Monday, 30 March 2009


Even though I only did it once, you probably haven't forgotten my exasperated outburst about giving Berry's princess wand a new canine owner, right?

Yeah... nor has she.

This, last night: "Mommy, if you're so cross, I'll take your Easter picture and wrap it up and send it to a doggie."

So glad she's learning all the right things from me. So, so glad.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Ah yes, perfect.

This is (sorry, was) the bridge that leads to our gym, and the fast way to the interstate, and several of our friends. It's the only way to reach those places without a detour of several miles. We're so thrilled with the clowns who were trying to push a string of eight barges through at once... really, what did they think would happen?

I also resent them pushing me to this grave overuse of italics.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Sweet Olive Press – Sneak Peek {2}

Remember those letterpress birth announcements I said I couldn't show you yet? You can see them now in all their wonderfulness (if I do say so myself) on the Sweet Olive Press blog!

Friday, 20 March 2009


I have a brand-spanking-new extra-special letterpress blog and you can click through to see the two different elephant letterpress coaster designs I printed.

I'll be adding pictures of new letterpress designs and inspirations to the Sweet Olive Press blog regularly but don't worry, I won't be abandoning this one. I need to maintain a big list of waaaay too many things to do, otherwise I'll get in to mischief.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Mardi Gras, Cajun style

I told you Cajun Mardi Gras celebrations were completely different to all the other kinds, didn't I.

The crowd was alive with costumes and energy and amazing colour and dancing and it was a truly memorable cultural experience until Berry had an overtired little fight with Kickbaby, and ended up throwing her tiny pink shoes near a group of unsuspecting picnickers in a fury.

And that, of course, spelled the end of mardi gras and the beginning of a hefty time-out.

I really hope we'll be more civilised next year. Personally, I wouldn't invite us back – but maybe the Cajuns are different.


Thursday, 12 March 2009

And a P.S.

"Mommy, you know what my daddy say to me? My daddy said Jacob can't marry me!"

"Really! Why did he say that?"

"Because my daddy said, 'ANYONE CAN'T MARRY MY GIRL!'"

So. I guess that's how he's going to play it....

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Weddings, princesses and outlandish threats

Berry's latest threat, when life (or a parent) doesn't let her have her own way: "YOU NOT COMING TO MY WEDDING!"

It is absolutely delivered in all capitals, and in a voice that means it.

Apparently, Berry's wedding is imminent and invitations are in great demand. When I went to pick her up from preschool the other day she was wandering around the playground alone, so I stopped and watched a minute. She wove around trees and posts, in and out of crowds of kids, oblivious to all of them. Even after she looked my way, it took her a moment to come out of her dream.

When she came running over I said, "What were you doing there, honey?"
"Just telling me a story."
"What was your story about?"
"About I get married."
"Oh. Who are you marrying?"
"Just Jacob. Jacob like to get me married."

It's all about weddings and princesses these days. I really don't know where it comes from, since we have banned the Disney Princesses in this house (Berry doesn't know it; we just 'mysteriously' retain no Disney Princess paraphernalia), and her main information on weddings comes from asking questions about our wedding photos on the wall. She believes that all weddings take place in Italy, of course, because that's where mommy and daddy got married. She has a 'princess wand' that she got at Brooke's birthday party, which she can barely go anywhere without and which has given me some (possibly ill-advised) leverage in the battle of wills.

We were out for a walk the other evening, the four of us, and Berry was trying on several varieties of whining and defiance. Our usual disciplinary measures were failing (it's hard to follow through with a time-out on a road with no footpaths) and she was getting worse and we were getting fed up.

Finally I snapped, "If you don't do as you're told, I will take your princess wand and give it to a dog!"

We don't have a dog. I have no idea what I was talking about. It was just a stream of pure frustration, and Nathan looked at me in surprise and said, "Awesome", and we both started laughing. And Berry laughed too and said, "I just kidding!" and she was fine after that. Maybe she believed me.

The princess obsession continues unabated, with Berry making imaginary cinnamon rolls at breakfast because "that's what Belle makes" (huh??) and nearly passing out with excitement when she sees a Disneyland ad on TV: "Looooooook! PRINCESSES!"

I think Jacob fell out of favour in the marriage stakes across the weekend because I heard some other little boy's name mentioned when we were threatened for the 37th time with not coming to her wedding and when I think of how many boys are going to be in and out of favour over the next two or three decades, it just wears me out. I won't even mention it to Nathan. He might not have thought of that yet.

But with a view to the future, I have a thought... Allow me to take this opportunity to say, Berry, if you read this somewhere down the track when you're older, I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear. I am going to try my hardest to be a good mother, and a sweet mother, and a kind and supportive and constructive and not-too-interfering influence as you grow up, and I absolutely love you to bits. But if, when you do actually decide to get married, you so much as think about not having me there at your wedding, so help me I WILL TAKE YOUR PRINCESS WAND AND GIVE IT TO A DOG.


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Winter Wedding: Chantal and Dave

At last I can show you all the pieces I designed for Chantal and Dave's wedding reception in D.C.!

I designed the invitations around their wedding theme: peonies, fuchsia, navy and lime, and then I created a complete wedding stationery suite to match. Chantal sent the photos from the reception this week and they're absolutely spectacular. Take a look!

These are the menus...

The sign for the Vice & Nice table, with chocolates, liqueurs and cigars...

The Bride and Groom seat signs...

Sign for the 'love notes' table...

Countless escort cards...

The menu again...

...and the table numbers.

It's such a thrill to see the way everything came together and how beautifully the stationery pieces complemented the reception design.

Working with brides to create the perfect wedding stationery is a real honour, and I remember every occasion with such happiness. Congratulations to Chantal and Dave!

{Images: Roman Grinov Photography}

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Bang for your buck

It turns out the more you don't post on your blog, the more you can't post on your blog. I have all the usual excuses of too much work and too many children (depending on the hour and the mood, two can be too many) and the upshot is: I got stage fright. We were doing all these interesting things and I'd think, I can't write about that, it's been ages since I've written and I'm all out of practice and all my events are out of order.

So I didn't write... but suddenly I've remembered, when it doubt – pad with pictures.

Now without further ado (a phrase my high school headmaster loved, and which always preceded more ado), here's all the stuff and all the photos, in no particular order.

After determinedly avoiding long car trips for the whole of Kickbaby's eight months, we ran into Nathan's mom's 60th birthday. She lives in Texas, so we had to man up and drive the technically-ten-hours there. I say "technically" because that's how long it takes sans kids. With two kids, you have to make many stops and also stay overnight in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Our first night back in Texas, we went to the Fort Worth Rodeo.

Ever since, Berry has been saying "Remember at the radio, that clown did fall off that yittle yittle horse?" Yep, a two-second prank fall was the highlight of the radio.

There was a midway too. The midway had many, many highlights. Nathan took her on the Teacups, and the spinning strawberries, and bought her pizza, and we took her to the petting zoo. She was most taken with a baby rabbit that she found hiding behind a broom at the exit. Of course.

In Dallas, the kids met their cousin little P for the first time. She's just turned one, so she and Kickbaby spent their time crawling and getting into mischief and experimentally pulling each other's hair.

To be fair, Kickbaby did do the bulk of the hair-pulling. He's excitable like that. Berry spent a lot of time hugging them both and saying, in her best Southern sorority-girl voice, "Awwwwwwwww, they're so so cuuuuuuuuute!"

A little while back, Berry got her first hair cut. I took her to see our friend Natalie in Ocean Springs and when I told Berry where we were going she said, "Is Miss Natalie going to paint my hair?" Just another reminder that this three-year-old has indeed seen too much hair-colouring on the salon section of What Not To Wear.

I took the kids to New Orleans during mardi gras for the Krewe of Thoth parade, emboldened by the fact that it was a day parade and by the fact that Stu and Rikki live right on the parade route. Friends, food, facilities – right there.

Berry had some King Cake, and almost tottered under the weight of her bazillion beads.

Kickbaby ate organic rice snacks and charmed a couple of nine-month-old girls from the comfort of his stroller.

And I survived. A good day all round.

I spent a lot of time with the letterpress, printing hundreds of beautiful baby announcements. More on that (and pictures) when I feel sure they've all been sent out. I'd hate to steal any thunder. Inserting random Berry picture here, so I'm not tempted to give any sneak peeks....

We went to Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, for the traditional Cajun Mardi Gras which is entirely different to the New Orleans mardi gras. But I have so many pictures from that day, I'll have to make it into a separate post.

Stay tuned. But don't hold your breath...