Love Notes

Love Notes - Jackietara blog
Love Notes - Jackietara blog

I hope everyone had a marvelous Valentine’s Day, whether you celebrated with your beloved, best friends, or by your lonesome [with a great bottle of wine and chocolates I hope]!  February has turned into a crazy month, with Valentine’s weekend as the mid-point of craziness, so T and I decided to have a cozy night in.  We picked out a couple of lobsters [whom I naturally named Larry and Beatrice] from the Maine Avenue Fish Market, a.k.a “The Wharf”, in Southwest DC and tried our hand at preparing them ourselves at home.  It was quite an experience cooking a meal of two 3-pound lobsters, complete with an escargot appetizer, a bottle of bubbly [followed by a bottle of our favorite red wine], and a homemade bread pudding.  It was definitely a decadent night, but if you can’t indulge on Valentine’s Day, when can you?!

To share my love with family and friends this year I wanted to make my own cards.  In the past I have mailed cards with my own drawings, collages, and paintings, but life has gotten in the way of me hand-making cards in the last couple years.  But not this year!  All of my spare time the week leading up to the big day was dedicated to creating little love notes and I was quite pleased with the turnout.  The only supplies I needed to buy for this project were the paper cards and a cute “handmade by” stamp from Michael’s that I fell in love with [how appropriate].  I had the watercolors, pencils, and pens already at home!

Love Notes - Jackietara blogLove Notes - Jackietara blogLove Notes - Jackietara blogLove Notes - Jackietara blogLove Notes - Jackietara blog Love Notes - Jackietara blogLove Notes - Jackietara blogLove Notes - Jackietara blog Love Notes - Jackietara blog

Photography by Teddy Wolff

If you already craft at home, making cards can be easy for you too!  Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, there are plenty of alternatives to drawing: like making a collage from magazine photos; using stamps and/or making your own [check out Poppytalk’s DIY Buffalo Print]; or a mix of mediums [check out A Pair & A Spare’s DIY Watercolour Valentine’s]!  Did you craft anything for Valentine’s Day this year?  How did it turn out?


DIY Gold Dipped Pine Cones

DIY Gold Dipped Pine Cones - Jackietara blog

Our last craft night before the holidays featured “gold dipped” pine cones.  I thought they would be an easy and festive decoration for friends to have on display in their homes, or to give as gifts!  I found a couple of different ways to make DIY gold pine cones, but settled on the painting option [like this example from A Pear of Pears].  Michael’s has several types of metallic paint and inexpensive sets of paint brushes.  Thankfully the paint eventually washes out but it took a little bit of scrubbing, so I wouldn’t suggest using your best brushes on this project!

Gold, silver, or copper liquid gilding paint
Fine tipped paint brushes
Pine cones [store bought or found outside]

Cover your workspace with newspaper or wax paper to make sure you don’t spill any paint on your furniture!  You can paint only the tips of your pine cones, or paint them a solid metallic color.  I did a mix of silver and gold and went for the store bought scented ones from Michael’s.  Let dry for at least an hour.  Put them in a bowl or vase and enjoy!

DIY Gold Dipped Pine Cones - Jackietara blog
Lettering by Dan Rader

DIY Gold Dipped Pine Cones - Jackietara blog
DIY Gold Dipped Pine Cones - Jackietara blog
DIY Gold Dipped Pine Cones - Jackietara blog
DIY Gold Dipped Pine Cones - Jackietara blog DIY Gold Dipped Pine Cones - Jackietara blog


DIY Clay Planters

It’s been a while since we made these, but I promised I would post photos and a “how-to” for these cute DIY clay planters.  I’ve recently started hosting a monthly “Crafty Night” at my apartment, which has been a success so far!  Our first crafty theme was miniature clay planters, a project I originally saw on the A Beautiful Mess blog.  They are perfect small embellishments for a hallway table or window ledge, and you can hang them too!

Here’s what you need:
Rolling pin
Wax paper
Sculpey clay (or another oven-baking clay)
Sculpting tools
Acrylic paint
Paint brushes

DIY Clay Planters - Jackietara blog
DIY Clay Potter - Jackietara blog

1. Roll your clay out about ¼ of an inch thick and cut a long rectangle that is 10 inches long and 2 ½ inches tall. Cut out a circle for the bottom of the planter that is 3 ½ inches wide.

2. Place your long rectangle piece on top of your circle to create your sides. Roll thin tubes of clay to put on the inside bottom of the planter (where the walls meet the planter bottom), then use the clay knives (or your fingers) to smooth out the clay tube between the crack to create a water-tight seal.

4. Roll out more clay and cut out the design that will go on the sides of your planter.

5. Use a wooden skewer to poke 4 evenly spaced holes near the top of your planter. Bake your clay according to the package directions and let the planter cool.

6. Paint freely!

DIY Clay Planters - Jackietara blog DIY Clay Planters - Jackietara blog DIY Clay Potter - Jackietara blog DIY Clay Potter - Jackietara blog DIY Clay Potter - Jackietara blog

Christmas is around the corner, and a mini clay planter would make a great gift!


Operation: Organize Apartment [part 1. living room]

Organize, organize, organize: it’s in my DNA.  However, this summer I was way too busy to even acknowledge the fact that our living room was a complete disaster.  A couple weeks ago, T and I looked at each other and mutually agreed that something needed to be done… fast.

Browsing online and through catalogs, we finally stumbled upon a beautiful “grey-blue” sideboard table on One Kings Lane.  A perfect mix of shabby chic and functionality, T and decided it was a must have for our living room.  Finally, a place to store music and to display our coffee table books, no longer to be used as coasters!

Operation: Organize Apartment - Jackietara blog

After we assembled the table [in 3 easy steps], I got to decorating the top and bottom shelves.  The first thing that came to mind was to move was our cookbooks, hidden away in the corner cabinet.  The top of our fridge is overflowing with booze [mostly left over from this summer’s parties], so I took down two Costco-sized gin bottles and transformed them into book ends for the row of cookbooks.  It’s an attractive space-saving way to turn a nonfunctional item functional, don’t you think?

Operation: Organize Apartment - Jackietara blogOperation: Organize Apartment - Jackietara blog

Our little cacti were getting too much light in the bedroom, so I decided to relocate them to a new sideboard table home.  Paired with a couple other “homeless” items, including our wine bottle opener set and a collection of corks, these little cacti are perfect table top decor.

Operation: Organize Apartment - Jackietara blogOperation: Organize Apartment - Jackietara blogOperation: Organize Apartment - Jackietara blogOperation: Organize Apartment - Jackietara blog

I’m so happy to finally have some things in “their place.”  There is a part of me that insists on everything having a home, whether it be my laptop on my desk, keys in the basket, or shoes lined up in the closet.  Now these lost items have a home, too!

Operation: Organize Apartment - Jackietara blog

For additional organizational inspiration, check out The Kissters‘ post on maximizing space in the bathroom and Redesigned by M‘s tips on making over a linen closet.  Next on my organizational to-do list is refinishing our dresser and organizing T’s home office work space.  Stay tuned!


Happy Flowers

This year, Teddy and I hosted my 25th birthday at his parent’s house in Annapolis.  I wanted to add my own personal touch to the decor, so during my three-day “stay-cation” I made a DIY birthday banner from paper and ribbon from Michael’s and put together a few gerbera daisy arrangements with flowers from Costco [an easy pickup while food shopping for the party!] for the table outside.  August weather is always a little tricky, but we lucked out this year with a sunny and low humidity day, and the daisies just made everything that much happier.

Birthday Party-4

Birthday Party-2

Birthday Party-6

Birthday Party-8

Birthday Party-9

Wearing: Top of the Byline Dress: ModCloth // coral bib necklace: Stella & Dot


DIY Birthday Banner

I have been missing “crafty time” in my life lately, so I committed some of my birthday “stay-cation” time to making a banner for my Annapolis birthday barbeque.  It was a very simple banner, made from patterned Reflections paper, letter stencils, and turquoise ribbon, all from Michael’s craft store.

After stenciling out the letters and tracing out triangles, I cut everything out and decided to mix and match all of the patterns [using a yellow, green, and blue color palette].  I then glued all of the letters on and punched holes in the triangles with a standard hole punch and ran the ribbon through, and voila!  A simple and beautiful birthday banner.


Birthday Party-5