Do It Like A Blogger (And Martha) – Easter Eggs Decorations

jestcafe.com-egg-decorations3I tried three different ways of doing Easter eggs decorations this last weekend: confetti(ed), painted, and spattered. Here are my research findings.jestcafe.com-egg-decorations2jestcafe.com-easter-eggs-decoration17jestcafe.com-Easter-Eggs-decoration-tissue-paper1jestcafe.com-easter-eggs-decor2

Confetti Easter Eggs

I got the idea from this blog.

Materials:

  • Eggs (boiled, hollowed out or fake ‘decorating eggs’) – I boiled them.
  • Confetti (Combine a mixture of colors of cut-up tissue paper and cut-up gold foil paper) – I used leaf gold.
  • Mod Podge – any variety will work
  • Brush
  • Bowl

Difficulty (1-5): 1     Good for kids?  Yes    Recommend?  Yes

Instructions:

    1. Cut tissue paper into small pieces. I did little squares.
    2. Scrap the gold leaf with a knife into the bowl.
    3. Apply Mod Podge with a brush onto egg. You need to apply different quantities of Mod Podge, depending on how much confetti you want on your eggs. If you want the confetti scattered around the egg, apply on certain areas. If you want the whole egg covered, apply Mod Podge onto the entire egg.
    4. Let your child deep that egg into the bowl with confetti and move it around until covered. DONE.

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Painted and Sprayed Easter Eggs

Why nobody does the most simple way of decorating eggs? Maybe because you can’t eat paint, but you can sure admire it from a distance.

Materials:

  • Eggs (boiled, hollowed out or fake ‘decorating eggs’)- I boiled them.
  • Acrylic paint. Do NOT get metallic paint, it does not work. I tried it.
  • Gold or silver spray.
  • Glitter – if you want to do specific decorations.
  • Brush
  • Somewhere to dry the eggs. I used a metal crate.

Difficulty (1-5): 2  Good for kids? Older kids  Recommend? Yes  Cons: You can’t eat the eggs afterwards. Bummer!

Instructions:

  1. For the painted eggs, grab your brush and paint. Paint one side, then the other. KABOOM!
  2. For the sprayed eggs, grab your spray and spray. Use cardboard (or another hard material) to place your eggs when spraying. If you want to use paper, don’t put it on grass! It is too unstable.

jestcafe.com-egg-decorations5jestcafe.com-egg-decorations11jestcafe.com-egg-decorations13I bought these big plastic eggs at Target to help keep the kids entertained while I did the fancy decor. It worked for about 3 minutes. I am a genius!
jestcafe.com-egg-decorations10 This egg with glitter spots looks so cute, doesn’t?:
jestcafe.com-egg-decorations9 Max was not cooperating, but he was cute:jestcafe.com-easter-eggs-decor3 I sprayed a cracked egg to see if I could save it somehow. I DID!!! Don’t dismiss cracked eggs.jestcafe.com-egg-decorations15 I used gold spray and mirror effect spray. As you can see, the mirror effect spray gave the egg a marble effect:jestcafe.com-egg-decorations14 jestcafe.com-egg-decorations7 jestcafe.com-egg-decorations1 jestcafe.com-egg-decorations3 jestcafe.com-egg-decorations4jestcafe.com-egg-decorations8jestcafe.com-egg-decorations6jestcafe.com-dying-eggs-like-martha6

Spattered Eggs

I got this idea from Living.

Materials:

  • Large paper cups to fit an egg.
  • Dry grains, beans or nuts- I tried a lot of different grains/beans/nuts and liked chick peas, rice and lentils better. Don’t do quinoa or fine grains because the Easter eggs end up with almost no pattern on them.
  • Liquid food dye
  • White vinegar (optional) – I didn’t use it and it did not seem necessary to me
  • Hard-cooked eggs plain or dyed.

Difficulty (1-5): 2     Good for kids? Older kids  Recommend? Yes

Instructions:

  1. Fill each cup about one-quarter full with the dry ingredient of your choice.
  2. Add 10-15 drops of food dye. Swirl each cup until dye coats content; the mixture should be damp but not soaked.
  3. Place an egg in the cup. Gently shake and swirl cup to speckle egg.

jestcafe.com-dying-eggs-like-marthajestcafe.com-dying-eggs-like-martha9 jestcafe.com-dying-eggs-like-martha8jestcafe.com-dying-eggs-like-martha7 jestcafe.com-dying-eggs-like-martha6 jestcafe.com-dying-eggs-like-martha5 jestcafe.com-dying-eggs-like-martha4 jestcafe.com-dying-eggs-like-martha3 jestcafe.com-dying-eggs-like-martha2

Hope this inspires you to do some crafts this Easter!

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Easter Brunch Inspiration

jestcafe.com--easter-inspiration28Image Source Warren Photographic

Easter egg hunts are perfect because they include a lot of candy, children’s smiles, mimosas, and daylight partying.

All these things are right up my alley, that is why, three years ago, I decided to start hosting Easter egg hunts/brunchs in our backyard. Our house might be small (900 sq ft) but our garden is GIANT! so it is the perfect scenario for children to have fun.

This year, 50 people are coming. 25 of them are younger than 10! This affair will be loud, fun and sweet. Before you feel overwhelmed by MY to-do list (and general craziness), you need to know that I am not cooking. All guests bring food to share. I just take care of the decorations, eggs (galore!), and drinks. I know this is still a lot of work. Just hiding 1,000 eggs (yes, I wrote one thousand) can take more than one hour, but I enjoy it so much.

I have been pinning decoration ideas like crazy, and just enjoying planning the party so much. I really like to host… sometimes.

The colors of the party will be lavender and mint (not aqua, not teal, not light green… it is MINT! Why is it so hard for vendors to understand that there are words to describe colors and they should be R-E-S-P-E-C-T-E-D, or the world will turn into total chaos. Is that too difficult to get? Mint is NOT aqua, are we in the clear yet?).

After that little color rant, here are some of the photos I am using for inspiration. They are divided in 3 subjects: party décor, eggs decoration and food.

Let me know what do you think!

Easter Party Decoration

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Image Source The Pretty Blogjestcafe.com--Easter-inspiration2Image Source Land Of Nodjestcafe.com--easter-inspiration31https://jestcafe.com/ Image Source Burnnets Boardsjestcafe.com-easter-inspiration1Image Source Land of Nod
jestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration11 Image Source Tales From Twisty Lanejestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration23Image Source The Enchanted Homejestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration8 Image Source Brit + Co
jestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration2 Image Source The Land Of Nod
jestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration7 Image Source DIY Decoratorjestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration19 Image Source Ana Rosajestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration5Image Source Apartment Therapy

Easter Eggs Decorations

Metal is the word!

jestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration24Image Source Peoplejestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration21
Image Source Martha Stewart

Gold leaf = LOVE

jestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration18 Image Source Little Inspirationjestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration15Image Source For Rent
jestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration13 Image Source Better Homesjestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration12Image Source Girl Inspired

These are definitely my favorites, but I don’t think I have the time to go hardcore like this with 1,000 eggs, do I?

jestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration9 Image Source Brit + Co

Food Inspiration

Flowers WILL be included on or in food items, that is for sure. Don’t really care if they are edible or not. People, just don’t eat the flowers, ok?

jestcafe.com--easter-inspiration33 Image Source Mintedjestcafe.com--easter-inspiration32 Image Source Deer Pear flowersjestcafe.com--easter-inspiration30 Image Source Good Housekeepingjestcafe.com--easter-inspiration29 Image Source Inspiration Kitchenjestcafe.com--Easter-brunch-inspiration14Image Source My Name Is Yehjestcafe.com--easter-inspiration34Image Source Mintedjestcafe.com--easter-inspiration27Image Source DIY + Projects

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Do It Like A Florist – Ariella Chezar

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When we were preparing for our flower arrangement workshop a couple of months ago, I went to Amazon and found “The Flower Workshop” book by Ariella Chezar, and I went nuts. It looked divine. (I know divine is a cheesy word, but there is only so many times you can you use words like amazing, awesome, great, and wonderful in a blog before you start to sound brainless).

I pressed the BUY IMMEDIATELY button, and then proceeded to wait next to my door for the flower bible to arrive… but days went by and nothing happened. I started to freak out and signed in to Amazon again only to find that the book was available for PRE ORDERS ONLY!! Can you believe it? Has this ever happened to you???? I felt deceived and angry, so I closed the computer, ate some candy and went on with my life.

The flower arrangement workshop we did for our friends came and went, and days later, without trumpets nor drums, a box from Amazon arrived. I opened it (…be still my heart… ) and found the best book about flower arrangements that I have ever seen in my whole entire existence. Here are a couple of pictures because this is so cute!

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Every page of this book is amazing, awesome, great, wonderful and divine!!! The only problem is that now I HAVE to replicate every single one of these arrangements, and talent is not on my side.

With this in mind, and a lot of wishful thinking, I went to the flower market in DTLA last Saturday. I took Víctor with me. Big mistake. Children and flower shopping don’t go together without a high dose of stress, so I had to hurry and buy whatever flowers looked good with the hope that I could make them work later.

Once at my place, I got some vases, a pair of clippers, and sat in our outdoor room to do arrangements all afternoon while listening to music. Dream. (This also happens to be my father’s favorite activity, so I thought a lot about him while doing this.)

The results looked nothing like what Ariella did in her book. I did not try to replicate any of her arrangements, but went with the flow and did what looked good to me. Also, I wasn’t thinking about doing a post about this, so I didn’t take photos of the whole process. If you are a blogger, you know it is nice not have to capture photos of everything you do sometimes.

At the end of the day I had three flower arrangements. The first arrangement was the one that took me the longest. Here it is:

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It turned out kind of cute. Organic, with flow, and nice colors.

Flower ingredients:

  • 4 yellow and pink dahlias.
  • 5 white and pink alstroemeria
  • 8 short yellow acacia tree
  • 1 pink snapdragon flower
  • 30 purple Astrantia flower
  • 2 White wax flower branches

Here is the second arrangement:

jestcafe.com-flower-arrangements44jestcafe.com-flower-arrangements40jestcafe.com-flower-arrangements48 jestcafe.com-flower-arrangements45 jestcafe.com-flower-arrangements43 jestcafe.com-flower-arrangements42 jestcafe.com-flower-arrangements41 jestcafe.com-flower-arrangements47Kind of unusual, but I really liked it.

For this arrangement I used:

  • 10 Cherry blossoms branches
  • 40 pink carnations

And here is the third arrangement, or, what I like to call the “leftover” arrangement, where you use any flowers you have left, and don’t worry about the consequences:

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For this arrangement I used:

  • 7 pink Snapdragons
  • 4 white wax flowers branches

Lessons learned:

-To do a full arrangement you need a LOT of flowers. Don’t underestimate the number of flowers you will need if you want to go big.

-It is very important to look at the shape of the flowers when you are buying them. Make sure you don’t only get flowers that go straight up. You need flowers or branches that fall too.

– Start with the bigger flowers that are the center of your piece.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It gives great tips, it has beautiful pictures and it is a pleasure to look at. Also, it inspired me to do all these arrangements. In little words, it made me very, very happy. The only thing I wish it had is more step by step instructions for the arrangements.

(This post is not sponsored, though I wish it were. :))

 

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That Flower Arrangement Workshop

jestcafe.com-flowerarrangement-workshop-48 As I mentioned before in this post, I decided to start doing DIY workshops for friends. The wreath-making party we did last December was so much fun that I wanted to repeat it, so my friend Charlene and I decided to do a flower arrangement workshop and it was perfect. jestcafe.com-flowerarrangement-workshop47 We met the weekend before to go to the flower market in DTLA to see what was in season. We bought a lot of flowers and created this arrangement:
jestcafe.com-flowerarrangement-workshop-49Cute, don’t you think?

The idea was to try and copy it, while giving tips in the process.

We invited 10 friends to the workshop and got the flowers, clippers, vases, and wet foam blocks. At the end of the day, each one of us took their own arrangement home.

Everybody contributed some money and brought food to the gathering. I went to the flower market the day before to get all the flower supplies. On Sunday we set up and everybody came over at 11 am for brunch and DIY fun. It was amazing!
jestcafe.com-flowerarrangementworkshop1jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop9jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop10Ranunculus galore!jestcafe.com-flowerarrangementworkshop5 jestcafe.com-flowerarrangementworkshop4jestcafe.com-flowerarrangementworkshop7jestcafe.com-flower-arrangement-workshop47These two rascals getting into those foam blocks before the workshop started:jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop8 jestcafe.com-flowerarrangementworkshop6 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop11jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop16 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop15 My beautiful friend Charlene taught the workshop. She has a special gift for finding beauty in everything she does:
jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop14jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop13 We wanted to use edibles in the arrangement, so we bought kumquats. For flowers, we got pincushions ranunculus and anemones. We found that 2-3 pincushions, 5 ranunculus and 2 anemones was enough for a frontal arrangement. Everybody ended up using more flowers because they decided to do centerpieces that could be viewed from all sides, this meant that a lot of people ended up cutting greens and flowers from my garden to be able to fill up the whole vase! That was probably the best part: foraging for beauty. Here are more pictures:jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop12jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop17jestcafe.com-flowerarrangementworkshop2jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop18 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop20jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop19 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop21jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop26 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop25 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop37jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop24 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop23 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop22jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop27 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop31 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop30 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop28jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop29
jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop32jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop34 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop33It is unusual to have these kind of meetings for friends. I think that is the reason why everybody was so happy to participate in this workshop. It is nice to do something different that is DIY related, don’t you think?

Originally, we wanted everybody to do asymmetrical and organic arrangements, but, in the end, everybody took their own creative path and followed their own vision. Here are the results:jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop35jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop43jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop38 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop46 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop44jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop45 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop42 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop41 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop40 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop39 jestcafe.com-flowerworkshop36The end.

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Do It Like A Blogger – Paint Your Own Walls

jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-7v2There are so many DIY bloggers that give instructions on “effortless” projects that seem to be so easy and simple to follow, or, so it seems when you are reading about them on the Internet. Replicating them, though, is a different story. For us, mere mortals with limited talent, these projects can be much more difficult than what they seemed initially.

One of my favorite design/DIY bloggers is Jenny Komenda, from Little Green Notebook. She is insanely talented and handles projects like they are nobody’s business. To give you an idea, look at this project she did on a weekend with her parents, and be prepared to “fall right out of your pants” (this is Victor’s favorite phrase lately).

Well, in my search to update some rooms of my house, I decided to paint our hallway a dark gray, so I went to Jenny’s for advice on painting walls, and found this post of hers.  After reading it, I decided to follow her instructions and start a series for this blog called “do it like a blogger,”  where I try to replicate DIY bloggers’ projects to see if I am able to pull them off.

Here are the steps to paint your wall, per Jenny.

Step 1: Pick Your Swatches

Her first advice is to find a picture to use as inspiration for the color and space. Here is mine:

jestcafe.com-grey-inspiration-1Here is my hallway before painting it:
jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-4

As you can see, it needed at little life. My next step was to pick the swatches. If you follow my blog, you know that I already had a bad encounter with choosing a gray color a couple of months ago (though, I have to say, I am liking the exterior of my house more and more as time goes by).  For that project, I had 36 hours to choose a color, so,this time,  I gave myself plenty of time to choose the right grey. No need to hurry.

I decided to choose Benjamin Moore’s swatches. All bloggers I follow love this brand, and I wanted to know the reason why. Here are the swatches I chose under different types of light:jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-6 jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-8

Here are the final contenders:Brewster-GreyBrewster Gray – Benjamin MooreStonybrook

Stonybrook – Benjamin MooreQuarry-Rock

Quarry Rock – Benjamin Moore

The Quarry Rock was my favorite, but it was too dark, so I went to get samples of the Brewster Gray and Stonybrook, plus the Quarry Rock in a base 2 (for lighter colors), and another Quarry Rock with 50% less saturation. Did I learn my lesson or what?

As a side note, colors come in base 1 through base 4. Light colors are mixed in base 1 or 2 while darker colors are mixed in base 3 or 4. This means that, if you have a dark color mixed in a base 1 or 2, the color will come out much lighter.

Step 2: Paint Sample Boards

I painted the samples directly to the wall instead of using sample boards because the wall was white, so I could get a true color.

Here are the samples from top to bottom: 1) Brewster Gray; 2) Stonybrook; 3) Quarry Rock in base 2; and, 4) Quarry Rock with -50% saturation:
jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-1I loved the Quarry Rock with -50%  saturation (the darker one at the bottom and the one in the left picture). Here is that color on another wall under a different light:jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-9I bought a gallon of Quarry Rock (-50%)  in eggshell finish. You need approximately a quart per 100 sq feet of surface.

Step 3: Gather Your Supplies

I did not gather as many supplies as Jenny recommends. For me, these ones were enough:

  1. Roller + 1/2″ Nap Length Foam Roller Cover
  2. Blue Scotch Tape
  3. 2 Step Stool (I am tall, so a 2 step stool was enough to reach the ceiling)
  4. 1.5 Angled Purdy Brush
  5. 5-1 tool
  6. Baby wipes (THE BEST!!!!)
  7. Drop cloth

I didn’t do any nail or trim fixes, so, I didn’t need materials for that.

jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-11Step 4: Prep Your Walls

I cleaned the trim and used blue tape on some places. jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-2jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-10 Step 5: Paint Trim

My local paint shop didn’t have paint shield to help me with the trims, so, they convinced me to go ahead and paint the trim by hand without tape or shield. I decided to take the challenge. I am here to learn, ain’t I?

Here is a practice run to see how steady my hand I was. The line is kind of straight, but not great.

jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-13Even thought I wasn’t able to do a straight line, I went ahead and painted the trim by hand. Am I a hero or what!?  I did it with the shorter part of the brush on the bottom, and the longer on top. Then, I just drew a line straight down next to the trim. It was HARD!!!! Here is a picture:jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-14Then I painted the corners that had blue tape, but I forgot to take out the blue tape right after painting.  In her post, Jenny recommends to do this as soon as you are done with painting, but I forgot. By the time I took out the blue tape, the paint had bleed into the other side of the wall. Argh!! Luckily, I had those baby wipes to clean off the paint. They worked!jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-3 Here is the result after cleaning. Pretty good, indeed:jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-12Prepping the walls took me 3 hours. It was SO hard, because I painted the trims by hand and I am no expert. I do not recommend doing this, unless you have experience or have the time to practice. Here are the prepped walls:
jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-16Step 6: Roll On Paint

This is the fastest task. Ms. Komenda recommends loading  “your roller, then starting at the ceiling and working your way to the floor, paint a 3×3′ “W” and then fill in the in between also at an angle.” I tried following this technique but it did not work for me.  I didn’t understand the “W” instructions very well and my wall wasn’t big enough to do it. I get that this technique helps getting an even coat, but I was able to get the same result by not painting double layers. Here is my “W”:jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-15

I only applied one coat of paint. The color was dark enough so I didn’t need two coats. Also, Benjamin Moore is a high quality brand of paint. It is thick and covers the wall very well. It doesn’t drip easily and I am very happy I used it instead of other brands. I highly recommend it.

Step 8: Clean Up

Boring! But, necessary.

Here are the before and after pictures of my hallway:
jestcafe.com-hallway-34jestcae.com---hallway-33 jestcafe.com-hallway-33jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-21jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-22jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-29Better, don’t you think? Next time, I need to take horrible “before” pictures of my spaces, so the difference between the “before” and “after” photos look more dramatic.

About that trim line,  when you take a closer look you can see that the result was not great (see below), but in the big scheme of things, nobody has paid attention to these details, and the paint job looks pretty good (from afar). You get what you pay for, people!

Take a look:jestcafe.com---painting-hallway-18

Lessons learned:

  1. I wish I had the little sash brushes to paint the details. Get them if you can
  2. I should have had a shorter nap length for the foam cover. I had 1/2″, but it grabbed too much paint. Benjamin Moore Regal base 3 is thick to begin with, so, I think a 3/8″ would have been a better nap length.
  3. When you apply the paint with the roller, do it SLOWLY! Do not hurry. If you try to speed things up, you will leave some surface without paint. At least, that is what happened to me. My walls are very uneven, and that made the paint job more difficult.
  4. The baby wipes will become your best painter friends. Don’t forget them.
  5. I am not Komenda, but I was able to finish this job by myself (no husband’s help here), without major difficulties. I saved money, it gave me something to do during the weekend (aside from childcare), and, it felt very rewarding.

Here are some more pictures of the details, if you want to take a look:
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So, what do you think? do you like it as much as I do?

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