Friday, August 27, 2010

Real Hip Hooray: A lovely ladybird's garden

The promise of Spring fills the air this week. Can you feel it? And it's not even so much about the weather where we are from - it's actually kind of lovely warm-ish all year round - but rather that wonderful intangible something that puts a little skip in one's step. The promise of new growth and new babies, of morning walks and longer days, of lighter, somehow happier clothes, of clean cupboards, airy linen and the scent of blossom on the breeze.

What a lovely time of year to party in the garden.

We are playing a little catch-up on sharing with you some of our favourite Real Hip Hoorays from recent weeks. And while it is certainly possible you have already smiled at this sweet soiree held in Ella's ladybird garden, if there was even a chance that you might not have seen it yet, we could not live with ourselves if it passed you by. Besides, there can be no harm done in a double dose of this kind of happy, right?

Inspired by her very own Lovely Ladybug invitation design, Suzi Waters of Alannah Rose Stationery transformed her inner Melbourne family home into a sweet garden scene for daughter Ella's 4th Birthday party. We adore the soft colour palette of pinks and lilacs against a blanket of green grass - a gorgeous twist on the traditional red and black of your average ladybird.

Tin pails, watering cans, bug catchers and fresh flowers bring to life the ladybird's garden home - watch for her nestled on flower cookies and hidden atop of cupcakes.

(All images provided by Suzi Waters, Alannah Rose Stationery)

Suzi shares more delightful images and details from this celebration on her blog.

Blue skies are promised here tomorrow and we are looking forward to a day spent with grass beneath our bare feet. The girls will reach for butterflies and peek beneath leaves in search of ladybirds. And we might just pop in to share another gorgeous outdoor celebration with you. Happy weekend xo

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Beauty-Full Day: Ava's Tea Party

Today, Ava Rosemeyer would have been seven years old.

A day for cake and balloons and pretty party skirts.

A day shared with girlfriends, filled with giggles and gifts.

And so it was. (On earth, as it is in heaven).

With plenty of pink, a dash of sparkle and twirling galore, at the Watkins house, we stopped and sat a while with true friends. We sipped tea, let the girls decorate their own cupcakes and raised our strawberry milkshakes heaven-ward. We didn't quite get to brushing hair or ironing tablecloths (or even filling the napkin holders *smile*!) A simple, imperfectly perfect Tea Party. A sunshine-y day. A happy day. A day to be grateful, to be glad, to remember Ava.

Of course in the Baird household there was never going to be fine china, butterfly cakes or pretty pinkness. Instead with a house full of boys we opted for a tent picnic in our living room in honour of Ava. As we set up the tent, Campbell, 4, announced that "It's going to be so much fun, Mum!" We sat cross legged with chocolate crackles, chocolate cake (complete with dino coloured sprinkles) and chocolate milkshakes.

The boys compared milk moustaches, we talked about Ava and we sat still together and shared the moment.

Happy Birthday, Ava. Your Super-Princess powers have shone bright all over the world today. Thank you for the gift of reminding us of the joy to be found in celebrating small things every day.

Don't forget, alongside your plans for cupcakes and pink milk, you can also support Ava's Tea Party by purchasing a printable invitation from The Beauty Full Collection. Lovingly created by nine of Australia's favourite children's stationery designers, each invitation file is only $AUD10 (and our cart supports international transactions). 100% of sales go to Paradise Kids, supporting families such as the Rosemeyers through grief and loss.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Beauty Full Board: Inspiration for Ava

It seems there is a constant chattering about tea parties at the moment. Perhaps it sounds louder to us because our ears are listening for it. Either way, it's there. And nothing makes us happier to know that this weekend, or last weekend, next weekend - whenever - in backyards, on front verandahs, around kitchen tables, at local parks - wherever - families and friends, a few or many, will gather to share cupcakes and conversation and cherish their own, sharing in Ava's Tea Party 2010.

The support of the burgeoning party industry in Australia for this most special of Tea Parties has been quite wonderful to watch - the constant chattering (thanks Facebook and Twitter) tells us that there are many creative types channeling energy and spirit and pure heart into their simply sweet celebrations. Ava is most certainly twirling above to see what you all have planned unfold, and we too are happy dancing in anticipation to see the beauty full ways in which you will celebrate and remember.

As we were preparing to launch the Beauty Full collection (Invitations for Ava) some weeks ago now, our imaginations ran wild with ideas for how the creative blogging community we are so proud to be a part of, might share in the spirit of Ava's Tea Party.

This was one of them.

Beauty Full Boards (Inspiration for Ava).

A big thank you to friend and talented stylist, Sharnel, who purchased the invitation by Style Me Gorgeous and has used it to inspire this Beauty Full board of tea party prettiness. It gives us joy to share it with you today.

Top row L to R: Cupcakes, Cotton Candy (source unknown), Pink lemonade, Tiara cupcake

Second row L to R: Balloons (source unknown), vintage tea party place setting (source unknown), Cake

Bottom row L to R: Picnic setting, Ice cream cones (source unknown), a little girl's tea party

Invitation by Style Me Gorgeous - part of the Beauty Full Collection (Invitations for Ava). Printable invitations for only $AUD10. 100% of sales go to Paradise Kids, supporting families experiencing illness and loss.

While August is slipping on by, there is still time, if you would like, to share with us your inspiration for Ava's Tea Party. There will always be time. A tea party is such a timeless way to treasure, after all. Beauty Full board submissions can be sent to us here.

And if inspiration has since made way for planning and creating, we can't wait to see that too. Wherever you are in the world, if you're hosting an Ava's Tea Party this August, please send us some piccies to share. It would mean a lot to this very special family.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Crazy Hazy days of August

Oh, how we only wish we could have put a little `Lazy' into that title. Alas, there has been way too little of magazine-reading, tea-sipping and day-dreaming of late. August is sneaking on by in a whirl of activity that keeps us from you, yet begs to be shared. A whirl of activity that looks something like this:

Watching and smiling and thanking as Tea Parties for Ava are dreamed
and planned and created and shared.

Sending off the Beauty Full collection invitations to new homes
and kind hearts. Do you have yours yet?

Packing little suitcases full of Tea Party pretties.

Styling a christening and first birthday celebration for
Cheeky Monkey Addison.

Three days scouting all things new and gorgeous for the store at the
trade fairs in Melbourne.

Creating a sweet strawberry soiree for my 4 year-old daughter
(very last minute!)

A glam makeover (entirely necessary!) and paparazzi photo shoots for
Little One Baby Design and Style issue (on newsstands this week)

Skulking around aforementioned newsstands waiting for Shop4Kids to land -
yes, we're in there too!

Planning and prepping and pulling together our stall for Mathilda's Market this past weekend - this time dedicated to Ava's Tea Party
and the Beauty Full collection.

See, a whole list of hazy craziness. We guess you might like to see some matching hazy crazy pictures? Consider that added to the list.

Meanwhile, we will be holding tight to these last days of August. For many reasons, but most of all this one, it will linger in our memory long after the haze has passed.

And if you feel like sharing a little of your hazy, crazy (or lazy!) August with us, please drop us a little note - we'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

little. lovely. A giveaway

If you have little people in your life and like finding lovely things for them, then pop on over to little. lovely. - a favourite blog of ours for its mix of inspirational kids interiors, fashion, recipes, craft and pretty parties.

Today we are wishing Khali a very Happy First Birthday and joining the week-long celebration by giving away $100 to one of her readers to spend in our little store of lovely party things. It's as simple as leaving a comment. Good luck!