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A blog by Claire, David and their cameras. Sydney, Australia.

eucalyptus and lavender diffuser diy | south by north

Now I’m sure you have seen tutorials for these online before, but I just wanted to tell you how easy they are to make. I have been meaning to put one together for ages but was just being a bit lazy about it to be honest. Now I know how easy it is, I should have done it much sooner!

You will need:
glass bottle with a narrow neck
diffuser reeds
a light carrier oil (I used grape seed as it is cheap and can be bought from the supermarket)
eucalyptus and lavender essential oils (or whichever scent you prefer)
funnel

A quick word about the diffuser reeds. These were the main source of my laziness as I couldn’t find them anywhere. I think some people swap these out for bamboo but I had read that this wouldn’t work as well – the reeds have channels that run through them to carry the scent. In the end I turned to glorious ebay and managed to pick up a huge bunch for $8.

The bottle is an old whiskey bottle I already had, and the essential oils were less than $10 each. The grapeseed oil was about $6 for a litre, and I used a small portion of this. Overall this came to be much cheaper than a store bought diffuser, as they are usually $50 or more, plus this way I have enough supplies to top up or make another. I can also mix the scent exactly as I like.

Make sure your bottle is clean, and add 50% essential oil to 50% carrier oil using the funnel. I am actually topping up my essential oils a bit, as mine is in the open plan hallway/kitchen/living room which is a large space, so it needs a slightly stronger smell. But these proportions should be enough for a bedroom or smaller room. I have also heard that adding a little vodka can help the scent spread. Pop a handful of reeds into the bottle, and flip them over once a week until the scent diminishes. Then you just need to top up the oils and replace with new reeds.

posted by Claire.

eucalyptus and lavender diffuser diy | south by north

 

 

love bex | south by north

Everyone says it, but one of the best bits about blogging and instagramming truly is coming across like-minded people and seeing some of the amazing things people create. I have decided to start a guest post series to share some of this amazingness, and I am excited to show you the first one today. Welcome to the blog Rebecca!

I came across Rebecca’s gorgeous instagram feed when someone tagged me in her picture, thinking that we would like each other’s feeds – they were spot on! It didn’t take me long to find her blog, Love Bex, and I ended up reading it pretty much the whole way through. Rebecca’s photos are wonderfully minimal, she has a great eye for framing and colour. Here she is sharing some shots of a weekend in Blackpool, and telling us what the place means to her.

Be sure to check out Rebecca’s blog and instagram feed, they are pretty fricking awesome.

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Now – when many people in the UK think about Blackpool I can bet you a good few negative words might come back in discussion. But – this is so far away about how I feel about it. Blackpool for me is where my heart will always be because it’s where my true creative pathway started.

SO how did I end up in Blackpool? I’m a country girl from a little village outside of the beautiful English Lake District, not that far away from Blackpool. I was always very determined to move away after school, so as soon as my exams were over I moved to the smog of London where I attended fashion college, with a naive view that I was going to be a fashion designer. Despite loving my time in London and making some incredibly talented friends, after trying out all the fashion related pathways, I ended up loathing anything to do with fashion. Fashion photography was definitely not where I saw my future heading, but photography was definitely something that I wanted to pursue – so I decided to transfer. After researching the best Photographic degree courses in the country, Blackpool came out top. So off I went again – A true country girl, back to the shire.

For three fantastic years – having my tutors, classmates and Blackpool as inspiration my eyes became open to the world for the first time. Blackpool made me see beauty in the everyday and in the most mundane of things. Although looking back I cringe at most of my work, I learnt an awful lot. I cherish what I took away with me even now and absolutely believe this made me who I am today. This is why my heart belongs to Blackpool.

Blackpool comes with a definite stigma attached to it – that it’s seedy and tacky, and yes in some ways it is, but looking beyond this and turning the more ‘colourful’ things into positive visions, you open your eyes to things that you would have otherwise been blind to notice and you will see nothing but colour, fun and nostalgia. Although many would disagree, Blackpool still remains the most popular seaside resort in the UK, it oozes history everywhere you go and has a real wistful longing of wanting to be there in its heyday – before it lost its battle to the cheap foreign package holiday.

Last week I decided that I wanted to explore Blackpool properly for the first time since being there as a student. I asked my old friend from Uni, Linzi, if she didn’t mind giving me a tour around all the new attractions as well as revisiting the old tourist landmarks. Linzi is a well known creative in the area, and does many community art projects within the Fylde coast.

With the Fish and chip soaked air and the added smell of candy floss and Blackpool rock in our noses we quite happily walked most of the Promenade and around the town. We walked all three piers that still stand exploring the many rides and amusement arcades within them. We purposely avoided the fortune-tellers and laughing clowns as best we could and dodged the trams on more than one occasion. We watched in complete awe at the dancers waltzing elegantly around the ballroom of the Tower and we were lucky enough to witness the beautiful sandy beaches before the tide came in. Sadly we didn’t manage to catch a donkey ride or nip into the theatre but we got to explore a few more of the well known attractions such as the Pleasure Beach, Winter Gardens and the Comedy Carpet. We left the Zoo, Waterpark, Wax Works, Sea Life Centre and Dungeons to the proper tourists.

Blackpool is definitely one town that I love to talk about, It holds so many fond memories and is the key to my creative heart.

Words and pictures by Rebecca Iris Slack.

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buena vista farm | south by north

I had heard from some people in the know about the magical things happening at Buena Vista Farm, so on Saturday I headed down there with a friend to attend their ‘From Scratch‘ workshop. As soon as we arrived we both wished we had booked into a local BnB to stay the night. The farm is in Gerringong, which if you haven’t been is basically idyllic countryside meets beach and ocean. Just look at that view from the kitchen garden!!!

Buena Vista Farm is run by Fiona and Adam, and among many wonderful things they run food workshops from their commercial kitchen. The ‘From Scratch’ workshop aims to teach participants basic skills to make delicious, simple food. We’re talking yoghurt and sourdough and pickles, people. After coffee and cake, the day started with a farm walk. Fiona and Adam showed us their egg chickens, meat chickens, pigs and chicks, and explained how their farm works. There was also an amazing kitten. We spent some time in the market and kitchen gardens picking beautiful fresh veggies and herbs for our recipes.

Then we moved on to the kitchen. Here is the full list of everything we made and took home: sourdough loaf, yoghurt, pickled cucumbers, biscuits, rhubarb jam, rosemary and sea salt crackers and butter. Fiona was also kind enough to let us take cuttings from her rather spectacular rosemary plant, (I swear it is the best smelling rosemary I’ve ever come across), plus handfuls of freshly picked, shiny chilies. As well as coming away with a bag full of all this deliciousness, we were served a wonderful lunch – everything freshly made from farm ingredients. Such a brilliant day. If you love to cook, go do this workshop. You will learn so much. Fiona and Adam are lovely, and it is great to see how they have made this awesomely sustainable farm work for them. You can read lots more about them on their website and blog.

I also bought some of their eggs, so Sunday morning was a feast of epic homemade proportions. There was a lot of me waving things round (jam jar, slice of sourdough etc etc) and saying LOOK I MADE THIS WITH MY ACTUAL HANDS’, and Dave was pretty pleased with the goodies I brought home. Since Saturday I have already made my own batch of pickles and have got cracking on a sourdough starter. Yoghurt making is happening this week too. I actually think this workshop may have changed my life a little bit!

posted by Claire.

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post a parcel | south by north

This is the third post a parcel that I have taken part in and I think it is my favourite! The theme was ‘Bottle Up Summer’, and Nia paired me up with Alanna from Petal and Pie. You can check out Alanna’s absolutely beautiful blog over here.

Here is a little look at what I sent to Alanna.

post a parcel | south by north

diy pom pom cake topper / tattly temporary tattoo / twine and mini pegs for hanging photos / diy ‘sydney summer storm’ confetti’ / hand stamped placemat

I wrapped them in various paper and made numbers from copper wire.

post a parcel | south by north

post a parcel | south by north

post a parcel | south by north

And just look at what Alanna sent to me!!!! How wonderful is this..?! I am in love with the watercolour notecards. Thank-you Alanna. And thank-you Nia for setting this up again.

posted by Claire.

post a parcel | south by north

 

paper bunny fruit bags | south by north

Ok ok, I know that it is Autumn down in the southern hemisphere, but it’s going to take a long time for me to stop associating March with all things Spring-like. I’ve put together a simple little Spring project for A Subtle Revelry (who is actually enjoying Spring in the northern hemisphere! Not just pretending like me) – pop over to Victoria’s wonderful blog to check it out.

posted by Claire

 

 

strawberry ice cream| south by north

I’m just going to go ahead and toot my own horn for a sec — this strawberry ice cream is amazing. I highly recommend that you make it immediately. It is the first flavour that I have made twice, and it worked both times with the perfect soft texture.

You will need:
1 cup of chopped strawberries
1/2 cup of sugar
small squeeze of lemon
4 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons of skimmed milk
2 cups of cream

Put the strawberries and sugar in a small pan, heat and stir until it makes a syrup and all the sugar has dissolved. Add the small squeeze of lemon. Using a hand blender blitz the syrup until it is smooth in a fresh container. Be careful because it will be super hot and try to splatter everywhere.
Allow the mixture to cool a bit, and add the honey. Put the cream and skimmed milk in a large bowl, and add your strawberry syrup. Mix thoroughly. I love the dusky colour that this goes, rather than bubblegum pink like so many store-bought strawberry flavours.
Chill your mixture, then churn according to the instructions on your ice cream machine. I actually think this one would work quite well without a churner, perhaps whip the cream a bit to compensate.

Serve this by itself or with a few fresh strawberries. Nom nom.

strawberry ice cream| south by north

in bloom at the flower market | south by north

Last weekend I went to the flower market to help a friend pick out flowers for her wedding centrepieces. It involved getting up in the dark at crazy o’clock but was absolutely 100% worth it. We came home with many many bunches of flowers, there is so much choice and it is mega cheap. I spent around $30 and ended up with two bunches of roses, a huge bunch of lambs ear, sunflowers and a bunch of unidentified little white flowers – my friend also got heaps of roses, eucalyptus and some other bits and bobs. We were back at my place with a cup of tea by 8am and spent the next few hours having a major flower-splosion all over my living room.

posted by Claire.

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in the water | south by north

Last weekend we went camping down at Jervis Bay. It rained pretty much the whole weekend, but we had a great little set up with a tent and tarp. We cooked yummy food and had plenty of time to relax and swim as it was still pretty warm. Jervis Bay has some of the most beautiful beaches, and lovely calm water inside the bay – perfect for bobbing about. To make the trip even better, we just got lifeproof cases so were able to take our iphones into the ocean to take photos and videos – how rad is that!

posted by Claire and David.

p.s. Photos taken and edited with vsco cam. See more on our instagrams (Claire, David) and grids (Claire, David)

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