Yarn & Gold Hoops

I am always looking for things to hang on the walls but sometimes a room already has too many frames or mirrors.  The spot I was looking for needed something more organic with texture.  When I saw the DIY Yarn Wall Art by Harlow & Thistle, I knew I had to give it a try.  You can find the full tutorial here.

You will need:

  • Metal hoops
  • Yarn (in coordinating colors and textures)
  • Butcher’s twine
  • A good pair of fabric scissors to trim the bottoms
  • THAT’S IT!

I actually found these gold hoops from the craft store first, but picking out yarn textures and colors took me forever!  There are so many shades of grey, khaki and white, finding the three that go together was challenging. The khaki and cream are pretty standard but I love love love the silvery grey bulky yarn I found.  I love the texture and that it has a slight sheen to it.

Cut the pieces of yarn in 4 foot strips, and two at a time, looped them over the ring with the knot portion facing forward.

After deciding how far you want to go along the bottom of the ring, start on the second loop with the next color. I did the same with the khaki: 4 foot strips, bunched in twos and then looped over the ring, knot facing forward.

For the smallest ring, I wanted to try macrame. I used a tutorial by Parlor. Her illustrations made the process way easier than I expected. Next time, I would like to try it with string meant for macrame as the yarn was quite stretchy and the fibers did not give the knots the definition it needed.

I used cotton butcher’s twine to wrap all of the rings together and create a hanging loop as the yarn would not hold up all of that weight. To finish, trim the ends into whatever shape you choose! I also knotted the bottoms of the grey yarn as they were starting to unravel.

I love this because it was really easy and something different to add to your wall space! Every part can be customized to fit the look and feel of your home.

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Scrabble Art

Looking for a really simple, easy but meaningful gift for the grandparents? When my husband was a kid, his family used to play Scrabble all of the time. I had seen large scrabble tiles used for wall collages saying words like “FAMILY” or “HOME”. I wanted to do a pared down version using all of the grandkids’ names.

You will need:

  • Strong adhesive (glue gun, E6000, etc…)
  • Scrabble letters (Tally up how many of each letter you will need so you know how many sets to buy.)
  • Shadow box frame preferably with matting
  • Printed or colored paper for the background (enough sheets for a redo if needed, see below)

Lay out your “scrabble board” on your background paper with the mat board so you know where to center them. I took one of the letters I knew I probably would not use (Q) and drew a heart with a black sharpie on back.

One thing I always think about when using the grandkids or kids names is what happens when you know your family is still growing? That’s why this project is so perfect, because of how simple it is, it would be easy to pull off the letters and make a new one for additional names!

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Twin Baby Room

The twins are 8 months already (!?!) and I have been meaning to share the nursery. (Can you even call it that anymore?)

img_0673It was very hard to come up with a theme for the room.  I knew the color palette I was looking for (orange, lime green, blues, grey).  The question was how to make this room their own while still reusing a lot of my daughter’s baby things and for us, the answer was in the artwork.

Our cousin, Laura from The Corner of Knit and Tea, is a superstar knitter (you may remember her from her Guest Peace!) and crafted these adorable bunnies.  I love how they are similar but different, plus they make great companions for the boys’ monthly photos.

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This gorgeous piece is from my sister, Sara. She painted two canvases that fit together as one but also relate to the La Luna painting she made my daughter.

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Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur happens to be one of my daughter’s favs.  I love Disney fan art and seeing someone else’s interpretation of the characters. I fell in love with the colors and illustrations in these pieces by Joey Chou.

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Another dreamy rendition is this one by Hayley Brynn.  I just happened to stumble across her work on Etsy and I am so glad I did! I love the companionship of Arlo and Spot and how they are so different yet such good friends, perfect for my boys.

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This work is from a good friend, Gail from Nightengail Art (Yes! Another Guest Peacer!)  Made for my daughter before she was born almost four years ago, we couldn’t move it as it looks too perfect here.

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And the best drawing of all was made by my daughter in anticipation of her two brothers’ arrival.

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The main thing I try to keep in mind while designing the nursery is to make it a space that has room to grow and I can picture the boys in here for a very long time.

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Guest Peace: A Creative Space

scarethread Rowley familyI share my home with my awesome husband, Ben, two gorgeous children, Jenson and Johanna, and my two hairy feline friends, Fluffy and Shiny. I was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, and moved to England to go to University, where I lived for 10 happy years and met Ben. We decided to move back to Vienna 7 years ago for various reasons, and we are so happy we made that decision! We both love living in this wonderful city so much.
I work for a non-governmental organization, and spend most of my weekends with my children hanging out in a park or lake somewhere. After hours, I am usually eating great food that Ben has prepared for me (he’s amazing in the kitchen!), drinking a cheeky glass of wine and watching Netflix with some embroidery on my lap. I try to make time to sew and draw as often as is humanly possible. If I could have one wish, other than the usual (end poverty, peace on Earth, etc..) it would be to have more time in any given day, or to not have the need to sleep (hmmm…., I love sleep, so scrap that idea). So if it could be arranged that a single day could be extended to 30 hours, and then the extra 6 hours could be used exclusively for creative and leisurely pursuits, that would be wonderful.
Photo: Sarah and her family

The goal: to have a space that was exclusively mine. As a full time working mum, I really felt the need for a space where I could sit and relax and be creative once the kiddies were asleep. It had to be functional, yet Pinterest-worthy. And in this space I would be creative, I would have all the time in the world to create masterpieces, enjoy the quiet alone time I sometimes so desperately craved, all the while sipping blissfully on a glass or two of wine. Happy! scarethread_01.JPGI decided that the bedroom would be the perfect spot. We drove to IKEA and found some amazing grey geometric wallpaper, and this happy looking yellow chair, and table. It was lovely. And I enjoyed sipping my coffee in the lounge chair during the occasional quiet moment.

But it wasn’t quite the creative space I desired. So, for my birthday in April, I asked Ben for my very own desk. Off we drove to IKEA again, I love IKEA!

I decided I wanted a bamboo top rather than the standard white top. In our excitement, we bought it without measuring (helpful tip: always measure before you buy!). The bamboo top wasn’t wide enough!! But that’s okay because the bamboo looked way better than the white, so I just got Ben to “fix” it by sawing the trestle legs a bit. Photo Aug 28, 8 51 59 PM.jpg
This is the table all ready to go, I just needed to add some finishing touches (notice how we tackled this project with a glass of rosé on the go. classy! And there’s Jenson, making himself at home). While we were at IKEA we bought that plant (now called Agatha, she has since been relocated to the living room, where the cats take a nibble out of her once in a while… sad times), and we also bought that chair, but I think I would like to replace it with something else in the future. I’m not sure what I’m looking for yet but I’ll know it when I see it!

My brother recently bought a gorgeous house just outside of Vienna, and he found a bunch of old window frames in the basement that were used in the house originally. He was going to throw them out anyway, so I think I was doing him a favour taking them off his hands. Best find ever!
Photo Aug 28, 8 59 23 PM.jpgI was tempted to sand them down and paint them an awesome colour, but when I put them against the wallpaper I thought they looked awesome just as they were. They had a rustic charm to them. That decision saved me a lot of work, which meant more time for crafting and wine. Hurray! (There’s Ben again, doing all the manual labour.)

I slowly started to add more personal items to the area to make it a place that I would feel inspired and happy. There are two photos taken by Ben when we first moved to Vienna: he took the same photo over the Danube river for about a year and some of the results we just stunning; an old photo illustration that I had custom made for me back in my early twenties and a number of little cacti plants and other bits and bobs.

scarethread_08.JPGThis space continues to be a work in progress. Eventually I want to add some shelving so that I can put the cacti and other more useful items on it, which will allow the desk to be a bit more spacious. I also want to add some extra storage to house my small fabric stash that I am desperate to transform into a LARGE fabric stash.

scarethread_11I would also like to get a record player in the room somewhere. I’m in the habit of automatically turning the telly on in the evening, and then I inevitably find myself distracted by zombies or Tom Hardy, depending on what I’m watching. I think it would be lovely to listen to some records and fully immerse myself in my creative little space. I have my heart set on a Crosley X UO Sterling Vinyl Record Player in turquoise from Urban Outfitters. I think this would make the perfect Christmas present (she says with her fingers and toes crossed, hoping a certain husband will get the hint).

Thank you so much for listening! Sarah xxx

For more of Sarah’s creative adventures, make sure to follow her on Instagram! @scarethread

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GUEST PEACE: Cloud Quilt

I find myself pinning a lot of cute quilts on Pinterest that I envision myself making. I have absolutely no idea how to quilt though and I’m not too keen on the idea of taking a quilting class or doing research. When I saw a cute cloud appliqué quilt that I really wanted to make for my friends baby, I decided to just give it a go by cheating.

I picked out some pretty material patterns that I thought were complimentary and white cotton with little white spots for the quilt. The pattern pieces were the little remnant samples form Joann’s so they were really cheap.

I printed a cloud template from the Internet and began cutting out clouds. I quickly realized however, that the material would fray. I went back to JoAnn’s and found some fusible fleece to iron on to the back of the material so it wouldn’t fray. I picked the fleece because it offered some padding to make the clouds stand out.

Once I cut out all the clouds I pinned them onto the white cotton material and hand sewed them in place.

Following that I cut out rain drops with the remaining material and sewed them on under a contrasting color cloud. I used an embroidery hoop to help with this. This hand sewing process took a lot of time and my poor fingers got tired. I know there’s a clever little trick with the sewing machine to sew on small appliqué like this, I just didn’t know what it was and additionally, doing it by hand meant I could park myself on the couch, in front of the TV while I did it. Once I finished sewing on the clouds and raindrops I matched up the batting and back piece of cotton for the quilt. Now here’s where all proficient quilters will shake their heads in disapproval. To create the “quilt” effect I just sewed across with the sewing machine and created squares. I started in the middle and worked out so that it would be even and it was definitely tricky to keep in a straight line. There were a few instances where the material got caught up as the machine met a section that had already been sewed in the opposite direction but all in all it turn out fine. Finally I added on the trim to finish it off.
With a couple of left over clouds, I embroidered “For Aria, with Love” and sewed them on the back of the quilt.

It didn’t turn out perfect but hopefully that adds to the charm of this homemade project. I shipped it off all the way to my good friend Melissa in Singapore for her beautiful baby girl, Aria. I hope Aria has hours of fun tummy-time on this fun little “quilt”.

IMG_7534Samantha is from England but has been in the U.S. for almost 8 years. She has been an amateur knitter most of her life after her grandmother taught her at an early age. She loves crafting but struggles to complete projects. She has recently started making what she calls “cheat-quilts” – sewing quilts without using any correct technique. Samantha loves making gifts for friends kids and any time she completes a project she is very happy. She says that the best part about crafting is the relaxation it provides so she never takes any project too seriously.

See Samantha’s other Guest Peace: A Fun Christmas Jumper!

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Paper Umbrella Wreath

A very special 3 year old’s birthday is coming up soon and  prep has begun! If you have seen Pixar’s Inside Out, then you have seen the short, Lava. My daughter fell instantly in (should I say it?) “lava!”  Haha!

Thanks to the Family Chic blog, I made my version of her paper umbrella wreath for the front door. All I used was a foam wreath and those cheap, little, paper cocktail umbrellas.

After opening them up, all you do is push them through the foam.  I learned about half way through though that it was much easier to push them through when i broke off the ends of the toothpick to make them a little shorter.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was and how good the finished product looked!  All for under 10 dollars. More to come on the Lava 3rd birthday party!
See last years party here!

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Guest Peace: Geometric Cork

When I moved into my new office a year ago, I wanted to make it mine in a way I hadn’t done in my last office, but as often happens, I was overwhelmed with such a blank slate. I wanted a way to incorporate photos of family and friends in a way that was suitable for a professional office, that didn’t include a lot of picture frames (talk about too many choices…), and that kept the photos in a place that I could enjoy them. So many of my colleagues have photos in their offices that are only visible to their visitors. I wanted these to be for me when I need a little pick-me-up or to help me escape to some of my favorite places and past vacations.
My plans often came to back to corkboard, but it didn’t seem polished enough or appropriate for the office…a little too college dorm room. Roaming the aisles of Target one night, I was struck with the inspiration to add some geometric designs, fancy push pins, and GOLD paint. All of my supplies were purchased at Target and the whole project easily came in under $20 and took me just one evening to complete. The corkboard even came with adhesive to easily hang them on the wall.  I used painters tape to mark off random designs on each piece of corkboard, playing around with different angles and amounts of space.

 I painted with the eggshell paint first, allowing about 15 minutes to dry in between coats. Since the cork soaks up paint, it took about three or four coats to get the coverage I wanted.

 After the eggshell portions were dry, I removed the tape and applied new tape in different directions to mark off where I wanted the gold portions to be. Again, three or four coats of paint were needed.

  
I almost didn’t want to cover them with pictures once I hung them, but I love that I can see all my photos when I look up from my computer screen.

 It’s so easy to change them out when I feel like it without worrying about the photos needing to fit in a certain frame or be a certain size, and since all of my photos these days are just inexpensive online prints of iPhone photos, I have a never-ending supply of new material.

393197_10100930939217166_496989639_nLAUREN AND I HAVE BEEN BEST FRIENDS FOR OVER 20 YEARS AND SHE IS MY “GO TO” PERSON FOR ANY AND ALL THINGS CRAFTY. HER TECHNICAL MIND MIXED WITH A LOVE OF DESIGN MAKES FOR A BEAUTIFUL AND EASY EXECUTION OF WHATEVER SHE DECIDES TO CREATE.

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Wedding Artwork

It’s February and the month of LOVE.  To express my love affair with metallics, each post this month will be a GOLD project!

We have a good collection of decor photos from our wedding taken by Karen Nakamura. I love that they show the thought and work we put into that day as well as the feel and ambiance of our venue. When we moved into our home from our condo, we switched to white wood pieces instead of dark. Instead of getting rid of this frame, I decided to paint it.

  I found this paint at the local craft store and although I have never used it before, I absolutely love the color. It is more of a champagne gold than yellow gold and it has super tiny sparkles, just enough to make it elegant and dynamic without being too cheesy. I admit that I am not a fan of sanding. I did not sand this frame and instead just put the paint right on. It took about 3-4 coats to cover the black, but a little black still shows through which gives it a really interesting texture. I did gloss it, which took it from home craft project to something you could find in the store.

  The frame hangs nicely in our master bath. You can see how different the color looks depending on the lighting and time of day.

Finding artwork for your home is one of the most challenging parts of decorating. I am always saying how I prefer things with meaning, things you already have access to, and things that bring such good vibes and memories to your home. What’s better than to use photos from your wedding or any happy occasion that you love to remember.

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Toddler Table 2

Since making the toddler table for my nephew, I figured that I should probably work on the one in my own home!

Using one of my favorite gold acrylic paints, the same one I used to paint the wedding frame, I put about two coats on the bare wood toddler table.  After drying, a quick coat of acrylic gloss really brought out all of the tiny gold sparkles in the paint.

  I love that this table is simple and classy yet perfect for my little one.  It is still a toddler table but fits right in to the decor of our living room!

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Toddler Table

This project was inspired by Laura who remodeled her own little Ikea LATT table. Thank you for the idea Laura!

My nephew celebrated his first birthday in September and for Christmas/Hannukah, my husband and I thought it would be the perfect time to get him his own little table.  We wanted to customize it to match the furniture in their home, so my hubby tried staining for the first time.

It was helpful that the table comes unassembled as we were able to lie them out all outside.  The smell of the stain was pretty strong.  Being novices, my dad suggested we use a rag rather than a brush.  We also learned that it is better to take long sweeping strokes rather than short ones.

img_7957While my husband tackled the staining, I worked on the seat cushions inside.

Using foam about 3/4 inch thick, I cut a square to fit the inner portion of the seat that comes with the chairs.  You want to make sure to leave those flaps on the sides of the seat uncovered so that they can slide into the assembled seat when building the chair. I cut the fabric with enough room on each end in order to fold them over to the back.
After folding the fabric over, I used a staple gun to affix it to the back and cut the excess fabric.

After assembling the chair, I was able to slide in the cushion to see the finished product!
It was great to give it to him.  We could tell he loved it and hopefully it doesn’t give his parents too much of a heart attack when he tries to stand on it! 🙂

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