Friday, July 30, 2010

To Nick with love from Mommy and Daddy

I am very, very proud of this piece, as it's one of the few pieces I've stitched and framed AND hung on a wall in our own home. (More on that in another post). This is something my husband and I both worked on as a gift for our son. I stitched everything but the personalization before he was born, and my husband finished the piece by stitching in the name and the vital details.

Maine Fishing Village Sampler by Seguin Designs
Stitched 2 over 2 on Blue Dynasty Cashel fabric
with various threads
(name partially blurred for privacy)

We picked the piece from about a dozen options I found online. I never get hung up on searching for a specific birth record - I've changed a number of different charts to suit my needs. Of course, limiting yourself to just birth or wedding records can make the search less overwhelming, but you don't always find what you want, especially if you're not going for one of the more popular baby themes. I just look for something appealing that fits the theme, and figure out how to modify it from there, and if you look at the original sampler on the Seguin Designs site, you'll see I did quite a bit of modification.

In this case, my husband picked the Maine sampler because Maine is one of our most favorite places on earth and we hope to take Nick there some day soon. I also like that the piece was relatively simple, easy to modify and embodied some of my favorite "Maine" things including blueberries and lobster buoys. I even changed up the colors on the lobster buoys to add a little more color to the piece and more closely match photos of actual buoys I found online.

I stitched the piece while I was pregnant, and found the repetitive border to be rather soothing to stitch on those night when I was especially tired. When it was all finished, I ordered the frame from and put my husband to work framing it up. Normally I would have picked a dark wood frame to coordinate with the furniture in the room, but everything else is framed in black, and I like how the black sets off the colors in the piece itself. By the way, if you're looking for framing materials, I HIGHLY recommend They're a great site, their customer service is wonderful, and they have a very cool feature that allows you to upload a picture of what you're framing and play around with frames and mats so you can see what your piece will look like before you commit.

I have some issues with privacy which makes me feel a little uncomfortable sharing details of our private lives sometimes. However, I happen to be ridiculously pleased with how this room turned out, and wanted to share it. Especially since this room started out as what we called "The Princess Room" - pink walls, yellow ceilings, huge swirls, and gigantic flowers and butterflies painted onto the walls. Not really our taste at all, and definitely inappropriate for a boy.
As you can see, we went with a nautical theme, using Nautica William for the bedding, and hanging photographs of lighthouse and other beach / ocean related subjects on the walls. Well, except for the family pictures above the changing table. (Yes, I know it looks like it should be lower, but it's just out of the reach of a grabby little boy.)

One of the things I like best about the photographs on the walls is that most of them come from our own travels. There are photos from our honeymoon in the Outer Banks, from one of our trips to Maine, and also from Maryland and New Jersey.

Friends of ours gifted Nick with photos from their travels as well. Hanging above the chair are two photos from Massachusetts, taken and framed by my friend's very talented fiance, who has traveled all over the world taking photos.

Above the end table are photos of lighthouses and sailboats from another friend's journey to Scotland. (Yes, he did take those photos especially for me.) There is also a larger photo my husband took of a crab on one of our trips to Maine, specifically Bailey Island. You can't tell from the picture because we didn't think to use anything for scale, but the crab wasn't much bigger than a thumbnail.

I love this room. It's one of my favorite rooms in the house, and I love that it's a room that can grow with our son. I'm not a big fan of anything too cartoonish or over the top, so I am absolutely thrilled with how calm and serene this room is.


Angela said...

It's a lovely birth sampler and how great that you both stitched on it.

The room is delightful and so big and tidy. Make sure you enjoy being in there as much as possible, before Nick claims it as his own space and your not always welcome LOL

Deanne J said...

The room is lovely and your sampler is perfect.

mainely stitching said...

I love it! Your personalizations are so much better than the original!!

Michele B. said...

First things first - that boy of yours is adorable! What a face! No wonder he is such a happy kid - he gets to sleep in such beautiful and restful surroundings. You and your husband certainly know how to decorate. The birth sampler is very special and I'm sure it will hang on his wall, and his children's, and their children's...

Lynn said...

What a wonderful post! Nick is a real cutie, I love the grin.
I love your personalization of Nick's sampler and the attention to details in his room. Blue is a very calming colour which I've always loved. I also love how he is surrounded by pics of family and friends. It's really great!

I stitched samplers for each of my granddaughters which are hung almost near the ceiling because of sticky little hands trying to reach them!

Sally said...

Nick is a real sweetie :) His room is gorgeous and I love his birth sampler.

Carol said...

What a treasure Nick's sampler is, Jennifer! And his room is amazing, too. But, the cutest thing in your post is little Nick himself--what a little doll :)

Meari said...

That's a great room, and a cute little boy. The sampler turned out really well.

Lesleyanne said...

A lovely post. Your son is gorgeous as is the room and sampler. I love the idea that both of you worked on it.

natalyK said...

Thanks for sharing. Your little guy it too cute! The room you gave him is beautiful. Serene and peaceful. I great spot for him to rest his weary head. Great job! (much better choice of colors for a boy)

Dianne said...

The sampler is really special-I like that both you and Jeff worked on it for Nick. I think his room is serene too-blue is one of my favorite colors too.

Marie-P said...

Nick is adorable, what a smile!
His room is wonderful.
Your sampler is just perfect and I love that your husband stitched on it as well.