Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lessons learned: Your first idea is not always your best idea

Lately, I've been thinking about my design process--the way I work from concept to final product--and how my time in design school strengthened my work and voice. For me, design school was a formal playground where I was encouraged to think differently and where I was rewarded for it. I really went for it! I've addressed if design school is a good fit for you (read about it here), but today I wanted to start a new series on the blog where I discuss lessons I've learned or am learning in the creative process.

photo by Trisha Zemp 

Number one: Your first idea is not your (always) best idea.

Though I went to design school for interior design, I took a few classes in other design studies including a product design course. In this course we worked with an art-focused city in Italy that had been disrupted by an earthquake years ago and still hasn't recovered. We created products that would go in their museum store. The products needed to be inspired by the history of the city. We started out getting to know the city and drawing things that inspired. Slowly we conceived of ideas of products and would discuss them in front of the small class.

Paper flower workshop

Hooray! I have a paper flower workshop to announce. Friday, May 2nd from 7:30-9:30 at the awesome studio of Kimbry Studios, a husband and wife photography duo that takes lovely photos, in Rexburg, Idaho. I can't wait to meet you! Please tell me you're going to come!

Click here to register!

photo by Trisha Zemp

AND, congrats to the winners of the ALT on Topic giveaway. Kathy Thompson and Melissa Gallup. Please email me! thehousethatlarsbuilt@gmail.com

Friday, April 18, 2014

DIY Easter egg name settings

To top off the spring party spread (see previous posts here and here), I made these mini Easter egg name settings. You know me, I love things either really big or really small--it just makes things more whimsical. So, I came up with these little name tags that would be a cute topping for a plate setting. 
Materials: acrylic paints, paint brushes, wooden eggs (I got mine from here), black pen

Step 1: Paint the eggs in a solid color.
Step 2: After drying, paint on an oval shape in a coordinating color. I chose colors in similar tones.
Step 3: Top it off with a simple monogram for each person at the table. 

Donzo. I love 'em simple! 
 I wish this spelled something...missed opportunity. Sigh.

DIY ombre candle votives

ombre candle holders DIY
photography by Trisha Zemp 

I picked up a ton of tabletop goodies for the spring table setting (see the full post here) including some simple candle votives from Ikea. They're like $1.99 or something. With one simple step I gave them an ombre finishing. I LOVE how they turned out. I'm going to keep them in my stash. I think they'd be perfect for Mother's Day, Easter, bridal showers, and baby showers.
ombre candle holders DIY
ombre candle holders DIY
Materials: my go-to spray paints are shades of pinks/corals/reds from Design Master, candle holders from Ikea

Step 1: Spray paint the tip of the candle holder. 
Step 2: Mix up the color combos. 
Step 3: Let it dry for at least 24 hours.

make ombre with spray paint
make ombre candle holders with this simple tutorial
make ombre candle holders with this simple tutorial
make ombre candle holders with this simple tutorial
It's such a simple touch yet adds so much pop. And trust me on this spray paint. It dries faster and comes in great colors. I LOVE it! You'll want to stock up on it for more projects!

Spring pastel tablesetting

Yesterday I showed how to make the paper tulip centerpiece and I thought I'd provide an idea on how to display it in a beautiful setting for your spring celebration, whether it be your outdoor Easter dinner or Mother's Day brunch. Wouldn't pastels be so lovely? I used to cringe at pastels but now I find them so beautiful, especially when combined with some deeper tones like the colors in the flowers and the ombre candle holders I decorated. I'll show a few of the DIYs later in the day, but for now, here are some ways to celebrate the spring.
TIP: I picked up all of the tableware from Ikea. They have the loveliest colors right now. Mint plates and bowls, pink and white candle holders, a beautiful white pitcher. AND, they are so so cheap! I have a thing for plates so I kind of think you can never have too many!
TIP: For place settings, I bought these little wooden eggs and put each person's monogram on it. I'll be doing a DIY on it later today.
TIP: Melissa Esplin of I Still Love You created a beautiful "Happy Easter" sign that works perfectly in a basket. OR, you can make it mini and stick it in some Easter eggs (like she did here). OR print it off really huge and use it as a decoration. I love her work. Download the free template here.
TIP: I'll be providing a DIY later today on these candle votives, which I LOVE! I think they'd also be perfect for baby showers, bridal showers, and birthdays, doncha think?
Stay tuned for the DIYs on how to make this happen AND stay tuned for one more full Easter spread idea. Because I'm last minute like that! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Make a spring centerpiece with tulips

Fortuitously (?), I got sick last week. I was supposed to read the book for this month's book club (feel free to join in! More deets here) but you know how you get when you're sick? You just can't work the mind too well. SO, I made lots of paper flowers instead. And turned them into a centerpiece. And I'm kind of stoked about how they turned out. Wouldn't it be great as a centerpiece for the Easter table or to give for Mother's Day? Or just sitting around looking pretty during spring. Over the next couple of days, I'll be showing you what to make and then how to incorporate it into your Easter celebration. 
So, this is how it goes. 

Materials: crepe paper (double sided works so well!), wire cutters, wire (I used 22 gauge), different shades of spray paint (this is where the magic comes in!), basket (I got my moss covered one from here), floral foam for non-real flowers, moss to fill in, glue gun

Step 1: Cut out petals following the instructions from this post. Here you will want to enlarge them so they are not mini. I varied each flower by using anywhere between 3 and 5 petals per flower.
Step 2: After you've made as many flowers as you intend to use, go outside and spray the base of each flower with a coordinating spray paint. I chose colors that mimic the paper I used so that they are in the same tones. Make sure you spray from far away so that it gets just a bit of paint on it.
Step 3: Add floral foam into your basket.
Step 4: One by one, add in your flowers starting with the biggest flowers.
Step 5: Cut out leaves and add those to the stems of the flowers. I like the add them at this point so I can see where I want to place them.
Step 6: After they are all added in, add moss on top of the floral foam to cover.

Gleee! I'm so stoked about my new flowers. I rarely keep my creations but this time I'm doing it!

And if you make your own flowers, post it to Instagram and tag it with #larsflowers I want to see them! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter basket liner

Make an Easter basket liner with fabric from Laura Ashley
Make an Easter basket liner with fabric from Laura Ashley
Here's my latest for the Laura Ashley blog. I made a liner for an Easter basket using their sweet Aviary Garden fabric. It's the perfect springy fabric. 

DIY room to room: Macrame

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Alt winners announced AND another Alt giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Alt for Everyone ticket giveaway. I'm so pleased that you get to attend! The winners are: Patricia Z, Ash, Victoria Riza, Whoorl, Marigold Haske, Tori B., Michelle Densley. Please contact me at thehousethatlarsbuilt@gmail.com to redeem your prize.

ALSO, I got a little ahead of myself and should have announced at the same time that I'm giving away two tickets to Alt on Topic, an all-day photography event with workshops focused on different aspects of photography like Beyond Basics taught by Justin Hackworth, the Art of Posing, photo styling with me, and food photography. The workshops are being held Tuesday, April 22nd online. The is a tremendous opportunity if you're looking to improve your blog or start one. These are invaluable skills! Sign up here or enter the contest by:

1. Following me on Facebook and Instagram @houselarsbuilt (if you've already done so, then sharing it in some form or follow me on Pinterest here or Twitter here)
2. Bonus votes if you share it on another platform.
3. Leave a comment here on the blog telling me how you've entered.

Good luck! This contest goes until Sunday, April 20th. Open to everyone.

photography by Hilda Grahnat 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Flower volcano.

Man, sometimes I wish I had the budget to carry out the things I have in my head like a FLOWER VOLCANO! The folks at Sony created this flower eruption from 8 million flower petals. Every petal equals the amount of pixels in their new HD TV. They worked with local residents for two weeks to collect the 3.5 tons of petals and placed them at the Irazu Volcano in Central Costa Rica. Well done, Sony.

See some behind the scenes images here.

Dip dyeing spring

At some point I got really into baskets and acquired way too many for our small apartment. I thought it would be nice to gussy them up just a tad while still keeping the integrity of the object so I decided to get on the dip dye trend and apply it to everything in sight. Watch out baskets! I thought it would be fun to do to an Easter basket, watering can, and decorative basket.