Friday, 27 February 2015

hello there

Wow, what a huge break we have had from one another, but I am kind of back, not sure how often or to what degree but here we are. I have thought about this space a lot over the last couple of months, with feelings of reflection, overwhelm and fondness. I have started this welcome back post numerous times in my head but have never finished and even now as I type I am unsure as to where I am heading.
What I did decide, to make it easier on me, is to start this post in the right now, what is happening all around me as I type. Following posts will swim luxuriously back into the past and catch you all up with the bigness of the last couple of months but for now I will welcome you all back with my reality.
We are extremely close to finishing our build (as much as you can ever really 'finish'), the idea of putting furniture into our new space and actually living in it still feels like a wonderful fantasy for me. To cook in a kitchen will be a considered thrill and to not have dust, dirt and crap everywhere, wowsers. It has been a huge journey in so many ways; emotionally, physically, financially (we will scrape in pretty much within budget) and creatively. We have had to compromise, let go of timelines, breathe out amongst a chaos that can only be character building and shake our heads and laugh at the last 3 months of rain. As a couple we have hard really, really hard times but luckily it has ended up cementing us and making us even more stronger and more full of love (albeit with the help of wonderful friends and beautiful counsellors). I have loved everything about this build (yes even the crapness), I have liked the uncomfortable living situations, the fact that even after a bath or shower by the time you walk to bed your feet look pretty much the same as before the wash, the disarray has been a great lesson in letting go. Not having an oven just a camp cooker has led to simple but creative meals (and sometimes not so creative), I have loved cooking outside, waving to friends as they drive by, feeding our 'pet' magpies, being amongst the weather. I have loved seeing our home evolve, marvelling at the time it takes to do things, watching the kids run with it and delight in little changes.
Okay, so that's where we are basically at right now. Hopefully in the next week I can post pics of us in our new place, planting our fruit trees (if the rain holds off) and slowly settling into this space, minus the tools, the noise, the fine layer of dust but not minus the crap, crap always manages to find its way in.

Just in case you are interested:
* The beautiful 5mtr cedar doors were from Gumtree in Lindfield, NSW for $500 (amazing huh!)
*All windows from ebay, gumtree or secondhand barn.
* The lights were from Gumtree as well $30 each
* Pink and Blue cupboard from Hyde Bellingen
* Kitchen secondhand from Bondi (including oven)
*Wood - local Blackbutt from a guy name Matt, property at Boggy Creek
*Little basket is our builders own.
*Blue vice is on our kitchen bench, a table from the QLD railways.
*The flooring is second-hand from Urunga (a local suburb) but yes from Gumtree - we opted to not go with slab flooring as in this mouldy humid climate everyone has told us airflow is more important than themal mass (well particularly when we were going to negate the thermal mass anyway by putting flooring over it). We will (when we save up a bit) but in underfloor insulation but all the walls and ceilings are insulated and we have our build north facing.
* The garden has recently been dug up as we have put swales all through the yard to redirect water coming from our neighbours yard into ours, beautifully excess water will be distributed to all our trees, instead of having a river run through or by piping it out.

Friday, 28 November 2014

pop up

Hi All, a friend of mine in Sydney is having a little pop up shop, she has amazing and eclectic taste, so I can't imagine what kind of delights will be there, wish we could go, but as we can't you definitely should.

Here is some more info*:

KASPIA | Ph: +61 (0) 424576382 |
 Local intrepid stylist and travel blogger Kaspia brings the hippie trail to famous Yellow House in Sydney.
Pop-up shop & gallery KASPIA’S CARAVAN opens on November 29th at the YELLOW HOUSE, 57 Macleay St, Potts Point.
Between 1970 and 1973, the Yellow House was a piece of living art and became a canvas in itself, with every wall, floor and ceiling part of the gallery. Residents of the building included artist Brett Whiteley and filmmaker Peter Weir who directed the films Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Truman Show & Master and Commander.
For three months, Australia’s first multi-media performance space and gallery in the Yellow House will be transformed by Sydney designer and stylist Kaspia who is collaborating with Afghan Interiors. KASPIA’s CARAVAN will feature a unique collection of tribal home wares, rare furniture, rugs & jewellery, sourced over two decades in remote areas of Central Asia.
Kaspia’s popular travel blog documents her extreme adventures, many with her young children, in places like Uzbekistan, Guatemala and Iceland, while simultaneously exploring the world of unusual interiors, tribal styling and adornment. Kaspia is particularly interested in Central Asian interiors, which is proving increasingly popular in Sydney. ‘Back in the late sixties and early seventies, thousands of British and European young people came to Australia via the overland trail through Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. There is a resurgence of interest in the aesthetic of that time, the romance of it,’ says Kaspia.
Kaspia remembers staying in Pashtun villages on the Afghan border just months before 9/11. ‘My memories of sitting on rope bed charpoys watching locals crowded on tribal rugs and giant kilim cushions recite poetry in the firelight can’t be forgotten. There are plenty of baby-boomers who were on the trail in the 1970s who have similar recollections and who want to bring those memories to life in their homes. Our living environments and personal adornment is all about evoking, about connecting us with great memories and beauty.’
Kaspia says, ‘The Yellow House is the perfect venue for KASPIA’S CARAVAN pop-up. We’ll be holding regular workshops and talks by leading artists and designers, which I hope will restore some of that creative magic the Yellow House was once all about.’
Contact publicist
BENJAMIN GILMOUR | | Ph: 0404789442
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* this is by no means a paid post, just doing it out of love and wanting to support awesomeness. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


I was just talking to a very dear and darling friend about our build, about all the decisions that need to be made, dreams that are selected, others that are set aside, we talked about the sweat, the outdoor camp kitchen, the joys of baking cakes on a bbq (oh yes it can be done), the fact that we feel like the town carnies what with shredded blue tarp and an upside down hills hoist as backyard features and we talked about the fun of it all. Some of you might know these darling friends Annie, Genevieve, Olive and Oscar from ole Bega town and may have read all about their own building adventures, in stunning straw bale no less. They are absolute inspirations and definitely raise the bar in self-sufficiency in every which way. It has been a journey seeing what they have created, against many odds, the way their minds are alive with so many crafty, clever and wholesome ways of living and being. It has been an inspiration to pick little bits here and there from not only them but from countless websites and episodes of Grand Designs. Trawling through websites doing research, reading reviews, asking, asking and more asking and then sometimes making mistakes. We did originally play with the idea of straw bale or hempcrete  as our material of choice but for a variety of reasons neither won out. However Scott and I still continue to swoon over both materials, who knows, maybe one day we will get to have a play with them. Ah, the negotiations and compromises of building. But it is all okay, we are delighted with what we are creating, our intentions and our vision (think food forest, a big verandah for many people and even more instruments, soft candlelight, delicious feasts shared with loved ones, water tanks, solar hot water and one day solar electricity (when the battery prices come down), so many dreams float around our heads, it is really all very exciting.

So yes Scott, Poe, Ilo and I (and a few helpful builders and friends) have started the extension to our home, we have gone through moments of aghast when we saw the size of the hole and then were able to breathe again when we factored in the verandah, but still... We have had many people comment on how buildings grow and shrink over a build, I absolutely get it now. Scott and I have been assisting the builders, oiling timbers, cutting timbers (local blackbutt from a guy named Dave's property, just out of town), sanding, hammering, using the dumpy (oh yeah), measuring, basically getting totally involved and loving it. The kids meanwhile, as you can see, have been getting thoroughly and delightfully muddy, they have been loving exploring and creating new and wonderful games and cherishing their new bunk beds (the last photo is of Poe at night, weaving).
The completion date is said to be the 24th December, hmmm, I guess all we can do is wait and see.