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

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Entries in nature (29)


Burnt Hakea Series

We fairly spontaneously went for a walk up a large hill on Monday. I, the unprepared (but trusting) partner and the other the back up for a back up for a back up well packed (but stubborn) partner.

Let's just say that the mountain (Mt Cooke) looked 'that way' with a fairly clear walking trail leading you to it, but instead we took a guess and went the 'other way'. When it was clear we were not heading for the mountain we decided a direct line of sight walk would get us there. After we bush bashed our way through the twice fire-ravaged bush, scraping our legs on prickly moses (was he really that much of a jerk?) and charcoaled limbs of dead trees, we did finally discover the intended path with the help of a drone! 

Mt Cooke is quite spectacular with huge round boulders scattered on the top in a most seemingly designed way, it's one of the more unique scapes I've seen in a while. The view also gives you hope that there may still untouched areas of bush in Australia.

Whilst admiring this view, waiting for my partner to fly his drone around and after I'd eaten my rations and my phone had gone dead, I thought I'd try to just look at my close surrounds, try to see nature in more detail and appreciate it. 5 minutes in and I was enamoured with the burnt Hakea plant. (hakea petiolaris) Each stalk took on it's own little textured personality, reminding me of buffing silversmith tools and feather dusters. I snapped a few with the idea of photographing them on my return. God it's been forever since I did this and it's reawakened my love of nature patterns & details photography especially that in decay and inperfection.

When I came home to research the name of the plant I was smitten with it's layman name 'sea urchin hakea'.

[current mood] Carob Eggs & The Paper Kites


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


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


Stop Motion Wedding

It's a bit of a 'thing' at the moment, the hipster stop motion wedding photoshoot.

(Stop motion is where you take a series of photos and animate them into a short film -and- do some clever things with how objects appear and move).

I could do it... but I hadn't yet because I thought it might be too much of a focus during a wedding shoot, detracting from getting really quality individual images.

However, they ARE fun and they ARE cute and so I slipped a little stop motion into a recent wedding shoot to see what we could achieve in 10 minutes.

I animated 30 seconds of footage which I repeated 3 times to give us a good chunk of visual sweetness.

So I think this is a a WIN: We have some animated cuteness to a song the couple love AND we have a series of still images of high quality for albums and printing.


Here are some of the stills to go with the animation.

All shot at the divine Karri Tree forest setting at Donnelly River Village.

More of this I shall do!

[current mood] Kings of Convenience & Mango


Office Stationery Inspired Garden Colour Palette Creation

How closely have you looked at your leaves lately?

Micro Macros of my leaves show me a colour scheme.

[current mood] Ferris Bueller & Ratatouille



Flower Ode 1: Gardenia

Dad's flower is the pure white gardenia.
When they bloom he always tells me
"I love their smell, I really love their smell"
And so I clip one from its branches 

I take long inhales
to gather up the fragrance
That's dad's passion that I'm breathing
I love the gardenia like him now

Today I saw a shrub on a tiny street corner
And like I do every time, I picked, just one
As I headed homeward I smelled and smelled
until I had a headache

I tried to pinpoint the smell
buttery, creamy, tropical, vanilla...
no… smell doesn't have words
It has associations


It's all my dad.

I will cry every time I smell one
when he passes on 

I can already feel the tears rising

[current mood] Sydney Harbour Views & Dancing In The Dark


Botanical Illustration Inspiration

I have the chairs, I have the aspect, I have the place.

I can dream of how I will use this place and buy all the things to make that dream come alive.
But like all the porches with empty chairs, it seems that peoples' dreams often stay as ideals never to be embraced.

I want to sit on this wooden bench with tea.
I want to draw whilst the rain gently falls. 
I want to watch sunset with gin and many many friends. 

Thoughts of yesterday.

Today I leafed through a magazine, saw this gorgeous illustrator, Katie Scott.

And so I sat in my garden, plucked some fallen botanicals and drew with inspiration.

And now as the rain settles in on this Saturday I await friends to admire the sunset through a sky of clouds.

I'm doing it!

[current mood] Gentle Windchimes & An entire plant of corriander on your avocado on toast.


Too Precious To Lose

I had the opportunity to create a logo for The Greens newest campaign 'Too Precious To Lose'.

It's a very much needed campaign as our incredible Australian environments continues to get chewed up by mining (and all those that want to profit as a result). It makes me deeply ill to think of this 'consuming' of our environments for what is a very temporary result - keeping up our ridiculous, modern, unsustainable lifestyle.

And to what end? Driving around and living in McMansions until we have no beauty left on our planet? Just so you can watch tv shows about the species that were in the previously pristine places? 

So, naturally...

I wanted to create something that gave an immediate sense of hope and importance to our beautiful places in Australia whilst paying respect to the indigenous heritage of our land.

I literally made the logo with pebbles - which I photographed.
And I hand wrote the name.
I love making logos with my hands (not entirely with a computer).

It's also weird seeing your writing everywhere, something I've done a few times now!

Like this squiggle I did as part of the RTR FM logo.

And this painted text I did for Spinifex Hill Artists.

And the drawing and writing for Ellenbrook's 'Great To Be Here' campaign.

What was wonderful with the Too Precious campaign was that I had to supply them some templates and logos and leave it up to each state office to create their own design. I think they did really well as I just received a package in the mail with samples from across the country.

I love the use of the icon as a marker on the map of Australia, showing places nominated by people as 'too precious to lose'

Go and help save our precious places!

[current mood] Gypsy and The Cat & Spicy Stew