Summertime and the livin' is easy

Monday, 29 December 2014

Hello and happy festive season! I hope this post finds you well - no doubt also feeling the after-effects of December's indulgences and hopefully enjoying some much-deserved down-time! The Australian summer holidays are in full swing and we are savouring a few weeks at home with no real plans beyond casual catch-ups and plenty of beach and outdoor play. We were treated to a weekend on the river to commence the school holidays, and whilst it meant turning down several subsequent social invitations, it was a great way to escape the pre-Christmas hustle and spend some quality time in nature with friends and the kids. Floating in the river, jetty jumping, stand-up paddle boarding, boat rides and basking in the sun certainly set a laid-back tone which we've fortunately carried through the latter part of December.

nature // street WEAVES opens!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

"nature // street is on an expedition to bring more nature, simplicity + play 
into modern living. It’s a call to reconnect, explore + celebrate life in the urban jungle:
 a fresh view on slowing down, conscious thinking + appreciating the little things in a busy world."

Today marks the official opening of my Etsy store, nature // street WEAVES - hooray!

You'll find the above nature // street ethos personified in my shop's collection of unique, handwoven wall hangings which draw inspiration from our natural world. All items are designed + carefully created by me, with an emphasis on high quality materials + sustainability.

I'll be adding further wall hangings to the shop over the following weeks and custom orders can be requested through the site. Feel free to head over to and take a look around!

nature talks with neon [moose]

Friday, 31 October 2014


It's been a few weeks between posting with lots happening on the nature // street front! 

< first up! > Nature Play Adventure Day 
We were blown away to have over 370 kids attend the Brighton Primary School Nature Play Adventure Day on October 1! It was so inspiring to watch the play that unfolded: the kids' delight at the playspaces [mud exploration / pop-up junk yard adventure  + nature play spaces]; their imagination and creativity; the freedom they had to direct their own play; and how they interacted with each other. Seriously, what little champs! 
Nature Play Adventure Day co-organiser and Climbing Tree Director Simon Hutchinson is currently compiling footage of the event and I'll be writing a more in-depth round up of the day so stay tuned for more!

< next > nature meets neon!
In other developments, I recently caught up with Adelaide blogger and creative, Bee, of Neon Moose. We talked all things nature // street - the ethos + approach behind this blog; the nature play movement; blogging life and creativity. You can check out our chat here!

special announcement time!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Hiya! Some special news on nature // street today!

I'm super excited to share that I'm working in collaboration with Brighton Primary School and their Outdoor Education Specialist, Simon Hutchinson, to put on the... 

Brighton Primary School Nature Play Adventure Day! 

The event will form part of Nature Play SA's inaugural Nature Play Week*, and will see the school open their new nature play areas for an unstructured and creative play session suitable for toddlers and primary schoolers. The day will also feature mud exploration and junk yard adventure spaces so we're recommending people deck the kids in their olds and get ready for a play experience like no other!

Geed up on geocaching!

Monday, 1 September 2014

"Geocaching is the world-wide treasure hunt that's happening right now, all around you. 
There are 2,482, 791 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers world wide"

I first came across geocaching on Nature Play SA's list of 51 Things To Do Before You're 12 where "find a geocache in your neighbourhood" features at number six. It stood out as the only activity on the list I'd not heard of, and the description "global GPS treasure hunt you can do with most phones" piqued my curiosity. I started to see references to the activity about the place but still wasn't actually sure what was involved when a free 'come and try' geocaching event at our local wetland was advertised. Bingo, just the incentive required to get our treasure hunter on!

Weekend Wildness

Sunday, 24 August 2014

"We need the tonic of wildness"
                                                                                                    Henry David Thoreau

Winter's concluding month has been characterised by multiple bouts of illness for our family, and for the past week and a half we've been caring for one especially miserable toddler. The side effects of this run of illness have included a strong case of cabin fever and sleep deprivation for all, as well as a sudden drop-off in our family outdoor adventures [the cumulative impact of which may have just elevated us - ok, me - to borderline crazy status]. 

the vacant block

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Weeds, open space and two generous mounds of illegally dumped rubble dominate the large vacant block at the end of the street. For over eight years now we've passed through the land, making our way to and from the local shops and beach; transitioning from newly engaged couple to young family. A constant in the backdrop of daily life, the block is generally overlooked or regarded as a dilapidated neighbourhood eyesore.

Rethinking the reli-bash agenda

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Alright, confession time: for the past three years my parents have lived next to an expansive recreation park aaaand... I only stepped foot in there a few months ago. 

hang. head. shame. 

The too-hard basket is overflowing with potential reasons slash excuses: a[nother] sick pregnancy, an unwell infant, the mombie haze, and a tendency for our reli-bashes* to occur within a ten metre radius of the dining room table. Hmm. It still doesn't quite add up, but oh well - this one will just have to be put down to a case of c'est la vie.

The good news is visits to Grandma and Pops' place have taken on an extra dimension since realising the park lies before us. Walks now feature as a key agenda item: the gumboots are gleefully put on, spare clothes packed, the dog runs in wild circles of anticipation, and off we venture. We descend down a dirt track and then find ourselves able to select from numerous walking trails, any of which will have us follow and traverse small creeklines lined with towering River Red Gums and South Australian Blue Gums. 

Project Wild Thing - now only a keyboard away!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A quick heads up! Project Wild Thing is a brilliant, funny and truly inspirational film created by British filmmaker David Bond - and as of today it's available for viewing worldwide via this link

So what's the deal?
Project Wild Thing is a film led movement to get more kids (and their folks!) outside and reconnecting with nature. The film is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look at a complex issue, the increasingly disparate connection between children and nature.

a family farm and woodland wanders

Sunday, 1 June 2014

"Why get families outdoors? Quite simply, nature is good for us... Family ties are strengthened, a sense of community is nourished, and a sense of place is cultivated. All in all, nature is good for children and their friends and family, too!"
Nature Clubs for Families Tool Kit, Children and Nature Network

Like many Aussies, I made the most of a spate of mid-autumn public holidays by taking three days annual leave and getting a block of ten days off in return - high fives all round! The break coincided with school holidays and some extended leave for my husband so we took up a couple of opportunities for low-cost family adventures in regional South Oz. First up was our trip to the river, closely followed by a visit to a family farm in the state's South East.

The SE's Limestone Coast is one of my favourite parts of the state to visit in cooler months with its crisp air, rugged coastlines, pockets of diverse scrubland, expansive agricultural lands and world-class wineries. This affection for the region is also steeped in nostalgia: my father's side of the family descends from the SE town of Naracoorte and there's been plenty of [infamous] road trips over the years to the coastal village of Robe and surrounds with uni, friends and work.  

word up

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

hello! I've had a short hiatus from the blog courtesy of a smashed iPhone. Bill for a new phone aside [let's not go there], I really enjoyed being unplugged for a while. The urge to check the phone quickly diminished and I made my way through a couple of books. A tech detox every now and then is definitely a good thing, and is all the impetus I need to start day dreaming about somewhere out of range I could take the kids in the July holidays... A few days in Deep Creek Conservation Park with a wood fire, beanies and kangaroos is currently winning... keep you posted!

This week's word up comes via Richard Louv and his book Last Child in the Woods. In the chapter "Cities Gone Wild" Louv explores the assumption that cities don't have room for wildlife. Zoopolis is a word Jennifer Wolch [director of Sustainable Cities Project] uses to imagine cities transformed into habitats through land-planning, architectural design and public education. It gets a double-thumbs up from nature // street - let's dream big! 

4th of May: a day to play [outdoors!]

Sunday, 4 May 2014

"Many of us don’t get out into nature much. We’re too busy, plugged in to screens and rushing through our busy lives. But nature is crucial to our health and wellbeing — and to the health of our planet. Let’s reclaim nature and grow our connection with each other and the places we love!"
Australian Conservation Foundation

Today was "Play Outside Day", an initiative coordinated here in Australia by the Australian Conservation FoundationThe Day is a great example of the global movement recognising the importance of nature and unstructured outdoor play for the health and development of children [and adults!].

dream / inspire / do

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

enchanting visual stories celebrating all things nature, simplicity and play

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow"
Audrey Hepburn

The poor vegie patches are in need of some serious love. It's time to prep for the new season + what better way to get inspired than pulling + cooking up the last of the crops, pouring over much-loved garden books, + discovering a multitude of creative ways to grow seedlings. Let your imagination sow wild! [too cheesy? #sorrynotsorry]. Happy planting!   

From the new issue of ELLE Decoration SA

Free Printable "Seeds From My Garden" Packets - great gift to share in a pot ready for planting. | The Micro Gardener

when to start seeds...NOW

starry nights and toasted marshmallows

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

"And a softness came from the starlight and filled me full to the bone."
W.B. Yeats

Easter is one of those holiday periods that triggers fond memories of my own childhood and I love seeing the sparkle in my children's eyes as their own Easter experiences are lived, their own memories made. With two young kids aged two and almost six, it's exciting to have the opportunity to create our own family traditions and foster the next generation of Easter escapades. Family, friends, simplicity and adventures - at home or away - all feature as key emerging themes.

This year all of the above themes were central to the four day weekend, which included our first family Easter getaway - a somewhat impromptu trip to a friend's shack on the river Murray, an hour from Adelaide. A late decision to stay for a few nights rather than doing a day-trip made for a stressful but anticipatory city exit as we scrambled to pack, off-load the dog and join in the anarchy otherwise known as pre-public holiday food shopping.

On the 'gram!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Did you know that nature // street is on Instagram? Come visit + follow @nature_street to keep up-to-date with blog happenings and share in a solid dose of inspiration. The page offers a positive + playful take on nature, simplicity and play and profiles some creative, boundary-pushing blends of nature in modern living. Hope to see you on the 'gram soon! 

Take it easy, Claire 

Mombie tonic

Monday, 14 April 2014

"Today, the long-held belief that nature has a direct positive impact on human health is making the transition from theory to evidence to action... And many of us, without having a name for it, are using the nature tonic. We are, in essence, self-medicating with an inexpensive and unusually convenient drug substitute. Let's call it vitamin N - for Nature"
Richard Louv, in the Nature Principle

Blogging has taken a backseat over the past few weeks while I've been a "mombie":  a hybrid mom [mum] / zombie creature characterised by dark circles under the eyes, aimless wandering, grunting responses and relentless caffeine hunting [oh no wait - the last part's normal]. 

This semi-catatonic state can primarily be attributed to our toddler's recent grommet/adenoid surgery and recovery, immediately followed by his third bout of bronchiolitis this year alone. Combine serious sleep loss with über busy days at work and - voilà - you've got yourself a[nother] mombie on the loose. 

nature // street vision

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

"Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you"
Grace Coddington, Vogue Creative Director

This week's nature // street vision celebrates nature in the midst of  cityscapes: intriguing unions of man-made materials and the natural world. Inspiration abounds.


urban jungle




Source: Santoriniblog (via v-o-g-u-e-i-s-a-r-t), Blood and Champagne, Unknown (via Pinterest), 

Hummingbirds, pyramids and poetry

Thursday, 27 March 2014

...'cause here our hands are for gripping not clicking
at keyboards
and boredom can be tied tight in ropes and in knots 
and our kids eyes can stop 
from computers and screens and we can all get lost making sticks into dreams...

Extract from Hidden Woods by Hollie McNish, UK poet and spoken word artist

Social media feeds are really delivering the goods on the nature play front. There's three things in particular I can't get out of my head: hummingbirds, pyramids and some super fresh poetry. They resonate as individual items, and together create a powerful, inspiring and achievable framework to bring more nature, simplicity and play into my family's modern urban lifestyle.

Hummingbirds first. World renowned nature play advocate Richard Louv recently wrote this article for The Children and Nature Network, an organisation supporting the international movement to connect children, their families and communities to the natural world (of which Louv is Co-Founder and Chair Emeritus). The article draws on writing by Michele Whitaker, guest blogger for The Grass Stain Guru, and discusses caregiver's fear of real and assumed dangers in kid's outdoor play (e.g. lurking strangers, liability, noxious weeds, snakes etc).

The article offers seven ways to manage these fears and reduce risks to ensure kids get outside. Number two on the list is to adopt hummingbird parenting, an analogy that describes a parenting approach landing somewhere between the "helicopter" and "free range" parenting styles. The approach is described as follows: 

Source: Children and Nature Network 

word up

dream / inspire / do

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Welcome to the first post of a new regular series on nature // street

 dream / inspire / do 
enchanting visual stories celebrating all things nature, simplicity and play

First up is my most favourite of day-dreams, mountain escapes...


Let's run away together,
Away from the city lights,
Where no-one knows our names yet,
And we'll camp out in the open,
Warming cold skin by the fire,
Tell each other hopes and dreams,
And all of our desires,
We'll own nothing more than we need,
Watch sunrises colour the sky...
~ e.h.

autumn adventures

Friday, 21 March 2014

"It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living".

David Attenborough, aka The Man

There's something about the change in seasons that resonates with me on a fundamental level: it starts with a deep craving for the change, and follows with excitement and semi-ritualistic basking as the new season announces it's settling in. 

I find the change always brings a kind of a contagious thrill; an invigoration of senses, the welcome return of a suite of simple pleasures, and a promise of new adventures.  

The weekend past delivered on all of the above - heralding our first cool, wet weekend of Autumn after a summer of extreme heat. Those few days, although somewhat burdened by fatigue and responsibilities, were full of small celebrations brought about by the much-awaited physical arrival of the new season.

Friday night brought us a crisp clear night with the neighbourhood's first wood fires tantalizingly drifting smoke on the wind. Ordinarily the kids would go to bed after a later dinner but instead we excitedly donned trackies and jumpers to explore the garden after a few days absence. The kids seemed to pick up on the changes in the air, eagerly investigating the vegie patch, bouncing on the trampoline, and finally lying back on the lawn to yell goodnight to the moon and single star in the emerging night sky.

word up

default mode: hustle

Friday, 14 March 2014

"once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how 
much more life she had time for"

The summer past was definitely a game changer. It marked the end of a year distinguished by rolling sets of challenges: where I'd give my all to reach the crest, snatch a glimpse of the horizon, and have the next set on top of me again. Keep going, keep going, push through I'd think. You're resilient, you work best on adrenalin, you can run on a staple diet of double-shot flat whites and no sleep [btw: you've got no choice here anyway!]

Of course it wasn't sustainable. During a few weeks off over the summer holidays I realised I was burnt out. I felt tired and old beyond my years, unfulfilled in spite of all the great things in my life, and unsure of how to properly relax in the limited windows of time I'd get to do so. 

As I was processing this burnout, I experienced a moment that crystalised how much I was caught in the pace of modern living. It was down at our local beach one day: my dad, daughter and I had been kayaking as part of my effort to start to slow down and get active outdoors again

As we prepared to make our way home, I was given responsibility for looking after the kayaks and our belongings while Dad went to collect the car.

nature // street vision

Sunday, 9 March 2014

"Optimistic design is about daring to be different, about breaking the mould of mainstream design"
Amanda Talbot, author of rethink:the way you live

Today's nature // street vision celebrates the optimism and individuality of vertical gardens: creative, upbeat vistas in the modern urban landscape. 


RIP Rover

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Hurrah! It's been another slow Saturday to soothe the soul.

It's been a hectic week again, characterised by changes in the air, a toddler with a recurrent bout of bronchiolitis (requiring mid-week grommet surgery to be postponed), and ultra busy days at work. By the end of this week, and with only one full night's sleep in three weeks, I'm run down and trying to stave of a head cold. 

Thankfully this morning saw the dawn of a long weekend here, and I was granted a rare sleep in with the toddler - who had attempted to rise at 4.30 a.m. but eventually surrendered to come and snuggle in bed for a few more hours.

Despite initial plans to head in to the city to enjoy all Adelaide has to offer in the month of Mad March, we ended up spending a quiet day outdoors at home. The kids helped their Dad with home improvements, and me with the gardening.

Today's gardening was all about vegie patch maintenance. We've had a crazy run of weather over the past summer including a spate of heatwaves of over 40 degrees. In addition to warping trainlines and inducing mental meltdowns, the heat's left the vegie patch having to fend for itself and looking worse for wear at the end of the season. 

I again enlisted my two trusty little helpers and we set about to water, clear dead bean stalks from the teepees, trim and re-stake the tomatoes, and give the compost some TLC. Some of our discoveries included eggplants hiding behind luscious leaves, self-seeded cos lettuce germinating, and lots of bugs doing-their-thing in the compost, showing us some rich soil forming much to the kids' equal disgust and delight. 

word // up

lessons from the Faraway Tree

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

"Going back to a simpler life is not a step backwards."
Yvon Chouinard

For me simplicity is personified in the almost-nightly routine my daughter and I have of climbing up into her bunk and getting lost in a story book. I'm often exhausted by this time and craving some time to myself, but as long as its not too late I'll make sure we read together. We have a deal: I read her two chapters of the current book, and together we slip away on an adventure. 

We are currently [re]discovering the Magic Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton, which was recently re-released as a series of beautiful [and politically correct!] keepsake books .

As a child, I distinctly recall submerging myself in the enchanting stories of the Magic Faraway Tree. And now, like my own mum before me - and her mum before that - I see my child fall under the same spell: my daughter's eyes light up, her imagination fires away, and our story time always concludes with a plea for 'just one more chapter, one more!'.

As an adult, reliving Blyton's books through older eyes, what I also really appreciate is her classic story telling in the context of modern living. Her framing of play, adventure and discovery in nature is so refreshing to me living in a fast-paced, time poor world where we hold so many fears of kids roaming free. She writes: 

nature // street vision

Monday, 3 March 2014

"Nature in our urban landscape and homes is critical for connecting half the world's people with the natural environment. The experience and contact the majority of the world has with nature is more likely to occur in the city or home rather than a rural setting. The more urban our lifestyle, the bigger the need for a connection with nature" 
                                                                                 Amanda Talbot, author of rethink:the way you live

Today's nature // street vision is for roof top gardening to be the norm in modern urban living. Let's foster the creation of urban jungles in all shapes and form!   




sources (l-r, top to bottom): unknown (via Pinterest), The Permaculture Research Institute
Spitsoskylo, A Paper Aeroplane,  LD5JaminPaul, unknown (via Pinterest), Nubby Twiglet