Saturday, March 30, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Che: The morning of the Easter parade in an absolutely fabulous hand-made hat.
Poet: The gaze that broke my heart. She has been feverish for the past four days, poor wee thing.

In between feeding and comforting Poet I enjoyed looking through your portraits this week - so much colour and joy. I completely sympathised with this sleepy sick series, hope she's better now / siblings immersed in the wonder of the world - magic / Hello Everly! - you sweet little girl, you / a gorgeous b+w shot / beautiful little Alannah checks for mail - I adore everything about this vignette. 

I was recently informed that Che & Fidel has been nominated for an Australian Writer's Centre blogging award. There's a "people choice" section and whilst I understand that the process can be a little annoying (and your time is precious) I would absolutely love your vote. You just need to go here, find Che & Fidel on the first page and click 'next' till you find 'done'. Thank you, so much.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Tim, Kesh and Roo popped in for a visit yesterday. It's only five weeks till The Creatives and we're putting the finishing touches on the day, working out the finer details to ensure it will all flow beautifully. We're really excited to share what we know about storytelling with photos and words. 

Today I met with a talented friend of mine who will create the menu. We have a wholesome, nourishing meal planned for lunchtime as well as some sweet treats for afternoon tea. I'm thinking a range of herbal teas will be in order, with beautiful teacups to sip from. 

To those of you who are already booked - I can't wait to meet you!  And for those interested in attending, I still have a few places free. Email me for details: jodiclairewilson @

Photo by Tim: Poet guards an autumnal array of cheese and fruit. My beautiful 1940s French bread board was sourced by Alison from Bayside Vintage

Monday, March 25, 2013

autumn : the ordinary

Outside it's still summer but come inside and you'll notice; the autumn mood has fallen. Our days have been punctuated with sniffles, fevers, weariness and foul moods (mine).

Yes, the lull is here. Last week I moped about feeling completely overwhelmed, this week, so far, is much the same. I think this first term of school is really starting to take its toll. Yesterday I watched the children walk up the stairs and into their classroom with a little less bounce than previous weeks. When I looked around at the mamas I saw the same. We're all counting down the days to a four-day weekend, comforted by the fact that the two-week holidays are just around the corner. 

It's also time for me to start thinking about weaning Poet. Just like with Che, the 20-month mark is when I really start to recognise my tiredness, impatience and need for a little more independence. I have a used-by-date and it's fast approaching. For these next few months I'll take it slowly and talk to Poet about the fact that milky will be finished soon. But last night, when I asked her whether she wanted milk before sleep, she lifted her arms high in the air and yelled: "Yay!" Such joyous enthusiasm is hard to resist.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Che: Crab hunting, cave exploring and ocean swimming - the best kind of day at the beach.
Poet: Looking very Miss Muppet and trying her best to turn the hose on.

As I journey from one 52 post to the next it's so lovely to see that you're all listing your favourites. This week I sighed at a joyous family and their delightful rain dance / a tiny girl running on a white, expansive beach / beautiful little lamb, a book and her dog / two girls and their art making process, such an original concept for every week of the year / and little Stanley in his denim dungarees, so sweet.

Last week Fritha asked whether I would consider starting a pinterest board for all your portraits. Whilst I think it's a lovely idea I actually haven't ventured into pinterest-land - it's just something else to spend time on and i'm all for keeping it simple. However, halfway during the year I'm going to add another post to the project and I'll encourage you to do the same - posting three of your favourite portraits (of each subject) from the year so far. We'll do the same towards the end of the year - a mini collection that tells the story of the child/partner/subject. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

tick tock

"Mothers of schoolchildren can have a tense relationship with time and, in some cases, an obsessive attachment to using it efficiently. One of the greatest injuries one can commit against  a mother is to waste her time. Any form of time-wasting feels painful and sees our stress levels soar: traffic, red lights, a stalled computer, even a minute of idle conversation."
- Sarah Napthali, Buddhism for Mothers of Schoolchildren

I spend a lot of time mulling over the fact that I don't have any time. I also have a terrible habit of declaring, out loud: "There's so much to do!"

It's in my nature to wander - from one task to the next, around and then back again - a lovely way to be but not all that efficient. When I wrote about rhythms and routines a few weeks ago I started to really think about how I was using my time and, more importantly, where I was wasting it. I recently stumbled upon this article; I read the first few paragraphs and realised, rather shamefully, that the author was describing me. I am the chicken with its head cut off, flighty and, on some days, desperately chasing the clock and getting absolutely nothing done. 

There are 168 hours in a week and 56 of those should be spent sleeping (8 hours a night). That leaves 112 hours to do and be. How should I spend them? Ronnie recently wrote about her organised days where she follows the general rule of ..have a place for everything and put everything in its place. With one simple sentence she may have changed the way I see and go about my days. Because, if I've learnt one thing about working from home it's this - doing the dishes, making dinner, answering Che's questions and replying to emails cannot happen within the same twenty minute period. 

For the next week I'm going to give my days a little more structure by putting every task in its place. The very first change? I'm going to give myself a bedtime because it's been years since I've done so. More importantly I'm going to create a bedtime ritual where I spend the hour before 10pm preparing for sleep - a lavender bath, chamomile tea, and a good book is my intention this evening. Perhaps it's something you might consider too? 

update: for a mother with a newborn or a young baby the opportunity to create a bedtime ritual is probably difficult, perhaps impossible. However, there is one thing you can do before you crash into bed and fall asleep in your clothes to ensure you make some time for 'you'. 

When you lie down make a conscious effort to become aware of your breath. And then start to mentally travel around your body; starting at the crown of your head. Become aware of any tension and then contract that body part and release. Most women hold tension in their shoulders, neck, face and hands. But for good measure it might be a good idea to contract and then release your feet and buttocks too. Once your body is soft and relaxed come back to your breath and mentally repeat 'let' as you inhale and 'go' as you exhale. You might like to focus solely on your exhalation - the breath that softens, calms and grounds you. 

This ritual will take about five minutes (not long!) and it ensures that you fall asleep relaxed as opposed to frantic and tense. Ultimately it will help you sleep better and deeper. Sweet dreams...

photos by luisa from our day in surry hills.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

autumn : in surry hills

photos by luisa brimble

Surry Hills is south-east of the CBD, an inner-city suburb with a fabulous personality. It's the perfect place to wander; passed dilapidated terraces, bustling cafes and beer-stained pubs.

Tucked behind the main streets are quiet alleys decorated with pot plants and green. Perhaps the most famous is McElhone Place, commonly referred to as "Cat Alley". Lined with terraces, awnings with scalloped edging, pretty little windows, this alley attracts the local community of cats who weave in and out of pink bougainvillea. Fairy lights hang from above and between the aged steps and doorways are park benches, ever-green succulents and an abundance of herbs, ready-to-pick. As you walk further in you hear classical from the left and jazz from the right, cigarette smoke blends with just-brewed coffee and a local closes his front door, nodding as he leaves. 

It's the stuff of stories, this jigsaw piece of the city - a life-size terrarium. 


Luisa and I started our day at Bourke St, Bakery - the iconic boulangerie. After coffee and pear pastries we walked Crowne and Bourke St, stopping in front of ivy walls and stable doors for photos. 

If you walk further up Bourke St, towards Redfern, I recommend stopping at St. Jude for lunch. Otherwise you could walk back to Devonshire St and into the rather quaint The Book Kitchen. That's where we met up with Gaby and her blossoming belly to talk baby names, pre-natal yoga and our latest read, The Way of the Happy Woman. If you can get past the hippy title you'll find gentle and beautiful wisdom in this book. Written as a seasonal guide, author Sara Avant Stover offers simple yet profound tips for a wholesome, healthy and happy lifestyle.


I'm wearing indus oversized cardigan c/o Lilya, top by kissincussin (a few seasons ago), pants by Secret South from StyleMilk, alera ballerina shoes c/o Lilya, mala beads* from the ashram, ingenue bag c/o Elf, anywhere sunglasses by Karen Walker (found for a steal on ebay!). 

*mala beads are meditation garlands used by Buddhists, Hindus and yogis. They are often used for chanting or meditation but can also be worn as gentle reminders - of a good intention or sankalpa (positive affirmation). Malas always feature 108 beads - a spiritually significant number. When I wear mine I'm more aware of my breath - a simple blessing. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Che: He is growing up so fast, blossoming. And his eyelashes are getting darker, lucky boy.
Poet: From our kitchen to a play kitchen. She laughs with all the big girls in Che's class. 

This week I was so impressed by the composition in Caitlin's photo of Toddler C / Christie's 'unportraits' of Ryder and Willow are beautiful / joyful b+w jumping over at Lullaby & La La / a daydreaming Sylas / father and son bonding; a precious moment caught

I just wanted to tell you that although I only mention five of my favourite portraits I do manage to visit at least 100 of you each week. Almost three months into the project and I'm noticing such a change in your photographs - there's more depth to your images and a better understanding of light. But what I've noticed more than anything is the change in composition - so many of you are experimenting with're stepping away or moving closer, shooting through door frames or around trees, lying on the ground to get the shot. 

I'm inspired and can't wait to see what you have in store for this week. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

inspired by : concrete

It was only when I looked through the lens that I saw beauty in concrete.

Seemingly bland to the eye, concrete reveals its texture and quirk in a photograph. It has a surprising depth to it; ingrained with bits of ephemera, caught. When a little girl dances atop it, or a petal lies still...that's when I see such wonderful contrast - delicate meets tough, natural meets industrial. 

Whilst I'm always grateful for the green and blue around home I find the gritty grey completely inspiring. How about you, what are you inspired by this week?

inspired by : colour and keke

Monday, March 11, 2013

autumn : a giveaway to celebrate the season

An array of autumnal goodness; to keep your body warm, your home bright and your children happy (especially on rainy days).

There's a big part of me that would like to covet this collection but alas, it will be delivered to one of you. Valued at over $1300 each item has been contributed by a creative who really values the beauty of "made with love" - hooray to that!

One lucky winner will receive the following:

1. One pair of Berties from Jonah and the Girl - the perfect everyday-sneaker (winner will choose size and colour) - valued at $40.

2. A pair of vivid Wittlebird wings will inspire hours of imaginative play. Ideal for dragons, fairies, elves and birds, winner will choose colours and size - valued at $70.

3. Paul & Paula clothing is handmade to perfection in Melbourne - contemporary, quirky designs are created from quality fabrics and expert craftsmanship. This little pair of leggings are made from 100% Merino Wool Jersey and feature a sweet navy/white striped bow. Winner will choose size - valued at $33. 

4. One of my favourite Rebekka Seale prints, Stripes is an 8"x10" print of her original watercolour and gouache painting - valued at $20

5. A penguin with a scarf, well of course. Meet Scout, one of Udder's most beloved creatures. Made entirely from recycled fabrics, he "...loves a good adventure and has climbed many a cushion/pillow mountain in his time." - valued at $70

6.  This gorgeous wooden line work beaded necklace comes with a story. It's made from sustainable plantation timber right her in Australia and then printed with an original water colour painting. The cord is hand-dyed with English Breakfast tea in the Polli studio - a converted ginger beer factory in Stanmore, Sydney. Valued at $79.95, it's rather swoon-worthy.

7. Fair trade and made from sustainable materials this yellow slide whistle is the perfect addition to the musical instrument basket. Valued at $20.99 from Tree Hugga

8. Look at this collection of beautiful stationery and crafty supplies - all from BLANK. This pack includes 6 x hollow wooden eggs (perfect for Easter!), 1 x pack of small gift boxes, 1 x pack of cotton muslin bags, 1 x pack of glassine lined bags, 1 x packet of turquoise circle stickers and 2 x packs of vintage tags. Valued at $52.

9. Tik e ta is European-inspired but locally-made, a range of fun and contemporary kid's clothing from super-soft fabrics. These black+white striped harem pants are just lovely  Winner will choose size - valued at $39.

10. Brass cast from an actual gingko leaf, this pendant and chain by Pantheia is a celebration of Autumn. Made by in Bali from sustainable practices - valued at $75.

11. Gina & May create beautiful, quality umbrellas with long wooden handles - a necessity on rainy days. This "grasshopper" design features a windproof mechanism and offers UV protection - valued at $59.95.

12. Snuggly PJs - one of my favourite things about the cooler months. ALAS (all light all shadow) creates sleepwear from organic cotton and endeavors to be socially and ecologically responsible in every step of the design, creation and distribution process. These long-sleeved, long-legged Dusk pjs are valued at $59.95 (winner will choose size).

13. A special edition DIY oobee bunny kit by Maze & Vale. Suitable for all levels of sewers and perfect for beginners, this kit allows you to create your very own soft and squishy Easter bunny with 100% cotton corduroy fabric (handprinted with one of Maze & Vale's signature designs), wool felt and fleece. This special edition comes with bonus materials to create a traditional oobee too. Valued at $22. 

14. Autumn is raincoat season and this gorgeous design from Quince is ideal for the little ones. Valued at $55, winner will choose size. 

15. Tea - my preferred drink of the season. This sweet "tea please" cup is handmade in a workshop nestled between the trees and rolling hills of the Kanimbla Valley. Artist Helen Hay creates delicate vessels that turn your everyday drink into a cherished ritual - valued at $40. 

16. Polka dots for the bedroom? Kip & Co create bright, boutique linen and this flat sheet is 100% cotton, 300 thread count and made in India. Featuring navy spots on an olive base it's king size and valued at $125.

17. Always on my kitchen bench, Counter Intelligence from Murchison-Hume keeps the counter clean without the use of nasty chemicals. Valued at $12.50.

18. A box of  bright chalk that will inspire hours of creativity...a necessity in the craft cupboard. Chalk Chook is the very best chalk I've come across, made for small hands and big imaginations - valued at $30

19. Purdey Bonnet by Dover & Madden - a handmade 1970s inspired ski bonnet featuring a bubble design and the possible addition of earflaps, sized 3months-36months - valued at $41, winner will choose size and colour. 

20. Whole Family Rhythms are a series of seasonal and monthly guides created and designed to help you maintain a steady rhythm in your home. Winner will receive the April guide - valued at $12.

21. This delightful cot quilt by Miette Handmade features a collection of vintage inspired fabrics in hues of blue, red and green. Handmade in Melbourne and valued at $160.

22. This best-selling rainbow necklace by Kangaroo Care is made from juniper beads - perfectly safe for baby to play with while breastfeeding - valued at $25. 

23. This unique Lola clutch from Little Tienda features Otomi embroidery, exquisite stitching and bohemian styling - valued at $85.

24. A beautiful little set from Shorties - a handknitted vest (size 12months) and the friendliest little owl friend you ever did see - valued at $78.

25. Ethically handmade by Tibetan refugees in Kokonor's Indian workshop, this cotton koko kaftan is perfect for summer or can be layered for the cooler months. Available in five different fabrics, winner will choose size and pattern - valued at $34.


The extra good news is that this is an international giveaway. You can enter a maximum of three times:
  • first entry - follow Che & Fidel (over there on the right)
  • second entry - popping over to Che & Fidel on facebook and hitting 'like' 
  • third entry - sharing this giveaway on facebook/instagram/your blog
Please leave a separate comment for each entry (if you can't see your comment please press the 'load more' option under the comment box). The winner will be chosen by the random number generator and will be announced in this post on Monday March 18th at 9pm est.

COMMENTS CLOSED - the winner is #569 - hollyproperly. Congratulations! x

Best of luck!

autumnal illustration by rebekka seale

Saturday, March 9, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Che: A boy, his shadow, and the milky way
Poet: She's my (determined and bossy) kitchen companion

A child's shadow is fascinating; an exaggerated mimic yet still so delicate. 

This week I adored the joy, maturity and cheek of Maxabella's portraits / the soft, inquisitive touch between brand new siblings / the senses captured / her last week as a one-year-old / Archie and a distinctly Australian backdrop.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

autumn : notes from my naturopath

I'm watching hues of rust and ochre seep into the landscape; summer fades to fall.

Summer was all about the heart, eating bitter foods to cool the blood and hence cool the body. Since I had Che I have always been irritated by the heat - so much so that I loathed the hot weather. But regardless of the numerous heatwaves we experienced over December and January I never once felt agitated or overly hot. Now I really understand and appreciate the benefits of eating a seasonal diet; allowing nature to dictate my menu.

I always mark the turn of the season with a visit to my naturopath. It's an opportunity to learn more about my body and how it relates to the change in weather. I always experience a lull in autumn, both emotional and energetic, and whilst it hasn't arrived yet I know it will come with the first cold wind - I'll recognise it, be with it, and then move on. 

Autumn is about the lungs - ultimately we want move any waste out through the blood with an increase in vitamin C and we want to get rid of excess mucous so it doesn't sit on our chest during the colder months. Our diet should include pungent foods to cleanse. These include garlic and onion, thyme, and spices like fenugreek, tumeric and cardamon. 

Other seasonal suggestions include:
  • green smoothies - kale, baby spinach, apples and pears
  • nettle tea; a powerful cleansing concoction
  • burning 'woody' oils to dilate the airways - pine, juniper, frankincense, eucalyptus* 
  • if you have a moist area in your home try burning cedarwood, tea tree and or lemongrass*; they help to dry fungus and mould
  • for fabulous tips on mould removal, pop over to biome's blog
  • for a sweet and therapeutic afternoon treat try pineapple, mint and ginger juice
In the past few weeks I've noticed that Che and Poet want more for breakfast so I've been making porridge and toast to accompany smoothies or fresh juice. We're a family of grazers and I find, especially in the colder months, that I can easily spend most the day preparing food. It's exhausting and overwhelming at times, the desire to feed your children the very best, and often time and energy get in the way. I've been reading some great cookbooks lately, slowly introducing a few new recipes into our diet. My favourite meal at the moment is simple, nutritious and so quick to make. Poet loves it, Che runs from the plate (you can't please everyone):
  • chop kale, leek, beans, capsicum, perhaps some green chilli, and brocolli
  • head 1.5tbs coconut oil and add the leek and a little crushed garlic
  • after a few minutes add the vegies and cook for about 5-7minutes on med-high heat
  • add a little salt and pepper and perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice
  • enjoy (serve with brown rice, if you like)
What's your favourite autumn recipe?

*some oils aren't safe to use in pregnancy (especially clove oil) so always check with your health food store/naturopath before you burn them in the home. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

the school series : routine's rhythm

For the first time in a very long time we have a strict five-day-a-week routine and it's taking us a while to adjust. Slowly, slowly we're getting there.

Routine is not a word that I've used in my mothering experience. I never adhered to the belief that babies need a routine and so I never established one. Instead I found comfort in rhythm; I found it in my breath, my body and my days - a constant, ever flowing, ever changing rhythm.

But there is no denying that the school week is routine based. The time frame is strict and there is little leniency. But you know what, I actually like it, and I'm learning that however demanding school is, it does provide some beautiful lessons, mostly for me and my rhythm. 

                              I think as you move into a new stage of parenting it's only natural to reminisce on the previous years, to reflect on how they were navigated and explored. I distinctly remember reading The Rhythms of Parenting in the Sunday paper, tearing out the article and sticking it on the fridge. It stayed there for a good while, the white paper slowly yellowing, and I read it often. My favourite quote and the one I kept returning to was this:

" the time the child (and parents) emerge from the cocoon of infancy into toddlerhood and beyond, it is incredibly helpful to the parents, and soothing and stabilising for the child, to have predictable rhythms to most days' events." 

Indeed, children thrive on predictability, days that are guided by an eating, playing, exploring, sleeping rhythm. Since Che was two I have implemented a very simplistic rhythm which changed, of course, with the seasons, the arrival of Poet and my increasing work-load. Now as the school timetable influences my week I have introduced a few things to ensure a smoother, calmer mama rhythm (as opposed to shrieking and attempting to get everyone out the door by 8:35am)
  • I set my alarm and get up early. I often struggle with this but once I'm up I'm so grateful for the still and the quiet - it's a beautiful way to begin. I usually start with a cup of tea and then I'll pack Che's lunch. Sometimes I write, sometimes I put washing on, sometimes I just sit.
  • I set Che's uniform out the night before to ensure it's ready and clean (which has been handy considering 2 days out of 5 there isn't a clean uniform to be found, hence a late-night laundry session).
  • I've officially declared Thursday night "pizza night" and I always put aside a few pieces for Che's lunch on Friday (not having to make a sandwich or a wrap come Friday is rather nice)
  • I work between 9-3 and then do a few hours in the evening when the children have gone to bed. Having such a definite schedule has ensured I work quite efficiently, even when writer's block strikes.
  • In the afternoons I'm noticing that we're establishing a new rhythm around Che - afternoon tea and a chat, homework and an early dinner. I've found that dinner by 5:30pm is the best for children; it calms the witching hour (to a degree).
Of course, sometimes none of the above happens and I fumble my way through, trying my hardest not to lose the plot. On those days I remind myself that there's always tomorrow.

As for homework....well, Daniel and Che work together on the balcony while I prepare dinner. I hear snippets of their discussions, always peppered with silly stories. And sometimes I come across the "extra" creations and smile big. Like this:

"I sat on my cat. My cat is flat. I am a flat cat. The cat sat on my head. The cat did a poo on my head so I washed my hair with shampoo. It didn't work. I still had poo on my head. The end."

...just today the lovely Meagan launched "Whole Family Rhythms" - a guide to creating seasonal, weekly and daily rhythms for your family. Pop over there for a little inspiration...

Saturday, March 2, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Che: Sitting in front of the green screen preparing to reenact a Star Wars scene. The things that happen in my garage.....
Poet: I had a few captures to choose from but this, well, it says it all. She is sweet, she is mischievous. - clover bonnet c/o dover & madden

I unintentionally re-created 16/52 from last year - the same polka dot helmet, an older and cheekier grin. 

This week I was completely enamoured with little Oliver and his beautiful eyes / a sleeping baby called Everdeen - sigh / three priceless expressions, three joyous captures / from high above, the family bed (as soon as I saw this photo I went straight back to this week) / finally, Theo and his bed tunnel - precious.  

I received an email a few days ago from Rebecca and she suggested I share her idea. I think it would be lovely if, when you're posting your portraits for the week, you link to your favourite 52 post from another blog. That way there's a little more link love going around. What do you think? 

To join in for this week just click below....