Cacti-ify All the Things

August 1, 2014

You guys. It’s August. AUGUST. I saw a tree with yellowing leaves yesterday.

Where has this summer gone??? Oh, right, I spent the whole time painting.

Fall is my favorite, but I’m not ready yet. Instead I’m distracting myself from the impending season change with the most summery thing I can think of: cacti.

Cacti to DIY || via Jade and Fern

My last piñata encounter ended with my friend Sarah and me knocking it off the string and beating the thing to death on the ground with broom handles. Time for a redo! Mini cactus piñatas it is. By Oh Happy Day.

How cute is this cactus pillow by Everything Emily?? I want to cover our couch with them.

Another pillow—is my subconscious telling me to go back to bed? (Yes.) Loving the simple graphic pattern of this easy stamped cactus pillow by—appropriately—Patchwork Cactus.

Lucy of Craftberry Bush calls her painted rock cacti garden a “children’s craft,” but I am not even remotely embarrassed to admit that I LOVE cutesy kids’ decor. And anyways it looks totally sophisticated, don’t you think?

And for those of you who have a green thumb, a real live cactus garden by the always delightful A Beautiful Mess.

What’s been inspiring you this week?

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds (A Case of International Drama)

July 31, 2014

April 30, 2014. 1pm in German time. The place: Dublin airport. The food: mediocre. The wait: LONG.

Nothing brings you back to reality quite like ending a vacation filling out customs forms and removing your belt and shoes for the 4th time in one day. Dublin-to-USA airport security is tight.

And nothing sends a chill down your spine quite like having an ARMED SOLDIER escort you from the waiting room to a “holding pen” filled with other ARMED SOLDIERS.

I knew those antlers would be trouble the moment I started haggling for them at a Dresden flea market a month before. But was it worth it?

Hell yes.

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

I am now the proud hipster owner of my very own antler shed. Or I guess I should say ambivalent hipster owner, since hipsters aren’t supposed to care?

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

On a side note, I think blue hydrangea + copper + bone white is my new favorite thing ever.

Want to use this look in your own decor? Please say yes, and then keep reading.

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds

Skill Level: Easy Peasy

Time: 1 hour active, 2-3 hours drying time

What You Need:

  • an antler shed! Try looking on Etsy and at flea markets (the one in Dresden had TONS if you’re ever in Germany). Or if you’re really dedicated, you can search for one in the wild (this is probably the only time a vegan will ever direct you to a hunting website).
  • old toothbrush, soft scrubby sponge, bristle brush (the kind for heavier bathtub cleaning)
  • 1/4 C. baking soda, mixed with just enough water until it forms a paste
  • 1 C. warm water mixed with 1 C. hydrogen peroxide
  • elbow grease
  • old towel
  • 12-gauge wire for decorating and hanging
  • wire cutters or strong scissors

*Note: these cleaning instructions do NOT apply to very fresh sheds that still have velvet or blood on them! That’s a more intense process that I leave to other DIYers to explain, sorry folks!

What You Do:

Step One - Using a combination of sponge, brush, and toothbrush, thoroughly scrub the shed down with the baking soda paste. Really get into all the nooks and crannies, paying special attention to the base—mine had a couple bits of fur attached (ew).

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

A. hand-modeled for me! Didn’t he do a good job?

Step Two - Repeat the entire cleaning with the water/peroxide mixture. The peroxide helps to lighten up the darker stains a bit.

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

Step Three - Rinse off all that gunky water. A hose is helpful if you have access to one, plus then you can make rainbows.

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

Step Four - Towel off the antler and stick it in a sunny spot to dry for a few hours. (Not pictured because boring).

Step Five - Decorate! Grab that wire and start wrapping it around the antler wherever you want. A thick 12-gauge really works best as it’s less springy and will stay wrapped up better. Make sure the clipped ends all face the “back” side of the antler.

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

Step Six - If you’ll be hanging your antler shed, you can make a hanger using the same wire. Cut a long piece, 8 or so inches longer than the drop length. Wrap both ends tightly around the antler, leaving a 3″ tail on each end. How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

My hand model went to go take a nap. Poop.

 Then coil the tails around the “hanger” part of the wire, like so:

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

And that’s it! Now you’re a hipster too.

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

I’m in love with the way the aluminum and copper wire contrast against the bone white of the antler. Sadly I don’t know what species of deer this guy is from! The Customs Inspector’s best guess was something Eastern European. Any readers have a guess?

And in case my Customs drama scared you away from importing your own antlers on your next international trip, it all turned out fine. As of this writing, bones and antlers can be brought into the U.S., as long as they are clean and dry, and are NOT from an endangered species.

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

How to Clean and Display Antler Sheds || Jade and Fern

Which was really good news for me, because I didn’t bother to find out until after I had schlepped that gargantuan 26″ antler across Germany in my luggage for 3 weeks. (Still worth it).

What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever brought back from a trip?

Pssst…did anybody notice that pretty white wall? It’s true, I’m finally. done. painting. Reveal coming soon!

Handmade Accessories for the Living Room

July 21, 2014

The P-word is officially taboo in our apartment. And on the blog.

You know what I’m talking about—that tedious activity I’ve been doing for what seems like an eternity to transform our living roomPlease don’t make me say it…

All this work on The Project Which Shall Not Be Named has made me look at the living room with open eyes. Greedy, materialistic eyes that want to fill the room with new stuff for an even more dramatic makeover.

So when the folks at DaWanda—a European online marketplace comparable to Etsy—asked me to curate a page of my favorite handmade items for their “Products We Love” collection, I was all too happy to do some window shopping and make myself wish I had more money.

By the way, this is not a sponsored post—I did get a little shout-out from DaWanda, but the only reason I’m sharing the collection is because I think you will love it too. So here you go, my favorite handmade accessories for the living room:

Handmade Accessories for the Living Room || Jade and Fern

01 || My living room definitely needs more plants, and I can’t think of a prettier way to display them than a neon pink macrame hanger.

02 || You don’t have to delve into Jade and Fern too deeply to realize that I love hexagons, so I’m obviously drooling over this trio of hexagon votives in shades of teal.

03 || A crocheted basket is the perfect way to add more texture to the room while organizing all those pesky remotes.

04 || I’m so over the mammoth vintage coffee table I found for $10 years ago. This little guy looks like a much more stylish replacement.

05 || More artwork forever and ever!

06 || The cats would be thrilled at all the lounging they could do on this coffee sack pouf.

07 || Every living room obviously needs a bazillion colorful rugs. So yummy.

08 || I don’t have any “real” vases, only jars. Which are fine. But this dipped concrete vase is better.

Plus, two gorgeous pieces I just couldn’t squeeze into the collage: a geometric macrame wall hanging, and a felted cat cave (so that I could hopefully keep that pouf for myself).

What about you, are any of these decor items calling your name?

I know on Friday I promised I’d have lots of good goodies for you this week, BUT I realized I really need to take a few days to do some organizational/administrative stuff for the blog. And for my life. And to finish up the P-word. And to start this 30-day mindfulness challenge.

Is summer supposed to be this busy?

So please pardon me while I take this week off to get shit done. Of course I’ll still be around commenting and social media-ing. Have a good one, all, see you next week!


Make it Friday: Stripes and Scallops

July 18, 2014

Happy Friday, friends!

The weather here is GORGEOUS today so I’m taking a little break from all the projects to go frolic in a field or something. And tomorrow we’re going to a pool party, woohoo!

I’ll be back next week with (hopefully) good stuff—until then enjoy these DIYs from around blogland. Have an awesome weekend!

Make it Friday: Stripes and Scallops - DIY projects via Jade and Fern

Sarah Hearts won the prize for Cutest DIY Storage with these scalloped jars. I’ll take one bazillion, please.

Pineapples are the Shape of the Summer! This pineapple cutting board by The Merrythought for Poppytalk does require power tools, but if there was ever a project to make me finally invest, it’s this one. Adorbs.

How darling are these little doodled espresso cups? By Valentina of Le Idee Della Vale (pictures are super explanatory but Google Translate can fill in if you need it!).

If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you know that I’m more than a little smitten with Almost Makes Perfect. I’ve been intentionally restraining myself from sharing each and every one of Molly’s beautiful projects so I don’t look like a stalker, but this modern cooler makeover broke through. And how stunning is that photo?

Simply beautiful striped loafers by Kristi Murphy for Brit + Co. No more words necessary.