It's been a long process, several coats of paint, and a lot of debate about colors and furniture, but finally we have Ayla's room "finished". I hesitate to say that because I think I still would like to add some more things to the walls and the shelves by the dresser, but for now, it's done. Mostly because the bedframe is painted and set up! Yay!
Here is my mock-up picture:
And the finished room (which I did not stick as closely to as I did in the nursery, as you can see):
In case you missed it the first time around, here's a link to close-ups of the canvases I made for above her bed.
We haven't painted the dresser yet...and I'm not sure if we will anytime soon or not. I kind of like the wood now...
And finally, here are some detail pictures of around the room.
The last picture at the bottom is Ayla's version of the wall canvases...she did a good job, didn't she? After she made it, she asked if we could hang it in her new room. How could I say no?
Wal-Mart finally had that table lamp in stock today, so I was able to finish off the nursery and take some pictures! It's as done as it's gonna be until we plop a baby in there!
Here's what my mock-up idea started as:
And here's the finished room:
After trying to hang the paper lanterns, not liking the cord hanging from the ceiling, and then eventually ripping it, Ben made the genious suggestion that we use a ficus tree (that we had in our livingroom) in that empty corner. WAY perfect. He's a better decorator than me...no doubt about that...I just have to make a few mistakes before he's willing to help me correct them!
Here's where I'll be spending many middle-of-the-night feedings. Thank you to Rachel for helping me make the rocking chair cushion and to Janel & Linda for the adorable monkey & gorilla!
The crib (still sporting the fabulous gender-neutral bedding made by Betsy)
...and the animal wall canvases I made:
The rug was $15 at World Market. I would have looked harder for a plain dark brown rug, but I couldn't beat the price, and after a week of dealing with washing everything in Ayla's room 50 times when she had the flu, I decided a $15 orange rug was a smarter choice than anything more expensive!
The changing table...now outfitted with a contoured changing pad (thank you Patricia) and stuffed with tons of blankets, socks, diapers, hats, bibs, wipes, and burp cloths:
And the last corner of the room...still a little bare, but I imagine it'll get filled with toys before too long. The giant ruler has recorded my height, my brother's height, and Ayla's height at different ages throughout the past 30 years. I LOVE that I get to have it hanging in our kids' rooms too!
And finally, some detail pics of the decorations and all the little baby clothes...just waiting for a baby:
Thanks everyone for all your help and advice on putting this room together. I'm very happy with how it turned out!
I put these thank you cards together this afternoon for my upcoming baby shower...
...love how they sort of "match" the new nursery decor...which will look something like this Photoshopped mock-up:
Inspired by the Imaginisce Twitterpated paper line, I just finished up the wall canvases to hang over Ayla's bed in her new "big girl" bedroom. I'm so thrilled with how they turned out:
I painted the sky and landscape background (using the light blue wall color of her room for the sky and the green paint color that we originally were going to use, and then painted over because it was too dark).
Then I added grass and hill details with acrylic paints. That took a couple of tries...but with Ben's suggestions, I like the final result. The good thing about paint...you can paint over it if it doesn't look good!
I decided not to paint a border or frame on this set of canvases because I wanted them to just kind of pop out of the wall. I'm liking the resulting effect.
Once the backgrounds were painted, I added the paper pieced trees, birds, butterfly & bee. I had a great time picking out patterned papers from all different paper lines to make the right color scheme and piece together all the elements.
After everything was glued together and glued down and covered in Mod Podge, I added button eyes to the birds, brad eyes to the bee, and some black string antennae for the butterfly & bee.
Here are some close-ups of the critters:
Hope Ayla likes 'em! :)
I spent this weekend painting, cutting, gluing and piecing...to make these for the new baby boy's nursery:
which were shamelessly "inspired" and lifted by these prints from Babies R Us:
I used 16" x 20" canvases, scraps of various patterned papers and just went to town paper piecing them all together. Since I had pictures to work from, I was able to free-hand the various shapes pretty well. Once all the animals were put together, I used my sewing machine to stitch a border around the outline of each animal. Then I painted the backgrounds of the canvases and taped off borders to make the brown border around each canvas. Finally, I used mod-podge to put them all together and protect them.
Here are close-ups of each:
This was a fun project and I love the textured finish...much better than buying prints I think....but thenit did take two full days of work to finish them!
I've been reorganizing some things in my office the last few days, bought some fabric drawers to hide some clutter, finished some decorating stuff, and it finally looks more like what I had in mind when I first got my Expedit shelves from IKEA. It had been getting more and more cluttered with junk over the past few months and needed some rearranging!
Now that's it's cleaned up and looks a little nicer, I thought it would be a good time to do a video tour and show what my office looks like, where I store things, and give you a look around:
Or...you can click here for a labeled image telling where I store different things.
And, if you're REALLY interested in taking a look around, here's the link to an 11 minute video tour of all the goods:
Enjoy! I definitely do. It's been a great place to work and create, right in the middle of our house, where I can still be involved with everything else that's going on....
Ben was out of town Friday & Saturday for a wedding in Austin, TX, so I took the opportunity to do a few decorating projects around the house. I've had the decorating itch ever since we took down all the Christmas decorations. Inspired by my sister-in-law Rachel, I decided to try out my new sewing machine (new-to-me anyway) and tackle a couple of sewing projects.
I headed out to Hancock Fabrics in search of some fabric to create a curtain in my office and was pleasantly surprised with some great sales (decorator fabric at only $3.50 a yard!). Although I was looking for a cream/green swirl design, I came across this fabric that had all of the colors from my office in one pattern: tan, red, green and turquoise. So I decided this was the way to go. I also picked up some red fringe trim and red ribbon to accent the curtain panel.
I originally wanted to make a curved panel that was longer on each side, but decided that anything curved was a little too ambitious for my novice sewing talents. So instead, I decided to make a single panel and create a roman shade with ribbon gathering up the two sides. It took me a while to get it finished, but I'm awfully proud of my new curtain. :) Any finished sewing project that doesn't result in tears is a success in my book:
And, since the sales were so good, when I saw this blue and cream fabric, I decided it was time to recover a couple of pillows in our livingroom as well. I wish I had another use for that fabric, because it was so pretty...but I settled for just a yard and a half to make two pillow covers.
My third sewing project of the day...recovering an old comforter with a homemade duvet cover made from two twin sheets for Ayla's new bed. I don't have a photo of it...but it's just a brown comforter...not too exciting. :) But, it was only an $8.00 comforter, which I think is pretty cool!
I might just have to add a few more sewing projects to my to-do craft list. I seem to be getting the hang of it....as long as you don't look TOO closely!
Now that the gifts are all unwrapped, I can share a few of the homemade creations that I worked on this year. First...signs. Last year, I made this sign for our friends Winn & Betsy in Minnesota. It was so fun to do, that I knew I wanted to make a few for Christmas gifts this year.
Since I drew my sister-in-law Rachel in our Steed family grab bag....and she and I are *always* talking about decorating ideas, I knew she'd be a good candidate...so she got a "Steed" sign. It's made on an old piece of wood that is about 1" deep, 5" or 6" tall, and about 2ft wide (roughly). It has sawtooth hangers on the back so it can be hung on a wall. Ben really liked this one, so I might need to make one for us too!
My friend Alison and her family are building a new house, so I thought they might enjoy something decorative to put in it...so they got a "Mickelson" sign. This one was made on a 2" x 4" that is about 18" or so long, so it'll sit well on a shelf or mantle. I wonder what they thought about me mailing them a 2" x 4". Hmm....
And lastly, I made my mom a vertical sign that she can put out in her garden. It's about 4" wide, 1" deep and 3ft tall.
Thank you to Nicole for this fabulous idea of how to display your Christmas cards. I saw it on her blog this afternoon and had to try it out! Hers is much prettier of course, since I don't have a pretty side table to put it on, but this present-wrapped book and a wire shelf works for me.
If we get as many cards as we did last year, I may need to add some branches!
A few crafty projects and just a couple of dollars turned some old Christmas decorations into a festive atmosphere around here this week.
First, my favorite, a wreath for our front door made with some garland we found in the storage spot above the garage at our old house. The lights on this strand didn't work anymore, so I took them off and put half the garland onto a wire wreath holder that my mom brought me over Thanksgiving when she was getting rid of a bunch of craft stuff. Then I added some gold beaded garland (also from the old house garage treasures) since our front door has some gold on it. Then finally, I picked up these red berry bushes at Wal-Mart for $1 each and hot glued them onto the wreath. Then I realized I had no way of hanging the wreath on the door. Now, I know the wreath hangers are only about $1 some places (I've seen them recently), but I couldn't go out right then, and I just *knew* I could come up with something from around the house. So...here you go. A wire coat hanger became my wreath hanger with just a few snips & bends.
Next, the centerpiece on our island is usually just a blue vase and a green plate. Our craft project at MOPS the other night included a small wreath and these pine-cone accents, so instead of making the original craft project, I decided to dress up our centerpiece for the winter:
Next, the dining room table. This I had to keep super-simple because little hands are always grabbing everything on it. So, I used a white candle (also picked up at my MOPS meeting for the would-be craft project), a clear candle holder we already had, and I picked up the little berry wreath at Dollar Tree for just $1. The Santa Claus placemats were made by a former boss/friend in Arkansas (Thanks Lora! We still use them!). Don't mind the trivets..not really a part of the decoration, but for some reason we store them there, and I didn't move them. Although I did move the napkins, salt & pepper to a nearby shelf. Not sure it was the most useful choice of items to move...but whatever. Just pretend the trivets aren't there.
Then, the kiddie table...which came upstairs from the playroom for Thanksgiving dinner, and fit so well, we decided to keep it there a while. More garage treasure garland (this time with working lights), some $1 silver ornaments, and two stuffed animals make Ayla very happy when she sits at her table.
In my office, I have a mini-tree on my bookshelf, decorated with chipboard stars that I made last year for neighbors...these were the extras.
Then, of course, some Christmas layouts from the last two years displayed in my Picture It PageFrames:
And finally tonight, the finishing touch....our tree. This 7.5 ft tree we picked up from some people at church who were giving it away. Talk about lucky! I did buy about $4 worth of silver and red ornaments and a $1 star from Dollar Tree to add to our family ornaments.
There you have it. Our VERY inexpensive holiday decorating....works for me!