Before and after: Nursery

It’s been a while since I blogged about the baby room, so I figured: why not do a nursery update? Quite a few things have changed since my last post about Tala’s room, and I’d love to show them to you.

The biggest change in the nursery has been the crib. From its previous incarnation as a bassinet…

Nursery before with Stokke bassinet

… our Stokke Sleepi had to be reconfigured into its crib form when Tala started sleeping in her room at three months. Have I said how much I love this bed and that it can grow with our baby?

Stokke Sleepi crib with mosquito net

Tala also outgrew her duyan, which now serves as a storage basket under the crib. And yes, that is a kulambo! The mosquito net became absolutely essential in the summer. Who knew that mosquitoes were part of the Amsterdam canal house dream? Though the weather has turned, we’ve kept the mosquito net up—because as Invader Stu has so perceptively pointed out, mosquitoes here don’t leave, they just put on an extra scarf.

More details and pictures after the jump!

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Four months!

Tala is four months old today, and it’s been a big month.

Tala 4 Months

She outgrew her bassinet, so after returning from Berlin we had to assemble the next stage of the Stokke Sleepi crib. Since there isn’t any space in our bedroom for the crib, we had to move her into the nursery.

Confession: every time we discussed moving her out of our bedroom, I cried. I don’t know why! Tears would just well up and I couldn’t stop them. “She’ll just be in the next room,” Marlon said, trying to reassure me. “I know, but… but…” I blubbered irrationally. It was the kind of moment that makes you wonder “What has happened to me? Why am I like this?” Oh yeah, I became a mother.

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Free art prints for the nursery

The nursery project continues!

We received quite a few cards from friends when my baby was born (ah, what graciousness can be enabled by a postal system that actually works). I used to have them taped up to the wall next to her changing mat, and noticed that Tala really liked looking at them during diaper changers.

After reading that babies like faces, I decided to replace the cards with something a little more useful to her at this stage of development. The thought of real people’s faces pasted on my wall creeped me out, so I figured art and illustration was the way to go.

An online art project called Feed Your Soul helped me curate this mini art gallery of faces for Tala. This site features a free downloadable art print every month, from artists and illustrators invited to contribute by Jen Wallace of the blog Indie Fixx.

Free art prints for nursery

I first found this online art project after Googling Rinske Dekker, an illustrator and Etsy seller I discovered at Dutch Design Week. Rinske’s free art print from is on the right, next to the flower-crowned girl by Croatian illustrator Irena Sophia.

Irena Sophia and Rinske Dekker art print free download

I loved the fairytale quality of this illustration by Laura Minco

Laura Minco free art print

and the dreamy colors of this girl with her head in the clouds, by Laura Amiss. I don’t know why I gravitate more towards female figures… all our figurative paintings at home are of women, too.

Downloadable art print Laura Amiss

With some of my favorite cards from friends, plus our friendly felt unicorn, Tala’s little art gallery is complete. She loves looking at it, and she’s even started trying to touch some of the prints. It will be fun to update it every now and then with fresh finds.

Though the project ended in 2011, the Feed Your Soul page has lots more free downloadable art prints to choose from (not all of them are this girly). So you can download and print your own mini art gallery, too!

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DIY mobile with paper ornaments

Tala’s nursery is a work in progress, and it’s finally starting to come together. When I have a bit of spare time and energy I work on little touches here and there. And I’m having fun!

I’ve been looking for ways to help Tala develop her visual acuity, so one of my recent projects was a DIY mobile to hang over her changing mat, for her to look at during nappy changes. After window shopping for baby mobiles online, I realized that many of them are made for adults to look at—that is, pretty from the side but not from below, which is the baby’s perspective.

Luckily, one of my baby shower gifts was a pack of pop-out paper ornaments by Dutch designer Jurianne Matter. Putting together a DIY mobile with these was super easy. I simply popped out the ornaments, folded them as per instructions on the package, and strung them with varying lengths of embroidery thread from a wooden embroidery hoop, which I then wrapped with washi tape.

Paper mobile for nursery

Not only are the ornaments cute, colorful (love the touches of neon!) and graphic, but they also fold out into 3D shapes, making them interesting to look at from the underside—not just for mommy, but for baby too.

Paper ornaments Jurianne Matter

The ornaments are still pretty thin and low-contrast for Tala at this stage, but she’s started looking at them more and more. I blow gently at the top of the mobile to get the circles moving and draw her interest. I love seeing her try to focus on the shapes, knowing that they are getting clearer as her vision develops.

Tala and mobile

I have a few other projects in the works, so more nursery details to come!

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