31 March 2012

i'm grateful for . . . 'chit chat'

Greetings all,
Coming down from the high which was a family reunion/ 4 flights in 4 days/ my father's 80th birthday last weekend, i've had a busy week maintaining the momentum with children's events . . . Academic Awards, volleyball clinic, Suburban Challenge (think town planning for senior primary schoolers, then imagine my 3rd girl winning!!)  Of course, a whole lot of chit cat is involved . . . at the school gate, with teaching staff, at sports games & with my family of marathon talkers.  Can you overdose on chit chat??  Impossible for me . . . which is why my only-speak-when-has-something-worth-saying-husband is so complimentary to my world.  I remember on one of our first dates, he actually said "you don't have to fill every silence & externalise every thought that pops into my head".  Gosh i love his confidence.
My children are all varying combinations of chitter chatters . . . my 3rd girl can play in her room for hours, in solitude, where my first born can gabble away like any teen, but loves her silence.  I'm sure she was reading in the womb, like handsome soldier, she can read for days, it's an escape.  Makes her a fabulous flying companion & easy to entertain.  She just read The Hunger Games yesterday, as in, before school & after dinner, gobbled it up, asleep by midnight.  How??  Took me 4 days of dedicated reading chunks & neglecting housework!!   
My next girl, wow, she floors me with her ability to read, as she is such a huge talker & story teller, yet she reads all 7 Harry Potter books every school holidays, over again.  I love this balance of social jibber jabber & silence, she fits more into her day than anyone i know.   
I often wonder how my constant banter affects my children??  It has been a very successful experiment in socialising them, as until recently, every 2 years they were plonked into a new school/ city/ environment & left to make friends - just like that.  No consistency of childhood friendships, constantly leaving what they know & being dropped in the deep end.  Their conversation skills have assisted their resilience & made every Army move easy.  The teachers always say "you're so social Jennie" but personality traits don't automatically translate to children, i guess i got lucky.    
I know my boy craves more time with boys, he loves his cousins, he misses Daddy.  I don't care so much for this genderless society which is politically correct, boys need men in their lives, good solid male role models.  They talk about completely different things to me. 
On my weekend away, i shared a room with my son (the 3 girls had their own room) & i love having him to myself.  Being alone with your child, one on one, they think, ask questions, it's special.  Then he asked me to talk him to sleep, the last word on my chit chat skills!! 
Small talk with my parents, i miss this, my Mum's Alzheimer's has taken this away.  Aimed at me is polite conversation, like i'm the waitress at a cafe, gone is any depth or recognition of our history.  I can't have indepth debates with my father either, as Mum constantly interupts or he's distracted by her, it's really hard to process, it's exhausting actually, small talk is all we manage. 
So Maxabella Loves, I'm Grateful for 'chit chat' which runs very deep with me, love Posie

29 March 2012


EDIT: my post-of-the-month with Gifts of Serendipity!!
Greetings all,
One of the luckiest parts of my children's lives, is that they have 19 first cousins.  I have 5 cousins, all much older than me & all living in England.  My husband grew up with lots of local cousins, Italian style.  Our generation . . . we're breeders!!  This past weekend with my side of the family, includes the French brother-in-law & the Austrian sister-in-law, our mixed gene pool of off spring makes a collective 14 cousins.
On the first morning we arrived, my sister & brother set up an Easter egg hunt for the youngest 7 cousins, it was so cute, watching them race around. 
Then of course, the tractor rides & hooning around in the buggy. 
This set of cousins are spread all over NSW/ ACT, especially now the eldest 4 are at University, but get them together, it's one big party.  
 I love love love being an auntie, you can say things like "that boy is no good for you" to your nieces & they listen.  Completely different to being the mother/ the enemy.  Works both ways - i heard my eldest daughter talking to a fellow 'eldest' about how hard it is to be the first born.  I'm the youngest, so is my husband, we have no idea how hard it would be to break in parents. 
I can't believe how fast everyone is growing up - one niece looks like she'll be a military wife as her boyfriend is joining the Air Force (no one saw that coming, he's an electrician), another dumped her boyfriend (hurray, i told her we all have to date a bad boy loser to get it out of our system & then recognise the boys who are good for you). 
Love that high school boys will still jump on trampolines!! 
One thing my father said in his 80th birthday speech was that we are a 'close knit family unit' & yes, we sure are.  Either that or this is our family 'creepy uncle'.  Tee hee. 
Next time we get together??  I'll see everyone on a slow trip from Canberra to Brisbane for Christmas, but all together in one place, i should start planning my 40th, give them 3 years notice & no excuses.  Love Posie

27 March 2012

simple pleasures of farm joy

Greetings all,
As i enthusiastically chatter to anyone who will listen about my plan to move my family onto a farm . . . most people look blankly at me, especially as we don't plan to be profitable farmers, just sustainable enough to feed ourselves.  Then i explain the happiness of my children running free & their love of animals.  
On the weekend, we went country . . . spending 4 days with my ENTIRE family to celebrate my father's 80th birthday.  The man is held together with stents, pace makers & blood thinners, but he's as sharp as a tack & thoroughly entertaining.  As my parents moved to the country recently, to stay permanently under the watchful eye of my doctor brother (avoiding a nursing home, even with Mum's Alzheimer's) that meant all we Sydney/ Bowral/ Brisbane/ Canberra folks headed for New England NSW.
It was a 4 day party with BBQs, dinners, brunches & farm visits.  While we adults laughed, the collective 14 grandchildren truly went wild.  My entire side of the family (sans my husband) were there, he's so sorry he missed out & i know he'd be wanting one of these tractors.  To say a tractor is cool is an understatement, just ask my children, cruising the farm with their country cousins. 
Our 3rd girl is a huge part of why we want to have farm animals, she has a natural affinity with nature.  It was pure joy to see her running around in gum boots, climbing through woolsheds & holding yards.  I know the teenage 'her' will tell the animals all her secrets.
While she drove ahead in the buggy (yes, she drove, aged 10, with a brave trauma surgeon as her passenger) i mentioned to my nephew, who was carting myself & 3 children in the 4WD, that we'd love to pat a real sheep.  Could i sound more city folkish??
I can't get my 4 children to stand & face the camera, looking candid & happy all at the same time, but look at these sheep, they are photography perfection!!  My nephew ran into this flock of Merino sheep & grabbed one to ride in the car . . . to surprise the-sheep-loving-buggy-driver.  We parked next to the buggy & called her over.  Look at the surprise on her face when she realises there is a sheep in the front of the car!! 
THIS totally made her entire weekend & her siblings were bursting with happiness at the surprise we sprung on her too.  The greatest parenting memories are the ones where your children are genuinely happy & loving each other!! 
The moment we got back to the motel, i emailed these images to my husband & she sent messages saying "please please please can we have a sheep, now, i'll look after it" & we both know she would too, just as she's our German Shepherd's number one carer. 
For us, it truly is the simple pleasures.  One brother just bought a water front property in Sydney, another is heading to Europe next week with his family, my brother-in-law is building another shed for his growing business . . . no one is boasting, we're just all successful in our own way & very supportive of each other.  They totally understand my farm life dreams & taking time out on this farm has only cemented it.
Then today, head filled with farm plans . . . i spied the real estate agent i like dealing with, in the area we're looking to buy a farm, at the high school Academic Awards ceremony.  My daughter requested i contain myself, plus he was there for his daughter not real estate gabble.  I kept my focus on her & the awards, i'm so freaking proud of my children.  Love Posie

23 March 2012

our creative space . . . 'furniture revamp trial run'

Greetings all,
Yay, finally something to link up with Our Creative Space.  Now before i tackle The Buffet Project, i thought i'd do a trial run on a smaller piece of furniture first, namely . . . The Bureau Project.  Armed with the tools i'll be using on the buffet & hutch (paint, wall paper) i sanded back & primed this $15 second hand bureau for some girlie flavouring, practically for free.
My child labour force took turns on the roller & brushes after school, they have skills!!
 The following day i gave it a coat of Dulux Gala Day, yes, it's bright pink!!
 Perfect painting weather during the mornings this week (too hot after midday) but i struck a snag, my Laura Ashley crystal heart knob's screw was too long for the slim wooden bureau lid, so i threaded a wooden bead behind the knob, crisis averted.  Yes, the knob cost more than the bureau ($40 for 2), the beauty is in the details folks!!
 Now the wall paper, it's so pretty, Laura Ashley Elveden Celadon, just released.
 I took basic measurements for the pigeon holes at the writing desk & cut them roughly (i used a soft tape measure & edge of magazine as a straight guide, that kind of rough).
 Then neatened the edges with the slicer!! 
 I bought proper wall paper paste for when i do this paint'n'paper job on the hutch, however, on reading the instructions, the small bag made up enough paste to wall paper 20 metres square.  Um, i had about half a metre square . . . so i borrowed my daughter's Clag paste.
 It worked a treat - i did 3 sections before school & 3 with the children, they loved doing this small scale wall papering.  Then it was instantly ready to pop in my 3rd girl's bedroom.
 I sanded the paint back a bit to shabby it up, it's a pretty rough 2 day job (note i didn't bother painting the undersides of the shelves) but it was a trial run after all & yes, my hands . . . 4 weeks on from surgery . . . are both a bit tender.  I used 100ml ($3) of the feature paint, amazing & the roller set ($7) made the job so speedy.
All that matters is that my vintage loving crafter has a new homework station & nooks to pop her favourite stationery pieces.  She's not finished styling the bureau yet & really needs to reduce the clutter hanging from her lanterns!!  Her favourite part of the whole project - the crystal heart shaped knob, yay, that's my girl.  Love Posie 

21 March 2012

the iconic Volley presents new baby sneakers GIVEAWAY

Greetings all,
Anyone for tennis??  Yay, how cute are these, the iconic Australian Volley since 1939 has given birth to My First Volley range of adorable footwear for fashion forward babies!!  I always put shoes on my babies, even in tropical Darwin, i like a complete ensemble. 
The good folks at Volley & One Green Bean have offered up a pair of boys & a pair of girls My First Volley sneakers to my lucky readers. 
The navy & white polka dot + black with red laces are stocked at Big W stores.
Available in sizes 1/2 to 5/6, maybe you'll have an Australian Open champion too, like Mark Edmondson in 1976.
The blue with orange laces + pink & polka dot are stocked at Target stores.
Priced from $15, enjoy!! 
Or keep it old school with a pair of original white Volleys, a sweet pink stripe for girls & blue trim for boys - stocked at Target & Volley on line.
Just follow this blog & let me know "boy" or "girl" in your comment here to win a pair for the baby in your home/ neighbourhood/ local tennis club/ world.  Share the love on FaceBook, Twitter, Blogs etc for extra entries - you might win a boy & a girls pair!!  Random winners will be chosen after midnight on Wednesday 28th March 2012.  Good luck!!  Thanks Volley & One Green Bean.  Love Posie

20 March 2012

the buffet project

Greetings all,
I always fancied a cabinet like this in my studio . . . the dream is a French armoire . . . however,

i knew one would come along if i waited long enough . . . i give you the $60 buffet & hutch from the local recycle centre.  I'll spend my week sanding & painting the wood, then wall papering the back boards.  Also discovered 3 weeks after surgery on both hands . . . i am strong enough to pop the tow ball on the car, pull the 4WD trailer around & attach it (no mean feat with a flat jockey wheel) . . . amazing what super human strength you unleash when a bargain is on hold for you.
I wasn't sure what colour paint??  I don't want white, too obvious.  I knew i'd find inspiration from the wall paper colours/ design, then work my way back to choosing paint & drawer/ door knobs.  Of course pretty crystal knobs are expensive & i need 9 of them!!  The heart knobs are for another project.
Terrible photos - you can't see the gorgeous green wall paper, Laura Ashley Elveden Celadon, i'll photograph the finished product in sunlight.  As i ADORE pink & green as a decor colour combination in any variation, i'm painting the cabinet a yummy blush pink.
How lovely would these beautiful Laura Ashley chairs look in my studio too??  I'd like to be an old lady with dozens of greatgrandchildren who all know 'that's Grandma's chair' & doesn't she have glorious taste.
When we build our homestead, we've decided that my studio might be best as a stand alone little cottage, yay, imagine??  This is my husband's way of having a thread/ fabric/ pin free house.  I like it.  Our farm dream is getting closer, the sale of our Darwin apartment has gone unconditional, yay!!  Love Posie
PS special mention to my Papa who was born the same week the North Sydney Harbour Bridge (original name) was opened & is also celebrating his 80th birthday!!  I went to primary school with the grandson of the English engineer (Bradfield) who designed it & chose to stay in Sydney, such is the lure of our amazing harbour.

18 March 2012

Government House Open Day, yes please

Greetings all,
Once a year, our fantastic Governor General Quentin Bryce opens her home to the public, & we public come to sticky beak . . . in droves.  Today was my first time, the weather was glorious & surrounds pristine, just as you'd expect from our GG (she is perfection).
 This is how the most powerful person in Australia gets around . . . in style & with 'i'm terribly important' flags & flashing lights on top, how handy in peak hour??
 This is the front of the house, however, other sides are more architectural & with water views.  We got to see her office (personal family photos), where she signs 'the bills' (parliamentary), the dining room, reception areas, complete with gorgeous decor & stunning chandeliers.
 Love this photo, Constable Kenny Koala is writing an autograph for a school friend, but it looks like we're getting a fine.  Special mention to my cartwheeling boy in the background, behind the witches hats.
 Imagine all the grandchildren who get to play here??  We arrived early so were the first people through the gates & straight into the house.  We had time to do everything, before the queues started getting very loooong.
 An infinity garden, beautiful, i want to talk to her gardener for tips!!
 There were all sorts of hidden treasures in the gardens, waterfalls with quirky dedications . . .
 with benches to relax on & enjoy the experience of where you actually are!!
 The $25 family entry (2 adult + up to 4 children = family, finally someone realises we exist) going to The Smith Family charity, there was wonderful free entertainment all day.
 My children try fairy floss for the first time, ewww, their tongues were pink afterwards.
Next year, we'll arrive early again, i'm bringing my husband & the proper camera, without a time limit (we had early afternoon birthday parties) to thoroughly relax in this fabulous experience.  So disappointed we weren't allowed to take photos inside, sigh.  It was fun saying we went to the Governor General's house, like it was a personal invitation, love Posie
PS would not normally take my children to meet the Queen's Representative wearing such casual attire & footwear, we were off to a pool party & left before the GG came out to mix with the crowds, another reason we'll stay all day next time.