Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Looking for Signs

I have an affinity for signs.  I love the messages,meaning and stories behind them, the typography and color.  Here are a few signs that we've recently brought into our home.

I fell in love with this flower sign because it reminds me of the giant bouquets that Seattle is known for and what usually inspires me to paint--flowers!  And who doesn't love fresh cut flowers?  They are my favorite way to decorate my home.

When we spotted this at an antique market, we knew we had to have it.  My hubby works in local government, and in our old town we often had citizens show up at our door to tell us they didn't like where a tree was planted or that they should not have been pulled over and served a speeding ticket.  Ironically, the spot where we chose to hang it is right by our front door with the arrow pointing outside.  We didn't plan it that way, but we think it is fitting!

Our most exciting recent sign is our town's giant little league scoreboard that was recently replaced with an electronic one.  I emailed the president of our town's little league board (who also happens to be my son's coach) asking if I could have it if they were throwing it away, and they gave it to us!  We plan to clean it up and either put in our playroom or outside.  They even gave us the old numbers to hang.

We found the sign below in our garage when we moved in and thought it was cute because Skylar had a dance party in our basement.  Now it sits outside near our garage and art studio.

I also like making my own signs.  Skylar chose these words for our kitchen.

I found this cute chalkboard for a steal at a local shop and love this reminder that we see when we leave the house.

And our Cannon Beach, OR sign commemorates our first trip to the Oregon Coast when we stayed at a B&B in Cannon Beach.

I wish I had an old sign from my dad's company, but I am thinking of replicating one. It's official--I am addicted to decorating with signs.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sentimental Pillow

So, there is a reason I post so infrequently here--kids' sports on the weekend!  It is non-stop, which leaves little time for home projects for Bob and me.  But, I'm not complaining.  I love it--it's our social life.

Before we went to a Mariners game the other night, I quickly made this pillow with a black fabric marker, stencils and canvas fabric.  I didn't worry about if the letters were perfectly spaced or straight--I'm embracing the homemade look!  I have no choice--I only had a few minutes. 

This quote is a text that Bob sent me when we were dating.  We were neighbors when we met.  I purposely left little space on the fabric to sew because I wanted the lettering to cover the entire front.  On the back, I put our wedding date.

This is sweet, meaningful project that costs almost nothing (under $10 total) and can be done quickly.  I might make some more with other quotes I love.  I could probably make a bunch with all the hilarious things my kids have said.  How about you?  Any favorite suggestions? 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rag Rug Runner

I've been looking for an extra long runner for our downstairs hallway, but it is challenging to find a beautiful rug for a decent price until I found these rag rugs in Lowes yesterday for $1.98! 

I taped 6 together (and then used carpet tape to secure them to the floor) to make a stunning and colorful runner that seems to incorporate all the different colors in the artwork in our house--tying everything together.  The cost of this homemade runner was around $12!

I bought a few extra rugs and decided to make a runner for the kids' hallway upstairs too.  They love all the colors!  With the one extra one left, Nora turned it into her very own magic carpet to ride on.  Another plus--they are washable.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Vintage Valentine

My mother gifted me my grandmother's card album--notes she received for birthdays and her wedding.  I've been toting this dilapidated album around for quite some time and couldn't figure out what to do with it. 

This year, I decided to cut the cards into heart shapes to use as Valentine's decorations. As I was sorting through them, I felt almost like my grandmother was stopping by for a visit.

I felt that while giving these new life, she was alive again with me for a little while.  This might sound strange and definitely caught me by surprise, but I did feel something I didn't expect to feel. 

  I hung them from our chandelier, stuck some in the chandelier's basket and put them in our wired candleholders.  

I used some old envelopes I found addressed to her as well--sort of a love note, romantic Valentine theme.  And, the roses remind me of one of my favorite stories about my grandfather.  My grandmother loved roses--they were her favorite flower.  So, instead of giving her a dozen roses on Valentine's Day, my grandfather would surprise her with one rose each month so that she could enjoy roses year round.  How sweet is that?

I love resurrecting the old-fashioned names, the elegant handwriting, the sweet sentiments--I'm smitten by it all!  I stuck a few notes, such as the one below, on the mirrors around our house.  The messages on them just make me smile every time I walk by.

I just love feeling that my grandparents are still close to me and my family in some small way.  Valentine's Day seems like the perfect time to remember and feel their love they had for us and for each other.

Happy Valentine's Day!

                                                              xoxo Cricket

PS--The picture in the banner is my grandmother, Margaret.  I will have to sort thru my boxes of pictures to find a great one of the two of them.

What a World!

I recently found this adorable "What a World" fabric that makes a perfect big pillow for the kids' playroom.  The colors are so lively and vibrant--they shout fun and whimsy!

Nora and I love playing "I Spy" with the pillow.  There are so many details--the more you look, the more you notice.  I've even caught her playing games with the pillow by herself.  I'm a huge fan of anything that stimulates a child's imagination.

Love the time zone clocks and flags too.

This line also comes with fabric to make smaller pillows of unique cities throughout the world.  How cute are these?  As a friend pointed out, these are the perfect size for a pillow toss game or the other thousands of creative games that children could come up with using these!

This fabric is perfect for the back of the mini-pillows!  The typography is delightful.

I am so excited about this fabric that I want to share it with others.  So I've decided to sell these in my Etsy Shoppe.  They make a great gift for little ones!  And, if you are decorating a nursery, what creative color and theme inspiration this fabric provides! 

I'm a huge fan of bold, bright colors for children's spaces and can just imagine the many fun objects from different cultures and travels that one could find to go with this.  This fabric is such a great starting point to a stimulating and unique space.  The possibilities are endless!

If you are interested in purchasing the pillows, visit my newly-opened Etsy Shoppe here. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More Branching Out

Our recent snowstorm here in the Pacific Northwest left us many beautiful fallen tree branches.  I couldn't bear to part with them, and I needed something super cheap (meaning FREE) to decorate those pesky and awkard cabinet tops in our kitchen.

This is a great example of two rules I live by when decorating:

1) You do not have to spend a lot of money to create something lovely
2) Use what you have around you

The old wooden Cannon Beach realty sign pays homage to our iconic first trip to the Oregon Coast when we stayed at a cute little B&B at Cannon Beach.

I painted the owls when I took fantastic online art class, How to Paint an Owl, by Juliette Crane.  You can read more about my experience here.  I love how the owlies look in the branches!

And, I found this lovely container at the thrift store for a few bucks, which was quite a steal as these sell in antique stores for a bundle.

Clearly, I am really into tree branches at the moment.  They make such great decor and have become a theme in our home.  More kitchen photos coming soon.  I'm working on a homework/craft center in the kitchen that I can't wait to share!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Willow Branch Curtains

Welcome to Cricket Nest!  I've decided to move the art and home decor projects that I love to share over here instead of posting them on our family blog.  Please pass this blog along to anyone you know who might enjoy some creative inspiration about how to make a home personal, unique and infused with meaning and memories.  I might someday open an Etsy Shoppe again with new products and art, but I'm taking everything slowly here, folks.
My first DIY project that I am so excited to share--our new dining room curtains. 

 The problem: We love the large windows, but the room felt cold and unfinished. 
 The challenge: To create curtains that warmed up the space without blocking the light and view of the pond that we adore. 

They create a soft glow that warms up the room without sacrificing any light.  They are so thin--almost the texture of cheese cloth.  And, the natural linen works with our rustic farmhouse look.

The tree branch curtain rods are the wow factor.  We looked for branches in the woods, but they were all soaked to the core (this is Seattle after all).  So, we checked Craigslist and immediately found these willow branches for the bargain price of $2 each.

And, the flowers?  No-sew, super easy, and affordable!  I found a tutorial online and enjoyed making these because each one turned out differently.  Warning:  making these can be a little addictive.

We are thrilled with how these curtains turned out--they are now our favorite element in our home.  This was the most fun my hubby and I have had doing a home project together.  We enjoyed deciding how to hang the branches and where to put the flowers--it was surprisingly loads of fun! 

When I initially sketched this out, I wasn't sure if it would actually work.  This project reminded me not to be afraid to take a risk with home decor--it might actually turn out to be your favorite thing you've ever done!

A few more shots...

Hope this inspires you to go out on a limb (haha) and try something new!

                                                                                 XOXO Cricket