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From Hidden Talents to Global Empires – The Rise of Crafting During the COVID Crisis.

From Hidden Talents to Global Empires – The Rise of Crafting During the COVID Crisis.

By Cassidy Krygger

It wouldn’t come as a  surprise to you when I tell you that 2020 has been one of the craziest years in recent memory. 

But on the brighter side, this year has given us more than a Global Pandemic. It has gifted us the time to explore our more creative side in isolation. From baking sourdough bread to crocheting baby blankets and even making fabric face masks, people seem to be crafting now more than we have ever seen in the 21st century. Our hidden talents that have been buried under the weight of the modern world have been discovered in our solitude. And the benefits of it are plenty. 

Crafting and finding ways to be creative is one of the most beneficial and easiest ways to relax. 

From counting stitches, mixing colours and following patterns, our minds can quickly stop racing and start concentrating. The repetitive process of crafts such as knitting and crochet has been likened to relaxation techniques such as meditation. According to knitting therapist Betsan Corkhill when over 3,000 knitters were surveyed online, more than half responded that they feel ‘very happy’ after knitting and many of those that did it more often report a higher cognitive functioning. And crafting isn’t just good for your mental health, it can also benefit your bank balance as well.

Millions of people have lost their jobs throughout the world during the COVID-19 crisis, and many creatives are finding ways to put their hidden talents to good use. 

Traditional physical markets may be closed for the foreseeable future but online shops such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Etsy have become the perfect place to sell. And online business is booming. According to Etsy CEO Josh Silverman, Etsy sales grew by 100% in April 2020 and sellers from around the world sold over 12 million handmade face masks with sales from the masks alone totalling over USD $133 million. 

Etsy is  a female-dominated world with 86% of sellers on Etsy are women. Silverman told marketplace.org that on Etsy “One woman with a sewing machine from her home can create a global empire.”

So with millions of people around the world feeling the mental and monetary benefits of becoming professional crafters, will this trend continue once the pandemic ends? 

Or will the lure of modern busy-ness overtake us yet again? Only time will tell, but I for one hope it continues. Power to the woman who can take her imagination and turn it into an empire. 

References: 

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.4276/030802213×13603244419077

https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/esty-ceo-on-coronavirus-shutdowns-everyone-just-wanted-one-thing-face-masks-115325541.html

https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/esty-ceo-on-coronavirus-shutdowns-everyone-just-wanted-one-thing-face-masks-115325541.html

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This recipe has been in my family for a very long time, and I am probably going to get into strife for sharing it. Whenever one of us whips this out; those indulging will remark in wonder. Well, in the sake of goodwill and sharing here is our scones recipe with three ingredients. Super fluffy scones you can whip up quickly, and they are delicious.

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Three Ingredient Scones

Three Ingredient Scones

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

 

This recipe has been in my family for a very long time, and I am probably going to get into strife for sharing it. Whenever one of us whips this out; those indulging will remark in wonder. Well, in the sake of goodwill and sharing here is our scones recipe with three ingredients. Super fluffy scones you can whip up quickly, and they are delicious. 

We even found a video for you to follow on Youtube, so scroll down to watch. Not such a secret, after all! 

I have included my favourite flour Lighthouse Flour from Freemantle Western Australia; they’ve been around since 1865, and I think they deserve an Australian made plug. 

Ingredients

2 x cups Lighthouse Cake, Sponge and Steamed Bun Self Raising Flour 

1/2 cup sparkling Mineral water, or lemonade (depending on your sugar preferences) 

1/2 cup full cream 

Tip for a bit extra I put in a scrape of vanilla bean. 

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Preheated oven 180 degreed Celcius
  • Baking tray lined with baking paper. 

The Great Gatsby by Scott f Fitzgerald available here. 

Process

Sift your flour three times, from a cup to a bowl and back through to add loads of air to the flour. 

Make a well in the centre, and add each wet ingredient. Gently fold the mixture (the key is to mix, but not overwork the dough) 

Use some flour to dust a clean bench or cutting board. 

Place your dough on the board and gently mould into a long flat roll shape, about 1.4 to 2 inches thick. 

With a knife, cut into equal sections. Using your hand, mold each scone into a square-ish shape. 

Put a dollop of cream into a small mixing bowl or cup, add a teaspoon of water and stir. Now use a pastry brush to lightly coat each scone with this mix, to moisten the top. This will give them a beautiful light golden brown finish, 

Place on your lined tray into the preheated oven. Give them around 10 mins but keep an eye on them. A nice dry skewer will tell you they are ready; they should be nice and golden. 

Tip: I cook mine in a wood-fired pizza oven on Saturday nights, and they are next level 

15 minutes 

Makes 6 x scones

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This recipe has been in my family for a very long time, and I am probably going to get into strife for sharing it. Whenever one of us whips this out; those indulging will remark in wonder. Well, in the sake of goodwill and sharing here is our scones recipe with three ingredients. Super fluffy scones you can whip up quickly, and they are delicious.

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What Do Peter Hitchener, Chrissie Swan and Debra Hutton Have in Common? They give a sock!

What Do Peter Hitchener, Chrissie Swan and Debra Hutton Have in Common? They give a sock!

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

 

The recent COVID19 outbreak has had a devastating impact on those who are vulnerable in our community, and an Aussie family business is meeting the challenge with generosity so powerful it will blow your socks off. 

The business is Underworks, and the name of the game is undies and socks. However the crisis facing our homeless is no joke, and with organisations like Foodbank and The Salvos getting on board to assist with distribution, hopes are high that the public will get on board using social media joviality to spur donations. 

Dave McNamara, the CEO of Foodbank Victoria, recently assisted with food distributions to the COVID impacted towers in Melbourne, Victoria. McNamara says;

Since the COVID-19 crisis began the demand placed upon the hundreds of charities we support every day has been unprecedented. In the last couple of months, the number of people seeking assistance is up 78% – many of them have never had to ask for help before. We’re preparing for the chilly times ahead, knowing that anyone can make it through winter with a full belly and warm feet. Thanks to #IGiveASock we’ll make sure no one gets left in the cold.

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

So what do the celebs have to say?

Well, when we read the list, it was no surprise, many of these inspiring humans are committed continuously to rolling up their positive impact sleeves.

Peter Hitchener OAM– adored news presenter and journalist

I hope you will join me in posting sock pics to your social media, with the hashtag #igiveasock and tag @underworksaustralia and @foodbankvictoria. Then Underworks will donate an item of essential clothing on your behalf. Let’s do our bit to support this fantastic initiative!

Chrissie Swan– bubbly and beloved television and radio presenter

It’s time to sock it up! @underworksaustralia @foodbankaus and @salvosau have banded together to make sure a pair of socks gets onto the feet of a person experiencing homelessness for every #igiveasock tag they count on Instagram. Just take a pic of your socks and make sure to use the hashtag #igiveasock – 20,000 hashtags = 20,000 pairs of socks to those in need. Let’s do this!

Debrah Hutton – magazine editor and esteemed media personality

People needing assistance from @foodbankaus is up 78%. What a tragic stat. Until July 31st for every silly sock n’ thongs post/story tagging #igiveasock @underworksaustralia will donate an essential item of clothing to @foodbankvictoria. It’s cold; its winter, let’s lift and help those in need.

#igiveasock Don’t you?

Anyone care to join me?

Sarah Tiong, lawyer, recipe architect, chef and finalist from Masterchef Australia

In recent months the number of people seeking assistance from Foodbank is up 78% – many of which have never had to ask for help before. Until July 31st for every silly sock post/story tagging #igiveasock @underworksaustralia an item of essential clothing will be donated to @foodbankvictoria to distribute to those who need it most. Let’s help them.

Mishel Karen, teacher, media personality and MAFS star

Australia has just over 116,000 homeless people, with one-fifth of them being youth. Can you help me raise awareness until July 31st?

Plug your socks and thongs – or whatever vibe you’re wearing on your feet, and a pair of socks will be donated to someone who Homeless is in Australia. I want to help make a difference for vulnerable people. We can all do our bit to help. I’ve experienced how lifechanging a helping hand can be for people in need.

Ty Frost, Smooth FMs morning announcer and master of chill

I’m lucky to be in a warm studio playing feel-good tunes with my comfy socks and a mirror ball. I’m happy to be supporting Underworks who are on a mission to raise awareness for the need for critical personal items amongst the homeless and those sleeping rough in our community.

Here’s how you can help Ponderers! 

Post a silly sock pic on your social media account using the #igiveasock and tag @underworksaustralia and you’ll be

donating a pair of socks to an Aussie in need. It’s that simple!

Jump over here for more details: https://igiveasock.com.au

 

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Australian Goodness From Inverleigh to Byron

Australian Goodness From Inverleigh to Byron

So just what is the Ponderings Happiness Tested Shopping Guide? 

To pass the Happiness Test, our recommended products must pass some stringent testing. It must spark joy, be ethical and also if it is Australian Made – it gets a big tick. We buy the products (we are not paid or given anything – a firm rule.) True endorsement, no strings attached. If it doesn’t tick those boxes, it doesn’t get featured. 

We like to know the story behind the products and the quality must be HIGH! As a fourth generation business owner, and a candle company owner in my previous life I understand the importance of Australian small business economy. It’s the kind of inspiring stuff that creates BIG business when supported.

So here we are! This month we have some beautiful products. 

  • This find was an absolute joy – Seed and Sprout

    Sophie Kovic has the inspiring business Seed and Sprout, an enviro dream of home goodies. We went for the dishsoap, rubbish bags, scourers and dishcloths.
    The packaging is sustainable luxe and as for the products? These will be ongoing household purchases.

    The dishsoap comes in large tablet style and just keep going, no suds as this is really friendly and yet glassware come out like it had gone through a sparkling dishwasher.

    Coconut husk scourers, these fall apart slightly but don’t be fooled they just keep going and are very effective. Not only do they work beautifully but they are great to go straight in the compost afterwards. Biodegradable, ethically sourced.

    Dishcloths- these are like any high quality supermarket brand however once finished you put them in your compost! You can use these knowing you wont be contributing to tonnes of toxic plastic waste produced each year in Australia!

    The rubbish bags that aren’t plastic- now this was cool. Biodegradable, plant based rubbish bags, please, thank you and yes.

    We have never purchased cleaning products and got excited. Something very aesthetic and geting back to nature about this goodies. A big tick from Ponderings.

Seed and Sprout Pondeirngs

Willow and Sea is the beautiful brainchild of Teaghan Barnard.

If you love the ocean and enjoy functional art, you will as impressed as we were.

From bowls to coasters, serving trays (our fave) and chopping boards Willow and Sea is the perfect addition to your table as a feature or a beautiful gift for someone.

“When she is not creating, you will find her exploring the Otway National Park, soaking up the sun along the Great Ocean Road or planning her next overseas adventure. All of which you will find are expressed through her art.”

https://willowandsea.com

  • The Beach People

    Up-cycled denim styled towels and a beach boho fantasy. We saw the Instagram feed and were in heaven. Sisters Emma Henderson and Victoria Beattie invented the Round Beach Towel and the rest is history. Beautiful beach inspired brand with ethically sourced materials.

    From duvets to picnic baskets, this is the stuff of Summertime daydreams.

    The fabric of this towel bundle is soft, absorbs well and you want to wear it not use it. Pure decadence. Functional and cool. Most definitely got the happiness tick of approval.

    If you can’t get to Byron, bring a little bit of Byron to you.

https://thebeachpeople.com.au

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Robert Gordon

This month we tried their new candle range.

100% Australian Made Candle, made with a natural soy wax, in beautiful hand painted Australian Made Canvas Latte vessels. The tote bag was a gorgeous touch and this blend of ripe fig and passionflower, pathchouli and bergamot was beautiful. Coming from an ex-candle maker, this blend did not disappoint and is one of the nicest I have tried.

The best part? Once you are finished you have a mug x

‘Around thirty years ago, Robert ‘Andy’ Gordon walked into a ten by eight foot tin shed, picked up a lump of clay and turned his potter’s wheel. The ‘Pack Track Pottery’ was born. But the story and inspiration for Robert Gordon dates long before 1979 and a rickety home made studio.

Andy’s mother, the renowned Australian potter June Dyson, set up her studios in 1945. June formed a formidable partnership with her husband Colin who became the company’s business director. It was June’s second son Andy, who showed most interest in ceramics, helping out in the studio from his early twenties.

  • INIKA

    I first discovered this brand whilst holidaying in Byron Bay, a die hard makeup wearer I often find many natural foundations and concealers too light and not long lasting enough. Until now. The lightness and coverage is inriguing, gentle and dewy. I also purchased the powder finish for a longer wear all day.

    A convert, this brand is outstanding. The products are good for your skin, long lasting and more than a few comments from others and I have shouted its fabulousity from the rooftops. Slightly on the higher price scale, a little goes a very long way. So per unit works out the same as any other chemist brand.

    INIKA Organic is 100% Australian owned, 100% plant based and 100% animal cruelty free, this has a tick of approval.

    https://www.inikaorganic.com

  • Ok so its pretty obvious why this hit the attention button! Sleep pillow, filled with glorius herbs and essential oils ready to pop under your pillow.

    Hello friend! These come in a range of heat packs as well as bath tea bags and the packaging is beautiful. Made in Geelong, Botanical Wellness goodies are available to purchase through Whole Body Health and Wellness, Ocean Grove and Geelong.

    Home

Want more info or to enter our competitions with these beautiful products?

When you have a Ponderings magazine subscription, either digital or print, you get the shopping guide delivered to your inbox and automatic entry into our monthly givesaway. You also get access to Ponderings Radio, our top articles of the month audio recorded. $24.96 a year for the Digital subscription or $24.95 for the yearly anthology print edition.
Click here for more details

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Narnia, A Faraway Tree with a smidge of a Doc called Suess, and some Kahlil Gibran is the word charm that grew seeds in Kirsten Macdonald's imagination. She has an innate curiosity about the stories of "us" and a deep faith that is strongly supported by a dark sense of humour. Ask this wordsmith about anthropology, ancient religions, the curious nature of humanity and the incredible cuteness of sloths and you will have a conversation for hours. Writer, editor and researcher, Kirsten has developed Ponderings into a space that is now shared by a team and a shared vision that is infectiously positive and forged in good stuff.

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Support our mission to write and produce Positive Stortelling, it takes a tribe to build one. 

Australia’s Top Food Recipe Bloggers

Australia’s Top Food Recipe Bloggers

Written by Renae Failla

With a global pandemic spreading more than a little chaos across the globe, many Australians now have a newfound passion for cooking and baking following the strictly imposed 4 reasons to leave the house.

There is no reason to stick with boring recipes with this round-up of Australia’s Top Food Recipes Bloggers hailing from each state around the country. Sweets, breakfast, snacks and meals – they hit all the bases and live, breathe and think food every day of their lives.

VIC – Lisa Eats World

 

Having travelled the world, Lisa now calls Melbourne home. With roots spread from South Australia to Melbourne to London and then back to Melbourne again – it’s the Melbournian coffee and beaches that brought her back. Lisa’s blog is a mixture of her wandering reviews, recipes, travel and lifestyle. Lisa has been described as avid food lover since birth from her mum and her go-to’s are  “pretty sweet things”, brownies and cupcakes – which I have to say I am in agreeance on this one. This food blogger left her full-time role in marketing to pursue her creative passion and so came the blog Lisa Eats World.

 

Blog: https://lisaeatsworld.com/

Recipe: https://lisaeatsworld.com/2019/11/rosewater-and-pistachio-vanilla-buttercake/

NSW – Not Quite Nigella

 

Lorraine Elliot’s blog was born after her book ‘Not Quite Nigella’ was published by Penguin Books. Now the name of her blog, Not Quite Nigella features and range of multicultural recipes that are influenced by her home in Sydney. Lorraine has particularly taken a liking to Japanese, Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan food inspired by the places she travels, however, whether it be fine dining or street food – she has no preference!

 

Blog: https://www.notquitenigella.com/

 Recipe: https://www.notquitenigella.com/2020/07/08/mulligatawny-soup/

NT – Darwin Natropathics

 

Why naturopathy you may ask? Bonnie and Kate are the two talented ladies behind Darwin Natropathics – an all-encompassing hub for Naturopathic Services, Recipes and Webinars. They believe that “Naturopathy recognizes the important role that lifestyle, environment, nutrition and personal history plays in the health of all people,” which stresses the importance of a natural and holistic healing approach. Both ladies are qualified Naturopaths, but Bonnie is also a qualified pilates instructor while Kate has experience in fitness and weight loss training. Recipes featured on their page include breakfast, mains, drinks and more.

 

Blog: https://www.darwinnaturopathics.com/

Recipe: https://www.darwinnaturopathics.com/copy-of-acia-bowl

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

TAS –  Olive’s Kitchen

 

Olive’s Kitchen derived its name from Olive’s Cottage – a beautiful property which is available to rent in Tasmania. The main writer of the food blog is Robin, who discovered his love of food and cooking from watching his parents cook when he was younger. His parents had a vegetable garden on their property and were very big on fresh produce. Robin and his family will visit the cottage in Tasmania numerous times each year and host barbeques with around other couples where each is invited to bring a dish.

 

Blog: http://cicadabay.com/oliveskitchen

Recipe:

http://cicadabay.com/oliveskitchen/eggplant-baked-with-passata-pesto-served-with-lemon-flavoured-pasta/

 

WA – Sugar Salt Magic

Self-taught cook Marie is the lady behind the blog Sugar Salt Magic. Her favourite things to bake are sweets and she thrives on baking foods from scratch, however, when it comes to a savoury meal – comfort food that is easily shareable is her specialty. Marie takes a serious interest in knowing exactly what ingredients are going into the foods she is preparing for her friends and family. The ‘share meals’ on Sugar Salt Magic are ideal for entertaining.

Blog:https://www.sugarsaltmagic.com/

Recipe: https://www.sugarsaltmagic.com/smores-mug-cake-recipe/

SA – It’s Not Complicated

 

Alex is the creative mind behind It’s Not Complicated. She left her jobs in the real estate and the airline industry to become a full-time blogger and now spends her days writing about food and growing her collection of cookbooks! Family and friends had always asked Alex how she made the food she set on the table, she always found herself saying ‘It’s Not Complicated,’ so it was a no brainer that this would be the name of her little corner of the internet filled with her passion for food. Alex partook in cooking classes with her mum as a child and this tradition has continued into adulthood. The recipes Alex features not only are easy to make but also utilise foods which you will find at your local supermarket and don’t need to go to multiple stops for.

 

Blog: https://itsnotcomplicatedrecipes.com/

Recipe:https://itsnotcomplicatedrecipes.com/gluten-free-banana-blondies/

 

QLD – Create Bake Make

 

Lauren is the gal behind Create Bake Make and she is ‘Baking [her] way through motherhood’. Starting the blog whilst looking after her newborn and 16 month old, Lauren’s passion came to life, featuring recipes that can use the assistance of the little ones. Her recipes include easy dinners, slices, lunchbox ideas and an array of Thermomix recipes.

 

Blog: www.createbakemake.com

Recipe: https://createbakemake.com/party-food-homemade-sausage-rolls/.

 

Now I don’t know about you but I will be spending some time on my self-improvement to master these recipes for my next Dinner Party!

 

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read more
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Communication Insights and Getting Grounded in A World of Chaos

Communication Insights and Getting Grounded in A World of Chaos

Article by Kirsten Macdonald with contribution from Des Carter. 

Communicating with others can sometimes feel like a minefield. 

There are so many messages, perceptions and neurons firing that what should be simple can be anything but! After an overwhelming response to our article Secret Messages, What You See Isn’t Always What You Get, we decided to dig a bit more. 

 

We asked Des Carter; Kinesiologist, Linguistics practitioner, Holistic Human Development Therapist and Meditation Teacher about his insight into communication. 

Communication is a two-way process of sending and receiving messages and is effective when each person understands each other, however this two-way process can easily break down. 

Have you observed the people who only want others to listen to them, but do these people also understand that they need to listen to other people as well? With the principle of listening also comes the ability to effectively understand the things around us. 

Clear communication can be blocked when misunderstandings arise due to:

  • Different emotional states
  • Difference in personal values
  • Incongruence between verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Difference in the ways people interpret messages

If we listen to what we say and what we think, we would actually understand whether we’re making any sense or not. Clarity is not all about the way you manage the outside world, the answer is to go within yourself and manage your inner being that will enable you to identify the lack of clarity that needs to be identified. 

Remember: whatever requires clarity needs to be understood and if we don’t understand something, we need to take time to ask questions and listen to others.

 

To maintain attention in communication and situations, the “Grounding Technique” is a great way to calm the chatter of your mind. It also improves co-ordination and increases mental clarity and alertness.

 

Here’s how to do it:

 

Bend your knees a little and position your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your top teeth, shrug your shoulders and shake your arms for a few moments to free up any tension.

 

Now focus on your feet and imagine them sinking down into the ground that supports them, imagine them feeling rooted deep into the earth.

 

Place the fingertips of your left hand beneath your lower lip in the centre of your chin and place the heel of your right hand over your navel with the fingertips of that hand pointing down towards the ground, breathe deeply and gradually slow your breathing down.

 

If you want to, you can imagine the colour red at the base of your spine, deep earthy red. Stay like this and hold your hands on these energy points for the next few moments.

 

Now push your feet down into the floor and switch hands, breathe deeply and allow yourself to let any tension go from your neck and shoulders. Remain like this for a few moments.

 

Then push your feet down into the floor and switch hands, focus on your feet and imagine them deeply rooted to the earth and remain again for a few moments, breathing deeply and steadily down into your stomach.

 

Grounding techniques such as this can be a really positive practise in your day to day life. Enjoy! 

 

A bit more about Des:

Des is an experienced Trainer, Kinesiologist, Reiki Practitioner, NLP Practitioner, Holistic Human Development Therapist and Meditation Teacher, who works in private practice. His passion is assisting people to develop their self-confidence and self-esteem enabling them to address any personal issues in their lives. In his previous occupation as a Senior Category Buyer with the Coles Myer Group he travelled extensively to India, China, Japan, South America, Europe and the USA where he experienced and observed a range of different cultures and traditions.

 

For more information go to https://descarter.com.au/about-des-carter/ 

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

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Three Ingredient Scones

This recipe has been in my family for a very long time, and I am probably going to get into strife for sharing it. Whenever one of us whips this out; those indulging will remark in wonder. Well, in the sake of goodwill and sharing here is our scones recipe with three ingredients. Super fluffy scones you can whip up quickly, and they are delicious.

read more
Follow Us

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Support our mission to write and produce Positive Stortelling, it takes a tribe to build one. 

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