Plans for bed

Yellow bed 2I have an idea for our bed.  Put those thoughts to one side, this is a house and home blog.

The reason we fell in love with our house was the master bedroom.  And the reason we fell in love with our bedroom is the light that comes from both sides of the house; it fills the space and makes it feel twice as big.

We used to have a standard double bed in there (now swapped to our spare room), but I had my eye on a huge yellow four poster Hemnes bed from Ikea for a while, when one day it was on offer in store and we bought it, just like that.  That was a few years ago now.

Yellow bedAt first, I loved it.  We moved the beds round when I was pregnant and there was so much more space for us plus my huge bump that it seemed really luxurious.  Still does.  Then when Scarlett was born, I could feed her in the bed without feeling like I would squash or smother her when she fell asleep beside us.  I had pictures in my head of voile curtains covering the four corners and gently falling down to the floor.

But now I’m missing the light!  It’s not like it’s an antique, hulking, dark wood four poster, but the lines break up the room, the voiles would have made it worse, and I’ve had enough. These photos aren’t the best example of the light, but you can (dimly) see the bed.

My masterplan is basically to attack it with a saw.  Chop the whole of the top off.  I haven’t decided where to stop yet – I’ve been Googling bedknobs (which automatically brings up broomsticks), because you could make a whole feature of them. And the other part of the plan would be to paint it white. I’m hoping that the yellow can be covered! The yellow’s good fun, but seemed a bit more appropriate when it was in the spare room.  We’re grown ups now, don’t you know?

I initially had my heart set on Annie Sloan chalk paint, mostly based on this blog post from welliguessthisisgrowingup where Karen transformed a dresser (and sign up to Karen’s blog by the way, it’s amazing!).  However, due to the very strict stockist list they keep and the high prices for a lowly peasant like me, I was struggling to think when this could become a priority enough to actually bite the bullet and do it.  One of my online mum buddies, Phoebe, mentioned that she’d tried Annie Sloan and B&Q’s chalk paint and really recommended the “cheap” stuff as it provided similar coverage.

So now I have a plan!  In the meantime, I’ll keep searching for bedknobs (not broomsticks) and I’ll keep you updated!

I got sunshine

Sunflower 1…on a cloudy day.

That’s what I think when I look at the sunflowers in our flower bed, anyway.  Scarlett was sent home with a tiny green shoot in a flowerpot for Mothers’ Day, back in March.  And yes, I did cry.  A couple of my friends (you know who you are) think it’s hilarious that I cry whenever nursery give me anything Scarlett’s made, painted or planted, but it makes me so happy!  I digress.

So, we left it in its little pot and set it on the kitchen table near the window, where it started to grow.  I’ve never been very good with plants, but I tried my very best with this one.  You know, because my then 12 month old daughter planted it with her own fair hands (with help, granted) and such.

Sunflower 2It turns out it was actually three sunflowers in one plant, and so, taking advice from our far more knowledgeable neighbour, Barry tentatively (and with a dubious look on his face) ripped the little plant into three and planted them across the flowerbed. It’s scary stuff, leaving them to the elements!


Sunflower 3But they grew!  We tied them up to keep them straight, and the middle one turned out to be a whopper (in our eyes, but my Grandad may disagree!).  These photos were taken last month, when they were in their prime!

Sadly, all three beautiful sunflowers have now died, but Barry has the heads from which he will pluck seeds so that we can plant some more.  Not that we know what we’re doing.  But we try.

Sunflower 4


Craft fair: the aftermath

Craft fair 1OK, so don’t get excited.  The craft fair was a total bust.  I was a bit sad about it because I’d been so excited, but these things happen.

I was very proud of the way my stall looked.  I went into this with my friend Lenka, who bakes beautiful cakes, and we were supposed to be sharing a stall, but when we arrived they’d given us an extra long pair of tables as someone had called in sick.

They gave us the option of having a shared stall, as planned, or splitting the tables up.  We decided to split them so that customers would have less of a mixed message (cakes?  dresses?), and it worked really well and we still got to sit together and have a chat.

Craft fair 2 Which turned out to be most of the day.  I single-handedly brought half of the footfall through the door, and my friends know about my handmade stuff already.  However, I have to stress how lovely it was to have the support of my friends coming.  My mum cried because she was so proud, softie that she is.

Craft fair 3

The excitement when we were first setting up was fabulous!  Lenka hadn’t gone to bed until 4am (and to be fair, she did a bit better than me at the fair), so we were both on the coffees from early on!  Even though many people didn’t buy, I handed out quite a few leaflets which had vouchers on, so I’m hoping that the effects may continue after the fair.

On my other side was a lovely lady selling beautiful silver jewellery (see her facebook page here), who gave me some good tips for next time and further ideas about selling on Etsy.

So, not all was lost!  Bit of promotion, sold a couple of bits and some fab ideas for moving Baby Brain forward.

Craft fair: the preparation

My friend Lenka (who makes the yummy cakes) and I have decided to go to a craft fair together at the end of this month.  Well, not just go together.  Exhibit together.  Sell together!

They don’t usually allow you to share a table, but I begged very nicely as it was Baby Brain‘s first one, and they’ve let us do it if we mix up our stock, which is jolly nice of them (can you tell I’ve been reading Enid Blyton to Scarlett recently?).

I’ve got a bit of an advantage on Lenka in that my stock doesn’t spoil or go off, nor do I have to wait until the days before to start preparing, but I’m still struggling to find the time to add to my little stock collection.  I’m also attempting to make some Baby Brain bunting (in the style of my logo!) to go on the front of our tablecloth!  Barry’s going to Germany with work next week, which might be the opportunity I need to catch up on my sewing.

Dresses, bags and bibs is what I’ll be selling on the day, and I’m also taking along my baby birth details prints and an example of a button monogram for the table (but those are obviously made to bespoke requirements); Lenka has a list as long as your arm of delicious delights, including something I haven’t tried before: cake in a jar.  Pinterest it.  It’s going to be amazing!

I’ve already made Scarlett a little Baby Brain dress and nappy cover so she can run round like a mini advertising board!  She models so well!

Come and say hello if you’re in the area, full event details are here.  We’d love to see you!

White stripes

Kiki 1Not much decorating going on at the homestead at the moment, so I thought I’d show you the handwork of one of my friends, Kiki.

Kiki’s home is awash with colour, it’s got real personality and she’s painting anything that stands still long enough!

Kiki 2Her daughter Violet is the same age as Scarlett, and she’s just decorated her nursery – she’s very much feeling the coral at the moment.

Kiki used Pinterest to gather inspiration before deciding on the final theme.  Decorating the bedroom in coral stripes took a lot of tape, a steady hand and the patience of a saint.

Kiki 3I know the power point (bottom left of the wall) drove her mad that it fell within the coral stripe, but once the bedroom furniture was replaced, you can’t even tell.

The colourful nature of the fabrics in the rest of the Kiki 4room and the white furniture means the wall doesn’t overpower; it’s an interesting backdrop to a lovely nursery.

What do you think?  I love it!



Weddings, Weddings, Weddings

photoI was recently a bridesmaid for my beautiful friend Charlie, and what a wedding!

I (among many people) made various bits for the wedding, including baking this collection of buns to look like a wedding dress for the hen do (it received good reviews from Charlie’s auntie) and sewing the tie for Charlie’s two-year old son for the big day.

I also made a couple of bits towards their wedding present, including a Mr and Mrs framed photographic print and Mr and Mrs bunting (notice a theme?).  We gave them those (along with a picnic basket that I really wanted to photo (2)keep!) the week before the wedding, but I didn’t realise they’d feature on the big day too!

Neil, the talented photographer from our own big day (who is also a friend) was also the photographer for our friends’ wedding (he’s the groom’s brother).  His wife, Amy, helps him with the photography business and is aspiring to become a wedding planner – my bunting got a nod in her recent blog post!  Click here if you would like to have a gander, and that beautiful cake at the end?  My friend Lenka made that.  What a lovely wedding!


Polka bag

polka bagI’m enjoying sewing so much at the minute!  I love that you can turn a pile of fabric, ribbon and lace into something you can be pretty proud of, in not much time (a naptime for me!).

When I pick Scarlett up from nursery, I seem to be gathering little items up and balancing them, or stuffing them into various pockets, so I thought it may be handy to have a drawstring bag to hold her change of clothes, comforter, note, bib, etc., at the end of the day.

polka bag 1

I bought this fabric this week, I thought this red ribbon would really pop against the blue, and I still have some of the broderie anglaise lace left from when I made her party dress.

Et voilà!  I’m really proud of this – so proud, I think I might add this to my repertoire for Baby Brain.  Speaking of which, I’ve just opened a Facebook Store, please nip over and check it out!