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The nursery is finished hooray!

Hello hello! (Sorry if this is a long one!)

When we moved into our house we rushed to paint the box room pink for our 18 month old daughter. It was pretty basic but it was fine for her. So when we found out we were expecting baby number 3 I was secretly hoping for a girl just to save on the DIY but fate had a think and went “nah lets give them some work to do!”.

Jax is 3 months old and not in his room yet but I wanted to get it ready for when he was. It felt like it was going on forever at the start – as you know the prep work is so laborious!

With the pink embossed flowery wallpaper on all walls we needed to strip it down and once we got on with it it wasn’t too bad. There were plenty of holes to fill in mind and once we had done that and added a couple of layers of damp seal to some areas it probably took about 10 evenings to get there (baring in mind I did most of it on my own at first as my husband decided I’d started so I would be finishing!).

 

All was going smoothly so to speak, until we came to wall on the side of the stairs. Late one evening we came to strip it and a massive chunk of plaster came away. Feeling the surface it almost bowed under pressure in some areas and we were scared to touch any more. Cut a long story short we attacked it one morning and managed to get off most of the paper and in some areas just left the lining paper from the top layer as protection. This wall was a mess and could have easily crumbled in our hands, requiring a full plastering and a lot of money. Thankfully we had a narrow escape, but this was the wallpaper underneath which was pretty cool as it was probably from the 40’s when the the house was first decorated!

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With the prep done it was time for the fun part! I chose to paint 3 of the walls and have a wallpapered feature wall behind where the cot would go; I chose a brick wall. Now a few people have given me funny looks or gone “really?” when I tell them, but I really couldn’t be happier with it. It’s given it a neutral, contemporary feel and I love it!

Going with greys and whites I felt I needed some colour. I knew the bedding had a pop of red and yellow but I knew that would change. It was only when I went to a local shop and found a mint coloured money box which I thought was so cute, that I found a colour to add and also an animal theme.

All in all I think it’s a mix of themes with colour, animals and textures featuring but I really like it and I hope you do too!

Below is the finished nursery and I’ll add where things came from and approximate prices in case you want to do something similar 🙂

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  • So this is the brick wall! The wallpaper had a lovely texture and grey tone to it- B&Q I want to say around £15 a roll (luckily we only needed 2!).
  • The bedding is Winnie the Pooh range from George at Asda and we had the quilt and bumper as a baby present and I bought the sheets and rug (see below, various prices).
  • The cot was my daughters, I want to say we bought it from Babies R Us but I can’t remember the name or the price now…
  • The paint on the other walls is B&Q colours – Grey Hints in silk and we had an offer of 2 for £20.
  • The elephant on the left at the back was from Home Sense £7.99 and the little baby one, which squeaks is Ikea around £2-3. There is a third elephant in the cot which you can’t see from this angle it is a plushy pyjama case and a gift for my older two but they don’t use it so I nabbed it for Jax’s room as it’s also grey and mint.
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The rug

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  • I bought the book shelves originally for the older kids room but that’s yet to be started so will now need to buy some more, oops! These are cool though – Ikea Mosslander picture ledges, can’t remember how much possibly around £8 each but don’t quote me! Most of the books were my daughters.
  • The elephant money box is what started the colour scheme! Home Sense around £7.99
  • The lantern I thought was really cute and a great colour match. The plant is plastic (who has time to water plants!) and the pot is actually supposed to be a hanging candle vase but who would know  – oh yeah you now do! All from Ikea, can’t remember the prices or the unpronounceable Swedish names sorry!
  • The blind is also from Ikea and is cord free and black out! We were intending on adding curtains but somehow managed to pick up the brackets, the ends and leave the pole so they are yet to be mounted! I want to say the blind was around £15.

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Love this wardrobe – Ikea £80! I nearly bought one that looked half as nice for £50 more! Can’t off the top of my head remember the name but it was in the kids rooms section of the show rooms.

 

  • On the left is the new carpet, as you can see the original matched the hall (right bottom corner) and was fine for rented property but we wanted him to be able to sit comfortably and read when hes a bit older so went for a thicker pile in a lovely contrast grey – local carpet shop 7×8 ft £120 with fitting.
  • The light, oh the light, I love this light and bought it months ago, in fact I had only just found out I was pregnant. It is so pretty! – You guessed it Ikea!
  • Now I read somewhere that pictures of family can help calm children so thought I’d have a little photo wall – trying to hang these all straight, most frustrating. thing. ever! The frames were from B&M pack of 3 for about £3 I want to say… The word art was done by moi although I nicked the tiny toes phrase off my baby album.
  • Now you know what I’m like I had to get some crafting in! So I bought an MDF letter J from Hobbycraft for £5 and then scratched my head as to what to do with it!

 

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As you can see I decided to paint it but used one of the darker greys from the testers we bought as a contrast to the wall it would be on. And then added some of the wallpaper, cut out and glued on with Craft PVA also from Hobbycraft.

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I did love this effect I really felt it stood out and pulled the wallpaper onto another wall.

My final project for this room was that I initially wanted to put some word art in the space by the wardrobe. Looking online I narrowed it down, but they were charging a fortune. So I replicated it on an app, printed it on photo paper and framed it myself. It’s not identical but I’m really happy with the result and I saved about £30! The frame was from Wilko for around £5.

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I love this song and I sing it to him a lot so it was perfectly fitting!

So that is it (wow it would have been so much quicker if I did YouTube)! I hope if you have survived this seriously long blog that you have enjoyed the room and maybe even been inspired.

Thank you so much for making it this far you deserve a rest haha!

You can check out a video room tour on Instagram @rabbitandroo

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Exotic Birthday Bubbles!

This week is our dear friend’s 30th birthday – Happy Birthday again Lou!

Me and my bestie decided to band together to make her a hamper. When we had a chat about things to get, my friend came across a cute idea on Pinterest.com, similar to the one below…

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This one however, from notonthehighstreet, was £75! Now we love her but not quite that much. Instead we decided to go mini and make our own.

We bought a mini bottle of prosecco at about £2.50 from Asda, and it took just short of two small boxes of Ferrero Rocher, at £3.50 each from Superdrug. We used green tissue paper for the pines as that’s all I had but paper could have worked as well, I think card would have been too thick.

And so it began, we put on the tissue first taping it as we went around and finished with a layer of brown parcel tape to secure it. Then disaster slowly followed, after getting all the chocolates on in two sessions (as we had originally bought one box and it wasn’t enough) I sat proudly admiring our work. We chose double sided tape to stick them all on as it seemed strong enough at the time, then ‘plop’ one falls off, ‘plop, plop’, two more…’Arrggghhhh’ what can we do! At this stage we were 4 days off seeing her, so I pushed them back into place and decided to wrap it in cling film to hold it until we gave it to her.

The night before I removed the cling film and got the basket finished so we could give it to her, albeit a little early. The next morning arrived and we had lost half of the chocolates *hands grabbed face in horror*, by the evening a few more. My friend came round early luckily and we panicked about what to do. The only thing left to try was my old glue gun. I hadn’t used it for ages, didn’t even know if it still worked and only one glue stick was left. There was no time and no choice we had to go for it. We managed to just have enough glue to stick them all back on, but after a stressful half an hour some nearly scorched finger tips and some choice words, it was all secure and in place. Why oh why did we not just go with the glue gun in the first place?!

Lesson of the week – find a method to go with a project don’t just go off a picture you find on the internet (haha!)

After all that it was a happy end to the story! Ok it wasn’t as grand as the Pinterest pineapple but, it cost about £13 (not £75!), we were really happy with the end result, and so was Lou – she loved it!

I think I would definitely attempt this again but next time I know how to do it without pulling my hair out!

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Birthday Card in a stitch!

I recently had a special little person to send a birthday card to but I just didn’t have the chance to get to the shops, so I knew I had to improvise. I had some lovely quality card given as a past present, and I crochet like crazy so my wool supply was a plenty. This got the cogs working, I wondered if I could stitch a design?

As I knew what I wanted to do but unsure about a method to approach it I turned to my trusty You Tube gurus, and found a good little video which I didn’t watch all of but that gave me a good tip to make the holes before I started stitching, and so I followed this.

I first folded the A4 card and chose to do it landscape. I drew my design on in pencil and then when I was happy I took a sharp yarn needle and pressed holes along the lines every centimetre or so from the front of the card to the back.

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I began stitching when all the holes were in place – be careful near the edges, too close and the holes can open up. I chose a shimmery blue and a navy blue as an accent on the balloon. I began from the reverse side continuing with back stitch all along. When I finished a section I fastened off at the back.

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When I was happy I added a second piece of card as an insert to cover the stitches. I found it difficult to stick it down with double sided tape so if you have something stronger and more time it might be worth experimenting. The insert was blue and I wrote a message on the other side.

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Despite the difficulty I had with the inside I was really happy with the end result. I think it was a fairly quick and stylish result for a bit of wool and a piece of card. The receiver was really happy with it too, or so I like to think 🙂

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An exciting moment!


Had to add this picture at the top of my post this evening. This is how I feel inside right now. 

I first taught myself to crochet two years ago this summer. I didn’t know if I would be able to do it or even if I’d enjoy it. I used you tube gurus to teach me the basic stitches and soon learnt how to interperet patterns. Over the last two years I have made many different projects and it’s funny to look back at the early days and see how far I’ve come. 

This summer I really wanted to venture out and try to write a pattern of my own. Getting the shapes to come out how you imagine, having to re-do a whole evenings work when it doesn’t quite turn out how you planned and remembering to write EVERYTHING down it really is a challenge. But that’s where the picture comes in. After a week off work and falling into what has felt like a crochet coma at every available moment, I have finished my first little creation! 

I’m really pleased with it and can’t wait to see what my friends and family think. If all goes to plan I maybe setting up an Etsy store next summer 😀 

I’ve never known what I like, I’ve never known what I want to do with my life. Apart from falling in love and having my babies, I have never had something that gives me a buzz like I get from creating a crochet project. 

I read this quote a couple of weeks ago and it really makes sense to me.

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” Bishop T.D. Jakes

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Easter crafting fun! – Spring animal vases

Apologies I am a bit delayed in publishing this post, my final review of Pinterest Easter crafts. This one was interesting, in that we really enjoyed the result but it didn’t turn out how we planned it.

This challenge was to have a go at re-creating the spring animal vases found on Pinterest originally added by Parenting Healthy Babies.

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I chose these as I thought they were really cute and looked pretty simple for children under 7. Unfortunately, yet again, my 6 year old son decided he’d sit this one out (at Christmas all he wanted to do were craft projects!). So my little girly and I sat down for another enjoyable make session.

Now in hindsight I should have probably tried to find out exactly how this was achieved, but I didn’t and probably lead to the numerous bumps in the road ahead. The night before I decided I would paint the jars (saved and washed from dinners the week before) with white acrylic paint. I figured the wishy washy poster paint I had to use probably wouldn’t cover well so the acrylic could act as a primer, hence why the jars below are white…

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…however it didn’t quite go to plan.

We started by adding a coat of the coloured paint, which was your bog standard ready mix kids paint, probably not a great choice but I liked the colours. As soon as we added it onto the acrylic however, the base coat started to almost melt off. I then proceeded to literally wash it off under warm water so we could start again.

Lesson number 1 – Ready mixed paint and acrylic paint do not get on!

So back to square one we added a coat of the coloured paint on it’s own. Again, looking back this turned out not bad and from a distance you couldn’t really see the brush marks. I ended up rushing the drying process with a hair dryer. Anyhow I then thought maybe we should do another coat, but I stupidly thought as they’d been dried we could do it straight away. I think we should have waited for it to cool a bit. As soon as we started on the second coat (same paint) the first coat started to come off with the brush strokes and meld with the top coat creating a really messy coat of paint :(.

Lesson number 2 – Don’t bother doing a second coat especially if the first didn’t actually look that bad.

At this point I had given up, I was not going to be doing it all again so in the end we just dried it off with the hair dryer again and came back to it after dinner.

Now I don’t know how this person did the faces on the jars but I figured Sharpie’s are good for everything, right? No think again.

Lesson number 3 – Sharpie’s do not write on poster paint that is painted on glass!

Instead the Sharpie proceeded to pull off the paint we had applied and made it look awful. So we paused for a moment and I decided to delve into my cupboard of goodies. I came out with felt. Ok so it wasn’t going to look anything like the thing we were trying to re-create but at this point I think the enjoyment factor was fading slightly. My daughter decided to do a bunny and I did a chick, I stuck tulip type flowers on the third (they seemed spring-like!). This method wasn’t too bad actually once we had the pieces we glued them on with PVA, obviously I helped her out with this. Typically the easiest bit of this craft at this point was tying the string around the top.

Ok, so the picture had tulips, I could only manage daffodils, but I do love how they make the house feel brighter. We added the flowers and a week later they are still going.

I think in the end we were happy with the result, and we have had a few family members say how cute they are but being the perfectionist I am it is frustrating I couldn’t copy the others.

I think we would give this challenge 8/10 just because we needed to use more suitable products, but that’s what happens when you go all Maverick with craft materials….

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So this concludes our Easter crafting challenge. I’ve really enjoyed having a focus to our daily activities and Pinterest is a fantastic resource for occupying bored kids!

If you want to check out my other activities this holiday you can find them here, here, and here.

Happy springtime peeps!

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Easter crafting fun! – The woollen butterflies

Yesterday’s Easter Pinterest crafting challenge was to re-create the lovely woven butterflies by The Craft Train.

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I was inspired to try this craft with my daughter as she randomly came home with lots of lolly sticks in her school bag the other week, and I thought this was quite a cute way of using them.

I have plenty of wool from crocheting and so I let her choose her favourite colours and we got started. As she’s only 4 I decided to try and do one and let her copy me as we go, but I found I needed to help her a bit so I found myself falling behind. It looks fiddly to weave in and out, but she soon got the rhythm and found it quite easy. If anything it was harder for her to hold the butterfly sticks in the other hand while she was doing it.

After we had tied off the last of the wool we added the pipe cleaners (only had metallic ones left from Christmas!) and then my daughter remembered she had some beads left from a necklace kit (I was going to leave them off). It was a bit tough for her to add these so I assisted.

She was really happy with the finished result and couldn’t wait to show her brother. I think it was a good challenge, however I found it hard to keep the wool loose enough to be able to keep the ‘X’ wide enough, ours ended up quite tight which squashed the shape of the wings.

I think overall we would give this activity 6/10.

Here’s how we got on (Sorry the pictures are so bright the sun was out for a change!)…

 

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Why not check out the last challenge we did? You can find it here

 

Looking forward to our next one tomorrow, probably my favourite so far!

 

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Easter crafting fun! – The Wreath

This time of year always provides a few difficulties when it comes to keeping the children occupied. 2016 has proved no different for the UK, with storm Katie passing through, indoor ideas seem to be the best way to go.

This year I decided to scout out Pinterest and see what I could manage with two children under the age of 7 and a limited budget for supplies. Once I’d built up the beginnings of a Easter crafting board we chose the first project to recreate.

Easy Paper Easter Wreath

The first craft project this Easter was completed by my daughter. The original wreath, below, can be found here.

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We didn’t have any coloured paper but we did have some brown card stock so I thought they would work well for eggs and my daughter could decorate them.

We reused a pizza box for the base of the wreath and decorations came in the form of sequins, tissue paper, sticker spots and recycled sweetie wrappers. I cut all the eggs out and she decorated them before we assembled it using double sided sticky tape.

I found that this was a good activity for my four and a half year old, where as the 6 year old got bored quickly (but this could just be boys!). Although there were about 11 eggs to decorate she quite happily sat there until they were all done. With drying and assembly time, I wouldn’t say this was a quick craft, but that is good if you want it to take up a couple of hours in an afternoon.

We would give this craft 10 out of 10! It was fairly easy to do and looked great.

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More crafty Easter challenges to come…

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