Tuesday, June 23, 2015

the year in quiltmaking


Hormones affect women differently in their late stages of pregnancy. Some obsessively clean, others rearrange the nursery several times, and I felt the need to make multiple baby quilts for my little one.

Does a baby need three quilts? Um - nope. But that didn't matter.

And as time is flying by, I thought I'd take a second to document them here. I had already cut triangles for the quilt above years ago and had set the pieces aside. After Orson was born, I noticed the bag of cut fabric sitting on the shelf and realized if I didn't do something with the pieces at that moment, the bag would continue to collect dust for years to come. 

I had originally planned for the quilt to be alternating between 4 colors - the maroon, hot pink, a light mauve and cream. When the recipient of the quilt changed to a little boy, I ditched the mauve and cream and threw in some scraps to add some interesting pops of color. Hot pink is a nontraditional color to include in a boy's quilt, but pairing it with the orange and maroon feels really modern and gender neutral.

Triangle quilts. In theory this seemed like such an easy pattern to knock out, but even though I was careful in cutting, those blocks didn't line up. Not even close in some places - oh, well. For the most part, I was half watching a Girls marathon while the baby was snoozing in his bouncer, so needless to say, my concentration was compromised.

But in the end, the quilt ended up perfectly matching a lion pillow I had made for him a month earlier and a pillow which rests in his nursery rocking chair. The binding and quilt back are a bright chartreuse. 

The swiss cross quilt was a test in patience and another project I had abandoned earlier only to reinvigorate it a month before Orson was born. I had started cutting strips for this in early 2012 but set it aside for one reason or another (probably boredom honestly). 

I had been eyeing the sweetest wishbone fabric in the store for months but couldn't imagine a project that would give me reason for its purchase. Using it as the quilt's backing was ideal, as it serves of a reminder of the countless wishes and dreams in our little boy's future.

Baby quilts are a funny thing because you're not supposed to place any blankets or loose articles in the crib due to risk of SIDS. I had every intention of hanging it over his crib as a decorative piece, but was overcome with paranoid thoughts of the quilt falling off the wall in the middle of the night and smothering my baby as he slept. Those hormones are real, I tell ya.

And lastly, a quilt documenting a time in our life and the city we called home for the past 15 years. It's not like we moved to another state (we're 15 minutes away), but it became a project I started obsessing over and had to follow through on to see its results.

The city design is one of my illustrations and I'm attracted to the idea of taking a flat image and reimagining it in a different form. One you can bend and hold – one you can wrap yourself up in at night.

I used an online service to digitally print the fabric and they shall remain nameless as I'm less than thrilled with the results after washing the fabric just once. Significant fading.

Fabric aside, the thought was to stitch around the borders of each element, creating a line drawing out of thread on the backside of the quilt. 

The result is what I had in mind, but I cursed my way through it. 

I won't be starting another quilt for quite some time and it felt so good to wrap up unfinished projects, even if they ended up being considerably smaller than the original plan. And best of all, the recipient of said quilts seems to be enjoying them.


Friday, May 08, 2015

settling in

It's been a year and a half since we moved into the 1977 suburban brick ranch and as you guys probably know, home renovations with two small children are no easy task.

We've managed to complete one more room in addition to Orson's nursery - this being the living room. And ironically, a "living room" is a space I vowed I didn't need – a waste of space I claimed – but it's become my favorite room of the house. Full of light, void of electronic devices, it's the perfect place to sip my morning coffee and read.






Thursday, May 07, 2015

here comes the son


This curly haired boy has such a sunny disposition.

Wide-eyed, curious and practically running at this point, he keeps me on my toes. 

As does this one, who just lost his first tooth a month ago. Crooked bite and full of energy.

Monday, January 19, 2015

balance


It recently dawned on my that I spend more waking hours at work than with my baby boy and it's kinda bumming me out.

I mean, LOOK AT THIS FACE.

I spent last weekend organizing our house and creating a system meant to streamline my/our lifestyle so I can still work towards everything I want but still have some sort of balance. I'll let you know how it goes, but I'm entering very optimistically. It's the daily juggle of good health, creative fulfillment, and most importantly BEING a great mom that's a constant struggle. Throw in a full-time job and there are very few hours left to keep all those balls in the air.

But I'm not complaining. BECAUSE LOOK AT THAT FACE. I just wish I saw it more.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

little lambs


Avery on the left and Orson on the right - both at 5 months. Everyone always remarks how much Orson favors his brother, so I decided to do a little comparison shot. And I guess I can see the similarities, but their distinct personalities are what's really captured in this image. Avery the strong-willed and Orson the easy-going.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A nursery for baby Orson

To be perfectly honest, when I found out we were expecting another baby, the thrill of designing another nursery was an added bonus. But with moving expenses and medical bills, money was too tight to invest in new pieces for the nursery, so I decided to repurpose Avery's furniture and pull pieces from other rooms of the house. The challenge was to create a whole new look and not just a repeat of Avery's nursery.

With Orson's nursery, the decision was to keep it clean and simple so it would grow with him as he ages. Although we loved the tree mural in Avery's room when he was a baby, it was hard to convert his sweet nursery into a big boy room when his interests became more focused on roller coasters and similar unrelated subjects.

So we went with a somewhat neutral paint color and decorated with colorful accessories that can easily be replaced when the time comes.

We've lived in this house now for five months and besides the kitchen, this is the only room I can say is complete. Well, at least for the time being (I'll be happy when the carpet is replaced with hardwood, but it's not going to happen anytime soon).

The reading corner: the woven basket is filled with board books and the book shelf showcases some of our favorite children's books. 

Little Lambie welcomes you: the least expensive way to add art to a home is to make your own. I found Avery's toys to be great subjects for painting exercises and a sweet way to memorialize his favorite stuffed friends. 

The whole picture: using a different paint color was the transformative element needed to give this nursery its own identity. Behr Sage Tint is my new go-to color, as it changes in different light - from gray to pale green to pale blue. It is the perfect neutral backdrop to make the white furniture pop and subtle enough to not compete with the vivid colored items in the room.

I made the quilt for Orson during the final month of my pregnancy. Originally I wanted to hang it over the crib, but I'm paranoid it'll fall off the wall and smother him, so now it sits folded on the shelf (it's only displayed on the side of crib for photo purposes). Is that crazy?  

My favorite corner in the house: the alphabet poster is by Binth, our old living room ottoman was given a new life when covered with IKEA fabric, the fox doll was purchased at the Brooklyn Flea from Hazel Village, Bobby painted the vintage rocking horse as a Christmas gift for Avery and the mobile was hand sewn during my first pregnancy for Avery using this pattern. The dresser is an IKEA hack and the vintage pillow was given to me when I complimented it in a friend's home.

My sweet friend Elaine made the bunting hanging over the closet originally with the name "Enzo" spelled out. Unfortunately, we ended up changing the baby's name the week before his birth, but luckily the bunting is double-sided. The Go and Do poster is from Help Ink.


It's kind of fun to do the impossible: an inspirational sentiment illustrated in this screen print by Tad Carpenter via Help Ink.

Having another baby was the excuse I needed to finally purchase this pull along toy designed by illustrator Marc Boutavant. It is one of the few toys we've purchased for Orson - the rest are Avery hand-me-downs.


We like our mocs: a basketful of moccasins, mostly hand-me-downs, waits for little feet to grow into them. Handmade soft cube is from Kitsch and vintage duck toy is from ModFolk.

Since we used Avery's dresser and shelf in Orson's nursery, we needed to find new furniture for Avery's room. And on a budget. I can't wait to show you what we ended up finding!





Meet Orson


Born a few weeks ago, we are thrilled to welcome our newest family member Orson. My heart is full.


Monday, December 30, 2013

I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER BABY.

Time is flying by with this pregnancy as I'm already 32 weeks. This little dude in my belly is a mover and shaker, but feels completely different from Avery. Is this possible or have I just forgotten what pregnancy feels like? The final countdown begins.

And so does the anxiety. I'm experiencing the nesting mania but we haven't even put a single piece of furniture in the nursery or painted the walls. Nada. Plus, I've got a ton of work to complete in advance of my maternity hibernation and the clock is ticking. I really think I've been in denial for some time now...and probably still am.

I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER BABY. There. I said it.

Though only five years ago, having a baby seems like such a foreign concept. I don't remember ANYTHING and will have to start breaking out the advice books which have been collecting dust in the attic.

And because of this, I do think there is something to be said for having your babies closer together. I get teary eyed thinking about the change Avery is about to experience. Although he is excited to be a big brother, he is going to have to share his two favorite people in the world. And I just can't imagine loving someone as much as I do Avery, though I'm told it's possible.

But I'm sure when this little yoga practicing baby makes his appearance soon, my feelings on the matter will change.