31 August 2010

surrounded by lovely pretty things & kindness, lucky me . . .

Greetings all,
'tis a busy week in the delivery department of my business.  Retro Grandad (Corrie's father) kindly couriered down this haul of fabrics for me from her new range in store at Retro Mummy . . . canNOT wait to patchwork & make super pretty things with these prints.
Then this lovely surprise, a thoughtful 'just because' kind of 'thinking of you' parcel of love from Tracey at Knicky Knacks.  Love it, thanks so much, just all round gorgeousness (magnets, fabric, lace, buttons, hearts, ahhhh).
How much fun are these oversized novelty pegs??  They are meant to hang on the wall & use as a giant, well, peg, but i think upside down holding up postcards at my market stall is a better way to play with them.  Also in the mail - the rest of my shopping from Europe (which i couldn't carry myself) including this pretty compact from Clinique.  Too pretty to use!!

Finally, another bloggy surprise gift in the mail (yes people, i'm feeling the love) from Tania McCartney in her stationery giveaway surprise.  How incredibly sweet from a super ace author & gal pal. 
Thanks so much - i know having my mobile & purse stolen on the wharf in Venice in July, a burglary at home in August & last weekend - running out of fuel in the car, i've had a rather bumpy run of late.  Alas, my husband is safe & wrapping up his deployment!!  I can't help but think my ridiculously positive attitude towards my husband in a war zone, 4 children & all their homework/ parties/ sports/ personalities/ bedrooms/ mess/ meals/ school, my busy work & then anything that just happens to go wrong along the way . . . is the best way to get through my life.  I know my life is not for everyone, i do get sick of being strong & on my own, making every decision for the family & putting engine oil in the car!!  By the time my husband returns he will have been away from home for 9 months this year, i know THIS YEAR!!  I can not tell you how exicted the children are - he is their hero & he's the love of my life.  I am bursting into smiles & have a little skip in my step, ahhh, we're on the homeward stretch, once we wrap up the school term & two markets, then i can start planning his home coming. 
Thanks for hanging in there with me everyone & bring on SPRING!!  Love Posie

28 August 2010

ever run out of fuel in your car, i've joined the club . . .

Greetings all,
OK, so one of the dumber things i've done in 17 years of driving . . . with my reserve fuel tank not pumping into the main in the Landcruiser 4WD for a couple of months, i've been living off one tank & until now, haven't mismanaged the distance i could get on the fuel light!!  I thought i'd wait until i was halfway between children's parties in Canberra & Bowral, with 4 children sugared up on lolly bags, as the perfect time to try it.  I know, i said dumb!!
  Better yet, i did it in style . . . with a dying mobile phone & just 2km from the service station i was going to fill up at, next to the Big Merino Rambo in Goulburn.
Small mercy that i literally konked out at an emergency phone & pull over bay where the children could play & wait patiently.  I was advised there was a 2 hour minimum wait, so i mentioned i had 4 children . . . the operator asked "did you say 4 or 5 children??" & i responded "does it matter??"  I waited 3 hours, hmmmmm . . .
So i put my feet up, relaxed & watched the children catch tadpoles, go exploring, make nice with the new German Shepherd teddy i bought my son yesterday & waited to see who was first to misjudge their leap over the creek & fall in.
One by one they'd come back to the car for a rest, warm up, blow some bubbles (only time i've ever been glad that bubbles were included in a lolly bag) & i have to say, there was the moral dilema of whether i use the water bottles i efficiently packed for the trip, to wash their sticky lolly fingers or save them from dehydration!!  I loathe lollies, i loathe sticky fingers even more.
So while i pondered life's big questions - who is this French VC that this rest stop is named after, i should research him; i really should polish my boots & take better care of them; what is Bear Grylls real name; which of my children will end up the tallest; did they ever find Miranda from 'Picnic At Hanging Rock'; my husband would never run out of fuel; my husband would never have a flat mobile phone battery; why doesn't anything ever go wrong when my husband is around; i should lose some weight; i could just doze off to sleep in this sunshine; why did my eldest daughter happen to have the SAS Survival Guide on her (thanks Sindy) & say so matter of factly "mum, i knew you'd have us stranded one day & we'd have to survive somehow". . . before i knew it, the NRMA man was here with fuel. 
So i put it to the children, should we continue to the party (for my nephew) & arrive 3 hours late, or go home??  Well there was no way they were missing out on seeing their cousins or telling them their harrowing tale of survival on the side of the Hume Highway, so we journeyed on.  I had used the last breath of mobile phone battery to call my sister to explain my situation - yes, i called her before the NRMA, you know, priorities & out of courtesy.  Very glad we did, 'twas a lovely post-party-early-dinner with the family & smooth 200km trip home. 
Let this be a lesson to all of you, the fuel light doesn't come on just to look pretty!!  Love Posie

27 August 2010

let's talk about sex . . . to your children

Greetings all,
So this is an image-less post for obvious reasons, 'tis not that kind of blog!!  I have no idea how my crafty mummy following types will take this post, but i think it's a decent community announcement to be prepared for the inevitable!!  I'm a pretty open & chatty kind of gal, I get asked by other parents frequently, how i explain sex to my children.  I'll just preface this entire post with 'me' doing all the talking as my husband is never put in this situation, it's always me, usually while driving or trapped somewhere & unable to be vague, pretend i didn't hear them or escape.

My children have left me zero wriggle space on this topic & i have always been honest & speedy in answering all their questions about anything, why make talking about sex awkward or different??  I'm very much sex-is-a-normal-part-of-life & my mother told me NOTHING, trust me, what my sister told me was alarming.  So i'd rather give my children clear facts or goodness knows what they'll hear in the playground??!!  I would also like to think that when my girls grow up & do have sex, if he turns out to be the wrong guy for them, they're not guilted into this but-i-had-sex-i-must-love-him ridiculous situation, but cut their losses & leave.  I don't think that is tarty, i think it's realistic & will save them time wasted on Mr Not-So-Fantastic (ditto for my son, but somehow boys are judged differently??!!)  For this reason i never started my 'how are babies made' answer with 'when a man loves a woman . . .' but from the scientific angle of sperm & eggs, just not including how exactly the sperm hooks up with the egg.  At the time, that wasn't important in the story as they were like 4 years old.  Yes, they were quite young when they were interested - but they wanted some details & to them, it was just as important as how bubbles were created!!  This basic eggy explanation was extremely useful as . . . at our preschool there were children who had 2 mums, so it was a great way to show the children of lesbians were completely normal (sorry i'm so mainstream), they were made of sperm & eggs like everyone else, just with the help of a bit of science. 
What prompted this idea for a post??  Well tonight, trapped in the car of course, my middle daughter turned to me & frankly asked "mum, do you enjoy sex??"  Now for some background . . . my husband & i have a very affectionate relationship at home, we don't jump each other's bones in the middle of the lounge room but we certainly kiss & cuddle in front of the children.  The children often say "gosh you must love mummy" etc, it's quite sweet, i think it's a lovely example of a loving marriage.  They have asked us if we have sex & i say "yes we do", honest & normal answer, it's all they want & then the next question will be about food or pets, the sex topic is over!! 
I have been put on the spot before with indirect questions i didn't see coming about sex.  For example, the time daughter 3 asked innocently enough "how do horses make babies" to which i responded as naturally as possible "the stallion hops on the mare's back, like a piggy back" & left the 'actual' finer details vague.  This explanation was quickly followed up with "does daddy hop on your back when you have sex" & like lightening, i responded with "no silly, that would hurt my back".  I thought my whitty response was brilliant!! 
Also in their cross questioning i've been asked how many times i dated daddy before we had sex.  Luckily i could answer this honestly, i was able to resist him for 25 dates, i know, that sounds medieval now, especially as i was at Uni & he was my i'm-going-to-date-someone-completely-different-perhaps-a-bad-boy & thought this totally hot young soldier was the most gorgeous man i'd ever laid eyes on. 
My sister & i talk about this topic - how to explain sex, relationships & the like, to our young children, should boys get a different explanation to girls??  It's lop sided that is for sure.  So while i'm still a work-in-progress on the topic, i had better get my act together as we start high school shortly & i'm sure a whole new can of wormy questions comes my way when i least expect it.  What i love is that my children feel so incredibly free to ask me anything!!  If they do ask something a bit too full on, i give them an outline & then a "that's all you need to know right now for your age" & they are happy with that. 

For those of you with younger children, you have all this ahead of you.  I'd start thinking & discussing how you do want your children to learn about sex now, so when you get those questions - you're ready & you don't have a car accident or make them feel uncomfortable for asking!!  I warn you, you won't see the question coming or have much time to think on your feet!! 
Have great weekends, we have 3-4 children at each of 4 different parties spanning 600km, um, i have sewing to do & planned to relax (ha!!) . . . hope this post was helpful, i'm quite interested to know your thoughts!!  Love Posie

25 August 2010

my creative space 'quest for a simple dress'

Greetings all,
Gosh, i don't like leaving more than a couple of days between posts, but really, what a whirlwind week.  After the election BBQ i literally laid on heat packs all Sunday, every bone aching & cold.  I'm doing all 5 days at Shop Handmade this week so Julie can move into her new home & i'm madly quilting at night for 2 quilts which require over 300 squares.  Not to mention the worry about our soldiers in Afghanistan!!
I felt like taking a break & creating a simple, quick & fun line of Summer dresses for markets & Shop.  What better for a 'creative space' post??!!  I've never done the ribbon-neck dresses, too much competition.  I like a classic shell top & A line style dress but i'm trying to simplify a design (read: quick).  As a self-taught-seamstress (remember i wasted 6 years at Uni studying drugs & brains) i prefer to draft my own patterns to my ability.
So this is simple, but still quite labour intensive with bias around arm & neck holes.  I like contrast colours, I would normally do something clashing, but green on green was too sweet to resist.
I also like a bit of weight in the bottom of a dress, to stiffen it & hold the shape, not to mention . . . preventing any Marilyn Monroe-esque dress-blowing-up-over-little-girl's-head-look . . . not cool.  So i did a triple row of stitching with a contrast fabric on the bottom inside, me likes!!  You can't quite tell from this image but it has a key hole back too.  See, i try to do simple but like detail & little surprises. 
Again, when i'm happy with a production design, i'll use clashing thread colour for the stitching.  I think either make stitching invisible or do rows to accent, stitch like you mean it!!
Now this short dress for say a size 3, used half a metre (the inside bottom band which adds weight also acts as a false hem, so no wasted feature fabric in the length) but it does leave some giant triangles of fabric as off cuts.  I was playing around at swirling them up, gathering them or twisting them up to make some sort of brooch adornment for the dress . . . still messing around with that.  I'd love to perfect a dress in a plain fabric with such accessories, one day, maybe for older sizes??  Do i make it detachable or stitched in place??  I can't bring myself to ever leave raw edges or stitch things on that can't handle a 9kg heavy duty wash & spin dry.
In the mean time, i'll keep fiddling.  This 'dress' sample will serve as a cute top for my girls with jeans.  Just for reference, it fits my 6y.o. son beautifully!! 
Thanks again to all you lovely ladies who sms, email, called or popped by Shop to see if my husband was safe overseas, you're all so thoughtful.  To lose 3 soldiers in a few days has been really horrible & my heart breaks for those families.  Oh to have my handsome soldier back in my arms with our children again, something to cherish.  Love Posie

21 August 2010

deception . . . count the ways . . .

Greetings all,
Well i thought 'deception' might be an interesting title for this day - a federal election no less, quite suitable.  Just thinking how many forms of deception, good, bad & surprising there are.
Starting with this purple patchwork quilt i made from scratch after dinner last night for an early morning pick up.  The customer brief was 'lots of purple', keep it plain & to use a few childhood shots for a 6x6 patchwork quilt for a 21st today.  Done!!  The photo transfer paper worked quite well.  It's actually quite detailed, alas, smoke & mirrors people!!
So i was up at 6a.m. for the school BBQ & cake stall, selling snacks to voters.  Can i please point out - we were on high wind watch & snow alert, yet I still got out of bed to volunteer!!  After planning, shopping, organising & setting up, the day ran smoothly, we sold a zillion sausages & cup cakes, coffee & drinks.  What's the deception, well i see this as easy (even with a migraine, sleep deprivation & dragging 4 children along) but it's actually a lot of work, i just keep being told i make these events low stress & fun.  Yippee.  That is one of those 'perception is reality' deceptions, where i appear to have it all together. 
I'm quite good at making life look easy, but i can assure you, having a husband at war & hearing the news we lost 2 more soldiers, well it breaks my heart & worries me to my core.  In order to not worry the children, i keep how much it affects me, to myself.  I certainly talk to them about what happens, i've never hidden the news from them, they are proud of what their daddy does & are also realistic about the danger.  Alas, my husband is my whole world, these soldiers who were killed yesterday, they were someone's whole world too.   
Now for a sneaky 6y.o. deception . . . as you can imagine, my priority upon arriving home was to shower, get BBQ grease off my face & smoke out of my hair, so i let the children play the Wii.  My eldest daughter went home with another family today, so my son took this opportunity to log on as her Mii on the Wii & play some new games - terribly - in her name.  Then he logged on as himself, played brilliantly & beat all her scores??  He likes his name at the top of the highest score board.  I think that's kind of evil genius deception.  Thankfully, he puts this much competitive energy into his spelling, maths & sport too!!
So after being school-parent-of-the-year today, i glanced over at the reason i do all this P&C stuff, my children, only to find 2 sitting on the roof of my car, one sticking a cup cake to the inside of the windscreen & one completely missing.  I looked at one mother (whose child was leaning out of my car window throwing a ball) & yes, people were watching . . . i said "imagine being the mothers of those children".  I can't even bother to defend my children's actions!! 
Have less political Sundays everyone, love Posie

19 August 2010

my creative space 'paper craft'

Greetings all,
Well i've been a bit paper crafty with my replacement printer (burglars trod & broke my printer) & having lots of fun with it.  First stop more stickers for the paper craft packs i keep promising myself i'll actually compile & sell one day . . . how much fun is the excess sticker curly mess??  Of course it has since been stuck to an egg carton to make a crazy headed crocodile . . .
& how much fun is Wordle on bunting??  I made this for Shop Handmade.
So there you have it, a short & sweet blog post.  I have 3 patchwork quilt orders due in the next 3 days.  Today was spent at the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) watching my girls zoom around the track, throw & jump - it was freezing, wet, windy, then sun in my eyes = migraine!!  So back to resting my head & oh that's right, i'm running an Election BBQ & Cake Stall at our school this Saturday as a P&C fundraiser.  Tomorrow will be lugging cartons of cold drinks into the car, ice & sausages, fun + tonnes of baking as you never can rely on donations!!
Where does it end??  So you won't be hearing too much from me for a few days, have great weekends & happy voting.  Love Posie

14 August 2010

Anyone for tennis??

Greetings all,
An innocent invitation to a 'boy's sports party' had me thinking "how can i make it more glamorous for my daughter??"  I know, we can make it fancy dress, she can go as Maria Sharapova of course!!  This outfit $14 from Target + $6 Nike Sweatband.  I was going to make pom poms for her 'tennis socks' but drew the line at perhaps trying too hard??  Non??

So i typed up a SHARAPOVA to iron transfer across the back of her $4 Tshirt & "Singles Champion, Oscar's Birthday Grand Slam 2010" across the front (Oscar is of course, the birthday boy).  My first attempt at iron transfer in ages, i need practise!!  TIP: type up in Word, then cut & paste into Paint & flip it, for the mirror image printing!!
I can not tell you how many hours it took me on the internet to find such useful advice, remember, i'm on a new inexpensive basic laptop, as the burglars took my fancy one with InDesign, PhotoShop etc on it.  I'm clutching at straws with my software here.
A selection of my girls' ribbons from their school athletics carnival.  They didn't hand out all the long distance ones, so there are more blue ones coming.  I promise i was an unbaised time keeper!!  My boy has to wait 2 more  l  o  n  g  years before he's old enough to race competitively!!  FYI he did win every novelty race year 1 held, but look at who he has grown up chasing . . . my husband & i were very sporty too!!  All this glory has them competing at North Canberra this week, from 800m at the crack of dawn to the relays at the end, longest day ever!!  I especially love watching the long jump.  
Are you like me - you do a quick once over the house before you go to bed, fluff cushions & straighten up paperwork . . . look at the surprise my son left on the lounge.  Like a Babushka explosion!!
My children having a Saturday night treat in jammies!!
Have lovely Sundays everyone!!  Love Posie

13 August 2010

a weekend of catch up, DIY, goodies & Shop stock . . .

Greetings all,
So nice to be back in the swing of blogging & sewing . . . after a customer prepaid & requested a 'babushka cosmetic purse' at the Shop to collect on Saturday, i whipped up 10 for her to choose from (stock was low anyway, so i took in 15 more).  Loving the new lacey print in pink & purple, it will be perfect for cards & badges too.
Last night i adhered this lovely cream crochet style lace to white cotton fabric, cut into circles & started making brooches.  Humming along until i got the 13th one (cute Twilight Zone music for Friday the 13th today) got jammed in the machine & it's stuck in the down position.  Ooopppsss.  FYI these badge making machines, with the basics & parts to make the first 100 badges are $750, OUCH!!
How inviting is my box of goodies for a Shop Handmade delivery today?? 
What a lovely treat, surprise, token of sweetness (pun intented) from Nic at Yardage Design, with a little note saying 'sounds like i could do with some chocolate', yes indeedy.  Oh la la, fancy Koko Black chocolate too, thanks so much.  Funnily enough, i had just posted off a little envelope of goodies to Nic, then checked my PO Box to find this parcel.  Ahhh, what goes around . . . 
So totally happening cool crafty types - what are you doing on Friday night??  I'm protecting my new soft leather ankle boots, ahhhhh, i've been dying to wear these all week but not in the rain, they're too precious!!  I know, totally wild night in.  THEN some lounge craft, hand stitching, rock on!!
Finally, this little bloke has been wearing his puffy parker hood seperate to his puffy parker at school, part aviator, part dag!!  Oh well, keeps his ears toasty. 
Have lovely weekends people, for us, it's the party agenda - i'll post about it tomorrow, love a good dress up opportunity.  Think Russian tennis players, oh yes, for a sports party of course!!  Love Posie

11 August 2010

my creative space . . . 'collaborations'

Greetings all,
Well after missing the last half dozen My Creative Spaces, i'm back in (& my trip to Europe is now a lovely memory).  Just loving the collaborations i do for my business & others . . . like these Australian Screen Printers (Sami & Thea, Yardage Design, PippiJoe & Kristen Doran) on my new awesome 57mm badge making machine.  Instant inexpensive brooches, well i do use iron on adhesive to ensure no unruly edges & fabric unraveling, so once all the hard hand cut preparation work is done, the actual badge making part is speedy.
This basket of 150 brooch lovelies are at Shop Handmade, only $7.50 each.
Fabric covered buttons have been restocked at Shop too, 55 new cards, $4.50 each card (2-3 buttons).
What's that up the tree, call the firemen (does a gal ever need a good reason to have a fireman rescue her or her pets) & save the kitty!!  Posie tough toy pussy cat ($17.50) & cool Cosmic Collars, all in Shop.
How sweet, a photographer bought one of my soft headbands ($14.50 at Shop) earlier this week & brought in this gorgeous photo for me to display today.  How LOVELY, thanks Jane!!

Plus a tonne of new coin purses ($14 each) using lots of Retro Mummy fabrics, & my many collaborations are complete. 
There is a new batch of PVC purses in Shop this week, i've been busy!!  So i'll spend the rest of my week watching protective film go on my studio windows then grills worthy of a prison, that should keep the burglars out.  Have great Creative Spaces everyone, love Posie

10 August 2010

let me distract you with Maeve while i gloss over a huge faux pas . . .

Greetings all,
Slowly getting life together after burglary & even though i've put my on line Shop on hold for another month, i've got some big orders to complete, so i'm happily sewing away . . . in the mean time i'd like to draw your attention to this cool on line magazine, it's the second issue & all about Spring.  On a wet, cold, windy, Winter day like today in Canberra, it is defrosting my soul.
Now, i can sheepishly confess to one of the dumber things i've done in my life . . . picture this . . . birthday present shopping for one of 15 children's birthday parties we have in August (!!) on the weekend at a city shopping centre with 4 children who had just suffered shoe shopping for mummy (the new cute soft leather ankle boots from Country Road came home with me, if you were wondering).  So while i was juggling my shopping, birthday gifts, groceries & carrying no less than 5 coats . . . i popped by the chemist for some Voltarin (as i predicted i'd need some later that day).  Anyway, after dropping off various children at different parties all over the ACT & into NSW . . . i indeed had a stiff neck & reached for the Voltarin, um, in my shopping bags, no, in my shoe box, no . . . OMG, i've dropped the Voltarin into a birthday bag full of goodies for a 9 YEAR OLD GIRL!!  That was a sleep over too, of course, maybe the parents would find them & need them more than me??!!  Great, so this former pharmacologist made one of the bigger faux pas possible.
So you can all look in the mirror & consider yourself superior to this blogging mummy, unless you've also given muscle relaxants to a child as a birthday gift too??  Seriously, where do i begin to apologise to the parents??!!  Have way better weeks (& weekend birthday parties) than me everyone, love Posie 
PS still fiddling with the font size on my blog, hang in there, from my end it looks like giant print for people with failing eyesight!!