a boxtroll and a ballerina mouse

henrik-and-maja-costumes This last summer our family had the opportunity to visit Laika Studio.  The production company that made the stop motion movie The Boxtrolls.  After seeing Henrik's enthusiasm for claymation and his extensive knowledge of many film makers such as Ray Harryhausen, the pioneer in the field of stop motion, they let us in for an exclusive VIP tour of their studio.  Henrik was in Heaven, and learned a few more tricks to making his figures that much better.

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This year for Halloween Henrik wanted to be a Boxtroll and Maja said she wanted to be a Ballerina Mouse.  I decided to make both of their costumes out of Paper mache.  Paper mache is fairly easy to make with items from around your home.  All you need are: balloons, flour, water,  tissue or newsprint, paint, and patience.  I definitely was lacking in patience and popped both balloons too early. I ended up having to re-inflate a balloon in each mask and add new paper mache, as well as paint them over.  Lessoned learned; wait overnight till popping the balloon.  It will save you so much more work and time, as well as heartache on your children.

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Henrik also decided he wanted to dress as the main character, Eggs.  Maja wanted to be in her costume for about two minutes and decided she had better things to do.  I hope you enjoy and had a happy Halloween!

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Henrik's puppet party

Last month on September 16th, my little boy Henrik turned 7.  I can't believe he's getting so old!  As some of you may already know, Henrik is a creative little boy and loves to make things with his hands.  For the past two years Henrik has been really into making clay figures and creatures, we even did a claymation party last year.  Lately Henrik has not been sculpting as much (which makes me sad), and all he wants to do is make puppets.  He spends every spare moment looking at puppet books and researching new techniques to make puppets.  I can't keep up with him and his creations and puppet clippings, I find them EVERYWHERE.  He has a very intense, and driven personality, I don't know where he gets it from, ha! henriks-puppet-party

This year we decided to do a puppet Birthday party for Henrik and his school friends. Being a social guy and considering everyone his friend, he wanted to invite his entire class.  I helped him realize that inviting 20+ children might not be the best thing for his Mama's sanity and helped him shorten the guest list to about 7-8 friends.

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For Henrik's birthday we gave him a few how to puppet books, some vintage muppets, and a puppet theater.  I made the puppet theater from the Ikea Skylta market stand.  I painted the entire stand in Martha Stewart's Ink Encre Tinta chalkboard paint.  I repainted over the red stripes on the roof in rust red, to make it look hand drawn.  I also painted the sign that attaches to the stand in gold paint and black chalkboard paint.  I sewed two simple curtains with two yards of black and white gingham fabric, using a tension rod to hold the curtains up.  I also painted two strips of leather with red paint, and used snaps to fasten the curtains back.  Henrik was so thrilled to see his new puppet theater and immediately started to perform a puppet show for us.

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For the party we decided to keep the puppet making simple.  We used fuzzy multicolored socksgoogly eyes and felt.  We let the kids cut and pick out all the pieces they wanted to make for their puppet, but left the hot gluing to the adults.  It was so fun to see all the innovative little creatures they came up with.  There was a white wolf, constantine, a cowboy, a blue monster, a puppet with a thick mustache, and a few more that I can't remember.

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After they had made their puppets we let them each perform a little puppet show for us.

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Maja got a little overwhelmed with all these boys running around and had a little meltdown.  It's tough being the princess of the party.

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Eventually she calmed down and joined the puppet show with her princess puppet.

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I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun the kids had making their puppets and performing with them.  We had so much fun doing it with them too.

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The puppet performances were quite entertaining.

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We even got a portrait of each of the kids with their puppets.  I loved watching them interact with their creations.  What sweet little boys.

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Our trip to hampton court

So, I'm finally getting around to editing my pictures of our trip to London.  We've had such a busy summer full of so many adventures, I can't wait to share them with you.  In the end of May we went to London for nine days as an entire family.  It was so wonderful!  My mother-in-law is a very passionate gardener and makes a trip out to the Chelsea Flower show in London every year.  This year she invited us to come along with her, and of course we said "Yes!!!" hampton-court

I really love traveling and seeing new sites, or revisiting favorite sites.  I especially love being able to share it with my children.  There is nothing like seeing their joy and excitement when they learn or see something new.

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When I was a teenager, my brother studied at Cambridge and Oxford.  I was the only one living at home and my mother would take me with her to visit him.  I feel so lucky that I got to visit him several times over the years and learn and experience England from his perspective.  My brother is a history professor and has a photographic memory.  He can literally remember most dates and details of anything he has read.  I wish I had that memory.  He would recite the history and importance of everything we visited.  It was like having your own personal tour guide.  We loved it!!!  We visited Bath, the Cotswolds, central England, London, and of course Cambridge and Oxford.  We visited many museums, sites, gardens, architectural sites, etc.  If there was historical significance we saw it.    It was such an enriching experience for me and I hope to be able to offer a bit of that exposure to my children.

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Hampton Court was one of my favorite places that I visited with my mother and brother as a child.  We were so happy to take our kids to visit this historic palace.  Hampton Court is only a 20 minute train ride from London and was made famous by Henry the v111.  It has an interesting blend of the Tudor and Baroque buildings.  You get to see the great hall and kitchens of the tudor era, as well as the private rooms of King William and Mary.  There is is so much to see.  There are so many beautifully gardens, manicured trees, and bushes, and even a maze!  My children had so much fun running around chasing each other and explore EVERYTHING.  It was wonderful.

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The entrance to Hampton court, in the original Tutor style.

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Entrance to one of the gardens.

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A beautiful wild grassy area that leads to the maze.  My kids had so much fun exploring and trying to find their way out.

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These chimneys are so detailed and amazing.

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This manicured tree has an opening big enough to fit my little Henrik.

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More chimneys and Allium.

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The inner court.

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The most beautiful gardens.

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This was a wonderful day, and and it wouldn't be England if it didn't rain.  Thank you for indulging me.  I'll be sharing the rest of our stay in London soon.

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merrilee liddiard's book playful

Last summer I had the wonderful opportunity to work with some of my favorite people and style all the interiors and props for my friend Merrilee's new kids craft book, Playful.  It was such a dream to work on this project and I got to meet and work with the most talented, wonderful ladies. playfulAs some of you may know I've worked on many projects with Merrilee in the past.  She and I first met at a friend's party and became fast friends when we discovered our mutual love of all things kid related, and couldn't stop talking about kid's design.

Merrilee is truly one of the most talented people I know.  She has an impeccable eye and unbelievable imagination.  Creating this book is the perfect form of expression for all her beautiful, well thought out kids crafts and toys.  She has poured her heart and soul into the making of this book, and it shows by the beauty she has created.

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When I first met Brittany (she styled the book with me), we both had our hair pulled back in braids, were wearing vintage dresses and swedish clogs.  I knew immediately that we were going to get along.  It was so wonderful to work closely with someone whose taste I completely trusted.  We discussed in detail each of the different setups for the book and really wanted to bring to life what Merrilee had envisioned.

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The photography is by the ever talented Nicole Hill.  She has the ability to make magic happen in front of the camera and really get the best out of the models.  She takes everything in stride, and wasn't even phased by the fact that she was nine months pregnant while photographing the entire book!

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These row houses, or Brownstones were the first project I saw when planning for the book.  As soon as I saw these I knew this book would be special.  What child wouldn't want to play with them, and their made out of cardboard!

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These two little love birds are real life best friends.  You can tell by the way they look at each other and smile, makes my heart melt.

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The book is divided into three sections:  Playful Paper Crafts,   Playful Dress Up, and Playful Art.  There are so many innovative and fun projects to work on.  Some are a bit more involved, like the brownstones, and some are simple that require no parent supervision, like the finger print art.

playful7Poppy's expresión and leg lift kill me every time.

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My sweet little Henrik even got to make an appearance a couple of times in the book.  He was so excited to be a knight and wear a knight costume.  He got to run around with his friend Ollie and a fair maiden.  He kept asking when he would get to marry and kiss her.  Should I be worried?

playful8This was one of my favorite outfits for the book, by the Portuguese company Wolf and Rita.  Can they please make it in my size?

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Playful has been getting a lot of great press and was featured twice in Redbook Magazine.

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It was so fun to see my super hero photo booth featured next to the Playful feature.

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In honor of the book release Merrilee is hosting a Playful book launch/signing/craft party. There will be crafts to make with your kids, raffle prizes, swag bags and yummy treats.  Come stop by today the 23rd of October from 6:30-8:30 at the Provo Library and have your book signed and say hi.  I'll be there with my kids in toe.

If you don't already have your copy of Playful, you can get it here.

how to make your own camp meta

During the A Midsummer Mingle event each of the hosts created an "experience", a space that represented us.  I chose to make a mountain retreat.  A place warm and inviting to come and sit and relax, or maybe write some letters.  I wanted to make the space particularly inviting for children.  When I was a child growing up I loved to make cozy spaces and forts.  I still love to make things cozy for small people. camp-metaIf you didn't get a chance to visit camp Meta at our event I thought I'd give you a tour of the space I decorated, with some guidelines on how to make your own Camp Meta.  Here are some steps on how to create your own perfect cozy retreat.

camp-meta21.  It's most important to have children to inspire you for the space,  and who will want to play in it.  My little scraggly bunch love playing and pretending at Camp Meta.

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2.  An ample supply of globes to chart out your next adventure.

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3.  Pictures of family and art to make the space feel like home.   The picture above is my mother when she was little.

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3.  Soft pillows to rest your head on.  How cute is this so brave so strong pillow by Roxy Marj.

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5.  Comfy bedding, and blankets.

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4.  A desk for writing letters, or just drawing pictures of round, stick-like family members.

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5.  A thermos, an owl bank, and a one-eyed clay guy.

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6.  Layered rugs to soften the floor.

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7.  Lighting.

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7.  Black forrest elements.  I love this picture of my husband when he was a boy.

Here is a mood board of what you'll need to get the look and make your own Camp Meta.

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This post is sponsored by Schoolhouse Electric and Supply Co.

creative children's spaces class

Hello everyone!  I am so happy and excited to announce that I am teaching classes over on Atly. Have you heard of them?  They are an online platform for you to teach and take classes.  I love their vision and the classes they offer are amazing!  The first of the two classes I'm offering this summer is a Creative Children's Spaces Class.  Stay tuned for my next class announcement later next month.   Enter code: NEWCLASS50 to get 50% off this class.  That's only $25 for the entire class!  This coupon code expires Tuesday, August 5th. children'sspacesclassPutting together a child's room, or any space, can feel a bit overwhelming and daunting.  Sometimes it can be hard to mix your child's interest to make it personal and yet not make it look too cluttered.  Or make it not look too sterile and straight from a catalog.  I believe a child's space should reflect the interests of the child, and be a place where play and creativity abound.  Having graduated with a BFA in photography and working as an interior designer and stylist for over ten years, I have years of experience working with children's spaces.

children'sspacesclass2This class will teach you the fundamentals to making a personal, creative, and cohesive space for your child.  You will learn how to mix colors, textures, and patterns to decorate a functional and fun space.  By the end of this class you will be able to put together your own creative and personal children's space.

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Biarritz, France: wheels and waves part one

This summer has been a very busy one, probably THE busiest of my life.  We have been doing a lot of traveling and I've been taking a lot of pictures.  I  just haven't posted anything yet.  All that is going to change starting now. biarritz

These cool postcards were made by Lucky Left Hand.

Today I wanted to share part one of our magical trip to Biarritz, France.  It was one of the most memorable trips that I've ever been on and I got to meet some of the nicest, most creative, genuine people.  I was in heaven!

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Biarritz is one of the most beautiful picturesque resort towns, made famous for it's surfing in the sixties.  Biarritz is the furthest south west town in France.  From our hotel we could see Spain.  Everywhere you walk there are beautiful views of the ocean, and the iconic lighthouse.

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biarritz3As many of you may know my husband Nicholas is a wildlife and landscape painter.  What some of you may not know is that he paints and rides motorcycles as well.  It's one of his many passions.  He loves everything about them, particularly early 1910-1960's bikes.

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This year Nick was thrilled to be invited to the Wheels and Waves exhibit in Biarritz, France.  This is the third year that they have been doing this type of a motorcycle show, and It's growing.  I've been to motorcycle shows in the states before, but nothing compares to this one.  I was blown away.  I couldn't believe the amount of people from all over Europe flocking to see the exhibit.  I also was so surprised by the caliber of bikes and art at the show.  What impressed me even more than anything were the people.  I've never been around a more gracious, classy, artistic group of people.  They do it all purely for the love of what they do and they're nice about it.

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The exhibit was in an old abandoned Renault service Garage, which was a perfect venue for all the art, bikes and other items on exhibit.

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Here's an example of one of the "new" bikes.  Single and Twin classic Motorcycles from Hamburg builds the most beautiful classic bikes.  Particularly Brittish BSA bikes.  I had so much fun visiting with the builder and his wife.  He told me that the gear shifter was once his aunt's titanium hip, ha!

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The exhibit also had incredible one of a kind BMW vintage bikes that are usually in the BMW Museum in Munchen.

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When we arrived in Biarritz, we needed to hang all ten of Nicholas' large motorcycle paintings.  Unfortunately customs went through all the paintings and re packed them. When we got the crate all the frames were broken.

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Nick and I had to put all the frames back together again as well as hang everything.  Needless to say we had limited tools for fixing the frames (about 20 staples to be exact) and our hanging skills were a little rusty.  We had to measure several times to get everything hanging right.

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The amazingly talented photographer, Bernard Testemale, was also there taking large format photographs with his view finder camera on glass plate negatives.  He even had his own portable dark room.  I loved every minute of it, asking him a million questions.  He's one out of a small group of people that still uses this old process.  The images he took while here were STUNNING!!!

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biarritz13The night of the exhibit was packed.  There was a line down the street of people waiting to get in.  I couldn't believe it.  Now that's some die hard motorcycle enthusiasts.  It was fun visiting with and getting to know so many new and interesting people.

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The week of the exhibit there were several outings and events planned.  One of the events was a surf competition.

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Being in Biarritz felt like a time warp.  I felt like I was transported to another era, a times when life was a little simpler, and a little sweeter.  I mean look at this cool surfer.

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I did my best to fit in with all the stylish people and bathing beauties in my Lime Ricki gingham vintage inspired high waisted swimsuit.  It might take a few more weeks of bathing in the sun to get that pastey white body of mine a prettier shade.

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No one compares to this lovely lady, Tanya.  We got to know Tanya a little while in Biarittz.  She was nice enough to drive us around in her 62 Ford Falcon (more on that in part two),  Tanya is such a classy, beautiful lady who takes everything in stride, and I was so impressed with her driving skills.  I hope one day I can be half as cool as Tanya, she's my idol.

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Nick and I did a LOT of walking around Biarritz (we didn't bring helmets and therefore couldn't ride a motorcycle).  We got to see a lot of the city and I was so overwhelmed by all the beautiful and interesting buildings and homes.

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biarritz19Well, that concludes part one of my tour of Biarritz.  I hope you enjoyed it and were somewhat inspired by it.

All the photographs were taken by myself or my husband, Nicholas Coleman, except the two of us hanging the show and the polaroid.  The polaroid was by Bernard and the two of us by the ever gracious Cyril Dunn.   Thanks Cyril!

This is a sponsored post by Lime Ricki.  Lime Ricki is offering One More Mushroom readers a discount at their shop.  Just use the code:  MUSHROOM15 at the check out to get 15% off.  Offer is valid until August 16.

 

 

tramp frame diy

I've had a Fuji Instax mini camera for many years and love taking it with me on family trips.  It's fun to document parts of the trip the old fashioned analog way.  My kids get a kick out of it too and love taking pictures of each other.  Most the time we'll tape up the polaroids on a wall in parts of our house or down the stairs that lead to our basement. tramp-frame

At camp Meta we provided guests with polaroid photos of themselves as well as their choice of one of the multicolored tramp style frames.  I thought it would be fun for guests to document their "stay" and put it in a cute frame as well.  The tramp style of frames fit perfectly with the Pacific Northwest look I had going on.

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Luckily I had some darling colorful card stock paper options from American Crafts.  As well as an amazing printer that cut the frames out for me!  All I had to do was design them in illustrator and upload them onto cricut's site.  It was really easy, and that's coming from someone who is NOT tech savvy at all.

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We've had a very busy summer (more on all that later) and had some opportunities to visit some beautiful places.  I love how some of my polaroids from our trips turned out.  It's not always easy getting the exposure correct (there are only four light settings represented by icons: house, cloudy, semi sunny, and sunny).  It definitely makes it exciting when waiting to see how your picture turned out.

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The colorful tramp frames are a fun way to make your polaroid look that much more important.  I love how it turned out.  I put some of our pictures by my bedside, and can have a constant reminder of the wonderful memories we made this summer.

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If you'd like to make some of your own frames click here for the free download.

All you need is some 12 x 12 card stock and a cricut printer.  When uploading the frames you may have to resize the file to 11.5 x 11.5.  Enjoy!

a midsummer mingle part 2

I can't stop thinking about what a special night it was celebrating A Midsummer Mingle with all of our guests.  As hosts we each were given a space to decorate and make our own.   We wanted our guests to be able to experience our different personalities, and be able to interact with and get something out of each of our different sections.  After choosing a refreshing ice tea, guests were invited to walk through the beautiful stone pathway to Camp Meta. a-midsummer-mingle-2

(these two darling sisters were at camp Meta taking photographs for everyone)

Camp Meta was the experience that I got to share with everyone.  I wanted to create a kid's retreat.  A place my kid's, or any kid would want to go to sleep, play, draw, and just be a kid.  The inspiration for the space came from the outdoors, and my son Henrik and his love of exploration.

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I wanted the space to be playful and warm and inviting.  I will be talking more in detail on the inspiration and how to put together your own "Camp" in my next post.

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At camp Meta guest were invited to have their pictures taken with the Fuji instax camera.  Which takes the cutest credit card size photos.  Thanks to Fujifilm for providing us with the cameras and film.

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I also had a table filled with multiple colored tramp style frames for guests to frame their new portraits.  These frames were all made with the amazing Cricut printer.  I'll be sharing more on the paper frames and a DIY this week as well.

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After staying a bit at camp Meta, guests could tiptoe through the flowers and visit Brittany's beautiful, colorful space.

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Needless to say it was dreamy, with all the colorful multicolor banners, as well as an installation of balloons and oversized flowers scattered throughout the space.

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Some of the banners were a string of beautiful felt balls (my favorite material) from Hello Maypole.

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Guest were invited to make an origami business card holder as well as these beautiful paper lanterns made by the Cricut printer.  For the tutorial click here.

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Guests then were encouraged to move to the Eva's moody blue minimal bohemian space.  Eva made the most beautiful shingled wall of all of her indigo blue wrapping papers.

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Guests were asked to write down their favorite thing about summer.

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They then were invited to hang up what they wrote with a clothes pin on the hanging twine, or on the large board with the quote by William Shakespeare, "Summer I Salute Thee".  The lettering Was all done with a Cricut printer. For the tutorial click here.

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After Eva's blue bohemian space guests were invited to walk up the stairs to enter into Sarah's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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What a dreamy imaginative space.  Guests were invited to take a mask (printed with the cricut) and take a picture in front of the balloon arch with the darling family tree wall decal behind it.  For a tutorial on how to make your own mask click here.

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Sarah illustrated these darling, oversized characters for her space in the them of  'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.  I wanted to take them home and play with them.  She also illustrated gorgeous oversized flowers.

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Our guests were also invited to explore some of the tasty treats and interactive prizes that our local sponsors had to offer.  Mend Juice Press offered a selection of wonderfully tasting and healthy cold pressed beverages for our guests.  Blinckenstaff's and Called to Surf  had a beautifully decorated space for guests to sit and enjoy the view as well see the new exciting products that they are launching.  For something a little more sweet Cocoa Bean had a wonderful assortment of cupcakes and cookies, yum!

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Guests then were able to meander down the stairs where the food and other hosts experiences were.  In Merrilee's experience she had illustrated a beautiful large map of the world with a station for her darling character, Tilda.  Tilda even made an appearance in a stunning red striped hot air balloon (my kind of girl).

Merrilee also illustrated this darling portrait of Brittany.  I want one of me too, hint, hint...

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The first fifty guests could make their own beautiful floral crown from Merrilee's Playful book (soon to come out this September).  More on the Playful book later.  I can't wait!!!

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Guests were also invited to pin where on the map they would like to see Tilda travel to next.  I think I'd like her to go to Amsterdam.

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Past the pool with all the colorful balloons and beach balls, guests could experience a bit of heaven in Alma and Melanie's starry experience.  They had the most beautiful hand lettered cards and signs all throughout their space.

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Guests got to sit down on the picnic table and make beautiful constellation wrapped candles, made with the Cricut printer.  To see their tutorial click here.

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What a wonderful, magical night!!!  Thank you to all who came.  I wish you all could have enjoyed this night with us.  Fortunately Natatie Norton did such an amazing job documenting everything you can get a taste of everything with her photography.

A special thanks to our sponsors:

Save on Crafts for the amazing lighting
Called to Surf and Blickenstaffs

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A Midsummer mingle

It's not very often that you get to be surrounded by a group of  talented, hardworking, inspiring, uplifting people.  I have felt so fortunate to call these ladies my friends and learn from and be inspired by them as we have come together and build each other up. a-midsummer-mingle14

(Brittany, me, Eva, Sarah, Merrilee, Melanie, and Alma (not pictured, but still loved))

In an effort to do the same to our community; to inspire, uplift and say thank you to all our readers and supporters who have given us so much, Brittany had the idea to throw a garden party.  She invited us on as hosts and I couldn't have been more happy with how everything turned out.  It was so fun to be able to collaborate with creative, likeminded ladies.  We couldn't have done this party without the generous support of our sponsors: Cricut, Save on Crafts, Land of Nod, Atly, Called to Surf, and Blinckenstaff's, to name just a few.  The photographs are all by the lovely Natalie Norton.  There were so many beautiful images I had a really hard time editing and deciding which ones not to use.   I had such a hard time I decided to post part two later this week.

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At the entrance was a gorgeous balloon arch installation with the lovely sign designed by Mer.  Each guest received their very own floral crown (designed by Amy Anne), a canvas tote filled with goodies from Minted, Hello Maypole, Darly Bird, and so much more.

a-midsummer-mingle2The balloon installation was created by Brittany and her amazingly talented group of interns, as was the vision and concept for the party.  They put so much hard work into this event and I think it exceeded all of our expectations.

One of Brittany's ideas was for each of the hosts to provide an "experience" as well as a craft, or swag, for our guests to take away with them as they meandered along the lovely path in my in-laws back yard. I'll get to our experiences and swag in part two...stay tuned.

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The pathway that lead the guests to the beginning of our event was lined with a sea of string lights from Save on Crafts.  Lighting, in my opinion, really sets the mood for any environment and Save on Crafts have so many lovely lighting options.

The guests also received a map beautifully illustrated by Merrilee and letterpressed by Sycamore Street press.  They were so beautiful in person, I want to frame mine.

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Rambling Rose Cafe really out did themselves and had this amazing trailer greeting the guests at the beginning with mint and lavender infused ice tea!  It was so good and refreshing.

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The guests were invited to wear their summer whites, and I have to say I was so impressed with everyone and their beautiful all white ensembles.  It really set the tone for the entire event.

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Rambling Rose Cafe did all the food and it was divine.  I didn't get a chance to eat during the party, but made sure to eat about five goat cheese and cucumber sandwiches while I was cleaning up.  I seriously couldn't stop eating them.

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The flowers were arranged by the talented Lizzy's Lilies, the beautiful cakes were by Bake By Me.  All these details were just the perfect addition to really make this event so memorable.

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Playing in the background we had a lovely french jazz band, the Red Rock Hot Club.  They played the entire evening.  It was so magical, it felt like I was transported back to France (more on that trip later) and it was the just the right music to set the tone for the evening!

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We even had the most darling group of dancers do a maypole dance for the guests.  I was so sad that I missed it.  It is one of my biggest regrets that evening.  Everyone told me how lovely it was.  Sarah Jane's Husband Ken, built the amazing Maypole and Michael Miller provided us with the beautiful colored ribbons.

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And yes, those are enormous white beach balls and balloons in the pool.  You should have seen me try to blow up the 48 inch beach ball and throw on table clothes at the same time.  It was comical, if not entertaining, to say the least.

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Thank you for indulging us.  I had such a lovely time and it was so fun to be able to really connect with people in person.  Thanks again for all our generous sponsors, we really appreciated everything and couldn't have done it without them.

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Thank you to our sponsors:

Cricut (stay tuned for our projects!)
Save on Crafts for the amazing lighting (seriously, they have so many wonderful options!)
Called to Surf and Blickenstaffs
And thank you to the swag bag sponsors: Darly BirdAtlyHello Maypole and Minted.
And a special thanks to all these lovely ladies (and their reluctant spouses?) for all their hard work.  They blew my mind with their ideas and hard work, and I wanted to go shopping in their closets.
Also, Thank you to my in-laws Michael and Jackie Coleman for generously offering their house for the event.  I don't think they knew what they were getting themselves into.

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a invitation to a midsummer mingle

a-midsummer-mingle Hello Friends!  I’m so excited to invite you to A Midsummer Mingle, an event the following amazing ladies and I have been planning! Join myself, Brittany of The House that Lars Built, Merrilee of Mer Mag, Sarah of Sarah Jane Studios, Melanie and Alma of Caravan Shoppe, and Eva of Sycamore Street Press. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love and I owe so very much of that to you! And I want to thank you!! We all feel similarly and have consequentially decided to put together a beautiful celebration on the the longest midsummer day of the year! June 21.

The event will take place in a lovely garden here in town and each of the hosts will be sharing a little bit of magic with you all.  And Cricut is our lovely sponsor so we’ll have a making station with lots of different things to create in addition to entertainment, food, and merry making!

 

Spots are limited so don’t delay! Grab a babysitter and RSVP early because once we’re booked, we’re booked.

 

This event is sponsored by Cricut as well as many other vendors like Save on Crafts. Email me,meta [at] onemoremushroom.com, if you’re interested in providing swag or would like to provide additional sponsorship to the event.  
The beautiful invitation was made by Merrilee, isn't it so lovely?

tic tac toe

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day weekend!  Ours was really wonderful spent with both our mothers and our children. The weather these past several days has been cold and rainy.  So, I thought it would be fun to make a simple indoor game for the kids to play.tic-tac-toeTic tac toe is one of the simplest games, and a great one for a three year old to pick up quickly.tic-tac-toe2We started out with simple smooth river rocks that we painted white (Henrik painted a few faces on his rocks as well, that we were not to paint over).

The kids had so much fun painting the rocks, as soon as they saw the paint come out they jumped in their chairs and got to work painting.tic-tac-toe3After the white paint dried, I then painted simple x's and o's.  I painted pink x's for Maja (it's her favorite color), and black for Henrik (he loves black).

I also took a blue piece of felt and painted white tic tac toe lines for the game.  tic-tac-toe4The kids had so much fun playing, and Henrik enjoyed explaining the rules of the game to his sister.  This is a game that we could bring with us on a family picnic or any other outing.  tic-tac-toe5Everything was going really smoothly and they were having such a great time playing together until Henrik had to celebrate his victory...tic-tac-toe6  Maja was NOT happy about this.  I don't know what it is about siblings, they can be so happy playing and being kind to each other one moment and the next moment they're practically mortal enemies.  I guess it's part of sibling rivalry and how we learn to love each other.  Thank goodness they make up really quickly.

This post is sponsored by Mrs. Meyers.

cultivating a creative life: a mother's influence

In honor of this Sunday being Mother's Day, I would like to share about my own mother and the inspiration she has been to me.  She has been both mother and father to me and remained such a constant in my life.  She is my best friend and has been the biggest influence on who I am today, how I create and how I see the world.  As you can see from the photos below she is one classy lady, with a beautiful thick German accent. mormor's-houseMy mother grew up in a small, beautiful village in Northern Germany.  Her father was an architect, started a printing company and was an avid art collector.  The home she grew up in was bombed during World War two, and when her father came back from being a prisoner of war, years later, he redesigned and fixed it up into a beautiful Estate where her family (as well as mine) shared many many fond memories together.  Growing up I spent all my summers at my grandparent's home.  It was such a beautiful, warm, thoughtful home, with an extensive art, furniture, book and rug collection.  My Grandfather appreciated and understood the history behind everything, and it was there I experienced that a home could be so much more than just a place to live.  A home sets the tone for the people who live there, and creates an atmosphere where love and learning can abide.

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My grandfather taught my mother about Art, literature, and music.  She was the youngest of five, with three older sisters and a brother.  Her father would take her on long walks in the woods, where they would have in depth conversations about literature, and art and life.  This one on one time she spent with her father was so important and I believe helped carry her through some of her harder times in life.  My grandfather died when my mother was only 24 years old, and never got to meet any of her children, but he remains alive through her stories that she shares of him with us.

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My mother, like her father, has always been an appreciator and ambassador of the arts.  She instilled in us it's importance and made it a part of our everyday life.  Ever since I can remember (I believe I was younger than Henrik), she would take me to classical concerts, Museums, International Cinema, and cultural events.  I remember going to see the movie  Jean de Florette with my mother as a little girl and what an impact that movie had on me, and still has.  I also looked just like the little girl, which I thought was pretty cool.  I think that is what good art does, it changes you, helps you to see differently and makes you a better person.  My mother didn't believe in dumbing things down for children, and there was no right age to go to a concert or a museum, she would just take me.  She believed children should start young in their appreciation of the arts.

mormor's-house3My mother is always rearranging things in her home and creating little cozy nooks, like this one below.  I know that's where I get my desire to rearrange furniture and make cozy nooks in my own home.  When I was little my mother and I would play a game together on our our walks with the dog.  We would rate homes in our surrounding neighborhood as cozy and not cozy, or gemuetlich and nicht gemuetlich.  The criteria was usually cozy lighting and seating, or whatever we thought would make it look cozy or not.  Even now when my husband and I tuck our children in bed at night we ask them if they are cozy/cuddly or kuschelich.  It's a word we use often and is a necessity in our home to either feel kuschelich or gumuetlich at one or more times during the day.

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My mother is also the reason why I have such an enormous love for children's books.  She has introduced me to most of my favorite illustrators like:  Lisbeth Zwerger, Ida Bohatta, Fritz Koch-Gotha, Sibylle v. Olfers, Elsa Beshow, Else Wenz-Vietor, and Walter Trier.  I could go on and on.  She has an enormous appreciation and passion for children's books and has a huge collection.  Every time I think I have a lot of children's books I go to my mother's house and see her collection and am reminded what a real collection looks like.  She has so many beautiful books, some that are not in print anymore, and many still from her own childhood.  I love going in her room where she keeps her children's books and looking through them, I always discover one I have never seen before.

mormor's-house5My mother has also inspired and maybe fostered my fabric hoarding tendencies.  As a little girl I remember going with her to a Westfalen fabric store in Muenster.  I remember  waiting, for what felt like hours, for her to pick out a fabric.  My mother would make most of my dresses, particularly in traditional German patterns.  In the 80's, when everyone was wearing leg warmers and hot pink, I stood out like a sore thumb.

My mother and I still enjoy going to fabric stores together when we can.  Just the other day we found a beautiful large green fern fabric.  She had the brilliant idea to make a simple shift dress out of it.  I wasn't going to buy the fabric but...when she had such a great idea I had to get it.  She is still fostering and encouraging my fabric hoarding and has quite a beautiful fabric collection herself.

mormor's-house6My love of blue and white has also come from my mother.  She looooooves blue and white. Almost everything in her house is blue and white, from her upholstery, to her dishes, to her backsplash and even her clothing.

My mother has taught me to take pride in yourself and make an effort in your appearance.  She has done this my whole life, I have never seen her wear a pair of sweat pants.  This is not because she is vain or is trying to impress someone else, it is because she has respect for herself and shows it in her dress.

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My mother is also one of the most well educated, well read people I know.  She is always telling me about a new book she has read.  Some of my favorite books are from her recommendations.  She reads a wide variety; whether it's Goethe, Herman Hesse,  Art Books, a memoir of Roomy Schneider, or even the National Geographic.  She will read it and share with me what she liked and learned about it.  I love that about her.

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I had to share a photo of Resi, my mother's beloved dachshund.  She is named after a children's book called Waldi.  Resi is the obedient sister of Waldi.  I don't believe any dachshund can be described as obedient, especially my mother's Resi.

mormor's-house9Happy Mother's Day Mormor, Mutti, Mama!  I love you!!!   You are intelligent, classy, wise, loving and kind.  Thank you for being my mother.

If you'd like to read some more creative ladies and their mothers' influence check them out here:  Sarah Jane StudiosSycamore Street PressMer Mag and House that Lars built .

 

Maja's tent

Last week I mentioned that I have been dejunking my entire house.  I have also been rearranging and making some major changes to certain spaces in my home.  Last weekend I had to finish up several deadlines, so naturally I put them off to do something very important, like rearranging the furniture in Maja's room. maja's-tent

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I brought out of storage the tent I made for the kids last Easter and decided that I'd surprise Maja and put it in her room.

maja's-tent9She, and Hazel, were excited to see it, and they quickly moved in.  She even wanted to spend the night in the tent.

maja's-tent2I also moved her storage bin and child's desk close to the window, and she wasted no time playing with and showing me her animals.  I love that she plays with animals and has no interest in dolls.  She dresses and undresses them and they have make believe conversations.  I could listen all day, It's pretty funny and entertaining.

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Some of Maja's most beloved possessions:  A cheap, blingy tiara, ballet slippers, and a Dinosaur.

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maja's-tent5It's always entertaining to see the new additions to the chalkboard wall.

maja's-tent6It looks like Maja's Maileg mouses ears needed a thorough brushing.

maja's-tent7Hazel always enjoys being in front of the camera.  She specializes in being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I probably trip on her about ten times a day.

maja's-tent8I may not have finished what I was suppose to on Saturday, but I was happy to see Maja playing and enjoying her "new" tent.  She loved her tent so much that she didn't want to share with her brother or Hazel and said "there's no woom." She did promise Henrik that I would make him a tent for his room.  It looks like I have more projects in my future, I better get to work.

I'm back!!!

Hello Everyone!  It's been a looooong time.  Maybe some of you have wondered if I was ever going to post anything again.  Well, you'll be happy to know I'm back!  The past few months have been really busy for me, working on jobs outside of blogging, some that I can't talk about yet, but I can't wait to share!  Because I've been MIA for so long I thought I'd catch you up on some of the things that have been keeping me busy. The spring cleaning/dejunking bug has bit me and I have pretty much torn apart every room in our house.  My husband has kindly suggested that I might start and finish one room at a time.  But, where's the fun in that?  That most definitely doesn't suit my personality.  Once I get an idea in my head I have to act on it right away, and I sometimes don't always finish a project.  You might call me impulsive.

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Following my sometimes impulsive personality, I joined my husband for a spur of the moment trip to Portland, Oregon.  He forgot his temporary driver's license and couldn't rent a car, so we decided I needed to come out there and rent one for him.  It was a very short trip, but one of the most spontaneous, fun and inspiring ones for both of us.  We loved Portland!  Not to mention we were there for one of Portland's largest snow storms and freezing rain.  Because it never snows in Portland no one plows the streets and the streets were covered in snow.  It made everything feel extra cozy and slightly frightening watching people drive in the snow.

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Henrik has been keeping very busy with his clay guys.  I've given up on keeping my kitchen table tidy.  And for some reason he is really into making all his people with buck teeth.  He made a cute portrait of me and Hazel, thankfully I didn't have buck teeth but luscious red lips instead.  He must know something I don't.

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I've been working on a few painting projects as well as restocking my house with house plants.  I killed all of last years plants by either over watering or forgetting about them entirely and not watering at all.  Here's to hoping I do a better job this year.

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I've always been so inspired by Josef Frank's textiles.  I love how his inspiration was largely from the organic shapes found in flowers and foliage.  His textiles are almost 100 years old, yet they remain so fresh and timeless.  I can't wait to show you what I'm doing with these textiles.

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I've been thrifting a lot lately and finding some really great pieces.  Last weekend I went to the fleattitude with my friend Brittany, and I brought home way too many things.  Jenny from the blog Dos Family said:  (I'm) "Filling my home with clutter one flea market at a time."  I couldn't have said it any better myself, that is so me!  Vintage items can be so inspiring to me and I love searching for that unique piece that no one else has.  Vintage pieces tell a story and give a depth and soul to a space, that something shiny and new cannot.  Don't get me wrong, I do like shinny and new too.

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I've always known I was no good at getting my picture taken and selfies are even worse, maybe it's a good thing?

Having two children and a dog, there are a lot of messes in our home (not to mention all the ones I make).  I love the messes the kids make when they are deep in their imaginary worlds, making and creating.  It's such a special time to be able to be imaginative and playful and seeing my children play reminds me of my own creative childhood.  It makes me so happy to see them play.

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My husband and I went on a trip to San Antonio, Texas for one of his shows at the newly renovated Briscoe Museum.  I really enjoyed the city and was pleasantly surprised by all the beautiful Art Deco architecture.  It was such a beautiful city, I can't wait to go back!

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I always enjoy picking up a piece of art or something to remember my trip, and I picked up this beautiful milagro in San Antonio.

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For years now, I've had this crazy idea to color coordinate and cover all my books in my office in colored butcher paper.  This took far too long to do and I got side tracked with other projects (like painting the porcelain below) too many times.

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But, I finally finished it!  And am happy with the results.  I also ran out of books and had to steal some children's books from my kids.  Luckily they have almost as many books as I do.

Every morning when I go into Maja's room I ask her how she slept.  The other day she said:  "Good, Haek waked me up" and put her finger to her mouth, like she needed to contemplate it a bit more.  She likes to tattle on her brother and it's a running joke in our family that she'll tell us he woke her up almost every morning.

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I feel so lucky to have a wonderful husband who not only surprises me with paintings, but will play with and read to my children.  Growing up without a father in the home, I didn't really know what all the fuss was with fathers.  Now I know, and I get to enjoy it and live vicariously through my children.

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If you'd like to see more of One More Mushroom you can follow me on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.  Thanks for indulging me.

tooth fairy pillow diy

For the past few weeks my little Henrik has had a loose tooth.  It was bitter sweet for me to find out that my boy was going to loose his first tooth.  It's one more physical sign that he's  growing up and there is nothing I can do about it.  Of course, I was so excited for him too. tooth-fairy-pillow

Henrik's tooth has been really loose, practically hanging by a thread for the past week.  My husband and I decided we needed to take matters into our own hands and pull the tooth.  One quick pull and it was out.  Henrik was so excited to see his mouth with an empty space where his tooth had been.

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Henrik and I decided that we needed to make a tooth fairy pillow to store his tooth.

If you'd like to make a tooth fairy pillow here's what you'll need:

* drafting paper and pencil

* small piece of white or cream felt

* black, pink, and blue thread and needle

* polyester batting

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Step 1.  Draw and cut out a tooth shape out of the drafting paper.

Step 2.  Using the paper template cut two shapes out of the felt.  Cut a small rectangle out of the felt for the pocket.

Step 3.  Hand stitch the pocket onto one side of the felt tooth.

Step 4.  Pin together right sides together, with the pocket facing in.  Sew around the tooth, leaving an opening for the stuffing.

Step 5.  Stuff the pillow with batting and hand stitch it closed.

Step 6.  Hand stitch the eyes and mouth and you're done!

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Henrik loves his new little tooth pillow as well as showing off his missing tooth.

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That night Henrik put his tooth in the back of his pillow and cuddled next to it.  The next morning he discovered that the tooth fairy had brought him four whole quarters!

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Maja's third birthday

A little over a week ago on the 4th of January we celebrated Maja's third Birthday.  I cannot believe that my little girl is getting so big!  She is such a funny little girl and says the funniest things.  She talks and sings much more than her brother ever did at this age.  It is so entertaining listening and communicating with her. maja's-3rd-birthdayMaja's favorite color is pink (ironically my least favorite color).  So, we made sure to have a big pink number three balloon as well as pink and white balloons.  As per our tradition we made sure to have her birthday table ready for her the night before.  In the morning we brought her down stairs to see all her surprises.

maja's-3rd-birthday3It was so fun to see the look of excitement on her face.  This year I found her a lot of unique vintage toys, like the tin stove and fridge.  Along with a beautiful 1930's vintage doll that she accidentally broke a week later.

maja's-3rd-birthday9Maja loves Miffy, and enjoys reading the books with me before nap time.  So, naturally she needed to have a Miffy doll to cuddle.  This crochet version is from Anne Claire Petit.

maja's-3rd-birthday7Maja also loves Tinker Bell.  And will tell me all about Tinker Bell and her friends, especially Terrance.  She calls him Tehwance.   We sprinkled gold confetti around the table to represent Tinker Bell's pixie dust.

One of my favorite gifts that we got her was this darling wood circus from Janod.  It comes in a circus shaped box with circus performers, animals, and circus accessories.

maja's-3rd-birthday4Three is such a wonderful age and I look forward to seeing more and more of her personality.  It's so fun to see her discover things for the first time and see her nurturing instincts come out.  Like swaddling her stuffed animals and dressing and undressing her Calico Critters.

maja's-3rd-birthday6Next week I will share more photos of her Birthday along with a fun diy.  Thanks for indulging me.

 

 

 

shadow box portraits and sweet paul magazine offer

Henrik and I have been busy little elves this holiday working on handmade presents for our family.  As most of you may already know Henrik loves making figures with clay.  He has, in the past, made portraits of his family and friends.  This year I thought it would be a nice gift for him to make portraits of his grandparents. shadow-box-portraitsWhen Sweet Paul Magazine contacted me to work with them I was so excited.  I have been a long time fan of this beautifully styled and photographed magazine.  This year they have produced a Sweet Paul kids Holiday magazine, and everything in it is breathtaking.  There are so many fun ideas and recipes to do with children, and the photography and styling is impeccable.

Inspired by the darling mini shadow box homes in the magazine, I decided to make a little shadow box scene for the portraits that Henrik created.

shadow-box-portraits2Luckily I had two small blank shadow boxes lying around that I could use for each set of grandparents.  I also used colorful patterned paper, some dollhouse accessories, and shish kabob skewers.

shadow-box-portraits3While Henrik worked on making portraits of his Nana, Papa, Mormor, and Resi (Mormor's dachshund), I glued on the paper, accessories, and skewers.

shadow-box-portraits4This was a really fun and easy collaboration to work on with Henrik.  I love it when we can work on something together and make it a unique piece of art.  Here are the finished shadow boxes with the portraits nestled nicely inside.

shadow-box-portraits5Henrik even had fun playing with his creations.

shadow-box-portraits6Sweet Paul is offering One More Mushroom readers a special offer for their magazine download.  Click here to get your copy of Sweet Paul Kids for only .99¢!  I promise you won't regret it.  I can't wait to get started on a few more projects from the magazine.  Thanks Sweet Paul for the offer and the always beautiful inspiration.

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our san francisco trip

Last week during the Thanksgiving holiday our little family took a road trip to San Francisco to visit my sister and her family. San-Francisco-tripWe took a rest stop and let the kids run and play along the beautiful Bonneville Salt Flats

San-Francisco-trip2It was such a lovely trip and so nice to spend time with both my sisters, and their kids, as well as my mother.   We spent our time lunching in Sausalito, looking at the beautiful views of the Bay bridge, and exploring Muir woods.

San-Francisco-trip3Henrik had so much fun in Muir woods running around with his cousins.  Unfortunately he wasn't allowed to explore beyond the board walk.  Henrik sat down to pout because "They won't let me play in the nature."  And his sister sat down to keep him company.

San-Francisco-trip4We had a wonderful time enjoying the exhibits at The California Palace of the Legion of Honors.  At the moment they have an amazing Anders Zorn exhibit (one of my husbands favorite painters).

San-Francisco-trip5My sister lives close to Mount Diablo State Park.  After our Thanksgiving feast we went exploring around the beautiful rolling hills, and even got to see the sun set.  What a view!

San-Francisco-trip6Henrik and his cousin Ethan are the best of friends,  it's too bad they live so far away from each other.

San-Francisco-trip7Henrik made sure to bring his suitcase full of clay and armature wire. The cousins had so much fun playing together and spent a lot of their time working on clay figures.

On Thanksgiving day my sister had a table set where everyone could draw and make turkeys and write what they were thankful for.  Maja drew both hands, her head and other doodles.

San-Francisco-trip8I even got a little Christmas shopping in at this darling shop, Tantrum.  While I was in the store they were filming an American Express commercial.  Hopefully I don't make a cameo in their commercial.

San-Francisco-trip9I think one of the highlights for Henrik was to see the real life Egyptian Sarchophagus.  At the moment he is obsessed with all things Egyptian.

San-Francisco-trip10I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.  Thanks for letting me share a bit of ours with you.

henrik's claymation party part two

Henrik's claymation Birthday party was really low key this year.  I didn't stress about anything and did most of the prep work the night before.  I think often times we (or I) can get caught up with everything looking just right, when children don't really care.  What's most important to them is that they are happy and have a good time. Henriks-claymation-party8

A couple of days before the party Henrik's dad baked him a cake for the party.  For whatever reason the cake wouldn't come out of the cake form and we only had half a cake.  I then decided to make a cake from scratch with a special chocolate frosting.  I didn't calculate for the altitude and it was as flat as a pancake.  So, the morning of the party Nick went out and bought Henrik a cake.  The kids didn't know the difference and loved how tall it was.

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Instead of giving out party favors in bags to the kids on the way out, we put the prizes on the cake, and the children had to spin for their piece of cake as well as their prize.  I made the spinner with a part of Henrik's lego helicopter and a handmade arrow.  This was a tradition we did as children growing up and I loved it.  The kids thought this was so much fun and couldn't wait till it was their turn.

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Henrik has been working on this lanky grey clay fella for a while, and I thought he was a nice addition to our claymation party.

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We set up a mini claymation set in the other room, so that the kids could help animate their own movie. But we soon discovered that they weren't that interested in making a movie and would rather run around playing with each other and their new clay figures.  So, Nick ended up "helping" them make a group claymation movie.

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Maja enjoyed eating the different variety of cakes.  And even though the first cake didn't look good, it sure tasted good.

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Henriks-claymation-party14This little guy had so much fun playing with all the new toys and Maja was happy to show him how they all worked.

Henriks-claymation-party15In years past this party would have been a huge stress on me and I would have viewed it as a bit of a failure.  Which is odd, because although the cakes were ruined and the set didn't turn out how I had envisioned it, the kids had a wonderful time!   But, what I've learned this year through my loss, is that all those little things that we worry so much about don't really matter.  What's most important is if we're happy and healthy and alive.  I find myself now hardly phased by much of the day to day stresses at all.  I guess sometimes it takes losing what you love and  hold most dear to gain greater peace and know what's most important.

To see part one of Henrik's birthday party click here, or his 6th birthday here.