21 March 2013

ellie's nursery

While I was pregnant, most of my nesting instincts went straight into putting together a nursery for Ellie. I may have gone overboard, as I generally do, but it was such a fun way to keep busy during the final months of my pregnancy and collaborate with Matt. And even though in the first weeks of her life, we barely used this room and the daily concerns of caring for a newborn eclipsed all thoughts of cute decor, now that she's almost three months old I think she's actually beginning to notice and appreciate her surroundings. I so hope it will be a happy and cozy place for her to spend the first few years of her life.

The starting point for this nursery was the vintage curtains that Matt found at a consignment shop. They're actually identical to a set my grandmother had and I can remember sleeping on those sheets as a child. I couldn't resist them and they set the palette for the whole room--bright pops of coral, aqua, yellow, and spring green. This is actually the largest bedroom in our house, perhaps a little large for a nursery, but it adjoins our bedroom so it gives us easy access at night. It was already painted a lovely gray color, so at least we didn't have to repaint! The previous owners also used this room as a nursery and had painted the boarded-up fireplace with chalkboard paint for an improvised drawing space.

We tried to re-use and re-purpose as many things as we could, and the only new furniture we bought for the room was the crib, which we got at IKEA. The window seat (also from IKEA) was stolen from our sunroom. The pennant garland was from our wedding.

We re-purposed an old dresser from our guest room to use as a changing table and painted it a bright cheerful yellow. The turquoise ceramic knobs on the dresser came from Anthropologie.

We got the glider from the same consignment shop where we got the curtains. I recovered it in a nubby gray fabric with yellow piping. The tall dresser was inherited from my grandmother, and is the perfect size for tiny onesies and other pint-sized clothes. The wall art is a hodge podge of items, most notably the beautiful embroidered "E" made by Twin using the pattern in Alicia Paulson's Embroidery Companion and the fawn wall clock by DecoyLab (I saved up my pennies for that clock!). On top of the dresser, you can also see the beautiful keepsake box our friend Sara made for us to store all the little mementos of Ellie's childhood.

The beautiful gray wool blankie was made by my mother. It's the Brooklyn Tweed Shale Baby Blanket. I spent so many nights nursing and rocking Ellie with that warm blanket like a shawl over my shoulders. It really was like having a warm and reassuring snuggle from my own mama. Mom also made the blanket hanging from the Moses basket. It's inspired by the Hudson Bay blanket on the Purl Bee but done in our nursery colors. She used such a lovely soft wool that's been great for keeping Ellie warm this winter.

Ellie will have no shortage of little chairs when she starts toddling around.The rattan one and the straight wooden one are from my childhood, and the awesome yellow rocker is from Matt's. One of Matt's uncles got us the giraffe, who stands guard over the room very handsomely. Abby was terrified of the giraffe at first, but has now established a wary truce with it.

The cushion on the window seat has five dresden plates that I put together with fabrics from my stash. I'd never made dresden plates before--they are a lot of fun! I just appliqued them on with my sewing machine and did very minimal quilting. Not sure how practical the white fabric will be, but the cover does come off for washing (if I can pry it off--I always make my pillow covers too tight!).

Twin and I made the mobile using stuffed farm animals and veggies from IKEA. We just carefully hung each from embroidery thread and arranged them around two embroidery hoops. Ellie has just now (at about 10 weeks) begun noticing her mobile and she really does love looking up at it as she falls asleep. The crib is also guarded over by Shanna Murray's Lamb Family wall decal. And a peace sign, because our little girl is sure to have some hippie in her.

I got this little green lamp a couple years ago at an antiques store and rewired it myself (I had no idea rewiring a lamp was so easy!). I covered the shade with a scrap of Heather Ross's bicycle print. I don't know if that fabric is still in print, but I probably bought it about 7 years ago and have been hoarding it just in case I ever had a little girl. And now I do! I still have some in my stash, hopefully enough to make a little dress for her soon. The teddy bear I made a couple years ago from Hillary's book, more about it here. You may have also spied Space Boy and Olive, who now have a home in the nursery.

Just a few weeks before Ellie was born, we found the little scooter at an antiques shop downtown and we couldn't resist bringing it home. This teddy bear is from my own childhood, ready for a new generation of love.

I took all these pictures just before Ellie was born, and this one makes me laugh. It could be captioned "Ready and Waiting." We were all so ready to welcome that baby. The dogs didn't know exactly what they were in for, but they definitely knew something was up.

And we need a picture of the star of all this cute decor. Here's Ellie at 10 weeks!