29 May 2015


colour inspiration , Autumn sky, straw hats and cassia flowers

This weekend I will
  • stew organic pears and apples for a little lady who is showing a very keen interest in food
  • set aside some time to explore my daily rhythms
  • run a deep bath, light some candles and try to revive my post pregnancy skin with a slow facial massage
  • leaf through my garden books and plan a little flower garden for around the sandpit. The babies and I will wander the nursery and choose "bee friendly" plants and then take them home and plant them in the cool earth.  
  • Polish the winter boots with a beeswax salve and wash the wool blankets with eucalyptus and lavender oil. It is time to add them to our beds and I must admit to loving the ceremony of it all.
  • see if the bottle green kale leaves are finally big enough to pick a few. They will be sauteed with garlic and cubes of pancetta and then devoured greedily with a fried egg (runny yolk of course). 
  • Finally cast on a little yellow bonnet inspired by the yellow hues of Autumn.
I hope your weekend is recharging and peaceful.

26 May 2015

too much op shopping

Tucked behind a "World's Greatest Dad" mug and a half used scented candle, is a hint of powder blue. A delicate curve, a gold embossed rim - an ornate platter of days gone by. And so I quicken my step and snatch up this treasure for my own. All too often this scenario unfolds whilst op shopping and as a result our cupboards have been bursting with gilded, vintage treasures. I have dutifully applied a rule of "beautiful yet practical" to my purchases but how many platters does one family need?

Op shopping or thrifting is a wonderful way of making do; it is the epitome of recycling.  One man's trash is another man's treasure but the hard part isn't wading through the abundance of discarded "trash" , it's saying no to the "treasures".

Clutter comes in all guises and nostalgic pretties have the same habit of accumulating as less appealing fripperies. My hunting for delicate treasures made op shopping less about purchasing essentials and all about the "collecting" of something. I'd be heard exclaiming, "Oh, I don't have that particular pattern of Pyrex bowl!", regardless of whether I needed any more bowls or not (for the record, I did not!)

So I started taking note of my kitchen comings and goings. I noticed that I reached for the same tea cup day after day. The stacks of plates and  platters, no matter how beautiful, were rarely used bar a few. Balanced in hard to reach places, they made meal preparations difficult;  the constant un -stacking of fragile pieces in order to reach the one I wanted was frustrating.  These bargain beauties were not only cramping my cupboards but stifling my kitchen creativity.  And so a purge ensued.

I took everything out and spread it across the kitchen benches and spent a pretty moment casting my eyes over pastel hues. Those items that hadn't seen the light of day were quickly boxed up and passed on for others to enjoy. The fence sitters needed a little more thought - what exactly would I use it for, and how often? Finally I had a small selection of pieces, the old favourites, that I happily reach for time and time again. Coupled with pieces made with soul these vintage treasures grace our table daily; they bring joy. And isn't that really the aim of simplifying?

21 May 2015


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

Bijou - Always so expressive. 
Remy -  He's taken to having his morning tea outside while I hang out the washing. It's really quite lovely.
Inès -  Discovering the wonder of her hands. 

Steph x

13 May 2015


silver crescents, her muslin blanket and earthen bowls for soup

Hanging from my earlobes are delicate silver crescents. Classic and beautiful, they bear the intricate markings of a maker.  Embedded in the small details and embellishments, the curves and the shine are not only the aesthetics of a jeweller but also, her journey as an artist.  The seed of creativity, the fashioning of raw materials into something practical and beautiful, the elation when a vision becomes reality and all the frustration when it just doesn't work.  There are many hours hammered into these small hoops and when I wear them I feel a connection to their maker, to humanity.

Lately I've been popping little pieces of handmade into my Etsy cart and eagerly waiting their arrival. Slowly, slowly I am replacing the worn, the broken and the down right ugly with pieces filled with soul.  Yes, pennies have to be saved to make these purchases but they speak of a shift away from the fast fashion, "use once and throw away" philosophy.  I'm really scrutinising what we use on a daily basis and keeping our possessions to a minimum. Pieces of superior workmanship are chosen with care to imbue our home with individuality; we're defining our own particular style away from a mass produced, cookie cutter aesthetic.  This conscious consumerism feels good.

When I eat soup in an earthen bowl made from locally sourced clay or when I wrap my baby in a crocheted blanket I feel the kinship. Makers creating with passion, honouring traditions and passing on their unique character within their work.  In an often disjointed and robotic world this connection gives me a real sense of peace.

* silver earrings by Christina Lowry Designs. The lovely Christina is offering a generous 10% off any purchases until the 31st of May using    the code LITTLEWREN.
* muslin baby blanket by Willaby
* ceramic bowls by Elke Lucas, Joseph Daws, Susan Simonini

11 May 2015


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

Bijou - A checkered dress and little straw hat - my little Laura Ingalls.
Remy -  Joy is a little boy in a ute full of sand.
Inès -  She sucks her bottom lip when she's tired.

Steph x

8 May 2015


There is a stoneware vase of white roses on our dining table. Some petals are still velvety and unblemished whilst others are turning papery and transparent. They look a little flat after a week or so away from the earth and I can't help but droop with them in sympathy. This week has been a long one with lingering sniffles and a girl keen on asserting herself as she navigates the role of big sister. But ah, it's the weekend.

I'll fight the urge to write a list of plans as I do for the week. These be restricting on weekends and when left undone have a way of deflating, a feeling I could definitely do without. Instead I'll jot down a few intentions - a simple manifesto for the two days. May they inspire and motivate me.

  • For every negative thought, or case of the grumps I will drink a glass of water. As the weather cools I'm often neglectful of my water intake and the lack of it could be the very cause of said grumps.
  • Lie in child's pose for a time. Stretch my muscles, let my body sink into the floor and exhale. Smile.
  • Make a simple omelette and savour it with parsley from the garden and lots of cracked pepper.
  • Take off my shoes and run my toes through the cool sand in their sand pit. The combination of cold sand beneath me and a warm scarf about my neck will be sure to enliven the senses. Tea resting on the grass beside me and my knitting basket handy will make it all the more sweeter.
  • Watch Rachel Khoo and maybe, just maybe book in for that haircut. I had a fringe a few years ago and it might be time to embrace it again.
  • Buy fresh flowers.

Wishing you a gentle and light filled weekend.

5 May 2015


Not that long ago it was an uninspiring corner of our backyard. Choked with leggy ferns and stones, the soil was seemingly stripped of life.  Yet the light was good. "A minimum of 6 hours of sunlight a day" so they say is necessary with the more gentle morning sun preferred. A tap within easy reach, good drainage and a quick slipper clad trip from the kitchen to pluck and snip for evening meals. If I squinted really hard I could almost see the landscape begin to reveal itself - our vegetable garden.

In the spirit of  "make do and mend" we set ourselves the challenge of creating this kitchen garden for free.  Seeds, compost and manure could be purchased but the nuts and bolts of it all had to be found, traded or created.  A motley assortment of bricks and pavers were scavenged  in dark crevices under the house and a chance conversation at a nearby building sight yielded the last few. Four garden beds were then mapped out; an ochre perimeter to keep grass away and define the space.  The soil was turned, and turned again. Finally, rotted manure and good compost added nourishment and encouraged necessary minutiae to set up home.  And when the earth was rich and friable we began planting.

The tiny specks of leek seeds *, round and corky beetroot ones and cucumber, "Just like in the real cucumber!" said Remy. Careful furrowing, measuring distances between and gentle watering. Such precision and much scrutinising certainly bore the marks of "amateurs" but we were all involved; we were all so keen.

A few months have passed and our yields have been modest. One could hardly call them a harvest yet we take our basket out anyway. This ceremony of plucking this and that to grace our table brings us together in a common joy. To watch seed turn to plant, turn to fruit, is such a wonder and I'm thankful that already, my children are learning where their food really comes from. Yes, it's scrappy and a bit rough around the edges. But our veggie garden has brought satisfaction and a deepening respect for home. We spend more time together outside than before, we're tending something with care and consideration, and we are ever hopeful. A manifesto for living perhaps? I have no doubt this vegetable garden will enrich our lives in so many more ways than just filling our bellies.

Do you have a vegetable garden? Are you a gloves on or off kind of gardener?

* We purchase our seeds from Green Harvest, an Australian, organic gardening website. The range of heirloom seeds is wonderful and they provide great advice on what to plant in your area.

4 May 2015


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

Bijou -  She has been challenging the boundaries lately as she steps out further into the world. But looking at this image of her I see that she is still so little.  
Remy -  Hiding beneath the leaves
Inès -  Although she's not quite 5 months old, we feel like she's been a part of our family forever.

Steph x