January 2013 archive

Seeing the World in Black and White

| Decor, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Grown-Up, Organization

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{Image via Love Your Chaos}

I am no sports fan (shocker, I know), but my husband and I got invited to see the Brooklyn Nets play at the Barclay Center last night and we were curious (plus it was our friend’s birthday—yay Alex!). The place is amazing and I love how they really Brookl-afied a sports team…everything was very hip from the music to the mascot to the colors—black and white. As we were leaving, I joked that I’d parlay the experience into blog post with a “how to knit a basketball net”, but my brilliant husband suggested that I go with a black and white theme. Brilliant, I tell you.

20_0122I am so in love with these plates by Lisa Grue, I don’t even know what to do with myself. The black ink on white ceramic or porcelain is one thing, and then there’s the addition of the pom pom. Stop it.

65_crash630I swear I’ve seen every chalkboard paint idea known to man, but I’ve never seen a chalkboard helmet. Oliver would pee his pants if he could color on his bike/scooter helmet with chalk. By Tom Derracott.

SnowmanHow perfect is this minimal snowman craft? Just gorgeous. Via Pinterest.

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 10.19.17 AMMer Mag posts some of the best kids crafts, and this feather headband is no exception.

Craft room 444I’m always looking for craft storage solutions, and I love how people apply their craft to everything…even their organization systems. Found via The Daily Telecraft (cute blog name).

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Ok, these are not DIY, but I love them so much! I found the bunny on Ebay and the dog on Art Fire. $55 each. Sold.

Give me some flat, black, oval rocks and I’ll make this homemade domino set too. By Repeat Crafter Me (again, another cute name).

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Wearable Valentines

| Everyday Crafts, Gifts, Holidays, Valentine's Day

Yes, you can wear your heart on your sleeve, but you can also wear it in your hair, on your collar, on your shoe. Here are some great gifts and DIY’s just in time for Valentine’s Day!

I love elbow patches, and this heart-shaped one from Honestly WTF is such a cute surprise.

I made these Heart Felt pins for Parents magazine last year. Sew easy!


Hearts make the perfect ear covers for a knitted hat. Spotted on Nicole Hill’s blog.


Turn these clay hearts into necklaces, pins, or magnets. Watch a how-to video on Parents.com. (Yes, that’s me!)

Hearts on your shoes? Yes, please. From Ban.do.

Diane Von Furstenberg makes these sweet heart ear buds. Only $15 on Net-a-Porter.

I think I’d have to have this cute hair-do to wear this headband by Giant Dwarf.

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Couch Crafting

| Decor, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Gifts, Me Time, Valentine's Day

Last night was a smorgasbord of television—the Golden Globes plus the 2 pre-shows, episode 2 of Downton Abbey, then the season premiere of Girls on HBO. It was a hunkered-down, DVR-set, Indian take-out kind of a night. Yes, it is totally permissable for a mother of 2 babes (okay, a toddler and a baby) to zone out for a night in front of good television, but it’s also fun to take to some couch crafting. Yes, there are crafts you can do beyond knitting, sans glue and paint, that can be done cleanly in the comfort of your living room. Let’s explore the options, shall we?

Pom poms

Pom-poms are the perfect couch craft. Yes, they leave a little fuzz behind, but all you need is yarn, scissors, and your hand to make awesome pom-poms. These gorgeous gems are by Fox & Owl.


Origami is another ideal project for sofa crafting. Here is a great project that you can tackle to get you ready for Valentine’s Day! These orgami-heart bookmarks make a perfect Valentine craft for the kids to give out at school. By Oh Dear!.

A tiny needle craft is a fabulous activity to keeps your hands moving during tv time. Plus if you can make something utilitarian, even better! I love this cross-stitch iPhone case spotted on The Purl Bee. It’s tradition and technology all in one. You can buy the blank kit here (it comes in 6 colors).

Dear readers, what are other good, clean couch crafts? After all, Smash starts up again soon!

{cardboard tv via pinterest}

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A Portfolio: Kate Bingaman-Burt

| Grown-Up, Uncategorized

If you challenged yourself to document everything that you bought, do you think you’d spend less money? And by document, it could be any format…a typed list, a phone snapshot, a voice memo. What if you told yourself you were going to draw everything you buy on a daily basis? Enter Kate Bingaman-Burt, a dedicated (gross understatement) illustrator who has been drawing every last purchase, from baggage check fees to a new hair brush, since Februay 2006. Here are some of her drawings from December 2012. Crazy or cool? You decide.

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Chevron-drawing Hank-williams
Spotted on Flavorwire.

If you had the brilliant idea that she should make a book, well, she already has, and a new one is due out in the Spring. You can buy it here.

PS…Check out this post from 2 years ago about a guy who photographed all of his possessions!

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Faceted Finds

| Decor, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Gifts

Can you call faceted a trend? Or maybe it’s called the facet trend. However you say, I’ve been seeing it everywhere for a while and I love it! Here’s a mix of some DIY and products I’ve spotted…

What a gorgeous way to display place cards for a daytime wedding! Via Design is Mine.

Facet-cookie-jewels-of-new-yorkI love the unpredictable colors of these gem-shaped holiday cookies. Via The Jewels of New York.

There’s nothing wrong with a little bling inspiration in the kitchen. These are too cute to keep in a drawer! Via Design*Sponge.


This vase is made out of paper. For real. Via Curbly.

How elegant is this faceted clock? As the light changes during the day, the tones on the facets will transform. It’s a shape-shifting clock. Via RawDezign on Etsy.

I heart the jewel tones of these ceramic magnets. Get it? Jewel tones? By Pigeon Toe.

If you have a budget of $12,000 for a chandelier, then here you go. This is just beyond. Via Matter Matters.


Fun for kids to hold, these Crystal Crayons come in a set of 6 for $10 at Kikkerland.

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Play Under the Table

| Decor, Everyday Crafts, Preschool, Toddler, Toys

Now that I have a toddler, I am starting to experience the “everything-is-a-toy/playspace” concept. Shoeboxes, bubble wrap, paper towel tubes…all viable objects to play with. We spent a week with friends in New Hampshire over the holidays and the space under the dining room table became an ant home. So the kids (and adults) cozied up with pillows down there (as all ants do, naturally). That empty space has so much potential, as exhibited by these amazing ideas…


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I don’t even know where to begin with this amazing table by Dennis Drouet. Children can hide under the table and pull the strings, which creates a moving pattern on the table’s surface above. Found via Inhabitat.


This is beyond the beyond! Who wouldn’t love a little R&R time in an under-the-table DIY hammock? Found via Handimania, by Joyful Abode.


I saw this DIY idea in Country Living years ago, and it has stayed with me since. Decorate some cheap roller shades with windows and doors and install them underneath your table. If your table has a lip that over 2″ tall, it will hide the rollers nicely. It’s an instant play house, and a retractable one at that! (I can no longer find the CL link, but here it is on Pinterest.)

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Crayon Sculptures

| Decor, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Gifts



No, these aren’t made from melted crayons. They are literal 3-dimensional representations of your child’s artwork. Send an image to Crayon Creatures and you will get a resin figurine in return.

Now you can uncover that lovely stainless steel fridge!

Found via Design Mom.

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Getting Ahead for Valentine’s Day

| Everyday Crafts, Holidays, Valentine's Day

I always feel like I’m behind the 8-ball when it comes to Valentine’s Day. I guess I find myself in a craft coma post-holiday and Valentine’s Day creeps up on me. So this year, I vow to plan ahead to share something sweet.

I love this free download from Sweet Muffin Suite because it suits boths kids and adults. For an added treat, you could switch out the pencil for a pixie stick.

One of the best gifts I ever gave my husband was custom-made match boxes. Here’s a quick way to get a little flirty when you light candles for a romantic dinner. Download and print at Camille Styles.

The talented Corinne Gill made these snowflake valentines for my Parents mag Valentine story this year. Here’s a video (of yours truly) of how to make them.

This origami XO garland pretty much blew my mind when I spotted it on How About Orange.

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An Illustrated Family Portrait

| Decor, DIY Home, Gifts, Holidays

Michael-amanda-violethours Oliver-sommer-violethours

On the gift-giving spectrum of “easy-peasy” to “deep thinking”, my husband leans heavily to the “deep thinking” side of the scale. Basically, this means that walking into a retail store is virtually impossible (unless it’s Kiosk) when I need to get him a present.

This past Hanukkah, I had this amazing illustrated family portrait made by the uber-talented (old college friend of mine) Alessandra Olanow. I emailed her a bunch of photos of the four of us, and she interpreted them (with a few back and forth questions) into singular portraits. I absolutely love the way it came out!

(In case you are wondering, “watermelon” is something Michael and I used to say to each other in our early dating days. I wanted the drawing to feel like a gift from me to him, so I had Alessandra add the talk bubble.) Here is Alessandra’s portfolio site in case you want to see more of her work.

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Stair Decor

| Decor, DIY Home, Grown-Up

Stairs used to be just a means to an end. No longer. The staircase is a real blank slate for design-lovers to go wild. Here are a few of my faves…


For the true artist, this ombre technique is so gorgeous. I really don’t think I’d ever tire of living here. Via Martha Stewart.


I love this use of coordinating wallpapers. Via Serena & Lily.


I saw a ton of striped stairs in doing this search, but I love the simplicity of this image. It reminds me of the vintage grain sacks that make great pillows. Via Faded Plains.


I’m not the hugest fan of the word steps, but if you’re going to do it, write something in a foreign language. Oh, and do it as a mosaic while you’re at it. Via Blog Deco Maison.


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