Friday, 12 December 2014

House update - furniture

by Bex

We've made some excellent progress in the house with all major work now done.  I'm so glad we organised that as soon as we moved in!  It's meant we could get on with the more fun side of moving - decorating!

I had some great ideas for certain rooms thanks to my brilliant evening at Hege's Pinbassador event and I have definitely utilised the colour scheme from the left of my mood board for the living room.  I'd also planned on a 'seafoam green', champagne and gold scheme for the master bedroom but this has been adapted somewhat to include more grey and less gold although we still have some metallics in there, they're more of a cool gold and pewter idea than full on gold.

The rooms we were most desperate to change before babies (luckily their room was left untouched paint-wise as it was perfect as was) were the living room and master bedroom (not counting the more drastic changes in the kitchen/dining room).  There are still quite a few finishing touches to make to these rooms so the proper before & after pics will have to wait a while (I'm afraid I have no idea how long what with imminent twin arrival as I write this!) but for now, here are a few of the little projects we've been up to in some of the rooms...

First of all, none of this would have been possible without Mum's help!  She has not only been amazing at helping out with general chores, cooking, washing, ironing while I've been beached on the sofa growing these hefty twins, but she's also been working on a few projects for us using skills we don't have and saving us loads of money!

Unfortunately I've been a bit rubbish with the before photos here but we had a storage footstool/seat in our old living room from TK Maxx (I think it was about £50) which was covered in a lush olive green raw silk.  As I used this almost daily to put my feet up while watching TV/blogging, the cover had become very worn and torn over the years and looked horrendous (one of our removal men thought a cat had been at it!)  I always planned to get it recovered but it was never a priority with everything else going on.  As the living room colour scheme has changed though and we bought some fabric to make roman blinds for this room, we bought some extra and Mum has transformed the footstool!  It looks fab and the dark plum ties in perfectly with the subdued heather and grey tones in the room.  She also had enough left over to make two new cushion covers for our new sofa (replacing green ones which I have now stored as I still love them!).

Not content with just covering this little stool, Mum has also managed to breathe new life into our old brown leather ottoman.  I bought this about 8 years ago with my old brown leather bed for my flat in Edinburgh and we've had it either in the living room or hall in Glasgow since (as it would no longer fit the end of the bed due to the shape of our bedroom in Glasgow).  The bed has since departed our world and I had intended the ottoman to be sold with our similarly aged brown leather sofas once we had new furniture down here.  They're all still in great condition, just not our taste any more and we fancied a change.  Mum had suggested that the ottoman could now go back at the foot of the new bed as there is plenty of room there but the brown leather just wouldn't go at all.  I didn't even think of covering it until the stool was done!

Only just remembered a before pic.
(After the lid and feet were removed and Mum was just about to start stapling!)

After another trip to our new favourite fabric store, C&H Fabrics, and approval from Nik on the fabric I fell in love with (which quite surprised me, I was ready for a debate!), some more sewing/stapling magic from Mum and the end result is this fantastic piece of furniture...

The butterflies are the most prominent but there are some 
huge dragonflies amongst all the other bugs too!  :)

We love it!!

With some help and extra bits n pieces from our lovely new neighbour who makes blinds for a living, Mum is also making the blinds for our bedroom (we're leaving the living room until last as the bedroom ones are clearly more urgent) using a different fabric from C&H but they're not quite done yet so watch this space!

Another fab bit of furniture I'd planned to get was a settle or monk's bench for the hall.  I know Sarah has one and I've always loved her little pew inside her door.  It seemed like the perfect solution for us as a place to sit to take off shoes (or kiddies wellies!) as well as storage for all of the twins' inevitable collection of scarves, hats, gloves, etc. as they get older.  We very nearly got an amazing bargain in the Friday ads down here of a beautifully carved oak version for just £135!  Unfortunately someone else had beaten us to it.  It might have been a little out of place with our modern grey hall now anyway though so when we spotted this more simple pine design in a second hand furniture shop in Haywards Heath, we snapped it up!

It fits the space perfectly and is a great size for the twins to sit on together :)  Although it does go with the doors and oak floor pretty well, I think it would look nicer painted in a dark grey just to really modernise it.  Plus I am just not a fan of pine furniture at all.  Again, watch this space as we have now got a few projects which will certainly be longer term before they are done.

Another one being this AWESOME chair we picked up at a different second hand furniture shop (we've been hunting for a bookcase for the living room but finding other fab things instead!!) in Crowborough.

It's in pretty good condition, the man in the shop thinks it's walnut and from around 1900.  The fabric is a bit worn and the trim coming away a bit at the front but the cushion pad is perfectly fine and the only repair needed is the left arm is slightly wobbly.  All we plan to do with this is clean it up a bit and recover with the same fabric as the ottoman above.  We could paint the wood but I think that would be a shame with this piece as the wood is quite lovely.  It will either end up living in the corner of our bedroom or in a corner of the living room, we've yet to decide.  After some haggling (as we also bought a few other bits there so drove a hard bargain), we paid £65 for the chair.  We just need to get a reasonable quote for the upholstering now as this is a little beyond Mum's skill/comfort zone.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Kitchen & Dining becomes One

by Bex

(This was written pre-babies so might sound confusing but I've only just managed to put all the pictures in ready to publish!)

Unfortunately my before pictures of the house don't really show the wall we wanted to remove between the kitchen and dining room!  I took them in a massive hurry as we were under pressure from our removals to get going so I'd rushed round taking the pictures as soon as we'd got the keys while waiting for them to come back from fetching lunch.

Basically, the door you see facing you in the hall below is the one to the dining room and we decided to have this door blocked up at the same time (despite worrying about the loss of light coming through from the patio doors at the back of the house).  Having a door there as well as the door on the left (to the kitchen) and the wall opening would just leave a post between the 3 and all those openings weren't necessary.  It also meant we'd have a full wall in the dining room to be able to put up pictures or have furniture against.

The wall we wanted to remove was the majority of the left hand wall that you can't really see here in the dining room.  The Kitchen sticks out more than the dining room (to the end of the patio) and so all of the kitchen units are just behind the end of this dining room wall.

Again, the wall we wanted to get rid of is just out of sight on the left, beyond the cupboards.

This colour is 'Churlish Green' by Farrow & Ball, nice but I really wanted a slightly bolder olive colour.
It is probably easier to see on the floor plan

From this (not to scale) plan, it looks like most of the dining room wall will be gone but in reality it's just over half.

Anyway, I had been googling for builders who might be able to do the work before we moved in.  Although it's not a huge job, we wanted to get it done asap as if we didn't, especially with the deadline of the twins' arrival, we would probably never do it!  Also, Roz warned me that it could take weeks to sort out if it ended up being a supporting wall (and OF COURSE it did!) as we'd need to go through the council and sort out plans and forms etc.

Luckily, the first builder I happened to contact, Andy Parish, ended up being our favourite and knew all the people we needed to get sorted.  It wasn't long before the plans were done and we sent off the forms asap.  We needed to insert a steel beam and the council were happy for us to go ahead and just contact them once the work got to certain stages to be checked.

Andy and his team turned out not just to be fantastic at their jobs (seriously impressed with the plasterer in particular, it felt like glass when it was dry!) but they were all absolutely lovely!  Even though he was currently working on a big job nearby, Andy managed to fit our work in round about, often coming on weekends (or any very rainy days as the other job was outdoors) to help us get the work finished in time for babies.  He also had lots of great tips for us on local places to eat or see.  It's lovely having genuinely friendly workmen and makes such a difference when they're in your house for hours each day.  We quite enjoyed our chats :)

So, here are some progress photos where you can see the part of the wall better.  They had to leave an area around the top and edges to avoid wrecking the wall too close to the coving and/or units.

View from the kitchen side after removing the old plasterboard

And from the dining room after plasterboard removed.

Initially we thought the space was quite small (it looked the size of a double door) and we might be spending a not insignificant amount of money for very little benefit.  However, once the wall actually came down, we could already tell that it would make a huge difference to the kitchen!  I can't imagine us having used the dining room anywhere near as often as we now will had it still been separate and through another door from the hall.

 Who knew you could just saw through breeze blocks?!

End of day one and we were left with a very clean & tidy kitchen!

Obviously we had to remove one of the three wall lights which was on the bit of wall we took away but we also wanted the two on the opposite wall moved apart to make space for the large dresser we wanted in the space.  We actually changed them for a couple of smaller versions (£8 from B&Q) which were painted the same colour as the wall (Dulux 'White Cotton').

Andy blocking up the door

We also had to finish the space in the floor where the wall used to be too.

Andy filled it with screed and we found a tiler to finish off the space between the rooms with some matching (almost perfect) travertine tiles from Topps Tiles.  We didn't want a raised join between the tiles and the wooden floor so we're really pleased with the tiled result giving a flush finish between the two rooms.  (And we hardly notice the little rectangle of grey grout where their old pipe for their fridge freezer used to be against the wall.)

Since it's all been painted (by another fantastic tradesman, Matt of MRJ Services) and the skirting is back on, it looks even better and we are delighted with the final result!  The 'Churlish Green' looked very washed out next to my chosen olive colour (Valspar 'Manzanilla Olive') in the dining room so we had that wall in the kitchen painted over too.  There will be a proper before and after post in the future as we don't have the dresser yet and we have more plans for adding to our kitchen storage too as well as lots of pictures to put up of course!

As for the hall, it has definitely made a difference to the light coming in, as we knew it would, but we do still have light coming in from the glazed double living room doors as well as the half-glazed kitchen door.  When we do replace our front door we will make sure to have a decent amount of glazing there too.  Certainly putting a mirror up in the hall where we have and our little lamp in that corner has made all the difference and we're pretty happy with the result.

It's weird because we just feel like it's always been this way now.  It will certainly get a LOT more use as it is now, the kitchen definitely feels much bigger.  It is much more sociable and I'm sure will be handy when the twins are here and growing up!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Introducing the Olive Dragonfly Twins

by Bex

You have probably seen by now that we've had our twins!  Even if you missed the blog announcement, it's been hard to miss my tweets and instagram pictures of our gorgeous little bundles.  Sorry if you're not into babies, I might calm down a bit but I just can't get enough of them and am constantly taking photos of their sweet wee faces.  Life has changed so much and I couldn't be happier!

Anyway, here is a little introduction into how they came into this world.  It's not really a birth story as such since it was all pretty straightforward being an elective caesarean section.  There's not much to tell about the birth part, no going into labour, rushing to the hospital, etc. but I will briefly describe my experience of theatre and the surgery as I hope people might find it reassuring as well as knowing to make it clear what is important to you.  I wish we'd made more of a fuss about skin to skin asap, knowing the hospital encourage this we hadn't worried about it but I didn't get my babies for ages which was quite frustrating.

I wasn't overly worried about having a section as I know so many lovely ladies on Twitter who have had one, all of whom willing to talk about their experiences and many of the comments left on Rebecca's post about her section also reassured me.  I was mostly worried about the spinal anaesthetic as I have quite an arched back and Nik (who has done an anesthetics rotation before) had been getting me to practice curving over to the correct position and I was struggling to manage which had me worried they might have to resort to a general anaesthetic.  I would have been completely gutted if that were the case as I would not only miss it but they wouldn't let Nik into theatre if I was asleep so we'd both miss the birth AND we'd have no photos of the event.  I secretly hoped they might let him stay regardless since he is a surgeon and used to a theatre environment but luckily we never had to find out.

Our section was booked for Monday the 10th November.  We were given the option of anytime that week between 37 and 38 weeks and we chose the Monday as Nik already had that week booked as annual leave so we'd have the maximum time all together.  (Although I have to admit I was tempted to ask for the Friday so their date of birth would be 14/11/14.)  It was very strange knowing when the babies would be born but it definitely appealed to the planner in me!  I'm so glad they made it to full term and gave us the maximum amount of time to prepare for them in the new house as well as ensuring they were fit & healthy when they were born of course!  I also had a lovely meal before fasting on the last night - crispy duck pancakes from our local Chinese :)

Anyway, although the babies behaved and stayed inside, things didn't quite go to plan as we were bumped from first on the list due to medical reasons of another mother and by the time they were ready for us (which did seem quite delayed) there had been a huge amount of labouring women admitted, some of whom were more urgent than us.  Therefore, after being told we were about to go down in 5 minutes, we were then told that unfortunately they weren't able to carry out our elective section that day due to a shortage of staff to deal with the added influx of more complicated cases.  This was obviously quite tough having been so worked up with anticipation as well as having fasted from 2am and hanging out in the hospital for 5 hours by this point but we both understand that these things happen and some cases are definitely more of a priority.

They obviously brought me some food straight away and apologised and assured us that we'd be first on the list the next day unless there was another medical reason someone else needed to be.  So we went back home, took some more 'last day of the bump' photos and a boring dinner (as we didn't have much in since we thought we'd be in hospital for 3 nights) before bed and more fasting.

So take two back in the hospital and we were quite happy as we ended up with a bigger room this time (I think I mentioned before that all the rooms are private at Pembury with en suite bathrooms and Nik was allowed to stay over with me on our single airbed we took with us).  We also felt happier about our obstetric team on day two as the previous day we had asked about taking photos hoping we might get a better opportunity for good photos if they knew how important that was to us.  We knew we weren't allowed to include members of staff in the photos but explained how important photos are to us (and if I could have had my way I'd have liked to see the whole thing!) and would it be OK for Nik to take some of the babies coming out.  The registrar was not happy with this and said we could only take photos at the resuscitaire when the babies were taken to be cleaned and weighed as it's 'policy' that no pictures are allowed of the surgical site (for legal reasons we suspect).  So we weren't even going to be able to take photos as they were lifted up.  :(

As has become clear over many hundreds of posts on this blog, I am obsessed with photos.  I love documenting everything and especially something as special and longed for as this moment.  I really treasure pictures and had made it clear to Nik that I didn't care about him worrying about me and being by my head - I wanted him to concentrate on capturing the birth of the twins as best as possible.  We were really disappointed but there was nothing we could do although the lovely nurse who'd been looking after us said she would mention to them that Nik was a surgeon and would stay out of the way and respect the theatre staff.  When the consultant came to see us, she did say they would hold the babies up for one photo before they were taken to be cleaned up and then we could take as many as we wanted.

On day two however, we had an entirely different team and when we asked again about photos - they didn't care at all and said we could take any photos we wanted once the drapes were dropped!  Yay!!!  We later found out that the nurse (the same lovely one as the day before) also had a word with the consultant anaesthetist about how important this was for us and he was SO helpful in the theatre asking for us when the drapes could go down (as he could see what was happening) and he sorted them himself ensuring we had a good view and telling Nik as soon as he could stand for photos.  You can see the results below - I am THRILLED with them!  I'm so grateful to our chilled out team on the day and to Nik for taking such great shots - exactly what I hoped for!  My absolute favourite of the birth has to be this one of Priya making herself known to the world.  She was quiet as she was born but definitely had a 'TA-DA, I'M HERE' moment with arms and legs akimbo - quite the entrance I think!

As for the spinal - the positioning wasn't a problem.  The anaesthetic registrar did it and it was nothing like I expected, even when they said I'd feel pressure - it was minimal and before I knew it I felt the warmth spreading as they said it should, easy.  I obviously managed to get into the curved position they needed as they didn't seem to have any trouble and we were soon getting underway.  It was so friendly in theatre with everyone being very smiley and introducing themselves and what they did.  I imagine elective sections are a fun list to do with happy parents and cute babies without any drama.

The surgery itself was again absolutely fine, I felt less than I'd thought I would as I know the spinal just takes the pain away, not all sensations but I barely felt any pushing, pulling or movement as they got to work.  It wasn't long before Kalyan was born and he was whisked away to be checked - I'd hardly had a glimpse so again, the fantastic anaesthetist stepped in and asked for Mum (me, oh my gosh!) to get to see him properly before they took him away.  We had two paediatricians in the room as we were having twins so I wasn't able to get them handed to me first.

The hospital has just completed a trial in kangaroo care for sections and now offer wraps to everyone to wear under the hospital gown to encourage early skin to skin.  Being very keen for this to happen I had one on under my gown but we didn't actually get to have them skin to skin until we were in recovery.  I'd thought they would be passed back to me asap but despite me asking while they stitched me back up, I was only brought one of them completely bundled up in towels to have on my chest.  I'd hoped to get the babies back much quicker than I did and this was the only bit I was disappointed with about the whole event.  I mean, you can see below just how bundled they were when I had them both to be wheeled out of theatre - no chance of any skin contact there, we could hardly see their faces!

I had also thought Nik didn't get to cut the cords either as we forgot to ask about this in advance and no one asked him as far as I could hear.  I wasn't sure whether he could still do it without being scrubbed as they obviously need to keep the surgical field sterile.  As it turned out, although he didn't get to cut the cord to separate them from me and the placentas, he did get to cut them short later when they were being sorted out behind me.  While I was waiting for the babies to finally be passed to me I was trying to crane my neck to see them and watch what was happening but it was right behind my head so I just had to lie patiently waiting before they finally brought me Kalyan and Nik came over to join us while we waited on Priya and the anaesthetic reg took some photos of us.  Again, Nik took lots of photos though so I have now been able to get a glimpse of what was going on.

Whenever I felt remotely strange or nauseous, one word to the anaesthetics reg and she sorted me out.  The obstetrics reg apologised for her stitching job as she couldn't stop my scar pulling up a bit on the right apparently but I didn't care.  She said she had OCD (a good trait in a surgeon I reckon!) and felt pressure knowing Nik was a facial surgeon (we didn't tell her but someone did as she joked with me that I didn't warn her what he did when she'd popped in to introduce herself on the ward) so wanted to do a very neat job but I think it looks great and the midwife who took my dressing off on day 5 was very impressed with it!

Once I did have the babies safely snuggled into my chest in the recovery room it was just amazing, watching their instinct (well just his really as she was content just squishing her adorable chubby cheeks into me for a while) to headbob over and find a nipple to feed was just fascinating.  I was feeling fine after the surgery and just on cloud nine looking at our babies and marvelling at this moment I never thought would come.  I have never in my life felt so happy and full of awe.

This is back in my room after recovery, I just love how happy I look to have my two babies nestled in.

So here are the rest of my very favourite pictures from the birth and immediately after, I've been strict with myself here and may share more in another post.  There are some surgical type pictures so if you're squeamish you might not want to look.

Excitedly waiting to meet the twins!

And waiting (this was the Monday).

In theatre, ready for babies

Kalyan being born

They didn't hold him up so this is the best picture we have of his birth.

Priya making her grand entrance!

She was soon making noise.

Getting her checks done and all cleaned up.

Me finally getting to cuddle Kalyan.

Extremely well packaged babies!

Finally getting skin to skin with my babes!

Priya's little cubby hand.

And her smooshy wee face!

Peeking at Daddy and the camera.

Snuggling with my babies ready to go back to our room.

I took this one from my bed as Nik held Kalyan.

When I have time, I will write about the first few days after the birth which was unfortunately not quite as straightforward or fun!

Friday, 14 November 2014

DIY cloud shelf for nursery

by Bex

I somehow came across a cloud shelf on Etsy and fell in love with it.  It's perfect for that little space between the sun clock and bookshelf in the nursery that I was wondering how to fill.  Unfortunately I wasn't willing to spend £66 for a small one including postage from America and I couldn't find one for sale in the UK.  Also, Nik agreed it was a good idea but thought the budget should be £15-18.

In the end I decided it actually wouldn't be too difficult to make my own!

Initially I taped 3 sheets to paper together and drew the large cloud, then a smaller one for the front.  I planned to cut these out of MDF (well not me as the dust isn't good for the babies).  As the front one is smaller and I planned to keep them thin, I decided the front cloud could be stuck on with some super tough glue (like the No More Nails I used to attach hooks to my ceramic coasters a while back).  As a result of this, I changed my design of the front cloud to have a fluffy bottom as well since it doesn't have to line up along the straight line of the shelf.

As I hadn't measured anything, I then took my cloud cutouts up to the nursery to see how they'd look on that wall and it was pretty perfect!

I bought the bits I needed in B&Q, they were extremely helpful when I was choosing the thickness of the MDF as well as a piece of wood for the shelf, the man helping me put everything in my trolley and another even pushed it out to my car and loaded the boot for me too (I also bought a lot of cans of paint!).

I wasn't sure of the best way to attach it to the wall without having to screw through the big cloud (you can see on the Etsy listing for the medium cloud shelf they have done this and added covers to hide the screws) or have unsightly brackets coming down underneath.  It's not huge (mine measures 48cm x 28cm x 15.5cm, just 12cm narrower than the large cloud shelf) so I thought hooking it onto screws might work but it wouldn't sit perfectly flush and things might fall off the shelf.  I then came up with the plan of getting L-shaped plates and screwing them to the wall before sitting the shelf on and screwing up from the bottom to hold it securely in place (basically brackets in reverse).  As it's not a heavy duty shelf and won't be holding anything overly heavy, a couple of good sized brackets should hold it comfortably depending how big you make the shelf.

Next I had to wait until Nik had the time to help Mum when it wasn't dark outside.  They're both great DIYers luckily so had no problems cutting my MDF clouds ready for me to build and paint.  In the end, it was dark outside but we have a good security light and it was the best time to get it done.  ;)  The old, musty garden table we found in the garden behind the oil tank has come in useful a couple of times as they also used it for sawing when sorting out Nik's built in cupboard in our bedroom.

So if you fancy making your own cloud shelf, here's my amateur guide:

What you'll need:

A pencil
Some paper
A piece of MDF (I bought 6mm thick MDF sheet for £9.18 from B&Q and have plenty left over)
A small plank of wood (I bought a piece of Spruce board for £7.32 from B&Q and have enough left for another smaller shelf)
A jigsaw and someone who's comfortable/able to use it
A stable table & handy helper or a workmate to hold the MDF while it's cut (I've just found one here at less than half price!)
A drill
A few screws
Paint brush
White woodwork paint
No More Nails or similar strong glue
Spirit level
2 or 3 Corner/angle brackets (I bought 76.5mm corner braces, £1.99 for 10 from Screwfix)
Rawl plugs

I had all the other bits already so spent £18.49 - pretty much right on budget ;)


Draw your template according to whatever size you want it to be.  Mine ended up 48cm wide and 27cm high at the tallest point of the cloud, the little cloud was 19cm x 14cm.  I also decided to to add a bit more shape to the bottom of the small cloud rather than just a straight bottom as this one sits on the front anyway.  Copy around the template onto your MDF and cut out the cloud shapes.

Cut the plank of wood to the same length as the big cloud.  I also asked Nik to trim the Spruce as the shelf was a bit deeper than I would like so he took one edge off to make the depth 15cm.

Then sand the edges and paint all the pieces with primer.

Drill small holes through the back of the base of the big cloud where the shelf will sit and match the edges up so it's sitting level.  Mark where these holes meet the shelf then make more small holes in the back of the shelf edge.  Match them up and screw through the holes to join the big cloud to the shelf.  We used 5 screws.

Paint the shelf/big cloud and small cloud separately with white wood paint.  I also painted the bottom of the brackets so they are more camouflaged if viewed from below (as we may well be crawling around on the floor with the twins).  Leave to dry.

I planned to stick the small cloud on the front with 'no more nails' glue but we decided to make it a bit more secure with 3 tacks which we sunk and covered with wood filler before painting over another coat of white paint.

To attach to the wall, use a spirit level to draw a straight line where you want the shelf to sit.  Using your drill, rawl plugs and screws, attach the brackets to the wall, spaced evenly apart along the line and ensure they don't correspond to the existing screws in the shelf.

Sit the shelf on top of the brackets and screw up into the base of the shelf to secure.  Ta da....

It fills that space perfectly and of course had to be finished off with some kind of mythical cloud dwelling creature - a unicorn or pegasus I thought would be perfect.  I picked one up in M&S for £8 which would of course be kept well away from the twins until they are old enough not to stab themselves/each other in the eye/other body part with the horn!  Nik thought it was a bit creepy though and wasn't keen on my back up plan of pegasus either so in the end I found the least creepy unicorn I could - a My Little Pony unicorn beanie!  I'm still waiting for it to arrive (along with some back up dragon beanies as they would also make good cloud dwellers.

In the meantime, I've put one of my old teddies up there with a few books...

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Felt Heart Garland - Pin It Do It

by Bex

This little project was so much fun to do and really relaxing, perfect for the last couple of weeks pre-babies!

The idea came from one of the very first nursery idea pictures I pinned when we decided on a rainbow colour scheme.  It's a fab heart garland from Etsy for £40.42.  I knew I could make this myself and would enjoy it.  I already had most of the colours of embroidery thread and some felt.

Image Source via Pinterest

Luckily for me I have a very crafty Mum (who's also on Pinterest) with lots of awesome craft tools and machines and while she was still in Saudi, before I even asked, she had cut out loads of colours of felt hearts in two sizes for me!  As she used her die-cutter, they were all perfectly uniform so they matched up easily for sewing.  Obviously you could just make or find a template to cut out the hearts by hand if you don't have a die-cutter or super crafty Mum!

I finally got around to doing something with them recently and spent many a happy evening on the sofa watching TV while hand-stitching the hearts together.  I used a simple blanket stitch (after a quick reminder from Mum how to do it!) and stuffed each one with some stuffing out of an old misshapen pillow.

I finished them off by tying a knot in the pointy end and burying it inside before bringing the end of the thread through the stuffing and cutting off before straightening out the point again.

Then I simply threaded them onto a pale grey piece of embroidery thread (the same colour as the wall I planned to hang them on) and tied a loop in each end.  They're just hung on pins above the Hemnes Daybed (I'd have preferred them to be higher on the wall but wanted them flush against it and the slope starts too low unfortunately) and I spaced them out properly after they were hung.

I still think they look great though and it's another thing I can proudly say I made for the twins' room.

If you fancy making one yourself, you'll need:

Your choice of colours of felt (50p per sheet in Hobbycraft and more than enough for multiple hearts from each sheet).
Heart template (drawn on paper or greaseproof paper would work well)
Tailor's chalk or a pen which will mark the felt
Embroidery threads in matching colours (90p each from Hobbycraft) plus white or grey to thread onto.
Stuffing (mine was from an old pillow but you can get it in Hobbycraft for £3)

If you choose the 7 standard rainbow colours and repeat them, and assuming you have a basic sewing kit, you could make this for around £13.70.  If you sew them like the one in the Pinterest example which looks to be sewn with just white edges on each coloured heart and on a white thread, or like me already have most of the felt and threads in the right colours, it would only cost around £8.30.

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