Friday, November 10

Nursery Series: Woodland Forest Mural

We unfortunately, did not get any super awesome photos of the wall before we filled the nursery with baby stuff.
I knew from before we were even pregnant, that when we did the nursery that we would paint a mural. I searched and search on Pinterest, and other websites for inspiration and ideas. I ended up starting with one image that I saw, and then searching based on that one to find inspiration that was more in line with our nursery design plan, the general Woodland theme. I knew I wanted greens and aquas, even some blues - despite that we were 'Team Green' and did not know the gender then (we had a little boy), I absolutely love those colours, so even if we knew, I don't think it would have changed this plan at all.
  • Our layers are, in Beauti-Tone paint:
    • I See Blue (Base wall colour)
    • I See Blue + Ainslie's Aqua; ~ 2:1
    •  Ainslie's Aqua (Small can)
    • Calmness (going into greens) (Small can)
    • Calmness + Cute Pixie - not sure of the ratio, I started 2:1, but it wasn't dark enough, so added a bit more Cute Pixie. 
    • Cute Pixie (large can, it took so much to get it solid).
 The most important part, was ensuring that with the paint that we mixed, that we mixed enough as we would never be able to mix that exact shade again. I used old measuring cups to get a general 2:1 ratio, but having painted so much in my life - I know the slightest change in ratios can really change a colour, and I feel on a big wall, it would be easily noticeable. Always add the dark colour to the light colour, in small amounts. A little dark colour can really change a light colour, but you need a lot of a light colour to change a dark colour.

An easy way around that is to just purchase all the shades, but we needed so little for each layer, that it just seemed like a waste of money. I could have mixed just the main light blue to the main dark green to save even more money, but I really wanted a more true green for the lower part. I put left overs of the mixes into very tightly sealed mason jars, in case we need for touch ups in the years to come - as I mentioned before, we would never be able to mix those colours perfect again.

An important note: paint dries darker than it is wet. When the layers were wet, they sometimes look very close to each other, sometimes even the same as the prior layer - and then dried darker. This sort of can mess with you when you are just trying to get subtle shade differences - what I did was just put a small 'swatch' of the paint on the lower part of the wall that would be covered with the dark green, and blow dried it to see how dark it would dry.

The final layer, the dark green, took a lot of coats of paint to get solid and get rid of patchiness. That's just the nature of a dark colour I guess. It was also sort of frustrating, but we eventually got it all even looking. It was especially hard with the trees where we had to use a paint brush.
Super pregnant with Jack :)
 I was fortunate that my husband was 100% on board with this idea. I was working night shifts the week we started the mural. I would come home in the morning and draw a mountain "line" on the wall with a light pencil...and then he would paint it that morning / evening... then it would be dry the next morning when I got home, and I would pencil out the next layer. We used a brush for the 'line', and then a roller for the rest, trying to get as close to the line as possible with it, for the most even coat - obviously harder with the trees.

When we got to the trees, I painted the first coat to get the tree shapes down - I thought it would be too much trouble to draw then out with pencil. That also meant there was no return... I was so incredibly nervous starting this layer - so worried I would mess up the awesome work we had done so far. I started with the tiniest tree. But, once that was done, James painted over it - 4 or 5 times? - until it was even.

I'm so very happy with how it turned out! Once I'm done sharing the other DIY's, I'll share the finished nursery :)

Monday, November 6

Jack: Month One!

Our little moose, Jack, is a month old! The time just flew! We cannot believe how much he has already changed - in his looks, personality and developing mannerisms.

He's found his thumb this month - something we are trying to keep on top of, he does get a pacifier for our sanity :) He is working on his smiles, and he's starting making some new noises. He loves being held in the upright position where he can look around - from day one, he has been lifting up his head. He's also got his hand grip down pat - lacking coordination still, and of course does not have the 'release' figured out... my hair has been caught in those tricky hands a couple times.

We also celebrated his first halloween, we dressed Jack as a Lion with a crochet lion hat that I made for him. He wasn't as cooperative for that photoshoot as he was for his one-month photos:

Our friends and family really enjoyed this... expressive.. photo of dear Jack. I'm still pretty grateful we got a smile for his one month photo hehe. :)

I must say, Jack has given me plenty of opportunity to play with my DSLR camera, and with Photoshop - I've been learning so much! :) 

Tuesday, October 17

We Have A Baby!!

Jack at almost 2 weeks of age.
Our baby bear finally decided to grace us with his presence :) Baby Jack was born on October 3rd at 4:00pm. Measuring in at 8.95lbs and 23 inches! He was 5 days overdue.

We went into labour late in the evening on the 2nd - it started off with just what felt like Braxton Hicks, but they became regular at 5 minutes for over an hour, so I called L&D as I wasn't sure and they recommended I come in and get checked out. They confirmed that they were indeed contractions, so I got to stay. By morning when my doctor came in,  I was dilated a good 4-5cm, so they broke my water - which made the contractions worse, but I was able to hop in the shower and clean up and the hot water was soothing. I was happy that we did the 20 minute drive while I was not having any pain - I couldn't imagine the drive with full contractions. 

Things just progressed more and more through the afternoon - it was uncomfortable, but manageable with the resources they had available : birthing ball, tub, nitrous gas ect. We gave birth at birthing center, and the nursing care and support was just amazing.  I think that really made a difference - I had always thought that I would be demanding an epidural right away, but we did it without one... and I will 100% attribute that to the support from the nurses and my husband, as well as my very calm and confident doctor. Although, I'll admit the last half hour I was really wondering if it was a good idea. But we did it! I had back labour, so I was most comfortable standing and leaning forward - two things I would not have been able to do if I had an epidural: lying on my back and sitting were the worse when I was labouring. My husband was a tremendous help, applying counter pressure when needed to help through the harder contractions and just amazing overall support.

It got real around 1 in the afternoon, and by 2 we were in hard labour - pushing hard for about 2 hours. Finally Jack, stubborn as he was, came into the world at a very precise 4:00pm with the help of some vacuum assistance after 18 hours of labour. He did not make it easy, that is for sure - but he was completely worth it :)

Because it was a birthing center, we had a huge room to ourselves, with our own bathroom facilities, microwave and everything. I got to stay in the same room where I labored and gave birth to Jack - so it was nice that we could settle into a room and not worry about being moved around all over.

Day One
By the way - those wondering about 'old wives tales' while I was pregnant (we didn't know the sex of our baby during the pregnancy):  majority of the 'tests' said we would be having a girl - James actually almost didn't believe it when he announced that it was a boy - he 100% thought it was a girl. Also, I had zero heart-burn / stomach issues, ect - despite how much hair Jack has. And for those super concerned about pregnancy weight - I was all baby. I gained 20lbs during this pregnancy, and when I left the hospital, we carried almost 9 lbs of that home (baby Jack), and the rest we left there, I came home to pre-pregnancy weight. So moms - do not fret about your weight :)

Jack at one week - I know he's crying, but I love how this photo caught so much expression.
Jack has been doing well, Oreo (cat) and Chewie (dog) are still adjusting, but coming around. He's feeding like a champ, so we have been able to breastfeed exclusively so far. We've introduced one bottle at night, so dad can do a feeding, I can sleep a bit more, and to prep Jack for if there's a reason I can't breastfeed him. We introduced the soothie the second night for our sanity, and it has been a blessing, and there has been zero nipple confusion - our nurse pretty much told us to 'do us', and not to worry about the whole nipple confusion 'ridiculousness' as she refereed to it hehe. We have also started introducing some cloth diapering this week, started yesterday, now that I can move a bit better and have a better handle on the feeding and such. So far I've just done some prefolds and covers - and no leaks or problems (yet). I have some other diapers to try in the smaller sizes - he's not far away from the one-size diapers though with his big birth weight.

Wednesday, August 30

One month to go!

I cannot believe that we are less than a month away until Baby C is due! The beginning just seemed to drag, and now things are just going by so quickly! I have two and a half weeks left of work at the hospital (I took a week and a few days vacation before my due date), and I will be closing my Etsy shop this week and taking care of last minute orders. I will keep the shop open for communications, in case there are problems with shipments, but will eventually put it into vacation mode.

I'm really excited for delivery (and nervous as well, of course being a first time mom). We are delivering at a birthing center, and are super excited for the options available to us.  I'm curious to see how our pets, Chewie and Oreo, react to our little one - and super excited to know if we have a little baby boy or girl!

The countdown is on!

Sunday, June 11

Prepping for the baby: DIY mobile and refinished baby furniture

I have begun to work on the various DIY projects in anticipation for baby and the nursery. The coming of our little bundle will probably be one of my biggest DIY projects since our wedding (and will probably trump that too). We are 24 weeks now, and I'm hoping to finish most of these projects sooner than later - in case I don't feel up to it later in pregnancy.

 The first one I started (I have them all in various stages of progress), is a 'woodland' mobile for above the crib. It will have little critters and such to float above baby while baby drifts off to sleep. I have been keeping track of the felt pieces I've cut out with hopes of sharing the pattern with you all at a later time :)

I was also fortunate to be given a previously loved crib for baby. I decided to refinish it, and being that chalk paint is non-toxic and super easy to apply, I choose that route. It's a nice soft, light grey colour with the slightest tint of brown. I was also given a pre-loved dresser that I am refinishing the same way - this way all of our pre-loved baby furniture will be all matchy-matchy for the amazing cost of a bit of paint :o)

I have a few other projects on my mind - some will have to wait until the nursery room is cleared out, but others I'll begin as soon as these two projects get a little further along.  I am hoping to give each of the above projects their own post when they are complete in placed in their proper new home in the nursery :)

Sunday, June 4

It's A Summer Sale!

Today I am sharing a summer sale! I have never had a sale on my original paintings before - but we are moving things around for the new baby, and I thought this would get a great opportunity for everyone to get some original art for their walls for way less! Some of the paintings are 50% off their original price!

You can find all of the available paintings in my online store, here.  Happy Summer!! :)

Tuesday, May 16

And then there was three!

Things have been very quiet over here... with reason. I had a lot of big plans this year for my artwork and art business, but then we got a very happy surprise - we got pregnant! :) Baby is due September 28th, and gender will be a surprise :) We could not be more thrilled! We had been trying for quite some time, so actually *getting* pregnant was far from my mind when I was dreaming up all these plans as it just didn't seem to be happening for us - and then it did :) 

We officially passed the halfway point last week. We did our 20 week ultrasound the other day, and all is well - so I thought I would finally share it here. I won't lie - I feel like I have been pregnant for forever - we found out when I was just 3-4 weeks in mid January - so super early.

The first trimester was a little rough - I had nausea only at night, so I could at least go to work and function during the day. I never threw up, which was amazing. Then around 13-14 weeks, I had to work a week of night shift - and after that week I have felt completely back to normal :) So I am now in what I'm calling my "honeymoon" baby phase hehe. My biggest craving so far has been watermelon.

Being that making a baby is hard work, and I work at a job where it is pretty physically demanding on a normal person - I work in a hospital - I am pretty pooched at night and only do what I have to do, and then go to bed. So that would explain my absence here, and if you follow me on my other platforms - my absence of creativeness over there.

We are creating a 'Woodland' nursery, and I have a few DIY projects that I hope to share - but again, I cannot promise that will happen. ;)