Every baby needs a diaper bag, but when it comes to "baby accessories" I prefer for them not to look like they belong to a baby. I don't do pastel blues or frilly pinks. Mr. Noah had two great diaper bags that he used, but unfortunately they both had his first name monogramed on them, making them solely his and his alone. My solution? Make my own. That way it's my preferred style and customized to my needs.
I found this fabric on sale at a nearby Joann's and snatched up two yards of it and a contrasting fabric for lining. It's the same fabric I used for the quilt in our den.
The pattern is my own design, and the entire bag is "padded" with cotton batting. The strap is double padded and quilted for comfort and durability.
The strap is also long enough to be worn cross-body like a messenger bag. That way I don't have to worry about it slipping off of my shoulder constantly while holding a baby and corralling a three-year-old.
I decided to do a squared-cornered base to give the bag overall shape and sturdiness.
I put a simple loop and button closure on it so I could get in and out of it easily. I didn't put any pockets on the inside because, frankly, I'm too lazy to take the time to locate the proper pocket. I usually just toss things into a bag hit or miss.
I made this diaper strap based off of one I received as a gift when Noah was born from this sweet lady. It has a layer of cotton batting in the middle and closes with sew-on Velcro.
I also firmly believe in leaving the house with as little stuff as possible, so I made myself this fold-over clutch to put my belongings in. It also has a square bottom and lining. With all of my stuff in here, I can grab it out and go when I leave the kids in the nursery at church or with a sitter. It slips down into the bag and has plenty room in it for my keys and other essentials. Speaking of keys...
I made myself this little ditty to put on my key chain. Sometimes life is about the simple pleasures after all.
When all was said and done, I was pretty pleased with how everything turned out. There's enough space down in the diaper bag for an extra change of clothes as well (and we Mama's all know how important that little detail is!) and anything else I might dream up on down the road for the remainder of the fabric.
Three years ago when we found out Noah was going to be a boy, I immediately started knitting for him. A few hats and some sweaters. Twenty-one weeks ago when we found out we were having a girl, I went a little crazy in the knitting department. Bonnets, sweaters, blankets, dresses, booties. You name it, I made it. At the time, however, I hadn't been diagnosed with IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction), and didn't know she was going to be so small. So, everything I made for her to wear is way too big. It might fit her in time for cool Spring weather, or maybe even next Autumn. I did want to show you all what I've been working on, though. It's been killing me not to show it for all of these weeks!!
Now, I've already shown you this dress (the bottom edge is just scallop crochet that I made up quickly), but I wanted to share the sweater with you. The pattern is from this Ravelry page, and it's made in some organic cotton leftover from a wrap I made for Noah.
This was the first item I knit up after we learned we were expecting. I made it a little longer than the pattern calls for, so over a t-shirt and some tights it will make a cute tunic. It's made from a wool tweed.
This little shrug is my own design, and I made it from a super soft wool leftover from a sweater I knit for myself a couple of years ago.
This yarn is just about the softest thing in the world. It's Berroco's Weekend, which is cotton, and it works up beautifully. The pattern is from here, and since it's a simple gull lace pattern it's a breeze to finish.
This little bonnet is made with the same teal cotton as the blanket, and I used this pattern. I didn't make my strings the same way the pattern author did, and I also made it a little smaller. When I finished it and blocked it, I realized the knit was so loose it probably wouldn't be very warm or hold it's shape well, so I lined it with white fleece I bought a few years ago and never used.
These little booties are my own design, but since I didn't write anything down or make any notes, I'll probably never be able to duplicate them. I made them from a cotton yarn with little white flower buttons from Joann's.
I have a couple more clothing items finished that I'll share with you in another post. I'd hate to overload you with too much cuteness all in one day.
When I visited with my parents in October, fabric for the curtains wasn't the only thing I came home with. I also picked up these letters for her "name wall", and I got these frames (for a bargain!) to place underneath. The letters are painted in two coats of white semi-gloss. Each frame has a photo of a grandmother or great-grandmother in it. At the time I took these pictures in November I hadn't yet made enlargements of either of Blair's grandmothers' photos, and I'm still looking for a good one of my mother-in-law's mother.
Letters: on sale at Hobby Lobby
Frames: on sale at Michael's
This beautiful lamp was given to us by a dear, sweet friend who I know would wish to remain anonymous. I will allow her that. Isn't this lamp gorgeous?! I love to fill the rooms in our home with a balance of old and new, and I think this piece offsets many of the more "modern" elements in here.
Next up, we have the overhead light. So many homes have these light fixtures in them, and they have neither style nor character. I bought a $26 lamp shade at Lowe's, covered the "cross bars" with jute twine I already had on hand, and attached it to the ceiling with three, small cup hooks. I love the way this looks in here.
And the view from directly underneath.
When writing this in early November, I already had the pennant frame finished but had yet to decide what to do with the empty wall on the right side of the crib. When I post a final before-and-after post of the nursery, I'll show you what I chose.
It was so much fun to see this room come together piece by piece and change by change. When we brought Noah home from the hospital, we brought him into a small, dingy apartment (with a neighbor who had a major drug problem), and put him into a borrowed Pack and Play in the corner of our crowded bedroom. I feel so blessed this time around to have a beautiful, functional space in which to place our new sweet baby and give thanks daily for the opportunity to have this simple but lovely room.
*Note: This post was actually written in November 2012 we when completed the nursery remodel, but I didn't want to share them immediately since we decided to keep the gender of our baby a secret. I figured I wouldn't have the time or energy after our sweet little one joined us to post pictures and share all of the details. Some of the after photos may be different now because of this, and I promise a current post as soon as we are all settled in.*
Blair and I spent four days painting the nursery, hanging curtain rods, and making curtains. I love to paint, however, I was still on rest at the time, so I had to take it slow and let Blair help. We spread it out over several days to make sure I wasn't over-doing it and to accommodate his very busy schedule.
I started early by spray painting the curtain rod I purchased. I loved the bird finials, but hated the finish. I wanted to make sure it had plenty of time to set and off-gas before we brought it in to hang.
Bird Curtain Rod
From Lowe's, painted in Valspar's Golden Maize spray paint
Getting the paint on the walls normally would only have taken me an afternoon, but we spaced it out doing only one wall at a time.
Valspar's Sparkling Sage in flat finish
I absolutely adore how the curtains turned out! I spent a week in October with my parents in Knoxville, and my mom and I went to Joann's together to find fabric. This pattern is nothing like what I originally had in mind, but I'm sooooo glad we found it! It's a twill and stitched up like a dream. Each panel is two yards long and backed with a simple white, flat cotton twin-sized sheet from Wal-Mart. Eventually, I may get some curtain hooks to hold them back, but for now they look so sweet and simple off to the side of the crib.
Made by me with home decor fabric purchased at Joann's
The day after we finished this part of the work, I spent several hours sitting in the rocking chair in here with my knitting. I found that there was a cool, calmness to the room that I truly enjoyed. Before, it was just a cluttered up "office space" catch-all with a paint color that reminded me of our first cruddy apartment. A fresh coat of paint and window dressing made such a huge difference in the overall feel of the room. Blair commented that evening that it might just be his favorite room in the house.
I hope you have enjoyed this part of our little "nursery tour." I'll have some more pictures for you soon!
As promised several times over the last few months, I have some pictures of finished sewing and knitting projects for you. We'll start with some fabric.
When it comes to children's clothing, my philosophy is "If I wouldn't wear it, I won't make them."
You aren't going to find much pink or frill in Miss Kathrynne's closet (and certainly no hair bows), but there will be plenty of sweet little girl things for her to wear once she grows into them.
On a different note, IUGR babies have several milestones to reach in their first few weeks of life, and Miss Kathrynne met another yesterday. She stayed awake for longer than an hour! She made it an hour-and-a-half, actually, and it wore her out so much that she didn't open her eyes until way after 10:00 last night. Here's to progress and little girls!
Oh, me! I went to the doctor Thursday for a routine appointment, and nine hours later we had our sweet baby girl! After being sent to the hospital after some abnormal labs, Miss Kathrynne decided that since we were already there, it may as well happen now. In the short time frame of only 45 minutes, we met our little one. With no time for pain meds or waiting on the doctor, our little girl was delivered by my nurse weighing only 5 pounds at a petite 18 3/4 inches. She's beautiful and precious, and we feel so blessed to have a healthy little one in our arms.
As promised a few days ago, I do have some finished projects to show you, and the first one's up today! We finally had some sunshine here long enough for me to take some pictures, and this may be one of my favorite before and afters ever.
Five years ago, Blair and I bought a bed from a friend, and it came with a homemade upholstered head board. We used that up until this past Spring, when we switched over to an open and more light-friendly one from Blair's parents. We tried to get rid of the original headboard to no avail, so Blair ripped off the fabric and batting to find some really great plywood underneath. The cloth went in the trash and the plywood went to the shed.
Over the summer, I decided I wanted a round table to help fill out our living room. The space in there was just so empty and bare, but I couldn't find a table I really liked. We finally had the idea to use that free piece of plywood. So a couple of days before Christmas, Blair simply cut out a circle and attached it to the top of a side table we already owned. A little batting, fabric, and a few boxes of upholstery nails later we had this:
It makes a huge difference in the room space-wise and function-wise. Mr. Noah loves to work puzzles on it, and it gives the room a visual boost. Best of all, it was free! It's probably not a permanent fixture, but while we have young children in the house, it's soft, round edges are the perfect fit.
We reach full term tomorrow. I don't know where the time has gone. Parts of this pregnancy have seemed so long and drawn out while others have just flown. It's been complicated and had it's problems. We have a very tiny baby on the way due to some growth restrictions. We are excited, however, and can't wait to bring our new little one home. Two weeks at the most. So we're taking the next few days to sit and snuggle and be a family of three for just a little while longer. I don't plan on being present here very much, and my phone stays off for most of the day and all of the evening. I do, however, have several posts already written and ready to share with you once our little one is here. We also have a couple of projects in the works and some that are finished but not photographed (we've had two or three weeks of cloudy, rainy days here).
So here's to quiet, rest, and some last minute prep work to get ready to bring our new baby into the world.
Redundant, right? Not really. Blair and I (well, Blair, mostly) are in the middle of a project that I can't WAIT to show you, but until then I thought I'd ease the wait by showing you something that I haveactually completed. I made it to go with the larger project that Blair is constructing.
I doubt you were expecting a quilt. All you fabulous quilters out there are probably unimpressed, but we love it! It turned out really well. I haven't made a quilt in 8 years, and the last one I did was a patchwork that I cut and pieced and stitched entirely by hand. It was also a queen sized. This is actually a crib-sized/lap throw size, and it's just perfect to sit on the couch right now until it's permanent home is ready (and, no, it won't be in the nursery). I got the fabric at Joann's and loosely used the instructions from here to make it. It took all of three hours, but then, I cheated and stitched the binding on with my machine.