More nursery animals

I started cross stitching a rug for the Victorianna’s nursery in July and finally finished it this week. It shouldn’t have taken that long, but I’ve been working on a life-sized cross stitch project and have only been squeezing in a couple of evenings a month on the rug.

I adapted this pattern from a real rug I found online. I’m pretty sure I found it on Wayfair at the time, but I didn’t save the link and it’s not there anymore. (Maybe it’s recently been discontinued?) I think its official name is the Carter’s Wildlife Rug, but it may just be the Wildlife Rug and Carter’s is the manufacturer. Here it is on Amazon.

If you’d like to stitch this rug for your own miniature nursery, I’ve posted my chart for personal use: Jungle Animal Rug chart

For my 1:24 scale nursery, I stitched the rug over one on 40 count linen for a finished size of about 3.5″ x 2.5″. To make the rug for a 1:12 scale dollhouse, you could stitch it over two on 40 count or over one on a lower count fabric.

Another recent nursery project involved making knee walls for the areas next to the tower room. These are resin embellishments I originally bought to use on the bay windows, that turned out to be too big for that purpose. I glued scrap wood to the backs to make them stand up and provide a surface for gluing.

Before gluing these in, I wallpapered the outside of the tower room.

Between the angle and the chair you can barely see the knee wall back there, but it looks better than the sloped roof going all the way to the floor.

Now on to today’s main attraction: a rocking zebra! I scored a Cassidy Creations rocking horse kit on eBay. Some Cassidy Creations kits turn up more than others and this seems to be one of the rare ones.

Pop quiz: are zebras white with black stripes, or black with white stripes? I started thinking about it and I realized I had no idea. (I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, that’s dumb, how could she not know that? Well, do you know? Are you sure about that??)

Turns out zebras are black with white stripes, so I started by painting the pieces black. I didn’t trust myself to neatly paint the stripes, so I added them by painting over a piece of embroidery floss and then pressing the floss against the wood.

Those looked too skinny, so next I used a small paintbrush to go over the lines. I think it helped to have the thread lines there as a guide, but that might be my imagination.

As I feared, my stripes aren’t the neatest. I did some touch ups with the paintbrush and a toothpick until I was satisfied with them. Honestly, I could have gone on forever touching up the black and then touching up the white and then touching up the black, but it was time to walk the dog. Post dog walk, I coated the pieces with gloss varnish before moving on to the mane and tail.

The kit came with a piece of off-white 6-strand floss. I separated out the strands and mixed in strands of black.

The zebra stuck his hoof in a power outlet!

The rocking horse instructions called for a floppy mane about 3/4″ long, but zebras’ manes are a lot shorter than horses’, so I cropped it close. The tail would be more accurate if I braided the threads together for about half of the length, but I thought that would look weird and decided to leave it horse-like.

When I’m building furniture from a kit there’s usually a point where the directions just stop making sense. This time it happened with the addition of the supports. I was supposed to glue the supports onto the rockers, then glue the legs onto the body, then glue the zebra to the front and back supports on the rockers. I didn’t see how I could do that and have the legs and supports magically line up.

Instead I glued on the legs, using the rocker as a guide to estimate what angle they needed to be at. Next I glued the supports to the feet. Then, resting the zebra on its side, I glued one of the rockers to these two supports.

I flipped over the zebra to glue the other rocker to the other end of the supports, and then stood it up and glued in the center support. It’s slightly top-heavy, but it’ll do.

Here’s the rocking zebra in his natural habitat. There’s a bit of trim left to do in here but with these additions, this room is basically finished. Horray for progress!


  1. Joanne Traill

    Just checked out your animal rug pattern. You did a great job.

    Beulah (Greenleaf forum)

  2. Kathy

    The rug and the rocking zebra are AWESOME! The nursery is adorable in every way. The detail is extraordinary!

  3. John Morganti

    For no reason that I can remember, at Thanksgiving dinner your nephew Zephyr informed us that on zebras the black stripes point down and the white stripes point up.

    • Emily

      Haha! Ask him if a zebra is black with white stripes or white with black stripes and see what he says.

  4. Sheila

    Adorable little zebra and your rug is just lovely!

  5. Barb

    The nursery is perfect, I love the rocking zebra, and the rug. I think the knee wall does make it look better. You have done a fantastic job gathering and making all the components to this room in theme!

  6. Jodi Hippler

    This room is marvelous, and each little element completely adorable! I love it!

  7. Megan

    I love your rocking zebra. Living in South Africa, I’m lucky to see zebras almost daily. No, they don’t roam the streets :-P but I drive past a small nature area in the middle of the city where they often graze close to the fence. You have just inspired me to try making a rocking zebra too!

  8. Alayne

    What a delightful nursery this is becoming…the rocking zebra is too cute! The rug is amazingly detailed and adds a lot of charm to the room with its colourful palette!

  9. Samantha

    Your rocking horse Zebra is fabulous! What a great addition to the room.. and I learnt a new term… knee wall.. who knew? :D It finishes off the room nicely and it’s good to know because I will need one in my San Franciscan’s Attic.

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