Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chipped Paint

so it seems like nap time has come to an end in our house for cole, and although i'm sad at the precious free time i will loose, i have decided to look at it as an opportunity to spend more one-on-one time with him.  it's also the perfect time to do the activities that dean cannot - mainly art.  some of my best childhood memories are of art projects with my mom.  we've spent three "nap times" making paint chip art, you may remember the idea from this post from a few months ago.  we took the idea a little further and made a few different designs, and it was the perfect activity to teach him different hues of the same color.  they turned out to be great free art, even if you're without kids. we framed our favorite in our kitchen and it was just the punch of color we needed...

we made all three designs with the same set of about 40 paint chips.
we chose these by glidden because they were large [3x5]
we had a great time picking them out based on their names,
a few of our favorites - green grass, fresh blueberries and sweet baby boy.

he was excited because this was the first time he got to use scissors...

...and glue. 

here were the  three designs and a basic template for each...

we made ours to fit within an existing frame [7.5" x 10.5"] and
divided those measurements and made each square 1.5"
we cut out a shape on each one to trace on top of the paint chips 

we used a candle and large bowl to trace around for the two rings, then drew
a horizontal and vertical line and eye-balled the other lines in between

we drew a horizontal line to determine the width of the base first [ours was 7"]
then found the center point and measured up 6" and connected the three points.
to make the inner triangle we lined up our ruler against the lines of the outer one.
to create the s
mall triangles we just followed the intersecting points between the two main triangles.
this design had three different shapes so we cut out a template for each.

*note - when gluing these down i would recommend intentionally leaving little gaps here and there instead of trying to line them up perfectly, otherwise you will end up with one big gap at the end.  we used elmers to be kid-friendly, but if that's not an issue [and you're a perfectionist] then i would use a higher quality glue like rubber cement.  the elmers causes puckering, which to me was part of the charm of "the pixel" - it reminded me of a quilt.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Army + Navy Supply

i love to shop for vintage items, it's the thrill of the hunt and even more so - the bargain.  this website is a little secret of mine that i discovered years ago when i was shopping for my friend's vintage-loving son.  they have some of the coolest vintage [and new] bags, blankets and rugged items perfect for the outdoors-y boy in your life.  the prices are great too, i have seen similar items at the flea market for much more.  here's a few of my favorites...
1. swiss army bread bag $22  2. nato heavy canvas duffle bag $22  3. german bread bag $17  4. army canvas
blanket bag  5. belgiu
m army web shoulder bag $29  6. swiss leather backpack $93  7. swiss deployment bag $9
rothco europe surplus style blanket $45, us wool blanket $45 and navy wool blanket $43

click here to check out more "surplus & vintage" items at the army + navy deals site
where they are currently offering 24% off everything and free shipping through sunday

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And the Winner Is...

My New Favorite Kids Gift

schleigh toy animals + the zoo ology book by joelle jolivet.  this book has long been a huge favorite in our house and now these animals are becoming one too.  they are not your average plastic ones, they are insanely detailed and heavy enough to actually stand up on their own.  both gifts are timeless and great for a large age range of kids.  the book is enormous [open it's over 2ft wide] and is a great learning tool, it will teach your kids a bunch of new animals you've never even heard of.  since reading this book the pigmy marmoset and the bush baby are cole's new favorite animals and they often come up in conversation.  trips to the zoo have also become funny because he sounds like a little zoologist as he runs up to the exhibits, going - "it's a gibbon!" or "it's an okapi!" and the people around us laugh.
schleigh male lion + zebra and the female giraffe.
see their huge line here that's available in a wide range of

we ordered this copy for cole's friend from amazon, our's is well-loved and once it falls apart
we will be ordering a new copy and definitely framing some pages or making art with the old copy.

 the birthday boy and his little sister lou, they are so sweet with each other

i have also come across a ton of clever ideas for these little animals, including wall art, place card holders,
 desk accessories and even planters, although i think i would use the cheap-o ones if i was going to paint the

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Comfy + Stylish

i love finding stylish shoes that are cheap, but they have to be really comfortable or you're better off spending more to get ones that are.  i had seen these high top wedge sneakers on celebs, who also happen to be moms, and i was immediately intrigued.  they looked cool and comfortable, so when i found a similar pair at target i was thrilled.  i just wore them out shopping and they totally passed the test.  the best part is they give you that lifted feeling heels do with the comfort of usual sneakers, a win-win.

and another shoe passing the comfort test are these tan booties [also from target]
that i have been wearing nonstop since i got them a few months ago.  they go with everything
and as soon as they're back in, i'm ordering a pair in black too...

speaking of target... i have devoted and entire pinterest board
to my target finds - click here to start following it

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Lollipop Captain

i found a recipe in a kids magazine on how to make your own lollipops, and it was so easy that we decided to make heart shaped ones for valentines day, or as cole kept calling it "just because i love you day"...

seeing the world through a heart shaped cookie cutter, the perfect eye patch [or eyebrow waxer]
and a pirate worthy cookie cutter arm band he fashioned

the captain heart break shirt is from here

i love the way they don't come out shiny like usual ones and when you use
different colors and swirl them together you get a watercolor effect.

to make 6 lollipops:

42 round hard candies [we used lifesavers]
6 white lollipop sticks

metal heart cookie cutter or whatever shape you want
wax paper + twine [and a treat bag if you want over the wax paper]

1. preheat oven to 300 F
2. re
move wrappers from the candy and set aside
3. cut a piece of parchment paper about twice the size of your cookie cutter and use it to line the inside and edges.
4. fill it with about 7 lifesavers and if necessary break them in half to fill the space
5. place on a cookie sheet also lined with parchment paper and bake for about 6-8 minutes or until the candy has melted together [use a toothpick to swirl the colors together if you want]
6. let it cool for a 
minute or so and remove the cookie cutter and insert the stick [we found spinning it a little helped]
7. once cool to the touch remove parchment paper and enjoy!

*note - it took us a couple tries to get the shape right and we only had one cookie cutter so it took a while, but we just prepped the next as the previous was baking.  if you want to 
make a large batch i would definitely recommend using several cookie cutters

dean woke up just as we finished to enjoy one too.  i have a feeling we will be making them
again soon... maybe some green shamrocks next time around.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

West Elm Market 

they have long been one of my favorites, but they have won me over again with this new line of garden, kitchen, and household items.  i'm a sucker for organization and beautiful tools and i love their general store approach.  check it out if you haven't already, here's what's on my wishlist...

dramm garden hose in yellow, patterned garden tools, bag planter,
galvanized watering cans, and garden half apron

heirloom scissors, izola cotton laundry bags, estwing hammer,
first aid kit and brendan ravenhill dustbin

wood cooks tools, enamel cast iron dutch ovens, cake kitchen paper placemats
mel serving utensils and chef stripe oven mitt

Sunday, February 10, 2013

If I Were A Bachelor [Pad]

i've been giving out design advice to a couple of bachelors lately and it got me thinking... how would i decorate my place if i were a bachelor?  i've always loved to mix masculine and feminine pieces together in my own home, so it's not that far of a stretch to imagine it.  so here is some "manly" inspiration and elements i would include that are also classic enough to transition into a shared space and with other styles someday...

i love the feel and furniture in these two rooms, one dark and one light, but both beautiful depending
on what you prefer.  
i love using desks and large tables behind sofas, they help to anchor them
and are a very functional place to work if you don't have a separate office.

i love this desk on the right, it's unusual, but super functional with all that space.  the warm wood also looks great with
the strea
mlined chair.  we have this exact chair in our office paired with an old wood dining table that's very similar in color.
we've had several different work space set-ups since we've been in our current ho
me and this is by far my husbands favorite.
you can't go wrong with bookshelves to help add architecture if your space is lacking it.  if you don't have the books
to fill them yet, here are a couple ideas of how to display what you have.  I love how all of the books on the left
are facing forward so you can appreciate their covers and it's an artful way to fill the shelves

they make beautiful and functional storage whether vintage or new and apparently can even be
 used in place of traditional bathroom cabinetry.

most guys love leather sofas, the chesterfield, dating back to the 18th century is one of the most classic ones there is.
my opinion, when in high quality brown leather, it never goes out of style and could easily become an heirloom.

this particular one is from restoration hardware.

they never go out of style and i love the menswear suiting on this
mansfield grey pinstripe ottoman. the stripe pillow is from homemint.

the telescope floor lamp, black iron bell pendant, and distressed metal bucket pendant - all from world market

a vintage photo of a favorite sport or a place you've been is understated and personal.
check out some 
more great futbol ones here.
my friend needed help deciding on a mural for his place and we went with this
black and white aspen one that will go with anything and looks good all year round.

i'm not a liquor drinker, but i thought this was hilarious [sorry no source] but you could re-create it with a belt

you have to be careful not too get to theme-y with this one, but small touches are good.
i love the rock photo display, practically free
 and a good filler for those bookshelves.

they look great in any kind of space and also never go out of style.  both of these are extra cool military versions -
military chalkboard world map from restoration hardware and a vintage 1940s military instructional globe.

invest in a version that's equally as beautiful as it is functional, it makes great decor and is a good conversation piece.
this ivictrola is fro
m design within reach [sorry no longer available] but here's a similar one at anthropologie.

and i just had to include this, don't where it is, but how cool.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pin & Win

sign up to follow me on pinterest and be entered to win an item
[of your choice] from my etsy shop

 also for every item you pin directly from me or this blog will enter you again!
winner will be drawn at random and announced on february 20th.  

good luck and get pinning!

the fine print - winner will have 48 hours to contact me by email and let me know the item they've chosen.
i will ship it out (free of charge) within 3 business days.  not sure you'll remember to check back?
 then you can also sign up to have these posts come directly to your email.

marquee letters above by vintage marquee lights

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Bright Side

a few more colorful pieces just added to my shop and a little photo shoot with my niece...

hand dyed ombre pillow covers in lemon, fuchsia [and navy]

the monterey pom necklace in lemon + fuchsia

sophia was quite the poser and happy to take one home