I've always loved sailboats, but over here in the Shelbyville household, there's been a particularly noticeable influx of nautical-inspired things lately.
It seemed to begin when we started a project that involved turning the abandoned fern-house (located in a corner of our backyard) into a 'beach shack cubby house' for the kiddo and his little friends to play in. All it needed was some nice wooden decking, a pavilion-style roof, some lashed bamboo for the back wall, and a few beachy props like a classic old life-saver ring, some fish netting, and a hammock, and we had a sweet little cubby space - hubby greatly impressed me with his new-found DIY skills!
And then the idea grew and extended into buying an old wooden rowboat, repainting it, and turning it into a funky kids' sandpit to sit alongside the beach shack cubby house, hopefully on a sea of smooth river-tumbled stones. Slowly, slowly, slowly it is coming together, but as it's a current work-in-progress, I'll wait until it's complete and will share some pics in a later blog post.
When Little D turned 2 recently, we planned that the beach shack and the rowboat sandpit would be his birthday present, and threw a suitably themed Hawaiian/nautically-inspired party for him. With a HUGE amount of wonderful help from a cakemaking-extraordinaire friend and fellow mum, Susan (My Food Obsession blog), we produced from scratch a couple of lifesaver-ring birthday cakes and a huge batch of royal-iced sailboat cookies, and a batch of chocolate dipped anchor cookies too. It's definitely the most creative I've ever had to be with baking in my entire life, and despite the rather steep learning curve, I was very pleased with our efforts :) Perhaps home-baking and decorating a special themed birthday cake for your child is a rite of passage that all mothers should experience at least once!... ;)
^ Fancy piped-buttercream-icing work by Susan. Fancy sugarpaste 'lifesaver-ring rope' work by Michelle. Royal-iced sugar cookies created in the late evening hours by both mummy and daddy of the birthday boy - such good fun!
^ Cake board composed of a glass sheet overlaid on a 'timber deck' I created from cardboard and strips cut from sheets of timber veneer samples (thanks to a recent find at Reverse Garbage - I love that place!), and then decorated with shells and starfish and bits of tumbled sea glass. And if you're wondering why on earth we made TWO cakes, it's because we essentially hosted two parties that day: one in the morning for friends with kids, and another in the afternoon for family. Big day!
^ Party table, with handmade paper flowers, pineapples galore, and lots of wooden tableware.
^ Even Iggle Piggle made an appearance, with his rowboat too of course! ;)
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So now I can say we've happily ticked the box on Little D's second birthday party, gobbled up all the nautically-inspired foods, packed away the toddler-sized Hawaiian shirts, and have had a couple of months to settle back into normal household life. But still the fascination with nautical nicities continues...
I blame Pinterest.
Have you seen how many pictures of gorgeous sailboat mobiles regularly pop up on people's boards for baby/kids/handmade stuff?! Maybe it's just me, but every time I scroll through my Pinterest feed, there are more and more lovely sailboat-y things to swoon over. Like all these for instance:
All those muted tones of blues and browns and greys and white, with just that little pop of red here and there. And just that right mix of subtle textures: timber, linen, and paper. Oh yes, I can see why I'm drawn to the sailboat motif, and why I'm leaning towards a similar colour & texture & motif palette for the nursery nook we're currently getting ready for our next little arrival..!
Oooh, I'm getting excited just thinking about the lovely little sailboat mobile I'd like to make for our new baby boy, and I know exactly the colours and materials I'd like to make it from...
But that'll take me some time, and another future blog post, no doubt.
In the meantime, for your viewing pleasure, here's a few more sailboat mobiles I came across on Pinterest. Oh that Pinterest sure is a dangerous place to linger!
...come sail away with me.