Hello dear friends! I’ve been missing from my blog, I know, but man when you have a baby you just want to cuddle him 24/7! Nothing else seems to exist and time stops. We also had guests from London for four days which was wonderful and definitely kept us very active with the little one. It was such a great visit and made us both so happy that our friends traveled all the way to Hannover just to meet little Aidan and spend time with us (thank you Sania, Mark, Luke and Leila!). Baby Aidan had his first zoo visit (6 hours too!), first subway ride, first bus ride, first museum visit (art at the Sprengel where we caught the Michael Raedecker exhibition), first dinner out in a proper restaurant (the same one Thorsten’s family has been dining at since he was little to celebrate special occasions), and he met young children for the first time, a 7-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy (Leila and Luke) whom he just loved so much.
Little Leila played with him so nicely and helped me each time I changed his nappy and she even bottle fed him (with supervision of course) and was the perfect little nanny. I loved how she would hold his tiny hand to console him when he cried on the changing table or in his stroller and how she was by his side most of the time over the course of four days. It was lovely to see how children take so nicely to babies. On Friday night, I also had a little first for myself – my first dinner party since having Aidan! I’ve hosted cake and coffee many times since his birth but a dinner party was a big jump but I wanted to do it since it felt like the right time to start living life in a more normal way again as we did pre-baby. So myself, together with 6 adults, 2 children and little Aidan enjoyed a very nice evening in our dining room by candlelight. I can’t take all of the credit for this special time since everyone had a role which made it easier for a new mom and nicer overall for my guests because it felt like a genuine family affair. My friend Tinna cooked the shrimp and asparagus that I picked up from the farmers’ market and mixed it together with saffron risotto (she used this as the base), cream and parmesan cheese, I made a large salad, Christine brought some extra plates and cutlery since I didn’t have enough, Mark brought beer and prosecco, Sania and I set the table and Morten put together a board of his favorite cheeses and fresh baguette paired with coconut and passionfruit jam from Nicholas Vahe for dessert. We listened to French music and spent a beautiful evening together while my baby slept zzZZZzzz and he slept sooo well too.
So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past week or so, how about you? Are you doing well? Today I want to share a mini project that I started with Sania, Leila and Aidan on Monday and continued and finished today – it’s a little baby feet (or in this case, foot!) DIY project that you may want to try with your sweet little bundle of cuteness.
I remember before Aidan’s birth, I asked my husband if German hospitals do finger and foot prints when a child is born because I had mine done at birth, in black, but he said he didn’t think so. When Aidan came, they definitely didn’t do it (I am still so disappointed!) so I have been wanting to do hand and foot prints ever since. It’s been 9 weeks and I finally decided that I would do it before he hit the double digits. The perfect time seemed to be when Sania and her sweet daughter Leila were with me and we were looking for some crafty projects to do together for our girl’s day yesterday. I figured it would also make for a nice memory – I’d always remember that we made this little footprint together. We waited until little Aidan was semi-relaxed and not crying and removed his pants leaving on only his onesie and nappy. I made sure the kitchen was warm and that we did this little project near the sink so we could quickly wash his feet clean. We used black acrylic paint, which we first tested on Leila (Sania’s idea, a very good one!) to make sure it easily came off, and with a paint brush, I held Aidan in a comfortable position and Sania painted the bottom of his right foot. We were laughing the entire time as he squirmed, it was seriously the cutest thing. I pressed his right foot onto the right side of a 18 x 25 cm sheet of Canson acid-free, archival quality watercolor paper (300 gram) and the first footprint was perfect. We were lucky! We then quickly rinsed his foot under warm water with a little soap and he loved it – so there was zero crying – which was a big relief! My son loves water (he never cries during bath time) but I wasn’t so sure he’d love being part of our craft project — but he actually did just fine. We were really proud of him.
We then tried his left foot but weren’t as successful. It seemed he caught on to what we were doing so he tried to resist with each little imprint we tried to make. About 12 rounds later (yes really!), we still couldn’t get a good impression because he kept curling his toes the minute foot met paper, so we decided to just be happy with the one footprint and give him a break. We could tell her was getting a bit cranky after 5 minutes of crafting, so we left the good print out to air dry and this morning, I decided to finish the project since Sania and her family flew back to London last night. I took the little print, tore the paper very roughly on all four sides reducing the size significantly, and started to think of how to display this in his nursery in the best way. I thought that on a canvas would be nice, versus framed, and that I could add linen to the frame to somehow make it look more handmade and add that tactile quality and a little warmth that I love so much.
I had this linen pocket I’d been saving and it happened to be the perfect size, so I glued it to the canvas. Easy. You could do the same but simply cutting a piece of nubby linen to size. Then I busted out my rubber stamps and a black ink pad, other crafty bits, and here is what I came up with below. I really like it because I was able to hide the left footprint that was a bit smeared, but still nice, inside of the pocket — it wasn’t nice enough to display but still gives us a record of the special day and his left foot! I also stamped his first name (Sania gave me the idea to incorporate my rubber stamps), added a little star, and how many weeks old he was when this was made… I was going to date it but I preferred just stamping “9 weeks”. I glued everything to the canvas, added a little ribbon and a button, tucked it inside of the gray Ferm Living shadow box above his changing table, and here is the result…
I really hope you like this little DIY. The only word of caution I would like to add is PLEASE make sure you use either kid’s halloween face paint or normal acrylic paint that you’ve tested first (apply, rinse off, see how well it rinses off) before applying it to your infant and MAKE SURE you do not do this alone – have your friends help you so that your baby feels comfortable, safe and his body is supported when you are doing it. I recommend making the prints in the kitchen on the counter, next to the sink, and to wash the feet (or hands) as soon as you get a good print. Use a very soft paint brush on the feet and mix the paint with a little water so it’s not too thick. If you do handprints (which we didn’t, his are still too clenched into little fists given his age), do not allow the hands near the face or mouth. Really. It’s not worth hurting your little baby for the sake of an art project!
Sania and Leila thank you for helping me stamp his little feet and Thorsten, thank you for holding him today while I took the photos above for this post! xo
So now I have a question… Have you ever made HAND prints for your baby? I want to do them for his little keepsake book. At what age do they stop making fists and have hands that are open and relaxed enough to try this???
(images: holly becker for decor8)
Hello decor8 readers and Happy Friday! Are you ready to get your craft on and make some festive and easy candle holders for your table this holiday season? It’s Lisa here and I have another simple and stylish craft project to share with you this month. With the holidays coming there is much entertaining to be done and tables and mantles to decorate! Do you have any festive decorations planned yet? Anything that you plan to make by hand? Candles are always a wonderful way to add atmosphere and it’s lovely to tie the colors in to your decorations and table setting. I’m going to show you how to make candle holders for your table that will sparkle and shine. They are simple and quick to make and they look great with or without the sequins added, depending on the look you’re after. Let me show you how I made them.
YOU WILL NEED
* Untreated wooden furniture feet from the hardware store. Odd numbers always work best when you group them. Look for different sizes and shapes that compliment each other.
* Paint and a paint brush
* Elasticized sequin trim
* A needle and thread, or double sided tape, or a hot glue gun
Make the candle holders: If the timber is rough give it a light sand and wipe it over with a barely damp cloth. Paint each one in a different color. You may need 2 or possibly 3 thin coats of paint. Let each coat dry between applications.
Make the sequin collars: Stretch the sequin trim around each holder and cut to fit. You may like to make the sequin collar removable, so you can change the look of your candle holders with minimal effort. To make a removable collar, fold the sequin trim in half with the wrong side facing out and hand or machine sew the ends together. Turn it out the right way and fit it over the candle holder. Or, for a permanent sparkle, run double sided tape or hot glue around the candle holder to adhere the sequin collar to it. I told you it was easy!
I hope you enjoy making these candle holders. You could also try decorating them with Sharpies or painting patterns on them. Different trims would also look great: ribbon, lace, yarn or raffia would all be interesting. I’ll see you back here in December with last minute craft idea for Christmas. In the meantime make some time this month to get creative! – xo Lisa.
FOR MORE DIY PROJECTS, VISIT MY OTHER MAKE ME COLUMNS ON DECOR8.
(text/images: lisa tilse)
Happy Monday everyone and welcome to a new week on decor8. I’m finishing up on the edits for my next book and working on the upcoming Blogging Your Way e-class, in addition to prepping the baby’s room and enjoying the fact that today I am officially SIX months pregnant, so I’m a bit bonkers right now! Though I’m a relatively happy bonkers so that’s okay I guess. But I do have some bad news…
With the start of my 6th month ALL of my nausea is back and oh my, it’s not too fun. Eeeeeek! This is such bad news because I thought I was over it and was ready to do SO MUCH to my home to prep for my baby boy. I had extreme nausea until week 18 (remember when I told you I was severely dehydrated and lost 20 lbs?!) and then poof! It was gone. Like a beautiful miracle. I felt like the happiest person alive. But now, only 6 weeks later, it’s back and I’m not so pleased at all. I’m trying so hard to stay positive and focused on the good things and to simply endure it with a smile but it is SO HARD. One thing that helps though is to focus on what I love in life – like decorating and being with my friends – and how much fun it can be to try new things at home. Which leads me to a DIY project that I want to share that I’m calling Fun Frames because really, these were a lot of fun to pull together.
I was feeling bored with having only a mirror above my gray wooden cabinet where I stash all of my fabrics and notions, so I thought I’d bring some pattern and color to the corner through frames and pieces of wallpaper by Abigail Ryan. I think this is a really cute look for a crafty space. Do you remember this post where I debuted her hand-illustrated wallpapers? Well I found a sweet spot for her patterns – inside of simple wooden frames that I painted Arsenic by Farrow & Ball. I’m a huge fan of Farrow & Ball paints, in fact I want to paint the baby’s room in one of their gray tones. They cover so well and the matte finish is gorgeous.
Here’s what I did:
Step one: I cleaned (soap and water) some frames that I had laying around that were basically collecting dust in my cabinet — and removed the glass and painted them in Arsenic. I used two coats to make them extra bright and pretty. I let them dry for a day.
Step two: I cut pieces of wallpaper by Abigail Ryan in Cosmo Margarita to fit the frame and taped each piece on the reverse side of the frame. I tried to center the pretty parts of the pattern – you may want to hold them up and mark with a pencil as I did to make sure you are showing the part of the pattern that you want to show.
Step three: Next, I cut some vintage illustrations from a botanicals book that was falling apart and added a few cutouts to the frames – one directly on the pattern in the larger frame and two tiny cut outs on the border of the smallest frame. I wanted to keep the theme of flowers for this look to work with the cosmo print on the papers and the green frames.
Step four: Marking the walls, I decided where to hang my frames and hung them – and I taped a pretty illo to the wall with some Liberty-patterned tape, also in a floral.
Step five: I decided to add a little vial to the frame border of the medium frame (lower right) that could hold a few drops of water so that I could display a flower – so I popped in a yellow tulip. The vial weighs so little and has stayed on all summer with only a tiny drop of blue tack (which should be in every decorator’s tool kit!).
Step six: I made a colorful flower arrangement, which is always a welcome and beautiful touch to every space. I made this one using an assortment of pretty things from the local flower shop that I gathered together that made me happy. Roses, craspedia (aka billy buttons), poppies, tulips, lime hydrangea and sweet peas are among the bunch.
Step seven: The final bit is to always stand back, admire, tweak and then admire again. I added some of my fabrics to the top since the cabinet is stuffed with them, a pair of old scissors from my grandmother and a birdy postcard from Emily. Barb gave me the most adorable ceramic white houses so I put them on the frames since they are chunky enough to double as shelves. Funny thing is, since I shot this – I’ve already completely changed up this nook (I am rotating things around every 3 months or so), but I still wanted you to see it because it’s such a sweet idea. This would work in so many rooms – including a craft room, baby’s room, kid’s room, etc.
I hope that you enjoyed my little DIY today. I will do more again soon, I love putting them together for you to show you how EASY it is to change up your little corners. Decorating should be fun. Also a big thanks to Leslie for being my model (she is holding the flowers above in her striped shirt). xo
(images: holly becker for decor8)
Hello friends! I hope that you are doing good this week! I was thinking lately about how much we all love a good DIY project so why not round up some of my favorite here once a month that I find elsewhere online. Here are my 10 favorite DIY projects of the moment for July. To find complete how-to instructions and more photos for that project, click on the link below each photo. And you have a great DIY project from your blog that you made yourself, please share the link in the comments section below so that I can check it out and maybe feature it in the future.
1. DIY striped rug pillows from Martha Stewart – great look for summer and this is such an easy project, too!
2. How to paint a concrete floor from Vintage Revivals. This is helpful – especially since so many people have concreate lurking below shag carpets and never really thought about the affordable options – like simply painting the concrete and adding throw rugs for warmth in the winter.
3. DIY painted paper flowers for a handmade flower tree from Oh Happy Day. Really sweet idea.
4. Make your own paper lanterns from AO at Home. These are cute for a summer party on the patio.
5. Modernize your china with neon spray paint (or any color that strikes your fancy!) from Shop Sweet Things. I’ve had this on my Pinterest board forever but never tried it though I went out and bought the spray paint and everything last year when I first saw it! ha ha!
6. DIY nail and wall art - spell your favorite words from Jen Loves Kev. This has been around for awhile but still a favorite.
7. How to make a giant confetti wall by Beco Orpin (taken from her book). This would be great for a party! You could also try it with different patterns or even wallpaper or leather pieces (silvered leather would be pretty).
8. DIY clay feathers from 100 Layer Cake. You can hang these in front of your window or tie them to napkins on the dinner table.
Would you try any of these at home? Which ones? I’d like to try the painted flowers – those look so pretty!
(images linked to their sources above.)