Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Mostly Completed Nursery

It's been a busy several days since I last posted but I feel like I've accomplished a lot since then! The nursery decorations are pretty much all done and I've been checking other things off of my "get done before baby" list. Today we went to our birth prep class and I actually do feel more prepared after that. Now we just have several weeks to wait to put what we learned to use :) Yesterday while we had some snow flurries, we got some other "nesting" things done. Mainly cleaning out the basement storage rooms, which obviously won't get used by the baby, but it made me feel better!

Last weekend was when I got most of the shopping and projects completed for the baby's room. Joe was out of town in Washington DC on a trip with his Dad, so I took the opportunity to get as much done as possible. I guess I'll just jump right into pictures of the room now and talk about the different parts/projects as I get to them. First up, the same view you saw last time when I was talking about the dresser makeover:

As you can see, the large canvas got hung, as did a mobile, mirror, and two pieces of "sun art". I'll get back to the sun art in a minute. I also added a crib skirt to the bed (or as Joe likes to call it, a crib kilt). The lamp on the dresser was an estate sale find from a couple years ago and the brass pig is a bank that I found at one of my favorite vintage shops last weekend. The mirror is one that Mom and Dad had sitting in their basement that was no longer being used. Here is a closer up picture of the mobile which is made up of 3 wooden whales connected by brass wire semi-circles. It was a gift from my Uncle Charlie to Mom a long time ago and I love the way it looks in this room!

Close up of the "crib kilt". 

Now about that sun art I mentioned. I first heard about this project on this blog and decided it could be a fun idea for some additional art for the baby's room. All you need for to make these prints is some special paper that you can either buy online or at a craft store. (FYI: if you go to look for it at Hobby Lobby, the employees will most likely have no idea what you're talking about. So just know that the paper is located in the "science and education" section.) The first time I tried making these a few weeks ago, I just used some leaves from a tree for my print. This time I used actually photos that I printed in black and white with the colors inverted, as shown on this blog. All you have to do is lay your objects or photo on top of the sun art paper, then lay the provided piece of plexi glass on top of that, and set the whole thing out in the direct sunlight. Depending on whether you're using objects or a printed negative, the paper will have to stay out there anywhere from 3-30 min. Once you can see that the sun has done its job, just bring the paper inside and rinse it in a tray of water and lay it flat to dry. It's pretty amazing to watch the colors switch places as you rinse the paper off! I was very impressed/surprised with how well the paper developed with the printed negatives on top. Here are my final products:

The top picture is of some plants from the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, and the bottom picture is of jellyfish from the aquarium in San Francisco. 

Ok, now for the view you haven't seen and a few more projects. This is what the room looks like when you're standing in the doorway. 

No one can say there is a lack of color in the room! 

Now the first thing you may be thinking is that the chair we chose is not your typical nursery rocker or glider. That may be true, but I searched high and low for a more traditional rocker or glider that I liked, but couldn't find any that weren't WAY out of our budget. This chair came from Ikea and it truly is VERY comfortable and I've found myself sitting and rocking/swiveling in it just about every day since we bought it. The other things I like about it are that the leather will be easy to keep clean and it will be easy to move into another room in the house once we no longer need it in the nursery. The extra high back is also nice for me and Joe since we can lean our heads back on it. Enough about the chair. The little cart is another estate sale found that I cleaned up and spray painted. Those plants on top won't both be staying there by the way. Joe just wanted them to get some sun. The pillow on the chair is one I made and the blanket & small ottoman are more vintage finds from this past weekend. The blanket is super warm and cozy! The last 2 things on that wall are the new window shades and the little piece of art on the right. 

The window shades are another DIY project. They are made from the "skeleton" of a very cheap set of mini blinds that get combined with new fabric. I mostly followed the tutorial from this blog with a couple changes. It took a little trial and error, but I finally got them to raise and lower nicely while keeping the nice folds that are characteristic of Roman shades. I added blackout curtain lining to the back of the bright green corduroy to really help block out the light. 

The little piece of art is something I made using a kit I bought several months ago. The kit included a piece of fabric that looked like notebook paper, and dark grey embroidery floss. I decided to stitch the "ABC / I love you" print that I've seen online so I simply wrote the letters out in pencil then stitched over them. 

Finally we have the closet. I slapped on a quick coat of white paint 2 weekends ago, then we put in a small shelving unit from Ikea. Now we just need to add a bar for hanging clothes and get the whole thing organized. 

Well that's about it! With the exception of possibly adding some book ledges to the wall between the closet and the bedroom door, I'm calling the nursery done! Of course we still have to put sheets on the bed and a changing pad on the dresser, but those aren't exactly "projects" and will be easy to add soon. It is quite a relief to have all of this done now, especially since the holiday season starts next week with Thanksgiving and things will only get busier after that! Not to mention I'll just keep getting bigger and probably won't feel like doing much :) Pregnancy is still going well and I'm happy to say there have only been 2 nights when I had to get up in the middle of the night to pee haha. I do have almost daily heartburn, but Tums work wonders and I just hope that the heartburn means this baby will have some glorious hair! Ok, I've let this post drag on a little too long. Thanks for reading, have a good night, and stay warm!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Double Wedding Cake Weekend

Hi there! I don't know about you guys but I sure don't like how it gets completely dark at 5:30 after the time change this weekend. When it gets dark outside, I seem to get much less productive inside. Luckily I got a lot of chores done this past Sunday, so I suppose relaxing a bit this week after work won't be so bad. So while I sit here and watch The Voice I might as well write a blog post!

A few weekends ago, right after I got back from my work trip to West Virginia, I had back to back wedding cakes and cupcakes to do. To be honest, it was a mistake on my part to take both these weddings on the same weekend! I agreed to them at different times without double checking what I already had going on that weekend. Luckily, the first wedding was on Friday and it was a cupcake wedding plus a small display cake. Cupcakes are much quicker for me to make and I was actually able to get all 120 of them baked on Thursday night before the wedding. Friday was spent baking and decorating the display cake as well as decorating all of the cupcakes. I took a day off of work on Friday to get all that done. After setting up the cake on Friday night I came home and baked ALL the cakes for the Saturday wedding. But before we get to that, here is the cupcake wedding setup!

In case you can't quite tell, those are supposed to be trees :)

Lots of cupcakes!

The cake for Saturday was more of a traditional wedding cake. The flavor of all the tiers was a copycat recipe of Chantilly Creme cake from Whole Foods Market. The cake itself isn't that special but the icing is! It is a combination of fresh whipped cream, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and mascarpone cheese. The filling of the cake was the same icing mixed with some fresh berries. It is a delicious flavor combination! The bride had lots of cake designs that she liked so I came up with a combination of several of them for the final cake. I think it turned out great and she liked it too! I had to add the flowers at the reception, and needless to say, I am no florist haha. I just tried not to go overboard with them! 

The cake before the flowers.

The toppers are fox salt and pepper shakers. 

Well since the last time I posted, I've gotten a few more updates done in the nursery but I will post about those separately later. The room is really starting to come together now though! Only a few more DIY projects to complete and then we just have to get everything "installed". Unfortunately I don't have much to post about other than baby things, so you probably won't hear from me till next week sometime. Until then, have a great week!