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Wayfair Homemakers
Friday
Sep192014

Flower Lights: A Floral Affair

Lights. Miniature lights, strings of lights, twinkling lights. No matter the season, to me they say, "there's a party going on right here." For this month's Cricut Design Space Star challenge, I wanted to work with light to make a unique party addition.

Beginning with a 20-count pack of battery-operated lights, I decided to play with the Something Blue idea for a special bridal shower or an anniversary dinner party. Blue flowers, with a few exceptions, are tough to find, so we made some.

To create your own, you'll need a light strand, hot glue gun, vellum sheets, and scissors or a cutting machine (like a Cricut!). I created some petal shapes in three sizes, but all within an inch of one another.

I uploaded the .svg file to the Cricut Design space. I set my Cricut to cut the vellum petals. I love the translucency of the layers of the vellum in light. To assemble, begin with the inner-most layer and glue the petals into a curling pattern around the center bulb.

A really simple project, and since these are battery-operated, they sit nicely around a table setting, or down the center of a table, displayed around a cake, or even strung to add life to a boring corner.

Another Lucky #13 Cricut Challenge is coming your way, friends! This time our team created wedding and party decor. And I do have to say, I love all the possibilities!

Happy weekend, friends! Check out all of these wonderful projects from my teammates...

 

  1. The Sweet Escapes Floral Cake Topper

  2. East Coast Creative’s Photo Backdrop

  3. Andrea’s Notebook Floral Pinwheel

  4. Sew Creative’s Paper Bridal Bouquet

  5. Pars Caeli’s Flower Lights

  6. Petit a Petit and Family’s Birthday Kit

  7. Suburban Bitches’ Floral Chandelier

  8. Pretty Providence’s Simple Elegant Thank You Cards

  9. The Sweet Escape’s Wedding Cake Topper

  10. That Girl Katie’s Floral Vases

  11. Sew Creative’s Flower Girl Barrettes

  12. Simply Sadie Jane’s Flower Stamped Cake and Flower Party Hats

 

Also...

Cricut has just announced the second phase of the Cricut - I Made It! contest and this time they’re awarding one winner their own Make it Now™ project line to be sold in Cricut Design Space™!
 
To help create your line, Cricut will fly you to their headquarters in Salt Lake City to work side-by-side with their design team.  Then you and a guest will enjoy an all-expense paid stay at the Grand America Hotel – a luxury resort in Salt Lake City, home to the best skiing in the world.

The winner will be featured on Cricut.com and every time a Cricut user purchases your project, you’ll earn money. Cricut will even help with your publicity.
 
To enter the Cricut - I Made It! contest, all you need is a photo of an original project. You can upload up to five photos (which can be five individual projects or multiple photos of one project).

You have until September 30th to enter.  What are you waiting for? It’s time you Made It big! Head to cricut.com to enter today. 

 

Thursday
Sep182014

The Return of Celebrate the Normal

Celebrating.

I visualize holidays, birthdays, parties, big announcements.

But, what if celebrating were a part of our every day experiences. And I mean every day. Little victories and still moments. Have you been taken a back by a great expanse of sky? Or smiled to yourself over the sweet simplicity of a bowl of oatmeal?

Some may call it the mundane, and anything but extraordinary. But these sights and experiences that cause us to pause and appreciate the wonderful normal that we've been given, they deserve celebration. And we can build our capacity to notice and to appreciate by sharing these images and insights with one another.

I first ran this series in 2013, closing it a little more than a year ago. Nearly 500 images have been shared with the tag #celebratethenormal since it began. And though I may have not featured images from this series since last year, many, many photos have been taken that are fabulously ordinary and nearly amazing. For me, it's a prayerful experience to look through the images and appreciate the good gifts of this life and the many ways God has blessed us.

It has also trained my mind's eye to find those moments around me.

And it's time for me to return and to remind myself. I have a whole list of reasons why I need this, maybe you have a list, too. Let's help each other. Let's practice everyday gratitude. Let's share these beautiful moments with each other - because you recognizing the beauty of the spaghetti on your child's cheek will help me to remember to appreciate it on mine. We're in this together.

Beginning next Thursday and running every other Thursday, we'll #CelebratetheNormal here on Pars Caeli, the blog. And every day, I'll be working to find and to relish the beautiful ordinary around me.

Tag your photos on Twitter or Instagram with #celebratethenormal. I'll be showing off some wonderful entries next week.

Let us learn from you. Happy snapping!

xoxo, MJ

 

 

 

Wednesday
Sep172014

Welcome to fall wardrobe


 

The crisp smell is in the air, and we have our first apple picking adventure this weekend. Fall is on its way, and for this gal, I'm welcoming it with wide open arms. The fashions of fall are always my favorite, as we add layers and textures to our closets.

 

Let's not forget to keep the color going, too! Autumn in nature brings the brilliance of the warm color palette right to our front door so let's celebrate it in our wardrobes, too. I'm dreaming of bursts of blue and hits of pink with the neutral tones of the crunchy leaves.

 

What are you excited to wear for the fall?

 

xoxo, MJ
Tuesday
Sep162014

The Under-$10 Fix to School Paper Clutter and Chaos

Getting down and dirty today. Do you ever feel like you're being covered by children's papers, projects, and homework? I do, or I did. Here's how I'm showing this year's clutter who's boss.

Our kitchen is the hub of our house. It's located off of the garage and mud room, and it's where we enter our home most of the time. The kitchen had also become the final resting place for all paper and kid clutter. Typical meal prep would involve a grand shifting of piles, that would lead to misplaced papers or unchecked homework assignments.

But that era, my friends, is over. For under $10, we have a new system to keep the counter tops free and clean, to keep kids school work in the right places, and to allow all of us (parents included) to have a piece of responsibility in the process.

It's a simple three-step process. I share it with you in the hopes that it might alleviate your own piles or missed 

Step One: It all goes up on the calendar. A paper calendar these days, you ask? I have my Google calendar that tells me when to sit and when to stand. :) It also has important dates for my husband and children on it. But with children the ages of 9, 7, and 4, I don't have a way to share this electronic info easily with the people who need to understand it most. 

So this rainbow pad from 3M is where it's at. I complete it only a week at a time (too many things shift for me to go much further in advance), and post it on our chalkboard wall in the kitchen. It's helping all three to take responsibility for prepping their after school bags, squeezing in time to practice instruments, and buying school lunches. Each child has a row, and Mom and Dad have one, too. Guess who gives us helpful reminders, too?

Step Two: Next hurdle to tackle, the unpacking of the backpack. Each child has their own hook and drawer for shoes. This was not a problem. It was the, "Look, Mommy, what I did today!" moments. Folders undone, papers here and there. 

Now, I spend time with each child individually (yes, we're all practicing patience) going through the folder. We look at what homework needs to be completed, and we get right to that. The papers that have come home just for review get clipped by the child to the "Done Door." Go with me on this gimmick. This door is also the door to our garage, a metal door that, thanks to the use of these strong magnetic clips, has a ton of space for everyone to use. So oldest on top, middle in the middle, and youngest on the bottom. It's still in our main traffic area, but it's gleefully off of the kitchen counters.

This activity is a fun one for L, the youngest. The task of clipping and sticking the magnet to the door has proven endlessly entertaining.

Step Three: Because my hubs and I look over work at different times, we ran into the challenge of keeping the papers in a central location for him to see. Now, they all hang on the Done Door. Most of the time, each child brings over things they want to show him.

He has a chance now to see them as a stack of one child's work and talk to them about what's going on in their learning. And he's the last step in the chain. When he's done looking at school work, he puts completed work in each child's box. 

Children can now return to that one paper from last Tuesday that they really want to see. :) And I don't need to fish it out of whatever pile it might have landed. Or even worse, rummage through the recycling, because I DO love to recycle. 

These boxes are cereal boxes covered in neutral contact paper. On the end of each, I attached colorful chalkboard labels to entice everyone into keeping up this process. It's cute! Let's do it!!

And it's full steam ahead, friends. We all have our role to play, but my children are movers in this process and not passive participants. And I love that. 

Also, I love my countertops.

xoxo, MJ

 

Friday
Sep122014

Fan Girl Friday: Pencil Shavings Studio

"Aren't we weird human beings?" read my text message, "Us and our 'celebrity' crushes on people who are just regular humans like us."

Paige, Approaching Joy Creative

I don't think there's a definition of a fan girl floating around on Merriam Webster's pages, but if there were, I think it might include a high level of admiration for someone you have not met.

I have met Rachel Shingleton. We met in January at Alt Summit in Salt Lake City. Rachel's totally down to earth and easy to talk to, and there is potential that she didn't know I was a big fan girl, but she probably did. Upon meeting her, I told her I couldn't wait to collaborate on something. Sometimes, I kind of get really excited.

As you can see in the image below, I've been a fan for a few years. When I first saw her logo - the name, the colors, the stripe - I thought it was so brilliantly done. I still think so, except now, Rachel has taken her style and color blog to a whole new level.

She's received a lot of honors, including the Better Homes & Gardens Top 5 Decorating blogs (and look at the kicking graphic she made for her award). In her shop, she's grown and expanded to retailers like The Limited and Nordstrom's. 

Rachel says that she's never met a color she didn't like. And she does such an amazing job of making those colors work together in energetic, blissful ways.

Her home tour with Gabrielle of Design Mom is a must see. The vibrancy of each room just hums. Mixing in bold tones with fresh white all throughout the home, Rachel is a whiz with pattern and texture. She partnered with The Land of Nod to reimagine her office and playroom. It's such a spectacular finished space that beckons creativity to come on out. 

I've followed her personal story as well which she tackles head on with her blog. And I'm delighted for Rachel and her family as they welcome their long-awaited second child!

From hair-styling and fashion, to home decor, to cute gifts and great ideas, Rachel always have something fresh to offer.

Rachel, thanks for your myriad of awesome work.

I'm a fan girl.

xoxo, MJ