Wild Ones Issue 2


Does anyone else feel like there's been a momentum building towards this mid-year point?  It's a slightly crazy feeling but super exciting nonetheless.  Right now I want to reach for the unreachable and take a moments pause so I can savour my joy in holding this second issue of Wild Ones mag (or my littles holding it as the case may be in these pics).  I know this moment will soon be interrupted by the excitement and busyness of approaching deadlines for the next two issues, the scheduled photoshoot for my contribution in issue 3 next week, AND my attempts to tick off the ever growing list of to-dos as the departure date for our big BIG trip draws very very near.  


In less than 2 weeks my friends, we three will be boarding a flight and heading to Vietnam for the month of July!!!!  I wish I could promise another blog post before we leave giving all the juicy details for what this trip will hold and how it has come about.  But the reality is and as my kids keep reminding me, it's now just 12 sleeps away and I know that my so called 'slow gentle' life is currently a long way out the window!  So regrettably, those details are not going to come about within the daily countdown that's happening around these parts. 

But afterwards, well yes indeed, absolutely!!!  And perhaps that's better anyway since I will then be able to share the richness of our experiences.  Oh what an adventure it is going to be!  I do have plans to post on Instagram while we are away so be sure to keep in touch via those little squares - you can click through from here even if you don't hold an Instagram account.  It might just be our connection that keeps me sane over that time, for there is a part of me that does wonder what on earth I have got myself into taking my two darling babes trekking through the northern hill tribes - see that?  I just gave you a little hint ;)


But right here right now, it's time to breathe and talk about Issue 2 : CHANGE, the theme for this current Autumn / Winter Issue of Wild Ones.  Last week it was sent out to all Nature Play SA Family Members so if you are not already on board, you may wish to consider it since just like Issue 1 : BEGINNINGS, this next one is absolutely gorgeous!  


In keeping with that inaugural issue, CHANGE follows the same format with it's three sections and holds more of Jason's breathtaking photography, plus another lifecycle pullout featuring his detailed watercolour illustrations.  That photo above shows the Fly Agaric fungi (or we 3 call it the Fairy Mushroom) and offers you a sneaky peek of just how beautiful and biologically accurate those illustrations truly are.  There are two lifecycle pullouts with each issue and just wait until you see how intricate Jason's illustrations for the Rain Moth are!  That guy doesn't do things by halves and consults with every expert he can think of (including those in specialised fields for the South Australian Museum) to make sure colours, tones, shape, form, markings, every teeny tiny aspect, is absolutely as it should be.  And if it's not, he will scrap it and redo.  That's how committed and passionate he is in educating and sharing knowledge with children and their families.  


Other pages sport insightful tips on fruit trees from Nature Play's ambassador, Sophie Thompson and a truly heartwarming opening story from Claire Lock which reads as pure as poetry and not only bought tears to my eyes, but a firm lump in my throat.  Then there's the 'Home and Family' section, with more delightful tutorials to share with your children including one from me on Lavender Sachets.

FYI: yes that is a mass of dreadlocks in my kids hair!  I took these photos yesterday and last night after bath time, I dealt with the dreads!!

FYI: yes that is a mass of dreadlocks in my kids hair!  I took these photos yesterday and last night after bath time, I dealt with the dreads!!

The other exciting bit is that with the release of this second issue, the first one will soon be available in the Nature Play shop for separate purchase so you will be able to get your hands on it even without being a member.  The same cycle will follow with all future issues... once the newest has been released, the previous will become available in the shop.  But given it's a bi-annual publication, the 6 month wait is loooong!  


Before I sign out and get cracking on all that is to be done before take-off, can I just mention (again) about the packaging.  I've raved about this on Instagram and will pretty much continue to do so to anyone who stands still long enough to listen but each and every magazine is wrapped up as a gift.  And I'm talking every single part of that wrapping is natural, recyclable, compostable and jolly darn gorgeous.  Even the postage envelope is padded with that shedded pulpy paper stuff.  But when you retrieve your 'gift' from within that envelope, you are greeted with a parcel that is bound in a single piece of tissue overlaid with a sheet of craft paper bubblewrap, all tied together with twine. 


What sets each issue apart, making them unique unto themselves is the offering from nature that embellishes your 'gift'.  Issue one held a sprig of lavender to compliment the lavender playdough tutorial included within the pages, and this issue holds a bundle of sticks because within it's pages is a tutorial from Claire Lock for Nature Weaving.  The sticks are bundled together with yarn and let me tell you folks, that yarn is not just any yarn!  That is Wild Mushroom from Shilasdair's Highland Inspirations Range; 10% cashmere, 10% baby camel, 40% angora and 40% merino.  All spun together and naturally hand dyed with madder root, onion skins and tansy to create the evocative tones of the wild fungi in the woods around Dunvegan Castle in the northwest Skye*.  I lovingly donated part of a skein from my stash knowing the colour-way was perfect for Autumn / Winter and bound with the sticks, it became an undeniable compliment to the autumnal tones on this issue's cover. 

Enjoy friends and I'll see you on the flip side with all the stories from our adventure!



* quoted from the yarn label but Dunvegan Castle (in the northwest Isle of Skye) is located off the west coast of Scotland.  Nope, I haven't yet travelled there but instead bought the yarn from one of my pilgrimages to The Craft Sessions.  


1st February 2018


Here we are!  Spring 2017 gave way to Summer and now, a fresh new year and already one month has passed.  Hello February 2018 and hello my long neglected but never forgotten friends!!!

This week sees us back in the swing of our school routine and me mapping out my current deadlines, while deep in reflection over the year that was and the year that is to come.  I know I'm not alone when I reveal that, for me, 2017 kinda sucked!  But a good kind of 'sucked' if there ever was such a thing. 


Astrologist heralded it as a 'Number 1 year', with years moving in 9 year cycles.  I've not ever studied Astrology (or Astronomy) so I really don't know the ins and outs of it all, but I value the teachings and certainly believe that our cosmos holds a special influence over us.  I've never doubted the power of the Moon and Her magnetic charge over Earth, so of course it is only natural that I would be open to the powers of all things galactic.  

A 'Number 1 year' is about planting seeds and building foundations.  It's about letting go, transitioning and diving deeply into the discomfort and messiness of all that that holds, including embracing the unknown.  I haven't blogged all that much over the past 12 months mostly because my inner and outer world proved to be an absolute perfect reflection of what it meant to ride the wave of a '1 year'.  As the year opened, I had no clue of what lay ahead for me, I simply set my intention for the year around the theme of WORTH and went about my merry way.


It wasn't really until we hit mid-Winter, six months in, and there was an energetic window between 2 Eclipses that brought me smack bang into the centre of what that '1 year' really meant for me, and as it turned out, it was perfectly connected to my word of intention.  Without going into all the nitty gritty I will simply share that I've now nicknamed it, my Trifecta of 2017!

Right during that time, mid-Winter, 2 Eclipses, July/August, was when three big things in my world met the junction of the Astrologic '1 year' and my personal intention for WORTH.  

  1. I hit burnout within my career which brought on the realisation that I'd veered onto another track that was not as authentic or honouring to who I truly am.  It took burnout and some deep unplugged time before I could clear my scramble, refocus and redirect myself to get back on track.
  2. We changed schools and are now head over heels in love with the Bush School and community of which we are are part.  It was a huge and terrifying decision but one that was completely intuitively directed and six months later, has had a profoundly positive effect upon all 3 of us!  And the final piece within that trifecta...
  3. A romance and the difficult (but right) decision for us to go our separate ways. 

So, three major turning points all mushed into one and each carrying the theme of WORTH, plus those energies of a '1 year'!  

It was a year that pushed me in very unexpected ways.  A year that for the most part, was so deeply uncomfortable and held so much learning!  Yet also, was deeply empowering and I finally feel like my big-girl boots are now firmly upon my feet.

It was a year for which I am immensely grateful.  For without that discomfort and without that learning, I wouldn't be where I am now.  When Tuck died, I was forced into a metamorphosis and ironically, this online space use to be called The Conscious Caterpillar.   One of my earliest articles, published in the U.S. mag Mabel, was titled 'Metamorphosis' and my words offered insight to what this very process meant for me during those very early days.  I had no clue as to who I was.  I don't mean in the sense of my name and date of birth.  I mean my essence, my identity as a woman.  I knew I could no longer be the person I was when I was with him because he was no longer here to be with.  And I knew I could not return to the person I was seventeen years earlier before I had met him, because I was 21 years old then, not the 40 year old I turned on my first birthday after Tuck had died.  So the caterpillar had to start creating a cocoon for itself and three years later, I have now emerged from that cocoon and while I test out my new wings and am stepping into who I wish to be and feeling stronger, clearer and more empowered than I have in a long long time.  Perhaps even ever!  So 2017 felt like it was a year of emergence, one that is to shape the years to come. 


Which brings me to here, 2018.  A 'Number 2 year'!  Growth, patience, balance and collaborations, that is the essence of a 'Number 2' year and I can't help but be curious as to how those things will play out for me over the months to come.  Certainly some seeds were sown throughout the year gone by and I am excited to nurture them as they grow, but more than anything, there is this clarity and sense of direction that has eluded me the past few years.

I think it's going to be a fun year!  No doubt there will be a few more lessons to learn and adventures to be had, but mixing those up with enthusiasm and love will surely make for a wild, wild ride.  From here I can tell you for certain that my year ahead holds some overseas travel, some interstate travel, a weekend filled with inspiration at the very first Soul Craft Festival - that's the brand new baby of Fel's, creator of The Craft Sessions - some new ink upon my skin - tweaking the final design this weekend - and some new super exciting work, part of which is my involvement with Nature Play SA.  I'll be sharing loads more about them, their new membership packages and brand new print mag, Wild Ones, in a post very very soon!  Promise it won't be another 4 months away!!!

Oh, and how's the timing of this blog post, eh?  Crazy that these words have spilled out of me right when we are in the wake of yet another cosmic event... the energies of this most recent super charged, super Moon - a full Moon Eclipse and a Blue Moon to boot - are profound!  If you are here in Australia, did you stay up to watch it last night?  Here where we are in the Adelaide Hills, it was cloudy right up until the moment of action and then the clouds broke apart to reveal the magic!

Happy Days lovely people, let's rock this '2 year'!!!! 



Love Cloth


I'm calling it a Love Cloth because that's what it is.  One day, just a few moons ago, a secret email arrived in my inbox.  I do not know the sender but I will be meeting her at the end of next week.  We are the mutual friends of two people who are so very dear to me and those two people, although long-time partners, are getting married.  Very soon, the three of us are jumping on a plane for 3 weeks on the Sunny Coast, where we will be joining with our friends to celebrate their Love in ceremony and dancing.  I . Can't . Wait !!!


With this email came a request, or more an invitation to contribute, but at the risk of spoiling the surprise for my beloved friends (who do from time to time check-in on this here blog), I will keep vague on the details.  There was never a doubt as to whether I would contribute, it was more a question over how?

I began with some words, and then a poem formed but it felt too sterile to just email that back and be done with it.  No, I was compelled to create something more and so, with no plan what-so-ever, I began.  That was it, I simply began.

I pulled out my box of scraps, searched through my stash and before too long, I had gathered a collection of natural fibres and textiles, bits and pieces I had longed to work with but hadn't yet done so.

So from a collection of thrifted doilies, silky merino tubing left over from this class, some undyed hemp purchased long ago for this project, a pure silk scrap left over from who-knows-what, naturally hand-dyed pieces sent to me by another dear friend from way across the oceans, and a mixture of natural threads purchased a while back from here.  Bit by bit, something began to take form.  It was a creative process of the truest expression, where nothing was copied and nothing was planned, I simply just kept adding and layering and best of all, playing!

Once I was satisfied with the layering and stitching, I decided (almost on a whim) that I would bundle it all up with some Eucalyptus and chuck it in the dye pot.  It was more out of curiosity than anything else.  And a desire to blend the layers. 

Time was running short!  I was late in getting my contribution off into the post otherwise, I would have loved nothing more than to stitch the words of my poem into the cloth.  As it was, I carefully marked them in with my art pen... and then, damn it, I made a mistake when doing so!  It was done and could not be undone, so I decided to embrace the joy of imperfection.  No one other than me would pick it, though let's have some fun and see if you can...

Threads are woven, cloth is formed
Patches are stitched, and layers borned
Together they grow, their love beyond
With dreams to cultivate and a future fond

You'll need to click on the image below to supersize and pick my mistake ;)

A special thank you to my two friends, India and Karen.  Both magically creative souls who each unknowingly provided so much inspiration for this project.