Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rooms: Baby Girl (#2) Nursery

The nursery is coming together! The chair was delivered, and I love it. My upholsterer did such a great job with the slip cover--matched the pattern perfectly. I love this fabric, and the trim, and it's comfortable besides. I made a pillow out of the crewel-embroidered fabric for the crib bumper (actually cut out two in a plan for twin beds down the road but only sewed one now as hand sewing the trim was a bit tedious). I found the side table on of all places. Love it when I can find what I had in mind--no painting required.

For years I have been storing this painting of my mother and I realized the colors and size are perfect for this little girl's nursery! I love the idea of my mother looking over her. I painted this right after I graduated from college and my mother really never loved the idea of it hanging in her home. I think it made her self conscious and/or maybe she didn't really care for it. When I pulled it out a couple months ago I thought about trying to change I few things I would do differently now but decided to leave it as is. It is from that time. And I think it looks like my mother, which is the most important thing to me.

I have set up the little display cubbies in the closets. They add some color and personality to the room. I love these closets! More about them later (we had some built in Audrey's room too).
The crib is all set up. I am really happy with the way the bumper and skirt turned out. I LOVE this fabric. So fun to do another girl's room and have it be so different from Audrey's. This room feels sort of eclectic vintage to me, while Audrey's is a bit more formal, a bit Asian. I don't know... In any event, I really enjoy pulling these rooms together.

I found a crib sheet with a pale pink polka dot at Target, and I think it's just the thing for the crib.

Audrey didn't need the chest of drawers in her big girl room so it's in Scarlett's to use as a changing table. The glass knobs work here too luckily.

I have some ideas for a couple more oil paintings to paint, a framed crochet piece and some crochet pillows, but that will take some time. For now we're pretty ready! We just need the baby girl to put in the nursery!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sewing: A Waldorf Doll for Audrey

Based on advice I've received from many moms and dads, seems it's a good idea to have a special gift for Audrey when her baby sister arrives. Something to make her feel as if she hasn't completely fallen out of the center of attention. A lot of people recommend a "baby" of her own, to mimic mommy and the new baby, but I liked my friend, Margie's, advice: she said you'll have a real baby in your home and Audrey should learn to help with her baby sister. She also reminded me that as parents we often have different ideas about how children should play, what toys they should bond with, how lifelike their toys need to be, etc. So instead of getting a doll with all the attendant baby accessories (which was difficult anyway since I didn't want plastic), I decided to sew a little Waldorf doll for Audrey. I love these dolls! I love the philosophy behind them. And I really hope Audrey will love hers.

Thankfully I have an amazing friend in Margie who has made many of these dolls for her daughter and some friends. She and her girls, Sophie and Olivia, came over to my home a couple evenings and Margie taught us how to make the dolls. We were using the Magic Cabin Doll Kit, but it helps to have someone to offer the finer points of dollmaking. The trickiest part was making the head, and getting the wool wrapped tightly enough. There was also a lot of hand sewing. It took a bit more time than I imagined but I think she turned out beautifully!

I wanted to make the doll to resemble Audrey so I embroidered big, round, dark brown eyes and a little pink rosebud mouth. I didn't like the lighter brown hair I found so I went with a reddish-brown. Audrey's hair has been cut in a cute pageboy style but that wasn't really possible with the doll so I opted for bangs and pig tails. Also thought this style was least likely to be too abused by a toddler!
I used the Magic Cabin Doll Kit patterns for the clothing as well, which sew up really quickly. Difficult to make clothing that small however!
I had a difficult time finding what I thought was the right fabric for the clothing in terms of the right pattern scale. I think these fabrics (Bubbles & Blooms by Beverlyann Stillwell for Lyndhurst Studio and Classic Red by Paintbrush Studio) worked really well for a traditional, American look. I would also like to try something a little more funky and European, but I can make more clothing later.

The important thing is that I finished this doll in time! Audrey was a week early and so who knows when this little baby girl will arrive...
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