Welcome to Bolly & Bear 'the blog'... this blog is all about the girl behind the label that creates the beautiful bedding, handmade quilts and accessories for the special little people in your life...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nursery Inspiration... Coloured Cots.

I have been noticing a growing trend lately - one that I would love to try (albeit, not with another of my children..eep. 5 children!).  The trend I am talking about of course, is coloured cots.  I think it looks fantastic and delivers a real 'lift' to the room.  A great option if your purchasing a second hand cot or already have a cot that has seen better days (my boys would bite the wooden bar of their cots... teeth marks are not aesthetically pleasing, no matter which way you look at it!)

Soft, muted blue works beautifully with taupe and chocolate. That armchair reminds me of our Pastel Bubbles range..(image from http://sarahrichardsondesign.com)

Love this contrast! Can you imagine a candy pink cot with pink and white spotted sheets?
(image from www.lilsugar.com)

This is a lovely modern unisex look. Grey works beautifully with yellow and orange ...
(image from designindulgence.blogspot.com).

This is my favourite. I just love the pop of  yellow against the aqua wall. Stunning!
(image from  ohdeedoh.com)

So... what do you think? Would you try it? Maybe it's time to rethink the old favourites of white or stained wood..


Melbourne...The perfect weekend.

I am going to start this post by saying how just much I love my home city of Brisbane.

Really, what's not to love? The sunshine. The gorgeous temperature (Well, in autumn, winter and spring... lets just ignore the sweltering summer heat for this post, agreed?). The friendly, have a chat with you anywhere, people.  The numerous parks, picnic spots and 'just down the road' beaches. The oh-so-laid-back lifestyle. Brisbane really is a lovely city and it's especially hard to beat for people who are at the 'let's have kids' or 'already have kids' stage of their lives... Which I am. Firmly. And have been for the last 13 and a half years.  So now that I have got that out of the way....

Oh my Lord, did I love my weekend in Melbourne!
If we forget the almost 2 hour delay and unplanned detour to Avalon airport on the way down (Thank you again, Jetstar ) and the stress of having to lug, by myself,  45 kilos of baby bedding in flimsy canvas bags, it was truly a dream weekend.

After arriving in a somewhat disheveled state at the hotel,  I proceeded to have my first uninterrupted sleep in over two years. Now, I do realise that my twins aren't 2 years old as yet but as any twin mum can probably tell you, regular sleep while pregnant with twins is something that you can only day dream about.  Sporadically.  It's more correct to say that you lapse in and out of exhaustion while your beloved babies play chasey in your ever expanding middle region... not fun.

Anyway, I digress.  After awaking from my first decent sleep in a really long time, I rolled over to check the clock. It was 8am. Oh the Bliss. The rapture. We had slept in. I lay in my hotel bed for about 15 minutes just luxuriating in my 'aloneness' (well apart from my partner, Kal, who was sleeping beside me). Then I got bored and woke Kal up. :)

After showering (no little knocks on the door or "mum where is my...") I headed down to the buffet breakfast and proceeded to eat my way though far too much bacon and eggs....  I won't bore you with all the details but I then spent a most lovely morning in what can only be desribed as a shopping frenzy in my now favourite place on earth...Zara. (Note to self, when planning on visiting Zara next time, do not eat my way though large amounts of bacon and eggs at the buffet in the morning... ahem). I spent  the rest of the day and into the night strolling through the gallery and museum.. with intermittent stops in small cafes, to die for chocolate shops and finally, a rather gorgeous italian restaurant for dinner.


The next day was an early start at Mathildas Market in Hawthorne. The morning flew by and our sweetsheets cot sheet range  were just  flying off the shelves.  I had such a great time and was inundated with custom orders (hence why its taken me two weeks to post this blog!). Happy to say that I am coming back in November for the christmas market and I am very, very much looking forward to it!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Nursery Inspirations...A Super Storage idea...

Things. Stuff.  Possessions. Bits & Pieces. Junk. Call it what you will, when you have a baby - you end up with lots of it!
From blankets and bibs, teddies and toys, creams and wipes, lotions and potions, the list of 'essential' items for your baby that you will buy and then end up living with, really is quite amazing. Even if you are being penny-pinchingly frugal with all your purchasing, you will somehow end up with a rather large assortment of 'must have' bits and pieces that all require a new place to live..  

Ladies and gentlemen... I give you the answer...... Meet the 'expedit'... your new best-est friend (after baby panadol, disposable nappies,  sauvignon blanc and a good breast pump).
Expedit from Ikea. Almost as useful as a good breast pump. (Almost)

Now, I can hear you saying. 'Ummmm... really?' and Yes, I know that at first glances this plain white, rather dull looking rectangle doesn't make your inner design loving goddess say 'wow' but have a little faith.  These expedits are incredibly versatile, make fantastic storage units and best of all, wont break the bank, thus leaving you with a little more cash to buy the "oh-so-gorgeous-must-buy-it-now' items that  go in it (like beautiful linen and cushions!).  So, for a little storage inspiration, have a look at the following... then tell me you don't just love it.

Oh so pretty expedit. The framed fabric looks lovely as well.

Classic contemporary  expedit.

Colorful expedit - love the yellow curtains.

Extra Large expedit

Half size expedit

Single strip expedit - add some cushions for an instant window seat.

So..... are you convinced yet?  I know I am! (Really.. I have one in the boys room, one in the play room and a huge one in the B&B office).
For simple, good looking storage, keep them in mind when your setting up your nursery. 

Till next time...


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Racy Red.....

I am happy to say that Bolly & Bear has been happily thriving in the last few months... we have about 5 new stockists (its climbing by the week!) and lots of exciting things in the pipeline. With so much on, this blog is sadly neglected!  So in order to rectify this, I am going to start posting ideas and photos that I find that I think are great ways to help you set up and decorate your nursery... whether its a lovely wall colour, great use of a space or just something that resonates with me... you'll find it here...

First one! I love red. Its such a great, vibrant colour that can be used for both boys and girls...

While I know that the old adage was red/pink shouldn't go together, I have seen some truly gorgeous rooms done with red and pink. Its about finding the balance between the colours. Raspberry red and candy pink look fabulous together for girls and red and navy is a classic for boys.  For a unisex room, red with teal or taupe is always a winner. Try it sometime!

I came across this photo on Pinterest. It unfortunately didn't have a back link - so if you know where this comes from or the designers name - please let me know - I always like to give credit where credit is due.

This room is a great example of how to work with an existing feature or colour when your doing up your nursery. Having a baby is expensive (Eep. Try having twins!) and if your like most new parents, while you want your nursery to be beautiful, you may not want to have to re-mortgage your house to get that 'oh-so-special' look!
Love the red spotty sheet!
Let's presume you have some 'interesting' coloured wall paper or paint colour in your soon to be nursery. Trying to work with it, rather than hiding it (or just plain hating it!) may be a better option. Pick a colour that coordinates and balances your existing feature and use it to shift the focus of the room. If your uncertain as to what colours to use, google is a much favored research tool of mine... Or you can simply drop me a line - I love decorating challenges!

In this room, the wallpaper could have been a  little over powering if the furniture was only white. So using the red dresser acts as the focus of the room and makes the wall paper appear much more subtle.  The teal/blue rug on the floor balances the red and hides the pine brown timber floor boads. Add some extra touches such as the red sheet (ahem...use our sweetsheets range for a similar look!)  and rocking horse and a coloured frame and you have a rather unique, stunning looking  nursery.

I actually had this exact problem when we moved into our house. The boys new room has a large wall of vintage 1960-70s wallpaper - its a similar look to the Beatrix Potter 'bunnykins' range.... little mice, rabbits and badgers etc  My sister LOVES it..   Me.. not so much!

So what I had to do was work with the existing colours. The wall paper  contained a great deal of browns and fawn, with tiny amounts of green, red and blue in the clothes the animals wore...  The brown made the room very dark and flat so I used solid white timber beds (the boys were outgrowing their cots) with the heads against the feature wall and a white cabinet between the beds. This broke up the huge expanse of brown wall and  brought out the white background, rather the brown pattern on the wallpaper. I then used white and pale fawn striped single bed doona covers.  I chose the red and blue used in the wallpaper to act as accent colours.  I used the Bolly & Bear Stars & Stripes cushions and comforters that the boys had in their cots and folded them at the end of their beds. I used a lampshade in the same design and hung extra large Red and Navy "H & O" wall letters against the other white wall.

Cruising the internet one day I found a copy of a childrens vintage Alphabet poster that had fawn, red and navy as the main colours from art.com.   I painted a cheap oversized frame in fire engine red, placed the poster inside and hung it on the wall.... All done! The white 'lifts' the room and the red and navy balance out the overwhelming browns.
I have to admit, the room does look lovely now!

So the moral of the story. Work with what you have... Pick one or two colours and use them to balance out the parts that you don't necessarily love... Painting a piece of furniture in an accent colour is always a great way to make it the focus of the room. Just make sure that if you have a dark room, you choose a vibrant or light colour for the paint.. think contrasting!

Looking forward to next weeks post!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Where did all that time go?....

So... my last post was early December.... its now the first day of April. Ahem. Can I just remind you that I have 4 children.... including (now) 18 month old twins... and a business... and an eight year old and a teenage daughter and...and...well. There is no excuse. I know. Sigh.

I haven't blogged for the last few months simply because I have been busy with life. Juggling toddlers, children, partner and  a business and all the other little things that life throws up at you gave me very little time for blogging..(or anything else actually). So here's the quick catch up. Christmas was lovely - lots of pressies, family time and eating. Come January, things weren't so rosy... Brisbane (my home) had terrible floods that were traumatic, life ending, heartbreaking and incredibly distressing.  I and my children were stranded away from our home for a week, stuck in a tent, away from our loved ones, watching via television and iphone as my city was swallowed by a raging torrent of water and sludge.  The level of bravery and human solidarity that was displayed during and after the flood was the only thing that made it bearable. Enough said.  February passed in the blink of an eye and I do believe that march officially ended yesterday....

So, now you know the personal update... here's a little bit more about how things are going with Bolly & Bear.  The last few months have been an incredible learning experience and I can honestly I am having the time of my life. Who could have thought bedding and cushions could be soooo much FUN.  While I am a lover of all things comfy and pretty from way back... the actual thought of designing and making my own range never occurred to me until the boys were born. I am happy to say that I have now accepted stockists for my brand - so I am now a bona fide wholesale/retail business. Yah! I feel very chuffed and incredibly lucky to have managed to get my little business to the point where other people believe in my brand. (Again..yah!!)


Anyway. I have committed to blogging once a week. So I will  keep to that promise. Next week I will feature a gorgeous nursery that was done by an interior designer for her own baby... You would think that it would be highly expensive and all designer but the look is definately doable, gorgeous and oh-so budget friendly - and we love that!

Speak soon.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Gorgeous Green..

Sorry for the dead space these last few weeks... I have been a little snowed under with  our first mathildas market (which was oh-so-fantstic!) and a lovely run of new orders, new customers and wholesale enquiries... all of this I was dealing with rather delightedly, until a dreaded lurgy struck down my daughter, Miss Ell-bell. A rampant and nasty Golden Staph infection had me (and her, poor little mite) in rather  a bother... Fast forward several weeks and lot of rather strong antibiotics, several trips to the doctor and (this was the worst bit) lots of tears later, she is on the mend...and I am catching up with all my much neglected bits and pieces... so, thanks for your patience! 

So in the last few weeks or so, I have begun to develop an obsession for all things green. Before you break out the hemp bags and even think about burning incense, let me clarify that no, I am not turning all tree huggy and eco friendly (although if you are, I applaud you loudly) but I am referring to the actual colour, green.

For the last few years my home has been dominated by neutrals and warm browns - which was lovely when we lived in a house with soft white walls and dark floorboards. But since we moved to our new home (which has cream walls  and dark cream skirting boards) I have begun to feel...well...a little beige... and not just in colour. Everything feels sort of a bit blah... its not bad, per-sae,  its just, well, boring. 

So once again, I hit the internet to get some inspiration before I start smiling ever so sweetly at my unsuspecting partner... (actually, I think he is on to me but we both pretend that he doesnt know exactly what I am up to... its a win-win really...I get some retail therapy and he gets my 'trying ever so hard to impress' gourmet cooking and foot rubs...) But I digress....

I found the following rooms on a  fantastic pictorial blog and in the next week will try and break one down (budget style!) like my last perfect playroom post. 

I want this kitchen. You could just keep changing the stool cushions and
playing with the details to create endless looks...

So much for 'blue and green should not be seen - gorgeous blanket box!

I want my front door to look like this.

The bamboo blinds add  texture and interest...they really ground the room.

Wow. Not sure I could pull this off but it looks fabulous...

Love the palm frond cushion. Its tropical, laid back and  beachy without a spec of blue .

If anyone knows where I can get dining chairs like this - let me know!!

What more is there to say? LOVE THIS ONE!!!!!!!

Who said green isn't a classy colour?

So there you have it. Gorgeous green. Beautiful and incredibly versatile... In the next week I will spend hours on the net trying to break down one of these rooms for you (ahem...actually, more for me but you also benefit from my decorating addiction!) If you have a preference for which room, feel free to drop me a line and let me know.

Hope you have a fabulous week.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Perfect Playroom - Cheap thrills.

In the last two weeks or so, I have been coming to the growing realisation that the dining room in our house could possibly be better used for...well..dining...and maybe not so much for sewing and cutting. 

It's not that the room doesn't do a wonderful job...Its just that both myself and my (ever so patient!) partner are growing rather tired of eating from our laps while my material takes pride of place on top of our dining table.  My two primary school ages daughters have nowhere but the floor or kitchen bench to do their homework (insert eye-rolling and despairing sighs of exasperation as only pre teen girls can do) and the twins are...well... lets just say that pins, sharp scissors and two curious 13 month olds do not make a happy mix. 

Luckily, our house is the quintessential brick 'upstairs/downstairs' with internal stairs. Until now the majority of our living has been confined to upstairs with 'downstairs' being used for storage but not for long. I am taking the downstairs over and converting it to a multi-functional room. Half kids playroom, half Bolly & Bear office/workroom.... Cue internet search for fabulous decorating and design ideas....

Upon scouring the internet for inspiration I came across this space.....  Isn't this the most beautiful play room? 

Don't you just think it would be perfect in your own home? Ah..hello..YES! I soooo know the feeling! I too, stopped, jaw dropping onto the key board  and wished my downstairs area looked like this. Ha! I thought...but then I started looking at the styling of the room, not just the  overall image and guess what, my friends, good news! This gorgeous and totally affordable room is more achievable than it looks. Honest!

Okay so let's start with what you might not have in your space (and if you do, well, lucky for you and I am so-not-talking-to you-anymore!) beautiful hardwood floors, 8" skirting boards, gorgeous double hung windows and of course that arched window seat. But putting aside those small (ahem!) architectural details, the styling of the room is perfection and yes, definitely achievable. 

Would you believe you can most of these items from Ikea? Allow me to demonstrate....

rug is not the exact same as the photo, but a very close second and you can't beat the price. I would put two side by side to make it a focal point in the room.

Moving onto the over stuffed, comfy arm chairs and matching ottoman...

This style is a great classic shape and it comes in LOTS of colours (so pick one to match the rug).......
then add the storage with these shelving units on their side

plus these ikea staples for kids.....

and then add your baskets and frames

So there you have it!

I would suggest finding some gorgeous prints or cards to fill the frames and making a few scatter cushions in your favourite apple green fabric....
or you could pick these ones up from (yes..you guessed it) ikea!! 

Now if you add some green fabric roman blinds (super easy..will add a link in my next post) and a matching lampshade, you have an almost perfect replication of that gorgeous space.... 

I know where I am off to this weekend..actually...Mathildas Market is this saturday so you will find me there on Saturday and at ikea on Sunday!

Have a great week.