We’re in the home stretch now! I can’t wait to meet my baby girl in about 8 weeks. I’ve been blessed to have a pretty easy pregnancy (knock on wood!), but the heat is really wearing me out. I’ve resigned myself to never getting a good night’s sleep again — well, at least not for a few years! My plan for these last couple months is to just take it easy. Rest up for the big day. Take advantage of the limited time Flavio and I have left for just the two of us. Life’s about to change in a big way!!
I started working on this little sweater for Cleo last Monday, and I worked on it virtually nonstop until finishing it just before dinner tonight. I’m gonna be honest; this was a frustrating knit. The ruffles were hard on my fingers, and I had some tense moments toward the end when I thought I was going to run out of yarn. I made a couple of minor modifications — I started the buttonholes 1/4″ before I was supposed to, and I eliminated the ruffle across the back of the sweater (I just didn’t think that would be very comfortable for Cleo to lay on). I also had to go down a needle size to get gauge. But overall, I’m pleased with how this sweater turned out. The yarn is delicious, and I hope to knit a sweater for myself with this stuff sometime soon. I can’t wait to dress Cleo up in this little outfit (the dress is from Old Navy), with gray tights and her lilac bonnet. I think it’ll be the perfect ensemble for some special portraits this fall!
I’ve been in a little bit of a funk since the third trimester started. There aren’t any more little milestones to look forward to, and we’ve finished all of our major projects. I’m bored! So on Friday, I went to the yarn store to pick out materials to knit a winter bonnet for Cleo. I found the perfect blue to match the flowers on her jacket, but I also fell in love with this muted lilac, so I ended up buying both.
Pattern: Lilacs for Lila, by knittedblissJC
Yarn: Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK in 346 Dusty Pink
Pattern: Silverfox Bonnet, by Lisa Chemery
Yarn: Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK in 457 Beau Blue
The nursery is done! Well, mostly done. I’m still trying to find a not-too-expensive lamp (preferably white) to place in the corner behind the glider, to illuminate our bedtime stories and nighttime diaper changes. I’m so happy with how this room came together! I didn’t have a real theme in mind, but I wanted it to feel cozy, serene, and a little bit dreamy. I didn’t want it to be so babyish that we’d feel like we needed to redecorate when she was four. I also wanted it to be fairly gender neutral, so we wouldn’t have to do much redecorating if the next baby is a boy. I can’t wait to bring this baby home to her beautiful nursery!
Paint: “Wondrous Blue,” Sherwin-Williams // Crib: Hensvik, IKEA // Changing table: Gulliver, IKEA // Dresser: Hemnes 3-drawer chest, IKEA // Glider: Delta Children “Rowen,” Target // Curtains: Target // Cube organizer: Target // “Clouds” print by Brainstorm and “Big Red Balloon” print by Honey & Bloom, purchased at Wonder Fair // “Animal Alphabet Chart” print by Rifle Paper Co., purchased at Ruff House Art // Wooden frames: Arttoframe.com // Cloud decals: Amazon // “You Are My Sunshine” decal: Amazon
Yesterday my mom and sister-in-law hosted a baby shower for me at one of my favorite childhood parks in my hometown. Unfortunately, Mother Nature took the “shower” theme a little too seriously, and we had quite the downpour! Luckily we had already booked an enclosed shelter (with air conditioning!), and the storm didn’t stop any of my wonderful family from showing up to help us celebrate this beautiful baby girl I’m growing.
There wasn’t really a theme to the shower, just lots of pink! My only requests were lots of food and no games that involved guessing my size or weight. Otherwise, I told my mom and sister-in-law to go wild, plan whatever they liked. We had a few games & activities; my favorite was having people draw pictures for each letter of the alphabet, to make an ABC book for the baby. They all turned out so wonderful, and each is special to me for a different reason — from my 4-year old niece’s drawing of a teacup to my 81-year old grandmother’s drawing of a zebra.
Despite the rain, it was a beautiful shower. Everyone was so unbelievably generous, it was overwhelming. Clothes, toys, books, and so much more! It’s a little bittersweet knowing that I won’t get to see most of my family again before Cleo is born, but the outpouring of love we received yesterday has bolstered me emotionally for the months ahead. We’re so blessed to be bringing our daughter into such a wonderful family!
I’ve been slowly going through the house, room by room, organizing and making things pretty. Besides the nursery, no room needed a bigger makeover than our upstairs living room. I wish I had taken a ‘before’ picture…it basically looked like your standard first apartment after college. Nothing really matched, nothing fit the space, and the blue sofa clashed terribly with our yellow walls. We were hoping to buy all new furniture for the room, but we just weren’t able to afford such a big purchase at this time. Medical bills, yo! Our backup plan was to use the furniture from our downstairs living room, which we bought about a year and a half ago. Over the weekend, my older brother helped my husband shuffle furniture from the basement to the main floor, and last night Flavio hung the art on the walls. I’m thrilled with how everything turned out!
Paint: “Sunbeam,” by Glidden // Sofa: Ektorp Corner Sofa, IKEA // Coffee table, TV stand, & End table: Hemnes series, IKEA // Pillows: Target, IKEA // Plaid blanket: IKEA // Curtains: Target // Radio: Crosley // Lamps: Target // “Family” photo collage frame: Amazon // Patrick Giroux city prints: Wonder Fair (custom frames from Arttoframe.com) // Sorry, not sure where the wooden vase is from!
Last weekend I attended a paper magnolia branch workshop at my favorite local gallery, Wonder Fair. The workshop was led by a wonderful local artist, Grace D. Chin. I’ve made a few paper flowers on my own in the past, but I loved the opportunity to learn techniques from a professional and use such high-quality materials like imported German and Italian crepe papers. Plus Grace and Meredith at Wonder Fair are some of the nicest people in town. This was Grace’s second paper flower workshop at Wonder Fair, and I think she’s planning more in the future, so definitely keep an eye out for those if you’re in the Lawrence area!
Originally I intended to put this magnolia branch in the baby’s room, to commemorate our first Mother’s Day together — but then I stuck it up on this shelf in the dining room to keep it away from the cats, and it just looked so perfect!
On Sunday I finished up a project I’d been working on for a week or two. I’d recently purchased the book Yellow Owl’s Little Prints, by Christine Schmidt, and was inspired to try making my own muslin swaddling blanket for the baby. I started out by purchasing this Speedball rubber stamp carving kit at Wonder Fair, along with a few jars of Jacquard screen print ink in Golden Yellow, Turquoise, and Magenta. I used one of these juDanzy My Little Legs plain white muslin blankets.
To make the “Cleo” stamp (which, btw, we’re having a girl, her name is Cleo!), I drew the name in bubble letters on a piece of white paper, tracing over it a couple times with a pencil. I flipped this over onto the rubber block and rubbed the back of the paper with the side of the pencil, to transfer the graphite onto the rubber. The kit came with two carving tips, and I first used the finer tip to outline the letters and remove the centers of the “e” and “o.” I used the larger carving tip to cut out the bigger areas around the letters and in the middle of the “C.” I wholeheartedly recommend affixing the rubber to a wooden block (I used super glue and an old piece of scrap wood we had in the garage), because it’s difficult to apply even pressure with just the rubber. For the polka dots, I just used a pencil eraser.
And finally, a blanket I knit back in February when I first found out I was pregnant. I chose a fairly neutral color and pattern because I didn’t know the sex yet. The pattern is Elmer by Melissa LaBarre, and the yarn is Quince & Co. Osprey in Audouin. Currently I’ve got this blanket draped across the back of the glider in the nursery. I think it’ll be perfect for late night nursing sessions this winter, but might also be a good stroller blanket for long walks through the park when the weather turns chilly. Ravelry details here.
And that’s it! I’ve got a few other knitting projects to finish up (including a baby sweater I knit 8 years ago but never got around to blocking & seaming), and next month Flavio and I are going to take a hand lettering workshop at Wonder Fair. Otherwise I’ll just be decorating the nursery — a tour of that will be coming soon!