Baby Room Tour is what the now baby room looked like when we fist moved in to our house a year ago.  It became a dumping ground until we moved in completely, hence the odd assortment of items in the room.  This room was so blah and dark when we moved in, due to the wooden shutters that covered up the windows and a paint color that needed refreshing.

The room started off as Greta’s room and actually was about the same color as her old room in Greensboro.  I never did love the color in either room – Greensboro’s was just so close to army green and this house, though more of a sage green, was not what I really wanted in a bedroom.  I knew the color had to go eventually, but we lived with it for the better part of a year.

cribThe room is much brighter now – we went with white on 3/4 of the room and a bluish gray on the other 1/4 of the room.  I have other paint ideas that I would like to do at some point, but getting it done was the name of the game with this nursery.

We reused Greta’s old crib, got a new rocking chair, and used black out roller shades for the windows instead of the shutters.  The crib doesn’t go with my other color palette quite as much – though one could argue the green is in the complementary color scheme with the reds.  I was not about to paint an Ikea crib – just not something I was in the mood to do.

dresserThe dresser has already been shown off in a previous post.  I just love the way it turned out.  It has more than enough room for all the baby essentials and keeps all the cloth diapers easily sorted and organized!  The two large prints above the dresser are ones that I completed in an Illustrator class I took earlier this year.  I knew what colors I was leaning toward at that point and created 2 images in the general gray/black/white/red palette.

wallHis toys and books (what hasn’t been pilfered by his sister) are organized on a hand-me-down bookcase we’ve had for years that will no doubt see many more years of work.  He even got his first bike themed artwork at the Des Moines Pedal art show earlier this spring.

We kept the room sparse, just like Greta’s room.  I find it easier to navigate a sparse kids’ room in the middle of the night.  Two walls are still bare of artwork – I like to give my kids a chance to choose some of their own decor to make their room their personal space.




Easy Dresser Update

easy.dresser.updateThis dresser was a happy thrift store find for me – I love the Mid Century Modern look since I was a kid and have incorporated quite a bit of it into my home.  This actually matches a nightstand we have that we found in North Carolina, however it was in rougher shape and needed some updating.  So, I broke out my trusty spray paint and lo and behold, there is that red again from the previous post onthe nursery, Paper Airplane Mobile, I told you it was a theme in this room!

dresser.beforeEric is such a good sport – I can’t tell you how often he gets a text from me when I am in a second hand store that goes something like this, “This would work perfectly in _________ (insert room name here), don’t you think?”  It always is accompanied by a photo.  This just happens to be one of those photos.  I think I scored this dresser for $20.

dresserWhen I got it home it sat in the garage for a while (surprised? I’m not!).  Then, I cleaned it up, took out all the drawers, and sanded each one to remove the top layers of beat up finish.

drawer.beforeNext, I taped the sides of the drawer with paper, to protect the edges.  Though in hindsight, this was not necessary as I was neat and tidy and did not spray red everywhere.

spray.paintTo paint 6 drawers I ended up going through 2 or 3 cans of this bright red lacquer spray paint.  It left a nice smooth and durable finish that is perfect for furniture.

painted.drawersAfter several coats and some drying time, my dresser was ready to assemble and moved into the nursery.  It now houses diapers, baby clothing, and a changing table attached to the top.  This dresser is so stylish that I may steal it back from my son at some point in the future!

Finished Toddler Room

I can’t believe is has been a year since we moved to Des Moines from Greensboro.  What a year it has been too!  Things are finally beginning to settle for us as a family.  It is also beginning to really feel like we live in this house as the rooms come together one by one.  I hope to share a few more of these projects before baby #2 arrives.  First up is the new big girl room, AKA the purple room, according to my almost three year old.

It was only recently that my daughter’s big girl room was ready for her to move in.  She had been in another bedroom, but that room is to become the nursery for baby #2.  My toddler loves yellow and purple.  We already used a lovely pale shade of yellow, Pastel yellow, in the playroom.  I opted for her other color of choice, purple, but in a pastel shade.  I am not usually one to go for pastels, especially lavender, but this color is just wow on the walls!

Greta picked out that artwork at the recent Des Moines Pedal Art Show.  The doll crib was one that my sister and I played with when we were little girls.

The original color of this room was an odd, faded rosy pink color.  I was happy to see it updated and made more striking.  Eric painted this room while I was in Minneapolis for my sister’s baby shower and enlisted the help of a friend.  I was truly worried that he would freak out about the color and stop part way through.  I was happy to receive text messages with updates on how much he liked the color.

When I discovered that Pantone interior paint was available at Lowe’s, I knew our entire house would be done in these lovely colors.  We found perfect shades for almost every room of this house.  I still have yet to paint the upstairs bathroom and decide on a color.  Pantone is pretty fantastic – you can find a wide array of Pantone items out there!

Most of the furnishings in the room came from Ikea.  The bed, bench, rug, and button wall decor all came from Ikea in this photo.  So far, the room is sparse, which is fine by me and Greta.  She likes to put her things away and keep her room tidy – the IKEA MOLGER Bench
helps her organize books and stuffed animals.  The playroom also helps us to keep her room free of clutter, which I always am thankful for when I have to make a trip into her room in the dark.

The dresser and silver lamp are also Ikea.  Her gold framed mirror was a thrift store find and the quilt was a gift from a friend when she was born.  I’m still feeling so grateful that the floors in our upstairs were in as good of condition as they are.

The butterfly and owl watercolors work well with the violet fog color.  My mom made Greta the elephant artwork (left) with a technique called quilling.

Her collection of favorite stuffed animals, doll clothing, and favorite bedtime books are all housed in bins and crates on this bench.  It can also double as a nightstand when she eventually understands that concept.

DIY Comic Storage Bin

I have to admit, I had a small heart attack in the storage bin aisle at the store recently.  I have been trying to find ways to wrangle in all of my daughter’s things in her room and playroom.  Bins and tubs just make sense – she is already to trained to put items away at school based on the photo on the end of the bin.  Yet, I am always amazed at how much a cheaply made box from India or the Philippines really is.  So I decided to make my own (it’s a disease you know, thinking you can make everything you see).  I was happy with the final products, seen above in  my daughter’s room.  Read on for the easy DIY steps.

1. Gather supplies needed:

  • Box
  • Mod Podge
  • Scissors
  • Paint brush
  • Comics page (or any other paper you would like to cover your box in)
2. Cut box to desired size.  For my first box, I cut the top flaps off.  For my second box, I decided to try leaving the shoe box flap on.

3.  Cut size of paper you plan on gluing down first.

4. Brush Mod Podge over the area you are planning on covering first (about the size of the paper you just cut).  I worked on one side at a time so that the Mod Podge would not glue too quickly.  That paperclip, seen above, is holding a flap down, since one side was coming loose.

4. Carefully smooth cut paper over the entire area of Mod Podge.  Smooth with hands and whenever possible, wrap edges with at least 1/2 inch of paper to prevent curling and rough edges later.

5. Brush a layer of Mod Podge over paper.  Use smooth brush strokes and use just enough to cover the paper.  Thick brush strokes will dry with ridges and texture (unless that is the look you are going for).  Allow 15-20 minutes and then add a second coat.   Allow to dry completely before using.

Things I learned:

  • Due to the nature of newspaper, the finished product will have some wrinkles and bubbles.  Embrace it.
  • The open box, right, is much easier to use than the box with a lid, left.  Boxes with lids tend to stick together a bit due to Mod Podge’s slightly tacky finish.

The finished product was a hit with my toddler – she loves to read the comics, or coupons as she calls them.  Who knows why?  They are now being used to corral her favorite bedtime books and doll clothing in  her room.  More on  her finished big girl room later.

Cat Constellation Watercolor + Winter, Windows, & Weekend

Cat Constellations, India ink, watercolor, and pen on paper, 9 x 12″, 2014.

Today we were supposed to be in Minneapolis for my cousin and sister’s baby shower, but the weather had other plans for us.

Due to a lovely storm that started as rain, turned to hail, and then became a very slushy blizzard, we stayed home.  The road reports north of Des Moines looked and sounded horrible and we decided to just not risk it.  Sadly, that means I can’t give Caroline her artwork today, but it also means I have more time for my cousin’s second artwork, the first having been hijacked by my daughter

I started with a simple watercolor wash for the background.  When it was dry, I added the pencil outline of the cats, railing, horizon line, and trees.

After filling in the pencil outlines with India ink, I added pencil outlines of April sky constellations.  These were detailed with gold ink and black pen for the constellation lines.

We will spend the rest of our weekend enjoying the view from our new windows – they were being installed on the hail day and through today and next week.

As always, prints and artwork are always for sale, please inquire by e-mail or through my Etsy shop, which is currently empty.  If you are interested in purchasing something you have seen on this blog, I will create a custom listing for you.  I also do custom commission pieces as well.