Saturday, February 28, 2009

FREE POSTAGE this weekend!

Any order placed at bpab over the weekend (Aust time)
will get their goodies posted to them for FREE!
(choose pick up rate at check out and type "free postage weekend" in comments box)

This is a blog special! Our way of saying thanks for reading!! x

Friday, February 27, 2009

Welcome to new brand: A Sparkle In Time

How cool is this cubby??
The Star Pad is an Australian made cardboard house. It has cut out stars on the roof, two doors with letter box slits, two windows and a floor. It comes in plain old white on the outside and brown cardboard colour on the inside.
You get to decorate it any way you want!!
I have graced the girls with one to share and it is serving La's scribbling passion rather well.... I've told them they can draw all over it (because it's made from paper). I'm sure we will get down to some serious decorating when the excitement dies down.
Anyway, it's easy to put together and totally recyclable! (A good reading nook too.... just add a blanket, pillow and some books.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

small mag draws shoes

new small on-line mag. is now available to check out. I was having a flick thru (virtually...) and came across the Yunginz sandals hand drawn! So sweet.
We have the pink butterfly ones in store now if you want to see them, buy them and then hold them tight......

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

First lot of Rainbow Comfort Packs head to Kinglake!

Yesterday afternoon I got a call from the Dept. of Planning and Community Development (we're on their database) asking us to organise packs for the children in the Kinglake area.
There are a couple of portables that have been set up in the town and they need some things for the children there.
Sooooo, 102 Rainbow Comfort Packs are on their way to Kinglake!

We packed up a selection for each age group and gender, ranging from baby to teens.
Here are the packs, in age groups and gender, in giant brown paper bags.........
(sorry I forgot to take shots of the actual bags until after they were all packed up!! Next time!)

That's only half of them.... I think it's the boys on the couch and the girls were on the floor!

We were told it was still a no go zone in the Kinglake area, so I drove the packs to the Box Hill Dept. of Human Services, where two lovely ladies from DPCD (Rebecca and Suzette) are overseeing operations in this area using a small office based here. The packs will be off tomorrow morning to Kinglake.

No people in these photos, because if we were to get everyone involved in this amazing experience, we wouldn't be able to fit you all into the frame! Or we'd have dozens upon dozens of shots to upload and I'm not too sure blogger would cope!!

This is just the start. There is still so many more bags to get out in the coming months, so if you think you would love to contribute but have missed the boat - YOU HAVEN'T. Actually there is no boat.... so please keep sewing and crafting and donating.
You made this happen.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Welcome to new brand: Lisa Jones Cards

These cool cards are from the UK, printed on recycled paper using vegetable inks!
So now you can feel extra good when you send your next message or birthday greeting (and spread the green love!).

Kapok elephant
Bright colours and retro fabric patterns, there are 6 characters in this range.

Patterned Pals owl
Black and white folk-like patterns, there are 6 characters in this range.

I like the idea of collecting a few and framing them to hang on the wall as art!
You can even colour parts of the patterned Pals cards to suit your decor..... be imaginative.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Look: sewing bees for rainbow comfort packs

* Do you live in the Brighton Vic area? Are you crafty? Want to make some bags???
We have people over there wanting to do a sewing bee, but are not the sewing type. There is a hall ready to use and lots of promotion for the event if you are up for it!
Please come forward and let me know.... lots of hands make light work (as we have already proven with this project).

* The Multicultural Women's sewing group are going to be making bags on an on going basis and they are welcoming any females who would like to do some bag sewing to join them.
They meet:
12:30 - 3:00 on Wednesdays and 2:30 - 4:30 Saturdays.
They are located at the Brunswick Baptist Church Hall
491 Sydney rd, Brunswick (end of Blyth st).
Check here for more info.

If you are having a sewing bee for this project and want to have it posted here for those near you to attend, please email me and we'll add it to this post. monica[at]beyondpinkandblue[dot]com

Random photo game...

Some work avoidance..... saw on bugandpop's this photo meme and wanted to play toooooo.
The rules are:
"Open the 6th picture folder on your computer, open the 6th photo and blog it. Write something about it. Then tag 6 more people to do the same."

The 6th folder I opened in my photo albums was Chai's 2nd birthday.
This shot was the 6th one and it shows daddy holding Chai at blowing out candle time on the massive cupcake mountain. Auntie 'rella made the chocolate cupcakes... there was heavenly chocolate icing on each one and colourful smarties, cherry ripe pieces, chocolate shavings to choose from!
We had adults and children alike, devouring these tasty cakes. I remember seeing Chai with chocolate all over her mouth and holding a cupcake ready to smear it on her face. Pure delight!

Okay, I know I am supposed to now "tag" 6 other people, but I don't know HOW to do that. (If you know, tell me!) So I'm doing a free for all and letting you do it if you want. Leave me a comment saying you have and I promise I will sneak a peek when you are not looking! No cheating now....6th folder, 6th picture.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Update on Rainbow Comfort Packs and Hello to Handmade Help!

We have been in-undated with donations, via post and drop ins!
Thank you to everyone so far... it's been an amazing week. Yes, it's a week today that Rainbow Comfort Packs have been in operation and it looks like we are in it for the long term.
freshly arrived packages from the post!

My initial idea was to get the packs out to all kids at the various Emergency Relief Centres set up across the state, but during last week we saw how much the general population donated various items to charity (which is fantastic!). All the charities are bursting with all sorts of things and as a result, don't (or rather can't) accept any packs.
After trying various avenues, mainly large departments and organisations, I came to the point where I didn't know how I was going to go about distributing the fruits of our labour.

bpab packs ready to put into bags

Well I believe in putting thoughts out into the universe and letting the universe provide a way.
Over the weekend I contacted Pip from Meet Me At Mikes fame, as she is one of the beautiful people working with the Handmade Help appeal, to see what they were doing with all the handmade donations they were collecting.
Anyway, in the course of emailing each other (how else do you do things these days??) we have joined forces and will now co-ordinate distribution and help each project in any way possible. As a result, we are now looking directly at the community at large (YOU!).

If you are directly affected, or know someone who is - we can work with day care centers, kinders, schools, hospitals, maternal health centers.... places that are starting to look after children and families who would benefit from some extra comfort and attention.
We can get packs out to these places, we just need to know numbers and age groups so we can cater the packs to those who need them. We have packs for babies, all age groups for children up to 10 and even young teens (this last one is a special task force project).
Think of a child now being sent to another day care center, because their one has been destroyed and how strange it would feel. The carer gives them a beautiful bag and says "This is just for you. It was made by some people who care about you and want you to feel safe and comforted. " The child opens the bag and inside there are surprises to cuddle and keep him busy, while his parents do important errands to rebuild their lives.

This project and Handmade Help will be for the long term. We will not go away once the media does. We know these families will need our support and assistance later down the track.
So please keep those donations and hand made gifts coming.... it's not too late.

I'm also a drop off point for Hand made Help items too, if you are near by. Handmade Help gives the opportunity for crafting all sorts of items for the home, as well as any age group... as we all love a handmade gift!

Lastly, I'm sorry to those who feel this is all a wasted effort. This started up as a way we could help without money. I'm in no position to donate cash and I don't have the time to sell stuff to raise money (personally). But lots of other people can and do, so I reckon doing this project is just as meaningful too. (I don't want sympathy comments please, just addressing negative vibes that have gone around lately.) What everyone is doing in their small way, is important and we need to keep a community spirit going because depression is high up there when events like this occur.

Here is some more reading (if you haven't gotten square eyes yet!), all worth your time and will help you see why we're doing such important projects:

Last saturday's Sewing Bee (great photos and lots done!) Thanks Nikki!!
Why handmade does actually help (Soozs blog post)
Tips from a bushfire survivor (Canberra fires)

Thanks again for your ongoing support!
I'll keep you in the loop. x

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Eye Spy.... my secret (food) shame!

Just Needs Salt picked this weeks this is and I've found it hard to think of what my true food 'shame' would be. But all things chocolate seem to make me perfectly happy, although it has to be good quality stuff these days..... well, the occasional Cadbury choc frog does get scoffed (especially when the kids are around...the scoff bit).
I'm not really ashamed of any of my food delights, but I'm sure after writing this I may well think of something and if I do.... I'll have to keep it to myself!! hahaha
Fast food chains do not get a second thought anymore and I've converted everyone around me, so eating daily desserts and treats are perfectly fine too!

So I'll leave you with my all time favourite indulgence, iced chocolates (esp. from those divine chocolate 'cafes', there's a plethora of them around Melbs these days):

This shot was taken after we went to the Royal Women's hospital for yet another check up, just before La was born. (That's my tummy.... and my finished glass of decadence)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Monster Tee winner!!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a question:
When shopping on the net for clothing, do you prefer to see the clothing on a body or laid out flat on the floor?
Well the comments I got back were almost half and half!
But, laid out on the floor was the favourite (just!).
Here are some reasons, taken from comments left:

*you get a better close up of the garment
*Kids are all different sizes so its hard to compare
*Cute kids are too distracting
*gives a good flat image
*is great for close-ups of detail
*a large image
*it's useful to be able to see the full garment as well in many cases

*you can see the fit and length
*gives an idea of fit and the way the fabric hangs
*a smaller image
*sometimes things look very different on the body than they do on the hanger
*has so much more life and warmth, it's much more appealing to me

So it looks like I'll be doing a bit of both from now on......
Thank you for all that answered. I promised a free Monstar Kids tee to one lucky commenter, so here we go:
La drawing the name out of the bowl:

The winner is:

And because I'm feeling generous, here's another:

Skout and Scotty, can you please visit the bpab shop to choose your Monstar tee (short or long sleeve), including size and email me your postal address.
Congratulations and thanks again for all opinions!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Comfort packs for sale and a mega sewing bee!

Finally got together a bunch of Rainbow Comfort Packs using products I have in store.
These are available to purchase on line at the bpab shop.
There is no profit being made on these at all, just covering the cost of items. They will be packaged in the hand made bags at no extra cost.
This is a good opportunity for those who live too far away to contribute to this project.
There are 5 different packs going at the moment:
For a baby:

For a Toddler:

For a Small Child:

For a Big Boy:

For a Big Girl:

Also over at You SEW, Girl! :
Nikki has organised a meg supa dupa SEWING BEE this SATURDAY 14th FEB in the Brunswick area. Visit her blog to get all the details and let her know you'll be there to have some fun! There will be projects there ready for you to tackle and of course she would love all the great jokes and dance moves you can muster. (there is plenty of space, tables etc for everyone - so grab your buddies and get crafting for a great cause!

Lastly, it looks like we'll have some brand new clothes in packs here and there, as well as the stacks of second hand clothing donated by everyone to the charities all ready.
It has been suggested again and again lately to include UNDIES and JOCKS for the kids in the packs too. As one amazing commenter has stated that "throwing a 3 pack into your shopping trolley would be pretty easy to do". (Shop at Coles this Friday (tomorrow) and they'll be donating all profit to the Bush Fire Relief) .
So go do your food shop tomorrow (at Coles), buy some undies or jocks and donate all that money to charity all at the same time!! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Trying to get groups together now!

As offers and more support flood in, I am getting a bit more organised and ideas are getting circulated......

As you know the main drop off point is my place in Balwyn North (70 Clifton Street).
Anyone who can is welcome to drop by and drop things off to me.... someone is home most of the time. Front door area is safe to leave items. Please bag, box etc deliveries so they are not showing what is inside.

We have established a few more drop points, if you live closer to these areas, use them instead (unless you would like to drop directly to me):
Brunswick - Nikki (visit her blog and email her)
Eltham - Kim (ph: 0439 484 036 to arrange drop off)
Spotswood & Brooklyn - Monika from Creative Bliss (can you please email me your details so I can post them here ...thank you!!!!)
Caulfield South - Cintia at My Poppet (mark: for Rainbow Comfort Packs) drop off at shop.
Brighton - Gabrielle (ph. 9592 1995 or 0409 483 485 email: gmmwells[at]yahoo[dot]com)

Anyone else?
Please let me know and I'll add to the list asap.

Also working on some Couriers at the moment and hopefully if they come to the party, we can organise drop areas in other states. So for those of you who are interstate and not sure about postage costs........ please wait and we will do our best.

If you are organising craft get-togethers, collections etc, please work together and bundle up what you want to donate. If you are in Melbourne, please email me and let me know you have a collection of stuff to be picked up or you can drop off at one of the above points. Other areas, if you can't afford to post, are you able to be a drop point? Or we can work the courier / pick up thing.... once it is organised.

Does any one know/ work with any courier companies? See what you can do to assist with the delivery of donations.
I know there are a lot of fabulous things going on to help those in need and many organisations are helping already. So we can't expect everyone to help this cause, but if you are willing to be open to possibilities - anything can happen!

Also remember to do some physical activity in between crafting and blogging! (I just went for a bike ride........)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rainbow comfort packs for bush fire kids update

Firstly - thanks so much to everyone who has linked with us, are now busy crafting or collecting and those who are just spreading the word!

Okay, am still waiting on some info to come through but - if you are making bags, a library bag is roughly A4 size. So use your imagination and go with that. We have Nikki from You SEW Girl blog fame who is a bag expert and will help you out if you need any advice!! Hehehe, thanks Nikki!

We have suppliers sending things right now:
Little Extensions - extensions that 'extend' the life of onesies, which will be paired with onesies in bags.
Lark - knitted rattles and colouring books
Eleganter - stickers, lock up diaries, hair ties
Poss Bloss - library bags
Yunginz - shoe vouchers that can be cashed in for a brand new pair of their shoes
Little Soursob - hand made softies, bib packs
Monstar Kids - t-shirts

Next - we want to organise some drop off points around Melbourne, so we (maybe the royal one) can drive around and pick up all donations at some point.....
So anyone willing to have beautiful strangers knock on their door to leave goodies, has a big enough post box, is at home during the day, maybe owns a shop? and has room to store stuff for up to a week.
Please let me know and we'll spread the love around.... postage is expensive I know.

Also want to set up drop points around the state of Victoria close to the Emergency centers.
Here is the list of centers by Shire:
Baw Baw
Bendigo (City of Greater)
Horsham (City of)
Corangamite (Camperdown fires)
Latrobe City
Mitchell Shire
South Gippsland
Southern Grampians (Coleraine fires)
Nillumbik (we are near this one)
Yarra Rangers
Wellington Shire

Do you live in any of these Shires? Will you be happy to be a drop point for finished bags to be collected and/or be a drop point for those in your area to give donations to you? We will all work together and some how get every bag assembled and filled with appropriate things. So bags can be put together around each Shire area too.

Are you up to speed on what is needed for Flood kiddies?
We can do packs for them too. Actually if you are interested, let me know and we'll try set something up your way too. (Saves on postage!)

I think that's it for now.
Think of anything else? Let me know.
What a wonderful community we live in......

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rainbow comfort packs for little ones effected by the bush fires

Okay, I've been able to come up with a brain wave of an idea to assist in some small way....
Basically we are putting together bags of goodies for the kids / babies who have been affected by the bush fires. These bags will be given to the Emergency Relief Centers around Victoria.

The aim is to provide some comfort and distraction while parents are dealing with what it is they need to face in the aftermath of their own tragedy.
So I am thinking along the lines of....
A bag of some sort which will have some items depending on their age group. (the bags should be re-usable like cloth, string)

Comfort: something to hold, cuddle, talk, imagine with (like a soft toy)
Distraction: something they can play, do, look at, read (colouring book, book, puzzle.... needs to be compact and light to carry)

I've asked the brands that I stock in my store to donate items for the packs and to assist any way they can. So am waiting for replies on this, but so far have gotten a few items as a start.

Now, what YOU can do is one (or all!) of the following:
1. Donate something for the packs:
can be new or second hand (MUST be in GREAT condition please)
Comfort - soft toy, teddy, doll (people who craft, this would be a great opportunity!)
Distraction - colouring book, crayons, pencils, plain paper book, books to read (all levels), puzzles.... nothing too heavy or bulky please.
Anyone who can get their hands on little bottles of wedding bubbles (they are the best!).
Make a library sized bag from fabric.
Clothing for all ages, summer I think. (Again if second hand, MUST be near perfect condition... please don't burden us with all your opp-shop stuff.... they still need you!

We are open to any ideas....... please email or comment here.

Send items to:
Rainbow Comfort Packs
70 Clifton Street,
Balwyn North, Vic. 3104

2. If you can not donate:
We are also listing some packs ready to go on the bpab web shop that will have only new products in them. They will be at cost price and basically you purchase one (to cover the cost of items) and we will include them in the drops. We will not be making ANY money from this. It is strictly for the Bush fire victims. Please do not abuse this service and buy for yourself (because you will not get it! hahahaha).
Please allow a bit of time for packs to become available at the shop, we will work as fast as we can.

If you have a blog or want to email people about this......

This little sign will be on the top right corner of my blog for people to lift and paste in their blogs etc. Please link it back to this post so everyone will get the info they need.
If you have any trouble, let me know.

Thanks so far for the great response, as you are aware the Emergency Centers are so over whelmed generous offers, so this is a way you can help a little bit down the track when they need supplies again.
Stay safe and happy,

Update post: tues. 10th Feb
Also: 11th feb -more drop points and update

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pay it Forward #1

I have stumbled across this game and have joined in at amityvilleboronia 's blog.

Here is how it works:

I will make a handmade gift for the first 3 interested people who comment on this post. I have 365 days to do it in...
What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise!

The catch is that you must participate as well: you must have a blog and before you leave your comment here, write up a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going.
(just cut and paste this one if you like!)

Ooooo! How exciting!

Eye Spy.... something delicious

A firm favourite when it's my turn to provide a salad (especially great at a BBQ!):


Here's the recipe :
(takes 10 minutes to prepare, serves 4)

1tbs balsamic vinegar
2tbs olive oil
black pepper
8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
50g raisins
250g rocket
250g pecorino cheese (or Parmesan cheese), shaved or thinly sliced
25g pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 large avocado, peeled, stones and cut into chunks
warm crusty bread, to serve

1. Put the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and black pepper to taste into a large serving bowl and beat together with a spoon until combined.

2. Add the tomatoes, raisins, rocket, pecorino, pine nuts and avocado and toss everything together. Serve with warmed bread.

Whoops! I'm drooling......
This weeks Eye Spy is brought to you by Handmaiden.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Welcome to new brand: The Cheekeyes

Here's a little something to cool you off:
Isn't it fantastic! I love The Cheekeyes wooden block play sets. This one is the Arctic complete set.
Designed and made in Holland, Cheekeyes are a series of adorable wooden play sets with distinctive pink cheeks and dreamy eyes. These beautifully crafted toys are handmade from eco-friendly rubber wood and partially painted allowing the owner to appreciate the wood they were made from, making each one unique.

Each piece has been painted along the sides and left bare on it's front and back, so you can enjoy the beauty of the wood and some colour too. I love this concept, as it looks natural, but very unique. I've not seen anything like it.

There are 4 play sets in the range at the moment: Arctic, Africa, Farm and Dinosaur.
Each set has animals plus extras. (like trees, rocks or fences.....)
We are selling them separately too, so you can build up your set, or mix and match as you wish.
(But you'll save money if you buy the complete sets.)

Papoose have made felted play mats that match the themes above and are available to purchase too. (Again more savings when you buy the set and include the play mat!)

These wooden toys will be a favourite in your home for many generations..... and you may find yourself sneaking a few to display around the house too! (That's what I'm thinking of doing...)