April 2013 archive

Decorating With Fruit

| Decor, DIY Home, Food, Grown-Up


Yes, you heard me. And yes, you are reading The Violet Hours blog. I know, decorating with fruit may sound super grandma to you, but after you look at this post, your mind will be forever changed!

Oh Happy Day always gets it right, and this fruit balloon garland proves it. I’m obsessed!

Pineapple-wallpaper-fruit-decorI specifically sought out a pineapple wallpaper because I won’t deny that I love it. And how perfectly crafty is this color-by-numbers one by Jenny Wilkinson found on Design*Sponge?

Fruit-chandelierCall me crazy (Michael-husband, I hear you the loudest), but I could really get behind a glass fruit chandelier in my life one day. Found via Pinterest.



Jute pears
What is it with pears that make us love them so? I love all three of these lovely dolled up plastic pear crafts. Sources: Glitter pears, We Heart It; Chalk pears, The Empty Nest; Jute Pears, I Should Really Be Sleeping.

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Oeuf never ceases to fail when it comes to their garlands. I’m in love with this crocheted cherry one.

If this pomegranate iPhone wallpaper were real wallpaper, it would be in my bathroom.

Almost as good as Willy Wonka’s lick-able wallpaper, these bananas from Flavor Paper are scratch-n-sniff. For real.

Are you inspired now? But just pick one. You don’t want your home looking like a giant fruit salad.

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Focusing on Boston

| Grown-Up, Uncategorized

This quote has a way different meaning now than ever. I’m too glued to the New York Times to report on cute stuff today. I think we are all seeing some amazing human nature as the general public is banding together to help the city of Boston. Found on Steph Lawson Design Etsy page.

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Instagram Love

| Decor, DIY Home, Gifts, Grown-Up

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I am so not alone in my love for Instagram. It has definitely pulled ahead as my favorite form of social media. At this point in my life, I have time to look at pictures and not much else!

Some of my Instagram pics are among my favorite I’ve ever taken (like this one of my daugther Sommer at her first music class), and I’m desperate to free them from my digital devices and let them live in my world so I can actually touch them. Here are some great ways to do that…

OrigamiLMNOP blogged about Origrami, a service that prints postcard-quality prints of your Instagram photos. And then packages them in that amazing box. I’m doing this. Even if I have to pay shipping from Australia.

Abeachcottage-printstagram-I love the way A Beach Cottage arranged Instagram photos of a beach vaca on a wall in the shape of a heart. Because face it, who doesn’t love the beach? And Instagram. So if you are a shutter-happy photographer on one subject, this project will visually link the imagery and colors nicely.

Instagram-collage-in-frameSeriously, this is a dream of mine: a huge frame with hundreds of Instagram photos. If only I had the wall for it. Found via Because I’m Addicted.

Young-house-love-instagram-printsYoung House Love framed their Instagram photos in jewel cases. Always a fabulous, photograph vehicle. (PS…I’m so proud to share a book publisher with them! How on Earth did that happen?)

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For the Love of Pink

| Baby, Decor, DIY Home, Grown-Up, Preschool, Toddler


I was driving to Michael’s the other day, and heard a fascinating report on NPR. The author of a new book called Drunk Tank Pink, Adam Alter, was discussing with Ira Foster how hidden currents, from reactions to color to our attraction to certain letters of the alphabet, affect our behavior and thoughts in significant ways.

The term “drunk tank pink”, I just learned from this website Color Matters, is the name that was given to the color that was used in jail cells to calm violent prisoners. It was discovered that this hue (R:255, G:145, B:175) had a calming influence, even affecting a person’s heart rate, but could then create adverse effects after about 15 minutes of being subjected to it.


Then there’s the story about the head football coach at the University of Iowa who painted the opposing team’s locker room pink to weaken their performance on the field. Rumor has it that the visitors would cover everything with newspaper as best they could before entering the locker room to derail this bubblegum assault.

So naturally I began to think about pink in a new way…little girls clothed in pink, sleeping inside pink walls, chewing on pink plastic giraffes. Do we push this pacifying color onto them or is it a biological attraction?


Lauren and Carolyn 2006_2009
A few years ago I blogged about this project by South Korean artist JeongMee Yoon on Parents magazine’s Goodyblog. Starting with her 5-year old daughter Yoon conducted a documentary-esque study of children and their possessions. She orderly arranged their belongings, from clothing to pencils to books, in their bedrooms. The resulting photographs are astounding. The diptych is of a set of twins that both started out in the pink world, and then went their separate ways to pink and purple.

I am usually not drawn to pink for my 1-year-old daughter Sommer and much of what she wears is hand-me-downs from her brother (she survived the winter being mistaken for a boy in a navy-blue coat). I’m curious to see how it all shakes out; if one day, she’ll be fighting to paint her half of the room blush or bashful.

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A Toddler Bed #Upgrade

| Decor, DIY Home, Toddler

I pinned this photo from a French blog a while ago as aspiration. This is my goal for how I want my kids’ room to look. Loose, fun, casual. I’m on my way, for sure…we have a knitted bunting, a mushroom table lamp, a poppy, apple green side table, cool wallpaper from Fine Little Day…and now, we have a toddler bed.

Yes, Oliver has graduated, and thank goodness! Poor Sommer has been waiting for her fashionable, Kalon Studios Caravan crib for months now. We got Oliver the Gulliver bed from Ikea; now I just need to hack it a little bit to give it some European style. I wanted something simple that could compliment the Caravan, but at a lower price point. I plan to style it like a little day bed, and honestly, I can’t wait to start pinning textiles.

Tonight will be the first night as a big boy. Must mark it down in the calendar.

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Rocket Crafts

| Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Parties, Preschool, Toddler


My 2.5-year-old Oliver loves rockets. He calls them rocket-planes because they fly like planes; they don’t sail like ships. Der. He sees rockets in everything from a water bottle to a random pile of blocks loosely dropped into a pointed formation. So naturally I invented a rocket craft for my book…and after scouring the web for my competition, I’d say it’s pretty original. Alas, I can’t post it yet, so here are a few other ideas that I heart that aren’t the typical cardboard tubes and streamer flames.

Rockets live so naturally on a garland, like the one above from Guusjes Appeltaart, a Dutch blog. She made stamps of rockets, stars, and flying saucers to create these gorgeous forms. I just love them.


Straw-rocket-craftBonus points go to a rocket craft that can actually fly, like this cute project found on Dollar Store Crafts. You blow through the straw to make it soar through the air. Big fun.


My-Garden-Party-web-202Here is the elegant version of a rocket craft…those gold letters really take it up a notch! Apparently it’s a party favor (so says the blog, My Garden Party).


Rocket-bookmarkRockets make natural bookmarks because of their shape, like this one that I saw on Pinterest. Add a little weaving lesson that doubles as flames and you’re ready for take off.


Cardboard-rocketNow why haven’t we seen this idea a gazillion times? It’s genius…a cardboard rocket “playhouse”. And notice, the aliens are made from bottle tops. It’s pretty amazing and really gets me thinking about how I would do it. Nice work, Se7en!

ps…I promise to come back next week with a recap of Sommer’s 1st birthday party, as promised! It’s been a crazy week of book production!

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Magical Map Crafts

| Decor, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Gifts, Grown-Up, Upcycled

Elisabeth-lecourt-maps-couture-600x630I’m so attracted to maps, both for the actual use (navigation) and for their design and craft aesthetic. Obviously I’m not alone in this, as maps have been decoupaged on everything from coasters to lampshades. But these crafts, like this amazing map dress by Elisabeth Lecourt, are taking maps to new destinations…sorry, it had to be said!

Map-deer-headThis looks crazy hard I know, but I think the artist just covered this cardboard deer head in maps. Love. Found via Babble.

Embroider-parisThis could be a very cool abstract embroidered design, but it’s actually the Paris Metro system. By Needle & Compass on Etsy.


Map-boat-gift-wrapI love the link between transportation and navigation with this folded paper map boat by d. Sharp Journal.


Map-scrapbook-craftA travel scrapbook made with map pages? Yes. Found via Scrapbook.com.

Map-chairOk, so I’m ending with the decoupaged map chair found via Pins for Your Home because I just love it.

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DIY Play Money

| Everyday Crafts, Preschool, Toddler, Toys


I saw this adorable fabric play money on Estefi Machado’s blog (one of my favorite craft blogs that happens to be in Portugese), and it inspired a search for other clever homemade play money. She used a really cool technique…she coated a piece of cotton in spray mount, let it dry, then ran it through the printer. (At least this is how I understood the google translation.) Being on fabric save them from wrinkles and rips. Here are a few other clever DIY money crafts that caught my eye…

These homemade wooden coins by Lil Blue Boo are super cute: I love that they are in denominations of treats, rather than money amounts.


What’s better than a kid seeing her own mug in the center of currency? I love the iron-on and stitched details of this homemade play money.

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Spring Break Staycation

| Decor, Everyday Crafts, Family Bonding, Nature

If you are about to embark upon a week of kids at home (aka wild abandon) for spring break, maybe a few of these 10 ideas from my recent Mom.me story will inspire you! (And while you’re there, check out all the great things that Mom.me has to offer!)

Homemade-sand-mom.me-kingloffMissing the beach in a bad way? Bring it home with this easy homemade recipe of flour and vegetable oil.

Too cold for a backyard camp out? Instead, camp in with a homemade tent in the living room!

Are Legos getting old? Try building a tower with marshmallows and toothpicks!

Download scavenger hunts for the grocery store, the mall, and traffic to keep your kids busy while you run errands!

Check out the rest of the story on mom.me!

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