Idalia’s Nursery

With Idalia’s first birthday fast approaching (!!), I thought it might finally be time to post photos of her nursery. Having two kiddos has really taken over my blogging time, so this post is, oh, nearly a year late. But hopefully worth the wait!

Back before we knew that Perry’s name would be Perry (before we even knew he was a “he”!), we just called his room “the Explorer’s room”, and I really went for an exotic vibe in there. This time around we had an advantage, interior-design-wise: we didn’t get around to doing Ida’s room until she was a couple of months old, so we had already gotten to know her, and had the pleasure of enjoying her sunny personality. It was obvious that she was a little explorer, too, but (#1) I wanted to do something different but with equal personality for her room, and (#2) I already had this giant ocean-looking wall hanging I’d made years ago. Also, her middle name, “Kai”, means “ocean” in Hawaiian.

Slowly, the idea of a girl who lived her life aboard a cruise ship was born in my brain. I imagined her stopping in ports around the world, picking up seashells and trinkets as she went, living in a little luxury cabin on a boat. This is all far more romantic in a vintage cruise ship – no Carnival Cruise here. Little by little, Ida’s room took shape.

This is the view from her doorway.

The contact-paper-on-the-window technique I used in Perry’s room had worked so well that I did it again. This time I wanted it to look more like waves – the view she’d see from the window in her cabin. The chair above is an old Ikea piece I bought YEARS ago – it had skinny arms, and I added 1x4s to widen them (and the front legs). I’ve painted it various colors over the years, and it was already this semi-distressed teal color, which worked perfectly.

We hung a mirror on the wall behind the crib – I don’t know why these don’t come standard on all cribs, because this has been an endless source of entertainment for her. I originally made this wooden shelf to go above my desk, back when our current dining room was my office. It’s extremely sturdy, fit nicely (size-wise) above the crib, and I like the raw wood look in here.

Plus, it was perfect for accessorizing. I added a ton of things – a life preserver from the Alameda flea market, one of my favorite books (totally appropriate for this setting), a mini spyglass, seashells, Hawaiian flower hair accessories, baby Havaianas, a vintage poster, a stuffed crocheted crab, paper flowers, a boat that was a favor from Perry’s baptism in Greece, vintage glass bottles also from the flea market, origami seagulls that I made…

The list keeps evolving as I add and change things. My mom gave me a music box she bought for my grandmother in Switzerland – I added that. I picked up a tiny glass buoy when visiting my parents in Port Orchard, and that got added too.

In the corner, we needed something to hold diapers, etc. I found this thing – I think it was some kind of CD organizer – on the street. Brought it home, cleaned it up – it matches well with the shelf and is just right for holding all of those baby essentials. Above it, we hung a painting we bought in Hawaii and a mobile I made out of seashells, sticks, and little stuffed birds (which I also made!)

We added a boat we bought in Greece, and I made a bunch of coordinating burp cloths. I also made the windowshade!

This vintage travel poster felt just right, and I don’t think I could love the stuffed seagull more. The third shot below is taken while sitting in the chair, looking back toward the door. The closet doors are mirrored, and I hung a grass skirt as a valence. :) We keep a bunch of plastic leis on hand for playtime, too.

Finally, we get to the sea “view” and the beach. This giant wall hanging is made mostly of felt. If you ever attended Sunday School, you already know that felt sticks to felt, so it’s more than possible to create a little scene here out of smaller felt pieces. For now it’s just a sun and some clouds in the sky, but this will be a fun canvas in the coming years. In the top left corner you can also see the wing-flapping seagull. If you’ve ever visited a beach town, you’ve probably seen these in the kitschy shops near the shore – you pull down on the middle, and they’re balanced in a way that makes the bird’s wings flap gently for a long, long time.

Some pillows (from Ikea fabric I bought in London) and a woven beach tote/basket dress up the “beach”. The beach itself is a futon mattress folded over and covered with a big fleece blanket. I can’t say enough how much THE KIDS LOVE TO PLAY HERE. Of course they do, right? It’s a big soft place for them to flop around. We spend a lot of time snuggling here!

When Ida was smaller and had trouble sleeping, we used to complete the illusion by playing some “ocean waves” white noise. With the overhead light off and the paper lanterns glowing, I’d rock her to sleep, imagining the boat itself rocking in tropical waters as the band played slow jazz in the background.

Jenna and Adam are having another baby

My wonderful sister-in-law Jenna is due to give birth to my new niece in about three weeks! I’ve been shooting (and sharing) family pictures of these beautiful people for many years now, of course, but one of the most memorable shoots was in Hawaii during Jenna’s pregnancy with Logan (I was also pregnant with Perry at the time, and we took a joint babymoon – so fun!). We decided to keep that in mind as we did this shoot. Here are a few highlights from that original maternity shoot:

Idalia and I made a quick weekend trip up to Seattle last weekend, and we spent Saturday afternoon at Carkeek Park with Jenna, Adam, and Logan.

Saturday night, Adam and Jenna and I were the last car to make it onto the ferry – we did a quick round trip just to get the view of the Seattle skyline at night into some shots.

More photos here, in the portfolio, and also here.

2014 – what a year

So much excitement, but so little blogging. Here we are headed into 2015…I hope for just as much love and happiness as 2014 brought, along with a little more time for personal projects!

Lefteris and I had a magical afternoon on Treasure Island the first time he came to visit. It was after I’d spent a summer in London and decided to move there for another year or so, so I had to come back to California to pack up my stuff. Lefteris joined me for a week, and we like to say that California seduced him on that trip – it wasn’t at all hard to talk him into coming here with me after my London time was up. (Of course, by then, we were already married, too…)

We brought our kids out this weekend, along with the lovely and talented Emily, who made my vision of this photo a reality. I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile, but we needed an evening where there were clouds in the sky, and it got dark early enough that we wouldn’t have to keep the kids out past their bedtime (winter!) – but not freezing or raining, of course! I think we got it. More pictures here.

Welcome, Idalia Kai Grammatas!

On February 24th, at 12:30 am, I gave birth to a wonderful, beautiful, healthy baby girl. She came about 3 weeks early, catching us a little bit off guard, but Lefteris is a veteran dad now and he got the house, and Perry, in order while I labored at home for a few hours. We had a wonderful experience at the hospital, and truly couldn’t have imagined a better labor and birth overall. Now we’re home with our daughter and her big brother, settling into our new normal family life and loving it.

She’s an amazing baby – so good-natured and a champion eater. Most astounding, though, is her smile…she smiles often, especially right after eating and while she’s falling asleep. She was only five days old when I took these photos.

Perry is one!

Perry’s first birthday was on Friday, and I can’t believe it…like I REALLY can’t believe it. He’s so much fun these days, and I am so, so lucky to be able to spend so much time with him. I love our little family, and I love my son like crazy. I’m extremely thankful.

Since this is a monumental occasion, I felt that we needed a “formal” portrait. Did you know you can get a baby-sized tuxedo on Amazon for twenty-six bucks? Yep.

Anna, Teo, and Chloe family portraits

On our way back from Anastasia and Panagiotis’s wedding, we shared our ferry ride with Anna and Teo and their beautiful daughter Chloe. I was thrilled to do some photos of them, but definitely less than thrilled with the light on the boat. Surprisingly these ferries often have tiny windows and sad flourescent light inside. And outside, there’s plenty of light but it’s not ideal for a baby! In any case, that made for an interesting challenge photography-wise, which I suppose is just keeping things interesting since this family is so terrifically beautiful that it would all just be too easy if the light was good.

Teo’s absolutely lovely mother was along as well – she was a great traveling companion and it was obvious that Chloe loves her…

A few more in the portfolio or here!