Problem solving

When the results of first attempts are guaranteed to be imperfect, creativity gets the room it needs to work its magic. The finished product may end up on your coffee table, in your garden, or on the scrap pile. The creative process can turn from fun to frustrating to fun again in a matter of minutes. But that first moment of surveying something finished, something surprising, something not at all how you imagined it, is empowering. So bring on the next project!

January 5, 2012

Davy Deer & The Daughter

Most of my energy these past few months has gone into a whole-hearted attempt to "pull it all together" before "The Daughter" arrives (due Jan 12, AKA next Thursday). This has involved, among other things, hauling pieces of furniture from elsewhere in the house into her room, practicing Moby Wrap ties, asking friends for laundering strategies for cloth diapers, buying items off Craigslist, installing batteries, and making umpteen trips to Target. And near the very end of the to-do list: decorate her walls!

As you will see from the photos, I am not keen on "matching" sets. Not for furniture or wall hangings or anything else, really. Perhaps because it allows for maximum flexibility and prevents me from getting wound up if something gets ruined. If nothing exactly matches, it's easy to just make a swap with a garage sale find! Practical frugality. Love it.

Well anyway, on to Davy Deer. My Mom recently gave me our little worn copy of the children’s book, "Davy Deer's New Red Scarf" by Helen Adler. I’d memorized it as a child, having asked my mom to read it to me so many times, and its worn and yellowed pages held together with masking tape just melted my heart. I knew when I saw it again that I wanted to give it a place of prominence in The Daughter’s room. The illustrations are just too wonderful to NOT be displayed!

The story is of Davy Deer, who is so proud of the new red scarf his mother knitted him (seriously, who needs fingers to knit when you have hooves?) that he runs into the forest to show it off to all his friends, unaware that the scarf is unraveling as he runs along. He soon comes upon an unknown part of the forest and realizes he is lost, and that the red scarf is ruined. Thankfully Buster Bear is there to suggest that Davy follow the red wool back through the forest to find his way home again. And the best part of all? Mother Deer isn’t upset about the scarf at all. She will simply knit him another one! Love. Friendship. Fear. Loss. Hope. Relief. And BIG TIME LOVE all over again.
Suffice it to say, I love this story. So, out came the X-Acto knife and the colored pencils. I assembled this display on poster board and mounted it above the changing table, where I will be able to see it from the rocking chair. And maybe read from it during diaper changes...? We'll see. Anyway, it warms my heart, so chock-full of memories it is.

And speaking of warm memories in The Daughter's room, here is the opposite corner of her room. 
The dresser on the right was my mother's when she was a child! It has the cutest vintage stickers of nursery rhyme characters on it. The tall poster above the bookshelf has the 23rd Psalm written on it, with a picture of a girl tending sheep. The latch-hook rug was made for me by a childhood friend. Josh assembled the new crib, dear man. Above the dresser is another stitching design of a deer in the moonlight that I picked up at a garage sale...another thrilling find. The nightlight lamp came from my parent's house, the bookshelf from my closet (and previously from my friend, Jen), the rocker from a garage sale. And I *think* the blanket was made for Josh when he was a baby.

Such is the beauty of her mismatched room...and clear evidence of her mother's sentimental nature.    


  1. You still have the bookshelf?? It makes my heart melt that you would keep it!

  2. I'm lovin' the lamp too. The whole room is very endearing. You'll have many fond memories of that space, for sure.

    That book looks like it is really old . . . maybe from the 40's? Where did your parents get it from when you were a wee one? Cute.