Tag Archives: nursery

Glamming up the man…

…robe. Further to the sanding, I got stuck into glamming up my manrobe again. Can you tell this is my current pet project?! I’ve been wanting one of these for so long now, I’m just pleased to be getting into it!

My beloved manrobe has one of these quaint slide out rails (so your clothes hang in a row front to back instead of side to side) but it was a bit stuck so needed some greasy attention.


Lubed up, he was up next for a new coat of shining armour.

The first coat happened outside:

Then a couple more coats inside (dodgy weather) got it nice and glossy:

We used Cabot’s Cabothane, which we believe is the same stuff we used on our kitchen shelves (but with a change of name?). Chosen because it’s water-based and less fumey than oil-based products. It’s super easy to apply and cleans up easily. With 3 coats I think it will hold up just fine to the wear and tear of a childs bedroom.

Mr Manrobe is now awaiting me to fix up his handles and maybe give his insides a bit of smartening up, then I’ll be sorting Master W’s haphazardly arranged wardrobe of clothes into fresh new order. Aahhhhh!



A family outing to the garden centre

Last weekend we bundled up (it was freezing!) and headed to the garden centre for a stroll around, armed with a shopping list for some goodies for our new garden.

I was excited about getting some mandarin and lime trees, but we left those behind and I’m rethinking that plan now. For the sole reason that citrus doesn’t take kindly to underplanting, and I’d like to fill my garden with plants rather than just have a handful dotted here and there and cover the rest with mulch. More on that when I decide…

We did come away with a bunch of herbs, flowers and vegies though, for the part of the garden down the side of the house. You might recall this is going to be a temporary (or not) vegie garden for now.

Since the addition of children to our household we’ve been into organic living in a small way (or perhaps not so small when you consider that all I fed Master W for his first year was organic… think I can keep that up for Miss E?!) so where possible bought organic versions of all that was on our list.

Here’s what we came home with:

And here is where it got to:

We haven’t had to worry about them drying out!

There is just a bit more time to be spent on the irrigation system before we can get these tender plants into their fancy new abode. It was in the plans for last Saturday but things didn’t go to plan. That’s our theme around here!

I promise we’re working on getting this garden bed put to bed though, see:

Stripping the man…


Saturday saw us picking up a manrobe (among other adventures) which we purchased for a bargain price of $67 on Trade Me. I was convinced it would go for over $150 and left Andre to bid up to that amount (it closed at 11pm – I was well in bed by then!) so I was delighted when he told me (at around 4am after feeding session number lost count) we won it, and for so much less than I thought it would get to.

While the littlies were sleeping and he had to keep away from the power tools Andre went to pick it up.

I was glad to see that all it needed was a going-over with the sander and then a spit and polish to have it looking lovely but still character-worn. Having had a saved search going on Trade Me for one of these things for the kids room for months now, I was super keen to get stuck into it.

So I did. I handed over the baby monitor to Andre, got my dust mask and safety glasses on and got to work.

First up I dismantled the handles, which proved to be a little more time-consuming than I would have thought, and the first three all came off in varying combinations of handle pieces. I decided I’d better grab a bag to collect all the bits in.

There wasn’t a close up of the handles on the Trade Me listing, so I wasn’t entirely sure what they were like, but thought I could easily replace them if I didn’t like them so it was hardly a deal-breaker. But Andre really likes them and I quite like them, so I think they’ll stay. They’re also quite nice to “handle” which is one of those little details that make such a difference when you’re battling to get a toddler dressed!

As mentioned, they all came apart in different ways. This was the one that stayed together, but most others had the handle part in a few more pieces than the one you see here!

Note: I need to spruce up the handles and their hardware a bit (they’re a little tarnished and rusted) so any advice on a simple way to do so would be appreciated!

Once all the hardware was secured in its bag I got onto the real job of sanding Mr Manrobe. (Power tools were allowed for me at this point because I was working in the back yard, not right outside the little ones windows where Andre was halfway through installing an irrigation system in our new garden.)

No progress shots on this as I was hard at work and too filthy to pick up the camera. Besides, I was having fun! Here though you can see where I got to with the orbital sander, and the top level has been cleaned off, and the bottom level still covered in sanding dust. Once I cleaned up the rest of it I got to work with some sandpaper and got the edges (see below how there are still dark bits, with varnish on them) and all the fiddly corners done too.

By this time it was cooling off (you can feel it in the blue-ness of the photo above!) and the little ones were both up and “helping” (Master W) or watching (Miss E) so I was glad to be finishing up and heading inside.

I was so pleased with myself though for getting stuck in and completing the sanding job within hours of Andre picking it up! Not many things happen quite like that around here, as you’ll well know if you’ve been reading my vague and unfulfilled promises of “I’ll have some finished photos for you real soon!” for a while.

I’d hate to disappoint you though so you can count on it being at least 3 more months until I get back to this project and varnish it and get those handles back on (even handles take months around here)!

Anyway, here’s the stripped manrobe in all it’s glory (sitting on our concrete back lawn in all its glory):

Anyone else get to stripping (furniture only please…) last weekend? Or have plans for it this weekend? I haven’t put ideas in your head now have I?!


Kindy art as nursery art

I discovered the art box at kindy last week (it takes longer for new mums to settle in than new kids!) and to my surprise there wasn’t just one or two paintings by my little one, but seven! Maybe he will end up a designer like mum instead of a builder?

A quick look at my fridge determined it wasn’t going to be a solution for any more than one of these precious masterpieces, so I put my best thinking cap on and came up with a display system in Master W’s own bedroom. Two reasons: his room desperately needs some attention by way of artwork and bits and pieces, so this is a start, and second, I’d like to encourage him to be proud of his creations so what better way than to give them pride of place in his own space?

I fossicked around in my drawers to find some of these magic hooks (note: all households should have a stash of these in various sizes!) and got to work while it was just Miss E and I at home.

A hook went up at each end of the beam that runs across the ceiling (where the doorway used to be between the old kitchen and laundry):

And then I ran the string across the floor between them to estimate the length.

I over-estimated, but that’s always better than under when it comes to string lines!

As far as fixing the string line to the hook, I just knotted it with a loop and hooked it on:

Being a bit particular with how things should coordinate by size and colour, I shuffled the paintings around on the floor before I got to hanging them up (I won’t be doing this everytime we get a new batch of artwork home… they’ll just get hung on up in a lovely chaotic display!):

I love our high ceilings, but I had to really stretch myself to get these up, even while standing on a chair. (Spiders love it – I’m sure they know they’re safe to sneer down at me from their lofty positions in ceiling corners!)

I love how the sun shines through them and makes the ceiling a bit prettier!

I took a close-up of this one, because it’s a great idea (particularly for boys?) to make painting more fun:

As far as I can tell from Master W’s explanation, and from looking at it, he painted it by driving cars (or trucks?) through paint and over his paper – one in blue and one in green! I think I’d have fun doing that too!

Here’s a parting shot as we walk out the door again (and I must admit I kept wandering back to stand by the doorway for another look all afternoon – proud mama!):

I love that this was so easy to do (cost: nada, time: just a few moments) yet it looks fun and will provide an easy way to keep putting up new stuff and gradually removing the old as the line can’t take any more. I may also put up another one on the other side of the beam so we double the line space and have a back to back display which means the not so pretty backs of the artwork won’t be seen.

Note: In case you’re counting, the seventh artwork went to a delighted Gran and is cheering up her kitchen fridge-face.

Anyone else decorating kids bedrooms or getting some little project done without spending loads of time and money?

One thing off the list

Well I can cross one thing off the list for the little ones’ bedroom. As mentioned when I posted this moodboard I’ve had my eye on a rag-style rug. They finally came into stock at Freedom and I picked it up last week.

It’s great! Having not seen it “in person” I was prepared to be disappointed, but was more than happy to pick it up and bring it home.

Master W helped to roll it out and is now intrigued by the great long tube it came rolled around!

Here’s some shots taken last Friday when he was well enough out of the way that I could tidy his bedroom and have it stay that way for the duration of a few photos:

It’s not strictly a rag rug, but I believe it is made from offcuts of leather so it is a wee bit environmentally friendly too which is a nice bonus. At $129 and around 1500x2000mm it’s also a great bargain. While it’s not exactly a plush shag rug and does feel a little “rough” underfoot, it’s just nice to have something with a little more give than wooden floors, and even just the look of it has warmed the room already! I love the colours and know that it will wear well and last through multiple room updates as the colours are gender neutral, or balanced I suppose, and there is enough variation to not limit anything else that might take my fancy!

Like a yellow dresser… stay tuned for that!

I’ve also purchased another similarly constructed rug for the play area in the living room… it came folded so I’m waiting for the creases to mellow out before I get some pictures for you.

Anyone else warming up with new rugs (it’s chilly here) or perhaps rolling them up for a few months if you’re currently in the warmer hemisphere?

A happy room

We’re battling two-year old tantrums at the moment – boy was I unprepared for those. It’s a small comfort that I’m not the only one – coffee group mums unite!

The latest attempt at discipline involves a time-out corner. I made the decision that this was not to be in the bedroom as I want our kids bedroom to be a happy place. One where they can enjoy some quiet time (or not so quiet…), relax and have fun. Eventually the two of them will be sharing, and I’m hoping they will come to love hanging out in their bedroom, jumping on the beds (yes, you’re allowed to jump on beds at our house, but only your own bed) and hauling all the books out to find their favourite.

Since the addition of toys in our household, I’ve changed my style-tune and now embrace colour in its multiple forms. Rather than try and conform all toys to fit a particular colour scheme (“sorry, you can’t give my child that toy, it won’t match his bedroom”), I’m working with the decor so no toy left lying on the floor or put away on the shelf screams “yeeeah! I’m the loudest in here!”

So far, we’ve made a start with a calm white space (Resene Half Rice Cake), a patchwork quilt, a yarn wrapped W and some tin soldiers.

There is a loooong way to go! I’m thinking floor rug, window treatments (over the blinds), artwork, new storage, eventually a bunk bed system of some kind and a reading corner.

Here’s a little moodboard of sorts:

Fan: image from here via here. We inherited a similar one from Andre’s Oma, it’s super cool.

Desk lamp: image from West Elm. A khaki coloured clamp desk lamp of unknown origin has survived 4 moves and 18mths in storage and now just needs a new plug on it and somewhere to clamp to.

Manrobe: image from Trade Me. Currently have a saved search for the perfect man(robe) and hoping to find my love at first sight soon.

Mirror: image from Pinterest. Again we got lucky and inherited a similar one from my Poppa – I love it.

Rag rug: image from here if you want to make your own. Or if not, you could join me on the waiting list for an Offcuts rug from Freedom Furniture. They’re taking a jolly long time to get them in stock… sigh!

Yellow dresser: love this one from here. We’re about to inherit (third time lucky!) a not quite so pretty one from Andre’s parents. It’s mahogany veneer but I’m hoping some chirpy yellow paint will help it along!

Room inspiration from here. And if you go check out Kelle Hampton’s blog you’ll be in for some life inspiration too, she’s lovely and has no idea I stalk her.


Changing rooms

Because we like to shuffle things around just for fun (our kitchen is in the old sunroom, the kids bedroom is in the old kitchen, and we’ve recently rearranged our lounge) I thought it was time to move Miss E out of her corner of our bedroom and into another temporary corner until she and her big brother can be relied on to both sleep through the night/go to bed without complaint tantrums and therefore not wake each other up. We might be some time…!

So once again our so called spare bedroom will be home to a cot corner. I’ve just finished setting it up while both kids have been sleeping away the afternoon:

Awww isn’t that sweet! You’ll notice my favourite little rug has made an appearance – chilly nights are here and my toes may as well enjoy being up in the night feeding, even if it’s too dark to stare starry-eyed sleepily at.

Unfortunately the other corner of the room still looks like this:

Oooh (definitely not an awww!)! Not pretty. It is within view of my bed when the door’s open so hopefully that will motivate me to do something about it. But then again, when I get the chance to lie in bed my eyes are shut tight in seconds, so… maybe I can remain oblivious?!

The other corner has the spare bed, but seeing as I’ve already shared how it usually looks here I thought it best we not go there again. Let’s just turn our backs and have another look at this view: