"We love living on our farm in Tarome. The kids love the open spaces and all the animals. The Great Dividing Range is a picture to wake up to every day"
Words by Ruby Spillman
NO stranger to the beauty of simple country living, Natalee Schelbach finds creativity, inspiration and a strong sense of home living here in the Scenic Rim.
The hospitable and tight-knit communities within the region are part of what Nat loves most about raising her family in this little corner of the world.
Originally born in Ipswich, Nat grew up in the suburb of Yamanto, which she said was more like a small, quiet country town at the time.
“Yamanto then was like the bush,” Nat explained.
“I had a horse called Sherill who I used to ride down to the local shop, called Jack the Slashes, tie her up at the side tree and go in to buy my purple Hubba Bubba.”
Nat’s upbringing cemented her love for country living and after marrying her partner Ross in 2005, the couple purchased a property in Tarome and have been running their farm there ever since.
Since then, Nat has dedicated her much of her life to raising her four beautiful kids, Kempsey, Hannah, Molly and Tristan. Only within the past two years, Nat has tapped into her creative side and discovered a talent and passion for making felt hats.
“Just before Tristan went to kindy, I started looking for something else. I starting play with natural wool fibres, creating felted hats and arm knitting,” Nat said.
“Then I thought to myself, I think I can make real hats, and the search on looking into information and experimenting began. I loved it, it was something new and fresh in my life.”
After launching her business, Mad Natters, Nat now frequents many of the region’s markets, selling her hand-crafted pieces to an array of locals, including farmers, who appreciate the wide-brimmed style and practicality, as well as the general public, who might be looking for something a little more unique.
Recently Nat took a trip to Europe to refine her skills and learn more about millinery from hat designer Pauline Bisscheroux.
“Pauline was kind and full of information and taught me lots of new millinery techniques that pushed me of my comfort zone, all in a room full of people that spoke different languages,” Nat said.
With a new set of skills under her belt, Nat returned home eager to put what she learned into practice.
Finding inspiration in her surroundings, Nat has a studio down in their farm shed where she spends most of her spare time designing and creating her hats.
“I love my studio space and often go down there when nobody is around,” she said. “Usually after the kids go to school or sometimes even in the middle of the night I will go down there to create - I love it.”
“We love living on our farm in Tarome. The kids love the open spaces and all the animals,” Nat said. “The Great Dividing Range is a picture to wake up to every day.”
To see some of the hat styles Nat offers, visit her website www.madnatter.com.au, or contact her directly through Facebook and Instagram @madnatterhats