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Entries in summer (10)

Thursday
May302013

Summer Moments

Summer is definitely upon us now and in Southern California the temperatures are rising. I share some of my thoughts about special summer moments over on my new blog Cottage Journal. Visit there to see more.

Monday
Jul162012

DIY Project: Ombré Tablecloth & A Spray Bottle Dye Technique

Happy Monday blog friends! How was your weekend? I'm kicking this Monday off with a DIY project. Last week I shared my summer outdoor entertaining tips which featured this ombré tablecloth:

I created the ombré effect myself on canvas dropcloth purchased from Home Depot. Dropcloth comes in a variety of sizes (this one was 5'x5'), all readily available at local home improvement or paint stores. It is inexpensive and very durable, ideal for outdoor conditions.

You can achieve the ombré effect in various ways, usually it involves dipping fabric into a bucket of dye. I wanted to eliminate the bucket and come up with something easier. I created this blue tablecloth with nothing more than a spray bottle, water and some fabric dye. I saw results immediately and had a lot of control over how light or dark the pigment would turn out. The dyeing process is quick and then you just need to wait for the tablecloth to dry in the sun.

Want to see all the steps in perfecting this ombré technique? Check out the full article and all the pictures on Houzz:

Make a Fashion-Forward Ombré Tablecloth

The dropcloth I purchased was lined with waterproof plastic on the back. I thought this built-in feature would be handy if the dropcloth were used as an outdoor area rug. Keep it poolside, a place for everyone to relax and grab refreshments between dips in the swimming pool. 

What DIY creations have you been working on this summer? How have you implemented them into your summer lifestyle? My family eats outside a lot so these tablecloths are perfect for setting up a quick and casual dinner.

Have a great week!

Sunday
Jul152012

My Week Through Instagram: Week Twenty-Five & Twenty-Six

This Sunday I have a lot of recapping to do so bare with me! This year I challenged myself to post a picture a day on Instagram, a personal project to document my life and the things that inspire me on a daily basis. If you follow along here you've probably already seen my weekly recap posts. This summer has not been the most productive in terms of blogging (I'm sorry to say...life is keeping me busy) and I haven't shared a recap post here on the blog in four weeks. That's an entire month! Today I am going to get back on track and share my Instagram photos from the last month, weeks twenty-five to twenty-eight.

I'll start if off with week twenty-five:

Sunday: Cute red & white checkered packaging on my sandwich.

Monday: Summer started to finally heat up and we had our fans on full-bore.

Tuesday: This marked the first day of our road trip. We vacationed in Denver for a few days, stopping in St. George, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado along the way. We pulled over in Vegas for a quick break and I snapped this shot of the sunset and skyline.

Wednesday: Somewhere in Utah on day two of our road trip. The rock formations in Utah were gorgeous. It was such a site to see and definitely something different from the scenery in Southern California.

Thursday: Who knew I was to find my dream home in Grand Junction, Colorado? We took an evening stroll through this historic downtown neighborhood and it was full of charm. Not only is this house mint in color but it has that lovely scalloped woodworking detail.

Friday: Spent the late morning and lunchtime meandering through Washington Park. This is a great neighborhood in Denver with a lot of historic homes and shady overgrown trees. It reminded me of some of our old streets at home. There were quite a few geese and ducks sleeping in the shade and getting cool in the lakes. The temperatures were pretty high.

Saturday: Took a quick jaunt to Boulder, CO to see an art market put on by my friend Nic. Found this inspiring tile floor while waiting for lunch.

And now for a roundup of week twenty-six:

Sunday: A favorite stop along the road was Frisco, Colorado. It was small but it had a charming downtown that ended in a scenic marina and lake. It clearly was a destination for vacationers looking to escape the Denver heat. We stopped there on the way to Denver but then returned on the way back because we enjoyed it so much.

Monday: Another capture of the impressive rocks in Utah. It was incredibly windy at this rest stop.

Tuesday: We made it home on Tuesday but these violet flowers were a sweet surprise I found while in Frisco.

Wednesday: In the evening I visited a local wine bar with a friend I haven't seen in awhile. Nothing beats sharing a glass of red with good friends.

Thursday: I picked up some strawberries at the grocery to try out a strawberry margarita recipe. They were perfect and sweet, just like they should be.

Friday: My family clearly couldn't get enough strawberries so we opted for the three-carton bundle to get us through the weekend.

Saturday: Revisiting pictures from Denver. This one was taken along the river at the new park there. Those colors in that sunset are something.

Follow me on Instagram if you like. My username is laurenelisecrafted. Or see all of my pictures on the computer through Followgram. 

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?  

Friday
Jul062012

Washington Park in Denver, Colorado

Happy Friday everyone! For my American readers, did you all have a nice Fourth of July holiday? I had a long day at work so by the time I got home, ate some dinner and watched a few fireworks I was ready to call it a night (and then wake up super early the next day). So mine wasn't too eventful. I hope you all had a safe and fun day.

I want to share a few of my Colorado vacation pictures today. Summer is synonymous with time spent in the park and outdoor picnics. While in Denver we visited a few parks because we had Scout with us and she limited what we could do indoors. Scout appreciated romping around outside and getting out of the car (we spent a lot of hours in the car). Denver was very hot while we were there so we gravitated toward shaded spots on the lawn. A favorite destination was Washington Park (or Wash Park as the locals call it), recommended by my Denver friend Nic. The neighborhood is just what I enjoy: old homes with lots of detail, big overgrown trees lining the streets, big sidewalks and plenty of photo opportunities. 

This old high school was right across the street from the park. It was beautiful, looking so collegiate with the ivy climbing up the brick walls. No high schools look like this is Southern California. Since we don't have any extreme weather, our schools are really spread out with multiple buildings and a lot of outdoor areas. To me, this is a school out of the movies. On the right, is a wrought-iron gate in the Washington Park neighborhood. Look at all of those green trees!

Just one of the many old homes I feel in love with here. Even in the middle of the day on a Friday, this felt like a lively community. So many people were at the park, most of them walking, jogging, rollerbladding and biking. The people of Denver are very healthy. Even in the minimal time we spent there, I saw this to be the case.

There were two small lakes in the park and ducks and geese were cooling off and sleeping in the shade.

It is a pretty picturesque spot.

Scout has obviously seen birds before but this might have been her first encounter with ducks. She was very intrigued...but from a safe distance of course. I wouldn't mind having this park as my view everyday. What a lovely park to walk in and get inspired.

Scout had the whole backseat to stretch out in during this road trip. She does great in the car but after a few hours she would get antsy. And she was quite content when we got home. She missed looking out her windows at our yard with all the lizards and birds. 

I'm so glad my friend Nic recommended Washington Park. Have you ever visited? Have you ever been to Denver? How did you like it?

Have a great weekend!