30 December 2012

Thank You 2012

Thank you so much lovely readers for joining me as we have uncovered some amazing Australian designers for Mum, Kids and Home this year. There have been fun real parties by creative Mums, and some gorgeous real kids' rooms designed by you too.

This year here on Bondville - for me - has been about realising the anti-Martha in us all... yes we love pretty things, but they don't have to be within-an-inch-of-its-life perfect. In 2012 rustic ruled, and gypsy/boho continued to gather momentum. Magazines like Kinfolk have paved the way for a more relaxed attitude to lifestyle and entertaining, and I think that's a good thing. There's a real reaction happening to the overwhelming amount of information coming our way and many of us are stepping off the treadmill a little to take things slower, pause a little, and prioritise the important things in life.

Back in June I was truly inspired to 'Make' by Jake Nickell from Threadless.com, and I've been trying to slow down and tackle some crafty projects that have been mulling in my head. Maybe you will join me to take some time out over the holidays too. I'd like to continue to try new things and to simplify life just a little more. An interesting task, with my big girl about to start school! 

So. Let's have a look at just a few of your favourite posts from 2012. It's all about relaxed parties, gorgeous Australian-designed goodies for us, and real kids' rooms with flavour:

Top 5 Posts from 2012
Liam's 1st Birthday Party at Sydney Park
1. Liam's 1st Birthday Party at Sydney Park

Emily Green accessories and artwork
2. Emily Green Accessories and Artwork

One Year Old Rowan's Worldy Bedroom
3. One Year Old Rowan's Worldly Bedroom

Aidan's 2nd Sesame Street Birthday Party
4. Aidan's 2nd Sesame Street Birthday Party

Modern Printables Elephant Party Pack
5. Modern Printables Elephant Party Pack

I also really loved hosting (with my friend Lisa) the Sydney abcd meet-ups for art, craft and design bloggers. This year we met at Ruby L'otel in April for a Saturday Soiree, held a Sharing-themed evening at The 3 Weeds in August visited the Polli design studio for an Instagram-themed afternoon tea in October. We have been treated to an amazing ombre ruffle cake by Alison Lawson Cakes, ice cream sandwiches from Pat & Stick's Homemade Ice Cream Co. and met some amazing, interesting, creative Sydney bloggers. Our next meet-up is on Thursday 21st February 2013 - please save the date.

This year I have loved working with my amazing Bondville sponsors who help me continue to write about and support independent Australian design: eeni meeni miini moh/e3-M, Minyaka Design, The Wall Sticker Company, Tots n Tales and TinyMe. I also wrote over 30 articles for eBay's Mum's Business website, ranging from small business topics to craft and lifestyle articles. Thanks also to partners The Finders Keepers, Milk & Honey Photography, BrisStyle, bloesem and the 30 fabulous Australian online stores in the Bondville Loves shopping directory.

I'm really excited about 2013 already with a site re-design in the works and as well as showcasing more Australian-designed products, I hope to help us all reach for more creativity in our lives with some in-depth advice and ideas. I'll still be posting here intermittently over the holiday period (and more frequently on Instagram). Please check in and say Hi :)

26 December 2012

eeni meeni miini moh and e3-M summer sale

It's Boxing Day! And that means sales galore, including the twice-yearly eeni meeni miini moh® and e3-M® end of season sale which starts now. Head to the online store for savings across the entire Spring/Summer range for kids up to 14 years including:

T-Shirts - were from $39.95 / now from $24.95
Shorts - were from $34.95 / now from $21.95
Dresses - were from $54.95 / now from $34.95
Leggings - were $39.95 / now $24.95
Pyjamas - were from $49.95 / now from $34.95
Briefs - were from $14.95 / now from $7.95

My girls just love their eeni meeni miini moh pyjamas and briefs which are the first to go, so be quick. My favourite picks this season include the gorgeous Butterfly Dress, Pirouette Skirt and Tube Cardi and Combo Dress. Lots of great pieces for boys too.

There is free freight for all online orders $200+ (AUS) and $300+ (NZ).  Freight starting from $7.50 for all online orders under $200 (Australia only). Sale starts 26th December 2012 online and 7th January 2013 in the Brisbane store.

PS: Have you joined the new eeni meeni miini moh® / e3-M® loyalty program yet?  Be rewarded and earn loyalty points every time you shop with them – even during promotion and sale periods.

PPS: Keep an eye out here for eeni meeni miini moh® and e3-M®’s new Autumn Winter collection arriving February 2013!

Image: eeni meeni miini moh and e3-M

25 December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Hi everyone,
Hoping you are having a lovely Christmas Day. After the present-opening extravaganza, we spent the day cooking - all of us pitching in to put together our lunch which we had outside on the deck, looking at clear Sunshine Coast skies. This year we had mango daiquiris, prawns, turkey breast, spinach + beet + feta salad and sweet potatoes with pancetta and caramelised onion. The pudding with brandy custard tipped us over the edge, so we've had to postpone the mango, peach and raspberry trifle until tonight. What did you get up to? I'm hoping it was a peaceful day with family and friends and lots of love and thanks-giving all round. Merry Christmas!

PS - stay tuned tomorrow for all the details of the twice-yearly eeni meeni miini moh and e3-M sale!
PPS - I'm blogging a little low-key over the holidays but you can keep up-to-date on Instagram

20 December 2012

Yellow Pages Australia mobile app

If you are like me, you probably cancelled delivery of your Yellow Pages phone book a long time ago. I am always online, so a heavy, unread book (worth how many trees?) has no place in my home.

In case you were still holding onto yours, the faster, smarter alternative is to use search online. Certainly it makes sense when you are on the go and need to get errands done. Lucky for me, Sensis sent me an iPhone 5 (thank you!!!) to trial their Yellow Pages Australia mobile app.

All about blog etiquette

I guess I have some pretty strong opinions about blogging. Most of them revolve around the concept of 'Respect'. Respect for others' words, images, ideas, talents, skills and effort. So when I had the opportunity to write a piece about blog etiquette, I jumped at it, as I hope that I can share my experience with respectful blogging, in particular with those new to the game. If you're interested to find out more (I have a large section on the legal issues around copyright, words, and images), head to eBay's Mum's Business for the full article "Blog Etiquette - a How-to Guide". I would *love* to get your input too. Please comment away...

Image:  PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com

19 December 2012

Make: Craft Schmaft hot air balloon mobile kit

Do you have any new babies in your life? I have my eye on these hot air balloon mobile craft kits from Sydney-based Claire Waring of Craft Schmaft who I follow on Instagram. All you will need are scissors, a needle, thread, and some toy stuffing, and you can make a gorgeous handmade mobile that is sure to be adored. The circus colourway is perfect for a boy or a girl (other options also available). What a fab baby shower gift! You can find these mobile kits as well as other fun craft kits and patterns in the Craft Schmaft online store.

Image: Craft Schmaft

18 December 2012

Make: The Bondville Christmas Tree Branch

It's a yearly tradition for the girls and I to go hunting together for a large fallen branch and drag carry it home to decorate as our Christmas tree. 

This year we decided to add a little glitter action for some added sparkle. We argued over gold or silver and of course my big girl won, so gold glitter-dusted tree it is.We started with a base of a few favourite decorations and a sprinkling of Polli Christmas decorations (see the pics). Then I let the girls go to town adding as many decorations as the tree can hold, as well as new decorations that they seem to be making every day, and gift tags from opened presents. All good fun.

If  you would like to make a glitter Christmas tree too (it's never too late), head over to eBay's Mum's Business website where I have written a full tutorial using both glitter paint and loose glitter and glue.

And one branch in silver for good measure (a lot messier than the gold dust paint!)

Did you go with the glitter this year? Silver or gold? Let me know if you give it a go.

Images: Steph Bond-Hutkin | Bondville

17 December 2012

Beci Orpin's Find and Keep book

My big girl finished preschool on Friday and we wanted to mark the end of this special time before starting Big School in a meaningful way. After her preschool Christmas concert and afternoon tea, we all went for a "fancy" dinner in her honour at a teppanyaki restaurant. The girls just loved it! (especially the big flash of fire and of course watching Mummy get egg all over her face). We also gave our big girl a gift that we hope she will love for a long time - Beci Orpin's Find and Keep book.

This new craft book is full of gorgeous projects that we can make together with Beci's signature folk art-cute style. I went along to the Find and Keep book launch here in Sydney a few weeks ago where I picked up a copy for Beci to kindly sign. There were so many fun craft projects from the book on display... here are a few to whet your appetite.

You can find the Find and Keep book at great bookstores as well as Fishpond and Amazon online. Read more about Beci Orpin here on Bondville.

A huge thank you goes to the very kind EglÄ— who I met at the launch and who lent me her iPhone (with only 10% battery remaining!) to take these photos. And even though we had only just met, EglÄ— also kindly emailed them to me a few days later. Such a lovely and thoughtful thing to do. Thanks Engle :)

Images: Steph Bond-Hutkin | Bondville

13 December 2012

Loving: The Storybook Rabbit iPhone Cases

I can't take any friends with me when I go to The Finders Keepers market. They get so bored - probably because I spend all my time catching up with stallholder friends and introducing myself to new ones, collecting business cards and sussing out gorgeous Australian-designed goods to write about.

This weekend I went with my friend Lisa (the red thread) (and her daughter Roxy) who does exactly the same thing, so it was perfect. Here's a cute photo that Lisa took of me devouring a bowl of raw pumpkin, pesto, olives and tomatoes from the Veggie Van. Hee hee!

And here is the Christmas present to me from my girls that I bought and surreptitiously handed to Mr Bondville to wrap up for me - the cutest ever iPhone case by The Storybook Rabbit. You might remember (from this post) that I have been looking for an iPhone case for the longest time - mine is black leather - and finally I found something that spoke to me straight away. Bunting! Cute shy rabbit wearing a dress with Peter Pan collar! Australian illustration! And something the girls will love too. Perfect.

These were just one of the many great products for sale by The Storybook Rabbit (read more about Kelly and her designs here on Bondville) and many other Australian designers at the markets. More favourites coming your way soon!

In the meantime, you can find the iPhone cases and more in The Storybook Rabbit online store

Image: The Storybook Rabbit

11 December 2012

Australian-designed Christmas dresses for girls

I know you all loved the white angel-inspired Christmas dress ideas that I pulled together. Here are more gorgeous Australian-designed Christmas dresses for girls - this time in a range of reds, watermelon, coral, tangerine and palest minty green; perfect for our Summer Christmas and beyond.
Australian Christmas Kids: 1. Heavenly Creatures tutu dress red stripe from Oranges and Lemons Boutique 2. Tier dress from Chalk n Cheese 3.  Amelie cranberry silk/cotton dress from Little Chillies 4. Ola & Olek pink dots sack dress from StyleMilk (currently 50% off) 5. Blossom dress from Mooce  6. Combo dress in tangerine and blossom from eeni meeni miini moh 7. Peggy scarlet dress from Oobi (currently 20% off)  8. Organic pinafore dress from Little Bird, Little Bird (70% off closing sale!) 9. Hide And Seek The Party Frock from Looking At You Kid

Enjoy your Christmas prep! You can read more about Australian-designed kids fashion here on Bondville. 

6 December 2012

Loving: Sconnie and Jam Kombi brooch and BrisStyle indie designer markets

I learned how to drive in a Volkswagen Kombi/Combi van, just like this one! My Dad had infinite patience, and there were tears over the hill starts, but I got the hang of it, and now I can drive anything. So this super-cute Kombi brooch from Sconnie and Jam is just my style.

You can find Sconnie and Jam as well as a host of other amazing QLD artisans at the upcoming BrisStyle's indie Designer Markets in Brisbane. Entry is free and the markets feature local emerging and established artists, crafters and designers from South East Queensland. You'll find a amazing range of quality handmade goods including handbags, art, jewellery, children's wear and more. Get all your Christmas shopping done in one place! Here are details of the next two markets:

BrisStyle Indie {Christmas} Designers Market
9am- 4pm, Saturday December 8, 2012
St Augustine's Church Hall and grounds, Racecourse Rd, Hamilton, QLD

BrisStyle Indie Twilight Market
 5 - 9pm, Friday 14 December
King George Square, Brisbane City, QLD

5 December 2012

Lucky Door Prize: Crispin Scales and the Golden Pearl

I adore tales of fairies, gnomes, elves, dragons, princesses, fantasy lands and everything in-between. Crispin Scales is the clumsiest dragon in the Realm, and the star of a brand new book for children 8 to 12 years old by Australian author Ruby Blessing.

Ruby has so kindly offered to give three Bondville monthly newsletter or daily email subscribers a copy of Crispin Scales and the Golden Pearl (the first book in the fantasy series) for the monthly Lucky Door Prize. All you have to do is comment below if you are interested in going onto our giveaway list, and make sure you have subscribed. {And please review the book on Amazon or your preferred online space}.

Look out for the winners in the monthly newsletter, coming your way in the next few days. Thanks Ruby!

Terms and Conditions:
1. Lucky door prize will be allocated to three Bondville monthly newsletter or daily email subscribers that have commented on this post or on the Bondville Facebook page.
2. Entry requirements: comment on this post or the Bondville Facebook page and be an existing or new subscriber to the Bondville monthly newsletter or daily email.
3. This Lucky Door Prize giveaway is open to all Bondville subscribers in Australia or internationally.
5. This Lucky Door Prize giveaway is hosted by Steph Bond-Hutkin via the Bondville blog at blog.stephbond.com.
4. Three prizes consist of (1) x Crispin Scales and the Golden Pearl books, RRP $21.99 each, plus postage within Australia or internationally from Ruby Blessing.
5. Lucky Door Prize winner will be notified in the Bondville monthly newsletter, sent to subscribers the week commencing 7th December 2012.

Images: Crispin Scales and the Golden Pearl

4 December 2012

Buy local this Christmas: Australian online shopping guide

It's only 21 days until Christmas and I haven't sent my Christmas cards yet. Ack! But - I do have a great list of amazing Australian online stores for you to help with your Christmas prep. These stores are all members of the Bondville Loves online shopping directory, and I've chosen my top picks from each store for Christmas gifts. I would love for you to check out these local stores as they have all supported me this year, which I truly appreciate. Happy shopping!

I love this sweet white cotton newborn dress and bloomers featuring the Welcome To The World print. Size 0-3m. $49.95. Eeni Meeni Miini Moh/e3-M
I can't go past this gorgeous organic cotton hoodie and cheeky bottom pants. Size 0-4. Hoodie sale price $27.00. Pants size 0-2 sale price $27.00. Minyaka Design

This Embroidered Details Dress is angelic and perfect for a warm Christmas day. Size 000-2. $49.95 (30% off everything until 14th Dec 2012!) Ouch clothing

Cover little Miss's tushie up with these adorable baby girl ruffled Knickeroos. Sizes 0-2. $35.00. Rowantree Design

I love this organic fairtrade cotton playsuit from Nell Smith with hand screen-printed cheeky lion design on front. Sizes 0-6 months. $28.00. Small To Tall

Let baby snuggle up to this Vanilla Cream Hand Crochet Blanket by And The Little Dog Laughed. $66.00. Looking At You Kid

Personalise your little one's room with these custom name vinyl wall decals. $69.99. Tots n Tales

Make your own nappies with this all-inclusive modern cloth nappy sewing kit featuring fun whale fabric. $18.00. Nappies Covered

This sweet Blossom Dress is perfect for Christmas day. Size 2-6. $41.00. Mooce

Pack their lunches in fun easy-wipe Mexican oil cloth lunch bags by Ben Elke. $14.95. Bonito Baby

This Funky Fish Bucket Hat featuring Saffron Craig Designs fabric will keep them covered up and stylish too. $9.95. Mida

Your child will wear these fantastic Oishi-M jeans day-in and day-out. Featuring tummy warmer top and Japanese kimono fabric inserts. Sizes 3-6. $79.95. Where Did You Get That? 
The cotton Charlotte dress is breezy and sweet for all the festivities around Christmas and the holidays. Size: 2. $38.95. OllieRose

This long-sleeved red and white striped rashie by Little Red Fish provides sun protection and looks fantastic. Sizes 2-6. $54.95. Mini Sandcrabs

The Boy Who Cried Ninja harcover book is a clever take on the traditional tale of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. $22.95. Boyosaur

Keep eyes protected all summer long with these super-cool Frankie Ray sunglasses. $29.95. A Little Bit Of Cheek

This divine butterfly sleeve dress by Quince is perfect for your tween for Christmas Day and all the holiday festivities. Size: 8-12. $49.00. Juliet's Closet

Get your kids writing letters - for real - with these great kids My Letter Pad letter-writing kits. $14.95. KatyJane Designs

Add a bit of retro-cool with this Fresh Baked motorcycle t-shirt.
Size: 7. $10.49 (Save a whopping 70% off while stocks last). Happy Little Hippos

This Christmas Tree wall decal is removable and moveable and you can use it year after year. Seven colours. $84.95. The Wall Sticker Company
How cute are these vintage animal cushions by Naughts & Crosses? $34.95. Down That Little Lane 

Great for toy rooms and bedrooms, these Cocoon Couture beanbags are an Aussie kids' interiors icon. $99.95. Denim Baby

Whip up some gorgeous cushions with this Spotcheck Chalk on Raw fabric by Cloth Australia. Width: 140cm. $45.00 per metre. Duckcloth

Get your Christmas prep sorted with these personalised Christmas stockings for each of the kids. $23.00. Tiges & Weince

These mushroom chalkboard wall decals are fantastic for a toy room and take up no floor space. $45.00. 41 Orchard

Have a gorgeous painting of your pet commissioned by Anna Bartlett. How special. $125.00. Shiny Happy Art

Learn how to crochet and other fun crafts for adults and young adults 14 years and over. Date: 8th Dec 2012 and other dates. $35.00. Free Range Living
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