I would talk to you about my personal New Year's resolutions, but I hung my head in a cloud of defeat hours into 2011, when I swore (there goes resolution #1), finished a bottle of lemonade (there goes not drinking fizzy drinks) and ate a packet of musk sticks (um, I am guessing they count as junk food?)
More achievable are my goals for my blog this year, which I will share with you later in the week......
... but for now, without further ado and ticking my "do what you say you are going to do" resolution, I invite you to come play in Fern and Elliott's little cubby house! I've had so much fun decorating it over the last few weeks. It has no real theme but is a delightful mish-mash of stuff designed to inspire, stimulate and delight! Here it is from the outside:
I chose a summery, bright colour palette for the outside - pink, turquoise, grey and yellow. The woodwork on the cubby is painted Woodland Grey (to match our house), with a turquoise door and railings. The deck is stained in Jarrah, and I painted the window and door frames gloss white (still to be completed!) To add the yellow and pink in, I added a basket of hanging pink potted colour plus some gorgeous climbers that will eventually grow to scale the outside wall of the cubby house on a wire framework. I also added some clip-on turquoise and pink fabric butterflies from the Christmas Bed Bath and Table range onto a little bird house from Bunnings, and spray-painted a Jamie Durie birdie mobile in bright yellow. The little children's deck-chair is from Early Learning Centre.
But enough about the outside... let's get inside, already!
Like I said, the inside is a bit of a mish-mash... I tried very hard to put a few boyish elements into it, rather than make it overly girly despite the fact that Elliott is not going to care too much for another 12 months or so! Here, you can see some little canvases I got from Typo (E for Elliott and F for Fern!) with some little dinosaur figurines on one side, and a tea set on the other.
Behind the door, I added a little wooden coat rack (sprayed yellow) to hang a mini broom and mop (you wouldn't believe how popular these are with the kids -- again sourced from ELC) along with other bits and pieces. You can see two blue frames from Ikea which will hold a pic of each of the kids, once I get around to getting any printed out!
I painted the inside of the cubby with some leftover Dulux Whisper White. We then bought a couple of large pieces of plywood and nailed them into two corners, painting one with chalkboard paint and using the other as an art board. My next project is to make a little "MY FRIENDS" section, pegging up pictures of Fern and Elli's friends playing in the cubby! At the moment, I've just pegged a couple of drawings and some pics of the kids. I got the rail and plastic hanging containers from Ikea. These are so useful and cute to boot!
My cubby scrabble artwork was created on a whim when I discovered a vintage Scrabble set I forgot I owned! It seemed appropriate... the little canvas is the first ever painting Fern did. And the "bird with a french fry" print is from Etsy.
Here is Fern's little Ikea kitchen. I'm considering making a little blackboarded 'menu' sign to hang above. ?
I told you I made a special effort to include Elli, well here is my attempt! Its painted with chalkboard paint and decorated with chalk (duh) with our entire Matchbox car collection... I hope to add to it, eventually!
... and what cubby house would be complete without curtains?! My mother-in-law whipped these up for us on Boxing Day (thank goodness for bleak weather!) and I think they are so sweet! I got the curtain rails for $2 each, can you believe you can buy $2 curtain rails?!
I've used some of those rubber puzzle mats you can get everywhere as wall hangings as you can see above... Fern is already hosting little tea parties at her table, and there are about 1400 rogue rice bubbles everywhere from her eating breakfast in her cubby.
Of course, everyone knows cubbies like these are filling the fantasies of the parents as much as the children, and we are no exception! Dan and I adore our cubby house, we spend much time in there after Fern goes to bed just tinkering about, and what you cannot see in the above pictures is the solar lighting Dan installed inside and out. I was skeptical (um, overkill much?), but honestly you cannot imagine how cute it is looking up into the garden at night to see the light shining through the cubby curtains! We write little messages and draw pictures on the blackboard, and I'm constantly dreaming up ideas to make Fern and Elli's special little space a place they will love.
And of course, the good times, the memories, are all in front of us. And the cubby will evolve as the kids do. We can't wait! To good times - hurrah!