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...

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.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Handmade with love - Baby Nursery - Pink & Yellow

I have been seeing a lot of celebrity baby nurseries lately and while some of them are gorgeous, many of them seem to be a little 'over-done'. Masses of frills and flounces and an over abundance of cutesy characters seem to be the norm when it comes to big budget spending. I saw one 'designer' nursery that was so full of Pink and Purple teddy bears and matching bright purple printed paws prints that I had to wonder where the baby would actually fit.I kid you not.
Just because you have no budget constraints and can buy the 'best' of everything does not mean you will end up with a gorgeous nursery. Conversely, if you have a limited budget this does not mean you will end up with a 'budget looking' nursery. Personal items and  unique touches give a room its personality and 'loved' feel. Much like this 
nursery, profiled on Ohdeedoh.  I am in love with the soft colours and gorgeous personal touches in Phoebe's baby room. This beautiful nursery was made on a very tight budget, using handmade bedding and art, as well as some unique  Etsy finds. I just love the beautiful soft pink  of the walls - it's almost shimmery.

It also sounds like this mum (Emily Schildhouse) and I share the same sentiments on nursery decor:

"Whenever anyone who hasn’t seen the room asks about the nursery, they always ask “What’s the theme?” I don’t know where everyone got the idea that a nursery has to have a cutesy baby theme with everything being so matchy-matchy. We just went with a general color scheme that allowed us to incorporate pieces that we really love."
My sentiments exactly, Emily!! My favourite piece from this room is this handmade mobile.....from a Martha Stewart tutorial (Lol...call me crazy but I am a martha fan!) I did a quick google and found the instructions here .

I think I will be making one of these for my daughters bedroom... she is almost 8 but  it is so pretty and is very 'spring' like. Will let you know how I go.
Have a great week!

Marri x

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sneaky Peaky......

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that our new photos have arrived! I thought I might post 'just a few' to give a quick peak at what some of our beautiful ranges look like.  Hope you love them, just as much as I do.

Our Bright Bubbles range... I love the cobalt, apple and red combination.

Pink Confetti..  Ooooh.. this makes me want a baby girl....lol.

Circus.... just perfect for a boy or girl. The duck egg blue is just divine, don't you think?

So, the count down is on and the last touches are being done to the website and all the other things. I will hopefully have some exciting news coming up....

Hope you have a great week.
Marri x

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Orange Tiger Nursery

Are you someone who likes surprises? While I am all for the exciting, hidden birthday party, fabulous present or romantic pack-a-bag-and-meet-me-at-the-airport (Ha! when did that last happen with 4 children?) kind of surprise, when it came to 'finding out' the sex of our babies, it was one surprise I didn't want to wait for. 
I wanted to know... immediately. 

Knowing your baby's sex helps immensely...you can throw away one half of the naming book, book your wee one into ballet or rugby pre-birth and you know immediately which pair of socks to pick up and hold against your ever-growing bump... the pink or the blue? On the other hand, surprises are awesome and I can't imagine anyone getting to the end of their 9 months and saying 'oh, we should have found out...." I think not. 

Whatever you decided (or don't decide) to do, one of the biggest jobs of the pre-baby period is decorating the nursery. A milestone moment in every couples pregnancy journey, it is also an issue that can be fraught with danger (seriously, ikea flat packing has a lot to answer for... raging hormones, screw drivers and self assemble furniture just do not mix) and not knowing what colour to paint the walls can only add to the growing tension!

One way around this dilemma is to look for inspiration outside the norm. Just take a look at this fabulous nursery by designer Johann who created this space for his soon to be born baby. As a designer, Johann wanted something fresh, unique and fun so using the Chinese calendar and the year of his babys' impending birth, he created this tiger inspired space for his nursery. Unsurprisingly, his choice of colour and original style has created a fantastic space; the bright orange is fabulous! Gender neutral, yes but boring definitely not!! 
Love,  love the framed print...every nursery needs one, Don't you think?

I am in love with the mirror..beautiful but not girly.
The alphabet photo frame is stunning... might need to do that for my boys!

Congratulations to Johann for the creation of this stunning space and of course on the birth of his son/daughter!!

Have a lovely weekend


Friday, September 10, 2010

Snap Happy....

Well, another week down and what a week it has been! I had the pleasure of working with the very talented Mel from Meloo Photography on Wednesday for my very first photo shoot...

Going way above the normal call of duty, Mel travelled to our family farm, located just outside the country town of Boonah, two  hours west of Brisbane, to take the photos for my new range.

Always the complete professional, Mel dealt with lighting issues (it was sunny, then not, overcast, then not...raining..then not), curious cows and a novice stylist (ahem...that would be me..) with both poise, professionalism and grace. Her approach and advice for styling the shots was invaluable and the photos looked magnificent.  While Mel was there she snapped off some quick, unplanned, shots of my boys who were crawling in and out of the room. Wow.

 All I can say is that if this is the quality of her work when she is isn't working...I cannot wait to see what the final result of my shoot will be... stay tuned for sneak peaks!
marri x

Monday, September 6, 2010

The problem with windy days....

Alright then. I am giving an advanced warning for this post. It contains poo and nudity. In that order. So if you are at all squeamish, now would be a good time to turn away.
Still here?
Alight then, but don't say I didn't warn you...
Yesterday was a windy day in Brisbane. A beautiful,windy,sunny,spring day. I just love spring in Queensland. Summer isn't quite my cup of tea.. its just to darn hot and humid. Everything wilts, dries out and takes on a permanent brown, crispy colour. People included.
But spring...Oh I love spring. The sky is blue, the grass is green, and with a lovely breeze blowing its not to hot to play outside... Which brings me (albeit in a round about way) to the problem of windy days.

It was such lovely warm, windy day that after the boys nap and lunch, i decided that a dose of 'nappy free' time was in order. Now, nappy free time is always a trifle dangerous, even for a single baby. Add two boy babies, who are now both mobile and enjoy nothing more than standing up and cruising along the nice cream, freedom lounge suites and you have a situation rife with potential disaster. Yet I didn't enter into nappy free time without thought. I had a plan... strip the boys in the living room and head straight outside the front door into our new deluxe sandpit (thats for another post..) where they could soak up some spring sunshine and any little 'leaks' wouldn't be an issue. After stripping off both boys and opening the front door I realised that their peaches and creamy skin would need some sort of protectant - to the bathroom cupboard for the sunscreen I went. After rummaging around in the depths of the bathroom cupboard (must get around to sorting that out one day) I walked back up the hall way to be confronted with the most hideous smell....and sight.

One of the boys, (I have yet to determine which one, although I am leaning towards Master Bear) had obviously felt the need 'to go' and I am not talking about number 'ones'.... Needless to say, the image (and odour) is one that I am still trying to get out of my head...and my cream couch....and my wool carpet.

Scooping both boys up, while dry retching, I jumped into the shower. There, under the streaming water, I proceeded to engage in what could only be described as a scrubbing and soaping frenzy. 10 minutes and 2 bottles of Curash baby bath later, all three of us emerged - naked, dripping wet but odourless. Hearing the phone ringing, I wrapped myself in a towel and raced up the corridor, my squeaky clean offspring crawling happily behind me.

The phone call was from a friend and after quickly giving her the details of my morning so far, I turned around to check on the boys to see them both disappearing out the front door, which in my haste to rid myself of unwanted smells, I had left open. Gripping my towel closed in one hand, still talking on the phone with my other, I headed out the front door to catch my boys... and this is where the problem with windy days becomes apparent. No sooner had I taken more than 6 steps out my front door, into that beautiful warm, windy day, then the front door closed behind me...locking me out of my house. Naked. Nude. Without a shred of clothing.

Oh the horror. Oh the sinking realisation when I heard the door start to swing shut. The split second just before it closed when I realised exactly what was going to occur.

Needless to say, I am proud of the fact that I did not just sit down on my front lawn and sob hysterically. No... I did not crumble. I did not cave into the overwhelming urge to shriek at the sky and I did what any mother/women/person who had any shred of dignity and sense left would do.

I fled.

Clutching at my towel and the phone, I grabbed both boys by the closest arm and possibly a leg and dove into the back yard..... a teary and slightly shrill phone call to my bemused partner followed by a sudden detour in his schedule later... I was back inside.

So there you have it. The problem with windy days.... Hope you enjoyed reading it much more than I actually enjoyed living it.... but I am off to Bunnings..have to go and buy a door stop.
Marrianne x

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome to Bolly & Bear

Hi All,
I have been considering starting my blog for some time now... but always seemed to find something that was A) more pressing... B) easier...! Time has seemed to somehow fly by and it is now 6 months since I decided to launch my own line and store, Bolly & Bear. When I first considered starting my own line of children bedding and accessories, I was confident in my creative ability and my business sense. Well, six months later, and many lessons learnt, I am more aware of the humungous effort involved in any business - online or otherwise. For every new idea or creative thought, there are always 5, or 50, things to do to bring that idea to fruition. So what has happened in the last 6 months? So much!! From creating a website to sourcing fabric and finding manufacturers, all the hard work of the last 6 months is finally beginning to come together... I am happy to say that my photography session is booked for September 7 and the count down to launching Bolly & Bear online is now on.