Before my daughter was even born, I would tell people that she really wasn’t going to have much of a choice whether she liked to read or not. I had been collecting books from my favorite authors at yard sales years before ever becoming pregnant. We also asked for books instead of cards at our baby shower. In my defense, my job involved reading books to toddlers and school age children, so I had a very valid reason to even have a list of favorite children’s authors. Also, I believe that I learned my love of books thanks to my own mother. I have fond memories of trips to the library and of her reading stories to me at bedtime.
So very early on in Nugget’s life, I would read to her before naptime and bedtime. At first, she was clueless as to what I was doing, but now books are her favorite thing. She wants to read all the time, so much so that I have started hiding some for a few days after I can’t stand to read them one more time. She will surround herself with a pile of books and hold one up in the air, look at me and grunt. If I don’t come read it in a timely fashion, tears are shed. I guess I got what I wished for.
She is also in a phase of trying to wriggle away during diaper changes, so the picture below is a frequent occurrence if Daddy is home to distract her from the awful reality of getting her soiled diaper replaced. The daddy & daughter bond is just the sweetest thing ever, am I right?
Fun fact: note the little whale spout she’s sporting? This look was frequently worn by my niece at the time we were dreaming about opening a nursery décor business and was the inspiration for our business name. We do love a good whale spout.
For Nugget’s 1st birthday, I wanted to create a reading nook in our play room. I know she can’t fully utilize it yet, but I’d been waiting for an excuse to create one. Particularly one with a cloud hanging from the ceiling and rainbow ribbon suspending “diamond” raindrops.
I didn’t document the process very well, but should you like to make one check out the tutorial below. It’s a very forgiving craft project, so have fun with it and don’t worry about specific measurements or amounts.
- 6 Chinese lanterns, no lights needed (tip: wait until spring/summer and check your local Dollar Tree for cheap ones)
- white spray paint
- snow roll (sometimes called snow blanket/buffalo snow)
- spray adhesive
- hot glue gun & glue sticks
- ribbon (chose what colors you like, I have one string for every color of the rainbow, but also thought about getting rainbow ribbon with all the colors on one strand)
- faux diamonds
- fishing wire & sewing needle (you want a really long needle)
- hanging screws
- Set up your area. Be sure to lay down newspaper or plastic drop cloth for using spray paint and spray adhesive. It will cover everything and get in areas you didn’t even know you sprayed! Be in a well ventilated space (outside is best), the spray adhesive is potent. We were not, hence the bandanas in the picture below.
- Assemble lanterns and spray paint white (if already white you can skip this step. I spray painted because they had floral patterns on that I didn’t want to show through). Allow spray paint to dry before continuing to step #3
- Roughly cut out sections of the snow roll. Attach the snow roll to the lanterns using spray adhesive. If I had extra, I just pushed it into the lantern opening.
- Lay out your covered lanterns in desired cloud shape and hot glue together.
- Take a whole piece of snow roll and spray adhered to the whole cloud shape. Be sure to push into the nooks and crannies so you don’t lose your cloud shape and end up with a blob instead. Repeat this step for both sides. I also cut strips of snow roll and adhered them to the top side to make a grid on the top (you could probably get away without the grid strips, but I wanted to be extra sure the shape would stay together once hung) *Above picture is of cloud before putting on poly-fil. Excuse the strange people. As stated, proper ventilation is key. We learned the hard way.
- Using spray adhesive, cover a small area and press in chunks of poly-fil. Continue to fill in the entire cloud shape. Once you complete the one side, turn over and repeat.
- Take your fishing wire and thread through your sewing needle. This step is to help support the structure as well as create a frame for hanging the cloud. Use the needle to thread the wire through the lanterns near the upper part of where each one meets (create two separate squares of wire; so the middle two lanterns with have wire on both the left top & right top).
- Cut two long & equals pieces of fishing wire for hanging the cloud. Take one piece of wire and run it under the two parallel wires on the top and bottom of a “wire square.” Once the wire is looped through the bottoms of the two wires, knot to create a loop. Repeat this with the other piece of wire and “wire squares.” These two knotted strands are your pieces for hanging the cloud with whatever screws you chose. I realize steps 7 & 8 may be a bit confusing with out pictures, so hopefully this rough drawing above will help. The circles represent the lanterns. The squares are where your wire squares will be. X marks where you will run the wire strands under the square to create loops for hanging.
- Take your diamonds and hot glue them to the ribbon. (mine happened to have holes at the top, so I was able to knot the ribbon through the hole, but also hot glued for extra measure). I chose to cut my ribbon at different lengths so the diamonds were varied, sort of like raindrops. I then hot glued a ribbon to each cloud puff. Be sure glue is completely dry before hanging.
Finished project hung in our reading nook. I just love it! Now to get a better rug. I’m thinking grey.