Kinfolk Workshop 'Honey Harvest' Sydney


Photos by Natalie Hayllar {eatreadlove}

KINFOLK Workshop 'Honey Harvest' Sydney

Hosted by Luisa Brimble and Studio Neon at RAW Space in Redfern
Partners: Studio Neon, RAW Space, Meghan Plowman, Pilgrim StylingLuisa Brimble
The Urban Beehive, Micah Brearden, Pony & Ink, Whiteman Park Print Shop and Bumble Candles
#kinfolkworkshop #honeyharvest

The Old Library Cronulla

The Social Plates from the The Old Library Cronulla
Photos by Luisa Brimble

KINFOLK Freshen Up Sydney

Hosted by Eat Read Lover and Jaclyn Carlson (Blog Society)
Kinfolk Workshop Sydney - Freshen Up Event
Photos by Matt Johnson
Styling by Madeline Johnson
Catering by Marios Kitchen
Flowers by The Sisters
Illustration and Design by Amanda Lee Denning
Props Thanks to Quintessential DuckeggBlue and Tommy Gray

Free Eid Card Printables!

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Yes, it's not after Ramadan and here is a post *smile* but there is a very good reason for it....EID is close!

In the file below you'll find Eid Card Printables for kids. These cards are: Simple. Quick & Easy to make. Fun insha'Allaah. 

To make the cards:

  • Download the file
  • Browse through to see which card(s) you'd like to print. 
  • Click 'file', 'print' and then select the page you want to print (i.e. page 2). Print. *Printing on cardstock is great and will make the cards more durable*
  • First, cut the cards along the vertical dotted line in the center of the page.
  • Then fold the cards along the horizontal black line in the center of the page. (You may have to do some trimming along the edges because printers are different).
  • Let your child(ren) write their own special Eid message for loved ones inside. 
  • Deliver them to loved ones!
Here is a sample of some of the cards:

Enjoy insha'Allaah and Eid Mubaarak!

Double points during Ramadan!

Those fellas at iERA (Islamic Education and Research Academy) are getting really excited again.
Here's their latest hyperbolic announcement in an email sent to their followers entitled "Double Up!":
I'm sure many of us are now gearing up for the last part of Ramadan; focusing on how to maximise on our good deeds through making additional salaah, reading Qur'an and making du'a. Dawah may be going further away from our minds as we aim to focus on our personal ibaadah. Are we right in thinking about dawah like this? Can dawah offer us the chance of really maximising our rewards? Well, actually, it really can.

Let's look at this closer. The goal of dawah is to invite people to the worship of Allah ﷻ. If through your efforts, whether through passing knowledge or giving saqadah (in charity), someone is guided to Islam, you would share in the reward of every good deed they did. YES.

This means that every time they PRAY, they FAST, read the QUR'AN, you will gain a similar reward - isn't this AMAZING? But wait. It gets better.

If they have children, who also do good deeds, you also share in their reward. And if they have children who do good deeds, you again share, generation after generation. This is a real MERCY from Allah ﷻ.

If that wasn't enough, then in Ramadan, all our good deeds are multiplied. So how much more ajr (reward) can we attain? Allah ﷻ knows best, all we can do is make our actions sincerely for him.
Double points at Islam this week everyone! But hurry - offer* ends soon!

*Terms and conditions apply. Applicants must be prepared to leave their common sense at home.


Stacking The Deck For Or Against Yourself As A Black Business Owner

Over the years, there are certain recurring themes that keep coming up in the conversations I have with other Black business owners. Let me publicly say something that I’ve repeatedly told other African-American (AA) business owners during private conversations:
If you want to make a living from your various income streams, then you MUST create “White” products for White consumers. And leave that Black and “multicultural” stuff ALONE.

This is what I believe, and I can’t repeat this enough. I believe that if you (as a Black business owner) want to make a living from your business, this means to:
STOP writing any sort of fictional works (novels, screenplays, plays) that feature Black main characters.

STOP writing non-fiction content about AA/Black social issues.
STOP writing non-fiction content about Black cosmetology, Black hair care, or anything else that specifically pertains to Blacks.

STOP creating products specifically for Blacks.
STOP creating “multicultural” anything—that’s a sure tip-off that you’re Black. From what I’ve seen, the winning strategy is to have a “colorless” business. Meaning a business that allows Black, White and other consumers to comfortably assume that you are White.

The above applies if you want to make a living from your business. If you’re conducting your business as a hobby or a social service project and don’t care about making money from it, then keep gearing it toward Black consumers.
I know this is a bitter pill to swallow for many aspiring and beginning Black business owners. But it is what it is. Structuring one’s business around serving Black consumers is a well-worn path to unnecessary hardship and ultimate failure for Black business owners. I hate to see Black businesses fail.

Let me stress that when I say this to other Black business owners, this is NOT some sort of control thing with me (the only things I go "control freak" over are my own projects—everybody else's stuff is everybody else's stuff).

I'm definitely not any sort of guru.  

I'm not trying to persuade anybody to change their mind if they’ve come to different conclusions.

I'm not trying to persuade anybody to follow my suggestions.

I’m giving sincere food for thought for those aspiring and beginning Black business owners who haven’t already come to their own firm conclusions about these issues. My views are based on my own experiences and observations.

I’m not offended by those Black business owners who disagree with my views.

Everybody knows best about their own particular situation. And everybody's mileage varies with these issues.

Here’s part of a real talk comment that I previously made over at Halima’s blog. It might provide some food for thought for aspiring AA entrepreneurs. I explained the reasons why I didn’t want payment in exchange for [the Sojourner’s Passport] blog’s premium content:
I deeply appreciate your call to action, but NO—I DON’T want anybody sending me money for my premium content—please DON’T do that!!!
Here’s the primary reason why:
As a Black business owner, I don’t believe in trying to do serious business with “typical” AAs/Blacks. It never works right for the reasons (I’ve outlined in depth at my blog). I refuse to do business with slaves in that direct fashion. A Black business owner who tries to do direct business with slaves is only setting themselves up to be sabotaged by those slaves.
A reader at my blog previously described the AA slaves’ behavior pattern regarding Black businesses: First the slaves pretend to be excited about the Black business endeavor. Then, they start backbiting it. Then, they work their fingers to the bone to pull it down.
I’m already an online business owner. My side business is totally oriented toward mainstream, NON-Black consumers. I don’t want hateration-type AA slaves to have any possible openings to do any sabotage that could potentially spill over onto my side business.
That’s the primary reason why I don’t mix any direct exchanges for money with my BWE activism. I know that there are legions of DBRBM, disgruntled colored girls, and other trolls who would looove to have an opening to file false complaints to the Better Business Bureau, etc. about me out of spite. If I accepted money for the BWE premium content, doing so would give bad-faith slaves a lever to use to potentially impact/sabotage what I’m doing with my side business.
Keeping the premium content free protects me from the disgruntled colored girls and other Black haters.
I know that I have to protect my side business from MOST of the people in the reading audience. As Halima noted, there’s an undercurrent of resentment toward many BWE bloggers. Even from audience members who aren’t full-blown trolls or haters. That’s why my name is not on my side business. So the haters in the audience will never be able to find it and connect it to me. They can’t sabotage what they can’t find.
For any Black business owner’s self-protection, AA slaves must be kept at arms’ length from one’s business, and only dealt with via 3rd parties like
That way, when the hateration-AA slaves falsely claim to have a problem or issue about their order, they have to take it up with the 3rd party such as And the Black business owner is removed from the main “line of fire” from hateration AA slave-consumers.
There are secondary reasons why I don’t want money in exchange for the premium blog posts:
(1) I don’t want folks to be able to dismiss the reciprocity lesson as actually being about “money-grubbing.” I know that this is how AA slaves think; and I want them to genuinely learn what reciprocity means. AND
(2) I’m already a business owner, and my online business is totally oriented toward majority, NON-Black consumers. I want the Sojourner’s Passport social activism blog to pay for its own upkeep (through book sales), but it’s not like I’m trying to use the blog to put food on my table.
Let me emphasize that I don’t feel that there would be anything wrong with accepting donations or making the blog paid-subscription only. Other folks—people who are not African-Americans—understand how it’s often necessary to pay for valuable, life-enhancing information. Sadly, most AAs are simply too primitive and slave-minded for that—they don’t want to pay any other Black person for anything sensible.
It’s an interesting paradox: Most African-Americans are cynical and yet gullible at the same time. We’re quick to interpret any other Black person seeking fair monetary compensation for their life-enhancing work as somehow inappropriate. Yet, we’re simultaneously delighted to throw piles of money to all sorts of useless Black (mostly male) hustlers who are peddling less than useless wares such as Steve Harvey, most AA male pastors/imams, etc.
So, even though it would be perfectly appropriate to charge for the information I provide, I don’t want to do that. In addition to the concerns I mentioned in Part 1 of this comment, I believe charging for premium content would actually work against the reciprocity lesson that I’m trying to teach.
It would make it too easy for indoctrinated AA slave-women to dismiss the reciprocity lesson as just an attempt to “get over.” Which is what they’re inclined to think, because they don’t understand the idea of reciprocity. All they understand is exploitation. Either from the perspective of the user or as the person being used. How very sad . . . and downright savage.
Aspiring AA entrepreneurs: Don’t be naive about the typical AA consumer and their behaviors.

I also talked about this at length during the post If You’re a Black Business Owner Who Wants to Succeed, Leave The African-American Consumer BehindPlease take the time to read that post if you haven’t seen it before. I’m not going to repeat the arguments I made there in support of my views. I’ll just mention a relatively recent example that confirmed my previous observations about AA consumers.
The latest example I saw was when Curly Nikki came out with her book. I saw one self-proclaimed Natural Hair-Wearing Negress after another write in to several BW’s blogs to announce that they were NOT going to buy Curly Nikki’s book. Not that they were boycotting or anything like that.
The bulk of them claimed to like and respect Curly Nikki's work. But they were proud to announce that they just weren't that into hair (despite the fact that many of them are apparently long-term and current participants at Black hair forums), and therefore had no need for her book. Translation = The idea of another AABW making some money makes many of them sick to their stomachs, and so . . . . They. Won't. Stand. For. It.
All while claiming to support other BW.
Here’s the thing: We’re all free agents, and nobody owes anybody anything. AA consumers have NO obligation to support and patronize Black-owned businesses. The flip side of that equation is that those of us who are Black business owners have NO obligation to create anything at all for Black consumers. It takes time, energy and resources to create products and a business. There’s usually a very low return on investment (ROI) for Black business owners who deal with Black consumers. Why be bothered with that when there are much more rewarding opportunities in the mainstream?
Keep in mind I’m referring to folks who want to make a living from their businesses.
If your business is a social service project or hobby, and not something that you’re using to put food on your table, then it doesn’t matter if you get any real ROI. There’s nothing wrong with social service projects. I’ve done social service projects.
My BWE blogging and book are Paying It Forward social service projects. The Sojourner’s Passport book royalty checks that I get from the (non-Amazon) publishing company I used are totally separate from my business activities; and go toward the upkeep of my 2 BWE blogs (hosting fees, etc.).
If you’re a Black business owner who wants to make a living from your business, I would strongly urge you to do what you can to stack the deck in your favor:
Make things easier for yourself by swimming withthe tide in the mainstream. Instead of swimming against it by self-segregating yourself among AA consumers.
Use stealth to reap the abundance of opportunity in the mainstream. Instead of staying within “hunt and peck” scarcity scenarios among AA consumers.
Enjoy the abundant fruit trees in the mainstream forest of White consumers. Instead of gravitating toward (or lingering within) the AA consumer desert that exists for Black business owners.
I’m not exaggerating when I say there’s plenty of fruit in the mainstream forest among White consumers. One problem with many AAs is that we’re so focused on flashy, superstar celebrity “hits” that we don’t notice the multitudes of unknown, unsung folks who are quietly making a living from their income streams.
You don’t need to be on anybody’s bestseller list to make a living from your combined income streams. Small passive income streams add up to a mighty river if you study the market, pick a productive niche, and create “colorless” products for mainstream consumers.
Back when I first decided to focus on creating additional income streams by self-publishing on Amazon Kindle, I decided to experiment with content that was relatively fast and easy to produce: a simple, cookbook ebook on Kindle. By simple, I mean no photographs of food inside the book, only recipes; and no paperback edition of the book. I wanted to see what was possible with that one little income stream.
I knew that I would want a souvenir to help me stay encouraged and motivated. So I made a copy of the first month’s earnings from that one little income stream Kindle ebook before depositing it. I also want you to be encouraged. The opportunities I’m describing are real. They can also be real for you as a Black business owner, if you step out of the AA consumer wasteland and reach for them.

As a Black business owner, why be bothered with chasing after Black consumer crabs-in-a-barrel when you can find opportunity-rich, less-hassle online environments with nonblack consumers? Why not make things easier for yourself?

Ramadan - when fasting goes bad...

When Ramadan falls during a hot summer in northern Europe, Muslims here suffer more than their brothers and sisters nearer the equator; the day-light lasts longer (4am to 10 pm in mid-summer) and the infrastructure, buildings, habits and customs in our northern climes are not designed for coping with endless days of sunshine and sweltering, oppressive heat. Meanwhile, the nannyish nagging of the "elf 'n' safety" tzars to keep drinking fluids to fend off dehydration may provoke irritation and mockery among the general population, but how much more annoying must it be to be told how dangerous not drinking in the heat is when you know the next opportunity to quench your thirst is ten or more hours away.

But is not eating or drinking for such long periods in such extreme heat actually dangerous? My Muslim friend tells me that fasting is good for the body. I agree. Recent research confirms the age-old wisdom of fasting for health reasons. Fasting plays a role in most, if not all religions; as a way of purifying the mind and body I can see the benefits and have even tried the 5-2 fast myself. However, the Muslim fast is different in both type and duration from other fasts, whether religiously motivated or not, and there is a growing body of both clinical and anecdotal evidence which suggests that Ramadan can have harmful effects.

A study by Dr. Ibrahim Abu-Salameh at Soroka University medical centre in 2010, for example, found migraine attacks were three times more likely during the month of fasting. Not surprising given the following list of possible effects of dehydration: Asthma, Allergies, Heartburn, Migraines, Constipation, Obesity, Fibromyalgia; High Blood Pressure, Lower Back Pain, Type II Diabetes. 

Nutritionist, Anwan Gunawan, a Muslim herself, lists the effects not of dehydration caused by the fast, but ironically of over-eating during Ramadan: "They don't eat at daytime, but they eat a lot in the evening. So, it's not good, it's not healthy. And you can see after the Ramadan, people get fat, get sick."

And it's not only the detrimental physical effects of such extreme fasting that can be seen. Mood and concentration can also be badly affected by the strains put on the body during Ramadan. Anyone who has stayed in an Islamic city during the fast will attest to the dangers of driving just before Iftar, the breaking of the daily fast. Annabel Kantaria writing in the Telegraph says the following about being out on the roads during Ramadan:
It’s no secret that, during Ramadan, the number of road traffic accidents increases dramatically. Twenty per cent of all traffic accidents in Oman last year took place during the Holy month alone and, this year, Dubai Police have revealed that they were called to 3,605 traffic accidents in the first 10 days of Ramadan.One of the most dangerous times of the day is just before people rush home for Iftar, the sunset meal at which the daily fast is broken. Hungry, tired and dehydrated, some drive recklessly, overtaking, undertaking and racing through red lights in their hurry to get home. This year, nearly 20 accidents a day have occurred in that crazy period just before 7pm, which the police have now dubbed the “Ramadan rush hour”.But, while there’s obviously a certain risk to driving after fasting all day, Dubai-based psychologist Dr Annie Crookes tells The National that the cause of the bad driving is likely to be more psychological than physical.Research has found that fasting has an impact on reaction times and spatial perception, but Dr Crookes says it’s still no excuse for some of the crazy driving seen during the Ramadan rush.
She also reports how the Emirates Driving Institute warns that drivers who have been fasting all day will likely have headaches, feel faint, be impatient and lack concentration – issues that Dubai Police are trying to pre-empt by giving out free Iftar meals at major road junctions in busy parts of the city. (Given that our local taxis are driven almost exclusively by Muslims, it does make you wonder...)

When rush hour meant the odd extra camel in the desert, the daily commute was a wander to the local market, sunrise to sunset was a predictable 12 hours whatever time of year,  and jobs where functioning at a level less than 100% presents a danger not just to you but to the public were unheard of - then I can perhaps understand how Ramadan might have helped a community to focus on spirituality. 

In our modern 24-7 high-speed world where those fasting must work and function in societies ill-suited to such practices, Ramadan presents a challenge not only to those who are happy to partake but also to those who must live and work alongside fasting Muslims.

Did Allah foresee such difficulties, I wonder? I'll leave you with the story of an airline pilot as told on a professional airline pilots forum:

I once flew with a muslim capt a long time ago during ramadan and we had a very long and interesting discussion about his beliefs etc as he was fasting and very devout.He was also a very good pilot and an excellent guy I might add except he didn't drink beer!!He did acknowledge the problem of those less inclined to do the right thing during the year and making up for it while flying an aircraft during Ramadan.It was almost an 8 hour sector and he had eaten breakfast before dawn in dubai I would guess about 5 am.By the time we were on descent later in the day about 4 30 pm Dubai time or just after dark where we were, he was no longer in my opinion fit to be sitting in the front seat of a very large aircraft.He must have been very dehydrated as he didn't even have any water.The amount of things he missed on descent was quite disturbing.After we landed he raced off to get a feed at the airport cafe and then felt human once more.We then went out on the overnight and had a nice night and he obviously had his energy back. I would imagine he was at the same level of competence as someone who had a some alcohol in his system while flying.Of course my point is that EK would sack you immediately for having alcohol in your system if you are caught and yet condone an unsafe situation due to fasting.I would imagine every muslim according to the Quran also has an obligation to safeguard life particularly during ramadan.Is there not a way for our muslim colleagues to aide by their faith considering they are travelling and still operate safely as the situation where both flight crew are seriously fasting is fraught with danger.I think we all have a moral as well as legal responsibility to operate the aircraft safely and owe the passengers a duty of care.It will be no use explaining to the families of 400 people "but he was fasting" if it leads to a tragedy.

Eat Read Love Pop Up Dinner with Lisa Madigan


For the Love of Food and Art, the 'eat read love' pop up Dinner Series Comes to Life in Style at Balmain Wharf Apartments! 

What an exciting week this has been for me and eat read love. On a sparkling Sydney Wednesday night the #eatreadlovepopup dinner series officially set sail with some wonderful friends at the BALMAIN WHARF APARTMENTS. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time, and it was so nice to finally kick it off in style in such a gorgeous harbourside location. Bringing my two great loves of food and art together, I was thrilled to welcome my friend LISA MADIGAN as our special guest to launch her amazing NYC inspired oil on canvas collection 'Kaleidescope'. 

"Kaleidoscope. Like reflections on a wet road after a downpour, a shaft of light through a spring storm at dusk, a glint in your lovers eye or the colour of your heart, the things that we embrace whilst we're there but soon slip through our fingers to form another vision, in another moment. Through these multiple flashes of light & sensory recollections Kaleidoscope has filtered back to me. Recalling sunsets & the way light moves through the city, the punch of strong graffiti, tall buildings & in their shadows the secret entrances into luxurious worlds & caves of curiosities, the elements that juxtapose grit & the sublime right through to the elation of standing alongside those water lilies. Kaleidoscope is a collection of such things, elusive & punchy, delicate & powerful, frivolous & meaningful, colourful & dark, beautiful. LM

Lisa and I spent the day styling with some amazing pieces from IITTALA and stunning floral arrangements from THE SISTERS, creating our very own pop up gallery amongst the historic sandstone walls of the Shipwright Suite. As the sun started to set and the soft candlelight filled the room, it was one of the most magical evenings I can remember. Surrounded by so many inspiring and creative women, all I could do was sit back and soak it all up, a time for me to really appreciate everything and this wonderful journey that I am on. While MARIO'S KITCHEN cooked up a storm in the kitchen, Lisa shared stories of of her recent life affirming trip to New York City, the inspiration behind the enchanting and transient oil paintings that surrounded us during dinner. With the twinkling lights of the harbour backdrop, the smell of fresh oil paint, still wet, blended with the smells of rosemary, garlic, roasted tomatoes, sweet pink Peonies and David Austin's from the table, it was an absolute treat for the senses. At one point while we were making the official presentations, fireworks starting going off behind us!  Mario's special winter menu was amazing (loved the stuffed zucchini flowers) and paired perfectly with Mudgee wines from GILBERT by SIMON GILBERT (The Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir were standouts!) The girls loved their little BINDLE surprise at the end of the evening, and a huge thank you to Catherine from Bindle for creating this lovely bespoke bundles of joy for my guests. And finally, the lovely CATHERINE SAXELBY, leading nutritionist and author of Ancient Grains shared some inspiring recipes and tips from her new nutrition cookbook while we devoured Mario's delicious Rhubarb, Pomegranate and Vanilla Cobblers. 

Number 10 Darling Street Balmain has been a gathering spot since the 1840's and the Shipwright Suite was the perfect setting for our dinner. If only these sandstone walls could talk they would share many a secret no doubt. My beautiful Pa Harry was a Balmain boy in the early 1900's and I have since found out that he was a regular at the old pub that is now the Balmain Wharf Apartments. Although he has not been with us for many years, I am not kidding when I tell you that this place has a special vibe, there is a very positive sense that Pa is there watching over me. A sense of serenity and calm that I feel every time I visit Balmain. 


It was a pleasure sharing the night with you - Kate, Sally, Ains, Cath, Karen, Nadean, Jaclyn, Luisa and Lisa! Cant wait to do it all again....stay tuned....!

 To get your hands on one of Lisa's amazing pieces in the new collection 'Kaleidescope' visit the online store now