The idea to do a koala came from Australian stylist and photographer Kara Rosenlund who made a goal to raise $8k for the koalas who are being lost and has now to date raised over $167k! It’s extraordinary. And her videos on the koalas is heartbreaking.
The auction we are participating in features over a hundred artists from around the world contributing their work. Please consider bidding to contribute to this extraordinary cause.
As one might expect at this point, I’m still getting the hang of this whole “Mom” thing. Every day is a learning day and it’s quite the wild ride! After doing my fair share of baby book reading, I’m constantly paranoid that Baby J might suffocate in his crib, stop breathing, or insert any other fear that gets ingrained in a new mother’s brain. DHP (remember their rad futon and bedding?!) approached me about their Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Crib and Toddler Mattress I couldn’t have been happier! This mattress is perfect for a worrying mama: Hypoallergenic, Thermo-bonded core so the babe gets plenty of support and water-resistant outer cover for easy clean-ups! What more could you want?!
This mattress really is top of the line and it won the 2017 Women’s Choice Award as Amerca’s Most Recommended Brand for Crib & Toddler Mattress. Since I am now determined to get Jasper sleeping in his crib with his new mattress I decided to go all in and complete the look with a DIY Crib Skirt. I wanted a traditional gathered look and had Becca, our resident seamstress, whip one up. And since baby mattresses are pretty standard (at least in North America), you can easily make one yourself with these same dimensions. It’s simple enough for a novice sewer.
Find out how to win a Safety 1st Mattress of your own and sew your own DIY Crib Skirt!
I’m so glad that I found Sarah Cambio’s business, Flower Lane! Her work is so high-quality, beautiful, intentional, happy… I’m not about to run out of adjectives describing how much I love what she does. I loved getting to know her a bit better, and I hope you do too!
Sarah Cambio is the founder of Flower Lane; a small shop that handmakes embroidered linen crowns. Inspired by all things whimsical and nostalgic, Flower Lane delivers keepsakes that can be cherished forever. Sarah immigrated from Germany to the US when she was 11 years old. Not knowing how to speak English, she spent that summer learning before jumping into school. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.
Becoming Sarah Cambio of Flower Lane
What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?
I think I see myself as a hybrid between a designer and maker, but slowly learning how to be a business person. I love making things with my hands but also really enjoy the business side. There is so much to learn and I love that!
Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?
I was born in Germany and immigrated to the US when I was 11 years old. I grew up in what many here know as a Waldorf type setting and I think that has always inspired me. When I think of Waldorf I think of whimsy things, traditions, and seeing the beauty of childhood.
What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?
So many things! I never had my heart set on just one thing and thought it would be so cool to be everything from an FBI Agent, a teacher, or social worker.
What sparked your interest in making kids birthday crowns?
I was inspired by crowns made from felt and wanted something similar for our daughter’s 3rd birthday. I taught myself how to sew and added my own twist; using linen, adjustable ties, wooly pom poms, and embroidering the child’s name.
What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career?
I graduated from High School with a full scholarship, attended college for 2 semesters, dropped out, and a decade later completed my certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. I volunteered as an EMT for about 2 years and quit because Flower Lane was taking off–a complete 180 from what I pursued my education in.
What inspired you to start a business?
I’ve always dreamed about having my own business and felt so inspired by those around me who were running theirs successfully. It wasn’t until we got pregnant with our 4th that I decided that this is it!
A few months prior I taught myself how to sew with a $20 Facebook Marketplace sewing machine. It took me forever to figure out how to sew in a straight line and a circle was basically impossible! I purchased patterns and jumped right in and learned how to sew clothes while teaching myself how to use my machine at the same time.
Once I understood patterns, sewed straight lines, and learned about fabric, I began making stroller clips because that’s what I wanted for my baby. A cute little toy that clipped onto the canopy of the stroller.
During this time we lost our baby. I felt alone and depressed. There was a lot of grieving. I went back to sewing clothes as a way to work through my emotions.
In September of 2020 I opened my Etsy store with the stroller clips I worked so hard on. They were a complete failure. I took a month long break and almost quit but something was telling me to keep going.
This is when I shared my birthday crowns. Something I was holding in my back pocket until that coming January – our daughter’s 3rd birthday. They sold out the same day I posted them!
I continued sharing, updating, and building a small Instagram community the rest of 2020. This was also the same time my best friend mailed me her embroidery machine and I started customizing crowns with the child’s name.
This business has been such an emotional journey for me and I’m so grateful for all the good that has come from Flower Lane.
What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?
I’m really proud of how much my husband and I have learned in such a short period of time. We both come from non business backgrounds and it’s not a walk in the park. We have to be a team and work together to run Flower Lane every day while also juggling a busy family.
Where do you find inspiration for new creations?
If only there were a few more hours in each day! The one thing all of my ideas have in common is that they are inspired by childhood and family traditions. I want to make something that can be used again and again and brings back a feeling of nostalgia.
What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present?
This question had me a little stumped because I couldn’t think of any artists, specifically. I look up to people in my life not for being an artist but for the person they are. I’m inspired by people who create and live a purposeful life.
What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days?
I love getting lost in a good fiction book, enjoy watching The Walking Dead, and listening to 80’s rock.
What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto?
I have missed out on many opportunities and wasted so much time because I never believed in myself. Either I wasn’t qualified or my work wasn’t good enough. Stop seeking permission from others to do what you feel you are called to do. Be confident in yourself and don’t wait. The right time to start is now!
How do your surroundings influence your work?
It’s so important to surround yourself with things that inspire you. I have a hard time working when there’s chaos. I like for things to be aesthetically pleasing but also functional. Flower Lane has taken over a large portion of our lower level and we had to really think about how to make the most use of our space.
What is a typical day like for you?
My day always starts with a cup of coffee, breakfast for our youngest, and checking emails. This is also when I check on our chickens; Emily, Annie, and Betsy!
Our youngest goes to daycare a couple of times a week and those are very busy work days for me. On the days she is home, she plays in her play area in my office. Lots of breaks get taken on those days.
Our oldest two are helpful and my husband puts in a lot of hours during his off time. It’s not the most ideal schedule but it actually works for us!
We have lunch around noon and before we know it it’s time to take our older two kids to their activities. One plays hockey and the other does MMA. We’re busy around here!
During the summer months, dinners and bedtimes are late. Once our youngest is in bed my husband and I work a little more and then watch a show or two before bed.
Every day is a little different here!
What is one skill you wished you learned when you were younger?
How to sew! It’s such a useful skill to have in your toolbox. Our oldest daughter learned how to sew at the same time I did and I love that.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?
We have so many resources these days to get started on a new hobby and skill. Watch YouTube, practice, and learn from others in the field you’re interested in. Stay inspired and surround yourself with what you want to learn.
Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on?
Finding a rhythm between family and work. I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost 12 years and this is new to all of us. Learning to prioritize and understanding that I can’t do it all myself is something I’m working on.
Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business?
I’m a big believer in not acquiring debt and knowing your numbers. Focus on one thing at a time and use that profit for growth.
Is there anything more you would like to “become?”
I would love to write a book someday, to be an author! I also have this random idea of owning an ice cream truck. Like a really cool one that serves waffle cones and scoops of the best ice cream. I miss the ice cream shops in Germany and I feel like we need that here!
What is your long-term goal? or What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?
Business wise I have big dreams for Flower Lane and one of those includes moving the business out of our home. We already work with talented individuals in our local community to create these sweet crowns and I would love to see us all together in one space someday. I would also love for my husband to join me full time.
Personally, I dream of finding our forever home. A place where we can gather with our children and grandchildren someday, make memories, and hang stockings from the mantle. It’s such a simple goal but I think that’s ultimately what drives me and keeps me inspired.
Be sure to follow Sarah on Instagram @shopflowerlane and look at her website here! You can buy our Lars x Flower Lane crowns on our shop here.
If you want to read about more inspiring creators, business women, and designers, you can look for more of our becoming essays here!
I love a good Easter basket! I love adding a DIY touch of course, like a fabric liner. Or some years I have opted for an entirely hand-made basket – like this no-sew rope basket! But of course, filling the basket with gifts for Jasper (and now Felix too!) is the best part.
Easter gift baskets need not only be filled with eggs stuffed with chocolates and candies, though I no problem with that. You can get creative and browse through our shop for some fun ideas for kids of all ages.
I used to think leisurewear consisted of mostly monochromatic colors and unflattering shapes. A bit lackluster and a lot of frumpy. But ever since Felix’s birth and easing into the norm of working from home, I found myself drawn to comfort and the no-need-to-think-about business of leisurewear. Contrary to my assumptions about its one-dimensional look, my dive into the leisurewear rabbit hole led me to an array of designs and styles. Naturally, with my body altered after giving birth, I looked for postpartum leisurewear that made me feel comfortable and happy.
With a growing number of people working from home and comfort emerging as a necessity, many people have also been looking into cozy chic leisurewear. There are now so many cute designs and styles! And you know I’m here for it! For anyone looking to expand their comfortable wardrobe, look no further! I’ve searched high and low and gathered many recommendations. The resulting list does not disappoint!
Here are my current favorites:
My favorite Leisurewear
Let’s jump into our busy days feeling cool and comfortable in these hip everyday leisurewear. They may be considered glorified PJs, and maybe they are, but there’s no one to judge because we’re home! At least we changed out of our nighttime PJs for some daytime ones. Regardless, it feels great to feel comfortable and ready to tackle the day.
My Little Belleville
Ok, I’ve had a REALLY tough time trying to narrow down the hundreds of options I poured through but my very first and only purchase so far has been My Little Belleville’s Embroidered flower faces because there are friggen EMBROIDERED FLOWER FACES on them! They’re soft and cozy and adorable and I’ve worn them now for 5 days in a row.
I’m digging these from Toast. I think they’re technically pj’s but right now everything is pjs to me.
There are tons of great companies doing beautiful solid sweats. Here are some of my favorites:
Mate has some great color solids that look super comf. Old Navy has some great solids at a super price point. Target has a ton of great options too Cozy Earth has some soft solids too. Lou and Grey has great colored solids and a few patterns. Pangaia has wonderful colors and shapes Esby has a navy blue sweatsuit that I’m eyeing STATE has a shocking yellow that belongs in my closet The Hey Gang has a retro looking vibe for kids and adults Entire World has the most refreshing colors. It looks like they sell out quickly though! Zara has some pretty options too!
I just found out that Walmart has a new brand called Free Assembly that looks cool and has great basics options like these
Tie dye and Ice Dye Sweats
Of course, the pandemic produced the ubiquitous ice dye trend and companies at all price points dug it like:
To me, there’s nothing better than loungewear with TONS of personality. Here are some of my favorites that do the job well!
Winter Water Factory is a Lars favorite that has prints for kids and adults so you can live out my dream of matching your child. Bando has some fun and colorful options!
This checkered one, below, is my dream, but they don’t have it in my size!
And I also covet this patchwork one. Isn’t it so good?! It’s from LF Markey.
Ok, that’s it for now! But let me know your favorites. Would love to hear them!
The “bonnet backing” paper pieces should be pinned together at the double solid line marks before cutting the fabric so the piece is the right size.
Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and cut out the correct amount of each piece.
Using a chalk pencil, mark the sewing line. This will speed up your process as you begin to begin to pin and sew.
You will need to sew the bunny ear pieces first!
Take two of the bunny ear pieces and place them right sides together, you can use two different fabrics if you like!
Pin ears together.
Once pinned sew around the ear in the indicated spot on the pattern leaving the bottom of the ear open.
Once sewn, clip and notch any curves on the ear so that it will lay the right way.
Flip the ear inside out, and press the ear.
Repeat steps 7-11 for the other ear.
Now you can start on the bonnet!
Take one of your bonnet sides and one of your bonnet backing pieces and pin the pieces together along the sewing line. You may notice a bit of overhand at the back of the bonnet on the backing piece, that will be used to close the bonnet up later.
Once the one side is pinned, repeat step 6 on the other side of the same bonnet piece.
Be sure to pin so that the seams will both be facing the same direction.
Once both sides are pinned, sew the bonnet on both sides at the line you just pinned.
You will need to remove pins as you sew.
Repeat steps 14-18 with the remaining bonnet pieces, only this time you will add in your bunny ears at about 2.5 inches in from the front of the bonnet.
To place the ears you will fold them in half, if there is a color you would like the inside of the ear to be make sure that color is on the inside of the fold.
Once folded correctly you will place them front facing (check the orientation of the ears to make sure, you don’t want a backwards ear!) in at 2.5 inches in with the ear placed in between the bonnet side and the bonnet backing with the open end of the ear being the part sticking out with the seam.
Be sure to add in the ear on both sides.
Once both of your bonnet pieces are sewn, press open the seams of the bonnet.
Once pressed, you will pin the two bonnet pieces together, both seams at this point will be facing outward, you will flip it inside out after sewing it together. As you pin you will need to add in your straps. Pin them in at the front bottom corners.
When placing the straps you will place the ribbon sandwiched between the two pieces, you might find this confusing but once you flip the pieces the right way your strap will stick out.
Make sure your seams align and leave the back of the bonnet open so you can flip it the right way later.
If you are having a hard time with the bulk from the ears and ribbon being sandwiched between the two pieces, pull them through the back opening that you are not sewing closed yet.
Once you have your pieces pinned together and the straps in place you can sew the two pieces together.
Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of sewing these pieces together.
Once sewn together, pull your ears that have been placed in the opening and it will pull the piece the right way out hiding any seams inside.
Press your recently sewn pieces together flat and tuck back opening pieces up, press and pin in place.
Once pressed you will sew as close as you can to your edge all around the bonnet to secure the hat pieces together.
Be sure to sew closed the bottom hole which will naturally sew closed in step 32.
Press the finished bonnet and out out on your baby!
This tutorial can also be completed without the bunny ears for a standard baby bonnet!
We love seeing what Easter looks like for you and all the great things have made! Be sure to tag us with #larsmakes so we can see how precious your bunny bonnets turn out!
We have big things happening here, and I’m not only talking about all our product launches lately, but specifically with one of our team members, my sister, Caitlin. Caitlin is our product designer and all the pretty things you see coming from our shop is because of her. Caitlin is also expecting twins this January! And she already has a one year old! Gah! We are stoked for her (and realizing the babysitting game will be stepped up!). Multiple babies mean big celebrations and we couldn’t help but go all out for Caitlin’s baby shower. We had to create the most beautiful balloon installation your eyes have ever seen.
You might remember our first balloon arch that we did just a little over six years ago (six years! Where does the time go?!) I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to try out a new technique and Caitlin’s twin s were the perfect excuse. I had the vision and luckily our friends at Anagram provided the Balloons and the balloon arch was in motion. This balloon arch is different from any arch we have done before for a few reasons:
When I first published a roundup of my favorite rattan nursery furniture I hadn’t yet revealed the sex of my baby (surprise, Jasper’s a boy! And Felix, too! Ha!) so I kept my nursery favorites simple. While neither of my boys are a surprise to any readers anymore, it’s nice that so much rattan furniture is gender-neutral and timeless, so no matter who you’re expecting there’s something here for you!
In case you haven’t caught it, mood boarding is a major theme for Lars–I use them for pretty much every project! Becca made one for her wedding and I made one for my personal style. They’re just so helpful in setting a foundation for any creative project.
Designing a Nursery
Both times I found out I was pregnant I immediately started a secret Pinterest mood board to narrow down the 1,701 nursery design pins (I’m not kidding!) I had accumulated over the years and I started to notice a trend. The nurseries I was attracted to leaned on the French side with a heavy dose of rattan.
, tooOver the last few years, the USA has woken up to the world of rattan a little bit, but it’s still a lot easier to get show-stopping rattan nursery furniture in Europe. Shipping to the States can get really expensive (think $1500 to ship a crib! *Sigh*)! I spotted this flawless rattan crib, pictured above, on Atelier Vime’s site and it was inevitable, I fell in love. It doesn’t hurt to have aged herringbone wood flooring and other lovely architectural features like in the photo, too…
I did some more digging around and noticed that I loved the rattan mixed in with other wood elements and mixes of fabrics like the one below. Though you’d probably attribute this one to a boy’s room, it could easily be changed up for a girl’s room if these colors and toy choices aren’t your thing. This Cribs and Co. bassinet is for sale on Etsy, and gives the same kind of look.
I’m a big fan of the Jayce bassinet from Pure Salt Shoppe (pictured above), but like any new mother, I’m unsure what types of furniture you actually need. Lots of people swear by bassinets, but I found out they are cute and small but you may not use it for very long. Dommage! I was informed by my dear friends who are mothers that a Moses basket is a great transition into a crib because they’re transportable and cheap and once again, adorable.
They’re not always rattan, but they are a part of the same family so they flow well together. I talked more about my favorite baskets in my Lars Baby Essentials post, so check that out!
Rattan day beds
Paul and I are quite practical when it comes to discussing our sleeping habits so we anticipate needing to spend nights in the baby nursery. Might as well make it comfortable while we’re at it! I’ve spotted a number of lovely rattan beds here in America. Hooray! Like this one from Anthropologie or this much more dramatic one.
I love the back of this Venus Rattan Day Bed, and it would surely hold its own as furniture long after the need for a nursery fades. The Avalon Day Bed (on the right) is another great option, and it comes in a kid’s size too, which means that once you move your crib out of the nursery you can stick with the French-inspired rattan theme!
Rattan Accent Furniture
Don’t limit yourself to cribs, bassinets, and beds! There are so many great ways to incorporate charming, handmade rattan into a nursery. This rattan rocking horse is sturdy and has lovely vintage flair.
I think it’s important to find furniture that you’ll love long after your kids have grown out of cribs, and this hanging rattan swing is sure to do that. It looks so pleasant to sit and rock a baby in, and later you and your kids can read in it. It is truly furniture that will become a fixture in your home through the ages and grow with your family.
No, I don’t think it would be wise to outfit the entire nursery in head-to-toe rattan, but I love the idea of bringing in one or two pieces to set the tone. Perhaps it’s a rattan crib and a lamp or perhaps it’s the daybed with some nursery animals. Who knows! I haven’t yet purchased anything. I love the idea of mixing in some vintage pieces too.
Shops that sell rattan baby furniture
I’ve barely scratched the surface with the above links! There’s so much rattan goodness to find and design with. If you’re lucky enough to live in rattan-friendly countries, here is a list of some of my favorite shops that sell vintage rattan furniture:
I haven’t yet found somewhere in the US that does custom rattan furniture, though I’m sure it exists (anyone know of a place?!) but I did find a place in Australia, The Rattan Collective, where you can get the most beautiful pieces commissioned. And yup, I already asked, and they currently do not sell to the US. (Pssst: this one and this one are my favorites!)
I’d love to hear from you!
Well, I certainly did not intend to write a full post about rattan furniture for the nursery. I guess this exposes my late night obsessions. Guilty! Once again, I’d love to hear your tips about finding beautiful vintage rattan furniture here in the US as the $1500 shipping price really bummed me out, and share your French-inspired rattan nurseries with #LarsAtHome!
There’s nothing better than stuff for kids, amiright?! Just enlarge them and make them for adults already! We have a little bit of this and that for baby and kids like pacifier clips, rattles, sunnies, toys. They’re too sweet!
And what could be more fun than bathtime than some custom art shapes inspired by Great Artists! for bathtime fun. Jasper is absolutely obsessed with all his foam ABCs and 123s from Target–he could line them up for days–but I wanted to do some of my own from foam sheets from the craft store. And guess, what? It’s SO easy and you can really go to town.
We even played a game of “tell me something to draw” and we had a ball drawing some of his existing toys onto foam and cutting them out. He was able to recognize some of his favorite toys from around the house.
Pen or marker
Draw your shapes onto foam.
Cut out the shapes
Note: If you use a washable marker to cut out your shapes, make sure to wash them in a sink before putting them into the tub.
Perhaps our favorite thing about this project is it is just as fun for kids or adults! The short material list and simple shapes make it a very kid-friendly craft. However, this is just a starting point for any design you want to try! Try out more intricate design at any skill level.
How to stamp with a potato
Acrylic or fabric paint
Fabric or paper surface you want to print on
Cut your clean potatoes into the shape you would like to stamp. We used half circles but you can stamp in any shape!
Apply paint evenly to one edge of potato stamp
Press firmly down on your paper or fabric surface
If you would like to combine two potato shapes to make one full color-blocked circle, place both potato stamps before lifting the first, as shown below.
If desired, fill in design more fully after stamping the basic shape.
What to block print on to
We choose to block print onto a canvas art supplies portfolio, we have holding our coloring pages and supplies!
In the past we have also stamped onto bandanas, napkins, wrapping paper, and more. The options are limitless! If you chose fabric, just make sure to use fabric paint.
More block printing and stamping tutorials
Read our interview with one of our favorite professional block print artists, Jen Hewett, here!
Once you start stamping you won’t want to stop. We know from experience. Though block printing is probably our favorite method, there are plenty of other fun ways to make your own design. Try this method for stamping onto a ceramic plate.
What other unexpected supplies have you used to block print? We would love to hear! Comment below
Our original beaded chandelier is timeless and fits in any room, but it was time to make a more colorful, festive mobile for kids. Our new DIY chandelier is inspired by Polish pajakis. In Poland, pajakis hang around homes during Christmas, Easter, and other celebrations like weddings. I wanted to make a mobile that preserves a pajaki’s festive essence while incorporating a Swedish Dala theme.
As you know, I love all things traditional Scandinavian. Little flowers and blossoms are popping up around my house and they’re reminding me of Swedish Midsummer celebrations, so I jumped on the inspiration! I know it’s not Midsummer yet, but the English version of the holiday is May Day, which was last week, so I figured I wasn’t too early to celebrate Summer yet!
Midsummer is a really big deal in Sweden. Because the Winters there are so dark, the Swedish go all out for the longest day of the year!
I wanted to honor some of my favorite Midsummer traditions with this festive mobile. Eating strawberries, dancing around a May pole, Dala horses, and picking wildflowers are all charming parts of Midsummer that I incorporated into my Midsummer Dala Pajaki. I had so much fun making this and I think you’ll love celebrating Summer with this festive mobile, too!
By the way, do the strawberries on this project look familiar to you? I borrowed the idea from our strawberry heart cake topper, which would be an incredible addition to a Midsummer party. Alternatively, you could decorate a cake with our Midsummer Pole cake topper! No matter how you do it, I hope you celebrate Summer’s approach!