Wednesday, August 31, 2011

{ wednesday wish list }

It's been ages since I've done one of these.  Heaven knows why!  There's certainly no shortage of pretty things I've been pining away for.

We're feeling slightly cooler temps around here which has me thinking Autumn thoughts.  I'd love to wrap myself up in this cozy, cranberry, cable-knit cardigan (whoa, that's a lot of 'C's!) once the leaves start falling.
anthropologie golden gate cardigan
These dainty initial rings are simply too cute for words. Wouldn't these make wonderful bridesmaids' gifts?
Time for a wedding do-over!  Ha!
catbird nyc alphabet rings
  These beauties appear to be sold out everywhere-which, of course, only has me wanting them more. Does this happen to anyone else?  Grrrr.
apeppazza tormalina ballet flats

What pretty things are on your current wish list?

P.S. Thanks to Pinterest, Sherry from YHL, and the DIY showoff, I've received an overwhelming number of sweet comments about my DIY lyrics rug.  Thank you to everyone!
I've also got myself a few new followers. 
 Yippee skippy!  Welcome, lovely new friends! I'm so glad you're here. :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

{ sick and sleepy }

This pretty much sums up how I'm feeling today....sleepy, achy, and just plain blech.  I did almost fall asleep in my breakfast too, just like this darling puppers.

animal space

Hopefully some hot tea and lots of rest will have me feeling better soon. 

In happier news....I'm a total dork for even mentioning this, but Sherry of YHL fame pinned my lyrics rug after it was featured on the DIY Showoff.   I can't help but be excited about that! 
She's like bloggy famous and stuff ;)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

{ superior supplies }

A couple of months ago, my three-year-old, Jack, found his way into my stash of Prismacolor markers (that I've had since college).  These suckers are top-of-the-line art materials, and they are also EXPENSIVE.  Because of this, when I first discovered that he was playing with them, I freaked out a bit.  But, as I watched him, I couldn't help but notice that he seemed to be completely enthralled in the process of what he was creating, much more than during our usual "art afternoons".  He told me that my markers were "SO bright", and he that liked my markers better than his other ones.  That's when I had a realization of sorts.  Who could blame him for choosing my higher quality markers that create vibrant, richly saturated strokes over the muddy ugliness that he's accustomed to?  It seems that even a three-year-old can tell the difference between a crappy marker and a good one! Normally, when we have our afternoon art time, he's interested in creating for around 15 minutes.  But that particular day, he scribbled, doodled and drew for more than one hour!  And he resisted the end of art time too.  That experience taught me the importance of providing my children with better than average art materials. I now feel that by giving him superior supplies to create with, I'm telling him that what he creates is important. Now, that's not to say that I frame every single doodle that he casually jots down.  But it does mean that I've learned the value of giving him better tools for better play, discovery, and learning. I've also found that superior quality supplies actually do save money in the end. They last longer, they look better, and my kiddos are much more invested in using them for longer periods of time. That being said, I've found that it's imperative to convey the message that art materials are to be handled with proper care and respect, to ensure that they're around for many more "art afternoons" to come ;)  I've gone on a bit of an art materials buying-binge lately, and I wanted to share a few of our new favorites:

Stockmar crayons.  The quality of these German made crayons is unparalled.  They produce smooth, vivid colors with the lightest touch.  Bonus: they're vegan.  I'm slightly obsessed with these. They are on the pricey side, but worth it, in my opinion.

My good friend recommended these cool rock-shaped crayons by Clementine Art on my recent visit to Colorado.  I loved that they were all-natural and created in Boulder. Bonus points for fantastic packaging. The colors are brilliant and they're easy to hold.  These are a new favorite.
I picked these up recently from Anthropologie.  I admit to falling for their rustic beauty at first glance, but I was pleasantly surprised by their high pigment.  And, nope.  They don't give you splinters ;)
It appears that it's also fun to build things with our new "log pencils".  Neato :)

See? Clementine rock crayons are the exact right size for adorable, tiny hands.

Oh, and we really like all of these goodies too.

1,  2 34 5 6 7

Do you have a favorite way to get creative with the kiddos?

Monday, August 22, 2011

{ fun with photos }

I happened upon this clever idea on Pinterest (where else!), and I think it's such a neat way to document a bit of 'who your little ones are' at a particular age.  As my mama says, "you think you'll remember, but you won't".
Anyway, here's who my guys are right now.

These are so fun and simple to make, I could see making one every few months as their "likes" change.

Pretty neat idea, right? :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

{ i spy a diy - the lyrics rug }

Ever get tired of seeing millions of gorgeous but generic spaces? Yes, the perfectly-primped designer rooms that fill the glossy pages of House Beautiful are stunning.  But, in my opinion, they often lack any sense of authenticity or lived-in character.  My favorite kinds of rooms are filled with personal, meaningful details- not a bunch of shiny things from a Crate and Barrel catalog.  Speaking of catalogs (and generic things) ....I've long admired this rug, called the Le Poeme rug from Ballard Designs.  It's lovely, yes?  I think it's such a neat idea to write a poem or a song on a rug.  But this particular poem is a French poem about a cricket and an ant.  Eh. I'm sure it's a fine poem, and maybe it resonates with some people, but it doesn't really mean anything to me, ya know?  

Le Poeme rug by Ballard Designs
 I've been trying to think of  (budget -friendly!) ways to add more sentimental details to our home-things that sort of tell the story of who we are.  I decided to try a relatively easy DIY version of the Le Poeme rug.  I chose to pretty up a plain rug with the lyrics from our wedding song-the beloved classic, At Last, by the legendary, Etta James. This song holds a very special place in our hearts, and so it seemed like a perfect choice to help add a little more "us" to our bedroom decor.

So here's what I started with.  My rug  was a 5x7, natural colored chenille rug from Urban Outfitters, that had most certainly seen better days.

 Blech.  I only chose to keep this boring rag around for so long because A) it's softer and warmer underfoot than our bedroom's wood floors and B) it's machine washable. I'm a sucker for machine washable rugs! I knew I really had nothing to lose while trying to improve upon this old thing, so I raided the kiddos' art supplies, and got to work.  Here's what the rug looked like once when I was finished. 

I'm in the process of making over our bedroom, and I desperately needed to bring in some more yellow elements, which is why I chose this color.  But I imagine you could use any number of colors for your writing and end up with fabulous results.  I love the light green on the Ballard rug, but black, blue, and gray would also look fantastic.  Oh, I just thought of something: you could use a duvet cover for this project as well.  That would be so cool!  Anyway, back to the rug....

Here are the supplies I used in this project:  
plain rug (I used this one), washable marker, painter's tape, tape measure, fabric marker, lyrics of song choice, envelopes

 I had to do a bit of math to figure out how many words would fit onto each line, and how many lines would fit onto the rug.  I wanted to fit the entire song, and so this took a bit of trial and error with playing around with the spacing. I pasted the song lyrics into a 5x7 sized canvas in MS Paint, and then played around with font sizes before finding the right configuration.  My words should fit onto my rug pretty much like this:

 Once I knew how many lines (14) would fit onto the rug, I taped it off.

I used business envelopes (just because that's what I had in reach-obviously plain old paper would work just dandily here) as makeshift spacers to help me roughly plan how to write out each line. I folded them into various sizes, so that I knew about how much space to allow for each word (see below).
Then I grabbed a washable marker, said a little prayer, and just started writing. I started with the washable marker because I wanted to be able to just wash the rug if this project went terrible wrong. 

 Once I was finished with one line, I removed that line's tape, and started the next line, and so on.

 When I was finished writing, I went over all the writing carefully with a yellow fabric marker, which is permanent and should survive washing and drying. And then I let my little Georgia check out my work.

She seemed thoroughly unimpressed.  Hmph.  Well, I like it ;) 
Hope you enjoyed it too.

h a p p y  w e e k e n d !

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

{ you gotta have (creative) friends - part 2 }

I happen to be lucky enough to have several seriously creative friends.  Because I am constantly inspired by them, I thought it would be fun to do a little bloggy series that focuses on getting to know a few of them.  Second in the series is my insanely creative friend and former design school classmate, Mari'.
Mari' Vasel - owner/designer for all things bean, an infant and toddler handmade apparel company. Mother to Kaia, a headstrong, independent and wonderful little bean :) Wife to Matt, my equally headstrong, adventurous, hard-working husband.
*Matt and Kaia as a baby bean -- Kaia, the little bean

*just a sampling of the darling designs available in Mari's gorgeous, handmade line
Re-decorating around the house: refinishing furniture, making pillows and painting whatever strikes my fancy! (attempting) to play my guitar.

*How fantastic is this bench makeover (which has been in her family for years)?!!
I don't often consider myself a good person to give advice - I'd rather seek it out. As far as kid's style - stick to the sale racks or it gets really expensive quickly!! 

 Ahh - see above creative outlets. I am always looking for a way to re-invent or makeover existing things. Re-cover pillows in new fabrics (use a coupon at Jo Ann's & it's super cheap). Paint! Dye fabric! Scrapbook paper & frames! Honestly, our lovely blog host is my best inspiration :) 

* a perfect, eclectic mix of framed objects and photographs, ready for her bedroom gallery wall
* the makings of a felt bloom-adorned, handstitched pillow

* finished pillows (this mix of fabrics is so dreamy, right?!!  Mari' scored those beautiful wood buttons while we were shopping together at Denver's excellent fabric shop, Fancy Tiger)

 I don't read magazines - when they arrive at my house, the pressure to read them stresses me out!

It changes depending on the season. in the fall/winter - sitting in front of our wood burning fireplace or up in the loft on our large leather chair. in the summer, out on the deck or down in my studio where it stays cool.

*a pile of perfectly stitched bibs stacked neatly in Mari's studio
*So many yummy fabrics!  Oh, and I'll take one each of those tees, please!
*More fun fabric choices!

As with magazines, I don't read too many blogs either - too much stress to keep up, but I'm amazed at some of the ones I do stumble across. In addition to this one, I enjoy bovagoods and industrial to organic - another friend of mine who is striving to live an eco, sustainable life.

A victorian house! Does that count?  I feel that the character that comes with those would give me the foundation for all of my decorating needs!
sweet home style
It's not old enough. I crave exposed brick, original moldings and subway tiling with a claw foot tub...
If I had HGTV that would be it - I'd never get anything done. As it is, watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette.

Morning - I'm energized and ready to roll!

I really don't like starbucks for a lot of reasons...but I do love a vanilla hazelnut coffee, lots of cream, no sugar from Einsteins!  

Thanks again to Mari' for participating in my creative friends series.
When she first told me she was starting her own childrenswear business, I was so thrilled for her! On top of being an unbelievably innovative designer, she is also insanely driven.  I'm convinced that all things bean will be an enormous success.  I was lucky enough to receive one of her impeccably stitched onesies/ burpcloth combos as a gift when little Grant was born, and I can't think of a more perfect little something for a new mama.  Pop on over to check out all the sweet designs she has to offer.  

Please stay tuned in the coming months to get to know more of my creative friends.  I know some awesome people :)