31 August 2011

celebrating 'blog day' . . . yes really, there is a blog day!!

Greetings all,
NuffNang are celebrating Blog Day 2011 by asking their subscribers to recommend 6 great blogs from around the world.  Easy??  Oh so hard to narrow it down.  So i close my eyes & hold my breath, spin around . . . & i'd love to share a mixed selection of fabulousness . . .
the talented TexWis Girl from The Run*A*Round Ranch has a beautiful photography blog i frequent, capturing delightful 'postcard' views of nature & her farm animals (with names & stories, like Elvis & Priscilla - her resident ducks in the pond) around her patch of earth in Texas USA. 
 Loving the life, cooking, style, mothering, fashion, travel . . . TinaJo from Sweden at her TinaJo@Home blog does it all, so effortlessly, glamorously, fantastically.  I'm new to her too, so when i visit i go back a few blog posts each time to soak up more of her world.
 Oh oh oh, LONG time fan of Heidi over at The Polka Dot Petticoat, blogging from Alaska USA.  Here you'll discover updates on the local family of moose who moved into her garden, an amazing converted house filled to the brim with a lifetime collection of vintage & antique finds, creating a cosy home, which photographs like the pages in a coffee table book.
 It's a French vintage style children's shop-spin-off 'le blog'.  Do i even need to say more??  Dorothee from My Little Day has the most incredible eye for detail, colour, styled photo shoots & old school party fun, she needs to be shared with the world.  Can't read French, use an on line translator, 'le blog' not to be missed.
 Yay for Australian blogger Jacinta from MODELmumma in country Victoria . . . who just announced (Beyonce style) her 3rd baby bump!!  Congratulations!!  This girl can rock op shop finds, mix colour, bohemian prints & $1 finds like nobody else.  She's also a hat person, i know, she's got it all going on + she makes the alterations on vintage fashion herself!!
 Talk about handmade talent, honest parenting, heart breakingly down to earth, wholesome & all star American - she's a mother of many, married to a handsome fireman . . . i have followed Samantha & her journey on The Handmade Dress blog for years.  Anyone who can put an image of themselves in this situation - the exploding nappy - is totally keeping it real.  She also makes beautiful patterns for children's clothes.
Like my selection?? 
Familiar with their blogs already?? 
Pay them a visit, they are fantastic ladies with a lot to offer, you'll only be enriched by the experience with eye candy & feel good vibes from the clever people who make up this world, one blog at a time.  Love Posie

30 August 2011

i'm a bit late to Mollie's party . . .

Greetings all,
Last Friday my lovely newsagent rang at 8a.m. with the exciting news she had finally secured ONE copy of Mollie Makes magazine.  Her darling husband spent hours on the phone trying to source one.  I ran in after the school drop off & collect my bounty & high-5 my newsagent Rosemary, who admitted she had a peek. 
Not only am i a tad late to the world wide Mollie Makes party, starting with issue 4, but . . . to my crafty unholiness & complete disrespect to my handmade sisterhood . . . i didn't open it until last night.  I know, i'm shocked myself, but i wanted to savour it. 
 The inside pages are delicious, not too much advertising, plenty of handmade eye candy & beautiful rooms, real designers studios & interesting 'how to' projects.
 I would love a kitchen/ breakfast table & formal dining table in my homestead (greedy, gimme) if so, this is exactly where i fancy myself eating porridge . . . blue & white, mix match & simple.
 How about some Summer lazy afternoons under a make shift tent, lit by lanterns - as you'll still be there after dark.  Dreamy!!  Love a grown up cubby house.
 Don't you LOVE Anna Maria Horner??  She is the queen of colour, pattern & modern bohemian style.  I worship Amy Butler but Anna doesn't play it as safe, she's more daring, i like it!!  This is her studio, filled with everything a designer & mother of 6 could dream of.
 I couldn't devour the Mollie magazine in one evening & wanted to view it in a different light, so i took my stack of unread magazines on an excursion to Commonwealth Park this afternoon (between dropping off my son's forgotten lunch & school pick up, i had 2 hours to kill in the sunshine as i was not going home again).
 When i looked up, this was my view.  Lake Burley Griffen, Old Parliament House, Parliament House, yes that is a bloody huge flag pole!!
 Some of the locals came to say hello too.  They were so close, i wish i had some bread, i'm sure they don't survive on 'nature' as this is a manmade lake & they were SO tame.
My eldest daughter thinks the clouds look fake.  It was gorgeous, relaxing, i could have happily dozed off here & forgotten i had children or anywhere to be.  Still getting through the magazines, The Block is really interesting, i enjoyed the television series; i flicked through Frankie - although i consider this one of their least inviting covers, smile darling; Vogue Living will have to wait; & Country Style just makes me want to cry i'm not already living in the country.  Oh it will come, not soon enough though, give me space, freedom, a home of my own.  Love Posie

29 August 2011

a Lego Hero Factory G I V E A W A Y for brave little Lego fans

Greetings all,
Lego Hero Factory is not for the faint hearted, it's down right monster scary.  But isn't that what children love - transformerish Lego creations which twist & morph into the most frightening & ominous creature they can imagine??  My 4 sweet angelic children love a bit of evil Voldermort kind of horror.
My 7 year old did ask for some assistance in the construction of our complimentary new friend Raw Jaw, the revolutionary ball & socket joints are a bit tough to click in place for little fingers.  We'll be adding to the collection with his heroes Storma, Nex, Bulk & Rocka (they even have back stories on their strengths & abilities!!)  It's really suitable for ages 7-16 or fathers, i know they LOVE their Lego too!!
 The Hero Factory is set in the jungle, they're on a mission to restore peace in Quatros, by defeating the sinister, spell casting Evil Witch Doctor.  New age Lego = a unique code to unlock exclusive content at www.HeroFactory.LEGO.com + a movie on Nickelodeon, of course!!  Go old school & let your children undertake their own imaginery missions, or they can listen to Hero Factory FM for the latest Hero Challenges.  If your child is heavily into computers, there is Hero Recon to customise their own Hero at www.herorecon.lego.com
Raw Jaw is nice & solid, bits have not been falling off him & he's been in a few battles this weekend, yes, including smurfs (i have my original ones from the 1980's, mum saved them for me with my childhood Lego). 
Ok, so he is MUCH loved & has had a few kisses.
Just a little shout out that Lego Creator released Lighthouse Island, Hillside House & Cool Cruiser last month, along with The Hidden Forest, The Knight Bus & Howarts to the Harry Potter range.  For the Star Wars freaks, you can add a bunch of new Lego to your collection with very scary names like Sith Nightspeeder & Ewok Attack - i thought Ewoks were cute, squeaky & cuddly??  Must be wrong.      
Have you noticed this on my side bar "it's always Lego time at our house" keep scrolling.  I queued up almost 2 hours in Canberra Winter to see creations like this cuckoo clock at the Lego Brick Expo - which was so good i spread it over 2 posts here & here.  We are nothing if not devoted to Lego.
Alrighty, the friendly folk at One Green Bean & Lego are offering . . .
3 boxes of Hero Factory to giveaway, value $19.99 each. 
Just follow this blog & leave a comment here, da dah, you're in.  The 3 lucky winners will be drawn randomly, at 9p.m. on Sunday 11th September 2011, good luck!!
Before you go, some feel good Lego facts . . . the Lego Group is still a private family company in Denmark, devoted to children's creative & imagination abilities, available in 130 countries.  Lego was founded in 1932 (the year my daddy was born & the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened) - a very good year indeed.  Love Posie
PS Massive thanks to all the interesting feedback & comments on yesterday's post!!  I'm responding to everyone with an email contact, such a wonderful, hearty opinions from all sides.  You're the best!!

28 August 2011

social commentary Sunday . . . 'competitive blogging'

 Greetings all,
I check out a wide variety of blogs - i like parenting, design, style, fashion, cooking, health, exercise, vintage, renovating, gardening, farms, life . . . they all interest me.  Recently, I’ve noticed a few bloggers getting competitive about followers; making money; & attending blog conferences – with follow up advice posts on how to gain more followers, make more money & receive invitations to more events.  The information about pigeon holing or '5 key words', argh, just because you’re a mum - are you a “mummy blogger” - why can’t you be several types of blogger, posting on unlimited topics?? 
These conferences have left some bloggers feeling left out by either not being invited OR going along & not feeling like they fitted in.  Maybe I’m naïve or so out of the loop, but . . . isn’t blogging just meant to be fun??  Is it because some mega bloggers are making SERIOUS money with cook books, advertising & television shows, all from starting a blog . . . that everyone wants/ hopes/ competes to be the next big thing??  Has that changed the motivation & manipulation of blogging from the heart?? 
When i started blogging, i did 45 posts in my first 3 years.  I really didn’t think too much about it, other than a nice way to chat with other mums & designers.  I was home alone, my 4 children in school/ preschool, a husband away at war, living in Darwin . . . blogging was like my adult/ office chat.  Then in January last year my husband moved to Brisbane (we're in Canberra) & went back to war, it was time to pick up the blog & those connections again.  I put a 'follow' button on & had about 20 followers already (who knew??) & I started blogging more frequently, mainly so my husband could watch the children grow & see what we’re up to.  I’d promote markets I was attending, products & new stores I was stocking.  
Then offers to promote products (a freebie, post my thoughts & offer a giveaway) came my way.  All brands I buy/ use/ blog about for free anyway, like Lego, Disney, books & IKEA.  I’ve not drawn a salary for a decade, happy to have things I’d pay money for, sent for freenot wreaking of desperation.  So while I hum along with this type of blogging about my family, design work & sponsored giveaways + an exciting number of followers (hello lovely people) . . . still, i have never been invited to a blog conference or meet up.  It doesn’t faze me, I’m a ‘here & now’ kind of person, passing in many opportunities with interviews, magazines & collaborations due to the fact I have children (zero babysitter); my husband can’t have his photo published (waste of handsomeness);  I live in rental Army housing (not a gorgeous home filled with colour & interior design); I live in Canberra (hardly a hub of blog conference activity) . . . yet I don’t feel left out, unpopular or like I’m missing out, it’s just not my time, I’m patient, if I want those opportunities when my children are older/ my husband has retired/ I’m in our homestead filled with colour; I’m available to travel interstate – sure, maybe then.
What are people’s bloggie motives??  I heard on the grapevine at a NuffNang conference a person who didn’t even have a blog yet, asked, out loud “so if I start a blog & get 50 000 hits a month, how much money will you pay me to advertise with you”.  OMG, seriously, are you Oprah??  I openly have on my side bar “I dabble in blog advertising” but i prefer to save my promotions for my own business – the financial return is a whole lot better than some ‘click through rate’ which adds up to cents - blog advertising is a very slow way to make an income.  
Are there still bloggers out there who blog from the heart as they have something genuine to say, blog as therapy, post to keep in touch with real friends, honestly don’t care about hits or followers??  Can you gain true self confidence from on line popularity??  I wonder if I went back & did my psych degree now, how much influence social media would play in the subject content of . . . the number one human emotion . . . acceptance??  Is social media the right place to get this satisfaction?? 
I rarely bother with FaceBook myself (i don't understand Twitter) & won't allow my children to have it.  I recently had a hot chocolate with a gorgeous mummy who has older girls at my eldest's high school & she grabbed my attention with this enormous statement "my daughters waste so much time on FaceBook, they will post something & can barely sleep until it's been validated by a dozen other people".  Oh move over body issues, this is what is worrying our teenage girls, validation on social media!! 
Now the point of this post is really not to bash competitive blogging, all power to you if you have the time, but . . . 'we can smell it' & don't be sneaky about advertorials or edvertorials, we're smart enough to tell the difference, disclaimers or not.  Perhaps take a step back & consider what really counts, social media & on line personas, genuine blogging - as i think your precious followers will start leaving if you become yet another advertising blog & to nurture those friends & family in the real world.  
Is this something you've noticed too??  Are you still true to what you set out to do with your blog??  If you have children, are they watching you count on social media for attention or validation??  I'm quite interested to know, considering i have two giveaways this week.  Happy weeks everyone, love Posie

27 August 2011

i'm grateful for . . . 'the little things which make up a-day-in-my-life'

Greetings all,
So many things to be Grateful For . . . all the little pieces which make up a-day-in-my-life, for example today . . . a box Lego Hero Factory sent to my boy to test drive for a giveaway next week, stay tuned.
A giveaway win in the mail from Tania of Imagine Lovely blog, another sweet blogger from the delightful Daylesford Victoria neck of the woods.  Shall reveal the bounty inside shortly. 
 Strawberries in season = excellent quality at an affordable price (handy when your children can eat them by the kilo).  I've purchased 8 punnets this week, more today & more to come.
 I was thoroughly exhausted after collecting the children from school, not sure why, i spent a lazy afternoon at the cinema watching Horrible Bosses, it was good, those bosses were truly horrible.  Anyway, glad i had prepared the chicken for dinner the night before & very grateful my children accepted Portugese chicken on Turkish bread with avocado & strawberries as a suitable dinner. 
 Oh oranges, my son is obsessed with all kinds of orange fruit (mandarins especially) & i have two types of oranges overflowing the fruit bowl - some for eating (Valencia), some for squeezing (Naval). 
 VERY GRATEFUL for my patience . . . i went into my studio for some sewing, only to find my darling twins had decided to have a water fight with the spray bottles i use for ironing . . . the water hit the triangles i had been working on all week, making them curl up & basically destroy hours of work.  Deep breaths, i didn't even raise my voice, boy did i want to.
 I put lots of these applique bunting flag combinations together & will sew around them tomorrow.  Click here for a how to & thanks for the great comments on that post.  Spray water bottle crisis averted but those twins are still in trouble!!  
 Ah, my boy, he gave me a very special i'm-not-in-trouble-&-i-love-you-mummy hug this evening!!  Bless his opportunistic heart.  He was reading in bed, we are watching his eyes as he has been squinting at school, he said to me "i don't want to have to wear glasses, i'm not a total nerd".  I said he'd only look more handsome, we'd get him some funky frames, to which he scoffed, "i don't do funky mum". 
Above his bed are all the Tania McCartney 'Riley' adventure series of books - i'll have the latest one up for a giveaway in a week too!! 
 Then i found this girl, suspect number 1 in the water spray bottle incident, asleep on her floor cushion with her feet up on a chair, at the end of her bed??  I'll move her later.
 I like pretty things, lanterns & candles make my eyes sing.  I found these new paper cut out syle at TYPO, in white & blossom pink, i want more, all bunched together in a big mass.
Finally very grateful my handsome soldier is safe & sound in Brisbane, as another heart broken family has lost a soldier in Afghanistan.  My thoughts are with them.
Wishing you grateful weekends along with Maxabella Loves . . . love Posie

26 August 2011

things i'm loving . . . 'heart case'

Greetings all,
Ever walked into a store & spied a non essential but lovely inexpensive something you just have to have without justifying or thinking too much about it, so you purchase it quickly, then like it more & more after you get it home & start playing with it??  I had this experience mid week at Seed, yes a children's store & i might even share it with my children!!  Ok so a few children have straight up said "no mum, it's MINE" already.
 It is technically a handbag but i think it will be especially sweet as a prop.
 It's like a gorgeous picnic basket on your hip.
 Pin dot lining, hello!!
I love the shape, the combination of wicker weave, leather, clasps & hinges screams holiday or escape . . . it's just so lovely & photographs well, can't wait to use it in some styling shoots!! 
For more meaningful Things I'm Loving this week, visit Paisley Jade, love Posie

25 August 2011

our creative space . . . 'bunting meets baby clothes'

Greetings all,
I've had a lot of business success with bunting flags & children's clothes so why not combine the two??  This week's Our Creative Space offering is . . . tiny little bunting flags applique onto baby clothes.  Da dah!!
Grab a bunch of fabric swatches, iron on fusible webbing to the back, then cut up into the triangle sizes you desire (i've done 2 sizes for different projects).  I see these on skirts, cushions, pencil cases . . . i've created a bunting flag monster!! 
 This process is long & slow, back breaking if you're on the floor like me, but you can always store your 'readymade' bunting flag triangles for future projects.
 Look at my lovely scraps, their prettiness is not lost on me!!
 Lay out your desired colour combination . . .
 peel off the fusible webbing paper, reposition flags & press into place with a warm iron.
 Sit down at the sewing machine & stop day dreaming out of the window where it's all sunshine & happiness, you have sewing to do first!!
 Applique around the edges of each flag (i'm a fan of blanket stitch detailing) & if you're keen to finish the 'faux bunting' look with a ribbon, zig zag stitch is into place across the top, tucking in the ends, i don't do rough edges, i'm delicate & refined.
The finished product, pretty cute, non??  I want to do a bunch of these in different styles, like spots, dots & circles.  Working on a boys/ unisex too, butch them up with traditional blues, greens, greys & disguise the gender stereotypical colours by using awesome Japanese printed themed fabrics . . . there will be elephants & caravans!!  Love Posie

24 August 2011

BEST Father's Day idea EVER at IKEA (i think it's really for the ladies)

Greetings all,
OK, so IKEA are the kings of invention, reinvention & thinking up new brilliant ideas to make shopping with them a bigger & better experience.  They've set up the IKEA Family programme, which in short, gives you easier access to product discounts & specials, free coffee & every swipe of your card donates money to charity, win win.
More recently, they've set up a parent programme, with pamphlets & forums into what parents like/ use/ want from IKEA nursery/ children's furniture & toys. 
 For disclosure i was sent these goodies in the hope i'd tell you about the Children's IKEA focus.  Just saying!!
 I have no issue promoting IKEA, it's budget & child friendly, just like me!!
 Of course, there was the fantastic IKEA SleepOver which i was a lucky attendee.
NOW . . . to celebrate Father's Day . . . the Sydney IKEA store is launching . . . MÄNLAND . . . no kidding, a place for ladies to sign their husbands into a Man Creche for 30 minutes of massages, games, on screen sports, table football, arcade games, drinks & a hot dog!!  Ladies - you'll even get a buzzer to come & pick up your man when his half hour is up.  See why i really think this Father's Day idea is really for the ladies!!
I for one would love this as my husband HATES shopping, he's a total drag & worse than a petulant toddler!!  Statistics have revealed 26% of couples have an argument in public about shopping (tick), 32% of ladies have lost their husbands while shopping (tick), 6% have resorted to simply abandoning their husband in a store (for peace & quiet, TICK).  So head along to IKEA in Homebush & check your husband into MÄNLAND on Thursday 1st September to Sunday 4th September, only 8 men per session!!  So worth the 3 hour drive, if my husband was home.
This all started out as a joke, mums would say they wished there was a creche for men, like the one they check their children into at the store.  Your wish has come true.  Enjoy ladies, love Posie

23 August 2011

Voulez parti comme enfants Français?? Want to party like French Children??

Greetings all,
Just as i was wondering what to post about next . . . email inspiration falls into my InBox from Dorothee in France, asking about wholesale for her store My Little Day.  Did you know i used to wholesale my Edna&AliceMay Vintage Sensibility label in over 50 stores around the world??  Why yes i did!!  But since my children nudged high school, i stopped that part of my business - it was fun & my bitsy French came in handy!! 
The My Little Day website is all about delightful additions for the sweetest of children's parties.
 Dorothee's styling & taste is exquisite.
 Wouldn't you rather your children leave a party with a cute scribe like this Spectacular Circus Parade rather than a bag filled with nasty plastic lollies??
 Never complain again about boys being left out, super hero underpants anyone??
 Now this is a puzzle worth framing, what an adorable keepsake.
 Dorothee has a beautiful range of costumes, from cowboys to princesses, Sherlock Holmes to Little Red Riding Hood.
 Image what you'll discover on disposable cameras at a child's party??
EDIT: this IS a water pistol, thanks Monet Paisley, OMG, i'd get squirted with this 'prank' i'm so easily tricked.  Still . . . wouldn't disposable cameras be fun for children, imagine what they chose to take shots of & their angle of the world!!
 Just a taste of the fantastic party favours available.
 Or make your own up with cowboys & indians.
 Better yet, Dorothee also has a blog, it's GORGEOUS . . .
 & delicious!!
Oh do go & visit!!  I have to pinch myself that someone on the other side of the world in France, with incredible taste & styling at her finger tips, contacted little me, a housewife & mother of 4 in Australia.  I don't regret quitting wholesale or returning to sewing as a hobby, it was a fun chapter in my life but my purpose is to be available to my children, that is much more rewarding.  I did refer Dorothee to another supplier, this post was just for fun & to share the love.  Enjoy, love Posie