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My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration

My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration: August 2011

My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Emma Stylin' - Stripes Ahoy!

Yes I know I'm half way around the world at the moment, but I just had to share these beautiful photos of Emma modeling her new stripey top. The sunshine in Melbourne last week was just too gorgeous to waste, so I thought a trip to the seaside would fit the nautical attire perfectly.
Emma had been hassling me for weeks about going to the beach, so we headed for Williamstown and had a lovely day in the sun. Even dipped our toes in the water a little bit too, it was cold!
Did I mention I made the top from some fabric remnants, you can read about how I made it here on MADE OF CLOTH.
I'm really pleased at how it turned out. I think I'll be making more tops for her when I get home, it's so hard to find a good striped tops for kids without logos or wacky over printing.
Yes those are my toes, I have since painted my toe nails Navy blue...

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Monday, 29 August 2011

Cinti's Top Travel Tips...

As I'm busily packing today, I thought it would be fun to share some of my travel hints. It is not an exhaustive list and some are quite obvious but here is what I know:
(I've added some Japan specific tips towards the end)

Planning your trip:
- Make sure you know in advance any visa/documentation requirements you need to travel. Don't assume your travel agent will know everything, especially if you are not traveling on an Australian passport. Visa requirements may differ for different nationalities. If you are traveling with kids and without both parents, you may require extra documentation/permissions for some countries.

- Check your passports are in date. They will need to be valid for at least 6 months after your planned return.

-Think about the currency you will take and what you will do for money whilst you are there. Don't assume you will be able to access your bank account in some places. I had a really hard time withdrawing cash in Japan. Australian dollars may not get the best exchange rates in some countries, I like to carry some US dollars and Euros as backups. If I can, I purchase some local currency before I leave so I don't have issues with currency exchange when I arrive. The exception to this rule is where the currency is unstable due to inflation etc...

- Your local post office can order currency for you at quite a good exchange rate.

- Never travel overseas without TRAVEL INSURANCE. If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. (Shop around online to save $$)

- Contact your bank to tell them you will be overseas, you don't want your accounts frozen when you are away.

- Make copies of all your travel documents including your passport and credit cards. Leave a copy with some one you trust and take a copy with you in a safe place away from your original documents.
TOP TIP - scan your documents and e-mail them to an e-mail account you can access whilst you are away.

Keep Handy:
- Know where your passport is at all times. It is the most important piece of paper you will own. Keep your boarding passes in a handy place too, you will need to show these and your passport to lots of people.

- I always like to have a couple of pens in my bag, there are never any on the end of those little chains when you need them.

- I love zip lock bags! Due to liquid restrictions on international flights all your gels and liquids will need to fit into a sandwich size zip lock. Liquids include, lip balm, hand cream and toothpaste. I use my zip lock as a mini toiletry bag and use small product samples (like mini toothpaste and hand cream) for the flight.

- Pack your chargers, cables and adapters in zip lock bags to keep them all accessible and dry if your luggage gets wet.

- I also like taking a few spare bags to seal up wet/dirty clothes or shoes. Great for keeping paperwork in order and small items like jewelry and accessories organized.

- I never leave home without my laundry kit. It consists of a small bag of washing powder (equivalent to 2-3 loads, double bagged to prevent spillage), a universal sink plug, and a travel washing line (like a bungee cord with hooks on the end). All of this goes inside a mesh/delicates wash bag.

- First aid kit is really important and will save you from miming out embarrassing conditions at a pharmacy where they may not speak English. I tend to pack: Painkillers (without codeine), anti-diarrhoea tablets, rehydration powder sachets, allergy tablets, cortisone cream for rashes and bites, bandaids, alcohol swabs, adhesive fabric tape (for blisters), and of course any other medication you may be required to take regularly.
Don't forget travel sickness prevention tabs if you are prone to motion sickness.
Depending on your destination you may also want to think about travel vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis.
Also sunscreen, insect repellent and anti-fungal cream.

- You won't really need as much clothing as you think you will need, especially in warmer weather. Lugging around heavy luggage is no fun and there won't be any room for shopping. Minimize the size of toiletries, on shorter trips a few sample sachets of shampoo may just be enough to get you through.

TOP TIP- If you are going away for 2 weeks, before you go make a mark on your shampoo/moisturizer etc.. then measure how much you have used at home in 2 weeks. Now you can decant a similar amount into a smaller container and not worry about running short or taking too much.

- make sure your luggage is labeled on the inside just in case the tags on the outside are lost. And of course ensure you have luggage tags with current contact details including a phone no and email address as well as your name and address.

-If you have a nondescript piece of luggage, invest in a brightly coloured luggage strap. You will spot your bag on the conveyor belt from a distance and it will prevent others picking it up by accident.

Check In:
TOP TIP - Take a photo of your check in bags before you check them in. That way, if they are lost it's much easier to show a photo of your missing bag than trying to describe it from memory.

- Be nice to the check in staff, they don't need your attitude and they can tee you up with some extra leg room if you are lucky (or the holy grail, an upgrade!! It's never happened to me).

- Tell the staff if you prefer an aisle or window early on, it holds up the line if they have to re-do your seating.

On the Plane:
- I like to get myself set up early on. In the pocket in front of me I have my lip balm, ear plugs, eye mask and inflatable pillow. I always travel with a small bag that I keep on me with my passport and valuables.

- Best not to leave money and passports in overhead lockers, you don't know who is accessing bags whilst you may be sleeping.

- Enjoy your flight and catch up on movies you may have missed.

I could go on forever...

Japan specific TIPS

Money was a big issue in Japan. Most ATM machines don't accept foreign issued cards. The post office machines wouldn't accept my Maestro EFTPOS card, luckily I had a Master Card debit card and Visa credit card with me as a back up.
Most shops are cash only.

I took Yen and US dollars with me with the intention of changing my US over there but never came across any exchange offices.

Narita airport is quite a way out of town. Best to catch the Limousine Bus to the general area in Tokyo where you need to go.

We purchased a PASMO card for public transport which one can load up and use on any train and bus service, it saves heaps of time and stops you fumbling around for the right money at ticket machines.

If you have any general or specific questions, please leave a comment and I'll answer them in a comment so everyone can see. I may even write another post if the answer is complex.

Bon Voyage...

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Friday, 26 August 2011

Marimekko e-Mook

I almost forgot to tell you about one of my last book purchases in Tokyo. It's a Marimekko e-Mook. An e-Mook is all the rage in Japan apparently, a cross between a magazine and a book, with the kicker being a premium gift all for around $15. There were a heap of fashion labels doing them with some worthwhile gifts, but I liked the cheerful bag included in this one. We accidentally stumbled on the Marimekko store in OMOTESANDO, it was all gorgeous but a little expensive for my budget, so a $15 bag was a special treat!
The book is essentially a product cataloug with some lovely interiors and a free dress pattern. Here I am having some fun modeling my bag. It's super fun, perfect for this spring and summer.
Have you ever bought a product just because of the 'Gift with Purchase'?

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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Off to the airport again...

You may have noticed lots of travel talk on the blog of late, that's because it's at the front of my mind...
Emma and I are off to Argentina on Tuesday morning for several weeks. We will be visiting family I have there, they are all so excited to meet Emma.

So my shop will be on holidays whilst I'm away. My last postal run will be tomorrow morning, so if you need anything order it now! If you are on my mailing list you would have received a nice 20% discount code you can use to shop while the shop is 'resting'.

If you would like to sign up to the mailing list to receive your code, you can sign up here and I'll email it to you tonight.

I haven't started packing yet, just sorting out an excessive amount of paperwork that needed Notarizing and several visits to government departments to get stamps and seals. Red tape and big dollars just for documents that may not even be looked at. Grrr!
It's a really long trip so I'm hoping my iPad will keep Emma entertained for most of the long transit waits. I'd love some suggestions for great apps that don't need wi-fi.

I'm hoping to keep blogging whilst I'm away and will be taking my Dad's mini laptop to keep you all up to date on our experiences. There are also heaps of scheduled posts planned to ensure you don't miss me too much while I'm away.

So what are your best tips to keep kids entertained on a 20 hour journey? I'll need all the help I can get!

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

1234 Cake - The easiest cake you'll ever bake!

Yes it's true! The easiest cake you'll ever bake. No need for fussy measurements or recipe books, if you can count to four you can make this cake.
It was the first recipe I ever baked as a kid, and still make it occasionally now and then when unexpected visitors pop in.
It differs slightly than other 1234 cake recipes I've seen, as this one uses cream not butter.
A 300ml tub of thickened cream is the key! You just use the tub to measure out the other ingredients:
1 (300ml/10 oz) tub of thickened cream
2 tubs of sugar
3 tubs of SR flour
4 eggs

Wizz it all up in your mixer, it will make a large amount of quite a thick batter. Pour into a greased cake tin (2 regular sized ones or one roasting size tray)
In the oven at 180 ℃ (350℉). The time will depend on the size and shape of the tin, maybe 30-45 min or until a skewer comes out clean.

The lovely thing about this cake is you can get a little bit creative depending on what other ingredients you have on hand. I usually add a dash of vanilla extract for extra flavour and often I reduce the amount of sugar (it's pretty sweet).
I've made two examples here, the top one had some apple slices laid on top, the bottom one was an attempt at a choc marble cake with cocoa mixed into half of the batter (left this one in the oven a little too long so it's a tad brown).
Some other suggestions: add sultanas or candied fruit, add a mashed banana, some food colouring to make rainbow cake...I'd love to hear your ideas.

Now I can't say this cake will win any awards. The recipe tends to result in a slightly crumbly cake that won't win a purist over, but it's tasty and easy and lots of fun to make.

Try it with the kids, I'm sure they'll come up with a few interesting variations.

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

I ♥ Japanese Bookshops

I came back with only a handful of books from my trip to Japan, not because they were expensive or the choice was poor, on the contrary. The selection and prices were amazingly good, but unfortunately books are heavy, so I had to control myself. Our hotel was next door to a massive bookshop, so I spent plenty of time browsing.
This is what I cam home with:
Felt Goods by Tabatha Naomi, full of cute characters to make out of felt with instructions and patterns.
Mini Cross stitch book. Great for buttons and brooches
A couple of cute needle felting books
And this book about Cute Tokyo Shops which was really nice to look through to get an idea on places and areas to visit. It was all in Japanese so we had the concierge point out areas on a map. Google maps helped too. Both A-materials and pin'ups were in Kichijoji, a really great area to visit for quirky shops and vintage goodness.

Pop over to Pilgrim's blog to check out the books she bought in Tokyo...

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Monday, 22 August 2011

Sponsor Profile - Baby goes Retro introduces Alba Baby!

You all know how much I adore the Scandinavian clothing ranges stocked by Baby goes Retro, now they have a New and Exclusive Range - adorable Danish baby and kids label, AlbaBaby!

AlbaBaby is designed with inspiration from the designer Majken Banke's own childhood, hence the hint of a cool retro vibe and the vibrant colours. The use of clever and funky details makes for garments that are easy to use, flexible and above all, comfy for children to wear.

The fabrics are strong and long lasting so the clothes are perfect for active kids that love to run, play and climb to their hearts content! All styles are made in small batches, which make them unique products.
In stock now - HotPants suit, dresses, overalls, waistcoats, hoodies and baggy pants. AlbaBaby offers great trans - seasonal pieces to affordable prices. I personally really like the overalls with the double buttons on the straps and roll up cuffs. Apart from the super awesome retro styling, this really clever design allows growing kids to wear these for several years, just button a little higher and off you go.
If you want to check out the full range, pop over and visit Baby goes Retro and make sure you like them on facebook too. Tell them Cinti sent you.

Oh and before I forget. The Baby goes Retro gals have just opened up a bricks and mortar store in Mooloolaba QLD, so if you are lucky enough to live on the Sunshine Coast, make sure you pop in to the new shop. It looks so colourful, choc full of scandy goodness...

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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Flea Market Finds ♥ Camberwell market ♥

'Twas a beautifully sunny today, perfect for a bit of flea market fun. Camberwell market was our destination of choice, along with the rest of Melbourne it seemed.
Ran into my pals Nat and Estelle who had stalls selling some pretty nice vintage wares, Emma just wanted doughnuts and Mr Man was in charge of toddler wrangling.

I wasn't looking for anything in particular, although I couldn't resist these Dutch clogs at $5 a pair. They will be added to my accidental clog collection
And probably my most favourite find for a long long time is this mosaic plate. It was just $5 too. I think I may start a plate wall soon, although a single plate may look a bit lonely.
The lady that sold it to me told me that she had quite a few at home and they were really well made. She knew this because when she smashed them up to get the tiles out, it was almost impossible to pry them out!
I was speechless. So I've rescued this vintage find from a possible tragic end, my good deed for the day is done.

I'm joining in with Her Library Adventures today...lots more flea market finds over there...

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Thursday, 18 August 2011

How To: Make a Pretty Gift Bow

You're gifts will always look professionally wrapped when you add this pretty gift bow to it. I used to do a lot of gift wrapping when I had the store, and customers would always appreciate the extra effort I went to, but really it was not much effort at all. I'd make the bows up in advance between customers, then whip them out at a moments notice.

My video tutorial explains the process really clearly, all you need to have on hand is a roll of Poly Ribbon (Florist Ribbon) and a pair of scissors.

Hope you enjoyed the video, please leave any questions you have in the comment section below.

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This time last year...

Occasionally it's nice to look back on ones blog archives and reminisce. If you are new to My Poppet, I urge you to step back in time and have a poke around some of the older posts, there is lots of inspiration to be had.

Here are a few things that may interest you from this time last year.
1. One of my super popular tutorials How to Create an Animated GIF image
2. I made some cute retro waistcoats from some vintage fabric
3. Found some crazy cool wall paper in my bedroom


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Little Sunshine's Skincare Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Little Sunshine's Prize Packs, and thanks to everyone who entered and left comments.
The winners were:
Large prize pack winners : Jessie, Rach
Small prize pack winners: Erin Gray, vancybec

You will be getting an email form me shortly.
Enjoy your bubbles...

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It's Dancey Dance Time!

What better way to show off my new Vintage Vest than by flailing my arms around wildly?
I love everything about it. It's quiltiness, the wooden toggles and especially the yellow binding.
Its the perfect weight for spring, and leaves my arms free for interpretative dance.
As Emma would say "I love it, I love it, I really really love it"

We had lots of fun taking these photos of my disappearing arms with a long exposure time on the camera. I made this animated gif as my first ever project in photoshop, it almost drove me insane, but I'm trying to learn to use it, so I have to start somewhere.

If you want to make your own animated gif you can do it the easy way using my tutorial here, no photoshop required.

I hope I haven't made you too dizzy...

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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Can you afford to travel with Kids?

Now if you read my post the other day '37 countries in 37 years' you'd probably think I was the child of a diplomat or came from a wealthy family, both untrue. I wanted to clarify these points because I think many people/families believe traveling overseas is beyond their budget when the opposite may be possible. It all depends on HOW and WHEN you travel.
I have never flown business class, and unless I am upgraded for free (which is always something I dream about), I doubt I ever will. Even if I could afford it I'd probably save that money and spend it at my destination and/or choose to stay longer.
My Point is: Some times you have to give up comfort for the experience.

I was very lucky as a child to have parents that loved to travel. My sister and I went on a couple of round the world trips, which looking back on, were a real epic achievement. Firstly I suppose my parents sacrificed a fair bit to save for our travels, they were both public servants on modest incomes with a mortgage. We went to state school and didn't really 'buy' a lot of stuff, wore hand me downs but I really never noticed, although I did want a Barbie. I clearly remember having a family meeting where my parents gave me a choice of going to Private school or going to Europe, guess which one I chose?

Most trips were taken during the cheapest travel season, usually winter, and our accommodation was often in Hostels or family run pensions. Meals were often at cheap eateries, bars, cafes or a picnic bought at a local market. Our days were filled with free activities like museum and church visits. Mum and Dad would never hesitate to take us out of school during term (to take advantage of cheaper flights). I mean really, what were we going to miss in class that could top visiting the Louvre or an archaeological site?

Sometimes it was a bit crappy, these were the days before Internet so usually we would arrive somewhere and mum would go off to find accommodation within our budget. We were never left without a bed but there would often be a lot of schlepping bags around on public transport etc...

Our trip to china was an all inclusive tour which included all our meals and sightseeing, I think this was a last minute special which my parents couldn't pass up (luckily they had flexible jobs). We were the only children on the trip, I was 12 my sister 9, and because we were mature and well behaved, no one was bothered. In fact I remember always receiving lots of little gifts from the other members of the tour.

So has that changed your perspective on traveling with kids?

I can't wait till Emma is a little bit older, I still have lots of must visit places on my bucket list...


Monday, 15 August 2011

Blythe Stylin' - Bellbottoms a gogo...

This weekend was a total write off for me. I had a really rich meal at lunchtime on Saturday and was struck down with stomach pains and headache till this morning. In Tudor times it would have called for a little bloodletting, maybe with leeches? But a day and a half on the couch seems to have worked and my headache is bearable now. So in lieu of a real blog post here are some nice pictures of Perty that I took last week wearing a new outfit I made for her.
I couldn't resist making her some yellow terry toweling bell bottoms, they are a must have in any gals wardrobe.

So now i will get out of my jammies and try to make myself look half decent to I don't scare the staff at the post office.

x Cinti

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Friday, 12 August 2011

37 countries in 37 years...

I was just reading Melissa's blog One Crafty Mamma*, and her post on her Top 10 Holiday Destinations caught my attention. Why, because with the exception of 2 of the destinations I'd experienced 8 out of 10 of her choices. (Sorry, not trying to be a show off)

(*One Crafty Mamma is a sponsor this month, but I've read her blog for a long time and its full of good stuff, pop over and visit. She has recently won a top blogger award, and is taking her family on a great adventure with her prize money! Well done Melissa.)

This lead me to start thinking of all the countries I've visited to in my life and I started to make a list. The criteria was that I had to have spent at least a day there (airport transit didn't count). Some of these countries I've visited more than once, some for a day, some for several months, some when I was a kid with my family, others on my own or with friends...
So in alphabetical order I have been to:

Australia (obviously)
Chile (inc. Easter Island)
ChinaHere I am on the left with my mum and sister in Feb 1986 on the Great Wall of China. It was cold, we were dressed like Yetis
Czech Republic
French Polynesia (Tahiti)
Hong Kong
New Zealand
PeruAfter trekking the Inca trail for 4 days, I made it to Machu Picchu

United Kingdom
Vatican City (yes it is officially a country!)
VietnamRisking life and limb on a cyclo in Vietnam

So that's 37 countries, and I'm turning 37 this year, coincidence? o_O

Would you like to know more about any of these adventures? I'd love to share my photos and experiences with you. Some pics are in my parents' photo albums so they may be a bit harder to dig out.
Have you been to any of these places? Which ones did you love the most?


Thursday, 11 August 2011

How To: Yarn Doll Hair

I thought I'd share my little impromptu project to upgrade Emma's doll Memma, who was badly in need of a new hairstyle and sadly a little bit neglected. Emma loves Jemima from Play School and I had some dark brown yarn lying about that would be ideally suited to a Jemima hair style.

It didn't take very long at all and I used this tutorial as a guide, but modified it so I didn't have to use a sewing machine. Details below:
1. I wrapped the yarn around a large book to create an even layer of yarn.
2. I used a crochet hook and with some extra yarn crocheted a tight slip stitch across the centre to create a part and hold the strands together, did this on the top and bottom of the book then cut the ends.
3. I securely hand sewed along the centre part on to the scalp
4. Styled the yarn hair in to pony tails and tied them off with yarn, then stitched the ponytails in place to secure the hairstyle.

Memma has been renamed Jemima and is getting is getting lots of cuddles, that's a crafting win in my eyes. Now I have to to something about her awfully garish wardrobe...

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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

I'm not a Mummy Blogger but...

So I don't really consider myself a 'mummy blogger', just because I am a mum and I blog doesn't automatically put me in that category does it? (Not that there is anything wrong with being a mummy blogger...) I just I don't really know where my blog fits into the whole scheme of things, craft/lifestyle/personal blog perhaps?
Generally I steer clear of giving opinions on parenting etc... because everyone lives there life differently so who am I to say what's what, but today I feel the need to share an experience with you and get some advice.

This morning I took Emma to a music class for toddlers, you know the ones that I mean, sit in a circle, clap and sing, then everyone gets a turn at an was a trial class to see if we liked it before paying hundreds of dollars in enrollment fees.
Emma liked it, and apart from it being a little bit more structured from what she is used to, she had a relatively good time. I on the other hand, was bored out of my brain!
The thought of me having to sit through and participate in the class week after week, and sing the same songs (because the kids love routine and structure), makes me shudder.

So here are my questions...
Is it unreasonable of me to expect to be entertained by these kids activities that we parents are obliged to attend, especially when one is paying $20ish per class?

Does this make me a 'bad mum'? God knows I sit through enough tea parties and wiggles CD's to score me a few good mummy brownie points.

Should I just 'suck it up' and resign myself to the fact that this is how it's going to be forever, or should I save myself the $$ and do something we both enjoy?

All opinions are welcome...

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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

How to: Using Image overlays in picnik

 ***Unfortunately picnik has ceased to exist as of April 19th 2012. RIP picnik, we miss you***
You all know I'm a big fan of, and now I love it even more because I've worked out how to use PNG image files, that are designed for use in Photoshop, on picnik. PNG images have transparent areas on them which allows you to overlay multiple images like a collage.

It's really easy, but you will need to have a Premium account in picnik.

I have created a screen cast for you, with some helpful hints along the way that you can apply to heaps of your photo projects.

I have used the free downloadable photo overlays created by Katrina from Her website is just choc-o-block full of great downloadable files that you can use to jazz up your images as well as great blog design tutorials and craft projects. I just love her washi tape strips, you can my tutorial on how to use them here.

Hope you enjoyed my screencast, leave a comment if you have any questions.
x Cinti

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Monday, 8 August 2011

Sponsor Profile & Giveaway - Little Sunshines

I met Paula and Sam, the owners of Little Sunshine's at their first market event last year in Ballarat. I was their stall neighbor, they were really nice and we got to chatting...turns out they had recently acquired the brand and had moved to the country for a 'tree change'.

Here Paula tells the story:
We were given some Little Sunshine's products when we had our first child. But, of course, being first time parents, we tended to stick with the popular brand named products. Our daughter's cradle cap just kept getting worse, and so I kept washing it and it continued on. I remembered we had some Squeaky Clean Shampoo & decided to give it a go and the cradle cap disappeared in about 10 days. We mentioned, in passing, to the owners that if they ever wanted to sell the business then we would love to take it on. And that is how we came to have Little Sunshine's...

I bought a couple of products for Emma that day mainly because they smelt divine, and I loved that they were full of lovely plant extracts and oils, without a drop of palm oil in sight. Emma loved the Bubble Bliss and I found the shampoo has really helped remove the seborrheic build up on her scalp. I'm still using the bottle I bought back in November, as a little goes a long way.

The brand is soon to get a new look with a new logo and website coming soon, but Paula and Sam assure me that what's inside the bottle won't change.

For 16 years Little Sunshine's has been sold at selected pharmacies and health food stores and now in their own Online Store : Shop Online Here

So to celebrate the soon to be new look, Paula and Sam has offered some prize packs to giveaway.

Up for grabs is:
2 packs containing the whole range
1 x Bubble Bliss, 1 x Squeaky Clean Shampoo, 1 x Tangle Free Conditioner, 1 x Tender Touch Body Balm, 1 x Tot's Bot Nappy Cream, 1 x Quiet Time Baby Oil

and 2 packs containing
1 x Bubble Bliss, 1 x Squeaky Clean Shampoo

To be in the running just pop over to their shop and then leave a comment here telling us which product you are most likely to use and why.

Just one entry per person please, we want every one to have an equal chance. Winners will be drawn at random.

Thank you Little Sunshine's for being such a great sponsor, as a way to say thanks, be sure to tell your friends about this great Australian made product, and pop over and like their facebook page too.

The fine print: competition closes Tuesday 16th August 7pm EST. Winners will be chosen at random and announced on the blog on August 17th. Winner will also be notified via email so please make sure you have e-mail enabled on your comments or leave an e-mail address in your comment (entries with no e-mail contact will be void). Giveaway is open to Australian residents only. Even though we'd love you to become a 'Liker' of our facebook page, entry is NOT conditional on becoming a 'liker' of the My Poppet or Little Sunshine's Facebook business pages. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook in any way.

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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Big day out in Melbourne town...

Yesterday Emma and I caught the tram into the city for a big day out. Emma loves tram trips, so you can imagine how excited she was when today I said 'yes' to her request. Here she is having a little fun whilst we wait for the tram. The reason for our expedition into town, apart from a fun day out, was to visit the Pop Up Studio sale featuring some really talented Melbourne gals. I thought you might like to see some pretty pictures...clockwise from top left: Dawn Tan, Emily Green, Peta Pledger, Betty Jo Designs. Below Little Circus Design. It runs till 3pm today so you can still pop in and say 'Hi'.Emma was sufficiently patient whilst I tried on a few Peta Pledger tops, sultanas helped. Dawn was a star and helped keep her entertained as well. A little bit of window shopping at the Babushka Shop in the Block Arcade. Emma was enamored by the baby babushkas. And then after a million requests for Sushi, we had some just adequate and expensively priced sushi train sushi. We were on the tram to go home, but as we approached the NGV, and since Emma was still in good spirits, I thought it might be fun to visit the new NGV Kids Space. It was really super fun, we probably stayed for about an hour because Emma was quite entertained by all the hands on stuff, she especially loved the light drawing. I also wanted to share this beautiful antique dolls dress they had on display in the Kid Space. It was all hand pieced patchwork with embroidery and was made from silk. Probably one of the most beautiful textile creations I have ever seen, and did I mention it was for a doll, the pieces were tiny!So a great day out,, must do it more often.
I was really amazed at how much more maturely Emma is behaving, compared to the last time we went into town a few months ago. She was a real delight to be with today, listening to me and my instructions, paying more attention to her surroundings, hardly any escape attempts (hence the turtle harness), sitting still on the tram...and even though she was tired at the end of the day and wanting to go home, she wasn't whining at all. Maybe I just got her on a good day, but it has really highlighted how quickly she is growing up. I can envision some fantastic adventures together in the future...

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Friday, 5 August 2011

Cinti's Poscards from Japan - Kyoto Flea Market

We were lucky that our stay in Kyoto coincided with the flea market that is held at the Toji Temple on the 21st of each month. It had it all, antiques, food, craft, clothing, new things and old, everything was so pretty and very reasonably priced. It was large and super busy so we only covered about half of it. I bought a pretty pincushion made from vintage kimono silk in a sake cup, and a cheap paper fan because it was hot! (So hot that unfortunately a lady had collapsed and was being taken away by paramedics.)
To cool down we had some tasty shaved ice with sweet, sweet syrup. I had green apple and Pilgrim had melon. The shaved ice guy was doing a rip roaring trade.If you happen to get to the Toji flea market, it's a great place to pick up some handmade souvenirs and vintage kimonos inexpensively. There were lots of little food stalls too, mainly selling octopus balls on sticks and savory pancakes, mmm, octopus balls...

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