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Entries in Lauren Elise Crafted (88)

Wednesday
Oct102012

A Catalyst

Sometimes when you fall out of routine and slowly loosen up on your responsibilities, it is just easier to stay in that new state. No routine, no obligations, sounds pretty carefree, right? Not necessarily. I fell out of routine with this blog during the summer and the hardest part was doing what I'm doing now...simply writing. When I created that new world for myself, a world in which I didn't need to blog everyday or check in with comments or tweet to followers, I slowly was amassing this mountain of a roadblock between the problem (more about that in a minute) and the solution (dealing with the problem by posting). At first it felt good to not have that responsibility but quickly that morphed into feeling crummy about myself (I'm lazy, I have nothing good to say, What else are you really doing that is so important?) Not blogging wasn't really the answer and I didn't feel great about it but it was still the easier path, the road of least resistance. How many of you are familiar with this road? I'm not proud to admit it but this lack of action has been my way of dealing with some issues in the past. What I can be proud of, is that today I'm changing that by showing up here.

So what is this mountain-sized problem that I was faced with this summer, that I am still facing now? Inspiration, motivation and passion! I fell out of love with my blog this summer and it became something I was forcing myself to do. I started my blog at a very impressionable time in my life and I have changed so much since then. My goals as a creative soul, as a human being, as a maturing adult are growing and adjusting and that means this blog is going to grow with me and become something different. I think during this summer I was a little scared to change it and also confused about how I was exactly going to change it. Why alter something unless you have a crazy, new, amazing idea right? Wrong. I post here to help myself grow, to help identify my inspirations, to act as a visual storyboard for the creativity brewing within. If this is a dormant space, I too feel a bit dormant.

For weeks I have been meaning to blog, to get back into that old routine. I just needed a catalyst. I knew that once I started sharing again, my problem would slowly start to work itself out naturally. This week I started a blogging e-course to help reinvigorate my creative soul. Holly Becker, the writer behind one of my favorite sites Decor8 also teaches a blogging bootcamp called Blogging Your Way and I have always been intrigued when I heard it mentioned across the blogosphere. A few weeks ago a reminder for her latest course showed up in my inbox and I jumped on the opportunity. It was the sign I needed. Let's get back into this! It was my catalyst and I'm hoping that the work I put in here will be a discovery into my new inspirations, motivations and passions. Lauren Elise Crafted may change a bit in this process but after writing this post, that change is no longer worrisome to me. My blog should reflect me. Moving forward, the road isn't exactly clear but I must say I'm excited for the journey. If you choose to tag along, I hope we can share and encourage each other.

The images are a few shots I took this morning of my desk. I recently reorganized my room and am in the process of hanging artwork and surrounding myself with my most treasured items. The goal is to keep the things I love nearby so that I can draw inspiration from them when I'm feeling unmotivated.

P.S. Thank you for bearing with me. I know this was a long post but it feels good to be open and honest.

Tuesday
Jul102012

Tips for a Simple Summer Tablescape

It has been heating up here this week in Southern California. We got by for quite awhile without getting past the mid-90s. But 100-degree weather has finally hit and with that we can officially welcome in summer. We actually have been quite lucky here. I know some parts of the country are stifling right now. I have family on the East Coast who have updated us on the extreme heat in New York and Connecticut. And my friend from Washington, D.C. had high temperatures, high humidity and no power for three days. I guess us Southern Californians cannot complain too much. Have you been dealing with extreme temperatures? How are you coping?

Since the heat is definitely upon us now, I thought I would share this simple summer tablescape that I styled a few weeks ago for Houzz. I will share the DIY for the tablecloth here on the blog soon but for today I thought I would just focus on some simple entertaining tips to use during these hot months.

When it is this warm, I think it's important to keep things as simple and easy as possible. Designate a linen drawer to hold your summer go-to favorites. We have had these red gingham napkins tucked away for ages but there is something casual and uniquely summer about them. They compliment the blue and white palette nicely and were just the right pop of color to keep things interesting.

Incorporate your food into the decor as well. Since red was my complimentary color, these diced tomatoes made for a lovely spread and focal point. The best part is once you are done admiring them, they can be shared and enjoyed. If you are having guests, write out names on scrap pieces of paper and clip with a clothespin. It is a simple detail but it will stop the wind from blowing them away.

Instead of laying out your silverware, just store it all in a mason jar. For an easy summer meal, the casualness is welcome. A bloom or two always makes an evening more special. Clip a few buds from your garden and display them in a used glass jar. This white peony was the last pretty remnant from a wilting bouquet. It got to have one last hurrah for this dinner. The jar is actually a repurposed balsamic vinegar jar from Trader Joe's. The shape was perfect though and it looks very vintage.

You can never go wrong with white dishes. They are timeless and can be used all year round. Against the blue and red backdrop, these white plates really popped. It makes the tabe look so crisp and fresh.

But the best suggestion is to not get caught up in the details. Focus more on enjoying the meal and your lovely guests. It may be hot this summer but with a refreshing drink and good company, the days are sure to be a delight. What are some of your summer mealtime routines? What are your go-to pieces for easy entertaining during these hot months?  

Wednesday
Jul042012

DIY Project: Two-Tone Gilded Air Plant Terrarium

For those readers in the United States, happy Independence Day! Do you have big plans for the holiday? Are you having a party? Barbecuing? Watching fireworks? I have work today so the festivities will be limited but we have a great view of a couple different firework shows from our deck so that is how I will spend my evening. Whatever your plans, be safe and have fun!

Today I wanted to share a DIY project that I put together for Houzz. I acquired this little air plant awhile ago and have been meaning to create an official home for it. Air plants live off of the air (hence the name) so they have the ability to grow on any surface. I wanted to put together something unique that would become a display piece in our home. I actually came up with something quite simple and minimal in design but I gave it a little color boost with some gold spray paint. Here is the two-tone gilded terrarium I made:

Instead of rocks, I used a bag of white navy beans that you can get for cheap at the grocery store. All the materials are easy to find and inexpensive and some you might have lying around your home already.

Do you want to DIY this gold terrarium yourself? Check out the article on Houzz to see the full tutorial and materials list:

Bowl Over Guests With a DIY Air Plant Terrarium 

Originally we were displaying this guy on our coffee table, as shown in the pictures, but Scout started getting too interested in the beans. She kept sneaking them and I'd find navy beans scattered in the living room. We have it up higher now, near a window so the plant can get plenty of light.

I thought succulents were easy to care for but air plants are even better for those who are plant-challenged...aka people like me. I spritz mine with a little spray bottle occasionally and every once in awhile I submerge it in a cup of water. But it can survive without water for a long time. This might be my ideal plant. Have you tried caring for air plants? How do you care for yours?

Happy 4th of July! 

Thursday
Jun142012

Simple & Rustic Wood Block Candelabra DIY

Today I am excited to share my own take on the classic candelabra in this DIY project that I created specially for Houzz. I transformed a basic wood block from Home Depot into a rich and rustic base that is a display for thin taper candles. I wanted the materiality to be the prominent feature and have the simple, clean lines of the design take a back seat to the striking wood grain which I enhanced with a walnut stain. I love minimalist designs and wanted this candelabra to reflect that. But there is such a beauty in warm hues and I thought the rustic wood adds that aesthetic to this project quite perfectly.

It was such a journey trying to find these long, thin tapers. Online is an easy resource but I was trying to source them locally. I ran around to a handful of different shops but I kept coming up short. Finally I had success at a party supply store called Party City. The candles were actually longer even and I had to chop them down. They were worth the frenzied search though. They look great paired with this walnut-stained block.

See how to make this project on Houzz:

This Modern DIY Candelabra Is the Envy of the Block

I plan to share some family dinners gathered around this candelabra eating out on our deck. A meal by candlelight under a starry sky sounds like a great way to spend summer evenings, don't you think? What are some of the DIYs you have planned for the summer? 

Wednesday
May302012

Houzz Feature: Simple Screenprint Cloud Pillows

Hi readers! How has your week been going so far? Today I want to share a DIY that involves one of my favorite crafting techniques. I have heard it called 'Poor Man's Screenprinting' before and I love that title because it really is the cheapest, easiest way to pull off the screenprinting technique. Real printing is an elaborate and beautiful process (I wrote about one of my favorite print shops Sass & Peril last year...be sure to check out all of Shannon's beautiful work) and the real thing definitely puts this technique to shame. But this way does help get crisp, clean paint lines when you are painting on fabric.

I created this DIY for Houzz and demonstrated a step-by-step tutorial on making your own cloud pillow using this screenprinting process.

With just a few materials you can make this design or something similar in a few hours on a weekend or in the evening after work. To see what you need to make this DIY and to follow along with all the steps, visit the article I wrote on Houzz: Punch Up a Pillow With an Easy Stenciling Project.

Do you recognize that calligraphy? It's my new favorite Jacques and Gilles which I've mentioned a few times on here now. Part of the script was done using the screenprinting technique but I also had to freehand some of it (where the lines get really skinny). 

Have you ever tried this craft technique yourself? What did you make and how did it turn out? I have used it multiple times and have been very happy with the results. 

Happy Wednesday everyone!