Friday, 30 March 2012

busy little bees...

We're off uptown today for Ironwood and Eaglesmith business. There's two new pieces to go into the gallery, lots of setting up to do, a meeting to help get our name out there and an appointment for a custom order. Busy little bees indeed.
We've been finding lot's of vintage goodness to go into the gallery too. I can't wait to photograph it all and show you. I've also scored a beautiful vintage paper dispenser to dispense brown paper for the wrapping of the goodness. Samuel has restored it for me, they really don't make them like they used to.
I hope your weekend is wonderful. I'll be back on Sunday with some clearance auction adventures to share.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

feeling spritely...

Last night I slept for seven hours! I feel like a new woman. Seven is a much nicer number than four, which is the number of hours I've been averaging the past few weeks.
Today I felt spritely enough to take my camera for a bit of a walk. Other than work stuff, I haven't taken many photos of late. It's hard to see the beauty of the everyday when your eyelids are heavy and your brain cells have disappeared into the night.
From the top
:: a lonely rose that smells like fruit salad
:: today's blue sky
:: nature's sculptures
:: passionfruit ready for the picking

How is your week panning out? Are you feeling spritely?
Happy Thursday to you! The weekend is almost here.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

three years...

Three years ago I married the most wonderful man.

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Some things I am wishing for today...
:: a full night's sleep
:: a certain toddler to have a full night's sleep
:: a magical fairy to clean my house
:: and maybe a few more hours in each day
That doesn't sound too unreasonable now, does it?

Aside from my wishful thinking, things have been busy as usual this week. On the Ironwood and Eaglesmith front, Samuel has finished two more pieces which will be up on the website on monday and I've been designing ads and postcards to help get the word out on the street.
Our life is absolutely consumed with all things I&E at the moment. Everything is slowly coming together, but when you're in the thick of things it sure does feel like you're just going around in circles. Starting a business from nothing with no money is hard work. Luckily we both love it and hopefully it will in turn reward us for our efforts one day.

We've welcomed a new little member into the family this week. Not a wee bubba (thank goodness! we're still a while off), but an adorable mohair bear. Made by the Royal Bear Maker herself, Jess from teddybearswednesday. When we were waiting for Huckle to arrive, I commissioned Jess to make him a special bear. So it was only fair that we did the same for the next little bubba too.
It really is a most beautiful bear and I can't wait to see it get dragged about on adventures of the most adventurous kind.
Here they are together, enjoying a spot of fine weather. Huckle's bear is on the right and the new fellow is on the left.
I'm off to conjure up the magical fairy within me and clean the house, wash the dishes and make something delicious for tea. Let's see how I go.

Do you have a magical fairy who cleans your house?
Or is it you in disguise?
Happy Thursday!
May the sun shine and your house be clean. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

wednesday colour...

A little colour to brighten your week.
A small section of the salvaged hardwood that has found a home outside the studio. 
Waiting to be transformed...

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

bake day... carrot loaf...

I love baking sweet things, but I'm not keen on the high sugar and white flour in a lot of recipes. I like to change the sugar to rapadura sugar and the white flour to white or wholemeal spelt flour. This makes it denser and a lot more wholesome. 
When I discovered this recipe over on mkhandmade's blog, you could just imagine how happy I was. I changed the flour (oh and I change the nuts too, because I only had walnuts) and we had a delicious loaf to snack on for morning tea that sustained us.
Here's my adapted version:

How's your week going?
It's been lovely and sunny here.

Monday, 19 March 2012


One butterfly. No longer living.
A little boy who thinks about his words and speaks them with lengthy pauses between.
Then laying it to rest amongst the fallen gum leaves. 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

the avalanche hits...

Life can get really hectic can't it? You're plodding along, doing your thing and then *WOOMPH* the avalanche is upon you. Everything is happening at once and it all gets a bit stressful. I feel I have a lot on my plate, but all I can do is push through and dream of quieter times (even if they're twenty years away, ha ha).
I'm really feeling this pregnancy at the moment, there's  a few niggly things that are giving me quite a bit of grief. It's exhausting to do anything other than lay in bed. It certainly isn't helping that the little Huckle is especially crazy at the moment, throwing his weight around like he runs the joint. Hello terrible twos! 
Needless to say, we didn't make it up town today. I kept a very low profile watching Totoro (again), designing products and stationery for Ironwood and Eaglesmith, chomping down on plump pumpkin pastries (recipe thanks to cityhippyfarmgirl) and super delicious banana cake (my growing waistline would like to thank Stephanie Alexander for this one).
I'm trying to remember to breathe, really breathe and find the little snippets of peace in my day. Calm moments where it all seems to stop, even just for a second. I find a warm cup of tea helps. Tea revives you... well that's what they say.
We're off uptown tomorrow, there's no getting out of it this time.

How is your weekend turning out? 
Tell me it's sunny and bright and full of wonder. 
That would make me smile.

I must take a bump photo soon. It's getting rather large.

Friday, 16 March 2012

something I'm working on...

My sister is getting married to her beau this coming June. I'm most delighted to be designing their invites for them. The brief was "whimsical garden picnic" as they're having a newlyweds picnic the day after they get married. 
I can't wait to celebrate with them, they're such a fun couple. 
I'm on the bunting committee too. May there be metres and metres of buntingy goodness strung about Newfarm Park! Mum is cooking the feast and baking the cake. There's even talk of a dessert buffet! Doesn't that sound wonderful?
There's a lot to do before then of course, so I'll try not to get ahead of myself dreaming about desserts. 
Weekend tomorrow! Today is my day of preparing for the weekend uptown. Washing, baking and writing the long list of "to do's" so this pregnant lady doesn't forget anything. I think the ever growing belly is putting pressure on my brain space and hogging the memory section.
Have a great weekend! May you remember all that you need! 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

the big boy quilt...

With the big move (to the big bed) underway, means a big boy quilt is needed. I gave myself the strict instructions of using fabric from the stash and I'm pleased to say that I succeeded, for the top at least. I do need to buy batting and possibly some material for binding too. 
Huckle love's it and gives it great big huggly hugs every time he sees it. I think it's a success, just wait til he sees how huggly it is when it's complete with wool batting!
The dear Samuel risked a rather precarious outdoor table so I could get a full shot. Thank you dear husband for your assistance.
I probably should have given it an iron before photographing it. But time is of the essence when there's a small person stomping through your fabric stash.
Joining in over here.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

moving to a big bed and banana bread...

We've just begun the transition into big bed territory over here and so far it's going ok. It's a bit of a battle to keep him in the bed while I leave the room, so for now I sit by his bedside and practice my pranayama (yoga breathing) while he gets the hint and cozies up to sleep. I'm seeing it as an opportunity to be still and prepare for birthing baby number two, as pranayama allowed me the strength and awareness I needed through Huckle's birth. 
The day nap is proving to be another battle entirely. We'll see how we go with that one
Now, onto a different topic all together! Banana Bread.
I seem to be forever chasing the perfect banana bread. I thought I'd worked it out way back here, but then I grew complacent and it lost my devotion. I can't even remember what lost me, maybe I need to revisit the recipe?
The other day I tried a new recipe from The Women's Weekly Bake Cookbook. Of course I changed a few things a) because I struggle to follow instructions EVER and b) simply because I didn't have the exact ingredients. 
I think I like this one. It has a lot going for it. The crumb is good, lovely flavour, fluffy enough to be indulgent, yet wholesome enough to be almost healthy (minus the sugar).
I'm not saying it's a winner. For surely my taste will change and I'll flutter off to the next version. I know what I'm like.
How do you like your banana bread? Are you a recipe flirt like me? Or do you have an old flame that still burns bright?
Please share if you have a winning recipe. That is if it isn't a top secret Nanna recipe.

wednesday colour...

A little colour to brighten your week.
The Hydrangeas are slowly fading. I do like how they age, the yellowing gives them an antique look. That's what I think anyway. I could just be waffling on, it's most likely actually.

Monday, 12 March 2012

a day off...

With another hectic weekend behind us, we've come to the conclusion that Mondays should most definitely be a day off. 
I spent the morning in the kitchen baking bread & organising the weeks dinners. Cash is a bit tight this week, so I'm getting inventive with what's already in the fridge and pantry and concocting a grand plan. I've written my plan on a scrap of paper, but knowing how things magically disappear with a toddler around I'm writing it here so it can't get lost. Here's what I've come up with...

Monday :: Leftover Ratatouille with grilled olive polenta 
Tuesday :: Crustless Silverbeet, walnut and fetta pie
Wednesday :: Pumpkin and chickpea curry with homemade kashmiri naan
Thursday :: Minestrone with parmesan toasts
Friday :: Dahl with brown rice and yoghurt
Saturday :: Pumpkin and barley risotto
Sunday :: Homemade pizzas with this, that and what have you

As you can tell from this list, we're pretty much vegetarian in this house. We do eat seafood, but good seafood is hard to come by around our parts. We tend to eat seafood when we're uptown and can get the good stuff.

It was such a lovely sunny day today too, we couldn't help but spend some time lazing about outside. Sunny days have been few and far between of late, it feels as though winter is coming early. Of course I am most unimpressed about this and continue to hold hope that the warmth will continue a bit longer and might even ripen my tomato crop. Wishful thinking? Perhaps.
So we soaked up the warmth lounging upon an old woolen blankie while Huckle entertained us with his antics. Collecting grass and flowers for the ducks, digging in the sandbox and patting the Arthur Dog. 
There are moments you just want to bottle sometimes and this was one of those moments.
I hope your monday has been relaxing (especially if you're in Victoria and had a public holiday).
I'm off now to wind down and get my head around the busy week ahead.
Have a great week!.

Friday, 9 March 2012

this little man...

... is constantly amazing us with all that he knows and all that he can do
... loves to give hugs and pats on the back (even to unsuspecting peers at the doctors)
... is learning so many new words everyday
... loves, loves, loves playing in the sandbox
... will spend a good hour at a time building magnificent wooden block cities for his animals
... plays wonderful tunes on the piano
... loves cooking in his kitchen and offering tastes to his Mama and Dada
... loves baking with his Mama and mixing the the ingredients til they cover the bench, floor and himself
... helps his Dada in the I&E studio by sweeping the sawdust into the bin (and wherever else he sees fit)
... sings the theme tune to Totoro and the firetruck song
... sits at the sewing machine and asks to sew (and when fabric is sewn is upset that it is "stuck" together)
... loves bananas, nuts, cheese, berries, ratatouille, stonefruit, olives, banana smoothies and pasta
... is not keen on tomatoes, silverbeet or boiled egg
... loves The Byrds, The Staple Singers, The Black Keys, Crosby Stills and Nash and crazy gypsy music 
... collects flowers, rocks and sticks
... has animal sounds and body parts down pat
... favourite book is The Little Tractor

I could go on forever!
This is just a little update to document this wonderful age of learning and to keep his Nana and Aunty Melly happy. There's only so long they can go without a Huckle photo.
I love this first image so much. He moves so fast, most of my shots are out of focus. 
But this face... this smile... this is Huckle. Our Happy little Huckle man.
The last week has been full of trials. A combination of teething, night waking, early morning rising and then all of the wonderful *ahem* side effects that follow such things. We're now back to normal and my brain is functioning again too, which is nice. 

Looking at these photos after such a hard week reminds me to keep my head up and push through those long toddler grump days. There's always a light at the end of the tunnel.

We're off uptown tomorrow to work on the showroom. It's lovely having a little bit of city in our week, it's like a reverse of the country weekender.

What are you up to this weekend?
Whatever it is, make it fun!
Happy Weekend.
I've decided to delete yesterdays video. I don't usually post such things on this blog, but after watching the video I felt compelled to do so. But after receiving a link from an anonymous commenter this morning, I began to question the ethics of the charity. I believe in bringing Kony to justice, but I can no longer support that charity in particular.
Here's a few more articles for and against the charity if this is of interest to you.

Now I shall go back to my usual rambling crafty ways.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

my creative space...

I'm a little bit chuffed to say... I finished a quilt. Sure it's teeny tiny, but still it is a quilt and it is finished! Ok, perhaps I am a little too excited.
I've named it "The Happy Farmer" and it's waiting patiently to be be joined by two more teeny quilts. And then... when I get around to it, they'll be heading to the shop.
At just a wee 55cm x 60cm, it's the perfect size to pop over a wee baby in the pram or capsule. 
It's been lovingly (ie: wonkily) handquilted and features a variety of vintage and new fabrics. The cute farm fabric was brought back from Paris by my sweet sister.
The days have been slow around these parts. We're storing our energy for another hectic weekend ahead. There's a house to inspect, scrap metal to be collected, furniture to be delivered... a big long rattling list really, that I'm trying not to think about too much.
Today is all about the home. We've rearranged Huckle's room to include a big bed (that he will hopefully soon sleep in), bread is in the oven and washing is swishing away in the machine. Aaah, domestic bliss (humour me here). 
Now for a cup of tea.

What's afoot in your neck of the woods today?
Craftiness? Domesticity? Shenanigans?
Whatever it is... enjoy it.

Joining this group of crafty foxes.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

wednesday colour...

A little colour to brighten your week.
This is the beautiful barn at the Collingwood Children's Farm. I'd love to have a barn just like it. Maybe one day...

Monday, 5 March 2012

new pieces...

We've been busy little beavers these past few weeks. Slowly moving into our new showroom space, building furniture and sourcing vintage items to be sold as well. 
There are two new pieces ready for sale, the Birmingham Side Table (an ode to the city's part in the Industrial Revolution) and the Ipanema Dining Set (named for it's beachy personality). Full details and more photos can be viewed on the Ironwood and Eaglesmith web page.
The showroom is coming along nicely. We're hoping to have it all up and running for April.  Exciting?  Yes! Scary? Double Yes! We'll be open to the public on weekends at this stage, the opening hours will most likely be 10am to 3pm both days. For the moment there will be our furniture plus an assortment of vintage industrial goodness to peruse, as well as the custom postie bikes of Post Modern Motorcycles
We're looking to source some crafted items too down the track. If you know of anyone making wares that would suit the vintage industrial vibe, please let me know. For that's my next little project.
I think a little launch party is in order too. Although, I might put that idea on the back-burner for a while. Can't go getting ahead of myself now, can I? Let's focus on opening first.
So that's it from me today. I'm all tuckered out from too many hours in front of Tom(puter) and chasing a weary Huckle this way and that.
I hope your monday has been just as fruitful.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Up and about early again, Huckle and I trotted off to Camberwell Market in search in treasures. We came across a pair of ginormouscous bolt cutters, five greyhounds (unfortunately not for sale) and the cheeky band Rapskallion. We paused to enjoy their crazy gypsy music and laugh at their silly antics.
I scored a set of oil can drawers to be incorporated into an Ironwood and Eaglesmith piece.
Huckle scored a couple of cars. Just two, one for each hand. He is quite rapt with the mustang, as it's the same as Uncle Simon's. 
The afternoon was spent making our way home. We picked up thirty-odd lengths of hardwood flooring, only to discover that five metre lengths made our trailer jump about like a fish out of water, which then caused the car to steer like a boat. 
Hmmm, yes. No good at all. Especially not for the hours drive we had ahead of us. A quick stop at bunnings bought us a saw, some can-do attitude and a trailer load of thirty-odd four metre lengths. Hurrah! Let's not mention the four chairs and numerous other timber and steel we already had in the trailer.
So now Sunday is almost gone and I'm quite ready for bed and a nice slow day tomorrow. 

How was your weekend? 
Was it crazy busy too, or did you relax?
I do hope it was the latter.


I was up early and off to Gleadall St Market to shop for the week ahead. I do love this little market. The nut man is lovely, you can buy bread from bakeries all over town and there's nothing like constantly being run into by a Nonna and her trolley (although, I think that happens at every market).
The rest of the morning was spent collecting bits and bobs from here and there for the studio and home.
The afternoon had a slower pace. While it rained outside, the boys entertained themselves building a block city. There's an awesome collection of old blocks at the warehouse (thanks AJ for not being able to part with them). While the boys played, I photographed the new Ironwood and Eaglesmith pieces to list on the website this week.
Saturday night Samuel went to see Ryan Adams. We couldn't organise a sitter in time, so I had to pass in the free ticket. A bit disapointed, but next time we will be more organised. Never mind, time was not wasted and I completed another seven rows on the ripple blanket (fueled by chocolate). These blankets are serious long-haul projects! Lucky I only make one per baby, huh.
And that was Saturday...


Our weekend has been crazy. Full of markets, sourcing materials for Ironwood and Eaglesmith and organising the our new space.
I'm going to document each day with a three photos and use them to remember exactly what we did this past weekend. It's all such a blur.
Please excuse this onslaught of posts.
We typically arrive at the warehouse on friday afternoon, unload the pieces made that week and get ourselves settled in. Huckle's routine is kept the same as at home, so it's dinner, bath, milk, stories, teeth and in bed by seven.
After the little man has gone to bed we veg out and try to restore some energy.
This week we had Samuel's cousin and his wife around for pizzas. I made the dough before we left, it kind of exploded into a monster in the car on the way up. There's always chaos in our adventures and exploding monster dough shall not deter us! When it came to making dinner, it behaved perfectly and was the best batch we've made so far. So delicious.
This super yellow monster from our garden was enjoyed atop a few pizzas too. I can't remember what variety it is. It was very fleshy and rich, with only a few seeds. 
So that was friday...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

hello autumn...

Autumn is here and has definitely made itself known. The wind has been blowing a gale since yesterday and it has been rainy and cloudy too. Samuel says, "It's like pea soup out there". I wonder where this saying comes from? For the pea soup I make, is quite lovely actually and not like drizzle at all.
I do like Autumn, it's my most favourite season of all. I married Samuel in March, Huckle was born in April and our newest addition will arrive in May (if all goes to plan). So many things to love about this season.
It's a wonderful time of year for food too. Apples and pears are a plenty, the summer fruit and veggies are still cropping and soon there'll be pumpkins and all manner of wonderful things.
We purchased some apples from a local farmer at the market this past weekend. Her farm is just down the road from us, about 7k's away. They're as tart as can be, but perfect for crumble and the like. Huckle and I stewed some with blackberries this morning. He helped transfer the skins and cores to the compost bucket and helped himself to a bite here and there too. Half became crumble, which we gobbled up for dessert and the other has been squirreled away in the freezer for another day.
I can't wait for the height of pear season, I've been dreaming about eating this cake again.

 Do you favour Autumn too? Or are you sad to see Summer fade?