Behind the Scenes — Creating Our Well Nested Kids & Baby Bedding

Post by Elizabeth Olwen, designer behind Nod’s Well Nested bedding

Hello out there! I’m Elizabeth Olwen and I couldn’t be more pleased to be here to share a behind-the-scenes look into the inspiration behind my new Well Nested organic kids and baby bedding collection with the lovely folks at the Land of Nod. It’s close to my heart!

Well Nested Kids & Baby BeddingI remember the first bedding that I got to pick out for my own bedroom when I was a little girl. I felt like a princess and it felt so special to crawl into my bed every night and sleep under a print of large, soft pink rose petals. Patterns have been a passion of mine for as long as I remember. And when I grew up and discovered that I could be the one designing those beautiful patterns that people live with day in and day out, I knew I’d found my calling. As most fresh-faced pattern designers, I made a list of dream clients and hoped to one day see the dreams become reality. For me, The Land of Nod was at the very top of the list. And I always hoped that I could create bedding that another little girl or boy would swoon over in their own bedrooms. So, it’s so exciting to be here to tell you about my first bedding collection with the Land of Nod.

This collection was based around the theme of the bird’s nest, which I think is an adorable theme for babies. I am a nature-lover and one of my favorite things to do is to go camping, and ultimately, for long walks through the forest. I love foraging for motifs and shapes that can inspire my work. And I often emerge from the forest with visions of the forest floor, which is covered in twigs and branches, berries and plant life, and the sounds of birds and squirrels and other wildlife chit-chatting in the forest. These walks continually inspire my work. I’ll sit down and draw for hours in hopes that a theme or idea will take shape. I love the concept of a mama bird doing her own foraging in the forest, gathering what she can to make a nest for her eggs. And it’s something that we humans love to do too. So for me, the theme of nesting was a natural fit for a bedding collection for little ones.

Well Nested Kids & Baby Bedding Doodles Well Nested Kids & Baby Bedding Doodles 2 Well Nested Kids & Baby Bedding Doodles 3The collection began with the irresistible idea of crib sheet with a large nest, in which a baby would sleep. The coordinating collection is based on the surrounding forest environment and raw materials for building a nest of your own… A twiggy, branch pattern. A duvet of acorns, berries, feathers, mushrooms and pine cones. And a few egg, acorn and twig coordinates. All in a soft modern color palette. And it only seems natural that it’s all made from comfy organic cotton.

Well Nested Kids & Baby Bedding Crib
I couldn’t be more pleased with the collection. The collection is available for baby (pink or blue), toddler (pink or blue) and kids (pink or blue). And while I know the bedding was intended for kids, I don’t think I’ll be able to resist getting some of my own, seeing that the designs are also available in double and queen! I hope that the collection is the perfect backdrop as you watch your baby birds grow, and that little girls and boys that get tucked into it every night have that same very special feeling that I did when I was a little girl. Stay tuned for more fun products collaborations coming soon!

Elizabeth Olwen is a Surface Pattern Designer from Toronto, Canada who creates patterns for fabric, stationery, apparel and décor.

Lately Lily Joins Us For Camp Nod

It’s no secret we are BIG fans of Lately Lily (have you checked out our new exclusive bedding we carry?!).

Lately Lily Portraits at Camp Nod Lately Lily at Camp Nod

So we were so excited to have Lately Lily illustrator Micah Player in our South Coast Plaza store to read their brand new picture book, “Adventures of a Traveling Girl.” Afterward, Micah gave the kids a special drawing lesson on how to draw Lily.

Such incredible drawings came out of the art lesson. Check them out, and thanks so much to the entire Lately Lily team for this very special in-store event during Camp Nod!

Lately Lily Portraits at Camp Nod - 2 Lately Lily Portraits at Camp Nod - 3 Lately Lily Portraits at Camp Nod - 4

Land of Nod Locations Host Camp Nod

Back in July, we held our 2nd annual Camp Nod week at The Land of Nod stores. Camp Nod was a week full of creative events for the kiddos to participate in. A camp where you can create arts and crafts projects, and then have fun playing with Nod toys in the store afterwards? I’d say it was a hit! We wanted to share a few of the craft events we hosted with our Honest to Nod readers, so you all can try these fun activities at home!

Garden Day
We provided 3″ terra cotta chalkboard planters, chalk, soil, and Zinnia seeds for the campers. At the beginning of the event, we asked each camp attendee to decorate their planter with chalk. Some drew their name, a design, or some just enjoyed some minimalism. The best part about this is that they can always redecorate their planter for a future activity. After decorating, we helped them fill their pots with soil and handed each of them three Zinnia seeds to tuck into the soil. We loved watching them “garden!”

Camp Nod Garden Day Camp Nod Garden Day 2

Make Your Own Sock Puppet
We provided the campers with kid-sized tube socks and plenty of fun supplies like feathers, fabric markers, pipe cleaners, pom poms, felt sheets, googly eyes, and craft glue dots. The crafty glue dots made this activity less messy, and the kids had so much fun creating their sock puppet masterpieces.

And afterwards, our What’s that Stand For was a perfect stage for the campers to play with their socket puppets.

Camp Nod Sock Puppet Camp Nod Sock Puppet 2

Balloon Animals with Shop Sweet Lulu
We partnered with our great pals Shop Sweet Lulu to help us host another balloon animal activity with our campers. We hosted this event last fall with them, and it was such a hit we knew we needed to bring it back for Camp Nod. The DIY Balloon Animal kits are offered on their site, and include one balloon, one 15″ balloon stick, cut cardboard pieces with the animals’ faces, and adhesive glue dots.

The campers first blew up their balloons with their help of the grownups, and attached it to their stick. Afterwards they took the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth from the cardboard cut outs and created their animals with the adhesive glue dots. Campers loves showing off their pigs, bears, and chickens they created!

Camp Nod Balloon Bash

We hope you have as much fun with these activities as we did at Camp Nod! We can’t wait for more fun next year!

Q&A with Nod Artist Stacie Bloomfield

Nod Artist, Stacie BloomfieldTell us a bit about yourself…

Hi I’m Stacie & I really like to draw animals, drink French press coffee, and eat Indian food. I find inspiration in heirloom quilt patterns, my Midwest upbringing (though now I suppose I am a Southern girl) carefully curated color palettes. I currently live in Springdale, AR with my mathematician husband, Nathan, my incredibly energetic daughters Violet & Lucy, and my 2 pups Wallace & Zeus. I am a tad unorganized, spill my coffee on most of my original drawings, but I am always punctual!

NAME: Stacie Bloomfield
HOMETOWN: Springfield, Missouri
CURRENT TOWN: Springdale, Arkansas
FAVE ICE CREAM FLAVOR: Chocolate Chip
FAVE BREAKFAST FOOD: Pancakes with tons of butter and syrup
FAVE HOLIDAY: Thanksgiving
FAVE COLOR: Turquoise
FAVE MOVIE: The 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries!
FAVE DECADE: The 1950s (I am a sucker for the feminine dresses from that decade).

When did you become interested in becoming an artist?

I have been drawing as long as I can remember. I spent a lot of my free time drawing portraits of all of my friends and family. I had always known that I wanted to study art in college and graduated with a degree in Design Arts from a small liberal arts college in Springfield, MO. I took a few career detours (i.e. managing a coffee shop for a while and then working an admin job at a local university) but eventually found my way back to art once my children were born. I couldn’t find nursery art that I loved, so I made my own!

Stacie Bloomfield Artwork

You draw a lot of animals. What type of animals are your favorite?

I love drawing bears and birds! I enjoy taking the fur on bears and using it as a blank canvas to explore different textures and patterns. And birds are simply lovely to draw because of their beautiful colors and feathers! I take a bit of artistic license when it comes to how I interpret my Gingiber animals. ;)

Drawing Birds

Is there a story behind the name of your company?

When I was an undergraduate, I had a graphic design project to create a magazine all about myself. When I was searching for what to title it, I turned to an old Latin dictionary and began searching through the “G’s” (which is my favorite letter). When I saw the word “gingiber” with the 2 G’s and that it was an older version of the word ginger, I ran with it! Years later when I started my illustration company, I didn’t think twice about using my old standby of Gingiber, and now I’ve never looked back!

What are the most rewarding and the most difficult parts of running your own business?

I love creating work that I love! I know that if I create something that I am pleased with, most likely my customers will see the passion in the illustration and love it, too! I love setting my own hours and interacting directly with my customers. I also love my small business community, and all of the amazingly talented people who share the same creative lifestyle as myself!

The most difficult part of running my own business is deciding which of my ideas to run with and which ideas need a bit more tweaking. I literally have so many directions I would love to take Gingiber that prioritizing what needs to come first is important because I only have so many hours in a day. Also some times of year of crazy busy (holiday, yikes!) while others are slow and steady. Finding the balance planning for the future and setting myself up for success is a yearly challenge!

Stacie Bloomfield Artwork - 1

Tell us about your kids and how you balance work/mom life.

I have a 5 year old named Violet, a 2 year old named Lucy, and a 3rd baby on the way due December 30th! This baby better not come during my holiday rush! I feel like work life balance is constantly evolving. During the school year my oldest goes to school M-F, while my youngest is home with me most of the time. I send her 3 days a week to a Kid’s Day Out Program, and that is when I get the bulk of my work done in my studio (outside of my home). I find that I can’t get work done efficiently if I am at home, so getting out of the house 3 days a week helps me to focus. I try to not work as much when they are home, but usually I catch myself on my phone returning emails :) And working during the summer? I still haven’t found that rhythm. Somehow everything gets done, though! Coffee helps!

Stacie Bloomfield's Kids

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

Recently my husband and I have been talking about wanting a honeymoon “do-over” in Charleston, SC. I know it isn’t exotic, but when we last traveled there, everything that could go wrong went wrong! Missed flights, hurricanes, lost reservations, etc. It was a great way to start a marriage ;) Yeah, I’d like a do-over!

If you could possess a superpower, what would it be?

The power to read minds, specifically my 5 year old daughters. She is feisty, and I would love to get a glimpse at what is going on in that little head of hers.

Tell us about your new Sheepish bedding set. What do you love most about it?

I am crazy about the entire set, but I think the linen blanket with the French knots representing the sheep wool is absolutely dreamy! It feels sort of like an “heirloom”, and I think it is a very special piece.

Land of Nod Sheepish Baby Bedding

How would you style it in a room?

I would love to see this set in a classically inspired room a gorgeous black wooden bed with spools, paired with a beautiful vintage upholstered chair in an unexpected color like kelly green or hot pink. Of course the room would be filled with books, well loved toys, and wall art from some of my favorite illustrators like Ashley G, Leah Duncan, or even some prints from Gingiber. ;)