The Faraway Friendship Project Launch :: Feb Refresh Day 1

Growing up, my Mum always encouraged us to be creative. She would do oil paintings, pastel drawings (I still remember my favourite one of my sister in the Gardens in Canberra as a toddler with the curliest hair you’ve ever seen and a hot pink thick winter jumpsuit), water colours and sometimes even bring home a big slab of clay for us to create with. I’ve known how to knit most my life, and my Mum couldn’t wait to buy both my sister and I a sewing machine on each of our 22nd birthdays, because that was what she was given for her’s. I used to organise ‘Crafternoons’ with my friends a few years ago too, so we’d get together with delicious snacks and tea and create something for the fun of it while chatting away.

About a week ago, when I was in Melbourne and Albury I got to spent time with some incredibly creative friends of mine and I felt warm, fulfilled and inspired. You see, these friends of mine are mostly musicians, and I admire them, not only for their courage, but for their talent, hard work and abilities. One of my best friends is a beautiful painter (you may have noticed the piece of hers that sits in my room in this post – behind the turquoise pot) and I would love to live with her again so that I can just paint random shit and just have fun with it (but alas, I will have to wait a while for that to happen).

While I was there, it dawned on me that it’s been a long time since I’d created any art and craft (and actually completed it) which is how I suddenly I came up with (what I think) is a fantastic idea!

The Faraway Friendship Project

The premise is simple; bring together the people in the community that I’m creating through Miranda’s Wellness to foster some fun, friendship and creativity.

A Pen-Pal Program

And I’m launching it today!

The rules are simple.

  1. Sign up by emailing with the subject ‘Faraway Friendship’ giving me your name, suburb/town and state (in Australia) by 15th February 2015
  2. On 16th February, check your email for the address of your assigned pen pal, and send them a note to say ‘Hi’ and get their postal address
  3. Once a month, send your pen pal a letter with a gift. The gift may be handmade or purchased (but don’t go breaking the bank).
  4. If you like your present, post it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook on my wall with the hashtag #farawayfriendship (and don’t forget to tag me so I can see it). I’ll pick the best ones to share on my blog on the 16th of every month.
  5. I will leave applications open so that every 16th of the month, any newcomers will be assigned a pen pal
  6. Each new month I will come up with a list of 5 questions you can answer to your pen pal (possibly with a theme each month) and you can share your favourite answers if you’d like me to share those on the blog too!

The creativity of this comes in the gift part (although you can be as creative as you like with the letter writing). The gift could be as simple as filling the envelope with confetti or glitter, or could be something you’ve made yourself. For example, you could: make a friendship bracelet, homemade biscuits, write down a favourite recipe, send a song you’ve written, write a poem, send a favourite book, send a drawing/painting, create a mixed cd, send a small present you saw and thought of them, send a photo to give them more insight to your life, fold some origami, send them a jar of homemade jam or chutney, knit/crochet/cross-stitch/long-stitch/macrame/sew something small and special. (Does anyone else remember those chain mails with the cookie dough?)

It’s just about taking the time to do something that you wouldn’t necessarily do, get your brain working in a new way, and give yourself permission to do something creative with no other purpose than to make yourself (and of course, your pen pal) feel good.

Doing something creative gets your brain working in a way it wouldn’t usually, and because you get to choose what you’re doing you can do something you know you enjoy, or something you’ve always wanted to try, with no pressure for it to be perfect (because that’s not what art and craft are about).

Best of all, you get something special in the snail mail to brighten your day, and the chance to make a new friend in a way that is completely different to how you usually would.

I can’t think of a better way to start the Feb Refresh than with a fun new project to be involved in – can you?

So sign up (and encourage your friends to, too). I can’t wait to see all the loveliness you guys create!


The Feb Refresh

The holidays and celebrations have been fun and fabulous and overindulgent and full of loved ones, but now that the last of it (Australia Day) is over, it’s time to hit ‘Refresh’, and get back to every day life. I don’t know about you, but the opportunity to hit refresh is never properly taken advantage of by me unless I have something to spur myself on, so I’m creating ‘The Feb Refresh’.

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Obligatory beach-selfie

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Facetwitumblrgram – The feelings on social media that spilled out of me today

Social media is a big part of my life. I use it to keep in touch/informed about people I usually wouldn’t see much of, I Instagram pictures of my life for the fun of it, find and share links all over the place and all the rest of the social media bit – I love it!

I don’t mind sharing parts of my life with the world, mainly my own private Facebook world, because its all part of it. But when it comes to the negative parts, I am unsure. Part of me wants to be genuine, part of me doesn’t want to bring negativity to the world (especially because how I’m feeling is temporary), part of me knows that I don’t like seeing too many complaints out there in the world, and part of me doesn’t really know why I feel the need to share it. Continue reading

A Sweeping Declaration and My Daily Routine

I started writing this post on Thursday, and most of what is below is from that day of writing. But since then a few things have made me realise that this week is the perfect week to do a No Social Media Challenge. Now, obviously with my blog I use Facebook and Instagram to keep you all updated, and its certainly essential to getting my blog out there in the big wide world; but I also use it a lot in my social life. In fact, over the last few months the “tag a friend who is always on Facebook/on their phone/taking selfies” has been on the increase and I’m not ashamed to admit, I’m starting to worry a little bit. Continue reading

Pimp Your Breakfast with my Hollandaise for One

When I asked if you guys wanted this recipe, I was overwhelmed by the response and so very excited too! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I am a little obsessed with making my own hollandaise sauce of late, so as with other food obsessions, I end up making said recipe almost every day/meal. Seriously though, who doesn’t love hollandaise?

It was so good, I couldn't help but lick the plate!!

It was so good, I couldn’t help but lick the plate!!

But I’m sure you’re thinking, Continue reading

Sugarfree September

There’s been a lot of stuff going around the media and the internet lately about quitting sugar – a lot of it saying that its bad for you or too extreme, but on the most part that it can be a really good way to get your health in control, which is certainly my perspective.

Have you heard of ‘I Quit Sugar’, the movement created by Sarah Wilson? I for one think it’s a fantastic direction as far as the health world is concerned. I’ve followed Sarah Wilson’s blog for years now – in fact I remember when she first Quit Sugar, as an experiment when she had nothing else to write about for her health column at the time.

From the outside, it can seem like Sarah Wilson’s lifestyle and expectations are unrealistic and unattainable for an everyday person, which I believe is the reason she cops so much flak Continue reading