The ‘Green Google’ Alternative

“Google it!” I used to say a few times a week, but no longer…

Why?

Because I’ve just discovered an amazing green search engine called Ecosia.

They’re a B Corporation (the equivalent of Fair Trade certification) German company that uses the money they earn from ads to plant trees. Literally millions of trees. They’ve planted 4.7 million so far!

I’ve made Ecosia my default search engine. It’s such a simple change to make. I’ve been using it for a week and, while I admit it’s not quite as perfect as Google (it’s powered by Bing and Yahoo because Google didn’t want to partner with a “charitable” company), it’s still fantastic for most searches and totally worth the change.

And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always hop back onto Google after planting a tree.

Ecosia even displays how many trees you’ve planted with a cute little tree counter in the top corner.

It’s amazing to think that if Ecosia had as many users as Google, they would have the power to end deforestation.

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National Tree Day

It was National Tree Day in Australia on the weekend. To celebrate, I visited my favourite mangrove tree near my house with my sister and wrote a little poem to share with you…

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Let me bury my feet
in the dark earth
for a time.

I want cracked bark
to grow over my smooth skin
and the winds
to toss my bones about.

I want to sprout leaves
in the spring time
and learn how to speak
with their rustling language.

And in the winter time
I want to learn
how to be silent.

In the droughts
I will
force my roots deeper
and deeper
into the
dark dirt
and,
when the rain comes,
I will drink
as I stand
up to my knees
in thick mud.

And after a long while,
perhaps,
just perhaps,
I’ll lift my feet
out of the earth
and it will feel strange
to walk away.

Handmade Paper Journals

I’ve been busy lately, making stacks of handmade paper, collecting twigs and binding these little journals. I’m excited to say, they’re finally available on my Etsy shop! And I’ll be taking them to my next market – Kirribilli Art & Design on Mother’s Day. Here are a few pics of these delicate creations… IMG_9829photoshopped_1IMG_9831photoshopped_1IMG_9837photoshoppedIMG_9855photoshoppedIMG_9845photoshoppedIMG_9850photoshoppedIMG_9833photoshopped_1IMG_9842photoshopped

Falling Leaves and Feathers

The other day, I read a few of Pablo Neruda’s odes as it rained outside. His poems are so perfectly beautiful and inspired marvellous images inside my head!

Below are my drawings for Ode to a watch in the night

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The first drawing ended up working perfectly as a pattern! Feels like a winter’s night :-)

Falling Leaves and Feathers Pattern

Ode to a watch in the night

In the night, in your hand

my watch glowed

like a firefly.

I heard

its ticking:

like a dry whisper

it arose

from your invisible hand.

Then your hand

returned to my dark breast

to gather my sleep and its pulse.

The watch

went on cutting time

with its little saw.

As in a forest

fragments of wood,

tiny drops, pieces

of branches or nests

fall

without changing the silence,

without ending the cool darkness,

so

from your invisible hand

the watch went on cutting

time, time,

and minutes fell

like leaves,

fibers of broken time,

little black feathers.

As in the forest

we smelled roots,

somewhere water released

a fat drop

like a wet grape.

A little mill

was grinding the night,

the shadow whispered

falling from your hand

and filled the earth.

Dust,

earth, distance,

my watch in the night

was grinding and grinding

from your hand.

I put

my arm

under your invisible neck,

under its warm weight,

and in my hand

time fell,

the night,

little noises

of wood and forest,

of divided night,

of fragments of shadow,

of water that falls and falls:

then sleep fell

from the watch and from

your two sleeping hands,

it fell like the dark water

of the forests,

from the watch

to your body,

from you toward countries,

dark water,

time that falls

and runs

inside us.

And that’s how it was, that night,

shadow and space, earth

and time,

something that runs and falls

and passes.

And that’s how all the nights

go over the earth,

leaving only a vague

black odor.

A leaf falls,

a drop

on the earth

muffles its sound,

the forest sleeps, the waters,

the meadows,

the bells,

the eyes.

I hear you and you breathe,

my love,

we sleep.

Translated by Stephen Mitchell; Taken from the book The Essential Neruda Selected Poems.

New Eco Bags

Introducing a few new designs to my eco tote bag collection…

These bags are ethically made from 100% recycled materials, including plastic bottles and organic cotton.

My nature-inspired ink drawings are digitally printed with eco-friendly, water-based inks.

Explore the full eco range.

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Explore the full eco range.

Recycled, handmade art

IMG_9344photoshopped I’ve just received a bundle of beautiful new picture frames in the post! I was so excited when I found these in Mulbury‘s online store. Made in Australia from rescued, recycled timber, they have a gorgeously rustic quality. I will be selling limited edition prints of my ink drawings, printed on my handmade recycled paper and framed in these special eco frames. A perfect combo!

——– $40 for a 6”x8” Limited Edition Framed Print on Cliffwatcher’s delicate handmade paper ——–

Contact me to pre-order. Choose from any of my ink drawings. (To browse all my designs, visit my Etsy store.) IMG_9332photoshopped IMG_9339photoshopped

Sunday 30th Nov – Coal Loader Artisans Market

This Sunday I’ll be pitching the Cliffwatcher marquee at the Coal Loader Artisans Market in Waverton. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to these sustainable markets and I’m very excited to be visiting at last!

The Coal Loader is the headquarters for a Centre for Sustainability. Ironic, considering its former use – for most of the 20th century, it was a big coal depot. A few years ago, however, the local community decided to transform this onetime centre for pollution into a greenie’s heaven. Now, the Coal Loader is brimming with organic community gardens, an Aboriginal Bush Foods garden, a chook run and a sustainable artist’s studio. It’s a community hub for all things environmentally friendly and runs numerous workshops on how to “green up your life”.

The Coal Loader Artisans Market is held four times a year. As you’d expect, considering the Coal Loader’s sustainability ethos, the market has a strong focus on environmentally friendly products. There’ll be lots of art, ceramics, jewellery, fashion etc. handmade by local, emerging artists.

I’m really looking forward to meeting other artists/makers who are passionate about sustainable products, and discovering this intriguing, historic site.

If you’re thinking of coming along to visit, make sure you leave time to walk around nearby Berry Island. With its amazing Aboriginal rock engraving and harbour views, this is one of the best spots in Sydney to spend a Sunday arvo.

Coal Loader Artisans Market

Sunday 30th November, 9am – 3pm

2 Balls Head Drive, Waverton

Sunday 23rd Nov – Frenchs Forest Organic Food Markets

After a couple of months touring various Sydney markets, Cliffwatcher is back at Frenchs Forest Organic Food Markets again this Sunday for one last time before Christmas. I’ve done so much ‘market research’ this year – testing out markets all over the city – but I’ve never found one I love as much as Frenchs Forest.

Tucked away in the back streets off Warringah Road, these sprawling markets are a smorgasbord of the most delicious organic produce available, alongside all sorts of other treats. From honey fresh from the bush, to singing bowls, to traditional Indian dosai for brunch, exploring the stalls here makes for the perfect Sunday morning.

If you’re coming along to visit, be sure to taste test my favourite stall, run by the lovely Philippa. Philippa makes the most divine and surprisingly-flavoured chocolates I’ve ever tasted. Chilli chocolates are her speciality, but I can’t go past anything with sea salt. Yum!

Other favourite stalls to look out for are the bush medicine plant stall, where you can find all sorts of delicious, edible plants with amazing properties to add to your garden; the Peruvian crafts stall, which sells the cutest baby shoes I’ve ever seen; almost anyone selling bread; and the never-ending organic fruit and veg stalls, of course…

So, if you’ve never ventured over the Roseville Bridge to the Forest, come say hi this Sunday!

8am – 1pm at Parkway Hotel, 5 Frenchs Forest Road East, Frenchs Forest

Eco T-shirts Gallery

My favourite images from the recent photo shoot!

These t-shirts are 100% recycled, made from plastic bottles and organic cotton.

Explore the full eco range.

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Explore the full eco range.

Recycled Organic Unisex T-shirts

They arrived!

A few days ago, I received my massive order of lovely new printed unisex t-shirts from OCC Apparel. They are made by a UK company called Salvage (they salvage waste cuttings from organic cotton clothing and blend them with recycled plastic bottles). As well as being 100% recycled, the t-shirts are also ethically made, audited by the Fair Wear Foundation.

The t-shirts are printed with some of my new Cliffwatcher designs, including a few cute animals.

The colours are great and the texture is remarkably soft and comfy.

Unisex sizes come in XS, S, M, L, and XL

On sale at my Etsy shop soon.

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