HELLO 2016.

Hello and welcome to our new blog!

Hot of the press for 2016 we will be bringing you news of what’s been going down at Tiny Paradise HQ, what’s in store and also some inspiration to get you pumped for the month ahead.

Over the last year we have been able to get down and dirty with nature and have realised how dam good it makes you feel. So that’s what we will be sharing with you every month...

Tips on how you can get it ON with nature. More.

We know life these days can involve a lot of computers and offices. These can be great things where we can get lots of important things done (we are especially a big fan of the stationery cupboard). And of course, without computers we wouldn’t be able use the internet which is the best invention ever.

WE NEED THE TONIC OF WILDNESS
— THOREAU

HOWEVER, we cannot forget the other things that are going on in the world. The other stuff like streams, bees, waves, forests, coconuts, clouds, stingrays, caterpillars, bark, twigs and rocks.

Embracing this other 'natural' stuff that happens outside the office, can really help us out when it comes to dealing with curveballs that life tends throw at us.  

Yes, this is sounding a lot like a tree hugger blog, but we promise it won’t be telling you live in a tree house in the middle of the Blue Mountains but instead we hope it will give you ideas on how to get more of the wild in your daily world.

In a groundbreaking study in 2012, they found that a group of hikers that spent 4 days in the wilderness had improved their cognitive functions related to creativity and problem solving by 50%. Now 50% is a lot. Imagine being 50% more creative and 50% more cleverer. Imagine how many promotions you could get, how many inventions you could bring to the world and how many people you could attract with your tantilisingly intelligent conversation..

This makes us realise how very very important our environment is to how we think and behave, and how important it is to incorporate nature into our everyday lives.

 

But you don’t have to pack your backpacks and go off for days in the wilderness, there are simple ways to harness the superpowers of nature in our daily life.

 

 

Here are 3 simple ways to start:

 

1.  Do what you normally do inside, but outside.

Whether it is having lunch, yoga, reading a book. Step outside to do your daily tasks. 

 

2.  Have meetings on the move

If you work in an office, meetings can take up a lot of time and are often in uninspiring places. Try having your weekly catch up with your boss or a brainstorm whilst on a walk.

 

3.  Have a plant on your desk.

Research by Exeter University found that even having a plant on your desk can increase well-being by 47%, increase creativity by 45% and increase productivity by 38%.

 

Yep that’s what the experts say.

 

HERE IS SOME STUFF WE HAVE BEEN DOING

 This was about 1/6 of them. They got everywhere.

This was about 1/6 of them. They got everywhere.

We had a bloody busy Christmas time getting completely covered in potting mix on various different projects including providing the whole Mark Moran retirement home with beautiful succulents for their rooms. 

 

 

 

 Just hanging.

Just hanging.

 

 

 

We were also spotted fitting out the Bar Asia restaurants in Annandale and Parramatta with kokedamas, which we have to say, were very pleased with. If you are in the area pop in and have a look at the Devil Ivy kokedamas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also held a few workshops. Sydney now boasts a few more skilled kokedama makers.

Check out these beauties....

 

Then we needed a lie down so we finished the year off with a fantastic road trip/camping trip up to Mt Warning. 

Waking up next to trees and with the sounds of wild things rejuvenated us and gave us loads of new ideas about what to get up to this year... maybe stag horns...

We also met so many inspiring people living sustainably and creating every day.

 A big tree near The Channon

A big tree near The Channon

 Shipping container heaven in Belligen

Shipping container heaven in Belligen

 More shipping containers... in Bangalow

More shipping containers... in Bangalow

 

AND NOW HERE IS SOME STUFF WE WILL BE DOING...

// Workshops

We're up to lots of fun stuff in Feb with some workshops with our friends at Bow & Arrow Manly and Laneway Learning. Head here to check out the finer details.

 

 

 

// MARKETS

We'll also be in our usual spot under the bridge at Kirribilli Markets selling our handmade wares on the 14th and 27th Feb.

We love it when you come and say Hello and not because it means you can man the stall for a bit and we can check out the second hand clothes. Honest.

 

 

 

 

 

We would love to hear from you and any ideas you have on how to spend more time with the wild world.

Thanks : )

 

 

 

 

Tiny Paradise Reflections: The Workshop

Last month we held our biggest ever Kokedama workshop in Waverley Library. We had 22 people from all ages and backgrounds coming from near and far, with the one shared interest of wanting to learn how to make a kokedama. 

There was amazing energy in the room, everyone left with a huge smile and one girl even gave me a massive hug.  I have to admit was slightly taken aback, but embraced the situation, literally. 

I reflected on why there was was so much positivity in the room, as I have a feeling that it wasn't just the outcome that made everyone so energised. So here are the other reasons I think caused for the positive kokedama vibes.

Talking to strangers

Striking up conversation with someone you know nothing about can spark many different opportunities. Within the workshop, people were encouraged to help one another, solving each other's problems. Whether it was helping get the soil consistency right, cutting string for each other or just passing the moss, it opened up a conversation that wouldn't have happened otherwise. People left having made new friends and connections that they would not normally have made. People were able to learn a little bit about someone's life and maybe inspiring our own in the process, random connections were made and a feeling of belonging was generated.

It is rare that we feel comfortable talking to strangers, we are told from a very young age to not talk to strangers, as they may offer us sweets and kidnap us never to be seen again. This would definitely be bad, however now being fully grown adults it is a shame we don't feel comfortable to strike conversation with the person sitting next to us on the bus for no reason at all, potentially learning something new or opening our minds to something different. 

Opportunities to talk to strangers and get to know the people who live on your street have become rarer. We have fallen into the habit of scrolling through other people's lives on our phones rather than being in tune with the people that are around us, physically in the real world.

 

Getting your hands dirty

Another reason that I have pondered, is the fact that through making kokedamas, you are allowed to get very very messy. Many people in the class commented on how good it was to get their hands dirty as normally they work at a desk everyday with the only thing they touch is the keys on the keyboard or their smartphone.

There is something so therapeutic about using our hands to craft. We aren't given the opportunity to use our hands to craft as much as our ancestors were so when we do it can be an amazing experience.  

 

Switching off from the world

It's impossible to make kokedamas and use your phone, the soils and moss all over your fingers just makes it impossible to swipe.  So, workshops are a perfect way to disconnect in order to re-connect. People didn't touch their phones for over 2 hours (apart from to brag about their creations on instagram afterwards) and this enabled them to remain utterly focused at the task at hand. 

It is rare that we don't look at our phones for over 2 hours and somehow it makes you feel so much freer and more productive.

So the 3 things you will also get from a workshop besides a beautiful kokedama are:

  1. Getting to know some strangers
  2. Getting your hands dirty
  3. Switching off from the world

However if you can't attend a workshop with us, and you still want to feel the benefits, I encourage you to try the following: 

Talk to strangers, and ask them a question about their lives, be open to others rather than assuming all strangers are bad (unless of course they do offer you sweets and ask you to get in the back of their car, then politely walk away instead).

Make something with your hands, whether its a homemade card, potting a plant or even making a cake. Your hands will be thankful, they want to do more than type, swipe and like. Get on Pinterest and have a crafternoon with your mates and engage those digits of yours. 

Switch off once in a while. Look around you rather than down at your screen. You'll notice you are more productive, focused and won't walk into people as much.