Sunday, June 24, 2012

{Etsy Love: Nan Lawson}

So, I discovered the quirky Nan Lawson a few weeks ago, and I’ve been visiting and revisiting her store and blog and making mental wish lists of all the prints I’d love to be framing and hanging on my walls. I like that she’s a self-confessed illustrator nerd; and I love the simplistic and sweet nature of her work. She does custom portraits too. I wonder how we’d look?

Happy Monday!


Friday, June 22, 2012

It's in the mail...

I’ve got this new idea floating around at the moment involving letters and postcards. Both of my little ones have godparents with nomadic sensibilities off travelling the world - and it’s such a treat to receive mail from them. And my two are writing back, telling them of all the things we’re doing, and drawing wonderful pictures of our much loved friends exploring the world. There have been more questions than I was prepared for, which, in hindsight, is expected when the world opens up before very young eyes for the first time; questions of language and food and money and geography, of time and distance and travel, and of how far away things really are.

The letter wallet idea was all but an inkling when the travelling began; and because my two embraced letters and postcards and the waiting and sending so enthusiastically, I thought that other little ones might just do the same too.

This is my prototype:

The plan is to make each little pouch with blank postcards, ready for individual decoration, brown paper envelopes, stamps and brightly coloured pencils. They’re small enough to be slipped into a bag, and easy enough to use so that little ones can do their letter writing all on their own.

It’s so nice working on something brand new – and even nicer knowing that very soon, lots of other little ones will be writing and sending their own letters to friends and family. It’s the very best kind of mail to receive, isn’t it?


Ps. They’ll be in our Etsy store soon!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tea Time Treats

A tart for tea on a china plate,
toy friends at the table, laying in wait
for the tea pot to pour, and the sugar to sweeten,
the cakes to be shared - and for some to be eaten.
Berries in blue, and strawberries red;
chocolate and cherries, harmoniously wed
with caramel, cream, fruit and spice,
making our tea party extra nice…

New Tea Party Tarts in store now!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

The beginnings of winter at the Cottage

For a whole season, we let the weeds take over.
Then there was a frenzy of digging and composting, and the turning in of stinky things; more seeds bought and planted in homemade origami seed pots; extra, more temperamental seedlings sought and planted; and for a whole week, the sweet smell of sugar cane mulch made the garden a delight to walk and play in.
We’ve had rain and sun and growth, and are now on the cusp of an early harvest. And it’s my absolute favourite part of planting an edible garden – the time where it’s at an almost - when the idea of picking snow peas or ruby-red cherry tomatoes or crisp sweet lettuce leaves becomes a delightful daily task.

Just in the last week, our chickens have realised that it’s a variable gold mine in the front garden, and have been squeezing through fence palings to snack on the tender spinach leaves, and to scratch away in the wormy soil. And Ella, our mastiff, often too arthritic to get up and chase them, has taken to watching and growling from the comfort of her heavily bedded kennel. It’s an unpredictable situation; but because it takes Ella a couple of minutes to actually get up (poor dog), the chickens have a head start in escaping; and it gives me the opportunity to play Pied Piper, leading them out onto the footpath and down the road to the chicken run gate, luring with overripe melon rinds or (if desperate) grapes – their absolute favourite - in the scrap bowl.

I love this time of year; it makes me want to knit and read, doze in front of a roaring  fire, and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows, or steaming cups of tea.
And bake - which I guess isn’t unusual.
Why, just yesterday, because it was raining and cold and a little miserable, I made a big batch of fluffy golden scones (with lashings of double cream and strawberry jam, of course); pumpkin bread, with a whole heap of sharp parmesan and chives from the garden added in for good measure; and a mixed spice and pear cake (which was supposed to be drenched in lovely warm butterscotch sauce; but after three-and-a-bit hours fussing in the kitchen, I was entirely cooked out. Ice-cream instead). The whole house was delicious smelling and warm all afternoon, and it was the perfect way to end a cold weekend.

How have you been?


Ps. The loveliest thing: our apple and cherry Tea Party Tart was part of an apple feature in the gorgeous June edition of Peppermint magazine; and our dashing Heroic Henry slipped into the pages of the June edition of Shopping 4 Baby magazine; and our gorgeous Helpful Harriet graced the online pages of Peppermint to advertise a twinking twilight market for BrisStyle! It’s the best and loveliest reward for months of planning and testing and making and selling.