Thursday, 29 November 2012

in the van

hey there lovely ones, life has been a bit crazy around these parts lately, very emotional and full in my head partnered with me literally wading through mountains of lace and linen as things start to amp up with markets agogo, restocking Blue Caravan and half hearted thoughts about Christmas crafting.
Sadly by brain is not quite kicking into the Christmas crafting yet, this has led to me feeling vaguely panicked, but live in hope that inspiration (and motivation and time) will strike me down and i will be overcome with easy but wonderful gifts to create.

In the meantime, here is a little sample of what you can find in my online shop at Blue Caravan, I have been having a great time doing these delicious miniature embroideries on toy blocks, totally affordable and accessible art, wooohooo. I have quite a few more kicking around in my head and I am open to commissions,  hope you like them.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Working on a building

Okay, well maybe not, unfortunately after a building inspection we have decided not to buy, our very exciting dream. Yes, so disappointing but once we discovered some rotten supporting beams which had been eaten out by termites we knew we were in for a bigger job than planned. Our builder called it a 'money pit'. So just like that the home we were 'living in' in our minds, disappeared. After a few chats we have now kind of decided that if it stays on the market for a while and the owners will budge a LOT on the price then maybe we will try again, in the meantime however we have fresh ideas and a new perspective on what we might now be looking for in a home.
You see, we tossed around so many alternative building options that we were nearly delirious. We did some research on sandbag or earthbag building, strawbale, mudbrick and most excitedly hempcrete. Hempcrete, grown locally, is sounding like a pretty amazing natural building product and one that is growing in uses and function. It is mould and fungus proof, a great insulator, has wonderful acoustic properties, sequesters carbon dioxide for the life of the building, is lightweight and solid and is termite and fire resistant. We have a lot churning through our minds at the moment, but we are very glad we discovered this 'surprise' before throwing a whole lot of money, time and love into the space.

So stay tuned, I guess. In the meantime, to help you all recover from the shock and disappointment, here is Ilo playing a Bluegrass standard 'Working on a Building' with The Mid North.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

link it

A few little links today, hope you enjoy.

  • My new beautiful friend Nikki, you might remember her gorgeous face from here, asked me a few questions for her blog Wholefood Mama. It was fun, I procrastinated, I took lots of not quite right photos and changed my mind about recipes a lot and then decided to just do it, so glad I did. Thanks Nikki. 
  • We received a special package in the mail from Cass, some belated birthday gifts. I unwrapped a deliciously colourful and wonderful piece of fabric and Poe was gifted this wonderful book;  Miss Rumphis (and a couple of packets of seeds). This book all had us smiling and delighting by the end of it, I highly recommend giving it to everyone, seriously. It has everything; exploring the world, retiring by the see, guerilla gardening and delight. Apparently it is a classic, unfortunately this is the first time I have come across it, our lives are so much richer now we have it in our lives, thanks Cass.
  • I have just finished reading Rad Dad, a wonderful, amusing and beautiful book by two fantastic humans who are passionate about their parenting journeys and hearing about others. They have been running this blog for a while now. The book looks at the newborn experience through to childhood and teenagers, there was lots of love, wisdom and humour. I especially loved a couple of stories about that boring and insidiously poisonous act of gender stereotyping, it was touching and beautiful hearing these fathers talk about how they act against it, for themselves and for their children, especially one transgender father who acknowledged how damaging stereotyping had been for him growing up and how determined he was to encourage equality and acceptance in his childs life. 
* Rad Dad also gave a little nod to an awesome blogger Blue Milk, who blogs about her experiences in Motherhood as a feminist. I particularly love how she writes about the gender stuff;  encouraging non-conformity (check out this post about s gender non conforming colouring in book), embracing children as individuals and educating others, she even created a workbook for her child's school and ran a workshop on gender stereotyping, yes she is that awesome. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


Enjoying the delights of a little Vintage pop up shop/garage sale, hosted by the lovely Leisa and Ben, who are new to town from The Central Coast. The excessive amount of Vintage clothing up for grabs was not any ordinary collection it was from her shop Pumpanickle Vintage.
Some more No.5 food snaps for a local mag, Focus. 
Cath, trying on outfits for Harrietville, National Bluegrass Festival
Scott being loved up by Poe and Ilo after returning from nearly a week away at Harrietville. 

Friday, 16 November 2012

the fever

Soon these beautiful rich and enticing images will dull your mind, you will start to yawn at the sight of an unstripped window/door/piece of fetching wood. I know all this because this is just the beginning, we will be spending a fair amount of time (and money) at this place, a wonderful and completely affordable (there are bargains to be hand, especially with regards to windows and doors) hub of secondhand awesomeness; building material, furniture, fascinating bits and pieces, at Raleigh.
Although contracts have yet to be signed, they are currently being written up, I am going to blurt it out anyway, we have bought a, um, home. Well actually it is a kind of shed/warehouse at the moment, one third basic living, two thirds shed, which is really quite ugly and huge BUT it is so exciting as we can make it whatever we want; solar passive, recycled timbers, alternative building materials, permaculture garden, front and back, internal garden courtyard, nooks, lofts, a soundproof studio, all yet to be worked out. So many ideas are bubbling, we have a friend who is an architect with a passion for sustainable building design helping us with ideas as well as a few other people with some building knowledge around to advise. So much to learn, so much to think about. 
We have a six month settlement, as the current owners need the extra time, they are moving into a nursing home and then I guess the demolition; the gutting will begin. In the meantime, we have lots to think about and source, any ideas welcome.
'The fever' relates to the feverish/totally excited feelings that we are currently experiencing, we are brimming, boiling and bubbling with ideas and potential. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

these two

Oh the love, the sweetness, the fun. Yes sometimes it is crazy but mostly it is pure delight. Hearing, seeing these two potter, create, laugh and love, my heart sometimes hurt with the gorgeousness of it all.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

River Festival Parade

This year's River Festival was as nurturing, as beautiful and as relaxed as last year's, however I must admit I did feel like vomiting for half of it, I was nervous, I couldn't eat, couldn't really concentrate and yes, felt very sick in my stomach. I have always shied away from performing, always feeling quite anxious and never really getting the 'performers high', I have also shied away from exposing too much of my body since having children, well that all changed last Saturday night. 
Flushed with nerves all fifteen dancers* (all of whom are mothers, except Tierra, who is 10), gathered together to get ready, there was lots of laughter, feathers flying, nervous wees and a beautiful sense of togetherness, many of the performers had never, like me, performed before, I was so proud of all of us together, the fifteen of us of all different ages, shapes, sizes and phases of fertility (especially Sammi, who was 8 months pregnant with her third child). I personally felt empowered because this performance was for fun, for us, for the community, it was embracing of everyone and embracing of what individuals felt comfortable with. I know we all feel insecure about something with our bodies but this was about embracing ourselves and being proud and comfortable in our own skin. 
and then we danced. 

After months of drought, there was a sudden shower just before we were about to perform,  we were worried about our headdresses and a dwindling crowd but beautifully it brought the town together as everyone huddled closer, excited about finally getting some rain and anticipating the parade. The rain stopped, the drummers started and people started to gather around, drawn by the beats, the movement, the building of something that was to begin and then (as according to Scott) there was a murmur in the crowd, they looked up and there we were in a line up on a hill, resplendent in our costumes and then we started making our way down some precarious stairs to the drummers and the crowd. 

For me, once we made it down the slippery slope and lined up for the drummers all nerves had disappeared, oh my goodness it was so much fun, the energy was electric. It was so wonderful to dance together as a group, with the group, for the group, I was so used to dancing with this group, that really the crowd didn't really exist, well that, partnered with anonymity that the costume provided equalled a boundary pushing glorious time. 

Needless to say, I now know what a 'performer's high' is and I think I have the sickness, I just can't wait to do it again. Next performance for Samba Soul (the drummers) and dancers is Peats Ridge Festival, hmmm, I am pretty keen, I think I might just do it.
Quite honestly, this time last year when I watched the dancers, I remember clearly thinking how amazing they were but in no way would I be able to do that, but spurred on by Kell Stoner and memories of hearing about how a dear friend used to do burlesque dancing and how in awe I was of that, I decided to through caution/insecurities to the wind and just get amongst it and yes, I loved it.

Here is a little clip from the parade, quality isn't that great, but it gives you an idea.

Oh, I know what you are thinking; where did these gorgeous pictures come from, well the amazingly talented Cassandra Sutton from Loop the Loop photography, kindly gave me her permission to use them. There are also some more River Festival pictures on her beautiful blog. Thank you Cass.
*oh for those readers who have no idea what i look like, i am in the second row of dancers, with the long dark hair.

And just when you thought you had your fill of feathers, bustles, bottoms, breasts and headdresses, here are a couple behind the scenes shot from our last dress rehearsal.
photo by Johanna