How wonderful to introduce the lovely Peta from LoveMae to you.... she is the founder of love mae ... you know that beautiful fabric wall-decalls and wall stickers label with all the romantic colors and patterns ... "Love a little bit more passionately, live a little more recklessly and nurture a little more deeply. It is you that notices the precious detail in life and enjoys the moments that are truly important."
Peta lives in Stokers Siding in the Byron Bay area above Sydney together with her husband and two daughters.
Do you keep your children’s play areas separate, or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?
I must admit I've always loved the idea of a children's creative area where they are able to hang out and create chaos. I imagined this as a space where they don't have to hear me ask them to tidy up constantly, so I made one of the rooms in our house into a craft room. I was so excited and thought that my our little home might be a bit tidier for it - we live in such a small cottage and mess can really take over very easily. It didn't work though, my girls follow me everywhere so if I'm cooking the bench gets covered in an amazing amount of stuff. I do however get a bit strict with the end of the day clean up. I figure I'm teaching them good habits, but I must admit it's because I work quite a bit when they go to bed at night and I need to house tidy to be able to concentrate better.
Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, or blogs?
All of the above. I'm a very visual person and love being filled with inspiration. I'm an addict. Small crazy bursts is all I can squeeze in lately, but I'm sure I'll make more time for it soon. Blogs are much more easier for me to access and enjoy. I find I completely go off on a tangent when give the chance.
What are your children’s favorite items in your house?
In the house, the love their craft supplies. I think all of us would be lost without them.
Some tidying tips? Do your children tidy up after themselves?
I love a tidy space, in fact its the only way I can clearly think. Not a good trait with two crafty girls. I promise I'm trying to work on it for their sake. I dream of built in cupboards where everything hides behind doors. In the meantime we find ourselves being quite minimal, we don't have lots of things. Living in the country most of our time is spent outdoors. Every month or so I do a complete tidy but otherwise they are encouraged (or cheekily tricked) to tidy at the end of each day. Especially when a cubby house has taken over most of the house.
If you are living in a foreign country, how do you feel about
it? How do you meet new people, make new friends? What is it that you
miss most about 'home'?
I don't live in a foreign country, but 5 years ago we moved a rural location. A little cottage in a little village. Finding new friends that you truly love the company of can be difficult, especially when life is so busy. I find that my children seem to attract like minded people. It's an amazing ability they have and of course it's always convenient that their children and ours children get along. I often fantasize about living close to all my good friends, but with them scattered everywhere I know it will never be possible.
What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?
The perfect day would definitely start with a little bit of a sleep in - not so much that the morning is gone, but enough that you wake up naturally. Straight into the car and down the beach. A big swim and sandy play to work up a big appetite. We've got a family breakfast tradition going on the moment so we would head home for this. The rest of the day would be hanging out. We really love to entertain too so friends to join us in the afternoon and into the night would be a perfect day for us.
What is a normal day with your children? What do you do on the weekends?
It's warm here now and I can feel the summer sun. Our weekdays are very busy. Lots of school work and all sorts of activities including piano, circus and swimming lessons. Gosh children have so much going on. Our weekends are filled with beach, gardening playing and friends. We love all our weekends so very much. I'm travelling a lot at the moment so our weekends are filled with each other.
Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-your-kid’ advice?
Some days I still can't believe that I'm a mother. I'm not sure if I have any advice as I feel like I'm stumbling along making all kinds of mistakes. I try to include my girls in everything and always remain honest with them. I don't really believe in the little untruths to get through a situation. I think understanding is the most amazing trait we can posses, and honesty has a big part to play in this. I believe you can love whatever you understand.
What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
We are crafting mad in this house. Crazy messy crafters. My girls are amazing at turning nothing into something. I stick to that sort of DIY. My husband is a joiner so I try to steer clear of the DIY at home ... don't want to mess with his manhood. In the Love Mae studio it's a different story though, I wield a drill with passion.
Are you a crafter or DIY person?
Crafter when my husband is home and DIY when he's not. Its a much happier home that way.
Books, websites, local shops you would recommend for tips and ideas about kids crafting?
I'm a big Hello Sandwich fan. Everything Ebony Bizys does is wonderful. My girls and I find lots of amazing craft projects on lovely blogs.
Pinterest is amazing for storing these ideas. We are also lucky enough to have some great craft and origami books. We went through such a huge origami phase lately.
We are very excited about a new movement in a local town. A collective called Hey Maker is just about to deliver pure crafting goodness. Its a collective of women who see the need for a place where crafters can meet and craft together. They have classes for all ages and are really inventive with their courses. If only that kinda thing would roll out like McDonalds.
How do you like to celebrate birthday's and other special days in your house?
We do the year on year off thing. One year we have a party and the next the kids choose what they want to do. We find it really fun. I don't think I could do a party every birthday. I've got this problem with wanting to do absolutely everything myself and I end up quite a mess at the end of it. I think mothers are crazy like that. When I'm sipping my wine at the end of the birthday party day I always declare I'm crazy if I do it again.
Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food lover’ or both?
I'm part time both. At home I'm a cook, it goes with the country setting. I have an incredible talent of keeping the larder full as it's a 15 minute drive to the nearest town. I love cooking and entertaining. I travel alot with Love Mae so I balance this with dining out in every city I find myself in. The restaurant trail I find in Sydney, Melbourne and New York will always be a huge passion of mine. I get so incredibly excited when I find a good restaurant.
Where would you like to go to on vacation - with or without your children?
Our next vacation is to Cairns (Australia) to watch the solar eclipse. We are very excited and have a few side trips planned in the area. As for the next unplanned one, I'm doing my best to convince everyone that we need to buy a caravan. Then we could holiday without involving airports. My husband thinks I'm just trying to add to his work load, he knows I'll buy some vintage wreck that needs a complete overhaul. I drive him mad with my love for things that need 'a little work'.