I don’t know about you guys but we’ve got a solid case of the blues around here! But don’t worry, it’s not bring us down. Just the opposite in fact. We’re loving anything and everything blue lately and are particularly in love with these picks from one of our favorite online shops, Shak-Shuka.
We’re loving these blue inspired toys from Shak-Shuka as well:
And to make this crown, we simple used a large sheet of blue poster board , cut some points for the top, painted a few circles on it and then taped it together. Fun and simple.
Needless to say, Little O loves to be the king. Clearly he’s a little ham too. Doesn’t take much to get him to strike a pose…or two. Such a fun loving sweet little boy and I’m crazy about this stage (he’s still 100% convinced he’s going to Mario when he grows up. Seriously convinced) . I always think it’s so unfair that we can’t bottle up these moments as mammas. But these little pics will just have to suffice.
We’re getting a jump start on Father’s Day with these simple modern bow-tie cards. Little O really enjoyed assemble the card and then got a good giggle out of holding it up and “wearing” the bow-tie like his papa.
Head on over to Minted for the full DIY and card template download!
I’m so excited share that I ‘m teaming up with the amazing Lauren Bradshaw to create a seres of fun and repurposed play items for her absolutely stunning Walnut Animal Society dolls! We’re crazy about all animals in the society but are especially keen on having Mr. Chester the Raccoon and Margaux the Kitty with us today (Kitty is sporting our very favorite Magnolia the Bunny Easter dress. You might recognize our bitty bunny fabric on it. So fun!).
Today we are sharing a simple kitchen set made with cardboard and duct tape. It’s the perfect size for our stuffed friends but would really work great for any 18″ doll or stuffed animal. Or, even for little 18 month old’s who seem to fit perfect in this little space! (She loves it and I couldn’t get her to leave! She now plays with this set almost daily. Her older brother is happy to play along too).
From just one large box we were able to make a stove and a refrigerator.
You can also use scraps of cardboard to create a few extra play items such as little pot. Basically we just bent the cardboard around into a circle, threw on a bottom and duct taped the whole thing together. Perfectly imperfect repurposed pot.
Little Miss M is definitely keen on Margaux and can’t stop giving her loves and kisses. Really they are in heaven in their little kitchen together. Miss M is particularly interested in helping her cook up a delicious meal.
We have more playhouse items in store for our friends so stayed tuned. What would you like to see us make? We’d love to hear!
For Mother’s Day 2012 I shared a bit about my mom here on the blog. She has been such an amazing influence in my life in so many ways (the above pic is of her, my father and grandfather with my little sister – it’s hard to find a pic of her with me as I don’t have immediate access to all the family pics). As Mother’s Day was yesterday, I wanted to share a bit about the sort of influence she has had on me style wise. If you had asked me, oh about 5 years ago, whether or not my mother’s style is anything like my own I would have said no, not really at all. And still, today I would agree that we do have very different inclinations (she’s big into “overstuffed” furniture and I want my couches modern, thin and as streamlined as possible, etc.). But as I “mature” I can definitely see how her style, where we lived and the way she raised us has had a big impact on my own tastes and personal design style.
I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado. Truly we lived on the very edge of town (it was technically called Laporte) and was only an hour away from Wyoming. I never considered myself growing up in the “country” because I was always riding my bike into town and basically lived in the bustling Old Town of Ft. Collins as a teenager. But as I look back, I realize that I really was raised as a country girl. We lived in a large ranch style home at the end of a remote street. Which meant that there was a ginormous field to the side and to the back of us as well as a ditch that was delight of many a summer inner tubbing trip. The neighborhood was very unique and was created for “ranchers” or “farmers” that wanted about an acre of land to raise a bit of live stock on while still being a part of a neighborhood community. I really haven’t found any neighborhoods quite like it since. So like just about every house on our street, we had an acre of land with a barn in the back and we raised different animals such as goats for certain portions of my childhood. This was mostly due to my father’s background of growing up on a farm. My mother moved away from South Pasadena California, sunshine and the center of vintage Hollywood Glam to raise her large family in a more mountain laden and colder Colorado. And according to her, she never looked back (although she could never kick her laid back Cali vibe).
My mother would classify her style as French Country/French Provincial with a cozy incorporation of overstuffed. When we were younger she wasn’t afraid of wallpaper or mixing patterns is a fun way that actually always seemed to work. She had a good eye for color and pattern. When she later renovated her home she insisted on all white walls with very little adornment. The addition of architectural details, which she had designed with the help of my architect of an uncle, did most of the talking. She’s always liked a bit symmetry and order when it came to design. Maybe a constant to contrast her laid back parenting style and all the craziness that nine messy kids brought to the table? Things had to come in pairs, or groups. One thing always seemed to inform another. I remember a friend saying to me in awe “it’s like everything goes together! How does she do that?”. At first I didn’t know what she was talking about. For me this was just home. But after looking around I did begin to notice my mother’s attention to detail in a way that I hadn’t before.
(photos from Christmas 2011)
I asked her what were some of her key thoughts are when creating and designing a home. This was her short go-to list of “must haves”:
The above pics are from several different 4th of July reunions we’ve had at my parents house over the years. Every year my parents create something different for the “party” for us to enjoy. One year my parents made a miniature golf course for all the kids and grandkids to enjoy. You can see more pics from some or our past themed reunions at her home here, here, and here. She also loves prepping for her grandkids by acquiring things in bulk such as the red plastic picnic baskets for lunches seen above (I think after having 9 kids it’s probably no fun to pair things down for the few still at home. I really think she delights in continuing to provide things in mass for her large family).
She’s also a bit of a collector. Particularly of dishes. She has at least 4 sets of different ceramic dish sets - and counting ;). And she’s a collector of magazines. LOTS and lots of magazine. When I was little you could hardly step around her bedroom due to the many many stacks of interior design magazines she had adorning the room. She perused many of them while soaking in her jetted tub. It was a get away of sorts for her.
She’s a maker too. She sewed everything. And I mean everything. Loads and loads of Halloween costumes, prom dresses and all of her daughters wedding dresses. She’s always been a DIYer. She told me that she really loves “taking something and transforming in into something else. It’s more fulfilling than buying new. The transformation is magical”. She’s also a massive thrift store shopper. In fact we sisters love to thrift when ever we get together. It sort of doesn’t feel like home without a good thrift outing. And she adores toys. She’s very particular about them and is especially in love with dolls (she actually made her own dolls, including porcelain ones. I talk more about it here). She would sit and look at a dolls face, hands, eyes, etc. and then tell us which ones were made well and which were not. Which were unique and special and why. She didn’t care what was popular, just what was amazing to her and made well. And then she’d buy out the entire line so that she was sure to to have every item from that collection. She’d always inspect the way a toy was painted before purchasing it. She wanted to be sure she picked the very best version. So naturally, you can see where my love of toys come from.
As I’ve recently defined, my style is Play French Industrial. Very different than my mothers but I still take so many things from her.
Some ways in which my mother’s style has influenced me:
I could go on and on about my mother and her influence. She’s amazing. A bit crazy, a little unorthodox and totally passionate about her handmade life with her family.
To sum up how it felt to grow up in her household, I made this portrait of my momma and all of us 9 children for her this Mother’s Day. And I wrote this about it:
Friends you may have been following on Instagram the tragic story of the family that lost this bright beautiful boy last Friday. Although I do not know them personally my heart breaks for them. Tears fall for them. We as mothers – as humans – ache for one another and we long to lift one another’s burdens if only in some small way. I wasn’t sure what I could do but I knew I had to draw a picture of the sweetest little red head boy, Ryan. I’m now selling this print, with all proceeds going to Ryan’s parents for whatever they might need. This print is also for us to always remember his beautiful life here on earth. To know that his happy life goes on as he’s met with his loving Heavenly Father and with other loved ones and watches over his mommy and daddy. It’s also for us to remember to cherish the beautiful moments and the unbreakable connections we make with our little ones, with our family, friends and loved ones. To remember to feel joy, to cherish – to live and to love in the moment and always. (more…)
For more Modern Peasant looks and sources, head on over to Pinhole Press. (now if only they had these in my size….)
Rock paintings are such a classic craft for kids. Why not have them paint special rock portraits for Mom this Mother’s Day?! Everyone is sure to have a blast (well at least we did!).
As part of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Get Messy Outdoors Contest we wanted to bring in the outdoors and craft with something from mother earth. So rocks it was!
We had fun spending an afternoon painting rock family portraits. The boys really really loved it.
We then packaged one up using a repurposed jewelry box to give away as a Mother’s Day gift. I made a label reading “Mom, you Rock!” and am offering it as printable for you to download should you want to use it. If you don’t have an old jewelry box lying around, you can make your own box using my sisters origami paper box tutorial. A couple of 12×12″ scrapbook papers would be perfect for this which would also alow your rock to be any size (not just thin so that it would fit into a jewelry box).
Friends i hope you all had a very happy Easter full of happiness, chocolate mouthfuls, family, fondness and renewal.
Ours was simply and positively lovely. I didn’t manage to make the boys Easter attire this year as I have in years past but I did make little Miss a hand painted dress last minute. We threw on her bunny ears from last year (it’s amazing how much they can change in a year) and pulled out this little duct tape basket and off a hunting she did go!
The boys enjoyed hunting for eggs as well as helping their sister in the event (the boys wore clothing from past, such as this favorite sweater, which worked out just fine). And Jon and I enjoyed watching simple memories take place.
I think holidays like Easter and Christmas often “pause” time for a bit…allowing us to look at our life and what we have, sort of in slow motion. We are happy. We might not have a place of our own to call home, or a solid idea of what the future holds but what we do have a beautiful life. And the spring beckons me to begin again, find new pastures, plant new seeds and find beauty all around me. I love every minute of it.
March and April are big birthday months around here (My oldest turned 8 recently and I just might have turned another year older a week or so ago). So what better way to celebrate than with a DIY play birthday cake! And out of our favorite repurposed items such as an oatmeal box and duct tape makes this earth friendly, no-cal cake even better! I’ve actually had this DIY birthday cake in mind for some time, even wanted to use it in my book, but never could get it just right. I had ideas of covering it in fabric, or painting it and then finally resolved to stick with one of my favorite crafting items, the ever bright and endurable duct tape.
It’s been fun playing around with duct tape again. In fact I’ve got a new batch of things in this medium to share with you soon. Can’t wait!
We had my darling niece over during her spring break to model for this cake. And how cute is this Miszko Maszko star printed skirt she’s wearing? I’m smitten.
I don’t know about you but I’m now seriously craving a real slice of cake..and since it is still my birthday month…