The space swap {part 1}: a new play area for Little Miss

A new play space for Little Miss in our open plan living / dining room

I recently flung my hands in the air and declared “we have to move house!” Why? The way the living / dining room was set up was just not working for me, for our family or for Little Miss. I couldn’t see her when she played, the space felt cramped and I was doing all my work on the dining table. So, in that moment, I decided moving house was our only solution – despite loving our house, our street and our gorgeous neighbours!#4 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014

Thankfully, the next morning, sanity prevailed and I decided a simple rearrangement of furniture could also be a viable solution. After a few weeks of slowly swapping Little Miss’ play space for a study nook and moving the dining room and storage units around, the room now works.  Little Miss seems very happy with her new play space and I now have a quiet nook to myself {which will be up on the blog a bit later on}.#3 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014Little Miss is definitely a pink pink girl, however I wanted to soften the look and allow the play area to blend into the adult part of the living / dining space. I chose a palette of blush pink, grey and gold {Instagram followers are now thinking “no surprises here”!} and pulled pieces we already owned, some reworked and some as-is, as well as a few new items to surprise my little one. #2 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014We decided to retire the teepee so I needed some extra storage solutions {a teepee is great for stashing all the toys, at the end of the day!} A super cheap toy box was painted in quarter strength Dulux Hugo to provide storage for Little Miss’ very large assortment of tea party accoutrement {where does it all come from!} I also purchased another 4 x 2 Expedit unit from Ikea to fill with storage boxes – which now contain both toys {in the unit closest to the play space} and my styling props {in the adjourning unit}.#13 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014White Ikea picture ledges were installed to use as forward facing bookshelves, providing storage and showing off the gorgeous covers that adorn childrens’ stories. Underneath, Little Miss likes to perch herself on the beautiful handmade stool, a market find from the Southern Highlands, and draw on her little chalk board “laptop”.#7 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014#11 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014#5 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014One of my favourite additions to the space allows Little Miss to draw on the walls! The chalkboard sticker from The Wall Sticker Company was easy to install and a less permanent option than painting the wall in chalkboard paint… and she LOVES it!.

The Wall Sticker Company obviously likes it too as I just noticed that my photo is now on their website. I always want to be completely transparent with my readers, so I want to note that I did not receive the blackboard sticker or any other product for free nor any payment for this post or for allowing The Wall Sticker Company to use my photo on their website – I simply asked them to credit the photo as mine.#12 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014An old table provides a great work surface for drawings and playing house, as well as storing bits and pieces in Uashmama bags of all sizes.#6 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014 #14 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014Prior to the space swap I had a little nail installed on the wall to hold my Love Star heart vase; it was just the perfect spot for a pop of colour. Not wanting to change the positioning of the vase I added some of Little Miss’ art and a Seventy Tree heart print, tying the play space to the adult area.#1 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014#17 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014#8 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014And the best bit? Watching her play!#15 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014#9 - Little Miss' space - childrens interior design - styling and photography by catherine and grace - copyright 2014

xx Catherine JPEG

 

Documenting… MamaPapa

Documenting… a series dedicated to finding the unique and the stylish –
places you will want to visit, explore or know about – 
as seen through the eyes of CATHERINEGRACE

Mama Papa, Avalon, Sydney’s Northern BeachesMP blog #1

I can’t… I mean… I literally have no words! I actually drew breath when I walked into Avalon’s Mama Papa. The store is seriously beautifully and impeccably curated; a truly enchanting space to peruse.MP blog #2MP blog #11MP blog #6Virgine Batterson, MamaPapa’s French born owner, stocks her own label, MamaPapa, alongside a carefully selected mix of Australian and international offerings. Brands include Cloth and Thread, Jess Brown Design, ATELiER ATSUYO ET AKiKO, Numero 74 and Polder. These studios are at the forefront of children and women’s design, yet Virgine has designed her store without a breath of ego or splashing about of brand names.  The store is merchandised to delight, creating a visual story for the customer to enjoy. And enjoy I did!MP blog #3MP blog #7MP blog #22MP blog #18With pieces to style your little one, and yourself, as well as exquisite, handcrafted, toys and accessories, it is virtually impossible to walk away empty-handed.  Not one to attempt the impossible when it comes to shopping, I came home with some gorgeous goodies – which have already featured, and will no doubt continue to feature, heavily in my Instagram shots.MP blog #5LPL blog #13LPL blog #16MP blog #10MamaPapa is at shop 11, 20 Avalon Parade, Avalon, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches; just across the arcade from Table Tonic {previously featured in the Documenting… series}.  Go and soak up the goodness, but don’t park too far away – there will be bags to carry!LPL blog #14

{the details}

Photography – catherine & grace

+ MamaPapa // www.mamapapa.com.au // Instagram.com/virginemamapapa/ // Shop 11, 20 Avalon Parade, Avalon

xx Catherine JPEG

 

 

 

 

For more in the Documenting… series click here.

DIY Home: felt ball rug

How to make a round felt ball rug

{the supplies}

+ Fishing line {available from almost every hardware store and many supermarkets}

+ Scissors

+ A reasonably sharp needle with an eye large enough to thread the fishing line through {I used an upholstery needle from Spotlight}

+ 2cm felt balls of your chosen colour {I always order mine through Felt & Yarn, straight from Nepal – to make a rug approx 73cm {28 inches} in diameter I used approx 1000 2cm felt balls}

+ Thimble & rubber patch to help pull the needle through the felt balls {optional} {again from Spotlight}Felt ball rug image 11{the method}

Note: This DIY is a little bit difficult to explain, so bare with me – hopefully the pictures will help.  Some of the photos have been annotated to help explain the method.  White arrows and lines show where a step should be performed and pink arrows are simply pointing to an item to help you identify it and understand the method.

1. Prepare a length of fishing line. Take about 100cm of fishing line and tie multiple knots on top of each other at one end, to create a large enough knot so that the fishing line will not slide through the felt ball.  Cut the surplus fishing line after the knot so you have a neat end to the fishing line.Felt ball rug image 12

2. Create a string of felt balls. Thread the felt balls onto the fishing line, one by one.  The thimble and rubber patch may help here to protect your fingers as it can be reasonably difficult to pull the needle through each of the felt balls.  If you choose to use felt balls in multiple colours you can either simply choose a colour at random or choose to keep a specific order.  I place the felt balls in bags sorted by colour and choose them in a specific order.

2013-10-15 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace092013-10-14 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace083. Secure the string of felt balls.  Once you have strung 10-15 felt balls together, thread the fishing line back through the last 2 felt balls on the string and then return the fishing line through those same 2 felt balls {the aqua and pale blue balls in the photo below} so that some spare fishing line is sticking out from the end felt ball {this fishing line will be used in step 5}.Felt ball rug annotated image 1The photo below shows the first string of felt balls with spare fishing line sticking out of the end felt ball {the pale blue felt ball in this case}.2013-10-08 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace014. Create the centre of the round felt ball rug.  Take the first string of felt balls and wind it around on itself to create a small round shape, which will be the centre of the felt ball rug.  Prepare another piece of fishing line {as per step 1} and thread the fishing line back and forth from one side of the round to the other so that the fishing line goes through each of the felt balls at least once to secure it tightly {see photos below}.2013-10-08 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace02Felt ball rug annotated image 2Try to keep the fishing line inconspicuous, however don’t worry too much as the benefit of using clear fishing line is that, not only is it strong, it is not too noticeable once the rug is finished.

Tie a knot at the end of the fishing line and cut off the remainder of the fishing line so you have a neat round of felt balls, held tightly together.2013-10-08 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace035. Add to the centre round to create your felt ball rug.  Take the spare fishing line that is sticking out from the end felt ball {the pale blue felt ball in the photo below} and thread the felt balls onto this length of fishing line, creating another string of felt balls.Felt ball rug annotated image 3Unlike the very first string of felt balls created in step 2, this string of felt balls, and all future strings of felt balls, will have their first felt ball already attached to the main round of the rug.  The photo below shows a string of felt balls I have created later in the process.  Each time you create a string of felt balls, add felt balls until the fishing line has about 10 cm remaining.Felt ball rug annotated image 8{6} Secure the string of felt balls.  Thread the fishing line back through the last 2 felt balls on the string {the grey and light blue balls in the photo below} and thread back and forth through a couple of felt balls to secure the string of felt balls.  Cut end of fishing line so that it is neat.Felt ball rug annotated image 52013-10-15 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace15{7} Prepare a length of fishing line & attach the string to the round of the rug.  Prepare another length of fishing line in accordance with step 1.  The fishing line should be longer than the length of the string that needs to be attached.

Thread the fishing line through the last felt ball attached to the main round of the rug {the grey felt ball in the picture below}.Felt ball rug annotated image 6Secure the new string of felt balls to the growing round of felt balls by threading the fishing line through the row of felt balls on the outside of the round and then back through the new string of felt balls.Felt ball rug annotated image 7Felt ball rug annotated image 9Provided you cut your fishing line longer than the string of felt balls you had to attach, you will have some fishing line sticking out of the “last” felt ball that was secured to the round.

{8} Repeat until you have a rug of desired size.  Once again thread another 10-15 felt balls on this fishing wire {step 5} and secure it by threading the line back through the last 2 felt balls on the string {step 6}.  Prepare a new length of fishing line {longer than the length of the string you need to attach} and secure the felt balls to the round of the rug {step 7}.  Continue repeating steps 5, 6 & 7 until you have the size of rug you require.  At the very end simply secure the final string of felt balls to the round with the fishing line.

Essentially, once you get going, each length of fishing line you prepare will first be used to secure a string of felt balls to the round of the rug and then be the base on which to thread new felt balls on, to create a new string of felt balls.

Tip: during the construction process it is worthwhile keeping the rug relatively flat.  I simply left a pile of heavy coffee table books on the rug over night.2013-10-14 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace079. Congratulate yourself {this is not an easy DIY}, style up your space and admire you creation!Felt ball rug annotated image 102013-10-17 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace19I would love to hear from you if you have a go at following this tutorial – especially in terms of how I could make it easier to follow.  Please leave a comment or send me an email.

{the details}

+ Felt balls sourced from Felt & Yarn in Nepal

+ Other materials available from Spotlight

+ Styling & photography by catherine & grace {if you would like further details about any other items photographed, please contact me}

{the alternatives}

You can find more rug ideas on BobVila’s blog {which also features my DIY felt ball rug tutorial}.

Felt & Yarn and Felt Ball Rug can create a felt ball rug especially for you should you decide it may be easier to order one online {probably the sensible decision!}  The rugs produced by both companies are made in Nepal and can be customised in a variety of ways, including colour.

BolletjesKleed_Foto

{Photo courtesy of Felt Ball Rug}

xx Catherine JPEG

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