It all began with a window on the street.
Living in Melbourne's iconic Carlton with her young family, Leah Harcourt, a self-described ‘low-fi crafter,' began creating tiny window displays to delight her children and the constant stream of those passing by.
Buoyed by the reactions of both friends and strangers alike, Leah made mini window scapes to document Melbourne life, family milestones and the general happenings of the world. There were mini protest scenes, displays celebrating New Year, friends' birthdays, and Christmas, often prompting many people to stop for photographs.
When the time came for Leah to move out of Carlton and back into a home without a window on the street, she started brainstorming ways of continuing her newfound creative outlet. Blue Bower Letterboxes were born. Leah designed and created her very own letterbox with a tiny room to display her mini worlds.
Her bright yellow letterbox in Clifton Hill, with its ever-changing displays, is a highlight for the people who pass by her home. Leah has displayed everything from glowing lights for Melbourne's White Night festival, to rainbows for Marriage Equality, a neighbour's collection of Anzac Day treasures, and a box full of free chocolate eggs at Easter time. Mostly, her scenes are a whimsical collection of mini worlds that make people smile.
On many occasions, strangers have become friends just through conversations struck up by the contents of her letterbox. Children have posted her little notes of thanks, and neighbours have offered suggestions for future displays. It has become so much more than just a letterbox; a way to connect with others and add a little bit of joy into the neighbourhood.
Leah Harcourt lives in Melbourne with her husband and four children.