16.7.14

Simple Living


Simple Living. It's something I desire, but I often find myself overwhelmed by the lack of simplicity in my life. Overwhelmed by all my stuff, overwhelmed by all my dreams and hopes and plans, overwhelmed by my over-committments, overwhelmed by the never ending house work, overwhelmed by the long lists of things I want or need to do, overwhelmed by my anxieties, overwhelmed by my need to please everybody...and so forth..

Do you feel like that sometimes? 

Inspired by a great article I recently read, I prettied up a little notebook today to document and journal my way through what feels like the next necessary chapter of my life. Mastering the Art of Simplicity. 

Have you got any tips on how to live a simpler life? I'd love to hear your thoughts, experiences and ideas. 

Mezz x

12.7.14

handmade love


I just had to pop by quickly to share this adorable pic of our Miss Three. She is wearing a dress I recently made for her using some Little Mermaid fabric that was given to us in a big bag of fabric scraps.

The photo was taken at my brother John and his wife Ash's place, one of my fav places in the world. Their home is a place of love, welcome, acceptance, handmade, thrifting and more. Ash picked up that gorgeous crocheted blanket from an opshop, and that Anchorman cushion was a Christmas gift from us. I upcycled a thrifted tshirt to make it. One can never have too many Anchorman references in the home, I believe. 

Mezz x

11.7.14

some simple makes

I've been feeling quite creative recently. It ebbs and flows for me, how about you? I can spend a whole day in front of the sewing machine, and then another month or 2 not even thinking about it!! Here are a few of my recent makes, all very simple. Simple crafting can be very therapeutic, don't you think?? 

I've been making heaps of pretty fabric tape with all my vintage fabric scraps, inspired by Taz's craft project in our recent issue of Hundreds and Thousands Mag.

I baked some yummy Banana Cake, using this recipe I made up a while ago! The husband and kids were happy!!

I'm always adding pretty pics to our walls. Since I was a teenager, I've always enjoyed covering my walls in images that inspire me and make me feel happy.

Upcycling a few old shirts into something new...not quite finished though!!

Sewing a sweet little "Nursery Rhyme" bunting for a friend who is expecting her second baby. My husband found some vintage children's cloth books at his work which I've been gleefully cutting into!

What creations have you been making recently?

Mezz x

8.7.14

It's a blog hoppity hop!

My darling sis in law Ash who writes over at the pretty darn awesome thesquee.com has nominated me to join in a bit of a blog hop. Isn't she lovely? I will do my best to answer some questions (some of them are about writing so I may need to be creative with my answers) so you can learn a little bit about me. And stay tuned, because at the end I shall nominate a few of my favourite bloggers to either a) join in or b) not join in, but feel special.

(I grew up with 2 brothers, but as an adult have become part of a wonderful sisterhood of sis inlaws! Here I am sitting between Ash and Taz. I have three other wonderful sis in laws too, living interstate and overseas. Nicole, Vanessa and Katerina. I am blessed.)


WHAT AM I WORKING ON?

What AREN'T I working on might be an easier question. I am currently working on recording a 5 track EP of my original tunes. My recordings in the past have been quite epic, with string and horn arrangements, backing vocalists, you name it. But over the past 2 years I have been playing a much more stripped back acoustic show, and I thought it was time to capture that new sound. I am also always working on my little handmade crafty zine I make with (other sis in law) Taz, called Hundreds and Thousands. This zine has been one of my most exciting creative experiences to date, and if we're not posting out pretty orders we're dreaming of the next issue. And somewhere in there I'm trying to be creative round the home, whether its sewing, gluing, cutting, moving furniture, crocheting, baking, giving, listening. Creativity is alive and well in our home. (The housework, on the other hand is a bit of a disaster!)

WHY DO I DO WHAT I DO?
I can't help it. I've tried to stop. Seriously. I've tried to be normal, and to dream of normal things like mortgages and 9-5 jobs and kids in daycare...but in the end, do you know what gets my heart racing?  It's the sound of Kate Bush's voice, the excitement of going to a high tea, the idea of a pom pom making party, late nights, slow starts, dancing to Beatles records, knowing my neighbourhood like the back of my hand because I actually spend most of my time in it, op shop adventures, sharing a touch of the creative chaos with my kids, being home for a fair bit and then packing up the car and driving to the country to play at a music festival every now and then... the creative life makes me happy, therefor I must continue to live it! Fearlessly, courageously.

HOW DOES MY CREATING PROCESS WORK?
I write songs very much on my own. It's a personal process. When I am in the midst of a crisis, I don't feel a creative bone in my body. This can be anything from a major life crisis, down to something fairly insignificant, like WHY ARE THERE SO MANY DISHES THAT ALWAYS NEED TO BE WASHED WHY CAN'T A FAIRY GODMOTHER COME AND DEAL WITH THIS (that can feel like a crisis at times, don't you think?) .... But once there is some light, some hope, that's when the songwriting starts. It emerges out of difficulty, finding hope, creating beauty out of brokenness. For me, songwriting is often about reflecting back on things in my life and making sense of it all, or at least something beautiful. Most listeners would say my songs are quite positive, and I would agree, but they are generally born out of despair first.

My zine making  process is totally different. It's all about team work, sharing ideas, working with Taz and bouncing off each other. It's also consistent, which I like. We don't wait til we "feel inspired", we just meet (roughly) once a week to keep working on things. The ball keeps rolling. I love it.

.....And crafting just happens in spare moments when I feel the desire. It's probably the most random of all my creative processes.


HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN MY GENRE?
This question is obviously written for writers, so i'll stretch it a bit to just tell you what makes my makes mine. If you listen to my music, read my zine, look at my sewing I can guarantee that there will be a lot of love, heart, and soul in what you hear/see/read. But it's probably not going to be perfect. I'm not a perfectionist. What I strive for (not only when I am making things, but simply, in life itself)  is authenticity, heart, colour, connection and spirit.


Meet my friends...
There are a lot of bloggers I adore, and I'd love to share all of them with you, but a few of my fav's are...

Her Library Adventures
Zaranne-Handmade
Ladybird Diaries

I invite these lovelyl ladies to join the blog hop by answering these questions over on their blogs, but no pressure whatsoever!! Thanks Ash for inviting me to take part, and three cheers for blogs. hip hip hooray!! (x 3)

love Mezz xo



3.7.14

Nice Things #8

 
Celebrating my Grandpa Harold's 90th Birthday

 
Releasing Issue 2 of my little zine Hundreds and Thousands, and watching all the orders come rolling in!!

My dad has recently been sending me pics from when I was little!!

 My gorgeous housemate Maria cooking lunch for my son for no reason other then she's awesome.

 Looking forward to going to the Northern Regards Market this weekend!

A very quick trip over to Western Australia for a family birthday and catch up last week. Spent a day in beautiful and historic Fremantle.

Love hearts in the sand.

23.6.14

New Issue of my handmade zine out now!

Hi there,

Just a quick hello to let you all know that................
 

The little handmade and crafty zine I make with Taz is finally ready for you all to enjoy! To read a bit more about Issue 2, head to our blog www.hundredsandthousandsmag.blogspot.com or go right ahead and order your copy at our online store www.hundredsandthousands.storenvy.com

love Mezz x

14.6.14

#5reasonstobehappy....its a thing!!

A few months ago when I was a feeling pretty down, my hubby bought me a book called "14,000 things to be happy about" by Barbara Ann Kipper from an Op Shop. The author had been writing lists of things that made her happy since she was a little girl, and well in to her adult life. And the book is literally that. Her list of things that make her happy. 14,000 things, to be exact. Things like the smell of cinnamon, Micky Mouse, Lighthouses, heart to heart conversations....the list is simple and extraordinary at the same time. 

(one of my many pages from my "happy list.")

 I was inspired! I bought a notebook with the plan to write down a few things that make me happy, and much to my amazement, as soon as I put pen to paper I couldn't stop! I just kept writing and writing and the list kept growing! One notebook became two notebooks and so on. It didn't solve all of my problems, but it was like an "instant spirit lifter." Once I wrote one thing that made me feel happy, it would remind me of 5 more things...and then 5 more things...and so on...

(playing with wool makes me feel happy)

I started writing this list when I was feeling pretty blue. Feeling down can happen to anyone, right? I knew that theoretically, but never did I expect it to happen to happy, carefree, giggly, life's pretty good me!! If you are struggling with some serious anxiety, depression or grief, I don't suggest for one minute that just writing down a list of things that make you happy will "fix" it. In fact, I know that it won't. Sometimes in order to make sure we remain in good mental health we may realise it's time to talk to someone..a GP, a counselor..and if that's you I encourage you to ring up and make that appointment now!  But starting your own "happy list" might put a little sunshine in your day. Just a teeny little bit. 

(ignoring the washing and putting my feet up makes me happy)

And so that's why I do this. It helps. Sometimes I can think of heaps of things that make me happy. Sometime I can only think of one or two things. And on the days when I can't think of anything I just read the list I've already made and go "Oh yeah, that's right." "Happiness" is such a weird word, isn't it? We say it all the time... Happy Birthday, Happy Christmas..but what do we mean? I believed until fairly recently that striving to be "happy" was shallow...There is more to life then just being happy, I would think. There is doing the right thing, sacrifice, honour and justice. Happiness compared to these things just seemed...silly, insignificant. 

(my kids make me happy)

But. You know what? We get to live this life once. Just once. And the more I think about it, I want it to be a  happy one. I'm totally convinced that I'm not meant to be miserable. And so now, "happiness" is a daily goal...and one that I am unapologetic about! 
(pretty flowers make me happy)

What makes you happy??

love Mezz xx

Side note- a month or two ago I started posting some of the things from my list on Facebook, to share with my friends. I would choose 5 things from the list and hashtag it #5reasonstobehappy and much to my surprise it became a "thing" that lots of other people do now! How weird and wonderful is that? Feel free to join in!!

13.6.14

Vote for Mezz!! (and make my day!!)

Hello, hello!

Just a quick post to let you know that I have recorded a cover version of the beautiful Clare Bowditch song "I Thought You Were God" and have entered it into her "Winter Secrets" Tour Competition. The winners get to perform this song on stage with Clare during her upcoming tour. It would be a thrill to have that opportunity of course, but the feedback I have been getting (including from Clare herself!) has made me very happy, so I already feel like a winner! I don't often enter singing comps, they can get pretty tacky! But this one is all about just supporting local artists and giving them some really lovely opportunities, so I figure why not!

Here is the little ukulele version I recorded....

And if you like this and you could spare a few moments to vote for me, click here. You will totally make my day of course!!  Just look for my video on the link and press "vote." It should be pretty simple!! You can vote from anywhere in the world, and if you are super keen you can vote once a day!! Whatever works for you!

Thanks everyone for all the support and love. What a gorgeous community I am a part of!!

Mezz xx


16.5.14

a music project-I need your input!!

Hello there!!

You may know that before I was ever a crafter, blogger and zine maker I was (and still am!) a singer! It's been fun bringing a bit of my love for music to the world of handmade, and also bringing the world of handmade back in to my music. What I love about the crafty and handmade community I discovered online is there is a real "can do" attitude. We are a creative bunch, and we just do things because we can! What's amazing though, is because we share with each other what we are doing we all become quite involved in each other's work and creativity, and our projects become big, lovely, collaborative, community things! I never really experienced that in the music scene (it's a bit more fickle and competitive) and I've become determined to have that same experience with my music!!

So this year, in an attempt to share my music experience a bit more openly and transparently, I have started taking requests and recording songs nominated by my fans/friends/online community. It's been fun. There is a sense that we are all contributing ideas, and that excites me! Head to www.mezzcoleman.com to hear the songs I have already recorded.

Now I am after more requests, so leave a comment below and let me know your favourite song that appears in a film. In a week or two I will pick one of the requests and record and share with you all!!

Looking forward to seeing what songs and films you like!

Mezz
www.mezzcoleman.com 

13.5.14

Supporting Handmade!

I've recently bought a few handmade pieces of lovely and I thought I'd share them here with you. It's so important to support handmade, don't you think?
I went along to the lovely Northern Regards Market in Northcote last weekend and bought these cute pieces from Lil Wise Owl. www.madeit.com.au/littlewiseowl 

This dress is made by my sis in law (and Hundreds and Thousands zine co creator) Taz. She makes handmade pieces and sells them on her online store www.butterandbuntings.storenvy.com ...she also has a stall at the Fitzroy Market this coming Saturday the 17th!!
Aren't these handmade brooches great!!?

I literally stumbled across the most fantastic little market a few weekends back. Everything was handmade, and everything sold was to raise money for the ASRC (Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.) I have since done a bit of research and discovered that the market was put on by a community of craft activists (woohoo!) called "Creating a Welcome." I totally think you should go visit their blog! www.creatingawelcome.blogspot.com 

Have you discovered any great local handmade crafters recently?

Mezz x