Archive for June, 2012

June 25, 2012

Perfect Picnic Table

by Gillian

When my parent’s purchased their weekend home in upstate New York – which we refer to as “the farm”- several years ago, there was an old picnic table in the back yard that stayed when the former homeowners left. The picnic table was in very poor condition so we hadn’t been able to use it.  But recently my daughter had been asking us to eat outside so my husband decided to take on this project of refinishing it. (Disclaimer – he’s a city boy with very little DIY experience). Here’s how the table looked before…

We purchased a hand sander and my husband sanded down the bench as best he could. He applied an anti wood rot product and used some wood filler in a few spots that had been eaten away.

Then it was ready to be primed…

And finally the green spray paint could be applied. The girls couldn’t wait to have their dinner outside on their “new” picnic table! My husband did a fantastic job breathing new life into this old table and I know we are going to get a lot of use out of our upcycled table.

June 19, 2012

Designer Tents and Playhouses

by Gillian

Hello, my name is Gillian and I’m addicted to Etsy!

What I like most about Etsy is you can almost certainly find someone crafty enough to custom make virtually anything! Within seconds of doing a search for children’s tee pees I came across several amazing options. What little girl or boy wouldn’t love to hang out in their very own special hideaway?

DESIGNER Tee Pee The Posh Play Tent Choose by STUDIOofWHIMSY

Play teepee with Transport theme wall art planes trains by joyjoie.

Children’s AFrame Ruffle Tent cover by Teepee and by TeepeeandTent

Playhouse Custom by missprettypretty

June 12, 2012


by Gillian

For some time now I have been noticing these adorable poufs in magazines and catalogs and I LOVE them! They’re not quite an ottoman or a side table but can double as both. And they’re great for kids to climb all over or sit on or jump on! I quite like the Moroccan inspired ones but they tend to be pricey. This one from Serena & Lily is beautiful but $450! Each one is made of leather and hand embroidered and measures 12″ h  x 20″ d.

So you can imagine my excitement when I spotted one from The Land of Nod for $79! This one is made from faux leather and measures 26″ d  x 15″ h.

For a more modern look I think the knitted pool pouf by CB2 is adorable! It costs $90 and measures 18″ d x 14″h.

These crocheted poufs by Anne-Claire Petit would look so sweet in a nursery, and would also be useful at the foot of a rocker or glider. – POUFS. They’re $120 each and measure 10″ h x 15″ d.

If you like prints, check out these ikat & geometric designs by  They are available in 3 sizes and start at $95 for the 18″ size.

Looking for something more tailored? How about the Oilo Furniture Pouf Ottoman. It measures 17.5″W x 17.5H 55″ and costs $349.

If you want something indestructible try Fatboy Point Beanbag. The fabric is water resistant and stain resistant. It comes in 16 colors there’s bound to be one to match your decor. They measure 20″ x 20″ and cost $89.

If the seat of your living room sofa isn’t too high, try two of these cool Zigzag Floor Pouf  from west elm in lieu of a coffee table. If you have young children or babies you won’t have to worry about sharp corners! These are $249 each and measure 24″sq. x 13″h.

June 7, 2012

What To Do With All Your Kid’s Art

by Gillian

My daughter comes home from school every day with at least one new “masterpiece” and like any good mom I ooh and aah over how magnificent it is.  Some of the pieces I have framed gallery style in my hallway outside her bedroom, and most just get stuffed into a box which is currently overflowing. I can’t bring myself to throw it out but I also don’t have the space to store every single thing she makes.

Several months ago I was watching HGTV and I saw an artist named Jan Eleni who makes these incredible collages with your child’s work. You send her the originals, she shrinks the image down and then hand cut and mounts 112 images in a 60 x 40 frame, and sends your originals back with the completed product.  I think the end result looks incredible and modern and would look great in any room, not just in the kitchen or hall.

The problem is that commissioning a piece like this is very costly. I have been trying to think of ways I can recreate this for a fraction of the price. So I have started photographing all the drawings, paintings & collages that my daughter brings home and uploading them to an “art” file on my computer. When I have enough images my plan is to create a poster collage using an online photo sharing site and then purchase a ready-made frame for it. While each individual image won’t be a 3D cutout (which I think is an amazing effect) I think the overall feel of my homemade piece will be quite similar and at a much better price.

If you don’t have the wall space for a larger piece of art like this you could always use fewer images and a smaller frame, or you could create a photo book with all the scanned or photographed images. My daughter would LOVE to have a book of her very own artwork. Plus you could create one book per child per year and I’m sure it would be something they would cherish forever.

June 4, 2012

Princess Dress Up Peg Rack

by Gillian

As the mother of two little girls our house is overflowing with dress up stuff – dresses, crowns, high heels, wands – it just doesn’t stop!  I wanted to find a way to neatly store all of it so that my girls could actually find what they were looking for, play with it, and then put it back themselves. Originally I was storing it all in a dress up box, but it was messy and overflowing and you couldn’t really tell what  was in there. So I turned on my computer and checked out the Etsy site (which I am completely obsessed with).  I found a vendor who created a custom peg rack with the girls’ names and princesses (of course) and had it shipped to my door within a week.

There are 2 sizes available:
~ 4 pegs: 24″ x 3 1/2″ (sticking out from the wall a little more than 3″) $32
~ 6 pegs: 34″ x 3 1/2″ (sticking out from the wall a little more than 3″) $40

Personalized Coat Rack with 6 Pegs 34 Princess by auntjjsattic