This little project is pretty much the stuff my bestie, Amber and I talk about to each other. Its stuff we like and are into at any given time and we wanted to tell more people about said stuff! We have whittled it down to 5 categories (from my bookshelf, old timey, TV/podcasts/music, art/insta feeds/creative stuff and a complete random category for stuff that doesn’t fit into the other categories!) and we both pick something we want to tell you about for each category for each newsletter. So its kinda like a 2 for one! Win win!
If you know anyone who might like whats here, please forward it on and tell them to subscribe (at the bottom of this page). Go on, you will be doing them a school holiday reading list favour
Let me start this first ever newsletter by saying that I am definitely not a writer. That’s my offsider, she is the wordy one. So bear with me.
From My Bookshelf:
Gardens Off The Beaten Track in Western Queensland by Lindy Hardie & Rachel Noble. I have loads of gardening books in my bookshelf, and some are very fancy garden design type ones that feature gardens I could never achieve but still drool over. This is not one of those. This is a book that helped me understand how to be realistic about having a garden in a hot dry climate. There are loads of good tips and plant recommendations, and the photos are of real gardens created by normal people, not designers.
With little bodies needing constant feeding, attention and ferrying about sitting down to read has gotten much harder to do these days. I find the tomes I choose these days are much lighter on and are often the collected works, essays or short stories of various authors so I’m able to pick up again after an extended absence and continue on without having to do that thing where you have to go back and reread the last chapter all over again to remind yourself what is actually going on. David Sedaris is my go to guy for short stories and When You are Engulfed in Flames is on my bedside table getting moments of attention when time permits. Much of his writing is autobiographical and it is the self-deprecating humour he delivers his work with that makes me laugh out loud. He has a knack of making the ordinary extraordinary and his social observations are so ridiculously funny. His Aussie tour “An Evening with David Sedaris” begins in early January and I am really hoping to get along to it this time round (if any family members are reading this, Hello Christmas present!) You can check out a list of his works and tour dates here comedy.com.au/tour/evening-david-sedaris www.davidsedarisbooks.com/bio.html
I’m pretty sure I didn’t start the #oldtimey hashtag but I use it all the time when I instagram old from around our farm. I would love to see your old timey things too so use the hashtag!
This is a very old yeast tin from the 1940’s that I found in the old cottage in our back garden. There’s all sorts of old treasures in there and this was a real find. I was so taken with its navy and cream label and art nouveau scrolls that I used it for the inspiration for my Quandialla Candle Co label. I sent a photo of it to Dan Phelan of Safety Pin Design (@safetypindesign) and he came up with the finished design. Dan also designed the Bunch of Fives logo and is also a DJ from Newcastle who plays old soul records. Real vinyl people! Now that’s old timey.
Until very recently there was a second hand store in the nearby village of Wallendbeen filled with relics of yore. I was lucky enough to find this old revolving bush pantry that had literally fallen off the back of a truck not five minutes before I arrived. I had to have it and because it had taken a tumble I got it for a steal. It is THE best conversation piece; it’s the original water cooler that people gather around when they visit as they open and close the drawers and marvel at how people once lived. Australian made by Metters (1920’s-30’s) it has the original wooden footing, complete with water trap, and most of the original porcelain knobs on the quirky drawers. I love it and will never part with it even though it is worth a small fortune and I could do with a cash injection. They are as rare as hen’s teeth so I can only suggest keeping your eyes peeled for them with vintage dealers, on Gumtree, Ebay and the like.
There is a podcast I never miss called Bang On with Myf Warhurst from and Zan Rowe. Funny, funny ladies. They just bang on about whatever they’ve seen in the news this week, or about something awesome theyre watching or listening to. They have a lovely banter and there’s something about their love of 90s music that makes me love them even more. A fair bit of feminism talk goes on (sing it, sister) which is great too. These chicks are WOKE.
I’ve been watching The Letdown (ABC Wednesday 9pm or iview.abc.net.au) and it has brought back some mega sad/scary/lonely first time Mumma moments for me. The restaurant scene in the first episode reminded me of the time I was out for lunch with friends shortly after the birth of my first child. When the meal was over, they all got up and literally left me behind to change my daughter’s dirty nappy in the hallway between the restaurant and the dunny…down on my hands and knees no less. To add insult to injury not one of them realised I was even missing from the gang when I caught up with them streets away, but maybe I had been guilty of doing the same thing before I had children too? It’s a tireless, long, hard slog this motherhood caper, and if you don’t surround yourself with the right support crew it can be very easy to stop treading water and start sinking. This great Australian series explores the kind of support group you desperately need, as opposed to the support you might actually get, in those first few sleep deprived, lonely months of being a new parent. It realistically portrays the number of ‘changes’ most new mums find themselves adjusting to with humility, heartache and a little cringe factor thrown in just to annoy my husband. The Letdown ABC Wednesday 9:00PM
Art/Instagram feeds/creative stuff:
I’ve mentioned this arty lady before but Charmaine Pike is an Australian contemporary landscape painter whose work is hot. She has just opened her solo show at Defiance Gallery in Enmore and its almost sold out. With all the digital, video and installation art out there these days I am drawn more than ever to the old fashioned pencil and brush, paper and canvas. I am lucky she is a good mate so I am able to have some Pikes on my wall in my home like the one below. Pure, raw, Australian beauty. Check her work out at @charmaine.m.pike and www.defiancegallery.com
I loves me some flora. I can spend hours on Instagram checking out the works of amazing florists and amateurs alike, that make gigantic installations look effortless and incredible bouquets look as though they’ve just been thrown together as an afterthought; a few peppercorns here, some eucalyptus leaves there and hey presto! their spaces look like they’re ready for some glossy home magazine shoot. I'm a little obsessed with flower arrangements at the moment cause Christmas is coming so I have come across some amazing feeds in my, ahem, downtime. Check out #underthefloralspell; it allows people to tag photos of their arrangements for the chance to be featured in the feed. The woman behind UK based @Flowerona (Rona) decides who makes the cut so needless to say, every single photo is stunning.
My new watch. OK don’t laugh at my 80s digital Casio, I hear all the kids are wearing them now. I thought about getting a fitbit but theyre kinda ugly and I don’t need to be reminded that I’m not moving thankyou very much! This watch has the simple button to set the old ‘beep beep’ alarm which means I don’t have to sleep with my phone beside the bed (pet hate). Plus it reminds me of the night I won a digital watch at the Quandialla Blue Light Disco in 1986. And it cost me all of $40! Stick that in your Apple watch!
I had the pleasure of helping the lovely Mrs Quandialla Candle Co herself pedal her delightful wares at the Popped up in Nargoon Markets the other day. It was a super successful day with lots of beautiful stalls to squiz at, but one in particular had me swooning over her stationary and giftwares because I am a MASSIVE sucker for all things Liberty. Pink Paddock Store is an online stationery, home and giftwares store where everything is “proudly made in rural Australia”. I got to meet Kylie, the clever young woman behind all of this loveliness, and in my rush to take everything in bought myself some of her gorgeous Liberty shoelaces. They come in a variety of patterns and sizes (toddler to large adult) and I managed to nab myself a few pairs to stuff some stockings with. Maybe. Oh, and when I got home I opened my package to find Kylie had popped a beautiful card in there for me as a gift, just because. She’s a real sweetheart and you can share in the sweetness here https://www.pinkpaddockstore.com.au/ @pinkpaddockstore