Novelty Brooch Friday

There is just something so perfect about a brooch. They’re travel friendly, light, an easy way to jazz up an outfit, they keep you company, I could go on. A little while back Claire, aka Tunabake and I were fortuitously brought together through our love of the humble brooch.

We began sending pics via Instagram with the hash tag #noveltybroochfriday as a fun way of sharing our little collections. Well, it turns out that a few of you are just as fond of the little devils so we’re taking it to the streets, OK, I’m getting carried away here, but we are giving all Instagramers a chance to win a beautiful brooch every month!

Claire and I will be taking it in turns to feature a designer that we just love and sharing the love on both blogs. Each month, everyone who posts a pic of themselves and uses #noveltybroochfriday will go into the draw to win a brooch from the featured designer! Tres cool, no?

So, without any more mumbo jumbo, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you our first featured designer, Kristen Devitt of Each to Own!

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5 questions for Kirsten:

How did you come up with the name of your shop ‘Each To Own’?

It was originally just a play on words but it did become a bit of an ethos. I really did want each piece to go to a home that loved it so I made sure that I kept the price points well within most people’s budgets and the designs accessible to a wide range of people.

When did you first start making jewellery?

It was just over two years ago.  I had been at home with a little tacker and not working full-time for the first time since I was about 21 (not that motherhood isn’t a tough gig at times) so I started fiddling about with assembled pieces.  A friend asked if I could make some necklaces and rings for her school’s Mother Day stall and it occurred to me that people actually liked what I did.  It sparked something. I joined a local craft and market group called Brisstyle and it all kind of chugged into a life that I now call my full-time job.

It seems like you are working a lot more with wood (when I first came across your work it was more synthetic materials) is there a reason for this? And are there other materials you would like to work with?

There was one big reason – we took the plunge and bought a laser cutter.  I had been getting my designs cut by other people, as machines are expensive and, even though they were my own designs, I wanted to have a bit more creative control.  When I met you I was just coming out of a phase of working with shrink plastic because I could play with it at home more easily – it was a fun medium.  I love working with wood – painting it, papering it in vintage wallpaper and overlay prints.  The machine is a tricky beast but it’s a fun ride most days.  I have just become mildly obsessed with acrylic and fabric combinations and am working a bit with those as well.  I feel like I never get all the ideas out but I think that that is common.

There are a lot of animal and plants/flower  motifs and  in your work, did you grow up in the country or have a lot of animals around you when you were growing up?

I did grow up in a country town and I was animal mad, as a lot of wee girls are.  I wanted a million dogs and horses and cats; I bought mice with my pocket money and dragged neighbours dogs home trying to tell Mum that they were strays.  I think I was safe to call it obsession. And on the floral side of things; my mum was a folk art hobbyist and I think her love of flowers and plants influenced me at some stage.  

Are there other jewellers/artists you admire and inspire you in your work?

There are so many brilliant designers and artists working in Australia at the moment but the jewellery I love to wear most would be Angus & Celeste, My Mother Mabel, Betty Jo Designs and Jettas Nest.  My favourite Australian artists are Bruce Reynolds and Kitty Horton and I adore all of the work of Tracey from Gretel Girl for everything from her artworks to her jewellery.

We’d like to thank Kirsten for taking the time to answer our questions and for offering us one of her brooches as our first months prize.

To enter the competition just post a picture of yourself with your favourite brooch on any Friday in June with the hash tag #noveltybroochfriday and we will choose a winner at random. Open to everyone, you can enter as many times as you like either new or vintage brooches.

This lovely brooch is up for grabs this month, so get involved, support local designers and share the brooch love!

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We hope to do this once a month and both Claire and I will take it in turns to showcase those designers we admire and love to wear ourselves. Follow us on Instagram for regular updates (and other totally cool pics, of course). I can be found at @fawn_tastic and Claire hangs out at @tunabake!

*If you are a designer or sell vintage brooches and wish to donate a brooch for an upcoming month and have your shop showcased, please contact me at eaenglish@gmail.com or Claire at tunabake@hotmail.com

Peace and brooches!

E.x

The goal is to not write ‘goals’.

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I have a love-hate relationship with goals. I get all fired up for their conception and I love to talk about them to anyone who will listen. I have notebooks full of ‘to do’ and ‘goals for January’ like titles. I have been over this so many times that I almost didn’t write this post. Alas, here we are and I have to get it off my chest.

I am renaming my goals to ‘Works In Progress’, or ‘WIP’ (because everyone loves an acronym.).  I’m changing my approach to improving certain areas of my life, that before were broken down into Goals to achieve before ‘X’ date or ‘Y’ event…. You get the point. I will never stop writing lists, I love them and rely heavily on them, so instead of making lists of things that have a set deadline or a certain number (uhum.. weight loss) attached to them, I am going to periodically make a ‘WIP’ list. I will use it as a way of refocusing my attention to certain areas without the guilt or ‘been there, done that’ feeling you get when you you look back and have missed the mark completely on a goal you set yourself.

I think that having a particular focus and promoting a more holistic approach to a task will help me achieve it far more effectively than having all efforts directed soley at the end result. Everyone needs a chance to pat themselves on the back for giving something a go, regardless of the outcome.

Can anyone else empathise with the vicious cycle of goal writing or are you one of those amazing people who achieve everything they want and need to by the deadline. If so, I envy you. I’m definitely taking the slow road when it comes to ticking of those lists.

In the spirit of this change, I wanted to share my first WIP list;

  • University Study – Devote the required amount of time to this very important part of my life. I’m just getting back into studying and it’s via correspondence, so I need all the structure and motivation I can (self) muster! 
  • Cooking skills – Continue to try new recipes to expand my knowledge and appreciation of wholesome, vegan cooking.
  • Gardening – Stick with the compost heap and make the most out of the small garden beds available. Do more with pots.

So there you have it. My new approach to self motivation and staying on track. Please feel free to let me know what you are currently ‘focussing’ on. I think it’s healthy to want to expand and grow in all areas of life, the trick is to find a way of doing so that doesn’t leave a mark on your confidence or have you comparing your achievements with others doing similar things. 

Peace and lists. 

E x

market day

It’s no secret that I loves me a local market. The Glenbrook Markets are my favourite local markets and I just can’t get enough. It’s not just the stalls themselves, but the atmosphere, the sense of community and having an opportunity to peruse local wares, in the fresh air, at a leisurely pace with a coffee in hand. Can I get a ‘Hell YES!’?

OB loves a good market as much as the next toddler and always finds a way of snagging a locally baked treat, even if it’s only just gone 9am. This past Saturday we crunched Autumn leaves, smelled the fresh baker’s bread and helped pick beautiful flowers. I am proud of where I live and all the talented people that make up my community.

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Peace and community.

E. x

Changing it up

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Same silly mug behing the words 😉

Never fear, you are where you want to be, I’ve just changed the layout to make the blog a little more fluid. The only thing I didn’t like about the old template was that each post read like an individual page. I like how you can just browse down through the older posts in this layout. That, and there are polka dots included. Can’t complain about that. 🙂

 

Peace and change.

E.x

A Gentle Reminder

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I have a sudden burst of inspiration and enthusiasm for life. I am seeing the beauty in everything these days and I am thankful for so much.

To be honest, this particular mentality was a conscious decision I’d make everyday for a while. I don’t have very much money but I soon realised that I was rich in so many other ways. It has now moved from a conscious decision and thought process to a completely subconscious and very real feeling, a shift in my outlook for good.

Having to be thrifty has given me the opportunity to be resourceful in many ways. I have found an entire winter wardrobe for OB at op shops. All of it, slippers included. I’m going to dedicate a separate post to this because it’s so important to me and you’ll be amazed at the fabulous things I’ve found.

Mornings where I feel the best usually include a big, healthy breakfast, watering the garden, remaining calm with OB and the animals, getting a little cuddle, maybe a coffee and knowing that OB has a full lunch box of nutritious, homemade and wholesome food for his day at ‘school’. A good few tunes on the way to work help, too.

ImageWhen OB is with his Dad, I enjoy a run with Gumbo, a smoothie and some gardening. I can honestly say that in either situation I have moments of complete bliss and thankfulness.

I’m also loving beautiful Autumn days, where you can catch the warmth of the sun whilst still donning a cute little cardigan. Those mornings where it takes a little longer to get up and running, but you get to feel the fresh air whoosh past your face as you pound the pavement and that feeling of being so alive and connected with your surroundings. I try to find positives in each change of season but I’m always especially thrilled and relieved when Autumn rolls around, it’s just so pretty, perfect, inspiring and down right refreshing.

I, of course, have off days and like most people I have days where I’d rather just start again, press ‘refresh’ or simply just sleep the day away, but they are few and far between these days.

My renewed enthusiasm has to do with getting back into my studies and in doing so, a new sense of purpose and direction is driving me to study hard, effectively and with the future in mind. It’s empowering.

It also has a lot to do with my relationship and my amazing partner, Seb. We had the longest of adult discussions the other day and I feel like, with him, I am home and no matter what happens, we are in it together and we will get through it. The security and love I feel runs deep.

Sorry to gush a little, call me a sap if you want.

I hope that there is room in your life to appreciate the little things. Appreciate who you have, more than what you have, and the rest will be just fine, I’m sure.

Peace…and more peace.

E.x

Currently Vol.3

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Lazy lawn layabouts

Listening to: Cat Power, The Rubens, Lune Lake, Daft Punk, Something For Kate and The Shins. (also, I can hear the rain coming down outside and sometimes the wind howls past my window and scares me. 🙂 )

Planning: How I’m going to kick butt in my next uni of study. I have a study revamp on the go as well as some serious lists, time management tips and enticing stationery to boot. I’m going to rock it. ( I love getting organised for a fresh unit. Does that make me a super nerd, or just a loser?)

I’m always scheming something. Seb and Ella (my bff) regularly get texts such as “How cool would it be to do……” or “Let’s do this…., NOW” or simply “I’m in list writing mode” which always means some hair-brain idea will surface for discussion. Eh? What can I say?! I think big.

Thinking about: (cue stream of consciousness…)

How I can be healthier?

I should start to save and plan for OB’s fourth birthday.

I cannot wait to live with Seb.

Sometimes I dream about wearing a pretty dress and getting hitched. Only sometimes.

I think I’m going to let a coin toss decide whether or not I cut my hair.

I really need to finish OB’s winter pyjamas.

I need a new coat for winter. Actually, I probably don’t need one, I have survived the previous winters with the one I have. Strike that thought.

Looking forward to: I am lucky enough to be attending a SImple Living workshop with Rhonda Hetzel in a couple of short weeks. I adore her blog and her book and yes, I will be the dork that gets her to sign my copy. Seb bought me the ticket for Mothers Day and said “It will be worth it. It may only be one day but you’ll be talking about it for years.” He knows how much I love Rhonda’s book, Down to Earth. He knows me so well.

I always look forward to winter and getting into the spirit with nice red wine, knitted scarves, beanies and socks and being able to enjoy open fires. Boy, do I love me an open fireplace.

Reading: The Help by Kathryn Stockett. (I’m only one chapter in so I can’t really make comment, other than to say that it comes highly recommended.)

Eating: Mexican in any of it’s glorious manifestations, rice paper rolls, pasta and stir frys. I need to expand the menu in this little house. More rice, quinoa, and soups now that we’re coming into winter.

Life is bloody good around these parts lately. It’s been fairly simple, quiet and low key and with that, a little bit heavenly sometimes. The best bit? I can’t see any reason for it to stop. 😀

Peace and big dreams.

E.x