Sunday, August 12, 2012

it's been so long...

I seem to be saying that a lot recently, sorry it's been so long etc... Well having the latest addition to our family has taken a lot of time up, more importantly I have wanted him to!
I want to share all abut the birth, yes we had a home birth and it was amazing, interesting, calm and yes I would do it again... I plan on sharing a lot of details... That post is being drafted!
So continue to watch this space, I hope to have new post and pictures this next week.
Thanks for staying tuned. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Another before and after

Has it really been two months since I last posted?! Wow that is really lame of me!
But there is a really good reason why it has been so long!
I'm pregnant !!!
Actually I've been ill boring old-nothing-to-do-with-being-pregnant ill...
And I see no end in sight, but it's fine I can live with the bruised ribs from the coughing and back ache! As long as I get better in time to push this baby out!
During this miserable cold flu thingy I have still managed to work and to do something fun for us!
I know shocking, how often can you say that?  I think we should all take more time to do things for ourselves/family... it can be very rewarding and almost therapeutic!
Anyway I digress as usual.

So most of you know by now we are having a boy!
Yay... less teenage girl hormones the better IMO
Ella can continue to be the only princess in this household which is good for her (and me)

I thought I would share the before and after pictures from the soon to be boy(s) bedroom. It did turn out cute but not to cutesie, Jude approves which is all that matters (kind of).

So here come all the pictures from BEFORE...

As  you can  see the walls are RED very RED, Jude's favorite colour is red so when I told him these needed to go he was not happy, not happy in the slightest, I even tried showing him the paint chip to convince him that the new colour (Martha Stewart's Plumage) is going to look fab... Nope didn't care, so we took his feelings into consideration and painted over the red!

But first...

I had to make the blinds, they really were time consuming but these horrid little blinds that were up before (you know how I feel about them)  half of which had already fallen down due to the fact they have probably been up for around 20 years needed to go.

 And now the AFTER...

So because I had put my back out as well as having a fever at the time I didn't get to help out with the painting... So sad about that!
But my lovely men stepped in and did it for me... They always to such a better job then me anyway!
The blue shows up quite bright because of the flash, but its more of a gray tone then this bright blue.

Yes Jude is a man at work!

So for the window treatments I made roman blinds/shades and painstakingly cut out and appliqued this boat being tossed around by waves.
I wanted this to look like this famous painting by Hokusai I saw this up close once and it has stayed with me ever since.

They're not exactly like the painting but you get the idea.

Here are the blind pulls, just die cast toys with a hole drilled through.
If you decide to do this make sure you don't drill while holding these in your lap, it can hurt!

 Below is actually a good picture of what the colour really looks like!

Jude's bed really went well with the theme.

 I had found this vintage crib on Craigslist and refinished it (don't worry free of lead paint now and the slats are less then 2.5" so he won't get stuck)
We weren't going to do the whole crib thing, but after scoring this it seemed like a good idea.
The bedding I wanted was from dwell studio, but I didn't want all the same thing so I would have had to have bought 3 different sets!
Stupid I know, so it was definitely better to customize it, although making the bumper was a royal pain in the bum! 
But I like (kind of) how it turned out.


And some custom art work done by a good friend along with some re-claimed barn-wood framed maps and then of course a wooden boat mobile and we are done! 

I am hoping to get some pictures taken of baby when he comes, I have to say this currently is my favorite room, maybe because it's stayed tidy! 
As it's a large room so we all tend to hang out and play/read books.
I am hoping Baby likes to SLEEP here as well!

Anyway if you need help with a child's bedroom or a nursery I'm your girl. 
I am now officially an expert! 
And as you can see I have lots of places to get the custom finishing touches...
So stop by An English View and contact me! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

More baby bump pictures...

Well I thought I would be more diligent at posting pictures of my bump... alas that is not the case, I need another day in the week just like everyone else I guess?!

So I am around 24 weeks, which makes me 6 months now, and I feel like I am packing on the pounds, but that's ok! I love my round belly and I am feeling great, although the heartburn has started to kick in now, again that's OK I knew it was coming.
So the baby is between the size of a papaya and an aubergine also known as an eggplant in the USA I just like the real name for it better!

I feel him move a lot, but still willing a calm baby! PLEASE a calm baby!!
We are having a hard time picking out boys names, any suggestions??

So here are some pictures of the belly! Yes like most people I HATE having my picture taken, not because I don't like being in front of the camera, I just happen to think I am a very unphotogenic person... what I see in the pictures is not really what I thought I looked like at the time! In most of these I am messing around! Sorry it's just shows my level of maturity.

Really in these pictures you can't see how much I'm showing, trust me it's there, unfortunately my chest is enormous and at this point is out growing the belly!

I'm so crafty I make people?! Have you heard of this expression yet... well here I am showing off my amazing muscles... try not to laugh to hard!

Nurturing my baby aubergine!

And yes I am still riding my amazing bike... just look at it, how can I not!

Until next time... BYEEEEEEEE

Monday, October 10, 2011

Headboard Tutorial

So I did promise not to go on about the baby and being pregnant and how great I feel (sorry I had to rub it in!)I did promise to post something that might be interesting to almost everyone, and here it is... the headboard tutorial. Again please excuse my pictures, but I have stated that I'm not a photographer, which is a shame that would make it more enjoyable for you!

So to start with you will need need to figure out how big you want it. Our bed is a Cal King size so I took measurements along the mattress and compared with some other Cal King sized headboards from various websites and came up with a width of 78" I wanted to be able to have puffy bed linens and still have the side of the headboard a little visible.
 (Below is a list of what you will need)

Then you have to decide how high you want it. I wanted a fairly low modern look to mine with the option of adding legs later. I decided right  now to make so it sits flush to the floor attaching to the bed frame with a couple of bolts (maybe) which was around 4ft high

So after you have this down you need buy the wood and make a frame for it.
I used 2x2's and put plywood on the back to keep it sturdy and so the foam would sit nicely in it.
We screwd the corners together and also used screws to hold the plywood in place on the back, placing a screw approx every 7" and keeping the plywood square.

Now I could fill the middle with foam, I din't want the foam to go right to the edge of the outside which is why I made the frame, I wanted to put over-sized nail-heads (most expensive part too!) To finish it of along the edge without making it look upholstered... make sense?
When you are choosing your plywood don't go for the super thin option as this is a little to flimsy and won't keep the frame from rocking!

So here is the frame waiting to be filled, my husband cut the 2x2's and plywood down for me... being almost 6months pregnant I figured it would be a better option... see picture below!


Isn't he cute and muscular! ;)


So now it looks like  a basic frame, now you need to fill the middle with the foam, which is super easy, you will need to cut down the foam, if you have one use an electric knife it's so much easier, if like me you don't have one then use a bread knife, the serrated edge makes it easier to cut through the foam. I also used a yard stick as a "straight" edge and a guide for cutting after I had drawn my line in a sharpie pen to guide the way.
Cut this in long even strokes and keep going back over the same spot until it has gone all the way through, I would suggest putting some cardboard underneath to protect your surfaces.


Make sure you don't cut it it the exact size of the frame, leave about 1/2 an inch over-hang so you can push it into the frame...

like so...
This way it wont need to be glued in.


You won't get a completly straight edge either...

And that's okay, you won't be tested on this and NO-ONE will see it!
 As you can see I assumed my two pieces of foam had been cut to the same length so I  cut the same amount of of each (silly me)! They wern't so I had to put a little extra padding in! You can see it here on the right hand side of the photo...
Next you begin to wrap the frame and foam with batting, get the cheap stuff, as it just needs to add a little cushion from the wood & foam and the fabric.

  It doesn't need to be smooth, the fabric will even things out.
Wrap underneath the frame and staple here and there just to hold it in place.

Next place the fabric the over the foam side of the board and centralize it, using a few staples in the back to hold the fabric in place, it's best to stretch from one corner to the other making sure you keep the pattern straight, the fabric I used has a geometric pattern so it was fairly easy to keep it along the edge of the board.
Sorry I didn't get any pictures of this if your confused, feel free to email me.

Now your going to want to flip the board over, it's best to get a helping hand here so the fabric doesn't move to much, I managed it on my own but this is not the first headboard I've made.
So now you have the board face down with the back exposed.
You will need to staple down the fabric
Make sure you do one edge at a time, start in the middle and stretch out to the sides and its best to start at the top edge and then go to the bottom edge, and then do the two sides. Staple every 8" apart or so in case you need to take out some staples to re-stretch later on.
This is what is should start to look like...

Now with all the sides done and stapled get your lining fabric.
Take the lining and line it up with the top edge of the board
Use an upholstery tack strip to staple along the top edge inside the seam. you will be turning the lining back over on it's self. Tacking strip is basically a thin strip of cardboard you can staple into.
You can pick this up at joanns etc...  
This strip will give you a straight edge at the top and keep it looking neat.
Make sure you leave enough of the lining to turn in for each side and place the tack strip along the where the fold will be around 1/2" from the top and sides of the back (see picture)

Staple that down every 3-4"s apart.

Now turn the sides in so you have a nice finished edge like so...


Now flip the lining over the strip and turn the edges in to the sides and just staple that down, I like to keep the staples around 2'-3" apart to make it look nice and finished of.
In this picture I haven't started to staple the sides down yet, I have just turned them in.


Here I have started to staple, you can see the fabric along the edge puckering from me doing so.

So flip the board back over and this is what it should look like, it should feel nice and tight but not look to stretched.

You could actually leave it like this if your fabric was interesting enough but I wanted to add the big uphosltry pins to make it look finished and give it a modern twist.

This was NOT fun and was the most time consuming of the whole thing.

I measured the center of the board and started from there, this way you can make sure you have an even number of pins.
I also suggest that you draw a line on the fabric with pencil and use that as a guide to keep the pins straight and not use a "Straight Line" like I used, this kept moving and I ended up taking it of and just winging it.
So draw your line, you can do it wherever you want but for something like this they look better close to the edge which was approx 1" in.

 Do you see how the line moved with the first nail?
Start to knock your nails in using a "soft hammer" you can get them at home depot for a good price. This way you won't leave a mark on the nails.
make sure you keep the pins butted up close to each other too but not overlapping, this make take a few goes to get right and you will have to take a few out and re-do them once in a while so make sure you order enough to cover that...

Here is the finished product along with the new blinds I had made a couple of weeks earlier.


Here is roughly the cost and what you will need, I had a lot of this in stock already, after all I do this for a living! but I thought I would break it down in case you were starting from scratch?

Shopping list
Tack strip $11
Hammer $15
Fabric approx 2yds $60
Lining approx 2yds $20
Foam 2' depth and two sheets approx $80
Batting, one big bag approx $15
Plywood approx $25
2x2 Wood for frame around 3 full lengths approx $5
Over-sized upholstery nail heads $120 (yikes)
Staple gun and staples approx $25

Approx total:  $376

I drew my inspiration from West Elm and a King size headboard with a patterned fabric is around $600 on sale. So not only will you have a one of a kind custom it will also save you money.

Happy headboard making!
Feel free to email me if you need to.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Officially having a home birth

Yep that's right! I am dropping my insurance paid midwife... I use that term loosely because you know you pay for it on way or another! Yes even with insurance you will pay from around $4000-$8000 for a baby to be born in a hospital, Yikes right!? 
So back to the midwife... again I use that term loosely too as she DOES NOT want me to have the baby at home... one of the reasons is because... wait for it, wait for it... I'm too old!!!! (Insert raised eyebrows here and sad face) ha! too old indeed, what is she thinking I am just a little over 37 and wonderfully healthy and fit and I am very young!!! ok maybe in mind, but seriously! too old! lady your too old.
Don't worry I still have insurance just in case. 
So with my last post a friend recommended a friend, who had a baby at home, she in turn recommend these midwives here... (thank you so much for doing so!) who we are now going to use, and I am so happy about it and also so happy to find a reasonably priced ($3500) duo of ladies who know what they are doing and can't wait to help out... More to come about this I promise.
So right now I am about 18 weeks the size of a bell pepper HA! well at least the baby is supposed to be, I'm about the size of a small hippo, but hey at least they are cute right???
I am not going to do the veggie thing tonight because I don't really want to get of the sofa and take a picture, and because I don't have a bell pepper either, but here's a picture of one just in case you had forgotten what they looked liked?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Has it really been a MONTH!!!!!

There is a very good reason for that and those if you that follow me on twitter you will know why...

Yes ladies and gentlemen it's true... Now officially 4 months and counting, I can finally feel the bump move and of course not so great is NOT being able zip up my trousers...

I have seen this done before and thought I'd jump on the band wagon by also documenting my pregnancy with various fruits & veggies. So to mark the 4 month/16 week mile stone I am going to start with an avocado, apparently this is the size of the baby right now... I happen to think that it maybe closer to a honeydew melon or a small elephant with the rate that I am gaining weight!?!
I'm not that great at taking pictures, let alone pictures of me! So please be nice and bear with me.


So here it is... the "bump"

What many of you don't realize is at this moment (it may change) I am planning on having a home birth. 
Jude and Ella were both born with-in 4 hours so I am hoping this one will be quick like them? I did both without medication... yes it can be done ladies! It wasn't fun or easy, but I recovered VERY quickly and would recommend it to anyone thinking of it and of course to anyone without complications.
 I have searched and searched here in Sacramento, CA for tips, books and advice on how to exactly have a successful home birth but have come up very empty handed! Please feel free to email me if you have any (good/nice) advice or help!

I have a midwife through my insurance company who had her own birthing clinic for over 10 years, perfect I thought, she is open minded enough to agree with me and offer some good advice etc... NOPE! She was horrified when I told her of our plans to have the baby at home and offered me very little information, maybe because she is with a huge medical company that she can't?!  
Anyway it amazes me that here in one of the most "developed" countries people have a very closed mind when it comes to this, either because of the "mess" or a horror story they have heard of a midwife almost killing the mother, to the unsolicited advice from well meaning people who think that you are putting your baby at risk because you are not in the hospital hooked up to a machine that makes you want to rip it from the wall!!  Yes I have been there!

Like I said it's not set in stone yet, as we want to make sure everything is well with the baby... but until then this is our plan and I plan on writing about this too!

A great video to watch is "The Business of Being Born" Which is on Netflix right now it is a real eye opener, there is nudity and (major) grossness in it.. I know, I know gross, but pretend you are in Europe! I was happy to see the Midwife take a woman to the hospital too when things weren't going well... this is how it should be (IMO).
I'm not one of those people that thinks that childbirth is beautiful... sorry if you do, it kind of wigs me out and it's messy, not to mention I can feel the pain with every cry! Although watching a c-section is far worse for me, sorry if you have ever had to go through that too! 

Thankfully most people who I have told about the home have been supportive. And I have found some great websites (if you can get past the hippie-ness)
 which I'll post when I have more time and more info...

Just think how exciting it will be to have another Jude or Ella running around!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

I just discovered this...

This is an amazing video made from a Nokia N8 phone, it's very cool! 
Thanks for sharing with the world 

Say what?

So I have been wasting time on pinterest when I should be working... I am SOOOOOOOOO far behind but oh well, who needs sleep?
I thought I would share some of my favorite sayings that other people have pinned and that I need to practice more!

This is a personal favorite!!!

So true!


And I threw these in becuse I thought they were brilliant pictures


 Heavy Heart...