Sunday, June 20, 2010

Natalie's Nursery

I'm sooo excited to share this room with you! My friends Richard and Clare just had their 2nd child, a daughter and sister to Josh - Natalie. I'm yet to meet her, but she is coming home from the hospital today, so you get to see her room for the first time on the same day she does! Here is the preview I gave of this room recently.

I had so much fun helping Clare (and Richard!) design this nursery. Clare was pretty sure she was having a girl, so we took the gamble and went girly.. as long as it could quickly be changed to blue for a boy! Because this was baby #2, all of the furniture was ready to be used again, but it was all the pretty things I helped with. The best part of it all was making a gorgeous space for very little cost.

We first chose this soft aqua colour for the wall for it's cool, calming effect and because if it was a little boy that popped out and not a girl we though aqua could very easily become a boy colour!

Clare loved the idea of having a tree wall decal, but didn't love the cost that many of them were, so my solution was to borrow an overhead projector, trace out a tree and then paint it white. It only took a couple of hours and as we were able to use the white ceiling paint that Richard had used, it cost us a whole lot less!
The little white lamp Clare found at Kmart for $10 (I think!) and we trimmed the edge with pom poms.

We also attached pink pom poms onto the edge of the blind with removable double sided tape so as Natalie grows out of them we won't have ruined the blind when they need top be removed. The length we needed cost about $4.00. Such an affordable way to customise some boring blinds!

I made this special piece of art for the princely sum of $8.00! The frame with white mat cost $5 from Big W, the butterfly was a $2.50 iron on decal also from Big W, the material was a remnant from another project and the letters probably didn't even cost the left over 50¢ - they are felt stick-on letters I found in Spotlight.

Clare also loved the idea of bunting in the room, but we both felt that the triangular flags usually used in bunting didn't suit the rest of the room, so she whipped up these crescent shaped ones - I love them!
The white shelf was a spare found in Clare and Richard's garage - painted by Clare in that trusty white ceiling paint.

If you've been following my blog, this letter will look familiar... you may have seen a "J" for "Jonty" over here. This time I chose to emphasise the little girl in pink rather than keep it all the one colour.

And here is a final look back at this lovely room. Oh! i forgot to mention the embroidery hoops on the tree earlier. To inject some extra colour and pattern into the room we filled embroidery hoops with cute prints - I thought they made some pretty "fruit" on the tree and were a nice alternative to canvases covered in material. The gorgeous linen ad mobile are hand-me-downs from Clare's sister - Osh Kosh from the US! What a lucky find and it suits the room perfectly!

More nursery and room photos to come when I get around to photographing some of the other people I've been to visit and help out. Hope you've enjoyed and been inspired by this visit!


Just got this gorgeous photo of Natalie in her new bed. So Sweet!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Travellin' Tags

The other fabric and craft shop I get lost in is Lincraft. Was wandering the aisles yesterday and came across these cute luggage tags.

at $2.99 for all three I think they were a fab find!

I think I might actually use them as tags for toy baskets etc when we move... and I did have to buy 2 sets, so there should be plenty to go around!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Garage Sale-ing!

How great are garage sales! I love love love them. We stopped in on one on Sunday afternoon which was FULL of baby stuff. I think there were about 3 or 4 mums who had gotten all their baby stuff together and were having a sale-a-thon. Excellent.

Among other things (mainly clothes for Little Man who seems to be bursting at all seams at the mo) my two favourite finds were:

This elephant. (I think I'm currently a little obsessed with elephants).
Bought for the enormous sum of 50¢.

And this swing.
Ever since I knew we'd be moving somewhere with a backyard I've wanted to get one of these swings for Little Man.
These retail at up to $60. This one? $5.

Did I mention I LOVE garage sales?? And I would like to think they are also good not only for our purses, but also for the environment. All that recycling and re-homing of things rather than them ending up in landfill has got to be a good thing... right?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Little Man's Room

Well, officially only 3 or so weeks left in our little townhouse. We sold it about 3 weeks ago and are now looking for somewhere to rent until we find the "perfect" (is there such a thing?) house to buy. We saw a great house tonight and fingers crossed our application will be accepted.. but it's all a bit bittersweet. I'm very excited to be moving, but a bit sad about leaving our Little Man's room behind. I went into full on nesting mode before he came along and this room had lots of planning.


But I AM looking forward to making a new room just for him. In the meantime I thought I'd share some old pics of his room before it is no longer.

Welcome to Little Man's room... I guess it's no secret what his name is now!

This room started off with just the green stripy wall and once we had our boy i introduced the blue and the red.

In my "nesting" state I made the monkey canvas and I had the coathanger hanger custom made by lilafrances on etsy.

Good ol' Ikea! Here you can see the often used in nurseries expedit bookcase and poang chair. Often used for a reason! They are both so reasonably priced and the chair is perfect for feeding while the bookcase has so many uses! Mine, as you can see, is also doubling as the change table. I custom made the cover for the headrest and then added a matching cushion to finish the seat off. Nothing like customising Ikea!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DIY change table

I've just finished helping some friends design a nursery for their new baby (due any day now - exciting!). They used a set of 4 drawers with a change mat on top for their first child (unfortunately I don't have a before photo), and wanted to use it again this time around. Dad had the complaint, however, that the drawers were quite tricky to open up when trying to change baby's nappy.

I had a look at it and suggested taking out the top 2 drawers, popping in a piece of wood as a shelf and adding some more easily accessible baskets. I sourced the baskets ($8 each - bargain!) and Dad had the job of removing the bits from the old drawers.

And here is the (almost) finished product:

All that's left to do is paint the interior of the empty space. Very cute and clever I think!

More pics of the nursery to follow in a week or so. Lots more budget friendly ideas to come!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Red Hot

I was wandering through Spotlight (a fabric and craft Mecca of sorts) today.. a common occurrence. Sometimes I go in and it's daytime and then I leave and it's dark. It is somewhat of a black hole that I happily get sucked up in.

I made three very excellent finds:

The first is a very cute J (the first letter of our Little Man's name) complete with little man attached. It came in raw "wood" and while the packaging suggested adding boggled eyes, blue skin and shirts and ties to the little man, I opted for creating a silhouette by painting it in my favourite colour, red. I think it'll look lovely on the wall in Little Man's room when we move.

The second is a pair of my and Mr Jess' favourite vehicles of transport. The little bus reminded me very much of a London red double decker bus (my fav...sigh...) and Mr Jess is crazy about old planes.

These too came in "the raw" and a lick of red paint and some black and yellow texta fixed them up a treat.

So here's the total:
Letter J - $4.00
Bus and Plane - $3.00ea
Tube of red paint - $3.00 (I actually couldn't believe I didn't already own red paint given all the red in our house!)

Total: $13.00

Not bad for some totally original pieces of art to add to my Little Man's room... that is if I can steal the plane off Mr Jess!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Well for a long time now I have drooled over so many other people's blogs - usually about design and craft and kids and kids clothes and food and... and... and... (!) AND have very much wanted to start a blog of my own. I have struggled to know WHAT to make my blog about and so put it off until today!

This cute elephant has completely inspired me to start this blog "small change • big changes".

He was sitting in a lonely corner of my local charity shop and looked very much like he needed a home .

He cost the princely sum of $2.00

He came home with me.

He inspired my blog.

This is a blog all about finding gorgeous things with a tiny price tag ("small change") and using them in inspiring ways (to make "big changes").

I love bargains. I seriously love them. If I wasn't already married, I would marry bargains. I especially love them when they are unexpected and become something really special in a home or wardrobe.

Look out for regular posts on more bargains and to see how they are used.

And happy bargain hunting!



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