Thursday, July 24, 2014

Making a house a home in a rental: pink living room

Remember how I started a new column called Making a House a Home in a rental? Well, first I started out by defining my style and gave some tips on how to identify your own. Then recently I worked with Farrow and Ball on a paint makeover project. This whole time I've been wrestling with what I want to do with my living room. I have a MAJOR thing for pink right now (as do a lot of people. sigh.) I know pink produces the gag factor in a lot of people, but I'm not talking about that pop pink where it's paired with black and "princess" is written in Curlz. Pink, like nearly every color, when paired with the right colors can be gorgeous. For me, a dusty or blush pink paired with lots of greenery and botanical black with golds is the tops. Or a coral pink with emerald green. Gah! It's all about what you put with a color.

SO, I'm going pink. But the problem is, in what combo do I use pink in my living room? As far as I see it, I have a few options. First, paint the walls pink as seen above. These pictures make my heart race. I might die of so much gorgeousness.

Here are the pros to painting our living room pink
  • it's gorgeous
  • it's different
  • it goes well with greenery and flowers
  • #yolo
  • then we could get a more neutral sofa and the sofa will be in style longer?
  • devil on my shoulder
    Here are the cons to painting our living room pink:
    • We live in a basement that already doesn't get too much light. I'm afraid that the light we do get will cast a fun golden glow on it. Perhaps painting it white would reflect better and allow us for more light? Anyone have any experience with this?
    • Paul's opinion
    • what if we get a pink sofa (see below)? Will it be too much?
    • angel on my shoulder

    OR, do I go with a pink sofa instead. I say instead because I'm not sure I want to try a pink sofa against pink walls. What if I somehow get tired on pink and all of a sudden I have both pink walls AND a sofa? Eeek.

    The pros of a pink sofa:

    • Ummm, a pink sofa. 
    • So much fun.

    The cons of a pink sofa:

    • I haven't been able to find the right pink upholstery fabric. If I was in NYC, I'd head to the D&D and I'm sure I'd find it in no time flat. But I live in Utah and we don't have showrooms. If you have any tips on the perfect shade of pink, I'm all ears! I'm thinking more of a dusty pink like the image above, bottom left. I'm thinking velvet or possibly linen. Or maybe I need to take a trip to NYC.
    • $$$$. If I had endless amounts of money I wouldn't be so concerned with it, but I struggle with commitment because for us right now, this would be an investment. (Any sofa company or upholsterer or fabric company want to work with us on it? Sigh. High hopes.)
    OR, do I go pink walls AND a pink sofa? Of course, it helps when you live in a neoclassical, high-ceilinged house.

    Alternatively, I do love me some white walls. And then perhaps I would use it as a canvas for everything else.
    The pros of white walls:

    • clean & airy
    • acts as a canvas
    • reflects more light into our basement
    • I can still fill our space with lovely artwork
    The cons of white walls:
    • am I just being a chicken? Our landlord has said we can paint it however we'd like. Do we dare paint it rental white?
    • Will a pink sofa against white walls be enough of the statement I'm going for?
    Ultimately, I have a hard time deciding on things like this because of where we are at. We don't know how long we will stay here and I have a hard time thinking that I'm investing money into something that won't last long. Do you suffer from this? I know lots of people who make a home wherever they go no matter how long they are there for. That's not me. I've never invested money into any place I've lived. A lot of it is because I know I can't afford the things I really want and I don't want to fill it with just stuff in the mean time. I want the things around me to be meaningful, quality-made, and beautiful.

    Or do I just get over it and put up something in the mean time?


    Image credits:

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    DIY Room to room: picnic

    cooler makeover by Almost Makes Perfect
    no sew waterproof picnic blanket
    picnic basket liner DIY
    It's blazin hot here in Utah and the idea of a picnic isn't exactly refreshing, but in another land in another time I'm living in Denmark and when it's sunny you're outside with some cheese and sparkling water. And these DIYs help you do it with class.

    DIY water cooler makeover from Almost Makes Perfect (she nails it every time!)
    DIY no sew waterproof picnic blanket by Traveling Mama for A Subtle Reverly
    DIY picnic basket liner that I did for Design*Sponge a few years ago

    See more DIYs for the home here

    Kiwi mint lime sorbet float

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    Artist socks

    Hanging paper lantern tutorial & template

    Hanging paper lantern tutorial & free template.
    Hanging paper lantern tutorial & free Cricut template.
    A Midsummer Mingle (see pics here and here) was graciously sponsored by the generous folks at Cricut. As a part of the partnership, we were asked to create a project using their brand new spankin Cricut Explore machine.

    If you're unfamiliar with the Cricut Explore, it's basically a paper crafter's dream. You can choose from thousands of designs and cut it in a variety of materials like paper, leather, foam, you name it OR you can create your own designs, upload them, and then watch as it cuts it for you. As a designer, I haven't gotten into any paper cutter before because of the limited design options--I'm rather possessive--so this has been my answer to bespoke designs. I'm excited to try more with paper flower templates and such!

    For the party I wanted a project that could be used practically as well as aesthetically. I came up with a lantern that you can place an electric tea light in. I added some florals on it (of course) and voila! You're good to go! Ashley Isenhour was kind enough to help me transform the pattern into Illustrator (my Illustrator skills are minimal).*

    American Crafts provided the paper for the event so I used their lovely shades to cut some lanterns for my Mad Hatter themed section of the party. I had giant flowers everywhere along with loads of garlands from BHLDN like these flower garlandspaper fans, and pennant garland along with felt ball garlands from Hello Maypole, and other simpler paper lanterns (learn how to make them here). I love the look these floral lanterns and they did so much for the space.

    Step 1: Once you've downloaded the template you will need to upload your design into Cricut Design Space. First, you'll create a new project. Next you will upload your image as a vector (using the svg file). It should pop up in your Design Space.
    Step 2: Scale the design to how big you'd like it to be.
    Step 3: Let Cricut cut away.
    Step 4: (this is where the pictures below start). I couldn't figure out how to create a file with score lines so I hand scored it myself by lightly cutting down the lines. I did 3 light strokes because my knife was very dull. If yours is sharp, one might be fine.
    Step 5: Score your lines according to the photo below. 
    Step 6: Glue the tabs and insert them onto each other.
    Step 7: Finish up by creating the bottom of the lantern, gluing it, and inserting it into the bottom. 

    Now, insert a votive and you're set! They let off the prettiest light and they're perfect for parties! 
    Learn to make these paper lanterns.

    If you make some for yourself, I'd love to see them! Tag your projects with #makingwithlars.

    If you're digging this project and would like to make more crafty projects with Cricut, they're having a sale right now. Such a creative investment! Click here to get in on the sale.

    * If you're wanting to learn Illustrator and learn how to make patterns in Illustrator, might I suggest taking Alma Loveland's Illustrator 101 and 110 class on Atly? Alma has saved me MANY times in dire need and she is the source of all Illustrator knowledge! Do it! See more here.

    This project was sponsored by Cricut. Thank you Cricut for helping to make A Midsummer Mingle a success! 

    studio photography by Trisha Zemp 
    environment photos by Natalie Norton

    Monday, July 21, 2014

    Cableknitting & giveaway

    For those of you just joining it, Craftsy asked if I’d be interested in taking some of their craft-based classes and featuring them here on Lars. Umm, yes! I’m digging the opportunity to explore more ways to get my craft on so it’s been the perfect marriage. Last month Kelly made an adorabl embroidered collar (with a free pattern here) from the embroidery class with Jessica Marquez and this time I teamed up with Teya Witsie on the Explorations in Cables class with Patty Lyons and we’re giving away a free class to one lucky winner! (enter by clicking here).

    Knitting is one craft that I’ve learned and relearned many times but for some reason it never sticks. I was glad when Teya expressed interest in taking it so she could help me get into the spirit of it all. I thought we should start out with a simple project so she created the infamous knitted potholders. I have made my share of potholders in the past with each knitting group I’ve joined, but never one with cable knit. They are the easiest and fastest things to practice on yet look so cute when done. And who doesn’t need a bajillion potholders? PLUS, I love how with knitting you can make anything your own with the right pattern and the right color palette. We went with a bright palette to liven up my beige kitchen.

    Teya said she was thrilled to learn the basics to the more advanced techniques and was impressed with how in depth it was. There’s even a section on how to read the charts and patterns, which helped decipher the mysterious symbols. Her bonus section on fixing mistakes was particularly helpful because, ahem, that’s where I found myself the majority of the time.

    What you’ll go over:
    •      How to read charts and patterns
    •       Right and left crosses
    •       Cable knitting without a cable needle
    •       Traveling stitches and compound cables
    •       Blocking and scarf patterns
    •       In-the-round explorations
    •       Graduation projects
    •       Bonus: fixing mistakes

    It’s so comprehensive!

    Another good thing about Craftsy  is the quality of the teachers. They have recruited the best people in their field to provide the classes. Patty Lyons is no exception. She is a certified knitting instructor who teaches across the country at guilds and shows. It feels so special to have her in my living room!

    If you’ve been dying to learn more knitting styles, I would definitely recommend Lyons’ Explorations in Cables class and even better, you can try your luck out by winning a chance to take the class for free by heading over to their site and signing up on their website (click here for more details.)

    To enter the Craftsy class giveaway:

    That's it! Winner will be chosen in two weeks! 

    Are you a knitter? Tell me what type of projects you make. I’m wondering if I should go more hard core into it!

    Photography by Trisha Zemp

    Note: This post was sponsored by Craftsy but the words are mine. Thanks to sponsors like Craftsy that make this blog possible.

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    This week

    If you follow along on Instagram you will have already heard my little story. We had a camping themed shoot this week. Last minute, we needed to find a new location so Kev graciously left everything he was doing to take me to a new spot he had in mind up in the Uinta National Forest. It was perfect--secluded, gorgeous, undisturbed. And not too easy to get to. So I decided to stay put until the rest of the clan came a few hours later. I thought I would have a moment and get some work done as I enjoyed the great outdoors. Well, between orchestrating the exact location with the others, and major cell phone battery struggles, some people made it there and others did not. Ooops! Tack onto that I had forgotten to eat that day and the only thing I could find in my car was some Fun Dip that I had won at the arcade last weekend and I came home sick as a dog. Oh yeah, life is glamorous. This picture above is with Hillary and Melissa, the cutest sisters you ever did see. Talk to them if you ever need a pick-me-up.

    This week on Lars:
    Strawberry rose sorbet for National Ice Cream Month
    This Girl lives in denim and tan
    Make a floral crown
    Here are some rad pom pom projects
    I announced that I'll be teaching the DIY Blogger Handbook, a new class on Atly
    One of my very favorite photoshoots to date for the July playlist. All travel themed

    Lars elsewhere:
    Summer Treats at your wedding on Brooklyn Bride
    A collaboration with Dwell and some beautiful loft spaces on Interior Collective
    7 inspiring vanities on Interior Collective

    Links of note:
    I know as a reader it's not always fun to read about the business side of blogging, but it's a topic that bloggers address frequently. What do you think about working for free? 
    The raddest treehouse you ever did see
    and here are more rad treehouses
    Jordan nailed my planter wishlist
    Guys, I laughed out loud at this 

    Friday, July 18, 2014

    This girl

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    Make the Midsummer floral crown

    There's nothing more magical, earthy, ephemeral than a floral crown and you know I've had my shared of tutorials (see here, here, here), but for Midsummer Mingle I wanted one for every single person so I knew we would have to adapt it slightly. Amy from Amy Anne Floral graciously stepped in to make 150 of them and I love how they turned out. They were modified for time issues but I love the simplicity.
    Materials: paper wrapped floral wire (from Michael's or Joann), floral tape, flowers

    Step 1: Form your wire into a circle and create a little hook system like above.
    Step 2: Start with a little sprig of greenery or flowers and secure it by wrapping it with floral tape.
    Step 3: Bring the next sprig and overlap it with the first and secure it with floral tape.
    Step 4: Repeat until the end!
     studio photos by Trisha Zemp
    photos by Natalie Norton from Midsummer Mingle 
    assisting florals by Amber Dickson

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    DIY Room to room: Pom poms

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    Strawberry Rose floral sorbet

    Happy National Ice Cream month! Of course, you've been waiting for me to acknowledge this important holiday season and yes, I, too, have been anxious to reveal my love of the season. The wait is over! I've teamed up with Kandyce Carroll of Ramblin Rose Cafe to bring you 4 delicious, healthy, botanical-inspired ice cream recipes that will bring a smile to your face and a satisfaction in your belly.

    First up, strawberry rose sorbet. Though not technically a "cream" it's most certainly icy so I shall include it. 

    Check out the full recipe below.

    DIY Blogger Handbook class

    I'm pleased as punch to announce a class I'm teaching on Atly starting August 11th called the DIY Blogger Handbook. It's the class I wish I would have had when I started out blogging. The course covers everything you need to make a successful DIY or tutorial-based blog post: concept creation, creation, styling, photography, formatting the blog post, and promoting the post on social media. I've teamed up with my trusted go-to photographer, Trisha Zemp, to do the photography portion so you know it's gonna be good! It's perfect for someone wanting to start a tutorial-based blog to others who are doing it now and just want to improve their skills.

    The class will be available for pre-order in the next couple of weeks and then will go live come August 11th so stay tuned! But don't worry, this is a place where I let you know everything you never wanted to know so you bet I'll be telling you when it's up!

    Check out the 17 other new classes on Atly here including some from my favorite people like a kid's craft camp with Mer Mag, a stationery business 101 class with Sycamore Street Press, Patterns and Illustrator with Alma Loveland, Photoshop and branding with Melanie Burke, Creative Children's Spaces with Meta Coleman, Oil Painting Landscapes with Nick Coleman

    photography by Trisha Zemp 

    pssst: speaking of classes, only a couple of spots left for my paper flower wreath workshop in SLC on Wednesday! Sign up here! 

    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Lars' (play)List: July

    I'm a bit late in getting the monthly playlist to you, but hopefully the Midsummer playlist sufficed in the mean time. This month Kev came up with an awesome playlist, Bon Voyage, that features tracks with the name of a city or country in it, perfect for summer travels wherever you may be. Though I may not be traveling much this summer at least I can get my wanderlust jam on!

    For the cover album I was inspired by the work of Anna Bond in one of her travel themed illustrations (take a look at it here) and Jessica Peterson did a lovely job photographing.

    photography by Jessica Peterson
    playlist by Kev Nemelka
    album art inspired by Anna Bond 
    styling assistant Kandyce Carroll
    hat from Anthropologie
    pants from Anthropologie (similar ones here)