30 September 2010

don't diss the little local market events

Greetings all,
So you might do big markets which are proven, tried & tested success, but don't diss the little local market events too.  They are usually inexpensive to have a stall or it's a free stall + donation to a raffle.  You have nothing to lose, other than time & energy to set up & stand by your stall. The atmosphere is fun & festive, take your children along, you'll meet new people from your local community who can discover you & they're normally short events. 
This is the MOCCA (Manuka Child Care) Spring Fair i did on Saturday, i know, a market just hours before my handsome soldier flew in??!!  It was a good distraction.  I just set up a very small, easy stall with an umbrella & took lots of my on line shop products which i can't take to genuine handmade only markets. 
My little rule is that you should have $ sales of 10 x your stall fee as a starting point.  I took my 2 youngest as i knew they'd love the petting zoo but boy, with a cake stall, hot chocolate, zoo, games, activities, face painting, BBQ - i ended up spending over $60 + a Dumpling Dynasty Bunny Kit to keep someone happy, NOT something i normally do at any maket but this was a fundraiser & i was a bit giddy with the excitment of my husband coming home that afternoon. 
A little sneaky - when you're not sure of your allocated space or position at a market & don't want to take extra tables . . . using large baskets are a handy 'next to stall' cheaters way to spread your wares.  These giant baskets are the largest of 2 sets of 4 baskets at $50 each set, from Lincraft in August.  Perfect for my fabric sale, otherwise, they look amazing filled with small cushions or eventually in my dream home filled with logs for a fire - i'm a tax deductible planner & a dreamer you see!! 
The always lovely Tania McCartney did a book reading too, my 3rd daughter took some shots - there are also 25 images of the petting zoo, i contained her enthusiasm to just one on the blog!! 
So if you can fit in the little events too - do them!!  Thanks Jenny at MOCCA who organised this event, it was delightul.  They are also a fantastic way to do PR for your website, Shop, other larger markets you do where you'll set up a larger (proper) set up. 
While you're reading this i'm on the road doing hand sewing on our way to Nanna's funeral in Sydney.  I hope the 'delay' post worked, sounded simple enough to use.  Have lovely weekends everyone.  Love Posie

28 September 2010

snippets of my living space - handmade makes it a home

Greetings all,
So while i find myself husbandless tonight, i thought i'd take a quick tour around my living area (kitchen/ dining/ lounge) & show snippets of the things i love.  Of course i should be pressing our funeral clothes but this was more colourful & less morbid. 
I was meant to do this kind of blog post with Tania McCartney ages ago, so here goes . . .
i won't shock you with my complete decade long Tupperware addiction/ collection, but i thought i might share with you the scary fact that i have a very large kitchen drawer dedicated to storing the lids not-in-use.  I once told a Tupperware lady i had a Tupperware storage cupboard & she scolded me for not using all my Tupperware all the time.  Geesh, i placed my smallest order ever at that party!!  The shame for me & well, lost commission for her!!
I like this area as there are photos of my children when they were babies, trinkets from our travels, craft books, our only wedding photo & well, it's practically the only part of our home which doesn't look like a serviced apartment without a soul.  It's hard to decorated your 6th Army house with any passion, so it's all here in one IKEA bookcase with big doses of Handmade.  Sorry it's a night photo!! 
These fridge magnets are from Lark (hi Allison) & represent my love for Alice in Wonderful, Clint Eastwood, flying, Noddy & cricket, what a score!!  The Kikki-K mushroom purse holds the spare digital camera, a Prim&Pretty ribbon brooch & a wooden love spoon i bought in Wales 20 years ago ('tis a bit dusty). 
LOVE pears from Red Stitch Designs (hi Brenda) & a wooden crocodile from Darwin where my 4 babies were born. 
A stacking pinnocchio from Italy, Babushka dolls from My Poppet (hi Cintia), toadstall from Gifts Created (hi Sarah) & a Red Stitch Designs owl, he's called 'hooter'.
These little collections sit in the wooden shelves on the King Furniture Jasper lounge - we wanted one for 10 years & saved up forever to buy one, on sale.  It seats 10 & that is pure leather luxury & i condition it like a prize cow!!
Due to my over loaded luggage in Europe, my husband had to bring back the snowdomes (via Afghanistan) which i collected from Venice, Rome, Dubrovnik, Athens & Katakolon in July.  I wish i got one in Munich too.  The children LOVE them too, actually they keep going missing - into their rooms. 
I also love this little area of the lounge, i really enjoy television - although - can not sit & watch, must be doing something with my hands, i have craft ADD.  I don't like to waste money so when i buy the children hair accessories, i like quality ones & beg them not to lose them, from Grace Designs (hi Rosalind) & Plushka (hi Katia).  They also each have a Mason Pearson hair brush, i still have the one i got in the 1980's.  The children don't watch a lot of television but on cold Winter Canberra days, the Wii is a great substitute for outdoor place.  If you HAVE to have such things in your living space, don't they look nice & neat in baskets?? 
So i've shown you mine, will you show me yours??  Love Posie

27 September 2010

he's home . . . & off again already??

Greetings all,
Yahoo, my husband's back!!  We're so happy, excited, elated & thrilled in this household, i'm sure you can see the love from the moon. 
It was a big surprise to the children when we headed to the airport & very emotional when they ran into their Papa's arms, ending a long 9 months apart.  This deployment's main challenge was the work load of the children's homework, sport & committments.  It's different each time, as they get older & change.  I put the horror of war out of my mind or i'd go crazy & i was able to talk to my husband up to 5 times a week so great communications for us this time.
A welcome distraction has been the amazing success of Shop Handmade which has kept me busy in a very positive way.  I can not thank Rachel & Julie from Shop enough, for keeping me focused on sewing as well as thoroughly entertained, offering me a position to work in my chosen field of the past decade (handmade) during school hours in "the most beautiful Shop in Canberra"!!  The atmosphere in there is so fantastic, we love it.  
So my husband left Afghanistan a week ago & had an opportunity to shop on the long trip home, da dah, inexpensive Converses all round.  He actually couldn't believe how big the chidlrens' feet were - they have grown a LOT in 9 months, especially our about-to-start-highschool young lady.
Thank you everyone for all your gorgeous supportive comments throughout this year.  I got blogging more seriously in January in preparation for many long lonely nights & gosh it made a difference, i felt i had great friends when i needed them & really appreciate it.  
So yes, he's home . . . but he's flying to Brisbane twice in the next 12 days.  We're also off to Sydney for his Nanna's funeral later this week too.  I'm spending the rest of the school holidays shuffling children around bedrooms & will post their room make overs.  Then my husband starts 3 months leave, yippee!!  My head is spinning though.
Finally, happy Family & Community Day Canberra, we have a public holiday.  Love Posie

24 September 2010

there might be a short break in transmission . . .

Greetings all,
A few glitches in the routine here - starting with the freaky lighting in the photos i took this morning of the children in casual clothes for school (last day of term).  Not sure what was going on with the flash, call them 'artistic' shots but the camera is fine now?? 
I know, nothing says casual dress as much as a LV handbag & massive Summer Blossom hair flower in the 3rd grade!!
Exciting news, my husband will be home soon, ahhhhh, the relief, excitement & pure joy i feel is palpable.  I'm desperately sorry for the families who will not have their soldiers coming home, i can't imagine the hole in their lives.  We'll head to the War Memorial soon to put poppies by their names.
Our children don't actually know just how soon their papa is coming home, he likes to surprise them.  They spend weeks in advance making cards & writing lists of things to tell their daddy about what he's missed over the past 9 months, like sports ribbons, birthday gifts, art, awards etc.
I found my eldest daughter working on this card the other night . . . it says father in every language she could find on the internet, then a heart felt message.  I think it's her way of saying that it's OK that he chose a career that takes him away from us, but she still misses him desperately & loves him deeply. 
On a final note, handsome soldier has a grandmother who is on her death bed, so we're basically waiting for a phone call with the news & will head to Sydney.  My darling husband has been to10 funerals (ramp ceremonies) since June & i think with his grandmother passing, it will allow him to let out all the tension, anguish, sorrow & grief he's been holding in, during this war deployment, plus how much he misses his mother. 
So i'll be back when i can, have happy school holidays, mine will be an emotional roller coaster but we'll get through it all as a family. 
Anyone else loving LOVING the new Australian drama comedy series Off Spring??  Am i the only one so desperate for Nina & Chris to get together it makes me cry??  Love Posie

23 September 2010

my creative space 'poor man's terrarium'

Greetings all,
I guess My Creative Space at Kootoyoo is on holidays but Thursdays force me to whip up some creativity, so i'm hanging in there.  At Shop Handmade we have some really cool terrariums & i'd love one, only with herbs . . .  $25 giant glass bowl, $6 worth of pebbles, $3 thyme, soil & water spray, voila, a herb terrarium for the dining table. 
I think i could honestly live with this bowl just filled with pebbles, looks so cool.
The overall product is great, the view from the bottom to show pebbles - hmmmm, more artistry is required & perhaps more pebbles??  Gosh, not another $6!!  Tee hee.  Also think the soil should flatten out in time, oh who cares, it's fun!!  So now the dining table smells delicious & herby, i'm pretty thrilled.  I had visions of 3 or 4 different herbs in there, just wasn't going to happen, so they went into the herb barrel by the back door (parsley, dill & coriander so far this Spring).
Happy creative space invading people & holidays to Kirsty at Kootoyoo.  Love Posie

21 September 2010

how to make fake carrots . . .

Greetings all,
Ok, so i'm at the end of being home alone/ husbandless for 9 months & basically, i'm letting the children play with knives.  Seems my twins couldn't resist using the parsley i bought this weekend (to plant in the Spring herb garden) to make fake carrots.  Read on . . .
simple method - grate & chop a real carrot, make hole at the end & stick parsley in, voila, fake carrot.  They are 9 years old people, get excited, i had to.
Looks like they were tidy using Tupperware to catch the compost doesn't it . . . they were not.  There was carrot everywhere, on the table, chopping block, in the bin, stuck to the lid of the bin, stuck to the outside of the bin, stuck to the bottom outside of the bowl, on the chairs, their legs, up their arms & they even managed to get carrot skin in their hair & even on the window BEHIND THE CLOSED BLINDS?? 
Ok, so it's been a while since i saw my husband . . . but is this a tad phallic??  I can't remember!!  I'm so exhausted i can't stop giggling at this image, i know, totally immature, i can't help it, i'm tired.
While my twinnies were using the cooks' knives at the dining table, my year 6 girl had to make an international meal for homework.  She chose to honour her Italian heritage & source a recipe from the Silver Spoon for Children cook book.  It's my level of cooking, so i was able to supervise, alas there was tension - hmmm the teen years are going to be interesting.  She wrote me a shopping list & MasterChef Junior whipped up this delicious treat - Italian Chicken Casserole with Black Olives.  I let the team down & undercooked the rice, but when Emma Kidson (Kidson Jewellery) & her gorgeous husband Lee popped by on Sunday night on their way back to Wagga Wagga, bang on dinner time, Lee thoroughly enjoyed his big bowl & politely didn't mention the rice!!
So me thinks this about-to-start-highschooler can start cooking an evening meal once a week.  Ah, how perfect, 4 children cooking 4 nights a week . . . i love it, all part of the plan!!  Better yet, call it a bonding session (Master Class) with Daddy & i can sew, far far away. 
Have great weeks & enjoy this GLORIOUS weather we're having.  Love Posie

20 September 2010

i'm a Disney PR gal

Greetings all,
Well check it out, i signed up to Nuffnang who do blog advertising & was asked to promote a the new Disney Mickey Great Outdoors DVD.  Bit of a no brainer for me, i love all things Disney & Mickey Mouse & the Great Outdoors & children!!  I have had a Mickey Mouse teddy since i was born & my obsession with Disneyland started when i was a preschooler in 1979 on our first trip to California.   
Happiest place on earth - Disneyland Hotel in 2007.
A decade later i went to Disney World on a school excursion/ netball trip (which was to England, no one in America knows what netball is, Florida was on the way home).  Euro Disney in Paris on our honeymoon, gosh i was 22, that seems so young to get married these days??  Finally, we took the children to Hong Kong Disneyland a few years back, just awesome!!  Shame there seems to be 10 years between each new adventure. 
Just in time for the school holidays, comes this ace DVD of adventure (perfect for the cold or wet days when they are forced indoors in Spring or for those of you who travel a car DVD player) & the website is lots of fun too, games, competitions.  Just click on the link on the left to check it out.  Really click on the link, i am being judged!!
So how did i go as a spokesmodel??  If only you could see my game show hand gestures!!  Love Posie

18 September 2010

another fateful trip to the Floriade flower festival . . .

Greetings all,
I waited all week to find the least windy afternoon to take the children to Floriade, Canberra's famous month long Spring flower festival.  Please excuse their combination of school uniforms & overcoats + wind swept messy hair.
Mercifully they have signs to explain the flower displays, from ground level - you have to use your imagination.
It's a beautiful setting in the city by the lake with the resident swans.
The white tulips made me think of Rosalind from Grace Designs.
All good things must come to an end, i am terrified by gnomes (& clowns) so my children couldn't wait to show me how many children chose to paint their gnome as a clown in the gnome painting competition.  Shudder.
Out of Africa, Questacon, sandcastles (Old Parliament House) & some sculptures.
Views from the Big Wheel - at $7 per child (gulp) i'm glad the shots they took were so fantastic.
I love the tree at the wine bar & the swan on security who chased us out.  Plus no trip to Commonwealth Park or Lake Burley Griffen is complete without playing at the Castle Park.
Now i've distracted you with the beautiful images of the perfect afternoon out . . . i'll confess my trips to Floriade are always doomed.  Floriade 2008 i managed to lose our small digital camera.  We found it a year later in the pram, success. 
This year i topped that by letting my children run into the maze on our way out of the park . . . like a horror film "four go in, only two come out".  Yes, that's right, i lost my two eldest children in a maze.  So with the friendly hurry up announcement over the PA system "we hope you've enjoyed your day at Floriade, the park is closing in 30 minutes" . . . then a more terse "the park is closing in 5 minutes" of course, i'm was the only person left.  So i waved the security golf buggy down to help find my missing children.  To cut a long story short - crackled walky talky descriptions of my children - tuns out they lack any sense of direction & used the bathroom without telling me.  Success, i had a full set of 4 children by the time i got to the car park . . . after the walk of shame past all the volunteers who no doubt muttered "they looked like trouble when they walked in".
Have great weekends, i'm off to get tracking devices for the children, love Posie