Thursday, November 18, 2010

For the Babe, Part iii

I think I'm done making quilts.  At least for this baby.  Five should be enough, right?  Oh, and by quilts, I don't mean blankets (there are a few of those too).  I mean cutting, pressing, piecing, sewing, quilting/tying, binding quilts.  Yes, five.

I really wanted to show the finished products today since I just finished binding the last of them last night, but my quilt-holding-husband is gone during daylight hours so decent photos in natural light will have to wait until Saturday.  But I did get some ok photos of some of the details.  The colors aren't showing at their best, but it'll give you an idea of what I've made.

First up is my "Sunshine Squares" quilt.  It's white and yellow and has all different sizes of offset squares and rectangles.  I created this one after seeing photos of a similar quilt online.  My mom helped me figure out the best way to go about how to cut the pieces and put it all together to get the look I wanted.  After piecing the top and back, I handed this one off to my talented cousin who machine quilted it for me.  She said it reminded her of a bouquet of daisies, so she quilted it like petals and blossoms coming out from each center block.  My mom generously paid for the quilting and binding - thanks mom!

Here's my "Wonky Star" quilt in aqua, pink and yellow.  Nothing like a photo to show you that a quilt needs a good pressing.  :)  I used this tutorial which was pretty easy to follow - I just increased the size of each block.  This quilt actually came together pretty quickly and it was my first attempt at binding.  Yikes!  I just kept this one simple and tied it with pink embroidery floss.  The colors look kind of dull here, but it's bright, fun and vibrant. 

Here's part of the back of the Wonky Stars quilt.  I have always had it in my head that the backs of quilts had to be one big solid piece.  But I've fallen in love with pieced quilt backs all of my recent creations have them.
Here's one that's pretty simple - just five inch squares and two borders.  I bought the fabric for this before I knew the gender of our baby and I think the bright blues and greens will be perfect for our little girl!  I used a a satin stitch on the machine to "tie" this one.  It's the smallest of the quilts and will be good for outings in the stroller.
Here's a changing pad cover I made (there's also a yellow one in the top drawer).  It's super soft and cute!  The little book on the left was a gift from a sweet friend - a scrapbook baby book with the cutest papers and nursery rhymes on each page!  It has a spot on each spread for photos and stats and is so darling.

There's another quilt I don't have at my house right now, but it's pretty awesome.  It matches the custom moses basket bedding my mom and I worked on together.  Pictures of that (and more projects) to come!  Oh, and in case you are wondering, there are five weeks and two days until Christmas.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mapping it Out

I have a thing for maps.  Not the kind you can pick up at state lines or national parks (Spencer is much better at appreciating those), but cool old (non-folding) maps of... just about anywhere.  I'm still kicking myself for not buying that cool vintage map of Brasil that I found at the market in Lille.  Since Spencer and I have done our fair share of traveling and living abroad, we both have some cool photos we've taken (except those from my four months living in Brussels -- let's not talk about it), lots of travel books, and small souvenirs from various destinations.  That's what made me want our basement family room to have a little bit of international flair and be our main spot for putting such items to use in the decor.

It's yet another house project that remains somewhat unconquered, but I'm encouraged by a recent find: bird's eye view maps.  In the late nineteenth century, bird's eye view maps became quite popular - artists would depict a city as though standing on a mountain overlooking the town.  Details and geography are not always complete or accurate, but these tell us a lot about how life was back then.  Plus, they look pretty cool.  So imagine how happy I was to stumble into the full gallery of bird's eye view maps, scanned, stored and downloadable at super high res thanks to the Library of Congress.
So great, right? I'm planning on printing up all of the cities where we have lived (DC, Salt Lake, Portland, New York) and framing them for the basement.  Now I just have to figure out how to open a jp2 file...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Making it Masterful

For a while now, I've been feeling like our "master" bedroom needs a major makeover.  Like something that would make you think that it's actually a bedroom where two adults reside.  Since we are typically the only ones who see it, it has taken a back seat to other projects and continually remains at the bottom of the list.  But working on baby girl's bedroom and taking the time to pull it all together has been really fun and satisfying.  And it's made me want to start thinking more seriously about the direction our bedroom needs to go.  I've been thinking about this for sometime, making a mental list of items, colors and projects that could take our room to the next level.  This morning I took the time to put together a little mood board as a first attempt at putting it all on paper.

Here's the breakdown:

1. Dupioni Silk Thermal Curtains (in bone - no valance) hung wide and high to give the room a little extra height.  We have three 31" windows all next to each other on one outside wall and these would be hung on either side and pulled shut at night for added warmth.

2. Our bedroom is painted a pretty sage green/gray color that we really like.  It's warm and relaxing and we're planning on keeping it that way.  The rest of the room will be mostly neutral - tans and creamy whites - with additional pops of sage and slate blue.

3. Blinds!  We have four windows in our room that currently have horrendous blinds.  They are awful to open and shut and they badly need replacing.  We'll just go with a simple faux-wood 2" blind from Home Depot.

4. A full length floor mirror to replace my $5 bendy walmart mirror.  This one is pretty and large and I think it would bring a more masterful feeling to the room.

5.  Some throw pillows to bring the color palette together and make the bed look complete and inviting.  The ones shown are from Target, but I have a few pillow forms I could easily make fun covers for.  It would just be a matter of finding cute fabric.

6. Until about a month ago I had a very juvenile ceramic lamp (which found a new home in the nursery) and Spencer had a brown flexi-neck desk lamp.  I've been wanting to get matching lamps for a while - little things like this can make a big difference!  I have one of the lamps shown, now we just need to get one for Spencer's side of the bed.  His desk lamp has been replaced by a much cuter alternative (given to us by my mom), but I'm still liking the idea of them matching.

7. I bought this Havana Duvet set about a year ago.  In sage.  So we've already got it.  Strangely, it's not on the bed right now, but we have it none the less.

8. Right now we have a mattress and box spring on some kind of generic bedframe, but we don't have a bed.  Meaning a headboard or footboard or anything of the like.  I've thought about making a tufted headboard myself, but at $99 this bed might be a good alternative.  Oh, and we also could totally use a new mattress.  Nothing like being pregnant to make you aware of that!

9. I'd love to get a pretty rug that goes under the bed and comes out on three sides.  We have nice hardwood floors, but it would be nice to have those first-steps-getting-out-of-bed-each-morning be on something soft and warm.  This rug is plenty big (7.5x10.5) to provide the needed floor coverage.

10. This woven round storage ottoman would be a perfect little table next to an armchair.  I'm not too keen on the price or the fact that our cat's one weakness (in scratching) is materials like this, but I'm sure I could find something similar and less expensive at Home Goods.

11. This is the Ektorp Jennylund armchair from Ikea.  Again, not set on this particular chair, but I love having a chair in our room.  We've had the glider in there since we bought it a few months back and it's such a nice addition.  Last night I had Spencer move it into the nursery (so I could make sure it fit where I was planning) and I can definitely feel the void in our room now.  Some kind of armchair would be great.

12.  We have a floor lamp, but it's a plastic one from Wal-Mart.  I keep waiting for the shade to melt.  I don't mind it that much, but I'd really like something with a bit more warmth and texture.

13. Nightstands.  We have these!  Well, not these - but I figured they were a good representation of what I'm aiming for.  We picked up two mismatched night stands (black and wood color) at an antique shop in Midway before we even got married.  In fact, I think that was the same day that marriage first came up in a conversation for us.  Anyway, I've been meaning to paint them a creamy white, but I'm waiting until the babe takes up residence on the outside of my body so I don't have to worry about the fumes.

So there you have it.  Thoughts?  Advice?  Anything I'm missing?  I'd love your input!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Update in a List

- Despite my initial plan for Spencer and I to dress up as Juno and Paulie Bleeker, I just didn't feel like pulling costumes together since we didn't have any Halloween parties to go to.  We spent the evening handing out candy to cute neighbors and enjoying a visit from Carol.

- It's November!  I'm almost 33 weeks pregnant and my doctor's appointment yesterday showed that everything is perfect and right on track.  Baby girl is positioned head down, has a strong heartbeat and is kicking around A LOT. BP, weight and all other factors for me are in check.

- There are some things about pregnancy that you don't hear about until it's your turn to experience them.  For me it's been third trimester insomnia.  Since everyone seems to tell Spencer and me to be getting as much sleep as we can before the baby comes, I thought that would be just a matter of, you know, sleeping.  Not so, my friend!  My body thinks the best way to prepare for baby is by waking up several times during the night, including the entire period from roughly 3-6 am each morning.  At least when I have a baby I'll have something meaningful/necessary to do during those hours.

- We started our childbirth class a few weeks ago and so far it's been good!  I think we both learn new things at each class and have enjoyed getting more mentally prepared for labor and delivery.

- We took a weekend trip about two weeks ago to San Francisco.  We wanted to take one last getaway before life changes big time and we figured it would be great fun to go back to San Francisco - one of the first places we traveled to while dating, and where we got engaged.  I guess this is called a babymoon, but I kind of refuse to call it that.  We had a great time relaxing, eating, and exploring the city.

- I can barely zip the one jacket that still fits over my belly (see photo above).  I really don't want to buy a maternity coat since I'll only need it for a few wintery weeks -- do I need one?  Plus, I hardly get cold anymore since I have a built-in internal space heater now.

- I saw this cute tutorial today for a turkey applique shirt.  I want to remember it for next year and make one for the babe.
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