Sunday, March 23, 2014

Littles Love Lanyon


Saturday was a completely gorgeous Autumn day...perfect for a morning at Lanyon with our Littles. The Lanyon Plant Fair is run by Open Gardens Australia and is a magnificent event held in the grounds of the Lanyon Homestead.



Plant stalls, sculpture, guest speakers, garden & house guided tours...


Gelato with a view to cherish...
A vintage machinery display by the Canberra & District Engine Club.
A cottage garden to covet...
A children's marquee with all sorts of fantastic crafts and activities...
Including THE best kids guided nature trail.
Harry really loved wandering about with his fellow botanical artists carrying a little stool, clipboard and a pencil. He peppered his tour guide with all sorts of questions as they discussed plant varieties, illustration techniques and a little bit of Lanyon history.
It was beautiful to stand back and watch. The artist in me was cheering them see them all so absorbed in their drawings was wonderful.
The Jackman meanwhile...spent a great deal of time running about on the lawns in superhero mode.
It's on again today from 10am. Definitely worth the short drive south to Lanyon Homestead.
There's nothing like a family outing in the country!


xx Em


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

When people feel powerless they protest.

On Monday I introduced my baby boy to Australian democracy.



We attended the Canberra March in March rally at Parliament House.


It was the third and final day of a nation wide protest culminating in a march up to Parliament House to deliver a vote of no confidence in the Abbott Government.



For the first time in a long time I finally felt that I could voice my frustration at the deceptive, bullying and gob smackingly stupid behaviour of the current government. For the first time in a long time I felt hope that the tide had started to turn against a Government that I feel is not acting in our nation's best interests.


There were a VAST array of issues that spurred me to speak out.


The appallingly inhumane treatment of asylum seekers which is bringing international scorn and makes me ashamed to be Australian.



Lifting protections on our heritage listed environment to profit big corporations. (Tassie old growth forests, Great Barrier Reef).



Undermining the need for unbiased and accurate journalism by attacking our national broadcaster for "taking everyone's side but Australia's" and placing an already underfunded ABC under review.



Going backwards on Climate Change, demolishing the Carbon tax , Cimate Commission and the independent Climate Change Authority while rewarding big polluters with tax breaks. Not having a science minister and cutting funding to the CSIRO.




Backflipping on an election promise to deliver on Gonski education funding.




Repealing the consumer protection laws in the financial services industry and repealing section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act.




Sending us back to the dark ages with a "cheaper" but vastly inferior version of the NBN.




Marriage Equality, PPLs and Childcare....and so it goes on.



For me it wasn't about Liberals vs Labour.


I have just as much trouble condoning some of the policies the previous Govt implemented during their time in Office (namely Offshore Detention and Home Insulation debacle) and think that they've well and truly lost their way. All of the good policy work they achieved was overshadowed by their infighting and back flipping and they now make for a spineless Opposition.


For me, the message of this protest applies to both sides of the political divide...we demand a higher standard of behaviour from our politicians.

It's also a message to a large portion of the voting public to pay attention, really pay attention to what is going on in our political landscape. Don't rely on three word slogans and heavily biased sound bites to inform your opinion. Seek facts, read up on policies, question the catch phrases.

Democracy isn't just ticking a ballot paper every three years.


March in March was organised through social was grassroots democracy that drew more than one hundred thousand people out onto the streets, all of us calling for decency, transparency and accountability in our Government. The main stream media was incredibly slow in reporting it and the Prime Minister in typical form could only comment that there was a St Patrick's day parade going on. But that doesn't bother me. I joined with like minded Australians and raised my voice in the belief that we deserve a higher quality of governance in this country.




It felt so good, it felt like the beginning of something better.

xx Em


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Heavenly Handmade



Another gobsmackingly gorgeous Handmade Market wowed Canberra last weekend. It's been a while since I last went to one...I was too ill to go to any in 2013 much to my disappointment. In fact this time last year I was stuck in Oncology unable to go anywhere. Going to Handmade twelve months on, with hair on my head and in good health again, made it all the sweeter.

(Take that cancer! POW!!! Right in the kisser!)



As ever the girls from Handmade gathered together a vastly eclectic group of designers and artisans from our region and it was like a rolling feast going from one stall to the next. I tend to sigh audibly when I see beautifully hand crafted goodies and had I not been in such a blissful state I would have surely told myself to shut up already, enough with the incessant sighing!


Here is just a tiny taste of what was on offer...



Captivating artwork from the lovely Sarah Elliott at Elliott My Dear.




Delicate Japanese rice paper lampshades by Samantha & Machiko at Akari.





Gorgeous linen tea towels featuring witty, playful designs by the wonderful Caroline Verity at Ink and Weave. I could have easily cleaned her out but my husband would have disowned me as the crazy tea towel lady. Honestly, THE most fantastic designs. I've framed these two and they now feature on my walls at home.


Totally my cup of tea!




Quirky vintage inspired jewellery from Kaboodle Designs.





Stunning Sterling Silver jewellery from designer Naomi Dootson at Appleye.

I'll be going back to her online store time and time again...her designs are just so beautiful and striking and make perfect presents.




Completely fun and fabulous modern crochet designs from Two Alike. I mean honestly, how freaking cute are these kids hats?!?! My boys will be wandering about in winter as toasty warm little Knights and Vikings.




Bright and beautiful laser cut Perspex & Bamboo jewellery from designer Andrea Wild at Rosefinch & Belle. The inspiration behind her designs is just so precious.






Seriously yummy soy candles made in the tiny village of Quandialla in central west NSW by the fab Sarah Ryan at the Quandialla Candle Co.





And last but by no means least...delicate porcelain designs from burgeoning local ceramicist Jenny Harris at From Me To You.


I'll definitely be saving more pennies for the June Handmade Market.

If you shop Handmade you will never fail to fall in love with the abundant talent of local designers. Go you good thing!


xx Em