We started with the best of intentions. Keep it simple. Use what we had. Really.
Then we realized our crib was now considered a death trap by the consumer protection agency. We set about trying to find another. Then we recalled all our second hand furniture never had matched the white dresser – the one piece we purchased new. So maybe a crib and a changing table? And that heirloom rocking chair we used for Robbie was lovely – but made for someone a few inches taller. I’d never been able to reach the floor in it.
We aren’t the first or last to tumble down this slippery slope but we did learn a lot along the way.
Lesson #1: Any sort of project involving a lot of molding will test the strength of your marriage.
I got this “board & batten” wall treatment idea from a very cute blog called House of Smiths. See the full tutorial here. While I poured over the whole article, Toby merely gave it a quick glance over my shoulder and mumbled something like “yeah ok…going to Home Depot”. The rest of this phase of the project involved a lot of cursing (him), crying (him – ok, not really) and helpful statements like “but the tutorial said to just…” (me, naturally).
I think it turned out beautifully – even if Toby won’t admit it. He spent the first few weeks after it was complete shaking his head and saying “I’m a lousy carpenter”.
Tissue paper flowers: purchased on Etsy
Owl doll: made from scraps (me)
Wall illustrations: drawn on paper, scanned and digitally colored (me)
Lesson 2: Sewing well is about patience, not skill.
I’ve always liked the idea of sewing but my projects were sporadic and mostly limited to hemming my already petite size pants to fit my extra petite length legs. I don’t know if it’s age or coincidence but I finally seem to have figured one or two things out about sewing and the most important one is this: No matter how irritating it is, it’s easier to unpick and resew than spend the next three years being irritated with the final result every time you see it.
I sewed the crib skirt and curtains shown above and I’m not too modest to say this is my best sewing ever. Not because the project was tricky – it wasn’t. But I was very careful and methodical in all my pressing and finishing of seams. The end result is that I am very pleased every time I walk into the room. The unpicking was worth it.
Clockwise from left:
The dresser (or the culprit that led to the spending spree).
Acrylic mirrors at crawling and toddler heights.
Hair bows courtesy of my dear friend Megan. She’s teaching me to make them and will one day teach me her ninja hair styling skills for squirmy children.
Baby dress from my other dear friend Kim. My brother is getting married in August and, unless she’s very large or small, this is what baby will be wearing.
Boppy cover, mini Boppy and swaddling cloth.
Lesson 3: Sometimes a big mistake can turn into a great idea.
Remember that lesson about sewing success being directly linked to patience? I had not figured that out yet when I tried to make my own Boppy cover to put over Robbie’s old blue Boppy. I got hasty and followed a bad online tutorial and the result was a cover far too small to fit my pillow. No amount of unpicking was going to make it larger, so instead I just stuffed it and sewed it shut before going back to the drawing board and making my own pattern.
End result: Robbie is beyond thrilled to have his own pillow for holding the baby. He likes to show it off to anyone who wants to see the baby’s room.
More hand drawn illustrations (me).
Nursing cover and curtains.
Lesson 4: There is no point making a nursing cover if you forget to use a fabric that isn’t sheer. The one above is version two.
Something old, something new, something borrowed….and a frame not yet filled. You can call me a pack rat if you want, but I think it’s pretty cool that I have a couple of my old toys to put in the nursery plus a few of Robbie’s.
Lesson 4: Husbands can pretend they don’t care about baby clothes but leave them on their own and they will often pick out some of the cutest darn things you’ve ever seen.
Toby got these mix and match shoes for me (well, baby) for my birthday.