nursery in progress

So, you guys: the nursery is morphing into the vision in my head and I cannot put into words how excited I am about this process. As I mentioned before, my mom and dad flew in from mid-MO last Thursday night and stayed until Sunday. The sole purpose of this visit (besides seeing their favorite daughter and son-in-law....and granddog) was for the girls to do nursery projects while the boys golfed. Turns out that our southern visitors brought in the most amazing weather ever and the boys enjoyed temps in the upper 60s for golf on both Friday and Saturday! Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the girls worked their poor fingers to the bone. Seriously. Both of us were so exhausted from our numerous projects that we could barely form a coherent sentence by Saturday night. But it was SO worth it. Observe:

On Friday, mom and I went fabric shopping and I was very skeptical that I'd find what I wanted. I knew the general colors would be brights and I was hoping for modern and fun prints. But I just pictured ugly old-lady fabrics in a lot of the shops and was nervous about creating my bold nursery.

Well the very first store we tried, a true 'quilting' store none-the-less, was an incredible jackpot. There were so many bright, modern prints in there my head was spinning and as we collected about 15 bolts of fabrics we liked I knew we were in trouble. How could we ever narrow down such awesome choices? One hour later, I decided to go with my gut and keep it relatively simple with just three different patterns to go all over the nursery. I could not be happier with our choices:

The yellow dogs? A shoe in for our son's nursery, after all--his big brother Henry will be a major role model in his life, for sure. This will be the bedding (that my fab mother-in-law has offered to make) and also the cushions for the rocker:

The bright orange? Perfect for all of the curtains in the room, plus a little trim here and there on other fabric projects. I adore it.

And the green dots? The aqua in the walls, the orange and yellows in the other fabrics make this one a superb 'pull together' fabric. Oh, and all three look good with the worries:)

So after our success at the fabric shop, we went to Joann's fabric for other supplies including giant slabs of foam for three cushions, thread, and other odds and ends. We got right to work sewing up a storm (or shall I say, my mom got to work and I observed, ironing fabrics as needed). We used my mother-in-law's ancient sewing machine that is seriously 40+ years old and wouldn't you know, it jammed up after about an hour of work. And of COURSE my mother-in-law was out in Oregon visiting Nate's brother so we were stuck. Eventually Nate and his dad fixed it for us later on that night but it totally killed our tight timeline for finishing multiple projects. Curses!

On Saturday morning mom and I began work at 9:30 am and literally did not stop working until 9:30 at night. We took 2 food breaks but otherwise we were focused on pumping out projects like it was our job. And behold....curtains! With a fabulous window seat cushion!

Don't let it fool you, the cushion was not easy to make. Mom had the brilliant idea of adding this piping in orange and although I love it, it was totally painstaking for her. Plus we wanted the cushion to fit snugly in the window which made the fabric lay funny....unless very taut over the foam. Ah, the adventures in nursery making:)

While mom worked her magic inside, I decided to tackle two huge projects all by my lonesome: refinishing the dresser and the rocker. Here is the dresser before:
Remember, it was a steal on Craigslist for $75, made of solid wood and custom made 15 years ago as a dresser/changer combo. I sanded, and primed, and painted the hell out of it. We bought new dressy knobs and voila.....
I adore the final look. Nate has decided this is the nicest dresser we own. Pretty sad, huh?

Then the infamous rocker, the one that was hiding in our attic the whole time (ie FREE). My father-in-law made it back in 1972 and I love that it's somewhat modern for a rocker. He agreed to let us paint it all white and can I just say that painting cane is NOT fun?
Mom got the back cushion completed before she left but we simply ran out of time to finish the bottom cushion. Like I said, our minds and bodies were mush after a 12 hour work day:) So mom took the fabric home and is finishing the bottom cushion as we speak. I cannot wait to put it all together!

And finally, the great changing pad debate of 2009. When Nate found out how expensive foam is, he decided we needed to use the scraps from the cushions to make our changing pad. After investigating a little bit I discovered that our changer/dresser is 14" deep and every changing pad in the world is 16" deep these days. So really, we basically HAVE to make one ourselves or run the risk of the store-bought pad hanging over the edge 2 inches. Our inner OCD-selves would not handle that well. So Nate busted out the electric bread knife again (what? did I fail to mention that is how we cut our foam? My bad) and started slicing and dicing.
He even made little contours for the edges you guys. So cute. Then we decided we needed a waterproof pad on top to protect the foam from baby fluids. Easier said than done, my friends, since everything out there is mostly cotton with a sheet of vinyl underneath. But we finally settled on a 'bassinet cover pad' that is fitted and will do the job. (I'm leaving out the part when we went to three different stores and spent entirely too much time on the whole thing for your own sanity. But let's just say that when we register, it's going to be quite the ordeal. We over analyze so much, it even annoys us.)

So a few pieces of scrap foam, spray adhesive, duct tape (this was Nate's idea, not mine. And it's too awful to show you a picture of this work of art, trust me), and a bassinet sheet equal a brand new changing pad. Now all we need is the fitted sheet for the top, which I'm thinking will be made by my loving mother-in-law with the leftover green fabric. You get the idea, right? It's just wrapped up right now for effect but it will look less homemade someday:)
This is the only picture that shows you a bit of the rug with the fabric. But once I get the cushions to the chair (in doggy yellow!) and our pimped out bedding (more doggies!) I will definitely take a few 'full room' shots. I just realized looking at these pics that it doesn't really give you the big try to stand the suspense for awhile longer, my dearies.

I know not everyone likes the nursery as much as me. I admit it's really bright and loud and not typical at all. In fact, my own father in law just informed me that when I painted the walls aqua he was a bit skeptical and didn't really get it. Now that I have the fabrics in there he says he understands a little bit more (but is still shocked, I think). But I cannot help but love it because it's SO me. And really, isn't a nursery all for the parents and not the baby, anyway? Pretty sure he won't care about the color scheme for a few more years.

And that is how you put your mother to work in front of a sewing machine for a whole weekend. I smell another 'nursery project' trip in our future! And lots more pictures.


  1. I love how everything is coming together!

  2. Wow! It's definitely bright but it looks great. I can't wait to see the finished product.

  3. It looks great Julia. It's all coming together beautifully!

  4. I love it!! It is so bright and cheery, you are so creative!

  5. One word: AWESOME!!!

    Love the prints, love the dresser, love the rocker! I can already tell the final reveal will be amazing.

    [P.S. You're gonna have to tell me what fabric store you went to.]

  6. I love it! The bright colors will make you cheery when you are up all hours of the night! I'd go so far to say, bright colors will yield a cheerful child, too!

  7. Great progress!! You found some awesome fabrics. It already looks great, but once all the sewing is done and you get some art on the walls, it's gonna be killer!!

    And I'm totally with you - the nursery is for the parents, not the baby. ;)

  8. WOW, Julia! Awesome job! I am so jealous of people that can sew and make pretty things. I think I am going to get a sewing machine for the holidays so I can get a head start and join the creative club!

  9. Wow ti looks awesome. I love the bright colors, I am not a huge pastel fan either.

  10. I love that orange fabric! It's really starting to come together. I was with your FIL on all the bright colors, but am loving how it's turning out!

  11. I saw the pics on flickr and I was like, nooo, noooo, wait.

    Well worth the wait! I looooove what you guys have done!

  12. This is truly my favorite nursery to date.

    Not that I see many nurseries, but I really love the choice of rug, the bright fabrics, and the fact that much of it is homemade. Awesome in all regards.

  13. I love it! The colors and the fabrics are great. I can't wait to see it all put together. You guys must have had such a busy weekend!

  14. You guys have really made some progress! Can't wait to see the finished look. And ditto-- The nursery is DEFINITELY for the parents. Sorry Baby! :)

  15. It looks great Julia. I love the fabrics you chose...they go together great without being too matchy-matchy. And I completely agree on the bright, happy nursery...totally for the parents!

  16. What a fun, albeit exhausting, weekend with your mom. Everything looks awesome, and I love how so much will be handmade.

  17. Everything looks so good! I really like the fabrics you founds. You and your mother got a LOT done.

  18. So cute! I love the colors ~ so nice that it is not "traditional" baby colors.

  19. I LOVE IT!! I think it's perfect.

    If you ever need a sewing machine for a day again, give me a ring. My MIL got me a really nice one two Christmas's ago and I totally would have given it up for a day or two! :)

    Finally, you are inspiring me for when I get to decorate again! :)

  20. Love the fabric! We did our own makeover on an old dresser, painting it a nice white and switching out the knobs. We had to replace the top, though, due to water damage. Isn't it awesome to completely transform something like that?

  21. Love it! It looks so good and colorful!

  22. I love it! Love, love, love it!

    I cannot wait to see the final pictures of it all!

  23. How sweet!! Love the little doggies. All that's missing now is a tiny baby boy!

  24. Great bright colors! What an adorable nursery.

    Leigh-Anne at Jo-Ann

  25. The nursery looks great so far!!! You guys worked your butts off. Congrats!

  26. Julia, I think it looks great. It's fun, bright, colorful, and full of life! Your little "papaya" will love his new room!

  27. I'm ridiculously obsessed with your nursery - I LOVE that its so bright and cheery and fun - I am NOT a fan of muted baby blues and pinks and am 100% positive that I will want something nontraditional as well when our time comes! Can't wait to see the finished product!

  28. Great job J! Way to bring out that inner Martha within you!


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