21 March, 2008

bonnie babes decision not so bonnie

Hi all

It's not every day that I get political on this blog (actually, I doubt I have done this before!), but today, well, I just I have to.

Last year, the Howard government (I have to admit, definitely not my favourite) promised Bonnie Babes a significant grant to support the amazing work they do. The Rudd government has recently announced that it will not support this promise, and has withdrawn the grant funds.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Bonnie Babes, the Bonnie Babes Foundation is a non government funded, non-profit, volunteer based charity. It provides:
  • 24 hour, 7 day per week counselling for families that have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or prematurity.
  • Medical equipment to hospitals for premature babies.
  • Support for vital medical research projects into pregnancy loss and complications after birth.
  • Support for infertility issues, children born with abnormalities and childhood illnesses.
Here is a little note from one of the amazing team in at Bonnie Babes:

Bonnie Babes has never received government funding in its 14 years of existence. The services are now in overload as they have expanded enormously and a toll free number, the provision for grief books to be sent to hospitals, more counsellors being trained is all desperately needed. All our counsellors are volunteers and we counsel families 24 hours per day 7 days per week. We printed a book called "A Dads story" 5 years ago and our male grief counselling has almost doubled since that time. We see women every day who are absolutely devastated by the loss of their babies and reach out to our counsellors for support. We visit hospitals and sit in neonatal areas with familles who have prematurely born babies struggling for life in intensive care.

We are just inundated with familles who need our help and its the first time the government have ever come to the aid of the charity and now the Rudd government have decided not to honour the previous governments promise.

Its just shattering to everyone at Bonnie Babes as we struggle to continue to provide all our services.

So, what can we do?

There are 50,000 bubs every year in Australia who are lost to miscarriage or stillbirth. That is a lot of families who have been affected, who could change the views of the fundholders in government.

The team at Bonnie Babes are asking everyone who is concerned about this lack of support by the government, for a key organisation which has been supporting families in crisis, to write to three government and local MPs, local papers and local Mayor.

You can find a contact list for federal MPs

Additionally, my friend in the team was thrilled to hear about the potential of spreading the message via blogland.

Let me know if you intend to mention in this in your blog or take action to support this amazing organisation. That's it for my political two cents.

Happy Easter everyone x

flashback friday! easter parade 1983

I remember being so proud of this bonnet with the rabbits all the way round. I was quite cranky that day when I saw that lots of the kids hadn't made their bonnets/outfits themselves... I think you can see it all over my face in this photo!

Not quite sure why Mrs Bell (one of our teachers) was wearing a balaclava... but each to their own I guess!

16 March, 2008

what i did yesterday... stitches and craft show

Image from http://www.livingcreatively.com.au/Whats-Next.html

I happily spent all of yesterday at the Stitches and Craft Show. And what a great way to spend a day! I don't have too much time to post (am taking afternoon tea from uni study... eurgh... power in healthcare organisations), so will just present the highlights...
  1. Meeting the very beautiful Fi from dear fii , who is just as lovely in real life as she is in blogland. Fi was showing and telling some of her button accessories, which include some of the most gorgeous bracelets and brooches. (Check out my very favourite brooch at this post)
  2. Meeting a bundle of other gorgeous crafters - totally unplanned and delightful, including nicole, stephanie, justine, kristen, angela, bianca and many others whose names I have completely forgotten (sorry everyone else!)
  3. Seeing the most gorgeous garden made by crafters on the living creatively level of the show.
  4. Finding some excellent fabric (when I get my camera back from hubby I will post pics) - gorgeous bright, patterned flannel which might just make the perfect wraps for our little wintertime family addition.
  5. Learning about bloglines which I have now set up
  6. Catching up with the lovely and very generous diana chalk again (remember, I went to one of her workshops last year?), who kindly answered some of my questions about cloth doll fingers and upside-down dolls.
  7. Shopping (and staying under-budget!) - a Bethan Short cloth doll pattern (bethan still doesn't seem to have a website), an Anne Clemens cloth doll pattern, four handbag handles (I will learn to make bags this year... maybe from nicole), an embroidery hoop and a dozen papermache eggs for decorating this easter... am thinking I might use the idea by dear fii to try to cover the eggs with fabric... will let you know how it works out!

Oh, and I have successfully toilet trained the dog in his new routine, and also been studying like crazy! Whew! Now I just have to eat something, do some washing, clean the kitchen and do the grocery shopping.

Happy Sunday everyone x

14 March, 2008

flashback friday returns! around winter 1982?

Have gotten a bit of a team effort happening, with rels from all around scanning in photos and emailing them to me... so flashback friday is officially back!

I love love love this photo. Goes to show, you don't need a whizzbang camera, photoshop, or any of those other things... just the ability to capture a gorgeous moment. Nice capture mum!

This photo of me (in pink of course) and my brother was taken in the winter school holidays, when we were visiting a huge town with a population at that stage around 30,000. (Our town I think was not quite 2,000?) I am not entirely sure, but I think none of us knew we would be moving to this big town the very next year.

I love this story... knowing that this was the town I ended up growing up in, that I loved so much, and with that gorgeous rainbow in the background... seems that the universe had it all organised really!

Happy Friday everyone! Off to the Stitches and Craft show tomorrow, looking forward to meeting dear fii (see link on left), and perhaps another couple of you crafties out there?

Happy weekends to all! x

11 March, 2008


Exciting news... it is released! Many of you may not remember that I was approached last year by Affa to show and tell summerpickles necklaces in her DIY craft book. Well, it has been released! And very soon there will be a copy of this book travelling its way all the way to Australia so I can ever-so-casually pop it onto the coffee table... so exciting! Some of the creations within the book look just beautiful... I am truly honoured to be a part of this book!

Thanks Affa x

So, now I am feeling well, inspired and crafty again... where are those buttons???

10 March, 2008

have i mentioned that i don't swim?

Just had a girlfriend call me to invite me out for a swim. I don't swim. I am a fabulous floater, but not a great swimmer, so I don't generally swim. Especially not just for the sake of it. Not in pools. Definitely not on crummy beaches. But if I am at Seven Mile Beach, yes, I will swim.

photo taken by summer pickles, 13th Oct 2006, seven mile beach national park

Girlfriend thought this was weird... is this weird? Probably is very "un-Australian"!

What I do love at the moment is floating and splashing around in prenatal water exercise classes (belly floats above the top of the water like a little island). Loving that. Think the newly acquired flotation devices are helping out a little ;)

photo taken by summer pickles, 5th March 08, newly acquired flotation devices

Happy Monday! x

08 March, 2008

So, whaddaya think?

Hello again!

Okay, I am after your opinion, so please stop lurking and leave a comment! What do you think of the new look of this blog? And what do you think of the new summer pickles banner?

The new logo and banner were designed by my incredibly talented and gorgeous sister in law Kylie, you can visit her website here

I will be totally honest and say I love it! Kylie has managed to capture my love of colour, fun and has also given a nod to my use of buttons. I am totally thrilled! But what do you think? Drop me a line and let me know.

Chat soon x

07 March, 2008

crafters showcase: brooches by ilona

Hi all!

Introducing Ilona, who is a happy crafter and producer of some of the sweetest brooches. I spotted Ilona on flickr and am so thrilled that she was happy for me to bring her to the summer pickles blog for show and tell. Ilona has a passion for all things bright and colourful, and is based in Utrecht in the Netherlands. You can visit her etsy shop at GaudyGoods

Here are some photos of some of my favourites by Ilona, and a bit of a chat so we could all get to know her a little better... enjoy!

Can you tell us a bit about your brooches?
I have been creating my brooches since August 2006. Since I was a child, I have been creative. It is like a lifeline for me; a way to relax and express myself without using my mind or words. The brooches were just another form of my creative ideas.

The materials I use are mostly colourful fabrics, beads and lots of different trimmings. I love to look for special embellishments, beads or paper scraps to use for my brooches. It's like treasure hunting! :)

Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from all things folklore and traditional arts and crafts, art books from the library, (thrift) markets, magazines, window shopping, supermarkets, commercial folders you get in the mail, museums and flickr.

Do you remember your first ever creation?
I don't know what my first creation was. I do have very good memories of staying often at my grandma's house, just a block away from our place, and she taught me to knit when I was ten. We used to knit and drink a cup of tea and talk about all sorts of things. I guess I was a little granny myself in those days heheh!

Who is your favourite fellow crafter?
I have many favourite crafters, especially on Etsy or Flickr. At the moment I'm smitten with the felt creations of Cynthia Soto. Her felt creations are so colourful and detailed. I think they are little works of felt art. You can visit Cynthia's flickr site and Cynthia's etsy.

If you could have only one accessory for the next five years, what would it be?
Hmmm, I guess a beautiful watch with lots of gems on it. Practical and glitzy, a perfect combination!

Thanks Ilona for the chat! Ilona’s shop can be found at GaudyGoods and Ilona's handmade brooches photoset on flickr.

Chat again soon x

02 March, 2008

things that make me happy

Has it really been a whole two months?!? Yep, it probably has been. (Judging by the growth of my stomach, it must have been a while!)

17 weeks... the view from the top

So, to welcome myself back into blogland (as many of you may have noticed I have been pretty terrible at visiting your blogs too), I thought I would celebrate some of those things that make me happy...

the hubby xo
being free of morning sickness! (for a whole three and a half weeks - yippee!)
tomato and cheese on toast
little kicks that make my beads bounce off my stomach

renovation progress
crafting (though this has been much neglected of late)
visits from friends
good music

puppy play dates
getting back in touch with friends in blogland

and brooches by ilona (watch this space... will be doing a show and tell on ilona's brooches here soon)

Hope all are well and happy, chat soon


to my other half who puts up with the mess, makes me happy and keeps me sane.
to my beautiful boys who give me so much i want to remember and make the everyday something to treasure.
to my mum who alway let me play with fabric and the good scissors, and who knows a lot of songs.
to my dad who was always happy for us to make a mess and who laughs at us when we deserve it.
to both parents for making sure i still got the work done.
to my dear friends for listening and for sharing the laughs.
and, to you for visiting!