I originally meant to have this post done in the beginning of August, but then we ended up moving into our new house. So I told myself I would finish it when we were done unpacking and decorating, because then I could show off the art in its proper place, but then the school year started. So then I decided to wait until I went on maternity leave, but wouldn't you know it, my last day of school was a Thursday and SHB arrived the following Monday...
Anyway, once we had decided on a nautical/marine theme for SHB, I decided I should acquire some appropriate wall decor. We went to Babies-R-Us and came across this gem:
Yeah, no. One look at this questionably overpriced mass-produced piece (that was nautical colors but not actually all nautical objects) and I realized it would be more economical (financially, but not time-investment-wise) and meaningful to make my own. I started with making little pen and color pencil drawings to fill up these IKEA frames that I'd had sitting around for six years:
|I was honestly really afraid my baby wouldn't be cute, but thankfully this has proven to be true.|
|This is a statement that I need to remind myself of (and attempt to live out) everyday around 6 pm when I still have one more hour to go before Mr. Cation gets home from work and SHB is being exceptionally fussy).|
It felt so good to finally find a use for those frames, I got on a roll and pulled out three canvases that I'd been carting around from apartment to apartment for *gasp* thirteen years (and as many moves!). I had originally bought them at the UCSD bookstore my freshmen year of college, for the purpose of making dorm-room decor, and now that I've finally used them, I
|I love a good whale pun.|
|Let's count the marine animals!|
|A classic alphabet painting, from anemone to zooplankton.|
Some close-ups of the alphabet and number pieces:
|Everyone's who's come by has tried to guess what each of the letters stand for. While some, like J is for jellyfish, are pretty obvious, others, like B, C, and I have been stumpers.|
|Q is also commonly missed. My favorite animal is the narwhal.|
|I am especially proud of how my five nudibranchs turned out!|
I must confess, I borrowed heavily from these art pieces in making mine, which is why I don't feel comfortable selling prints, although people have asked. But I feel totally comfortable using stolen ideas to decorate SHB's room! I had so much fun painting these, even though they took dozens of hours. Thankfully, I painted them in the summer, when I had plenty of time. It was admittedly a bit of a challenge, though, working around my belly at the time (it made it difficult to bend over the canvas, and I don't have an easel). But worth the trouble, because look how nice they look hanging over the diaper changing station!
|The garland is made by stitching together paint chips. Also props to IKEA for making a non-pink cat changing pad cover!|
Two days before SHB arrived, during the one weekend of baby-free maternity leave I had, I was seized with another fit of craft supply purging, and made some faux taxidermy pieces to go with a couple of wood plaques that I'd been saving for eleven years (goodness, these numbers are just embarrassing). I started with a narwhal:
It was so ridiculously cute that I had to go for the other end of the spectrum and make everyone's favorite hideous creature, the much-maligned blobfish:
Both were made from fleece scraps and stuffed with polyfil, then hot-glued onto painted wooden plaques. They made a nice addition to the drawings and a painting that my sister made for SHB:
The last craft-bust was this door hanger:
So there you have it -- the geekiest baby series, marine edition, is now (finally) complete! However, the nice thing about waiting this long to blog these pieces is that I can actually report on how SHB feels about it. At first, the paintings above his changing table were more entertainment for me as I waited for SHB to do his business (he's a fan of waiting until I change him before pooping into the fresh diaper, so I've taken to standing around the changing table fanning his butt with the old diaper in hopes of not "wasting" another diaper...oh, the ridiculous things parents are quickly reduced to doing!). Lately, though, his vision and attention span have been getting better and he is absolutely enamored with (I imagine) the bright colors and interesting shapes above him, and he stares at the paintings for long (for a baby) periods of time.
|Look at that face of intense concentration! Also, note that somebody at the bib factory got bored and never finished embroidering the second N in dinner on his bib.|
The paintings, then, are an unequivocal success. As for the taxidermy, they're currently located behind his swing, so he can't see them. Perhaps that's for the best, though, since Mr. Cation contends that the blobfish would give anybody nightmares.
|IT'S WATCHING YOU.|