When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

I spent a good amount of time going through the Spoonflower Marketplace, which is thousands and thousands of independent artists and great designs. Yes, it took awhile, but I came upon some really beautiful options and had a hard time narrowing it down. I saved my favorites in this collection on their site.

Which ones are your favorites???

There are a lot of good ones, right?! I was going for a springy, floraly vibe that also felt refined and could be used throughout the year. Here were some alternative options I was eyeing:

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

Ultimately, I ended up going for this Multi Citrus Grove Toile by Danika Herrick. It has the right touch of deGournay with its chinoiserie feel. Plus, I always love some good citrus–it makes everything feel instantly refreshing.blue and orange table ideaCustom Home Decor Options

Perhaps you remember when I redid my bedroom in all Spoonflower? Right–so not only can you order fabric by the yard, but you can order things for your home to be made in the fabric of your choice and it’s all sewn right here in the United States. For my bedroom it was the wallpaper, duvet, pillow cases, curtains, and this time around I ordered a tablecloth for the Party-For-Mom that I will be throwing. I paired it with this Indian print inspired marigold print by Andrea Lauren because I loved the contrast of the yellow to the blue in the main selection and decided to use them for the cloth napkins.Indian block print napkins

Visualizing the process

What I find useful in their new home decor option is the ability to see them on a variety of products. You can do that by selecting Home Decor in the “Also available in” section to view all of the different home decor products and then it automatically shows you how it will look.

And the marigold:

Because of that, I was able to visualize what it would really be like. And it was going to be GOOD!

Pattern on pattern advice:

Pairing a pattern on pattern can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make sure it works:

  1. Identify the colors of the palette. The first pattern I worked with has a lot going on but I drew out the main colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Along the same lines, draw out the colors that you’d like to highlight more. If there’s a color in the fabric that you don’t necessarily love, don’t highlight it! On the flipside, if you like a color more than another, bring that color out more.
  3. The two fabrics should be of different scale. The first pattern has a very large scale so I knew I needed to go smaller on the second.blue and orange table idea

Citrus tablescape

To go with our Mother’s Day party, we created a centerpiece of citrus–grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, to sit atop the tablecloth. We matched with with some yellow plates, blue bowls, and goblets to tie it in with our beautiful fabric. Plus the pretty chargers that add some depth. And a dash of flowers to keep it fresh!

Mother’s Day Care Packages

Because we are keeping friends and family at arm’s length right now, we have been brainstorming DIY ideas of how to share uplifting moments with our loved ones near and far. We decided to make a tote from Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas –it’s the perfect thing to fill up with goodies and send along to someone who needed a dose of joy. A handpicked, handmade gift for someone you love can be the best surprise!oranges table idea

To match the amazing fabric, we made our gift bag lemon themed! You know, the classic, “When life gives you lemons”. With everything life is throwing at us lately, let’s just say we have been making A LOT of metaphorical lemonade. We filled our gift bag with lots of lemon themed hand soap, lotion, candles, and more. Everything our loved ones need to make this extra hand washing fun!

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

Additionally, I wanted to create a care package to send along to my mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Social distancing could have interrupted the celebration of such a special holiday, but instead it turned into something that lets us show our love for our mothers in a new way. After turning the beautiful fabric from Spoonflower into a tote (the tutorial is now available in the Lars shop!), I wanted to fill it with goodies that were fun and practical. So, candy was a must (der!), as well as hand sanitizer and other necessities. Paul and Jasper joined in as well to create a tote-turned-gift-basket for Paul’s mom too to send to her in Denmark.

Follow these simple steps to make your own gift tote bag:

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

Step 2: Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the pattern, making sure to note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete

Step 3: Starting with the main bag piece — face right sides together

Step 4: Sew the sides with a single stitch (and finish off the edges with a zag zag stitch if desired)

Step 5: Pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric, on the bottom of the bag, together to form the flat bottom of the bag. Sew a single stitch straight across these edges you have pulled together

Step 6: Turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Step 7: Take one of the cut handle strap pieces and fold the long edges in a quarter of an inch. Use your fingernail to crease the canvas fabric fold well.

Step 8: Once both long sides are creased, fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet

Step 9: Pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of the strap. This will flatten the strap and make both edges look the same.

Step 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the second handle strap. Next for the shoulder strap!

Step 11: Repeat steps 7-9 for the shoulder strap — to repeat, crease in the long sides a quarter of an inch, then fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet. Sew a single stitch down both long edges of the shoulder strap.

Step 12: Now you will attach all straps to the main bag piece — to do this, make sure your bag piece turned right side out

Step 13: Position the handle straps in the center on the bag opening, on either side, facing down towards the bottom of the bag with the short edges aligned with the top opening edge of the bag. Pin them in place and sew them on.

Step 14: Attach an end of the shoulder strap piece to both edges of the bag, with the strap facing down just like you did with the handle straps, and sew them in place.

Step 15: All straps should now be sewn on the outside of the bag, facing downwards, so they when folded up inside the bag to face up the seam will not show. You are almost done!

Step 16: Take your facing pieces, on both pieces, crease one long edge in a quarter of an inch.

Step 17:  Face both pieces right side together and sew both short edges

Step 18: Place the sewn facing pieces around the opening of the bag, over the edge of all the straps. Make sure the creased edge is facing down and the un-creased edge is aligned with the top opening edge of the bag.

Step 19: Sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, attached the facing pieces to the bag

Step 20: Turn the facing piece to the inside of the bag, making the straps fold upwards and the seams will all be hidden inside

Step 21: Turn the bag back inside out for the final step – Sew around the bottom creased edge of the facing pieces to keep that inside edge from fraying.

Step 22: Your bag is finished! Turn it back right side out to admire your work!

Send a Mother’s Day care package

What a wonderful way to send love when you can’t visit in person! Plus, who doesn’t love surprise presents in the mail? We think that, in lieu of a visit, sending gifts for Mother’s Day can be the next best thing! orange and yellow tableorange tablescape

Mother's Day table ideaDIY Baggu bag templatehow to sew a baggu toteWe’d love to see your Mother’s Day party-for-ones or care packages. Tag us with #LarsLovesMamas so we can see them! 

Discount for Lars readers

Lars readers can get 15% off with code LARSTABLE15 for all Table Linens and Tea Towels.

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower, who we love for their many home decor and fabric options. We love working with sponsors who allow us to create awesome new content for you!

Interview with Sofia Vusir Jansson

Interview with Sofia Jansson of Mokkasin

What do you consider yourself? 

I used to say that I’m a creator and a photographer mainly.  I’m not sure if creator is a commonly used word in English, but I am a person who does a lot of creative projects. My focus is often on prop/set design and DIY. And my job as a photographer, which I am almost exclusively doing these days, includes building the scene for the photos and hand making all of the props. Absolutely not a business person, that is the last I would call myself.

Who helped you “become” who you are?

I would say that my four kids have made me into the person I am. Their free way of seeing the world and their never ending fantasies have influenced me so much. In their minds they’re not so anxious about their worlds, it’s true and imperfect which, for me, is a very perfect way of being. 

Do you feel like you’ve arrived at what you set out to do? 

Yes I think so. Nowadays I do so many different things. No two days are alike, and I love it that way. It’s very easy for me to say YES even if I didn’t know if I could manage the project load. Maybe it is for this reason that I love my job so much, it is never boring and makes me stretch and develop every minute to meet the needs of each project. 

What more would you like to “become”? 

I would like to work more with set design. If I could do it all again I would probably go receive my education in art directing, that’s a dream of mine. Nowadays I work on projects within this spectrum, but I dream about the big traditional theaters and doing set design and art direction. It would also be very fun to be really good at building things, like a carpenter. Or a glass artist! Ohh there are so many things I would love to learn.

Where did you study, and what did you study? 

I haven’t studied more than high school, and after high school I studied to be a hairdresser. I worked in this field for 10 years and loved every day. But, one day I decided to quit, and I have never looked back. I think, if you do something creative you must have some fire inside you, you must love your work.  If you don’t, as it was for me that day, it’s better to find another path. 

How did you get started doing what you do? 

Actually, everything began when I started to run a little shop. I built all the marketing with my own pictures. The same day I started the shop I also started a blog, and THAT is where everything started. The blog transformed from a business blog that connected to the shop, to a lifestyle blog featuring almost exclusively my own pictures. People found me that way and the blog continued to live as a sort of portfolio. In that way, beside running the shop I got more and more assignments with focus at photography, styling and DIY. One lead to the other. 

When did you discover your love for your work? 

I think I have the blog to thank for that, I love the format. I love to tell stories with words and pictures. The blog has let me create my own universe that only my way of seeing things exists.

Were you scared when you first started looking for jobs? How did you overcome this? 

This sounds like some kind of humble brag, but I’m so lucky that the question of “will I have work?” crossed my mind but was never an issue, I have not had to ask or go looking for work. However, I’m not a nervous person in general and I say “yes” without thinking if I can really manage the job people are asking for. After I have said yes, I sometimes can doubt myself. But I’m lucky to have a husband that always gives me encouragement time and time again. 

What’s your goal with your work? 

To always do jobs that follow my gut feeling and heart. And to always have the work have as much of my personal touch on touch in it as possible, not to follow some others. To constantly be true to myself even in the work I do. 

What are you most proud of in your career? 

I am proud of many things! That Numero 74 chose me as their photographer many years ago and that I still get to work with them, they are always passionate their work and their way of seeing the world. This has helped me to develop myself and my vision.

I am always proud when people ask for props/set design and use them in theater and books. These occasions make everything seem so real. That someone would choose the things you have made by your own hands to achieve their dreams.

And, of course, I’m proud of the book Hidden Places. I’m so proud that that book is exactly as I want it to be. I wished to create a kind of book that hadn’t been done before. Something new and more than just a DIY-guide. During the whole process I wanted the book not to be anxious and stacked in norms and structures. I wanted the photographs to have big spaces and to let the text take space and be grounded in the amazing fantasies of my children. I wanted the illustrations and format to be skewed in a good way. When viewing the book you shouldn’t have the feeling that everything is perfect, things are not always but rather creative and full of fantasy and life. Every time someone gives me feedback about the book I’m so very proud and it makes me really happy!

What is it like working with your family? 

So many projects during the year have involved my family. My husband and my four kids. I really love this and for me it is a huge gift, that everything is like a family affair. My kids have helped me relax and let go of control in a very good way. Before, when I was younger, I was a person that wanted control of everything and everyone. When they were born, 4 kids in 4 years I couldn’t live up to this perfect surface anymore and I think that was my rescue. My husband always saves me, both in life but also with jobs and projects. When I am lost he always has a good idea. He is hugely creative and I trust him one hundred percent. I think many people perceive us as quite a messy family with a thousand projects that go on. And, maybe our house is a little bit different but I think it is only in a good way. 

How did your childhood influence what you have become? 

I played a lot and fantasy was always intense, close and felt very real. I remember when I and one of my sisters ventured into imaginary lands years after our friends had stopped. We built our own worlds and a with games we loved we could continue for weeks, nobody was allowed to clean it away. Every summer we stayed at my parents little cottage in the woods, there was no electricity and the TV was from a car battery which meant that we just had TV for a short moment in the morning. We played from sunrise to sunset during those endless summers, our stick horses took us around in the woods. We had our own fun fair, where the old stroller doubled as the roller-coaster. 

Did you feel pressured in any way to pursue a certain career path? 

Not at all, my mom and dad have always encouraged me and my two sisters to go our own way and told us that the future is ours, exactly equal as it is for everyone else. 

What’s your work space like? 

We live in a big house built in 1913, the whole house is my work space. It’s my photo studio and it’s a space that makes it possible (for everyone) to be creative all over the house. Every part of the house, from cellar to attic, is filled with things and ongoing projects. 

What’s a piece of advice that you’ve carried with you and who is it from?

 I think it comes from when I was little – to always believe in myself. Always go with your gut feeling and to follow your heart. And as I have grown up my husband has always supported me in this. It is so important to have someone by your side, that believes in you. I think one should “collect” people that follow their own paths in life, people that are beyond over thinking and that are not afraid to be themself.

What artists/designers/creatives do you look up to?

Both historical and present, my list holds so many but it’s always women and especially those that have always followed their own path and weren’t afraid to be different. One historical figure that inspires me a lot is Karin Larsson, the wife of Carl Larsson, who is Sweden’s most famous artist. Her way of looking at life and things is very inspiring, things don’t have to be so finicky “the hand should be seen” was one of her saying – that means that you should see that the craft is made by hand. She designed a lot of her own furniture that the carpenter thought was so ugly so he delivered in the night. Another inspiration is the illustrator of the book Hidden Places, her name is Maja Sten and I love her way of painting and her way of seeing artistry and creativity. She always makes everything by hand instead of using a digital program and you can really feel the life in her art. My Feldt – she’s a writer (and running a café, and a ecologic apple farming, and a TV personality ) soon releasing her second cooking book. I love her way of being herself , she is one of the most transparent people I know.

How has social media influenced your work? 

I think I can thank my blog for almost everything, and of course also Instagram in the latest years. I have used it like a portfolio and in that way it has been so important. And of course also the people who have I have crossed paths with on social media.

Who is your work intended for? 

I hope I can inspire people and give them another way to look at the world. Everything doesn’t have to be so perfect and correct. I hope people feel that and also are inspired to be creative. I think people have so much to win in being creative in different ways, everyone should be creative in the way that suits them. I think the future will require us people to be more creative, dare to think outside the box in so many ways. To use the creative part of the brain more often. Nowadays, when so many things are served in front of you is it so easy to forget that you have so much creativity inside yourself. 

What’s inspiring you lately?

Actually, Swedish glass. We have had a long tradition of glassmaking, with lots of glassworkers in a particular part of Sweden.  Unfortunately, this is a craft that is disappearing, more and more every year. That is really sad, so I am reading everything that comes around. I am also planning to visit one of the glassworkers that still practices the craft. 

You can find Sofia:

Instagram @sofiaatmokkasin
Website of Sofia

Photos of Sofia by Kristen Krickelin

Dye in every shade of the rainbow using natural ingredients and DIY Napkins

Nectar, which one might describe as being the Yellow of the Gods. Yellow, as defined by the dictionary, “is the color between green and orange in the spectrum, a primary subtractive color complementary to blue; colored like ripe lemons or egg yolks.” In the dictionary of Brittany Jepsen, I like to define it as “the happiest color.” Nectar is the most vibrant perfect yellow you have ever laid your eyes upon.

The second color of the year is…Artichaut! It’s a deep, rich green (think artichoke!). Some shades of green can be hard to use and fully appreciate at times when it’s not quite the right shade or hue, but it is impossible NOT to appreciate Artichaut.

Green is essentially the color of life. It is associated with nature, growth, harmony, and also envy but trust me, you aren’t going to be feeling any of that with this green in your kitchen! It is the perfect green to go in any home and it’s definitely the green that is going to get me a-cookin’!

Speaking of cooking, I decided that the best way to start cooking would be to “cook” up some natural dyes in the color of the rainbow to create the most beautiful linen napkins to accompany these gorgeous colored cookware. What can I say? Baby steps! From red cabbage to raspberries, the Lars team cooked up some colors that your eyes will not believe! 

Materials to dye with natural ingredients: 

Directions: 

Fabric Preparation: 

  1. Cut fabric to 17” x 17” squares using a rotary cutter. 
  2. Prep fabric for dyeing with vinegar and salt. For all of your vegetable based dyes, use vinegar to set them and for fruit based dyes you will use salt. 
  3. For the vinegar, pour 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups water into a pot and bring it to a boil. If you have a larger dye batch, be sure to adjust liquid measurements accordingly.
  4. Place your fabric into the vinegar water solution and let the fabric boil for one hour. 
  5. For the salt, pour 1/2 cup salt and 3 cups of water into a pot and bring it to a boil. If you have a larger dye batch be sure to adjust salt and liquid measurements accordingly.
  6. Place your fabric into the salt water solution and let the fabric boil for one hour. 
  7. Rinse and it’s now ready to use! 

While these are boiling you can get going on dyes!

How to dye red using natural ingredients

  1. Skin and cube the beets. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dyeing. For every 1 cup of beets you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the beets into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with beets to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour.
  7. Bring the beets and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove beets with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water. 
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

How to dye pink using natural ingredients

  1. Remove the stems from strawberries and any leaves from raspberries. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of fruit you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the strawberries and raspberries into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with fruit to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the beets and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove beets with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water. 
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

How to dye orange using natural ingredients

  1. Peel the dry skin off of the onion. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of peels you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the peels into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with peels in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the peels and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove peels with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

How to dye yellow using natural ingredients

  1. Peel your oranges and lemons. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of peels you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the peels into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with peels in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the peels and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove peels with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry! 

How to dye green using natural ingredients

  1. Measure out 1 cup of spinach. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of spinach you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the spinach into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with spinach in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the spinach and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove spinach with sieve.
  9. Wet fabric with cold water. 
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry! 

How to dye purple using natural ingredients

  1. Measure out 1 cup of blueberries and blackberries. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of fruit you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the spinach into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with spinach in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the fruit and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove fruit with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry! 

How to dye blue using natural ingredients:

  1. Slice the cabbage. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of cabbage you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the beets into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with beets to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the cabbage and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove cabbage with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

Sewing a napkin:

We decided to complete our table with a homemade napkin using our dyes. Here’s how to get the look.

  1. Cut the fabric edges straight and trim away any strings that have frayed.
  2. Press the edges ½-inch to the back of the fabric and pin in place.
  3. Repeat step two so that all of your sides have been folded down twice. Press the edge fold and mark along the inside edge of the second fold with chalk.
  4. Once you have all the sides marked, unfold the second fold. Mark with a dot where your lines have intersected on all four corners.
  5. Bring the corners to meet the dots you have made.
  6. Make a deep crease and mark with chalk on that line. Make sure it is visible as this is the line you will be stitching through later.
  7. Fold the fabric so the corner is pointed and the line you made earlier is visible on both sides. Stitch through the line you marked. Start and end the stitch with back stitching.
  8. Cut the extra seam allowance and press the seam open.
  9. Turn the edge inside out and stitch along the folds to keep it in place! 
  10. Once you have completed these steps you can finish the napkin edge with a tight zig-zag stitch along the edge. 
  11. To create the zig zag edge place your machine on the zig-zag stitch, your stitch width at 1 and your needle position at 5. 
  12. Finish each edge with the zig-zag stitch in a  contrasting color for a fun decoration!
  13. Trim any thread hanging off. 

Le Creuset colors of the year

We loved working on this rainbow project that was so beautifully brought to life by our friends at Le Creuset.  We now want to dye everything these incredible shades of the rainbow and do all of our dying in their dutch ovens! *Hint* we’re thinking tablecloths! I may not be the best cook but something tells me I may just be doing a bit more cooking thanks to these gorgeously colored items!

Be sure to tag us so we can see your incredible creations with #larsmakes!  

This post is sponsored by Le Creuset. We love our sponsors who allow us to create beautiful, original content for you! 

Valentines Napkin Folding Guide

Materials:

The Geometric Heart Napkin

Find the instructions here!

The Love Letter Napkin

Find the instructions here and the Love Postcard insert Here!

The Good Fortune Napkin

Find the instructions here!

The Simple Heart Napking

Find the Directions here!

Be sure to tag us with #LarsLovesLove so we can see those tables in all their love and glory!