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Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 | 0 comments

Merrick’s Sophisticated and Sentimental Nursery

Merrick’s Sophisticated and Sentimental Nursery

Elin and Peter turned their second bedroom into their little boy Merrick’s nursery by hardly changing a thing. It made sense to them to work within the style they use in the rest of the house including in their exquisite DIY kitchen renovation: a classic sophisticated design with antique or designer-made furnishings and rugs, oil paintings, and keepsakes from their lives. The wall color stayed the same as when they used the room as the master bedroom: a sage green in the Donald Kaufman paint collection. And they acquired a  hand-me-down crib and changing table, diaper genie, and some toys and clothes. They also made two deliberate baby-appropriate purchases: The Himalayan salt nightlight. These beautiful orange lamps may actually purify the air by creating negative ions, and Elin and Peter love the serene glow which is just bright enough for midnight diaper changes. An old-fashioned mobile by Danish designer, Christian Flensted. Merrick is mesmerized by the dancing black birds. Even when they have the ceiling fan on, the mobile moves...

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Posted by on Sep 6, 2012 | 0 comments

A Little Girl’s Homespun Butterfly Birthday Party

A Little Girl’s Homespun Butterfly Birthday Party

My friend Anne threw a sweet butterfly themed birthday party for her daughter to celebrate her 4th birthday. When she told me the theme, I pictured everyone galavanting about in her backyard near her actual butterfly garden. It rained buckets that afternoon so I was worried about how she’d pull it off in a smaller indoor space. Turns out, the entire party was planned to take place inside, so the weather didn’t matter at all. She did a fabulous job with the decorations, food, and activities – everything homemade. Incidentally, many children came wearing butterfly wings and antennae. Along one wall, she had drawn and colored a flower meadow. Then, the children were given cut-out butterflies to decorate and tape in the scene. She had made a dozen or so butterfly balloon animals ahead of time that the kids carried around and tossed back and forth. In one corner, she had set out a craft for the kids to make with beads and pipe cleaners. They threaded the pipe cleaners and...

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Posted by on Aug 23, 2012 | 1 comment

DIY Kids: Decoupaging an IKEA Serving Tray

DIY Kids: Decoupaging an IKEA Serving Tray

It was a rainy Sunday and Ana was pacing around glumly, so I pulled out a project for her that I had thought of a while back. We have the popular IKEA Klack serving tray that’s as plain as can be. And Katie had given Ana this decorative paper with illustrations of resplendent “papillons” that she thought she’d like. We had contemplating decoupaging her dresser with the butterflies, but the IKEA tray seemed a perfect project for her too. It was quick to set up: Pull out the mod podge, some paint brushes and (optionally) a rubber brayer, and scissors. She cut out butterflies. She spread mod podge on the tray and the top of each butterfly, smoothing them down with a few rolls of the rubber brayer. If you don’t have a brayer, you can put one coat of mod podge on, wait for it to dry, and then layer another coat on. That method should prevent the paper from buckling. The thick paper we used didn’t pucker...

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Posted by on Aug 3, 2012 | 0 comments

DIY Kids: Beach Crafts

DIY Kids: Beach Crafts

During our beach vacation every year with family friends, we come prepared to do a few fun craft projects with the kids. Midday when it’s too hot to be outside and the kids are running wild indoors, we take over the dining room table and make some fun beach souvenirs. This year, we made rings, and shell-adorned letters – the first letter in each child’s name. For the first few days, the kids collected shells and the stray piece of beach glass, and then rinsed and dried them. For the rings, my friend Sara from Madison, WI, whose North Carolina beach house we stay in, had bought adjustable ring blanks to fit big and little fingers from an Etsy vendor. She also brought a glue gun and a few trinkets to use as “jewels” along with shells. Sara made a ring for herself with a pretty round shell. Liam made a funky rainbow ring. Ana combined a flat sparkly “gem” with a shell on top. Later we worked on...

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Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 | 0 comments

Instant Gratification: Melted Crayon Art

Instant Gratification: Melted Crayon Art

I recently stumbled upon the world of melted crayon art. I guess it’s been circling the Internet for a while, but I’m late to the game, per usual. Basically, you use a hair dryer to melt crayons, turning elementary school coloring tools into paint. Jack and I attempted this project the other day. He was thrilled with how the crayons transformed into “lava.” After holding the hair dryer close to the crayons, the colors quickly started to cascade down the canvas. While it looked cool at the beginning, the end result was a little disappointing — smeared colors and lumpy wax remnants soon started to flake off the canvas. I think we got a little overzealous with our melting. We hung it on the wall, but it didn’t last there long — we weren’t happy with the way it looked. The next day we embarked on round two. Instead of letting the colors drip with reckless abandon, we held a few crayons in one hand, the hair dryer in another, and watched...

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