All fresh for the new year


The last day of the year? Really, it’s just another day. Ask your dog if it’s special – I’m sure their answer would be “Huh? What’s for dinner?”

However. We humans do like to ascribe meaning to events; it’s a way of defining and making sense of our world; it gives us some kind of measure. (It’s the same type of urge that makes us like to name things, and to understand the processes behind natural phenomena – we like to have a base from which to manipulate our environments according to our own desires.)

New Year’s Eve is not a time for making promises to ourselves that we can’t keep. It is a time for looking back at the year that was, of self-assessment, of understanding what it is that is important to us. Of figuring out where to go from here.

The new year holds the promise of newness and freshness, of great possibilities. And yes, this is true! But keep in mind you are not infinitely malleable. Like materials – paper, glass, metal, fabric – each has its own true nature, capable of many wonderful and amazing things, but not everything. Be kind to yourself – understand who you are, go your own direction, climb your own mountain.

I wish you all the very best for the fresh year.

Julie x


taylorseclectic – lime grove earrings – 925 silver, paper


svsoaps – citrus bliss


cksstudio80 – citrus and sunshine


clayswan – tea for two – ceramic


uneekglassfusions – coral shoots bowl – glass

From here to there and a best of 2012


It’s been a big year for me folks! And that’s for several reasons – first and foremost is that my youngest children, my twin boys, started school this year – which left me with a few hours spare during the day to pursue tractorgirl stuff with a bit more focus. And this in turn has meant getting the blog to its present state. I have really learnt a lot, but most of all, how much more I need to learn. >_<

This blog. Wow! what fabulous stuff I have had the privilege of seeing, what wonderful, intriguing people I have met along the way, to share their stories with you and to show you what they are capable of has been an absolute honour.  So here are some of my highlight picks for the year (and let me tell you, it has been a HARD choice). Enjoy.


Kat Selvocki, pie-baking, yoga-teaching, photograph-taking world traveller took off from the U.S. late last year, visited numerous places en route to Australia, and returned home just before Xmas. She shared a wonderful series of images of Morocco, and you can find some more of them here.

Kat Selvocki – Morocco 2


Elin Thomas, the daughter of an organic chemist, became fascinated by the lichens and molds seen under her father’s microscope. Her micro-crochet has also meant a struggle with RSI. You can find more about Elin and her work here.

ElinArt – moldy madness 3 – brooch


Jonathon McCabe, by his own admission, is a computer geek. His stunning computer-generated surface designs are made using algorithms that mimic the processes used by the skins of animals in forming spots and stripes. He’s got some videos showing these processes in action – it’s completely fascinating to watch. You can find more about him here.

Jonathon McCabe – origami butterfly 0060 – surface design


Sandra Darling uses layered and enhanced photographic images to produce her sumptuous large scale surface designs. What I love about these is the possibilities of placement when using these beautiful fabrics for clothing and furniture. You can find Sandra and her work here.

Sandra Darling – Aquaplume (detail)


When I first contacted Melitina Balabin, she was staying on a tiny Estonian island, and had to travel 45kms for internet. It reminded me that despite technology, it’s still a big, big world out there. There’s more of Melitina and her gorgeous jewellery here.

Melitina Balabin – floreat – brooch


Walter Helena Photography is only part of Nadine Boyd, who more frequently works as an industrial designer. Her images are dense and rich, dreamlike and spare, much like her writing. You can find more about her here.

Walter Helena Photography – Turquoise 011


Mirjam Hiller’s jewellery pieces are technically amazing, as well as very beautiful. Each piece is hand-cut from a single sheet of metal, before being twisted and assembled into their final form. More of Mirjam here.

mirjam hiller – bovenas pink – brooch


Third Half Studios. Well of course they do great surface design, witty and fresh – but Sarah’s was one of the stories that touched me the most – of spending your adolescent years caring for your Alzheimers-ridden grandmother, of living on the street and being plucked from obscurity to work as artist’s assistant in an established studio. You can read more about Sarah & Lori here. 

Third Half Studios – putting a point on it (turquoise lime)


And SO much more fabulousness… These few are by no means my definitive list of loves. There is much more, so much more beauty in the world. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Julie x