Friday, August 29, 2008

beaut baby buys

Recycled paper + soy inks = eco-friendly art with a learning vibe: perfect! Animal poster, $US60, Ink + Wit

I've blogged about this before, but... I'm a bit of a nerd. I don't think I've ever bought a present for a child that didn't have some kind of educational element to it (poor children). And I think it's rubbed off: Zak is obsessed with the ABC. So much so that whenever he sees a street sign, TV show credits, magazine cover, food packaging, numberplate - you get the picture - he'll point to and yell out all the letters he knows "Aaay!" "Cee!" "Two Os" "Sssss" "Eeeee". And won't stop unless I tell him he's right. He won't go to sleep at night unless we say goodnight to his Made By Girl ABC poster as part of his goodnight room routine. And I spend a lot of my day singing the alphabet song. He's also incredibly good at making animal noises. Ask him any animal and he'll make the noise or action (oh, ok he doesn't know about elks and thinks deers are dogs, but he does know a lot). So when I saw this Ink + Wit poster, I figured I'd found his idea of heaven: a combination of animals and the ABC. Isn't it cute? Perhaps it can be part of his 2nd birthday gift arsenal... It's by talented artist and stationery designer Tara Hogan. A quick look through her site had me coveting these gorgeous letterpress invites. Zak's birthday is fast approaching - November will be here before I know it - so a party plan is not far away.

Letterpress invites, $US24 for six with envelopes, Ink+Wit

So, 'fess up time: what is your child obsessed with?
Happy weekend x

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

welcome to... amelia's room

The welcoming committee president

Bright and cheery is the best way to describe this pretty room! And I'd say it describes little Amelia, known as Milly, too (check out her amazing adventures on her very own blog here) - she's a cutie! Her mum, Sarah, just finished her room and I asked her to share. Here's proof renters can do remarkable things with limited options!

Who sleeps here? Amelia Joan, once she moves out of Mum and Dad's bedroom in a few months. Until then, toys and the occasional visitor sleep here.
What was your initial inspiration for the room? Probably my own childhood, which was all bold colours and wooden toys. I definitely wanted to avoid anything commercial or too themed but still wanted a fun space. There is a 'nature' sub-theme happening too, seen in the garden-theme wall decals and all of the framed pictures, which contain images of birds and dragonflies. This was inspired by my slightly weird obsession with birds.

fun decals give a beige wall life and something for milly to talk to (or coo at)!

How did you build on this inspiration? The decals came first; because we rent, I had to use something on the walls that could be easily removed. At that point I planned to make green my highlight colour, but then we found the striped rug and cushions and everything just took on a life of its own. I didn't set out to have everything quite so multicoloured, but when I found the lamp and the mobile, they just worked and so I went from there. We kept the sofa covers neutral as a canvas for all the colour.

frames aren't just for photographs - go for fave cards, personalised art or anything that means something to you or your child

What's your fave piece in the room? Probably the mobile. It was such a perfect find, colour-wise, and Milly is entranced by it. I also love the practicality of the two single sofa beds, as this room also needs to be used for visitors. They can be used as a double bed when neccessary. The gorgeous patchwork comforter gets an honourable mention also!

love this idea: two single sofa beds that still create one couch but two beds (or one bigger one if they're shacked up! or just want more space!)

Best bargain? The cot - $50 on eBay. Also bought on eBay was the change table ($100) and our Bugaboo pram ($590).
Biggest splurge? The mobile - $72 from pukapuka

display fave books anywhere! a little toy can double as a bookend.

Any handmade touches you did yourself? I painted some cheap wooden frames (3 for $2 from Ikea) and framed some greeting cards I had been hoarding for years (I knew they'd be perfect for something one day!). I also made the framed letter A from scrapbooking paper.

don't waste an inch of space in small rooms - the back of the door is the perfect spot for secret storage

How would one get this look? Start with neutral walls and natural furniture and then go to town with layers of multicolour! The more colour the better, but keep it bold. Don't be afraid of mixing patterns either.

princess milly's bed chambers (and royal servants)

Nursery buy you can't live without? Cloth nappies for the change table. We bought a pack of brightly coloured ones from Big W and they don't show up stains like white change table covers. If one gets dirty, you can just whip it off and replace with another.

the perfect baby occupier: a whimsical mobile

What's next for this space? For this space, I forsee a return to a boring beige existence! We hope to buy our own house within a year, so I hope that the next space I decorate for Milly will be ours to really let loose in.

Thanks Sarah and Milly for the tour! If you have a great kids room or nursery you think others would be inspired by, I want to know about it! Please! Email at

Friday, August 22, 2008

eye candy... playroom addition

How cool is the chair? Picture via Made By Girl

I found this today on Jennifer Ramos' blog Made By Girl (which is jam-packed full of briliant inspirational pics and "want it now" artwork by Jen) and thought it another great example of a cool playroom. Chalkboards might be as common as The Wiggles merchandise, but are a great way to let kiddies explore their creative side. They're not the tidiest though - gravity ensures the chalk dust hits the floor, so be wary if you have carpet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

eye candy: playrooms

If you can't separate the sleeping and play areas, create a playful sleeping zone - love this cubby under a high bed. I had something similar as a kid - my dad built an extra high bed (like a metre from the ceiling!) and through the years the space underneath was used as a cubby, a desk area, a wardrobe and then a chill-out zone until my teenage self demanded the legs be chopped off so I could have a "normal" bed like everyone else!

When I was young, my two sisters and I shared one room and had the other as a playroom. It was awesome - when we weren't outside in our cubby house or pool or on the swings, we were in there, getting crafty or reading or playing with our toys. I really want to do the same thing for Zak and Layla, although in our limited space, they'd probably take the large room and have a sleeping corner while the rest could be a wonderland of fun and creativity. I'm already planning what I'd do - I'll do a moodboard if I ever get some time and show you - but until then, here are a few pretty playrooms to inspire.

Crisp white background lets the colourful toys and fabrics take centre stage.

I used this pic as inspiraton for Zak's chalkboard toy box, only his didn't turn out quite so lovely! Perfect double-duty storage and sitting spot.

Who doesn't love a teepee? Zak got one for his birthday last year and we often have picnics in it outside. Inside it works well as a cosy reading nook or hideaway. And how sweet is the doll's house? All picture above from Living Etc

If you don't have a room dedicated to a playspace, create one in a corner of your living room, like this homeowner has. Perfect to keep an eye on the little ones while you're, well, living! Picture by Hilary Walker

Sunday, August 17, 2008

label love: cot couture

Blue Damask comforter and cushion

I saw this label in the new Shop 4 Kids mag so Googled them to see if they had a site - they do. And some pretty patterns! The perfect alternative to searching high and low for cool bedding - just stick to a normal everyday plain cot sheet set and then grab one of these gorgeous comforters - and perhaps matching pillow - to pop on top for super bedroom style.

Black and yellow leaves

The little quilts are made from 100% cotton with polyester filling but are completely sewn together and come in a heap of cool prints and fab colours like black and white, hot pink, baby blue and multi. Very Dwellesque.

Vintage Scroll

If bub is under one, pop the comforter on top of the mattress instead of over them or use as a playmat on the floor or pram blankie. Another bonus: they’re reversible so if you choose two patterns, you get two blankets for the price of one, which can only be a good thing!

Modern patchwork

And the price, you ask? Quite affordable: cot-sized quilts are $135 and bassinette-sized is $90. All are handmade to order and custom-sizes are also available. Check out the range at Cot Couture

Monday, August 11, 2008

is it wrong to be thinking about christmas already?

Christmas sacks, $55 each, Cocoon Couture

Cause I am. Mainly because I saw these gorgeous little Christmas sacks from Cocoon Couture. I have to get Layla a stocking of some kind anyway, so might as well splurge and get them both one of these gorgeous sacks (cause I just know a normal stocking won't be big enough for their goodies anyway!) But the one thing that I really want to get the kids for Christmas won't fit in any sized sack. I want a little climbing frame and cubby house. I'm going to get my dad to build it, only he doesn't know it yet! So what's on your wishlist for your kiddies' christmas? I never thought I'd have so much fun and satisfaction in shopping for other people!
I'm off to Canberra to visit my parents this week, so might not be around much. Have a good week!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

cool finds for cool kids

So so cute for mini chefs. It's wax coated which makes for easy cleaning (which you just KNOW you'll have to do a lot of). Elephant Apron, $39

I find it a bit of a mission to find cool linen for kids. So was quite excited to see Real Shopping is stocking the cutest two prints in a huge range of products from bath towels and cushions to bibs and aprons. And of course doona covers. The label is Nordic Designs and is apparently Sweden's top children's designer. So, having a great appreciation for Swedish design and style, you can pretty much guarantee your child cool status if you deck them - or their room - out in one of these...

Great as a library bag, nappy bag or for sleepovers. Zoo Bag, $35

Cuuute cot set includes pillow, doona cover and bonus little bag. Available in brown, pink, blue and green and also in single-bed size. Elephant Cot Doona Cover Set, $125

Cute and snuggly: Zoo Blanket Small, $63. Also comes in pink backing.

And just in case you didn't know this about Real Shopping: it's Real Living's online store stocking a range of homewares, fashion accessories and kids clothing from a huge range of designers. And the best part is: FREE DELIVERY! Gotta love that...