Last month, we quietly slipped away for a family vacation. It had been so long since we had taken a really big vacation. Off we went, even the kiddos, to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. We had such a blast exploring. We hiked to waterfalls, rode horses, swam in the most amazing lagoons with sea turtles, snorkeled, sailed, and peered into a sleeping volcano. Of course it is never long enough and I knew it was a complete success when my kids asked me when we could return. As I was unpacking the bags, I realized that the kids had picked up maps, brochures and oodles of pamphlets. To me, holding onto these meant something to them. So instead of putting them away in a box to collect dust, I scooped them up and decided to turn them into this vacation shadowbox.
I used to love making pom poms as a little girls with my Mom. We would sit there for hours making them and putting them on hats, scarves and afghans that she knitted throughout the year. I was always intrigued with the “magic” of how the pom poms and tassels would come together. I’d watch her intensely, committing the techniques to memory in my seven year old mind. I can still “see” her working the yarn in her hands and fingers if I close my eyes. This past week, I decided to share my love of pom poms with my daughter. She absolutely adores strawberries. So with that as our inspiration, we turned her favorite fruit into a sweet fluffy, bouncy ball of red and green strawberry pom pom for her backpack. I created a cardboard template that worked well with with her small hands and in no time we ended up with a dotted red pom pom ready for quite a hair cut.
I love celebrating the 4th of July with my family on Cape Cod. I have fond memories as a little girl playing with sparklers. In fact, we looked forward to them each year. Unfortunately, fireworks, and yes-sadly sparklers, are illegal in the state of Massachusetts. This year I thought that it would be fun to make some sparklers out of glitter bombed tulle fabric from my local fabric store. With a little bit of help from the kiddos and bit in ingenuity, we were able to make these sparkler beauties to bring the the local parade.
I’ve been on the road for the past 2 weeks. I’ve been traveling non-stop but have had such a blast meeting so many of you in person at both the Beekman Boy’s Summer Garden Party and the Country Living Magazine Fair in Rhinebeck, NY. While I was at the Country Living Magazine Fair, I did a presentation sharing how to create a beautiful succulent tea party tablescape.
I love to entertain and I love to send home a personalized planted tea cup with each of my friends. It’s a little piece of me and memory of the special day we all shared. Well as promised, here is the DIY tutorial for those of you that missed it in person.
I adore peonies. I have loved them since I was a little girl. There is something magical about their fragrant, deep intoxicating blooms and the way that they announce the beginning of summer here in the Northeast. It’s been unseasonable cool here. Spring is taking forever to warm up. We have had a few teasers and then we are back into chilly evenings and cold rainy days. How I have longed for my peonies to show their red buds peeking up through the mulch. I’ve missed not seeing them for a whole year. This month I had the opportunity to submit a tissue paper craft to my DIY Network editor. I decided that I could not wait any longer and made some tissue paper peonies of my own.
One of our favorite things to do at home on a rainy day is make creations with bakeable clay. It’s great fun for the family. In fact, it’s fun for folks of all ages. The clay comes in every color imaginable and it is so much fun being able to permanently capture the kids’ creations. As we were sitting around the table, I spied a block of copper colored clay. How fun would it be to transform it into clay garden markers? With small cookie cutters, I got to work and made a bunch for the spring inspired windowsill garden.
I admit that I tend to keep things. I typically save things that I might just find a use for later on. This has been especially true since I started creating for HGTV five years ago. It’s hard to believe that it has been that long, until I look at bins of “saved” things that somehow find their way into the projects that I do. When we were cleaning out a home of a relative recently, I discovered oodles of paper coffee filters. We didn’t have a coffee maker that used that kind, but surely they could end up in a craft. As I thought, I pretended they were origami paper. They folded into a perfect flower petal. Well at least that is what I saw. Wouldn’t they make a gorgeous coffee filter wreath?
I love gardening in miniature and with spring in the air I could not help myself. My daughter and I decided to create a miniature garden that we would both love to spend time in. With a cottage garden as inspiration, the entire miniature garden came together in under an hour’s time. We had so much fun creating this outdoor scene. For the plantings we chose pansies, grape hyacinths, lettuce, lavender, dianthus and english daisies. We even used a small little bit of sedum. I’ll share more on that later.
Every year the kids and I decorate eggs for Easter. Some years, we use the traditional dyeing kits. They’re always great fun and I love the way my kids wriggle up their noses at the colorful dishes filled with white vinegar. In years past, we have also tried our hand at using sharpies, decorating with pysansky techniques and even making natural ones like these. I made these beautiful eggs with ordinary ingredients from my kitchen pantry. Using white shelled eggs as my base, I was able to dye eggs naturally with herbs and spices. I love the way they turned out.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with the beauty of feathers. Often a rare find from walks in the woods, I always considered finding them good luck and a gift from the world of feathered friends. Over the years, I have collected hawk feathers, turkey feathers, backyard bird feathers and since keeping chickens, their feathers too. Today, I’m sharing how to create these gold feathers.