Ballerina Illustration

In which I share my own ballet illustration: softly textured ink tutu folds and ballet shoes with pencil detail and shading....and remember my first Mum-Made tutu in Calesthentics class...probably where the obsession began.

8 x 10 illustration available as a print in store here.

8 x 10 illustration available as a print in store here.

I've been a little obsessed with ballet since forever.  I trace it back to my Calisthenics class (it sounds like something Scientology related but I swear it was a dance thing back in the day...maybe for kids like me who were clearly never going to make it in ballet!) I have a vivid memory of rocking up and everyone was wearing these soft flowy skirts that accentuated their dance moves...and I was tugging on a skirt Mum sewed out of a stiff old curtain over my little leotard. Bless her, she probably knew I wasn't going to stick with it and didn't want to waste money on the fancy skirts everyone else was wearing. Let's just say this curtain had no flowing capability...in hindsight it would've probably made an excellent tutu. But in my head, though I noticed the differences between the rest of the class and myself...I was miles away in my own little ballerina fantasy, galloping around the hall in my curtain. Fast forward many years, and I dragged that fantasy all the way to NYC where I sat spellbound watching the American Ballet perform The Nutcracker. In between then and now, I just pinned my favourite ballet photgraphy and watched every ballet/dance documentary and movie ever made....

From my pins.

From my pins.

Lately, I've been teaching myself how to draw using online tutorials and just messing around with a tablet and the Apple Pencil. I don't know why I left it this long, I loved lettering by hand...and used it as a kind of therapy to self medicate my panic attacks. The soothing comfort of tracing predictable shapes of letters, and then shading them with pencil...it was kind've a little refuge against the storm. Now, figuring out the shapes and pencil strokes that make the things in my head, like this ballerina, come to life on a canvas is my absolute new favourite thing to do. And don't get me started on the colouring stage...just as soothing as the lettering...who knew those mindful colouring book people were onto something. 

So yeah, something different to my usual quotes, maps and buildings. Hope you like it! She'll come in more colours in the future, but I'm off to find something new to draw now :) If you'd like to get a print you'll find it in my store here: Ballerina Illustration

Wholefoods Kitchen

I’m sitting at the corner table in a pool of sunlight, sipping on a green smoothie, watching the comings and goings of Bendigo through a giant window. I wonder how many passers by have discovered the “crunchy punchy stuff” or the “dips, dollops and drizzles” to be found in here. Some of them burst through the doors, meeting friends, settling into their favourite perches with the same relaxed vibe you would in an extension of your own home. Others might be crossing the doorstep for the first time, yet to discover Zughetti noodles or kale chips. Whether they’ve drifted through from the store next door to thumb through the cookbooks and listen to the banter of one of Bendigo’s beloved baristas;  or have grabbed a “peckish pot” and a cold pressed juice on the run…this little patch of goodness looks after all of them. Daz takes a seat at my table and I’m about to hear the story* of how Wholefoods Kitchen came to be...

*this is an add-on to the article in the current issue of the Bendigo Magazine...the extra bits, in Daz's words, that wouldn't fit the official word count :)

Wholefoods Kitchen is...

A space next door to Bendigo Wholefoods, the original store that gave customers a place to source ingredients and products that matched this whole approach to health (e.g. coeliac) and lifestyle (e.g. paleo). The kitchen continues the focus on foods as close to their source as possible, with minimal processing or intervention, and no (or low) additives and preservatives. But where the store provides the products themselves, the kitchen provides a menu and space for eating in or taking away...as well as inspiration for what is possible when combining and experimenting with wholefood produce and recipes. Daz and Nicole have had the store for nine of its 29 years, and their expansion into the Wholefoods Kitchen more than cements their enthusiasm and commitment to this approach to food and lifestyle.

Source: Facebook Page for Wholefoods Kitchen

Source: Facebook Page for Wholefoods Kitchen

On Daz's passion...

Big picture and a business focus are always going to be important, but Daz loves to focus in on the details, the balance of flavours, the freshness, what he's tasting right this very moment. So before Wholefoods Kitchen became what we know it as now, Daz took his detail oriented perspective to Melbourne. Here, he donned his sneakers and walked the streets of Melbourne, dropping into to 80+ cafes to introduce himself and his ethos, observing and having conversations with like-minded people who already knew what it would take for this venture to succeed.

On one of the great joys of the kitchen...

Witnessing the collaboration and conversation between two staff members, one vegan and one more traditionally meat focused, the bond and relationship between them is amazing...how they connect and share ideas around food, it's one of the great joys of the kitchen

The responsibility of being part of the community...

There was an interesting moment when we realised that the food community has a responsibility for education too...not just on what we have available but how convenience and good food can co-exist,  the links between how you eat and your mental health, the benefits of getting greens back into the mix...there's a lot to explore in that space too.

On the workload...

Sometimes worry can creep in, about the workload that comes with expansion and trying new things. But at the same time, it's also exciting. Nicole and the kids are excited about what's coming next, what's our next stage, and how they can help. The kids can see that busy lives can also contribute joy...joy in creating jobs in a regional area...joy in finding meaning in what you do. The kids get to grow up in an environment where they can see this happen.

On the customers...

Their customers are as loyal and passionate as Nicole and Daz, the store so well known people travel from as far as Mildura to participate in vegan shopping nights complete with tastings and recipes. Finding meaningful purpose in your work doesn't happen without the customers. I make a conscious effort to remind myself that everyday, they give me the confidence to get up and take the next step...to keep going and keep growing. That's very rewarding and a very good reason to come to work. We have great customers who give us real feedback. They want us to do well, we're both committed to the same cause. 

So whether you're after a seasonally influenced Wholebowl full of salads, grains, protein and crunch...or a delicious salad on the go...some sweet treats, some good coffee (roasted just down the road!) or so many other nutritious goodies in between...pop in and say hello to Daz and his extraordinary team. You'll find them at 314 Lyttleton Tce, Bendigo. Or on Facebook and Instagram.

P.S. Breakfast coming soon! Read more in the current issue of the Bendigo Magazine xx

Nourishing Our Health

A little while back I got the chance to meet Jacinta, creator of Nourishing Our Health. The idea was based on her love of sharing whole-food recipes, and passion for investing in the health and nourishment of her family, her customers, and herself. Word of mouth + social media + yummy food = the business is continually growing and evolving. As I love nothing more than chatting to people who are doing what they love, and doing it well, I sat down to have a conversation over coffee with the gorgeous Jacinta...and here is some of what we talked about...

On her reasons for starting...

Being pregnant with her third baby, and having worked in finance for 10 years, Jacinta was looking to move in a new direction. Having always been conscious of what her family was eating, and wanting to be sure she was making the right choices for them going forward, she knew that whatever direction she took it would have to be flexible and fit in with her number one priority of being a Mum. 

Photos provided by Jacinta of Nourishing Our Health

Photos provided by Jacinta of Nourishing Our Health

On what the first step was...

Jacinta took a course that fitted in with her commitments at the time, studying to become a Health Coach. Having always been interested in nutrition and experimenting with writing recipes, and tweaking traditional favourites to become healthier without losing their taste...she found she enjoyed the health/nutritional focus of the course a little more than the psychology/coaching side.

On what Nourishing Our Health is...

Because sharing recipes to encourage others to become healthier has always been a big part of what Jacinta loves, starting "Nourishing Our Health" was the perfect avenue to pursue this passion. She now provides cold pressed juice cleanses and nourishing wholefood lunch packs to the Bendigo area via a delivery service and the occasional pop-up event. Above all else, she just wants to promote healthy living to you and your family, whilst providing a convenient source of nutritional food/drink...in addition to inspiring and educating via her online presence.

Photos provided by Jacinta of Nourishing Our Health

Photos provided by Jacinta of Nourishing Our Health

On what is actually involved...

A lot of work and a nice big kitchen bench! She creates the recipes and meal pack ideas, and then sources all the ingredients from the best possible sources (she loves local!)...and then puts everything together herself. That's right, down to sauces, dressings...and of course her popular cold pressed juices...she believes in knowing exactly what is in your food and prefers to make everything she can from scratch. Pause for a moment to appreciate that! Then, she packs it all up and delivers it in and around the Bendigo CBD.  The delivery side alone takes about three hours...the brainstorming, creating, testing and making all happens first. it would be fair to say that Jacinta is the perfect example of someone who has a strong belief and passion for something, and that drives her through all aspects of the approach from start to finish. 

So, how many meal packs does that mean?

Initially she had plans to cap the orders at 45, but after moving into a house that had a bigger kitchen she found that number increasing to 60...and recently a little closer to 80...so if you're following her on Facebook and you want to become a regular, you need to get your orders in ASAP because it doesn't take long at all for every available place to be filled. She's only human after all :)

Photos provided by Jacinta of Nourishing Our Health

Photos provided by Jacinta of Nourishing Our Health

On creative meets technical meets love...

That the whole thing is both creative and technical at the same time. Think of the math involved in figuring out how much of each ingredient is required for all those meal packs, what changes can be made for different dietary requirements Then there's ensuring the nutritional content is balanced and maximised for her customers, and the planning that goes into creating juice cleanses...it sounds like a lot because it is :) But then, Jacinta has been smitten with cooking ever since she was small, so nutritional value aside, those meals and juices are also jam packed with love!

What she loves the most...

Meeting her customers! Her smile becomes extra glowy when she talks about the little pockets of "Nourishing our Health" devotees that she's discovering all over Bendigo...and particularly getting a peek into what their days are like. There's a bit of mutual appreciation involved because some people can't leave their jobs to source lunches like those Jacinta has made for them, and clearly get excited by her visits. Yet she is witness to their professional dedication, for example when visiting Bendigo Health, and has a deeper appreciation of their work days as a result.

On her online presence...

Social media is an essential part of Nourishing Our Health, allowing Jacinta to make connections with her customers and reach new ones. Building relationships based on a common interest is what she's all about...and recipe sharing, communicating about orders, giving behind the scenes looks into her world of writing and testing recipes...plus providing inspiration and education...it all all comes together into a beautifully real social media feed.

On her favourites...

She loves a good green juice, particularly the one that she's incorporated into her pressed juice cleanse...which uses apple, lemon and ginger to make the beautifully intense nutrition of the greens tasty.  When it comes to a favourite recipe or ingredient combination? She really just focuses on what is seasonal as that helps with finding the best produce.  But she can't go past a good rainbow salad in summer :)

What Jacinta wants you to know...

That eating well and looking after your nutrition is not as complicated as it might feel, even when our days seem to be short on time and our arms are busy juggling family, work and life in general. You don't even technically need a recipe. Combining whole-foods into filling and nutritious combinations can be a simple as you need it to be...and she'd love nothing more than to help you with ideas and practical approaches to living a healthy life.

What I love about her...

Not only does she include something sweet-but-healthy into her meal packs (because you know I'm all about the treats!) ...but her enthusiasm and cheerfulness is infectious...you can tell she's doing something she loves, and it's growing as a result.  And that, dear reader, is just about my favourite thing to discover and write about.

Where can I find Nourishing Our Health?

Pop on over to Facebook to find out everything you need to know, and to respond when she posts about ordering. You can also see what she's been up to lately on Instagram @nourishing_our_health and she also has an official website. Keep an eye on her social media for recipe sharing, and a potential recipe book may be in the works xx


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Custom prints with handmade details for nurseries, weddings or anything in between, 
I focus on creating whimsical designs that embrace the positive and beautiful imperfections of our stories.

Locally designed. Locally printed.

Nice Pins

Five pins I fell in love with on the spot....easy up-do // DIY spray painted paper // Decorating with Instax // and this quote and dog because, well, just look at them!

I think everyone who loves Pinterest also sometimes has a bit of a "meh" relationship with it at times. I get that around seasonal holidays where feeds are flooded with alternate Christmas Trees or Valentines Day everything. So I've been a bit quiet on the re-pinning front lately. But just the other morning as I inhaled my coffee as if life depended on it (no further explanation required), I found these pins in quick succession and I loved them all. Some pretty, some useful + a dog photo and some fairy lights...that pretty much sums up me and Pinterest! So in the spirit of sharing, and in the spirit of nothing Christmassy...

  • DIY Spray Painted Gift Wrap by Oh So Beautiful Paper...soft pinks greys corals and mint = impossible to resist!
  • Easy Romantic Up-do by A Cup of Jo...ever since my hairdresser left town I haven't really gone anywhere else and my hair is the longest it's been since high school...and I'm sooo lazy with it. I should really make the most of having long hair before the greys start rocking up!
  • Decorating with Instax by Urban Outfitters...I never thought of pinning photos to fairy lights before but I love this look! I want a fairy lights wall in my office so badly now.
  • Love this quote, love that dog, love all the dogs xx

Welcome Little One

With hand drawn details, and a paint washed background...the crispness of this neutral/black/white print will blend into any nursery decor. A little bit Scandi, a little bit Vintage Playbill Poster...tweaked by me to celebrate the arrival of a little one :)

A close friend of mine recently had the sweetest little baby boy...and she asked me to design her a birth announcement for the nursery. After emails and a Pinterest trawl, we decided to go with a clean modern take on a vintage playbill poster.

I drew each element in my sketchbook...wanting off centre teeny tiny hearts, imperfect lines and dotted dividers...and trails that you would usually see following behind a cartoon paper aeroplane. Something gender neutral with a little bit of whimsy on the side :) And my favourite painted background.  It looks so crisp and a little bit Scandi in a white on white frame...I was so pleased with how it turned out. I can't wait to visit the nursery and their little bundle of love in person when I delivery the print!

This print is so new it isn't even listed yet, but if you'd like one (I can tweak the background colour!) just let me know and we will organise something xx