Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Farewell Footscray and our home sweet home

A note from me: Here's a post I wrote a year ago and never posted. As much as I have truly adored writing this blog, I feel it may have run its natural course. Reading over this post, it seems to finish things off with "after" photos of our place before we moved last June. These days, you can find me on Instagram @charleswhyte. As always, I'm hunting for the things that make our hearts sing and most days, I find a few gems. My little cuties brighten the greyest of days! I hope our paths cross again soon. 

Over five years ago, one of my early blog posts was titled "Au revoir Moonee Ponds, Hello Footscray". Now, with mixed feelings, we are saying goodbye to our sweet home in Footscray and moving on to something bigger in the nearby suburb of Yarraville.

Another of my very early blog posts, titled "A place to call my own" shared a photo of our place way back then. In that post I said something about imagining the house when we'd poured our souls and a coat of paint over it. I'm now confident we've done both so perhaps it really is the right time to bid farewell. 

We've come a long way, baby! Parts of our journey in transforming this house into our home have been documented here so it seems only right to share the end of the road too. Throughout this post are the photos taken by our real estate agent, Jas Stephens. Most rooms have been shown here before, but these shots with their panned out, wide angles give you a slightly different view and show you some of the general improvements that I never shared. The external painting, new front garden and dark floor stain are the obvious examples. 

A few notes on colours and suppliers...
Paint: Exterior walls are painted Haymes Silverado, windows are Dulux Vivid White, gutters, verandah posts and door are Ironstone (Colorbond), roof is Sonora Sea (also a Colorbond colour). 
Deck: jarrah tongue and groove boards for a period look. Made by my very clever Mister and our carpenter friend, Yan. 
Chairs: salvaged from my Grandad's shed and painted by moi 
Path: bluestone pavers quarried locally in Victoria
Turf: King's Pride buffalo laid by aforementioned clever guy
Lacework: "Chantilly" powder coated aluminium by Chatterton's 

Come inside...

This is a view of the front hall inside the front door, looking into the living room and our bedroom. An old post on making an entrance shows some before shots of this space. Our bedroom hasn't featured a lot on the blog, perhaps because it started as the nicest room when we bought and we never painted it! We did swap the mauve damask curtains and lace for something simpler, replaced the dated light fitting, stained the floors and installed a split system.

Leo's nursery has popped up a few times, most recently here. It's one of my favourite rooms and gets the best afternoon light. I'm so excited that it will soon appear in Little One magazine! It was our guest room BB (Before Baby). Do you remember this?

The living room is looking much better here than when it was covered in red brick dust. I don't miss that. Old posts here  and here. And really old ones hereherehere.

For most of our time here, we've used the third bedroom as a study (see this old post on how we transformed this space with paint and this post for how it looked afterwards). When Leo arrived, we put a sofa bed in here for guests and installed the robes on either side (they were an awesome find on a 'buy, swap, sell' site on Facebook!). To sell, we put a proper spare bed in here rather than a sofa bed. On the day these photos were taken, I stapled fabric from Spotlight on a canvas to create some "art" for above the bed.

In the bathroom, we replaced tabs, doorknobs, the mirror and shower curtain (see details here) to make the space our own without major work.

I would have loved to replace the kitchen floor tiles and cabinets but just replacing the mixer tap (is it a faucet?!) and the door handles made a big difference to my enjoyment of the space.

I never blogged about it but one of my favourite changes in the kitchen was removing the timber venetian blinds and replacing with a white roller blind hidden behind a pelmet I had made (covered in black and white fabric from Ikea). We also painted over the tile strip in Dulux Domino and painted the walls on this side in Dulux Whisper White.

We also went Domino crazy over the other side of this room in the dining area. The dark colour makes a gorgeous, intimate space for a dinner party. As you can see, I never got around to sanding the inside of the French door in order to paint it (so much to do, so little time!).

The first bit of work on this space is documented here. Of course, we did the floor boards after this time (LOVE black Japan floors!). You also get a glimpse in this post on the kitchen dresser.

Here's our tiny back yard and one of our biggest reasons for moving. The little man needs some grass! Good news is that our new abode has that in abundance.

I do love these hedges though. 

So there you have it, a glimpse into our little home, sweet, home. It has blessed us with five good years and I will miss it dearly. Six weeks after settlement, our second bundle of joy is due! So times are a'changin' and new pastures are calling. Our new place is in dire need of some love which means starting over. This time we will have the space to create a forever home if it feels right.

So where are we going?!

Initially we had hoped to find a new place closer to home in West Footscray, but it wasn't to be. I feel a sense of trepidation moving suburbs. Rather silly since Yarraville is about 3 kilometres away and a lovely place to live, by all accounts! I love my home though, and I love the little WeFo community. In the days following the auction of our new place, my mind filled with the things I'd miss. The funniest things, like not being so close to Sims, our local independent supermarket, where we bump into Rodney. He's lived in the same house on Barkly Street all his life and is spending his later years strolling between Sims and the cafes and shops of West Footscray. Sometimes he calls Leo "Leon" but so what?! Back in December we bumped into him at the local medical clinic when Leo hurt his leg and only recently has Rodney stopped asking how it's going. Bless him. I'm also coming to terms with being further from Leo's child care centre (until we get into the one in Yarraville which could be a year or two) and not being able to walk 100 metres to my hairdresser! Of course, there are going to be so many wonderful new things to discover in our new 'hood but I have to have my little grieving period.

P.S I know I have committed the immortal blogging sin of going AWOL for far, far too long. I do apologise. I have thought of you, dear bloggy and dear reader, so much in this time but just never managed to put finger to keyboard. Shocking and ridiculous I know. I'm working on making time for things I love but it ain't easy, as I'm sure you all know. Motherhood is a consuming beast, as is life itself! If you're not careful, it sucks you in and suddenly another year has flashed by. I want to promise that I will stop picking up the endless trail of toys and fussing over the next meal in order to write another post pronto... but I'd hate to break a promise! Until next time, take care and just do things that make your little heart sing :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Gifts for a newborn: DIY felt finger puppets and theatre

When friends had a beautiful baby boy last month, I knew I wanted to get crafty and give them some handmade gifts. It just made sense since they are great supporters of this blog and my DIY projects, plus Mrs Tee (now Mummy Tee!) is known to make amazing advent calendars each Christmas for her little family members.

After seeing the felt characters that Jenny made for her daughter on Little Green Notebook, and reading how she treasured the things her own mum made for her growing up, I was inspired to make felt finger puppets.

For the puppets themselves, I found heaps of inspiration by doing a Google image search and just picked animals and designs I liked. See my Pinterest board for more ideas and to see where I borrowed my designs from. I ended up with a lion, zebra, giraffe, rabbit and fox.

The fox was inspired by this chevron onsie in Big W. I'm not big on heaps of emblems, patterns and words splashed all over baby clothes but I think this one is adorable. Bargain prices at Big W too. If you are prepared to wade past the not-so-adorable clothes and squint creatively, you can find some good stuff at the cheap department or chain stores.

Baby Tee will be well out of this body suit by the time he can play with the finger puppet but I enjoyed making it all coordinate :)

 To make the puppets, you will need felt pieces in various colours, sharp scissors and glue. I also used little stick-on eyes but you don't need these if you'd prefer to cut eyes from the felt.

 I found all the supplies at Spotlight but most craft stores would have these items. I chose to use a hot glue gun because I had one already. Fabric glue would also work.

After lots of cutting and glueing while baby Leo was napping or playing, I ended up with five finger puppets I loved. Somehow, they seemed a little lost without a theatre so I transformed a box from one of Leo's toys into a little home for them. The hot glue gun worked wonders in adhering the striped fabric onto the box as curtains for the theatre. For the red cardboard though, a combination of craft glue and double-sided tape was more than enough.

The back and sides of the theatre are covered in brown kraft paper and jazzed up with stars cut from yellow card and stickers from Kikki K.

The box originally had a red lid so it was perfect for creating an entrance to the backstage area.

So there you have it, a little theatre and five furry friends for Baby Tee. Hopefully it holds up long enough for him to direct a few puppet shows in years to come. I had such fun making it.

To round out his gift, I picked up a few other pieces at Big W that we've found really handy with Leo.  Firstly a three pack of these white body suits or onesies. My nanna got Leo a set in size 000 and we had them on him for so many months under clothes in place of a singlet or with a pair of leggings (like the navy and grey pair below which were about $5). They just seemed to stretch with him. I promise we weren't squishing the life out of him when I say he was still wearing them even when his other clothes were 00 and even 0! I've noticed Big W doesn't always have stock of all the sizes in white so I may not be the only person to think they are good value (about $9 for a 3 pack).

In the suit pictured, I sewed on a little pocket just for fun.

The last item, in the far right of the photo below, is a new style Bonds Wondersuit. The fabulous thing about these is the two-way zipper which is exactly what you need when changing nappies overnight. Who really wants to do up all those buttons or snap fasteners in the dead of night?! Or anytime really. A baby might as well take advantage of being able to wear a onesie day and night. After all, they grow up so quickly and will be wearing separate tops and bottoms for the majority of their lives. Baby Tee, kick back while you can. Wear onesies and play finger puppets! And have a lot of fun! xx



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