The continuing tale of the toy box

The toy box is continuing to take shape thanks to another afternoon nap. The front panel is done with the detail added and I have now painted one of the side panels too with a little robot. I just have to decide what is going to go onto the other panel and then it will be all ready for varnish. Fingers crossed the little one will let me get the last panel done in the next couple of days so I can varnish at the weekend. You’ve got to admit that it looks quite different to when we bought it! Keep an eye out for further updates.

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Progress report

As promised I have a picture of progress on the toy box. I have painted the first of the panels since yesterday (although it will need another coat and still has detail to be added). It’s a slow job, speeded up enormously thanks to Hubby being home today to help with the little one, but at least progress is being made now.

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The toy box so far

Finally

The little one has been good this week and has been taking sustained afternoon naps which allows me to get stuff done. My number one priority was the toy box, it’s been sitting in the garage gathering dust since we bought it, waiting for me to strip the black paint off it to give it a new lease on life. Yesterday I did just that.

The toy box to be

The toy box to be

I bought some paint stripping goo (it really was quite goo like!), slapped it on and scrapped away to get the worst of the paint off. It worked like a charm although after watching it in action I was very careful not to get it on my hands! With the paint off I gave it a bit of a rub down and it was ready for its new colours.

Next I slapped on a coat of water based undercoat and it was ready for the real painting. I’m painting the panels and framing cream and the main body blue. My intention is to mark off a space themed design on each of the panels and then using a stencilling technique leave the detail in the cream and the rest paint blue (I hope that makes sense!). My job for tonight is to try and come up with a design.

I don’t have a photo at the moment (maybe tomorrow) but trust me when I say it is looking better already and I have a great sense of satisfaction for starting to give the tired old blanket box a new lease on life.

Crafting works of art

Applique artwork

Applique artwork

I love pictures, we have quite a few in our house. Some are bought, some are taken and some are created by me. I am also a fan of unique things, if its a little different or a one of a kind it will appeal to me more. I love the thought of the care, attention and love that goes into something that has been handcrafted. With that in mind I decided that the nursery needed some pictures and that I should make them but I wasn’t sure what to create. Do I paint something? Do I take some photographs and frame them nicely or do I go for something totally different. After a rummage around the house I managed to find two unused square canvases and when I looked through my fabric box inspiration struck.

The fabric owl

The fabric owl

As you have already seen there is a rather friendly owl sitting in our nursery tree so I decided to create him a friend. I found some lovely leaf pattern fabric in my scraps box (doesn’t every serious crafter have a scraps box?) and cut off a piece big enough to cover one of the canvases. Next I drew out a design and found a selection of different fabrics to applique the design with. I love quilting fabrics as they are so pretty but I’ll use anything and in fact one of my husbands old t-shirts got chopped as it was just the right shade of brown!

After all the pieces were cut and their position worked out I set to on the sewing. Using a basic quilting stitch each piece was sewn into place using an appropriate coloured thread. It’s a good idea to iron your base piece of fabric before you do this (especially if it has been living in the bottom of your scraps box!) so you get a nice smooth finish.

The fabric hedgehog.

The fabric hedgehog.

Once the sewing was done I gave the design another iron and then grabbed my staple gun and stapled it to the canvas, making sure to stretch the design nice and tight and ensuring it was sitting in the correct position before starting. I found it best to work on opposite sides first, I started at the bottom and then did the top to ensure I got a nice tight finish. The corners can be a little tricky to get nice and neat but if you fold carefully it should look nice and professional (on the front and sides at least, no one is going to see the back after all!)

When the owl was finished I set about making a hedgehog with the other canvas in exactly the same way. The only addition to the hedgehog was adding some accent stitching to create spines on him. I am particularly fond of the little heart on his nose, a cute little addition I feel!

I now want to find another canvas as I have plans for one more picture. Annoyingly so far I have only been able to find canvases that are too thick so my search continues … watch this space!

The nursery

Our finished tree :)

The nursery tree.

I love our nursery!

Before we started painting the room was bright purple, certainly not a colour to create a calm, sleepy atmosphere. Three coats of paint later the room is a beautiful summery yellow. I’m not big on stereotypes so decided to forgo the normal “boy” themes, instead opting for a woodland theme complete with a large tree and owl on one wall.

We live in a 100 year old villa with very tall ceilings (3.2m), this made painting the walls interesting but it also meant that commercial decals were out as they would look too small in the room. I wasn’t going to let that stop me so using chalk drew out a tree on the wall and painted the trunk on. I thought about stencilling the leaves on but decided it would be nice to create some texture so my husband and I very patiently spent about two hours cutting out leaves and then sticking them onto the tree. Finally I created an applique owl to sit on the branch and look over our little one while he sleeps (he will sleep, won’t he?).

Did I mention that I love the finished result?

Next to create some artwork to go on the wall…more about this later.