Sunday, August 23, 2009

Book Week

Book Week is the longest running children's festival in Australia,

celebrating its 64th birthday in 2009.

I feel very fortunate to have been born into a 'bookish' family.

My sister & I have always read, my parents read, & my grandmother read.

I remember holidays spent at grandma's house in the country where we (my cousins, my sister & I) would raid the bookshelves & settle down on the patchwork picnic blanket out on the sprawling front lawn to read,

or the early, early mornings when we would all pile into grandma's bed (yes, all of us!) for her to read to us while she sipped her English breakfast cup of tea...

no tea bags, a pot, of course!

As a child, I was a prolific reader & always had at least one book on the go, sometimes 2 or 3!

I still enjoy reading, very much, time seems to be my main barrier.

I love to see that my children find great joy in books & that the older 2 are already in possession of very strong literacy skills ~ the youngest is showing signs of being the same- she loves books, & will quite happily sit down to 'read them' to us.

My teaching background has made me acutely aware, that a positive, 'book-enriched' environment creates a positive foundation, leading to strong literacy skills.

so... more books, more books, more books!

Read to them, Read with them, listen to them Read to you & treat Reading with wonder...

you know, it can even be fun :)

in the words of Dr Seuss:

"The more that you read, the more things you will know.

The more that you learn, the more places you'll go"

To support & encourage literacy in Australia, we at ele-ahbaant are giving away a

free book with every purchase made between the 22nd & 28th August 09.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

one for the girls

I've been waiting a long time to introduce the following labels to you-
The unfortunate part about finding amazing labels from around the world is that they are generally a season out...
so whilst it may be a little early, I just couldn't wait any longer!

Alejandra designs gorgeous, yet affordable collections for girls.
Her designs are very original, & strongly feature embroidery & we love that she maintains a sweat-shop free company.
Of course I've already seen Winter (2010) & I'm equally excited about that!

Aiko Decelles designs the Dan Dan collection: which means, 'gradual' or 'step-by-step'
Aiko places great emphasis on growing step-by-step with the child...
wait till you see what she has in store for next season.
for now, you'll be sweetly enchanted by the gorgeous styles on offer for Summer.
Capturing whimsy & innocence, all in a versatile, practical package.

Another one for the girls,
again a feeling of nostalgia & simplicity is evident in this line.
Perfect for Summer in gorgeous fabrics.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Going Dotty for Dotty Spot Designs

I recently had a stall at Mathilda's Market (in Perth)
Always a great day, & one where I can showcase some of the brands I carry that are not commonly found, including my own line of appliqued tees.
It's always lovely to meet my customers, to give some background on the products, to chat about my brands, to suggest items that may work with something they have in mind & now, to even say hi again to the customers who keep coming back.

It's also lovely to meet others in this crazy industry, & this time I was fortunate enough to have a stall right next to the girls from
Dotty Spot Designs.
I fell in love with their canvases, & just had to become a retailer for them.
I love the designs, the colours they use & I was really, really impressed by their attention to detail & the quality of their product.
Dotty Spot's personalised designs are printed on polyblended artist’s canvas & mounted on quality timber frames.

so, now available at ele-ahbaant,
I introduce you to Dotty Spot Designs

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Breastfeeding 101

This week is World Breastfeeding Week, & as such brings contemplation & reflection;

I am a strong advocate for breastfeeding, & breastfed my three children till they weaned themselves- at 14 months, 11 months & 14 months.

I was one of the fortunate, to whom breastfeeding came easily.

This is not to say I didn't have my fair share of cracked nipples & other issues, but in the scheme of things, breastfeeding was a fairly natural, easy process for me.

Whilst it is commonly acknowledged that "breast is best" there are those to whom things don't always come so easily.

I have asked my sister Brooke to write about her journey with Breastfeeding,

please read her post below.

Breastfeeding 101

It’s been 3 weeks since I last breastfed my 1 year old daughter, and I have to say that I still feel a mix of emotions – some relief, some happiness, and a little bit ‘ripped off’. You see my breastfeeding journey was the equivalent of running Mt Everest with 1 leg.

After a Post Partum Haemorrhage hours after the bug was born I was left with boobs that didn’t exactly balloon with the liquid gold. Day 3 after birthing my amazing and gorgeous baby, I had my first of 3 blood transfusions, and hoped that aside from making me feel more like a human and less like a corpse, that my milk would ‘come in’, as was supposed to happen. It didn’t…and I began to panic. I hadn’t contemplated not breastfeeding – it wasn’t part of the plan. Whilst I felt a little anxiety about breastfeeding, I had done the research and knew it was better for my child if I could breastfeed, and good for me too. The decision had been made…how hard could it be? I was so wrong…

For months I undertook 3 then 4 hourly blocks of breastfeeding, pumping, supplementing with formula, and using a supply line – as well as settling my child to sleep, and trying to rest myself. In addition I used medication, natural therapies, took 30 tablets a day, visited Osteopaths, Naturopaths, Lactation Consultants, NGALA, Child Health Nurses, spoke with the Australian Breastfeeding Association and conducted hours of obsessive Internet research…and I still had a low supply. Apparently I was never going to be a ‘cow’ (as my delivery midwife and Lactation Consultant told me!).

So I stuck with it (out of sheer stubbornness and a will to do what was best for my baby). At first I thought… “I’ll try to make it to 6 weeks”, then 12 weeks, then 4 months and so on. I made it to 11.5 months and was keen to continue, however the bug had different ideas. She weaned herself and made it loud and clear that she no longer wanted to breastfeed – she was on to bigger and better things. I guess this is the first of many decisions she will make on her own that I may or may not agree with!

I have learnt a lot from this experience…about myself as a person and about having a baby. I have absolutely no regrets about working so hard to feed my child, even though I was incredibly sleep deprived and felt like a failure as a mother. Looking back – and it is only now that it has passed, I feel like a huge success. I’d do it again, but next time, I’d probably be a little easier on myself and accept that things don’t always go to plan…and when they don’t, you do what you can. I now know that although breast is best, it is better for a mother to be mentally healthy, and able to cope as best she can with such a huge life changing event. It is important to provide the best and healthiest start for a new bub, but there are so many other things that are equally important…such as ensuring that a new bub feels loved, safe and secure.

I write this whilst watching my daughter stuffing her face with scone, and send a big supportive congratulations to all Mums during World Breastfeeding Week – those who do breastfeed, and those who don’t, those who do it for 5 years, those who do it for 5 days…but also to those babies like mine who stuck with it, and don’t give up on their Mums…

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