To Dye For

Pregnancy has done some funny things to me - I suddenly feel like I can tackle some pretty crafty projects that I would never have even considered before. 

I learnt how to tie dye for the first time. It seems everyone else I know has tried this at least once when they were younger, but here I am trying it for the first time during my pregnancy. 

I recently learned how to "ombre" with dyes and made my husband and the baby a matching blue and grey gift set that they could wear at the same time (I'll take photos of them wearing the set if I'm not balling my eyes out with utter adoration). The ombre technique took a lot more discipline than I was expecting (splashing is the enemy), and the product isn't perfect but I can't wait to see them being worn.

It had started with a white dress that I wore for Diner En Blanc earlier this summer. Diner En Blanc is a 5,000 person "pop up" dinner where everyone is required to dress head to toe in white, bring their own tables/chairs and food, and party at a secret location that you find out about merely hours before. This was our 4th year doing it, and there was no chance of fitting into my old white dresses, so I invested in an all-white maternity dress. Do you know what one does with an all-white maternity dress after an all-white party? NOTHING. I couldn't find a single time I wanted to wear an all-white dress at the largest size I have ever been. So I bought a DIY tie-dye kit and gave it some fringe. You get the idea.

The last attempt at tie-dyeing has been the least successful, but I kind of like the end result anyhow. I took the "matching gift set" one step further, and included myself in the process. I started to get a little more ambitious with the pattern planning, and it didn't quite work out the way I had envisioned, but there's certainly consistency in the outcome.

I've dyed my hands quite a few times, and I'm not sure I'll take this on again. But I did have a lot of fun making these and learning something new. I look forward to the day my son is old enough for me to teach him how dyes work, and maybe we will make more t-shirts again together.... at that time. 

Love Letters

I love sitting in my baby's nursery and I smile when I think about how much more time I will be spending in there once he is born.

It wasn't always like that and its not just because of "pregnancy hormones" (promise).

My favourite part of my baby's nursery was not bought on Etsy or a little hipster shop around the corner in Brooklyn. Above my baby's crib-to-be are 26 hand painted and decorated letters of the alphabet, each with a personalized note on the back for our son, made by a group of my best male and female friends. 

One of my favourite things about living in NYC is having an incredibly diverse and amazing group of friends that have become our extended family. We are the first of our close friends to have children and they are equally excited about adding a little boy into "the family." 

However, there's only so much that they want to hear about the different types of changing pads that exist (I don't blame them) and there's only so long I can get them to look at my Pinterest board before eyes start to glaze over. I wanted to find a way to connect my friends to all the planning and decisions I was starting to make, including the details of decorating the nursery.

I liked the aesthetic of these wooden letters from Land of Nod, and a crafty-friend-of-mine made a quick observation that I could recreate them for much cheaper using paper mache letters from "any craft store." We were sharing a lunch on her sofa when we had the "aha" moment - what if *we* made them. At my baby shower. Each guest could "do a letter", and finish it with a note on the back welcoming our son to this world. 

I had to realize that some of my friends were probably not going to be as enthusiastic about this as I was. I also had to let go of controlling what the end product looked like (a learning experience for a control-freak). To top it off, my baby shower was co-ed, so I was half expecting a few of the men to politely bow out of the task. I pre-painted the letters to avoid a mess at the restaurant, brought a handful of black sharpies, lots of beer, and let my guests at them: the emphasis being on writing the letters for our baby on the back.  

The results exceeded my expectations and I was blown away by how much my friends got into it. Sure, some of them weren't the "most artistic" and a few people didn't quite follow "the rules", but the notes on the back were truly the icing on the cake. Some made us tear up and gave us goosebumps, and some made us chuckle outloud. Needless to say, putting them up on the wall was one of the most fun "nesting" nights my husband and I have had during the pregnancy. Each time I look at them up on the wall I think of all the amazing secret notes that our little boy will one day read.

(Bonus: every time a friend comes to our apartment they look for their letter up on the wall, and feel connected to the nursery)