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 »
What are your plans for Turkey Day? Next to a delicious meal and afternoon food comma, the Thanksgiving tablescape is high on my list of what I look forward to. Serious about the food comma – my mom’s apple and pumpkin pie… mmmm.
I love a beautiful table because it can be so inviting and it really speaks to how special a meal is. Plus, it’s an awful lot of fun to plan and pull together.
Here are a few tablescapes that I’m especially inspired by this Thanksgiving (and here’s my list for 2010):
Initially found over here, the color palette of this rustic tablescape is what caught my eye. How beautiful is the teal against the rich brown and pops of bright orange? But the details are equally adorable! How creative are those crossword and wishbone name cards? and the newspaper filled cloche? Lovely job, Chris!
Next up? A modern and neutral table backed by a pop of color.
I love the idea of keeping your table simple (with, say, a basic white tablecloth topped with a wide brown runner) and creating a statement out of your food serving area. Pick up a brightly colored fabric remnant and drape it over the existing tabletop decor (such as a large mirror or picture frames) for an fresh display. More details on this party here.
Statement runner. Enough said. Simple, classy and no need for extra decor which leaves plenty of room for all of the fixen’s right there in the center.
This bridal shower doubles as a beautiful fall tablescape. You know what immediately caught my eye though? How ingenius a simple ribbon running the length of the table is. What an easy way to introduce a new color to your table palette and to reuse current craft room items!
Finally, you can’t go wrong with classic white. Give your Halloween pumpkins new life by coating them in a thin coat of white spray paint to match classic white dishware. I would incorporate bits of thrift store lace and my crocheted doilies to balance out vintage with modern in this refreshing tablescape. Thanks, It’s Overflowing for the inspiration!
Many thanks to Pampers, Play Dates & Parties for getting the brain juices flowin’ – be sure to check out more ideas here.
Tags: Blue, Decorating, Dinner Parties, Fall, Orange, Parties & Entertaining, Patterns & Color, Teal, Thanksgiving, Turquoise
Posted in Holidays, Parties & Entertaining | 5 Comments »
There are three trees in our neighborhood that change colors during the fall. Three. In the entire neighborhood. When Liv and I go for walks I stare longingly up at the branches willing those crisp green leaves to take on their yellow and orange shades.
When my mother-in-law was in town this past weekend it happened! Not only did the trees change color but they shed a good portion of those beautiful leaves to the ground. When she came back from taking Liv for a stroll she brought with her a huge bundle of these:
Naturally I pressed and framed them. I don’t know how long they’ll last but just maybe I can preserve them for the future. Waaaaay better than the fake ones I used over here.
Here they are sitting on a shelf in our dining room:
I first attempted to frame without flattening and the result was a bit sloppy, so my next approach was to organize them on my white sheet of construction paper, attach to paper with a double sided adhesive and then smoosh between two big heavy books.
Then I added the construction paper back into the frame and sealed it up.
I love the colors, especially against the brownish red frame.
I had quite a few leaves left over so I made a very simple garland by stringing the leaves through twine. Here they are on the other bookcase:
I think it’s a nice little fall detail, especially when casually strung up like they are here.
The process to make this guy was so simple and so quick: poke two holes in each leaf and string through – up and over for the first leaf, down and under for the next.
Just like you’re sewing a simple stitch.
Until you’ve finished the whole lot:
They’re perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and I love how they bring just a little bit of the outdoors in!
Tags: By Color, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fall, Halloween, Home, Orange, Patterns & Color, Red, Thanksgiving, Tutorial, Yellow
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Holidays, Home | 6 Comments »