Monthly Archives: August 2013

Choosing Fabric For A Shared Kids Room

I’ve been looking around at bedding for the kids on and off over the summer, trying to decide what we want to do. We are anticipating transitioning Brendan to a big bed soonish and moving them both to a bunk bed (which Emma is so excited for!). Since we started work in their room I’ve been thinking that a bunk bed would really fit well in there and open up their floor space even more for play.

Kids Room After - Landscape view

I’ve looked around at all sorts of colours and patterns and lately I keep going back to a homemade striped quilt (sort of like this or this). I love being able to pick and choose the fabrics and the imperfect handmade feel appeals to me.

The past two weeks I’ve been playing around with fabric and mix and matching patterns online, trying to decide what to put together for the kids room. Emma requested pink on her bedding so I found this beautiful Amy Butler print called Pressed Flowers in Carmine that she and I both loved so that became our starting off point.

Amy Butler Cameo Pressed Flowers In Carmine

I decided to try this handsome Moroccan Lattice print in Clementine from Michael Miller for Brendan’s main fabric. I’m hoping the pink and red combination will play off each other well.

Michael Miller Moroccan Lattice Clementine Fabric 1

Then I brought in some navy blues to balance out the warm colours, a few more patterns and some fun etsy pillows and this is where we are today.

Girl’s Bedding Mood Board

Girl's Bedding Mood Board

1. Whale pillow. 2.  Pink flowered fabric. 3. Navy striped fabric4. Black ticking fabric. 5. Polka dot pillow. 6. Purple and tangerine fabric.

Boy’s Bed Mood Board

Boy's Bedding Mood Board

1. Bike pillow. 2. Lattice print fabric. 3Navy striped fabric4. Black ticking fabric. 5. Stripe pillow.  6. Polka dot fabric.

So now I need to order some fabric swatches to feel and play around with before taking the leap. I’ve done quite a few different kinds of sewing projects before but never a full sized quilt so that part feels a little scary. Mostly because of the machine quilting, which I’ve only done a little of, so I’ve been waffling a bit. But I’d also love to be able to do it and I think the kids would love them so I probably just need to go for it. Because how much fun would these be on their beds?

I’m thinking of pairing them with matching neutral cotton blankets for extra warmth and a fun pillow or two. And maybe the black ticking for their curtains?

Black Woven Ticking 2

Not sure yet what to do for them. We’ll have to see where we end up. But I love having a good reason to play around with pretty fabric.

Have you ever ordered fabric online? What’s your favourite way to pull together fabrics for a room?


Building a Sandbox

Building a Sandbox - Emma in play zone

After seeing how much our kids loved playing in the sand at the beach this summer, we decided to take the plunge and build them a sandbox. At first I was worried that there would be sand everywhere because of it, but seeing how long they both played happily in it convinced me we should go for it anyway. We briefly considered making a rock box instead but went back to play sand because we thought the kids would enjoy being able to build with it as well as dig.

We looked at a few sandbox designs for inspiration (from here and here) and Dan combined our favourite elements and drew up a design of what we wanted.

Building a Sandbox - Design

We ended up with a simple box made of 2″ x 8″ with a barn doorish lid made of wood slats to keep the leaves and animals out and strong enough to stand up to the weather and the kids walking on it (because we knew that was the first thing Brendan was going to want to do.)

Building a Sandbox - Design with lid open

After playing around with the wood to get an idea of size we decided to make the sandbox 5′ x 5′. Big enough for both of them to have a good amount of room to play, without it being too big for our space.

Building a Sandbox - Deciding the size

Dan cut the 2″ x 8″ with a mitered edge at each corner and added 4″ x 4″ post in the corners for support. He screwed heavy duty lag bolts through the 2″ x 8″ into the posts to attached the corners together.

Building a Sandbox - Cutting the boards

Then we were ready to put together the lid. Dan picked up some cedar 2″ x 4″s for the cross pieces and 5′ cedar fence boards for the slats. He cut the 2″ x 4″ top and bottom pieces and mitered the top edges so the outside edge wouldn’t get in the way of the sandbox lid opening fully.

Building a Sandbox - Screwing the lid together

Then we attached the deck boards to the top and bottom pieces, spacing and screwing them in from the back. Dan ripped down two of the deck boards to fit the smaller space left in the middle of both of the doors. The sandbox was really starting to come together!

Building a Sandbox - Attached lid

We measured where we wanted the hinges and chiseled out a little pocket for them in the top of the 2″ x 8″ before screwing them in place, so the lid would sit flush on top of the box when closed.

Building a Sandbox - Putting on the hinges

Then Dan measured and attached the diagonal pieces between the top and bottom 2″ x 4″s to add more support and create more of a barn door look.

Building a Sandbox - Finished building

All that was left to do was finish it off with some weather protecting stain and attach the handles. So we brought a few test pots home and tried them out on a few different wood scraps and settled on a brown-gray semi-transparent stain from Behr called Boot Hill Grey (we’d love to also stain the play set the same colour down the road). I brushed the stain on one evening after supper and got it finished just before dark.

Building a Sandbox - Stain colour

A couple days later, Dan and the kids picked up a load of play sand from our local Home Hardware and filled up the sandbox with the wheel barrow.

Building a Sandbox - Sandbox beside playset

The kids love it just as much as we hoped! I still can’t get over how long they will play together in there.

Building a Sandbox - Kids building in the sand

The sand also seems to keep enough moisture in it that it’s great for building. It makes bucket sandcastles beautifully. And the lid holds up well to our little climber.

Building a Sandbox - Brendan walking on the lid

So far my worry about having sand in the house all the time has been kept at bay by keeping a small hand broom by the back door of the garage and brushing them off before they come in.

Building a Sandbox - Kids playing in the sand

We fit this project in between family vacations and a few other home projects but the actual time to put this together wasn’t all that much. We spent one evening building the box, another evening putting together the lid and a third evening to stain it before we were ready for sand. So its definitely a doable project and so much fun for the kids. I love that it’s one of those things that can grow with them.

Building a Sandbox - The play zone

Hydrangeas in Bloom

My hydrangea bushes have been in full bloom for a few weeks now and I’m loving them so much. They are such pretty flowers.

Front Garden with hydrangeas

With my first hydrangea bush at our old rental, I got about four or five blooms a year, so I’m so impressed with this first year of blooms on these after just planting them this spring. I can’t wait to see them all filled out over the next few years.

Hydreangeas in bloom1

Hydrangeas in bloom2

So many big white blooms together. And I love that they last so long. They are the perfect front door flower.

Hydrangeas in front garden

I love the freshness of the white against our orange brick. They look so sharp. Our lilies are getting ready to bloom soon too so it should be fun to see a little colour added to the mix.

Front Garden in bloom

I’m so glad we planted the hydrangeas this spring. They make me smile every time I see them.

Read about planting the front garden here.