Tried & True  DIY Star Wars Party Favors!

These light saber party favors were a huge hit at my son’s Star Wars birthday party.  I got this idea from a friend a few years ago, and only improved on it by giving each guest two light sabers, so they could take them home and play with their siblings.  This is easy and inexpensive, and perhaps the most popular party favor of the year!

DIY-Light-Sabers-Star-Wars-Birthday

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Inspiration  Four Favorite Design Blogs for Mom

A quick note this week to share some of my favorite daily reads with you.  Four blogs that give me constant inspiration as a mother and in my work as a designer:  Design Mom,  Handmade Charlotte, Babyccino Kids and Culture Baby!   If you don’t know them yet, I highly recommend checking them out!

Design-Mom-Handmade-Charlotte

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Friend Feature  Shop Local: Found Home in Chatham, MA

I recently discovered a very special new store that has cropped up in Chatham, Massachusetts, and everyone who frequents Cape Cod just has to know about it!  Found Home is the creative genius of Jennifer Runnels, who pours her heart and soul (and unbelievable talent) into this little shop full of gorgeous finds for the home.  

Found-Home-Chatham-MA

Drawing on her training as a fine artist, and twenty years of experience working in the furniture and interior design fields, she has a special eye for unique and sophisticated home design. (more…)  

Tried & True  DIY: Your Own Buche de Noel for the Holidays

My eight year old loves to make elaborate cakes, but he rarely gets me to join in because I am terrified of baking!  He has been asking to make a Buche de Noel cake ever since he saw a picture in Joanne Chang’s flour, too cookbook, that he gave me last spring.  I figured there is no better time than Christmas to take the challenge, so we did our best to make this amazing dessert to have on Christmas night.Joanne-Chang-Flour-Too

Now, as you can see, ours is not perfect, but it was so much fun to make together, and it tastes amazing!  The whole process is a little daunting because the recipe is three pages long, but we took it in stages over a few days and it was manageable and fun.  I do not have much experience baking—so if we can do it,  anyone can! (more…)  

Friend Feature  Sailor Rose: Charming Clothing for Girls and Women

 

I recently discovered Sailor Rose at an artisan fair in Northeast Harbor, Maine.  I was so thrilled to meet Kirsty Mogensen, who is the founder and designer of her own line of heirloom quality tops and dresses for women and girls.  She uses the finest Liberty of London fabrics and her own cottons and knits, to create timeless pieces that will last for generations.

Striped-skirt-montage

photos courtesy of Kirsten Mogensen

I was immediately taken in by the luscious fabrics—and then totally sold by the beautiful craftsmanship of every piece.  Kirsty makes her blouses and dresses the old fashioned way—with French seams, fine stitching and insides that are as beautiful as the outside. There is a strong utilitarian sensibility behind the Sailor Rose brand, that Kirsty artfully joins with excellent design and the finest materials.   I was lucky enough to have a chance to talk with Kirsty about her story, and the spirit of nostalgia and re-use that is embodied in all of her work. (more…)  

CMH Studio  A Summer Mural of Butterflies & Flowers

Last week I painted this lovely bedroom for a little girl who loves butterflies, almost as much as her incredible collection of stuffed animals. 

Land-of-Butterflies

photos by Holly Johnson

I collaborated with interior designer Lysa Wilkins, whom I love working with because she is so creative in all of her work.  She came up with this fun fence that extends into the room and contains a managerie of stuffed animals.  They fondly call this “The Nest“! (more…)  

CMH Studio  Summer Camp Nostalgia – New England Style

Every so often I get a custom order for a pillow that makes me want to hug my client.  This camp pillow was a housewarming gift for a family with a classic Maine “camp”, where generations come together and enjoy all the outdoor activities that New England has to offer.  

camp-pillow-montage

 photos by Holly Johnson

This adorable patch idea was the genius of my client, who is brilliantly creative and fun in all of her endeavors.  She wanted to represent all of the great Maine camp activities with patches, much like we got as girl scouts long ago!  Isn’t this just the cutest, classic gift idea?   (more…)  

Tried & True  Make Her a Mother’s Day Wreath!

boys-with-wreathsI found this wonderful wreath project using egg cartons on Homemade Serenity and had to try it with my two boys.  It is fun and easy—just cut, paint, glue—and of course a great way to recycle!  The only thing I bought was two styrofoam wreath rings and some green gardening tape to cover them with, and the rest we had in our craft bin.  (more…)  

Inspiration  10 Tips for Traveling with Kids (to Paris!)

Last summer my husband, AJ. and I embarked on a 14 day trip to Paris with our two boys, ages 9 and 6—with fingers crossed. Not only was it our first trip abroad with the kids, but our first home exchange experience.  We traded homes (and cars) with a French family and we did not know what we were in for, except most certainly an adventure!   We were grateful to arrive at a lovely spacious home on the outskirts of Paris, just a 5 minute walk to the train (RER), that took us into Paris in about 15 minutes.  (I could write a whole post about doing home exchanges!)   We used HomeForExchange.com and it is wonderful! There was no exchange of money—just a lot of emails and Skype to get to know each other.  We lucked out!

home-away-from-homeBeing our first international trip with kids, we were unsure of how the boys would do.  Selfishly, I worried I would not get to see all the sites, and would regret bringing them….au contraire!  It turned out they were at a great age to start traveling, and we all had a terrific time.  We all grew, enriched our souls and broadened our horizons significantly.  It was such a success, I had to share a few of the things we did RIGHT on the trip, (and a few things we learned the hard way!)

Baguette-in-Paris  (more…)