December 21, 2012

Joyeux Noel!

 A birthday was celebrated last week... 35, holy moly. There were chocolate croissants - bien sur - and train trips through France and Switzerland (not as romantic as it sounds with a toddler in tow) and help from the little man to blow out birthday candles.

I am feeling a little sentimental for the sun and the summer festivity of an Australian December, but am also trying to just take in the joys of a French winter with family that we don't see too often. We're off again on one more little trip before Christmas (I'm going to need a holiday after this holiday) and so I'll say this now... wishing you and your families a joyous Christmas wherever you may be in this wide world.
Gros Bisous! xx joanna

p.s. I dropped my phone on ceramic tiles yesterday and needless to say, it's a little worse for wear. So for you followers on instagram, I'll be a little absent for a while!

December 13, 2012


A few little snapshots from the last couple of weeks.
The photos - and our time here in France - have been dominated by the snow. A first for Leo, and  a novelty for me, a girl from an Australian city. Of course, there was also Paris. We won't talk about the tears on the train, but otherwise the food, the galleries, the views, the snow, the head space... well it was all wonderful. But there was much delight in seeing the smiling face of my little one again (though he was more interested in the train I'd just stepped off) and now we potter and wander and prepare for Christmas and visit friends in Switzerland and eat more cheese...

* the grandparent's house in the mountains
* he was not so sure about this first experience of snow...
* Andy Warhol at the Centre Pompidou in Paris
* Pompidou
* A rainy, snowy day in Paris
* Of course, I had to go and buy macarons
* We had to tell him that there were no cars back then, but still, it was Jesus, sheep and cars in the nativity scene
* The last two photos are of a glorious sunny day in the snow - skiing, tobogganing and general good times.

(p.s. for some reason I can no longer view youtube videos despite various efforts, so music mondays are on indefinite vacation)

December 5, 2012


It's chilly here.

Last week we went up to the nearby mountains to give Leo his first glimpse of the white stuff. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen snow fall and I think - no, I know - that I was more excited about it than he was. And it bucketed down. It was beautiful and enchanting and all those things that snow is when you don't have to live in it.

This weekend, I am being completely decadent and am hopping on a train to go back up to Paris for 2 nights ON MY OWN. I've never spent a night away from Leo so I'm a bit nervous about that. But the overriding emotion is one of excitement at being able to wander the streets alone, going wherever my feet and heart fancy. To walk and visit galleries and eat and browse and wander and eat and drink and eat. Without having to consult anyone, or discuss plans or be anywhere by a particular time or change a nappy. Completely decadent. xx

November 27, 2012

Music Monday #10

Well we made it. And the flight wasn't too bad. Still it was a long and exhasting trip and it is lovely now to be here with hubby's family, letting them soak up the goodness of time with their grandson. I have only ever been here in the summer time so it's a somewhat strange experience being here now with the leaves falling, the mist rolling in in the mornings and the short, dark days. Papi's harvest is no longer peaches and berries and cos salads, but endive and carrots and kiwis. It's lovely to observe the stark contrast of seasons and let Leo embrace it too.

So from chilly France back to Melbourne for a moment with today's Music Monday (it's still monday here!). I love this local duo, Sweet Jean, and this song and this cute little clip. Enjoy and next fortnight I may pull out a Frenchie one...
happy week!

November 20, 2012

bon voyage...

ok, I think we're just about ready to go. This is Leo this morning after receiving a going away gift from Grandma... his very own little carry on bag with a tractor on it (vehicle obsession going on at the moment) and headphones for the plane.

If it's a horrendous flight, it won't be because I'm not prepared! Our apartment is looking as clean and tidy as it ever has, as we've put it on airbnb so that people can rent it while we're away. And it's already proving popular... so that's a bit exciting. I almost don't want to leave, it's looking so spick!
But leave we are and so bring on that white Christmas.... I'll check in here every now and then, and will be on instagram (miettehandmade) so see you there! xx

ooh, almost forgot... this photo was taken with my new 50mm lens - an early birthday present from my family! I don't think I mentioned here that I did Tim Coulson's workshop in Melbourne a while ago and  was inspired to update my kit. Happy I have!

November 16, 2012

Oui oui...

Yes indeed, this time next week we will be in Paris. It's quit hard to get my head around (as is the idea of going back to Winter). We will spend a day there with cousins and then head down on the fast train to hubby's parents' house in a little village in the South where we will spend six weeks. Six weeks of family and cheese and snow in the mountains and Leo having a good dose of his French grandparents.

I'm looking forward to it (particularly the few days I'm treating myself to in Paris... ALONE!). Though not so much to a 24 hour plane trip with an energetic almost 2 year old. Last time we did it he was six months old and was either sleeping or breastfeeding most of the way. This time, I'm expecting a completely different experience and I'm preparing my little bag of tricks. Any ideas or tips gladly welcomed!

November 12, 2012

Music Monday #9

A couple of weekends ago, we got away to the beach house and caught up with friends and family, and on rest and relaxation. My sister brought with her a box of old CDs that had been hidden away for a while and we spent an evening going through them, playing our favourite songs, being transported back to earlier times and places and sharing our memories.
I found this old song that takes me back to one particular summer in a share house during my early twenties. I love love love it. I had it on this awesome album (part of the fabulous Back to Mine series) if you're interested.

November 11, 2012

my little helper...

Always obliging when there's banana cake involved.

November 9, 2012


Obviously, being Miette Handmade, I've got a bit of a thing for handmade products. In our family, we only give handmade gifts at Christmas (made by ourselves). And it's great - it avoids us adding to the consumer madness of the season, it reduces spending and waste, and it creates thoughtful, personal gifts that everyone genuinely appreciates.
So I was pretty thrilled when I was asked if the gorgeous online store, Rockrose Handmade, could stock a couple of my quilts. Their focus is on handmade, ethical and beautiful products and there are a whole lot of amazing things there.... go have a squiz and support handmade!

And in other news, I've added some fun little (handmade!) pincushions to the shop!

November 8, 2012

Well things have shifted down a notch, even though I feel like life has continued to be incredibly busy lately. But my attention has focused a little to other things. We have relaxed by the beach over that ridiculous horse race holiday, spring cleaned and sorted, celebrated birthdays, completed tax returns, booked fast train trips (Paris to Montpellier!!). And I have realised that in the business of recent times, that my little  baby has grown up oh so quickly and I can hardly keep up. Suddenly, he has long locks and he speaks in two languages and makes me laugh and he's just the best thing ever and I can't quite believe I created him!

we've also enjoyed the sun, the storms, the sunsets and the general craziness of Melbourne spring weather... our balcony greens are bringing me much delight (even parsley that's gone to seed and ranunculi that have finished for the year are making my smile).

October 23, 2012

time for a rest...

It's only now that it's over that I'm realising just how frantic the last couple of months have been. Finders Keepers has been and gone and it was a crazy, wonderful, interesting, slightly disappointing (not too many sales) and completely exhausting experience.

Yesterday, I thanked my sewing machine for all its hard work and put it away in the cupboard for a little rest. During nap time, I addressed some of the other long neglected tasks on my list, sat out in the sun with some cookbooks and planned some new and interesting meals - something I just haven't had the energy for lately - and put my feet up for a bit. I am going to spring clean our apartment, focus on some different things and just let my mind think about things other than quilts (including a rapidly approaching trip to France!!)

Thank you to all who sent well wishes and who visited me at the market as well as those who bought quilts. It was lovely to see some old friends and also to put some faces to names. And thanks to the lovely Leslie who was a wonderful market buddy!

I didn't get time to take many photos at the market but here are a few that I (and others) managed to get... (the last photo is of Tara Shackell's beautiful ceramics - my other neighbour at the market and the creator of several Christmas presents to my family and a gorgeous sugar bowl for myself!)

oh, and keep an eye on the shop if you're interested as new quilts and blankets have been added and there will be several more over the coming days...

October 12, 2012

Finders Keepers!

So this time next week I'll be setting up my stall, nerves all a flutter. I'm super excited. And super nervous. I actually feel a bit like I'm having one of those dreams where you turn up to school naked. I feel a bit vulnerable! But mainly, it's really exciting. 
If you're there, please do come and say hello. I'll be looking for familiar faces. or blog names. And of course, you can say g'day to Leslie next door! 
See you there! 

October 8, 2012

Music Monday

On top of feeling a bit blurgh lately, we've been hit with a good dose of illness. So to cheer ourselves up a bit, how about a long depressing country song?

These two are very high up on my list of favourite musicians. I saw them play in Melbourne in 2004 and it was quite possibly the best gig I've ever been to. It's hard to choose just one of their songs to play here, but this is on high rotation at our place at the moment, so this one it is. It's an awesome song, incorporating Neil Young's Cortez the Killer. Make sure you get to that bit.

October 1, 2012

feeling quiet

I don't have much to say at the moment. 

It's been a tough and sad week in Melbourne, although these events have also brought out the best in the city and the community around Brunswick and have reminded me what I love about this place. 

But it has added to a general feeling of heaviness at the moment - I'm a bit overwhelmed with work, with the impending market, with cooking dinner, with getting dressed. Everything just seems a bit difficult. 

So I take some deep breaths, some slow walks to take in the spring goodness, and tightly hold on to my child's hand... 

September 25, 2012

fast approaching.

Here's a few little newbies...

These will all be for sale at the market which is rapidly approaching. I've got a great collection of vintage fabrics and sheets which I've been cutting into to make some simple little baby blankets and throws, like that one in the last photo. I think they've come up great.

I've had a couple of dreams lately where I've turned up to the market without signage, prices, a table and with quilts that haven't been bound. In the last dream, the market was in a scout hall, and I was hanging my quilts from a bunk bed. ?!! I'm obviously starting to feel slightly stressed about the whole thing! But I'm enjoying it too... it's great to push myself and have something to work towards and crazy dreams aside, I'm really looking forward to it.

September 16, 2012

bits and pieces

* a more organised workspace with works in progress
* awesome mail delivery day during the week... new boots (thanks ebay) and new inspiration
* a vintagey feel
* getting our hands dirty
* nappy change reading

hope you're all having a lovely weekend... here's to a good week ahead! xx

September 10, 2012

Music Monday #8

No video for this, it's all about the music.
Haunting, ethereal, beautiful music.
So get yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine (it's after 5pm somewhere in the world), close your eyes, turn it up and be transported somewhere else...

You can see a live version here if you'd like...

September 7, 2012

booby milk all finished.

Almost 20 months of breastfeeding my little one, and now this chapter is closed.

It's taken quite a while to get here... I have felt ready for some time but was unsure how to go about it, especially as I have always fed him to sleep (and as you may recall, the advice I received was not of the most helpful variety... vegemite anyone?). So slowly - we always do things slowly around here - we started dropping feeds. First the morning one, which meant giving up those lovely lazy hour long feeds and snuggles in bed. And as he was waking up at 5.30ish, it meant getting up before the sun (sometimes 2 hours before the sun) and giving him breakfast and starting our day earlier. Thank goodness for husbands is all I can say about that.

And then said husband started putting him to bed at night. The protests and cries for mama subsided amazingly quickly and although it took him a while to get him to sleep, he did it and it was fine. In fact it's been a lovely and special time for them. Then last friday, I went out for dinner with some friends in the evening, leaving the house before Leo was asleep and leaving the boys to do bedtime alone. And then, I just knew it was time. It was the weekend and papa was around to continue to put him to sleep during the day, and so it went.

By sunday, it had been a couple of days of no feeds and I started mourning the fact that it was over and I hadn't really appreciated that last one! So I gave him one last long feed, relishing every last moment of that beautiful bonding experience and then that was it. And so now I manage to get him to sleep during the day with cuddles and back rubs and songs and it's been surprisingly easy.

Breastfeeding this beautiful boy has been a wonderful experience (except for the first couple of weeks but that's another story) and I am so glad that we were able to do it for this long. But now I know that I am ready for my body to be mine again, and I can tell that my little boy is getting bigger and older and ready to be a little more independent.
The next chapter has begun...

*that's Leo high fiving me after his last feed!

September 4, 2012

choo choo

There's a bit of a vehicle obsession going on at our place at the moment (car! car! car! car!) which was fuelled slightly over the weekend with a father's day visit to the miniature railway... a great way to celebrate the awesome dads in our life and to welcome Spring! 

August 29, 2012

Because who doesn't love bunting?!

And a few shout outs to some of my favourite fabric makers who's goods appear here... Umbrella Prints, Maze & Vale (the old 'stormy weather' appears again!) and Fiona Dalton for fabric sharing!!