Map Cradle & Mother Blessing

Finished Baby D's cradle for one of Maurisa's Mother Blessing gifts!

I hosted a Mother Blessing for my dear friend Maurisa on Saturday.  Her son will be born in mid November so it was time to help her prepare.  I found this BIG pine wood cradle at a consignment store after being tipped off by Suze.  When I finally got over to check it out it was marked half off!  Is it tacky to say I only paid $15!  Well, sorry if it is, I just can't help admitting the amazing deal it was!
Knowing what Maurisa and Mike's rebuilt house looks like, I didn't want to leave this as a light pine cradle so at first I thought I was going to stain it with Fiddle head Fern colored stain.  It was a disaster!
It's hard to tell here but the stain just made the cradle look dingy and dirty.  It was streaky and sticky since I didn't sand first(my fault).  But it gave me the excuse to go with the idea I had originally of decoupaging the entire thing with vintage maps.  I had maps left over after covering the wall here, so I figured this was a great way to use them up, spruce up the cradle, and make a unique gift.  Plus, Maurisa and Mike have been world travelers and avid hikers so the country maps and national parks maps made sense.

Here is a process shot.  I did use border paste to adhere the maps to the cradle, just like I did there.  And I started with the bottom, worked my way up the sides to the interior, did the inside ends and left the outside ends for last.  It was easy, meditative, and fun!

I had originally intended to also paste cutout ship pictures on the maps.  After I found a 1960's era National Geographic on ships I was all set.  I cut out a bunch of the images and was all ready but then just felt like the cradle was busy enough as is.  I didn't think it needed more.  It was already perfect!

Here is the bedding that Natasha and I made for the cradle.  I wish I would have gotten a better picture of the awesome vintage kids fabric I found a couple weeks ago that we used for one side the coverlet and for the case for the mattress.  We used organic cotton batting, a layer of felted wool and a layer of puddle pad to insert into the mattress case.  
I have a thing I do for the coverlets at Mother Blessings when I host them.  You make the coverlet and then you "quilt" it by threading wool yarn or ribbon at various points around the coverlet, to hold all the layers together.  You don't tie the yarn right away but rather you leave them untied to do a sweet ritual at the Blessing.  You pass the coverlet around and you speak to a quality you see in yourself that you value and you would wish for the baby to possess.  As you state your aptitude you tie this desire into the quilt with the yarn ends and two square knots.  It's really sweet and is a very nice but simple ritual that lasts and lasts.  I think Maurisa really enjoyed the process and the entire cradle package!
Here is a basket full of the sandalwood candles I sent home with everyone so they could light one when they hear Maurisa is in labor or anytime they want to concentrate spiritual energy her way.  The tag said:

One last part I will share with you is the invite I made for the Blessing.  I made this stamp a while ago and used it to stamp various thin and delicate, almost tissue paper like, plant paper.
Then I glued the delicate papers to plain cards and made an insert for the Blessing info.

In other news, I have a ton of crafting and sewing to catch up on!  Working on a "carpet" bag, a coat for myself, and more repurposed leather bags.  Also, I got to eat at The Walrus and The Carpenter in Ballard on Saturday night with Chad, Tony and Daisy and I will hopefully have a Jennette's Restaurant Review for you tomorrow.  All I can say now is, Get there as Soon as you Possibly Can!
And for mine and Chad's anniversary this coming weekend we got a late reservation at Staple and Fancy for Saturday night.  SO EXCITED!  I LOVE FOOD!  GOOD FOOD!  So I will have a review for it next week as well.
The cold/flu bug that's going around these parts is trying desperately to catch me and its getting a hold.  I can feel the aching rundown sore throat thing starting so if I don't post everyday, you'll know why. Garlic and elder have become my soul mates! Wish me luck!