Biodegradable Leaf Wreath

I don’t know about you, but come autumn I’m always itching for some new home decor. It’s not like Christmas, where I want to collect objects for nostalgia’s sake. I want something new each fall and I’m also always eager to concoct a new visage in my nest. But then the flower child within convicts me. How can I justify buying or making something new to add to the pile of stuff already cluttering my apartment, my life, and the planet?

What to do, what to do? Ah-ha! The solution! A biodegradable craft!

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Fall foliage. It’s the thing that makes it a thing, is it not? Without the changing leaves, the sweet smell of decay filling the air, we might as well be approaching spring. Seeing the changing canopies of the city’s trees is what makes me feel electric, feel renewed, feel distracted from the foreboding threat of winter. So why not capture that feeling by collecting the very thing that gives the season its mark: leaves.

For this project all you’ll need is some non-toxic glue, a pair of scissors, recycled cardboard, and some freshly pressed leaves. A pair of hyper helper hands, should you have a toddler waddling about, is good too!

First things first, you’ll need to cut a semi-accurate circle out of your cardboard. This is the part best saved for those of us old enough to wield a sharp object. Once the main circle has been cut out, shave out an inner circle so you’re left with a big “o.” That’s your wreath. Now, dab on glue around the cardboard, placing your first layer of leaves around the perimeter. Next, you’ll repeat this step, but pop the glue on the leaves. I find that three layers works best.

If you’re a strategic sort you can place the bigger leaves at the base and alternate colors so you have a more aesthetically appealing display. Once complete, allow your wreath at least 24 hours to dry before hanging it up. We took our little creation and hung it on August’s bedroom door using some doubled up washi tape. That lasted all of a single afternoon as he insisted that the door remain as-is. Oh toddlers. So we’re now enjoying it as part of our table centerpiece.

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There you have it! A simple, festively fall, biodegradable wreath that’s easy enough that even a kid, or an overly exuberant pumpkin-spice-latted-up adult, can do it.

Enjoy!

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Color Blocked Vintage Bookcase

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pre-owned goods. Not only does buying second hand mean that I’m diverting an item from the waste stream, and therefore preventing another from being made, it also means I’m inheriting something with a history. An object with a soul, if you will.

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When we moved into our current place I found that something major was lacking from the living room: a bookcase. My previous apartment had built-ins, and the place before that did too. That’s why I ventured to one of my favorite vintage furniture shops, Good Deal Garage, in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Jam packed with loads of pre-loved furniture and decor, this is my go-to place whenever I need something with character for my little nest. So off I went to GDG and I found it. A very simple, but sturdy, wooden bookcase toward the back of the shop. It was filled with all manner of tchotchke but I could visualize it all cleaned up. Sold!

Fast forward half a year later. This wooden addition to my living room was doing its job, but feeling a bit too heavy for my current mood. An easy solution? Whitewash it! And I don’t mean the sociological use of the term, I mean good ‘ole grab a paint brush and get moving!

I was torn on whether or not to douse the whole piece in paint, if I should just clean up the interior, or if color blocking was the way to go. Because I have a variety of white and dark toned goodies to display, I went with the latter. So with a paintbrush in one hand, and my handy dandy masking tape in the other, I spent a toddler nap period painting the shelving unit. That equals 3 hours for two coats of paint, some time spent snacking and doing laundry, and then sitting and reading. So a very loose 3 hours indeed.

And the result? Awesome says I! I love how the white brought some life to the piece while allowing me to still showcase the rich woodsy material in one small strip. It ended up making my entire living room feel more airy and put together.

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Is there a furniture piece in your home that you think could do with a bit of freshening up? Or is there a recent project you finished to add some nuance to your space? If so, share below!

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Trends: Unexpected Electric Florals

You know spring is really here when you see the tulips and other cool weather bulbs pushing out their leaves and bursting into color. It’s no wonder then that designers find it hard to resist the allure of bright colors and floral motifs in their own work. Every which way you turn you’ll be confronted with electric hues in flowery blooms. 

From home goods to fashion pieces – the trend is truly contagious. And for good reason! Who doesn’t want some color in their life after a long and grey winter?! To help inspire you in how to harness the brilliant and happy power of neon florals – I’ve curated the following items from some of my favorite Etsy vendors. Enjoy!

Unexpected Electric Florals: Design Trends

1. Chickens Love Tattoos art print by  Corella Design

2. Fantasy Floral vintage textile art by April Awakening

3. Cushion Covers in Floral A. Fluro pink by Aqua Door Designs

4. Floral Bird Spring illustration by Laurel Howells

5. Floral Print Heeled Shoes with Socks printable art by Didi Fox

6. Vintage Flower Power T-shirt from Pierogi Picnic

7. Neon Floral Backpack by Shaun Design

8. Sunset Cat art print by Teva Gallery

9. Spring Geometric Statement Necklace by Boo and Boo Factory

10. Vintage Tribal Embroidered Textile from Woman Shops World

11. Floral Printed Watercolor Leggings by Mess Queen New York

12. Neon Triangle Statement Necklace by Fable and Lore

13. Chrysanthemum Serious original art by Jess Hartridge

A Touch of Spring

I love love love playing up each season in my home using knick knacks and materials that are already strewn about our place.

So when  curating the look of my home for Easter and spring, I thought it would be fun to put a creative twist on the traditional symbols of the season.

Can you spot the themes?

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For this fun and vivid display I collected all the bird-like objects that I had dispersed throughout our apartment and brought them together on a runner of bright green moss.  Compiling items with a similar shape, theme, color, texture or size is a great way to make an  “instant collection” with pieces you already own. Not a dime spent here!

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I’ve been obsessed with brass vintage figurines this past year. Having found a set of bunny statues a couple years back – I have found myself moving them around the apartment at the shift of each season. But with it being spring – they are front and center on my side tables.

pierogi picnic a touch of spring (5)Feathers feathers feathers! They’re so easy to find and there are endless ways of using them! Whether collected in vases or strewn across the fireplace mantle with twine and washi tape – these natural (and trendy!) wonders add an airy texture to any space.

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These pillows! I just couldn’t stop myself when they appeared in an email newsletter from fab.com. These unique animal plushies are created when artist Kristin Loffer Theiss draws out the image using thread. She then scans and prints the design onto the fabric and stuffs each with filling and love! The result is a collection of unbearably adorable pillows! Here I’ve collected several of the more spring-like animals together to sit upon my re-upholstered vintage chair. Continue reading

Finds: Monochromes + Mint

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Perhaps it’s the recent snow dump that’s rubbing off on me – but I have been so drawn to monochromatic color schemes of late. I’ve found myself pinning and hearting things that are black, white and grey for weeks! Thank goodness spring is on the horizon – and as it nears – I’m hoping more pops of color will creep into my creative landscape.

  1. Animal Fox original painting by Celine
  2. Mint Green earring studs by Dariami
  3. Insect Specimen No. 1 by Tina Tarnoff
  4. At the Window Garden Ledge pillow cover by Linda McMaster
  5. Large Mountain necklace by Meghann Rader
  6. Sitting Deer statue by Mahzer & Vee

Bringing the Outdoors In

Plant in a bird cage by Lydia Krupinski

As a contributor to the Eco Etsy blog – I’ve had the opportunity to write on a wide range of topics. From eco-tutorials to sustainable inspirations – I’ve covered a range of topics on the site. Most recently I gathered up some ideas on how you can bring a hint of Spring indoors with creative curating using plants.

If you’re getting antsy like me to welcome the new season, check out the article for some suggestions on how you can bring the great outdoors in this month.

Inspiration: Jayson Home

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It’s winter in Chicago which means I’m starving for visual inspiration. There’s only so much pinning a girl can do! So on a recent Saturday afternoon I embarked with my equally eager hubby to Jayson Home to get my creative juices moving again.

If there’s ever been a place to whisk away the winter-blues it’s this eccentrically elegant home and garden center in the heart of the Lincoln Park shopping district. Filled with a cacophony of furniture odds and design ends this beautiful boutique expertly choreographs each and every display. Moody reupholstered furniture combine with brightly colored accent pieces, one-of-a-kind handmade dishware and fair-trade imports. To bring together such a wide variety of aesthetics and make it seem this fluid is artistry at its finest.

Setting trends in furnishing and design, Jayson home is the perfect place to escape on a dreary gray afternoon. Snapping pictures left and right, I know I took lots of notes and will be playing out some of their ideas in my own place. Whether it be with pops of potted plants or delightfully tacky prints, this is the place to go for a fresh dose of inspiration for the home this season!


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