Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Decal Fun

I purchased some decals for the nursery a few months ago.

They took a little while to get here, and once they did (surprise, surprise) I was indecisive as to where they should go. One day I just put them up.

The giraffe is on the wall as you walk in:
And the birds (an extra one on account of the delay in the seller getting them out) are on a mirror that will eventually go above the crib.

No, the nursery isn't completely complete yet, but it's ok-she's still sleeping in our room for a little while longer. Also, I thought the birds were a little girly if it were a boy, so I didn't want to commit to tacking the mirror up if it was a boy. And since we've found out it was a girl, well, we've been busy.

Anyway, the process was super easy and kind of fun actually. Just decide on your placement, rub, peel, tape, rub and peel again. Presto!

Unfortunately now though, hubs loves the process and wants to buy every wall decal he sees.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The basketeers

Any Friends fans out there that get the title? Anyone?

Anyway, storage is always an issue for everyone. Especially little babies who come with proportionately WAY more stuff that their size should allow. So, once hubs installed the closet system, it was up to me to figure out how we were going to organize all Hailey's (at the time his/her) many things.

Good old HomeSense is always a great spot for baskets and I found some really nice ones that came in a bunch of sizes and were pretty darn nice as is frankly.

But, since we didn't know the gender of our babe, I thought this liner was a little too feminine in case it was a little boy who came along. So in all my foolishly eager newbie seamstress-ness, I decided to sew all new basket liners for the 6 baskets I bought. Who do I think I am?!?!

After some figuring and some almost-running-out-of-fabric, I finally got them all done.

I chose the polka dot fabric I'd used on the lamp shades and the rocker pillow so there'd be some consistency/pseudo-theme running through the room.

In the end, I really like them and I'm glad I was able to complete them, but man-will I ever NOT do that again.

Monday, April 12, 2010

DIY Nursery art

Admittedly, most of the art in the nursery is DIY. And why not? It's personal, cheap and custom.

This is one idea that my sister and I both stole from Wanderluster at Rambling Renovators, but it's a great one.

It's a shadow box with a collage of all the shower cards I'd received. Great idea, no? Especially since the cards are so sweet and cute, and what the heck else are you going to do with a stack of them otherwise?

The idea had always been in my head, I just procrastinate like it's my calling so never got around to doing anything about it. Enter big sis-included in her friends shower gift was a shadow box for that very purpose.

And here it is. I'm happy to report that at least a piece of every single shower card I received is represented in here somewhere.

And here it is in action when you first walk in the nursery. I love it!

Thanks sis! And, of course, all the lovely ladies that gave me the medium.

Friday, April 9, 2010

My back's saviour

In the last month, I have logged many hours in this chair. And boy, am I ever glad I took the time and went with one that's comfy and firm...and that's cute-let's be real.

Here it is pre-Hailey, before that side table was covered in cloths, and other baby paraphenalia.

I originally bought that fake sheepskin rug to go around the crib, but it didn't look right, so I tossed it on the back of the chair to be out of the cat's way. Turns out I love it there and it's SOO comfy to lean back against when you're exhausted at 2am and can semi-doze during a feeding.

The other saviour for my back has been the pillow on the chair. Again-originally made just to be cute, but it turns out you have to have all sorts of weird posture while feeding and this little pillow has made them a lot more comfortable.

Overall, the combo has been some of the most useful nursery items so far.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

One month

Wow-I can't believe it.

One month ago today, our little girl was born. Schnikes-that went quickly.

Ready or not, there she came-perfect and screaming as all parents want their babies to be (at first anyways :)).

Since then, she's already changed so much, grown so much and is starting to smile for actual reasons. She's had many MANY visitors, many MANY generous welcome gifts and lots and lots of love.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ever crib needs a mattress

I really love our crib. Really, I do. But Holy poop it's given me its share of headaches.

After the refinishing and air hole situations were resolved, we then had to sort out getting a mattress for this thing.

Since it hasn't been used in more than a couple decades (the last person to use it, my youngest sis is now 23), the mattresses it had were a In fact, here's the one in best condition that my mom had made more than 30 years ago:

So needless to say, I wanted to get something in slightly better shape, and a bit thicker. You see, the crib is pretty deep and while I'll still use the above mattress at the bottom of the crib for a little extra boost, I still need a 5 or 6" mattress on top of it so I'm not doing deep bends every time the baby needs to be picked up or put down. Plus, the higher they are (obviously within reason), the more air circulation...that issue never really goes away.

So I sourced out a couple options from upholsterers, seamstresses, mattress stores, etc. Not too much came up, and when it did, the cost was crazy. Like $250 was the lowest one, and he was doing me a favour.

Yes, I know crib mattresses are available at most department stores and baby stores. And certainly for less than $100, BUT...the mattress needed for this precious crib is 47" x 21", and a standard mattress (all new cribs have essentially the same dimensions) is 42" x 24" or something like that. Shorter and fatter than ours anyways. So...I was on my own.

Even I, in all my ignorance knew that somehow I could do this myself for a lot less than $250. It may not be perfect, but it would be perfectly safe and much more affordable.

So I visited a bunch of fabric stores trying to get as much info as I could. From some of the bigger ones in town, even just the high density foam would run me $150+. Shize.

Then...someone recommended checking out Rockland Textiles . Thank goodness they did!

I got the mattress cut perfectly to size in 2 days for a fraction of the price of anywhere else and I managed to buy baby vinyl for cheap from my angel ( Fabricland on Hazeldean) that recommended them.

I realize I'm making this out to be a much bigger deal that it should be to anyone, but it took SOOO long to finally find this solution.

Then, after repairing a broken sewing machine, a LOT of hand sewing on the ends (to the point of a lasting claw hand), and the serious consideration of duct taping it together, I finally got the mattress covered.

And I gotta say, for someone who couldn't even thread a sewing machine a year ago, it looks pretty damn good.

Of course, though, with a wonky sized mattress, I needed to craft some wonky sized crib sheets. Damnit!

But through the wonder of google, a bit of free time and the stubborn insistence that I could do it, I managed to figure it out somehow and have made a couple fitted (yep-like with elastic corners!!!) sheets that perfectly fit (if I may say so myself) the mattress.

I'm SO glad it's over and ready for a little donkey in there.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Presto, Change-o

A super simple and easy project to update any house? Updating the switch plates and plugs.

OK, I'll admit that the main reason this is especially simple, easy (and cheap) for us is because I'm married to an electrician, but still. It's a great way to update an old house.

Especially when the switches and plugs are a mix-match tone, painted all over and just ugly:

And in less than 5 minutes per box, are changed to this:

And, actually, all the plugs are tamper resistant, which means in several months when babe is cruising around and curious, they're a lot safer around the outlets and we don't have to stick those little plastic cover thingy's on all our outlets. Perfect!

I truly can't believe the difference it makes.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Le crib

If you recall from an update a while ago, progress on our heirloom crib came to a screeching halt about a month ago.

Fortunately, however, since then it's all been remedied and it's now all set up awaiting a babe in the nursery.

A reminder of what the crib looked like in it's original state:
And in an effort to give examples of how it could be altered to allow for some more air circulation, I did up these drawings in my fave program (next to Excel), paint:

Then hubs and I marked them out to see which one(s) we preferred:

And finally, had the slots cut out, and then I primed, painted and verathaned parts of it all over again until we have the finished project:

Which I'm confident allows enough air circulation for our little squirt, especially combined with the wide open top, and how high the mattress initially sits while the baby is really a baby.

Phewf! One less thing to worry about.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Let the trim begin...

Remember our vibrant main floor living space?

And no, I don't mean that in a complimentary way.

Well, since most of the other immediate big projects are completed, we thought it would be a good time to get started on trim & paint in these blue blue BLUE rooms.

There was an AWFUL lot of patching work in these rooms thanks to 30 years and some not-so-handy previous owners. It's a good thing I'm home from work now to do all this dirty work in the day light.

The first step was trim. Here's the trim that's throughout the entire house:

It's not terrible, but it's pretty small, standard and nothing special. So we got some new trim and here's what it looks like after:

Pretty big difference, non? But it's actually a bit of a cheat. See-the bottom part is trim and that little strip at the top is trim, but that flat space in between? It's just wall painted white. Clever eh? It's a trick many home builders are using to up the value of fairly standard trim. Sure, you can buy 8" trim, but this is a lot cheaper.

So when it's on a whole wall, it looks like this:
Still a hideous wall by any standards, but en route to being much nicer.

And once the trim's done and the wall's painted....well, there you go.

THEN it starts to remind us of a new house...

Especially after the switch plates are all changed!

Love it!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nursery Project - still thinkin' small

After the relative success of my last project, I thought I'd try another one.

After a successful shopping trip a few weeks ago, I found these great lamps:

How cute is that giraffe one, seriously? But..the green on the shade was all wrong and I wanted some bit of consistency since we're not doing the whole "bedding set" thing in the nursery.

So, I picked up a new shade

Which I didn't buy to match, just to be a neutral base and for the shape.

And since I still had all that fabric sitting around, I had an idea to do this:

Cute, non? And SO super easy. Now that lamp is one of my favourite things in the room.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Nursery Project - beginning small

Knowing how I am, I knew there'd be a lot of DIY planned for the nursery. This is a great thing, I think-it personalizes the space, and often times saves some coin...both perfect. The unfortunate thing is that in planning, I always think I'm more creative, handy and capable that I really am.

So, I had to start small on the seamstress projects. A pillow cover. Simple, right? Usually yes, but this was a pillow cover for a breastfeeding pillow, which are all wonky shaped. Still pretty straight forward, though.

Here's the before pillow I got from a friend who's all done with her baby-feeding days:

So I washed that, and still had all that fabric I thought I'd use hubs' pick to cover the pillow. After a lot of shoving and tweaking and a healthy dose of hand sewing, here it is:

I really like it, and think it's pretty darn cute.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Banister completion

If you recall, almost immediately upon moving in over 2 months ago, hubs and I ripped up almost all of the carpet in the house and tore out the banisters. They had to be replaced since they weren't up to code for little ones and, well, they weren't all that pretty.

So for several weeks, after the new carpet was installed and eventually once the hardwood was completed as well, we just had no banisters. We've become used to living with things 'in progress', but it was getting a little dangerous with each passing day that I couldn't see my feet. So...we priced out several options-basic DIY, medium DIY, our preferred DIY as well as several supplied & installed options since hubs had never done banisters before.
In the end, he really wanted to try them himself, and after looking at the options, the ones we really wanted weren't all that much more expensive, and for the sake of a couple hundred bucks, we were both willing to bite the (smaller than expected) bullet and get the good stuff. (Plus, for any other Canadians who know, if we bought them quick, they supplies would have counted towards the home renovation tax credit-perfect!).

So we bought the oak newel posts and installed them first (and you can see where I got anxious and tested out some of the stain):

And somehow the stain we had on hand that had been used to refinish the dining room table years ago matched almost perfectly to the hard wood. I don't think we could have bought custom stain that would have been better. Jackpot!

The next step was a bit trickier. Nothing hubs couldn't handle, but he (I won't pretend I had anything to do with it) had to cut the posts to size and install them equi-distant apart, get them in the floor (mix of hardwood and carpet), bang them in and then screw then to the handrails.

But the end result is fantastic! Nothing short of a pro job I think. And now my mom can stop complaining about vertigo when she stops by :)