Friday, September 27, 2013

No Toddler TV Challenge

This happened as a sort of accident. My 17 month old son really likes TV. Who doesn't? We love media over here...probably too much. Being pregnant, and exceptionally ill and fatigued this pregnancy, we have had many a day where we cuddled watching something, or I relied on the energy of cartoon characters to counteract my lack thereof. But, I decided that we needed a change. Just as much as I didn't want him to be a little TV zombie, I also didn't want to be the momma who parents via TV. Let's be clear here, I am being overly dramatic -- obviously, I don't really parent via TV -- but, I wanted to challenge myself to be do better. And, I wanted him to have better :)

So, today, we hit day 2 of no TV for the toddler (My Love and I have been sneaking TV in after toddler bedtime, haha). Yesterday was rough. Little Man was cranky, listless, and not really sure what to do with himself. That broke my heart, and made me even more resolute to continue the no TV strike. We made it through yesterday, and had some really great moments despite the awkward transition. Today was great! We watched a friend's little girl this morning, so we had a sort of built-in-play-date. They played with cars, and blocks...we listened to instrumental music on my Pandora station (comprised of Vince Guaraldi, Holst, and John Williams). They took a nice, long nap, and then Little Man and I went to go meet another friend for another play date! He had a blast, and wore himself out playing in the sand, dirt, and grass. He had so much fun! We have had so much fun together! I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds! We're planning on going to a story time in the morning -- I really hope it goes well, and that Little Man has a good time!

While not watching TV during the day, I have been scouring Pinterest for ideas of things to do to keep Little Man occupied. Finding activities he can do on his own (but within my eyesight), is going to be probably the most challenging thing. I still want to be able to get some things done around the house.

Since it's only day two, I haven't tried as many independent activities. I think, after this post, I'm going to do a weekly "Toddler Tuesday" post, where I talk about the different things we've tried, how they've gone, and maybe share some pictures! Would y'all be interested in that? Let me know in the comments -- if it's not a hit, I'll just post them every now and then :)

1. Mess-free Painting
For this, you get freezer bags, and then put paint in them. Close the bags, then put them over a white piece of paper on a table or floor, then tape the bag down all around the edges. I couldn't find the images on Pinterest...or the actual link...that inspired that idea. Unfortunately, it played out way better in my head than it did in reality. I was so excited. But, I got the wrong bags...they were too small...they were tinted blue...they had a line on them so you can write what the contents are. The paint I used probably needed to be a little more fluid, so it could be spread around more easily. Then, I couldn't get the tape to hold the bag down. Little Man easily pulled up the bag, and was more interested in prying it away from the tape than he was in squishing the paint around.

2. Pom Pom Fun
This one was tricky, because most of the ones that came in the bag were too small for him to safely play with. He doesn't sort colors just yet, so he really just piled them all into a cup, then moved them from the cup to a pan, then to another pan, then back to the cup, usually followed by unceremoniously dumping them everywhere. It wasn't very systematic, but he seemed to enjoy it just fine.

I think tomorrow, after our story time and nap, we'll be trying to make and use sidewalk paint, as seen here.

I also intend to use some of these lady's ideas -- she is brilliant!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Halloween Firetruck Vision

I mentioned in this post that we had been fortunate enough to come across a Step 2 Push Around Buggy at a garage sale. Little Man loves it already, but I'm planning on transforming it into a firetruck for part of his Halloween costume. He is going to be a dalmatian, and I thought it would be awesome to have a firetruck for him to ride around in. Not to mention, it'll be his first time around the neighborhood for Halloween (we probably will just walk around, as he doesn't really eat candy), and it'll be nice to have him with his own mode of transportation.

I perused Pinterest for ideas, and found a couple of really cute ones. I think the trickiest part is going to be finding a box that is the right size...though, now that I think about it, I might have one from his highchair that will work. Hmm...

Anyway, here are the pictures I think I'll use for inspiration:

The main difference between these and the one I'm imagining is that the firetruck I want to make will go over his little buggy, instead of being strapped to his shoulders.

I'm hoping that I can convince My Love to go as a firefighter (ooh la la), but I'm stumped as to how I could join in the fun. I'll be six-ish months pregnant by Halloween. I've thought of some sort of civilian who was rescued (you know, with hair curlers, a bath robe...that sort of thing), but it's not nearly as cohesive as I'd like. I suppose that I could be a firefighter too? Do y'all have any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Project: Step 2 Push Around Buggy

Have you ever seen one of these?

I love them. They're so cute, and fun, and such a cool way to get around with your little one! I've wanted one for FOREVER. Especially since Little Man started showing interest in cars. The kid flipping loves cars. His first major meltdown was because I made him come inside the house from playing in the front seat of my the a Texas summer...which means extreme heat...crazy kid. He cried for almost 20 minutes solid; threw himself at the door and everything. It was ridiculous (and sort of funny).

Anyway, I've been looking for one of these, or a Cozy Coupe, for what feels like forever. Garage sales, consignment shops, craigslist, etc. I've found a few viable options, but nothing ever panned out. FINALLY, by complete freak chance, I ended up driving around our neighborhood, and coming upon a garage sale. There was one of these in the driveway, for sale! It was slightly sun-faded, but looked to be in good shape. I had a nice conversation with the lady, and ended up getting this and a small play kitchen...wait for it...for $10!!!! Yes, I got a Step 2 Push Around Buggy, a play kitchen, AND all the foods that her son had used with the kitchen -- for $10!!!! I was ecstatic!

Once I got the car home, we realized that one of the wheels was split. Not too big of a deal, I figured. I did some research, and discovered that the model buggy we had was pretty old, and had a recall out on part of the hardware. Easy-peasy, I ordered a repair kit to remedy the recall issue, and I also ordered four replacement tires. Thank you very much, Step 2!

In the meantime, My Love discovered my garage-sale-find, and was too excited to show our son to wait for everything to arrive in the mail. It was love at first sight. Little Man clambered right up into the seat, and was ready to go. The split wheel made a loud, obnoxious, popping sound, but functioned besides that. We've taken it on several walks, and Little Man loves it!

Tonight, I wanted to take him on another walk before bed -- and decided I'd replace the wheel really quickly before we went out. Note to self: If you ever have the thought, "I'll just do [such and such] really quickly..." you should know better. It's almost as if the phrase is taboo, and you're inviting failure and trials to join you in your venture, whatever it may be. Needless to say, getting the wheel off was WAY harder than I anticipated. Both My Love and I put our respective elbow grease into it, and I finally gave up for the night. But, My Love, my hero, came through! He got the wheel off! Not in time for a walk this evening, but now the buggy is all repaired and ready to drive less noisily around on our adventures.

However, as I am insane, and can't leave well enough alone, I have a vision for this buggy. Have you seen the Cozy Coupe redos? This one is one of my favorites, though there are tons of other great ideas out there.

Aside from being up to my eyeballs in projects I need to complete, as well as just trying to get generically organized, this project will have to wait a bit longer (depending on how this year goes, I might have to wait until spring, as spray painting in cold weather just doesn't work well). However, I'm leaning toward an even more ambitious project to do with it first -- Little Man is going to be a dalmatian for Halloween (we found the cutest costume at consignment for $5!). I'm thinking, if I can get the pieces to fall together right, I'd love to slip a cardboard box overtop of the buggy, and turn it into a firetruck for him to ride in! How adorable would that be?!?!? Of course, if I get it done in time, and I like it, I'll post pictures...and, whenever I get around to repainting it, I'll post pictures of that too.

Too much fun!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Halloween Upcycle Project: Modern Parents Messy Kids

I just wanted to share this project, because it was too cool not to, AND because I'm so far behind on posting my own stuff, I'm afraid my blog is going to grow cobwebs! Not quite the season yet!

However, as that season IS fast approaching, I give you -- The Upcycled Halloween Door Mat.
Modern Parents Messy Kids used an old, icky doormat, some colored duct tape, a cutting mat, and scissors to make this:

Isn't it incredible!?!? Like I need another project, but...if I can find the time -- I would love to do this! To see detailed instructions on how they worked their magic, follow this link to the post!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

10 Goals for the Week: Week 3 MAJOR Setback

Despite my optimism, I did not accomplish all of my goals for last week. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I'm not even certain what this week is going to look like -- which makes it difficult to determine what sorts of goals to set for myself. I think I'll keep them smaller-ish, to attempt to allow myself a chance to complete them.

As for last week's goals, here's where I am at:

Family/Marriage/Mothering Goals
1. Write out a schedule for Little Man
2. Assemble playscape in backyard

Personal Goals
3. Wake up early enough to get a quality quiet time in before the insanity of the day begins
4. Go on a daily walk (with Little Man, if possible)
5. Make a list of "nesting" projects, and put them in priority order

Homemaking Goals
6. Compile a list of meals I cook, and make a meal plan for the month.
7. Do at least one load of laundry a day, and PUT IT AWAY.
8. Clean out car

Business Goals
9. Implement/follow September Budget
10. Take pictures of and post furniture/items to get rid of on craigslist/online to sell.

I'd still like to edit my "nesting" list, but it's really not a priority goal.
This is what I'm going to attempt to do this week:

Family/Marriage/Mothering Goals
1. Assemble playscape in backyard
2. Play outdoors together as a family

Personal/Homemaking Goals
3. Post about laundry room
4. Begin sorting through items in art room
5. Organize guest room
6. Clean out car
7. Put away items in hallway where they belong
8. Declutter master bedroom

Business Goals
9. Take pictures of at least three items to get rid of on craigslist/online to sell
10. Finish three paintings

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dream Bedroom

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I have a tendency to overdo the "to do" list. Not only that, but I'm a project fiend. Project visionary, project starter, but not your best project finisher. This is why this post is a dream...a sort of collection of ideas for what I want our bedroom to become, once I actually have the time, ability, and resources to dedicate to such a project.

When we were first married, I found this beautiful bedding set that I absolutely fell in love with. I can't remember its name at the moment, and I've had absolutely no luck finding it on the internet. Here is a picture of it in our old bedroom:

Goodness, I can't remember our room ever being that clean. Granted, the house was on the market at the time, but :whistle: I'd take that over our current disaster area, to be sure!

We still have the same furniture, and the same general color scheme. Life with three dogs, as we had at the time, was not friendly to our comforter, however. Sadly, it was taken off our bed, and retired to the closet...eventually retired for good </3

Our bedroom, at present, is a nightmare. It's a mess. There is a wide assortment of wires, cables, and electronics that belong to My Love sort of haphazardly piled near his side of the bed. I have bags and stacks of random papers, all waiting to either be be put into a place of belonging yet to be be shredded...or, honestly, just taking up space.

My Love really really really likes darkness. Our home is very dark in general, as we don't have many windows. I love our home, but that's definitely something I'll consider more should we move in the future -- I love windows. Anyway, I didn't take into account my husband's love of darkness when we chose the paint color for our room, which is quite a bit darker than that in the picture above, and lends itself to make the whole room feel darker. It's a beautiful color, don't get me wrong -- I picked it for a reason -- but, after two years, I've decided that I'd like to change it to something lighter.

So, if I had unlimited time, resources, and energy (which, I suppose, is a resource, but you know what I mean), here's what I'd do to the room (which is not pictured):

- I would beg my friend's dad to help me refinish our furniture. My Love, while he is a wonderful man, has a problem with using coasters. This problem is that he forgets to use them. So, our nightstands are water damaged, and need to be lightly sanded and probably refinished/resealed. The bed, which I love, was a craigslist find. It matches our furniture perfectly, but was slightly damaged when we purchased it -- really, just minimal scratches in the wood from a dog, presumably. If we're going to refinish the nightstands, we might as well refinish the head and foot boards, right? My grandpa already did some impressive magic on the headboard in particular, as I was a COMPLETE fool right after we purchased the thing, and stubbornly insisted on trying to assemble the thing myself. Stupid girl. I lost control of it, and it fell, landing on part of the sideboard, and split. He patched it together beautifully, and you can't even tell where I damaged it.

- I would repaint the room. I have a little leftover color from our formal dining room at our old house. It's a bright, but somehow subtle, or almost neutral, green. I want to paint a swath of the wall to see if I like it before we move forward, but I'd imagine it'd be just about perfect. It isn't exact, but I think it's similar to Valspar's Crocodile Smile:

I'm thinking possibly something even a little lighter but, like I said, I'll have to see what it looks like on the wall. I don't know for sure how My Love feels about a green bedroom. Should he object, for any reason, I'd choose a neutral color -- something soft and light, though I'm not entirely sure what.

- I would get a new bedding set. I found this absolutely delicious bedding online, and cannot wait until My Love and I have our emergency fund properly built up (yep, we're working on our Dave Ramsey), so that I can start saving for it (bet you can guess what my Christmas and birthday money are going toward)! I'm posting the link for the actual comforter set but, based on the customer reviews (specifically regarding issues washing it), I think I'd actually want the duvet cover set. But, isn't it absolutely divine?!?!?

I love the splash of color, the beautiful pattern, and how it's pretty without being super feminine. I also love how it  has a similar blue to what we previously had, which means that the previously color coordinated items we already have will bring in pops of color, to the new decor. I do think, however, that I would get white sheets. I really love this set from Target, because it's lacy :)

- I would keep our current window curtains. They're a simple, beautiful, rumpled type of fabric, in a similar color (if the pictures can be trusted) blue as the bedding.

- I think I would keep our current lamps. I really love them - they're a sort of sturdy metal, and I spray painted them silver. I usually use the swirls on the base to hang my jewelry on -- quite handy to have on the nightstand. I am only slightly tempted to get the lamps that are mounted on the wall, similar to those you typically see in hotels. It'd be nice to have the additional space on the nightstand. But, as I said, I really like our lamps, so I'll probably keep them. Plus, not getting new ones will save money, hooray!

- I'd at least like to get our ceiling fan "fixed." I suppose it's not really broken, but it's slightly unbalanced. I bought those little weights that adhere to the fan blades and are supposed to help -- hopefully they will.

- As nice as all of these decorative aspects are, the most important thing I want to change about our room is organization! I want to sift through all of our clothes, and condense my wardrobe to a select few (probably new-to-me) mix-and-match items. Some of this will have to wait until post-baby, and (ideally) post-baby body! But, I want to get all of our winter clothes back into the under the bed storage bags I procured for them - that will open up a lot of closet space.

Ultimately, I want our room to be a safe haven. Someplace relaxing, and inviting. Ein gedi, if you will -- I heard that term used once to describe what your room should be like -- an oasis from the world. I've always loved that imagery.

Here's hoping I can get my act together soon, get our room/house organized, and get to the fun decorating part!!!

Au Jus?

At some point in our relationship, My Love and I started going to Subway. When we went, he would order the roast beef sandwich with au jus. I am not super carnivorous. I love bacon, I love roast the way my mom makes it, I enjoyed brisket that our pastor's wife made, I eat chicken, and I really like turkey. I eat other "types" of meat, and that's not to say I hate all other forms of it (so, if I've eaten with you, and haven't named off your meal, please don't be offended -- thinking through all meals I've eaten in a lifetime is just more time than I want to dedicate to this post -- I'm sure you understand). However, I was completely unfamiliar with this "au jus" that accompanied the Subway roast beef sandwich. I, therefore, took My Love's information as fact. He told me it was called "ahh huice." I spent an unknown quantity of time calling it that. Mercifully, I don't believe that I was ever around anyone else when I did so.
Years later, we were out somewhere, and someone mentioned au jus, only they said, "ō-ˈzhü(s)." I distinctly remember my jaw dropping, my eyes widening, and myself swiveling to gape at my husband, who had not yet realized the enormity of what had just occurred.
"Au jus?!?!?!" I said (pronounced the correct way). "Au jus?!?!? As in, 'ahh huice?!?!?'"

I tell you this story because I was given an excellent recipe for roast beef au jus from an online acquaintance and, every time I even think "au jus," I "pronounce" it the same way My Love initially taught me. I've only made it once, but am making it again now -- and my husband is quite excited. Should he ever doubt my love for him, he only need remember that I've handled raw meat on numerous occasions to make his meals -- I hate touching raw meat (Phil Robertson would undoubtedly refer to me as a "yuppie")! Now that I've revealed more of my bizarre quirks than you were ever looking to know, I thought I'd share the recipe, in case any of you were interested! I am far from a gifted chef...I'm afraid culinary skills must skip generations, or something, as it is definitely not my strong suit. This recipe, however, is made in a crock pot, which means that I can do it, and so can you!!!

Crock Pot Roast Beef Sandwiches

3lb chuck roast
3 cups water
1 packet au jus gravy mix (or 3 beef bouillon cubes)
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, halved
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 bay leaf (optional)
salt & pepper

Heat oil in black skillet over medium-high heat.
Wash roast and season generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Place roast into oiled skillet, lightly brown on all sides.
While browning roast, add halved onion, garlic cloves, water, and bouillon/mix to crock pot.
Transfer roast to crock pot, and toss in bay leaf.
Add salt and pepper.
Cover and cook for 8-10 hours.
Cook until roast falls apart.
Remove onions, garlic, and bay leaf.
Pull roast into strips.
Serve hot with French hamburger buns and sharp cheddar cheese.

Just as an aside, I use the au jus gravy mix, do not include the bay leaf, and am completely not bound by such trivial things as measurements when it comes to garlic powder, salt, or pepper -- I kind of just add them until I think it looks right, haha!

Well, I put this in the crock pot tonight, so My Love should have some delicious food ready for him come lunch time tomorrow! Let me know if you make it, and how you liked it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Operation: Inspiration Board, Nursery

I might have actually made a decision regarding Little Miss' nursery! I've been trying...really really hard, not think about the nursery all that much, and that seems to have worked! In not thinking about it, my brain would keep wandering back to various ideas, and they all seemed to fall together!

For the first time ever, I'm attempting an inspiration board (click on the picture of it below to enlarge). I used Picasa to do it. The hardest part was definitely tracking down the images I wanted and getting the links. Once all the pictures I wanted were loaded into a folder, I just clicked a button, and Picasa assembled the pictures into a collage! I was able to rearrange and reorder them, of course, but here's kind of what I'm thinking:

I'm undecided as to which carnival photo prints (top right) I want to use, as one set is tinted pink, and the other isn't. I like the one that isn't tinted because it brings in additional color, but the pink one is super cute too.

I am completely in love with the "Bears the Question" print, and I intend to make my own artwork for the room based on both that and the work of Eric Carle. I'm going to find images that I like that are circus/carnival themed, and recreate them using tissue paper and glue. I can't wait to see how they turn out!

Here are the links for all the items above, in case you're interested in where I found them:

Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint - Great Falls

Mudhut Dawn Pink Crib Bedding Collection

White Resin Lamp with Purple Shade

Elephant Bank

Giraffe Bank

White Window Sheer

Carnival Photo Collection - Pink

Carnival Photo Collection

Ferris Wheel Print

Bears the Question Print

Let's Fly Away Print

Elephant - A Smile is a Curve

Elegant Wall Frames (these aren't pictured, as the photo quality was low - but check out how cute they are!)

I should add that I'm not 100% sure on the Mudhut Dawn Pink bedding, though I am leaning that way. I think it'd be between that and the Owlphabet one.

Not pictured, I have a vintage dresser that I will be refinishing for the room. I'll definitely do a post on that soon! I'm still trying to decide for sure what I'll be doing about the crib (get a new-to-us-one, repaint Little Man's, or what). I also have a standard dresser that I plan on redoing, provided we don't still need it in our master closet.

I'm hoping desperately to get Little Miss' room emptied by the end of this week, so I can start moving forward on some of these ideas!

I also want to look into stencils, to possibly add a little flair to the walls, without going too crazy. I'm thinking of painting in the same color as the rest of the room, but in a high-gloss finish, and using this stencil.

So, what do you think? :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

10 Goals for the Week: Week 2 Progress

Tomorrow is the last day of the week, so I'd better get going! I've made decent progress so far, and am confident I can finish all of my goals. There are still some that I want to improve on more, so they'll reappear next week (i.e. I went on multiple walks with Liam, but definitely not daily) but, overall, I'm quite pleased!

After I post this update, I intend to work on #5, my "nesting" project list. Tomorrow, I will clean out my vehicle, and possibly even vacuum it and get it washed (which would only make sense, as it's due to rain at some point tomorrow). I'm hoping to wrangle My Love's help in accomplishing #2 and #10, as assembling the playscape will go faster if I have assistance, and it's probably best if a preggo doesn't move furniture around by herself.

Family/Marriage/Mothering Goals
1. Write out a schedule for Little Man
2. Assemble playscape in backyard

Personal Goals
3. Wake up early enough to get a quality quiet time in before the insanity of the day begins
4. Go on a daily walk (with Little Man, if possible)
5. Make a list of "nesting" projects, and put them in priority order

Homemaking Goals
6. Compile a list of meals I cook, and make a meal plan for the month.
7. Do at least one load of laundry a day, and PUT IT AWAY.
8. Clean out car

Business Goals
9. Implement/follow September Budget
10. Take pictures of and post furniture/items to get rid of on craigslist/online to sell.

I'm really looking forward to my goals for next week - My Love has a little more free time than usual, so I'm hoping we can knock out a bunch of things around the house that have been on our to do list for a while. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Crib Bedding Part 2

On my quest for design ideas, I stumbled across some other bedding options that I like. I don't know if I'll add them officially to the options list, but I wanted to share them, and why I like them...mainly to get them out of my head, and in writing.

This is a cute, appliqued Pink Birdie Flower crib set. I like the design, the colors, and all the different components of the set.

Though I like the last one, this Banana Fish Lovebird set is one I like better...I think. I like that there are different colors incorporated into it, and I like the simplicity of the pattern. As I've said before, I like girly without being overkill, and I think this bedding set fits into that category.

I don't know that I would say this is my favorite of the three, but I really like it. It's called Owlphabet (which is hilarious, and totally my sense of humor), by Laura Ashley. I like it most for the patterns on the bed skirt, sheets, and curtains. It gives a lot of wiggle room as to what additional accents I could bring in.

I think I'm still leaning toward one of the bedding sets from Option #2, but I'll be thinking about it this week, comparing my ideas to the art I found, and narrowing it down...hopefully :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

10 Goals for the Week: Week 2

As I've mentioned before, I was inspired by Money Saving Mom to set 10 Goals for the Week, and see what I could accomplish. I started with this list, and had to edit it slightly. I ended up with this.
As it was a holiday weekend, and I had some health issues, I cut myself a break and gave myself an extra day to get more stuff done. I'm rather pleased with my progress, though I obviously didn't meet all of my goals. Here is my list. The items that are marked through were completed.

Family/Marriage/Mothering Goals
1. Sit and play/read/interact with Little Man with no electronics on or around (except music).
2. Go on a walk with Little Man daily.
3. Take a nap, drink a Coke, do SOMETHING to be able to stay awake and have a mini date night with My Love one night this week after Little Man goes to bed!

Personal Goals
4. Wake up and get a minimum 20 minute quiet time in before the insanity of the day begins
5. Read for fun for at least 2 hours this week.

Homemaking Goals
6. Go through LM's clothes, sort them into storage, cycle new clothes down, CLEAN his room, vacuum
7. Do at least one load of laundry a day, and PUT IT AWAY.
8. Finish catching up on laundry so laundry room regains functionality. Blog about it.

Business Goals
9. Finalize September Budget
10. Look into at least 3 different ways of bringing in additional income (i.e. art, multi-level-marketing, and blogging regularly)

I am going to carry over some of the goals that I completely failed to this next week, along with making some new ones. First thing in the morning, I plan on putting away the piles of clean clothes that I washed this week. I also still need to finish up and take pictures of the laundry room, and blog about it. I'm hoping to do that tomorrow, though I might not actually post it tomorrow.

Without further ado, here are this week's goals:

Family/Marriage/Mothering Goals
1. Write out a schedule for Little Man
2. Assemble playscape in backyard

Personal Goals
3. Wake up early enough to get a quality quiet time in before the insanity of the day begins
4. Go on a daily walk (with Little Man, if possible)
5. Make a list of "nesting" projects, and put them in priority order

Homemaking Goals
6. Compile a list of meals I cook, and make a meal plan for the month.
7. Do at least one load of laundry a day, and PUT IT AWAY.
8. Clean out car

Business Goals
9. Implement/follow September Budget
10. Take pictures of and post furniture/items to get rid of on craigslist/online to sell.

Looking forward to seeing how this week goes!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Art Inspiration

Currently, I'm leaning toward leaving the walls dusty purple in the soon-to-be-nursery. In an attempt to find some direction in my thoughts, and hopefully make some progress in finding a theme, I started perusing for inspiration. I found sooo many things, and my brain is even more filled with ideas than it was before. But, as you will see, I think I might have found a piece that has given me a starting place. I'll just have to think on it a bit longer, and eventually make a decision.

The first print that caught my attention is called Water Lily Shadows by Jan Weiss. I love the colors, but think it might be a little "mature" for a nursery.

This next one is very pretty. Summer Patterns Tryptych. I like the different colors, and the patterns. Something about it is a little more subdued than I was planning, but the concept is nice.

When I found it, I was hoping that Bears the Question would be part of a series, or would be clear about who the artist was, so I could find similar prints. I love the style of it - sort of resembles Eric Carle, in my opinion. But, as far as I can find, it's the only one.

Then, there are some other prints that aren't of the same series, or by the same artist, but would be cute if put in the room. Like these, for instance:

I really liked this series of photographs of a fairground by Zee Longenecker. A carnival-type theme would be fun, colorful, and give me a lot of freedom in choosing accents.

I discovered this really strange artist, Lora Zombie -- there are only two prints that I felt would be nursery "appropriate," but they're still very unconventional. They're colorful, and I really like the style, but I'm uncertain as to whether it'd really be a good idea to put them in an infant's room :) Regardless, they're awesome.

I also really liked the scribble-like quality of these prints, a series by artist Irena Orlov. They're bright, colorful, and somehow childish without being cheesy.

This might be the cutest thing ever. Yes, I know it's an elephant. Also, I'm not positive that it will go with the wall color, but I might have to figure out how to get it to work.

This final one might be my favorite, though I'm not entirely sure why. It's Lover Birds Tryptych. I like the style, I like the colors, and I think it would be a great focal point in the room.

So, what do you think? Do you like any of these ideas more than the other?

Nursery Option Changes

I might have made a mistake. Perhaps.

I went to to try to get some inspiration for Little Miss' nursery. I've been sort of stalled in my creative process regarding which direction to go. As I shared with you, I thought I had it narrowed down to three options (Option #1, Option #2, Option #3). This may not be the case anymore...or, not exactly.

Though I haven't officially decided (shocker, right?), I think I've ruled out Options #1 and #3. It's a tad ironic, since #1 was the bedding I fell in love with years ago. But, I thought that my main aversion to going with Option #1 was that I'd have to repaint the bedroom we'll be using for the nursery. So, I pretended that wasn't an issue. I tried to imagine that someone came up to me and said, "You have won a contest, and you get to pick whatever you want for your nursery!" followed by, "We will pay for all paint and materials, and will hire painters to paint the room for you." When I ran that scenario in my head, I still didn't jump at the Sweet Sunshine bedding. I mean, I still think it's gorgeous, but I realized that I am drawn to rooms with more color in them. Like these:

I like the variety, the pops of color, the fun sort of atmosphere it creates. I also like how, even though there are many different colors, there are several that are more central to the design theme. For example, the first image is primarily aqua, yellow, and pink. The second one is blue, lime green, and orange. So, by focusing on a few colors, it doesn't get too out of hand, but avoids being monotonous.

Anyway, I decided to peruse art intended for nurseries, to attempt to find some inspiration, and start leaning in a direction. I found a LOT (hahaha, ALOT) of amazing things.

I've also been poking around etsy, to see what sort of custom crib bedding combinations I can find, and see if any of that gives me an idea. Currently, it's really just giving me price tag shock, but I'm going to keep looking.

Anyway, expect a post soon about the artwork that I found that might just have done the trick to inspire me. There is one piece in particular that I might be leaning toward as the thematic starting point, but there are so many options! Hopefully you're still interested in the process!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Saved by the Holiday Weekend?

I've been working on my 10 Goals of the Week, and was originally going to call today the end of my week. I know that, technically, it is. However, I've done something redonkulous to my back, and am occasionally hindered from functioning as I normally do. Given that, I'm giving myself until tomorrow to try to finish as much as I can of my first week's goals. I hope you don't feel cheated.

One thing I made major progress on this weekend, and have well exceeded, in fact, was my goal to read. I'm hoping to complete an entire book by the end of the night that I started yesterday. Mmmm, I love to read! I know it's a bit strange and melodramatic, but I feel like part of my soul is back in the right place, after having been able to escape into the ink and paper world of somewhere else for a little while. I can't wait to finish the book -- it feels like forever since I've done that! The book I'm reading is called Ladies' Night, by Mary Kay Andrews.

It's a fluffy read -- though, I feel like she had her thesaurus handy when she was writing this one (I've read most of her others as well), trying to beef it up a little. I had to look up three words so far; two because I didn't know them, and one because I thought she used it improperly, but she didn't. I sent her an email in college, offering to proof read her books, but she never responded. I'm sure she didn't appreciate an undergraduate making such an offer, though I meant it in kind. I enjoy her books primarily because they usually take place on or near the east coast. South Carolina wasn't always the best place to live, but it was home for awhile, and I find myself missing it often. Reading about the sunsets on the coast, the Spanish moss dripping down from the trees, sweet tea, fireflies, the ocean, and specific cities I've been to helps me feel a bit closer. Of course, this one takes place in Florida, so it's missing that little piece...but the protagonist is refurbishing an old home on the coastline, and that's right up my alley.

I'm off to read some more, and see how far I can get. I'll resume my other goals tomorrow, and have a post letting you know of my final progress. Tuesday, we'll see what week #2's goals will be! G'night!