30 May 2011

Lego G I V E A W A Y winners & new Lego releases

Greetings all,
I couldn't get a connection last night so, without further delay . . . the mega Lego City Space collection giveaway winners are . . .
my personal pick: Rachel from Little Angel Little Devil blog who wrote this beautiful entry "My son builds the most amazing lego, he spends hours planning and building his creations either from the instructions but mostley straight out of his brain. His Lego creations have wowed the year 6 kids at school..but most importantly his teachers! My son is not doing so well in school, he is way behind in his reading, writing and has the concentration of a gold fish. His teachers have held very real concerns. Over the period they have come to know my son's lego (I'm going to say it.. talent) and have actually re evaluated how they think he learns. They now say he clearly has the ability to focus, the maths he uses to build some of the things he builds is brilliant and the fact that everything down to the colours used are perfect in balance and proportion indicate that he is actually very bright. I can not tell you what a relief this is to me!! Lego has helped his confidence to soar which was so very low for so long. I am very proud of my son and proud of the amazing creations that he builds from his beloved Lego. Thank you Posie for running a great comp! xx"
& Random Number Generator pick #1: Mimi from At Home with Sam & i blog.  Thrilled for both ladies as i know their children will deeply appreciate this huge haul of Lego coming their way.  I love the idea of Mimi's little girl playing Lego with her big brothers - that is how i remember much of my childhood!!  Mimi has a lovely decor loving blog & excellent interior designer taste, great tips for those of us with teenagers in the midst.
 These lucky families will have $280 worth of Lego EACH coming their way this week, please email me your courier delivery addresses, thanks to the 100+ entries & One Green Bean + Lego for sponsoring!!
 Cool new Lego releases include this Jet Spy Plane from the Cars 2 movie . . .
 & the Flo's V8 Cafe at Radiator Springs USA, available May 2011.
 I loved Duplo for my children when they were younger, i wish this Duplo Hospital was around then.  I was always the patient when playing doctors & nurses with my siblings, you never know, my bossy brother doctor did grow up to be a surgeon!!  The other one turned out to be a rocket scientist, he was a bit more into pretending i was a robot.  My sister wasn't interested at all, she's a ballerina but my path was pharmacology!!  We had the Fisher Price hospital, our mum has kept it too.
 Did you know there is a Lego Duplo Facebook you can join??
Also freshly launched . . . Lego iTunes (if you're like me you'll get your children to down load these).  Now for the official word:
"LEGO DUPLO Jams - a free music experience that can be downloaded through the official DULPO Jams iTunes channel.  Designed with the whole family in mind, DUPLO Jams will inspire and facilitate new ways to play, through upbeat and inspirational tunes for toddlers and preschoolers. Find LEGO DUPLO Jams HERE" 
Exciting times for Lego lovers, have a creative Lego building week everyone, love Posie

29 May 2011

social commentary Sunday . . . 'retail customer service'

Greetings all,
Oh boy, retail customer service . . . i was pondering topics for today's post, thinking along the lines of shops you boycott as they are crappy - service, opening hours, stock levels, proximity, parking - Spotlight sprang to mind as i got there at 4.03p.m. yesterday afternoon, needing zips & i had a 20% off voucher . . . CLOSED, what, don't they know crafters need emergency supplies after 4p.m. on weekends??  Add to that i only had 1 child with me & had coaxed him to let me go haberdashery shopping with a bribe of sushi, his 3 big sisters were out with friends & high tea'ing at the Hyatt.  Argh, he did some air fist pumps when he revealed the doors were locked, lights out & "open 9a.m.-4p.m. Saturdays Mum, let's go home".  Typical male & typical of my shopping trips out of my way (remember me driving 800km to Plain English in Scone a few weeks ago, to find they were closed on Wednesdays!!??)
This morning i ducked into the supermarkets: Woolworths check out boy spent my 5 minute transaction telling me he was tired as he'd been out drinking last night & his mate drove to the coast & back "because he could" & they sped all the way, but it was ok as it was straight roads.  Sorry, but at 9a.m. on a Sunday morning, i am not the 'party hard & drive wreckless' demographic & clearly from my shopping items, i scream 'mother of many'.  I said to him "not only would your mother kill you again if you died in a car accident, you are putting the lives of the other people on the road at risk, they have not asked for some bullet proof high school student to plow into them & ruin their lives".  He looked like he had never been spoken to in this tone or fashion before, so i continued telling him off & i parted with "do not become a road statistic just because you're an idiot & showing off to your friends".  Ha, go me!!  Next up Aldi: all i can assume from the typical unfriendly customer service here is that my check out boy had taken a vow of silence or was a contender for see-how-many-customers-i-can-not-speak-to world champion.  I know it's cheap at Aldi, buying off the pallet & all . . . that's why we go there or we'd all shop at beautiful providores . . . eye contact & smiles were not included.
I'm going to the Handmade Small Business Summit Friday week (win an all inclusive pass here) & simply can not wait.  I worked in various customer service jobs part time while at Uni, i know to say "thank you for your patience", to use open palm gestures like a game show spokes model, engage in appropriate small talk & not unsolicited information . . . i have social kudos & common sense.  I find the customer service at markets (like Rockstars & Royalty) is superior as you're engaging with the actual person who made the goods, they fill in the details & offer amazing ideas on how to use your product.  Brilliant.  I also know some amazing designers who are terribly shy, introverted & terrified of small talk or admitting they made the product people are gushing over, bless them, but they really shouldn't be behind their own stall.  Looking forward to the Summit & brushing up on my customer service snobbery, yes i judge, harshly, i can't stand poorly trained sales assistants or shudder - ones who talk to their colleagues & ignore you.  You should be allowed to shoot them!!
This is gorgeous Vicky from Rockstars & Royalty behind her stall at the Burlesque Bazaar last weekend, she does jewellery to couture wedding gowns, amazing.  She is always happy, looks the part & gives great service!!  Honestly, it's half the sale i think.  I get really put off when shops or markets don't appreciate that you have taken the time to come into their store & how hard is it to say "hello" to indicate that you exist!!??
What do you loathe about retail customer service??  Do you ever feel like you've ruined a shop assistant's day just by bothering them with your purchase or worse, a question about stock availability??  Have you ever had Little-Britain-style "computer says no" thrown back at you without any explanation??  Don't get me started on when a product doesn't have a code to scan!!  Have you unconditionally boycotted a shop on princple??  Have you had over-the-top service which put you off as they were too pushy or friendly??  I'd love to hear it all & pass on some feedback at the Summit.  Love Posie
PS last chance to enter my $500+ Lego GIVEAWAY today, i'll be back after 9p.m. with the winners, good luck!!

28 May 2011

i'm grateful for 'naturally sporty children'

Greetings all,
'twas a full on week of children's extra cirricular activities - 3 full days devoted to . . . running my son to a nerdy GATEWAYS programme (learn to speak like a computer & binary code), my eldest daughter to ASC cross country (ACT private high school finals) & twinnies to primary school regional cross country . . . ALL in different directions criss crossing Canberra.  I have a wind/ sun/ cheer/ spinning headache & empty fuel tank.   
 The ASC was at Weston Park in Yarralumla (where the Governor General lives) it is stunningly beautiful.  After the girls disappeared into the bushes, they popped out 3km later at the finish line.  She's now running faster than handsome soldier!! 
My children have always been runners, climbers, jumpers, naturally sporty, keen to be outdoors & they run for fun.  I can assure you - this mummy is not an ugly sideline crazy parent either.  Can't say the same for the undelightful stranger next to me who kept telling me her daughter would win (& she did, bugger).  Yes, one of those parents who live through their children's accomplishments.  Avoid!!  She didn't have a camera but screamed "smile as you cross the line" & thoughts of pageant mother ran through my head.  I'll avoid her at the state finals next month, she's not from my daughter's school, stop talking to me weirdo!!   
Then my twinnies had their cross country at the rehabilitated-from-bush-fire Mt Stromlo.  It will be stunning when the trees grow back.  I was a little too excited cheering to take photos of my girls crossing the line, especially when my middle girl came from getting the baton in 6th place to storm home for the relay in 3rd place.  That was extra exciting as the other mummies of the relay runners were with me cheering her on & ALL our girls get ribbons.
My sweet boy, he won his 7 year old age group at school & was fast enough to run with the 8 year olds at regionals, but not allowed.  I'm just not competitive enough to adjust his birth certificate!!  I would have sent him to school as he's SRC/ class captain & was hosting assembly but overnight he had a fever & although nothing happened, better to keep him with me than at school.  He has come every year anyway with all his sisters running - this time he was hanging out with the year 4 boys reading 'choose your own adventure' stories & chowing down on my picnic.  They are such nice children at our little primary school, hungry but nice.
So i'm very grateful that something so healthy, fun & free, comes naturally to my children.  They are not only great runners, they are great sports too.  Watching my 3rd daughter zoom off on her 2km cross country course & realise she'd left her school mates behind, she stopped to run with them - adorable.  That warms my heart far more than a first place ribbon.  I was chatting to a sports teacher about pushy parents & she said they don't realise that they actually destroy natural talent & kill the fun of the sport (+ embarrass their children).  My 4 are proud of themselves & the second they cross the line they turn to cheer on their friends. 
Handsome soldier called to say good luck, he wishes he was with us.  Well it's the real world, it's a luxury to be a stay at home parent & witness these school day milestones - i'm just extra lucky.  We all car pooled & took photos to email the parents who missed it.  Maxabella Loves will tell you what everyone else is Grateful for this Saturday, we're off to a high tea, bliss!!  Love Posie
PS check out this Lego Giveaway, ends Sunday night, don't miss it . . . &
win an all inclusive ticket to the amazing
Handmade Small Business Summit on 10th June.

27 May 2011

things i'm loving '500 followers & Army wife life'

Greetings all,
This week with Paisley Jade 'i'm loving' . . . the big warm hug of 500+ followers, thank you & welcome.  I blog for my husband - he lives interstate & overseas - we miss him, but here he can see how the children are growing & what we're up to.  It's such a lovely bonus & surprise to know you are here too, i appreciate you all so much, your comments warm my lonely heart & blogging is the nicest head space. 
I've celebreated each new 100 followers with a little post sharing more about moi.  With the tragic news of the death of another soldier this week (& more wounded), it's a timely reminder of just how dangerous my husband's work is & the impact on families like us, so i'm going to share my take on . . . what it's like to be married to my handsome soldierAs an independent woman, it might be odd that my personal introduction to new people includes 'my husband is a soldier'.  It defines me, why i'm on my own, why i am self employed, where we live & where the children go school.   
With all the deployments, exercises, training & courses (read: time apart); moving interstate; war zones; parents with cancer/ heart attacks/ strokes/ Alzheimer's; buying houses; having babies; multiple babies . . . i've got a psych degree - i know these are ALL most stressful life experiences - we dealt with them all, in our 20s!!  We've never missed a beat, no break ups or hiccups, he's so easy to love & i could never stay angry with him for long . . . he has dimples!!     
 I could have been born 100 years ago . . . child bride marrying a soldier, having a large family, being a stay at home mother, breastfeeding, cloth nappies, handmade clothes, baking & loving it all, i think it fits with the challenges of modern Army wife life - those vintage ways & times - they got it so right.  Those mothers were on their own & had to discipline, teach & love the children, good cop & bad cop.  We wash the cars, put the bins out, clean gutters, drag 15m long palm fronds out of the garden . . . you just never stop.  
 So what is it REALLY like being an Army wife, beyond the fact you're married to a totally hot guy who makes you feel safe, loved & protected, he is paid to work out & has amazing job satisfaction from being in the ultimate boy's club . . . driving tanks, riding in helicopters, shooting guns & playing with high tech equipment with your mates.  We've seen helmet camera vision from Afghanistan - it's like an xBox war game.  It's balanced by statistics - soldiers typically have daughters & have to plait hair, tolerate pink & deal with glitter. 

When he's home, he's HOME, no laptops, phone calls or work (obviously, he doesn't practise soldiering around the house, doing room clearances & lobbing granades) so we fill the days with trips to museums, galleries, picnics & fun.  Soldiers have MORE clothes, shoes, accessories, luggage & expensive trinkets than an over indulged heiress.  Some have dedicated 'dressing rooms'.  If you dare say "seriously, you need another whatever" they have the "it might save my life" excuse.  There are trunks of gear in our garage i'll never wish to open!!
Everything in the Army has an acronym or abbreviation & many soldiers don't know how to speak in full sentances, as initials will do.  At BBQs they talk 'shop' which is so boring but . . . my all time FAVOURITE acronym is P.E.N.I.S. which stands for Practical Exercise Not Including Students & the abbreviation WOANAL for Warrant Officer Analyst.  He he he.  My husband loathes me changing plans without it in writing & 24 hours notice, pretty sure he'd like a shopping list to read "steaks, individual, eye fillet x 6".  His life is systematic, itemised & orderly.  He even likes his socks folded a certain way (happy socks ladies, they smile!!)
There is a rough, tattooed, drinking & party hard culture in the Army (trust me, we've had them as neighbours) but my husband would rather relax at home with us & save his hard earned money to invest in property & our children's education.  When handsome soldier is away, our German Shepherd (now 3.5 years old, that's him as a new puppy above) sleeps in our hallway, patrolling the house.  Army wives have to be strong . . . mentally - you might be at home with a new baby, your husband is at war & you get one phone call a fortnight . . . & physically - starting an ancient second hand lawn mower calls on Herculean strength!! 
Dumb things which have happened to me while handsome soldier has been away . . . eldest child locked me out of the house in pyjamas & i had to call the fire brigade to remove my front door . . . had his car stolen from Sydney University car park . . . driven into the neighbour's garden wall, blown a tyre & ruined the wheel . . . locked keys in the car 3 times . . . locked myself out of the house at least 10 times . . . run out of fuel on a country highway with 4 children in the car . . . our house has been burgled . . . i've hit a HUGE kangaroo . . . rushed to hospital by ambulance with food poisoning . . . i've been pulled over by the Federal Police because my children were being too raucous in the car . . . OMG, i'm like a combination of ALL the Desperate Housewives & should NOT be left home alone!! 
"Do you worry about him??"  It's confronting question & bubbles my happy denial & la la la everything will be fine.  Accidents happen in peace time; bombs, rockets & bullets fly in war time.  He's highly trained & has great equipment, it's not just what we're encouraged to say to show our support.  Worry - like cry myself to sleep worry & a million reminders a day about him in a war zone worry, YES i worry but have healthy distractions like children to be positive for, a gym to take my tension out in & my sewing to release my creativity!!
 Above all, i'm extremely proud of what my husband does & who he is, he truly makes a difference in this world.  He won't be in the Army forever, it's an amazing adventure with many stories to tell.  He's off to the desert again so i'll be blogging my heart out.  Love Posie
PS Handmade Summit all inclusive pass giveaway ends next Friday & 
mega Lego City NASA Space giveaway ends this Sunday, don't miss out!! 
PPS Is anyone having huge issues leaving comments??  I can log into Blogger to do a post but i can't log into Blogger to leave comments on any blogs!!  Argh, i'm reading you, i just can't leave comments & i'm trapped going around in circles, sorry!!

25 May 2011

our creative space 'keeping-it-simple craft' & Handmade Summit All Inclusive Pass to WIN!!

Greetings all,
Pottering away in the studio with some simple crafts this week, deflated that my husband went back to Brisbane after a week long holiday with us & so very sad that we lost another soldier overseas.  Makes my husband's world all too real, dangerous & our time with him so incredibly precious.  It will be very hard to let him go back there. 
Small details in handmade goods warm my heart, like this wordy ribbon tape from Pepe's which i'll add to a denim coin purse??  My 3 favourite words - LOVE * LIVE * LAUGH.
 Continuing on with keeping-it-simple craft, making a gazillion small tags for sale at the Handmade Market in 2 weeks (gulp).  Loving the new owl stamps from Kikki-K on a basic handmade tag - just die cut, stamp & add twine.
 Um, so i make hot water bottle covers but could not resist this from Bed Bath & Table, i mean, it's a Babushka, forgive me?? 
I feel quite zen with a break from complicated & detailed sewing this week, it's good for the soul & i'm still building stock.  No rest for the handmade crafter in small business.

Now for something totally cool & a-must-attend-event for small business owners - here's your chance to win an ALL INCLUSIVE PASS to the amazing Handmade Business Summit & Expo 2011 on Friday 10th June at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.  It's on the day before the next Handmade Market, making it the PERFECT reason to visit Canberra!!  Oh visit Shop Handmade while you're here too & pick up a copy of Handmade Living!!
The official word . . .
"The Small Business Summit & Expo 2011 aims to bring together designers, small business owners, employees, business experts and stylists to discuss the latest in business strategies in a not-to-be-missed day of practical business building and ideas exchange.
Some of Australia's best corporate and motivational speakers who have built their businesses from the ground up will be providing us with insight, invaluable information, intellectual stimulation and many “light bulb” moments. Attendees will enjoy the opportunity to learn important information about retailing, merchandising, customer service, Social Media, IP and marketing, as well as attending our Small Business Expo."
OK, it says "light bulb" moments, sounds like an event Oprah would endorse!!  I'm going, i can't wait, i'll hold your hand if you're coming along & you don't know anyone!!  
The full day includes . . . Branding & Marketing Your Business . . . Digital & Social Media . . . Morning Tea . . . Small Business Start Up . . . Lunch . . . Retail Selling, Customer Service & Merchandising . . . IP & What It Means in 2011 . . . Small Business Expo . . . giveaways & door prizes. ALL for under $140!! 
These industry experts charge up to $300 each for these talks, so this is incredible value & a wonderful opportunity + you'll get fed & a huge networking opportunity.  All details at the Handmade Business & Networking site, including registration, accommodation & speakers.
To enter, please leave a comment at this post saying a) you'd love to come & b) how you'd like to improve your business/ what you'd like to gain from a summit like this.  If you can't possibly factor in attending, i'd still be interested in what you'd like to gain from the Summit, i can ask your questions for you & post the answers afterwards.  A winner will be drawn on Friday 3rd June by Julie Nichols, Queen of Handmade, so you have a week to plan & get excited or time to book your own tickets!!  Thanks for sponsoring this Julie!!
Enjoy more Our Creative Spaces this Thursday, love Posie 
EDIT: the winner of the Handmade Business Summit All Inclusive Pass for this Friday in Canberra is Fiona, who is just starting up a small business now, Congratulations, you were randomly selected by Julie, Queen of Handmade, thank you to everyone for entering!!

23 May 2011

social commentary Sunday . . . 'the world is going to end, really??'

Greetings all,
Let's pretend it's still Sunday . . . i couldn't let this topic go, seeing it was relevant to the weekend just past & all.  Now i was raised without religion or cultish beliefs, my parents were good Church of England types who believed in themselves, their family & community; being wholesome, honest & genuinely kind.  They were truly wonderful examples of generocity, hope & love; a God never entered our conversations.  They certainly raised the Children Least Likely to EVER Join a Cult.  We're joiner inners but not mindless followers.
Ok, so apparently the world was ending on the weekend & my husband mentioned "oh well, if it does end, at least i spent my last few hours fly fishing with my best mate" (reference my last post).  Nice to know where his wife & children fit into the Dooms Day scenario.  Technically we were invited to the picnic by the river, so we're included in his final request in this world.
This concept of the-world-is-ending is not new, but with the internet & social media, it can spread like wildfire.  Cult enthusiasts are only a click away from selling all their possessions & paying non-believers to care for their animals & water the plants after they've been evaporated/ pulverised/ beamed up . . . who is the winner now?? 
People are tweeting like there is no tomorrow, he he he. 
Have you ever signed up to a group who turned out to be nuts?? 
I joined the Multiple Birth Association when i was pregnant with twins.  The negativity was scary "you can't breast feed or feed them without help; you can't do cloth nappies; you'll never sleep again" were all the immediate well wishes.  Well i did breast feed in the middle of the night without any help juggling babies/ nappies/ boobs & fed them for 18 months; i did cloth nappies until they were toilet trained; they slept through the night from 3 weeks of age, 12 hours, both of them.  I didn't stay in the group for long, they were insular & did EVERYTHING together.  They way they spoke, their world ended when they had twins, where MY world began - at home with 3 little girls, sewing full time, retired from the real world in my mid 20s, it was bliss!!
Very happy the world didn't end, as OffSpring is on tonight.  Oh Nina, will your love life ever sort itself out??   

If the world is still here next Sunday, you'll find out the winner of my Lego giveaway, fingers crossed - still time to enter.  Love Posie  

22 May 2011

i'm grateful for 'sticks, stones & fly fishing - a self imposed long weekend'

Greetings all,
Oh boy, what a gorgeous long weekend our family just enjoyed.  My husband & i dropped the children at school on Friday (we slowed the car down to 40km/h & pushed them lovingly) then a spot of shopping for fishing lures & high tailing it down this gorgeous tree lined driveway to Poacher's Pantry for lunch, the famous smoked meat goods shop & restaurant.
We dined inside next to the fire & alongside the pantry, we shopped from our seats, brilliant!! 
 Remembering we had children, we headed back into the city to pick them all up from school & then headed straight down the Barton Highway to Gundagai.
 Spending time with my husband's best mate & his lovely family is one of my favourite things in the world.  After a delicious lamb curry dinner, the children baked scones.
 The best behaved child gets to lick the beaters, that's the rule!!
 Time to explore the 100 year old house where they live part time in Gundagai.  The children are wearing gloves because a) they are weird & b) husband's best mate is a butcher & has standards when preparing food for other people. 
 Our nerdy high schooler brought her parachute experiment to test in the grand old stairwell.  We deprive her of any great heights at home as we live in a single level home.
 The house has 2 levels they don't use - check out this pantry on the middle level!!  Now that is my kind of pantry, room for a lounge??
Our boy found the gym, pumping those muscles before a day of fishing.
 Then i spied this old school table & seat in the hallway, i want it - perhaps without the brick, but i could upcycle that lamp, channelling Thea&Sami??
 Before we went fishing, the men took the children for a walk down the old railway lines & found this tea pot tree, native to Gundagai.
Rounding up the children we headed for the Tumut River.
 Do you think this ended well??
 My husband's best mate teaching our eldest daughter to fly fish.
 It was about this time i realised this little girl had her top on backwards, she had flipped the necklace over & didn't have a care in the world.
 Handsome soldier hunting wild beasts for our lunch.
 Behold the lucky rainbow trout catch-of-the-day who was quickly returned to the river, after everyone had a pat of him.  I'm surprised with all the stones the children were throwing & skimming on the river, there were any fish hanging around at all.
 "Look mum, i can still go deeper!!"  I'm just thrilled he realised if he tucked the faux socks at the top of his gum boots inside, they wouldn't get wet.  One minute later, his boots were filled with water anyway & drying by the fire, along with his jeans & socks!!
 I love watching how our children play together, then one by one, branch off to do their own thing.  This one was a tad Lord of the Rings, building her own fire.
 We provided much entertainment for these Angus cows.
 Running with sticks & towards fire no less!!
 Much excitement when we found some wild bush melons & check that cow pattie!!
 Little bit thrilled my beloved scissors brand Fiskars also make axes!!
 Why did a bother with jeans & gum boots, everyone left in knickers!!?? 
 I spent a wee while lying on the picnic rug, under a gum tree, looking up to this beautiful sky.
So it was a weekend of gourmet food, home baking, children running free, country air & only confirms our family desire to move out of the city to stake our claim on some land outside of Canberra, so every weekend is like this.  Tomorrow my husband leaves us again, he's back in Brisbane & on course (minimal phone contact) & we won't see him until the July school holidays, sigh.  It was a nice little holiday with him home this past week, now back to reality.  Only 19 months to go in our 3 years of living apart, i think we should have a little party in July when we're over half way!!
To see what everyone else is Grateful For this weekend, check out Maxabella Loves.  Have gorgeous weeks everyone, love Posie
Oh & don't forget this great Lego giveaway i have running for just one more week!!

20 May 2011

things i'm loving 'my children's faces'

Greetings all,
Things I'm Loving this week . . . my children's faces, ready for Winter.  Some are still sun kissed & looking tropical, but they're rugged up ready for snow (they have high hopes for a skiing holiday this season & follow those snow clouds which blow over Canberra for the Snowy Mountains).  We'll see.
In reverse birth order ("for once" i hear my boy sing for joy) here are my children & their fresh little faces, in new coats, jackets & jumpers for Winter.
 He still loves this sherpa beanie (from preschool), i think it was $10 in a SportsGirl sale, i mean SportsBoy.  He lived most his life in tropical Darwin before Canberra, brrrr.  I love his new Country Road coat with chunky checks in a size 10 which should last a few years.  It will get a good work out fishing this weekend with handsome soldier.
 Can you tell she's a little self conscious about her teeth??  Thumb sucking, oh it's going to cost gazillions to fix.  Our sweet 3rd born daughter with the dinner plate blue eyes, she's so bohemian & tip toey, she floats through life.  Is it wrong to put a child in faux fur & real sheeps skin, is it sending the right message??  She loves animals.
 So nice to see this one giggling at a mistake she made, she strives for perfection & is the reason i just don't put pressure on my children - she is the kind of child who aims to please, loves praise & is devestated when she's wrong.  I believe, any sport or academic success should be natural in primary school, not coached or pushed, there is plenty of stress in high school for serious hard work & results + teenage angst!! 
Our high schooler, also a bit gappy in the tooth department, thus the pursed lips.  First borns get such a rough trot (so they tell me), they are your experimental child, born into an adult world with weighty expectations.  She had to train us & she's the special one who made us parents, we're all learning how to be parents & children together.  I often ask "can i put you on pause, i need to think" when faced with an issue to solve or behaviour to quash . . . to which she might reply "frowny face". 
It has been a particularly long week, exhausting but happy . . . at my sewing machine (market this Sunday) . . .cross country trials (all 4 children took top places) . . . my husband home which creates a different dynamic (i don't have to do absolutely everything & make every decision myself) . . . & an early parent/ teacher interview (one beautiful girl needs to spend more time on her reading & less time talking!!
I feel like i've had to digest so much information this week, there are so many possibilities coming my way, great opportunities & a new directions on where we're headed (my business; building our home; children's study habits; state level sports; this blog!!)  Trying to keep a level head.  Yesterday i had the whole day off - no school runs - thank you husband, while i sewed non stop all day.  I didn't think too much, just sewed & sewed & found my centre so i can get lost looking into these children's faces this weekend.  Handsome soldier & i still look at them playing together & think, wow, we made all these lovely little people.  So lucky.  For more 'loving' pay PaisleyJade a visit today, love Posie
Oh & don't forget this awesome Lego GIVEAWAY!!  Follow this blog & leave your comment at the Lego post, over $500 worth of NASA spacey goodness to win, good luck.

18 May 2011

our creative space 'a hex on sewing'

Greetings all,
i have a new addiction to add to my crafty happiness . . . hexagons.  It's a hex, a spell, a new (to me) patchwork style i started last weekend as 'car craft'. 
As a self taught seamstress & designer i'm not so great at following instructions, as opposed to inventing my own method of creating something (i'm mathematical & spatial, why not??)  I rarely use pins or tack anything when i sew - it would make a matronly professional sewing teacher turn in her grave - yet i always have a neat finished product.  Bite me, you horrible year 7 non elective Textiles & Design teachers!!  They knew we didn't care or we would have done elective T&D in the first place!!  Guess what i grew up to do for a living??  Well ok, it was pharmacology, whatever, i've been sewing professionally for 10+ years now, so . . . let me share my speedy hexagon technique!!
Cut out lots of strips of pretty fabrics & a perfectly shaped cardboard hexagon - photo proof i didn't use 'the good scissors' on the cardboard mum!! 
 Fold & press down 2 sides of the fabric around the cardboard hexagon. 
 Fold & press down 2 more sides of the fabric around the cardboard hexagon.
 Fold & press down the final 2 sides of fabric around the cardboard hexagon.
 Open up a couple of sides to slide the cardboard hexagon out.
 Press the fabric hexagon with a hot & steamy iron (i have a $15 el cheapo iron from Big W & an $8 metallic ironing board cover from Coles in my studio - both work a treat).
 Voila, la hexagon goodness, no tacking required.  Repeat & make millions.
 I said millions, stack them up in same-fabric piles!! 
 Armed with perfectly pressed hexagons, tiny travel scissors, needles & thread, the next step was to start hand stitching them together.  I did glance at Cath Kidston's Sew instructions for hexagons, yawn, sorry Cath, i just made up my own attachment system, i think she recommends rows??  I was winging it, sewing on my lap, while chatting to my husband & taming 4 children in the back of the car for 700km.  I started with a hexagon in the centre, stitching another hexagon to each edge & growing out like a fan, or 'spreading like a virus' as my husband said so encouragingly.  He just knows this will be the first of many hexagon patchwork projects.
 Canberra to Sydney & back, this is what i had created in the car between 7a.m. & 7p.m.  Don't ask me how on earth i managed to make it a perfectly symmetrical finished shape??  I surprised myself when i laid it out.  I really like the pink, white & red clashing patterns which resulted.  Some sewing was done in the dark, so don't look too closely.
While i was taking the photos, my husband was making pasta in the background, keeping it real & homemade at our place.  He likes extra credit for his cooking, i'm his cheer leader & should have been helping.  Anyway, i can't wait to press this first hexagon effort & applique it to a simple cot quilt.  But wait, there's more . . .
 how lovely is this gorgeousness from Kristen Doran??  From her Gyspy Caravan range, these panels are about to be added to my range in both colour ways, on linen.  Then it struck me, oh, imagine some hexagon goodness as a boarder around a beautiful screen printed panel made into a sweet & simple quilt??  Hello!!
 Stay tuned, i have BIG plans & clearly, i'm not keeping them to myself, i'm here to share.  For hundreds more creative projects, check out our creative spaces each Thursday, still hosted by clever Kootoyoo.  Love Posie
PS feeling creative in a Lego kind of way - enter my Lego GIVEAWAY!!