Mini Monet’s – Storing and Displaying Children’s Artwork

Today is the day my baby boy starts Kindergarten.  
This time 4 years ago I was heavily pregnant with a 9 pounder baby 
and now he is off to Kindy for the first time 🙁   
Where does the time go?
Rough, tumble, fast, determined, outdoorsy, stubborn, hilarious, friendly and a chatterbox!
(not sure where he gets that last one from)
However, unlike most boys he HATES getting messy!
I can count on one hand the number of paintings he has created!
BUT…..just incase this year is different…..I have been searching for ways to store his artwork (pirate maps, letters to his dogs, collage spaceship/flying car/helicopter)

The one and only Fiona Kate.
I discovered Fiona Kate years ago when I read about her gorgeous home in a magazine.
Her storage products are brilliant!
A3 Art folder tied with gorgeous grossgrain ribbon
Can be personalised with alphabet stickers also available from Fiona Kate
Sturdy and wipeable

 $17.95 comes in 3 different sizes and various designs for both boys and girls.
The largest box will fit a piece of A3 paper.

Designed to keep all kinds of items but would be useful for artwork as well!

Ok so these are not Australian, but aren’t they divine!
Little Miss A’s colours, pink and green!
I am sure you could find something similar here in OZ.

Ok so it’s Fiona Kate again, but this is ingenious!
Monster Storage box that can also be used as a table, talk about multifunctional!

another version of the “Monster” storage box by Fiona Kate.
This box would be great for storing those craft projects or collage creations that would not fit in small flat boxes.
You know the spaceship/train/flying car creation made out of cereal boxes and toilet rolls!

This is what many preschool/kindergarten teachers do!  Make this very easy cardboard picture saver.
Instructions from Martha Stewart.

 But some pieces of art are just too gorgeous to have put away in a box,
especially the ones where your little one draws a picture of the family or a mothers/fathers day card!
So there are a few options …..
Love, Love, Love it!
Frame mini versions of your childs artwork!
Art Eater can frame your children’s prints (above) or even create custom art picture albums.
Simply take a photo of the artwork or scan it and have it printed onto canvas.
This also makes a great personalised and inexpensive gift!
You can do this online or through many department stores like KMART and BIG W!
Have too many pictures to frame them all.  How about creating an artwork photo book each year?Any photo book company can use your scanned or photographed childrens art and turn it into a photo book.  The best thing about this is that you can insert custom text onto each page describing the picture, or what prompted the child to create that piece.  You can also create the book in any order you choose, by month,  by type of art etc

Their are many companies around I personally have used click on print and memento which have both been easy to use and quite affordable but once again you can do this instore most large department store.
If you look on the right hand wall above the art table, you will see how we display pictures in our house!
I got this idea straight out of the ikea catalogue!
It is a metal curtain wire, mounted on to the wall.
You can also buy little metal peg/clips to attach the art to the wire.
Ikea also have plastic pockets that can hang off the wire to display bulkier pictures!

Maybe this will be the year when Master O takes to painting with full gusto?
I have my tissues packed, I am sure Mr Sociable will be fine as he starts this new adventure
but what about me!!!!!!

Study Spaces

Just a quick post today as I log off the screen and into life -(Thanks Sunny Mummy!)
Off to Ikea this morning in an attempt to get the house a little more organised before school and kindy starts next week!!
So if you have some time this weekend how about transforming or creating a space in your house for learning!!

When you look closely, it is a simple white desk, but what makes it gorgeous is the way in which it  has been “accessorised” so beautifully.  
I know this from Pottery Barn Kids but I would LOVE a space like this!

 Pottery Barn Kids
This idea had may so excited that I once again attempted to find out how I could get in Australia.
Alas…not a chance the postage would be astronomical.
It is basically a lazy susan for the study!  

Ok so it’s more Pottery Barn but they are just so amazing!  This is my idea of a study for “My Pigeon Pair” one day we could convert the playroom.  I love that you would be able to see the kids instead of having a desk in their room.  Check out the pinboards behind the desks! What a simple but effective idea to help organise your week!  LOVE LOVE the giant pencil!


This is a simple and stylish idea that you could do in a study or playroom.
Painted MDF numbers or you could even use letters!

Small space? You need IKEA!
I am seriously thinking of trying the containers on the rod idea!
It would keep those crayons and pencils out of reach of Little Miss A’s Artistic hands!


Hmmm…I wonder how hard this would be for me, the man of the house, to make!
What an adorable reading/storage space!

Can’t afford to transform the whole space?
How about a refresh of the decor?

Bright Star Kids

Something for the smaller kids!  
Chalkboard dots that you can stick onto your playroom walls!

But my pick of the day is…..

Love this Personalised Alphabet Print
scissors paper rock designs
An easy effective way to brighten up a study space is with a unique print.
This personalised design, is from Clare at Scissor Paper Rock Designs.
It would make a great first day of school gift!
Clare should know..she is also a teacher!

In case you don’t have the time for room makeovers this weekend….
you can drool or dream over these play spaces…..


Not sure if this one is for the kids benefit or for the adults!

Every boys dream!

Luxury Ideas

One for Master O!  

What would your dream study space look like?

Fashion Finds Friday – Tilly & Otto

There is no denying I am a shopaholic.  My craving for the most gorgeous children’s products has devoured my bank account BUT on a positive note, 
my addiction has lead me to create “My Pigeon Pair”! 
 It is no secret that I am on the “I CAN NEVER FIND ANYTHING NICE CLOTHES FOR BOYS” Bandwagon.  I used to think I was imagining that most stores had 3/4 girls fashion and 1/4 boys.  But after many heated conversations with other frustrated Mums of boys, I have realised I am not imaging it…it is true!  Not only does there seem to be a huge inequality in the quantity of boys clothes but arrgghh the style!!!  Sorry but skulls and cross bones, macho/naughty slogans, cartoon/licensed characters have no place in Master O’s wardrobe.  So that leaves me with….well not much.   At least I am not alone…..
A mum to three sons Jordan, 10, Cooper, 5 and Sebastian, 1. Kavala Williams shared this struggle and did something about it…she created tilly & otto.  Named after members of Kavala’s  family, tilly and otto, create gorgeous statement “little man” shorts and layered skirts for “twirling girls.”  In order to keep their quality product fashion forward,  designs are hand-created from imported, designer fabrics and are exclusive in design and number.
No skulls and cross bones here.  Just modern, funky, fresh fabrics in classic designs.  I love the bright, modern fabric colours and the simple long legged cut without unnecessary detailing or bulky cargo pockets.  Naturally I also drooled over the Josie skirt and can just picture Little Miss A’s chuuby thighs poking out the bottom of them!  
Tilly and Otto also create gorgeous quilted play mats!

But this is really about, finally finding a designer that creates something for boys!!!  Throw on a pair of the statement “little man” shorts with a plain polo and there you have it…something for Mummy and the “little man”  Of course I asked Master O’s opinion and he chose…..

Yes he is obsessed with “dotty” clothes lately, remember his choice of hat?

Available through online stores such as or for even more personalised service, tilly and otto are available through high end markets “Mathildas” market, Ascot, “Mummy Tree” markets, Morningside and “Mammas” market, Buderim,  where you can meet the designer in person!

So how does this clever chic do it all….

“An average day in my life entails being a Mummy first and foremost.  Caring for (and often refereeing!) my three sons.  I try to rise before the children to scrape in a few hours work before the regular school runs, swimming lessons, playgroups and sports training…does not always work out, as somehow my baby is still in bed with us!  I am constantly searching for new, fabulous fabrics, so this involves cruising the net at all hours and meeting with reps for the various gorgeous fabric suppliers!  I meet with my team of seamstresses regularly to keep on top of what is being produced and to deliver new orders in person and I love speaking with my customers for feedback or just about up and coming fabric choices etc.  One of the most important jobs that I do for tilly & otto is marketing.  Continually thinking up new avenues and spreading the word about our products.  Running a business and being a Mum means you definitely don’t work normal hours (nights are my best working time..peace and quiet!)  But I love it and I find it so fulfilling.”

but wait there’s more…determined that you will love tilly and otto as much as I do we are going to have a
“My Pigeon Pair” and “tilly and otto” 

Thanks to Kavala we will be giving away

One pair of Tilly & Otto signature “little man” statement shorts, for boys with edge and
One “josie” layered skirt, for twirling girls. 
Winner will be notified as to fabric choices.

How To Enter

1. Like My Pigeon Pair’s Facebook Page
2. Like the “Tilly  & Otto” Facebook Page (let her know who sent you!)
3. Check out the “Tilly & Otto” Website
4. Once you have done so, leave a comment on this post letting me know 
what you love about My Pigeon Pair and 
what you love about Tilly and Otto!

Sign up on the blog as a follower, 
leave me a comment when you have done so for your 

Entries open 6am Friday 21st January
Entries close 7pm Tuesday 25th January
Winner chosen by
Only open to Australian Residents

One Clever Chic – Sharnel Dollar

Remember back in December, when I was Dreaming of a Sharnel Dollar Christmas?
Well now I am just dreaming, that I am, Sharnel Dollar!
Maybe it’s her gorgeous home decor or
perhaps her awe inspiring events
or the stylish party products in her online store
or how about the fact that she worked for and met….
I was already green with envy, now I am just plain awe struck!

This Brisbane girl is truly inspirational.   Starting out in shopping centre marketing, it was after Sharnel had her two children, that she began a cupcake and cake making business.  
 After hosting her own children’s birthday parties and admiring the work of Desert Table goddess, Amy Atlas,  the business evolved into event styling and desert tables.

Sharnel’s designs are meticulous. No detail is overlooked.
From her use of simple yet stylish two toned colour palettes and personalised,
coordinated thematic tables, her designs are simply stunning.
From children’s birthday parties, corporate events and magazine photo shoots, Sharnel’s portfolio of work has been featured in Peekaboo Magazine, Online party site – The Party Dress and praised by none other than the Desert Table queen herself, Amy Atlas.

Sharnel Dollar Designs as featured on The Party Dress

So how did this Australian event stylist end up on Oprah?
A Melbourne woman wrote a letter to Oprah, asking for an autograph for her heavily pregnant sister.
The pregnant woman, Katherine, was devastated that she could not go to the Australian Oprah show as she was due to have her baby the next day!
Oprah suprised the woman with more than an autograph, 
she threw her a baby shower!
The baby shower was co-hosted by baby and children’s store, “Bebe” in Melbourne, who put the call out on Facebook, for an event stylist.
One of Sharnel’s Facebook “Liker’s” recommended Sharnel to Bebe.
You could say the rest is history BUT…
first Sharnel had to submit a proposal of the event to the producers…. 

How could you not say YES after seeing this!
Oh the elegant masses of pink blooms, 
 the petite pink baby booties  (they are made of cake!),
 the sophistication of a simple colour palette, in my favourite colour…
Baby Shower Heaven!

Sharnel describes Oprah as fantastic, down to earth with a great sense of humour.
Amidst the tight security, Oprah found time to talk to everyone.  Even asking Sharnel which woman was the expectant mother,  when she was clearly the only woman in the room that was 38weeks pregnant! 

Tonight, Sharnel will be joined by some of her closest friends to celebrate the Australian screening of the Oprah’s Australian Adventure episode, featuring her styling.  
I am sure the bubbly will be flowing in her home tonight!
  and as we watch from our lounge rooms, 
we too can celebrate as another Australian Mummy steals the international stage, with her talent.

Sharnel Dollar Designs

For more drool worthy pics of Sharnel’s work check out

Oprah’s Australian Adventure airs Tonight, 7.30pm on Ten.

Works for me Wednesday – Keeping it R.E.A.L

The reality has finally hit.  Today is my last day before school goes back.  My thoughts are now forced away (even if just for a few moments) from home and holidays and back into teacher mode.  It is exciting to think about the year ahead and what this class of eager students will be like.  As eager as they are, I am sure there will be many nerves amongst parents as they leave their child for the first time at “big school”.  Once the term has settled and we are into our daily routines,  the question I am asked most as a teacher is what can I do to help my child at home.  Naturally this would usually come with a long winded, personalised to the child and situation answer, but really the simple answer is……
keep it R.E.A.L
R is for READING  
Reading is THE most valuable gift you can give to your child.  Read every day,  every thing, everyone needs to read! –  Reading is so much more than stories!  Don’t restrict yourself to reading the old faithful bedtime story.  From an early age it is important for children to realise that print carries meaning.  The words on a stop sign mean that the car has to stop here.  The print on a menu tells me what I can choose to eat.  The print in the phonebook helps me find someone to come and fix the fridge.  The print on the street signs tell me where I live.  The print on shop signage tells me what the shop is called.  PRINT IS EVERYWHERE!  
Let your child look at the menu at the cafe while you read out the options.   Read out the recipe while you are cooking.  Let them play with books and role play reading! 
E is for ENGAGE
Engage your child in everything you do.   Invaluable learning skills can be gained and reinforced doing the most everyday tasks!  
Whilst doing the groceries talk about what you are doing. 
Can they choose 4 red apples for you?  (colour, counting) 
Older children could choose the cereal that is the best value for money (comparison between size and cost) 
Whilst your cooking dinner? If I cut this tomato down the middle I will now have two halves.(fractions)  
Could you write on the shopping list, milk? (writing,phonics)  
Let your children gain independence, social and communication skills, by doing things that you would normally do.  Let them talk to the checkout operator and handle the money.  Let them ask the post office for a stamp and put the letter in the mailbox.  Engaging in the every day not only lets your child acquire invaluable life long skills but can help end whinging! Once they are school age,  ENGAGE in your child’s education. Year after year it amazes me the direct correlation between parents that you never see at school or show no interest in what their child is doing and underachieving or misbehaving students.
Your child is an individual with talents that need to be appreciated and applauded.  You are the primary teacher of confidence and self esteem.  Don’t dwell on the negatives, appreciate your child’s talents and applaud their effort regardless of the otucome.  It is amazing to see a child’s confidence soar with a bit of appreciation and encouragement.
L is for LOVE, LAUGH and LEARN together.  
A teacher can teach your child to love learning but it is your job to LOVE your child.  Teach them to laugh.  Laugh when times are tough or you make a mistake. Keep it in perspective, maybe the fact that little Billy only wants to play in home corner seems like a big deal now, but you WILL be laughing about this on his 16th Birthday. Seeing you relaxed and laughing at the situation helps your child do the same.  Being able to “laugh it off” helps teach your child resilience and self coping skills.  LEARNING IS FUN.  Try not to battle over it! Let your child know that learning is a life long process.  Even you don’t know everything (even if you think you do!)
Learning is something we can not deny.  It happens every day wether we are aware of it or not.  By keeping it R.E.A.L as parents, we can create confident, enthusiastic learners who will have a love of learning for life.