Meet Hudson the Polar Bear

This is the story of Cuddle and Kind…and Hudson the Polar Bear.  Recently, while searching endlessly online for black and white “babystuff”- toys, clothing, decorations for the woodland nursery- this image kept popping up of these irresistibly adorable hand-crafted toys.

Cuddle and Kind Doll Per Meal

Something about their sweetness caught my eye, so I clicked on the link and discovered this cuddly world of wonder…with a twist. These beautifully hand-knit dolls were created for one reason…to eradicate childhood hunger around the world.

Cuddle and Kind Our Goal

The dolls are lovingly hand crafted in Peru by local artisans-and the effects of the sales of these adorable dolls are far reaching.

Cuddle and Kind Fair TradeThe mission?

Cuddle and Kind Mission Statement

For every doll sold, ten meals are provided for children around the world who would otherwise go hungry. Where do those meals go, you ask??

Cuddle and Kind MapSuch an amazing goal!

Cuddle and Kind GoalAfter browsing through page after page of cuddly cuteness, I chose this particular doll-Hudson the Polar Bear-because he is black and white (naturally) and has a woodland feel to him. And he is super cute and super soft. Check out the fineness of the stitching!

Hudson The Polar Bear Closeup DollSo Hudson the Polar Bear is now resting comfortably in his new home-perched on the crib in the Black & White Woodland Nursery. And he’s happy knowing that he is spreading the word, and the kindness, of the folks at Cuddle and Kind. Who, at this writing, have provided over 10 MILLION meals for hungry children.

10 Million CelebrationTo honor that remarkable achievement, the family of Cuddle and Kind is having a contest…enter for a chance to win an elephant or two! This is a win-win…you win a pair of elephants, more hungry children are fed. The message of kindness is spread.

Hudson the Polar Bear on CribAlong with Hudson the Polar Bear doll, I purchased a whimsical print that pairs beautifully with the theme of the baby nursery…and also provides an additional 5 meals to the Cuddle and Kind mission! Simple and sweet…You Can Move Mountains…for our new little bear.

Hudson the Polar Bear Print

Whom, by the way, has finally entered the world! Our new infant grandson is quite camera-shy so I’m not posting any pics of him. But I will tell you that his name is Torin (which translates to chief in Gaelic…the perfect name for a child who will be moving mountains someday.) So, if you head over to Cuddle and Kind …to browse or hopefully purchase one of these amazing dolls…be sure to tell them that Torin sent you! Have a kind and cuddly day, everyone.

xoxo Susan

 

 

Woodland Nursery Dresser

Another DIY nursery project to share! This time, its a dresser/armoire for the baby’s clothing and other essentials.

Full Dresser ViewI’d forgotten how teeny tiny newborn babies are until my daughter showed me a sweet little onesie from H & M-this dresser should be adequate for quite awhile! It was one that I had refurbished a few years ago for my own “nana-nursery” when our first grandson was born.

Nana Nursery Diaries DresserI’ve really not had much use for it, since I have a bookcase and a changing table with loads of storage. So I offered it up to her for the black and white nursery. Originally, the entire dresser was stained brown. For my room, I had repainted it with teal accents

Dresser in Aquaand used a vintage map for the door inset. (and yes, the map is upside down-I never noticed it, even after I hung the door and placed the dresser in the nursery : O )

Map Front PanelBut, that old map print wasn’t going to work for the black and white woodland nursery! As it just so happened, I did have some pieces of Birch Tree Peel-and-Stick wallpaper from Roommates left over from our log cabin room in the Maine cottage. I didn’t have one long continuous length left, but it was simple to cut and piece it together since the design has pretty soft edges on the trees and branches.

 

Log Room WallpaperUsing that, I replaced the map with the birch trees, instantly transforming the dresser from nautical to natural!

Woodland Dresser Birch Peel and Stick PanelAlong with the map, the handles-which were teal blocks of wood-needed a change as well.

Dresser Drawers BeforeYou know, the thing about Amazon is that if you can dream it-they sell it! A quick search of “twig handles” revealed these silver beauties that could be used as replacements.

Amazon Zinc Twig Knobs

One problem: there would only be one hole for the twigs where there were two for the wood block handles. Simple fix: I filled the holes with some wood plugs that I glued into place.

Plugged Drawer HolesThen I sanded down the drawers, restained and then polyurethaned them, as well as the dresser top and the door frame surrounding the birch paper. Although the little wood plugs didn’t take the stain as well as the rest of the wood, the contrast was barely noticeable once the twig knobs were added.

Twig KnobsThe rest of the dresser was painted in Behr’s Tin White Chalk Paint for a bright contrast for the wood.  So now we have a beautiful dresser that holds loads of tiny baby stuff while looking quite adorable and adding a touch of natural warmth to the otherwise simply black and white décor.

Woodland DresserAnother project done, more to go! And baby still hasn’t made his appearance, much to his mommy’s chagrin. Next up, the art of the nursery.  xoxo Susan

Soft and Sweet Nursery Furnishings

Decorating is all about layering-doesn’t matter if its a castle or a nursery. You start with a blank canvas, then slowly add colors and textures until you have achieved your desired effect. Along with paint and wallpaper and furniture, the baby nursery décor wouldn’t be complete without soft goods- draperies, sheets and pillows and a blanket or two.

Mural and QuiltI put together this flannel quilt with fabrics I chose from the vast selection at Joanns. Who knew that black and white nursery prints were a thing?!

Black and white quilt fabric.JPGThere were so many to choose from, I had a difficult time deciding.

Arrow quilt fabricBut, in keeping with the overall woodland theme, I went for the same types of fabrics-

Dream Big little one fabrictrees and mountains and leaves and baby animals-along with a few inspirational quotes for the baby-to-be.

Follow your dreams quilt fabricAll in black and white and framed in graphic black and gray buffalo check.

Black and white quilt frontThis soft flannel quilt is not hand stitched-at this point in my life I have neither the patience nor the inclination to produce that type of quilting masterpiece. Instead, it is machine stitched and machine washable-perfect for a typical messy baby : )

When I create these types of quilts, I just lay all the pieces out in whatever pleasing pattern seems to work. I often utilize the very scientific “squint test”: place everything, then stand back and squint- this blurs the prints but gives you an overall sense of the balance of colors. Then I cut. The stitching is fairly simple: the squares are first stitched to the borders, then filling and backing is added. If you can sew a straight line, you can create a quilt like this in just a few short hours.  Along with the mountain mural, it adds another layer of interest to the room.

Along with the quilt, I crafted one of these fleece blankets- you see them everywhere, and they are absolutely the simplest thing in the world to make!

Black and white fleece throwTwo pieces of fleece, any size, back to back. Cut squares into the corners, cut along the edge in 1-2 inch increments all the way around. The wider the cut, the fatter the fringe. The deeper the cut, the longer the fringe. Then you just tie knots to attach front to back. Warm and soft and very cute-and also machine washable!

My daughter chose these sweet pin-dot black out panels from Target.

Mural and CribEven though they are white, they do a nice job of blocking out the late afternoon sun that beams into the nursery. Pillows-the graphic one from Ikea, the Arbra pillow from some quilt fabric scraps I had left over.

Arbra Pillow

That one’s from me (I’ll explain later : ) Moving on to the next project! Still waiting for baby to arrive : ) xoxo Susan

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