HOW TO MAKE A FAIRY GARDEN!

I've noticed an explosion in Fairy Garden supplies at local craft stores and I think some of the little benches, doors and furniture you can buy are actually really cute! But I'll be honest I'm still a fan of collecting odds and ends and painting and customizing them to create a fairy garden, much like the post I created a few years ago FAIRY GARDEN IN A BOX. I made this particular box, with Avy's help, as a gift for my niece on her birthday and it continues to be one of my most visited posts and pinned items on Pinterest! See the original post here or pin it for you when you might need an extra special and fun gift for a little fairy in your life.

Cheers!

Catherine

STYLING YOUR FAMILY FOR A PHOTOSHOOT

Guess who already has their photoshoot scheduled for her annual family photos? That's right, this chic! I surprised myself with how on the ball I am. Every year we go all out with the outfits and the concept, it's a tradition we have and that literally all 4 of us thoroughly enjoy. I love looking at our pictures through the years and seeing how the kids grow and change. 

My photographer friends are booking fast and some are already booked through the end of 2014! Since it's that time already (ahh!) I'm giving you a refresher on how I style the clothes for our photoshoots.

HOW TO STYLE YOUR FAMILY FOR A PHOTOSHOOT

I follow a 5 basic steps when I style my kids for our family photo shoot every year to avoid that "matchy-matchy white button down, jeans with barefeet" trap.....

For our 2011 shoot, I found a really cheap pair of red headphones that I knew The Dude would love wearing and that inspired an urban theme...like the kids are waiting for the train into the city. I always mix accessories I purchase for the shoot with staples my kids already have so I don't break the bank. The goal is always to get the kids to coordinate, not match! Have fun with it and use your imagination when it comes to the clothes, theme and location.

STEP ONE

Fun props like headphones and hats can start to tell a story and help dictate the style and theme of your photos.

Fun props like headphones and hats can start to tell a story and help dictate the style and theme of your photos.

STEP TWO

Neutral colors allow the kids faces to shine and the small pops of red against the neutrals make the color story complete.  Patterns can distract from your kid's faces, use them in small doses for the best effect.

Neutral colors allow the kids faces to shine and the small pops of red against the neutrals make the color story complete.  Patterns can distract from your kid's faces, use them in small doses for the best effect.

STEP THREE

The Dude wears grey jeans and a black vest...Avy Gravy wears black jeans and a grey top (which is actually a dress that I tucked in to her jeans to look like a top)...this simple step helps the kids look more natural.

The Dude wears grey jeans and a black vest...Avy Gravy wears black jeans and a grey top (which is actually a dress that I tucked in to her jeans to look like a top)...this simple step helps the kids look more natural.

STEP FOUR

Mix soft and rough textures...worn in denim with fancy sequence and fur keeps it interesting.  Mix subtle patterns too...stripes, leopard and tone on tone skulls on The Dude's jacket all work together as they are all part of the color palette I chose.

Mix soft and rough textures...worn in denim with fancy sequence and fur keeps it interesting.  Mix subtle patterns too...stripes, leopard and tone on tone skulls on The Dude's jacket all work together as they are all part of the color palette I chose.

STEP FIVE

The tie was the perfect way to dress up The Dude's outfit but we kept it tied loosely so it's still casual. Sunglasses make a fun prop as do the headphones. Fingerless gloves add a bit of an edge and the glitter headband is a like a subtle piece of jewelry on Avy Gravy.

The tie was the perfect way to dress up The Dude's outfit but we kept it tied loosely so it's still casual. Sunglasses make a fun prop as do the headphones. Fingerless gloves add a bit of an edge and the glitter headband is a like a subtle piece of jewelry on Avy Gravy.

My best advice is by mixing in fun pieces you can create a ton of interest in your photos and highlight everyone's individual personalities. Avy loves all things glitter and fancy but she still loves being a little tough. The Dude just loves to be the hippest guy in the room, he's obsessed with clothes but is also a total ham...and I think these pictures really convey that. If you're kids love the outdoors or nature or baking, use those as jumping off points when thinking about your theme and location.

Another important element is a bad ass photographer, my friend Meredith of Meredith Mascola Photography took all the photos in this post and does our portraits every year. She is great at getting the best out of my kids and that's key, they are always laughing and smiling with her. Plus she gets my crazy visions every year and really helps me achieve what I see in my head. So shop around and if you like the style of someone's photos ask them who shot it and give them a call.

And when you get those pics taken, send them over to me and I'll help you create a unique holiday card to really wow your friends and family! !

Cheers! 

Catherine

CELEBRATING WITH YOUR FAVORITE POSTS!

I love birthdays and parties and any reason to drink champagne and dance on a table! I'm continuing to celebrate The Asylum's first year this weekend and thought we should do that with a look at your favorite posts!

 

FAVE REAL WEDDING POST

Lara and Colin's gorgeous East Coast celebration complete with a custom blush wine stained wedding invitation suite by moi was the most coveted Real Wedding! Happy almost Anniversary Lara and Colin!

LARA-+-COLIN-MAIN-IMAGE.jpg

FAVE WEDDING INVITATION SUITE

These beautiful modern gold square cards were printed in white foil with a fresh mix of fonts...these would be my wedding invitations if I did it all over again.

FAVE TUTORIAL

You all seemed to need to make your own unique sized envelope as this post continues to be visited daily!

FAVE RECIPES

The most popular recipes were hands down the Strawberry Almond Gelato and Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble...and strawberry season will he here very soon so get ready!

FAVE PARTY INVITATION

The most visited OUT OF THE BOX INVITATION was the Campfire S'more Kit which will always be one of my favorites as well. I can almost smell the marshmallows roasting!

FAVE GUEST POST

And lastly the most pinned, most loved guest post was of course by my girl Kristen from House of Luciano with her awesome eyelash curling tutorial!

Thanks for visiting over the past year! Cheers to more faves, more invitations, more fabulous weddings and tutorials!

VALENTINE'S DAY GLOW!

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope everyone gets something sparkly and fabulous from their special someone (ok secretly I'm hoping I get something sparkly and that a special guy is reading the blog today, wink wink)...

So the northeast is under what feels like a hundred feet of snow and Avy Gravy and The Dude are on their second consecutive snow day, naturally they are disappointed that they will have to wait until next week to share their valentines with their friends. But here's a sneak peak at The Dude's. I don't like to do candy (intense fear of sending someone with an allergy into anaphylactic shock) and what kid doesn't love a glow stick?

GLOW-STICK-DIY-VALENTINES.jpg

PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR: WED WITH IT

Radiant Orchid, Pantone's color of the year, is everywhere in varying shades including weddings. Be on trend and give it a shot, even in a small way it has a lot of impact. It works in all seasons: Floral and bright for Spring or Summer or pale and cool for Winter and Fall. Here are some gorgeous and fun ways to add it to your celebration!

WED-IT.jpg

Cheers!

Catherine

HOW TO STYLE YOUR PHOTOSHOOT

I follow a 5 basic steps when I style my kids for our family photo shoot every year to avoid that "matchy-matchy white button down, jeans with barefeet" trap.....

For our 2011 shoot, I found a really cheap pair of red headphones that I knew The Dude would love wearing and that inspired an urban theme...like the kids are waiting for the train into the city. I always mix accessories I purchase for the shoot with staples my kids already have so I don't break the bank. The goal is always to get the kids to coordinate, not match! Have fun with it and use your imagination when it comes to the clothes, theme and location.

STEP ONE

Fun props like headphones and hats can start to tell a story and help dictate the style and theme of your photos.

STEP TWO

Neutral colors allow the kids faces to shine and the small pops of red against the neutrals make the color story complete.  Patterns can distract from your kid's faces, use them in small doses for the best effect.

STEP THREE

The Dude wears grey jeans and a black vest...Avy Gravy wears black jeans and a grey top (which is actually a dress that I tucked in to her jeans to look like a top)...this simple step helps the kids look more natural.

STEP FOUR

Mix soft and rough textures...worn in denim with fancy sequence and fur keeps it interesting.  Mix subtle patterns too...stripes, leopard and tone on tone skulls on The Dude's jacket all work together as they are all part of the color palette I chose.

STEP FIVE

The tie was the perfect way to dress up The Dude's outfit but we kept it tied loosely so it's still casual. Sunglasses make a fun prop as do the headphones. Fingerless gloves add a bit of an edge and the glitter headband is a like a subtle piece of jewelry on Avy Gravy.

My best advice is by mixing in fun pieces you can create a ton of interest in your photos and highlight everyone's individual personalities. Avy loves all things glitter and fancy but she still loves being a little tough. The Dude just loves to be the hippest guy in the room, he's obsessed with clothes but is also a total ham...and I think these pictures really convey that. If you're kids love the outdoors or nature or baking, use those as jumping off points when thinking about your theme and location.

Another important element is a bad ass photographer, my friend Meredith of Meredith Mascola Photography took all the photos in this post and does our portraits every year. She is great at getting the best out of my kids and that's key, they are always laughing and smiling with her. Plus she gets my crazy visions every year and really helps me achieve what I see in my head. So shop around and if you like the style of someone's photos ask them who shot it and give them a call.

And when you get those pics taken, send them over to me and I'll help you create a unique holiday card to really wow your friends and family! !

Cheers! 

Catherine

EASY PAINTED ONESIE WITH FREEZER PAPER

Hand made gifts are great but I'm definitely not a fan of crafty, patchworky ridiculousness so when I make a gift I have the intention of making a piece of art not a "craft"....but that doesn't have to mean you need special skills or talent to achieve beautiful and meaningful results. This is a SUPER easy and adaptable baby gift that every new mom will love. 

HAND PAINTED FREEZER PAPER ONESIE 

What you need: 

a onesie 

freezer paper 

flexible fabric paint 

craft knife 

sponge for stenciling 

1. Gather all of your supplies, check! 

2. Choose an image to paint on your onesie, I chose a horse but you could choose a silhouette of any animal, a basic shape or you could even do bold graphic words or letters (monogram.)  Cut a piece of freezer paper to 8.5x11. Print out the image directly on the freezer paper the exact size you want it to appear. Freezer paper is just coated paper so it will run through almost any printer.

3. Cut out the image using a craft knife. 

4. Lay the freezer paper stencil on your onesie wherever you wish (mine wrapped from the front around to the back) and iron it using your regular household iron. Be sure all the little pieces are ironed completely to the fabric so you avoid any paint bleeding underneath the stencil. 

5. Use the foam "brush" and the flexible fabric paint to fill in the image. Usually 2 coats works well but be sure to allow the first coat to dry before applying the second. After the second coat is completely dry peel the freezer paper off the onesie....it will come off cleanly and not leave behind any residue. 

Wrap it with a bow and a tag and be sure to include washing directions (read your brand of paint's instructions for first time washing, etc. } And there you have it...an adorable and unique baby gift from the heart!

Cheers! 

Catherine

 

DOWNLOAD: BOUQUET OF LOVE

It's wedding season so I'm helping you out with this printable "love" themed greeting card. Use it for weddings, showers, engagements or give it to someone you heart, just because. Drag both images to your desktop, print back to back and fold. Use an A9 envelope if you wish or trim the folded card to 5x7 and use an envelope from a greeting card! Enjoy. 

Cheers! 

Catherine

FAIRY GARDEN IN A BOX

My niece's birthday was in May and Avy Gravy and I were itching to make a Fairy Garden kit for someone and she was the perfect candidate! Avy said she was like a little Tinkerbell. So we gathered all the things we thought would attract a fairy to a garden with the help of the craft store and my supply closet! This was as much fun for me as it was for her...maybe more. 

First of let me start by saying all of the ingredients of the box are up to you. I will tell you exactly why we choose the things we used but go nuts choosing whatever you want. 

We created the idea of a magical pink fairy with golden wings who loves sunsets and sunrises. She loves birds and feathers and being mischievous and used this as a base for our items. 

 

{ WHAT YOU NEED }

Lightweight wood box with top

Small birdhouse on stick, painted white

Bag of stones

Bag of pink and gold glass stones

Bag of moss

Sculpey clay mushrooms (how-to in a future post) 

Glitter Glue

Fine Glitter

Various items including: pink feathers, clay post, key, Mini birds nest, wooden spools wrapped in coordinating string, a mini topiary tree and feather and glitter butterflies. 

 

1-2. We painted the birdhouse ($1 at Michael's) white,  painted glue along the roof and sprinkled with gold and pink glitter. Let it dry and glued in a clump of moss at the opening and a butterfly to the edge of the roof.

3. We left the box unfinished so it can placed outside with worry of contaminating the garden with paint. 

4. We wraped wooden spools ($1 at Michael's for 4) with string that match...or you could use old spools of the thread. These will make great seats for the fairy.

5. Then we began to fill the box with a bag of rocks and bag of pink clear pebbles for my niece to make a pathway. Moss is a nice addition so she could line the dirt with it as a flooring. We used a little crumpled kraft paper to bulk up the middle of the box.

6. We placed the Sculpey mushrooms in the box, it's always better to group "like" items rather than spread them around the box.  

7. A little moss in the nest and clay pot, and we laid a vintage key (scrapbooking supply), decorated it with a pink butterfly.  Then came the birdhouse and add the feathers, topiary and the spools of thread.

Lastly we put the lid on, wrapped it in twine and added a tag. On the back of our tag we put instructions regarding how to set up the garden: fill box 3/4 of soil, create a pathway with the rocks and pebbles, lay the moss down for the fairy's feet, etc. and we included our description of the fairy and what she likes and doesn't...just be creative and use your imagination. 

Cheers! 

Catherine