while talking to my sister andrea last night (a rare and always fun treat), i realized that she has not yet seen ella's nursery. and really only my parents and one sister have seen it, so for the rest of you gonzalez's, here is a little tour, "the history of ella's nursery".
this room joins onto our bedroom, and served mostly as a place to keep the futon. i made curtain strips out of fashion fabric that i had bought by the pound at a mill end store, and the only other things in the room were some boxes of stuff that we were too forgetful to take to the attic. the primary occupant of this room was coal:
about 6 weeks before ella was due, we finally decided that we were definitely having a baby and needed to have a place to put it. :) to get this room ready to even paint, we had to rip out a hideous, badly-installed, painted-over-twice false ceiling, the hideous, badly-installed, painted-over-8-times false panelling, and a hideous, badly-installed, not-painted-over-but-could-have-used-some-paint ceiling fan. however, i loved the hideous, well-installed vintage vinyl flooring so it stayed.
when scott cut the opening around the doorway to make repairs, he found VALENTINES!!! some sweet little construction paper hearts. since we know that wall was closed sometime in the mid-1930's, we figure the hearts are around 70 years old:
meanwhile, i was working on fabric projects. i couldn't find fabric that i liked--i never can--so i bought several different homespuns and ginghams and overdyed them to the colors i wanted. rudi used these colors to design a paint scheme for the room--he made a wheat field--inspired by our fantastic drive cross-country the year before. he made the sky so that it rises from the horizon behind the fields, and the wheat is so tall that even i could get lost in it.
we went to a local carpet remnant store and found a fantastical piece that was just big enough for this room. a friend gave us a dresser that has a convertible place on top for a changing table, rudi stripped it, sanded it, and painted it to go with the room. i bought a bassinet (like this one) on ebay for about 1/3 the original price, and then rudi found a rocking chair that he refinished by hand. i made the linens, a new bassinet cover, curtains, cushions for the rocking chair, and a matching diaper changing set (diaper bag and changing pad). i dyed all the fabrics using procion MX dyes, acid dyes, and/or union dyes (depending on the fabric and the result i wanted). the final touch was installing a chandelier from the house i grew up in (the same house that my sister andrea still lives in--she gave me the chandeliers when she redecorated). the results of all this effort--not exactly completed until after ella arrived--are as follows:
the bassinet (shown in the kitchen, because the room wasn't ready when i took this picture):
the view from our bedroom, before and after:
ella's crib, with the mattress lowered to the bottom so she can climb in by herself (the little suitcase was my dance bag since i was 8 years old, now it is her step stool and my foot rest at the rocking chair):
the windows, with curtains that i dyed and sewed to replicate the walls, and the rocking chair that rudi refinished:
ella doesn't spend that much time in this room--she sometimes starts the night in her crib, but by midnight i bring her to bed with us. she plays in the step-n-play every day, she climbs in the crib to play with bear-bear or to read books, and this is the room where the panty raids happen. but when the time comes, at least i can send her to her room knowing that it is a nice place to visit. :)
and what i did with the old curtains--two nursing tops. on the first one, the upper bodice lifts from the faux empire waistline, there is an underlayer that pulls down--no slits! on the second top, the outer part of the wrap moves aside, the underlayers are just strips of fabric--again, no slits! these are my two favorite nursing designs, i've made about a dozen different tops with these two types of access.