Back to the drawing board

I sat down this weekend to order the artwork for the girls room and ran into a few road blocks.  Syd’s room was easy. I went to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and ordered the three Grant Wood prints from their website….even the ones that aren’t commissioned at the Cedar Rapids Museum.  One stop easy shopping at its finest.

Thing is Thomas Hart Benton doesn’t have his own museum that specializes in him, which is sad really because his body of work is quite large and MO doesn’t have many things to be famous for, but I digress.  His Kansas City home and art studio have been turned into a historic site that is run by the MO state parks department but it is definitely not a ‘art museum’.  I did however contact them this weekend to see if they had any prints in stock, and of course they do, but only the racier more popular paintings of his; none of his bright countryside or farm scenes. The gentleman I spoke to was extremely helpful though (seriously after living here for so long I’m always in shock with house nice and helpful people are in the Midwest!) and told me to email him the works I was trying to track down and he would see where they are housed (private collections vs. art galleries) and then I could contact the art galleries themselves to see if they had any prints.  He managed to locate a few, but none of them are the 3 we had pegged for the room, and none of the art museums carry anything larger than a postcard.  I did find a dealer on eBay that is selling smaller ‘prints’ from a book that I’m thinking of ordering 4 of and using on one wall as a collage.  Not quite what we had in mind when we set out on this inspired design adventure, but it’s better than nothing.

To add to this frustration I had narrowed fabrics down to a select few and ordered some half-yards which arrived on Friday and they didn’t click with me.  The blue was to electric and the red to orangey.  The more I stared at it the more I hated it…which isn’t a good thing when I remembered how many hours upon hours I stared at Syd’s bedding and decor while holding a feeding (and sometimes screaming) infant.  So those fabrics will be going back and I have a few more on order.

I’ve completely scraped the aqua/red/creme color scheme and am leaning more towards a yellow/white/gray.  I was inspired after looking at a few nurseries in magazines with yellow bedding and gray walls.  Even though the artwork won’t be playing a dominant role in the room anymore the smaller prints we can locate will still coordinate well with this color scheme.  Once the additional fabrics I ordered arrive I plan to visit the only local quilt shop we have in the 30 mile driving distance of where I live to see what, if anything I can find in person that inspires me. But I’m not holding my breath. I called this weekend to see what designers they had in stock and it didn’t impress me (hence why I had to order some of my fabrics online because they didn’t carry Moda’s Half Moon Modern line, nor had they heard of it).  I do know that a fast way to go out of business is to aim towards one demographic and if you want to target your quilting fabrics to the 60+ age groups who live for batiks (like ahem G-Street Fabrics does) and not the thousands of 30+ woman who are ‘rediscovering’ sewing then…well…I’m going to go online to find my fix instead of patronizing your brick and mortar establishment.

I’ve also located some pretty awesome red fabrics, and would love to do a red/pink/gray room for the girls. However, I keep thinking of what a pain the ass it would be to always have to separate the red sheets from the rest of the laundry (3 years later our red cotton sheets STILL bleed onto lighter fabrics).  Maybe someday…for the next step… nursery to ‘big girl room’ I can finally decorate in a lovely bright red.

And for those of you who think I’m crazy for 1) caring so much and 2) putting so much time into this…remember I’m a closet ‘artist’.  I find this process fun — searching, deciding, scheming, assembling and the best part…sitting back and admiring.  I wish I could do it for my real job.  Instead I read boring scientific documents and sit in endless meetings.  Thankfully this dull art-lacking job pays the bills so I can order endless amounts of fabric to feed my hunger.


  1. I totally get it. I love the process too! Almost as much as the finish product.

    I love the yellow/gray combo. That’s probably one of my favorite color combos out there right now. Throw in some navy blue and I’m in heaven! The half moon modern line is really cool, too. I have some of the chevrons and the color and quality are really nice.

    I was poking around on Spoonflower last night looking for some fabric for a shirt for Jake and found a designer on there that I really like (I was pinning a bunch of her stuff). I noticed that one of her lines is a blue/red/cream line and the colors seem a bit more subdued. I pinned one if you ever think about going back to that color scheme. Though a nursery of Spoonflower fabrics could very well break your budget!

    • Yah I can’t even look at spoonflower for this project because the yardage in itself for 2 cribs could cost me a fortune. Maybe for a smaller project I’ll click on over but until then I’ll happily pretend it doesn’t exist!

      Good to know that the HMM line is nice I hope I can find some coordinating yellows to go with the chevron’s and other prints!

      Me thinks the Yellow/Gray train is steaming full ahead…

      • I just ordered a cool linen for Jake’s shirt from Spoonflower and the 2 yards that I ordered (to give myself some leeway and for pattern placement since it’s a one-directional pattern) cost me almost $40! Man I wish it was easier to find good non-cutesy boy fabric. Particularly linen–I don’t know where else to go for nice linen.

      • Yeah I definitely need to start thrifting for material for Jake. If this shirt weren’t for pictures I probably wouldn’t have splurged on Spoonflower…

      • The one thing about half moon modern though is that, while I really like the gray in the line, the yellow is a bit too … yellow … for my taste. If you know what I mean. If I were designing a nursery in that color scheme, I’d use half moon modern for the gray and use something else, something a bit more subdued, for the yellow. Just my two cents 🙂

        • As long as it isn’t a mustard yellow I should be OK as I’m kind of wanting something ‘bright’ and wasn’t planning on using the HMM slections as the huge fabric focus of the room (more accents maybe even just framed fabric). But yes this is why I ordered the charm pack, if all else fails I’ll have something to make a quilt someday! Guess I’ll just have to see… The pitfalls of living in a city with no good fabric stores! Oy!

  2. I’m so impressed by anyone who can sew or design spaces, this sounds fun!

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