Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Everyday Moments - From the Past Seven Years..

Last Saturday, my little blog celebrated its seventh birthday.  I've written over 2000 posts in those seven years, exploring the very corners of my world. And within those words and images I've shared some incredible highs and heartbreaking lows, and all the while, taking each opportunity to revel in the everyday.  So I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some of my favourite everyday moments from the past seven years, special memories and images that I'm so grateful to have captured. 

2008 - Exploring our new town..

2008 - Made & Written.. 

2009 - The first of many collections.. 

2009 - A tiny little Olive & one of my favourite creative spaces..

2009 - Our first little home..

2010 - Moments in Autumn.. 

2010 - A place to play..

2010 - Much loved journal pages.. 

2010 - Teacups in Spring..

2011 - An Alice vignette & a vintage wall.. 

2011 - A favourite dress & a favourite corner..

2011 - Autumn & Winter.. 

2011 - A place to create & a bookish vignette..

2011 - A thrifted blouse & a thrifted dinner party..

2012 - Quiet Moments..

 2012 - Finding my tribe & a favourite festival..

 2012 - Seasons of change & lovely reads..

2012 - A soul journey..

2013 - Finding Autumn.. 

 2013 - A most enchanting day..

 2013 - Bliss..

2014 - In my element.. 

2014 - Exploring the creative process.. 

 2014 - A homespun Christmas..

2015 - Finding happiness... 

When I first thought about putting this post together, I never quite expected to be so full of emotion.  Looking back through all those posts really was a beautiful and insightful exploration into my journey, as a creative, a wife and a mother. Through each year my style evolves and priorities shift, but always at the forefront was my beloved journal, a space to create and my connection to nature and family. 

I can't express enough, my heartfelt gratitude for your love and support over these past seven years.  For me, blogging isn't a fleeting fad or something to pass the time, it truly is a part of who I am and is intrinsically connected to my creative journey.  Every comment, every email, means so much to me and I feel so blessed to be able to connect in such a poignant and personal way. I am forever grateful. 

Much Love and Light

Monday, 30 March 2015

Capturing the Weekend - 13/52..

"A portrait capturing our weekend, each week, in 2015."

Saturday: 4:30pm - Watering time.. Our favourite time of day. 

Much Love & Light

Friday, 27 March 2015

Conscious Living - A Love List..

'The most radical thing any of us can do at this time is to be fully present to what is happening in the world' - Joanna Macy

List #006..
A collection of blog posts, articles, short films & links to inspire and invigorate a more conscious way of life. 

As I journey into a new season, I'm reflecting back on some of the plans I made at the start of the year to further simply and create more harmony in our home.  These two articles from Becoming Minimalist both really struck a cord with me and give some wonderful strategies for challenging consumerism and being present.

And speaking of strategies, here's a really lovely guide towards living a simpler lifestyle.  I really love reading other peoples steps and ideas on this topic.  I feel like everyone adds a great, unique perspective.

And for a really great can do, start today kind of list, you must check out Bec's fabulous 22 ways to live a little lighter.

Do you consider youself to live a counterculture life? In hindsight, I realise now, that I grew up in a counterculture family, but it's only now I'm really coming to understand how it's helped to shape my life philosophy today. I really loved this article on living counterculture lives and the steps you can take to further embrace the quality and uniqueness in your everyday.

One of my most favourite recent blog posts comes from the wonderful Tricia, of Little Eco Footprints.  I'm so inspired by her quest to find balance between the online and offline worlds and this post is a wonderful reminder to take time out and revel in the everyday. 

Recently I've found myself using the Internet in a much more meaningful way.  As I continue my journey, finding that balance off and online, I've noticed I'm filtering content in a totally new way.  These days I only use Facebook for inspiring pages and websites and only check it occasionally.  My Pinterest is no longer bombarded with brands and must haves, but filled with insightful information about gardening and homesteading (and beautiful handmade homes).  All of a sudden, social media is a useful resource rather than an overwhelming distraction and it's so refreshing.  I'll be writing more about this in future weeks with some tips on how to change the way you use social media, but for now I bring this up because I found a few great articles on food self sufficiency and homemade flour on Mother Earth News, which I stumbled across from Facebook. I also love the Milkwood Facebook page for great links and articles. 

Something that inspires me greatly is seeing people embrace permaculture in urban settings.  This garden, ktichen and super dooper cute little stall is the most gorgeous example of doing what you can with what you have, where you are.  Amazing stuff!

Speaking of permaculture, one of my most favourite online finds recently has been the beautiful and empowering website, Overgrow the System.  They have so much to explore, read and get inspired by! A few pieces that really invigorated me were, this short film, The Great Turning, narrated by the amazing Joanna Macy, this great article about living off the grid and this beautiful and poignant piece on permaculture mothering.

And for more gardening inspiration, you just have to check out the amazing guided tour of the Veg Out Community Garden in St. Kilda, by the gorgeous ladies at Ecolosophy.

With daylight savings coming to an end soon, the sun has been rising so late in the mornings, it's been a little tricky to get up and going.  So along with an extra strong mug of tea, I've come back to some of these sweet morning moments (written by the gorgeous Kristen Hedges).  And while life doesn't always allow for a great deal of quite morning time, I've found just a few minutes can make a such a difference.

And a Love list wouldn't be complete without a little bit of tiny house love, so here's one of my current favourites. Oh and this one too!

What have you been reading, watching and enjoying and been inspired by lately?

And what are you up to this weekend? We're building our first worm farm, baking hot heart buns and enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather.
Have a magical weekend!

Much Love & Light

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Our Homespun Autumn Easter Display..

'Autumn teaches us the beauty of change.' 

I always love decorating our mantle piece with the changing seasons and festivities.  It's my little space to show my gratitude for the beauty and abundance that the Earth provides. This year I've been brave and decided to embrace our Southern Hemisphere Autumn Easter for the first time. 

Author Collette Leeman writes that Easter in Autumn is 'both a challenge and a gift', and the more I connect with the natural world, the more I realise the importance of celebrating the natural cycles of the year, as you experience them.  This year, it just didn't feel right to bring out the pastel hues of Spring, so instead I gathered together some of my favourite Autumn inspired, thrifted, foraged and handmade treasures and set about creating a mantle piece display to celebrate the beauty of nature and the changing seasons.

 Tallow's library provided the perfect inspiration for our display. I love decorating with her books which are always in easy reach, ready for story time. 

 Cinnamon, beeswax candles, feathers & eucalyptus leaves seem to transition so well from Christmas to Easter. And a thrifted basket sits ready and waiting for some naturally dyed eggs. I've been using some of the dried leaves from our Christmas wreath for little meditation mandalas, they are perfect for a moment of mindfulness.

A foraged nest and a pair of cheeky mice finish off our display, which also includes artworks from two of my favourite Australian creatives, Millie Fairhall & Lauren Merrick

As Tallow gets older I'm really looking forward to making displays and nature collections with her. There is something so magical about seeing the world for the first time, through the eyes of your child and creating new traditions.  

 How do you decorate and celebrate Easter? I'd love hear about your traditions.

Much Love & Light

ps. You can see our Easter display from last year here (which includes a crochet pattern for a pretty Spring daisy chain).

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Everyday Moments..

 Autumn hued fabrics for our Easter mantle piece..
Her much loved sandpit.. (we found the lovely recycled plastic sand play set here)
And first gumboots - Although a little big, worn enthusiastically at every opportunity, even with pajamas.  
A rainbow of creative possibilities..
Our green leafy nursery - Waiting for these lovelies to grow a little bit more (so they can handle the snails) before we plant them into the garden..
The Autumn sunsets nourish my soul..

Much Love & Light

Monday, 23 March 2015

Capturing the Weekend - 12/52..

"A portrait capturing our weekend, each week, in 2015."

Sunday: 9:30am - Autumn weekends are for gardening..  

Much Love & Light

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Conscious Living - Staying on Track with Simple Living Goals..

Recently I've received a few emails from lovely readers asking for advice about embracing a more conscious, simple way of life, and more specifically how to stay on track in a time when we are inundated almost twenty hours a day by some kind of social media, often portraying a "glamorous consumer" lifestyle.

Now I must start by saying, I'm in no way an expert in the subject and am on my own journey to finding a healthy balance of realistic simple living goals. So I thought I would share what has worked for me and things I've learnt along the way in the past two and half years.

After pondering what could cause a loss of focus or commitment to simple living, I noticed three areas that became really clear. These are media & consumption, influences & inspiration and personal expectations.  So I thought I'd split my thoughts and advice into these three areas.  You might want to grab a cup of tea and a pen and paper, there might be some list making involved.

Media & Consumption: Now more than ever before, the media in all it's forms (mainstream, alternate & social) is difficult to avoid and over exposure happens so easily.  This can really take its toll on you, your goals and your happiness.  So, start by making a quick list of the media you consume on a daily basis, TV, magazines, Facebook, Instagram.. it goes on and on.  Now repeat after me.. None of this is 100% real.  A big statement I know, but one you have to make peace with.  It's ok, that's the media's job, but sometimes it's so easy to forget. So while it might be inspiring to check out the beautiful homes/fashion/whatever on Pinterest and Instagram, it can all at the same time be deflating, frustrating and overwhelming. And when you begin to compare your own life to something that has been carefully curated for your 'viewing and consuming pleasure', it's always going to be different.  So what do you do? Here are my tips..
1. If you haven't turned off your TV yet, do it.  I promise it will change your life.
2. Monitor how much media (especially social media) you consume each day and how it's making you feel.  If you get that yucky overwhelmed feeling, it's time to put down the device and go outside.
3. If you really want to buy something new, write it on a wish list, then come back to it after a few weeks and ask yourself why you need it.  We swear by this method in our home and use it from everything from home appliances to clothing. Remember that the point of trends is just to make you buy more stuff.
4. And if you get that 'my life isn't good enough, why doesn't my house look like that feeling', just repeat again.. None of this is 100% real. Then take a big deep breath and go have a cup of tea.

Influences & Inspiration: Now we've touched on the fact that social media can be inspiring and incredibly influential in both good and not so good ways, take a moment to list the people, places and things that inspire you to want to lead a happier, more simple life.  You could even turn it into a vision board.  You can see our 2015 vision board here. If you find yourself distracted from your own goals, come back to those inspirations, those people and places that nourish your soul and get you excited about the future. Even better than that, begin to cultivate your own inspiration. Grow something, start something new, write, paint, draw, dance, whatever it is that brings you joy.  Rather than searching outwards for inspiration, begin looking inside and believe in the life that you are creating. This brings me to my next area, personal expectations.

Personal Expectations: So much about changing your paradigm and deciding to live more simply, comes down to your personal decisions and passions.  What simple living looks like for one person, might be totally different for another.  It's all about what is achievable and sustainable for you and your family.  Most importantly, be realistic. Start where you can, with what you have.  I've found a great plan is to make a list of the things you are doing or would like to do to simplify and improve in your life.  It might be your simplifying your wardrobe or the kitchen, learning to cook from scratch, reducing debt or starting a veggie patch or worm farm (the top of my list right now).
1. Keep your list visible and revisit it often.
2. Make yourself accountable. This might mean sharing the list with others or documenting your journey.
3. Revise and reflect.  It's not always possible achieve all your goals in a season or even a year.  Be kind to yourself, reflect on your progress and make revisions.  There is always room for adjustments and a new day tomorrow to try a different approach.

Most importantly remember, simple living in whatever form that takes for you, is not always simple.  It takes time, planning, love, cultivation and patience. And slowly but surely it becomes a part of your everyday.  As you begin to see the world differently, tune in, watch, listen and plant your feet in the earth.  Connect with what brings you joy, let the other stuff go and don't forget to disconnect.  Believe me, I know it's easier said than done.  I still have to remind myself all the time.  I promise though, the rewards for getting back to basics, for reflecting on what you consume, why and how you do it, tuning into the natural world and connecting with people and places what truly fill you with happiness are immeasurable.

Now over to you. What strategies do you use to stay on track? How do you tackle the complex world of social media? Do you keep a list or a vision board? I'd love to hear your ideas and stories.

Much Love & Light

PS. You can read more about my journey and our simple living goals here.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Everyday Moments..

 It's nearly scarf season..
Morning light in the kitchen..
Made this week - my first 'sacred treasures' basket.. 
Watching Daddy mow the lawn..
There's always time to make an Anzac slice..
A new week, a tidy desk and endless possibilities..
Packing Wilde Asher orders and fueling inspiration..
Preparing our winter garden..

Much Love & Light