Photography : Rebecca Leathem – letterbox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I am a reader, a writer, a photographer and a mother to 4 beautiful
children: Molly, Jacob & Findlay and Pete.

Photography has been a hobby of mine since 2007 when I give birth to
twin boys Jacob & Findlay. To our great shock and sadness Findlay was
stillborn at delivery.  I picked up the camera in response to the
overwhelming grief that I felt at the loss of our precious son.
Beyond that first year I discovered I love photography and that it is
a wonderful way of using my creative side which doesn’t require the
intensity (always) that sitting down to write demands.

Earlier this year I took a series of photographs of letterboxes in our
area. In the back of my mind were thoughts about mail and the lack of
now we are in a digital age and that perhaps one day we won’t even
have a letterbox in front of our houses. I also love the way people
individualise a utilitarian object.”

You can find Rebecca on Twitter – @Becs

and find some of her writing and more photographs on her blog.

Rebecca lives and works in New Zealand.

Food : Christmas biscuits

 

Very simple, and delicious.



These simple cookies make the perfect Christmas gift, package them up in cellophane bags or boxes and tie with a ribbon.

 

Christmas Cookies

Makes approximately 20

200g butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup icing sugar

1 cup self raising flour

1 cup plain flour

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Beat the butter, vanilla and icing sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. Gently fold in the flour and mix to a dough. The mixture should be soft but firm enough to handle without sticking to your hands.
  2. Take 2 teaspoon amounts of the dough and roll into a crescent shape, pull the ends in together and place the cookies onto 2 large baking trays. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a light golden brown, the cookies will firm up a little on cooling. Dust the hot cookies with lots of icing sugar and store the cool cookies in an airtight jar.

Thank you to Michelle Noerianto for the recipe and image. Michelle is no stranger to a Christmas spread, her work as an editorial food stylist and recipe writer for major magazines and book publishers allows her the privilege of working with chefs and cooks that have truly mastered their art in cookery.

 

 

Textile design : Bird Textiles – sustainable and beautiful

 

Rachel Bending is the creative force behind Bird Textiles, and is a pioneer in environmentally conscious and sustainable work practices. Originally from the UK, she studied textile design at the famous Glasgow School of Art in the 1990s, and then emigrated to Australia in 2001.

Rachel first established herself with a business called Slingfings in 2002, which used recycled and reclaimed vintage fabrics, and was powered using solar panels and an old car battery. Slingfings was recognised in 2004 as Australia’s first climate neutral business.

Rachel then went on to establish Bird Textiles in 2006, which has as one of its core values to use the most up to date environmental practices and materials as possible. It currently uses all solar power, and has a 100% climate neutral business practice. Besides the energy they consume in-house, they also take into account the energy used in areas outside the business, such as fuel used in inward freight of raw materials and the distribution of the finished products, and negate this by purchasing renewable energy in wind farms and solar plants.

gingko blossom

 

man on the lake

All the textiles for Bird are designed in Byron Bay and handprinted using water-based dyes on certified organic cotton. They now also produce a range of garments, homewares, and giftwares, and these products are all handmade using solar power. And earlier this year, Little Bird, Little Bird was launched, which makes bespoke and limited edition organic children’s wear.

birdsong

 

Besides her businesses, Rachel Bending is also an educator, giving seminars, studio visits, and guest speaking on numerous panels and symposiums. And she became a new mum last year, AND has built her own straw bale house in Byron Bay. Phew!

seed polka

 

vineleaves

 

Notably, garments from Slingfings and Bird Textiles were purchased by the Powerhouse Museum for their permanent collection in 2006. Bird was also selected by Austrade to represent Australia at event G’Day USA in 2007.

Rachel and her businesses have had significant media attention over several years, including Time Magazine,  Marie Claire, and Home Beautiful. It is utterly deserved and I congratulate her on her amazing achievements.

 

 

You can find out more about Bird Textiles on their website here. You can also check out her stunning house here.