Monday, December 02, 2013

Getting hitched - the making of!

My gorgeous new husband (ha!) Dave and I, freshly married @ CERES. Photo by Kate Berry

Wow. What an absolutely spectacular day. I'm a little bit shell-shocked to be honest. I've never been one to imagine that I would put so much into one single day, and for the most part I've felt pretty relaxed about it all... but when you consider just how much time and combined effort and energy went in to the lead up to this event, it makes sense that right now I just feel emotionally & physically spent. But it was so, so worth it.

To do the day justice I'm going to wait till the photos come through from the ever talented and lovely Kate Berry, all we have for now is the teaser above :) In the meantime however, here are some pics of just some of the work that went into making this very special day happen. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such talented people who generously contributed their time and talents to make the day what it was...

Papercut gumleaves

It all started with this papercut pattern - a strip of gumleaves that I designed and papercut on my cutting machine (bought pretty much for this purpose but justified as a work expense because it also cuts signage!). This pattern formed the basis for the invites, decorations and even the cake...

Cones for rose petals, ready to be filled

Gumleaf design cut out of icing (!!) and placed around a cake made by Nikkishell and her secret pastry chef talents! 

The next epic task was the bridesmaids' dresses. Because I was a bit fixated on some sort of mint/teal/aqua kind of colour scheme, and because there was nothing decent to speak of in these colours on the rack, Teegs bravely put her hand up for the task. A task that became more epic than either of us imagined, with the chosen pattern involving two layers of silk and one layer of chiffon. And if you've ever sewn with silk... well then I don't need to go on. Let me just say that woman has talent and endurance in equal measure.

Teegs cutting out pattern pieces...

Epic hemming...

The lovely Phoebe joined us for the last two days to help with some hand stitching

Of course we needed some silk ties to match for the groomsmen - I made these and astounded myself with the fact that they actually turned out looking like real ties!

A little leftover of the silk was printed in our Leuca design...

...and made into 100 bomboniere filled with blue sugared almonds!

Continuing the theme of multi talented studio buddies (also wait till you see the rings made by Abby Seymour!) here's a sneak peek of some of the floral work put together by the exceptionally talented Brianna Read, who should most definitely quit her day job...

Corsages and boutonniere by Brianna Read

I can't wait to show you more photos. It was a day I'm going to treasure in my memory for years to come...


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Big changes over at Ink & Spindle

Our beloved Ink & Spindle studio - want to work here?

It'd be a bit of an understatement to say that life is a little bit full on right now.

I'm 19 weeks pregnant, getting married in 2 weeks, PLUS my landlord just gave us notice that they'd like to move back in to the gorgeous house we've made our home (great timing), PLUS there's some major changes happening over at I&S!

If you haven't heard the news already, Ink & Spindle is looking for a new business partner! More details over here, but in essence Teegs has made the big and difficult decision to move back up north to where she feels her true home and future lie. It's a decision that's been a long time coming and basically needs to happen now whilst I'm still able to handle a major transition (before my hands are full of baby etc!).

We've already been pretty overwhelmed with the response so far, so I'm feeling confident that we'll find the right person. We've worked so hard over the last 5 years to build our business to where it is, but I'm looking forward to finding someone who can put a bit of themselves and new energy into the business. It's not a huge money maker by any means but I feel like what we've built is so unique and so full of opportunity. Plus it's a lovely place to work :)

If you like the sound of that and are ready for a big commitment, drop us an email!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

turning 5

Turning 5. Now there's a little bit of a big deal. Half a decade of running our beloved little textile studio, helping it slowly evolve into something that we can be truly proud of. I wouldn't say "growing" because to be truthful there hasn't been a whole lot of growth. Economy aside we've never wanted it to become some big unyeildy thing. More importantly the last 5 years have been about doing what we do better and better. Better practices, better processes, better basecloths, better designs.

I'm the type of person that needs things to feel streamlined and organised before I feel ready to tackle new things. And it feels like I&S is really getting to that stage where everything makes sense and is there for a reason. Sometimes I imagine the way our business moves being like a little inchworm - it reaches forward a bit, pauses, contracts, then reaches forward again. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next "reach forward" stage will look like.

I was off work sick with a nasty cold the other week (cold + pregnancy = ugh!) when I realised we urgently needed to make a poster to promote our upcoming birthday/open studio (which has already been and gone, sorry!). I had some beautiful gifted native bouquets in the house and big piece of paper. A bit of careful rearranging later and #5 came alive. It was the most fun I'd had in months!

Snipping and arranging stems on the coffee table

A handy window spot and an overcast day made for easy photographing

xx Lara.

A little bit of big news

It's been over three months since my last post. That's gotta be a new record. But this time I have a pretty good excuse:

Say hello to the tiny person growing in my belly!

Whew! It's been a fairly trying few months that's for sure, though I think I've had it a lot easier than most people. A bit of morning sickness but no vomiting, lots of feeling extremely tired in the afternoons and falling asleep at about 8:30pm. No exciting food cravings (not sure if Laughing Cow Cheese counts; I've always had the capacity to eat a whole wheel of that) but lots of food aversions and a lot of difficulty cooking or thinking about food. The worst has been the indigestion and having to avoid some of my favourite foods - tomato, citrus, chocolate (!!) and even onions. Add a gluten free diet on top of that and it does make eating times a little tricky! Thank god for avocados (especially delivered ones from Barham Avocados - they're the best!).

That all said, we're 15 weeks along now and starting to feel more human again. It's been exciting to finally share the news. And I've also finally had some energy to plan our rather impending wedding (got a shotgun, anyone?). Only 6 weeks away now and getting excited, looking forward to sharing more about that and all the lovely creative people involved in putting it all together!

Talk about knocking a whole bunch of life milestones on the head all at once. Feel like a walking cliche  ;)

Stay tuned for a bit of a blog-post-backlog, i.e. all the things I would have blogged about over the last 3 months if I'd had the energy!


Saturday, July 06, 2013

Blogging and big botanical prints

My first post in two months. Not for lack of things going on, as always the opposite is true! Life's been throwing curve balls again and although in some ways the last month or so has been quite challenging and sucky it's also had it's fair share of good stuff so I can't really complain. My little garden is going well, wedding plans are in the works, I&S has a new website on the brink of launch and we're exhibiting at Design Made Trade in 1.5 weeks. All fun stuff.

I also FINALLY got to launch some new designs! We were holding off launching them till the website was ready but my patience ran out. I've reblogged some pictures/text below from the Ink & Spindle blog, hope you like :)

Waratah in Coal & Snow - photo by Sean Fens'

Introducing two new & rather large prints - Waratah and Silver Gum!

"Inspired by the beautiful, unique Tasmania variety of Waratah, this print was originally carved and printed from a lino block, retaining all the beautiful and irregular textures of lino printing."

I  designed Waratah late last year, inspired after a trip to the spectacular Capturing Flora exhibition in Ballarat. I knew that I wanted to firstly develop a lino print and capture the beautiful texture of that medium in a screen print. The carving was done over one rather warm weekend down at Fairhaven, perfect weather to soften the lino!

Waratah - original line drawing & carving the lino

Waratah - lino carving almost complete and made easier with Abby's fancy Japanese carving tools

The final lino print. This was scanned and doubled in size before being turned into a repeat

The final result! Waratah in Coal & Snow

Waratah in Turmeric & Snow

"Silver Gum came to life one morning during a bicycle ride to work through Royal Park. Enamoured by the leaf forms, Lara picked these almost-flowering stems and popped them in her pannier for photographing later in the back yard. Both colours in this design are printed from a single screen – the second colour is printed with the screen rotated 180 degrees."

Silver Gum is another one of those designs that spent a lot of time brewing in the back of my mind before finally coming to life. The tricky bit was finding the perfect shaped leaf, but once that happened the rest of the process was fairly straightforward. I can't wait to see this print turned into some gorgeous curtains or upholstery.

Silver Gum - laying out stems for photographing

The final result - Silver Gum in Eucalyptus & Moss

Silver Gum in Almond & Snow

xx Lara.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

I like these things...

There's a few things I'm quite liking at the moment...

Who Gives a Crap toilet paper

This ethical, 100% recycled loo roll is produced by the guys at Who Gives a Crap - a Melbourne based startup who crowdfunded their first production run and donate 50% of their profits to WaterAid. I also appreciate their attention to fine packaging! 24 rolls of this sexy toiler paper were delivered to our door at home and I reckon they're perfect for most workplaces too. I highly recommend getting some for home or encouraging your boss to get some for work!

Mr Wilkinson's Favourite Vegetables

Really enjoying this recipe book at the mo. Especially because it was written by a chef who's cafe, bar & produce store are literally around the corner from our house. We've got into a habit of doing our Saturday morning veggie shopping at Ceres (I know, I've turned into a Northside cliche) and then popping by Matt's new produce store for extra bits and bobs and ethical meats. Local food + local recipes = win.

Veggie garden progress - pak choi, carrots, broccoli and struggling silverbeet

Little kale

After a fair amount of false starts and trial & error my veggie garden is starting to resemble something that's vaguely productive! Not sure how it's all going to go but at least I'll be able to eat that pak choi sometime soon! I'm also happy about the fact that I grew them all from seed. For some reason it didn't seem right to grow from seedlings, I wanted to give this a go from scratch, I guess to prove to myself that I can.

xx Lara.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's not your right to have a perfect life

Over the last week I feel like there's been a common theme in a lot of conversations I've had and things I've read. And it's this:

It's not your right to have a perfect life.

It's not your right to have the perfect home. It's not your right to have the perfect job (one that satisfies you completely and is free of conflict with your workmates or boss). It's not your right to have the most fantastic holidays, adventures & experiences. It's not your right to have a life that's completely free of hardship, health woes, unexpected hurdles or relationship ups and downs.

The internet will tell you this is what you deserve (and what everyone else has) but it's bullshit.

In fact it is a privilege to have what you do have. A decent roof over your head, the ability to sit down at the dinner table with your partner or family or friends and eat a decent, healthy meal. A job that pays the bills, that keeps you satisfied and interested (but doesn't have to be your whole world and identity). If you're a creative, it's a privilege that you have the facilities to create your art, to any degree, whether it pays the bills or is just a hobby. Making money from your creativity is extremely challenging and rarely what you imagine it to be. If you want to make an income (even an modest one) there's always a sacrifice. That's why I come to work and push the squeegee back and forth, wash screens, send emails, cut and pack fabric every day. NOT design fabric (that's a rare and special moment when it does happen!).

The internet is great for fostering a false sense of community and closeness, but it's shit at fostering real closeness. Real closeness comes from sharing the shit stuff. Sitting down with a friend and talking about your tough relationship situations or the health of a loved one. Having coffee with a fellow business owner and talking about those behind-the-scenes challenges of managing staff, expectations and cash-flow that nobody ever sees.

How can I espouse all this when often I'm one of the perpetrators in this situation? Showing photos of pretty homes (mine and others) adorned with our textiles, hopefully inspiring you to do the same? I guess my justification is this - I still want my friends and customers to be conscious consumers. People who will buy one or two nice things that are meaningful and have ethical standards, rather than a tonne of mass produced bullshit that will fall apart or fall out of trend in less than a year. It is a privilege to be able to buy ethical, locally made fabric for curtains/upholstery/cushions and I feel privileged every time someone chooses one of our textiles for that purpose.

The tricky thing about the internet is that it's a great place for sharing. I love sharing things that move me, excite me, that I think others will find interesting/valuable/inspiring. But I'm not going to share all the shit things that go down because (and maybe this is just my hang up) I feel like it comes across as sympathy-soliciting whinging that reeks of unappreciation for all the good I do have. I'm sure many others feel the same, which is why we really need to take everything we see (especially on Facebook and design blogs) with a pinch of salt.

I find I keep chewing over this topic in various ways (like here, here and here) because each year it seems to get more and more relevant and intriguing. It's not cut and dry. But if I was to summarise my thoughts right now into a single sentence it's this:

Take everything you see with a pinch of salt, be a conscious consumer, take enjoyment from the small things in life.

And on that topic, here are some special things from the last week that I very much appreciate:

VERY locally grown eggplants - a visit to the new Pope Joan food store saw us leaving with a bag full of produce for one of Matt Wilkinson's recipes plus these eggplants picked straight from the garden on our behalf! How special did we feel! Plus they were delicious.

Since the start of the year I've felt about as creatively as a rock. Now that life is returning to normal I'm starting to feel a little inspired again. Over the weekend I started working on a new print (like I said, a rare occurrence!). Hopefully it'll make it's way onto textiles if I can turn the idea in my head into reality!

New (and much needed) curtains for the bedroom - one of the perks of our job which I feel very grateful for! I'd like curtains to make a comeback. They are about a gazillion times more energy efficient than their fashionable cousin the roman blind. But curtains can be sexy too!

Some good reads:

Stop Instagramming your perfect life

- Forget fast foods, slow down for better well-being

- The importance of teaching kids about food in schools

xx Lara.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Returning to normal programming

What a tough couple of weeks! Dave's surgery went really well, thank god, and we're both so glad to be finally out the other side. In the last week in particular it feels like a fog has been lifted. Life feels like it's slowly returning to "normal" and we're able to do and think about things we haven't been able to for months. Simple, little things that previously I would have taken for granted; being able to go for walks, being able to cook and sit together eating the same food, being able to go out for dinner, being able to socialise. I feel so so so appreciative of each day that starts to resemble something more like regular life.

It's also been nice to be able to feel a little inspired and creative again, see the world through a different lens. Here's a little snapshot via Instagram...

Pincushion Hakea in bloom - we spent Easter down at Fairhaven with my folks and my brother's little family, which was really, really lovely. This Hakea grows just outside the front door.

The path down to Fairhaven beach is always littered with interesting things; dry bracken, acacia & bottlebrush pods ... I love all the textures.

Little bok choy! My planted seeds have all of a sudden started to sprout! I had a few false starts (mostly thanks to that crazy heat wave) but now I've got lots of little veggie seedlings on the way. I just need to figure out how to fend off whatever has been munching them; sometimes little holes, sometimes entire leaves will be missing. Hmmm...

It's also been great to get back into the routine of visiting the Ceres organic market on Saturday mornings. This weekend we treated ourselves to some of the best gluten free bread I've ever tasted and some amazing raw honey.

Thank you everyone who left really lovely comments and suggestions on my previous post - every one was very much appreciated! xx

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hate ya guts.

Tonight (and for the next 7 nights or so) I'll be sleeping at home on my own whilst the man I love sleeps in a luxury $800 a night twin share down the road.

Not quite.

Before I met Dave I didn't really know anything about Crohn's Disease, but for the last few months barely a day has passed in which it hasn't been the main topic of conversation. You see Dave's Crohn's is particularly severe, and if you know anything about Crohn's you know that it's an unpredictable beast, affecting different individuals in different ways with no sure fire answers as to how to best treat it. The last year or so has seen a steady decline in his health; in short he's had a pretty shit time of it (pun most definitely intended).

Dave doing his thing - To & Fro, Sunday nights on 3RRR

We've done a lot of research, oh have we done research - endless scrolling and turning of pages, seeking advice from all sorts of traditional and non-traditional practicioners - and although we've gained so much wisdom (hence my particular interest in food/diet at the moment), unfortunately as things stand right now the only way forward is surgery. Tomorrow morning a specialist surgeon is going to cut him open right down the middle and remove a section of his small intestine that's become so scarred and strictured barely any food is able to get through.

We're both pretty upset that it's come to this point, especially since this will be the third time Dave has been through this over the last 14 years. But, we're both feeling confident that with some positive dietary changes we can master this beast. That's all we can do right now; have optimism for the future and try to be as proactive as possible.

As I like to say from time to time: 'I love you to bits, but I hate ya guts' (and I'd really much prefer to keep him all in one piece).

I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that tomorrow all goes smoothly.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A trip to Taranaki Farm

If you're one of those fools who doesn't believe in global warming (which I'm sure you're not, if you're visiting this blog) then try living and working without air-conditioning over the last couple of weeks. The last few days been particularly exhausting; riding my bike in the heat from one rather warm house to one very warm workplace. I'm not surprised to hear research suggesting that recent increases in heat and humidity have lowered human productivity by 10%!

The long weekend saw Dave and I escaping the blistering heat of Melbourne for a couple of nights in the central highlands, with one very pertinent stop-off along the way - Taranaki Farm. What a bloody inspiring experience that was. If you have any interest in ethical food production (or even if you choose to keep your head in the sand about these things... actually ESPECIALLY you) then I highly recommend a trip to Taranaki Farm for one of their farm tours. For several hours farmer Ben Falloon lead us around his property as he eloquently and liberally shared details of their farming practices. Truly revolutionary, unconventional farming.

Taranaki Farm Tour with farmer Ben Falloon

Ben has drawn a lot of his ideas and techniques from Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm in the US (which you might have seen on Food Inc) which I think is fantastic in itself - farmers around the world helping other farmers operate in an ethical and sustainable manner. All we need now is more farmers doing the same thing!

A happy wallower at Taranaki Farm - I swear she was showing off to us: "check out my wallow and how much fun I'm having, it's AWESOME".

There's definitely plenty of valid arguments to suggest that we shouldn't be eating meat at all, but I believe if you give people a choice between unethically farmed meat and no meat at all, the uneducated masses will just choose unethical meat. I believe it's important to bridge the gap between the undiscerning omnivore and the vegetarian; get people consuming less animal products, but ensure whatever they do eat is farmed in an ethical, sustainable and considered manner.

Further reading (and viewing!)

Polyface Farm [4 minute video] - Meet Joel and Daniel Salatin, the father-son team at Polyface farm.  

Halve meat consumption, scientists urge rich world - it's not that hard.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Figuring out food...

Food is a bit of a thing around our place at the moment. I wish I could say it's been in a good way (full of exciting cooking adventures and inspirational meals) but instead it's been in a tricky, restrictive, difficult-to-manage kind of way.

Both Dave and I have recently made some pretty big changes to our diets for various health reasons (more on that later!). Dairy is out. Gluten is out. Along with caffeine, alcohol, red meat… I'll spare you the extended list of all the things Dave can't eat right now, but suffice to say it's been tough.

Every now and then I slip up (cheese is very hard to resist, and gluten is a challenge when all sorts of delicious baked goods pass through our studio doors) but more often than not I really feel it - and regret it - when I do. It's amazing how once you take a bunch of stuff out of your diet you become so much more aware of the discomfort caused by those certain foods. Was that always the case? Did I just not notice? Was I attributing those symptoms to something else?

I also find it interesting how, once you have eliminated some of those big items from your diet (dairy, gluten, red meat) it becomes a lot easier to start thinking about eating ethically. It's not a far stretch to go from where we are now to eating only ethically farmed and/or organic produce.

On the home garden front, things seem to be progressing, although I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing:

Broccoli sprouts - possibly a failed attempt

I sprouted some broccoli seeds in punnets as they said to do, but realised maybe a bit too late that I should have thinned out the sprouts early on so there was just one in each compartment. Now they're long and spindly and looking more like microgreens than something that will actually grow into a plant. I'm going to wait and see, but in the meantime start a new punnet with fresh seeds and see what happens.

In other developments, my new worm farm arrived!

Worm farm from Ecoflo

I'm really excited to have a worm farm again, and this time I'm trying a different style. This one doesn't have the same sort of rotating trays structure of most worm farms, you just feed from the top and take from the bottom via the hatch or tap. Worm farms don't smell, so I've got this one sitting in a corner of our kitchen within easy reach.

Some interesting reading...

Urban Orchard - I love this concept! Grow something? Got too much of it? Take it to the Urban Orchard table at Ceres and swap it for something else. I cheated and took some of the back-laneway-figs, and picked up a Zucchini (of course) in return.

Wheat Belly - Some veeeery interesting insights into modern wheat and why it's making us feel crap (scroll down to the bit titled "WHEAT: UNhealthy Whole Grain")

Supermarket Bullying & Duopoly Power - if you're still shopping at Coles and Woolies, read this!

Who Gives A Crap - ethical toilet paper by some awesome Melbourne guys! Pre-order now :)

xx Lara.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


So, I've had a pretty fun and productive couple of weeks since my post about a new perspective. First things first, I found this shipping crate posing as a raised garden bed on eBay:

Raised garden bed from eBay, here.

It was only $40 plus delivery which I thought was pretty good for 1 square metre's worth of garden-bed goodness! Whilst I was waiting for it to arrive I gathered some inspirational reading material:

Inspirational reading - The Little Veggie Patch Co & Animal, Vegetable Miracle

Since I am a complete noob when it comes to veggie gardening I've done a LOT of reading. The Little Veggie Patch Co book has been great, but I did a whole lot of googling as well. How to make a no dig garden, what I should plant, when I should plant it, what I shouldn't plant it next to and what I should. Etc etc etc. It was all a little overwhelming so I made myself a little chart and plotted out planting/harvest times and compatibilities for all the things I was interested in growing. Yes that's a bit nerdy but that's the way I roll. I found the Gardenate website (despite being rather hokey in design) quite useful in summarising all that info in an easy to digest format.

Once the garden bed arrived it was time for a visit to Ceres to get all the necessary ingredients for a no-dig garden.  It was rather epic trying to get all this stuff into the car. Due to poor planning I ended up with the cow manure sitting on the front passenger seat and a boot strewn with debris from my desperate attempts to wedge a straw bale into the back of a '91 Corolla.

No-dig garden ingredients - pea straw, lucerne hay, cow manure and compost

Making a no-dig garden is kind of like making a giant lasagne. There seem to be a bunch of different ways to do it but the basic principle involves layering up different kinds of organic material to whatever height you desire, and over time the layers decompose to form a nutrient rich soil.

My 1 square metre of no-dig garden goodness, ready to go!

This is the finished result; not particularly exciting yet! I let it settle for about a week and planted some seeds this evening. Fingers crossed something will pop up in the coming weeks! Proof will be in the pudding. Or lasagne, I guess.

In the meantime I've been satisfying my desire for home grown produce by 'borrowing' figs from a tree growing over the fence in our back laneway:

Neighbourhood figs in endless supply right now!

xx Lara.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Forte Living Festival this Fri & Sat!

It's not every day that an opportunity like this comes along. Ink & Spindle has been asked to fit out an eco friendly apartment from top to bottom! How awesome is that? Of course we've rallied together a bunch of our favourite local & sustainable businesses to pull this off, and we feel so chuffed about everyone's enthusiasm and willingness to help.

There's more info over on our blog, but if you can make it down to Victoria Harbour the apartment will be open for viewing this Friday & Saturday as part of the Forte Living Festival (which is part of the Sustainable Living Festival!) and also by appointment for the next month.

Hope to see you there :)


Monday, February 11, 2013

Open Studio - this Saturday!

Would you believe it, it's time for Ink & Spindle's first Open Studio for the year already! Where did January go??

This Open Studio is going to be a little more exciting than usual in that our lovely studio buddy Abby Seymour is going to have her wares for sale also. Not only will her gorgeous current range be available but she will also be selling some of her beautiful ex-season stock at pretty generous discounts.

Hope you can make it down to the studio next Saturday 16th Feb - 11am to 1pm, with a printing demo at about 11:30!


Saturday, February 09, 2013

2013 - a new perspective

A new perspective for 2013 (literally, too)

I have to say, 2013 is off to a strange (but good) start. Where do I begin?

First and foremost, being in Nepal - completely separated from home and work and routine - was a bit like pressing one big reset button. It was the first time in 5 years (or more) that I felt like I completely detached myself from my work. Usually a part of me is always conscious of what's going on back in the studio. This time? Nup. It was a strange feeling, and when I got back to Australia I found that I didn't want to put my head right back into work mode again. I wanted to keep myself slightly separate, because I felt like only from that detached vantage point could I look at my life and see it slightly more objectively.

The other big thing that has happened is that I've moved house - again! I know it's pretty customary to live with your partner before getting engaged but due to share-house commitments (and a bit of impatience!) it just didn't work out that way. Within less than a week of me returning to Melbourne, Dave and I had signed the lease on a little place of our own. I LOVE it here. It feels really good to know that every night I'm coming back to the same place, the same face, surrounded by things that inspire me. This has also helped give me the sense of a 'clean slate', and a bit of a clearer head.

Our new home. Love all the natural light and the ivy filled, north facing windows!

So what has this clearer head space and new perspective brought to light? Here's a summary:

It's time for a break from design blogs

Being constantly in touch with everything that's going on in our creative community via the interwebs can sometimes be inspiring, but it can also stifling, draining and subconsciously limiting. This article summarises things quite well. I love this quote:

"Have we turned our time online away from digging, exploring and unearthing secrets, to passively letting ourselves be entertained by thoughts we already agreed to and build on ideas we already had?"

It's for this reason that I've finally decided to unsubscribe from a whole lot of my (much-neglected-anyway) blog feeds. What a weight off my shoulders! The most popular blogs at the moment seem to be more about curating than creating, the byproduct being the constant celebration of mostly just fads and trends. I find those sorts of things distracting and not really in line with my business ethic anyway, so why torture myself by being exposed to them every day?

It's time to dedicate some of my energy to new passions

So what do I actually want to be doing/learning/achieving? I still love textiles & interiors and will continue to put energy into my work, but there are a host of other things that I'd like to explore. For one: I'm stupidly excited to learn a bit more about growing my own food. The courtyard garden here is tiny, but there's a perfect spot for a raised veggie garden. It's a very small start, but a start all the same.

Duck eggs for lunch from one of Dave's colleagues - I can't wait to one day have chooks/ducks of our own

It's time to encourage change

My dislike of trends, my passion for sustainable textiles, my desire to learn more about growing my own food - it all stems from one very obvious place! Living a more ethical and sustainable lifestyle is the only way forward, for all of us. Instead of being creatively stifled by design blogs I'm actually learning a lot about useful things. I'm thinking that this blog could be a great place to share some of those discoveries. Such as:

No basket-case: Tasmania on the bumpy road to economic sustainability - (LOVE this article, really interesting stuff!)

Taranaki Farm (these guys are doing great things. We're booked in to go on a farm tour next month, can't wait!)

Food Inc – why it’s so relevant for Australian audiences (and if you haven't yet watched Food Inc, the movie, you should!)