Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Orange Bird Feeder

Why not encourage some native birds into your garden with this simple orange inspired bird feeder? A pair of stunning King Parrots came down to feed in this - they just love the sunflower seeds and are now welcome visitors to our garden every afternoon.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Seaweed Mandala

"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy or too impatient.....Patience is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea."
Inspired by these words of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, we collected and created this Seaweed Mandala to commemorate the last day of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Beachcombing treasures from the ocean and hours of investigating rock pools made the perfect end to a season of endless warm days.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Valentine's Day Quinoa Treat

What a healthy Valentine's Day surprise this will make - cooked quinoa, pumpkin and pesto sculptured into a wholesome, loving heart. This is the ideal treat for all vegetarian lovers out there. And what would Valentine's Day be without a little poetry?

"No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go, we will go together over the waters of time. No one else will travel through the shadows with me, only you, evergreen, ever sun ever moon."
Pablo Neruda.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Hand felted soaps

We had fun over the school holidays felting these small soaps as gifts for family and friends. This is a great summer activity as it involves lots of water. Just wrap wisps of rainbow colored wool around your favorite soap, dip it in a bowl of water and rub, rub, rub until all the wool fibers felt to the soaps. They make a fun hand made gift and add a little color to the bath or shower too.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Clove and Orange Table Decoration

This Christmas, our house was filled with the sweet and spicy scents of orange and cloves as we created these Clove and Orange Table Decorations. They are really easy to make and a lot of fun - children will happily join in stabbing the clove ends into the orange skin. The finished pieces have added a little refreshing touch to our dining table for all to admire and appreciate. 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Ice Flowers

Creating these "ice flowers" is the perfect late spring activity, combining the wonders of the flowering garden and something to cool the kids off quickly on a hot afternoon. Just gather any flowers you can find, set them in an ice tray, add water and wait until the ice sets. Within a few hours, you will have a beautiful collection of frozen color to enjoy.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Boondall Birdwatching

Boondall Wetlands Reserve is the perfect place to introduce children to the wonders of bird watching. We took our binoculars, a picnic lunch and eagerly sat in the bird hide on the lookout for international bird visitors. Every year between September and March, forty thousand shorebirds migrate along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, landing here in the warm waters of Moreton Bay to raise their young. The smallest (30 grams) bird is the Red Necked Stint, which flies from Siberia and the largest (900 grams) is the Eastern Curlew which flies from Russia (about 13 000 kilometres).

It is indeed the right time of year and we suspect we may have spotted them, but it was hard to be certain? In any case, this is a pleasant and educational place to spend an afternoon with children.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Child's nature based bamboo loom

Happy Spring! We made this lovely bamboo loom to celebrate the coming of spring. It's warming up, the nasturtiums are abundant and our greens are going to seed (as you can see). We had a lot of fun creating this mother-daughter weaving and hope it inspires you to make something in nature too.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Rainbow Lids

Why not collect all those lovely rainbow colored plastic bottle lids and re-purpose them for a garden sculpture? Make a little hole in the top of each lid and thread some wire through and hang them on a fence or tree. You'll be surprised at how much plastic you go through in a short amount of time. Go on, add a bit of recycled color to your outdoor (or indoor) space.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A Creek full of hearts

After a picnic next to our local creek, we kept finding these amazing heart shaped rocks - love from mother earth.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Bunyaville Forest

This is a magical forest on the edge of Brisbane's suburbia - with well signposted walking tracks leading through Eucalypt groves and past freshwater pools. There are plenty of designated barbecues with picnic tables dotted around. Bunyaville Environment Centre is a fun place to explore with kids - they have created a "learnscape" with native animal sculptures, a specially designed water course and a sensory trail which is best to discover blind folded. You can sit on seats made from recycled milk bottles and quietly take in the surrounding greenery. Bunyaville Forest is part of the Mountains to Mangroves Wildlife Corridor, so if you walk very slowly, you maybe lucky enough to spot a koala, goanna or some local birds hiding in the bushes.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Pickled Rosellas

This simple recipe for Pickled Rosellas was originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1933. It is a perfect way to preserve rosella fruit should you have an over abundance. 

Pickled Rosellas:

Roast 1 kg of rosellas whole in a low oven for ten minutes, before transferring them to sterile jars. Meanwhile, boil 1 pint of vinegar, 6 cloves, 10 peppercorns and 1 teaspoon of salt for ten minutes.

Cover the rosellas with the boiled vinegar mixture, seal and place in a cool, dark place for one week. They taste quite amazing on their own or maybe serve them on your next antipasti platter.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Winter Lanterns

My daughter's winter lantern brings life back to this old autumn leaf, and what an enchanting way to celebrate the shortest day of the year.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Hessian Vases

Why not recycle glass jars and make them into lovely retro vases, using some hessian and old lace? I think they are rather effective and make a welcome addition to any kitchen bench or outdoor table setting.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Hessian Pictures

 If you're into retro chic and have any old frames lying around - here's a great way to make use of them.

Measure some hessian (ask at the local cafe for some old coffee sacks) to fit across the back of your frame. Draw on a pretty picture. Paint it and sew on quirky buttons. Nail it to the back of your frame and hang for all to admire.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Hessian and Old Lace

I found a pile of this beautiful lace, treasures which belonged to my maternal grandmother, but how to display them for all to admire and appreciate?

A visit to the local coffee roasters, Elixir at Stafford, provided a few sacks of hessian all the way from Colombia, which I trimmed and positioned into a few embroidery rings. Several tacking stitches later and the doilies were given a new lease of life. That's it - so simple and effective.

Thursday, 23 May 2013


Our garden is full of marigolds and we've been having fun creating pockets of color around the house....

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Papier Mache Penguin family

This family of penguins are just the cutest. Loosely inspired by the Russian Matryoshka dolls, they are entirely made from paper, glue and decorated with paint.

 Step 1 - Make a shape:

Shape a ball of play dough into your desired form, then cover it in glad wrap.

Step 2 - Papier Mache:

Rip up small pieces of magazine or newspaper and glue (you can use simple craft glue) them onto your molded shape, leaving the base free of paper. Continue with several layers of paper and glue, then allow it to dry for 24 hours.

Step 3 - Painting your design:

When the outside is completely dry, pull the play dough out of the mold and you should be left with a free standing dome shape. You can now paint your shell any design you like (we made penguins because they were very easy) and start all over again to make a family. Just make sure each one can fit inside the next before you start gluing. Have fun.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

How to Sprout Quinoa

Home grown sprouts are so nutritious and quinoa sprouts are especially packed with protein. All you need is a clean glass jar and some fine mesh to cover the jar with. First, take 2 tablespoons of raw quinoa seeds and soak them in filtered water for 8 hours.

Rinse the seeds well and place the jar upside down on an angle to drain. Rinse the seeds three times a day for three days - when tails should begin to form. Turn your freshly sprouted seeds into a raw salad with fresh rocket, fresh tomato and your favorite salad dressing.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Hemp Dollies

I enjoyed creating these sustainable hemp dollies by wrapping some hemp twine around a piece of cardboard, tying and chopping the ends into legs, hair and arms. They are so cute and easy to make and a fun way to spend the afternoon.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Blackwood Street Yarn Bombs

It always brings a smile to my face and heart to see the latest guerrilla knitting additions to Blackwood Street, Mitchelton. Shop owners and the local community members contribute to these colorful creations on both sides of the street. Thank you clever anonymous knitters for brightening up our urban spaces.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Felt Flowers

These simple little felt flowers accompanied my family's Easter presents. I just took a bit of loose alpaca wool, needle felted it into a circle and added the yellow center. Hmmm, I like them so much, I might add some of these onto my skirt.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Pine Cone Chicks

Here are our cute little Easter Pine Cone Chicks - I just love encouraging the kids to create simple craft from nature.

We painted the pine cones yellow, stuffed each hole with fluff and stuck on some eyes and a beak. They really make a sweet Easter table decoration and were fun to create too.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Felt Easter Eggs

With Easter around the corner, I just had to make something with my leftover wisps of colored felt. The girls made a clay nest, while I needle felted some pieces of rainbow wool. It always amazes me how fast the process is and how effective the end result. 

Happy Easter Season.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Sea Glass Designs

A local beachcombing adventure has inspired me to create my own sea glass jewelry. Look at all these amazing pieces of tumbled sea glass (mermaid's tears) that we found.

I love the way the light passes through the colored glass and reminds me of the wild ocean whenever I wear them. I wove some wire around a few matching pieces to make ear rings and am on the look out for a larger piece of sea glass suitable for a necklace.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Spinners and Weavers

All fingers in my search to source clothing grown and made locally are pointing back towards me. I (naively) thought some local designers/company out there would be into this idea, but Queensland Spinners and Weavers seem like the only passionate bunch around these parts. Fibrefest on the weekend was full of folk raving about local wool, so there is a ray of hope. Here is one lovely lady spinning her own wool and it looks like I'll have to join her very soon, or I'll be wandering around wearing very little over the approaching winter months. So, I'm signing up to learn to spin my own alpaca wool, Nuno felt a winter skirt and cobble a pair of shoes because no one else is interested in doing it for me (unless it's a factory in China).