Easter Vignettes

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3.29.2015

Well, it snowed again here over the weekend (seriously?!), but we are getting our Easter on inside:) Here's a couple of shots of seasonal decor from around the house:

The Egg Mantel

I didn't really mean to just rock all Easter eggs on the mantel, but that's what happened, so let's go with it! Felt Easter egg garland from Target a few years back.


Hand-painted eggs by Paul on the left and Maura on the right at our local Paint Your Own Pottery place. Mine broke last year:( ***cough cough Maura dropped it after I repeatedly asked her to be careful***


Maura and I dyed some eggs with one of those Paas kits and although they didn't come out exactly as they were supposed to, they are really pretty, pastel, and speckly. I balanced them very carefully in moss on top of these little wood stumps that I stole from a friend who cut them down in her backyard (love them, and so versatile too, used them for our Christmas party this year).




The Blue Dresser

Do you guys remember this beautiful blue dresser that I bought last year from Danielle of Finding Silver Pennies? It makes me smile every day when I walk by it! Bird print from a calendar, bunnies from Target and Home Goods a few years back, "vintage" alarm clock from Pottery Barn, wooden candlesticks purchased at a yard sale that I then painted green.


The Easter Tree

We had a skinny and tall, fake Christmas tree in a corner of our kitchen over the holiday season. It was so nice to have those twinkling lights around that we were reluctant to give it up as winter ended. Maura said one morning "What if we make it an Easter tree?" and so we did:) I cut egg shapes out of colored card stock and we decorated them with glitter and foam stickers (all supplies we already had). Such a fun craft to do together while Ian was napping and a super cute result!

{Maura's "Elsa" egg}




Hope everyone has a great week and a wonderful Easter weekend!

How To Stamp Drapes with a DIY Stamp

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3.17.2015

Thank you for all your super sweet comments on Ian's nursery! I thought I'd post a bit more about how I did the stamped curtains. This was such a fun project and I really love the result. It was fairly easy...although the actual stamping took a bit of time - I had four panels to do - but it was a nice, relaxing labor of love:)


Things you'll need:
  • a rubber carving block (I used Speedball's Speedy Carve that I found at Michaels, here's one on Amazon) 
  • pencil
  • X-Acto knife (and/or carving tools)
  • pieces of scrap wood and Super Glue (optional)
  • your curtains
  • fabric/craft paint
  • small roller/brayer
  • paint tray
  • old sheet or drop cloth
  • piece of cardboard
First up, you'll want to make your stamp. For this you'll need some sort of rubber carving block to cut your design out of. I used two sizes of this Speedball Speedy-Carve that I found at Michaels...the smaller one was perfect for the generic fish and the larger one for the "shark".



I hand drew my designs right onto the carving block with a pencil, but you can transfer yours from another drawing or a computer print out or whatever using any kind of tracing technique. Just remember that when you go to use the stamp, your image will actually come out in the reverse...this is critical when doing say text, but I wasn't worried about it with my underwater creatures.


Now you can begin carving your stamp. I used a plain old X-Acto knife that I already had...I'm very comfortable with a #11 blade and my designs were not very intricate. There are many actual carving tools (like these) that you can use for this if you will be making something more complicated. Basically, you just want to carve away the rubber around your design, so that the shape you want printed is higher than the rest of the block. I've made lots of stamps before, but they were on a much smaller scale, where I could use the bottom of the carving block as the part of the stamp that I would hold in my hand. So with these I started off like this - cutting around the fish to outline it and then scooping out a layer of the block.


Once I got this far, I was worried that with this fish being somewhat larger than I was used to, it might be a bit flimsy for the amount I would be using it. And I was worried about some of the paint/ink transferring from the lower areas of the block onto my fabric. So I decided to cut the fish shapes all the way out of the rubber block and mount them to something much more sturdy as a hand hold.


A couple of scrap pieces of wood (cut to just slightly larger than the fish) did the trick. I simply super glued the fish on top and ended up with these as my final stamps.




Now you're ready to start stamping! So fun! First, make sure you prep your curtains. I used Ikea's Merete panels in white so I had to hem them to the length I wanted using the included iron hemming tape. Then I ironed them to get out as many wrinkles as I could. If you're ambitious, I suppose you may even want to wash your panels, but I'm gonna be honest here...I never wash my curtains, so I didn't feel the need to waste time doing that here! #noshame #pleasedon'tkickmeoutofblogland

Then, you'll need a fairly large, flat work surface to work on. For these, I laid out each panel, one at a time, on top of my kitchen table. Don't forget to put some sort of drop cloth or old sheet underneath to keep the paint/ink from bleeding.


For paint, I used Martha Stewart's Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint, also found at Michaels (but I'm assuming any fabric paint would be fine.). I needed a bunch of the 2 oz. bottles for all four of curtain panels, maybe like 6 bottles?  I also picked up a small paint try and roller from their Martha Stewart line. Unlike a smaller stamp that you'd say use an ink pad with, it is best to roll the paint onto these large stamps than dip the stamp itself into the paint. You'll get better coverage and a more solid transfer onto your fabric.


So then you just start going to town:) If you're going to apply your stamp in some sort of geometric pattern, then you probably want to do a bit of planning and measuring as you go. I wanted a very organic look though, not a pattern at all....more like little schools of fish swimming, so sometimes I'd do two or three fish in a group, sometimes like 6 or 7. You should be able to get a couple of stamps onto your fabric before you need to reapply your paint. I think its important to have some of your design going off the edge of the fabric, this will make your design look more authentic. That's where the piece of cardboard came in...I'd just lay about half of the cardboard under the edge of the fabric I wanted to stamp. Then when I pushed the stamp down, half would transfer to the fabric and the other half would transfer onto the piece of cardboard sticking out instead of my drop cloth (this way there wasn't wet paint everywhere that could run back onto the curtains).


Just keep sliding finished parts of the curtain off of your flat surface so that you can move the unfinished parts up to work on. I did this, working from bottom to top and side to side until the entire curtain was stamped how I liked it:)


When I was putting together this room for Ian, I couldn't find exactly the kind of curtains I wanted. I stumbled along some really cool fish ones from Land of Nod, but the scale of the pattern was just way too small. I'm so glad I was able to get the look I wanted by making my own stamp!

{photo courtesy of Sweet Connolly Photography}

I'm not a very good tutorial writer, but hopefully this is enough to give you some confidence to try this on your own. Remember, you can make your own smaller stamps to use on paper with an ink pad too. Next up, I'm dying to stamp my dining room curtains with a real wood block stamp I bought at Brimfied!

Ps. Here's some helpful videos I found on you tube for carving your own stamp:

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