Make this: Moss placemats

by Jourdan Fairchild in


-3Two weekends ago, I had the honor of hosting the most fantastic lunch with my pal Dean Renaud for Jessica Murnane's One Part Plant For Reals Meals series. I've admired these meals for months from afar, so when she asked me to host one, I could barely contain my excitement. Dean and I both hail from Kentucky and have thrown our own equally-epic Derby parties before we ever met each other, so it was only natural that we cook up a Southern spread. But making plant-based recipes was a definite first for us both. Fried chicken and pimento cheese went out the window in favor of surprisingly delicious grit cakes and raw Derby pie. To give the setting a fresh, spring look, we adopted a white, wood, and green color scheme with hits of gold. For our centerpiece, we gathered small plants in a vintage crate (which once held Ale 8, a soda made in KY). And then to add greenery to each setting, I crafted some placemats out of fake moss. What's wonderful about these guys is that they only look complicated — I swear! Sadly, I didn't take step-by-step photos as I made them, but hopefully these instructions (plus photos by the lovely and talented Ms. Carolina Rodriguez) make the project fairly easy to follow.-21. Purchase a moss runner like this one, which measures 48 inches long. Use sharp scissors to cut the runner into placemats large enough to hold a dinner plate. Because I needed six placemats, I bought two runners. I cut four from the first runner (each placemat measured 12 inches long) and then I cut two more from the second runner. Use scissors to cut rounded corners on each placemat.

2. Place a dinner plate onto the placemat, then lift up one side of the plate to tuck in a few cut flowers; we used ferns with gold-painted tips (just use acrylic paint and a paintbrush to make them yourself) and wax flowers. Play with the placement until you're satisfied, making sure the flowers' cut ends lay beneath the plate.

3. Remove the plate, then use a glue gun to affix the flowers in place, covering the glue with extra stems when possible. Lay the plate back down and fill up on food. -4

 

 

 

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Day 22: Complete a project I've been putting off

by Jourdan Fairchild in ,


I'm beyond thrilled to share my latest home project with you! Just a few days ago, I finally convinced Andrew to stop studying for approximately one hour to help me finish something I've been wanting to do since we moved in. In just over an hour, we covered a wall in our guest bedroom with rad marble paper from Dick Blick. And guess how much the whole thing cost? Just $50 for the paper, Modge Podge, and brushes we used. Our pup friend, Max, happened to be staying with us that weekend. I think he loved it too. NOTE: Don't do this if you have awesome walls. We do not. In fact, our walls have layers of wallpaper living below paint.DSC_0738Step 1: Measure the paper and calculate how many pieces you'll need to cover the wall. We needed to trim a few of ours down so they'd fit perfectly. Gather your other materials (shown below).DSC_0702Step 2: Apply a semi-thick coat of Modge Podge to the back of one paper piece using a foam brush.DSC_0707Step 3: Starting in one corner, carefully press the paper onto the wall. DSC_0709Step 4: Add a second sheet, but reverse the direction of the paper so that the pattern looks varied. With each piece, press the paper against the wall from one corner to another, removing any wrinkles as you go.DSC_0711 DSC_0713Step 5: Carefully remove any excess paper along the bottom trim or along the corners where the walls meet.DSC_0756

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Day 8: Complete an original craft

by Jourdan Fairchild in ,


DSC_0708Ever since we moved into our new place, I've been stumped about what to do with the big space above our bed. We considered covering the wall in framed white wedding photos, but that felt too predictable. I was craving something big, beautiful, and truly unique. On one of my regular trips to JoAnn's, I spotted a giant frame for $30, and then when I was trolling Urban Outfitters for dresses, I discovered this awesome floral shower curtain!! I love that the fabric references a vintage print, but the colors and the scale make it feel modern. I finally put the two pieces together and you've got one stellar piece of artwork, don't you think? Now what to do about bedside tables and lamps...Anyway, here's how I completed the project in 30 minutes flat (with a little help from my man friend): DSC_0692Step 1: Lay the curtain down right side down; place the frame atop the fabric, positioning it so that your favorite part of the pattern will be featured.DSC_0693 Step 2: Starting on any side you like, wrap the fabric around the frame and use a staple gun to affix the fabric in place (we placed staples a few inches apart).DSC_0697 Step 3: Repeat the wrapping and stapling process with each side. Make sure to pull the fabric particularly taut on the final two sides. DSC_0700Step 4: Cut away any excess fabric. Because the curtain I used was thin, I also stapled a thicker, dark fabric atop the entire back of the frame so that the fabric didn't appear so see through (sorry I don't have a pic to show you!). Finish by using a hammer and nail to display your artwork on a wall! 

 

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Make this: Paint swatch book

by Jourdan Fairchild in ,


Colors can be downright confusing—especially if you're trying to recall exactly what "Sled," "Smokey Slate," and"Celery Ice" look like from memory. Don't you agree?! Well, we finally made the decision to cover our living room wall in vintage oil paintings, all based on a piece that my grandma painted of my dad when he was 6 years old. But in order to make sure they would all jibe, I knew I needed a way to recall the painting's colors (plus the wall color) while out shopping. It's not that I want everything to be matchy-matchy, but a little cohesion is necessary. So I hit Home Depot with the painting in tow to pick out swatches. You can imagine the weirdo looks I got from my fellow customers. It's for the sake of design, people! Once I was home, I double checked my colors before cutting them into a stack that I could hole punch and hang on a key ring. Note: It's helpful to cut the swatches so that the name/number remains, just in case you want to use the paint color for any reason later. I even toted my little swatch book with me to a massive outdoor flea market last Sunday (more on that later), and let me tell you, it made all the difference in the color world. DSC_0630DSC_0634photoDSC_0619

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One year down!

by Jourdan Fairchild in ,


  Sunday is our first anniversary. Some days, that day feels like it was just yesterday. And other times, it feels like a decade ago. So much has changed, so little has stayed the same. But choosing to be with Andrew was, and still is, the best decision I've ever made. I could go on and on about my love for him, but I wouldn't get all of my secret errands done in time! So I'm off to bake, buy, and plan our day date. Being that "paper" is the traditional gift for your first year, we're giving each other a big coffee table book printed with our wedding photos. And today, I framed one of my favorite photos in a shadow box and used a vintage handkerchief for the matting. I think it's pretty sweet, and hopefully he will too. I love you, Drew! DSC_0595

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Make this: Floral crown

by Jourdan Fairchild in ,


To end my series of posts on Istanbul, I thought it'd only be appropriate that I create a floral wreath of my own. I'm very well aware that this craft idea has been covered like crazy, but just like two flowers are not alike, every floral wreath is unique! I cut and glued my way to a finished one in about an hour, and it cost me about $5. I think it'd be an awesome, cheap craft project for a group of gals.Step 1: Gather your supplies: floral wire, faux flowers (or real ones...but just know that they'll die within a day), scissors, hot glue.Step 2: Separate four pieces of floral wire into two groups of two. Twist the ends around each other.Step 3: Wrap the wire around your head to determine how large to make the crown. Twist the wire pieces together at the other ends; trim excess wire.Step 4: Separate the flowers from the main branch (I left some stems on because I like the way they look). Working with one flower at a time, use hot glue to affix it anywhere on the wire crown. Hold in place until the glue sets. Continue gluing the flowers onto the crown, overlapping the stems as you go.Step 5: Finish by applying hot glue where it's needed and trimming any excess pieces.

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DIY for days

by Jourdan Fairchild in ,


Now that our wedding story is out, I'm finally allowed to post extra photos! I thought it'd be fun to share some that I snapped in the crafting process, which started almost as soon as we got engaged and led up to wedding day. When it comes to planning, I say you either need time or money. We had a fairly tight budget for all that we wanted to accomplish, especially since we knew we'd be inviting around 250 (!) people. But we had time...well, we made time. I was working long hours and Andrew was finishing his master's program while applying to medical school. But every weekend and on the occasional weeknight, we worked on our to-do list, whittling away at decisions, ordering supplies, and testing out crafts. I printed out inspiration photo after inspiration photo, which I kept organized in a 3-ring binder, and when I tired of the idea, I ripped the sheet out. Eventually we had enough solid ideas that I could present them to my boss at CL for approval. You see, when we decided to allow the magazine to photograph the wedding, I had to make sure that they'd find the ideas worthy of a story (no pressure, right?). We practically DIY'd every single element that we could, from programs to a guest book to gift bags.

And what we didn't physically make ourselves, like invitations and our save the date ribbons, we spent hours brainstorming, researching options and working on test samples. Using Andrew's web design skills (he spent summer 2010 convinced that creating websites was his next career), we  built our own wedding website over Christmas break. And from the very beginning to the very end, Andrew was present in every sense of the word. I may have been the brains behind many of our ideas, but he was totally the brawn. When ideas didn't always work, we quickly jumped shipped and formulated new ones. 

Our entire family pitched in to help in the final weeks, including the sweetest niece ever who helped in the form of foot massages. Sadly, a few ideas were abandoned (or ruined) in the rain, like the oversized craft paper ribbons we painstakingly made to hang on outdoor columns leading to the ceremony site. But overall, making things ourselves made us feel more invested in the day, connected to each other, and thrilled to show our guests what we'd created as a couple.

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The wait is over!

by Jourdan Fairchild in , ,


Our wedding feature is finally in the June issue of Country Living, which is on newsstands today! It's hard to believe 310 days have passed since we said our vows in front of our nearest and dearest. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to host a wedding. We want to thank every single person who made our special day feel so very complete. Two people have never felt more loved! In my next few posts, I'll be revealing behind-the-scene photos and advice on how to come up with ideas that are simple, elegant, and truly personal. And to coincide with the feature, I wrote a fun story about my favorite bridesmaid gift ideas. Click here to check it out.

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Make this: Drawer liner coasters

by Jourdan Fairchild in


In one of my very first posts, I featured a round-up of materials from Home Depot that I thought would make great craft projects. I bought a roll of drawer liner that day with plans to do something with it soon. And then, well, life happened. I rediscovered the roll the other day, and my mind started racing about how to put the stuff to good use. I was drawn to the cool weave-like pattern of the liner, plus the fact that it's rubberized and can withstand moisture, dirt, etc. Coasters seemed easy enough to make—and I was right! I cut out some triangles, glued them onto a sheet of foam core, and used a box cutter to cut them out.Here's how to do it yourself:Step 1: Gather your supplies. Step 2: Use a ruler and a Sharpie to draw a triangle on the lighter side of the liner. Step 3: Cut out the triangle. Repeat for additional coasters.Step 4: Determine which liner side you'd like to show (I did three of each side). For each triangle, apply hot glue to the side that won't be showing and affix it to the foam core.Step 5: Lay the foam core atop cardboard. Use a box cutter to cut out each triangle.Step 6: Finish by using the box cutter to clean up the edges. 

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Dyeing day

by Jourdan Fairchild in ,


I was swept up in a bunch of assignments last week, but got back on the crafting bandwagon last weekend to dye eggs with the ladies. I gathered a bunch of random materials, including the classic PAAS dye, yarn, stickers, glitter. We also tried the silk fabric dyeing technique, but if I'd read the instructions more closely, I would've realized that the fabric has to be 100% silk. D'oh! Per usual, we weren't trying to decorate the most beautiful eggs ever—but we sure had fun in the process. We reminisced about childhood Easter celebrations, and when we screwed up our designs, we just peeled the suckers and ate the them right then and there. Plus, anytime you involve some tasty mimosas, you know it's gonna be a good time (priorities, people!).   

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