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Gathered | An Outdoor Adventure Inspired Nursery

If you follow Hunt & Gather Home on Instagram, you know that I post a lot of historic preservation related photos. Preservation is one half of what Hunt & Gather Home is all about, and designing inspired and livable spaces within those restored walls is the other.  While I love working on and in historic structures, having an older home is certainly not a requirement for a design project.

Case in point: Watson’s nursery.  My dear friend, Christina, recently asked me to help her gather ideas for a nursery for her third child, and first little boy, Watson. Christina and her husband are currently renting with plans to buy soon. Not knowing what size room Watson will have when he arrives, Christina let me run free with the design. She gave me only one thing to go on:  she loves the crib sheets and changing pad covers from Woolf with Me.

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Knowing Christina and her husband well, one pattern jumped out among hundreds of designs.  I knew the deer crib sheets would be a hit with her husband, a hunter, while Christina would approve of the cute design and gray color. To complement the modern hunting theme of the crib sheet and bring in a pop of color, I chose the gold arrow changing pad cover.  You’ll find those basic pieces in each of the three design boards I created for Watson’s nursery.

Since Christina has two older (and precious) girls, an heirloom crib, a comfy glider, and a chest-of-drawers will need a few updates to get them ready for little brother.  The crib will remain white, a nice contrast against the gray crib sheet.  With the addition of a black and white buffalo check throw pillow the glider will be ready for late-night rocking.  A quick coat of paint will transform the currently pink chest-of-drawers into a boy-friendly focal point in the room.
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Because Christina already had the three main pieces of furniture for the nursery, I decided to have fun with the rugs and chest-of-drawers and make them the statement pieces in the room. Black, white, and gold can be used interchangeably in all three designs.  All Christina needs to do is decide if she prefers orange or green accents!

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As Christina, her husband and kids prepare to welcome Watson into their family, my hope is that these design boards will to guide them into creating a special space for a little boy who is sure to love all things outdoors.

event planning

A 3rd Birthday Party Animals Celebration

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Welcome back to the blog! We’ve had a lot to celebrate around here and it’s kept me busy. From birthdays to Mardi Gras to finally painting my living and dining rooms, I’ve been on the go, but I’m glad to have the chance to sit down and share with you the party animal celebration we recently held for my youngest son.

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We managed to keep it simple, sweet, and handmade. The party was held at my home and we included a handful of family and friends. The kids entertained themselves in the backyard and came inside briefly to eat cake and ice cream.  Planning on this, I kept the decorations simple, yet fun.

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After posting several fun ideas for a handmade banner, I chose to use what I had:  leftover striped party favor bags, washi tape, and baker’s twine (tutorial coming soon).  The bags are originally from Target and were stashed in my party box.  I realized they were the perfect size for a banner and would prevent me from spending the time cutting out scrapbook paper.

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I decided to go with a homemade cake and store-bought cupcakes with the intention of topping the cake with “party animals,” i.e. plastic animals with party hats.

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It was fun to accessorize the little woodland forest animals. Completely unnecessary, but fun.  Using wrapping paper and a mini pom-pom garland I already had, I cut out small bits of paper, folded them into party hat shapes, secured with a hot glue gun, and glued a colorful pom on top. They were easy and fun to make and really made the cake.

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Since the cake toppers had party hats, the kids needed them, too, right?  Instead of making these from scratch, I found pre-made party hats at Target and Hobby Lobby and embellished them with rick-rack, pom-pom garland, and poms on the top. I added a hot-glue glitter three on the birthday boy’s hat.  Again, the hats were quick and easy to make and turned out really cute. The kids all wanted to wear them when they ate their cake and ice cream!

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The birthday boy enjoyed his hat and kept in on for quite a while!

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I didn’t get around to making the gummy animals for the birthday party, so I decided to make them for the low-key class party.  Using gumdrops, mini M&Ms, and a mini tube of icing, I created these cute characters  you see above.  My favorite may be the turtle and the duck!

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Placed on top of store-bought mini cupcakes they look even more precious, but not too precious to eat! Most of the 2 year olds in my son’s class ate their gummy animal along with their cupcake.  They were a hit and I will definitely make them again!

The party animals theme proved to be a fun and simple one to pull off. I had a fun time planning and preparing for this party and the kids (and parents) all seemed to enjoy themselves, which is what it’s all about!

event planning

Party Animals!

It’s February! In our house, this means its time to celebrate my No. 2 – one of the sweetest little guys you ever will meet. I’ve written before about his nursery and transition to a big boy room (still getting around to that final room reveal post), but at the end of the week he’ll turn three, so right now I’m focused on planning a sweet, simple, and fun afternoon party for family and friends.

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I love planning events for children – it’s just fun to make things fun for them! Sometimes I have a party theme in mind and other times I’m inspired to create a theme based on a photo, activity, color scheme, or any other random element that catches my eye. This past December, I found this adorable photo of a gummy animal menorah in a magazine. My first thought was that the little gummy creatures would be adorable on a birthday cake, so I tore out the photo with this party in mind.

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Planning with these little cuties in mind, I decided to go with a party animal theme. I found these fun invitations on minted.com and personalized them for my own little cutie’s birthday.

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And what’s a party without a party hat? For children

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…and animals, of course!

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Any good party needs some fun and festive, DIY garland. There are so many options, it’s easy to go overboard!

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This beautiful mix of pastel and foil strands courtesy of the always fabulous Martha Stewart.

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An equally cute and perhaps less time-consuming option, thanks to Jones Design Company.

Let’s not forget the food. Along with veggies and fruit, frosted animal crackers and goldfish are kid-pleasing favorites and will tie in well with the theme.  I also love the idea of animal shaped PB&J sandwiches for picky eaters.

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These dipped oreos aren’t animal-themed, but the colorful sprinkles make a festive addition to any party.  They would also be super-cute to send for a school party treat instead of cupcakes.

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And finally, favors.  I’m not a huge promoter of party-favors, but these DIY animal-topped jars are pretty cute.  You can fill them with a variety of treats if the kids are too young for gum, and the jar can be reused to house a variety of trinkets and treasures. Perfect for have boys who love to collect rocks and bugs and equally as cute for little girls’ baubles and bracelets.

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It’s completely unrealistic for me to think I will accomplish all of these projects before the party on Sunday, but it’s fun to dream a little and have some inspiration as I’m preparing and decorating. I’ll let you know what I do accomplish and be back soon with photos of the day. I hope this post spurs your imagination as you plan future celebrations for any littles in your life. I always strive to find a balance between making my kids feel special and not going overboard when planning their parties, probably erring on overboard more often than not! Here’s to keeping parties simple, fun, and kid-focused!

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The Mimi Rose Chair

I have a confession.  I’ve been hiding one section of the nursery update from you.  This photo explains why:

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My glider doesn’t match. It doesn’t match because It. Is. Maroon.

Recovering this chair is the project that I never got around to before Sweet P was born…or after.  All Mamas have one (or more) of those projects.  It’s allowed. No, REQUIRED.

But, we like to look on the bright side on this blog, so here are some good things about NOT having a perfectly new, soft and cozy, white cotton covered glider:

1. Babies spit up. A LOT.

2. Colors really don’t make a chair more comfortable.

3. A $60 estate sale find that once belonged to someone who was practically a grandmother to you is much more comfortable and comforting to feed and rock your sweet baby in than the $1500 Pottery Barn model.                          

5. Knowing that this grandmother figure spent hours praying in that chair (often for you and your family) increases its value tenfold.

4. Amen.

This glider belonged to my Mimi Rose.

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A woman who loved me like a granddaughter – so much so that I didn’t realized she wasn’t my grandmother until I was about 5 or 6 years old.

A woman of great faith who prayed me six long hours home from college every Christmas break and countless times in between – and before and after for that matter.

A woman of great strength – coupled with a good dose of stubbornness – which really is the best kind of woman, don’t you think?

A woman who, though she’s gone from this earth, reminds me daily of the power of Love poured out freely and abundantly.

It is only fitting to name the chair after her:  The Mimi Rose Chair.

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My Mama recently helped me to craft a makeshift slipcover for the Mimi Rose Chair out of a white matelasse blanket.   With this white cover, the chair now matches the room, but retains its comfortable, well-worn shape that cradles me and my babies when we rock and read, bringing old memories of comfort and warmth and creating new memories of the same.

I’m not sure what it is about chairs and what makes me love them so much.  Perhaps it’s the fact that they cradle and keep us, supporting us when we feel too burdened to take another step. As a mother, I can think of no better chair for this purpose, for this journey is hard and long, and often I feel burdened beyond what I can bear.  But, the Mimi Rose Chair reminds me that I am loved, that I am supported, that there is rest and peace and calm.

I may never get around to recovering it, and I’m okay with that.

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Farewell Crib, Hello Closet!

 A few weeks ago I was able to finish converting my youngest child’s nursery into a big boy room/guest room, suitable for a wildly independent two year old and the occasional houseguest.  The conversion has taken a bit longer than I planned, but that’s due more to my reluctance to admit that we’re ready to move the baby bed to the attic than the actual amount of work that was done in the room.

You all asked for additional photos of the vintage crib, so I’ll indulge both your curiosity and my sentimental heart with these final photos of a family heirloom that has nurtured three generations of sweet, sleeping infants.

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This side latches and folds down making it easy for adults to get baby in and out of the bed, but nearly impossible for a toddler to unlatch both ends at the same time. Yes, that is screen between the wood frame.

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This is the “lid” (for lack of a better word) that folds over the top and latches.  We never used it, but the idea of screening your child in their crib actually makes pretty good sense to this Southern Mama who enjoys the outdoors but detests mosquitos. Judging by the vintage advertisement below, that’s exactly what the Trimble Company was banking on.

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[source]

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As you can see, my child thought his crib was a pretty novel idea, too!

I will not lie, even after rearranging the room, I left the crib sitting awkwardly in the middle between the bed and the chair, obviously out of use and out of place, but not quite ready to store it away for good.  However, this past week, my husband finally hauled it up to the attic, and we decided to fully embrace the “little boy” years. He’s ready and so are we!

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I wanted to keep a hint of the “sweetness”of P’s nursery in his updated space.  He is a sweet child and a calm and pleasant room suits him well.  Like any good mother on a mission to clean up and clean out, I chose to tackle the closet first.

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Cleaning out the baby things was the difficult part.  The actual conversion was simple. I simply lifted off the front half of the changing table that my husband installed, moved the hanging rod from the bottom bracket to the top, moved the baskets to the top shelves, and adjusted the side shelving to accomodate toys. Toys are kid-accessible and clothes are not.  You like how I planned that, no?

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I lowered the adjustable shelves are repurposed baskets (oops! forgot to re-label) to make room for toys.

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The center and right sides of the closet store larger toys that I’d rather not have displayed in the room.  He can actually play with his tools inside the closet!

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Looking up to the top of the closet.  Plenty of room for several seasons of hanging clothes as well as two shelves of bins and baskets.

Having an organized and functional closet for my kids makes mornings easier and cleanup time bearable.  The little one is loving his new closet.  He feels like the big boy that he is by being able to choose his toys and put them back by himself.  I consider it a winning design when a closet can aid in teaching kids to have fun and be responsible for their things.

In the next few days, I’ll post more about changes to the rest of the room, but here are few glimpses of the fun!

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Can’t wait to show you more!

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DIY: Easy Hand Painted Letters

Today I’m sharing my secret to hand lettering. This easy DIY project complements the greeting card art I recently hung over my bed and the technique can be used in a variety of ways.  The possibilities are endless, really.  As always, I hope this project gets your creative juices flowing!

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After framing the Happily Ever After card, my little hand-painted “M” was missing its partner “A.” Here’s how I added the “A” in about an hour.

STEP ONE:  PRINT

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Choose your font.  I matched my “M” with the typewriter font that comes standard on my computer.  Check out dafont.com if you need some inspiration.  Size your wording and print.

STEP TWO:  SHADE

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When you’ve printed your letters or words, flip the page over and use a pencil to shade over the letter.  No precision necessary, just make sure you cover the entire letter or word.

STEP THREE:  LAYOUT

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Cutout your letters or words and lay them out on your paper for placement.

STEP FOUR:  TRACE

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Using your pencil, trace the outline of your letter or word.  The graphite you shaded on the back of the letter will appear as an outline on your paper, making it easy to fill in with paint.

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STEP FIVE:  PAINT

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Fill in your lettering with your choice of paint.  It only takes a small dollop of paint.  A small brush will keep detailed letters precise.

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STEP SIX:  FRAME AND HANG


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  I’ve always enjoyed the process of hand-painted lettering and love the personal touch it adds to my home.  Try using it with your favorite font or with your own handwriting.  You can paint a favorite saying or inspirational quote to hang on the wall or paint your street address on your front door.  What hand-letterd projects do you have planned?

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Design Crush DIY: Greeting Card Art

So glad to have you back for Design Crush project No. 2.  Today we’ll put those cute and clever greeting cards to use. Here’s the Rifle Paper Co. card that inspired this project for updating the art in my master bedroom.

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A clipboard is a cute and easy way to display cards, but I bought this card with another idea in mind.

Here’s the artwork above the bed that needed a little tweaking.

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It took me the longest time to decide what to hang over the bed.  The wall needed something extra due to the ceiling height, but  a large piece of artwork would compete with the bed frame. So, I dusted off some old frames, popped in some scrapbook paper, and painted our initials. That was three years ago.

However, something about the “A” had been bothering me for awhile, and when I recently found the Happily Ever After card, I knew it would be the perfect piece to make a subtle yet satisfying change.

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Once you have your framed paper ready, it’s easy to create

DESIGN CRUSH DIY: GREETING CARD ART

STEP ONE:  GATHER SUPPLIES

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Framed paper / Greeting Card (envelope optional) / Double-sided tape / Scissors / Photo Corners / Scotch Removable Foam Squares

STEP TWO:  LAYOUT YOUR CARD

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This was an important step in my case.  Since I was trying to hide the “A” I realized I needed to use the envelope as well as the card.  Laying out the envelope and card before applying adhesive ensures that you get the placement perfect.

STEP THREE: TAPE CARD TOGETHER

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I chose not to cut the cover off of my card before framing.  Instead I cut several pieces of double-sided tape, placed them on the inside of the open card, gently closed the card and pressed it together to ensure that the card would stay closed when hanging on the wall.

STEP FOUR:  ATTACH ENVELOPE

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Place the taped card aside and cut several more strips of double-sided tape to adhere to the back (flap-side) of your envelope.  Then gently press the envelope to the scrapbook paper to secure in place.

STEP FIVE:  ADD PHOTO CORNERS

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Slip one photo corner on each of the four corner of the card.

STEP SIX:  ATTACH FOAM SQUARES 

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Four adhesive foam squares should be enough to securely attach the greeting card to the envelope/framed paper. I made sure to place the foam squares over the back of the photo corners to  ensure that they stayed in place.

STEP SEVEN:  ATTACH CARD 

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Flip your card over and double-check the placement before gently pressing the card in place on top of the envelope/framed paper. The foam squares  will bring some dimension to the piece.  You can achieve less dimension by putting the entire piece behind glass or by using photo splits or double sided tape instead of foam squares.

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STEP EIGHT: HANG AND ENJOY

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I’m pleased with how this simple project turned out.  Not only does the card pick up the colors of the scrapbook paper perfectly, but the hand-written font and sweet little message are gentle reminders that, even amidst the struggles of life, I can choose to love and live happily ever after.

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Next in this DIY series, I’ll show you an easy and fool proof way (I promise) to create beautiful, hand-painted lettering.

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