DIYing some not so “cliche” baby artwork

Having a baby around changes everything…instead of having my apartment clean and impeccable 95% of the time there is now a baby swing that lives in my kitchen, a vibrating baby chair in my bathroom, Ergo babies and Maya wraps strewn about, not to mention all of the burb cloths, baby wipes, and baby blankets  that seem to float around from room to room. I was so determined before having a baby that I didn’t want his “stuff” to take over our house…and while I really do try to keep it to a minimum there are just certain things that make life easier and end up being worth the eye sore. So when it came time to do the classic baby footprint artwork, I thought there had to be a way to make it cool and modern and not so…baby. No offense to all you babies.

So here is what I ended up with. An abstracted painting where you barely notice the baby footprint, but it’s still there to preserve the memory and be adorable. So a couple months back before Phoenix got here I bought two of these 16×20 canvases at the Hobs (Hobby Lobby) they were on sale $7  for both of them (um. score!). I wanted to get the artwork portion done before the little guy got here to simplify things. So to create my abstract artwork I just picked out some colors that I love (I originally thought these might go in our bedroom so I wanted something that was masculine enough for Kris to handle), I found a couple of inspiration pictures online and just went to town. I think the important part of creating abstract art is to layer, there have been several times when I have started a piece, worked on it for awhile and stopped…only to realize a few days later that the reason it didn’t look quite right was because it wasn’t “done” and just needed several more layers. More layers equals more texture which equals more interest. So after finishing my two canvases (that I wanted to go together, but not be identical), I had these guys to work with.

All done and ready for cute little baby footprints. I used Ceramcoat in Sea Foam for the footprint. I did a bit of research before using this, checking their website to make sure that it was non-toxic and water based. Most acrylic paints are but you can never be too careful when it comes to a baby.

We used a make-up sponge to apply the paint, Kris dabbed a light layer onto Phoenix’s foot- if it’s too globby you won’t get good definition. The make-up sponge worked really well to get just the right amount of paint on his foot. We made sure to get every last adorable little toe too!

Then we gently pressed his foot into the corner of my painting. Phoenix didn’t seem to mind the paint or the foot pressing action.

We were left with the cutest little footprint! We thought we would do his hand too and kind of overlap the two, but Phoenix wasn’t having it. He’s a fist clencher  and he was not interested in un-fisting his hands for us… he is quite strangely strong. I think that boy has some superhero in him or something. I like it better with just the footprint anyway, much simpler.

And there you have it…baby artwork that isn’t going to make your living room look like a nursery. I originally thought Kris and I would hang these in our bedroom one on each side, but the scale is all wrong and they are way too small.

So I put this little vignette together for photos, but we will find a permanent place eventually. Don’t you love my little owl? He makes me smile.

Has anyone else been cooking up any baby artwork? How do you keep your house looking like it hasn’t been overrun by a baby? Any ideas for those monstrous swings?


A (ridiculously) easy job to make life easier

So Jenn and I have decided to use cloth diapers for a number of reasons that will be discussed in a later post (so you will have to come back for that). But we did a lot of research before starting with our cloth diapers and found that the people that had the best results rinsed them off into the toilet before throwing them into the washer (trust me- they are a lot easier than a lot of people think). So in order to do this most people get an attachment on their toilet in order to rinse the diapers off right into the commode. We decided to get more “bang for our buck” and go with a shower head with an extra hose attachment, and we lucked out that our toilet and shower are right next to each other #tinyapartmentproblems.  You can find a shower head like this at any housing retailer from Bed, Bath, and Beyond to Wal-Mart or Lowe’s. Plus, now we can take fancier showers…and you know, bathe our dogs. Our dogs enjoy being fancy (just picture a pooch in a top hat getting sprayed with our new shower head).

It doesn’t take a lot of tools or a hired hand to install these shower heads, most are hand tightened and only require about 15 minutes of work (Shh…don’t tell Jenn how easy it was, she seemed really impressed with me).

1) Take the existing shower head off. You may need a pair of channel locks in order to break the seal.

2) Clean off the threads of the pipe, and then cover with plumbing thread tape. A roll should come with the shower head set, but if it doesn’t you can find it for a buck at Wal-Mart.

3) Like I said, most of the shower kits are hand tightened. So you hand tighten the shower head onto the pipe.

4) Then you hand tighten the attachment hose onto the back of the shower head.

5) Place the rubber washer in the hose end that connects with the hand held nozzle, then screw the hand held nozzle into the hose.

6) Now you just have to take a shower…don’t worry I won’t post pictures of that part.

7) Or rinse off the diapers your sweet baby uses.

In total this project cost us 60 bucks and about 15 minutes.  We had some lingering store credit (left over from our wedding) at Bed, Bath, and Beyond so we opted for the shower head with 6 different settings on each nozzle. You could probably get it done for about half of this if you wanted a simpler one. Has anyone else been doing easy apartment upgrades? Have you purchased any neat gadgets for your home? Do your dogs enjoy wearing top hats too?