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Clara Tillie’s Room


A few weeks ago we decided it was time to get Clara (just shy of her THIRD birthday!) out of her crib.  We hadn’t bothered before because she hadn’t ever climbed out.  Compared to our boys who all began dangerously climbing out at 18 months, she was the world’s easiest toddler.  You could plunk her in that crib, turn off the lights, and shut the door and she made not a peep until morning!  But finally she began climbing out (and in!  She’d climb in and put herself to bed some nights!), plus often in the morning she woke up screaming for someone to help her out so she could make it to the bathroom, so we knew it was time!  We reassembled it in the next room over and will put George in it soon, and in the meantime are trying to figure out the configuration with five kids and three rooms.

It was really important to me to document ‘Baby Clara’s’ room before taking the crib apart, so I quickly cleaned up all the Calico Critters, play food, and dolly accessories that were scattered across the room and snapped some photos.


During the last month of my pregnancy with Clara I nested with unprecedented fervor.  I made countless batches of pesto, bottled peaches and salsa, and put up jars and jars of blackberry jam.  I recovered our dining room chairs and put four coats of yellow paint on this beast of a dresser which I picked up from Craigslist.  Its an amazing, solid piece of furniture, and we’ve loved it.  I left the original hardware on, because I dig the way the old school brass looks with the goldenrod paint.  I also put a coat of polyurethane on top to give it a nice, glossy sheen.  In the corner sits a toadstool table that I picked up at a favorite local shop called Paddington Station.  Taylor still shakes his head at it everyday; he’s never been convinced that anyone needs a mushroom table. Of course I think it’s 100% magic, especially paired with the red play chairs of my childhood and the Kikkerland photo mobile overhead.


Clara’s bedroom decor is the result of a lot of collecting over the years– milk glass from family stashes and thrifting, Grandma Tillie’s famous Christmas deer, the Beatrix Potter collection my Nana bought for me as a child… I love buying new things as much as anyone, but my favorite way to decorate is to use what I already have.  It gives me a creative challenge, and makes a room end up feeling more personal.

I love having fun dress up items around for kids.  It makes creative play all the more inviting.  Over the hooks hang two vintage sewing patterns that belonged to Grandma Tillie.  The little picnic basket houses all of Clara’s dolly accessories.



Maybe the sweetest thing in the whole room is Clara’s blessing dress hanging on the wall.  I couldn’t love it more.  On the other wall is a tissue tassel garland.  Ours is Studio Mucci, but they are available all over Etsy.  I highly discourage you from making one.  I have made several and I reeeeeally wish I could get those HOURS of my life back!  I made Clara’s pillows with fabric from Sarah Jane Studios Children at Play line.  I never tire of it.  I adore the way Sarah Jane captures the sweetness of a simple childhood.  {Our favorite stuffed animals come from Bla Bla Kids, Jelly Cats, and Maileg.}


It makes me a little sad to think of this room differently now, with Clara currently sleeping in her ‘big girl bed,’ which, as of now, is my family’s little Korean mattress called a ‘yo’ on the floor.  She was the baby for so long, and our only baby girl ever.  I have so many happy memories of swaddling Baby Clara and singing “I am a Child of God” to her as I shut the door to her room.    I’m not usually one to mourn my kids growing so fast but this change is tugging at the heart strings with a little extra force.  On to the big girl room I guess…

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