Thursday, November 15, 2012

Adventures in Nurseryland, Part I

Things get curioser and curioser!
Now that I officially know I'm having little Piper instead of little Beckett, of course I've been in all-out nursery design mode!  It started out as an innocent foray into mulling over various ideas, with the end goal always aimed at a vintage Alice in Wonderland look, but it has turned into an all-out crack-like addiction!  I have gone from browsing items in Babies-R-Us to a full-on Etsy shopping spree of eclectic one-of-a-kind items that have completely changed my initial choices of everyday flouncy patterns into a fantastical creation of babyland joy!

This is my mind on decorating, seriously!

Let's see if I can mange to start somewhere near the beginning of my fall into decorating madness.  It all started innocently on a trip to Babies-R-Us the day I found out that I was having a little girl.  My mom and I had already been there a couple of times, and I thought I had absolutely 100% positively picked out a crib and bedding set for either sex.  For a little boy I was going with the Driftwood crib...
What goes better with pirate's than driftwood?
 inside a pirate themed room with a nautical bedding set....
Ships, deserted islands, monkeys...all leads to pirates!
For a girl it was the Disney Princess canopy crib (no actual Disney anything on it as that is too overdone in my opinion)...
See, no real Disney at all!
 and this beautiful pink and dark green bedding set with the heart mobile.
Isn't it pretty?

On this trip to the baby store I actually was pretty much still decided on the canopy crib, but I was toying with changing my little girl's bedding to this Le Fleur set because I absolutely loved the mobile!


Love the fluff-ball mobile and how it is tiered!
While my mom said I should go ahead and purchase what I wanted in case items were discontinued or got sold out, since I was feeling torn I left the store with just one cute little outfit instead.  And it is a very good thing I did because within a matter of days everything had changed.

At least I had my theme down, vintage Alice in Wonderland.  This I was definitely 100% certain on.  So like all normal people, I began browsing online for various Alice themed items.  Actually, I originally started browsing crib bedding online since I figured if I was torn between the two at Babies-R-Us, then why not scour what else was available out there in the world.  The scouring for bedding led to a friend mentioning having hand-made bedding done and maybe looking at Etsy for inspiration.  Of course I thought that was a brilliant idea.  So I got onto Etsy and searched "Alice in Wonderland."

One of the first items to catch my eye was this incredible teacup bookcase.  You should know, I love books!  And since I have already started Piper's book collection, she would most certainly be needing a bookcase in her room...so I took a closer look at said teacup bookcase.  Needless to say, I fell in love with the bookcase!
Isn't it fabulous?
Not only was it perfect for my theme, the creator/artisan Scott Blackwell at WoodCurve was willing to customize it for me and cover the shipping costs!  So even though the price was steep, to have a hand-made customized teacup bookcase was too incredible to pass up.  Soon Piper's bookcase will be arriving.  Each cup will be painted in a different pastel hue (inside and out not just the inside as shown), and each teacup will have specialized decals reminiscent of the Disney World teacups ride.
Totally awesome!
Now it may sound like the bookcase was the first item I purchased off Etsy and the beginning of the change from soft florals to bright bursts of color.  And it almost was, but it took me a few days to actually give in to my whims and go for the gusto!  My first actually purchased piece was found the same day as the teacup bookcase, however.  After I discovered the bookcase, I decided to look at other Alice inspired pieces of handmade furniture.  My intention was solely just to browse, and I swear I had every intention of sticking to my intention! But as luck/fate would have it, I found another must-have piece!

This piece, a brightly colored purple and yellow vintage side table, had all the whimsy of Alice and was just absolutely fun in its creation.  How could I resist such a wonderful morsel of fantastical delight?
Yeah, just slightly hard to resist!
I found this amazing piece at CasaKarmaDecor along with another must-have piece. My mom ran across this old key holder.  The bright color blue was once again perfect for where I felt the nursery was headed.
Alice has to have a key for all those doors!
The key shape of the key holder, of course, fit right into the Alice theme.  And on top of that, I determined it would be the perfect item from which to hang the wooden decorated letters that are going to spell out Piper's name. I was thinking of creating the letters myself, however, I have found yet another Etsy artist who does Alice in Wonderland themed and personalized letters.
Cute, huh?
I'm very tempted to simply scrap the notion of me being able to recreate these, but I think I could pull it off with some decoupaging and a little patience.  I have been searching for pictures I could use to recreate the little decals/add-ons, but I'm having no luck finding anything suitable.  I will continue to search, however, for the price on these is up there and I've spent quite a lot already.  But if it comes down to it, what's another $100 right?

By now you can probably see that my soft, floral, vintage Alice room had at this point begun to turn into a brightly colored Wonderland more reminiscent of the Disney version (as far as colors go).  So I began to ponder my original idea.  Yes I loved the vintage Lewis Carroll version with the artwork by JohnTenniel.  However, I also loved the over the top world of colors sported by the Disney version, too.  So a mix would be best, right?  Right!

Now that I had become comfortable with my new direction for the nursery, it was on to more shopping!  I had to come up with entirely new nursery furniture that would fit with my teacup bookcase and lively side table.  The white canopy crib was no longer going to fit as well as it had before, and neither would the bedding.  Soft colors with pale florals was not going to sit well within the walls of whimsy I was planning on creating.  I decided my next task was to choose a crib and bedding set that would work with the pieces I had already purchased.

Finding the bedding was not an easy task to say the least!  I wanted bright colors but nothing garish and unfeminine.  I still wanted to keep the vintage feel while incorporating the whimsy.  So I scoured the internet from top to bottom, side to side, all around and on every diagonal.  After searching every fancy-shmancy nursery decor site out there, I finally decided on a set I found on the BabySuperMall website.
It is absolutely perfect!
Just a closer-up look at the patterning.
I fell in love with the Dena Sophia set instantly.  It was soft and feminine yet still brightly colored in a myriad of whimsical shades.  And it was a patchwork design, which not only keeps that vintage feel, but also is reminiscent of the quilts my great grandmother used to make for me.  Piper is named for my Grandmother Wood.  Her name was Amelia and that is Piper's middle name.  So having a bedding set that reminds me of her just fits right into everything.

Once I had found the perfect bedding, I moved onto the crib.  This was another painstaking task that had me running all over the net.  I found some amazing cribs that were way too expensive, and I found some boring ones that were on the less expensive side...neither seemed to fit.  Then I ran across one in particular that was a special edition of another crib in a very special "Hope" pink color.  This Hope crib was created by the designers at Newport Cottages in conjunction with Little Crown Interiors.  In addition to the specialized pink color, 10% of all sales from the crib go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  So not only was it the perfect crib, proceeds from my purchase would go to a wonderful cause.  love a good win-win.
Notice that the bedding pictured has one of my fabrics in it!
Yeah, I was also surprised to see one of the fabrics from my bedding featured in the picture of this crib at Rosenberry Rooms.  This bed also has a couple of unique features besides the specialized pink color.

Side panel with fabric of your choice!
The sides of this crib have a special panel inlaid with the fabric of your choice.  This was a little extra touch that I just couldn't resist.  While I was initially going to go with the aqua damask fabric from my bedding set, I could not find even a yard of the fabric anywhere since it has been discontinued.  Instead, I have chosen another fabric which I will get to later as it is wrapped up in yet another element in my nursery design I had not yet decided upon when I discovered the crib.
Personalized plaque up to 132 characters!
In addition to the fabric panels, the side of the crib sports a plaque which you can have engraved with a personalized message up to 32 characters.  After much deliberating, I am going with a condensed version of a line from the E. E.Cummings poem I Carry Your Heart.  While the original line is "I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart," I am shrinking it down to fit so the plaque will read "I carry your heart in my heart."  I adore the poem and I think it speaks exactly to the feelings I already have for my unborn daughter.  I will carry her with me always, so what better way to express that sentiment?

Okay, so where are we on the nursery design?  I've got the side table, the bookcase, the crib picked out, the bedding ensemble, oh wait, I forgot to mention the mobile that came with the bedding.  Remember how I said that I loved the fluffy balls and the tiered style of the mobile with the Le Fleur bedding set?  Well low and behold guess what came with the Dena Sophia bedding set?  Check these two images out and tell me that the fates didn't somehow intervene on this one!
The one on the left is the new one!
See what I mean?  Exact same fabric fluff balls and the exact same tiered design.  In the end I didn't have to give up the styling of the mobile to get the bedding I wanted.  I tell you it was fate!

Okay, back to where I was.  Got the side table, the bookcase, the crib and bedding.  Now on to the rest of the furniture!  I have it all picked out, halfway paid for until it is completed, and I will be picking it up the weekend of January 18th all the way in San Antonio.  I decided a ten hour each way drive would be a lot better than the hundreds of dollars it would cost to have it shipped.  So, are you dying to see it or what?

First, I once again found this furniture on Etsy.  Imagine that!  I was once again browsing Alice inspired pieces when I came across a site called TraceysFancys.  Tracey does amazing work refurbishing old vintage/antique furniture and painting it to your heart's desire.  Her site is full of whimsical pieces to which I was instantly drawn.  I absolutely loved her eye for design and color and knew I had to have her do a piece for me.  So I began my correspondence with her to see what we could come up with.  After settling on which pieces I wanted done and initial costs, we then discussed design elements.  I talked with her about the nursery's theme and sent her pictures of everything I had already.  What I wanted from her was a dresser and either a chest or armoire that would fit the theme and the color scheme I was now 100% invested in.  And to my absolute delight, she got as excited as myself about the project and by the next day had come across a dresser and an chest/armoire that were, once again, perfect!
French Provincial Perfection!
The two pieces she found while out scouring the world for awesome furniture were of the French Provincial style and were on a slightly smaller scale than her usual pieces.  Not only were they the perfect size for a nursery, the smaller scale also meant a slight savings to me, woohoo!  But what drew her in, as it did myself, were the legs on the furniture and the floral-like appliques.  As you can see, they are quite dainty and adorable.  They are also very similar to the legs on the crib, yet another sign of the fates!  When Tracey sent me the pictures of the above furniture, I just knew these were the pieces I must have to complete Piper's Wonderland!
Close up of the dresser so you can see the details better.
Another great detail of the dresser is that the drawers are 10" deep!  A little girl can fit lots of frilly outfits in drawers that deep.

Inside the chest/armoire.
As you can see, the armoire looking chest has hidden drawers inside.  I think their design is perfect for onesies (or other small outfits) and the many accessories little girls come with.  Look at all that room for hair bows and frilly adornments!

So there you have it, my last two needed pieces of furniture for the nursery.  Once they were chosen, we then began the fun part of deciding what type of colors and designs I wanted them to have.  In order to get the design juices flowing, Tracey had me look around and send her pictures of pieces that inspired me.  I found several on her own site, of course, and I also found several pieces roaming the net in other places.  While compiling these picks, I ran across a certain design element I hinted at before while talking about the fabric panel on the crib.  Check out the top on this piece.
Squee!!!
I instantly fell head-over-heels in love with the black and white harlequin top, and I instantaneously knew my furniture must have the same style tops.  This one little element then set off a whirlwind of ideas.  Since I could not find the originally chosen aqua damask fabric for the crib panel, I went and found a wonderful black and white harlequin fabric for the panels, whoopie!  I am also incorporating the fabric into the nursery's curtains.  The harlequin fabric will be used for a valance and the tied back side portions of the curtains, while the middle sections will be sheers of various colors that correspond to the rest of the color scheme.  They will be awesome!  Okay, back to the rest of the furniture design.

After I decided that the tops had to be the harlequin, I had to choose the colors for the rest of the pieces.  I knew I wanted each piece to be unique from the other as far as color went, and I went from there.  Now while I haven't 100% completed the design of the pieces, Tracey and I are waiting on a sample of my crib's paint to match up the pinks, I have narrowed my colors down.

One of the pieces, most likely the dresser, will be aqua with yellow highlights.  The other piece will be lavender (most likely two different shades) with citron green highlights (sort of an apple/lime shade).  The chest will have a floral style monogram "P" on each side, and somewhere we will be incorporating stripes.  Here are a few pics of other pieces inspiring my pieces:
Another one of Tracey's pieces
This chest really grabbed my attention on Tracey's site.  The monogram on the side inspired my own wish for a monogram on my chest.  The stripes are also an design element I want incorporated into my chest (hence the need for two shades of lavender).  The citron will be used in much of the same way as the pink is here.
Dig the color scheme!
This piece I simply used as an inspiration for the aqua and yellow scheme of the dresser.  I think the two colors play nicely together.  I also used this piece as an inspiration for keeping my pieces with that shabby-chic look.  I don't want them overly distressed, but a slight distressing adds to the vintage feel I'm going for.
Floral monogram idea.
I got the floral monogram idea from the above design.  I am unsure of exactly what my monogram will look like, but I sent this to Tracey to use as a jumping off point.  I respect her artistic eye and talents and can't wait to see what she does with it all.

So that is as far as we've really come on the pieces Tracey is working on.  I do know I will also be incorporating the pink from the crib into both piece in part of the floral-like applique.  As for additional design elements, once I get my crib sample in and get all my paint chips and samples mailed to Tracey, we will then brainstorm some more.  Now that I have the colors chosen and a basic blueprint for what I want, I'm pretty much going to trust her with the details.  From what I've seen of her work, I have no worries that she will absolutely stun me with the finished design.  Cannot wait to see the finalized pieces in January!

Besides a few other decorative pieces, that about covers what I have accomplished in the nursery so far.  Wait, I have decided on paint for the walls and ceiling, too.  I am going with a light blue ceiling with clouds painted on it.  I am most likely going with a lavender frost paint for the walls (or maybe a very light pink, still flopping around on that one) and then I have to decide on the color for the crown molding which will most likely be a darker shade of the wall color...I think.  Okay, now back to the decorative pieces!

Here are the piece I have purchased so far:

Most amazing Humpty Dumpty ever!
This Humpty Dumpty I found while at my last prenatal visit.  He was sitting on the top shelf of the Tipton and Hurst in Baptist Hospital here locally.  He is number 21 (or was it 22) out of 250 made by Mark Roberts who usually does fairies but did a whole Mother Goose series, too.  The picture doesn't do him justice but he is stunning!  For some reason men tend to find him creepy while women find him adorable.  Probably a good cultural study in that somewhere.  Anyway, a lot of people forget Humpty Dumpty was in Through the Looking Glass (Alice's second adventure in Wonderland) and was not just a Mother Goose character.  So as you can see, he just fits right in with all his whimsy and colorful clothes!

Alice banner
The Alice banner has eight different heavy card stock images strung together with a blue ribbon.  All the images depict the original artwork by John Tenniel in the Lewis Carroll novel.  I found the banner on Etsy at Creatinsbyminda who does a lot of hand made banners and other such items.

Freaking amazing!
I found this clock on Etsy, too.  It was created by Daniel Herron at blackbunny123.  What is so unique about this clock besides it's numbers are backward and go counterclockwise, the motor has also been manipulated to run counterclockwise.  So it will still tell the right time, just backward.  Too cool, huh?

I would just keep on posting photos, but I have actually run out of items purchased for the nursery!  I do have a rabbit lamp that I purchase some time ago that I will be using, but I will not be posting a pick of it until I'm done redesigning the shade and possibly diddying up Mr. Rabbit, too.  So you'll just have to stay tuned for that one.

So what do you think?  It's going to be a pretty awesome nursery, huh?  I really wanted it to be special and unique, fun and whimsical, bright and feminine and vintage and lovely.  I think I'm heading in the right direction and I couldn't be happier about my choices.  I have never seen an Alice inspired nursery done quite like it, and I can't wait till it is completed and I get to finally see all the pieces together at once.  I know Piper will love it and her little eyes will never get bored.

On a final note, I will leave you with another Alice in Wonderland video that I just loved.  Definitely check it out and when you're through please vote for me at Top Baby Blogs by clicking the banner below the video.  Also feel free to follow me on Facebook.   Until next time, go have some adventures for yourself!



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