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Treat Round-up for the Fourth!

29 Jun

In an attempt to be festive..and because I’m hungry…I’ve rounded up some Fourth of July treats that you can create this long weekend. Each are relatively simple, look incredibly tasty, and of course pass the “adorable” test. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

 

This Fruited Cheesecake Flag from Martha Stewart is summery and sweet. She has all the best ideas; I’d never think to make the “white” stripe from powdered sugar…I’d probably be peeling strawberries to achieve a similar color.

Here’s an easy one for you: a Red, White, and Blue Sangria, with the fruit densities already thoughtfully calculated to give you a perfectly tiered beverage!

My Juice Cup has the cutest Cake Pop project for the Fourth. One of the process-shots reminds me of Oreo Truffles, and honestly, I’d be content to make those in the style of these. …You say you don’t know what Oreo Truffles are? Oh my. Google it. You’re welcome.

I always hesitate to include two or more crafts or treats from the same source in a round-up, but damn Martha. What can I say. Enjoy these simple flags – you’ll love them if you loved those Rainbow-in-a-bag St. Patrick’s Day thingys that took over Pinterest the entire month of March!

Even though red, white, and blue food is pretty simple to make, it doesn’t have to be super sweet or 100% fruity. Try this ultra-easy-but-still-I’d-never-have-thought-of-it Watermelon and Feta plate from Wenderly.

And just because this is a decorating blog and I can’t help myself, don’t forget to throw these pillowcases (which are a set of two from Urban Outfitters…for $34!) on your guest or beach house bed. Love them!

Happy Fourth!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

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Easter Eggs: 7 Ways!

4 Apr

If you have kids, or if you like crafting, it’s likely that you’re going to dye eggs this week at some point. That is, if you didn’t already do it last weekend (I did). Here are seven ways to dye your eggs that go beyond the typical methods. Some are complicated, some aren’t. But they’re all neat too look at and fun to make! Enjoy!

1.) These Neon Dip-Dyed Eggs from Oh Joy are mod, colorful, and look incredibly easy to make!

Neon Dip-Dye (image via Oh Joy)

 

2.) I made some of these Silk-Dyed Eggs (aka Tie-Dyed Eggs) from Our Best Bites this past weekend. Many thanks to my friend’s husband for sacrificing one of his silk ties for our crafting enjoyment.  

Silk Tie-Dyed Eggs (image via Our Best Bites)

 

3.) You’ve probably seen this image floating around the web, especially if you belong to Pinterest. Make your own Natural-Dyed Eggs via Two Men And A  Little Farm.

Natural Dyed Eggs (image via Two Men and a Little Farm)

 

4.) These Chocolate Surprise Eggs from Martha Stewart are not just edible – they’re DELICIOUS! A bit more work than dunking orbs in dye, but why would you expect anything less than “a little bit labor intensive” from Martha?

Chocolate Eggs (image via Martha Stewart)

 

5.) Thought I’m still not 100% sure how you make these, the Chap Stick Eggs from Oh Joy are stunning and perfectly imperfect. Give it a try!

Chap Stick Eggs (image via Oh Joy)

 

6.) These Graphic Eggs from Martha Stewart stole my heart: vibrant, typographic, and shockingly easy!

Graphic Eggs

 

7.) Last but certainly not least in this round-up are Kool-Aid Eggs from Hey Jen Renee.  I can’t say that I ever would have thought of this, but the results are stunning! I wonder if it works with Jell-o?

Kool Aid Eggs (image via Hey Jen Renee)

So there you have it: seven dazzling ways to decorate your eggs this Easter. I can’t wait to try them! What’s your favorite way to dye Easter Eggs? And do you have any other ways to share?

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Few Words About Chalkboard Paint…

22 Feb

Chalkboard paint in a work- and child-friendly space! (image via Elle Decor)

Last night I met with clients who had just moved in to their new home. Literally, they’d moved in hours ago, and I ended up finalizing interior paint selections amidst moving boxes and hungry, excited, adorable children. Lucky for the little ones in this house, their parents were very open to letting the kids play a role in their wall colors. I’ve had many clients who “let” the kids pick a color, but when the child says “I want green!” what they hear is ” We’re going to go with this understated olive from the sophisticated historical palette, ok?” If you can bear it, sometimes it’s ok to let the kids go with what the kids want. After all, it’s my job to make sure we can make that neon yellow work, and work it will. Anyway, last night, we also ended up incorporating chalkboard paint into the kids’ rooms in restrained but still very fun ways – both near desks, and both only on portions of the wall.

I love infusing kid’s spaces with novelty, and chalkboard paint is a great way to do it (you’ve heard me say this before). That said, chalkboard paint can come with some issues, so allow me to lay out some ground rules that will save you headaches should you choose to use it. Pay careful attention!

Chalkboard Paint DOs

– DO choose a small area to apply the paint to. There’s really no need to make every wall a charcoal colored art surface, so choose a small nook by the desk, tape off just a section, paint on the back of a door, or apply it under a chair rail.

Painting a piece of furniture is a good intro to this concept. (image via ModernChicTots)

– DO monitor how your kid uses the wall for a while after you implement it. Start slowly by giving your kid one piece of chalk, or by storing the chalk in another room or a high place. To be super clear: don’t give your four year old a jumbo chalk bucket, lest you actually WANT to end up with six million broken stubs of chalk and marks all over surfaces that are painted with interior flat white. 

Needless to say, a child that can be trusted around white floors and many large and heavy propped up things can probably be trusted not to destroy the walls. Where do you find this breed of child? (image via spicerandbank.blogspot)

– DO place a play mat or cheap rug under the surface if you’re worried about dust. Truth be told though, if there’s chalk dust it will probably land on the molding (which is likely high-gloss, so just wipe it off regularly).

This Ikea bench allows a(n older) kid to climb up and utilize more of the drawing surface, while protecting the floor and maybe even providing a place to store (and put away) chalk and the eraser. (image via OhDeeDoh)

– DO explore other uses for this fun surface. I used it in my own home on a wall behind the kitchen where the fuse box is located: it camouflages the ugly box AND the surface is magnetized, too! If you’re tired of chalk clean up, I recommend giving your child a teeny tiny cup of water and a paint brush to “paint” the wall. Monitor this activity so you don’t end up with a soppy mess.

 

Chalkboard Paint DON’Ts

– DON’T use those chalk markers. They’re very hard to erase.

Just use chalk. No markers. Lots of chalk. Like this girl! (image via Green is the New Black.)

– DON’T use extra hard chalk: you may think this will prevent dust, and it will, but if you press too hard it can leave indentations in the drywall. (You say you have plaster walls? Lucky you – press away!)

If you're starting to become chalk-phobic, you can also use a magnetic primer to create a magnetized surface, like this fireplace guard! (image via http://pinkgreenandzebra.blogspot)

– DON’T paint above a crib, bed, or near an upholstered piece. Your bed/seat will just be a depository for colored powder. Young, mobile creatures have been known to reach out of the crib, touch the wall, and rub the powder all over themselves and their surroundings. And they eat it, too.

Looks very cool, but NO CHALK ON THE BABY! (image via Stylehandler)

– DON’T incorporate chalkboard into stripes unless they’re very wide (10” or greater). You’re just asking to mistakenly color outside of the lines.

– DON’T freak out about erasing it! Use a lightly damp sponge or paper towels. Also, know that it’s not ever going to look perfectly clean. …and that’s part of the charm.

 

Do you have any other fun uses for chalkboard paint? If so, share in the comments!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Really Easy Valentine Crafts!

11 Feb

In case you haven’t yet figured it out, I tend to prefer crafts and DIYs that are easy, quick, inexpensive, and use supplies that you likely already have on hand. There are exceptions of course, but as a mom who struggles to balance work and family, I don’t enjoy running to the store on a Tuesday night for pipe cleaners and wax paper, so I try to cultivate ideas that don’t encourage me to get frazzled. Like putting a pink marshmallow on top of a cupcake instead of rolling out the fondant. 

With Valentine’s Day coming up next week, it’s likely that you too have parties to cater, valentines to send, and crafts to conjure up, so hopefully this list makes it all a bit easier. Here is a little round-up of my favorites this year – enjoy, and put those DIY skills to good use!

 

Martha Stewart Crafts always has good ideas; there’s just no denying that. Here are two that are no exception: Valentine Hands, and Homemade Treat bags. All you’ll need for both is some simple craft supplies, candy, and a printer. Check our her slideshow, Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids, for these and 24 more!

(images via Martha Stewart Crafts)

 

Do you have some Hershey’s Kisses in your house? Come on, you know you do. And do you have sticky labels? Or even just paper and tape? –Well you’re in luck. Print out these adorable templates from Makoodle and you’re on your way to a cute treat (and for much less money than was spent on these very similar favors for my wedding…).

(image via Makoodle)

 

Here’s an idea that’s neither edible nor fits neatly in an envelope, but it’s innovative and fun just the same: Valentine lawn decorations! Or as the folks over at Oh Happy Day prefer to call them, Garden Heart Attacks. Grab some paper and scissors, flour or powdered sugar, and head outside and follow the tutorial above. Easy as pie! Did I mention that the crafter responsible for this idea, Brittany from The House That Lars Built, was a classmate of mine at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, which obviously breeds genius.

(image via Oh Happy Day)

 

Last but not least is an idea I found while browsing Pinterest (I’ve resisted joining so far, but man, it’s getting tough). Valentine Smores from Two Shades of Pink was a last minute addition to a kid’s party gift bag. It’s cute, made with readily accessible ingredients, and can be customized with whatever label you want to put on it. I love it!

(image via Two Shades of Pink)

 

These ideas all seem lovely and, equally important, reasonable to me! For my quick-treat fix,  I like to shove candies and stickers into a small ziplock and affix a holiday-themed folded over piece of craft paper over the ugly zip closure. It’s a treat bag that actually closes and opens, is decorated nicely, and very easy and cheap to make. Seal with a sticker with a name or picture on it and you’re DONE.

Regardless of your Valentine’s Day plans or crafting intentions, hope your weekend is a good one!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Color Friday is: Matte Black!

20 Jan

Basic black is beautiful. It’s dramatic, masculine, and can be both sophisticated and playful. While I love a glossy black finish as much as the next glam aficionado, I also have a huge soft spot for matte black. The flat finish of a matte black object is easy to keep looking good (no fingerprints!) and it plays well with shine just as well as it does with rustic woven baskets. It’s also the finish of a chalkboard, which you know I love. Have a look at these matte black finds below; many of them you can craft yourself using some DIY blackboard paint (I like the one from Benjamin Moore)! Enjoy!

Clockwise from pendant at top: Noir Pendant Lamp from CB2, $249 (image via CB2); Nars Eyeshadow Compact in Nightbreed, $23 (image via Drugstore.com); Benjamin Moore's Chalkboard Paint, $18.99 (image via BenjaminMoore); Morten Table Lamp by West Elm, $149 (image via West Elm); Architect Desk from CB2, $149 (image via CB2); West Elm Storage Baskets, $39-$59 (image via West Elm); Cast Iron Skillet by Lodge, $10-$60 (image via Amazon.com); Ottavio Vase by ZGallerie, $69.99 (image via ZGallerie); Stoneware Vessel by John Ward from Moss via 1st Dibs, price on request (image via 1stDibs)

 

I should point out that two of these items are, to me, examples of great product design. The Nars compact is one of my favorite  “things.” The almost rubbery black case is soft but firm to the touch, and it wipes off beautifully if you get fingerprints on it. Combined with the sleek text, its matte black finish is something I love seeing every time I pull it out of my drawer. Also, the Lodge cast iron skillet is a staple in my kitchen. The perfect matte black finish becomes a little shinier and browner over time, and if you don’t already have one you’ll love using it for everything from frying chicken to sauteing peppers – I promise.

Have a great weekend!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Advent Calendar Round-up!

1 Dec

It’s December 1! Have you thought about having an advent calendar? If not, you still have some time to pull one together. Here is a round-up of three do-it-yourself treat containers that will function perfectly and perk up your holiday decor!

1.) Toilet Paper Roll Calendar (via Woman’s Day): You heard me right: those pockets are made of toilet paper rolls that are strung across a ribbon.

Crafty Calendar: if you don't have 24 toilet paper rolls, you can just roll up paper and fold them over to make pockets. (image via Woman's Day)

 

2.) Beautiful Boxes (via The Painter Family):  This is my kind of advent calendar — candy, candy and more candy! Though it looks elaborate, it appears to be simple boxes adhered to a large framed board!

Gorgeous little gifts! (image via The Painter Family)

 

3.) Kid-centric Advent Calendars (via the Crafty Crow): It isn’t cheating for me to point you to another round-up in my round-up right? I can’t commit myself to a single project featured in The Crafty Crow’s 2011 Advent Calendar Idea post, so I’ll just send you to read it for yourselves. It includes lots of paper crafts, and yet another toilet paper project! Enjoy!

Just one amazing calendar you'll see in this post... (image via The Craft Crow via Giddy Giddy)

 

Still too much DIY-ing for you? If you have a Christmas tree, you can always wrap a single small gift and put it under the tree each day. To be 100% honest, I think this is the plan I’m going to follow. My little guy is still two so he is barely understanding the concept of Christmas, but he is fascinated by everything about the tree and I’d love to get him even MORE excited about it. What a fun month this is!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Thanksgiving Crafts for the Last Minute!

23 Nov

What a gorgeous pie! (image via Oh Happy Day)

 

There are lots of things to you today if you’re cooking for the big meal tomorrow. But if you’re not, or if you have kids who are old enough to do some crafting, or if you’re just interested in pulling an all-nighter doing as much as you can, then these three ideas below are for you!

 

This is a bowl of squash that my husband would approve of...as he isn't very fond of the edible variety. (image via Martha Stewart Crafts)

Squash Bowl: Should you find yourselves with a few extra hours on your hands today (and about 10 unused butternut squashes, and various shades of paint) then you might enjoy putting together a game of squash bowling! This one is pretty self-explanatory and looks quite fun! This is actually a cute craft for general holiday decor: you can stencil names, words, or images directly onto the hard and durable flesh of the squash (just like you’d do a pumpkin!).

 

Love this idea! (via OhHappyDay via Anthology Mag)

Alphabet Soup Placecards: This idea is so simple and makes so much sense! Using some paper supplies, glue, and box of alphabet noodles, you just use the pasta letters to label everything from your placecards to your food IDs. You can find the tutorial here, with more images, from Oh Happy Day.

 

Gorgeous, and so clever! (image via WithSprinklesOnTop)

Thanksgiving Cupcakes: These look like small portions of veggies, mashed potatoes, and chicken (not pictured), but they’re actually cupcakes!  They’re called “TV Dinner cupcakes” but I’ve always thought “Thanksgiving!” when I see them. The how-to is contained in the book Hello Cupcake!, but as an owner of that book, I’ll give you the abridged version: turkey cupcake is a donut hole (to give shape) with icing and corn flakes (to give the cooked brown look) mounded on top, plus a white chocolate bone; the mashed potatoes are simple — white icing well with a yellow starburst (butter) and caramel (gravy); and the veggies are green icing with green M&Ms and orange starburst candies cut up like carrot nibs. Easy stuff, and SO neat looking! The blog where the above image comes from, With Sprinkles on Top, also has a simplified tutorial.

Happy Cooking Day, or last day of work…whatever it may be for you!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.