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Tiny Gallery For A Tiny Person

17 Mar

Today’s SNOW DAY Morning Mission: creating a gallery wall in my son’s bedroom!

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As almost all parents-of-preschoolers do, we usually have about 600 pieces of kid art laying around the house. It just so happens that this weekend we went through and culled that down to about 100 pieces, which we put in a desk organizer on a bookshelf with the intent to work through it monthly and keep, scan, purge, or mail to grandparents. So naturally, this morning after a marathon game of Chutes and Ladders (did you KNOW how long that game can go on???) I grabbed the art organizer, called over my artist and assistant curator, and we got to work.

First we picked out about 20 things my son wanted to see up on the wall. We also found and printed some photographs. I let him choose about six rolls of washi tape for the “frames” (I love this Etsy shop for fantastic, fairly inexpensive tape). We also used a few existing frames and mats; by the way, I love these 2-pack NYTTJA frames from IKEA for kids’ rooms.

After about half an hour of “curating” we started the assembly. I’d love to say this was carefully thought out (as a client’s wall would be)  but we just started tacking things up and filling in the holes. I was careful to hang the actual frames a little higher than I thought he’d reach or hit while playing.

This is what we got:

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A few of the highlights are the origami dinosaur and crane, which are essentially “seat-belted” the the wall…

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Some of his early writings…2014-03-17 02.27.06 pm

 

And this ice cream cutout, which is paired with a “menu” he recently gave me as breakfast suggestions (nice try). 2014-03-17 02.27.24 pm

If the tape doesn’t stick very well or comes unglued, you can hit it with a hot hairdryer to gum it onto the wall a little bit more. But don’t worry, it won’t damage your wall (that’s the beauty of washi-tape). It will also keep your paper free of rips if you remove it (just pull slowly and carefully).

Now if tomorrow’s another snow day, I have NO IDEA what we’re going to do!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Sticky Frog Advent Calendar!

2 Dec

2013-12-02 09.51.02 am

Before I get into the point of this post, let me make two things clear.

1.) Between Thanksgiving and early January, my work schedule is typically a bit lighter. Partly because people are less likely to want to take on big home projects during the holidays, and partly by my own design (because I like to be more present during the holidays, and with my son having a whopping almost 20 days off of school, I need to be!). So, during the next month or so, this blog will naturally become less about decorating and design and more about crafting and kid and holiday themes.

2.) I love chalkboard paint. So if you don’t, you’re in the wrong place.

Phew. I’m glad we’ve gotten that out of the way. Now I’ll start:

I wanted to make my 4 year old son an advent calendar this year, and last week, I sent my husband and email detailing all the little gifts we could give him. He pointed out, and I think rightfully so, that it was too much stuff, which is something we struggle with having a little kid. So we decided we could still do the advent calendar without deluging him with 24 different knick-knacks that he’d never appreciate or use (and inevitably, lose). I ultimately decided to draw the calendar on the new/temporary chalk wall we have, and every day we’ll put a new sticky-frog on the date. Remember those? You throw them, and they stick to the walls. And the tv. And the stair railing. And the picture frames. And your parents’ legs. And hopefully not the sprinklers on the ceiling.

Sticky Frog Advent Calendar

For demonstration purposes, I’ve put the frogs on each number: in real life, there’s no way this would work, as my son would remove every single frog on day 1. But he sure does look forward to coming down every morning and finding out which color his frog will be. Is it his “first favorite color” (orange)? Or his “second favorite color” (purple)? Who knows.

Sticky Frog Advent Calendar

 

This works really well for our family because it manages the junk and tames my son’s sense of preschooler-I-want-it-entitlement.  I may even be “fun mom” and put a piece of candy up there one day. Maybe.

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

DIY Paper Fortune Cookies!

26 Nov

I posted a picture to Instagram a few weeks ago of some DIY paper fortune cookies that I made. A few people have asked how to make them.

DIY Paper Fortune Cookies!

The good news is, they could NOT be easier to assemble! If you have paper and a glue gun, it’ll take you less than 5 minutes to make a few.

Here’s a how-to…

DIY Fortune Cookies!

Didn’t I tell you that was easy? If you don’t have a glue gun (Wait: how can you NOT have a glue gun?) you could use a dot of regular glue, but I can’t stand holding paper together until glue dries so I use hot glue. I also glued a lot of the “prizes” to the inside of the “cookie”; folded paper (messages, bills) tends to stick just fine, but other things will fall right out.

We’re going to have them as part of our place-setting for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait!

DIY Fortune Cookies

If you find my paper choices gaudy, I should explain that I chose patterns that correspond to certain family members’ interests. I am MUCH more fond of fun than formality.

Enjoy this super easy and festive craft!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

You Do What You Can With What You Have: Holiday Decorating Edition.

20 Nov

Many of my friends and most of my neighbors are aware of the ever-present, pretty annoying, long-lasting construction project going on in my condo right now. To make a long story short, the building has some issues with waterproofing that are a result of not very detail oriented initial construction, and we’re in the midst of what we’re hoping is the final fix. Also, Pro-Tip: When installing window flashing, you want to position it so that it directs water outward, toward the facade, and not inward, toward YOUR HOUSE.

So now that we’ve covered that, let me explain…

About a month ago we were graced with this lovely tent.

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

Not only did it compromise the lovely light that we get through this hugely awesome window, but it upset my son because it exists in his “play station.” He came home from school and charged it like a linebacker. Not good. Though I can attest that it’s a pretty sturdy bubble. 

After about a month, they realized the existing windows will no longer work, so the search is on for new, custom, apparently very hard to find windows. I am no stranger to custom items, long lead times, and construction hassle. But ugh. And it was getting cold in here. So in this windowless hole, they put up a temporary insulated wall, which will grace our condo with its presence until the new year, when the new windows are finally here. It’s heinous.

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

My first thought was: MY HOUSE IS GOING TO BE SO UGLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS.  My second though a few seconds later was “Can I paint this?” So I asked a guy standing around and he said I could. Before he had time to go ask someone who could say “no” I painted it. With chalkboard paint. Bear with me here on this big black box…

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

I had about 1/3 of a quart left, and I used every single bit of it. The best thing about chalkboard paint is that one coat is enough, and if you do a spotty job, you’ll never know because the first time you use it you create an imperfect, cloudy/chalky finish.

I strung up some lights, and then my son went to town with the chalk.  The first thing he did was get a chair, climb up on it, and draw a sun and clouds. “Because they’re up high.”

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I’m really liking this “new” look. We’ll “Christmas-ize” it in a few weeks, and I think it will be a lot of fun. I might even miss it when it goes. Maybe. I might. We’ll see. I have to admit my craftsmanship is at 75%, but hey, it’s fun.

Just wanted to share this fun project, which turned a disaster into a fun, temporary installation!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Cardboard Box Crafts: Never Too Old For This.

16 Aug

I’ve have been known to get a little *too* into crafting (and constructing train tracks, but that’s a different story).

By “too into crafting” I mean that it usually goes like this:

My son asks me to help him with something like making a gas station out of a big cardboard box. Wonderful!

I say “OF COURSE!” and immediately get an idea for what I want to do.

I ignore him while I go round up craft supplies.

I give him a snack to get out of my way while I create templates and brainstorm.

I give him more snacks/start a show on the tv/repeatedly tell him to leave me alone so that my ideas can be fully realized in their cardboard greatness.

Then halfway through, I feel bad and realize this is about HIM, ask him to help me, and he dutifully does.

…Then he gets bored five minutes later and I finish the project. In the end, we complement each other.

A few weeks ago I came home with a few huge boxes and he wanted a house. So we made one together, with him dictating the elements and me making most of them (a rug, working shades, flowers, a mailbox…). He fetched and handed me supplies. This boy has really mastered the art of safely handling heavy duty scissors, an essential skill in our house. This is what we made:

Cardboard Playhouse

Oh, you thought I was just going to display some photograph? No. Not how we do it around here. You can click on the image for the full-sized version, which should be to scale.

Here is another box craft we made was when he was barely two years old. He wanted a car he could drive, and who am I to say “no.” He got his car, which we called “The Beck Mobile.” I was just getting started with the box crafting here, so things are a little out of proportion. But the steering wheel did work, even if he tried to eat it the second day.

Cardboard Box Crafts

Around the same time he became obsessed with my computer, which as any work-at-home parent knows, is a personal hell. So I made him one. It stood up pretty well. Notice the interactive velcro “icons,” which are pictures of our cat, our wedding, and foods he likes.

Cardboard Box Crafts

I can go on…but I won’t. (But I would if I had pictures of the gas station we made because WOW was it that good.)

My husband isn’t exempt from this craftiness gene. Here I give you “box firetruck.” This was made approximately three months ago, and is still going strong. We even adapted the top to fit a Playmobil flashing police car light, ’cause you know, we aim for realism.

Cardboard Box Crafts

If you’re interested in other box crafts, see 15 of them here (via Apartment Therapy).

Enjoy your weekend!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Recently on Pinterest…

7 Jun

It’s been a long two weeks. Between work being busy and tending to a sick kid’s mystery illness (he’s fine…no longer a mystery) I haven’t have much time to blog. One thing I have been doing though, is pinning things to Pinterest. At first I regarded it as another site to demand my time, but now I’m finding it more and more useful. I still feel the same way about Twitter though, which is to say, I find it redundant and pointless and a tedious effort. (Sorry, tweeters.)

Here are five fun things I’ve recently “pinned.” If you like them consider “following me” on Pinterest!

 

An unconventional, super neat mantle-scape:

Recently on Pinterest...

 

A kitchen island with personality:

Recently on Pinterest....

 

A celebration of imagery from the Dutch Postal Service:

Recently on Pinterest...

 

15 DIY crafts you can make from a paper box!

Recently on Pinterest...

 

And last but certainly not least, this cake roll:

Recently on Pinterest...

 

Please follow the links thru for proper image crediting, as well as how-tos and more info on these fun projects.

Have a great weekend! Mine is already filled with clients, swim class, a baby shower, and a TRUCK TOUCH!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

I’m Just Going To Brag For A Moment Here…

14 May

On the first ever Mother’s Day I had as a mom, my husband set a pretty high bar. We’re not much for giving big gifts to each other, but we do make small, meaningful gestures and get a little crafty when the time calls for craftiness. Naturally, when I was allowed to sleep in until the luxurious-to-a-new-mom hour of 8am or so, I was bowled over with love and laughter to see this sitting in the living room for me:

Mother's Day 2013

Don’t worry: that’s infant-safe tape adhering the flower to his hand. At least that’s what my husband told me…

I look at this picture every few weeks and laugh-cry at how sweet my husband and son are.

Now, four years later, we are veterans of all the holidays-you-do-with-a-kid. I don’t expect too much.

But this weekend I was pleasantly surprised when my son crawled into bed with me – at the ever-so-luxurious-to-a-mom-of-a-four-year-old hour of 7 am – told me “Happy Mother’s Day,” handed me my phone, and told me to check my email. I found a link to this, my “card” for the day:


My favorite part is when he throws the mulch at me. True life, you guys.

Sunday was a beautiful day. It’s always nice to spend time to reflect on being thankful for my kid, my own amazing mother, and all the moms who help make your and my life brighter.

(Hey – don’t forget to enter my $75 Novica GIVEAWAY – you have until Friday!)

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

DIY Car Valentines!

10 Feb

We just completed our Valentines for Thursday, ahead of schedule!

Car Valentines!

 

I’d love to claim credit for the idea, but I got it from Pinterest. We had an abundance of Hot Wheels cars, both new and very gently (read: never) used, so we were able to put this together very inexpensively. Each clear favor bag contains a card, a lollipop, and a car. My son made paper valentines for his friends on construction paper by diligently coloring, cutting, and applying stickers. It cracked me up that he chose the two police cars for his besties! I was really proud of his giving spirit and his ability to focus…my little guy is growing up so fast. 

I suspect we’ll be making more paper Valentines for neighbors this week. If you’re a neighbor, expect some scribbles under your door for the next few days!

Have a great week!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

DIY Fruit Stand!

14 Jan

While I’ve been relatively better at blogging the past 10 days or so, I’ll admit I’m straying quite a bit here from the actual kind of design I usually do.

So screw it. I’ll continue the trend, and today I’m going to show off a fruit stand that my son and I made this weekend. Check it out in all its crafty majesty…

DIY Fruit Stand

DIY Fruit Stand

DIY Fruit Stand

 

Very much inspired by my former-classmate’s unbelievable craftiness (I bow down to her pineapple), these “fruits” are made from balloons and construction paper. They’re propped up in a boot box that has been “upholstered” in a disposable vinyl tablecloth, and the signs are made of cardboard and pretty straws. Shockingly, it is still in tact after a few hours of use, with only a few strawberries lost.

Hope your weekend was as fun as mine was!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Alternatives to the Traditional Train Table.

3 Jan

I would venture to guess that if you have a child, particularly a boy, at some point you are going to feel compelled to get a train set. And, similarly to what happens when you give a mouse a cookie, if you get your kid a train set, said kid is going to want a train table to go with it.

train table alternatives

In my house, we had to head that off before it even started for a few reasons.

1.) We live in a great condo that has enough space for our little family, but we don’t feel like it accommodates a train table in a way that allows us to still feel like we are adults with adult things, and 2.) given the previous reason, a ten square foot train table is about ten square feet too many of a stationary toy that has a single purpose. So, our solution was simple. We got a rug that serves virtually the same purpose as a train table PLUS a million others. Ours is no longer available, but this one is similar.

Here are five rugs that will substitute for a train table pretty seamlessly. Of course you are still without the train table storage, but a simple cube ottoman in a coordinating solid color will handle that problem quite well.

train table alternatives

 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The best part about all of these rugs is that they meet my #1 “must” requirement for rugs in childrens’ rooms: they’re not too expensive. Because in addition to trains and cars, you’re almost guaranteed that someone will take a juice box for a spin on it at one point or another.

Now excuse me while I go play trains…

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.