Summer in Australia really is something special. All that sunshine, bare skin and long golden days.
Once work at the studio closed for the year we spent most of the summer over on the island. I can’t tell you how freeing it felt to be there. The weather was hot and sunny, unlike previous years with La Nina and Covid wasn’t spoken of.
It really felt like a new chapter.
Left: Timothy O and Alby our on the deck watching the sun set for the day. Right: Our bananas in the backyard, slowly ripening just before we picked the bunch. So very Queensland.
Alby learnt to crawl over the summer, which was so cute! We started making small changes to our diets to increase nutrient dense food (so Timothy O and I can keep up with Edie and Alby) and Edie turned 2.
So many precious milestones.
It’s always bittersweet looking back at moments which are now memories, but I know in years to come I’ll treasure these photographs so much.
It was all a blur of love, happiness and really good times.
Left: In the late afternoons we would head to the beach while the sunlight was gentle for a run around before bath and bed time. Right: Tiny little shells on the beach which Edie found. I love how she sees the tiniest of details which I would overlook. Love the sunburst seashell.
Currently Listening To
Some of my favourite songs are part of playlists I have made over the years, so I just find them on Spotify and play them from here. The Rolling Stones, Nick Drake, Yo La Tengo and more.
Otherwise we have been listening to records on the record player when we come home after swimming. We are old fashion like that.
Above: Nothing says summer in a Australia than a juicy mango on a hot summers days. They are our favourite fruit and also double as a fun activity to eat outside.
I actually just watched ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’. I know, I know, I should have read the book, but it just didn’t happen. So when I saw the film preview recently I watched it straight away. I don’t know if it was a good adaptation of the book, but I absolutely loved it. I actually watched it twice.
It made me want to live in the marshes of North Carolina in a fly-screened shack and paint the natural world around me. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must.
Left: Glimpses of the deck from under our sun umbrella. I love how the raffia frames these moment in time. Right: Possibly my favourite time of the day, bath time on the deck. We wave and say goodbye to the sun and sing the ‘Mr Golden Sun’ song while in the bath. The tablecloth ends up saturated from all the joyful kicking in the little bath. Hot tip: This baby bath and mesh baby rocker are so helpful for everyday life.
Left: Breakfast time. I love setting the table for breakfast with all the details. Makes for such memorable moments. Right: Did you know that if you place a bunch of bananas next to unripe and hard avocados the bananas will ripen the avocados. Seriously, bananas release a natural ripening gas.
Besides nursery rhymes to Edie and Alby, I haven’t read a good book or even a bad book in some time. Though two books which have taken my eye and are on my ’to purchase’ list are: ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’ – by world renown indigenous scientist and botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer. She embraces the notion that the natural world – the plants and animals, are our teachers.
The other book is called ‘The Diversity of Life’, by the naturalist Edward O. Wilson. It’s a classic account of evolution and biodiversity. It first came out 30 years ago and I really want to dive into it.
Left: I had an ‘Afternoon Sun‘ print framed and I hung it in the hallway of our island house. The beach in the photograph is just down the track. I just love to stare at this scene. Feels so nostalgic. Right: Alby when he first lifted himself up and started to crawl. His sister Edie, who is just 16 months older was right there next to him on the floor, helping and encouraging him. This was such a tender moment and I was so lucky to have the camera close by to capture it.
Left: I’m obsessed with green these days. The colour of life, I find it so uplifting. Right: So much so we are now eating so much green! Over the break I changed what we were eating and introduced vegetables for breakfast. I just hadn’t been feeling my best in some time after having two babies back to back, so I turned to food as my medicine to heal me. I shared more about this here! Here are my favourite homeware pieces I’ve been using daily.
Favourite Self- Care Ritual
Self-care has taken on a different meaning for me over the past couple of years. Self-care for me now is a very simple act to help nurture myself in a moment. A breather. My favourite ritual is currently drinking a mug of bone broth first thing in the morning to help increase my energy levels.
I usually just have this over the kitchen sink while I’m making breakfast for everyone. Just holding the mug in my hands while looking out the window into the garden and knowing I’m drinking such nourishment really makes me happy. This is the brand I use.
Left: Edie’s birthday cake at home. She loves flowers, so I made a simple chocolate and zucchini cake (sneaking in vegetables wherever I can) and decorated it with some flowers and our natural beeswax birthday candles from the shop. She loved it. Right: Each year I have a little keepsake hat made to celebrate her age. It’s a tradition I will keep going with, it’s so cute.
Carter’s Cookbook 2 – so much so I baked Edie’s 2nd birthday cake from it. I have been a fan of authors / twin sisters Carter and Harry Were for a few years now and first discovered them on Instagram. They released their first cookbook a couple of years ago and have just released their follow-up.
It’s a homely and simple cookbook filled with classic recipes which remind me of childhood. I have been making my way through the book page – page 84 is the Chocolate and Zucchini Cake and page 41 the Fish Piccata, have become favourites. I actually love this little book so much that I have started stocking it in my shop.
Above: We sang Happy Birthday and she blew the candles out. It’s amazing how much she is learning and observing. Children are extraordinary. I had no idea how truly special children really are. These are the moments I will cherish forever.
Left: A simple moment at home, Alby and his Papa. Right: The back of our house. It’s a work in progress with many (too many) things on the go right now, but nothing is getting finished. The woes of renovating :)
Left: A nearby shack on the most perfect island day. Right: The sweet fragrance of frangipanis is everywhere around the island. Their perfume is always on the ocean breeze, and they look so charming.
Left: Loved the intense colours of the flowers from Edie’s birthday cake. Right: A little glimpse into our living room across the vintage coffee table. Piled high with interior magazines, books about local nature and seashells.
Left: Bath time in our baby bath is such a beautiful and intimate time for closeness between Edie and Alby. Whenever I go to just bath Alby on his own, I look behind and Edie is tearing her clothes off and running to jump in. I can’t get enough of their closeness, and I also can’t believe I have two babies staring back at me. Two! Right: I love my ‘Australian Summer‘ print. It sets the mood of the island house with its timeless sepia tones so well.
Left: This was such a hot day. It was far too hot to go to the beach, so we ate watermelon off the back stairs and caught a hallway breeze. I love my mesh baby rocker makes life so much easier. Right: Edie, rather proud of herself by hosting a little party for her friends, they ate well.
Favourite Ways to Spend Time
With my little family! As long as I’m with them it’s my favourite way to spend time. Whether it’s at home, in the backyard or at the beach. We just slow things right down and make things really simple, so we can lap up all this precious time together.
We watch birds, we colour in, we play ’teacups and cups of tea’ and we play ‘imaginary shop’.
Life is good.
Left: I’m obsessed with these vintage French fish plates. I have a few extras I will be releasing into the shop over the coming weeks. They are just so joyful! Right: A simple moment around the house. It’s funny how toddlers love stoops and steps to sit on, the perfect little size.
Left: Edie had a little birthday party with her family and I made a koala cake. She is obsessed with koalas, so I had to sharpen up my cake skills to make this come to life. In all honesty it was actually really simple, though piping in high summer in Queensland is really hard. Icing – so melty. Ohmygoodness. Right: We threw her birthday party at breakfast time in a tipi at a quiet beach. It was perfect and my friends Straddie Tipis handled everything. It was such a special few hours.
Left: We found koala ears and everyone wore them. The cuteness level was off the charts. Right: Such special little moments. Two, how wonderful.
Left: Alby and Timothy O. Alby is really growing into himself and his personality is developing. This age is so much fun. He is such a sweet little baby, very easy and robust. Right: Us, at the beach, squeezing into the selfie frame.
Left: The island rock pools which we love to explore. Right: Edie, with a shell, listening to the sea.
Favourite Home & Lifestyle Pieces
These are the pieces that I’ve been using and really loving over the past few months, and which also help me set an effortless mood on the island.
Left: Love feeling the texture and weight of this tablecloth. Right: A table full of my favourite things! To be honest I actually love setting the table more than cooking, I just love all the thoughtful pieces so much that come together in making a full table.
01: The Sunseeker Umbrella: Brings the laidback vibe no matter where you put it – the front deck or the backyard.
02: The Marigold Tablecloth: I love the burst of joyous colour this tablecloth adds to any scene. It’s so uplifting to use.
03: Placemats: Everyone knows where they are sitting with placemats,. it also feels personal and shows you care.
04: Bamboo Bottle Opener: So handy, yet such an easy way to introduce a nature texture into daily life.
05: Australian Summer Print: This print sets the mood of our entire island house. Sepia tones are timeless.
Left: The last light of summer. Right: We rarely turn on the lights at night, instead we use beeswax candlelight in the evenings, both indoors and out. I love how strong the warm golden light is.
Over the break I was able to think about what I wanted to do this year. I found the break to be the most creative I’ve ever had. I found myself scribbling down so many idea for new print collections and new lifestyle pieces in my diary.
I also had some time to think about bringing back some of our classic (and much loved) clothing pieces from past seasons. So now at the studio we are working on making these ideas into realities.
I’m so excited about this year and I can’t wait to show you all these new things which are inside my mind.
I hope you enjoyed these last glimpses of summer. I’m also very excited and committed to bringing these new small rituals into my daily life during these early days of Autumn.