The Cutest Dr. Seuss Nursery Ever

So how's that for a title to keep your expectations nice and high?  But I promise once you see these pictures you are going to agree with me. Today I'm featuring the nursery in the home of one of my best friends.  At the time these photos were taken, baby Carmen was still cookin' in my bestie's belly, but now little CJ (as they call her) is almost 9  months old! I think Carmen is a million times cuter than her nursery, but that's a post for another day.  Today is about the nursery.

But wait, first let's see some adorable maternity pictures of then mommy to be Kelsa (and her husband Michael).

Isn't she just stunningly beautiful?! I would give anything to be that photogenic.

These photos were taken by my other amazing and beautiful bestie, Amy, who is a family portrait photographer based out of Chicago. So, if you're a mid-westie. look her up, she'll make you and your family look just as fabulous as what you see here. 

Amy was kind enough to also take all of the photos of this nursery for me to share with you here. So, I guess this means if you want nursery photos with your maternity photo shoot, she will without a doubt knock those out of the park as well. 

Kelsa and Michael decided on a Dr. Seuss theme early on, partially because they loved the bright, bold, primary colors that are typical in a Dr. Seuss book, and also because they live on Mulberry Street.  How cute is that? 

Anyway, as soon as she told me the theme, my crafty brain started thinking...wouldn't it be fun to make something for the nursery that used pages from Dr. Seuss books?  My pinterest board was soon filled with ideas....and after blending several of these ideas together into one massive project, I decided to make her a mobile. 

It was one of the most fun projects that I have worked on in a very long time. It was also one of the projects that took me the very most longest times to work on!

I purchased two copies of the Dr. Seuss ABC book (based on what she told me was their bedding choice), and for almost an entire month my studio floor was covered in lines of star cut outs and strands of coordinating embroidery floss. 

available for purchase here
 (I used a Martha Stewart star shaped craft punch, and an acid free permanent glue pen if you are wondering about the knitty gritty detail part). 

Then I dismantled a lamp shade that I grabbed at Home Depot, painted it bright yellow for the base, and started to tie the strands onto it.

Then I began to question what I had gotten myself into. 

At first glace the mobile may appear colorfully random- but the amount of time that I spent color coordinating the stars to make up the strands bordered on unnecessarily obsessive. It also took a TON of strands to fill out the mobile the way that I wanted to. 

But in the end, the effect was exactly as I hoped, and it looks amazing in the room! 

The rest of the room is just adorable too. They painted bright horizontal stripes all along the wall behind the crib, and her mother in law even made some truffula trees to put in the corner! (Her mother in law also made all of the fabric bunting and lettering that is over her changing table in the first photo of this post). 

The room is a great mix of modern handmade touches and classic family heirlooms, like these Norman Rockwell prints. 

Baby CJ may still be too young to truly appreciate all of the hard work that went into making her nursery so unique and personalized, but I have no doubt that she already knows just how much she is loved!  

Quick tip: Color Coded Calendar

You know when you do something that comes so naturally that you almost assume that everyone does it that way...and then you tell someone about it and they look at you with their head cocked to the side, like, "Are you crazy woman?"

Apparently keeping a color coded calendar is one of those things. Doesn't everyone (at least with kids in school and sports and after school activities) keep a color coded calendar in their kitchen?

and this isn't even our complete calendar- still missing soccer games and violin lessons!

I don't know- I just kind of assumed that since it makes my life so much easier, pretty much everyone else was in on this technique as well. But, since I've heard from my friends that I'm crazy (but also the kind of crazy that they want to come to their house and do this for them), I thought I would share with the world.

It's simple guys. Buy a package of wet or dry erase markers (fine point), and then each family member gets their own color. It helps if you never switch colors so that everyone can get used to just glancing at the calendar and being in charge of their own information.

Once a month sit down with all of your loose papers and mobile devices and get everyone's everything onto one big ol' calendar. Any event or responsibility corresponding to any particular person gets written down using their assigned color. I keep EVERYTHING on this calendar, from sports games and practices, to violin lessons, to who is buying lunch each day, and also which day which kid needs to wear gym shoes (because of course it's never ever on the same day).  Family activities that apply to everyone get their own color.

Easy peasy.

 I'm SURE I got mine from Target, but you can get one much like it on Amazon here:

Click to purchase via affiliate link

I'm not going to lie, it's like Christmas morning for me when a new month comes around and I get to make the new calendar. Something about seeing it all in one place, and seeing it all nice and color coded for easy makes me feel just a little more relaxed.

I also color code my kids closets, but I guess that's a story for another day.

Cleaning for creativity

I googled this quote to make sure I attributed it properly, but google gave me nothing, so I am going to trust my memory and tell you that Liz Gilbert said it on her podcast Big Magic (Season 1), which by the way is LIFE CHANGING if you haven't listened to it. All creative people (which is ALL people according to Liz), should listen to it.  But anyway.....

She says,
"The first step to writing a novel is to alphabetize your spice cabinet" 



I mean, I'm not writing a novel....and I'm not exactly organizing my spice cabinet (yet), but I totally TOTALLY get what she is saying. I can't even think about beginning a new creative pursuit until my space is in order.
*cue me looking around my office and having a panic attack because it's a hot mess* 

Truth be told, my office/art studio is at the top of the last set of stairs in our house, and no one ever walks by this space or comes into it unless they mean to, so it's always last on my priority list to clean.  The mess up here doesn't really bother me because when I create I need a lot of things at my finger tips.  

But the family room....I can't even. I cannot feel good about sitting down to write, or paint, or work on anything that requires creative bandwidth if I know that my kitchen is a mess, there are socks on the family room floor, or the stairs need to be vacuumed.  I need to see the vacuum lines on the carpet to feel relaxed. I may have a problem. 

Thinking back to this episode of the podcast (and I'm sure now that I've attributed it correctly), she went on to say that by clearing your physical space, you are clearing mental space to make room for creativity. There is something therapeutic and cathartic about a good deep clean to prepare yourself for a new project.  Sometimes we need a fresh start, and that fresh start may start by cleaning out the hallway closet.

So, creative people of the world, (that's you even if you don't think it is), go forth and organize your sock drawer- not as a procrastination tool, but as a way to clear your mind and prepare yourself for your next big thing. Liz Gilbert and I say so. 


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