Bird and Twig Nursery Mobile

When I woke this morning I noticed a soft golden glow creeping in from beyond my bedroom curtains and when I peered out the window saw the tree limbs dancing in the type of gentle breeze which makes you want to hang fresh white sheets on the clothes line. It was one of those mornings which reminds you of childhood holidays and made me think that Spring has finally sprung here in the lower Southern hemisphere – yay!

Just the motivation I need to finally shorten my looong ‘to do’ list – starting with the nursery of course! Though whilst it waits for some final touches before the full reveal I thought I’d share the latest addition – a sweet bird and twig mobile.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use twigs and timber birds and was inspired to add some filigree leaves when I came across these charming hand-carved songbirds on Etsy with this accompanying photograph of a mobile created by Hayley Duggan…

Along with the hand-carved birds I found a selection of affordable filigree leaves on Etsy too.

And I picked up two twigs from outside my back door (well, that’s putting it simply to be honest. It actually took me a good half hour to make my final selection. Being surrounded by gum trees I guess the choice was a little overwhelming!).

I decided to paint my birds musk pink. Before I attached them and the leaves to the twigs I used little round eye screws and fishing line to hang the twigs how I wanted them.

I did this first to determine their natural horizontal position (thus knowing where to place the birds so they were upright and the mobile stayed balanced). As an extra precaution I also tested the birds positions with blu-tac before I adhered them with hot-glue for good.
I know this may sound fussy (and, yes, I am fussy :-) though it was actually a real pain getting everything aligned properly. It all needed to be pretty precisely weighted and whilst I’m sure there is probably an easy way to do it, I sure as heck couldn’t figure it out! It just took trial-and-error and by the end I did almost grab the whole thing, screw it up in my hands and throw it in the air (almost).

To finish, I simply hot-glued on the filigree leaves in little sporadic clusters – thankfully that part was easy.

The completed mobile is really quite adorable (if I do say so myself!) and although I’m not a ‘pink’ person the little musk birds seem just perfect.

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Classic Dining Table Revamp

As I type there’s an infant attached to my boob so just a quick one today :-)

I’ve had this boring pink-limed dining table for ages and finally got around to giving it a simple yet effective make-over. I originally picked it up for $10 off eBay.

I wanted to give it it a sleek classic feel so painted the base with satin black acrylic then sealed it with clear acrylic poly.

To give the top more character, after sanding it back to raw, I stained it walnut and added horizontal score lines to resemble planks. You can read my tutorial for that in this previous post.

For a sleek and durable finish I then sealed the top with three coats of timber floor polish.

Along with being tough, floor polish is super shiny and always tends to add a little ‘wow’.

And for those who are interested; fifteen weeks old now!

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Coastal Map Covered Coffee Table

For the first time in a long time we were lucky enough to get away for a few days and spent last week at my parent’s beach house in St Leonards, which is on the Bellarine Peninsula along Australia’s south-eastern coast.

I’d been looking forward to heading down there for ages. Yeah, sure, for the salty scent in the air, barefoot walks on the sand, laid-back evening BBQ’s and the general un-necessity for usual household chores, though also because I wanted to finally finish off their living room coffee table so I could blog about it.

I picked up this large coffee table from eBay for just $10.

The reason I was able to buy it so cheaply was because the glass top was severely scratched, which to most people is probably a major deterrent, though to me (and I’m sure many other crafty bloggers out there) was an excuse to get creative!

Soon enough I had an idea, and if you’re not new here you may be familiar with some of my previous projects, including this cabinet….

and this map….

….which both helped influence the direction I took with the coffee table.

To give the table extra interest and a personal touch, we (that’s Mum and I) decided on a map which incorporated St Leonards (the town their beach house is in). So, I searched the internet and eventually found an awesome zoomable historic yatching and excursions map of the area.

Using the same process I used to create my large map of Paris, I zoomed, copied and then pasted (into Photoshop) portions of the digital map to eventually create one large image big enough to fit the existing glass table top. This process can take some time (fiddling with size, colour, cropping, etc) until it’s just right. I then took it to my local printer and had it printed on medium weight paper. It cost around $35 (for a full colour print at over one meter square in size – not too bad).

The map had to be printed in two parts because it was too large for one sheet of paper.

Then, using the same process I used to affix the gift wrap to the top of my nautical cabinet, I attached the map of Port Phillip Bay to the coffee table glass.

Dad repainted the timber base white which gives it a fresh, coastal feel though it would also look great colour-matched with one of the muted sea-greens or sepia tones in the map.

I lightly distressed the edges of the base with a sanding block to soften the starkness of the pure white.

The map was treated with about eight coats of acrylic sealer so is really well protected and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth just like any surface.

The digital map I used is scanned from an original so shows signs of wear (such as fold lines and tears) which I personally really love.

And look, here’s St Leonards (on the Bay) – the town my parent’s beach house is in!

It’s really wonderful to have this map, not only for its aesthetic appeal, though also for its connection of place which makes it extra interesting and somewhat special.

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Nursery Elements

With everything seeming to take waaay longer than it should nowadays I’m pleased to announce that at least the cot (crib) is finished (and it only took me nine weeks – not too bad for 33 stints of five minutes at a time!).

So, while the nursery as a whole is still awaiting some finishing touches before the full reveal, I thought I’d at least share some of the elements so far.

I’ve already posted about my DIY basket light

Though now I’ve also got some of this on the walls…

…and these on the windows…

I’ve also used a bit of this…

…with some of these…

…to transform the existing built-in robe.

And I found this…

…on eBay (as previously mentioned), which has now been transformed thanks to some paint, elbow grease and the castors from these…

So, the room really is getting there!

Though I’m still undecided about this…

And am yet to create one of these…

Oh, and do you remember when I made-over my master bedroom I was going to use these…

…well, they ended up being a little too tall so now one of them has scored a home somewhere in the nursery – love!

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Chippy Painted Side Table

Is it too ambitious of me to hope there’s actually someone loyal enough they’re still around to read this post?

I’m now nicely settled back in at home with beautiful baby Charlotte and between putting milk in one end and cleaning it up out of the other (plus spending way too long just gazing in wonder) I have found time for some decorating, it’s just I haven’t until now found the time to blog about it!

You see, being a part-time perfectionist doesn’t easily lend itself to half-arsedness (if that is even a word) so, for me, putting together a decent blog post takes a fair bit of effort.

Anyhoo, the nursery is now nearly complete so hopefully I’ll share it soon enough though in the meantime here’s a little furniture re-do.

The day before I went into hospital I put the first coat of paint on this old round side table.

I was intending to finish it the very next day though needless to say that never happened so now, three months on, it’s finally complete!

Under different circumstances I would have retained the original walnut colour though this table was destined for my living room which already had enough ‘brown’ after the injection of our new leather sofas.

I’d also already re-finished this round coffee table….

….which I heavily distressed through sanding, so to avoid a ‘matchy-matchy’ look I decided on a more chippy finish for the side table.

Soooo, instead of sandpaper I used one of these….

That’s right, a surfboard wax comb! Call me crazy though it worked brilliantly. I simply rubbed it over the table in various places – using the straight sides, rounded end and the teeth – gradually chipping the paint off until I achieved my desired effect.

The flexibility in the comb teeth caused the paint to chip in a natural, random way. I found it worked best when rubbed in a slightly circular motion.

For best results ensure your paint isn’t adhered too well to begin with (that is, just sand your item very lightly before applying paint).

I finished my table with a sealing coat of tinted furniture wax and am really loving it in my living room.

I can’t believe she’s only been in the world for eight short weeks. I can’t imagine having never had her with us.

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