Tuesday 31 July 2012

an energy fest indeed

Heralded by many as the best Bellingen Energy Festival yet, I for one would not disagree. On a personal level it was so wonderful to see the hard work and the vision that we from  The Workshop talked about come to fruition, the exhibition space, as you can see, was stunning, filled with so many beautiful objects it definitely entranced people as soon as they walked in. Check out that amazing shark carved out of a Camphor Laurel log by Thomas, and the stunning bull head by the immensely talented Nick, as mentioned previously somewhere on this blog. It really was an honour to be part of this group, I felt very proud of all that we had done, especially the mammoth effort of Soli and Nick.
As I was mostly in the exhibition space, I didn't really get to listen to all the wonderfully inspiring talks that were happening around but I did love my sneak peeks at overflowing tents, standing ovations, smiling faces, kids making beautiful objects out of junk, seed planting and people riding around on pushbikes that had pushmowers on the front, ingenious. This is kind of like the Bellingen Show for the Bellingen of the now and the future, a festival for a sustainable future. 
The beautiful Bob Brown, who welled many a heart as he wandered around the festival and inspired with his packed out sessions. 
 A beautiful addition to The Mid North's usual lineup.He also caused many a heart well.
Wonderfully by the time I had got to the exhibition, about 9.30am (it opened at 9am) all my three pieces had sold, woohooo. However a couple of nights ago I found out that the organisers of the festival have decided to have an 'after' party in the exhibition space this Friday night so I am frantically trying to think up and sew up a few more works to fill that empty space, pretty daunting but pretty exciting nevertheless.

Thursday 26 July 2012

the bees have it

'the beeholder'
'it's what you do with it'
'the last bee left in the plantation forest'

Tuesday 24 July 2012


On Friday night the lovely Ellie and I headed to our favourite local haunt, yep you guessed it, No. 5 Church St, a lot of stuff sure happens in this space. On Friday night we were lucky enough to be entertained by Brett Lee, a local muso, and The Rescue Ships from Sydney (and Canada), they were so much fun (and Elana Stone is totally gorgeous, check out her frock as well, oh my). Here are a couple of pics from the night, there are more over here on the No. 5 Facebook page, where more of my photos will be appearing. Unfortunately as it was a late night I was a little weary for the markets on Saturday, due to the weather and something in the air the market ended up being kind of quiet, which meant that i didn't have to heave myself out of my low slung chair too often. 

In an act of madness and necessity I did however stay up late again on Saturday night trying to meet the deadline for the 'Wrong way go Forward' exhibition that The Workshop is doing for this Saturday's Energy Festival. Quite excited about it all, now that the work has been done, should be a great day with loads of interesting stuff and talks happening. 

Sunday 22 July 2012

a sign of spring

When my Mum was up last she gifted me with a preciously beautiful tablecloth, made out of a crumply soft linen and embroidered with these bright daffodils, as soon as I caught sight of it I could feel my neck start to spasm and my left eye twitch, I couldn't wait to create. Inspired by Annie's amazing boleros and an old silk top of mine I made this little number. Yes it is rainy and grey today and only a very lovely fool would wear such a thing today but we have been surrounded in days of loveliness and this works so well with all matter of sleeve. I also plan to make a few similar tops patched together with doily and lace, I can see it in my mind, hopefully the vision will be as pretty. 

Thanks to Anne, this little number has now been spoken for.

Friday 20 July 2012

as the sun goes down

The last couple of weeks has seen our family barraged with more than our fair share of delicious fruit salad, Poe has discovered his cooking mojo, mainly specialising in fruit salad and guacamole. After one fruit salad too many I suggested warming our fruit (apple and pears) on our fire, so followed some delicious nights of stewed fruit. On Wednesday night after a glorious afternoon of fine tunes, communal cooking and much laughter we made up these amazingly delicious, if unsightly pear tarts, the pastry in particular is spectacular, we used Jude's Coconut oil pastry (just with spelt pastry not the combination of atta and spelt, purely because i only had spelt) and oh my goodness not only is it so delicious in a shortcrusty kind of way it also made the tarts have a kind of amazing muffin effect, yet crunchy (the pastry was a little thick in places) and is incredibly easy.

Here is the Coconut Oil pastry recipe from 'Wholefood, heal...nourish....delight' by the amazing Jude Blereau
Makes enough to line 380g
125g (3/4 cup) atta flour (or wholemeal spelt)
90g (3/4 cup) unbleached plain flour (wheat or spelt) 
3 teaspoons raw (or golden castor) sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup coconut oil, solid or preferably frozen
1/2 teaspoon of natural vanilla extract
60-90ml of ice-cold water

Mix together the flours, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. 
Grate the frozen or well-chilled solid coconut oil into the mixture. Add the vanilla extract and gradually add the water, using a blunt knife to mix together. Add extra water if necessary Press together with your fingertips. (You can also use the food processor in a similar way, making sure the coconut oil makes the mixture crumbly before adding water)
Cover and rest in the fridge for approximately 20 minutes (and have a warm lemon drink, whilst you are waiting), then it is ready to use. Enjoy and please don't let the above picture put you off. 

As part of our communal cooking and together time in the evenings, we have also been enjoying some delicious warm citrus drinks made by Poe with a little cinnamon, a little ginger and a little apple cider vinegar mixed in with whatever citrus we have around (it is citrus city in these parts of late, you can't turn around without a tree offering up it's goods or people off loading their goods) we then sit around the table in candlelight, listening to some relaxing music, enjoying the warmth of the drink, it's fast becoming a treasured ritual.

Monday 16 July 2012

popped and pooped

Despite the heavy weight of tiredness that we both carried from Friday morning until about 3pm (or as the time which will be hereafter known as 'when Wicked Winter saved our sorry selves'), Bell and I had so much fun at our Pop Up Shop. We had lots of visitors to our shop from start at 11 til end, at about 6 (8pm, who were we kidding), loving the space, the wares, the concept, the reality. It was so lovely seeing The Workshop evolve within a couple of hours to an inviting and beautiful looking shop. We both, wonderfully, also sold quite a few items, which is just as well I guess, considering it was the whole purpose of the shop. Already we are discussing when next we might pop up. 
Just realised that I didn't take that many pics and the ones I did take aren't too great but sorry folks will have to do. 
Our saviour, the Wicked Winter, partnered with some Chai, helped us get through the day. This little number is raw and insanely delicious, I have had a few of these in my time and this is the most delicious of them all, courtesy of the beautiful folk at No. 5. Speaking of which, after we shut up shop, I was asked by Jason to take some photos of Susanna Carman for the Coffs Advocate Social Pages. Hmmm, I rushed home, unloaded car, got changed for the Alter Ego party with some valuable assistance and enthusiasm from Scott and then headed up to No. 5 to take some pictures. Not sure whether I really got any pics for the Social Pages, mainly because one, I am not one of those photographers who can approach people and get them to wear some cheesy grin for the sake of a photo nor was the crowd really a crowd that I could imagine being too happy about having their pic in the social pages (they all looked really relaxed, comfortable and quite happy in their cosy bubbles). I did get some nice pictures though and Susanna asked if I could send them through to her as well, so at least they will have some purpose.

After I had taken a decent amount of photographs, I quickly scrambled out of there to pick up a freshly showered and newly attired Bell and headed out to the Promised Land for the Alter Ego party. Yes we did thoroughly discuss the plan of staying an hour max as we were both shattered but we ended up staying for about 3 hours, not sure exactly where the 3 hours went but i know a lot of it was spent gazing in awe at the beautiful Soli, dressed as Frida Kahlo, absolutely and stunningly amazing. Go on, spend some time just here and get a good look.  The rest of it, was spent dancing, chatting, laughing and then trying (unsuccessfully) to stifle yawns. 

As a Flapper, I know doesn't really look like any kind of Alter Ego but I was tired
and didn't have any space for dress up creativity
The next day after, we all lurched out of bed at 9am, we hurried up the mountain for  Dorrigo Market day, Scott jammed with a couple of friends whilst Poe, Ilo and I, explored, played at the park, found a few remaining Autumn leaves and ate Anzac cookies in the car, as the rain fell around us. 
i could look at those little brown fingers all day, oh that little pincer grip
Today we also had a really gentle yet creative day, we made fabric balls (i made these a few Christmas's  ago and they were a hit, basically they are thin fabric scraps wrapped around a stuffed old sock, really beautiful, will include pictures soon) with Woo, Ziggy and Sidney, whipped up some Almond Nut Butter, thought about making Jude's amazing Zucchini Bread but put it off til tomorrow, had tea and one remaining Anzac in the cubby house, spent a lot of the time bouncing and lying on the trampoline in the sun and finally, we went to Cracker Night. Run by the Lions club, it is so much fun, an amazing display of pyrotechnics, which had not only the children but the adults laughing with pure joy. So yes, deliciously pooped (again, maybe not two words quite meant to be next to each other) and to make matters worse, I managed to stay up a lot last night thinking about what I will make for the markets this Saturday and my embroidery pieces for the Energy Festival the following Saturday, hmmm, I have lots of squeezing to do (oh and bugger it is now 12.08am, eeeeeeeek), goodnight.

Thursday 12 July 2012

these guys

These little people, the doll versions of The Mid North,  have been in our lives for a while now, made by the immensely talented Pepper Stitches, the film clip which they were commissioned for is nearly ready, and we are really excited, it is looking great, I can't wait to share it with you. We did the photo shoot above when we realised Scott needed a band picture for a poster for these people and we had no band shots, so after looking at some very average shots of Scott and a blurry band or an overexposed pic of the band on the back of a truck, we gazed over to our little peeps and what do you know, instant band shot, totally awesome. 
Yes, I know there is only one more sleep until the Pop Up and I shouldn't be dawdling over here in blogland but I think all is under control, despite having nothing tagged (I have visions of doing at a leisurely pace in the morning) and the shop basically still looking exactly like a workshop space, I feel quite calm, in an understated excited kind of way. I have actually just been running about town in a covert chalking operation with Bell and thought I would pop (it's amazing how often that word has smuggled itself into by vocabulary of late) a post in before I head to bed and lie there thinking about all the things I forgot to do. After the Pop Up, Bell and I will be carting our weary or totally adrenaline pumped bodies to an Alter Ego party in Kalang, hmmm, alter ego eh, hmmmm, might need to brainstorm that tomorrow. Stay tuned. xxx

Wednesday 11 July 2012

popping in


Hello there, we are back from our lovely trip to Mullumbimby, and right back into the swing of things, but first Mullum and Bimby (thank you Ilo). Staying with my aunt Patma was so easy, she adores Poe and Ilo and they feel the same way about her, which basically meant sleep ins for Scott and I and lots of laughing and craziness. We ate lots of Milk and Honey pizza (best pizza ever, yes ever and they also do a mind blowing chocolate mousse), checked out the growers market, which was full of interesting and delightful local produce such as tempeh made with fava beans, a sprout stall and a brown rice sushi stall that included tempura pumpkin and goats cheese (Nikki, are you reading this?), searched through op shops and garage sales with limited success, caught up with another aunt and cousins, ate scrumptious organic donuts (two words that are rarely placed side by side) at Brunswick Markets and had loads of cups of tea. It was a lovely little break.
Just a couple of days after we returned we celebrated Ziggy's 7th Birthday, which was also lots of fun and then my mum and dad came up for a couple of days. Yes only a couple of days, nowhere near enough but they will be back in August for Ilo's birthday. As always it was so great seeing my mum and dad, they have so much love and energy to give to Poe and Ilo, you can see them beaming with adoration, beautiful. Both Poe and Ilo wanted to go with them back down to the Coast and all today, after they left this morning, they have both been lamenting the fact that they aren't here with us (so was I).
Tonight before reading books, Poe, Ilo and I had a talk about their upcoming birthdays, Ilo upon asking what he would like for his birthday answered "a book and a perfect apple with no holes in it and another perfect apple to give to Sidney for her birthday and a Bally, Bally, Bally, Bally (i then intervened "Ballet?") yes a Ballet skirt in red". Poe meanwhile was getting excited about a torch and a detective kit with a notepad and magnifying glass. 
Two more sleeps until the Pop up Shop, woohoo and eek. Bell and I definitely have fears of sitting in the space by ourselves as the clothes gather dust and spiders find some new homes. But I have stifled such thoughts and after a little panic today managed to sew a whole heap of new items, which has been fun, including some tops that are orange and white striped with, wait for it, cherries on them (thanks Mum). So hopefully I will sell some stuff but leave enough for the markets next week and some for the Blue Caravan shop (it is looking a little empty, which is great but also not so great). 

Wednesday 4 July 2012


On Monday, Poe, Ilo and I headed to the beach, stopping briefly into Kombu for supplies we ran into some friends (which you do the minute you step out the door in Bellingen), they too were headed to the beach, buoyed by this news I went to tell Poe and Ilo, initially they both reacted with excitement, these friends are pretty lovely, but then Poe stopped and said 'actually I think I need some quiet time at the beach, I would like to just explore, dig and have some time with you and Ilo'. I felt so proud of him, identifying what he needed and communicating it so beautifully. And the beach was wonderful, so invigorating yet calming, so much fun. 
We have been having such a beautiful holiday, our mornings often start with all four of us in bed, laughing, hiding, telling jokes or dreams. Yesterday Poe came into our room and gave Ilo (he always comes in with something for Ilo) a 'yoga mat' they then hopped out of bed and did some 'yoga' in the loungeroom, then somehow ended up bring us plates and plates of oranges and mandarins as our breakfast in bed. 

Last night we were invited to Rick and Eli's paddock to share food, a fire and a moon viewing. Considering we were heading to a -2 degrees morning, we were very rugged up. It was a lovely and easy evening, it was particularly beautiful watching all the children run around with torches and then as the moon started to rise the children came closer to the fire and just sat (all of them) and listened as the adults chatted, about everything from the ridiculous; Rick Astley and Aqua, to matters of the heart, namely Cordelia Fine and the recent Radio National GOMA talk.  And then tiredness set in and we scuttled off home.
Sunlight streaming into our room in the morning, it is particularly hard to leave this space in the morning and it continues to beckon throughout the day.
We are off to Mullumbimby tomorrow morning (after yoga, of course) to visit my aunt for a couple of days, we can't wait. In the meantime, check out the trailer for Big Easy Express, oh my goodness, Scott and I watched this movie the other day, so amazing and infectious, would have loved to have been on that train (Scott did tear up a little, it is definitely stunningly beautiful and emotive, the songs, the energy, oh my).

Big Easy Express Official Trailer from S2BN Films on Vimeo.