21 March 2016

Easter Wreath Making // Creative Living

Last week we met up with Stephanie Saunders at her beautiful summerhouse, for a floral collaboration. Here, we are sharing our how-to guide to making this gorgeous Easter wreath, which we had so much fun creating alongside Stephanie.

Step One // Preparing the wire wreath ring

• Attach your wreathing wire onto the wire ring framework, by wrapping it around a cross section 
  4-5 times. Ensure it is secure by tugging on it a few times, and it should remain in place.

• Grab a handful of Sphagnum Moss, flatten it out into a rectangular shape on your worktop and 
  roll it into a sausage shape.

• Transfer the moss roll onto the wire ring framework, and wrap the attached wire around it a 
  number of times until it is securely in place.

• Continue this method until the wire ring framework is covered in moss.

Step Two // Covering in foliage

• Pre-cut your chosen foliage into 8cm - 12cm lengths. We chose this Italian small leaf Eucalyptus
  and intermixed it with Birch twigs.

• Create small bunches of the foliage, hold in place on the moss ring and wire around the stems to
  secure into place. Start on the outside edge, then secure one little bundle in the middle section, 
  and finish with a separate smaller bundle for the inside of the ring.

• Continue this process in an anti-clockwise direction, overlapping by a few centimeters each time,
  until the entire moss ring is covered in foliage.

Step 3 // Adorning with seasonal decoration

• Cut the end of the wire and secure to the wreath, by poking the end into the moss on the back 
  of the wreath.

• Attach a ribbon bow of your choice with wire, to complement your chosen colour or theme.

• Attach a selection of decorations with wire - since we created this with Easter in mind, we used 

  bird and bow decorations, but you can change over decorations for each occasion / season to 
  include things like faux flowers for summer, dried fruits for Autumn, or baubles for Christmas.

 Step 4 // Displaying and maintaining

• Hang up by attaching a ribbon or jute string at the top of the wreath, then hang on the front door 
  using a wreath hook.

• Mist lightly with water to extend the life of your wreath - the Moss and Eucalyptus are hardy plant
  materials, so should age well and last a couple of years, making this a re-usable wreath season 
  after season.

We really hope that you enjoyed this DIY, and we'd love to hear how you get on with creating your very own. We had a blast creating this with Stephanie - I had always wanted to make my own wreath and can't believe it has taken me this long to learn how, now that I know how simple it can be. More floral collaborations will follow next month, so keep an eye out!

Photography by Leaff Design

14 March 2016

The Aesthetic Washing Machine // In the Studio

I was reading an article, Go & Listen by Oleg Sivun in one of our Stack magazines, Benjamin Knewman (volume 3), about our culture and wearing headphones.

"When you go out on the street, you encounter a world that does not belong to you, a world of the alien (strange people, strange things, strange sounds) and the music (familiar and close to your heart) that you hear in your ears is one of the ways of making this world a bit more yours". Ideas were explored that this music is like an "aesthetic washing machine" which simply makes life easier, and the idea that we cannot separate things - important from unimportant - "we are trying to manage everything and, as we are doing it all, we have lost sense of what gives us real pleasure". We can only really appreciate music for the art that it is by stopping and listening, otherwise it's just passive listening - a soundtrack to our days and our lives.

I found this a fascinating read - that need to 'belong', which is also apparent in the world of social media, and even the effect that our existence has on Earth…

While I can completely appreciate the positives of social media, I've never enjoyed using my personal Facebook page, because I see (and have felt) that it is smothering, draining and addictive. People posting about their feelings, pinpointing where they are on maps throughout the day, and about how much fun they're having with him/her/them. Posting about what you are up to acts like a journal, and visualising your events seems to enrich your life and give it more purpose. What begins as a way to document your days - like a diary - quickly becomes something far less personal, reflective and liberating. You have an audience to keep up-to-date, to see how busy you are, and to wish they were with you. Sharing each others lives in this way makes it become like a competition of who's life is most fun and interesting but can actually make us feel more hollow than full. I see the energy that goes into that, and it must be exhausting to have to keep that up - to feel that you have to keep up the dedicated logging for your audience who are waiting for it now that you've started - who might think less of you or your life if you don't. The first thought people always seem to have is to put what they're doing on Facebook, instead of enjoying the moments they're in and the company of who they are with. Does anyone stop to think about how much thought and energy this takes? Do they feel stifled? And do they ignore it because it's something that almost seems expected of you in today's culture?

Control seems to be something built into our culture - the need to be or feel a part of everything. The need to feel that everything belongs to us. The need to build more things - on more space - to consume more, to have more, to control other populations - more of the earth - and now the space between each other. It is an interesting impulse that we have, which I think isn't necessarily built into our nature, but driven by the down-side of fast-paced communicative technology, the pressure to work long hours for money-driven lives, and this idea that we need 'things' to make us happy. But I think that this is all false. It is well known that having more doesn't make you happy, and in my experience it is the people who have the least that feel the richest. Things just serve to cloud our view on what really matters to us, what we really want and need. They cloud our fulfilment, cloud our attention on the important things, and separate us from the precious things in our lives - moments missed.

07 March 2016

Choca Hot Chocolate // Good Food

With the plummeting temperatures and snowy start to March reminding us that Spring isn't here just yet, we have been enjoying some nutrient-packed hot treats. 

Not your regular hot chocolate, this recipe is vegan and 'choca' with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which make it a powerful anti-inflammatory and immunity booster, as well as an antidepressant. It is also great for your skin and your heart alike. Drinking this feels as good as it tastes!


1 cup dairy-free milk (we use oat milk)
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp 'smooth' almond butter
1 tsp maple syrup (or more, to taste)


Pour the milk into a saucepan, and add the cacao, almond butter and maple. Set over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until it is hot and everything is dissolved. Serve in your favourite mug - taste, and stir in more maple if required.
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