Oliver the Owl Nursery
Being an interior designer I had high expectations for myself to create a nursery for my son that was beautiful; being a craftswoman I had high expectations for myself to create a nursery for my son that was custom-made. For Hudson’s nursery I delivered both. I named this nursery design and the owl on the quilt Oliver the Owl after Hudson’s middle name. Although I was inspired by the Dwell Owl bedding that was brand new at the time, I decided to design and make all of his softgoods myself. The bumper, quilt, sheets, canvases, drapery & rug were created by my hands. The framed art, mobile and dresser were also customized to better fit into my design.
This nursery started with the gray Sparrow crib from Oeuf that I had choose whether I was having a Hudson or a Olivia. Second came the fabric, a F.Schumacher called Zeynatta Mondatta. Actually the fabric came years before, as it was a sample I held on to from my D&D Building fabric trips. I just had to have it but didn’t know what I would ever do with it, it was fate! I ran across it one day going through tear sheets and files and I instantly knew I’d found the inspiration for his room. In designing his bedding I had an allowance on how much of the zig zag fabric I was going to invest in, it was a very expensive fabric and luckily a fellow interior designer was able to get her hands on a yard sample for me (perks of the trade) and that helped out a bunch with the cost. In sourcing the other fabric locally in North Carolina I was tipped on a gem of a fabric store in the middle of nowhere. Mary Jo’s in Gastonia, NC, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I went there and it takes a lot to impress me. After the foundation theme and colors were decided, I started with product research and created an inspiration board and a board for his bedding design. I was proud to show them off at our baby shower, it was the only way for people to know what we were up to.
My Initial Frame
Here’s how his nursery came together:
- To make the bumper I went to several baby boutiques to inspect the custom designs that were displayed. I took a hundred measurements of my crib and every bumper I ran across and I spoke with other designers about how they specify construction to workrooms.
- The quilt is composed of minky on one side and heavier weight fabrics on the other, its meant to be more of a top piece, decorative quilt.
- The owl applique is hand embroidered.
- The crib sheet (and later a pillowcase) was made from a twin sheet in just the right aqua color from Bed Bath and Beyond.
- The tab top drapery was modeled after another window panel my daughter has (super easy project).
- The rug is faux fur that I stitched heavy weight canvas to the back so that it would lay flat!
- We paid homage to Hudson’s namesake with artwork of a subway map of NYC, it was from a calendar that we already had and it was just the right colors.
- The RAR rocker was on my list of must have chairs (being obsessed with designer chairs), but I was on the fence whether to go with a color or white. White won for future versatility as it often does, but I also really love white furniture.
- His mobile was from CB2 but I had to paint a few of the pieces blue.
- The Koppang dresser is an Ikea Hack, customed painted in a Ben Moore oil paint that was an exact match to the Ouef crib.
- Its fun to stumble upon something that you know is just perfect: the Foo Dog bookends are from target, the FADO ball lamp from Ikea, the Where the Wild Things Are pillow is from Urban Outfitters and my husband insisted on having an Ugly doll.
- The paint is Laura Ashley-Apple 6 from Lowes
- The initial frame is another project of mine that I will talk about soon
- Newspaper tree canvases - modge podge, paint and newspaper, check out how I made these here
Lastly to be decided were in his room were the canvases. As you can imagine I had a lot on my plate making the bedding and in the back of my mind I had an idea for newspaper trees but I just couldn’t get to it before he was born. The canvases and (as well as few other items) were completed a few weeks after we brought Hudson home but he’ll never know we didn’t have everything ready for him!
Hudson's First Shoes
35 weeks along with Hudson, Captured By Jes
Just a few weeks before Hudson was born my sister photographed me and incorporated his special fabric. Now a year and a half later she photographs a lot of people. You can check out her site www.capturedbyjes.blogspot.com
For my daughters 5th birthday the theme was Under the Sea. I am only sharing the invitation and cakes from the party, but this was a fantastic pool party and a success with my daughter who is my biggest fan and littlest critic!
Under the Sea Invite Shaker
This party’s invtation is a very unique “shaker” card that we really sent through the mail. As you can see from the profile shot above it is a thick card that required extra postage but arrived to our guests fine. I believe I did write “hand cancel” on the envelopes to help them receive some TLC at the post office but who knows if that really helped! These cards where on the complex side to create but they were worth it and were an impressive surprise for our guests to receive. Heres how they came together:
- 1/4 thin foam core board
- colored scrapbook paper
- transparency film
- glue stick
- xacto and cutting mat
The informational side of the card was designed and printed as a 5×5 square. 5″ squares were also cut out of the foam core, transparency film and unprinted scrapbook paper. A center circle (a square would work too) was cut from the foam core and scrabookpaper. And then it was like a sandwich, stacked up with the info face down glued to the foamcore, confetti sprinkled inside, transparency film to seal it and the scrapbook paper to cover and complete it. Being our theme was Under the Sea, this was meant to look like a fish bowl but it could be reinterpreted for any theme.
Under the Sea Mermaid Kelly Doll cake
Under the Sea Cupcakes
I have mentioned before that my spoiled little mice get more than one cake for their birthdays because there are usually separate days of celebrating. Macy had two parties her 5th year with this theme, one at school and one with family and friends. On her actual birthday she enjoyed Under the Sea character cupcakes at school and a Mermaid Kelly Doll cake at home with us. This was my first Barbie type cake. Little Kelly was easy to turn into a mermaid by simply covering her legs with individual scales made out of fondant, all her Sea friends were fondant also. These characters were on the simple side of creation, by todays standards it takes much more complex cupcake toppers to impress. (You can see some of my current cupcake work in my Yo Gabba Gabba cupcake masterpieces here)
Under the Sea Mermaid Barbie cake
There is an interesting story behind the real Under the Sea party that year. It was one of a few times that we decided to return back home to Tennessee to celebrate with family and friends. Flight delays and ultimately a flight cancellation nearly kept us from getting to TN. When we did get there it was just a few hours before the party and without our luggage full of party supplies. To save this party I picked up two pre-made cakes from a big box store, I think they were the Carebear cloud designs but they worked as ocean too. I grabbed a new Barbie and some fondant and within an hour the cake was complete! I hope that my emergency cake experience for this party can one day help someone else out if they are in a pinch to produce a custom cake. Dont panic, just add to a ready made and no one will be able to tell that it is a impromptu design!
Its HOT! Its summer here in the city and as we begin planning Macy’s 9th birthday party I thought it would be a great time to post her 8th birthday party, Aloha! A Luau Pool Party. I bet there is alot of people planing a luau party this time of year, its the perfect summer theme and I hope you find ours inspiring! We had her party at our community pool and it was a such beautiful venue that it didnt take much to decorate.
Macy's 8th Birthday Celebration
Hawaiian Party Table
There are a few consistent elements in Macy’s birthday parties, I always make the cake and the invitations are handmade. This year was no exception, hand cut hibiscus flowers were the front of the invites and the party info was on a medallion on the back. In her earlier years, our parties included a lot of friends and family & I had to make about 5o invites. But now that she’s older and we dont live near friends and family anymore her party guests are school friends and total less than 20 guests. This years cake was a Hula Girl Barbie and she was so easy to make! (I’ll talk more on her in a future SugarCoated post)
Luau Party Invataion
Hula Girl Barbie Cake
When it comes to buying party supplies, there are a lot of Luau and Hawaiian themes to choose from. I tried to keep ours simple and I was very careful to not go overboard or cheesy. Lots of color is a given when you are do a luau, but since this was a girl’s party it was easy to add in more pink and orange to give it a focus. A few plain white tablecloths were a great investment I made a few years back and this was another party that I was glad we were able to use them. The grass table skirt was safety pined to it and because it was cloth I didnt have to worry about the weight of it tearing a plastic tablecloth. The party and favors included a lei and hibiscus hair clip and a flower printed tote to stuff with candy & treats from the pull string (the only kind I do) pink flamingo pinata. Cool treats like fresh fruit served in a half pineapple and Hawaiian Punch in a coconut shell cup was all that was needed to entertain these girls. I could hardly keep them at the table long enough to even sing happy birthday, because they were very anxious to get in the pool and just have fun.
Bklyn GirlIn Dumbo
Although she looks like a City Girl, Macy is my Country Mouse. She loves nature and animals. Give her a stick and she’s happy. She tells us that she will move back to the country when she grows up but right now she appreciates the culture and beat of the city. While we were away, it was her asking, “where’s the dinosaur museum?’ and to do other activities that only exist in NYC that made us realize that if she missed it too then it’s where we belonged.