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Archive for March, 2011

Dreamdog

So, this is completely off-topic – but good for a laugh.  Mr. Dreamer practiced his superb swaddling skills (which he learned at “Daddy Bootcamp”) on Bowdoin the Bulldog.  Of course, Bo thought it was really funny. 🙂

We don’t pay for video hosting (yet), so you have to click on this link to see it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWSHR3vX1IQ

We’re hoping the mini-Dreamer is a bit less squirmy!

Post about the nursery curtains/valance is in the works and coming your way soon!

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A Dream Shower

Red shoes.

About 10 years ago, I complimented a girl at church on her cute red shoes.  That sparked a conversation, which grew to a friendship, that led to being MOH’s in each other’s weddings and a bond that grew through thick and thin.  We’ve held each other’s hands through loss and celebrated success.  We’ve stayed close despite the thousands of miles that sometimes separated us.  I even forgave her when she didn’t call me until four days AFTER her first child was born.  Yes, I’m that awesome (and she had a good excuse).  So, this weekend’s shower was not the first we’ve shared.  There have been a few – wedding and baby – through the years.  However, this one took the cake.  I’m still in shock.  All thanks to her

carrie!

I can’t even begin to describe the planning, detail, craftiness and love that went into this shower.  Carrie arrived early that morning and literally took over the Dream.  It looked fantastic!  She and a crew of other sweet friends somehow cleaned it all up when I was off showing the nursery to someone and my house was cleaner than when they left.  Ahhh-mazing.  Enough words… here are some images from the day – perhaps you’ll see what I mean…

hair pin favors! (yes, handmade!!!)

“practicing” with sweet baby ezra

happy grandmas! (first time for both!)

craft time! everyone helped stuff and sew shut adorable number and letter blocks - which carrie made. can't say it enough - amazing!

finished products

bulldogs were banished to the backyard

So, yeah – needless to say – I feel incredibly honored and the mini-Dreamer is very blessed.

thank you, carrie, for such an amazing gift!

Here’s a sneak peak at what the guests got to see in the nursery… post coming soon about this… 🙂

almost done!

 

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The Mr. and I got a much-needed break from all things nursery this past weekend.  We were in Denver and Colorado Springs for a little baby-moon escape and thoroughly enjoyed the time together!  (Mr. Dreamer is quite hunky, in case you haven’t noticed. MmHmm.)  Anywho, while browsing through some fun home decor shops… we stumbled upon quite the find!

If you’ve been reading the blog lately, you know I am stripe-obsessed.  As I’ve already explained, my perfect nursery had light gray and white striped curtains – but I could not find them anywhere, so I compromised with plain old silver curtains.  Imagine my extreme joy when we spotted that gorgeous chair.  (Especially because we don’t have a nursery chair yet!)  If, for just one moment, you can understand how I felt, you’ll understand this next picture even more…

Yeah, so I’m basically cursed when it comes to gray/white stripes.  However, I will not be deterred!  Have I mentioned yet that I’m an only child?  What I want, I will find a way to get.  Take, for instance, the little craft project taking up quite a bit of space on my sewing room floor at the moment…

Oh yes, those are STRIPES.  Hand-painted. DIY. FREAKING stripes.  That, my friends, is the nursery valance – the missing piece before the room makes a debut this coming weekend for baby shower guests.  If you were lucky enough to get an invite, you’ll get to see them first-hand first.  Otherwise, I’ll be posting after their fantastic debut.  Until then, I’m going to have to go and follow my own tutorial and try to remember how to finish this darn thing…

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A Dreamservation

If this doesn’t say “DIY Household”…


…I don’t know what does!

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Dreamy Dresser

We can check one more major project off the nursery to-do list: the dresser/changing table!

Mrs. Dreamer’s parents bought this dresser at a garage sale in 1979 for $45.  They first used it as a hutch in their dining room, then as a dresser in their master bedroom.  When we got married, we adopted the piece into our master – until we upgraded that furniture a few months ago (post on that is long overdue!).  Since then, it’s been waiting for the “positive” EPT test to get painted white for the nursery!  We love that we can incorporate this piece of family history into our mini-dreamer’s room.

We got paint to match the crib and Mr. Dreamer slapped on about six coats to get it to look just right.  (Lesson learned: primer is a good thing, and should be used, not ignored.)

between coats three and four...

Originally, we planned to put crystal knobs on the drawers, but Mrs. Dreamer found these too good to be true white with silver polka-dot knobs!

This will double as our changing table – more on that to come… just had to share that this (major) part is done!  And relatively cheap too:

  • Dresser = already had
  • Paint = $48 (SuperPaint from Sherwin Williams–we only used half a can. It’s the same type of paint we used on our kitchen cabinets, but a different white.)
  • Knobs = $15.98 (2 packs of 4 @ $7.99 each from HomeGoods)

TOTAL = $63.98

ready for baby!

For those keeping tabs on the overall progress…

  • Ceiling
    • Remove fan
    • Fill holes
    • Sand
    • Paint
    • Hang chandelier

     

  • Paint
    • Baseboards
    • Back of door
    • Walls

     

  • Remove closet doors, hang curtains
  • Dresser
    • Remove current hardware
    • Sand
    • Paint
    • Put on new knobs
    • Line drawers
    • Find organizer for top
  • Put crib together
  • Books (at a TOTAL loss on this one…)
    • Shelf on wall?
    • Work into closet?
    • Need to decide
  • Window
    • Pick fabric
    • Make curtains (actually, we bought them – click here for more on that saga)
    • Make valance – in process and rather exciting, I must say!
    • Make pillows (for bay window seat) — these are in process, thanks to a talented Grandma-to-be!
    • Get black-out shade
    • Hang black-out shade
  • Wall Décor
    • Pick Michelle/Jason baby photos for above crib – Ikea frames (craft? Decide)
    • Find silver polk-a-dot decals and order (actually, we did them ourselves!  More on that here.)
    • Decide where Melsie farm paintings go
  • Continue to stalk Craig’s List for Glider/ottoman
  • Side table – paint? Buy new?

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Not all of my nursery dreams are becoming reality… but the polka-dots turned out fantastic! (At least we think so!)

prrrrrrr!

An explanation: As you probably know, we do not know if our coming attraction is a boy or a girl. So, we’re going for a gender-neutral theme in le chambre de bebe (we’re also trying to learn French). Also, we plan on having two kiddos – and using this nursery for both. Since we (obviously) have no way of predicting the gender of mini-dreamer #2 – that’s also reason to keep the space a relatively pink-and-blue-free-zone. So, we’re going with a silver and white theme. Not really sure where that idea originated, although it probably had something to do with a chandelier that Mrs. Dreamer purchased for another room, decided against using it there (can’t remember where now – she’s a bit chandelier-obsessed), but held onto it because it would clearly be cute in a nursery. It is silver and crystal – you can see it in the above photo. Also, our wedding colors were silver, white and blue – hmm… perhaps we’re just stuck on that theme. Anywho, it is coming together really nicely. We’re hoping to show you the complete project in just a few, short weeks.

Back to the dots.

We wanted to do at least one wall of silver polka-dots. First thought: wallpaper. However, the Dream came with textured walls (blech) and that makes wallpaper no bueno. Second thought, painting on silver dots with spray paint or metallic paint. However, the Dream came with textured walls (blech) and that makes painting something that precise no bueno. Third thought (now we’re getting closer), wall decals. However, before we knew what that would entail – we needed to know how many we would need.

Before we painted the wall, Mrs. Dreamer drew in what we planned to go on here – a few frames and then the dots. We settled on the 5-inch size (about the size of a CD) and the spacing we liked. With that, we calculated we would need 60 dots per wall – and were initially leaning towards putting the dots up on two walls. So, that = 120 dots.

We contacted a reputable wall decal company for a quote. With a 20 percent discount and shipping, 120 5-inch dots = $220.

Hmm… we weren’t sure what to think of that. We thought it would be less, but really had no idea what that would cost. Also, we were very committed to the design – and willing to pay for it. But, first we explored several DIY options and came up with a way to turn this $220 project into a $40 one. YEP! Here’s how we did it:

Items needed:

  • Silver contact paper – available in 18-inch x 6 feet rolls at Home Depot (apparently people use this stuff to make their appliances appear to be stainless steel)
  • Circle cutter
  • Credit card (or old college ID card)
  • Self-healing mat
  • Candlesticks (that’s the silver thing on the left)

we used a setup like this – with the candlesticks holding the roll in place (they also come in handy later…)

one of the rolls we used had a lot of wrinkles like this…

we just smoothed

with our circle-cutter set at 5-inches, we motored through the rolls and got about 39 dots per roll (give or take a few misfires)

And by “we” we mean Mrs. Dreamer, solo. The Mr. was off painting something and shoo’d the baby-bearer out of the room. This part is super-easy and goes really fast!

because the contact paper is on a roll, the circles look like this at first

just slide them under one of those handy candlesticks for a bit and they flatten right out –although it’s not necessary to flatten them completely

Okay, so now we have our dots – the next challenge: getting them on the wall. When you have Type-A tendencies like one of the Dreamers (the Mrs.), this ends up a daunting task. We did not want the dots haphazardly thrown up on the wall. If that’s your thing – this process would go a lot faster! But if you’re like us, and want those dots in straight lines – some prep work is in order.

we rigged up some old Christmas ribbon and started four inches off the ceiling and adjoining wall

from there, we put up the dots 9-inches apart

for the next row, we measured 9-inches from the bottom of the dot above and directly in-between each dot – we had to move the red ribbon down with each row

In the end, we had seven perfectly aligned rows, perfect symmetry and a happy momma-to-be (at least ONE of her ideas panned out!).

Now, we’re on the fence about doing these on the opposite wall. That’s another reason we’re glad we found a way to do this for so cheap. If we scrap the remaining dots, it won’t be at a great financial loss. Speaking of finances, here’s the polka-dot-budget-breakdown:

  • Silver contact paper, $9.99 for each 18-inch x 6 feet roll (we used 3) = $29.97
  • Circle cutter, scored with half-off coupon at local craft store = $9.99
  • Self-healing mat = already had

TOTAL = $39.96 (that’s a $180.04 savings from the pro’s quote!!!) Connect the dots… we’re two happy baby-parents-to-be!

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