Thursday, December 27, 2012

A little pink and green house

So, the leftovers have all been eaten, the wrapping paper has been recycled and there are new presents to keep the kids busy. Time, me thinks, for some crafty pursuits. This little house was supposed to be ready for that special birthday last week.

There is nothing better than being surrounded by a pile of vintage wallpaper and the biggest decision of the moment to be what colour to put where. This wonderful assortment came from Ada Bea (who makes and sells her own very inspiring range of little houses), also a selection from Pomme de jour who sends out little bundles of assorted patterns she has collected.

I decided to use predominantly a pink and green combo for this one as that was probably the most acceptable  colour combination for miss Liongirl.  So here is my ta- dah!

And this was the plan from the start.

To go in this spot,

in here. (I won't whinge about the quarter strength Hog's Bristle wall colour because you all know how much it bothers me already). It actually looks the least hideous in this room as it gets so much natural light.

So, I'm off to make one for myself now. With quite a lot less pink this time. Just wanted to share the view out my lounge room window where I have been plonking myself regularly to drink cups of tea.

Actually maybe looking at all that pink and green had something to do with my wallpaper colour choices.

The neighbour's poinciana and our pink crepe myrtle happen to be flowering at the same time which I don't think has coincided in the past and it is glorious. And obviously quite inspiring.

Time for another cup of tea.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What it's all about

Last night we decided to soak up the last of the Christmas festivities before setting out the little plate with the cookies, milk and carrots.  We went to a nearby suburb that hosted the winning street for Brisbane's best neighbourhood Christmas lights. I had no idea such places existed. Hundreds of people wandering the footpath with their tiny children, well past bed time, basking in the lurid glory of a zillion  lights. This house was the ultimate in splendour.

There were about 30 houses in this street decked out in their finest fluorescents. There were singing polar bears, penguins doing the macarena, igloos with built in bubble machines, driveways turned technicolour dance floors courtesy of garage door mounted laser projectors, numerous nativity scenes and the expected smattering of glow in the dark reindeers. Some savvy parents had the foresight to cover their own children in glowsticks too, sure makes them easier to keep track of amidst the crowds.

And today? Well that was pretty much what every decent Australian Christmas is all about. We ate cold ham, salads and of course pavlova. The house is littered with lego bricks and some of the one million accessories that come with a Sylvanian Families hospital. It was hot so of course there was quite a bit of this,

and it seemed just the right kind of balmy weather for a little ukelele accompanied singing of jingle bells

And that is what it's all about. Hot sunshine, pavlova, thongs, togs, bling'd up nativity scenes, obscenely large water pistols and happy kids. The only kind of Christmas us Aussies know anything about.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Two more sleeps

It finally feels like Christmas over here at Betsy's. The last of the party parephenalia has been packed away and the ornaments box has been cleaned out and displayed. Christmas styling at our place seems to  involve covering every available horizontal surface with an ever expanding collection of crafted and collected festive goodies.

The Christmas books have been rounded up and read, and re read. I cannot find the vintage prize Christmas themed book recently brought home from the oppie, no doubt stashed somewhere that I thought I would remember.

 The tree is up, every last scratchy frond unfurled and  laden down with ornaments. The kids are too big now for Legoman to lift them both up to do the star, it was Roboboy's turn this year.

I have packed away most of my milk glass now with a renovation looming in the new year, but these new finds were small enough to escape. The little bowl is not like any I  have seen before and another two more of the tiny vases/candle holders to add to my collection. Further proof that Betsy and I do not subscribe to the less is more decorating ethos.

I have hardly been to the oppie in weeks but I can never walk past a lovely old tin (for $1) or vintage pyrex for about the same.

And in an amazing organisational feat, we even made it into town for the lighting of the second largest solar powered tree in the world. One advantage it seems to celebrating without snow and in sweltering humid summer weather.

Now all we have to do is visit Santa, ride the Christmas train, buy a couple of last minute prezzies, and squeeze in some Christmas lights if we have time. And why are we leaving all this to the last minute? Because this week we've all been taking turns surfing the gastro wave instead. Hopefully, with two more sleeps under our belts, we'll be all sorted by the big day.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A perfectly pink Peppa Pig party

So, today we are all recovering from a sweltering hot day and a pink sugary high to top all others. The Peppa Pig party was a resounding success, and hopefully the amount of pink involved was satisfactory for Miss Liongirl. Surprisingly, it seemed that Peppa's eyeballs were the most coveted item on the cake, our deck did not collapse and seven little girls can bounce for an extraordinary length of time when they are being hosed on the trampoline.

Now before I share the party theming can I mention that my idea of a good party is one that involves maximal impact for minimal effort ( hence the excessive use of lurid lollies on the cake), and trying to pull it off using what we already have lying around the house. Luckily, I have a very large milk glass collection, and several pink vintage sheets, perfect for the goodies table. I even managed to use my wonderful punch bowl set, picked up from the oppie over a year ago for $10.

Peppa pig bunting was essential.

Miss Liongirl and I made it ourselves, using a carved potato stamp for the head to start from.

We also used these to decorate the party boxes which were a few dollars for a pack of eight.

And for the take home box, everyone got their own homemade Peppa biscuit. I managed to get the biscuit cutter on ebay and I will post the recipe shortly as they were scrumptious. (Of course, like everything I make they were a little wonky but I think that just shows they were made with love).

We made the most of our garden for a treasure hunt, pass the parcel and dragged a scraggly assortment of chairs and stools out on the lawn for a game of  musical  chairs ( which most of the kids had never heard of but thoroughly enjoyed, especially when our three legged stool kept tipping over for whoever sat on it).

After a good hosing on the trampoline, and long swings with mates on the tyre swing, the last stragglers were sent home and it was time to enjoy the prezzies. A gorgeous hand knitted Peppa from my mother in law, complete with a matching handbag.

And using this lovely girl's birthday gift mantra -

 something you want

something you need ( actually what small child "needs" anything other than love, cuddles, a warm bed and healthy food)  but I need her to stop pinching mine

something to wear

and something to read

And to sum up,

Of course in true Liongirl style, before the day had ended, she had already placed a request for a pool cake and a treehouse just like this one for her next birthday. Thank goodness I have a whole year to recover.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The pink-a-thon begins

It's only a few more sleeps until my littlest girl has her fourth birthday. The invitations have been sent, the theme chosen, the cake planned and the countdown of sleeps remaining  is  discussed daily. There has been no time for all the Christmas hoopla, we are in serious party planning mode. And this means some serious pink.

So I have been busy working on a birthday present surprise project for my pink loving girl. Remember this shelf for $15 from the oppie near the sea?

Well, I finally got around to painting it white and preparing it for a wallpaper makeover. I wanted to do something similar to the dresser I did a while back.

This time I decided we needed a whole lot more pink. Thank goodness for Ada from Vintage sheet addict opening her little blog shop on the other side of the world. She has THE best stash of vintage wallpaper I have seen and she is selling it in mixed bundles and also by the metre/roll. Needless to say, due to prompt international postage, Christmas came early at my place.

The Mod Podge dries so quickly in this hot humid December weather, lucky I'm a fast worker.

So, do you think it's pink enough? We'll have to wait and see what the girl thinks.

Love you, my sweet pea minxy girl.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The art is the heart

Roboboy brought his self portrait from art home this week. I love it so much that it's already in an Ikea frame and hanging on the wall. He even drew in his lucky curl (as he calls it). Whenever I cut his hair, we always have to make sure not to cut off the lucky curl  as it gives him all his "extra power". Here is a comparison shot.

We are so,so lucky to have a wonderful art teacher at his school who embraces colour and collaboration. Here are some of the collaborative art works she helped the students create before the school fete art show.

Earlier in the year she introduced the grade one class to the work of Yayoi Kusama who had been featured at our Gallery of Modern Art. The kids then did their own interpretation of her work. It is freakish when your six year old comes home rabbiting the obscure name of an artist you have never heard of as if  he just had morning tea with her that day.

Roboboy's version is on the left hand side, second from the top. He was so happy to do this work because he just loves all this colour. He brought this one home recently and asked me if it would be ok to colour it in as all that black and white was bothering him.

It's not just Roboboy and I though, someone else seems to be showing signs of the colour bug too. Here is a recent birthday card that Liongirl made for a friend.

You can imagine our excitement when the school had a little makeover a few months ago.  Us colour lovers feel right at home at this little school.

 Not only that, they still send home school readers circa 1977, check out these glorious vintage pictures.    I think we kept this one home for two nights , just so we could both swoon over the pictures a bit longer.

It appears that Cornflakes and Special K have not changed their packaging much  over 30 years.

I studied Art right through to Grade 12 along side a heavy maths/science subject load. Art was my safe space, that place to relax and be free from cramming my brain full of facts and numbers. It warms the cockles of my heart to see the same love of art and colour in both my children, and absolute gratitude for finding a school that embraces and values creative pursuits.