Fold a Fabric scrap in half and cut a 2 inch by 2 inch square. Cut a triangle through the non-folded side of the square. Unfold, place a skewer in the fold, spray completely with adhesive and then stick both sides together. For the “host” flag, I hand-stitched my word on before spraying the pieces together so the back-side of the stitching could be hidden. It’s a completely unnecessary step but it could be fun for a small party, stitching guest’s initials on each flag, perhaps “bride and groom” for a wedding, or a short message for a birthday. Whatever floats your flag!
Happy June and happy official summer month! New seasons always bring me so much optimism. I usually have some sort of mental picture of how I’m of course assuming that this new glorious season will go. My picture for summer? Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon.” Of course Cali is too hot and 2013 is too modern for bustles and long sleeves, Sunday afternoons are of course usually spent frantically catching up for Monday mornings–not lounging on river banks, but isn’t that painting just summer perfection in theory? And on June 3rd, theory is all we’re working off of.
And since I’m talking about ideals, something that is less than ideal and rather a pet peeve of mine is forgotten drinks at parties. I hate it. If there are 12 people at a party, why at the end of the night are there 34 cups? Why???? Of course you could do the sharpie next to the plastic cup stack as an age-old cup-saver but you could also DIY your own drink flags and save yourself the 34-cup-problem and keep your summer party snazzy not just in theory.
It’s officially the 6th month-aversary of VMMV. I don’t quite know how that happened. I remember before launching the blog spending an embarrassingly long time just trying to figure out a title I wanted to give this little piece of internet-space and now 6 months later here we are. I have to say it’s been a more frustrating 6 months than I anticipated. There are many things I wish I could do with this space that I simply cannot do because of my lack of knowledge about necessary, blog-techy things that are too boring to write about. But, let’s just say, if I had the cash to drop on a brilliant, 19 year-old CSS-coder I wouldn’t think about it for more than 2 seconds, I would so drop that cash in an instant.
As it is, I don’t have that luxury and at the moment I’m going to patiently let this place evolve instead of pushing the limits of my anti-savy-ness before I’m ready because I’ve read enough articles to foresee a huge blog-crash-and-burn if I were to take that leap of faith. In cases such as these, I think it might be safer to lack a little faith.
In the meantime, it’s always kind of surprising the posts you all enjoy. I have to say I’m rather crestfallen sometimes when a particular, personal fave isn’t very popular. *sigh* its the ever-present writer-ego that is constantly battered and bruised. So to console myself, I’m posting the top six posts with the highest readership, and my own top picks…just because. As always, THANK-YOU for reading, commenting, and re-posting!
Once you’ve reached the age where trundling baskets around the backyard to search for hard-boiled eggs hidden just out of reach so your parents can get a hearty laugh at the impossible scramble every year has grown a bit too youthful of a sport, the egg decorating tradition still retains some nostalgia that can’t be outgrown. This is where hand-painted eggs enter the tradition-story: I love these little eggs so much. They have such a sweet, vintage look and are absurdly simple yet look super chic and precise–perfect for the *slightly* grown-up egg decorator.
The original DIY blogger before “blogger” was even a catchphrase, Martha Stewart, did a project much like these Beatrix Potter-esque eggs a few years ago, but her version seemed too complicated for my if-it-takes-more-than-an-hour-that-DIY-is-too-difficult-for-my-brain rule so I did it my own way and it turned out absolutely perfect.
You will need
Beatrix Potter cut-outs (download the template here).
Paint and a brush
A wet cloth and a dry towel
After you blow-out your egg, cut a design from the template and place it on the egg. Completely soak the design with the wet cloth and then pat dry with the dry towel, making sure the edges of the design are adhered flat to the egg. It may wrinkle a bit but it’s ok as long as there’s no gaps for the paint to get under.
Paint around the design with whatever color you desire. Stroke away from the design so the paint isn’t pushed under the paper.
Allow to dry and then carefully peel off the paper.
You may need to do a little touch up work but unless I chose a design with a lot of intricate edges, all of my eggs turned out clean and perfect!
Aren’t they adorable? The whole project seriously takes about twenty minutes and I think they looks so expensive and un-homemade in the best of ways. Plus, if you’re careful, these guys can be re-used year after year:
I’m obsessed with these eggs, I think I’ve used almost every design from the template…in just as many colors…in every room of the house. Happy new traditions this Easter! You never can quite outgrow the egg-phase.
Ok, I gave up, New Years is happening so I decided to give it a nod and put up something festive.
Twine-balls are everywhere, I’ve seen them decking weddings, parties, baby showers, and now, you’ll be seeing them at your New Years party if you feel like kicking off 2013 with a little arts and crafts. It took me about an hour and a half to make these guys (not counting drying time) and they make quite the impact I think when hung over whatever table-scape you’re planning.
Mix the corn starch, water, and glue together until the mixture is starting to thicken. You might have to play around with the proportions a bit to get the consistency right. I had to make this mixture twice in order to coat enough twine for four, rather large balloons. (**confession: I wanted to make the twine-balls gold so I tried pouring gold paint in with the mixture but it ended up making a murky grey color so, don’t try and skip a step, just make the twine-balls and then spray-paint them whatever color you want later. I ended up deciding to paint them a chic black anyway.)
Place a rod between two chairs so you have something to tie the balloons on while you’re working.
Blow up the balloons to the size you want and tie them to the rod with some twine.
Coat the twine in the glue mixture and then just start winding the twine around the balloons until you have as much twine as you want coating the balloon. It’s a bit messy so put some paper down to protect your floor and it’s also a good idea to have an extra set of hands to help hold the balloon steady while you are applying the glue-soaked twine:
**A note on drying time: this really depends on the weather, how warm your house is, how much glue you have on the twine etc. You should be able to tell if it’s dry by touching the balloons to see if the twine has made a hardened shell.
After the twine feels dry, spray paint the balloons whatever color you desire. I’ve done this project before and just left them white and I thought they turned out beautiful. For New Years though, I wanted something a bit more dramatic so I went for the black. (**if you want to hang these outside, don’t forget to also add a protective coat of clear spray-paint, otherwise if the twine gets wet the balls will deflate. Trust me, I forgot to do that step before and I was left with strange, soggy, limp twine.)
After the paint dries, just cut a tiny hole in the balloon to let the air out SLOWLY. The balloon will separate itself from the twine and then you’re left with a pretty impressive globe:
I think these twineballs are so fun because they’re so versatile: you could hang them around a light bulb for a chandelier effect, make miniature ones to place over twinkle-light strands, hang outside for a garden party, or even over a crib for a mobile. I paired the balls with some vintage decanters I just discovered at Salvation Army. I got the entire tray of decanters plus the champagne glasses seen in yesterday’s post for a whopping $18! Pretty nifty, yes? Hope this inspires you and (almost) Happy New Year!
Its supposed to be 82 degrees today–thanks California. Guess who is completely bummed though? Me. Yes, I hate it. But I’m thinking wishfully so I thought I would share with you a few fun ways to tie a scarf, so, if fall ever decides to stick around, you’ll be ready.
I love this little book. It’s a pamphlet from Nordstrom’s from the 80s and, excepting the unfortunate bowl hair-cuts on many of the models, it’s a really great step-by-step guide to tying all sorts of different scarves (oblong, square, bias) into all sorts of different ways. In honor of my series this week of showing how the addition of a few accessories can add some simple femininity to your everyday look, I thought I would share two of my favorite ways to tie a scarf.
The scarves I’m talking about aren’t the keep-me-warm-ones necessarily. Instead, these are more of the thinner fabrics that can be worn indoors–even after you take your coat off–and can add some elegance to a shirt and jeans, a plain sweater- dress, or with a collared button-down to keep it feeling girly.
These are some of my favorites:
They really aren’t even scarves at all, but are actually about a half of a yard of fabric I bought for a few dollars each. Once tied, they look super-chic and not anything like a square piece of fabric cut off the bolt: cheap and the possibilities are almost endless.
Tie number one:
(I warned you about the hair didn’t I?) If you can’t tell what to do from the image, here’s a little more help:
1.) Drape an oblong scarf around your neck and about half-way up pinch one side of the scarf to the other side with your thumb and forefinger:
2.) Using a ring, push the pinched part of the scarf through the hole of the ring:
3.) Keep pulling the scarf through the hole until you get it to the length you want:
Tie number two
This one looks a bit more complicated but it’s really not. It’s easiest to do with thinner fabrics otherwise the pleats get a little too fluffy and it looks like a mess. I used Alice to help me out on this one:
1.) Drape an oblong scarf around your neck and tie a loose knot in one side about two inches from the bottom:
2.) Fold the other side into accordion pleats until it’s even with the knotted side…
…and hold onto the inside half of the pleats and let the other side fan out:
3.) Push the pinched side of the pleats through the loose knot and then tighten the knot:
4.) Arrange the pleats until they drape nicely:
Easy, yes? Everytime I’ve worn these two knots, I always get people asking me how I tied them.
It looks complicated but is actually very easy and, don’t take it from me, even Nordstrom says, it adds “a sensational touch of class.”
Hope everyone has a safe Halloween. Maybe tie a scarf around your neck to get into the mood if the weather has got you feeling more like June than October. I haven’t actually carved my pumpkin yet but I have big plans! Maybe I’ll share tomorrow if it looks as good in real life as it does in my head.
I had the great pleasure, that ended in the great horror, of walking into Pottery Barn recently and walking out with the realization that, that store could have been a figment of my imagination for as realistic as it was for my life. Everything was so exquisite, and the women shopping there, even more so. Rugged yet elegant, natural yet chic, the store had beautifully combined the usual dichotomies perfectly. Even their salt and pepper shakers were so adorable, it was ridiculous:
Perhaps Pottery Barn isn’t your style, but I’m sure you’ve all had the drooling episodes of walking into stores you adore but cant afford and emerging frustrated and suddenly dissatisfied. Home-envy I guess you could call it- a very dangerous affliction.
The quickest way for me to get over my home-envy, is doing a little DIY. So today, I thought I would share some anyone-can-do-it mural DIY to perk up your home if you too are sneering at your side-table or railing at your rug.
Wallpaper is making a comeback, and, for good reason. Putting a fun pattern on your walls or even a single wall can make a huge impact in an otherwise typical room and with so many modern patterns available, the word “wallpaper” no longer conjures up images of bad 80’s motels and outdated grandparent’s houses. However, wallpaper can be awfully expensive and is notorious for making messes and ruining walls with its super-sonic-sticky glue. So, why not paint it instead?
Step One: Supplies
picture of a pattern you can download or upload onto a computer
a projector that plugs into your computer
Pick a pattern that isn’t extremely intricate, mostly because you will hate yourself later for having to paint in a bunch of detailed lines. I mentioned that you can choose a picture you can download or upload because, the easiest way to do it is obviously to download a picture off the internet. However, my image came from a piece of scrapbook paper. I took a picture of the piece of paper on my phone and then uploaded it to my computer:
After doing our wall, a friend loved it so much she wanted to do it in her home too. She wanted to use a pattern of actual wallpaper she found on the Anthropology website. It was super expensive though, so, she just copied the image, I edited it in photoshop to get a large enough image to project, and we had our template to paint the pattern ourselves:
Like I mentioned before, this image is pretty complicated and was very difficult to paint. She had some extreme patience and a steady hand though and it turned out fabulous.
Step two: Painting
If you have no artistic ability and are looking at this project thinking, “uh, yeah, no way would mine look like that,” think again. If you can color in a coloring book, you can do this. Pull up the image in whatever photo viewing program you use (I use Picasa) and put the settings on full screen slideshow. Then, plug in the projector and point it at the wall you want to paint on, and start filling in the lines.
Easy, yes? You may have to play with the alignment of the projector to get the image in the right place on the wall. As you can see, this only covered half the wall and we had to realign the projector to paint the bottom half. Just line up the pattern again once you have re-positioned the projector and you have a seamless wall.
The other pattern, because it was so much more detailed, was much more difficult to paint. However, the effect is stunning if you have the patience to hang in there.
The best thing about this is that if you mess up you don’t have to scrape off a whole wall of rumpled wallpaper, you can just paint over it and re-stencil. Or, if you end up hating it in an hour, a week, or a year, just paint it away and create something new.
Pottery Barn has yet to infiltrate my own world, however much I wish it too, but I think this easy project keeps you loving your own abode in a super cheap, fun way, and kills that home-envy just a little bit.
Happy Friday to everyone, hopefully this has inspired you to do some fall decorating this weekend. This marks the end of week two of Vintage Muse Modern Views and I wanted to thank everyone who has been faithfully reading along. Don’t forget to head over to http://www.etsy.com/shop/VintageMuses and check out some pretty things. This weekend there will be some pretty patterns added for you to choose from.