Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birthday Party Favors | Jennifer V Designs | Toledo, OH

Birthday parties are so much fun, but I've always had a hard time trying to figure out what to give as party favors to my children's friends.  I hate to buy "stuff" that's going to just be thrown out, but it's difficult to figure out something special, while sticking to a budget.   I discovered that Etsy is filled with wonderful ideas.  I've purchased items from Etsy before, but had never thought about searching for party favors to give away.

So, for Julia's upcoming birthday party, I decided, after getting a couple of ideas from some friends, to pass out cupcake mix favors. This is the perfect party favor for her to give out, as she's my cupcake loving girl! It's a party favor, for the children to make their own cupcakes at home.   After searching Etsy, I came across this wonderful shop,  Favor Box Bakery. Not only do they have the cutest cupcake favor boxes, but Michelle from the shop, is the nicest person to deal with online!  She made me feel like my order was just as important to her as it was to me!  I got to customize the label that's attached to the box and it comes with cupcake mix, instructions on how to make the cupcakes, a recipe for butter cream frosting and ribbon attached to the box.

To make the party favor complete, I added cupcake baking liners and sprinkles for the children to decorate their cupcakes at home.

So, for Jack's 5th birthday this year, I discovered this awesome Etsy shop called Sew Plain Jane.  She makes homemade superhero capes and masks and they're super reasonable!  The shop was great to work with, as I needed 20 capes and masks to hand out to friends.  They were a huge hit with Jack, his sister and all of his friends! Usually one of my kiddos is in a superhero cape or mask once a day!

Here are some pictures of my superheros in their capes and masks by Sew Plain Jane.

To hand them out, I folded the capes with the masks and wrapped them up in tissue paper, put them in a bag, tied them with ribbon and my sister made me super cute labels for the bags.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thibaut Wallpaper | Jennifer V Designs | Toledo, OH

I haven't blogged since last week.  We were out of town visitng my sister and her family in Delaware. We had an awesome time, with a couple of snags, meaning illnesses and trouble getting home, and now we're back and missing them like crazy!

Anyway, I  wanted to show my love of Thibaut Wallpaper.  You might remember me talking about Thibaut fabric here.  Well their wallpaper is just as fabulous.  I used the wallpaper in my powder room and I love it.  It's a bold pattern, but in a small space like a bathroom, it's works so well.

The bathroom cabinet was exisiting and I decided not to paint it or stain it and leave it as is and updated it with new hardware. The trim was painted, the floor was stained a rich, dark color, the mirror was changed out with a frame that went well with the wallpaper and the art ( painted by my husband's aunt) was added after and I love how it all works in the space.

It was extremely hard to photograph this wallpaper in such a small space and hard to capture the correct color, but hopefully you can get an idea.

Here's a link to the thibault wallpaper and hope you enjoyed the powder room tour!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DIY Sunburst Mirror | Jennifer V Designs | Toledo, OH

When asked by my daughter's preschool teachers for some ideas and help completing a class project to be auctioned at the school's charity auction in the spring, I sent them several ideas and they chose the sunburst mirror project.  The catch was, the 2 and 3 year old children would have to participate in making this.

So, after reading the online tutorial from Isabella & Max Rooms blog, I went about purchasing all of the items needed to create this mirror. I could not find a round mirror with a flat edge ANYWHERE in Toledo, so I had to be creative and made my own mirror using a wooden charger and craft mirror found at Hobby Lobby.  I painted the wooden charger first with spray paint and then I glued the mirror into place.

Once that was complete, I figured out the size I wanted for the largest sticks on the mirror and started cutting all of the sticks to size.  I started with a hack saw, but it was taking quite a while, so I got a pair of heavy duty scissors and started cutting them to size.  It was much quicker, but hard on the hands!

After the sticks were cut to size, I dropped them off in my daughter's classroom for the children to paint them.  My daughter's teachers chose the colors of red, yellow and orange for the mirror.  And they are the ones who came up with the idea to speckle the sticks with paint.  They poured little dabs of paint on a large sheet of paper and the children rolled the sticks in the paint.  I wish I had a picture of them doing it, but I don't.  However, my daughter showed me over and over how they rolled them. When I picked them up, I spray lacquered them to give them a little bit of a sheen (another idea provided by the teachers).

Once they were dry, I began lining up the sticks on the mirror and hot glued the sticks around the mirror.

The speckled sticks were a great idea and I couldn't be more thrilled with how the sunburst mirror turned out.

This was a great class project, as it will appeal to any person, not just the parents of the students that painted it.  I hope it brings lots of money at the West Side Montessori "Best Birthday Bash Ever "Spring Auction.  All the proceeds benefit this fabulous school!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Love..........| Jennifer V Designs | Toledo, OH

I recently came across the store, Dovecote, while searching on the web.  The store's owner is originally from Toledo and her father and my husband work together.  The store looks absolutely amazing and I would love, love, love to go there some time! While window shopping on the store's website, I noticed these fabulous trees.

I decided to call Dovecote and see if they sell them.  The lady I spoke with said they do, but they couldn't ship.  So after no luck googling a place to purchase one online, I called a local florist and to my surprise, they had never heard of it, but said they would try to get one in for me.

So, they called me and said they had gotten the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in.  I stopped by yesterday and picked it up and love it!! The best part about this tree is that it's suppose to be an easy tree to grow, not requiring much water! That should be easy for me, as I don't have a green thumb!

My original intent was to purchase this tree and keep it in my home until summer and transfer it up to my cottage, but I'm loving it so much and have decided I need a second one to flank the other side of this cupboard in my kitchen!

I'm hoping  the local florist will get some more in soon and I'm hoping this tree is as easy to take care of as they say!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day Cookies | Jennifer V Designs | Toledo, OH

I have decided from time to time, to share my favorite  recipes and fun kid projects we do around here, besides design. So, in preparation for Valentine's Day,  my children and I  decided to make heart-shaped sugar cookies and frost them.   I used my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe and it's  my all time favorite sugar cookie recipe.

Unlike my mother, I'm not crazy about baking! I hate when something doesn't turn out just perfect and so many times, my cookies end up flat.  So normally I let my mother do the baking and we get to enjoy everything she makes!

Julia was so excited and had to grab her apron, to be dressed accordingly,  before we could begin mixing!

She took her job quite seriously, as she kept telling me that we shouldn't spill anything!

We made the dough and refridgerated it overnight.  I find that the cookies bake better if the dough is chilled before baking.  Julia and I baked the cookies while her big brother Jack was at school.  After we picked him up and got home, they were ready to decorate.  I cheated on the frosting, though......I had a tub of Thrush's Buttercream Frosting ( from a local bakery) in the freezer and decided to use that.  It's delicious frosting to keep on hand, as it freezes nicely and still tastes delicious after it thaws! 

As you can see by the picture below, they were having a great time decorating the frosted cookies with sprinkles and took their job quite seriously!!!

∞∞ Grandma Mohr's Sugar Cookie Recipe ∞∞

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. 
1 cup shortening (I use softened butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 t. baking soda
3 t. baking powder
splash of vanilla (i like to add this to my cookies)
3 cups flour ( (enough to stiffen)
Mix in the above order. If too stiff, I like to add a splash of milk as well to help. 
Chill for several hours or over night. 
Roll out and cut in desired shapes. 
Bake 8-10 minutes or until "lightly" browned.
Frost when cooled.
Decorate however you would like. 

Hope you enjoy and have a lovely Valentine's Day!!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chair Makeover | Jennifer V Designs | Toledo, OH

This summer I put my dad on a mission to find  a chair for my entryway.  My entryway way is tough, because it's not big enough for a console table or chest.  Everything I've placed there just didn't fit right. I decided  I wanted an upholstered chair for super cheap, so I could redo it.  Buying a brand new chair just wasn't an option because I was trying to do it on a very small budget.  Well, my dad found the perfect chair for this spot.  In fact, he got 2 identical chairs for $35.  The chairs were beyond ugly and dirty when he brought them to me, but I loved the design.  I knew the curved back would fit nicely in the corner where I wanted to place it.

I decided to paint the wood, as it felt too heavy for that space.   So I painted it, and then decided it needed some aging, so a friend of mine gave me some metallic paint that I rubbed on with a cloth and I loved the result.

After I painted the wood on the chair, I took it to a local upholstery shop. I wanted a neutral fabric that would be timeless, especially if I decided to use it somewhere else down the road (which I tend to move things around a lot!!)  I got a steal on the fabic because it was left over from a big job the upholstery shop had completed.

Here is how the chair turned out, and I couldn't be happier!! It's the perfect fit for the corner in my entryway.

The next project I would like completed is painting the staircase.   It's still stained the same color as our old floor color and I hate it with our dark floors.  I think painting it will really lighten up the space.  Once that's done, most of the renovations in my home will be complete!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Idea Board: Yellow & Texture | Jennifer V Designs | Toledo, OH

I thought it would be fun to put my first idea board together, taking a spin off my twin sister's photography blog on a color and texture project that she's doing.  She decided to join in on the journey project hosted by a fellow photographer, Marta Locklear, and started on week # 8: the color yellow and texture.  This is the room I designed, choosing creamier yellows and texture in the rug, leather ottoman and sofa fabric.  I had a lot of fun coming up with the design.  Hope you enjoy!