Saturday, April 12, 2014

Anzac Traditions

History is a wonderful thing. Likewise tradition.

My husband and I were reminiscing about having oranges cut into quarters for us, as a half time re-fuel at our winter sports when we were young. We were chuffed to discover that this tradition has stood the test of time - and I am actually on "orange duty" this w/end for our little boy's rugby game.

Next Friday in Australia we celebrate and remember our ANZACs. While the dawn service is a tradition in which many of us participate, so to is a BBQ to watch the footy and a game of Two Up.

Two-Up is a gambling game played extensively throughout WW1 by the soldiers and is a regular fixture at pubs and clubs throughout Australia on ANZAC Day in part as a show of solidarity with our diggers and part because it's tradition. And it's fun!

Pennies are considered the perfect weight and size for the game, they are stable on the "kip" and spin nicely through the air. Players gamble on how the coins will land.

If you fancy playing some Two Up yourselves this ANZAC Day, you may like to purchase a Two Up Kip and Coins from my online shop.

My clever Dad has been making these for years:

Complete with Aussie Pennies (pre-decimal currency = pre 1966), jump over to the find...found...forage shop and pick yourself up some ANZAC Day fun for $20 incl postage.

Lest we forget.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hand-made Bali Style...

Well wouldn't you know it, a little "work" trip to Bali uncovered hand-made finds around every corner!

Many visitors to the Island would avoid Nyepi like the plague - Bali's New Year Holiday where the island practically closes down. It is a day for reflection, where no travel is allowed, no talking, no eating and no electricity.

The airport is even closed for 24hours.

I thought we might kill time playing Words with Friends with each other over a Gin &Tonic (not strictly adhering to the Nyepi ethos) - but alas, no WiFi either. The TV & Radio stations don't even broadcast for the day.

So I finished my book (The Book Thief), and topped up the tan. Had a nap, a swim and flicked through the 5kgs of magazines we had brought between us. It was actually the most relaxing day by far of the 6 x days we were lucky enough to spend in Bali.

While it was a challenge for us to talk in whispers for the day, it was a terrific experience. The Nyepi parade the night before where the Ogah Ogahs scare off the evil spirits from Bali was certainly something to behold (note to self: don't take the kids - seriously scary floats. Check them out below).

And our wallets were also grateful of the 24hr reprieve.

Here are some photos capturing hand-made Balinese craftsmanship in it's purest form. Not for commercial benefit, but as a result of their devotion:

First up, Daily Offerings:
These are gifts to give pleasure to the Gods and to the Demons. They give good karma to those who prepare the offerings and they are prepared in the hope that the demons are kept happy and they go away.  We spotted a few with Tiny Teddies, a Mentos or the odd cigarette thrown in. I'm sure the God's were grateful.

These splendid creations were in preparation for the Nyepi celebrations. My phone camera doesn't do them justice, but they were beautifully created by hand (and stapler) using banana leaves:

Some examples of Ogah Ogah's who are paraded around the town intended to bewilder the evil spirits so they go away and cease harming human beings at the Nyepi Eve Parade. (images from here)

Try resisting these adorable hand-made dolls. Sold to raise funds for the Street Kids of Bali, each one is different. I'll be offering these collector like dolls for sale in the find...found...forage shop very soon, to assist in the fundraising efforts of Bali's Orphanages:

How's this example of wood carving? Impressive! It was quite the centre-piece in Carga, Seminyak. Bang in the middle of what was also a spectacular serving counter, the palm tree, complete with coconuts had me in awe:

I had to take a photo of these mega fish in the Koi Pond at the entrance to Mozaic Beach Club. We had much smaller versions in our own Koi pond at the Villa in which we had to walk across to make our way from the pool.

And a handful of my other pics from a colourful week away....

From one of the Mr Zimi stores, I was swooning over these awesome powder-coated wooden stools. Obviously the greenery and the rustic pots set them off beautifully. And don't get me started on the mirror:

Look at these ladies in their traditional dress, carrying offerings in baskets balanced on their heads:

Old Mate giving us a wave as we marvelled at the impact Nemo & Angry Birds has had across the globe...

Mosaic style pebbles at the entrance to my "room" and as stepping stones throughout the garden. LOVE.

And finally, some mixed media artwork by the loos at Ku De Ta

Hand-made loveliness can be found in all kinds of places!

I'm hatching a plan for the next trip.
Who's keen?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Diary Date: Sat & Sun 29/30th March. Pop Up Shop!

Isn't it just the nicest thing to be personally invited to an event? Doubly so when the invite comes from someone in the cool group?

Kimberlee and Meagan at Brown Button Trading fit that category. They have been selling beautiful bits and pieces via their online store for years now and Kimberlee blogs with what can only be described as passion, dedication & humour.

And they've invited little ol' me (well, some of my hand-made finds), to compliment their own awesome range of home-wares, gifts and stationary in their first Pop-Up Shop for the year.

Next weekend, in Adelaide:

Representing the find...found...forage offerings will be my fluro macrame hangers, beaten silver candles, sparkly jewellery & of course my hand made leather ballet flats.

And all my finds will be at special Pop-Up Prices too!

"Pop" along and pick up some unique, quality, high end delights.

Don't forget Mothers Day is not that far away.  (That's if you need to justify a little shopping soiree?!)

Oh and tell your friends! There might even be a glass of bubbles awaiting you...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

DIY with fabric dye...

Inspired by Loretta at The Urchin Collective, and having always wanted to try my hand at some fabric dying, here is my first DIY attempt in a while:

White Walnut Sand-shoes - foraged for a measly $8.00 from the local op shop.

Dunked them in the bubbling brew of blue dye...

Attempted to keep the toe of the shoe out of the dye in order to create a tie-dyed effect; but it was a fiddly and hot exercise, so not overly successful...

And voila.

Not the worst first attempt, but certainly some room for improvement!

Might give some pillow cases a try next.

"you can do anything, but lay off of my blue dyed shoes"
S x

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

For everyone, in every colour....

This week's find are beautiful, tactile woven baskets and bowls made by African Tribeswomen and designed and sold in Australia by Couani.

The Couani website is colourful and cheery and you'd be hard pressed to decide on which style you 'need' in your place.

Great gift ideas, the baskets start at AUD$40 for the small, and the bowls at AUD$45.

Now I don't profess to be a food guru and I'm not turning this blog into a smoothy-a-thon, but after some positive feedback about that Green Smoothie a few posts back , I have to share with you another tasty version. (Oh and by the way, you can get more nutritious inspiration by liking Wholefood Muse on Facebook).
This one is a breakfast or lunch substitute as it includes oats and is REALLY filling. By Bill Granger:

Pineapple, Mint & Ginger Smoothie

1 small pineapple peeled and cut into chunks
knob ginger
cup natural yoghurt
cup milk (I used rice, but soy, almond or regular would do nicely)
2 tbsp rolled oats
6 mint leaves
3 ice cubes
honey or agave nectar  to taste

Wizz it up and down it goes. You could pre-freeze your pineapple chunks to add that frozen factor.


Let me know if you try this one and your verdict.

S x

Monday, February 10, 2014

Indie Interiors...

Admired in the Camilla store while at Bondi last Sunday, were these hand-crafted lamp shades.
 So simple. So effective.
Some pom-pom trim, some fabric paints and you could knock these up yourself in no time:

I do love a bit of mixed media, so I'm thinking of having a play with a cheap canvas, some linen off-cuts, some (fluro) paints, some ric-rac, tassels and pom pom trim.
A masterpiece in the making, surely?

In Adelaide yesterday, a bit more fluro / canvas goodness caught my eye. These clutches are made by Tiff Manuell, the smallest starting from AUD$79. A hand-painted canvas is used to make the clutch and is then cleverly covered with a clear PVC & Velcro closure. Red wine will wipe straight off!

Tiff also makes cuffs and some knock-out statement necklaces using a similar method. Equally as unique and as bright and cheery, they are going on my wish list pronto!

Let's call it a colour comeback.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chandeliers & Smoothies....Decorating & Detoxing

So it's the middle of January already and one of my many goals for 2014 was to blog with a little more regularity. It's out there now, so you can hold me accountable.

First things first though, I've just voted in the annual Triple J Hottest 100 music poll. Did you know it is the world's largest music democracy? Have you attempted it? It didn't take me all that long this year. My tips for the top 10 include the clever clogs Lorde and perhaps some Daft Punk.

With regard to hand-made lovely-ness however, I spied and brought home with me this fabulous mobile from The Finders Keepers Markets held in Sydney early December. It looks just the ticket hanging in my frangipani tree in the back garden. See:

Made by Michelle at Me We for AUD$20 each, I have ordered another two (despite my husband's initial reaction of "WTF is that?" when I unveiled it!).  We have a little soiree coming up, and I figured they could be all the decoration needed.

Now no New Years resolution list would be complete without the obligatory weight loss/ healthy eating entries. I am lucky enough to have a very clever lady and soon to be food coach living around the corner. Rebecca Raymond inspired me to once again jump on the Green Smoothie bandwagon and by following her ingredient list, I can't get enough of them.

So in the name of hand-made / home-made, here is a visual. It is seriously delish. Throw the following into your blender. You wont be sorry:

1 x kiwi
1 x lime
knob of ginger peeled
1/2 banana or 1/2 avocado
handful rocket
handful kale
tablespoon seeds (flaxseed/chia/pepitas)
tablespoon honey
1 cup coconut water

Delicious detoxing.  Enjoy!
S x

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Introducing: The find...found...forage online SHOP!!

This little ol' blog is getting all grown up.

The natural progression I thought, from sharing my hand-made finds with you via the blog, was to offer some of them for you to buy!

Having spent a nice chunk of the Australian Winter in Bali this year, with my feet up, thinking cap on, and cocktail in hand, I set about foraging for the very first hand-made items for my new shop.

And what a find it was!

Hand-made, super soft, leather ballet flats are the first find of many that are now selling in the find...found...forage online shop. For AUD$80 a pair including Australia Wide Postage, these little babies are at a perfect price point for Christmas too.

Pressie for the teacher? Your Mum? Yourself?

They've been a huge hit thus far with half of my first shipment sold within 2 x weeks. Hooray!

I've also found Silver Hanging Garlands - AUD$10, candles -AUD$4.50, shopping baskets -AUD$25 and more, on offer in the shop.

A box of additional hand-made delights hit my doorstep today and we all know how exciting parcels in the post are. I can't wait to get them uploaded onto the site. Think fluro. Think sparkly.

I'd love you to visit the shop and have a little looksy. And if you like what you see, perhaps share with your friends?

I'll continue to post my latest hand-made finds here on the blog. Having hit the  "Finders Keepers" markets in Sydney today, I have some absolute winners to share.

And so the next chapter begins...