DIY + illustration + Kids + Life + Projects / Monday, 25 Mar 2013

Cheer Up Mouse & book giveaway

photography by Ashley Thalman

Awhile back, even before landing back in America, I was approached by illustrator Jed Henry, to collaborate on a project for his brand new children’s book, Cheer Up Mouse. He showed me the trailer…

…and I was sold! How adorable is it? I mean a walnut playing squirrel? Too much for me. I have it on good authority that kids watch this over and over. What am I saying? I can (and did) watch it over and over. Even just for the sweet soundtrack.
illustration from Cheer Up Mouse by Jed Henry. ©Houghton Mifflin
So we got to thinking of a DIY that would best suit the book and we came up with a little play for kids complete with masks (click here for the masks), which we thought would be the perfect Spring Break activity. The book has 10 characters who each attempt to cheer little Mouse up with a sweet, well-meaning line, like so…
So, how does it work? 
Materials: 10 kids (or have a few kids take on multiple characters), Cheer Up Mouse book (available ON SALE on Amazon) for the script or win a copy–see instructions below, cardboard sets are optional, masks (click here), 3×5″ index cards
Step 1: With Cheer Up Mouse book in hand, use ten cards, 1 for each child to write down the lines. A few kids will get multiple lines. There are 18 lines total.
Step 2: Create the masks (there will be a follow-up blog post to this one showing you the step-by-step).
Step 3: Let the kids learn their lines.
Step 4: Watch the magic! 
I promise PROMISE you’ll fall in love with the characters. In fact, our Mouse for the shoot had a little “moment” when she needed some cheering up and all the kids were quick to chime in “Cheer up, Mouse!”. Presh.
illustration from Cheer Up Mouse by Jed Henry. © Houghton Mifflin.
Jed is giving away a copy of Cheer Up Mouse to one lucky reader. Wahoo!
TO ENTER: “Like” The House That Lars Built on Facebook OR “follow” on Instagram. Then leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you’ve done (please let me know!). Bonus votes if you follow on any other blogging platform. If you’ve already done so on all platforms before, share the post for entry. Contest ends one week from today, Monday April 1st.

Thank you to the wonderful wardrobe providers: 
Wunway Kids (THE cutest and hippest clothes!)
Caramel (UK, but they have a US presence too–wish they made big girl sizes)
Orfeo (also UK–beautiful stuff)
The Children’s Hour shop in Salt Lake City–the ONLY children’s store in all of Utah with cool stuff. Promise, we tried them all. The owner has impeccable taste. And they have great stuff for mamas too.
photographer: Ashley Thalman
sets: Tanei and Jed Henry
masks and styling: Brittany Watson Jepsen
photoshoot coordinator: Tanei Henry
assistants: Lindsay Barlow, Audrey Ellsworth
illustrator: Jed Henry
models: Titan, Modock. Karli, Nohea, Stella, Crew, Cole and thank you to all the terrific moms and families!
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DIY + holiday + Projects / Friday, 22 Mar 2013

Bunny topiary wreath for your door

You know I love dressing up my door of the holidays and Easter is the last obvious holiday for months until…4th of July? I’ll take advantage while I can. 
My mom sent me a picture of this bunny wreath from Simplicity in the South and I knew I had to recreate it with paper for my door. Isn’t it a cute little hopper? I loved her idea. I used a similar process as the one I did for Valentine’s day and for the wedding topiaries.

Materials: crepe paper in shades of green (here’s an Amazon suggestion), scissors, embroidery hoops in two different sizes (I used a 4″ and 8″, wire cutters (not pictured), wire (not pictured), floral tape, glue gun, ribbon (optional)

Step 1: Attach the two hoops together with floral tape.
Step 2: Make 2 “bunny ears” out of wire leaving about 4 inches on one end to wrap around the hoop.
Step 3: Wrap the bunny ears around the smaller hoop at the top.

Step 4: Make leaves. I cut 3 at a time by folding the paper accordion style. My leaves are about 1: tall and 1/2″ wide.
Step 5: Layer the leaves on top of each other going around the hoops.

Step 6: Finish it off with a ribbon if you like.

Done!

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flowers + Style + This Girl + This Guy / Tuesday, 19 Mar 2013

This Guy & This Girl & This Babe

Today, This Guy and This Girl got together and had This Babe. I just had to do it!  You can’t not have a picture of Will Ferrell in a bathing cap covered with flowers and leave it alone. Am I right?

This guy  +  This girl  =  This babe 

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Crafts + DIY + Easter + flowers + holiday + Projects / Monday, 18 Mar 2013

How to make Easter egg terrariums

You know how terrariums are super in right now? Yes, they’re everywhere. I love the look and wish I could have them, but to be completely honest, they totally frighten me. As much as I love flowers, I have the biggest black thumb. I cannot keep a cactus alive. And then to have the responsibility of a mini eco-world in the form of a terrarium? That’s just way too much pressure.

SO, when I came across these clear Easter eggs at Smith’s, my first reaction was “terrariums!” and then reality started to set in. I did what every adult evading responsibility does: I faked it. Yes, this is a fake terrarium. The dirt? Real. The moss? Real. The flower? Well, shouldn’t you know by now that it’s paper?! So, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be all for a fake terrarium. Much less pressure. But to give myself a little bit of credit, the egg is too small to have a living thing grow inside without bursting out of the seams. ALSO, there is no oxygen hole and any type of drilling would have shattered the plastic.

Am I forgiven?

Materials: clear plastic eggs (again, got mine from Smith’s but I also saw a giant version–about 4″ tall– at Michaels), moss, dirt, gold spray (optional)
Step 1: Spray the colored egg part gold. Wait 24 hours to dry properly.
Step 2: Insert a bit of wet dirt into the bottom of the egg filling about 1/3.
Step 3: Add a bit of moss on top.
Step 4: Dig your wire flower into the dirt.

Done!

Materials for the paper flower: paper color of your choice, green paper, stamen (center of the flower–I found mine here), scissors, floral wire wrapped in cloth (here’s my suggestion on Amazon), hole punch (mine is Martha Stewart 1/16″ from Amazon), glue gun
Step 1: Cut a circle, about 1/2″ diameter
Step 2: Make a rounded start
Step 3: Curl the edges up
Step 4: Make a punch in the center of the flower
Step 5: Add a stamen through the hole.
Step 6: Glue on the back side of the flower and hold.
Step 7: Cut a thin leaf in the green paper and curl with your fingers to give it shape.
Step 8: Cut a piece of wire less than the size of the egg.
Step 9: Cut the stamen down to a nub on the back side.
Step 10: Glue the wire to the nub of the stamen.
Step 11: Put a small amount of glue on the leaf and attach to the wire.
Done!
What do you usually give for Easter? 
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In the Know + Life + utah / Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013

Our new home & a more somber post

Warning: Not my usually sunny self post.

Guys, I’m rarely sick, but here I am feeling like pooh. Bleh. I’m sure you really want to hear complaints to brighten up your day so I’ll keep it to a minimum. It started out as what I thought was food poisoning and now it’s a cold. Thankfully, I work from home so I don’t even have to pretend to smile at people. This, combined with the passing of a friend last week and funeral services on Monday, has reminded me of the frailties of mortality. It’s one of those passings that I don’t quite understand and I’m not sure I ever will.  I won’t get too much into it right here right now. I just hope that he’s found peace.

Anywhoo, I had a craft project planned for today but considering I couldn’t really get off my can much, I’m going to show you a bit of our new hood according to my Instagram photos instead. One of our favorite things to do is go house looking (spying really) and we’ve found some really darling charmers and wonderful 60s gems. Not to say they are all like that because, let’s be honest, most are boring, beige, and brick, but some stand out (like the four above).

We went on a little adventure to Utah Lake on Sunday and the views are spectacular! The lake is in the process of thawing so one half is frozen while the other half is on vanguard. Top that off with some snowy mountains surrounding the valley and it’s pretty picturesque.

Utah locals, where else would you suggest exploring in the area? I’d love your ideas! 

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