Friday, March 4, 2016

A Rag Rug For Nell

I recently completed a project that I began about a year ago: a rag rug for Nell's bedroom.  

In my own defense, I was not working day and night on this project during that time; in fact, it lay neglected for the better part of the year in question.  Still, it's a strange thing to complete a project you started for your two-year-old's first "big girl room," and then have your daughter who is fast approaching age four curl up on it.  

I won't pretend to contain my pleasure at how the rug turned out.  Is it perfect?  No.  But I love it.  I love how the colors came together, and I love most of all the fact that it actually lies flat (a feat the difficulty of which ought not to be diminished)!

It's made up of old sheets from my favorite nearby thrift store, along with fabric pieces I had also found there in the thrift shop on the same day.  And one floral sheet that had come with the secondhand mattress we were given for Nell's bed was a wonderful way to work in a wide variety of colors - yellows and oranges and greens to go with the overall pink and turquoise scheme, if you look closely enough.

 We love it, Nell and I.  Just tonight, at bedtime, she sat down on it and said, "I just love my wag wug so much.  I want to snuggle on it forever."

{The cuteness of that sentence reminds me of the time when I was still working on the rug, and Ree got into the braided strands of the project, tangling them up.  Nell exclaimed, "Mawee, you're wuining my wag wug!  You're wecking it and wuining it!")

It is "complete" now, but at times I find myself thinking that I could use up the last of those sheet strips to give it a few additional inches in diameter.  Maybe one of these days.  For now, I'm glad to have it finally taking up its proper place in Nell's room.

And speaking of Nell's room, it seems like a fitting moment to show you how far that space has come since we bought this house.

That was the bedroom when we first viewed the house as prospective buyers.  The stickers haphazardly stuck all over the walls covered spots of crumbling plaster and other problem areas.  You really can't tell from the photos, but this room (as with the rest of the house) was in desperate need of some careful attention.

And it got it, although not for a couple of years!  Here is Nell's space now.

Nell's antique wrought iron bed, which I've written about before, was a yard sale find I paid just $15 for.  Of course, it was a considerably larger investment to have it sandblasted and painted, but I love it so much I consider it well worth every penny.

With a vintage bed frame and a vintage quilt (also a yard sale find), I set about finding other vintage-themed things for her room.  I printed vintage paper dolls from online and made a little clothesline-type display over framed dolls I laid over lace scraps.

The little silver vanity tray on Nell's dresser was $5 at the thrift store.  The dried hydrangeas are from our front yard.  Her nightlight is a small hand-painted lamp that was given to us as a wedding present nine years ago.

The curtains are from IKEA because you just can't beat the prices.  I looked into so many other options and they were all cost-prohibitive at the time -- even just sewing curtains from lace fabric would have been far more expensive than buying the curtain panels and rods and hardware all together from IKEA!

The shadowbox over Nell's bed has her ultrasound pictures, her little newborn hospital hat, her ankle bracelet from the hospital, and a picture of me holding her the morning after she was born.  Sweet memories, and she so enjoys looking at everything and hearing stories about herself as a newborn baby.  The photographs to the left were taken by the lovely and talented Esther Mathieu when Nell was a newborn.  

 Her closet door displays a vintage pink baby dress, and the wall beside it currently holds one of her baby onesies that had been embroidered with her {nick}name.

My maternal grandmother passed away during the time that I was putting together this bedroom for Nell.  When I came across these little vintage magazine clippings Grandmommy had given me long ago, it seemed quite fitting to incorporate them into Nell's vintage decor.  Just simple pictures of little girls at play -- food for the imagination!

Her tiny wooden bookcase was a roadside find just a few houses down the street from us one Sunday after church.  It's a curious design; the books are held diagonally and the shelves have no bottoms.  It wouldn't have been my first choice for a child's room, because she still has a bit of trouble shelves the books herself, but free is free!

The wooden cart at the foot of Nell's bed was a hand-me-down gift from a violin student who had outgrown its use.  It holds stuffed animals and other such childhood delights, including the quilt I sewed for her.

Tucked into the corner beside the radiator is a vintage little metal baby doll crib, which I'm guessing is from the 50's.  It was a secondhand find I paid $10 for, as I recall, and I later found a coverlet and tiny matching lace pillowcase at my thrift store, so Nell's babies are well cared for at all times.

{The doll on the right, who admittedly looks a little worse for the wear, is of more or less the same vintage as the crib; her name is Betsy and she was my mother's doll, then mine, and is now tenderly cared for by her third little mama, Nell.}

Beside Nell's bed sits a small white table I found at a yard sale, which is home to the old broken iPhone that plays her lullabies each night, and equally importantly, the silver cup her godparents gave her on her baptism day.  Nathan was quite effective in convincing Nell some time ago that holding this "shiny cup" was a great privilege, and she could hold it in bed as she fell asleep if she wasn't fussing at bedtime.

She is quite enamored with it.

So that is Nell's bedroom -- more than anyone ever wanted to know about it, I'm sure.

When I look at it, I still see how badly the floor needs to be repainted, and how the paint is peeling off the radiator, and the windows need a good washing, and the ceiling tiles are ugly and the light fixture should be replaced.  And, as any of our babysitters could tell you, it is usually much messier than in these pictures!  But every once in a while, it's nice to tidy up, step back, and see how much progress we have made on this little space.


  1. You have made such a beautiful space for your daughter. I love it! And that rag rug is a work of art. Well done! :)

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