Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Running behind Schedule!

Apologies to all Participants in the Autumn Exchange, I am running behind schedule in allocating partners. 

I am hoping to have partners assigned by the end of the week and I am so sorry about any inconvenience it has caused.

However please don't let that stop you from getting started on your creations.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Children's Nature Watch Journal

I wanted to share with you what is happening in my part of the world during Autumn, as I thought it might prompt some creative interpretations for our craft exchange! 

I found this wonderful; resources at Trees In Newcastle site called the "Children's Nature Watch Journal"  as it says,
"...Nature is all around us, the flowers in bloom, the birds in the bushes, the bugs in the blossoms. Stopping to look and make a note of what we see helps us to follow the changes in the months, the seasons and over the year" 

A great resources for adult and children alike and it also allows plenty of space for children to record their own observations as well. How Fabulous! 

So thanks for Trees of Newcastle for making the resource available and here below is a list  what will be happening during Autumn in my local area.

  • Leaf curling spiders are active
  • Crickets still calling at night
  • Brush tailed possums have the first of their two litters of babies for the year 
  • Orb weaver spiders are about
  •  Spotted Gums are flowering. They are important food for honey eaters, flying foxes and lorikeets
  • Camphor Laurel trees are fruiting and the Topknot pigeons eat the fruit. 


  • Lillypilly are fruiting and Flying Foxes and birds eat the fruit
  • Many Banksias are flowering in the heath and woodlands
  • Swamp Mahogany start flowering which attracts birds like the Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot and other animals in the day and Flying Foxes at night.
  • Muttonbirds migrate north along the coastline some get exhausted and wash up on the beach.
  • White-breasted Sea-eagles start courting and building nests
  • Koalas are active bellowing at night
  • Frogs are spawning
  • Water gums are fruiting
  • Bottlebrush and Melaleucas are flowering
  • Pigface is flowering  

  • Lillypilly are fruiting and Flying Foxes and birds eat the fruit
  • Many Banksias are flowering in the heath and woodlands
  • Swamp Mahogany start flowering which attracts birds like the Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot and other animals in the day and Flying Foxes at night.
  • Muttonbirds migrate north along the coastline some get exhausted and wash up on the beach.
  • White-breasted Sea-eagles start courting and building nests
  • Koalas are active bellowing at night
  • Frogs are spawning
  • Water gums are fruiting
  • Bottlebrush and Melaleucas are flowering
  • Pigface is flowering  
  • Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea) are in flower. The Honey Eaters, Friarbirds and insects all enjoy the  oozing nectar 
  • The Sunshine Wattle, Acacia terminalis is in bloom. Butterflies and bugs are attracted to the plant.
  • At the beach keep a look out for the Humpback Whales. They start to migrate north along the coast
  • The male Superb Lyrebirds are calling loudly from on top of their display mounds
  • Many Banksias are in flower and attracting birds and Ringtails and Pygmy Possums.
  • The Forest Red Gum, Eucalyptus tereticornis starts flowering. Lorikeets and Honeyeaters love the nectar it makes.

What's happening over Autumn in your part of the world? Leave a comment as I'd love to know. 



Well after such wonderful feedback from the Summer exchange many people are keen to participate in an Autumn Exchange.  

I love Autumn is it brings crisp days and the changing colours and I feel energised to got outdoors!

I am a bit behind schedule so the dates are aiming to get are parcels away before Easter in April.

  • SIGN UP:  14th  March

PLEASE pass on information to friends and family who might be interested participating. The first 100 people to sign up are in!


The crafted item should be related to the current seasonal theme, in this case ‘‘Autumn”.

The swap is open to all those in Australia and overseas. [You don’t have to live in the Southern Hemisphere to participate!]

As a participant, you must be willing to mail overseas and honour your swap commitment.

The details: Participants will be allocated one (only) swap partner. You will send directly to your partner and they will send directly to you. Swap partners will be randomly allocated.

The exchange is open to all ages, children CAN participate too!


No prior crafting/ art skills required. Participants have a range of skills, beginners like myself to well seasoned craft makers [therefore the next point is REALLY important].

Participation should be done in the spirit of openness, appreciation and sharing. The only requirement is the item you send should be handmade by you with love and care. Make something special that you would love to receive yourself.

No returns!

All packages must be mailed by the 15th of April and should be suitable to send in the mail.

So…. if you would like a small handmade AUTUMN inspired keepsake to add to display over summer sign up now!


At least one, no more than five items.

One of these items must be handmade. It can be an object, an artwork, an ornament, small handmade book, something to display. The key requirement is it is something made by you.

If you would like to include additional items things that could be included might be items from nature (unless you are shipping internationally), a card, additional artworks, a candle, purchased items made from natural materials (no plastic/polyester/foam/etc) etc.

All of the items must be theme and seasonally appropriate.

Optional: You may want to include in your package a little blurb about your items and/or yourself.

In addition, it would be wonderful if you were able to document the process of making and the final product. These images can be posted on the Flickr group Southern Hemisphere Seasonal Exchange http://www.flickr.com/groups/1548872@N21/


The first 100 people to sign up are in!

  • SIGN UP:  14th  March

Please email me at southernseasonalexchange[at]gmail.com

In your email please send your
  • Real Name
  • Mailing address (in English), 
  • Email address, 
  • Optional: Facebook and/or Blog URL and Blog name.

**Please make sure you email me this info to be entered into the swap.**

PRIVACY: Your privacy will be respected and your details will not be passed on unless you give permission.

Partners will be allocated after sign-ups have closed.

I will confirm when you have been added to the list. Please be patient, this may take a couple of days.

Sign ups are open now!


As I mentioned previously I am a mother of two very young children, new to crafting and have only co-coordinated ONE swap like this before, so your patience and understanding is really appreciated in this first attempt. I am excited to see if anyone else is interested in participating and will give it my best shot to get it up and running.

If it is a success we might try it again when WINTER comes around.

Summertime Swap 2010

As we say goodbye to summer, it is surely time to share some images from our Summertime swap. 

The Summertime 2010 swap was an overwhelming success and it was wonderful to receive such wonderful feedback from participants.

Here are some of the wonderful creations from participants. 

Firstly, a big thanks to Amber Greene from http://www.mamamoontime.com who encouraged me to set up the exchange. Her blog is truly inspiring, very assessable to a newcomer like me, honest and very motivating.  I only know Amber via her blog and the email replies she has sent to me when I have commented on her blog. Her words of encouragement really got the whole thing going. So a BIG thank you Amber for taking the time to write back and for sharing your thoughts and ideas. Have a look at this beautiful summertime play scene Amber made for swap buddy Jay.

Here is the little parcel I sent to my swap partner Lizi in Western Australia. It was my first attempt at making a stuffed felt toy and I decided on a dolphin as I live by the coast in Newcastle, NSW and I cherish the moments when I get to see a pod of dolphins while swimming at the beach over summer.


I also included some shells I have collected with my children, an etching of myself swimming laps in the ocean baths [pre-kids when I did that sought of thing...must get back into it!] and little dolphin button and fabric sample.

In return Lizi made the most ethereal and delicate Summertime Angel which graced our Christmas tree and then  looked over our summer time Nature table.

My breath was just taken away when I opened the parcel from Lizi , the care and thought behind the contents was really touching and I am so thankful to have met Lizi through our little swap. There was beautiful hand written letter [that I also kept on the nature table], a tea towel from her Rainbow Playgroup and the most delicious recipe book also put together by the Rainbow Playgroup. If the recipe book and tea towel is anything to go by, that playgroup must be wonderful!

A beautiful gnome, tree and mushroom home made by Nikki Fletcher. Sent all the way to USA to her partner Peggy Bloom. Nikki's seems a master with felt and has a beautiful blog http://www.toadstoolhouse.com.au/ where she shares her inspiring creations.

In return Peggy Bloom created the most delightful little peg dolls and summertime lantern.

Peggy has mastered the art of the elegant peg doll creations and is busy organising a peg doll swap which you can read about on her beautiful blog  http://webloomhere.blogspot.com.  

Kat, from www.thedivinefeminine.blogspot.com was delighted to receive "a lovely knitted mermaid from our swap partner Mary. She even has a gorgeous necklace of little tiny shells! My daughter LOVES mermaids, so she was delighted with her. She sits in just one of the lovely shells sent from the Tasmanian beach where Mary lives. We also received a small summer bird and a lovely shell necklace for Lily to wear.....[in return] sent some busy buzzy bees, a little blossom fairy and some shells from our local beach here in Melbourne "

I can recommend reading Kats blog for a truly honest account and insights into her life. I respect and admire her honesty as that can be hard to do in blogland! 

Kyla busy mum of 5 [!!!] somehow managed to squeeze in the time to make a delightful dove mobile "filled with love and is in the spirit of Christmas" It is a mother dove looking after beautifully crafted baby doves.

Helena from NZ sent a window sun, a lantern with led candle, and summertime sprite to her partner in Natalie Australia. Here is Helena's beautiful summertime display in New Zealand before it is sent to Australia.
 ..and here it is on Natalie's Summer Nature Table in Australia.

Natalie has beautiful post on her blog about her nature table and    ..."the lovely little sprite was given to us by Helena, our swap partner from the Southern Hemisphere Summertime Exchange. Isn't she so sweet. Thanks Helena!" http://thelittlegnomeshome.blogspot.com/2011/02/our-summer-nature-table.html

Natalie created Helena a gorgeous little mermaid and felted play scape that was sent to New Zealand via a stint with customs where her beautiful locks were taken.

Natalie has a heartwarming write up on her blog about how  Helena lovingly restored her hair. Read this lovely story

Shannon also made a stunning mermaid but this time a brunette for her partner Kris. Shannon's blog is full of seasonally inspired craft and she shares a lovely write up about the swap on her blog http://motherrhythm.blogspot.com/2010/12/summertime-season-exchange.html

In exchange Kris, from made a felted "mother summer" and little gnome which has the most stunning uplifting colors. You can read about her craft, family and education experience at her blog or maybe even follow her tutorial and make your own wool doll http://bowlofstones.blogspot.com/2010/11/doll-tutorial.html

Christine Heart is the most gifted felt artist and made this incredible summer sculpture! Extraordinary and bursting with life!

You can see more of her incredible felt work on her blog at http://fruitsofheart.wordpress.com/ but here in her own word Christine writes about her ideas and final summer exchange creation

"....The first image that came to mind was of Sunflowers.  Their heads always turning to salute the sun; their garb the very colours of summer and their presence beams such a cheerful essence. Sunflowers. Summerflower, now a world-wide symbol that has taken on such relevance and importance. Not only is the sunflower an indicator of the season but it is a plant used to reclaim wasteland, to detoxify soil and as a symbol of world peace. How utterly perfect.
And then she emerged, Summer, full of hope and joy. For luck a ladybird popped in and, to symbolise transformation, a butterfly.  Summer resplendant is here. "

You can also view some more images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/southern_hemisphere_season_exchange/  that I wasn't able to upload on this entry. In particular look for creations by Sara from http://momwithahook.blogspot.com,  Belinda from http://www.spiralgarden.com.au/ ,
Paisley from  http://www.fairyring.com.au and a beautiful beach play mat made by Felicity http://www.flickr.com/photos/56223838@N03/5225510127/ .  

PLEASE feel free to upload your own images of your creations or the items that you received. It would be lovely to share our creations.

So there you have a lovely little snapshot of some of the creations that emerged out of the Summer 2010 exchange. It was a wonderful privilege to co-ordinate the swap and I have to thank everyone who promoted the exchange on their blog, who let their friends know and who particpated and gave it a go. 

It has been so lovely meeting you via your emails and I have really enjoyed the process.

Thanks again and sign up for the Autumn Exchange if you would like to do it again!