At one with nature at 'the farm' - Super S, Monkey M, Jazzy, Miss E and my Pallola.

Anyone who has spent any length of time with Miss E knows that she is capable of spotting a beetle/grasshopper/ladybug/lizard in the most unlikely places. I don’t how she does it. While I’m in the middle of employing pre-meltdown strategies during our frequent bug-finding missions (“don’t get upset if we don’t see one”, “maybe another garden would be better”, “another day perhaps”) a sudden cry of “I told you!” will cut through my anxiety management and there it will be. A perfect specimen in the palm of her hand. And breathe…

My Little World is a children’s book recently published by our new friend Julia. It’s all about the small things in nature that children easily see and most adults miss (guilty as charged!).

Take some time to read her guest post (our first – how ‘citing!) and relive your childhood with your children:



Tiny Beauty

By guest blogger, Julia Cooke, author of My Little World a picture book for children.  I’m on tour in the blogosphere – see here for tour dates and places!

Incredible colours, shapes, textures and patterns can be found on small scales in nature: shaggy orange and black stripes on a bee, the sparkling leaves of carnivorous sundew plants, intricate patterns on a wing, a very delicate forest of moss, duck orchids, a bubble monster in the surf, the patterns on a grasshopper’s eye, and intensely green umbrella moss.

Vivid imaginations have created wonderful strange lands and mystical creatures for many stories. But there are mysterious landscapes (large and small) and extraordinary, complex creatures (many of the smaller ones still undescribed by science), right here in the real world. Nature is an unrivalled source of inspiration for design, engineering, medicine, visual art, biological sciences, literature, and more – especially when you look closely.

Get down low and you shall see...

There are many amazing and beautiful little things that many people just walk past every day and don’t notice. But some people do notice them, and they are often children, who have a particular knack for spotting things down low or up close. Children may not be as good as adults at seeing the bigger picture sometimes, but they are very often better at seeing the smaller pictures!

My Little World is about seeing the smaller picture and noticing the tiny, beautiful things in nature.

Author: Julia Cooke
Illustrator: Marjorie Crosby-Fairall
Publisher: Omnibus Books
Publication Date: April 2011
ISBN: 9781862917903
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 4+

Love nest

We hope the Easter Bunny has been generous in his deliveries and you are enjoying plenty of quality time with your family and friends over the Easter break (5.Days.Off.Yes). Our nest is packed full of chocolate and love … two things you can never get enough of!

Coming soon, our first guest blogger and another Palolafest update.
We’re very ‘cited!!

* as in totally but also as in tote bag

The time has come, Miss E has begun school. What better way to make sure her library books travel in style than with her own personalised tote bag? The finished product included a ‘flourish’ of purple and silver glitter paint, guaranteed always to get noticed and never to get lost.

You will need: Plain cotton bag and fabric paint, available at Lincraft.

Steady hand and occasional instructions supplied by mum.

Feeling the ambience

It’s been a while since this little bird posted. There has been some major (read: wonderful) happenings in the little bird nest recently, which has caused a bit of a slump in posts. However, I’m happy to say – I’m back! And I have a rather large back-log to get through…

Starting with a trip to the Mirazozo Luminarium in January.

Miss E and I hope you had the chance to experience this amazing installation which took over the Opera House forecourt during the month of January. The luminarium is a large scale, inflatable sculpture constructed of translucent vinyl and made up of labyrinthine tunnels and inspiring spacious domes. It was one of 15 that is touring the world in over 37 countries.

The brief: Walk slowly, stick to the paths and lie back to absorb the ambience.

The verdict: Take me to your leader!

No shutter speeds were harmed in the capturing of this article!

I heart Letterpress

It’s only one more sleep until Santa visits! Merry Christmas everyone.

Thanks for checking in on our little blog, see you in 2011 x

Letterpress cards by Egg Press


The elephant ate my baby!!

It was last month that myself, Aunty S (aka Miss E’s ‘Canberra girl’) and Miss E jetted over to Bali for her first overseas adventure.

Following are the highlights of our trip according to Miss E:
1. The lizards (the geckos)
2. The elephants
3. The lizards
4. WaterBom (especially the “Macarooney” ride)
5. The baby lizard
6. The pool in our villa
7. The lizards
8. The cat with a square tail who was allowed in and out of the restaurant
9. The lizards
10. The baby lizard

Baby lizard (and manicure)

Each night we arrived home to our Alu Bali villa, the staff would greet Miss E: “Hello E! Look, lizards!”  Cue conversation. “Who is the daddy, who is the mummy?” and “Oh look! A baby gecko”.

That’s what I love about kids. While we chase satisfaction from the coolest, the tastiest, the most luxurious and so on, they find beauty in the simplest of things. Bless them!

Oh, and here’s all the other stuff we loved (in between lizard sightings):

1. Sunsets and sandcastles 2. Kaftans proved to be a good buy! 3. Osh Kosh Jewelled Jellies 4. Beat the heat with a souvenir fan 5. Love, love, Ku De Ta 6. Beachcombing

1. Don't eat things you can't pronounce! Actually, this was tasty 2. Villa pool... epic 3. Monkey business. Scary creatures really 4. La Luciola. La Fabulosa! 5. Wooden it be great if I had kept the instructions to this puzzle! 6. Trinkets

Vintage beads from great-grandmother. Ralph Lauren dress.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I know. It’s been hard getting back into the swing of things after an amazing trip to Bali a couple of weeks ago, and with all the packing and hoopla of getting away, there was no time before-hand! But now that we’re back I’ll be posting news from our trip shortly…

In the meantime, I hope you like the little fashion shoot Miss E and I have put together of her most favourite necklaces. Of particular note is the “diamond” pendant, a “gift” from my father who was feeling a bit soft after watching her Saturday morning ballet lesson. When she asked if she could have it (together with a few mock tears and a quivering bottom lip) he said yes. Now why didn’t I try that on him when I was little?

Top: "My Grandpa is a sucker", Lotus, $49.95. Ralph Lauren dress. Middle: Pony bling, Gumboots, $16.95. Gift from Aunty C, who also got sucked in. Cotton On dress. Bottom: Sunnies, Cotton On, $9.95 (sale). Ralph Lauren biniki.

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