I took a break from learning about child development and racism in America this weekend to finalize my plans for our baby’s nursery.
We’ve made great progress! So far, we’ve got a crib, a bare rocking chair, a rickety changing table in need of refinishing, limited space, piles of extra junk, and a Pinterest board.
Because we’re bookworms, we decided on a literary theme — a nursery inspired by Eric Carle’s art. (“Who’s Eric Carle?” my Erich asked. Who are you if you don’t know Eric Carle?! I’m telling you, there’s a huge literary gap between big sisters who changed their siblings’ diapers and big brothers who were in diapers at the same time as their youngest sibling.)
If you, too, didn’t grow up re-reading your favorite children’s books to younger siblings, Eric Carle is known for bright, happy tissue paper collages bringing to life The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Cute theme for a nursery, right?
The nursery powers that be did not agree. The one and only Eric Carle-themed nursery set offered on the Googleable internet is no longer available. (Thanks, Pottery Barn.) No problem, I’ll just pull together my own collection of Eric Carle stuff.
Again, a no. All canvas prints of brown bear and the very hungry caterpillar cost hundreds of dollars. Even the Etsy artist copies cost hundreds of dollars. Isn’t it so frustrating when artists want to make money?
No matter. I’d lean heavily on the inspired part of Eric Carle-inspired and find some bright, happy nursery things that look vaguely like tissue paper collages. But no. Apparently, I am way behind the nursery trends, because the hip moms only want monochromatic, muted, minimalist nurseries — unless they’re naming their daughter Vivienne, in which case, there’s an abundance of frills and pinks.
I scrolled through Pinterest for hours looking for any color that wasn’t pink or stark white or some mottled pigment that at first glance looks gray.
Okay. I get it. Nobody likes primary colors anymore.
But I’m determined to have my Eric Carle-inspired nursery — even if it means sewing my own colorful crib sheet.
So here we go. My mood board for the perfect Eric Carle-inspired nursery.
As you can see, we still can’t escape the gray trend. Basically, we’re incorporating his art style and colors — squiggly wallpaper as a statement behind the crib, Carle-esque bison for a changing pad cover (“They look demonic,” Erich says), a stripey green crib sheet (“No, seriously, Bailey, they look demonic“), and a cheery red paint for the changing table. Since we can’t afford real Eric Carle canvases, we’re going to try our hand at making our own animal pictures in his collage style.
Pray for us.
You all know how not crafty I am. I’d rather write a dissertation on what it says about our culture that we no longer value primary colors in nurseries than sew a crib sheet or make collages.
But instead of writing a dissertation, I made another mood board for our nonexistent second child’s nursery (which s/he won’t actually have, because we’ll have run out of rooms at that point, and the two kids will be sharing the Eric Carle-inspired nursery forever, because making the first nursery will have exhausted my decorative enthusiasm).
Ta-da! Another literary nursery theme — The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend.
(You’ve got to be really up on your children’s literature game to know and love Beekle enough to turn him into a nursery theme. Really up. As in, “I read to the unborn child in my womb as an excuse to procrastinate on sewing that Eric Carle-inspired crib sheet” up.)