Most Popular Pins

most-popular-pins-may-17

These 9 pins have been most popular on my Pinterest lately.

Touring NYC with young kids
Nursery of Celia Munoz
Anthropologie Furry Companion Knob
Paolina’s Gentle Yoga Flow Playlist
Modern Chemistry at Home kitchen painted BM Healing Aloe
Kate Spade Metro Chalkboard Watch
Trundle Bed
Meat-Free Protiens
Lemon Poppyseed Old-Fashioned Donuts

 

Advertisements

Do or Don’t: Hide Book Spines

bookspines-1-historiska
via My Paradissi

I will come right out and say, I don’t like the styling trick of books facing backward on the shelf. Prioritizing beige over ease of access to books is squarely in the realm of impractical design. I hope it is a trend that dies soon. Now, I’m going to show you bookshelves that embrace books as they are, and bookshelves that use backward or slip-covered books for textured monochrome variance. I want to be totally clear that I love the work of all of the stylists! I chose really admirable images on both sides of the book spine debate.

But look at the top image. So many books. Thick ones! What are they? If they want a book from the top shelf, do they have to stand on a ladder and pull out each book until they find it? Do they listen to the vinyl, or is it decorative? So many questions.

bookspines-2-waitingmartha
Waiting on Martha

These bookshelves are in a gorgeous office. I want so badly to touch those chairs that I could be distracted from the urge to turn those books around.

bookspines-liz-fourez-10
Love Grows Wild (Liz Fourez) on Glitter Guide

I obsessively scanned the typing on those covered white books and I believe I see canon hits like War and Peace, The Odyssey and Huckleberry Finn. Since the books are labeled, I can get behind the matching white dust jackets. (Although, if I ever read War and Peace, I will definitely leave it resting on my coffee table for a few weeks as a subtle brag.) The backward books I don’t get, because they look antique and all have pretty blue or brown spines; show them off!

bookspines-sss
SS Life + Style (Stephanie Sterjovski)

Again, this looks great. Again, I think there is already enough of white accessories and breathing space that I’m curious to see how those books would look if they were allowed to fully show their hot pink and black covers.

bookspines-sterjovski
via Domino

Stephanie Sterjovski’s condo is super cozy, neutral and minimalist, so I get why the books should be quiet. You almost can’t see them, but there’s about 27 on that shelf. The white or black ones are showing spine, and the paperbacks are in a short-ish stack, so their spineless orientation seems more approachable than if there was a big row of backward books.

OK, now in the other direction:

bookspines-stefg
IG @stephgphotography

I noticed most of the bookshelf inspo I’m drawn to has a lot of books, but they are thoughtfully grouped by color for harmony. This one seems boho and busy with all those amazing plants, but there’s nothing overwhelming about it because of the color palette, non-patterned pots, and the white wall backdrop.

bookspines-tumblr
Tumblr
Katerina Pimenidu

In this proper home library, the books appear to be grouped by genre, definitely not by color. I think it works so well with the modern, sleek design around it because it is floor-to-ceiling and in a defined space. There are so many books that the disbursement of color and bumpy ridge-lines end up feeling balanced and even like artwork.

bookspines-leajessen
Lea Jessen on Bolig

This bookshelf has an approachable vibe, so you believe the people who live there really read their books. It’s not trying too hard, but if you look carefully the books are thoughtfully organized and they do play nicely with the gallery wall color palette. Every little detail is repeated in some way for cohesion.

bookspines-decorfix
DecorFix

DecorFix created this image for their how-to on bookshelf styling. I will end here, saying it is possible to have a pulled together or even pared-back bookshelf with readable, accessible book spines. Don’t make your books face the wall. They don’t like it.

What do you think? Do you (or would you) hide your book spines?

DIY Gnome Toppers

gnome-bottle-2

Every year, I attempt to craft something for my family in Finland. I am not successful every year, but this year, I am pleased to report that my hot glue gun skills came through. What is the “black thumb” equivalent for crafting? Smudge thumb? I just made that up. Even if you have “smudge thumb”, you can make these gnome toppers. They’re an adorable accessory for giving a bottle of wine or glogg, adding whimsy to a taper candlestick, or topping a mini tree. You could even make a smaller version as a gift wrap accessory.

gnome-inspiration

I bought the Bachman’s gnome topper above at Lund’s and Byerly’s. I studied it, and  inside the hat you can see the end of a pipe cleaner, so the materials list was simple to make. I decided to do a small pom instead of the wood nose, because I wasn’t sure how the wood was attached, but I knew the pom would stay with hot glue. My craft store was sold out of white faux fur, so I went with brown. This is so simple, you could add your own variations in countless ways.

If you’re a crafty person, you’ve probably said got it, created a village of gnomes, and photographed and written a better tutorial by now. But if you’re still here, I’ll walk you through a ridiculously over-explained photograph tutorial.

Materials for one gnome:

felt

faux fur (or beard material of choice)

pipe cleaner

mini pom (or nose of choice)

thread or thin string (I used embroidery thread)

small jingle bell (or a pom)

Tools: hot glue gun, scissors

 

 

1. Cut your felt into a long, isoscles triangle. I didn’t bother measuring, because it’s up to you how long and narrow you want the hat to be. To figure out how wide the base should be, wrap the felt around the neck of a wine bottle (or candlestick) and then give it a tiny bit of wiggle room. For the best shaping, make the triangle a little longer than the pipe cleaner.

2. Double-knot a jingle bell onto thread, and hot glue the thread to the narrow end of the triangle. (You could also sew the bell on, like an overachiever.)

gnome-diy-2

3. Hot glue the pipe cleaner down the middle, with one end an inch or so from the narrow end of the hat.

gnome-diy-1

4. Flip it over and run hot glue along the edge of the wide end. Fold the edge over the glue to make the brim of the hat. (If you wanted the brim to be an accent, like white trim on a red hat, you could have first glued a strip of fabric on the edge of the pipe cleaner side.)

gnome-diy-3

5. Cut out your faux fur beard. The Bachman’s gnome beard is long and wispy, but my faux fur wasn’t as wispy, so I cut it into a subtle triangle to make it look more beard-like.

gnome-diy-4

6. Hot glue the beard, centered, at the edge of the wide end of the pipe cleaner side of the hat, furry side down. Make sure the glue is getting on the batting part of the faux fur.

gnome-diy-5

7. Glue one long side over the other, overlapping minimally. I did a few inches at a time, so that I could just push it flatly, and then poke my finger through to keep any glue from leaking. I didn’t want to make the hat flat; I wanted it to stay conical.

gnome-diy-6

8. Glue the pom “nose”. I tucked it slightly under the brim of the hat. The faux fur may shed, so make sure the pom is glued to the felt.

gnome-diy-7

That’s it! You made a gnome topper! He looks great! What did you name him?

This is Alden. He’s trying out my electric candle. I didn’t keep him there long, because I don’t know whether or not that’s safe. But I thought the pink glow (like when you put your fingers over a flashlight) was cool, especially since he has a pink nose.

gnome-candle

Pretty Links

gifts-give-back

Your 2016 Guide for Gifts That Give Back {For Women} is amazing! Seriously, go covet every pick in good conscious. I LOVE The Good Trade.

 

ornaments.jpg

I’ve been giving myself a pep talk to craft some Christmas tree ornaments with the kids this year. Landee See Landee Do has a good round-up, including those Pom Pom Pinecones via One Little Project.

 

maya-lin

I read a brief description of each of the 2016 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and wow, they are an inspiring bevy. Recipients included Elouise Cobell, Ellen DeGeneres, Diana Ross, Maya Lin, Bruce Springsteen, Margaret Hamilton, Robert Redford, Frank Gehry and 13 more! They all share at least two common traits: passion and determination. (image of Maya Lin and President Barack Obama via Cosmopolitan)

 

 

 

 

Gifts Parents Wish Their Kids Would Get

I’m not the grandparents’ ideal when it comes to gift-giving. If you ask me what the kids would like, I will give very specific suggestions and beg you not to deviate from the list. I don’t like to “help” my kids manage a lot of things. But kids who seem to have everything can be hard to buy for, too. These gift ideas work well for both minimalist and maximalist households, and I’m willing to bet that both the kid and the parents will thank you for them. I broke them into three categories of giving: an experience, a consumable, and a charity.

Give an experience.

kid-gift-experience

Attend a concert, play, sporting event, movie or festival together. Or, give many experiences with a membership to a favorite museum or recreation center. If you want the kid to be excited to unwrap it, attach it to a related book. For example, Frog and Toad books with tickets to go see the play!

We’ve enjoyed a gift card to Children’s Theatre Company and a gifted membership to the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Other Twin Cites membership options include the Science Museum of Minnesota (image of Earth), The Works Museum, and the Minnesota Zoo. I’m planning on getting my family an America the Beautiful Pass (image of Itaska Natural Area in Minnesota), which covers the entrance fee for the passholder’s car and the passengers in it to nearly all the national parks for one year.

 

Give something consumable & useful.

kid-gift-consumable

Art supplies like Eco Crafts, bath supplies like Honest Co. bubble bath, and useful trinkets kids love, like EOS lip balm are a lot of fun, but don’t create much waste or require long-term care.

 

Give to a relatable charity.

kid-gift-charity

Choose an elephant or rhino by name to foster through Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and every month they’ll send updates on your animal plus collectible watercolor prints.

Buy a soccer ball from One World Play Project, and they’ll donate a ball to a disadvantaged community. The balls don’t deflate, so it’s no maintenance for the recipients.

Bring the kid grocery shopping, and let them pick out food to donate to Feeding America or a local food or shelter program plus a treat to take home, like Bitsy’s Brainfood Orange Chocolate Beet Cookies, which is not a charity, but is an all-natural cookie. (Image of kids with food bags from Second Harvest Heartland, a partner of Feeding America.)

 

Are you a minimalist or maximalist when it comes to gift giving and receiving? Somewhere between? What are your favorite gifts your kids have received?

 

Pretty Links

pretty-lentilmeatballs.jpg

Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess served Lentil Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce as the main course of their plant-based Friendsgiving. Yum. Photo by Amber Ulman and Emma Chapman.

 

pretty-madlibs

I just bought Holly Jolly Mad Libs, but there are plenty of free printables online like the one above by Small Stuff Counts.

 

pretty-femxmas.jpg

Can #FeministXmasSongs be an annual tradition? Because I’m really tired of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. Image from Distractify.

 

 

#kidvignettes

Each month, I feature beautiful, funny and quizzical ways children contribute to a home’s esthetic. Whether it’s wall art, rows of race cars, dandelion bouquets or yogurt murals, children offer a fresh perspective and a sentimentality to interior design. Share your moments by tagging them #kidvignettes.

I confess, I have been an angry mom today. We’re in a rough patch in terms of listening and obedience (them) and patience and soft voices (me). I thought I wouldn’t have much fun combing through my pictures for the funny/sweet/quirky snapshots of kids at home. It turns out, I found more than I anticipated, so nostalgia and gratitude pushed out much of my frustration.

kv-itembox

kv-itembox_close

The item box on the kids’ dresser currently holds a pet rock, a container of seashells my mom collected for the kids, nature samples, a paper flower, a dream catcher and an Ojibwa teepee from Alexandra’s Native American unit at school.

kv-doornotes

Alexandra is constantly stealing my sticky notes and over the last two weeks, she has created quite the gallery on the inside of our front door. She stood on a chair to place the high ones. You probably can’t tell, but the doodles include cats, flowers, roses, hearts, fake cursive, elf footprints, a clock (with 16 hours, and the hands at 4:55), the words “yes no no” and the numbers 1001. I know the back story on some of these, but others make me wonder what’s coursing through her mind.

kv-flower

Alexandra has a charming proclivity for creating tiny, layered vignettes with bits of moss, grass, pebbles and flowers. She’s never been directed to do this; it is an art form that came purely from her, and I’m fascinated by it.

kv-pumpkin

I arranged the pumpkins we chose on our pumpkin patch/apple orchard day on the front steps. I was (twice) surprised to see that Gabe had moved the heavy pumpkins off the steps and down the path. The first time, I had no idea how he had managed to move them on his own. I told him he’d have to put them back, and so he showed me how he figured out that he could roll them, as pictured.

kv-bath

After this bath was drained, Gabe refused to come out until he had finished carefully arranging the bath toys. This is not a pile left behind; he was meticulous in his placement of each toy.

 

I’d love to see your #kidvignettes!