Baby Steps

Progress is happening little-by-little in the nursery makeover!  

After attacking the laundry room I used the momentum to organize the nursery closet.  It’s nothing to behold, but it is organized with room to spare!  We’re going to add a second rod to hang clothes on and then it should work swimmingly for 2 kiddos.  (The nice thing about a circa 1970’s condo is the big rooms and big closets!)

And I’ve been able to accomplish some fun projects too!  The drapes are finished:

I sewed my usual tab-back pleated drapes, which are sooo easy and look lovely.

And my dad and I finished the bed a while back (Little M loves it!).

We based it on this tutorial from Design Mom - with a few size adjustments, a bit of free-styling (‘cause that’s how I roll), and I created a tufted headboard.

I also have the rug, which I’ll try out this week in the room.

What else is on the to-do list?

  • Create some pretty bedding for the crib (skirt, fitted sheet, small quilt perhaps)
  • Sew some pillow cases for throws and bolsters
  • Create a fabulous and cheap new mobile for above the crib
  • Paint the side table and change table (I’m opting for cream rather than red… just feeling like I need them to blend and let all of the colourful and patterned fabrics be the “pop” in the room.)
  • Switch out some artwork and arrange it

…and I think that’s it!  T-minus 64 days until Baby #2!

Going to war…

In case you haven’t guessed by my posts today, I’m revving up to tackle our storage/laundry room.  It has slowly become an abyss of disorder and mess.  I was up last night drawing out a plan:

With a little bit of help from a great book called "Organizing Plain & Simple" by Donna Smallin. Here’s what I did:

  • I created a web showing the various categories of stuff that should be in the room - like cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, tools, etc. (and made a side note about what needs to be stored elsewhere.)
  • I created two “To Do” lists of tasks that will need to be accomplished (such as emptying, cleaning, categorizing, purging, re-stocking, labelling, etc.), and things I’d like to do (coordinate storage boxes, add a curtain to cover the open pipes, adding hooks and art, etc.)
  • I created a list of supplies I’ll need (garbage bags, storage boxes, marker and labels, etc.)

Now.  Wish me luck.  I’m going in.

Design notebook by Leslie from A Creative Mint via Decor8

Design notebook by Leslie from A Creative Mint via Decor8

Read about it here.

Read about it here.

Reworking the Nursery

Since we discovered that we have Little One on the way (and maybe even before that) I’ve been thinking about how to re-work the nursery.  Most notably how to change up the floor plan and storage situation so that we can fit two kids in nicely.  Also, I’ve been hunting for a toddler bed for Little M, since that would be nice to have before the Little One arrives.  From a design standpoint I wanted to integrate some new colours - particularly red - for a few reasons.  

One: I’d love to use this quilt I made on Little M’s bed.  I have more of these fabrics to make pillow cases, crib sheets, or a few other projects.

Two: Little M has some really nice storybooks displayed on his bookshelves (IKEA Ribba picture ledges) that look so sharp against the cream walls.  

And finally, three: I’ve always loooved the fabrics from the nursery good ole’ Sarah Richardson did on Design Inc. a few years ago, and thought this might be my chance to use one of them.

(photo on left from, photo on right is Panama San Bari Remo Flor from Designer Fabrics.)

The fabric looks green, blue, brown, grey and red in the nursery picture right?  Well I ordered the sample from Designer Fabrics and discovered it was more of a coral pink.  Which was a little disappointing, since the other colours match existing colours in the nursery perfectly.  I had hoped to use the fabric on Little M’s new upholstered bed (a plan I’m adapting from this one on Design*Sponge from Design Mom).  

But Sean’s immediate reaction was that it was too girly with the pink.  So I put the question to the masses.  The response?  Currently the masses also think the fabric’s too girly (well, 35% of them.)  But the masses can’t see what I see in my head.  I really think that if paired with true red, the thin asterisk-like stars will read as a faded red in the overall scheme.  So I’m switching my plan to put the fabric on new drapes (I love sewing drapes!) instead, and I’ll use some solid canvas material that I already have to upholster the bed.  Trust me.  It’ll work.  I really like the look of the fabric sample when I put it next to the quilt.  Sean gave me the go-ahead to use it, if I really want to.  (He was satisfied with the victory of the voters siding with him.) ;)  So here’s the plan:

Now this is a little misleading in two ways:

1. It looks darker and more colourful than it actually is.  The wall colour is a creamy white (Moonlight White from Benjamin Moore) and a lot of the other stuff (trim, doors, picture frames, lamps, shelves etc.) are white.  So I don’t think the overall effect will be quite as dramatic.

2. It looks like more of an overhaul than it actually is (i.e. expensive).  But really, I think it’s pretty doable since I’m working with a lot of stuff I already have.  The major expenses would be:

-The toddler bed.  My dad and I will build and upholster it, and if you look at the link above, it should be done for a reasonable cost.  And since I’ll be using fabric already in my stash we’ll just be paying for building materials, wood, batting, foam, and button kits.

-The rug.  This IKEA Jorun rug is my ideal.  I just like it.  Plus it’s dark and woven, so I’m hoping it’ll hide messes.  (And hey, you people still stuck on the pink stars - this rug’s pretty masculine.) :)  It’s probably the priciest purchase.  But we need a rug in there whether we change up the nursery or not, and for a rug that’s pretty affordable.

-The side tables.  For these I’m scouring Kijiji and Used Regina for nightstands, end tables, stools, piano benches, TV stands… anything that’s solid, good-looking, and the right size.  For these I’m aiming at no more than $30-40 each.  The colour or finish doesn’t matter because I’m going to paint them no matter what.  I’d love to do a great cherry red, but I’ll save that project for closer to the end.  If the red’s too much I’ll paint them cream, which would also look sharp.

-The new drapes.  I have a great method for making drapes, so I can sew them myself (huge savings for custom drapes!), I just need to buy fabric.  And since this one’s a double width fabric I don’t need to buy much.  I’ll use remaining scraps for a chair pillow, and potentially a new crib skirt.

The rest of the elements I already have: the light, the chair, all the picture frames will stay, wall colour and flooring is the same, crib and change table remain.  I’ll snag the second lamp (and spray paint it) and the art prints from my office (I’ll be on mat leave anyways).  And I’ll finally get to use the cute alphabet quilt I’ve already made, and its coordinating fabrics in my stash!  There may also be a new mobile above the crib, but that project will include nothing more than tissue paper or string, paste, balloons, and fishing line.

Here’s the floor plan: (Not to scale, but you get the idea)

We’ll move the change table into the closet to save space, and swap the locations of the chair and crib.

Here’s how I picture the overall look:

And on the other side:

So that’s the plan!  It may experience some changes along the way, but it’s a good starting point, I think.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my daily perusal of Kijiji and Used Regina to find those perfect side tables…

Gotta have a plan…

In my adventure of learning how to get meals on the table on a semi-regular basis I actually find the biggest roadblock to be knowing what to make.  There are bzillions of recipes out there, but when I ask “what should I make tonight” very few ideas (if any!) come to mind.  So I’ve been working on a meal-planning template that works for me.  This is the second incarnation of such a plan:

The original plan had the days of the week on it, but I need some flexibility to say “I don’t want to make that today”, or to switch to something simpler if our evening suddenly becomes busy.  So this one just has two-week’s worth of meals, both easy and hard (as colour coded with red [hard], orange [medium], or yellow [easy]) and I can select any one from the plan on any day depending on the mood, schedule, or what’s fresh in the kitchen.

The difficulty ratings I give are based on a few variables.  Can I throw it all in the crockpot?  (easy!)  Is it a brand new recipe (harder), Is it coming out of the freeze? (easy!)  Does it take lots of prep work? (harder!)  Can Sean and I cook it together?  (easy!)  Etc…

I also like the running grocery list on the sidebar to make sure I have what I need for the plan.  I colour code that too, according to areas of the store:

Green - fresh produce

Blue - dairy

Yellow - bakery

Orange - canned/drygoods

Red - meats

Purple - Other

That way a quick scan of the list will show everything I need to pick up in that part of the store.  Also, it gives me an excuse to use pencil crayons. :)

Anyone know how I can post the template so others can have it too?  

(It’s a Word document.)