30 April 2011

i'm grateful for 'bloggie friends IN REAL LIFE'

Greetings all,
Wow, what a trip to Queensland i had.  To meet your bloggie friends for real & for true is just a blast.  First up was Thea from Thea&Sami blog screen printing in Capalaba, i love her, we had so much fun & boy is she a great teacher.
 We had a delicious lunch by the water too, oh yum, thank Thea.  Had to drag myself away, then drove back to my family in the rain & pitch black, dreaming of my boot load of remnants. 
 I took brownies & a bunch of organic goodies from Canberra.
Then off Bulimba, a lovely high end part of Brisbane on the river, to meet lovely Simone from Beach Vintage blog, at her delicious Just Plain Gorgeous store.  I had the image of Simone with her long blonde hair from her blog in my mind & found her in a stunning blue floral dress behind the counter. 
 I couldn't get all the things i didn't buy the first time out of my mind, so we went returned.
 Yes, this was my oilcloth emergency on Easter Sunday!!  Thanks Simone, gorgeous to meet you & i love your store, first place i'm going next time i'm in Brisbane.
Ah, Kylie from Mealy&i blog, a dear Army wife i've been friends with for many years, we caught up in March in Sydney at Sew It Together & again last week on ANZAC Day in South Bank Brisbane.  I forgot to take new photos of us, Kylie always looks fabulous.
True to form & just after Kylie's husband asked which child is the accident prone one . . . we glanced over to find the child in question getting medical assistance from the Life Guard.  She'd taken a chunk out of her knee.  Kylie did a great post about ANZAC day, her soldier & meeting up with us here.
 On my way back to Canberra, i took the New England Highway home & had tee'd up to meet Brenda from Hoo Are You Lookin' At blog as i'm a huge fan & collector of her gorgeous products from Red Stitch Designs.
 We met in a park in Tamworth, ha, sounds like some cyber date meeting in a public place, just in case.  We hit it off immediately & our children just ran off & played together.  So easy, ah, Brenda, i adore you.
 So glad i'm not the only one with children who have to play in water at any opportunity.  Look at the beautiful blue bird i was given, oh Brenda, you are too adorable!!
 Now the only way i could drag myself away from Brenda . . . i was off to Plain English in Scone.  I went there 6 years ago.  I did the Sydney to Brisbane round trip to spend 3 days with my husband while he had a long weekend on course, with 4 children under 6 . . . i found this divine store.  I should mention my children travel really well & long trips driving solo doesn't bother me.  I took the Pacific Highway up & allowed 5 driving days for this 3000km trip.
 OMG, a car space right out the front, how lucky!!??
 As the girls put their shoes on, my son ran ahead & delivered the bad news "Mum, the door is locked" followed up with "Mum, the sign says it's closed on Wednesdays" & the cruel blow "Mum, the shop couldn't be MORE closed". 
 So maybe next time & i'm dragging Tina Rubie from Rubies' Place blog to meet me there, as we couldn't catch up this trip but we're both totally in love with this particular country decor store.
On the final leg, from Sydney to Canberra, i caught up with my best bloggie friend Corrie from Retro Mummy.  We chatted twins, life with 4 children, schools, fabric, blogs, design, houses & living down in this part of the world (she's a Canberra girl living in Sydney wanting to move to Bowral, which is kind of in between).  Small little fact - our fathers were in the Navy together, so Corrie & i have probably known each other for more than 30 years, reunited by blogs!! 
Look at Miss Elodie, now 6 months, she's going to be tall like her Retro Daddy.
So i'm very grateful this week to be able to meet all these amazing bloggers in real life.  My handmade world of design & motherhood allows me to meet many bloggers at markets & Shop Handmade, i'm super lucky (see the list on the right side bar) & my Queensland holiday was very relaxing, only made better by meeting my favourite bloggers who are now new friends.  Love Posie

29 April 2011

things i'm loving 'royals, weddings & princesses'

Greetings all,
Oh what else could i possibly be loving this week more than the Royal Wedding.  My mother is English & a huge lover of all things royal, my father was a commander in the Royal Australian Navy & has a poster of the Queen in his walk in robe!!  I think of the public duty & charity the Royals conduct, that makes them relevant.  My husband is in the Royal Australian Army & will wear crowns as his rank, not stars or bars.  I don't want a republic.
Here's to weddings . . . i loved our wedding, we had so much fun, we want to do it again & actually eat this time.  We were young, relaxed, it suited where we were in life (me - a university student & my husband - a Lance Corporal), we didn't have much money but we had plenty of stylish short cuts. 
We paid for the dress - Tour in Strand Arcade Sydney, i still love it, it was a ballgown not a wedding dress, my best friend 'Sindy' showed it to me in Vogue magazine & I said "OMG, can i wear it??" - yes, she's still my best friend even though i stole her dream wedding dress.  My daughters want to wear it too.  We paid for the flowers - simple table displays of iris & conflowers.  Great tip - the florist said to use my bouquet as a display on the main table (clever!!)  We paid for the music - string quartet from Sydney Uni & a DJ.  We paid for the photographer - a school friend's mother was a professional photographer & i wanted them all pretty candid & fun, so she was only around until food was served, i LOVED her photos, they really captured the love.  I only had a flower girl (a niece), no bridesmaids & my husband had a best man, perfect balance.  My husband wore a tuxedo, not his dress uniform which at the time, didn't have many fancy bits & pieces.  Looking at William & Harry, how fantastic are their uniforms, i love pomp & ceremony. 
We got married at my parents home 14 years ago, it poured with rain, so we had the ceremony in the marquee with everyone sitting at their table instead of in the backgarden standing around us.  We didn't require cars & as i don't drink, i drove us home.  As per tradition, my parents paid for the venue/ marquee & catering, my in-laws paid for the alcohol.  The dinner was a full buffet of seafood & every possible meat in the world.  Our wedding cake was chocolate mud cake with white chocolate ganache, two squares - one smaller square placed on top of a larger square cake, with fresh oriental lillies to match my bouquet.  So pretty, simple, elegant.
Clever tip - we had just moved in together a couple of weeks earlier & went home, cleaned up the car & slept.  The next day we went to the Hotel InterContinental (where Oprah stayed on her Sydney visit) so we could enjoy the WHOLE stay.  The next day we went to my parents, met all our immediate family again, in the same marquee & ate left overs, while we opened the presents.  That evening we went to the airport for our European Honeymoon.  Honestly, it was so well planned to do it over 3 days like that, as you can probably tell, i don't rush anything.
Now when i say i was relaxed - i was still swimming 2 hours before the ceremony & hanging ivy up the marquee poles (much to my mother's horror).  My sister did my make up & hair, i wore an Alice band of cornflowers (i'm blue to the core!!)  Sorry, i will show you my husband's face when he retires - i didn't marry a post it note.         
 I was determined to carry a bouquet of Oriental Lillies, even if my father said they were funeral flowers.  Don't get me wrong, my father had me married off to handsome soldier after their first meeting, he didn't do the "you don't have to do this" speech either, he ran me down the aisle.  Oh nice little touch - i handed my bouquet to my mummy to hold during the ceremony & gave it away to my big sister at the end, i didn't toss it.  At both these moments, i cried but during the ceremony i couldn't stop smiling.  We didn't write our own vows, just chose a sweet version our celebrant offered us & i chose to "love, honour & respect". 
 Being married is so important to me, i love having a husband & being a wife.  My husband & i are very affectionate, our children notice & have always married off their toys.  Above is Blip Robot with his wife Bun Bun.  I know, i was puzzled too when my son said "oh, i would love one of those bunny rabbits with the moustache, Blip needs a wife".  Not really sure what to say about that one other than you never know what on earth your child is thinking.
 On my way back from my Queensland holiday, i stopped by Retro Mummy & here is her middle daughter, Princess Tillie.  I have no issue at all with my girls dreaming of princesses & fairy tale endings.  What's the harm when they are confident, self assured & intelligent women??
I love my girls' bedrooms, they are a little bit modern, a little bit mid century & a little bit princess.  For more Things I'm Loving, check out Paisley Jade today.  Love Posie
PS totally loved The Beckhams ensemble at the wedding & oh wow, THE WEDDING DRESS, glorious!!  Are the Middletons all super models??  That is how my in-laws looked at our wedding, all stunningly gorgeous, tall & slim - if you were wondering where my children get their genetics from, they are true McClellands.

27 April 2011

my creative space 'screen printing holiday' & OPEN DAY this Saturday

Greetings all,
Well HOW lucky am i??  Last week I spent a whole day of giggles, laughter, lessons, business & fun with the wonderful Thea Samios of Thea & Sami screen printing magic, in Queensland.  Thank you Thea, i had a ball with you, i've certainly caught the screen printing bug!!
 Now this is one full on professional set up with mega printing tables, assistant Dan, wall fans, sky lights plus a custom design cleaning trough, it was screen printing bliss.
 Honestly, it was like watching magic happen, with this back & forth flowing rhythm of paint, screens, accuracy & perfection.  Oh, on the best quality linens too!!
 Sweet Thea doesn't like her photo being taken . . . what is more gorgeous than taking a bunch of images of someone as they work, to find they're laughing in every photo you download!!??
 This was jaw dropping beauty, honest & for true.
 Thea & Dan had both the 10m & 7m tables printing up a storm.
 Thea & i both love our maths & numbers so the accuracy & measurement is our thing.  Precision is key, especially with her detailed designs.
 Even watching the different runs dry at intervals was magical.
 Watching paint dry is fascinating, i can assure you.
 Then i got to play with some shapes i brought along to cut out & make into screens.
 So i made each of my children a new pyjama top.
 Look at these beautiful designs on the large screens.
 Want a piece of the action too??  Thea is holding a GRAND OPENING of this new studio & shop on Saturday 30th April, from 10a.m. to 4p.m. at Unit 1, 6 Jones Road, Capalaba Queensland.  Find out how fabrics are screen printed & pick up some beautiful original hand screen printed delights, including remnants.  There will be screen printing demonstrations at 11a.m. & 1p.m.  You will be made to feel very welcome!!  Please RSVP here
EDIT: new blog post about preparations here with news of a $100 Thea&Sami gift voucher to be won by one lucky attendee.

The remnants are AMAZING, quality, value & perfect for those smaller sewing projects.  I promise i left some!!
So i'm very ready to be back in my own studio after some fun & relaxation in Queensland (so much more on that later) & will be sewing my heart out to wrap up the school holidays & make good use of the huge array of new fabrics in my new cool vintage suitcase.  Happy Creative Space this week, i've been having a ball.  Love Posie

25 April 2011

ANZAC Day from a present day point of view

Greetings all,
It's fantastic to see crowds at marches & blog posts celebrating ANZAC Day.  I grew up in a military family, including iconic Light Horsemen at Gallipoli, yet they never marched or made a big deal about ANZAC Day.  My father is a very open, warm & friendly gentleman, yet has never spoken about the Korean or Vietnam Wars.  In turn, we children have unspokenly respected it & only asked about all the other adventures of his 32 year career in the Navy.
My children have questioned Grandad if he was a pirate sailing the high seas & admire his medals & memorabilia, including photos with Queen Elizabeth & launching new ships into the fleet.  By coincidence or just a matter of the WW2 generation, my brothers' wives & sister's husband are all children of servicemen too - Greek/ Australian; Austrian & French.  We have a family story of when my eldest nephew was in Kindergarten & took his 'other' Grandfather's medals to school for ANZAC Day, only to be told "that Grandfather was on the wrong team".  I guess the Iron Cross stood out against the Pacific Stars which his class mates brought in.       
You'll find most people remembering/ discussing/ celebrating on this day - the humour, the mateship & the courage they sought to get through war . . . dealing with the horror, the waste & the pain of their experience in a personal private way.  ANZAC Day is a good prompt to show them we appreciate their sacrifices & we're proud.   
 The ANZAC Day commentators say "remember there are still current service men & women deployed to war zones right now" as they talk about all the history of each unit marching.  Why yes, i don't need a reminder thank you.  This is how my husband spent last ANZAC Day, a simple but extremely meaningful ceremony in Afghanistan.
 This ANZAC Day handsome soldier is with us, snuggled up on the lounge, belly filled with Easter eggs & watching family movies, then an afternoon swim with Army friends.  Last year he was in a gun pit overlooking the Chora Valley.
I was uncertain about putting this last image in - as a housewife, mother, lover of all things homemade, crafty, pretty, girlie & nice (read: opposite to battle, guns & war) - this is not how i think of my loving husband & father of our 4 kind hearted children, who plaits hair, plays games, bakes cheesecakes & sneezes around flowers.  Your husbands might be interested - i know my brothers find his line of work & equipment fascinating.  Alas this is what he looks like, a pistol where his wallet should be, a beard (icky), in the desert for 8 month tours.  Today, soldiers have amazing equipment, body armour, resources, technology, support, therapy, education, medical treatment & training . . . war is still war . . . there are decisions, ethics, relationships & cultural factors i could never imagine & we still need a Defence Force.  Love Posie

24 April 2011

social commentary Sunday 'do you lie to your children??'

Greetings all,
As a parent, i found the exciting anticipation of sharing my childhood memories - the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus - as seen through my own children's eyes, as much fun as it was when i was the one checking for a coin in place of my tooth, an Easter Egg hunt & checking my Santa Stocking.
My mother still believes in all of the above, yes in her 70s & put up a good front to my father who loathed any praise going towards fairies, bunnies or Father Christmas in a passive aggressive fashion.  We ignored him, we kept up believing in the stories for our mother more than anything, it brought her such joy.  I get where Dad was coming from, once you've been up past midnight blowing up inflatable pool toys, construcing a trampoline & putting training wheels on new bikes with a torch in the dark of your garden, you kind of think, why should Santa get the credit??  My husband agrees & let's just say . . . Santa gives a token offering to our children . . . so like my father - my husband relishes in the glory of being an awesome gift giver.
So what's this 'lying' all about??  Sure my children have asked "is the Easter Bunny real??"  I say "i think it's a lovely story" & they're still happy with that.  To all of you with really little ones, beware, there is always some awful child at school with older siblings who'll take sheer delight in ruining your child's dreams.
I think it's a good lesson in children learning the subtle art of happy-white-lies & sweet-harmless-stories, they make you feel good. 
I never put too much thought into carrying on the tradition of the 'big three' until a mother at my eldest daughter's preschool (looong time ago) answered for her daughter - when i asked if she was excited about Santa coming (harmless small talk to 3 year olds in December) with "i don't lie to my children".  Oh wow, that was strong, harsh & blunt.  Fair enough, it's your child, but it did trigger my child to ask what a lie was & ask why Santa wasn't going to their house.  So in a way it opened up that "this is how we do things in our family" versus the differences in other families traditions, beliefs, religions & so on.

Anyway, food for thought, a conversation starter.  I promised myself to answer my children's questions as clearly & honestly as possible but still love these 'stories' even if the Tooth Fairy is sending us broke. 
Enjoy your chocolates, we went high quality/ low quantity this year as the children did request the Easter Bunny to stick to Lindt chocolate.  Sure, you get one egg each then + the mandatory Lindt bunny with a tiny egg hunt of those mini eggs.  Love Posie
EDIT: Thanks to Vanessa from NessaKnits for correcting my title where i had written 'like' instead of 'lie', which is a nice typo but wrong with a capital R.  Blame the chocolate & a speedy post effort in order to catch a gorgeous store across town before it closed this afternoon.  Shopping on Easter Sunday, i know, a gorgeous homewares store as religious as me, but i needed more oilcloth, it was an emergency.

22 April 2011

things i'm loving & i'm grateful for 'our cute & fluffy family Easter'

Greetings all,
Combining this week's 'Things I'm Loving' with Paisley Jade & 'I'm Grateful For' with Maxabella Loves this week to bring you a long week double post of Australian family Easter cuteness.  I love it when my husband is around, we do so many fun family things. 

 Full marks for cuteness with this family.
 Ok so they sleep like 22/24 hours . . .
 but this koala was super active, climbing, jumping & stretching.
 Oh who doesn't love a great petting zoo??  Don't be fooled by the high schooler's facial expression, she is not loving her smile or photo being taken at the moment.  It's a faze.
 I really like goats, not sure why, everyone complains about them but surely if they are in proper fencing & entertained, they'll be great on the farm.
 This animal lover of course wanted to take them all home with us.
 Animals bring out the best in children, don't you think??
 Wallabies . . .
 a huge reason why i want a farm, space, animals & a simple family life in the country . . . it's based around the fact we'll have 4 teenagers very soon.  They can go & complain, cry & let out all their tension in their own space with the animals at the end of each day.
 These were very chilled wallabies & kangaroos.
 Best of all, we have handsome soldier with us.
 So wishing you all a great slide into Easter from my family to yours.
Relax & enjoy your long weekend!!  Love Posie