Archive for the ‘For the home’ Category

don’t be a grumpy cloud

March 28th, 2014

So we sometimes have cases of “the grumpies” in our house. When ordinarily cute and sweet tiny people find themselves in a grumpy mood. When it first started, i didn’t really know how to combat it – i tried lots of things – but one day, because hey, i’m an intrinsically silly person, I told Bunny to stop being a grumpy cloud because she was my happy sunshine. And then i threw all the socks in her sock drawer at her. We called them grumpy raindrops. And we literally pelted each other with socks until she was giggling.

That was about two years ago, and that’s how grumpy cloud was born. Since then, whenever our kids are grumpy we ask them if they’re grumpy clouds, and the game begins again. It’s gotten to the point where if Chris or I seem a bit off the kids will ask “are you a grumpy cloud?! DON’T BE A GRUMPY CLOUD!”. so awesome.

After a while i thought it would be fun to have a little reminder of our game. I love all the cloud cushions i’ve seen popping up all over, so i thought it was a perfect marriage! I quickly whipped together this little cloud out of some leftover fleece i had lying around, embroidered “don’t be a grumpy cloud” on the front” and then stuffed it!

It was instantly a family hit. Like i think i need to make another because sharing is an issue hehehe. These days instead of pelting my grumpy kids with socks, i chase them round the house with this pillow, and have a grumpy cloud pillow fight until everyone is giggling and happy, and my happy sunshines are back. Best accidental parenting solution ever :)

(Meanwhile, i asked Bunny to look grumpy so i could take a photo of her – and i totally love the progression, from good acting to “Oh i give up i can’t do it!” hehee. The second photo of her is what we call her “happy mad face” which is literally her trying her hardest to act mad when she is actually happy. It’s so silly and i love it!)

collection scrap quilt //1

March 18th, 2014

Collection scrap quilt //1

I like to call it nostalgic, but i might just be a hoarder. I’ve been keeping fabric scraps from the very first collection i released back in 2010… for no reason that i can explain. Finally i decided i had to do something with them or get rid of them, and for some reason i was emotionally attached to all those little pieces of fabric. So i decided to make a quilt!

It took absolute ages but i really love it. I cut all the pieces of leftover fabric into either triangles or strips for the binding, and the quilt backing is a vintage sheet. It’s so big thats its kind of hard to get a good photo of, but these are a few from our old house (below). It’s been really useful as an extra layer in winter, and as a nice thin blanket for summer – even better its become my kids comfort blanket of choice for when they’re sick, that kind of melts my heart. It even found it’s way into my maternity lookbook as a picnic blanket prop!

collection scrap quilt //1

I’m so glad to have found a way to use up all those special pieces of fabric and to have a special memento of that very first collection. I like how this idea turned out so much that i would really like to create a collection scrap quilt for all of my collections.

Any suggestions for good quilting patterns?

quick fix// jewelry display

February 21st, 2014

quick fix// jewelry displayYou may have noticed that i pretty much always wear a chunky dangly necklace. More often than not, by Merl. The problem with these kinds of adornments is that they’re kind of hard to store.

I have a truly amazing jewelry box (shown above) that my parents had made for me in Hong Kong for my 16th birthday, but unfortunately even though it is huge it just can’t handle all the chunk. I needed a better solution.

I’d seen a lot of cool jewelry hangers around, but they never had enough space – six hooks? Umm no. i need more. In the end i realised i needed to make something in order to get what i really needed.

This frame was originally used to display my brothers Paratrooper flag – but when he had the flag removed and restored to its original condition, the frame wasn’t needed anymore. I love it when fortune strikes! I bought a little bag of hooks from the hardware store, measured out as many spots as i thought i could squeeze on the long edge of the frame, and just spent a few minutes twisting them in by hand. Since we were renting i used the same trick as i did for my spool racks, and hung it with some 3M hooks – which made even the installation quick. Now that we’ve moved into our own home, it has a more permanent home on my wall. It was crazy easy, and it’s been so incredibly useful.

The hilarious part is that i almost need a second one, as i still have to double up a couple of hooks to get everything in! I think it makes getting dressed much easier because i can see all the options right in front of me – plus theres that important benefit of keeping my rugrats out of my necklaces hehehe

Quick fix: rocking horse redo

January 6th, 2014

Rocking horse redo

A little while ago my mom found this adorable rocking horse for my kiddos, for an absolute steal (something like $2, woop woop!). The only downside was that we really weren’t fans of the colour scheme. So i decided to give it a quick update with some spray paint. In my infinite wisdom i decided to ignore stupid questions from my brother along the lines of : Did you sand before you painted? Did you use primer? and, What kind of paint is that anyway??

Brothers. Pfffff.

So, yes, the rocker looked really cute for about six months, after which all the “love” my kids showed it helped the original paintwork to show through. oops. I absolutely adore this little rocker, and the colours i chose – but unfortunately now i’m going to have to take a little time to remove alllll the paint and start from scratch.

There is a lesson in this, it’s either A) Listen to your brother, or B) Do it right the first time. Oh, heck can’t it both?!

ps. Matt how do you feel about helping me paint a rocking horse?! hehehe

DIY hanging rugs

October 15th, 2013

DIY hanging rug // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

I absolutely love rugs – i tend to gravitate towards southwestern, kilim and rag rugs for some reason. Which is a pretty wide range of styles, but whatever, i love them all.

It all started a few years ago when my friend Morgan started pin board for me to help me with my home decorating (follow it, seriously that girl is in my head, she has amazing taste). The rug above was the first i ever bought. It was from this lovely Etsy store, and it was a crazy splurge (called it a birthday present to myself). I adore it, but the problem with adoring it is that i freak out every time my kids walked across it – chocolate, mud, playdough, milk – they are the stuff of nightmares. So i decided it might be cool to hang it instead.

Which of course resulted in falling down a rabbit hole of all the different methods for hanging rugs. It’s a bit mind boggling, but apparently a lot of methods can be really damaging over the long term, which is something i’m pretty afraid of. So in the end after a lot of research, i created a binding strip of unbleached calico/muslin, and sewed along one end with long stitches. Its very secure, but will be easy to unpick with no damage should i desire to in the future. A simple rod and rope and it was up on the wall. I use 3M hooks right now because we’re renting – but something cuter and most likely wooden is in my mind for the future hooks.

Then of course i really fell in love with this idea and decided to hang one of my other small rugs that though very pretty, wasn’t really large enough to be functional in our home.

I’m pretty happy with how these turned out! Now i can admire them all the time, never worry about damage and they satisfy my desire for quirky wall hangings.

DIY hanging rug // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

T+C: wedding embroidery

September 17th, 2013


My dear dear friend Tania was recently married. She’s such a sweetheart, and truly wonderful friend – so coming up to her wedding i knew i wanted to give her something special. Since we now live so far apart i also knew it couldn’t be big or very heavy as it would be a nightmare to ship.

In the end i decided to make her a little embroidery piece to commemorate her wedding day, since it would be meaningful as well as small, hopefully a win win. I found a really gorgeous picture of a piece similar to this on Pinterest without a source link (don’t you hate it when that happens? it drives me bonkers). So I tried my best to copy the design i saw. I’m sure this isn’t the correct way, but when i embroider i simply draw the design out in pencil and stitch right over the top, sometimes the simplest method is the best right? I backed it with felt to keep everything neat and secure.

It was really fun, and only took a few hours on the couch while the kids were playing at my feet. I’m really happy with how it turned out and Tania loved it – so i consider that mission accomplished! The only trouble is that i love it so much i wish i’d made myself one! Perhaps that will be my next little embroidery project…