5 Dec 2014

of blush and cream

Our new home is nestled amongst bushland and wildlife is abundant; a symphony of birdsong wakes us at daybreak. And all about are muted shades of green foliage and bursts of lemon and blush and cream.

With most of the boxes unpacked and a gentle new rhythm unfolding we have finally exhaled. As thoughts turn to Christmas we explore the natural world for inspiration. It comes easily here.

16 Nov 2014


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

Bijou - With Papa's help she made him a scooter out of timber offcuts. And then she adorned it with rainbows..
Remy -  Just woken up. 

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

7 Oct 2014

this girl - fabrik

This is a sponsored post

This girl is a wild one. Her wispy limbs are faintly painted in shades of maroon and purple from tumbles aplenty and band aids often adorn her knees. She plays hard and wears her bursting heart on her sleeve. Animated, passionate and at times, fiercely stubborn she is striding out into this world with confidence and determination. Caring little for what others think she dresses herself with abandon with one thought guiding her choices, adventure. And for that, I'm so thankful.

We've done our utmost over the years to shield her from advertising giants and the hard to avoid "Disney" effect by dressing her mainly in second hand clothes peppered with beautifully hand made and fair trade pieces. But as she grows the style of clothing available both retail and in op shops leaves quite a lot to be desired. Where once we could find delicate florals and a muted palette, there is an abundance of slogans, garish colours and sophisticated shapes and cuts more suited to teenage night clubbing than five year old adventures.  I fear that at such a tender (and impressionable) age she is already being coerced into a particular genre of dressing; one that isn't fitting with her vigour for life. One that doesn't let little girls be simply that, little girls.

This Summer she will climb trees, wade in forest creeks hunting for yabbies and inevitably scrape her knees. Her gender won't govern what she can and can't wear and we will refuse to let consumerism dictate her choices. She will wear cool, flowing garments that encourage rather than hinder her adventures and she will feel lovely in them.

Steph x

We were so generously gifted a Market Skirt in Garden Print, an Esther Lotus Print dress, and a  Bella Dress in Garden Patchwork from the beautiful people at fabrik and Bijou simply lives in them. We adore their environmentally friendly practises, commitment to fair trade and their playful designs. And for this brown readers fabrik are offering 10% off with the code THISBROWNWREN.

6 Oct 2014


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

Bijou - Papa buried her in the sand and her laughter filled the air.
Remy -  Getting so much braver near the sea. 

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

2 Oct 2014


All has been quiet amongst these parts lately. Initially with a strong and growing baby constantly wriggling inside I couldn't summon the energy to string together a sentence of any worth. And then came the chaos and mad to-ing and fro-ing that comes with major life decisions. So I stepped away for a while. I needed a time of recharging albeit brief amidst a haze of to do lists, momentous cleaning tasks and many, many signatures.

You see, we're selling our house. This cottage that we've tirelessly renovated over the last years has provided at its most basic, shelter and warmth and at its deepest, memories, community and a solid foundation from which to build our gentle rhythms upon. But it's time to chase new dreams and write new chapters; it's time to move on.

I've talked about a tree change and although this next chapter isn't quite there, it's one step closer. The wish list is short and simple; close to the bush and preferably a creek, a distance shorter than the current thirty minute journey we make to school each day (another story altogether!), run down but with good bones and the potential to extend. A decent backyard with room for chickens and enough sun for vegie gardens...and maybe a dishwasher.  And fingers crossed, we think we've found it.

As building and pest inspections are ticked off and finances sorted we now begin the task of  working through our belongings, culling superfluous things no longer in keeping with this new path and lovingly packing up those dear to us.  It will no doubt be a slow process as my belly blossoms but one I'm strangely looking forward to.  No the timing's not perfect but life's tide is anything but predictable.

I've come to understand that living fully is not about convenience and comfortability but adventure, and what an adventure this will be.

Steph x

7 Sept 2014


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

Bijou - She finally mastered Papa's old go-cart all by herself.
Remy -  All his clothes are getting too small as he grows before my very eyes.

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

3 Sept 2014

walks with Enid

I found an old box of my childhood treasures the other day. Baa Baa the sheep, my gem collection and a tower of well thumbed Enid Blyton books. Fondly I recall memories of burnished halls and thatched barns. Of plum cakes, brown bread and butter, and treacle. Such beautifully descriptive texts telling tales of simple days; simple lives.

And so I created a new (and already much loved) ritual with Bijou. Each night after our family story time we tuck Remy into bed and I snuggle under the covers with my girl and read to her. We wander under cherry trees in full blossom,wipe eggs clean for market and we crank heavy wooden butter churns and marvel at the resulting pale yellow.

Housework and sibling squabbles are forgotten as she and I walk hand in hand into a world of innocence, gentleness and simplicity.A world that I know so well but one I am delighted to be exploring again with my wide eyed girl.  By lamp light, tucked under woollen blankets we quietly walk together; just my honey girl, Enid and me.

Steph x

1 Sept 2014


connecting -  In the daily to and fro of raising a toddler and a school aged poppet I've found it harder to indulge myself with baby thoughts throughout the day. Come evening when all is quiet in the house I draw a deep, warm bath, light candles and turn my awareness inwards. Buoyant and relaxed I have found the perfect place to watch this new life squirm about within and connect with my thoughts.  I follow with a slow, tender belly massage using an organic coconut oil and then head to bed. 

nourishing -  We've been quite literally through the wringer with nasty end of Winter germs.  Chicken broth with tiny cubes of vegies have become an at least once a day meal; sometimes there's ramen noodles, sometimes rice. Always, there is plenty of garlic and a grating of warming ginger. 

reading -  Spring is the perfect time for picnics and I've got a long list of cakes from Love, Bake, Nourish  that I'm eager to make (and eat!). Tell me, do you read cook books like novels too? 

creating -  Finding inspiration here I've have begun the momentous task of collating (and finally printing) family photographs. Poor little Remy doesn't even have a baby album!

nurturing -  Sandals are beckoning as the weather turns warmer and Winter toes are not looking their best. While I am still able to reach them I am giving my feet a good slather with a homemade sugar scrub and then adding some vibrant colour

listening - I'm waking earlier lately and rather than jumping straight out of bed and getting the day started I'm listening to morning bird song as the sun comes up. Welcome Spring!

Steph x

31 Aug 2014


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

Bijou - Those starry eyes and that smile are for her Papa bear; she's besotted with him. 
Remy -  He sing songs most conversations lately and we've found ourselves joining in.

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

25 Aug 2014


Reflecting on my everyday has slowly become a part of my way of living. Where I once would trip and stumble through daily goings on without so much as a backward thought, I now find that thinking through my actions at the day's close helps me to make peace with any wrong doings, strive for more balance tomorrow and ultimately, grow.  I started a weekly reflecting post at the beginning of this year and thoroughly enjoyed journalling my days. But the busyness of life (and certain other sweet things) made the process seem a little self indulgent. I've decided to reclaim this small slice of "thinking" time and make this nourishing practice part of my week once more.

connecting -  With so much to look forward to in the coming months and quite the list of plans and preparations, Darren and I have been spending quiet evenings curled up on the lounge together. Goals have been made, new car choices finalised (finding a car that fits three car seats across is rather a challenge!) but mostly, time has been spent just the two of us. And a cheeky bowl of ice cream and hot chocolate fudge.

nourishing -  To mix things up and to add some more nutrient dense options to our breakfast menu I've been trying the nut porridge and chia seed pudding from this gorgeous book

reading - With each new season I reach for my well thumbed copy of The Way of the Happy Woman and read through her seasonal advice. A shopping list for the pantry is compiled from her recipes and suggestions and a few new yoga poses are added to my very simple (read: quick!) morning routine. Yes, I'm preparing for Spring.

creating -  Lady Spring is only moments away from unleashing her floral bounty so I've been creating little "Molly" sun blouses to add to my shop. Bijou lives in this style of top all through Spring and Summer; they are at once both cool and sun protective on delicate skin.

nurturing -  Tiny eyes have been raw and itchy lately and a gentle wash with warm chamomile tea has been helping.

listening - This exquisite song bird has been on high rotation ever since I became pregnant with our third poppet.

Steph x

24 Aug 2014


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

Bijou -  A little woodland sprite dancing in the green.
Remy -  Enthralled by the currawongs trying to get seed from our bird feeder.

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

22 Aug 2014


She chose the deepest pink one and claimed it as her own; a delicate bloomed cyclamen with an abundance of buds.  There amidst the terracotta pots we talked of plants' needs and the responsibility of providing them.  She listened with much eager nodding and hops from one foot to the other. And so the purchase was made.

At home she declared the dining table the perfect spot. "Just the right amount of light" she said, and I couldn't argue that the energising pop of colour would be lovely at meal times. Every few days she thrusts her long fingers into the soil and cocks her head to the side as her skin detects the moisture levels.  A small cut glass jug, her chosen watering vessel, providing the nourishment if needed.  Some mornings she carts the small pot down the hallway to let her plant bask in the morning sun creeping in the back door; I hear her nattering away to the foliage. And from time to time she snips off the spent blooms to encourage flowering.  All the while I watch her take greater steps out into the world; independence, responsibility and compassion.

Such deep lessons learnt from something so simple.

Steph x

19 Aug 2014


"the white bauhinia in the Spring whose branches swell and stream with bloom holds all the good world blossoming as promise of the fruit to come, she whose body swells in bloom as laden as the trees of Spring smiles with the knowledge that her womb contains the first seed ripening" Katie Noonan, Elixir

One foot in front of the other we walk this natural path. It is all at once both reassuringly familiar yet vibrantly new.  Something in the air heralds a seasonal change as pale green shoots show their fragile form to the daylight; their soil cocoon has borne them well. Vast limbs canopy us and all about is life and growth.

Come Christmas time when the air here is thick with humidity and pine needles scatter our floor I will birth our third baby.  Time will slow and for a time we will retreat deep into the comfort of home. But for now we will walk in places of green. My belly will expand and nourish this little one within and we will embrace our next season of growth.

Steph x

17 Aug 2014


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

Bijou -  Creating rainbows to catch the light.
Remy -  Dapper little fellow.

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

13 Aug 2014

my writing process { a blog tour }

I am constantly inspired by the world Katie and Reuben of  House of Humble are creating. A simple existence where hands are often dirty plucking this or that from the vegie garden, tending chickens or creating time honoured crafts to warm their homes. Katie's words are rich and nourishing and it is a space I love to visit.  So when she asked me to share my writing process as part of a blog tour I was delighted. The creative process in all its guises is something I am very passionate about.

What am I working on?
My head is always a whirligig of something or another. I have been thoroughly enjoying exploring the concept of creativity with my Everyday Creative series and am doing my darnedest to break the shackles often attached to the word. I believe we are innately creative as humans and have simply become misguided with incorrect labels and self-doubt. I've got some more practical posts in the pipeline to hopefully help people to bridge the gap. Jotting down the small changes we have made in our lives to tread more gently on the earth has also been incredibly rewarding and something I will continue for quite a while; the list is growing! And as with anyone who adores the written word, there is always the dream of a book. A special journal is kept tucked away in my writing space (and my heart) with musings, ideas for some day...one day.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Genres are something I stray away from when it comes to my writing.  I've never set out to create a specific space with highly specialised content rather trying to speak authentically about my everyday, simple life. This will sweep from what's happening in my kitchen, the beauty of the natural world, creating with my babies, the plight of the earth and what's on my knitting needles, or simply swirling about my brain. With no real pigeon hole to nest in I feel free to write whatever comes from within; my heart's voice.

How does my creative process work?
I tend to view the world through the lens of my camera lately and the little sparks of magic I capture inspire me greatly.  Internal dialogue is never far away when I look at the world from a different angle and before I know it, sentences are forming as I hang out the morning washing or stir the evening's soup. I keep a few notebooks about the house and jot down ideas and  phrases when they pop into my head. With a penchant for subtle hues and patterns I find I am most eager to fill more beautiful notebooks with words but little scraps of household paper however, will often bear my scrawl. Always a lead pencil...and most often, barely legible.

Why do I write what I do?
I am compelled to capture all the beauty in my world; my list of gratefuls. The crumbs on the floor, the toddler tantrums; the mundaneness are as much a part of the day as the stolen kiss from sister to brother, the wonky shopping list written in crayon attached to the fridge and the vivid, Winter blue sky. And I've realised that the unpleasant moments flit off just as quickly as the beautiful ones.  It's not about ignoring the "real" parts but simply shifting the perspective; the good things are real too. So it is with the marriage of words and images that I hope to catch the everyday beauty. To trap the simplicity in a butterfly net and admire it slowly while the world hurtles past. This space has become a journal of my slow, simple days and my musings help to preserve them.

I am eager to pass the torch onto my beautiful friend Anna from fields of sage. Her words are like poetry and I visit her space often to let their melody wash over me.

Steph x

9 Aug 2014


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

Bijou -  Hair twirler. 
Remy -  Moon lover.

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

3 Aug 2014


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

Bijou -  She ordered, paid for and devoured a fresh juice all by herself. 
Remy -  Making us breakfast in bed. 

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

31 Jul 2014

simple play - playdough

We turned our backs to grand adventures the past school holidays. Our time was peppered with some little day trips to inhale clear, Winter air but for the most part we stayed at home.  Long and slow days with spice laced porridge and stewed fruits for breakfast, soup for lunch and simple play in between. Much knitting for Mumma also.

One crisp morning we took a thermos of hot chocolate into the back yard and set up camp in the morning sun. Me sprawled out on a fabric sea of blue flowers looping yarn over wooden needles and them, moulding silky dough into creatures and cakes.  Natural hued and adorned with nature's treasures.  No special tools, or fancy cutters, just hands and a few sprigs of herbs, shells, some flowers and imagination.

Steph x

We've found this simple uncooked play dough is lovely. It's quick and easy to make as well.

2 cups plain flour
4 tablespoons of cream of tartar
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 cup of salt (the finer the better)
2 cups of boiling water

Simply add all the ingredients to a big bowl and mix. Keep mixing until it starts to come together and then give it a good knead to smooth it out.

28 Jul 2014


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

Bijou -  Snacking on edible flowers at our community garden and looking oh so grown up.
Remy -  He has a double crown so always wakes with the most delightful "Alfalfa" tuft.

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

22 Jul 2014

paper free wrapping

The Japanese art of tsutsumi or gift wrapping is both inspiring and incredibly beautiful. Typically large cloths are intricately folded to create simple, yet elegant packages.  But inspiration needn't take the form of replication. To translate this time honoured art into every day gift giving, simply replace the delicate shibori with a vintage pillowcase and the fine pleating with some slightly more crude tucks and folds held tight with a torn fabric bow.

Sometimes the contents of the parcel in their muted tones and subtle patterns are best left as is. The gift of a beautiful printed tea towel or tiny hand knitted garments needs nothing more than a piece of jute twine and a wisp of nature to adorn it. Why conceal the loveliness beneath swathes of paper?

And the jumble of op shop baskets often yield delicate treasures, rattan or wicker and filled with home made biscuits in a large glass jar (also second hand).  Or some jam and a loaf of artisan bread tucked into a woven vessel would be received with pleasure and gratitude.

Gift giving on a simple scale is a great joy of life. And when it's packaging impacts gently on the earth , the pleasure is heightened. Presents with much heart and little burden.

A small change; paper free wrapping.

Steph x

Other small changes we've made:
reusable coffee cups

21 Jul 2014


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

Bijou -  Bathed in blue light and thoroughly present in her creating; so serene.
Remy -  The absolute image of his Papa bear.

Steph x

Joining in with the beautiful Jodi.

14 Jul 2014


Lately ....

She watches the clouds from a shady spot on the grass,
We decorate the front doors and windows with snowflakes,
Ruby red strawberries are being picked in abundance,
Woollen projects are dotted about the house,
Good coffee and pastries are being savoured in the Winter sun,
Little pots of homemade yoghurt are filling the fridge to bolster tummies against seasonal maladies,
Grand tree shells become homes for forest sprites,
Earthen cups are filled and refilled with tea.

What have you been doing lately?

Steph x