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Spring Break Projects Wrap-Up

What a week it has been! I’ve been on a self-imposed Spring Break from work this week while Kiddo1 is on his school break. I had a long list of projects to accomplish plus some fun family stuff, too. Here’s what when down, and what is still left on the table…

Weekend

I spend the weekend gathering and organizing supplies for all the projects I planned on doing. I received a few deliveries of supplies on Friday but I had to wait until Monday before I had everything in hand (stupid UPS doesn’t delivery on Saturdays, but FedEx did bring me something so I like them). I spent a lot of time at the local fabric store and art supply store, but surprisingly I didn’t spend all that much money. Yay me! Besides gathering supplies, the weekend was spent relaxing (gathering energy) and we all went to a cloth diapering class with my moms group.

Monday

Monday I didn’t get too much done on my projects. I took Kiddo1 to the dentist in the morning (FOUR cavities! Someone needs to get better at flossing because all the cavities are between his back teeth). We also went to the zoo with one of Kiddo1’s friends. It was a beautiful day so it was great to walk around outside. Unfortunately everyone else in the city felt the same way! The zoo was crazy packed but we ended up spending two or three hours and saw almost everything.

Tuesday

Tuesday I finally got a project started and finished with the framing of three more posters. I had already completed framing a Picasso print a few weeks ago. This time I framed a Kandinsky for Mr. Handsome and I’s room:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Apparently I couldn’t even wait until we were don’t hanging it before I started taking pictures because the level is still hanging out there… This one has white mats only because the color scheme of Mr. Handsome and my room is all white (I think it’s peaceful that way).

Plus I finished the two new Degas prints (still waiting to be hung) that I ordered for Baby2:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

They should bring a little more girlyness to the space! I chose red for the mats because we’ve got this red, mustard, turquoise thing going on. I seem to be gravitating toward the primary colors once again (Kiddo1’s room was straight-up solid, bright primaries while this one is a bit darker/bolder).

I added up all my framing costs and figured that finishing four posters costs a little less than $200 which was still significantly less than the $300 the framer wanted to charge for one framed poster. My cost includes all four frames, the mat cutter, all the mat board, the frame hangers and the Degas prints I bought (I’d include the cost of the Picasso and Kandinsky prints I already had but I’ve had them for so long, I have no idea how much I paid for them). Not bad, huh?

Also on Tuesday, we bought a crib! This is our first major purchase for Baby2 (if you don’t count the minivan), so we congratulated ourselves. I wanted it so I could make and attach the crib skirt that I had planned for this week. Kiddo1 and Mr. Handsome put it together (they were adorable) while I worked on my framing. It’s sort of weird having an empty crib hanging around… but it isn’t really empty as it is filled with supplies for my projects (and slowly filling up with completed projects that need to be hung or placed!).

Wednesday-Thursday

On Wednesday I started working on the poofs I had planned for the huge mobile of paper lanterns. I did a 12″ paper lantern (this tutorial is for 6″ and 9″ lanterns) and it took literally all day and well into Thursday, too. I had already cut three yards of fabric into circles over the weekend, so all I did Wednesday was glue, glue, glue. On Thursday I cut three more yards of fabric into circles and finally finished in the afternoon. I want to do three of these (a 10″ and an 8″ too) but we’ll see how that goes… Here’s how the first one looks though!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I freaking love how it turned out, even though it took two days to do. The texture is just amazing and the size and color are eye-catching for sure. I hope the other two yellow poofs will go faster because they’re smaller, but I’m not going to count on it. At this point I’m more worried about my fabric costs than the time I have to spend on it!

Also on Wednesday, Kiddo1 and I also took a bike ride around the neighborhood (yay I can still get on my bike!), got some lunch together and picked up some groceries. I had dropped off the car for an oil change earlier in the day and Mr. Handsome worked. A fairly productive day, really! But I felt like the week was slipping away too quickly…

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppSo other than finishing the first poof, on Thursday I took Kiddo1 to a skateboarding class at the community center. He learned a couple new tricks (of course he claims he already knew them, but whatever), gained some confidence with the ramps and spent a couple hours getting exercise and meeting new kids. Win! Later on we took a friend to the science center to see the traveling Lego exhibit.

The visits to a very crowed zoo and science center further reaffirmed my belief that I don’t want a stroller. I don’t want to disrespect the stroller parents, because of course strollers have their place, but the baby-wearing parents did look happier and less stressed. I may write a post about my feelings about my potential personal stroller use (or lack of use) in the next week or so. We’ll see.

Friday

On Friday, I took Kiddo1 back to the dentist to have his cavities filled. It was his first experience with Novocaine and he did a really awesome job. I was glad Mr. Handsome took the morning off to come with us, too, because I wasn’t allowed to be in the room when they were giving him the nitrous oxide. Kiddo1 needed a little support for the Novocaine shots shortly after.

Kiddo1 spent the rest of the day relaxing off the Novocaine so I was able to start and finish the three red lanterns I had planned for the mobile while watching movies with him. All that’s left to finish on that project are two yellow poofs and two small purple ones (I’m using a different technique for the purple ones than I had planned so I hope they don’t take as long). I’m not ready to post a picture yet so that’ll have to wait for the finished product.

Saturday

I spent most of Saturday struggling with the sewing machine that I bought so I could start the crib skirt. It bought a fairly crappy machine off Craig’s List fo $50. It was a mistake – I never got the thing to work right. I’m thinking of reselling it for parts. I did find another machine that I picked up on Saturday while Kiddo1 was at a birthday party. It worked perfectly, thank goodness! So I was able to start and pretty much finish the crib skirt in a few hours:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I used this tutorial but eliminated the trim pieces (for now – I may go back and add some trim in a to-be-determined color). Even though I haven’t sewed for several years, it was so easy! I finished it and attached it to the crib (with adjustable velcro) in just a couple hours.

I’ve also added more projects to my plate to be completed over the next few months – I always let these things escalated a bit out of control. So now I also want to:

  • Make matching pillows out of the crib skirt fabric (three 12″ square pillows and one bolster-type long, round pillow).
  • Make matching crib sheets (it looks super easy with this tutorial) out of some yellow, red and turquoise fabric I bought as backing for the pillows.
  • Attach wheels to the bottom of the crib to make it easier to move around the tiny nursery space.
  • Find and refinish a dresser to use as a changing table. (I think I found one today that I can pick up tomorrow! Mr. Handsome is totally hating Craig’s List right now, I know it.)

I am crazy. I know it.

Today I will be relaxing, aka taking a mini vacation from my vacation (and trying not to think about going back to work tomorrow). I’m a tad exhausted but I’m so glad I got some stuff done! I feel better about heading into the third trimester with a few accomplishments. Yay Spring Break!

Friday Update: Week 24

PhotobucketContinuing with last week’s baby’s-size-is-a-shoe theme, this week baby is about as big as a shoe box at almost 12 inches long! Here’s a picture of a Rocket Dog shoe box because I love my Rocket Dog flats!

This week I have noticed some nesting starting. Very light nesting, and it is mostly interior decorating thoughts than cleaning and organizing.I can feel myself starting to obsess – I know it’s bad when I have dreams about the supplies I’ve bought and the things I want to do with them. Fabric has been dancing in my head – it’s taking over!

Next week I’m off work for Spring Break, which is probably a catalyst because I want to get so many projects done in that time. Here are some of the things I’m hoping to accomplish:

  • Frame two new posters: I bought two new Degas prints because I didn’t think any of the art I already had fit the color scheme we’ve chosen for the nursery. Also, my currently held prints and general vision for the space isn’t very girly, so I figured some whimsical Degas dancers would feminize everything a bit. I’m excited to post pictures of those when I’m done!
  • Start the giant mobile that I’ve been talking about: I have a bunch of paper lanterns being delivered today and I already bought fabric for the poofs so it’s time to get started. I have two lanterns that I dion’t have to do anything to, two lanterns that I’m covering in a specific color with tissue paper, two lanterns to make poofs of and two that I’m going to cover in paper flowers.
  • Make a crib skirt (I foudn yet another awesome online tutorial): After weeks of obsessing and searching, I finally found what I think is the perfect fabric for the crib skirt, pillows and who knows what else. I ordered it from Mountain of the Dragon on Etsy. Monica was awesome and helpful, plus it looks like the shipping will be really fast. I was going to buy a crib skirt already completed from this fabric, but I wound up getting twice the fabric AND a used sewing machine on Craig’s List for even less than I would have paid for the crib skirt.
  • Since I want to make a crib skirt I’m going to have to buy a crib: I kind of wanted to put this one off, mostly because it’s going to take up space and looking at an empty crib for three months could be kind of weird. However, we need a place to put the stuff we’ve started to accumulate so I guess an empty crib isn’t so bad.
  • Get started on a crochet project.

I think that should keep me busy, but if it doesn’t I do have a few things to finish from my second trimester to-do list, including writing our living and final wills with Mr. Handsome. Plus doing a bunch of fun stuff with Kiddo1! Visiting the zoo is a given, probably the science center, taking the dog to the park, building legos, reading, bike riding, getting exhausted just thinking about it all, you name it!

Anyway, here are some things that actually happened this week (as opposed to things I’ve just thought of):

  • Total weight gain: 18 pounds (maybe 19, but I’m probably low-balling again this week). At least a full pound of that is all baby though, depending on which pregnancy app you trust the most. Baby will gain a quarter pound a week (!) for the next six weeks or so. Good luck to me in keeping my pound-a-week goal.
  • Cravings: Junk food, any and all matter of junk food. And not just the chocolate stuff but fried foods, cheesy/creamy foods (Mmmm, Panera Mac ‘N Cheese…), processed foods, all the good stuff. I’m forcing myself to eat a big salad for dinner tonight.
  • Coolest symptom: I feel like baby kicks have dominated this bullet for the last few weeks. This week they’re still pretty darn cool and I have noticed that they’re getting a bit higher in my abdomen. Other cool things also include the thicker nails and softer hair that I noticed a couple weeks ago. Mr. Handsome would probably put the huge boobs in this bullet too.
  • Lamest symptom: The linea negra is totally here, as I had speculated two weeks ago. This isn’t really lame, but it is the lamest thing I could think of. I had a very dark linea negra with Baby1 so I was expecting this! Also, the last two nights I have been woken at 2 am with what I can only imagine are Braxton Hicks contractions. I need to look into this further…
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes): 215 minutes! This week I got a much healthier balance of cardio, yoga and weights, too, with 105 minutes of cardio (all elliptical except for 20 minutes of vigorous vacuuming), 90 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of arms.

Finally, Baby2’s happenings, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him or her at just over a pound. Since your baby is almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he or she cuts a pretty lean figure at this point. But your baby’s body is filling out proportionally and it will soon start to plump up. His or her brain is growing quickly now, and taste buds are continuing to develop. Your baby’s lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help air sacs in the lungs inflate once your baby hits the outside world. His or her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

One Nursery Project Down!

I’ve started to get a little antsy about starting to prepare the nursery for Baby2. I know we have another four months to go so I’m trying to curb my enthusiasm a bit, but I can get some preliminary sorts of things started right? I know I could just do it all now, there’s no harm, but I feel like I would be getting ahead of myself. Might as well stretch out the fun you know?

This past weekend I tackled a project that I’ve been wanting to do for YEARS. I have a whole bunch of art poster prints that I’ve been wanting to frame for so long. Mr. Handsome and my bedroom walls are covered in college-esque posters (still in their plastic wrap for ultimate preservation) of Picasso, Kandinsky and Munch. One of my favorites is Le Repos by Picasso. It hung over Baby1’s crib oh so many years ago. I wanted to use it for Baby2, too, but now that we’re a little older and wiser I thought I could make it look better.

I took the print to the local framer and they wanted to charge me almost $300 to frame it! Sure it’s fairly large at 24×36, but still. I eventually got them down to $150 for basically a “do-it-yourself” option where they cut the mats for you and dry mount your art and you put it together. A good savings but still out of budget.

My education is in Architecture so I spent four years of my life cutting mat board to build models. I figured, I got this. So I went to the art supply store and bought two mat boards and a mat cutter for $40. I also got a frame from that same shop for $20, and it’s a nice sturdy wood frame with glass so the price was really fantastic. I don’t think I should really count the mat cutter in the total price because I will use it again for other projects, but if I do count it the total investment tops out at $60 which is less than half of the frame shop’s even cheapest price.

After I bought the mat board I went back and forth with the color. Kiddo1 and I sat down and went over the colors we thought that would be best. He was really interested in helping with this project which was awesome! He had some good input too. Ultimately he decided that the mat color I had chosen was the best, so I felt better about that!

We also thought that the colors in the painting would be good for the whole nursery. Here’s what the finished product looked like (which I need to get hung ASAP):

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

There’s so much glare from the glass… But I think this is pretty good for my first dabble in framing!

So the nursery colors will be a deep red, mustardy yellow, a deep turquoise and perhaps a splash of purple or maybe even hot pink (“because she is a girl,” says Kiddo1).

My next project is to start on the giant mobile piece. I have fallen in love with these – they’re so much more of a statement and focal point than your standard mobile. And I feel like baby can see the bright colors and big shapes better anyway. Here’s some of my inspiration from Pinterest:

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I like how the pink one mixes the paper lanterns and “poofs,” the latter of which there is a tutorial for here. I’m currently looking for the best place to buy some cheap paper lanterns (from the above pictures I’m thinking I’ll need about a dozen). I found this site and am searching for more.  Martha Stewart makes the accordion-style ones but I’m not sure if the blue set really fits the color scheme perfectly.

In the meantime, I have to find the perfect fabric to tie all these colors together. I’m swooning over the prints at Modified Tot on Etsy. Crib skirts (which is what I intend to make) are available but they are so expensive! So I will sharpen my DIY skills once again – too bad I sold my sewing machine four years ago when we moved.

And back to framing, hopefully I’ll get to one or two more posters before Baby2 arrives. I’ve got Von Gogh’s Starry Night and Kandinsky’s Composition No. 6 for candidates!

Gettin’ Crafty

What is it about being pregnant that brings out the creator in us? Most pregnant women that I’ve known have caught the crafting bug during their pregnancy; side effects include an itching to make new things.

I’ve known how to knit and crochet since I was a kid (my mom and grandmothers taught me how) but my skills have been lost a bit over the years. Last year I started brushing up on my knitting and this past weekend I took a quick crochet class to remember how to do that too.

Now with my found talents brimming from my fingers, I’m dying to get started on fun baby projects. Since Baby2 will be born mid-summer, I’m looking for things to make that will work in the heat. We don’t need a lot of heavy blankets and sweaters yet (I’ll save those projects for maternity leave!).

I have absolutely fallen in love with knitted/crocheted shoes, though. Baby shoes are already cute but then you add in the texture of yarn and it multiplies the cuteness!

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Baby flip flops! Perfect for July right? These are all crocheted except for the little pink shoes which are knitted. The best part is that these shoes are really like socks – there’s no hard sole which isn’t recommended in the first year I guess. There’s also the super cute booties for when the weather gets a little cooler. I’m totally swooning over them. Can I make some adult sized ones for myself too?

Hopefully making these shoes will satisfy by desire to purchase copious amounts of baby shoes. They have got to be the cutest of all baby garments, really. But there are other projects, too, I’m getting stuck on shoes.

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Hats are great for newborns, even in the summer. Babies need help holding their body heat in, or something. Plus, how adorable is the summer old-school prairie bonnet?! Or, if we’re having a boy, the sweet little cowboy hat! Actually, I think that would work for a girl, too. With a flowery little summer dress. Maybe some crocheted cowboy boots too! Oh yes, I do love dressing the childrens.

Last but not least, babies need blankets. I remember going through lots of blankets with Baby1. They take awhile to make because they’re so big, but they are pretty simple patterns to follow, unless you do some crazy complicated stitch. I suppose making a blanket actually is a good time to practice a complex stitch because you’ll be doing it over and over and over…

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The flower blanket looks like a great complex stitch to practice (well, I think it would be complex but honestly I don’t know. I’ll have to figure that out). Such cute flowers, it would make a perfect decoration for a girl’s room, too. The primary colored one would be perfect for a boy’s room. It looks like legos! That baby on the green one just looks so happy – it must be that awesome crocheted blanket! Finally, I present this beautiful piece of gianted knitted luxury. I found it on Pinterest and the pinner said she had to whittle wooden dowels in order to make knitting needles big enough. I have no idea from where the yarn was procured. All I know is that I want one of these blankets! It looks so soft and cozy.

Right now I’m practicing my craft by making some simple swatches, but I hope to start picking some patterns and projects pretty soon. I’ll post updates!

Nursery Ideas!

Yay! Creative stuff!

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long (a whole trimester!) to really get into nursery planning. Well, I guess I do know. We’re probably moving a couple months after Baby2 is born, so I didn’t want to let myself get too excited. But nursery planning is so much fun! So instead of holding back completely, I’ve decided to just keep my ideas flexible. I’m focusing on only getting the essential pieces of furniture (a crib and a dress that doubles as a changing table) and going for things that I can refinish after we move (trying to get a house of our very own this fall, instead of continuing to rent).

Even before we move, though, I know the basics of what I want. Mr. Handsome loves bright colors, and I’m a fan too. I’ve never really liked pastels. For Kiddo1’s nursery we did primary colors. Good for a boy, I think. I never took a picture of his room when it had a crib in it, but I did finally take a picture after he transitioned to a “big boy bed” when he was one or two (is it bad that I can’t remember?!).

The house we moved into already had yellow walls. They were a little lighter than we would have liked, but they were all cute and striped so we didn’t want to change it. It was close enough. Here’s what his room ended up like:

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The race car bed (that Mr. Handsome just HAD to have) kinda clashed with the Disney thing we had going, but still, not too bad, I think, considering we had NO money. We couldn’t even buy window coverings – I made the striped thing on the right out of plywood, leftover fabric and some found piano hinges. Resourceful! The top part is two pieces that open like shutters. The bottom piece is fixed because the window went all the way down to the floor and we needed something to keep Kiddo1 (then Baby1) from falling out from the second floor. Yes…

Anyway, so we like bright colors! And babies see bright colors and contrasts more easily. I’ve been playing around on Pinterest and came up with a board of color ideas. I’m thinking bright bolds like the box of Crayola markers in the “bold” colors: turquoise, magenta, goldenrod, electric blue, deep green, etc.

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These will be grounded by neutrals of black and cream. We have this black and cream chair that I’d really like to put in Baby2’s room at least until Baby starts running around because climbing on it could be dangerous (at that point we can move it back to the living room). I think it’d be awesome to have a black crib with cream sheets to match. Here’s our chair:

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It doesn’t have the pull thing for the recliner on the side – instead it’s on the inside of the arm, which is really convenient when you’re rocking! It’s a rocker/recliner so it’s perfect for baby! I think it would be better for a girl’s room, but honestly I don’t think it would be horrible in any child’s room for the first year.

As mentioned, I’m looking for a crib and dresser that can easily be finished after we move and settle in to a real nursery. I love modern furniture, which you can probably tell from the following board. There are a couple simple cribs at IKEA that I have my eye on. They could be taken apart and spray-painted pretty easily. I also like the IKEA cribs because they are fairly well constructed (don’t want it falling apart on baby now!) but inexpensive. With Kiddo1 we went right to a “big boy bed” after the crib, and pretty early, too. Once he could figure out how to crawl out of the crib there was really no need for it anymore (seems like that would be dangerous anyway!). So we don’t need a convertible crib or any expensive stuff like that. Anyway, furniture ideas:

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I’d love to find a dresser at Goodwill or on Craig’s List that I could refinish. Paint it a nice bright color and put on funky drawer pulls like that yellow one in the middle(ish). We used a dresser as Kiddo1’s changing table and it worked out so great. It can hold everything, pretty much: all the clothes, diapers, blankets, sheets, etc. And it can be used well after baby is no longer a baby, but a kiddo! Kiddo1 still has his dresser in his room.

Last, but not least, I’m after a big statement mobile-like piece. I’d like to have it hang from the ceiling, too. I think it’d be safer that way. Harder to clean, though! I’m looking for an idea with a lot of contrast and texture that will be a focal point for baby. I love these pics:

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The only things I’m staying away from, for the time being are wall paint colors (because we can’t paint in our rental and Baby2 will be in our bedroom until we move, the color scheme of which is all white) and wall hangings (because I have no idea what will work in our new, as yet imaginary, place).

With these limits in mind, I’m having a good time daydreaming. As things get a little more concrete I will post updates!