Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nursery Resources

As promised, here is my list of sources for everything in our nursery.

Crib: Sparrow Crib by Oeuf in grey. Gift from my parents. (We ordered through Amazon. It arrived in 2 days.) 

Crib Mattress: Naturepedic, No Compromise Organic Cotton Classic 150 Mattress for $259.00 on Amazon 

Crib Sheet: Kumari Garden, Tara in Sun by Dena Fishbein (fabric), made by me (tutorial coming soon!). Fabric from Hawthorne Threads.  Unfortunately, this fabric is no longer available.

Crib Skirt: Capri in Popsicle Stick by Waverley (fabric), made by me (tutorial coming soon!). I purchased the fabric from, as I mentioned in this post.  The price was great, but it was a hassle. At first they told me they didn’t have a single piece of fabric. Then when I finally convinced them to ship two pieces that added up to the yardage I needed, they shipped the wrong colorway! As it turns out, the popsicle stick colorway was available in the yardage I needed and the return process was very easy. But I still never received the matching thread I ordered.

Crib Blanket: gift from and knitted by Gavin’s Nana (Jack’s mom)

Sea Turtle Wall Decal: Leen the Graphics Queen, designed by me (more about this soon) 

Changing Table: already had this. Jack sanded it down and repainted it in Winter Snow by Benjamin Moore (Aura line). We are huge fans of Ben Moore Paint and this shade of white is so soft --like a blanket. 

It used to look like this (that was a horrible DIY mistake!): 

Before that it looked like this (horrible photo. The natural wood was nice, but the veneer was peeling):

Changing Pad & Cover: Off the shelf at Buy Buy Baby. The pad is fine, but the cover is terrible. The fabric got all stretched out, has no elasticity to it, and does not stay on the pad anymore. I’ll be making a new one soon. Stay tuned.

Book Shelves: Made by Jack. Paint is Winter Snow by Benjamin Moore (Aura line). The brackets came from the paint store and were super cheap. So cheap, in fact, that one is bent (how I didn’t notice this when I bought them I’ll never know). I considered spray painting them yellow, but I didn’t want to highlight the imperfection. Eventually I’ll probably change them out for something with a little more heft and design. Like these from Anthropologie. 

Yellow Wooden Duck Puzzle (on shelf): Mine from when I was little

Boy & Girl Bookends: gift from my aunt

Curtains: Chipper Slub Corn Yellow by Premier Prints, Thermal lining came from Jack B’s on Fabric Row (S 4th Street) here in Philly. They have the best selection and prices for decorator weight fabric that I’ve found locally. Oh yeah, and I made the curtains! I used the same method as I used for our living room curtains.  As I mentioned in that post, thermal lining is made with a rubber backing while true blackout lining is coated with lead. Jack B’s carries both, but I did not want to introduce lead into our nursery so I went with the thermal. Make sure you ask at the fabric store what the coating is when you ask for thermal lining. Sherry from Young House Love replied to me in a comment on her blog that the “blackout” lining in their nursery curtains is actually thermal lining purchased from JoAnn’s (they apparently only carry the thermal, non-leaded variety).

Paper Lantern: Ikea. Jack added a toggle light switch from our local hardware store to the standard cord (also from Ikea), which is way more convenient than unplugging the cord to turn the light off. Why don’t Ikea cord kits come with toggle switches in the first place?

Eames Chair: This used to be in Jack’s mom’s house and was gifted to us as a wedding gift. Jack covets it and is very jealous that I’ve spent so much time in it over the last 5+ months nursing Gavin. Little does he know that this will be my reading chair for life! And aside from the fact that it’s not a rocker, it is the perfect nursing chair.

Teddy Bear Blanket: Lauren Celeste, gift from my cousins 

Yellow and White Quilt: gift from Jack’s mom. Don’t you love how it pairs so well with the curtains? Total coincidence! I had already ordered the fabric when we got this quilt.

Grey Duvet: Crate and Barrel from a few years ago

Bedspread: Avery Bedspread in Teal, Crate & Barrel (color no longer available)

Bedframe: Ikea. Eventually I will paint this yellow so that it resembles my inspiration photo seen here

Pillow shams: Capri in Popsicle Stick by Waverley (fabric), made by me

Bird Pillow: Birds in Pink colorway by Galbraith & Paul (fabric), made by me (fabric purchased at the Galbraith & Paul Sample Sale last year) 

Boppy Pillow Cover: Marimekko (fabric), made by me. Fabric purchased by Jack’s aunt at Crate&Barrel when the store located in the old TAC building in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass. was closing. So sad. L That was the best Crate&Barrel. (I know they’re all the same, but this particular one with a multi-level glass fa├žade just shone like a light box at night. The displays paired with draping Marimekko fabric was irresistible. Seriously, I think we went in there every weekend just to poke around. It explains why we have such a plethora of kitchen stuff.)

Monkey Toy Bin: 3 Sprouts Organic Storage Bin, Amazon 

Christening Gown: Family heirloom

Growth Chart: gift from Mahre (my mom). I think she found it at Homegoods.

Striped boxes: Ikea. They were hot pink and I recovered them in the Waverley fabric, but now the lids don’t fit properly…

Nightstand: Shaker-style table in maple with birch inlay, made by Jack’s stepfather

Wow. This is a ridiculously long post! So, what do you like or dislike about our nursery? What did you do in your nursery? What questions can I answer?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Before & After Series: The nursery revealed (finally!)

This post has taken forever and a day to get together. For the last six months, the nursery was never quite finished and therefore not ready for photographing. There was always something I wanted to change, add, or make, which held up the publishing of the post. But I won't bore you with excuses, let's get to the Before & After!


Initially, we thought that the rear bedroom would be the nursery and we would stay in the front bedroom. Well, when the crib arrived in the mail and we shoved the guest bed (which we planned to keep in the nursery) up against the wall, we learned that we only had a 12 inch gap between the two. Holy cramped, Batman! That was just not going to work. Plus, there was no room for a nursing chair, which meant I would end up nursing in the guest bed, inevitably fall asleep, and roll over and crush the baby! (We've since gotten over this fear.) Here's a look at the cramped rear bedroom:

Then we had a conversation with our neighbors who were due to have a baby just six weeks before us. Their rowhouse is nearly identical to ours and they set up their nursery in the front bedroom. Ah ha! We decided to try it out and no sooner than we moved all the furniture that we realized we could move the Eames chair upstairs to be my nursing chair. Yes!

You could probably do without all this narrative so I'll skip ahead. Here is the gratuitous before and after reveal:



Here are some additional detailed images:

Our Eames chair  (not a reproduction) and my Boppy pillow with custom Marimekko cover

Thermal-lined curtains made by me

All the little critters

Gavin's Christening gown

Close-up of the crib sheet and crib skirt both made by me

My little guy --happy as a clam!

 Hope you enjoyed the tour! In my next post, I'll list all the sources.

Update: See all our resources here.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 Resolutions

It seems that another year has rolled by and I am posting my new year's resolutions. This past year has definitely gone by fast! Guess that comes with having a baby. Though the two weeks at the end of my pregnancy when I had left work and we were just waiting for the little guy to arrive were torturously long.  Here I was at 41 weeks:

What you can't tell form this photo was how horrifically swollen my feet and ankles were. Seriously, my toes looked like little sausages. Not pretty! Of course, this little guy was totally worth everything:

But I digress. This is a post about resolutions. So here goes:

The Barnwood Urbanist's Ten Goals for 2012

1.     Declutter: goal is to actually have some room in the basement to sort laundry. (Seriously, I have to make a goal for this? What happened to me?)
·             Donate clothes, baby swing, household goods to Goodwill
·             Donate books to Free Library of Philadelphia
·             Give hand-me-downs to relatives
2.     Make baby food
·             Read Mommy Made before Gavin starts on solids. Which will be soon. Very soon.
·             Donate breastmilk. I've got a stash in the freezer that is way more than we need.
3.     Blog
·             Publish 3 posts per week
o   Develop weekly or monthly “series”
o   Commit to posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
·             Participate in “linky parties”
·             Monetize blog (no sooner than August 2012)
4.     Be musical
·             Learn Guitar (This was my Christmas gift from Jack!)
·             Practice Flute
·             Introduce Classical and Jazz to Gavin
5.     Exercise for cardio and to tone and build back muscle
·             Yoga 1x per week to start. Add more as time permits.
·             Run 1x per week to start. Add more as time permits.
·             Commit to the 200 sit-ups and 100 push-ups training routines
6.     Clean our house. Related to #1. If the house is less cluttered will I spend less time dealing with clutter and have a little more time to actually clean?
·             Commit to a regular cleaning schedule. The haphazard schedule is not working. Really, we have to have guests coming over to have a clean house. (We are not really dirty people. It's just tough finding the time between a baby, dog, and I'm back to work full time now.)
7.     Go to bed early (or at least earlier than 11). Goal is to be in bed at 10 pm.
8.     Watch less TV. This will actually help with #7 above.
9.     Pay off one credit card
10.  Win the lottery. Hey, a girl can have one lofty goal right? And hey, you can’t win if you don’t play. ;)

What about you? What are your resolutions for 2012?

This post is linked to
Nesting Place

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Long lines

Just got back from the Post Office where I waited in line for 45 minutes. I realize it's the holiday season and it's the busiest time of year for the USPS, but with a constant line stretching at least 30 people do you think they could have more than one person behind the counter? Good grief!

Recent hints
Dec 15 - I can do it with Ann, but I can't do it with John. (Ann and John are Jack's aunt and uncle.)

Dec 17 - "Did I say it's made out of metal? It's made out of wood."*

Dec 18 - "I have told at least two lies."*

Dec 19 - The letter E.

Dec 20 - The letter A.

*Direct quotes (so the "I" references Jack, not me).

Five Holiday Lessons for the New Mom

I don't know how some people do it. They've got a kid or two or three, a full time job, daily blog posts, and they still manage to decorate their houses for Christmas and then link up their photos to multiple "linky parties." I barely managed to get a wreath on our door last night before guests came over for dinner. Not to mention that our cellar is packed full of stuff and it's nearly impossible to even reach our Christmas decorations. I really need to have a yard sale in the spring.

I suppose I made it worse by suggesting that I make some of our Christmas gifts. And that I did not start said projects until this past Sunday. If you recall how long it took for me to sew our living room curtains (more than 3 months!), this was not the wisest decision I've ever made.

Holiday Lesson #1
If you're going to make gifts, start in early November or even October.

Holiday Lesson #2
When making holiday gifts, KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Do not attempt to make piping-edged pillows (hope my sister is not reading this) that you've never done before. Stick to kid-friendly crafts like this footprint reindeer (below from

Holiday Lesson #3
When you think of a good idea for your husband (the best gift-giver you've ever met) --even if it's June-- buy it immediately and save it for Christmas. It will take the stress out of getting him the perfect gift come Christmastime. Either that or write it down forgodssake!

Holiday Lesson #4
Take your holiday card picture in the fall like everybody else does, design and order your cards early to get the discount, and stop belaboring the thing and making it such a big deal. Nobody cares how "designer-y" your Christmas card looks or how witty your photo caption is. Great Aunt Jo just wants a damn picture of your kid before New Year's!

Holiday Lesson #5
Forget the dream of making cookies this year.

Recent hints about my gift from the World's Most Fabulous Gift Giver (aka my husband):
Dec 10 - It was featured in an Apple advertisement.
Dec 12 - Ron Burgundy (aka Anchorman) would LOVE the material.
Dec 13 - Her name is Jasmine and she's Japanese.
Dec 14 - It was purchased from a small business on "Small Business Saturday." (I'm positive the small business is in our neighborhood because Jack was only gone about 30 minutes when he went out to get it and he did not take the car.)

Friday, December 9, 2011

More hints

Hint of the day for December 9th:

It comes in many different styles -all with silly names. This one in particular can be used to describe our child.

All I can say is what?!

Hint of the day from this past Wednesday, December 7th was: it's made of metal.