This is the creative home of Natalija Brunovs.
Designer, photographer, film maker, artist, teacher, deep thinker, drawer, spiritual seeker and one crafty lady.

I blog therefore I am!

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    Why People Photograph
    by Robert Adams
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    Intimate Communion: Awakening Your Sexual Essence
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    Wild Food: Foraging for Food in the Wild
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    The Existence of God is Self Evident
    by Master Choa Kok Sui

craft flat lays

My house is like an ADHD craft bomb site at the moment.

I've got mere days before I'm no longer on holidays and free to play so I'm playing hard while I can.

I did NOT set these shots up they are actually all on various surfaces in a room that shows you the stuff I'm up to.

These are tiny clippings of flowers from verges near my home. I'm testing out their hardiness and use for tiny buttoneires for an event I'm running.

I've been breaking my hand doing calligraphy for name badges for this same event. Because it's for wedding industry people I'm a little wary of my writing attempt looking amateur but I think it'll have to do! The plan is to adhere those tiny bouquets to these name badges somehow...

I'm now obsessed with succulents and the apparent ease at which they are to grow! So I've gently snapped off all the leaves of all the succulents I have at home and am drying them out so I can then set them up for self-generation. It's like growing money really because of course I've fantasised about having a nusery of these cuties!

And then there is crochet. Sure it's a granny hobby to some and maybe I'm ruining my future retirement activity but I wanted to remember how to do it so I'm back in the rhythm and got it happening. I'm building a colourful blanket of granny squares right in time for summer at this rate. Ha!

As I'm pretty idea-mad, I'm planning to combine all my ideas to create little crochet cosys for tiny succulent pot plants with a hand calligraphied name. of course!

Honestly I don't know if I have time for work when there's so much play to be had.

[current mood] water kefir & golden oldies


Save Beeliar Wetlands

When people ask what I'm passionate about it's maybe not what they expect.
Sure, I love being a photographer and working on creating beautiful images. There's something truly satisfying in that. But is it passion? Would I passionately talk about it, I suppose. Would I passionately fight for it? Not really.

Passion is both LOVE and ANGER I feel. Whatever drives deep emotions to the surface. 

So what makes me angry? 

Destruction of wildlife and natural habitat. This is the stuff that burns me up inside when I think about it.

I'm passionate about the preciousness of species, the beautiful balance of our ecosystem, the flora and fauna that existed long before humans existed and developed like mad. I actually don't think life is worth living without nature around. Besides the obvious fact that we would die pretty quickly without it. The detachment of people from nature is reflective of our very materialistic world and disconnection from 'paddock to plate' and 'rocks to iphone'!

Nature is my personal gateway to feeling that 'something greater' that the trivialities of daily life. In it's leafy silence, or it's muscial bird calls I am simply and swiftly reminded of the incredibless of life, the big picture of the earth, the cosmos, all the things we do not understand as tiny humans.

And in addition to that I'm moved by its inspirational colour palette, fleeting and changing beauty & inherent life force.

So yes, that's why I am choosing to spend more time using my love of photography to help with my passion for the environment.

First project: Save Beeliar Wetlands - near Bibra Lake Perth.

There are plans to put a big highway through the middle of the two lakes here to help get the big trucks to the port. I believe that a rail system would be a sensible and less destructive way of resolving this problem. Rail is better for the environment from a space and pollution point of view. Less impact on the nature reserves and homes of people in the area.

Read all about it at the Rethink Perth Freight website. 

I could go on but the info is there.

My first step was to visit the area at risk with my super-eco-knowledge partner to look around for myself and see what is in the bushy area between the two lakes. Here's what we saw yesterday afternoon...

We entered through the turnstyle of the Beeliar Regional Park. The new road will go in the direction of the wires. It's typically sandy Perth, the earth under all our houses. Reflective of our hot and long summers. 

The bush is right there though so we get into the scrub and pop our heads out the other side.

It's a bit of an enchanted space. Quite open with twisted Paperbarks and pigface succulents on the ground. The flowers and fruit of this succulent is prized bush tucker that tastes like a salty kiwifruit. I actually tried it once, yummy!

We then discover all the Banksias that make up this beautiful woodland which is also scattered with a mixture of Gum Trees (Coastal Blackbutt and Marri).

And in these woods are birds. First we see the New Holland Honey Eaters and then the loud and proud Black Carnaby Cockatoo and baby. Snacking away on the nuts of the Holly-Leaved Banksia. There's the constant call of the baby crying out for dinner. They must roost nearby as it's getting dark. I wonder where. We'll have to come back to find out!

Of course my partner would then notice all the burrows around us, and in particular the evidence of the Quenda (Southern Brown Bandicoot). A cute little marsupial that loves the damp and dense bush that we are now getting into.

My partner pointed out this quirky plant that is a fire survivor called Prickly Moses. I got a bit caught up in it's sharp thorns. A real fighter this guy!

The lucky ants that find the seeds of this plant grab them and take them to the nest as they contain a special food reward. I was told about the special ant in the burrow who has the right mouth parts to release the reward and as a result the plant has managed to have their seeds safely smuggled underground where they will be ready to germinate after the next fire. 

Banksias have always fascinated me. Sort of remind me of an old man with lots of mouths. But this one looks like chocolate macaroons! 

Who needs fireworks when you have these beauties? It's the Holly-leaved Banksia (bird food!).

It was feeling like a great little adventure exploring this urban nature reserve. Just minutes away from my place where wildlife lives and survives as it should. If I never went, I might not miss it. So it's important to go and see what is going on and how we are part of a bigger beautiful picture.

I invite you to join me on a walking photo tour some time soon. It's a chance to explore plus learn for free from me some camera skills on the way. It's really fun walking super quietly to allow the birds to not be scared off to get those close up shots!

If you are interested then please send me an email nat[at]seedpod.com.au

Of course you can go take a wander any time you like, dogs on a lead allowed!
Visit the Walk the Roe 8 Facebook group 

[current mood] Carob Bears & ABC Jazz


Roaming Bouquet

After yet another experience of wrestling with whether to buy the flowers or not, debating their cost with the pleasure they will stow upon me, I eventually walk away again...

I love their beauty but I just know that I won't be able to 'experience' them enough as there is only so much time I can spend gazing upon their petals before I have to work, type, cook, drive, etc.

Not to mention the fact that they are already on their way out having just been cut! It's like watching beauty die, slowly... bitter sweet fact of nature I guess.

So I decided to experiment one day. I bought a bunch of flowers, a bouquet you might say!
And I took it with me, everywhere this day so I could enjoy them as much as feasibly possible.

Let me show you what happened...

Well after I chose my bouquet I had to rush off to yoga where I felt just a *little* bit silly...

The instructor thought I brought them as an offering to put near the buddah statue and then I tried to explain I was doing a project and for her not to worry about me... (but I think she did).

I liked how they sat under their interesting name-card storage design. I thought "hmm pretty". Click!

I then wandered off to get a coffee. I was enjoying looking at my bunch.

I tried to put them in a water glass at the cafe, like my own personal vase, but they didn't really fit. fail.

Instead I had to settle for the resting bouquet look. Still was nice. I guess it just looked like I had been given some flowers. Maybe I'm a nice person, maybe it's my birthday...

Then I went to visit a friend in her mum's rug store.
As soon as I walked in they commented on my flowers. I had become a little more articulate about my project since yoga (helped by coffee) and they seemed to appreciate it. 

I popped them down on a table and my friend's dad admired the colour against the magazine. I mean, such a rug guy obviously - trained in colour appreciation!

I had to stop and lay them on a rug of course too.

I think next time I'll wrap them myself in pretty paper and a ribbon. This supermarket bouquet is limiting my aesthetic possibilities!

Now off to a meeting in Cottesloe.

No questions asked here but I'm sure it set a lovely tone for our chat.

The downside of the moving flowers is becoming obvious now, they are looking a little worse for wear and are dropping petals in random places...

Like confetti in a carpark.

So it's reminding me how brides carry bouquets on their wedding day. Such a strange old tradition when I think about it. At no other time does a lady walk around with flowers in her hand other than basic transport to a receipient.

But why not? Flowers are pretty, they seem to make a person look pretty. Partly because they are a decoration but more so because the holder is sharing the beauty of the flowers with the passers by and that happiness is returned to the lady. Like rose coloured glasses! woah, am I on to something here??

I can see people giving little smiles. People are enjoying the flowers. They might be enjoying me too! hehe.

This is what I look like today.

And now time to go to the office.

Finally my flowers can have a drink.
They are hyacinths and are drooping all over the place. hmm. 

Well the final thing to do is to 'give them away' I think. So off to visit mum I go.

She was nice about it... but yes I'm thinking ugh, not so attractive...

Happy ending though because when I came back to visit two days laters, look what I saw on her window ceil...

Nothing like a bit of a trim, glass of water and a place to rest too.

[current mood] Tulsi Tea & Scottish Singing


Power of Newness

I was thinking about my tattoo yesterday and how no one comments on it anymore. There could be plenty of reasons for that (tattoo abundance or not seeing enough new people - for example), but I'm considering the idea that my own relationship with the tattoo effects others relationships with it.

As I barely remember I have a tattoo you could say that my relationship with it is very weak. I don't love it, I don't care much about it at the moment. So if you believe in the laws of attraction (scientifically or spiritually) then if I was aware of my tattoo and had positive energy associated with it then others may gravitate towards it and notice it or even perceive it as better looking. Right? So that was my thought process.

Next I thought that the same thing goes for my clothes. When I buy a new top I get comments for a couple days but after that I'm over it and so is everyone else - it may as well be any old rag I pulled out of the wardrobe.

Does the same idea apply?

Today I bring you experiment # 1.

Went the post office to open my new watch. The Horse.

Yes it's 'on trend' with its rose gold, tan and minimilst design. But it's not THAT much of a statement.
But I'm stoked, I love it! 

I rolled up my sleeves a little and strolled to my coffee shop. I placed my order and the guy said 'that's a really nice watch!' and the girl next to him said 'yes, I was just admiring your watch too!'.
And then we had a discussion about where it's from la la la.

I felt this was going to happen and like clockwork (ho ho) it did.

So, taking that idea further... you could re-ignite your passion for things in your wardrobe and even parts of your body, by feeling them as fresh and new you could find this same effect.

On top of that, the benefit derived from *new* conversations and positive energy goes even further! I could have just sat back and texted as I waited for my coffee order but instead I chatted to all 3 baristas about the watch and left feeling more alive & connected with my world.

[current mood] Soy Latte High & Dogs That Try to Talk


A Stranger To This Land

5.30pm, sunset looming, exhausted from another day in the office.

I decide to jog to the beach to get my system moving.

As I arrive the sky is purpling and my body feels alive. I am feeling that nature-connected goodness feeling. I find a grassy mound and do a few yoga stretches.

It's becoming dusk now and I hear a voice and turn. There's an elderly bearded man emerging from the dark with his wife.

"Is that a star?" he asks.

I look at the only bright spark in the sky.

"I don't think so... hmmm not sure, no, probably not."

He replies, "We are from Norway so we are not familiar with these skies but it looks like a star".

I feel really quite disappointed that I don't know if it's a star. It's my local sky.

"It's probably a satellite, it's just too bright. It's the only one in the sky. Sigh.... I'm skeptical about stars in the city"... I say.

And off he wanders still hoping it's a star and I jog back home thinking about who I can call to confirm either way because if it were a star I would like to spend more time gazing at it.

I felt a bit sad hearing a couple weeks ago that falling stars are not falling stars at all, just debris from satellites and metiors burning up in the atmosphere. It makes sense because I had been concerned with the number of stars we lose per night...

[current mood] Music through the floorboards & Little Hush Soy Lattes


A Doodle A Day

10am every day my phone tells me to Doodle!

I am just going to try this idea to build a collection of my thoughts. A 5 minute daily practice that results in... I don't know what!

You want to join me?

Every day I am contemplating something, at least one something... I get little insights of wisdom but they come and go through my seive-like mind. I'd like to put things down on ipad paper... so I'm using NoteShelf and a stylus.

I have had a lot of inspired thought lately about love, often that emerges in challenging times. 

If I am going through crap I still notice this observer in me that is detached from the whole egoic emotional drama. That is a part of me that has become louder and louder through meditation and mindfulness. Well in actuality it's the other part of me that has gotten quieter so I can hear this other self.

I now feel like I can cope with a lot more things and have greater capacity of self preservation and happiness, because I recognise the inner peace behind human suffering.

So that's the immediate ground from which I start with my doodle a day idea...

I've always wanted a nickname and now I have one. 
I love to be a playmate in life.

I recall reading about the idea of how you hold love in your life.
An open upturned hand is still supporting and tending to love but it allows love to fly, blossom, be it's most incredible form. It can be effortless. It should be.

A downturned hand that grips and holds on for fear of losing love, well it crushes it, it can't breath, it feels trapped and possessed and eventually that love will become so liquid it will slip out of your fingers...

The theme of the past week has been yin and yang.
My dad gave a speech at my sister's engagement and talked of how it works in their relationship.
I was so proud of him.

Yin and Yang seems to me to be that balance of opposition that allows a whole to maintain its dynamism. The magnetic nature of opposites is an undeniable attraction, but the importance of commonality can't be denied either as we need to connect this way too for a sustainable relationship.

Nothing is perfect, not even yin and yang, the reality of the whole is there are still pointy bits and complex shapes, not one but many aspects. Yet when mapped out we may find that the mirror we need is still there in our relationship. We can see how the differences provide the lessons we need. And that sometimes what we perceive as different is coming from the same source of insecurity. 

It's all a beautiful complex whole that we can learn to appreciate!

[current mood] True Blood & A Snoring Dog



When I'm five days into a holiday I find my relaxation zone.

Finally I can lie poolside and gaze at the patterns of the water, the colour of my toenails and listen to the sound of mystery birds. I don't even want to look at my phone. I want to soak up the ambience. Everything... slows.. down.
From this space I find my truths.

What emerges in the relax space is the realisation of the things I really want to do.

In Ubud, Bali, I realised for the upteenth time that I want to be an artist, I want to create with my hands and heart because this is the thing that feeds my soul. Damn words make it sound so hippy and trite. But if you can relate to the feeling of knowing your passion and knowing it's the purpose of your existance, you know you don't have any other words for it!

Do I have to intellectualise it? Nup, I'm just going to create!

I've been back 4 days and I'm holding on as much as I can do this feeling. I have to outsmart my future self who just gets stuck into work work work and not enough play... so...

I've enrolled in a ceramics course and produced my first wheelthrown 'pot'. It was just delicious letting my yoga experience and breathwork guide my hands to create form with steadiness and mood. I want to rush out and buy a pottery wheel immediately. Maybe I will because they don't take up much room really and the tools are very simple!

I started reading about natural dyeing and took inspiration from my friend in the forest of New Orleans who is using local leaves and barks to colour cloth and wool. So I started with tumeric, next stop beetroot and then I move into eucalyptus.

And just now I painted a wooden sign I bought as a constant reminder to get into my RELAX zone. I chose tropical blue water colours and gold glitter.

[current mood] Gado Gado & 1950s jazz


Drawing for The Greens

I design The Greens members magazine 'Green'. 

I use my design and photography throughout the mag, like this shot above I made up a ballot box and logo and asked my friend to be the hand model. (Thinking she couldn't go wrong she actually admitted that she did once stick a slip into the wrong section of the ballot box and a box deconstructing debarkle ensued! How she does these things I'll never know...)

Naturally with Green magazine we get lots of wordy and intelligent articles but sometimes they are lacking an image to go with them! It's not like pollies are going around snapping conceptual shots to go with their idealogies, so that's where I come in.

I use the opportunity of some white space to create a doodle that makes the page more interesting.

And as a picture book reader from way back I need a quirky picture to draw me into an article!

Here are some of my favourites...


[current mood] Wild Bakery (Freo) Bread & Fragrant Free Everything


Indian Doorways

I love doorways.

I love people.

So imagine how I feel about people in doorways...

Here are some photographs from Rajastan, India of people in doorways.



Making Time for a Couple of Logos

I have been extremely immersed in photography these past months, and specifically weddings. I shoot sometimes 3 times in a week which leaves me with 4 days of editing. Somebody recently brought to my attention that I don't have a day off... I didn't even realise that I work every day! How crazy is that! 

I guess because I don't even perceive it as work. It's definitely a passion and sometimes an obsession, i just want to shoot, edit and showcase!

But I think there is this thing called 'balance' which I've left well in my past, it's where you make time to do other things, and allow yourself to forget about work and not look at the interwebs or screens or pixels... and instead do things like buy rose bushes and lie in salt and sand. So with some strong reminders of the benefits of 'time out', I've started trying this idea of 'not working on Sunday and Tuesday'. So far in the past month I've had one real Tuesday off and two Sundays... a good start :-)

And part of this process has being learning to say NO. And mostly NO to design work. I have to let it go for a while....

but occassionally I can't help meself!!

Here's why:

The Education Union came to me needing a little brand for their Stop Tafe Cuts Campaign. And I know I can help them now and quickly to get a striking little logo they can use to promote the cause.

It's a case of 'I can do it and I can do it now'.

So really I did whip this out quick smart like a stirfry.

I like to see logos in contexts as they need to work well in multiple applications, that's often part of their charm and effectiveness.

Here it is reversed out on an image.

So that is one of those feel good, contribution jobs I struggle to turn down.

And here is another, different opportunity I struggle to say NO to...
A cool one!
Design a brand for a new cafe. Um, yes please!

Little Sisto is in Doubleview on Sackville Tce. It's an understated, sleek and spacious cafe with primo coffee. The owner comes from a large Greek family and was the youngest of 6, hence her name Little Sisto which means Little Sister.

I could see this logo in my mind pretty early, as a collection of sisters and her highlighted as the little one.
If you're interested in analysis: it's the greek turqoise sea blue that is referenced, and the triangles represent women, our shape, our skirts even, all different sizes but powerful little mountains that we each are. They are a cluster, a family, but the little one can often be the stand out, the special-treated one, the base of the family.

I look forward to sharing more photos once the signage is up and the branding is rolled out!

back to the photos now...

[current mood] Roses in Rainbow Colours & Gypsy MusicSave & Close