Flying Rainbow Unicorn Princess

What happens when your six-year-old daughter wants to be Bumblebee from Transformers for Halloween?

You do everything in your power to convince her to be something else.  Even if that something else happens to be a flying rainbow unicorn princess (a la Princess Celestia from My Little Ponies.)

But after many fruitless searches on Google for a cute child’s unicorn costume….I gave up and decided I would attempt to DIY one.   I wasn’t sure were to start…so I just kind of improvised as I went along.  I was in the midst of making a tutu skirt for Elle’s tea table, when I got the bright idea that I could make a half-skirt for the unicorn’s tail.  It then dawned on me that I could use the same technique for the unicorn mane, but around a headband.

While at Old Navy, I picked up a pair of white sweatpants and a white tank top on clearance, as well as some white flipflops.  Then I grabbed 3 yards of white felt and some yellow felt with an adhesive backing from JoAnn Fabrics.  I used the yellow felt to make the arm and leg cuffs, the necklace, and crown.  I also picked up some silver sequins and plastic jewels to embellish the wings, crown and necklace.

The unicorn horn took a little ingenuity.  At first I thought I could paper mache it, but in the end I just used poster board, white felt and some white yarn.  I attached it to the crown with velcro dots.

The wings took the most engineering.  I cut the shapes from a piece of white foam board and then attached them with a untwisted hanger and duct tape.  Let’s just say that method was an epic fail!  Next up I tried a wooden dowel cut in half and spraypainted white.  Success!  I covered the dowels and foamboard with 2 layers of the white felt and then traced the outline of the inner-wing with sequins.  I tied two ribbon loops for her arms to go through and the wings were done!

For a final touch, I cut out “hooves” from some extra white felt and glued them to the flip-flops (see above.)  And… I added a little facepaint…

There you go….princess celestia!  I think I can classify my first attempt at DIY’ing my child’s Halloween costume a success!


Lost in the Maize

This post is actually about a family trip to the Sykes Farm corn maze we made a few weeks ago.  I’ve been trying to make an effort to post things as they occur, but I was having major writer’s block when it came to writing something about this little adventure.  I nearly gave up today.  All I could think of was a mundane description like, “Elle made a beeline for the giant corn popper and then eventually found her way over to the farm animals.”  Boring.  But I didn’t want to throw out the post because the pictures and the experience made me feel like I had been somehow transported to the photo shoot location for an Anthropologie Fall/Winter catalogue.  Instead, I decided to just let the pictures do the talking.  So, in honor of one of the best tv shows ever made, here’s what happened…

We went to the corn maze and saw pigs roosters, goats, and bunnies, jumped on a large jumpy-thing, went through a corn maze, rode on a hay ride….yada…yada…yada…we went home. (For those of you who did not watch Seinfield–that was a Seinfield reference.)


We had a really great time (with the exception of the one point in the maze when we discovered we were going in circles, the sun was setting, and no one  had a flashlight, except for on our iPhones.)  We made it out obviously. 🙂

Halloween and Stuff…

I visit what seems like a gazillion design blogs and online shelter mags everyday.  I get email updates from Etsy and I waste countless hours perusing Pinterest. That being said, I’ve found some really wonderful and unique Halloween decor ideas as well as other autumn-ready inspiration for my home.  I know its been officially Fall for a month now, but in Florida it really just started to feel like it this week–a forcasted high of 67 here in Jacksonville on Wednesday!  I know if you live in Michigan, you are probably laughing at me right now.  Anyhoo…let’s get started with some fabulous pumpkin ideas:


Black and white pumpkins…part creepy, part chic! I like it!


and speaking of chic… about a sequin pumpkin?


 Mod pumpkins.  Looks like  tape and paint.  Easy peasey.



 Monogram pumpkins.  I did this last year…its a really simple technique that I plan to post about next week.


I’ve been coveting these yarn pumpkins for a while now.  I’m not really sure what I’m waiting for either…I’ve got yarn.  I’ve got styrofoam balls.  I’ve got natural fiber rope.  I think I’ll filnally have to make these this year.


I love spray paint just as much as the next right-brained artsy-crafty type…and these golden pumpkins and gourds would totally satisfy the need!   Chevron and checkerboard pattern…awesome.


And speaking of golden, how beautiful is this golden monogram and wreath from etsy?  I think the wreath has been sold, but you could achieve this look rather easily with baby’s breath, for example.


Felt is huge this year, it seams, and there are an endless number of crafts using the stuff….I am in love with this felt day of the dead skull garland.  Who knew skeletons could be so dang cute!


 And how about some felt ball garland…in an assortment of autumn colors?  Apartment Therapy just had a recent post on some unique fall colors….including navy and salmon….which would work well in this project.


And speaking of felt balls….how about these adorable acorns!  This would make for an interesting bowl/vase filler.


and felt leaves too.


I love this idea…a thankful tree!  Each day leading up to Thanksgiving, each family member writes down what they are thankful for on “leaf” paper and hangs it on the tree.  On Thanksgiving, all of the leaves can be read aloud.  LOVE IT!

from laclassedellamaestravalentina.

The Qtip painting project above was a winner at my house this weekend.  My daughter got creative with hers by adding a sky and grass, with a few random dots of an unexpected color.  These masterpieces were definitely fridge-worthy!  And even I got a little carried away with my own picture just trying to show Elle how this technique works.


This project was originally meant for a wedding idea (guests pressed their painted finger onto the tree.)  But I think this is a wonderful fall art project for kids and a beautiful keepsake.  It would even make a great placemat if laminated or done on fabric.  The picture actually links to the tree template.  Just print and you’re ready to go!

I wish I had time to attempt all of these projects, but since I’m making my daughter’s Halloween costume this year, my time is fairly consumed with that up until the 31st.  I will definitely post on the progress of her costume soon! So stay tuned! If any of you are planning on making decorations for fall, Halloween, etc….please share!

Brighter Shade of Neutral

A few months ago, we decided to give our great room a good scrubbing.  We removed every piece of furniture and washed the floors, baseboards, etc.  To my daughter’s (and cat’s) overwhelming joy, we unearthed a multitude of “treasures,” from bouncy balls, catnip mice and old lucky charms to the random peanut M & M.  We also discovered that we could either spend the next five to seven hours scrubbing the marks of the walls or just repaint them.  We opted for the latter, because, seriously, how is it possible that there are marks on our walls nearly nine feet high?  Its a mystery.  Long story short, we decided on Iced Cube Silver by Benjamin Moore.

That was our living room circa 2007 (it was the best before picture that I could scrounge up.) The paint color was a mushroom beige.  We had moved in approximately two years before, and I had this whole crush-on-Pottery-Barn thing going on.  I still think Pottery Barn is great, but my decorating style has definitely moved beyond it.  So here is what the rest of our great room looked like four years ago…

Don’t lie…I know you cringed when you saw those fake spider lilies!  I’m not sure what I was thinking with those!  Oh, and that 42 inch flatscreen weighs over 100 lbs.  We still have that one hanging over our mantel, but I swear when its quiet and I’m reading on the couch, I can hear it creak.  I’m not sure what I’d do if it came crashing down one day. Yikes!  Oh, and here was our kitchen in 2007…

And, tada! Here is our kitchen in 2011…

Your eyes do not deceive you…there is not much of a difference.  Other than the wall color, bar stools, computer upgrade (and, of course, better lighting & better picture-taking skills) I would say its exactly the same.  But I promise we haven’t been slacking around here.  We did do a little switch-a-roo with the living room furniture. I added some new pillows and plants and rearranged the bookshelves that flank the fireplace.

And the coffee tables…a $35 find on Craigslist.  I’m still looking for pots big enough to fit the two Mother-in-Law’s Tongue plants on either side of the fireplace.  We are in desperate need of a couch upgrade since ours has a history of Elle’s impressionism masterpieces and cuinary artistry mashed into it.  Here’s another view….

and another…

More on those chairs in a later post. And, yep, that’s my gallery wall…but I’m seriously lacking pictures at the moment (and frames.)  I’ve always loved gallery walls, but I got the idea for an all white from one of my favorite blogs, YoungHouseLove.  Its a work in progress….

Here’s another look at the great room from a different view…

That breakfast nook is pretty high on my list of things to updgrade.  That set is actually a million times better than what it was originally–the bamboo chairs and table used to be a pickled finish with pink seats!!  I painted them an espresso brown and reupholstered them in a red ticking stripe (its the last nod in the room to the old beach cottage look I had going on in there)….but I’ve already got my sights set on an circular marble top table and a more modern chair (yes…I read too much Apartment Therapy!)  And if you read too much Apartment Therapy, well, then you probably know what I’m about to mention next!  If you guessed artichoke pendant light….then give yourself a star!  I’ve actually had my Ikea Knappa pendant light ready to hang for the last five months, but I’m having a hard time selling my husband on its good design qualities…  His reaction to me bringing it home from my trip to Orlando was to move a large shelving unit and  a couple hundred pounds of rubbermaid storage boxes in front of the circuit breaker to deter me in my effort to hardwire it to the ceiling!  Its worked for now, but not for much longer! Oh, did I mention that I need to make my kitchen less sterile looking!  Gah! I didn’t realize how, um, white it was until I actually cleaned it up for these photos!  But I definitely have something in the works for that too!

On the Subject of Canopies

I just thought I would share some of the beautiful canopy ideas I found on Pinterest over the last few months.  So without further ado….a little eye candy for your Tuesday afternoon:

I love this beautiful iron daybed with attached canopy from here (its slide 30). I imagine you could achieve this look rather easily with three small curtain rods attached to the ceiling with string/ribbon/chains, etc… and a sheer white fabric draped over them.  This picture actually served as the inspiration for my daughter’s current bedroom design.

This bed, from here, looks similar to the Italian campaign bed from Anthropologie.  But if you don’t happen to have an extra two grand hanging around, you could probably get this same look with the quilting ring and sheer fabric panel idea I posted on Sunday.

I just love this one, from here. Its like a really girly tent!

Or this canopy/tent/reading nook (from here.)

I also love this one (from here) with the floral trim.  (Would save you $140 if you diy’d it!)

I’m also loving this cornice idea, with the fabric panels attached to the inside (from here.)

And last, but not least, this adorable canopy made from floral sheers (from here.)

Feeling inspired yet? 🙂

Two Maids a Milking

Since we moved into our house over six years ago, there was one thing (technically two things) that I had planned on replacing from the get-go:  the two blonde-wood, run-of-the-mill bar stools I purchased from Target when I was in college…

But, here they were, over half a decade later, still tucked beneath our kitchen island….putting a damper on my home’s overall now-we-live-in-a-real-home-not-a-college-apartment aesthetic.  That was until I saw these multi-colored paint-dipped milking stools in an email I received from 2modern a month ago.  My first thought was that I could do that same paint treatment to my bar stools.  My second thought was…how was I actually going to achieve that dipped-in-a-vat-of-paint look without actually dipping the stools in a vat of paint.  Here was my solution:

I measured an equal distance halfway down each leg of the bar stool and wrapped them with blue painter’s tape.  In an effort to not waste painter’s tape I conjured up the bright idea to use a shopping bag to block any wayward spraypaint from landing below my tape-line.  A long story short…that was not the easiest solution.  On the second bar stool, I ended up taping plastic bags around the bottom of each leg.  When they finished drying, I peeled the tape off and they looked a little something like this…

Adding a little bit of color and interest to our otherwise monotone kitchen…

Sheer Bliss

I decided to humor the left side of my brain yesterday by doing a project I’ve been planning for oooohhh…. about two years now:  a princess canopy for my daughter’s bed.  I’m not sure if I subconsciously remembered the method for this project from one of the many magazines/blogs/tv shows I’ve seen over the years, but I’d like to think its an original idea:

Its pretty simple, really.  All you need is approximately 6 yards of glittery sheer fabric (depending on how tall your ceiling is), a large quilting ring, 1 spool of 1-inch ribbon trim, 6 feet of 3-inch ribbon, an acrylic ring (like the ones used to hang scarves in a department store), and craft glue.

I first measured the distance around the quilting ring and then cut the 1-inch trim to that measurement.  Then I glued the ribbon trim to the outside of the outer part of the quilting ring.

Next, I cut the 3-inch ribbon into two equal 3-foot pieces and tied them to the acrylic ring so that there were four 1.5 feet pieces hanging from the ring.

I marked four points on the inside of the outer part of the quilting ring at equal distances with a pencil, and then stapled the ribbon ends at those points.

Next, I rolled out the sheer fabric, folded it in half lengthwise, and placed the inner part of the quilting ring under the center point so that there was just under 9 feet of fabric on either side of the ring.

I fit the outer part of the quilting ring on top of the fabric to hold it in place and tightened the screw on the outside of the ring.

Finally, I hung the acrylic ring from ceiling hook centered over my daughter’s bed and tucked the ends under her mattress, and voila!

I may eventually tie the ends back to the wall with the same pink 3-inch ribbon or possibly do something similar to this from Serena & Lily.  But for now, I think my daughter is enjoying her new princess canopy just the way it is.

Note:  this canopy is certainly not capable of supporting the weight of a child if said child should choose to use the canopy in a way other than its intended (purely decorative) use (i.e. as a rope swing.)  I would recommend securing the panels of fabric to the wall or the posters of a bed if you decide to make this for a child under 5 years old.