Simple Kind of Life

“We need space to engage in activities we love – be that play with our children, do yoga in our bedroom, or dance a tango in the living room.  It’s what we do, not what we own, that makes life memorable and meaningful.” – Francine Jay –

I’ve spent my whole life cherishing things that bring me joy: memories, things I’ve collected and hobbies.  Though it seems more recently, maybe put it down to being a new mama, that my focus is more toward living simply and being more mindful of what I surround myself with.

For many folks, this seems to mean that they have to give up things that they have, love or own.  The reality: this is far from the truth.  By deciding to live a life in more simple, refreshing terms, you’re gaining so much more.

Suddenly, you’re not caught in the net of wanting things you don’t need, and you’re more purposeful about the things you are attaining.

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I’m really focusing on surrounding myself with things that make me truly happy.  Of course I love DIY projects, they’re my jam, bread & butter!  But I’m learning that this doesn’t mean I suddenly need to hoard so many pieces of furniture to convert, or buy loads of fabric to make things that stay on a list and never see themselves brought to life.

We need to just, well…stop.  Take things slowly.  My new focus could be dubbed as slow style: filling my house, wardrobe and life with pieces that tell a story and memories that stick or that I want my mini to happen upon with adventurous spirit.

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This slow style concept is something I’ve grabbed from the idea of slow fashion, particularly as I embark on a year of either making my own clothing or buying pre-loved wears.  When I say slow style, it’s the same idea: that you take time and put in a labor of love creating something that is truly meaningful, rather than running out and just “grabbing” something from the store brand-new.

It gives us time to plan for what we are looking for and to live in the moment, searching for the perfect “piece” that we can transform.  We are aware of the effort that it took, where the product came from (era, place, time) and have a deeper appreciation for what we are surrounding ourselves with.

My favorite surroundings are bits and bobs collected on our travels, projects that we have put blood, sweat and tears into and photographs or gifts that are beautiful reminders of good friends and family who are forever imprinted in our lives.

So my challenge to you, fellow folks, is to become more informed consumers.  Make purposeful decisions on the “things” you want to surround yourselves with.  Be smart about it, share your pre-loved items with others to de-clutter before introducing something new into your space.

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You’ll feel like it’s a breath of fresh air, and hopefully find you are really living a beautiful, full and simple life.

I really wanted to get this post out there, to whomever it reaches, before the holiday season takes hold of our better judgement and we make so many unintentional and random purchases.

Our Christmas tree won’t have an abundance of physical presents under it this year, but it will be trimmed with a collection of many wonderful ornaments that tell a story of our lives as travelers.

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Our home will be filled with love and laughter and hopefully a nap or two, and our hearts will be genuinely full in our new little home in Texas.

There will be good food in our bellies, wine-stained lips from a homemade mulled recipe and happiness glinting in our eyes.

Wherever you celebrate the festivities this season, I hope you find that you’re home, loved, happy and free.

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Be kind, give your all and love with all your heart.

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Director Chair DIY

On this wonderful lazy Saturday, I really wanted to muck in to a new project, so between drafting some new patterns and researching trends, an “aha” moment springs!

The director chair that we’ve had for so long, which I’d already stenciled, really needed some TLC.

I’d just purchased more Nate Berkus fabric for an upcoming Creative Session, and had some spare of the Iko Paramount in Onyx.

The DIY was as simple as removing the top of the chair to slide out the seat, then I created a pattern from the existing one, adding seam allowance of 5/8″.  After sewing a few simple straight lines, re-inserting the sides and fixing the chair top back on, voila!

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I am chuffed with the result, needless to say it is now my new favourite chair.  And that is a strong statement if you knew how many chairs I own!

It’s a simple update that packs a punch and hopefully inspires you to re-create your own simple upholstery and decor print pops.

Stay Creative,

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Home Sewn

I’ve finished the first custom orders for Oh Fancy That threads and it’s going swimmingly.

 I’ve had sew much fun turning my farmhouse dining table into my home office, busily creating handmade threads for littlies.

Neon thread on the label is a touch of fun I’ve added to these playful threads.

Each of my sewing machines got a workout making Signature Adventure Harem Leggings, Darling Dresses and there are some off-shoulder tops yet to sew!  It’s the start of something beautiful and an exciting new direction that I’m trying out with my little home-grown creative biz.

I thought I’d do a quick post to share the recent makes and I’m loving the packaging too.  I used individual letters to stamp gold branding onto white paper craft bags.  The tissue paper is a rose gold polka dot design that I’m in love with!

Designed, handmade and hand-delivered threads!

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Creative Streak Show & Tell

It’s been another wonderful week of creative bliss and I have been sewing, painting and getting some diy calligraphy practice in.

When time is precious and you spend most of your waking hours with your little loves, most projects get done in those few hours before your head hits the pillow.

My evenings have been full of the whir of sewing machines and brushes of paint whilst the crickets chirped outside.  I call this bliss.

Firstly, I had some mama’s around to sew beanbags for an upcoming kids event.  Good company and pink wine made for a fun afternoon of happiness and creativity.  The finished products looked great!  The little ones will use them for the corn toss at their carnival and these were super simple to make!  They’d be a great diy if you’re after interactive games for your munchkins at home.

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It was also an exciting week as we got to celebrate the imminent arrival of Baby Swan. I got busy prepping, and besides whipping up a bunch of delicious Mary Berry Devonshire Scones, I stitched up two matching summer dresses for the soon-to-be-sisters from a lush little fabric find.  Of course, Baby Swan also gets her own sweet vintage owl Boho Bib too!

A quick diy project had me cutting a foam core board and using foam circle daubers to create a sweet little polka dot Polaroid photo-booth frame for the Baby Shower.  Isn’t Mama Swan gorgeous!  I loved this little guy, as it can then be used to frame something in Baby Swan’s room or used for newborn photos.

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I also realised I have a trend crush on off-the-shoulder blouses, so I designed & made one from scratch.

It’s now launched in my Creative Sewing Sessions!  Oh for the love of fashion!

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My little Miss also got some new whimsy “feather pants” as she calls them, as I made her a new pair of my Signature Adventure Leggings.  Every time they are the perfect fit and withstand toddler wear & tear.  Best pattern I’ve ever drafted, I think!

I shared a sneaky-peek at how to create the leggings on my Instagram & Facebook.  Be sure to follow those for daily inspiration!

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I hope this inspires you to kick your creative streak into high gear and start some of those projects you’ve been Pinterest-ing ideas for.  By no means do you need to go out and buy a whole stash of hardware, paint, frames, fabric and do five weekly projects.

Be inspired by your own space & belongings.  Spruce things up a bit to keep it personable and purposeful.  Set a minimalist and calm tone by using neutrals on furniture and as decor, or scream your energy and positive change to the world by splashing colour and mixing prints!

This just so happened to be a super busy week and I have no idea where I got the energy from (last-minute stress, copious amounts of coffee…who knows).  I’m all about sharing creative makes to hopefully give you the friendly push you need to just DO.

I’m off to buy a delectable shade of fuchsia paint (sample pot size, of course, to save pennies) from the hardware store…side table, you’re about to get BRIGHT!

Happy Sunday fellow folk.

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Sun on my Shoulders

I have a knack for re-imagining things and have a lush little top that I grabbed from in London at some point.  I rarely wore it as it was, but…

Hello trend: off-the-shoulder.

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This is such a sweet trend to muck into and wearing the top to the beach is the perfect debut.

The diy was simple: cut off the top shoulder to shoulder in a smooth curve, sew a quick casing, insert elastic (measure by placing it around shoulders as to how you want it to fit) and close the casing with some extra stitches.

This took less than an hour and it was ready to wear!

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It’s the perfect thing to do on a lazy weekend: re-imagining clothing that you otherwise don’t pull on (but refuse to part with) keeps your wardrobe on-trend.

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Oh!  Fancy that!

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Darling Dress-ups

I’m having sew much fun designing, drafting and sewing toddler dresses, and thought I’d share a quick post with photos.  More to add when they’re worn to all these birthday TWO’S we are celebrating!

I simply traced a dress that my little one loves, and I’ve worked some drafting magic and ta-da!

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The darling dress is now launched for Creative Sewing Sessions and I’m excited to see it take over beaches and parks of California!

book here

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Mid-week Macrame & Joyful Jute

I’ve been eager to try my hand at macrame, and what better way than while sitting watching Netflix sipping wine.

I started with 6 jute rope lengths and knotted them together at one end.  Pop them into pairs, and about an inch or two up, knot one of each pair with the next strand.

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This was a simple way to create something fun, hang a plant and splash some colour into our living room!  It wouldn’t have taken more than a half hour to do.  I already had my potted plant, just had to purchase two $1 reels of fuchsia jute (I already had natural jute at home) from Target.

It was also time to take to the random twig basket eye-sore that was on our patio when we moved in.  With some white spray and ocean blue jute, she’s now in pride of place by the Adirondack rocker.

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Oh, fancy that!

Happy mid-week macrame & joyful jute creating.

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