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)
Are you ready to win a copy of our new book? We are giving away 10 copies no matter where you live worldwide! But first, hello everyone! I’m a little embarrassed, but I totally forgot that yesterday the new book that Leslie Shewring and I wrote, Decorate With Flowers, released in North America! The wonderful Joy Cho over at Oh Joy! wrote about it on our launch date too, which was such a treat. I’ve been so busy with our baby boy that things just escape my mind at the moment – I’ve been in a baby fog for two months – in fact, today he turned 2 months old and he is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful in every way. I love being a mother sooo much, it’s wayyy better than I imagined. In fact, had I known it would be this good, I would have done this years ago. I digress…
Anyway, to celebrate the launch of our book, I want to offer everyone no matter where you live, a chance to win a copy of Decorate With Flowers. My London publisher, Jacqui Small, is giving away copies of the UK edition and our American publisher, Chronicle Books, will also join our giveaway with copies of the American edition. The only big difference is of course, the English – one being British and the other American, and then the book cover/jacket is different along with the end papers and flap. In the UK, the end papers are a geometric pattern that Leslie hand painted and the flaps are acid yellow. In the US version, the end papers are lime green. The first FIVE winners get their choice of which edition they want, the rest of our lucky winners will get their choice on a first come, first serve basis. We will have 10 lovely winners!
By the way, the gorgeous lifestyle photos above, showing Tina Fussell reading our book, were taken by her husband and are just so beautiful and are part of a book review she did for Decorate With Flowers on her blog. Tina will co-teach Blogging Your Way with me, our online class that kicks off Friday, April 18, so if you like her work and want to produce the kind of posts that she does then definitely sign up for it (more info here).
To win a copy of our book, please enter on our Decorate With Flowers website HERE (comments here are closed since the contest is on our book website). Good luck everyone!
(images: screenshot/traveling mama/leslie shewring)
There are so many great interior firms in Denmark, which sometimes makes me wonder how those Danes do it in such a small country – there are so many collections! I came across OYOY Living recently, based in Copenhagen, and since I’ve not seen them blogged anywhere yet in my travels, I thought I’d share them with you guys. Check out their product line, simple yet bold.
About OYOY, “The name OYOY is inspired by the letters OY, which since 1929 has been written on every Danish aeroplane regardless of where in the world it may be located. The letters indicate that we are a Danish company. OYOY creates high-quality products focussing on form, function, colour and exquisite materials. We are inspired by the classic, Scandinavian style, adding undertones of simple, Japanese design and a passion for combining colour and materials. The result is a unique blend of simplicity and colourful design. The primary designer of OYOY is Lotte Fynboe, who was educated at TEKO in Herning with a speciality in interior and furniture design. At times OYOY has an external designer – for example Kristina Dam, who has designed the Nordic print series. Shape, graphic, colour and clean materials inspires Lotte Fynboe and her motto is “less is more”. A lot of the products are redesigns of childhood memories.”
A few of my favorites from their product line include: leather trays, “knut” polar bear cushion, Japanese cushions, penguin, step cushion in neon orange, bobbels mini candleholders, button cushion and the bobbel high candleholders.
I think this line is really pretty, the only thing that is starting to bug me in Denmark about design there is how so many of the brands look the same these day. Like OYOY Living looks a lot like Ferm Living. Which makes me confused because why does everybody have to look the same? Let’s hope that Danish firms start to value more their individuality and style again as they did years ago, which put their design on the map in the first place and later, made it so enviable worldwide. But for now, we have to just wait and see I guess – wait and see what the future holds for design in Denmark.
I’m floored! I was so inspired by Gudy’s trend post that I wanted to pull together my top 14 favorite floors, at least for now until I spot something else that oozes awesomeness. I don’t know, maybe you don’t care, maybe you do, but I love flooring and think it’s totally worth the investment. In fact, I know it’s worth it because we recently had hardwood flooring installed in the back of our house and it made a HUGE difference in our life and also in our heating bill already! Here are some floors that I’m into at the moment, I’m curious to see if any of these appeal to you or if you already have one of these looks at home?
1. Floral floor tile? OH YES PLEASE. This is just the cutest, I’m in love. And check out the tile in the adjacent room too in those sexy hexy shapes. Now I want to see all of the other rooms in this home, the beauty must just go on and on and on… In fact, did you check out the doorways – each trimmed inside with black paint? Pinch me. via: remodelista
2. Washi tape as rug. I love how this rug outline was taped beneath the table. You could go nuts with this idea if you have solid flooring (meaning, pattern-free). It may not last forever, but who needs it to? Who cares about forever, my god, just get me through today. I personally love changing things up so this is a great option for the non-committal types. Via: zsa zsa bellagio.
3. High gloss grey wood. This is such a modern, clean look. You can’t drop anything on it though so this is definitely a good look for clean freaks. So shiny and pretty but also very classy. Via: Stellan Herner/Skarp Agent
4.”Escher-esque” tiles. This is just TOO MUCH SEXY in one space. I love it. It’s very graphic so it must be easy to keep clean since I imagine the pattern makes you a bit too dizzy/loopy if you stare toooo long – unlike my white tile bathroom floors that I have to constantly wipe down! White tile in the bathroom only works if every member of your household is blonde – otherwise dark hairs are a royal pain to constantly scoop up with kleenex (I hate seeing hairs on bathroom floors, I know hair happens but it’s a pet peeve). Photographer: Linda Bergroth
5. Dark Polished Cement Floors – This is in a house outside of Paris that we nearly shot for my second book, but we couldn’t budget in the extra shoot day. Too bad. I love the floors! via: elle interior
6. Rustic wide plank floors in black, gray and brown – love! This just screams, “I am one HOT bachelor and this is where I impress the ladies”, right!? This is a floor I want to get on top of! I’d like to add a black worn leather sofa to this space, an art wall and a big flokati rug on the floor so I can get cozy because that sofa, though cute, is NOT curl-up-able.
7. Diamond Patterned Wood - More wooden floors, this time in a very cool diamond pattern that looks washed out in a grey-brown. Would we call this Grown, like Frown? Again, a floor can really make a room, right? Via: oyoy
8. Stenciled rustic wooden floors. This is a great look for a porch or kitchen because it has this whole boho vibe. I imagine this floor in a room oozing with plants and stuff from Anthropologie. Via: From London With Love.
9. Wood laid many ways – I adore this stylish way to install a wooden floor, don’t you? Really amazing. Definitely on my love list! I love the whole apartment too though, I mean wooden paneling on the walls, that sofa, the high ceilings, it’s definitely a hot property.
10. Old European tiles: Particularly those from Portgual, Spain, France, Belgium and Germany. This kitchen and the tiles have been a major LIKE of mine for a long time now. via: no cheap thrills
11. Wood + Tile Combo - I know it’s pretty mainstream to see natural wooden floors but I still ADORE them. Especially when they’re matte and not super shiny. What I really love about this hallway though is the tiles at the entrance. This is a favorite look of mine that I would LOVE to have in my home someday. via: Valvet.
12. Hardwood painted mint (or any gorgeous color): This is such a serene and pretty floor. I like seeing wood painted, white, mint, gray, black… It’s all good to me. via: shape+space
13. Tinted wood flooring (in indigo): I’ve never laid eyes on a wooden floor quite like this. It’s so unique and breathtaking but also very subtle and natural. I can imagine a tinted wooden floor in so many different colors. I personally would love a silver tinted wooden floor, that would be so amazing as I’ve not yet come across metallic wooden floors before but imagine they’d look stunning. via: color me indigo
14. Painted rug on concrete floors: This is such a great look, don’t you think? Placed a painted rug beneath that table really gives such a large area a defined eating space. Clever and affordable. via: merchant design.
Okay, it’s your turn? What are YOUR top favorites from my finds above? Any that made your knees buckle?
(images linked to their sources above)