The second month of the year, for me, seems to be the time that things really start moving along. The days are still warm and the daylight hours long, but after a Summer of recharging and dreaming, February is usually when I get motivated to see those dreamy ideas take shape.
So the things that are filling my mind, my diary and my home this month seem to fit that theme.
Simplicity Parenting. It is such a brilliant book, especially if you have school-aged children, a rather realistic guide to embracing simplicity as a family.
the details of our next gathering, to be held in Wollongong this May. It will be a delicious, nourishing afternoon. Details will be released very soon.
to the BGM channel while I am working. I find it helpful to have a soundtrack to my working day. It seems to help focus my ever-wandering mind on the task at hand.
Discovered through this blog.
myself with our Lemongrass Nourishing Body Bar. I love lemongrass essential oil in the morning. It is an aroma that cuts through the morning fog and feels fresh, energising and just a little bit tropical (always a good thing in my books).
our first pumpkin for the season. Truth be told it was a rogue vine that sprouted of it's own accord. And the last of the chillies.
Not quite there yet but getting ready to plant the Autumn garden. Leek and garlic and broad beans.. oh my!
not coffee! Crazy I know. I am have a coffee-free month and am feeling fabulous for it (as opposed to how I imagined I would feel which was more along the lines of psychotic). As you can imagine, there has been plenty of tea consumed. I love to start my day with a warm cup of 'Settle' tea and then often sip chilled 'Refreshed' tea throughout the day. If I really need a pick-me-up, I turn to my beloved 'Island Green'.
Autumn candles! Ready for the season to come. I love that our tribe mark the season with our limited edition candles that are a celebration of the now. It's an honour to make something that will be a part of people's homes and everyday rituals.
Thank you for your support of Nourish and Nest and the philosophy behind our brand.. hope your February is going swell!
We're all about gathering and celebrating.. which is exactly what we did a couple of weeks ago with a simple backyard dinner to thank everyone who is part of Nourish and Nest and Nourish Creative. I truly am grateful for each and every one of them.. and hey, any excuse for a party right?
Marissa took a simple communal table in our backyard and styled it up beautifully. Candles, greenery, wood and glass.
Event Lighting Hire weaved their festoons through our hedge and kiwi fruit vine and strung their new drop lights over our table.
We drank a Summer tea cocktail (recipe below) whilst we ate around one of Nicole Reay's signature grazing tables. Once we sat down, she fed us spinach wontons, crab and quinoa fritters, lamb and haloumi skewers with tzatziki and prawns with lime aioli on brioche rolls. Delish.
Thanks to Hindsight Images for the photos.
Hope you all have a chance to gather with those you love and appreciate too!
Summer Tea Cocktail
(disclaimer.. this is a very loose 'recipe', no exact measurements were made!)
Brew a pot of our 'Refresh' tea (lemongrass, ginger & lemon myrtle) and chill in the fridge. Mix it with mineral water, freshly squeezed lime juice, a splash of pineapple juice & dry ginger ale and vodka to taste/preference. Serve chilled with a stick of cucumber.
Fresh, light and summery.. enjoy!
From my tribe (in the flower garden!) and I to you and yours, I want to wish you a beautiful Christmas and New Year.
I am incredibly grateful for everyone who makes Nourish and Nest part of their rituals and their homes. Some of our customers have been on board since we began 3 years ago and some have just discovered us - and we've loved connecting with you all this year!
The Nourish and Nest online store will be on a break from 19th December until 21st January. Any orders placed during this period will be shipped out (with love) on the 22nd January. Don't forget you can always source our goods of ritual from one of our stockists.
We've dreamed up some new things for Nourish and Nest for 2018 and I look forward to sharing them with you next year.
Peace and love,
Photo of my girl gang by Hindsight Images
I really do look forward to Christmas. I love the meaning and the gathering and the kindness and the giving. But to be honest, one of the things I look forward to the most are the days directly after Christmas.. when all the festive engagements are finished, and there's a lull in between Christmas and the New Year. Even if we're working during these 'in-between' days, things seem to be a little slower and a whole lot quieter.
One of my favourite Christmas rituals is to find some time on Boxing Day to drink tea and read in bed (possibly while the kids watch Elf for the 100th time.. ahem..)
After all the gathering that the festive season involves, it's rather delightful to spend time alone and recalibrate, with a full heart and the promise of a fresh start that the New Year brings.
When the pre-Christmas days are busy and long, I look forward to the upcoming 'in-between' days. I'll be sipping French Lady Grey (the most indulgent tea to drink in bed) out of my favourite ceramic tumbler, burning our Lime & Cucumber candle and tackling my way-too-ambitious book pile (or Kindle line-up as it may be).
If you want to put together your own 'in-between days' self-care stash, don't forget to purchase your goods of ritual by Monday 18th December to ensure your order arrives before the Christmas break!
The wreath that featured in our Christmas photo shoot got a whole lot of love, so Marissa agreed to show us how she put it together.
This simple, modern version of the Christmas wreath can be made with fresh flowers and foliage or even dried flowers or succulents if you'd like it to last longer.
The best bit? This is a super simple and quick DIY and can be made with foraged blooms and greens.
What you'll need:
Wire hoop (available from craft stores in different colours)
Stem wire (available from craft stores or florists)
Flowers and foliage (chances are that you can forage most of what you need)
It's simple! Just cut your flowers and greenery to size and attach each stem to the wire hoop with the stem wire. We'd suggest starting with greenery and adding flowers on top. You can cover up your stem wire attachments with strategically-placed blooms or leaves. You can take your flora all the way around the hoop, but we like the contrast of the visible metallic hoop. But it's your wreath, do whatever makes you happy.
We had fun recently styling our goods of ritual for the festive season. Simple, considered, elegant and warm was our vibe.. everything we want Christmas and our homes to be.
Thank you to Katelin for modelling, Marissa for styling and Sasha for shooting.
Candles, linens and more are in stock now in our online store. Don't forget to get your orders in by Monday 18th December to ensure you receive your goods before Christmas.
Friday 15th December 6-9pm
Saturday 16th December 9am-2pm
Shop 1 / 16 Moore Street Austinmer
With champagne, tea tastings & plenty of beautiful gifts including hampers.
For more information, head to our Facebook event.
Spring is such a great time for a little creating, particularly tactile handcrafting that you can do outside. Creating can be such a soul-filling activity, causing us to to slow down, be mindful and make something beautiful and practical.
Katelin (much more than just our in-house model!) has put together a beginner's guide to natural dyeing. I love that it's a chemical-free process and that everything you need to get started are things you'll probably find in your home already.
I'll hand it over to Katelin...
For my first foray into natural dyeing I have opted for the chemical-free process of dyeing with natural dyes.
This process may mean the colours are not as vibrant and may not last as long but I couldn’t see the point of using natural dyes and then adding chemicals! But this method might be more applicable for dyeing fibres and materials that aren’t going to be regularly washed.
What you’ll need:
1. Preparing your dyestuff
The first step is to hand wash your dyestuff to remove any oils or residues. In a large bowl mix warm water and washing detergent and soak your dyestuff for approximately 2 hours.
This is the step that usually involves the addition of a chemical, but we are using vinegar instead. The mordanting process helps the dye attach to the fabric. In a large saucepan heat 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Add your dyestuff and simmer for approximately 1 hour. Remove and rinse. Keep dyestuff damp in a bowl of water.
3. Developing the dyes
This is where you can experiment and develop your own dye colours or try the following suggestions:
Pastel pink - beetroot (2 beetroots)
In a large pot add dye ingredients into aprox 2 litres of water. Simmer for 1 hour then remove from heat. Keep in mind the amount of liquid will reduce as the dye simmers and develops colour.
4. Dying the dyestuff
Once the dye has been developed and removed from heat, submerge the damp dyestuff and let sit overnight or until desired result has been achieved (the result will lighten once the dyestuff has dried). Note that I found that turmeric only required 20 minutes. Once the dyestuff is the desired colour, remove dyestuff from dye, rinse under cool water and dry.
Allow me to introduce the second instalment of our 'Connect and Create' interviews. A glimpse into the lives, working spaces and minds of some of our favourite creatives.
I love seeing the different ways people do the creative best they can with their lives and their talents. And I also love hearing about the real stuff. The challenges and the mundanities, overcoming obstacles and sourcing inspiration when it runs dry.
If you love similar things, then like me you'll find this interview with Bek Towns of Floral Pines Design Co to be nothing short of gold. I am humbled with the honesty and generosity that Bek brought to this interview. She is literally a floral artist that creates incredible beauty, it was so much fun to watch her do her thing in her studio whilst Aaron Hughes captured her in action.
She is definitely one of the muses for our linen aprons and it's an honour they are even a very small part of the incredibly beautiful work that she does.
How long have you been a florist? How did you end up doing this?
I’ve been doing floristry since 2014. I honestly fell into it. I was studying something I was really not passionate about, but also struggling with quite severe mental health issues. It got to the point where I couldn’t keep studying at all, and even leaving the house was difficult. I had previously done flowers for my own wedding & a friends’ (without knowing anything at all really!) but I had loved the creative process, so I was encouraged to take a bit of a ‘sabbatical’ year, to study floristry and enjoy working at something creative & joy-giving. I loved it and have been working with flowers ever since. I still struggle with anxiety and depression, which makes running a small business difficult, but working at something that I enjoy and am passionate about has been a really healing and helpful thing.
How do you stay inspired/passionate? What helps for you when you're not feeling it?
I love finding inspiration for my floral arrangements in places outside of the the natural world too. It might be the shape or structure of a building or an interesting colour palette or a beautiful interior. I’m often in the paint section of Bunnings, finding inspiration for palettes in their paint chips, or flipping through a magazine or scrolling through Pinterest. When I’m not feeling it with flowers, I find it really helpful to spend time playing, creating just for myself, with no pressure or agenda. It’s a great way to practice and grow my skills, and to remember why I do what I do.
What do you love most about your craft?
I love that no two stems are the same, no petal is the same colour or shape, and no combination of flowers or arrangement ever looks the same. It’s an amazing thing to get to create with such incredible beauty, and exciting to see each different stem come together to make something new and interesting.
What do you find hard?
For the most part, I work alone, which can feel really isolating. It can be hard having no one around to converse with, or run ideas by all the time. But I am thankful for a wonderful community of other florists who all support & care for one another, sharing ideas, information & encouragement. It definitely helps me feel less alone.
It can also be really hard as a creative who earns a living from their work when others don’t see the same value in it and are just looking for the cheapest option. Monetizing a creative passion has had a few more hurdles than I first thought. But at the end of the day, I can’t help but be ridiculously thankful that there are people out there who do see the beauty & hard work & who give me the opportunity to do this full time.
What does an 'average' day look like for you?
I really have two types of ‘average’ days. When I’m doing flowers for a wedding I do a 30-40 hour work week within two days. I’m up at 3am on Friday & drive to the flower markets in Sydney. A few hours sourcing flowers there & I’m back at my studio in Wollongong around 8am. Lots of unpacking, filling buckets with water, stripping stems & prepping each flower. Then I’m arranging all day - bouquets, table arrangements, buttonholes etc. On Saturday I’m up early again, usually traveling an hour or so to a few locations around Sydney, the south coast or the southern highlands; dropping off the bouquets, setting up & styling an arch or some other arrangements at the ceremony, and then on to styling & installing all the reception flowers. If the bride requires pack up at the end of the night, I’m usually in bed around midnight. So it’s a long few days full of stress & adrenaline-fuelled creativity to pull off a wedding or event, but always so worth it when seeing people enjoying the end product.
When I’m not working with flowers, I’m writing up quotes & designing mood boards for brides, responding to emails, and always working on maintaining different aspects of a small business - finances, marketing strategies, my website & other social media platforms.
What are some of the non-glamorous sides of your 'business' that most people don't see?
Hours of washing out vases & slimey buckets; dry, dirty, scratched hands from stripping hundreds of flower stems, sorting through piles of receipts from growers at the market & trying to stay on top of finances - they’re just a few!
Anything cool you're currently reading/listening to/thinking about?
I’m reading a great book called Humble Roots, which draws from the way plants and flowers exist in the natural world to reflect on our need for humility and dependence on God to find real rest and peace from the pressures and anxiety of this world & ourselves. I’m also really enjoying listening to the new Gang of Youths album, and watching a Netflix documentary series called Abstract, which follows a range of different designers across a variety of creative fields.
Any advice for someone thinking about making a living from their creative passion?
Go for it. Maybe don’t quit your day job straight away, but absolutely throw yourself into whatever creative pursuit gives you joy. It is a hard road - learning to value your creativity and trying to convey the passion and significance of your work to others. But it is a life-giving pursuit, and a way to bring a lot of joy to others. Find yourself a creative and encouraging support network too - I could not have done this without a lot of love and help from a team of amazing people around me who have lifted me and backed me the whole way.
What are some of your favourite daily or weekly rituals?
Tea is a big part of my life and a favourite ritual. I can’t drink coffee, so I go through numerous cuppas each day. I have a chair in our living room from my grandparents’ old house that gets the morning sun. I love sitting here each morning, drinking tea, and spending time reading my bible, praying & journalling.
All photography by Aaron Hughes of In Your Shadow
Bek wears the Nourish and Nest Linen Apron in Rust.