Advertisements
Archive | Handmade RSS feed for this section

Happy Monday!

25 Nov

This weekend was a good one. I’ve been pretty sick (cold, cough, more coughing, bruised or cracked rib from coughing, horribly painful coughing, more coughing…) but am finally feeling MUCH better, and it was nice to have a break from a month of feeling yucky.

I wanted to share a few pictures from the weekend that I thought were fun. First of all, I was inspired by this DIY paper-bow tutorial I saw on Pinterest. It’s not in English, but it’s very easy to follow via the pictures, which are below.

DIY Paper Bows

2013-11-25 08.03.53 am

 

We made a few bows, and then we put one on the cat. Because why not.

 

Cat Bowtie

 

On Sunday, a long-time client of mine had a rug show at her gorgeous home. I snapped this photo of some of the rugs and a guest’s perfectly color-coordinated shoes.

rugs

 

Colors make me so happy. And so do bespoke cat accessories.

Enjoy the week!

 

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Advertisements

Spicy Pickled Carrots – A How-to!

30 Jun

I haven’t pickled anything since last summer when I went over to a friend’s house, and a group of us had an afternoon of pickling and preserving. Before that I hadn’t pickled anything, well…, ever. We made pickles, dilly beans, spicy carrots, and a blueberry jam (which never quite set up but was great on pancakes). These were our creations, minus the blueberry syrupy/jammy whatever-it-was.

Pickled Carrots!

So this weekend, almost a year later, I decided to take on some spicy carrot pickles all by myself. They turned out pretty well! I haven’t tasted them in their final stage yet because they need a few days to marinate, but I’m really hopeful. The best part was that they were incredibly fast and easy to make. So here’s a how-to in case you’re interested in making them for yourself.

Spicy Pickled Carrots: a how to

Actually, before I start, let me tell you one thing: if you ever want to feel what it might be like to have non-functioning lungs, try chopping some jalapenos then boiling some vinegar. Then you’ll know what that feels like.

So now that that has been said, here we go:

All you need is 3 1- pint jars, 2 pounds of carrots (the big bag, if you buy your carrots from the grocery store), about 4 cloves of garlic, 1 jalapeno, 4 cups of distilled white vinegar, 1 cup of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of salt.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

First you peel the carrots. It’s a lot of carrots to peel, but it’s worth it. Don’t judge me by how clean my sink is, but rather, judge me for how fast my hands are moving and my cool and retro yellow colander.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to
Then you cut the carrots into sticks about the size of your little finger. That’s a lot of carrots to cut.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

Slice up the garlic and jalapenos. This is the part where your husband starts to complain about how spicy things smell and how they’re “bothering his nose.” Just ignore him; he is not as tough as you when it comes to the kitchen.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

Next, you take three pint jars and put the garlic and jalapenos in the bottom (divide them up evenly, or you can experiment with different amounts of spice between the jars if you’re not sure what you’re up for in the heat department). If you like things super spicy, add an extra jalapeno or some crushed red pepper flakes.  Add the carrot sticks to the jars, making sure they’re short enough to leave about 1” of room at the top. Note: Make sure your pint jars are very clean; I had my assistant who is also my webmaster who is also my lawyer who is also my husband wash them for me while I chopped the veggies.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

Boil your vinegar on the stove in a non-reactive pot (stainless steel, glass, and enamel are fine; aluminum, copper and cast-iron are not fine). Try not to breathe. Add the sugar and salt when the vinegar is boiling, then stir to dissolve.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

Once the vinegar/sugar/salt solution was all dissolved, I let the brine sit off of the heat for a few minutes so it wasn’t super duper hot, then I poured it over the carrot jars with the help of a ladle. Make sure you have liquid about 1/2” over the top of the carrots, and that you then leave about 1/2” of space between the top of the liquid and the top of the jar. Then, cap those jars and you’re DONE. That’s it. I said it was easy!

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

These will be ready to eat in about a day, and will keep in the refrigerator for about a month. Keep in mind this is cold-packing and not preserving. So you can’t put these in the pantry and expect to pull them out for Thanksgiving, know what I mean? That would make your mouth pucker for an entirely different, really unpleasant reason.

Spicy Carrot Pickles How-to

Let me know if you make these or if you have any other good pickling recipes. I’m a sucker for vinegary things, so I’d love to hear about it!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Color Friday is: Rainbow!

3 Aug

I love this one! I should do it once a month. There are just so many rainbow-colored goodies out there, I can’t resist sharing them with you as I find them. So here are eight beautiful objects, each bursting with color!! (And if you’re hungry for more, check out an earlier Rainbow-themed Color Friday here.)

Rainbow Chandelier, $105 or DIYGift Wrap Paper, $4.50Tumbler, $58Cosmetic Case, $88Tectonic Floor Rug, $299-$399;  Rainbow ChairOriginal Art, $3,000Cushion Cover, $7

 
Enjoy your weekend! Hope it’s a good one!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

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.

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.

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.

Halloween Crafts Round-up!

29 Oct

In case you were looking for a little extra something to do this weekend (especially given the snowy forecast, fellow DC residents), here are three fabulously cute Halloween DIY projects! They’re not too difficult, expensive, or time consuming…because honestly, we all have more important things to do than decoupage all day but we still want some monster cupcakes, you know?

1.) Monster Cupcakes via Annie’s Eats.

So simple, yet so obviously a monster! (image via Annie's Eats)

Words can’t explain the cuteness of these treats, which are fairly easy to make if you have some basic baking tools laying around. Plus, how can you resist all that icing!  Follow along to the how-to here.

 

2.) Pumpkin Favor Pouches from Martha Stewart

You can do this is two minutes. I'm not kidding. (image via Martha Stewart)

This is easy, you guys. Seriously. I’ll direct you to the DIY, but basically you take orange crepe paper (or double or triple layered tissue), throw some candies in the center, twist it up into a ball, and seal the “stem” with green masking tape. That’s it!

 

3.) Modern Pumpkin Displays

Who said your pumpkins have to be scary, or carved, or even orange? (image via Curbly)

This DIY is as easy as you can get – it’s pretty much a make-it-up-as-you-go-along thing. Perfect for those of you who don’t like instructions! Grab some house paint, some glitter, some japanese masking tape, or even decorative nail heads (which you punch directly into the pumpkin to “stud” it).  Have fun, break rules, and get the pumpkin that says “You!” and not “Third Grade Class Party Craft.!”  For a super sleek and sophisticated look, you can even just spray a bunch of pumpkins white and call it a day. Very “too cool for school” and celebratory at the same time!

Have anyone else tried or seen any other Halloween-themed DIY’s? If so, I’d love to hear about them!

Have a great weekend doing whatever it is you do to prep for Halloween! For me, it’s hiding the candy I hoard from my husband and trying to finish off the makings of a tiny spaceman.

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.