Jungled up dresser

Major project of the nesting period, and probably the one I’m most proud of, next to the mobile.

When the Boy and I first moved in together, I realised quite quickly that there wasn’t enough space for my clothes. I am, at heart, cheap, so I also didn’t want to pay for a new dresser. Instead I hunted on gumtree and came across a second hand chest of drawers.

I can’t remember what we paid now, it was definitely less than $50, I think it was more around $20, but not sure. We bought it from a man who literally lived on the other side of town to us, and was the most monosyllabic mopey person I’ve ever met. You think we were buying a wedding present from a failed marriage.

It was fairly ugly, but it was cheap and served a purpose. In our new house we’re going to have a flashy walk in robe, so this chest of drawers was likely to see itself on another gumtree ad, or donated away. That was until I got it into my head that I wanted to make a set of jungle drawers for incoming Bub.

I wish I took a starting photo of the ugliness of this dresser, but here’s a mid-sanding shot.

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This awful brown, broken knobs which had been super glued back on instead of replaced. But solid pine, not a hint of veneer, and therefore it could be at the whim of my electric sander. (Please note, do not buy a cheap sander like me, you’ll pay the price in it melting on you when you’ve been using it too long. This sanding on the top of the dresser was almost too much for it, and we’ve now had to toss it out cause of the whole electrocution risk.)

One coat of primer, a decorative amount of acrylic paint, add to that a spray coat of varnish, and you have yourself a transformed chest of drawers. I google imaged searched “peekaboo animals,” to get a good idea of how to draw each of the animals and get their proportions right. The hippo drove me nuts and took a few goes to get right. The lion is currently my favourite.

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The handles were a cheap set of plastic toys which the Boy turned into handles for me, using bits of dow, a finger destroying moment of saw use, and a liberal amount of glue.

All in all, I think we did a great job. I can’t wait to see it in bub’s nursery in the new house. Which the builders promise me we’ll be moved in by the end of August… hopefully sooner. 🙂

Not sure what to do next as I think I’ve covered off all the pieces I’ve done in the past few months. It may have to wait until I’m in the next house as most of my stuff is still in boxes, or the projects I’ve already started require a good deal more space to finish. So I guess it’s a watch this space.

 

 

 

 

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Dragon Mobile

Well, it’s been a while, but I feel justified a little this time in the delay. Did have the baby, and discovered that people don’t lie when they go on about never having enough time. At least in the first few weeks. I’m slowly now starting to get a handle on it all, I think. This could come back to bite me on the arse as Bub has routinely shown me that it is indeed possible to cry for three hours straight. But hey, I have some time now, and I’m updating my blog. Yay!

Things people have assumed that would change about me is that I would like other babies now, too.

That hasn’t changed. I am still not a baby person. I still don’t want to hold other people’s babies. Other people can hold their babies. I agree with this situation.

Mine, on the other hand, I assume is the most adorable, sweet, and the funniest baby ever to have existed. I can’t understand why no one else would think that. (So I’ve got the crazy one-sided mum thing down pat.)

Anyway, enough on that. I’m still catching up on the “Things I’ve Made In My Nesting Phase…”

Onto the next item. The dragon mobile.

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(I would have gone for more artsy images, but our house was under siege by European wasps and they really liked the sun, and I didn’t really like them…)

This has been an absolute hit. It hangs above the change table and Bub just stars at it, smiles and chat away, which makes changing him easier. Well, it did before he learned how to raise his legs up, and now he tries to dance, but at least there’s minimal screaming involved.

The mobile stand was pilfered from the one I used to have above my cot as a baby. It has a musical and spinning element, which is cute. You can buy them off of Ebay for not much at all. Just remember, they’re called “crib mobile,” not cot.

The dragons are from a Ravelry pattern by Lily Coulombe; baby dragon amigurumi. I just omitted the wire insert for the wings because that might have been a little too dangerous. I also stitched on the eyes, because laziness kicked in again and I couldn’t be bothered tracking down those safety eyes. A consequence of this is the eyes are very small and they kinda look a little forlorn.

The sun is something I knocked up. Very simple and I’ll share that here as I took pictures this time!

I drew a sun template on some cardboard. I made sure the points were opposite another, as I find that balance makes it look a little neater. But then I do the points of various heights to give it a little quirk.

I cut out that design on two pieces of felt. I then used a pencil to sketch out a circle in the centre of the sun.

Next, using a back stitch and some orange wool, I stitched up the centre circle. Leaving a gap to stuff it full of filling. (I have been using the same old pillow for my projects which require filling for ages now. You don’t need a lot of stuffing to do any of this, even some old material scraps would have worked.)

I did the face in black wool using back stitch again. Babies see strong colours and contrast early on. Which is why I went for the black. They also see faces, so hey, thought that was the best way to go.

For the cheeks, I just drew them on with a red sharpie. You could use two bits of red felt, but I didn’t have any, and sometimes lazy is the best option.

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You then use good old blanket stitch around the outside, curse a few times because you chose the bluntest needle possible to do it and you’ve slammed into your fingers too many times, and you’re sun is complete.

I chose to do the face after I’d stuffed the sun. I found that was the only way I could make sure I would get the proportions right. You may find it easier to do the face before, but really that, and a sharper needle, are the only possible changes I’d make to this design.

We haven’t named the dragons yet, but I think after I got a request from the Boy to make a black one, they’re probably going to end up with War Craft names. Probably better than Game of Thrones, as I made four, not three, and the dragon only has three heads (because four would be unseemly.)

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

So next time I’ll get onto one of the last catch up pieces. I think. And it involves this little guy:

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What have I been doing…

So, turns out it’s been two years since my last blog post, and that pretty much sums up my skills at keeping up to date with blogs.

It’s been a pretty busy two years. The Boy and I got married, sold a house, moved into a temporary rental, and are building a house. I got a new job, Boy got a new job, dog went on some drugs to make him less anxious (and they worked!). There were some road trips, some holidays to Japan (need more of these.) The marketting business with my Ma is still going, and going very strong for a hobby. You may see us popping up other markets around NSW and ACT soon, as Ma is retired now, and itching to try different spaces. Though, knowing us, it’ll probably take us until next year before we get our act into gear.

Oh, right, and I’m pregnant with a bub due in a couple of weeks. And maternity leave does not suit me so well, especially as I’ll be unemployed by the end of my maternity leave, and the career minded girl in me struggles with this idea. I’ve been trying to distract that part by keeping it busy trying out new projects and generally making a lot of mess for the Boy to then “help” me clean up. (Help is a flexible term, I think a more appropriate phrase might be, he cleans up and wonders how I managed to produce the amount of mess that I do…)

I’m still thinking about what to do with this blog, and I think I might just start showing you what I’m up to, until I get distracted. Likely by bub, possibly by other shiny things.

So, to start things off, I made a nappy clutch.

I don’t know why.

Part of me must have thought this was something smart to do at the time. Considering it was about 9pm when I started it, after fossicking through copious amounts of wool and patterns and despairing about not having anything to knit, I clearly was not in the right mind… I found this fabric in my search, something I bought on a whim. It’s a canvas-like cotton, so not very good at all for baby clothes, which is my primary reason for having fabric in the first place. So I clearly needed to think up other ideas, and a nappy clutch seemed like a perfect fit. At 9pm.

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I took the pattern idea from While she was sleeping and adapted it a little. Mostly, I put some iron on paper interfacing, as I wanted it to have a bit of stiffness and durability. I also opted for a loop button hole instead of a sewn in one. I would like to say this is so I can easily extend the loop so I can stuff more things in the clutch… That’s a total lie, it’s because my little Janome doesn’t have a buttonhole function. It’s pretty much a simple sewer which does me well enough. I do mostly prefer knitting and crocheting over sewing anyway.

As you can probably see, the machine really struggled to go through the thickness of the fabric in its multiple layers. So a few squiggly lines here and there. I also only had black thread on hand (most of my stuff is in boxes in the garage somewhere…) I would strongly recommend matching your threads, getting a stronger and sharper sewing needle, and maybe not making things late at night when you have work the next day.

Aside from that, I think it turned out pretty cool.

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The last difference is I also went a little bit bigger, so I can actually fit a wipes container, several nappies, and nappy disposal bags all wedged inside those pockets. Hopefully it’ll make things easier to find in my nappy backpack of doom. Likely, I’ll forget I have it after the first use, and just toss things in there. But it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?

If you want more detail on the modifications I made, or a little instruction on how I did them, let me know and I’ll write something up for you.

I’ll hopefully be back with a few more projects I’m playing with, maybe a couple of tutorials eventually. If I remember to take enough photos! I have this horrible habit of zoning out and finishing projects before I think there might be others. If there is anything on this blog you see that you would like to make yourself, please let me know and I’ll see if I can help, or at least point you towards the right pattern!

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