Laura Miller of YouDollDesign is back to share three DIY Valentine ideas for you and your kids! Each one is gorgeous and original yet simple enough for children. Let’s get to it!
My 3-year-old son loves to be my little “helper”, and when he sees me working on a watercolor project, he often asks to get out his own set and paint beside me. I like to fuel his love for creating by letting him take an active part in our holiday projects and the decoration of our home. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I’d share a few simple – and kid friendly –projects that incorporate the very on-trend watercolor look. And even if you don’t have kids, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to whip out the old watercolor set if you haven’t in a while and brush up on your skills.
1. Custom Postcards: If you want to make your valentines extra personal this year, send your loved ones a one-of-kind watercolor masterpiece in the form of a postcard. Many art paper companies like Strathmore make it easy with their pads of watercolor postcards that are already pre-cut to the standard size with lines for the address and stamp placement on the back. To avoid waste, I like to do a few watercolor doodles on a separate sheet of paper first for inspiration before I commit to a design on the special postcard paper. Who wouldn’t love to receive something so unique and special like that in the mail.
2. Secret Watercolor Messages: The resist method is a very popular watercolor effect. It’s a technique that involves using a wax crayon or something similar that will coat the paper making it resistant to the paint. For this project, draw your design first with a WHITE crayon on a white heart shape and then apply the paint on top, revealing what you drew underneath. This is a really fun project to involve children. They’ll love watching their drawing pop out like magic, or you can write them a secret message in advance for them to uncover. Hang them up with festive baker’s twine or attach a sucker to the back and they’ve got a great valentine to give classmates!
3. Painted Hearts: If your child is still a little too young to paint a heart shape on their own, another great idea is letting them paint freely on a piece of white paper as usual and once it dries, use a heart-shaped punch to cut up their painting (or help them cut with scissors) into several hearts that they can now glue onto a piece of bright-colored paper. This is a great project for those developing the fine motor skills of painting, cutting and gluing. Even if you don’t have a child, this can be a fun way to do something a little less conventional for your valentines this year.xoxo, Laura
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Caitlin Wilson Rugs! This project has been in the works for awhile now so we are beyond excited to share this new product with you. All rugs are hand tufted and made to order. Head over here to see all the options! Which one is your favorite?
We are enjoying a bit of a winter wonderland over here and can’t help but feel especially drawn to fresh, white spaces today! Simple and classic design taken to the next level with little accents of gold here and there (our favorite). Here are just a few images to remind you that gold accents are always a good idea in our book!
Courtney of courtneykate is back to share her favorite Valentine’s Day ideas plus the perfect sugar cookie recipe. Yes, please!
Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays! I love seeing pink and red together, finding the perfect card for my husband, making heart sugar cookies and XOXO. Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers, it is a family holiday that can be made special by simple surprises! I always make my children heart sugar cookies (recipe below) and we have the best time decorating them together when they get home from school. In addition to the cookies, it is the perfect opportunity to give your loved ones a small gift, wrapped in pink. My mom used to always give Caitlin and me a new swimsuit for Valentine’s Day! Your love can be expressed in so many ways, a simple card, a candle or just a delicious cookie. Happy Valentine’s Day!
CWD Contributor, Rachel Anne is back with tips on how to use affordable art to transition your space from Winter to Spring. Let’s warm things up…
With the new year ringing in, I have a horrible itch for summer. With that said, I’ve been thinking of entry ways and how to use affordable artwork to add some bright touches of foliage, floral and vegetation in a clean a chic way. I have a love for vintage botanical prints that can be matted and framed and are found on Etsy and Amazon for amazing prices! Vintage botanical prints are an unexpected yet beautiful usage for artwork in any home. They can be accessorized with an ikat vase filled with palm, fiddle fig or banana leaves with sea glass beaded strands hanging around the neck of the vase for a tropical touch. This is the perfect way to cure those January blues!
One of our most loved patterns has finally returned! And just in time for Spring. Coral Fretwork is back and ready to fill your home with a bright new look. It’s available in fabric by the yard and all pillow sizes. Head over here to get yours!
Our last and final contributor is the lovely and very talented Melanie Burk. Melanie is a graphic designer, teacher, and a collector of happy. She runs the company Caravan Shoppe, which specializes in digital downloads for family and home, and her work is most inspired by her 3 darling children. She also designs branding, websites (and even worked with Caitlin Wilson and designed this fabulous site!) surface design and more, and you can check out her portfolio at Fifth & Hazel. She is also an online instructor at Nicole’s Classes. Melanie loves her family, the outdoors, surfing, March Madness, opera, hiking, paddle boarding, the ocean, and of course, design. You can follow her and her adventures here. We’re so excited to have Melanie as part of our contributor team! She’s one talented lady and we can’t wait to check out her favorite calendars for 2014. You know we always love a fresh new calendar…
I just love the start of a new year! Although I love the holidays, if you are anything like me, it’s nice to put all of the decorations away, put the house back in order, and get reorganized. I spend a bit of time in January reflecting on my goals for the new year, and one of my favorite parts is getting a new calendar and getting everything scheduled out for the upcoming year.
I made a roundup of some of my favorite calendars for 2014. As a designer, I love a variety of styles and sizes, and there are a lot of artists that I love and admire. (in full disclosure, I have also included some of my own calendars in the round up.) So grab yourself a pretty calendar or two for yourself or for your friends with January birthdays, and start thinking about what things you want to accomplish this new year.
1. Ride Along Calendar by Caravan ($5)
This calendar is a beautiful mixture of vintage + modern, and the bike illustrations are charming. A perfect calendar for those who love being outside, but also appreciate good design. This calendar is also a digital download, so you buy it once, and print it out as many times as you want- for yourself, and as many gifts as you want!
2. Harvest Wall Calendar Leah Duncan ($22)
I love this artist and her whimsical, modern style. Gorgeous illustrations make this calendar a unique art piece.
3. 2014 Calendar by Michelle Armas ($35)
This calendar is great if you love fine modern art, and is by the talent artist Michelle Armas (whose work is sold at anthropologie) and has beautiful bright colors.
4. Little Bears 2014 Calendar by Gingiber ($22)
Do you have any animal loving friends? This talented artist makes gorgeous animal illustrations that are unique and darling.
5. 2014 Scandinavian Floral Calendar by The House that Lars Built ($28.75)
This is beautiful calendar that features gorgeous photographs of flowers on a clean white background. Great for framing up and featuring anywhere in your home.
6. Life is Beautiful Calendar by Caravan ($5)
This calendar is designed by yours truly, and features inspirational quotes hand lettered on a black and white background. It is a digital download, which means you can buy it once, and print it out as many times as you want.
Now that the holidays are over we’re doing a little re-grouping and like most of you, starting fresh. In light of our upcoming projects we’re in need of a part time intern! This position is unpaid but if you live in the Portland area and are looking for a great experience in a creative environment, utilizing sales, customer service, design knowledge, and visual merchandising, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me with your resume at email@example.com if you’re interested!
One of our CWD Contributors, Lauren from Lauren’s Latest is back to share a last minute New Years treat for your party! Read below for details on making these festive cupcakes:
“I love celebrating New Years Eve. Actually I love celebrating any holiday as long as food is involved! For Christmas I love making my family traditional recipes but New Years Eve is when menus can get switched up and lots of bite-sized treats can be shared among friends.
Today, I wanted to share my recipe for Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes and Easy Vanilla Frosting. These recipes are fool and fail-proof. Plus they taste great! And, I found some edible star glitter at the craft store that I was dying to use. Super simple to do and the perfect sweet bites for your New Years Eve party!”
Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes with Easy Vanilla Frosting
Yield: 3 dozen mini cupcakes
1 cup almond milk (or regular milk) + 1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin tins with paper liners and set aside In a large bowl, whip oil and sugar together. Stir in vanilla. In a measuring cup, stir almond milk and vinegar together. Set aside to curdle. In a different bowl, stir all dry ingredients together until evenly mixed. Alternate mixing in wet and dry ingredients to the batter starting and ending with dry Pour evenly into prepared pans and bake 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs after being inserted. Cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting: whip all ingredients together in a large bowl 3-5 minutes or until smooth and fluffy. Frost cupcakes and top with star sprinkles, if desired. And Enjoy!