Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Little Bear Skirt

I love the texture that hand stitching brings to a garment and I love the slow process of sewing something by hand. But I also love being able to quickly put something together with a sewing machine, so I've been finding myself more and more using a combination of both hand and machine sewing when I'm making things.

This skirt came together really quickly, I finished all the edges with the over-locker and then relaxed in the sun room watching TEDx talks and slowing stitching the hem and waist band. I like using bright embroidery thread to highlight the hand stitched detail and I chose yellow to compliment the gold detail on the bear print.

My little Peace Warrior was very happy to have a new skirt. 

Sunday, 29 April 2018


I've long been a lover of herbal medicine and have incorporated herbs into my health and healing protocol for longer than I can remember. In recent years I've become more interested in concocting my own medicines and herbal products and have been learning about both cultivated and wild grown plants. I've experimented with tisanes, decoctions, salves, syrups, herbal vinegar extractions and encapsulation as a way to extract and take herbs for a variety of acute and chronic ailments. Tinctures have been on my mind for some time and I have only once made a tincture before now when in my pregnancy/ breastfeeding days of no drinking I decided to throw some elderberries into a lonely looking bottle of gin. For the most part I've tended to prefer other extraction methods but I'm keen to experiment and find out if there are some tinctures that will be invaluable to my personal apothecary.

With the cooler weather setting in, the wild chickweed has started to run rampant in my pot plants and garden beds and as this little gem of a plant only grows in the cooler months I've been keen to capture and store the healing benefits for use in the months when it lies dormant. Chickweed is rich in a variety of minerals and is soothing and healing for skin conditions like eczema. I stuffed a jar about 2/3 full with freshly picked chickweed then filled the jar with organic vodka. I needed to weigh the chickweed down to keep it under the liquid so I used the first thing I could think of- a couple of chunks of amethyst.

I've been working through the ups and downs of having hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) for a few years and I'm prone to developing protein deficiency due to the my body struggling to digest it, my acquired aversion to high protein meals, and the number of food allergies I have as a result of vaccine injury. Hypochlorhydria has been a hard one to kick due to the self perpetuating nature of it.  Although I have come a long way in my healing and for the most part I can function normally these days in regards to feeling like a normal human, I'm not there yet and I'm always searching for remedies that will heal my allergies and fix my digestive issues. So this is where this tincture comes in. I rarely get around to making decoctions at the moment so I was thinking a digestive bitters tincture might be the way to go.  I half filled the jar with burdock root, dandelion root, ginger and fennel seeds and then filled to the top with organic vodka. I just used what I had on hand in the cupboards so I'm looking forward to trying this one in a few weeks time.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Lavender Dream Pillows

I harvested the lavender from my pot plant recently. I enjoyed watching the bees buzz around the flowers as I sat looking out the sun room window with my coffee or my knitting, but the time came to chop it back and dry the flowers once they had all set seed.
The lavender is beautifully fragrant and I got a decent sized harvest for just one pot plant so I was able to made a little lavender pillow for each of my kids to take to bed with them. I made use of some lovely Japanese inspired fabric scraps from previous projects- making a dent in my stash is always a good thing. I also had enough left over to make a lavender bag to hang between my wool dresses.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Mio's Skateboard Dress

I usually find it really hard to find a pattern I like for a particular fabric I have so I just end up making what's in my head. As I'm totally amateur in my fashion design skills it almost always doesn't turn out perfectly. This is one of those not quite perfect designs but I'm pretty happy with how quickly it came together. 

Mio LOVED the skateboard fabric in the shop and insisted I make her a dress out of it. I made a skirt first because it's pretty hard for a rectangle of fabric and some elastic to go wrong.

Her happy little face just makes my day, what an absolute delight!

I'm going to try get my head around the improvements I need to make because I really like this simple, practical dress.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Slow Living

Bread rising, calendula drying. This is what makes me happy. Slow living, cooking from scratch, growing and harvesting my food and medicine.

Drying and Storing Wild Nettle

Wild harvesting this nettle was such a beautiful experience of getting back to nature in our urban neighborhood. After washing and hanging our plentiful nettle harvest in the spare room I forgot about it for a few weeks while it dried. Mio was keen (briefly!) to help me to pull the leaves off the stems for storing.

It was messy but such a big harvest, countless cups of tea right there!

The stalks didn't go to waste as I boiled them in a pot of water and made a hair rinse. I poured the warm tea over my head as I leaned over my newly planted tomatoes. The cooked stalks then made it to the compost, so all in all it was a successful multi use harvest with many months of stored nettle leaves to use in tea and soups. 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Wild Nettle Harvest

Spring has just begun here in Melbourne, winter seemed to fly by this year. On one of our walks around the neighborhood Mio and I discovered a patch of nettle growing. We came back with India equipped with gloves, a bag and secateurs so we could harvest some of this amazing wild food. Urban living at it's finest!