelf, your favourite new spot in the world is on your swing.  It's got a perfect view to the garden and keeps you smiling all afternoon.  We knew from the moment we met you, you would fill our world with so much joy and I want to treasure these precious days we get to share together always.  Miss Tallow Frankie, you are our sunshine.  

You Like..
Afternoon walks
Banana, blueberries and Vegemite 
Splashing in the bath
When Daddy brushes your hair
Standing all by yourself
Exploring and opening cupboards

You Dislike..
Getting ready for bed
Sleeping in
Broccoli
The blender

We love you more than the best bits of all the seasons combined..
Much Love
xxx

PS. I promise I'll be on time with your 10 month portrait, if you promise to stay still when we try to take your photo.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Everyday Moments..

Zucchini brownies - Always a winner in our home..
Pipe cleaner bouquet - The sweetest little gift..
Sunset - Drawing me outside..
Citrus basket - Another day, another beautiful harvest..
Rocket flowers - dance like fairies in the garden..
Say goodnight to the sun - and hello to the moon.. 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

30/52..

A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tallow: This girl LOVES to swing!

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Keep your Creative Fire Burning during Winter..

Note: I wrote this article last winter for lovely Bespoke Magazine and over the past few wintery days I've been taking some of my own advice, spending creative time in the sunshine and dreaming up for a special project for August. I always find it a bit trickier to stay motivated during these cold, short days, so I thought it was the perfect time to share some of my favourite ways to stay creative during winter.

Creating a mobile creative space
As the daylight hours change, so does the natural light at home.  What once was a bright work space may lose the afternoon sunlight in Winter or become too cold to work in at night.  I love to be warm and cosy when I’m being creative, so my solution is to create a mobile creative space.  Use an old suitcase, basket or storage box on wheels and fill it with all your crafty essentials which be easily transported to a sunny part of the house, or by the fire at night.  

Enjoy Crafternoons
Sometimes the best motivation to get crafty and creative is to spend time with like-minded, inspiring souls.  Get a few friends together, pick a craft to try, or bring along your own projects and enjoy a crafternoon together.  Pots of tea and delightful treats are essential, as is a healthy dose of laughter.  If you’d like to share your creativity with some new crafty ladies (and gents too), check out your local community board for craft evenings, knitting groups and Brown Owls workshops.  It’s always a sure fire way to ignite your creative spirit. 

Winter Projects
A seasonal project is a lovely way to stay motivated during the colder months.  You could document the season in photos or artworks, keep a winter journal or knit or crochet any array of delights to keep you warm and toasty.  Perhaps even try something new! Keep your project simple and relaxing, something you can curl up on the couch and enjoy creating on those especially chilly evenings.

Capturing the Moments
Keeping your camera handy during those magical Winter days is essential for capturing beautiful everyday moments.  With limited hours of sunlight, all of a sudden that gorgeous afternoon magic hour can sneak up on you, so it’s best to be prepared.  I found the app ‘Magic Hour’ really handy to have on my phone as the perfect reminder for making the most of afternoon light.  Plan ahead a pop your camera in your bag when you’re heading out and keep your phone in easy reach too.  You never know when you will see a delightful moment to capture.   

Creative Reading
Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book and your hot beverage of choice and spend a few moments being transported to a wonderful creative place.  If you’re feeling a little uninspired a beautiful creative book, like Granny Chic by Tif Fussell and Rachelle Blondel  is sure spark your creativity. I love finding new recipes and getting creative in the kitchen during the winter months too.  Try Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for an inspired and nourishing meal and for a classic with a twist, I love flipping through the pages of Donna Hay’s Seasons and Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess.  

Spend Time in the Sunshine
My personal top tip for staying creative during Winter is to spend time in the sunshine.  Instantly warming and wonderful for the soul, a little winter sunshine will always put an extra spring in your step.  So where possible, I suggest doing any of the previously mentioned activities where you can find a spot of sunshine, perhaps on the front porch, in the garden or if you’re lucky enough to have one, in a delightful little sun room.

What better time than the present to embrace the cooler weather, rug up, pour a lovely cup of tea and dream up your next creative project.  

Much Love
xxx

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Everyday Moments..



The most beautiful birthday bouquet from my darling..
Beginning the week with tea and tarot..
My little bohemian backyard ready for celebrations..
Party fun..
In the kitchen - Speckled windows & a cactus cozy..
A beautiful letter from a super sweet pen pal.. 

Much Love
xxx

Joining the weekly stills over at The Beetleshack

Monday, 21 July 2014

29/52..

A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tallow: Monday morning post nap smiles make me so happy!

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Everyday Moments..

 Sunday afternoon bush wandering..
A special gift coming together..
Seeing picture books around the house makes me so happy..
Thrifted fabric waiting to be transformed..
Delighting in honey bees enjoying our broad bean flowers..

Much Love
xxx

Joining the weekly stills over at The Beetleshack

Sunday, 13 July 2014

28/52..

A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tallow: High flying with Daddy..

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Thursday, 10 July 2014

On Turning 30..

This time next week.. I'll be thirty. And you know what I couldn't be happier.   Thirty feels like it's been a long time coming and now all at one it's here.  While I once had dreams of having my first book published by thirty and ticking off a few more off my life list (soon to be revised), when I look back at the last few years, I'm very content to say, I'm looking forward to leaving my 20s behind me.

Age fascinates me.. for as long as I can remember I've always had older friends, even as a child I enjoyed sitting with the grown ups, listening to adult conversations.  I've never really acted my age, I received a university degree at 20, was married at 22, bought a house at 25  and just didn't seem to be doing the average 20 something things.  I feel in many ways that I've finally caught up with myself.  Yet, in the same breath, I feel younger and more full of passion for life than ever before.  I'm the kind of girl that thinks a great Saturday night includes, a lovely long bath, a nice glass of red wine, dark chocolate, a good book and a spot of crochet.  But I'm also the girl that dances in the supermarket isles, plays at the park, still likes to believe in fairies and loves to hula hoop.

It seems the older I get, the younger and happier I feel in my own skin.  These last two years have taught me so much, more than I could have ever imagined. And as I continue down the rabbit hole of my own personal paradigm shift, a total conscious awakening of who I really am and my place on this beautiful earth, I know that now is the perfect time to step into a new decade of my life.   As I reconnect with that free spirit inside me, the passionate sixteen year old with beads around her neck and flowers in her hair, the one who wanted to change the world, I realise I've now walked the path, experienced the whole gamut of raw human emotion and know in my heart that I really can make a difference, one step at a time.

So here's to the beautiful moments ahead, to a new chapter of adventures, following your bliss and to changing the world.

Much Love
xxx

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Everyday Moments..

Jonquils from the farmers market brightening the living room..
In my happy place with my new apron & trowel from the lovely 13 Acres shop..
These special little shoes finally fit..
How I love rows of pretty labelled spices..
On the coffee table.. journal pages & my favourite thrifted mug..
Ready for action.. 

Much Love 
xxx

Joining the weekly stills over at The Beetleshack

Sunday, 6 July 2014

27/52..

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tallow: Big box, big bow, big smiles!.

 Joining Jodi's beautiful 52 project
 Much Love
xxx

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Making, Doing & Thinking..

It's been one of those fun growth spurt weeks, one that requires an extra bit of love, patience, resilience and laughter. I've had so much to share, but by the time my fingers found the keyboard each night, I found myself yearning to just be for a moment. So I've listened to my heart and reminded myself there's always tomorrow to share. 

July has always been a pivotal point in my year, for as long as I can remember. I think because my birthday is in July, it's always provided a kind of reference point to what has been and what's yet to come. And now the first week is almost finished, I'm really beginning to see just how quickly this year is passing by. There have been moments lately I've just wanted everything to slow down, I've found myself asking where on earth the time has gone. It's a wonderful reminder to seize the days, even when they are a little cold and rainy, to befriend time, rather than working against it.  So as I count down the days until my 30th birthday, I'm making a promise to myself, to take my own advice and create a new relationship with time.  One that honours and enjoys the moments rather than worrying about where they've disappeared to.  

I've been fascinated by natural plant dyeing for years and did some work with a few varieties while studying textiles for interiors. I'd love to get back into it and I'm thinking this fabulous DIY post might be a great place to start. And if you're looking for some resources to help you out in your kitchen, garden and creating a more self-sufficient way of life, Milkwood is full of great information

And speaking of self sufficiency, this off-grid community in Portugal is so inspiring.  Be sure to check out the amazing little film, what a place to live. This green school really made me smile this week.  I LOVE that things like this are happening on the planet! 

This week we've made our first batch of sauerkraut as well as our first sourdough starter.  I'm loving trying new things and learning something new every time I'm in the kitchen. 

This workshop is a dream come true! I would just love to go! Perhaps a family roadtrip is in order.

Rosie makes the most beautiful little upcycled vintage inspired children's jackets.  I can't wait to get one for Tallow to wear on our winter afternoon walks. 

This home, this dress, these shoes..

I'd love to try out this cute little DIY for Tallow and this salad is definitely on the to make list next week. 

I'm so delighted to become a part of this amazing new sisterhood and can't wait to meet some more fabulous like minded ladies.  
River Cottage Australia is back for season two.  Season one was so inspiring and really solidified my feelings about simplifying our lives and getting back to basics.  I'm so looking forward to seeing the beautiful area of Tilba again and learning a little more in the process. Tilba is also on our family roadtrip list.  Have you been there? It looks amazing! 

And I'm super excited that we've just launched our latest jewellery collection, 'Celestial Huntress' over at Wilde Asher. It's inspired by the sky above, the earth below and our wild wandering hearts. It's such a joy to collaborate with my mum and sister on this collection and it makes me so happy to see our shared vision come to life.  

I hope you're having a beautiful & creative weekend!
Much Love
xxx

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

My Writing Process - A Blog Tour..


 Those who have been following my blogging journey for a little while will know how much I love to write.  It really is my greatest passion in life, which I've been very fortunate over the years to be able to hone and share.  I was asked recently by my lovely friend Kristen of Kristen Hedges if I would like to part of a blog tour sharing a little bit about my writing process. Kristen is an amazing creative soul, who has been a huge inspiration to me over the past few years.  I found her beautiful website after reading one of her wonderful posts of the Free People blog. Her poetic words resonated with my soul and helped me to begin a new chapter in my life journey.  I feel so honoured that she passed the torch onto me (you can read her inspiring post here).  I look forward to seeing where this lovely blog tour journeys to in the future.  So here is a little bit about my writing process..

 What am I working on?
I think it's pretty safe to say, I'm always working on something.  Whether it be a blog post, a chapter of my 'someday' book or an idea for a freelance article, not a day goes by where I'm without words.  Right now I'm really excited about a few new projects, one which is evolving everyday from a series of blog posts, to a e-course, to somewhere between a magazine and a book.  Its contents brings together my love of writing, photography, journaling and sharing inspiration. It's bringing me plenty of ideas and joy! I'm also enjoying delving deeper into areas of my world I've never really touched so far through blogging.  I love that a blog post can be such an intimate everyday moment captured in time.  Those fleeting thoughts that find their way into a few rambling paragraphs late at night are my very favourite.      

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Honestly I'm not sure how my work differs, because I'm not sure I fit into just one genre.  And just between you and me, when it comes to blogging, I sometimes wish genres (or categories) would just get thrown out the window, so we could just get on with writing and sharing whatever we love. So my genre is, from the heart. Whatever I write, is always honest and straight from the heart, the way I feel all writing should be. One of my favourite writing teachers Natalie Goldberg says, 'go for the jugular' and as I rediscover my voice I'm loving this concept of just diving right into ideas (no matter how raw or thought provoking) more and more.  

How does your writing process work?
These days as a new mama,  I've had to rethink my creative process a little and in doing so, I've found myself more creative and with more inspiration and ideas than ever.  Only having pockets of time  (nap time and late evenings) to really 'write', I know when the time comes I have to be creatively switched on.  So throughout the day, I make lots and lots of notes.  I use a cheap notebook for this task.  It holds everything, ideas, to do lists, half scribbled post ideas. I don't care if it gets wet, tea stained or crumpled and it's totally unorganised, but I know it's all there.  Then I use Evernote on my devices.  This has been a huge revelation for me.  I write posts straight into Evernote at 3am, I use it organise ideas for projects and often go back through all my notebooks and transfer the 'good bits' so I have them stored.  Finally I have my moleskine journal.  To me it's a really special space.  I love to make it feel like home and when I write, I write straight from my soul. It's for the deep stuff, the musing, life changing, ever evolving life path stuff.  I don't often publish what goes in my journal, it really is just a place for my soul to be totally free.  Somewhere bewteen these three places, my ideas come to life and together they form the bases of my published work. 

Why do I write what I do?
I want to rephrase this to simply, why do I write... And my answer is simple - I write because I feel like it was what I was born to do.  It brings me joy, fills me up and allows a form of expression that I don't find in any other creative medium.  I've always loved to write.  In fact my year three report says, 'Sophie is a prolific writer' and you know what, it makes me smile every time I think that words have been coursing through my veins since I was eight years old.  For some people, it's music, others dance, cooking or running. For me it's writing, in all its forms.  Every time I put my pen on the page, I feel like it's for the first time.  It's exciting, scary and connects so deeply, I'm always blown away by the words that often tumble onto the page.  In it's true state, unedited, scribbled and infused with the raw emotion of the day, writing is the most profound way for me to connect, with myself and the world around me. 

I'm delighted to pass the torch on to..

My dear friend, the gorgeous and talented Katie of House of Humble.  Katie and I often joke that we might actually be long lost sisters and I'm so happy that our paths have crossed in so many ways.  Although we've never met (I hope to change this very soon) I've always felt a wonderful connection with Katie through her beautiful, authentic and passionate words.  I can't wait to read about her writing process which she'll be sharing over at House of Humble next week.  

Much Love
xxx

PS. If you're feeling inspired to dust off your journal, you can find of my tips to help get the words flowing over here