A sneak peek into life as Little Miss…

I embarked on a change-up of Little Miss’ room this week.  The turquoise is out and its all grey and hot pink {the colour combo I have been obsessed with for as long as I can remember}.  There is a little reading nook where a fireplace used to be over 100 years ago and shelves for the books, low enough for my one year old to reach.  Hope she likes it…I think we still have a few more months until she can tell me herself!

{where she dreams…}

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{where she plays…}

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{where she reads…}

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{dress ups…}

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{other bits & pieces…}

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{escapee…}

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xx Catherine JPEG

{the details… where she sleeps}

* Cot – Stokke Sleepi Cot, in white, available from Baby Village

* Quilt – a catherine & grace DIY made with On Parade  Sarah Jane Studios fabric from her Children’s at Play range, available from Pink Door Fabrics at Etsy

* Rug – a catherine & grace DIY made from four Avoca floor rugs in diamond, purchased at Papaya

* Laundry hamper – purchased at Papaya

* Change table – Grotime Kimberly change table in white, purchased at Baby Bunting, customised by catherine & grace with crystal knobs from That Vintage Shop

* Long legged doll on lounge – purchased at Queen Street Pharmacy in Woollahra

* Floral cushion –  Royal Albert, in Polka Blue / Rose buds

* Pink bunny – Jellycat Bashful Rose Bunny {small}, available from Seed Heritage

* Doll in cot – Madeline doll, purchased at Jacadi

* Elephant mobile – Flensted mobile, purchased at Top 3 by Design {similar styles currently available}

{the details…where she plays}

* Book – The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont & Raymond Briggs, available from The Book Depository

* Shoes – pink Ralph Lauren ballet flats – customised with non slip sole by catherine & grace {see previous post}

* Rug, cot, toys & cushion – as above

* Little Miss’ outfit – a gift from her Nanna & Cotton On Kids grey hair clip

{the details…where she reads}

* Books

– Ruby Red Shoes by Kate Knapp purchased at Lesley McKay’s Bookshop in Woollahra

– Mummy’s Kisses by Paula Clark & Lisa Stewart available from Scholastic Australia

– The Things I Love about You by Trace Moroney available from David Jones

– Little Miss Austen (Baby Lit books) Pride & Prejudice: a counting primer by Jennifer Adams, available from The Book Depository

* White ballet shoes – a gift from a friend for my baby shower

* Dress form – child size mannequin purchased at That Vintage Shop

* Top – blush pink Chloe long sleeve t-shirt, purchased during the Harrods‘ Winter sales

* Skirt – grey Baby Dior skirt, purchased during the Harrods‘ Winter sales

* Cape – Fly Away with Me feather Tutu du Monde cape in mink, purchased at Papier D’Amour

* Charms & necklace – letter & heart charms from Tiffany & Co, gifts to Little Miss on her christening from her parents, godparents and my godparents

* Felt ball rug – a catherine & grace DIY made from felt balls sourced from Felt & Yarn in Nepal {stay tuned for an upcoming tutorial on this blog}

* Wooden stool – sourced at the Burrawang Easter Markets

* Soft fabric cubes – catherine & grace DIYs

* Plush sheep – purchased from Papaya

* Plush owl – a gift from Little Miss’ great Auntie

* Plush bunnies –  Jellycat Bashful bunnies in white and silver {medium}, available from Seed Heritage

* Pink cushion – fuchsia throw cushion, purchased at Spotlight

* Small cube with bird – purchased at Myer

* Grey print cushion – a catherine & grace DIY from fabrics purchased at Tessuti Fabrics

* Wooden book ends – purchased at Toys R Us

* Leopard print shoes – Love, Luck & Wonder leopard print hi-tops, purchased at Macleay on Manning

{the details…dress ups}

* Clip holder – a catherine & grace DIY {see this related post}

* Elephant – Zuny grey elephant bookend, similar styles available from Top 3 by Design

* Mini chest of 9 drawers – purchased at Bed Bath N Table

* Pale pink ballet flats – Armani Junior, customised by catherine & grace with felt balls

* Silver rattle – UK bobby {UK policeman} silver rattle from the London Silver Vaults

* Mini doll – Corolle Minireves mini doll, available from Kidstuff

* Pink & print dress on hanger – made by Little Miss’ Auntie from Liberty fabric

* Tutu on hanger – Upperclass Tutu du Monde tutu in off-white

* Sneakers – various, including from Cotton On Kids, Converse and Ralph Lauren

* Coathangers – 11″ kids white wooden hangers, available from My Coathangers

* Little Miss’ dresses – various, including dresses from Ralph Lauren, Jacadi, Baby Gap & Fred Bare

* Mother of pearl ceiling decoration – from my very first home, a gift from my Auntie

* Bunny – Jellycat Bashful bunnies in beige {medium}, available from Seed Heritage

* Book with bunny – This Little Piggy went to Prada: Nursery Rhymes for the Blahnik Brigade by Amy Allen, available from The Book Depository

* Headpiece – Little Miss’ headpiece from her christening {see styling on this related post} made from my wedding veil {see this post}

* Silver bear – Wedgwood London Bear tooth box, a christening gift

* Box {under silver bear} – Maileg Mouse in a box, available from Down That Little Lane

* Book stand – cook book holder, gift to me from my Aunt & Uncle

* Book on book stand – Christian Lacroix and the tale of Sleeping Beauty (A Fashion Fairytale Memoir)  by Christian Lacroix and Camilla Morton available from The Book Depository

* Paper decoration – paper pom-poms in grey & fuchsia, available from Papier D’Amour

* Clock – turquoise clock, purchased at Spotlight

* Mini elephant – silver elephant, from the London Silver Vaults, a christening gift from Little Miss’ paternal grandparents

* Coathanger – padded coathanger, purchased at The Little White Company

* Cross stitch – “Isabella” cross stitch, a gift on Little Miss’ birth from one of my cousins

* White dress – Purebaby dress, a gift from Little Miss’ godfather

*Animal print – Picasso drawings print, purchased at Ikea

* Lounge – Newport sofa, available from Domayne

* Pillow – fuchsia textured pillow, purchased at Spotlight

* Throw rug – white Ikea throw rug, customised by catherine & grace using pom-pom trim from No Chintz

Please note: “availability” relates to the time of writing, October 2013, however I endeavour to update availability on these posts.  Please do let me know if you find any difficulty sourcing a product referred to in my posts. 

DIY Home: fabulous fabric and the $15 ottoman

One of the most useful things we purchased when we had our Little Miss was a “nappy caddy” which holds nappies, cream, nappy bags and other bits and pieces.  We can carry it around the house and change our little wriggle monster where ever she is.  However, as you can imagine, this item is not super stylish and not the type of thing I like to have on display.  So…I needed a storage solution and preferably one that was quick, easy and cheap.  A $15 storage ottoman from Officeworks seemed to fit the bill.  However, it needed a bit of a style up.  Here is how I did it…

How to cover a faux leather ottoman with fabric

The supplies:

* Plain storage ottoman

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* Fabric – enough to cover the ottoman.  A strong cotton canvas or other upholstery fabric is best.

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* Fabric scissors

* Staple gun & staples.  I used this battery operated Bosch staple gun, however a heavy duty tacker gun (similar to this one from Bunnings) is likely to also do the trick, depending on your strength and the materials the ottoman is made of)

Staple gun

* Cotton tape – at least 2.5cm wide (optional)

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* Glue gun (optional)

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* Scotchgard, or similar spray fabric protector (optional)

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The method:

1. Cut fabric for the lid. Place the ottoman lid on the fabric and cut around with a generous margin that will allow you to wrap the fabric around each edge and attach it to the inside.  Tip: place the fabric so the “good side” is showing so that you can see approximately what print will show on the ottoman’s lid.  Make sure you turn the fabric over before you start to “wrap” the lid so that the good side of the fabric ends up on the outside!

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2. Attach fabric on two opposite sides of the lid.  Wrap the fabric around one edge of the lid (see notated photo below for what I am calling “the edge”).  Using the staple gun, attach the fabric to the inside of that edge.   Repeat for the opposite edge.

The edge

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3. Attach fabric on the remaining opposite edges. Fold the fabric as if you are wrapping a gift and wrap the fabric around the edge.  Attach fabric to the inside of the edge using the staple gun.  Repeat on opposite edge.  Your lid will now be covered.

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4. Cut out a strip of fabric to cover the base of the ottoman.  Your next strip of fabric will need to be wide enough to cover the side of the ottoman and, ideally, it will be long enough to wrap around the ottoman once with a bit of an overlap to make a neat join.  However, if your piece of fabric is not long enough simply follow the instructions in step 6 and use overlapping pieces of fabric.

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5. Wrap and staple.  Wrap the fabric around the ottoman and attach it to the inside of the ottoman using the staple gun. as you wrap.  Tip: For a neater join, start the fabric halfway across the side of the ottoman, rather than at a corner.

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6. Create a neat join.  Continue to wrap and attach the fabric to the inside of the ottoman until your fabric wraps all the way around and overlaps the beginning of the fabric.   To create a neat join, simply fold over the edge of the remaining fabric and attach with the staple.

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Fold over hem

7. Grab a friend. If your ottoman has a softish base, like mine, for this next part I advise asking a friend for help.  However, if the ottoman’s base is sturdy you should be able to continue without help.

8. Attach the fabric to the base of the ottoman. Turn your ottoman upside down.  Once again wrap the fabric over the lip of the side and hold tight while a friend aims the staple gun and attached the fabric (thanks husband and brother-in-law for helping me out so I could take a picture!)  You will now have a covered ottoman.

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8. Optional – cover the staples with some cotton tape.  To keep the join between the stapled fabric and the ottoman neat I decided to glue some simple cotton tape over the join and staples.  Completely optional and, obviously, once the lid is closed you can not even see it!  Glue down the cotton tape along the join using a glue gun.  Tip: Start the cotton tape in the middle of the side of the ottoman for a neater join.

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9. Optional – Create a neat join.  To create a neat join cut the cotton tape in an arrow shape, as shown below.  Fold the arrow shape under itself and glue down.

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10. Optional – protect the fabric. Spray your ottoman with Scotchgard or similar spray fabric protector.  I recommend two coats.  Tip: spray protectors have a horrible odour so its best to spray outdoors.

11. Admire your newly covered ottoman!

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xxCatherine_PNG72ppi

The details – project:

* Ottoman – Storage ottoman, white ($15), Officeworks

* Fabric – we used the gorgeous dot fabric from Edit (look out for their pop up store at Shop 1, 92 Queen Street Woollahra) in cotton canvas, however any cotton canvas or upholstery fabric would work well.

* Staple gun – a variety of staple guns are available from most hardware stores, in Australia your best bet is Bunnings.

* Cotton tape – fuchsia 1.5 inch cotton tape, purchased from No Chintz, also available from Spotlight for around AU$1.50 per metre.

* Glue gun and stick glue – similar available from Spotlight.

* Spray fabric protector – Scotchgard, available from most hardware stores.

The details – photos:

* Nappy caddy – b.Box Essential Nappy Caddy ($69.95), available from Baby Village.

* Chevron mat – bath mat, West Elm (used as a door mat at our back door).

* Armchairs – Oz Design Furniture.

* Throw cushions (from left) – catherineandgrace DIY using Edit giraffe fabric; Edit cushion in Edit dots fabric; Edit cushion in Edit giraffe fabric.

* Throw rug – chunky tassel throw in Blue Fin, West Elm.

* Silver flats – Belle by Sigerson Morrison, purchased at Quincy.

* White tray – rattan square tray from The Design Hunter, customised by catherineandgrace.

* Magazines – Autumn and Winter 2013 issue of fete magazine, Fete Press.

Can’t afford art? Sleep on it and think again.

Our family’s art budget is virtually non-existent and certainly comes after anything and everything for Little Miss, the mortgage, food…and my shoe fund!  However, unless you are going for the full minimalist look (which takes enormous effort and dedication and certainly benefits from a complete lack of children in the house) a well styled home requires well dressed walls.  So, how to do so without breaking the bank?

Sleep on it…literally!  One of my favourite, if a bit unusual, pieces of “art” are decorative pillow cases.  Printed tea towels work well too, as do greeting cards and even pieces of fabric.

To set up a little gallery wall near Little Miss’ teepee I purchased some simple frames from West Elm and DigiDirect (ranging in cost from around $20 to $70) and collated some relatively inexpensive items to use as art. To keep the gallery wall cohesive I opted for pieces with a consistent colour theme – in this case shades of blue.  This did mean searching through the many thousands of photos of Little Miss to find some appropriate ones, but worth it in the end as these adorable shots of her trying banana bread for the first time work perfectly with the rest of the pieces.

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The details:

* Top left – three 4 x 6 photos of Little Miss trying banana bread.  Cost – less than $1

* Top right – Little Miss’s first ever finger painting.  Cost – about $10 for paint (with plenty left over)

* Large frame – West Elm standard pillow case. Cost – $34.95

* Bottom left – illustration from a 2013 paper calendar.  Calendars are particularly useful for inexpensive art.  Each year, as you clink your champagne glasses and welcome in a new year, the prices of that year’s calendars suddenly drop.  Most paper calendars have a print or illustration at the top with the month set out with one square per day on the bottom.  Provided the print or illustration does not contain, or can be cut to remove, the month name or any advertising, each calendar will provide at least 12 prints that can be framed as art.    As it is May, I found this illustrated calendar significantly reduced and whilst each of the illustrations are adorable (and may well be used elsewhere in the house), I particularly liked the one chosen as the little girl depicted has strawberry blond hair…just like Little Miss. Cost – less than $4 for the whole calendar!

* Bottom middle – photo of Little Miss and her dad at swimming. Cost – less than $1

* Bottom right – greeting card purchased at The Design Hunter in Bronte.  Cost – $7

Costs exclude the cost of the frame.

A few more ideas…

– another West Elm pillowslip –

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– fabric stretched over canvas –

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Here I have used fabric from Edit – check out their pop up store at Shop 1, 92 Queen Street Woollahra from 21 May 2013 for seriously lustworthy prints, available in a variety of fabric types.  Canvases of various sizes are available from Eckersley’s Art & Craft and Riot Art & Crafts.  Art and craft stores will sometimes stretch your fabric over the canvas for a fee, however if you take your time and have a good quality staple gun (and some one to help you) it is possible to obtain a quality result with a DIY.

–  finger paintings – 

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Children’s art is very much of personal taste.  That is, if it not by your child you are unlikely to want it in your house (grandparents and very good friends excluded!).  However, if it is something your child has created, I for one, can’t get enough, provided it is displayed correctly.  Add their paintings to a gallery wall (as above) or give your child a canvas to paint on.  Another alternative is to display their art in various sizes in clear acrylic frames – giving their little creation a bit of polish.  Colour control is key and, as my mother keeps reminding me, it is essential to “stop the finger painting before it becomes a brown swirl”!

– frame a favourite piece of music –

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The song from the first dance at your wedding or the one that always gets you and the girls on the dance floor.  

If it has visual interest or sentimental value and can be framed or mounted try it as art to brighten up those walls.

xxCatherine_PNG72ppi

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