Etsy Finds for the Nursery

First off, I was overwhelmed by the response to the Earth Day Giveaway! I loved the comments that everyone left- ask me how badly I want my own dye garden now!- and I’d encourage anyone to take a look through and see if there are any green lifestyle tips that would work for you. As it happens, the random win goes to comment #2. Congratulations, Veronica!

I bought the second item specifically for the nursery- this little lamp base was an irresistible eBay find. I’m not sure that this is the exact lamp shade that will end up on the base, but it’s the right size and color. The little lamp is decidedly girly, and I have to keep reminding myself that we haven’t yet learned the gender of our little bundle. Therefore, I must refrain from buying girly things! I will not, for example, buy this clock (yet):

Or this table runner, which I would make into a crib bumper:

Or this ball fringe, to glue to the bottom of a roman shade…

That said, I have total license to buy any of these gender-neutral goodies: (Next week, I promise, photos of the new print!)

Earth Day Giveaway!

We interrupt our usual Tuesday-only blogging schedule to bring you something awesome- an Earth Day Giveaway!

Here’s how it works. Eleven fantastic crafters, plus myself, are giving away their goods to celebrate Earth Day.  You visit our blogs and leave comments on the blogs that are giving away something that you want to win. For my part, I’m giving away a lovely table runner. It’s printed in Black Locust in Butternut, on a smooth and creamy hemp/organic cotton blend fabric with water-based inks.

Earth Day- and the 40th anniversary to boot!- seems like a good time to share some good green tips for minimizing our impact on the environment. In my studio, I’m always looking for better practices and more ecofriendly materials to incorporate. Here are some of the things I do today:

  • I look for sustainable materials. The fabric I use most is a 55% hemp/45% organic cotton blend. I also seek out linen and soy materials, and sometimes look at cotton that’s grown through programs that encourage farmers to make their practices more sustainable (but not necessarily organic). One program that I’m keeping my eye on is the Better Cotton Initiative.
  • I use water-based inks. I use a catalyst to make the ink permanent on the fabric, though, and I’m hoping one day to phase out the use of that out as well…
  • Most of the furniture and equipment that furnished my studio was secondhand. For the pieces that I had to buy new, I tried to make sure that they were solidly made and would last for a long time. Buying fewer products made at a higher quality is key for a green lifestyle.
  • I look for sustainable packing materials too. I ship a lot of things through USPS Priority Mail, whose packaging is Cradle to Cradle Certified.  For the lampshades, I look for boxes with recycled content, and re-use packing materials as much as I can.
  • I minimize waste. When I mix up ink for printing, I try to use it all up even after I’ve finished a particular order. I turn the extra printed fabric into products for the Etsy shop! I save blank scraps of fabric to print color samples when customers request them.

It all adds up! What are some of the things that you do in your home? Since all tips are good tips, I’ll pick a winner at random from everyone who leaves a comment. Be sure to check out the other crafty chicas who are giving away some of their goods for Earth Day too! You have until 10 AM EST on April 26th to leave your comments and try to win!

Betz White

Birch Fabrics

Cloud9 Fabrics

Cottage Industrialist

Daisy Janie

Harmony Art

ink & spindle



Swanky Swell

Umbrella Prints

Happy Earth Day!! And thanks so much to Jan, of Daisy Janie, for organizing all this blog-hopping giveaway goodness!

New Project: A Bright Modern Nursery

The big order is DONE!

Done! Finished! I’m happier about this than I can say. By the end of the week, the order will be packed up and mailed in plenty of time to arrive at its destination by the April 30th deadline. Thanks go out to Ms. Jo and my mom for all their help this past Saturday- you both earned so much more than a free lunch!

Before I was even done with the order, and somewhere alongside shopping for a new vehicle (A Toyota Sienna, in case you’re interested, which my husband has nicknamed “the Dadillac”, and which we purchased just in time to be recalled!), I began to be distracted by thoughts of how to decorate our bedrooms in preparation for the new baby. See, since our house has three bedrooms, we’ll need them all once we add another family member. My studio, currently located in our largest bedroom, will move down into our basement. We will move into the studio. Eli will move into our room, and the little one will move into Eli’s room, which is the warmest and coziest. Because we’re actually setting up four rooms and not just the nursery, I want to limit how much I torture my husband with painting and renovation. I know I want to do something special in Eli’s new “big brother room”, but I’ll get to that in a bit… so far I’ve been thinking mostly about the nursery. As always, there’s a ton of Flickr inspiration out there! Here’s a few of my favorites that may work with the color that’s already in that room:

Then, there was this week’s Etsy Finds Decor, featuring another cute room- I love the pops of color:

My starting point in decorating the nursery is a set of organic cotton fat quarters from Cloud9′s My Happy Garden Collection. I bought it a while ago from Modern Organic Fabrics, because I know from experience to buy fabric that I like when I see it, lest it might not be available when I’m ready for it! I love the palette, and the cute, modern patterns. And I think that this can be a pretty versatile base for other nursery decor. I’m not 100% sure what I will do with the fabric, but so far I’m leaning toward a quilted fitted crib sheet…

And speaking of inspiring nurseries- I have to confess that I’m a fan all around of Michelle Bencsko’s work- the before and after photos of the nursery for her son is truly a transformation. I think my husband should be grateful that he doesn’t have to take on anything so intimidating this time around! And the end result of her effort is fabulous, too!