31 Mar 2013

little things

Little things that make our world. Things I want to capture, tuck away and peek at another day....and smile.

Raspberry macarons and weather cool enough for leggings.
Wisps of nature finding life in the oddest of places.
A little shadow helping me to trace vintage patterns.
Tiny details.
Gentle hands making Easter biscuits.
Dewy grass, hidden treasures, a leafy bunny mask.
.Joining in with the beautiful Em and the lovely Lou.

30 Mar 2013


"A portrait of my babies, once a week, every week."

Bijou -  A pen, a brush, a stick. She will seize any opportunity to draw. *
Remy - Perched on his Papa's shoulders he views this beautiful world with his contemplative gaze.
* At our fossicking beach.
Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

Steph x

28 Mar 2013


Of twigs, of mud, of straw and reeds. Lined with feathers, fibres, and fur. Strong enough to provide shelter from the harsh elements; to protect it's inhabitants. Warm and soft edged enough to cocoon those inside in comfort, warmth and peace.

The nest; a retreat or refuge; a resting place; home.

Steph x

We made a twine nest in the morning sun. A bowl was lined with cling film and splodged with PVA glue. Twine was wound snail shell like to begin and pressed down into the bowl with the glue brush. Slowly the twine was wound around using the brush to guide and glue liberally in place. My honey girl's patience held for a remarkable time but the Autumn breeze soon got the better of her and she became leaf like twirling around the back yard. She later landed and decided to create her own version with leaves. When the tops had dried we turned them over and used scissors to gently make an opening in the middle on the cling film enabling us to peel it off carefully (the glue still looked white and was fairly tacky). The nests were left to dry overnight. Our casualties from our egg blowing soon had a new home.

27 Mar 2013


Smooth and lustrous.
Mottled brown, teal and beige.
Fragile incubators of life.
Symbols of new growth; of love.
Busy, eager hands cajoled to gentleness.
Breath slowed, time stilled for a while.
Garden fossicking; leaf plucking.
Pungent brews of magenta and azure.
Such patience.
Careful threading and shiny pride filled eyes.

Steph x

We used a needle to gently pierce a hole in each end of our quail and chicken eggs, moving it around to widen the hole (the chicken eggs proved to be quite hardy so little chips around the hole were needed). A  skewer was inserted into the egg to "scramble" the contents making it easier to blow. After a few casualties we were mindful to grip the egg very gently trying hard not to squeeze as we blew. The shells were then washed under a running tap and any remaining water was blown out. Small leaves were gathered and adhered to the eggs with a little dab of water. A square of old stocking was carefully wrapped around and tied with string. Our dyes were made by boiling red cabbage and then beetroot until the water was heavily pigmented. A good splosh of vinegar was added to the beetroot and half of the cabbage water (it will change to a beautiful deep pink). Bicarb soda was added to the remaining cabbage brew and with the stir of a spoon it turned a gorgeous teal blue. The eggs were submerged in the dye in old jam jars and weighted down with a few rocks. We let them steep for most of the day. They were carefully removed and allowed to dry in the sink resting on a cake cooler. Embroidery thread was threaded from the bottom and up through the top. It was then passed back through the top and out the bottom where it was tied in a double knot. This formed a loop for hanging. We hung them on an old branch and then had a cup of tea while we admired them.

The twine nest was another little project we whiled away one sunny morning with. I'll share it with you soon.

26 Mar 2013

cafe bouquiniste

Flanking the left bank of the Seine are les bouquinistes. Chocolate box like stalls that fold open to reveal hidden literary treasures, antiquarian etchings and rare prints. An eclectic gathering of souls and wares alike luring riverside strollers to bend just that little bit closer to leaf through a well thumbed tome.  At night they shut tight like clams and gone are the textures, the colours, the smells. Come the next morning the sellers turn the keys of their green jack in the boxes and a bounty of visual food bursts out.

To drive by Café Bouquiniste at night is to pass a sombre green Parisian book seller. With it's lights turned off all trace of the carnival inside is gone. However as sleepy bodies rouse and cast their noses to the air in search of coffee scent this little world comes to life. An ever evolving space where paintings are propped against vintage teapots. Dried blooms and leaves hang from here and there and a higgeldy piggedly array of books greet you at every turn.

I watch entranced as the beautiful girl behind the counter cuts slice after slice of a luscious raspberry cake. Not the stereotypical cloying ganache filled varieties often found in coffee houses but a moist crumbed round slathered with buttery icing that would be home amongst your Grandmother's morning tea offerings.  The cafe is buzzing with all walks of life and the staff dance to a quick tempo in order to satisfy their patrons' hungry bellies. Amidst all this flurry she plucks tiny fresh orchids from a mass and rains them over each and every piece of cake her hands touch. I am thrilled I ordered it.

A slab of marble atop an old crate forms the low table where we perch watching our babies devour fresh orange, apple, carrot and ginger juices. Around us is all bohemian colour, raw timber and cinnamon yogurt topped fruit salad. Swirls of vintage teaspoons, french literature and genuine smiles for our little people. A tiny doored little nook of this beautiful city where the atmosphere alone lowers your shoulders and curls the corners of your mouth. Quirk and character, simplicity and substance. Sublime.

Steph x

24 Mar 2013

little things

Little things that make our world. Things I want to capture, tuck away and peek at another day....and smile.

The most delicious riot of colour and texture at Black and Spiro.
Feeding the soul with a slow wander through the beautiful Kara Rosenlund's travelling wares stall.
An utterly magic day pottering with a kindred spirit. Matching yellow shoes and endless conversation.
Some Easter nest fossicking.
These two reunited after a day at Kindy. Such a beautiful bond.
Golden glow for Earth hour.
.Joining in with the beautiful Em and the lovely Lou.
Steph x

23 Mar 2013


"A portrait of my babies, once a week, every week."

Bijou -  Such a gentle, inquisitive soul. The world delights her.
Remy - Box play is simply the best play.
Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

Steph x

21 Mar 2013

seed pod butterflies

Mother nature with all her Autumnal winds and rain is handing us a silver platter covered in earthen toned minutiae. Our gathering basket is filled to overflowing and we haven't reached for paper or glitter for quite some time.  A large leaf our canvas, a feather - our brush. Our bath is dotted with many seed pod boats and vivid yellow pom poms grace our weathered table; their dusty pollen staining our hands as we explore the texture.

There is something about this time of year that makes me hone in on the wonders of the natural world.  Bijou's eyes are often down cast as she scans for wisps of this and that. Pockets are always Aladdin's caves come washing time as gum nuts and scruffy feathers have been squirrelled away like gleaming jewels.  I watch with interest as she refines her bowerbird qualities and chooses with more discretion now. Items are foraged, admired and perused and then often cast aside. Only those which capture her mind and her heart make their way into the basket.  Her eye for detail is sharpening.

In a world where technology is sporning almost virus like and engulfing our senses at every turn I am heartened that with a simple afternoon walk we can ground ourselves to this beautiful planet and it's awe inspiring ways. It is a chance to draw breath. A simple collection and primitive tools create keepsakes to feather our nest and envelope us in raw, natural beauty. 

Her pride is palpable. As is mine.

What beauties has nature handed to you lately?

Steph x

Joining in with these lovelies.

19 Mar 2013

tablecloth top - vintage fashion

There is a certain security in planning. The perfect parchment has been chosen. It's untarnished surface begging for immaculate A+ worthy letters.  Your head tilts to admire the ruler like straightness of your prose and you dot a stray "i" with accomplishment as if you're adding the last flourish to a Botticelli. 

I revel in the perfect "to do" list favouring lolly coloured felt pens and headings encased in frothy cumulonimbus clouds. There's the "to email/call", the "to do", "to buy".  Items completed are crossed off and often a zesty tick is marked beside them. This weekly art form however hides a multitude of sins as too often the planning overshadows the doing.

Embarking on this new year and all the wonders and tumult it will be bring I have endeavoured to let go of the plan somewhat and embrace more of the do. The plan is still kept on a leash these days albeit a longer one now but the do sits proudly on my lap happily being fed morsels of my thoughts and most importantly - my time.

With dreams to fill my wardrobe with vintage and handmade treasures I have deviated from the fabric store perusing, the pattern book marking and that great foe of the do - the plan.  Vintage patterns have been snaffled up still bearing their old Coles price gun tag for 50cents and drapey tablecloths, sheets and household furnishings of yore have been collected. Lavender scented and fresh from the sun they have been cut up and transformed anew. Their cost is minimal and the planning even less so but the rewards have been far greater than those ambitious projects that more often than not spend their time languishing beneath a hot pink cloud.  Tucked away in that perfect kind of notebook they never see the light of day nor are ever bestowed with that school mistress tick.

Steph x

I have been bold with my sewing lately and have stepped away from the security of store bought patterns. Ginormous vintage kaftans have been purchased and reborn as floaty maxis, vintage patterns and wisps of this and that have made blouses and shorts. A cut here, a dart there and a liberal dash of "what's the worst that can happen?" has helped to fill my wardrobe with pieces I love for next to nothing. This post is the first in a series of vintage fashion revamps where I've made tutorials of things I've upcycled. I'd love for you to join me on this thrifty adventure.

I have been trying so very hard to copy this pattern and upload it here to share with all of you. Fingers crossed!