30 December 2011

SunSmart rashies for the whole family

I've got to stop wearing my husband's rashie. It's not a cute look. And there's no excuse for us all not to have our own rashies (aka lycra swim shirts) with these Australian brands designing great options for Mums, Dads and kids:

Images: Mini Sandcrabs

Brisbane-based Mini Sandcrabs have a range of cute, bright UV sunsuits, rashies and swim shorts for kids. So preppy cute! You can find Mini Sandcrabs in the online store.

Images: Summer and Salt

Summer and Salt is a Sunshine Coast swimwear label that caught my eye at Peregian Beach with a range of stylish swimwear tops for the whole family. You can find Summer and Salt in the online store and at the Peregian Beach boutique.

Babes In The Shade is based in Brisbane and designs a range of rash vests, all-in-one UV suits, matching one-piece bathers and hats. I love the spotty, ruffled numbers. The boys rugby-style shirts are also fantastic (and on sale too). Lots of great options for Mums and kids. You can find Babes In The Shade in the online store.

Images: Salt Sea Teas

Brisbane-based Salt Sea Tees feature cute designs on great-quality fabric, made in Australia. We have the sweet matryoshka doll design and it has lasted for years. Find Salt Sea Teas in the online store. They are clearing all stock, so grab yourself a bargain.

Images: White Soda

These gorgeous lolly-coloured rashies and bathers for kids by Melbourne-based White Soda are super-fashionable. You can find White Soda in the online shop and at stockists around Australia, NZ and online.

There are few sun-smart swimmers sweeter than Bondi-based and Bali-made Bobbi Sunshine for girls. You can find Bobbi Sunshine in the online store

So there you go friends, some great brands giving us even greater reasons to cover up and look cute in the sun, not just in summer, but all year around. For more information on being safe in the sun, head over to the SunSmart Victoria website which has wealth of information that we all need to brush up on.

27 December 2011

Party Ideas: Sambellina Airplane and Stars 4th Birthday Party

This glorious airplane and star-themed birthday party comes to you from party expert, Kate from party stationery and accessories company Sambellina. You know the one! Kate used her airplane invitation as a starting point for the colours and decorations and created an aviatory masterpiece for her son Christian's 4th birthday party. Enjoy!

Birthday: Christian's 4th Birthday Party. A very small indoor "do" with family, his cousins and a couple of his very closest friends.
Organised by: Mum Kate (from Sambellina).
Theme: Airplanes and Stars.
Invitation: Invitation by Sambellina.

25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Dear friends, wishing you all and your families a wonderful year ahead. May 2012 bring you good health and good times and happiness in good measure. Thank you for reading, for returning, for supporting Australian-designed and indie products, and for all your feedback and friendship.

Much love,

PS - recycled card ornament by my friends at Polli

24 December 2011

Our Christmas Tree

We've never actually owned a Christmas Tree. Each year we have to make something to hang our ornaments on and pop our pressies under. One year we bought a real one and it died and I cried. 

This year, the girls and I headed to the our local Reserve, found a fallen branch that we liked, and strapped it to the top of the car. When we got home, we stripped off all the loose bark, and painted it white. Then we popped it in a white vase, and filled it with river pebbles to keep it weighted down. The girls hung up a selection of our ornaments - a mixture of decorations that I have made over the years, and gifts. It takes a little effort, but it's personal and we all love it. I would love to see yours. Post links in the comments section to your trees please!

Only one sleep until the big day. Hoping Santa comes for you all tonight.

22 December 2011

Australian Artist Spotlight: Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith is a Sydney-based illustrator who you might remember from my article about Candy Stripe Cloud who she collaborated with to create the gorgeous Christmas decorations and wreaths. Andrea also has her own store on Etsy where she turns her original collages and paper cuts into stunning wall art, cards and jewellery.

Aren't these prints great?! There's a Scandinavian influence, for sure, with the bold graphic styling, flower and bird motifs. They would suit both adult and child-friendly spaces looking for some folk-y charm. I would adore the square-maned lion with his little village and bird (of course) for one of my girls, and the black and white partridge in a tree is so sophisticated. Head over to Andrea's website to see more of her inspiring illustrations and artwork.

You can find Andrea's art in her online store on Etsy. 

Images: Andrea Smith

20 December 2011

Cookie Swap 2011

I received my very special kitchen-based Christmas present a little early this year; which is lucky, as I have been a baking fiend this month! Apart from a bake swap with friends (chocolate oat balls, rocky road, Mexican chocolate cake), and a Chocolate Truffle Layer Cake for a Kris Kringle party with some girlfriends, I also participated in my first Cookie Swap. I was matched up with three other bloggers and we posted off a batch of cookies to each other. 

The first to arrive were these amazing white chocolate-drizzled pistachio and cranberry biscotti from Yasmeen from Wandering Spice. They went in a flash.

Next was a fragrant and beautifully presented pencil tin full of cantuccini from Sherilynn (formerly of Tees2Knees fame!), now writing about eating well at Whole Promise.

And then these melt-in-the-mouth biscuits from my buddy Amanda at Easy Peasy Organic.

So the pressure was on as you can see. I thought I was being pretty clever making these stained-glass Christmas decoration cookies from the Australian Women's Weekly cupcakes and cookies book (that Amanda had actually gifted to me). Each cookie has a little hole with baker's twine threaded through for easy hanging. I wrote the ingredients on the back of these gorgeous holiday printable tags from Creature Comforts (that I have used for everything this year!). But boy were those cookies hard work. And I'm not sure how many survived my triple bubble-wrapping and eager handling at Australia Post. 

 So when I ran out of stained-glass window cookies, I decided to mix things up a little by making a batch of lovely melting moments (actually, YoYo cookies from Frankie's Afternoon Tea book). Much more robust than the decoration cookies - must note for next time.

I also popped together some little pressies for clients and the lovely preschool teachers, and this is my favourite packaging. The pillow box is an amazing printable from Oh the lovely things. I love that the dotted fold lines look like embroidered stitching.

So that's my baking for the holiday season done. Are you just getting started? I'd love your recommendations for your favourite holiday cookies/baking ideas.

16 December 2011

Bondville Loves shopping membership intake until 31 Dec

Friends - the Bondville Loves online shopping directory has an intake of members twice a year. The current membership intake is strictly from 1-31st December 2011 for 2012. Australian businesses offering online shopping to design-savvy Mums in the lifestyle, home and kids categories are eligible to participate. All members receive a banner, link and description on the Bondville Loves shopping directory, as well as their company name and link in the sidebar of the Bondville website (that's every page!). Please check the Advertising page for more details and email me before 31st December 2011 to register your interest.


Printspace wall art prints

It's been 2.5 years since I wrote about Melbourne's Nicholas and Mara Girling who make up Printspace. It's a nice time to update you on some of the artwork, greeting cards, posters, notebooks and birth prints from this talented duo with a love for mid-century design.

Printspace are just so good at creating pieces that work for both boys and girls in all age groups (conveniently categorised on the site under "The Small", "The Young" and "The Wise"). With seventy-two different designs, there is sure to be something perfect for the little one in your life. 

You can find Printspace wall art in the online store. Read more about Printspace here on Bondville.

Images: Printspace

15 December 2011

Party Ideas: Zoe's 2nd Babushka Birthday Party

Little Zoe turned two in style with a Babushka party (using the Babushka printable party pack). Her Mum Tamara pulled together a gorgeous spread, and the most incredible Babushka Doll cake! Tamara shares her tips for Zoe's special day:

Birthday: Zoe's 2nd Birthday Party
Organised by: Zoe's Mum, Tamara
Location: Willoughby, NSW
Theme: Babushka Doll

13 December 2011

Candy Stripe Cloud Christmas ornaments

I spotted these very cute Christmas ornaments today by Candy Stripe Cloud (the designers behind Made By White) based on the illustrations of Sydney-based illustrator Andrea Smith.

Choose from eleven charming animal ornaments, a handsome bear or deer wreath, laser-cut from 4mm wood, stained and finished in Sydney. For those of us with particular decorating tastes, you can even personalise your ornaments with a choice of 12 colours and 7 ribbons. Depending on your choice, your ornaments could work year-round. That pink fox and blue mouse are calling my name...

You can find Candy Stripe Cloud Christmas ornaments and wreaths in the online store

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