Like most Queenslanders, I've been thinking a lot this year about what makes a house a home, and what is and isn't important when it comes to household possessions. After a lot of cleaning up, letting go and starting over I've realised that for me, it's all about feeling connected: to my home, to the people and things in my home, and to my community. The best way I've found to do this is surround myself with things that I love, that were made with care and intent.
For me, a handmade home is a reflection of who you are, where you've been and where you're going. It's a personal statement about the people in your life and the things you enjoy. Above all it's the place you feel most connected to your life.
1. Pretty much everything in our bedroom was handmade. The bed was handmade by a friend's uncle and given to us when ours drowned. Everyone pitched in to get the bed to us so we didn't spend a single night on a floor. The quilt was a birthday present from my friend, handmade by her because I love the hungry caterpillar.
2. Our Beatles cushion was made from an old tshirt, bought for me so long ago that I can't remember why but it stretched into unwearability so I made it into a cushion.
3. This gorgeous hand beaded giraffe is about 60cm high and it was a gift from a friend who was volunteering in Africa for 3 years. Most of our mail went missing so I didn't actually get the giraffe until a couple of years after she bought it, but now it stands by our front door and I think of her every time I see it.
4. You can get these baskets at most of the markets around us and I'd wanted one for so long but couldn't justify the expense (I think it was about $20). On one particular market trip we decided to just go for it. So we bought it, half our market budget in one swoop, but so worth the investment. It's come with us to nearly every market since.
5. I fell in love with this blanket as soon as I saw it in the CWA hospital shop. I love the CWA shops and all their wonderful handmade treasures but it's really unusual to find something so bright and colourful. So I broke my budget again, and took it home, now it migrates around the house to wherever it's needed.
6. These storage units are my pride and joy. I worked on them with a friend and I'm so proud of the result. It's us from beginning to end.
7. Our house is filled with little handmade things hanging from strange places. Swan mobiles, paper crane chains, paper geese and pom poms, just for surprise cheer.
(Images: Sarah Starkey)