Sunday, July 7, 2013

What has been going on here?


This restyle has been created in collaboration with Liv's Weaving Collections.  Olivia (the weaving goddess) hand wove this amazing wrap, and sent it to me for restyling into a Beetlebum!  I feel so blessed and incredibly lucky to have had the honour of working with Olivia.  I just CAN NOT WAIT to see what amazingness she creates!

Liv is being auctioned right now.  You can find her here on my website.

 Liv pre-restyle
 Detail on Liv
I am also stocking tonight, at 8pm AEST.  The carriers below are what are available!  Here is where you can find them!





I hope you love them all!!!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ethics and what they mean for YOU

Please note, this blog post was written mid 2012 and published on the Kanga Collective blog. It is not a new post, while the KC blog is down, I have re-posted it here. Thank you!

Despite what you might think, the subject of business ethics is real and thriving.

Whether you realise or not, it affects you.

The industry of ethics is profound, with many a student and scholar debating on the topic. Ethics are important because they imply an investment in what a vendor/business has vested personally into their venture. Ethics are a code of conduct that you, as a member of the public can rely upon when dealing with your ethical vendor.

Now I am by no means a scholar. So to me, ethics are simple – they are doing what is ‘right’.


Something you can stand beside without fail – because you believe it.

So, let us discuss – What are Ethics, and What do they mean to You?

I propose a suggestion or two. Of course. I have a big mouth and all 

a/ All behaviour is considered professional.

by this I mean that at all times the vendor is courteous and humble with customers.

b/ Respect design ownership and jurisdiction

Ok, we are now moving into ‘private vendor land’ here – this is the stuff that the public don’t and shouldn’t worry about. I’m talking about industry ethics here and what they mean so the topic has to be approached.

Design ownership – is there an awesome design feature on another carrier that you are just itching to recreate? Even in your own way? You can do it just that 10% different, so it is ok, right??

No. Don't. It just is not O.K. 

Designers work really really hard to bring innovation and the most disrespectful thing anyone could do is to steal it. And to put it bluntly, it is theft. IP and Copyright Law protects such things. Pretending that you came up with the idea – and even if you *did* remarkably think of the idea – the fact remains. If it was done by someone first, the idea is NOT yours. Despite what many think, copying is not flattery or flattering, and it is hands down, not cool.

There is an interesting argument here – I personally have had it thrown at me – if a product functions/appears different and WILL NOT BE CONFUSED with another, by the general public, then it is innovative and different. In our industry we have coined our own terms for certain parts of our carriers – the Hybrid Strap is synonymous with Bamberoo, the Wing Strap or Wrap Restyle is mine – Beetlebums. And there are so many others. Respecting (as a Vendor) what other Vendors have creatively named their innovations is pertinent – and it shows respect when one understands this. Just because it might not be trademarked, it isn't ok to use it. Ethically.

The internet has changed trading a lot – and shown the faults in jurisdiction quite significantly. There are specific examples where the belief that a certain protection covers in a blanket fashion has been detriment to the Vendor/s cause. It is worth noting too that it is illegal in many places to claim to have a patent pending when you don’t. I’ve learned a lot about this topic and it would bore the pants off you, let me tell you. But I can say that there is honestly very few inventions (which is what a patent covers) in the babywearing industry to be had. Innovations – sure, but actual INVENTIONS – nope. And if there is. Go ahead and protect yourself because there are unscrupulous people out there who will do anything for a buck, steal your invention/innovation and run with it.

To conclude I say simply –

Don’t borrow nor hinder.

Don’t borrow another’s design or innovation. At all. Ever.

Don’t belittle another’s creativity. There is nothing to fear from others that are innovating, it propels your industry and empowers your own product. If you feel threatened then you probably need to look at your own ability to innovate, and decide at this point whether you are an innovator or follower. It’s OK to be a follower!

Do – respect your customers at all times. They might not always be right but they are the ones that keep your bread on the table – and they are people too. Treat every one as equals.

I am going to bring up safety now.

This is a BIG topic for me. It is a no-brainer. There is nothing that will hold me back when it comes to unsafe carriers. I will PSA them, I will recall them and have in the past. There is nothing that I gain from that – I have replaced slings before because of a certain makers incredibly flawed design (with help from our wonderful community donating funds, and me my time). That took time from my business. And family. Which shows how important safety is to me. If it isnt to you, as a Vendor, then go make something like nappies or t-shirts, because babies lives are more important than yours. And this particular arena isn’t for you if you don’t feel the same way.

There are cardinal rules when making baby carriers – and every Ethical Vendor would do well to heed each and every one.

a/ construction should be safe – using quality thread, securing all straps properly, using bottom weight fabric. I don’t want to turn this article into a sewing lesson but the ‘cardinal rules’ are easy to find using Mr Google.

b/ testing your product. The ONLY way that you can be sure that your product is safe is by testing it – and only over time will you know just how safe your carrier is. Remember that your product will likely circulate amongst many families, and needs to stand the test of time.

c/ if the quality of your carrier is questioned, then respectfully deal with it. Even if it is five years down the line. Just because you might not make that item any more doesn’t mean that the person who owns it deserves to feel that their baby is unsafe.

I have always stood strong within my own ethical core. I would never, ever want anyone, anywhere confusing my product with anyone elses. I have poured my heart and soul into my work and I know I have designed something really special. I love it.

It is my baby.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Elemental Aurora

Here is my contribution to Firefly Collectives stocking tonight!  Her name is Elemental Aurora and she is a full buckle OOAK Traditional (no headrest) Beetlebum in a standard size.  The wrap I used was a Lago Old Standart from Didymos with countless hours of ice-dye work done by me using Procion Dyes.

What you see here is a significant change to the Beetlebums waistband.  It now cinches down to a teeny 25" and the buckle rests over padding, making it much more comfortable!  I haven't changed anything with my design in years, so it is quite the occasion!  The new design is infinitely better than the old :).

Anyway, got lots to do, so must be off!  The Firefly Collective stocking will start at 8pm tonight, Elemental Aurora will be listed as a lottery (enter to win to purchase much like to give everyone a fair go.  As she is being listed elsewhere, this carrier is available worldwide!

Good luck tonight, and be sure to go look around at what the Firefly artisans have to offer!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

the Beetlebums Ring Sling!

You do know that I launched my Ring Slings last year.  The shoulder is a personal *ah-ha* moment for me - you can see more information here.

It isn't only the shoulder that rocks my world, the top stitching and label placement rock too :P.  The label is placed at the center of the shoulder so you know exactly where to place the Ring Sling on, over either shoulder.  The label should be at the edge of your shoulder, with both rails (edges) cupping your shoulder for ultimate support.

Once again I am seeing 'similar' adaptations to my unique design, and I cannot stress enough that the original is always the best.  Don't you know it!

You can buy Beetlebums Ring Slings at Finely Woven, and through my store when they are available.  I do announce on my Facebook page and here on my blog when I have items ready for sale, so keep an eye out! I am having problems with my mailing list, so please bear with me while I start up a new one :D.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Just last week I was lucky to participate in the Advanced Course in Baby Wearing Consultancy!!  Thank you goes to Manduca and Fertile Mind Australia for bringing Ulrike from Die Trageschule in Dresden, Germany to us, here in lil ol' Australia!!  And just because Ulrike is so gosh darned awesome, I am learning German just so I can be as cool as her!

It was such an amazing experience, and I am all the wiser for it!  Since the course I have done two consultations, and am totally loving it!

Included in our course was communication, and we focused on special needs children.  I am a mother of a beautiful son who has Autism, and I shared my story with the class.  Through the tears I felt happy and scared to share my experience, and Ulrike did something amazing for me.  She applauded me.  It made me weep so deeply, as this has been my (for lack of a better word) burden to bear.  It has been lonely, it has been hard.  I judge myself constantly, and although I am a very outwardly confident person, I felt such fear of judgment by others.  It was such a momentous experience, and I have to admit that I felt kinda... weird when the class joined in applauding me.  Then I felt grateful.  Then I felt acceptance.  I have an amazing circle of friends in my life that also live with Autism, and we live in our bubble.  Our safe little bubble. I have never reached out to anyone who hasn't dealt with Autism in the past because there just is no way that anyone could ever ever ever ever understand.  Ever.  However now I have been proven wrong.  There are people that don't live with Autism that want to understand.  Hooray!!!

Of course we dealt with so much more than that.  We covered SO much, it is overwhelming!  I am practicing everything I learned (including the 'baby jail' :P)  (sounds bad but it is a BWCC with a whole lot of AH-HA moments!) and just can not wait to share with the world what I am about.  As an educator, I am bringing those who seek my services a holistic approach with more than a dash of fun.

So now while I talk about what I learned, I want to share with you what I saw today.  I am shocked and saddened, as this is a post made by an (apparently) popular mother blogger (like how do you even DO that??).  This is a prime example of what NOT to do

Look HERE for the blogpost I am talking about.

There is not ONE image that displays optimal positioning!  Knees are NOT held above bottom height, in the squat-straddle position.  There is ALOT of slack in the wrap.  The images are just wrong wrong wrong.

Flame me if you will but as an educator I have to highlight examples such as these, they show exactly what goes wrong when people don't read instructions or seek the advice of a more experienced babywearer.

And now for a perfect example of knee to knee support, crease free wrap over babies body, hands free baby wearing.  Amen.

*eep sorry about the non whimsical photo! I am a bit fat too, hope that is ok!!!! Please note the sarcasm as I am far too busy caring for my children to bother about frivolous things like my ... hair? :P*

While I am here, I may as well share with you my new guidelines to safe babywearing.  They are called the ALWAYS guidelines.  They follow much of my education (yes!  Baby Wearing is a big YES!), and are so easy to remember!

ALWAYS baby wearing recommendations

AAlways wear your baby high enough to kiss the top of their head in a front carry, in a back carry, high enough to touch their forehead with the nape/occipital bone on your head if you look upward.

LLearn with your baby! Baby Wearing is a wonderful bond and when you take it slowly and choose a good time of day to try new carries, like after baby has rested or eaten, you will be assured success! Use a mirror, practice over soft surfaces, ask a friend to 'spot' you.

WWear your sling or baby carrier tightly. There should be no loose fabric over babies back, buckles should be tightened, baby should be held firmly to your torso. This ensures that not only will baby stay where you want them to in the carry, and not slump down, but that you will be more comfortable.

AAirways should be clear. You should not hear any grunting. Babies head should not be resting on his chest. There needs to be at least a fingers width between babies chin and chest.

Y – of course Baby Wearing is a BIG YES!!

SSquat Straddle – your babies legs should be in the 'M' position (aka Squat Straddle), with his spread knees above his bottom. The carrier should travel from the hollow of the knee all the way to the opposite knee. This is called 'Optimal Positioning' and must be adhered to for babies best development.

Double AMEN to that!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It is my baby's birthday tomorrow....

My darling Phoenix.  My rainbow child.

How I love you, I cannot believe that you have grown so quickly.  How lucky I am to be able to spend as much time in these precious formative years as I  can with you, watching you learn.  Watching you grow.  Admiring you.  And loving you.

Just born, total bliss

He didn't really need it but spent the first 24hrs in NICU :(.  I spent every minute I could in there with him, I was devastated to not have him with me.

Home!!!  Home home home!

Lola was so hilarious - this is her 'baby chain'.  Geddit???

She started school less than two weeks after Phoenix was born, it was such a busy time!

Our first official outing in my beloved Rainbow dyed Pamir

Peekaboo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Our first backcarry at around 4wo


I adore this photo so so so much.  He was such a delightful baby.  It was only a slight hint of how delightful he would become!

now that ^^^ one and the following one are both amazing, I adore them so!  They are such cuddlebunnies!

In his baby sized Beetlebum, about six months old.  I think.  LOL

I have teeeeeeeeeeeth! And yes, his Amber necklace is far too big.  It was Lolas.  Desperate times call for desperate measures!  Oh, and he is very nearly one year old!!!

And fast forward to now.   These two photos absolutely capture his joyous nature.  He has changed my life.

Happy 3rd Birthday to you Master Phoenix!!!  We love you!!!!!

A little Firefly is lighting up my day!

OK, there will be two blog posts today - because it is a big big ol' kinda day!  The news I have been hiding for so long now is that I am guest WAHMing on the awesome congo, Firefly Collective!  I have been so busy creating some really special items for our stocking.  Of course there will be many more hints, sneak peeks and general shenanigans to come!

Head over to the FB page and like it!  Head over to the website and start stalking!!  More news to come!

I am stoked, it is such a wonderful group of women.  Squeeeeeeeeeee!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Beetlebums Ringsling!

I love me a good ring sling.  I think that they are the unsung hero of the baby wearing world. 

They are very easy to use, once the basic skill level is mastered.  Ring slings are commonly recommended from birth - they are completely wonderful for newborns and toddlers alike.  My friend Jillian at PAXbaby has some wonderful YouTube videos on how versatile a ring sling can be.

Some may know that last year I launched the Beetlebums Ringsling!  It has a unique shoulder which cups the wearers shoulder like a glove.

The always amazing Suse from Finely Woven is the only vendor to stock the Beetlebums Ring Sling.  I mean, I might occasionally stock the odd one or two in my store however Finely Woven is the place to go if you are looking for (what I think is) the very finest in ring slings.

An example or three of the latest batch I sent to Finely Woven

Finely Woven have a couple of Beetlebums Ring Slings left in stock.  I spy some hand dyed Colimacon and Cie ring slings there too!  They are truly spectacular - dyed by Sarah from Earthylala here in Australia.

Suse took the above photos - I particularly love the action shot with that special baby-uh-dolly.

The pictures following show how the combination of sewn pleats and gather in the Beetlebums Ring Sling shoulder that makes the slings wonderful to wear.

Finally!  Finally finally finally!  Do you like my new blog design?  I got to playing around with it, after a friend of mine at Belloborn Designs started up her blog.  I was playing around telling her what to needs doin' and thought, hmmmmmmmmmm lets have a go Ms Beetle!

It is late and stormy here in the land of Beetle.  Time for this woman to put my tired feet up.  Oh, come back tomorrow - I have the BEST news EVER to reveal!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

a little crafty behaviour

I love to create, not only for Beetlebums, but for my home.

I have re-upholstered lounges, restored antique chairs and an Art Deco dining table along with making many soft furnishings to decorate my personal sanctuary.

Just this week I finished my very own quilt for my bed.  I made it using many and varied wrap scraps, and upcycled my grandmothers sheets - that I slept between as a young young child, mind you!

I have also been creating on ME!   I am a hairdresser by trade, and love playing with hair (of course!), so six months ago (two days ago!) was my dreadlings birthday.  I know dreadlocks are not to everyones taste, but hey - each to their own.  And yes, I wash them twice a week :D

^^ thats me!

and last but not least, I have a Natibaby Mea Beetlebums shouldered Ring Sling available for sale right now. I currently have it listed on my Facebook page.  If you are not on Facebook, please email me at if you are interested.

Big loves and more to come!!  I might even share current photos of Possum Hollow tomorrow - once again, it is just one of those places I have to keep decorating!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Introducing..... Aava!

This is a very special full buckle baby carrier that I made as a semi-custom.  I used Natibaby Red/Grey Swallows.  I love how the wrap translates differently on both sides - the head rest is a really striking accent.

I hope her new family love her!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 2013!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry blog, I have been bad.  I need to re-connect!  So, here we go!

2013 brings big changes for me, my family and Beetlebums.  This year I will be focusing on instock carriers - and sewing on particular days only.  As those in Facebook land know, I have Laura on board, who will continue to work on the admin front, leaving me plenty of time to do what I love most.  Creating individual, special baby carriers annnnnnnddddd....


Including WRAPPIES!

I had a bit of a break from making nappies.  There were personal reasons for this, the main one however being that I needed a change of pace.  So I focused on making baby carriers.  Anyway, now I am back in the seat and have minky and Procare flying around my sewing room like crazy!

You might also notice that I am gradually changing my logo.  What you see ^^ up there, is the new logo - designed for me by the awesome Suse from Finely Woven.  I just love it, don't you?!

Just a gentle reminder that I will not be making customs at all from this point on.  This doesn't mean that anything I make will be less special though!  Add to that the fact that there is no wait time, this is going to be a great year for you to get your hands on anything Beetlebums.

There is an AWESOME piece of goss that I am just busting at the bit to share - a new and wonderful opportunity for me and I am thrilled to be involved - keep an eye on the blog and on my Facebook page for updates!

There will be more Beetlebums/PAXbaby exclusive Girasol baby wraps - like Phoenix, which I designed in 2012.

how cute is Jillian!!?

Last of all, as Beetlebums morphs into whatever it will be, I am feeling a need to thank those who have constantly been by my side for the years I have been plugging away.  This includes friends, family and supporters!  

So in 2013 I will blog more.  MUCH more!  Hooray!

Happy New Year!