Monday, December 20, 2010

A Christmas film for you

Merry Christmas from dAniEL gReY on Vimeo.

I know I've been missing from this space for so long. Life has been full - I've been writing, cooking, sleeping and growing.

It is with every ounce of gratitude that I thank you for coming here and sharing such beautiful words of comfort, encouragement and inspiration.

I'm signing off till early January, with a more detailed post about just how blessed our 2011 is going to be.

wishing you an absolutely beautiful Christmas.

Jodi x

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ruby Who? + wonderful giveaway

I first met Hailey Bartholomew when I interviewed her for a magazine article. She spoke to me about her Gratitude Project - a simple yet inspiring way to practice gratitude in the everyday. Hailey is a mother and talented photographer and filmmaker. She has two young, gorgeous girls and knows all too well the pressure placed on our kids these days. There's just no denying that our children are growing up in a much bigger place - challenged by the bright, bold adult world that seems to lure them in at such a young age.

Hailey's concern about her daughters' wishes to want to be like someone else inspired her to make Ruby Who? She has achieved international success and the film has been welcomed with open arms by teachers across Australia. With the help of teachers and psychologists she has just completed an educational kit that is available to parents and schools.

I had the pleasure of interviewing her and I've posted her answers below. I truly believe that this is a DVD that needs to be seen by us and by all our children. A national family movie night, I say!

Hailey has kindly offered to give one of you a copy of Ruby Who? along with some stickers and "I Like To Be Me" badges.

Please leave a comment below and if you would like to spread this very positive word I encourage you to write a post about it...if you do so you can leave another comment and go in the draw twice.

Jodi: What inspired you to make Ruby Who?

Hailey: I was desperately trying to explain to my eldest (6 yrs at the time) about how always wishing for what other people have will make you unhappy. I thought about how it makes me feel when thinking about what I want or wish for, or when I look at others and wish I looked like them. It was like I would get heavy and less able to be myself. So I took these feelings and tried to turn them into pictures to explain to my girls.

Jodi: What is it about?

Hailey: Ruby Who? is the sweet story of a little girl's adventure in rediscovering her identity. Ruby wishes for so many things and dreams of being like others. So much so, she nearly forgets how to just be herself.

Jodi: How have children responded to it?

Hailey: We have shown the film in preschools, schools and loads of film festivals around the world. I have been delighted by the feedback! Little kids and big kids have been able to see that even though Ruby gets all she wishes for, she is no happier. I love the conversations this film and the work-packs have opened up. We have had parents tell us that their kids have realized they don't like who they are! This is terribly sad, but also really important to discover this when they are little - so us parents and teachers we can work together to create happy healthy teens! As parents sometimes it is hard to explain or really bring home a concept like self-esteem - or how what we think really affects how we feel.

Jodi: How has it educated and inspired parents?

Hailey: We have only just released the packs to parents. Previously schools and educators have used the film in classes and lectures but now we have built resources that even parents can tap into. From our trial run we have had fantastic feedback from parents saying how much their kids enjoyed the film - watching it over and over for days. They've enjoyed amazing conversations that spring from the film and packs. From 5yr olds discussing how what they want and need are two different things, to a 12 year old listing all the things she wishes for - only to realize that maybe she doesn't really want all that after all! Realizing maybe she is happy with who she is! Even taking time to discuss and realize these things is so beautiful.

Jodi: You have recently collaborated with teachers and psychologists to create an educational kit to accompany the DVD. What do you hope will come of these resources?

Hailey: We hope these will increase discussion between kids and adults. That spending time wanting, versus being grateful for what you already have, really will affect how you feel and what you think of yourself. I hope that teachers and parents will use the tools we created to better know where their kids are at with their thinking on these issues, and also help us all to be aware that gratefulness is a powerful tool!

Jodi: From your perspective as a mother, how has it changed the way you parent your girls?

Hailey: I find anything that spurs creative discussion with my children is an amazing gift! Creating Ruby Who? was so important for me and my children. Both girls were in the film and played a big part in creating it... Ruby really is a mix of both my girls!

The wonderful thing about all this is I was able to put into pictures what I feel happens to us when we 'want want want'... instead of enjoying what we have! This goes for me as an adult as well as my daughters - we all do this! ;) I love finding ways to explain things to my girls in pictures rather than words. Words are overused. Making the film and packs has bought many beautiful discussions with my children. All I need to say is "Ruby Who" and my kids know exactly what I mean... or as the case maybe... they say to me... "Mum... Ruby WHO!?!!!!" and I remember perhaps I do not need another camera to be happy!! ;)

Jodi: What can parents do to ensure their children stay kids for as long as possible?

Hailey: Unfortunately I am not any expert on this. However, I feel like we all need to stay kids a little longer! I hope we all can remember whether we are big grown-up kids or little kids, that life is so precious and we should all spend as much time as possible enjoying what we have, now. Enjoy being YOU - totally and fully yourself! Stop worrying about needing to be taller, thinner, smarter, cuter or have the latest shoes... If we can teach this to our kids while they're young, maybe it will be something they can take into adult life and spread around!! ;)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

and the winner is

Life has been brimming with busyness and while I have had every intention of coming into this space there has always been something else that's more important. For now I'm focusing on what's most important and not what's urgent. I think it's a good season to remember such wisdom. We've been venturing to the beach but mostly staying home, taking the occasional stroll up and down the street and catching falling Jacaranda blooms in all their lavender goodness.

And although it's taken me an extra week to draw a winner, the lucky lady who will be receiving the udder brooch in the mail is Genevieve. Congratulations lovely. Please email me your address to jodiclairewilson @ yahoo (dot) com (dot) au

Monday, November 15, 2010

300 - an udderly perfect reason to celebrate

To coincide with 300 posts my lovely friend Fliss from udder has offered to give one of you a handmade brooch from her unique collection. Made with love from vintage fabric it is absolutely adorable and perfect for you. Just leave a comment and I'll draw a winner next Tuesday...I'll post the little guy any where in the world.

For more udderly beautiful creations go see Fliss' shop.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


This marks my 299th opportunity to write about my life. Which means my next post will be the big 300 and I've got a special little giveaway from a fellow blogger and friend who also happens to be an extraordinary crafter. I can't wait to show you.

I've also been dying to show you these photos, by The Rummeys, of course. Leaping for love and laughing along the way. It was fun.

Monday, November 1, 2010

on film

Daniel got a new tripod and got all pro, following us up the street with it in hand. We're getting closer to that brand new DSLR with HD video. We're so excited. Che is growing up thinking the camera is a member of the family. I've noticed he is more inclined to take photos himself and we always make sure there is a 'che friendly' model somewhere around the house. He's actually pretty good for a three-year-old.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


At playgroup this morning all of us mums were commenting on the sense of urgency that seems to be creeping into out lives right now. We're all feeling the rush of festivities a little early this year. I was comforted to know I'm not the only one feeling a little overwhelmed.

This morning, before said conversation with other mums, I was feeling incredibly, and rather strangely, organised. I was out of the house and in the car about to run errands before playgroup started. I thought it was a little strange that when I got into the driver's seat I had to adjust it. And then I thought it was even stranger that my key wouldn't fit into the ignition. Hmmmm. I jingled and jangled the key about a bit. Still no luck. Damn, there goes my organsied day. And then it dawned on me that last night, while Daniel and I slept only a few metres away, someone had got into my car and tried to start it. It was such an awful feeling. And then came the guilt because I had actually left one door unlocked. And then, and I'm sure this comes as no surprise, I burst into tears. Big, fat tears and the kind of cry that leaves a nasty headache in its wake. I feel really violated and so very annoyed.

My mum consoled me, my Dad, the mechanic, took the ignition to the locksmith (fingers crossed he can fix it) and Daniel arrived home early with the sweetest smelling roses. Because we couldn't drive anywhere Daniel, Che and I walked up to the cafe this afternoon to have coffee and cake and forget our woes.

Coffee and cake - a powerful combination.

totally unrelated photo of the beach and the rock pool where we will no doubt spend many a summer morning

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

spring fair

Sunday was spring in all her glory - blue cloudless skies and warm, bright, white sunshine. We wandered down the road to the local school and spent a few hours at the fair; rides, good food, a few second hand books and the obligatory jar of Nana Elsie's Pickles. It wouldn't be a school fete without a jar of homemade something now, would it?

And meet Mr Mallard - the newest resident in Mama & Popa's garden. He wears the most beautiful violet feathers on his tail and struts his stuff through the vegie patch. He let me photograph him for a fair while, occasionally quack quacking. His girlfriend was off in the neighbours backyard laying eggs. We're expecting baby quacks pretty soon.

PS. For those of you that asked about the's from Dobbin and Drum Toys - you can buy it from my best friend's toy boutique (02) 43851082

Thursday, October 14, 2010


This morning was completely enjoyable. Peaceful even. This evening has been everything but. I understand opposites and how they work. Sometimes I don't understand my three-year-old. Seemingly fine one minute, a raging boy the next. Tears and the smiles. Up then down. This way, that way. My patience is being challenged like never ever before. I know he loves me so why do I seem to be on this side of the rebellion? I think it's time to consult some books. Recommendations appreciated. Pretty please. And thanks for listening (reading).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

where the wildflowers are

On the Coast Walk where high cliffs drop towards an ocean that meets sky. A muma whale plays with her calf and the wildflowers of Spring open to catch the bright, bold light, A 3km walk...a long way for little legs. But the promise of a cookie at home ensures the hills, ants and heat are forgotten.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

taking photos

I always blush when I get an email that compliments my photography. I consider myself an absolute amateur and by no means should I be giving anyone else advice on how to take photos. But...a few of you have asked so here goes:

Yes, I do take all of the photos that I post here. Daniel bought me a compact camera a few years back and although it's a relatively cheap, non-flashy little thing it does have manual setting which means I can adjust the Iso, apature, timing, focus etc. It's been a gem and I've learnt a lot! It also helps to having a partner with a pretty extensive knowledge of cameras and how they work. In saying that, Daniel has only given advice when I've asked for it...and sometimes his constructive critisicm, which I detest at first, has been an enormous help.

I usually take about 20 photos before I capture what I'm after. Che has grown up with a camera stuck to his Muma's face and so he's pretty used to being photographed. However, apparently it's just not cool for a three-year-old to be photographed by his Mum so occassionally he will put his hand up in front of his face. I then tell him that I'm actually taking photos of the flowers behind him. Small white lie, guilty I know, but imagine the regret if he didn't have photos of himself age 3. Just imagine.

Daniel and I are looking at buying the Panasonic GH1 - he's done the research and it's fabulous at stills and HD video - I take the stills, he takes makes the movies. I look forward to the day when that arrives.

Ultimately, what I love about taking photos is the appreciation for finer details. You become more aware of the world around you when you carry a camera in your bag. Everywhere-you-go. It's also incredibly rewarding to take a photo that you're happy with. And to have on film the day your little boy climbed a tree at the park. Get snapping, I say.

Monday, October 4, 2010


A grey long weekend with heavy rain at night and pockets of sunshine in the day. The beach-side Farmer's Market on Sunday morning was brimming with umbrellas, gumboots and French market baskets, We spent up: kumquat marmalade, honey, organic sourdough, salt-bush lamb, apple pie, lemons and Portuguese tarts. And then we ate. For the rest of the weekend. The yumminess was interspersed with homemade chai and copious cups of tea.

Thank you lovelies for all the beautiful birthday wishes. I passed them all on to Che x

PS. Beautiful Aura is having a baby. So sweet.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

che che turns 3

Last night I told Che that three years ago I had pains in my belly and I knew he was coming. Daniel told him I was making noises like: "oohhh, ooohhhh, ooohhh". When we had family and friends over this afternoon for cake and celebrations Che told them that three years ago: "...I was a baby and the umbilical cord was on my belly button and Daddy cut it."

The fact that he's old enough to retell his birth story (or at least snippets of it) just mesmerizes me.

This morning he ventured into the lounge room to find a tee pee and some surprises within it. Last week he told me he wanted a strawberry cake (I was so relieved that I didn't have to mold sponge cake into a rocket ship) and I immediately opened to Sipi's Strawberry Cake in the stunningly beautiful Falling Cloudberries. While he played this morning I baked and then we ventured to the beach and the park for play in the sun and birthday treats (dixie cup ice-cream).

He really gets the 'birthday' thing now which means he really is getting big. He's such a big, little boy but he'll always be my baby.

Happy happy birthday Che Che. Thank you so very much for making me a Muma. It's the very best thing I've ever done. I love you so much, even more and even more again. xxx

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

from the farm: billy tea

Ingredients include: the 3 of us. And a quad bike complete with Tip Top Bread crate for carrying supplies. Passengers must ignore the WARNING sign that clearly states: "You should not ride this vehicle as a passenger!" Pirate facepaint optional

Collecting necessary stones to create a circle and then finding wood for the fire.

Voila! Fire. And a Billy. Now...all we need is a billy holder - thank goodness for the meticulous and creative Virgo.

Sipping hot tea by a fire as the sun sets. Perfect

Ps. This is the last farm post. I took over 500 photos and wanted to put the best up here in this space. Tomorrow? Another birthday.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

from the farm: detail

Where photo opportunities abound. Chickens lay eggs in the hay stack, strawberries are picked from a nearby farm and lemons fall to the ground from an abundant citrus tree. The cherry tomatoes were the sweetest and the fresh water creek at the bottom of the property provided so very many stone-throwing, frog hunting, billy tea making adventures. Ramshackle sheds are truly chic and barbed wire is beautiful. Farm life is sweet. And inspiring.

Friday, September 24, 2010

from the farm: alive

In retrospect what I enjoyed most about our time away was the opportunity to press 'pause.' It felt like our everyday life was whirring by without the opportunity for stillness, quiet or reflection. Yesterday I saw Christmas cakes in Woolworths and today a girl at work mentioned it was 12 weeks till The Eve. I still feel like it's the middle of the year. I could get used to pressing 'pause.'

While away it was oh. so. good. to just be amidst the beauty.

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is renowned for being green, lush and very much, alive. It was nice not to have to watch for cars or worry about Che. He could just run and we could let our guard down. It was huge relief actually, a freedom that only a big open space in the middle of the country allows. I know why so many of us long for a house in the countryside for our families. It's seems so very natural. To raise children under a big open sky and to send them out into an endless garden; to explore all. day. long.

I dreamt of such a move while away. Can you tell?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

from the farm: home again

Six days on a farm is damn good medicine. We're home again after a blissful holiday in South-East Queensland where the rolling green hills of Maleny had me swooning. Daniel's Dad recently moved to a 136acre property - perfect for a relaxing and ultimately rejuvenating getaway. We rose with the sun and enjoyed evenings around the fire, visited sweet friends and ate the best gelati we've ever had. Che also fell in love with plane travel and this afternoon managed to fall asleep on take-off. Over the next few days I'll be posting about farm life. Chapters will include: "How a meticulous Virgo builds a campfire." Stay tuned