Archive - Filing Cabinet RSS Feed

Up to the Highest Heights

We do plenty of open-ended art projects around here. “Here are some watercolors; let’s paint!” Or “I brought home a big package of pipe cleaners. What should we make?” But the kids, Eleanor especially, really like having a project with step-by-step instructions to follow. I think they feel good about having made something themselves by following directions, so they love kits.

Kiwi Crate Craft Kit

I was given the opportunity to test out Kiwi Crate, a monthly subscription service, and I let E choose which craft we should try. They have different themes each month, like gardening, dinosaurs, and space, and Eleanor picked Fun with Flight because she wanted to make kites. Once she knew I’d ordered it, she asked “is it here yet?” every day until it arrived.

Eleanor and August

Each kit comes with all of the materials you need to make two or three projects (depending on which theme you choose), along with Kiwi Crate’s explore! magazine. Their monthly subscriptions start at $16.95/month with free shipping, and they also sell supplies like pipe cleaners, felt, and pom-poms, or party favors like capes, wands, and wings.

Making a Kiwi Crate Kite

Making a Kiwi Crate Kite

After finishing up her first kite, she and August both made rockets that launch with a rubber band. Kiwi Crate offers a “no fight” option with extra materials, so E and A were each able to make a happy-face kite and a grumpy one, and two different rockets. The both got the bonus paper flyers that were included and their own copies of the explore! magazine, too.

Making Kiwi Crate Rocket Ships

Kiwi Crate is offering a discount for my readers right now. Join their Time Traveler Series with projects to fall back in time! The promotional code excludes sibling add-ons, but you can save 25% on your first month subscription with code LOVELY25.

Making Kiwi Crate Rocket Ships

So cute. I love a good craft project that comes to my door, with all the guess-work and supply-shopping taken care of. And the kids loved making everything!

What We’re Reading Right Now

Our family likes books, you might say. I started working in an independent bookstore in 1998, and met Brandon when he was hired a year later (and we both stayed on until 2004 — the same year we were married). The kids have tons of books in their rooms, and we installed floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to hold (most of) our collection in the front parlor of our Victorian after having made a library of our second floor landing in our first house. Yeah, we kinda like reading.

Brandon switched over to digital books a few years before I did, and now we both read like a mix of traditional and e-books. I use an iPad or sometimes my iPhone, and Brandon reads a Kindle. We were recently introduced to Oyster, which has been described as “Netflix for books,” and it’s pretty awesome. It works on both of our operating systems (and Android, too), and there are several display settings to choose from, letting you customize the look. You get unlimited access to over half a million books for $9.95 a month, and they have everything from classics to new releases (with new titles being added all the time). The best part is that the app makes it easy to find new books through their collections by genre, and it even learns what you like and makes recommendations based on your tastes and activity.

Oyster is offering a 30-day free trial right now and you can browse their popular titles to find some good new books, but I thought it would be fun to put together a reading list with picks from both Brandon and me. Summer’s winding down, but I’m still sort of in that light and fun frame of mind when choosing what to read right now, so my list reflects that. I’m guessing by Brandon’s list that he’s in the ‘end of the world apocalypse’ frame of mind, but you know, to each their own.

Our Oyster Books Reading List

Summer Reads

If you’re still looking for something quick and easy to pick up, these are some good options.

Guilty Pleasures

I re-read a couple of these recently, and oh man. They are ridiculous, in the best way.

My To-Read List

We all have that list of books that we’ve been meaning to get to, right? These are a few of mine.

Brandon’s Picks

Brandon assures me that A Confederacy of Dunces comes together in the end, but I only made it halfway before I gave up on it in favor of something else. (I’m sure I’m wrong and in the minority here, seeing as it’s a Pullitzer Prize winner and all.)

Oyster is offering a free 30-day trial for my readers, so you can try it out for yourself. I have a bunch of other titles that I’m eager to read (I narrowed it down to just three here!), but I’d love a few suggestions too. I’ll add them to my reading list!

Three Easy Wallpaper Projects

I flew out to New York a couple of weeks ago to film a segment at the Meredith studio for Better TV. (I went to six cities over the course of a month while in my third trimester, so I’m glad to be done with traveling for a while!) I shared a few wallpaper project ideas for the video below — ways to use it besides on your walls — using the allen + roth line from Lowe’s.

Filming with Better TV

1

Decoupaged Letters

We spelled out “LOVE” to give the basic idea in the video above, but I think it’s the kind of project that would be great for personalizing a nursery or kid’s room (either with their name spelled out in full, or just their first initial).

Materials Needed: metallic brocade wallpaper • water and a small brush (to activate paste) • scissors • craft letters

Instructions: Place a letter face down on your wallpaper, trace the shape, cut it out, and set aside. Next, begin covering the sides of your letter — a little water will activate the glue on the paper’s backing. (If using paper that isn’t prepasted, Mod Podge works well for this project.) Long strips of paper are fine for straight sides, but smaller pieces work well for curves. After all of the sides have been covered, affix the top piece and smooth into place.

hr 644

2

Drawer Liners

Lined drawers are always a nice touch, right? You could use adhesive paper made for drawers of course, but wallpaper comes in so many more colors and patterns. Lined shelves, in a closet or otherwise, are another opportunity for customization. And if the wallpaper has a nonwoven backing like the allen + roth line does, it’s easy to remove if you ever want to change the style.

Materials Needed: striped wallpaper • water and a small brush (to activate paste) • scissors and/or razor blade • metal ruler or other straight edge • drawers or shelves

Instructions: (Pretty sure you can figure this one out without instructions, but here goes!) Cut a piece of wallpaper to the size of your drawer or shelf. Activate the paste on the back of your wallpaper by applying water with a brush, and place the paper in your drawer. Smooth, then trim edges with a razor.

hr 644

3

Bookcase Update

We used grasscloth to add texture and change the color of the back of a bookcase, but obviously you can use any style you like, depending on the look you’re going for. And that bookshelf? Truly a quick and easy project. We had actually started with a white bookshelf on set and the grasscloth looked great on the back of it, but it wasn’t reading well on camera. In a very quick, very last minute switcheroo, we swapped out the white bookshelf for a black one instead. I think it took all of 15 minutes from start to finish!

Materials Needed: grasscloth wallpaperwallpaper paste • razor blade • metal ruler or other straight edge • bookcase

Instructions: Remove the backing from your bookcase if possible. Trace it onto your wallpaper and cut out. If the back of your bookcase can not be removed, measure and cut a piece of wallpaper to size. Activate the paste on your wallpaper by applying water with a brush, and place the paper on the back of your bookcase. Smooth, then trim edges with a razor.

hr 644

Come Say Hello

Remember, I’ll be at my local Lowe’s this Saturday, offering one-on-one design consultations and doing another fun project with wallpaper that you can make and take with you! RSVP to PublicRelations@Lowes.com to make sure you’ve got a spot.

Style Saturday Invitation

Page 2 of 162«12345»...Last »