From the monthly archives: August 2012

I love maps!  My love for cartography sprang from an early love for adventure and planning where I would travel when I grew up. How would I navigate all the icecaps in Iceland, my trek throughout Africa, not to mention how could I reach Machu Pichu?  Add to this a touch of irony as I suffer from a complete and utter lack of a sense of direction, and you can see who I love both the form and function of a good map.

As a collector of metro maps, tube maps, village maps and the ultimate world maps, I am tickled pink to see maps making their cartographic way into design.

From magazine holders…

To inspiration on a mood board…

The crazy/complex map of the Paris Metro system

To a statement design piece

Butterflies of the World (available

 Enjoy xx



I love the new crop of quirky heroes on the scene!

From Benedict Cumberbatchs intense take on Sherlock to Jennifer Lawrences kick-arse Katniss, being the odd-one-out is now cooler than it has ever been before.

Good news if you’re slightly left of centre.  For my little tribe, it’s even better. Blessed (cursed?) with two slightly oddball parents, they are growing up in a house with a large collection of sci-fi, a Star Wars chess set and somewhat eclectic wardrobes (sequins deemed ok for daytime).

That’s just the beginning.

Over the years, we’ve encouraged interests in palaeontology, medieval weapons and Impressionism.

 Now, with quirky being the new cool, I have another reason to take pride in enouraging my little tribe to follow the path less travelled and follow their hearts.

Flashdance and Captain Jack learning how to fire a trebuchet in France

 So I say embrace the kooky and quirky, go forth and be different.

 Enjoy xx


The Mini-Fashionista -self styled and loving every minute (on holidays in France)

The birthday season is upon us. Filled to the brim with gorgeous gifts, fabulous parties and wardrobe angst.

Not for my little tribe mind you, it’s all emanating from me.

Should I be exerting more control over wardrobe for the crew?

I am the chief buyer/collector/curator for the tribe.  From bringing home quirky finds from my travels (sequinned Converse or French navy duffle coat anyone?) to op shop finds, there is always a good selection on offer.  That’s enough isn’t it?

Take the Mini-Fashionista.  Ignoring her pleas for tiny shorts (thank you Jessica Simpson/Miley Cyrus) and micro skirts, her wardrobe is a standard (though slightly eccentric) mix of eight-year-old garb. Blessed with long limbs and a sense of nonchalance, she now happily styles her own outfits.

Leopard-skin cardi and jodhpurs? Of course! Micro pleat maxi skirt (in silver), St Tropez sandals and a white singlet? Why not!  Add to this final flourishes of scarf/headband/’borrowed’ jewellery…and she thinks she rocks.

Meanwhile, some of the Mini-Fashionistas friends seem to be travelling different paths in style.

  • Mum is still exerting control over my wardrobe (go for it Mums I say, do it while you can) and
  • I want to be like my older sisters/ idolise Monster High/desperately want to be a teenager

When did eight become the new 13?

Does this make me sound incredibly stuffy and eek… old?

I have decided that micro-minis, bra tops and boob tubes can wait. Hopefully indefinitely (let’s face it, can anyone really rock those off a catwalk?).

If not, at least until the Mini-Fashionista turns 13 or maybe 18…

 Enjoy xx


 A warm afternoon in the park was a gorgeous reminder that winter is coming to an end and so begins the season of the outdoors. 

the tribe playing barefoot on the grass

We are looking forward to:

  • lazy afternoons in the many gorgeous parks nearby
  • camping with the tribe
  • swimming, swimming, and more swimming at our lovely beaches 
  • sharing a cold cider with friends as the sun sets
  •  and best of all no more tights and winter clothes, bare legs and arms, here I come (this one is even more fabulous after two winters in France)

Enjoy x

A beautiful little feathered friend from the the park

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Spring is on it’s way, and with spring comes spring-cleaning. That once a year kind of refresh and update.  This years spring clean came with a revelation… 

We seem to have formed our own little tribe.  This came to me as I counted up 12 pairs of Converse runners! 

Also, the book collection of each member of the household has outgrown the bookshelves. 

Add to this the overflowing sports gear buckets in the backyard.

So does this mean  we are all part of a Converse wearing, sports obsessed tribe of bibliophiles?

Did this happen over time?  Have I influenced my kids into adopting my traits (could be worse I suppose, they could love bedazzlers and Justin Bieber) ? 

Who’s your tribe?


Spent a glorious morning today at Mathildas Market in Fremantle. Set in the gorgeous surrounds of the Freo Town Hall, the poppets and I discovered some fab finds and met some talented folks.

First up was the lovely Annabel from Spotted Donkey.  Not only did the range on display look gorgeous (crochet is so hard to resist), Annabel told us that she sources a lot of her creations from women’s cooperatives in South Africa. Heart and soul!

Handmade treasures from Spotted Donkey

Next up we paid a visit to Sally at Zoom Packs. I first discovered Zoom Packs when looking for ideas to keep the tribe amused and occupied on our recent trip back from Paris (yes it was slightly chaotic travelling with 24 hours on a plane with the tribe).  My big tip…keep a few tricks in your bag to occupy/ distract the littlies! Enter Zoom Packs, now on our shopping list for the next trip.  Check out Sally’s website here
Zipping into Zoom Packs

My next port of call was the candy tree to get some ideas and inspiration for the littlest one’s 3rd birthday party. The lovely ladies at the candy tree gave me some great ideas, look here for inspiration. Even better, I discovered they can even help you set up (perfect to make the day a little easier for me).

Party ideas for the whole tribe from the candy tree

Finally, our morning out ended with a delish cupcake for each of the little ones from the lovely Katie at Sweet Addition (

If you missed Mathildas Market or want to check out more on the talented crafty types who were there, check out

Enjoy x


Smelling the roses...literally!

Today was one of those days when everything seemed rushed, one big hazy blur of meetings, eating on the go, multi-tasking (washing whilst running baths whilst cleaning up whilst thinking about upcoming events) and generally cramming as much in as possible to the one day.

Then a conversation with a friend made me stop and think…  She described her start to the day.  She took the ‘luxury’ of eating out for breakfast, by herself, at a gorgeous café in the city.  She had savoured a cup of tea (served in delicate china), fresh buttery toast topped with a selection of berry conserves whilst reading the paper.  This put a whole new light on her day, she felt reinvigorated, calm and ready to face the day.

Do we rush and hurry through the day too often?

When was the last time any of us savoured a cup or coffee or tea?

Tomorrow I plan to stop, smell the roses and give it a try…



Enjoying the craft creative

I have always loved all things crafty.  From my first forays into felt, through to creating little sundresses in a flurry of maternal creativity for one of my little poppets.  Now, with less time on my hands, I have discovered the world of all things handmade and online. From Etsy ( to Australia’s own Mathildas Markets (, you too can now give the gift of handmade (sounds like a fab slogan!).   

I think it may be the thought of someone taking the time to create, or the uniqueness of a handmade treasure that makes it seem more special. For me, there’s also a hint of admiration (envy?) of the sheer skill of artistry.

Not convinced? Head out this weekend and make a morning of it. Visit your local handmade or farmers markets and enjoy…

Next week I’ll post pics and new finds from my field trip over the weekend to Mathildas Market.

Apart from the always delightful Matildas Market, some other great places to look are: 

  • The Market Roll   Great directory of markets in Australia with a neat description of what you can expect.
  • Magnolia Square Held in a gorgeous setting  this market is bursting with creative types and gorgeous gifts.
  • Market Angel Fabulously easy to navitage and filled with great pics, this site will help you find your next market

Happy hunting!



At the end of a working bee - now all we need is a cold drink!

It’s a bit tempting at times to try and give our family and friends the ‘best’ we can afford.

This morning, I had a conversation with my little sister about babies, presents for babies and girlfriends and started to wonder about some of the ‘best’ gifts I have ever received…

So here are my top five:

  • gorgeous ‘bouquet’ when I had my first little poppet, where the flowers were made from teeny singlets and socks!  Perfect for this little black duck as I suffer from hay-fever – not pleasant or attractive when you’ve just had a new baby. Check out for ideas/ inspiration! 
  • magazine subscription for Country Style and Gardening Australia. The gift that keeps on giving…literally, every month a new addition arrives and reminded me of the thoughtful person who gave it to me (thank you Mum).
  • quirky little box of kid-style goodness from
  • girlfriend arriving with cheese, crackers and a bottle of chilled wine. What more can I say?  A good girlfriend and a gossip makes everything seem better…
  • friends helping out on an old style working bee, finishing up with a cold drink admiring our handiwork! 
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