DIY Felt Pennants – Travel Themes

About once a year, my friend Ariana (of Act 2 Decor) and I get up early go to the Alameda Point Antiques Fair to browse and look for treasures.

I’ve been working hard to clean out the house this year, so I kept my shopping restrained, but I was looking for a vintage felt pennant to finish up a new gallery wall in JJ’s room. I found the perfect piece, and it was definitely meant to be, because it was sold by the family of a former coworker!

When I got home, I was inspired to make some more pennants of my own. I made one for my home town, Toronto, and one for my sister-in-law’s family in New Jersey.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Felt for pennant, lettering, and trim
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Paper for templates
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

Here’s how to do it:

Create a template for your pennant – mine is on two sheets of scrap printer paper. It is 7.5″ high x 21″ long.

Cut out the pennant from a large piece of felt

I sketched the images freehand in reverse on the paper side of the Heat ‘n Bond

For the script lettering, create a word processing document, print out the words, and trace them in reverse onto the paper side of the Heat ‘n Bond

Choose your felt colors for the letters and design and fuse Heat ‘n Bond to one side

Cut out your letters and designs

Arrange on the pennant and iron in place

Cut strips of felt for the binding (optional) and ties and sew in place

Here are my finished pennants. I should make one for San Francisco next!

Here’s a picture together with my vintage find:

And here’s how JJ’s new gallery wall came together!

I had so much fun! What city do you want to celebrate and what image would you use?

Julie aka “Jewels”

DIY Caned Cabinet Doors

I am seriously in love with all the caned cabinet doors and other furniture that’s popular these days. This look fits with all of my favorite styles – Chinoiserie, Hollywood Regency, Bohemian, Mid-Century Modern… and I am excited to find … Continue reading

Sunroom Funroom!

When we moved into our house, the small enclosed balcony became a place for LEGO, board games, and other toys. Now that the boys are older, I’m excited to reclaim this room as a more grown-up space for reading, lounging,… maybe even napping!

At 5’x15′, there is not much space in here, which made this a quick project! The key elements I wanted to include were:

  • Comfortable seating with plush cushions
  • Side table for books and drinks
  • Plants to bring the outside in
  • Throw blankets to snuggle in all seasons

The look I wanted to achieve included:

  • White paint
  • Light-colored fabrics
  • Natural materials, like rattan and bamboo
  • My signature blue-and-white decor

Here are some pictures of how it has all come together. I did buy this daybed quilt set, but otherwise, everything in the room we already had in our house!

I love this ceramic garden stool, but I have been looking for the right spot for it – what could be better than this indoor-outdoor room?!

This bookcase was my grandmother’s. I repainted it about 20 years ago and added the caning (post coming soon) for this space, to create a tropical feel.

We’ve had this round mirror for a while, and it’s a bit small for where it was hanging before, but it works perfectly here. The walls in this room are crazy hard to drill into (which makes sense, because they are actually exterior walls), so I braided some rope from my macrame days and hung it from a hook in one of the ceiling beams. I like how it adds to the outdoorsy, bohemiam vibe in here!

This room is a win-win with the plants – they love all the light, and they definitely help make me feel like I’m outside in nature!

This daybed is a magnet for people who love to snuggle!

Finn would also like to snuggle on the daybed. This is his mildly dissatisfied face, because he had to stay on the rug…

Last couple of close-ups of this vignette. I love how everything old feels new again, when you find just the right combination!

So excited to read, and snuggle, and knit, (and nap) in our new sunroom!

Julie aka “Jewels”

DIY Citrus Collage Canvases – When Life Gives you Lemons

San Francisco’s fog is not the best climate for gardening, but my little lemon tree is getting established, and I wanted to create something citrus-inspired! I had some old canvases lying around (let’s just say that for me, paint-with-wine events are more about the experience than the product!), so I decided to transform them into something new!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Stretched canvases
  • Paint in background color
  • Craft paper in a variety of oranges, yellows, pinks, light greens, and dark greens
  • Mod-Podge

Here’s how to do it:

Paint the canvases in your background color:

ezy watermark_05-07-2019_06-19-21pm

Cut out your shapes:

  • pink blossoms
  • yellow lemons
  • light green limes
  • orange oranges (duh!)
  • green stems and leaves (I started with straight stems, but I recommend adding some curved ones as well)

ezy-watermark_05-07-2019_06-20-01pm.jpg

Start arranging your citrus into branches:ezy watermark_05-07-2019_06-20-42pm

For ideas on how to arrange your shapes, you can look at these inspiration images I found, as well as my finished product.

I am thinking of eventually putting these canvases in my office at work, but for now, I like the feeling of going to sleep in a garden here!

Julie aka “Jewels”

DIY Marbled Clay Ring Dishes

Here is version two of these DIY clay ring dishes! First, I made some in white with stamped designs. I love how those look, but keeping the white clay as clean as possible is a bit stressful. The marbled dishes, on the other hand, are so addictive and relaxing!

ezy watermark_24-05-2019_05-33-05pm

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Premo Sculpey in a coordinating colors (approximately 2oz per bowl)
  • Rolling pin or smooth glass jar
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Circle to trace (approximately 4″)
  • Bowl or other oven-safe mold
  • Optional: sandpaper
  • Paint brush
  • Gold paint
  • Clear glossy varnish

Here’s how to do it:

  • Make strips of clay in each color you want to include. Twist and roll them together until you get the amount of mixing you want.
  • Using a parchment or wax paper work surface, roll the marbled clay flat – about 1/4″ thick
  • Cut out the circle – you can take the cut-off edges and add them to your next marbled bowl, so each one is unique!
  • Place your circle on your mold – I tried it on the outside of a bowl, but I think inside would be better, if you have the right size, because the mold indented the surface slightly
  • Bake according to the instructions for the clay
  • Let it cool, and sand rough edges
  • Paint rim with gold paint
  • Coat with clear varnish

Here are some progress shots and the final products!

Here is how to start the marbling process:ezy watermark_13-05-2019_06-01-26pm

This is what the bowls looked like out of the oven.

ezy watermark_13-05-2019_08-55-52pm

Next step: gold paint on the rim!

Last step: clear gloss varnish!

 

I’m seriously addicted to making these bowls… can you guess what’s up next?!

Julie aka “Jewels”

DIY Stamped Ring Dishes in White and Gold

These little pretty and versatile trinket dishes have been catching my eye for some time now, and I just needed an occasion to try them!

I’ve been so lucky to have a lot of fun dinners/ brunches/ weekends with my girlfriends recently. (See the moms’ brunch I hosted here.) I thought these dishes would be fun to make as party favors/ souvenirs.

I tried making a few different styles of dishes, and I’ll post the variations here soon. While I love the results of all of them, the white bowls are a bit stressful to make (hard to keep clean!), and the marble is really relaxing, so choose your project accordingly!!

There are so many different kids of polymer clay, and when I found myself overwhelmed standing in Michael’s, I appreciated this overview of the different clays and their uses. After reading this summary, I ended up choosing Premo Sculpey.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Premo Sculpey in white (approximately 2oz per bowl)
  • Rolling pin or smooth glass jar
  • Stencils and stamps
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Circle to trace (approximately 4″)
  • Bowl or other oven-safe mold
  • Optional: sandpaper
  • Paint brush

Here’s how to do it:

  • This white clay collects and shows dust and lint very easily, so try to keep your hands, tools, and work surface as clean as possible
  • Using a parchment or wax paper work surface, knead your clay and roll it flat – about 1/4″ thick
  • Cut out the circle
  • Stamp your designs in the center
  • Place your circle on your mold – I tried it on the outside of a bowl, but I think inside would be better, if you have the right size, because the mold indented the surface slightly
  • Bake according to the instructions for the clay
  • Let it cool, and sand rough edges
  • Paint rim with gold paint
  • Coat with clear varnish

Here are some progress shots and the final products!

Clay rolled out, stamped, and ready to mold

This is what the bowls looked like out of the oven, before paint and varnish. I like the matte look, but I suspect they’d get dirty over time.

Next step: gold paint on the rim!

Last step: clear gloss varnish!

Here’s a sneak peak at the marble bowls. I’ll get the post up some time (soon?)!

I’m seriously addicted to making these bowls…

Julie aka “Jewels”

Brunch in Blue and White

Mother’s Day is coming up tomorrow, which is probably not news to anyone, except my family, who realized yesterday… Anyway, I have very mixed feelings about this holiday. It’s the day that makes me think of my mom the most, and those memories are very sweet, but it’s hard for me to push past missing her to actually feel happy and excited.

Life conspired perfectly this year, as one of my good friends celebrated her birthday the day before Mother’s Day, and I hosted a small brunch for her. It felt very meaningful to put together this event, using treasures that are full of stories for me. Sipping tea, laughing, and pouring our hearts out with my dear mom friends was something I could wholeheartedly feel good about, so I’m calling today my own version of Mother’s Day.

Lots of special stories behind our brunch table, which I hope you will enjoy as much as we did!

Tulips! These are among my favorite flowers and remind me of springtime growing up. We don’t see many in San Francisco, but I’m hoping to go visit a tulip festival some day.

The little succulent was rescued from a work dinner I attended, and it’s growing in a pretty Anthropologie mug I was given by my dear coworker. The small blue and white vase on the stand was my grandmother’s.

I started collecting tea cups when I was planning Nicola’s baby shower, and I love the stories behind each one – the one on the right was actually a gift from Nicola!

These plates were given to me by one of my mom’s closest friends, about eight years after my mom died. She told me that she had seen them in an antique shop while shopping with my mom, and my mom went back to buy them for her. I remember both of these kind, generous, and loving women, when I use them.

The ginger jar on the left and the Blue Willow tea cup are thrift store finds!

I am running low on stories, so just enjoy this picture!

Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who enjoy this holiday. And if you, like me, find it difficult or complicated, I hope you find something meaningful to celebrate… like a giant fiddle leaf fig that is “mother” to many cuttings I have propagated and shared!

Hmmm, some pictures of our food!

Sending love to all who need it,

Julie, aka “Jewels”

Calm Spaces for a Calm Mind – Tips for Cord Management

I want to be very clear that I’m no minimalist, but I’ve definitely been working hard on taming the clutter in our house. In the process, I’ve really noticed how calming it is to see a formerly-cluttered space all cleared … Continue reading

Repotting Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant

After years of professing to have a black thumb, I have been pleasantly surprised to discover over the past couple of years that fiddle leaf figs seem to love me as much as I love them.

Other posts in my fiddle leaf fig series are:

Today, I’m sharing tips on repotting your plants. I just repotted my two largest plants, which actually turned out to be a serious workout! (Or so I told myself when I had dessert later…)

What are some signs it’s time to repot your plant?

  • You just bought a new plant – most new plants from the nursery have been in their small pots for a while and should be repotted.
  • The soil isn’t holding water – water runs through more quickly than usual, because much of the soil is filled with roots
  • You see roots coming out the bottom of your pot (see below!)
  • It’s been a couple of years since you repotted. The timing depends on how fast your plants are growing. I’ve had to repot every 1-2 years

This plant had been in the same pot for about 20 months, and it was definitely time to repot it!

Tips for repotting your plant:

Ideally, try to repot in the spring or summer, when your plant is growing fastest, as this will help it recover more easily. Since we’re in California, where winters are shorter and milder, I’ve been able to repot in winter without issues – this was out of necessity, when I suddenly realized my plants were suffering from outgrowing their pots.

Pick a pot that’s a few inches bigger than the previous pot. Going up too far in size will leave too much empty soil and risk overwatering. Ideally, use a pot with good drainage, though I have do have several growing successfully in pots without drainage holes – I did put more rocks at the bottom of those, to create a space for water to drain within the pot.

If the roots are really matted and tight (left picture below), you can gently loosen and trim them (right picture below). If you can’t or don’t want to use a larger pot, you can also gently trim the roots, brush off as much of the soil as possible, and use the same pot, though this might limit your plant’s growth overall. I’ve just put my biggest two plants into 24″ diameter pots, which I think is as big as I’ll go, so I’ll need to try just trimming the roots next time. I had to look in a few places before finding this size at Flowercraft in San Francisco.

Line the bottom of your pot with small rocks to keep the soil from leaking out and add extra drainage. Add a layer of fresh potting soil on top of the rocks, and put your plant back in. Adjust the height by adding or removing soil until the top of the root ball sits a little below the rim of your pot, remembering that the soil will compact a bit over time.

Fill in soil around the root ball until about two inches from the top. Add some slow release fertilizer pellets – I use this one from Osmocote – and the continue filling in soil until it’s even with the top of your root ball.

Give your plant a good watering, and watch it grow!

Here’s a picture of the craziness while I was in the middle of repotting the two big trees – it’s a jungle in here!

My plants sure seem happy in their new pots! I have a plan to sew some giant planter bags for them, similar to this one, which is now going to be handed down to a younger FLF! UPDATE: Here are some pics of the plants in their new planter bags, and here’s a link to the tutorial for the new giant planter bags!

Let me know if you have any questions, and happy gardening!

Julie aka “Jewels”