Salt Dough Sea Star Garland...and Lu's Under the Sea Bedroom Makeover!

Hello Friends!  

I'm so excited with what I have to share with you today!  It's a huge project that's been consuming my life for the last couple of weeks.  Do you remember when I made that bird canopy for Ellie's bed last year?   

Well, Lu's been reminding me that her bed's overdue for a makeover too.  If you know anything about this kid, you know that she always thinks BIG.  So I knew I wasn't just going to get away with a canopy this time. 
There were requests for fish, and sea stars, and huge jellyfish that would make a bloom above her bed.  Seriously crazy stuff, right?  But then I got caught up making them with her and we actually had a lot of fun.  I'm going to be sharing the projects a little bit at a time over the next couple of weeks as they are all going to take a while to write up.  I'm going to show you a sneak peak of all the projects in the room today though, as well as a really simple look into how we make our sea star garland which is so simple...and looks pretty awesome I think too!

Before I get into the tutorial though let me give you a little tour of the room.  First, meet Mr. Pufferfish: 

And those giant jelly fish I was talking about?  Yeah, they might be my favorite.  I love them!  I also love that I didn't spend a single dollar on fabric because my scrap bin had lots of cool fancy fabrics left over from all of the dresses that the girls have begged me to make over the years. 

Here's a view of the room itself.  It's a dark room, so I had such a hard time trying to photograph it.  I feel like it looks way cooler in real life. You can also see the sea star pillow that I made for the bed, along with the mermaids we made!  So much fun!

 Like I said before, I've got lots to share with you!  Today though I thought I'd focus on giving you a little peak at how to make this sea star garland that I made out of salt dough.  It was so simple it's almost not really a tutorial...but hey, that's good right?  Wouldn't this look so fun in a beach house too?
Let's get started!


Spring Break California Road Trip...all the details!

 Hi friends! Are you on spring break this week?  Do you have any big plans?

Last week was our spring break and we threw together a rather spur of the moment trip around California.  I know travel posts aren't really my "normal" posts here on the blog, but every once and a while I just can't help but share some of my adventures!  

We've had a rather amazingly wet winter this year.  After years of drought, all that wetness has led to a rather dramatic spring here.  Knowing that I just couldn't stay put for spring break!  So we threw the kids in the car and spent a week exploring!

Every member of the family got a say as to what they most wanted to do.  My oldest daughter wanted to go and see an art museum, and she wanted to go to the beach.  My husband wanted to go to the mountains.  My younger daughter wanted to go to Disneyland.  (She's 5 after all...and happens to share a name with a certain Disney princess.)  I wanted to go to the flower fields at Carlsbad Ranch. 

We did it all!  Everyone got to do a little bit of what they wanted....and the result is we got to see a lot of this beautiful state.  It was quite a bit of driving (since we live in the San Francisco area and most of the areas that we visited were farther south). 

I can't wait to share with you some of the pictures from our trip!

We started out in  Bass Lake...

My kids stayed with the grandparents for a night and my husband and I got to go away to bass lake, a charming little lake located about an hour from where I grew up.  We stayed at the pines resort, which is a lovely place to stay! We hiked a bit around the area and enjoyed the fact that it's not yet busy with the summer crowd.
 Then we picked up the kids and headed to Yosemite.  We went midweek, but it was still crowded.  We had a picnic and visited Bridalveil falls.  We've been to Yosemite before, so we were able to just relax a bit and take in some of the sites.  It's truly beautiful this time of year...and so much water is falling from the falls this year!
After Yosemite we headed south to Los Angeles where we spent an afternoon at the Getty museum.  I really love that my 7 year old wanted to go to an art museum as her top choice on Spring Break!  She's been learning about different artists in school and was especially excited to see some of the impressionist paintings. 

The Getty does a great job providing materials to keep kids interested in the museum.  There are scavenger hunt brochures that you can get in their family center which helps the kids have a bit more fun things to look at.  The best thing is that the Getty museum is free (except for a $15 parking fee) so it's a great place to visit with kids.  If they lose interest quickly it's ok, as you haven't spent a ton of money on entrance tickets. The gardens are also a great place for them to explore!
After the Getty we headed to Anaheim to go to Disneyland and California adventures.  We spent a day in each of the parks...and I think Disneyland speaks for itself.   I enjoyed trying out some settings on my camera there to try get some pretty pictures at the park! 
Do you recognize this Elena dress?  Yep!  It's the one that I made!
After Disneyland we headed to the flower fields at Carlsbad Ranch.  These were STUNNING!!  I was so excited to be able to get there when the flowers were in peak bloom.  Totally worth the traffic to get there!  And now I want to be a gardener....

We followed the flower fields with a trip to the beach right in Carlsbad.  So nice!
That's all of the main stops on our trip, but I feel like we got to see so much more.  Thanks to all of the rain this year the trip was full of hills full of wildflowers...as far as the eye can see.  The drive felt like a destination all in itself.  

(And let's keep it real...  The trip wasn't all wildflowers and beautiful views.  We were in car for over 20 hours...with a certain 5 year old that still gets carsick (as we found out on this trip)....so let's just say beautiful views definitely made this trip feel a bit more managable!)

Now that we're home and settling back in it feels like such an epic-ly beautiful trip.  California in the spring is just so lovely!  

Have a great spring break everyone, and Easter too! I'll be back her next week with some more crafty goodness!  I've been working on so many projects right now.  I can't wait to share all of the details!

Have a wonderful week everyone!

XOXO, Jill


Zippered Tote Bag Tutorial

Hi Friends!
Today I'm over at Make It and Love It showing how to make this zippered tote bag.  It's an easier project than you might think...and oh, so useful!

I've said it before, but having lots of bags is the only way that I stay organized for all of my kids' activities!  A zippered tote bag can be so useful for so many things!  Make it an activity bag, library bag...so many possibilities.

Have a great week everyone!!




DIY Bunny Stuffies--Easy enough for a kid to make!

Happy Monday friends!

I hope your week is off to a great start.  Today I'm sharing a simple project that I did with my kids last week.  It was totally spontaneous and unplanned, but my kids totally ate it up.

It seems like as my kids get older it's harder and harder to be able to just have a crafting afternoon.  Between sports and extracurricular activities we are just so busy!  So I really cherish the times when we do get a chance to do a little unplanned crafting.

We made bunnies!  They are tiny little things, made exclusively from my scrap bin.  Yet my kids love them so much!
 My 7 year old did almost all of the sewing herself, and she was so proud of the result.  She really liked trying to figure out how we could make a simple bunny from just a few pieces.
These little bunnies are a really great first sewing project for kids, and you can even use a hot glue gun if you want to make it even simpler.
 Who wants to make some bunnies?


One-Of-A-KInd Throw Pillows

Fabric in this post was provided by Contrado.  All thoughts, opinions, and designs are my own.

Hello friends! 

 I'm really excited about today's post for several reasons.  For one, I think it's super exciting to be able to have the tools to design our own home products.  Like the fabric for my dishtowels a few weeks ago, the fabric for these pillows came from Contrado.  I sent them my designs, and they printed out my designs on an absolutely lovely velvet shimmer fabric.  It's thick and luxuriously soft, and I was totally in love with how vivid my designs printed out. 

 I absolutely love showcasing projects on this blog that empower people to be designers....even if it's just for their own homes.  There's just something incredibly exciting to see your own designs or photographs show up as material on your doorstep.  I don't think I'll ever tire of it!

But the second reason that I'm so excited for this post is that it's kind of a big step for me.  About six months ago I really felt the need to try something new.  I was rather overwhelmed at the time, and I found myself photographing flowers from my yard.  And then adding in some designs with watercolor and ink pens.  I was just experimenting and relieving some stress by crafting.  

Lately I've found myself being drawn to explore this creative medium more and more...and I'm really, really excited by it.  Yet I haven't really shared anything about these projects on the blog here...until now! Even thought I blog every week, I still feel a little intimidated sharing my art here, because I still feel like I have so much to learn.
I think these throw pillows are perfect "coming out" for my art, don't you think though? I'm excited to share this little "piece of my heart" with you today!
And I'm going to show you how you can make some truly special pillows of your own too.  I'm going to talk about how you can add a little bit of trim to really make your pillows something special. It makes them look so professional!
 See, doesn't a little bit of trim elevate these pillows to a whole new level?  I don't think that they look homemade at all!
Oooohhhhh...And this trim too.  I'm seriously swooning.
You're going to want to make some of these! They really aren't hard to make once you know a few simple tricks!

Let me tell you the tips to make some really professional looking pillows!


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