DIY + holiday + Projects + St. Patrick's Day / Wednesday, 6 Mar 2013

St. Patrick’s day candy poppers & care package

Aren’t these little guys adorable? Michele Brummer Everett who has pretty much been a god-sent since before I moved back to the US, made some adorable Valentine’s day candy poppers and I just about died out of cuteness. Michele is a wonderful illustrator and textile designer who can pull out the cutest characters. I asked if she would let me borrow her idea for a St. Patty’s day version and thankfully she said yes. AND she drew the cutest little leprechaun. She’s the best! 

Materials: scissors, leprechaun template, toilet paper roll, rainbow template, chocolate gold coins (I bought mine on Amazon Prime–the best!), writing utensil, double stick tape, tissue paper, embroidery floss, scrapbooker’s glue, needle
Step 1: print the rainbow paper on normal office paper.
Step 2: Cut it out and measure against the toilet paper roll.
Step 3: Tape it onto the roll. I used double stick tape to attach it.
Step 4: With the scrapbooker’s glue, glue the end of the toilet paper roll and hold it onto the tissue paper
Step 5:Trace around a quarter onto a piece of paper
Step 6: Cut around it.
Step 7: Cut around the front and back of the leprechauns.
Step 8: With 3 strands of the embroidery thread, make a cross in the circle.
Step 9: Make a hole in the end of the tissue paper with the needle before entering in from the inside of the roll so the paper circle stays on the inside of the roll and the rest of the thread dangles out.
Step 10: Glue the two pieces of the leprechaun onto the end of the thread.
Step 11: Stuff the toilet roll with your goodies. I put in a first layer of moss and then gold coins and then more moss.
Step 12: Glue the top of the toilet paper roll.
Step 13: Attach onto the tissue paper to seal it off.
CARE PACKAGE
You know I love me a good care package (see my Valentine’s heart and suitcase) I lined the inside of the box with the rainbow paper and set down shredded green grass with gold coins on top and the poppers. Then, I wrapped the box with the rainbow paper and now it’s good to go!

Thank you so much Michele!

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DIY + Party + Projects / Saturday, 23 Feb 2013

Oscar party!

Admittedly, I’ve never been nor have I hosted an Oscar party, but my friend was recently talking about how she has her nieces and nephews over for the big day and they all dress up. How fun is that?! SO, I thought these prize ribbon badges (what’s the official name, anyone?) would be a fun accoutrement. I cannot take credit for the idea. You see, I have a very clever friend who is an amazing illustrator, Michèle Brummer Everett (you might remember her as the pencil), who hosted a presidential waffle night on Monday and made badges like these but with the faces of the presidents (take a look on my Instagram account). I asked her if she would show me how to make it and she was kind enough to agree. Thank you thank you! I turned them into the Oscar nominees so that you can use them tomorrow for your Oscar parties. Are you having one? Attending one? 

You will need: template of the Oscar nominees (download here), geometric backgrounds (download here, here, here, here) designed by Michèle Brummer Everett, scissors, pin backings (or safety pin should work fine too), glue gun, long stapler

Step 1: Print out the Oscar nominee template on sturdy laser paper cardstock on 11×17″ (A3). Office paper is fine too.
Step 2: Cut out all of the heads. I left a small white gap around to act as a border.
Step 2: Print out the geometric background paper on 8 1/2 x 11″ (A4) on thinner office paper.
Step 3: Cut out the geometric pattern leaving no white space.
Step 4: Fold the geometric paper in half so it’s long ways.
Step 5: Cut it down the center.
Step 6: Fold up the bottom in half.
Step 7: Fold it up again.
Step 8: Fold it up one more time. These fold will act as guidelines for the next step.
Step 9: Unfold. At the bottom make sure the first fold stars by folding up. You’ll basically make an accordion fold halving the folds you already made.

Step 10: Fold the accordion in half.
Step 11: With your long stapler, staple the center together.
Step 12: Glue the two sides together where the staple is. Make sure you put some in the very center so it glues without bubbles.
Step 13: Hold together for a few moments.
Step 14: Repeat on the other side.
Step 15: Unfold your accordion badge and fix it up a bit so that the folds are even.
Step 16: Now take your chosen Oscar nominee (I choose Bradley Cooper) and glue the back and attach to the ribbon.
Step 17: Take your pin and glue it to the back. Make sure it’s not dead center or it will tilt when it’s attach. About 1/3 down from the top should be fine.
Voila!

How cute are these? Everyone thank Michèle for showing us how to make them. She’s currently redoing her portfolio website and it’s going to be absolutely charming, but in the mean time, visit her here.

Alrighty, if you do make them, I’d love to see them! Use #LarsOscarParty so we can all keep track. Happy Oscaring! Here are some more ideas for your Oscar party from StudioDIY

Oscar nominee actor pictures:
Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Emmanuelle Riva, Naomi Watts, Daniel Day Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Joquin Phoenix, Jessica Chastain, Quvenzhane Wallis

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Design + Life + we do weddings + Wedding / Friday, 22 Feb 2013

Something Blue wedding shoot

photography by Amanda Thomsen
I talked about the wedding group, We Do Weddings, last month. It’s the group of photographers, designers, stylists who came together to get magic done in Denmark and I was more than thrilled to be involved while I was there. We decided to stage a series of photoshoots and broke up into 4 groups. Each group took on one of the sayings from “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” and yes, we were something new. Sorry, bad joke. Of course, we were something blue. This was one of my favorite projects of all time! I got to work with Amanda Thomsen, Lina Ahnoff, and Anja of Elefteria, who just took my spot in the studio. These ladies are the best!

We took “something blue” to mean the black sheep of the bunch. The couple who does things a bit differently. So, we envisioned a couple who do things differently. This couple doesn’t plan a year in advance. They aren’t getting married in the church. They aren’t wearing white. Gasp! This couple told their friends and family to come to a party that week “dressed in blue” and bring a small dish to share.
Once their friends and family showed up for a leisurely afternoon at their blue kolonihave, the couple announced that they were actually getting married and they were the guests. The garden turned into the reception site with a simple bunting in blue strung along the bushes to frame the couple as they said their vows.  Instead of a wedding cake, a friend made a piñata in shades of blue.  Once they knocked it down, fortune cookies with personalized fortunes came spewing out as favors fo the guests. (I showed how to make the pinata on Etsy Weddings.)

Later that evening, the guests gathered in the kolonihave for a dinner made up of the smørrebrød that everyone brought. Friends had decorated the place in old wedding veils from their family’s generations. They enjoyed the occasion with simple hygge and cherished their new bond.

This simple wedding brought out the best in the couple and made it an easy affair for all. By sticking with just one color palette, they were able to focus on the people that they shared the event with.

The dresses:  The first dress from Elefteria.dk is called Anna with denim skirt, perfectly morning outfit for a wedding. The long length model Eleni, a bias cut dress in crepe de chine so soft to wear in the late afternoon and finally decorated and dressed up for the evening dinner with silk chiffon covers to give you the upportunity to change the look of the dress for any occasion.  All of them made specially for the Something Blue shoot,  by Anja from Elefteria.
I made the pinata, bunting, floral crown, and style the shoot (thanks to Amanda’s stellar blue collection!)
Amanda Thomsen took all of these photos (see her blog for the whole she-bang!) alongside Lina Ahnoff.

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ballet + Copenhagen + denmark + In My Next Life + Life / Friday, 15 Feb 2013

In my next life: Ballerina

photography by Amanda Thomsen
I’m super pleased to introduce a new monthly column to Lars and it’s been a long time in coming. Let me explain. Growing up I felt like I was meant to be a ballet dancer. My mom was a dancer, my aunt was a dancer, and clearly I was also supposed to be one as well. The problem is that my ballet teacher didn’t agree. I was “too chubby” to audition for the Nutcracker at the age of 8. Now, it may seem harsh, but in all honesty, I was tubby and most likely awkward because I was definitely shy and turned bright red when anyone spoke to me. Not a great combo for a graceful dancer. My mom instantly took me out of ballet and enrolled me in tennis and cello and I continue to play to this day. Ultimately, she didn’t want me to grow up in a world where weight and appearance was a factor that dictated her life and I’m very glad she directed me in another direction. I’m also very happy with how my childhood and adolescence played out so though I still would have loved to have been a dancer (and with the right body type), I’m satisfied with the talents and skills I’ve been able to develop. No harm done!

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some jobs that I wouldn’t like to try in my next life. Enter new column. This whole internet thing has exposed me to jobs that I never knew existed. Paper floral designer? Color expert? Cupcake maker? Come on, these are dream jobs! In fact, I was going to label this column “Dream Jobs”, but thought that they’re someone’s reality so “In my next life” it is. Every month I’ll feature a different person who inspires me in their chosen profession. First up? Christina Michanek.
Christina Michanek is a soloist at the Royal Danish Ballet. She’s also a good friend of mine and my former landlord. Ha! Paul and I lived on the top floor of her house that she and her husband were renovating. You would think that friendship + landlord could be a recipe for disaster, but these two are the best. I’m their biggest fan. You won’t find two more kind and hardworking people. Part of the reason I was so sad to leave Denmark was because we wouldn’t be by them (and their adorable 2 year old). 
Christina generously invited my mom and me to attend a dress rehearsal of a brand new show at the Ballet in September at the Opera House, The Golden Cockerel (or Den Gyldne Hane), an opera by Rimsky-Korsakov that was turned into a ballet with original choreography by Alexei Ratmansky. She said that the sets and costumes reminded her of me and my jaw just about dropped when I saw them. They’re bright and bold and colorful (see below). They’re the original designs from Ballet Russes. I invited Amanda Thomsen, the awesome photographer with whom I shared a studio in Copenhagen, to come along and document the day. She takes us through from the practice, getting ready and finally the dress rehearsal with her beautiful photos.
Mom and I had a ball watching The Golden Cockerel. Though the story is over-the-top (like all operas), I loved the dancing and original choreography. There was an exotic spin on traditional ballet. I also loved the costumes. It was definitely a feast for the eyes. I tend to like dress rehearsals better than the real thing because you get to hear the banter between the director, maestro, and dancers. It’s a bit more entertaining when you add in the real life drama.
With that in mind, Christina was kind enough to answer a few questions.
Did you always want to be a dancer? 
Before I knew ballet and ballet dancers even existed I wanted to be a librarian. The library was such a magical place for me. It was like a church for stories. And I dreamed of being this superlibrarian who could tell people as soon as I saw them what they should get! 

How did you get into dancing? 
An American missionary who was dancing at Ballet West in Utah, Candice Taylor, made a little dance for all the young girls in my church congregation for a Christmas activity. Ever since she danced for us I was hooked!

Were there people along the way in your field who you admired or helped you shape the decision to be a dancer?
In the school it was my friend Ulrik Birkjær (now principal the company) who was my ‘source’ or his ambition and ballet interest just made him the one I could ask ballet questions and he inspired me to aspire higher. Still does. Apprentice years and early dancer years it was Adam Lüders, Caroline Cavallo, Sorella Englund and Nikolaj Hübbe.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
The feeling of moving in space led by my own musicality. The drama we get to enjoy! I’m a drama junkie! I’ll do a death scene any day any time. The theater magic of costumes, stage light and a live orchestra. 
Is there anything you could do without?
I could do without the judging, elbowing, never good enough chase for perfection. And that it takes forever to get in shape and four days to get out of it…that’s almost evil. 

How do you juggle being a wife/mother with your job?
I make sure to leave work at work and don’t bring it home. And if I need to take a nap before a show I do it in the living room preferably in the beanbag on the floor so it’s easy for my son to play on and around me. FaceTime helps a lot too then we can blow kisses to each other and sing songs and play games. It was a great help when I went on tour recently. 

What’s one of the most memorable moments of your career?
Some of my favorite moments… Watching a colleague on their 40th jubilee and seeing old pictures and video and sensing their love for their work and how much they are loved for sharing their talent. 
First Sylph rehearsal is a special memory too. As soon as Nikolaj [Hübbe, the director of the ballet] had left the studio I let out a little scream and involuntary leap of joy and then I got a little embarrassed cause he could probably hear me. 
Romeo and Juliet balcony pas de deux with Ulrik in Japan. I stole a moment to just soak in the stage, the music, the moment and save it in my heart and mind and it made me shiver with delight. 
Watching Nikolaj dance Apollo in a small proconsul theater, sitting in the wing so fascinated that I almost was on stage! I’m pretty sure he didn’t mind at all. 
I have a lot of favorite moments. 

I loved watching Christina dance. She is pure passion and love for the art. I’m also very lucky to call her my friend. She is beauty, kindness, and integrity. Thank you, Christina, for being letting us follow you around.
Stay tuned for next month’s In My Next Life.

Do you have a dream job? What is it? 
Thank you to Det Kongelige Teater for allowing us to take up some space in the practice room and letting us wander around backstage.

Photography by Amanda Thomsen
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DIY + Party + Projects + valentine's day / Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013

How to make glitter Valentine’s heart boxes

Well, easy is the name of the game for these past few Valentine’s ideas and this one is SO simple. It’s perfect for last minute gifty ideas. These glitter heart boxes are a breeze and you probably have everything you already need. Just print off the template and get going!
You will need: Glitter paper (here’s a suggestion), scissors, template, glue gun or glue stick or double sided stick tape
Step 1: Print off your template onto cardstock paper.
Step 2: Cut out template.
Step 3: Trace template onto the backside of your glitter paper.
Step 4: Cut out lines on glitter paper.
Step 5: Fold the bottom portion of the box (indicated on the template with dotted lines).
Step 6: Fold over the tab.
Step 7: Glue the tab to the other side of the box.
Step 8: Gold the bottom tabs up so they are secure.
Step 9: Attach the heart pieces together.

 Step 10: Insert CANDY!! Chocolate or conversation hearts preferred (am I right?!)

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