Thursday, March 28, 2013

Links and Such

Hey All, Happy Thursday and Happy Links and Such! We've been busy this week getting ready for Easter and dealing with pregnancy who-ha and other nesting to dos... of which I hope to share at some point! In the mean time here are just a few links that I've been enjoying this week. Have a good one!

Unusual Easter Traditions
these shoes and these
cloud down spout
adorable animal sweater for a little one
Fairy Garden in a box
DIY pressed flowers iphone case
Montessori Color matching apple game
love this bag
check out this San Francisco based knitwear company

Monday, March 25, 2013

New at GrayDayStudio: Floral Watercolor Paintings

This spring I have an intense desire to surround myself with flowers. So I began a little watercolor series to begin to chip away at this floral craving. These watercolors are studies in preparation for oil paintings to follow. At the moment I have 5 available in my shop. They measure 11x15 inches and are a combination of watercolor and a bit of gouache. I want to keep these little studies affordable so they are priced as such.

Also, in preparation for a little maternity leave respite (TBD) my shop is only filled with ready to ship work. So hop on over and see what's new!

DIY Easter Bunny Crayons, and other toddler friendly Easter Egg fillers

Our Daughter's toddler classroom is having their Easter party this Wednesday and we were asked to bring in 6 eggs filled with a non-food item that was also gender neutral and one that would be appropriate for her class that ranges in age 15 months to 3 years!  We were also told that we could bring in more than 6 eggs in order to earn co-op hours. So I decided to make 24 eggs! (we need co-op hours!)

So the husband and I made our very own bunny crayons and here's how we did it!

First I got the idea from a valentine heart crayon DIY on pinterest (naturally). In the Easter section at Target I found a silicon bunny mold for 24 bunnies. I already have a pretty intense crayon stash from my youth (a ridiculous amount of crayons, that I was more than happy to recycle!). We worked with the broken and stubby crayons first.

Simply peel and chop crayons, put them in the mold and cook at 230 for 15 minutes. Ours took 20-25. Remove the crayons from the mold once they are cool and solid.
 We made a lot of crayons!!! It was actually pretty fun and a very affordable craft since we had so many crayons on hand.

We filled 12 eggs with bunny crayons and then the other 12 eggs we filled with one Easter sticker and one yellow and green pom pom. Pom poms are a big hit with toddlers and it was another great use of a material I already had on hand! In total we made 35 crayons, so I'm sending in the extras to her class in order that all of the kids will have a crayon even if they didn't get one of the eggs.

Here's a list of other non-food related toddler friendly egg fillers:

~ seeds for planting
~ homemade seed bombs (can use silicon bunny shaped trays!)
~ temporary tattoos
~ stickers
~ rubber stamps
~ beads
~ hair bows
~ non toxic mini nail polish
~ plastic animals
~ whistles
~ coins

  and for more Easter Basket ideas, check out my Easter Basket Goodies board on pinterest!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

37th week, a pregnancy update with baby #2

Well we reached a milestone this week and hit the big 37th week, a time when I am considered full term! And I know I haven't been documenting this pregnancy as religiously as I did with my first... but I thought I would check in at this juncture. I had a midwife appointment today and they confirmed my suspicion that the baby has dropped, and then they continued to joke with me that I might not make it to next week's appointment. I'm still pulling for an April baby... not sure why, maybe because there is still so much I want to do...

The past few days I've also reached the super tired and eating non stop phase... which only adds to my desire to wrap up some home projects and other to-dos.  But ultimately I'm very grateful for all that we have accomplished in preparation for our newest family member... my two biggest goals were to transition our daughter from her crib to a big girl bed and to have her fully potty trained before her sibling came on the scene. I'm pretty excited and still a bit shocked that the potty training one made the cut! But she was very ready and it helped that she is a camel just like her mom.

Last night I tackled one of my nesting to dos and made her a Big Sister t-shirt.  I figured I had the ink and the know how plus the shirt only cost me $6 and it probably took me an hour to paint. So I saved money and was able to have a more custom, less cheesy option for her shirt. It will be fun for her to wear to school! Can't wait to give it to her! (my apologies to the letter "R" for getting squished in the end, even though I mapped it out, it still got the squeeze!)

So that's the little update from me.

We might still tackle more nesting to dos tomorrow- with a potential trip to the Aquarium, or laying low and finishing our headboard

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Love Letter to Spring: Spring Activities with our Toddler...

For this week's Love Letter to Spring, I wanted to share our spring activities from this weekend! We are really looking forward to spring around here and we are starting off this new season inspired by some of our favorite children's books!

Honey Rabbit: We bought at a consignment store. It's very cute and fun to do different voices for all of the animals that help Honey Rabbit define what spring actually is.
And Then It's Spring: might be one of my all time favorite books. It has a simple narrative and the illustrations are so darling and full of funny little details. This book was the big inspiration for our weekend's spring activities (see below!)
Who's in The Garden: Was a gift from my cousin and it too is very spring inspiring. There is a lot to look at in this book, and each page has a little peek-a-boo cut out circle. I have to remind our daughter not to sing "Lets go Fly a kite" at the top of her lungs, when we get to the kite page...! ; )

So with spring on the horizon for quite sometime now, our daughter has been talking non stop about making a birdhouse and hanging a bird feeder (as pictured in "And Then It's Spring"). So I was pretty pumped when I found this birdhouse at whole foods the other week! I was going to save it for her Easter basket, but the husband made the good point that birds are starting to build their nests and perhaps we should get it up sooner rather than later.

So this weekend we gave our daughter the birdhouse and she quickly set to helping her dad put the house together.

The Melissa and Doug kit only came with 4 colors, so we used some other paints we had on hand in order to fulfill the request for purple!

At our daughter's school they make a lot of hand print and footprint artwork, so it was only natural that the house have at least 3 handprints on it! She asked me to help paint the house, so I added the one yellow leaf and blue trim. A nice collaboration.

After the birdhouse was finished, in the afternoon we set about starting our seeds for this year's garden!

Pretty ambitious/insane to let so much dirt into our family room, but it was a pretty easy clean up. Plus it was just a bit too damp this weekend to work outside... It's going to be fun to see how much more helpful she will be this year with the garden! (You know as helpful as a toddler can be!)

Then on Tuesday we hung the epic birdhouse out back. It's going to take a very special bird family to move in! ; ) We also hung the bird feeder and look forward to observing the activity that will take place between the two new backyard additions. We can see them from her little studio/sunroom at the back of the house as well as from her bedroom.

And our rainy Tuesday morning turned into a sunny afternoon, perfect for jumping in the mud puddles in our swampy backyard.

it's not spring, or childhood without a muddy face!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What I've Been Knitting: Tiny Bunnies

Last week, late one night, I knit up this teeny tiny little bunny for our Daughter's Easter basket. I want to have things other than candy to tuck inside the plastic eggs. So I knit one in white yarn...

And then one morning during pregnancy insomnia, I knit a little ginger friend to go along with the white one!

Here's the free pattern. You can knit any animal from the pattern, just depends on the ears!

Monday, March 18, 2013

New at GrayDayStudio, More Original Artwork

Over the weekend I added four new wallpaper collage oil paintings to the shop! All pictured on the top row. You can see them plus my other original mixed media work HERE.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Links and Such

Hi all, I meant to publish this yesterday, but it slipped through the cracks, so enjoy this week's Links and Such on a Friday!

History Traced through Human Hair
Makeup Tip: How to tight line your eyes
Spring Scavenger hunt for kids, with free printable
10 things to do with kids in Paris
Video: How to Clone Herbs in your Kitchen
Want this Pendleton Blanket for our bedroom (perfect for all the gray and blue we have!)
stinking cute fox shoes for a little one
Deer print leggings!
13 coupon sites to know about

And if You're in the Philly area, I'm selling my Vintage Swinn bicycle this weekend!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New at GrayDayStudio

Two New Garlands added to the shop this week!

Plus remember to use code 3GARLANDS for 10% off when you purchase 3 or more!

And stay tuned for more original artwork coming to the shop this week!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What I've Been Knitting: A little baby doll

Last week I knit this little baby doll for our 2 yr old daughter to go with the bigger doll I knit her last year. I used this free mini doll pattern but adapted it to make it a baby by attaching the i-cord arms to the body and giving it little feet instead of long legs. You can read more about what I did on my ravelry project page.

Recently our daughter's imagination has really taken off. I find her talking to her dolls and other stuffed toys. Clearly repeating things her father and I have said to her, or things she's learned at school. It's pretty funny and very sweet! She comforts her dolls when they are sad by patting them on their backs and sympathetically cooing, "there there, it's okay, it's okay". And occasionally she nurses them, especially when our friend was nursing her newborn at our house yesterday, lol. I know all of this imaginative play will really increase when her sibling comes along and I want to encourage this, hence knitting a little baby doll for the bigger momma doll. I was inspired by this mother and baby doll on etsy. So now I just need to make a little sling for the mother doll to carry the baby around in.

Here's the doll before I put a face and hair on him, this is to show scale. It was a very fast knit, and used scrap yarn, which is always great! I do like it without features, but felt that perhaps it should match it's mother a bit more.

And here they are, a pretty quirky pair. I'm going to give it to her in her Easter Basket at the end of the month.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Nesting Bucket List: Family Photos

As I might have mentioned I have a bit of a nesting bucket list that I am chipping away at before our new family member's arrival. The list includes home projects, and work in my studio, but ultimately I know that if the baby were to surprise us and come early those things wouldn't matter in the long run... but I knew that taking a few family photos with our daughter while I'm pregnant is the most important on the list. And last Sunday my sister-in-law came over, before we all went out for a fancy brunch, to take pictures of us. 

It's hard to photograph a two year old plus a woman with pregnancy face! lol So here are the highlights from our little photo shoot (where I am 34.5 weeks prego at the time)! Thanks again Hannah for taking pictures!

A Love Letter to Spring

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend? Ours was surprisingly productive for just having Sunday to work on things around the house. Nothing like taking down the remaining Christmas lights in March! We also cleaned out the flowers beds and raked the rest of the leaves that were hiding underneath shrubs... and we organized the crap out of the garage! Re-stacked the firewood, rearranged some things, it looks awesome, plus it's so much more functional! This is our first rental with a garage, and we want to use it properly. ; ) Yes bits of spring cleaning happening around these parts, the weather was very inspiring. Have a great start to your week!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Links and Such

hey all, Happy Thursday and Happy Links and Such post!
Our week has been a typical one, trying to stay on top of dishes while also chipping away at my nesting to do list... A future round up post to follow, perhaps tomorrow!? In the meantime here are some links that I've been bookmarking this week! Enjoy!

check out this water bottle with a built in cup!
Recipe: Guilt free homemade ice-cream  (2-3 ingredients and a blender!)
Love this linen jacket
Beautiful bedrooms: Week One
Pendant lighting inspiration 
arrowhead earrings
Cypress necklace
DIY: wood burned spoons
DIY: streamer wand tutorial 
Cute pillow cover
a great list of podcasts
more added to "Put an Egg on it"

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What I've been Knitting: Top Knot baby hat for the next little one...

Our second child is due in April, and even though it will technically be spring, the little one will still need a hat. Since we are waiting to know our baby's gender until its time of arrival, I thought a little top knot gray hat would be appropriate and gender neutral. (although I feel like we are having a boy, I'm not as entirely confident as I was when guessing our daughter's gender!) The pattern was very easy and free, here's the link! For the border I simply did one row of knit followed by one row of purl, to avoid any curling of the brim.

The yarn I chose was "Sublime" a baby cashmere merino silk blend, very soft and a great color! I have a good amount of yarn left over that could be used for a knit toy, or perhaps a little baby scarf!?

I'm looking forward to having our babe wear this little one.

And here's our daughter in October of 2010 at two days old sporting the pink hat I knit her. This is how confident I was that we were having a girl! ; )

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bedroom Make Over Inspiration

I really want to update our bedroom. And I have some fun and exciting ideas I want to share!

First, I'll break it down and explain. Overall I feel like our bedroom is too busy and that it does not reflect my tastes. I want to simplify the overall color scheme and edit the ornate accessories to make the room feel more peaceful. As I mention on my blog all of the time, about 90% off our furniture is hand-me-down or inherited, for which we are very grateful, but there are little tweaks that can be made to make it feel more of my/ our own.

 See the following picture for my inspiration.

1st) Headboard Shape: You may remember that my Husband and Mom built our King headboard for only $70 about 2 years ago... At the time, while living in Maine, we didn't have access to cutting the headboard into a shape as I had really wanted. But now we do! And I would love to cut the headboard into a visually softer shape. (as seen above) However I am open to the idea of keeping it a rectangle as long as we can recover it!

2nd) Headboard Color: I want to cover the headboard in a neutral gray linen. This will make the room less busy, and will strike a nice balance with the more feminine shape. Plus I'm on a big neutral kick lately- I feel like it's more timeless, it creates a nice backdrop and down the road if decorating tastes evolve, one can simply rotate out the accessories (which is more cost effective, etc). The second picture on the top right is the color inspiration for headboard and bedding. We were given the blue king quilt, and we have a blue and gray striped duvet underneath it... so blue is turning out to be the color! I also like the Chambray large pillow in the picture, and could see myself recovering our bold Pink Anthro pillow in blue and perhaps adding one or two other neutral sham/throw pillows to the mix.

3rd) White Lamp: In keeping with simplifying the room, a white modern shape lamp would add both a modern balance and visual rest to the space. (plus I need more lighting in my studio so I could rotate one of the existing lamps to my work space!) Lamp by West Elm.

4th) Rug- as the bold pop of color: With the bedding becoming more neutral and within a cohesive color family, I like the idea of having the rug provide the pop of color and visual interst- as inspired by the room with the red rug above. Our current rug belonged to my great grandmother (?) And it was in my bedroom all growing up... It's sturdy well made and easy to vacuum (a plus in my book). However, I would love to have a more modern rug. I adore the Anthropologie "Kiara Rug" I like how the dominant color is a coral, but there are still other colors included that I could pull out and work with in the room. And it would look nice with the artwork and plate hanging above our bed. Realistically, IE: the cheaper option is that I will switch out the floral rug with a flat weave rug that is a geometric/ Native American inspired print in turquoise and red, that belonged to my grandparents. It's not easy to vacuum, which is a bummer, but would help me accomplish my goal, since funds do not allow for such a hefty purchase at this time.

5th) Artwork: Once the headboard is done and other new elements are in place, I'm aware that the artwork above the bed may no longer feel right... and perhaps one large photograph would be nice? But then again the artwork might be the only remaining ornate object in the room (besides one lamp). So we shall see?!?

As we prepare to welcome a newborn into our home, I want our bedroom to feel like a retreat, so the few minutes and hours we are in there will feel extra rewarding and relaxing. ; ) I know one doesn't have to have things to feel this way... but it's fun to scheme and plan none the less!

UPDATE: I played around with the images to create a potential after shot of what our bedroom could look like! It's fun to have more of a visual in front of me instead of just pieced together in my head. Pretty exciting!

You can find the links to my inspiration images plus see even more on my board For the Home.


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