Nursery Tour

I just posted the nursery tour on Becoming-Mom.. hope you like it!

Click here for Nursery Tour

P.S. I would have posted it here, but I wanted to try this nifty new simple viewer/flicrk gallery plug-in and I was afraid it would conflict with another plug-in I have installed.

If you use wordpress and want an incredibly simple to install and use gallery plug-in that can display flickr images by sets.. you definitely want to check out SimpleFlickr. Josh Gerdes is the man.

Feltie Mobile Finished

Finally!

Unfortunately, the pictures are quite bad.  Jeff’s nesting instinct kicked into high gear yesterday as fear of the baby coming home to a filthy house motivated him to do a top to bottom cleaning.  By the time he was done and had a second to hang the mobile, the beautiful day light had been replaced by dark ominous skies thanks to the series of summer thunderstorms we’ve been having lately.

Between the lack of light and the fact that the mobile doesn’t stay still, it was very hard to get a good shot, even with my shmancy new camera!

Finished Felt Mobile

You don’t get a good view of the individual pieces, so here they are before I had assembled the mobile:

The monkey is the same monkey from the mural. The leaf and the bird were inspired by the leaf and bird that appear in the crib bedding:

The Lion and the Elephant were taken from some illustrations Jeff did, and they obviously tie into the whole “safari” theme. I’m not sure where the cloud came from :)

To make the mobile itself, I used a piece of embroidery thread that matched the animal and simply tied it around one of two dowels that I crossed and bound together. Doesn’t get much easier than that!

So now that the mobile is complete, the nursery is officially done… Full “nursery tour” tomorrow..

From the Files Friday - Our Old Florida Apartment

From the files Friday started when I bought a new computer that came with a little widget to the right of my screen that searches for any image on the hard drive and displays it in a slideshow. Every so often it unearths an image that has been burried so deep in my file system for so many years that I forgot it existed, so I’ve decided to post one or more of these every Friday.

These images were taken July 29, 2004, shortly after we moved to Fort Lauderdale from NYC.

Wow, it’s interesting to see how much my design style has changed! Clearly I had been watching waaaay too much Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Look at the orange canvas  “wall art”. Thom Felecia would be proud. But now it makes me want to puke. Orange puke:

We still have the same sofa, but the rug and leather ottoman are currently on our porch.

The “Tod Oldham for Lay Z Boy” armchair was also relegated to the porch until recently when my growing size necessitated that we could no longer comfortably share the couch so we moved it into the living room.  The horizontal Ikea Billy Bookcase is now being used as shelving in the basement.

The Dining Nook. We still have the same dining room table and chairs, as well as the fabulous Justink 7B painting.

It’s funny how literal my design interpretation seems to be. I thought “Florida” and went all mango colored. Then when we bought our house which was built in the 20’s I wanted everything antique and shabby chic!

Ah well, at least a FEW of the things we bought made the transition OK, thank god for the neutral couch ;)

My New Portrait Lens

It arrived yesterday, (yay!) and almost made me husbandless.

See, I hadn’t told Jeff I was ordering it - not because I was trying to hide it, but just because it didn’t come up.. so he wasn’t happy when he saw the link to it at the bottom of my last post. Happily for me, fate intervened and just at that moment his coworkers threw him a surprise baby shower!

How sweet is that? We got some really nice loot, plus a $500 gift card to Babies R Us, which is so incredibly generous and useful I almost cried when he called to tell me.

So now I have the awesome camera body plus portrait lens and no subject (and very little light because it’s been pouring non stop since Tuesday!)

Luckily sammy indulged me long enough this morning so I could try the new lens out on her:

See how her nose is perfectly in focus but everything in the background is blurred (bokeh in fancy photographer speak) ?

That’s exactly the set up I want to be able to take great portraits of Jasper!

Even inanimate objects look more artistic through this super fast lens, like this close up of Jasper’s angel mobile:

So now that I hope to be taking some nice pictures, I need to figure out what to do with them all. I know about making photobooks using services like “My Publisher” but what I really wanted was to sort of make my own baby journal book.. like Jasper’s first year. But instead of filling out another pre-published book I want to do my own layouts.

I started researching the whole idea and came across the phenomenon known as “Digital Scrapbooking.”

Yes, I am aware I am probably the last person to know about this, but its this whole new world for me and I’m really excited to try it!

In my initial zeal upon discovering digi scrapping, I saved some inspiration images, here are just two layouts (sorry I can’t credit the designers) that I had saved so that if you hadn’t heard of it either you’ll know what I’m talking about:

tigz_joy.jpg

nett_kisses.jpg

The whole idea is so right up my alley.. it’s computer based, you don’t have to make a mess and have suitcases full of papers, ribbons etc and the possibilities are endless! Oh, wait, that’s not such a great thing for me.. it will probably take me weeks to do one page because those of you that have been reading this blog from the beginning know that I stress and agonize over every single design decision! Still, it won’t keep me from trying :)

Gotta Love a Rebel..

canon eos 450 digital rebel

The Canon Digital Rebel xsi that is (aka the new love of my life).

Yes, after years of lusting after a dslr of my very own, I finally bit the bullet and spent the big bucks to get a REAL camera that arrived yesterday!

(BTW, I decided to buy it from an online store called Buydig.com and it was great. Price was better than amazon, plus no tax to NY and free overnight shipping because they are in NJ and their standard shipping only takes one day to NY.)

The imminent arrival of becoming-baby was the final shove I needed to get off the fence. Any day now I could go into labor and then poor Jasper’s first pictures would be documented in crappy snap shots! Definitely can’t have that.

As I got my hands on it yesterday and began to play with the different settings I realized how long it had been since I had the freedom to set my own aperture, or shutterspeed.. and made me remember how much I used to love photography when I had a film SLR.  My Olympus OMPC and I took a lot of great photographs together back in the day (Even a few album covers for fellow musicians that I’m pretty proud of) and I remember the magic of getting those first contact sheets back..the anticipation of having NO idea how the images would turn out, it was like stabbing in the dark compared to today’s instant gratification of checking the LCD screen immediately after depressing the shutter!

I did toy briefly with the idea of starting to use film again when my mom found the old Olympus while cleaning out a closet last week.  It was tempting, but the reality of having to buy and store film, pay for prints and then have to scan them in to my computer to manipulate them in photoshop is ultimately too prohibitive. But mostly when it comes to the idea of photographing our first born child, I don’t want to take any chances. I want to make SURE I have the shot. From what I hear they grow up too fast to do otherwise.

Now I’m just waiting on this amazing portrait lens to arrive, and of course the little star subject himself.. please let it be soon!

From the Files Friday - July 4th 2003

From the files Friday started when I bought a new computer that came with a little widget to the right of my screen that searches for any image on the hard drive and displays it in a slideshow. Every so often it unearths an image that has been burried so deep in my file system for so many years that I forgot it existed, so I’ve decided to post one or more of these every Friday.

Today’s images are from July 4, 2003.

We were living in a bi-level apartment on east 9th street in NYC with two other couples, Jay and Sarah (now parents of six month old baby Daphne) and Justin and Amy. Yes, that’s SIX people in one apartment! Madness.

The best thing about the 9th street apartment by far was the massive (by NYC standards) deck that we took full advantage of in the summers, BBQing almost every night and of course on holidays like the 4th:

Jay, looking like he’s sunbathing. I actually think he’s passed out at this point!

That’s Justin in the Blue shirt in the top right corner. The girl on the guy’s lap in the foreground are Mike & Tracy, parents of 4.5 month old baby Gemma.

Amy & Justin. Justin now lives in Atlanta, and is the artist behind all of the large paintings in our house.

Some things never change, Jeff at the grill as always..

The day after the party was so hot that we went out and bought a kiddie pool for the roof deck. That’s my sister roxanne on the right and Jeff wearing our pool strainer (a colander) on his head. We never used the pool again after that day!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Dwell Studio Nursery Rug Arrives!

Well, our little detour into non-nursery land was rather short lived… But only because the Dwell Studio Zebra Rug we registered for (given to us as a  shower gift from our uber stylish family friend Renee- no, seriously, she is a movie wardrobe stylist) arrived last night!

I LOVE this rug because it’s wool, not one of those awful chemical smelling fake olefin or whatever other synthetic fiber stuff that gives me an instant headache.

Plus, even though the colors are NOT as picture on target.com (as many reviewers pointed out) they turned out just as I hoped they would -  much softer and a perfect match for our color scheme. In fact the darker brown color is remarkably close to the brown of the tree in the monkey mural!

And now for your viewing pleasure:

Most importantly, sammy gives the rug her stamp of approval:

The overall dimensions were actually bigger than I expected based on the reviews, but  it works. The hardwood floors in this room somehow got really scratched up, so the extra coverage is fine even though smaller would have been ok too.

Now I just have to finish the mobile and I’ll post a whole “nursery tour” and then we can forever be done with the nursery posts!

Cottage Porch Light

Lest you all think I am completely incapable of a sentence or thought that doesn’t contain the words “baby” or “nursery”, today’s post is about our porch. Or the lighting on the porch to be precise. Currently, we have the ubiquitous and unimaginative boob light that came with the house.

I don’t have a picture handy of the light, but here’s a recentish pic of one side of the porch for a visual:

And yes, that is what is left of the craigslist vanity! The mirror part has been relegated to the basement :(

Not that it’s super high on our list of priorities (read it may not happen anytime in this century) but I’ve been keeping my eye out for the right pendant light.

I am impressed with this Pottery Barn Filigree Lantern that I first spotted via Renovation Therapy, but I think I want something a bit lighter, preferably brushed nickel maybe?

But wow, you can’t argue with the price, $49.99  marked down from $199!

For some reason I have been stuck lately on the idea of a moravian star pendant, like this one from Ballard Designs:

Unfortunately, at max of 25 watts we might as well use a firefly to light up the porch.

Ballard also has this ceiling light version that is 40 watts that I quite like, but still, 40 watts max is pretty wimpy:

And that’s all I’ve been able to find so far that I like.

If you’ve seen any charming cottage porch like lighting anywhere, please post a link!

Knut & Oliver et al. take Residence

This weekend was all about baby as both of our nesting instincts kicked into full gear.

Aside from purchasing everything we still needed from our registry and taking our first childbirth preparation class on Sunday, we also did some work on the nursery and I washed, folded & put away every tiny item of Jasper’s clothing! Whew.

All we need now is for the target zebra rug to arrive and the nursery will be done (aside from the rewiring project which Jeff has decided to do himself after all.)

First of all, I thought you’d all like to see the changing table area with its adorable new creatures in residence courtesy of Creative Thursday:

I also picked up two sets of the Ikea Kompliment drawer organizers to use in the Hemnes dresser. I’m so glad I did, I highly recommend them especially for baby.. their stuff is so tiny it just gets lost in the drawers otherwise!

Ikea Kompliment Drawer Organizers -perfect size for newborn diapers

Jeff also built shelves into the closet, which has made it so much more functional. Lastly, he raised the curtain rod a few inches. I think we installed the old one before we realized that curtain hardware shouldn’t necessarily be drilled into the window casing. The result was that before, you could actually see the roman shades through the top of the tab tops which really bothered me:

Before with curtain rod in window casing

After, a few inches above casing.

So much better right?

Hope you had a fun holiday weekend!

The Home Stretch

We’ve made some more, albeit slow, progress in the nursery.

The shelf went up:

As did all of the Roman Shades:

(Yes, that is a very bright shade of lime green!)

We didn’t get much that we registered from at our amazing Shower this past weekend, but one of the things we did get was cash with the specific instructions to use it towards this Dwell Studio Zebra Rug:

The reviews on Target said that it is much lighter in person, more of a cream and tan than dark brown and Ivory, which I actually think will look perfect in the nursery. I can’t wait to see it in person!

I also received this beautiful mobile at the shower:

And since I’m still in the process of making my own mobile for above the crib, we hung this one above the changing table.

Speaking of the changing table, the creative thursday prints arrived and were all ready to be hung and photographed last night when Jeff accidentally broke the glass on one of the Ikea Ribba frames (Ikea and me are like oil and water lately.) So that area will need to wait to be photographed until we make it to Ikea this weekend. (fun fun fun).

There is one larger project that needs to be tackled before becoming-baby arrives, which is some electrical rewiring. Like many old houses, the placement of the outlets in our house is perplexing at best. In the baby’s room, there are two outlets on the wall immediately to the left when you walk in where we have the crib, both completely useless to us:

We need an outlet on the other side of the closet door where the lamp and cd player are.

The good news is there is a pull chain light in the closet, so electric can be tapped there, but Jeff is a little worried about doing his own electric, even though I keep pointing out to him that he wired the chandelier in the downstairs powder room to a switch plate. But I see his point. The house burning down with a fire that started in the NURSERY of all places is obviously something to avoid at all costs.

Speaking of costs, any idea what an electrician would charge for this type of job? Having DIYed most things in the house, I’m clueless to what actual professionals charge for these things! Is this the type of thing we can trust a “handyman” type from the pennysaver to do correctly?