This is only our second summer in this house, so we have been here a total of 3 months. That being said, our walls lack ornamentation. So I decided we needed some quick and easy masterpieces and with my 3-year-olds help we completed the project in a few hours (plus drying time).
I was at the toy store and came across Sun Art paper:
I remember using this as a kid and voila, inspiration hit! I brought it home and T and I picked some flowers, leaves and plants from the backyard.
Inside, we put the paper on a piece of cardboard (previous night's pizza box), arranged a plant, and gently placed the provided piece of acrylic over the whole thing:
Next, T very carefully carried the box and all out to the back yard and put it on the table in the sun. Within seconds the paper began to change color to a very light blue.
After a minute or two we brought it inside, where T dunked it in a pan full of water and watched it change color again! Then he laid it on parchment paper on the dining table so it could dry, and change color again!!
Finally, I put the finished prints in frames (I found four on sale at Pottery Barn) and I just have to go to the hardware store to get nails to hang them. What do you think living room or dining room?
HomeGoods is the same as target, you go in for one or two things and you end up with a bunch of great stuff you never thought existed or that you needed. Today I headed in for full size sheets and a full size mattress pad and I ended up with a bunch of great stuff. As you can see I got the mattress pad and the sheets (bright blue), but I found so much more as well. A rug for M's bathroom, a rug for the upstairs guestroom, some cool (non mildewing baskets), some wall decor, and of course hangers. Take a peek below at my favorite finds:
This beautiful (and cool) mirror, made of rolled paper,is now hanging in the dining room at the Cape.
This colorful orange wire basket is great for magazines in an unused corner of the cape living room.
A few years ago some good friends gave me a kurta for my birthday, it's from a great little store on Lex on the UES (Upper East Side) called Roberta Roller Rabbit. Every time I wear it I get a multitude of complements and I have absolutely fallen for Roberta Freyman's beautiful block printed fabrics. The bright colors are beautiful summer accents, and the cotton is so light and airy. The kurtas pair beautifully with everything from jeans to a bathing suit, and the quilts are so amazingly soft and light, perfect for a summer bed.
My favorite prints are:
I have been inspired to challenge myself. Last fall I took a freehand drawing class that I had a love hate relationship with. I loved finding out that I could actually draw pretty well, but I hated having to keep up a sketchbook (we were required to sketch 4-5 pages a day). This was a bit of a challenge for me as I've got the two kids and not much free time to, as my teacher said, sit at a cafe and sketch things I see. My reality was more like sitting a the kitchen table and sketching the dirty breakfast dishes after I dropped the kids at school.
However, I just found out about the Sketchbook Project: 2011 Tour. They send you a sketchbook, you fill it with drawings, and send it back by January 15th. Then your sketchbook along with all the others submitted goes on exhibition in a tour that visits Brooklyn, Austin, San Francisco, Portland, Atlanta, and Chicago. How cool it that!
Down here we are blessed with more bedrooms than we need but only one and a half bathrooms with limited places to hang wet bath towels to dry. We are also cursed with high humidity, so standard fluffy bath towels just don't dry at all!
I solved not drying problem by buying waffle weave towels which are much lighter weight, however the color selection is limited to cream, taupe, grey or white! I only do white, hence the small problem that all our towels look exactly the same. Which is only a small problem with 2 children and 2 adults, but can become a much bigger problem when we have guests.
For the hanging problem I attached three hooks to the back of each bedroom and bathroom door. I found these great shaker pegs at American Woodcrafters Supply. I used a old piece of styrofoam to hold the pegs while I painted them and while they dried.
I have had the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress Pattern since it came out, and it has been sitting in my pile of things to do. So I joined The Ice Cream Social, and decided now was as good a time as any! I made this dress cut to finish in about 5 hours, it is pretty easy, especially if you are familiar with reading patterns and constructing dresses.
It also gave me a great excuse to learn to use a new attachment for my singer featherweight.
The multi-slotted binder attachment with guide pins (picture from April1930.com: my go to for singer attachments) came from my grandmother with my machine, and it always looked so menacing. I used it to finish the inside seams with binding tape, and it worked really well (after an initial getting used to). Now there will be no fraying seams.
The final dress is really cute and M loves it!
Update on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 3:21PM by Vallery KoenigI have had a request for a picture of the finished inside seam, so here it is:
I used "Hug Snug" Seam Binding which comes in a multitude of colors. I found it at the FIT bookstore on 27th Street in NYC, which is a great place to check out the next time you are in the city.
As for washing it went through the washer and dryer perfectly and the tomato came off. Funny thing we are going to an Ice Cream Social tonight, maybe M will wear it!
My house up near Boston is mostly done in muted shades of Grey with accents of Navy and Turquoise. I guess that is just how I feel in the Fall, Winter, and Spring.
But summer is all about color, the sun room is painted in Benjamin Moore's Citron Cocktail, the living room is Benjamin Moore Clear Skies. While I painted the bedrooms all in a bright white (Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace), I painted the bedroom ceilings in a 50% mixture of Clear Skies. I really love a blue ceiling, for me it makes the ceiling disappear. Up in Boston the all ceilings are a more wintry sky color (50% Benjamin Moore Silver Cloud).
Melanie Falick BooksI have so many bright colors down here and they even cheer up cloudy days like today. I brought down my Sunny Pillows, and my beautiful color wheel quilt (pattern in Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts). I am also working on some beautiful cushions for the white wicker in the sun room, some beautiful club stripe quilts for T's room, bright blue chairs for the living room, and some interesting art for the walls! I have also seen so many great brightly colored things that I must have (or make!).
I love the colors in these pallet Chairs from Gas & Air Studios. They remind me of Adirondack Chairs, but they have a twist to set them apart from all the other Adirondack chairs on the lawns and porches of the cape.
I also love these beautifully colored (and recycled) door mats from Maine Float Rope Company. They are available in bright or muted colors.
I also love these brightly striped indoor outdoor rugs from Garnet Hill. Between the kids, the animals, and the humidity down here indoor outdoor rugs make life so easy. They dry fast, and if they get really dirty you take them outside and scrub and wash with a hose!
Stay tuned for updates of all the colorful projects!
I don't know about where you are but up here the humidity has been unbelievable! Thank goodness the temps at night drop into the 60's so it is bearable but during the day it is hot and sticky. The last thing I want to do in this weather is eat hot food, so for dinner last night the kids and I had a cold pasta salad.
I tossed together:
M loves art, and so I have found two little art programs for her down here on the Cape. She is absolutely loving them and she is producing amazing work. One day last week they did block prints in her class and this one is definitely getting framed:
They drew their picture onto paper taped over thin styrofoam (the type found on a package of meat or chicken). Then they rolled it with paint and pressed it onto the paper. What an easy and fun rainy day activity!
I found this vintage sewing box on craigslist last summer and it needed a few minor repairs, but I absolutely love it! The top opens and the sides unfold, exposing five additional compartments. It is portable and holds all my hand sewing supplies. If you love to sew (or have any craft that needs a home) and come across on of these, I highly suggest you grab it!
I live outside of Boston with my husband, two children, and dog. For the past 8 years I have been working with clients to help them make their home dreams a reality. From helping to build homes from the ground up to helping round out already finished spaces, I listen to my clinets and let their vision guide our process. I have always been a creative person planning spaces and working to make them function better. After completing the Residential Interiors program at Boston Architectural College I learned how to combine my love for funcion and flow with my eye for color, scale, and balance. As a graduate of New York University's Stern School of Business, I understand project planning and budget management. My experience working with clients, contractors, and architects helps to coordinate and streamline the home building and renovation process, helping my clients to have the home they dream of with less of the stress that comes with building and decision making.