A crafty, joyful, wrap!

This is the Noosh Gigi Alphabet which I originally designed for Hugh's and Noah's bedroom. (I added a mirror to the "o" for this one.) Anyway... I saw a craft project (sorry, can't remember where) that used MDF letters to spell festive words and rather than paint them, they were covered with Christmas paper. Super easy. Super cute. I couldn't resist so I thieved a few letters from the boys wall to create....

...this. See? Decorexic. I can't help myself! I have a compulsive urge to repaint, add to and change things constantly.

I chose some Christmas wrapping paper with bright graphics christmas trees all over it. All you need to do is spray one side of your MDF letters with spray adhesive (available from craft shops and hardware stores), then position it face down on the back of your christmas paper. Using a stanley knife or scalpel if you happen to have one (they're very handy for craft), carefully cut around the edges of your MDF letters using the edge as a guide. Voila!

It now hangs proudly in our living room. I love the idea of using the alphabet as a kind of "stock" of letters that I can borrow from for different projects. (Sorry boys. You'll have it all back on your wall eventually.)

I've been working on another version that I'll share with you soon...


Decorexia. Defn: A compulsive urge to redesign/repaint/reconfigure one's environment often or even constantly in extreme cases... It's my new favourite word and I'm guilty, guilty, guilty. 

Kids in print...

There's nothing I like better than going through old photos and memory boxes with my mum. There seems to be a lot more of it this time of year too. She has been an inspiration in keeping shed loads of worthless bits and pieces that mean the absolute world to me. A magpie tendancy, an inability to let go of the past, call it what you will - I think it's hugely important to hold onto those things. I don't even know how many boxes of paper I have saved so far. Paper with indistinguishable scribbles and glue on them.

Sheridan has found a wonderful way to save your kids artwork! Art Eater is a great online store where you can now have all your favourites printed in a custom case-bound art book. 

Designed for busy parents, you jump online and purchase the package you want. Art Eater will send you a pre-paid art box to safely package your artwork and send it off to them. They capture each piece, email you when it's ready to be compiled and you get back online to arrange the art the way you want/add text if you like and create your masterpiece. The book is printed and sent out to you. Voila! Way better than our box...

They've got lots of other ideas to save, share and display paintings and drawings too. From greeting cards (how great to do this for your christmas cards one year? Get the kids to draw your family with the christmas tree...), to mugs and even mouse pads! Great for gifts...

I think this one's my favourite. They shrink down each piece to around 8cm, and mount each one individually in a shadowbox frame. Lovely for the family photo wall.

Beds vs Bunks - And the bunk's in the lead....

The beauty of having two boys so close in age is the flexibility we have when it comes to addressing the issue of sleeping quarters. As soon as Noah started "sleeping through", he went straight into the same room as Hugh. It was a decision we'd thought long and hard about, and, after much discussion we agreed that although we had the extra bedroom, they would both benefit more from sharing a room and having a designated play space of their own.  (As well as creating a setup that we would reap the benefits of further down the track! Sneaky.)

It's all been going really well - but for the minor tantrum or two with Hugh locking himself in his room... But the time is fast approaching where we'll have to move on from the Noah in the cot and Hugh in the mini-single Ikea toddler bed. The room's not huge so bunks seems like the solution. I figure if we split them to start we can put the safety rails (that would go on the top bunk) on Noah's single to stop him rolling onto the floor - which has happened before... So, I'm trying to find a set of bunks that can be split into two singles. And I've found a couple of solutions...

There's this one, the Carter Single Bunk from Domayne - but at a smidge under $1500 I'm, shall we say, inspired to keep searching...

Then there's this one - the Single Montana which I found at Furnish Australia's eBay store - much more appealing at $425 (yup - that's for the two... good huh?) If you know of any others I'm missing that are good let me know! Pleeease!

Because all this research keeps bringing back to my ultimate single bed style which is this...

These two are great aren't they? I found them on Living Etc. The loft style is so appealing for the kids, and oh mama! what I wouldn't do for all that storage! Makes an underbed box look very much the poor cousin...

This one is the only local version I've been able to find from Domayne again, and expensive again at $1399... 

Then there's this idea. The grandaddy of all kids bedrooms - roof conversion, ladder access to sleeping zone, bottom level play/study space... Got a spare $30K or so? 

So the decision is yet to be made... I'd love your input. I've been changing my mind every day! Right now, I'm leaning towards the eBay find. It suits my budget and fits with my decorexic tendancy to want to change things every twelve months... Tell me what you think...

Style to steal!

It was only a few days ago that I introduced you to Etsy store PomLove in my post Floaty Fluffy Fings. Well, I nearly fell off my chair today when I saw this!

Can we just pause a moment to admire this gobsmackingly gorgeous mix of vintage pieces, handmade details and contemporary cool, cool, cool!!!??? It's about the bed! How much do we love the repurposed antique door casually hung to create a bedhead? Almost as much as the upcycled packing pallets repurposed to create a bed-base! With storage! Sooooo easy! Sooooo so so clever!

I really like the way they've used the mis-matched vintage picture frames to house a very personal display of photos, artworks, prints and things... The crocheted nanna rug suits the colour scheme beautifully and becomes a bit of a centrepiece in the overall look of the room. Not bad for something that can be sourced from an op shop for just a few bucks huh?

And, as I like to do, saving the best till last - notice the PomLove clusters that hang from the ceiling? This is it! This is the room where I could lie and stare at the cloudy puffs of colour floating from the ceiling, lulling me into a deep and restful (yawn) sleep....

Woah Nelly! It's Bodie & Fou

Too cute! I found this print at Bodie & Fou - another favourite online store - again in the UK (seems those Brits are striking a chord with me of late!).

While you're there, make sure you have a cup of tea in hand and check out the Bodie & Fou blog as well. Both the store and the blog are the creation of French sisters, Karine and Elodie. Both destinations will treat you to a stunning collection of children's and baby-wear, art, prints, home and fashion pieces, contemporary designer furniture along with unique and slightly quirky gifts and accessories, all delivered with very chic, French inspired styling. (It's worth a look to admire the styling alone!) And with the likes of Helena Christensen and Claudia Schiffer shopping there you'll be, at the very least, in good company...

Have a look at their recent halloween photo shoot...

Mmmmmm. See what I mean? 
Now where's my huband's credit card?

Floaty fluffy fings

Divine aren't they? Imagine having them floating from your ceiling. I think I'd sleep soundly if I nodded off staring at them. Especially this berry bunch. They're available to buy at PomLove Etsy store. I LOVE them. I think they'd make a stunning decorative display for an outdoor party too. Look at the colour range for heavens sake!

Hmmm. I want them! They'd look great hanging over the table for christmas dinner too don't you think?Where would you put them?

And, if purchasing these puffs isn't your thing - you can make them yourself! Have a look here for Belinda Graham from The Happy Home blog's easy-peasy craft project to create a similar pom pom from ordinary old tissue paper...

Handy salt-dough recipe

Here's an easy craft idea that'll not only keep the kids busy for an hour, but it'll double as a cheap christmas present for dad, the grandparents or anyone you like really...

You'll need
2 cups plain flour
1 cup salt (fine salt works best)
1 cup warm water
A few drops of food colouring

1. Stir the salt into warm water until dissolved.
2. Add flour and combine until mixture forms a dough.
3. Add  food colouring to achieve desired colour.
4. Shape the dough into whatever you fancy. (I've listed a few ideas below)
5. Leave your masterpiece to dry.

We made handprints (Noosh-dad goes gaga for this sort of keepsake stuff), so split our dough into two portions so that the boys could have a different colour each. You can also mould uncoloured dough and paint with acrylic paints once it's completely dry and hardened. 

This same recipe is great for making christmas decorations too. You can even decorate your finished product with glitter, buttons and jewels. Just remember if you do go down this road, it's a good idea to seal the final piece with a clear lacquer to ensure longevity.

And they now sit proudly on the floating shelf in our entrance hall. What do you think? I'd love to hear about it if you decide to give it a go! Pictures are always good to see too! Email me at tina@noosh.com.au 


Now I know this might sound a bit like an ad space but bear with me. We've just had a nasty bug come through our house like the plague. It struck us down one by one - starting with the smallest in the set, Noah. This little angel is a rough and tumble version of his older brother. He falls down and just gets back up. Where you would expect tears and carry on there's laughter and another fall for good measure. A great quality that'll probably see him wearing the green and gold for the Wallabies in years to come, but for now, it makes it almost impossible to identify an illness until there's a fever of 39 and a cough that makes him sound like a pack-a-day man...

A quick trip to the chemist saw me come home with these little gems. Kool'n'Soothe soft gel sheets for fever are cooling patches that simply stick on your head. Genius! No icepacks, no tired arms from holding a cool cloth in place... just a gel patch that sucks all the heat out and makes you feel better. Read more about them here. And note: they can be cut down to smaller sizes so although there are 4 sheets in the pack, a small head really only fits half a sheet comfortably - now you've got 8!

The other great thing the pharmacist introduced me to was Hydralite. They make these clever ice blocks out of an orange flavoured mix of electrolytes and water - a handy one to have on hand for bouts of gastro, flu and fever.  I've got both in my medicine box - now, how to keep them from wanting to eat them all the time?

Shop love: Rockett St George

It's quite a big deal that I'm sharing this. This store is THE. GOODS. Beyond amazing. More than incredible. It's delicious people. DELICIOUS. And even though it's not, it should be called just that. DELICIOUS. Clearly unaware that their store would be quite so amazing, they called it Rocket St George. Nowhere near as catchy. But then again, if they'd called it DELICIOUS people might be led to think they'd be fed there.... Anyway, as a little introduction to the store across the sea (yes, sadly this gem is in the UK friends, but think of the exchange rate!!!), a small selection of gift ideas for small people for christmas...

Magical, invisible (though only if your walls are white), magnetic art display. No art? No problem - you'll be treated to a delightful display of rainbow coloured balls floating across your wall...

Rainbows now being on my radar - thanks to Hugh - this is one I had to include. Possibly not a must have for the regular 4 year old, but Hugh would be more than happy to find them in his stocking... Picnic in the garden for lunch perhaps?

As much as Hugh likes rainbows, I like retro. And this ticks all the boxes for me. 50's design, old-school game (not requiring batteries = major tick). Much nicer than the modern plastic ones!!!

Cutest bunting EVER. 

And the piece de resistance, a blackboard clock! What a great way to teach kids to tell the time! Love. It. All. And there's plenty more where that cam from! Go check it out. They have a flat rate shipping fee to Australia so start writing your christmas list! 

Sister acts

Sister Act #1
Have a seat and take a look at these! Sister act Sarah Neilson and Alice Flynn (former stylist at Real Living magazine) have teamed up to create Penny Farthing Design House, a gorgeous collection of furniture, artworks and handmade pieces. The two sisters draw on a long lineage of the creative arts originating with their great-grandmother who crocheted shopping and handbags from old used plastic bags and yarn crocheted blankets, a grandmother with a focus on fashion and their mother teaching them everything from quilting to upholstery. 

I love these folk-esque chairs that scream individual. Can't you just imagine yourself sitting in one each night, the light scent of soap in the air, crisp, clean pyjamas and heavy eyelids - reading stories to heavy-lidded angels at bedtime...

Though my favourite piece in the collection has to be this one. A stunning monochrome piece with a linocut feel created specifically for the little miss or mister in your life. The text across the top tells a brief story about the people, the places and the memories of their own small universe. Divine. 

Penny Farthing designs can be purchased and ordered online here
What a great christmas idea!

Sister Act #2

 My second sibling find is cute cute cute clothing brand And Me Too. I fell in love with these French inspired ruffled skirts at first sight. They're so on trend with the red white and blue nautical mix - how could you go wrong? And owner Natalie is just the loveliest! Check out their site for more sweet Frenchy finds...

Anodized cups are back!!!

Noosh loves all things retro. Especially these little gems. Cool huh? They take me straight back to picnics at middle harbour with the fam, swimming in the seaweedy water, the buzz of outboard motors, the smell of 4 stroke mixed with lamb chops on the barbeque... My cousins and I used to have races swimming out to the moored yachts and back to shore... I treasure these kinds of memories. Life seems to have sped up so much since those polaroid days of tight shorts and tighter t-shirts. Note to self: Very important to remember to slow down sometimes so the kids get to have something fun to look back on when they're mums and dads with jobs and mortgages...
Back to the cups... Eco Cocoon is an Australian owned company, and their stainless steel cups come in sets of six, complete with their own neoprene cover. The children’s sets, both boy and girl, feature gorgeous motifs of princesses, pirates and animals on vivid, colourful stainless steel metal. 

The 'Retro' set appeals to adult tastes with six brilliant block colours. The Ecococoon 'Urban Chic' plain stainless set of six is great for everyone looking for contemporary and timeless cups that will stand the test of time.  Available here.

Mixing it up

House and Home
If you're familiar with our Noosh range of Frankie Modular Sofas, you'd know that I just love to mix prints.  Bold on bold - not a problem. Bolder on bolder - fabulous! So then you'd understand my attraction to this little collection of patterns. Rich earthy tones, contemporary designs, neautral wall colour and furniture, and even wall art to match. The attention to detail on this combination is something to be admired. I even love the treatment on the floorboards. The rawness of the finish works so well with the natural mix.
If you want to try something like this yourself don't be scared! It's easy! Choose your first pattern. Select one colour from it and make sure this colour repeats in the second print. Keep on going in the same way until you have a mix you're happy with. Try to keep your hard surfaces neautral (ie whites/greys/creams) and splash the colour in with fabrics, curtains, rugs, cushions and linens. Remember: style and design is subjective. If you like it - that's all that matters.
I do want to steal this room though....

eBay Goes Green!

Now this has to be one of the coolest green initiatives I've seen a business the size of eBay undertake in like, ever!!!!
Gabrielle over at the Design Mom blog has just done an envy worthy trip to eBay HQ in San Jose (can you imagine???!!!).  Just one of their latest programs is these cool new eBay boxes. They come in 3 sizes and they’re designed to be used 5 times. You can register the box number and track its travels around the country. As an incentive for reusing the box, you can even earn eBay bucks. The best part: the boxes have little spaces where you can leave messages for the next box recipient. Cute! Kind of like a chain letter... or a chinese whisper... actually it's nothing like either of those things but it is cool...

Design Mom

Design Mom

Sadly, at this stage this is something available to US eBayers only. However, being all about proactive as I am, I reckon a bunch of nice and friendly emails to the right people might have an impact if you wanted to see something similar adopted here! 

Book love

The only thing that excites me more than a book recommendation from a friend is a book actually written by a friend. Here's one of each!

Joany and the sunshine garden is a sweet story with gorgeous illustrations about Joany the cat and her day in the garden learning how special she is. I just love the patchwork Joany on the cover. Click here to preview the book.

And Pond Magic is written and illustrated by my incredibly talented and just lovely, lovely, lovely, friend Angela. How divine are the illustrations please? It's a hilarious modern day fairytale in reverse about a normal girl who finds herself unable to control her burping and starts turning into a frog!

Angela runs workshops for authors and illustrators and also visits schools and libraries. Author visits are a great thing. Hugh has met a couple of authors on library visits when they've been doing readings of their new books. I think their passion is infectious for little ones and it's a great experience for them to have to feed their own book passion. Here is a link for a fantastic database of authors and illustrators that do school and library visits. Maybe you can start the ball rolling on a visit to your playgroup or childcare centre? 

3 of the best: Contemporary baby spaces

Ahhh baby love... Nothing is as joyous as the time spent nesting on your own precious bundle's first sleeping quarters. Here are my top three contemporary baby spaces - each is loaded with gorgeous ideas to steal. 

Raw timber floors, wicker bear, cow hide rug... And that cot! Oh be still my beating heart! 

Again with the 2-tone cot, fabric squares, hanging stars, dandelions - and the colour on the walls. Usually not a fan of the gender non-specific "green" palette but this particular shade is very modern, very subtle and so, so very stylish... 

But this one is my fave - yes, predictable I know, but my mother always taught me to save the best till last. How can you go past origami butterflies? This nursery is as cool as the grey on the walls...
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