Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nursery REVEAL!

I'm so excited to say that the first photos I show of the nursery are of it in it's finished state!!  Justin and I are the kind of people that when we get an idea in our minds, we're so excited to see the final product, we obsess over it a little. (ok, so maybe I was doing most of the obsessing, but Justin was a willing partner :) We've been working over the past few weeks on evenings and weekends and love the way that it came together! 

First of all, it is by total coincidence that the walls in baby boy's room are 'baby blue' color. This room was painted this color when we moved in and we chose it for the nursery because it is by far the brightest room in the house and was the easiest to transition into a nursery. (It was my 'craft room' for all of 4 months... it was nice while it lasted :) If baby ended up being a girl, we were going to keep the blue walls and just add lots of pink accents around the room to make it more of a 'girly' space.
BEFORE picture of the room... when it was in transition from my office to the nursery

We chose to go with an 'Eric Carle' theme (for those of you not familiar, he's the artistic genius behind The Very Hungry Caterpillar children's book, among many others.
We wanted something that was going to be gender-neutral and would last beyond the 'baby' years - I know many 7-8 year olds who still love Eric Carle! (Heck, I'm 26 and I still love him!) His work is made up of numerous different bright colors and textures arranged collage-style into animals and other natural elements. His books are also written in a very repetitive fashion, making them perfect for beginner readers. His whole style rocks my world... I see many themed Eric Carle events in our future... birthday parties, art parties, maybe even a trip to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts? :) Oh, the possibilities!

This is the collection of Eric Carle prints that are placed on the wall above the crib. For safety's sake, the frames are screwed directly into the drywall on both the top and the bottom. No, the frames won't be able to be re-used as 'normal' frames again and Yes, the wall now has 18 large holes in it, BUT we can rest easy knowing there is NO WAY they will fall off or baby can pull them down. Plus, we can always switch out what's IN the frames, they will just always have this arrangement. (knowing how I am with decisions in general, not to mention PERMANENT ones, this layout took me many nights of swapping the frames around on the floor.) 
I got the 3 large (12" x 18") images from this book and the smaller ones I scanned some of these alphabet flash cards and printed them different sizes to fit the frames. Both the book of prints and the flash cards are AWESOME! The flash cards are large (good for small hands) and made of thick book board - each card also has a corresponding animal whos name starts with the letter on the card! Double awesomeness! 
The Book Wall. It was inspired by many similar ideas I found on Pinterest (who says Pinterest is a waste of time?! :) It will serve as a functional storage place for books, plus will be a rotating art gallery of book covers! We just picked up some unfinished shelves at Menards for $9 each, painted them white to match the trim in the room, and attached them with anchors and screws.  

1. We picked up this sweet little amphibian at a flea market when we went to go visit Justin's sister and her family in Texas in 2007. We have very fond memories of this trip, as it was our first ever together (and we had only been dating about a month at the time we took it!) 

2. This was one of Justin's childhood toys - The Happy Apple! (I'm pretty sure it's considered 'vintage' now) It's a wobble and chimes when it moves - it fits in perfectly in the room and I'm sure baby boy will love it just as much as his papa did!

*Book note: Thank you to Kohls and to my mother for frequenting Kohls for having Eric Carle books/stuffed animals as their current 'Kohl's Cares' fundraiser campaign. My mom brought baby the kangaroo book (and matching animal, of course :) and we picked up 2 of the other Eric Carle books for $5 apiece! AWESOME! And what great timing! They also have a really fun line of Eric Carle educational toys too!! 

The Changing Station is all ready and set to go, all it needs is some supply stocking! The diapers will eventually be put in the cloth bins, changing accessories in the basket, and lots of super sweet clothes in the drawers.
1. This 'Mandala Tree' embroidered wall hanging was a gift from Lisa (at Git Down Kitty) -See more information about Lisa and the creation of this masterpiece on this post. This is an inspiration piece and looks like it was made for this room and its blue walls. 

2. This frame will eventually house a 'name collage' that I will create and hang once baby comes. It will include name, birth date, birth time, weight, length, etc. (another Pinterest-inspired project!)

3. This frame is where baby's hospital bracelet will be saved. I love the idea of incorporating little personal trinkets/memorabilia to make the room more unique! 

The contents of the other frames are still somewhat unknown. I have many ideas and so little space! :)  I'll keep you posted.

The Cuddle-Nook is the brightest spot in the room (in the whole house, probably!)
and is the perfect size to accommodate lots of cuddling :) 

1. More Eric Carle prints - scanned and printed from flash cards. I thought these 3 sea life prints went really well together on this wall and remind Justin and I of our amazing scuba-diving adventures!

2. Tie backs I made out of leftover fabric from the window seat/toy box. They are really easy to latch and un-latch to close the much needed light-blocking curtains for naptime! I loosely followed this tutorial and attached them to the wall the same way.

3. This is a glass mosaic piece made by my sister when she was in high school (obviously, I love it because it's a panda, but more because she thought to give it to me! :) It fits perfectly in this room!

4. Our custom-built window seat/toy box! (an original design by Justin!) See all about how we made it here.

The super-cozy Crib (and the uber-soft bedding that was sponsored by baby's grandma Jodi :) 

All of the bedding is made by Carters and we ordered it online from JCPenny. Instead of ordering a 'set', I opted to mix-and-match different patterns/textures to help it fit the room. This set is also very gender-neutral if we have a little girl someday, just add a pink patterned sheet, and voila! :) 
I was originally going to skip the bumper pad, but after feeling this one made of the softest cotton ever ('minky' I hear it's called), I couldn't resist. It also really helps make the crib seem more cozy and 'finished'

...and last but not least....

Obviously, this photo was taken before the bedding had been delivered - just stare at the light :)
The Light Fixture. I fell in love with this fixture from Ikea when I first saw it and was just waiting for the opportunity to buy it for a room! I love it not only because it just looks really neat during the day, but because of the AMAZING shadows it casts at night! We're using this in place of a mobile over baby's bed - how fun would it be to look up at those shadows all night?!  (Of course, he'll be sleeping all night...right?!) We installed a dimmer switch (when I say 'we', I mean my handy electrician, Justin :)  so that it can always be on a little bit - so it's a mobile AND a night-light! It's perfect!
Because we weren't going to Ikea anytime soon, I had my sister pick this up on her way back to Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago and send it in the mail. How exciting to find this (and all 90 pieces inside) on my doorstep!
The flowery parts are just made out of paper, but the fixture requires only a small 40 watt bulb - so no fire hazard! (and although there were 90+ pieces, it was really easy to assemble  - it just snapped together!)

The Finished Product:
View from the door

View from the closet (Just as we suspected, Jasper has completely taken over the window seat - he rarely leaves that spot during the day when the sun is out!)
View from behind the glider

Monday, February 6, 2012

Our Nursery Window Seat/Toy Box!

After browsing Pinterest for hours days, I had mentioned to Justin how great it would be to have a window seat bench in our nursery, seeing as the wall randomly juts out next to one of the windows, and it would be nice to have some extra seating in the room. A couple of days later, I came home from work to a pile of lumber and Justin's drawn-out plan for the bench!  (What a guy :) 

It took us a weekend to construct it (When I say 'us', I was really only the board holder/nail handler/sidekick) and then another week to paint, order/receive the foam and choose fabric. (it took me numerous trips to the fabric store to decide on a fabric... I'm THAT girl that stands in front of a wall of fabric bolts for an hour and then leaves the store with nothing. It's torture)

We chose to not actually 'install' it in the room so that we had the freedom to move it around in the future and we didn't have to destroy the walls around it. At first we weren't going to put walls on the inside, just put some fabric baskets in there to hold toys, etc., but then decided that it would look much more finished with the interior walls so it made a trip back down to the garage for the finishing touches.

After painting the outside white I had the wild idea to paint the inside a bright, contrasting color for a little 'surprise' when you open it up, so on a recent trip to Lowes, we browsed the reject mis-mixed paints and found a gallon of a bold orange color for $5. How can you beat $5 for a whole gallon of paint?! So orange it was!! (by the way, if anyone is looking to paint something bright orange, let me know... I have about 3/4 of a gallon just sitting around :)

I am by no means upholstery-savvy, but for my first project, this one was easy and turned out pretty well - the fabric seems really secure to the board and doesn't have much give, probably because it's attached underneath with no less than 1,000 heavy-duty staples.

Overall, this project ended up costing us about $150 which, to me, seems like quite a bit but things add up! (lumber, foam pad, fabric, hardware, paint) But after thinking about it, we couldn't have gotten one like this that fit perfectly into our space and is so STURDY (Seriously, I invite you and your two largest friends to take a seat... this thing won't BUDGE!) for less than what we paid for materials. The final dimensions are about 3.75 ft x 2.5 ft on top and 2 feet tall. It will be perfect for hanging out with baby catching some afternoon sun :) (Plus it has SO MUCH room inside to store toys and 'stuff' - what kid doesn't love a toy box?!

The front of the box will eventually be home to some wooden letters spelling out baby boy's name... but we're keeping that one a secret until June. Sorry! Check back for an updated window seat post around then! :)

... And for those of you wondering, the bench has already become a favorite hang out for our furry friend, Jasper. He pretty much thinks he owns the place and we built the bench for him to get a better angle at the afternoon sun/view of the neighborhood. (we don't have the heart to tell him differently... he's in for a big enough shock-to-the-environment come June, we don't see the need to take away the last few months of peace and quiet that he'll enjoy in this room. We're such suckers for that furry face :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mommy Moment

I'm going to try my best to keep you updated with the progress of my pregnancy without totally taking over my entire blog talking about it (although it IS pretty much all I think about these days!) 

Please don't confuse the 'parts' - refer to the arrow :)
We found out at our ultrasound appointment a couple of weeks ago that...
Baby Olive is a BOY! 
We're super excited to meet this little guy - sometimes it seems like 9 months takes forever, and sometimes it seems like it's flying by! It seems my belly has emerged in full force in the last few weeks, and I've recently been struggling with my wardrobe in the mornings. Although I have purchased some maternity clothes, it seems those are still a bit too big, while my regular clothes are a bit too tight... it's an adjustment :) 

I've been making a 'journal' of sorts that incorporates the belly photo we take every month. It's more of a monthly letter to baby boy to keep him updated on his growth and see what kinds of things were happening in the months leading up to his birth. Maybe I'll bind them in a book of some sort for him. Here's our 20 week page:

Also - we got to take a few short video clips from the ultrasound with us - I've been watching them over and over ever since. Enjoy! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm Back!

These past few weeks, since my 365 project has been completed, I've been taking a hiatus of sorts from blogging/spending so much time on the computer in general. It's nice to disconnect sometimes - it's amazing how much extra time I have when I'm not spending it all aimlessly browsing the internet! (I have to admit, I have still been checking in with Pinterest from time to time... I just can't get enough of the inspiring ideas I find on there!) 

In my new-found free time, I've been working/crafting/decorating/entertaining and enjoying the amazing weather we've been having in Indiana!
----------Here's some of the highlights-------

20 weeks = Hello... BELLY!
- I've been in awe of baby's increasing movement inside me. I was at a conference for work earlier this week and found myself starting down at my belly for extended periods of time WATCHING my belly poke out every time he gave a little kick. It's just an amazing thing!

- The decorating of Baby Olive's room is practically FINISHED! (I got nursery fever a couple of weeks ago and couldn't shake it, so we just went ahead and got to work while the mood was striking us!)

- My mom, step-dad, sister & brother (+ his girlfriend) came to visit last weekend so we could celebrate a belated 'Christmas' together. IT was so nice having them around for a few days - our house came to life!

- I started working on my first-ever QUILT for baby boy - I have all the pieces cut and have started assembling the blocks! I'm so excited that it's going according to plan and that I have an incentive (and a June 'deadline') to move from 'just practicing' to the real thing!

I've also been working on a few miscellaneous projects around the house that I've had the energy lately to start- AND FINISH!  I'll be posting photos of all these exciting happenings in the next few days- stay tuned! :)