Thursday 30 April 2015


The creative people over at The Woodsfolk recently asked me to contribute to their Mother's Day Gift Guide. As I'm in renovation mode at home, I gravitated towards the pieces to furnish my place. And I always love to support Australian designers and businesses when I can - all of the pieces above are by designers of businesses I have featured on my design blog Daily Imprint.

Mr X Cushion Black

Eye cushion

World Map Large

Here are some other pieces that would be great for the kids' rooms - a few of which I've previously used in photo shoots for interior magazines.

Copper string lights   Cloud felt garland   Cloud coat hanger 

Mini decorative arrow water colour   Cage light with clip   Arrow sign

Ruby Red Shoes Goes to Paris   Toadstool light red   Pixie wooden camera

images courtesy of the woodsfolk

Wednesday 29 April 2015


During the school holidays the six-year-old boy devoured a bunch of books in a matter of days, and I was wondering what was suitable to read next. While he will still read picture books sometimes, he generally finishes them in minutes and rarely goes back to them. He is definitely in the chapter book phase. But he has already read all of his Roald Dahl and The Thirteen Storey Treehouse series multiple times. On recommendation I decided to try out Tintin. It's not something I read as a child, but I know of many others who did. 

When we started reading Explorers on the Moon, I could tell that he was captivated. He didn't want the story to stop, and when I asked him over the next couple of days if he wanted to read more, the answer was always yes. 

For a comic strip book, it is quite a long story and involves several characters. It's a little old-fashioned in parts, but that didn't seem to deter his overall enjoyment of it. 

He has already looked at the other books in the series, and I have a feeling we will be reading quite a few more.

images the indigo crew

Tuesday 28 April 2015


We have gone through various phases of visiting galleries and museums with the children. There is the age when they are still a baby and are happy to be pushed around in a stroller and just take in - even in a subliminal way, I always hope - what is before them. Then they get more active and it can be more of a game of chasings - stopping them from touching what they shouldn't - depending on their frame of mind that day, when they are toddlers. From about three to five or six, I've found them quite receptive to take in what is around them. And now that the six-year-old is pushing seven, he sometimes has more definite ideas about what he does and doesn't want to see. So when we went to visit the Museum of Old and New Art - MONA - in Hobart recently with a toddler, three-year-old and six-year-old, we had a mixed experience.

On the walk up from the car park we spied a peacock walking around, which interested the children greatly as they hadn't seen one before. We also saw roosters, another point of interest as they were quite unexpected - and all the more fun for it. The architecture of the building was fascinating to them - especially the cylindrical glass lifts. The interior was dark and almost foreboding, with dramatic classical music playing overhead, but as there were many nooks and crannies over three levels it seemed to keep them interested. 

Most of the art seemed to be partitioned off into curtained areas so we kept to what was on view in the main body of the museum. Reports from friends who had visited, who told me that the museum took a long time to view properly, meant that I knew we would be getting more of a taste than an in-depth experience. There were some pieces that captivated them - such as the bubble car and the "poo room" - but the maze of the building seemed more fascinating to them.

It was when we exited the main building and had lunch on the terrace that they really had fun. There was a giant concrete truck made of Victorian iron lace that held their interest, and they wanted to go on the giant outdoor trampoline, which unfortunately was unattended at the time. There were bells below that they investigated though. As it turned out, the empty tennis court was where they had the most fun - running in circles - and perhaps letting off a lot of energy after being in the car earlier that morning. But they do still talk about the "poo room"!

images the indigo crew 

Wednesday 22 April 2015


Almost every page in Shackelton's Journey by William Grill is so beautifully illustrated that I could frame each one. It's not just to do with the skill of the drawings, but how the illustrations are used to tell the story too. Take, for example, the page that explains the types of supplies that are taken on this journey in 1914 when Ernest Shackleton set sail for Antarctica. It doesn't just list the provisions taken, but draws them out, showing them in relation to each other. As you would expect the book includes maps but also dramatic icebergs and storms. 

As soon as the six-year-old opened the book, he read it in one go. He has returned to it a couple of times, but I wasn't sure how much interest it held for him. But when we started to read it together, he relayed all the key facts and achievement of the expedition - which I won't give away here.

This book is of a genre that I am seeing more and more - they are not just reference books, but books that can be used for art projects or for launch pads on other discussions. To me, these are the best kind.

images the indigo crew 

Tuesday 21 April 2015


“We have just finished renovating and I am very proud of this space. I had a vision for 
what I wanted in our backyard but I had never renovated before. I had help from an 
interior designer as to where we should situate certain things but other than that the 
style is all mine. I’ve always admired the adobe-shaped homes of Santa Fe, and have 
been drawn to the recent popularity of all white interiors/spaces. This pavilion faces 
north so gets the sun all day. I love reading the paper here with my coffee in the 
morning or having a cheeky margarita or three with friends of an afternoon.” 

“My path was shaped by my children; I didn’t really know myself until I had them,” says Loren Morton of the Instagram feed It's A Bondi Life. However, where she lives has shaped her identity to a great deal: she has lived near or besides the world-famous beach for most of her life. And both her great grandparents and her grandparents lived on the main street - Hall Street. Her grandfather was a prominent lifesaver and when he died the surf club flew the flag at half mast. Her grandmother still walks the promenade every Sunday. 

“My dad is a surfer and mum was a typical 70s hippie; they travelled the world surfing in the 70s,” she says. However, they divorced when Loren was about seven years old and because her mum worked, Loren would often cook for her brother and herself. “I think I just grew up with a penchant for caring for people and that’s all I ever really wanted to do,” she says.

After discontinuing from a business degree at the University of Technology Sydney, Loren started to design bags, belts and jewellery that was made in Bali, and sold her wares at Bondi markets. But life changed on many levels after the birth of her first child, son Bodhi. Loren and her husband separated.

“Being a single mother, I found a strength I never knew I had,” she says. There was no one else to help with bath time, cooking dinner, putting her son to bed. And when he was sick, she had to backup the next morning. There was no break or relief. “I didn’t have that while Bodhi was going through his hard two-year-old stage and it truly made me a much stronger person,” she says.

After the divorce, Loren picked up a camera and took a short course in photography. “I felt I needed another role for myself other than being a mother,” she says. “Something just for myself.” A few years later she met her husband, a Scottish rugby player, and they had their son Indie the following year, and got married the year after that. “We have a beautiful close little family now and I finally feel at peace with who I am and my place in this world,” she says.

Now Loren is yearning to have her own business, and hopes to start a clothing label for women or kids. 

1. As a child I used to wear... nothing. Well when I was little nothing, growing up on beaches afforded you that. But, wow, when I got a bit older in the 80s my mum used to dress me in red and white striped leggings, t-shirts cinched with wide white leather studded belts slung just above the hips and the highest of high ponytails tied up with scrunchie elastics. Oh, and the clincher, big scrunch down socks. I’ll never live that down!

2. My bedroom was... small and light-filled. I always had band posters on the wall from Guns ‘N’ Roses to Nirvana and there was always music playing on my tape deck.

3. When I was a teenager I used to... write poetry. I still do but I used to write a lot more back then.

4. After high school... I had no idea what I wanted to do. I thought I’d be happy to be a mother.

5. A seminal moment was... when I picked up a camera. I realised I did have a creative side, I discovered I did have a passion, and it gave me joy outside of motherhood.

6. I never thought I would be... good at anything creative. Now I love learning photography and have really enjoyed renovating our home. I felt a real accomplishment seeing my vision for our home come to life before my eyes. A clothing line is next!

7. I’ve learnt to... not worry, most of the time, about what other people think. I’ve lived most of my life ruled by fear of judgement and I am slowly changing it. 

8. I know... who I am - finally.

9. I share because... at first I think I wanted validation. Validation that people liked what I had to share. So silly, I know! Then I wanted to share to show what inspires me whether it be a nice photo I’ve taken or something I have bought or found that excites me. Now I also share because I love the connections I make on Instagram. I also love seeing what inspires people and all the different ways people express themselves. I am inspired every single day by some amazing people on Instagram. 

10. If I had an unexpected morning to myself I would... wake early to go for a run along the Bondi to Bronte path, grab a smoothie from Bondi Wholefoods, enjoy a rare long shower and go shopping!

image courtesy of loren morton

Monday 20 April 2015


Towards the end of last year we bought an annual National Parks pass. It was purchased on our way to Wattamolla in the Royal National Park. After spending the past few weeks focussed on home-based projects, we were keen to get out and about again and stretch our eyes, as well as our legs. We decided to head back down south as Australia's oldest national park, and while it isn't the largest in the country - that title goes to Kakadu - at 16,000 hectares, there's plenty to explore. 

As we are now well and truly in autumn, we were after an activity that involved some moderate bush walking. We read about Jibbon Beach and the Aboriginal Rock Engravings that can be accessed through a track. It seemed perfect.

The drive south from the city is about an hour long. Jibbon Beach is past the main town of Bundeena and can be accessed by a side passage in-between a couple of homes. When we visited the beach was almost deserted, and the (unpatrolled) water was calm. No big waves here as it lies within the bay of Port Hacking.

The walk to the Aboriginal Rock Engravings is 1.2km and suitable for most ages. Our youngest - not yet two-years-old - managed to walk most of the way. The area of the engravings is on a raised platform, so you can look down and not posing any damage to the area from wear. There are about five engravings and interesting to view.

Feet were less energetic on the walk back, but everyone enjoyed the day out.

images the indigo crew

Friday 17 April 2015


This might sound a little strange, but my children don't always eat cake. They might have a few mouthfuls, but rarely do they finish it. And once when a friend bought our son a doughnut he ate one, but when offered another, he declined. So when we visited family over Easter, I wasn't sure if any of them were going to like the bombolini that had been made for them. Like them? They devoured them. We all did! Here's the recipe.

225g plain flour
110g caster sugar, plus extra for rolling
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
500g ricotta
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Vegetable oil, for deep frying (we use sunflower oil)

1. Sift and stir flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Gently stir in combined ricotta, eggs and vanilla. Cover mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 40 minutes.
2. Deep fry tablespoons of mixture in small batches, turning with a fork, for about 10 minutes or until golden, crisp and cooked through. 
3. Drain on paper towel and roll in caster sugar.

* Don't make the bombolini too large as they will get crunchy on the outside but won't cook properly on the inside.
* The recipe says 3-4 minutes, but we turned the heat down a little and cooked for longer to ensure cooked all the way through.
* There are versions of this recipe that use yeast - this makes the bombolini go stale quicker - although all of ours were eaten within an afternoon!

images the indigo crew

Thursday 16 April 2015


There are benefits of being a small-scale clothing producer. Sarah Hardie of Fabrik says she is able to create limited runs and ensure production is ethical. The Sydney-based designer, who previously worked at Lee Matthews, says that while her designs are made in Bali, the workers are paid above minimum wage and any overtime is voluntary and paid. There are other benefits too - like an annual bonus of one month’s wage at the end of the year. The idea to starting Fabrik was ignited after Sarah had her first of three children. Initially she started to create clothes for her daughter and now the range has expanded to include women’s wear and lifestyle products, such as sleeping bags. Next up, Sarah is hoping to produce a childrens PJ range, and perhaps baby boy clothes.

Note: Fabrik is having a 24-hour moving sale from 8pm AEST tonight. 

What was behind the decision to start Fabrik? I was working for Australian designer Lee Mathews at the time I had my first child Jemima. As she got older I found I needed to be home more and had been making things for her so it slowly started from there.

What had you been doing previously? Having the best time working at Lee Mathews!

What is important to you when designing children's clothes? I like them to be comfortable most of all but also be feminine and whimsical.

How do you try to differentiate your products from others on the market? Being a small boutique label I am able to produce small limited runs in an ethical way.

What has been completely unexpected since starting your business? I love all of the amazing women I have connected with through the business. It's so inspiring to work and connect with my customers, suppliers and people via social media. 

What is something that people often don't realise about your wares? Each print is hand printed especially for me using the best environmental process. The inks used to print are seaweed based and the factory ensures no toxins are washed into the waterways.

Where do you look to for design inspiration? I'm always inspired by my collection of vintage fabrics, and traditional techniques like American patchwork. 

What do consider when dressing or styling children? I always want them to love what they wear and it not be too precious to have a messy play at the park. 

What role do you want your products to play in a childhood? Hopefully they love what they wear and the clothes allow them to express themselves.

What was the last great children's book that you read? The boys and I are reading Animalium because Jonas is obsessed by bats and bugs. Jemima and I are reading a chapter of the The Secret Garden each night.

images courtesy of fabrik

Wednesday 15 April 2015


This is a book that I first spotted over the Christmas period, but the title intrigued me as the three-year-old has a fear of the dark. I hoped that it might be able to help in some way.

Singing Away The Dark is a book written by British Columbia author Caroline Woodward, who had to walk a mile from her homestead to the school bus stop to attend a two-room school in Cecil Lake. The story starts with a mother telling her daughter about when she was six, and had to walk a long way to school. It follows her journey as a child through the cold and dark in the snow. "I must be brave," she says. And when she sings the darkness disappears.

The beautiful illustrations are by Julie Morstad, who has illustrated a few children's books, including When You Were Small and its sequel Where You Came From.

The three-year-old enjoyed asking questions about images in the book - what the girl was wearing, and why, as well as what animals she could spot. It's a sweet story that she warmed to, and hopefully it will sew a seed about bravery.

images the indigo crew

Tuesday 14 April 2015


I often find that the more tricky a space is to create and decorate, the more creative I become. Initially this room was long and narrow, and quite small. Plus, it had a chimney breast creating an awkward indent into the footprint of the room. But the more we worked through how this space could work, the more ideas we developed. And the more creative we have become with the decor.

The main criteria were to have a space large enough for a single bed and to create a built-in wardrobe. The solution was to build a false wall in front of the chimney breast and extend it so that there would be a wall along the length of the bed. The added bonus of this decision was that we were able to create a series of shelves (for books, etc) in the alcove left by the fireplace. This became the perfect spot to place a desk.

The head of the bed is created by the back wall of the floor-to-ceiling wardrobes. The rooms are 3m high so there's plenty of space to store bedding as well as clothes and toys.

Around the time we were ready to move the youngest into her room, we were considering transitioning her from a cot to a bed ahead of an overseas trip we have planned in a few months' time. Now seemed the perfect opportunity to do this. Initially we were going to get an antique sleigh bed but then the idea of the camp bed struck. It is nice and low on the ground so she can get in and out by herself. It also is less of a distance to bump her head if she falls out. 

The Safari daybed by Danish designer Ole Knudsen Gjerlov is from Dunlin Home. It can be used for camping, the garden, as a daybed or guest bed in your home. It comes in a canvas bag and takes only a few minutes to assemble. It also means that if she gets to the stage when she's not comfortable or supported then we can easily pack it away, or move it to another part of the house.

To provide some comfort and cushioning on the bed, I sourced these Mushkane printed floor cushions. I had used them on a photo shoot a while back and they had always stayed in my mind. We often read books on the floor and these are great to create a nook. I bought them from Mamapapa in Avalon. To find your local stockist, you can contact Nomades.

The canopy was also from Mamapapa, as was the Tamar Mogendorff swallow bird, which has been hung from a branch.

The best news is that the toddler loves her bed and has been sleeping better on it than in her cot.

Happy to provide info on other items that I sourced for the room.

images the indigo crew

Monday 13 April 2015


This activity was too much fun not to share. On a rainy day on our recent Easter holiday getaway, we decided to fill the bath with balloons. No water, just balloons. The three-year-old spent hours in there. Then the six-year-old boy had the (great!) idea to put all the balloons in the shower. Even the activity of filling the new space with the balloons kept them all happy and entertained for quite some time. Once all the balloons were inside, they created their own balloon pit, of sorts. They also revisited the balloons and this activity a few more times during the course of our stay. Definitely good to have a packet of balloons saved for a rainy day.

images the indigo crew