***Originally posted February 12, 2014***
It’s a last-minute post, but I *just* figured out how to package this up. You’ve probably seen “Flubber recipes” all over Pinterest. The basic idea is to mix Elmer’s glue, warm water, and food coloring in one bowl, and water and Borax in another bowl. When you combine the two, you get Flubber! We made some over the summer, and the kiddo LOVED it. We had it in a tupperware container, and it lasted for months.
As you’ve seen before, I’m a fan of simple gifts that aren’t necessarily food when giving gifts to classmates. I’m just wary of dietary issues, and creating the expectation that all celebrations have to involve sugary treats! (What a party pooper!) But really, I want to give things that kiddo can help make, and that are an alternative to the inevitable influx of candy. (Trust me, I LOVE the candy…) So I thought giving out homemade flubber would be a great gift for 2-3 (or 4 or 5 or 6) year-olds.
I love the look of ornate frames, but I VERY STRONGLY DISLIKE the typical aged-bronzey goldish finish. Case in point:
However, it’s a super easy fix. Hint: it rhymes with “Schpray Schraint.”
I’ve posted about our crazy garden before. The previous homeowners were very conscientious organic gardeners and had worked their way up to a self-sustaining edible and flowering garden. It was amazing when we first saw the house, then it quickly became a tangled, invasive jungle. I mean, kale growing 6′ tall. Bushels of flowering broccoli (aka, beyond edible). And then the morning glory, wisteria, alstrumeria, Chilean jasmine, midnight berries, and others that were just TAKING OVER. (Doesn’t it sound like I know something about plants? I don’t. I just fake it.)
I thought I could handle it myself. So I pulled, chopped, yanked for about 12 hours straight. And managed to tweak my neck to immobility for a week. Fail. Oh, and all that overgrowth came back in a few weeks! Plus some!
Because our home has been utter chaos over the last week, I felt the need to assert some control over what I could. Ignited by that -AND- the need to do some spring cleaning, I tackled the rats’ nest that was my jewelry drawer. I didn’t want to spend any money, and use whatever I could find lying around, so I came up with this:
I’ve mentioned before that we moved into a 107 year old house last summer, right? Well, the family who lived there before did a renovation in the late 1990’s…and that’s where the house has stayed since. I’m hesitant to embark on any major updates since we’re planning to do some renovations and upgrades soon and I don’t want to make anything that will end up being ripped out in a couple of months, but there are a few things on the list that can become a project. Mostly because they irritate the hell out of me, but partly because they might end up being part of the new design. The biggest constraint is to keep the budget small…as in, miniscule. So this week’s project was a small one, but kind of fun because I got to whip out my paints and experiment….
Upgrade the Shade
Our kitchen is pretty dark and has one small window facing North. The roller shade on it fits well and does the job to give us privacy from the next door neighbors but it was NASTY. Decades of dirty dish water spray and kitchen gunk discolored it. Plus, it was a country-cottage style that I’m not terribly fond of. So, I decided to touch it up.
Hey gang! I’m super-excited to have my first guest post on home decor! Kathy Joe is a blogger from the UK, and she reached out to me a couple of weeks ago about writing for my blog. She’s a funny gal with some great ideas, so please, enjoy her post!
A big hello to everyone! People call me Kathy Joe and they also call me as a decor fanatic. The reason is that I have come a long way with my passion to jazz up everything! I am extremely cheerful to be a guest here. Jennifer is a wonderful being for letting me do this. Please come visit me here.
Does your inner child cry out for a funky, welcoming and, let us be brutally honest here, childish bedroom? Do you reluctantly turn away from the soft furnishings and furniture in the children’s section, looking desultorily through the adult offerings with a glum resignation? If this sounds like you it is time to give your bedroom a guerrilla make-over dipping deep into your past likes and fancies! It is possible to make your bedroom look as though it has been created for a younger version of you without guests assuming they have stumbled into a real child’s room – which can be very awkward on a first proper date…
Get dotty with your curtains! Polka dots are both cheerful and colourful, providing a subtle nod to childhood without being over the top, over-childish or sickeningly twee. Polka dot curtains can be made to measure for your bedroom, which means that you can choose exactly the right colour combinations to suit the rest of your décor.
Invest in a brightly coloured and gently clattering beaded curtain. Beaded curtains are usually used in place of a door, but they work well near the windows too. Having streams of beads flowing from the pelmet not only looks wonderful and sounds great (do make sure that you choose solid plastic beads as hollow or metal ones will make a dreadful noise with every passing breeze!) but will recall the many happy hours spent running your fingers through boxes of beads and buttons – oh, you know you did it, we all did!
Splurging in children’s curtains
Allow mythology a place in your décor scheme, either in the form of small ornaments or in the curtain fabric. While most girls outgrow their love of unrelenting pink by about the age of eight or nine, their love of unicorns and rainbows will last forever! (**Amen! ~Jen**) Splurge on some fabulous rainbow curtains to instantly boost and brighten the bedroom and your mood! For naive and chic children-themed curtains, my ultimate favorite place to grab them is Yorkshire Linen Co.
Quirky Curtain Rings
If you are a bit shy of hanging bright and jaunty curtains, or feel that they are too ‘young’ for your bedroom, why not brighten up your regular ‘grown-up’ curtains with some quirky and appealing curtain rings? Buy a couple of packs (you will find them online or at most home décor outlets) and set to work adding a subtle but cheerful touch of youth to your bedroom curtains! For kinky and interesting curtain tie backs, I am a huge fan of Tie Back and Trim.
Letter It All Out
Go back to grade school with some vibrant alphabet curtains! With the immense range of fabrics available today you will be able to choose the fabric carefully to achieve a quirky look rather than a babyish theme. You can even buy plain curtains and letter them yourself, placing the letters in a way that is attractive and appealing to you.
Funky Tie Backs
Again suitable for those who do not want to make too much of a child-like splash in the bedroom, tiebacks are discreet yet visible, allowing you to indulge in a trip down memory lane without being too obvious about it.
Think back to what made you feel happy and secure as a child, especially as regards to your bedroom and home. You are trying to capture the essence of childhood, secure, happy joie de vivre without retaining any of the immaturity of that time.
We bought our house last summer because it has some really lovely features. The hickory floors were clearly laid by hand with love. The cabinets are solid wood. The baseboards are gorgeous. And the family that rebuilt this home clearly loved it. I mean, they loved it A LOT. Like, a lot.
Our bathroom is a good example. 2 adults and 3 boys shared this room, and the vanity clearly received the tactile admiration of the whole family over and over and over again.
I found this well-loved desk in Goodwill months ago. I grabbed it for $15, knowing it just needed a little TLC. It’s smaller than a regular desk, perfect for an elementary school-aged student (or a hall table until then…). I loved the shape and the little details (brass keyhole, pull-out writing surface), and wanted to retain some of the original character. So I decided instead of refinishing it like I did with the bench project, I decided to just restore it.
Every year I do something a little different for our family holiday card. I love getting photo cards from friends and family far and near, so I always like to incorporate our pictures somehow. However, since I’m a designer, I physically can’t bring myself to send a pre-designed card. Ever. So, I do my own.
This year, I was running a little behind, so I made it a New Year card. We’ve had a pretty stellar year: moved into our dream house, have a great daycare, work is going great, so the image that popped to mind when reminiscing about last year was Santa riding a unicorn. This thought would not leave my head, and so I had to go with it. Presenting this year’s card:
The trick is to use normal-looking images of us, with a little something extra going on (that you may not notice right away.)