bits & pieces

I'm not an expert on any single subject, but I'm opinionated about several.

DIY Baby Girl Nursery Complete! April 9, 2012

Filed under: DIY — nemecke @ 4:15 pm
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We’re almost there – about six weeks to go until our baby girl arrives and her room is finally complete! And I am in love with it. Don’t you love spaces in your home that make you feel happy just by walking into them? That’s how I feel about the nursery – and I don’t even have a baby in it yet! Imagine. . .

We started with a dark navy room with a puppy dog wallpaper border.


This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. My vision was the result of a Pottery Barn catalog that had photos of a lavender and grey bedding set. First step, strip the wallpaper (finally all of the wallpaper in our house is GONE!).  Next step, paint. Once we had the walls painted I started sewing and my mom started painting furniture for us.

Our “To-Do” list included:

Painting a dresser

Painting a changing table (a repurposed dresser we had used in B’s room already)

Finding a used crib

Sewing crib sheets and a crib skirt

Sewing curtains

Misc. decorative items

Let’s start with the curtains. My FAVORITE part of the room. I originally saw these at Urban Outfitters but at $80.00 per panel plus tax I just couldn’t do it. Plus they’re floor length and not black out. Somehow I feel like white curtains in a baby’s room are risky enough so I’m choosing to at least stay away from floor length. And black out curtains have been a necessity for B’s room so I knew that was a must in this room too. So, the way I saw it, my only solution was to tackle this project myself. My curtain making history included one shower curtain so I sort of knew I was crazy but, nevertheless, I trudged along. Four trips to the fabric store and several, several, several hours later the project was complete! A few photos of the process…

Ironing over the bottom hem of every single strip.

Sewing down the bottom hem of every single strip.

One finished ruffle.

Did I mention I do not have a ruffle foot for my sewing machine? Every strip was bunched and ruffled as I went along. Once all of the ruffles were cut, ironed, hemmed and ruffled I sewed them one by one onto a panel I had cut from the same fabric. Eventually all of the ruffles made it onto both panels and then I sewed them both onto store bought black out curtains from Target (I found some in lavender and figured it wouldn’t be bad if some of that color peeked through once in a while). Ready for the finished product?

Ta da! I’m in loooooooove with these curtains. Here they are hanging up in the room – I couldn’t wait for this part!

Ruffles galore!

I will never tackle ruffled curtains again but I am SO GLAD I DID THIS. They are exactly what I had in mind. Love! Even better is the fact that, even with 4 trips to the fabric store and store-bought black out curtains, I still spent less than I would have had I purchased the Urban Outfitter curtains. I love a good deal!

I’ll explain the rest of the pieces in the room once you have a visual – so here’s the reveal!

The crib is a Craigslist find (B isn’t ready for a toddler bed yet and we weren’t ready to buy a brand new crib again). The glider chair was moved over from B’s room and he got a replacement chair that my parents were no longer using.

The pictures need to be replaced in the frames once the baby is born but, again, they are reused from B’s old room. I just added new ribbons and hot glued white buttons to the nail heads. The blanket on the crib is another DIY sewing project I tackled (thanks Pinterest!). Crib sheet and crib skirt are also completed sewing projects.  (Crib sheet tutorial, crib skirt tutorial).

That’s the $5 dresser my mother-in-law found at rummage sale that use to be a nice peachy-pinkish color. My mom painted it and I found those glass pulls at  The purple tray was in the Target dollar section before Easter. They only came in pink and blue so I bought the pink one and spray painted it lavender. I made the printable in Picnik using a tutorial I found on Pinterest. We had the lamp in our house and we weren’t using it. The base was black so I spray painted that white and the lamp shade was a cream color. I found this lavender ribbon at JoAnn fabric and hot glued it around the shade. Oh and the cute clock was a Salvation Army find.

The bookshelf is just a stackable shelf from Target and, again, I made the printable in Picnik.

We used this changing table in B’s room but it was still in it’s original brown color. So my mom painted that for us too and I found the glass knobs at Target. The square mirrors on the wall above it were another Salvation Army find and were originally light blue so those got painted as well. I can’t find white bins/baskets that fit under the changing table ANYWHERE and the cream is really bugging me but it’ll have to do for now.

And then there’s this adorable find that my mom picked up at TJ Maxx – could it be more perfect?

So that’s it. Our DIY baby girl nursery on a budget. I’m so thrilled with the way it turned out. So thrilled that I can’t let myself think about the fact that we’ll only live in this house for another year or two. Boooo. But I’ll tell you what, I’m taking those curtains with me everywhere we move for the rest of my life!


We have a stroller. And our dog is crazy. June 13, 2010

Filed under: In General — nemecke @ 8:34 pm
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The good news – Scott got our stroller and car seat all figured out today. We’ll actually be allowed to leave the hospital! The bad news – our dog is crazy.

Let’s start with the good. We’ve actually had our stroller and car seat system sitting in our garage for a few weeks now but until this point it almost seemed risky to put it together. So we just looked at it each time we pulled into the garage. “Hmmm, there’s our stroller. We’ll have to get that put together before the baby is born…” I’m almost 31 weeks now, we could have this baby in 7 weeks. It was time. First let me reverse just a tad and tell you that it’s down right mean that so many different strollers and car seats have been invented in recent years. Had I been paid for all of the hours I spent researching strollers and car seats I would have had enough money to fund my own baby gear company (which I would promptly name Just Buy This One and Be Done With It). At any rate, we ended up with the Chicco Cortina/Key Fit Travel System. I felt good about our choice, but I felt great when my ex-boss (who is also an ex-Babies ‘R Us manager) sent the stroller to us with a note saying it was his #1 recommendation to his customers.  Satisfaction – turns out I’m awesome at researching.

You know what else I’d do if I owned my own baby gear company? I’d send all products completely assembled. I’d be lying if the thought “how are we suppose to raise a child if we can’t get this damn car seat out of the base?” didn’t go through my head once or twice.  Or at least make the instruction manuals ridiculously detailed. You know, color coded, big font, tons of pictures, step-by-step everything. Give first time parents a little confidence in a time when they’re already second guessing this non-reversable decision. How great would it be to have opened that box along with the king of all instruction manuals, to have assembled that stroller as easily as we maneuver through the DVR and to post on our Facebook pages, “I am SO ready to be a Mom, I can do ANYTHING!”

But the good news is, we have a top-rated, completely assembled, ready for baby stroller and car seat system.

And the bad news – our dog is crazy and I’m not sure I can find a way to get the crazy out of him before we bring our son home. At the beginning of my pregnancy I read that you should prepare dogs for a new baby by carrying a doll around and teaching the dog to be gentle with the doll. Well I happen to have loved dolls as a kid so I had my mom fish out my all time favorite doll from the bag she was keeping them all in in her basement. Her name was Elizabeth and she still had the little hospital bracelet on her wrist that she got when I had to get her leg sewn back on at the doll hospital.  As long as I’m being honest, we never really used the doll like we were suppose to. For awhile she sat in our family room and if Newport happened to go near her we’d tell him to “be gentle.” Then she moved up to the nursery and I placed her in one of those bouncer things we have (should I know what the actual name for that thing is??). She’s been sitting up there for a few months, and then today Newport got crazy. I was in the room next door painting with the door closed – had to keep the door closed to avoid the disaster we experienced last weekend when we were helping my sister paint her laundry room. Of course she was painting it teal blue (which actually looks fantastic!) and of course Newport walked into the paint tray and then proceeded to walk down her hallway to see what was going on in the kitchen. So the door to the room I was painting stayed closed. The first time I opened the door to go get some water, he was asleep right out side waiting for me. Good dog! The second time I opened the door to find out what that curious noise I kept on hearing was, he was chewing a hole in the back of Elizabeth’s neck. As if he could understand me I shouted, “Newport! When we have a kid are you just going to go grab him out of his bouncy thing and start chewing on him!?” To which he responded by jumping on me, running into the nursery, jumping completely up onto the window ledge (hadn’t seen that one before), jumping off, jumping on me, chewing on the bouncy thing etc. etc. You get the idea. This was immdiately followed by a few sprints around the room I had been painting – yep, I left the door open. Downstairs he made a few laps around the house before crashing through his doggy door and taking off like a bat out of hell around our, excuse me his, backyard. Apparently that got most of the crazy out of his system, but the point is he chewed a hole in the back of the doll that was suppose to be  teaching him to “be gentle.” The stroller we had so successfully and confidentely completed had also been up moved up to the nursery. Had I opened the door to find him chewing on that this post would have had an entirely different ending. It was your lucky day Newport. So now we have 2 months to teach him that the nursery is completely, at all times off limits to him. No questions, no exceptions.

You can find updates on that adventure on Newport’s very own blog: