Happy Friday! Oh I love me a good Friday. It’s the close of the work week… a chance to wrap up unfinished projects, cross off items from the ever daunting list, reprioritize tasks that didn’t meet their Friday deadline. I also take an early lunch on Fridays for a story time at our local library with Liv. It’s the best.
Weekends usually mean a new kind of project – one that involves a hammer or paint brush or some mod podge. Weekends also mean par 3 golf courses, BBQs with friends and morning Church on Sunday. Sunday rituals are sacred in our house, it’s a morning to look forward to all week. After Mass we swing by the most delicious bakery for an almond danish and vanilla latte (always the same order. always), that’s followed by our favorite Farmer’s Market where we stock up on goods from farmers we’re beginning to get to know. Oh man those homemade almond danishes… I’m thinking about it already.
But! It’s still Friday, and with that I introduce to you a blog that I think you’ll very much enjoy checking out. The Busy Budgeting Mama was introduced to me by a friend and I was immediately smitten with Natalie’s creativity.
Be it a cardboard castle of all castles for her kiddos, the most wonderful crocheted animal patterns, her awesome dessert tables (because her graphic design skills are through the roof) or a dollhouse complete with wallpaper and DIY designer furniture, this girl is crafty and quite good at it. How cute is this idea? And here’s that awesome castle that cost a whopping $4 to create:
If you enjoy following along with families (and super savvy creative ones, at that) then I think you’ll really enjoy Natalie’s blog. More pictures of her adorable family and crafty style (plus answers to the usual four interview questions) after the jump.
Tags: Crafty Solutions, Guest Blog, Guest Interview, Kids Party
Posted in Crafty Solutions, Guest Blog, Home, Interview | Comment »
Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day!
I have a funny story… Kevin took me to a really lovely restaurant last night in La Jolla (just north of San Diego) called Whisk n Ladle. It’s a place that I’ve wanted to check out for some time and it was delicious! I’m not sure you can call us ‘foodies’ but we’re big on locavore-style restaurants full of unique flavor. If a menu mentions anything with the words ‘fig compote’, ‘breaded goat cheese’ or ‘lavender infused anything’ I start to salivate immediately. It’s the unique pairings that you can’t always accomplish in your own kitchen that I like most about eating out.
Well, this menu was everything and more and I was so excited to try it all. We narrowed our choices down to two specialty cocktails to start, braised pork shoulder with dates and roasted brussel sprouts as well as seared local halibut for our main courses — and to start us off delicious pan fried sweetbreads with onion confit in an au jus sauce. Are you salivating yet? But this is where things got a little crazy. What do you think of when you hear ‘sweetbreads’? (this is officially why we’re not foodies), I was picturing a most delectable french-toast style of handmade bread with an onion confit for dipping. Nope! Sweetbreads are a friendly word for the throat, glands, stomach and intestines of a lamb or calf. We were half way through the appetizer when I decided to Google it because it just didn’t taste like I was expecting… ha! Kevin happily finished off the rest. So maybe he’s the foodie in the family.
Okay, back to a fun little laser cut butterfly art project that brought a little more Spring to our living room.
There’s just something about these natural beauties that is so lovely to look at! And such an easy way to add color and bring nature into a space.
More lovely inspiration:
Lots of folks are not fans of taxidermy butterflies. It doesn’t bother me so much if I’m purchasing from a humane seller who harvests butterflies after they have naturally passed (since many live only 3-4 weeks) but if you’re looking for an alternative (or you don’t want to spend $50-100 for a shadow box) plastic laser cut butterflies are the way to go.
Krista of Kiki’s List (who I learned about from this favorite site) turned me on to Etsy seller Clear Cut Crafts that creates just that – beautiful, natural looking thin plastic butterflies that can be used for cake decor, weddings, you name it.
I placed an order for 2 dozen Monarch colored butterflies (love that orange! and thought they were the most realistic – plus I grew up near Monarch groves which are just beautiful when full of butterflies). To hang them, I found a cheap Ikea frame in silver that I altered just a bit to function as a shadow box.
Butterfly Art (and converting a Ribba frame to a shadow box)
Materials: laser cut butterflies (or the like), Ikea Ribba frame, white construction paper, scissors, pliers, 1″ tack nails, hammer, glue
Using the back of the frame as a guide, I cut out a piece of white construction paper to match. My butterflies came pre-cut (huge time saver! hence the laser cut) and so I gently folded the wings and laid them out on my paper to get an idea of how I wanted the finished display to look.
Once I had settled on a layout I used a white glue (so that I could adjust placing as I went) to hold them in place.
I let this dry over night and began working on the frame. Apparently there is a shadow box frame that Ikea makes – and I thought that I had picked up that version when I found my $4.99 find. But later after arriving back home I realized that while it’s deep for a frame (as most Ikea frames are) the photograph mounting was smooshed right up against the glass.
To create a shadow box out of the Ribba frame, I popped out the glass and mat and pulled out each mounting clasp (is there a more accurate term for those little metal clips?) with pliers.
Then I added small tack nails between the edge of the glass and the frame. Just a gentle bump with the hammer and a little glue held these guys in place. I also let the glue dry overnight.
Now the back of the frame would sit atop the nails and the nails would bridge the distance between the glass and artwork — making the frame a shadow box (and perhaps the cheapest I’ve ever bought).
Since I pulled out the little clasps that keep the back in place (because they were in the wrong location for a shadow box) I simply glued my back to the frame edge. Since it’s a tacky white glue that I used it will hold my artwork in place for as long as I’d like but will allow me to easily pull the back off (maybe with the help of a utility knife) later down the line to update the contents. A glue gun here would be equally useful but might not allow the versatility to easily replace the artwork inside. Let dry overnight if using white glue.
Finally, flip over and hang!
And another shot of the corner of the room with the new butterfly artwork:
Do you have any funny stories to share from Valentine’s Day? Or any new DIY artwork projects? What are your thoughts on butterflies – fake or taxidermied?
More living room posts right here.
Tags: Accessories, Artwork, Before & After, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Living Room, Orange, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Favorites, Home, Our Living Room, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »
Hope you had a lovely weekend! I’m traveling back to San Diego from a business trip in the Bay Area (of California) followed by a wedding in Iowa, so I’m going to leave you today with a very cool DIY project I spotted over at Little Green Notebook.
When garage saling or thrifting, I’m always on the lookout for little figurines and bowls and tschotchkis for my bookshelves. My favorite finds tend to be old brass animals or white curvy ceramic vases because they look awesome as bookcase and shelf fillers (helping to break up the shapes of bound books and square bins).
Now this idea takes it all to the next level and is quite clever.
Hi Sugarplum! turned plastic toys, and crazy thrift store finds into bright and bold figurines with a little Rustolium spray. I’ve seen this idea before but I really dig how Cassie styled her finished pieces!
Mount your figurines on flat stones for a more polished look.
And for that favorite brass sheen, try metallic gold:
I tend to stick to neutrals like a bright white or a weathered grey – but after this inspiration I might try out a crimson red, kelly green or sunshine yellow soon! Cant wait to give it a go.
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Featured DIY Project, Home | 1 Comment »