hello cross stitch.

i've been wanting to make a giant cross stitch for a while now, and decorating a nursery gave me a good excuse to try it out.

we're not going to talk about my first failed attempt (word of advice, don't try to do it on low quality wood, it will only lead to sorrow), but here's the process that ultimately worked for me:

i started off with a thirty-six by twenty-four inch canvas and planned out everything in photoshop to determine what size x's i needed. i then printed off graph paper with the right sized grid and laid out my design.

with the graph paper taped to the canvas, i then took a small nail and punched holes everywhere i would need to thread the yarn through--all six hundred and six holes (yeah, i counted). surprisingly, this wasn't as time consuming as i had anticipated.

and then it was just a matter of stitching it, using a tapestry needle and yarn. this was probably a funny thing to watch a very pregnant libby do. reaching the letters in the middle of the canvas was particularly challenging.

and here it is hanging in the nursery above the changing table dresser. pretty cute, i think.

hello margot.



margot grace. born september fourteenth at six forty-four p.m. six pounds, twelve ounces, twenty and a half inches long, and a pure delight.

it's only been a week, but i think we'll keep her.

 she did not approve of the photo shoot.

this is going to be quite the adventure...


red panda onesie.

 red pandas are by far the cutest animal ever made. i challenge anyone out there to prove me wrong. to celebrate their unreasonable level of cuteness, i put one on the cutest piece of clothing out there--a newborn sized onesie.

it all started when my sister came to visit last weekend and we dyed a bunch of plain white onesies. we used rit dye and let them soak in the dye bath for around five hours. this was to try for really saturated colors, because babies should have a little less pastel in their lives.

i was pretty pleased with the results. and the orangish-red of the top onesie just looked red panda colored. it was fate. so, i made a quick and simple graphic red panda design and used this as a chance to try out freezer paper stenciling.

the process is pretty straight forward and fairly quick. i followed this tutorial, and i would guess the whole thing took under an hour. it's hard to say though, as there was at least one saturday morning donut break involved. 

here it is after i removed the stencil. i only used a stencil for the white portion. the black eyes and nose i painted on freehand with a small brush. i could easily have made a second stencil for those portions, but i was too lazy. eight and a half months pregnant and post saturday morning donut will do that to you.

i still can't get over the adorableness of the finished product. i think my brain will explode with cuteness when baby sharp wears this.

if you want to make your own, you can download a pdf template here. it's sized to fit nicely on a newborn sized onesie, but could easily be scaled for larger applications. if you make something, post a link to share it! i'd love to see it. 


changing table dresser.

with only a couple of weeks left until baby, the essential parts of the nursery are finally starting to come together--meaning there's at least a place for sleeping and a place for changing diapers and storing all of those ridiculously tiny clothes.

one thing i wanted to do in the nursery was use a thrifted dresser as a changing table. so jon and i kept our eyes out for the perfect one. and lo and behold we stumbled across this midcentury beauty for just thirty five dollars.

ok, so maybe she wasn't much of a beauty on the surface, but she definitely had nice bones (yes, the dresser is clearly a girl). she just needed a little bit of love. and a lot work.

the drawer fronts are a thick wood veneer, so they got sanded and stained, along with the solid wood legs (seven months pregnant libby sanding on the front porch in july was probably a hilarious show for the neighbors. luckily, there are no pictures). the top was laminate, so i decided just to paint the entire body of the dresser. some liquid deglosser, two coats of oil based primer and three coats of latex paint later...this looker emerged.

isn't she lovely? the whole thing got finished off with several coats of polyacrylic in a semi-gloss finish. hopefully, it will be pretty durable and able to hold up to the many wipings-down it is likely to see, given it's primary purpose is to serve as diaper changing central.

and just for fun, the insides of the drawers got a fun pop of color, thanks to some gift wrap from target. i just cut it to size and modge-podged it down. i don't know how it will hold up, but for the four dollars i spent in gift wrap, it wasn't a big commitment.

conan approves.

and don't worry, we did get one of those diaper changing pad things to live on top of it. it didn't make it into these photos though, as it's not currently very photogenic.