In which I show off the completed over-the-crib project (#62).

I hope that this doesn’t surprise anyone, but I really like my husband. We waited until we’d been married for five years before we decided to have this baby because it was important to us to have time together to make our marriage as strong as we could. We wanted our foundation to be solid before bring a little guy or girl into the mix. We’ll have six years married and ten dating under our belt before we turn everything upside down this summer.

Obviously having the kiddo will change everything. We know that (and even if we didn’t, everyone seems to take great pleasure in telling us over and over). While I don’t think we can really prepare for how things will change, we can prepare to make our relationship a priority as well. All of those feelings and worries made this over-the-crib project more than just the sum of its parts for me. We’ve worked on it together since we found out about the baby and I’m really pleased that it is the first thing we’ve hung in the nursery.

It started with remembering a book that I used to get out of the library, Cricket in a Thicket, by Aileen Fisher. It is a little book of poems or rhymes about animals, and I loved it. I came across a picture of it in a blog years ago, and I gradually became convinced that it would be the prefect sentiment to start our nursery decorations with. The book is out of print now, so the project started with an internet hunt for a good, clean, cheap copy.


Next came the initial scan, which wasn’t exactly promising to become great wall art. So I set about editing the photo: lightening, color correcting, trying to get rid of the crease from the spine of the book. I finally resorted to tracing, drawing, and merging and came up with a much more presentable version. After a few checks on possible print size, I decided to enlarge the canvas so that it would be proportional to the crib.  I ended up with this:

turtledoves_combined_cavas enlarge2

Things were looking up! I printed it in black and white and added a thick black border at that time. Then it was just a matter of prepping to mount it on foam core board like we did in the last house with the book covers for our guest room. They have held up great, and I still love the look.

Turtledoves CollageI chose to go with a thicker, half-inch wide board so that the edges would be a bit more prominent. I carefully cut it out with a ruler an exacto knife, did a light sanding of the cut edges to get them as soon as possible, and went around the edges of the board with a sharpie just in case the edge of the photo didn’t quite line up. I cut myself a small test piece to try out my idea of edging the board with bright red vinyl electrical tape. Fast forward through the hubs busting out his spray glue skills (making sure that the factory cut edges would be most prominent) and edging the actual piece with tape:

Turtledoves posted

We haven’t build our crib yet, but we do have it taped out on the floor. So with the help of the hubs and a level, I hung it on the wall with the velcro 3m Command strips that we’ve used all over the house. We’ll be able to adjust it left-to-right once the crib is in place to account for any visual difference between the crib and print placement.

After months of prepping, the first art hung in our nursery! I may have cried. I may occasionally stand in the door and visit it.

I may be experiencing some baby hormones.

Creative Projects in Progress

In which I tease my over-the-crib nursery project (#62).

I’ve been planning how the nursery would look long before we had a countdown for a baby to put in it. So you can imagine how excited I am to be working on one of the first projects I fell in love with. I wanted to make sure I gave it the attention it deserved, so I added it to my list with the expressed intention to “do an over-the-crib creative project I’ve been excited about before working on other nursery decorations or furniture.” So, how’s it going?

When we moved in, we decided to paint the room we knew would be the nursery a neutral beige color we have in the dining room, hall bath, and guest room. I want the room to have walls full of art from fairy tales, nursery rhymes, books and stories. (Surprising no one, I’m sure.) Our wedding had books as table numbers. Our favorite decorations in our house (pictured in the last one, but still cohabitating in our current guest room) are made of book covers (mine) and author locations (his). We have a little thing for bookshelves. It is important to me that the baby’s room, gear, and toys work with the style that the hubs and I spent so much energy creating as much as possible.


I fondly remember a book of poems that I used to get out of the library when I was little, which is now out of print. (It may very well have been out of print then, who knows.) But I remembered one poem in particular that I thought would be a great fit for our particular nursery. So I hunted down a copy of the out-of-print book. I scanned the poem in, but then fate intervened in the form of a price drop on our crib.

Does ordering a crib and periodically checking the order to see if it had shipped really count as “working on” furniture? Let’s decide together that it does not.

So I happily worked away in the spirit of this goal, photoshopping the image to color correct and remove the deep shadow from the crease of the book. And then the second temptation came along and led me a bit astray: I was ordering a bunch of photos for the house and my Ireland scrapbook. Shouldn’t I go ahead and order the few WPA fairy tale prints that I’d already downloaded from the Library of Congress before making this list?  Just to see if the scans were high enough quality to even consider framing in the room?

I should have, and I did. But does that really count as “working on” other nursery decorations? Let’s decide together that it does not. I’m so glad that I can count on you guys.

So I happily worked away in the spirit of this goal once again, tweaking the drawing, scanning again, merging the two scans in photoshop, getting the file ready to print out in large-sized glory… And I ordered it! Major progress! But then came the major third temptation: it was going to be over a week before it arrived on my door step. And do you know what I got while I was waiting?

nusery_framesThe piles of frames that my mother has been locating at thrift stores for me. (Ignore the mess.  I’m collecting donations in that room too.) Shouldn’t I look through them so I could provide feedback and thanks right away?

I should have, and I did.  But then, my friends, came the final and killer temptation: she sent a book that could be cut up for more art. Cut up? I have a scanner!  Wait — I have books that could be used for art! And down the rabbit hole I went. I was scanning, labeling, and daydreaming away by the time the print arrived last night. I’d ordered three more of the posters we’d selected before I wrote this goal, I’d dragged out the other poster and print we already owned, I’d even bought a few more frames to balance some gaps in my growing collection. I was giddy with visions of walls full of prints that will have a story to us and wouldn’t look out of place in any other room in our house, but together create a colorful, imaginative space for our growing family. (Aw.)

I regret nothing.

The print arrived last night, and I’m thrilled with it. Like the book covers in our guest room, I’m planning to mount this print onto foam core board and mount it to the wall with 3m velcro command strips. I picked up an extra-thick board the other day, onto which I plan to add red electrical tape around the edge once everything is glued and cut. I can’t use the spray glue for the fumes, so that will have to wait until the long weekend and the hubs’ expertise.

Does getting excited about all the other options to fill this room up really count as “working on” other nursery decorations BEFORE my over-the-crib creative project if said excitement didn’t delay the project itself? Let’s decide together that it does not.