Thursday, October 20, 2011

All Projects Great and Small

With four official days left on the Countdown to Parenthood, I'm still trying to find ways to keep myself occupied. Of course, as you will have guessed, that means finding things to make and bake and do around the house. Yes, I still get out to the gym most weekdays, and I do some errands and some window shopping and some blogging and some reading of other blogs, but let's be honest: most of those tasks don't exactly require MENSA-level effort in the thinking department. Okay, so neither do baking pies and completing crafts, but at least those things do require some planning and general effort of concentration. Yes, the gym requires physical effort, but it's still mostly an excuse to move around and have fun listening to all the frat-party-worthy music I have in my iTunes library.

My first project? On the small side of the scales. I decided to go out and grab some ribbon to hang the awesome Gisela Graham wreath I bought on the living room door. When did I buy a wreath? The other weekend when we hit up Garson's out in Esher to snag our lurvely pumpkin for carving. (There will be a list of the contending carving patterns to come...) Amongst the other Christmas decorations I got, I figured I'd get a wreath, too. But it's not just any sort of wreath. If you followed the link to my Pinterest page, you'll see that it's a heart-shaped "Shaker" wreath. Now, I have my doubts about whether it was actually hand-crafted by sexless furniture-makers awaiting Christ's return, but it's still pretty darn cute. Of course, with the rustic faux-Shaker vibe the wreath had going on, I needed a similarly rustic ribbon to hang it with. Much as my first instinct was to go for the widest red ribbon I could source, all the wide red ribbon had a satin finish...and that just didn't sit well with the whole wicker branches aesthetic. So in the end, I went with this:

The whole red-and-white with the stitching reminds me of all the Scandinavian Christmas decorations at IKEA, but without being so Christmas-fabulous that I'll have to take it down once January arrives. Here is the overall effect:

So now, with my wreath hung nicely, it's time to move the slider to the other end of the spectrum and consider tackling a big project. Something that could potentially call for a sewing machine (which I haven't used in's a bit weird) or perhaps just some quality time spent with the iron and no-sew hemming tape. That's right: yesterday's trip to North Camp involved popping into the Fabric Box to scope the latest Prestigious Textiles offerings for a crib skirt.

As for how I can go toe-to-toe with the idea of a behemoth project of these proportions...well, John and Sherry Petersik can come to the rescue again (like they did with my first upholstering attempt!) with this video tutorial on how to make a no-sew crib skirt. Which is handy, seeing as I don't have a sewing machine of my own.

But the first step is to pick out a fabric. Something fun, but not too infantile. Cute, but not overwhelming. Colourful, but that won't compete with this masterpiece of Disney-esque saturation:

...So the following patterns (all, incidentally, in a colour palate dubbed "cinnamon") are the top three contenders. Any thoughts? I really need to decide which one deserves the Awesome Opossum Seal of Approval.

Contender #1: Alderley

Contender #2: Cedar

Contender #3: Maple

My current feeling, after having consulted The Husband last night (his judgement in matters of design is not to be sniffed at!) is that while Cedar would look great in a pillow or some other smallish accent, its thick, mid-century leaf outlines in that mocha colour will be too distracting as a crib skirt. Like a hyperactive four-year-old in the corner throwing toys in a desperate plea for attention. So, much as I love it, I think we're really between Maple and Alderley. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Glaring silences imploring me to make my own decision and leave you out of it? I'll take any of the above, though the first two are certainly more helpful.

Once I pick something out, I'll place an order and start gathering supplies in earnest. In the meantime, I need to go on a Google Image Search binge to find some good ideas on how to carve our pumpkin. Since we were lame last year and didn't get a pumpkin, and were really lame the year before and let our pumpkins rot uncarved, this is the first year we'll have a jack o'lantern of our very own. It requires charm. It requires finesse. It requires a sufficiently Halloween-like blend of nerdy appeal and horror. Pun intended, I have my work cut out for me. (Giggle-snort.)