You know the saying - "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage"? Well, maybe it should be, "First comes a nursery theme, then comes a baby shower..."
Rachel had settled on a camping/outdoor adventure theme for the nursery, and we already have a campfire painting fundraiser planned, which made decor for the baby shower a given.
At my favorite craft/fabric stores, I found an unfinished decorative birdhouse in the shape of the classic teardrop camper, and a string of camper lights. I painted the birdhouse with acrylic craft paint, and set out to find other appropriate decor and food. Our sister-in-law had a woodland animals themed shower, and so we added a subsection to her Pinterest board for ideas for Rachel's shower.
Of course I was too busy hosting the shower to get many pictures, but here's a picture of the food table. Lots of summer picnic/camping inspired food, and there's the little bird house camper sitting on a slice of tree trunk in the middle! The camper fairy light string went on the gift table.
At the tables, we had themed centerpieces. Of course (!) I didn't get a picture of them, but the were make up of a vintage National Parks poster image printed on cheap printer paper that we decoupaged onto pieces of old barn wood from our parents' (soon to be grandparents'!!) farm. After the shower, they were hung in the nursery, and I did get a picture of them on the nursery walls:
As the wood was darkened by age, the posters turned out a little less vibrant than I had hoped. But they still had a great vintage, aged feel.
Thanks to that Pinterest board, also on the tables we had small camper pinatas made from foam core and fringed tissue paper and little campfires made of old CDs, brown craft paper, river rock from my flowerbeds, tissue paper, and an electric flickering tealight. The pictures hardly do it justice. It looked downright cozy!
All in all, it was a successful, laid-back shower, perfect for a little boy, who, if his Dad has any influence, will soon be rough-and-tumble and made of "snips and snails and puppy dog tails"!
Throughout my adult years one of the reasons I've been able to nurture the creative side of myself is because my husband and I were DINK's. First the reason was settling into a community, then grad school for both of us.
After that life happened, but kids didn't. Not that I minded terribly - being a regularly employed person gave me pocket change to spend on creative hobbies, and being a coaching widow four months out of the year gave me the time to pursue said hobbies.
However, after 13 1/2 years of wedded bliss Ryan and I finally got serious. The slow(er) pace of our previous life disappeared in what seemed like an instant! We submitted the interest forms to our chosen adoption agency last September, were listed as a potential adoptive couple in December, matched in January, and met our birth mother in March. The little one is due in July.
I put this poster on Facebook for our "birth" announcement.
As you probably know, private infant adoptions (our chosen path) is not cheap, but after considering the other options open to us, this was the best fit. As a fundraiser my husband wanted to sell those debossed silicone wristbands, which did not appeal to me. We did find a no-minimum supplier and ordered a few, but never quite got around to an actual fundraiser.
However, I was on the hunt for something I could wear that would symbolize adoption and not be quite so... tacky. I stumbled on this symbol on Pinterest of a heart with a triangle inside. The heart is the child, the triangle the birth mother and adoptive parents. Or the triangle could represent the child, birth parents, and adoptive parents all surrounded with love.
But, like so many Pinterest links it took me forever to track down the source. This one happened to be an expired Etsy listing, but the picture had been picked up by an adoption blog. By this time I. wanted. this. necklace.
Good thing it just appeared to be made out of copper wire! And I knew how to solder. I experimented with a few life-size sketches to get the ratio of triangle to heart where I wanted it. Here is the end result. I was pretty pleased with myself!
When you find a good pattern, I don't think there's any shame in making it in multiple fabrics and versions.
This particular pattern happens to be Butterick 6209, a dress pattern, shortened to a tunic top. I'd already made the pattern out of green linen (and given it to my sister), and light blue cotton shirting, which I dip-dyed the bottom half in a darker blue. Both dresses were flattering and easy-to-wear.
I picked up this blue chambray with gold foil arrows, and I knew I wanted to make a top I could take with me on a tropical vacation. After tossing around a few ideas, I decided to go with a tried-and-true pattern.
I will say, with all the times I've made this pattern, I've stitched up the front opening a few inches above the last button, for my own modesty and comfort. If you are thinking about trying this pattern, I would advise you that the things to focus on are getting the front vertical pleats neat and even, and on making sure the bottom of the front placket will lie flat without puckering anywhere.
The top turned out to be great for traveling - nice enough that I didn't feel underdressed anywhere, but comfortable and easy to pack - and not at all out of place on a beach on Maui!
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!