Thursday 28 November 2013

to gaze upon

Recently I have been asked to photograph a few homes, one that will be for sale, another that is a holiday rental and then one that is at the beginning stages of a renovation. I have really enjoyed all three of these jobs, I love finding the detail, the contrasts, the way the light plays in every corner of a room. I feel honoured to be in these beautiful homes capturing this moment in time.
Little glimpses of exhales amongst all the short intakes that have been happening of late. I am sure that many of you are also in the same boat, the pressure of the looming festive season deadline and the amping up of the social calendar. Last week we enjoyed an amazing weekend up at The Mullum Music Festival, this weekend we will be doing a very quick trip to Sydney for a wedding and amongst all this I have been trying to see clearly with regards to my Christmas crafting, I am feeling quite stuck, waiting for clear inspiration. But I am (in moments) remembering to breathe, to know that everything will be fine, taking opportunities to declutter and clear some much needed (head) space. I have also reignited my love affair with list writing, a beautiful and easy way to get all that is bouncing around in your head into some kind of sense.
Phew, now I can strike off blog post writing from the list and now move onto paying the rent.

Wednesday 20 November 2013


For quite some time now I have been playing with the idea of how I can bring some of my Indian heritage into our lives. Growing up the culture was present mainly through food but it was also just there, through my mother and her ways. In our lives Indian and Malaysian food is love and adored but I have felt that it would be nice to do more. A few weeks ago I looked up Diwali, a Hindu Festival of Light and decided that as it was upcoming November 3rd, it would be lovely to start the tradition of celebrating Diwali. I called my mum who was delighted by the idea, she gave me a whole lot of ideas and decided to plan their next trip in time for Diwali. 
Diwali involves the lighting of lights to signify good over evil and to clear the home in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Firecrackers are also burst to drive away evil spirits (we used incense and ensured that all the kids made lots of noise throughout the celebration). During Diwali all the celebrants wear new clothes and share food and sweets with family members and friends, sounds totally perfect. Who doesn't need a good cleanse from those evil spirits every now and then. 
I invited some dear, dear friends, who fortuitously also both love and cook great curries. With the help of mum's trusty stash of Indian decorations, a plentitude of food (oh the food, the food, we were stuffed), new clothes (mum made Poe, Ilo, Lara and Ivy new clothes), borrowed Saris, Indian music, lots of dancing and an excessive amount of lights. Mum also mentioned that often a mandala is drawn at the door of the home, so we drew and then filled a beautiful mandala drawn by my dad with dyed rice. It was stunning.
It was such a special celebration and especially wonderful spending it with all these beautiful friends and my amazing parents who were so enthusiastic and delighted to be part of it all. Hopefully this is the first of many Diwalis we will spend together. 

The night was complete with a bit of possum hole covering, yep a perfect end to a wonderful evening.

Friday 15 November 2013

sewing days

The week leading up to a market usually sees our dining room table completely taken over by piles of fabric, pins, lace, chalk, measuring tape, books, cups of tea (plural) buttons and any number of odd bits and pieces. Before all this however, the sewing madness starts as ideas, ideas bumping around in my head, I then stand in front of one of my two book, ahem, fabric shelves and see which pieces call out to me. Who wants to become a top, dress, skirt, curtain, cushion, bunting or even a shrug, it is a fun process and a great way to engage with each piece. Not every piece gets their way though because, as is my way, I tend to get over enthusiastic and ambitious in a very limited amount of time. Time that is interspersed with feeding little folk, stopping and playing, getting up and dancing, working through flare ups with said little folk, cleaning, cooking, chatting, tea making and restocking the quickly depleting pantry. 

There are scraps around my feet, piles of finished pieces and handfuls of pleading fabric, wanting, waiting for their dreams to come true. To be frank it is an absolute mess and to add to that I am more often than not in my pyjamas or at times even partially clad as I am often trying things on for fit and sit. And then after the market, they are all swept up and stored away again, clearing the space for everything else and giving my mind a little breather until the creating begins again. The breather will be brief at this time of the year though with an Artisan market coming up, then the Christmas markets and most importantly the Christmas crafting. Crafting with loved and dear ones in our minds and hearts, little handmade pieces that are a small token of love and affection. But more on that and Christmas soon; handmade ideas, ways of giving to those in need and how to hold this time of the year in perspective. Simplifying is a good start.

Next year I am thinking of dropping back on the markets and concentrating instead on my Blue Caravan shop, it feels like a better use of my time and a way of being accessible to a wider reach of people. I have recently added a few new things to my Blue Caravan site, a couple of which have already been nabbed but it feels good to have gotten back into again. Hopefully I can branch out in the caravan and next year include some of my lace curtains, my little sapling range (yes a few little bits and pieces for little folk) and whatever other crazy bits and pieces that my fabric chose to be.