August 29, 2012

John Deere Room Tour

After many months I finally have a toddler room to show off! Sometime last year Jesse mentioned he would like to do a John Deere inspired bedroom for Jude. That's what I get for marrying a corn-fed Iowa boy whose family has a long history working for John Deere. It's a good thing he's cute.

The John Deere theme scared me because all I could imagine were images like this and this. Bless those people and their John Deere love. I just don't get it. So, I tried my best to stay true to the theme, but dial it down a bit.

I started by painting the room in gray stripes. Yes, they are the same gray stripes you're seeing everywhere these days. I like them. They're allowing me to have a kid-friendly look on the walls without overwhelming the room in yellow or green.

Adding the crates was fun. I think they add a nice rustic farm look while still being functional.

The lamp is from his nursery - I just painted it yellow. The globe was a $3 find at a garage sale this summer. I spray painted it's stand in oil-rubbed bronze.

The chalkboard is my favorite garage sale find ever. This baby was only $9 and I bought it about two blocks from my house. I made my sister-in-law carry it home with me. Poor thing. There's nothing like walking through your neighborhood trying to act normal while carrying a HUGE chalkboard. It was totally worth it. Someday I might sand and stain the stand.

Yes, we did get the green and yellow into the room, don't worry. I painted the letters on the wall. The light fixture was already conveniently in place, which made it a fabulous place to hi-light the logo on the wall. Jesse wanted to use the 1950s logo. So, I made up a process of printing out each letter, tracing them onto the wall and taping around them in order to get them on the wall. It was fairly time consuming, but worth it in the end.

I need to add some more Iowa or John Deere knick knacks to the second shelf and we'll likely switch out the dresser at some point. Slowly but surely.

We got his twin bed from Jesse's brother and his wife. They're donating it to us for the time being. It's a perfect toddler bed because it is so close to the ground.

I put together the bed skirt using the crib skirt pattern from Amy Butler's Little Stitches. It's just plain kelly green. Then, I used a sheet set to put together the comforter and sewed in a piece of the same kelly green that I used for the bed skirt. It's not quite done. I need to quilt it and bind it, but I hate that part so I might wait for Mom to come into town to motivate me to finish it.

I'll also add a pillow to the bed that has the John Deere logo on it. That will help bring the theme to this side of the room.

Oh, and lastly, here's the laundry hamper I picked up at TJ Maxx. I love it. Emily bought the same one for Bennett's room and after I saw hers I just knew that it would be perfect for Jude's room. Isn't it cute?

You know you're 30 when you get excited about the style of a laundry hamper.

August 28, 2012

Crates for Toys

I've been putting together Jude's toddler room and baby girl's room simultaneously. Jude's room was my last room (minus the basement) to decorate in the house. It has been in a very sad and plain state for the last year.  Awhile ago Jesse told me he wanted to decorate it with a John Deere theme, which put the project on hold because it took me a long time to wrap my brain around that.  Not being an Iowa native it's not quite as natural for me to put kelly green and bright yellow in the same room - in fact the idea made me twitch.  However, after lots of chatting, compromising and painting it's finally finished (with only a couple of small details yet to be accomplished), so I'll show it off tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have to brag about my first legitimate woodworking project.  Dad, this one's for you - you'll have to tell me what you think. I built four crates for his room - three to hold his toys and one for his books.

These three line the edge of his bed.

This one holds his books and acts as his nightstand.

Through the Shanty 2 Chic website I found another one called Ana White. She has a million free project plans - plus she does a great job of telling beginners how to get started. After looking through her site I just couldn't help myself but get to the store, buy a few essential tools and start building.

I worked on the crates off and on over the last couple of weeks. I probably spent 12 hours total on them. They're not perfect. I certainly split the wood here and there and my handles look a little shabby, but I got better with each one I put together.

All in all I'm pleased with the result and even more pleased to have tried something new!

August 26, 2012


I'm definitely nesting these days.  It's so cliche, but it's funny how a pregnant woman just can't help herself at this stage. I took the picture above at 30 weeks. The little girl is moving around a lot, making my lower back sore by the end of the day and giving me insomnia between 4-6 am.  All in all it's going well. Well, besides the fact that my hair looks like a mane. My word, I think my hair is using this picture to beg me for a haircut. It's working.

Anyway, I've been working on the kids' rooms during the last couple of weekends. For the nursery I feel inspired by poppies and the color combination coral, orange and yellow. I'm excited.

A couple of weeks ago I made this painting for her room.

I was inspired by a blog I found recently called Shanty 2 Chic. These ladies use power tools like no one's business and build everything under the sun - at least it seems like it. I'm totally inspired and I couldn't help picking up the circular saw, hammer and electric sander to put this together.

Jesse was amused to find his 7 month pregnant wife in the garage with the circular saw. I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Don't worry . . . I watched a couple of you tube videos about how to use it and I read the manual from front to back before I picked it up. That's enough preparation to prevent me from cutting off any extremities, right?

Anyway, I found this picture in a google images search and thought it would be fun to recreate it. (I can't seem to find it again to link to the source.) 

Then, I found this wall hanging and decided I would build one similar to act as my canvas. So, I bought my supplies, cut the wood, pieced them together, painted them and then I was ready to draw and paint.

I used the "grid" technique that we learned in jr. high to draw the image large enough for my canvas. I had to add a couple more flowers to change it from a portrait to a landscape image.  Once I was finished I taped it to the wood and traced over it.

The tracings made indentations in the wood so I could see where to apply my paint. I just used some cheap acrylics I had on hand to fill it in. I forgot how fun it was to paint. It's been so long since I've pulled out the paintbrushes to do anything beyond freezer paper painting.

Lastly, I sanded it down to distress the finish of the paint just a little.  Then, I topped it off with a clear coat of varnish.

We'll hang it on the wall soon. I can't wait to see it all come together.

August 3, 2012

Another Baby Boy

There's another little cousin on his way in the next couple of weeks. Jesse's brother and his wife are expecting the arrival of their first sometime in August. We're very excited!

A month ago we threw a baby shower and I put together these simple gifts for the little nugget. My sister-in-law, Michelle, is using the outdoorsy/lodgy look for his nursery. Adorable. So, I did my best to come up with something that would fit the motif. We all know the outdoorsy look doesn't come very naturally to me (no pun intended), so this took some serious creative energy and a long-winded brainstorming session with Emily to come to fruition.

The toddler backpack is such a fun project. I used the freezer paper painting technique to put the moose on the front. Sometimes I wonder if I should have painted him white, but it's too late now.

I added some extra stitching just to spice things up a bit. And, used Made by Rae's latest backpack pattern addition to add lining.

This lining fabric is funny because Michelle actually gave me about a yard of it a couple of years ago after she made a blanket out of it for her husband. I was going to use it to make shorts for Jude, but never got around to it. This turned into the perfect opportunity to pull it out!

So, I made some shorts (used the flat front pants tutorial from MADE) for the little guy in a 12 months size hoping that he might be able to sport the backpack and the shorts in the same outfit. I should have made a shirt too. Can't you just see one with a moose on the front? Hmmm. First birthday gift maybe.

August 1, 2012

A Blessing of a Baby

My sister, Emily, and her husband just welcomed a sweet baby boy at the end of May.  We got to visit them in the middle of June.  What a fun trip.  He sure is a blessing and we were so happy to meet him, love him, kiss him and hold him.

Sometime in April I put together a few things for him.  Now, I finally get to show them off!  First was a matching set of urban hoodies.  I decided that Jude and Bennett needed matching sweatshirts (that's logical right?) so I sized them right to fit both of them when we see each other at Christmas. This one is Jude's.  It's a size 2T.

This one is Bennett's.  Sized 6 mos.  I found the puppy knit at Joann's and had to have it.  Jude loves the puppies and I think it's a perfect accent fabric.  The gray was a jersey knit that I had on hand - in fact, it was a jersey sheet set I purchased at Target on sale awhile ago.  I think the combo is perfect.

Jude wore his for about 10 minutes in Colorado.  The heat has prevented any future wearings, but I'm sure it will still look great come fall.  Gosh, I love this pattern.  Looking at these pictures makes me want to make more!

Of course, I couldn't stop there.  This is my twin sister's baby after all.  So, as promised, I made a few more bibs for Emily's collection. 

I added this word to the plain blue one.  I don't have an embroidery machine so I ended up printing out the word, cut out the letters and traced them onto the fabric.  Then, I just stitched over the top of the lines.  I went over each letter twice.  Turned out cute I think.  I might have to try it again sometime.

Finally, to round out the stash, I made a few snack bags to match the bibs.  This addition to the gift was purely selfish because I made 8 total bags and kept 4 for myself. 

I'm not sure when, but Jude reached this age where it was in my best interest to bring snacks with me everywhere we go.  At some point I realized I was wasting plastic bags and thought it would be better to make some and wash them instead. 

This is the tutorial I found via Pinterest. I didn't use PUL fabric for the interior like it suggests.  Mine are cotton inside and out and I think they work just fine.

Hopefully Emily and Bennett will find a use for them too.