Elephant mobile… FINALLY!

I’m a little late getting this posted but it’s here at last!

I kid you not, I started working to make the perfect elephant mobile for Keelin’s nursery since early into my 2nd trimester. I had the perfect plan laid out, all of my materials chosen {thanks to a fantastmastic sale at JoAnn fabric}, and a vision that was too cute for words. BUT, no matter how many different ways I tried, I couldn’t get it to turn out the way I wanted.  Today I’m going to walk you through ALL of my fails {there were plenty} and finish with a BANG and my FINAL success!

Here goes nothing…

My initial inspiration came from the same bedding photo I mentioned in my elephant painting post back in October.

I loved the geometric elephant shape so much I wanted to turn it into a mobile.  I opted not to get the mobile that came with the snickerdoodle bedding we chose because, while the giraffes were adorable, I wanted to stick with the elephant theme AND I knew I could create something super cute without spending $50.

I grabbed myself a handfull of colorful patterns, cut out my shapes and started sewing.

The beige burlap pattern was a perfect match for the nursery and the multicolored ears seemed like a great way to incorporate a tone of color and stimulation without clashing with the rest of the room.

Unfortunately for me, the type of fabric that I chose just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to.

The edges were fraying, the stitching didn’t look right, and my dream mobile started slipping away each time I would try something different. Finally I realized it wasn’t how I was making the elephants, it was what they were being made out of.  I did some searching online and found almost exactly what I was looking for on the fabulous blog, My Sunrise, Sunshine & Sunset. I shot Mrs Julius an email to get some details and the answer was magically revealed… FELT!

Love the mirror detailing!

As you can see in the photo above I ended up with two mobiles! Keelin loves the one above the changing table and I’m still finding the perfect spot for the second… probably above the crib in some way.

I’m so happy with the way they turned out and so thankful that I found a way to make it happen for WELL UNDER the price of most bedding set mobiles! So much so that I’ve mocked up some other patterns perfect for any nursery! Chicks, paisleys, hearts, stars, clouds, you name it! I’m hoping to start an Etsy shop in the near future and make these for other mommies and soon-to-be mommies.

Until next time…

So what do you think? Would you buy one for your little one’s nursery?

Super Simple Nursery Painting

Look ma, MORE ELEPHANTS!

I know, I know… how can I POSSIBLY add more elephant paraphanalia into the nursery?

JUST LIKE THIS!

Forever ago I scored big time at one of my FREQUENT trips to JoAnn Fabric. They were having a sale on canvas frames and I found a bunch of 4×4 mini-frames for some ridiculously amazing price that I can’t even recall because it was THAT forever ago! I knew I wanted to have a ton of art on the walls in the nursery but didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do just yet so I snagged a handful and waited for inspiration to hit. {This was before we even knew if we were having a girl or a boy so I had plenty of time to decide what to do}

Soon after, the elephant theme surfaced and we learned that it would be a little GIRL joining us, so my mind started buzzing.

We were still in the process of looking for the perfect bedding set and, as some of you might remember, one of our front runners was this set from KidsLine:

Even though the set didn’t end up making the cut, I was still really inspired by the simple shape of the elephants and those adorable pieces of wall art. SO… I put my noggin to work and did a little stealing :) NOT stealing… per say… I actually prefer CLOSELY borrowing.

Using a little computer magic I zoomed in on the wall art and cut out the basic elephant shape. I picked out my colors, primed the 4 canvas frames with a layer of white paint {some of them were a little scuffed up and smudged} and added my own adorable elephant!

I painted each canvas with the elephant peeking out of the bottom left corner, and alternated the colors of their ears so that I could make the ‘pinwheel’ effect as seen in the bedroom set.

It was really simple and only took me about an hour to complete {even with two coats of paint on each elephant}. I love the finished product and found a home for it on a slender piece of wall next to the changing table.

Thoughts?

Until next time…

What’s the last art project you’ve “stolen”?

Nursery Centerpiece…Check!

Happy almost Friday friends! Today is an exciting day on Life in these times… and I’m so happy you’re here to share in the fun.

Okay, it’s probably not THE MOST exciting thing ever, but for me it’s definitely up there!

So here’s the deal: the last time I gave you a glimpse into Keelin’s nursery I also left you with a bit of a teaser at the end of the post. Now it’s time for the full feature presentation!

It’s only the centerpiece of sweet baby girl’s nursery… Keelin’s Crib!

In case you are new or don’t remember from my previous crib post, we chose a Graco Lauren Convertible Crib in white. It is simple, elegant, clean, and perfect for sweet little manatee!

How did we finally decide on such a fantastic, perfect-for-us crib? WELL I’LL TELL YA!

When Z and I began searching for the NUMBER ONE, ALL AROUND, BESTEST CRIB EVER for our little girl we basically looked for 4 things: simplicity, price, convertibility and color. Well, I mainly looked for color. I knew, with the beige and white color scheme I wanted for the room, that a white crib would be ideal. Hubby initially thought we should go for a chocolate-brown but after fully explaining my “vision” he agreed that white would be just fine.

Pretty soon after we announced that we were expecting my parents told us that they wanted to help out by getting us a crib. I was flattered and thrilled and made a point to really get my, or their, money’s worth. We wanted to find something that didn’t cost a fortune but would last well past the “infant years”. Lucky for us {and every other parents-to-be in search of a great deal} the majority of the cribs that are being produced these days come with convertibility options.  This one transitions from crib to toddler bed to day-bed and even a full {bed frame sold separately for the full but how great that you have the option for years down the road!}. Hopefully if we {and she} take good enough care of the framework we’ll be able to utilize one bed for quite a while. And that, my friends, is a deal worth investing in.

Thanks to my favorite DIY couple, the Petersik’s over at Young House Love, I originally was set on getting this beauty:

I loved the “mod” style, the white was perfect, the price was pretty good, the capabilities were vast, it came with great reviews by a couple I fully trust and the storage unit underneath was a HUGE bonus. Seriously I fell head over heels for the under-the-crib drawer and quickly made it a priority for the remainder of our search; especially since we have such limited storage space in the nursery {and entire house} as it is. The only problem with this magnificent crib… it’s only sold at Wal-Mart. Doesn’t seem like much of a “problem”, eh? The thing is, I’m not the one that has beef with good-ol Wally World. In fact, I spent plenty of time strolling its enormous and cluttered isles throughout my college career. We were best buds.  It’s my dear, sweet hubby that has the issue. Z is so ANTI WAL-MART it’s borderline comical. Luckily he didn’t just give me the stiff arm and completely reject the idea all together, but made a compromise that if we couldn’t find another crib that we both loved, with equal quality and pricing, he would agree to making a DREADED Wal-Mart purchase. Lucky for him, we walked right into BRU and straight up to the Graco Lauren and fell in love. We wouldn’t be getting a built-in storage unit but thanks to a little common sense from my mom, I soon realized that I’ll be able to add my own storage {a simple bin or basket} and hide it neatly away beneath the bed skirt! That way when it’s time for Keelin to transition out of crib mode, I’ll still be able to use the storage containers elsewhere in the room/house. Moms are so smart! :)

So the Graco Lauren was the winner and we made the purchase with a great feeling of accomplishment! Even with its numerous capabilities {we realized during assembly that the spring is also adjustable so as she grows and attempts to escape, we can lower the height of the mattress and make it much safer!} and overall awesomeness, it still only ran us a sweet $180. Not too shabby! Especially when you can walk around your local BRU and see cribs costing upwards of $600! With a price tag that heavy I’d expect my crib to change and burp the baby too.

As an additional bonus, it only took a week to get here so impatient ME didn’t have to sit and fidget in anticipation for TOO long! As soon as BRU called to let me know it was in I texted Z to tell him we had plans that evening and they were all about ASSEMBLY! I had heard horror stories of couples having the most difficult time assembling their cribs so I made sure we had plenty of time to work.

Z was super excited to get started…

and we got right down to it! The dogs helped. {and by helped I mean were totally in the way the entire time. But they are cute so we let them stay. It’s about time they learned there’s about to be a new attention hog in the house!}

I tried to document the WHOLE process but I’m not the kind of girl to sit back and let the hubby have all the ASSEMBLY fun so I did my fair share. :) I was shocked at how easy the process was. In NO TIME {and with no complications} we were done!

Then it was my turn to make the bed… er CRIB!

Buster wanted to help. And in doing so, found a new hiding place under the crib skirt! I think it was at this point that the pups started suspecting something is really going to change. They had lots of little pow wows:

TA DA! Keelin’s crib is READY and WAITING for her arrival!

The lighting on this one is a little odd but it gives you a little perspective as to where the crib is in reference to the rest of the room. You can see the railing of the stairs out through the door and the closet is over to the right by the lazy boston terriers. Oh, and the paint cans and paper towels are not part of the finished product! :)

And now I have yet another reason to want to spend ALL of my time in the nursery instead of doing anything else!

So… what do you think? Think Keelin will be satisfied?

Until next time…

Do you have any furniture assembly horror stories or super successes? TELL ME ALL ABOUT IT!

A quick peek into Keelin’s cool and calming room!

There’s not a single thing about this nursery that I don’t absolutely love.

It’s not quite ready for the FULL REVEAL but I thought I would give you another sneak peak of some of the more recent progress. :)

Keelin’s closet… the long white dress on the right is actually a dress for me. My mom found it up in the attic and it’s so beautiful. Vintage! I hope I can put it to good use… perhaps in maternity pictures!?

Above the crib. A few things of ours and plenty of hers. The creepy little wolf on the right is from our friend Dave who said “Keelin will either love this or be terrified of it”. It’s eyes follow you around the room which is definitely hitting high on my creepy-scale but I like to think that he’s watching over the room in protection. :) At least that makes me feel better when I get spooked by him!

a beautiful glider we found on craig’s list in perfect condition, along with a few storage baskets and two grandma-knit blankets. The one on top was my blanket when I was a baby

soft and sweet blankets! noticing a theme with all the baskets?

This nursery is turning out to be everything I ever dreamed it would be… and hasn’t sent my bank account screaming for safety! The color is so warm and soothing, I find myself just sitting in there looking around. It’s definitely my favorite room in the house and the perfect place to go after a long tiring day. I hope Keelin finds it to provide the same calming sense of peace when she’s finally here!

I know that’s a bit of a tease but it is just a taste to keep you coming back for more! And trust, me there’s plenty more!

Until next time…

New Nursery Update!

Happy Monday friends!

I hope everyone survived Irene with little to no damage to your homes and yards! We were fortunate enough to not get even a single gust of wind from Ol’ Irene. My parents came down from VA on Friday and bypassed the storm for the weekend. It was quite surreal to be out shopping on a GORGEOUS day in Georgia, without a single cloud in the sky, knowing that Irene was laying the smackdown up north. I mean seriously Mother Nature… what put your panties in such a twist that you felt the need to send earthquakes, fires, floods and hurricanes to the east coast all in one week? Boo, hiss.

But enough nature bashing, onto a more important topic… SWEET BABY KEELIN!

I am the type of person who gets overly excited about things like sheets, curtains and towels so it’s not a shocker that I just about peed my pants this weekend when mom set out to BRU on a little shopping adventure that ended in us ordered Keelin’s crib and bringing home her bedding!

SQUEEEE! It’s so adorable.

But before the big reveal, a little back-story on how the final decision was made. In terms of the crib, started by seeking some advice from my all-time favorite DIY couple, Sherry and John Petersik at Young House Love. Their ability to find the best products for the best price, at the best quality is UNCANNY and I wanted to make sure I made a smart decision. I did a lot of searching for a crib that was in our budget and could last us well past Keelin’s toddler years. A good majority of cribs now are convertible so it was easy to find something that fit our taste and, with sweet hubby’s help, we finally decided on this one:

simple, clean and convertible!

Graco Lauren Classic Crib in White. Nothing too fancy, just enough to keep baby girl safe and sound! *As a tip for others who are crib shopping… make sure you actually visit places like BRU and test out the cribs. By test out I do NOT mean jumping inside and seeing how much weight and wriggling they can handle, but make sure you experiment with leaning over the edge as if you’re picking your little nugget up. It was a helpful hint that came in handy when we were shopping around.*

Now time for the bedding story!

I wanted something fairly neutral since falling in love with my beige & white paint choice but so many of the sets I found seemed to be either WAY too embellished {and WAY too expensive} or far too plain. Baby girl DOES deserve a little something special after all!

For a while I was leaning toward this adorable elephant set from KidsLine…

too precious!

…but the more I looked at it the less in love I felt. Don’t get me wrong, the elephants are just what I was looking for but the more I contemplated actually purchasing the set, the more I just wasn’t seeing the green fitting in well enough with my cream-theme. Plus even though it was listed in the “gender neutral” category, I still felt it said “boy” more than anything else. {Hello, my name is Sara and I put way too much thought into these things}

So, needless to say the elephants were out {but don’t worry, there are, and will be PLENTY of elephants elsewhere!} and I decided I wanted something less focused on an image or character and more on a pattern. So after plenty of google searches for “beige crib bedding”, “neutral nursery bedding” and “baby bedding that doesn’t make my eyes bleed” I found the winner!

Like I said before… SQUEEEEE!

I absolutely LOVE it. It’s CoCaLo Snickerdoodle Dream with Me and it’s currently in stock at BRU.

Now I know some of you might be thinking, “Hold the phone mommy-to-be… those certainly don’t look like ELEPHANTS… what about your elephant theme? Are you going all jungle on us?”

Nay nay friends. I do realize that the animal inspiration for this bedding is, in fact, a giraffe {another personal favorite} but I decided to stick with JUST the bedding set for its patterns and colors. Although the 6-piece set {which includes a quilt, bumper, fitted sheet, dust ruffle, security blanket and sleep sack} does come with a few giraffe embellishments, I couldn’t resist the cuteness!

It’s a little hard to see from the photos but one of my favorite parts of the bedding is that each of the different quilted patterns is a different texture. I thought it would be a fun bit of stimulation for Keelin and something fun to play with.

So now that the crib AND bedding are taken care of, I can focus on more fun decorating! Mom and I got a lot done over the weekend {pictures coming soon} I’m already working on a number of fun crafty projects that I can’t wait to share!

SO… tell me what you think!

Until next time…

What are some other tips moms would give for bedding and crib shopping? Did you learn that splurging on a more expensive crib was worth it in the long haul?