Thursday, 3 September 2015

Festival of Flowers

"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast,
rose from the dreams of wintry rest."
I think these wonderful Springtime words from Percy Shelley say it best. For our family, a visit to Toowoomba's Festival of Flowers was the perfect way to celebrate the joy of spring.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Palm Grove Rainforest Circuit - Tamborine Mt

Palm Grove Rainforest Circuit is a stunning 2.6 kilometer walk that takes you directly back to the prehistoric times. For our family, wandering among the Giant Strangler figs, beneath the canopy of Piccabeen Palms and jumping over streams was a rare and wonderful treat.

Monday, 29 June 2015

McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Garden

McClelland Gallery is a wonderful outdoor sculpture garden with larger than life sculptures dotted around the 16 hectare bushland setting. It is an inspiring place for anyone interested in art, and it is an especially welcoming place for families.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Pennyroyal Berry Farm

By the end of this delicious stop over, our clothes were covered in boysenberries, loganberries, raspberries, blackberries, and gooseberries.

Pennyroyal Berry Farm was delightful place for Devonshire tea and for the kids to experience the abundance of summer and an afternoon filled with smiles and hinterland sunshine.

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.

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....

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.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Action Pack - Water Edition

Today marks the launch of Action Pack's Water Edition. The magazine is packed full of interesting activities for children to do, around the theme of water and without any advertising. Be sure to look out for our article about how to create your very own Plastic Recycled Bottle Rainbow. Here is a sneak peak (see photo above) of some of our bottles ready to be turned into a masterpiece. I highly recommend Action Pack to anyone with curious children, and urge you to purchase one today - it is fun and educational and you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

DIY Hanging Baskets

I had a lot of fun this week using my hemp twine to make hanging baskets and discovered it is surprisingly easy. Take 8 long pieces of twine and knot them together, then create 4 pairs and knot these together in a neat row.....

Next, pair up alternate strands of twine, knotting them together in a neat row, which begins to form a "basket" shape. Knot each alternate pair along the length of twine, according to the shape of the pot/dish/bowl it will soon carry. Place your pot/dish/bowl inside its new cradle and hang it up for all to see.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Coconut Dolly

This is a gorgeous natural present to make for children. Take one coconut (preferably home grown, but you can use one from any supermarket) - carve out the flesh and juice (set aside  for baking a yummy cake later), then cut a little lid with a hand saw, and decorate with lace.

Next, make a tiny dolly (with optional mattress, pillow and blankets) to fit snugly inside your coconut cradle. Now isn't that the cutest?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Weaving with Hemp

Part of my attempt to be adorned with clothes/accessories grown close to home (within 200 kms) has been teaching myself to weave with hemp twine (sourced from the local Byron Bay Hinterland). 

I am quite proud of my double helix macrame and shells found washed up on the beach. I just love my new mermaid jewellery - only a minimal carbon footprint and I've learnt a new skill to boot. 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Vegetable Toy Cars

If you're having trouble getting children to eat raw vegetables, then it's time to try these vegetable toy cars out. We had a great time making these beauties and they actually got eaten too (with the help of a generous bowl of our favorite hommous). They are so easy - you just need some carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatos, maybe a capsicum, a few toothpicks (to hold the wheels in place) and away they zoom. Happy eating and have fun!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Summer Wildflowers

I just love these fields of summer wildflowers stretching away into the distance like snow.