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Make Baby Stuff Newsletter, Issue #005 -- Nursery Decor Ideas
June 07, 2008

This monthly newsletter is brought to you from the Make Baby Stuff website. Each issue brings you up to date with new crafty happenings, contests, instructions, reader questions, more tips and our featured crafty artist of the month! It is your kick in the pants to get crafty!

Stuff in This Issue

  • What's New at Make Baby Stuff - New Articles
  • Meet the Crafty Mama - JB Louie, Brownington Forest
  • Tips & Questions from our Readers

What's New at Make Baby Stuff

This month has been all about nursery decorating here at MakeBabyStuff! If you rent and can't alter your walls but want to deck out a nursery, check out these non-permanent nursery wall decoration ideas. Plus, here are some decorate with letters projects to personalize your room with initials, baby's name or a quote. Check our Newest Tutorials Page for More New Articles! Our newest tutorials page lists all the newest projects as soon as they go live on the site! Never miss a new tutorial by simply checking this page.

Meet the Crafty (soon to be) Mama

JB Louie Who: JB Louie of Brownington Forest who creates whimsical prints and paintings. She is an ex-textile designer who spends her free time going on walks in nature with her husband and basenji mix (adopted) dog in Santa Monica, CA. "I need to have trees around me" she says, which may explain why her art is woodland focused. She has also begun reading again since "our TV died a few months ago and we decided not to get another."

JB is our very first "Soon to Be" Crafty Mama feature and her first baby is due early September! Congrats to the Louie family!

Her work caught my eye when I was searching for "nursery friendly but not too cutesy" art and I adore her simple -but filled with emotion- designs. She sells both prints and original paintings in her shop which she started less than a year ago. Read on to hear more about the artist behind the art!

love tree brownington forestWhat lead up to starting Brownington Forest? The name "Brownington Forest" was first thought of by my mother when she was just a little older than I am now, but with three kids. She had always been a crafter and she started to make custom teddy bears with her best girlfriend. My mother made the bears and her friend made the clothes. My mom's last name ( my maiden name, now my middle name) is Brown. So that is where Browningtonforest came from. Their teddy bear business didn't last, I think with life events it just got too busy. For me though, the name still held the idea of the joy of creating and the joy of childhood. Plus, I was drawing mostly trees and animals and it just seemed to fit. I had long wanted to be in business for myself and had tried several times over the years, but this time it just seemed like an ideal time to try it again and really stick with it. I feel like I am still learning and looking for my place to fit, but I am determined to stick with it.

peace tree brownington forestA lot of your work depicts whimsical nature scenes, where do you get the inspiration for this? My inspiration comes from my love of nature and from my childhood. My childhood days were mostly spent outdoors exploring and imagining in the forest. My mom was always telling us to use our imagination and we sure did. Spending so much time in the forest profoundly influenced me and thus my artwork.

What is your favorite part of your creative process from idea to sale? It depends on my mood, but I do enjoy every step of the creative process- except keeping records! I love doodling and waiting for ideas to come, other days I am glad that I already have the concept completely drawn out and all I have to do is "color" it in. Of course I always love to get a sale!

owl browningtonHas pregnancy affected your creative output or the way you view your work? I don't think pregnancy has affected my creative output or how I view my work very much. I think being pregnant is another factor that has kept me at this instead of fleeing back to an in- house job, like I have done in the past. Also I started to think of what I would want to hang in my child's nursery- which has spurred a whole different set of prints. So I suppose there are ways that pregnancy has affected my work.

How do you envision your business might change once a baby enters your family? raccoon browningtonI think the baby's arrival will greatly change my business- at least at first. Sometimes I worry that I will let it slip away but I have come back to my own artwork so many times. I need to have that creative outlet. I expect it will change my point of view and I think I will have a ton more ideas. I babysat and nannied all through high school and college and always found that children are creatively brilliant.

Are you decorating your baby's nursery with your artwork? What are your nursery plans? I am a little slow to the game of getting baby supplies. I guess I just feel a rush to do as much as I can creatively before the baby arrives, so I have been concentrating on that. That's yet another way I didn't realize pregnancy was affecting my work! We also we just moved to a one bedroom apartment for a year, to see if we like living here, so we aren't going to have a nursery at first. I do look forward to decorating a nursery in a year or so when we do buy a bigger place. I like bright, modern, simple stuff with great design. I plan on getting mostly handmade wooden and soft toys. I am not into pink, blue, pastels and the traditional baby look. I want to get as little plastic, mass produced products a possible

connected browingtonAny other creative pursuits you enjoy? Through the years I have tried to condense my creative pursuits down to only painting and drawing, in order to improve it. I can get all over the place with ideas and the least amount of product and production is best for me right now. In the past I have done other things like faux finishing, making canvas floorcloths, candle holders and boxes. But I just feel like that takes my concentration away from developing my artwork.

If you were a forest creature, what would it be and why? This question was the easiest. I would be a bird of course, no particular kind, so I could live in trees and fly.

Thanks JB! Visit her website at Brownington Forest and buy handmade!

Do you make baby stuff? Want to be featured in our monthly newsletter? Please Contact Us and show us your stuff!

Reader Tips & Reader Questions

We've been getting a ton of mail these past couple weeks and we're loving it! Every once in a while we'll add reader tips or answer reader questions in the newsletters that we think many of you might like to hear about.

Adrienne wrote in this great tip to making the Soft Fleece Blocks even easier (the same way you make those no-sew fleece blankets popular a few years back by just tying knots at the edges):

"You can make a no-sew version of the fleece blocks. Just make the squares a little bigger, cut in a couple inches to make ravels and make sure all the ravels are the same size. Then just double knot it. It's great for people that don't have a sewing machine."

Several people wrote in to ask for instructions on how to tie a baby wrap. I'll leave that answer to the many websites that already have this information. For clear photo instructions, check out Wear Your Baby and for tons of great video instructions for various carries, browse the many YouTube videos. Of course, the "mother" of all babywearing sites is where you can chat in the forums, read vendor reviews and have access to unlimited babywearing related resources.

If you like this newsletter, please "email it forward" to someone you know who might appreciate it. If a friend did forward this to you and you like what you read, please subscribe now!

As our site and community grows, I hope that you drop me a line and tell me what crafty baby stuff you are up to! Did you make something that was inspired by something on our site? Pretty please play "show and tell" with the rest of us! Often, having an audience for your crafting is just a kick in the pants that you need to get working.

Feel free to send in tips or questions too! We love mail!

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