Nest for the StellaB

One day out from moving back to the good ole US of A, and I figured maybe it was finally time to put some pictures of the Beaner’s nursery up. For posterity, you know.

It seems surreal that Stella is nearly one year old, and it breaks my heart to leave this place so soon. It wasn’t what we had planned, but it is what is happening.

So, one last look before we go.

IMG_6962Stella’s crib. Hand-built by her Daddy, with oh-so-much-loving care.


IMG_6969 The crane mobile. Hand-folded origami birds + sticks. I love it, and Stella does, too!


Michael’s mom made the gown above her dresser for her going-home-from-the-hospital outfit.


The camel is from Egypt, and the puzzle from Ethiopia. Both gifts from my little sister who lives in Africa.



More paper magic with the chain of yellow flowers.



We bought this little wooden animals in Bangkok back when we thought StellaB was a he, not a she. My friend Cat made the “Jesus Loves Me” artwork.


I adore this rocking chair. (Michael isn’t as in love as I am, but he just doesn’t know what he’s missing out on.)


All the artwork are free downloads from Vintage Printables.


And that, friends, is StellaB’s room!


A bird on the wing

I’ve never been one to plan ahead. I didn’t browse wedding magazines until it was time to plan the wedding, and when it comes to babies, I haven’t had a ton of preconceived ideas about the whole experience: pregnancy, planning the nursery, parenting styles, etc.


Just like with my wedding, when the only thing I knew well in advance was that I wanted a certain hymn (The Church’s One Foundation) to be sung during the ceremony, there is one thing I’ve wanted to put in my future baby’s room for years: a crane mobile. Yesterday, it finally came into being.


I used a couple of sticks, fishing wire, and this tutorial to show me how to actually make those little birds. I’ve been folding away for a week or two (I’m slow!) now while Skyping with friends or watching TV at night. Hanging the birds was quite a balancing act but I think I finally got things relatively even.

Michael’s building a crib now (isn’t he crafty?!) and soon–after I’m back in the States–he’ll hang this sweet little mobile above her baby bed. Hard to believe that by the time I see it above her crib, I’ll actually be holding our sweet girl in my arms.

So much for which to be thankful.

It’s Fall, Y’all!

If you didn’t know, that means autumn decor. And that means wreaths. Duh!

I made this magnolia wreath for our outside door.

(Let me try to explain: from the living room, our apartment opens out onto a little porch area, where we shed our shoes and umbrellas and wash dirty paws and such. Then the porch area itself opens out onto the hall, where our neighbors live and the communal garbage can lives and we catch the elevator.)

I gathered the already shed leaves from trees in our apartment complex one rainy Saturday morning. I’m sure I’d have looked like a crazy person in the States, but here–I absolutely blew the minds of the four or five 工人 (literally “work-people,” often refers to manual laborers) who were having a smoke break by their trucks. After I made a spectacle of myself to the whole neighborhood, I came back up, washed the leaves off, and waited for them to dry.

Now you have to understand, there are no pre-made wreath forms here. People hang red banners on their doors all the time, but wreaths are a Western thing. So when I wanted a wreath, I had to make one. I took wire that I got at the “hardware store” down the street and twisted it together until it formed a circle. (Actually, I think I later made it into a square but I don

‘t have any pictures of that.) Then I took the leaves–which took 3 days to dry sitting on our covered porch, your humidity has nothing on ours!–and hot glued them to the “wreath form.”

It’s kind of ghetto, but I’m happy. Makes me feel like autumn, like drinking apple cider and going to a football game. And for me, that was basically the point.

OK, wreath number 2. (Is there such a thing as too many wreaths? Serious question, because I’m kind of worried I could verge into cat lady territory with the wreath thing. There’s another one I’m not showing you on my porch. Anyhoo.)

This wreath is actually made on a form that I brought back with me from America last fall.

It had spray-painted beans hot glued on it for a while but that was kind of a fail as the beans always fell off and that was annoying. So, I joined the yarn wreath trend. I wrapped it up and then spray painted the wreath gray. It probably would have made more sense to just wrap the wreath in the color yarn I wanted to start with but I already had this ugly beige color yarn and the gray spray paint on hand so this is what happened. To finish it off I cut these flowers off of this awesome fabric I got at the fabric market (the fabric another one of those things Michael thought was super weird and I loved) and hot glued the flowers to the wreath. My thought is that I could pull the flowers off and spray paint them something bright and happy to change it up for the spring or summer, if I want.