the olive bird

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    Hello and welcome! I am Joanna, a wife, a mother and the artist behind the olive bird store. This blog is a space to scribble notes on a life filled with creativity and joy. Along the way I'll share arty endeavours, things that inspire me and other random streams of consciousness. I hope you enjoy and come back and visit often!

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    19th of December hide and seek markets


    the olive bird has been featured @
    Literacy head
    Another donkey design

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    A snapshot of the past few months

    I finally decided to sit down and write a post. This year has been beautiful but intense. Between being a mum, a wife, starting a business, working and trying to sell our home, there hasn’t been much spare time lately. Unfortunately the first thing that gets left behind when my life is busy is always time to be creative. Which is sad because it’s what helps me to cope with all the craziness. I hope to post some creativeness soon. Until then, here’s a small snapshot of what’s been going on in my corner of the world.

    My baby’s first haircut, stopping to look at the stars on a night journey up the coast, getting more confident with walking, Julian’s first flight, a trip to the Barossa, a trip to Byron Bay and loving this boy more with every passing day.

    A first birthday party for our little man

    One year ago we met our Julian for the very first time. This wild, sweet hearted boy with the firey hair and everlasting smile, who laughs like crazy and never stops moving. We threw a ‘Manly’ bash for our little man to celebrate his first birthday. Here are a few pictures of his day:

    The party spread

    Happy Birthday Little Man banner
    Julian’s initials
    Cupcakes with moustaches
    Photo booth with moustaches and manly getup
    Little men banner
    Moustache banner
    The cake (forgot to get a shot before it was mutilated)
    There were tattoo’s for the kids
    Some manly face painting
    Different styles on offer
    Pin the ‘stache on Julian!
    Pin the ‘stache on Julian!
    My birthday boy

    We are so blessed to be this boy’s parents. What an overwhelming gift to see him grow and learn and to be able to introduce him to our great God and His beautiful world. Our hearts burst with love for you Julian Richard, you have filled every corner of our lives with love.

    Flyers and posters for Melbourne Hide & Seek Market

    I’ve been having fun designing the flyers and posters for the Hide and Seek Market’s new Melbourne location, have a look!

    Melbourne flyer - front face


    Melbourne flyer - back face


    Melbourne flyer poster

     Please contact me if you would like to commission an artwork!

    A wall mural for Archie

    I spent today creating a wall mural for my little friend Archer. It was so much fun, I can’t wait to see the room finished!


    I’d love to hear from you if you would like to commission a mural!

    This moment

    One photo capturing a moment from my week. A moment to be soaked in and cherished. No words needed. Feel free to share a link to your moment in the comments. 

    New creations

    Take a peek at a few scribblings that will be in my Etsy store soon!

    All the way to the stars

    All the way to the stars

    All the love I have so far

    All the love I have so far

    Number men

    Number men

    Hide and seek

    Hide and seek

    Hide and seek

    This moment

    One photo capturing a moment from my week. A simple, beautiful moment to be soaked in and cherished. No words needed. Feel free to share a link to your moment in the comments. 

    Lessons for my baby boy #1. Live mindfully

    I’m creating a list of life lessons for my baby boy. One day (some time after he emerges from teenage-hood) he might read through this and benefit, even in some small way, from the road his Mama has travelled. I can’t wait to see what this little man has to teach me about life.

    #1. Live mindfully.

    Baby boy, revel in the richness of each moment you are given, each task you complete and each conversation you have. Take the time to notice everything, the sights, sounds, smells, your thoughts and emotions. This observing nature will enrich your experience of life and your memories of life. You have the choice to live a full life, one that’s filled with joy, sadness, excitement, uncomfortableness, beauty and ugliness. That is a rich life. 

    Remaining present with people you spend your time with, observing their body language, listening to their words and the attitude behind them will provide you with stronger relationships than you could imagine.

    We are most content when we are focused. If your mind circles in worries, consider the immediate moment you live in. In this moment, there is nothing to fear. This immediate moment, this immediate second is peaceful. Worries don’t exist in the now. Worries about the past and future are just stories our minds tell us. We don’t have to take these stories so seriously. Focus on this moment by observing what is happening in your body and what is happening around you. This will quiet your rambling thoughts. This will help you to experience and accept your emotions, even uncomfortable ones, without adding unnecessary worry, anger or anxiety to the situation. This will bring you acceptance of the life you live. This will bring you contentment and peace .

    Life is crazy beautiful

    Cookie mix in a jar

    I’m not sure where I stumbled across this idea, but I’m happy I did. This Christmas I made a few jars of cookie mix for gifts. I found some 1 Litre glass jars, filled them with layers of the dry ingredients, printed labels with cooking instructions and attached some of our gift tags. These are great for families with kids. Here are some pics!

    Christmas at our place

    I thought I’d share a few brief glimpses of our first Christmas with our baby boy. It was crazy as usual with seven family get togethers to rush around to over a few days. I thought Christmas at six months pregnant was exhausting, Christmas with a nine month old bub is insane!

    A branch of Christmas bush in an old port bottle (our baby friendly Christmas tree).

    A Christmas tree made of bells that doubles as a great baby distraction

    Christmas garland

    Our Christmas munchkin

    Off to find more wrapping to eat

    From our family to yours, we hope you had a blessed Christmas surrounded by those that you love. 2010 brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined. God has blessed me with friends and family who fill my life with love, and with the most divine little red headed creature who has redefined existence. Love has filled every corner of life that wasn’t filled with something important. It has pushed the edges of life out beyond recognition.