Fabric decoupage Easter eggs

Easter decorating is a conundrum for me. On one hand, Easter is my most favorite holiday of all time. I love it. So of course I want to celebrate it to its fullest. But on the other hand, just because I love Easter doesn’t mean I love bunnies. Or grass all over my house. Or pastels. Also, one of the things I love about Easter is that it comes after a period of mourning. The darkest night is pierced by the brightest morning. Part of me doesn’t want to decorate at all before Sunday because it takes away from this dichotomy. But if I just decorate on Easter, then I only have one day to enjoy it, and I don’t want to spend money on things I will only enjoy for one day.

So last year I came up with a goal – cheap, beautiful, subtle Easter decorations.

And here’s the result:

photo_3-003

I always have extra fabric lying around the house. Usually it was a purchase because I envisioned making a pillow or doing a project with it. And most of those times, the pillows and projects never come into existence. But I love all of the fabric I have. We also have a ton of plastic easter eggs in the pantry. Phil is a fan of buying things at 75% off the day after a holiday, and last year he bought more easter eggs than we can afford to fill with candy. I’m sure each bag was 25 cents or so. I also have some extra decoupage glue (Martha Stewart brand) although I’m sure Mod Podge would work about the same.

photo

photo_2

photo_3

So that’s all you need! It’s cheap ( your husband will like it), messy (your kids will like it) and beautiful (you will like it).

Step 1: Cut the fabric into strips. I found that the best size was thinner than 1/2″, maybe about 1/3″, by 8″ to 12″ long. You can used varied lengths. I used the longest ones first and by the end you can use shorter ones to cover up the spots that were missed.

photo_7-001

Step 2: Apply glue directly to the back of the fabric. That way the whole strip has good coverage. I tried to put glue right on the egg as well but that was just a hot mess.

A little help from my lovely niece!

A little help from my lovely niece!

Step 3: Wrap the piece around the eggs as flat as you can. Since the egg is round, there will be some bumps, but most of those come out when you cover it at the end. Continue with pieces until the egg is covered.

photo_6-001photo_4-001

Step 4: Cover the whole egg in glue to seal it while the strips are still wet. That way they don’t dry with bumps. The final layer really smooths down the whole thing. I just put mine on the window sill and it worked fine.

An egg before the final coat. A little bit lumpy, but my favorite fabric right now and a sneak peak at what my dining chairs will look like!

An egg before the final coat. A little bit lumpy, but my favorite fabric right now and a sneak peek at what my dining chairs will look like!

photo_7

photo_9

That’s it! They are so beautiful, and subtle, but add color. One of the great things about this craft is that leftover fabric generally goes with your house anyways! It was a pillow, or a chair covering, or curtains. So your eggs will automatically match with your decor. If you haven’t decorated for Easter, I hope this inspires you to put a little color out this weekend to remind you of the hope that comes after this Lenten season.

photo_1-002

photo_4-002

Here are some things I found out:

– With thinner fabric, make sure you start with an egg that is close to the same color in case the fabric becomes translucent when it gets wet.

– The fabric that worked the best was the thinner, quilting fabric. This usually comes on the small bolts at the fabric store and there is a multitude to choose from.

– Thicker, home decor fabric also works well, but I had to cut the strips a little thinner to make sure they were pliable enough. The thicker the fabric, the thinner the strips should be (1/2 or less). That way it will lie down flat against the egg. Thinner fabrics can handle thicker strips because it is more pliable and can be smashed down, but I like using thinner strips either way.

– Each egg took about ten strips

– It’s best to use as few layers as possible, so use your fabric well. Try to cover as much space with each strip. After too much fabric, the eggs start to look lumpy and lose the integrity of their shape.

– Sadly, silky, satiny fabrics did not work well at all. They slid around on each other once the glue was on. So even though some of my favorite fabric is satin, it was a fail. It just looks like a lumpy egg imposter.

HAPPY EASTER!

photo_6-002

Nursery Design Boards – Gender surprise!

My sister is expecting her third child in October. Her first is a girl and her second is a boy, so she and her husband thought it would be fun to keep the gender of #3 a surprise. I told her I don’t think I would ever do that because for me, the most fun part of expecting a baby is dreaming about and decorating the nursery.

So my sweet sister decided to let me have fun.

She gave me the envelope from the ultrasound technician, and as of today I am the only person who knows if babe is a boy or a girl. I haven’t let it slip once!

Now I am busy planning and designing her baby’s nursery. For her baby shower, people brought money designated for a specific item (pillow, curtain, crib sheet) and then I went out and bought it. Once Jennie heads to the hospital, I will go put the entire nursery together so she comes home to a beautiful, new room.

There are some things she knows, of course. For one, I needed a room color. Also, she has all white furniture. I chose Perfect Taupe by Behr and cut it by 50% with white to brighten it up. It’s a great color – not too tan and not too gray. Also, it doesn’t look purple at all, which I find taupe tends to do. All of the linens are white. This is my blank canvas.

Behr Perfect Taupe

Behr Perfect Taupe

As far as colors go, Jennie said she would love the main color to be coral/nantucket red (coral for a girl, nantuket red for a boy). They are essentially the same color, although coral is a little more pink. After a bit more talking, we decided we would base the entire nursery on the SanPellegrino drinks that she loves so much! That’s right, a soda can. Inspiration can come from anywhere!

The boy nursery is based around the Blood Orange drink. A little more red, with blues, lots of linen and burlap, and a hint of yellow. The girl nursery is based around the Lemonade – coral, lots of yellows, with some mint and forest green mixed in.

So I present today the two design boards I made (from Olioboard.com). They are not exactly what the finished product will be (I have a few surprises up my sleeve), but I wanted Jennie to at least be able to see, and dream, about the general feel of the room. Here they are!

Baby Boy Nursery

Baby Boy Nursery

Baby Girl Nursery

Baby Girl Nursery

What’s your vote?

Fall comes too late in Georgia

Or maybe school starts too early…either way, it’s September 5th, my son has already been in preschool for three weeks, and it is 85 degrees outside. Everything that starting school ushers in – crisp air, turning leaves, cozy fires, pumpkin spice lattes – is still months away out here. It is one of the ways in which Seattle has Atlanta beat. In Seattle, the beginning of preschool meant buying new jeans for Jacob (not new shorts). It meant going to my friend Hillary’s house and having cups of coffee while we sat on the couch and talked (not iced lattes). It meant Phil buying eight thousand fall flavored candles at Walmart (“I just really like them”). In Atlanta, I’m still drinking ice water at 9 am and reapplying deoderant three times a day. But fall will come. And I really do want to enjoy the heat while I have it. I can’t complain about drinking ice tea and watching the little boys (my youngest son and my nephew) play in the baby pool. So to scratch this fall itch I have, here are some beautiful things that I would love to find in my house when the cool weather hits.

~ Book page decor. I think book pages bring a perfect, cozy neutral into the room with some character and a story (pun intended). To of my favorites are a bookpage wreath and bookpage decopage. I also have a great idea brewing for a bookpage chandelier, which I will post on if it turns out as cute as it is in my head.

Book Page Wreath

Book Page Wreath via Jones Design Company

Book Page Decoupage Pumpkin

Book Page Decoupage Pumpkin

Book Page Decoupage Fruit

Book Page Decoupage Fruit

~ Felt/wool. A pillow, or a few flowers in these fabrics are so autumnal to me. I’ll definitely make some flowers to pin on my pillows or maybe make bunch for a wreath.

Felt ampersand pillow via Pinterest

Felt ampersand pillow via Pinterest

Felt flowers

Felt flowers

~Plum. Although purple is not a color you will find a lot in my house, I am becoming increasingly enamored with plum. I especially love the way it looks next to gold and brown and orange and other fall colors. Last year I bought Oatmeal Raisin soap from Bath and Body works because of the amazing color of the bottle. Unfortunately, it was not a good smell for washing your hands (way too sweet). Here are some other beautiful ways of bringing in plum besides yucky soap.

Artichokes in a bowl

Artichokes in a bowl

via design seeds

via design seeds

32211899193d8497f56e82a2686d27a2

~ Rust orange pillows. I found this ad for wallpaper a long time ago and have held onto it, crinkled up in a drawer, because I love the pillows so much.  Phil bought me some amazing orange silk from Cambodia last summer and I think I can mimic these. I especially like the raw edges on the pillows.

photophoto_1

33-cheery-orange-wedding-ideas-11-500x682

More orange pillows

~Foliage. I love flowers in the spring, but as fall hits, it’s nice just to be able to throw leaves in a vase and call it a day. The greens, browns, oranges and yellows warm up a room. Plus it’s free and ever changing.

via Good Housekeeping

via Good Housekeeping

via Better Homes & Garden

via Better Homes & Garden

via Pottery Barn

via Pottery Barn

via Pottery Barn

via Pottery Barn

So here’s to all of my dear friends in Seattle whose children started school this week.  Drink a pumpkin spice latte and walk around crunching leaves for me. I miss you.

Imitation Hardware – Vintage Army Officer Desk

On a rare childless date last week, my husband and I went to a huge antique store in Roswell, GA (Canton Street Antique Market). It is not the kind of store Phil loves being in, but it was our anniversary so he humored me.

Before I go on, I have a little bone to pick with some of you “antique” dealers. A beat up chair from Ikea is not a “rustic antique painted chair” worth $50. It’s a new chair, worth $20, that you probably dropped a few times.  I am surprised by how often I recognize art, or furniture, or fabric, from other sources pawned off as “antique.” But at the same time, if some rich lady wants to buy Target print for $200 from an antique dealer instead of $50 from Target, I guess it’s a way to make a living. Just be honest about the source. Ok, I’m done.

Anyways, as we walked from bay to bay, our eyes both fell on two army officer desks. One was set up, and one was put together. Because they are desks that had to be brought into the field, they fold up really neatly and compactly with handles. Maybe because it was our anniversary, or maybe me wearing high heels has an affect on him, but Phil was drooling over these desks as much as I was. As any savvy shopper would, we looked them up on Ebay to make sure they were priced as well as we thought. The cheapest we could find them online was twice as much as these were, so we decided it was a good deal. I was giddy all day waiting to get them home. I set one up in the boys’ playroom, and my 4-year-old colored for over an hour on it. That in itself is success. The other success is how much I love they way they look.

Image

Both tabletops set up, during playtime (i.e. legos everywhere)

Both tabletops set up, during playtime (i.e. legos everywhere)

photo-001 photo_3-001

Although RH doesn’t have something that looks just like this, vintage, rustic-looking furiniture has been popular for awhile and this desk looks like it’s right out of a catalog.

Image

Restoration Hardware baby and child vintage locker desk

I love it so much. I opened the other desk and set the table top on the other side of the drawers to make two desks. The additional drawers are now being used as a side table in another room.  The posters are just $4 each a Paper Source. They are actually wrapping paper. Who would cut such beautiful things?

photo_4

Additionally, Jacob started school today, so the timing was great. It was fun to give him a desk as a big boy present. Happy first day of school, Jacob! And Happy anniversary, me.

What I believe

Ten days ago I had a miscarriage. I was 16 weeks pregnant.

That past few weeks have been filled with emotions from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Agonizing pain at the loss of a child {I feel like it was a girl, so I think of her as such, although we may not ever know}. Gratitude for my healthy sons. Anger that my body couldn’t sustain this little life. Relief that this didn’t happen later in my pregnancy. Fear that there was something I could do to stop it. Frustration that I have to “start over” getting pregnant. Guilt that I even care about something as petty as starting over. Sadness at the dreams that won’t come true. Regret that that I didn’t sing to her yet, or think about her more. Heartache at the memories of experiences I had while pregnant that now mean more than they did before. Overwhelming thankfulness for my friends in Seattle that poured out love to me and my family in Atlanta that all showed up on our doorstep that weekend. Grief. And above all, hope.

These are the moments in our lives where theology crashes into reality and we look at what we say we believe and weigh whether we really believe it or not.

Here’s what I believe. Jesus died because death is the wages of sin. Where sin is, death is close behind, demanding its payment. Jesus paid death with his own life. But Jesus is stronger than death. He rose. And he rose with a real body, a body that people could really see and really touch. So I know my little girl has a real body. She isn’t floating somewhere, she isn’t an ethereal spirit that ‘hope’ I get to see one day. She has a real body, real hair (probably blond like her big brother Rohan), real, sparkling eyes (probably green like her mama), and one day she is going to give me a real hug and tell me that she is so happy to meet me and daddy and has been waiting to show us where she lives. And we are going to walk, hand-in-hand, as she shows me the beautiful new earth God has redeemed, and we’ll eat amazing food, and watch clouds, and play games, and laugh, and spend time all together as a family. But right now she’s already there, playing with her cousins and her best friend named Eleanora. She is really alive, and really happy, and she doesn’t know that there is something like pain, or fear, or death. That’s what I believe.

I believe death is our enemy. I hate when people say death is a natural part of life. Have you ever experienced death? I am the first to say that what Phil and I went through and are going through is on the low end of tragedy. To lose a child later in pregnancy, an infant, a young child, an old child, parents…all of those are more tragic. But if you have experienced death at all, you know that it is the most unnatural thing we as humans face.

It rips us up. It destroys something in us. Humans throughout history have spent time, money, resources, and lifetimes trying to avoid death. We write about it, we watch it on TV, we sometimes even let it entertain us, all in an attempt to have some control over this thing that we know we will one day face. And that one thing is what we fear above all else. Because we were never, ever made to face death. Is goes against everything we were created for. Death is our enemy. It prowls around, looking to claim us.

But you know what else I believe? Death loses. There is a verse we don’t hear often, 1 Corinthians 15:26, and it makes me smile.

“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

Death is real. It is a normal part of life in the sense that we all will experience it. But it is not natural. It is our enemy.

And it does not win.

It didn’t win two thousand years ago with Jesus and it didn’t win last week. My baby slipped right through death’s grasping, desperate fingers into the arms of Jesus. And I have news for death. It won’t ever, ever win with my family. We serve the Author and Creator of Life. We are on a mission to reconcile the earth back to God and be a part of His story of redemption for all mankind. We bring light into dark places. We live to destroy death.

We belong to Jesus.

 

Applesauce popsicles – an unexpected win!

photo_5

I’m sure millions of mothers across the country already know this, but applesauce popsicles are amazing. My son and I stumbled upon this as a happy accident.

Image

Ikea CHOSIGT Ice pop maker

We have these little popsicle makers from Ikea (only $2!!). Seattle does not have very popsicle friendly weather most of the time, so we barely used them when we lived in Washington. But the other day as I was putting away dishes, Jacob spotted them on the top shelf of our cabinets and asked if we could make popsicles. I’m always up for an easy activity with him, so I said yes. We aren’t really juice people and we didn’t have any around, but I’m not above making water popsicles. I’m not sure Jacob would have cared anyways! As I looked in our fridge, I saw a neglected bottle of applesauce way in the back. Applesauce is one of those food that I know is good for my kids so I buy it, but always choose against serving it when given the opportunity because it’s just so messy. I will always just give them an apple instead. “Let’s try it!” I thought. We did the easy steps of filling the popsicle forms (I used a funnel for Jacob’s sake but it went s.l.o.w.l.y. and was probably unnecessary.) Then we let them freeze overnight.

Image

Image

Nice face, buddy. Nice runny nose too.

Image

Putting in the sticks

I knew it would work, technically. I knew they would freeze. But I thought that they would melt really quickly and basically be a mess of applesauce all over his shirt in five minutes. But it stayed frozen the whole time he ate it, outside in the sun, for over fifteen minutes! Things I love:

-He thinks they are a treat

-Since it is a little pulpy I think they do actually fill him up a little bit as opposed to just juice

– It uses up our applesauce

Like my sister says, it’s a win-win-win. We can’t wait to make more!

photo_3 photo_8

Dining room -before-

Do you have a formal dining room?

f12_220_monastery_natural_dn

RH Monastery Dining

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Southern dining room

Southern dining room

My grandparents used to own the cutest little house in North Carolina with pecan trees in the front yard and a fireplace in the dining room. Ever since then, I have dreamed of a beautiful, formal dining room. I know most people don’t use them anymore, but I love my memories of sitting around a big table with lots of family and eating and talking and playing games. Plus, one more room to decorate is fine by me.

In the house we are renting, there is a space for a formal dining room in the back next to the kitchen. It’s not small, but it’s not really big enough to be comfortable with a lot of people. I want our dining room to be a place people want to hang out once dinner is over, not a room that feels too small and you bump your chair against the wall as you get up and you just can’t wait to get to the family room. So as soon as we moved in, I switched the back dining room with a front room that was supposed to be the formal living room. I’m all about two living spaces, but I think it is more practical to have one in the back of the house that you can just keep messy. (I like ‘pretty’ when you walk into a house, even if it ends there). So I decided to make the big front room into our dining room and turn the back room into a play room/office, which is really nice because I can see the kids playing while I’m cooking dinner. Also, the front room has bay windows. Need I say more?

20130211-103118.jpg

Bay windows

But there are some real lame things about the front room. One, there is no overhead lighting at all. No pot lights, no light fixture. And even though there is a bay window, there is a tree outside that blocks most of the sun. (I’m not complaining about the tree, and I’m sure I will be grateful once Atlanta summer hits!) One of the first things we did when we moved in was to put in an overhead light, but it’s just a hanging cord kit and lampshade from Ikea. Pretty unglamorous.

My magnolia tree

My magnolia tree

Two, the paint is just really dark. As far as colors go, it’s not a bad camel. But next to our grayish table and yellowish piano, it just makes the whole room look like a muddy cavern. One of my friends says the word “beige” sounds like the noise a potato makes when it hits the plate. That’s what this room feels like too. A potato hitting a plate. Three, an amazingly generous family friend gave us six dining chairs. My “one day” chairs are the ones that go with the table from RH, but until I have an extra $1500, I am thrilled with these ones. The wood is pretty but looks awful with our dining table, and the covers need to be updated. Four, the bay window just looks a little naked with no coverings. But since there are five windows, I am going to have to find c.h.e.a.p covers for them.

Our piano

Our piano

Hand-me-down chairs and blah beige walls

Hand-me-down chairs and blah beige walls

So that is my next project. Layer by layer, and with a very tight budget (about $150), I am going to transform this blah beige room into my favorite room in the house. Let’s go!