Yard to Table // Making your own flower + greenery arrangements from the yard

I've probably mentioned this a thousand times by now, but my mom is the queen of making what she has work. Her latest bent has revolved around pulling greenery from her yard and using it around the house. Sounds simple. And potentially unimpressive, right?

Soooo not the case. She was just in town for Rosie's 1st birthday and had fresh little arrangements from the yard sprinkled around my house by the time she left. So I asked her how she did it?! Lets be honest - I don't see ANY potential when I look at my front yard and yet, she threw together simple, fresh and cheerful little arrangements in, like, a minute! So what does she look for? How does she concoct her petite bouquets? She came back to me with her top tips for crafting arrangements from the yard:

  A sampling of the arrangements she has pulled together from our yards!

A sampling of the arrangements she has pulled together from our yards!

Mom's tips for creating arrangements from the yard:

  • Look for firm leaves, interesting structure and varied color. Buds, blooms and berries are always wonderful! 
  • I'm drawn to using a bunch of one thing in an arrangement - like a large bundle of branches, or a hearty handful of leaves in a jar.
  • Don't be afraid to put the smallest stem or single leaf in a tiny little bottle or bud vase. It's the perfect way to spruce up your sink or nightstand, especially when you're expecting overnight guests.
  • Teeny tiny arrangements made up of a few buds and greenery make for a great "pick me up" for a friend. The tinier the better. Everyone needs a little happy sometimes. 
  • Speaking of friends - if you are at a friends house and see something interesting, don't shy away from asking for a small cutting.  Chances are your friend won't miss a small branch or a handful of leaves. 
  • Scavenge your cabinets for pitchers, jars and tiny votives. I hardly ever use a classic vase.
  • Before having guests over, have a trial run with your pickings from the yard. Some wilt more quickly the others - you'd rather they wilt for you the day before then when your guests are arriving!

I'll will be capitalizing on these tips the next time we host a dinner part or get together at the house. Fresh arrangements always brighten up a home - and they don't have to cost you a thing! Head out to the yard (or the sidewalk, you New York folk) and start trimming!

Thanks Mom! 

One Fabric - 5 WAYS!

I'm always more inclined to do a project around the house when I have the proper supplies already in place. Having scrap fabric is one of my staple supplies. But not just any fabric. IKEA fabric :) This to be exact -

I have a longtime love of IKEA and many of there products. It started 20 years ago on family road trips from Dallas to Houston. I remember begging my parents for one of those loft beds staged in one of the 750 square foot mock apartments. Who would have thought this would have been foreshadowing of my 7 years in New York. Never needed the IKEA loft bed, but the Brooklyn store sure became a staple for me while I lived there! I also had the unique opportunity to produce a handful of IKEA photo shoots, as they were one of the clients I worked on while I was at Ogilvy. Needless to say - I love IKEA, but REALLY love this fabric they carry!

It's heavy and hearty and looks way more expensive then $7.99 a yard. I originally bought it to use as a table cloth for a baby shower. The stripes where sharp and striking. I wrote about that shower here. But since then I have used it in countless other ways. This fabric can do wonders! 

From the top left moving clockwise: Simple Sink Skirt (materials: hot glue gun and pinking shears) // Table runner // DIY Bunting // Table Cloth // Beer Box Liner

And just for kicks, I'll throw in a 6th way to use this great fabric - as a photo booth backdrop!

 This was taken about a week before I had Rosie! 

This was taken about a week before I had Rosie! 

Go getchyourself some of that fabric! 

For your toolbox - Chalkboard Tape

I was in Lowes last week and stumbled upon something interesting - chalkboard tape! Maybe I'm late to the game, but this stuff is awesome! What a great thing to add to your DIY toolbox! You can skip the drying time and permanence factor with this little product and jump right on over to using it around your house. Here are 4 ideas to get you started! 

Gift Wrapping

 I'm always scrambling around my house to find gift wrapping materials in decent shape, and rarely do I have cute ribbon on hand. Chalkboard tape saves the day! I wrapped this gift with leftover christmas paper and cut out a ribbon and bow to apply to the box. Then I scribbled a quick design to make it look intentional . 

I'm always scrambling around my house to find gift wrapping materials in decent shape, and rarely do I have cute ribbon on hand. Chalkboard tape saves the day! I wrapped this gift with leftover christmas paper and cut out a ribbon and bow to apply to the box. Then I scribbled a quick design to make it look intentional . 

Weekly Meal Plan or To-Do List

 I'm trying to get better about keeping  a calendar and having a weekly meal plan. The most simple way to keep myself on track is to write everything down! I used a clipboard I had in our office and cut out 5 equal length strips of chalkboard tape. I lined them up on top of each other to create '5 days'. Then I used chalk to write out each meal for the week. It helps my shopping list and and also helps my husband know what to expect.

I'm trying to get better about keeping  a calendar and having a weekly meal plan. The most simple way to keep myself on track is to write everything down! I used a clipboard I had in our office and cut out 5 equal length strips of chalkboard tape. I lined them up on top of each other to create '5 days'. Then I used chalk to write out each meal for the week. It helps my shopping list and and also helps my husband know what to expect.

Vase & Table decor

 Ever need to doll up an existing vase or glass for something you're hosting? I do! You could do a million different designs using chalkboard tape. You could personalize vases with a name, note or quote. You could do a large scale design or even cut the tape in different designs. Lots of options with this one! 

Ever need to doll up an existing vase or glass for something you're hosting? I do! You could do a million different designs using chalkboard tape. You could personalize vases with a name, note or quote. You could do a large scale design or even cut the tape in different designs. Lots of options with this one! 

Labels (DUH)

 I'll leave you with the most obvious, but worth mentioning, use for chalkboard tape. Labeling! We don't have a printer, but I like to keep things organized. Jotting a quick label down using chalkboard tape makes for an easy fix! 

I'll leave you with the most obvious, but worth mentioning, use for chalkboard tape. Labeling! We don't have a printer, but I like to keep things organized. Jotting a quick label down using chalkboard tape makes for an easy fix! 

Confession.

I love to paint.

My painting major from college has since morphed into re-doing furniture which has in turn, become a steady stream of diy's & decorating.  I'm currently at home with the babe and occasionally find myself with an hour that isn't filled with life admin or baby tasks. So, rather then showering (overrated) I've found myself painting. Nothing fancy, just using bright acrylics and some tear off canvas sheets. Here's what my process has looked like lately -

 Make do with what you have! Tupperware will work just find for a palette.

Make do with what you have! Tupperware will work just find for a palette.

 I usually have a pad of perforated canvas on hand. It's reasonably priced from the craft store and comes in handy when you have a frame to fill.

I usually have a pad of perforated canvas on hand. It's reasonably priced from the craft store and comes in handy when you have a frame to fill.

  The lady in the frame is sure enjoying her walk on the beach.   I should have loaded up on these before I left Brooklyn. The dollar store (where everything is over $2) down the street had cheap gold frames. They had sharp angled ones that looked modern and awesome. The one above is a little beveled for my taste, but will do just fine. 

The lady in the frame is sure enjoying her walk on the beach.

I should have loaded up on these before I left Brooklyn. The dollar store (where everything is over $2) down the street had cheap gold frames. They had sharp angled ones that looked modern and awesome. The one above is a little beveled for my taste, but will do just fine. 

 I trimmed some branches from the backyard, shoved them in a mason jar and did a quick / rough still life. 

I trimmed some branches from the backyard, shoved them in a mason jar and did a quick / rough still life. 

 And then framed it. 

And then framed it. 

I can't get enough of these quick paintings! They are so therapeutic.  I just finished a massive floral using a street merch canvas I found in Brooklyn and even did a matching mini for Rosie's room. I'll share more in the coming weeks, but wanted to give you a peek! 

once upon a time, i took a diy hiatus

It feels a little funny to be blogging and with a diy post of all things! I've certainly taken a little break from the blog over the past few weeks, or is it months? We've been in full baby prep plus work has been nutso for both me and Brooklyn Boy. So you know, the blog gets a little quiet :)

The diy bug finally hit me last weekend, though! My thrifty and crafty mother-in-law sent me some cute upholstery fringe from Joann's a while back. She sent a nice little variety of pinks, which I thought could work for baby girls room.  Plus, I had a left over barrel lamp shade from Target that made for a great blank canvas. 

 Here's what you need. A few yards of upholstery trim / fringe. 

Here's what you need. A few yards of upholstery trim / fringe. 

 My inexpensive left over Target barrel lamp shade

My inexpensive left over Target barrel lamp shade

 Legitimately, the only other supplies you need: scissors + a hot glue gun.

Legitimately, the only other supplies you need: scissors + a hot glue gun.

 First step - pull the thin piece of thread holding the bottom of the trim together. It should pull away easily.

First step - pull the thin piece of thread holding the bottom of the trim together. It should pull away easily.

 Then fray up the ends a little bit to relax them.

Then fray up the ends a little bit to relax them.

 Next, lay the fringe out and decide on the color order. I'm was feeling a variation of ombre!

Next, lay the fringe out and decide on the color order. I'm was feeling a variation of ombre!

 Using your hot glue gun, pick your starting point (I usually go for a seam) and slowly apply the hot glue to the top of the trim and press into place. Continue around circumference of shade. Repeat with each color.

Using your hot glue gun, pick your starting point (I usually go for a seam) and slowly apply the hot glue to the top of the trim and press into place. Continue around circumference of shade. Repeat with each color.

 Voila! SO simple. The project from start to finish took about 15 minutes. My kind of diy. 

Voila! SO simple. The project from start to finish took about 15 minutes. My kind of diy. 

I'm trying the shade in a few different places at the moment. I think I'm going to pick up a smaller shade and make something for baby girl's room. Speaking of which - is almost DONE! We've got moms and sisters coming in town this weekend and I plan on fully utilizing their skills to get everything completed and ready to go for baby girl!