Ooh, Shiny!

When I went to the hospital to have a baby, it would seem I had several surprises in store for me. Not only were we surprised that Luke was a boy, but the hubby had something shiny in his pocket to celebrate my impending mommy-hood. He even gave it to me as soon as we got to the hospital instead of waiting until after Luke was born. He figured it would be too hectic for me to enjoy it in the hours (and days) following the birth and he wanted something to boost my spirits during the hard parts. He's so thoughtful!

The hubby bought me a beautiful band set with diamonds and rubies - Luke's birthstone - and I was beyond thrilled to slip it on my finger! Since the band is so simple and elegant, I decided to wear it everyday with my wedding and engagement rings.

We still need to get it re-sized - it's hard to get out with a newborn in the house - and when we do he's going to get it engraved for me. Yet another surprise in store. I'll keep you posted!

I Fooled You All

I may have thrown you off with Monday's pre-scheduled magnet post, but I actually spent my weekend having a baby! I won't bore you with the details (for that, go hang out at the Peanut Stand) but everyone is back at home, happy and healthy.

However, I am a new mom so I'm going to post some pictures from his first few days. New moms are required to do these things.

me and Luke - I think all new moms are required to make that 'happy yet stunned' face at least once in pictures

Luke snuggling with his granddad
Pop-Tart, meet Luke. Luke, meet Pop-Tart.

Luke and Daddy getting a nap

Dishwasher Magnet

A few days ago I came home to find the hubby making dinner.* I also came home to find him using dirty dishes that I had loaded into the dishwasher the night before. You see, I have the habit of scrubbing our dishes before I put them into the dishwasher - it's a hard one to break after living in college apartments with crappy appliances - and the hubby often has trouble telling if they're clean or dirty. So, to remedy the situation I made a Clean/Dirty magnet for our kitchen.

*No, this was not just a pleasant surprise. He's the chef of the family and I'm in charge of kitchen clean up.

First I drew up the words in AutoCAD. I printed out several copies so I could test different coloring methods.

I went with red and green because A) it matches my kitchen and B) red and green mean stop and go. I attempted several different coloring methods, but I decided they all looked too sloppy.

To sharpen up the look, I went back and added color in AutoCAD. I was going to choose the one I liked best, but I ended up keeping them all. I figured the first might end up getting wet and ruined so it couldn't hurt to have back-ups.

I cut them all out and laminated them with clear packing tape. I purposely sized the cards so that they would fit on one strip of tape without a seam.

Then I just added some basic magnetic tape to the back to stick it onto the dishwasher.

So, that's the simple craft I came up with to keep my hubby from using dirty dishes.

Eye Candy

I haven't done an eye candy post in a while, but it's hot and I'm tired so here you go.

A week or so ago I went to check out the new addition to the North Carolina Museum of Art. The addition includes a new gallery space and several outdoor gardens and terraces.
Leave it to me to be more enthralled by water lilies than art.

Surprise Concert

Yesterday I had the good fortune to stumble across Chatham County Line playing an informal, acoustic 30 minute set at Sadlack's.

It was a wonderful, summer surprise.

Another Find In The Yard

Saturday was another hot day at our house, but the hubby found a few cool hours in the morning to get some mulching done. It was still too hot for me to help him, but I popped outside every now and then to keep him company or bring him a cold glass of lemonade.

On one of my trips to the yard I noticed this large sap formation seeping out of one of our trees. I had never seen one that big so of course I grabbed my camera. I wish I had included some object for scale, but the large bulb is about the size of a big gumball.

I'm going to keep my eye on it to see if it keeps growing.


Today is my due date! Whether or not I'll have this baby today is a mystery, but I'm super excited to meet our little one!

Nursery Art: Part 6 - Memories

Here we are, with the last of the art posts. But this post is about more than just art - I am featuring items that have some history to them beyond their short time in our new nursery. Many of these things are handmade and they all tug at my heartstrings in one way or another.

First up is an art pairing I have hung over my nursing chair. The painting on the left is something I made for the hubby as a birthday gift last year. I thought the sentiment was perfect for the moment you meet, and immediately love, a newborn. The hubby agreed so he didn't mind me borrowing his painting.

The frame on the right is a cross-stitched picture of Dumbo that my aunt made for my nursery many years ago. My mom dug it out of her attic and I love that I can give it a second life in the Peanut's room.

Next up are a few things on or near the bookshelf.

I'm sure our baby will receive many books in his or her childhood, but I couldn't resist getting things started with some old books of my own. And you see that fluffy white bear sitting on top? That was a shower gift from my mother-in-law and, although that bear is brand new, it is exactly like the bear the hubby had as a baby. In fact, he loved it so much he wore out his first one and had to have a replacement bear. I love that we are already passing down traditions from both sides of our family!

Next up is a cross-stitch sampler that my Mom had framed for me. A friend made it for her, originally as a pillow, and it held a place of honor in my own nursery for many years. The pillow was getting old and tired, but putting the best part behind glass is a great way to protect it for many more years to come.

Lastly, I have to show you this little rocking horse. I don't remember where it was stashed or when I found it, but I rediscovered this music box and tucked into a closet for when I have a nursery "someday."

Well, that someday is here and so I un-boxed it and gave it a place of honor in Peanut's room. As you may have guessed, this was also in my nursery as a baby and I have many fond memories of winding it up and listening to its little tune. The music part doesn't work as well as it used to, but the colors match the room perfectly. It's too old and delicate for little hands, but someday when Peanut is older I will show him or her how it works.

As I was putting my vintage treasure on the shelf, it occurred to me that this nursery is like a wedding.

We have something old,

something new,

something borrowed

and something blue (well, lots of blue somethings, actually).

To me it makes perfect sense. The wedding tradition represents the fact that the big day isn't just about the bride - it's about her family, her history and all the little things coming together. Why should a nursery be any different?

For the most part the nursery is finished. Now all it needs is a baby, which will be here before I know it!

Blast from the Past

Over the past few months my grandmother has been going through some of the things she has kept from her children's lives. Given that she had five children, I am willing to bet that she has lots of memories tucked away!

She found a box of letters my dad wrote home while he was away at college and law school. She gave them to him and he, in turn, sent a few my way - I was dying to get a sense of what he was like as a younger man!

Most of the missives were the usual fare - updates about schoolwork and roommates, requests for money and arrangements for visits.

What really caught my eye was my dad's resourcefulness. Many of his letters were written on the back of scrap paper - presumably from the library waste bin - and he even crafted an envelope out of a page torn from National Geographic Magazine.

If I were to do that today, you readers would assume I was being crafty or trying to be green. Which, inadvertently he was, but it was mostly because he was a poor student and envelopes cost money.

His money-saving technique is so clever I might have to recreate it for my next stationery project!

Nursery Art: Part 5

I know the blogosphere has been in a frenzy over Sharon Montrose for some time now, but don't think I'm late to the game.

The second I saw her Baby Animals series I fell in love with the soft colors and amazing expressions she catches on their faces. I got these prints for Christmas but they have finally made their way onto the nursery wall. I attempted to take closer pictures of my prints, but just visit her shop and let her work speak for itself.

New Art for the Kitchen

Over the weekend I framed and hung this cheerful print in my kitchen, just around the corner from the piece I gave the hubby as a wedding gift.

This charming bike scene is actually something I got forever ago, but I just now bothered to hang it. Because I procrastinate. The print is by Strawberry Luna and I won it as a giveaway hosted by Kelly at Design Crush.

In addition to the perfect-for-my-kitchen green, red and gray color palette, I just love all the little details she worked into the design, including the little chirping bird - please excuse the blurry zoom-in.

How about you guys? Any new art making its way onto your walls lately?

Nursery Art: Part 4

What's cuter than a bottle, a teddy bear and a rattle? A bottle, a teddy bear and a rattle decorated with stripes!

After reading this tutorial over on Design*Sponge I was inspired to try this project myself. I made a few adjustments - Prismacolor markers instead of paint, cardstock instead of contact paper - but the idea is the same. I hung this grouping over the closet to add some visual interest in an often overlooked place.

This is another project that cost me next to nothing. I already had the markers, cardstock and paper. Then I mounted them on cardboard, which I dug out of the recycling bin and painted white, using paint I already owned.

Tell me readers, do you have any art or decor that you made from scraps and trash?

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