Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Geekiest Baby: A Brain-Stimulating Mobile

Earlier this week, I shared my frustration with gender-ified, bland baby things and did my best to rectify the situation. Well, another pet peeve I have is how baby things tend to be so pastel. It's like somebody took a normal room or item and then turned the color saturation dial waaaay down. This strikes me as silly for a couple of reasons:

1) Babies are dirty (so I hear). If they're going to be spitting up and pooping on things, shouldn't we be going for darker colors and busier patterns to camouflage those suspicious stains? This is exactly why I got a dark gray car: so that it's less obvious that I haven't washed it in over half a year. (Unfortunately, this doesn't work as well for dark clothing, since it just serves to better show off all the cat hair I've got on me.)

2) Babies don't register all those washed-out colors very well. Child development research shows that a baby's visual development is best stimulated by high contrast patterns, specifically with the colors black, white, and red. Of course, by that token, the ideal nursery theme would be Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd or Alice in Wonderland costume wardrobe. Unfortunately, I don't think a murdering barber who promotes cannibalism is the most appropriate role model for a Small Human Being...

Anyway, as I said, SHB's nursery theme is "Enchantment Under the Sea," so rather than spend money on a pastel mobile that couldn't even be bothered to include more than one type of sea animal (although the coordinating bedding *is* awfully cute, I must admit), I figured I could just make my own. There are lots of tutorials out there showing how to make a mobile with varying levels of complexity, and there are templates out there with high-contrast black and white patterns, so with the help of this tutorial, I came up with my own low-budget, under the sea themed mobile. 

Featuring waves, a starfish, a sailboat, bubbles, coral, a generic fish, and a crab with the wrong number of legs...

All dangling from an embroidery hoop!

The shapes were free-handed onto some stash felt and fleece scraps, then I sewed some twill tape to the backs for hanging. I thought about painting the hoop and getting black and white ribbon, but decided that I didn't care enough, so I left the hoop alone and just used leftover wedding ribbon for hanging everything.

It's not as clean and pretty as some of the tutorials, but it's functional (as long as you're not expecting it to play music and twirl around).

The patterned squares can theoretically be switched out for other ones. I don't think I'll be making more, though...


Now that I look at it some more, I find the crab's smile really creepy. 

I WILL HAUNT YOUR DREAMS, SEARCHING ENDLESSLY FOR MY MISSING LEGS. 

Next up: under the sea themed art!

25 comments:

  1. Plus, you know, pastel everything is BORING. I guess if you're trying to put the baby to sleep, yawnfest colors are the way to go?

    One of my friends told me that her husband has already decided that whenever they have a kid, their mobile is going to be as many sci-fi starships as they can cram onto one hanging thing!

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    1. Oooh, that's a brilliant idea...if I could get light enough models of the Millennium Falcon, Luke's X-Wing, the Battlestar Galactica, and Serenity I would totally do the same!

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  2. That's a lovely & very visually-interesting mobile - I am sure your little one will love it! :)

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    1. Thanks! I hope so, since I certainly spent enough time on it :|

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  3. I love it. I would completely go for the Alice in Wonderland theme, but I'm not sure all the kiddo nightmares would be worth it. Ah well. Nice job on the mobile. :)

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    1. It's a pretty weird movie when you think about it...but I would dress in Alice in Wonderland theme myself, so maybe one day the nightmares will be worth it ;)

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  4. Yep totally agree on the pastels. I've kitted out the nursery in olive tones (only cos it's what I like!) plus bright accents. Our mobile is circus animals (gifted by in laws) and I have a tree mural with bright coloured leaves (gifted by my sis). I told everyone I did NOT want pink and that I'm going to cross dress my child... Luckily I'm having a girl so a boy won't get subjected to dresses! Love your mobile - so simple yet so effective!

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    1. Yay someone else who's with me on pastels! I like the sound of that nursery very much!

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  5. I'm with you on the pastel thing. Plus, be prepared for lots of pastel gifts once he/she is born!!! Love the mobile!!!

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    1. Too bad there isn't a nice way to say "no pastels" on a baby shower invite...haha!

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  6. We had a mobile above the change table. ANYTHING that made changing a wriggly baby was highly desirable. I re-stitched the ribbons several times but it was worth it.

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    1. Hmm, this one won't really stand up to a lot of abuse, but I plan on hanging it out of arm's reach...

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  7. Love your mobile! I totally agree with you on the pastels (and non-gender neutrality of all baby stuff, in general)! Maybe it has something to do with the temperature on which you can wash them..? I can add to this that I don't think pastels suit most babies, with their fair skins. I love navy blue on babies and it suits both boys and girls.

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    1. Huh, I didn't even think about wash temperatures, but I guess that makes sense. Time to invest in some color-catchers!

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  8. Dear Geek Mom,

    Very clever. :-)

    From,
    Geek Fan

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    1. I wish I could say the idea was all my own cleverness!

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  9. I made a Montessori "Munari" mobile for my babe. It's black and white. He would concentrate on it for long periods of time. Baby concentration! Your mobile looks great, I especially love the smiling crab :)

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    1. Time to look up the Munari mobile! I love seeing glimpses of what you're doing for your baby, what with the discovery baskets and all!

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  10. Nice! You could make it "twirl" by winding and twisting up the mobile near the hook a few rotations. It would only unwind and move for a few minutes, but that could be fun for the SHB.

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    1. Good idea! And here I was thinking of asking my brother to rig up some spinning motor thing...

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  11. My family is adoring your Geek Baby preparations. Keep up the good work!

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  12. Cute!
    I too am confused by all the pastel baby stuff. How many people actually like pastels anyway?

    And now I wish I was raised in a Sweeney Todd themed nursery.

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