Sunday, April 27, 2014

Nursery Painting

Hello everyone! I'm back with some more nursery updates! J and I dedicated this weekend to getting the baby room a bit more ready. So, we'll start off with those updates. To keep you reading, you can hear about the stupid thing I did this weekend towards the end.

So, here are the before shots with the room all cleared out.



The first thing we did was to remove these bifold doors. I am planning on using curtains over the closet for easier access. The bifold doors in this room have never worked all that well, and I hated them.

We then painted the trim from peach back to a white color as we have been doing in all the rooms we have re-painted. This officially makes the upstairs completely white-trim! Since we have been using Sherwin Williams Snowbound for all of the trim, we used that for this room as well. However, I got it color matched at Home Depot in no VOC semi-gloss, since I'm not supposed to paint with paint containing VOCs (VOC paint is also not recommended for baby rooms anyway). For the record, I like the way Sherwin Williams' paint covers better than the Home Depot brand.

J did the rolling for the door and the window seats, while I focused on the trim and molding.

We then moved onto priming. I used spackle to fill in all the holes and cracks prior to priming. We again used no VOC primer (Kilz). For some reason, the room was painted in a semi-gloss, so using the primer helped with the paint grabbing onto the walls. J did all the rolling, while I did the edging on the floors, ceiling and window frames (which are a huge pain, btw).




It was then truly decision time. I had narrowed the choices down to these 4 options (all Benjamin Moore). We ended up going with Breath of Fresh Air, 806, by BM on the right. I was torn between that one and Heaven on Earth (bottom), but the two colors were actually super similar.

Painted room + me at 24 weeks. I am feeling a bit... large these days.

J looking cool.

Don't worry! There are more pictures of the room. But... first, I decided to switch out all the old and ugly outlets in the room.

I replaced them with new outlets, which are tamper resistant. What this means is that they are automatically baby-proof. Score. They are also white, which matches the rest of the room. Here's when things got interesting. Story time! So, I very carefully made sure all of the circuit breakers were off to the room before starting and double-checked each outlet. I installed all of the outlets without incident. Until I got to the light switch. It was also off when I wired it. I then had J go down to turn on the circuit breaker so I could test the light switch before screwing everything back in.... yea, so I accidentally touched a live wire and gave myself a nice 120VAC shock (yup - touched a black/hot). I immediately screamed and let go. Cue panic by J who wanted to know what happened. It all happened so quickly that I am still not sure of the current path. I know the hot was on my pinky because that's where I felt it and it went up my arm. But that's all I have. My other hand was on ground (yup - maximum stupidity). I still can't believe I went through countless EE labs, have re-wired multiple rooms in this house, never gotten shocked, and, now, 24 weeks pregnant, I manage to do this. Anyway, we got the breaker back off, everything put back where it should (no more shocks). At this point, J is like, "you need to call the OB." I agree and call. Needless to say, they weren't all that concerned. They asked if I was okay, which I am. I didn't even really feel pain, just well... shock. Baby has still been kicking me after the incident, so I am hoping and praying everything is okay. After some extensive googling, I have found lots of other pregnant ladies who have shocked themselves (in some cases to much worse degrees) and everything was fine. I still can't believe how stupid the whole thing was because I am seriously always so careful with wiring. So, that's my story from this weekend.

Anyway, here's the finished product. Keep in mind the light was fading at this point, so the pictures aren't terribly light. Don't worry, there will be lots more pictures once we get furniture in here.

I do like how the color turned out. It's a bit more of a bright blue than I thought it would be, but I think it will tone down some once we get the furniture in here. Keep in mind the lighting is just off in these photos, too. I promise there will be better pictures as we move along with the baby room. Also, the outlets will get covered as soon as the room has a little more time to dry.



Anyway, that's all for now. I can't believe we managed to get so much done this weekend. Yay for productivity and being done painting! I'm less thrilled about shocking myself. Ugh. More soon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Elephant Mobile

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well on this cold morning (at least if you are on the east coast). I forgot to turn my heat on last night and we woke up to a pretty cool house. It was hard getting out from under the covers.

In my last post, I promised to update you on some of the ideas I have been working on for the nursery (now that the world knows the baby is a boy). This first project was started about 3 weeks ago, shortly after we knew the gender. Our theme for the nursery is blue + gray + elephants. My inspiration came mostly from pinterest (shocking).

Some examples:
Blue Elephants

Artwork

Inspiration Board

And there are many more examples out there. In fact, searching for "blue nursery" gives you a lot of elephant inspiration. Since I love elephants and think they are adorable for a baby, I decided to go with the theme. I actually bought the fabric from the first picture (the gray elephant print) to make curtains and a crib skirt (because I am crafty like that and don't want to spend $130 on a crib skirt). 

Back to the project at hand, I really wanted to make a mobile for the crib, since (a) buying a mobile is expense and (b) I am not a huge fan of the ones out there. I picked up some fabric quarters and eighths at JoAnns to make the elephants for the mobile. 

For the pattern, I started with this pattern, which I found online. I ended up lengthening the nose so it curled up more than it does here, but I just did that part by hand. 

 I bought the hoop from JoAnns for about $2. I debated on the hoop size a bit, but I wanted something that could fit a decent amount of elephants and wouldn't look too small next to the crib. I think this was around the right size, but could have been slightly smaller. I bought plain white ribbon and carefully used hot glue to glue the ribbon around the hoop. I used a dot of glue to start and then twisted the ribbon around the hoop. After the start, I would use a small line of glue and then twist about 3 turns of ribbon onto that glue and repeat.

For the elephants, I found the easiest way to cut them was to have the fabric folded during the cut with the elephant pinned to the fabric. I cut about 1/4" from the edge of the pattern to allow room for my seam.

I then sewed right sides together, leaving room for stuffing in the back end.

Flipped around (pre-stuffing). For the stuffing, I used a small rod I had to push the stuffing into the nose area. This process made me feel like I was violating the poor elephants. Once I had the stuffing the way I liked it, I sewed up the rear end (hiding stitches as best I could - not one of my sewing strong suits).

I neglected to take a picture of the process for the ears, but I basically cut out a shape that was about right for the ear size and used that as my pattern. The ears are cut from felt and sewed onto the sides of the heads after I stuffed the elephants. I sewed the ears by hand. 

All my elephants. I tried to use patterns in the blue and gray theme that would be visually stimulating for the baby. 

You can see the completed hoop in this picture. I used ribbon for the structure that goes up to the music box. You can either hot glue the ribbon or tie it to create the structure. I found that hot glue worked better.

I used thread (doubled up) to attach the elephants to the mobile. Attaching them and getting the length right was rather tedious. I also had to find the right center of gravity for the elephants so they didn't tip forward or backward. I think it turned out rather well.



Here is the assembly all together. This is in the closet of the nursery (not the final place for the mobile, but we need to paint the walls first. The white walls give a better background for seeing the whole thing.

The music box was a purchase from ebay. You can search for mobile music box and grab one for about $15. I liked this one because it plays a variety of songs and isn't the wind up kind.

Here is the final product in action! I am pretty excited to see it when we have it set up over the crib and have the walls painted.
video

Speaking of wall colors, we currently have a plethora of paint samples chilling on our walls. I think once we have the walls primed, I will get a few samples of my favorites and paint them in a bigger area. I am having a tough time deciding between more of a blue-gray wall color or one that leans more towards aqua. I think I'll end up with a blue-gray color, but we shall see. More on that in another post.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Baby Gender Reveal Party!

For those of you who saw our facebook announcement, you now know that J and I announced that we are expecting a baby BOY! We have actually known for 4 weeks now, but were keeping the news until we shared it at our gender reveal party this weekend. We are super excited! The anatomy scan went great and baby is looking nice and healthy (and measuring about a week ahead of schedule).

Back to the gender reveal. I started planning it weeks ago by painting wooden eggs as party favors. I thought with this weekend being a week away from easter, the egg idea would be a fun take home gift.

Party favor bags

I asked guests to pick a side by wearing a clothespin with their guess. I gave some old wives tales to help people out with their guesses.

The spread for the party. We also had guests submit boy and girl name ideas, which ended up being really fun. In the back left, we had cake pops made for the reveal. I am kicking myself for not taking a close up of the cake pops. The inside was blue for the reveal.

The reveal!


Guests



Me and my friends. :)



Baby Boy!


The party was a great success and a lot of fun! I pretty much had felt from day 1 that it was a boy. It explains why I have been feeling so terribly sick (the women of my family tend to be sicker with boys). And it gives me hope that I might not be so sick for the next pregnancy (fingers crossed). I am super happy about having a little boy and so is J. We were both pretty thrilled after the ultrasound. I'm still feeling a little nauseous these days, although nothing like it was even a few weeks ago. I also seemed to have "popped" and have a considerable bump. It makes me feel rather huge and my back has started hurting. As the weather warms up, I am reminded about how not fun this summer is going to be (although I am sure it will all be worth it). The party was truly very exhausting for me though, and I spent most of today resting and recovering from all the excitement. It's amazing how much harder entertaining is now-a-days (although it was definitely worth it - it was a very fun time). I'm working on nursery ideas so stay tuned... :)