Bubs Neighbor Totoro – Grannies Totoro Jumper

Have been meaning to share a picture of the jumper that my incredible Granny knitted Little Man for Christmas.

20140219-161443.jpg

She proudly told me that she didn’t even use a pattern, when she visited us she snuck into LM’s nursery, took a picture of the Totoro decal on the wall and used that as a guide. LM is still a little too small for it but we can’t wait for him to be able to wear it.

20140219-161537.jpg

Bubs My Neighbor Totoro Nursery

As mentioned in a previous post, it was decided very early on that regardless of bubs gender we wanted a My Neighbor Totoro themed nursery, its one of my favourite animated movies and I loved the idea of filling the room with Totoros, toadstools and other woodland wonders.

As we rent our house (and lack artistic ability) a full wall style murial like this amazing Ghibli themed room was out of the question

We decided to use something more like this as our inspiration, using wall decals that we can easily take with us should we move.

Even though we rent, I wanted the room to be colourful so we have painted it with Dulux Melon Sorbet, originally I wanted a pale sagey green for the walls and this is slightly brighter but I love it now as its much brighter for my little one and feels like more of a childs room.

After a lot of hard work and a few lengthy projects the outcome was this:

We brought the large colour Totoro wall decal on Etsy, I made the patchwork blanket using Totoro fabric found on Spoonflower, my Gran helped to make Bub’s one of a kind Totoro Amigurumi mobile, and we painted Ikea Spice Racks with satin paint to create forward facing bookshelves.

We made the Tree shelving ourselves.

We also made the shelving unit above the changer, and we printed soot sprites on to vinyl decal paper ourselves and stuck them up in the corner of the room.

We are so happy with the outcome, its perhaps not as Totoro heavy as I’d have liked but living in the UK options are limited without paying large shipping costs from Japan, but hopefully over time we can add a few more bits and bobs that come up on Ebay or Etsy.

All the room needs now is for its new resident to make his appearance, hurry up Bub, we are so ready to meet you!!!

You can see all of my posts about creating Bub’s Totoro Nursery here!

Pinspiration Post No.3 – DIY Nursery Shelves

With the nursery painted and furniture built, it is finally taking shape which is great, but we still have a lot of finishing touches to put on and I’m not going to be able to completely relax until it is done and all ready for our little guy.

One thing became clear once all the furniture was in place and that was that we needed some shelves above the changer, there’s loads of storage in the drawers but the changer top is just big enough to hold a changing mat so I thought somewhere to keep the lotion etc to hand would be great, as well as providing a bit more space for stuffed toys and photo frames and bits and bobs to go. So I hit Pinterest and found this beautiful nursery and some gorgeous shelves that I wanted all for my own.

My husband has recently got into DIY and after building a beautiful coat rack, upcycling an old dresser and making an amazing Tree Bookcase for the nursery, he has got the bug and has been waiting for me to let him know what his next nursery project is, so I showed him this picture, and he got to work….very quickly…which is unlike him đŸ™‚

We had some MDF offcuts left over from the wood cut for the big nursery project, this bookcase, so he got to work cutting that all down to size, and then assembled it using screws.

As I wanted to use the shelves for practical items along with decorative ones, I asked if he could just make it with two larger sections rather than 4 basket sized ones, a look I would love for our dining room but one that in this case wasn’t so practical. Once it was all assembled he applied a coat of MDF Primer, and then headed off for a week of work.

With not much work or things to do around the house this week, I decided that although those lovely little wooden hooks look great in the photo, maybe I could do something that will fit in with the Totoro/Forest theme of Bub’s room, and that’s when I decided to make him some toadstool hooks, all by myself, with no help from Pinterest!

We found some 25mm wooden handles in Wilkinsons for a bargain £2.99, I then sanded them down a little, before priming them and giving them a coat of the white paint that the rest of the shelves will be painted with.

Then I brought a tester pot of Red paint, and painted the tops of the handles red, I gave them a couple coats of this until the red was nice and even, then armed with a tiny paintbrush, I blobbed (technical term!) on some white dots and was done.

So that is my contribution to this project, back to my better halves…

A few coats of paint later, my hooks were screwed onto the shelves, and the shelf was attached to the wall using two wooden blocks that were first attached to the wall and painted the same colour as the walls:

Add a few changing essentials, some fluffly toys and our DIY shelves are complete!

Bub’s Roomate Totoro: Amigurumi Totoro Mobile

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but that doesn’t mean my obsession with preparing for Bub’s arrival has stopped, there are just several large projects all on the go at them moment, the main one being getting the nursery sorted, but I did this week manage to finally finish one element of the room, Bub’s My Neighbor Totoro Amigurumi Mobile.

I’d seen several examples of a crocheted Totoro mobile online and instantly fell in love with the idea, but not with the cost, this amazing one goes on Etsy for over £50, and when you add on the shipping to get it to the UK it was just simply too much for us to spend on a mobile.

Crochet Totoro Nursery Mobile (Made-To-Order) CustomizableDisheartened I showed it to my Gran while discussing her various knitting projects that started as soon as she found out we were expecting (she is really incredible and has knitted us so many lovely bits for Bub), after a few minutes of looking bemused while I explained exactly what Totoro was and why we wanted this rather than just say ”Winnie the Pooh” she said that if I could find her some patterns she’d happily give one a go.

I managed to find some amazing free amigurumi patterns online (listed below) and emailed them over to my Gran and sent down some wool I’d picked out, a few days later when ringing to talk her through the patterns, she informed me she was done (like I said…she’s incredible!) not only that but she’s fallen in love with amigurumi and has been out and brought a book so she can make Bub some more Japanese influenced cuddly critters. A few days later I received a box full of Totoros and foresty goodies in the post!

Finally after a few months of figuring out how to put it all together and how we would hang it over the cot, I by chance came across my old mobile in my mums loft this was the result:

I’m so chuffed with the outcome and after cleaning up my old mobile, removing the old sticker on the music box and replacing it with my own, printed onto Vinyl paper and wrapping the arm in green wool to cover up the evidence of age I couldn’t clear up with soap and sandpaper, I had the brainwave to wrap the wooden top of the mobile in wool also, up to that point they had been connected by a large crocheted ball similar to the Etsy example, I’m much happier with how it looks now, as it meant that I could hide the wool attachments, where as before the wool had simply been wrapped around the wood and looked somewhat messy.

So that’s one thing crossed of the never ending list of things to do for Bub’s room, we are getting there, slowly but surely and with only 6 weeks left we need to get a move on. I can’t wait to share the finished room with you all.

Amigurumi patterns used for mobile:

White Chibi Totoro: http://lucyravenscar.blogspot.fr/2012/04/all-totoros.html (Gran also made the smaller blue pattern, but it was too big for the mobile)

Totoro: http://www.amigurumitogo.com/2012/12/large-grey-totoro.html

All of the rest my Gran did from looking at pictures of crocheted raindrops, toadstools, trees and acorns and for the Soot Sprite I just asked her to do a black sphere similar to the colored ones she’d already done and add some eyes, there is also a marble inside of him to help counteract the weight of Totoro.

Practice makes perfect….

So about a week ago I borrowed my Nans old…and I mean old, sewing machine because I wanted to give making a patchwork blanket for Bubs My Neighbor Totoro themed nursery, said patchwork blanket is almost finished and I’ll be posting about it shortly, but long story short, having not used a sewing machine for about 15 years, I’m not sewing so straight, especially on things blanket sized, so I am nervous about completing the last stage of the blanket, the top stitch.

I am so happy with it so far I don’t want to ruin it at the last moment with a wonky seam, so I grabbed some cute fabric I found in the remnants section of my local haberdashery and the fleece left over from backing the patchwork blanket and thought I would practice by making another blanket of less emotional investment.

Image

The fleece had been cut pretty wonky in the process of trimming it down to back the patchwork blanket, so I found the widest section I could and got to work on cutting it down to a relatively straight rectangle (in my eagerness to continue my newest obsession of sewing, I am cutting a few corners…worry not, the rotary cutter is on its way!). I pinned this to my lovely new found fabric (right sides together) and cut around the fleece so the fabric matched the ”rectangle”.

Then I got to work sewing a nice seam all the way around leaving one corner open so I could turn the blanket right way out, snipping the corners at an angle first so they would turn out nice and square, after pinning the opening ready to be closed up with the top stitch, I ironed the whole thing, making the edges nice and tidy and then got to work sewing a nice, straightish top stitch (considering the already wonky nature of the blanket…lets call it character, not wonkiness), and the result….

Bubs Animal Blanket

Bubs Animal Blanket

Not bad for an afternoons work, and it has left me feeling much more confident about tackling the top stitch for Bubs Totoro Patchwork blanket, so stay tuned, I will be posting the result in a few days time, but here’s a sneak peek, and even if your not a My Neighbor Totoro fan, check it out purely for my Nans super old sewing machine….

See…I told you it was old!