Saturday, October 4, 2014

Adeline's Nursery

I still can't believe we are having a little baby girl!  In only three short weeks...or whenever she's ready...we are going to bring little Adeline home.

The minute we found out we were having a girl, I got started on her nursery.  I fell in love with coral and mint bedding that I saw on Etsy, but $350+ for bedding was not exactly in our budget.  I knew it was time to call in reinforcements.  So, I ran to Jo-Ann to pick out some fabric--where I had a mini panic attack because I am awful with decisions.  My aunt, a woman of many talents, came up from North Carolina to help me sew.  Together, we sewed bedding that I think is just as nice as anything on Etsy!  It sort of got away from the original coral and mint...but pink and teal became a very fortunate accident.

Next, I used my left over fabric to make a mobile.  If you look at tutorials for fabric puff balls, they talk about cutting out 4 yards worth of 4-6 inch circles, or some kind of nonsense like that.  I don't have that kind of time patience, so I got to ripping squares.  Instead of a fancy, flowery puff, I went for more of a shabby, scrappy look...and I love it!  The bunting over the crib also used scraps of fabric. 

Next...curtains.  I'm incredibly frugal cheap, so to buy new curtains was not an option.  Instead, I recycled Denver's old curtains.  I immediately ran into an obstacle because if you remember our old house, the ceilings were terribly low, and therefore all of our window dressings were hemmed very short.  But then, I remember something I saw on Pinterest where someone sewed a contrasting color fabric to the top of the curtain panels.  So, after another looong trip at Jo-Ann, I picked out fabric to match the bedding and called my mom who used a French hem to lengthen my recycled curtains.  I love the way they came out!

So what to do with the leftover fabric?  Looms, of course.

Next, I bought these two great laser-cut frames from Michael' a whopping$7.99 each!  It took me a while to decide what to do with them, but after a while, I came up with framed fabric flowers made from the train of my wedding gown, and a butterfly collection, where some butterflies magically came to life and started to fly away.  I love the way these came out.

The rest just came together as I tried to use up fabric and scrap book paper.  Anything I see that is pink and teal finds a place in Adeline's nursery.


Fabric and thread for string art...

Bird cage display with Grammy's baby rattle...

Some finds from the antique shop and Mod-Podged boxes... (the dress up doll's name is Adeline!)

Even Denver wanted to create something beautiful for his baby sister.

He's so excited!  We made a paper chain to count the days until Addy's arrival.  Every night we remove a chain and talk about what life is going to be like once Adeline comes.  Denver can't wait to be a big brother! 

It was so much fun to put this room together.  I can already see myself sitting in the rocker, listening to lullaby's, rocking little Adeline to sleep.   I can't wait.

I will try to post tutorials for some of the nursery projects in my "free time."  Stay tuned!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Taking a Risk

Ian and I finally did it...well at least we're on our way.  We are officially going to try to sell our Growth Chart Rulers and some other little handmade treats that I have enjoyed making.  I think my hesitation came from not wanting to put a lot of time and money into making products and designing a website--obviously.  But, with our little lady on the way and money getting pretty tight, it was something we had to try. 

So here it goes...the big reveal.  Please check out our website and Etsy shop.  Unfortunately, you cannot purchase rulers through our website at this time, but it is a nice way to browse our latest items. 

I'm hoping this new online venture helps me to be more diligent with this blog.  Is it weird that I keep thinking that when our little one arrives in October, that I will have more time for this?  Hold back your laughter...I know.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Big Changes

Too many of my posts begin with an apology to explain why I have not blogged in so long...this post is no different. But I have a really great excuse this time.

That's right! We sold Quaint Oaks, bought Not-So-Quaint-Oaks, and found out that we're having...

So how about a short house tour? I implore you to look back out our house tour of Quaint Oaks...really puts things in perspective. I saw a quote on Pinterest recently...

Love grows best in little houses with fewer walls to separate where you eat and sleep so close together, you can't help but communicate. And if we had more room between us, think of all we'd miss. Love grows best in houses just like this.

This rang true for us, but with our growing collections and a little one on the way, it was time to find our home...the place where we would raise our family. So here it is...Not-So-Quaint-Oaks.
You already got a glimpse of the front, but because bigger is always bigger...

...and the back...with a huge deck! And room for a pool.

The outside is perfect...beautifully landscaped, private...just perfect. But the inside is even better. I won't bore you with pictures of bedrooms and bathrooms...they're pretty normal (except for our bedroom that opens up to a huge balcony!). I also don't need to post pictures of the 4-room finished basement...but I will tell you that it is big enough to house Big D's new trampoline. And a perfect craft room just for me! And I didn't even mention that Ian gets a library in this deal. So here is what sold us...

Big, open, living space...

It's worth showing a picture of what our old living room looked like on the day we moved..not a huge difference.

 Check out our new kitchen... 

And custom cabinets! My dream come true...

There will be lots of pictures to come, especially as we start making this home our own. It is clear that whoever lived here before us, cared about this place a whole lot. They took excellent care of it and truly made it a home for a family. We knew we made the right choice because it felt like a home the first time we saw it...our home.

Goodbye Quaint Oaks.

Stay tuned, as changes to the blog are on the way.  In this year of growth and improvement, nothing is safe! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Rainy Day Web Games

Even with all of his toys, gadgets, and cars, Denver gets bored when he's stuck inside for too long. On days that I know we are housebound, I usually wake up to enjoy a cup of coffee and a Pinterest hunt, looking for creative ways to keep the little guy busy and entertained. I found a great idea from Happy Learning Education Ideas...the link doesn't seem to take you directly to the post anymore, but I want to try to give credit where direct is due. Anyway...



...painters' tape, open doorway, and poms poms. Enough said.


New kinds of projects...

It's amazing how kids transform your entire world! They not only force you to alter your sleep schedule, eating habits, and routines...they change your entire way of life. Our house has transformed from a cozy cottage to a full-blown kid zone.

Little D started with a play area. Then he took over the sun room. His toys eventually spread onto the second floor and into our living space. Now, he has infiltrated the dining room with his play kitchen...which I love...but more on that later. Now, he has moved beyond floor space. He has recently moved onto the walls. Yes, Denver--who can barely hold a paint brush--has his own art gallery.

Funds are tight so I went to the basement in search of old frames. I wish I had some bigger ones lying around, but our house is so quaint that the smaller frames really look just right...and I kind of think it is cute when his artwork hangs over the edges of the frames.

I started by laying out the pictures on a roll of brown paper so that I could figure out my layout. I wanted a nice mix of portraits and landscapes. Never without my iPad, I snapped a picture that I could edit in DoodleBuddy to plan my color patterns. I number the frames so I wouldn't get confused.  I love the brown paper idea because then I trace and cut out a pattern for each frame and hang those on the wall with painters' tape to get a real sense of the layout and help me to hang everything in just the right place.

I was so close to sticking to the same white that frames all of the pictures in our house, but I thought I would take a chance and go with some color. This goes against my obsessive nature because the color of D's artwork would surely clash with the frames...but I had to take a chance. 

Once the frames were painted and dried, I came to the most difficult part of the project. I wanted to attach a string from one end to the other from which Denver's art would hang. But, I also wanted the frame to lay flat against the wall, so I could use eye hooks. Instead, I shamelessly hot glued twine from one edge to the other. I am not proud of the method, but it worked!

I wasn't sure how I would hang the frames since I removed their backings so that the wall would show through each one. I decided to try to 3M Photo Strips. I didn't really trust them at first, but then I thought, if these things could hold up frames with real art and glass, then surely they could hold up empty, cheap frames with construction paper.

I'm actually really happy with how it turned out. The colors work and because there is not glass, I can just change out the projects every time Denver brings home another paint splattered paper plate and scrap-papered contact paper shapes.

The best part of this project is that once. The painting was done, I got the whole thing done while the little guy...and the big guy...took their naps. Usually I'm not allowed to put holes in the wall, but with the 3M Photo Strips, I silently created an entire art gallery wall in under 2 hours.
Do you have a creative way of hanging your children's art work? Please share!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Thank You Gift

Today was a BIG day for us! As we walked into daycare school, I anticipated the dreaded moment when Denver grasps my sleeve, his lip starts to quiver as he breaks into tears, and he makes a face that screams, "don't go!" But today, nothing. Not a tear. He happily went to his teacher and even walked me out as he helped the teacher get milk from the kitchen. Denver likes school! It took him a while to adjust, but today was the first morning I went to work feeling completely okay with my decision to have Denver spend a few days a week at daycare. Today was a great day...

Actually, it was bittersweet because yesterday I received the unfortunate news that Denver's teacher was leaving. Denver absolutely adores her...and so do I! She gives me such great first-time-mom advice and takes such good care of my little guy. Even though we have only known her a very short time, I have really grown to like her and am going to miss her. Tomorrow is Denver's last day with Miss Kathleen.

I needed a special way to thank her for helping Denver adjust, and taking care of him when he suddenly got a fever, and giving him seconds at snack, and knowing to give him the red truck when he is sad. With little time to get a gift, I had to think fast so I obviously turned to Pinterest and remembered these delicious jar scents from The Yummy Life that I made for myself this past winter. It's the perfect gift.

I sliced up four lemons and squished them in a jar. Then I added water...I had to play with the lemon slices a bit so they lined the jar rather than pile up in the middle. I also strategically squished in 6 sprigs of rosemary and then topped it all off with 4 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Now, all Miss Kathleen has to do is pour it in a small pot and simmer, adding water as needed. People say this scent is the same that greets you in Williams Sonoma, but I can't tell. I think it will be perfect now that spring is coming and we'll all be opening windows and airing out a long winter. I added some twine and a paper circle for the lid, and there you have it. Nothing fancy, but simply perfect.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Toddler Valentine Trail Mix

I won't lie and say that I wasn't super excited when I realized Little D was starting school a week before Valentine's Day...our first Valentine's Day party! ...with real Valentine's. So of course I jumped on Pinterest to look for toddler-appropriate Valentines, and I found so many great ideas. Even though I am all about taking on the class-mom role, I also don't want to seem too over-eager with this whole crafty mom thing, so I checked with the teacher to see what the Valentine's Day protocol was in her room. Much to my disappointment, she said the parents don't do Valentines at this age and also that they will have a small party with some basic snacks. I signed up to bring in the of course it will be the best darn Valentine's-themed cheese ever! post to come... But I just couldn't help myself. How could I not send Denver in with Valentines?! So here's what I came up with...inspired by a lovely blogger from One Step at a Time.

Toddler trail mix! The variety from One Step at a Time is much sweeter and has a little bit more variety, but I put together a very simple mix that should meet most parents' approval. All I did was combine Cheerios, freeze-dried strawberries, and Gerber strawberry yogurt drops. 

Then I just added a note from Denver that said he was happy to have so many new friends...seemed appropriate since he was the new kid. So what do you think? Is it too much? Did I just help, or hurt, Denver's friend status?