Friday, December 19, 2014

Scented Etched Wood Alphabet Montessori-Waldorf Inspired

Essential Oil Diffusing Wood Alphabet Tracing Cards
Sensory Alphabet Wood Chips
Scented Sensory Alphabet Tracing Blocks
(I'm not exactly sure what to call them so I'm coming up with lots of titles lol)

Here is a fun DIY Christmas gift I made for my kiddos.  My husband has cut down so many trees around the house I'm always wondering what else I could use the wood for besides firewood.  I'm really excited how these turned out and my older daughter asked me to make her some number ones to do math with, so I guess that's next.

I found a log about 3 inches in diameter and sliced it up with the circle saw.  Then next step would be t sand them but I didn't do that...they aren't that rough, my actually husband asked if I had sanded them because they were decently smooth...I just didn't know where any sandpaper was.
Then I just had fun free handing the alphabet on each slice with the wood burner tool.  Mine was from hobby lobby and around $7 with coupon and I don't know if there are better ones out there since this was my first time using one, but it was kinda slow.  However we had Christmas music on and the kids were playing so it was easy to just have out and do throughout the day, a letter here a letter there.

After I finished the alphabet, I poured some olive oil in a bowl and added some essential oil to it and then used a paint brush to brush the oil onto the wood slices to seal them and make them scented.  So they are like essential oil diffusing alphabet learning wood block things that are also fun to stack as blocks, I should have taken a picture of that!  I was inspired by the wooden Montessori sand paper alphabet cards, but also incorporating nature into what we do as much as possible mindset of Waldorf and Charlotte Mason.  I made the grooves of the letters as deep as I could to increase the sensory experience of tracing their finger over the letters.  Anyways, I get excited about using stuff from outside so I'm in love with these!  I had wanted to make a couple sets for Christmas gifts but I don't think I'll have time, but now I know for future gifts what to make!

My next idea for some wood is building a little tree house for Calico Critters....If it happens I'll be sure to let you know!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pottery Barn Style Pine and Burlap

During Thanksgiving I was looking at some of the logs in our log pile and thought they might be useful for winter decorating so put some out on the steps but didn't know yet what I was going to put on them.  After Thanksgiving we ventured out to the mall as a family and perused Pottery Barn and I got so excited when I saw the small pine plants rapped in burlap.  I don't think they were for sale but were used as decor in the store, it gave me a great idea for my front porch/steps.  I'm all about DIY frugal/free decorating if you haven't noticed!  We live in the woods with tones of baby pine trees growing out of the ground like weeds out here so I pulled up a few, put them in the plastic containers that were holding my dead mums (that I killed within 2 weeks because I suck)  that's why I need to do frugal plant decor because if I did expensive flower filled planters...oiy!  So anyways, popped those little pines into the planters, wrapped some burlap and tied with ribbon and there ya go...simple and wintery!  I after went back and added some bricks inside th burlap with the plants because they were blowing over but now we're good!  Anyways, nothing super fancy but I like it..simple, wintery, easy and free!

Since I had the camera out thought I'd snap a couple of the rest of our christmas set up....I didn't do much, we have 2 trees because we inherited the second one with the house along with the garland going up the stairs.  The kids decorated the trees and my mom gave us the christmas village in the dining room.  It feels Christmasy and cozy and it's not over the top or anything but I am really enjoying the cozyness of it!

Turned out kitchen eating area into a keeping room/sitting room.  and just are sticking the kids crafts up on the windows...oh and yes I'm in the middle of doing laundry as you can see...Life is always happening...the house will never be perfect :)  And I think it's a good thing :)  We live here!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bring Vegas Home Challenge recently contacted me to be part of their Bring Vegas Home Design Challenge.  The challenge is to  use the Cosmopolitan Hotel as design inspiration for a room in my own home.  I'm not an interior designer, but it sounded fun and I currently just moved my kitchen table into our empty dining room and am transforming the kitchen space into a small living room/keeping room.  I wanted to create a comfortable lounging area in the kitchen while also providing a work space for a computer since the "office" room in our house is the play room/homeschool room.  So I had that space in mind while creating this design.  I really enjoyed this little challenge since I am in the mode of getting ideas for that space anyways and the Cosmopolitan Hotel actually has really nice design.  Looking through their gallery of different suits, I had a hard time deciding which style I was going for because I liked a lot of things from the various rooms.  I am a sucker for blues, whites, metalics, dark leather, and natural elements like wood, branches, flowers.  So this look totally suites me.  I like traditional and contemporary, I like nice yet casual and unpretentious.  I think this twist on the cosmopolitan hotel for the home would totally work in my home! If I was going to use this look in my space the only thing from my design I wouldn't use is the mirror because my room is all windows.

I think this room has a nice blend of the various elements you would find at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.  Navy Blue Velvet, white office chair, simple natural wood desk, rounded leather arm chair, chrome lamps, pops of color with orange and yellow pillows...what do you think?  I never considered a navy blue sofa but yeah, I definitely like this one from West Elm. 

Here are some of the photos from the Cosmopolitan that I used for inspiration.