Happy New Year

1 Jan

Wow, 2014 crept up pretty quickly. I wasn’t really expecting to be watching fireworks and sipping bubbles quite this soon, but there we were last night, with the rest of Sydney sitting by the harbour, picnicking and bathing in the spectacular fireworks that Sydney New Years Eve is famous for.

Sydney celebrates New Years Eve exceptionally well. Take one of the worlds prettiest harbour cities, add gorgeous summer weather (except for the 10 minute freak rain shower) and top it off with one of the world’s best fireworks display, and you have a Sydney New Years Eve.

If you don’t have a party to go to, if you forget to plan something huge, then all you need to do in Sydney is head on down to the harbour foreshore. With around 2 million partygoers lining the harbour’s edge, every vantage point becomes a huge multicultural communal celebration farewelling the old and welcoming the new.

When all the fun and games are over, it’s a great time to think and take stock about the year that was, and the year that will be. I love making resolutions, I’m generally not so great at keeping them, but my heart is in the right place. This year I’ve decided to keep it simple, just three resolutions that are hopefully very easy to keep. I’m thinking of them in a purely selfish way, something for my mind – blog more (not hard given 2013′s very ordinary effort), something for my heart – reach out and contact old friends, organise those catch ups and basically see more of people, and something for my body and soul – get out into nature and visit as many National Parks as I can (I would love to visit all of the National Parks in NSW one day). While they are resolutions that are purely for my own improvement, they are also definitely things that I can and will share.

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Most importantly I hope that 2014 brings laughter, love and happy memories. Cheers to the new year!
Sam

It’s time…

28 Nov

Hello blog world, I’m sorry I’ve been neglectful, REALLY neglectful.  It’s been well over a year since my last post, and while I have missed you, I was getting a little obsessive and needed a little break, which turned into a big break, and then I had a serious thought about whether I really wanted to come back or not, and well, here I am, tail between my legs, hat off, ready to reacquaint myself and get back into it. Surprise!

So much has happened in the time I’ve been away, and it would be boring to re-hash it all, so I won’t, regardless to say little people have grown, gardens haven’t and, well, life does move on, sometimes slowly, sometimes fast.  Memories wane – I had to re-set my password, but then some things you just never forget, like the cathartic feeling of typing out a post and pressing the publish button.

Yes, they have grown, the Drama Queen and Daredevil sharing a "love drink" because they are way too cute sometimes!

Yes, they have grown, the Drama Queen and Daredevil sharing a “love drink” because they are way too cute sometimes!

I would love to say more, but will save it for later.  For now it’s just “Hi”.  I’ve been putting this off for way too long.  Drawn Outdoors is back online.

Sam

Friday Finds – Fully Inked

27 Jul

We love temporary tattoos around our place.  Maybe I should be more precise.  The Drama Queen likes them, the Daredevil LOVES them.  He proudly flashes his temporary ink like a little Buzz Lightyear badge of honour.  Unfortunately, I have had a hard time finding temporary tatts that have a bit of two year old street cred.  The Daredevil doesn’t really care, he’ll sport anything, it’s his Mum that has a little cringe as the next cartoon character is applied.  I’ve stopped short of grabbing a texta and making up my own (which is not a good idea, particularly if you don’t want to be sporting some of your own home grown two year old designed “ink”), but was sure that there had to be something better out there.

Ta da! Hello Tattly and its designy temporary tattoos.  It’s always easier to describe something in their own words, so here they are…

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem once said that “The best way to complain is to make things,” and that’s what Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Tattly did. Tired of putting poorly designed temporary tattoos on her daugther’s arm, she took matters into her own hands.

In July of 2011, Tattly Temporary Tattoos launched online, featuring an all-star lineup of professional designers and illustrators. Starting with just a handful of different designs, Tattly received thousands of orders from around the world. There are now over 150 designs available both online and in select retailers worldwide. Since launching, Tattly has shipped millions of tattoos to more than 90 countries.

Continuing to partner with leading artists and retailers, Tattly has found that the world was indeed waiting for designy temporary tattoos.

I found them through Oliver Jeffers and his Facebook page.  I’ve talked about my little creative crush on him and his picture books here.  He is an artist for Tattly and is high on my temporary ink wish list.  By using artists and designers Tattly has developed the coolest range of temporary tattoos, and has made my little creative Mummy heart smile.  Here are just a selection of the over 150 designs they have on offer.

As the Tattly website says Who Says forever is better?

Sam

Friday Finds – Growing Books.

20 Jul

Wow, this Friday Finds has me a bit excited.  Those who know me are aware of how much I love, and I really mean LOVE, books.  So, what do you get when you cross a love of books with a love of trees and a desire to repurpose, reuse and reinvent things?  A Book Forest.  Fallen trees have been reclaimed and reinvented as public bookshelves on the streets of Berlin.  Utilised by Book crossers (I have written about book crossing here if you need a refresher), the book cases are not only a practical but also a beautiful way for people to exchange books.

This is not only a great idea in itself, but it was also born from a very innovative organisation.  Baufachfrau Berlin are an educational institution for women in the building industry.

BAUFACHFRAU Berlin e.V. is a recognised educational institution for women working in the building enterprise. It develops and executes employment and qualification projects on a local, regional as well as European level.

The association emerged from the idea of interconnecting designers, artisans and environmental engineers to improve the occupational opportunities of women in technical fields.

BAUFACHFRAU Berlin e.V. qualifies women working in the building enterprise and trains cabinetmakers. Since its foundation artisans, architects and environmetal engineers plan and execute jointly ecological, social and environmental education projects. In doing so the association gained wide experience of the vocational education of persons of different educational level. In this context cross-generational participation projects in the neighbourhood and the project work in schools as well as intercultural communication play a crucial role. Guiding theme of all projects is the promotion of resource-saving and sustainable construction.

All I can say is Wow!

Sam.

Photos from BAUFACHFRAU, Bookshelf and Inhabitat

Friday Finds – Keeping it Kind

6 Jul

It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for kindness and random acts thereof.  I’ve written a couple of posts about being kind (if you missed them you can have another read here and here).  I like the feeling that kindness gives me, and the changes I see it making in others.  It’s not hard to be kind, and if there was more of it going around I think the world would be a happier and more harmonious place to be.

Today’s Friday Finds isn’t a thing that you can touch and feel, it isn’t a new super cool design trend or must have outdoor designer piece.  It’s a blog that I follow, and always makes me smile.  Kindness Girl thinks up different ideas to spread the message of kindness in ways that are different and sometimes just a little bit magical.  Interwoven with the Kindness projects are stories of her own children and family.  Entirely relatable and full of love, Patience has a knack for creating beauty both through her images, her words and her actions.

If you’re in need for a kindness hit, a little bit of love or a dose of the warm and fuzzy’s, take some time out and visit Kindness Girl or her Guerrilla Goodness page.

Sam

Note: all photos from http://www.Kindnessgirl.com

Watch out UFOs about!

2 Jul

Have small green freaky looking creatures invaded Drawn Outdoors HQ? No, but we do have a lot of UFOs, UFPs and just a whole lotta stuff that needs to be done.  Not UFOs in the sense of strange flying saucer shaped alien transportation devices, UFOs in the sense of UnFinished Objects, UnFinished Projects and yes, just general stuff to be done.  I’ve talked about my powers of procrastination (check that one out here) and my list making love (that one is here) but I have another confession to make…

I’m not very good at finishing things.

I’m fabulous at starting, at dreaming, at thinking big.  If you need ideas, and you need them big, fantastic and mind blowing, I’m your girl.  The more freedom my mind is given to wander the better the idea.  I’m glad that this is a fabulous skill to have in the wonderful world of design.  It is so much fun to take an idea for a wander and see where it ends up taking you.

If you need a project planned and started, I’ll also put my hand up for that one.  I’m great at identifying what needs to be done and finding a pathway through the murky depths of “it’s too hard”, breaking problems down and then building up a solution.  My problem comes when I start to walk the pathway and something more shiny gets in my way, or another problem or idea jumps up and shouts out “look at me!”

I think my problem is deadlines.  When a project has a deadline, has a finish point, a clearly defined date and time, I manage to knock it out of the park.  When a deadline is a little bit  more flexible, or even worse, non existent, we have a problem.  I’ve worked out that when I’m wearing my Drawn Outdoors hat things are completed, on time and well.  It’s when things matter or people are relying on me that I tend to do my best work.  Why can’t I apply this dedication to all those incomplete little projects?  Why is the dress I started in my dressmaking class 3 years ago still not finished, and the 30th birthday present for my now 32 year old sister still waiting for its final touches?  Not to mention the multitude of stitches, sewings and ideas who’s seeds have been planted, allowed to germinate but not been able to grow and bloom.

I’m finding that blogging is helping with this problem.  When I blog about doing something, I tend to do it – I think it’s the guilt feeling I get when I don’t achieve a goal and too many people know about it.  Our 1000 things in winter is coming along fabulously, the girls are a third of the way there – Yay girls!  And my 31 posts in May was a total success.  But on the down side some things have slipped through the cracks, most obviously our own garden design and the Drawn Outdoors office.

To bust out of the half done rut that some things have found themselves falling into, I’m making a new financial year resolution.  When I have an idea that needs to be done, I’m giving it a deadline, letting someone who cares know about it, and then doing my best to stick to it.  I’m hoping that extra rewards won’t be needed along the way, the feeling of sheer unadulterated satisfaction when I”m finished should be sweet enough.

So here it is, my new financial year resolution to do list, with some deadlines and “reporting mechanisms” – I know you’ll hold me to it!  I’m starting small, just ten UFOs to start with, I don’t want any aliens messing with the engine.

1. Finish the 1000 things in winter challenge – and win!  This one’s a no brainer in terms of time – I have until the end of August, but just to make sure we’re on track I want to hit 500 things by 15 July, and 700 by 1 August.

2. Design OUR garden.  I’ve been designing a few gardens lately, but not ours. It  has been placed on the “when I get to it” pile for a bit too long.  I’ve measured the yard, analysed it to within an inch of its life, and now it’s time to turn my seeds of ideas into a reality.  Deadline – 1 September , or the first day of spring, ready for us to start building and enjoying this summer.

3. Set up Drawn Outdoors Office - I should really say finish setting up the office.  At the moment it’s working, but not well.  I need a desk.  It’s hard keeping things on a tilted drawing board and not so easy drawing on a flat one, and the computer desk is tiny.  I need to streamline and organise what I have so it works for me and so the office looks like an office and not a halfway house for anything without a home.  Target dates are 31 July for desk, then 15 August for office organisation.

4. Knit the Drama Queen’s scarf – I have taught myself how to knit (Yay me!) and my first project is a scarf.  I will have it finished so it can be worn this winter.  Completion date 31 July.

5. Finish the 30th birthday present - can’t say what it is, that would give away the surprise, but I will share when I get there. I’d like to have it done before Christmas.  30 November is the deadline.

6. Repair our walls - When we moved in, just over a year ago we repainted then replaced the light fittings.  Most are fine, but there are a couple of holes and patches of wall that need painting.  Deadline 31 August.

7. Plan a ski trip.  Mr Perfect and I love the snow, but The Drama Queen and the Daredevil have never seen it, and we’re feeling a bit sad about that.  We have decided that this year we will take them.  Holidays don’t plan themselves, someone needs to do it.  Deadline 20 July, any later and it might melt!

8. Finish the stitching for the Drama Queen’s new cushion – You know, the one I blogged about here.  Done by 31 August.

9. Plan our christmas presents - I like to make rather than buy, but I tend to get my great ideas around the end of October, and I’m left scrambling to get things done.  This year I’m going to be a bit more organised and get my plan ready before the end of July

10. Make myself an exceptionally cool post it note list that I can keep track of all my things to do on.  Just like this one from Cornflower Blue Studio.  I’ll show you this one by the 10th of July, and I will only use materials we currently have in the house.

There are so many more things I will need to add to this list, but if I just focus on 10 at a time I think my success rate might be a little bit higher, don’t you?

Sam

Friday Finds – Still green inside…

29 Jun

I know that we shouldn’t complain about the cold in Sydney.  On a global scale, we almost have summer kind of weather some days during our winter, but for us it is cold, and therefore I haven’t been in much of an outdoor kind of headspace for the past couple of weeks.  Combine that with the evil winter cold / flu bug that has hit all four of us, and I really feel like hibernating.  Once again, Friday Finds is about bringing your outdoors inside, just a little bit, so you can avoid heading out and start hibernating!

I don’t know a lot about this online shop, but I really like their products.  SHELTERBLACK have a small but quirky range of products that seem to revolve around bringing the outside in.

I think the Daredevil would fall in love with the Dino planters, and I think we would just have to have a Stegosaurus!

Sam

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