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Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I wanted to share this picture with you. It was taken May of 1983. Thats my mama, very pregnant with my sister. I saw this picture often growing up-- to this day it is one of my Dad's favorite pictures (he just said that the other day, actually). He thinks she is so beautiful all pregnant and hopeful and excited... standing in their nursery, just waiting for their baby to arrive. This photo was on my Dad's dresser for years and I remember looking at it as I was growing up.
Now I am at that same moment of hopeful anticipation... and I love this picture even more.
And I love my Mama even more.
This is gorgeous 'maternity photography' before maternity photography was a 'thing'.  Love it!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Changing Pad Cover

Here is another project from Baby P's room.
If you remember from Baby P's Furniture post, we decided to use what we had, as opposed to buying new furniture for the room. So we will be using the dresser as a changing table. We just had to get a pad for the top, and it actually works out pretty great because there is plenty of space in drawers below to hold diapering essentials.
(find out more after the jump!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Peek

If you were to peek in my sewing room tonight... 

You would see this

 (Because I am desperately working to finish this thing before baby comes... I have a little over a month, I know, but time is dwindling dramatically right now for me.)

And you would hear this:

(Because had it looping over and over for close to an hour... I like the chill vibe of this song and find it really relaxing... and at this point with anxieties multiplying, I can use any little bit of 'relax' I can get.)

And you might also witness a pregnant lady finishing the 'quilting' portion of this quilt and doing a little pregnant happy dance... which may or may not look a lot like throwing her arms in the air in victory and then falling on the bed in exhaustion.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Simple Cribskirt and Baby Gadgets

More baby room projects! Yay.
This one is quick and simple. The crib needed a skirt. This concept is baffling to my husband. It needs a what? Why?
A cribskirt, to hide what's underneath the crib.
What exactly is underneath the crib? Well, nothing currently.
But someday... it will will be a great option for storing all kinds of extras and out of season stuff and more.
Today... I just wanted it to look prettier and more finished.
This is beyond simple. I basically took this tutorial for a no-sew crib skirt... but I used a sewing machine to hem my edges rather than iron on hem tape. My stupid simple hem in 3 easy steps:

1. I serged all edges and then ironed 1/4 inch
2. Folded over and ironed another 1/4 inch, so no serged/raw edges are exposed.
3. Sew a straight line down the side... viola! 1/4 inch hem.

That was the sides, the bottom edge was done in a similar manner, only with a 1 inch hem
Then I added sticky Velcro along the top edge, and here is where I must request you stray from the tutorial mentioned above. It said you might want to throw a few stitches in your fabric to hold your sticky velcro in place during washings...
Do not-- I repeat: DO NOT try to run sticky velcro through your sewing machine. It will gum up your needle and then your thread won't pull through... and then you will change out your needle because it is ruined and discover that you have also gooped up and jammed your feed dogs and bobbin carrier... and you will have to teach yourself to disassemble, clean, and oil your machine-- which overall is not a bad thing to know how to do, but can quickly de-rail what was to be a quick and easy project. So say no to sticky stuff. You have been warned. (Try a hot glue gun to adhere more thoroughly, or if you have some of the non-sticky stuff laying around, you can sew that down with your machine easy peasy.)
Next you stick the other side of your sticky velcro to the bed frame like so:
...And I stepped back to admire my work.
Ah, yes... and there is the hind end of my helper as well. The boys are not allowed in Baby P's room except when invited. So if we are working in there, and we say it's okay, they love to explore the space and all the strange new objects and interesting smells. It's gonna be extra exciting when there's an actual tiny person living in there as well! :)
I decided to keep the crib skirt short. It goes to the bottom of the crib frame, but not to the floor. I tried it both ways... and liked being able to see a little air at the bottom there. I think it made the furniture feel less heavy and overwhelming if... that makes sense to you. Also, when it comes time to shift the bed to the lower crib position, I can keep the skirt in place and it will reach to the floor then... with no hemming or adjusting. Just keeping things nice and easy!
Also before I put the mattress back in place you can peek at our fancy schmancy baby monitor. (See the board and that blue thing in the crib... and the monitor on the shelf to the right?) This monitor was researched and selected by Mr.P. Since I was researching and selecting most other baby gear... he wanted monitor selection power-- I am pretty sure it was the gadget-like baby thing he could think of.
So this is our AngelCare Moniter. That blue pad sits under the mattress and is a motion detector. It is sensitive enough even to pick up the rise and fall of a tiny baby's breathing chest. If it senses no movement for 20 seconds, it alerts you through an alarm on the parent's unit. Handy.
(And it works too. We decided to try it out, and used Charlie as a guinea pig, because he lays very still when he is freaked out-- and he was understandably freaked out when he was forced to lay (On a towel) on top of the mattress to test it out. As long as Charlie was laying there quiet and breathing, no alarm. once he hopped down-- alarm. We used a stuffed animal just as a control, and waited 20 seconds, and sure enough, no breathing-- alarm.)
I know, seasoned parents are shaking their head at how silly and possibly needless this function is... but the way I see it this extra safety feature might just offer us the assurance to panic less and maybe--just maybe-- sleep more. (Try not to laugh at our wishful thinking, parents of small children)
Besides the motion detector feature it's got the standard audio feature so we can hear little one stirring, a night light, and Z really liked that it also had a temperature feature built in. So we should be able to monitor many aspects of baby P's sleep environment without actually disturbing him... and we like that. And... Z mostly likes that it's a gadget. But that's cool too, I guess.
It's worth mentioning that fancy-schmancy does not equal cheap, and that's the only drawback to our monitor. However, we purchased ours through Amazon, (it came new in the box with the same manufacturer's warranty) though we saw it in one of those large chain baby stores for almost twice as much. And the chain stores give you coupons... but they also jack the price way up in anticipation of your coupon use. We... didn't fall for it. I guess what I am saying here, is shop around and don't pay $140 for something you could get elsewhere for $85. Amen.
Sooooo... the sleep space is coming together piece by piece. It's cozy and ready for baby P's arrival... oh so soon!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Little Man Shower

Last month, several of my lovely friends got together to throw me the most charming 'little man' baby shower. It was so fun. They worked so hard and included lots of fun and clever details... I just had to share.
My friends know me well and know of my obsession with bow ties, suspenders, mustaches... and other 'little man' things. They incorporated all these fun little things into the party.
There was lots of tasty food and drink, all presented beautifully

There was a clothes line full of handmade onesies just for Baby P, so cute!

In lieu of games, (because I hate baby shower games. Candy bars in diapers? no thanks. And... I may or may not have threatened to walk out of my own shower if there were any games involving guessing the weight or girth of either mother or baby.) they wisely kept activities simple. Other than eating, socializing, and opening gifts, they had a board where people could write their name guesses/suggestions. And then they tried to sort my weekly bump pictures into the right order... (they only got one wrong!).

Of course I got lots of lovely gifts... even though i find opening gifts in front of a crowd a teensy bit awkwards.

But I got to give a gift too... Happy Baby Shower, Grandmas!
I loved all the thoughts and special details that went into the day... little things like, cloth diapers for napkins, wish cards for each guest to fill out, and fun bowtie and mustache beverages

Of course the best part of the day was just being around so many friends and family-- some who came quite far-- just to spend the afternoon loving on us!

 Such a wonderful, fun day!
Baby P (and Mama P) felt so blessed and loved.
Thank you to all our friends for making it a lovely event! I can't wait to introduce Baby P to each of you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Curtain-y Goodness!

You didn't think it was going to happen, did you? You were trying hard to believe my claims that there were actually curtains made... but the lack of blogged evidence made you doubt, didn't it? Well, guess what... the long-awaited curtains post is here!
This curtain project started a looooooong time ago. It was one of the first projects I tackled, actually. It just hit a big delay.
When I started my nursery project I discussed budget and inspiration here. I knew I wanted BIG panel curtains, but I knew I needed to get them for CHEAP. And that wasn't going to be easy. Erin and I went to a fabric outlet store in hopes of finding something fabulous and cheap... and we actually found several options, though I am indecisive and left empty handed. We found this lovely, bold, geometric pattern in black and white-- and I loved it. It was 8.99/yd which is pretty darn reasonable for the heavy interior (possible upholstery weight?) fabric that it was... but I was needing 6.5 yds for my drapes... and that would put me at around $60 in fabric... which isn't extravagant, but I was hoping to keep it under $50. There was another fabric that I didn't know for sure if I LOVED... but it was much cheaper and had the perfect shade of green, but a deeper shade of blue than I wanted. And it was a very subtle 'texture' rather than bold print like i was envisioning...
But I went for it, because it was in pile marked-- get this-- $2/yd. It was worth the risk of not loving it in the room when they rolled over 7 yards of the stuff for fourteen bucks. I felt good about that purchase.
So I got it in the room, and guess what???
I didn't love it.
Sigh. I was frustrated with myself for not loving it... but it wasn't singing to my soul, and I needed a song.  After staring and sighing at that big roll of fabric for a few days I made the decision that since I only had $14 invested in these curtains I could go ahead and slap them together, then replace them at a later date when I did find something that made my heart sing.
So I went to Target (you know, God's store...) to buy some hardware. I opted for a brushed nickle (to match the hardware on the the dresser) rod and curtain clips. So I could make simple panels and clip them up without worrying about pockets or tabs or whatever. Walking through the aisles at target I passed the sheets and found some lovely green ones... the PERFECT shade of green, actually. And all of a sudden inspiration hit, and I had an idea that might make my unhappy curtains a bit more song-worthy.
Time to get started... I used this tutorial for making professional drapes and this tutorial explaining a blind hem stitch and this curtain post as inspiration for size and style and installation. Armed with all that info... I set out to make me some curtains.
My finished product was to be 90 inch panels, so to allow my self plenty of 'mistake' room and a large bottom hem... I cut two panels 100 inches each. Then I cut 2 pieces of the green fabric the width of the panel and 20" in length. I serged and ironed those green pieces well.

To attach my green... I measured 18 inches from the top of the panel and pinned down the green. right sides of fabric together.

Then I stitched the green down, flipped it up, ironed it well, and top stitched on the right side along that seam.
At the top of the panel, my green accent piece was now longer than my curtain panel. I ironed that hem under and sewed it down for a nice pretty finished hem. Yay.
And that created a green accent for the top of the panel curtains. Looks like this hung up:
To finish the curtains I used that newly learned blind hem skill to finish off all the edges...
(Super excited/proud of this new skill)
(You'll notice I decided not to line these curtains. The fabric was already a heavy weight and we do have blinds on the windows to block light and make it nice and dark in there... so I didn't think it would need extra light blocking power... plus... I am on a budget here, remember? I was too cheap to spend extra money on lining. Don't judge me.)
And from here... we sat for about a month while I tried to convince the husband to fix the curtain rod. It wasn't anchored correctly when we first put it in, and the weight of just one of the panels as I was trying to hang it pulled it out of the drywall. Oops. So he finally got some heavy duty drywall anchors and got that puppy SOLID. Seriously, I could trapeze from that curtain rod now.
I put a nice deep hem in the bottom (about 5 inches...) and they were ready to be hung!
I already had this info on my radar, but recently found this picture which is an excellent visual illustration about hanging curtains:

High and wide! It plays tricks on your mind and makes your window look bigger and grander. (Grander? Is that a word???) Which we definitely needed with this puny thing in our baby room:
But with the curtains up, the same window looks bigger and more balanced on that wall...

 (I know what you are thinking... I could have gone higher/wider, huh?)
But the curtains are officially up, and guess what?
I LOVE them now.
They make my heart sing that happy tune I was hoping for. They are not punch you in the face statement curtains... but simple and nice and just the right ease for the room. I am happy. And happy one more project is complete. Yay.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Drawers all lined up!

Mama P has been oh-so-busy with more projects for Baby P's room. This one is --GASP!-- a non-sewing project!!! I'll give you a moment to recover while you gaze upon lined drawer furniture loveliness...

But... you know you are craving for the full story on these bad boys, and I am not going to keep you from it. (it's slightly longish and picture heavy, though... so I'ma-make you jump to it... but do it, you know you want to.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Black Hole

So I was looking for a really fun lamp for my kiddo's room. I loved this cute little lamp:

but while I adored it, the price tag was too much for me. Sigh.
So I set out to find something just as fun, but maybe a bit cheaper. A few weeks later my friend Amy Lee found and pinned this little lamp she found on pinterest:

Which I loved... until i clicked through to discover the price on that lamp was nearly $400! Holy cow. Not headed in the right direction here with the price tag. But what a bummer, it's a cute lamp.
A few days later I was shopping at HomeGoods (man, I love that store!) and found this...
For a tiny fraction of the price of that super expensive, though quite similar other elephant lamp. SCORE. But here's the problem...
Wah-wah... hey there ugly royal blue gingham lamp shade. You are not really my style. Fear not, I shall change you! Should be easy.
Plan A: was to cover it with fabric. But I looked and looked for a simple/subtle print to cover the lampshade with, and no luck. I just couldn't find anything I liked. I considered just a solid white shade like the one in the other lamp. But did want to buy one. Soooo...
Plan B: I'm going to paint that lamp shade. I got some white spray paint, and some light green that I was going to paint subtle chevrons on the white. It was going to be great. Step one, remove the trim and tape off the hardware:

Next, I decided it couldn't hurt to spray it with some primer I had on hand-- better coverage right? So here is is after 3 coats of spray primer:
Oh.... hey. You can't really tell I painted anything cane you? After using up the rest of my can of primer on this thing, I put down two coats of white spray paint... and it looked about the same. This thing was like trying to paint a black hole. I don't know what happened to it, but any paint sent it's direction was sucked into an abyss never to be seen again. Soooo... plan B.5 I got some white exterior latex paint and brushed it on. nice and thick. once it was dry... still blue gingham. Spray on 3 more coats of white spray paint... still bright blue gingham. 
So I gave up on it. Stupid black hole lamp shade. It was feeling rather crusty at this point anyhow, and I was mad. 
Then Amy Lee came over for our crafty night (remember when we made this?) and she convinced me it wasn't hopeless. We sat on the floor draping it with various fabrics and debating cutting the whole thing in pieces. She pulled some leftover quilt fabric out of a bag... and draped it accross the gingham, and we both went... huh.
Because it was white. Just like the original elephant lamp. And we liked it. 
We... didn't take pictures because it was quite late and we were delirious and anxious to get the project done. But... we used a spray adhesive to attach the fabric then trimmed the extra off... (you can google 'covering a lampshade' and get hundreds of results and tutorials if you need more instruction than that... I'll leave that up to you.) Then, to break up the white--just a tiny bit-- we made a bias tape out of the same green fabric I used for the curtains and glued it around the top:
Don't ask me why this is the only picture I took of the entire process. 
Well, actually, that's a lie. I also took this picture:
(Remember how I said it was well after midnight... ??? You knew a whole post about lampshades was going to include at least one reference to a lampshade on someone's head, right?)
Once complete we took it upstairs and installed it on the lamp and...

We love it! I love that it's white... but the white on white pattern is subtle and lovely. Yay yay yay!
Thank you Amy Lee for your help. Baby P's lamp is perfect... and the perfect addition to his room! :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Oh, paper crafting.
We have a love/hate relationship. Meaning... I would love to be that kind of crafty... but I really just hate doing it. Scrapbooking? Stamping? Cardmaking? UGH. I am quite poor at all of it, and get little enjoyment. (I DO really enjoy gift wrapping though... does that count as paper crafts?)
But my friends recently threw me a baby shower with all these lovely handmade details, and the whole thing was just perfection-- perfection I knew could not be followed with a store bought thank you. So I sucked it up and got over my 'tude about paper-crafts and set out to make charming thank you notes for my guests.
I saw this idea on the interwebs sometime pre-pinterest... and I cannot tell you where to save my life. Not that it's particularly stunning or difficult or original I just try to credit my inspiration. So If you thought of it first-- let me know. :)
Anyway, I busted out my machine and fabric scraps, as well as some leftover blank cards from wedding stuff. and... made these:
Amy Lee was over and she cut fabric triangles which I free-hand sewed into drapey pennants on thank you notes. Added a little blue thank you stamp... and called it a card. Actually, I'm happy with how it turned out. They are cute, but still quite simple. That's how I like it. Nice is simple.
Now the trick is... writing (and actually sending!!!) thank you notes for all the lovely gifts we received. I have a two week goal on those... I'll let you know how that turns out. ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Crib!

The... final piece of furniture was added to Baby P's room a couple weeks ago. I meant to show you then, but was in the middle of the Pinterest Challenge, and in the midst of all that posting it got away from me.
I know to most of you, a crib is a crib, so yay for us we have one. But I am still quite excited about it. Also, it's good just to have another piece of the puzzle in place. It's really starting to feel like we are 'ready' for Baby P. (though ready is in quotes because... can one ever be ready for their first child???)
Anywho before the crib showed up the back wall of Baby P's room was looking a little empty:
But now it looks like this:
Ooh, pretty. (Bonus, you can see Winston ears in the bottom left of this pic... that dog loves this room, and especially that rug. Probably because it is mostly off limits to him.) The crib is lovely and matches the refinished furniture quite well. I am pleased. I like the shape of it, traditional, clean with a little bit of flair... also it's the convertible kind, came with rails to turn into a toddler bed, and eventually full size bed. So we are planning on this being furniture our kiddo can grow with.
We also procured a mattress for our crib (organic cotton fill, because I am getting all crazy like that!) that fits snugly inside... and one evening on a sewing date night with my mama, we used this crib sheet tutorial to make a couple of fitted sheets for the bed.
They were quite easy to whip up in a few minutes and fit the bed perfectly. I love that I could pick my own fabrics in colors and prints that match his room. He has a green polka dot (shown) a blue sprinkle sheet, and a green striped flannel sheet that is so soft and warm. Quite pleased with that simple project.
So there you have it. The last big piece of furniture in Baby P's room. It's starting to really come together now. We are getting excited! Lots more Baby P room projects coming soon, but this week... I am working my fingers off to complete a few baby quilts for the grandmas before a certain Baby P's shower on Sunday. Wish me luck!