Nursery Part V: Chair

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thank you for all of the sweet comments on the nursery tour!

Finding a chair for the nursery was the hardest part of putting together this room. I couldn't afford the chairs that I really loved... and didn't like the ones I could afford enough to actually buy them (isn't that the exact opposite of practicing smart consuming?).

I loved this nursery tour on ohdeedoh, and appreciated the mom-behind-it's comment re: chair: "Proving elusive was a reasonably-priced modern glider or an old rocker that was comfortable and narrow enough to fit our tiny space, so we gave in and bought the super-cozy, super-cheap, not-so-handsome big-box-store glider, and tucked it in a corner with pillows and a modern quilt. What it lacks in style, it makes up for in comfort every day."

All set to join her, I got this little pillow for the chair, had a sweet knitted blanket my Granny had made, and found some coordinating fabric for recovering the ottoman. I'd get so close to buying the glider itself...would put it in my online shopping cart, fill out the shipping information...and then just couldn't bring myself to push the PURCHASE button.

Another thriftier option was the wooden rocker-rocker, but I wanted something a little more comfortable, somewhere I'd really look forward to sitting at 3 a.m.

After asking around exhaustively, I too, like the lady quoted above, found the ready-to-go {affordable} stylish nursery chair "elusive" in the marketplace.

During this time of inner conflict (dramatic, yes), my mom had been offering me an upholstered chair of hers. It's actually the chair she used when my sister was a baby, and it had been reupholstered in the past several years.

It was truly a light bulb moment: one day I'm sitting at work right before leaving for the day, and I thought, I wonder if they sell rocker/glider bases that can be attached to the bottom of a stationary chair?

Indeed they do!

My dear friend and interior designer/personal hero Laura R. (who'd previously helped me get the bedding and curtains made) came to the rescue here once again. She found the kit for sale online and enlisted the help of a handy gentleman at our church to affix it to the chair for me (something like this I think?).

Voila! My rocker/swivel upholstered chair for less than $100:

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The cat sleeping in the chair was $0.

{Little heart pillow from here.}

I know, I totally lucked out having such a cute upholstered chair given to me for free. But, for those of you out there restless with the nursery chair situation, maybe you can find an upholstered chair you like for cheap and have it converted/convert it yourself too?

Nursery Part IV: The Tour

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bienvenue/welcome!

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The ole yarn wreath, as you walk in!

Welcome to the room that has consumed so much thought, energy, and effort in the past several months. I know it's unlikely to spend this much thought/energy/effort on future nurseries...but this was really fun to put together.

{I will write more specifically about our Chair Journey later this week.}

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The scrabble art was inspired by this photo I found on pinterest. I used letters from a travel scrabble game we had (and weren't using) and a shadow box frame from ikea. The little fox print is from here (Jonathan loves foxes), and the mirror is from Urban Outfitters. Oh, and I instantly fell in love with that plate from anthropologie. Such beautiful colors.

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The yellow lamp was Jonathan's grandmother's (his grandad made it from a vase when they lived in Indonesia and carried it back to the States--it was her favorite). The succulent planter was Jonathan's other grandmother's. And the pink pillow on the bottom shelf my almost-91-year-old granny made and embroidered for little Jules (there is a matching blanket, waiting in the hospital bag for coming-home purposes). And yes, the square frames still need photos.

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So thankful for those plantation shutters that were there when we moved in. It gets so dark in here (and for that reason, I didn't get the curtains made wide enough to close).

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(Thanks Uncle Michael & Aunt Jamie for the adorable frog humidifier!)

My friend aka personal hero Laura R. hooked me up with a wonderful seamstress here in town who made the bedding and curtains. She did a beautiful job at a very reasonable price (and I was VERY fortunate to have found all of the fabric in the $4/yard section of Johnson's Fabrics...and then to get 15% off of that!). I asked her specifically to make the velcro straps for the bumpers to keep it a little smoother-looking than ties, as well as the pleated crib skirt. {I didn't necessarily want the fabric's girliness to be enhanced by bows or fluffy pleats, if that makes sense.} THANK YOU LAURA for your help on this!

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My granny made and embroidered the little blanket above with her name on it (and Mandi did the letter template).

From the doorway (I'd love to get a new light fixture--something like this maybe?--but must say that on a day like today, we were thankful for the fan!):

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{That doorway in the corner goes to a bathroom which connects to our bedroom. So she'll be sleeping about ten steps away from where we sleep!}

Jonathan & my friend Laura H. (showed some of her handiwork here) sanded and painted the dresser (mentioned in Nursery chapter 2 here, where you can see its former state). Laura helped me pick the color (white beet by Sherwin Williams), and she found the hardware at an antique shop downtown, which we spray-painted gold.

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The changing pad tray was built by Mandi's talented husband Grant (from wood he already had, no less!), from this tutorial I found, and Jonathan painted it.

The coup de grace of the whole room, aka my favorite part, is the family tree wall above the dresser, inspired from lay baby lay, here. (I even used her frame source for the gold frames.)

The Romeo & Juliet quote artwork (Jonathan's idea) was done by our friend Andrea (who also did the piece shown in this post, which has a spot by the door, not pictured).

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Uncle Stephen helped curate the photos for Jonathan's side of the family. Thanks, Steve.

One more look at the whole shebang with Jonathan's panoramic stitch iphone app:

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We still have just a few tiny things left, like photos for those few frames, attach the knobs on the closet doors (which btw, were a project in and of themselves...they were formerly full-mirrored doors, thanks Jonny & Dad!), and getting the monitor set up.

You can see a few shots of the room before its baby transformation here.

All the photos for this post were taken and edited by my wonderful husband.

This was truly a collaborative effort by so many nice friends & family members. THANK YOU THANK YOU for all the help we had!

Honestly, I kind of feel vulnerable sharing all these pictures of a room that we've poured so much energy and love into. But there you have it... I can't wait to spend time with our daughter in this peaceful space.


*Update: wall paint color is Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore, and the rug (our main splurge of the room) is a bound piece of carpet, "Argyle Trellis" in brown from Kiser's here in Memphis.

Keeping it Real

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Here's what's going on.

I was trucking along, barreling toward 36 wks (this past Friday) and feeling pretty lucky that we'd made it to the home stretch without any major annoyances or roadblocks in this process known as human gestation. The idea of 4 more weeks did not sound cumbersome to me in the least...in fact, I was rather relieved to have another whole month to get things prepared, and try to wrap my mind around actually becoming a mommy shortly. I was zen, I was sleeping well, and overall doing "great."

Last Weds or so, I started itching, mostly on my tummy. This was easily attributable to the fact that my belly is being stretched beyond belief thanks to the growing little girl in there.

Then I noticed my legs were itching too. By then, it was a full-fledged, disgusting and mind-blowing rash that is all over about 80% of my epidermis.

Who knew pregnancy rash was even a thing that could happen? Not I. I suppose that it's far too scary a thing to be shared with the innocents in your pregnancy wake.

What is the only thing that completely makes this rash go away? Have the baby, of course.

So what do I now want to happen? Have the baby, of course (when she's good and healthy and ready, but nevertheless the sentiment remains).

We had lunch with my high school piano teacher today, who said that there always seems to be something in the last month of pregnancy that makes you completely READY for the finish line...ie, a cold that won't go away, heartburn, not sleeping, etc. Itching uncontrollably definitely falls under this category.

YES I'M READY FOR YOU, BABY! WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU!



Anything happen to you in your last month that made you want it to be over?

Or, for the non-expectant, have you ever suffered from poison ivy or heat rash? (And did you want to check yourself into a loony bin?)

p.s. Yes I've tried hydrocortisone, Benadryl, Aveeno baths (in lukewarm/cooler water), some stuff the doctor gave me, and breathing deeply while taking my mind to a relaxing, happy place. If you have any other ground-breaking suggestions, I'm all ears.

I Can't Wait!

Friday, July 15, 2011

We're going this afternoon! (and catching it in 3D)



Wonder if they're going to look so grainy and dirty the whole time?

I was in the 12th grade when the first Harry Potter movie came out (I think?). My mom took me, brother, and sister to the midnight showing. I finished the book about 1 hour before the movie started...and thus began the tradition of finishing each book pretty close to its corresponding movie release (sometimes the day-of, sometimes the week or month-of). So I didn't stay ahead plot-wise beyond the next movie. It was a fun way to go through the series (except, obviously, I've read all of #7 before Part I came out since the movie was in two parts...I didn't know where the split would be, nor could I put it down).

Jonathan asked me last night if I thought our kids would like these movies and/or books. I don't see why in the world they wouldn't? They're magic! (har har har)

Nursery Part III: Door Yarn Wreath

Monday, July 11, 2011

This probably shouldn't even count as its own nursery post but what the heck. It's technically part of the nursery.

I finished this about a month ago, and have been enjoying it every time I walk into Juliette's room.



My friend Leslie P (also married to a Jonathan!) made some super-cute clips with these little rosettes and told me how easy they were, so I thought they'd look cute on a yarn wreath (which are so popular on the interwebs these days) for the nursery door.

This isn't the exact link I used, but it contains instructions for both the yarn wreath and the rosettes, here.



After placing all the rosettes on the wreath and hot-gluing them on, I thought it needed a little personalization. So for the letter, I cut out a "J" in felt in two different sizes and sewed them together with embroidery thread. Then, I cut out a cardboard backer for the letter and hot-glued it to the felt letters. I hot-glued the whole thing to the wreath, which I then looped with a ribbon and thumb-tacked to the top of the door (ie, no visible holes in the door).

Seriously easy and CHEAP! Felt and a foam wreath form and yarn on sale = cheap. I think this whole thing probably cost around $7 maybe (with yarn and felt to spare).

Once I get more stuff cleaned up and hung up in her room, I'll show you more things we've done. (I really dislike showing half-finished projects, ya with me?)


oh, and p.s. I made an addendum to my last post re the burp cloths: forgot to mention that they're backed in cream or white flannel (good absorbency, right?), bought by the yard at Hancocks (something like this).

Sewing for Baby: Burp Cloths

Friday, July 08, 2011

Martha mentioned these on her recent post, but I wanted to show some more pics for yer.

Back in the early stages of my pregnancy, I came across this burp cloth tutorial via my blogging buddy sabbespot's blog. I thought they were so cute and loved the endless fabric possibilities.

After sewing a couple things (two summers ago), I hadn't made anything really since those first few projects.

I emailed the link to this tutorial off to my friend Erin (who sewed the most gorgeous quilt for her daughter Felicity...you can kinda see it in the background of their picture on this post), who confirmed that this was a novice enough project for a dodo seamstress like me.

So, under Martha's tutelage & supervision, we set up the Sister Sweatshop and got to work:





(my favorite cotton boll fabric from Joann!)

We also did some applique (is that the right term?) on a few of these bibs:



So fun and will make great baby gifts too! I definitely recommend this tutorial if you're looking for an easy sewing project with a sweet result. Thanks for your help, Marth!

*UPDATE forgot to mention, we used plain cream or white flannel as the backs. I'll put a pic on my next post.


p.s. Can we talk about how I hate the term "burp cloth" ??? There's got to be a better one out there...

July 4th Weekend

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The 3-day weekend started out fantastically: I woke up Saturday morning and found this box on my front porch:



A brown-paper-package-tied-up-with-string! And what was inside?



GINGERSNAPS! (can you think of a better Saturday morning surprise?)

The card read "Finally caught up with your blog and hope these satisfy your craving!" My dear/lifelong friend Polly had sent these (referencing this post), and lemme tell you...these cookies are DELICIOUS. They're from Polly's friend's company, Baking for Good, which donates 15% of your purchases to the charity of your choosing. THANK YOU THANK YOU Polly! Baby Jules & I are greatly enjoying these treats. :)

We got a ton of work done in the nursery this weekend, which didn't really leave me much time/energy for baking this year, unfortunately.



Poor, confused kitty. He's thinking, "What are all these strange things you're bringing into my house?" The past several nights when going to sleep, he's turned in circles and meow'ed right at my belly. He knows something is up (but probably not how truly earth-shattering it will be).

The annual neighborhood parade started the 4th off with a bang:



(brother Scott, Dudley, and Martha)

Wish I'd gotten more photos! Baby + I lasted most of the whole thing in the heat but it took the rest of the afternoon to recover. We headed to the Turman/Humber/Guinn/Carter/Jerkins annual cookout in the evening, completely with these fantastic sugar cookies by Lori and fireworks!



(these have recipes, from when I wasn't a slacker)

2010 July 4th post
2009 July 4th post

Hope yall's weekend was a fantastic celebration of our country!

Bon Weekend!

Friday, July 01, 2011

{And what a happy & fortuitous time for it to be a 3-DAY weekend at that!}

You know our fam does July 4th up big... it's probably my favorite holiday besides Christmas.

So I'll be back next week with what all goes down this weekend.

In the meantime, here're some cute things I'm looking at on etsy...


Some Turkish bath towels for your weekend swim:



An adorable dress for my baby girl who-isn't-born-yet-but-will-someday-be-this-size-and-most-likely-in-the-summertime-of-next-year:



Finally, this dresser. I think it's brilliant.




Yes, I'm on Pinterest. Still kinda figuring out how it works (what's the difference between a "like" and a "pin" ?) but it is a beautiful place for some beautiful photos and ideas.

Have a wonderful and patriotic time!
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