Carnival ticket business cards

 
Last fall when my sister and I were shopping for fun materials, I stopped dead in my tracks when I came across these beautiful sherbet carnival tickets. I didn’t know WHAT I was going to use them for I just knew they were amazing and had to be a part of my life. Watermelon, lemon, mint, bubble gum, orange…yummy. Well, I finally figured it out…they are my new business cards.
First, I got a custom rubber stamp made with my info and then I got my stamping game on. Well, in full disclosure, my patient husband got his stamping game on. He’s very nice. And loves me a lot.
I thought it’d be fun at networking events (like The Hive in May) to go around with rolls of tickets and then people can choose their color. I ALSO thought it’d be super fun to act as if they were money and I was super rich and took a swim in them like Duck Tales. If only that were true…I’ll be sticking the Duck Tales outtakes on the Facebook page. 
Photography by Hilda Grahnat 

Iceland

Paul & I just booked our tickets to Iceland for Easter and I. Cannot. Wait. I’m taking my work with me and we’re going for a full solid two weeks. Wahoo! Iceland seems so other worldly to me. So much open space with greenery. It just begs wandering. I’m loving this picture above with the hardened lava contrasted with the green. Have I ever shown this Bon Iver video? It captures what I think the spirit of the place feels like. So beautiful.

Do you have any tips? We have PLENTY of time to explore so I’d love your suggestions. Shops? Little corners in town? What do you think?

This was my first post on Iceland and I still dream about it.

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DIY Ice cream cone vases

This is one of my favorites for Oh Happy day! It combines four of my favorite things: ice cream + flowers +  bright colors + stripes. Too much goodness. The photoshoot with Hilda was one of the craziest yet as we were shooting a few projects and I was delayed because I couldn’t find helium anywhere in town for the balloon project, then the ATM ate my card. Boo! I ended up having to cab it home, which I never ever do here in Copenhagen; you might as well give them your first born for the price they charge you. Needless to say, Hilda is meget meget (so, so) patient.*
What you can’t really tell about my hair right now is that it’s orange. If I were to hold it straight up in the air it’d look like candy corn with the white from the first dye job, the orange from the most recent, and my roots coming in. Sick. I guess it’d be more appropriate if it were October. TMI, sorry.

Anywhoo, check out the full DIY at Oh Happy Day.

*Danes love repeating words for emphasis. I find myself faking Danish just by repeating a few select phrases in a really deep, gutteral voice and they seem to love it. 

DIY: Paper leaf topiary for Etsy

I never planned on becoming so DIY crazy but one thing leads to the next and boom! Next thing you know you’re DIY’ing for Etsy. I was so flattered when Alison (who’s Teenangster blog I’m totally loyal to) asked me to create a special DIY for their Handmade Weddings and I LOVE the final product. Here goes:
You will need: The inner hoop of an embroidery hoop, Shades of green paper, grey paper for silhouettes, and/or monogram, Clay pot, Moss, Skewers, Wire (a bit longer than double the size of your pot), Wire, cutters, Scissors, Newspaper, Duct tape, Glue gun
Step 1: Bring a piece of wire through the hole in the bottom of the pot. Secure it over the bottom of the embroidery hoop and then back through the hole again. Cut off excess wire if it extends out.
Step 2: Secure the wire pieces on the bottom with a discreet piece of duct tape.
Step 3: Stuff newspaper into the bottom of the pot, leaving about an inch space between the top and the newspaper.
Step 4: Break off a piece of moss to fill the pot on either side of the embroidery hoop.
Step 5: With your various shades of green paper, draw a a simple leaf shape and cut out multiple copies. You’ll want various sizes of the leaves. The smallest leaf should start at the top of the hoop, with the leaves getting bigger as they go down.
Step 6: Fold the leaf in the center, but leave a bit of the end unfolded.
Step 7: With your glue gun, dab a small amount of glue on the edge of the leaf and stick it at an angle at the top of the embroidery hoop.
Step 8: Using a different color leaf, angle the leaf in the opposite direction and glue in place.
Step 9: Continue this pattern as you go down the hoop, making sure the leaves get larger and larger as you go on and alternating shades of greens.
Step 10: If you want to get really fancy, you can cut pictures of your silhouettes out of grey paper and attach them to skewers. An easy way to do this would be to first take pictures in profile, print them off, then use the picture as a stencil.
Optional: Another way to get fancy is to cut out letters using the wedding couple’s monogram. Simply find a pretty font that you like in a program like Microsoft Word, print the letters you need and use them as a stencil on grey paper. Glue these onto skewers and stick into the moss.

photos by Hilda Grahnat (thank you!)

DIY: Kissing clothespin caketopper

Check out the my first DIY for Brooklyn Bride. So easy and simple. I thought it’d be nice as a caketopper or on favor bags. For the full story go here. Have you checked out my decorating tips? If you like gold, you’ll love these ideas. And if you want something easy and powerful, check out this tip. I love writing for a wedding blog. It gives me the chance to think all my favorite things: fashion, DIYs, decor, food. Yes, it’s a perfect fit. And a huge thank you to Liv Colliander for stepping in to photograph. I haven’t found too many people around town who photograph products and she was up for the challenge. Speaking of, is there anyone in the Copenhagen area who wants to collaborate? Maybe some fun projects or photographing? 

DIY: Speech bubbles

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I hope you had a great weekend remembering 9/11 and those who were affected. There was so much goodness coming out from something so bad.

So, a few weeks ago, a Ukrainian friend from my Danish class asked me to teach her how to make the speech bubbles for her upcoming wedding. My sister had made the two below and I was thrilled with the spice they added to our photography session with Ali. We wrote “I love you” and “I love you more” in Danish and English respectively and she wanted hers in Russian and Danish, since she too married a Danish man.
Materials:
Primed canvas
Cardboard
X-acto knife
Glue gun
Scissors
Sharpie
3 acrylic paints of your choice for background and lettering
Paintbrush
Pencil
Flat polyester filling
Fabric for backing (optional)
1. With a Sharpie, create the outline of the speech bubble you want to create on a large piece of cardboard.
2. Cut out the shape with the x-acto knife.
3. Lay the flat polyester filling on top of the cardboard as padding and hot glue it down. I couldn’t find it here so I used squares and laid them like tiles, then cut around.
4. Lay the bubbles on the canvas face down and cut around it leaving 1″ in excess
5.  Using scissors, cut slits into the canvas every couple of inches to create the circular shape
6. Glue gun the canvas slits to the back of the cardboard.
7. With the color of your choice, paint the canvas.
8. When it’s done drying, write your phrase with a pencil then paint it with a contrasting color.
9. (optional)Glue gun a fun fabric to the back side of the bubble. This won’t be seen in the pictures. Just a nice detail.
10. Voilà!

royal wedding souvenirs. better late than never!

Dear readers, I’m so pleased to announce a little project that Cramer and I, with support from our British counterpart, have whipped up in a few short weeks. Although we’re a bit late entering the game, we have arrived with GUSTO to present our line of souvenirs celebrating the wedding on Prince William and Kate Middleton later this month.
Now, to all of you who have known me since I was a wee little one, this will come as no surprise as you and I both know that I was going to marry Prince William. After a couple of trips to England with no royal invitation to meet HRH, I knew it was time to MOVE ON. So, I met and married my Danish prince and William, clearly heartbroken, finally decided to move on too and propose to his gf of 10 years. About time, buddy! And I give my full support. We have come up with tote bags, keychains, mugs, commemorative plates all celebrating the wedding of the year. Check it all out now on out Etsy shop and place your pre-order. Our products will be ready any day now so now’s your chance! Not only that, but Paul and I will be in London the weekend of the royal wedding selling souvenirs with our dear friends on PORTOBELLO ROAD so come and visit and tell your friends! We can’t wait to be there with the masses in our little booth exploiting this wedding! I’ll be the one in the mock wedding dress.

Go check out the full line at The House That Lars Built Etsy shop.

let me make you some giant paper flowers

100 Layer Cake featured our wedding last month and received so many comments on how to make the huge paper flowers that they asked me to do a tutorial for them, which just came out today. Thanks to my dear mother who showed me the ropes, I can now show all of you Lars readers as well. Above pics: this is Paul’s Blue Steel and the photo on right is the centerpiece on the burlap squares I painted. Speaking of, if you’d like to buy the painted burlap tablecloths I opened up an Etsy shop where you can buy them. Right now there’s only one picture, but there will be more on the way and even more products.
From the get-go, I wanted large paper flowers to create the Thumblina/Alice in Wonderland-ish effect for our garden reception. My amazing mom came up with the pattern which we then duplicated about 30 times for all the centerpieces, walkways, and stairs. The great thing about paper flowers is that we could create them with plenty of time before the wedding without worrying about the typical wilting. That said, by the wedding day we then had 30 huge paper poppies “growing” in our house so we were plenty ready to get them out! Making the flowers is as easy as pie. You’ll need a large surface to work on because these puppies are massive.
Materials:
  • 7 sheets of a single color for petals. Each sheet is a single petal. We used Canson Colorline Art Papers 19″x 25″ from the local art supply store. Go local! Mom frequented (almost daily) the San Clemente Art Supply store and they would special order us the papers. So helpful! The picture of the colors below is not my preferred choices, especially for the leaves, but they don’t have Canson near my house here in Copenhagen
  • 1 yellow or mustard color for stamen (middle of the flower)
  • 3 sheets of different greens. We used pastel quality greens because they are less harsh.
  • glue gun
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • 18″ ruler to create the folded petal texture
  • If making multiple flowers, I would suggest making a template of the petals and leaves on chipboard
1. The base of the flower is 9″ wide so you can start by marking the middle of the short end of the paper at the 9″ mark and then marking 4 1/2 inches out on either side.
2. Create the shape of the petal. You can either copy this picture and blow it up to the right size or create your own (use your creativity!).I drew it in marker here so it would be clearer, but use pencil. It’s roughly the shape of a light bulb or shell with lots of undulating waves. You don’t want them too precise, they’re flowers! From the 9″ mark on the short side of the paper draw a 5″ line up the middle.

3. Cut the shapes out.
4. Create the texture for the petal. We kept it simple by folding the paper over the ruler from the widest rim to the center of the shortest side. Space them out about every 1-1 1/2 inches. Remember not to be too precise. Then, turn the petal over and turn every other fold the opposite way like an accordian fold. It might look a little too much like a sea shell at this point, but don’t worry, it gets better.
5. Overlap one of the 5″ split sections by gluing one piece over the other, about 2-3″. This will create a cupping shape with the petal. ( I made mine with the glue coming out to make it more obvious.
6. Repeat for each of the remaining 6 sheets.
7. Assemble the flower. Take three petals and glue one on top of the other so they are evenly spread around to form the center of the flower.
8. Evenly spread the remaining four petals around the center to create the outer petals.
9. Create the stamen by drawing a 16″ circle from the yellow sheet of paper and cutting it out.
10. Create the center by drawing a 10″ circle from the black sheet of paper and cutting it out. I found a 10″ bowl to trace.
11. Cut 3″ strips around the perimeter of the black center at every 1/2″ mark or so.
12. Do the same to the yellow stamen, about 5″ strips.
13. Slightly and gently use the edge of the closed scissors to curl the cut yellow strips of the yellow stamen and the black center, much like curling ribbon for a gift.
14. Glue the yellow stamen to the center.
15. Glue black center into the yellow stamen.
16. Make the leaves. Using the 25″ as the width and the 19″ as the height, fold the edge into the center. Do the same to the other side. This will create two leaves. Use the fold as the center of each leaf and draw a half a leaf shape.
17. Cut out the shape to reveal the full leaf. Do the same to the other side.
18. Glue two leaves together. Make as many leaves are you would like. I used 5 in a few shades of pastel and deep olive greens (not the nasty greens I have pictured here.)

19. Group the leaves around the flower and glue together at the bottom. Voila!

Easy beazy right?
Again, if you’d like to buy the tablecloths I painted for the reception, go to my new Etsy site. More on the way!

banners

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More wedding stuff. Sorry. This was one of my favorite parts of the wedding. Because I knew that so many beloved DC and Danish friends and family wouldn’t be able to come to the wedding in Southern California, I thought of how I could involve them. I was enchanted with the narrow streets of Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen and their quirky signage like so…
I decided to replicate it in a newer way after seeing the latest Anthropologie catalog:
I sent out a color palette and inspiration images to my friends and family along with a blank canvas banner with the instruction to go wild. 
The results were phenomenal. My sister Caitlin made this one for us:
while a few friends made these below. April collaged flowers from magazines (on left), Meredith (second from left) painted the Danish flag with a flower from each place we have lived: The Canadian maple leaf (Paul’s birthplace), California poppy (my home), Danish daisy (Paul’s home and now our home) DC cherry blossoms (my home for the last four years); cousin Bryson Gill (middle) painted a lovely bridal couple on an awesome spray painted background; Cramer (second from right) painted hers while in Copenhagen and got the Scandinavian details down; Paul’s Dad (right) created a floral masterpiece which we have dubbed Jepsen Pollack. There are so many more to show but I don’t have the pictures back quite yet. I can’t wait to tell their stories.
Caitlin also made this one to lead the way to the reception site.

Our reception Part 1: Moonpools and Caterpillars

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Speaking of not talking about the wedding (ahem)… so I think I’m gonna go ahead and describe in greater detail some of the wedding tidbits in no particular order. One of the highlights of the whole event, leading up to and the night of, was the chance to work with our friend Kimi Encarnacion. Kimi and her husband Jay Jay had a band called Moonpools and Caterpillars and remain the ultimate rockstars. Kimi was kind enough to say yes to 1) redoing my mom’s wedding dress 2) playing at our reception. I had a not so pleasant time deciding on a dress but it came much easier when mom suggested that I used hers. Thankfully, Kimi could make a paper bag look fantastic. She turned the dress around so that the back buttons now lined the front, took off the high neckline and created a v-neck, removed the bell sleeves and left the puff. Much like my mom’s dress, I made a sash with green and then made fabric flowers in whites/off whites/blush pinks to accent. I painted a false curtain on canvas for the band on the stage with our bright Scandinavian florals and hung a dainty chandelier to give light to the musicians. Kimi and JJ perfectly entertained their guest with a fantastic playlist that included a quirky selection of songs like Hey Ya and Home is Wherever I’m With you (LOVE that song!).

More later like the ring, how to make the flowers, etc. Stay tuned!

dream wedding reception

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I envisioned so many themes for my reception, but alas, you can only choose one direction. I would have LOVED globs and globs of balloons, think “Up”. However, a part of me thought “too overdone” and another part thought “too birthday party.” SO, one of these days, I’ll be holding a balloon glob fest. Watch out!


Amusement of the day: Have you seen the blog They Draw and Cook? I completely devoured it for breakfast this morning. It’s a wiki illustrated cookbook and they are accepting submissions for their published book until the 10th of October, so get your illustrations on! 

Images from Oh Happy Day and Snippet and Ink. sorry the image is pixelated, but otherwise you just can’t tell they are balloons.

Like mother, like daughter…before and after

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This here on the right is my mother. My mother is “the full package” according to my dad (and I highly concur.) Mom had her wedding dress made by a friend who did costume design for theater in LA. I had never considered adapting the dress for my own until I realized how glum wedding dress shopping is. Enter mom’s great idea to use hers. Genius. Also enter Kimi of Moonpools and Caterpillars fame. Among many things, Kimi is an amazing seamstress and expressed enthusiasm and courage at the notion of transforming this original 80’s wonder to 2010 glory. Kimi, you are a miracle worker even though it was more of a headache than any of us predicted. She took off the high neck, turned the dress around so the row of buttons are in the front, cut out the masses of liners, slimmed it down, deleted the lower bell sleeves, created a v-neck and voilá. I added a braided green belt with white/off white/blush pink flowers much in the same spirit of my mom’s purple sash. I couldn’t have been more pleased!

Photography by Ali Degraff. More pictures on 100 Layer Cake.

amusement of the day: Dot, the world’s smallest stop-motion animation character (even smaller than Marcel? How about a duel?) Thanks Carissa!