Goodbye Mountains

This is the last night we can call the Blue Mountains home. Tomorrow we are leaving the house that has become so safe and familiar over the past two years. This is where Alba was conceived and born. This is where we grew into a family and became better people.

I feel pangs of sadness that Alba won’t have clear memories of our home here and and that we may never step foot inside our old house again. But we will always feel a connection to the mountains.

I already miss the cold wintry nights cuddling by a roaring fire, warming our tummies with hot soup. I’ll miss standing on our balcony looking over the rises and falls of hazy blue mountains. We’re so high up sometimes a cloud would wash right through us and chill our bones. I’ll miss walking to the end of the street, trekking through wilderness until we arrived at our rock. It overhangs the valley and we’d have picnics there, feeling like we’re watching over the whole world.

I’ll miss laying in bed feeding Alba and reading, looking out the window now and then as the eucalyptus trees sway with birds in their branches. I’ll miss our cozy little ghost town, walking to the train station in the peacefulness of dawn before we had a car. Feeling a kinship with all of the other mountainfolk we’d pass. I’ll miss bringing home overflowing baskets of local produce from the co-op and garden and spending hours cooking in our big open kitchen. Most of all I will miss this- the breathless, absolute silence. Only a rustle of leaves in the wind, softer than a whisper against a backdrop of quiet.

This is our first real home, and somehow we know this is the right time to say goodbye. And so, on to more adventures we go.

sling by sakura bloom

Springtime Snow

Life has been peaceful since coming home, even amongst all the busyness.

One morning we woke up to snowflakes flurrying past our window. It was spring and the sun was full but the land was covered in fresh snow.

I’ve only ever seen sleet, never so much that the land seemed to ache beneath it. Now and then a tree branch would snap and echo out into the endless white, but otherwise all was magically silent. It was a childhood dream come true.

I dressed myself and Alba warmly and we went outside. I imagined we were walking into Narnia. A snowflake gently fell on Alba’s cheek and she snuggled into me. She was curious, her little blue eyes flicking from the snowy tree-tops to the falling snow and then to the long, white slope up to our home, our garden hidden dormant somewhere beneath. It is so nice to think that all that she sees takes a place somewhere in her memory. Even though she might not remember the day as vividly as we will, or in the same way, I know one day she will feel awe watching the videos we filmed of it.

We visited a festival of Joy at the Katoomba community garden. There was folk music, food made fresh from the garden and laughing kids running underfoot. Alba crawled on the grass and we all shared pumpkin soup.

For years I’ve been wanting to take part in national novel writing month (NaNoWriMo). And now that I am more busy than ever I’m finally doing it. Since becoming a mama I’ve realised how precious time is. In ways I’ve been more creative and productive than ever, because my free time is so fleeting.

It’s not been easy finding opportunities to write between moving interstate, shooting, editing, emails, social networking, releasing the new Color Shop, cooking, cleaning, taking care of Alba and so on. But I do, and somehow I even have time to spare for board games and philosophical discussions with M.

At around midnight when Alba falls asleep I sit in my rocking chair with tea, dark chocolate and my laptop and I write until 5am. Alba wakes up a few times to feed and I welcome the break and the chance to run my hands over her baby skin. The next day I sleep in while M brings her outside. She happily chomps away on greens while he gardens, calling out “birr! birr!” as she spots birds. Being a mama is so time consuming that some times I feel pangs of regret at the time I wasted when I had all the time in the world. But I chose this for a reason, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The house is beginning to feel empty. Upstairs we pack boxes and boxes of things we have collected together over the past two years. It’s strange to think that before we moved here the entirety of our earthly belongings fit into two suitcases. Most of these things will be given away, so we are left with only things we truly love.

Our front garden was once a slope of bare, unfertile soil. Over the last six months M has brought it to life. Some afternoons we pick rocket, baby spinach and herbs for salads. Cherry tomatoes burst sweet and sun-warmed on our tongues and soon the kale will be ready to eat.

Of all the things we’re leaving behind, this will be the hardest. M is making the garden self-sustaining, so hopefully it will live on and continue to provide in his absence.

These are our last weeks in the home where we went from being teenage lovers to becoming a family.

(Note: This post has been published two weeks late. Right now we only have two days left in our mountain home.)

The Color Shop

 

The Color Shop rerelease has been years in the making.

And at long last

here it is

M and I have been creating photoshop actions for the last 7 years. Color is our passion and obsession and TCS filters are the result of perfecting our most effective filters. They have been used by countless professional photographers; on billboards, magazine editorials, advertising campaigns, popular blogs and more. They make perfecting your photography effortless. All you need to do is load them into photoshop and press ‘play’.

Did I mention there are 2 free filter sets ready for you to try out?

Below is a discount code. It’ll expire on December 10th so get choosing (it’s not going to be easy).

Thank you endlessly for your support.

N + M + A

(aka: The Color Shop team)

Filter above is Earth from ‘The Earth Collection’.

Our wonderful new website was created by Daniel @ The Humble Giants.

blood & water

earlier this year we flew to melbourne to shoot for a hairstylist friend, maria.

on the drive to the airport we passed the apartment we used to live in, right in the heart of the city. i couldn’t help it, a part of me ached for those times of wild freedom and youth. but the feeling was more a mourning of time passing than anything, those times were ugly and life now is just as it should be.

we had dinner with some of the team in a popular melbourne restaurant in the city. it was loud, crowded and dark and everyone who passed cooed at alba. an elderly lady offered to hold her while we ate and watching alba brought a glow to her eyes. i walked to the windows and showed her, ‘this is the city where mama and papa first met and lived’.

it was alba’s first time in a hotel room. after a family shower we all snuggled up in the big, fresh bed and fell asleep.

the next morning we drove an hour out to a big property beside a lake. it was idyllic. i explored, writing ideas in a notebook with a new friend who’d come to help, claire.

even though it was a job it didn’t feel like we were working. it was incredible fun running around and laughing and shooting. i felt disheartened before and this reminded me of why i loved shooting so much to begin with. the team was so kind and sweet they felt like family and that feeling of relief when you wrap up a shoot is terrific.

it is always so effortless shooting with alba in tow, with her papa wearing her and introducing her to all the wonderful little things of the earth. i have much to thank him for. he makes life run smoothly.

we flew home the same night and drove from the airport back to our cold, familiar house at 3am.

models: yani @ viviens

catherine @ scene

photographer: nirrimi

assistant: claire alice young

hair/make up: maria gullace @ mariagullace.com

stylist: connel chang @ hart&co agency
h/m assistants: christina aubry and amy pruitt

 

the sling diaries (delight)

my passion for baby-wearing has led me to be involved with the sakura bloom sling diaries.

here we are in the mount tomah botanical gardens in springtime, wandering around with our handsome gardener boy & saying our sweet goodbyes to the blue mountains.

papa knew most the names of the flora and delighted in telling us all he knew of them. though i’ve been known to yawn during his passionate conversations about plants, i do whole-heartedly love that this is where his heart is, and someday alba might share that with him. it’s so important to be connected to our earth and to learn to grow our own food without poison or cruelty.

i hope these images inspires you to wear your babies close to you, where they belong.

i am wearing an organic maple sling. images taken by our gardener boy, mexico, as always.